Books reviewed on this site have been provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. All reviews are my honest opinions.

September 24, 2016

Melissa Spoelstra’s Total Family Makeover Giveaway

Begin to build your family discipleship and become the key disciple-makers in your children's lives with Melissa Spoelstra's new book, Total Family Makeover. Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Plan an evening of fun, pizza, devotionals, and games with your family! Melissa is giving away a Family Fun Night Prize Pack.


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 7. The winner will be announced October 10 on Melissa's blog.


September 22, 2016

Jody Hedlund Q&A {Newton & Polly}

In case you have not heard, Newton & Polly has just released from author Jody Hedlund. It is a beautiful story with an equally beautiful cover :) I'm excited to bring you a little Q&A from the author herself, so without further delay...

jody hedlund newton and polly
You’ve written about many other true historical couples. What drew you to write about Newton and Polly?

Like most people, I’m familiar with the song Amazing Grace and knew it was written by John Newton who’d once been an atheist slave trader. I’d even heard a little bit about John Newton’s saving grace moment when he was aboard a ship during a life-threatening storm and cried out to God.

However, I’d never heard anything about the love of his life, Polly Catlett, until I began to dig a little deeper into his life. It didn’t take me long to realize that Newton had a passionate love for her, and his love for her affected just about every decision he made for good and bad. Theirs is a beautiful love story, one that God used in a powerful way. I decided it was a story the world needed to hear.

The title of the book says, A Novel of Amazing Grace. In what ways does the theme of grace come out in the book?

The theme of grace is very prevalent throughout the book because inherently that’s the theme of Newton’s life.  In other words, I wouldn’t have been able to accurately write this book or portray Newton’s life without showing the amazing hand of God at work in drawing him back to the truth of the gospel.

Not only did God spare Newton’s life during a life-threatening voyage back to England from Africa, but God spared Newton numerous other times, during his youth and also while he was in Africa working as a slave trader. Newton should have been a dead man. But God saved him time after time, and certainly not because Newton was righteous.

In fact, Newton was vile, blasphemous, and mocked and rejected God. But through it all, God never stopped loving Newton. When Newton finally dropped to his knees and wept over his sins, God was there waiting to draw him in with outstretched arms. That’s truly Amazing Grace.

Newton was a prodigal son. He was estranged from his family during his rebellious years, but later made peace with his father. What hope does Newton and Polly offer to parents dealing with children who have left the faith?

As a one-time prodigal child now experiencing a rebellious child of my own, I take a great amount of comfort in Newton’s story. First, I revel in the knowledge that God can take our mistakes, turn them around, and use them for His plans and purposes.
Second, I take comfort in Newton’s story because it reminds me that no matter how far our children stray into sin or even atheism like Newton, that they are never too far beyond the reach of God. We as parents need to do our job planting seeds, praying, and encouraging our children in what’s right. But ultimately God is the one who woos and wins our children to Himself.

From a human perspective, Newton looked hopelessly lost, especially as the years began to pass without any sign of change. But we as parents can find solace in knowing that through all of the pain and heartache, God has not abandoned us or our child. He’s there and His plans are at work, even when we can’t see them.

Clearly “grace” is an important theme in Newton and Polly. But what other issues or themes does the book address?

Actually, the book is full of various themes. One major theme has to do with the timeless conflict between Christian and cultural values. In the mid 1700’s smuggling had become so commonplace that people turned a blind eye to it and even condoned it, especially if they wanted to avoid hardships and even persecution. I hope the book challenges readers to evaluate how they might be going along with cultural values instead of living with truth and integrity.

The book also sheds some light on the controversy of the slavery issue at the time, giving insights into those who supported it as well as the growing abolitionist movement (which was still in its infancy during this part of Newton’s life).

Another theme is how to handle singleness. Like Polly, it’s all too tempting for single adults to grow impatient in waiting for the “right” person to come along and to begin to consider compromising values for fear of remaining single.

What stands out in your mind about what has made you grow the most as a writer?

If I had to narrow down one specific thing that has helped the most in my quest for publication, I’d have to say this: My careful, ongoing, and thorough study and practice of writing techniques has been the single most beneficial aspect of my writing career.

In other words, I read writing craft books, studied fiction-writing basics, and then put what I learned into practice. All the studying and writing has been the number one thing to help me in my writing career.

Is there a scripture verse that has inspired you in your writing?

Among many, here’s one I aspire to live by: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. (Ecc. 9:10) I believe in working responsibly and hard with the gifts we’ve been given for God’s glory.

What’s coming up next in your publication schedule? What can readers look forward to?

In January of 2017, readers can look forward to the 5th and final book in my Beacons of Hope lighthouse series! Be looking for a cover reveal soon!

Then in March of 2017, my third young adult book, For Love and Honor releases. This book spotlights the third knight in the series, Sir Bennet and tells how he finds his one true love.

In June of 2017, I’ll be unveiling a brand new series published by Bethany House. More information coming soon!

Contact Jody:
I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website:
For lots of fun pictures, follow me on Pinterest:
I get personal on Instagram:

September 19, 2016

Twilight at Blueberry Barrens {Colleen Coble}

twilight at blueberry barrens colleen coble
Kate Mason has devoted herself to caring for her family’s blueberry barrens. But after her fields stop producing fruit, she’s forced to come up with alternative ways to make a living.

Renting out the small cottage on her property seems an obvious choice, but it won’t be enough. When entrepreneur Drake Newham shows up looking not only for a place to rent but also for a nanny for his two nieces, it’s almost too good to be true. And maybe it is—because Drake brings with him dangerous questions about who might be out to kill his family. The more time Kate spends with Drake and the girls, the more difficult it becomes to hide her attraction to him. But a family crisis isn’t exactly the ideal time to pursue a romance.

Meanwhile, Kate learns that her uncle—in prison for murder—has escaped. Add to that a local stalker who won’t leave her alone, and Kate is looking over her shoulder at every turn. With threats swirling from multiple directions, she wonders if her blueberry fields will ever flourish again . . . or if this twilight is her last.

My Thoughts:
I just love a Colleen Coble book. So much suspense and so much romance come together to create a perfectly entertaining story.

In this book, we get to know Kate and the internal struggles she goes through each day following the trauma of her past life. Kate is so unsure of herself and convinced she is incapable of being loved. She believes her life is destined to caring for the dwindling blueberry farm her mother had, and her happiness is not important. We see Kate struggle with love and with being loved. We also get to see her reminded of God's great love for her and for His children. 

Drake seems like such a great guy. He has taken in his nieces following the death of their parents, and he struggles to raise them the best he can. He also is determined to find the true cause of death of his brother and sister-in-law, and won't stop until he finds the truth. He is bold about his feelings for Kate, and seems like the perfect man to help her recover from her trauma. He is also strong in his faith and uses God's love to get him through some of the most difficult aspects of his life.

This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout each page. I loved the suspense of having a stalker and a convicted convict on the loose. I found myself talking to Kate (and maybe double checking the locks on my own doors) as she struggled with knowing she was being watched.

I loved the drama leading up to finding the identity of the stalker, and I really loved how this book ended. Put it on your reading list for sure. 

USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.

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September 13, 2016

Somewhere With You {Debra Clopton}

somewhere with you debra clopton
Sassy, opinionated Shar Sinclair is passionate about the sea turtles she rescues in the Windswept Bay area and as needful of her freedom as they are. She’s content with her life, helping run the family resort and looking out for the wildlife around her. But sometimes she wishes she had someone to share her passion, and passions, with. But that might mean giving up some of her freedom and she’s not sure she could do that for anyone… 

Gage Landcaster is a self-made millionaire used to getting what he wants, but lately there’s an emptiness and a restlessness to his life that he can’t seem to fill. While visiting Windswept Bay, he spies a beautiful woman on the beach, struggling to rescue a sea turtle tangled in fishing line, and goes to help. Gage is captivated by the fire and passion that radiates from Shar and he knows instantly he wants her. But this may be one time when what he wants might not be an option. 

Sparks fly on the sunset beach and sparkling blue waters of the romantic Windswept Bay as Gage and Shar battle through their attraction. Gage is determined that this is one time he’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. But can Shar open her heart to him? Can he convince Shar that love doesn’t mean shackles...but a lifetime shared with the one you love?

My Thoughts:
I always love starting a new series! Although I started this series with the second book, it is still exciting to meet new characters, discover new places, and learn what makes a family tick.

Shar is one of those independent women who I fell in love with almost immediately. She is proud to be independent and has a life she loves. She works hard for her family’s business, but would rather spend all her time rescuing her beloved sea turtles. I loved her attitude about life in general, loving every minute and being carefree.

Of course, Shar has no desire to fall in love until Gage shows up. Gage has secrets to hide, and secrets he does not even know about. He has come to the island to escape his real life and try to recover from the death of his father.

The attraction between Shar and Gage is immediate and it quickly becomes obvious these two characters were made for each other. Their relationship seems to be moving forward so quickly and I loved watching them get to know each other. It is so fun to watch two characters realize just how perfect they are for each other, and then act on those realizations.

But secrets, fear, and drama always seem to get in the way, right? As these two characters realize just how much they like each other, their secrets and insecurities begin to remind them of the life they had and the happiness they found before they met each other. We get to see the struggle they go through and the turmoil in their life that does its best to tear them apart.

I loved meeting Shar and her family. Although this is a part of a series, this book can easily be read as a stand-alone. But if you are anything like me, you will be on edge waiting for the next books so you can catch up with this family and characters you are going to love.

Award-winning, Bestselling author Debra Clopton has sold over 2.5 million books and her holiday story, OPERATION: MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS has been optioned for an ABC Family Movie. Debra is known for her snappy dialogue, cowboy heroes and spunky heroines set in Texas. Her awards include: The Book Sellers Best, Romantic Times Magazine's Book of the Year. She's also a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, and a triple finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award.

A sixth generation Texan, Debra lives on a ranch in central Texas with her husband Chuck. She loves to travel and spend time with her family. She is the author of the much loved Mule Hollow Matchmakers series where you never know what the Matchmaking "Posse" is going to do next! She's written for Harlequin Love Inspired and Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins Christian and DCP Publishing. She is currently working on her 38th novel surrounded by cows, dogs and even renegade donkey herds that keep her writing authentic and often find their way into her stories. She loves helping people smile with her fun, fast paced stories.

Visit Debra's website at 
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September 7, 2016

Wee Read Wednesday: Miracle in Music City

glimmer girls miracle in music city natalie grant
In this third title in the Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls series by Natalie Grant, Miracle in Music City, the Glimmer Girls are at it again—looking for a mystery to solve. Gloria wants her daughters to learn they aren’t too young to make a difference, so she gets them involved in her annual benefit and auction. But as things often do with the trio of smart and sassy sisters, they get themselves and their nanny Miss Julia involved in a lot more than just helping mom raise money for a worthy and wonderful cause.

Our Thoughts:
My daughter has been enjoying this series so much, and this book was her favorite of the series so far. I enjoyed the trip to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry, and had fun reminiscing of my old trip to the Opry many years ago.

In this book, the sisters find themselves at odds with their best friends. They have returned from tour and found their friends not that interested in hearing about their summer. To top it all off, the sisters have the opportunity to sing at the Opry and cannot wait to tell their friends all about it. Only their friends do not seem to care.

At the Opry, the sisters land themselves in the middle of the mystery disappearance of a valuable guitar. As they begin the search to find the missing piece, they end up in the type of fun antics we have come to expect from the Glimmer sisters. They are so much fun to read about and imagine yourself in their lives.

Once again the Glimmer Girls teach us valuable lessons about friendships, caring for others, and holding our friends dear. I thought it was a fun read myself, and I love that my daughter is having so much fun with these books.

September 5, 2016

Just a Kiss {Denise Hunter}

just a kiss denise hunter
Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.

But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.

Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.

As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?

My Thoughts:
From the very beginning of this series I have been looking forward to Riley's story, and I believe Denise Hunter saved the best for last.

It is no secret Riley has been in love with Paige from the beginning of time. He has sacrificed his entire life to make sure his love for her was kept under wraps and she was able to live her life happy and free. He enlisted in the military to get away from her, and this book begins as he is returning home - an amputee with a dark cloud over his heart.

Although Paige has appeared in previous books in this series, we really get to know her in this book. She is such a loving woman with a huge passion for helping others and making sure others are happy. She has been abandoned multiple times in her life and expects everyone to eventually leave her. As her feelings for Riley began to grow, Paige is terrified of how it is going to affect their friendship they have had for so many years. Her fear of abandonment really comes forward as she is working through her true feelings for Riley.

It is in that moment when Paige finally listens to God as He reminds her she is always loved and always His that this story really begins to take off. Paige becomes brave and ready to face her fears. Riley also decides it is time to be truthful about his feelings. The result? Read the book to find out, haha!

I have loved this series so much and will miss the Callahan brothers. I cannot wait to see what Denise brings us next.

Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of 20 novels, including Dancing with Fireflies and Convenient Groom. 

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

September 1, 2016

Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick {Suzanne Somers}

tox-sick from toxic to not sick suzanne somers
Pioneering health and wellness advocate, Suzanne Somers, delivers a powerful answer in this expose on the immediate and long-term dangers of living in a world that has become increasingly toxic to our health. The build-up of toxins in our bodies can lead to myriad health concerns — including weight gain, food allergies, brain disorders, cancer, among many others. Moved to investigate by her own family’s plight, Suzanne sits down with environmental doctors and specialists who share eye-opening information and practical advice for how to survive, thrive, and stay healthy today. In Tox-Sick you’ll learn how to effectively detox all your body’s systems and the different survival skills that can save your life, from top experts in the field, including: 
DR. SHERRY ROGERS, an environmental doctor for over 40 years, shares the truth about detoxification—and where you will likely be if you don’t take it seriously. 
DR. NICHOLAS GONZALEZ shares where cancer comes from and how to manage it by detoxifying the liver and supplementing with enzymes.
DR. RITCHIE SHOEMAKER alerts you to mold toxicity, the newest threat to your brain and wellbeing…and just what to do to fight for your health.
DR. WALTER CRINNION teaches what everyday objects to avoid and the simple diet and lifestyle shifts to clean up your health and home in mere weeks!
DR. STEPHEN SINATRA, America’s leading integrative cardiologist, explains that we have been approaching heart disease all wrong: a healthy gut, detoxed body, and quality fats are each crucial and cardioprotective. 
DR. GARRY GORDON shares new protocols for removing toxic lead from the body, as well as ways to keep the most important gland in your body, the thyroid, clean and healthy.

From diet and supplement advice to coconut oil cleanses, everything you need to live clean and enjoy great health is in your hands.

My Thoughts:
I have read so much recently about the effect of toxins in our life, but none of them have really broken down the aspects of gut health quite like this book does. This book takes the subject of gut health and goes into a detailed explanation of how our gut works, the effect toxins has on it, and how a sick gut can affect our entire health.

Throughout the book, Suzanne speaks with patients and experts to discuss their history with sick guts and how to remedy the situation and continue with a lifestyle that healthier for the gut and overall health. The stories inspired me to take on healthier shopping habits for our food and continue our quest towards a toxin free home.

This book is a great resource for anyone looking to improve their health through the removals of toxins in their life. I know it will be a resource for years to come for my family on our quest to better health.

Suzanne Somers is an American actress, author, and businesswoman. Best known for her role as the ditzy blonde Chrissy Snow on the ABC sitcom Three's Company, she also had a noted starring role on the sitcom Step by Step as Carol Foster Lambert. She later capitalized on her acting career by also establishing herself as an author of a series of self-help books. She has released two autobiographies, two self-help books, four diet books, and a book about hormone replacement therapy. She currently features items of her design on the Home Shopping Network.

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