Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Grace Revealed: Finding God's Strength in Any Crisis(Broadstreet Publishing Group, January 2018)

Grace Revealed: Finding God's Strength in Any Crisis(Broadstreet Publishing Group, January 2018)
Trust in the unmerited gift of God's grace

You can't escape the inevitable crises that will face you throughout your lifetime. Whether it's health problems, emotional issues, career challenges, gut-wrenching losses, or other failures, these experiences can destroy your morale and lead you into despair. Some crises may be a result of your own choices, while others may be completely out of your control. Whatever the source, there is a lasting solution that comes to you free of charge from above: God's amazing grace.
In Grace Revealed, you will:
-Experience real-life stories of others who discover they are not alone and that relief is within their grasp.
-See how devastating afflictions can be overcome through faith in Jesus and His love, mercy, and grace.
-Learn how God's grace transforms lives and leads you into enduring and rewarding Christian service.
-Be inspired to encourage others who are suffering but cannot seek help on their own.
Read these undeniable, modern-day examples of God's loving grace and its transformative power, and discover that God is always present in your time of need.


Fred Sievert is a speaker, author, and former president of New York Life Insurance Company. Following his early retirement at age fifty-nine, Sievert attended Yale Divinity School and received a master's degree. Sievert remains actively engaged in his greatest passions, which include speaking and writing about his faith, mentoring young executives, and serving as a lay leader of his church and on the boards of several organizations with missions well-aligned with his beliefs and values. Fred and his wife have five grown children, three grandchildren, and reside in East Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Find out more about Fred at https://www.storiesofgodsgrace.com.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe Party and Prize Pack Giveaway

I'll be honest; I expected this book to be a "good-feel" Christian read that I would enjoy, and I assumed I already knew how it would go. But the book delivered in a way I did not anticipate nor expect. And that is a fantastic thing, because Rhonda Stoppe has managed to put together a page turner that is complex yet easy to understand. Honestly, I don't know exactly how to best describe the book. It gives authentic stories of marriages but manages to avoid the "same old, same old" feel that so many books on marriage hold--while those other books are great resources, Stoppe has added a personal element that just makes her book unique. Strength. Determination. Redemption. Fortitude. Tragedy. Patience. Renewal.Family. Loss. Gain. Joy. Salvation. Hope. The book shares the complexities of marriage & relationships in a way that lets you appreciate so very much how God truly DOES make beauty from ashes, carries us through every trial and tribulation, and continually gives us chances to have a solid, joyous marriages regardless of our situations and circumstances.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.

Do you believe in true love?
In a world of broken relationships and hurting people, it can seem like all we ever see is heartache-that marriages are doomed from the start and romance isn't worth the risk.
But heart-fluttering, long-lasting love is all around us...we just have to look for it!
This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Page after page, you will find inspiration to
-rekindle the romance in your love story
-trust in God's providence and timing
-faithfully hope for your own happily-ever-after
-celebrate true romance
-believe in life-long love
Don't let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people-knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.
About the Author:

Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. With more than 20 years of experience as a pastor's wife, mom, mentor, author, and speaker, Rhonda uses humor and honest communication to help women build No Regrets Lives. She and her husband live their real-life romance in northern California, and have four grown children and eight grandchildren.
Find out more about Rhonda at http://www.rhondastoppe.com.

Whether you're single and looking for a reason to believe in love or a parent watching your own child fall in love, Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe will inspire you to believe in life-long love. This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Don't let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people-knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.

Join Rhonda and other real-life romancers on March 6 for a Facebook Live party, plus enter to win the Make Your Own Real-Life Romance prize pack!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of Real-Life Romance
  • A $50 restaurant gift card
  • A $25 movie gift card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6. The winner will be announced at Rhonda's Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rhonda and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sacred Rest by Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD {Book Review}

My new year started off with new pj's I bought for myself, a special Starbucks tumbler from my brother, and a book to read & review--Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew your Energy, Restore Your Sanity by Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD. I had no idea how much insight, clarity, comfort, assurance, education and challenge I would discover within the pages of this book. Dalton-Smith writes from a place of personal insight; not merely as a physician, but as a woman who has struggled with finding balance in her own life. Dalton-Smith doesn't shy away from the fact she is a Christian, and she shares Biblical truths that have strengthened her. It is clear she desires for her book and God's words to bring strength and encouragement to others as well.

The book begins by defining rest, and also showing specific areas where our rest can be found (and also depleted). Answering some questions lets the reader discover his or her own key area. Each detailed chapter brings great insight and understanding. As the book progresses, the reader discovers how various things are gifts to our bodies, minds, and emotions. By accepting those gifts (boundaries, reflection, art, & faith to name a few), it opens wide the realization that we can choose our best life. I have already recommended this book to the women in my small group, and I pray it is a book that will be a life-changer for many people.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.

About the book:

Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested- there's a challenge.
How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In Sacred Rest, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.
Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. Sacred Rest combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.
By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, Sacred Rest gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.

About the author:

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women's Day, Redbook, and First For Women magazine. She is the author of "Set Free to Live" and "Come Empty" (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist). She is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and a repeat keynote speaker at their annual gathering. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person.
Find out more about Saundra at http://ichoosemybestlife.com.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Imperfect Justice {Book Review}

Imperfect Justice is a fantastic legal thriller. The storyline builds its complexity from a very common yet very rarely explored topic--domestic violence. The storyline sets up when attorney Emilie Wesley is trying to help Kaylene Adams leave her abusive husband....but who exactly is the victim & who is the perpetrator when Kaylene appears to have killed her daughter & then committed suicide? 

Emilie struggles with what her role is in the situation, and her feelings become even more mixed when her boss tells her to stay out of the investigation while Kaylene's brother Reid asks Emilie for help in proving Kaylene didn't commit suicide or murder. 

The character development is pretty solid, and the additional tension that comes from the undercurrent of minor storylines adds depth to the book, too. This was an enjoyable, quick read (if you get the chance to sit and read it in a couple of sittings!) & I look forward to reading more books by Cara Putman. **Note: this is the second book in the series. I haven't read the first book, but plan to go read it and can also say the book I just read stands alone nicely.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

Imperfect Justice (Thomas Nelson, December 2017)
The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they?
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

Cara PutmanCara Putman is the author of more than 25 legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at 16, college at 20, completed her law degree at 27, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Wonderful Story Bible!

As a mom of 6, a children's ministry volunteer for most of my teen, college, & early married years, followed by 14 years (and counting) of vocational children's ministry, I have owned and read many children's devotionals. The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible has just become my favorite story Bible for young children--if I could give it more than 5 stars, I absolutely would do so. The illustrations are large, with a bright color palette. The stories are simple, yet full of clarity and truth. The stories present God's Word, connect the points to our own lives, and then ask a question making it even more personal for our children. I have really enjoyed reading this to my 5 year old son and 3 year old daughters, and have had our reading match what they have been learning in church. I think slightly older children will really enjoy reading this on their own, too, as the typeset is big enough for a grade schooler to see and understand. If you are looking for a great Christmas, birthday, or child dedication gift, I highly recommend this book.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible(New Growth Press, November 2017)
How do you explain the gospel to toddlers and preschoolers?
Often adults are stumped, but Jared Kennedy’s focus on the promises of God makes the gospel come alive to the littlest hearts. Through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, The Beginner’s Gospel Story Biblehighlights God’s perfect promises. Every page pops with bright colors, playful illustrations, fun learning opportunities, and, best of all each story points children to Jesus.
Kids know the value of a promise. Through the gospel, our good and all-powerful God keeps his word and fulfills his promises to us better than we could have ever thought or imagined!
In The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, author Jared Kennedy traces God’s perfect promises through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, retold in simple and compelling ways with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. Each gospel-centered story highlights God’s tale of redemption through Jesus and the unexpected and surprising ways that God’s grace and mercy are revealed throughout the Bible. Children will hear the good news of God’s love for them clearly expressed in ways that will speak to their young hearts. Brightly colored illustrations highlight the stories and add fun teaching elements of counting, opposites, patterns, and object recognition to keep even the youngest child’s attention. Every story also ends with a question that parents and caregivers can use to further reinforce the message.
Through reading this book one chapter at a time to your children—or letting them read it to you!—even the youngest kids will come to know that God’s promises are especially for them, and that God always keeps his promises.
Jared KennedyJared Kennedy, MDiv, ThM, is the husband to Megan and the father of three girls—Rachael, Lucy, and Elisabeth. He serves as Pastor of Families at Sojourn Community Church—Midtown in Louisville, KY and as children’s ministry strategist for Sojourn Network. He blogs regularly at gospelcenteredfamily.com and is also the coauthor of "Leadership Mosaic" and two VBS programs, "Proof Pirates" and "Clap Your Hands," "Stomp Your Feet."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Woman Overwhelmed {Book Review}

This book is a light-hearted yet thought-provoking women's devotional/autobiographical/study. I think it would be a great book for new Christians or women who are still trying to figure out what a relationship with a personal God looks like. It's also a nice book for the 'seasoned' Christian, as it provides a refreshing and fun look at insights that too often fall into a rote 'Christianese'. I enjoyed having someone so honestly discuss life as an overwhelmed woman and what it means to turn that over in total surrender to being filled by God and allowing him to have your complete heart.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life (Abingdon Press, August 2017)
“A Woman Overwhelmed” is a phrase with which many women can relate.
But what would happen if we could see the insanity in our pace and embrace our overwhelming God?
There is a reason they say that a woman’s work is never done— because it isn’t! As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed . . . not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.
In A Woman Overwhelmed, best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.
Be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is—by learning to focus on what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. For it is when an overwhelmed woman gives up the mission of me and exchanges it for the mission of God that being overwhelmed becomes a good thing.
Choose to bask in the abundance of the Father instead of the abundance of life as his unfathomable depths can surely replace our fathomable messes.
Hayley DiMarcoHayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than 40 books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, "The Fruitful Wife," "Obsessed," "Die Young" and "Own It." As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world's appetite for truth, DiMarco speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention and MOPS International. Hayley and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs.

The Gift-another great book by Shelley Shepard Gray {The Amish of Hart County book 3}

The Amish of Hart County series continues to be a winner for both Gray as well as her readers. Even though this is a series, each book stands very much on its own; The Gift is no exception, as anyone could read this and be fully drawn into the storyline without any confusion or missing information. The Gift is great in the way it looks at how finances and hardships affect even the Amish. The main storyline revolves around the Vance family, who had to sell their beloved farm, and the Schwartz family, who was able to buy the farm at a very reduced price. One family feels they have lost everything, the other feels they have gained the world. The complexities of the novel take place when the reader sees how the children within each family--specifically Neil Vance and Susanna Schwartz--are affected by the hurt, confusion, jealousy, and rejection that surround the farm transitioning from one family to the other. The tension increases when misfortune & accidents keep befalling Susanna and her family. The plot continues to weave through the various aspects of Neil & Susanna's relationship, has very solid secondary characters, and keeps the antagonist a secret until the very end of the novel. It's a wonderful novel, and I look forward to book number four!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to write a positive review.*

The Gift: The Amish of Hart County(Avon Inspire, November 2017)
A special Christmas story about love and blessings in the next book in the Amish of Hart County series
The Schwartz family is happy to be spending Christmas on their new farm in Hart County. But when Susanna Schwartz hears gunshots that causes her buggy to overturn, and then her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into the icy creek, it becomes clear from these dangerous “accidents” that someone wants them gone.
Neil Vance has been heartbroken ever since his parents lost their family farm. He knows it’s not the Schwartz family’s fault, but he can’t help but be resentful. Until he meets Susanna. She is kind-hearted and bold, and Neil can’t stop thinking about her pretty green eyes.
Neil thinks the accidents are just that, but Susanna’s father is convinced the Vance family is responsible. Susanna refuses to believe Neil would do anything to harm her. She’s fallen in love with him and knows he is a good man. But her family is ready to pack up and move, and time is running out to uncover the truth before someone gets hurt . . . or worse.
Shelley Shepard GrayShelley Shepard Gray is a "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.