Monday, February 29, 2016

#BLAST: Mind Matters: Get Out of Your Head and Jump into Life by Tanya J Miller


Mind Matters: Get Out Of Your Head, and Jump Into Life

by Tanya J. Miller

About the book
FRONT MindMatters (1)
Do you ever get lost in the maze of your mind? When your thoughts start spiraling in a continuous loop—positive or negative—it can seem impossible to consider a different idea or even catch your breath. If the way you think greatly influences the way you live, then it’s important to know how to manage your thoughts and channel their power to improve your life, rather than hinder it. Mind Matters explores practical ways you can bring balance to your thought life, from replacing anxious thoughts with hopeful ones to curbing unnecessary thinking altogether. It also points out traps that keep you stuck, like “clearing your mind” by airing your thoughts to anyone that will listen via Facebook or the occasional tantrum and outburst. As you learn the art of controlling your thoughts, you will be able to focus on what you can do in the present to experience the life you want in the future. Whether you struggle with anxious thoughts or just need a few tips to better manage your mind, this easy-to-read guide provides you with simple instructions you can immediately put into practice.
About the Author
Tanya J. Miller is a certified life coach with over eighteen years’ experience working with youth, young adults, and women throughout the community and in ministry to pursue purpose, passion and destiny. Tanya holds a BBA in finance and business management from Northwood University and an MBA from Regent University and is also certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Scrum Master. Her lifelong passion for writing eventually led her to start the blog Talking with Tanya in 2005. Mind Matters is her debut book. Tanya is married and currently lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
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Friday, February 26, 2016

#REVIEW: Messed Up Men of The Bible by Tina and David Samples

Title: Messed Up Men of the Bible: Seeing the Men in Your LIfe Through God's Eyes
Series: none
Author: Tina and David Samples
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Published Date: Jan 27, 2016
ISBN: 978-0825443831
Genre: Bible Lessons
Pages: 176
Buy It Link: Amazon

Men in the Bible, everyday men of the twenty-first century, and what they have in common
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."-2 Corinthians 12:9
From schlubby sitcom heroes to mommy blogs to online articles, there is a broad cultural perception that men constantly mess up and women must fight an uphill battle to fix them. Men are a burden, constant works-in-progress, pushed toward perfection but always falling short. This book asks a revolutionary question: What if these messed-up men are actually a mighty tool for God?
Tina and Dave Samples remind us that the Bible is filled with a cast of messed-up men―men who struggled and fell, and yet were used by God to accomplish His purposes. In fact, God has consistently chosen imperfect "clay pots" in which to place His light.
David was a poor father. Peter had problems with integrity. Moses had anger issues, Gideon struggled with fear, and Elijah suffered from depression--the list goes on. Messed Up Men of the Bible offers encounters with these ancient men who faced the same emotions and questions that contemporary men face, in order to reveal fresh spiritual insights and hope for modern relationships. Through personal stories, practical advice, and useful exercises, Tina and Dave provide encouragement and hope for women dealing with the messed up men in their own lives.

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In this book you will find the darker sides of some of the male biblical heros we have all come to know and love. Remember David? That sling-shot hero, giant-killer, shepherd king and composer of songs? He was a pretty cruddy dad. Or how about Peter, the original Rock, the one who the Church was built on? He couldn't figure out whether to stay or run. These are just two of the male biblical heros that we have all grown up with in Sunday school, ones that perhaps we have looked up to. In reality, they were just very broken men God used. And how about the women in their lives? How did they react or even deal with such men? How do we, as women, deal with the very broken, messed up men in our own lives?
The authors, a married husband-wife duo, explain in their own individual ways how to handle the broken men in our lives. Yep, you heard that? You're not alone, and neither am I. We have very broken, very messed up men in our lives, we all do. The husband, David Samples, shows from his male perspective that every man that is in our lives is dealing with some sort of imperfection. The wife, Tina, speaks with a very personable tone, as if you are talking to a good friend. She shows her own problems, and examines how some of the women in the Bible must have handled the men in their lives.
The best lesson that I learned from this book is that it is not up to me to "fix" my man. My lesson was that I have to leave it up to God, because no matter how crazy, how hurt, how messed up my man is: God is still using him, He is still reaching out to him for a relationship, and it's not my job to me to "fix" him into what I think he should be like but to love him as he is.

Friday, February 19, 2016

#REVIEW: The Body Under The Bridge by Paul McCusker

Title: The Body Under The Bridge
Series: Father Gilbert Mysteries #1
Author: Paul McCusker
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Published Date: Jan 27, 2016
Genre: Christian Mystery
Pages: 320
Buy it Link: Amazon
Synopsis:  A former Scotland Yard detective, Father Gilbert knows about death. But, now a priest of a modest Anglican church in the small town of Stonebridge, he didn't expect it to show up like this--in the suicide of a man who threw himself off the church tower, and in the discovery of a two-hundred-year-old body beneath an ancient bridge.
The deaths are linked. The mummified corpse under the bridge, a murder victim, reignites a centuries-old battle between two local families--the Todds and the aristocratic Hayshams. Then both David Todd and Lord Haysham begin to act strangely. They are fearful for reasons they won’t explain.
When Lord Haysham is murdered, David Todd is the prime suspect. But Todd is maniacal, claiming great forces of evil are at work. An entire history of violence and depravity begins to emerge, interweaving the history of several local families with a secret occult society that engages in Black Masses. Has the Society emerged again?

My Rating: 4 Stars

My ReviewI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was one of the best murder mystery books that I have read in a long time. The fact that an Anglican priest was the one solving the mystery was the best part. From the very beginning of the book, the author had me hooked. It was such a classic, reminding me of those old "Murder She Wrote" mystery episodes on television that was on when I was a child. Add in a centuries-long feud, two dead bodies, some crazy visions, and a dash of the occult, and I was completely hooked.
The author has done such a fantastic job of bringing to life characters that I had never met (being American, I had never heard the radio series). I loved Father Gilbert and the meshing of his past and present. The end fight scene with the big baddie was a little confusing for me as I had no previous encounter with his character before (no spoilers!), however, I can't wait for future books in this series.
Father Benson, poor guy, he was totally just dragged into it kicking and screaming, definitely not a good Watson to Gilbert's Sherlock. I felt bad for him the entire time.
The ending left me a little hungry for justice, but it is what it is. Overall, I think the author did a fantastic job and I can't wait for the next in the series.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

#REVIEW: The Peaceful Wife by April Cassidy

Title: The Peaceful Wife
Series: none
Author: April Cassidy
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published Date: Jan 27, 2016
ISBN: 978-0825443947
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis:In today's world, women are often rewarded for having type A personalities. Driven, demanding women achieve higher positions, better salaries, and praise for their ambition. They learn to be confident, take-charge leaders who can handle anything on their own. Yet when it comes to their marriages, those same traits can backfire. After all, no one goes into marriage hoping for a promotion. What is a wife to do?
April Cassidy knows this struggle firsthand. She thought she was a great Christian wife and begged God to make her passive husband into a more loving, involved, godly leader. Instead, God opened her eyes to changes that she needed to make, such as laying down her desire for control and offering genuine, unconditional respect--not just love--to her husband. The Peaceful Wife focuses on Cassidy's experience and its life-changing properties, providing a template for others to follow.
Cassidy's conclusions may be as shocking to readers as they were to her, but she backs up her own tale with stories from her blog readers, and also includes recommendations for further study. She walks through baby steps on how to change, addressing questions such as:
  • What is respect?
  • How can you show respect?
  • How is being respectful different from being loving?
In the end, The Peaceful Wife is a powerful path to God's design for women to live in full submission to Christ as Lord.

My rating: 4 1/2 Stars

My review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have always struggled, even when I was a child, with being a submissive female the way my Granny wanted me to be. She always wanted me to be the perfect Southern belle: gentle, well-mannered, and instead, I was a tomboy, more interested in skateboarding and running around barefoot in City Park, than in knowing how to take care of a house and cook.
And now I am a wife and mom, and struggling to be the best, most Godly wife I can be without any guidance. When I saw this book, I was so excited. 
The author provides wonderful advice on how to respect your husband, how to get back to the intimacy you once had, how to be a submissive wife the way God intended us to be. It was an eye opener for me to realize that submissive does not equate door mat. April Cassidy writes in such a gentle voice and personable way, it is like talking to a good friend instead of reading a book.
Any woman who is married or in a relationship should read this book.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#EXCERPT: Giving Your Children Wings Without Losing Yours by Tami K Fox


wings digital books
To Dream The Impossible Dream of An Organized Home
 Does the idea of organizing and cleaning your home seem like an impossible dream? Homeschooling mother of six Tami Fox shares how she uses routines in her home to make it a haven for her family. She’s taught her children these routines, so they’ll be able to take their wings and fly into life as prepared adults. She shares positive methods for organizing and cleaning. Tami wants to help you give your children wings, so they can FLY, too!
Marla Cilley, The FlyLady -
Tami has taken FLYing to a new level! Not only has she educated her six children well and eliminated CHAOS, she has not lost herself in the process."

Paperback / Amazon for the Kindle Reader / Apple Store for iBooks / Barnes and Noble for the Nook


You have to let go of your perfectionism and let children learn; but, in the end, they can learn alongside you if you include them in everything you do. My goal has always been to raise my children to be independent, productive adults. I want them to achieve their dreams, and I give lots of opportunity for them to learn, make mistakes, make messes, clean up the messes, and grow.


Tami - 5x7_fox-4553Tami lives in rural North Carolina with her husband of more than twenty-five years and their children. She has been a home educator since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Systems and uses her education to be a better teacher for her children. Tami is a writer and speaker to encourage moms. She writes reviews and other details about her life with her family at She is in the trenches just like you and takes life one step at a time with mercy and grace. You can contact Tami through her blog or through email at Follow the Book Tour

Friday, February 5, 2016

#REVIEW: Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr

Title: Ashes to Ashes
Series: #8 in the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon
Author: Mel Starr
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Published Date: November 27, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781782641339
 Buy It Link: Amazon
Synopsis: The morning after the festivities of Midsummer's Eve, the villagers of Bampton make a grisly discovery

Master Hugh, Kate, and their children attend the Midsummer’s Eve fire. The next morning Hugh hears the passing bell ring from the Church of St. Beornwald, and moments later is summoned. Tenants collecting the ashes to spread upon their fields have found burned bones.
Master Hugh learns of several men of Bampton and nearby villages who have gone missing recently. Most are soon found, some alive, some dead. Master Hugh eventually learns that the bones are those of a bailiff from a nearby manor. Someone has slain him and placed his body in the fire to destroy evidence of murder.
Bailiffs are not popular men; they dictate labor service, collect rents, and enforce other obligations. Has this bailiff died at the hand of some angry tenant? Hugh soon discovers this is not the case. There is quite another reason for murder . . .

My rating: 4 Stars

My review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is the 8th in a series. Series are tricky things, either the books can be stand alones or they cannot. This is one of those books that can stand alone. The author does a superb job of introducing the characters and giving enough background information throughout the book the reader doesn't need to read the previous books to understand. The author also has a glossary at the beginning of the book, which at first I just glanced through and started the book. The author does such a superb job of writing as if we are in the medieval times that I found myself having to refer back, quite often, to the glossary. That may have stuttered the storyline a little, having to refer to it, however, that negative is offset by the use of that vocabulary which puts the reader in the story itself.
This was a very interesting little Historical mystery that had enough twists in it to keep me reading up to the very end.