Thursday, April 22, 2021

Table for Two by David and Krista Dunham

I am impressed with the information in this book.

Krista shares her insights from her experience of an eating disorder. She writes about her motives, her drive for perfection, control, and her self-medicating. How she felt about her body defined her worth. There was the isolation from others. And then she faced the hardest thing – telling someone else about her condition. Krista takes us through the hard decisions and the internal and spiritual work that followed.

David, Krista's husband, shares insights about helping those with eating disorders. He writes about knowing the difference between forcing change and encouraging it. He admits there is no silver bullet. He gives great insight into building trust and loving well.

The authors remind us that the decision to change must come from the person with the disorder. It is so important others provide support in that process. Eating disorders thrive in isolation so the involvement of community is very important.

This is a great book for those who have an eating disorder and those who desire to support them. There are thoughtful exercises for the sufferer and the helper. Krista and David share their good decisions and their mistakes so we get a idea of the bumpy road the path to recovery might be. Krista had a team of specialists help her. This book will not provide that level of help but it will get you in the right direction for your journey with valuable insights and practical suggestions.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

David Dunham, MDiv (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), is a pastor and biblical counselor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Roseville, MI.

Krista Dunham has served as a women's mentor, biblical counselor, and curriculum developer for various women's and children's ministries. She has a degree in early childhood education from Ohio University.

New Growth Press, 144 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Secret of the 14th Room by Rebecca Hemlock Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book

Book:  The Secret of the 14th Room

Author: Rebecca Hemlock

Publisher: Bluecap Publishing

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: March 16th

Memories can be a killer.

When Levi Corbin returns to Granton, Tennessee after the death of his beloved grandmother, it sets off a chain of events he’d rather have avoided. Claiming his inheritance should have been a piece of cake, but a cousin appears, threatening to steal it all.

Even worse (and better, too), he’s falling for the girl he just met and now must team up with her to try to stop his cousin. Their quest for his inheritance uncovers secrets frozen in time—and one might just be the answer to save his grandmother’s home.

Things go from worse to completely out of hand when a freak fire threatens it all. Add to that a nosy old woman and a battered runaway, and Levi can’t help but wonder what is going on!

As circumstances rekindle his faith and new love spurs him onward, Levi races against time and odds to save Grandma’s house from certain destruction, but the result might just mean saving himself as well.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a fun mystery that explores themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Levi and Silas are cousins and the two inherit their grandmother's house. But the will states they have to get along and that is the problem. They'd been feuding since their youth and God needs to do some character transformation in both of them before reconciliation could be possible.

The animosity between the cousins goes back to perceived treatment in childhood. I like that Hemlock explores how current feelings were planted in events years ago. There is a bit of romance included in the novel too as Levi struggles with his affectionate feelings toward the lawyer managing the will.

There is a mystery too as someone wants to prevent the cousins from getting the house. There are nefarious actions going on and some people are not who they claim to be. A good mystery for readers who like one exploring relationship issues of forgiveness and reconciliation. And we are left with some loose ends so I will be watching for the sequel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author 

Rebecca lives in Eastern Kentucky with her husband and children. She absolutely loves mysteries. Rebecca has been writing stories for many years and enjoys reading, painting and spending time with her family. Her favorite times to write are early in the morning when the sun is coming up and at sunset. She has worked as a freelance journalist for 4 years and is a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers. Rebecca has earned a degree in English and an Appalachian Studies certificate in Creative Writing.\

More from Rebecca

Looking for new ideas is my favorite part of writing because it comes with talking to interesting people and exploring antique shops all over the country.

This book not only captures my love for American history and riveting romantic suspense, but it also captures how old wounds of the heart can be healed.

Levi Corbin in The Secret of the 14th Room learns this the hard way after carrying his broken heart for most of his adult life. He has to discover the real meaning of family and family pride. Levi must face the past so that he can move on to a brighter future.

Granton, Tennessee, is a town I hope you fall in love with, just as I did when I created it. There are so many delightful characters, some with a dark secret or two. This story has been brewing for a while, and I am glad that I finally have the opportunity to share it with you.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 22

Genesis 5020, April 22

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, April 23

A Novel Pursuit, April 23

Texas Book-aholic, April 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 24 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, April 25

Blogging With Carol, April 25

Betti Mace, April 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 27

Godly Book Reviews, April 27

deb's Book Review, April 28

CarpeDiem, April 28

Older & Smarter?, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, April 30

Simple Harvest Reads, April 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 1

KarenSueHadley, May 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 3

Mary Hake, May 3

Through the Fire Blogs, May 4

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, May 4


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rebecca is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 https://promosimple.com/ps/10b6a/the-secret-of-the-14th-room-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Time to Reset by Karen Brown Tyson Blog Tour

About the Book:

Has your life been interrupted? Do you want to know how to move forward? It's time to stop running in circles. When we experience setbacks and disappointments in life, God is ready to not only offer refuge but is prepared to provide redirection.

  • In Time to Reset: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Sidelined, Disappointed or Knocked Off Course, Karen Brown Tyson helps us:

  • learn how to surrender to God's plan,

  • become the best version of ourselves, God created us to be; and

  • refresh our faith.

How can we get our lives back on track and find time to connect with God? This 21-day devotional will show you how to reset your mindset to move forward with renewed strength.


You can purchase the book at Amazon, Thrift Books, and Barnes and Noble

My Review

This is a timely book. Many of us have had our lives upended with the pandemic. Plans for life have been frustrated. I appreciate Brown reminding us that God's plans supersede our own. She also reminds us that we have some responsibilities in times like these, such as being willing to repent and being willing to allow God to work in us as we refresh our faith.

Brown shares the lessons she has learned from her own experiences as well as the experiences of others and from examples in Scripture. Each devotion has a note from the author in the form of a prayer, a Bible verse and a lesson, takeaways, and thought provoking prompts about gratitude, listening to God, observing a Bible passage, and sharing our story with others.

My favorite lesson from Brown was on the storms that come in life. There are two kinds. One is a storm of correction (think Jonah) while another is a storm of perfection. The latter is like when the disciples were in a storm and Jesus came walking on water. The disciples were right where Jesus told them to be. The storm was for their growth and perfection in faith. It is so important to hear God's voice in both kinds of storms.

This is a good book for Christians whose lives have been interrupted. You'll be encouraged to give control to God and not allow the enemy to take advantage of your circumstances.

You can listen to an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book and see a list of all the blog tour stops here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Karen Brown Tyson is an award-winning author. Her first book, Time to Refresh: A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined, was named 2019 Finalist in the Religion: Christian Inspirational Category of the 2019 Best Book Awards.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in English from National University. In addition, Karen has a Master of Arts degree in Christian Ministry and postgraduate certificates in Christian Leadership, Theological Studies and Biblical Studies from Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity. Her ministry concentration focuses on the expository teaching of the Word of God in the areas of spiritual discipline, discipleship, leadership, apologetics and New Testament theology.

Karen has served in God’s kingdom in a variety of ways including her most recent assignments with the Deacon's Wives, Women, Evangelism, Social Media and Helps ministries at her church, Elevation Baptist Church. Karen also serves as the Dean of the Elevation Bible Institute where she teaches courses on spiritual discipline, evangelism, and Christian apologetics.

She is a graduate of the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild apprentice program. As a writer, she has developed several Christian ministry tools and training materials for her local church.

Karen and her husband of 25 years, Kelvin, have one son and they live in North Carolina.

You can find more about Karen Brown Tyson on her website, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest

Independently published, 137 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Women on Writing. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Women on Writing.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Paint the Desert by Dawn V Cahill

About the Book:

When violence visits an ordinary college campus one day in San Rafael, California, it threatens to shatter a community, and a family, in its aftermath.

Newlyweds Jon and Meg Paulson are honeymooning in Hawaii when they receive the news that Meg’s son Richard was seriously injured in a seemingly random school shooting. When they return home, they find him in a deep coma, with the doctors uncertain if he will ever recover. Meg struggles to find answers and to understand why God allowed this to happen.

With the investigation into the shooter’s motives ongoing, Meg seeks support from a local grief group, where she finds that helping another grief-stricken mother helps speed her own journey from despair to hope. But her distress is creating strain in her brand-new marriage. She also finds herself at odds with her daughter when Linzee’s gun control activism pits her against her own mother.

Meanwhile, Linzee fears the new man in her life will find out the one thing from her past she never wants him to know. Can she give her fear over to God and open her heart to love?

My Review:

Cahill writes about Christians in difficult contemporary situations and this novel is a very timely one. She explores the feelings of parents and sister when one in their family is severely injured in a school shooting. In addition to that heart breaking issue there are others covered in the book. One issue is a young gay woman changing her ways. Another is the hot topic of gun control, opposing opinions presented. We also see the ramifications of hiding sins from the past and how they generate events in the present. We also find out a bit about art therapy.

There is a great deal of thought provoking material packed into this novel. While an author generally tackles one difficult issue, Cahill went for several. Potential readers should know that there are several trigger issues in this novel. And, if you are like me, you'll not agree with some of the opinions expressed by the characters. And sometimes, it seems, Cahill expresses her own opinion, such as through the mother's blog. Nevertheless, the plot is well done and the characters are well developed. I recommend this novel if your are ready to think about some tough issues Christians are facing today.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author:

Dawn V Cahill writes stories of victorious faith for the 21st century, dealing with situations unthinkable for previous generations. She created Hot Topics Fiction, an intensive four day writers conference, help writers create stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in an upside-down world. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her novel Sapphire Secrets was a finalist in the 2015 First Impressions Contest. You can find out more about her and read her blog at https://dawnvcahill.com/.

Spring Mountain Publishing, 247 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The 30 Day Praise Challenge by Becky Harling

We Christians know we are to praise God. Sometimes it is hard to know how to do that, much less establish a habit of daily praise. This book provides thirty days of already created praise statements. Each day also includes a lesson from Harling, a song or two for listening, a prayer reflecting that day's praise topic, and a thought provoking suggestion for journaling.

In addition to the days of devotions, Harling has added good resources to continue the habit of praising God. Many passages from the Psalms are listed in one section. Another gives suggestions from the book of Revelation. She also has information for praising God with specific intent, such as defeating the enemy or when you are grieving or feel depressed.

I like the material in this book. I appreciate the many attributes for which we can praise God. Some of the praise suggestions were a surprise to me, giving me a much broader idea of what it means to praise God consistently. This is a good book for anyone who would like to establish the daily habit of praise.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Becky Harling is a popular speaker and author of several books. Her degree in biblical literature, as well as her experience as a missionary, women's ministries director, and survivor of breast cancer and sexual abuse, bring depth to her message. Her husband is pastor of Foothills Community Church in Arvada, Colorado. She and her husband have four grown children and four grandchildren. You can find out more at www.beckyharling.com.

David C Cook, 208 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Recipient by Audrey J Cole

Cole is a new author to me even though this book came out in 2017. I read it because it was a thriller set in Seattle. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I enjoy novels set in the area.

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the writing and the good plot. The hero is a detective with the Seattle Police Department who investigates an increasing number of gruesome murders just like ones from years ago. But the murderer had been caught and convicted. How could there be a copy cat murderer, down to never made known details?

We get to experience the frustration of the police as the investigation stalls. We readers are privy to who the current murderer is. We are treated to a good deal of suspense at the end and a twist that wraps it all up.

I like the exploration of transplants and the possible ramifications on the recipients. I've read about heart transplants but this novel includes the relatively new procedure of brain cells being transplanted. It is thought provoking.

This is a good novel for readers who like a good thriller. And really, it doesn't always rain in Seattle.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Audrey J Cole is a registered nurse and a USA Today bestselling author of thrillers set in Seattle. A Sequim native, Cole lived in Australia for five years before returning to the U.S. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. You can find out more at https://www.audreyjcole.com/.

Rainier Publishing, 304 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, April 16, 2021

Promises of the Heart by Nan Rossiter

Be sure to have a box of tissues nearby as you finish this touching novel. It opens as Macey is experiencing yet another miscarriage. She and Ben wanted children so badly but it seemed it was not meant to be. And then her sister mentions adoption yet again. Macey is not ready to take such a chance on the possibility of more deep heartache. In the meantime, we readers get a glance at Harper, a nine year old girl being shuffled in the foster care system. She is so in need of a loving parent.

Rossiter has done a good job exploring the feelings of young Harper, deeply hurt and feeling so unwanted. Rossiter also portrays well the character of Macey, another with deep hurt and struggling with feelings of inadequacy and defeat. This novel is a good example of the transformation love can bring to pass.

My only complaint is that there are two token sex scenes in the novel. Granted, the sex is between husband and wife but were just a bit too graphic for me and I thought totally unnecessary.

Nonetheless, a fine novel of faith and love and being open to what God has planned for life.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Nan Rossiter is the award-winning and bestselling author of eight novels. Her seventh novel, Summer Dance, was the 2018 winner of the Nancy Pearl Book Award. Rossiter and her husband are the parents of two adult sons. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and a black Lab. When not writing she enjoys hiking and curling up with a good book. You can find out more at www.nanrossiter.com.

Harper Collins, 382 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt by Linda Wood Rondeau Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book

Book:  Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt

Author: Linda Wood Rondeau

Genre: Nonfiction/Christian living/Bible study

Release date: December 31, 2020

The world offers much beneficial self-help advice. Shouldn’t the Christian seek to be the best possible version of themselves? Aren’t we supposed to be good people?

Why not look to the world to solve life’s problems?

Because God has called us to be salt.

While there is much good to be found, like vinegar, the world’s best advice falls short of God’s recipe to live a victorious Christian life.

In a down-home, friendly manner, the author provides analogies, inspirational stories, anecdotes, a wealth of Scripture, and optional study guides for both individuals and groups, inviting the believer to discover God’s desires for his salt.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Christians are called to be salt in this world. Rondeau has written this book for those who have wandered from being salt, patterning themselves after the world's wisdom. Many good lessons have been included from life experience. The one that struck me the most referenced FOMO, the fear of missing out. We get caught up in the things of this world. “We miss out on God's blessing because we fear we might miss out on something else.” (3073/4072) We settle for so much less than what God has for us.

The strength of this book is in the extensive section for further study and group discussion. Rondeau has suggested several Scripture verses to read and discuss after each chapter. Thought provoking questions are included.

This is a good book for readers who like teaching from life experiences.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author

By the author of I Prayed for Patience, God Gave Me Children.

A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau’s varied church experience and professional career affords a unique perspective into the Christian life. When not writing or speaking, she enjoys the occasional round of golf, visiting museums, and taking walks with her best friend in life, her husband of over forty years. The couple resides in Hagerstown, Maryland where both are active in their local church. Readers may learn more about the author, read her blog, or sign up for her newsletter by visiting www.lindarondeau.com.

More from Linda

Empty Nets

Part of my job as a point-of-sales associate at a Jacksonville department store was to solicit store credit. Right or wrong, my employee evaluation was based upon how well I convinced customers that a credit account is just what they needed. Every store had its quota, and management kept close tabs on credit totals. Most days, I met my expectations and maintained a top-ten score.

But not that day.

Due to special sales promotions, the store was hopping with customers. Associates were sounding their successes all around me. Congratulations went over the com system to everyone, it seemed, but me. I felt worthless. I’d done all I knew how to do and my nets were empty. To make matters worse, a supervisor came to my register. “Let me show you how to get credit.”

I wanted to quit … to close out my drawer and go home.

Then a little girl came by the register. She looked at me and smiled. The joy I felt through interacting with her reminded me of the many blessings my job offered … a chance to minister, to lighten a load with a smile, and a promise to pray. God reminded me that my worth in his eyes had nothing to do with quantity, but rather availability. My spirits soared with the thought. Had I not been down, I would not have known the joy of being lifted up.

God reminded me about the apostle Peter’s bad fishing day. I imagine Peter was a fisherman among fishermen … noted for his big hauls. Not this day.  In Luke’s account of Peter’s call, Jesus saw the two boats. Perhaps other fishermen made fun of Peter’s empty nets.

Then Jesus came and a large crowd followed him. He asked the fishermen to put the boats out a little from shore where He preached to the throng. Then he asked them to go to deeper waters and cast their nets. I suppose Peter thought the request was absurd. “We’ve been fishing all day and have caught nothing.”

But, because it was Jesus who asked, Peter reluctantly set a course as directed. Imagine his surprise when he caught so many, the boat nearly sunk from the weight of his haul. Then Jesus said something even more amazing. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Peter realized his worth to God did not equal the number of fish in his net. God had a more important role for Peter. And he dropped his nets and followed Jesus.

The thought occurred to me, that if it had not been for empty nets, Peter would not have known how wonderfully God can fill them.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 16

Texas Book-aholic, April 17

Inklings and notions, April 18

For Him and My Family, April 19

deb’s Book Review, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 22

Simple Harvest Reads, April 23(Spotlight)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 26

Godly Book Reviews, April 27

Artistic Nobody, April 28 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, April 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10ace/who-put-the-vinegar-in-the-salt-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)