Saturday, September 2, 2017

Heart On The Line: A Book Review

About The Book:

When Danger Arrives, It's More Than Just Her Heart on the Line
Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper's Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father's death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority. 

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.


You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyerwrites historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

My Review:

This was another fantastic read from author Karen Witmeyer. It has been a bit since I have had the opportunity to read her work, but I was not in any way disappointed. From great writing, to wonderful characters that everyone can relate to, to engaging story lines, I did not put this book down until late into the night. My attention was drawn from the very first pages, and i found myself cheering on the good guys and frowning at the bad, laughing and very pleased with the way the book wrapped up. A great, overall read to be sure.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Heart On The Line at your favorite book retailer from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

On Love's Gentle Shore: A Book Review

About The Book:

Natalie O'Ryan had no plans to return to Prince Edward Island. But when her fiancé books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose's Red Door Inn, she sets out to plan the perfect wedding. Yet she can't possibly plan for a run-in with Justin Kane--the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin has never forgotten Natalie. He'd been prepared to follow her off the island until tragedy struck, leaving him to run the family dairy farm. He's done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him--but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he's been missing.
After Natalie's reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin's property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin may discover that there is more between them than broken promises and an old friendship.


You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she's not plotting her next trip to the island, she works in marketing. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, including The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Tucson, Arizona.

My Review:

On Love's Gentle Shore is the third installment of the Prince Edward Island Dreams series from author Liz Johnson. When a book transports you in your mind, and you can visualize each scene vividly then it is my opinion that this make an amazing book. And that is exactly what Liz Johnson has done with the final book of this series.

 I was brought into the world of Prince Edward Island with each word that the author wrote. Visiting that Island in Canada has been on my bucket list, and for now living vicariously through this book will have to do. I absolutely love the journey that Natalie went on throughout the book, the development of her character was outstanding! In fact, the writing that Johnson has done throughout the series was amazing. I will say if you have not read the other two books in the series it would be better to read them first, so not to be confused as you read this one. Alot of details from the rest of the series ties up in this book. 

 The book was easy and quick to read and finished the series nicely. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase On Love's Gentle Shore at your favorite book retailer from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Under A Summer Sky: A Book Review

About The Book:

She's anticipating a quiet summer surrounded by beauty. She never expected a fresh chance at love.
High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn't long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who's determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of her childhood friends--who also happen to be brothers--vying for her attention.

With the backdrop of a gorgeous historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to spend the summer surrounded by splendor . . . and tantalizing possibilities.


You can read an excerpt of Under A Summer Sky here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than 6.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and the contemporary romances Once Upon a Summertime and All Summer Long. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

My Review:

Melody Carlson has once again knocked it out of the park with her great writing skills. Her most recent release, Under A Summer Sky, was a wonderful read and a great way to embrace this season of the year in a fun novel. 

The book has adorable characters and I loved how this third installment of the Follow Your Heart series turned out. It was fun, with a great romantic storyline, and was a really quick read. It will be a great one to finish your summer reading list with. If you are a fan of Carlson, you will not be disappointed and if you have not read her work previously, this is a great one to start with. While it is part of a series, it also would do well as a stand alone read. I look forward to reading what comes next from Melody Carlson.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Under A Summer Sky at your favorite book retailer from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

The Imperfect Disciple: A Book Review



About The Book:

Too many discipleship books are written for perfect people who know all the right Sunday school answers. 

This book is for the rest of us--people who screw up, people who are weary, people who are wondering if it's safe to say what they're really thinking. With incisive wit, warm humor, and moving stories, Jared Wilson shows us how the gospel actually works through us and in us, even when we can't get our act together. The result is a faith that weathers storms, lifts burdens, and deepens our friendship with God.


You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format



About The Author:

Jared C. Wilson is the director of content strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and managing editor of For the Church. He is the author of numerous books, including UnparalleledThe Story of EverythingThe Prodigal Church, and Gospel Wakefulness. His blog, The Gospel-Driven Church, is hosted by the Gospel Coalition, and he speaks at numerous churches and conferences throughout the year.

My Review:

With a sense of humor, great scriptural interpretation, raw honesty and an easy-to-read style, author Jared C. Wilson has written a fantastic book that every Christian needs to read. This is a great discipleship book and allows the reader to really understand the importance of deepening our relationship with Jesus, in order to bring others to Him. It is very encouraging and perfect for Christians of all ages and stages of life. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase The Imperfect Disciple at your favorite book retailer from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. 

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communication Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Extraordinary Women of Christian History: A Book Review

About The Book:

Discover the incredible women who shaped our faith
Christianity has long been criticized as a patriarchal religion. But during its two-thousand-year history, the faith has been influenced and passed down by faithful women. Martyrs and nuns, mystics and scholars, writers and reformers, preachers and missionaries, abolitionists and evangelists, these women are examples to us of faith, perseverance, forgiveness, and fortitude.

With gracious irreverence, Ruth A. Tucker offers engaging and candid profiles of some of the most fascinating women of Christian history. From the famous to the infamous to the obscure, women like Perpetua, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Ávila, Anne Hutchinson, Susanna Wesley, Ann Judson, Harriet Tubman, Fanny Crosby, Hannah Whitall Smith, Corrie ten Boom, and Mother Teresa, along with dozens of others, come to vivid life. These portraits of women who changed the world--some in small ways, some in significant ways--will spark lively discussion and inspire you to a life of faithful witness


You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Ruth A. Tucker (PhD, Northern Illinois University) has for more than three decades taught at colleges and seminaries, including Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Calvin Theological Seminary. She is the author of many books, including From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya and Dynamic Women of the Bible.

My Review:

Reading about people from Christian history has always been a favorite thing of mine to do. So to read a book about some of history's most famous women was a delight. Each chapter focused on different types of ministry that women have done over the years. From nuns to missionaries to poets and writers, there is something for all kinds of history buffs. This book will definitely be useful for those who love to have discussions with friends about how far women have worked for God's kingdom here on Earth. 

This was a very well written, easy to read and understand and I loved that each chapter has reflection questions to ponder. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Extraordinary Women of Christian History from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Ellen's Picks, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hiding From The Kids In My Prayer Closet: A Blog Review

About The Book:

Finding grace and laughter when motherhood gets real
Soon after Jessica Kastner became a mother, she wondered if she was the only mom who found pretend play more boring than watching playdough harden and who dreaded yet another friend’s Instagram post of homemade deliciousness.
In Hiding from My Kids in the Prayer Closet, Kastner shares her experience as an “unmom”—a mom who loves her kids more than she loves the daily experience of mothering. She helps readers laugh at the ridiculous, delight in the unpredictable, and enjoy being the mothers God made them to be.


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About The Author:

Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist and a contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network’s CBN.com, Beliefnet.com, and the Huffington Post’s Christianity blog. As Connecticut’s coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries, she shares God’s message of hope by leading Bible studies in juvenile detention centers. When she’s not on the trampoline with her three boys in Connecticut, Jessica shares her unapologetically “real” commentary on the Christian life at www.JessicaKastner.com.
Find out more about Jessica at http://jessicakastner.com.
My Review:

Seriously one of the funniest books on motherhood I have read in a long time. I loved that the author was honest and raw about being a mom. Its not always Pinterest perfect and charming. It's hard, messy work with often times not a lot of thanks from anyone. But she reminds us that grace comes from the tough and was a great reminder to slow down even in the midst of chaos and see God in our lives. A great encouraging read for all ages and stages of motherhood! 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Hiding From My Kids In My Prayer Closet here from Amazon

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Included in Christ: A Bible Study Review

About The Study:

Chicago, IL – Have you ever battled insecurity, rejection, or a feeling of worthlessness? Maybe your ethnic background, family dysfunction, financial struggles, career failures, or your own inner battle with shame or fear have led you to feel like an outsider. Have you been telling yourself that you just are not special, chosen, included?

 “As someone who spent a lifetime feeling like an outsider and experiencing rejection—both real and imagined—the notion that I’m included reaches my soul like healing balm,” says Dr. Heather Holleman, author of Included in Christ: Living a New Story from Ephesians (Moody Publishers, June 2017). 

“As we learn in Ephesians, we are part of the whole of God’s family.” Holleman, a speaker, writer, and English instructor at Penn State University, who also serves on the Faculty Commons for Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), struggled for years with loneliness, fear, and feeling like an outsider. God used the book of Ephesians to minister to her and to usher in profound and lasting personal transformation.

 “Paul’s primary purpose in writing Ephesians has everything to do with explaining to readers—and reminding them again and again—that they belong not only in personal and actual union to a living Christ, but that salvation involves including them to one another as believers,” says Holleman. 

Written as part narrative but full Bible study, Included in Christ takes readers through an in-depth, eight-week study of the book of Ephesians. Designed to be studied in community, Holleman focuses the first seven week’s themes around a vivid verb—included, chosen, seated, strengthened, renewed, filled, and proclaiming.

 Each week, women study Ephesians through the lens of the verb, engage in personal reflection questions, discuss lessons in community, and work on developing, what Holleman calls, their Savior Story. “The Jesus I met through the book of Ephesians is a God who includes us, chooses us, seats us at the table, connects us deeply with others, refreshes us, empowers us, and proclaims truth through us,” says Holleman. 

“Instead of the Shadow Narratives that often dominate our lives, we need to replace them with our Savior Stories and begin to live and walk in that freedom.” Many women are stuck in their Shadow Narrative--a story that they tell themselves over and over again that keeps them in the darkness of exclusion and loneliness, weariness, and toxic patterns of jealousy, comparison, and despair. As readers study the verbs and phrases found in Ephesians and work through the discussion questions both personally and in community, they will replace these stories with those that have shaped their lives in Christ. 

These new stories are what Holleman calls Savior Stories, stories that look at who you are as a new creation in Christ, living with a different, biblical reality of a new mindset. “Can you imagine living each day like an included person?” says Holleman. 

“Someone chosen instead of rejected or ignored? Someone seated at the Greatest Table with the Greatest King instead of lonely and fighting for belonging? Someone strengthened instead of weary and powerless? Someone renewed instead of languishing in sin? Someone filled with the Holy Spirit instead of living in self-effort all day long? And finally, someone proclaiming her Savior Story instead of living in silence or stuck in her Shadow Narrative.” 

About The Author:

Heather Holleman, PhD, is a popular author, speaker, and college instructor. She is a faculty member of Penn State's English Department and teaches both freshman composition and advanced writing.
  Heather studied shame and narcissism for her doctoral work in English literature. 

She is the author of three books including Seated with Christ, Guarded by Christ, and Included in Christ (all Moody Publishers). Along with teaching and writing, Heather serves on the staff of Faculty Commons with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and helps direct the graduate student ministry at Penn State. She has received numerous teaching awards and her teaching philosophy finds its roots in what it means to be "seated at the table."

 She’s obsessed with vivid verbs like grapple, fritter, and effervesce. She also greatly admires the semicolon; it is the most beautiful and misunderstood punctuation mark, she says. 

In addition to teaching, she loves writing books, encouraging teachers, reflecting on spiritual principles in everyday life, petting her cats, walking with her neighbors, lighting candles, reading grammar books, watching movies and any television show with singing and dancing in it, entertaining, eating leftover Chinese food, and blogging. 

Her favorite Psalm is Psalm 16, and her three favorite Bible verses are Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:6, and Deuteronomy 31:6.

In addition to her full speaking schedule, Heather writes daily inspirational material that reaches thousands through social media on her blog, Live with Flair, and is slowing making her way through seminary classes in the summers. Heather lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ashley, and their two daughters. 

Learn more about Heather at www.heatherholleman.com.

My Review:

Recently I had the opportunity a wonderful Bible study titled, Included in Christ by Dr. Heather Holleman. It is a study of the Book of Ephesians and is a wonderful study to consider for your upcoming Fall 2017 Womens Bible Study season.

The study is eight weeks, with a few days of homework each week, which sounds like a lot but in reality is not as overwhelming as it sounds. I love the book of Ephesians so was excited to check out this study. It is very well done. You will dig deep but not be over your head in information given. This study is perfect for all of us who do not always feel they belong. You will be encouraged with each word read and studied along the way.

 The author does a wonderful job at bringing you into the world of Paul and the lessons God wanted Christians to learn through Paul. While the book of Ephesians is not new to me (its one of my faves to study and read), there has already been nuggets that are new to me after only doing a few days of study. I cannot wait to see what other great truths I will learn as I complete the study.

The study is very well written, easy to understand and would be fantastic for women of all ages to utilize in a group setting or even individually!

I highly recommend this study and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Included in Christ here, from Amazon.com

***I received a complimentary copy of this study, courtesy of Sidedoor Communications, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

The Unexplainable Church: A Bible Study Review

About The Study:

Chicago, IL – Do you believe God has called you to a unique purpose? Do you ever wonder what your purpose may be? God has offered you a divine invitation. The truth is all believers have been chosen by the Holy Spirit for a special work, a mission of grace to be pursued in connection with believers around the world as part of Christ’s church. We accept, discover and become equipped for that invitation through the community of the unexplainable church.

 “The wonder of the Holy Spirit is that while He calls us individually to live unexplainable lives, He works collectively through the body, bidding the realization of the unexplainable church,” says Erica Wiggenhorn, author of the new Bible study, The Unexplainable Church: Reigniting the Mission of the Early Believers (Moody Publishers, June 2017). 

“The early believers understood their interconnectedness to one another. They found it inconceivable to accept their divine invitation apart from each other as members of the Christian church at large.” 

In her second title in Moody Publishers’ Bible study line for women, Wiggenhorn, a Bible teacher, speaker, and founder of Every Life Ministries in Phoenix, begins where her last study, An Unexplainable Life, which covers the first half of Acts, finished. Guiding readers through the second half of Acts, Wiggenhorn looks in-depth at Paul’s missionary journeys, how the early church supported him, his ministry to the Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire, imprisonment, and his trip to Rome, all while urging women to live out the mission of the church—sharing the amazing grace of God. 

Designed for small groups, churches, as well as individual study, The Unexplainable Church includes ten weeks of lessons, five per week, and features a daily Scripture passage (which women are encouraged to read aloud), commentary from Wiggenhorn, and in-depth, interactive questions. Wiggenhorn’s hope is that this study would ignite the awe and wonder of God’s grace in each reader and help them discover all that God has for them in living out the mission of the unexplainable church.

 “The early believers held one mission: sharing the grace available through Jesus Christ,” says Wiggenhorn. “This mission united people of different races, different religious practices, political affiliations, ethnic traditions, and social classes. This mission, the kingdom of Jesus Christ, turned the world upside down. And it is our mission today: to share the powerful, life-altering grace of the Lord. The question is, will we accept it?” 

Throughout the study, Wiggenhorn guides women as they learn about unexplainable grace, the ways of God, His riches, protection, simplicity, and community through the life and ministry of Paul and the early church. She encourages women to surrender, resolving to follow Jesus wherever He may lead, and to realize that the unexplainable church needs them just as they need the church to fulfill the calling Christ has given them. 

About The Author:

Erica Wiggenhorn is the founder of Every Life Ministries, bringing you the truths of Scripture to transform your life. By digging deeply into God’s Word, Every Life Ministries encourages you to discover your unique purpose, accept God’s promises, and live by His power. 

Erica is the author of two Bible studies including An Unexplainable Life: Recovering the Wonder and Devotion of the Early Church, and The Unexplainable Church: Reigniting the Mission of the Early Believers (both Moody Publishers).

 Erica serves on the women’s ministry leadership team for her church and regularly teaches in various venues. She’s also taught women in the Arizona State Prison system, and overseas. She loves to bring God’s Word to anyone who’ll listen! 

A graduate and post-graduate of Azusa Pacific University, Erica lives in Phoenix with her husband, Jonathan, and their two children, Eliana and Nathan.

 For more information, along with free resources that coincide with the study, visit ericawiggenhorn.com

My Review:

I have participated in many women's Bible studies over the last 10-15 years and am always looking for more to do on my own time that will help me dig deeper into God's word and apply what I have learned on a daily basis. 

Recently I had the opportunity to review The Unexplainable Church by Erica Wiggenhorn. What a fantastic study so far. I am only a few sessions in, for sake of review, but so far it has been a great way to study the second half of the Book of Acts. With a deep conciseness, yet easy to read and understand, Wiggenhorn does a remarkable job of taking women through God's word in a deep and meaningful manner. Each week has 5 days of "homework" to more deeply understand the weeks lesson. It is not overwhelming like some studies on the market but deep enough to really get to the "meat and potatoes" of scripture. It is very evident that the author has a real heart and passion for women's ministry and teaching women to love God and study His word! I look forward to learning more about the history of the early church in Acts through the rest of this study. 

I highly recommend this study and give it a huge thumbs up!


BUY IT: The Unexplainable Church Study can be purchased online here through Moody Publishers

***I received a complimentary copy of this Bible study, courtesy of Sidedoor Communications, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Stepping On Cheerios: Finding God in the Chaos and Clutter of Life: A Book Review

About The Book:

Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!
Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family”.
Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.
Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.
About The Author:
Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of "Stepping on Cheerios," is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).
My Review:
Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted. It is a tough journey with lots of ups and likely (for most of us) even more downs. However, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, we know we do not walk this journey alone. He is with us each step of the way. 
This collection of real-life experiences as a mom for four was a delight to read. I laughed, cried and found myself nodding in agreement with a smile on my face many times as I read it. There is encouragement in the chaos of being a parent, even if we don't always see it at the moment. I am very glad to have read it when I did. Life has been pretty crazy recently and so this was a great reminder that I am not alone in this chaos of motherhood and that sometimes we just need to laugh. It was a raw, honest and vulnerable look at being a mom and I loved it.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up! 
BUY IT: You can purchase Stepping On Cheerios online here, through Abingdon Press.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Women Who Move Moutains: A Book Review

About The Book:

Infuse Your World--and Your Heart--with God's Life-Giving Power
Amid our packed schedules and life's curve balls, our hearts long for more. We want to live and love well; we want to be a source of joy and life for others. The good news is that we can--and the secret is found in the simple act of prayer. Prayer was never meant to be a recitation of requests, but rather a drawing closer to the heart of God.

In this book, Sue Detweiler reveals how to 
· Exchange the obstacles of life for the promises of God
· Pray with passion and confidence rather than fear and insecurity
· Transform brokenness into wholeness, anxiety into peace, and disappointment into hope
· Become a woman whose powerful prayers transform not only her own life, but the world around her

With a study guide and journaling prompts included, this is the perfect book to take you deeper in your prayer life, either on your own or with a group.


About The Author:

Sue Detweiler is a wife, mother of six, author, radio host, and pastor with more than 25 years' experience in leadership, ministry, and education. She is also a popular speaker who shares her heart and wisdom internationally on issues related to marriage, family, women, prayer, leadership, and ministry. Sue and her husband, Wayne, have recently relocated to Frisco, Texas, to plant Life Bridge Church north of Dallas.

My Review:

Women Who Move Mountains is a fantastic book that reminds the reader about how important prayer is, how to prayer and how to be bold in our prayers! The book was very easy to read, easy to understand and well organized. I absolutely loved that alternate chapters were journaling prompts and that the book included a study guide as well. Also, there were links to dig deeper through videos on the authors website, which added another wonderful dynamic to the book. Perfect for small group or individual study about prayer. This book would be ideal to give to a new Christian or someone who has been one for many years. The book is clear about the power and importance of prayer, without watering down the messages found in scripture. Very good read.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Women Who Move Moutains can be purchase through Bethany House Publishers

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Embracing Rough and Tumble Play: A Book Review

About The Book:

This practical, hands-on resource encourages you to incorporate boisterous physical play into every day and offers concrete advice on how to:
  • Create spaces for safe play
  • Effectively work big body movement into children's daily schedule
  • Use physical play to make teaching practice more dynamic and effective

Learn about the importance of big body play for social and emotional development thorughout life and how to communicate about safe and intentional rough-and-tumble play with chldren and families. 

Age focus: 0–8. 

Softbound, 240 pgs.

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About The Author:


Mike Huber has dedicated his life to serving children, families, and the field of early childhood. He has been an early childhood teacher since 1992 and currently teaches at Seward Child Care Center in Minneapolis. Mike has also worked as a trainer and consultant for the Minnesota Department of Education, the Child Care Resource and Referral Network, and the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC). Mike served on MnAEYC's board from 2007 to 2011, presents at local and national early childhood conferences, and has written for Teaching Young Children and a number of stories, songs, and puppet shows for children. He is the winner of the 2012 Kate Davidson Tanner Award from MnAEYC, the Scholastic Early Childhood Professional Award Honorable Mention in 2006, and Teacher Leadership from Hamline University's Master of Arts Education Program in 2006. Mike holds a master's degree in education from Hamline University. Visit Mike's blog: mikehuberchildrensbooks.wordpress.com.


My Review:


Rough and tumble play. This is a phrase that causes great anxiety for many of those that work with young children, teachers, and parents. But honestly, it should not. Rough and tumble play is normal behavior for children to embrace and they do it without abandon. If children see that there is no issue with it, then we, as the adults in their lives, should heed their thoughts and embrace it too. 

That is the main message of Embracing Rough and Tumble Play by author Mike Huber. The book looks at the background of rough and tumble play, how it has evolved and, most importantly, why we as educators and parents need to allow it to occur through play. It not all about wrestling and fighting. Rough and tumble play is all about big body play, moving, lifting, pushing, pulling and all that encompasses movement. Huber spends a great deal of the book looking at every area of a day in child care and how to make big body play happen. Through art, sensory, water and sand, gross motor, and all the areas in between. Not only that but he reminds the reader that this type of play can occur in all ages of children, from infancy through school age and how to implement rough and tumble play in each. 

The one point in the book that Huber hits on is that we, as adults, can either embrace it or try to stop it, but either way kids are going to move. Through behavior children tell us what they need and they need to move. We need to listen and allow it to occur, even allowing some measure of risk. This is a hard thing for adults to fathom. Yet allowing children to move is vital for their development, not only physically but in so many ways. And Huber delves into these nicely. He encourages observation and listening to help child do what they do best: move!

I was so incredibly encouraged as I read this book and discovered so many great ways to enhance my program with young children so they can be more free to move and just be children for as long as they want!

If you work with young children at any level, as a teacher, early childhood educator or parent you need this book!

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

The book is very well written and organized

BUY IT: You can purchase Embracing Rough and Tumble Play online through Redleaf Press here. 


***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Redleaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***


Friday, May 12, 2017

The Joy of Letting Go: A Book Review

About The Book:


With readings of encouragement and inspirational quotes, this devotional helps parents prepare their hearts for their children’s independence, whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or graduating from college.
Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.
About The Author:
Dr. Vicki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust—named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on "Starting Points," Focus on the Family’s parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.
My Review:

A fantastic resource for any parent who is going to be entering the teen years! It is full of encouragement and wisdom and would be a fantastic gift idea for anyone in your life. A great reminder of the ideas we can pass on to our children to help them navigate the ups and downs of being a teen. But more than helping out parents of teens, this is honestly a book for parents of children of all ages. It has great ideas and tips, and you will be better for reading this book. I promise! 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up. 
BUY IT: You can purchase The Joy of Letting Go here
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Friday, May 5, 2017

Last Chance Hero: A Book Review

About The Book:

What happens when your heart is intercepted before you even know it's in play?
The folks in Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica MacLeod has opened an office right on Main Street and Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has come home from the NFL to coach the high school football team. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot with this football-obsessed town when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and in fact doesn't know a first down from a goalpost. 
Despite having little in common, Jess and Andy find themselves drawn to each other. But when a disagreement over the future of an injured player puts them both on the defensive, it begins to look like this game is over . . . 


You can read an excerpt of Last Chance Hero, here in PDF format

About The Author:

Cathleen Armstrong lives in Orange County, California, with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico. Her debut novel Welcome to Last Chance won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women's Fiction. She is also the author of One More Last Chance and At Home in Last Chance. Learn more at www.cathleenarmstrong.com.

My Review:

Each book in the Place To Call Home series has been so good. And book 4, Last Chance Hero, was no different than the others. With characters that you would want to be friends with in real life, to a few little twists and turns, these clean romance books will have you reading late into the night. Last Chance Hero introduces a new character in Dr. Jess and she is remarkable! I think honestly my fave character from all the books. It was a light read and a great way to wrap up the series. 

I recommend this book and give it a thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Last Chance Hero at your favorite Christian book retailer from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Innocent: A Book Review

About The Book:

She longs for peace--for her land and her heart--but can it truly be found at Harmony Hill?
Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.


You can read an excerpt of The Innocent here, in PDF format

You can access a book group study guide here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel SisterSmall Town GirlLove Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

My Review:

I have read a number of author, Ann H. Gabhart's novels and with each one I get more and more impressed with her writing. The style flows nicely, has great story lines and characters that you find yourself rooting for and I absolutely love the character development. It was no different with her most recent release, The Innocent. This was an intriguing novel, and I found myself not wanting to getting anything else done but read it, including reading late into the night! A great read that I highly recommend! 

BUY IT: You can purchase The Innocent at your favorite Christian book retailer from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***