Category Archives: Christian

Don’t Close Your Eyes

Don't Close Your Eyes: A Silly Bedtime StoryTitle: Don’t Close Your Eyes
Author: Bob Hostetler
Illustrator: Mark Chambers
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0951-4

“But if you really think you must,
Then close your eyes real tight.
And dream a dream of me because
I dream of you each night,” ends Bob Hostetler’s children’s book, Don’t Close Your Eyes: A Silly Bedtime Story.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets preschool children and older. With no scary scenes, it is a quick tale of animals trying to stay awake instead of falling asleep at night.

Written in rhyme with some complicated wording, this book has bunnies, deer, squirrels, gophers, pigs, horses, birds, bees, turtles, frogs, ducks, owls, and foxes. The full-page illustrations are colorful with enough detail to engage young ones.

~ Why ~
This is a cute book that parents will enjoy reading to their children as it promotes falling asleep by using reverse psychology. By repeatedly showing animals who want to stay awake at nighttime with words to keep their eyes open, the ending states for the listener to close the eyes and dream, just like the writer (or parent reading) dreams about them.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have children may have no need for this book. Some may wonder if it encourages to stay awake, but it is meant to be taken humorously through psychology. Beginner readers may have trouble with some of the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
While I found the rhyming charming with the animals finding ways to stay alert, I wish it mentioned God and how He keeps us safe when we are asleep.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that may help a young one drift off to sleep while trying ardently to stay awake, this is a calm, cute read.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dont-close-your-eyes-bob-hostetler/1128930071

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

Jelly Bean Blessings

Jelly Bean BlessingsTitle: Jelly Bean Blessings
Illustrator: Maddie Frost
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0932-3

“Hooray! It’s time to ride.
We’ll take our bikes outside.
Around the town we’ll glide!
Zip, zip, zip.
Let’s pedal on our bikes!” Maddie Frost rhymes in her children’s book, Jelly Bean Blessings.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book with rounded corners that is part of the Sweet Blessings series targets children preschool age and older. With no scary scenes, it is a rhyming tale of the blessings of spring. Full page color illustrations of cute animals in simplistic settings cover the pages.

Written in five-lines with some complicated wording that covers two open pages, this short tale reiterates the blessings of the spring. Beginning with eating yummy jelly beans, it covers plucking flowers, stomping in rain puddles, planting a garden, flying kites, riding bikes, taking hights, cleaning, feeding birds, and thanking God.

Each opened pages has three rhyming lines, followed by a word repeated three times and an ending line. The one-syllable keywords written three times are yum, pluck, stomp, dig, go, zip, hike, scrub, and scoop. The book promotes things to do during the spring season.

~Why ~
Having grandchildren, I like how this book is the type to cuddle up with them when they visit, especially if it is spring. Through the rhyming, it offers activities to do when it is the particular season. There is plenty to look at for the non-reader or young one.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books that mention God may not approve of this book, but He is mentioned only one time at the ending. Due to the two- and three-syllable wording, it should be read out loud to beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
With the title being about jelly beans, the topic is only mentioned on the first two pages. I wish the book was titled Spring Blessings as it would be more appropriate.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s book that is calm and about the spring season of the year, this is acceptable, but I think it could have been presented better.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jelly-bean-blessings-thomas-nelson/1129807840

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

The Third Jihad

The Third Jihad: Overcoming Radical Islam's Plan for the WestTitle: The Third Jihad
Author: Michael Youssef
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4964-3150-9

“The Third Jihad has already begun–a holy war conducted not only with terror and violence, but also by stealth and intimidation,” Michael Youssef writes at the beginning of his book, The Third Jihad: Overcoming Radical Islam’s Plan for the West.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-fifty-six-page paperback targets those who want to better understand Islam’s intentions and plans to conquer and rule the world. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, its ending includes discussion questions, author’s biography, and notes. Due to topics of torture, mutilation, murder, and death, it may not be appropriate for immature readers.

Divided into twelve chapters, the book explains how our country could feasibly become the Islamic States of America. By dissecting how our forefathers dealt with extortion of Barbary pirates, the first jihad in the seventh century when Muhammad had his vision in an Arabian cave, and the lengthy Ottoman Empire that conquered Constantinople, the chapters contain riveting information how the next jihad has already begun around the world and is being established to absorb America. The ending offers ways Islam is interjected into our society and how we Christians can survive, revive, and be not afraid.

~ Why ~
As Ecclesiastes states, there is nothing new under the sun, and writer Youssef reminds us how history repeats itself with Satan being the ultimate terrorist. Well written, the book goes into detail on how Islam means surrender, jizya is the tax of submission, and dawa is a stealth form of jihad. I appreciated learning about the three types of Muslims  (moderate, militant and political) and how each plays a part in jihads with the forced implementation of Sharia law, especially through current day indoctrination of the next generation, the exploited welfare state, liberal immigration policies, multiculturalism, and political correctness in our country.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may have no interest in this book nor want to consider thinking about how Islam is on a quest to have the world surrender to its global caliphate. Many Muslims will not approve of the book and consider the writer and readers as Islamophobic. Some Christians will not feel the call of action to stand up for Christ when they are persecuted for promoting the Gospel.

~ Wish ~
I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you do not know the background or history of Islam and how a planned jihad manipulates society and religious beliefs throughout the centuries, this is an excellent, well-documented source that will make you question the daily news when it comes to America’s freedom in regard to the growing Islamic civilization.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for this book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-third-jihad-michael-youssef/1129055515

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Christian, Non-Fiction

The Treasure of Granzella Ranch

The Treasure of Granzella Ranch: Large Print EditionTitle: The Treasure of Granzella Ranch
Author: Joan Bannan
Publisher: Joan Bannan
ISBN: 978-0-9627624-5-1

“Yes, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Sheree is told in a dream in Joan Bannan’s novel, The Treasure of Granzella Ranch.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-seventy-six pages, this hardbound targets those who like contemporary Christian romance with suspense. Using words such as darned and heck, topics of alcoholism, divorce, pornography, erectile dysfunction, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes a genealogy and map, while the ending has five recipes, acknowledgments, and seven discussion questions.

In this short tale, the Granzella Ranch in California is failing after four generations producing olive oil. Separated from her husband, Sherre returns to the homestead to help with the farm after her father dies. While her mother considers remarrying a strange man only nine months after her spouse’s death, the rest of the family deals with issues that include faltering marriages, getting over past mistakes, and learning to fall in love again.  As Sherre realizes her mistrust in herself, she learns about the real treasures of life.

~Why ~
I enjoyed learning about a generational business and how it strived to survive. Including the history of many of the family members and relationships with others was interesting. Learning about millrooms, voles, insects, and growing olives was engaging.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not appreciate this read. Others may feel the family is too dysfunctional, some conversations are trite, and the main character tries to solve all problems herself.  Some may feel the story predictable and the flow anti-climatic.

~ Wish ~
While I enjoyed the writer’s style, I had trouble with the many punctuation errors that included missing end quotes or commas that confused the reading. I had to mark it down a full point for this specific problem. I wish all the pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a quick read that focuses on how “God works all things together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” this may keep you entertained.

Thanks to the CWA Review Crew and author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-treasure-of-granzella-ranch-joan-bannan/1126483015

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Christian, Fiction

God, I Know You’re There

God, I Know You're ThereTitle: God, I Know You’re There
Author: Bonnie Rickner Jensen
Illustrator: Laura Watkins
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0922-4

“God, I can’t see You.
Still I know You’re there.
You’re in the love I give away–
The sparkle when I care.”
Bonnie Rickner Jensen ends her children’s book, God, I Know You’re There.

~ What ~
At twenty-four pages, this board book with rounded corners targets children ages three to seven years old. With no scary scenes, it contains rhymes showing little ones how to have faith in things and God while not being able to see, feel, or touch them.  Lovely colorful illustrations grace all pages and are expressive.

Written in rhyme with some complicated wording, this short book conveys how we cannot always understand or experience something, but we can believe and trust in it. Topics such as see the wind, reach the sun, hold the sky, swing from the moon, touch the stars, slide down a rainbow, watch thunder, plant seeds, trace snowflakes, and see God cannot be thoroughly explained yet we can have faith in them.

~Why ~
This is a wonderful book to help explain God, even if He is only mentioned on one page. I like that its concepts can be further discussed and explained so that a young one can understand them better. The pictures are engaging and fun to look at for the age group.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God may want to avoid this book, but it only mentions Him once. Due to some of three syllable words, it would be best to read it out loud to beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
Since only God is mentioned, it would be thoughtful to correlate His Son, Jesus, too.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book for a preschooler to early elementary age child that helps explain God is with us all the time, this one would be an excellent starter point.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/god-i-know-youre-there-bonnie-rickner-jensen/1128128160

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Never Let Go

Never Let GoTitle: Never Let Go
Author: Elizabeth Goddard
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2984-4

“I want justice. Do you hear me, Austin? I want this person found. Why don’t the police do something?” Willow pleads in Elizabeth Goddard’s novel, Never Let Go.

~ What ~
The first in the Uncommon Justice series, this three-hundred-and-sixty-five-page book targets those who enjoy contemporary Christian romantic suspense involving a missing person and family secrets. Using the word heck several times, topics of arson, kidnapping, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes author’s notes, acknowledgments, biography, and advertisements.

Set in Washington and Wyoming, Willow Anderson has made it her quest to solve her recently deceased grandfather’s final forensic genealogist project by searching for a baby that was stolen over twenty years ago. After Willow becomes the target, she works with her past love, even though he has always kept secrets from her. As the two track down leads in rural Wyoming, they try to find the girl while protecting their hearts from being hurt again.

~Why ~
With the theme of overcoming the past, this romantic story is filled with suspense as the duo search for a missing person while deciding to reignite a past relationship. I enjoyed how the two protagonists had to rely on God to get them through their disappointments and trials.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like Christian romances will pass on this story that promotes God’s protection while learning to forgive oneself and others. Although no eternal plan of salvation is discussed, it does have references to the Bible and sporadic prayers to God. I found some of the scenarios a bit far-fetched and the main relationship wishy-washy, with both characters tediously trying to decide what they want.

~ Wish ~
The scene where someone is pushed out the door seems flippant and unrealistic. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like a mystery of a woman’s desire to be like her beloved grandfather and find someone’s daughter decades later while being forced to reconnect with an old flame, this may interest you, but I found my eyes sometimes rolling with the repetitiveness of emotions.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-let-go-elizabeth-goddard/1128873070

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

American Omens

American Omens: The Coming Fight for Faith: A NovelTitle: American Omens
Author: Travis Thrasher
Publisher: Multnomah
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9178-2

“I want to help wake people up. To show them the lies they’re being fed. To show how every single person out there is being manipulated. And I want them to hear the truth. To at least hear God’s truth,” Cheyenne is told in Travis Thrasher’s novel, American Omens: The Coming Fight for Faith.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-fifty-two-pages, this gripping paperback targets those who enjoy futuristic Christian fiction regarding America’s faith in God or growing lack of it. Using several versions of the Holy Bible, it is a story of Christians standing up for their faith and beliefs while dealing with demeaningness, deception, danger, and dying. Using the word hell once, topics of torture, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

Set in 2038, young Cheyenne Burne loves her job as a programming genius at the well-known mega-tech company in Chicago. When she receives a note about her missing father who has converted to Christianity, she is forced to quit her job and go off the grid to find him. After learning about the Reckoner, a strange prophet who challenges her past company’s owner and plans to tell the world the truth, the woman teams up with a quirky ex-coworker and rogue rock star to find her father while becoming a part of something that will hopefully change millions of minds about God.

~ Why ~
This riveting tale may make you question your privacy using everyday electronics, social media, and artificial intelligence. The realistic characters who face making a decision for Christ are a call to action of readers who want to make a difference. I loved the feasible and believable scenarios of what our future may hold in regard to Christians being accused, tortured, and killed for “hate crimes,” interactive touch-screens that manipulate decisions, security watching robots, and personal mind-engaging assistants. Without becoming paranoid, I came away wondering who was recording my latest smartphone conversation, if our Alexa should be disconnected, or what governmental flags were popping up due to my blog postings due to my relationship with Jesus Christ. Linking the 1960-70s rock bands to the story was entertaining.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God and have no faith in Him may not be interested in this book, but it could be life-altering if the Holy Spirit is pricking the reader’s soul. Some may wish the ending was not anti-climatic, making them consider this could be the first book in a series due to many unanswered questions. Others may be unsure where the author stands on the Biblical rapture being imminent as it is not mentioned.

~ Wish ~
Including a list of characters might be helpful since the chapters jump around a bit. I wish the capitalization of all pronouns of God for reverence were consistent throughout the book.

~ Want ~
If you are questioning your faith in God or want to be one to stand up for Him, this tale puts the topic of faith and trust in the Almighty in the forefront. Although we know God is in control of all, the fast-reading story will grasp your spiritual attention as it shows how America may further try to degrade, dismiss, and deter believers in Him in the near future.

Rated: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Thanks to WaterBook and Multnomah Book Launch Team for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/american-omens-travis-thrasher/1128688754

#americanomens #travisthrasher #futuristictechnochristiannovel

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

The Seamstress

The SeamstressTitle: The Seamstress
Author: Allison Pittman
Publisher: Tyndale House
ISBN: 978-1-443-9046-8

“Better to live by the instinct God gave you than to be fooled by tricks and manners,” Gagnon instructs Renee in Allison Pittman’s novel, The Seamstress.

~ What ~
Inspired by a famous Dicken’s story, this four-hundred-and-eighty-page paperback targets those who enjoy learning about life, love, and loyalty during the French Revolution. Topics of poverty, premarital sex, imprisonment, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes the author’s note, ten discussion questions, author’s biography, a chapter from another authored book, and advertisements.

In this 1788 romance told sporadically throughout the chapters in first person , orphaned Renee and her cousin Laurette live with Emile Gagnon in the small village of Mouton Blanc, France. The diminutive girl who is efficient with a thread and needle is offered to go to Paris to be a seamstress for Queen Marie Antoinette, while her relative stays behind, enticed by the wiles of Marcel, a rebellious militant of the resistance against the kingdom.

Ever-patriotic to the monarch, Renee sews beautiful and unique clothing and falls in love but misses her home. Laurette learns a lesson about love that is permanent yet forgiving. Although both women live in worlds apart, they come to grips how God directs their lives.

~ Why ~
With France’s upheaval as the backdrop, this extensive tale shows how love, loyalty, and faith in God can get one through the darkest hour. I like the detailed history of the land, impressive ornateness of Versailles, and brokenness of poverty and drought that grasped the country.

~ Why Not
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand how God is in control, even when we do not understand why. Some may not like the tediousness of the story, lonely heartbreak of some characters, and ending.

~ Wish ~
With many characters who are threaded throughout the tale, it would be helpful if there were a brief list of names at the beginning of the book for reference. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a romantic fiction of two women who walk separate paths to find freedom during a revolution, this read will captivate your heart while wishing for redemption.

Thanks to Tyndale Blog for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-seamstress-allison-pittman/1129055525

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Innocence Denied

innocence deniedTitle: Innocence Denied
Author: Mike Garrett
Publisher: Crosslink Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-63357-146-4

“God never gives us more than we’re capable of handling. You’ll get through this, I swear,” Derrick comforts Larissa in Mike Garrett’s novel, Innocence Denied.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-thirty-seven-page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian contemporary suspense while focusing on deep, unsexual love between two individuals. Using the word heck twice, topics of murder and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending contains an afterword without the author’s biography.

This current day story set mainly at an Alabama lakeside cabin, the vivacious Larissa Baxter has been accused of murdering her wealthy husband. To her rescue comes Derrick Waldon, an older man wanting to make a difference to overcome his past, offers her an unusual escape route with no strings attached.

Holed up in a remote cabin, the two protagonists learn how love can conquer the pain of past mistakes while finding solace and peace within, especially when Derrick promotes his belief in the Almighty.

~ Why ~
This book is written to those who have no faith in God, showing that trust in God can get one through the hardest tribulations. The strange relationship of the couple thrown together unexpectedly is written realistically, despite their age difference. I liked the undertone of how Derrick wanted to make Larrisa find freedom while unselfishly giving up his own.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books about faith in God may not appreciate this one. Others may find some of the story unbelievable when it comes to Larissa’s escape and its aftermath. Although the book contains Bible verses and seeking God, I found it was not concise about the eternal plan of salvation (Jesus shed His blood on the cross for all our sins, rose the third day, and resides in Heaven).

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God would be capitalized as they are sporadical.

~ Want ~
If you are seeking peace in your tortured life and do not know where to turn next, the Holy Spirit may be nudging you to read this story and invite Christ into your life.

Thanks to Book Crash and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/innocence-denied-mike-garrett/1129618191

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

Secrets at Cedar Cabin

Secrets at Cedar CabinTitle: Secrets at Cedar Cabin
Author: Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8584-1

“Everything in her life had been a lie. Who wouldn’t be shaken by this kind of news?” Lance considers about Bailey in Colleen Coble’s novel, Secrets at Cedar Cabin.

~ What ~
Part of the Lavender Tides series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in romantic suspense that involves family lies and past secrets that surround human trafficking. Using the slang word heck a couple of times, topics of kidnapping, abuse, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note from the author, acknowledgments, eight discussion questions, author’s biography, and advertisements.

In this current day tale based in the state of Washington, Bailey Fleming has fled to a small cabin in Lavender Tides when she learns her mother has been murdered. When two young girls’ bodies are found on the property, the woman who trusts no one due to all the lies she has been told questions her mom’s past relationships when FBI Agent Lance Phoenix tells her the area has been used for sex trafficking and may involve his own sister. As the two of the protagonists track down the person behind it all, they rely on God as their foundation.

~ Why ~
With human trafficking being the main focus of the book, it shows how devasting it is to those involved and their families. I appreciated the detail of the crime without it being too graphic and the interesting cat that plays a part. The relationship that grows between Lance and Bailey is realistic and written well. Without focusing much on God, the underlying prayers promote that God knows what we are going through and is in control.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like mystery stories with predictable romances may not enjoy this book. Some may feel uncomfortable reading about the topic of trafficking, but it is not overly-written. I found the plethora of characters from the prior books in the series made the storyline jump around, leaving the reader often confused.

~ Wish ~
Having read two prior books in the series, I vaguely remembered their contents and characters, so including a list would be helpful. Containing a map of Lavender Tides would be helpful.

~ Want ~
Similar to the other book in the series, this Christian romantic tale has a lot of action (some unbelievable for small town living) as it focuses on the seedy underworld of sex trafficking.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-at-cedar-cabin-colleen-coble/1128128096

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction