Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare

During the last couple of months, I've had the opportunity to read several books from the "Quilts of Love" Series. This month, I had the chance to read and review "A Sky Without Stars" by Linda S. Clare. It's the story of a Native American woman named Frankie Chasing Bear and her son, Harold. 


The story is set in 1951 and begins with Frankie and Harold moving to Arizona after Frankie's husband passes away. Frankie wants nothing more than for Harold to learn about his Lakota heritage, but that will be difficult with so many white men around and no male role model. Frankie's grandmother once said that a bed without a quilt, is like a sky without stars, so Frankie knows she must make the traditional Lakota star quilt for her son. 

Along the way, Frankie meets Nick, a BIA agent who convinces Frankie that not all white men are bad, and she must learn to trust in God and the people He has surrounded her with. 

I thought this book was definitely a light, yet fun read. It kept my interest and kept me wondering what was going to happen next! It was interesting to read about Frankie and how her story slowly changed from someone who didn't trust anyone, to someone who put her trust in the white man's God and how she was able to finally let her guard down. There wasn't an immense amount of spiritual content in this book. Being a Native American, Frankie's main concern throughout most of the book was her reliance on the spirits and having her grandmother speak to her through dreams. 

All in all though, I enjoyed this book and especially the aha moment where I learned why the book had the name it did. ;) If you're looking for a light read, I would recommend this book. I rate it as 4 stars.

I received this book for free from Litfuse to give my honest unbiased opinion. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gods at War Student Edition by Kyle Idleman

This week I had the privilege of reading and reviewing "Gods at War: Student Edition" by Kyle Idleman!

The Ten Commandments. Most people can name a few of these, or maybe even all of them, but do we really understand them? Most people misunderstand the meaning of one of the most important commandments, "Thou shalt not make for yourself an idol." They think about Bible times and how people actually worshiped a golden calf or a pagan god, but rarely do they think of it as still being a problem nowadays.

Kyle Idleman has written a fantastic book explaining why we need to be wary of the idols in our lives. They're not simply things of the past. They could very well be relationships, entertainment, materialism or our own appearance. I admit, I never even thought about God's commandment that way, but I certainly do now! Idleman writes with conviction and at times, humor. I think this book was put together wonderfully as a student edition.

At the end of each chapter is basically a think-it-through section called "Idol ID" where readers are asked 3-4 questions on what they just read and how it applies to their life. Immediately following is a quick synopsis of the chapter for quick referral.

I would highly recommend this book to students between the ages of 13-18. I think the author did a fantastic job and I am now eager to read more of his work, especially the original edition of this book. I believe this book would be beneficial to go through as a Bible study or perhaps even during a Sunday School quarter. I rate it as 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

First of all, I just wanted to say that I had a very hard time getting into this story. I have a hard time reading books with the abuse of children, or one of devastating sadness and immediately this book posed those characteristics. The beginning of this book literally made me sick with it's content and I had a very hard time even finishing the book just knowing what was at the beginning. I have heard so many good reviews and comments about this book, but it was just not for me. I need something a bit more uplifting.

In the beginning of the book, we learn about Sarah and how she is the product of an affair between her mother and a wealthy married man. Sarah's mother continues to be a mistress in exchange for provisions and a small house to live in. Sarah quickly learns that her father wants nothing to do with her, but even then she would go to the ends of the earth to earn his love. When Sarah is a young girl, her mother becomes ill and passes away. Sarah is left to fend for herself until a friend of her mother's sells her to a wealthy pedophile.

This part of the story was highly disturbing to me and I had a hard time finishing the book. From what I have gathered from the remaining portion of the book, Sarah later becomes a prostitute under the name of Angel. She meets a man named Michael who loves her despite her shortcomings and what she has done in the past. He is very forgiving with her...almost too forgiving in that they really end up having no marriage at all.

Even though this is a Christian romance novel, I would rate it as R. Meaning that I would definitely not want my girls reading this even once they are older and more mature. From other reviews I have read, I have gathered that the story is supposed to symbolize the story of Hosea in the Bible, but even the Bible does not go into such detail as this book. It was just a bit too much for me. Too much inappropriate content that I was not a fan of. I rate this book as 1 star.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing group in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Young Women of Faith Bible

There are so many different types and versions of Bibles available out there, so it's hard to know which one is the right pick for you. This week, I had the privilege of reviewing the "Young Women of Faith Bible" with devotionals by Susie Shellenberger. You may remember her as the editor of Brio magazine! She is also the author of many books including "Girl Talk with God" or more recently "The Smart Girl's Guide to God, Guys and the Galaxy" which is set to release on April 1st!

I really enjoyed this pre-teen Bible for many different reasons! It's aimed at girls ages 8 on up, which is perfect for my oldest daughter. She was so very excited when I presented her with it! She has had numerous Bibles in the past, but to her this Bible had a little bit more of a grown up feel to it. The inside is full of bright pink flowers, butterflies and a fun font. Throughout the Bible verses, there are "Journal" entries which are usually a sample prayer to God or a reflection time to think about what was just read. There are also small sections entitled "If I were There..." which gives an opportunity to think about the Bible story and to imagine that readers were actually a part of the story.

The author has also made the beginning of the Bible chapters and interesting experience! Each chapter begins with a series of questions after the name of the Chapter is listed. Examples of the questions are
Who wrote this book?
Why was this book written?
What happens in this book?
What do we learn about God in this book?
Who is important in this book?
When did this happen?
What are some of the stories in this book?

Also in the back of the book is the appendix of course, and then a measurement chart which explains the difference between measurements quoted in the Bible and the measurements we use now.

I found this Bible to be excellent and will not hesitate to recommend it to anyone I know with pre-teen girls! I rate it as 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Dad's Prayers for His Daughter by Rob and Joanna Teigen

For the last couple of weeks, I've been reading through "A Dad's Prayers for His Daughter: Praying for Every Part of Her Life" by Rob and Joanna Teigen. I didn't want to simply rush through this book as it is meant to be a 90 day devotional.

I loved the titles of the devotionals, because if there was something certain I was looking to pray for, I could just browse through the book and find it easily. There are various types of prayers included in this book. "For when she's Afraid", "When She needs Comfort", "When She Considers Dating", and "When She's Pressured to Fit In" just to name a few.

I found this Prayer Devotional to be a bit different than most other Prayer Devotionals because not many I have seen focus solely on the Dad's Prayers. Generally I have seen books that are for both parents. When I requested this book, I knew it would be perfect for my hubby as he already has two daughters and one on the way! We are continually praying for our daughters, but like most parents sometimes we just don't know what to pray for.

This book is an excellent resource for any parent, not just dad's, but my hubby is really looking forward to reading it now that I've told him what a great book it is. :)

About the Authors:
Rob Teigen has been a publishing professional for more than fifteen years and is the author of three joke books, including "Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids" (under the pseudonym Rob Elliott). He and his wife, Joanna Teigen, are the parents of a teenage son and three young daughters. They are the authors of "88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates" and live in West Michigan. Find out more at www.strongerdads.com.

I received this book for free from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

"Real Women Leading with Proverbs 31 Values" by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder

In "Real Women Leading with Proverbs 31 Values" by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder, the authors explain how to use ten values from Proverbs 31 and how to implement them into our daily lives in the marketplace.

One of the points these authors are trying to make is to inspire the upcoming generation to be Proverbs 31 women, and to show them that womanhood is a gift...something to be cherished. The Proverbs 31 woman is not merely something from women of the past. It can be daunting to try to live up to the expectations of the Proverbs 31 woman. She can do it all! But it is possible to live that way today, and these two authors show us how to do just that.

This is not a type of book to be read lightly. It holds a wealth of important information that cannot simply be read by browsing through. Also, at the end of each chapter is a set of questions on what was just read, and steps to follow to implement these values into our own lives.

I think this book is an excellent read whether or not you are engaged in the business world. It is also an excellent resource for mothers, church volunteers, and women from any background. I rate this book as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Litfuse to give my honest unbiased opinion.

Don't forget to enter the contest below! :)

Real Women Leading: With Proverbs 31 Values is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder are celebrating the release of their book with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook "Leading with Values" author chat event on March 20th.

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  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • Real Women Leading by Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 20th. Winner will be announced at "Leading with Values" Facebook Party on March 20th. Connect with Lisa and Dawn for an encouraging discussion on how we can lead (at home and in the workplace) effectively and with biblical values. Win prizes, connect with other leaders, and be inspired.

So grab your copy of Real Women Leading and join Lisa and Dawn on the evening of March 20th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!