Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review: Smitten

Smitten: Love is one the way is four novellas in one book written by best friends Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. These four best friends write a series of novellas about four best friends who live in a small town named Smitten. When the local factory closes, the future of Smitten is at stake. These four women band together and come up with idea of making Smitten a romance capital.

Along the way they run into some opposition from the men of the town and do not want their town to become girly. As the town progresses from old mill town to a quaint romance capital love is found, families are made, friendships strengthened and faith tested and solidified

Overall I really enjoyed this book and the journey of the four women in it. I did find them a little too cut out and easy to predict but they were quiet enjoyable. I also enjoyed the theme of faith in the book without being overly pushy or sappy.

I would definitely recommend this book to friends and family. It was a nice easy read. The novellas flowed well together.

Note: I was given a copy of this book from for free to read and review. The comments above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: An Amish Wedding

An Amish Wedding by Kelly Long, Kathleen Fuller, and Beth Wiseman is a book put together of three novellas telling three wedding stories of different people in an Amish community. The three stories are about the stresses of courtship, engagement, and planning a wedding. The three authors did a great job using the same characters and timeline in each.

Overall I loved this book. I am a sucker for books about Amish and from the start I had high expectations. These books did not disappoint. The characters were real with worries and flaws. I love how their faith was so well depicted in each character.

I am always fascinated how the Amish have removed all of the distractions modern society gives us so that they can truly focus on God and family. This book did not depict them as perfect, as some do. They were real people with flaws and struggles. Even the story of Zeke’s parent in a loveless marriage, only together because divorce was not allowed, made the people seem that much more real.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Amish stories.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book free from for review. The opinions expressed above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book review: The Grace Effect

The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief by Larry Alex Taunton is a story about the Taunton family's struggles through an Ukrainian adoption. After a mission trip to the Ukraine, Larry Taunton's family was lead to adopt a girl from a Ukrainian orphanage who had special needs and an amazing personality.

The author uses this story of up and down and many obstacles to show the reader what the world would be like if Christianity did not exist anymore. Essentially it would look like Communism where everyone was self serving and compassion, grace, and mercy did not exist.

He also shows how the mercy on one small child who was adopted effected so many people around them.. even his friend and famous Atheist.

Larry Taunton does a great job explaining and demonstrating the key difference between Christianity and all other religions.... grace. With out grace Christianity is worthless and just a set of guidelines to live ones life. It is the grace from God that makes us different. There is no to do list for salvation.. just grace.

I really enjoyed this book. If came to me at a great time as my church is discussing adoption. This book shows how the smallest gesture (a few dollars to someone on the side of the road) or a big gesture (adoption) can make an effect in peoples lives and become a light to the rest of the world.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to read for free from The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: The Encounter

The Encounter: Sometimes God Has to Intervene by Steve Arterburn is a 140 page fictional story (based on two true stories) about a successful man who's life is falling apart because of his resentment of his mother for abandoning him when he was 4 years old. To fulfil a promise to his friend/counselor/pastor, he travels to his hometown in Alaska to try and find out information about his mother and why she left him.

This story shows how people's action are influenced by their past and you can not know why until you know the entire story. This story is one of forgiveness, grace, love, and faith. I enjoyed reading this short story.

After the story are less than 20 pages of the author discussing how these built up resentments can ruin your life and harden your heart. He walks the reader through simple steps to let go of the past and come to an understanding of why things happen. These steps are simple is words but very hard to do in actions.

I think this is a story I will hold onto for a while in my heart. Its so easy to get caught up in yourself and how things effect you. It is much harder to look around and see how those same action are motivated and how they effect others. And to look and see how your actions effect others.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to review from I was not compensated for positive reviews and the opinions above are my own.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: One Call Away

One Call Away: Answering Life's Challenges with Unshakable Faith by Brenda Warner is the life story of Brenda Warner, wife of NFL MVP Kurt Warner. She tells her life story from childhood to now. Her story of loss, love, life changes, and challenges physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Her story is such a testament of how God always has a plan and how the saddest and most challenging things in life still have a purpose.

I found this story so moving. Brenda has overcome so much in her life. The thing I really like about this book is that she was real in it. She said when she made a mistake and regretted it. She showed her flaws and strengths in each situation. Most of all I am amazed that through everything she was able to keep her faith in God strong. She may have wondered why something happened but she never questioned God for being wrong.

I also love the story of Kurt's life in her story. His personality, integrity, and spiritual strength throughout his life is amazing. I love how he came to be a Christian and her view of it. I love his steadfast commitment to his faith when he did make the decision. Fame and Fortune did not change him or corrupt him.

I truly find in their story that all things are possible and that God really is always in control. This book is not always easy to read (i was very stressed out while reading the tragic story of her son. I felt like I was going through it with her) but it is very hard to put down.

I recommend this book... to everyone. Especially if you are a mother you will identify with her in so many ways.

Note: I was given a free copy of this book to read and review through These opinions are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: His Steadfast Love

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons is a book about a young Southern Belle named Amanda. she lives on the coast of Texas with her family. She meets a Union soldier. She is torn between a new love with the union soldier and the love of her family. Along with the conflict of Confederates vs Union she is torn with the obligations of her family and the obligation to herself. Her search is mixing with her questions of her faith.

I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and the characters we so easy to understand and enjoy. It reminded me of the Jannette Oke books I also love. Golden Keyes Parsons mix of love, family, faith, compassion, and conflict was so well written. I would recommend this book to all my friends and family. It is definitely a book that is hard to put down.

I cant wait to read other book by this author and am so excited to find another great Christian author.

Note: I was given a copy of this book by for free to review. I was not compensated for a good review and the opinions above are my own.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book Review:Afraid to Believe in Free Will

I received a free copy of Carl Begley's "Afraid to Believe in Free Will: The human Tendency to Avoid Responsibility from Free Choices."

I have to say I found this book really (really really really) hard to read. I can tell that Dr Begley is a very educated man and had a lot to say. It is also very evident that he is very passionate about his subject and his view point. Unfortunately this book was filled with facts and dissections of other psychology, psychiatrists, theologians works and beliefs that it was very hard to smoothly follow the book and the direction he was trying to lead the reader.

I would not recommend this book to someone. For all the reasons above I was unable to finish this book. I really did try. I even tried skipping over the "hard" chapters and I still couldn't finish it.

I wish the author best of luck with this book but it is not for me.

Note: I was given a free copy of this book for review from The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for good reviews.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review: Waking Hours

Waking Hours by Liehl and Pete Nelson is a thriller book about a murder and odd occurances happening in East Salem, NY. Dani is a foresenis phychiatrist working for the DA office when the murder of teenage girl occurs During her investigation is runs into her teenage crush Tommy. Together they try and solve the crime and all of the other odd occurances around town before anyone esle getshurt.

I really liked this book. I thoguth the characters felt real and well thought out. The relationships between them and the minor characters were well thought out and written. I must say this was a book that made it hard to put down. I also like the way the authors wrote about Tommy's faith. It was honest and well handled. They didnt make him a saint nor a hypocrite. He was a very real person with a strong faith and smart head.

I would definately reccomend this book to friends and family. I am glad to have a copy of this in my library to read again.

Note: I was given a e-copy of this book free through for free to review. I was not compensated for a positive review and the opinions above are my own.

Book Review: Night Night Blesssings

This is a really cute childrens book.

Normally my book reviews are about non-fiction books I get from This time I wanted to try 2 new things; 1) online version read thru a kindle reader for PC, and 2) getting a childrens book that Hannah and Titus could enjoy.

I was hoping to get this on my phone using the kindle reader on it but for some reason it did not work (and trust me I tried multiple times).

And now to the actual review:

Night Night Blessings by Amy Parker is a childrens book that teaches to be thankful for your blessings in the day. I really like how they cover the entire and things big and small. Food, family, friends, toys, and nature are all covered.

I think my children will really love this book. It will be a great conversation starter to see what they are thankfur for from their day. I hope this becomes a reoccuring book in our night time reading.

Note: I was given a free copy of this book from for review. I was not compensated for good reviews and the opinions above are my own.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review: The Story of the Bible

About 6 months ago I got a copy of "The Story of the Bible: The Fascinating History of Its Writing, Translation & Effect on Civilization" by Larry Stone.

I immediately started reading the book and looking at the amazing documents and papers inside and was fascinated. Then life got a little crazy and I never wrote a review. This book is a compilation of the history of the bible and how it has moved, changed, and directed in history. Along with a lot of history he has included photo copies of pertinent documents. It is really interesting to look through and learn so much about the Bible's history.

I really enjoyed this book. Its not a sit down and read cover to cover book but it is a learn a neat fact and look deeper into it book. I am glad to have this book on my bookshelf as a reference book.

Note: I did receive a free copy of this book from for me review. The comments above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Product Review: Maybelline SiperStay 24 2-step lip color

To start, I am a member of BzzAgent which allows me to receive free samples or services from companies for free. I am then asked to review them and spread my opinions to friends and family. I am not compensated for positive review and all opinions are me own.

One of my recent campaigns from BzzAgent was Maybelline's new 24 hours lipstick. They sent me 4 lipsticks in different shades to use and review.

I LOVE THEM!!!. They are all great colors. I have two mauve colors (one lighter one darker), a great red, and nice muted pink. I have been wearing them every day and they really do last all day without reapplying. Since I am not one to spend tons of time getting ready in the mornings or throughout the day, they are perfect for my schedule.

My only "thing" about this is that since it goes on permanently, you have to be really careful putting it on. I know with time this will go much faster but right now it takes me a minute or two to put on my lipstick. I don't want a wavy lined lip or a big red spot where I tried to rub off a mistake.

All in all, I am very happy with my new lipsticks. I will definitely be using this product long after my samples are gone.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: Read and Share: The Ultimate DVD Bible, Volume 2

I have to first say that my sister Annie got me started on this series of movies. We got the Christmas story from her a year ago and love it. I was very excited when I had the opportunity to review this book and DVD.

The book is very well written. They take 20 or so stories from the bible and write them in a way that is easily understood and relateable to kids. Each story takes only a couple minutes to read making it easy to read 3-4 stories in a 10 minutes. They also include questions to discuss with your kids.

The DVDs is also great. The DVDs include the same stories that are in the book but in 2-3 minutes animations. The films are also well constructed and follow the books almost word for word.

As soon as we put these in, my daughter was hooked. We watched the first DVD 3 times to day... in a row.

I am very excited about having this book. Its a great way to teach bible stories to our kids. This book and DVD set will definitely get a lot of use at our house.

Note: I did receive this book/DVD free from for review. I was in no way compensated for a good review of this book. All opinions in my review are my own.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Jesus Inquest by Charles Foster

The single event that most defines Christianity is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, fulfilling the prophesy of the ultimate sacrifice. Throughout history this event has been a subject of heated debate for both Christians and non-believers. Did it happen? Is the shroud of Turin really Jesus’ shroud? What about the family tomb discovered with bones of Mary and Jesus and other family members with the right names, and DNA? All of these questions and many more can be used to present good arguments for and against this point.

Charles Foster does a wonderful job unbiasedly presenting both sides of the argument. He does not interpret the results or give his opinion about the outcome. He just does a wonderful job presenting just the facts. The reader is then left to make their own opinions with understanding all of the views.

I really enjoyed this book and its ability to layout both sides so well. It is a book that will generate lots of discussions with friends and family. This will be a book that stays in my collection for a long time.

I was given a free copy of this book from for review. I was in no way compensated for a good review and the thoughts and comments above are my own.