Monday, February 19, 2018

Easter Love Letters from God Written by Glenys Nellist Illustrated by Sophie Allsopp



This is a precious book to give at Easter time or anytime....Glenys Nellist creates a way to teach  your child about the Holy Week of Easter.  Each spread contains a short story, a Bible verse, and a "lift the flap" letter to your child from God.

I love how Glenys Nellist has given us a book with different approaches to the Holy Week leading up to Easter. They can enjoy the story in conjunction with the scripture reference for what the story is based on.  This allows the family to dive into the Bible.  Then there is also a Bible verse.  Families could memorize this together.  And of course, the beautiful letter from God makes the story even more personal for the child.

With any good children's book there is a great illustrator.  Sophie Allsopp takes Glenys Nellist'swords and gives them life with real, yet child friendly drawings.  This book will be enjoyed from many angles.

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Finding Selah by Kristen Kill


From the publisher: That something you’ve been looking for in the empty stress of your mad-dash days? It has a name.
The Psalms call it selah—the pause, rest, or interlude between the notes in a song. More than merely an empty space, selah is a chance to stop and resync with the story and song of God. For all the ways life keeps you running, this word and practice offers a way to re-center yourself on the One who holds all things together and makes all things beautiful.
Stretched beyond her capacity in caring for a large family in the middle of Manhattan, Kristen Kill was exhausted, depressed, and desperate for a change. Then something sparked within her when she read the Psalms, and found that often all that stood between the psalmist’s cries for help and celebrations of praise was this simple word, selah.
Join Kristen in Finding Selah for a journey that will transform the way you think about work, rest, and the little spaces in between that make all the difference. This book will show you how to tune your ear to the song God is singing over you, embrace the “selah moments” able to transform your daily rhythms, and most of all, encounter the ultimate Selah in Christ, who stands in the gap between heaven and your most hectic of days. There is hope for the dissonance you feel. Finding Selah will show you not only how to sing a new song, but to live a new way.
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When I first picked up this book I thought it was going to be more of a "how to" to find selah.  However, it is more of a narrative of author Krsten Kill's life and how she found her need for selah and how she incorporated it.  This is a small book that I found easy to read through. I could relate to her feelings, even if not her situations, and I believe other readers will feel the same.  Selah is something I think our world craves and this is a book that helps you begin to understand it.  
Kristen Kill is a gifted author, as she writes in a way that is inviting and easy to read. She doesn't over complicate things and instead writes with a style that would be easy to imagine a friend just talking to you over coffee. 
I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren



From the publisher:
Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants--except a happy ending. Or at least that's what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.

Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra's relationship.

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This is the book I have been waiting for since the beginning of this series!  This book is part of a series and I highly recommending reading all of them. Not just because you will have better context for the story but because they are all so enjoyable!

Ian Shaw and Sierra Rose are both characters who have been developing over this series.  Through Susan May Warren's talented writing you become attached and wanting to really understand what is holding each character hostage.  This book really fleshes out things in our own life that hold us captive from being close to others and God.

The book is quick paced and I enjoyed each page.  

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews



From the publisher:
In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah's household rises to capture the heart of the future king. 

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation. 
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Mesu Andrews does an excellent job of drawing the reader back in time to the days of the Old Testament Bible.  As you read her descriptions you not only can see the images but also "taste", "smell" and "touch" in your mind.  It is as if you are there walking the dusty path, eating luscious grapes or holding a woven garment between your fingers.  One word of caution:  because she does such an amazing job of putting you right in the scene this book may not be appropriate for younger readers.  She has some pretty graphic scenes of child sacrifice that are pretty brutal.  For older readers the literary craftmanship brings an intriguing and deeper understanding to the Bible characters' traditions, times and personal lives.  I was really touched by the description of the faithful witness the prophets and their families bore to hostile inhabitants of their land.  The way God led ordinary people to do amazing things for Him really captured my heart.

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Top Lists for 2017

I did not keep track of all the books I read in 2017. I repeat. I did not keep track of them.  So for the first time in years I have no idea how many I read. But I did read and considering the year, I feel like it was a lot.

These top categories have the book in no particular order.

Top Non-fiction books:

Image result for nothing to prove

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen


Image result for daring to prove by katie davis majors
 

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors


Image result for ann voskamp the broken way

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp

Image result for unseen by sara hagerty

Unseen by Sara Hagerty

Fiction Top Reads:

Image result for life after by katie ganshert
Life After by Katie Ganshert


Image result for true to you becky wade

True to You by Becky Wade



To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander


And A NEW top list....Podcasts!

Image result for tapestry empowered to connect podcast

Tapestry Empowered to Connect

Image result for the next right thing podcast

The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman
Image result for happy hour Jamie Ivey

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

All Things New by John Eldredge




From the publisher:


This revolutionary book about our future is based on the simple idea that, according to the Bible, heaven is not our eternal home--the New Earth is. As Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew, the next chapter of our story begins with "the renewal of all things," by which he means the earth we love in all its beauty, our own selves, and the things that make for a rich life: music, art, food, laughter and all that we hold dear. Everything shall be renewed "when the world is made new."
More than anything else, how you envision your future shapes your current experience. If you knew that God was going to restore your life and everything you love any day; if you believed a great and glorious goodness was coming to you--not in a vague heaven but right here on this earth--you would have a hope to see you through anything, an anchor for your soul, "an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God" (Hebrews 6:19).
Most Christians (most people for that matter) fail to look forward to their future because their view of heaven is vague, religious, and frankly boring. Hope begins when we understand that for the believer nothing is lost. Heaven is not a life in the clouds; it is not endless harp-strumming or worship-singing. Rather, the life we long for, the paradise Adam and Eve knew, is precisely the life that is coming to us. And that life is coming soon
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Eldredge presents the idea to us that without hope we really aren't living.  He examines the difference between presumptive optimism and true faith based hope.  Have you ever met someone who doesn't listen to your pain but glosses over it with statements of "joy, joy, joy".  Well John Eldredge does NOT do that.  He knows pain, deep pain.  He knows how it feels to have lost hope and be in a dark pit of dispair.  He has grieved!  He is real and not superficially smiling at us - his readers.  He shares very personal gut-wrenching stories from his own life and family.  He weaves these with stories of historical figures and people he's met personally.  He shares his own insights into how he believes God wants to join with us in this life's journey.  This book is not just a guide book to find peace but it is a book to help connect us with the Author of peace, joy, faith and hope.  You will meet God in these pages and because of that you will find the way to hope during times that seem unbearable.  

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz



From the publisher:

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth "Liberty" Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

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Laura Frantz is a writer that always makes me want to pick up her books.  The story plot interests me.  The covers to her book are beautiful.  However, I had trouble getting into this book.  It isn't anything wrong with the time period but instead I felt that the story didn't pick up enough to stay as engaged as I would like.

Readers who enjoy the American Revolution will want to check this book out because Laura Frantz always does her homework on the time period and it is still worth reading. 

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.