Monday, December 28, 2015

#REVIEW:The Lion Comic Book Hero Bible

Title: The Lion Comic Book Hero Bible
Series: None
Author: Jeff Anderson, Siku (Illustrator)
Published Date: November 1, 2015
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Genre: Christian Biblical Graphic Novel
ISBN: 9780745956176
Buy it link: Amazon

SynopsisA stunning new comic book version of the Bible, now given the superhero treatment by the team behind The Lion Graphic Bibleand The Manga Bible
The story of the Bible is a unique tale of origins and cosmic powers; of the ageless battle between good and evil; of human potential and human treachery; and of a Messiah—a savior for the world.  This is indeed the stuff that graphic novels are made of. Superheroes are the biggest comic genre of all, with many heroes having their origins in biblical characterization and imagery.  This is the first Bible retelling to engage with the superhero genre. The Lion Comic Book Bible is a dynamic expression of the Bible’s depth and power, produced in the style of Marvel Comics. You've heard of Spiderman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.  Now meet Earthman, Lawman, Warrior Man, and many others. With dynamic illustration using a range of styles, Siku (Old Testament) and Jeff Anderson (New Testament) bring the Bible stories alive for a new and graphically sophisticated generation.

My rating: 5 Stars

My review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
My oldest one is 10 years old, and she whines and balks about going to church, or anything related to God.  However, at the same time, she has started getting more interested in Comic books, or as they are termed now, graphic novels. I was really hoping this would be an in for her, and amazingly enough, it was, for awhile. 
She does love reading it. The stories are short and exciting enough for her to keep her attention. My only hope is that she keeps going back to it or remembers her time with it.
I was reading through it myself, the graphics are superb, I love them.They are realistically drawn with the graphic book qualities that are so intense. The stories are extremely short, usually one or two pages but these snippets get to the heart of the snapshot we are shown.
If you have a child who loves graphic novels, and you want to introduce them to the Bible, this would be a great present for the child.

Friday, December 11, 2015

#REVIEW: The Abbess of Whitby by Jill Dalladay

Title: The Abbess of Whitby
Series: none
Author: Jill Dalladay
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Published Date: October 27, 2015
ISBN: 9781782641554
Buy it now: Amazon
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The dramatic story of a seventh-century evangelist
Chosen as Eostre s handmaid, Hild will serve the fertility goddess for a year before being wed. Her future is predictable until King Edwin claims her as kin and she learns that her father was murdered.
Her first love is given a command in Edwin s forces and vanishes from her life, wed to her sister. The court is baptized, ending the old religion and Hild s role. Life looks bleak. She can t stop wondering who killed her father.
Suspecting Edwin, she challenges him, only to be married off to safeguard his northern frontier. Struggling in a loveless marriage, she is intrigued by the Iona priests making pilgrimages to spread Christ s love. When home and family are lost in Oswy s sack of Edinburgh, she finds herself in enemy hands, but meets the charismatic Aidan.
Inspired and guided by him, she builds communities to live and teach Christ s love. She attracts followers. Even her old enemy, King Oswy, entrusts his child to her, gives her Whitby, and seeks her help to reconcile divisions in his kingdom.
She never ceases battling against old superstitions resurrected by storm, plague, and solar eclipse, but at last she receives a bishop s blessing from a man she trained herself.

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Review:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a fascinating story of the gradual transition from the old Roman and Greek Gods in Europe to Christianity. It revolves around the life of a young girl named Hild, just chosen to be the maid of Eostre, as she grows up in a violent and battle ridden area of what will later become England.
It goes through her life, from growing up to marriage, to motherhood, and eventually to how she becomes a woman in a group dedicated to Jesus and the Christo-Judean God.
I think the most fascinating part is of the whole book is watching Hild evolve from a young woman, very much a believer in the old Gods and Ways, to her unbelieving baptism where everyone was baptized because their liege lord was, to her full conversion to Christianity.
The book seemed long as times, and dragged, but overall, it was a good read.

#BLAST: The Height of Perpetual Love by Monica F Hudson

the height of perpetual love blast banner 

The Height of Perpetual LoveThy love is ageless, it penetrates the depth of time and encircles the face of your abiding love. In the shelter of the storm it shines it majestic power, giving soothing tranquility to the stormy seas. Know thy flames can never be extinguished or humanity hold its essence in the palm of their hands, for it is the power of the Holy Spirit that radiates its light and gives strength to the weary. It flows as music on air its notes give harmony and feeds the heart compassion.

Buy on Hudson Publishers


About the author

monica hudsonMonica F. Hudson has given her writing ministry a visionary depiction of boldness and creative awareness through her covers that leads you down a path inside the pages of not just truth, but a praise dance that any saint would give up a rejoicing word for. She is after all a spiritual writer, who has a genre that includes Christian discipleship, empowerment, and spiritual inspirations, leading her to a string of book, journals, and articles that look like a hymnal turned inside out. She is the author/publisher of Hudson Publishers, a company that markets Christian books for those who want a deeper meaning in their walk with Jesus Christ. She is a member of Allen Temple A.M. E. Church in Pine Bluff, AR. She is a member of the American Christian Writers, Spiritual Writers Association, Association of Writers and Writers Programs just to name of few. Find out more about this writing ministry at

Find Monica here:

Twitter | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Youtube

Saturday, December 5, 2015

#REVIEW: The Original Jesus by Daniel Darling

Title: The Original Jesus
Series: none
Author: Daniel Darling
Publisher: Baker Books
Published Date: September 1, 2015
ISBN: 080100649X
Pages: 160
Buy it: Amazon
"Who do you say that I am?"

From hit songs to bumper stickers to football eye-black, Jesus is trending high wherever you look. But at the end of the day, many "try Jesus" and come away disappointed in the experience. That's because the Jesus of popular culture looks much more like us than the God-man who appeared in the flesh two thousand years ago. We've developed plenty of imposter Jesuses that feed into our selfish desires--Guru Jesus, Braveheart Jesus, Dr. Phil Jesus, Free-Range Jesus. The problem is, they don't have the power to save us or transform us into new creations.

The Original Jesus calls us back to the Jesus who demands our worship--the potter who molds us, the clay. Seekers, skeptics, and sojourners in the way of faith will see Jesus for who he really is: God in the flesh, calling us to surrender our very lives that we may truly live.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

My review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
When I received this book, I was truly hoping to read about the REAL Jesus. Instead I got a book that focussed on all of the myths behind Jesus. You know the ones, the Jesus that would be conservative and back the Republicans, the left-wing hippy type Jesus that promotes Marxism, and let's not forget my absolute favorite: Prosperity Jesus, the one that says that if you follow God, He will bring you earthly riches beyond your wildest dreams.
While the author did a great job of bringing into the spotlight each of these Jesus' we have created, I don't feel as if he shed light on what Jesus was truly like. Unfortunately, all of these Jesus' that have been created are American Jesus'. Perhaps this is on par with the audience the author is focussing on, but he could be so much more inviting and explanatory in regards to other countries as a whole, or to humanity as a whole.

Friday, December 4, 2015

#REVIEW: The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie

Title: The Sparkle Box
Author: Jill Hardie
Series: None
Publisher: GuidepostsBooks
Published Date: October 1, 2012
ISBN: 9780824956479
Buy it Link to Amazon

Synopsis: During the Christmas season, Sam and his parents participate in various acts of kindness to others and record their good deeds on slips of paper to be placed in a sparkly box, as a gift to Jesus.

My rating: 4 Stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sam is a boy who can't wait for Christmas, a very familiar situation for any of us with children, or anyone who remembers the excitement of Christmas as a child. For Sam, and for most children, young and old, it is all about the gifts we receive, the ones we are hoping to get.
But when Sam sees a sparkly box on top the mantle, he asks him mom about it. She answers rather vaguely and the holidays continue. He helps his mother donate to a homeless shelter, and learns his father's company has donated enough money to help dig a well for a village in Africa. When Sam sees a homeless man come into a store, the lessons he has learned about giving to the less fortunate finally pay off. In the end Sam learns that it is better to give than to receive.
This is a beautiful little book that shows this winter holiday time, no matter what religion you adhere to, is a time for giving to those less fortunate than us. While this book has a decidedly Christian slant to it, which as a Christian I found beautiful, I am sure it could be used with any religion.

Monday, November 30, 2015

#REVIEW: The Midnight Visitors by Juliet David

Title: The Midnight Visitors
Author: Juliet David, Jo Party (Illustrator)
Series: none
Published date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Candle Books
ISBN: 9781781282335
Genre: Children's Biblical Fiction
Pages: 32
Buy it: Amazon

Synopsis: Miriam was glad to be warm and cozy. There were so many people in the town but it was nice and peaceful inside her cowshed. Little did she know that she would soon be joined by Midnight Visitors . . . and not just any old visitors!
Snuggle up and enjoy the warm, soft feel the art and narrative bring to this delightful Christmas picture book with a difference.

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is an adorable book that revolves around a cow, on a cold night, right about to settle down for sleep. But, her rest keeps getting interrupted by visitors who need shelter from the cold. With some consideration for others' feelings, she graciously allows them to come in for the night.
But one leads to another, and another, and another, until finally a human couple show up to sleep in the barn with her. In the morning, what does she find in her feeding trough? A baby boy, just born, called Jesus, by his parents who have bedded down for the night with Miriam the cow.
The pictures are sweet and fuzzy, no harsh colors, lines, or feelings. My favorite illustration is that of the fox.
My daughters both loved it and it is just the right age range for my youngest to try to read herself.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

#REVIEW: The Friends of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury

Title: The Friends of Jesus
Series: Life Changing Bible Study Series #2
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Howard Books
Publishing Date: July 7, 2015
ISBN: 9781476707396
Genre: Biblical Studies
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Buy it now: Amazon

Synopsis: America’s favorite inspirational novelist and #1 New York Times bestselling author offers a richly told tale about six of Jesus’ closest friends and companions, bringing biblical truths to life in this captivating continuation of her Life-Changing Bible Study series.

In our everyday lives, friends are the people whom we spend the most time with, go through struggles with at times, and who know us best. Each of Jesus’ friends—Peter, John, Matthew, Judas, Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus—traveled with Jesus and were part of His daily ministry, and each has a compelling story to tell. There were some who would question or doubt Him…and one would even betray Him. Kingsbury brings these fascinating personalities to life in ways that will not only help bring you closer to the truths found in Scripture, but also to Christ.

By combining valuable, instructive Bible study with compelling, insightful character sketches of Jesus’ companions, Kingsbury provides you with a deeper understanding of the scriptural teachings featuring these fascinating people. Emotionally powerful, thought-provoking, and soulful, The Friends of Jesus will help you to appreciate the Bible and understand how it applies to your relationships with the most important people in your life.

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This author is one of the most amazing story tellers I have come across when it comes to Biblical fiction. I read her previous book in this series, but I am absolutely blown away by the sheer detail of each of these stories. I truly feel like I am in each of these stories. My favorite of these six, is the very first one, about Simon the leper. 
How emotional! How real! It made feel want to cry with frustration, grief and hope during his story. How amazing that the author has been able to reach down into each of story, and make them real enough for the reader to feel as if s/he is right there in the midst of the turmoil and hope.
Despite the excellent writing and storytelling, the author has also remained as true to Scripture as can be without being dry and boring.
Overall, this is a fantastic book to read and learn a new perspective from each of these characters.

#REVIEW: The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

Title: The Golden Braid
Series: Medieval Fairy Tale Romance #2
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Harper Collins Christian Publishing
Published Date: November 17, 2015
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Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis: The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?
My review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have really enjoyed reading this series of Melanie Dickerson's. It is set in the medieval German city of Hagenheim, which if you have read some of the author's previous fairy tale retellings, will be very familiar to you. We meet an innocent and pure-hearted young woman by the name of Rapunzel, and her seemingly agoraphobic adopted mother, Gothel, as they are about to flee yet another small village, for unknown reasons only clear in Gothel's twisted mind.
Rapunzel struggles during the story to balance her love of learning and need for independence, with Gothel's erratic behavior and demands. As the story continues, Sir Garek is introduced, a landless knight who struggles with his past, and questions God. On the other hand, Rapunzel's faith is unwavering.
This is yet another wonderful retelling of a classic fairytale, with a faith based thread in it that is not overwhelming to the reader.

Friday, November 20, 2015

#REVIEW: Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler

Title: Wicked Women of the Bible
Series: none
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: September 22, 2015
ISBN: 978-0310341680
Genre: Biblical Studies
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Buy it now on Amazon

My rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis: What can Jezebel, the Bible s wickedest queen, reveal about God s holiness and power and even about his sense of humor? What about the Woman at the Well the one with five husbands and a live-in lover? And what of the prostitute whose tears bathe the feet of Jesus in front of people who despise her?

There are also wicked good women like Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Abigail, Esther, Mary, and more. What do their lives tell us about God s invincible love and his determined plan to save us?

In Wicked Women of the Bible Ann Spangler tells the stories of twenty wicked and wicked good women in greater detail. At the end of each story, Ann provides a brief section including additional historical and cultural background as well as a brief Bible study in order to enhance the book s appeal to both individuals and groups.

The stories of these women of the Bible reveal a God who is not above it all but who stoops down to meet us where we are in order to extend his love and mercy."

My review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
This book lays out the stories of 20 different women in the Bible, not necessarily evil, though the title of the boom might lead you to believe such. The author is using the word "Wicked" in the Boston sense, meaning things such as "really" or "very", such as " Wicked Old" is the story of Sarah, mother of Isaac. 
I have always enjoyed books that focus on the women in the Bible, as they truly are a strong thread in the fabric of the Christo-Judean beliefs. This book is a good introduction to some of the more famous ones, if you are looking for a quick overview with some fiction wrapped around each of the women to make it a little easier to understand than the dry Scripture. this is a great way to learn how each of these women, no matter how horrible or wonderful, showed the power of God in their lives.
Each chapter also has a short part towards the end of it that is called "The Times", which is a great explanation of the culture at the time of the story. For me, this was the most interesting part to the chapter. At the conclusion of each chapter is a set of questions called " The Takeaway", questions that help you think and contemplate how we can take away lessons and draw closer to God through each woman's story.
I think this book is a good jump off point to find a woman of the Bible to study more about.

#SPOTLIGHT: Beyond Belief: Jesus Saved You...Now What? By Abby Kelly


Genre: Bible Study, Christian Non-fiction
 ISBN-10: 1632131145
 ISBN-13: 978-1632131140


photo Abby Kelly is a nomadic, military spouse writing from wherever she momentarily finds herself with her husband, their wonderful dog, Brave, and two tolerable cats. Abby began writing in the process of recovering from a more-than-decade long eating disorder. She credits Jesus Christ for her full recovery and for filling her with a passion to encourage others to seek freedom from their own addictions and struggles. Now, Abby is the senior editor for two online Christian publications: and She is a freelance editor, as well. Abby continues to write for numerous Christian publications as well as maintains her personal blog, In her free time, she and Brave enjoy volunteering in hospitals and schools as a pet therapy team through Pet Partners.


Does your life look the same as it did the day you put your faith in Jesus Christ? Or have you discovered the power of the Spirit within you enabling you to live a holy, righteous life? For that matter, is it even possible to be holy? Many Christians today are wading in the shallow end of the infinite relationship God desires to have with His children. They are strangled by addictions and idolatry, or distracted from the pursuit of spiritual maturity by a cheap imitation of moralism. Whatever the reason, their spiritual growth has been stunted; they’ve never gone beyond mere belief in Jesus Christ. Beyond Belief: Jesus Saved You ... Now What? explores what God has in store for you and what He wants from you. With a firm foundation on the centrality of Christ, this book will help you see exactly who you are and what you are called to, based on, and enabled by, His righteousness alone. Through intense study and humbling application of both the Old and New Testaments, Beyond Belief, will show you what a mature Christian life looks like and what it takes to get there.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

#REVIEW: Ishtar's Odyssey

Title: Ishtar's Odyssey: A Family Story for Advent
Author: Arnold Ytreeide
Publisher: Kregel
Published date: October 27, 2015
ISBN: 978-0825443930
Pages: 160
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction
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Buy it: Amazon

Synopsis: A new Advent family devotional from the author of Jotham’s Journey! Fourth in a set of Advent adventure books for families,Ishtar’s Odyssey follows the ten-year-old son of a Persian wise man as their caravan follows a star across the desert. Ishtar would just as soon stay in the comfort of the palace, but slowly he learns that there’s much to see, do, and learn in this world that can’t be experienced in school. He eventually meets Jotham, Bartholomew, and Tabitha as he follows his father and uncles in their search for a newborn king.
Arnold Ytreeide’s family advent devotionals have become a much-loved Christmas tradition, enjoyed by multiple generations. With over 100,000 in print they include Jotham’s JourneyBartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels.

Rating: 4 Stars

 My review:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a story about a Persian prince, Ishtar, who is 10 years old, and sees a never-before seen star. His father and two uncles bring him along on a journey to follow the star that prophesies a Messiah for the Israelite people. Along the very long journey, Ishtar, a rather sheltered prince, is subjected to lessons that change him, arguably for the better.
This book's story is broken down into daily readings for Advent, and has questions at the end of each reading. At the end of the book is a calendar of sorts that tells what date is the first Sunday in Advent, and what day Christmas Eve falls on that year, all the way to the year 2081. I hope my children are reading this to their grandchildren in 2081.
The only negative that really bothered me in the story was that Ishtar (and everyone else) seemed to yell a lot, or at least the word yell was used to describe how they spoke. I think more descriptive words could have been used. Besides that, I can't wait till Advent starts this year to start this story with my girls.

Friday, November 13, 2015

#REVIEW: A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Title: A Cup of Dust
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Series: none
Publisher: Kregel
Published date: October 27, 2015
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Buy it now: Amazon

Synopsis: Where you come from isn't who you are
Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff's family, they've got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They're who the town turns to when there's a crisis or a need―and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.
Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother's unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn't sure she likes.
Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he's really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won't be the only thing darkening Pearl's world.
While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl's voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavy-handed. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart.

My rating: 5 stars

My review: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The entire time I read this book, it kept reminding me of To Kill A Mockingbird.: the way the author was able to pull the reader into the pure simplicity of a 10 year old's mind as she experiences the Great Depression in the midst of the Dust Bowl of the United States. This book allows the reader to experience this time period and place in such vivid detail, without bogging the reader down. I was able to immerse myself and appreciate the strength and resilience of a people that struggled with day to day living in such harsh conditions of poverty and drought.
I really think this book could become a modern day classic in our schools.

Monday, November 2, 2015

#REVIEW: My First Hands-On Bible

Title: My First Hand-On Bible
Series: none
Author:  various
Published Date:  July 1, 2011
Publisher: Tyndale
Format: leatherbound
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-1414348308
Genre: children’s bible
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: The Bible young children can really get their hands on!

Go from just reading the Bible with your kids to experiencing it! My First Hands-On Bible does what no other Bible can―it brings the Bible to life with fun activities and games that tie directly to the Bible stories.

My First Hands-On Bible features:
85 exciting Bible stories from the clear and easy-to-understand New Living Translation
“Jesus Connections” to help kids see Jesus throughout the Bible
Colorful, original illustrations
Exciting activities and top-notch games created by the people who brought you the award-winning Hands-On Bible curriculum
With My First Hands-On Bible, kids will get into the Bible, and the Bible will get into their hearts, giving them a priceless foundation of faith in God.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I got this book for my 6 year old, hoping that it would be easier for her to read, and that it would be engaging for her. I was not disappointed in any way. She absolutely loves her new Bible, and loves bringing it with her places where she may be required to wait quietly. The cover is really sturdy and durable as are the pages.
This is the perfect “Bible” for little ones aged 3-6 to really start going more in-depth with the Bible stories they may have already started hearing at home and at Sunday school. I allowed my little one to pick which color she wanted, either the blue or pink. Very surprised when she picked the blue, but I am not disappointed with her engagement in the Bible.

#REVIEW: Street God by Dimas Salaberrios and Angela Hunt

Title: Street God
Series: none
Author:  Dimas Salaberrios and Angela Elwell Hunt
Published Date: August 20,2015
Publisher: Tyndale
Format: paperback
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781496402783
Genre: Christian evangelical memoirs
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: His street name was Daylight. But he was a nightmare.

On the streets of
New York, darkness and violence reigned. Dimas “Daylight” Salaberrios began selling drugs when he was eleven years old, and by sixteen, he had served his first stint at the notorious Rikers Island prison. Dimas saw only one way to survive: by reigning over the streets. He would be the richest, most powerful ruler in the hood . . . or die trying.

Street God is the true story of one man’s dangerous journey through the underworld of crime, drugs, and almost certain death. It was an encounter with the real God that saved his life — and then made it even more dangerous. Because that God sent Dimas back down the darkest streets he’d ever known — with other lives depending on it. And Dimas had to ask the question: How far am I prepared to go?

A dramatic, compelling memoir full of twists and turns, Street God delves deep into a world from which few ever emerge — and shows how a single spark of light can illuminate even the darkest existence.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was painful to read, the entire time, I only thought, where the heck are this kid’s parents? The book is real, and scary, and heartbreaking to read as a parent of two young children. I could only think about his mother, the hopes and dreams she had for him as a baby, a toddler, a child in kindergarten.
This book shows how insidious and terrifying the street life is. However, this book also shows you that no matter where you are in life, no matter how dark the road you walk, God will always have a reason. God always watches over you no matter where you are. God always has a plan, and He will always use whatever circumstances you find yourself in, to the greaster good, if only you let God into your life.
Once the book got to the part of Dima’s redemption and turning to God, it seemed to slow down and almost bog down in the details. Overall, though, it was a fascinating book to read, and allow me to glimpse into the darker aspects of street life I don’t see.

#REVIEW: Silent Cry by Dorothy Newton

Title: Silent Cry
Series: none
Author:  Dorothy Newton
Published Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: paperback
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0310344841
Genre: autobiographical
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 ½ stars

Synopsis: Raised near New Orleans as one of six children, Dorothy Newton was surrounded by abuse and poverty as she grew up. But she became the first in her family to graduate from college and moved out of poverty. She then began to live out her dreams in Dallas of a better home and life when she married celebrity superstar football player Nate Newton. She had gone from poverty to the pinnacle of success. She was married to a handsome, successful, famous professional athlete, who was a three time Super Bowl Champion and six time Pro-Bowler for the Dallas Cowboys.
But all that glittered was not gold.
Before long the relationship turned abusive. She found herself living in the world she thought she had escaped in her years growing up. The world did not see her suffering behind closed doors—she was betrayed, treated abusively, threatened continually. Dorothy was trapped with no one to talk to and nowhere to run. In this book Dorothy shares her experiences of pain, loss, survival, hope, recovery, and victory. A gripping story throughout, A Silent Cry is a testament to Dorothy’s will to live and the peace that comes with hope in the God who sees and hears your tears—even when no one else does.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book held onto me from the very beginning and wouldn’t let me go. It was the story of a woman who grows up in an abusive home in the backwoods of Louisiana. She struggles to break out of the cycle of poverty and abuse, only to find herself out of the cycle of poverty, but stuck in a relationship that eerily mimics her mother’s relationship with her abusive step-father.
This is a painful but necessary book to read, one that teaches that compromising your morals and good judgment can lead you down a road where it can be very difficult to return back from. It is possible, but it is a very difficult and painful road to come back. I myself was in an abusive relationship, I compromised my morals and judgment, and almost lost my life for it., very close to the author’s own story.
With God’s help, the author shows that no matter where you are in life, no matter how helpless you feel, and how hopeless the situation seems, you can get out of it. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

#REVIEW: 99 Prayers for Children by Juliet Davis and Elina Ellis

Title: 99 Prayers For Children
Author: Juliet David (compiler) and Elina Ellis (Illustrator)
Publisher: Candle Books
Published Date: September 2015
ISBN: 9781781281918
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My rating: 5 Stars


My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
This book is comprised of 11 chapters, breaking the 99 prayers into groupings like "Thank You, God!", " Bedtime", and "Special Days". Each of the 99 prayers are easy enough for my beginner reader to read (with a little help!), and they are short enough to keep her attention.
The illustrations are whimsical and fun for 5-7 year olds who have grown out of the need for bright primary colors. They are expressive and inclusive in the age ranges, genders and skin colors.
Overall, this is a great book to have in your library for the little ones.

Friday, October 23, 2015

#REVIEW: What Would Jesus Post? By Brian D Wassom

Title: What Would Jesus Post? Seven Principles Christians Should Follow in Social Media
Author: Brian D Wassom
Series: none
Pages: 112
Publisher: WestBow Press
Published Date: November 10, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-49081-163-5
Add to: Goodreads
Buy it: West Bow Press

Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: Social media gives each of us enormous power to influence others for good or ill. But far too many Christians ignore the opportunities and undermine their own reputations through thoughtless words shared online. This book comes directly from the author’s experiences as an attorney and a church leader and offers seven simple guidelines for exercising Biblical wisdom in social media.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I seriously think anyone on any social media site should read this book and take every lesson to heart. Me included! I am awful when it comes to social media. The things I post, the things I like, retweet, re-pin, the comments I make. And oh, the distractions!
But how can we as Christians act appropriately when we are being slammed on every side and then some, with social media?
In the seven lessons the author puts forth, he backs them up with numerous related Bible quotes that really make each of these hit home.
It is so easy to get caught up in the idea that we are both in our insulated little worlds, and yet wanting to reach out to the greater world as the social creatures God has made us.  It is so easy to forget our words, likes, tweets, can do permanent damage to others, even in our most innocent of interactions.
I have found myself in the last few days trying to put these lessons into action on my social media accounts.
I think if everyone who read this book, would make a concerted effort to follow these lessons, perhaps we might reach out into social media land and make a positive influence.

#REVIEW: Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado, Candace Lee and Eric Newman

Title: Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe
Author: Max Lucado, Candace Lee and Eric Newman
Series: none
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published Date: October 6, 2015
ISBN: 9780718039776
Add to GoodReads
Buy it: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would He answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
From the beginning of the book, I couldn't help but be drawn into the world of Chelsea, a struggling single mom, separated from her NFL superstar husband. Chelsea is a person who not only tries to do what is best for her children, but tries to do it on her own without leaning on her husband's wealth.
The idea behind the God Blog is fascinating. Who wouldn't want the possiblity of being able to ask one question from God and get a real answer?
The surrounding characters, especially Manny and Chelsea's children, provide a comic relief, and heartbreak at the same time.
Overall, this is a short, sweet book that I absolutely loved.

Monday, October 12, 2015

#REVIEW: Unlikely Rebel by Kelli Gotthardt

Title: Unlikely Rebel: A Church Girl's Journey Out of Shoulds and Shame
Author: Kelli Gotthardt
Series: none
Publisher: Kregel
Published Date: September 27, 2025
ISBN 978-0825442285
Add it to GoodReads
Buy it at Amazon

My rating: 3 Stars

No formulas, no pat answers. Just real life. Real questions. Real transformation.

Approach many women in the church and if they re being honest, they ll tell you they
try hard to keep it all together;
are frustrated that being good doesn t deliver the perfect life;
feel trapped in expectations;
make decisions based on shoulds ;
feel selfish when they say no; and
are uncertain of their place in God s kingdom.

Between the desire to please God, the need to feel valued, and the compulsion to make everyone around them happy, women often find themselves denying their desires. It s safer to stay in the life of shoulds even if it means being spiritually and emotionally disconnected.

Kelli Gotthardt knows their pain. Always considered a good girl, she threw herself into every ministry, saying yes to every request her church family made. On the outside, her life looked completely together but she was drowning in self-doubt and shame. Unlikely Rebel is the story of how Kelly slowly shed shoulds and shame, learning to love God and love who He created her to be.

The journey from the comfort of doing everything expected of a perfect pastor s wife to the uncertainty of living authentically and true to her unique calling is equal parts exhausting and exhilarating. Many Christians condemned her, responding with fear or anger to her greater intimacy with God s calling when it didn t match their own vision. For others, though, her journey inspired courage to embrace God s path for their own lives.
Now Kelli invites other women to discover God s leading in their lives, learning that if they throw off the despondency of underserved shame, abundant life awaits.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You know, the life of a pastor’s wife must be hard. I’m sure they must be held up to a higher level than the rest of us mortal Christian women who are just struggling along. I know at times I struggle with trying to seem like a good Christian, a church volunteer, a full time worker, mother and wife. The things that I have volunteered for, sometimes I admit, it is just me trying to be useful and needed, other times I volunteer and realize it was God pushing me to do it. There are things that I have backed away from and said no to, or not volunteered for. Yes, I am selfish, yes I admit it, and yes, I will admit it vocally and not feel guilty over it. 
Reading this book was not exactly what I expected. At times, the tone of writing felt whiny and pity-inspiring. At other times, I could totally relate and not wanting to be overburdened and over-scheduled. I felt like the author didn’t get enough support from her husband, especially when she dropped the bomb that she was bowing out of everything. He couldn’t see the stress she was under, or was he part of the problem?
I think the all or nothing approach the author took contributed to her problems. I know I have backed down from a few things I have volunteered for, or I have cut it back to times where there weren’t other things pressing on me.
Overall, it was an interesting book to see the pressures that the wife of a pastor from a very large evangelical church can be under.

Friday, October 9, 2015

#REVIEW: The Methusaleh Project by Rick Barry

Title: The Methuselah Project
Series: none
Author:  Rick Barry
Published Date: September 27, 2015
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Format: paperback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780825443879
Genre: historical fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: In World War II, German scientists began many experiments. One never ended. 
Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed―until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.
When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success―but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America―just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015―and the world has become an unrecognizable place.
Katherine Mueller―crack shot, genius, and real
Southern Belle―offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee?
Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
From the outside in, I absolutely love the cover, it helped me to visualize the plane in the very beginning of the book, and helped me to visualize Roger as the storyline progressed. In the very beginning of the book, it’s a firefight between American pilots and German Nazi pilots. The very typical American hero, Roger Greene, is so crazy American, it becomes a great thread throughout the entire book. He’s patriotic to the core, he’s courageous, and smart alecky, and funny. He’s a tough pilot who gives the Nazis a run for their money, even if he is their prisoner of war.
But he’s a prisoner of war, and the subject of their scientific experiments. The scientific experiments left him stuck at age 24ish….even almost a century later. There were certain things about the book I didn’t like, it’s length is one thing. There were times where, though the book covers a long period of time, it just seemed to be far too long for me. I did like Roger’s character. I thought it was well-written and believable. 
The best part of the entire book was when Roger was in the modern world. Just the description of some very modern day people made me laugh out loud. Overall, this was a great book, with a small Christian bend towards it. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

GUEST POST: The Writing of You Are Woman, You Are Divine by Renee Starr

Renee StarrYou Are Woman, You Are Divine: The Modern Woman's Journey Back to The Goddess by Renee Starr:

Publisher: Over and Above Creative (September 23, 2015)
Category: Personal Transformation, Religion & Spirituality, Women’s Self-Help, Women’s Spirituality
Tour Date: Oct & Nov, 2015 ISBN: 978-0990792475
Available in: Print & ebook, 352 Pages

The modern woman often does not know herself as a goddess; her feminine energy is out of balance and her divine essence has yet to awaken. But the time has come, right now, for women to know that being female is special, sacred, and divine. This inspiring, poetic and magically potent book will entice women of all ages to explore and activate their relationship with the divine, feminine and most sacred part of themselves―the goddess within.
In You Are Woman, You Are Divine, Back to the Goddess founder Renée Starr takes women on an enchanting, empowering journey, offering ancient wisdom in a fresh, modern way to help woman reclaim all the beauty, grace, and strength that being female is.
 In Part 1 of the book, she leads readers back through history to revisit the reverence for women that every ancient culture possessed. From the dawn of pre-history, women were perceived as holy, sacred, and divine incarnations of the Great Mother Goddess. Powerful figures full of strength, wisdom, and leadership, women were the keepers of the human race, from which all life flowed.
 In Part 2, Starr retells in mesmerizing narrative seven of the greatest goddess myths from ancient cultures around the world: Ancient Egypt, Africa, India, Tibet, Ancient Greece, Lakota, and the Judeo-Christian Bible. Each myth presents a quality that modern women can restore back into their lives: Lilith (Power), Yemaya (Creativity), Tara (Stillness), Radha (Passion), Kassandra (Voice), White Buffalo Calf Woman (Wisdom), and Eve (Awakening). Accompanying each myth are anointing, bathing and lunar rituals, instructions for altars, invocations, meditations, and more to deepen their connection to their own inner goddess and inspire living as a goddess on earth.
 In Part 3, Starr shows women how to integrate the teachings of The Divine Feminine into everyday life, honoring the sacredness of their body and how to be in energetic, feminine balance. The book offers fresh, new ways for women to embrace their ancient and sacred traditions. It uplifts the spirit of any woman―from young womanhood to her elder, wise-woman years. It honors the Feminine spirit that all women can celebrate in themselves to rebalance the world. Readers will live more fulfilled lives and feel more confident, free and feminine…becoming the goddesses they were meant to be.

 Beautifully designed & illustrated; includes a foreword by Raquel Allegra, noted fashion designer.

GUEST POST: The Writing of You Are Woman, You Are Divine by Renee Starr

A woman’s journey ‘back to The Goddess’ is in essence, a journey back to her goddess self—a concept that is often foreign to many women today. But long ago, in ancient times, it was natural for a woman to know herself as special, to be recognized as the embodiment of The Divine Feminine. Long ago, we understood femaleness to be sacred, and we revered The Goddess as the supreme expression of this. 

My own journey to write this book has taken me my entire adult life, however the seeds of it were planted while I was still quite young. It is quite an undertaking to write of the Highest, most Supreme Feminine Essence there is, and I found myself so often humbled by Her wisdom, in awe of the Holiness of Her presence and tumbled around by the waves of my creative process over and over again, until— finally a book emerged. 

I have been asked many times, how is it that I came to write of The Goddess, The Divine Feminine Essence and of my journey with Her. I could speak of this for hours upon hours, for the journey back to The Goddess is rich, deep and so profoundly altering from the moment that you take your first step upon the path. It is a mythic journey, filled with our mythic, feminine history and the ancient, sacred stories of woman. 

I’d like to share with you a just bit of my journey, and the core experience of my inspiration both as a writer of ancient wisdom for the modern woman, and as a woman who has returned to her own goddess self. From the book:

I did not receive knowledge of the Divine Feminine from my mother. She did not receive it from her mother. Being a female was not special in the home of my childhood and I did not think of myself as sacred. 

I remember how, as a young girl, I loved reading the stories of women who were special in some way. Without yet realizing that I was searching for the Divine Feminine, I read goddess mythology, biblical stories and even fairy tales that depicted women as magical and intuitive, as having special powers of prophecy, healing, and knowing. I daydreamed that I, too, was special at my core—that as a woman, I am a special being. I have been in search of confirming this feeling my entire life. 

I eventually had a deeply transformational, personal experience with The Divine Feminine several years ago. On a crisp, California winter night in a meditation class with many other seekers, She came to me, touched my core and I was forever changed. Her visit was so intimate; her energy touched me so profoundly that it immediately moved me to tears. Shaking with excitement and awe, I shared my experience with the others in the class. 

The Divine Feminine came to me first as a profound stillness, so quiet that Her presence caused an unusually calm motionlessness to pass over me as if time had stopped, as if my heart and breath had stopped, too. 

As She made her way into and through me, I felt a soulful yearning for her, a keen desire that was saturated with a love unlike any I have ever known. She sent waves of insight and knowing coursing through me. It was as if I suddenly grasped the meaning of and understood the sacredness of my womanhood and the purpose of my being a woman here on earth. All sensation of the physical world around me slipped away except for one thing—the delicious and intoxicating taste of honey in my mouth. And then she left. 

It is said in Kabbalah that the Feminine aspect of God, The Shekhinah, will taste like honey in your mouth when She appears. I now know this to be true.

Once you have experienced this, even if it is for the briefest of moments or in the smallest of ways, you will be forever changed. For once you know of your own sacredness, your own divine purpose and design—you can never undo this knowing. You will look upon yourself in new ways; forever aware of who you truly are as a woman…and as a goddess. 

The essence of The Divine Feminine presented Herself to me on that day. She gave me the momentary experience of pure feminine energy that has left me entranced by the mystery of Her ever since. In my many meditations that have followed, I have learned that there is no end to this mystery. She is, much like life itself; unknowable, enigmatic and will never fully reveal Herself to me.

I have always been a writer, even before I could put down all of the thoughts, images and ideas that came to me down on paper. Even in my childhood, I was creating mythical stories, visioning magical realms and imagining that there is something more, something beyond this world. The Goddess has shown me that there is more—so much more, and I am so truly and profoundly grateful for every sweet word that She sends my way. 

I do not write of The Goddess because I want to, I write of Her because it is simply what I am designed to do, and confirms daily who I am. I am a goddess on earth. You are too.  

Praise for You Are Woman, You Are Divine by Renee Starr:
“You Are Woman, You Are Divine is inspired. You can’t read it without feeling the presence of The Divine Femi- nine, the ancient goddess energy, moving in your bones. It is so beautifully written and woven together; I’m enthralled and I can’t stop reading it even though I should be packing for a trip. My suitcase sits empty as I turn the pages . . . . filling my soul with much needed food. Open this book and unlock the door to important myths, mysteries, goddesses and rituals that were lovingly chosen by Renée Starr. Her deep connection with The Divine Feminine leaps off the pages and enters the psyche in rich and meaningful ways. This extraordinary work brings us close to The Beloved, to Freedom and ultimately to honor our own Sacred–Self. I will give this book to my friends.”—Terry Laszlo-Gopadze, Editor of The Spirit of a Woman: Stories to Empower and Inspire
 “We live in a modern world where women are expected to achieve greatness, look perfect and made to feel like they are never enough. You Are Woman You Are Divine is a great handbook that gracefully leads women into “beingness” and less into “doingness” and ultimately into their divine feminine self. Through her writing, Renée Starr strives to guide women to restore their inner feminine light, create an energetic shift to claim peace, harmony and well-being. Through transforming ourselves, we can transform the world.”—Mary Ann Halpin, photographer and author of Fearless Women and Visions of a New World
 “Divine Femininity is a mystery, and the experience of it is always mystical. We can only speak about it in metaphor—it cannot be directly defined, but instead must be evoked from within. Renée Starr in her amazing book You Are Woman You Are Divine uses myth, storytelling, concrete examples, and ceremonial instruction to give the reader a roadmap for what she calls the “journey back to The Goddess.” Every woman would benefit from reading it, no matter how old. In my opinion, it should be required reading for every female high school senior so that she will enter her journey into mature womanhood fully aware of her own power, facing her destiny well-informed and metaphorically girded!”—Connie Kaplan, author of The Woman’s Book of Dreams, Dreams are Letters from the Soul, and The Invisible Garment

Renée StarrAbout Renee Starr:

Renée Starr is a mythologist, sacred storyteller, life coach, and artist. A seeker of ancient Goddess and lunar wisdom for the modern woman, she offers classes, workshops, and Goddess Circles, as well as a variety of women’s retreats through her branded movement, Back to The Goddess. Her passion is to assist women everywhere to awaken to their sacredness, their inner goddess-self and rekindle a relationship with The Divine Feminine. She has her own line of herbal, ritual and Goddess products.


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