Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Book Review: "Oath of Honor"

Oath of Honor is a great start to a brand new series by Lynette Eason. I'm already hooked. In this first book, we meet police officer Isabelle St. John, known to her family and friends as Izzy, and her large, law-enforcement-oriented family, all of whom become involved in one way or another as Izzy attempts to solve one of her most heart-breaking cases ever, the murder of her partner, also her long-time childhood friend.

Her partner's brother, Ryan, is also drawn into the case. A fellow police officer, he is determined to bring his brother's killer to justice, too. Together he and Izzy must keep each other alive, chase a hulk-sized cop killer, track down her missing brother mysteriously spotted at the scene of the crime, and solve what turns out to be a seriously compound-complex case. Fans of suspense and intrigue will love this book and join me in looking forward to the next.

I thank Revell publishing for sending me a complimentary copy. I'm happy to share my thoughts with you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review: "Church of the Small Things"

I absolutely love the cover of Melanie Shankle's new book, Church of the Small Things. I loved the concept described on the back cover, too. "In Church of the Small Things, Melanie Shankle reminds us that God does extraordinary things in our most mundane moments of faithfulness. Through her hilarious reflections on being a mom, wife, and writer, Melanie helps us embrace a meaningful life as we find the beauty and the laughter that lie right beneath the surface of every ordinary, incredible day." Those were the words that inspired me to order a complimentary review copy of this book from the BookLook Blogger program.

In reality, though, the book was much more memoir than message, and I found this disappointing. Some of Melanie's stories were hilarious; others were sad or touching. The book is filled with sweet tributes to several of her extended family members and friends. Life lessons, both silly and serious, are scattered here and there. Melanie reminds me of Erma Bombeck, a writer whose books I found fascinating when I was in junior high. I believed she was giving me a glimpse into the mysterious world of grown-ups. She was really helping her readers to not take their lives so seriously, inviting them to laugh with her at life; Melanie does the same with a touch of inspiration and encouragement. Fans of this type of writing will enjoy her book.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Book Review: "Transforming Grace"

An updated release of an amazing book, Transforming Grace is an eye-opening read. Author Jerry Bridges systematically takes his readers through several different facets of God's grace. His strongest point: God doesn't offer grace to the unbeliever then turn into a harsh task master. His grace is for everyone at any and every point along their spiritual journey. And everyone needs God's grace.

I loved the way Bridges used familiar Bible stories to illustrate his points, circling back to them in each new chapter to show what they revealed about our God. I also appreciated the examples he shared from his ministry and personal life.

This book is designed not only for personal reading, but for Bible study as well. An eight lesson discussion guide following the thirteen chapters makes it perfect for small groups. If you are looking for a clearer understanding of the grace God offers to you, I recommend this book. I received my complimentary copy through the Tyndale Blog Network, so I could share my opinion with you.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Old Year's Race-to-the-Finish Reading Challenge 2017 - Wrap-up

Happy New Year and welcome to 2018! I pray your brand new, shiny year is off to a great start.

I came so close to finishing! In fact, if I hadn't added and started those last two books, I would have reached my goal, so I'm pleased. Here's where I stood at the end of 2017:
  • 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Born Broken by Kristin Berry - Finished!
  • The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth - Finished!
  • The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls - Finished!
  • The Alphabet of Grief by Andrea Raynor - Finished!
  • Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich - Finished!
  • The New Me by Rebecca Goldstone - Finished!
  • Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosaline Wiseman - Finished!
  • As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson - Finished!
  • A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada - Finished!
  • Jesus Always by Sarah Young - Finished!
  • On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones - Finished!
  • Sixth Covenant by Brock and Bodie Thoene - Currently on page 139; 36 pages read
  • A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock - Finished!
  • Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges - Currently on page 67; 26 pages read.
  • Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle - Currently on page 55; 3 pages read
I hope to finish those last three books this week, then I have a whole bunch of new books to read! Watch for reviews of Transforming Grace and Church of the Small Things in coming days.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Old Year's Race-to-the-Finish Reading Challenge 2017 -Update #7

Merry Christmas!
  • 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Born Broken by Kristin Berry - Finished!
  • The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth - Finished!
  • The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls - Currently on page 118; 23 pages read
  • The Alphabet of Grief by Andrea Raynor - Finished!
  • Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich - Finished!
  • The New Me by Rebecca Goldstone - Finished!
  • Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosaline Wiseman - Finished!
  • As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson - Finished!
  • A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada - Currently on page 387; 7 pages read
  • Jesus Always by Sarah Young - Currently on page 377; 7 pages read
  • On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones - Finished!
  • Sixth Covenant by Brock and Bodie Thoene - Currently on page 103; 18 pages read
  • A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock - Finished!
  • Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges - Currently on page 41; 29 pages read.
  • Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle - Currently on page 52; 11 pages read
Just one week to go - then I get to start a whole new set of books! Two new daily devotionals, four new books to review. But now I'm gonna go play with my family. May your Christmas be filled with the love and wonder of Christmas and many treasured moments you'll remember with joy!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Old Year's Race-to-the-Finish Reading Challenge 2017 - Update #6

Well, I didn't finish three books this week like I had hoped I would, but I made steady progress. I am thoroughly enjoying A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jarod Brock and will probably finish it today. If you have a chance to read it, it's both fun and profound. Here is where I stand in this challenge with just two weeks to go:
  • 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Born Broken by Kristin Berry - Finished!
  • The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth - Currently on page 158; 54 pages read.
  • The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls - Currently on page 118; 23 pages read
  • The Alphabet of Grief by Andrea Raynor - Finished!
  • Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich - Finished!
  • The New Me by Rebecca Goldstone - Finished!
  • Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosaline Wiseman - Finished!
  • As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson - Finished!
  • A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada - Currently on page 380; 7 pages read
  • Jesus Always by Sarah Young - Currently on page 370; 7 pages read
  • On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones - Currently on page 167; 21 pages read
  • Sixth Covenant by Brock and Bodie Thoene - Currently on page 103; 18 pages read
  • A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock - Currently on page 253; 188 pages read
  • Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges - Currently on page 41; 29 pages read.
  • Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle - Currently on page 41; 24 pages read.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Old Year's Race-to-the-Finish Reading Challenge 2017 - Update #5

This was a fun week! I finished three books and started the last two. I'm hoping to finish three more this coming week. Here's where I stand with only almost three weeks to go until the end of this challenge:
  • 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Born Broken by Kristin Berry - Finished!
  • The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth - Currently on page 104; 12 pages read.
  • The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls - Currently on page 95; 28 pages read
  • The Alphabet of Grief by Andrea Raynor - Finished!
  • Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich - Finished!
  • The New Me by Rebecca Goldstone - Finished!
  • Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosaline Wiseman - Finished!
  • As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson - Currently on page 345; 39 pages read
  • A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada - Currently on page 373; 7 pages read
  • Jesus Always by Sarah Young - Currently on page 363; 7 pages read
  • On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones - Currently on page 146; 13 pages read
  • Sixth Covenant by Brock and Bodie Thoene - Currently on page 85; 8 pages read
  • A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock - Currently on page 65; 46 pages read
  • Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon - Finished! (Read my review here.)
  • Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges - Currently on page 12; 16 pages read.
  • Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle - Currently on page 17; 17 pages read.