Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Perfectly Ridiculous by Kristin Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck is back! I'm so glad she took the leap into YA fiction, her voice needs to be heard and Daisy Crispin is the perfect heroine with which to do it. In this third volume of the Universally Misunderstood series we follow Daisy and her best friend, Claire, for a two week trip to Argentina. Daisy is fulfilling a week-long missions project for a scholarship requirement and Claire plans to relax at the exclusive hotel for a week until Daisy can join her. Every well written plan usually goes awry and this one is no exception. Throw in a maybe romance with the Argentinian boy that she met in high school and nothing is as Daisy planned.

I love reading Kristin's books, her unique voice is so easy to follow and just cracks me up. Her characters are charming and fun. Even the grumpy ones amuse me.

This is a great summer read. You can lounge on the beach or even on your porch and know you've got it better than Daisy and her escapades.  Teens and adults alike will enjoy this book and the way that Billerbeck sprinkles the gospel in her pages without being preachy. Excellent book! 

About the book:

Perfectly Ridiculous
By Kristin Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck hits the target once again with Perfectly Ridiculous, the new book that looks at the life of a normal teenage girl and her challenges and struggles to fit in and not be “different”.  Growing up isn’t easy for a teenager but it’s especially hard for a girl with a unique set of parents.  This endearing story is a laugh out loud delight for teenage girls and anyone who enjoys YA fiction.

Daisy Crispin is at a crossroads. In one direction lies the promised land—life at college, away from her embarrassing and overprotective parents. In the other direction is reality—her strapped bank account, an ailing father, and family priorities. Daisy knows the “perfect” daughter wouldn’t have to think twice. But maybe Daisy was never really perfect on any level, because she does not want her life to look the way her parents think it should. She won’t let that stop her, though. Now that she has been given an exciting free trip to Argentina before going to college, she’s thrilled—until her parents decide to go along with her.

Hilarious and all too true to life, Perfectly Ridiculous gives teen girls more of what they want and love to read from Kristin Billerbeck.

 Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants, Perfectly Dateless, and Perfectly Invisible. A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She lives with her family in Northern California.

Available July 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock

It's always a privilege to read a book by Ann Tatlock. She's one of those authors that is just way above the rest. Whenever I get one of her books I hold off on reading it for as long as I can because I just know that it's going to be perfect. Travelers Rest is just that. Perfect. It's such a delight to step into the mind of this author. The stories are always fresh. There's nothing cliche about them.

In Travelers Rest we join Jane as she rushes to the hospital to see her injured fiance, Seth. Seth has a spinal cord injury and may never be able to move again. Jane is just happy he's alive, but Seth isn't sure he wants to be alive.

Jane meets and befriends several characters along the way and different areas of her life are soon intertwined with their own. This novel has many deep levels and made me laugh out loud at some points and wipe my eyes at others.

A perfect book. The only bad part is waiting for Tatlock to release her next work.

This book is available from Bethany House and was provided for review by the same.

From the back cover:

A young woman determinted to honor her committment...
An injured soldier convinced life is no longer worth living...
A retired doctor certain it's too late to  be forgiven...

Jane Morrow has a dilemma, and love alone may not solve it. Her faith has never been strong, yet somehow she hopes God will answer her prayers and tell her what to do.  The answer she finds may not be at all what she expected...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Confronting Jezebel by Steve Sampson

Honestly, I couldn't make it through this book. It didn't capture my attention and I can't give a true opinion on it because of that. Instead I will give you what the back cover says:

"The obsession for some people to control everything and everyone is as old as the biblical account of Queen Jezebel.

In this eye-opening classic, newly revised and updated, Steve Sampson shows how the Jezebel spirit-a demonic spirit of control-sows discord, confusion, rebellion and even passivity.

You can protect yourself and break free from cycles of control and manipulation. With clarity and authority, Sampson exposes the signs of a Jezebel spirit, its strategies of destruction and how you can bring it under the control of the Holy Spirit. 

This biblical and balanced guide is the definitive resource for anyone needing to confront and battle this insidious demonic entity."

Having been face to face with someone with a Jezebel spirit (and having lived through it!), I can attest to the fact that it is real and it is destructive. At one church we pastored we came face to face with this kind of evil. It was scary, but we understood what was going on and God won.

This is from Chosen publishers and is available through Bethany House.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Big Bottom Blessing by Teasi Cannon

I'd not heard of Teasi Cannon before reading her book, My Big Bottom Blessing, but now I feel like I could spend some girlfriend time with this chick. While her story at times is heartbreaking, she has a great wit about her and uses it to share and teach. If you're dealing with a life long feeling of inadequacy due to your image in the mirror and the size of your jeans, then I urge you to read this book, however, I will add that most women are dissatisfied with the way they look and some may feel that this book pushes aside the health risks of being truly overweight. While I agree that we do need to come to the place where we can accept ourselves, that isn't a go ahead to have a free-for-all every time there is food in front of you. You do need to make wise choices, not only for your outward appearance, but to prolong good health. If you're struggling then my advice to you would be to join some kind of program that teaches you the healthy way to lose those extra pounds and to keep them off.
Teasi's story deals with much more than just weight. There's an underlying cause to her struggles and as you read she will share them with you. If you are like her then you may need more than just a diet plan and willpower, you may need to see a Christian counselor who can help you to work through your issues and deal with things Biblically.
If you are more like me and just need to be accountable then might I suggest that you join me and use My Fitness Pal? It's been a great program that I've used this year and have successfully dropped the few pounds that creeped up behind me (pun soooo intended!) the past few years. And the best part is that it's FREE!  
This book was provided for review by PR By the Book.

Blessed by a Big Bottom
How one woman ditched the scale, made up with her mirror, and started loving her God-given body

"This book's healing truth and humor are a song to my spirit."
– Wynonna Judd
NASHVILLE – In a recent poll by Glamour, a stunning 97% percent of women admitted to having at least one "I hate my body" thought each day.  Even more depressing?  On average, those women – just about all of us – have not one, but 13 negative body thoughts daily.

Author Teasi Cannon knows the feeling well. "For most of my life," she says, “disgust would have been the appropriate word to define what I felt when looking in the mirror."

Until, that is, Teasi decided to take a bold step. She would stop hating herself and start loving the body God gave her. But at 50 pounds over the weight society deems appropriate, was that even possible? 

In My Big Bottom Blessing: How Hating My Body Led to Loving My Life May 2012, Worthy Publishing, trade paper, $14.99, 224 pages),Teasi recounts her journey in moving (and often hilarious) detail.  Yet this isn't just the story of a woman who has finally conquered the negative voices in her head – it's a call to arms for all women.

"Daily, millions of women like you and me go into a bathroom where a lie—a mirror—is waiting to berate them," says Teasi.  "There are as many different definitions of beauty as there are locations on the map. In some countries, the fatter a woman is, the more beautiful she is.  So this is my challenge: To set ourselves free.  From the self-sabotage.  And from believing that being thin means having true value."

From a failed first marriage to an abusive alcoholic, to a fictional "trainer" living inside her head – telling her what a fitness failure she was – My Big Bottom Blessing is Teasi's unflinchingly honest portrayal of a struggle millions of women experience every day.  But it is also a funny, gut-honest tale that will inspire readers of all ages with body image issues to embrace their value and beauty.  They’ll learn to silence their own inner critics, debunk self-sabotaging lies, and get spiritually and emotionally happy. 
Teasi Cannon Teasi Cannon has an M.A. in pastoral counseling. She is a teacher and conference leader based in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and three children.  Learn more at TeasiCannon.com, and on Twitter: @TeasiCannon

Worthy Publishing (www.worthypublishing.com), a division of Worthy Media, Inc., is a privately held company whose mission is helping people experience the heart of God. Worthy is an independent voice in Christian publishing, managing editorial, marketing, publicity, sales, and distribution from its home offices in Brentwood, TN. Worthy focuses on a boutique list of new books each year, crossing a broad spectrum on genres, including fiction, Bible study, current events, devotionals, biography, leadership, specialized Bibles, as well as spiritual and personal growth.                                 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble

Tidewater Inn: A Hope Beach Novel is the latest from author Colleen Coble. It's the first in a new series as well. Coble never disappoints and this novel is proof yet again as to why she's one of the big names in Christian fiction.
In this series we meet Libby and Nicole, friends and business partners who share a love for historical homes and bringing them back to their former glory. Nicole is on Hope Beach, a few hours from the Virginia Beach shore, checking into a lead for a new project when she's kidnapped and disappears right in front of Libby's eyes. Libby is watching the episode unravel via a beach cam. She rushes to the area to find her friend and finds much more than she ever could have imagined.
I adored how Bree and Samson made their way into this story! What a fun surprise to catch up with old characters from other Coble series. 
I also enjoyed the history of the area and the Blackbeard references. 
An exciting plot with just enough romance, this is one not to be missed!

This book was provided for review by Booksneeze.