Wonders Of Creation Bible

NIV Wonders of Creation Bible- Illustrations to Color and Inspire. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016 (specific version).

wondersofcreationbible

SUMMARY:
With the full length version of the NIV Holy Bible complemented with over 50 pages of black and white illustrations to color, the Wonders of Creation Bible is a beautiful version. Filled with the original thin pages of the Bible but immersed with thicker pages for the drawings, the included animal and design pages are as graceful as they are charming. Accompanied by a lay-flat binding for easy coloring, a presentation page for gift giving, special verses included on each coloring page and a ribbon marker, this Bible is complete.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A perfectly sized Bible with readable size font and text, the Wonders of Creation Bible was beautifully enhanced with the illustrations waiting to be filled with a spectrum of color. The drawings are inviting, the coloring verses are relevant, the cover is alluring and of course, the message within is priceless. I really liked the idea of a more interactive Bible, combining two of my favorite things- coloring and God’s Word. Only thing I might add would be a few journaling pages to truly complete the experience.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Wonders of Creation Bible from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

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In Such Good Company

Burnett, Carol. In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox. USA: Crown Archetype Publishing. 2016.

carolburnett

SUMMARY:
Well-known actress and author, Carol Burnett, takes the time to share what led up to her becoming a musical comedy performer with her own weekly show. Wanting to chronicle her years while her memory still serves her well, her newest book, In Such Good Company, tells her TV story as well as mentions the many characters who shared the show with her regularly and the many special guest stars. Taking the reader behind the scenes while bestowing her memoir too, Carol Burnett graciously proves why she is so loved and respected still today…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Loving Carol Burnett and her show, I knew I just had to read her story. Full of quirky tidbits, funny memories, likeable skits, and actor spotlights, In Such Good Company also shares photographs, thoughts, remembrances, and recollections of her wildly successful show which was originally supposed to only run for 6 weeks. (While researching her book, Carol Burnett actually watched all 276 episodes, marveling and delighting in how her hair changed over the years…makes me want to rewatch all my favorite episodes yet again.) Quickly reading through it yet trying so hard to slow down and savor it, I thoroughly enjoyed this book which will remain on my shelf for many years, like a dear friend. Thank-you, Carol, for sharing a bit of your life with us!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of In Such Good Company from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Wild Montana Skies

Warren, Susan May. Wild Montana Skies: Montana Rescue Series- Book 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

wildmontanaskies

SUMMARY:
Ben King, an international country music star, returns home to Mercy Falls, Montana, to help care for his injured, ageing father. Kacey Fairing, currently on leave from her position with the military as a helicopter pilot, spends time with her daughter and parents in her hometown of Mercy Falls. With a past history between them, Ben and Kacey find themselves working together to save the town from flood waters but may need help rescuing their own hearts as well…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Cowboys, danger, survival, romance, drama, secrets and faith all combine for a fast-paced, amazing read. With likeable characters, several storylines, and a message of second chances, Wild Montana Skies sets the stage for an enjoyable new series, Montana Rescue. Though I did not read the prequel to this first book, If Ever I Would Leave You, I had no problem connecting with the story, and look forward to the continuing saga in book 2, Rescue Me, due out in spring of 2017. Definitely a good book by a well written author.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Wild Montana Skies from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Raven

Nappa, Mike. The Raven: A Coffey & Hill Novel-Book 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

theraven

SUMMARY:
As a deception specialist, “The Raven” lives up to his show name by picking pockets of people as they watch. Deciding to keep a politician’s wallet for himself, The Raven finds more than just money. Quickly involved in a scheme named “Nevermore”, The Raven realizes he may be in over his head. Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill tackle the case and meet some unique characters, starting with Mama Bliss. Suspense, full characters, subtle faith, links to Edgar Allan Poe, the Ukraine Mafia and interesting points of view all combine into a riveting story…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Certainly not my usual genre, again, I was drawn into Mike Nappa’s book and finished it before I realized it. Having read the first book in the series, Annabel Lee, I was actually anticipating this one. Though perhaps not quite as violent as the first book, it was just as well written and compelling. With a mix of characters telling their stories in different perspectives, lots of references to Poe and intensity from cover to cover, The Raven even has me looking forward to a book 3, chilling book cover and all.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Raven from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Vendetta

Harris, Lisa. Vendetta: The Nikki Boyd Files Series- Book 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
As a detective with the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force, Agent Nikki Boyd takes her job personally. With the abduction of her own sister years earlier, Nikki suspects there may still be a link to her sister with the current abduction. Needing the help of her friend, Tyler Grant, both Nikki and Tyler discover more than surprises connected to the case but also to their own hearts…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Definitely a great start to a new suspense series, Vendetta is full of surprises, twists, loss, faith, hope and romance. Though a common theme or storyline found in other novels, author Lisa Harris handles it well. Keeping my interest while the pages turned, I finished this book in just a few days. Even when the clues became obvious, the direction spun and kept me engaged. Fast, clean, well written and fun, I enjoyed this non-stop suspenseful novel to the end.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Vendetta from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Secret Language of Dogs

Stillwell, Victoria. The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet. New York, USA: 2016.

thesecretlanguageofdogs

SUMMARY:
On the newer trend of realizing animals’ mental abilities are similar to humans, given the ability to learn, adapt, experience and survive, author and positive dog behaviorist and trainer, Victoria Stillwell, shares her knowledge and expertise on unlocking the many languages of dogs. With the inner experiences of dogs examined and the meanings of body and vocal languages explained, The Secret Language of Dogs helps create a stronger, more positive bond with our four-pawed best friends.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Already of fan of Victoria Stillwell as well as owning several of her previous books, I knew I would have to read this new one. Not only a dog behavior expert but also committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation, she is also involved in various organizations to stop animal-related issues. Meeting the expectations I had set, The Secret Language of Dogs even went above with beautiful photographs, necessary information, and tons of tips, all joined together in a compassionate, positive manner. Seriously a must-read for all dog owners, I was inspired to give my own rescue pups extra hugs (and maybe even an extra treat), knowing they understand. Excellent!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Secret Language of Dogs from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

The Bible Habit

Ramos, David. The Bible Habit:7 Strategies On How To Study The Bible. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2016.

*thebiblehabit

SUMMARY:
Based on the thought that it’s impossible to know God without knowing the Bible, author David Ramos shares his useful insights, tips and strategies for reading, learning and using the Bible. Filled with chapters on boosting memory, the power of context, building a reading habit, joining in community and the strength of prayer, The Bible Habit also includes a Bible Habit Toolkit which shares a genre guide to the books of the Bible, popular book abbreviations, and a list of  terms found within the Bible, all of which help becoming more immersed in the Bible that much easier.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I found this handy little book to be filled with some great advice for studying the Bible. Though perhaps more targeted to beginners, I actually picked up a few tips as well as was inspired to do even more in my own Bible reading. Written on a friendly personal level, it was easy to read and simple to follow yet full of good information. Neither preachy nor heavy, the personal everyday correlations worked very well. Definitely a book for new believers, youth classes, a church library or even a nudge for the experienced Bible reader, I look forward to more books from this accomplished author.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Bible Habit from the author for my honest review*

A Royal Christmas Wedding

Hauck, Rachel. A Royal Christmas Wedding: The Royal Wedding Series- Book 4. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016.

royalchristmaswedding

SUMMARY:
Volleyball champion Avery Truitt is going through a rough time. Helping her mom with the Barbeque place on the beach, having recently lost her dad, and receiving some disheartening news about her beloved sport of volleyball, Avery is also still nursing a broken heart over the Prince of Brighton Kingdom, Colin. With a sister already in Brighton Kingdom married to the king and experiencing a difficult pregnancy, Avery and her mom decide to visit for the Christmas season. With an old tradition rich in romance yet wrapped in peril, Prince Colin must decide if he could persuade Avery to meet him at the Pembroke Chapel on Christmas morning should he ring the bell, even though he broke her heart…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Loving the previous stories in the Royal Wedding Series as well as author Rachel Hauck, I knew I had to read this longer novella in the series. Visiting some of the previous characters, and of course, lots of princess glitter, it was a perfect start to the Christmas season and a good continuation of the story. With a beautiful cover, a good storyline and a bit of tradition, A Royal Christmas Wedding was well worth waiting for.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Counterfeit Comforts

Scott, Robia. Counterfeit Comforts: Freedom from the Imposters That Keep You from True Peace, Purpose and Passion. Bloomington, MN: Chosen Books. 2016.

counterfeitcomforts

SUMMARY:
Speaker, teacher and author, Robia Scott, explains the temporary comforts found in overcoming hardships. Teaching instead the freedom found through turning to the Holy Spirit, she shares the destructive behavior that can result from following the counterfeit comforts. With encouragement, compassion, sensitivity and understanding, Counterfeit Comforts offers personal stories, relevant scriptures, strong reminders, gentle patience and heartfelt support in transferring dependence from shallow comforts to the healing and freedom found from leaning on God.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though perhaps not exactly what I was expecting when I opened the cover of this book, I soon found myself nodding my head at some of the ideas found within. (Seriously, ice cream does help a tiny bit on those really hard days, right?) Through her own personal journey to healing and freedom with the Holy Spirit, Robia Scott is willing to be honest, straight-forward, and passionate for a successful change. With a section on changing your words, thoughts and actions from negative to positive, she leaves nary an excuse not to turn to God in difficulties (rather than ice cream). Possibly life changing for some.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Counterfeit Comforts from Chosen Books for my honest review*

Greek For Everyone

Thornhill, A. Chadwick. Greek For Everyone: Introductory Greek For Bible Study And Application. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2016.

greekforeveryone

SUMMARY:
As chair of theological studies and assistant professor of apologetics and biblical studies, author A. Chadwick Thornhill shares his knowledge of teaching and familiarity with the Greek language. While learning Greek to study the New Testament opens a new and closer translation, and as a beginning course to Greek allowing for understanding the basics and more closely interpreting the New Testament, the goal of this book is to study the Greek language as a whole and apply it to the scriptures. With information on learning a new language, decoding the grammar and syntax, beginning interpretive lessons, bridging contexts, and lots of examples and practice, Greek For Everyone is a start to learning a new language.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Being fond of all parts of the English language as well as a few others, reviewing a beginner’s lesson on learning the Greek language was an easy choice. Well organized, easily explained, and non-intimidating, Greek For Everyone is just that…Greek for everyone. With the emphasis on Greek for Bible study, it also includes helpful tips for learning other languages, reviewing basic language skills and components, and applying the language of Greek. As an encouraging developmental manner of learning this language, it is highly effective.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Greek For Everyone from Baker Books for my honest review*