With All Due Respect By Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock Review

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Synopsis: With All Due Respect is a handbook for parents navigating the difficulties of the tween and teen years. Roesner and Hitchcock help parents identify what successful relationships look like and give easy-to-follow lessons in enforcing rules, communicating lovingly, resetting relationships, overcoming fears and exhaustion, and handling rebellion. Each day features a story every mom can relate to, down-to-earth questions to think about, and a prayer to launch an action plan. As a result, the reader gains new skills and perspective, greater strength, and an ability to live out faith daily as never before. With All Due Respect is for all parents seeking not only to connect more deeply with and positively impact their teens and tweens, but also to grow more deeply in faith through the process.

My Thoughts: This book came to me at the perfect time. I’m the mother of a 13 year old son and there are days when I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to this parenting thing. Parenting babies and toddlers was a lot less cerebral…you just love them and teach them  and guide them and keep them safe. As they approach the teenage age, they start to desire independence from their parents (much to the sadness of their moms)…they start to test the limits, they argue and question, they state, “You don’t understand!” at least 2 times a day. I have shed more than a few tears over the frustration and helpless feeling of thinking I’m doing it all wrong and “screwing up my child”.

This book was a breath of fresh air. Presented as 40 dares for moms to use with their teens and tweens, it really causes you to analyze your own childhood and parenting style and also to make changes that will guide your child towards being a good adult.

There were some dares that convicted me a bit but I tried to look at them in a way that would help me to move forward instead of being negative over what I’ve done wrong in the past.

I also liked that each dare has questions that cause you to reflect on what you’ve read and then end with a prayer.

This book also helped me to realize that even though parenting is difficult at times, I am so blessed to have the opportunity to do it. God has chosen me to raise this precious child and He believes that I am the perfect mother for Him.

I would highly recommend this book to any parent of teens or tweens, I will be coming back to it often.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

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The Occupied by Craig Parshall Review

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Synopsis: As a youth, Trevor Black unleashed spiritual forces he couldn’t comprehend. Years later, Trevor is a high-flying criminal defense lawyer in New York City, with a six-figure Aston Martin and a trophy wife. But in an extraordinary turn of events, he receives a burdensome gift: the ability to perceive the invisible. And the dark forces he now sees are all gunning for him.

When one of Trevor’s hometown friends is murdered, the MO is eerily similar to a shocking trail of murders that have already crossed the lawyer’s path. So Trevor must return home to find the killer. . . and face not only his own personal demons, but supernatural ones as well.

My Thoughts: This book provides a great picture of spiritual warfare, which is something that I believe is a very real and powerful thing. In it you follow Trevor, who has the ability to see dark forces (which he calls the horribles) as well as the light forces that battle against them. I have often wondered what it would be like if the veil was lifted and we were able to see the invisible forces…I’ve always imagined that it would be terrifying to see the hidden world around us. This book confirmed my assumptions that seeing this world would be very scary.

This story took me a good 100 pages to get interested.I felt that it dragged a bit at first and the pacing was a bit disjointed. It also took me a while to get used to the writing style. There were a lot of characters and sometimes I had a bit of trouble keeping track of who was who.

I loved the concept of the story and found myself thinking about it often after reading it. I also liked Joel’s character. He became a born again Christian in the book and his development was great throughout the book. I also liked the prevalence of Christianity and theology throughout the story. For this type of story, it was very necessary to add the Biblical truths attached to spiritual warfare, which the author did well.

There were several twists and turns that I didn’t expect and the ending was done very well. Overall, this was a great story that I enjoyed very much. I would have given it 5 stars had it not been for the slow start and the uneven pacing.

My Rating: 4 stars

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

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

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Description: Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal invites you to bring creative journaling and the calming act of coloring into your quiet time with God. This beautifully designed interactive prayer book helps guide your thoughts as you pray about concerns. Gratitude gives you a way to celebrate and give thanks to God for the many blessings he provides. Filled with over 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling and sketching, and 40 needs-based prayers, Gratitude helps you express your devotion to God with your whole heart!

My Thoughts: I have had many adult coloring books but I’ve never had any books similar to this book. It is unique in that it gives you some prompts of what to do but it also gives a lot of creative license on what to do in the book.

Most of the pages have a prayer and some things to color and then there is space for journaling with occasional prompts for how to fill in the rest.

The book focuses on subjects such as thankfulness, friendship, positivity, grace, and forgiveness.

The artwork in this book is beautiful. Some things are in color but many things are in black and white or a mix of black and white and color to allow for coloring. The pages are thick and sturdy, which would help when coloring with markers or gel pens.

Overall, this is a very unique journal and I am eager to use it and look back on it later in life. This would make a great gift for a teenage girl or a friend.

My Rating:5 stars

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

365 Pocket Morning Prayers Review

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Description: Each morning when you arise, take a moment to talk with God about the day ahead. Ask Him to prepare your heart so that you can be ready to face any challenge that comes your way. 365 Pocket Morning Prayers can guide this time of life-changing conversation and help you express your needs and concerns to God. Don’t worry about what the day will bring. Instead, release your troubles and concerns into God’s care by reading and meditating on the prayers featured in 365 Pocket Morning Prayers. Begin your day in joyful anticipation, trusting that God is in control of your life and wants only the best for you.

My Thoughts: First of all, this book is very aesthetically pleasing. The material of the cover is made of leather and feels extremely soft and smooth. it also smells great! The color is a robin’s egg blue with an embossed palm tree and birds. It also has an attached ribbon bookmark. I also like the size of the book. It is a small size, which would be handy to tuck into a purse or keep in your car.

The prayers are numbered but not dated so this book can be read in any order and started at any time. The prayers all center around a Bible verse and do not take long to read. Though short in length, the prayers are very impactful and can be a great start to the day.

The back of the book has a topical index, so the reader can choose a prayer to go with their situation.

I am very happy to have received this book. I think it would be good to keep in my car and grab it when I have a moment of waiting and take the time to read a prayer. It would also make a great gift for a friend.

My Rating: 5 stars

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

Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash Review


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Synopsis: Sometimes life, as well as death, is about second chances. Luckless Telly Martin doesn’t have a clue. An awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, he becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch…Clutch is a ghost.
Telly and Clutch must navigate the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered personal relationships and find redemption in this life and the hereafter.

My Thoughts: With the exception of Point Horror and Fear Street, I haven’t read many ghost story books. This story was very unique…it focused on a ghost but it wasn’t presented in a scary way.

The story takes place in Las Vegas and centers around a down on his luck man named Telly Martin. Telly has recently lost his job and is struggling financially. With the support of his wife, he is pursuing his dream of being a poker player, but this dream is quickly coming to an end as he is not doing well. He then through strange circumstances meets the ghost of one of the best poker players of all times, Clutch Henderson. Clutch wants to help him get to the championships and win. The story goes from there.

I loved the glitzy setting of Las Vegas…Vegas is the kind of place that I love to read about and watch shows about but I don’t think I’d like it in real life. I also loved following Telly to his poker games and seeing how he’s treated by the poker veterans. I would be terrified to play a casino table game as I know nothing about them and I’m sure I’d embarrass myself so it was a little comforting to see Telly feeling the same way.

I did find it strange that when Telly first encountered the ghost of Clutch, he didn’t seem extremely surprised or terrified. He seemed to acclimate to the situation fairly quickly. He wasn’t happy with Clutch but he also didn’t seem surprised to have him around.

Clutch was a good character, he was very complex and driven. He had a goal and was determined to get it one way or another. Telly was also a good character but he was a bit negative at times which I didn’t care for.

Overall, this was a fun, lighthearted story that had great pacing and kept me interested with each turn of the page.

My Rating: 3 and a half stars

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hidden in my Heart Scripture Memory Bible Review

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Description: Scripture memorization grounds kids in the faith, equips them for the future, and solidifies relationships with Christ, family, and others. The “Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible” was created to encourage kids not only to read God’s Word but also to hide it deep within their hearts. One hundred of the Bible’s core verses have been set to music by renowned children’s author and song writer Stephen Elkins. The 100 songs include a variety of genres and are available in the New Living Translation, New International Version, and King James Version, and all songs are free with the purchase of the Bible. Additional interactive features encourage school-age kids to engage with the Word in every place of their life.

My Thoughts: I was very excited to request this Bible for my daughter. Scripture memorization is extremely important and this Bible provides a fun and easy way to do so. There are 100 core verses highlighted throughout the Bible, presented in 3 translations (New Living Translation, New International Version, and King James Version). There is also a code in the front of the Bible that allows you to download songs for each verse (a total of 300 songs if you choose to download them all in each translation!). I find this to be one of the best features as I memorize things best by singing them (as does my daughter).

The Bible itself is in the New Living Translation, which seems to be easy to understand.The verses all have an explanation of what they are about and a prayer. They also reference a page at the end of the book in a “digging deeper” section that explains the verse further. There is also a topical memory verse finder with topics such as greed and purity as well as a song index and a list of Bible stories that are good to read and share.

The cover is very pleasing visually but it is a paper material which is not very sturdy so it is already curling at the corners and won’t hold up well over time.

Overall this is a great Bible for any child…I am actually hoping that Tyndale considers making something similar for adults!

My Rating: 4.5 stars

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

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks Review

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Synopsis: Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her, Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a sepent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity-a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth-and convince anyone to believe her-before she becomes a victim herself?

My Thoughts: This book provided some very interesting insight into some unusual practices involving snakes in church. I had never heard of this practice and was fascinated and kind of horrified to read about this. I despise snakes, they are my least favorite animal and the thought of them makes me cringe, so this book was difficult to read at parts. There are many scenes that are gruesome and creepy but also kept me on the edge of my seat.

Throughout the book you are with Gwen, a forensic artist, who was called in to help with finding a serial rapist. When she arrives, she is rebuffed by the sheriff and begins to receive threats. She then is presented with an opportunity to look into a mystery involving a church that uses snakes and drinks poisons as well as refuse medical treatment.

There was a lot going on in the book and it became a bit confusing at times. I did find the story to be very unique and liked the main characters profession…as a forensic artist (which the author also is), Gwen is skilled at interview skills as well as knowing when people are lying.

When I finished the book, I still felt like some things were left open…a few things didn’t seem to be addressed to the point that I expected them to.

I didn’t expect the culprit at all! I loved this part of the story, it was very clever and unexpected but also a little bit far fetched.

I requested this without realizing that it is the 3rd book in a series but it still can be read as a standalone as the author explains some of the characters’ backstories.

Overall, this was an enjoyable Christian mystery.

My Rating:

3 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.