Thursday, May 31, 2018

Raising Passionate Jesus Followers by Phil and Diane Comer

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310347777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310347774

About the Book:

For Christian parents, there is no greater joy than seeing their children learn to walk with the Lord. And there is no greater fear than that their children will walk away from God.
After serving together in pastoral ministry for forty years, Phil and Diane Comer know those hopes and fears well. Thirty-seven years ago, they became parents themselves. And like all new parents, they were intimidated and unsure about how to take on the task of spiritually training their young children.
Now, with all four of their children grown and establishing their own households of faith, Phil and Diane have embarked on a quest to help the next generation of parents raise passionate Jesus followers. Drawing on years of pastoral counseling, teaching, leading, and decades of watching families from the perspective of pastors and leaders in ministry, Phil and Diane instruct, guide, encourage, and offer hope and practical help to Christian parents.
Raising Passionate Jesus Followersis a manual full of practical, biblically based guidelines that parents will be able to turn to again and again through each stage of their children’s development. Starting at birth, into grade school, through the daunting teenage years, to launching them into college, and finally letting go, this book contains the why’s and the how’s parents need. This book will serve as an invaluable resource for any parent whose greatest longing is to shepherd their children into a vibrant faith in God.

My Thoughts:

To be honest, I'm not sure why I wanted to read this book.  My children are all grown on on their own.  My years of raising them are, for the most part, over.  Our oldest has five children of her own, but she's not a reader, and our other two married daughters are still waiting for God to bless them with babies of their own.

"Raising Passionate Jesus Followers" sounds like an impossible dream.  Young people are leaving the church as soon as they gain their independence, and it doesn't matter which denomination they were raised in--it's happening.  It can feel discouraging if we allow it to color our faith.

But after reading Phil and Diane Comer's book, I can see the areas where we did our best and the areas in which we could have done more.  This book gave me hope for future generations of young families and young Christians.

The Comer's follow the Biblical model of the family, with the father being the head and the wife submitting to the husband's leadership.  That might leave a sour taste in the mouths of some, but after reading this book you can see that it WORKS!  Diane is no wimpy wallflower of a woman.  She is strong, intelligent, and has her own thoughts and opinions.  She CHOOSES to submit because she believes in God's Word and trusts that God knows best.

That one decision makes a tremendous difference in how the Comers raised their children.  A huge difference.  What follows is a roadmap of success and failure and what the Comers learned about raising children passionate about Jesus--not the church, or their doctrine, or even God's Word.  Passionate about JESUS.

(And yes, I know Jesus is The Word--but you get my drift I hope!)

Phil and Diane Comer don't hide their mistakes.  Rather, they share areas they believe could have been handled in a more Biblical manner, and their counsel is applicable and realistic.  It would be easy to read their book and feel you are/were a poor parent--don't allow the enemy to do that to you!  We all are imperfect, but we love The Perfect One, and He can take our flubs and make them fabulous learning experiences.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of "Raising Passionate Jesus Followers", with no services promised in return.  I'm giving this book four out of five stars.

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Rescue by Jim Cymbala with Ann Spangler

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 27, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310351170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310351177

About the Book:

By New York Times bestselling author and pastor Jim Cymbala, The Rescue tells the powerful, true stories of men and women whose lives should have ended badly but miraculously didn't. Something unexpected happens to each of them and their incredible stories will take you by surprise and restore your hope.

My Thoughts:

We live in such a cynical, angry, and jaded world right now.  It is difficult to stay encouraged and to have hope when everything appears so bleak.

"The Rescue" by Jim Cymbala (with Ann Spangler) tells the true stories of seven people who were rescued in ways that can only be attributed to God. This little book provides hope and evidence that God is still on the move, despite what we see all around us.

Lawrence Punter was the little boy no one loved.  He ended up alone, sleeping in alleys on filthy mattresses and feeling his life wasn't worth anything. But God showed up for Lawrence and transformed his belief about himself and gave him a platform to share his story with those trapped by those same feelings.

Robin makes her home in Israel and is the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants who fled the persecution and destruction of Russia.  Today, her life is filled with joy and purpose and hope.  But she has a story of darkness and despair that dogged her until God came and blew those clouds away.

Five more people share their incredible stories of being rescued by the God who sees, the God who moves mountains, and the God who restores.  I enjoyed read "The Rescue" and I think you will as well.  That's why I'm sending my thanks to the publisher for my copy with nothing promised in return, and giving this book four out of five stars.

Until the next page turns, 


Friday, May 25, 2018

Laugh Out Loud by Allia Zobel Nolan

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: AlliaWrites (February 15, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692076190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692076194

About the Book:

Remember ironing your hair? Rolling it in soda cans to straighten it? Lacquering it with enough spray that it could ward off bullets? Ever slather on cement-colored lipstick so heavy, you looked like a zombie princess? Remember hot pants and platform heels? The danger of patent-leather shoes? Were you a secretary, nurse, or teacher, but only, as our mothers urged us, until you found “Mr. Right?”

In her new book, LAUGH OUT LOUD: 40 WOMEN HUMORISTS CELEBRATE THEN AND NOW…BEFORE WE FORGET, Allia Zobel Nolan and 40 funny ladies from the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop chronicle these blips in time as they look back at life in the past lane. Zobel Nolan and the other dancing queens then fast forward to today and write about what it’s like to blink and wake up to be 50, 60, 70, and beyond

—experiences ranging from cremation ceremonies to marrying younger men, from senior online dating to finding yourself a menopausal maniac in Mexico.

My Thoughts:

I became acquainted with Allia Zobel Nolan through her amazing children's books.  Nolan always collaborated with brilliant and talented illustrators and crafted books I consider treasured keepsakes.

Then I picked up a copy of "Laugh Out Loud", and I've discovered something new about Allia Zobel Nolan: she's REALLY funny!  Her newest book is a collection of essays that were written about pretty much anything and everything.

Part One is filled with memories from the 'good old days', tales from the 50's, 60's and 70's--and those are decades, not ages, by the way!  My favorites were "When We Were Fashionistas", reminiscing about styles and fashion from decades gone by (some from before I was born, but my mom experienced), and "Princess With a Lot to Lose Learns a Lesson", written by Nolan herself.

That one had me laughing so hard I woke up our snoozing pooch on the sofa!

Part Two flashes forward to the decades of today, and deal with topics of aging, death, and what it's like to see so many things change so quickly.  I snorted out loud when I read "What a Way To Go".  We've been having that debate in our home lately: burial vs. cremation.  This story puts a whole new spin on the debate!  "A Breathless Encounter" was one I could totally relate to...and I'll probably have flashbacks in the dressing room after reading this essay on body shapers.  That's modern speak for girdles and corsets...oh, my!

A few of the stories in the book have a little bit of language that some might not care for, and one story discusses a scenario ala Tinder that might raise a few eyebrows.  My hope is that you'll buy a copy of "Laugh Out Loud" and actually find yourself LOL--just skip over what doesn't float your boat, because there's plenty of excellent writing in "Laugh Out Loud".

I'm giving "Laugh Out Loud" four out of five stars, and my thanks to the publisher for my advance copy, with no services promised in return.

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Falling For You by Becky Wade

  • Series: A Bradford Sisters Romance
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764219375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764219375

About the Book:

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

My Thoughts:

Becky Wade took a huge leap of faith in the first book of The Bradford Sisters series. She took her expertly crafted romantic side and merged it with a new mysterious side. In between she sandwiched some of the best and most realistic characters I've met in some time. 

She's done it again with "Falling For You", and I enjoyed this book twice as much as her first. Considering how much I loved "True To You", that's saying something! 

Wade has mastered the genre of romantic suspense and done it her own way: heavy on the romance, mildly suspenseful, and liberally sprinkled with faith and fun.  And let me just say...Charlotte alone makes this novel worth the read!

I just can't tell you why--you'll have to read it to find out!  I'm giving "Falling For You" five out of five stars, and sending my thanks to the publisher for my advance copy with nothing promised in return.

I adore the Bradford sisters, and I can hardly wait to see Britt finally realize. . .oops, almost wrote a spoiler!

Until the next page turns, 


Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrell

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718075706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718075705

About the Book:

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

My Thoughts:



Can't type. 


Many tears.


Heart too full.


So, exquisitely good.

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, may I just say that Lindsay Harrell is a fantabulous author?  "The Heart Between Us" is another sister story, but unlike the others this one has a special twist.  Megan has been fighting heart failure for most of her adolescence, while her sister Crystal has been able to do all the things Megan hasn't.

Life changes drastically when Megan receives a heart transplant.  At least, it should have.

But both sisters are cemented in the roles they've played for a lifetime.  It takes the journal of a dead girl and a bucket list from beyond to shake up the sisters and to set them free to really live.  

"The Heart Between Us" also deals with the fact that, for someone to receive an organ transplant, someone else has to die.  Reading about Megan's emotional journey really drove home the sacrifice that saved her life, and made me think about the incredible gift that's given with organ donation.

I'm very impressed with Harrell's ability to tell a heart-string-tugging story, and I'm giving "The Heart Between Us" four out of five stars.  My thanks to the publisher for my advance copy with no services provided in exchange!

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt

  • Series: Thatcher Sisters
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 8, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496427246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496427243

About the Book:

It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine―as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.

But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

My Thoughts:

A good writer hooks you with the first line.

A great writer holds your attention until the very end.

An excellent writer captures your heart and draws you into the story.

Beth K. Vogt is a gifted writer: hooking you, holding you, drawing you, and ultimately changing you.

Things I Never Told You is a tale of four sisters, relationships, and secrets. Dynamics, dysfunction, and destruction transform into hope, healing, and wholeness. More than anything else, this is the story Beth was born to tell.

But, man!  This must have been excruciating to write!  The sisterly drama is so authentic I could hear the echoes of my own daughters' voices in the dialogue.  And, having grown up with two very older, very different sisters, I felt drawn into the story in a way that often had me in tears.

That's a good thing, by the way!

Fair warning, reading friends!  Buckle up for "The Thatcher Sisters"'s going to be a bumpy ride...but such an enjoyable and, dare I say it, a healing one for many of us?  "Things I Never Told You" gets five out of five stars from me.

Now I'm off to make sure my journals haven't been read by you-know-who (her name begins with Beth!)

Thank you to the publisher for my advance copy, with no services provided in exchange.

Until the next page turns, 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

  • Series: The Weaver Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Enclave (May 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683701364
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683701361

About the Book:

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn't just tell stories--she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king's guard hunts her down...and they're not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she's not the only outlaw in the empire. There's a rebel group of weavers...and they're after her too.

My Thoughts:

Hmmm. How to describe this book...

Exquisite. Enchanting. Epic. 

Prepare to be swept away to the land of Tire as you meet author Lindsay A. Franklin's band of merry characters in The Story Peddler. Lindsay Franklin, like her heroine Tamwen does, paints vividly with her words.

You'll fall in love with each imaginary person. . .unless he or she is a villain--those you will despise! You will see magical things unlike any you've seen before, and you will believe. 

Tanwen is an apprentice story peddler with vast dreams and goals. With no parents to raise her, she's 'adopted' by Brac and his family. Her adventure begins with a story, woven in bright colors that pour from her fingertips. 

As I was reading I kept thinking The Story Peddler would make an excellent movie. Then I realized Franklin was painting pictures and scenes in my heart, and I already had my movie in my hands. 

I'd still love to see everyone on the big screen, though.

The names of the characters are so whimsical and unique, and I'm astonished at the magic that resides in Lindsay Franklin! 

And the creatures! Fluff-hoppers, slap-happy and harried hedge-nibblers, and mountainbeasts, oh my! 

Then all of the rich colors of the. ..whoops! Almost gave a spoiler!

The descriptions are lush and rich, the characters are leaping off the page, and the story itself rivals Lewis and his wardrobe. I was captivated from the first page and I mourned turning the last page. 

I can hardly wait for the next book!

The Story Peddler is a 'must keep' tale, and Lindsay A. Franklin is a 'must read' author. Get The Story Peddler on pre-order now, because it just may sell out -- it's that good! 

I received an advance copy from the publisher, with no services or obligations promised in return.  But I loved it so much, I purchased a Kindle copy AND a paperback!!!  Giving this one five out of five stars!

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan

  • Series: Atlanta Justice (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764219812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764219818

About the Book:

Prosecutor Sophie Dawson's first job in the White Collar division of the Fulton County D.A.'s office is to build a case against a local bank employee who may be cheating clients. But when circumstances beyond her control leave her as the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang, her world is turned upside down.

Former Atlanta police officer turned private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to ensure that Sophie is kept safe. But as threats escalate, they don't know who they can trust. 

Sophie is determined not to back down, but her bank case gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying. Sophie wants to take a stand for what's right--but can Cooper, who is determined not to be distracted by their growing attraction, keep her safe so that she can finish her pursuit for justice?

My Thoughts:

"Lone Witness" is the second novel in Dylan's 'Atlanta Justice' series.  I was very impressed with the first novel in this brand new series, and I was excited to read her second novel.  Would it live up to its predecessor?

I'm please to say it most DEFINITELY lived up to the first story, and even had a bit more intensity!  Rachel Dylan has cemented a spot on my 'must read' list of authors with her legal suspense tales, and I can highly recommend her books to you, my reading friend.

Suspense/mystery is my all-time favorite genre, so I have read a lot of novels filled with twists and turns.  Dylan's novels feel fresh and new because she has a knack for framing the most interesting and unique legal situations and fills the story with believable characters that hit you immediately in the feels.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Lone Witness" and I'm eager for more!  I received a copy of the book from the publisher with no services offered in exchange.  "Lone Witness" gets four out of five stars from me!

Until the next page turns, 


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Storm Front by Susan May Warren

Product Details

  • Publication date: May 1, 2018
  • Publisher: Revell
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07933YR9F

About the book:

A tornado has destroyed a small Minnesota community and among the missing are not only a group of students but PEAK Rescue team leader Chet King. Ty Remington will stop at nothing to rescue his mentor, not even when the girl he loved--and lost--walks back into his life. But Brette needs his help more than he knows, despite her stubborn determination to push him away. And when he gets a second chance, loving her just might cost him more than he can imagine.

A blogger for Vortex Storm Chasers, Brette Arnold didn't expect her adventures to land her in the same place as Ty, the guy who she walked--no, ran--from over a year ago. She had her reasons--good ones. The kind that tell her that falling for him again would only lead to heartache. But Ty isn't the kind of man to give up--not on the missing students, or on her.

Life and love hang in the balance in Susan May Warren's breathless story of holding on to hope during a deadly summer of storms.

My thoughts:

When you turn to the first page of a novel by Susan May Warren, you can count on three things:

3) She loves her craft.
2) She does her research.
1) She is passionate about her Jesus.

When you read the final page of a novel by Susan May Warren, you can count on three things:

3) You've cried buckets of tears.
2) You'll have imaginary people as friends forever.
1) You're going to want the next book NOW.

In "Storm Front" we finally get to know Ty Remington and
Brette Arnold. As the story unfolds, our favorite characters from the Montana Rescue series make their appearance, but you'll be captivated by the building relationship between Ty, Brette, and Jesus.

The back cover reads "A tornado has destroyed a small Minnesota community"...what an understatement! More like obliterated! The tornado scenes took my breath away. And the rich detail from Susan's research draws you in and makes you feel what the characters feel.

The faith flows through the pages like a natural, refreshing stream, and we see God's love through new eyes. Susan's imaginary people are flawed, much like we're flawed. They have baggage, hang ups, and struggle with the goodness and forgiveness of God.

And with learning how to accept genuine love. I absolutely love Susan's novels, and each book is my favorite until the next book is released. True confession: my all-time favorite is still "The Shadow of Your Smile", but considering how much I love her other stories, that book holds its place by a thread!

I received an advance copy from the publisher with no obligation in exchange.

Until the next page turns,


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

So Many New Releases, So Little Time To Read!

Happy Book Birthday to Rachel and Lone Witness!
(Review coming soon!)

Happy Book Birthday to Susan and Storm Front
(Review coming soon!)

Happy Very First Book Birthday to Lindsay and The Story Peddler!!
(Review coming soon!)

Happy Book Birthday to Sara and Unbreakable!
(Review coming soon!)

Happy Book Birthday to Becky and Falling for You!
(Review coming soon!)

Happy Book Birthday to Denise and Honeysuckle Dreams!
(Review coming soon!)

Happy Book Birthday to Rachel and Becoming The Talbot Sisters!
(Review coming soon!)

Did I miss anyone??  Really great reading, gang!!  Reviews are coming soon, I promise!!!

Until the next page turns,


Just One More Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon