Category: Reading

Book Review: “Fear and Faith” by Trillia J. Newbell

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Fear and Faith is an encouraging book that takes a look at fear as covered in the Bible. Mrs. Newbell separates her discussion into chapters focusing on a specific fear that women might face. She spends time defining the fear and how it may manifest itself in the reader’s life. This book urges the reader to recognize the presence of fear in their lives, but then to replace those feelings of fear with faith. I love that the author uses lots of specific Bible references to support her position. I also appreciate that she doesn’t use a condemning tone for those who struggle with fear as seen in the introduction where she compares a baby learning to walk to a Christian learning to walk in faith. Those first steps are often wobbly, but yet the triumph in both situations is that they took the step in the first place. The book also uses the basket of leftovers in the passage from John 6 (that details the feeding of the five thousand) to illustrate an important truth about Jesus:

“Jesus is the bread. He is the eternal sustenance for the hungry soul. In Him our should no longer go hungry or thirsty. The leftovers in the story are a picture for us, reminding us every time we read it that He is more than enough for you and more than enough for every need in my life.”

This reminds the reader that He is enough to conquer every fear and that they should trust Him in faith. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is prone to struggle with fear, especially women.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Catching Heat” by Janice Cantore

978-1-4143-9670-5This is the third installment of the Cold Case Justice series. It follows Drawing Fire and Burning Proof. This series follows the lives of Abby Hart, a detective whose parents were murdered when she was a child. This tragic event still haunts her and causes her to desperately search for answers and seek justice. Her life is further complicated by her love interest, PI Luke Murphy, who has also had his share of tragedy in his life. This book finds Hart and Murphy in pursuit of closure in several cold case files.

As with the others in the series, this book is full of twists and turns that keep the reader on a fast-paced journey that I have come to expect and love from Ms. Cantore. Also, I appreciate yet another clean book with Christian themes woven in the plot from this author. Because of her carefully crafted storylines and great character development, I love this series. Although this book provides resolution of most of the storylines, I would love to see this series continue. I would definitely recommend this as a great read.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “What Does God Really Promise?” by Carolyn Larsen

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What Does God Really Promise? is similar to another title I’ve recently read by Ms. Larsen, but this one covers 101 questions regarding the promises of God. This hardback book is beautifully illustrated with cheery colors and drawings. It provides a high level overview of questions that a new believer or skeptic might have regarding God’s promises, the church, and the future. It is also written to generalize many different denominations of the Christian faith instead of just one. So, you might often see a range of answers in this book based upon those varying beliefs.

Each question is supported by a Bible verse (usually NLT, but can be easily cross-referenced to another version). It is written in a manner that is easy to read and generally avoids the use of complicated theological terms. The sewn-in bookmark also lends itself to reading on the go. Overall, this is a good overview book for new believers.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Can I Really Know Jesus?” by Carolyn Larsen

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Can I Really Know Jesus? 101 Questions and Answers About Jesus, Salvation, and Prayer by Carolyn Larsen is an easy to read hardcover book with beautiful illustrations that covers a lot of topics regarding questions one might have about Jesus, salvation, and prayer. It is written in a format that allows for quick reading and is devoid of hard to understand theological terms.

The questions appear to be targeted to new believers or perhaps even skeptics. Each question also has a Bible verse presented with it to support the author’s answer. I wish that the verse were presented in the King James Version, but the New Living Translation is mostly used. Overall, I think it’s a good overview of questions that a new believer might have.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Giveaway and Book Review: “Deadly Encounter” by DiAnn Mills

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Deadly Encounter is great thriller full of twists and turns. It is the story of a caring main character named Stacy Broussard. She is a veterinarian, volunteer mounted airport ranger, and potential adoptive mother to the abused boy across the street. Broussard gets tangled up in a dangerous web of trouble when she stumbles upon a murder victim during one of her watches as an airport ranger. FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc enters the story to investigate the murder. After initially clashing with Broussard, a romantic interest begins to blossom between the two. Whitt McMann is a highly intelligent boy who helps Broussard at the animal clinic, but is also physically and mentally abused by his parents who live across the street from Broussard. All of these characters mix together to make an interesting cast of characters who suffer a lot of conflict and unfair disadvantages, but also manage to find a way to help others and rise above their circumstances.

This was my first timing reading a book from DiAnn Mills. It started off strong and had a fast paced conclusion. The concept of redemption by God is woven well into one of the storylines as well. I can’t wait to read the next installment in the spring of 2017. In the meantime, I’ll definitely be reading more from Mrs. Mills.

I enjoyed this book and think you will too. Tyndale Publishers have provided a copy of this book to be used in a giveaway. To enter, comment on this post below by Saturday, September 17th, at 8:00 PM. I’ll then announce the winner of the random drawing.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Update: Congratulations to Paula S., who commented on my social media post, on winning the giveaway.

Book Review: “The Midwife’s Dilemma” by Delia Parr

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I really enjoyed this last installment of the At Home in Trinity series. This book continues the journey of Martha Cade, a midwife, and her friends and family. The author continues the storylines from the first two books while continuing to weave in the themes of faith and sacrifice into the story. This book is filled with several surprising turns of events and does a good job of finishing several plot lines from the earlier books. Unfortunately, I just wish that there was more to come. After spending time reading these books and the awesome way that the characters were developed, I find myself sad to see them go. I definitely recommend this, especially for fans of the first books.

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “The Flower Workshop” by Ariella Chezar

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The Flower Workshop is essentially a recipe book for flower arranging. It is filled with beautiful pictures of classy flower arrangements. The book has the arrangements divided into seasons and types of arrangements that covers a variety of sizes, shapes, and occasions where flowers would add the perfect touch. Each one gives step by step instructions that even beginners can follow, lists the type of vase needed and floral supplies that are necessary, and also includes alternate flowers that will also work well in the arrangement. I tend to struggle with floral arrangement and I am inspired to try many of the suggestions in this book. In fact, I can’t wait to try these ideas with the flower garden I have planned for the summer. I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves beautiful flowers and wants to be inspired to add them to their living spaces to bring them joy.

I received this book for free from BloggingforBooks.org’s Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. 

Book Review: “Burning Proof” by Janice Cantore

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This is the second book in Janice Cantore’s Cold Case Justice series. It picks off where the first book, Drawing Fire, left off. The lead character, Abby Hart, is a detective with a heart for victims after experiencing crime first-hand as a child. This book explores her internal fragility and angst after a tragic shooting in the line of duty. Having to come to terms with this newest shooting seems to bring up old emotions suppressed in the past. The shooting seems to throw Abby’s life into turmoil as she prepares to make decisions in her professional, private, and romantic life.

This book is filled with familiar characters from the first book and has the same great storytelling that I have come to love from Janice Cantore. As with the first book, the storyline had Biblical themes and verses woven into it and was clean. There were also plenty of twists and turns in the book. Some questions were answered from the first book, but plenty more are still a mystery. I can’t wait for the next installment in this series!

While the author does include a prologue to acclimate the reader to the book with a recap of the first book, I really think you should read it for yourself because it was great. You can see my review of the first book, Drawing Fire, here

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way – 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul” by Sarah Mae

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I was drawn to this book because I’ve been looking a lot at the lives of Mary and Martha from the Bible. It also interested me to because I’m always looking for tips and tricks to make housekeeping easier and more organized. I really enjoyed how information in the book was grouped. For each of the 31 days, a different topic is covered. The author covers everything from learning your cleaning style to toy organization. Each day has a short story, a Bible study (named the Mary Challenge), and a hands-on activity to help with cleaning around the house (named the Martha Challenge). I love that all the information in the book is divided into small, doable sections so that you’re not overwhelmed with it all. I also love that the book is based on Biblical principles. The book is full of great ideas and helps to break up house cleaning into manageable pieces. For instance, one of my favorite parts of the book was in Day 10 – Slow and Steady. The author encouraged me by reminding that cleaning and household organization doesn’t have to be done all together at one time and that progress is better than perfection. On page 86, she says, “One step at a time, one day at a time, slow and steady, you’ll make it.” The book is filled with reminders of grace and was encouraging to me. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a quick Bible study along with ideas to tame the chaos that often surrounds homes of mothers of small children.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Parent Hacks” by Asha Dornfest

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This book is the collection of over 135 hacks (tips, tricks, and shortcuts) for parents. It is such a fun book! There are tons of cute illustrations and highlighted text that make this book very easy to read. Some of the hacks are ones that I used when my kids were young, and others are simply brilliant ones that I wish I had known about then. One of my favorites from the book discussed the many uses of a roll of painter’s tape. Another great idea was to use an open dishwasher for young kids to practice their dexterity as they pour liquids into a cup. The author summed it up perfectly on the back of the book when she said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” My life as a young mother would have been so much easier if I had. This book would be the perfect gift for new parents!

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.