Saturday, November 22, 2014

Messy Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht



About the Book:

Messy Beautiful Love delivers an incredible testimony of grace that offers hope for today’s marriages and a spark for rekindling love.

Love gets messy.

Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up.

Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.

When you surrender your relationship to God, then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as He intended. This is the blessing of obedience.

Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. The cynical world says marriages don’t last, but God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible, it’s inevitable.

My Thoughts:

You'll find a lot of books these days that are honest about how messy marriage can get.  I mean, think about it.  Spending decades with the same person, only now what was once cute and quirky is now irritating and annoying.  Problem is, most of the books that declare marriage messy don't encourage you to remain in the mess.

"Messy Beautiful Love" kind of does just that.  Darlene admits her own messiness in her marriage and discusses how the mess came about.  But she doesn't stop there.  Instead, Darlene demonstrates how to turn the mess into a beautiful new kind of love.

The kind of love that goes the distance.

The kind of love that brings honor to God.

Not the kind of love that says "Suck it up and deal".  Nope, this isn't a manual on how to suffer in silence all for the glory of God.  Those books need to be removed from your shelf immediately, and replaced with "Messy Beautiful Love".

Darlene lives out her message and shares it with readers so they can see this "Messy Beautiful Love" in action.  We learn best by seeing a concrete example, and she is brave enough to allow us to watch her life as it unfolds with the message of the book.

I'll stick my neck out here and suggest that newlyweds could use a copy of this book as a wedding gift with a note that says "Read in case of emergency!" attached.  More marriages might be "Messy Beautiful Love" affairs if this gets out!

My thanks to my friends at Thomas Nelson for my copy in exchange for an honest review.  This may be the best book about marriage you'll read, so be sure to get a copy!

Happy Reading!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Out of the Dust by Avis Goodhart with Marti Pieper



About the Book:

“Don’t waste your pain,” says unlikely missionary Avis Goodhart. She didn’t – and neither should you.

Despite a background of childhood abuse, dyslexia, and marital infidelity, Avis took her first international mission trip at age fifty. The church, school, and orphanage she later founded in northern Peru, all products of both her pain and her radical obedience to the Lord, have brought thousands of others out of the dust.

This compelling story of an ordinary woman who serves God in extraordinary ways will challenge, inspire, and empower you to:

* Eliminate excuses from your life

* Recognize that in God’s kingdom, availability matters more than ability

* Allow your pain to produce – not prevent – your obedience

* Serve the Lord with the same abandon shown by one unlikely missionary

My Thoughts:

One of the hazards of being an avid reader is the desire to quick read.  So many books, so little time, you know?  But then God sends a book my way that causes me to pause, savor and ponder.  A book that could be read in a matter of hours, but instead takes me days to finish, because there is so much to digest.

A life-changing book.

That's the kind of book "Out of the Dust" turned out to be.  I was captured in the first chapter, mesmerized by the history of Avis Goodhart, and marveled by the work God was doing through the most unlikely of missionaries.

Along the way, as you discover Avis' story, you'll meet others that followed the call...and those stories are just as amazing.  Regardless of your views of women in ministry, set those aside and pick up "Out of the Dust".  You will be truly blessed, and quite possibly called to join Avis in God's work with the people of Peru. 

My thanks to my friends at Life Sentence Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review.  "Out of the Dust" is money well spent twice over: you get an inspiring book and all proceeds go to support Go-Ye Ministries!

Happy Reading!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Road Trip by Evan Nehring


About the Book:

Road Trip is the story of your journey through the big decisions of young adulthood. Many grads choose to leave their faith behind like a childhood fairy tale, only to realize later they’ve missed out on becoming who they were created to be. Road Trip is the vision of your own unique pathway – the one you were born to love.

This book will help you:

Deepen your faith with seven core values to guide you through the five big decisions of young adulthood.
Enhance your godly passion for dating, marriage, child-raising, and family life.
Strengthen your abilities to handle academics, worldview, and campus life.
Increase your career prospects with a road map to craftsmanship.
Expand your impact on your world!
 
Choose today to set out on a quarterlife cruise instead of a quarterlife crisis! Boost your courage and confidence as you head out on your next great adventure!

My Thoughts:

This is another one of those books I might have missed out on if I didn't write reviews for a living.  "Road Trip" is a treasure chest, packed with stories and experiences and truths that everyone needs in life, whether you're just embarking on your own adventure or you've hit a wrong turn along the way.

Evan begins with a killer introduction that will grab your attention immediately and have you nodding your head in agreement from the opening page. Then he dives in, asking the 'Five Great Questions of Life'.

The book divides into several sections, with each focusing on a particular aspect of our journey through life.  Questions are posed, such as 'what's my spiritual center?', 'what's my worldview?', and some basic questions such as 'how will I make a living?' and 'who will I spend my life with?".

Each section is jam packed with truth, wisdom, some soundbites you can gnaw on as you travel along in life, and some practical 'been there, done that' wisdom from fellow travelers.  Basically, if you're going anywhere in life (that would be all of us), you need this book.

Make it a companion to your Bible, and take both with you wherever you go.  "Road Trip" is more useful than Rand McNally ever dreamed of being (okay, I know I just outed my age there, but hey!).

My thanks to my friends at Aneko Press for my copy in exchange for an honest review.  "Road Trip" is highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NKJV Adventure Bible from Zondervan


About the Bible:

Ready for Adventure? Embark on a fun, exciting journey through God’s Word with the NIV Adventure Bible—now in full color throughout! Along the way you’ll meet all types of people, see all sorts of places, and learn all kinds of things about the Bible. Most importantly you’ll grow closer in your relationship with God.
Features include:
  • Full color throughout – makes learning about the people, places, and culture of the Bible even more engaging
  • Life in Bible Times—Articles and illustrations describe what life was like in ancient days
  • Words to Treasure—Highlights great verses to memorize
  • Did You Know?—Interesting facts help you understand God’s Word and the life of faith
  • People in Bible Times—Articles offer close-up looks at amazing people of the Bible
  • Live It!—Hands-on activities help you apply biblical truths to your life
  • Twenty special pages—Focus on topics such as famous people of the Bible, highlights of the life of Jesus, how to pray, and the love passage for kids, all with a jungle safari theme
  • Book introductions with useful facts about each book of the Bible
  • Dictionary/concordance for looking up tricky words
  • Color map section to help locate places in the Bible
  • Complete text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible
Recommended by more Christian schools and churches than any other Bible for kids!

My Thoughts:

There is no way I can add to the list of features available in this Bible, so I won't even try.  In fact, just knowing this is the most recommended Bible for children is the best endorsement.  So, what to say now?

I'm just old enough to remember what a children's Bible used to look like.  A painting of Jesus with long hair, surrounded by children embossed on the cover and wrapped around to the back.  A handful of full color illustrations depicting Bible stories such as Noah's Ark or Daniel in the lions' den...and kind of scary at that.

A dedication page filled in by either mom and dad or the Sunday School Director.  And that was about it.  Oh, and maybe some maps that no one ever talked about but provided mild entertainment during the hour long message.

Now, let's look at the "NKJV Adventure Bible" in that light, shall we?  No wonder it's the most recommended Bible for kids!  Not only does it have high appeal, but it's a Bible that encourages study and involvement with God's Word on a daily basis.

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Very highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dare U 2 Open This Book by Carol McAdams Moore



About the Book:

Draw It, Write It, Dare to Live It!

Dare U 2 Open this Book is not your typical 90-day devotional for guys. It’s an all-out open space for you to explore and learn more about yourself and your faith.

Get your mind thinking and your creative ideas flowing, turn your thoughts and emotions into dynamic doodles, fill in the prayer blanks, solve puzzles, and more.

Each of the short devotions includes a topic, quote, and Scripture summary, plus doodles, journal prompts, lists, puzzles, quizzes, fill-in-the-blank prayers, or other unique activities that explore Bible truths and ways to apply them—everyday.

Dare U 2 Open this Book challenges guys to follow Jesus.

Best. Idea. Ever.

My Thoughts:

So, yesterday I shared with you "Just Sayin'", a 90 day devotion for girls.  Maybe you, like me, were wondering..."hey, guys need a reason to get into the word, too!"  Well, fear not, reading buddy....Carol has a little something for them as well!

"Dare U 2 Open This Book" is written for guys, with readings that apply to the lives of young teens and boys, with appropriate activities included.  Again the readings are brief, but the activities that come with the daily devo are intended to drive the point home.

Topics are more male oriented, and so are the creative elements.  Again, may I just say...Best. Idea, EVER!  I love this book, and only wish I'd had a copy when my son was still in high school.

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Definitely recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Just Sayin' by Carol McAdams Moore



About the Book:

Write ‘em, Draw ‘em, Hide ‘em In Your Heart

Just Sayin’ isn’t your typical 90-day devotional for girls. It’s an all-out open space for you to explore and learn more about yourself and your faith. Prompts get your mind thinking, ideas flowing, and help turn your thoughts and emotions into dynamic doodles and so much more! Let that God-given gift of creativity shine each and every day!

Each of the short devotions is designed for girls just like you, with relevant topics, quotes, and Scripture, plus doodles, journal prompts, lists, puzzles, quizzes, fill-in-the-blank prayers, or unique activities. They explore Bible truths and ways to apply them—everyday.

Just Sayin’ challenges girls to follow Jesus every day.

Best. Idea. Ever.


My Thoughts:

May I just echo something here about this 90 day devotion book?

Best. Idea. EVER!  What a fun concept to help busy girls get more of God's Word into their hearts, heads and lives!  Every day is something new, and the readings are brief, but pack a spiritual punch.

Plus, the daily devo's activities help to take the Scripture and embed it into young, tender hearts.  Science has demonstrated that we learn and retain best when we read it, say it, and write it.

So there must be power in illustrating it, doodling it, and designing it as well, right?  And every day's devotion is new and fresh.  The page layouts really pop, and inspire fun instead of drudgery.  The reading is light, but the outcome can be astounding.

Imagine your daughter personalizing God's Word daily.  A beautiful thing, huh?  My thanks to my friends at Zondervan for my copy of "Just Sayin'" in exchange for an honest review.
Happy Reading!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Princess Cupcake Jones Won't Go To School by Ylleya Fields, Illustrated by Michael LaDuca




About The Book:

Award-Winning Princess Cupcake Jones Series Princess Cupcake returns! In this second book of the Series, she delivers a valuable message about facing fears of starting school.

With the same gentle, rhyming cadence and vibrant illustrations this captivating story helps children and their parents learn about sharing feelings, taking risks, and being supportive for new adventures.

All will delight and learn as Princess Cupcake finally begins her first day of school.
My Thoughts:

One of the many blessings of being a reviewer is the chance to read books I might overlook.  It's a huge publishing marketplace, and I still get pleasantly surprised now and then with a book I might have missed.

"Princess Cupcake Jones Won't Go To School" is one of those books.  Written for children, the story features a little girl named Cupcake, who happens to be a princess.  Royalty aside, she's like every other normal child.

Lots of children are afraid of new experiences, and I think going off to school tops the list.  Cupcake attempts just about everything to avoid going to school: faking sick, nothing to wear, and just plain hiding from her mom.

But mom is wise and experienced, and once she gets her daughter to school both Cupcake and the reader discover there's nothing to be afraid of.  School can be really fun!

My thanks to my friends at Belle Publishing for sending me my first "Princess Cupcake Jones" storybook in exchange for an honest review.  Definitely recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty


About the Book:

In the age of fingertip access to answers and a limitless supply of ambitions, where do we find the God who was birthed in dirt and straw?

Sara Hagerty found him when life stopped working for her. She found him when she was a young adult mired in spiritual busyness and when she was a new bride with doubts about whether her fledgling marriage would survive. She found him alone in the night as she cradled her longing for babies who did not come. She found him as she kissed the faces of children on another continent who had lived years without a mommy’s touch.

In Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Hagerty masterfully draws from the narrative of her life to craft a mosaic of a God who leans into broken stories. Here readers see a God who is present in every changing circumstance. Most significantly, they see a God who is present in every unchanging circumstance as well.

Whatever lost expectations readers are facing—in family, career, singleness, or marriage—Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet will bring them closer to a God who longs for them to know him more. What does it look like to know God’s nearness when life breaks? What does it mean to receive his life when earthly life remains barren? How can God turn the bitterness of unmet desire into new flavors of joy?

With exquisite storytelling and reflection, Hagerty brings readers back to hope, back to healing, back to a place that God is holding for them alone—a place where the unseen is more real than what the eye can perceive. A place where every bitter thing is sweet.

My Thoughts:

Oh, how I love this book!  Sara Hagerty has a way with words that is just pure mmmm...you can taste what she's saying, feel it wrap you up in a warm blanket, smell the essence of her phrasing..."Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet" is a multisensory experience.

As a believer and follower of Jesus, Sara had expectations and dreams for her life.  I've often felt the same way Sara did: belief plus obedience equals a good life, which is defined by getting what I want.  And since what I want isn't bad, unhealthy or immoral, God should deliver.

But we've learned that God doesn't always operate the way we think He should.  And an unfulfilled dream or wish doesn't mean He's fallen down on the job.  Instead, it means He's put great thought and care into our lives and He has the sweetest gifts waiting for us...

...it's just sometimes we have to learn to savor the bitter before we can truly taste the sweet.  This Sara learned as she struggled in a new marriage and waited for babies to come.  The beauty of Sara's book is that it isn't merely her story.

She has a way of making it our story.  We're all longing for something, waiting impatiently for our "reward" for faithfully following Jesus.  Sara shows us how God's math is better than our own one plus one equals two.

No....the Father's math is One plus one equals the unimaginable.  So if you've ever felt God didn't deliver on His promises, read "Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet" and allow God, through Sara, to help change your perspective.

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Highly Recommended.
Happy Reading!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Live Original by Sadie Robertson with Beth Clark




About the Book:

Seventeen-year-old Sadie Robertson—star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty and daughter of Willie and Korie Robertson—shares her outlook on life as she opens up about herself and the values that make her family what it is.

Sadie Robertson represents everything that a well-adjusted teenager should be, even while growing up in the spotlight on Duck Dynasty. She exhibits poise, respect for her family and friends, and a faith that influences her choices. Everyone wants to know how a family as eclectic as the Robertsons are raising such confident, fun, family-loving kids. With this book, Sadie sheds light on the values instilled by her family that make her the person she is.

Sadie lives by a simple list of principles that lead her to personal and spiritual growth and allow the relationships she has with her friends and family to flourish. These values include think happy, be happy; dream big; shake the hate; do something; and many more.

Living as a culturally relevant teen who loves God and her family, Sadie has become a role model for other teens and for parents who are eager to instill the same characteristics in their children.

My Thoughts:

I've read just about every book a Robertson has written; in fact, it was a book by Willie and Korie Robertson that got me interested in their reality show.  Because I've been such a fan of the books I can say with confidence that Sadie's story might be the most important one you read...and share.

You can hear Sadie's personality in her new book, "Live Original", which is in bookstores now.  With her rise to popularity even higher since appearing on "Dancing With The Stars", this release couldn't come at a better time.

As you read about her life growing up Robertson, the family values she lives by and watch her faith in action, you can't help but love Sadie.  She's real, she's honest, and she's relevant.  The stories she shares are filled with wisdom and heart, and she doesn't shy away from the tough topics.

Each chapter is packed with life experience and the Robertson faith and value system that Sadie lives by.  At the end of the chapter is a space for you to write your own thoughts on how to live an original life.

My thanks to my friends at Howard Publishing for a chance to read "Live Original" and offer an honest review.  This is a book I would love to purchase for every teen, and I wish was required reading in high school and even middle school.

Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Our Presidents Rock! by Juliette Turner


About the Book:

Did You Know …

John Quincy Adams owned a pet alligator?

Ulysses S. Grant received a ticket for riding his horse too fast down the streets of Washington, D.C.?

Gerald R. Ford briefly worked as a fashion model?
 
You are invited on a totally unique journey through presidential history with Juliette Turner, the National Youth Director of Constituting America. Through fun cartoons, quotes, great graphics, and Juliette’s quirky sense of humor, you’ll discover tons of fun new facts about the presidents of the United States and the role of the executive branch.

These aren’t just a bunch of old men in suits! Many of them were ordinary people like you who overcame trials in order to become America’s leader, and all of them entered the political arena with the goal of protecting the country they loved. Written for kids by a kid, Juliette’s passion and excitement breathes new life into American history and the role of one of the most powerful positions in the world.

My Thoughts:

Where was this book when I was in school??  Juliette takes dry history and breathes new life into the subject with her amazing (and heavy) book on our nation's presidents.  It's colorful, packed with info, and fun to read...and did I mention it's a heavy book?

"Our Presidents Rock!" comes along at the perfect time for our youth culture.  Students of all ages are engaging in the political process like never before, but too many of our citizens have no clue when it comes to our presidents of the past.

Juliette profiles each of our 44 presidents and she does it in a very accessible way.  Each president has his own section, complete with background on early life, which states voted for or against him, and some little known facts about his life.

Also included are some 'headlines' about major events taking place during that period in history, as well as sections highlighting political views and opinions held by the man in office.  Each president has so much information included you'll most likely use this book as a reference for years to come.

Perfect for today's students, "Our Presidents Rock" breaks all of the information down into fun sections with graphics, photos, and lots of trivia.  As a former educator, I am thrilled to have a copy of this book, and plan on sharing it with my grandchildren.

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copy of "Our Presidents Rock".  I'm thrilled to highly recommend this one...now I'm off to check out more from Juliette Turner!

Happy Reading!

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Making Marion by Beth Moran



About the Book:

She had been looking for somewhere to stay, but instead Marion Miller finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campground and, despite her horrible shyness, promptly lands herself a job.

Marion came to Nottinghamshire—home of Sherwood Forest—to discover her father's mysterious past, but all she has to go on is a picture of her father dressed up, it would seem, as Robin Hood.
Life on a busy campground challenges Marion's formerly controlled life—the pigs roam free, the resident chickens seem determined to thwart her, and an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Reuben.

Yet, Marion's would-be boyfriend Jake, and Reuben's stunning fiancée Erica, conspire to leave little room for Marion to daydream about the twinkling eyes of her rescuer . . . Will Marion ever find peace, and perhaps even love, among the pigs?

Including a large cast of memorable, colorful characters, Making Marion is an outstanding debut romantic comedy that touches on issues of identity and family with a natural ease.

My Thoughts:

"Making Marion" is a book that I'm afraid I would have overlooked had I found it on a bookshelf amid all of the other titles available to readers today.  While the cover illustration is whimsical and colorful, it doesn't give true testament to the story inside the pages.

Depth, warmth, humor and wisdom is what you'll find in Beth's debut novel.  It's billed as a romantic comedy, but the book is so much more than that.  This is a story about finding your place, knowing who you truly are and what you are capable of...and not stopping until you make your destination.

Yes, there is love.  Yes, there is some romance.  Mostly it's about Marion escaping from her home and the words that have wounded her for years to find out that what is said about us and to us isn't always true.  And knowing where you came from can be as or even more important than where you are going.

The faith element is there, but it's light.  And you'll find some mild language, one married couple who can't seem to keep their hands off of one another, and an excellent story of forgiveness.  I thoroughly enjoyed "Making Marion"...especially the lush setting!

Thanks to my friends at Lion Fiction for my complimentary copy of "Making Marion"...I probably would have missed out had you not sent me a copy.  And that would have been a tragedy.

Highly recommended...but with a caution about language.

Happy Reading!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Navy Seal Noel by Liz Johnson


About the Book:

A LETHAL REUNION

Abducted by a drug cartel, scientist Jessalynn McCoy's orders are simple—produce a deadly toxin, or be killed. Trapped with no options, she's desperate for help…she just never expected it from Will Gumble. The boy who let her down years ago is now a navy SEAL.

She trusts his skills, his experience. Yet trusting him is a struggle. Will's Christmas wish is to heal their damaged relationship and get them to safety. But time is running out and the stakes keep rising. Any mistake could mean the difference between facing the holidays together or apart forever.
 
Men of Valor: These navy SEALS were born to excel…!

My Thoughts:

When I received an email asking me to review Liz Johnson's newest novel, published by Harlequin in the Love Inspired Suspense line I was eager to take a peek.  I've read Liz's books before, and her stories never disappoint the reader.

Her characters are always multi-dimensional, and Jessalynn is no exception.  She's a strong woman at the top of her field in the sciences, but when she finds herself held captive, she needs someone to rescue her.

And there's no one better than her childhood friend, Will Gumble.  Liz gives him just enough strength to be believable as a Navy SEAL, but adds in just the right amount of humility and gentleness to make him the kind of man you want coming to your rescue.

The romantic element is also there, but isn't heavy handed or even the driving force behind the story.  Instead, Liz capitalizes on the suspense of the situation, pulling events from today's headlines and giving them a spin in her imagination and crafting a novel that will keep you flipping pages until you reach the end.

My thanks to Liz and my friends at Harlequin for my advance copy of "Navy Seal Noel" in exchange for an honest review.  Recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen by Francine Bryson


About the Book:

National pie champion, mom, homemaker, and self-proclaimed redneck, Francine Bryson won the hearts of bakers everywhere when she appeared on CBS’s The American Baking Competition and went on to become a finalist on the show. Known for her down-home Southern charm and sass (and for successfully pairing chocolate and peanut butter with bacon), Francine now shares her sought-after recipes and tips in her very first baking book.
“Here are the recipes and tricks I was taught by my Great-Granny, Granny, Nana, and Mama—the women who schooled me on the ways a Southern woman keeps a kitchen—and that I learned from twenty-plus years of competing on the baking circuit. Now you can bake up award-winning pies such as Upside-Down Apple Pie, fluffy Biscuits Like Nana Made, and irresistible treats like Soda Pop Cake and Classic Southern Lemon Bars—all so good they have made the rounds with the ladies at church, the bridge clubs, supper clubs, and mom groups for generations.”
—from the Introduction

My Thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of cookbooks, and I like to cook.  I wasn't a huge fan of the reality television show, but I enjoyed watching Francine and watching her.  Unfortunately, she did not win top prize...but obviously, that wasn't what was in store for her.

The recipes sound yummy and are very easy to follow.  Many include what Francine calls her "blue ribbon tips" on making things tasty and simple in the kitchen.  But what appeals to me about this particular cookbook is the story.

Everyone has a story to tell; few get to be heard.  Because of her appearance on the show, someone took a shine to Francine's story.  Her dream of having a cookbook made up of her family recipes came true.  And a dear friend kept a promise...

...Jeff Foxworthy knew she'd get her cookbook deal one day and he promised to write the foreword.  His words and Francine's story make "Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen" worth the price of the book.

The recipes are just icing on a very inspiring and delicious cake.  My thanks to my friends at Blogging for Books for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible, executive editors Phil & Al Robertson




About the Bible:

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 featuresnew stories and testimonials byPhil, the Robertson family patriarch, and his son Al, a pastor with more than 22 years of experience.Together they offer fresh wisdom onbiblical valuesand how everyday people can apply them to their lives.
 
Powered by relentless dedication to sharing the gospel and celebrating Christ’s kingdom, the Robertson familyhasbecomeinfluentialto 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 Thoughts:

Some of you may be thinking "Why in the wide, wide world of publishing do we need another Bible?"  Allow me to answer that (because the thought crossed my mind as well, and I am a well-known Bible junkie).

First and foremost, whenever God's Word is made available, His people need to rejoice.  But along those lines we need to consider the target audience here.  Yes, fans of the reality television show will most likely pick up a copy.

But what about fans who watch merely for the entertainment, and are drawn to something more?  What if, by watching the antics of Phil, Jase, Willie, Jep and Si people are exposed to the genuine love of Christ?

Those are the people I believe this Bible is most for.  People who fall in love with the Robertsons and the values they both stand for and live out in front of millions of people, who might never pick up a Bible for any other reason than this one thing:

It's called "The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible".  This about this: yes, we live in an age where you can find the Bible just about anywhere in any format for any price...even free.  That's not the point, and if that's the point you're trying to make...well, excuse me, but you're wrong.

And yes, this is a quality Bible, well crafted NKJV from Thomas Nelson (my thanks to them for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  I could tell you what you'll find within the pages, but let the back cover copy speak for itself.

What you'll find within the pages is the life-saving Word of God, meant for all people...especially, in this case, fans of 'Duck Dynasty.'

Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower



About the Book:

Twelve-year-old Andora ‘Andi’ Boggs and her new best friend Colin Carter couldn’t be more excited to attend the prestigious science camp at the local university in Killdeer, Ohio. Unfortunately, Discovery Camp’s curriculum appears to include much more than just chemistry and biology.

From day one, the university is plagued by a series of pranks—missing markers, loose crickets, and stolen scales. Campus security blames the mysterious janitor Polk, but even though Andi agrees he’s acting suspicious, she can’t believe the gentle old man would do anything illegal.

Then one prank goes too far and their chemistry professor is injured by an explosion in the lab, upping the stakes of the investigation. Andi and Colin must unravel the secrets behind the chemistry department and Polk’s dark past before danger closes the camp for good.

My Thoughts:

Every once in a while I get very upset with myself.  You see, this is the second book in the "Andi Boggs" series...and I missed the first one!  With no young children in my home, I felt I had lost my justification in buying tween and teen books.

But Amanda Flowers writes high quality fiction for all ages, and her 'juvenile' stories are just as enjoyable as her adult books.  "Andi Under Pressure" had me turning pages until the very end.  I thought since it was for younger readers I'd sample a chapter or two before bed last night.

Two hours later, I'd finished the book.  Yeah, it was that good!  This book has mystery, intrigue, interesting characters and a unique family dynamic.  Andi and her older sister Bethany live with an aunt who isn't used to having children.

And Andi lives next door to Colin, her best friend, who lives with his grandmother because his parents are doctors who are rarely home.  So the family aspect gets interesting, and can have a wide appeal to children who's homes aren't always ideal.

My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review.  I'm going to hunt down a copy of the first book in this series, and use the excuse that I'm saving the books for my 8-month-old granddaughter!

Highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Adventure Bible for Toddlers from Zonderkidz



About the Bible:

The Adventure Bible for Toddlers starts children ages 2-5 on the journey of a lifetime, teaching them about the Bible’s great stories and themes. It helps young children grow in their relationship with God using stories and art from the wildly popular Adventure Bible Storybook.

With ten beautifully illustrated and beloved Bible stories from the Old and New Testament, this sturdy padded board book will stimulate toddlers’ minds and fill their hearts with love for their heavenly Father.

My Thoughts:

What a wonderful way to introduce your little ones to God's Word!  The illustrations are vivid, full color images that depict the stories.  The words are easy to read and understand, and the stories leave plenty of room for questions from your toddler or preschooler!

I love God's Word...in fact, I've been called a Bible junky!  I'm always eager to check out the newest translation or the latest format.  So I'm excited to see a Bible that has chunky pages for little fingers to hold and little teeth to 'feast on the Word'. 

The design is sturdy, with a heavy duty binding that allows the pages to hold without being too heavy for the tiny fingers to grasp.  I have a granddaughter who just turned 8 months, and this is the perfect first Bible for her.

With Christmas around the corner, put the "Adventure Bible for Toddlers" on your list.  This is ideal for church nursery or for the 2-4 classroom.  My thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Highly recommend!

Happy Reading!

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker



About the Book:

Almost every day, one of Amy Julia’s children says something or asks something that prompts her to think more carefully: “What ‘lasting’ mean?” William wonders when he hears a song about God being an everlasting God. "If the children who died went to heaven, then why are we sad?” Penny asks, when she passes by a funeral for a victim of the Sandy Hook shootings. "I don't wanna' get 'tized!" says Marilee about baptism.

These conversations deepen her relationships with her children, but they also deepen and refine her own understanding of what she believes, why she believes it, and what she hopes to pass along to the next generation.

Small Talk is a narrative based upon these conversations. It is not a parenting guide. It does not offer prescriptive lessons about how to talk with children. Rather, it tells stories based upon the questions and statements Amy Julia’s children have made about the things that make life good (such as love, kindness, beauty, laughter, and friendship), the things that make life hard (such as death, failure, and tragedy), and what we believe (such as prayer, God, and miracles).

Amy Julia moves in rough chronological order through the basic questions her kids asked when they were very young to the more intellectual and spiritual questions of later childhood. Small Talk invites other parents into these same conversations, with their children, with God, and with themselves.

Moving from humorous exchanges to profound questions to heart-wrenching moments, Amy Julia encourages parents to ask themselves—and to talk with their children about—what matters most.

My Thoughts:

It's no secret: I love books and I adore authors.  One of my favorite things in life is to share my love of books...especially when I stumble upon a gem.

This book, "Small Talk", is a priceless gem.  Please, don't miss out on this book.  I'm so grateful to my friends at Zondervan for the opportunity to have the chance to read this one.

Amy shares openly about the good, the not so good, and the oh-I-wish-I-hadn't-done-that in her life and in her family.  The stories she tells involving her three children are both humorous and precious, and packed with truth and wisdom that only the very young can possess.

What makes this book so wonderful and gives it such value is this: Amy is a wordsmith.  She carefully selects the words she uses to express her ideas, to craft her stories and to drive us to think more deeply, to be more sensitive to our loved ones and our Father in Heaven, and her insight is just...well, it's just divine.

I loved every page of this unexpected treat, and this is one of those books that make me wish I was independently wealthy and had the ability to purchase copies for every mom, every grandma, every auntie...every woman.

We need this book.  We need more books that are as deeply thought through and so exquisitely expressed.  YOU need some "Small Talk" in your life...

Again, my thanks to my friends at Zondervan Publishing for my complimentary copy of "Small Talk".  You'll be able to purchase your copy on October 28th...or you can pre-order a copy now!


Happy Reading!

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