Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: The Women of Christmas

God Reached Down from Heaven with the Best Gift of All
A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God.
Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas.
My Review:
I love Christmas and I love Christmas books.  I really love when Christmas books bring you back to the real reason for the season-Christ.  This book is like none I've ever read as it talks not only about Mary, but also the major roles that Elizabeth and Anna played in the birth of Christ.  This is a great book to read to get in the true Christmas spirit and reflect on the real meaning behind the season.  We always get so busy with things and it is nice to have a book like this to help us reflect.  There was so much that I learned about these women, especially about Elizabeth and Anna.  I never, ever realized the crucial roles they played.  It is amazing how God worked everything out for the good of all.  There are so many pieces to every puzzle and He knows exactly how they need to be put together.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Ragamuffin Bible

Book Description

Do you believe that God not only loves you, but that he also likes you?

It's just one of the soul-searching questions posed by bestselling author Brennan Manning who confesses he has been 'John the beloved, Peter the coward, and Thomas the doubter all before the waitress brought the check.'

The NIV Ragamuffin Bible offers a collection of Manning’s raw, painfully honest, yet grace-filled devotions, meditations, and reflections of his journey limping back to---like the prodigal son---his overjoyed father. When you journey through this Bible, you will likewise find yourself returning to your Heavenly Father, basking in the knowledge that God not only loves you, he delights in you.


  • Complete text of the world’s most popular modern-English Bible, the NIV
  • 104 Devotions guide you into a deeper connection to God and his Word
  • 250 Reflections help you understand what it means to be a child of God
  • 150 Quotes offer short but thoughtful insights into God’s kingdom

My Review:
Everyone needs a Bible and everyone loves a Bible.  This Bible was a joy to get and I am so excited to be able to pass it on to someone who needs it!  I really enjoyed the extras in this Bible, but they were not as awesome as I was hoping they would be.  They definitely make a great addition to an already amazing book, but I was hoping for a little bit more.  The quotes, reflections and devotions do help enforce what is written and they do help you delve deeper into your relationship with the Lord.  I highly recommend this Bible if you are looking for one with a little something special in it. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review and Giveaway: Aloha Rose

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

About the book: When Laney Carrigan's adoptive parents encourage her as an adult to seek out her birth family, her only clue is the Lokelani quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island, she battles fears of rejection from a family that abandoned her once before while her faith struggles to embrace God's love.
Along the path to her true heritage, she meets Hawaiian cowboy/helicopter pilot, Kai Barnes. Kai is determined to protect the people he's come to regard as family against a woman he suspects of being nothing more than a gold-digger, but he finds himself drawn to Laney in spite of his reservations. He's spent his entire life seeking forgiveness from past mistakes and longs for a second chance at happiness. 

Laney's painstaking journey to find restoration and a place to belong among the breathtaking allure of the Big Island will lead her closer to her past and maybe even something more.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the author: Lisa Carter has been published in MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. Lisa is currently teaching music at a preschool and enjoying the enthusiasm and joy for life for which preschoolers are famous. She and David have two beautiful daughters.

Find out more at:
My Review:
As a family, we are extremely drawn to adoption, which means that I have often thought about how I would feel if my adopted child wanted to find their birth parents.  Because of this, I was drawn to read this book.  This book goes deep into how the main character, Laney, longs to find her birth parents.  It follows her on her journey.  I really enjoyed reading this side of that story.  This book is well written and easy to read.  It is one of those books that you can pick up and finish where you left off. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review and Giveaway: Stones for Bread

Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.
#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It's true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa's Facebook Page.

About the book: A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits her recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour --- a single father with strange culinary
habits --- seems determined to win Liesl's affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

Purchase your copy:

Meet the author: Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she's not writing, she's a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church's youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa at:
My Review:
First of all, this book made me want to eat bread... lots of bread.  Second, this book made me want to make lots of bread (probably to eat).  The story behind this book was well written and enjoyable.  I really longed to hear more about several of the characters in the story as they were so interesting.  There recipes in the book are a fun addition to the wonderful story.  Parrish is a great story teller and the way she describes everything in the book is almost terrific.  Like I've said, this book is much more than a book about a bread maker, but I promise you will want to eat lots of bread while reading it!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: Just One More Thing Before You Leave Home

About the book: This is the book we wish our parents gave us.
Just One More Thing: Before You Leave Home is a packed guide to help young adults enter life on their own. In the book, the Gudgels use stories, perspectives, and dialogues to discuss 30 indispensable topics to help teens survive, including: worldview, financial challenges, use of time, career moves, moral dilemmas, sex, painful experiences, and spiritual life, among others. Written from a Biblical perspective, the book is more of a guide to making good decisions than a lecture on how to live., It's perfect for a parent and teen to go over together or to give as a thoughtful gift. This is a book they'll reference for years to come.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the authors: Dave & Bernice Gudgel are committed to walking intentionally with God and helping others do the same. Bernice has a degree in Psychology and has focused her adult life on raising three kids and leading various ministries in the church where people can connect with God and each other. Dave is a pastor and teaches for Walk Thru the Bible.

Learn more at:

My Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book.  There are 30 topics that we, as parents, need to go over many times with our children, especially before they leave the nest.  I love books that are reference-types, like this one.  My children are far from the age of leaving home, but having this book now will help me talk about these issues for years before they leave.  I really appreciate being able to go to this book for tips, ideas and reminders on what to talk about and how to talk about those issues.  This is a great book for all parents to keep on the book shelf!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.