Friday, December 30, 2016

Review: Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix (Litfuse Review & Giveaway)

Title: Of Stillness and Storm
Author: Michele Phoenix
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780718086428
Publication Date: December 6th, 2016

Synopsis:
“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
Review:
This is the first book by Michele Phoenix that I have had the pleasure to read, and I'm looking forward to reading her others!

Of Stillness and Storm is a book that has a very hard hitting theme that many families could relate to. With that theme, it sticks with you. It makes you think and feel for the characters. It makes you think if anyone you know who feels like these characters.

Michele has an amazing writing style. It is very lifelike and draws you in. She shows the flaws of people. There are defiantly no perfect people in this story. There are people who try, but they are human and flawed. 

The depth of these characters was fantastic. As much as this is a hard theme of dilemmas, they were gripping. The detail to the writing was brought to life as the story unfold. The detail to where the charters lived was good. The small aspects brought you into the story. The power outages they felt with made me feel for them, I believed the two time lines really made details pop and brought the story together as a whole.  

This book was one to show how a decision that you think only affects you, can really affect  many. Plus, it also shows how social media can make things so easy, that wasn't years ago. It helps allow the ghost of the past make an easier return if you allow it. 

The family aspect of this story was gripping. It was just about the husband and wife, like some stories I have read before, but it included the child's view on what happens. Kids today know what is going on and with the internet, they know more. 

The writing was stunning and I honestly can't wait to read more by this author.  

Too Read
4 out of 5
 
About the Author:
Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.



Giveaway:
A tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry—don't miss Michèle Phoenix's new intimate and bold release, Of Stillness and Storm. It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. When a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again, the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past might be too much. Will it be the family's undoing?

Take Michèle's new book with you on your winter vacation and enter to win her Bookworm On-the-Go Prize Pack (because you can't take a stack of books with you when you travel).

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One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 31. The winner will be announced January 3 on Michèle's blog.

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Thank you to Litfuse and Thomas Nelson, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange an honest review.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Scriptue Doodle by April Knight (Litfuse Blog Tour)

Title: Scripture Doodle
Author: April Knight
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 144
ISBN: 978-1-4347-1043-7
Publication Date: October 1st, 2016

Synopsis: 
Some of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God’s promises and faithfulness to His children.

ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God’s Word in all circumstances.

This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.
Review:
I will just start off by saying, I stink at having devotionals. I have tried and I have a hard time to sticking with plans. It is hard to do at time for me.

I have seen the journaling Bibles, but the idea of drawing in the Bible I can't get past. So when I saw this book pop up, I wanted to try it. I'm someone who is able to remember better when I'm able to write things out or doodle as I listen or read. This book offered the best of both of those worlds.

The book is a good size book, regular computer page sizes. easy to open and flip through. Each page is unique and fits the talking point of the devotional. I'm not much of an artist, so I kind of tip toed around the drawing pages, but there were plenty of pages for just coloring or using your imagination to fit with the topic of the devotional.

I definitely enjoyed diving into these pages. If you're like me and have trouble jump starting devotions, I say try Scripture Doodle to help offer a new avenue. With the ability to doodle, the devotional offered a wonderful array of topics and scripture.

Too Read
4 out 5

About the Author: 
April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight’s work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.








Thank you to Litfuse, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 
Each week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity top spotlight your Top Ten. 

Topic:
Books I'm Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017

 There are so many books that have been posted for 2017 I'm excited about. 2017 looks like a wonderful year for books. The Books I'm featuring today are going to be out between January to the end of June. 

 1. Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette (May)
2. The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber (June)
3. The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron (March)
4. The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green (January)
5. To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden (February)
 6. True to You by Becky Wade (May)
7. A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz (January)
8. Still Life by Dani Pettrey (January)
9. With You Always by Jody Hedlund (June)
10. High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin (June)
11. For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund (March)












Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday:New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. 
Each week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten. 

Topic:
New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016
It hasn't been a very prolific year for me this, but I was still able to try a few new authors. And each one I've enjoyed.

 
1. Connilyn Cossette
 2. Lorie Langdon
 3. Christine Johnson
4. Lonnie Hull DuPont

What new authors have you discovered this year?
What did you think?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: Newton & Polly by Jody Hedlund

Title: Newton & Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher:
Pages: 400
ISBN:978-1-60142-764-9
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016

Synopsis:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found.

 
Now remembered as the author of the world s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father until the night he hears Polly Catlett s enchanting voice, caroling. He s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection. 


An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves? 


Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe."
Review:
Jody Hedlund is an author who is able to take stories from history and bring them back to life. Her ability to capture so much and bring characters so full of depth and the lavish descriptions just grab a hold of you and drag you into the story before you know it.

Newton and Polly is no different in story telling. I have to say I was quite curious of this story. Years ago, I really enjoyed this movie Amazing Grace, but took place when John Newton was older. I really enjoyed looking back into the life and times of someone who everyone has heard about, if not by name, then by the song he composed, Amazing Grace.

It is amazing how much has changed in history, but one thing is true, God's love and forgiveness stays the same. The story of John Newton proves that.

I enjoyed this story so much. Polly was such an important part of John's life. And they way that Jody was able to tell their story just popped off the page. This story was hard to put down. I also enjoyed the historical information at the end of this book. It made me want to go look more into this time and people's lives and legacy.

Too Read
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.




Thank you to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 


Friday, December 2, 2016

Kid Favorite Friday: Christmas

I've taken a little bit of break from this feature for a little while, but with Christmas fast approaching, I figured it was the best time to bring it back! From now till Christmas, I will be featuring some fun kid's Christmas books. 



Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
The Twelve Cats of Christmas by Kandy Radzinski
Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson

 All of these are fun and sweet stories. I've slowly been adding to them to my own collection after reading them at my job. They are all a lot of fun for kiddos to read and for you to read to kids.

Next Friday, I'll be featuring some more fun Christmas stories.