Tuesday 24 March 2015

Book Review: "More Than Just the Talk"

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From the Back:

Have Real Conversations With Your Kids About Sex. The old ways of having the "sex talk" just won't cut it anymore. Sadly, the number one place today's young people go to for answers about sex is Google. Meanwhile, kids view nearly 14,000 sexual references a year on television, and 70 percent of teenagers have encountered pornography on the Internet. If we want our children to know the truth about healthy sexuality, we need to create a comfortable climate of continual conversations.

Jonathan McKee will show you how to move beyond the initial awkwardness of this subject into an ongoing communication with your kids about God's amazing gift of sex. He equips you with what you need to talk openly about dating, temptation, porn, and purity, and you will find answers to tough questions and relevant Scripture on sexual issues.

It's normal for kids to be curious about sexuality, and they need to know that their parents are the most reliable source of information. Be the one your kids turn to on this crucial topic.

My Reflections:
At our house we are always having "the talk" it is just natural for me to bring up things that embarrass my children, and cause them to groan. Usually this happens at the supper table when we are all together and going over our day and something will spark one of my crazy speeches. Having books around that share my beliefs and values helps our children to become educated and comfortable speaking about these issues as well.

Our sex-crazed world is filled with inappropriate images and skewed values, one only has to go to the grocery store and stand in the checkout line to see the way these messages are forced onto us. Even though we don't have cable at our house Netflix and the internet are still places that I monitor with a vengeance. Our kids need to be savvy when dealing with all the media that is thrown their way, they need to understand that not everything they see on TV or hear from their friends is factual.

Sex is a gift from God, but there are boundaries and limits that protect us from sin and destruction. I am so glad there are authors that are not afraid to broach this subject, with tact and straight talk.

More than Just the Talk: Becoming Your Kids Go-To Person About Sex is a great book for parents. It is informative, thought provoking, and gives parents an insight into what our kids face on a daily basis. Jonathan McKee bases this book on scripture, and teaches parents how to bring up touchy subjects with ease and honesty, all the while referring back to biblical principals. Though our kids don't face some of the issues presented in the book, (because they are home-schooled), the book has been a wealth of information and will continue to be a wonderful resource that I will refer to time and time again.

I was given this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you Graf-Martin!

About The Author

  1. Jonathan McKee

    Jonathan McKee

    Jonathan McKee is an expert on youth culture and the author of more a dozen books, including Sex Matters, Get Your Teenager Talking, and The Guy's Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has twenty years of youth-ministry...
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Sunday 22 March 2015

Book Review: Dauntless

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From The Back:

Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

My Reflections: 

Dauntless is a mix of young adult medieval romance combined with a Robin Hood flair of sorts. A exceptionally enjoyable read filled with romance (clean), adventure and a touch of mystery. 

Merry Ellison the strong lead character is thrust into the role of protector, after her father makes some unwise choices. Taking it upon herself to care for the orphaned children of her former village she does what she must to support her charges. Merry is not the soft feminine girly girl of this era she is tough and highly skilled, ready to fight for what she believes in, even if it means death....

Hidden in the thick forests the "Ghosts of Farthingale" prowl through the wood to take what they must to survive. When pursued by Timothy Grey, a cat and mouse chase ensues causing risks nobody wants to face. Merry has not set eyes on Timothy for years and although she knows he is trouble she can't decide which of her emotions to trust? Her love for the children or her conflicting feelings for Timothy?  Though action packed, this story also has a soft side, an emotionally charged drama unfolds in the backdrop of England.... 

A great book for the youth in your life I would say from the ages 12-20, although I quite enjoyed this book and I would rate it as a decent crossover novel. 
I felt comfortable enough to give it to my 12 year old to read. There is a good amount of romance involved in this book but it is all very clean and appropriate in my opinion. This book has everything you would expect form a YA novel, devotion, true love, angst, drama, faith struggles, adventure and a touch of mystery. 

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Graf-Martin communications. Thank you Graf-Martin!

The Author

  1. Dina L. Sleiman
    © Silly Little Sparrow Photos

    Dina L. Sleiman

    Dina L. Sleiman holds an MA in professional writing from Regent University and a BA in communications with a minor in English from Oral Roberts University. Over the past eighteen years, she has had opportunities to teach college writing and literature, as well as...
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Saturday 21 March 2015

Book Review: Nowhere to Hide

book title front

Nowhere to Hide

William King and Blake Watt have just settled into their senior year of high school when they receive a call for help—the authorities need to use their computer skills to track down a father who has failed to make child-support payments. The invitation to become cyber bounty hunters is so tempting, they don’t stop to ask why they were chosen for this assignment.
As they learn more about the man they are searching for, they discover the true nature of their mission—to help the founder of a Seattle-based software company prove that he is innocent of a much different charge. But the scariest things they learn are why they were chosen and why they were supposed to remain in the background.
You’ll love following the surprising twists and turns in this fast-paced young-adult thriller from a gifted storyteller who has nearly three million books in print.

My Reflections:

When given the chance to review this book, it was a no brainier for me, after all we had met Brouwer at a local homeschooling course that he presented. Brouwer is a dynamic presenter. He gets the children excited about writing and has an encouraging and fun class. Everyone left feeling successful and energized.

Back to the book, having read the firs title in the series I was able to follow the plot with ease, although having said this I feel the reader would afford a greater understanding of the story, by reading the first book Dead Man's Switch.

King, MJ and Blake are teenage friends who live on a small Island. These three become entangled in a web of deceit and betrayal when Don Mundie offers them a chance off the island to become cyber hunters. People are not who they seem and danger is around every corner!

The perfect recipe of danger, drama, action and mystery. Be prepared to be surprised by the ending because it is anything but predictable!

If your teen is looking for a new series to read I think "Nowhere to Hide" would make an excellent choice!

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Harvest House Publishers, Thank you Harvest House!

Sigmund Brouwer

Sigmund Brouwer

Sigmund Brouwer is the popular author of more than 40 novels and numerous non-fiction books. He is coauthor of The Last Disciple series, which was featured in Time magazine and on ABC's Good Morning America. Sigmund inspires teens to read through speaking engagements at schools across North America and through his Coolreading.com programs. Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan, and they have two daughters.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Book Review: The Crimson Cord

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From the Back:

"Rahab's story is one of the most moving redemption accounts in Scripture. The Crimson Cord perfectly captures all the drama of the original, fleshing out the characters with care and thought. Jill's storytelling skills kept me reading late into the night. A beautiful tale, beautifully told!"--Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author of Mine Is the NightWife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband's debt. Forced into prostitution, she despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime.

In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho's walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Under Jill Eileen Smith's talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Immerse yourself in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity--and a permanent place in your heart.

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and The Desert Princess, first in the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.

My Reflections:

You won't want to miss out on reading Jill Eileen Smith's newest book The Crimson Cord. This author has really made this bible story come to life in a fictional account of what it may have been like to live in Rahab's time. You really see the dedication and effort put into this author's account, the research she must have done is astounding.

I absolutely love biblical fiction because it brings my favorite stories into focus, and sheds new light on aspects of the retelling that I may have not considered. Additionally these stories often encourage me to dig deeper into scripture to flesh out the facts.

You will be rewarded with a spectrum of emotions as you journey along Rahab and the abuse, hurt and devastation she experiences, her raw fear is palatable. This book is such a powerful reminder of God's love for us, no matter where we find ourselves in life, no matter the sin and destruction around us God is there in the midst of our propensity to fail, he forgives. period. No strings, no exclusions. God wipes our sins clean. That always astounds me, and causes me to rejoice. Because we all do wrong, no one is better than another, no ones sin is bigger, it is all the same in God's eyes. But I digress..sorry! I just get so excited about this stuff :-)

All in all go get the book, what more can I say? You certainly will not regret it, this author has such a fabulous way with words, she seriously has the gift of literary dexterity, not often displayed in writing today. So remarkable!

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review, from Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you Graf- Martin!

About The Author

  1. Jill Eileen Smith
    © Amanda Matilla Photography

    Jill Eileen Smith

    Smith is the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and the ebook novella The Desert Princess, book 1 in the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to...
    Continue reading about Jill Eileen Smith

Saturday 14 March 2015

Book Review: The Trouble With Patience

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From the Back:

"Maggie Brendan deftly captures the flavor of the Old West in a sweet love story filled with suspense and well-developed, interesting characters that will surely capture the hearts of readers."--Kathleen Morgan, author of the Brides of Culdee Creek series

Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience's desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this "hanging lawman," Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye--and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.

My Reflections:

The Trouble with Patience is a satisfying mellow read. It is Maggie Brendan's first novel in her new series Virtues and Vices of the Old West. Set in the old mining town of Montana we get the feel of how it may have been to be a single woman in this rough and untamed land.

After inheriting a boardinghouse from her deceased grandmother, Patience Cavanaugh is determined to make a go of it, even if she is young and unmarried. Going back and living with her overbearing mother is just not an option. Patience will have to overcome her lack of self worth and her impulsive impediments to make it in Montana's backdrop. Will she be able to hold on to the boardinghouse with such a huge task at hand? Is the fine sheriff, known for his insidious past of hangings able to lend a hand?

Jedediah Jones is the new lawman in town. Leaving behind the past reputation of the Hanging lawman he is hoping to start fresh, but can one really out run their past? Jedediah must chase down the bad guys and save the maidens in distress, that is what any good and upstanding Nevada lawman would do, right?

Rich with history and an intriguing plot mingle to make this a savory read. If you are in the mood for a heartwarming tale this one is a perfect addition to a cozy night wrapped up in a warm blanket and a cuppa tea.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my review from Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you Graf-Martin!

About The Author

  1. Maggie Brendan

    Maggie Brendan

    Maggie Brendan is the bestselling author of several books, including the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series. Winner of the 2013 Laurel Wreath Award, she was a 2013 finalist for the Published Maggie Award of Excellence, a 2013 finalist...
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Wednesday 11 March 2015

Book Review: The Fringe Hours

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From the Back:

"The Fringe Hours is like one gigantic permission slip to carve out some space in your day for the things that give you joy and feed your soul."--Brigid Schulte, New York Times bestselling author of Overwhelmed

For the woman who is doing everything for everyone--except herself
Ever get to the end of the day and realize you did nothing for you? In this practical and liberating book, Jessica N. Turner empowers you to take back the fringe hours--those little pockets of time you already have in your day--in order to make time for your passions and practice self-care. Based on original research, The Fringe Hours helps you overcome common hurdles that prevent women from taking time for themselves regularly. You'll also discover tips for maximizing the time you have and discover how living this lifestyle makes you a better wife, mother, and friend.

My Reflections:

Going into this book I was pretty excited to read a book that might help me carve out some much needed down time. Homeschooling my kids, working part time and running a small farm has definitely left me feeling drained and as limp as a wet rag. Time to reflect and spend with God was something I was craving, big time!

I loved the quote "time slipping through one's fingers like sand" that's just how I feel I thought to myself, that time is somehow sliding through my fingers, and no matter how hard I try to grasp it and hold on, the faster it rushes right on through. So this book was very timely and it's content so relevant to my life and stage.

The Fringe Hours offers hope for us time depleted moms, Turner offers suggestions on how to make every minute count in your day and how to turn wasted space into life giving manna. Who wouldn't want to rekindle passion for hobbies, health and spiritual well being?

My favorite chapter in this book was part three "Maximize" This chapter was all about prioritizing activities, using time efficiently, overcoming obstacles and embracing help if needed.
This chapter and honestly the whole book really spoke to my soul. I realized why I am feeling so burnt out and frazzled, I am not living the way God intended. I loved the reminder about how are time is spent, reflects what is really important to us. Wake up call...is Facebook really a reflection of  what I want to glorify in my life, I think not!

This book has many sections where the learning is reinforced with journaling and self reflecting questions to ask. Also included is a section labeled Motivation, who doesn't love to be motivated, right? A perfect blend of multi dimensional learning takes place just by reading the text, brilliant!

So if you are looking to refresh and carve out time for self growth, I highly recommend reading this book, you will most likely come away with tidbits that will encourage you to live a more fulfilled and glorifying life, I know there will be things I will be changing!

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest opinion from Graf-Martin Communications, thank you Graf-Martin!

About The Author

  1. Jessica N. Turner

    Jessica N. Turner

    Jessica N. Turner is the founder of the popular lifestyle blog The Mom Creative, where she documents her pursuit of cultivating a life well-crafted (www.themomcreative.com). Additionally, she is a writer for DaySpring's (in)courage, an advocate for...
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