-- Grace Elizabeth --

-- Grace Elizabeth --

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Holy Bible for Girls

My Holy Bible for girls is a new Bible in the New International Version which features a journal edition. This Bible  has a unique cover that appeals to the younger set. It is designed to reflect on God's Word and you can add your own thoughts, art and color to your favorite verses. What a fun way to make this Bible your own and personalize it while reading and studying God's Word. This Bible  also have thicker paper for writing with pens or pencils.  There is a How to Use this Bible page and details how to get started which is a great feature.
This Bible was a Christmas gift to my 11 year old granddaughter along with colored pencils and she was really impressed with how "girly" it looked.  She especially liked the journaling part where she could draw or write on the lines.  The best book you can put in a child's hand is a Bible and this was especially cool for girls.

Home on the Range

Home on the Range is the second book in the Double S Ranch series. This series is by Ruth Logan Herne and it has really caught my attention.  I read and reviewed her first book not knowing the author but so enjoyed her writing and eagerly awaited the second book..now I have to wait for the third book!! If covers sell books then this cover wins an award for superb cuteness.

The Stafford family owns a huge ranch in Central Washington. Each story is about a different brother and the second  book highlights Nick Stafford. The other brothers have left the ranch and Nick is left to carry on along with being a single dad. There is a problem between Nick and his dad dealing with his childhood where his dad failed at marriage and parenthood. Nick would show him by being a better parent and husband but he failed and his wife walked out and left him to parent two girls by himself. Enter Elsa Andreas, who previously had a family therapy practice, who begins to work with Nick's girls and spends the summer on the Double S ranch.  Can the brother left behind and a woman without hope work together for the good of two precious children.

The second  book was as good as the first with plenty of twists and turns and how a family can reconcile with God in the middle. The characters are real with  hurts, needs  and most of all there is hope for the lost and healing for the broken.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for my free copy just for my honest opinion.

Ruth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print, including eighteen Love Inspired contemporary novels and Back in the Saddle, Book 1 in the Double S Ranch series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing-collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Earth Psalms

Cover: Earth PsalmsWow, what a book!. Francine Rivers writes wonderful fiction books, so when this book became available, I quickly decided this will be my next book.  I knew it would be good, but excellent is more the description I would give it.
 It is a 52 week devotional that blends scripture, glorious pictures, a reflection, prayers, an application and a connection with God for each week.  I will confess that I went through the whole book and not a week at a time. I will start in January and do a weekly devotional, but this book kept me so engrossed that I just kept reading. Francine Rivers shares observations that she has gathered exploring both in her backyard and abroad. She reflects how this might apply to your daily life. One of my favorites was on week 42 and the Power of Two. Telling how horses stand parallel to each other with tails swishing to keep the flies from each others eyes. Then in Luke 10, Jesus sends 72 of His followers in groups of two as to offer encouragement to each other. We need to partner with other believers so we can do the work the Lord has set before us. There is always a interesting tidbit with the pictures.  This one told that a horses' eyes are on the sides of their heads, they have an almost 360-degree range of wisdom.
This is just a beautiful, well written, interesting and a wonderful way to start each week with the Creator and discover His power, His attention to detail, His love for you and it is all around us, if we just open our eyes to it.  I do hope you will pick this book up, you will not be disappointed.
Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for my free copy just for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Occupied

The Occupied by Craig Parshal is his first in the Trevor Black series. "I keep monsters in my peripheral vision. When you've been attacked by the horribles, you never forget".
I knew this was a supernatural story line with the struggle of world, flesh and the devil. Trevor Black was a criminal defense lawyer in New York City and had it all. He enjoyed a trophy wife, a six figure Aston Martin and was a winning lawyer.  Here comes the but: he had an encounter with the supernatural in his youth that comes back to haunt him. How quickly everything crumbles, his marriage, his law practice is destroyed. Losing everything changes him and he is left with a gift or curse that enables him to detect the demonic underworld. Not only does he see them, they are gunning for him. How will Trevor handle the trail of occult murders that are crossing his path.  Can he find the killer and can he face his personal and supernatural demons? He also comes to a crossroad and his defenses break down and he finally admits he needs Christ to take over and how his life changes.

I will admit that I am not a supernatural book lover. This said, I read half then skipped to the end (not something I normally do) just to find out the end. Not a series that I will look forward to number 2.
Love suspense but this one was very hard for me to follow. I saw by the other reviews that I am outnumbered by those who loved the book, but to each his own.

I received this copy free from Tyndale Publishers just for my honest opinion.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Eden Hill

Cover: Eden HillWelcome to Eden Hill, Kentucky and spend some time in the early 60's when times were simpler and family values were the norm. For me, this was a trip down memory lane. I graduated from high school in 1966, so many of the things written were very familiar to me.  Being a baby boomer was the best of times and relationships were valuable and neighbors were neighborly. Even if you were not born in that era, this book has qualities that are enjoyable to read about. Especially: fried spam, Lux dish soap, Tang for breakfast, Kelvinator refrigerator, and the highlight of a woman's week-the beauty parlor and gossip!.

Virgil has the only service station in town and he has been happy doing just that, until, a new Zipco gas station intends to move across from Virgil's station. How will Virgil face this new obstacle not only in his business, his marriage but his self worth. The story has all that is wonderful about small towns in the 60's. No one is a stranger, everyone helps everyone, and all the quirky characters that make up a small town. There is an interesting Reverend Eugene Caudill who sees changes sweeping the town and how much to meddle in those changes. Every good story needs a old church member that complains about anything and everything!
This is a book full of interesting people and the plot is simple: how do you love your neighbor when everything you hold dear is threatened.

I will be honest about this book, I had a hard time getting into the plot and characters, but loved the time period and found myself reliving the past as I kept reading. With that said, time to go make a "tuna casserole".

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

God Bless America..A Patriotic Coloring Book

It's not often that I get to review a coloring book, yes, an actual adult coloring book!!
I could not pass this up just to see how different this coloring book would be and I was very pleasantly surprised. It is not just a coloring book but a step back into history and  God's sovereignty over our nation.
One side of the page you can color but the other side shows quotes from our Founding Fathers, historic documents, presidents, Scripture, patriotic songs, and inspirational quotes from American heroes.
Remembering how coloring as a child would just quiet your soul and your creative juices would flow as you filled in the pictures.  This coloring book reminds us just how blessed we are to live in the USA and  how amazing our country is.
My favorite page is where General Norman Schwarzkopf's words were "It take a hero to be one of those who goes into battle". Having a daughter in the Army, this one was my favorite to tackle.
Slow down, quiet the noise, and express creativity as you color you way through history.

This copy was free from Blogging for Books just for my honest opinion

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Promise of Jesse Woods

Cover: The Promise of Jesse WoodsThere are authors that tell stories and there are authors that are storytellers. Chris Fabry is a storyteller that weaves a story into the deep crevices of your heart.  I have read each book he has written and that one is my favorite till the next book comes out and I have a new favorite book.
He has such a knack of involving the reader in the plot and you feel what the characters feel and you become engrossed in what is to come as the book evolves.

A lot Chris Fabry's books take place in a magical town of Dogwood, West Virginia where the times are simpler and life is slower. The setting is 1972, with the Vietnam War overseas and the World Series in the background, young Matt Plumley moves to Dogwood when his father moves there to pastor a small church .  Matt makes friends with Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed race boy and Jesse Woods, a tough young Appalachian girl along with her sister Daisy Grace. What transpires when these three embark on finding their  way through many interesting trials, escapades, growing pains, first love, friendships, innocence lost, and just trying to make it through each day when  circumstances are tough.  Fast forward to 1984 and Matt is living in Chicago and suddenly needs to return to Dogwood and to Jesse to find out what the truth behind the promise she broke and why. You must read the book to know what the promise is. The plot goes between 1972 and 1984 which was a fascinating way to tell the story from past to present.

 Since I lived through that time period, it was fun to relive some of the things that the author threw into the story. This was another superbly crafted plot with believable characters set in a location where things were very different in 1972. You could laugh at their antics and cry at the heartbreaking things that happen in life especially when you are young. As Jesse Woods says "Maybe God lets us choose.  Maybe he lets the good and bad happen so we can work it all out ourselves" Please, do yourself a favor, and read this book, you will be amazed at how this story sticks with you long after the last page is turned.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sins of the Past

There is always great anticipation when your favorite author comes out with a new book, but when three of your favorite authors come together in a romantic suspense novella collection, that is as good as it gets!! Yes, you read this right; Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason combined in one book called Sins of the Past. Three completely different stories about 120 pages in length and with each authors distinct romance, suspense and wonderfully written story lines.
Dee Henderson's story, Missing, is about John Graham a  Wyoming sheriff going back to Chicago to try to find his missing mother who vanished from her retirement community. John teams up with
Sharon a savvy Chicago cop and as they search for  his mother, the idea that something disturbing could be the heart of her disappearance.  Will they find her in time?,. need to read for yourself.
Dani Pettrey's story Shadowed, brings her story line back to Alaska. A Russian open water swimmer is found dead and Libby another swimmer is brought in to help search for the killer. She finds the body on a whale watching tour with Ben McKenna  The plot thickens when politics and spies both enter the picture. In all her books adventure, romance and danger are crafted beautifully and I wished this story went on further...maybe it will in another book.
Lynette Eason's story, Blackout, is another great suspense book with a hint of romance. Macey Adams wished she could remember the sins that haunted her.  If she could remember, then maybe she would be able to figure out who was trying to kill her-or drive her mad.  What a first paragraph that completely enthralls you to keep reading. Macey was implicated in a robbery years before but now the real culprit is up for parole and she is being targeted since the loot has never been found.  Does Macey know where it is hidden or will her memory keep everything suppressed.  Will she be killed before the truth comes out. This story was definitely a page turner with a surprise ending..just like the author likes to do.
You are in for a rare treat when you purchase this book: three amazing authors with three compelling stories that will leave you wanting more. If you have not read any of these three, this is a great way to see for yourself what I am writing about.
Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for this free copy to review just for my honest opinion.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lead me Home

Cover: Lead Me HomeIt is interesting how we pick out books to read.  Sometimes it is the cover, often it is a favorite author and sometimes the story line is very intriguing. What prompted me to pick out Lead me Home by Amy Sorrells was a quote on the front cover.  "What if all we're looking for is right where we are"?. That really made me curious what this book was all about and what I found was a story that captivated me from page one to the end.

I found this book to be interesting because of the plot but also because she is an Indiana author and I live and hour away from her.  Many of her locations I know and some were in my own home town.  That really kicked it up a notch for me. I felt a part of the story that I have never felt in all the books I have read.

Lead me home follows two main characters: Noble Burden who runs his family's dairy farm and James Horton a pastor of a church ready to close it's doors. Noble had to grow up quickly, especially since he had an abusive father who finally just left the family to fend for themselves. He has a brother, Eustace,  who is autistic and that challenges Noble to be the head of the family and make decisions about the farm.  He also has a love for music and would love to fulfill that dream in Nashville.  He has a chance, but can he walk away from responsibilities?
Pastor Horton has  different challenges: a church he was a  pastor for 20 years that is closing up for good. He is a single parent to a wayward child, Shelby, since his wife died. She wants to do her own thing and James worries about her choices/consequences. Shelby and Noble have been childhood friends and he would like it to be more, but she is not interested. A severe storm rolls through, threatening their community and very livelihood.  Will both Noble and James lose what they care about most and figure out where they truly belong?  I hope this question piques an interest in reading what happens..you will be very glad you did.

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

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Gift for All People

The Gift for All PeopleMy disclaimer is: I am a huge Max Lucado fan. I have all of his books and when a new one comes along I jump at the chance to add it to my library.  Originally this was printed in 1999 but has been updated with a new title and I actually did not have this. It had different chapters highlighted from different books he has written. The thoughts on God's great grace fill this book of 127 pages.

Max tells us that God's gift of grace is limitless and we are so unworthy but he still offers grace.  We must never forget that God's endless grace is a free gift that cannot be earned. Hard to imagine a God that has such limitless love when we see ourselves as so unworthy with sins piled high and mistakes made over and over again.  We take detours and God puts us back on the path and extends strength through faith.  Do we take this gift for granted?  Yes, we do and what a high price that gift cost for God to give us.  His very son paid for it with his body, breath, and blood..  As you ponder the truths in this book you will see new insights and reflect on the gift of grace that God shares with us daily.  One of Max's best lines come in the chapter titled He Saw You. He recounts how alone Jesus was in the Garden and how Jesus can empathize with how we feel when we have be confused, plotted against, torn between two desires and how we beg God to change his mind and God says no.  On the eve of the cross, Jesus made his decision.  He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.  What a Savior we serve!.

This is easy reading and could be used for a daily devotional but one book that you would pick up over and over to reread the messages of God's love and grace to his people. I am sure that the gift for all people, will speak to you personally through these pages.

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


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

God's Not Dead 2

Cover: God's Not Dead 2 I did see the DVD God's Not Dead last year and was very impressed. Travis Thrasher is one of my favorite authors and having the chance to read the book to God's Not Dead 2 by him was exciting.  I just finished the book yesterday and the movie came out last week which I want to see and it will be interesting to see just how the book holds up to the movie version.

Grace Wesley is a high school history teacher when she is asked an honest question about Jesus in a public school.  Her reasoned response lands her in deep trouble in a court case that could cost her the career she loves. The principal and the superintendent and a zealous civil liberties group join forces against Grace wanting to expel God from the classroom and the public square-once and for all. Tom Endler is a lawyer with the teachers union who represents Grace.  What makes it interesting is that Tom doesn't even believe in the cause that he is representing.

The characters are updated  in this book so it is not necessary to have seen the first movie. This story did start out slow for me..had trouble getting into the story line but halfway through I found it to be enjoyable and was trying to see just how the lawyer is going to pull it off and get Grace acquitted. With each passing day, the name of Jesus is welcomed less and less in the public square.  If Christians don't take a stand today, will we even have the choice tomorrow?  Where will you stand?

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

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Under Our Skin

Cover: Under Our SkinHere is my disclaimer: I am a huge New Orleans Saints fan and did read Benjamin Watson's Facebook post after Ferguson and was amazed by his writing. These are two of the reasons I picked this book to review.  I was not disappointed at all.

Each chapter of Under Our Skin deals with Mr. Watson's facebook post.  The titles are:
Angry,Frustrated, Fearful, Embarrassed, Sad, Sympathetic, Offended, Confused, Introspective, Hopeless, Hopeful, and Encouraged.  This book expands on his thoughts about serious and troubling issues facing America today.  How can Americans with different skin tones relate to one another? The author wants people to have serious, healthy discussions on race and racism.  When we focus on another persons skin, we miss the reality of our own sin.  The times we have judged others and the bias and prejudice in our own hearts. Wow, these are powerful words that make self examination hard but needed. The author shares many personal experiences and wisdom he has learned. A quote from the book. "Individually we may feel as if there's not much we can do.  But maybe we underestimate what God can do through us".

Under Our Skin helped me as an older white female  to really see inside someone with black skin.  Benjamin Watson helped me grasp his thinking, motives, prejudges and the perception black people feel in a "white world".  This is a book I will re-read just to remind myself that change can start with me.  A must read for everyone because we are all on planet earth to get along.  "God gives race a new meaning, it's called the human race, may we always remember this".

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