The Empowered

 

Just when a mysterious death in Washington, DC, appears to have voodoo connections rooted in New Orleans, Trevor Black also receives an invitation to speak at the national ABA convention in the city.

He knows he’ll be in enemy territory, both as a disbarred attorney and as a follower of Jesus, but he determines to travel there and confront the supernatural element. Right after a grisly murder in his hotel room puts him on the suspect list, his daughter disappears, leaving a note that suggests a connection to the local cult religion. Now Trevor must not only crack the case but try to protect Heather from forces of darkness clutching at her soul as well. And just as he discovers that his ability to sniff out the supernatural has its limitations, Trevor learns that this web of evil extends far beyond isolated murders, enslaving scores of innocent children, with its head perhaps linked to the highest seats of power.

 

I really am all over the place with Craig Parshall’s newest book The Empowered.

This is the first time I have read anything by Parshall. I think I should have started with a different book. The Empowered is the second book in the Trevor Black series and while it is said to be able to stand alone…….I really felt in reading this that I needed to read the  first book to understand more of the background content that was being referred to.

Don’t misunderstand, yes you can read this book as a stand alone, but for me personally I think I need to go back and read the first book. There were heavy topics discussed in this book from murder to sex trafficking, but there should be a light shed on these dark topics.

There were many things I liked about this book. Quick moving plot, the characters, the way Parshall didn’t shy away from truly dark things in this world. But there were a couple things that left me….thinking.

While Parshall has a technically well written book, that was just it, it felt technical. Like all the right pieces and components were there but I just felt something was missing. Again don’t get me wrong, well written book, just the style is unique.

Overall though I do want to go back and read the first in the Trevor Black Series and will read any more in the series if they publish more.

 

  • Series: A Trevor Black Novel
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 9, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496411374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496411372

 

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Power Plates

 

 

Focused on the art of crafting complete, balanced meals that deliver sustained energy and nourishment, this book features 100 compelling and delicious recipes that just happen to be vegan.

These 100 recipes for wholesome and nourishing vegan food from blogger, nutritionist, and Food52 author Gena Hamshaw help you make delicious vegan meals that deliver balanced and sustained energy. Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for a complete meal–things like Smoky Red Lentil Stew with Chard, and Falafel Bowls with Freekah and Cauliflower. Photographs accompany each recipe, showing how Gena’s simple techniques and fresh ingredients yield delicious meals. Additional tips and tricks for taking food on the go, and for cooking ahead on the weekend for quick weekday lunches and dinners, round out the collection.

 

You know those times when you just want something different??

 

Well, that is my whole purpose behind choosing Power Plates to review. I love trying new recipes and ideas. Even new ways of cooking. Thankfully my husband (despite his resistance to the fact it is a Vegan cookbook) is willing to try anything.

I will admit there were one or two ingredients that I was unfamiliar with, but once I looked them up I was excited to try them.

Some our favs were:

Protein Packed Caesar Salad ( The oldest kid loves Caesar salad)

Vegetable Harvest Pie (I almost fooled the husband….OK not really but he did try it!)

Spanish Quinoa

 

While I was skeptical of the Spanish Quinoa because lets be honest……Chorizo may be one of my most loved things…..of all time!!! It didn’t turn out like I expected but it was still super yummy!!

I love all the pictures and descriptions that come along with the recipes. For someone who has never really dipped her toes into the Vegan scene before, this cook book was not overwhelming at all. I will definitely be using this cook book again!!

Thanks to Gena Hamshaw  at The Full Helping for making such a great book!

 

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (January 23, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399579052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399579059

 

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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Out Of The Ashes

 

 

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the war. When Jean-Michel receives an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel, it seems an opportunity for a change he needs. 

Katherine Demarchis is a young widow who does not grieve the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Now she just wants to retreat to a quiet life, content to be alone. First, though, she’s agreed to accompany her grandmother on a final trip, but never expects to see a man from her past. 

Katherine and Jean-Michel once shared a deep love that was torn apart by forces beyond their control. Reunited now, have the years changed them too deeply to rediscover what they had? And when Jean-Michel’s nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will faith be enough to heal what’s been broken for so long?

 

 

What a charming book that Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse have written. Well maybe charming isn’t the correct word.

Engaging

Wonderful

Or even just a GOOD book

Even though this is the second book in The Heart Of Alaska series, Out Of The Ashes can be a stand alone book. (Although I will now have to go back and read the first one!!) Seriously why do I always find these books midway in the series!!

I really did like this book. The whole group of characters were so good. Personally I loved the French part because it just reminds me so much of my family. I adored Jean Micheal’s willingness and confusion when attempting to help his sister Collette.

Katherine and Jean Micheal were a couple that I could see myself being friends with. They were damaged and came back together with much baggage. I loved how the authors made their journey be about steps. While I don’t doubt God can heal immediately, it is a struggle to deal with things when you have been hurt as badly as they were.

I do hope there is more to this series!!

 

 

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219243
ISBN-13: 9780764219245
Series: Heart of Alaska

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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The Last Arrow

 

 

Before You Die,
Live the Life
You Were Born
To Live.

When you come to the end of your days, you will not measure your life based on success and failures. All of those will eventually blur together into a single memory called “life.”

What will give you solace is a life with nothing left undone. One that’s been lived with relentless ambition, a heart on fire, and with no regrets.

On the other hand, what will haunt you until your final breath is who you could have been but never became and what you could have done but never did.

The Last Arrow is your roadmap to a life that defies odds and alters destinies. Discover the attributes of those who break the gravitational pull of mediocrity as cultural pioneer and thought leader Erwin McManus examines the characteristics of individuals who risked everything for a life they could only imagine. Imagine living the life you were convinced was only a dream. 

We all begin this life with a quiver full of arrows.

Now the choice is yours. Will you cling to your arrows or risk them all, opting to live until you have nothing left to give?

Time is short. Pick up The Last Arrow and begin the greatest quest of your life.

 

 

As I sit here, hands hovered over the keyboard wondering what to write about The Last Arrow, I am truly trying to digest what I just read.

Erwin McManus’ new book, The Last Arrow, goal is to get you to grab a hold of your life make it your own.  He bases most of his book on when the King of Israel met with the prophet Elisha. How we need to finish the work that God calls us to do in out lives. Not just stop in the middle of it or when it gets hard.

While McManus’ book was suppose to be about encouraging one to break free and live the life one is suppose to live, it sometimes felt the McManus hour. Lots of stories about his life experiences.

While I found the book to be an easy read and at times encouraging, for me personally I would have liked more Bible tie ins. Don’t get me wrong he mentions the Bible, but that’s it, he just mentions it. There was no real digging deep or true application.

If you are looking for a book that is encouraging and motivating then this could be your book. If you are looking for something to help you dig into scripture…. this may not be your book. Overall not a bad book, just not one that I would read again.

 

 

 

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1601429533
ISBN-13: 9781601429537

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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Enter the Ring

 

 

Enter the Ring takes a fresh, powerful, vulnerable approach to marriage by framing it as the fight that it is. The world uses different assaults and tactics to distract us, tempting us to walk away, in order to destroy our marriages. But there is hope: The constant forgiveness, grace, and intervention of God can preserve and protect us from not only the world but also ourselves.

D. A. and Elicia Horton explore the tension of two people becoming one and how spouses often fight over which “one of us” they become. They unpack topics such as

  • Seasons of suffering
  • Communication
  • Sexual and physical intimacy
  • The spiritual life of the home
  • Money

This book approaches the traditional topics of a marriage book with the brutal and life-giving honesty of two millennials who have fought together for their marriage. All topics are addressed through the vulnerable lens of the authors’ own struggles and mistakes.

This is a no-holds-barred, real-world . . . marriage book.

 

 

Let me just say…… I am on the ropes with this book.

Don’t get me wrong Enter the Ring  was a good book but I had a hard time relating to some of D.A. and Elicia Horton’s stories. I did find their transparency refreshing and honorable though.

Do I believe marriage should be saturated in the Gospel……ABSOLUTELY. Are our marriages always??? No.

It was good to be reminded of what a marriage that is God honoring looks like. That it isn’t perfect. It is messy. But it is also loving and forgiving.

D.A. and Elicia didn’t shy away from the ugly part about marriage. You come into a marriage as two messy people with baggage. Sifting that out and sometimes getting to the root of the problem isn’t easy.

More than anything though I loved the theme of “It is worth it.” They didn’t come right out and say that, but you could feel that through the whole book. Not Easy…..Just worth it.

I would definitively hand this book to married couples that have been married for less than 5-10 years.

 

 

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (January 2, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 163146695X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631466953

 

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage

 

 

Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for? 

Rachel’s friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls’ school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or who–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return–but where is he?

As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

 

Dear Julie Klassen,

 

Have you ever written a bad book? I have read all your books and this newest addition, The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage is so wonderful.

I loved Reading about Jane, Mercy, and Rachel. But, even better than that, I loved reading about the whole village. There was so much character depth from all the characters.

Can I just say how much I loved when Rachel told the girls the story of the prince and princess.  I loved how despite things not turning how she planned, she realized her story was not a sad story at all. I love that she would choose joy despite her circumstances.

There is no doubt Mrs. Klassen that God have gifted you with an amazing writing ability. I am so thankful that you use it the way you  do. This series so far is so charming. I love that way you write and the time period you write in.

So, to my friends…..GO! Read this book. It is a stellar example of not just quality Christian Fiction but quality writing as well.

Forever a Reader,

Danni

 

  • Series: Tales from Ivy Hill (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764218158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764218156

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Gospel Centered Mom

 

It’s Time to Stop Trying to Be the Perfect Mom

You long to be the mom your kids need, but often you’re convinced you come up short. The label “not enough” seems to be stamped across everything you do—and yet parenting is the one thing you want most to get right. 
 
What if the solution is simply to embrace the truth that you are not enough—but God is?
 
In Gospel-Centered Mom Brooke McGlothlin reveals how our entire approach to motherhood shifts when we stop chasing our vision of a perfect family and start full-out pursuing God. With refreshing candor, Brooke examines the daunting task of raising children in the light of God’s Word and challenges you to:

        · embrace your moment-by-moment need for Jesus
        · release the stress of believing everything is your responsibility
        · learn to fight for rather than against your child
        · believe that the story God is writing with your life is worth the sacrifice
        · practice the daily disciplines that lead to Gospel-centered parenting

As you learn to anchor your life in the Gospel, you’ll find increased freedom, purpose, and joy in motherhood. And you’ll discover that Jesus is more than capable of meeting every need, for your children and for you.

 

Have you ever had a book that literally felt like it was handed to you by God himself? (Besides the Bible) Ok, maybe I am being a bit on the dramatic side right now but seriously, Gospel Centered Mom could not have come at a better time.

If you are looking for a how- to type parenting book, this is not the book for you.  Gospel Centered Mom soul purpose is to get you (yeah you the mom) right back into the Gospel.

This book felt like I was sitting down with one of my girl friends. Not just any girl friends, but the one(s) that you can just pour your soul out to. The ones that wont judge you when you wonder how many more days until your kids can move out.

McGlothlin tells you right up front that you are not good enough and THAT IS THE POINT!

There were so many good things I could relate to in this book. I want to buy a copy for all my mom friends! So if you are a mom… GO!! Read this book.

 

 

 

 

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (August 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735289638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735289635

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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The Genius Of One

 

In The Genius of One, author and pastor Greg Holder takes his readers on a journey from that glorious prayer of Jesus, past the debates and divisions that isolate Christians, and into the reality of a church united under God for the sake of the world.

For those who cling to the hope that God is still at work, this book will both stir a deeper longing for unity and provide practical steps toward that path.

 

Well this book will mess with you a little bit. I was worried before I started to read The Genius of One because the subtitle was God’s answer for our fractured world. I thought DUH God IS the answer. Great how good will this book be?

So glad I kept reading. What a well written, easy to read book not only on healing brokenness, but an encouraging book for everyone to lead. With personal and relate-able examples Holder just lays it all out there.

-Co-Laboring

-Gossip

-Helping people in real trouble

-Ferguson

-And more

My favorite part had to be when Holder talks about how “Distance Demonizes”. It is just a page and a half but that really struck a chord in me. How easy is it to get the wrong view when you’re not in the mix. So get up close and personal.

This book could be a resource for any leader or even just a member of the church.

 

 

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: NavPress
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 1631466313
ISBN-13: 9781631466311

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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The Sound of Rain

 

 

Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother–and nearly his own life–in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company. 

Larkin Heyward’s life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more–maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company. 

Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together.

 

 The Sound of Rain is a book that once you pick up you will not want to put down. Can that just be my review? I mean, there was so much that I loved about this book, that I seriously had trouble putting it down.

This book opens up in complete darkness. Judd has been in a coal mining accident. It is almost just symbolic really of the rest of the story.

Judd and Larkin were great characters. I truly enjoyed their depth.  I felt as if they were people I could just walk up to and have a conversation with. But there were secondary characters that stole my heart just as much.

Thomas’ attention to detail was amazing. There were times I could almost feel the heat just based upon her descriptions. Her details were so rich they just enhanced the story so much and it didn’t feel wordy at all.

This was so much more than just another book this was a story. This book has purpose, pain and light. This is the first book I have read by Sarah Loudin Thomas and now I need to go and read her other books!

 

 

 

Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219618
ISBN-13: 9780764219610

 

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

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30 Days To Joy

 

Gift journal and devotional in one, with space for you to add drawings, doodles, photos or artwork and make it your own.

Hardcover gift book is all about Joy, designed for 30 days of discovering what joy is and how to experience joy in your life day by day.

A beautiful, one-month creative Scripture journal; ribbon marker, presentation page, space for reflections on your own and life and on special people who have helped you discover joy.

At the back is space to jot your favorite songs in your personal playlist to share on social media.

 

Can I just say how absolutely adorable the 30 Days To Joy Journal is?

This cute little journal is filled with inspirational verses and quotes that will surely bring a smile to your face and maybe even some joy into our heart. Let us be honest for a moment when I say we could all use some joy in this crazy world.

Each day has a prompt to write about or even draw about. Each day is designed to get you focused on others and what brings you joy.

Day 1 starts off with figuring out the difference between joy and happiness! Because they are oh so different.

I love this simple little journal so much that I may use it as a teachers gift or even just for the ladies in my small group. What a sweet little gift to give away this Christmas!

 

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 112
Vendor: WaterBrook

ISBN: 0735290822
ISBN-13: 9780735290822

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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