Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Whisper by Mark Batterson

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (October 24, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073529108X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735291089

About the Book:

The best-selling author of Circle Maker, which helped over 2 million people learn to talk to God, now helps readers learn how to listen to God.
The voice that spoke the cosmos into existence is the same voice that parted the Red sea, and made the sun stand still in the midday sky. One day, this voice will make all things new, but it’s also speaking to you now! 
That voice is God’s voice, and what we’ve learned from Scripture is that He often speaks in a whisper. Not to make it difficult to hear Him, but to draw us close. 
Many people have a tough time believing God still speaks. Sure, in ancient times and in mysterious ways, God spoke to His people, but is He still speaking now? 
Mark Batterson certainly believes so. And he wants to introduce you to the seven love languages of God; each of them unique and entirely divine. Some of them you might suspect but others will surprise you. 
By learning to tune in to and decipher each language, you’ll be able to hear His guidance in simple as well as life-altering choices. God is actively speaking through: Scripture, Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain. Batterson gives you the tools you need to unlock each of these languages. 
God’s whisper can answer your most burning questions, calm your deepest fears, and fulfill your loftiest dreams. 
Discover how simple it is to hear God’s voice in every aspect of your life!
He’s speaking, make sure you know how to listen!

My Thoughts:

Out of over a dozen books, I've read three of Mark Batterson's.  I have two more on my tbr shelf, and my husband has almost every book written by Batterson. 

So when I was invited to read and review "Whisper" I was excited. I expected to enjoy the book, and to learn a thing or two. 

I did not expect to feel convicted, inspired, or changed. I also didn't expect to highlight close to every other line in each chapter. Or to fall in love with God's Word because of the chapter "The Key of Keys".

Batterson devotes a good amount of reading and research to his writing. That's evident by the number of footnotes in each chapter (and I love me some footnotes!  This knowledge nerd was in reference heaven!)

All of that is impressive. But I can see Batterson's heart on every page. I can sense his passion in every careful choice of words. And I can feel his love for God and for the church in every chapter. 

You may not agree with everything Batterson has to say. Come to his book as a blank page, and then do what the Bereans did. You'll come away with deeper insight, richer understanding, and a burning passion for God's Word. 

I hope to read more of Mark Batterson's books. Right now, I'm busy rereading my favorite chapters in "Whisper", and learning afresh how to hear the voice of my Father. 

My thanks to Multnomah Press for a copy of "Whisper", with no services promised in return. I'm giving this book my "For such a time" stamp of approval. 

Until the next page turns,


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Waterfall Press (September 19, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1542045630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1542045636

About the Book:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Walsh returns with a hopeful and emotional new book about seizing second chances, finding yourself, and forging your own path.
Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help—and puts her own dreams on hold once again.
Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago.
Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship—and the very future of the farm?

My Thoughts:

Another excellent story from Courtney Walsh!  Hometown Girl is multi-layered. First, just look at that cover!  And the setting centers around a farm, complete with apple orchard!  Perfect for fall!

But it's also a story about forgiving yourself for past mistakes and failures. It's about that itch to leave home for bigger and better things, only to realize that home might just be where we belong.

Hometown Girl is about giving the ones we love the space to dream along with the space to fail. About giving ourselves permission to dream and to chase those dreams, even when they make no sense on paper.

It's a story about secrets kept and how toxic the hidden becomes.  And it's about losing the need to prove ones worth at the expense of realizing our intrinsic worth as image bearers of the King.

Hometown Girl is about community, celebration, and triumph in the midst of tragedy. And about families and their complicated relationships.

Most of all, Hometown Girl is a fun, heartwarming, and at times heartbreaking novel, with a little bit of romance, a few tears, and a lot of love. You'll really enjoy this one!

I'm giving "Hometown Girl" my "Oh, the Feels!" stamp of approval. My thanks to the publisher for an advance copy via NetGalley, with no services promised in return.

Until the next page turns,


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Wrecking by Christy Barritt

  • File Size: 3844 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: River Heights (October 7, 2017)
  • Publication Date: October 7, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

About the Book:

The only survivor of a vicious serial killer's rampage, Samantha White has fought her way back to some semblance of normalcy.

The killer, dubbed the Grim Wrecker by the media, has gone dormant, taking no new victims and leaving the FBI cold on his trail.

But now he's back, and he's pleading with Samantha to help him stop before he kills another woman.

Samantha is being sucked back to that horrible time and recalling buried memories that chill her to the marrow of her bones. Can she help the FBI stop the Grim Wrecker before he kills again, or will Samantha become a victim . . . again?

My Thoughts:

"The Wrecking" is a novella by Christy Barritt, and this story is a departure from Barritt's lighter fare. Imagine being the one victim that survived a horrific attack...then imagine that paints a target on you everywhere you go from that point forward.

That's the reality Samantha White is living with, and she's terrified. But she's also a survivor, and she's determined not to let The Grim Wrecker claim her as another kill. Can she help FBI Special Agent Daniel Quinn find the killer in time? Before The Grim Wrecker takes another life...or takes hers?

The brevity of the story really heightens the tension of the tale. With fewer pages, Barritt manages to pack in just enough detail to make the story full and rich, but the faster pace has you breathless as you read. And you must read--because you HAVE to know who The Grim Wrecker really is.

Good luck guessing! Barritt is gifted in throwing out the proverbial red herring, and she's never displayed her talent for distraction better than she has in "The Wrecking".  Giving this one my "Packs a Punch" stamp of approval!

You can purchase "The Wrecking" on Amazon for .99, or buy the boxset that includes "The Wrecking" for $5.99 and get ten intense thrillers with "Kill Zone".

Until the next page turns,


The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional by Sandra Byrd

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496413180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496413185

About the Book:

When was the last time you took a break to experience God’s love?
To experience something is to live it, to encounter it, to understand it, to explore with our hearts, minds, and souls as well as with the five physical senses and our God-given spiritual ones. Every action we do with and for God, every good day and bad day, we walk hand-in-hand with God, experiencing Him.

Experiencing God’s love takes time. Love unfurls its blossoms in our lives when we concentrate all of our senses on the small gifts we pass by every day. Time slows, and we finally get to hear God’s beautiful background hum to our lives.

The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional helps you intentionally carve out those moments in your day to savor God and his love for you.

My Thoughts:

I've been noticing a trend in inspirational non-fiction books for women lately. Many of them have titles or subheadings that have revealed that God knows we're hurting down here. All you have to do is read the headlines, or sit in your seat in church and look around you.

God's daughters are hurting, and He knows.

That's why "The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional" by Sandra Byrd is on my favorite reads shelf. You cannot walk away from your daily reading in this gorgeous book without knowing two things: God loves You, and He sees you.

Sometimes, those two thoughts are the only reasons I can persuade myself to get out of bed and greet another day. Yes, I realize that on the surface, that sounds like I'm defeated. But read it again. Knowing God loves me and sees me gives me the strength, the courage, the hope, the joy, the determination, the drive, the focus, the peace, the passion, the (fill in the blank) to face another 24 hours here on Earth.

That's powerful. And there's abundant power in this devotional. So, if you can only afford one book to inspire you, give you hope, and to remind you about how rich the Father's love is for YOU, make it this one.

So, I'm giving "The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional" my "For Such a Time" stamp of approval.  Thank you to Tyndale Publishing for my copy with no services or obligations promised in return.

Until the next page turns,


Friday, October 6, 2017

If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 26, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825444950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825444951

About the Book:

When four college friends graduated from the University of Northwest Oregon, their lives stretched before them, full of promise and vows to stay connected. But life has a way of derailing well-laid plans.

Now they haven't spoken in twenty-five years. But against all odds, three of them have found themselves back in the same place--at their alma mater, wondering how they got there. When they discover their fourth friend, Hope, has died, Jenna, Ireland, and Vicky decide to embark on a wilderness adventure to honor her memory--and for secret reasons of their own. 

Jenna wants to show her husband that she's more than a helpless, overweight, middle-aged empty nester. Ireland wants to get back to the nature she loves and hide from the charges being pressed against her. And Vicky wants to show she cares for something besides her ministry--and put off the disaster waiting at home for as long as possible.

They never bargained for the dangers they face in an unforgiving wilderness. Now they'll have to work together if they hope to make it home alive. While the three women fight to survive the elements, their toughest battles may be with themselves.

My Thoughts:

"If We Make It Home" is an intense and engaging novel by debut author Christina Suzann Nelson.  Normally, this isn't the kind of book I'd pick up for myself--which is just one more reason I love reviewing books!  Sometimes a hidden treasure comes your way and surprises you, and that's exactly what happened with Nelson's book.

Best way to describe "If We Make It Home"...think "Wild", with three points of view and a strong faith element...which already makes this a better book than the other one!  Of course, this is fiction, but still, I enjoyed the story and got lost in the fiction and felt these women were real.

The story is told from three points of view: Jenna, a stay at home mom; Ireland, an earthy, save the planet kind of woman; and Victoria, a successful ministry leader.  But each woman has secrets they've kept buried, and this challenging and dangerous journey draws out the true essence of each woman, helping them to see themselves and each other in a new way.

A shocking event near the beginning of the book left me speechless, and I had no idea how the story would unfold.  But I kept turning pages long into the night.  I couldn't put the book down until I knew that Jenna, Ireland and Victoria were going to be safe and sound.

So imagine my surprise when....oops!  A spoiler almost slipped out!  You'll have to buy a copy and read "If We Make It Home" to find out if they all do make it back.  I received a copy of the book from Kregel Publishing, with no services or obligations in return.

"If We Make It Home" gets my "One To Watch" stamp of approval, with a smattering of "Packs a Punch" for good measure.  I'm eager to read Nelson's next book, and I think you'll truly enjoy "If We Make It Home."

Until the next page turns,


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Malicious Intent by Jordyn Redwood (featured in Kill Zone)

"Kill Zone" features a novella by Jordyn Redwood titled "Malicious Intent".  I have loved Redwood's writing since I discovered "Proof", the first novel in the Bloodline Trilogy.  Her new novella features the two detectives from that series as they work their first case together as partners.

Nathan Long has a chip on his shoulder, and Brett Sawyer has ties to a suspect.  They've never worked together, so it was fascinating watching them work out the kinks in their partnership.  When I met these fictitious characters they were a top notch team, chasing down the perps like a well oiled machine.

"Malicious Intent" gets my "Packs a Punch" stamp of approval.  The entire "Kill Zone" collection is on sale right now for only .99...but hurry!  Price goes up after October 8th!  I'll be sharing more reviews as I make my way through this stellar collection.

Until the Next Page Turns,


Kill Zone: Ten Deadly Thrillers (From Ten Outstanding Authors)

File Size: 7083 KB
  • Print Length: 1183 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Georgia Press LLC (October 3, 2017)
  • Publication Date: October 3, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

About The Book:

Espionage, hacking, police procedural, international crime and intrigue, covert action, spy, secret police, revenge, snipers...and so much more! Ten brand-new, never-before published novellas of suspense, intrigue, and thrills from ten bestselling Christian thriller authors, all packed into this one anthology. KILL ZONE is available for a limited time only. Read new stories by:

  • Rick Acker
  • Christy Barritt
  • Patricia Bradley
  • Braxton DeGarmo
  • Luana Ehrlich
  • Heather Day Gilbert
  • Heather I. James
  • Robert Liparulo
  • Jordyn Redwood
  • Jan Thompson
My Thoughts:

"Kill Zone" is a dream collection for any avid fan of fiction that dances on the side of all things legal.  Where else can you find brand new novellas by authors like Rick Acker, Christy Barritt, Robert Liparulo, and Jordyn Redwood?

The collection is over a thousand pages, and features a wide array of genres within the mystery/suspense genre.  And, to the person who put this collection together, major props to you!  Not only do you get a gem of a read from 10 best-selling authors, but if you enjoy what you've read...

...you can easily find out more about the author, their other titles, and more!

I've bought many of these collections in a variety of genres, and "Kill Zone" is the ideal.  I'd encourage any authors considering such a project to pattern their collection after this one.

I'll be reviewing each title individually, but I just had to let you know about this outstanding collection.

Until the next page turns,


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Teen's Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices by Jonathan McKee

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (October 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683223195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683223191

About the Book:

Ever regret something you’ve posted?


How smart are you being when it comes to streaming, messaging, gaming, commenting. . .?
 The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices will help you navigate the digital world with 21 refreshingly honest and humorous tips that will not only inform, but that also just might change the way you think about your social media interaction.

     21 real-life tips including. . .
  • Know the app before you snap.
  • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want Grandma, your boss, and Jesus seeing! (Jesus is on Insta, you know!)
  • Peek at your privacy settings. . .so you know who’s peeking at you.
  • Take more “selflessies.”
  • Press pause before you post.
 . . .and many more will provide just the information you need to post wisely in an insecure world.

My Thoughts:

You've probably heard the studies quoted by all of the 'experts' on the development of the human brain, especially as it regards to decision making in adolescents.  I know, as a teen many years ago, I cringe at the stupid stuff I did, thinking I knew it all when I was really pretty clueless.

That's why "The Teen's Guide To Social Media & Mobile Devices" is such an important book.  Jonathan McKee speaks teen, and his book is both easy to read and to understand.  McKee includes a brief introduction for parents and guardians, but the majority of the book is geared toward today's teen and pre-teen.

Each of the twenty-one tips McKee shares is quick, to the point, and filled with practical advice and common sense wisdom.  As an adult, I found myself agreeing again and again with McKee's take on guiding teens through the social media wilderness.  But I then read it again, as if I was the target audience.

Let's just say I found a lot of "wow" moments.  Like Tip #3: Nothing you post is temporary--even on Snapchat.  Tip #4 dealt with online pornography addiction and how easily our youth can get snared simply by one innocent click.

The book is packed with wisdom and should be a 'must read' for anyone between the ages of 12-20 that has access to a smart phone, any apps, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...yeah, the list is endless.  And the studies that McKee referenced about people losing their sense of empathy and the ability to carry on a conversation IRL (In Real Life) were both tragic and true.

I received a complimentary copy of "The Teen's Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices" from Shiloh Run Press, a division of Barbour Publishing, with no services promised or any obligation in exchange.  McKee's book receives my "For Such a Time" mark of approval.  Please buy a copy for anyone in your life you want to protect from the pitfalls of a connected world.

Besides, we all know that if the parents are giving the advice, we get the eye roll...but they just might listen to Jonathan McKee.

Until the next page turns,


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Moment To Breathe from the (In)Courage Community

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462767060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462767069

About the Book:

When the rush of regular life leaves you breathless by day’s end, this collection of everyday stories becomes the place where you can come as you are, and find yourself among friends. Friends who have been there. Friends who’ll lean in close and say, “Me too!” Through our stories the bonds of friendship deepen as we listen to each other, laugh with each other, and learn from each other. Because we’re better when we’re living this one beautiful life together.
With stories from 80 writers, these pages become the very place your soul can exhale, where you can:
· Connect with the hearts of women through stories that echo your own.
· Find beauty in the ordinary and sometimes messy moments of your everyday life.
· See your own stories as an offering of hope to those around you.
· Treasure the unseen ways God moves through even your most regular days.
With 365 readings, each day begins with a passage of Scripture, tells a story of everyday faith, and encourages you to take a moment to breathe with a simple but fun way to complete your day. So kick off your shoes and join us for a relaxing but special time, where friends come together and share the real stuff of everyday faith.

My Thoughts:

As someone who lives with diagnosed Generalized Panic Disorder, I've learned the value of grabbing a moment to breathe.  When the noise around me is too loud...when there are too many bodies in a not big enough space...when the demands of life pile too high...

Sometimes I just need a quick moment to myself.  A moment to decompress, to gather my thoughts, to catch my breath.  So when I was given the opportunity to read "A Moment to Breathe" by the wonderful (In)Courage Community I was thrilled.

Eighty women joined their voices and their wisdom to create a gorgeous and encouraging daily devotional that meets you right where you are.  These readings allow us to connect with other women who struggle with the same kinds of things we struggle with.  They give us glimpses of hope and lift our hearts above the fray.

This is the kind of book that makes me long to be independently wealthy, so I could buy cases of "A Moment to Breathe" and give a copy to every single woman I come in contact with.  To every single mom, widow, single woman, teen girl, college aged coed....we all have our needs and crave those precious moments to catch our breath.

"A Moment to Breathe" receives my "For Such a Time" stamp of approval.  Considering the craziness of the last few weeks, "A Moment to Breathe" is timely and treasured.  Pick up a copy of this gorgeous book for yourself and for a friend.

Until the next page turns,


Just One More Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon