Thursday, May 25, 2017

Honest & Interesting Memoir! English Lessons - by Andrea Lucado

I enjoyed this book that was a memoir and christian living title rolled into one.  It interested me partly for the last name because I'm familiar with her father's books, but I ultimately chose it because I wanted to experience Oxford through a person's eyes who was more than a tourist since she was going to live there for a year, but not really a resident.  I was also intrigued by her faith journey because I could relate to growing up in the church and being used to that culture, then going out into the world and meeting people who didn't grow up that way or had left that way behind.  The culture shock in England, though, was part of what she had to deal with, along with the way society views religion and faith over there.  I didn't have as jarring an experience.

I liked how she thought deeply about things and found meaning and metaphor in different situations.  One of the stories she tells is about a battery being stolen from the headlamp on her bike and how it was required to have a light.  A friend of hers rode in front of her for weeks so she would have light to see by and she compares that to faith and how we don't do it alone.  She talked about people who confused her, who didn't fit neatly into a box, such as her friend, Ben, who used to be a Christian and then had changed his mind.  He was a deep thinker and she didn't think he would have made either decision lightly.  He made her realize people have more layers than she had thought.  I thought it was interesting, too, what she learned at a conference on art and the Christian.  Christian should make sure their art portrays the truth, whether it's film-making or music, etc.  Maybe instead of thinking of art as Christian or secular, we should ask is it telling the truth or covering up the truth.

I really appreciated her honesty with struggles she had, such as her struggle to share her faith or to even tell people she was a Christian who didn't seem interested and when she had so many doubts and questions of her own.  I was also glad for the reminder that our faith isn't static and that we're constantly changing, feeling uncertain, learning and questioning.  I could relate a lot to her and her questioning nature and her stories were interesting.  She was a talented writer, too, with a poetic and funny voice.   I would recommend this book if you like memoirs about faith!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Free for Kindle!

Smile for Me: Multiracial Summer Love in the Bahamas... A Christian Romance Novel (Vacation Sweethearts Book 1) by [Thompson, Jan]  Free for kindle!


The Warrior's Seal (The Tox Files): A Tox Files Novella by [Kendig, Ronie]

Free for kindle!


ThunderThe Potluck ClubThe Edge of LightLight of My HeartBack on MurderNo Place for a Lady

Free for kindle from multiple vendors!

How Should I Think about Money? by [Sproul, R.C.]  Free for kindle!


CSB Holy Bible, Digital Edition (v.2) by [Holman, CSB Bibles by]  Free for kindle!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

She's Done It Again! My Review of Becky Wade's 'True to You' + Prize Pack and $100 Giveaway

About the book:

It's the exciting start of a brand-new series by a contemporary romance fan favorite!
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

My review:
I absolutely loved this book!  Nora was adorable!  I really felt like I could relate to her.  I want to be Nora when I grow up!  I love history and genealogy, her life's work.  I found it fascinating to see their techniques as they tracked down his birth mother.  I too love Colin Firth's Pride and Prejudice, Downton Abbey, the BBC, etc.  I confess I live too much in books.  I can understand her reluctance to put herself out in the dating world again and the struggle to trust God with her future and her singleness and knowing that God was enough, even if she never got married.  I liked that her struggle was real and honest.  She gave control to God and the next moment wanted to take it back.  I can understand that.  I loved John, who not only was gorgeous on the outside but on the inside as well.  He had such godly character and it was wonderful to see how he treated women with respect.  When he found out some hard truths about his origins, he questioned his identity, which was another theme in the story.  We need to find our identity in Christ, that He's forgiven us and that we're His child, not in our abilities, in other people or anything else that can fade away or leave.  I thought Becky did a good job portraying that.  I also liked how adoption was portrayed as such a blessing and that God is working even if we don't see it yet.  Neither were perfect, so they felt very real and as if they could walk off the page.  I'm sad they're not real and also sad there doesn't seem to be a Northamptonshire BBC show.  It sounded like a good one!  The romance was wonderful!  There's a great plot twist that was a nice surprise for a romance, plus fit well with the theme of God working everything for the good of those who love Him and that something intended for evil He turns to good.  The setting was charming and I would love to visit if it's a real place.  I loved the other characters, too, and can't wait to read about her sisters in upcoming books.  Both they and their crabby grandma made me laugh.  And for those of you who've read her other series, there's a cameo to watch for!  I won't tell you who it is.  I stayed up too late reading this because I could not put it down.  I highly recommend yet another one of Becky Wade's books!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

About the author:

Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She's the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

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Do opposites really attract? John and Nora might just be the perfect match. Find out in True to You, book one in Becky Wade's new series! Genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade's new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Persuasive & Informative! Forensic Faith - by J. Warner Wallace

A cold-case detective helps you rethink and share your Christian beliefs.

J. Warner Wallace has asked this question in churches across America over the past several years, and the answer he gets is often disappointing; it's almost always rooted in some sort of personal, subjective experience. As a community, we Christians aren't typically prepared to make the case for why we believe Christianity is true from the objective evidence of history, philosophy or science. Worse yet, many of us don't think we have any obligation to do so.

In J. Warner's first two books, he made the case for God's existence (God's Crime Scene) and the case for Christianity (Cold-Case Christianity). In Forensic Faith, J. Warner completes the trilogy by making the case for... making the case! In Forensic Faith, J. Warner helps readers understand why it's important to defend what they believe, and provides them with a unique template to help them become effective "Christian Case Makers." Forensic Faith will help readers:

-understand why they, as Christians, have a duty to defend the truth
-develop a training strategy to master the evidence for Christianity
-learn how to employ the techniques of a detective to discover new insights from God's Word
-become a better communicators by learning the skills of professional case makers

With real-life detective stories, fascinating strategies, and biblical insights, J. Warner hopes to teach readers the daily cold-case investigative disciplines they can apply in their lives as believers. Forensic Faith is an engaging, fresh look at what it means to be a Christian.

My review:

I really enjoyed this informative book about the importance of knowing why you believe what you believe.  He really made his case explaining why Christians should know the evidence for our faith, from teenagers to adults.  It was fascinating to see how he used strategies for police investigations when investigating the Christian faith and showed us how to do it, too.  The book is visually appealing, too, with sidebars that pull out definitions, training tips and challenges and also has little drawings to illustrate some of his points.  There is also a cool section at the back called "rebuttal notes" that has some answers to common challenges and a handy section where resources are listed if you want more books about the evidence for Christianity or evidence for a creator or to examine alleged Bible difficulties, etc.  Wallace has a very timely argument as our culture is becoming increasingly hostile and questioning our faith, sometimes with very difficult questions we can't answer unless we've studied up on the topic.  I think it's especially good for parents and those who work with youth as so many young people are leaving their faith behind in college when they come up against tough questions they don't have answers for.  He has definitely issued a challenge to all Christians and I highly recommend this book for Christians so they have a good action plan!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, Fox News, and Court TV. A former atheist, he is the author of "Cold-Case Christianity" and "God's Crime Scene." Wallace has a master's degree in theology and lives in California with his wife and four children.

Find out more about J. Warner at

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Too Deep for Words - Shenandoah Valley Saga 2 - by Andrea Boeshaar

About the book:

Carrie Ann Collier has been a newlywed for nineteen blissful days--as blissful as life can be in the midst of war, that is. Soon that war will take a toll she never expected. When her new husband, Peyton, goes missing during battle, she refuses to believe he is dead and must find a way to move forward with everyday life in the face of fear.

As Carrie struggles with how to welcome her estranged sister, Margaret, back into her life, another new arrival appears on her doorstep--her husband's best friend, and rebel officer, Eli. Wounded and bitter, Eli is nonetheless committed to keeping his promise to Peyton: take care of the Collier women, no matter what. But to Carrie, he's a painful reminder of her lost love.

Then unexpected news makes Carrie wonder if miracles do happen. If Carrie infiltrates the enemy once again, she might find out what really happened to the love of her life. Will Eli be able to keep his promise to keep her safe? Can they forgive each other if promises are broken?

As fans of Boeshaar's books have come to expect, Too Deep for Words is a meticulously researched novel. Readers are taken directly into the heart of the realities of the Civil War and reminded how, even in the darkest circumstances, faith in Christ offers hope.

My review:

I enjoyed this book, but it was different than I thought it would be.  This was very much a continuation of the first book as it picks up right where that one left off and is mostly about Carrie and her struggle to believe Peyton is really dead and ultimately, her decision to look for him in enemy territory.  Since the beginning started out from Margaret's point of view, I thought it would have more of her story than it did.  I enjoyed seeing how different Margaret had become after the hardships she suffered when Carrie left.  Eli was also a wonderful character who was trying to figure out his place in a world where the Confederacy is dying and he's falling for a Union widow.  Both Eli and Carrie have a strong faith throughout the book while Margaret is just learning about God.  There's some romance.  I love books centered around the Civil War and the intrigues and situations Carrie gets herself in were quite suspenseful and dangerous.  There were some battle scenes and hospital scenes, but nothing gory.  I would recommend this book if you like well-written Civil War or historical fiction, but you should probably read book one first in order to understand the characters better.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Powerful! Gifts From Heaven - True Stories of Miraculous Answers to Prayer - Compiled by James Stuart Bell

Cover Art

About the book:

No Prayer Is Too Big for God
Sometimes it doesn't feel like God is listening to our prayers. But now and then He powerfully reminds us that He hears our requests and is strong enough to help. What begins as simple faith ends with an astounding gift from our loving heavenly Father.

These true, uplifting stories are from ordinary people experiencing extraordinary help in times of need. While some answers to prayer feel ordinary and go unnoticed, this collection highlights amazing events that could only happen with God's supernatural intervention. With accounts of such things as unexplainable healings and miraculous protection in terrifying situations, this book will inspire you to believe that God can answer even your most "impossible" prayers.

Let these stories touch your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you to pray more than ever before!

My review:

This was such an inspiring and encouraging book!  There was such a wonderful variety of stories of answered prayer, from angelic appearances to miraculous healings to rescues in the nick of time.  Some prayers were answered quickly and others took years, but all were answered in God's perfect timing.  These are short stories, all about five pages each, so it's very easy to read a story here and there as you have time.  Sometimes I've struggled with the purpose of prayer when God already knows everything anyway, but this book encouraged me to continue praying no matter what.  Many stories made me smile, some made me cry, but all strengthened my faith.  I highly recommend this book!

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

 The Author

  1. James Stuart Bell
    © David Vosburg

    James Stuart Bell

    James Stuart Bell is a Christian publishing veteran and the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He is the editor of many story collections, including Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters; Heaven Touching Earth;...

Monday, April 10, 2017

Inspiring! Your Next 24 Hours - by Hal Donaldson

Cover Art

About the book:

One day.
One decision.
One amazing discovery.

A life with greater purpose and fulfillment is closer than you think. The decisions you make in the next 24 hours can change your life and influence the people around you . . . for good.

Your Next 24 Hours shows you the enormous difference you can make through small, doable acts of kindness in your family, community, workplace, school, and church. You'll read inspiring stories of unsung heroes, as well as celebrities like

- Kate Winslet
- Adam Levine
- Jake Gyllenhaal
- Zendaya
- Paul Walker
- Denzel Washington
- Amy Adams
- and many more

The kindness revolution starts with you! Begin reading Your Next 24 Hours today and make this day one of a more fulfilling life.

My review:

This was a very inspiring book about the importance of being kind and doing good for others.  Not only does it help them, but it actually helps you, too, as it releases oxytocin in your brain, which boosts the immune system and makes you feel happier.  One chapter focuses on being kind to yourself and not listening to the lies and hurtful comments other people make toward you or you may repeat to yourself.  Instead, encourage yourself, don't look back, forgive yourself and others, etc. There are more helpful suggestions in the chapter.  Chapters focus on how kindness toward others can be sacrificial or inexpensive, can mean giving of your time or money, spending time with someone, listening, sharing what you learned when you went through a hard time and much more.  There are so many wonderful suggestions in this book.  Donaldson also points out sometimes we need to go even further to help if someone is going through a crisis and that it's a time when people especially need kindness.  I loved the true stories from everyday people and celebrities doing big things and little to make a difference. Some of them brought tears to my eyes.  What a difference it would make in our world if more people followed this book's suggestions!  I highly recommend this book!

I received this book free from Baker Books.

 The Authors

  1. Hal Donaldson

    Hal Donaldson

    Hal Donaldson cofounded and serves as president of Convoy of Hope, Inc. Since 1994, Convoy of Hope has distributed nearly $1 billion worth of food and vital emergency supplies to more than 70 million people.
    Continue reading about Hal Donaldson
  2. Kirk Noonan

    Kirk Noonan

    Kirk Noonan is a former magazine journalist who now serves as Vice President of Creative Communications for Convoy of Hope.
    Continue reading about Kirk Noonan 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Free Books for Kindle!

Love at First Bark (Free Short Story): A Novella for Dog Lovers (Love Unleashed) by [Mentink, Dana]

Free pre-order for kindle!


Canteen Dreams (Cornhusker Dreams Book 1) by [Putman, Cara]

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The Carpenter's Inheritance: Also Includes Bonus Story of A Love so Tender by Tracey V. Bateman by [Eakes, Laurie Alice, Bateman, Tracey V.]

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A Sweethaven Summer (The Sweethaven Circle Book 1) by [Walsh, Courtney]  Free for kindle!


Ismeni: An eShort Prelude to The Legend of Sheba by [Lee, Tosca]  Free for kindle!