Saturday, November 14, 2015


RETURN TO THE DINOSAUR PLANET by COUSIN SUMMERS

What a delightful book this is. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it, since it is geared towards younger children, but it was such an adventure filled book I couldn't put it down. Peter and his sister Pearl lead an exciting life  with parents who are dinosaur hunters. Can you imagine going to school and saying, "Yeah, my parents are dinosaur hunters." The kids would probably laugh and say they didn't believe you. But for Pete and Pear, their life is an adventure everyday.

Their mom has traveled to Africa  and their dad has taken a job at a museum. Pete had grand plans to film a documentary called Dinosaur Planet. He wants to be the youngest scientist to ever produce this type of show and be famous. But his dreams are put on hold when he finds out that he has to keep an eye on his sister everyday. The good news is they get to explore the museum while their dad is there working. Can you imagine spending hours at a museum and letting your mind take in all the wonders that are there?

As they are exploring the museum one day, they push a wrong button on the elevator and it takes them to the basement. This is the place where exhibits are stored and perhaps secrets never before seen. The story really picks up when they meet Casey,  who has an  aunt that is a zoologist. Casey has the distinct responsibility to take care of a monkey from NASA for a few hours a day. I can't imagine any child not excited about that job. Casey tells Pete and Pearl that he has a top secret mission. His mission is to search for a legendary scientist that went missing while working on a classified space project.

The kids are all excited about this adventure and can't wait to start their investigation. The story is well written and is a page turner. I loved the characters and their wide eyed excitement as they explore the unknown. What will they discover? Is there danger ahead for them? Will they discover a secret thst has been hidden for years? This is a great book that reminded me of a young Indiana Jones. Get ready for an adventure you will not forget.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review

UNLIKELY REBEL by KELLI GOTTHARDT

I loved the transparency that the author displays throughout the book. After marrying her husband Richard, it seemed like she was propelled into every ministry possible. She said, "Every Sunday our worth was measured by how many people showed up at our meetings. Every event was a gauge of our leadership and spiritual effectiveness, and other churches were viewed as competition." I can relate to that statement very well . It seems like churches are competing against each other and sometimes the congregations are told not to speak to other churches because it would show disloyalty to the pastor.

Like many of us, the author found it hard to say no to ministries and soon found herself overwhelmed and spiraling out of control.  Her willingness to share about her depression was very helpful. Many people think that a pastor's wife has it all together. You are held  almost on a pedestal and constantly being watched . There are people just waiting for you to stumble.  As she describes the incident on the beach, I laid the book down for a minute. For any of us who have been sexually abused, we are always quick to blame ourselves. We learn to not trust and continue to find approval from others. I felt like I was reading my own story and  all the pain and hurt surfaced to the top. Then I read this ," The scars of my past were quickly loosening their grip on my life."

As soon as I saw this book being offered to review, I knew this book was for me. I grew up as a pastor's kid and later I became extremely involved in church. I wanted people to like me and help everywhere I could. I soon became the Children's pastor and then my downfall came. I was so overwhelmed with everything, I couldn't find my way . This book has been an inspiration to me and has encouraged me to continue to say no and feel ok about it.

Thank you for writing a book that has opened my eyes to lies that I have  been told, and to empower me to seek God, love myself and know that I don't need anyone's approval. The only approval I seek is God. You have given me a new beginning and I feel free to let go of the past and move forward where God wants me to be.

"Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story." Psalm 107:2

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


BRAZILBILLY: THE JESSELEE JONES STORY

Every once in awhile, you are fortunate to read a book that is so inspiring that you sit in awe as you read a story that will forever stay with you. I have had the honor of reading such a book which is called , "BrazilBilly :The JesseLee Jones Story."  He had hopes and dreams as he traveled to a new place. His first day in the U.S. was much different than he imagined. He traveled with everything he had and in a blink of an eye, he is robbed and left with nothing.  For many of us, that would be our reason to give up. That was not true for JesseLee. With determination and perseverance , he finds his way to a town in Illinois. I don't believe in fate, but I do believe in divine appointments, and that is exactly what JesseLee experienced when he found himself befriended by a church. They welcomed him with open arms and took him under their wings. This must have felt so different for him as people were willing to help a stranger and accept him with a desire to encourage him.

He certainly didn't have a good childhood. He was often neglected and must have felt unwanted. His ability to overcome such harsh conditions is a testament to his character. JesseLee had dreams and nothing was going to deter him from that. How many of us have let dreams slip away because the struggle was to hard to overcome?

This story really touched me because growing up in a family that never encouraged me or showed me love, I was overcome with emotion as I read about the people who helped JesseLee with his dream. He worked hard, and never seemed to give up. JesseLee was blessed with people who encouraged him and helped him. It is an emotional read at times, but one worth finishing to the last page.

JesseLee loved music. It was his dream to one day sing to a crowd , to be on stage and live his dream out. Does his dream come true? Can JesseLee, from Brazil become famous? This book will draw you in and keep you glued as the pages flow with a story that captures the American Dream. JesseLee is an inspiration to anyone who has struggled or felt  like they can't persevere. As you read the book, be encouraged that you can fulfill your destiny and you are strong enough to overcome obstacles in your path. Thank you for writing a book that gives us courage to not give up.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

UNTAMED by JASON CLARK

We all have dreams and visions of doing something exciting, something worthwhile or just hoping for a brighter future. God has a plan for each one of us. Are we listening to Him? Do we sometimes ignore His direction? It is hard to hear His voice if we are busy or ignoring what He is saying to us. "Prayer is one of the ways we learn how to hear God when He speaks to our hearts -when He describes how He loves us." Prayer is so important in our daily life. We get to spend time with God, getting to know Him and developing a deeper relationship with Him.

The author says , "I would like to suggest an untamed life begins when we believe He loves us. " he loves us no matter what . Isn't that good news? It doesn't matter what you have done, He forgives us and loves  us unconditionally. That is something for us to get excited about.

I've heard a lot of pastors talk about the wilderness. It's that place where we feel disappointment, pain, or grief and God shows up and teaches  us how to love again, feel His grace and wipe our tears away. We all go through trials but as we go through them , we become stronger and begin to trust Him more.

Throughout  the book the author has written a very in depth journey to living a life filled with His promise and free of fear to pursue Him without question. The book is very encouraging and has many examples of God's love for us. I loved when the author said these inspiring words, "When we see ourselves through out Father's eyes , we are empowered to dream in the authority of our identity, our promise." I have said for a long time that I want to see others the way Jesus sees them. Now I want to say also I want to see me the way Jesus sees me. That for me is total freedom and abandon to see myself as he sees me.

"It's time to live untamed. It's time to wake the sleeping giant within. It's time to believe and experience signs and wonders. It's time to believe His promises and run headlong into a greater works life."

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

RECOVERY JOURNAL by JAMES BARS

I am glad I chose this book to read and review. I have read another book from the author and enjoyed how he explained things in simple terms, was not preachy but had compassion for his topic. Once again, I was not disappointed with his writing style.

He takes a subject like addiction and gives readers a journal that can be used to write your thoughts in as you are guided through a daily walk with laughter, scriptures and insights. For me the book represents freedom. It is time for  us to realize that God loves us. He wants us to be happy and not be weighted down with things that take our joy away. I have taken my time going through this journal and appreciate the materials that are in the book that can be used to help those who are struggling in areas. It does talk about addiction, and it made me think of something. At some point in our life , each of us has struggled with a type of addiction. It could be food addiction, alcohol, drugs or many other things. I will use this journal for the encouraging words that are in there and the scriptures that I may need for a certain day. God always has a plan for us and I would recommend this journal for anyone looking for understanding and hope. Thank you for writing a book that can be used by many and can reach people who struggle on a daily basis.

I received this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

DEADLOCK by DiANN MILLS

I have read all of Diann Mills books and I couldn't wait to read this one. It starts with a bang and never stops. That is the kinda of hard hitting power pack writing Ms.Mills does that draws readers in.

We are introduced to Special Agent Bethany Sanchez and Special Agent Thatcher Graves . I loved  how these two are different in their techniques on the job. Bethany is one of those people who believed in going strictly by the book. There is no gray area and she doesn't believe in cutting corners . Thatcher is the kind of person who sees the bigger picture and can  think outside the box. The author does a great job of giving us two very different but dynamic detectives forced to work together. There is some history between Bethany and Thatcher that  really propels the story into a trial of trying to get along with each other as they are forced to focus on the task. Have you ever had to work with someone who you had a problem with? Will Bethany and Thatcher be able to put their differences aside?

There are two murders they are investigating and they both have different opinions about the case. They each seem to think their theory is right and this makes for a very intriguing story of nonstop action and personalities that clash. Can they come together and solve the murders? Will their stubbornness get in the way ? It is a race to the finish as they go through evidence and strategies to solve the crime. I love  the new duo that the author has introduced in this new thrilling book. They are determined, stubborn, and a welcome addition to her new book.

I love the writers style of writing that keeps you on the edge of your seat and gives you twists and turns that keep the action going. This is a must read for anyone who loves mystery and intrigue.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

Monday, November 9, 2015


THE WHOLE WORLD IS CHANGING AND I'M TO HOT TO CARE by MARTHA BOLTON

I have not laughed this much in a long time , but this book will bring a smile and laughter that is infectious. It's ok to laugh at ourselves and it's ok to feel great at any age also. The world is changing everyday. We see a new improved cell phone on the market constantly and of course there is the latest and biggest television know to man waiting to be taken home. With her wit and humor the author brings a book filled with great insight to getting older while still having fun. Change is ok, we just need to embrace it.

I always thought of myself as the cool mom. The one whose children were not ashamed to hang out with. But to my surprise "the cool mom" is gone according to my sixteen year old son. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Then I realized, I'm old according to him, and I'm now in the not cool mom group and please don't hug me in front of my friends  embarrassment parent section. Well as the author writes, "We're all getting older, so let's face it. But let's do it with humor!"

Her take on tweeting and texting had me rolling on the floor. It is so true that you can say anything while texting and no one will know if it is true or not. I guess I could say I was making an important speech at the White House, when actually I'm at the library trying to find a book on how to stay fit for dummies. We all want our lives to sound exciting, but really we need to be content where we are right now .

As she spoke about the temperature and how her husband and herself had to learn to compromise , I found my head shaking in agreement. We all want our way, but as we get older we find it is not as important as it use to be. Compromise  is a way to come together and forget the unimportant things and enjoy life to the fullest. it sure does cut down on hurt feelings and needless anger.

I enjoyed this book so much with the examples  the author wrote and the encouragement she gives us to enjoy life to the fullest. We sometimes forget the simple things in life, like a thank you to someone who surprised you with a gift. We need to make memories now for our children so they can cherish those long after we are gone. I don't want to live with regrets, but I do want to leave a legacy. I want my children to say, "my mom was full of life, laughed a lot, loved  God and had no regrets. "

Thank you for writing a book that made me laugh, gave me a new outlook on life and encouraged me to embrace my age and have fun.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

GONE TO GROUND by BRANDILYN COLLINS

I was thrilled to get a chance to read a book from this author. The stories are always powerful and have outstanding character development. This book has that and so much more. I hope you are ready to visit a small town in Mississippi. It seems to be the quaint little town that everyone wants to visit. Neighbors are there to help each other and Amaryllis ,Mississippi is full of good old people . But beneath the perfect picture of a small town, is a deep dark secret. Why would a town hide the fact that five women have died and no one seems to know anything? What happened to looking out for your neighbor? I guess the town isn't so sweet and quaint after all.

When the news spreads that the sixth women has been killed in the town, suspicion starts to mount along with the tension among the community. Three women have found evidence that supports three different men as being the killer.  Each woman is different and each give their own reasons to suspect someone. When the author brings these three women together, a mystery starts to come to light. Can they find who the killer or killers are? Is their own lives in danger?

Ms. Collins has brought together three women from different backgrounds and given them determination, and an uncanny ability to work with each other. The author writes the book giving us a glimpse of each woman's perspective on the murders. The story flows well and builds to a great ending. It is a great book with a mystery that will have you wanting to read more from this amazing storyteller. Get ready for a thrill ride as you dive into the secrets in a small town .

I received this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

.AND

Sunday, November 8, 2015


CHANGE YOUR TRAJECTORY by DALE C. BRONNER

Have  you ever heard the saying,"Change, it is a comin?" There has been so much change over the years that have affected our lives. We use cell phones instead of good old fashioned get togethers  to keep in touch. We live in a fast world where everything has to be done quickly. We are always in a hurry and never have time to really enjoy ourselves. But what happens when something changes in our live? Are we prepared for a job change? If we have an argument with someone, do we let it affect out future relationships? God is ready to change us but are we ready for the change?

When you go through a broken heart, a sickness or even a job change, God is right there with you. "He will never leave us nor forsake us." That is good news to know He is always right there, to encourage us and bring us comfort and strength. The author tells us that   "adapt, improve, observe and connect are fundamental approaches that will allow you to respond appropriately to change and to plan appropriately for transition."
God wants us to get excited about change even when you feel like the trial you are going through is hard.  He wants us to expand our vision, in Jeremiah 29:11 it says, "for I know the plans I have for you , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  I can remember pastors saying," God will never give you more than you can handle ." Sometimes we wonder if we can handle the trials, but be encouraged that He will never leave you, nor forsake you."

The author explains in detail the nine signs that your trajectory is changing. We will have new people come into out path. There will be new problems as you transition into trajectory. God will take you to new places and give you new responsibilities. As we begin to experience new perspectives , He will prepare us and give us new priorities. I'm excited about the new passion we will have and that He will give us provision as we move in the right direction that God has for us.

I became so engrossed in the book, I forgot about everything around me. I felt a new stirring in me and  a new excitement that I haven't had in a long time. The author writes with passion as he tells us to take action. It is time to prepare ourselves to hear from God. Don't let others discourage you as you hear from God. You are the only one who knows what He says to you. "You must give up your past in order to possess your future."

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

THE CAGED IN HEART by TRILLION SMALL, MS

I was very excited to get the chance to read and review this book. I knew it would be difficult at times as I read, but it was written with such compassion that I felt at peace. Many of us have experienced childhood trauma. It is not an easy thing to forget or overcome. This book has helped me understand how trauma can affect us even as we mature into adults. The author says, "Although the wound is deep and painful, the only way it will heal is if we expose it, give it the proper care, and allow it to go through the proper healing process." It is important to open up about the past, so it can be exposed and you can begin to heal from it. For some of us, it is very painful and scary to even talk about our past.  With this book the author guides you through a process of healing and be set free from the painful past.

It is easy to build up walls around us for protection, but as we do that we keep the hurt inside and we withdraw from everyone and everything around us. I loved this from the book which says, "The world around us will change when the world within us changes first." We need to make that first step to not allow our childhood trauma to  affect us and keep us in bondage. As the book says, "The fears that you experienced in the past may still feel alive and real today. If you do not face those fears they will continue to rule your relationships today and tomorrow."

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced childhood trauma. The author has done a great job of giving stories in the bible which shows us God is always there as we go through trials. The scriptures are helpful and encourage us as we walk through the freedom that is  waiting  for everyone. I was blessed to read a book that was written to help, encourage and be a voice for those who are still "Caged In."

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.