Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Woman Code by Sophia A Nelson

 The Woman Code by Sophia A Nelson is mostly Biblically based advice without Biblical references. Much of what I read in this book lines up with the same advice you'll find in scripture. I do wish she'd cited the Bible as the foundation for good advice and for the guidebook to living life. I was underwhelmed with this book. While the "codes" are good, they just didn't sound like something I'd never heard before.
This would be a good book for women who are searching for answers and for women who aren't secure in themselves and their relationships. 
This book was provided for review by Revell.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The SkinnyTaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka

A friend recently introduced me to the SkinnyTaste blog and when I saw this book I knew I needed to get it.
This isn't just re-made recipes. This is real food. What has impressed me the most is that the ingredients are high quality natural foods that I'd feel good about feeding my family.
Just look at that cinnamon butternut squash soup. Now the tricky thing to remember is serving size. As with any "weight loss plan" serving size is important. One cup of this soup is under 200 calories. The average bowl of soup that we eat in America is significantly more than one cup.  If serving size is a problem for you then you might want to approach these dishes (or any meal) with a smaller plate or bowl.

 This slow-cooker chicken enchilada soup has 368 calories for a one-and-a-half cup serving. Doesn't it look amazing?
Don't think that this is a soup-only book, it isn't. It has recipes for all meals and even desserts, it's just been cold outside and I'm instantly drawn to the soup section.
Here's the author making one of her skinny meals. 
And here's dessert! Berry cobbler. 
There are tons of recipes in this book and they all look amazing and fairly simple, you don't need to be a pro in the kitchen to pull these off.
Check out the SkinnyTaste blog here. You'll find a lot of recipes there and will get to know Gina better.

Not only are the dishes easy to make but the book is full of beautiful pictures and has the nutritional information for each recipe. 

This book was provided for review by Blogging For Books.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare by Kristine McGuire

 Kristine McGuire hits a home run with this book. An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare approaches the topic from the point of view of a former witch. This lady knows what she's talking about.
From explaining spiritual warfare, to how to dress for battle, everything is written so the reader grasps a full understanding of the topics. She leaves no stone unturned.
The book is divided into five sections, including one on common battlegrounds. Worry, fear, anger, lust, gossip, and more are clearly addressed here. She isn't afraid of offending anyone with these topics. This book was written to help others and it is an invaluable tool for the church.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about spiritual warfare and why it is important.
This book was provided for review by Glass Road Media

Friday, October 17, 2014

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

 Keepers of the Covenant is the second in Lynn Austin's Restoration Chronicles series. Biblical based fiction has never been more exciting. Reading these novels is like stepping back in time and meeting the characters that we've read about and learned about all of our lives.
In this ample novel (475 pages!) we follow Ezra as he leads the Jewish people. I really enjoyed watching the story of Esther unfold from the perspective of a Jew in the land and in the sights of persecution and facing death.
If you aren't familiar with Lynn Austin (one of my favorite authors in Christian fiction), this series might be a good place for you to start. Reading the Bible in the form of a story really helps you understand it and watching how God orchestrates through time is fascinating.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Girl Talk - Unsolicited Advice for Modern Ladies by Christie Young

 At first glance Girl Talk looks like a fun book. It's got all these illustrated pages and funny glimpes of life. Advice on how to keep in touch with people (and how to send a real postcard!), how to eat on the cheap, diet and exercise, and a lot of other things.
Some other things that I really was not prepared for. In all honesty I could never recommend this book to anyone. There are some pictures (drawings) that made me blush and I've been married for 22+ years. 
References to masterbating and lots of references to sex.
What I thought was a fun little book is now something that I'm getting rid of as fast as I can.

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books

Monday, October 13, 2014

Manic Drive VIP

I'd not heard of the band Manic Drive before being offered their new CD, VIP, to review.
At first listen I thought I might be a little too old for this music, that was only the first song though. If the entire CD was like the first song I would have stopped listening. I found Electric to be annoying and not at all what I wanted to listen to.
The CD changed course immediately after that one. VIP reminded me of a 70s disco tune. Not my favorite.
King of Mercy about brought me to tears. 
My favorite song on the CD though has to be Song to Sing. I wanted to open the windows and crank up the volume. The lyrics are beautiful and they spoke to my  heart. 
Manic Drive sounds a little boy band/worship band. As though they aren't sure what they want to be. Good music though, and definitely what the young people are into these days.

This CD was provided for review by FlyBy Promotions

About the band:
 Manic Drive has been widely known as a Canadian band who always delivers a great show, but over the past few years and project releases, they have added to their extensive touring of Canadian and US markets multiple Billboard Top 10 & 20 singles on CHR & Christian Rock Radio. Manic Drive is clearly very intentional about reaching their generation and inspiring them to pursue a deeper walk with Christ and to get involved in changing the world they are inheriting. And they are uniquely equipped to do so. The band members, all in their early-mid twenties, have made sacrifices to pursue God’s call on their lives. Their life experience, spiritual maturity and ministry have opened doors to speak into the lives of their own generation and that is perhaps the most defining characteristic of this group of guys.

Get to know them at their website:
Or on facebook:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Geoffrey Zakarian's My Perfect Pantry

There are cookbooks and then there are cookbooks. I am fairly certain that I've never been as excited about a cookbook as I am this one. I've long enjoyed watching Geoffrey Zakarian on The Food Network, he's always seemed like a great person and he can cook. This book is unique in that it takes one ingredient at a time, one that you probably already have in your pantry, and then introduces several recipes based on that one ingredient. Very clever idea. 15o easy recipes from 50 essential ingredients. Check out some of these pictures:
Salad Nicoise

Tuna Aioli dip with Balsamic Drizzle and Tuna Salad Sandwich

Maple Candied Apples

Grilled Maple-Mustard Chicken Skewers

There's even a section for popcorn! Evaporated milk, mustard, bread crumbs, pecans, rice. Really a very nice book full of all kinds of foods. I will be turning to this one for years to come!

This book was provided for review by Blogging For Books. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prescription for Life by Richard Furman, MD

We've all heard that you need to diet and exercise in order to live a healthy life. In Prescription for Life Dr Richard Furman explains why. He goes into great detail about what poor eating habits do to the body and how they cause you to age, countered with what healthy eating habits do to keep your body younger than your years.
I've been fascinated for a long time with this subject. God gave us food to eat and things to do to live a healthy life, and then we invented things like Dorito's and Oreo's. But those aren't even what's killing us. In this book you will learn how to protect yourself from heart attack, stroke, and even cancer. A few changes now can give you a longer life.
Start making changes to live a fuller life. This book has the ability to save lives and to change generations. Begin today by reading it and putting the suggestions into action.
You only have one body, why not treat it the best that you can, it will then in turn return the favor.
This book was provided for review by Revell.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Deceived by Irene Hannon

Deceived by Irene Hannon is the third and final installment in her Private Justice series. These can all be read as stand-alone novels. This one had me on the edge of my seat all day long. I started it this morning and just finished it before dinner. Wow! What a great read!
Hannon is a master at putting together a story with enough suspense to keep you peeking over your shoulder and enough romance to calm you back down.
This is probably my favorite of the books I've read of hers. 

From the back cover:
For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar looking child on a mall escalator, she's convinced it's her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating "accident" begins to look increasingly suspicious. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.
As Irene Hannon's many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plotline that accelerates to an explosive finish.

This book was provided for review by Revell.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Chia Cookbook

 The Chia Cookbook by Janie Hoffman is exactly what I needed for the two little bags of chia seeds just sitting in my cupboard. I had no idea what to do with them before receiving this book. It is packed full of not only recipes, but why you  should eat them, what they do for you. These little tiny seeds are packed full of nutritional value. I had no idea!
The sections in the book include:
Juices, Smoothies, & Shakes
Healthy Mornings
Snacks and Small Bites
Salads and Soups
Main Dishes
Desserts, Sweet Nibbles, and Cocktails
And in those you'll find everything from normal fare to the more exotic. The book even shows you how to make a chia gel and how to use it as an egg substitute.
I'm going to start with the chia, white chocolate, and macadamia granola bars. Yeah. They look as amazing as they sound.
Here's the back cover and a few pictures from the book:

The white bean and kale with chia looks yummy too! Lots of cookbooks tout healthy recipes, but this one truly has healthy recipes. There is nothing in here that I would pass on.
Can't wait to try them all!

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books

Overrated by Eugene Cho

 Overrated by Eugene Cho is a gut-wrenchingly honest look at life. From how much television the average American watches over the course of a lifetime, to how much food Americans shovel in at buffet places. Eugene challenges readers to get up and do something. 
Instead of forwarding an email, join a cause and go do something. Instead up updating a Facebook status about the injustice of __________ Go do something about it.
This is a very good book from someone who is actually putting his money where his mouth is. He shows us through his own actions that there is more to life, more to ministry than just within the walls of the church.
Excellent book. If you're stuck in the mundane, give this one a read.
This book was provided for review by FlyBy Promotions

Hit by Lorie Ann Grover

Hit by Lorie Ann Grover is a small little YA book that I was given to review by BookLook blogging program. It's a strange set-up for a novel. It takes place in two twenty-four-hour periods. At just over 200 pages it only took me a little over an hour to read. The story is told by the two main characters, each giving his own side of the story at a time. And then it goes daily and then by time. It was hard to get into at first but then I found myself interested in the story.
The ending left a lot to be desired. No real wrapping up of things. I had a lot of unanswered questions. Perhaps this is what the YA readers like these days?

In any case, it was okay. Not my favorite but not horrible either.

This book was provided for review by BookLook.

The Mason Jar

The Mason Jar by James Russel Lingerfelt 

From the back cover:
What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she's ever read? "But," she said, "it's about you." The author is your college ex.
In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather's desk; letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark, debutante, named Savannah. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she vanishes, Clayton is left with unanswered questions. 
Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to Savannah's disappearance. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the missing Mason jar.
A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.
The Mason Jar brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. Written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall.

My thoughts:
Terrible. Truly just awful.
Think that the back cover copy is written badly? The book is even worse. I couldn't bring myself to finish this one. Lots of punctuation errors and dialogue that was inane. Don't waste your time with this one.

As always, you can count on me for an honest opinion.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse.