Featured

Book Review + GIVEAWAY: Shadows in the Mind’s Eye

Image Curtesy of Read with Audra

Synopsis from Read with Audra:

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on—responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who came back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand—but that everyone is learning to fear.

Talk spreads quickly around town after Sam nearly kills his own brother. When he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has, Annie isn’t the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

“Sam’s reactions to ‘normal’ stimulus are off the charts. If he hears a sound or sees a shadow, he immediately jumps into fight/flight/freeze reactions. As is normal for people when they’re first dealing with PTSD, he has no tools to hide his responses and lacks a bit of impulse control,” Tromp explains. “He’s a good, good man with an enormous heart and his reactions cause a horrendous amount of guilt for him. The last thing he wants is to put the people he loves in danger. Imagine watching yourself become more and more unstable and wondering if there’s anything you can do to stop it.”

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband, but between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she’s terrified he’s going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam’s mental wounds—or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

“Fear is the great consumer. Sam is afraid he’s going crazy and that he can’t protect his family. Annie is afraid she won’t ever be able to cope and that the Sam she married is lost forever. And when they (or we) focus on fear, there are no solutions, no ways to move forward because they cannot solve fear on their own. We aren’t trustworthy enough or strong enough to fix it,” shares Tromp. “I’m a huge proponent of looking for and celebrating the beautiful even when it isn’t pretty. Gratitude isn’t a pretty bandage to slap on a hemorrhaging wound. It is a way to shift your attention while the master healer does his work. As Sam’s mother Dovie May says, ‘Sometimes God uses broken things to save us . . . Ain’t no light that can get through something solid. It sneaks through the broken places.’”

Tromp’s inspiration for Shadow’s in the Mind’s Eye was her own grandparents’ stories of adjusting to life when her grandfather returned home from World War II. Back then, soldiers returning home rarely talked about their experiences and the difficult adjustment of “getting back to normal.” In the process of writing the story, the author did extensive research on treatments for what was known as battle fatigue at the time. She also drew on personal experiences in dealing with PTSD herself.

Readers will also learn more about the sordid history of Hot Springs being home to the largest illegal gambling racket in the country where the town served as a sort of gangster retreat for members of the mob. The setting and illegal activity provide an excellent backdrop for a suspenseful story. After reading Shadows in the Mind’s Eye, fans of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin are sure to add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Source: NetGalley, signed up via the Read with Audra Blog Tours

Leslie’s Review: 4.5 Stars/I more than loved it!

I really loved Shadows in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp! Shadows in the Mind’s Eye tells the story of Sam, a father and husband returning from World War Two to his hometown of Hot Springs, and Annie, his wife. Returning home is not exactly how either Sam or Annie pictured. Sam is battling severe PTSD when he gets home and Annie thought things would be exactly as they were before Sam went off to war. As Sam is battling PTSD, he often sees things that are either not there or comes in waves of flashbacks of what he experienced during the war. Annie is trying her best to navigate life with this new version of Sam and raising their daughter, Rosie. As Sam’s PTSD gets worse, people start to think something is wrong with Sam. That is, until some of the things Sam has seen start to have some merit and some of Hot Springs deepest, darkest secrets come into the light.

What drew me to Shadows in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp is the psychological component and how it was written. Ms. Tromp writes Shadows in the Mind’s Eye in the voices of both Sam and Annie alternating the narrative. As you’re reading, you fully understand where Sam is coming from and where Annie is coming from–that is how flawless Ms. Tromp’s writing is. I loved the topics that were covered in the book and how they weren’t brushed under the rug, but brought to the forefront in a Christian Fiction Book. While it is a darker read, in terms of the realities a person with PTSD faces as well as their love ones who endure along side them, Shadows in the Mind’s Eye shines Hope in the middle of the darkness. I especially loved the ending and how everything wasn’t wrapped up in a nice little package, because it mimicked the realities of life.

Despite the realities in the book’s darker moments, I could still read moments of Hope that were doing it’s best to shine through. Yes, sometimes it’s good to read a book for the sake of an escape. But sometimes (like for me right now), it’s good to read a book that deals with the real stuff of the world, albeit in the fictional sense, to let you know that you are not alone in the world or to remind you that you can go through what life has dealt you because it’s not so bad after all. Shadows in the Mind’s Eye, I believe, will challenge you in a good way. If you are looking for a Christian read that could be outside of your comfort zone and challenge you, then I highly recommend Shadows in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp.

Have you read Shadows in the Mind’s Eye? What did you think of the book? In what ways did it challenge you and/or what did you take away from the book?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read Shadows in the Mind’s Eye. Special thanks to the Read with Audra Book Tour for giving me my first chance to be on a book-blogging tour and for the media information for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Janyre Tromp

Image Curtesy of Read with Audra

Janyre Tromp (pronounced Jan-ear) is a historical suspense novelist who loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas.

A firm believer in the power of an entertaining story, Tromp is also a book editor and published children’s book author. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, two kids, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog.

You can find her on Facebook (@JanyreTromp), Instagram (@JaynreTromp), Twitter (@JanyreTromp), and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com where you can download a free copy of her novella, Wide Open.

Giveaway:

Image Curtesy of Read with Audra

Click the following link for a chance to win a copy of Shadows in the Minds Eye!

https://www.audrajennings.com/2022/04/shadows-in-minds-eye-giveaway.html

Featured

Book Review: Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and Her Family

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

In this inspiring debut memoir, Helen Smallbone, mother of seven creative children―including Christian music artists for KING & COUNTRY and Rebecca St. James―chronicles the family’s journey of faith across the ocean to go where God was leading. Written from a mother’s perspective, Helen shares stories of peaks, valleys, and a family trusting God for provision.

Helen Smallbone’s heartfelt story illustrates what it means to really let God lead, which almost always means living outside the box of how the world says to live. How did an ordinary Australian family produce two Grammy Award–winning artists―Rebecca St. James and for KING & COUNTRY? What happened to bring the Smallbones through closed doors and to new beginnings in the United States? In Behind the Lights, Helen shares not only these stories of her family but of the life lessons they all learned along the way.

In 1991 Helen and her husband, David, packed up their family and sixteen suitcases to move from Australia to the United States. Completely isolated from the support of family and friends, they relied on God to provide them with hope and direction. Helen watched her children join forces as Rebecca St. James’ career grew, soon followed by blossoming careers for the others―as artists, entrepreneurs, filmmakers―and the rise of Joel and Luke’s for KING & COUNTRY on Christian music charts. Helen shares untold stories and insights into how her family worked and stuck together, constantly relying on their faith to guide the way. Helen’s journey includes:

  • meeting her future husband with a cockatoo on her shoulder
  • the family’s move to the states in blind faith
  • the kindness of neighbors and the local church that gave them the encouragement they so desperately needed
  • years of touring alongside Rebecca and the formation of for KING & COUNTRY
  • the ways God led and enabled her to homeschool and think about education differently
  • an inside look at the stories and dynamics of the entire Smallbone family

No matter where you are in life, Helen shows through her own experiences that what God has done in her life, He will do in yours, too.

Publisher: K-LOVE Books

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 4 Stars/I really, really love it!

I was intrigued when I saw the cover of Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and Her Family and knew I had to read it. Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and Her Family by Helen Smallbone tells the story of Mrs. Smallbone and her family’s testimony of how her family left their homeland of Australia and took a huge leap of faith settling in the United States. Mrs. Smallbone is a mother to 7 children–3 of which are involved in the Christian Music industry (the duo for KING & COUNTRY and Rebecca St. James). The first few years in America were difficult for the family, but God showed up in miraculous ways to provide for the family. After her daughter Rebecca St. James’ career took off and things started to even out, the whole family rallied around and worked together to do what God had called them to do. Through the ups and downs–the children starting their own independent lives, to the start of for KING & COUNTRY to the present–they did their best to trust God and walk out the adventure set before them.

I didn’t realize when I first chose to read Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and Her Family that it was written by the mother of Rebecca St. James and for KING & COUNTRY. I love how each chapter of the book opens up with a Bible verse that sets the theme for the chapter. I enjoyed every single word of Behind the Lights and the stories of Faith and Trust in God that were shared. I love that regardless of what happened to the Smallbone Family, they trusted God (no matter how hard it was) and they worked together as a family to make it. I love the message and testimony of trusting in God through the unknown that is weaved throughout the entire book. I love the brutal honesty and vulnerability of motherhood and life that Mrs. Smallbone talks about–what she deems to be failures and what she sees as successes. I love how Mrs. Smallbone champions the role of Motherhood and wants to pour into other mothers and empower them in a Godly manner. If you are looking for a encouraging read, especially if you are a mother, then I highly recommend this book.

Have you read Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and Her Family? What did you think of the book?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lean More About:

Helen Smallbone | Lisa Stilwell

Featured

Book Review: Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It: Knowing and Loving the Bible

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis From Amazon:

Have you heard of the special book God gave to us? If not, this is something that we should discuss! This book is the Bible. It’s timeless and true. It’s God’s written Word—both for me and for you.

In Hunter Beless’s delightful, rhyming picture book, Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It!, four families grow in their knowledge of and love for the Bible as they

  • Read, or hear the Bible, 
  • See, or regularly read Scripture,
  • Say, or memorize and talk about the Bible, and
  • Sing, or worship God and remember Scripture together. 

A celebration of the perfect Word of God, Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It! elevates the Bible to its rightful place—the highest authority in our lives. Young readers will discover that when we read, see, say, and sing the Bible, God speaks to us, and our lives are changed forever.

A parent connection explaining the Scripture memorization method is included in the back of the book.  

Publisher: B&H Kids

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 5 Stars/A favorite of 2022

Hunter Beless’ Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It: Knowing and Loving the Bible is a new favorite book of mine to teach kids the basics of the Bible. Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It: Knowing and Loving the Bible is a great introduction to teach kids and families the basics of God’s Word, why we need the Word and how to apply it in our daily lives. Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It is full of Bible verses to use in various situations and shows how having His Word changes our life.

As someone who works in Ministry, primarily with Children, I am always on the lookout for resources that are geared toward children that is easy for them to understand and is Biblically sound and I believe Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It: Knowing and Loving the Bible fits the bill. I love that there are so many Bible verses included within the pages of the book. I love the various scenarios that Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It gives on how you can apply God’s Word through out the day and in different ways–reading it, seeing it, saying it, and singing it. I love that it explains who Jesus is and why He came. I love how it explains sin and why we need Jesus. But most of all, I love how it teaches young ones to hunger for God’s Word and encourages them to incorporate it into their daily lives.

Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It: Knowing and Loving the Bible is beautifully illustrated and written so that children can understand and enjoy reading it. I love the “Parent Connection” section helps guide parents and families to apply what they had just read to their lives. I love Ms. Beless’ heart for writing this and am grateful that she wrote this book. I also love how Ms. Beless backed up everything she wrote with Scripture. I am looking forward to purchasing copies of Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It and sharing this book with those I know. If you are looking for a book to help teach the kids in your life about the Bible and how to apply it to their life that’s Biblically sound, then I highly recommend Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It: Knowing and Loving the Bible.

Have you read Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It: Knowing and Loving the Bible? What did your family think of the book?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Hunter Beless

Featured

Book Review: Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

A WASP Goes Above the Call of Duty to Free Captive American Soldiers
 
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
 
Peggy Witherspoon, a widow, mother, and pilot flying for the Women’s Airforce Service in 1944 clashes with her new reporting officer. Army Air Corp Major Howie Berg was injured in combat and is now stationed at Bolling Field in Washington D.C. Most of Peggy’s jobs are safe, predictable, and she can be home each night with her three daughters—until a cargo run to Cuba alerts her to American soldiers being held captive there, despite Cuba being an “ally.” Will Peggy go against orders to help the men—even risk her own life?

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 4 Stars/I really, really love it!

I absolutely loved reading Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War by Mary Davis. Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War is part of the Heroines of WWII series by Barbour Publishing. Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War tells the story of Peggy Witherspoon, a Women’s Airforce Service Pilot (WASP), and her co-workers during World War Two. WASP Witherspoon lost her husband, also a pilot, fighting for the Allies over in Europe and is trying to raise her two daughters (with the help of her Mother). All the while, doing her best to serve her Country. At the the workplace, the WASPs feel as though they are often overlooked and treated less than fairly for all that they have done to help the United States during the War. At first the WASPs superior, Major Howie Berg (who gets the job because of an injury he sustained during the War), is not quite sure what to think of the WASPs and their abilities. As time progresses, Major Berg highly respects the WASPs and the work that they do. Peggy is also not sure of things since her husband died, especially when it comes to things of God. Peggy and her fellow WASPs are sent on secret missions they know nothing about. However, on one mission, Peggy figures out one of the secret missions and that, in turn, leads to another mission the US does not want to take–but Peggy and her fellow WASPs do. Peggy and her fellow WASPs decide to do this mission “under the radar” without anyone knowing. When Major Berg finds out about the mission, he agrees to help the WASPs because he would have done the same thing–no matter how dangerous the mission. Through their ups and downs at work, Peggy and Howie are able to form a bond and a respect that impacts both of their lives, as well as those of Peggy’s daughters.

I loved reading Mrs. Witherspoon Goes To War from beginning to end. I appreciated reading of Peggy’s struggles with her Faith after the loss of her husband and, as a reader, was sympathetic towards her. It was nice to see how Howie was also coping with his personal injuries and his Faith as well. Despite Peggy and Howie’s struggles, both personally and professionally, they were able to find and hold on to Hope in God.

I also loved the spit-fire and spunk of the WASP ladies. I loved how fearless they were in their missions and how they are true Patriots. I loved the intrigue in the missions and how they figured out codes and such to complete the missions. I really enjoyed reading a book based on a part of history that’s unfamiliar to me. If you are looking for an pleasant, suspenseful read that is full of Faith, then I highly recommend Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War!

Have you read Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War? What did you think of the book? Have you read any of the books in the Heroines of WWII series? What do you think of the series so far?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Mary Davis

Featured

Book Review: Polly and the Screen Time Overload

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

Introducing Kids to the Importance of Boundaries with Technology

Polly loves visiting her grandparents on their farm every year. She looks forward to seeing the animals, helping out in the barn, and playing with her cousins.

That’s until she gets a new tablet as a present. Suddenly, she spends all day inside playing games and watching cartoons. Staring at her tablet screen, Polly risks missing out on all the family fun happening around her on the farm.

With easy-to-understand language and engaging illustrations, Polly’s story will help families start an ongoing conversation about self- control and how to enjoy technology within boundaries.

TGC Kids illustrated storybooks engage the hearts and imaginations of kids aged 3–7 by teaching them biblical truths about how to live and grow as God’s children in today’s culture. Published in partnership with the Gospel Coalition.

Publisher: Crossway

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 5 Stars/A favorite of 2022

I love Polly and the Screen Time Overload by Betsy Childs Howard! Polly and the Screen Time Overload tells the story of Polly. Polly is visiting her grandparents farm. Polly loves helping at the farm, helping out with the animals, being with her grandparents, and playing with her cousins. While at the farm, Polly’s birthday takes place. For her birthday, Polly’s Aunt gives Polly a tablet. Playing on her tablet is all that Polly wants to do. Polly does not want to help out with the animals, be with her grandparents, or playing with her cousins–just playing on her tablet. Once her tablet dies and needs charging, Polly realizes all she has missed. With her grandparents guidance, Polly figures out ways to set boundaries with her tablet in order to do all the things Polly loves.

I loved Polly and the Screen Time Overload from beginning to end. I was drawn to Polly and the Screen Time Overload because of it’s title and subject matter. I loved that Polly’s story was dealt with a Biblical approach and that it was written in such a way that young kids can understand and relate. The illustrations are adorable. There is also a “Note to Grownups” in the back that I believe has good tips and ideas on how to help the children in your life handle technology in a healthy manner. I believe Polly and the Screen Time Overload is a fantastic book for the whole family to read that teaches a timely lesson. If you are looking for a tool to help teach your child concerning technological boundaries with a Biblical perspective, then I highly recommend Polly and the Screen Time Overload!

Have you read Polly and the Screen Time Overload? What did you think of the book? What tips do you have for too much screen time?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Betsy Childs Howard | Samara Hardy

Featured

Book Review: Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

Reassure kids that God is carrying them throughout the day with these morning affirmations and whimsical illustrations from beloved author Amy Kavelaris. Adorable animals with gorgeous floral art and words of hope remind little ones of God’s love, security, and peace for the day ahead.

Through a child’s eyes, the world can be beautiful, wonder-filled, and a bit fear-filled all at the same time. Remind your little one that God is always near with this unique book of blessings. A beautiful companion to Amy Kavelaris’s popular Good Night, My Darling Dear, this inspirational picture book

  • reassures children ages 4 to 8 that God carries them through good days, hard days, and anxious days
  • shares biblical promises of God’s love, purpose, and protection
  • features the whimsical imagery of nature and animals that has made Kavelaris’s art beloved
  • encourages kids to discover God each day and joyfully live out who He created them to be
  • gives children confidence to be brave in scary and unexpected situations

This unique book of blessings and prayers will remind your little one of God’s loving promises revealed in nature: that He protects us from the rain, He covers us with His wings, He shines His light into the darkness, and most of all, He’ll always be with us. Good Morning, Little One by artist Amy Kavelaris

  • includes a stunning cover with a jacket over hardcover
  • makes a touching keepsake gift book for a child’s Easter basket, baby showers, and other new beginnings such as adoption, a new sibling, or the first day of school
  • is an enchanting piece of art for a botanical nursery or child’s bedroom
  • is ideal for any parent, grandparent, or family who wants to establish a tradition of blessing their child in the morning

There’s no better way to start the day than praying over your children with this sweet, Scripture-based book about trusting God to carry each of you in His gentle arms.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 5 Stars/A favorite of 2022

Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day is a beautifully illustrated and written book by Amy Kavelaris. Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day is a prayer/poem backed by Biblical Truth geared towards 4 to 8 year-olds. Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day is a sweet, encouraging book that lets kids of all ages know that God is always with them and is listening to them no matter what they go through.

First of all, I loved the illustrations and how they were woven perfectly with each stanza of the book. I loved the reminders of God’s Promises the book addresses no matter what we go through–rain or shine, happy or sad. I loved that Ms. Kavelaris focused on how God carries us through our situations and keeps us safe, not taking things away entirely. I believe that Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day would be a great edition to anyone’s library. It would be perfect for a Christian education setting, Family Devotion time, or a bedtime story for the family. Not only is Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day a good reminder of God’s Promises to children, but it is a good reminder to adults too. I highly recommend Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day by Amy Kavelaris and believe it will be encouragement to all who read it.

Have you read Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day? What did you think of the book?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Amy Kavelaris

Featured

Book Review: Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God’s Joy

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

Grammy award-winning music artist Mandisa tells an inspiring story of peaks and valleys, trials and joys, wins and losses. Through her gripping narrative, she shows that our choice to trust God can not only overcome our need to understand why bad things happen, but can help us to embrace a life of joy and freedom.

Out of the Dark is Mandisa’s exploration of the journey she’s taken from when she first became a Christian, to her rise as an American Idol finalist and receiving multiple Grammy and Dove Award nominations, as well as the dark and challenging times she experienced along the way. She writes personally and openly about the hardships she has faced and the way she felt betrayed by God, but also about how God has brought her out of the valley into His glorious light. Along the way, she also shares her struggles in learning how to love her body and care for her health.

Just as Mandisa’s Grammy-award winning song “Overcomer” was topping the Contemporary Christian Music charts, her friend for whom “Overcomer” had been written passed away. After losing this close friend to cancer, despite months of prayers on her behalf, Mandisa descended into depression, isolating herself and turning to her familiar friend, food, for comfort.

Throughout Out of the Dark, Mandisa uses her experiences to address the following themes:

  • The pain of grief and loss
  • Surviving abuse
  • Embracing true beauty and a healthy body image
  • Coping with severe depression
  • Healthy―and disordered―eating
  • The role of faith in hope and healing
  • Letting go of shame
  • Following your unique calling and passion
  • How friends and family are crucial for healing
  • The challenges of 2020, including protecting mental and emotional health while navigating a public health crisis; quarantining; and coping with racial injustice
  • Trusting God daily for hope and healing

In the darkness, Mandisa knew God was there ― but she wondered if she could trust Him. Even at her lowest point where she saw no human way forward, God was at work, powerfully redeeming her story and calling her out of the dark.

Mandisa tells her story with warmth and vulnerability, challenging us all to focus on God’s purpose for our lives, surround ourselves with friends who will fight for us, and face life’s challenges with courage and faith. If you’ve ever found yourself in a dark place as the result of grief, depression, or loss, Mandisa’s story will reassure you that even when you’re walking through dark valleys, God can and will lead you on a path to joy and hope.

Publisher: K-LOVE Books

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 5 Stars/A Favorite of 2022

I loved Mandisa’s Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God’s Joy. Out of the Dark is Mandisa’s personal testimony of how she was in the “deep dark” of depression and how God brought her through. Mandisa shares what led up to the “deep dark”, what she did while she was in the “deep dark”, and the wake-up call that made her persevere through the “deep dark”. Mandisa shares her story unafraid and to give others hope.

I loved how raw and real Mandisa was in her testimony and held nothing back. I loved how Mandisa saturated her writing with the Word of God, showing us Hope in the middle of the struggle. On a personal note, as one who has went through depression and still perseveres through anxiety and panic attacks almost daily, I appreciated what Mandisa said about counseling and how she chose her counselor. It was very similar to the way I chose mine and I am thankful that I was not alone in that aspect.

Reading Out of the Dark, you are reading a testimony of a woman who has went through it and survived. Surviving doesn’t mean you went through it unscathed, but that your relationship with God is stronger. I believe that you will be encouraged reading Out of the Dark: My Journey Through The Shadows to Find God’s Joy.

Have you read Out of the Dark: My Journey Through The Shadows to Find God’s Joy? What did you take away from the book?

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Mandisa | Suzanne Gosselin

Featured

Book Review: Petal the Angry Cow

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

Petal is everything you could want in a cow.

She is kind, thoughtful, a great baker and a wonderful artist.

She also has a temper. A very big, out-of-control temper. And it doesn’t help that her barnyard pals like to push her buttons . . .

On the day the farmer announces a fabulous trip to a water park, the horse steps on Petal’s foot and she has her biggest tantrum yet. The farmer tells Petal if she doesn’t get her temper under control, she won’t be able to go to the water park!

What else can she do but stomp away in a huff?

Then Petal meets a swan who shows her a thing or two about behaving. And not in the way you’d expect . . .

This laugh-out-loud story will tickle even the surliest reader, and Petal’s outsized tantrums will feel very familiar to parents and kids alike. But like Petal, this story also has a heart of gold and a core of pure warmth.

Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 5 Stars/A favorite of 2022

I absolutely love Petal the Angry Cow by Maureen Fergus! Petal the Angry Cow takes place on a farm and tells the story of Petal the Cow who is good at many things, but gets angry quickly and passionately. One day, the Farmer announces that they are going on a field trip soon. When Petal throws a temper tantrum, the Farmer tells Petal she cannot go on the field trip due to her outburst. After hearing of her punishment, Petal runs off and meets a swan who acts very similar to Petal when she is angry. Because of meeting the Swan, Petal learns an important lesson.

I love Petal the Angry Cow from beginning to end! Petal the Angry Cow is one of the funniest kids books I have read in a long time. I love the examples of anger that Ms. Fergus gave in the book. I love how easy the book is to understand for children. I like how the children can relate to the anger outbursts easily. I also love how we all can learn from the Swan’s behavior. The illustrations are also adorable!

Petal the Angry Cow would be a perfect read for any setting. If you are specifically looking for a book that deals with emotions and talks about anger, I believe it would be perfect. I also believe with the amount of humor that is in the book, it is a fun way to introduce and talk about anger.

Have you read Petal the Angry Cow? What did the kids in your life think of the book?

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Maureen Fergus | Olga Demidova

Featured

Book Review: 100 Words of Affirmation Your Daughter Needs to Hear

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

Every one of us has tremendous power to either build others up or tear them down through the words we speak every day, and nowhere is this more evident than in our families. Are you being purposeful in how you use the power of your words to speak encouragement, strength, and love–breathing life into the heart of your children? Or are careless words having a negative impact on both your kids and your family legacy?

Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you to discover the powerful ways you can build your children up in love with the words that you choose to say every day–words that every son and daughter need to hear. These books offer you one hundred phrases to say to your son or daughter that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire. Start speaking these words into their lives and watch your children–and your relationship with them–transform before your eyes.

Publisher: Revell

Source: NetGalley

Leslie’s Review: 4 Stars/I really, really liked it!

I really loved 100 Words of Affirmation Your Daughter Needs to Hear by Matt and Lisa Jacobson. Mr. & Mrs. Jacobson pull from life experiences with their own daughters as well as friends to write 100 Words of Affirmation Your Daughter Needs to Hear. In the book there are 100 entries on how to show love and affirm your daughter (or a daughter-figure in your life),

I found the 100 affirmations in the book encouraging and uplifting. I appreciated how the affirmations were based on real-life experience from the Authors and the lessons they learned. I also appreciated when the Authors explained the lessons they learned and that it is ok for your child to think and act differently, because that is how God wired them.

Even though I do not have children, I was able to glean things from 100 Words of Affirmation Your Daughter Needs to Hear that will help me be more effective to the girls I serve in my church community. It taught me to be more mindful of the girls and gave me tips on how to encourage them. If you have a daughter or a young girl you think a lot of, I highly recommend this book and really believe it would be a help to you.

Have you read 100 Words of Affirmation Your Daughter Needs to Hear? What affirmation really stuck out to you and why?

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Lisa Jacobson | Matt Jacobson

Featured

Book Review: The Little Women Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to Louisa May Alcott’s Beloved Classic

Image Curtesy of Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

Devotional Inspiration from the Lives of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
 
The Little Women Devotional offers lovely inspiration that explores the themes of faith, family, contentment, wisdom, and joy in the classic Louisa May Alcott novel, cherished by generations of readers.

Each reading corresponds with a chapter from the book and invites you to embrace God’s guiding hand in your life as His cherished daughter. This beautiful chapter-by-chapter devotional includes original artwork throughout, and each reading includes examples from the novel, scripture, life application, and prayers perfect for groups, book clubs, or personal reflection.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Source: NetGalley, then purchased e-book from Amazon

Leslie’s Review: 5 Stars/A favorite of 2022

I was so excited when I found out that Rachel Dodge had written a devotional based on Little Women! The Little Women Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to Louisa May Alcott’s Beloved Classic by Rachel Dodge is one of the best devotional books I have ever read. Ms. Dodge goes through each chapter of Little Women and focuses on a spiritual aspect that she learns from the chapter. Each devotion includes a Bible verse at the beginning of the devotion and it’s end, a quote from that particular chapter in Little Women that helps set up the devotion thought, a devotion thought on that particular chapter, a personal application, and a prayer for the day.

There is nothing about the Little Women Devotional that I do not love–I loved every single page from beginning to end. I used the Little Women Devotional as part of my personal devotion time. Every single word that Ms. Dodge wrote ministered to me and was exactly what I needed to read at the time that I read it.

I appreciated that Ms. Dodge did not did not shy away from Biblical Truth’s and that each devotion gave you things to really think about to help you grow in your relationship Christ. The illustrations add a sweet touch to the devotional. If you are looking for good, well-rounded devotional with sound, Biblical Truth then I highly recommend The Little Women Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to Louisa May Alcott’s Beloved Classic by Rachel Dodge! (I also highly recommend the other devotionals that Ms. Dodge has written!)

Have you read The Little Women Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to Louisa May Alcott’s Beloved Classic? What did you think of the devotional? What childhood classic would you like to see a devotional of?

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Learn More About:

Rachel Dodge