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Monday, June 19, 2017

Israel-God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel

Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel's High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in "National Geographic," and his company,, provides books from its "Israel From Above" collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel. 

Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in "Israel-God's Heart" from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children's devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission's outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.
Find out more at

Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore.

The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni.  As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette's of Israel's modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God's redemption plan for the world.

My Thoughts:
Israel-God's Heart is a beautiful pictorial guide through The Holy Land.  Woven throughout the book is Scripture tracing God's plan of redemption for His people...His Divine Design as it is referred to in the book.  Included in the book are pictures and explanations of the Marvels of Modern Israel.  Ripe with historical detail, God's Word, and breathtaking pictures of both the old and modern Israel, Israel-God's Heart is a treasure to be appreciated and visited again and again.

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book.  The opinions expressed here are my own.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Driver Confessional

David L Winters is an award-winning author, humorist and speaker, originally from Ohio, who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. His first book, "Sabbatical of the Mind: The Journey from Anxiety to Peace," won several awards including a Silver Illumination Award from the Jenkins Group and two Finalist Medals from the Next Generation Indies Book Awards.
Find out more about David at
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Rideshare driver Antonio cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. looking for his next fare.
He has an unusual gift for relaxing his customers and stimulating their desire to reveal more than they planned. By the completion of their ride, many feel so comfortable that they confess their sins great and small. Antonio's faith guides his discussions and points him in new directions. Suddenly, his peaceful world is turned upside down by a mysterious businesswoman. As she heads to a midnight rendezvous, she confesses more than Antonio can handle. Her story sends him into a world of espionage, international terrorism, and danger.

My Thoughts:
I really wanted to love this book.  The synopsis drew me in and I jumped at the chance to read it.  Plus, I always like being introduced to a new author.  I ended up not really loving the book, unfortunately.  The use of "Bubering" as the rideshare name and the over explanation of the rideshare business began to grate after a while of reading.  I also felt like much of the story was stilted and not fleshed out.
With that said, I really liked the characters, especially Antonio and his family.  Driver Confessional is the first in Winters' Driver series.  The second book, Stock Car Inferno, will be book two.  I look forward to seeing where the characters go next in their journey.  And, I'm thankful to read from a new author.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.
Happy Reading,

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Memory of You

Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda.  When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for longwalks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids.  She and her husband have two grown children.

Facebook:  CatherineJWest
Twitter:  @cathwest

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died.  Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Michell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she returns to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do.  She's avoided her grandparents' sprawling, home and all its memories since the summer her sister died - the awful summer Natalie's nightmares began.  But the winery is falling, and Natalie's father wants her to shut it down.  As the majority share-holder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family's winery back in business.  When Natalie shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed.  He knows Natalie intends to close the gates, and he's determined to convince her otherwise.  But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he's not so sure he likes the woman she's become.  Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth.  He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too.  And Tanner must do whatever ti takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.  For both of them.

My Thoughts:
Catherine West knows how to write a story that pulls readers in at the beginning and holds them until the end.  With genuine characters, West weaves a deeply moving tale in The Memory of You of family conflict, regrets, loss, and love.  Both Natalie and Tanner have tragic family situations that would be the undoing of anyone.  West shares their journey in a well thought out plot with scenes that invite readers into the story.  There were points in the book that I almost could mentally and emotionally feel what the characters were going through.  Surrounding the main plot, West was adept at offering readers side stories that deepened the reading experience.  I don't plan to miss a book West writes.  You shouldn't either!

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book and all opinions given here are my own.

Happy Reading,

Monday, May 29, 2017

Wings of the Wind

When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, our-ot-date history books.  There is nothing she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible and uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus.  Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives near Dallas, Texas.

Connect with Connilyn at

You will also be blessed in following Conni's author page on Facebook.

Can vengeance give way to forgiveness when one woman's destiny becomes entangled with the very enemies she sought to destroy?

Motherless and raised alongside her brothers, Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting.  When her father and brothers are killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family.  The one thing she never counted on was surviving.

Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, has spent his share of time on the battlefield and is shocked to find an unconscious woman among the casualties.  Compelled to bring her to a healer back at the Hebrew camp, he's unprepared for the consequences of what he intended as an act of compassion.

In order to survive, Alanah must unite with her enemy.  But will a terrible revelation drive her toward an even greater danger?

My Thoughts:
Wings of the Wind is the third and final book in Connilyn Cossette's Out From Egypt series.  The previous two books were:

I am really sad to see this series come to an end.  Cossette, in this debut series, has earned a spot at the top of the Biblical Fiction genre and on my "keeper shelf".  She has a gift for melding historical research, biblical accuracy, and artistic license that points to Jesus.  In Wings of the Wind, readers get to meet again characters from the first two books in the series.  

I appreciate how Cossette writes vivid characters.  I certainly was drawn in by Alanah's strength and her vulnerability, but Tobiah absolutely was swoon worthy!  However, what really drew me to Tobiah was the picture of Christ that is found in his characterization...his rescue of Alanah and his love for her that transforms her.

Cossette's writing clearly points to God as the Sovereign and Almighty:
"We do not serve false gods who live on top of mountains.  We serve the God who made the mountains.  We serve the God who rescued us from Egypt with the very unraveling of the Creation he began.  We serve the God who built the foundations of the earth with a mere word."
Cossette brings alive the story of the battle of Jericho with striking description and throws in a little twist that you won't see coming but is absolutely brilliant.  While I'm sorry this series has come to an end, I'm extremely hopeful and excited to see what comes next from Cossette's pen.  Word on the street is that her next novel will pick up seven years or so after the battle of Jericho.  Stay tuned.  You won't want to miss a stroke of this writer's pen!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Good Book: 40 Chapters That Reveal the Bible's Biggest Ideas

Deron Spoo is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over the past 16 years, Spoo has guided the church as it transitions from being simply a downtown church to a regional church committed to urban ministry. Church members describe him as "down to earth" and "authentic." His television devotionals, "First Things First," reach 100,000 people each week. Spoo is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Paula, have three children.
Find out more about Deron at

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The Good Book  
offers a user-friendly guide to the Bible's biggest ideas.
A chapter from the Bible accompanies each chapter of the book, which helps readers understand the context and content of the Scripture passages in a way that can open the whole Bible.
Designed as a forty-day journey through forty key chapters of the Bible,  The Good Book will appeal to those who already love and read the Bible regularly as well as to those who are just beginning their Christian journey.
The Good Book:

-is a great evangelism tool for explaining the major themes of Scripture to those who want to know more about God, Jesus, and the core beliefs of Christianity;
-gives new believers an overview of the Bible and lays a framework to help them understand Scripture passages;
-helps longtime Christians rediscover the basic themes of Scripture and experience these truths in a new way; and
-encourages Scriptural literacy as it pushes readers to read both one chapter of the book and one chapter of the Bible each day for forty days.
The Good Book is great for individuals, and it can also be used by small groups in an eight-week church-wide program or a forty-week journey that focuses on one Bible chapter each week. 

The Good Book will help people understand and live by the transformative truths of the Bible.

To see what others are saying about The Good Book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
In our society and in the church across the world, where biblical illiteracy is a huge issue, The Good Book is a needed resource.  I'm thankful for Deron Spoo's work in pulling together the information in this book.
The content of the book presents solid theological ideas regarding who Jesus is and Salvation and also highlights the thread of redemption that runs from Genesis to Revelation.  
The features that I really appreciate:

  1. Prior to each chapter, the biblical passage is provided for the reader in the Christian Standard Bible version.
  2. The "commentary" on each chapter is in a digestible size and does not leave out an application of the biblical passage.
  3. At the end of each chapter is a "for reflection" portion.
The Good Book is a solid resource for personal/devotional use, for one on one discipleship purposes, or for small group study.

*I was provided a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions here are my own.


Monday, May 15, 2017

True to You AND a Giveaway!

About the author:

Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She's the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

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About the book:

It's the exciting start of a brand-new series by a contemporary romance fan favorite!
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.
My Thoughts:
Becky Wade never ceases to amaze me with her writing gift!  Wade has started her new series, A Bradford Sister's Romance, off with a bang.  As always, her characters, Nora and John especially, are complex and you are drawn into their individual stories from the start.  Wade hasn't written your typical sweet little romance.  What she has written is a multi-layered story that includes crises of faith, identity, and relationships.  Wade's writing is a delight to read.  You won't come away disappointed with the time you spend within the pages of True to You.

True to You Becky Wade
Happy Reading Ya'll,

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Woman's Study Bible: NKJV

The Woman's Study Bible  
poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation.
Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.
Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, The Woman's Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman's Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.
Features Include:
-Beautiful full-color design throughout
-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
-Book introductions and outlines
-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
-Quotes from godly women throughout history
-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
-Topical index
About the publisher:
In business since 1798, Thomas Nelson is one of the oldest Bible publishers in the world and the largest publisher of the King James Version. Their mission is to inspire the world by using our talents, assets, opportunities, and influence to engage and equip people with Scripture and draw people to a deeper study and understanding of God's Word.

Find out more about Thomas at

My Thoughts:

*I received a complimentary copy of The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV.  Any opinion shared here are my own.

The bible I received is the imitation leather cover pictured to the left.  The cover is very sturdy and the binding is strong.  The dual tone cover is attractive.

The floral design is found throughout this Bible as indicated here as a border around the character profile as found in 1 Samuel.  I appreciate that the profiles are not just simple profiles with basic information, but are concise snapshots with word meanings such as here in Hannah's profile.  Her son Samuel's name means "heard by God" and the original Hebrew word is given as well, "shemu'el".

Also included in The Woman's Study Bible are charts like the one from 1 Samuel pictured here.  These charts are very helpful in breaking down important information in a colorful and easy to follow format.  

Peppered throughout this Bible are quotes from women, past and present.  They are strategically placed near the biblical text to which they pertain.

Last, but certainly not least are the study notes at the bottom of each page.  These notes are by no means an exhaustive study, but they do provide cultural background, some context and word meanings.  The font to the notes are a bit small, but are still readable.

The Woman's Study Bible also includes a helpful full concordance and the words of Christ are in red.  I found this Bible to be aesthetically appealing, but also a deeply helpful resource for any woman looking to dig deeper into a study of the Scriptures.

The NKJV Woman's Bible Study