Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gorgeous! Israel - God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel - by Ron Gafni & Kathleen Barrett



Israel-God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel 


(Skypics Israel, November 2016)
Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore.

The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni.  As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette's of Israel's modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God's redemption plan for the world.

My review:
This is an absolutely gorgeous book!  The pictures are breathtaking and it's amazing to see these historical sites from a bird's-eye-view.  I was actually able to visit Israel a couple of years ago and it was very cool to see some of these sites again, but from a different viewpoint.  There was also a lot of beautiful scenery and some photos of modern life.  I would love to be able to have some of these pictures blown up on my wall.  The devotional thoughts tied in to some of the pictures and were short and to the point.  The thoughts that stood out to me were on leaving a legacy and freedom in Christ.  They made a nice addition, but the photography was really the main focus.  I would highly recommend this book if you like photography.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
About the authors:

Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel's High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in "National Geographic," and his company, Skypics.co.il, provides books from its "Israel From Above" collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel. 


Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in "Israel-God's Heart" from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children's devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission's outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.
Find out more at http://skypics.co.il.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Martin Luther In His Own Words: Essential Writings of the Reformation - by Jack D. Kilcrease & Erwin W. Lutzer, Editors

Cover Art

About the book:

"Didn't he write the Ninety-Five Theses?"
Though most Protestants--approximately 900 million believers worldwide--trace their spiritual roots back to the Reformation, many people today have only a vague knowledge of Martin Luther's extensive writings. Jack Kilcrease and Erwin Lutzer step into this vacuum with Martin Luther in His Own Words, a carefully selected collection of Luther's works.

Organized around the five solas of the Reformation (sola Scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, sola Christus, soli Deo gloria), the selections offer readers an accessible primer on works that are foundational to the theology of Protestantism in all its forms. An introduction to each writing includes an explanation of its historical context and theological significance.

Students of the Bible, pastors, teachers, and seminary students will find this collection an enlightening introduction to Luther in his own words and a useful addition to their libraries.

My review:

This was an interesting and informative book featuring some of the key ideas Martin Luther wrote about.   I really appreciated the introduction to each chapter that gave some of the background and circumstances surrounding the writing along with a short summary.  A lot of the things he said were pretty amazing considering the time in which he wrote them.  He didn't mince words calling out the pope. priests, etc., for the way they were leading people astray, especially for saying we depend on works to get to Heaven, instead of on God's grace.  I knew his life was in danger, but hadn't realized how confrontational he was.  I also never knew that he wrote so much or that he translated the Bible into German, the language of the people.  I also found it interesting to learn about some of the practices the Catholic Church was enforcing, such as not being able to eat certain foods at certain times of the year and actually calling it a sin if you did so.  I learned a lot about some of the theological views present then and now; this book really made me think more deeply about my faith.  My favorite chapters were about freedom, the views of Christ's suffering and how Christ took our sin.  I would recommend this book if you're interested in Martin Luther, the Reformation or theology!

I received this book free from Baker Books.

The Authors

  1. Jack D. Kilcrease

    Jack D. Kilcrease

    Jack D. Kilcrease (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of historical and systematic theology at the Institute of Lutheran Theology. He is a church elder at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. He is the author of The Self-Donation of God: A...
    Continue reading about Jack D. Kilcrease
  2. Erwin W. Lutzer

    Erwin W. Lutzer

    Erwin W. Lutzer (BTh, Winnipeg Bible College; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago. He has led tours to the sites of the Reformation in Europe, including Wittenberg, Worms, Geneva, and Zurich. He is the ECPA Gold...
    Continue reading about Erwin W. Lutzer

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Love So True - Teaville Moral Society 2 - by Melissa Jagears

Cover Art

About the book:

Evelyn Wisely loves working at the local orphanage, but her heart can't ignore the women of Teaville who are also in need. Her boss is willing to help build a shelter for them, but only if she gains the cooperation and financial support of other local businessmen.

While David Kingsman plans to stay in Teaville just long enough to get his father's business back on solid ground, he's intrigued by Evelyn's cause and finds himself more invested with each passing day.

Will their plans and partnership fall apart when confronted with all that is stacked against them, or can they trust in God's plan despite it all?

My review:

This was a wonderful story with an intriguing plot and characters I loved.  Evelyn was a selfless, caring woman with a painful secret that caused her to push men away.  David is drawn to Evelyn despite her distant demeanor and wanted to help her with the women and children of the Red Light District.  I loved how he jumped in even though he was new to town and new to this kind of ministry. He really seemed to care about both their physical and spiritual needs.  He wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty.  I also loved that he liked and knew how to cook!  He did struggle to stand up to his father, however, who he worked for.  I really admired Evelyn's selflessness and her belief in a good God, no matter what she was going through.  She really had faith and believed that if God said no, it was because He had something better planned.  I got a little frustrated with her for listening to someone who did not have her best interests in mind, but it all worked out for the best.  I liked the theme of waiting on God's perfect timing.  It was nice to see characters from the previous book, which I also loved, but this worked nicely as a stand-alone.  There's some romance.  I highly recommend this well-written historical novel!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers.

 The Author

  1. Melissa Jagears

    Melissa Jagears

    Carol Award-winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian historical romance into the wee hours of the night. She's the author of the Unexpected Brides series, the Teaville Moral Society series, and Love by the Letter, a...
    Continue reading about Melissa Jagears 


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Review of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race Blog Tour and $75 Amazon Giveaway with Mike Mizrahi!

About the book:
Chattanooga society is turned upside down as a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers!

It's 1895. Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit with her aunt in Brooklyn, she's drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Southern women did not engage in activities meant for men.

Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

Will Anna prove that women deserve the same right as men to ride "the wheel?" Will she choose to live a quiet, traditional life of a housewife and mother? Or will she pursue college and become one of the "new women" emerging into the twentieth century on the seat of a bicycle? What will become of the spark between Anna and Peter?

Faith, patience, and courage help Anna to become the person she was meant to be.

My review:

This was an interesting book about a subject I wasn't that familiar with.  I had no idea that women riding a bicycle was such a big problem for so many people in the 1800's.  It made me have more of an appreciation for women who've stood up to criticism and worse as they fought for women's rights.  Anna was actually in a sort of love triangle as she was dating a different man through most of the story.  Peter was interested, but didn't really talk to her much, so later it seemed like more was made of a relationship than there actually was.  I was actually a little frustrated with Peter for not explaining some situations to Anna throughout the story.  I was also frustrated with Anna for automatically believing things about him or situations without having any facts to back them up.  I liked a sub-plot about an African-American woman Anna meets who's sick and needs help with her three children and with finding out what happened to her husband after he left to find work two years ago. It was interesting as Peter got involved and what they ultimately discovered.  Hattie had some very good advice about choosing who or what you're going to worship, whether it's God or other people's approval. A couple things did bother me.  There was an instance of using God's name loosely and a mention of a man telling "white lies" as a boy with no mention of a lie being a lie and always wrong.  I also thought there wasn't much justice for the criminals at the end of the story.  There was a little bit of romance and some good spiritual thoughts in the book.  Overall, if you like historical fiction, you might like this story.

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



About the author:

Mike Mizrahi has a master's degree in public relations, advertising and applied communication from Boston University. After a career in corporate public affairs, he retired to pursue a deep passion: writing.

Mizrahi and his wife, Karen, led a mission trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo four years ago and were so moved by the experience, Mizrahi wrote his first novel, which he hopes will one day be published. The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race is his debut published work.

Mizrahi loves reading and writing stories about "sozo," which means to be rescued in Greek. He and Karen are very active in their church and community and love to hike, travel and go the movies together. The Mizrahis live in Woodland Hills, California, where they raised their children who are now adults.

Learn more about The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race and Mike H. Mizrahi at www.mikehmizrahi.com or on Facebook (AuthorMikeMizrahi) and Twitter (@MikeHMiz). 

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Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it's turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi's new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she's drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

Celebrate the release of Mike's new book by entering to win his $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike's blog.




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Driver Confessional - Driver Series 1 - by David L. Winters

Ride share driver Antonio cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. looking for his next fare.
He has an unusual gift for relaxing his customers and stimulating their desire to reveal more than they planned. By the completion of their ride, many feel so comfortable that they confess their sins great and small. Antonio's faith guides his discussions and points him in new directions. Suddenly, his peaceful world is turned upside down by a mysterious business woman. As she heads to a midnight rendezvous, she confesses more than Antonio can handle. Her story sends him into a world of espionage, international terrorism and danger.
My review:
This was an interesting book with a unique plot.  A lot of the story centers around Antonio and the fares he drives around.  I really liked how Antonio would pray for his clients and sometimes had spiritual conversations with them or prayed with them.  It really showed how much of a difference one person could make who took the time to really talk to someone.  There was also a great conversation Antonio's wife Sylvia had with her best friend about some secrets from her past and how God would forgive her for her sins.  I liked that the gospel message was clearly spelled out.  There's quite a bit of action in the story, from car chases to shooting to kidnapping.  There's a little romance, too.  Sometimes, there was a line that seemed a bit odd, such as when a big Russian guy "giggled" and I got a little bored with the detail about which roads he was taking, but it wasn't constant.  Overall, if you like books with action and a strong spiritual message, you might want to check this one out.
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity free in exchange for an honest review.
About the author:
David L Winters is an award-winning author, humorist and speaker, originally from Ohio, who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. His first book, "Sabbatical of the Mind: The Journey from Anxiety to Peace," won several awards including a Silver Illumination Award from the Jenkins Group and two Finalist Medals from the Next Generation Indies Book Awards.
Find out more about David at http://www.sabbaticalofthemind.net.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Honest & Interesting Memoir! English Lessons - by Andrea Lucado

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781601428950?width=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif

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!

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

Free for kindle!

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

Free for kindle from multiple vendors!

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

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

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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.