Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review - "Stolen"

"Stolen: the true story of a sex trafficking survivor," by Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD with Cecil Murphey, is a powerful and emotional read.
Katariina is a young teenage girl whom has very low self-esteem and does not receive the love and care at home that children need.  When she is befriended she thinks she is finally getting the attention and care that she seeks; however things do not go as planned.  This shares her journey and surviving sex trafficking.  While many children do not experience things just like this, there are so many children whom are merely surviving each day and not being nurtured and loved and supported in the ways that are so necessary for healthy development and growth.  I highly recommend this book as it will open your eyes to the harsh reality that is everyday life for so many children.

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

"The Woman Code"

"The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life," written by Sophia A. Nelson, is a guidebook to help each woman live a more fulfilling life for herself.
Each of us lives according to a code whether she really realizes it or not in all areas of life.  When something is off kilter in the code, she can feel unsettled and not really fulfilled.  Sophia addresses 20 codes, each being in one of five areas: personal, emotional, spiritual, professional and relational.
This book is easy to get into and read as Sophia writes in a style that is easy to read.  Each chapter addresses a specific key and there are bulleted lists, charts and key words shared.  There are also quotes included as well which I think are a great addition to the chapters as well.  This is a great book that I encourage every woman to read.

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

"The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible"

Book Description from the publishers:

The stars of the hit TV show Duck Dynasty are committed to upholding five core values both on and off the screen: faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness, and freedom.
The Duck Commander® Faith and Family Bible features new stories and testimonials by Phil, the Robertson family patriarch, and his son Al, a pastor with more than 22 years of experience. Together they offer fresh wisdom on biblical values and how everyday people can apply them to their lives.
Powered by relentless dedication to sharing the gospel and celebrating Christ’s kingdom, the Robertson family has become influential to contemporary evangelism and discipleship. The Duck Commander® Faith and Family Bible unleashes the power of their practical insight into critical faith issues, founded on God’s Word.
Features include:
  • Full text of the New King James Version Bible
  • A personal welcome note from Phil and Al Robertson
  • 125 articles on the top 24 most-searched topics on BibleGateway
  • Life application and scripture references supplement each article
  • 30 days of life-changing testimonials
  • Topical index and reading plans
My Review:
This Bible would make an excellent gift for any Duck Dynasty fan on your Christmas list this year! The Robertson family live their beliefs in their everyday life on and off the screen and they have been ones whom have received both positive and negative attention for their values.  However, that does not keep them from staying true to God and their Christian faith.  This being said, they are inspiring to each of us and now in this Bible their thoughts and stories are shared throughout alongside the Biblical text. This is a beautiful hardcover edition that outdoorsmen will enjoy.

*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kara Tippetts’ THE HARDEST PEACE Blogger Challenge & Giveaway! Share Your #HardestPeace Story.

kara tippets the hardest peace
Kara Tippetts' brave and touching book, The Hardest Peace is launching with a blogger challenge. Celebrate with Kara by joining the #HardestPeace conversation and share how you are finding grace in the midst of the everyday and in life's hard moments.
The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippetts

Share your stories of everyday grace in the midst of life’s difficulties and enter to win a #HardestPeace prize pack:

  • A book club pack (10 copies of The Hardest Peace for you and your small group!)
  • A handcrafted candle
  • Journal
  • Custom Etsy The Hardest Peace print and coffee mug
To enter to win, simply blog about your #HardestPeace story and then submit the link to your post via the link-up (or see link in the Rafflecopter below). Plus stop by others’ stories to leave encouragement and offer prayers as we all travel the journey of life together and discover that the hardest peace is often the most fulfilling peace. Then follow Kara online (via the Rafflcopter) for additional entries into the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  About the book: 

A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.
Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow. and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.
In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/Cgo5s

About the Author: 

Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara's story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality. 

Find Kara online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Kara Tippetts shares her heart and her struggles in her book, "The Hardest Peace," and this is a heart-wrenching and so inspiring read. Kara's goal is not to seek out sympathy and "win" having the hardest life, but she wants to help and encourage others in finding peace. Life can be so challenging and there are moments in our lives that can make us question God and our faith can be tested.  I am blessed with two beautiful children whom I enjoy raising and they make me smile and bring so much joy to my life.  A little over two years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and at this time I was questioning why this happened to me.  I have been healthy my whole life, rarely being sick at all and then when I was pregnant with my son, I was very anemic and having an emergency C-section did not help that either.  For the next two years no one could figure out why I was struggling with anemia until it became so bad I was hospitalized and needed two blood transfusions and numerous tests I was diagnosed with Crohn's.  This was such a scary and uncertain time for me as there were so many questions and I was presented with possible scenarios of what could be going on with me.   I found myself questioning God and wondering why I was blessed with two children only to perhaps not be around to see them grow up.  This has been a struggle for me to accept having to take medication, watch my diet and have days where I feel like I can barely go through the motions.  Finding peace and accepting that God is in control and He has my life planned has been difficult.

I hope that others struggling to find peace will be able to with the help of Kara's book.  I have an extra copy of this book to giveaway to a fellow blogger and reader.  I will pick a reader next Tuesday, October 28th to receive a copy of this book!  All you have to do for a chance to win is to leave a comment to this post in response to one of the following prompts:

· Who has God sent to walk with you through your pain? Has He asked you to walk with someone else in his or her journey?
· If you are married, what are some expectations you had going into marriage that were not met? How did you reconcile those unmet expectations? How has God shown you that only He can satisfy you fully?
· How does your life look different from what you once expected? Are you okay with the differences? Why or why not? How would you describe the new story you are living?
· How do you communicate beauty to your children, especially in a culture that worships only the outward?
· How often do you think about heaven? If a lot, describe what you think about it. If not, think about why not.
· In what ways are you a safe place for other people? Think of someone you know who is hurting. How can you pursue them and become a safe place for their messiness? Not save them necessarily, but be a safe place to fall?
· When you pray for God to lift you out of fear and dread, do you truly believe He can and will? Why or why not? What is an example of when He did, and what is an example of when you felt He didn't? How did He show you His goodness in both answers?
· Are you suffocating under expectations you've placed on yourself? What does God say about those expectations? What does freedom in Christ look like in light of these expectations?

**To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Playing By Heart"

Anne Mateer is one of my new favorite historical fiction authors and I thoroughly enjoyed her latest novel, "Playing By Heart." 
Lulu has a dream of teaching and pursuing her college education.  However, things can unexpectedly happen and veer our lives off the course which we are currently on.  When Lulu has to take a teaching position that is not quite her dream, she is determined to do what it takes to prove she is capable. This forces Lulu to seek help from Chet, a boys' basketball coach.  However, as Lulu spends time with both Jewel and Chet she realizes that what really does matter to her may not be what she originally believed it to be.

Anne has an amazing ability of bringing history to life as well as her characters.  I really enjoyed this book as it addresses societal expectations, everyday life and shows such growth in the characters. 

*Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a  honest review.*

Book Review - "A Match of Wits"

"A Match of Wits," by Jen Turano, is the fourth book in her Ladies of Distinction series and it is just as excellent as her other novels!  Agatha is a witty character whom is so entertaining to read about and spend time with.  Agatha is a reporter and runs into Zayne, with whom she has a history. Zayne seeks to help out Agatha; however she is hesitant to this offer.  This book starts right out with a glimpse into Agatha's character and she immediately is someone whom is easy to love.
Jen's books are so easy to get into as they are well-written and fun of zany characters.  Her stories are entertaining and I always look forward to Jen's books being released. 

This is an excellent choice for those whom enjoy historical fiction!

*Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Review - "Thunder"

"Thunder" is book 1 in Bonnie S. Calhoun's Stone Braide Chronicles, and this is an exciting start to this series.  This is a young adult dystopian series that is sure to be enjoyed by adults of all ages.  "Thunder" is filled with characters whom I loved spending time with.  The storyline is full of suspense, romance and lessons that all can benefit from.  The writing is well done as well and the descriptions are so vivid and really bring this society and time period to life.  Selah finds her role and her life changed and the reader is taken along on an epic journey along with her in this exciting read.  If you enjoy this type of genre, then this book is one not to be missed.  If you have not tried this genre before then this would be an excellent choice to begin with.  I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series!

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*