Archive for the 'book reviews' Category

Remembering You by Tricia Goyer

I am fascinated by the World War II era.  So when the opportunity came up to review Tricia Goyer’s latest release…I was all in.  Why?  Because Mrs Goyer has done a lot of research into her books and the World War II era and has befriended many veterans as she learned about the hardships and beauty of that time.  If you follow her on twitter you know the heart she has for her veteran friends :)
Remembering You is both moving and heart-wrenching.  While fiction it also contains elements that really happened.  To me this added so much to the book.  Yes, the characters were fiction but the places and some of the events were not.
Ava, Dennis, Jack, and Paul are all delightful yet flawed.  Each holds a secret that is haunting them and breaking them.  Remembering You deals with forgiveness on many levels.  His forgiveness, others forgiveness, and forgiving ourselves.  Something we all deal with.
Tricia Goyer created four characters that come alive in the pages of the book and there were several times the pain of the characters brought tears to my eyes.  I will admit I at one point I was very frustrated with Ava.  The more I read the more frustrated I got with her…until I realized the reason I was frustrated is because well….I have done the same things she has.  Believed the lies over His Truth.
My favorite part of the book was definitely the scenes were Jack and Paul talk about their experiences during the war.  It was painful to read yet they brought out the beauty of what God can do.  Knowing Mrs Goyer had worked painstakingly to research and know about this time in history made it even more powerful.
Remembering You explores the many types of love.  As someone who has lost all of her grandparents this book was bittersweet in many ways.  Reading of the relationships of a granddaughter and her grandpa and a grandson and his grandpa.  It made me long for the days my memory holds.  In many ways this book is a love story.  The love of family , the love of country, and the love of that special someone.  The sacrifices all require and the beauty that comes from it.
Remembering You was a book I could not put down and read it in less than two days.  The characters are memorable.  Their pain touching and their joy moving.  It’s a fiction book that reaches in and touches a small part of your heart.  There are not many fiction books like that …. so definitely take a chance and read Remembering You by Tricia Goyer.
About the book:
35-year-old Ava Andrews’ dream job is interrupted by an unusual request–fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather’s last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own–to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.
As if juggling these two things isn’t hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again … twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they’re on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa’s best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava’s first love.
Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava’s videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn’t just for them … it’s for her too–especially for her heart.
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/contemporaryfiction.html#RememberingYou
About Tricia:
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German MoonThe Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer’s Conference in 2003. Tricia’s book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. On Tricia’s weekly radio show, Living Inspired, she shares stories of inspiration and encouragement. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
For more about Tricia and her other books visit www.triciagoyer.com
Special thanks to Litfuse Publicity for providing me with a complimentary copy of Remembering You.  The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

If you have been around this book bloggy long you know I am a Julie Lessman fan.  :)  I have adored her writing from her first book and also am blessed enough to now call her friend.  So it should be no surprise that I wait anxiously each time her new book comes out.  A Heart Revealed was no exception.  What I did not expect was for this book to become my favorite.  I have long adored Brady and Lizzie’s book, A Passion Denied but now the story of Sean and Emma has moved into favorite position.

I have always liked Emma in the other books but to finally get a glimpse into her life and her heart was a treat.  I found myself understand her choices and her emotions.  Her heart was just beautiful even though she carried around so many scars.  Emma is truly a relatable character for many women.

Sean.  Whew.  That man…. I found myself wishing for one of him ;)  (Mr. Darcy and Gilbert Blythe better watch out!)  The heart he had for his family and those in his life is unique and a refreshing look at a male character.

The love story is sweet and will have you rooting for Sean and Emma even while your heart is breaking.  Julie throws in a few incredible twists that leave you sitting with your mouth wide open and wondering how in the world is this going to end?

The beat of my heart is the beauty of redemption.  I find it to be the most beautiful of things and through out A Heart Revealed that is the theme of Emma’s life.  Of Sean’s life.  Of the O’Connor’s.  The story from that aspect is absolutely beautiful.

Like in Julie’s past books I cried and I literally laughed out loud several times.  (There is a kitchen scene that I re-read a few times and laughed until tears came because it was so funny and so real!)

As always you get to glimpse into the lives of the whole O’Connor clan and catch up with your favorite characters.

At 512 pages A Heart Revealed is one of those stories you get to completely imerse yourself in and just enjoy reconnecting with the characters and learning about Emma and Sean.  As always I closed the book with a sigh.

About the book:

Her heart is tied to a youthful vow . . . but can true love set it free?

Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston, running for her life. Her emotional wounds have finally faded, and her life is now full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity’s handsome and charming brother, Sean O’Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she’s ever known?

Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold you in its grip until the very last page.

BUY the BOOK!!

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

AND!

FREE DOWNLOAD of A Hope Undaunted, book 1 in the Winds of Change series!!  Visit  CBD.comAmazon.comBarnes&Noble.com and Sony e-reader!! You do NOT need a Kindle, Nook or e-reader to download it — you can download e-books on ANYTHING, including PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Cloud Readers, Androids, Blackberrys and Windows Phone 7, you name it!

 

(I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.)

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

 

I first heard about Ms Swope’s book when a friend sent me a link for her email series called the doubt diet.  My curiosity was peeked and I did a little research.  The next day an email appeared in my inbox offering the chance to review the book.  I knew then God definitely wanted me to read it.

Doubt is a constant in my life and I knew what Ms Swope would have to say would pierce my heart.  Fear is definitely how I have lived my life.  Mrs Swope explores many of the areas where fear is prevalent for women.  Her approach is one of friendship in many ways.  While reading the book it was as if I had told her how I felt and she offered her words as a friend would.  It is not an easy book to read if you struggle with doubt and fear because the lies you have believed for so long seem to scream at you as you read.  The authors reminders of how much God loves you and the life you can have are full of hope and promise.

If you struggle with doubt and fear A Confident Heart is a great book that will encourage your heart.  Mrs Swope openly shares her own personal experiences and you will feel a kindredness with her.  Her writing is gentle and loving.  You see not only her experiences and triumphs on the pages…you see your own too.  The questions really help you explore things further in your heart and the chart of promises is a great reminder.  I will be recommending this book to friends!

About the book:

Step out of the shadows of self-doubt to live with a confident heart
Ever feel like you’re not good enough, smart enough, or valuable enough? Renee Swope understands. Even with a great family, a successful career, and a thriving ministry, she still struggled with self-doubt. Sharing her own personal story, Renee shows you how to rely on the power of God’s promises to find the security you need and the confidence you long for!

  • Exchange fear-filled thinking with faith-filled believing
  • Fail forward when life or sin sets you back
  • Embrace your God-given purpose, passion, and personality
  • See beyond who you are to who you are becoming in Christ

Powerful Scripture-based prayers are at the end of each chapter, along with Bible study questions and a chart with thirty-one promises to replace our most common self-doubts. Foreword by Lysa TerKeurst.

 

Buy the book.

“Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Special thanks to Revell for providing me with a copy of The Confident Heart in exchange for my honest review.

The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz.

The Colonel’s Lady is Laura Frantz’s third novel.  The setting is the late 1700’s Kentucky where not only is there a war going on but tension is also high among the Native Americans and the people moving into their land and territory.

The Colonel’s Lady has many themes: hope, forgiveness, honor, and love.   Not only do you get a sweet romance but a mystery too.  You meet many characters, all unique, and some with secrets.  Roxanna and Cass are flawed just like you and me and you will find yourself rooting for them…not only as a couple but as they both overcome the past so they can embrace their future.

Several things make Laura Frantz one of my few must read Christian authors.

One is the fact that with a Laura Frantz book you get a true historical read.  You can tell Ms Frantz’s has taken the time to research the time period and her beloved Kentucky.  I found myself wanting to see the area for myself because of her descriptions.

Secondly I find I enjoy about the author’s books is the fact that she creates unique characters.  Roxanna and Cass are unforgettable because of their unique stories…and their story together.   The secondary characters in the book are lovable and at times I found myself wishing for more on them too.  To me wanting to know more about the secondary characters as much as the main ones means the author has created an all encompassing story that will have you engrossed in the book and when you are not reading it..pondering what is coming next.

And lastly Ms Frantz’s writing style is beautifully descriptive and enjoyable.  Reading one of her stories you are able to truly get lost in her descriptions and the lives of her characters.  When you turn the last page you are surprised it is over because you have been swept away to another place for the last 416 pages.

In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father’s place as scrivener. Before long, it’s clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own–some of which have to do with her father’s sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?

Readers will be enchanted by this powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness from reader favorite Laura Frantz. Her solid research and deft writing immerse readers in the world of the early frontier while her realistic characters become intimate friends.

Buy the Book.

**Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

***I was provided a copy of The Colonel’s Lady from the publisher.  However, the views and opinions expressed are my own.

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren

My Foolish Heart is a lovely visit back to the town of Deep Haven.  I really enjoyed that Susan May Warren tackled some tough subjects in this novel.  Both main characters, Isadora and Caleb carry some heavy and very real baggage and have to explore themselves before they can truly see the beauty of each other.  Mrs. Warren deals with some tough but hard issues that so many can relate too in some way.   The romance is lovely and believable.  She always creates characters that stay with you even after you finish the book (as any character should do!  Good books never end I have been told and if the character stays with you…the book never ends.)   Isadora and Caleb are messy but find that all things become new in Christ.  The wonderful truth of redemption.  Even though the book deals with some deep things it is a wonderful read that will leave you sighing at the end….per usual with Mrs Warren’s books.  (Add in the secondary story line and this book is just icing!)

While not my most favorite (I still cannot get over my adoration of the Mission :: Russia series!) this is another wonderful book by the always delightful Susan May Warren.

About the Book:

Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she’s never really done either. Issy’s ratings soar when it seems she’s falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn’t realize lives right next door.

Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.

Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host—and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?

Read an excerpt here: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/novels/contemporary-romance/

Win a Romantic Night on the Town from Miss Foolish Heart!

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest Deep Haven book, My Foolish Heart!

Read what the reviewers
are saying here.

To celebrate this charming novel about a dating expert who’s never had a date, Susan has
put together a romantic night on the town for one lucky couple. One grand prize winner
will receive a Miss Foolish Heart prize package worth over $200!

The winner of the Romantic Night on the Town Prize Pack will receive:

* A $100 Visa Gift Card (For Dinner)

* A $100 Gift Certificate to a Hyatt/Marriott Hotel

* The entire Deep Haven series

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on
June 16th. The winner will be announced that evening during Susan’s Miss Foolish Heart
Party on Facebook
! Susan will be chatting with guests, hosting a book club chat
about My Foolish Heart, testing your Deep Haven trivia skills, and giving away
tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, donuts, and more!) Don’t miss the
fun and BRING YOUR FRIENDS! 


Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

A Family For Faith by Missy Tippens

I had the lovely pleasure of having lunch with Missy and a few other authors a few years ago and was charmed by Missy.  She is a delight and I loved hearing about her writing life.  If you haven’t guess writers have long fascinated me.

A Family for Faith is Missy’s fourth book for the Love Inspired line and it might be my favorite of Missy’s books.  I found the whole premise fascinating and not done in Christian fiction before (that I can remember).  When I read the authors note at the end of the book and found out how the idea came about I enjoyed the premise ever more!  The characters were real and very relatable and as I read the book Faith really grew special to me because I saw a lot of some of my actions in her.  I also found myself really connecting with Gabe and his inability to move forward. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters and found myself wishing I could go visit the little town and meet these quirky folks!  I of course always love a book set in my home state ;)  The book deals with some hard issues and yet there are some enjoyable lighthearted fun moments too.   The faith element of the book is there but not overdone and is not distracting from the wonderful story Missy created.

For me this is another great book from Missy and I look forward to her next….as always!

About the book:

When Faith Hagin sees widower cop Gabe Reynolds every day in her coffee shop, she can’t help but feel for the struggling single dad. She’s raised a teenager of her own—and sadly, knows what not to do. But thanks to his matchmaking preteen daughter, Chelsea, the whole town’s praying for Gabe to find a wife! Even though Faith thinks she’s content being just friends, spending time with him and Chelsea starts to feel like a fresh start at having a family. And their love may be the answer to everyone’s prayers.

Buy the BOOK!

Visit Missy’s website!

Connect with Missy on her facebook page!

Special thank you to Missy for my copy of A Family For Faith!

Dirty Girls Come Clean by Crystal Renaud

I have been blessed to know Crystal for several years.  I stumbled upon her blog and then followed her on twitter (way back in the day!)  and was blessed enough to be in a lifegroup online (LGO) with her and several other amazing people.  We started sharing our testimony’s and Crystal’s was beautiful. Even more was that her heart was to help other women who were bound by pornography.  It has been a privilege to watch God work in amazing ways and for this book to become a reality.

Crystal has a passion for helping other women where she was.  Dirty Girls Come Clean is a powerful tool.  Using the acryomn SCARS Crystal shares how God can work in our lives to heal this addiction.  Not only is Crystal’s information spot on, as a counselor I found it very useful to make me think and dig deeper with my clients.  At the end of each chapter Crystal offers a Becoming Clean section where steps are introduced to help you on your journey.  That is what this book is.  A journey toward healing.

In Dirty Girls Come Clean we not only get a very informative book we also get the added bonus of beautiful stories of redemption through the testimonies shared.

Most importantly this book is not just for those women who struggle.  It is a fantastic tool for any women.  This is happening much more than we think and I know we all have friends who may be secretly struggling.  It is good information for all of us to know.

This book is hopefully the first step of many unveiling secrets we keep as Christians…especially those of us who are women.  We are all sinners in need of Grace…and we need to stop hiding behind our lies we are okay and life is perfect.  Crystal takes a giant step here and we all should follow.

Dirty Girls Come Clean is an inspirational book that reminds us our God is still a Healer and He still works in amazing ways if we just let Him.  I highly recommend every single person in the church read it and have their eyes opened…

 

About the book:

Pornography is not just a man’s issue.  Twenty-five percent of Christian women are addicted to pornography and sadly, 70% of these women will never confide in someone about their problems.

Recently there has been an explosion of ministries, churches, and individuals battling pornography’s destructive and tragic effects.  Porn is highly addictive and requires plenty of tools to break its strangling hold.  However, these ministries and tools are more accessible to men than women.  Women turn to pornography for different reasons than men but once adicted feel the same alienation and shame.  Women desperately need a place of confession, accountability, and healing separate from men.

In Dirty Come Clean, Crystal Renaud, founder of Dirty Girls Ministries and AACC certified counselor – whose own addiction started at age 10 – provides steps to recovery uniquely tailored for the female addict.  Beginning with surrender, moving to confession, embracing accountability, owning responsibility, to finally sharing with others, the reader will be taken on a journey that can guide her from a state of woundedness to one of healing.

 

Visit Dirty Girls Ministries.

Crystal Renaud on Twitter.

Dirty Girls Ministries on Facebook.

BUY THE BOOK!


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