Monday, March 31, 2014

I Just Couldn't Get Into It - My Review of The Deeper Life

Written by: Daniel Henderson
Published by: Bethany House

I am eager to grow in my faith, so I was excited to pick up The Deeper Life and give it a read, but I really could not get into it, at all.



Who the book is for:

Christians, obviously. Adults.

What I liked:

I like the white look of this book.

What I didn’t like:

I found this book boring to read.

I found this book hard to follow.

The chapters are really long.

My conclusion:

Overall, I wasn't a fan of this book. I couldn't get into it and didn't enjoy it.

I give The Deeper Life 2 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Bethany House. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Dark and Edgy - My Review of Hands of Darkness

Written by: Heather James
Published by: Kregel Publications

I am always interested in reading suspenseful fiction, so I was happy to be given the chance to read this book.

Hands of Darkness tells the story of Evelyn Barrett, a woman who has just given birth to a new baby and has a new job as a police consultant.


Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy suspense books. Those who don’t mind a story that is a bit dark.

What I liked:

The characters in this book are very likeable and real.

There were moments in this story that were funny.

What I didn’t like:

The ending of this book was very depressing to me.

A bit edgier than most Christian books - I don’t know that this really bothered me too much, but it might bother some readers.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was an okay read.

I give Hands of Darkness 3 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from Kregel Blog Tour. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Theologically Off - My Review of Little Pilgrim's Progress

Written by: Helen L. Taylor
Published by: Moody Publishers

I have never read the whole, actual Pilgrim’s Progress book. Being a bit lazy, I thought the kids’ version might be more suitable for me.

Little Pilgrim’s Progress is based off the classic book from John Bunyan, and it tells two stories – one of Christian, and one of Christiana – as the two children make their way to the “Celestial City”.


Who the book is for:

Definitely not for your children. If I was going to recommend this book to anyone, it would be for preteens on up.

What I liked:

The short chapters are nice.

This book was relatively interesting and easy to read.

What I didn’t like:

Parts of this book are quite dark – much too dark for young children.

A lot of the theology is off; I don’t believe that God punishes people here on earth for the wrong that they have done, such as when Christian is whipped by the King’s servant; I also think it is weird that the book mentions repeatedly about Christian reuniting with his mom in the Celestial City, and how they will know each other, since the Bible says something that is sort of the opposite.

My conclusion:

Overall, I am still confused by certain aspects of this book, and I really didn’t find it enlightening at all.

I give Little Pilgrim’s Progress 2 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from MPNewsroom. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Mystery Among the Amish - My Review of Murder Simply Brewed

Written by: Vannetta Chapman
Published by: Zondervan

I'm not typically a fan of Amish fiction, in particular, but I am a fan of mysteries and suspense books, so I was eager to check out this combination of the two.

Murder Simply Brewed is the story of a village, and the mystery surrounding the death of one of its members.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy Amish fiction, and those who don't. Those who like a good mystery.

What I liked:

I really liked the combination of Amish and non-Amish characters, and the fact that the story was told from both perspectives.

The characters are likeable.

The story was interesting and unique.

What I didn’t like:

There were a few flaws that I - as an aspiring author myself - found in this book, but nothing too serious.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a good read.

I give Murder Simply Brewed 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Book Look. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Information Teaching on Love - My Review of The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition

Written by: Gary Chapman
Published by: Northfield Publishing

I absolutely love all that I have read from Gary Chapman so far, and so I was excited to dig into this book, as well.

The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition shares Gary Chapman's theory that each person feels loved especially much in on of five ways - through touch, words, acts of service, time, or gifts - and tells how that applies to singles.



Who the book is for:

Singles, obviously. Including single parents.

What I liked:

This book is applicable.

Full of stories that make it interesting.

Easy to read.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing in particular that I didn't like.

My conclusion:

Overall, I recommend this book to singles everywhere.

I give The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from MPNewsroom. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Good, Retro Read - My Review of Summer of Joy

Written by: Ann H. Gabhart
Published by: Revell

I thought this book sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a read even though it is the third book in a series that I have not read.

Summer of Joy tells the story of Jocie Brooke, a fourteen year old girl, and the lives of those around her. Set in the 1960’s, this book shares stories of love and pain.


Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy Christian fiction of any kind. Teens and adults.

What I liked:

The story was unique.

Interesting read.

Fun characters.

A small bit of suspense to keep things exciting toward the end.

What I didn’t like:

There isn’t anything in particular that I didn’t like about this book.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a good read.

I give Summer of Joy 4 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Scripture Verses Organized for Families - My Review of Parenting with Scripture

Written by: Kara Durbin
Published by: Moody Publishers

I am always interested in reading and reviewing parenting books, despite the fact that I'm not a parent, myself. I was excited to check this one out, in particular, because God is the ultimate authority on parenting.

Parenting with Scripture is a topical reference book that has scriptures listed for various issues that a parent might face, such as anger or guilt. It also includes ideas on how to apply those verses to your life and lives of your children.



Who the book is for:

Parents, obviously.

What I liked:

The amount of categories is great - there are so many topics covered.

The fact that this book shares the actual verses, not just their references, is nice.

What I didn’t like:

Some of the parts that the author wrote seem to expect and require perfection from your children. I think maybe God would be more focused on parents displaying grace to their children rather than using the Bible to beat them down. Maybe that's a bit harsh...

Some of the verses are taken a bit out of context or don't exactly apply to the topic just because they have that keyword in them.

My conclusion:

Overall, I'm not really a fan of this book. There are better parenting resources out there.

I give Parenting with Scripture 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from MPNewsroom. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Good Bible for Children - My Review of 101 Bible Stories by Dan Andreasen

Published by: ZonderKidz
Illustrated by: Dan Andreasen

Another children's Bible to review, I really enjoy checking out as many as I can. This time, it is 101 Bible Stories, a book that could be used with a bit older of children - not just babies and toddlers.



The story:

This book includes 101 Bible stories, including some that aren't usually included in children's Bible storybooks.

The illustrations:

Are... Professional? Old fashioned? Grown up? Kind of cool? I don't really know if I like them or not.

How strong is the book?

This is a sturdy hardcover book.

Who the book is for:

The cover of this book says "Perfect for Independent Readers", and I think I would agree. It would also be appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers/young school aged kids if their parents read it to them.

What I liked:

There are so many stories in this book, so it includes some that aren't typically in children's books.

This book is sturdy and strong.

The stories each include a reference so that you can find them in the Bible.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing in particular that I didn't like.

My conclusion:

Overall, this is a nice children's Bible.

I give 101 Bible Stories 5 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from BookLook. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Words of Our Savior - My Review of The Greatest Words Ever Spoken

Introduced and compiled by: Steven K. Scott              
Published by: WaterBrook Press

Just recently, I started reading through the gospels with a notebook and pen handy, ready to write down anything and everything that Jesus said that I thought I would want to remember and have use for later… it obviously got to be a lot…

The Greatest Words Ever Spoken has all the work done for me. This book shares Jesus’ words from his life on earth in an easy to read, easy to study, format.


Who the book is for:

Any Christians – children, teens, and adults. Those who aren’t Christians but who are open to learning more about our faith and our savior.

What I liked:

This book has a table of contents which makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

The overall idea behind this book is amazing.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing that I dislike about this book, I am so glad that I found it and was given the opportunity to review it.

My conclusion:

Overall, this is an amazing book.

I give The Greatest Words Ever Spoken 5 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from Blogging for Books. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Novel of Four Families - My Review of Just 18 Summers

Written by: Rene Gutteridge and Michelle Cox
Published by: Tyndale Fiction

I love fiction books about families, and they are hard to come by, so I was excited to check out this book.

Just 18 Summers tells the stories of four families who are at various stages of their lives, and discover the meaning of family and just how fast children grow up.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy contemporary fiction. Parents.

What I liked:

The characters were interesting and unique.

I like that parts of the book are written from a male perspective.

The cover is fun - even if it doesn't actually depict any of the characters from the book.

What I didn’t like:

Something about this book just wasn't what I felt it should be - I didn't connect with it.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was an okay read.

I give Just 18 Summers 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Tyndale Blog Network. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Couldn't Even Read the First Page - My Review of Twelve

I chose to review the book Twelve by Aries Free, thinking that it would be interesting to read about a preteen mother, but... because of the language and the way that this book was written, I couldn't even get through the first page.

I also do not appreciate the cover of this book as it makes it look a bit dirty...

Regardless, I had to post some type of review for this book, since I agreed to do that. My hat's off to the author, for choosing to give birth to - and raise - the child who was conceived in her at such a young age.


I received this book free to review from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My One Dollar (Filled) Easter Basket

I am a frugal person, and that is known about me. Yet, I love giving gifts. It wasn't until after I was finished with the Easter basket that I created for one of my nieces and one of my nephews (the two of them are siblings) that I realized I had only spent one buck on it - from start to finish. Check it out.

This is the basket that I created, filled with a few fun - and fairly valuable - items:


It was filled with...

A toddler Bible that I received free to review - for my almost two year old nephew:


A Noah's Ark activity book that I also received free to review - for my almost four year old niece:


A DVD that I won on a blog for my "show" loving niece - to be shared with her brother, of course:


The only item that cost me anything, a Farmville Memory set that I got on clearance at Walmart - I paid $1 for it, and my nephew loves sheep, too:


Lastly, the basket was roughly based off of these instructions from J & S Creationz - though I never completely follow through with directions. This was made from scraps of fabric that have been sitting around our house for years:



There you have it. My one dollar (filled) Easter basket, bound to make two little children very happy.

(I didn't include candy in the basket because - honestly - it just didn't fit.)



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Children's Tale of a Fieldtrip - My Review of When I Grow Up I Want to Be... a Firefighter!

Published by: Wigu Publishing
Written by: Mark Shyres
Illustrated by: Debbie Hefke

My nephew loves firetrucks. He will literally sit for hours on end watching firetruck parades on Youtube. When I received this book to review, I thought that it would be something that he might like.

When I Grow Up I Want to Be... a Firefighter! tells the story of a little boy on a fieldtrip to a firehouse.



The illustrations:

Are simple and not the cutest.

How strong is the book?

This is your average paperback book.

Who the book is for:

I would guess that this book was written for ages six to eight, as I think it would be a little long for my almost four year old nephew.

What I liked:

This book gives good, detailed information about firefighters and firetrucks.

This book is colorful.

What I didn’t like:

The mention of zombies in this book pushed me away from gifting it to my nephew.

My conclusion:

Overall, this is an okay book.

I give When I Grow Up I Want to Be... a Firefighter 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, March 10, 2014

An Okay Romance - My Review of Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter

Written by: Denise Hunter
Published by: Thomas Nelson

I love reading any contemporary fiction, so I was excited to check this book out.

Dancing with Fireflies is the story of Jade McKinley, a woman who is expecting through rape. She feels the need to provide a dad to her children, and also to head home to her loving family.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy romances. Women, in particular.

What I liked:

The characters are fun and likeable.

The plot was interesting and unique.

What I didn’t like:

The story was pretty boring, to me, and I wasn't a big fan.

I felt like the story definitely could've been deeper and more emotional.

My conclusion:

This book is okay, but nothing too special. I've read other books recently that I have likes a whole lot more.

I give Dancing with Fireflies 3 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from BookLook. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Brain Injury Awareness - My Review of The Long Awakening

Written by: Lindsey O’Connor
Published by: Revell

This month is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and I was given this book to read and review because of that.

The Long Awakening tells the story of Lindsey O’Connor and the many days that she spent in a coma following the birth of her youngest child. It also shares about the brain loss that she continues to deal with.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy memoirs.

What I liked:

This book is so real, the author shares every moment and detail.

It was interesting to learn more about brain injury and illness.

What I didn’t like:

This book was hard to get into in the beginning.

Some of the sentences in the book are just really long and make it hard to read/understand.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was an okay read.

I give The Long Awakening 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mediocre Pirate Tale - My Review of The Treasure of Snake Island

Written by: Carole P. Roman

I am always eager to read children’s stories, and the colorful cover of The Treasure of Snake Island drew me in.


The story:

This book is about a little boy who is playing that he is a pirate – and his crew made up of friends and stuffed animals.

The illustrations:

The pictures in this book are colorful and fun.

How strong is the book?

This is a flimsy paperback.

Who the book is for:

I would recommend this book for little boys ages four through six – though girls and younger kids may also enjoy it.

What I liked:

The colorful pictures.

What I didn’t like:

The story is kind of boring and doesn’t really seem to have a point to it.

My conclusion:

Overall, I’m not too enthused about this book.

I give The Treasure of Snake Island 3 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Suspenseful Fiction with Heart - My Review of Distortion

Written by: Terri Blackstock            
Published by: Zondervan

I love Terri Blackstock’s writings. Her novels are the best. They always combine suspense and a good story, which makes them pretty near perfect.

Distortion is the story of a woman whose husband gets murdered. While trying to solve the case of who did it, she and her siblings – along with the police and FBI – discover some things about the deceased that she’d rather not know.


Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy suspense. Teens and adults.

What I liked:

The characters in this book are the kind that you fall in love with and want to just keep on reading about.

The story was interesting.

Quick read – at least for me. I finished it in a day.

What I didn’t like:

The suspense could have been a bit stronger, but it was okay with me just the way it was.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a really good read.

I give Distortion 5 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from BookLook. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Touching Fiction - My Review of A Broken Kind of Beautiful

Written by: Katie Ganshert               
Published by: WaterBrook Press

I love reading contemporary fiction, and so I was excited to receive an advanced reader copy of A Broken Kind of Beautiful to review.

This book tells the story of Ivy Clark, a model who has only ever found love through men. Conceived through an affair, her dad never cared about her, and her mom was dependent on drugs. Now, Ivy is growing older and struggling to hold onto the career that she loves – and the only thing that she is suited for.


Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy contemporary fiction, like myself. Teens and adults. Females.

What I liked:

Emotional read.

I felt really connected to the characters.

Kept me interested.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing in particular that I didn’t like.

My conclusion:

This book is one of the best that I have read in a while.

I give A Broken Kind of Beautiful 5 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from Blogging for Books. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.