Thursday, January 31, 2013

Unstoppable

Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in ActionUnstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action by Nick Vujicic

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Nick Vuijicic was born without arms or legs, but he didn't give up on life. Instead he put his faith in God into action and made the most of what he had.
   For me personally, this book was kind of boring. But then again I don't really need a motivational speaker and I don't struggle with a physical handicap. I do really admire Nick's courage and faith and his determination to do things that many people, including myself, would say are impossible.
   If you are struggling with faith and hopelessness in your current situation, you may want to consider reading this. Nick deals with important subjects such as relationships, trusting God,and believing in yourself.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



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The Golden Knight

The Golden Knight #1 the Boy Is SummonedThe Golden Knight #1 the Boy Is Summoned by Steve Clark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This little story tells of a Kingdom that was once free and happy because the people served The King and His Book was the law. But then the fire lord enticed them away from The King and took away their peace. Now the King has summoned a young boy to help restore The King's Law to the land.
    This book was incredibly short and simple but it did have some good allegory in it. It as actually an interesting idea for a story and I think if someone were to take the general idea and make a young adult series from it it could be quite good. As it is, this book is probably best suited for ages 8-12.



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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blood Sisters by Melody Carlson

Blood SistersBlood Sisters by Melody Carlson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When Judith learns that her childhood best friend has died, she heads back to her hometown to try to find out what happened. But something is not tight in the town and Judith embarks on a perilous quest against racism, bigotry, and hatred in order to find answers.
   This was a really great book that was inspired by a true story. It is actually a very sad story, but extremely interesting and suspenseful. I have read a few of Melody Carlson's other books, but this is by far the best of her writings that I have read.
    I highly recommend this is you love a Christian mystery story.



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Monday, January 28, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

I would like to say " Thank You" to Emily Gray at http://readitandgeek.blogspot.com/  for nominating me for this reward! Be sure to check out her blog!

Here are the rules for this award:
1. Be sure to post a thank you to the person who presented you with the award and a link back to their blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions from whoever presented you with the award, list 11 random facts about yourself, and then create 11 questions for your nominees.
3.Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)
4. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.

                                                  Questions From Emily:
1. Why did you start blogging?
I enjoy reviewing books and I wanted to join some sites such as BookSneeze that allow you to receive free books to review.
2. What are some things you get a little too geeked up about?
The Lord of the Rings.
3. What are some of your favorite movies?
The Lord of the Rings, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,It's a Wonderful Life, and Courageous.
4. What do you like to do when you're not blogging?
I love to read, work in my garden,play my violin, and do crafty things.
5. What's your biggest pet peeve?
People being a know-it-all.
6. What are some things you like about blogging?
It's fun to discuss things you like or don't like, and I like getting followers and comments. I guess it's almost like running your own newspaper or something!
7. If you could gain any ability in the world, what would it be?
To never make a dumb mistake.
8. What fictional character would you like to know in real life? (doesn't have to be from a book)
 Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings.
9. What's the craziest dream that you've ever had?
I once dreamed that a witch was trying to steal my teddy bear!
10. What are some of your favorite books (this is a hard one, I know!)?
The Bible, The Lord of the Rings, The Black Stallion, Night Song by Tricia Goyer.
11. On a scale of 1-10, how nerdy and/or geeky do you feel that you are?
I don't know, maybe a 3 or 4.
                                    11 Random Facts about Me:
1. I love horses
2. I have 2 dogs
3. I love reading books about Scotland
4. I am studying some Spanish
5. I love to bake desserts
6. My favorite meal is chicken alfredo
7. I am allergic to cats
8. I hate brussels sprouts
9. I enjoy studying history
10. I like listening to Johnny Horton and Johnny Cash records
11. I have brown hair.
                                         11 questions for my nominees:
1. Do you have any pets?
2. What are your top 5 favorite movies?
3. Do you play a musical instrument?
4. Why do you run a blog?
5. What are some of your favorite activities?
6. If you could have one wish that would come true what would it be?
7. What are 5 of your favorite books?
8. Do you enjoy playing video games?
9. What is your favorite car? (Mustang, corvette, charger, ect.)?
10. Have you ever traveled to a foreign country?
11. If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go?
                                                  My Nominees:
1.Cathy @ http://thoughtsonbookss.blogspot.com/
2. Jo Huddleston @    http://www.johuddleston.com/
3. Sara @ http://writinghistruth.blogspot.com/
4. Carol McCormick @ http://carol-mccormick.blogspot.com/
5. Faye @ http://labornotinvain.blogspot.com/
6 .Merce @ http://booksandgoodtimes.blogspot.com/
7. Jen @ http://bookreviewsfromabooklover.blogspot.com/
8. Jami @ http://jamiswords.blogspot.com/
9. Joanna @  http://www.toaprettylife.com/
10. Pam Funke @ http://thefourhorsemenseries.blogspot.com/
11. Jenny @ http://ausjenny.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Just Man

A Just ManA Just Man by Helen Daniel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book follows several generations of an early American family as they try to serve and honor God. Each generation bears their own struggles and challenges, but they each discover that God is real and faithful and that they can trust Him.
    This book is written rather simply and I didn't really like it much at first, but as I read it I liked it better and better. It actually was a really good book containing a lot of Scripture and lessons in serving God. I think it would make a great book to read to young children, although I don't think it is considered a children's book.
It isn't like a novel and it's not really short stories either, it actually reminds me of a really long and more detailed Chick Track. 122
      Overall, the simplicity of it bored me a bit at times since I didn't expect it ,  but I highly recommend it for children probably from ages eight to twelve years old as a very clean and godly little story. It would make a great bedtime story book, and is simple enough that children may be able to read it on their own.

   I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.




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Love Comes Softly

Love Comes Softly (Love Comes Softly, #1)Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


When Marty's husband is killed, she is left all alone in a strange land amongst strange people. Then Widower Clark Davis suggests a "marriage of convenience" so his daughter Missy can have a mother and Marty can have a home. Marty knows she needs Clark although she doesn't love him and agrees to the arrangement. After months of heartbreak and sorrow, Marty and Clark learn to love each other and make a happy family.
     I had a few problems with this book. First of all, in one part Missy, who is not yet 2 years old, sneaks out of the house and walks more than a mile to find her daddy. That's totally unrealistic. Besides the fact that a mile would be a very taxing journey for so small a child, how could she really know where her daddy was and not get lost or hurt looking for him?
  Second of all the hicky language was a bit annoying. I don't mind some of that, but this was totally overdone. For example one sentence reads: "Iffen I can jest stick it our fer thet wagon train, then I'll be a goin' out of this wretched place so fast ya won't even find my tracks". I have lived in the South all my life and I've never heard anybody talk that bad!
   Lastly, it just wasn't well written. The characters and the story seem kind of flat and one dimensional. You don't really feel the characters emotions much either.
   Overall, I didn't hate it and it was interesting to read since I have seen the movie, but in my opinion the movie is much better than this particular book.



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Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was a great story. It is written for children and is therefore a little simple, but it was a magical story and it doesn't take a child to enjoy it. I  liked this book. I loved the creative fantasy and the beautiful allegories. If you have never read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe", you'll be in for a treat regardless of your age.
    In this story Lucy and her siblings accidentally step through a wardrobe and end up in the magical land of Narnia. There they must help the Lion Aslan defeat the evil White witch. Along the way the children experience treachery, forgiveness, sacrifice, and unconditional love.



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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fireflies in December

Fireflies in DecemberFireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Jessilyn Lassiter and her family attract the attention of the local Klu Klux Klan when they take an orphaned black girl into their home. But the family is determined to trust God and do what's right.
      This was a great book. It is actually hard to believe that it is the author's first novel. It is very well written and developed. It contains a vivid picture of the painful years of racial segregation and hatred.
    I could not put this book down. I definitely recommend it to my freinds!



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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rebel's Keep

Rebel's Keep (Crown and Covenant, #3)Rebel's Keep by Douglas Bond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Brothers Duncan and Angus M'Kethe are still fighting to defend their family and friends against the blood-thirsty king of England. They will experience heart-break and loss, but they always trust in God.
   This was a very emotional story describing an incredibly dark chapter in Scotland's history. I will not say it was an altogether pleasant read, it was much too sad for that. It was, however, an important look at what others have suffered for Christ and how precious the freedom that we enjoy today really is.
   This was an exceptional book and I definitely recommend it to anyone.



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Thursday, January 17, 2013

King's Arrow

King's Arrow (Crown and Covenant, #2)King's Arrow by Douglas Bond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Angus M'Kethe is determined to fight for those he loves in any way possible, be it his bow and arrows or even a game of chess. But he and the other Covenanters must decide when to fight and when to show mercy to their enemies.
     This was an exceptional book. I enjoyed it even more than the first book. I thought the characters and the story were so well developed. I also love how much history this book included. It is loaded with real historical characters and events.
  I highly recommend this book for people of all ages. It's not just a book for boys from 10-14; it's a book for anyone who loves to read about Scotland, adventure, and faith in God.



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Raiders From the Sea

Raiders from the Sea (Viking Quest, #1)Raiders from the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When Bree and her brother are captured by viking raiders, they are angry and afraid. But they must learn to forgive their enemies and never give up hope.
       This was a charming little story. Despite the fact that it is written for children, it was still very enjoyable for me as an adult. Of course it is a bit simple, but it is a great story and I am excited to read the rest of the series.




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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Shunning

The Shunning (The Heritage of Lancaster County, #1)The Shunning by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Katie Lapp has always had a mind of her own, and that doesn't go well in her old-order Amish community. When Katie learns a shocking family secret, it drives the final wedge between her and the community. Now Katie is shunned and she must choose either to confess to the church or pursue a life in the English world.
    I enjoyed this book, but I already knew what was going to happen since it very closely follows the movie. It is a very enjoyable read, and I look forwards to finishing the series.



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Past Darkness

Past DarknessPast Darkness by Laurel Woiwode

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Gabrielle's world is shattered when both her parents are killed in a car accident. She shuts life out and refuses to love anyone, not even the kind people who have cared for her since her parents died.
      The book started off a little slow, but by the end it was pretty good. It was a really powerful story of family and forgiveness that I loved.
      However, I did have a couple of problems with this book. First of all, there are about 5 swear words in this book. It wasn't totally obscene, but I thought a Christian author should have been more careful. My second problem was simply that I think more emphasis was put on the healing power of music that on God's forgiveness.
         Overall it was a good story. I think that especially if you are deeply touched by music you may be able to relate to this a little better than I did.



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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Duncan's War

Duncan's War (Crown and Covenant, #1)Duncan's War by Douglas Bond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When Duncan's father is captured by the dragoons,Duncan must do all he can to  to rescue his father.With the help of some friends, Duncan sets out on a daring rescue mission.
   I really enjoyed this story. I loved the Scottish history and characters, and I enjoyed learning about the Covenanters. Although it is written for ages 10-14, it is still plenty enjoyable for adults as well. I definitely recommend this as a good book. Especially if you have a fascination with Scotland!



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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Les Miserables (Radio Theatre) (Audio CD)

Jean Valjean was imprisoned for 19 years after he was arrested for stealing bread to feed his family. Once he is released he lives a clean and honorable life, bur in the eyes of the law he is always a criminal. This riveting story tells of justice and injustice, love and hatred, and mercy and forgiveness.

I was completely unfamiliar with this story, but I was in for a very pleasant surprise! I thoroughly enjoyed this presentation. The dramatization was superb, and I loved the story. It was very sad as a whole, but it contains some wonderful lessons.
I highly recommend this program. It is a great listening experience.

I received this audio program for free from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas Stories by Max Lucado

Christmas Stories: Heartwarming Tales of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of HopeChristmas Stories: Heartwarming Tales of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of Hope by Max Lucado

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a heartwarming collection of short Christmas stories that reflect the true meaning of Christmas. This book features beautiful stories of love, peace, hope, miracles, angels, mercy, and of course Jesus Christ. Stories such as "The Candle" in which an angels visit and the prayers of the townspeople brings about some Christmas miracles.
This was a really beautiful Christmas book. Lucado writes in a simple heart-felt style that makes his stories so endearing. It took me a little while to warm up to this book, probably since I didn't even start on it until after Christmas, but once I got into it it was so good! I particularly enjoyed the stories"The Christmas Candle" and "Jacob's Gift". I was also pleased to see " The Christmas Child" in this collection; I really enjoyed the movie that was made from that story.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone. It is a cozy, feel-good read that would make a perfect Christmas gift;either for yourself or someone you love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



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The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A hobbit named Frodo has been entrusted with a deadly mission; he must destroy the evil ring of power lest it fall into enemy hands and destroy all that is good in Middle Earth. He and 8 companions set out on a perilous quest,but all is not well. The forces of evil are stirring, and the fellowship is breaking.
  When I first started reading " The Lord of the Rings," I was very skeptical. I am not a fan of fantasy, and I did not expect to enjoy it. But I was totally captivated!
   Tolkien was absolutely genius. This book has just about everything you could want in a book: heart-stopping suspense,thrilling adventure,unforgettable characters, and an epic mission.
   I definitely recommend this story, even if, like me, you do not generally enjoy fantasy.



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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Be Still My Soul

When Lonnies's father forces her to marry Gideon O'Riley, she is heartbroken and Gideon is angry. Will they find love in the worst of circumstances?
In the beginning, Gideon does not want the responsibility of a family and he is abusive and insensitive. After a kind old man rescues Lonnie from him and allows them to stay with him and his wife, he begins to see how wrong he has been and starts to show signs of change. And Lonnie begins to love him, although she distrusts him.
I think this book reflected pretty well some historical facts. I liked the story pretty well, it's not my favorite, but it's alright. I think Lonnie may have been a little too quick to fall for Gideon after the way he treated her, but then again I guess the author probably didn't want to drag the story on forever and in typical love story fashion they had to come together.
Overall, a descent story. The author does a pretty good job of writing, especially for a debut novel.
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.

Home Run

Home Run: A NovelHome Run: A Novel by Travis Thrasher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Super star Cory Brand grew up with an abusive alcoholic father. But what Cory doesn't realize is that the anger and resentment that he carries is making him into the very man he grew up to hate, his father. When Cory is forced to return home, he discovers that the love and forgiveness of God and his family can make him into a brand new man, if he will allow it.
    This was a really touching story of how God rescued a shattered life and gave peace to a troubled soul. The author did an incredible job of showing us the emotions and struggles of this young man and those around him.  This story also shows us that although Cory Brand is a famous baseball player that doesn't make him happy or satisfied. He always has an emptiness inside of him that he tries to fill up with cheap pleasures, but in the end only God can fill that void.
A very good book, well worth reading!

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.




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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dominion

Dominion (Ollie Chandler #2)Dominion by Randy Alcorn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Sports columnist Clarence Abernathy is heartbroken when his sister and her five year old daughter are killed in what appears to be a gang shooting. He enlists the help of Detective Ollie Chandler, and they will stop at nothing to find justice.
   "Dominion" covers some important subjects such as racism, gang activity, Salvation, and even angels. It had some really good stuff in it; but overall I didn't like this book nearly as much as I liked "Deadline". Especially the first half really held my interest, but I got a little bored with some of it. I think it is just too long and sdrawn out in places, and it dwelt too long on some of the same issues..



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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Yours is the Day, Lord, Yours is the Night

Yours Is the Day, Lord, Yours Is the Night: A Morning and Evening Prayer BookYours Is the Day, Lord, Yours Is the Night: A Morning and Evening Prayer Book by Jeanie Gushee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


"The day is Yours, O God, and the night also. In the morning, You renew my strength; in the evening, I find the shelter of Your wing."
This daily prayer book is filled with beautiful short prayers for the evening and morning of each day of the year.
This is a really pretty book. It has a beautiful title, and I liked the nice hardcover binding. It is presented in such a way that it would make a great gift for someone.
I loved some of the poems, or prayers if you will, they are beautifully written and have a great rhythm to them. One of my favorites from this book was written by Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)
"My Lord and my God, take me from all that keeps me from You. My Lord and my God, grant me all that leads me to You.
My Lord and my God, take me from myself and give me completely to You."
There were perhaps a few "prayers" in this book that I didn't quite agree with, but over all I would recommend this book as a nice inspirational read.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.




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