5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know about their Kids and Sex by Anne Marie Miller Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: Real Help for the Toughest Talks
Most parents dread talking about sex with their children. Anne Marie Miller loves giving “the talk.” As she has shared her personal story and talked about God’s gift of sex with almost half a million young people, she’s noticed some disturbing patterns:
– Google is how kids learn about sex
– Kids are learning about sex and viewing pornography earlier than parents think
– The sexually abused often don’t tell anyone for fear of getting in trouble
– Sexual messages are being consumed daily through mainstream and social media
– Most parents think their child is the exception
Instead of sweeping this topic under the rug, Miller wants to change the narrative. In this immensely practical and well-researched book, she equips parents to have meaningful and age-appropriate conversations with their children about sex, pornography, and sexual abuse. She advises parents on how to keep the lines of communication open so that their children know they can trust them with their fears, struggles, and mistakes. Most important, she offers hope to worried parents that their children can grow up with a healthy biblical view of sex as a gift from God.

My Thoughts: As a mother of a 10 year old and a teenager, this book terrified me. Children and teens in this point of history have much easier access to inappropriate things than ever before. This book covers social media, pornography, human trafficking, and many other things that make me want to move to a private island with my family.

Although scary, this book is very straightforward and provides a plethora of information on how to talk to kids of all ages about sex. It is written by a Christian author and provides some guidelines to follow to explain it from a Biblical perspective.

After reading this, I had a “talk” with my 10 year old about where babies come from…I had thought that this was too young of an age to talk about it but as the book explains, kids at this age will probably hear about it soon if not already, and I would rather be the one to share the information than it be a kid on the school bus.

There is a very handy reference guide at the end of the book that explains tons of social media apps and the potential dangers for each one. I was astounded by all of them and hadn’t heard of many of them.

This is a great resource for parents to  access when faced with the problem of what to say and when.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review.

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The Seed: A True Myth by Erik Guzman Review

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About the book:

The Seed (New Growth Press, May 2016)

Young Madeline and Roark are desperately running from the shadow that destroyed their home and is threatening their lives.

One day, they encounter Tatus, an older man who has sworn to avenge the death of his family at the hands of the shadow, and they form an alliance with him. Tatus promises that he can keep them safe from the shadow if they will help him build a fortress. So they build.

But as fortress-building consumes their lives, Madeline and Roark are increasingly filled with anger and fear, and an unseen evil threatens to ultimately destroy them. When they finally face the shadow, he presents them with an unthinkable offer that will reveal shocking secrets of the forgotten past, the unseen present, and the unimaginable future.

We’ve all had the feeling that something’s not quite right with our lives. It’s bigger than any specific failure or disappointment. It’s bigger than any person. No matter what you achieve or how much you drink or sleep, you can’t shake it. It haunts you—night and day—and propels you to do something. So you build. You build and build the maze that is your exhausting life. Sound vaguely familiar?

The Seed: A True Myth is a journey into the personal labyrinths we create to protect ourselves and those we love from the pain of living in a broken world. Guzman’s “true myth” takes the reader on an unforgettable journey that is, in essence, the grand narrative of God’s redemptive work in the world. This page-turning Christian fantasy tale is packed with mystery and drama, and readers will feel the weight and power of redemption as they journey alongside Guzman’s characters in their epic battle. The Seed deftly communicates the heart of Trinitarian theology through story—without using theological language or Christian terms—and reinforces biblical themes such as God’s character and man’s true identity and calling.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1YSvMfl

About the author:
 
Erik Guzman is Vice President of Communications and Executive Producer at Key Life Network. He’s the cohost of the nationally syndicated talk show Steve Brown, Etc. and announcer for “Key Life.” His writing has been featured in Key Life’s magazine and online at KeyLife.org, Liberate.org, Burnside Writers Collective, and Sojourners (sojo.net). He is also a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a drummer, and a 5th degree black belt in Aikido. Erik, his wife, and three children live near Orlando, Florida.
My Thoughts: I was a little hesitant to read this because I have never really dipped my feet in the fantasy genre. Fortunately, this was a very easy read. I had no trouble picturing the scenes and enjoyed being transported to another world.
The story was very interesting, filled with symbolism that was easy to decipher. The characters were interesting and mysterious. This would be a great book for those who are interested in fantasy but don’t want to start with something too fantastical.
There was a bit of foul language, which I didn’t enjoy, but other than that, it was an interesting story.
My Rating: 3 stars
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso Review

Spoilers to Centralia ahead.

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Goodreads Synopsis: Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe–new names, new location, new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust–including his own senses.

My Thoughts: I read the first book in the Jed Patrick series, Centralia in May and thought it was good but not great. This book was much better in my opinion. The story is full of action and through the entire book, the reader is unsure who to trust (as the main character, Jed is). There is a great twist towards the end of the book that I never saw coming. I’m not always a fan of government/ military thrillers but this was really enjoyable.

The author is a very good writer, the writing style was extremely easy to fall into and the pacing was perfect. I flew through the book and didn’t want to put it down. My only problem with the book was that the daughter, Lilly in the book is 8 years old but many times seems much older than that.

This is a Christian fiction story and the subject of faith and trust in God is prevalent. I enjoyed that it was part of the story but don’t feel like it would be too much that a non-believer wouldn’t enjoy it.

Overall it was a great story and I’m interested in seeing if the series will continue. I own several other books by Mike Dellosso (the cover art is amazing on his books) and look forward to picking them up soon.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.

 

June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?

Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal.

My Thoughts: I read Bittersweet by this author last year and loved the atmospheric quality to it so when I had the opportunity to read June, I jumped at the chance. The author is very gifted at painting the picture and transporting the reader to another place. The sprawling, once-fancy home is a character in itself.

I enjoyed Cassie’s character, she develops throughout the story and comes to terms with some of her issues. I also liked Lindy and June, their friendship seemed a bit one-sided at times but very realistic.

The plot was unique and there were a few surprising twists and turns. Overall, it was a fun, interesting story.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

My Father’s House by Rose Chandler Johnson Review

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About the book:

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant — her father’s love.

But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated façade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.

When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices — abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/217Bvib

About the author:
 
 

Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father’s House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It is a young woman’s journey of coming into adulthood and discovering what she’s made of. The author was very good at setting the scene and developing the characters. It almost felt like a cautionary tale against jumping into a relationship too quickly.
I liked that the story was realistic…the main character, Lily, marries a controlling, abusive man. He uses profanity at times, but it made the story realistic and wasn’t sugar coated as I have seen at times in Christian fiction.
Reading about the town that Lily returns to was like spending a day with family. As someone who has lived in the Northeast all my life, it was a lot of fun to experience the Southern hospitality of Georgia.
The romance in the story is sweet and felt genuine. I’m not always a fan of romance in books but I liked how this one developed.
This book reminded me a bit of the movie Sleeping With the Enemy but it had it’s own unique twists that set it apart.
All in all, this was an enjoyable, fast paced read that I recommend to all fans of comfort reads.
My Rating: 4 stars
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.