Monday, December 29, 2014

NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women Review

This is a lovely compact Bible. The cover is beautiful and attractive with its two tone coloring. I enjoyed the ease of reading it. It actually helped me to be more accountable with my Bible reading. I could easily carry it to church, Bible study or just with me throughout the day. It has an attached bookmark to keep your last reading place well at hand.

Another feature that I really liked was that the devotionals are throughout the Bible near to the scripture verses that they reference. That made it simple to find the verse as well as to have an added extra when reading one of the books of the Bible. Lysa TerKeurst  wrote the forward of this Bible as well as a few of the devotionals inside. Her sense of humor and humbleness help the scripture be easily applied to our everyday lives.

I highly recommend having this Bible as a easy to read version. It does not contain any study notes or the like and that can be difficult for an in-depth study but to regularly read and have everyday devotions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

THM Easy Whole Grain and Honey Bread Machine Bread (E) by Kristen Hay

THM Easy Whole Grain and Honey Bread Machine Bread (E)

The Trim Healthy Mama Sprouted Whole Grain and Honey Recipe has been moved to Kristen Hay's new blog here:

You can also pin the recipe using this link:

Thanks everyone for stopping by.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Get to know Paul Book Review

Get to Know Apostle Paul by Nancy I. Sanders is a full color biography of Apostle Paul just for kids. It details Paul's conversion and ministry to the Christian faith. This book is easy to read and very informative of events told in the Bible as well as a few from other historians. It has facts and vocabulary words to help explain the story further.

I enjoyed reading this book. There are many colorful photos to help show the area and even some of the ruins of the places that Paul walked. Maps help show Paul's journeys and how the cities were laid out in Paul's day. While it does reference a few scriptures, it doesn't reference them as much as I'd like.

I was given this book at no cost in exchange for my honest review by Booksneeze.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Challenge on the Hill of Fire Book Review

Cover: Challenge on the Hill of Fire

Challenge on the Hill of Fire is the 10th book in the Imagination Station Series. Patrick and Beth go to Whit's End to get a green milkshake for St. Patrick's Day. Whit asks if Patrick is named after St. Patrick and thus begins there latest adventure in the world of St. Patrick. The Druids' religion dominates in Ireland during this time and the Bishop is trying to bring word of The One True God and free the people of Ireland from the Druids tyrannical reign.

This is so far my favorite Imagination Station book. I felt like I really got a lot of the feel of the time period and how the people lived. Patrick and Beth are tested in their faith as well and are tasked with really standing up for what they believe in. There is several instances of dying for what they believe in as a real possibility. A good read.

Problems in Plymouth Book Review

Cover: Problems in Plymouth

Problems in Plymouth is the 6th book in the Imagination Station series. Patrick and Beth find themselves searching for Hugh in the year 1621 near Plymouth Rock. They encounter Indians (Native Americans) as well as the infamous Squanto. The even get to experience the First Thanksgiving.

Another fun walk through history with small details about life in 1621. The children experience time in a teepee, muskets, Indians' bows and arrows, and the real story of what life was like for the Pilgrims when they first came to America. I enjoyed the little details and tidbits woven into this fictional story. A fun read for any age.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Showdown with the Shepherd Book Review

Cover: Showdown with the Shepherd

Showdown with the Shepherd is the 5th book in the Imagination Station Series. Patrick and Beth have to find Hugh after he took Mr. Whitaker's ring and vanished. They follow him to The Holy Land and Meet King David as a boy and witness his victory over Goliath.

Another fun story with lots of history woven into it. Very suspenseful and full of adventure, as well. A good read.

Revenge of the Red Knight Book Review

Cover: Revenge of the Red Knight

Revenge of the Red Knight is the 4th book in the Imagination Station Series. Patrick and Beth have been helping retrieve "lost" treasure from different time periods. They find themselves in a dark cave with the Imagination Station nowhere to be found. Turns out they are in Medieval England and may soon discover why they've been searching for the treasures.

This was a neat look at the time period. They learned about jousting and how revolts occurred and governments were overthrown. My kids enjoyed reading this book as well. I enjoy how the smallest details also help teach about the time period, namely the clothing that they had to wear. Another fun, kids book. I recommend reading it.

When I Fall in Love Book Review

Cover: When I Fall in Love

When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren is another book in the Christiansen Family Series. This book deals with Grace and Casper Christiansen and their perspective love interests. Grace is unwillingly sent on a culinary school vacation in Hawaii for three weeks and meets Maxwell Sharpe. Casper meets Raina, a new girl in town during a rainstorm in which her car is stuck in the mud.

This is the second Christiansen Family novel I've read and so far this one is my favorite. At first, I was thinking it was just your typical romance novel, with mushy one-liners and lots of love at first sight. But this novel goes deeper and shares some insight and inspiration in the character's (and as it turns out mine as well) relationship with God. One of my favorite lines in the book talk about how you can't fix someone, only Jesus can. It is so true. That is just a taste of how Susan May Warren uses the characters' stories to encourage and turn the reader to seek God. I really enjoyed the story and want to read more about this complex and complicated family.

Monday, August 25, 2014

All for a Sister Book Review

All for a sister is another installment in this 1920s themed series. Celeste DuFrane is a girl who lacks nothing in Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties. She has bit parts in films and longs to be a star. The arrival of Dana Lundgren to the DuFrane mansion after spending most of her life imprisoned for a crime she didn't commit changes Celeste's world forever.

This is the second book in this series that I've read. As in Allison Pittman's book, All for a Story, the characters are rich, complex and full of life. I especially enjoyed the format in which she used to tell the tale. The story is unfolded using regular narrative as well as a screenplay type set up to the scene and time jumps around as characters tell their sides of the story. I found myself quite intrigued soon after beginning this book and very much attached to the characters by the book's end. I recommend reading this well written story.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 18, 2014

30 Days to a More Beautiful You Devotional Review

Cover: 30 Days to a More Beautiful You

Kylie Bisutti, former Victoria's Secret Model and author of the book, I'm No Angel has written a new devotional just for girls. It is a 30 day devotional and it contains scripture references and "true beauty tips" to help you be more "beautiful" just as you are. I liked this devotional. It was short, yet still deep and inspiring.

One of my favorite quotes came after the day's devotional on Romans 12:2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to rest and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." Kylie talks about how trying to fit into what the world thinks we should look like causes us to lose our God given individuality. She says, "God has created us not to be clones, but to be unique individuals." This is a small little book, yet it has a big, encouraging message. I recommend it for any "girl".

Uncommon Marriage Bible Study Book Review

Uncommon Marriage Bible Study

The Dungys have written a Bible study to be a companion to their book, Uncommon Marriage. I'm neutral about the study, but I do have pros and cons. I didn't like that they asked you to read and discuss the chapters in their book first. It felt to me that a Bible study should start in the Bible and then branch out. That is my major criticism.

I do like the way they clearly line out the format they wish you to use in the study and how to use it in different types of studies. I also enjoyed the extra activities and ideas to promote discussion and bonding. Like, I said above, I'm neutral on this study. I am sure someone could benefit and really enjoy this study. I also have no doubt as to the sincerity and hope of the Dungys to be encouraging, uplifting and inspiring. It's definitely worth a look through to see if it can benefit you in your current phase of life.

The Sentinels of Andersonville Book Review

Andersonville was one of the worst Confederate prisons during the Civil War. Located in Andersonville, Georgia, it housed around 33,000 prisoners in space built for 1/4 of that. Prisoners were mistreated, starved and hanged for petty infractions. It was so terribly run that one of the men in charge was actually executed after the war, for war crimes.

Sentinels of Andersonville is a story about doing what we can to help, even if it is a small thing. It sheds the light on human suffering and the indifferences to it. The fictional characters of the nearby town ,Americus, some ten miles away from Andersonville, decide something must be done about the appalling conditions on these "Yanks" and try to involve other members of the town. I enjoyed this story. There is a lot of history mixed in with the fictional story, and the characters were wonderful. They were full of life, complex and relatable. I recommend it to anyone who likes a historical bent to their stories. There are a few instances of what some could call almost graphic descriptions of wounds and ailments of the prisoners but nonetheless it is a great and well written story.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Antelope in the Living Room

Cover: The Antelope in the Living Room

Melanie Shankle had me literally laughing out loud with this book. At night while reading in bed, I would keep my husband up with my constant giggling and chuckling. She uses her dead pan sense of humor to accurately and very realistically describe what it is like to be married for over a decade.

At times, I would read portions to my husband that really made me laugh and he would find them funny as well.  It was a wonderful follow-up to her first book, Sparkly Green Earrings. It was funny and yet inspiring at the same time. A great read that I would read again and again. Highly recommend any wife/wife to be should read.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Critical Pursuit Book Review

Cover: Critical Pursuit

From the publisher's website, "Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it’s personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.

Detective Jack O’Reilly isn’t ready to return to his homicide duties, after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He’s on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he’s assigned as Brinna’s partner. While on patrol, Jack struggles between his quest for personal justice and his responsibility to those around him, especially his partner.

Skeptical of Jack’s motives, Brinna isn’t sure she can rely on her new partner, whose reckless abandon endangers the safety of those around him. But when a man surfaces with an MO similar to the criminal who abducted Brinna twenty years earlier, Brinna and Jack must cast aside previous judgments and combine efforts to catch the kidnapper, and finally allow Brinna the peace stolen from her as a child."

Brinna Caruso was abducted as a child and miraculously rescued. Now twenty years later, the anniversary of her rescue plunges this policewoman into a series of events that will forever change her outlook on life and God. She searches for missing children with the help of her trusty K9 partner, Hero.

I had some difficulty in reading this book due to the pedophile character. Nothing is graphic, but it just disturbed me greatly. I felt the character were all well written and complex. The story moved along at a good speed but I did see several events way before they occurred. Nonetheless I enjoyed the book overall and recommend it to anyone who likes crime stories.

Heart of the Country Book Review

Cover: Heart of the Country

From the publisher's website: "Faith and Luke Carraday have it all. Faith is a beautiful singer turned socialite while Luke is an up-and-coming businessman. After taking his inheritance from his father’s stable, lucrative business to invest in a successful hedge fund with the Michov Brothers, he’s on the fast track as a rising young executive, and Faith is settling comfortably into her role as his wife.

When rumors of the Michovs’ involvement in a Ponzi scheme reach Faith, she turns to Luke for confirmation, and he assures her that all is well. But when Luke is arrested, Faith can’t understand why he would lie to her, and she runs home to the farm and the family she turned her back on years ago. Meanwhile, Luke is forced to turn to his own family for help as he desperately tries to untangle himself from his mistakes. Can two prodigals return to families they abandoned, and will those families find the grace to forgive and forget? Will a marriage survive betrayal when there is nowhere to run but home?"

I wasn't too interested by this book at the beginning. However by the end, I was crying. It was a nice read with some well written characters. I did enjoy the way the author set the scenes with such details to help you truly imagine the places described. I liked the way each chapter was from a different character's point of view, but it also could be confusing at times.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Uncommon Marriage Book Review

Cover: Uncommon Marriage

From the publisher's website: "What does it take to build a marriage that will last? Tony and Lauren Dungy have together known the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They fell in love, built a family, and made sports history when Tony became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl. Yet they’ve also gone through difficult, relationship-testing setbacks, including job loss and devastating personal tragedy. In a culture where it seems harder and harder to make marriage last, what has kept the Dungys strong through it all? In Uncommon Marriage, Tony and Lauren share the secrets that hold them together, revealing what they’ve learned so far about being a good husband or wife; getting through times of loss, grief, or change; staying connected despite busy schedules; supporting each other’s dreams and goals; and helping each other grow spiritually. They offer encouragement and practical advice to equip your marriage to survive tough issues and flourish with joy, purpose, and partnership—in other words, to be a marriage that is truly uncommon."

I'm unsure exactly how to review this book. When I first saw this book on the list for the summer reading program, I assumed it would give advice on a God-centered marriage with selected stories and such from their marriage. What is, in fact, is a memoir of their marriage. I liked their story but the way that they chose to "tell" it was very hard to read at times. It moved very slowly and was at times dull. That being said, they did have some good advice. But again, it was just their story told and then at the very end of this book there was a few pages stating tips on how to have an uncommon marriage with pages referencing examples from their marriage. I was disappointed. They do seem like a wonderful, committed couple, to each other and to the Lord.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blind Descent Book Review

Cover: Blind Descent

From the publisher's website: "Former Navy rescue swimmer Brian Dickinson was roughly 1,000 feet from the summit of Mount Everest—also known as “the death zone”—when his Sherpa became ill and had to turn back, leaving Brian with a difficult decision: should he continue to push for the summit, or head back down the mountain? After carefully weighing the options, Brian decided to continue toward the summit—alone. Four hours later, Brian solo summited the highest peak in the world. But the celebration was short-lived. After taking a few pictures, Brian radioed his team to let them know he had summited safely, and got ready to begin his descent. Suddenly, his vision became blurry, his eyes started to burn, and within seconds, he was rendered almost completely blind. All alone at 29,035 feet, low on oxygen, and stricken with snow blindness, Brian was forced to inch his way back down the mountain relying only on his Navy survival training, his gut instinct, and his faith. In Blind Descent, Brian recounts—in fantastic detail—his extraordinary experience on Everest, demonstrating that no matter how dire our circumstances, there is no challenge too big for God."

When I first start reading this book, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it or not. It was a well-written and compelling story. I especially liked the format he used in telling the story. A lot of authors, when penning their memoirs, will begin the story of the most compelling part or experience and then backtrack and tell their entire life story until that point. While those books are still enjoyable, I really enjoyed the way Mr. Dickinson weaved his background throughout the Mt. Everest climbing story. What an experience he had and what a testimony as well. One criticism that I have is that while he does explain a few of the terms and procedures of mountain climbing, he doesn't explain all. And for someone like me, who has little to no experiences with these terms and procedures, doesn't understand everything that he describes. With that said, it took nothing away from his incredible story and imagery of the climbing of Mt. Everest.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It Had To Be You Book Review

Cover: It Had to Be You

From the publisher's website: "Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen’s cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life. Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career. She dreamed of making a name for herself as a reporter, but is stuck writing obits—and starting to fear she doesn’t have the chops to land a major story. If only someone would step up to mentor Owen . . . but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.

Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior—on and off the ice. Now at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped. And the guilt-trip he’s getting from Eden Christiansen isn’t making things any easier. But when Owen’s carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles upon a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together . . . and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all."

This is a large book. I enjoyed reading it. There were a lot of wonderful, inspirational scripture references and situations with the characters. The characters were very real and complicated. I'm not a huge fan of "romance" novels, Christian or otherwise, but this book had a nice story and added elements of a mystery to solve too. I recommend reading it. It was nice.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Annison's Risk Book Review

Cover: Annison's Risk

From the publisher's website: "A game of hide-and-seek takes Maddy Nicholaivitch to Marus, where she is taken in by a beautiful princess who has just married the conquering king. After overhearing the secret plans of the king’s most trusted advisor, Maddy must decide if her loyalty to the princess is worth the price of her life. Based on the biblical story of Esther, Annison’s Risk takes readers on a journey with a queen who is willing to risk her life in order to save her people. Any fan of Tolkien will appreciate this fantasy story, and with a new cover and interior graphics, it’s better than ever!"

I had a bit of trouble getting into this book right away. But once I did, I found it to be an interesting and more modern "retelling" of the Bible story Esther. There were several graphic allusions to violence and execution. I think this book for a slighter older reader, teen and up maybe. I liked the book.

Runaway Book Review

Cover: Runaway

From the publisher's website: "Meet 16-year-old Dakota Brown. She used to love all things “horse” until she lost everything, including hope. The minute she sets foot on her foster parents' farm—Starlight Animal Rescue—she plans her escape. But can an “impossible” horse named Blackfire and this quirky collection of animal lovers be the home she's always dreamed of?
Starlight Animal Rescue: Where problem horses are trained and loved, where abandoned dogs become heroes, where stray cats become loyal companions. And where people with nowhere to fit in find a place to belong."

This was an interesting book. Dakota is a typical untrusting teen and coupled with being an orphan she really has no interest in opening her heart to anyone. Even before she steps foot in her new home she is scheming to runaway. That's the overall theme of this book, fight or flight. There are wonderful characters and wonderful horses. Horse lovers especially will enjoy the encounters with horses. I think this book is good for teens and up.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wild Thing Book Review

Cover: Wild Thing

Winnie Willis is a twelve year old girl who absolutely loves horses. After being moved around a lot in the two years since her mother's tragic death, she happens upon a horse with a wild spirit. She immediately falls in love with the horse and has to find a way to buy her.

This was a fun book. There are a lot of fun characters in this book. One of the best parts was the way all of the characters really had a natural calling to the animals they favored. Lots of information about horses and their care is included. It was a lovely little story. It will be a fun read for anyone.

The Vanishings, Left Behind The Kids Book #1 Review

Cover: The Vanishings

From the back of the book: "In this new series based on the best selling book Left Behind, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye present the Rapture and Tribulation through the eyes of four young friends- Judd, Vicki, Lionel, and Ryan. As the world falls in around them, they band together to find faith and fight the evil forces that threaten their lives."

This was an interesting read. I have read the entire Left Behind series and was very interesting to see what this book was like. It was really neat to see how the authors were able to use the same story but have different perspectives. Some of the characters in this book interact with characters from the original Left Behind series. One boy is on the plane that Captain Rayford Steele pilots when people disappear, another is friends with Captain Steele's son, Raymie and so on. There are very intense situations in this book as it talks about the vanishings or disappearances and consequences such as one boy's parents die as a result. There is also talk of drinking and drugs as well. In my opinion, this book is for teens and up..

Friday, June 27, 2014

All for a Story Book Review

Cover: All for a Story

It's the roaring twenties and Monica "Monkey" Bisbaine is a modern girl who writes about speakeasies in Washington, D.C. for a small newspaper, Capital Chatter. Max Moore is a Christian man who has just inherited the Capitol Chatter from his late Uncle Edward. Max is immediately taken by the flirty and wild Monica and endeavors to help her learn of God and His ways.

This was a neat little book. Some of my favorite parts of the story were the references to life in the twenties. It even opens with one of Monica's "Monkey Business" columns, steeped in the language of the twenties. I enjoyed this book. It was a nice read and ended differently than I expected and actually a little abruptly in my opinion. I recommend it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mark of Distinction by Jessica Dotta Book Review

Cover: Mark of Distinction

Julia is now living with her father, Lord Pierson after a dramatic rescue from Mr. Macy by her love, Edward. She is trying to get out from under Mr. Macy's grasp but as she puts it herself, "she's gone from one cage to another." Her father's protection comes with a price. What will happen between her and Edward? Will she ever be free of Mr. Macy?

This was another interesting and complicated book. A difference in this book as the first in the series is that faith in God has more of a place. It was mentioned in the first installment but is explored further in this book. Julia is an interesting character. She is very complex and at times off putting, in my opinion. I found myself enthralled. I couldn't wait to read what would happen next. I eagerly await the third book that is coming out next year. I recommend this book and the first in the series, Born of Persuasion.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege #1) Book Review

Cover: Born of Persuasion

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta is about a young lady named Julia Elliston. Julia is the son of the late infamous atheist William Elliston and late Lucy Elliston. Her mother having just passed, send Julia to the home of her mother's best friends Mrs. Windham. Julia is now tasked to act on a previous betrothal with her love Edward Auburn in hopes of alluding her new guardian's request that she become a lady's servant in Scotland. Edward's position of vicar was not something Julia expected when returning and collides with her atheist beliefs.

This book is a very interesting read. First of all, it is steeped in the cultures, society and traditions of the its time period, 1838. Secondly, the characters are very full and complex. They are definitely separate people with lots of varying personalities and contributions to the story. The plot is very complicated and complex. The author does a very good job explaining everything and tying up the ends. As this is the first book in a series, there isn't a complete conclusion to the story. I am looking forward to reading the next book. I recommend it, especially if you enjoy period pieces and stories. It is interesting to see the differences in culture and society at the time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Left Behind Book Review

Cover: Left Behind

From the publisher's website, "An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun.
A repackage of the New York Times best-selling novel Left Behind."

When I first started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. The idea of all the people just disappearing has been one of the most fascinating aspects of the rapture to me. I enjoyed seeing the authors' take on what could happen to those that are "left behind". It was entertaining and thought-provoking. I highly recommend reading it.

Daisies are Forever Book Review

Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma is about Gisela Cramer's harrowing experience during World War Two. Gisela is an American of German descent whose family moved back to Germany right before the war broke out. Gisela's mother sends her to a cousin's home in East Prussia fearing that their home in Berlin is too dangerous. Well the advancement of Russian troops causes her to flee her refuge in East Prussia and make the harrowing journey back to Berlin.

This book gripped me right from the beginning. It is full of emotions, scary experiences and lots of reliance on the Lord. The author apparently based the story on the experiences of two women, Ruth Sabine Hildegard Lippert and her own aunt Lillian Tolsma. Their experiences are both fascinating and terrifying. There are incidents of murder, torture and rape although nothing is described in detail. It is just mentioned in the war atmosphere. It's an excellent book. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bridge to Haven Book Review

Cover: Bridge to Haven 

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers has a very long and complicated story. It follows closely the lives of pastor Zeke, Joshua Freeman, and Abra Matthews in a small Northern California town. Their journeys in life and in faith are deep and complex. The characters were wonderful to read.

The author doesn't shy away from difficult circumstances and showing how God uses anything and everything to draw his children closer to Him. There are wonderful scripture references and hymns throughout this book. I felt inspired by the characters' journeys in my own faith and relationship with The Lord. This is a long book, over 450 pages. The chapters are long. But it is a very good story. There are some situations in the book that may be a little unexpected as it is Christian Fiction. There are instances of premarital sex, lustfulness, and even abortion. The author doesn't go into any seedy details or explanations, but carefully generally describes what happens. It is a wonderful story of a sinner's journey to forgiveness and restoration in our Lord. I highly recommend reading it.

The Prayer Box Book Review

 Cover: The Prayer Box

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate is about Tandi Jo Reese a 33 year old single mother. She had just left her husband and ran away with her two children to the Outer Banks. She is trying to start a new life and beat an addiction to OxyContin. Her life up to this point has been full of pain and untrustworthy people including her parents. She rents a cottage next to a large Victorian owned by a 91 year old woman named Iola Anne Poole. When Iola dies, and Tandi is tasked to clean out the large Victorian her life is forever changed at the discovery of many boxes filled with letters.

I really really enjoyed this book. When I first started reading it, I thought I would have a hard time identifying with the characters and really getting into the story. Boy, was I ever wrong! The characters really come to life and are full and rich. I felt like I knew them by the end of the book. Tandi's character especially is complex and complicated. There are lots of wonderful stories woven throughout and many wonderful quotes. My favorite quote was, "Maybe there came a point in life where you had to quit categorizing whole groups of people by a few bad experiences." This book was a great read. I'm so glad that I read it. I was crying by the end. I was really invested and then surprised by the outcome at the end of the book. I highly recommend reading this story. I will read it again.

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven Book Review

Cover: The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven

The boy who came back from heaven tells the true story of Kevin and Alex Malarkey, who were in a car accident in 2004 that paralyzed six year old Alex from the neck down. Alex maintains that he went to heaven after the crash and then was sent back.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I am not one to discount what other vehemently believe or proclaim has happened to them, but Alex was six years old when the crash took place. His recounting of what happened is limited to what he understands. I do feel that the books title leads you to believe that the story is about Alex but it really is about his father Kevin's experiences after the accident. There are small sections from Alex every few chapters or so, but it is basically about what Kevin went through. I feel it should have been titled, "My Son Came Back from Heaven" or something of the like. Kevin seems to be sincere at times, and at other times, arrogant, attention-seeking an almost worshipping his son. I can't agree with everything that is claimed to have happened knowing what I know of God's Word but I won't disagree either. There are wonderful instances of Gods people helping in every and any way possible when this family needed it most. From financial help to prayer vigils, the church really stepped up and helped this family. That is the best part of the this book. I don't really recommend reading this book, I'm neutral either way. If you are curious, there are nice examples of Christians helping others selflessly.

Battle for Cannibal Island

Cover: Battle for Cannibal Island

Beth and Patrick are at it again. This time the imagination station takes them to the island of Fiji on board an old wooden masted ship. The island is full of cannibals and a Christian missionary on board wants to go back to the island to share the gospel message.

It was another fun book. I didn't enjoy it as much as the others. There were lots of action moments and great examples of doing all you can for the glory of  God. It's a great read and a good lesson to be learned. Recommended for all ages.

Escape to the hiding place

Cover: Escape to the Hiding Place

This installment of the Adventures in Odyssey: Imagination Station series finds cousins Beth and Patrick at Whit's End complaining about how children can't do anything to help. Whit assures them that children can be very helpful and sends them on a trip through the imagination station to Holland during World War Two. They are sent on a mission that could endanger their very lives.

This is a fun read. It had lots of great historical references to Nazi occupied Holland during World War Two. Included was everyone needing papers to assure their identity, a fact I wasn't aware of. It also showcased the dangers of being Jewish or sympathetic to the Jewish people. I highly recommend this book for all ages.

The redcoats are coming.

Cover: The Redcoats Are Coming!

The Redcoats Are Coming is another book in the Adventures in Odyssey: Imagination Station series. Beth and Patrick tell Mr. Whitaker about how their grandma is taking them on a trip to see Boston to see the places where historical events occurred in our country's revolution. Mr Whitaker sends them on an exciting adventure to see Paul Revere's ride at the start of the revolutionary war.

This was a really fun book. It was full of historical facts and figures and helped make the people real and the story come alive. It was a great view of part of our country's revolution. It showcased the fear and secrecy involved in taking up arms for a revolution. It's a great fun read for kids and will help them learn a little about our country's history.

In the Secret Service Book Review

 Cover: In the Secret Service

In the Secret Service by Jerry Parr with Carolyn Parr is about the secret service agent who saved President Reagan's life. Jerry Parr was the man who covered and pushed Reagan into the car and made the life saving decision to take the president to the hospital instead of the White House. It begins with a partial telling of the assassination attempt on Reagan and then moves to Parr's early life and eventual career in the secret service and beyond.

I really enjoyed this book. I was immediately engaged and enthralled from the first page. Mr. Parr had an excellent gift for setting the scene and describing details that make the reader feel they are right in the midst of the action. His gift for storytelling made this book incredibly enjoying to read. I finished in two days! I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to know what happened. He takes you on a unique insider's view of several of our presidents and Vice Presidents during historical events in our nations history. I highly recommend this book. I really enjoyed reading it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Auschwitz Escape

 Cover: The Auschwitz Escape

The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg is about a young Jewish boy named Jacob Weisz. He suffers greatly against the Nazis and even gets sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. We get a glimpse of the atrocities in the camp and the reactions of those outside it.

Having read Mr. Rosenberg's previous series, I was eager to read another of his books. It was a very difficult book to read because of the heinous and horrible crimes committed against the Jewish people at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his Nazis disgust my very soul. I began this book in tears and ended it in tears. At first I wasn't sure I would be able to finish it. I did and I'm glad I did. It was another incredibly well written story with lots of real history interwoven. The characters are rich and complex. If you enjoy suspense at all you will enjoy this book. It wasn't as difficult as I expected but the subject matter is generally well known and sometimes hard to read knowing that these things really happened to the Jewish people at Auschwitz. Nonetheless it was a very well written book and I'm glad I read it.

You can purchase The Auschwitz Escape at Amazon and

Monday, April 21, 2014

Appointments with Heaven Book Review

From "When Dr. Reggie Anderson is present at the bedside of a dying patient, something miraculous happens. Sometimes as he sits vigil and holds the patient’s hand . . . he can experience what they feel and see as they cross over. Because of these God-given glimpses of the afterlife—his “appointments with heaven”—Reggie knows beyond a doubt that we are closer to the next world than we think. Join him as he shares remarkable stories from his life and practice, including the tragedy that nearly drove him away from faith forever. He reveals how what he’s seen, heard, and experienced has shaped what he believes about living and dying; how we can face the passing of our loved ones with the courage and confidence that we will see them again; and how we can each prepare for our own “appointment with heaven.” Soul-stirring and hope-filled, Appointments with Heaven is a powerful journey into the questions at the very core of your being: Is there more to life than this? What is heaven like? And, most important: Do I believe it enough to let it change me?"

I enjoyed the authors voice in in his writing but I found I was often kind of bored and it took a very long time to get to the first "appointment with heaven". I do not regret reading it and I did enjoy his affirmations and transparency about his life and faith. He was a great storyteller but its just an okay read.

I was given a copy for review by Tyndale Blog Network.

Whatever You Grow Up To Be Book Review

This was a wonderful children's book that made me cry. She begins with her newborn son talking of his baby feet leaving footprints on his Mommy's heart. She moves up through different ages and parts of his childhood talking about playing and growing. She talks of him in college and ten getting married. The book ends with her grandson and the journey beginning again. It made me cry and my children loved the story too.

Each page had an accompanying scripture verse quoted on the bottom that relates to what is being talked about or said on that page. The illustrations are beautiful drawn and very colorful. My children enjoyed them especially all the different depictions of what he could grow up to be. I highly recommend this book. I really enjoyed it.

This book was provided to me at no cost from Booksneeze.

You can purchase this book at

Friday, February 7, 2014

Smitten Book Club

From the publisher's website:
"Consider that your beau is like a coveted novel whose compelling first lines you’ve just begun to read.” —A Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship
At a rummage sale, Heather, a member of the Fireside Book Club, discovers a turn-of-the-century romantic advice book written by a once-famous Smitten, Vermont, resident. When she shares the precious volume with her friends in the club, they find clues about a hidden treasure rumored to be buried in their tiny town.
As Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly take turns reading the book, each projects onto it her own literary tastes. Heather sees it as a mystery. Abby discovers delicious dashes of Jane Austen. Lia sees in it the idealism of a bygone day. And Molly just wishes they'd made the book into a movie!
One by one, each of the women finds romantic love—often in spite of the historic book’s advice. And in searching for the legendary gold, the friends discover the best kind of treasure. The kind that brings hope and healing to each of their hearts."

I had no idea that this book was the third in a series about the fictional town of Smitten, Vermont. I was very surprised by this book. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, especially being written by four different authors. It is one cohesive story, but the four main characters are each written by one of the authors and have their own sections. I'm not a big fan of romance novels, but this was really a treat. I had a hard time putting the book down. The characters are delightful and it is written very well. I highly recommend it. I recommend it so much that I'm giving away two copies of the books!! Enter the giveaway below!!

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back from break/ New Years

I took a month or so off from blogging. A lot happened around the holiday season and the holiday season itself is busy, so I took a break. I pray everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. I'm excited to say that I have just joined a group of friends sign up for my very first 5k in May. I have a lot of work to be able to even walk it after being pregnant for the last two years, but I am very excited. It is called the Color Run and is suppose to be the happiest 5k race around. It isn't even timed.

 I'm not much of a resolution kind of gal, but I am hoping to change a lot of my habits in this New Year. Signing up for a 5k is definitely something I haven't done before. Have you done anything new this year? Any resolutions you'd like to share?