Thursday, June 15, 2017

Stepping on Cheerios

Stepping on Cheerios
Betsy Singleton Snyder
31386510
Being a mother can be messy, hard, difficult, discouraging, and lonely. But it's beautiful, rewarding, heartwarming, and the hugest blessing. As mother's we often long to have a deeper connection with God, but aren't sure where to start when everything is so busy and chaotic.

The author pulls from her own messy, but beautiful life as a mother to write an encouraging book to all the mothers who yearn for God amidst the Legos, Cheerios, and mess that is parenthood. She's also a pastor and I felt the spiritual elements woven through everything she talked about. Her writing style is humorous, often tongue in cheek, but always points to Jesus. She shares honestly as she talks about her struggles with four tiny boys - three of them triplets and a heart condition. I loved the authenticity of her writing. She told stories, but also brought home some powerful truths about motherhood and how God fits into our lives. I will definitely be looking for more books by this author.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Peace in the Valley

Peace in the Valley
Double S Ranch #3
Ruth Logan Herne
30684815
Trey owes his life to Sam Stafford. His uncle rescued him from filth and neglect when he was just a toddler. Then Sam adopted him. So the while the man he calls his father may not be the nicest person, Trey feels obligated to come back and help when his father is ill. Trey is the only one that didn't appear to lose his faith, even when his wife died. He's a well known and popular musician who doesn't seem to have let it go to his head. But when he shows back he makes a horribly bad first impression on Lucy, his neighbor, by crashing into her van. Now he must prove to her that all musicians are bad.

Loved this book. I've been waiting for the third book in the series to come out and am now sad that I've read the last of this family. While I think the book would work well as a stand-alone, I've read the other two so would highly recommend starting with them to get the full story. I loved how the author used broken characters and showed how God can use them for good. She made each character stand out in a unique way so I didn't get lost, despite the numerous people that came into play. The subtle yet strong elements f faith that were woven into the story were inspiring. The romance was sweet, clean and heartwarming. Loved this series and can't wait to see what the author comes up with next.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Jaguar

Jaguar
Painter Place Saga #3
Pamela Poole
34714842
Caroline is abruptly kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity. Her husband Chad is helpless to rescue her and both of them must put all their trust in a man who goes by the name of Jaguar. He also happens to be an old boyfriend of Caroline. Even if Caroline returns home with her life, she'll never be the same woman she was before her abduction. The author describes her books as having a inspiring Southern ambiance, due to the faith elements and southern location and feel to her books.

This was a very fast paced and thrilling story. The author had a lot of details and parts going on, but was clear enough with the plot and characters that I never felt lost. The characters were well defined and the plot flowed smoothly. This is the third book in a series, but I was able to read this book without having read the previous two. I would recommend picking them up first if you are able, as it will provide more of a backstory to some of the secondary characters that I felt was missing in this book. Overall, this was a suspenseful, heartwarming, and family filled story that I enjoyed.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Writing Desk

The Writing Desk
Rachel Hauck
33098667
Tenley wrote an amazing best seller. Her father and grandfather were also best selling authors. So with the deadline for her next book looming, Tenley must make up her mind, go to Florida to help her estranged mother or go to Paris with her boyfriend. She needs inspiration to remove her roadblock. What she finds is nothing like she expected. An old desk with a stuck drawer, a local carpenter who wants the desk, and renewed relationships help change Tenley in ways she never imagined.

I loved this book. The cover is beautiful and the story captivating. The writer was able to convey the feelings of the main characters and write descriptive scenery that made me feel as if I was living the story with Tenley. The emotions were authentic and sometimes raw, but added depth to the plot. The characters were flawed, but the reader comes away from the book with a sense of understanding, conviction, and thoughtfulness. I felt some elements of faith woven throughout the book, but they were subtle. The author did a great job of weaving two stories, set in different times together. It flowed well and felt seamless. I think anyone who enjoys thought provoking, real stories will enjoy the story of this young author as she deals with family, writer's block, and conviction. Overall, a book that captivated me and I couldn't put down. Can't wait for her next book.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Ruth

Ruth
Drawn in Bible Study
Eugene H. Peterson
Each of us can learn from the stories presented in the Bible. Ruth shows us that we can rely on God and hold on to His hope. The bible study guide is designed to show the reader that each and every person has a place in God's beautiful story. The author begins with an brief introduction and then a chapter on how to get the most out of this study guide. Then each chapter contains some coloring pages that go with the theme, discussion questions, and the scripture passages from Ruth that fit with the questions. There are also little notes and thoughts inserted throughout by the author. At the end of each chapter is a section called Until We Meet Again followed by a Prayer. The book is designed to be colored, written in, and made personal by the owner. It can be used in a small group setting or for personal devotions.

I really liked this study guide. For some reason the cover didn't thrill me, but once I opened the pages I really started to enjoy it. The color pages are detailed enough so they feel perfect for an adult. The questions are thought provoking and insightful. I also really liked the author's thoughts interjected throughout. Overall, this was a nice book that I enjoyed using. But I also think it would make an excellent gift.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Threads of Suspicion

Threads of Suspicion
Dee Henderson
32510809
 Evie is now part of the governor's Missing Persons Task Force due to her experience as an investigator. The team takes all of the missing person cases and divides up. Evie is partnerered with David Marshall. The two have separate cases, but soon find their cases intertwining in ways they never imagined. Evie somehow manages to juggle her boyfriend, new partner, current and new jobs, but is having a hard time making a decision that will impact her for the rest of her life. She knows that only her heavenly Father will be able to help her with this one.

I love this author's writing style. Ever had a bad day and the only thing you wanted to do was come home and get comfortable? This author is that comfort "food" or favorite shirt. I love diving into her books and not coming up for a breath. While her style of writing stays the same, her characters and plots are varied. This series seems to be a lot lower key and less suspense than her previous books were. I can see where some readers might prefer her other books more, but while I have loved every book she's ever written, I'm loving this new plot style. The books flows smoothly and quietly until you realize you are completely immersed in the story. Overall, I really enjoyed the book, despite the lack of suspense and look forward to the next book coming out.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Route 66

Route 66 Adventure Handbook
Drew Knowles
31920839
Route 66 is famous for it's history, unique attractions, and fascinating towns along the route. The author has created an updated version of this book that is out now to help travelers on their journey of exploration. The book lists some of the attractions, hotels, restaurants, and instructions on finding the route again should you lose it due to new roads and buildings. There are almost 100 maps included as well as numerous pictures. 

The book is incredibly detailed and full of history. Even if you never plan on traveling this road, it's worth the read just to learn such neat history about our country. I've traveled quite a bit of this road over the years and found the authors information to be spot on for the places I was familiar with. The little extras that he throws in throughout the book are a plus and add rich depth to what would otherwise just be a list of things to see and do. My only complaint was that the pictures were all in black and white. I would have preferred color, but realize this might increase the price of the book significantly. Overall, this is a book that I highly recommend if you enjoy traveling, history, small towns, and unique attractions.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Quiet Time

Quiet Time for Your Soul
5 Minutes with Jesus
Sheila Walsh and Sherri Gragg
31439098
There are so many things keeping us incredibly busy in our lives. But the mind and soul need a rest just like the body does. The authors have created short five minute devotionals to give our souls that rest they are craving. Each devotional starts with a little story that is then tied together with a spiritual thought. They sum up their thoughts with a quote and then give some scripture verses so the reader can spend time (5 min) in God's word.

First, the cover is beautiful and the designs have spread this look through out the book. Loved it. 
I've read books by Ms. Walsh before and so knew I would enjoy this devotional. There is humor, entertaining stories and antidotes, and lots of thoughtful messages that brought me closer to God. I enjoyed the extra scripture verses that were at the end of each chapter. This is a great book for those quiet moments when you don't have a lot of time or are traveling and don't want to carry all of your study things with you. It would also make an excellent gift.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The View through Your Window

The View Through Your Window
Finding God's Vision for Your Family
Martha and Greg Singleton
31869432
 God has a vision for your family. It isn't going to be the same for every family. So dive into this book and let the authors walk you through how you can find out what God's vision is and where your family can go to be a blessing to others and grow in Him.
The book is divided up into four parts - Clearing Your Vision, Looking in Your Window, Looking Out Your Window, and Making Vision Work. The authors walk the readers through each step and include stories throughout each chapter to supply examples. At the end of each chapter is a Focus section that asks questions that steer the reader to getting a more personal feel about their family and how the chapter applies to them.
 
I really enjoyed this book. It was well presented, thought provoking, and inspirational. The authors did a great job of combining stories with practical advice and wisdom that really helped me apply the principles to my own family. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to give their family purpose and a vision for the future.
 
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Touch

The Touch
Randall Wallace
11517652
Dr. Andrew Jones, a gifted surgeon, suffered a horrible tragedy. Now he works in the ER and teaches. But he refuses to do another surgery. Several years have passed and a Ms. Lara Blair is asking him to join her biomedical engineering company. She and her team are developing a special set of robotic hands that do not shake for difficult brain surgery. But they need a human hands to model the robot after. Dr. Jones clearly the surgeon for the job. But Ms. Blair can't seem to convince him to join her company.

The book started off with the touching tragedy and then moved on to the current time. When I started the book I had the thought that this book was going to profoundly affect me. The author had the characters expressing some deep and contemplative thoughts. But about half way through the book it took a slightly confusing turn and ended very cheesy and predictably. So while I absolutely loved the first half, I'm still not sure what to think about the last half. Overall, I would have to say I enjoyed the story and definitely enjoyed the spiritual thoughts and process of the characters and their lives. So if you enjoy medical stories, romance, and thought provoking spiritual thoughts than you might enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book by Tyndale. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Everyone Loves Sex

Everyone Loves Sex So Why Wait?
Bryan A. Sands
31869439
The author, a pastor, takes a psychological, sociological, and spiritual look at why sex is so appealing to us and why it's best to wait until marriage to have sex. The book is set in an almost conversation tone that speaks to the reader from where ever they are at in the sexual journey. He explains the important role that sex plays in our lives and how these experiences color our view of the world outside of the bedroom. He shares stories from his experiences as a counselor and shows the results of various studies that have been done on sex. At the end of each chapter is a discussion guide.

I actually enjoyed reading this book. It wasn't dry and boring. The author did a great job of mixing stories with the facts that he was presenting. The book has an obvious faith element that is woven throughout the book. I'm not sure what the target audience is, but I do feel that it probably wouldn't appeal to most teenagers. Even though I've been married for 20 years, I feel like I learned some new things about how our minds work and how we can best tend to our marriage. I would recommend this book to anyone in the 20s or older, to people who are looking to get married, or to those who are later in life and wondering about the effects of sex on their lives.

I received a copy of this book from Goodreads. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

On Another Note

On Another Note
Noted #2
Kathy J. Jacobson
30171821
This book picks up where the last book left off (presumably, since I didn't get to read the first one). It starts with Jillian, a housekeeper, almost leaving her place of employment and the little cottage behind the house that she calls home. John, her employer, has finally decided to let Jillian into his heart despite the heartache that he's experienced.

Could not get in to this book. I think it might be in part because I didn't read the first book. The books are set up like a continued story and I didn't realize that. The story line flows more like I'm reading a script that hasn't yet had the best actors picked out. So there are large portions of it that feel stiff or don't have any emotion attached. I couldn't get a feel for the characters and the plot was just a list of what was happening. I couldn't get pulled in, no matter how hard I tried. I'm sure that this story will appeal to someone, but it just wasn't me.

I received a copy of this book from Goodreads. All thoughts expressed are my own.