Saturday, November 02, 2013

The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado


When I received “The Christmas Candle” by Max Lucado for review, I was surprised to find that it was a novella. I’ve read many nonfiction books by Rev. Lucado. I didn’t know he had ever written fiction. I consider the novella to be a gift book – something short and sweet, the perfect read when you don’t have a lot of time to devote to a full length novel. But don’t assume that because it’s a short read that you won’t have a lovely time reading about the miracles that occur in a small village in Victorian England. Even as I read the book, I thought the story would make a heartwarming holiday movie, and it turns out that it has. Reading this book (and watching the movie) that is less about candles and more about faith and hope would be a wonderful holiday tradition.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Welcome to Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong


Just finished reading "Welcome to Last Chance" by Cathleen Armstrong. I loved the small town feel and the diverse characters, and the way that Christian values were presented in a gentle, non-confrontational way. The story of the two main characters, Lainie and Ray, kept me guessing as there had to more to the story than was presented in the beginning, but I have to say that the warm, sweet, rock-steady character, Elizabeth, was my favorite. At times, the book read like a mystery with a bit of suspense thrown in, and at other times, like a romantic novel. I can imagine followup books in the series featuring these same characters. The suspense aspect won't keep you up at night, but the romantic side will warm your heart.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Billy Graham in Quotes



The first time I ever heard of an evangelist was when the Billy Graham crusade came to town. Nine years old, I attended a Baptist church at the time and joined the team of volunteers to go door to door and invite people to come. In the years since, I’ve listened to many Billy Graham sermons and even sung in the choir as an adult at one of the last crusades held.

So, I was thoroughly delighted when I received a copy of the book “Billy Graham in Quotes.” If there ever was a man who speaks truthfully and succinctly, it’s the Reverend Billy Graham.  His son, Franklin Graham (who along with Donna Lee Toney compiled the quotes) says the material spans seven decades. What a legacy to have preached for so long! It’s a wonderful tribute to have a son who has amassed his father’s simple statements of Biblical truth on a vast array of subjects. With the book divided alphabetically according to subject, the many topics cover everything from anger and angels to worry and worship.  
 
I highly recommend this book as resource for preachers and teachers or for anyone who wants to read a quote to ponder and meditate on throughout the day.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Runaway Emotions by Jeff Schreve


The smoke alarm on the cover of “Runaway Emotions” by Jeff Schreve is symbolic of negative emotions like anger and frustration. They alert us to danger. Just as we wouldn’t hide a fire, the alarms set off by these runaway, negative emotions alert us to the need to manage them, and find out what God is trying to say to us. Schreve uses scriptures liberally in his explanation of how the Bible can help make sense when life seems out of control because we have become overly emotional.

The material in the book has been researched well, explained in depth, and backed up with Biblical insights. I would call reading this book an excellent first step in acknowledging and managing runaway emotions. With the addition of pertinent questions after each chapter to encourage discussion, I could see this being a good study for a teen’s or women’s class.

The author has a wonderful sense of humor while sharing deep spiritual truths using practical examples. The chapter on loneliness was very well explained and helped me better understand the emotion and want to reach out to those who are lonely. Pastor Schreve’s vulnerability while sharing personal accounts was engaging, encouraging me to take this journey past negative emotions to healing and freedom.

* I received this book free from the publisher through the http://BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Secretly Smitten [Kindle Edition]



Are you too busy to dive into a good novel, but still want to get your fiction fix? Having long periods of time to read is rare for me. That's why I like novellas. And what better book for me than Secretly Smitten - four novellas in one?  

Secretly Smitten is written by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt.  Each author is successful on her own, and what fun to find their writing all in one book! I liked this collection that tells the story three young women solving a mystery and finding romance along the way. Each author builds on the story and characters and develops the plot line in her own style while staying true to the story as a whole. The small town setting was refreshing as was the sweet romance and light mystery woven through each novella. 

This is actually the second book in the Smitten Series but this could easily be read on its own. I have to say I am looking forward to the next offering by these four talented authors, and reading these shorter stories encourages me to read each author’s books. If you’re looking for a sweet, lighthearted romance with a Christian worldview, then I suggest you check out Secretly Smitten.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

5 Days to a Clutter-Free House: Quick, Easy Ways to Clear Up Your Space by Sandra Felton, Marsha Sims



In my never-ending pursuit of being an organized person, I asked to review this book. When it came time to read and review, I couldn't find it. Boy, do I need this book! 

The first section of the book focuses on cleaning and organizing your home using a team approach. While I think that would be a great way to tackle a big job, most of my friends and family are every bit as busy as I am. Using their tips and taking more than five days, I do think the tips provided by authors Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims are still valuable and practical.

In my opinion, the second half of the book is where the real value lies. The authors focused more on maintenance of your home after you declutter. The chapter titled "Manage Yourself" helped me understand why I tend to let clutter build up. The next chapter "Manage Your House" had Clutter Busters and Rules that helped make the task of being organized seem more manageable. For the second half of the book alone, I would say this book is worth the purchase.

I will be putting their tips into practice. Right away!

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Beyond Talent by John C. Maxwell



I LOVE this book. I received this book several months ago, and am normally very quick to read and write reviews when my schedule allows. I have gotten so caught up with the stories, the advice, and the practical tips in this book that I actually forgot I had received it for review. My copy is bookmarked, starred, highlighted, and dog-eared. At the end of each chapter are Application Exercises which have helped me to go beyond the talent I have to excel and achieve. Maxwell is motivating, humorous, and informative. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to take  God-given talent to its full potential. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
 
Visit InfoServe for backgrounds.