-- Grace Elizabeth --

-- Grace Elizabeth --

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Abundant Life in Jesus

The title says it all...what we all want, Abundant Life in Jesus.  Being a fan of Nancy Guthrie's bible studies, I was excited to see she had written a devotional.  This devotional is different from the other devotionals I have, and I have a lot.  How do we experience God's blessings?  Nancy Guthrie shows us that experiencing God's blessing is not merely getting good things from God.  The essence of blessing is God himself. But God does not force himself on anyone who does not desire him. The daily devotional is written with scripture at the top but the blessings are written as if God was speaking to you and with a prayer at the end.  Here is an excerpt to see just how it reads.  This life I've called you into is not about doing for me, it is about receiving from me.  I am serving you by blessing you with acceptance, forgiveness, freedom, and joy.  So let my goodness to you fill you up and spill out into the lives of others.

Not only is this devotional packed daily with insights from God along with blessings we all want but it is a beautiful leather book that is simply gorgeous.  I knew Nancy Guthrie wrote great bible studies but this devotional far exceeded my expectations. What a glorious gift for loved ones that want to see just how to experience God's blessings.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for my free copy just for my honest opinion.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Street God

Cover: Street GodIn the beginning his street name was Daylight. But he was a nightmare.
In the end I'm still Daylight. The difference is, my ultimate goal will never again be to become a street god.
I know now that I'm not the one who should rule.  I've given all of myself-the good qualities and the bad, the victories and mistakes--to the real God, and in his grace he's taking it all and using it for his goals, not mine.  It's his job to shine the daylight through me. Those word came from Dimas Salaberrios at the end of his story, and what a story it was.What intrigued me about this book was how a kid at 11 begins to sell drugs, then at 16 finds himself in Rikers Island prison.  He was so focused on being rich and a powerful ruler in the hood...or die trying. You follow Dimas as he rises through the drug world, goes to prison, sells drugs again and again in different places along with putting himself and others in a lot of danger. As you follow Dimas through the years and the dangerous journey he is on, you see just how God is in the background waiting for the right moment to show himself to Dimas. Here begins the rest of the story.

This was a book I picked to review because it was like no other I have ever read. I was intrigued by what a "Street God" was.  What I found, knowing very little, about the drug culture was eye opening, to say the least. I was hooked when I got past just how common this is in our culture.  I wanted to know how and why these people did this especially since most times the deals can end in death. It was also fascinating to see how low Dimas would stoop to sell the drugs and even take them himself.  All the while God was waiting to save his life and offer him the chance to go back to the streets to proclaim the name of Jesus. This was the last paragraph of the book which I loved.  "Dare to offer him all of yourself-even those parts that cause you deep pain or regret.  Then just watch what he will do through you.  Watch the break of daylight shine.

What a book, what a story. We see how God works behind the scenes of Dimas's life and reminds us of how God works behind the scenes of our lives. Please pick up a copy to read..you will not be sorry.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for this free copy just for my honest review.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Message 100

There are a lot of bibles on the market for readers to purchase. Every so often a new bible format comes out that really brings the bible and the stories alive for the reader. The Message bible has been around for a few years in both old and new testament. Eugene Peterson translated from the original Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and put the Message bible together. The Message combines God's Word with conversational English that is readable and understandable.

I have read the Message and loved how easy it was to understand.  I always felt like it was more in story form than the regular bibles I have read. Now, with the Message 100 bible, I can read it in a fresh new way.
The bible is designed into 100 reading that tell the unfolding story of God as he reveals himself to the people he loves. This bible is a collection of stories, speeches, prayers, and letters that will immerse you and you will see what God wants to teach you. You can do one reading at a time and go at your own pace. Each reading begins with a brief reflection from Eugene Peterson to orient you for what you are about to read. Enjoy the journey and see God in a whole different light.

This bible will be my Christmas gifts to family members this year because of how much this has impacted my life in reading this story of God in sequence.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for my free copy to read and review just for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It's Good to be Queen

 It's Good to Be Queen

Come alongside as Liz Curtis Higgs, with her unique writing style, delves into the story of a queen that we know little about, Queen of Sheba. Her biblical story is found in 1 Kings 1 and ends with verse 13. Only 12 verses but packed with a lot of insight on this queen. The Queen of Sheba travels to Jerusalem to test the mind and heart of  King Solomon but she came away from that meeting with much more than she envisioned when she started her journey.

There are 10 chapters that will enlighten you with humor and truths.  Each chapter starts with a personal fictional narrative from the Queen of Sheba then the author enhances each verse in that particular chapter with lots of commentary. The chapters deal with boldness, openness, seeking wise counsel, honesty, encouragement, praising God, giving, receiving graciously, and ending well. Sheba not only left Jerusalem but her former way of life, her old gods, her old beliefs so she could put on the new self. She left he old life-full of disbelief, distrust, disobedience and embraced a new life that honors God. He journey was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. Sheba didn't travel to Jerusalem to be changed, but she was. You will be changed after reading her story and it may challenge you as it did me in many areas.

Not only do we learn about the Queen of Sheba through story form and insights but there are lots of notes and references along with discussion questions and chapter by chapter study guides perfect for bible study.

Thanks to Waterbrook, Blogging for Books, for this free copy just for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Agents of Babylon

Get Ready. The end is closer than you think.. In David Jeremiah's latest book,The Agents of Babylon, you will find  ancient Old Testament brought to life in Daniel's story. Dr. Jeremiah is a noted prophecy expert and this book explores the visions, dreams and prophecies that are in the biblical book of Daniel. He not only tells what the prophecy is but what they mean and how we can apply them to the world we live in now. In reading the story of Daniel, we read about Babylon and just how evil and cruel they were. They were clearly against God. Written is a style of his previous book, Agents of the Apocalypse, each chapter starts with a fictional narrative about the subject of the chapter and ends with an explanation of the Scripture behind the story. The fiction drives the truth into our hearts, and the Scripture behind the fiction drives it into our minds.

So many things made this book enjoyable. Loved each chapter introduction and then the Scripture behind the story..made for some great insights. Learned a new theory about when Daniel was in the lions den. When the guards left Daniel, he slid to the ground of the den to make himself comfortable for the night. Soon two cub lions moved in his direction very friendly and one lay on each side of Daniel, to give him warmth and protection in the chilly dungeon. He gently stroked their backs as they each turned their heads and licked his hand. They all slept soundly in perfect peace and tranquility. What a scene, I never thought of that way, serenity and peace under the will of God.  Fascinating book just like Dr. Jeremiah's first book. Make sure you read both, you will gain a new understanding of Revelation and of Babylon and Daniel.  David Jeremiah makes the bible come alive in his writings. You will be very enlightened when you finish his books.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for giving this free copy to me just for my honest opinion.
Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us About the End of Days

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Sea Keeper's Daughters

There are many great Christian authors that tell stories and then there is Lisa Wingate who is a storyteller that weaves magical stories . I first started reading her last fall and have read everything she has written and am amazed how magical her stories are. They are real people with real struggles trying to find how to keep going in life.

This story follows Whitney Monroe who owns two restaurants in Michigan, one struggling to keep afloat, and a cousin running the other one. She finds that she has inherited  a decaying Gilded Age hotel on the Outer Banks.  She thinks she can go down there to clean the hotel out and sell it to hopefully fund her failing restaurant. One problem, Whitney's stepfather, who she is at odds with, is staying there and will not budge.  He is in failing health and she figures she can find a center to take care of him. Since this is a three story historic building, the downstairs tenants want to save the building and not see it sold. Whitney has her work cut out for her when she arrives.  She thinks she has it all figured out until as she is weeding stuff out and trying to figure out what is valuable and what is trash, she comes across an old necklace among letters that date back to the 1930's. As Whitney puts the letters together she realizes that there are family secrets and memories she wasn't prepared for. The letters are to her grandmother from her sister.  The sister, Alice, was hired by the WPA to chronicle the lives of people throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. You learn about the cruelty and prejudice in the mountains and how it affected Alice.

Absolutely fascinating how she wove the past and present together to create a story I was sad to see end.  Wish she could have gone on and on with the story. When you read Lisa's stories you will be thoroughly entertained and hooked on her stories as I am.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for sending me a free copy just for my honest opinion.

 Lisa Wingate is a magazine columnist, speaker, and the author of nineteen mainstream novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, now in its eighteenth printing.  She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her novel, Blue Moon Bay, was a Booklist Top Ten of 2012 pick.  Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.  When not dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women's literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteers teach adults to read.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

War Room

Chris Fabry does it again!. Another spectacular story from one of my all time favorite authors. Excellent sums up how I felt after finishing this book and so look forward to seeing the movie.  I knew this would be a good book but I was not prepared for how this story would impact my life.  We all know that prayer is a powerful weapon and we know we should pray more.  Sounds so simple, but how do we put this into practice and become better at conversing with the "one who made us"?  This book showed me different ways to put the power of prayer into my everyday life and make prayer a priority, which it should be.

The story centers around Tony and Elizabeth Jordan and daughter Danielle.  They have career's, money, and what they think is the charmed life. Their marriage is in trouble which sends this plot into a tale of  what causes this marriage to crumble.  Lots of things are present in their alienation to each other and bitterness is prevalent in Elizabeth.  Since Elizabeth is a real estate agent, God arranges her to meet Miss Clara who is interested in selling her house. That is where this storyline takes off.  Miss Clara realizes that Elizabeth needs help and she challenges her to fight for her marriage and family instead of against her husband.  Miss Clara has a war room where she prays for and encourages those around her to pray without ceasing. Miss Clara wants Elizabeth to start her own war room and begin fighting. Miss Clara tells Elizabeth that "prayer is God drawing us close and asking what's on our hearts. Now most people, if you tell them that, will go to their list. The first thing God wants to do is help you see.  See yourself.  See your sin.  See your helplessness without Him.  And then-He opens your eyes and bring everything into focus".

I have read every book Chris Fabry has written and this is one of the best ever.  Not often, do you highlight and turn corners down in a fiction book to remember what you loved and what really spoke to your heart. This book has plenty of those and it is one I will re-read just to remember how important prayer is. My own prayer life has taken on a new meaning. Please, please pick his up to read and recharge your prayer life.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for his free copy just for my honest opinion..

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Drawing Fire

Drawing Fire is Janice Cantore's latest novel and the first in her Cold Case Justice series and it is another winner.  I am a huge fan and eagerly await her next book. Since she is a retired Long Beach police officer, I am sure a lot of these stories she has lived through which make each novel more interesting.

Two open cases, two dead ends. I won't let them go cold. The storyline follows a possible serial killer that stalks elderly women in Long Beach California.  Abby Hart is a homicide detective assigned to this case.  She is teamed with Luke Murphy who is a private investigator also assigned to this case. Luke saw the suspect flee the scene of the latest homicide but Abby discovers that the latest victim is related to the governor. That brings about it's own set of problems. Other problems are a fire that Abby's parents were killed in 27 years ago.  They never found out who set the fire and how they were killed.  She is set to find out who killed them but all roads and help from the police end up being stalled and  why she should leave the crime alone.  Luke also searches for a missing teen and tries to help runaways.  Interesting how these two story lines coincide  and how in the end they both find hope and forgiveness  along he way.  When Abby and Luke search for evidence buried under years of deceit..they realize someone wants this case to remain cold. She has a way of keeping the reader engrossed in the story and the endings always surprise me.
Now, if she could only write faster.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for this free book just for my honest opinion.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


This book by Eric Blehm is a fascinating account of a hero, and a legend. My typical reading consists of Christian Fiction so this was a different genre for me. I read Fearless by Eric and was enthralled by his writing. So, when I had a chance to read another book by him, I agreed after reading the synopsis of the story.  I graduated from high school in the mid 60's when the Vietnam war was escalating so this story peaked my interest of the background of things that happened.

 The storyline centers around Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez who was part of a 12 man Special Forces team.
It starts out with his childhood and how he grew up as a street kid from Cuero, Texas. At age 6 he turned into a "tough mean kid". His mother died and he went to leave with an uncle. He dropped out of school and proceeded to join the military. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne and eventually went to become a member of the Special Forces. From there the author chronicles Roy's single mission in 1968 in the jungle of neutral Cambodia . This is where the battle intensified and Roy jumped from the aircraft and ran 100 yard thru enemy fire.  He was wounded but refused to abandon his efforts until every survivor was out of harm's way.

This was written with access to family members , survivors of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company as well as declassified military records. Hero's come in different shaped, sizes and skin colors and Roy Benavidez was just that-a hero. This book helped me understand more of the why we were involved with Vietnam even thought I lived thru that era.

Thanks to Blogging For Books for this free copy just for my honest opinion


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Double Cross

Want a fast moving, well plotted thriller with many twists and turns? Then Double Cross by Diann Mills is the book to pick up and devour.  I am a huge fan of Diann and could guarantee this would be a five star book before reading the first page, and I was so right. She has a knack for superbly crafted characters and a storyline that has you turning pages late into the night.

Interesting plot; FBI agent Laurel Evertson is investigating a scam that targets the elderly. As she investigates the scam, key evidence leads to Morton Wilimgton. She arrested him on her last undercover assignment which caused the death of her partner.  She has never forgotten or forgiven Morton and what she sacrificed to put him in jail. Now it appears that he is her best lead to track the culprits. Laurel has help from Daniel Hilton a Houston police officer who fears his grandparents may be the next target.  Morton is released from prison  claiming he found Christ and salvation in prison.  The unlikely three team up to find those responsible. Daniel is not sure teaming up with a felon is such a good idea, and is he on the good side or the evil side. The scam doesn't just clean out bank accounts but becomes deadly. Can they find the killer before it is too late, save Daniel's grandparents from the killer and is Morton's claim of redemption for real or just a double cross?

What strikes me the most about this story was my complete fascination with the characters and how I was never sure if Morton was really the Christian he said he was or was he the best con artist around.  One minute, I thought I had it figured out and then the next minute, I was baffled. That is the good writers write and this is one of Diann Mill's best books.  I have read all her books, and if you have not, please start.  You will not be disappointed by her writing.  Always a good mix of scripture and the characters finding God or how God finds them and changes them.

I was given this book free by Tyndale Publishers for my honest opinion.


Sunday, March 29, 2015


I guess,as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey is the fifth and final book in the Alaskan Courage series and I hate to say goodbye to the McKenna family. In each of the preceding books, the author has focused on  a member of the McKenna family and they have each been a wonderful story.  This final books finds Reef McKenna returning home to Alaska. Reef came back to help with the Iditarod with search and rescue.  The only problem is he is teamed up with Kirra Jacobs and they share a long history of being at odds with each other.  Kirra's uncle Frank, who is a musher with the Iditarod has disappeared. The two of them track him only to find out his daughter Meg has been kidnapped. Now comes the fun, the cat and mouse game of trying to find Meg with Frank being no help to them. There is a villain that will stop at nothing to get what he wants, and whoever gets in his way will pay. Will Kirra and Reef be able to solve the mystery, find Meg and avert a disaster in Alaska?  Can Kirra and Reef put their past aside and work together to bring Meg home safely?  Pick up book five and find out the answers.

Since I have read all the other books, I gave this five stars even before I read it.  From past experience, I knew the author would "finish strong" and she did.  Can't wait for the start of her new series and hope she can write fast!! Please, do yourself a favor, and read all five in the series..you will be a fan for life.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book

I will admit that I do not like to cook-takes too long to cook, too short to eat and too long to clean up!.
With that being said, I will try to find shortcuts to put dinner on the table. I have a pressure cooker that I have used for 35 years.  I say used very lightly. I use it for a few things and tend to use the slow cooker for a lot more.  Why, I don't know.  The pressure cooker is faster and things come out usually better.  When I saw this book up for review.. I grabbed it and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  It has shown me a whole new way to use my pressure cooker.  I have an old style used on the stove and this book shows both stove top and electric machine uses.  The cool thing is...over 500 recipes and lots of photos in the middle of the book.
I never knew I could cook dried beans in the pressure cooker, oh what a time saver that is. The authors have shown me tricks and shortcuts to use. I will be trying the Apple Maple Oatmeal recipe this week which takes only 12 minutes to prepare.  Now, that is how I like to cook!

I will be using my pressure cooker more, thanks to this cookbook, and my slow cooker less. My advice is to get a pressure cooker, don't be afraid of it, and get this cookbook.  You will be in for a treat and a whole new way of cooking..fast, that is.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this free copy just for my honest opinion.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Song

There are author's that have a knack for storytelling and Chris Fabry is a master of the written word. I am a huge fan, having read every one of his books. When I pick up his books, I know I will not be disappointed in what I am about to read.  I have not seen the movie or the trailer, but after finishing this book, I will make sure I see it.

The book is a modern day tale of King Solomon and the wise and unwise decisions that Jed King makes. His famous father made many mistakes that haunt Jed, in both the songs and life that Jed wants to live. Can he ever find his own"song" and a musical career of his own. He has a small singing event at a vineyard where he meets his love-Rose.  That night he sings a song to her and courts her,eventually marrying her. Jed dreams of stardom and this song is his ticket. With fame comes temptation and that temptation is Shelby. She will do anything to sing with him and eventually plays on his weakness to bring him down to her level.  How will Rose and Jed's marriage stand up to this test?. How can God rectify this mess? What are the lessons to be learned by Jed and Rose? Fascinating questions that you will find out reading this book. Loved this line from the end of the story. "God offers us hope when we surrender.  When we give it over to Him. He can take the sin, the struggles, all the pain we have and bring healing to our hearts. To your heart".

Make sure this book is on your reading list. Great story of love, forgiveness and lots of scripture throughout which adds to the storytelling. After reading The Song, make sure you pick up every book Chris Fabry has written-promise you won't be disappointed.

Thanks To Tyndale Publishers for a free copy to review just for my honest opinion.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Sometimes you read books that make sense and sometimes you read books that leave you baffled. Wonder by Travis Thrasher falls into that catagory for me.  I have read quite a few books by Travis and have enjoyed his writing, so that is why I picked this book to review.  I did know this was a young adult/teen genre of book when I picked this title. I did find out that this is book two in the series so that could be some of my problem. There was, I thought, enough information in the beginning to sort out some of the characters and some idea of what was happening.

The plot centers around evil in Appleton, Illinois and two unsolved deaths that have the town on edge and wondering who did it  and what happened.  Brandon Jeffrey is a senior in high school: playing soccer,trying to survive a wicked home life, trying to avoid bullies on the football team, an evil ex-girlfriend and falling in love with Marvel.  The only problem is, Marvel believes she will die as a sacrifice for others. There are other teenage things that play into this storyline: drugs, parties, and more bullying of students. There was some suspense, but hoped for more throughout the story.   I started reading with an open mind and trying hard to keep reading and wondering where things were going and how all the storyline would  tie together.  Sadly, for me, that never happened. I did make it to the end and was shocked as to how Travis ended it. It just ended, period. Turning the page, I so expected more, but nothing.  I guess there will be a sequel, but the back of the book states-the suspenseful sequel to Marvelous, book one. There are so many loose ends that need to be tied up so be aware when reading this book.

Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for sending me this book to review free just for my honest opinion.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Patmos Deception

The storyline centers around prized artifacts that are disappearing. Nick and Carey are childhood friends that team up together to find and prevent the artifacts from being stolen and put into the wrong hands. I figured with the title that the artifacts had to deal with the apostle John's writing, but never felt this was addressed within the storyline.  The third character, Dimitri, runs a family fishing boat but is also involved in some unethical dealings which added another level of mystery.

This book was very hard for me to stick with. I kept waiting for some suspense to keep me interested and found it very hard to pick up and keep reading.  I was tempted to skip to the end to get the book finished, but kept at it. I learned a lot of Greeces' culture, sites and problems with the country they are experiencing. The character development was ok, but I felt the author was more interested in what the country looked like that developing the plot. The ending was another problem with me. I was left with the plot and characters up in the air.  Must be another story, because this one never ended. It will be hard for me to read another one just to see how this really ends.

I don't like to give negative reviews, so this one took me a while to put my thoughts together and write this review.  Thanks go to Bethany House Publishers for this free book just for my honest opinion.