Saturday, October 29, 2011

Behind the Veils of Yemen

I have a new appreciation for what missionaries face. Audra Grace Shelby ( a pen name for a woman still witnessing in the Middle East) writes a compelling story of her experiences in Yemen.

Leaving the freedoms of America, Audra voluntarily accepts the balto (head covering and veil) and works to develop relationships with the women of Yemen. Although her husband works alongside her in the mission field, this book is about Audra and the women she meets. She learns to love and accept these women as she learns the language and the culture of Yemen.

What I liked about her story is that she did not brag about how many people were saved because of her work. She is open and honest about loving the people of Yemen even when they did not accept the truth of God. She acknowledges the lack of education and male dominated society which prevents women from truly understanding the love of God. Audra continues to love and serve in the Middle East, and I look forward to reading more about her experiences.

Chosen, a division of Baker House, has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for the review which I freely give.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Although this book does not come out until January 2012, I was able to read an advanced copy from Tyndale House to review.

Like an episode of CSI, NCIS, or Law and Order, this book is fast-paced and action-packed. Carly Edwards is a beat cop who finds herself in hot water. As she tries to get herself out of trouble, she discovers the real problem is greed and deception within the department. In a parallel story, Carly is also discovering a new faith in God after turning her back on Him after her father died.

I could relate to the heroin of the story as she struggles with having a faith in God after tragedy. As a cop, she is trained to do what is right and enforce the law. Yet as a person, she is not sure what is right anymore. After a life and death experience, she realizes that God is real and she does want a relationship with Him.

What I liked about the book was that the action and drama that kept my attention. What I did not like about the book was that it took a life and death experience for the main character to choose to believe in God.

Tyndale House provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Scroll

This is not my first book in the Biblical archeology genre. I enjoy the action and intrigue but not so much the violence and murder. I was thinking that this book was much like an Indiana Jones movie. I guess the author felt the same way as one of the main characters states, "This sounds like the premise to a bad Indiana Jones movie" (page 35). The statement is true, but it is still a good book to read.

The story is about David Chambers, an American archaeologist, who is called back to Israel for his most amazing discovery yet. Along the way, his faith is challenged; he reconnects with an arch rival as well as his ex-finance; and he changes the course of history. All in a days work for this man.

The book is well written. Although it is fiction, the premise is believable. I did not want to put the book down at the end of the chapter as the suspense kept my interest. It was a page-turner.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heaven is for Real for Kids

I was so excited when this book came in the mail today. I read and reviewed Heaven is for Real when it came out last year. I was impressed and inspired by the first book. My 12 year old son even read it and liked it, but I was glad for this new children's version to share with my younger daughter and with my Sunday school class.

Colton's story is true and gives us hope. I am amazed that everything he describes from his experience is Biblically accurate. In this children's book, every page has a description of what Colton saw along with verses from the Bible that support what he is describing.

I am also amazed at the detail with which Colton describes heaven. God blessed him with a truly awesome experience, and I am grateful that he has shared it with the rest of us.

Thomas Nelson has provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

His Steadfast Love

Slavery was a way of life during the 1860's in Texas. Some people never even questioned it, but in His Steadfast Love, Amanda and her family have to face their way of life even as it changes before their very eyes.

Amanda had to question what she believed when she fell in love with Kent Littlefield, an officer who serves in the Union army. When her dad discovered the officer's allegiance, he forbade Kent have any kind of correspondence with Amanda. As Amanda obeyed her father, her heart struggled with how she felt for Kent. Some things just do not have a simple answer.

I like how the author portrayed both sides of the issue of slavery as well as recognizing that it was not the only issue dividing the North and the South. States rights was as much of an issue as slavery. I also like how the author portrayed how a family endured while a loved on served on the front line of battle.

Thomas Nelson has provided a free copy of this ebook for review.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just in Case You Ever Wonder

Every once in a while, a book will come along that speaks directly to your heart and to the place of hurt that only God can heal.

I was so pleased to see that this book was being republished. I read it to my now teenage children when they were still small enough to sit in my lap. The book is a sweet story about how special a child is and how God created him or her so uniquely. God created the family to love and care and protect. The book tachess children of these truths of God's love "just in case they ever wonder."

What was so special about this book to me right now is that God reminded me of His truth in my life. My love for my children is a mere reflection of God's love for me. As fierce as I love my children, God's love is even more fierce. As much as I want to bless my children, God wants to bless me. Sometimes I wonder and need this reminder of how much God loves me.

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Raised Right

I am not sure if Alisa Harris is making fun of her right-winged upbringing, or if she is happy with her childhood experiences. She pokes fun at a lot of Christian-ease, but sometimes instead of laughing, I felt like I was being chastised. About halfway through the book, I was downright offended, but I pressed on. It did get better.

Alisa is honest about her path and the many steps she has taken to get to where she is now. She admits her faults and her mistakes as she has learned from them. I realized she was poking fun at herself as she comes to terms with who she is and who she wants to be. She had to decide for herself if the belief system she was taught is the belief system she wants to live. In the end, she learned to love, to care, and to take heart.

I am impressed with such an educated young lady who is so involved in the political process. Even my generation is slow to vote but quick to complain. There is hope for the future generation if there are people like Alisa Harris trying to care, love, and take heart.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Women of Faith: Imagine

I have a wonderful time this weekend at the Women of Faith Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Thanks to the tickets Thomas Nelson provided, I was able to enjoy a weekend away with my best friend.

We were refreshed and encouraged; inspired and enlightened. In the words of Larry, the Cucumber, "I laughed. I cried. It moved me, Bob."

It will take a while to process all I heard. I took notes and journaled as the Spirit moved, and the Spirit sure did more in that place.

My only disappointment was that more women did not go. The Consul Energy Center was only half full. There were a lot of empty seats. I hope next year (September 28 & 29), more women attend. It will only bless you and enrich your life!

I was given free tickets to attend the conference in exchange for this honest review.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thank You God for Loving Me

Another delightful children's book by Max Lucado! This book begs to be read out loud.

I was so glad to received this book in the mail today. I had read and reviewed Thank You God For Blessing Me also by Max Lucado, but only in ebook form. Both books have a 4-line rhyme on each page with lovely illustrations of Hermie, a child-like caterpillar.

I truly enjoyed this little board book and am excited to share it with my 2 year old nephew. Like most toddlers, he is hard on books and has a short attention span. So this book will be great for him when he comes to visit. I look forward to sharing this delightful little book with him.

Thomas Nelson has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Waking Hours

Much like Frank Peretti, Lis Weihl delves into the supernatural and the power of evil. I have enjoyed previous books by this author and continued to enjoy this new book.

The story follows Dani, a psychiatrist who works for the DA, as she tries to solve a local murder. With the help of her friend, Tommy, she is able to solve the crime. Not only does she figure out who done it, but also she figures out why that person did it.

The storyline is much like an episode of a TV crime drama. The murder is solved in less than 2 weeks, and the characters never seem to have a night where they actually sleep. As the reader, it is interesting to follow the storyline as you try to solve the crime along with the characters of the book.

What I did not like about the book is the past history between Dani and Tommy. She was the overachieving nerd in high school, and he was the game winning jock. He had a crush on her and admitted to being intimidated by her. I found this part of the story a little far fetched.

Thomas Nelson has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.