Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stumbling Into Grace

Stumbling Into Grace
Lisa Harper

This book is a thought provoking, sometimes funny look at how God is always "there" for us. It reads a bit like a devotional with questions for study at the end. So it could easily be used as a women's group study book.

Lisa starts out each chapter with a quote that relates to the topic. Then the devotional starts out with "So, today I've been thinking about. . ." It's casual and personal, as if you are sitting there talking with the author. She deals with fear, abuse, mistakes, gifts, spiritual growth and many more.

I enjoyed this book. I know that God loves me. I don't suppose I need another book to tell me that. But sometimes a person just needs to be reminded or to look at something from a different angle to get our minds out of a rut. This book does that for me.
One of the sentences that spoke to me was in the chapter on friendships and family.

"Such is the gift of a true community-a wee tribe of people who will cheer for us, not necessarily because we're good, but because they claim us as theirs. Jesus gives us the gift of true community."

A truly beautiful way of looking at our Saviour and His gracious, redeeming love for us.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Only a couple more days until I pick a winner. So if you are interested in a free book, 
check out this blog post and make a comment for a chance to win. 
On Monday, I'll randomly draw a winner.

Isadora Daystar

Isadora Daystar
Loni Emmert & P.I. Barrington 

This is a sci-fi book that begins with Isadora. She's homeless, ex-military, and addicted to drugs. There are only a few things she's capable of doing to feed herself and her addiction. Most of them are unmentionable. Killing people is one of them. She's sent to kill a man in exchange for money and drugs. She completes the kill, but when she returns to collect her pay the building is vacant. So she steals some things she thinks she might be able to sell. Her life begins a downward spiral that's even worse than before. It doesn't matter what planet she lands on bad things seem to happen to her. She picks up a young girl, an orphan, and together they try to find their way back home, wherever that might be.

I'm just delving into the sci-fi genre, so I don't have much to base this book on. But I really enjoyed reading it. I felt so sorry for the character. There is so much negativity in her life that it doesn't seem possible to ever have a better life. And yet the reader is given glimpses that show she still has a heart and a will, however feeble, to change.
I was surprised to see subtle references to God and His impact on our lives. At first I thought it was just a reference to past civilizations and their antiquated ideas. But then in the end it again mentions God's redeeming quality. I'm not sure if this puts it into the Christian genre, because like I mentioned, it's very subtle. But it is there and I liked that unexpected part of the story.
A great read and one that made me glad to be reading another sci-fi.

I was given this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Secret of Lies

The Secret of Lies
Barbara Forte Abate

This book begins with a young girl named Stephanie. She and her sister spend every summer with their aunt and uncle at a beach house. But one summer everything goes wrong and they never return. Stephanie feels guilty for what she feels is her part in the wrong that happened. The story ends with her as an adult and how she resolves the issues of guilt and the memories of the past.

I really enjoyed this book. It actually surprised me. This book would probably be considered an indy book, so I'm sorry to say, I wasn't expecting much. But I was very pleasantly surprised. Although not a book I would have picked for myself, I found it very griping right from the beginning. The author has a way of writing that feels like poetry, drawing you into the story with the beautiful descriptions and a feeling of belonging that all good authors have.

My only complaint would have been with how the story ended. I'm a sucker for a neat and wrapped up ending and this left me with some questions. But if it had been wrapped up neatly it wouldn't have felt true to the book and how it was written.  So it's only for my own sense of curiosity and not a flaw of the book.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Canary List

The Canary List
Sigmund Brouwer

The book begins with a young girl, Jaimie, scared and running from something she defines as "Evil". She takes refuge in a teacher's home, thus thrusting him into her world of demons and conspiracy.
The book reads a lot like a Dan Brown book. In fact, it was mentioned that what had happened was a bit like a Dan Brown book.

The book was a very fast read for me. I couldn't put it down. The webs of deceit and lies were so interwoven that at times I felt like the main character, Crockett Grey. He was often pulled along without any clue where he was going or why he was there. But in the end it was all explained to him, with a twist.

I've never been into the seemingly "popular" idea of Catholic bashing. I know that they have some serious problems in their church, but it feels a bit like the plank vs. splinter parable in the Bible for me to say anything against someone when I have problems I need to overcome in my own life. That being said - if you are Catholic you probably won't enjoy this book. If you are a Dan Brown fan or Catholic hater, you'll love it. I chose to ignore the fact that it shed a rather bad light on the Catholic church and enjoy the book for the excellent story line and suspense.

I really enjoyed this book. And the writer was genius to throw in that last confusing twist to unsettle everything you thought you now knew about the book. I'll definitely be reading more of his books.

I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook Press in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I received an extra book from the publishing company again.
If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment.
On Monday, August 1, I will randomly draw a winner and announce it here on the blog.

The book is Dinner With A Perfect Stranger
by David Gregory

You may read my review here.

Life Support

Life Support
An Alexia Lindale Novel
Robert Whitlow

This is the second Robert Whitlow that I've reviewed. I chose this book because I enjoyed the first one and wanted to see if all of his books were as good.
The story is about a guy who is pushed from a cliff by his wife and amazingly survives. But he's paralyzed, in a coma and has a very slim chance of living if taken off the ventilator. 
His wife is wanting to pull the plug and his dad (for reasons of his own) is wanting to keep him alive.
Alexia Lindale is the lawyer hired by the wife. She is really the main character in the book and over the coarse of time realizes her need for Jesus.

The book had a great story plot and seemed to flow well for the most part. I DID notice quite a few spelling and grammar errors. Some of them actually made me read the sentence twice trying to figure out what point was being made. The part with her visiting the minister and realizing her need for Christ seemed a bit fake and unreal. Perhaps other people can change their entire outlook on life and God this quickly, but it seemed a bit stilted. Just my opinion.
The book ends rather abruptly with several things left hanging. I'm not sure if the writer wants the reader to use their imagination or if the rest of the story will be continued in another book since this is part of a series. But reading the book alone left me very unsatisfied with the ending.
I received this book from Booksneeze free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dinner With a Perfect Stranger

Dinner With a Perfect Stranger
David Gregory

This book is about a guy who receives an invitation in the mail to dine with Jesus at a local Italian restaurant. He's not particularly religious and thinks it's a joke by one of his friends. But he decides to go and is amazed to find a perfect stranger who knows everything about him and can answer his difficult questions.

The book is a bit different from what I was expecting. I thought it would be more "fluffy" with a main message about how wonderful salvation is. But it actually went into quite a bit of detail about why other religions just aren't working or logical. While humanity is flawed, the gift of salvation is not.
It was presented in a way that I enjoyed reading and  I was surprised to actually gain a different perspective on God and how He interacts with us.
It was a great book and one that I will share with others.

I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook Press in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

water's edge

water's edge
Robert Whitlow

The book begins with Tom losing his dad, his job and his girlfriend almost all at once.
He returns home to settle his father's estate and becomes involved in a mess. 
It involves mystery money, unsettled estates, murder and trust issues.
He doesn't know who to trust and comes very close to losing everything.
Yet amidst all of the deceit and evil he finds Someone who's honest and faithful.

I really, really enjoyed this book. I usually notice errors (spelling or grammar) and bad writing. This book either didn't have any or I was to involved in the story to notice. There was suspense, unexpected twists and a great plot. I became so wrapped up in the story  that I didn't notice anything going on around me.
The spiritual aspect was also refreshing. Sometimes a book reads as if the author is simply putting phrases and thoughts into a book to make it "Christian". This author has experienced God in a real and personal  and it shows.
I've never read anything by this author before, but will definitely be buying more of his books.

I received this book free of charge from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Life, In Spite of Me

Life, In Spite of Me
Kristen Jane Anderson
with Tricia Goyer

Kristen tells the story of her depression and attempted suicide. After losing her legs she struggles to regain her life again and find purpose. Why did God let her live? Why is she still here?

The book is written in first person and gives an in depth look into what prompted her to try and take her life. She doesn't hold back in talking about what she was dealing with and how she slipped so many times on the road to recovery, both mentally and physically.

She included little notes to people who might be struggling with some of the same issues she was dealing with. It's things she wished that someone had talked to her about. The book also includes resources to help someone who is suicidal.

I really enjoyed this book. It made me take a closer look at how I interact with those around me. Would I have noticed she was depressed? Would I be willing to step outside my little world enough to help someone? Once the author realized that God was the reason she was alive she was willing to tell her story and share her pain so that someone else might be helped. This was inspiring.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone with teenagers.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.