Category: Reading

Book Review: “Look & Find Bible Storybook” by Charlotte Thoroe and B.A. Jones; Illustrated by Gill Guile

The Look & Find Bible Storybook contains eight stories from the Old and New Testament. These stories span creation, Noah and the ark, the parting of the Red Sea, David and Goliath, Jonah, Jesus’ birth, the feeding of the five thousand, and Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. Each story contains a summary of the storyline, a Bible reference, and a fold out look and find. The look and find portion can be completed by finding selected, featured pictures or by a more detailed, worded checklist. The book is durable, colorful, and wonderfully illustrated. My favorite feature is that the pages are dry erase marker safe so that the look and find portion can be completed more than once. The reusable look and find feature reinforces the story, especially for smaller children with shorter attention spans. However, it still appeals to older children as well because it makes learning fun. My only complaint is that there are many paraphrased quotes from the Bible. I would have preferred that they quoted the actual verse from the Bible or just paraphrased what was said without actually using quotation marks. I understand the casual tone of the paraphrased quotes is intended to make it more child-friendly, but I didn’t care for it. Otherwise, this is a quality product that is sure to loved by kids.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review as part of their Lifeway Bloggers Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Home on the Range” by Ruth Logan Herne

Home on the Range was the first novel I’ve read by Ruth Logan Herne. I enjoyed this book with its’ mix of romance, ever-changing family dynamics, tragedy, and surprises. The story centers around Nick Stafford, a rugged cowboy grounded by family ties, but yet scarred by abandonment issues from his mom and wife. Nick’s two girls, Cheyenne and Dakota, also struggle to adjust to their new normal since their mother left them. Their mother’s absence affects not only their school life, but also their relationship with their father. Enter Dr. Elsa Andreas, a therapist haunted by tragedy and has a hard time with trust, whose life becomes complicated by her conflicting roles as the girl’s therapist and developing love interest of Nick’s. This story follows each of these characters as they deal with past heartache and tragedy and how their struggle to cope with the past helps them to move on to a better future. I should note that this is book two in the Double S. Ranch series. I haven’t read the first book, so I can say that this book was easy to pick up in the middle of the series. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the next installment in the series and see how Ms. Herne resolves several storylines.

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: “In the Shadow of Denali” by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse

I am a fan of Tracie Peterson, and she did not disappoint with this beginning book in the “The Heart of Alaska” series. It was a good mix of romance, mystery, adventure, action, danger, and history. The authors do an excellent job of taking the reader on a vivid trip to the early 1900s in the wide open expanses of Alaska. It is the story of heroine Cassidy Ivanoff as she faces an uncertain future that hinges on solving mysteries of the past. Ivanoff crosses paths with Allan Brennan who arrives for work at the Curry Hotel where she and her father work. Brennan is plagued by questions surrounding the suspicious death of his father. The story unravels this mystery while weaving the relationships of everyone at the hotel together to arrive at the book’s climatic ending. I especially enjoyed the interactions of Ivanoff with her kitchen boss, Mrs. Johnson. Ivanoff draws on her relationship with God to try to help her through secrets in her past as well. This is good story of how letting go of bitterness from past can unlock the key to happiness in the future.

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: “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.