Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Travis Thrasher's Hurt ~ Reviewed

By Travis Thrasher

Jan. 2013

David C. Cook


Review by Michelle Griep

When Chris Buckley first encountered the mysteries of creepy Solitary, North Carolina, he had little idea how far he would fall into the town’s shadows. After losing the love of his life, Chris tried to do things his way. He hunted answers. Then he gave up trying to find them.

But now Chris comes back to Solitary knowing there’s a purpose for his being there. As he watches his place in a twisted and evil bloodline become clear, Chris waits for the last battle—and wonders who will be left when he finally makes his stand.

I was seriously afraid to read HURT. I’d waited like a puppy at his dish for this baby to arrive, but once I held it in my hot little paws, I set it on my desk for weeks without cracking it open…not that I didn’t look at the cover every time I passed by.

There were two reasons for my fear factor, and neither of them involve creepy mannequins or broken doll heads. I was afraid to read HURT because I feared I wouldn’t like the ending, that there just wouldn’t be enough closure to satisfy me. And I was scared to death that I’d love it so much I’d be devastated that this was the end of the series.

Now that I’ve finished the last sentence on the last page, I can honestly say I was right—and wrong. The ending brought the series full circle in a fresh-chocolate-chip-cookie-out-of-the-oven sort of way and left me begging for more.

Chris Buckley is an unlikely hero that will stick with me for a long time. At first, he’s so awkward you can’t help but love the little buddy. But over time he sure develops into a champion. Oh, he’s still got his quirks and inconsistencies, but that just makes him all the more real.

Make no mistake about it…The Solitary Tales is a series pulls the reader through a lot of darkness. However, it’s the blackness that makes the light at the end shine all the brighter. This is one creepy, angst-filled young adult story that I wouldn’t hesitate to give to any struggling teen who is overwhelmed with life. And even though my own adolescence is nothing but a dot in my rearview mirror, I still loved the story.

Why? Because author Travis Thrasher is an amazing writer. His words are magical. Solitary was my first exposure to this superstar, but it’s not my last. If you want to be a writer, study his work.

And if you want a great read that’s sometimes jolting, give The Solitary Tales a try.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dan Walshs' and Gary Smalleys' The Dance ~ Reviewed

The Dance
By Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
Published by: Revell
ISBN# 978-0-8007-248-0
352 Pages

Back Cover: 

Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. And why wouldn't she be? He gives her
everything she needs. That's why Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone.

After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be?

I’m thankful for the review copy written by a dynamic writing
team. Gary Smalley’s marriage counseling experience combined with Dan’s writing style creates three dimensional characters you instantly care about wrapped in a topic that will grab your heart.

The divorce rate for Christians is about the same as everyone else on the planet, the story shows how any marriage can break down. The novel opens with Jim Anderson, he’s angry his wife left him and says to himself, “She’s got a gorgeous house, a nice car to drive, and a huge closet full of clothes. We hardly ever argue. When did they start to have problems? What in the world did his wife have to be unhappy about?...She can’t just walk out. We’re both believers, for heaven’s sake! She doesn’t have biblical grounds for divorce…he couldn’t believe he had to eat his dinner at a fast food place, another consequence of his wife’s selfishness.”

Marilyn, Jim’s wife can’t believe she had the courage to leave. She’d been unhappy for years. She tried to tell her husband but he was never home. He was married to his job. She decided to do something she always wanted to do and that was learn to dance. She signed up for lessons. There were a few things she wanted to experience in life and learning to dance was one of them.
Will Jim and Marilyn Anderson give their marriage another chance?
Could God work a miracle? Where either of them willing to do whatever it took to resurrect their marriage? Their grown children are not as surprised as their father about their split, especially their

Both Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh have experienced pain in their
marriage relationships and say they can relate to the main character
Jim Anderson. Dan writes in the beginning of the book, “To Gary, whose first book rescued my marriage thirty years ago.” Gary Smalley gets real about his marriage relationship and how he could relate to Jim too and his struggles. I appreciate the fact that both men were transparent in the author interview at the end of the book where Dan interviews Gary about writing The Dance.

They tell of how God can pick up the broken pieces of our lives and
put them back together in the most surprising and amazing ways. I
highly recommend this book for everyone especially book clubs, there is so much to discuss. It’s a book that will tug at your heart and have you look at relationships and family with new eyes.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

Friday, March 22, 2013


PHOENIX, Ariz.—The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)
today announced 36 finalists in seven categories for the 2013 Christian Book
Awards, honoring Christian publishing’s best books and Bible releases of the
year. Each category is comprised of five finalists except for Inspiration, which
has six due to a tie.
2013 Christian Book Award nominees are:
Chronological Life Application Study Bible®, NLT (Tyndale House Publishers) 9781414339276
ESV Global Study Bible (Crossway) 9781433531538
Everyday Matters Bible for Women (Hendrickson Publishers) 9781598567052
Holman KJV Study Bible (B&H Publishing Group) 9781433600333
NIV Study Bible (Zondervan) 9780310443261
The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary by Gary M. Burge, Andrew E. Hill (Baker Books/ Baker
Publishing Group) 9780801013089
Center Church by Timothy Keller (Zondervan) 9780310494188
Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series) edited by Mark J. Boda
and J. Gordon McConville (InterVarsity Press) 9780830817849
Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and
Theology by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Richard D. Patterson (Kregel Academic & Professional)
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Acts by Eckhard J. Schnabel (Zondervan)
The Action Bible Devotional by Jeremy V. Jones (David C Cook) 9780781407274
Firebird by Brent McCorkle and Amy Parker (B&H Publishing Group) 9781433679179
Heaven is for Real for Kids by Colton, Todd & Sonja Burpo (Tommy Nelson) 9781400318704
Hot Chocolate with God #2 by Camryn Kelly with Jill and Erin Kelly (FaithWords)
Jesus Calling Bible Storybook by Sarah Young (Tommy Nelson) 9781400320332
The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus (Abingdon Press) 9781426742569
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar (Moody Publishers) 9780802405586
The Next Target by Nikki Arana (David C Cook) 9780781404310
Submerged by Dani Pettrey (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group) 9780764209826
When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason (Revell/ Baker Publishing Group) 9780800720070
The Family Book of Advent by Carol Garborg (Ellie Claire Gift, a division of Worthy Publishing)
Jesus Today by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) 9781400320097
Love Out Loud by Joyce Meyer (FaithWords) 9780446538473
The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Moody Publishers) 9780802405067
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones (ZonderKidz) 9780310721635
Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action by Nick Vujicic (WaterBrook Multnomah
Publishing Group) 9780307730886
A Grace Revealed by Jerry Sittser (Zondervan) 9780310243250
The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson (Crossway) 9781433530036
Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free by Tullian Tchividjian (David C Cook) 9781434704023
Grace by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson) 9780849920707
In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord (Moody Publishers) 9780802408143
Anything by Jennie Allen (Thomas Nelson) 9780849947056
Cradle My Heart: Finding God’s Love After Abortion by Kim Ketola (Kregel) 9780825439285
Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace by Michael S. Beates
(Crossway) 9781433530456
Interrupted by Rachel Coker (Zondervan) 9780310729730
Love Does by Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) 9781400203758
One title from each category will be honored as the year’s Christian Book Award winner. ECPA’s
highest honor, the 2013 Christian Book of the Year, will be bestowed upon one title from all
nominees. 2013 Christian Book Award winners will be named at ECPA’s 2013 Awards Banquet at 6
p.m., Mon., Apr. 29, 2013, during the ECPA Leadership Summit at World Outreach Church (WOC) in
Nashville, Tenn. Tickets to the Christian Book Awards event (for those not registered for the ECPA
Leadership Summit) are $59 and available in ECPA’s online store at or
by contacting Cindy Carter at
The Christian Book Awards, established in 1978 as the Gold Medallion Book Awards by the
Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, recognize the absolute highest quality in Christian
books. Based on excellence in content, literary quality, design, and impact, the Christian Book
Awards are the oldest and among the most prestigious in the religious publishing industry. Christian
Book Award finalists and winners receive recognition and support throughout multiple retail and
media outlets. For more information, visit
For more information on finalists, visit
# # #

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey Live CD/DVD set ~ Reviewed

By Focus on the Family

“Live” Special cd/dvd set


Published by Tyndale Publishers

Back Cover: Join over 4,900 fans—a record-breaking live audience for Focus on the Family—and experience Adventures in Odyssey Live!Connie, Eugene, Wooton, Bernard, Mandy, and more favorite characters present an all-new adventure about discovering God’s calling for our lives. Complete with actor bloopers and live reactions from the audience, this extended show is presented in audio CD format—and a special DVD slideshow that takes you inside the live event! And don’t miss the exciting bonus features: actors answer questions from the audience, a photo booklet reveals even more about the Birthday Bash weekend . . . and an exclusive teaser gives you the scoop on what’s happening next in Odyssey! Package contains 1 CD and 1 DVD.
Disc 1 (CD) contains

·                       BTV: Live! All-New Extended Episode (approx. 50 minutes)

·                       Questions and Answers with the Actors (approx. 20 minutes)
Disc 2 (DVD) contains
·                       BTV: Live! Photo Slideshow with over 200 photos from the show! (approx. 50 minutes)

·                       Video Testimonials from Adventures in Odyssey Fans (approx. 8 minutes)

·                       Focus on the Family broadcast with Dr. James C. Dobson: “Celebrating 20 Years of Adventures in Odyssey” (approx. 50 minutes)

Review: I’m thankful to receive a review copy of this fun Odyssey adventure. This set had the audio and visual of the same episode. I Loved it.

The message was informative, inspirational and fun. I had a great time hearing the bloopers the characters as they filmed this “Live” event. After listening to the audio cd part I put in the DVD of the same show. They had the same audio I had just listened to on the CD playing with the still shots they had taken of the “live” event. It was fun to watch the video along with the audio.

After all these years of listening to the audio series it was great fun to see the faces behind the characters voices I’d listened to. My teen kids said it was a spoiler for them but I found it a interesting discovery!

This audio series talks about powerful truths the whole family can enjoy and learn to walk out in their lives together.  These tapes create great discussions with your kids. They won’t find them boring that’s for sure. It will make it easier and fun to talk about aspects of the bible and God you normally wouldn’t talk about! I highly recommend this and all the other Odyssey adventures.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

Monday, March 18, 2013

Susanna Foth Aughtmon's I Blame Eve ~ Reviewed

By Susanna Foth Aughtoman
Published by Revell
187 Pages

Back Cover: When our great-to-the-nth-degree grandmother Eve ate the fruit, we lost out on the perfect life. But that doesn't stop us from trying, does it? In fact, we make trying to be perfect the focus of our entire lives! But what would happen if we stopped trying to be perfect and started trying to be his?
In this fantastically witty book, Susanna Foth Aughtmon helps women find out what it means to be honest about what we crave in life and let go of our deep need to be in control. Using Scripture and amusing personal stories, she shows women the freedom of embracing the unique path God lays out for each of us. Includes study questions to facilitate group or individual use.

Review: I’m grateful for a review copy of a book that introduced me to a new author I adore. I enjoyed her humor, transparency and the way she helped me look at Adam and Eve and their situation with fresh eyes. I realized I had blamed Eve for a few things too.

Susanna says this about Eve, “She had it all – a loving husband, an unhindered relationship with God, all of her needs taken care of. She could walk around naked and not feel like crying inside. Her life was perfect…And she still wasn't satisfied…she thought she could do better.”

I hadn't looked at Eve this way before. This author helped me get a deeper understanding of how things might have gone down in the garden with the snake.  She says, “Eve was clueless. She had no idea what perfect was, even though she embodied it. She was exactly the person God intended her to be…She was comfortable in her own skin…She never once had to say to Adam, “Do I look fat? Oh, wait, never mind. I forgot I’m perfect.”….Even better Eve had no weird ideas about God. She could meet up with Him and have a heart to heart talk.” Anytime she wanted.

This author brings up things I hadn’t thought of before like this, “I kept wondering if there wasn’t more to the conversation God had with Adam and Eve about what would happen if they decided to ear from the tree of knowledge. Did he give them the whole run down of everything and the consequences of their actions would resonate until the end of time?”

We have the bible today that lays it all out for us and we still struggle. Susanna says, “Poor Eve. Poor us. The ones who do exactly as she did. We have so little ability to imagine the consequences of our actions. We act without thinking about where an action will take us. We step out of God’s palm into a world of our own making with our sad choices and shabby reasoning…It begins the same way for us as it began for our Sister Eve. It begins with the voice of doubt, and chaos, the voice that invites us to wonder if we don’t deserve more than we’re given. It begins with the thought that no one can tell us what to do. It begins with a hiss and a mirthless laugh as we wonder far away from the heart of the one who breathed life into us. It begins with the snake.”

I’ve learned so much about Adam, Eve, the snake and the garden. I realize that given the situation I might have done the very same thing Eve did. This author helped me learn from this story and gave practical ways to apply the principles of the story to my life in very real ways. I enjoyed Susanna’s humor and how she gave hope to readers in the last few chapters titled, “I need a new idea of what perfect looks like, I am not in control, I need a paradigm shift, and I am ready for a new out-of-control me.”

I don’t blame Eve anymore because I’ve realized I’m very much like her. I hadn’t looked at scripture and this situation like this before. It was enlightening. I highly recommend this book. . I’ll be getting more of this authors’ books and so will you!

TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

Friday, March 15, 2013

Joan Wolf's Daughter of Jerusalem ~ Reviewed

Daughter of Jerusalem
By: Joan Wolf
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Worthy Publishing
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 1936034670

Why would Jesus seek out Mary Magdalene as the first person he appeared to after his resurrection? In this compelling novel, Mary tells her own story about how Jesus' words transformed her heart; why she committed her wealth and influence to his ministry; and how it felt that glorious morning to discover the Lord was alive!

Daughter of Jerusalem is a fictionalized story of Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, and what events in her life led up to the time she met Jesus.  It begins with her childhood, depicting how she was forced into a marriage with a man she did not love which led to an adulterous relationship with a man she did love.
 I don’t have much to say about this book.  Perhaps if I knew it wasn’t a fictionalized story of a real person from the Bible I would have enjoyed it more, but I didn’t care for the liberties that were taken in this book.  It was almost as if Mary, the prostitute and Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha, were combined into one character.  I also didn’t like the way in which Jesus was presented in different areas of the story.  Sometimes, it came across as if he didn’t know what was going on or why people acted the way they did, and Mary was the one giving him advice.  Our Lord did not need anyone’s advice, and if He did pose a question, it was to make people think.  Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book. 

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kay Warren's Choose Joy ~ Reviewed

By Kay Warren
Published by Revell
259 Pages

Back Cover: Ever wonder why some people seem to experience joy in their daily lives--even in the tough times--and others can't seem to find it no matter how hard they search? Is a joy-filled life really possible?

The answer is yes! And it's possible for every woman, no matter what her circumstances may be. In this inspiring book, Kay Warren teaches women what joy really is, where to find it, and how to choose it in the good times and the bad. With compassion and wisdom, she shows readers--even those who live with the constant companions of discouragement and depression--that true joy is deeper, richer, and more accessible than they might think. Perfect for small groups or individual reading, Choose Joy will empower women who feel like their emotions and well-being are at the mercy of others by helping them understand the life-giving truth that joy is within their grasp--every day.


I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that has opened my eyes to see joy in the little things. I’ve learned about a tool used to open my heart and mind to a treasure box I didn’t know was at my disposal!

Kay Warren’s approach to choosing joy in everything is life changing. Her book is easy to read and heartfelt. She describes herself as having an Eyore personality. She is married to Pastor Rick Warren who she describes as having a Tigger personality. I liked her fun approach to the different personalities each having their own strengths and weaknesses; all of which have the opportunity to choose joy! Some have it easier than others. She had a quote from Jim Rohn in her book that touched my heart, “The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out joy.” Wow!

Kay gives examples of ways we can choose joy in spite of our circumstances. Joy is a deep and satisfying experience. Happiness is fleeting; joy is a gift we can choose to open up. She says, “God makes it clear that He wants to give us real treasure, real joy, and real contentment.”

Kay Warren’s transparency was refreshing and inspirational. I could see how I had a chance to choose joy no matter what I was feeling or going through. I’ll never look at joy the same. This author also helped me see another side of Jesus I hadn’t paid much attention. She talks about Jesus being joyful; He laughs and delights in us. Kay writes, “What was the joy that was set before Jesus in Hebrews 12:2? What was so rich, so satisfying, so deep that He was willing to suffer such terrible abuse? You were the joy set before Him. He suffered so He could be reconciled with you.”

Hard to believe or wrap your mind around? Yes, I felt the same but it also touched me to the core of my being to think about this idea.

I liked the journey through scripture this author took me on. She showed Jesus; a man of joy and how He wants to give this gift to us. It’s ours for the taking.

This book is broken down into four parts 1) Joy is my inheritance: Embracing the permission to be joyful 2) Joy is a conviction of my mind: Discover a new way of thinking 3) Joy is a condition of my heart: Cultivating a soul-response that allows joy to deepen 4) Joy is a choice of my behavior: ways to chose joy daily.

I listened to Choose Joy on audio book where this author read the book she wrote. I felt it was a richer experience to listen to Kay read the words she wrote, putting emphasis on parts that touched her deeply. She was also able to express her emotions as she read painful parts of this journey. I got so much out of hearing her speak.

I highly recommend this for a book club pick. There is so much to talk about to reflect on. There is a study and DVD that Kay has to take this subject deeper. The message in this book will change you forever if you let it. God’s joy can radiate from your heart like Kay’s. Thank you Kay Warren for sharing your faith journey and showing us how we can be joyful in all things! This books a keeper and a must read. It’s one you’ll be re-reading and sharing the message with friends.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Loree Lough's For the Love of Eli ~ Reviewed

For the Love of Eli, Quilts of Love Series #4
By: Loree Lough
More in Quilts of Love Series
Abingdon Press


Product Description:

When unspeakable tragedy leaves young Eli an orphan, two families are devastated. But Taylor, Eli's aunt and legal guardian, vows to help him remember his parents by creating a Memory Quilt. As she begins piecing together the moments of his parents' lives, the story of the young family emerges and Taylor and Eli begin to heal. But Eli's uncle Reece is slow to let go of the past and still blames Taylor's brother for his sister's death. So, although he has long been attracted to Taylor, Reece keeps a safe distance away. Can their shared love for Eli pave the way to forgiveness or will Taylor and Reece be separated by pain?

For Love of Eli is centered around a four year old boy named Eli.  When his parents are killed, custody is given to his father’s sister, Taylor.  However, she agrees to let Eli’s uncle, Reece (his mother’s brother) see him anytime he wants to.  Taylor runs an inn and is very much a free spirit, while Reece is a doctor who is bitter about the fact that his sister left Eli to such a “flighty” woman.  However, through the process of Reece getting to know Eli more, he also begins to see another side of Taylor.  Their feelings begin to grow towards each other, yet they are both skeptical to say anything.

This was such a cute book.  I really loved little Eli’s character.  He was pretty smart for such a little boy, but he said some of the funniest things.  I can see why Taylor and Reece love him so much.  I really enjoyed seeing Taylor and Reece’s love story unfold as well.  I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to others!

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Friday, March 08, 2013

Margaret Daley's Scorned Justice ~ Reviewed

Scorned Justice (Men Of The Texas Rangers V3) 
by Daley Margaret
Release Date   Jan 1, 2013
Publisher   Abingdon Press
ISBN  142671436X 


Texas Ranger Brody Calhoun is with his parents in west Texas when an unexpected attack injures the brother of Rebecca Morgan, Brody's high school sweetheart. The local sheriff, a good friend, asks for Brody’s help. At first, it seems like an open-and-shut case.
However, as Brody digs deeper, he realizes the attack may be related to an organized crime trial Rebecca will be overseeing. With Rebecca's help, he compiles evidence which involves cattle rustlers, bribery, and dirty payoffs that shatter the entire community and put Rebecca directly in the line of fire. 


Scorned Justice is about Rebecca Morgan, a woman who is a tough district judge and known for her reputation of bringing justice.  After taking on a case with a well known criminal, unexpected attacks begin happening to her family and friends.  As things get worse, and old family friend, Texas Ranger Brody Calhoun comes back around to help protect her and her family, while trying to solve a case that gets more serious with each passing day.  During this time, their attraction for each other begins to grow, but Rebecca is hesitant to fall for him after losing her policy office husband in the line of duty.

I really enjoyed this book.  It kept you interested with all of the twists and turns the story line kept taking.  The ending had a huge twist to it that I didn’t expect at all.  In fact, I had to reread a portion a couple of times to make sure I read it right.  If you enjoy action and suspense in your books, you’ll enjoy this book!

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Jennie Allen's Anything ~ Reviewed

By Jennie Allen
Published by Thomas Nelson
193 Pages

Back Cover: 

Safe. Comfortable. Happy. Words we all love. Feelings we want. Even crave. We may love God, but being that he's invisible, words like comfortable seem to feel better faster.
We are all chasing something. Our hearts were made to run hard and fast after things that move us. But as a generation we are all beginning to stir and wake up, identifying that these words don't satisfy for long, especially when compared to God. If God is real, and we are going to live with Him forever, shouldn't He be everything?

Caught in this familiar haze of worldly happiness and empty pursuits, Jennie Allen and her husband Zac prayed a courageous prayer of abandonment that took them on an adventure God had written for them.


I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that introduced me to Jennie Allen; a young lady who tells it like it is and shares from the heart.

Jennie was raise in the church and struggled believing the way others did. She says, “How do you give someone God? Honestly, I felt neutral about God. When you grow up with the stories, songs and lessons, you accept everything: you aren’t trying to explain God if you grew up hearing about him since birth, like Santa Clause. I knew what I thought I needed to know…I don’t remember it feeling very real. I remember God feeling plastic. He was a plastic stature on my mantel…you can’t control seeing God. That is left to His own discretion – how and when people really see, really get Him. But I needed God to not be plastic before I trusted Him, especially with everything.”

I found this author brave and transparent as she shared her experiences. I remember feeling the same way when I was younger. Unlike Jennie I wasn’t raised in the church. She goes on to talk more about her plastic God. This touched my soul, “Plastic gods are safe. Plastic gods don’t mess with you. Plastic gods don’t matter; they fit in a small crevice of the life you want, the life you were planning to have. And when everything in life is working…plastic gods feel like enough.”

Oh, wow. This author tells of her quest from plastic god to having a personal relationship with Jesus and letting him move in her life in unexpected ways. It’s an inspiring journey you won’t want to miss reading. She and her husband wanted more than they had spiritually. They wanted God to make himself real. They prayed this prayer, “God we will do anything. They were over chasing the American Dream with fancy houses, nice cars and cute Christmas cards.” Jennie said, “We wanted something: we couldn’t put our finger on. It was burning in us. We had loved so many other things more than God…we were ready to do anything.”

When this couple surrendered to God’s will for their lives everything changed. The found meaning in life, they felt fully alive and life was gratifying! They were pleasantly surprised. Was it easy? Did things go smooth after that prayer? No, but the didn’t lose heart.

I was compelled to read this couples story no matter how much laundry and dishes piled up around me. I was mesmerized and encouraged by their transparency, bravery, and willingness to let go of control and let God have His way. They traded fear and anxiety for a peace that passes all understanding. For the first time in their lives God was real and they were doing life with Him by their side. He wasn’t plastic anymore.

This author is a good communicator, her message is simple, clear, encouraging and she shared from the heart. It was a refreshing read that challenges readers to live a life surrendered to God. It’s more satisfying than chasing the American Dream.

Jennie Allen gives an authentic look at how she developed her personal relationship with Jesus. How we can have hope in a future that looks bleak. This book is a keeper. You’ll be re-reading it and telling your friends about Jennie and her journey. This author also has two bible studies that deal with the topics in her book. They are called Stuck and Chase. I highly recommend the studies and this book as a book club pick. Oh, there is so much to talk about! I look forward to reading more books by this author!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent