Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

THE GOOD BOOK by Deron Spoo – Litfuse Blog Tour

I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for THE GOOD BOOK – 40 Chapters that Reveal the Bible’s Biggest Ideas by Deron Spoo. This is a great little volume to keep near your bedside to use for a daily or weekly devotional. It highlights a chapter of the Bible (included), then writes on it, tying it in to real life, then presents some reflection ideas. It is very readable!

Here is the overview:

Book Info

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.

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 http://www.readthegoodbook.com.
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I really appreciated this book and actually asked for my review copy in print (I usually always get a mobi) so I could share it with my family. As a Catholic family, I find sometimes we struggle with Biblical interpretations as the Catholic Church, while using the Bible weekly, in general has a different role for the Bible (or at least that is how it was in my 1970’s and up upbringing) with a heavy emphasis on the Gospels and a weekly emphasis on the pastor interpreting readings from the Old and New Testaments, but not a lot of individual interpretation. As an adult, I am now seeing (at least at my parish) Bible study groups and Bible reading groups, which is new to me. So – I love finding books that help me to interpret the many wonderful passages of the Bible.

Thank you for my copy and for making me part of the tour!

Here is a You Tube about the book:

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Lee Wolfe Blum’s BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL – A Litfuse Blog Tour

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I’m happy today to take part in the Litfuse blog tour for BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL by Lee Wolfe Blum. I enjoyed this easy to read novel of inspirational stories about women facing hardship and challenges and coming out a changed person, with beauty truly coming from within. To be honest, I found some of the stories intense and almost disturbing in their harshness (but really, that’s life – not a bowl of cherries!). I had planned to share this novel with my young teen, but will wait a few years.
This was a good read and a strong reminder of how our culture can sometimes need to get its priorities straight.
Thank you for my review e-copy and for making me part of the tour!
Overview:
Our culture bombards women with “thinspiration” messages and pressure to “do it all” while wearing the mask of perfection. 
Women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?
Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives-and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.

Lee Wolfe Blum is an energetic and passionate speaker who loves to help women find hope in healing from perfectionism and addictions. She works as a mental health practitioner in the field of Eating Disorders and Chemical Dependency. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and three boys.

Find out more about Lee Wolfe at leewolfeblum.com.
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Blog Tour Schedule:
 
5/2
Ashley | Aahales.com
Stacey | Books, Dreams,Life
Leila | Leila Tualla’s Bookshelf5/3
Katherine | Katherine Scott Jones
Laura | Once Upon a Storyville

5/4
Shannon | Mrsreadsbooks

5/5
Faith | Faith Raider
Julie | Surrender Issues and Chocolate
Renn | Heart to Heart Books
Beth | Beth’s Book-Nook Blog
Jami | Jami’s Words

5/8
April | Writing and Other Acts of Faith
Heather | Compared to Who?
Marjolaine | Books, Beautiful Books

5/9
Becky | Living Outside the Lines
Erin | ReviewsByErin
Jendi | Jendi’s Journal
Kelli | Kelli Sommers

5/10
Erin | tragically dull adventures of an almost librarian
Jennifer | Adventures in Unsell Land
Kelly | God’s Writer Girl
Kristie | Moments
Jessica | Girlz 4 Christ

5/11
Aimee | Family Compassion Focus
Annie | Just Commonly
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower
Colleen | ColleenRichman.com
Kay | Kaisy Daisy’s Corner
Marjorie | The Writer’s Tool

5/12
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Amanda | The Talbert Report
Amy | Pause for Tales
Carole | The Power of Words
Julie | More Of Him
Pat | An Ordinary Woman Pursing Splendor

5/13
April | Dixie n Dottie
Bree | Bibliophile Reviews
Emilie | Thinking Thoughts

5/14
Alexis | God is Love
Jennifer | A Peace of Mind
Sarah | Running Through The Storms

5/15
Denise | Ramblings of a California Couponer
Mindy | A Room without Books is Empty

5/16
Bethany | The perfect beginning
Lydia | Noveltea
Rachel | Smiling Book Reviews
Susan | In This Together
Amelia | Rejoice Evermore

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Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank

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I loved this thoughtful kids’ book about two boys in 6th grade and their friendship. Sensitively covering issues of race, grief, class, and peer relationships, this little book has a lot of punch packed between its pages. Highly recommended for middle grades – I’d love to use it with my own students next year!

Thank you for my e-copy which  I got through Net Galley.

Description

 

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HFVBTour for: The Fisherman’s Bride by Catherine Magia

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I am thrilled to be part of this tour for this wonderful book. I started it during Holy Week and it was a wonderful way to tie in to Easter. Beautifully written, the writing evokes the time and setting through prose that is simple yet powerful.

I loved the main character and must admit that I never really thought about the apostles having wives!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my review e-copy!

The Fisherman’s Bride by Catherine Magia

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Publication Date: November 2, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC, CreateSpace
Kindle & Paperback; 240 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biblical Fiction/Christian Literature

READ AN EXCERPT.

She has no name. She is not even a footnote. Her tale is hidden behind the well-told fable of her husband, the man who would become Simon Peter, the first Apostle.

Cast off by her family after shunning a wealthy suitor to marry a humble fisherman, her life is fraught with hardship. She endures her husband’s growing restlessness, fish shortages from the Sea of Galilee, and the oppression of an all-powerful Roman Empire over her people. Then her life is forever changed when her dying mother is saved by a miracle performed by a young carpenter—a man who speaks with understanding and acts with compassion. A man who can inspire the extraordinary.

Simon Peter lives on in history as the undaunted martyr of the carpenter. This is the untold story of his young bride. Her journey traverses villages and deserts, love and tradition, and a brewing revolution, to an awakening of faith that challenges everything she has ever known.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Praise

“Catherine Magia has penned a moving Christian story that transcends religious boundaries–a novel that occupies the rare space between the historical and the Biblical realms. At once speculative and interpretive, Magia’s vigorous first-person narrative of St. Peter’s wife makes a compelling case for the life, motivation and spirituality of a minor, nameless Biblical character. An ambitious and impressive debut.” -Andrew X. Pham, author of Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars

“Right from the start, the evocative and compelling tone of The Fishman’s Bride casts its line and draws in readers with a deftness that borders on enchantment. Perhaps this is because Catherine Magia uses an uncommon perspective and outsider’s view of events. And, by ‘outsider,’ this means observations that come from beyond Jesus’ inner circle, yet are closely connected by love and association. Also included in the saga are stories of fortunes made and lost, faith thwarted and regained, fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the impact of social and political change upon entire communities. Catherine Magia’s attention to embracing the extent of daily living in Biblical times, from different methods of preserving fish to different attitudes encountered during their travels, brings the story to life.

Readers of Christian literature and Biblical retellings will find this story a powerfully written, compelling account of the impact of Jesus on all layers of society, narrated from the eyes of an outsider to his central group of believers who uses the ordinary life experiences of an unnamed wife to chronicle an extraordinary journey of love, faith, and miracles.” -D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

About the Author

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Catherine Magia was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Jersey as a teenager. Although her formal education was in the hard sciences, Catherine has always maintained a passion for the written word, publishing her poetry in several literary journals including the Michigan Quarterly Review.

She discovered the voice of Simon Peter’s wife on a soul-searching journey, a trek through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. She spent seven years researching and writing her debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.

She is working on her second book – the conclusion to The Fisherman’s Bride.

By day, she works as an associate director of marketing research in the development of new cancer medications. She is currently based in Boston.

For more information please visit Catherine Magia’s website and blog.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 17
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, April 18
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, April 19
Excerpt at Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 20
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, April 21
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess

Saturday, April 22
Review at Rainy Day Reviews

Monday, April 24
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, April 25
Interview at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, April 26
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, April 28
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Monday, May 1
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Tuesday, May 2
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, May 3
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Thursday, May 4
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, May 5
Review at Unabridged Chick

Giveaway

To win a copy of The Fisherman’s Bride by Catherine Magia, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Direct Link: https://gleam.io/2Lpey/the-fishermans-bride

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Partners in Crime Blog Tour for HER SECRET by Shelley Shepard Gray with GIVEAWAY!

I’m doing another blog tour this week for Partners in Crime — for HER SECRET by Shelley Shepard Gray. This is a novel that is part suspense, part romance and focuses on a young Amish woman who has moved with her family to Kentucky to get away from a stalker (who is not Amish). This book is the start of a new series taking place in Amish Country. It was suspenseful and exciting. I love reading about the Amish way of life because it is so different from my own life!

I received a paperback of this book for review (my e-copy went missing in cyberspace); thank you for making me part of the tour!

 See below for a giveaway, too!

Her Secret

by Shelley Shepard Gray

on Tour April 17 – 28, 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

Book Details:

Genre: Amish Fiction
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Number of Pages: 272
ISBN: 006246910X (ISBN13: 9780062469106)
Series: The Amish of Hart County #1
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Author Bio:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Catch Up With Ms. Gray On: Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗,Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Shelley Shepard Gray and HarperCollins Publishers. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Print copy of Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub. The giveaway begins on March 30th and runs through May 2nd, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Litfuse Blog Tour for UNSINKABLE FAITH by Tracie Miles with GIVEAWAY!

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I am so happy to be part of this tour today! This is a gem of a book and I’m excited to share it with my Christian readers. Here’s the scoop:

For many people, remaining optimistic and feeling positive about themselves and their lives is a constant battle – especially when circumstances are difficult and life is hard.
For others, negativity is something that only sneaks up from time to time, yet still wreaks havoc in their hearts. Regardless of the root causes, once pessimistic thoughts permeate our minds, our feelings and emotions begin to control us instead of us controlling them. Eventually it doesn’t seem possible to stay positive, happy, and full of joy, and negative thought patterns shake our faith, causing us to sink emotionally, mentally, and spiritually over time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite what storms roll in, hearts anchored in God don’t sink. When we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel and live, even if our circumstances remain the same. Intentionally embracing the opportunity to experience a transformed heart and a renewed mind opens the door for a changed life, because a positive mind will always lead to a more positive life.
In
Unsinkable Faith, author and Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Tracie Miles offers hope for women who struggle with negativity. Each chapter explores Tracie’s and other women’s personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds.
Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life. This book will equip you to:
-Replace pessimism with positive thinking by becoming the captain of your thoughts;
-Learn how true joy and happiness are based on choice, not circumstances;
-Overcome unhealthy habits of negative thinking by intentionally implementing three easy mind-renewing steps;
-Stop feeling hopeless and pitiful, and start feeling hope-filled and powerful instead; and
-Discover that when you change the way you think, you change the way feel, and in turn you can change your life completely.

About the author:

Tracie Miles is a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and a bestselling author who’s spent the last twelve years inspiring women to become who God called them to be. She’s the author of “Your Life Still Counts” and “Stressed-Less Living,” and a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotions.
Find out more about Tracie at http://traciemiles.com.
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Now I will admit that I am not a negative person. I’m pretty positive and cheerful, but this book really spoke to me as it focused on choosing happiness. It also had a theme of self-forgiveness that ran through it (one of my favorite themes, if you know me!). Each chapter was very easy to read, with examples and stories, along with Bible verses and activities. My review copy was an e-book (thank you!), but I think it is a compact little book that you can leave lying around, just waiting to be discovered!
Thank you for making me part of the tour!
But wait! There’s more! There’s a GIVEAWAY with this tour:

Tracie Miles’ ‘Unsinkable Faith’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Unsinkable Faith Tracie Miles

Tracie Miles’ ‘Unsinkable Faith’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Have negative thought patterns overtaken your life and shaken your faith? Learn how to anchor your heart in God despite what storms roll in in Tracie Miles’ new book, Unsinkable Faith. Each chapter explores Tracie’s and other women’s personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life.

Join Tracie and other readers on April 25th for a fun Facebook Live event and the Anchored in Faith Prize Pack Giveaway (details below)!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 25. The winner will be announced at the Unsinkable Faith Facebook Live event. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and others searching for unsinkable faith, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 25th!

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THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

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I found this title as a deal of the day on Amazon for my kindle. It was a really captivating story about a group of neighborhood friends who are affected by near-tragic circumstances one summer. It is told through multiple points of view, and with each chapter, you discover a little more about each person as the layers are lifted away. There’s a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, a bit of intrigue. I really enjoyed this read and the ending was quite satisfying! Honestly, it’s the perfect summer read!

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

 

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The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane

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Oh my goodness — I just loved this YA book that I found as a kindle deal a while ago. This was a touching and sensitive book about teens at a summer camp for kids with mental health challenges. It was the kind of book that made you laugh, yet made you cry. I loved the sense of self-forgiveness and positive hope that came at the end!

I got mine via Amazon – you can find it online or in your favorite bookstore!

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place—and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head—and her home state—and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens.

Zander does not fit in—or so she thinks. She has only one word for her fellow campers:crazy. In fact, the whole camp population exists somewhere between disaster and diagnosis. There’s her cabinmate Cassie, a self-described manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic. Grover Cleveland (yes, like the president), a cute but confrontational boy who expects to be schizophrenic someday, odds being what they are. And Bek, a charmingly confounding pathological liar.

But amid group “share-apy” sessions and forbidden late-night outings, unlikely friendships form, and as the Michigan summer heats up, the four teens begin to reveal their tragic secrets. Zander finds herself inextricably drawn to Grover’s earnest charms, and she begins to wonder if she could be happy. But first she must come completely unraveled to have any hope of putting herself back together again.

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It has some serious issues in it, so I’d recommend it for high school.

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The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

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I really enjoyed The Lace Reader, so I was thrilled to see that Brunonia Barry had a new novel out: The Fifth Petal. This was a suspenseful story of old and current Salem.

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A Call to Mercy by Mother Teresa; Edited by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC

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I received a copy of Mother Teresa’s writings, A Call to Mercy, from Blogging for Books. This book was published to coincide with our recent Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church, and also with Mother Teresa’s canonization.

The book is organized to highlight the seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. It is full of quotes from her writings. Questions for reflection and prayer are added for the reader.

It is the kind of book that you can pick up at any time and read a portion of. I found it inspiring and moving.

Now I know that there are some folks out there who have an issue with Mother Teresa and her work. I, personally, find her both humbling and inspirational.

You can find A Call to Mercy online at Amazon or at an indie bookstore near you.

Thank you for my review copy!

(above image via Amazon)
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