Friday, August 16, 2013

Sweet Novella

Dandelions on the Wind

Far from her Danish home and family, Maren makes the best of her life in war ravaged Missouri.  After coming to America for a prearranged marriage, the bridegroom backs out, Maren finds refuge in the home of the Widow Bratenburg helping to raise the woman’s granddaughter.  When Civil War Veteran Rutherford shows up to reclaim his little girl and his place on the farm, Maren begins to look for a way back to Denmark and her family.  But her heart might not let her leave.

This was a nice short story.  The main characters each struggle with issues-some they have no control over, others are results of actions they took-that leave them feeling that love will not come their way.  But, of course, a sweet summer story should have a happy ending and this one does.  It’s definitely a great way to wind down the last days of summer vacation.
For more information about this book and to read an excerpt--click here-or on the title above.

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nice Devotion

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Born of her own journaling experience, Darlene Zschech provides us with a year full of devotions that bring “light to your heart and mind.” 

I was expecting something that takes from the numerous songs of worship the author has produced over the years.  There are several songs utilized, but they are mostly hymns such as Great Is Thy Faithfulness,  It Is Well With My Soul, and several other classic songs.  But truly, there are few of these-considering it’s a year-long devotional-and feels much like looking into the author’s Bible study journals and reading her personal thoughts.

The daily devotions are set up in the traditional daily format with a Scripture, devotion, and thought or prayer.  It might take you five minutes to read through but as with most devotions you will get out what you put in.  This will make a great addition, or encouragement to start, your daily prayer time.  The devotions will lift you up and put you in positive mood, but most importantly, they will help you to focus on Jesus.  The cover and insides are beautiful helping to make this a nice devotion for giving.
For more information about this book and to read an excerpt--click here--or on the title above.

Don't miss checking out the accompanying CD!!!

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

Monday, August 12, 2013

Went Into This One Unaware

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I have yet to begin the O’Malley Series.  No particular reason why, I guess we just haven’t crossed paths, until this one.  Jennifer is a prequel to the entire O’Malley series.  It is my understanding that Jennifer’s story is knit throughout the entire rest of the series.  This novella goes back to tell the beginning of her story.

Even though I haven’t read the O’Malley’s I have read other books by Dee Henderson and they are all great.  She writes with depth and passion.  She doesn’t shy away from hard subjects but faces them honestly:  If God wants you to trust Him why does he let tragedy befall you?  Should you give your heart to someone who does not understand your faith in Christ?  She deals will questions like these in a real and authentic way.

Those who have read the previous books in this series should be delighted to finish out the series with the youngest O’Malley sibling.  For those of us just starting, we will definitely want to begin here with Jennifer and follow her story as she introduces us to the rest of her family.
For more information about this book and to read an excerpt--click here--or the title above!

Visit Dee Henderson's website to find out about the O'Malley series and her other great novels.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for and honest review.

Friday, August 9, 2013

You Will Never Lead Well If You Don’t Follow Well

 It’s a simple concept really; to lead well you need to be good at following.  Growing up being a “follower” was on par with being called a bad name.  It showed that you did not have a mind of your own and couldn’t, or wouldn’t, think for yourself.  But the point we missed as kids was that everyone is in some sort of followership.  If we don’t follow well then we will not be effective or good leaders when the time comes for us to step into that position.
The idea that following well leads to good leadership is presented in story form; I’ve Got Your Back uses several characters in their own, unique, situations to show us the difference in followership and leadership-both good and bad.   These young adults fall under the mentorship of a man who uses the lessons in his life to show them how to best lead and follow.  Their stories are nice and tidy, but this isn’t meant to be an in depth saga, the purpose of the stories are to support the premise of the author.  The characters guide us in what it looks like to follow well at the appropriate times and how to lead well, even if we are not in an official leadership role.
The last third of the book is the “official” teaching part.  It explains more about leadership starting with Adam & Eve, through the fall, and how it will be in heaven.  It goes on to give Bible passages to support the idea of Three Types of Followership and the Five Levels of Followership.  A discussion guide is at the end.
I think this is a great book, especially for laypeople in the church.  There are many leadership books out there with great information but they don’t really speak to the place where most of us are in our lives.  This book is good for every person.  We might not all be CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, but we are all human beings under some sort of authority and most likely with a measure of power over another-whether familial, work, civic, or church related.
For more information about this book--click here--or on the title above!
I received this book from Handlebar Publishing free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Help Your Leadership Potential

The premise of Dr. Cloud’s latest book is to be “Ridiculously in Charge” wherein you own what you are the leader of and you set the boundaries for what is allowed and not allowed.  He offer great advice on how to lead so that you are doing your best to let your team perform at the highest level.  This will encourage them to be more productive and in return will make you, as the leader, happy.

Boundaries For Leaders will be helpful no matter what type of leadership position you find yourself in.  The anecdotal stories are interesting and are used well to prove their points.  I did find the reading a bit dry at times but that is the hazard of informational books.  Overall, the value of the information outweighs any part that might not be as interesting to me.
For more information about this book--click here--or the title above!
I received this book from BookSneeze free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

AAAAHHHH!!!! You Cannot Do This To Me!!!!!

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You cannot stop the book where you did and expect me to be happy about it.  You cannot possibly expect me to wait until next year for the next installment.  That scene at the end on the boat, well I had about the same physical reaction when I realized I was at the end of the book!  Side-note:  this is the only downfall of e-readers, if you are really engrossed in the story you have no idea that you are close to the end. 

If you hadn’t guessed by now, I really enjoyed reading the second book in TheSword and Staff series.  From the start we are one with Errol as he is still trying to deal with the situations that he is thrust into.  You really understand his turmoil as he feels that his life as the town drunk was worlds easier than being the hero of a kingdom.  Maybe he was even happier in that sad state.  The story is almost nonstop action from start to finish leaving you breathless, exhausted, and craving more.  Just about the only time the story slows down you fall into a very romantic-yet chaste-wedding scene that will take your breath away once again.

If I had the next book when I finished this one I would have immediately picked it up to begin it.  That is how good this one is!
For more information and to read an excerpt--click here--or the title above!

Visit Patrick W. Carr's website or follow him on Facebook.

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