Sunday 26 February 2017

Book Review: The Mark of the King

From the Back:

"Lovers of historical fiction will be transported by this beautifully written novel of the early 18th century frontier."--Lori Benton, award-winning author of The Wood's Edge and A Flight of Arrows
Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace--and love--can overcome the stigma of the king's mark upon her shoulder.

My Reflections:

The Mark of the King was such a sumptuously, satisfying read. I have a hard time deciding on my ultimate favorites since I read so much, but hands down, without a doubt this book is 2017 top read to date.

The plot can only be described as haunting, yet riveting. This book is written with bold authority yet, surprisingly does not get overly dark or introspective. My only critique is why oh, why did it have to end?

I adored Julianne's character; she was able to hold onto her sense of fairness and determination amidst the brutalities she endured.

Life in Shambles Julianne must overcome the branding that haunts her life.  Danger and the unknown are constant companions in this young woman's life. Change is ever present and throws chaos
at every turn. 

The detail contained in this book is exquisite,  factual yet poetic the flow and ebb lull the reader to pure reading bliss.

Jocelyn Green has penned a book to remember in this one. Her research and historical detail are evident on every page, blending fiction with historical events seamlessly.
Well done Jocelyn Green, congratulations on a masterpiece, that will most likely be enjoyed by all.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group


  1. © Catchlight Imaging

    Jocelyn Green

    Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of GettysburgYankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition,...
    Continue reading about Jocelyn Green

Saturday 25 February 2017

Book Review: Fear Fighting

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can't do or will never be. But that's not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters--women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God's peace-, purpose-, and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God's Word and promptings

· Usher in lasting peace through prayers that reduce panic, blood pressure, and stress

· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God's greatest gifts

· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed throughout the day
   · Participate in a twelve-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.

My Reflections:

This is Kelly Balarie's first book, and wow it has hit it's mark. Balarie has written this book for me I felt her words humble and sooth, yet confront and cut deep. Good friends tell it as it is, they want to encourage and uplift, and this author makes you feel like that friend. 

Balarie points reader, to the source of our fears and then helps readers to take these worries, and out and out pain to God the creator. His love and grace are big enough for our every need! Ya, I know in the middle of a full out panic attack where you think you may just die from the immobilizing devastation of it, he is big enough. Sometimes we don't feel him right? That's when he is right there holding you so close you can't see him for the nearness. I've been there friend. 

I loved that this book was nibble size. I would read a little set it down, ponder and read some more. A good book is like that not too deep, but just right so that you can learn and not become overwhelmed by the wordiness. 
If you are looking for a book to encourage, a cheerleader to rally you on, come be a warrior and fight the good fight together. This book may very well be what your heart needs to hear today. Take your cares to the one who can and will always hold you in his mighty hands.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

                 About the Author: Kelly Balarie

Kelly Balarie is a passionate national speaker who has spent nearly ten years leading groups of women in spiritual growth, marriage building, and general Bible studies across the nation. She has lived her subject matter. Her faith was built as she battled...
Continue reading about Kelly Balarie

Thursday 23 February 2017

Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

From the Back:

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

My Reflections:

Set in the 1820's in the quaint village of Ivy Hill, England, this story sweeps you away from day to day and envelops you in pure charm.

Julie Klassen has done a marvelous job of capturing the essence of this tiny winsome town, from the quirky inhabitants to the breathtaking backdrop. It all creates a cohesive environment where you want to snuggle in and never leave its folds. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but don't despair there will be more books to follow, however, the next book "The Ladies of Ivy Cottage" is not due for almost, a whole year!

The story centers around an innkeeper by the name Jane Fairmont Bell, Yes, a woman innkeeper. As you can imagine this was not the norm in the 1820's. Having inherited it from her late husband at the tender age of 29, she has some big decisions to make. Will she watch the Inn wither or will she take charge and run The "Bell" herself. With determination and a large loan looming over Jane, she enlists the "help" of her mother in law Thora Bell. Through a strained relationship, the two women plow ahead through grief to try to save the Inn. Things are definitely amiss, but Jane is one determined lady.

I love a book that highlights the aspects of a small community. We cannot do great things alone but with many people's support and guidance, couple this with Gods leading and grace and we are set forth on a journey worth exploring and savoring! Life is so good, and Julie Klassen has written an exceptionally tender novel exploring the human spirit.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

                                                About the Author 

  1. JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the...

    Continue reading about Julie Klassen

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Book Review: The Prayer Saturated Family

From The Back:

Learn to pray together and see your family transformed!
In our world of busy schedules and digital distractions, it's hard for families to find time to eat dinner together, let alone pray together. Yet praying together deepens relationships, alleviates fighting and strengthens family ties more than any single thing you can do.

With a fresh, flexible, real-world approach, bestselling author Cheryl Sacks shows how you can integrate prayer into your daily family life, including how to:
· Get everyone on board and involved
· Experience a fresh sense of God's promise and purpose for your family
· Overcome spiritual opposition coming against your household
· Shift the spiritual atmosphere in your home to one of greater peace and joy
· Make an investment in your children's faith that will last a lifetime

You will also discover how a family that prays together becomes an unstoppable force for good, bringing God's answers to impossible situations. And it can start with you! Through prayer, you have the power not only to change the atmosphere of your home but also to be part of changing the spiritual atmosphere wherever you go.

"You will love this book! It is rich with stories that will cause you to laugh and cry! It is filled with hope!"--Cindy Jacobs, Generals International

Includes a Step-by-Step 31-Day Family Prayer Guide!Full of the creative ideas, prompts and Scripture-based prayers you need to help jump-start and develop your family's prayer life.
My Reflections:

I was so ecstatic to read Cheryl Sacks new book The Prayer Saturated Family!
What better technique can we use to transform our family and homes but pray?
Sacks give us a plan to do just that in a powerful family friendly package.

Rich in storytelling and practical wisdom this book delivers a reminder that a family that prays together not only stays together but also thrives!

Our family is far from perfect, but we pray together, we fellowship together, and we look at each other and hold one another accountable. The family unit is a funny thing don't you think? Different personalities brought together, hand picked by God, working together for His good...beautiful, isn't it? Admist the piles of dirty dishes, arguments over who's turn it is to work in the barns, and teenagers.. we pray, and we pray some more, but is it making a difference? You bet it is!

This book reminds us that without prayer we are left vulnerable to attack, we live in a spiritual war, one that needs to be fought in part by prayer.
Included is a 31-day family prayer guide that I am super eager to implement in our home. We already have the "prayer jar," and "Thankful Jar" this will be a fantastic addition to what our family has already implemented.

If you want to change the atmosphere of your home and change the future for your family, I encourage you to pray! This book is extremely encouraging, so if you ever needed some useful tips and an easy to follow plan, this book may be the book for you.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Cheryl Sacks

    Cheryl Sacks, national speaker and bestselling author, is the co-founder and leader of BridgeBuilders International Leadership Network ( along with her husband, Hal. She has written for such publications as Pray!magazine and Rick...
    Continue reading about Cheryl Sacks

Sunday 19 February 2017

Book Review: Your Cholesterol Matters

From The Back:

85 percent of people over the age of 50 have significant artery blockage without any symptoms. 

Two-thirds of the time, the initial symptom is a full-blown heart attack.

Doctors routinely tell patients to watch their diet, get regular exercise, and lose weight. They also increasingly prescribe "cholesterol lowering" drugs that patients will take every day for the rest of their lives. The pill makes us feel like we're doing something, so we slack off in our goals for a healthier lifestyle. To make matters worse, the pill solves only a portion of the problem, giving us a false sense of security.

Dr. Richard Furman wants you to know that you don't have to pin your health hopes on expensive medications that only address a small part of the cholesterol puzzle (and often have negative health-impacting side effects). In this practical guide to better health, he offers specific strategies to

· lower your levels of "lethal" LDL cholesterol
· raise your levels of "hero" HDL cholesterol
· develop new habits that make healthy living easy and natural
· adjust your lifestyle in order to stay off of expensive medications
· and more

Your aging process depends on the health of your arteries. Dr. Furman's advice will not only give you extra years but, even more important, it will improve the quality of those years, beginning today.
My Reflections:

I can't say I enjoyed reading Richard Furman's book, "Your Cholesterol Matters," but since I am predisposed to high cholesterol and have it already, this was a mandatory read for me. This book is super informative and covers all areas of cardiovascular health. It was such a sad read, though, I mean no snacks, no desserts, ugh sounds so miserable! 

I follow a fairly healthy diet called the Trim and Heathy Mamma diet; it includes yummy desserts and satisfying foods in a responsible way. I am not overweight but do have health issues that I need to work hard at addressing, hence why I chose this book.
But I digress, back to this book. Furman shows readers how to get their cholesterol back on track and their health back in the green zone. 
Simple terminology and a step by step plan make this book relatively easy to navigate and follow. 

Although you may not like the sacrifices to your eating and lifestyle, you will appreciate a healthy heart and long life. I had to disagree, however, with a few points in his book, one being his description of not seeing overweight people in a nursing home, (because they have all died.) I worked in a nursing home for many years and can attest that I saw plenty of individuals who had extra padding. 

If you are overweight and have cholesterol issues, this book may be the tool to give you the wake-up call you may need. Our society has a diet for every ailment, and the world does not need another fad diet, perhaps it's time we turn back to natural foods and good old exercise? 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Richard Furman MD, FACS

    Richard Furman, MD, FACS, spent over thirty years as a vascular surgeon. Furman is past president of the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, past president of the North Carolina Surgical Society, and a two-term governor of the American...

Saturday 18 February 2017

Book Review: Have a New Sex Life by Friday

From the Back:

You're only days away from the kind of intimacy you long for . . . Given enough time, stress, and kids, even the most satisfying sex life can turn ho-hum. Before long, your conversations center on taking the garbage out, you only make love with the lights off, and experimenting in the bedroom means changing the color of the duvet.

But why settle for "less than" when you could pursue the gift of wow sex together? In just one week, you and your spouse will learn

· why women need sex (and what stops them from wanting it)
· why men want sex (and why what's important to her is important to him too)
· how to reclaim space just for the two of you
· how to create an intimate connection that lasts all day, even when you're apart
· how to spice things up in the bedroom
· and more

Dr. Leman's candid advice comes with his guarantee: with just a little attention to these doable strategies, you and your spouse can experience the kind of exciting relationship you long for--not only by Friday but throughout your entire marriage.

Do any of these describe you?
- You can't remember the last time your spouse gave you a real kiss or held your hand.
- You're stuck in a rut in the bedroom.
- You can predict the exact spot your spouse will touch you.
- You undress in the walk-in closet.
- The last book you read about sex was for your premarital counseling.

If even one of these describes you, you need this book. It's the miracle jump start that can turn ho-hum, nonexistent, or even good sex into unimaginably wow sex.

I guarantee it.

My Reflections:
I have enjoyed all of the previous books written by Dr. Kevin Leman and I must say, his newest book is no exception. 
Have a New Sex Life by Friday was a quick and easy read. Broken down week by week Leman explores into topics like:

Why women need sex,
Why men need sex
Who's in bed with you
Making love with words
Spice it up!
Romance on a budget
Surprises your spouse will love
and so much more.

Written with humor and wit Leman walks his readers through a series of topics that make you stop, laugh and want to be a better spouse.
I found Tuesday to be the most interesting chapter (but you are going to have to pick up the book to know what's included in the "Tuesday" chapter, no spoiler alerts here, Ha!)

This book although simple in nature is filled with great reminders on how we can spice up our love life. More importantly, this book reminds us that strengthening our marriages is of utmost importance, we all encounter hills and valleys in our relationships but walking side by side with God leading the way we can do all things..together, (even have a wow sex life!)
 If you have been married for one year or 40 years, there are many great reminders and tips in this book to take your love life from good to YES!

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


  1. Dr. Kevin Leman

    Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker who has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. He has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television...
    Continue reading about Dr. Kevin Leman
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