Posted in Book reviews, BookCrash

“The Miracle Maker and the Misfits” by Dixie Koch ~ Book Review

Review (6).JPG

 

The Miracle Maker and the Misfits: Two Supernatural Kingdoms and the Clashing of Swords  by Dixie Koch

 

Review copy from publishers through BookCrash review program

My rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

“Abby.” She felt his hand gently touching her shoulder. “Mom was murdered.”

“Charley!” Abby screamed, shooting off her chair. “Charley, what are you saying?” Her lips were spread thin in panic.

“Abby, I can tell you no more now, except that my father is a very dangerous man. For now we could all be in danger.”

After years of separation, Julie had found peace and was excited to come home and be reunited with her crazed son, Charley, and her now grown sister, Abby. But Julie never made it home. When the shocking news of Julie’s death forced Abby to her sister’s burial, all of Abby’s dreams laid in that pine box along side of Julie. Their childhood days remained locked up inside of Abby and in the journals Julie had left behind. But Abby doesn’t have much time to grieve, because when the Miracle Maker comes to the rural backwoods of Perjure County, he sets the young Charley free from legions of demons and ushers in a battle between light and darkness. Abby, a writer for the Edge Water Times, is assigned to follow this story, but she has no idea what this story will cost her. Heart-shocking suspense follows Abby as she uncovers the truth of Julie’s death. As a sinister plot develops and controversy explodes, John, an old mysterious hero of yesteryears, steps back into Abby’s life. He and his friends are big believers in the Miracle Maker. But, who is powerful enough to unlock Abby’s heart and help her to believe for a miracle? Who cares enough to rewrite hope into the script of her miserable life? Find out in The Miracle Maker and the Misfits.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This book confused me, to be honest.
There was some truth in this book, but the way it was portrayed seemed…odd to me, almost as un-truth yet that’s not what it was going for, I don’t think.
I get that the author was wanting to show that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and that miracles still happen, but this book, to me, felt shrouded in a mist that made the truth hard to discern.
I do definitely believe in spiritual warfare, demons and angels, and that God still heals today, but how it was all portrayed in this book just didn’t completely sit right to me. Made me a little uncomfortable, and it also made some of the actual truth come across as unbelievable.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Bethany House, Blogging For Books, Book reviews, BookCrash, Booklook Review, Books, God's Lessons, Litfuse, Moody Book Review, NetGalley Book Review, reading, Revell Reads, Reviews, update

An announcement of sorts

Good day to you, my much appreciated blog-followers! :)

As the title states, I do have an announcement to share with you all. And it’s rather large, in the sense that I didn’t think that I’d do this. But I’m content with this decision, because I know it is directed by God and He has shown Himself SO awe-some in every sense of the word. So my news is this:

 

I will no longer be reviewing books at the rapid pace that I have been – that I’ve been known for. In fact, I’ve gotten off several of the Book Review Programs. I’m taking a Sabbatical. (such a fun word, is it not?). The reason for this, in short, is that it is what the Lord has guided me to recently. It’s definitely time for a break. See, when I read and review books I am analyzing the book so I can justly review it, but by doing this constantly, I have formed a habit of being analytical in everything – and that is leaning on my own understanding, not God’s. It’s thinking through every little thing when I should have faith instead.  And I want to lean wholly on the Lord’s understanding instead of my own, and so I am obeying Him in this step back from reviewing.

 

Sabbatical

 

Truthfully, it is a relief. Yes, I have loved this season of reviewing – it has been a great experience! But I am now ready for a new season. I will still be reading (of course!) but at a more leisurely pace, and I won’t necessarily being posting reviews of every book, as the amount of review books I receive will be just about nonexistent.

However, I will be finishing out with the reviews I have already committed to, so there are a couple yet to come. And I’m not banishing myself from all book reviews, just really stepping back.

 

It’s a big change for me, I’ll be the first to admit it. I am a reviewer. But now, it is: I was a reviewer. My life doesn’t need to hinge on reviewing, and a breather will be nice!

I’ll still do my best to keep up with my blog here, and I’m still apart of some blog tours coming up. I’m just also going to be doing a lot of “de-stressing” which means de-cluttering, etc.

 

So, here’s to a new season! Thank you for understanding. :)

 

 

Posted in BookCrash, Reviews

BookCrash review: “Yes, Dear, There Really is a Devil” by Chris Rader and Johnnie Coley

Yes Dear, There Really Is a Devil

 

“Yes, Dear, There Really is a Devil” by Chris Rader and Johnnie Coley

Children’s book

Review copy source: BookCrash

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

What the Author says about the Book:

The idea for this book came while trying to explain the reality of the devil to my four year old son. After looking around for a book and not finding what I was looking for, I decided to put something together myself. After putting thoughts down on paper and drawing stick figures, I was so very blessed to meet a talented artist named Erin McKay and a devoted Christian author named Johnnie Coley, who helped me move forward with my ideas. God has designed this book to be a blessing for you, the reader and all children. To God be the Glory!

 

My Thoughts:

This was a good, encouraging Children’s Book. I applaud the authors’ desire to write a children’s book that warns them about Satan.  The pictures were well drawn and fit the story well, and the story itself was well-written and rhymed, still getting the point across with care and clarity. However, I do think that every parent should read through it first, to gauge how much their child can handle.  While the book is well written, Satan can be a scary thought to a young child and even the verse, “Your adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” can come across as very scary.  And there were some pictures that might be a bit scary, as well.  To an older child, it would probably be okay, but I know with my little sister and her fears, this would have frightened her when she was younger.  Otherwise, I agree that it is so very important for everyone to understand who our enemy is and with Christ, Satan is a defeated foe (to understand Christ’s power in us to resist Satan).

 

 

I received this book from BookCrash/the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Posted in Bethany House, Blogging For Books, Book reviews, BookCrash, Booklook Review, Books, Chuck Black, Heather Day Gilbert, Litfuse, NetGalley Book Review, reading, Revell Reads, Reviews, Tessa Afshar, Tyndale House, update

Another year past/2015

Hello! Today is the last day of 2015. I hope it was a good year for all of you! And I hope 2016 brings lots of blessings and lessons from our Lord too. :)

I am going to do my yearly post of books I read over the past year…so, here we go! I’m showing them from the latest I read to the first I read back in January of 2015. Each image should bring you to their GoodReads page and my review if applicable. :)

 

The Daughter of Highland Hall (Edwardian Brides, #2) 
 
 
 
 
 
Meant to be Mine (Porter Family, #2) A Dream Not Imagined: A Cinderella StoryThe Art of Losing YourselfFive Glass SlippersThe Choosing (Seer, #1)
The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, #1) The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (Thornbeck, #1)Esther: The Story of a Woman Who Saved a NationSide by SideTrial by Twelve (A Murder in the Mountains, #2)
Beauty (Folktales, #1) The Salt CovenantsJoseph of Arimathea: A Tale of the ResurrectionFinding MeRise of the Fallen (Wars of the Realm, #2)
For the Joy Set Before Us: Insights into the Missionary Journey Brothers and BetrayalLove by the Letter (Unexpected Brides, #0.5)The Tomb: A Novel of Martha (The Living Water, #3)Remember the Lilies
Stay in the Castle Adventures and AdversitiesHow to Catch a Prince (Royal Wedding, #3)An Uncertain Choice (An Uncertain Choice, #1)Dauntless (Valiant Hearts, #1)
The Vow (An Uncertain Choice, #0.5) The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks (The Regency Adventures of Jemima Sudbury, #1) The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land, #1) Paper Hearts Journey to the Well
Both of Me Waltz into the Waves: A Cinderella StoryTiger LilyDeliver Me from Evil (Freedom #1)  Beyond All Dreams
 Cloak of the Light (Wars of the Realm, #1)
Most of them were very good, and some were so-so, and other’s weren’t a favourite. But ultimately, I had a very good reading year! Top ten favourites? Hard choice! But here are SOME, in no order:
“Resistance” and “Half-Blood” by Jaye L. Knight
“Not Abandoned” by MacKenzie Morganthal
“Brothers-in-Arms” by Jack Lewis Baillot (not published yet)
“The Fragrance of Geraniums” and “All Our Empty Places” by Alicia G. Ruggieri
“The Tomb” by Stephanie Landsem
“The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” and “Golden Braid” by Melanie Dickerson
“Better than Peanut Butter Ice Cream” by Kristen Krueger
“Through Waters Deep” by Sarah Sundin
“Rise of the Fallen” by Chuck Black
“Dauntless” and “Chivalrous” by Dina L. Sleiman
Okay, so I realise I cheated a little and did more than ten, but there are only ten lines, so… :D
Some Honourable Mentions:
Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden
Waltz into the Waves by Sarah Holman
A Dream Not Imagined by Shantelle Mary Hannu
The Tethered World by Heather FitzGerald
Side by Side by Jana Kelley
For the Joy Set Before Us by Erica Fye
Annnnnd there were more I enjoyed. :) But I will end here. What books were your favourites of the year? Could you pick just a few? :D
Here’s to more reading in 2016!
Posted in Book reviews, BookCrash

BookCrash book review: “The Daughters of Jim Farrell

 

 

“The Daughters of Jim Farrell” by Sylvia Bambola

Review copy source: Book Crash

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Pennsylvania 1873: When, in the harsh world of Pennsylvania coal country, Jim Farrell is hanged for murder, his wife and three daughters must turn their beautiful home into a boarding house in order to survive. But struggling beneath the shadow of shame becomes too much for eldest daughter, Kate. She resolves to clear her father’s name in spite of her mother’s admonition to “let it go,” and convinces her sisters to help. All too soon their dangerous quest rips the family apart. Will it also cost them the men they love?

My Thoughts:

This would have gotten a higher review had something not have happened towards the end that greatly saddened me.
The writing was good – I like Mrs. Bambola’s writing quite well – but this one just wasn’t a particular favourite for me. I couldn’t really click with main character Kate. I did really like Virginia, but her story didn’t unfold how I had hoped…
The main theme was forgiveness, which was good. I think an event at the end really overshadowed that for me though, and so I couldn’t perceive the depth that was supposed to be there through it.
The characters were well-written, though I didn’t care for Kate, and Joshua was just so-so for me. Though Charlotte could be a bit “shallow” at times, and Benjamin had some problems, I liked them quite a bit. And I adored Patrick, and Virginia. Patrick was probably my favourite character, and his relationship with Virginia most endearing.
I didn’t care for how Kate always pushed for her way; she never respected anyone else’ advice, especially Joshua’s, and in turn, he never really stood up to her – he would, and then he’d back down and she’s still get her way, even if it was “reckless”. To me, she didn’t seem to care about anything other than her own agenda, and that didn’t really change in the end which saddened me. I am not saying that women cannot be strong, but we are to respect those who are in leadership – the Bible instructs us to.

This wasn’t a book I hated, just one I didn’t adore. The plot was interesting.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers and BookCrash in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Posted in Book reviews, BookCrash

BookCrash Book Review: “The Salt Covenants” by Sylvia Bambola

http://www.amazon.com/Salt-Covenants-Sylvia-Bambola/dp/0989970779/ref=sr_1_2_twi_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1429301845&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Salt+Covenant

 

“The Salt Covenants” by Sylvia Bambola

Fiction

Review copy from BookCrash

My Rating: 4 our of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

“Bambola (Rebekah’s Treasure) elevates a simple historical tale into something transcendent, in this beautifully written novel about a young Jewish noblewoman, Isabel, who flees the Inquisition on Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to the New World.” Publishers Weekly starred review

“But these plans they have laid out for me like an embroidered rug, showing me where my feet must travel, is to me an awful penance for sins I did not commit.” Isabel

Spain 1493: Isabel has broken her mother’s heart by becoming a sincere convert to Christianity. But when she is noticed by Friar Alonso at La Casa Santa, the Holy House, she is forced to flee the Inquisition by entering into a loveless marriage and sailing with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. But all too soon Isabel is forced to struggle alone in her new life and new faith. With all the risks and hardships how is she to survive? And will she ever find love in this strange land? And what of the dangerous Enrique Vivar? Will his hidden agenda cost her her life?

My Thoughts:

I was quite impressed and pleased by this book. I had previously read Mrs. Bambola’s “Rebekah’s Treasure” and enjoyed that one, so I was excited to read another book by her when the chance came up. Though the time period was different, and thus the themes varied, it was still excellent.

This was a fascinating and well-written story, and a very full one. It is kind of hard to review because of that reason, but it really was good. At one point towards the end, I was worried it wouldn’t end happily, but I was really glad – and relieved – when it did! Main character, Isabel, had to go through a lot of trials, but the Lord gave her strength through them all. The history behind it all and weaved through it was spectacular.

I enjoyed seeing more into what it would’ve been like for those in 1493, especially for the Jews – or conversos* as they had to be, though it was sad too. So many struggles and wrongs and so many committed to them in the name of Christ. I loved though, that Isabel came to know Jesus and believing in Him as her Savior. It was all written beautifully. Oh and the part where they mentioned the Salt Covenant – that was so cool! I hadn’t heard of a salt covenant before, but it was really neat, and I loved it.

There were some more graphic scenes in various situations, which is why I would recommend this book for more mature readers (perhaps 17+). However, it was still a good read.

For me, it was a relaxing, quiet, yet very adventurous book, one I enjoyed!

 I received a free copy of this book from the publishers through BookCrash in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

 

*A convert from Judaism to Christianity; usually implies a forced conversion – from the glossary in back of book.

Posted in Book reviews, BookCrash, God's Lessons

BookCrash book Review: “For the Joy set before us” by Erica Fye

http://www.amazon.com/For-Joy-Set-Before-Us/dp/1633570029/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1427728952&sr=8-1

 

“For the Joy Set Before Us” by Erica Fye

Nonfiction, missionary book

Review copy source: BookCrash

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the book:

Ever wonder what your calling is? Do you feel burdened for the nations? If you are willing to follow where God leads you, the road ahead may be challenging, but it will be well worth it if you do not give up. In For the Joy Set Before Us, Erica Fye invites you to journey with her to get a glimpse into the life of a missionary, and to offer insight into what God may have in store for your life.

My Thoughts:

I was so impressed and encouraged by this book! I love missionary books as it is, but this one was spectacular, with so many deep truths. Erica Fye really gets it.

An honest, good look into what it means to be a true missionary of Christ – and this can be anywhere, doesn’t just mean in the field. We are missionaries in our homes. I know many say that, and it’s easy to pass off – I’ve done that – but it’s true. Wherever God places us we are missionaries, because His light shines through us. He is in us.

I really liked that she hit hard with the fact that people think you can just run off to be a missionary, without thinking about the consequences, the lifestyle, what it means to be in Christ and show Christ to others and just the raw truth of it all. I had to stop and think about it myself, and pray that God would put the purest, right motivation in my heart. As she says, our main goal in missioning should be because we love Jesus. Only Him. He has to be our motivation, our desire, our light, and everything will flow out of that.

This book deeply challenged me, and really helped me.  There were times where I had to set it down to think about what the author was saying. I really love seeing people who are so emptied of themselves and filled utmost with Christ. I want to be that way.

Erica Fye gave real-life examples, and she wrote of it all so well. She was real and so filled with the Holy Spirit, and that showed through her amazing, yet humble writing. It was so good.

I would encourage all to read this book – even if you aren’t planning on going out as a missionary. This book has soooo many amazing Biblical truths and I just loved it. I know I will be looking back on it in the future, many times. It was humbling, teaching, and inspiring.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookCrash in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and unbiased.

Book Trailer: