Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review - Summer's List

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.
Find out more about Anita at http://anitahigman.com.

MY REVIEW:

This is a light summer read perfect for those beach days or while lounging on a hot summer day. It's quite a quick read and not too complicated. Perfect for the beach bag.

This book wasn't your typical romance - it has dysfunctional families and some darker elements that make it a bit more interesting than a simple romance. It also has you guessing as to how the book is going to go next. I do like that in a book.

I enjoyed Summer and Martin, but my favorite character has to be Granny. I loved her wisdom and advice and how she encouraged Summer. Her love for Summer is so sweet and touching and believable.

I really liked the quirkiness of this book, the mystery involved, and just the overall feel of this story. I think you'll enjoy it, too! I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE


Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review - Two Roads Home


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Minor---but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman's initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans' son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington's friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless---and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk.

With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah Raney's books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deborah's novels-for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

Find Deborah online: website, Twitter, Facebook

MY REVIEW:

This is book two of the Chicory Inn series. It definitely stands alone and you won't be confused or lost if you haven't read the first book. However, the first book was excellent, so I recommend you do read it.

In this book, we re-visit Audrey and Grant and their children and grandchildren. This book really focuses on Corinne, their daughter, and her husband Jesse. Jesse is a very successful businessman who is forced to travel a lot. This has made it difficult for Corinne, who is a mom of three young girls. One of her daughters is acting out and she's a bit over-whelmed. Add in that her husband is having to travel with a young, attractive co-worker and it's too much for her.

Jesse is a friendly, likeable guy who doesn't seem to get it when women a flirting with him. The colleague he's been traveling with has taken quite a liking to him. He hasn't exactly discouraged her attentions and before he knows it, the situation becomes very stressful and out of control. Because of this, Jesse finally tells Corinne his long held dream of being a teacher. This shocks Corinne as they live a beautiful home and she's able to be home with her children because of the great paying job her husband has. She has to make some hard decisions.

My only issue with the story was with the co-worker and how it was sort-of resolved and yet it wasn't. I would have liked to have this storyline more complete. I'm hoping she will do so in the third book as I felt like it was an after-thought even though it had been a huge part of the book.

I really, really enjoyed this book. I like this family so much and their great love for one another. They are a very real family, though, in that they have disagreements and issues with one another at times. Their children aren't perfect yet they are all so likeable. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE


Blessings - Julie

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway - Thriving in Babylon

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Meet a man forced to live in fast changing and godless society. He faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement about a world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed. Yet he also lived with great faith and hope---and he changed an entire empire while he was at it. In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the story of the biblical character of Daniel to help us live godly lives in an increasingly godless culture.   


How do we respond when our culture grows increasingly godless? In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the stories of Daniel, Jesus, and others in Scripture to help us distinguish between appropriate fear and unnecessary fear. He shows how our relationship with God gives us the foundation for deep security and hope, even in a world that seems to be going downhill.


It's enough to make you lose sleep: the economy, health concerns, global politics, and spiritual  disintegration. But God offers a security and power that surpasses any of the dangers and challenges  we'll an increasingly godless society. Thriving in Babylon will give you renewed hope that it's possible to live a godly, confident life even when the world seems to be falling apart. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Dr. Larry Osborne has served as a senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church---one of the ten most influential churches in the country---since 1980. Dr. Osborne is the author of numerous books, including Accidental Pharisees. He and his wife live in Oceanside, California. They have three grown children.


Find Larry online: website, Facebook, Twitter  

MY REVIEW:

This is a very timely book as we see more and more our world becoming more like Babylon and more and more hostility toward the Christian beliefs and it's people.

The author shares about the book of Daniel and how he stayed faithful to God despite what was going on around him. His love for God is everything to him and he doesn't give in to all the debauchery that is going on around him. Even in the face of persecution, he is faithful.

This book is very easy to read and that's one of the best things about it. It doesn't read like a text book but like the author is sitting across from you sharing with you one-on-one. He also tells us that hope is the ultimate key to staying grounded and how we get that hope. 

He tells us what not to put our hope and faith in - politics and ministries that are on steroids. He doesn't say not to get involved in politics and try to make a difference in sharing our beliefs and the Gospel, but not to make it into our savior. Same with huge ministries that don't share the truth but promise things or rely on certain thinking. The Word of God is still what we need to put our hope and faith in.

He also tells us that submission to authority does not include sin. Daniel did not eat the non-kosher food, he did not worship the statue of Nebuchadnezzer, and he continued to pray in public even though it was deemed against the law. He did what God called him to do over what man said because his heart was with God and God came first.

This book will open your eyes to how we can live in this world and still hold fast to what we, as Christians belive. I enjoyed this book very much and would highly recommend it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by David C. Cook publishers and LitFuse Publicity Group


I have a copy of this wonderful book to give away. If you'd like a chance to win this, please leave a comment on this post. I will randomly choose a winner on July 3, 2015.  Please make sure I can email you when you leave your comment. If you don't have a google account that will provide me an email, please leave one in your comment. I will contact the winner via email and also announce it on my blog.

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - A Heart's Betrayal

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what's more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.
Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can't stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she's pregnant---and without a husband. The new start she'd hoped for slips from her fingers.

But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his---and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: website, Facebook, Twitter

MY REVIEW:

This is book 4 of the Journey of the Heart series. You don't need to have read the other books to understand what's going on, but I highly recommend it as you will not have a full understanding of all the characters and what has happened.

This book focuses on Emmie, who has recently lost her husband, and the secrets that are revealed after his death. She has to make some new decisions for her life because of these secrets. 

She decides to go to Wyoming to help Sarah, who is now pregnant with her first child. She needs to start over where no one knows about her situation. She knows Sarah from her childhood and feels that she can be of help and start over in Wyoming.

Shortly after she arrives, Sarah's husband, who is a soldier, is sent to a new Fort where the Indian uprising is much more dangerous. There is some very unsettling things that they are exposed to and the women can't leave the Fort because of these dangers. Emmie has some new things crop up for her that she has to handle. The book ends on a cliff hanger and we have to wait and see how Emmie handles these new concerns.

I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the historical aspects of the West. I also loved how she describes the area as I've been there many times and the author did a great job of giving us a visual of this gorgeous Wyoming country. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group



Blessings - Julie

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Review - A Friend in Me

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Can we really have close relationships with women who have different thoughts on church, different experiences with family, and different ways of talking about God? Where do we start?

In A Friend in Me, Pam Lau shows you how to be a safe place for the younger women in your life. She offers five patterns women need to internalize and practice for initiating relationships and talking about issues such as faith, forgiveness, sexuality, and vocation. Most significantly, she reminds you that there doesn't need to be a divide between generations of women. Together, we can have a global impact---and experience a deeper faith than we've ever known.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Pam Lau is the author of Soul Strength and numerous articles for such publications as Christian Scholar's Review and Christianity Today. She has taught writing at George Fox University and speaks around the country at conferences and retreats. A graduate of Liberty University and Colorado State University, Lau lives near Portland, Oregon, with her husband and three daughters.


Find Pamela online: website, Twitter

MY REVIEW:

This book is about friendships between women. This book really focused on older women mentoring younger women, especially in the church.  

The author has some good thoughts about relationships between women. She discusses tone of voice, to be open with other women, and not to be so judgmental. She shares that younger women are looking for older women to mentor them and be there for them.

Although this was a good book, I was a little disappointed that it was pretty much all about the relationship of mentoring between older and younger women. I also thought she was slightly judgmental about the older women, making them feel responsible if the mentoring relationship doesn't go well. I believe that older women want to be good mentors for the younger women, but it doesn't always go as smoothly as the author would have you believe with the younger women. 

I would have loved for this book to be more about the friendship between women in general. Not so much of the mentoring relationship. Although I did get quite a bit out of this book, I was rather disappointed that it didn't get into women's friendship over all. I liked the mentoring aspect, but I really wanted it to cover all friendships.

This book would be especially helpful for women in leadership or counseling at church. For those that are called to mentor, this book would also be helpful. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group



Blessings - Julie