"Son of man, eat this book that I am giving you. Make a full meal of it!" So I ate it. It tasted so good—just like honey." ezekiel 3:3

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon by Debbie Fuller Thomas

I loved this book. Of course it wasn't one I was given to review, just one I borrowed from My sister in law, but this is one of the best Christian novels I have read lately. Debbie Fuller Thomas wrote about real people who I connected with and could relate to.
The storyline isn't exactly likely to happen, but it is a novel, an escape.

Marty Winslow loses her 13 year old daughter, Ginger, to a horriable genetic disease that nobody else in the family has ever had. That is when she discovers the awful truth that her daughter was switched at birth. To complicate matters even more, her real daughter, named Andrea has recently been orphaned and now lives with her aging grandparents in a Senior adult mobile home park.She fights for her in court. Andie comes to live with Marty and thats where the story gets really good.

The home that Andie had to move to was a trailer situated behind the run-down Blue Moon Drive-In the Family owns and runs. Andie has to settle into a family that is dealing with its own grief over the loss of thier sister as she is dealing with the death of her parents as well as the news that her entire past has been a lie. There are two new sisters, school, her distrust of God all that need to be worked out.

I like the way the book is written. One chapter is Marty speaking and the next will be Andie speaking, this helps you to see how both sides of the story affect two different generations.

A word of warning....Marty bakes to deal with her frustration and pain and the author goes into detail to tell you what she bakes, so you might feel the urge to concoct a few desserts as you read this book!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook, by Lynne Tolley & Pat Mitchamore

I recently began reviewing books for Thomas Nelson Publishers. I signed on with them thinking the books would be Christian books, so I was surprised when my very first book to review was a cookbook entitled Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook by Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore. I quickly saw that this book was much more than a cookbook, it was like a history lesson on life in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Antidotes Like Hog Killing TIme In Tennessee, and tales of Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House share the pages with recipes
like Pea-Pickled Salad and Supreme Cranberry Salad. In the vegetable category the Country Fried Corn, Wash Day Casserole and Zucchini Au Gratin caught my eye. How mouthwatering do Georgia Peach Muffins sound? I also was intrigued by the several pages of different breads they included. There is a step by step recipe on how to cook Possum and Sweet Taters. I will be passing on that one!

I was delightfully surprised by this cookbook. It is a slice of Southern living, much more than just a book with recipes. I was a little reluctant to be accepting of this cookbook, because I have never drank whiskey much less thought to cook with it. After reading it I have found it to be a delightful slice of life in the south. I love the recipes, will surely try some of them and feel like the authors have preserved a part of the sweet country life within these pages. This book will be sharing the shelf with my trusted favorites.

How to Reach Your Full Potential for God by Charles F. Stanley

This book is subtitled Never Settle for Less than His Best. In the beginning this book reminded me of a book I had previously read about living a life filled with purpose, but this book proved to be filled with much deeper Biblical principals and was not nearly as new age, feel good as the purpose filled book. I would highly recommend this book for someone looking to live a life of purpose that God has planned for you.

This book is divided into twelve chapters and is just over two hundred pages and very easy to read and understand. I read the entire book with a pen in hand so I could underline the ideas that I wanted to remember. I think I underlined something on every page. Chapter Two is entitled Don't Settle for Less. Dr. Stanley says "He (God) wants us to embrace the life He has planned for us. This means we must live all our days to the utmost." What a challenging statement.

Having a clean heart, a clean mind, a healthy body are all addressed. He talks about right relationships, keeping a balanced schedule. I particularly enjoyed the section that talked about using the gifts God gives you to serve the body of Christ. It was in depth and insightful.

One of the features of this book that I enjoyed was found at the end of each chapter they included a profile of a person telling how the person is using their God given potential to serve God. These were encouraging,personal, and meaningful glimpses into real life.

Dr. Stanley is Senior Pastor of First Baptist CHurch in Atlanta, Georgia and has written many best selling books. This book was provided free to me from Thomas Nelson Publishers in turn for this review.

The Liturgical Year-the spiraling adventure of the spiritual life by Joan Chillister

I was eagerly anticipating this book, the second from Thomas Nelson Publishers for Book Review by bloggers. I have a thirst for knowledge about the church and the liturgical year because I grew up in a baptist church and only recently began incorporating practices from the churches calendar into my life. I was somewhat disappointed with this book however.

It is written by Joan Chittister who is a nun, a member of the Benedictine sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania. She is also a lecturer and has authored many award winning books. I found this book to be very textbook like and didn't find many practical ways to put into practice the liturgy she writes about. I think that was what my heart was seeking.

Advent will be here very soon. I relish the idea of waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Chittister said " The real power of the liturgical year is its spiritual capacity to touch and plumb the depths of the human experience, to stir the human heart." I think the advent season is where this begins. The beauty of advent is that it is a season of JOY.

Most of us celebrate Christmas, without giving any thought to the church calendar or how it fits into it. I have been studying the names of God so I found this quote on page 83 to be especially meaningful " He is Wisdom, Adonnai, Flower of Jesse's Stem, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, God of All the Earth, Emmanuel-God with Us."

One chapter that I did learn from was Chapter 16- Asceticism. The vestments at church are not something I am familiar with. This was interesting. The idea of Lent and how you can grow spiritually is very intriguing and challenging.

This is a very easy & quick read. I wish it were a little more informative. But it has whetted my spiritual appetite to seek out more info, I guess that is a good thing.

The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay

I began this book with a preconceived notion that I might be offended by it. The Gospel, to me, is precious, as it is the news of my Lord Jesus Christ. I am a huge fan of the TV show Lost, however, and the fact that the author was someone I had heard of reassured me that the book probably would back up my own beliefs in the end. The book was a fairly easy one to read, not too deep in theology or even hard to follow if you are not a follower of Lost. It is under 200 pages and you have to read until page 89 before there is any mention of Scripture at all. After That Seay seems to compare the television show to the story of the Lost Son in Luke 15 more than a few times.

The book has a chapter dedicated to most of the main characters of the show. In the middle of the book there are color reproductions of artwork depicting the Losties as patron Saints done by Scott Erickson, a member of Seays church in Houston, Texas. I really didn't learn anything new about the show, nor about the Gospel from this book. It strikes me as being a ploy to sell books by playing into the most popular phenomenon on television right now, and oh, by the way, here is a bit about God too.

I don't think I would recommend this book to anyone, unless they just wanted to skim through it as a fan of the show. There are better places to discuss theories about the television series, namely the internet. There are also better books on the market that tell the story of Jesus Christ, namely the Holy Bible.

Lost is a fun diversion for me. This book was mostly just a waste of a few hours. I recieved this book as a part of the Thomas Nelson Bloggers Book Review Program. Checkout their website for info on how you might get free books too.

the voice of psalms

I read this book and am offering this review in exchange for recieving a free copy of the book. I am saying this up front this time because I would never purchase this book. There is not much about it that appeals to me. It is a retelling of the Psalms as never told before in the bold, new translation and format of The Voice. I am not impressed. I think the Psalms, just as the are happen to be some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. They are a mainstay in my daily worship. There is absolutely no need to replace a jot or a tittle of the Psalms in any effort to improve them as far as I am concerned.

I will, for sake of a book review, give you a few details here however. This is a nice paperback form which is conducive to carry around with you and read anywhere.It is just under 270 pages. Included are four different reading plans, for Lent, Advent, Worship and Seeking Help.

The pages of the book are beautiful, fading from teal to brown, but that might inhibit some people's vision a little.

I am sure there is a niche for this book. It is just not with me. As I said I recieved this book free in return for my review, you can get free books too, from the Thomas Nelson Blogging for Books Program.

Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl

I enjoyed reading The Hand Of Fate, By Lis Wiehl. It was the first of her books I have read so I shall be looking for the first one to go back and read it now. This book is the second in her series of Triple Threat Novels, all published by Thomas Nelson Publishers who made this book available to me for free through a blogging for books program.

I was intrigued to read this book because I enjoy thriller/suspense type stories but this one is from a Christian publisher so I was expecting it to be less likely to be filled with things that I find offensive to my sensibilities. That held true for the most part, although there were a few topics that were addressed that I don't include in my own personal life, I am aware enough to know that as Christians we live in the real world and encounter real people with real problems. Overall this book was a good read and I was pleased because it wasn't filled with offensive talk or language.

The Story line draws you immediately, making the book hard to put down. Jim Fate is an obnoxious and controversial radio talk show host who gets murdered in his own studio. Three beautiful young women, reporter Cassidy Shaw, Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce and an FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges come together to try to solve the mystery of what has happened to Fate.

There are numerous twist and turns in this book. One of these young women knows more than the others about Fate. They all want to know how his Co-Host, the lovely Victoria Hanawa is involved, if in any way, as she had much to gain it seems by his death. The ladies also dealt with emotional abuse, prescription drug abuse,rape, illegal immigration, pregnancy, just your normal day in the life of a young crime fighting woman! I felt the story line brought too many issues into the story, as if they were trying to touch the heart of all women with one big wide brush, but not go deep enough on any of them. It wasn't necessary to the plot, nor do I think it will prove helpful in bringing in readers.

gigi's Big Break DVD Review.

This is a review of Gigi's Big Break,two fully animated videos on one DVD, provided free to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers in turn for this review through the Book Sneeze Books for Bloggers Program, in which they give me free books or DVDs and I in return review them on my blog. This is a great way to get free books, if you are interested in participating just click on the button you will find on the bottom of my blog or google Book Sneeze!

gigi, God's Little Princess is Shelia Walsh's wonderful creation that speaks to little girls about the wonders of being a child of God. This DVD contains two stories, The White Lie, based on 1 John 1:8-9 and The Pink Surprise, based on Luke 10:21. These wonderful, animated stories will teach little girls life lessons about honesty and loving siblings. In the first story they see how a little white lie just gets bigger and bigger. gigi is practicing her dance moves, that are going to make her famous, when she breaks a vase. Instead of telling the truth, she makes up a complicated story (a lie). She has to keep covering with more lies, getting in deeper and deeper.

In the second story, Pink Surprise! gigi learns that she is going to have a baby sister and that they poop and stink and tear down your blocks and cry and you can't even return them! Then gigi learns that you can't get Frances as her sister, it has to be a new baby.Mom and Dad reassure gigi of their love for her and that they will always have time for her and the baby as well. It is a great story for big sisters. There are extras also including a singalong song, computer wall paper, trivia quizzes, and subtitles.

I plan to pass this DVD on to some special little girls in my life who just love all things Gigi. They Love The God's Little Princess stuff, and I just know they will enjoy this DVD. It is nice to have wholesome videos with Biblical truths in them. This is one you can trust.

The Bridegrooms By Allison Pittman

I have to be honest, I chose this book as one to read and review strictly because she was a Texas writer, but that ended up being a good choice! The Bridegrooms was a good read, not a thrilling can't put it down thriller, but a nice story that I enjoyed reading in the evenings before drifting off to sleep. A love story with many characters, many layers, no violence, no bad language. Nothing to fear!

The bridegrooms, it seems, are a baseball team that have came to town to play Cleveland's Spiders. They play a part in the story as well as the Allenhouse girls, all four of them, Vada,Hazel,Althea, and Lisette. Each of the girls has their own very distinct personality a la Little Women. It makes for a delightful story. Other key characters are their father, Doc, the families cook, Molly. And their mysterious houseguest, Eli.

Add a few twist and turns, questions about true love and you have a nice story of romance. I can recommend this book, it was provided to me free by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my book review.

Captivating, by John and Stasi Elredge a review

The book jacket of this book caused me to be a bit curious, claiming a woman's heart matters more than anything else in all creation. So, with that in mind I read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. I received the book free in return for this review through the Booksneeze Blogging for books program.

I found much of interest in this book. As a daughter who grew up craving the love that wasn't available to me, this book certainly hits home. Thankfully I am in a healthy, loving relationship with a husband who just happens to be doing things the right way.A man who walks with Christ, a man who values me as a woman. But, I realize not everyone is as blessed as I am.
I have been through the question of
This book will be helpful to a lot of women. I saw things some could learn from it. Honestly, I didn't learn anything new. I am a princess. I am loved as I should be. I value myself as I should. I don't really need the things this book espouses.

A fairly good book,but not one I would go out and buy.

The Last Christian by David Gregory

The year is A.D. 2088 and Abby Caldwell is a missionary daughter who has came from the jungle of
Papua New Guinea where she has spent her entire life only to emerge from the jungle and her Christian surroundings to find the world has advanced technologically and Christianity has vanished. Abby gets a curious message from her grandfather that assigns her the mission of reassigning the Christian faith to America.

This is the first Christian SciFi book I have ever read. So the artificial brain, the virtual reality, the entire concept was a bit foreign to me and not at all appealing. The basic premise of Christianity dying out by the mid century did scare me and seem plausible.

One comment that scared me, as a book lover was on page 134, about books. To think that in the future they might be so dependent upon their computers, even kindles and such that old fashioned books might be done away with is downright frightening to me. The characters have a discussion about books, the loss of them, the love of them and it touched me a bit.

I don't want to give it all away, the storyline is good but not overly exciting. I think you will enjoy it It has just enough SciFi thrown in to make it interesting, but not too much to turn me off. I would recommend this book as your first Christian Scifi read. WaterBrook Press provided this book free to me in turn for my providing reviews on my blog and at least one other source. You may purchase this book by clicking here

Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James

Newport, Rhode Island,1899 is where the rich summer. There are opulent mansions, long, lovely yachts and ladies of leisure. It is home to railroad magnates and bank tycoons, dashing young men and women. But the last place you would look to find a lady novelist, particularly a lady who pens cheap dime novels. But that is exactly what Lilly Westbrook does. Lilly writes under the name Fannie Cole, she spends most of the book working to protect her identity from those around her and defend her Secret Identity from misconceived ideas about dime novels.

Lilly's former beau, Jackson Grail, is buying her publishing company and determined to find out the true identity of Fannie Cole. This sets the story line into motion.I enjoyed the story as it progressed. It was light summer reading, what I call an easy read. I appreciated the Biblical references in the book and that the characters were not ridiculed or put down for their beliefs.

I noted that this was the authors first novel, but that it was marketed as "A Ladies of Summerhill Novel" which causes me to think there are some more to follow. I did notice a new character introduced toward the end that was not filled out, so I am assuming she might have her own novel to follow. I will be watching for that.

I am reviewing this book as part of Thomas Nelsons Booksneeze Program. I agree to honestly review this book for no cash exchange on my blog and a trade blog in exchange for a free copy of the book. You can do this too. Click here to check out the program. Click here to purchase a copy of this book for your own reading enjoyment.

Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky

The advanced press all sounded positive so I was excited to begin Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky. It wasn't disappointing, the story of Marnie Wittier proved to be a great summer read with just the right amount of twist, turns and back story to keep me interested and wanting to finish the book. I would perhaps even go so far as to term this book a page turner!

There is love and loss, a young child with a disability that steals her heart. Throw in a bit of family conflict and add the elements of God"s love and the struggles of ones heart, it all makes for a fantastic story line! I fell in love with young Emmit, his seeking the sun, or was it the Son? was simply touching and probably something that will stay with me forever.

I recommend this book as an easy read that will leave you with a bit more than you are expecting. It will also make you realize that families are not perfect. That love can triumph. That God is always there. That's pretty good for a novel.

Waterbrookmultomah provided me with a free copy of this book in return for my blogging my review here and on my blog. My opinions are my own. You can purchase this book either on this site or by contacting