True to You by Becky Wade – This Book Is A Real Gem

I’m not usually one to read romance novels, but when I read the description of True to You by Becky Wade, I knew I wanted to read this book.  I’m so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone.  As an adoptee, conducting my own search to find my birthmother, I was intrigued to read this story about an unlikely pair who team up to research and help a find birthmother.

Nora Bradford is content with her quiet life and surrounding herself with the things she loves, which includes family, reading, history, genealogy and watching British dramas.  John Lawson, couldn’t be any more different.  He’s a true-life hero, having saved people’s lives in his former career as a Navy SEAL.  He’s strong, driven and focused and oh yes, good looking too.

Will these opposites attract?  Why is John searching for his birth mother after all these years?  Will their efforts in searching through courthouses records, phone books and talking with people turn up anything that will lead them to John’s birthmother?  How will their faith be challenged when they run into roadblocks and situations that are far beyond their control?  Will it drive them to God or away from Him?

True to You is the first book I’ve read by Becky Wade and I absolutely loved it.  I liked the storyline which included mystery and intrigue.  Becky does a wonderful job in developing characters.  She peels back the layers as the characters grow and change through the story and events.  All the characters were very likeable.  My favorite thing was that characters didn’t make stupid decisions that make you shake your head.  Instead they were reasonable, decent, kind and caring people.  The kind of people you would like to know.

Becky is good at describing places by giving the reader enough detail so they can imagine what it looks like, but she also leaves room for the imagination of the reader to fill in the gaps.  I felt like I could step on to the streets of the charming town of Merryweather and know the people and places.

As good as all that is, the best part of this book is how Becky shows the characters dealing with difficult news and events.  They talk and reason through a crisis of faith.  I liked how Nora recognized some errors in her thinking, that it was worldly and not necessarily biblically sound.  The characters seem honest and real.

Reader’s faith in God can be encouraged and strengthened by some of the dialogue, thoughts and prayers these characters go through.

I highly recommend True to You by Becky Wade.  While this is the first book, I’ve read by Becky, I hope it’s not the last.

I would like to thank Litfuse and Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to read True to You.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Control Girl by Shannon Popkin – A Painfully Good Book – It’s a Keeper

control-girl-by-shannon-popkinNot that I would like to admit that I’m controlling, but when I saw Shannon Popkin’s new book Control Girl – Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible, I knew I wanted to read it.  Perhaps the Lord had something He wanted to me learn about being controlling.

How come it’s always easier to see a behavior, attitude or action as sinful and wrong in someone else’s life but be oblivious to it in my own life?  I guess in some respects I let my sin blind me to the reality that being a control freak is not good and may be downright sinful.  God used Control Girl to make me more aware of my sinful propensity to be controlling.

In this book, Shannon does an excellent job unveiling the tendency in some women to be controlling.  She does this by being open and transparent with her own life and shares the negative and hurtful consequences of being controlling.  More importantly, she takes the reader to examples from the Bible of real women, that lived in a different day and age, who also had inner control girl issues.  Through Scripture she shows examples from the lives of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebakah, Leah, Rachel and Miriam on why and how our control girl may spring into action and how it effects our relationships.  Being a control freak may not be conducive to our own happiness and reflects and impacts our relationship with God.

This is an excellent book to help people who struggle with control issues to see it for what it is.  Being a controlling person is sinful and not something we should leave unexamined and unfettered.  But we can have victory when we repent, trust God and surrender control to Him.

I found this book to be painful as I recalled examples from my own life of being a control girl.  Things that as I look back on, make me want to cringe.  How in the world did I not see that as wrong back in the day?

Warning…you may find this book to be painful and direct in confronting sinful controlling tendencies.  But Shannon manages to it with tenderness and grace and from the vantage point of someone who has addressed the issue in her own life.  This is also an encouraging book to help us walk in a manner that honors and glorifies God, trust Him and help us to treat people with loving respect.

I highly recommend Control Girl.  If you think you have control issues, read this book.  If you have a loved one who struggles with control, you may want to read this book to better understand what may be going on beneath the surface that rears its ugly head as being controlling.  This book is a keeper, you may want to reread it and make notes as you go along.

I would like to thank the people at Litfuse and Kregel Publications for the opportunity to read Shannon Popkin’s new book Control Girl.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

 

 

Service Tails More Stories of Man’s Best Hero by Ace Collins – A Real Treat

Service-Tails

As an animal lover, it didn’t take me long to request Ace Collins newest book Service Tails – More Stores of Man’s Best Hero.  What a treat it was to read this book.  With all that’s wrong in the world today, it was lovely to take some time and learn about how service dogs have been helping people with disabilities and health challenges live full and independent lives.

Service Tails tells the stories of twelve different people, with various disabilities, whose lives were transformed for the better though the use of service dogs helping them live everyday life.  For years I’ve known about seeing-eye dogs that help the blind, but didn’t realize all the other areas that dogs could be trained to help.

I found it interesting to learn about how the dogs are trained.  Why one breed of dog is used over another.  Each organization takes a careful look at the needs of the disabled person and puts a lot of thought into selecting just the right animal.  Training may need to be customized so the dog is able to meet the needs of the person they will be serving.

In Service Tails you will learn how service dogs first started being used in the United States.  I felt grateful for the courageous and pioneering spirit of Morris Frank and his determination to get a guide dog so he could regain his freedom and independence.  But he didn’t stop there; he went on to share with other blind Americans the gift of guide dogs.

It was heartwarming to hear about the bonding that happens between a person and their service dog.  However, it was disconcerting to read about the way people with disabilities are treated and may feel isolated, ignored or treated like a small child.  I was encouraged to see how the service animal helps breakdown some barriers for disabled people.  Instead of people shying away from a disabled person, they are now drawn to them because of the animal.  The service dog serves as a vehicle to help people see beyond the disability and see the person for who they are and things they may have in common.

Service Tails is a book about heroes.  The disabled person who won’t settle for being isolated, giving up and living the rest of their life behind closed doors.  The service dogs whom God has gifted with the right temperament, skills, and intelligence to learn and help and serve people in need.  Not to be forgotten are the people who train and work with the dogs to prepare them for a life of serving, loving and caring for their own special person.

I highly recommend Service Tails – More Stores of Man’s Best Hero by Ace Collins.  This book will encourage you and may give you a new perspective on disabled people and the dogs who serve them.

I would like to thank Litfuse and Abingdon Press for the opportunity to read Service Tails by Ace Collins in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips – Gifted Storyteller

The Inheritance

It’s been many years since I’ve read a book by Michael Phillips but the storyline of his newest book, The Inheritance, drew me in. I’m so glad for this opportunity to reconnect with this author for he is a gifted storyteller.

The Inheritance tells the story of the Tulloch family through the generations who have lived on the fictional island of Whales Reef which is part of the Shetland Islands of Scotland. Following the unexpected death of laird Macgregor Tulloch the fate of the Tulloch legacy and fortune hangs in the balance while the courts determine who the rightful heir is. The community of Whales Reef is impacted as well as everyone awaits the news of who will be their new laird. How will their village be affected? Will their way of life continue on and be protected or are changes coming their way? How does a young woman over 3,400 miles away in Washington DC factor into the equation? To find out, you are going to want to read The Inheritance.

Author Michael Phillips knows how to weave a good story. He starts by unveiling the storyline and weaves in a cast of characters that seem to come alive. After reading this story I feel like I could take the ferryboat from Lerwick and step on to the island of Whales Reef and walk down the street and see the people I’ve been reading about. The author takes the time to develop the characters. He really captures the unique way of life on the Shetland Islands and the accent was captured when the characters spoke.

I liked the character David Tulloch and thought his character was well developed. David’s interaction with people seemed to reflect a genuine Christian faith, but he didn’t speak about it, pray, read the Bible or go to church. I would like to have better understood the character of Loni. The reader learns about how she was raised, but faith doesn’t seem to be evident in her current life. Towards the end of the story she expresses an interest in the Christian faith and shows appreciation her family heritage. The other character I would have liked to have seen better developed is Hardy who seemed rather one dimensional. One character who did openly share his faith was Sandy Innes as he prayed and interacted with Loni. I loved this character.

A Christian author is in a unique position and has a huge opportunity to share the soul saving message of the Gospel. I wish that had been done in this book. I struggled somewhat because the Christian faith and church were distorted in the beginning of this book because of false teachers that were part of the story. The characters just seemed to stop going to church altogether. Another concern I have is that some of the thoughts and feelings expressed don’t line up with Biblical theology. An example is when David was recalling an incident from his youth (page 251), “His quest for the great Fatherhood of the universe had begun.”

I recommend The Inheritance by Michael Phillips for its rich storyline and interesting characters; not sound Biblical theology. The story starts out a little slow, but it’s worth pressing through. I look forward to reading additional books in this series. Michael is very adept at writing historical fiction and draws the reader in.

I would like to thank Litfuse and Bethany House for the opportunity to read The Inheritance in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

The Inheritance Giveaway

If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Inheritance by Michael Phillips please click on the link below:

https://promosimple.com/ps/9735