Tidewater Bride Book Review

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz has us rooting for Selah Hopewell and Xander Renick as they navigate their world of English settlers and Powhatan Naturals amidst tobacco farms, treachery, loss, and love in James Towne, Virginia Colony in 1634.

Well researched historical details give readers a glimpse into what it was like to live in this time and place. While the use of archaic words lent realism and flavor to the book, it also sent me looking up the meaning of fortnight.

Although I looked forward to scenes where Selah and Xander interacted, I occasionally questioned the inclusion of other scenes and the relevance of certain characters to the story. There were times the actions of younger characters did not seem to fit their ages, and times the story felt amiss. The ending, to me, was abrupt.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

The Bible Recap Book Review

At 751 pages and one and a half inches thick, The Bible Recap: A One-Year Guide to Reading and Understanding the Entire Bible by Tara-Leigh Cobble is an absolute must- have Bible resource. Whether you grew up reading the Bible, or are just dipping your toes in the water, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

As I flipped through the pages of this book, I realized this one-year plan, written in English Standard Version, follows a chronological order. I love that! When I study the Bible, I like to have a clear view of the history that brought us to each point. This study guide makes that easier to achieve. Some select chapters have links for additional information on the reading.

Each day there are multiple chapters of a book of the Bible to read. Don’t get lazy and skip this part. Read the Scriptures. Sure. Tara-Leigh’s commentary explains what’s going on, but read the select chapters first and see what God has in them for you.

After reading your Bible, go back to The Bible Recap for a summary and commentary on the chapters. At the end of the commentary there is a section called Today’s God Shot which points out God’s attributes revealed in that passage.

Although biblically sound and solid, The Bible Recap does not make you feel as if you are slogging through a scholarly tome. Tara-Leigh’s writing style is conversational and easy-going. Her chapters read as if she is sitting next to you, the two of you are discussing the Scripture passages, how they fit together, and gaining new insights about our awesome God.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Half the Battle: Healing Your Hidden Hurts Book Review

As is true with most things, there are good and not so good. I found this to be the case with Half the Battle: Healing Your Hidden Hurts by Dr. Jon Chasteen.

First the good.

Dr. Chasteen points out most of us are engaged in a battle of some kind, saying we all have hurts and wounds. Before we fight external battles, he says we must fight the internal battles we hide and cover up.

He states the only way to truly rid ourselves of the shame and guilt of these hidden wounds is to invite God into them, allow him to take his knife to the wound, and let him remove it.

The majority of the book talks about wounded, rejected people. In the final chapters Dr. Chasteen compares the World War I and the story of Gideon to facing our battles today in the light of Jesus as our guide, in the unity of believers, and with praise.

There is a study guide at the back of the book with additional questions for consideration.

Now the not so good.

I found the way the author wandered back and forth through various scriptures to prove his point extremely disjointed and distracting.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blog About Bloggers Network for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave. Leave a comment between October 8, 2020 and October 14, 2020 for an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book. Winner will be notified by October 20, 2020.

You can find my October Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

Prevail Book Review

Beginning with Genesis 12:7 and ending with Revelation 22:12-13, Prevail: 365 Days of Enduring Strength from God’s Word by Susie Larson gives readers exactly what the title promises; enduring strength from God’s word.

Reading Prevail is like talking with a trusted friend about your problems, fears, and doubts, knowing she will point you to God’s truths without the least bit of ridicule or condemnation.

Although I appreciate the way Prevail works its way sequentially through the Bible, I especially appreciate the Table of Contents which lists each devotion by subject. I find that helpful when looking for a devotion that addresses a specific need.

Each devotion has a highlighted verse, meaningful commentary of the Scripture that speaks to the reader in a personable, encouraging way, and points the reader to God. This is followed by the Scripture reference the devotion came from for further study, an application statement, and short prayer. The pages are beautiful. Swirls of varying pastels adorn each page. I found that soothing.

I highly recommend Prevail: 365 Days of Enduring Strength from God’s Word for those seeking more from their daily devotional.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

Fascinating Bible Studies on Every Parable Book Review

In the introduction to his book, Fascinating Bible Studies on Every Parable, Dr. William H. Marty states the purpose for the book is to help readers understand Jesus’ parables–what Jesus intended to teach, and the response he expected–and then to suggest how we can apply Christ’s parables to our lives today. I found this book easy to digest and absorb without being simplistic. While we may be familiar with Jesus’ parables, there is always something new to consider in reading them.

In short, concise chapters for each parable, Dr. Marty does just that. He lists the Bible reference for the parable, gives his takeaway in one short sentence, explains the parable in its historical and cultural setting, and ends with questions for reflection related to the parable. The parables are organized into two broad categories. The nature of the kingdom, and the ethics of the kingdom.

Dr. Marty believes in reading a parable, we should first consider what the story meant to Jesus’ audience, not to those of us who live in twentieth century America. Good advice. He also states the purpose of Jesus’ parables was not to entertain, but to challenge and impress on his followers the need to change their mindset about how they related to God and others. More good advice.

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

An Appalachian Summer Book Review

An Appalachian Summer by Ann H. Gabhart, set in Appalachian Kentucky during the Depression of 1933, is a wonderful book filled with relatable characters who face challenges without giving up.

Piper Danson is faced with deciding whether she should go along with her father’s decision she marry a man she’s not met before to secure her financial future, or marry the man she has loved since they were children with little prospect of financial support.

To give herself time and space to think without either of the men around, Piper leaves her home with all its comforts in Louisville to volunteer as a Frontier Nursing horseback courier in the mountains where comforts as she’s known them are replaced with an awareness of God’s beauty and presence.

An Appalachian Summer skillfully draws readers into the world of the Frontier Nurses, the couriers, and the people of the mountains, presenting each as an individual with hopes, dreams, needs, and resilience.

I highly recommend this book for those who want to read a heartfelt story well told.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

What Momma Left Behind Book Review

With the authentic voice of an Appalachian storyteller, Cindy Sproles’ novel, What Momma Left Behind, takes you to 1877 Tennessee with all its heartache and promise. With that said, if you are unfamiliar with Appalachian expressions and dialect, you may find What Momma Left Behind somewhat confusing to get through.

This is a story of loss, love, sacrifice, and eventually, forgiveness, as we journey with seventeen-year-old Worie Dressar following the death of her mother at a time when disease spreads through her mountain community, killing parents and leaving orphans to fend for themselves.

While there is much to like about this book, I came away with unanswered questions I wish the author answered.

If you enjoy reading Christian historical fiction written in an authentic Appalachian voice, What Momma Left Behind just might be the book for you.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I Am David Book Review

In the book, I Am David, Jimmy Evans explores ten lessons from King David’s life and how they relate to our lives today. Leader and study guides at the back of the book are designed for use in small group study. Each lesson in the study guide begins with an introduction, moves to key thought, key Scriptures, discussion points, and ends with activation questions to consider ways the lesson can be applied to the reader’s life.

Here is a brief example of how Mr. Evans discusses events in David’s life and compares them to the reader’s life. In the section titled, The Whisperer of Pride, he says each of us have a choice in how we respond to the good things God gives us. We can take credit for what God gives us, like David did at the time he ordered a census of the people in the land of Israel, or we can walk humbly and gratefully before God, using what he gives to advance his kingdom.

Something to consider.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blog About Bloggers Network for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave. Leave a comment between June 9, 2020 and June 15, 2020 for an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book. Winner will be announced June 18, 2020.

You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Warfare Prayers for Women Book Review

Within the pages of Warfare Prayers for Women by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock, you will find over one hundred short devotional prayers with scripture and declarations for standing on God’s promise to be with us through each area of our life.

One of the things I appreciate about Warfare Prayers for Women is the way it is divided into nine sections readers can read and pray through according to our various seasons of life.

While we may not all experience each of the areas described, perhaps we will find information in those sections which can be used to help others.

The nine sections included in Warfare Prayers for Women are:

  1. Praying with Power
  2. Praying against Hindrances
  3. Praying for Life’s Milestones
  4. Praying for Children and Grandchildren
  5. Praying for Family and Friends
  6. Praying when Single
  7. Praying through Tough Times
  8. Praying in My Senior Years
  9. Praying for My community and Nation

There are also sections titled Important Prayer Helps, and Scriptures for Intercession and Warfare.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel Book Review

This book review of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody is for all the novel writers out there who might need a little extra help with plotting their novels.

Save the Cat! breaks down the essential plot points, or beats, of writing a novel in an easy to understand and follow way. Jessica looks at popular novels from all genres, dissects them, and explains what make them work so writers can use the elements in their own novels.

Reading Save the Cat! is like having a conversation with a friend who understands the struggles of plotting a novel, and wants to pass on what she’s learned to help you. This is not a dry, boring how-to book. It is a hey, we’re in this together, let me help you book.

The fifteen chapters cover:

  • Creating the story-worthy hero
  • The end of all your plotting problems
  • Ten genres to fit any story
  • Detectives, deception, and the dark side
  • When life gets in the way
  • Join ’em, leave ’em, or take ’em down
  • Being extraordinary in an ordinary world
  • Surviving the ultimate test
  • Victory of the underdog
  • The transformative power of love (or friendship)
  • A little bit of magic goes a long way
  • Road trips and Quests and Heists, oh my
  • More than just a scary story
  • How to write killer loglines and Dazzling Synopeses
  • You got problems, I got solutions

Something for everyone.

The section I appreciate most is Save the Cat! Beat Sheets in the plotting section. Jessica showed how writing is divided into three acts and further divided into fifteen total beats or plot points. She detailed each beat with examples of how they worked in popular novels. Additionally, she showed how to break the beats into a workable storyboard.

Although Save the Cat! is an easy read, it is not a book to rush through. Not if you want to absorb all the book offers. It is a book to take your time reading, highlight, cogitate on, apply to your writing, and read all over again. At least is was for me.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for the W.O.W. blog tour for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.