Friday, May 27, 2011

A Reluctant Queen

Even though liberties were taken with the story of Esther the basic story did stay intact.  It’s difficult to take a well know Biblical account and keep it entirely accurate and have a great novel at the same time.  I like how the author was selective with the events that were added and deleted from the novel. This would make for a great group book, as it would be easy to get your not-yet-saved friends to read a novel. It’s less intimidating than asking them to read the Bible story from the scriptures. Once the book is read it would make for a great comparison and they can see where the author took creative liberties with the novel. The last page has a group reading guide, what more could we ask for.
I am pleased to give this book a five star rating.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Growing Kingdom Character by Tom Yeakley


I found this ten week Bible study to be a great resource for leader development. There are two parts to this study; the first is foundational character qualities: love, integrity, humility, and servanthood. The second part is supporting character qualities: purity, faith, patience, self-control, teachability, and courage. Each topic opens with a reading section devoted to that particular quality which can be read in 15 minutes or less. The study is divided into four sections.

Bible Study: Here is where you will spend quality time looking up the references provided and writing down things you have observed about each topic. The amount of scripture varies.
Memory Verses: Four verses are given with each chapter.
Prayer: Ideas on how you can stimulate your prayers about each topic.
 Exercises: These will help you develop your leadership abilities in each area.
Obviously, the more time you spend going over the scripture verses and the exercises the longer it will take to accomplish each chapter, but it is time well spent!
I would highly recommend this Bible study and I am pleased to give this book a five star rating.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Mission Of Mercy Series by Susan May Warren

 Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of thirty novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press.  A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.  A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you! She is also the founder, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

For more about Susan and her other books, please visit

 Point of No Return 
An American boy and a warlord's engaged daughter have disappeared-together-in an Eastern European border country. Only one man can find them in time to prevent an international meltdown-Chet Stryker. But Chet is taken aback when he realizes the boy is the nephew of Mae Lund, Chet's former flame. When Mae insists on rescuing her relative herself, Chet knows he has to protect her from the enemy on their trail. Yet can he protect himself from falling for Mae again?
I really liked this love story. I did not read Susan’s previous series where she introduces Chet and Mae, but I never felt like I was missing information that was given in the previous book(s).  Chet owns an international security company, and Mae is a pilot –the- best-of-the-best! Mae wants to work for Chet but he refuses to hire her. This ends there year long relationship. When Mae’s nephew Josh goes to Georgia –the country, and doesn’t return Mae calls Chet for help.  Unknown to Mae, Chet is wanted in Georgia. As they search for Josh and the warlord’s daughter, Mae and Chet’s fire and water relationship is shared throughout the story. Will Chet and Mae find Josh and Darya on time? Does Chet make it out of the country alive? Can Chet and Mae restore their relationship? Sorry, no spoiler here, you will have to read it to find out.

                                                                               Mission: Out of Control
Brody "Wick" Wickham is a former Green Beret turned security agent-with a 100 percent mission success rate. No way is his new assignment changing that. Even if it's protecting a diva American rock star while she's on tour in Europe. Except Veronica "Vonya" Wagner isn't just a beautiful celebrity used to having her way-she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator. And she's hiding a dangerous secret. When Wick discovers what's at stake, how far over the line will he go to keep them both alive?

I love the fact that Veronica had so many personalities going concurrently throughout the story. It kept my interest to see what kind of trouble she was going to get herself into next. Wick was on alert at all times with “Vonya,”  never knowing what she might do next. Getting to know and help Veronica became a dangerous and emotional process for Wick. Developing feelings for a client is a huge NO, but does so anyway. Will he be able to do his job and keep her safe?
This is one read that will keep you turning the pages. I am happy to give this book a five star rating.

                                                                               Undercover Pursuit
The only way to get security agent Luke Dekker to a wedding? An undercover mission as groomsman. He'll bust the groom, a drug cartel heir, before anyone can say "I do." Then Luke can escape all this love and romance nonsense-and the too pretty bridesmaid/agent assigned as his "fiancée" for the weekend. Until Luke discovers that sweet, vulnerable Scarlett Hanson isn't his contact. Isn't an agent.
Isn't trained for the high-stakes mission now trapping them both. And worse, Luke's falling for her-which is not part of the assignment.
I loved the twists and turns of this romance. The three couples in this book are sure to keep you turning the page. I totally enjoyed the suspense that each couple brought to the story.
This was a great series. I think it’s also possible to read them as individual books.  I am pleased to give this book a five star rating.

To celebrate the series, Susan is giving away a Missions of Mercy Prize Pack worth over $200! One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new FLIP HD Camera
* The entire Missions of Mercy series

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. You may enter once per email, facebook, and twitter. The contest ends on May 31st. Tell your friends! Winner will be announced on June 1st at the Litfuse Publicity site and at Susan May Warren's website. (While you're there, check out her rockin' new website!)
I recieved these books from Litfuse for free in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 6, 2011

SMALL is big! by Tony & Felicity Dale with George Barna

Defining “church” would be a good summary of this book. I was not expecting the book to go in the direction that it did and was pleasantly surprised by it.  I must admit that I have been in the midst of taking a “break” from my “legacy” church. I had just gotten to the point of overload and was in desperate need of a break, so I have been home on Sundays while the family is at “church.”
I appreciate how Tony & Felicity explain the “simple” church concept. In chapter 4 they share some things that I can totally relate to as this explains why I have taken a “break” from my church.                     
 Those who are leaving the church are not necessarily immature in their faith. Many have had a long-standing walk with the Lord and have been in church leadership. They are not leaving because they have lost faith. They are leaving the church to preserve their faith. The result is “church outside the box,” a small gathering of friends loving Jesus together and reaching out to the community around them. They have freedom from church politics, from a need to “perform,” and from we-have-always-done-it-this-way tradition. In simple church, we no longer struggle to please people but are now free to march to the Holy Spirit’s drumbeat. Liberated from endless meetings, we have time to get involved in our communities and to reach out to a world that so desperately needs the Lord.”
Tony & Felicity are the first to say that the “simple” church is not for everyone –especially those already in a “legacy” church. They are looking for not-yet-saved people. On many levels I think this makes it easier to reach not-yet-saved people as they don’t have preconceived expectations of “church.” I can see how this would be a great way to reach those that would “never” go to a “traditional” church.
I am pleased to give this book a five star rating.

Book disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC.