Before I Saw You

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Before I Saw You is set in the small southern Indiana town of Riverton. The town has seen its share of hardships, but the ravages of heroin use has left it almost without any  hope. The story is told in the first person voice of Jaycee Givens, a girl hanging on by the barest of threads. Jaycee, the main character struggles with. doubt, and always second-guesses herself and God. Her family consists of Sudie, an elderly cemetery custodian, Carla, her boss at the local diner, Gabe, a newcomer to town  and several other community member who stand along side her even in the darkest times. 

I loved the picture of church family that the author paints, grace-filled and mercy-led. Jaycee sees God in action throughout the book. Two of the themes that stood out to me are learning to let go and give things over to God and trusting Him with the many curveballs that life may throw at us.

“Before I saw You” is well written love how the author  weaves grace, mercy, forgiveness and love into the story that leaves the reader feeling blessed throughout the book. I highly recommend Sorrels’ other novels, “How Sweet The Sound” and “Lead Me Home.”

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Tyndale (publisher) in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Better Together: Discover The Power of Community

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Better Together is a unique book on the foundations of community and why God’s design for humanity was always for us to be together. Rusty George is an introvert who is annoyed by people more than he is amazed by them. I can relate to that kind of believer because I enjoy doing life with fellow believers.

Exercise, Eat right, Share your faith, Produce fruit for God, ever feel like success in life is all about you? And even trying to “die to self” only makes you more self consumed? The author gives us tools to “do life together,” we all need to lean on others in time of need and bring people into our everyday life. Together we connect with God better! Together we heal better! Together we overcome fears, raise families, fight temptations, and bless the world better. There are over one hundred passages in the bible where the words let us are used. We need to encourage each other and serve one another. Jesus found life and mission are better done together, than so should we.

I highly recommend the book if you truly want to walk the life that we all should be doing each day. We are all trapped in a self imposed prison of isolation while we complain about being alone, but the door is locked from inside. We all desire authentic relationships and we need to not let things get in the way.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Mercy, Love, and Forgiveness

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“Where Hope Begins” is about a family that from the outside looks perfect, but yet imperfect once the reader steps inside the book. Are we not imperfect, wanting to be more Christ-like? That is if we have Jesus.
 
The author tackles serious real life issues that happens to couples and people everyday that tug at your emotions and heart. A family dealing with brokenness, a domino affect of a family quickly spiraling out of control from a series of poor decisions and fallout after a tragedy that affects everyone. But……. it is also a story of mercy, love, forgiveness, will challenge your faith and hope. “Where Hope Begins,” is told from Savannah’s point of view and how she handled anger, betrayal and grief. As she dealt with these emotions, I found myself getting pulled into her story. My heart ached for Savannah, the tears flowed. 
 
Make sure you have tissues handy, you will cry, laugh and your heart will be touched. You will feel the raw emotions of each character. I felt like I was having coffee and sitting across the table from Savannah as she tried to make sense of the situation that she was faced with. I highly recommend this book.
 
Romans 8:28 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
 
“I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and was under no obligation to pust a review. All opinions in this review are my own.” 
 
#womensfiction #mustread #releasestomorrow #catherinewest 
Other books by Catherine West:

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart Between Us

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The Heart Between Us is a heartwarming story of twin sisters, Megan and Crystal. Born with a weak heart, Megan spent her childhood in and out of hospitals in the mean time, her sister Crystal enjoyed her life, played sports and got all the guys. Crystal is the overachiever sister and feels guilty for having a healthy heart. She throws herself in everything within reach and controls everything. Megan tries to do everything right due to the heart transplant and extremely cautious to not over do. Megan meets the heart donor’s parents who give her their daughter’s journal and an unfulfilled bucket list. This book will bring you on a journey of a life time with each character where they rediscover the twin bond and sisterly love. Hope, love, mercy, romantic love, healing, and without God we are nothing. I enjoyed the story and how the author was able successfully weave two sisters who were at odds with each other, but eventually rediscovered each other and put the past behind them. Change is always good, especially if it is good change. This was the first book that I have read by Lindsay Harrel and looking forward to reading her other books.

I received an Advance Reader’s copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

A Raw Look At Sin and Grace

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As a follower of Jesus since 2003, this book was a reminder that we all struggle, but am comforted knowing Jesus seeks my heart and that I do not need to be perfect.

What if you knew all the moments of my past that I am not proud of? What if you really knew me, the messy parts that I’ve hoped to forget and worked hard to conceal? For so long, my greatest fear was what you might think of me if you only knew the whole story.

Jamie Ivey lays everything out on the table, let’s her guard down and shares her stories and struggles. The theme of “If You Only Knew” is that Jesus’ love for us is more powerful than a secret, shameful past or failure. The book is not so much about the author’s story, but of grace, mercy and the transforming power of Jesus Christ. He wants us to come before Him, skeltons and all. He loves us regardless. We are quick to put labels on ourselves and feelings of insecurity. God takes our failures and turns them into testimonies of His faithfulness. We all need to stop hiding from Him and let Him in.

I received the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Hidden Enemy

What’s going on in our world? Dr. Youssef, a social and cultural expert, explains in detail the destructive forces tearing our world apart. Agressive secularism is stripping our nation of truth, as many Christians are browbeaten into silence. What can save us from this chilling future? The author shows how we can win the war.

The Hidden Enemy: Aggressive Secularism, Radical Islam and the Fight for Our Future peaked my interest simply because our nation and our people are under attack, religious persecution is on the rise and people are afraid to voice their opinion for fear of offending others. This book was quite an eye-opener.

The author shares his own personal testimony of growing up in Egypt during civil unrest and tensions which have existed between Christians and Muslims. Every Christian should read this book and completely understand that we are slowly losing our freedoms.

“They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” Everyone’s eyes should be on Jesus and no one else.
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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“ I Can Only Imagine” Bart Millard’s Story

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The first time I heard “I Can Only Imagine” was when I accept Jesus into my heart and always imagined how I could be the hands and feet of Jesus. Now I know!!!! Share Jesus with anyone and everyone! Bart Millard’s story is inspiring, shows how God’s grace and love surpasses everything. “I Can Only Imagine” written by Bart Millard is the story behind the song and his life. We serve a mighty God, He transformed Bart’s dad and He can and will transform you if you allow Him to. I cried, I heard God speaking to me through the words of Bart’s story. Once you accept Jesus into your heart, your life is transformed and you will never be the same. Jesus loves us so much that He died for us. Bart gets right to the truth, his story is a must read.

I received an ARC from the publisher. My opinions are my own.

A Light On The Hill

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I normally do not read Biblical Fiction, but I am now hooked and will be reading every book of Connilyn Cossette’s moving forward. The author is an incredible wordsmith as she weaved individual characters stories in a story that will keep you up well into the night. Although the book is fiction, the author writes in such a way that will pull any reader in, no matter what their religion is. The theme weaved throughout the book reminds us how Jesus provides safety for all who come to Him for refuge from any sin and the punishment that follows.

Moriyah was kidnapped and taken to Jericho where she was branded on her cheek before she was rescued. From that point forward, she kept her face covered with a veil and did not stray from home, she was afraid that others would judge her and shame her family. When her father informs her that he found a man to marry, she was quite surprised especially when Raviv, only wants to marry for the dowry and is not a kind person. To honor her dad, Moriyah decides to prepare a special meal for her husband to be and his sons. Something terrible happens and she now has to flee and head for a sanctuary city to save her life and receive a fair trial. Through out this, Moriyah thought that Jesus had left her only to find out He has been with her through this trial.

 

A Light on the Hill is an example of love and God’s mercy. Just like Moriyah, the main character in the book, who hid behind a veil, we also tend to hide behind things for fear of judgement from others. Through mercy and God’s grace, Moriyah overcomes her fear and becomes the shining light that Jesus wants her to be. This book is a must read, be ready to go on a journey. Without Jesus, nothing is possible. He is always with us through thick and thin!

I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity

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We all deal with insecurities and some times think we are the only ones dealing with it. In Bloom: TradGing Restless Insecurity….Kaylee did an awesome job drawing us into the book. Over and over I kept saying “that was me, too” many times, the author confronts real battles of feeling insecure with truth filled encouragement. We are bombarded with media and images that of those who appear to have it all together, what “real women” should look like and act like. Our faith is in Jesus, not those who feel the need to make others feel insecure. This was the first book by the author that I have read and was impressed with the raw and heartbreaking honesty.

A Must Read!!

I received an advance ebook copy, all reviews are my own opinion

Out Of The Ashes-Life Reborn

D94037E4-7239-4BE3-A7D6-504B9FCEB00AJourney of healing, love and redemption. “Out Of The Ashes” by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse is the second book in the Heart Of Alaska series following In The Shadow of Denali. If you enjoyed the first book in the series, you will absolutely love this one.

Jean-Michel and Katherine Demarchis were once in love, but Katherine’s dad tore them apart and forced her to marry a senator who turned into a very abusive demon. After the accidental death of her parents and the death of her husband, Katherine is left alone with her elderly grandmother whose sole purpose is to lead Katherine to God and eventually back to first love Jean-Michel. They are both haunted by their past, can they both rediscover the the true love and bond they once had?

Her grandmother carefully plans a trip with good intentions to Curry, Alaska. Than she reaches out to Jean-Michel who is living in France and raising his 19 year old sister, Collette, who only thins of herself. They also lost their parents. The letter arrives at just about the same time Collette is begging her brother to take a trip to America. However, the letter contained only one ticket to Alaska. His sister found the letter and the ticket and Jean-Michel finally realizes he would need to take Collette with him to curve her excitment for adventure.

I really enjoyed reading “Out Of The Ashes,” because it is a reminder that without God nothing is possible. We all need to have faith and trust that God will get us through even the toughest of times.
Strongly recommend the book.

I received a copy of the book from the publishers. All opinions are my own.

 

Isaiah’s Daughter

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“Whips Cracked. Soliders Shouted. My Feet Blistered In A Sunbaked Wildnerness. We Kept Walking and Walking” How many times do we at certain points in our life feel like we are in the wildnerness, but by the grace of God He is always with us! Isaiah’s Daughter is a well written book that brings the bible to life in a different way. This was Mesu’s first book that I read and have already added the auther to my “To Be Read Pile.” I normally do not read bibical fiction, but I now have a deeper understanding of the struggles that they faced each day. I loved all the prophecies that were mentioned and how each characted applied them to everyday living and how they apply to today. The word of God flowing like water.
At the start of each chapter the author starts with scripture from the Old Testament. Even though the book is a work of bibical fiction, the characters faced some of the same hurdles we have today and a reminder that our Heavenly Father is a loving and forgiving God regardless of the situation. I highly recommend Isaiah’s daughter.

I recieved this book from the Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest opinion.