Forged Through Fire

Wow, what a story of redemption, love and forgiveness. “Forged through Fire” is the raw and unvarnished story of a man searching for meaning and answers in the midst of great trials.” Jesus certainly does not promise His followers a life free from trials or pain, but the author’s faith is not in any shape perfect, he spent time away from God, but through his trials and pain he learned that God is always with him. When he was 16, Mark was in a catastrophic house fire that claimed the lives of his mother and youngest brother. Suffering burns over 65% of his body, his first thoughts turned to death being better than the suffering he was in.
If you or a loved one has suffered from personal trauma, disease or loss that has tested or stolen your faith and exhausted your emotional resources, you’ll find real hope in his redemptive story. I went through a dark time as a care giver for my grandmother who passed away from dementia. To say it was easy would be an understatement. Believing in God and trusting in Him does not mean our lives will be easy or we won’t face struggles. Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to his purpose. Mark shared his near-death experience which made his faith stronger in the end. With each reconstructive surgery after the other his faith was tested. Still, he became a physical therapist, physician, and later a plastic reconstructive surgeon.
I highly recommend “Forged through Fire.” If Mark preserved through all his trials and pain there is no reason why we can’t.
I received a copy of the book from Revell/Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Finding Lady Enderly

Not quite a rags to riches story, Raina Bretton is a rag women in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in an alley and offer’s her a chance for an adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from a hard life and give her a chance to be a Lady. This was the first book that I read from the author and will be adding her books to my to be read pile.
If you enjoy reading historical books with a twist, you will enjoy reading this one.
I received a copy from Revell/Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.

As The Light Fades

“As The Light Fades” is the second book in the Nantucket series written by Catherine West. I enjoy all the author’s books; she takes real life struggles and puts words to them. As the Light Fades focused on domestic violence and bullying teenagers. A story about mercy, forgiveness, and grace, I was pulled into the story from page one. I recommend the book, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and dive in.

I received a copy of the book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Deadly Intentions

“Deadly Intentions”by Lisa Harris was the first book that I read by the author. From page one I was hooked. Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First a research partner and friend was killed in a home invasion, than her boss died in a suspicious car accident, then to top if off another partner supposedly committed suicide. Caitlyn is afraid for her life and turns to one of the victims’ husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.

The two of them can not trust anyone including Josh’s co-workers who are also detectives. They must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn’s team before it’s too late with a sense of urgency and danger.

“Deadly Intentions” is full of suspense, mystery and romance that will keep you up reading till the last page. The book did not disappoint and will definitely be reading more of the author’s books. Lisa Harris is a master story teller and takes the reader deep into the heart of fear. I highly recommend the book.

I received a copy of this book by Revell Reads in exchange for an honest opinion.

Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World Of Urgent Need

David Platt was fresh off a trek through some of the highest mountains and remotest villages in the world. While there, he saw firsthand some of the most urgent physical and spiritual needs imaginable. Pastor David was shocked by the needs he encountered, an experience that last a lasting impression on him that changed the course of his life.

We can get so complacent in our everyday lives that we forget to focus on the needs of other’s. I felt the same way the pastor did when I spent two weeks in Africa this past June. I have seen true poverty, children with no future.

The sheer number of people who do not know Jesus is staggering. Everyone needs Jesus and His will for our lives is always bring the gospel to those who have not yet heard it whether in another country or in our neighborhood.

“Something Needs to Change” answer’s the question “What is God’s Will for my life.” An emotional plea to Christians to move toward the tragedies and brokenness of our world with compassion, love, and mercy that can only come from our hope in Christ

“Because you and I need to remember that our homes and our health and our bank accounts and our vehicles and our jobs and our comforts in this life guarantee us nothing in this world. One day ( and it could be today) they’re all going to be gone, so we need to remind ourselves to live today for what lasts forever.”

I highly recommend this book for those who really want to be challenged, to think other’s  and spur believers to get to work helping the world meet physical needs, but more importantly, spiritual needs. 

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest opinion.

Across The Street and Around The World

Jesus said it plainly: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” How do we live this out in our ordinary lives? The world is changing. More than ever God is bringing people from other countries and cultures into our neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. But we often don’t know how to start building meaningful relationships with them. Author, Jeannie Marie shows us that following Jesus’ final instructions does not have to be impossible or hard as we might imagine

This is a must read for Christians everywhere! The author shares biblical knowledge, personal stories and advice on how to interact and connect with those in our neighborhoods. We should all be following Jesus advice and be the hands and feet and be disciples that go to the end of the earth. As I prepare for a mission trip to Africa, my eyes will be open more so as I have opportunities to interact with non-believers. Go buy yourself a copy of the book.

The Memory House

“Our families will be bound together in more ways than one soon enough.” Rachel Hauck has done it again. Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House. Beck and Everleigh are two women whose lives change in the blink of an eye. Their lives are intertwined, Beck, burdened with a secret, suspended for misconduct and struggling to get her life in order. A mysterious letter arrives and changes the course of her life. The letter informs Beck that she has inherited a house in Florida.

Decades earlier, Everleigh Applegate, a widow lives an uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas and tears her life apart and destroyed her new, young, married life.

The Memory House offers healing to both women. I fell in love with the characters from page one. Mercy, forgiveness and faith are throughout the book. Another well written book by Rachel Hauck. 

“Tell Her No Lies”

As children, Nina Fischer and her sister were plucked from foster care in Florida and brought to Texas by a wealthy uncle they’d never met after their mother went to prison for selling drugs. Now, as an adult, Nina loves her adopted father and wants to please him, but she’s chosen her own career path as a photographer and poet—choices state district court judge Geoffrey Fischer can’t appreciate. When she finds him murdered in his study on a night they’re home alone, she’s the prime suspect and has to prove her innocence or face her own prison term. Is she her mother’s daughter, after all?

The two men in her life want to help, each for their own reasons. Can she trust her on-again, off-again boyfriend, attorney Rick Zavala, whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina’s tragic loss? Can she trust her friend, photographer Aaron McClure, or will he use their friendship to break the biggest news story of his career?

While cleaning out her father’s things, Nina discovers a box of old letters and photos, revealing the secrets her father had been concealing for so long. When her biological mother makes an appearance at Geoffrey Fischer’s funeral and asks to be welcomed back into her daughters’ lives, Nina is even more determined to find the truth about her past. Following the evidence leads her on a journey of discovery about her father’s shocking masquerade as a law-abiding, family-loving Christian. Unlocking these secrets could prove deadly, but it’s the only way Nina will ever be able to trust love again.”

A high-stakes race for truth, Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin is a story full of drama, suspense, and romance. 

Despite the mystery, Tell Her No Lies does progress slowly. Between major plot points, the story drags without the action. Still, it kept me interested enough to want to know what would happen next with Nina, and I enjoyed it enough to read more from Kelly Irvin in the future. Twists and turns in this suspense filled novel will keep you guessing!!!

I was provided a copy of the book by Thomas Nelson and all reviews are of my own opinion.

Chosen People: A Must Read

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation….” Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli who practices law in Georgia is asked to represent a family whose wife and daughter were killed by terrorists in Jerusalem. When her boss is contacted by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer who is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the women’s family under the US Anti-terrorism laws, he calls on Hana’s expertise to take the case.

The case involves finding parties involved in terrorism and bringing them monetarily to accountability. They must dig into the past of the terrorist and find connections. The plot deals with the realistic, gritty and horrifying world of terrorism, but shines a light on the importance of faith and hope. I’d recommend this book to suspense and romance lovers.

I fell in love with the characters, little did Hana and Jakob know the impact this case would have on their own lives. Jakob finding his life in danger, find’s Christ and Hanna knowing the gospel finds grace.

BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review

Shaped by God’s Grand Story

“The Bible is the most important book the world has for all generations. The Bible is our guide to faith and life. Nothing can compete with it or improve it. But in Dr. Yuan’s Holy Sexuality and the Gospel, you are holding in your hands the most important humanly composed book about biblical sexuality and godly living for our times.” Rosario Butterfield.


I was not sure what to expect when I started reading Dr Yuan’s book. The author “came out” as gay to his parents and the book talks about the journey that led his parents to Christ and finally, the author as well. He shares insight and wisdom to sharing the gospel with those who are gay/lesbian, loving our neighbors even when we don’t agree with their life style and God’s heart for relationships and sex.


The book was a quick read the author discusses holy sexuality-chastity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage, shatters the paradigm of gay and straight, and points us towards the biblical standard of sexuality.


I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for an honest opinion.

Faith Among The Faithless

In Among the Faithless,” the author writes about the love story of Esther and connects it to the post-Christian world we live in today. Can Christianity survive in a secular age? Can Christians live without compromise in an increasing hostile society? And what if they’ve already given into that society’s vision and value?

The author answers these questions by pointing out the parallels between our world and the story of Esther. A tale of sex, ego, and revenge, the book of Esther reveals a world where God seems absent from everyday life- a world not unlike our own. Christians are just as likely to divorce. Christians are just as addicted to porn as non-Christians. Christians are just as obsessed and addicted to social media and other things of this world.

Have you ever compromised your identity to get somewhere in life? How much of your identity have you compromised? Esther is the only book in the Bible where God’s name isn’t mentioned. Cosper says at the end.

I believe that’s why God is ‘hidden’ throughout the story. It is the story of a group of people finding their way back to God through a darkened world; finding their voice for faithful, vulnerable witness; and seeking to ensure that the generations after them don’t make the same mistake.”

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

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:

 

 

 

 

 

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.