Friday, December 30, 2016

The Alliance

Title:  The Alliance
Author:  Jolina Petersheim
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 
Let me start by saying the sequel will be released spring of 2017 titled, The Divide.  When the area where Leora lives is interrupted by a plane crash, readers will see that is just the beginning!  What follows is tale of two vastly different cultures coming together in order to survive what is assumed to be an EMP attack that renders all electronic gadgets useless.  While this tends not to bother the Old Order Mennonite Community, it does disrupt the Englishers lifestyle greatly!
The pilot of the plane that crashed is sharing his ideas on how they can come together to share or pool their resources for survival.  No one knows for sure what has occurred or the lasting effects, but they know if they don’t do something, starvation will soon encroach up the community.  The elders quickly decide to form an alliance with the outsiders, leaving the protection detail to the Englishers and other chores to the Mennonites.
At first, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this type of novel, but there is where I was wrong!  I found it a riveting and suspense-filled story along with two men vying for Leora’s attention.  Even Leora isn’t sure who her heart is drawn more toward and her beliefs might be shifting due to the total change to their way of life.
While this is a totally different genre for me, the author did a great job of weaving an engaging tale where the characters are the focus.  The Mennonites are challenged in their beliefs and lifestyle while the Englishers don’t want to step on toes of the Mennonites and are trying to point out the danger the community now faces.  The tension at times is palpable and kept me turning pages for hours until I finished.  So, if you at one time were like me and bypassed a book thinking you wouldn’t like it, perhaps now you will pick up the book and enjoy!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Lavish Grace (Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing)

Title:  Lavish Grace (Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing)
Author:  Kathy Howard
Pages:  176
Year: 2016
Publisher:  New Hope
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 
Lavish Grace is a Bible Study for women birthed from the author’s life experience that showed her self-dependency was nothing and how much she needed God’s grace to even draw her next breath.  Kathy Howard takes women into the subject of grace drawn from Paul’s various letters.  She shares how not only Paul was affected, but others as well along with current experiences of people who come in contact with God’s grace.
Then, the author helps the women studying to look into their own lives and hearts to see how God wants to make Himself and His grace more real in their lives.  Each study begins with a short introduction via a story followed by a section called “Learning It” where we then delve into the Word of God.  Afterward, students then interact with a section called “Teaching It”, which delves even deeper into the bible passages mixed with author’s own personal learning experiences.  Next comes a section titled “Living It” where the author is so transparent in sharing her life learning experiences along with application questions.  The lesson then ends with “Grace Applied” where we read how others learned to draw upon the grace of God or are learning as well.  Following this are a few questions that help students take what God has shown them through the study and live it out from that moment on.
I found this to be a deeper study than I first thought and I find that very refreshing.  It isn’t a quick in and out type of study, but one that encourages followers of Christ to dwell in the Word, be transformed by the Word in order to be living examples of the Word.  Whether done for personal study or in a small group, I believe that many women will be encouraged and renewed to live for Christ.  Personally, I look forward to other studies such as this from either this author or others in the coming days!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Samuel

Title:  Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Samuel
Author:  J. D. Geear and others
Pages:  304
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Holman Reference
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
I have read other books in the series so I was looking forward to this newest addition.  The only drawback is in some of its explanations were too short and needed expounding.  If pastors, leaders, teachers, everyday people use these books, they will gain knowledge.  I hope they use these books as a launching pad.  What I mean is don’t allow these to be a means to an end, but a place to start to study.  Included are reflective or discussion questions that help facilitate a person’s spirit to look deeper or apply what they learned in a chapter.
In our society, we need leaders, teachers and pastors to use tools that help spur thoughts, questions or a starting point to begin digging deeper into the Word.  Our society needs more people who God can teach via The Holy Spirit how to dig deeper once they glean a basic understanding of 1 & 2 Samuel.  The book can be used like a commentary, but nothing replaces inductive study by a seeker of God.
As people of God we need books like this to help us grasp a starting point of a book whether Old or New Testament.  We need books like this that can be used in small groups and stir a longing in our hearts to want to know more, because then we know Him more!  Let’s be honest, we are all busy.  Please don’t let that deter you from putting time aside to study, read and grow in your walk with the Lord.  I struggle just like other people, but when this is used even with just two people it really sparks great desires to learn, grow and discuss Christ!  Consider gifting a copy to those around you this holiday season!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

: Inductive Bible Study (Observation, Interpretation, and Application though the Lenses of History, Literature and Theology)

Title:  Inductive Bible Study (Observation, Interpretation, and Application though the Lenses of History, Literature and Theology)
Author:  Richard Alan Fuhr and Dr. Andreas J. Kostenberger, Ph. D.
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  B & H Academic
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars!
What a time for this book to be published for anyone who wants to learn how to go deeper in their study of the Bible!  Please don’t let the long title or any of the title/subtitle turn you away from a very helpful tool!  Personally, I love studying using the inductive method as it really helps me grow closer to the Lord and understanding Him via His Word!
The authors do a masterful job of taking their time to explain each step in digging deeper to uncover what the Bible says to each person.  Take your time to learn each step and practice it, even consider doing so with a friend.  Study guides aside, this is the best way I know to really learn and remember what a book says about God, Jesus, The Spirit, faith, grace and much, much more!
Unlike other books of this nature that show various ways to approach the Scriptures, this one takes the reader by the hand and shows them how to do each step in a way that is easy to grasp and utilize.  Some folks may know this method of studying as a manuscript way, and it could be called by that title.  But the authors want to show us how to take an approach that includes history, literature and theology so everyday folks can be amazed in their time alone with the Lord.
If you don’t want to mark in your Bible, there are Bibles to purchase designed for inductive study.  The authors include an extensive bibliography so people can continue to read and aid their study time.  Also included is a Subject Index for easy access when a refresher is needed for a person or to add the next step in Inductive Bible study.  My son originally pointed out this book to me as he knows the inductive method I taught him when he was younger.  Now, he is a grown man who by the grace of God wants to continue to learn and sharpen his knowledge so he can be a better disciple of the Lord.
Please consider using this either as a way to learn in your time along with God, small group, teaching or mentoring others!  Here is a great tool to encourage the Body of Christ to dig deeper so their roots will go deeper into the soil of His Word.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Conspiracy of Silence (The Tox Files #1)

Title:  Conspiracy of Silence (The Tox Files #1)
Author:  Ronie Kendig
Pages: 413
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany House
My rating is 4 stars.
Cole “Tox” Russell is a military and political outcast after a failed mission in which many lost their lives.  As a result, Tox is sent to prison where he “dies”.  In reality, he is sent to Africa and basically not welcomed on U.S. soil.  That is until his military skills are needed to save the country and maybe even the world from a deadly plague.  At first, he is called in to eliminate an assassin.  The person to call him in is his brother, Galen Russell, the President of the United States.  Tox and his brother have never gotten along and have a tangled past history.  But when called to save his country, Tox answers.  He gathers his former special ops team members, who have trouble trusting him at the beginning of their mission.  They soon fall back into their old camaraderie and their trust for Tox returns.
Kasey Cortes has been in love with Tox since she was twelve and he was dating her older sister.  She now works as a deception expert for the FBI.  She dedicated her career to following Tox’s trial and proving his innocence.  When he “dies”, she mourns him but goes on with life.  With his return from the dead, all of her feelings for him return, but is he the same man she once knew?  She demands to be a part of his team and soon finds herself a target of a group of assassins.  This group is out to obtain four censors from the time of Moses discovered recently.  The censors were tied to stopping a plague God sent as a result of rebellion among the Israelites.  Tox and his team need to gather the censors to try to stop the plague, but the assassin group wants the censors to spread the plague.
This book is a good start to this author’s new series.  The plot was exciting and filled with suspense and tension.  There is plenty of action with a military focus.  One thing I didn’t care for was the many characters in the story.  There were so many I had trouble keeping them all straight.  Other than that aspect, I was driven to finish the book to see if the team was successful in their mission.  Haven’s profession of a deception expert with the FBI was one I had never heard of, but one I found intriguing.  I am anxious to see what develops in the relationship between Tox and Haven in future installments.  The aspect of the spiritual battle that ran parallel to the military battle was also an interesting angle that I enjoyed.  I also really liked the historical information in the story from various geographical, cultural and religious aspects.  I truly enjoyed learning something about different people and places.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Buckhorn (Paid in Blood)



Title:  Buckhorn (Paid in Blood)
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  374
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5+ stars.
Buckhorn is gun slinger, a loner and comes from parents with different ethnicities, which was not unusual for the Old West.  However, Buckhorn isn’t the usual gun for hire or man either.  Buckhorn’s looks are weathered as he prefers the outdoors to being inside.  He wears a different style hat and his vocabulary is exceptional.   Over the years, he has grown used to traveling after a job is done and sometimes that is the hardest part.
In this recent book, the character of Buckhorn is hired to help a widowed rancher locate her missing youngest son.  If Buckhorn can find out who is rustling the cattle not just from the Circle D who hired him, but from small outfits too maybe he can also locate the missing boy.  What gets really interesting is the romance budding with the offspring of two different factions, fighting factions to be exact.  On top of that, Micah, the oldest son of the widower Pamela is changing and it may not be in the best way either.
Every time I finish a Johnstone novel I sit for a moment and enjoy the lasting effects of having been in the Old West again.  Rarely do I find authors who can capture the interest, heart and mind of readers while entertaining them with a great story!  The action and suspense kept me turning pages for hours waiting to see what was coming!
It won’t be long before the holidays are here and people may want to know what you’d like.  Well, I highly recommend the westerns by the Johnstones and maybe even join their book club for the 2017 year.  I look forward to books coming in the mail every month and having time to steal away into the past with blood-pumping action, good vs. evil or the description of a scene of some characters sitting around a campfire at night.

Grab a book and relish the tale!  You won’t soon forget the fun you had and maybe you’ll invite others to enjoy a book or two with you!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Death Rides Alone (Luke Jensen Bounty Hunter #5)

Title:  Death Rides Alone (Luke Jensen Bounty Hunter #5)
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5 stars.
Luke Jenson rides into Wyoming looking for a man who is wanted in Montana, and that is where the adventure begins to take off!  Before Luke even locates his man, he becomes entangled with the town’s braggart that leads to lead flying in all directions!  From then on, the lead not only keeps flying but Luke’s life seems to be in danger!  Luke, with his wanted man in tow, heads for Montana but is the man really as guilty of the crime of which he has been accused?
Through the many miles Luke hears parts of Tyler’s tale and in time, Luke realizes it has a ring of truth.  In addition to the beautiful scenery described in the book, there seems to be a mystery surrounding the murder that Tyler is accused of in a town located in Montana.  I really enjoyed reading Luke and Tyler’s adventures and constant run-in with danger as well as a possible love interest for Tyler, if he is proved innocent.
 I enjoy these westerns so much I hate for the ending to come in each book, but there are many great stories that I have yet to enjoy.  So look for more western reviews coming in the near future from the pen of the Johnstone family!

In November of this year is the time when readers can sign up for the Johnstone book club on their website, so be watching! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Private Life of General Omar Bradley

Title:  The Private Life of General Omar Bradley
Author:  Jeffery D. Lavoie
Pages:  224
Year: 2015
Publisher:  McFarland
My rating is 4 stars.
The Private Life of General Omar N. Bradley is a well-written narrative of the life of General Bradley and is a good biography of the life of one the great WWII generals.  The book doesn’t try to pick apart every little aspect of General Bradley’s life, but it focuses on an overall picture his life.  The book does this by focusing on the three periods of Bradley’s life:  “Prewar”, “War”, and “Postwar”, respectively.  Each section gives a good summary of the life of Omar Bradley; however, the book is not a primary source of material on the subject (nor does it claim to be), but it makes a good starting point for anyone looking to do research on one of America’s most treasured military commanders.
The book is short, a mere 213 pages, but what the reader will find in those pages is fascinating material. The “War” section of the book is an interesting read because it gives the reader a behind the scenes look at some of the campaigns that many of us remember from history class.  The book also focuses on Bradley’s life after the war, his work with veterans, his worldwide tours, and also his personal romances. Various parts of the book should be treated as speculation instead of historical fact, but with some further research a student can discern the speculation from the documented facts of Omar Bradley’s life.  The book is a good companion for any WWII history buff; it offers a quick, but informative study on the life of one of the brightest generals of WWII.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Colorado Christmas

Title:  A Colorado Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5+ stars.
Each year the Johnstone family releases a Christmas novel that brings together some of the best of both older and newer characters into a blazing, riveting story!  Here is another one that is without parallel to other Christmas Westerns.  There were other novels written the last few years by the Johnstones and I highly recommend reading each and every one.  While they are standalone books, it is fun to see what Wild West ride the author schemes to take the audience on!  Prior Christmas novels are as follows:  A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas, A Frontier Christmas, and A Texas Hill Country Christmas with the newest one this year titled, A Colorado Christmas.
As usual I was captured by the story, especially when the author brought back a couple of older characters like Preacher and Eagle Eye Callahan.  There is a stranded orphan train in town with twenty orphans needing new homes, a detective trying to find a lost boy among the orphans and if that isn’t enough, there are romance and holiday celebrations to boot!
I don’t want to give away all that is brought together to tell such a story that has a plethora of happenings both on Smoke Jenson’s ranch and in town, especially when the antagonist who is an ex-con that has recently been paroled and goes on a killing spree as he carries out a plan of revenge and mayhem on an unsuspecting town.  When I started reading, I knew I was hooked as the story first begins in 1926 with flashbacks to what happened many moons ago, then returns to 1926 with a climactic conclusion that I never saw coming!  It was great!
So grab some of these wonderful books, sit back and enjoy going back to the Old West with familiar characters and surprising plots!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

God Bless You this Christmas Day



As we celebrate the birth of Immanuel, God with Us!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

COLTS vs Raiders (CBS) @ 4:05 pm

                                   VS

A Texas Hill Country Christmas

Title:  A Texas Hill Country Christmas
Author:  Willliam W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5+ stars.
Each year a new Christmas novel is released by the Johnstones that includes some of their most beloved characters.  Each Christmas novel stands alone and the previous ones are A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas and A Frontier Christmas.  Now we can add to the Christmas themed novels this year’s story, A Texas Hill Country Christmas.
Each year I have read the newest book, enjoyed it and shared my review with you.  For me, this year’s novel is my favorite one thus far with the Jenson family members coming together in several ways that really is genius!  The year is 1975 and a descendant of the Jenson family sits down to tell yet another story of her ancestors to the youngest generation about the “old, old days”.  So, Helen Sievers begins to talk about Smoke, Matt, Ace, Chance and other Jenson members and their family adventures.  This is a new way for readers to learn about the Jenson’s adventures and I loved it!  In my mind, I could see the youngsters sitting on the floor at her feet waiting for the tale to begin.  The tale wove together the main Jenson men and how they eventually run across paths that place them together, but each one has traveled a totally different looking road.
The action and adventure really is gripping, causing readers to not let down their guard or set the novel aside.  How the author kept all the details and multitude of plot lines straight is beyond me, but the ending was worth its weight in gold!  If you like action, adventure, intrigue, old west, rugged and unsettled lands that’s just part of what will keep you reading the Johnstone westerns for a long time!
As stated above, each of the Christmas novels is a standalone but really readers will love each Christmas tale for years to come!  They would make a really great gift for any western fans or book worms in any family!
Merry Christmas to the Johnstone clan cannot wait to see what novels will come out from the book club in 2016!
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, December 23, 2016

Getaway with God (The Every Woman’s Guide to Personal Retreat)

Title:  Getaway with God (The Every Woman’s Guide to Personal Retreat)
Author:  Letitia Suk
Pages:  160
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Kregel
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Getaway with God is a book that encapsulates many ideas for making various amounts of time away for a woman to meet with God alone.  Women today have many pressures and demands pulling at them constantly like never before.  As these demands ebb and flow along with the nurturing makeup of women, we forget to take time to refresh ourselves.  While women’s church retreats have their place, for me they weren’t very refreshing as I usually come home more tired.
In college, I learned more about making time to be quiet and alone with God.  Of course, with different seasons of women’s lives it looks different and sometimes we need help with ideas as to the “how” of making time alone with God.  I like that the material is presented in a religious manner but one of personal heart to heart matter.  Women can’t give out of empty cisterns whether to their family, friends, works, etc.  When we make and take the time to get away with God, we can be refreshed, renewed, gain a new perspective and perhaps a new direction in life where God is leading.
When you get your copy, I suggest making time within a few weeks to go grab coffee or whatever beverage you prefer, a calendar and notebook.  Set dates in pencil for the year of when you’d like to get away with God, and in the notebook what you would like or sense God is speaking to you.  Then, be purposeful in following though and at the end of the year look back and see what God has done!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Frontier Christmas

Title:  A Frontier Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  416
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Pinnacle
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Christmas-William-W-Johnstone/dp/0786033606/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414913498&sr=1-1&keywords=a+frontier+christmas
This is a simply heartwarming story set in the west with characters that I am familiar with, being a fan of Johnstone books.  However, whether you are familiar with the characters or authors matters not as readers will be engrossed not just in the budding romance between Meagan and Duff, but the action with increasing tension will keep you glued to the book!  A Frontier Christmas is the fourth book in the series Western Christmas Stories that also includes A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas and A Big Sky Christmas.  Each book can be read as a standalone or grab all four and be prepared to be entertained for hours!
The Johnstone’s Western Christmas Stories will capture your imagination, heart and emotions that run a wide range with each book.  A Frontier Christmas tells the story of small towns preparing for Christmas and coming together to fight against those who would trade life-giving medicine for money when one town is quarantined with diphtheria.  The small town has but one doctor who runs from one bedside to another in a race to save lives.  When Duff learns who the men are who have taken the medication, he enlists the help of old friends Smoke & Matt Jensen along with his ranch partner Elmer.
When I began reading, I instantly fell in love with the characters and the story because I love westerns!  Even if someone is not a fan of westerns these Christmas tales remind us of what is most important along with sacrificial giving without a second thought in order to save lives.  Readers need to remember there are a couple of swear words sprinkled lightly in the book, but hardly noticeable with a story so stunning and fast moving as shared here for the audience.  Many other western writers have come before and left stories for generations to enjoy long after they are gone; the Johnstones are no different.
I hope you read all four wonderful tales in this series and share them with others who love the world of imagination sparked by a good book!
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Big Sky Christmas

Title:  A Big Sky Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  416
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Pinnacle
J. A. Johnstone has authored, The Big Sky Christmas, with as much heart as the previous tales titled, A Rocky Mountain Christmas and Lone Star Christmas.  Each novel is thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable with a mix of adventure and romance.  Here, in the latest Christmas book, A Big Sky Christmas, readers are introduced to characters with a true moral or spiritual compass and others with evil intent along with a host of surprises in the story line.
In the fictional tale, Johnstone uses flashback as a way to tell the story of a set of elderly twins and their experiences growing up on a wagon train bound for Montana.  McAllister is a mountain man whose years were originally filled with locating those who took the life of his beloved wife Katie.  When a brawl causes the original wagon master to sit this trip out, McAllister feels duty-bound to lead them safely to their new homesteads before the harsh winter snows begin.
Each page is filled with action, adventure, danger, romance and more that will keep the audience entertained for hours in the setting of the Old West.  Time flew by as I kept reading and seeing the novel’s climax build then come to a place of resolution when all of a sudden the story took off again on another fight to live through more perilous moments.
It was easy to form the picture of the story in my mind.  At times, I felt like I was watching the action play out through the eyes of one player or another.  The risk pioneers took to start new homesteads and raise families is something that intrigues my imagination for hours on end.  I thought it was a brilliant stroke of the author’s pen when an unexpected character from another of the western series appears here in the story.
The gift of family, faith and friends through life’s adventures was the main theme of the whole novel.  Banding together to care for each other, to fight to stay alive and learning new skills for life on the prairie were other added pieces of the tale that kept me reading well into the wee hours of the morning.  No matter when you read this novel, I guarantee it will be time well spent.  I also suggest reading the other two Christmas novels mentioned above as they are unique unto themselves.
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rocky Mountain Christmas

Title:  A Rocky Mountain Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Kensington
A Rocky Mountain Christmas is the latest in Johnstone’s writing repertoire, taking place during the Christmas holidays.  Some of the characters from the previous book, A Lone Star Christmas, continue to develop in this story.  Here, the story enlarges to include a corrupt judge and a rancher accused of murder being taken on a train to go to jail along with another convict.
Rebecca is now an older woman, but was 6 years old at the time of a train accident that would change her life forever.  She was the daughter of a senator and his wife.  Her parents were going to a speaking engagement when an avalanche changed every passenger’s plans.  Rebecca is now being approached for an interview before her flight leaves.  The only reason she agrees to participate in the interview is due to a delay in her flight.  Her only condition for the interview is that she be allowed to tell her story without interruption.  She begins by telling how she came to be on the train.
Luke had been a sailor until an inheritance changed all that.  Matt is going to spend Christmas with people who have been like family to him.  Jenny used to be a hostess on the Mississippi River when her life changed in more ways than she ever saw coming.  Luke, Matt, and Jenny are on the same train that is stranded at the top of a mountain pass due to an avalanche begun by a single gunshot.  Who made the mistake of not thinking before firing their weapon during a heavy snowstorm?
The use of flashback makes the novel really intriguing.  I was so absorbed in the adventure I forgot about the flashback until the very end of the book!  There are many stories going on at the same time, but not where it would make things too hard to follow for a reader.  In fact, the more strands added, the deeper the plot.
There are a few curse words sprinkled over the course of the story, but not so much as to distract the reader or become the focus of the story.  Sometimes when I read books, it seems like the author writes it with the intent to shock the reader by using foul language.  One thing I appreciate about Johnstone’s novels is that isn’t the case at all.  I believe storytellers can hone their art to such a fine point that they would actually be able to tell an excellent tale and not use any foul language.
The Seeking with all Yur Heart blog exists for two main reasons:  First, it exists to help readers locate excellent novels that truly entertain without the “extra” stuff added.  Second, it exists to encourage authors in writing tales that entertain readers without the use of negative modern day verbiage or sexual content in the book.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Lone Star Christmas

Title:  A Lone Star Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Pinnacle
Since I was a little girl, westerns have been the one genre I knew I could best use to identify who I was.  Whether it was watching westerns on TV, a movie, reading non-fiction as well as fiction, I always wanted to know more about the West with a passion.  Recently, with my sons having become men, I joined the NRA, took a class, and bought my first firearm.  I am also a member of SASS.  Even though I don’t attend anything, I learn a lot from this group.  I knew a few western writers growing up though because of my Nana I knew more about Louis L’Amour and his books.  Growing up and watching my parents get her the latest novel or seeing her read those books are memories I will always remember.  When Nana died, I was blessed with her entire collection of westerns that included a few Luke Short books and some others.  It wasn’t until earlier this year that I came across the name of William W. Johnstone.  You can go to his website to learn more about the author, books, and book club. (http://www.williamjohnstone.net/index1.html)
Every author of any genre has a unique way of telling a story.  The western genre encompasses a whole lot of territory.  What I like best in this author’s writings is the depth of the story and the painstaking time taken to place details in a scene.  There is some cussing in the novels, but no sexual content whatsoever.  There is romance though as well as gunfights.  Deeper still is the portrayal of the cowboy’s code of being willing to place his life on the line for another, taking care of matters of law and justice, or even seeing to family matters.  Yet, even what I have listed fails to encompass the western genre.  I can only say the novels are worth the time to read.
A Lone Star Christmas was released in 2011, and this year A Rocky Mountain Christmas has been released.  In the near future, I will be reading and reviewing this work of fiction as well.  I have no doubt that it will be as excellent as its predecessor.
There is so much enjoyment in the pages of this novel.  It would be hard to put words on paper to adequately describe everything, so here is a very short summary.  Remember there are a few cuss words interspersed in the story.  Rebecca is the daughter of a wealthy rancher in Texas.  She doesn’t know her birth mother.  Who was she?  With love on the line and questions to be answered, Becca leaves the ranch without anyone’s knowledge.  Tom is running from a memory he never wants to rehash in his heart or mind.  Leaving his former life behind, he sets out on a train for the west, ending up in Texas.  His knowledge and experience as a cowboy become apparent very quickly, but there is no turning back now.

Ranch hands’ lifestyles, forged friendships, and a cattle drive through the winter are just a few of the happenings that take place.  With a make or break deal to try a different breed of cattle, Big Ben sends his team of seven people to meet the train and drive the 2,500 head of cattle home through sandstorms, a blizzard, attempted murder, and cattle rustling.  Will the cattle make it to their new home?  On top of that, Big Ben wants everyone home for Christmas.  Maria just wants her baby safely delivered at the ranch.  Exactly what does occur on the cattle drive, before the drive, and months later that changes the lives of the characters?  Interested in reading this yet?  I sure hope so.  You will be missing a great adventure if you pass up this novel!
My rating is 5+ stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pray A to Z Author:Amelia Rhodes


Pray A to Z Amelia Rhodes
Title:  Pray A to Z
Author:Amelia Rhodes
Pages:160
Year: 2016
Publisher: Worthy Inspired
My rating is 5 stars.
All if not most people in my opinion and observation are wondering what is going on in the United States communities.  Hence many are seeking a way to help, bring aid and comfort, and fight the good fight of faith in these hard times.  If you are one of those looking for a way to bring hope, light and a way to bring out what burdens your heart via prayer for where you live, here is such a guide.
The prayers written here will help bring voice to the Father’s ear for many concerns such as law enforcement, homelessness, finances, medical care and a plethora of other topics.  People of God need no longer feel inadequate to pray or unsure of what to say.  Prayer is conversation and listening to the God we love and serve, who cares for us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.
Grab a copy of Pray A to Z and ask those you know to join you in praying for your community and others, asking for God’s blessing or His intervention.  I believe prayer helps to lift the burdens from our hearts and God longs to carry them for us and work though us to bring His love to our communities all across this great nation.  With the age we live in, now is our time like never before to be active in praying not just for this time but for generations to come after us.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Two Crosses (Secrets of the Cross #1)

Title:  Two Crosses (Secrets of the Cross #1)
Author:  Elizabeth Musser
Pages:  464
Year:  2012
Publisher:  David C. Cook
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility
The beginning of the novel lays the historical foundation during a time of war between Algeria and France.  The author includes some of the characters speaking parts in French followed by English for those of us who don’t know French.  While at first it was distracting, I became enamored with the beauty of the written language and trained myself to just read over the non-English words.  I enjoyed the beginning of the romance between one of the American Lecturers David Hoffman and Gabriella, who is an exchange student at the time.
Inside the cover are mysteries, drama, romance, and interesting historical facts like learning about Operation Hugo during this particular war.  With an ease that I believe comes from the heart of the author are many spiritual threads and themes that readers will find bring a beautiful perspective to the tale.  Readers will travel between the two nations at war, France and Algeria, as the chapters alternate between the two.  I found it interesting too that this took place the same year I was born so it was interesting to read about an event at the time of my birth.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Identity Unknown (Northern Border Patrol #5)

Title:  Identity Unknown (Northern Border Patrol #5)
Author:  Terri Reed
Pages:  220
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Love Inspired
My rating is 4 stars.
Nathaniel Longhorn wakes up in a strange place with no memory of who he is now or who he was in the past.  He is in the hospital and a pretty deputy sheriff, Audrey Martin, is responsible for that.  She found him washed up on the Maine shoreline, unconscious and about to be thrown back in by an unknown assailant.  She rescues Nathaniel and gets him safely to the hospital, but not for long.  Attempts continue to confront her and Nathaniel.  The two of them click right off the bat and Audrey refuses to leave his side until he regains his memory.
Nathaniel struggles with not knowing his past as he can’t plan for the future without knowing what kind of man he was.  Was he a criminal?  He was dressed all in black tactical gear with no identification when he was found.  His picture is sent to Canada, which is across the bay from Maine and Nathaniel is soon identified.  Now he at least knows his name, but he still can’t remember anything from his past.  As the attempts on his life increase, he visits places from his past in hopes that his memory will return.  As Audrey learns more about Nathaniel, she knows he is a good man and she constantly encourages him and supports him.

There are some good action scenes and lots of tension.  I liked the strong female character of Audrey Martin and her wanting a man to like her as she is, not who he thinks she should be.  I also liked how Nathaniel asked her to pray for him, even not knowing his past or what his beliefs were.  He instinctively turned to prayer.  These Love Inspired books are a great way to spend a rainy afternoon!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Our Man in Charleston (Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South)


Title:  Our Man in Charleston (Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South)
Author:  Charles Dickey
Pages:  400
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Crown
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
The Civil War is just one historical event that continues to fascinate me as a reader.  The author does a magnificent job of detailing the ins and outs of what occurred in our nation at a time when chaos reigned.  I am continuously learning so much about what was going on at a time when many people even knew where their next meal was coming from.
The author packs so much information into his book that it really causes the reader to become engrossed with the intrigue that happened off the battlefield.  As I read I was humbled as I learned of events that never entered my thinking before.  Of course, today many people are even on a higher alert for those who are observing them or interested in what their activities may be.
What the author shares never before entered my mind as a possibility at a time we look back on as perhaps being centered on the battlefield.  Some of the nefarious transactions weren’t easy to read such as the way some viewed lives as of little to no value, no caring what happened to them even when separating loved ones.
There are some real historical figures readers will learn about who were brave and worked diligently behind the scenes to improve life for all.  The nonfictional book is one that lovers of history will want on their shelves to share with others for generations.  Here is a great book that will make a great gift for the lover of history, the Civil War or secret agents!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Getting Away with God

Getaway with God Letitia Suk





Title:  Getaway with God (The Every Woman’s Guide to Personal Retreat)
Author:  Letitia Suk
Pages:  160
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Kregel
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Getaway with God is a book that encapsulates many ideas for making various amounts of time away for a woman to meet with God alone.  Women today have many pressures and demands pulling at them constantly like never before.  As these demands ebb and flow along with the nurturing makeup of women, we forget to take time to refresh ourselves.  While women’s church retreats have their place, for me they weren’t very refreshing as I usually come home more tired.
In college, I learned more about making time to be quiet and alone with God.  Of course, with different seasons of women’s lives it looks different and sometimes we need help with ideas as to the “how” of making time alone with God.  I like that the material is presented in a religious manner but one of personal heart to heart matter.  Women can’t give out of empty cisterns whether to their family, friends, works, etc.  When we make and take the time to get away with God, we can be refreshed, renewed, gain a new perspective and perhaps a new direction in life where God is leading.
When you get your copy, I suggest making time within a few weeks to go grab coffee or whatever beverage you prefer, a calendar and notebook.  Set dates in pencil for the year of when you’d like to get away with God, and in the notebook what you would like or sense God is speaking to you.  Then, be purposeful in following though and at the end of the year look back and see what God has done!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Storm (Braide Stone Chronicles #3)


Title:  Storm (Stone Braide Chronicles #3)
Author: Bonnie S. Calhoun
Pages: 400
Year: 2016
Publisher: Revell
My rating is 4 ½ stars out of 5!
Bonnie S. Calhoun continues her Stone Braide Chronicles with the third book Storm. Selah Rishon, her mother, brother, sister, and friends start off on the East Coast in Tic City to begin their quest to find the Third Protocol, which, if successful, will not only save Selah’s life but also the lives of all the Landers. If unsuccessful, Selah will fracture and die. Selah and her group of family and friends risk everything and encounter many dangers during their journey—blood hunters, winter storms, and fluctuations in the magnetic field due to the land’s upheaval when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted hundreds of years previously. The group journeys to the domed cities of Cleveland, Chicago, and to the unknown lands farther west in search of reaching their goal…and saving Selah’s life.
One of the things that I like about Storm is the idea of a quest, a journey toward reaching a goal where the protagonist has much to gain and just as much to lose, including her life if the quest fails. I also like how her companions are willing to do everything necessary to protect Selah. No sacrifice is too large for those who love her. I appreciate how the story has a resolution, but it still leaves an opening for continuance should the author write another book with these characters, which seems likely due to what is revealed at the end of this story. The one thing that I struggled with early in the book was the pace seemed a little slow; however, as the story progressed, my interest grew until it was difficult to set the book down until I reached the end. Overall, Storm is a book that I would highly recommend, especially to those who like adventure, science fiction, and dystopian stories.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Of Stillness and Storm


Of Stillness and Storm Michele Phoenix
Title:  Of Stillness and Storm
Author:  Michele Phoenix
Pages:  336
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Before writing the review, I took time to visit the author’s site and I hope others do as well.  The ministry that Michele is engaged in is very unique as I haven’t heard of anything close to what she does.  I also read of a woman with a grounded faith that came through adversity, trials and good experiences too.  Most of all, at least to me, she is a flesh and blood example of someone who is unashamed to speak truth about the experiences of Missionary Kids.
Of Stillness and Storm is one novel that grabs the soul of the reader and its tentacles reach so deeply into the reader that it doesn’t let up until the end of the story.  Well, maybe not even then because I don’t think I will forget this novel for quite a while, if ever.  Michele uses flashbacks to take readers into a single family’s experience with answering a call to go to Nepal with young child. The father, Sam, is gone for weeks at a time.  His wife, Lauren, works at a school and their son, Ryan, attends a different school and loves soccer. 
While in Nepal they begin to experience a slow disintegration of the family unit.  The one member who carries the brunt of it is Ryan.  Michele crafts a family that at times focuses on individual members.  For me, Sam is someone I would love to shake till he awakes and sees how his choices have fractured his marriage and relationship with Ryan.  Lauren had her part in the problems too as did Ryan.  Some of these problems I think came out of Sam’s unwillingness to see what was really becoming of his family.
When Lauren finally realizes what is going in her own heart, what an awakening occurs in her heart, mind and soul.  I could relate to the shame a mother feels when she hasn’t made wise choices and how they affect the family.  I could also relate to the healing Presence of God when I honestly faced the issues of my heart.  Some things Lauren experiences, says or does are foreign to me and some I can’t say I understand.  However, Michele did a wonderful job showing readers a world view honestly without covering it up to the sometimes negative outcomes when a family doesn’t focus on their family first before their ministry outside the home.
A very raw, tough, gripping novel that I highly recommend for people to read, especially because it shows how real, loving and close God is to us.  It reflects how He alone can make beauty from ashes!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Eden Hill by Bill Higgs

Title:  Eden Hill
Author:  Bill Higgs
Pages:  400
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 
As I read the novel, I felt transported in my imagination to a time that seemed simpler in one sense and yet the same in another.  Simpler in that there were no electronic gadgets as there are today, which when we don’t control them by turning them off, can intrude into our lives.  It was a time when families sat down to dinner, read more, watched TV less, and the work ethic was exceptional.  The 60’s era had its own challenges that differ in some ways than those we face today.
In the fictional novel, we get swept into a small town called Eden Hill where people helped their neighbors and businesses closed on Sundays.  In the town, there are some people who turned out to have a surprising history to reveal.  There is an older lady who drives one pastor of a church crazy as she is the most contrary and always finding something to complain about to the pastor.
Towards the end of the novel it became clear to me that people learned more about themselves, especially when life was hardest.  Some found that the faith they thought they had needed to be shored up and put into practice with more love.  I so enjoyed getting to know the residents of Eden Hill right as the civil rights issues were coming to the forefront.  I remember so many themes that, while in the book were fictional, were part of my upbringing and made me more than thankful for the parents I was blessed to have.
Faith, family, neighbors, helping each other and more are some of those themes that will grab your heart and lift it up.  I think that anyone who reads the book will be reminded that there are ways families can draw closer to each other, which in turns makes neighbors closer and it just expands from there.  Family is really the foundation of our nation right after faith in a God who works all things together for our good, and He is still doing that today!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lucifer’s Harvest (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton #9)

Title:  Lucifer’s Harvest (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton #9)
Author:  Mel Starr
Pages:  148
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lion Fictioin
My rating is 3 stars.
Hugh de Singleton is summoned with his employer, Baron Gilbert, by Prince Edward to go to battle against France.  Hugh is taken along not in his role as bailiff, but as a surgeon to treat battle wounds.  He leaves behind his wife Kate and two young daughters not knowing if he will return or be the victim in battle, even though he isn’t in the fighting ranks.  Upon reporting to their first stop on the journey to Dover, England where they will then cross the English Channel into France, Hugh makes an unsettling discovery.  His old enemy Sir Simon Trillowe is among the other fighting men called by Prince Edward.
Sir Simon holds no love for Hugh and goes out of his way to let Hugh know that he still holds a major grudge.  However, while waiting for the battle to begin, Sir Simon’s body is found face down in a poisoned well.  Hugh is the first suspect as he and Simon have had a couple of run-ins at the encampment.  Hugh enlists Baron Gilbert’s help and they both persuade Prince Edward to give Hugh time to find the real murderer.  Hugh ferrets out the guilty party and a confrontation ensues.
While the story is good, I kind of felt cheated at this abbreviated novel.  In the past, his novels are usually about fifty pages longer with more time spent with Hugh, his internal musings that I find very interesting and sometimes funny, as well as his interactions with other characters.  This one definitely surprised me in a negative way and that is that homosexuality or “perversion”, as it was referred to in the book, was included.  I did like the setting of France and the details about the life of a medieval soldier.  I love Hugh’s wit and tenacity in his search for the culprit.  I look forward to reading more medieval tales of the adventures of Hugh de Singleton in the future, but now I will be a bit wary as to the contents.  Book ten is titled Deeds of Darkness, but as of now there is no release date.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 12, 2016

Breaking Free

Title:  Breaking Free
Author:  Jennifer Slattery
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  New Hope
My rating is 5 stars.
We all know relationships can bring joy and sorrow, love and pain just to mention a few words regarding human interactions.  When a relationship is compounded by something that brings bondage, it complicates matters.  In marriage, while bringing to the human heart more than words express, let’s face it, it is work.  At times it doesn’t seem to take any effort and in others seasons much work while each day we must lean upon the Lord to fulfill our vows.
In Breaking Free, the author shows us the possible shattering effects alcoholism can bring to a marriage and relationships with the children not to mention other friends.  Here is a story of a woman named Alice who must face her naked heart, but where can she go to share her burden where transparency doesn’t become gossip in the friendships she has in church?  Alice is afraid of sharing the truth with anyone.  After all, she is a teacher and what will they think of her when they find out not all is perfect in her home?  Trent’s refusal to seek help causes the family to lose everything.  Now what are they to do?
In a heart-gripping story, readers will see how when human hope fails and when we surrender our life to God, He alone does amazing things.  Before God can work or we surrender, we really do have to hit the very bottom.  In the tale that is exactly what happens and in learning to live each day in God’s hands, both experience a hope that is living and beyond words!  I think the book shows too that we have a choice always in how we respond to the person in bondage, and our choices can affect others both in the home and outside.
I sat reading all night long from start to finish.  I read because I can relate to the call of alcohol in my life many years back as well as what I saw happen in my extended family because of alcoholism.  For me, God delivered me from it and the hardest part was throwing it all out!  I think those who call on Christ must be attentive to how we treat others within the Body as we see what the real cost is of masking our true self from others.
So the challenge is to love as Christ loved us, making hard choices and practice touch love if that is how God leads us.  Finally, I think learning to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a way that covers sins instead of exposing them for all to see, especially when they aren’t our own is needed.  Great novel Jennifer and thanks for sharing with us readers again!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Restoring Christmas (A Novel)

Title:  Restoring Christmas (A Novel)
Author:  Cynthia Ruchti
Pages:  240
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Worthy Inspired
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
In case you haven’t had the opportunity to read any of Cynthia Ruchti’s writings, let me say you’re missing out on some of the best!  I personally have found her writings move the heart because they are written with the author’s heart.  The writings have powerful and moving themes throughout the books and this one is no exception.  From the first moment I started reading until the end I was engrossed in a heartwarming story where one of the main characters named Alexis goes through a change.  What kind of change?
When she started the Home and Heart channel Restoring Christmas project as one of three contestants, she focused on winning the contest.  As time goes by readers will enjoy reading how deeply we come to know Alexis including some of her past, a budding romance and a 180 degree change of focus on the project!  As she works with Gabe who does the videographing for the project Alexis learns more about his heart and life along with that of his father.  Above all, both Alexis and Gabe are now focused on the home of a woman named Elsie and her slowly revealing past and present.
My heart was touched as I read the impacting story, and I was reminded of how God does restore man’s heart and life through Christmas.  Anyone who has been touched by someone with Alzheimer’s can readily appreciate what Elsie is going through and her own intriguing past.  The novel or novella is very touching and can be read and shared with anyone year round!  Please enjoy this moving book and consider sharing it with family, friends or whomever you know as it will touch their heart as well!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, December 11, 2016

War Room: Prayer is A Powerful Weapon

Title:  War Room:  Prayer is A Powerful Weapon
Author:  Chris Fabry
Pages:  424
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers
My rating is 5 stars.
Unlike some people, I didn’t go and see the movie mainly because I love reading a book.  I feel as though I gain more from a novel than a movie.  While it isn’t a strict rule for me to read the book prior to seeing the movie adaptation, with War Room I sensed a special tale. Therefore,  I would want to add ca copy of the book  to my home library to read again or pass down to the next generation.
What I liked most about the book was there wasn’t a pattern or prescribed way to pray shown in the book.  What was revealed was how an elderly woman learned the hard way in her youth that prayer is something very special, holy even, which shows through our daily living without effort on our part.  I liked how the book showed that the Lord loves to hear from His children and He alone gets all the glory.  He loves to transform us more into the image of His Son, which requires us to know how much we cannot do in our efforts.
I believe another strong thread is how God wants to strengthen family units through prayer so that the real enemy, the devil, doesn’t get to split us up.  Another beautiful aspect was how the daughter of one family in the book noticed the change in her mother and wanted to learn to pray and journal.  The journaling was special and it is a conversation which is only between the writer and God.
Plus there is having the ability to remember how God has answered previous prayers when prayers are answered.  In the journal, there wasn’t just a request being made but Scriptures being written out that reminded the prayer warrior of Who God is and who we are as well.  Sometimes it is easy to think we carry a responsibility that God alone is to carry, and He wants to do more than we can ever ask or think about when we pray.
Honestly, I had some hesitancy in approaching the book, wondering if there was a formula inside or if I would walk away feeling convicted or chastened.   I really came away more hopeful, with the remembrance that we are to train the next generation and some ideas to incorporate in my own walk with the Lord.  As I read, I realized the devil was whispering doubts in my heart and I was a fool to listen and believe him.  Now, I am free to embark once again on the journey God has for me.  I really hope and pray that you will join me in 2016 however God leads you to walk with Him.  Remember our focus is to please Him and Him alone not anyone else.  So what do you say?  Shall we embark together?

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

COLTS vs Texans (CBS) @ 1 pm

                                      VS

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Untamed (A Fool’s Guide to Surrendered Faith)

Title:  Untamed (A Fool’s Guide to Surrendered Faith)
Author:  Jason Clark
Pages:  240
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Destiny Image
My rating is 4 stars.
When I perused through the book to get a sense of what I was about to read, I noticed right off it was written with transparency along with humor.  As I looked at pages, there were frequent breaks in each chapter that made being able to put the book down to contemplate what one had read was a definite bonus.  As readers learn from Jason’s walk with the Lord, it would be a good idea to remember that this is the author’s walk.  What Jason is sharing is what he learned and how God longs for us to be encompassed by His Person.
The endnotes at the end of each chapter show some very interesting books readers might consider for further study.  The picture on the book really shows how we are called to rely on God and God alone in all areas of life.  In order for that to be our reality, we have to let go and surrender all of us to Him, looking to God alone and not relying on ourselves.
No matter whom the author is readers should always read discerningly as only the Bible is divinely inspired.  Plus ask the Lord what He would have be a part of your life with God.   Wherever He is working in your life ask how you can join Him instead of asking Him to bless plans you have already made.  When I read nonfiction books, I try to glean what the Lord highlights for me and let go of the rest.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”