Book Reviews, divorce, encouragement, moving on

When Happily Ever After Shatters (book review)

The big white dress. The flowers. The church. The kids. The years. The breakup. Wait–what? What do you do when your (or your friend’s) marriage disintegrates before your eyes? When you can stop crying long enough to read a chapter at a time, dig into Sue Birdsey’s When Happily Ever After Shatters, published by Focus on the Family in conjunction with Tyndale Publishers. Sue has first-hand experience in not only dealing with abandonment, divorce, and single parenting, but thriving through it.

Sue offers practical advice for those going through every step of this life-altering tragedy. She also offers advice for friends and families of those suffering. This book was so good that I read it straight through in two sittings. I highly recommend it for everyone because we all know someone going through divorce right now.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from Tyndale Publishing in hopes that I would provide a review. The opinions expressed are my own.


The Ultimate Prescription (book review)

 . . . What the Medical Profession Isn’t Telling You. Are more prescriptions really the answer to our wide-spread health issues? “Take 2 and call me in the morning” just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Board-certified cardiologist Dr. James Marcum explains the biblical plan for spiritual and physical health that will help us feel energetic and beat stress naturally. I don’t know about you, but this fits in nicely with my New Year’s resolution to be more healthy and more natural.

Marcum reviews the 7 days of creation and then explains how each element (air, water, rest, etc) is necessary for our well being. That’s our ultimate prescription. Simple, yet complex in our modern-day lives. On the road of life, God is not a police officer; rather, he is our support team. Marcum says that God’s love and God’s directions will set us free from the stressors that can cause heart problems–and many other chronic health issues, I suspect.

Purchase your own copy from CBD or Amazon.

Disclaimer: Tyndale provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review; however, the opinions expressed are my own.


Life Application Study Bible Devotional (book review)

Cover: Life Application Study Bible DevotionalWhat could be better than the original Life Application Study Bible? Why, the new devotional book based on its concepts, of course! The developers have taken the same attention to detail and the same application concepts previously used and focused on the life of Jesus as seen through the Gospels. Each week focuses on a single event from Christ’s life with Scripture verses, thought-provoking devotionals, soul-searching questions, and ideas for deeper prayer. Call me shallow, but I also like that there are only 6 days of devotions for each week. I love the depth and the concentrated focus of this devotional. Don’t be worried that this devotional will take a huge chunk of your day; it’s designed to be read in as little as 5 minutes, so even the busiest people among us have no excuse for skipping it. This unique devotional draws from three different translations of the Bible: NLT, NIV, NKJV.

If you’re ready to join me in walking where Jesus walked and learning from His ministry, click here to get more information.

This books was provided to me by Tyndale free of charge in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are, however, my own.



Attracted to Fire (book review)

attracted to fire cover

What happens when two special agents clash over the best way to protect the vice-president’s high-maintenance daughter? Especially when they’re both up for the same promotion—and trying not to be attracted to each other. Why do people keep getting killed? Obviously, there’s a secret agenda, but what is it and who’s behind it?
DiAnn kept me flipping pages and burning the midnight oil to discover what happened. Realistic characters and unexpected plot twists made Attracted to Fire a winner.
Tyndale provided me with a free ARC via NetGalley in exchange for a review, but the opinions expressed are my own. Click here to read more and to find out when (Sept.-Oct.) you can purchase it from your favorite retailer.


Look to the East (book review)


look to the east cover

Look to the East, by Maureen Lang, won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest for a good reason. We’ve got history (World War I), French, generations of a family feud, suspense, and secrets galore. Will Charles and Juliette’s love survive? Will they survive?

Briecourt, a small, seemingly insignificant town in rural France, seems a most unlikely place in which to set a war drama. But, Maureen shows us that God notices and cares for small towns and the people in them. It may take the desperation of war to bring together two families at odds with each other for so long that they no longer remember the original reason. Maureen weaves together complex characters and conflict with sensitivity and insight.

Want to read Look to the East for yourself? Click here to view a list of online retailers. Tyndale provided me with a complimentary ARC in return for a review, but the opinions expressed are my own.


My Foolish Heart (book review)

my foolish heart cover


    What could be more foolish than a house-bound single woman giving advice on love? How ‘bout giving it on a syndicated, nightly radio show. In spite of her unusual circumstances, Isadora usually manages to dole out pretty decent advice. Then a hunky new guy moves in next door. As his first few attempts at getting to know Isadora flop, he decides to tune into My Foolish Heart. He starts falling in love, but is he falling in love with a radio show host or his next door neighbor?

Susan May Warren brings light-hearted humor, romance, and a wonderful representation of God’s grace to her latest installment in the Deep Haven series. No matter what our circumstances, Susan shows us that no one and nothing is beyond God’s healing grace. I give My Foolish Heart two enthusiastic thumbs up for easy, bedtime reading.

The Tyndale Blog Network graciously provided a copy of this book for me to review, but the opinions expressed are my own. If you’re ready to purchase it, head on over to the Tyndale website.



Bound by Guilt (book review)

bound by guilt cover


  C. J. Darlington’s second novel, Bound by Guilt, follows in the same vein with the same characters as her debut novel, Thicker Than Blood. Roxi, a throwaway teenager on the run from the law and aching to please her cousin, and Abby, a burned out police officer who’s lost what matters most to her, seem to have nothing in common. Nothing, that is, except for a murder and an expensive first edition of The Great Gatsby that seems to show up in all the wrong places. Will guilt consume them both, or can forgiveness set them both free?

Bound by Guilt kept me flipping pages long past my usual bedtime. It’s a story about family, unconditional love, and forgiveness. My only beef with C. J. is that she killed off one of my favorite characters! Overall, I give Bound by Guilt two enthusiastic thumbs up!

The author graciously sent me a copy of Bound by Guilt to review, but the opinions expressed are my own. If you’re ready to purchase it, head on over to Tyndale House Publishing’s website.



The Mockingbird Parables

When Jesus wanted to make a point, he often utilized parables, stories to illustrate his intentions. Stories are memorable and often easier to understand than just saying something straight out. This is what Matt Litton does in The Mockingbird Parables. More than likely, few of us have spent much time wondering over the spiritual and moral lessons in Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird since we were required to do so in high school or college. Litton dissects Lee’s original masterpiece character by character and scene by scene.
The Mockingbird Parables is readable, sensitive, thoughtful, and detailed. It makes one rethink the true meaning of being a neighbor, building a community, and leaving society better than one found it. Litton makes more parallels between the Christian faith and Lee’s book than I imagined possible, but in doing so, he makes both living and real. Christian literary teachers, The Mockingbird Parables is excellent holiday reading and will add a new depth to your American literature lectures.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Inspirational Zingers Jumble (review)

I found the cure for road-trip boredom! It’s Tyndale’s new Inspirational Zingers Jumble book. With six kinds of puzzles, including Jumbles, Double Jumbles, Mystery Person Jumbles, Word Search Jumbles, Super Jumbles, and Criss-Cross Jumbles, there’s something for everyone. It has inspirational quotes from well-known people, Bible verses, interesting trivia, and more. This 200-puzzle book will keep the whole family entertained over the hill and through the woods to grandmother’s house this summer.

Disclosure: Tyndale provided me with a free copy of this book to review. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Thicker Than Blood – book review

There’s a reason that C.J. Darlington‘s debut novel, Thicker Than Blood, won the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest in 2008: it’s an excellent, entertaining, yet realistic story.

Christy tries to build a new career in the antique book business, but finds that her past mistakes catch up with her faster than she can counteract them. In desperation, she turns to the younger sister (May) she abandoned years previously. Christy has to discover whether there is a tie that’s thicker than blood, or if the sisters will part without a true reconciliation.

The storyline riveted me; it was action packed from beginning to end. The realistic characters and dialogue were well rounded. The fact that Christy displayed every imaginable vice was the only slightly unbelievable aspect. I was challenged by May’s overt faith and reactions to difficulties. Overall, I would highly recommend Thicker Than Blood as an inspirational redemptive story.

Thanks to C.J. for sending me an autographed copy of her book as a blog-contest prize. She wasn’t expecting a written review, so this is totally a freebie!