Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis

Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis, was a lovely story chronicling the married life of Gabe and Pearl, as discovered through the weekly love poem Gabe sent his wife on a postcard. This love story is viewed through the eyes of a recently divorced and discouraged man who sees the postcards as a clue to how to have a happy marriage.

Well-written and entertaining, Lewis does a good job of juxtaposing the two stories into one good read.

As is becoming more and more common, elements previously disallowed in Christian fiction, such as the Christian characters drinking alcohol, were included in this book. Gabe and Pearl are presented as believers. Otherwise, the story could pass for a good, clean, secular romance.

By the end of the book, this reader felt the bond between these two characters.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh

Well-written and thoroughly entertaining, this book follows Harriet, a young woman struggling with her past sins. Afraid she’ll give in to the temptation of returning there, she tends to be a bit uptight.

Her life is turned upside down when a tattoo-sporting, motorcycle-riding reformed “bad boy” moves into her territory – her church and her neighborhood. Somehow, he is able to enjoy many of the same things she has given up without allowing them to become pitfalls in his walk with Christ.

Harriet has to learn to let God take her past and accept the clean slate He has given her. Only then will she experience the freedom to open her heart to love again.

Leigh is obviously a gifted writer. This book is a light and easy read with a message of forgiveness, starting over, and living in victory over one’s past.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

For an excerpt of this book, click here:  http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/workid.php?work=99646

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

All In by Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson is a best-selling author and I hate to admit I’ve never read him before. You can bet I will be reading him in the future.

There are so many nuggets in this book, I cannot hope to give them justice. The author says, “If Jesus is not LORD OF ALL, then He is not Lord at all.” Ultimately, the book explains how so many believers are not fully experiencing what God has for us/them, because we/they have not fully given ourselves to Him.

Using clever illustrations, Batterson encourages you to give 100%, stop being a rim-hugger, and take the hike. Experience God, don’t just observe Him.

An excellent book, well-written and easy to read, All In is definitely a book to read. Five stars!

 I received a complimentary copy of this book for an unbiased review.

Jennifer by Dee Henderson

Always a fan of Dee Henderson’s books, I eagerly awaited my opportunity to learn more about the O’Malley’s. A prequel to the O’Malley series, Jennifer was a heartwarming little novella giving some nice background to Jennifer’s story. I liked the way the gospel was clearly presented, the way Tom was patient with Jennifer’s exploration of faith, and the way  **spoiler alert** Jennifer grapples with her diagnosis in light of the loving God she just met. **end spoiler**

Though maintaining Henderson’s characteristically great writing, I wish Jennifer had been a full-length novel to go along with the others in the series. It was a charming love story, but didn’t pack quite the punch the other books in the series did. Having said that, reading it did make me anxious to go back and reread the rest of the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House with no expectation of a positive review.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pretty Little Maids by Tamara Shoemaker

Pretty Little Maids is a suspense-filled murder mystery, the likes of which are rare in the Christian market. Much darker than Shoemaker’s first novel, Pretty Little Maids was difficult for me to put down. I needed it to resolve before I slept. The surprising twists and turns of the story will leave you rooting for the good guys, angry at the bad guys, and appalled that such things still happen in today’s world.

In this macabre story, the author tackles the difficult subject of human trafficking in modern day America. Intense and disturbing, Pretty Little Maids reflects the horrors of this world and yet brings balance with the redemptive power of faith, love, and acceptance.

While her already-talented writing continues to improve, Ms. Shoemaker’s dark side leaves me wondering about her readership. While much of the general Christian market may find this book a little too gruesome, fans of Ted Dekker will likely appreciate her books. With well-developed characters and realistic dialogue, Pretty Little Maids was for me, a really good read.

A complimentary copy of this e-book was given to me by Route 11 Publications with no expectation of a positive review.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I’ve Got Your Back: A Leadership Parable by James C. Galvin

I’ve Got Your Back is part parable, part Biblical leadership theology. The parable part follows the Biblical mentorship of four young people struggling with some aspect of what the author calls the leader-follower dynamic. The theology part references Scripture to support the ideas presented in the book. The two parts present the same material in two different ways, making it an easy read for those who enjoy reading story AND for those who enjoy reading theology. The lessons presented can be learned by reading either or both sections.

To be honest, I read this book thinking it would be fairly dry with a smattering of gold nuggets. I was wrong! To my pleasant surprise, the book was entertaining AND full of wise counsel. James Galvin has written a book on leadership that applies to everyone. He addresses such issues as being a good follower, different types of authority and the Biblical responsibility to follow or not, how to be a leader when not in a position of leadership, strengths and weaknesses in existing leadership models, responsibilities of a leader, etc.

Before I even finished part one, I had recommended this book to others. I believe it will be a helpful resource to anyone who has a relationship with God, anyone who is or has a boss, anyone who is a parent, teacher, student, pretty much anyone who has a relationship with anyone else. Whether we recognize it or not, we are both leaders and followers.

All in all, I found this book Biblically sound, helpful, and enjoyable. Five stars!

I received a complimentary copy from Handlebar Publishing with no expectation of a positive review.