Monday, February 27, 2012

"Firethorn" by Ronie Kendig

From the opening shot through the end of the book, the intensity of this novel will keep readers glued to the pages. Someone is out to destroy the Nightshade team, and Griffin Riddell is the current target. As he sits in jail for a murder he didn't commit, Kazi Faron is sent to free him. The success of that mission leads them into a quest for the other members of Nightshade because someone is targeting the entire team for destruction. What may seem to be a pretty easy task isn't. There are explosive surprises awaiting them everywhere. Can they rescue the others? Do their feelings for each other get in the way? Who is behind the attack? Come, take a ride on this roller-coaster of action and adventure, and discover the answers to these questions and so much more!

I really enjoyed this novel and can't wait to read the first two of the series. Ms. Kendig certainly knows how to weave a story and keep this reader enthralled. I recommend this book, and the rest of the series, to anyone who enjoys an intense action and adventure novel. Be prepared - once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth

The setting is dystopian Chicago, the objective it the perfect society. How do you get a society without war and destruction? It was decided that the people should be divided into essential groups, and that their individual choice would be made at the age of 16. The five groups each embodied a different trait essential to civilization: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Beatrice and her brother must make the choice. But what happens when the test administer finds you don't "fit" into one group, but rather into a few. You are Divergent and must keep that hidden. Thus begins the difficult journey Beatrice, "Tris," makes to find where she fits. Her initiation phase brings out strengths she never realized she had or ever thought she would use. How will she handle the competition? How will she handle leaving her family? What is going on with other groups and how will her skills be used?

This is the first book in a new series, and I can't wait for the next one! The plot and characters pulled me in right away and I couldn't put the book down. It is a great YA read that can be enjoyed by older adults as well. If you like to read dystopian style books, or just want to challenge yourself, this is the book for you. It also makes a nice choice for book discussion groups.

"The Beautiful Wife" by Sandy Ralya

Beautiful. The word brings up many images in our society today, but none that really touch the heart of a Christian woman. What does it mean to have a beautiful spirit? to be beautiful to your husband and family? to see yourself through God's eyes? In this wonderful book, Sandy Ralya addresses these questions and more. She equips women with answers so that they can not only help themselves, but also help others to be fulfilled in their marriages. The topics addressed include: finances, sex, diet, style, and so much more. If you want help with how to be balanced and happy in your marriage with God's help in today's world, this book is a great choice for you.

My package also included two companion books - "The Prayer Journal" and the "Mentor's Guide." The "Mentor's Guide" answers the questions women might have before mentoring someone, and also gives ideas on working with a group and how to lead a discussion. It really helps allay some of the fear that accompanies leading a group. The "Prayer Journal" is a wonderful tool to help you stay on track with the lessons and set up invaluable new habits for prayer and Bible study and memorization.

These books are wonderful tools for women's group leaders! The Scripture and lesson/story really attack the topics on the minds of Christian women today. I especially like the "Reflection" and "First Steps" that go along with each lesson and wholeheartedly recommend it to church groups everywhere. My free review copies were made possible by the blog tour from Litfuse, and I thank them and the publisher for the opportunity. This is a set of books I will use over and over, and give as gifts.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Trust Leads to Romance"

  Trust Leads to Romance

What stirs the embers of romance deep inside you?
·         Loving Words
·         Touch
·         A Night Out?

Maybe you haven’t thought about romance lately because of busyness, fatigue, disillusionment, or hopelessness.

I’ve been there too.

But romance with the man you love may not be as elusive as you might think.

Though we all desire romance—every woman longs to be
noticed, pursued, and adored—few of us realize that…   

our  words  and  actions  may  serve as stumbling blocks rather than invitations for the man in our life to woo us romantically.

If this is true, then we’re sabotaging the very romance we desire. Reminds me of the saying,  
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Do you like what you’re experiencing in regard to romance?
If not, ask yourself if you’re more likely to trust OR control your husband.  
You’ve seen the controlling type.
Most women on TV sitcoms struggle with control. They walk all over the men they’re with and it bothers us.

It’s easy to detect control in others, but are you guilty of similar actions? 

Let’s look deeper and find out.
1. Do you correct your husband?
2. Do you instruct your husband?
3. Do you improve your husband?

Do you correct your husband’s pronunciation or perhaps the
telling of a story when you know he’s got the facts mixed up?

When you correct your husband you’re telling him he did something wrong.
In this position you’ve become his mother. And that’s a romance killer if there ever was one.

Do you instruct your husband when he drives, performs
tasks, or helps out with the kids?

When you instruct your husband, you’re sending the message, “You don’t know how to do this.”
In this position you become the teacher who highlighted his ineptitude. Exposed, he’ll either shrink or strike back, rather than pursue.

Do you improve your husband?
In the past, I’ve tried to improve Tom’s appearance whenever possible. Once, when dressing for dinner at an elegant restaurant on vacation, I wore a vintage cashmere jacket with pearls and heels while Tom wore an improbable, wrinkled ensemble worthy of an episode of What Not to Wear. Yet, I didn’t say a word! (Some of you may be appreciating the restraint that required!)  If I’d shared my fashion-improvement advice with him, I would have sent the romance-spoiling message, “You could have done better.” 

In what areas do you try to improve your husband?

When we correct, instruct, and improve, we justify our actions by saying we’re just trying to help when, in reality, the measures we employ have more to do with fear—the fear that we won’t get what we want or we’ll get it too late.

Whenever our actions are borne of fear, the results we experience will be disappointing at best!

Give your fears to God and trust your husband with new words and actions…

Inviting him to romance.
 Trust Leads to Romance is courtesy of Amy Lathrop and the LitFuse Publicity Group