Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Spotlight: It's Your Decision

About the Book

Author: Ed Grizzle
Publsher: iUniverse
June 2007 - print
June 2011 - Kindle
ISBN: 978-1462031863
Genre: Nonfiction / Family

Children are gifts from God, but parenting those children can often be a difficult task. In It’s Your Decision, author Ed Grizzle shows how parenting can be successful when it’s carried out according to God’s plan. 

Using his life’s experiences as a guide, Grizzle explores the importance of making the right decisions in life—from choosing the right lifestyle and the right mate and to raising children according to what God has planned for you. It’s Your Decision discusses

• planning for children;
• knowing what children need;
• being aware of the important years in a child’s life;
• understanding that children will test parents;
• valuing the role of grandparents;
• dealing with abused children;
• communicating openly and honestly;
• clarifying family roles.

Grizzle presents a guide to strengthening lives and making your family life more enjoyable. He shows how this is possible when you accept Jesus Christ into your life; he will show you the way in the difficult times.

Link to buy:

About the Author

Ed Grizzle started a ministry called It's Your Decision that helps addicts, prostitutes, and others who face difficult circumstances. He and his late wife, Mary, raised two children. Grizzle currently lives in Illinois.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Real Women Leading with Proverbs 31 Values

Authors: Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yodeer
Publisher: New Hope Publishing
February 2014
ISBN: 978-1596693968
Genre: Nonfiction / Leadership / Women’s issues

Today’s marketplace is not always a “values-friendly” environment. Business leaders Lisa Troyer and Dawn Yoder show you that you can live and thrive in a “valueless” workplace when you live by biblical values and principles.

REAL WOMEN: LEADING WITH PROVERBS 31 VALUES is a must-have leadership resource for today’s Christian woman. Written by women in the marketplace, Real Women cultivates biblical truth, credible relationship development, and practical application into everyday life through ten foundational principles. Once women embrace these ten principles, they will soon discover the multiple attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s marketplace and learn practical ways to implement the wisdom from that timeless Scripture passage.

Women will be encouraged to develop their God-given gifts and talents in the marketplace as they live out the principles that invite others to embrace the equality-inspiring values they live by. Knowing that we are not the end users of the gospel message, the Proverbs 31 leader will find the initiative to inspire the upcoming generation to view womanhood as a gift and continue the learning process that will impact generations to come.

Christian women who are in leadership positions in today’s workforce might struggle in today’s “valueless” society. Authors Troyer and Yoder show in REAL WOMEN: LEADING WITH PROVERBS 31 VALUES that it is possible to promote biblical values and principles.

The authors share ten foundational principles in the pages of REAL WOMEN: LEADING WITH PROVERBS 31 VALUES. As women learn to develop their “gifts” and talents in the workplace as they live out the principles that invite others to embrace the biblical values.

REAL WOMEN: LEADING WITH PROVERBS 31 VALUES includes stories from real women in the workforce as well as Troyer’s and Yoder’s own personal stories. Business women who are in management positions (in any field, including ministry) should consider REAL WOMEN: LEADING WITH PROVERBS 31 VALUES as part of their reading. God will surely bless those trying to live by His commands vs. the world’s. ideals.  Perfect for group or individual study.  $7.69 Kindle. $14.99 print. 224 print. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Sister Wife

Author: Diane Noble
Publisher: Avon Inspired
June 2010
ISBN: 978-0061962226
Genre: Historical/Mormon

What if the man you loved told you God wanted him to take another wife? What if that woman was your best friend?

Set in the heart of the earliest days of a new nineteenth-century sect known as the Saints, The Sister Wife is a riveting account of two women forced into a practice they don't understand, bound by their devotion to Prophet Joseph Smith. When Mary Rose marries Gabriel, neither of them could foresee how quickly the community would turn to the practice of plural marriage. Devastated when Gabe is faced with an order from the Prophet to marry her best friend, Bronwyn, Mary Rose tries to have the faith to carry through with the marriage. But can she really be married to the same man as her very best friend? Can Mary Rose and Bronwyn face betraying both their husband and their God to do what they feel is right?

THE SISTER WIFE is the first book in the Brides of Gabriel series by Ms. Noble. I hurt for Mary Rose in the opening scenes of this book, heavy with child and watching her husband go off and marry another woman—because he was ordered to by the Prophet. Gabriel made noises about being devoted to only Mary Rose and loving her only, but to my reader’s mind, he was willing enough to take another wife and even to consummate the marriage, by basically threatening his wife with excommunication.

I didn’t like that it started out the way it did, and then jumped back in time to the back story of the characters meeting, falling in love, joining the church, etc. Especially since it took most of the book to make it back to the starting point.

I don’t know that much about Mormons, I don’t know if this is still practiced or not. But it hurt my heart. I could feel Mary Rose’s pain—which is a sign of good writing. Fans of Diane Noble, Mormon fiction, or historical might enjoy THE SISTER WIFE. $8.00 kindle, $5.20 paperback. 352 pages. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NIV God's Word for Gardener's Bible

Editor: Shelley Cramm
Publisher: Zondervan
March 2014
ISBN: 978-0310441137
Genre: Bible/Devotional

God will meet you personally in your garden . . . and in his. Throughout the Scriptures God has revealed spiritual truth in the language of growing things. This Bible will take you into a deeper relationship with God through the contemplation of soil and soul.

The NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible will inspire you to seek God in a personal way through informative essays, devotional readings and prayers that explore the nature of the gardener’s work, the rewards of gardening, the influence of seasons and weather, and the joy of the harvest. In this Bible you will also find botanical-themed pages containing horticultural information for the prominent plants noted in Scripture and landscape-themed pages highlighting the main gardens and regions in which the events in the Bible took place. Draw near to the One whose garden is planted with delight—in you!

  • 260 daily devotions and 52 weekend readings arranged in weekly themes and placed near relevant passages in the text to explore the biblical metaphors of gardens and gardening
  • Beautiful, durable hardcover
  • Topical Index (for 52 weeks)
  • Special sections on the Garden of Eden, the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus the Vine.

The NIV GOD'S WORD FOR GARDENER’S BIBLE is a good idea. It involved a lot of research for the writer/editor of this concept, in both biblical gardening and modern times. But I found it rather confusing and reading more like a research project at times.

The devotions, while fitting the gardening theme, didn’t serve to increase my knowledge of scripture.

The cover is beautifully done. And as a NIV Bible it is good. As a Bible/devotional/theemed reader, I found it lacking.  I will keep the Bible at church for use and to give to someone who may come and not own a Bible. This would also make an awesome gift for a gardener in your life, or someone who is interested in biblical gardens. $4.99 kindle.  $34.99 hardcover. 1568 pages. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ruth: Mother of Kings

Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Publisher: Whitaker House
October 2013
ISBN: 978-1603749039
Genre: Biblical fiction

The story of Ruth has captivated Christian believers for centuries, not least of all because she is one of only two women with books of the Bible named after them. Now, Diana Wallis Taylor animates this cherished part of the Old Testament, with its unforgettable cast of characters. Experience Ruth's elation as a young bride—and her grief at finding herself a widow far before her time. Witness the unspeakable relief of Naomi upon hearing her daughter–in–law promise never to leave her. And celebrate with Boaz when, after years as a widower, he discovers love again, with a woman he first found gleaning in his field. The story of this remarkable woman to whom Jesus Christ traced His lineage comes to life in the pages of this dramatic retelling.

RUTH: MOTHER OF KINGS is the retelling of the story of Ruth, with all the back story, from when she was orphaned as a four-year-old girl, sent to live with grandparents she didn’t know, and then grew up and fell in love and married Mahon. It also tells  the tale of Boaz being worried about losing his wife and family to illness, mourning the death of his only son, and learning how to move beyond the grief.

Biblical fiction is not my favorite genre to read. I always end up wondering what is fact and what is fiction. The Ruth in this story has the prerequisite red hair that it seems that all heroines must have in fiction. Did the real Ruth have red hair? Would she be less heroic if she had black hair or brown?

If you are a fan of biblical fiction then you will surely love finding out more about Ruth. $14.99. 288 pages. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Diamond in the Rough

Authors: Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson
Publisher: Whitaker House
May 2013
ISBN: 978-1603747424
Genre: Historical

A man masquerading as a missionary…
A beguiling woman who buys his bluff…
And the detective who just might make him lay all his cards on the table…

Grant Diamond is a professional gambler on the run from his past. When he comes across a wagon wreck, the chance to escape his pursuers is too good a gamble to pass up, and he assumes the identity of the dead wagon driver. His plan takes an unexpected turn when local heiress Lily Rose mistakes him for the missionary she had asked to come work with the Wiyot Indians. Seeing Eureka as a promising place to lay low, Grant plays along. Before he knows it, he's bluffing his way through sermons and building an Indian school. But with a Pinkerton on his trail and a rancher rousing fresh hatred against the Indians, Grant fears the new life he's built may soon crumple like a house of cards.

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a great co-authored book. I was thoroughly captivated by this tale of a fugitive on the run, the clumsy lady who can't manage hoop skirts without them being a lethal weapon of mass destruction, and a pinkerton agent who is on a manhunt. I couldn't help but fall in love with both Grant and the Pinkerton. Lily was charming but tended to act first and think later which made for some interesting moments. 

If you are looking for a fun historical with plenty of twists, turns, and laugh-out-loud moments, then DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is the book to choose.  Its the first book in the authors' Charm & Deceit series. I can't wait to read the others if they are as fun as this book. Don't miss DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. Great book. 255 pages. $12.99. 5 stars. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Under the Cajun Moon

Author: Mindy Starns Clark
Publisher: Harvest House
September 2009
ISBN:  978-0736926249
Genre: Mystery

What Secrets Can Be Found by the Light of the Cajun Moon?

New Orleans may be the "Big Easy," but nothing about it was ever easy for international business etiquette expert Chloe Ledet. She moved away years ago, leaving her parents and their famous French Quarter restaurant behind. But when she hears that her father has been shot, she races home to be by his side and to handle his affairs--only to learn a long-hidden secret that changes everything she knew to be true about herself and her family.

Framed for murder, Chloe and a handsome Cajun stranger must search for a priceless treasure, one whose roots weave through the very history of Louisiana itself. But can Chloe depend on the mysterious man leading her on this cat-and-mouse chase into the heart of Cajun country? Or by trusting him, has she gone from the frying pan into the fire?

Following up on her bestselling Gothic thriller, Whispers of the Bayou, and Amish romantic suspense, Shadows of Lancaster County, Mindy Starns Clark offers another exciting standalone novel, one full of Cajun mystery, hidden dangers, and the glow of God's unending grace.

UNDER THE CAJUN MOON is one of Ms. Clarks’ older novels, but it easily stands alone. I have read most of Ms. Clarks’ books, even her co-written ones, and like them, so wanted to read some of the back-list ones I’ve missed.

UNDER THE CAJUN MOON is a mystery. Chloe is called home because her father was shot, but before she’s allowed to see him she must meet with his lawyer. The next thing she knows, she’s waking up in a strange hotel room and the lawyer is dead beside her. Why? Who is trying to kill all the original men who donated funds to start the famous restaurant? The body count is building and Chloe is wanted for murder…

UNDER THE CAJUN MOON starts slow, but by the middle I was thoroughly engrossed. At first I couldn’t figure out why a story set in the 1700s was included in a modern day one, but then it became clear that the mystery was set around a historical event—which explains the how… but not the why or who.  Mystery fans will be enthralled by this story of intrique and murder. Don’t miss UNDER THE CAJUN MOON. $13.99. 336 pages. 4.5 stars.