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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Grace of Gratitude Journal...Review

About the book:
Grace of Gratitude is an exquisite journal that has lined pages for the reader to express their own thoughts of gratitude. Inspiring examples of gratitude by the author Deborah Perdue, and beautiful illustrations by Tara Thelen are interspersed throughout. Gratitude is a valuable spiritual practice, and through this journal, one can reap the benefits of appreciation of life to feel more joy and more peace on a sustained level. This journal is not only for the novice, but also for anyone who is already experienced at the spiritual practice of feeling gratitude in his or her life.

Gratitude is something that too many of us don't focus on. Too often we only think about the difficulties in life, we don't look around us at the blessings. Expressing gratitude, whether it be to God, to the people around you, to the universe or just acknowledging it to yourself, is so important. At times in my life I have had my own gratitude journals, where the only things I write are about things I am grateful for. It's a beautiful practice and truly does allow happiness and peace into your heart. As often happens though, I get a bit lazy or unfocused and stop recording and opening acknowledging my blessings. But, recognizing that for which we are grateful allows us to feel more joy, more happiness.

Normally I prefer a lined journal with no other distractions. No quotes, no pictures. The Grace of Gratitude journal, however, is wonderful.  The illustrations are lovely and the thoughts and examples provided by the author are terrific prompts for writing about your own thoughts of gratitude.

This would make a lovely gift.

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Deborah Perdue here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/15

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Monday, March 23, 2015

How to Catch a Prince...Review

About the book:
Prince Stephen came to America to escape responsibility. But what he found complicates his life more than ever.

Corina Del Rey is happy with her life in Melbourne, Florida. She spends her days engrossed in her career as a journalist and has her sights set on climbing the corporate ladder if for no other reason, to distract herself from her dissolving family. But when she is confronted with the past she fought so hard to put behind her, she struggles to make sense of her future.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom has moved on since the tragic death of his buddies in Afghanistan. A star professional rugby player, he has no intention of looking over his shoulder at what could've been.

But when a notice arrives in the mail requiring his and his wife s appearance before the courts to dissolve their marriage, he must deal with the questions rumbling around in his heart. He thought his marriage had been annulled long ago, but his memories of Corina Del Rey remain close. Does he still love her? Can he even find her? Above all, can he tell her the truth about that fateful night in Afghanistan seven years ago? If he does, he might really lose her forever."

Several years previous, Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom secretly wed Corina del Rey and they shared a wonderful, but short time together before he deployed to war. After the death of friends who died protecting him, Stephen was overcome with grief and believing his marriage to have never been officially filed or valid, he pulls away from Corina. Corina has tried to move on with her life, but her twin brother died in the attack on Prince Stephen and she has always yearned for answers.

When Prince Stephen discovers that his marriage is, in fact, still valid, he searches out Corina and the two must decide if they want it annulled. Corina refuses to sign the annulment papers until Stephen tells her about the circumstances surrounding her brother's death and he refuses to do so.

The two realize they're still in love, but their differences of opinion regarding the circumstances of her brother's death may just be enough to separate them forever.

This series is just, quite simply, fun. But, How to Catch a Prince tackles a bit more of a sober subject as it also deals with Prince Stephen's PTSD stemming from his war experiences. The story is Christian this one is a bit more heavy handed with the preaching, and there is also a bit of a magical realism to it with a couple of delightful guardian angels.

The book can stand alone, but it is much better if you've read the series in order. I have loved the Royal Wedding series and I was glad to see this story return to Brighton Kingdom. I hope there is more than just this trilogy!

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Rachel Hauck here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/15

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Friday, March 13, 2015

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior...Review

About the book:
Discover how the personal experiences of people who were closest to the Savior during the final week of His life can change the way your family celebrates Easter. Learn the meaning behind the wheat baskets, the forget knot, the red egg, and other traditions that will help Easter become a “High Holy Day” in your heart and in your home.

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter offers hope for an Easter filled with the Spirit of Christ as we offer our finest to Him in deepest gratitude for His sacrifice. Return to the spiritual roots of this holy celebration with this beautiful gift book that will help bring you and your family closer to Jesus Christ.

So much of the world's focus on Easter is chocolate and eggs and bunnies. But, in the Christian world, Easter is celebrated because it is a time to remember that Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected. This is a beautiful little gem. Its purpose is to help you draw closer to Jesus Christ.

For many who reflect on Jesus' life during his final week, the focus is on each day and what happened to Him. This book, instead, reflects on the people who were closest to Him during that time. Mary and Martha and the miracle of Lazarus; Joseph and Nicodemus, Thomas, and others. There are seven biblical experiences with insights as to how those scriptural accounts can strengthen you as well as an activity or tradition you can incorporate into your own holy week.

It's a short, easy read; it could be divided into 7 days or 7 weeks and it is perfect for either an individual or for a family to share and discuss together.  It stands alone, but is designed to be a companion to Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior.

Thanks to Shadow Mountain for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Emily Freeman here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/15

* * * * *
5/5 Stars

Friday, March 6, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Ground Cafe...Review

About the book:
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

Estranged from her NFL husband, Chelsea returns to her roots and her mother's coffee shop. Higher Grounds Cafe is on the verge of closing, but Chelsea wants to make it work. In dire need of help, a sweet, clumsy lump of a man shows up and helps Chelsea get the cafe back on its feet. Manny installs wifi and the only site that is accessible is The God Blog. A place for people to ask questions that God will answer. Chelsea is skeptical at first, but as The God Blog brings in more and more customers, she realizes how many lives are being changed and how many hearts softened, including her own.

I know Max Lucado mostly by name. I haven't read anything by him, but the premise for this book caught my attention and I'm glad I paid attention. I am a firm believer in guardian angels.  I have no doubts that angels minister to each of us. But I had no idea going into this story, just how much angels would figure into it. In this story, angels are everywhere and battle the dark side for our souls. And we are reminded once more that each person matters to God.

The story is strongly Christian as one would expect from Max Lucado. It's also heartwarming as you see the power of forgiveness work in the life of one woman. As a side, I loved Manny's fascination with Star Wars. So fun!

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Max Lucado here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/15

* * * *
4/5 Stars