Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

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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MAKING MARRIAGE BEAUTIFUL by Dorothy Greco

I recently received an ePub copy of this book as part of the Litfuse Blog Tour of MAKING MARRIAGE BEAUTIFUL by Dorothy Greco.

Now if there’s one thing I know, it is that marriage takes work. This book goes over some of the basic tenets of marriage — things that often get overlooked or are difficult to work on: expressing anger, being a good listener, gender roles and stereotypes. Greco peppers her chapters with personal anecdotes and stories of couples with whom she has worked. I have to say that her husband was a good sport for contributing so honestly to this work as well! Each chapter ends with thoughtful discussion questions and it is all set into a framework of Biblical guidance. It would make a nice wedding gift for a Christian couple!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

Book info
What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy?
All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.
Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.
Making Marriage Beautiful
 reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clichés and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.
Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy’s writing has been featured in “Relevant Magazine,” “Christianity Today,” “Sojourners,” and “Her.meneutics.” She is a regular contributor for “Gifted for Leadership,” “Today’s Christian Woman,” and “Start Marriage Right.” The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.
Visit our blog Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest View on Instagram

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule: Follow Along and Discover a New Blog!

(Dates may have been changed from those originally listed)
1/24
Sara | SK Bell
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!
Tami | This Mom’s Delight
Stacey | Books,Dreams,Life1/25
Shannon | Mrsreadsbooks
Jennifer | Jen Around the World

1/27
Dawn | Dawn Crandall’s Passion for Pages

1/28
Krystal | Live To Read ~Krystal
Lisa | Little Writer Momma
Amanda | The Talbert Report

1/30
Crystal | Our Perfectly Imperfect Life

1/31
Sherry | My Journey Back
Tima | Book Reviews by Tima
Amber | Seasons of Humility

2/1
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Kristie | Moments
Erin | Connected2Christ
Beth | Beth’s Book-Nook Blog

2/2
Dominique | Mama Bear Outpost
Denise | Ramblings of a California Couponer

2/4
Terra | Heck Of A Bunch
Jennifer | A Peace of Mind
LeAnne | Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
Beth | For The Love of Books

2/5
Theresa | Thoughts on books
Sara | Embracing Destiny
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower

2/6
Mindy | A Room Without Books is Empty

2/7
Stacey | WORD Up!
Bethany | The Perfect beginnings
Jill | I am believing God
Chardae | Lioness Dae
Carol | Carol Cooney
Christy | Welcome to Our World

Megan | Crazy Bananas
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Susan Schild’s SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS

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I received this novel from the author via Net Galley, and it was the perfect read for my recent relaxing vacation! This is one of those “slice of life” novels, where realistic characters deal with real world problems, but with an uplifting and positive feel to it.

Here’s the overview:

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Litfuse Tour for THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR by Ace Collins

I’m part of the Litfuse Publicity Blog Tour today for Ace Collins’ THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR – A Christmas devotional. This is a super little book chock full of scripture, reflection, recipes, and crafts. I plan to share mine with my family.Thank you for my review copy!See below for more info and to enter the fun giveaway!The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Ace Collins

Make this upcoming Christmas holiday a Christ-filled season of joy and wonder with the help of Ace Collins’ new devotional, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the Christmas season with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas. Download a free sampler of the book by clicking here.

About the book:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Abingdon, October 2016)

Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.

For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.

With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2frWQG8

About the author:
 
 
Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Join Ace’s Christmas festivities by entering to win the Magic of Christmas Prize Pack. Create new traditions this holiday season with your family and friends with the goodies included in the giveaway.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! 

The giveaway ends on November 21. The winner will be announced November 22 on the Litfuse blog.

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LIFE CREATIVE by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart with Giveaway and Facebook Party!

Today I’m part of the Litfuse Publicity tour for the new book by Christian authors, Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart:

Book info
About the book:

Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom(Kregel, September 2016)

What was God thinking when He created you creativeand then gave you children?

Creative moms often feel as though they must lay their passions down. But God had something special in mind for the creative woman during this intense season of mothering.

In this Pinterest age of handcrafted children’s parties, Instagram photos of beautifully decorated homes, and blogs filled with poetry and prose, it is clear that we are in the midst of a brand new artistic renaissance. Not one born in Italian cathedrals or Harlem jazz clubs, but rather in kitchens, nurseries, and living rooms around the world. Mothers, working in the cracks and crevices of each hectic day, are adorning the world with their gifts, and they’re showing all of us the beauty of this Life Creative.

In this book, you’ll learn:

-Why the world needs your art
-How this Life Creative begins at home
-When art can turn a profit
-Your part in this modern day Renaissance

Life Creative paints the stories of moms, just like you, who are fitting their inspired lives into the everyday, ordinary places of motherhood. Women like home decorator Melissa Michaels and jewelry designer Lisa Leonard, author Angie Smith, recording artist Ellie Holcomb, and many more.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2bDsqfz

About the authors:
 
 

Wendy Speake is a trained actress and heartfelt teacher. She ministers to women’s hearts through storytelling and life applications, utilizing drama, comedy, poetry and the study of God’s Word. During her career in Hollywood, Speake found herself longing to tell stories that edify and encourage women. She is the author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses (BRU Press, 2015). Speake is a wife and homeschooling mother of three boys.

Kelli Stuart is a writer and a storyteller at heart. She has written for several websites including The Huffington Post, 5 Minutes for Mom, The MOB Society, (in)courage and Compassion International. She is the author of three books, including Like a River from Its Course (Kregel Publications, 2016) and a noted speaker. Stuart her husband live in Florida with their four children.

 

Is there room for creativity and children in a mother’s life? Learn how to balance home, art, and family in Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart’s new book, Life Creative. In this Pinterest age of handcrafted children’s parties, Instagram photos of beautifully decorated homes, and blogs filled with poetry and prose, it is clear that we are in the midst of a brand new artistic renaissance. Life Creative paints the stories of moms, just like you, who are fitting their inspired lives into the everyday, ordinary places of motherhood.

Join Wendy, Kelli, and other moms in celebrating the beauty of being a creative mom by entering to win the Called to Be Creative Giveaway (details below) and by attending their author chat party on October 27!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 10/27. The winner will be announced at the Life Creative Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Wendy, Kelli, and other creative moms, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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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 27th!

 

Thank you, Litfuse and Kregel Publications, for my review copy!

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THE TEN MYTHS OF TEEN DATING by Daniel Anderson

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A father and daughter author team combines the latest scientific research with poignant, personal stories to help you engage your daughter in wise conversations about dating. Don’t miss The 10 Mythsof Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future, releasing September 1. Weaving solid Biblical truths with practical application and discussion starters, Daniel and Jacquelyn seek to equip parents to teach their daughters how to date for today . . . and tomorrow.
If you have daughters in the dating scene or who are ready to embark into dating, I encourage you to read and discuss the book with her. For more information on Daniel and Jacquelyn, please visit the Myths of Dating website.
About the authors:
 
 
Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player, an expert educator, and a father of two grown daughters and a son. As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships. He and his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson—a twenty something and also a high school teacher—decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together. Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon.
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So – I received this book through Litfuse Publicity to be part of their tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect. This is a seen as a Christian book and I wondered what the message would be. Many years ago a sweet nun told me that if I ever felt overwhelmed by sexual desire before marriage to “say a prayer and read a good book”. Would this be the same?
Let me tell you – this is a GREAT book. I read it. I had my husband read it. And I strategically left it lying around so that my teenage daughter would pick it up and read it. It has good, common sense advice in it, but it is also quite realistic and practical. The “message” here is simple: “You are loved. You are unique. You are worthy. You don’t need to compromise yourself and your body”. It acknowledges that sexual desire is real and healthy, but its focus is on having young people – primarily young women – avoid having sex for all the wrong reasons.
The author is a high school teacher, so I could truly relate to him (as an educator myself), but perhaps the most striking parts of this book were the vignettes that his own daughter added throughout, about being a teen, about her relationship with her parents, etc.
 Highly recommended! Thank you so much for making me part of the tour!
Find this book at an indie near you or on Amazon, where I am an Associate:

http://amzn.to/2e3tAl3

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Litfuse Publicity Tour for GOD BLESS US EVERYONE by Eva Marie Everson

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Today I’m taking part in the Litfuse blog tour for Eva Marie Everson’s new novel: GOD BLESS US EVERYONE. This is a title I’d classify as Christian romance. Here’s the overview:
About the book:

Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. 
For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.

When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens’ classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father’s involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2bUfaqD

About the author:
 
 
Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to Testament,Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise, Slow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
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This was my first novel by Ms. Everson. It read quickly and easily (in one day) and I enjoyed the plot and storyline. I did have a slight challenge accepting Charlie’s reason for termination at her job (probably because I work in a similar setting!), but that was just a way to get the story rolling. Of course I wanted Charlie and Dusty to get together, and I always enjoy a Christmas theme and one that encompasses forgiveness. One clever aspect of this story was the way that sections of the original A Christmas Carol started off each chapter and were tied in to the plot.
If you enjoy Christian romances, then you should pick up this one for the holidays!
Thank you for my review e-copy and for making me part of the tour!
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BETWEEN US GIRLS by Trish Donohue – a Litfuse Book Tour

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Today I’m part of the Litfuse tour for BETWEEN US GIRLS – Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. If you know me at all, you know I have a pre-teen daughter. This Christian book focuses on sharing and guiding your daughter through some tough discussions of adolescence.

Here’s the overview:

You feel more than mommy guilt. You feel a deep and growing conviction that you must do something to disciple your daughter. But what? How can a busy mom make sure that her daughter learns about the most important things in life: what Jesus did for her on the cross and how to be faithful to him in this broken world?

Author Trish Donohue has been there, and that’s why she wrote Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don’t know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God’s Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.

Between Us Girls is more than a devotional; it’s a conversation guide, and the twenty-six “chats” are just the beginning. Ultimately, Donohue’s book teaches mothers and daughters a new way to communicate and starts them on a wonderful, lifelong journey of getting to know one another better and learning to love their Savior more.

Between Us Girls was written by a busy mom for busy moms, so no prep time is needed! Just schedule some time with your daughter, grab this book, head to your destination of choice, and cherish every moment you share with your girl.

Here’s a bit about Trish:

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Trish Donohue is a wife and mom who writes from her kitchen table in West Chester, PA. With twenty years experience as a pastor’s wife involved in women’s ministry, Trish has spoken to women in a variety of settings. A desire to disciple her own daughters combined with a love for writing inspired her first book, Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. Trish and her husband, Jim, are the happy parents of two sons and two daughters.

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This is a lovely little book that you can do as much of as you like at a time. There are sharing questions, ice breakers, suggested scripture to read together, and things to talk about with your daughter, all focused on helping her to understand and talk about challenges in life and making good decisions. There is an emphasis on the mother’s discipleship, so this is a perfect choice for a Christian household.

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

You can find this book online (e.g. Amazon) or at a library or bookstore near you.

 

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The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

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I loved  Kristy Cambron’s books I’ve read (Sparrow in Terezin; The Butterfly and the Violin), so I was more than thrilled when I was asked to read and review her latest novel: THE RINGMASTER’S WIFE. It’s a historical fiction piece that centers on two women joining in with the circus in the early part of the 1900’s.

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

An ounce of courage.

A leap of faith.

Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confi nes of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!

“Vibrant with the glamour and awe that flourished under the Big Top in the 1920s, The Ringmaster’s Wife invites the reader [into] the Greatest Show on Earth.” —Joanne Bischof, award-winning author of The Lady and the Lionheart

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If you read me, you know I love my historical fiction and this book was no exception! What an interesting look into a time and place that is no longer with us – the heyday of the American circus. I found the character of Mable Ringling quite fascinating, and spent time afterwards reading about her life online. Kristy’s writing never disappoints and I enjoyed the two storylines – even though they moved a bit in and out of chronology – and I always enjoy strong female characters!

This book is published by the Christian line at Harper Collins (Thomas Nelson) but I did not find this book to be a typical “Christian fiction” piece. Just my opinion! It read as historical fiction about two fascinating women – one whom was just as fascinating in real life.

Thank you, Elizabeth from Smith Publicity, for my ARC review copy!

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Illuminated by the Message -LOUISA MAY ALCOTT – A Literary Portal to Prayer

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My friend Susan Bailey – whom I know through Orchard House – was kind enough to gift me with a copy of her new book: LOUISA MAY ALCOTT Illuminated by the Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series. This selection is one in a series of books from Catholic publishing house ACTA that takes beloved writings by authors such as Dickens, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen and paisr them with similarly themed passages from the Bible.

Using a variety of Louisa’s writings, Ms. Bailey has made connections between some of the most touching passages of Louisa’s children’s books and her journals, linking them to Bible passages of both the Old and the New Testaments. One of my favorite passages links an excerpt about Beth in Little Women as she cares for her broken but beloved dolls to a psalm that cites God as a safe-house for the battered.

This would be a nice volume to keep nearby for daily reflection. It makes me realize how deeply one can interpret Louisa’s work, too.

Thank you, Susan, for my beautiful gift copy!

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