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Saturday, February 6, 2016

NIV Beautiful Word Bible





The NIV Beautiful Word Bible in hardcover format is an exquisitely designed, full-color Bible filled with 500 illustrated verses that offers a one-of-kind visual treatment of Scripture, encouraging you to understand and experience God’s Word in a fresh way.












My Thoughts:
Bible Journaling has become a popular new way to engage with the Scriptures.  If you are like me and not extremely artistic, you will appreciate the organization of the NIV Beautiful Word Bible.  Each page offers wide margins with faint lines for either note taking or enough room for other artistic journaling.  Since I'm not very artistic, I appreciated that there are over 500 "examples" of how to artistically notate verses that stand out to me.  These are helpful in getting you kick-started in artistic journaling.  The Bible is beautifully and draws you into a unique engagement with the Word of God.  The only negative thing about this particular Bible is the size of the font - it is very small.

*I was provided a copy of this Bible from the publisher for the purpose of giving this review.  All opinions are my own and a positive review was not expected.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Bronner: A Journey To Understand

Sherri Burgess' life is a beckoning for you to know a Holy God like you have never known Him before. The wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show, Sherri is someone who now passionately pursues holiness and inspires others to do the same. A seasoned Bible teacher, writer and blogger, she has in recent years answered God's call as a women's ministry speaker. This mother of five stays active with her family in Birmingham, Alabama.

Connect with Sherri: websiteTwitterFacebook,Instagram





About the book: 

Bronner: A Journey to Understand (New Hope Publishers, January 2016)

God teaches and refines us through pain and suffering. Author Sherri Burgess, wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, knows this to be true. After the earthly death of her youngest son, Bronner, Burgess asked, "Why?" And God answered.

Journey with her through this powerful testimony of healing to understand the purpose behind the pain. An empowering resource for book-club discussion or small-group Bible study, this is much more than simply a retelling of an inspiring story. It is a call to action beckoning us to know our Holy God like never before. 

Purchase a copy:
 http://bit.ly/1nlL3rK


My Thoughts:
Sherri Burgess gives readers a gift in her book Bronner: A Journey To Understand.  This book is written straight from Sherri's heart - her mother heart.  She writes with a transparency and vulnerability but also with an urgency.  Sherri wants readers to have a clear picture of the One and Only True God that sustained her through the tragedy of losing her son - the same God that sustains her though her days now.
"He had walked me through many lesser trials before.  This time He was going to have to carry me, and I trusted Him to do that."
A Reader's Guide is included in the book.  This guide helps this book to be a perfect resource for use in a Grief Counseling group or a small group Bible/Book study.  Sherri shares the Scriptures throughout the book that were helpful to her during and after this tragedy.  She does an amazing job of not only telling her story, but of pointing to God and His sustaining grace.  And she longs for readers to know God in His fullness.
"Before that day, I only knew one side of God, the forgiving, kind, loving one.  But on the day Bronner went to heaven, I began to see God in a different light...I saw Him as King above all things, beyond understanding, beyond my reach or grasp."
 Read Bronner: A Journey To Understand and be blessed.

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my
own.

Bronner Sherri Burgess


Blessings,
Jennifer

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Where She Belongs

Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides.  Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer.  In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips.  She lives near Memphis, TN.



You can connect with Johnnie at her website, Welcome to My Spacious Place, found at http://johnnie-alexander.com/.  Be sure and stop by her Facebook page HERE.


Can love redeem a broken past?

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward afer the death of her husband left her devastated.  With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged.  She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories.  But she has her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's family homestead in the first place.  His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he's let it fall into ruin.  AJ's more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman.  But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can't get her off his mind.

My Thoughts:
Where She Belongs is the first book in Johnnie Alexander's Misty Willow series.  Johnnie is a new author to me and I was a little wary that this book would be your typical "contemporary romance".  I was pleasantly surprised and Johnnie Alexander's book has earned a spot on this avid reader's keeper shelf and I will be following the Misty Willow series closely.
Shelby and AJ's story is one of moving life beyond devastating family history and finding one's place. Shelby learns that finding one's place isn't always tied to the confines of the physical realm and that God really can  accomplish for us above and beyond anything that we can even imagine.  His plans are so much better than ours!
"He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.  He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.  He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me." Psalm 18:16-19
Alexander's plot in Where She Belongs is intricate and well-developed.  Her characters carry a depth to them beyond what you will find in many other contemporary romances where boy meets girl and in the end they live happily ever after.  Alexander delves into family dynamics, bringing out every emotion along the way.  There are many unexpected twists and turns and in the end, I closed the book thinking, "Wow...I did not see that coming".  In the end, Where She Belongs is a lesson in this truth:
Your past does not define your future!  Often God brings about the greatest good out of some pretty ugly and painful bad...this is AJ and Shelby's story and Johnnie Alexander tells it well.
The second book in the Misty Willow series releases this Fall and I can not wait.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of giving this review.  All opinions are my own and a positive review was not expected.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Thin Ice



Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty novels, including Buried Secrets and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series.  In addition to many other honors, she is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America.  She is also a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame.

You can learn more about Irene's books and connect with her at her website found at www.irenehannon.com.






If Ginny Reed is still alive - who is the woman buried in her grave?

After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief.  Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again - until an envelope addressed in her sister's handwriting arrives in the mail.  And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a fromer Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case...but he's coming up with more questions than answers.  Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game - or the target of a sinister plot?  As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear:  someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda.



My Thoughts:
In Thin Ice, the second book in her Men of Valor series, In the first book of the series, Buried Secrets, we met Mac McGregor.  Thin Ice tells Mac's brother Lance's story. Irene Hannon does not fail in giving readers a fast paced and action packed thriller.  Hannon offers a page turner and deftly combines suspense, mystery and a bit of romance.  Thrown in that mix are reminders of the importance of faith when dealing with great difficulties.
I appreciated the characters of Lance and Christy and how Hannon "grew" the two throughout the novel.  While the story line and ending between Lance and Christy was a bit predictable, Hannon delivered on the unexpected twists and turns along the way and kept me engaged.  The third book in the series and the third brother's (Finn) story releases this Fall.  While your reading experience would be enhanced by reading all the books in the series, each book can be read as a stand-alone.

*I was provided a complimentary copy of the book by the publisher for the purpose of giving this review.  All opinions are my own and a positive review was not expected or asked for.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You're The One That I Want

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, Christy and RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose comelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike.  She spent eight years as amissionary in Russia with her husband and four children efore returning to Minnesota's north shore to write full-time.

Visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.

You can also connect with Susan on Facebook HERE.



Owen Christiansen has been in a downward spiral since an injury ended his NHL career.  But a job on an Alaskan crabbing oat offers a fresh start...maybe even a shot shot at romance with Elise "Scotty" McFlynn, the captain's daughter.
Used to being one of the guys, to never relying on anyone, Scotty doesn't believe in happily ever after - especially with someone like Owen.  Her instinct is confirmed when Casper Christiansen arrives to drag his prodigal brother home, bringing with him a truckload of family drama - and even worse, the news that Casper is wanted for questioning in connection to a crime back in Minnesota.
But Owen is more than the sum of his mistakes, a truth both he and Scotty discover when she escorts the brothers to Deep Haven as part of her new job on the Anchorage police force.  Thrust into an unfamiliar world of family, faith and fresh starts.  Scotty begins to see potential for a happy ending...if she's brave enough to embrace it.

My Thoughts:
You're the One That I Want is the last book in the Christiansen Family series by Warren.  The Christiansens feel like family friends and I really hate to see this series come to an end.  Each book in the series - 6 total - shines the light on one of the Christiansen siblings.
One of my favorite things about the books in this series is the letter at the beginning to each sibling from their mother.  Another thing I appreciate about Susan's writing in this series in particular is the way she effortlessly weaves a strong gospel presentation throughout the story without being preachy. Consider this quote as an example:
"His father had put down the roller and was wiping his hands.  He looked up with solemn eyes.  'So you made some bad choices.  Some of God's best players were His imperfect, broken prodigals.  In fact, iffy players are God's best picks.  He specializes in short-tempered, reckless, flawed people to accomplish His plans.  Consider Moses, the murderer; Rahab, the prostitute; Samson, the playboy; Paul, the terrorist; and Peter...the impulsive.  God is constantly using broken, messy people to restore the world and bring glory to Himself.  To touch other people, like you did with Scott in the raft.  And I'd bet they each thought God couldn't use them before His grace tracked them down, brought them back to His purposes.  You can never outsin God's love, Owen.  Or limit what He can do with you if you let Him."
Warren has touched on Owen's story in all of the books in the series, but closes the series with a picture of the "bad" boy's transformation.  Warren is a master at that...showing a character's struggle with faith and growth during the story.  Owen and Scotty's story is a beautiful picture of how God pursues us with His scandalous love and great mercy.
Don't miss this series.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  A positive review was not expected and I have not been compensated in any way for the review.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Mermaid Moon

About the author: 

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn,Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Her books have sold more than 3 million copies.

Connect with Coble: websiteTwitterFacebook









About the book: 

Mermaid Moon (Thomas Nelson, January 2016)

Mallory's mother died fifteen years ago. But her father's last words on the phone were unmistakable: "Find . . . mother."

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn't have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O'Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart---and left---without a word, years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life---and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie---their search intensifies. There's a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father's killer---it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1J0PXVl

My Thoughts:
Colleen Coble has been one of my favorite suspense novelist for quite some time.  I keep thinking, "How long can she keep this up?" believing that at some point the stories will stop being fresh and will start sounding the same.

You will not find this to be your experience with Coble's novels.

I have read a number of her books and each time, I turn the last page thinking, "Wow, she's done it again."  Mermaid Moon certainly did not disappoint.  This is book two in Coble's Sunset Cove series.  And although this is book 2, Mermaid Moon can be read as a stand alone.  While the love interest thread is a bit predictable, the journey is a beautiful one.  Coble's plots are well thought out and suspense at its best.  Her characters are well-developed and scenarios are believable.  This one is a page turner for sure and one not to be missed.

Mermaid Moon Colleen Coble

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Midwife's Choice



Delia Parr is the author of sixteen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including The Midwife's Tale, Hearts Awakening, Love's First Bloom, and Hidden Affections.  The mother of three grown children, she was a longtime high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida's sunny west coast.  In between visits to her grandchildren in several different states she spends her time writing and volunteering alongside other women who share a bond of sisterhood as sisters of faith.







In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly bein questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life's calling with the demands of her family.  Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter.  Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult.  At the same time, she must decide whether she'll risk reopening the heart she'd long closed off to love.

Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people.  She knows which homes are filled with light and live, which families have slipped into grief which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines...As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all - that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.

My Thoughts:
The Midwife's Choice continues the story of midwife Martha Cade which began in the first At Home in Trinity book, The Midwife's Tale.  Both books are the first I have read by Delia Parr.  Parr's character Martha is based on real life heroine Martha Ballard (1785-1812).
Parr writes in such a way that I felt a part of the small town of Trinity.  I especially related to Martha's character as the author skillfully portrays a mother's heart.  The tension within Martha as she wrestles with her calling as a midwife, her role in the small community of Trinity and her role as a mother is palpable throughout the story.  Parr portrays the time period through description and characters so vividly that readers are transported to another time and place.
In The Midwife's Choice, Parr opens up the reader's thinking about midwifery and alternative medicine.  Martha's story will continue in The Midwife's Dilemma releasing March 29, 2016.

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer