Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Woman's Guide to Hearing God's Voice by Leighann McCoy

From the publisher:
God is speaking, readers just need to learn how to listen. This is especially true during times of trial or heartache, when women need to be reassured that God has a plan. In A Woman's Guide to Hearing God's Voice, McCoy provides personal stories, biblical narratives, and wise insight to demonstrate how God is already active in every woman's life. It's just a matter of knowing what to look for. Women will not only be reassured of God's care, they will be challenged to take hold of God when their faith is shaken. Includes end-of-chapter discussion questions for personal or group use.


I first read Leighann McCoy's Spiritual Warfare for Women and it was very impactful on my spiritual life.  When I saw that she had another book I jumped at the chance to review it.  I am very glad and blessed that I did.  

I think a lot of people want to hear and audible voice from God, but Leighann directs us to the BIble as how we hear from the voice of God.  She specifically focuses on how to hear God in difficult times.  Throughout the book she uses Biblical accounts and personal narratives to show us ways in which God speaks to us through the struggles of life.  While she will write the Bible story in her own words she always gives us the passage where it comes from in the Bible and asks us to read the Biblical account on our own.  

At the end of each chapter is a section where the reader (or a group) can really get into the heart of the matter.  There is a section for personal reflections, discussion questions, and a Bible verse to memorize to keep as a treasure.  Whether you are reading this book by yourself or with a group these end sections will be a true blessing.  If you only read the book and skip these sections you will miss out on a personal connection with God and hearing His voice.  

Leighann writes in a way that invites you into the intimate details of her life as a true friend, but she will not only back on sharing harder lessons.  She is a true spiritual mentor and I can't wait to share this book with others.

I highly recommend this book and Leighann McCoy as an author.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

From the publisher:
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey. 
Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith. 
While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

Carrie Turansky is a new author for me and I enjoyed that her story focused not only on the main characters but created secondary characters that were engaging and interesting.  If you are into books that discuss the difference between the "upstairs and downstairs" of life in England then you will definitely enjoy this book.

I enjoyed reading Julia's character and how she really does try to live by the principles she teaches others.  Her character is led by her convictions as a Christian and even her romance will be governed by it.  I liked that Turansky did not make Julia quickly get married but instead allowed for time to develop their love.  This is more inline with Julia's character.

I enjoyed this book and will be look for more by this author.

I received this book free from Blogging for Books Multnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

City on Fire by Tracy Higley

From the publisher:
In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.
Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.
Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.


Tracy Higley writes very strong and somewhat modern women characters.  If you enjoy women who know what they wants and don't let themselves be pushed around by society then you will enjoy reading her books.

Ariella is one of those strong characters, and while her situation and story is less believable than some would enjoy, others may find her an enjoyable character.

Cato, for me was the more believable character.  His actions, and even his coming to the Christian walk was something that made sense as you could see his journey over the years even before this story started.

I chose this book because I enjoy historical fiction and wanted to know more about Pompeii.  Readers will enjoy the historical work that Higley has done for this book.  At her website there are pictures and a blog/journal where you can see Pompeii and her travels.  After reading the book, you will definitely want to see real pictures of the place.

I received this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

From the publisher:
In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate. 

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.


As a reader and reviewer one of my favorite things to do is read the author notes.  If you don't read them, you usually miss out on some great details.  Especially with Jody Hedlund.  In Rebellious Heart Jody has taken the lives of John & Abigail Adams and used parts of their lives to build this story.  While the novel does not follow their lives directly, parts of the story are directly related to the real lives of John & Abigail Adams.  What a rich historical read Jody Hedlund has given us!  

Besides the rich history Jody Hedlund masterfully weaves drama and romance through her book.  Neither the hero nor the heroine are perfect and their flaws are easy to see.  Yet, as you read and understand the times they lived in, you can better appreciate the risks they took that defied much of society at the time.

Jody deals with the beginning of the revolutionary movements and feelings of the colonies.  Skillfully she takes us to a world that was struggling with the idea of obeying the rulers, as the Bible asked them to, and yet realizing when the power was corrupt and to follow God not man.  I felt Hedlund did a great job of sharing the struggles of this time and helping us to see it with clearer eyes.

I highly recommend this book.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

From the publisher:
Darcy St. James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend undercover on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further. 

The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble. 

He'd love to just forget her--but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

This is the third book in the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey, but it can be read as a stand-alone.  I have not read any other books in the series and I was still able to really enjoy this book.  However, I think that based on reading this book, you will want to start with book one because you will really enjoy each book!

On the back cover a reviewer compared Dani Pettrey to Dee Henderson.  I have to admit that I agree with that.  Dani Pettrey had suspense and romance woven in so that you were on the edge of your seat reading as fast as you could to see what happened next.

There was also spiritual depth to the book that I greatly appreciated   While there was romance and drama a good portion of the drama and pain revolved around making the decision to surrender to Christ and accept Him as a personal Savior.  

I am glad I read this book and will definitely plan to read the rest of this series soon!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.