A Light in the Wilderness

Title: A Light in the Wilderness
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2231-9

“She was powerless to change the law, but she could change how she defended against it, what stories she told herself, a slave of anger or a free woman,” Jane Kirkpatrick writes of Letitia in her novel, A Light in the Wilderness.

This three hundred and twenty page paperback targets those who enjoy a Christian historical fiction with romance in the Wild West during the mid-eighteen hundreds. With no profanity, topics of racism, torture, and death may not be apropos for immature readers. The beginning has a helpful list of characters and map while the ending includes the author’s note, interview, and biography along with acknowledgements and suggested readings. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

Based on a true story, twenty-six year old Letitia knows that being a freed black slave from the South has its problems, even when she moves to Missouri and tries to make it on her own. Arduously protecting papers proving she is not the property of someone else, she continues to get stares and is mistreated until she meets Davey Carson, an Irish cattleman who allows her food and shelter in exchange for helping out on his ranch.

When Carson decides to go out west to Oregon territory, not only does he ask Letitia to come with him, he secretly offers her the safety of marriage, strictly forbidden between whites and blacks in America at the time.

While the older man commits to her verbally, he will not agree to her asking him to put it in writing, which causes havoc between the couple throughout their travels across the vast wilderness.

The bi-racial Carsons befriend the Hawkins family, giving Letitia the support and comradery of another woman, even though she is white. As both families make the trip to Oregon, hardships, heartbreaks, and death solidify their friendship.

Finally arriving at their destination, Letitia feels peace and comfort, thinking her days of slavery and bigotry is over in the free state. Meeting a Kalapuya Indian grandmother and her grandson in the Willamette Valley, she further understands how hatred and cruelty remain rampant.

Although the first third of the book is based in Missouri, when the protagonist finds her paradise on earth, readers learn about oppressive laws against colored people as well as taking “fundamentals” and using kinnikinnick and camas.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

Video link for this novel can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/8Ixka881BNY

This review will be posted on Revell, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Driftwood Tides

Title: Driftwood Tides
Author: Gina Holmes
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-6642-5

“Helping Holton might not win him over, but at least she could feel good about herself. If she couldn’t have the parents she wanted, she could at least be the daughter she had always wanted to be,” Gina Holmes writes about Libby in her novel, Driftwood Tides.

This two hundred and eighty-eight page paperback targets those who enjoy a romantic contemporary fiction focusing on forgiveness. With no profanity, overtly sexual scenes, or extreme violence, the topic of alcoholism would make it inappropriate for immature readers. This review wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this current day tale set in Nags Head, North Carolina, twenty-five year old Elizabeth Slater has recently been told she is adopted. Learning only her mother’s maiden name from her birth certificate, she is on a quest to not only find her mother, she yearns to find the father she never had so he can walk her down the aisle at her upcoming wedding.

When she tracks down Holton Creary, a down-on-his-luck driftwood artist, she is informed her birth mother died in an automobile accident five years ago. Wanting to understand all she can about her parents, she convinces the unknowing Holton into hiring her as an intern to help in his studio.

Holton has issues of his own. Believing he was responsible for his wife’s death, he finds solace only in a bottle of gin, unable to forgive himself and stop blaming God. As he goes deeper into debt, alcohol gets the majority of his attention.

When the wood carver gets to know the spunky Libby who resembles his past wife, he must come to terms that the love of his life kept secrets from him so long ago by giving her child up for adoption. Between drinking binges, he faces his demons as his assistant, Tess, tries arduously to keep him sober.

As Libby accepts her heritage by shedding her feelings of constantly being rejected by those around her, she deals with an obsessive, controlling adoptive mother and an insecure but committed fiancé who loves her deeply.

Written with believable characters that fail, flounder, and want to find God, Holmes writes a tender but predictable story that God washes away the resentment and anger as He laps redemption and peace upon hurtful souls’ shores.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

This review will be posted on Tyndale, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
GRAMMARLY  was used to check for errors in this review.

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What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days

Title: What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days
Author: Holley Gerth
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2288-3

“Lord, you are good to me in ways beyond what I can even comprehend. Help me to consider your kindness and remember your benefits. I’m especially thankful for …” Holley Gerth writes in her small book, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days: 52 Encouraging Truths to Hold on To.

At two hundred and fifty-six pages, this small hardbound targets women wanting a short, uplifting devotional reminder of God and what He thinks about us. Using the New International Version of the Bible, after an introduction, there are fifty-two chapters, followed by acknowledgements, notes, and the author’s biography along with advertisements for other books. This reader wishes pronouns of God were capitalized for reference.

From four to five pages each, devotions are given on the book of Psalms that can be read daily or weekly. Starting with one to several verses from the Old Testament book, the author writes about a topic, sometimes from her personal experience. Each chapter ends with a short paragraph prayer that leaves options to fill in the blank in several lined spaces along with an area to write what the reader has gleaned from the subject.

Topics focus on how to get through the hard times and include how God thinks, knows, considers, loves, and cherishes you as well as never fails, harms, rejects, tires, or hates you. Here are some of the chapter titles:

God Will Give You Courage, Not Condemnation
God is Speaking to You Today
God is Your Piece of the Pie
God is Preparing You
God Will Answer Your Desires with Good Things
God Gives You Permission to Laugh
God Will Use You to Help Others
God Deserves Your Praise Forever

Consider Chapter 8 on “God Will Give You Everything You Need” that lists the well-known Psalms 23:1-3 in the beginning. The author discusses how the majority of women at a meeting responded to how they are feeling using the word “tired.” She reminds that God wants us to rest, relax, and look to Him as our Shepherd when we are worn down. The prayer is: Lord, I’m so grateful I belong to a good and faithful Shepherd like you. Thank you for watching over me and caring for all my needs. You understand me even better than I understand myself. Today I’m coming to you and asking for …. The ending verse references Psalms 22-24.

As a weekly devotional, the same information would be read over seven days but if reviewed daily, women would comprehend views God. This reader recommends using this book in addition to being in the Word daily.

Thanks to Baker Publishing for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

 

This review will be posted on Revell, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, and Pinterest.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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** CONTEST** KEEPING FIT A TO Z edited by Stephanie Maze ~ BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Win KEEPING FIT FROM A TO Z
Editor: Stephanie Maze

** GIVING AWAY 1 FREE BOOK **

ENTER TO WIN A FREE BOOK!
Winners will be randomly selected to win FREE this children’s book.

REVIEW  TEASER: “A child’s activities should include some aerobics, stretching, muscle-strengthening, bone-strengthening, and core-building exercises,” Stepanie Maze writes to parents in her children’s book, Keeping Fit from A to Z – Mantente en forma da la A a la Z.

SIMPLE steps to enter this 3-day contest

1.  Follow my blog if you do not do so already.
2. Click on the headline ** CONTEST ** to be sure you are on the Reply page.
3. Post in the “LEAVE A REPLY” section below why you want to read this exciting book (could be funny, clever, serious, or the words “I want” since the winner is randomly chosen).
4. If you are the winner, please consider posting a review regarding what you thought of the book on at least one website.

This is a FAST CONTEST ending WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd, 2014 @ 5 PM PST so follow the requirements above and try for a chance to win the book that is mailed from the author directly to you! Winner’s shipping address must be in the U.S.A.

I read & reviewed this book & it’s 5 STAR!
My review is at http://connywithay.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/keeping-fit-from-a-to-z/

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The Story Keeper

Title: The Story Keeper
Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-4143-8826-7

“The cold feeling washed over me again – a brew of fear, fascination, and uncertainty. How could all this be coincidence? Who’d left this thing on my desk, and with what intention?” Jen questions in Lisa Wingate’s novel, The Story Keeper.

Nineteenth book by the author, this four hundred page paperback targets those that enjoy Christian historical fiction involving cultural biases, unrequited love, and complicated family dynamics. With no profanity, the topic of physical and mental abuse may not be appropriate for immature readers.

In this current-day tome written in first person, thirty-one year old Jennia Beth Gibbs has physically freed herself from her backwoods upbringing in the Blue Mountains of North Carolina and her dreams have true come true as editor for New York’s Vida House Publishing.

The emotional scars of her poor, dysfunctional family stay well hidden as she tries to forget her mother’s abandonment and her abusive father’s involvement in the cultish Church of The Brethren Saints.

When a mysterious partial manuscript appears on Jen’s desk during her first week at the new job, she hopes no one considers she has taken it from the untouchable Slush Mountain of rejected works.

Reading the first few chapters, she is captivated immediately by the story of an Appalachian Melungeon girl named Sarra whose father has abused and left her at the ruthless Brown Diggers Outpost at Looking Glass Gap. When Sarra is rescued by the naïve but compassionate young Rand Champlain, the two escape from those that think the woman is demon-possessed due to her heritage.

Emotionally connected to the story, Jen approaches her boss when she concludes that Evan Hall, a well-known author avoiding public notoriety in North Carolina, wrote the tender story. Her boss sends her back to her roots to obtain a book contract, not realizing Jennia Beth must deal with her family’s tragic issues of poverty and patriarchal control at the same time.

While the aloof Evan stubbornly insists he is not the writer of the manuscript, more chapters arrive anonymously in the editor’s possession. Starting off on the wrong foot, the two get thrown together more and more while their family issues escalate.

With vivid Blue Mountain scenery and realities of racism, religion, and the underprivileged, more than Jen and Evan must decide who and what is important as they realize God is watching over them. Once again Wingate’s woven tale of love and redemption grows in the reader’s heart.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

 

This review will be posted on Tyndale, DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, and Pinterest.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude

Title: Sunrise Sunset:52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude
Photographer: Kim Weiss
Publisher: Heath Communications, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-7573-1808-5

“Sometimes it feels the sun is performing its magic just for me, sending me a message about life – a reminder that each day is unique and special,” Kim Weiss writes in the introduction to her book, Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude.

This one hundred and twenty-eight page small square paperback targets those who appreciate a stunning sunrise or calming sunset. With all photographs by the author, over fifty-two short sayings are included, suggesting reading weekly throughout the year. A portion of the book’s proceeds is donated to Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse. The ending lists two-to-four line biographies on all contributors.

With striking color photographs gracing the right half to eighty percent of two opened pages, all shots are taken from the fourteenth floor of the photographer’s terrace, facing east and west overlooking the Florida coastline. Cirrus, cumulus, and stratus clouds, silhouetted trees, or a solo bird in flight float throughout the vibrant sky colors while the sun ascends or descends the horizon.

Added to the collection of the unmatched beauty of the sun’s daily arrival and departure viewed by mankind’s perspective are poems, affirmations, meditations, and thoughtful reflections from friends, colleagues, and mentors of the artist as well as authors, media personalities, and philosophers. Doctors including a veterinarian, a shamanic healer, actress, and Vietnam veteran along with a minister, rabbi, Unitarian, and Buddhist are quoted.

Here are two short sayings:

“I can’t think of anything except sunrise at my house – when it sets the tops of trees on fire I know it’s going to be a glorious day.” ~ Candice Bushnell.

This is the day the Lord has made. I rejoice as I move forward to do what needs to be done by me. I know that my way is made clear, safe, happy, and successful. My heart and mind are filled with gratitude!” ~ Reverend Nancy Norman referencing Psalms in the Bible.

Although the book has a wide range of different religious beliefs and no photograph can capture a majestic scene completely, viewing a beautiful sunrise or sunset shows how the Creator of the universe is amazingly artistic and creative.

This small assortment of pictures with words to ponder would make a great gift or table top book in a guest room or beach house that recalls the marvel of nature.

Thanks to the Bookpleasures and the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Legend of Sheba

Title: The Legend of Sheba
Author: Tosca Lee
Publisher: Howard Books
ISBN: 978-1-4516-8404-9

“What if I failed to engage this purported wise man, this king who so embraced riddles? Was I clever, or did he seek only to marry Saba’s wealth out from under her to suit his own insatiable coffers?” Bilqis asks herself in Tosca Lee’s novel, The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen.

At three hundred and thirty-six pages, this hardbound targets readers that like Biblical stories about King Solomon’s relationship with the Queen of Sheba depicted as liberal fiction taken from I Kings 10 and II Chronicles 9 of the Bible. With slang words such as bastard and whore along with topics of rape, adultery, and children out of wedlock, it would not be apropos for immature readers. This reader wishes all names and pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence due to the many gods mentioned. With a map in the beginning, a list of the plethora of characters would be helpful. The ending includes an afterword, author’s note, and acknowledgements.

With little historical or Biblical knowledge of the Queen of Sheba known to date, the author weaves a tale of a young queen of the southern spice lands known as Saba who was forced into her position when her father died. Losing her mother when she is six years old, the girl once named Bilqis is repeatedly raped by a step-uncle and finds solace when she is exiled to nearby Punt for six years.

Returning to her homeland to take over the throne, Saba is heartbroken when her lover is killed. Lonely and unmarried in her early twenties, she questions her god Almaqah and why she has become a pawn to maintain her kingdom’s wealth and position in the lands.

When she hears of the king of Israel’s great wisdom, wealth, and wives, written correspondence between the two monarchs grows into an intimate sharing of their mirrored loneliness and political power.

As Solomon’s never-ending libido yearns for another woman to conquer, Saba learns of Yaweh, the Unknown God who protects and loves all. When their physical and emotional affair escalates, scandals, rumors, and war threaten the two kingdoms.

With inserts of visions, gods, reading livers, and sharing dark secrets, Saba no longer questions Solomon’s power and wisdom, she admires his cunning marital alliances and treaties to gain more wealth.

Written with a focus on idolatry, promiscuity, and greed, the fictional, sometimes confusing story of love blends the multi-country jockeying of power during Israel’s glory days with a suggested location of Ark of the Covenant.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on DeeperShopping and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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** CONTEST ** THE BEATLES AND ME ON TOUR by Ivor Davis ~ Book Giveaway

Win THE BEATLES AND ME ON TOUR
by Ivor Davis

** GIVING AWAY 1 FREE PRINT BOOK & 3 FREE EBOOKS! **

ENTER TO WIN A FREE BOOK!
Winners will be randomly selected to win FREE this biography.

REVIEW  TEASER: “From the start, we saw ourselves as part of Team Beatles, and all pretense of objectivity was thrown out the window as we adopted a them-against-us attitude. We shared the band’s frustrations about the wearisome shriekers, the lousy sound systems, the would-be-hangers-on, even their acne,” Ivor Davis pens in his book, The Beatles and Me on Tour.

SIMPLE steps to enter this 3-day contest

1.  Follow my blog if you do not do so already.
2. Click on the headline ** CONTEST ** to be sure you are on the Reply page.
3. Post in the “LEAVE A REPLY” section below why you want to read this exciting book (could be funny, clever, serious, or the words “I want” since the winner is randomly chosen).
4. “Like” or “follow” one of the author’s social sites:

5. If you are the winner, please post a review regarding what you thought of the book on at least 1-2 websites.

PLEASE NOTE IF YOU WANT TO WIN THE PRINT OR EBOOK (chances higher winning one of the three e-books!)

This is a FAST CONTEST ending SUNDAY, AUGUST 31st, 2014 @ 5 PM PST so follow the 5 requirements above and try for a chance to win the book that is mailed from the author directly to you! Winner’s shipping address must be in the U.S.A.

I read & reviewed this book & it’s 4 STAR!

Here is my review: http://connywithay.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/the-beatles-and-me-on-tour/

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Keeping Fit from A to Z

Title: Keeping Fit from A to Z – Mantente en forma de la A a la Z
Executive Editor: Stephanie Maze
Publisher: Moonstone Press LLC
ISBN: 978-0-9834983-5-3

“A child’s activities should include some aerobics, stretching, muscle-strengthening, bone-strengthening, and core-building exercises,” Stepanie Maze writes to parents in her children’s book, Keeping Fit from A to Z – Mantente en forma da la A a la Z.

This thirty-two page, over-sized laminated hardcover targets ages three years old and older who are interested in getting and keeping fit through exercising indoors or outdoors. With over one hundred and fifty color photographs, it concentrates on English and Spanish words for various sports, exercises, games, and activities.

This educational and visually attractive book is a wonderful tool to teach young children about ways to keep active and healthy physically. Most pages are dedicated to a letter of the alphabet with some exceptions where two or three of the lesser used letters are combined on one page such as X,Y and Z. Each alphabet page has English words for the specific letter on the left side and Spanish words on the right side (example: M lists motocross, mountain-biking, marbles and march in a parade on the left side with monopatin and monta a caballo on the right). In addition, the opposite language word is written in smaller italicized print and parenthesis under the main word – i.e. play marbles (juega a las canicas).

After all letters are presented, the end of the book has ninety activities to try, five fun things to do, ten games to play involving two to several players, and a dozen tips for parents, along with a plethora of photography credits that include email addresses. All except the credits have both English and Spanish translations.

With energetic pictures depicting young children having fun and enjoying themselves, each letter of the alphabet includes a larger, more detailed photograph in the center of the page. The illustrations will, no doubt, make readers want to shut the book, get up, and move, keeping physically fit as they grow up.

What makes this book unique is that every activity, word, and sentence is in both English and Spanish, giving an educational bi-cultural and bi-lingual opportunity for both children and adults while promoting a healthy lifestyle at a young age.

Thanks to KSB Promotions for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great Read - A Keeper, Childrens, Give It Back!, Health, If You Borrow It

Jonah and the Great Big Fish

Title: Jonah and the Great Big Fish
Author: Rhonda Gowler Greene
Illustrator: Margaret Spengler
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-73219-8

“God told Jonah to obey, said,
‘Go to Nineveh this day.
Preach to all the people there.
Though they sin, tell them I care.
Tell them to repent.’
Yes, Jonah was the one God sent.
But, stubborn Jonah fled instead.
Didn’t do what God had said,”
Rhonda Gowler Greene writes in her children’s book, Jonah and the Great Big Fish.

This unnumbered thirty-two page hardbound targets children four to eight years old interested in knowing about Jonah, the Biblical character from the Old Testament. Using the New International Reader’s Version of the Bible, the story is taken from Jonah and written in rhyming-verse format. Scary scenes that may concern a young child might be sailing during the powerful storm and being inside of the fish. The colorful, easy-to-understand full-page illustrations by Margaret Spengler are done in airbrush, sometimes making the edges fuzzy for the viewer.

With aqua blue inside front and back jacket covers involving sea animals, the book begins with a dedication page along with the written out Bible verse of Jonah 1:1-2. Based on the story of Jonah being told by God to go to Nineveh, the man flatly refuses and climbs aboard a sailing vessel. When a violent storm arises, the shipmates are scared, asking Jonah why he is traveling with them. He confesses that he disobeyed the Lord and should be tossed in the angry sea. After the sailors throw the man into the water, the wind immediately ceases. A giant fish swallows Jonah, who becomes sorrowful and prays for redemption for three days. Jonah is released on the shore by the fish, promising to obey God and go to Nineveh.

With the story told in rhyme, readers are easily caught up viewing each page’s coinciding description. If observant, one can find a brown little dog in many of the expressive scenes. Inside the belly of the fish may be dark, yet Jonah is wide-eyed and in wonder with even the fish’s tonsil and teeth showing.

Comparing the true Biblical story that examines how disobedience brings chastisement and God’s will works in mysterious ways, this reenactment is cute, engaging, and simple as it teaches young children about God using a big fish to get Jonah’s attention.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Book Look Bloggers, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good Read - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Childrens, Christian