4.29.2013

Jesus, the One & Only By Beth Moore


In her previous books, Beth Moore has introduced her readers to David and Paul. In Jesus, the One and Only, Beth introduces them to an intimate Savior as they get a close-up and personal portrait of the life of Jesus the Messiah.
But this is far more than just a work on the life of Christ. As He has done in the past, God uses Beth’s words to woo the reader into a romance with the One and Only. The reader comes to know Christ personally, watching and listening as He breaks up a funeral by raising the dead, confronts conniving religious leaders of His day, teaches on a Galilean hillside, or walks on the waves and calms the storm.


Beth Moore has a way of drawing the author into a deeper, personal relationship with Jesus, more of like a Husband. She tells of his life stories of walking on water and eating with sinners and it makes you feel as though you were there to experience it for yourself. 
This book would be great to do as a Bible Study or small group study for both men and women. Much better than any Harlequin romance ever written, Beth is a lady after God's own heart and she invites you on this journey with her.

What A Son Needs From His Mom By Cheri Fuller

Ever Feel Like Your Son Is From a Different Planet?Don't worry, Mom. There's a good reason why your son perplexes you. He's the OPPOSITE sex! Boys really do think, communicate, and process the world differently than girls. But no matter your son's age, he needs you, and he needs you in not-so-apparent ways.Drawing from her own experiences, as well as those from moms and sons from around the country, Cheri Fuller shares what makes boys and young men tick and how to become a more welcome influence at every stage in their lives. She answers all the top questions, including:"How can I help my son (and me!) deal with his emotions in a healthy way?""School is such a struggle. How can I help him?" "Our personalities are SO different. How can we get on the same page?""My son hardly says a thing. What can I do?""What are the best ways to instill good values?""How can I encourage a lasting faith in God?"With page after page of use-it-today advice and encouraging stories, this book will help you steer your son toward becoming a caring, confident young man.Includes Reflection Questions for Personal or Group Use

Well my son is only 2 1/2 but I sure hope to reflect back to this book when he gets older. There are some great tidbits of wisdom contained within on how to be the number 1 fan in their lives. Cheri Fuller reflects on her role as a Mom of 3 and tells stories related to her own experiences. This book reminded me to focus more on the future and focus less on the tantrums as they only last for a little while, but help him become a great man!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

The Gate By Dann A. Stouten


Every life is a story. Schuyler Hunt is about to come face-to-face with the author of his.
When a planned getaway with his wife turns into a shopping trip for the girls, Schuyler Hunt finds himself looking for something else to do. An ad for a vacation cottage catches his eye, and he sets off in search of a much-needed break. When he arrives, he finds something far different from the typical summer home experience. In fact, he may have found a little slice of heaven.
The proprietor-along with a number of unexpected and yet familiar guests-welcomes him with food, rest, and conversation, until what started out as an escape from everyday life turns into something much, much more . . .

When I first started reading this book, I was quite uncertain, everything seemed far fetched but then the more I read the more I thought, hmm, maybe this is what Heaven could be like! I loved the creative description the author used throughout. The fact that the main character was able to connect with people from his past made me think about people who have passed on from my own life and how my only chance to see them again is to make sure my heart is right with God. The book seemed a little complex at times when the trinity was represented as 3 separate people but I do get the authors point. I've honestly never read a book like it before, it ropen me in. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Finding God in the Dark By Ted Kluck & Ronnie Martin

God has not forgotten about you.
That's hard to remember in the face of disillusionment or heartache. Unbelief and doubt are buried deep within us, especially when we question God's goodness in the face of loss and abandonment. Ted Kluck's world was turned upside down after experiencing a failed adoption, where he found himself propelled into a year of doubt and disillusionment. Ronnie Martin struggled with the kind of identity and idolatry issues that come with being a well-known recording artist, before the unexpected death of his father allowed those sins to be brought to the surface of his heart. It is in the midst of these and other everyday stories that we learn how God reveals His boundless grace to every one of us.
Whether you've lost someone you loved, suffered career failure, or simply been let down by a fellow Christian, it's natural to wonder whether God has forgotten about you. You're not alone. But as a believer, you can trust that overcoming individual challenges will prepare you for a greater purpose. Kluck and Martin's raw revelations about their mistakes and disappointments will help you on your own journey to finding God when you’re standing in the dark.




Doubt is such a common thing in the human mind. Because we can't physically see or touch something, we tend to believe it is no longer there, but that's not how God works. Fear and doubt is the product of the enemy, it's only when we fully rely on God and trust the path he has chosen for us that we truly find who he is and what he can do for us. Both authors show how their failures and losses lead them down a road of doubt and the feeling of abandonment by God and how they found their way back and learned to trust in him fully. I would recommend this book for anyone whos going through a rough patch or has doubts about whether God really cares, because he certainly does!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

4.22.2013

Bread And Wine By Shauna Niequist

As a follow up to her two bestselling books, Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines, author and blogger Shauna Niequist returns with the perfect read for those who love food and value the community and connection of family and friends around the table.Bread and Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest, and vulnerable spiritual memoir. Bread and Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It's about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. It's about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.With wonderful recipes included, from Bacon-Wrapped Dates to Mango Chicken Curry to Blueberry Crisp, readers will be able to recreate the comforting and satisfying meals that come to life in Bread and Wine.

Cooking and writing? Umm, yes please! The author writes about relationships we have and how conversations around the dinner table help to grow these relationships and also includes a recipe. It's not all happy go lucky, the author also writes about failures and loss as well as success and love. I read part of this book in the kitchen while rummaging through my pantry to see if I had all the ingredients to make a recipe! Haha. I this this is my first Niequist book, but it gave me such a warm fuzzy feeling, it won't be my last. It almost felt as if I was reading a diary of some sort.

The Lesson By Suzanne Woods Fisher


Sometimes love shows up when you least expect it.Nineteen-year-old Mary Kate Lapp yearns for adventure, but all she seems to find is trouble. Her dreams of travel have taken a backseat to her assignment to teach school this year. And nothing ever seems to happen in her sleepy Amish community.But when a sudden and unexplained death conveniently coincides with the arrival of a mysterious young man, M.K. is frustrated that no one takes it seriously. She’s determined to take matters into her own hands and get to the bottom of it. Will she find more than she bargained for? Centered on one of bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher’s most loved characters, this is the Stoney Ridge story you have been waiting for. With a surprise at every turn, a gentle romance, and a shocking answer to an old family mystery, The Lesson is the dramatic conclusion to the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.
 The last book in the Stoney Ridge Series (sniff, sniff). I love to see a series tied up but it leaves me emotional just the same as I feel like part of the family haha, I really get into a good book! I love the Amish and their ways. The author added some nice plot twists as well as suspense.
Mary Kate is the amish Nancy Drew, believing that is her fate to solve the murder of a local sheep farmer and doesn't stop there. She tends to get in scuffs and is not your typical quiet Amish girl. The author also threw in some romance which made for a nice story!


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

The Dance By Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley


Love’s recovery starts with a single step . . .
After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn Anderson is tired of playing the role of perfect wife. Her husband Jim is a successful businessman who gives her everything she needs-a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, the financial freedom to be a stay-at-home mom, an enviable collection of stuff. Everything, that is, except what really matters: love.
After years of trying to connect with Jim, Marilyn has had enough. She longs to experience some measure of happiness before she’s too old to enjoy it. Needing some time to herself to sort things out, Marilyn leaves to start a new job and take dancing lessons-something she has wanted to do for as long as she can remember.
Shocked to find his wife gone, Jim Anderson must sort through the past to save his marriage. With a little help from an unexpected ally, he begins a campaign to win Marilyn back. What he doesn’t anticipate is how his actions will affect everyone around him-starting with himself.

Not my first Dan Walsh books, for some reason I'm always drawn to his style of writing. I love the character development and the story being told from both Marilyn and Jim's point of view. I love seeing her reasoning behind the separation and him realizing what and why he needed to change his ways. Just when the book seemed predictable, there was another twist. 
Such a great read and can't wait for the 2nd! Hope it's about Tom, because he seems just like his Dad and his marriage seems to be headed in the same direction.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

4.21.2013

Swept Away By Mary Connealy


Laughter, Romance, and Action Abound in This New Series from Mary Connealy
Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't all that upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. She prayed for a chance to get away, and then came the raging flood. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke Stone...so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.
Luke is heading home to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men who killed his father are working hard to ensure Luke doesn't make it alive. He has no choice but to keep moving. Still, he can't just abandon Ruthy, so she'll have to come along.
His friends--a ragtag group of former Civil War soldiers--take a fast interest in the pretty gal. Luke thinks that's rather rude--he's the one who found her. And the more time he spends around the hard-working young woman who is a mighty good cook, the more he finds himself thinking beyond revenge and toward a different future. For the first time in a long time, Luke is tempted to turn from his destructive path and be swept away by love.




This is the first book in the Trouble in Texas Series and such a great read! I loved how the author had me in suspense one minute and laughing out loud the next. I usually don't go for the historical reads but this one sounded too good to pass up. Basically Ruthie's family has always been hard on her and she's been looking for a way out and it comes in the form of being separated while crossing a river and being swept downstream. Luke is on a quest to save his ranch and takes Ruthie along for the ride.
 It's so nice to read a romance/comedy/suspense without all the smut of todays romance novels. Thumbs up!!

4.09.2013

Taylor's Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope By Todd & Tara Storch

In March 2010, thirteen-year-old Taylor Storch's life was tragically cut short by a skiing accident. With only a few minutes to consider their options, her grieving family made the life-changing decision to donate her organs. Knowing Taylor's caring spirit, they were sure this was what she would have wanted. Over the course of the next two years, Tara and Todd Storch connected with four of the five people who now live because of Taylor's gift. And through these encounters, the Storches have discovered unexpected blessings that are changing countless lives.

Now Tara and Todd share their inspiring story, shining a light at the end of the tunnel for those enduring the suffering of losing a loved one. Through the stories of the donor recipients, readers will discover hope in the midst of pain. Honest with their struggles, the Storches show readers that life is a gift and our response to grief is a choice. They also speak with a clear voice about the importance and the blessing of being an organ donor, telling the inspiring story of the creation of Taylor's Gift Foundation and its goals to raise awareness of the need for organ donation, to re-gift life, renew health, and restore families. They are changing the conversation around the globe that organ donation is not about death--it's about life! Foreword by Max Lucado.


Oh what a heart wrenching and life changing read all at the same time! I can't even tell you how many times my heart broke for the Storch's over and over. I shed many tears of sadness, sorrow, and happiness! I mourned when the family mourned and I rejoiced when they rejoiced. My heart was warmed to see the new lease of life the donor recipients had been given. God had to break some hearts to heal some others. I have thought more deeply about organ donation lately and am definitely ensuring that I am one. If I can help one person even after I'm gone than this life will not have been in vain.
There's also a strong sense of God's hand in it all. There were too many divine interventions for it to be coincidence. From the Scriptures to the donor contacts.
I encourage everyone to read this book and check out the foundation Taylor's GiftIf you're not already a organ donor I strongly encourage you to do so today, you may save a life, or 5!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

North of Hope: A Daughter's Arctic Journey By Shannon Huffman Poulson


After her parents are killed in a rare grizzly attack, the author is forced into a wilderness of grief. Turning to loves she learned from her father, Polson explores the perilous terrain of grief through music, the natural world, and her faith. Her travels take her from the suburbs of Seattle to the concert hall where she sings Mozart's Requiem, and ultimately into the wilderness of Alaska's remote Arctic and of her heart.

This deeply moving narrative is shot through with the human search for meaning in the face of tragedy. Polson's deep appreciation for the untamed and remote wilderness of the Alaskan Arctic moves her story effortlessly between adventure, natural history, and sacred pilgrimage, as much an internal journey as a literal one. Readers who appreciate music or adventure narratives and the natural world or who are looking for new ways to understand loss will find guidance, solace, and a companionable voice in this extraordinary debut. 

This book is compiled of the authors own memories as well as the life of her Father and Stepmother. She decided to deal with grief in her own way by taking an adventure with her adoptive brother, that she was never close, with and his friend, someone she never even knew. I found this a bit odd since she was taking a grief journey I figured she would choose someone who was also close with Rich & Kathy. They raft down the Alaskan river and visit the campsite where her parents were killed by a grizzly bear.
There are some great descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness and it's rugged beauty as well as the memories she shared with her parents. 
I'm not sure I enjoyed this book as much as I thought I would, but it was a good read all the same. It is a good read for someone struggling with grieving a loss of a parent.

North Of Hope Book Trailer WATCH HERE

Book provided by Handlebar publishing in exchange for an honest review