Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Devotions from the Lake

Book Description

Life is better at the lake—but you already knew that. Capture the sweetest parts of lake life with 100 peaceful devotions and gorgeous photography in Devotions from the Lake. This beautiful book offers insight into how God meets us through rest and play, and how to bring all the best parts of “lake life” to everyday life.
Life has a way of slowing down and simplifying when you’re by the water. Enjoying long walks, ice cream cones, and watercolor sunsets with your family and friends is a way of life on lake days . . . wouldn’t it be a dream to live like that year-round?
Devotions from the Lake includes 100 devotions and beautiful photography.It is a wonderful way to start each day at the lake with quiet devotional time as you gain deeper insight into how God meets us through rest and play and how to bring all the best parts of “lake life” to everyday life.
It’s the perfect gift for any lake lover or a happy way to keep a little piece of the lake with you at all times.

My review:
 I am always looking for a good devotional, so this one caught my eye with the beautiful photo on the cover of the book. It is true that you cannot judge a book by its cover, but we do tend to do that anyway. In this case, I judged correctly.
 Oddly, there is no author listed on the book, nor for any of the devotions in the book. The devotional is not a 365-day devotional, but has around 80 devotions in it (they are not numbered). Each has a title, followed by a Bible verse or two, then the main devotional.
 The book is also full of beautiful photographs of lakes and other pictures of nature.
The anonymous devotions are well written and center mostly around nature and lakes. Even without the well written devotions, the book is worth having for the beautiful photography throughout the book.

Friday, June 8, 2018

CSB Worldview Study Bible, Navy LeatherTouch

Description and features:

The CSB Worldview Study Bible features extensive worldview study notes and articles by notable worldview scholars to help Christians better understand the grand narrative and flow of Scripture within the biblical framework from which we are called to view reality and make sense of life and the world. This Bible is an invaluable resource and study tool that will help you to discuss, defend, and clearly share with others the truth, hope, and practical compatibility of Christianity in everyday life.

Features include:

Extensive worldview study notes
Over 150 articles by notable worldview scholars
Center-column references
Smyth-sewn binding
Presentation page
Two ribbon markers
Two-piece gift box, and more.
Contributors include: Ted Cabel, George Guthrie, John Stonestreet, Constantine R. Campbell, Eric J. Tully, Darrell Bock, Mary Jo Sharp, Kenneth Matthews, Carl Trueman, Paul Wooley, Thomas Kidd, John Bloom, William Edgar, and more.

The CSB Worldview Study Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

My review:

  I have come to like the Christian Standard Bible version, so this Bible interested me. It is available in different colors and bindings, but I was sent the Navy Leather Touch. My review will be for that particular Bible.

 The Bible comes in an attractive box, pictured at the top of my blog review. Leather Touch looks and feels pretty much like leather, only it is not as expensive as leather. The Bible itself is a nice shade of navy blue, with silver edged pages.

  A Christian world view is very important, and this Bible helps focus on that, with articles and notes geared towards that idea. I of course did not read the whole Bible, but I did look through it, reading some of the notes and articles, and like what I saw and read. They are well written with some great thoughts from a conservative Christian perspective.

 A feature not mentioned that I liked is one that is on the pages of each book of the Bible introduction. In addition to the actual introduction and overview, there is a section detailing the Christian Worldview elements in that book.

 There are a lot of Bibles on the market, and many of them are study Bibles. This may not be one every Christian must have, but it is one worth having. It is a great translation/version, and the features are different from other Bibles out there.

 I was given a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review.

The CSB Worldview Study Bible is available from Broadman and Holman Publishing.

Thanks to Broadman and Holman for the review copy.

Fatal Recall by Carol Post

Book description:

Amnesia stole her memory--a killer wants her dead

When Paige Tatem loses her memory, she knows just two things: she has a target on her back, and police officer Tanner Brody is the only man she trusts to protect her. As they piece together her past, Tanner wonders what lies hidden in Paige's mind. And as the truth begins to emerge, it becomes clear that a ruthless enemy wants certain secrets to stay buried.

My review:

   I don't read a lot of the Love Inspired Suspense novels. There are just too many published to keep up with, though I have never been disappointed in any I have read. Carol Post has been kind to offer her last few books to me to review, and at least two of them have been the Love Inspired Suspense. And this one may be her best yet.

  Books that involve a person with amnesia have always intrigued me, so the book had me hooked right away with that aspect. And in Fatal Recall, the main character could be victim or perpetrator. It added an extra level of suspense and intrigue to a book that was already full of those elements.

   The author came up with some great and very likable characters in Paige and Tanner, and his law enforcement friends also added a lot to the story. The action and suspense were pretty much non-stop, and then one can guess by the name of the label on the book......there is romance. I am still not a guy who reads many books that are just romance.......but if someone is trying to kill someone, I can handle the romance. I am kind of kidding. I enjoyed how that aspect of the book went. Both characters had flaws and had been burnt in the relationship department, but had to learn to trust each other and God to get them through the trying events they faced, and their blossoming feelings for each other.

 These books are a fast read, with this one coming in at 218 pages. Post packed a lot into those 218 pages and wrote a great suspense novel that does not shy away from themes of faith and Christianity. Great read.

 I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:


From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol's résumé reads as if she doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love for writing. She started as a child writing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles and finally novels.

Carol lives in sunshiny Central Florida and writes fun and fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Her books have received a 2016 Royal Palm Literary Award and been nominated for a 2016 RITA® award and a 2014 RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award. She is also a popular speaker, presenting workshops on a variety of craft topics. Besides writing, she enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly-spoiled dachshund.

Check out her website at CarolPost.com.

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

Book description:

New York, 2016
Natalie Abbott offers answers for hurting listeners on her popular radio program. But she struggles to connect with her teenagers, with her daughter in an unhealthy relationship and her son uncommunicative and isolated. When one member of the family commits an unspeakable act, Natalie is forced to uncover who she truly is under the façade of her radio persona.

New York, 1776
Mercy Howard is shocked when her fiancé, Nathan Hale, is arrested and hanged as a spy. When she’s asked to join the revolutionary spy ring in Manhattan, she sees an opportunity to avenge Nathan’s death. But keeping her true loyalties hidden grows increasingly harder as the charming Major John Andre of the King’s Army becomes more to her than a target for intelligence.

Mercy’s journals comfort Natalie from across the centuries as both women struggle with their own secrets and shame, wondering how deep God’s mercy extends.

Book review:

  This was a new author for me. The book sounded good, and I had not reviewed anything from Tyndale Publishing for a while, so I requested it. My review will be a mixed one.

 There are two stories in the book. One centers on Natalie in modern day, and the other on Mercy in 1776. To be honest, I found the historical part of the story distracting. The modern day story was so moving and riveting, I would get frustrated when the author would switch to the historical one. I found the same to be true of Francine River's Scarlet Cord that released several years back......maybe that should have warned me. But that is the only negative thing I have to say.

 The rest of the book was very good, yet sad. I don't want to give any spoilers away, but the main character's teenage son does something terrible.....we are talking something newsworthy, prison for life, the ripping apart of a community. It was an interesting experience to see the side of a horrible act from the view of the parents of a kid who did it. The book stirred up several emotions in me, including sympathy for the kid who did it......while at the same time recognizing what a horrible thing he had done and his need for prison for life.

 Though fiction, this is a story that could be ripped from today's headlines. And it is a reminder that God can help people through very tough times. It was very interesting and well written.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:


Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston's Freedom Trail. She writes Women's Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. Both her debut novel, "Freedom's Ring" and her sophomore novel, "The Hidden Side" are Romantic Times Top Picks. "Freedom's Ring" was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut, 2017. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Visit her online at heidichiavaroli.com.


The Hidden Side is available from Tyndale House Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.

How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living by The Babylon Bee

Book description:


With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

My review:
  

 If you are not following the Babylon Bee, you should be. Though if you do not like humor and satire, you may not like their posts or this book.

  This book is hilarious, while also pointing out how Christians should NOT be.  For instance, in their chapter on joining the right church, they encourage you to find a King James Version only church. They encourage you to take along a newer version like the ESV and said "these folks are very reasonable and level headed, and it can be a joyful and edifying experience dialoguing  with them." Now if you have ever run across the KJV only people, you know the opposite is true.

 The whole book is like that. The authors take the sacred cows of Christian culture and slay them one after the other, showing how ridiculous we can be. Not everyone will agree with everything they said. I didn't, such as alcohol....but I still enjoyed the book and found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

  Someone criticized this book and said it was a waste of time for them to write it, and we need serious books to draw us closer to God. I disagree. We all need more humor in our lives, and if read in the right frame of mind, this satirical book can help us to avoid some of the things in our churches and lives that should not be.

  This book was a gift and I am doing a review of my own volition.

About the author:

The Babylon Bee is the most popular Christian satire website, with more than 300,000 Facebook fans, and over 70,000 visitors to the website daily. They are a trusted voice in humor across a wide range of modern Christians.

How to Be a Perfect Christian is available from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

God's Promises for Graduates: Class of 2018 - Navy NKJV

Book description:

The #1 bestselling graduation gift book, God’s Promises® for Graduates: Class of 2018—NKJV Navy, is the perfect gift for the grad in your life. This book shows grads God’s promises from Scripture on topics such as character, integrity, loyalty, focus, respect, perseverance, and more. Includes a ribbon marker, gilded edges, and a Leathersoft cover.

To be successful in life, high school and college graduates need to stay in step with God. At each turn there are new challenges. What better help than this small book of God’s promises found in Scripture to bring guidance, comfort, and encouragement straight from the Word. Scripture passages are from the New King James Version translation. This book shows grads God’s promises on topics graduates will resonate with such as character, integrity, loyalty, focus, respect, perseverance, and more. Each topic is addressed with promises straight from the Bible.

This keepsake gift has a ribbon marker, silver-gilded edges, and a Leathersoft over hardcover design that is perfect to accommodate personalization by imprinting the graduate’s name. Year after year the attractive navy cover is one of the most popular choices for young men and women.

For more than 30 years, the God’s Promises® series has sold millions of copies, guiding and comforting people with God’s Word.

Encourage, inspire, and give your graduate comfort and courage with this beautiful gift book.

My review:

 I've always liked Bible Promise books. This one is geared for graduates, and makes a great gift for a grad. It is embossed with the year 2018, and has a place inside for a "to" and "from", along with the date.

 There is a handy index that is split into some different categories:

What to do when you need...

What do do when you feel...

What the Bible has to say about...

What Jesus means to you...

What to do when you are...

Truths from the Bible about...

 And a final word to the graduate

 This small book covers a lot of topics and Scripture verses that are pertinent for anyone, but especially for those graduating from school and facing the world. It is well put together, and definitely is something a graduate can treasure and use for years.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


God's Promises for Graduates: Class of 2018 - Navy NKJV is available from Thomas Nelson.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

No Less Days by Amanda Stevens

Book description:

David Galloway can’t die.

How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.

Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?  

David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?

My review:

  It isn't every day I read a Christian novel that has immortal people in it. The book sounded intriguing, and I had read a book by the author before that I liked....so I requested it.

 The book was different, and that is an understatement. And I really enjoyed it. An author's characters can make or break a story, and Stevens did a great job on creating unique and likable characters. David and Zach especially made the story.

 In addition to the entertaining and inspirational aspects of the story, Stevens did a great job portraying what life might be like for an immortal person and the challenges they may face.

 This was a fast and entertaining read that I enjoyed even more than I expected to. Stevens has come up with a very unique book for the Christian market that is definitely worth reading.

 This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:


As a child, Amanda G. Stevens disparaged Mary Poppins and Stuart Little because they could never happen. Now, she writes speculative fiction. She is the author of the Haven Seekers series, and her debut Seek and Hide was a 2015 INSPY Award finalist. She lives in Michigan and loves trade paperbacks, folk music, the Golden Era of Hollywood, and white cheddar popcorn.


No Less Days is available from Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Books.

Thanks to Barbour for the review copy.