Friday, December 28, 2012

Impulsive!

Cover Art


Impulsive and full of zeal is exactly what young Alyce Benson is.  When she sees the tiny faces of children in need in Africa she pledges three thousand dollars to help the mission work over there.  Unfortunately, Alyce pledges her father’s money, money he is not willing to part with.  Now she has to come up with the money or look like a fool in front of the entire church congregation.  Good thing Alyce likes to drive—really fast.

I don’t think I have ever read a story set in this time about women racers, or even women drivers for that matter.  It seems that just driving around town was frowned upon by society.  Alyce manages to conceal her identity and enter several races to earn her money, but has to deceive her family along the way.  She has a heart of gold that gets her in trouble when mixed with her impulsiveness. It’s a fun story where we get to watch as our heroine does a lot of growing up.
For more information about this book--click here--or the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for and honest review.

Are You My Servant?


Cover Art

That’s the question Kien Lantec must answer in the second book of the Books Of The Infinite series.  Is he the Infinite’s servant no matter what, even when he is being asked to do something out of his comfort zone?  This military judge is about to become a prophet for his Creator, and a slightly reluctant one at that.  Meanwhile Parne’s Prophet, Ela Roeh, has seen a vision of the destruction of her home and must return to save her people.

Kien and Ela go their separate ways as they do the will of the Infinite.  Kien learns that being a prophet is not very easy and requires absolute surrender of his will.  His disobedience lands him a less than pleasant ride inside a sea monster.  Ela feels the heartbreak of learning the people she grew up with have been slowly turning from the Infinite to worship false gods.

R.J. Larson has done a wonderful job, again, of taking a “fantasy” world and using it as a way for us to feel what the prophets of the Old Testament may have felt as they did the will of their Creator.   The elation of success when people hear the Word of the LORD and do His will and the utter devastation when one sees loved ones turn from God.  This is an absolutely engaging story; I couldn’t wait to get through the story to see what would happen next, but at the same time, hated to finish it!

I am greatly looking forward to next installment, King.  I am also glad to know that I’m not the only one who wants their own Destroyer!
For more information about this book--click here-- or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Waited So Long For This Book

Jesus : A Theography, Leonard Sweet


I love the concept of putting all together how Jesus shows up throughout the Bible. He doesn’t just show up somewhere in the middle; He is there from before the foundations of the earth because He is God.  When I first saw this book I knew that I wanted to read it.  I haven’t read anything by either of these authors before but have heard good things about their other books.

I cannot explain what it is that surprisingly disappointed me about this book I had so longed to read.  I’m not sure if it is because the concept is not new to me having grown up in a really good church that taught Jesus as the Alpha and Omega.  Maybe it was the flowery prose that turned me off.  I just know that within a few pages I could hardly stand to read more.  There are some good parts but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort of getting through the rest.  I really wish that I had liked this book.
For more information about this book--click here--or the title above!

I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Oliver!



Somehow I made it through my schooling without having read Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.  Not only have I not read it but I have also managed to miss every movie version there is.  I wasn’t sure about getting the radio adaptation but I am very glad I did.  The five disk production is well done, exciting, and keeps you wanting to know what will happen next.  For those not familiar with radio productions—that does not mean it is a musical—there is no singing.  It is an adaptation of the original story.

My family has been listening to the cds as we drive around town.  I have a six, four, and three year-old children with me most of the time.  My six year-old listens most of the time and will ask what is going on in the story.  Much of it is over his head yet.  The story is violent in places, so you want to keep that in mind when listening with little ones.  All my children like when Mr. Bumble shows up.  I think they like to hear people say his name! 

It is a great story well done and something I will look forward to listening again and again.  The cds also come with a dvd with behind the scenes look at the making of the program.
For more information about this production--click here--or on the title above!

I received this audio set through Tyndale House Publishers free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trying To Rise From The Ashes

 
What a great story.  First of all, I had no idea of the history of the Nazi Lebensborn project so this new bit of historical information was intriguing.  Part of the book follows two teenage French girls in WWII working in one of the Lebensborn manors.  The rest of the story is modern day, well 2001, and revolves around the restoration of an ancient castle that had once been used by the Nazis.
Alcoholic Marshall Becker, to avoid an “intervention” by friends, agrees to oversee the renovation of the castle—which is located in France—to see if he can get past the demons that have plagued him for years.  He is forced out of his self-imposed emotional exile by those who are a part of the castle’s life.  He also comes to see that he is not the only person in the world that something terrible has happened to but that everyone is grappling with something that haunts them.
I normally prefer a story that clearly shows God’s hand at work in people’s lives.  This story does not do that, but yet, I think it is a very real picture of what some people go through on their way to finding their life in Christ, especially if they have spent a good part of their life denying Him.  The story is very well told and the intertwining of the years works well to keep you guessing just who made it through the Nazi years and who didn’t.  Well worth the time!
For  more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above!
 
I received this book free of charge through Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Required Reading




Remember when you had to take U.S. Government as a senior to graduate high school.  They should probably use this book as the beginning textbook for the class.  This is no light read.  The author begins the book as a biography of Locke; how his upbringing influenced his views, many letters showing his views on God, government, etc.  Mrs. Swanson proves that he is not the Deist that modern scholars present him as, but a man who had a deep faith in God, a faith that influenced how he believed government should work.

After this bibliographical ground work is laid the author then shows how his ideas and writings went on to influence nations sixty to seventy years after his death.  We are given an extremely in depth look at how his ideas went on to shape the British and American governments and how they were rejected and twisted by the French.  The abundance of notes let you investigate the facts on your own.  This is a good, very informational book, one you are going to want to keep and reread throughout the years.
For more information about this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Nordskog Publishing through BookCrash in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Little Blessings Are Always a Pleasure

 

My family has picked up a few of these books over the years.  My 5 and 4 year old boys really enjoy them.  In fact, my youngest had to hear God Makes Nighttime Too at bedtime every night for the longest time.  The easy to understand rhyming text appeals to children greatly. 

The book starts out with a series of questions posed by the children, adorably illustrated by Elena Kucharik.  Each question is then answered in turn.  The address of each Scripture used is located at the top of the page so you can look it up to check its validity in answering the question. 

Super cute and super sweet, this is an absolutely great book to add to your children’s library!
For more information about this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Tyndale Kids in exchange for an honest review.

Short But Sweet


The Bridge

Ryan and Molly were college sweethearts who, not necessarily by choice, went their separate ways.  They have completely lost touch with each other in establishing their lives on opposite sides of the country.  A tragic incident at their old hangout, The Bridge bookstore, brings the two back together.  Their feelings from long ago are brought back to the surface and yet they fight hard against.

The Bridge is a nice little Christmastime story that will bring you to tears but leave you happy in the end.  If you have read any of Karen Kingsbury’s novels before you will notice this one is a bit light on the faith aspect, most likely due to the short novella styling of the story.  Having read it on my Kindle I was a bit shocked at how quickly I read through it, but I realize now that it is a “gift” sized novella.  It is perfect for a holiday plane ride where you might want something quick and easy to read, as long as you don’t mind tearing up in front of strangers!
For More information and to hear an excerpt from the audio book--click here--or the title above!  You can also check out the prequel to this story, The Beginning.

I received this book free of charge from Howard Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spoiler Alert!


 
The Baron's Governess Bride

Well, the title takes away some of the suspense, so you already know what is going to happen in the end.  That being said, it does not take away the enjoyment of reading the story.  We start with an interview between Lord Steadwell, a widower with three daughters, and Grace Ellerby, a down-on-her-luck governess desperately in need of employment.  Grace hides her beauty because it has caused her nothing but misery.  Lord Steadwell is looking to hire someone who has no hope of marriage so she will stay with his girls until they no longer need her.  It is a perfect match.  Grace and the daughters come to love one another; they stick-up and look out for each other.   Grace also comes to care for Lord Steadwell even though she distrusts men because of past experiences.  The more she comes to know Lord Steadwell the worse she feels for living in a disguise and deceiving him.  She fears what he will think and do when he finds out.  But she needn’t fear; the title says it all! J
Despite my obvious derision for the title, the story is entertaining, it tugs at your heartstrings, and leaves you satisfied in the end—just like a good book should.

 For more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book from Love Inspired Harlequin free of charge through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Thanksgiving Classic

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving, Eric Metaxas
I used to read this book to my class each year before Thanksgiving and now I am able to share it with my own little buddies!  This children’s story has a lot to teach to each one of us.  Mainly, when we let God use us—great things can happen.
Squanto follows the true life story of a twelve-year old boy who is forcibly taken from his home and exiled clear across the ocean in a foreign land.  Little does he know that the training and knowledge he receives will be invaluable to the founding of our nation.  This book is truly a classic and should be a part of every family’s Thanksgiving traditions.
For more information about this book--click here--or on the title above!
 
I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishers through NetGalley  in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Not Seeing Eye to Eye



 To Love and Cherish, Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller, 978-0-7642-0887-4

If ever any two people epitomized the phrase “women are from Venus-men are from Mars” it is Melinda and Evan.  These two people are in love and want to wed but do not have a clue as to what the other is thinking.

Theirs is a semi-long distance romance.  Evan is the groundskeeper for the resort island of Bridal Veil and makes his home there year-round.  Melinda is a servant to a wealthy family from Cleveland who winter on the island.  Over several years of spending her winters on Bridal Veil, Melinda comes to love Evan and their desire is to eventually wed.  Eventually is not in Melinda’s vocabulary.  When disaster strikes the island Melinda gives up everything to find Evan on Bridal Veil and soon realizes her romantic fantasies are not going to play out the way she would like them to.

The story is enjoyable, and although slow moving through a good portion of the book, it is interesting and kept my attention throughout.  Melinda and Evan needed a good shaking a time or two.  They really do not have very good communication with each other.  Melinda tends to be a bit selfish and does not understand Evan’s reasoning behind waiting to marry.  But many of us can probably relate to a time when we did not communicate well with our boyfriend, fiancĂ©, or husband.  In that respect the characters come across as very real.  A somewhat convoluted plot twist at the end keeps things interesting.
For more information and to read the first few chapters of this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

“You Were Made For The River…”


 

You won’t know that you were made for the River until you understand what the River is.  Michael Neale’s allegorical novel shows us, through the life of Gabriel, how we need the River.  The story on its own is enjoyable and easy to read, but it is when you see the allegory taking shape that you find the gem in this book.  Gabriel loves the River because his father has taught him to.  When tragedy strikes, Gabriel is fearful and no longer trusts the river.  The story leads us through Gabriel’s formative years as the River tries to get back into his life in subtle ways.

 I have read several reviews of this book and am having a hard time with how many people just don’t get it.  How many of us have shaken our fist at God and blamed Him for something bad that happened in our lives?  Determined to ignore Him we move on with our lives, and yet, He still makes His presence known to us.  That is what the River does for Gabriel.  I viewed the hawk at the River as a picture of the Holy Spirit, and Tabitha as the person who shows us that God isn’t who we thought He was and shows us we can have a relationship with Christ.  There is quite a bit of this kind of symbolism throughout the story.  I did agree with one reviewer that the religious aspect could be perceived as ambiguous.  I think it would have been helpful for many, apparently, if there was a solid explanation of the spiritual symbolism as an afterward in the book.

Bottom line:  if you are a literal person then you are probably not going to get this story and should probably stay away.  If you enjoy allegories or are imaginative you should like this one.
For more information on this book and to view its trailer--click here-- or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Determined Wills Collide



Alexandria Featherstone is used to being alone.  Her parents have always been away more than home.  But when they do not return after a year of being gone the King declares them dead and hands guardianship of Alexandria to Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton.  Alexandra and Gabriel share letters but before they can meet in person she takes off on her own to find her parents, believing they are still alive.

There are parts of this story that are quite unbelievable.  As rich as the Featherstone’s seem to be, why do they leave their daughter practically penniless as they pursue their dream?  I have a certain thought on that and it may be explained in the sequels to this story.  Lady Alex is stubborn and determined.  She uses falsehoods to get what she wants, knowing that it is wrong and not what God would have her do.  Gabriel is the proud Duke of Easton who is brought to his knees by an unexplainable malady.  He has to learn to work with the help of others instead of relying on his own abilities.  His disability appears at the same moment he learns of his new guardianship. 

Even though some bits of the story seem to be a bit preposterous I was hooked quickly.  I really did enjoy the story as a whole and I think leaving the story unfinished, in the traditional sense, was clever.  I will be getting the rest of the series!
For more information and to read an expert of the book or watch the trailer--click here-- or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

For The Outsider In Each One Of Us


 
Relentless Pursuit, Ken Gire, 978-0-7642-0883-6
 

 Relentless Pursuit is Ken Gire’s testimony on how God pursued him and never gave up on him. Interspersed with his personal story are stories of others who have been followed by God and came to know and give their lives to Him.  All this is held together by Francis thompson’s classic poem, The Hound of Heaven. 

The book is alright, I did have a hard time getting into it and sticking with it.  I really don’t know why, the book is good.  Maybe it’s just not for where I am at this point in my life.  It is probably best for those who are new to the faith or are still trying to make up their mind about God and if he truly wants them.

The poem, The Hound of Heaven, is included in its entirety in the Appendix of the book.
For mor information and to read the beginning of the book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

“Life Hurricanes”


 

Life Hurricanes are what author Michael Morris says he tends to write about.  Well, for poor Ella Wallace her hurricane is a Category 5 stalled on top of her without even the hope of a reprieve during the eye of the storm.

Ella’s husband ran out on her and their sons, leaving them to try to pay off the debts he incurred so they don’t lose Ella’s land.  A mysterious cousin with a gift of healing shows up unexpectedly and helps spur Ella to fight for what belongs to her.

The story is engaging and keeps you involved through the end; it is loosely based on an incident from the author’s grandfather’s childhood.  It is a highly descriptive tale of the struggles of one family set against the harshness of a community past its prime and a nation at war.  The characters can seem a bit stereotypical:  the nosey pastor’s wife whose husband seems disconnected from the people he serves, the flamboyant evangelist who is more concerned with finding Eden than following Christ.  You can tell who the “bad guys” are because they are unable to keep their food inside their mouths while they eat.

Ella, the main character, is strong-willed and determined not to lose her land.  Her work ethic is commendable but at the same time her pride is crushing.  She really does not want help from anybody and only accepts Lanier’s offer as a last ditch effort.  Lanier is fighting his own issues from the past, revolving around the death of his wife.  On top of that, he has a gift-or curse-of healing that makes people scared of him.  Working so closely and in such dire circumstances, Lanier and Ella nurse an attraction for each other even though no one knows if Ella’s husband is dead or alive.

This is not typical “Christian Fiction” in the fact that, though struggles abound in the world of Christian Fiction, there is usually some sort of acknowledgement that God has seen the characters through their hard times.  Although Ella begins to bring her family back to church, I was left with the impression that Ella’s determination, spurred on by Lanier’s love and faith in her, is what ultimately saved her situation.  Although her struggles were very real, there was no struggle with God and not much more than a superficial mentioning of His presence, so the conclusion to me was not as satisfying as I would have liked.  However, even though it is a hard story, it is a good read.

A side note:  the storyline about the Garden of Eden being near Apalachicola is based on actual beliefs in the late 1800’s early 1900’s.  Visit the Explore Southern History website and look up The Legend of the Garden of Eden!

For more information about this book and to read the first chapter, go to the author’s website-michaelmorrisbooks.com or visit Tyndale House Publishers.


I received this book free of charge from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Quick Tutorial On World Religions


Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day, Garry R.  Morgan, 978-0-7642-1003-7
 

This is truly a quick and easy book to read and understand.  Garry Morgan has compiled a group of the major world religions, many of their offshoots, along with lessor known religions.  Each is religion’s beliefs are stated matter-of-factly.  Although this is published by a Christian publisher, the purpose of this book is not to compare each religion with Christianity.  The book just gives you the basic facts of each religion without any judgment call.  It lets you learn so you can better understand where friends and neighbors stand in their differing religions.  I was going to skip the first few chapters dealing with Christianity, but I am glad that I didn’t.  I gained some useful information from them.

This is a great source to give you an introduction into world religions and a jumping off place to study further.  For further study I would investigate resources that compare the teachings of Islam, Mormonism, etc., with the Word of God.
For more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great Reference

 
Exploring The Unexplained is a nice reference book that is ideal for those just starting out on their Biblical journey.  While I do not think the title of the book fits the contents particularly well, what comes on the pages inside are insightful.
Exploring is set up as a user-friendly dictionary of the “Peculiar People, Place, and Things in the Bible”.  The author gives his criteria for what makes something “peculiar” in the introduction of the book.  Each entry tells you whether it is a person, place, thing, angel, or God.  It is nice to quickly identify what something is with so many Hebrew and Greek names throughout the Bible.  Each entry includes where it is found in the Scriptures followed by a definition of what it is. 
Unique to this dictionary is the “Issue” or question each entry puts forth.  It encourages you to think a bit more deeply on the subject than to just learn what it is and move on.  Thinking things through is always a good thing.
I think this is a good book to have around if you’re reading the Bible for the first time or if you spend any time teaching children or new believers.  You will be able to look up some facts and give answers right away.  If you have read through the Bible a few times then most of these subjects won’t be all that mysterious to you.
I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Great Trip Around The World!


Serpent of Moses, Don Hoesel, 978-0-7642-0925-3
 

There is just something fun and exciting about an adventure story that is really enjoyable.  This is another great story in the Jack Hawthorne Adventure Series!  In Serpent of Moses the story starts seemingly at the end.  Jack has found the artifact a London antiquities dealer sent him to retrieve.  Unfortunately for Jack, the Israeli government wants to regain a piece of Jewish history that was thought to have been destroyed thousands of years ago.  (A stretch of Biblical interpretation regards the staff that Moses held up to heal his people that some might take exception to).   Jack disappears and his longsuffering, semi-girlfriend decides she and her brother need to find him.  Not really knowing where he was, they start off on a world tour, enlisting the help of Jack’s ex-CIA friend Duckey, to try to track Jack down.  Libyan agents, Israeli Mossad, an Egyptian mercenary, and a Briton with an ax to grind are all in the mix.

I would really recommend reading the first book in the series, Elisha’s Bones.  This book can be read without having read of the first book, however, part of the story line is better understood if you read the other book first.  Both are fun, enjoyable stories.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Endless


Relentless
Mr. Bevere’s latest book is written to the body of Christ to encourage us to love and pursue God with an unyielding passion.  This is a worthy pursuit and one that all followers of Christ should make their top priority is life. 
I appreciate the encouragement the author gives in the book to not give up on your pursuit of a powerfully active life in Christ, but it just seems that the points in the book were dragged out.  I felt that with each new chapter I wanted to say, “Yeah, I get this point.  Let’s not drag it out for six more pages.”  This could have been more concisely written.  But, it is possible that someone new to following Jesus could gain some good information here.

The only thing I really had a problem with was stated very early in the book.  Mr. Bevere seems to imply since we are of the body of Christ we have the unlimited power of Christ.  Even he makes mention of people thinking he has gone too far out on a limb with his statement.  And although I understand what he is trying to convey it could be confusing and could be used to create a doctrine in a new believer that is contrary to Scripture.  We are the body of Christ and under the authority of Christ, the head of the body.  The head tells the body what to do not the other way around.

For more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above.
I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fun Story


Love in Disguise, Carol Cox, 978-0-7642-0955-0

Ellie Moore was born into the theater community.  After her parents’ tragic deaths, she is raised by theater friends and eventually becomes the personal assistant to one of Chicago’s premiere actresses.  When the actress sets her sights on London, Ellie is left behind and gets herself blackballed from the theater district.  Without skills outside of the theater she has little hope for gaining employment.  Using the acting skills she has learned through her life in the theater, Ellie manages to finagle a job with the Pinkerton Detective Agency.  She is sent to Arizona to assist a senior agent in investigating a string of silver thefts.  The plan soon falls apart and Ellie finds herself playing, not one, but two rolls of a lifetime!

Ellie definitely has spunk and determination.  Unfortunately for her, she also acts and speaks without giving thought to the consequences she will inevitably have to deal with.   Trying to present herself as two different women causes Ellie to create an intricate deception to fool the townsfolk while she attempts to learn how to be a detective with no training and no help.  She does not easily give up and works to find solutions to the problem she faces without complaining.  She has to deal with what she learns about God in the midst of her investigation and how to deal with the man she has fallen in love with when he thinks she is someone else.  Overall, Love In Disguise is a nice story and fun to read.
For more information about this story and to read the first several chapters of this book--click here--or the title above. 

Click here to read an interview with Carol Cox about this story.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Super Way To Teach You Children To Be Disciplined With Money

The MoneySmart Family System : Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age, Steve Economides


I would like to say that the information in this book is fairly common sense stuff, but with so many of our families in financial messes, it is obvious that it is not.  It seems that the Economides hit on a pretty good way to take control, as parents, of how their family earned and spent its money.

Now, what works for one family may not work for another, but the formula that is laid out in this book seems like it is very adaptable to any family willing to put it to use.  The Economides household was more high maintenance than that of my own—my family not being as large—but I can see where the ideas they share in the book could be implemented in my own home.   Each family is encouraged to start the process when their children are young, but starting wherever you are is more important in learning about how money works in the real world than not starting at all.

I particularly like the help at the end of each chapter that deals with appropriate actions for each age group called the $5, $50, $500, $5,000 and $50,000 stages.  Each stage correlates to an age group from toddlers to adult children and what are fitting responsibilities for each group.  Hopefully by the time your children reach the $50,000 stage they will be so responsible for their own finances that they won’t need your help or guidance!  The book is super easy and fast to read.  There is an index at the back to help you find specific subjects or ideas presented in the book.

I recently read a review in which the reviewer was dismayed about the lack of overtly Christian principles in regards to money; giving is mentioned but not specifically tithing, etc.  Perhaps the generality is to appeal to a wider audience, I don’t know.  However, I do not need to read this book to my children verbatim to implement the basic ideas of the book.  What the authors don’t provide in “spiritual training” is, and always has been, mine as the parent.
For more information about this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adventure and Intrigue in the Alaskan Wilderness

Submerged, Dani Pettrey, 978-0-7642-0982-6

Easy Lay Bay is heading back to Yancy, and if that was your nickname in Yancy’s small town high school, you might not be any more eager to go back than Baily Craig is.  Bailey had a few wild years after her parents abandoned her to live with her aunt.  But life has changed; Bailey has grown up and is following the Lord, she doesn’t want to be reminded of the past.  When her beloved Aunt dies and leaves everything to her, Bailey gets pulled back to the remote Alaskan town she only wants to forget.
It is not long before Bailey becomes involved with an investigation of lost Russian artifacts that lead to the realization that her Aunt’s death was no accident.  Cole McKenna, Bailey’s brief high school sweetheart, is also working on the investigation.  Old feelings arise between the two but Cole is not sure he trusts Bailey, and Bailey is not sure she trusts herself.
The story is good, fast paced, and the premise of a lost Russian Alaskan island is a new one for me.  The characters are real and credible.  The McKenna clan is fun and has a great camaraderie that engages you and makes you want to be a part of it.  I did get a little tired of Bailey’s inability to forgive or trust herself, it became self-pity more than anything else.  However, she reflects the problem most of us have with forgiving ourselves even after God has forgiven us.  Besides that, I love trying to pronounce Russian names, and there are several in this story.  Does anybody else sound like Boris and Natasha when they pronounce these names, or is it just me?
For more information and to read the first few chapters of the book--click here--or the title above!      

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for and honest review.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Are You Willing To Do To Have A Happy Husband?



 If you are a married woman, there is no person on this earth who should be more important to you than your husband.  How many wives can truly say that about their spouse?  How many are willing to prove it? 

In 31 Days To A Happy Husband, author Arlene Pellicane doles out some practical, intimate, funny, and ultimately, useful information about how to show your love and devotion to your one and only.  The book is separated into five main sections to help you achieve your DREAM marriage.  DREAM is an acrostic in which each letter relates to an area of a husband’s life that needs to be nurtured by his wife.  Each chapter is a day in which you learn more about the DREAM subjects and how to implement them into your life.

I think this is a great book.  Arlene Pellicane is very frank, which may make some uncomfortable, however, the subject matter is real life stuff that needs to be dealt with in a godly way.  Too many of us don’t know how and have the suffering marriages to prove it.  The hardest thing for some to get past is going to be how much a wife should put forth to please her husband.  This is not a bad thing, but I know that it will rub some people the wrong way.  Please keep in mind that the point of this book is how the Wife can please the Husband, not the other way around.  That will be have to be an entirely different book!
For more information and to read a chapter from the book--click here--or the title above!

I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Whole World Is Brought To Its Knees





And it’s not even the end of the world, at least not yet.  A computer virus created, or manipulated by a young savant, knocks out all the computers in the world, thus taking out all technologically dependent systems in the world.  People have to learn to survive in a way known by their great-great-grandparents.

Not knowing how or where the virus originated, our country’s top computer scientists work to track the problem while countries around the world blame each other for the global disaster and threaten retaliation.  All the while, shadowy figures threaten and manipulate men to do their will.

This story hooked me fast.  The sections of the book are told in a series of eights:  the first eight hours after the catastrophe, eight days, eight weeks, and eight months.  The story leads up to the coming of the antichrist in a very plausible way.  It is kind of scary because it is so realistic.  The main characters are shown to deal with the crisis as best they can, some relying on their faith.  Others trying to come to grips with what they see happening and deciding whether to believe in God or reject Him.  This is truly a great story by the authors.
To read a chapter from this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Everything I Needed To Know About Batman I Learned From Paul Asay


Truly, other than watching him on a few Saturday morning cartoons, I have never seen any of the movies or read any of the comics.  Batman has a long history-working on 80 years-and he’s still the angst ridden rich guy out to save Gotham from all the bad guys.  Mr. Asay is defiantly a devoted Batman fan and knows the character inside and out through every incarnation not just the latest round of movies.  He sets out to show us that, “the Caped Crusader is one whose story creates multiple opportunities for believers to talk about the redemptive spiritual truths of Christianity”, and he does it well. 
Batman is set up to be a figure of Jesus in this book so much as he is a reflection of humanity.  Batman is different from all other superheroes because he has no power in and of himself that will help him conquer his enemies-he is not super strong, can’t fly, no x-ray vision, not from another planet.  Except for being super rich, he’s just a regular person like the rest of us.  And because he is a regular person he struggles with the same things we do, just to the extreme, because he is, after all, a fictional character.
My favorite part of the book was the chapter that compares Batman’s enemies to those things that are enemies of our soul:  Carmine Falcon is corruption and compromise, Ra‘s al Goul is zealotry, Cat Woman is amorality, etc.  A history of each villain is given and is compared with the corresponding sin.  We see how Batman deals with each of his enemies, or these sins, through the years.  Great, great chapter!
I highly recommend getting this book.  It has great points to ponder and will help you relate our need for a Savior to your friends and loved ones who love Batman.  And don’t worry if you have never watched or read anything about Batman—you will be an expert by the time you finish this book!
To listen to an interview with author Paul Asay on Chris Fabry Live!--click here.
For more information and an excerpt from the book--click here--or on the title above.

I received this book free of charge for Tyndale House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.