Rescue Me

Featured

Warren, Susan May. Rescue Me: Montana Rescue Series- Book 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2017.

rescueme

SUMMARY:
In love with both her sister, Sierra, and her sister’s boyfriend, Sam, free-spirited Willow Rose also has a heart for God. Though she has been in love with Sam for years, Willow doesn’t want to hurt her sister so decides to keep her emotions to herself. Detailed-minded Sam knows Sierra appears to be the perfect match yet finds himself drawn to Willow for some unexplainable reason. While in the Glacier National Park with a group of teenagers from a youth ministry group, both Sam and Willow must save their own lives, the lives of several teenagers, and quite possibly their hearts…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Starting with the cover and continuing throughout the story, I liked every page of this novel. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, faith and romance all played center stage while several other pieces surrounded them. As a stand-alone novel while also being a great addition to the Montana Rescue series, I am already waiting for book 3, A Matter Of Trust, due out in July. Like a good story, interesting characters, dangerous situations and the beautiful wilderness? Then look no further than this series by talented author Susan May Warren.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

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

Life After

Featured

Ganshert, Katie. Life After. New York, USA: Waterbrook Publishing. 2017.

lifeafter

SUMMARY:
Upon entering Chicago’s busy transit system, in a fiery moment, life changes for Autumn Manning, twenty-two strangers, and many, many others. Dealing with the guilt of surviving in the only way possible for her, she struggles to make it through each day while living the new kind of normal. Paul Elliott, who lost his wife in the same explosion, is tormented with his own daily grief yet trying to also funnel his children through the distress of losing their mother while growing through life. When Autumn collides with Paul, will the survivor heal or hurt those already struggling…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Written in such a manner that draws the reader in and doesn’t let go (in other words, keeps the pages quickly turning), I found myself invested in the characters while feeling their emotions. Continually needing to read “just one more chapter”, Life After deals with thoughts and feelings unfortunately, experienced by many. In a beautiful yet heart-wrenching novel, Christy award-winning author Katie Ganshert tells a story of forgiveness, hope, loss, healing, and reality that remains with you long after the last page is turned. (On sale April 18th, 2017.)

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Life After from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Courage To Soar

Featured

Biles, Simone. with Burford, Michelle. Courage To Soar: A Body In Motion; A Life In Balance. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016.

couragetosoar

SUMMARY:
Determined, dedicated, strong, kind, encouraging, positive and balanced are just a few of the words that describe Olympic gold-winner, Simone Biles.  The most decorated American female gymnast as a four-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time all-around World gymnastics champion, she stands out not only for her gymnastic ability but also the way she lives her life. With a bit of a rough spot in childhood, her natural ability in the sport was discovered early and sharpened over many years of hard work, perseverance, commitment and strong faith. Though she suffered disappointments along the way to winning, it was the manner in which she reacted that kept her body in motion and her life in balance…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Understanding the intensity of training at a high-level, I commend Simone Biles for her achievements. Through personal stories, shared strengths, motivation and inspiration, Courage To Soar not only offers confidence in sports but in all areas of life. “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” is how Simone Biles lives her life (after a really good bawling). Picking herself up by the bootstraps after being knocked down, she is truly a role model for many. Engaging, well-written and absorbing, this book will be enjoyed by most. Congratulations and best wishes in the future, Simone!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Courage To Soar from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review.

America At The Crossroads

Barna, George. America At The Crossroads: Explosive Trends Shaping America’s Future And What You Can Do About It. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2016.

*americaatthecrossroads

SUMMARY:
Listing, summarizing, researching, and analyzing current trends in America and the influence on culture is shared in the new book, America At The Crossroads. With chapters on faith and spirituality, government and politics, lifestyles and perspectives, as well as action that can be taken, an award-winning author and founder of Barna Group (a research firm that specializes in faith-related surveys), George Barna, explores the patterns of thought and behavior that provide insight into society.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As America continues to change, some for the better with some for the worse, it is interesting to see those changes and the consequences on a number of factors. With churches changing yet also being affected, America At The Crossroads provides summaries and key facts on how people view and feel about America. Maybe a good book to examine closer, churches, pastors, leaders, teachers and parents may find some direction from this information on which direction to head next.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of America At The Crossroads from Baker Books for my honest review*

A Primary Decision

Leman, Kevin. Nesbit, Jeff. A Primary Decision: The Worthington Destiny Series- Book 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

aprimarydecision

SUMMARY:
Sarah Worthington, next Attorney General and sister of Will and Sean, fears she may be the next target. As secrets lie deep, suspense turns inward, politics run wild and alliances become distorted, Sarah draws closer to the Polar Bear Bomber but at what cost? With personal gains and losses at risk, the Worthington siblings realize their greatest strength may come in numbers…and family.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Teaming authors Dr. Kevin Leman and Jeff Nesbit have scored another political thriller just in time for the election. As book 3 in The Worthington Destiny series, A Primary Decision is full of page-turning suspense. Though readable as a stand-alone, this novel would have deeper understanding and meaning on the heels of the previous books in the series. Already a favorite author of mine, Dr. Kevin Leman and his Birth Order books, I also liked the influence of author Jeff Nesbit on this current story. Well-written and well-enjoyed, I definitely will look for more from both/ either of these authors.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Primary Decision from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Wedding Shop

Hauck, Rachel. The Wedding Shop. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2016.

theweddingshop

SUMMARY:
Having finished her time with the military, Haley Morgan returns home to Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. While pondering what direction God may want her to take, Haley visits the remains of The Wedding Shop, a former store building which she and her now deceased best friend, Tammy, pinky-swore they would reopen one day. Through perseverance, faith, confusion, promises, discovery and one very special person, Cole Danner, Haley discovers the connection and parallel lives with the former owner, Cora Scott. At the surprising intersection, Haley must make decisions regarding her future, her faith, her family and her heart…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read the previous two novels by author Rachel Hauck, The Wedding Dress and The Wedding Chapel, as well as The Royal Wedding Series, of course, I was going to read this one. With a well written novel, including a creative storyline, a faith-filled story, clean romance, and timeless characters, I enjoyed it as much as expected. Easily read yet with a deeper message, Rachel Hauck reminds us to follow our dreams and trust in God for His will.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Wedding Shop from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Unstuffed

Soukup, Ruth. Unstuffed: Uncluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2016.

*unstuffed

SUMMARY:
With tons of items cluttering homes, minds, souls and in turn, whole lives, now seems like a good time to unstuff. Sometimes an overwhelmingly personal, emotional and physical action, often it may more simply left undone. Through encouragement, knowledge, compassion and direction, New York Times bestselling author, Ruth Soukup, helps make such a daunting task much easier. Starting with a vision and working towards uncluttering space, relationships, schedules and minds, Unstuffed provides an organized manner in which to be successful.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
In a subject that can be hard for many people, this author makes uncluttering understandable and achievable. Written in such a way that it almost seems enjoyable (okay…bearable), it is a well organized book with good ideas, explained results, relatable situations and positive advice. Approaching the cluttered style from a whole perspective, rather than just a materialistic approach, not only makes more sense but also serves several purposes at once. I truly appreciate the candid advice given in a doable, compassionate, upbeat, successful way. My home, mind and soul, thank-you!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Unstuffed from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Fetching Sweetness

Mentink, Dana. Fetching Sweetness: Love Unleashed- Book 2. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2016.

Fetchingsweetness

SUMMARY:
When Stephanie Pink plans to quickly deliver her manuscript to a literary agent, Agnes Wharton, she soon discovers it may be more involved than she planned. Tracking down Agnes, who is trying to track down Sweetness, leads to Rhett Hastings, who may lead to heart-throbbing trouble. With a gallop through a campground, a hurtful past, a bit of new faith, funny moments, and lots of dog-nonsense, Fetching Sweetness is an adorable, amusing, tender, and faith-filled novel with the sweetest Sweetness as the main attraction.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I loved the picture of Sweetness on the cover of Dana Mentink’s newest book with the spirited expression, tip of the head and floppy ears!!  Pancakes, spatulas, wet kisses and trouble all define Sweetness, a hundred pound slobbery mess of a dog, who steals hearts. Combine Sweetness with Rhett, some fun romance and some giggling situations, and a light-hearted read with lots of character emerges. I love this series, especially since the books are written close enough together (sometimes it is SO hard to wait for the next book)- thank-you, Dana! Look for the next book, Paws for Love, in February of 2017.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Fetching Sweetness from Harvest House Publishing for my honest review*

The Caregiving Season

Daly, Jane. The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2016.

thecaregivingseason

SUMMARY:
Ready or not, we all eventually grow old. As we age, more help is needed with even the simplest of acts. As a result, sometimes that help is characterized by resentment, bitterness or impatience. With people living longer these days than ever before, as well as the Baby Boomer generation reaching profound active ages, author Jane Daly shares her trials, triumphs, advice and encouragement in her new book, The Caregiving Season. Resolving to honor her parents (until they get on her last nerve), Jane Daly extends grace when perhaps it is needed most.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Realizing being cared for can be as difficult as caregiving, in rather direct terms and in sometimes uncomfortable situations, this author shares what needs to be shared. Emphasizing grace for all, The Caregiving Season makes it easier to honor our parents through a difficult and changing time. With roles affected, authority questioned, delicate issues discussed and mourning perhaps close, this necessary reference uses personal stories, notable quotes, Bible scriptures and topic boxes to help with the caregiving transition. Guilt, sadness, laughter, challenges and love all combine into a purpose of honoring aging parents with grace. Excellent!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Caregiving Season from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

I Wish He Had Come With Instructions

Bechtle, Mike. I Wish He Had Come With Instructions: The Woman’s Guide to a Man’s Brain. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

iwishhehadcomewithinstructions

SUMMARY:
Through explanation, compassion, thoughtfulness and lots of humor, author and event speaker Mike Bechtle, tries to explain the uniqueness of a man’s brain in terms a woman can understand. While exploring the role of the male brain in relationships, I Wish He Had Come With Instructions gently guides towards an understanding of the male communication process, including actions, listening (or lack of it), feelings, conflict, missions, and silence. With witty examples, personal stories, straight-forward explanations and tons of encouragement, this author’s book is sure to answer some very evasive questions for women…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Is it truly even possible to understand how men think? However, it must be easier than even trying to understand women!  Loving his last book, You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation, I knew I had to read this one and once again, found myself nodding in agreement quite often. Obviously wired very differently from women, author Mike Bechtle not only examines the differences but celebrates the uniqueness between the brains of men and women. I enjoyed the humor throughout along with the serious undertones supporting the necessity of strong communication. Perfect for relationships of all levels and stages, it would be great for a sermon topic, Bible study, marriage encounter or pre-marriage counseling. I will definitely continue to search for his newest books as well as reference this one as needed. Adorable cover and title, too!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of I Wish He Had Come With Instructions from Revell Publishing for my honest review*