Lost in Pages

I enjoy reading and sharing my review of the various material I read. There is also the fun of communicating with authors and publishers

Igniting the Flame (Firebrand Begins)

 

Title:  Igniting the Flame (Firebrand Begins)

Author:  Sandra Robbins

Pages:  132

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Sandra Robbins

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

We meet the two main characters right out of the gate, one being ex-military Ash DeHaan and Lainey Simpson who will be starting a new job as she recently graduated from college.  Lainey has no living family members left.  Her grandmother recently passed away, leaving her estate to Lainey.  Ash has served in the armed forces exceptionally well, being known as a brilliant strategist.  Ash and two other friends of his have been asked to be special operatives off the books for the CIA.  No one will know about their missions, including any family members.

During a jog, Lainey is surprised to see Ash as they both seek shelter from a sudden downpour while in the mountains.  From there, readers see what begins to quickly develop between Ash and Lainey as well as some of the darker side to Ash’s personality and possessiveness.  The story is a little more suggestive in some ways than I was comfortable with, but I wanted to see where the author was taking the story so I continued reading.

I am glad I stuck it out as her sequels really are outstanding!  In the first book titled, Targeted, Sandra develops a very heart-touching story that focuses of Ash and Lainey.  When readers come to the second novel, they will meet familiar characters introduced in book one.  The main focus of Hunted is Colt and his wife Sloan.  In the final book titled, Betrayed, we get to see if anything develops between Reese and the woman who has pined for him, Deputy Casey Morgan.

The whole series is mainly based in St. Claire, North Carolina.  Some of the scenery described in the Firebrand series places pictures in my mind that make me desire to visit the mountains in that particular state.  Enjoy the Firebrand series; it’s fantastic!

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 Lady Unrivaled (Ladies of the Manor #3)

 

Title:  A Lady Unrivaled (Ladies of the Manor #3)

Author:  Roseanna M. White

Pages:  408

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 5 stars.

With this last book in the series, the focus turns to Lady Ella Myerston and Lord Cayton.  In the prior two books in the series, Lord Cayton is portrayed as a rogue.  Suddenly his engagement is announced to one woman while he has been paying court to another.  Shortly after their marriage, his wife becomes pregnant and then later dies soon after childbirth.  Lord Cayton is distraught owing to his guilt at not having loved his wife as she loved him.  He is now the father to a baby daughter and has come to realize his need for a Savior.  He meets every morning with his neighbor and cousin, the Duke of Stafford, to study the Bible.  However, Lord Cayton has decided that he will not wed again as the consequences and his former reputation will make for an unsuccessful marriage.

Lady Ella has invited herself to visit her friend, the Duchess of Stafford, to gain information about the infamous Fire Eyes diamonds.  Her brother was in possession of them, but if Ella has her way she will find them and save her family from the villains and the curse that follow the diamonds.  While visiting, she learns that Lord Rushworth and his sister, Lady Pratt, are due any day at Lord Cayton’s home.  He had not stopped them in the past from plotting to gain the diamonds and they hope to force him to help them once again.  However, Lord Cayton has other plans.  He will not be a party to thievery; he is a changed man now.  Lord Rushworth is crazy and will stop at nothing to get the diamonds.  Ella and Cayton spend time together and romance blooms, but Cayton tries to discourage Ella.  As a plan forms to keep the diamonds out of the hands of Lord Rushworth, the danger increases and lives are at risk.

I really liked the fact that Lord Cayton studied Scripture daily, seeking to live a more godly life and become a better man.  Lady Ella’s cheerful and optimistic personality was a joy to read and the banter she shared with Cayton was entertaining.  The tension at the end was great and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how the story ended.  Lord Rushworth and Dorsey were truly evil, making the ultimate bad guys.  I look forward to the next series by this author as they are filled with historical details of how life was lived during a particular time period, have drama and entertaining plots.

 

Authentic Living (365 Devotions for Deliberate Faith)

Title:  Authentic Living (365 Devotions for Deliberate Faith)

Author:  Richard Exley

Pages:  368

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Worthy Inspired

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Devotionals come in various sizes, themes, authors, publishers and the like.  Do you use a particular one?  Do you use one at all?  Perhaps you’re like me and wonder what is inside when a new devotion book is published or wonder if the book is worth looking into.  Here is one devotional that would be a great place to jump off your devotion time if you don’t have time or a book you’re using.

Richard Exley is transparent with his own walk with the Lord, which helps remind us that we all struggle with our flesh, and it’s nice to know he walks beside us.  The author stays with various themes to help keep readers focused week by week on a topic so that people have time to digest and practice what he shares.  Also, the author uses various Bible translations which can be a refreshing way to read a scripture verse that has become almost too familiar to some.  Plus, at the end is a short prayer to ask for God’s aid in helping us walk out the truth He reveals to our hearts that day.

Devotions are a place to start not an end in and of themselves.  Authors like Richard Exley share their wisdom gained from study, prayer and walking out the life of being a Christ follower in a society that is always trying to eradicate the reality of God.  Devotionals like this one are a great way to give a gift to someone searching for Him without overwhelming them.  So please consider gifting one to a person God lays on your heart.  You never know how it just might be the key to open the heart of the reader, friend or family member.

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.”

 

Death in the Shadows (Father Gilbert Mystery #2)

Title:  Death in the Shadows (Father Gilbert Mystery #2)

Author:  Paul McCusker

Pages:  302 (including ch.1 from The Body Under the Bridge)

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 2 stars.

Father Gilbert is at a conference with other religious leaders.  He checks in to the hotel and goes to the hotel restaurant where he encounters a ghost.  He quickly learns that the apparition that appeared to him is that of a recently murdered prostitute.  He also experiences the appearances of multiple ghosts occasionally in the story.  He doesn’t know why he sees dead people, but discovers there is someone else who can see them too.  He has an old friend who is in the local police department and soon is consulting on this prostitute’s murder.  A local priest had been visiting the prostitute before her death and is a suspect.

While Father Gilbert is in the midst of this case, a local priest approaches him for help in finding the daughter of an immigrant.  Father Gilbert helps as he can, but soon learns that all is not as was presented to him and that the missing girl case may be related to the dead prostitute case.  The crime boss from the area, who was in the last book, Jack Doyle makes himself known in this story by meeting Father Gilbert face to face.  He makes threats, but Father Gilbert is determined to find the killer and bring him/her to justice.

I read the first book in this series and thought it pretty good, but in this second book I just couldn’t connect with the story.  It is a very dark and often times for me disturbing topic that is the basis for the story, that of human trafficking for sex.  Homosexuality is mentioned in the story between two minor characters.  The story itself is well written, although some of the chapters are long, and it did make me think about the societal responsibility for these women being in this horrific situation and what we can do about it.  I do like the character of Father Gilbert and his persistence in solving a crime.  Also, the supernatural aspect of the story just didn’t seem to work well for me.  I don’t believe in ghosts, so having Father Gilbert get involved in a mystery because of the appearance of a ghost was hard for me to accept.  I’m not sure if I will continue reading this series or not.

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.”

Sully (The Movie)

 

Title:  Sully

Studio:  Warner Brothers

Year:  2016

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Do you remember what or where you were on January 15, 2009?  Were you aware of a possible disastrous and life-changing possibility for people on flight 1549?  For me, I remember what happened though not in detail and the pilot’s name, but nothing else.  After watching the movie, I wanted to know more about the people on the plane and the pilots; not so much the time of the flight or where the plane ended up, but more about what happened to the various people afterwards.

I was amazed at the calmness of Sully as he controlled the plane into water and then his ordeal with the authorities.  I can’t imagine being thanked by so many people only to find yourself under a microscope as investigators try to assign blame, being separated from his family, having to be careful what he said or for days seeing his face along with various stories about the incident all over the media.

The people were another aspect I wanted to learn more about after the crash happened.  Plus, I was amazed that as cold as the Hudson was, there wasn’t ice on it that could have changed the ending of the flight.  I was struck by Sully’s focus being on the people, making sure that all were off the plane and not just once but many times.  He wasn’t concerned about meeting with local authorities until he knew all 155 souls aboard were accounted for and all were going to be fine.

Watching the interview of Sully, his wife and one daughter and how it affected the family was something.  I was struck by how their “normal” was gone.  In the book Miracle on The Hudson, I am reading how the passengers lives were never the same again.  The ending of the flight as explained in the interview restored hope at a time that America needed.  I thought it was special to see the faces of the real people who were on the flight and what their seat number was on that day.

The strongest point of the movie for me was how over the years Sully had various experiences and those prepared him for what occurred.  Sully’s character showed up strongly on that day.  No one knows what is going to happen in their lives, or how they are being prepared for something in the future.  This movie can be a catalyst to remind us that character, faith and life matter every single moment we breathe.

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.”

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.”

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.”

Storm

 

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.”

A Primary Decision (The Worthington Destiny #3)

 

Title:  A Primary Decision (The Worthington Destiny #3)

Author:  Dr. Keven Leman & Jeff Nesbit

Pages:  343

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

This third and final book in the series focuses on Sarah Worthington, although big brothers Will and Sean are definitely a part of her story.  Out of the blue, Sarah is nominated by the President of the United States for the position of Attorney General.  Sarah accepts the nomination and begins the vetting process.  She hopes the pictures of her brother, Sean with the Polar Bear Bomber don’t make it into the hands of the press.  The rest of her family is keeping another secret from her as well as everyone else and likewise doesn’t want the media to find out about it.  Sarah continues to dig up facts and investigate the Polar Bear Bombing case even though the police have put the case to bed.  Sarah knows there is more going on beneath the surface.  Her friends Darcy and Jon continue to help her.  If she is elected Attorney General, she must give up her investigation.

She is elected, but shortly thereafter proof of the involvement in the bombing case of a high level official at her brother’s company as well as a close confidant of the President of the United States is discovered.  Sarah resigns her position as Attorney General, but surprises everyone with her announcement that she is throwing her hat in the ring to run for President of the United States.  With secrets still hidden and family members deciding how to come to terms with an event in the past, can Sarah’s bid for the highest office in the land be successful or will secrets from the past come to light and ruin her chance?

If you like political intrigue, drama and suspense, then this is a series you won’t want to miss.  The three books should be read in order:  A Perfect Ambition, A Powerful Secret, and then A Primary Decision. The juggling act and stress each sibling had to experience in each of the three books was impressive.  The amount of pressure they each experienced was almost tangible and I caught myself wondering how I would handle the various situations each one encountered.  One aspect I would have liked to have seen more of was the faith in God to have played a larger role in the books.  I did enjoy these entertaining books and look forward to more from this author team in the future.

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.”

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.”

Title: Chasing Freedom (Against All Enemies #3)

 

Title:  Chasing Freedom (Against All Enemies #3)

Author:  H. L. Wegley

Pages:  342

Year:  2016

Publisher:  H. L. Wegley

My rating is 5+ stars out of 5.

The series introduces us to various characters and adventures, beginning with Voice in the Wilderness followed by Voice of Freedom.  The conclusion to the series is Chasing Freedom and though it says prequel it is in the sense of the story of two of the main characters.  So to really get the most out of the story read them in order of Voice in the Wilderness, Voice of Freedom and then Chasing Freedom.  These are very top notch novels that will keep you turning pages and you might find yourself finishing the books quickly because they are that well written!

Here, in works of fiction, the author spurs the embers of hope as his crafted characters are looking for freedom from enemies, both from within and without.  There is spiritual warfare in that the two main players, Allie and Jeff, fight to hold onto their faith in the face of threats that test the mettle of their beliefs.  There are people who are constantly pursuing them in order to take them out because of how Allie and Jeff revealed to authorities the nefarious activities going on near Jeff’s home.

The whole series really gets the patriotic heart of readers as well as the blood pumping while reading the dangers the characters face.  It seems so real as I am sure many can relate to the test of faith, love and hope in everyday life.  H. L. Wegley crafts works of adventure, danger, romance, faith, and so much more in very realistic plots and scenes.

If you love suspense, thrillers, action, adventures with faith and romance, then look no further because here are three of the best books you’ll read in awhile.  I love how authors bring out their unique stories to grab the attention of readers, so I won’t compare these books to any one specific author.  I will say though that when you can locate novels that entertain and leave you with hope at the end those are a treasure that is found and to be kept!

Readers will absolutely become enthralled with the Against All Enemies series!  So grab some copies and gift them to friends or family.  You might be surprised to see even reluctant readers not putting the books down until the very end!

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.”

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.”

God’s Generals

 

Title:  God’s Generals

Author:  Robert Liardon

Pages:  415

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Whitaker House

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org

In his sixth book, God’s Generals:  Martyrs, Roberts Liardon covers some of the martyrs of the Christian faith.  Roberts Liardon discusses martyrs such as Paul, Polycarp, Thomas Cranmer, and many others.  The book covers multiple martyrs spanning from the birth of Christianity to today over many parts of the world throughout time.  The author is very thorough in going through the events that show the persecution the church and missionaries have faced for centuries.  Throughout the book the author points out how martyrs are a good role model for grace under pressure.  Each section of the book covers a time period, and the martyrs discussed within each period in history are given a clear background into their lives and respective callings.

God’s Generals:  Martyrs is a book that comes at a critical time in the Christian Church; a time when Christians face persecution in places like China, Afghanistan, and Syria.  Robert touches on this topic right at the beginning of the book.  He emphasizes the fact that this persecution is, while terrible, something that provides an opportunity to show God’s love even to those that want to kill His messengers.  The book tells the historical facts of those believers who came before and gave their all to spread the Gospel and make a stand for truth.  God’s Generals is an important read for Christians today, giving us a clear and informative picture of those brothers and sisters that came before us, and the example they gave in their lives.  This book is a must read for anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge on Church history or wishes to learn more about martyrs of the faith.

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.”

Long Way Gone

 

Title:  Long Way Gone

Author:  Charles Martin

Pages:  320

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Charles Martin has written a novel that moves the heart very deeply and engages the mind in wondering where he is taking readers.  The novel also moves the soul in a way that people can easily identify with by using the language of music.  The main character, Cooper, readers meet seen as a man playing a guitar on a street corner.  His looks have changed along with his voice.  Soon, due to being at a stoplight, he observes a young lady who looks very familiar.  When he sees her again, he is struck by how little she has changed.  Or has she?

The author uses flashback a couple of times and slowly reveals a modern day fictional telling of what many know to be the prodigal son parable from the Bible.  With slow movement and time to let the story sink into the heart of the reader, he unveils the true look at the heart of a prodigal.  While the character is a man, readers will soon see that all of the players are prodigals.  The difference is some come home and others choose not to.

Cooper also learns that he sees in the spiritual realm and it affects his life, heart and future in ways he couldn’t before understand.  When he realizes his earthly father is gone and what he was teaching his son was right, a powerful scene in the book will take your breath away.  The one scene towards the end of the book, and you’ll know what I’m talking about when you read the story, is one that I will be thinking about for a long time.

Avid book lovers or those just looking for a good book now and again, look no further as this fictional novel will grab you and won’t let go even after you close the book.  So, if you know someone who is on the prowl for a good book or want to share a novel with friends, family or others in this season of giving, look no further!  A perfect, touching story for all of us prodigals!

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

 

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.”