Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: Hot Buttons-Internet, Dating, Drugs, S*xuality

Nicole O'Dell helps address the Hot Buttons in teens' lives before the issues become problems
From dating to drugs, modesty to purity, morals to popularity, teens face all sorts of tough issues. How teens respond to these hot-button issues can have lasting effects on who they want to be and who they actually become. What if parents can help their teens prepare for these hot buttons-before the issues become a problem?
The uniquely packaged Hot Buttons Series is an accessible, quick-reference resource that parents can use to equip their children to make the right decisions, even in the face of peer pressure and outside influences. More than just another how-to manual, Hot Button Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.
Author, mom, and broadcaster, Nicole O'Dell provides short scenarios followed by three or four responses that a teen might choose in that particular situation. Parents are then encouraged to help their children explore the issue, ask questions, and discuss the options, so when a similar situation comes up in real life, the teens are already prepared to respond.

Hot Buttons Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.
Hot Buttons Internet Edition helps parents prepare their teens for online challenges they may face. Topics discussed include: internet activity, file sharing, social networking, and internet predators.
Hot Buttons Drug Edition braves the scary world of substance abuse, equipping parents with facts, warning signs, and real-world scenarios on: alcohol; Marijuana and other drugs; inhalants; and prescription drugs.
Hot Buttons S*xuality Edition offers the facts about teen sexuality, backed by statistics; specifics for how to talk frankly about s*x with your kids, discussion about the growth of homos*xuality and bis*xuality among teens; and compassionate advice for guiding your teen to reclaim purity.
Link to buy books: ;
Meet Nicole:
Youth-culture expert, Nicole O'Dell is the host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk and the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, dedicated to guiding teens through tough issues and helping parents encourage good decisions.
On air, O'Dell covers peer pressure, dating, purity, drugs, alcohol, modesty, popularity, and anything else that comes up along the way. Nicole writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices.
As an author, O'Dell writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her popular YA fiction includes the Diamond Estate Series and the Scenarios for Girls interactive books that feature alternate endings, allowing young girls to decide the outcome for the main character. Her nonfiction for teens includes Girl Talk, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column.
While her YA resources encourage and equip teens, Nicole also works to bridge the communication gap between teens and their parents. The Hot Buttons series helps parents discuss tough issues with their tweens and teens before the issues pop up in real life. Watch for future Hot Buttons books on subjects like bullying, image, prejudice, friendships, politics, and more.
O'Dell, resides in Paxton, IL, with her husband and six children-the youngest of whom are toddler triplets.
Find out more about Nicole at
My Review:
These books will definitely be something that I treasure and use for years and years to come.  Nicole gives little up-front answers from her own opinions, but when she does it is short and sweet the way I like it.  She does give answer after answer from what she has found Biblically in the form of an answer.  I love this!  These are not just another set of parenting books.  These are invaluable for the Christian home.  The end of the books have sections where you can talk with your child/teen/tween about different scenarios.  I love this, also.  I feel like these books are not written to judge or give us, as parents, more impossible goals to live up to.  I feel like they are written to inspire, inform and equip us with the knowledge and tools, with Biblical backing, to teach and guide our children in the right ways to live.  
I definitely recommend these books to every parent!
I received these books in exchange for my honest opinion.   

Book Review: Dear Deb

"I want you to know that if my illness inspired you to write these stories, the cancer was worth it."—Deb
What stories could possibly make cancer worth it?
Stories that represent a miracle—a lifetime of miracles. Stories that changed the writer as she wrote them and stories that will touch the heart of the reader, one by one by one. Stories that are not just stories.
They started out as words of encouragement to a dying woman. They turned into a collection of sparkling and intimate moments, pulled from the past to finally be understood and shared with new meaning.
Story by story, letter by letter, Margaret Terry uncovered powerful pictures in her own life of the one truth that could help carry her friend Deb from this life to the next: God is at work.
Together, Deb and Margaret found renewed hope in all the ways God shows up right to the very end. Which is where they found the miracle they'd been praying for all along. In each other.
My Review:
I have never experienced anyone very close to me having cancer (knock on wood).  I hope that I never will.  If I did I would want this book so badly.  If I was close to dying or having anyone close to me close to dying, I would want this book.  But as neither of those, I still want this book.  If you are not experiencing a terrible trial with death you can still gain so much wisdom and inspiration on how to live right now.  This book made me cry, laugh and hope to live my life more fully and be more thankful for the good health we have.  This was a great book and I recommend it to everyone, especially those who are going through trials with death, but also for those who want to live a more full life.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Review: At the Feet of Jesus (A Devotional!)

About At the Feet of Jesus:
You were made for more than serving God; you were made to know Him.

Intimacy with God-to know Him and be known by Him. It is what our hearts desperately need, but somehow life conspires to keep us busy and distracted.

For anyone who struggles when it comes to daily devotions, At the Feet of Jesus extends an irresistible invitation to set aside your duties and find the amazing peace and incredible joy that come from time alone with Him. Drawn from Joanna Weaver's beloved Bethany trilogy, each reading in this 365-day devotional includes a Bible reading passage and reflection question. All-new material and "Going Deeper" sidebars are also woven throughout.

Discover for yourself the riches that come from spending a portion of each day alone with God. At the feet of Jesus-where true life begins!

Includes a unique One-Year Bible Reading Guide.

Link to buy the book:

Meet Joanna:

Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna's greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor's wife.

Find out more about Joanna at
My Review:
This devotional is great!  I love it!  There are Read and Reflect notes at the bottom of every devotion that has you read a verse or a few verses and then a reflection question that you can spend some time thinking about.  I really enjoy when devotions give you something to "work on" or ponder throughout the day and the Reflections did that.  This is definitely a devotional that I will go back to again and again.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a short little devotion in the morning or at any point in your day.  These are very quick reads, which I appreciate.  This would make a great Christmas present for any woman!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review: Practicing the Presence of Jesus

About Practicing the Presence of Jesus:
Experience the Gift of His Friendship
Do you want to experience Jesus as real? When we look at Jesus' life on earth, we see Him calling people to simply know Him. He made no demand on them to believe theological propositions. "Follow me" was the invitation which they accepted. They got to know and communicate with the real person. There is a big difference between believing something is true and experiencing it as real. This is the story of how Wally Armstrong learned to communicate with the real person of Jesus in his everyday life. Armstrong experiences Jesus up close and personal and introduces readers to the same experience. In a conversational manner, he explores what it is like to have a relationship with Jesus as if He is sitting right there next to us. He keeps an empty chair ready and imagines Jesus sitting beside him as they talk.

Link to buy the book:
Meet Wally:

Wally Armstrong is a professional golfer, teacher and dynamic life coach who has competed in over 300 PGA Tour events, including the British Open, the US Open, and the Masters, and was awarded a lifetime membership in the Tour. In his first Masters appearance, Wally finished in fifth place, setting a rookie record for the lowest tournament score of eight under par. As a golf instructor and clinician, Armstrong has taught golf all over the world and has produced more than twenty golf instructional videos and DVDs covering every area of the golf game. He is the author of seven books, including the bestselling In His Grip (with Jim Sheard and Billy Graham) and The Mulligan (with Ken Blanchard). He resides in Maitland, Florida, and has been married to his wife, Debbie, for forty-one years. Together, they have three children and seven grandchildren. Armstrong invites readers to visit his website,, for more insights about the wonderful opportunity each of us has to know Jesus as the real person that he is.

Find out more about Wally at

My Review: 
This book was an easy read.  It was very interesting to me how Wally experienced his time with God and Jesus.  I really enjoyed reading how he really visualized Jesus sitting with him having a normal conversation like he would with anyone else.  I think we do lack a certain intamicy because it is sometimes hard to really feel the presence of Jesus or God.  Wally's book can really help you to see the value in that and can maybe help you learn to practice that presence with Jesus.  This book is also a great read for golf fans, as Wally refers back very often to his time on the course and in his general life. 
I did receive this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Not A Book Review and A Job

So, yes, I have lots of book reviews on my blog.  I don't really like it because I don't really like all of the books, but I sign up to review them and so I do.  I will be filtering out the ones that I don't want on here.  I like to read other's reviews, but I do not like there being a million of them! 

We have been very busy lately.  I will write about that soon.  And hopefully I will be writing much more consistently if I plan ahead! 

But, one thing that has made me super duper busy is that I got a job!  Oh my goodness!  Like a real, leaving the house to collect a paycheck kind of job.  And I absolutely dislike it.  I am sooo thankful for the job, as we have really taken on too much lately and need the extra income for Christmas, etc.  It is 6 days a week, yes, 6. days. a. week.  Every night from 5-9 and on Sat from 9-2pm.  It takes up so much of my valuable time with my family.  But, again, I couldn't feel more blessed to have the job. 

Doing what?  This is an even bigger omg(osh)!  It is basically a telemarketing job.  Hahahah!  Never in my life did I seriously think I would harass people for a living. 

So next time when you answer your phone and someone is trying to do their job by talking to you, just be nice and say, "I'm not interested, but thanks."  And I will say, "I don't blame you.  I hate when people call me also.  Thanks and have a great night!"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review: The Memory Jar

Enter Today - 10/16-11/7!

Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series

Every year, 30-40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive 'resident' status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love.andnbsp;Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she's also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she's met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

 Link to buy the book: 
Meet Tricia: Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Find out more about Tricia at
My Review:
I really enjoyed this book.  It was a pretty typical Amish romance novel, but I love those books.  That being said, this book was fairly predictable, but it is the journey that is so much fun to read.  I am looking forward to the other books in this series.  It is great to read a series like I expect this one to be where you can "check in" on your favorite characters in an area.  I hope that Tricia's series will be like that.  Great book.  Easy read.  Very enjoyable. 
I did receive this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 


Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: The Trouble with Cowboys

The trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter

About the Book:
Only one pair of boots—and the cowboy wearing them—can get Annie out of the mess she’s in.

Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love.

Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.

Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.
The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.

When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.
Meet Denise:
Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!Find out more about Denise at
My Review:
I really enjoyed this book.  It was quite predictable, but there were a couple twists in it.  The main character starts writing a lovelorn column and at the beginning of each of the short chapters there was a little tidbit from her "column".  The characters were really relatable and lovable.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants a sweet, romantic easy read with great characters and a dream setting. 
I recieved this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Life with Lily

Enter Today - 10/1-10/15! Life with Lily Suzanne Woods Fisher Mary Ann Kinsinger Nook HD Kindle Fire Giveaway

Link to buy the book:

About the Book:
Book 1 in the ‘Adventures of Lily Lapp’ series.

Lily is six in this story, just starting first grade in a one-room schoolhouse in upstate New York. Her parents are busy building a farm, and soon animals join the family—Jenny the cow and Chubby the miniature horse. A baby brother arrives, too, which Lily has mixed feelings about. (She wanted a sister!) Aside from a mischievous friend like Mandy Mast, Lily is happy at school and even happier at home.


Trouble is brewing at the schoolhouse and change is on the horizon for Lily and her family.

Meet Suzanne:
Suzanne Woods Fisher
Suzanne Woods Fisher lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has one husband, four children, one son-in-law, a brand new grand-baby, and a couple of dogs. She graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.

Suzanne has contracts with Revell for six more books about the Amish, both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the host of “Amish Wisdom·” on, a weekly radio program featuring guests who are connected to Simple Living.

Find out more about Suzanne at

My Review:
I love Amish books and this one was great.  It wasn't the typical romance that I read, but it was wonderful.  I also love learning about the ways of life for the Amish and why they do and believe the things they do.  In the books I normally read you get tidbits about those things, but in this book you learn as Lily learns, which I really enjoyed.  It is about a little girl named Lily who is growing up, as all children do, learning life lessons along the way.  Lily's lessons are lessons that Amish children learn and they can also teach us some lessons, too.  Life with Lily is a terrific book for people of all ages.  I will definitely introduce it to my daughter for her to read.  The chapters are short and there are several illustrations throughout the book.  I look forward to the next books in this series.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review and Giveaway: You Don't Know Me

Enter Today - 10/2-10/23! You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren Giveaway

Link to buy the book:

About the Book:
A Deep Haven Novel

Sometimes the secrets we keep to protect ourselves can be our undoing.

To all who know her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses a sporting event, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the quaint harbor town of Deep Haven, Deidre received a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker.

Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on parole and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the courage to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?

Meet Susan:
Susan May Warren
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning novelist of over thirty novels. A five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.

Find out more about Susan May at
My Review:
I loved this book.  It is not the usual book I would choose to read, but I am so glad I did and will definitely be checking out Susan's other books!  There are so many twists and interesting relationships in this book.  Susan writes about each of the characters so well and tells their part of the story.  This book is filled with love, mystery, suspense and twists you never see coming! 
I recieved this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.