Tuesday, May 26, 2015

PULLING BACK THE SHADES by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery, Moody Publishers

Pulling Back the Shades tackles the subjects of erotica, intimacy, and the wants of a woman and how spiritual women struggle with these issues in nine chapters. In reference to erotica romance novels, “We Know Why You Read It” and “Fifty Shades of Deception” are two chapters that discuss temptations that lure women and the “characteristics” used to reel you into the erotica genre. “Since When Does Prince Charming Carry Handcuffs?” covers BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism) through definition and the part submission plays in marriage and your faith.

Gresh and Slattery not only discuss the appeal and enticement of erotica but also share their own experience with this struggle many women engage in the titled chapter: “True Confessions from Dannah & Juli.” Together, they lay it on the line bringing to the forefront both spiritual and sexual sides of women, including references throughout to the erotica novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

There is plenty information in this nine chapter, 171 page book that any woman can appreciate with its straightforward approach and frankness. I recommend for individual reading and group study as it includes “Questions for Group Discussion” and two appendixes for resources and practical ideas.

I received this book free from Moody Publishers through the MP Newsroom book review program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

TRUTH OR TRADITION by Les Leno, Teach Services, Inc

Truth or Tradition gives insight to “false truths” about God and discusses the outlook on salvation. Les Leno shares his thoughts regarding “sin and our sinful nature,” by explaining views on atonement and what it means in regards to God.

As you read this book, the chapters and subject matter covered are easily titled and self-explanatory. Forgiveness, Grace, Faith, Intercession, Sanctification, and The Gospel are a few named chapter topics that facilitates understanding to many misconceptions about God and your personal walk with Jesus.

What I like about this book is Leno discusses each topic in plain easy-to-understand English and backs certain statements with bible scripture. He shares his opinions and understanding relating everyday situations and common thoughts of people concerning God and the scripture. It is a personal choice to accept the Lord as your Savior and Leno helps you make a clear choice about acceptance and salvation if you want to reaffirm your faith. I recommend Truth or Tradition to your bible reference and bible study shelf to grow and strengthen your relationship with Christ.

I received this book free from Teach Services, Inc. Publishing through the Book Crash book review program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Monday, May 25, 2015

MY NEW ROOTS by Sarah Britton, Clarkson Potter/Publishers

“A great deal of cooking inspiration comes from following the seasons…high-water-content foods in summer…sweetly rich, starchy, calorie –dense foods fill us through winter. Spring tastes like wild leek pesto…Autumn tastes like fig and walnut jam…”
Sarah Britton

After the Introduction, Essential Techniques is packed with essential cooking charts for dry beans and growing sprouts, including making nut and seed butters and milks. The cookbook is divided into five chapters: Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer, Autumn, and Winter with a Stocking the Panty section and easy Index.

This is the first cookbook I have read that divides recipes into seasonal sections coinciding with available seasonal vegetables. Recipes share have clear instructions for easy preparation and beautifully photographed pictures with seemingly no recipe lasting over 45 minutes to an hour to prepare (exception for preparation of certain dry beans requiring an overnight soak).

The chapters contain sections tilted Mornings, Small Measures, Mains, and Sweets. My favorite recipes the five seasons to prepare:

Spring – Black Lentil Salad with Tzatziki, Avocado, and Peas Shoots

Early Summer – Caramelized Onion, Olive, and Kale Calzones
                           Sorrell Hummus

Late Summer – Cornmeal Pancakes with Gingered Plum Compote

Autumn – Warm Spinach, Bacon, and Egg Salad
                 Maple-Mustard Dressing
                 Roasted Butternut Squash with Grilled Halloumi and Dukkah on                   
                 Massaged Kale

Winter – Leek “Scallops” and Chanterelles on Black Rice

This cookbook is recommended for Vegetarians, Vegans, and any person wanting to add more veggies in their daily diets or taking a break from the usual main meat entrees.

I received this book free from Clarkson Potter/Publishers and Blogging for Books book review program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.


“We felt we were spiritually mature enough to separate the good from the bad. We didn’t think a few worldly pastimes would harm us, as long as we were careful to put reasonable boundaries around what we listened to and watched.”
Leslie Ludy, regarding actions of herself and husband as Ministry Leaders

Leslie Ludy delves into setting yourself apart from “worldly indulgences” to “surrender your life to Jesus Christ.” The chapters are titled to give provoking thought by exchanging negative thinking for positivity in all areas of life. A few of the chapters are Incorruptible Beauty, Exchanging Drama, and Gossip for a Quite Spirit, He Must Increase, Exchanging Self-Promotion for Humility, and The Solid Rock, Exchanging Confusion for Certainty.

The Set-Apart Woman discusses leaving the lure of worldly pastimes of reading steamy novels, listening to suggestive sexual music and gossip by exchanging the reading of Scripture, listening to worship music and praying. At the end of each chapter are “Let’s Talk About It” (Group Study and Discussion) and “Take It Deeper” (Personal Study and Reflection).

The Set-Apart Woman is a good study guide for bible-based study groups and individuals discovering or re-discovering more ways to stay connected to Jesus. This a great book for a gifting opportunity for individuals and Ministry Leaders teaching bible-based group study. 

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers through the Tyndale book review program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.


A life insurance policy scam raises questions when the policyholders begin expiring. Laurel Evertson is a FBI Agent investigating evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington whom she arrested on a previous case. Laurel teams with Police Officer Daniel Hilton who believes his grandparents are the next targets in the scam.

Wilimington seems to be the best connection in the investigation but Laurel and Daniel must first learn to trust him. Morton claims he found salvation in God while in prison but Laurel is skeptical of his newfound redemption.  As the story progresses, there are plenty of twists in this tale that are suspenseful keeping you intrigued until the end.

DiAnn Mills is one of the better crime drama novelists that I have read who writes a complete story with all the mystery and suspense you can handle infusing Christian values of its characters. The novel starts slowly but picks up nicely and is an enjoyable crime drama mystery read. I recommend to crime mystery sleuths, suspense lovers, and Christian readers knowing you will not be disappointed.

I received this novel free from Tyndale Publishers through the Tyndale book review program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A HEART'S DANGER: A JOURNEY OF THE HEART SERIES, Part 3 of 6 by Colleen Coble, Thomas Nelson

The saga of Sarah Montgomery and Rand Campbell continues at Fort Laramie with Ben Croftner creating problems for Rand and the Sioux Tribe negotiations. As tensions grow between the Sioux Tribe and Rand, Sarah must decide how to reveal the danger that lies ahead for Rand caused by Croftner and Jessica’s alliance. How will Rand conceive a plan to defeat Ben and handle Jessica’s deceit?

I love the mini novellas in this series as it leaves one waiting for the next installment in this exciting saga. I know Part 4 will be just as intriguing as the previous books in this set.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the Litfuse Publicity review program in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines. 

About the author:

Colleen Coble
 has sold over 2 million novels worldwide.Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Thursday, May 21, 2015

CALLED TO BE AMISH by Marlene C. Miller, MennoMedia

Marlene C. Miller shares her life story from birth to present day as a member of the Old Order Amish community and how she converted. From Beach City, Ohio eating a “poor man’s Popsicle” (a big piece of ice inside a clean washcloth) to becoming pregnant out of wedlock with Johnny, the father, choosing his Amish faith over marrying an English girl who was not Amish.

The story continues with Marlene and Johnny overcoming their differences, marrying, Marlene’s conversion, life on a hundred-acre farm and raising twelve children. The book includes family pictures, facts, and questions page about the Amish and Marlene’s Favorite Recipes.

Ms. Miller does not shy away from any situation she encountered during her life journey by sugarcoating or looking through rose-colored glasses, but relays the life lessons learned head on with true realism. This novel is a very interesting read that teaches how the Amish think and live differently from modern society. I recommend to readers who love to read in detail how the Amish communities live everyday life.

I received this book free from Herald Press through the Litfuse Publicity review program in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1ESK6eR

About the author:

Marlene C. Miller
 joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

SIDE BY SIDE by Jana Kelley, New Hope Publishers

Mia, a Christian mother from the United States, and Halimah from an upper-class Arab family both live in Sudan and become friends despite the differences in their religious beliefs. Mia shares the Word of God with Halimah who eventually converts to Christianity. Halimah’s family learns of her secret and disowns her through beatings, cutting off her hair, burning all her clothes and shoes banishing Halimah from the family home. Mia and her husband Michael then attempt to aid in Halimah’s escape to Southern Sudan for her protection from further harm.

The journey of Halimah as a Christian convert is met with danger and the belief in God through prayer, reading the Bible, and Mia and Michael’s efforts helps Halimah to go forward never giving up until she reaches Southern Sudan in safety.

This novel is a fictional account of a Muslim converting to Christianity against dangerous repercussions that any Muslim may face in their country because they are not allowed to change from the Islam faith to any other religious belief. The novel is lengthy and may have been edited more but an interesting read regarding how converting to Christianity can be detrimental to some. I recommend to readers who wish to learn some of the consequences many face when changing faiths in an extreme religious based environment.

I received this book free from New Hope Publishers through the Litfuse Publicity book review program in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1DPUKiO

About the author:

Jana Kelley
 is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend college. She and her husband married a month after she graduated and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. Together with her husband and three boys, Jana enjoys travel and overseas living. After thirteen years in Africa and the Middle East, Jana and her family moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.

Find Jana online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Friday, May 1, 2015

THE SOUP CLUB COOKBOOK by Courtney Allison, Tina Carr, Caroline Laskow, Julie Peacock, Clarkson/Potter Publishers

Cooking a big pot soup is one of the favorite things I enjoy doing and eating it is the next favorite on my to-do list and The Soup Club Cookbook is a great addition to the cookbook shelf in my kitchen. This  cookbook contains guidance to form a soup club with friends and what it takes for an essential pantry with the basic ingredients for soup. The information makes me want to start a soup club with family and friends.

The Soup Club Cookbook is divided into three parts: Part One – How to Be a Soup Club discusses starting your Soup Club, Broths, Soups of Assembly, and Toppings. Part Two entitled All the Soups with subchapters Beans, Purees, Hearty, Chilled, Fish, and Meat. Part Three – Foods for Forks & Fingers has Salads & Dressings, Vegetables, Bread, Grains & Pastas, Big Food, and Cook’s Snacks including an Index for easy look-up.

Being a soup fiend, I will experiment with the following recipes: Avocado-Arugula Soup, Roasted Winter Squash and Sweet Potato Soup, Jeweled Rice, Baba Ghanoush (I love and know how to prepare Hummus), Garlic Herbed Cheese, and Potato Tortilla (I no longer purchase tortillas but make mine from scratch).

The Soup Club Cookbook is definitely a fantastic addition to any home chef’s collection and is highly recommend. The recipes are easy to read with simple instructions to follow.

I received this book free from Clarkson Potter Publishers through Blogging for Books book review program in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

A HEART'S OBSESSION, Book Two, Journey of the Heart Series by Colleen Coble, Thomas Nelson

A Heart’s Obsession is Book Two in the Journey of the Heart Series that continues the journey of Sarah Montgomery from A Heart’s Disguise, Book One. Sarah travels to Fort Laramie, Wyoming after her father passes to reunite with Rand who is stationed there.

Upon arrival, Sarah learns that the post commander’s daughter Jessica has designs on Rand and does not plan to give him up so easily. Sarah must match wits with Jessica to get Rand out of her clutches, but also must contend with the surprise arrival of Ben who intends to win Sarah back.

The short story books that comprise this series is interesting and leaves you wanting more of the historical fiction love saga while waiting for the next installment.  Reading the separate novellas is enjoyable with each having their own individual themes and plots that pull together to complete a full novel. I recommend to historical fiction fans who love a good old-fashioned love story with complications.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

GOD, ME AND SWEET ICED TEA by Rose Chandler Johnson, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea is a devotional journey book that offers encouragement through each chapter that includes suggested biblical readings, journaling space to answer in-depth questions, prepared prayers, “Today’s Sweet Tea Moment” reflection, and Prayer Focus. The devotional has many topics that include Stop Complaining, My Brother’s Keeper, Your Adversary the Devil, and How Can We Know the Way?  

There are many devotional journals to choose from but God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea takes a good approach in strengthening your walk with Christ and staying strong and focused in faith. This faith-based devotional aids in exploring understanding and learning how to live God’s Word and walk in faith without the ‘preachy’ feeling.

I highly recommend this guide to individuals and study groups who want further study material in their walk with Jesus Christ. This is also a great gifting opportunity for family, friends and Ministry Leaders.

I received this book free from Rose Chandler Johnson and Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

About the author: 

Rose Chandler Johnson's devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. 

She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with Godand engaging with her readers. 

Rose is from a tiny Georgia town, and has lived near Augusta, Georgia, for the last twenty-eight years. 

For the last twenty years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. 
She's also worked as a counselor, librarian, and ESOL teacher. 
Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.

Find Rose online: website