Sunday, December 30, 2018

Fate of the Watchman - by Chad Pettit

Fate of the Watchman by [Pettit, Chad]

About the book:

Lester Sharp is a workaholic, obsessed with the success of his business and oblivious to the world around him.

All of that changes when a peculiar stranger comes into his shop asking for food and help. Lester soon finds himself on an impossible journey around the world to bear witness to some of the greatest tragedies a person can know, all frozen in a single moment of time.

In this challenging and gripping novel, debut author Chad Pettit, delivers a supernatural, pulse-pounding adventure in which Lester Sharp is in for the longest second of his life and learns lessons to last a lifetime.

My review:

This was definitely an interesting story.  It got a little graphic and gory as Lester sees some horrible things and his eyes are opened to what other people go through.  It did really make me think more about what other people are going through, from people being victims of violence or sex trafficking to Christians being persecuted and tortured for their faith around the world.  I feel like I do think about those things fairly often and feel frustrated like Lester, wondering what can I do to make a difference?  One thing I need to remember is prayer can make a difference but also that I need to keep my eyes open where I am and even go to where the people are who need help.  The story ended on a cliffhanger, which frustrated me.  I wanted more closure and answers!  I would say if you like unique stories and don't mind some graphic realism, you might want to check it out!

I received this story from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Intriguing! 'Lethal Target - Line of Duty 2 - by Janice Cantore


This was an enjoyable suspense with a dash of romance!  The story follows Police Chief Tess O'Rourke as she deals with the suspicious death of a teenager in her small town.  Pot farms have sprung up near town and there's an upcoming vote to decide whether it will be legal to sell it in town, also.  She's worried more serious drugs might be soon to follow.  She suspects someone involved in a pot farm might have had a hand in the teenager's death.  The father, especially, is not taking it well and is blaming Tess for not solving the case fast enough.  Meanwhile, a man from her past shows up in town, spreading lies and making the townspeople doubt her abilities as chief. 

Her good friend, Pastor Oliver Macpherson, gives her a lot of support and a listening ear just when her relationship with Sergeant Steve Logan seems to hit the rocks.  While she values the pastor's opinions, she just can't trust in a God who would take her father from her as a teenager.  She also can't understand how he can still have faith after his wife was murdered.

I really enjoyed this story as Tess investigates the death and follows the clues.  It was like a police procedural but with small town politics and pot farms thrown in!  I was really frustrated with this guy who showed up to make her life a nightmare.  I just have a hard time understanding people who want to make life difficult for others.  There were some good spiritual elements, as the pastor talks with different people about suffering and he thinks about what he went through with the loss of his wife.  He knew he would see her one day in Heaven and that God was in control and had a purpose for the pain and he wanted to help Tess see that.  There was a hint or romance and some good suspense and action as she tracks down a killer.  We got different viewpoints, which always makes a book more interesting.  I haven't read book one yet but it was easy to read as a stand-alone, though I did feel that there were characters I probably would have met in book one and maybe had more backstory on.  I would recommend this one if you like suspense!

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Every Woman Needs This Book! 'Silencing Insecurity: Believing God's Truth About You' - by Donna Gibbs

Cover Art

About the book:

Say goodbye to insecurity. It's time to change how we think about ourselves.
We have more ways than ever to compare ourselves to others--who are all prettier, thinner, smarter, more successful, and more put together than we are--and our sense of self-worth takes a serious beating on an almost daily basis. It's not what God wants for us, and it's not what we want for ourselves. So why is it so hard to stop?

Drawing from her twenty years of experience counseling women, professional Christian counselor Donna Gibbs says enough is enough. In this practical book, she exposes the vulnerabilities and lies that produce insecurities in us starting from a young age, explores the result of letting those insecurities get the best of us, and, most importantly, shows us the way out of insecurity--for good.

My review:

This is an amazing book I think every teen girl and woman should read!  In the first section Donna talks about identity thieves such as appearance and comparisons or approval and rejection.  She explains how we might have bought into the lie that our identity is based on how we look or on whether we have people's approval, etc.  There are many different things we can base our identity on rather than on where it should be, which is who God says we are.  He says we are His masterpiece, his child and He loves us and will never leave us.  The next section talks about problems insecurities can cause, from mental patterns we might fall into to emotional issues to relational or developmental ones.  Are you thinking negative or positive thoughts towards yourself?  The third section talks about how to fight the thieves and that's by trusting what God says about us and not listening to the lies.  She shows what characteristics a healthy sense of self-worth will have and illustrates her points with Esther, a great example from the Bible.  Each chapter has a victory verse and questions, making this ideal for a group study or on your own.  Some things she pointed out I had heard before and I try to examine what I'm telling myself but there was just so much vital information in here that I needed to read and so many others do, too..  I highly recommend this life-changing book!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Donna Gibbs
    Photo by: Leigh Beddingfield

    Donna Gibbs

    Donna Gibbs is author of Becoming Resilient and a leading Christian Counselor recognized on the referral networks of Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan's Purse. She has been providing women and their...
    Continue reading about Donna Gibbs 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Wonderful! 'Who I Am With You' - Legacy of Faith 1 - by Robin Lee Hatcher


About the book:

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have wronged them, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

My review:

This was such a wonderful, satisfying story!  I really liked the modern-day characters and admired both of them for how they handled trying circumstances.  The historical plotline following Jessica's great-grandfather was fascinating as we see him navigate the Great Depression, along with some family issues he came up against and how his faith in God saw him through.  He had such a spirit of gratitude and trust in God but it was definitely something he worked at, meditating on Scriptures all of the time and praying.  This book had such a wonderful spiritual message, about forgiveness and choosing to be grateful in all circumstances; it was definitely a reminder to me to count my blessings and not throw a pity party!  There's always something to be grateful for and always someone who has it harder than you.  I can always trust that Robin will give us a great story with a great message!  There were sweet romantic moments and I could just picture the gorgeous mountain setting.  This felt like such a cozy, comforting read.  I just love the dual story lines.  Books that have a modern and a historical plot are some of my favorites!  I highly recommend it!

I received this book from the author.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Excellent! 'I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life' - by Anne Bogel

Cover Art

About the book:

Reading isn't just a way to pass the time--it's a lifestyle. Books shape, define, and enchant us. They are part of who we are and we can't imagine life without them. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads you to remember the book that first hooked you, the place where you first fell in love with reading, and all the books and moments afterward that helped make you the reader you are today.

My review:

I absolutely loved this book!  There were so many moments in this book that I nodded and exclaimed, "That's me!"  For instance, I've had certain books that seem to find me just when I need them and I could totally relate to her obsession with 'You've Got Mail,' my favorite movie of all time!  I could relate to being so engrossed in a book that I couldn't stop reading (my most extreme circumstance was staying up until 5 in the morning when I had to work the next day!)  I, however, really wish I had a book twin and I think I'd been searching for one and not even realized it.  To have someone with your exact taste would be amazing!  There are so many books she mentioned that I've wanted to read but haven't yet or some I've never even heard of that are going on my to-be-read list!  As for the ones I'd read, it was fun to see what she thought of them or how they impacted her and to remember how I felt about them, too.  It felt like we were sitting in a cozy library somewhere surrounded by books and discussing our favorite reads.  I'd highly recommend this book for anyone who loves books and it would make a great gift for the book lover in your life!

I received this book from Baker Books.  I was not compensated for this review; all opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Anne Bogel

    Anne Bogel

    Anne Bogel is the creator of the popular blog Modern Mrs Darcy and the podcast What Should I Read Next? Her popular book lists and reading guides have established Bogel as a tastemaker among readers, authors, and publishers. The author of...
    Continue reading about Anne Bogel 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Fascinating! 'Jesus Revolution' - by Greg Laurie & Ellen Vaughn

Cover Art

About the book:

How the Jesus Movement transformed the church--and can transform you
God has always been passionate about turning unlikely people into His most fervent followers. Prostitutes and pagans, tax collectors and tricksters, the pompous and the pious--the more unlikely the people, the more it seems to please God to demonstrate His power, might, and mercy through them. America in the 1960s and 1970s was full of many such unlikely characters--young men and women who had rejected the conformist religion of their parents' generation, iconoclasts who didn't follow the rules and didn't fit in. It was the perfect setting for the greatest spiritual awakening of the twentieth century.

With clarity, humor, passion, and purpose, Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn tell the remarkable true story of the Jesus Movement, an extraordinary time of mass revival, renewal, and reconciliation. Setting intriguing personal stories within the context of one of the most tumultuous times in modern history, they draw important parallels with our own time of spiritual apathy and outright hostility, offering hope for the next generation of unlikely believers--and for the next great American revival.

Because God can always bring a new Jesus Revolution.

My review:

This book was incredibly fascinating!  I had heard of the Jesus Movement but didn't know much about it, which was why I wanted to read this book.  I was not disappointed!  I loved learning about what was happening culturally, politically, spiritually, etc., that led to the hippies and then ultimately to the Jesus Movement.  Almost all of these names were new to me; it was incredibly interesting to learn about Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee, key figures in the movement, and especially Greg Laurie, who was mentored by them, and also played a big part.  He had a very tough childhood, which makes for an even more amazing redemption story.  His life story was encouraging, surprising and interwoven very well with the broader story Laurie and Vaughn were telling.  The writing was well done, easy to read and moved along nicely.  I was never bored.  I loved the references to music; Larry Norman was actually the only name I knew from this period because of DC Talk's remaking a couple of his songs and he was talked about here, along with other musicians, some Christian, some not.  Finally, there was a chapter about how it could happen again and we can pray for it but ultimately it's up to God.  I laughed, I cried, I learned so much!  I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in history, the '70s in particular, Greg Laurie's story or one of the most amazing revivals in our nation's history!

I received this book from Baker Books.  I was not compensated for this.  All opinions are my own.

           The Authors

  1. Greg Laurie
    Photo by: Josh Del

    Greg Laurie

    Greg Laurie is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with campuses in California and Hawaii. He began his pastoral ministry at the age of 19, leading a Bible study of 30 people. Today, Harvest is one of the largest churches in America. More than 5.6...
    Continue reading about Greg Laurie
  2. Ellen Vaughn
    Photo by: Jonathan Whitten

    Ellen Vaughn

    Ellen Vaughn is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker who has written or co-written more than 20 books. Former vice president of executive communications for Prison Fellowship, she collaborated with Chuck Colson on a number of...
    Continue reading about Ellen Vaughn 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Choosing the Extraordinary Life - by Dr. Robert Jeffress

Cover Art

About the book:

Your roadmap to a life of eternal impact

Too many of us settle for a listless life of mundane routine. We long to discover a greater purpose for our lives, but we don't know how. Dr. Robert Jeffress has an encouraging message for those looking for something more: God not only wants us to enjoy an extraordinary life but has provided a roadmap for doing so.

In this inspiring and motivating book, Dr. Jeffress reveals seven secrets from Elijah that result in a life marked by significance, satisfaction, and success, including

· discovering your unique purpose in life
· waiting on God's timing
· learning how to handle bad days
· and more

For the overworked parent feeling trapped at home, the businessperson feeling unfulfilled in a stagnant career, the Christian worker ministering in obscurity--for anyone who wonders if there's more to life--God's Word reveals seven secrets for experiencing a truly extraordinary life.

My review:

This was a very interesting book with a lot of wisdom.  I thought the chapter about discovering your purpose was eye-opening, especially that what you desire to do might be what God wants you to do; if you're in a growing and personal relationship with God your desires are being conformed to His.  The chapter about waiting on God's timing explained different reasons God may have for us to wait and really made me think and reminded me there is a purpose to it all.  It was also encouraging to read about how to handle bad days, some ways we make them worse and how to combat those actions or attitudes.  It was fascinating learning more about Elijah and I loved the personal stories he told from his own life and the lives of others.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to make a difference and live a life of purpose!

I received this book from Baker Books.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author
  1. Dr. Robert Jeffress

    Dr. Robert Jeffress

    Dr. Robert Jeffress is senior pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and is a Fox News contributor. His daily radio program, Pathway to Victory, is heard on more than 900 stations nationwide, and his weekly television program...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Wonderful and Challenging! 'Into the Deep: Diving Into a Life of Courageous Faith' - by Lauren Gaskill


About the book:

Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.

Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel that we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters.

Into the Deep is an invitation to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith. With endearing warmth and authenticity, Lauren Gaskill shares how she and others have learned to swim with Jesus in the deep waters of life—facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, and chronic illness—only to discover a more authentic, enduring faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. In addition to examining the character of God and the lives of women and men of the Bible who chose to dive deeper with God, she provides practical examples and tools that help us take our faith to the next level by learning to make decisions by faith alone, control our reactions to overwhelming situations, and live a life rooted in love.

Get ready to exchange fear and frustration for the boldness, courage, and holy confidence that lead to a life of deep faith and joy!

My review:

This was a wonderful book full of a lot of great advice!  Lauren used a lot of examples from her own life to show where she'd been and how she crawled out of the pit of despair.  I really admired her honesty when she talked about how she'd messed up or that it took her a long time to get to a place of surrender and trusting God and she still has to work at it!  She starts out by saying we need to put our faith in the only one who's trustworthy and will never let us down, Jesus.  Some of my favorite sections were when she pointed out six things you need to know if you're going through a hard time, such as 'you're never alone' and 'God is not punishing you.'  Then she talked about trusting God and how we need to spend time with Him, to really get to know His character.  There were also wonderful chapters on finding His will, overcoming fear and building endurance by putting on the armor of God.  Each chapter had questions to think about where you are on the journey and a prayer.  There were also some wonderful testimonies in the back.  Part of the reason I wanted to read this book was because I could relate somewhat to Lauren as I, too, am dealing with chronic pain and feeling discouraged.  It was very helpful to read about someone I felt could relate a little more to my situation but this book would be great for anyone who's gone through a hard time or is going through one now or will in the future, so everyone could benefit from this book!  I highly recommend it!

I received this book from Abingdon Press.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

About the author:

Lauren Gaskill Lauren Gaskill is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast and Finding Joy Ladies Night Out events. After being diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disorder, Lauren made it her life mission to encourage others to fight for faith and find joy — no matter what life’s circumstances might bring.

Gaskill is a storyteller who believes stories are powerful and loves how God uses them for His good. She writes and speaks to motivate and inspire others to experience abundant life in Christ. She is particularly passionate about encouraging women to fight for faith and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Gaskill also writes and speaks about what it looks like to walk with Jesus through pain and suffering.

She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Find her online at or on Facebook (lauren.gaskill.inspires), Twitter (lauren_inspires) and Instagram (lauren_inspires).  

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book Spotlight (and a Giveaway!): 'Teal Paisley Tights' - by Barbara Brutt

Book Spotlight (and a Giveaway!): Teal Paisley Tights by Barbara Brutt


Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Teal Paisley Tights by Barbara Brutt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Happy Release Day to this debut author!

teal paisley tights.jpg

About the book:

Title: Teal Paisley Tights
Author: Barbara Brutt
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Release Date: November 15, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Life post-graduation was supposed to see the launch of paisley-loving Jadyn’s art career, or at least an art gallery showing one of her watercolor paintings. Instead, this Pittsburgh native is locked into a low-paying, buttoned-up consultant position with an impossible boss. When another colleague is dismissed, Jadyn inherits extra workload, including the company’s biggest client. If she loses him, she’s fired.
Jadyn people-pleases her way through life, resulting in extra work opportunities and a community classroom of art students. But when two guys appear on her doorstep, she just might not be able to people-please her way out of this love triangle. At the end of the day, she can’t please everyone.
Then, because of a small spending problem, Jadyn is evicted from her apartment, and she must move in with her know-it-all sister. Jadyn needs to decide between a job transfer that would place her near her love interest, or a full-time art career with all its risks.
Stretched like canvas between responsibility and dreams, she must choose. Will practicality always win?

About the Author:

barbara brutt

Barbara Brutt, a born and raised Pittsburgher, spent her growing-up years with her nose in a book. After claiming her bachelor’s degree in English, she plunked down hard into a smattering of jobs from shop girl to communications director with a healthy dose of nanny and house-cleaner. Flying to new adventures is her favorite, especially on an airplane or aerial silk. Barbara adores ice cream and only buys purses that provide room for a book or two.
Barbara talks books, aerial silks, faith, and travel on her website and blog at

CONNECT WITH BARBARA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

teal paisley tights blitz giveaway
(1) winner will receive (US only)
  • a pair of teal paisley tights (one size fits most)
  • $15 Starbucks gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 15, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 22, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Free for Kindle!

LADY OF CONQUEST: A Medieval Romance by [Leigh, Tamara]

Free for kindle!


Free for Kindle!

Know You More: Multiracial Christian Romance (Savannah Sweethearts Book 1) by [Thompson, Jan]

Free for kindle!


Enjoyable! 'The Christmas Remedy' by Cindy & Erin Woodsmall

The Christmas Remedy: An Amish Christmas Romance by [Woodsmall, Cindy, Woodsmall, Erin]

About the book:

When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of "big box" stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface--and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene's Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community--a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can't marry and hold onto her professional job. She's Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases--like the one that claimed her father's life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene's Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what's happened and find the "missing" patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

My review:

I liked this love story about a unique Amish woman.  I've never heard of an Amish woman with a GED who was planning to get more education so it was interesting to learn about her passion for teaching the Amish to take better care of their health.  I admired her dedication and selflessness, though it would be very hard if you met someone you could see a future with.  I really liked her sister Ivy, too; she was fun, smart and told it like it was.  I also liked Joshua and admired his willingness to help Holly find the patient even though it was painful to be around her.  I liked that we got both of their viewpoints along with Brandon's, the pharmacist's son.  He came to help out at the pharmacy so there was a sub-plot about him trying to decide where he wants to spend his future, reconnecting with his dad and finding a little bit of romance.  I liked learning more about pharmacies and the way they work and I liked the mystery as they try to figure out who the patient was.  The cozy Christmas setting was wonderful!  I  would recommend this story if you like Amish fiction!

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah and the author.  I was not compensated for this review;  all opinions are my own.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Amazing! 'Hidden Among the Stars' - by Melanie Dobson

About the book:

This book was absolutely amazing!  I love books that take place both in a contemporary setting and in a historical setting and Melanie Dobson was masterful in weaving them together.  She also amped up an already suspenseful story by teasing us with a twist and a mystery she didn't reveal the truth of until the last possible moment!  In 1938 Hitler is taking over Vienna and Max Dornbach is trying to help his Jewish friends by hiding  their valuables from the Nazis.  He ends up asking his childhood friend, Annika, to help hide them, along with Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman.  Annika feels torn between loyalty and love for her friend and jealousy over his apparent feelings for Luzia, which may jeopardize their lives even more.

In 2018, Callie Randall lives a small life as she runs a bookstore with her sister and tries to find out the truth about her surrogate mother, Charlotte, who doesn't know who she is other than that she was left in a French orphanage in 1938.  When her sister buys an old edition of the book, 'Bambi,' and she discovers Annika's name in the cover and a tie to Luzia Weiss, a name in a book Charlotte was found with as a baby, she thinks she might have found the key.  A professor responds to her blog post about Annika, a person he's been searching for ever since his uncle told him about a woman he met shortly after World War II in Austria.  She told his uncle about treasure the Nazis threw into lakes as they fled from the Allies and he's been fascinated ever since.  Her search will push her beyond her comfort zone as she encounters adventure and possibly love.

I'll say it again, this book blew me away!  I loved the characters, especially Callie, as I could relate to her personality and love of books.  I loved the references to children's stories she had read. I loved that they asked the hard questions as they pondered the Holocaust and the professor losing his wife to cancer and that the theology was sound as the professor looked to the Bible and God's character.  There were some hard things dealt with but it wasn't graphic.  There was a hint of romance.  The mystery was fascinating and I loved learning about Jewish books and writers back in 1938.  I also loved learning about the treasure the Nazis threw in the lakes near Vienna and the possibilities there.  The ending was wonderful, if bittersweet.  I highly recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers.  I was not reimbursed for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Q & A with Melanie Dobson

1st Chapter pdf

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Amusing and Sweet Romance! - 'Summer Plans and Other Disasters' - by Karin Beery

About the book

Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track.
Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right?
Trying to figure out God’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best laid plans were truly God-inspired. 
Now available from Elk Lake Publishing!
My review:
I really enjoyed this cute story about a girl who likes to have a plan for everything and doesn't quite know what to do when the plan changes.  I liked Callie a lot but also felt she was very naive.  Who would think an ex-boyfriend would wait around for three years for you just because he said he'd always be there?  I got a little frustrated with some of her choices but she also made me smile with some of the clumsy situations she got herself into.  I also really liked the rest of the characters and especially liked that none of them were perfect.  The banter was great!  Jack had a great attitude in that he tried to never worry since the Bible told him not to.  It was also pretty amusing how Stacey confused and delighted him.  I also liked Ryan even though he was frustrating me with his procrastination and cowardice.  There were a lot of cute moments and I loved that we got each of the foursome's viewpoints so we knew what they thought of each other.  I liked Stacey's attitude the most out of the bunch, that she was trusting God to tell her what to do regarding dating and relationships.  While their Christian faith was mentioned at times in the story, it wasn't preachy.  I would highly recommend this story especially for teens and young adults but anyone who likes romance would enjoy it!
I received a copy of this book through Read with Audra.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the author

Karin wrote her first novel in 2007 to cope with her husband’s cancer diagnosis (no worries – he’s cancer free now!). With the support and encouragement of her family, she submitted that manuscript. That particular manuscript has not been published yet, but Summer Plans and Other Disasters, her first published book, releases in September 2018.

Karin writes contemporary and speculative fiction stories with a healthy dose of romance, but she’s also expanded her repertoire: she writes feature stories for the local paper, copy material for businesses, and blog posts for herself and others. She even edits (offering copy editing, fiction editing, and critiques through Write Now Editing Services) and teaches (she’s the Substantive Fiction Editing instructor for the PEN Institute and can be found around the country teaching writing and editing courses at conferences and at her local college).

When Karin’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys cooking and baking. She plays the piano and sings (the key of E, please). She kayaks with her husband in the summer, watches football in the fall (Go Blue!), and enjoys Christmas lights all winter long. Shy but extroverted, Karin adores her nieces and nephew and loves spending time with her family.  Learn more about Karin at:
You can also follow her on:

Elk Lake Publishing (for tagging)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fascinating! 'Imagine Heaven' Devotional - by John & Kathy Burke

Cover Art

About the book:

Scripture tells us to "Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth" (Col. 3:2 NLT). But how do we think about a place we've never seen?
In 2015, John Burke's Imagine Heaven uncovered an exhilarating picture of Heaven, drawn from Scripture and illustrated with true stories of near-death experiences. This New York Times bestseller offered real-life evidence that supported readers' faith and answered some of their most pressing questions about life after death.

Now you can meditate daily on the realities of Heaven with the Imagine Heaven Devotional. Each of the one hundred devotions in this book includes a near-death story from Imagine Heaven, Scripture, and a prayer, as well as brand-new stories and content that will help you meditate on the life to come as you apply God's heavenly promises to how you live life today.

My review:

This was an amazing book!  I was encouraged to remember that there's so much more life to come in Heaven and what an awesome place it is.  The stories and quotes from various people who had died and gone to Heaven were fascinating, especially when some of their descriptions matched so closely!  I haven't read the original book yet but I'd heard of a few of the people featured here as I'd read other books by or about them.  I would say the overarching theme is God's love, how deep and overwhelming it was to people, how accepted and unconditionally loved they felt, even as they had "life reviews" that weren't always very positive as they saw how they had treated people throughout their life.  There were cool stories about interactions with angels, loved ones who had died and were guiding them around Heaven and of course, meeting Jesus face to face.  The beauty of Heaven sounds amazing.  The devotions were great reminders to lean on God for strength in our weaknesses and to look forward to Heaven where our questions will be answered, our pain erased and where we'll feel we're finally home.  I highly recommend it!

I received this book from Baker Books.  I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated for this.  This is my honest opinion.

           The Authors

  1. John Burke

    John Burke

    John Burke is the New York Times bestselling author of Imagine Heaven, No Perfect People Allowed, Soul Revolution, and Unshockable Love. As an international speaker, John has addressed hundreds of thousands of people in 20...
    Continue reading about John Burke
  2. Kathy Burke

    Kathy Burke

    Kathy Burke cofounded Gateway Church in Austin and served on the staff for many years. Kathy has contributed to and edited No Perfect People Allowed and Imagine Heaven. She has worked in financial consulting and missions, and for the past two...
    Continue reading about Kathy Burke 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Review & Giveaway of 'The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible' - by Doris Wynbeek Rikkers,

 The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

God's Spirit is living among God's people.
He always was, always is, and always will be.
These are the stories that tell about him and what he does.

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible, written by Doris Rikkers and illustrated by Fernando Juarez, presents over 40 Bible stories from the old and new testaments that show how God’s Spirit has been with his people from the beginning of time. Keep reading to learn more about this new release from ZonderKidz!

You can also enter to win a copy of The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible and other awesome kids' releases in a giveaway hosted by Read with Audra. Details below!

About the book:

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings to life more than 40 Bible stories that help readers understand that God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today. From the glory of creation through the powerful letters of Paul, God’s Spirit is living in his people. Old and New Testament stories such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, the Baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost come alive with dramatic illustrations by Fernando Juarez and moving text by Doris Rikkers. With a cover that sparkles and shines with foil, this is a special storybook Bible that will appeal to both children and parents alike.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
~ Psalm 139: 7–10

My review:

This was a cool Bible storybook with a unique angle.  I loved how it really highlighted the stories that talked about God's Spirit throughout the Bible.  This shouldn't really be labeled a Bible, however, as there were a lot of stories not featured.  The pictures were colorful and fun.  Each story started with a verse or two and said where to find the story in the Bible.  One thing I didn't really like was that in the story of Creation it seems to imply that the world was created and a lot of time passed before humans were created.  I don't know if that's how it's meant to be read but it seems best to stick to the Bible's version and not try to interpret it differently.  I also thought the story of Samson got a little graphic when it talked about ripping a lion apart.  I'm not that familiar with children's books so I don't know if it's typical to have that kind of thing in a book for about four to eight-year-old's.  I really liked how the end of the book makes it personal to the child by reminding them that they're not alone and that God's Spirit will help them to do what God wants them to do.  Overall, I liked this Bible storybook and would recommend it!

I received this book from Read with Audra.  I was not required to write a positive review or compensated for this.  This is my honest opinion.

Try a sample Here

About the author and illustrator:

Doris Wynbeek Rikkers is a freelance writer and editor who has written many bestselling children’s books and Bibles. Although she loves the ocean, she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, surrounded by her books, her flower gardens, and her family and friends.

Spanish artist Fernando Juarez illustrates children’s books and also works as an art supervisor at the Madrid studio Ilion Animation. The company produces 3D feature films for children. Fernando has three kids himself, and if he has any time left after work and family, you might catch him playing guitar in a rock band.

Would you like to win your own copy of
The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible?
Win a children's book prize pack from Read with Audra!
The prize pack includes a copy of:
Spirit of God Illustrated Bible
Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations
NIV Kids Visual Study Bible
Explorer's Bible Guide
Words to Love By
Love Letters from God 

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