On My Bookshelf: The Austen Escape

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The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

Little description: Falling into the past will change their futures forever.

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues—particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.

But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings arise, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Romance

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 3 stars out of 5

Didn’t like the story a bit… When I first looked at the blurb, it was promising. Reading was dry and lacking of excitement. The blurb provided the assumption that it would be something else, the reality was far from the expectation…Just didn’t get the story line and the characters. Not my piece of pie.

Lacking the good story and the characters were not well-developed. A bit of discouragement.

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Tora Fright Patches Things Up

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Tora Fright Patches Things Up: A Story about Forgiveness by Tracey Madder & Bonnie Pang

Little description: Tora’s prize-winning ceramic armadillo has been broken by her little brother! How can she ever forgive him? By asking God for help! Tora learns that God is always willing to help us forgive others when we ask him.

Children and their parents alike will fall in love with the Frights. This funny and endearing family of monsters will teach kids the importance of talking to God first when they are afraid, when things go wrong, or when they need guidance for making good choices. And they will learn that God always answers prayer.

Genre: Children’s Book/ Religious

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 3 stars out of 5

Beautiful artwork and the story behind it… But I truly thought the book  had squirrels on the cover, until I called to review it and it was too late when I realize my mistake…

Yes it teaches the lesson on forgiveness and family bond, yes it looks cute and interesting, but we have enough monsters so far… to have a cute ones, even those who pray is kinda taboo. 

Kids need more superheroes, not monsters.

PS. Tyndale House Publishers  and MyReaderRewards Club have provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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On My Bookshelf: Lizzy the Lioness

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Lizzy the Lioness by Lisa Bevere & Kirsteen Harris-Jones

Little description: Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is ask for help! Encourage your little ones with the true meaning of bravery through the beautiful story of Lizzy the Lioness by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere.

Boys and girls will love the story of Lizzy, a little lion who must learn what it truly means to be brave in the face of hard things. When she sees someone in danger, Lizzy tries her best to help, but she quickly learns that sometimes being brave means asking adults for help.

With a unique spin on the concept of bravery, Lizzy the Lioness is a timely picture book in an ever-changing world. Children will see that bravery is so much more than big muscles or loud roars but often is found in the tiniest people who have the courage to speak up when no one else will. By asking God for help and then bringing grown-ups into the picture, Lizzy shows kids that being brave doesn’t have to happen by yourself—it happens with help!

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere’s first picture book will make waves with its unique and compelling message for families everywhere. Parents and children alike will enjoy the beautiful artwork as well as the story of communication and teamwork.

You don’t have to be the biggest to be the strongest, and you don’t have to be the loudest to be the bravest. Show your children God’s truest definition of bravery with the timeless story of Lizzy the Lioness.

Genre: Christian Living/ Children’s Book/ Religious/ Kids Fiction

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

I just want to say, it was the fastest book I read today… Keeping kids turning pages is one thing, but coming to the point when children ask again and again to explore the book… that’s what it makes the great book.

I love the illustrations and the story of one special lioness, little cub, who wants to grow up and be brave, but still know that she is too little to help in time of trouble. Lizzy is a smart cub, reminds me, one of my niece and nephew. Fun, full of energy, great lessons.

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Whisper

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Whisper (How to Hear the Voice of God) by Mark Batterson

Little description: The best-selling author of Circle Maker, which helped over 2 million people learn to talk to God, now helps readers learn how to listen to God.

The voice that spoke the cosmos into existence is the same voice that parted the Red sea, and made the sun stand still in the midday sky. One day, this voice will make all things new, but it’s also speaking to you now! 
 
That voice is God’s voice, and what we’ve learned from Scripture is that He often speaks in a whisper. Not to make it difficult to hear Him, but to draw us close. 
 
Many people have a tough time believing God still speaks. Sure, in ancient times and in mysterious ways, God spoke to His people, but is He still speaking now? 
 
Mark Batterson certainly believes so. And he wants to introduce you to the seven love languages of God; each of them unique and entirely divine. Some of them you might suspect but others will surprise you. 
 
By learning to tune in to and decipher each language, you’ll be able to hear His guidance in simple as well as life-altering choices. God is actively speaking through: Scripture, Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain. Batterson gives you the tools you need to unlock each of these languages. 
 
God’s whisper can answer your most burning questions, calm your deepest fears, and fulfill your loftiest dreams. 
 
Discover how simple it is to hear God’s voice in every aspect of your life!

Genre: Christian Living/ Bible Study/ Religious/ 

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Mark Batterson unveils the ways God speaks today to the people of Earth… His powerful voice have different applications and have different tones to it: the voice can be loud or in the whisper, or soft prompting of the heart… Why God use different ways to speak, to draw people closer to Him so He can guide them… I think the more we listen and obey to Him , the more He will talk and direct our path. 

Many people know the voice of God through Scriptures, but there are ways He talks through desires, dreams, pain, people, thought prompting, and doors.

Provided by BloggingForBooks as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Where We Belong

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Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

Little description:The Adventure of a Lifetime for Two Indomitable Socialite Sisters 

In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert–and into a sandstorm. 

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies’ maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.

Genre:  Religious/ Historical Fiction

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 4 stars out of 5

Meet Rebecca and Flora Hawes… those the most outrageous adventure-seekers I have ever encountered. Their courage to travel miles and miles of sand, living through the dangerous sandstorms just for the destination to have the greatest adventure of all… To rebellious for their society and too straight-forward and bold in their moves, whether they take a trip to tea shop or travel across the half-world and distant countries. They’ve got guts which kinda intimidating to my senses and style of adventure. Nevertheless the story was great, filled with truly unique girls and street stories.

Provided by Bethany House Publishers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: The Character Builder’s Bible

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The Character Builder’s Bible: 60 Character- Building Stories from the Bible by Agnes & Salem de Bezenac

Little description: The Bible is so much more than a collection of stories.
It is the overarching message of God’s love for us and a practical guide to daily living. So often our littlest children hear these stories but miss out on how to apply the principles to their lives. The Character Builder’s Bible highlights core character traits that the Bible teaches and suggests fun, practical ways to live out these truths so that little minds can understand. Each Bible narrative is told simply, is tied to a positive attribute like obedience or humility, and is followed with a real-life example of how kids can apply the lesson in their own lives.

Featuring 60 Bible stories with colorful illustrations, definitions, and memory verses, The Character Builder’s Bible will show your little ones that God’s Word is relevant to their lives and will help you instill biblical character in their hearts.

Genre: Children’s Book/ Religious/ Christian Living/ Character Building

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Every time I see a new kid Bible, I am always amazed on the thought that it’s truly possible to have all authors and illustrators to create their unique book that will look amazing and beautiful. 

Just look  at this cute cover… I never heard of this illustrator before, but it calls me to find more books illustrated by this persona. Just the colors, the characters, and the book stories are beautiful and memorable. I like how the book constructed not only have the Bible lesson, but also with each lesson there is practical daily story is going.

PS. Tyndale House Publishers  and MyReaderRewards Club have provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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On My Bookshelf: A Life Beyond Amazing

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A Life Beyond Amazing: 9 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life Today by Dr. David Jeremiah

Little description: There is a way to experience a better life.

Are you ready to become the person God has called you to be?  In A Life Beyond Amazing, bestselling author Dr. David Jeremiah uncovers God’s strategy for change and challenges you to make nine important decisions that will transform your heart, your life, and your world.

This life-changing book explores the nine qualities of character that carry us forward. Three of these have to do with our relationship with ourselves, three deal with interactions with other people, and three of them focus on our relationship with God.  Spiritual principles are true in any situation. But we must make a conscious decision to employ them in our daily lives.

God has given us wisdom for these days.  A Life Beyond Amazing answers the questions that keep us up at night and shows that the way forward is a reminder of who we are in Christ and why it matters. 

Genre: Christian Living/ Spiritual Growth/ Religious

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Dr. David Jeremiah dives in 9 fruits of the Spirit, the ones we as Christians hear a lot, and explains the important of doing and growing in them. If we are going to follow Christ’s instructions that Mr. Jeremiah laid in his book, then we wouldn’t have any problem in experiencing greater lives God called us to have on Earth, connecting to the riches of the King of kings.

Yes, I was reminded over and over again on the truths that have the power to transform my life to extraordinary and beyond beautiful. Still reading… I know I need more thorough reading and examining in order to move  from hearing about this and that, and step into living it.

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Cries from the Cross

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Cries From the Cross: A Journey into the Heart of Jesus by  Erwin W. Lutzer

Little description: “To stand at the foot of the cross is to witness the purpose for which God created the world.”

The cross is a wonder unfathomable. Time cannot contain its reach. No heart can endure its weight. And yet it is the center of everything. It cannot be passed over.

Pastor and author Erwin W. Lutzer believes that the better we grasp what the cross meant to Christ, the better we grasp what it should mean to us. To do this, Lutzer examines Jesus’ cries from the cross.

Search with him and see how God’s love and justice meet. Know the weight of sin and the power of redemption. Look upon Jesus in His weakness, obedience, sorrow, and compassion. Let the scandal of the cross give you pause.  

The cross deserves our attention. Journey forth into the heart of Jesus, that your own heart may be shaped to His.

Genre:  Christian Living/ Practical Life/ Bible Study/ Religion

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Walk closely with Jesus, hear His heart and witness the last words on the cross. The profound message that will change your view on the weight of your sin and deepen your love because of the price Jesus paid, even though He didn’t have to… He was blameless, He didn’t need to be saved or redeemed. It is us whom He searched that day and saw in the crowd. It is us whom He gladly gave His life, so He could hold you close in His hands and reconcile to His Father, becoming an entrance to Heave. Read about those seven cries that changed humanity forever…

Erwin Lutzer always on point. I love his books. They are easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to use as a small group material for the discussion and life evaluation.

Provided by Moody Publishers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: They Came for Freedom

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They Came For Freedom: The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims by Jay Milbrandt

Little description: A page-turning story of the Pilgrims, the courageous band of freedom-seekers who set out for a new life for themselves and forever changed the course of history.

Once a year at Thanksgiving, we encounter Pilgrims as folksy people in funny hats before promptly forgetting them. In the centuries since America began, the Pilgrims have been relegated to folklore and children’s stories, fairy-tale mascots for holiday parties and greeting cards.

The true story of the Pilgrim Fathers could not be more different. Beginning with the execution of two pastors deviating from the Elizabethan Church of England, the Pilgrims’ great journey was one of courageous faith, daring escape, and tenuous survival. Theirs is the story of refugees who fled intense religious persecution; of dreamers who voyaged the Atlantic and into the unknown when all other attempts had led to near-certain death; of survivors who struggled with newfound freedom. Loneliness led to starvation, tension gave way to war with natives, and suspicion broke the back of the very freedom they endeavored to achieve.

Despite the pain and turmoil of this high stakes triumph, the Pilgrim Fathers built the cornerstone for a nation dedicated to faith, freedom, and thankfulness. This is the epic story of the Pilgrims, an adventure that laid the bedrock for the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, and the American identity.

Genre: Christian Fiction/ Religious/ Historical/ Colonial

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 4 stars out of 5

What American first emigrants ever felt? How did they managed to go through from the persecution in their homeland, the escape to the land of freedom, the dangerous voyage through the unknown ocean, deep hunger, new settlements, and the first meetings with new people and strange culture. New deaths, new lives, new land… How they can grasp to the old, firm faith that sustained them all these passing years?

One of the tales told about the Pilgrims… Here is their story. Take a deep breath, relax and remember to celebrate with new understanding of the History of American people, especially at the Thanksgiving time, let this book breath in new insights and appreciation to the past, present and a bright future. Remember them who brought you here to the land of Freedom- they thought of you!

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: God’s Devil

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God’s Devil: The Incredible Story of How Satan’s Rebellion Serves God’s Purposes by  Erwin W. Lutzer

Little description: “It is the best treatment of the person and work of the enemy I have ever read.” — R.C. Sproul, from the foreword to God’s Devil

Many Christians are oblivious to the Devil and his schemes, and this is precisely the problem. If you don’t know why you need to know about the Devil, then this book is especially for you.

In God’s Devil, pastor and scholar Erwin W. Lutzer takes us to the corners of Scripture to which we seldom go. With surprising insights and potent quotes at every turn, God’s Devil will:

  • Teach you how Satan fits into God’s great plans for the world
  • Give you confidence in God’s everlasting victory over Satan
  • Equip you to withstand Satan’s schemes against you

Martin Luther once said, “Even the Devil is God’s devil.” So while this is a book about Satan, it is even more about God’s sovereign power over him. Read it for comfort, read it for peace, and read it for strength.

Consider digging deeper with the God’s Devil DVD and study guide.

Genre:  Christian Living/ Practical Life/ Bible Study/ Religion

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

I am surely glad that God has the devil on the short leash. This truth should be reminded over and over again. There is nothing ever existing in seen or unseen realms what God is not in control of. His greatness, power, authority and ownership is visible in every moment, every place and every space. There is more going on that we know or even realize.

Great subject… This will definitely remove a huge chunk of fear and enemy’s illusion from the people of God. The book talks about putting the Devil in his place. He is truly a star that bit the dust because of the next things: the special privileges and position in God, the beauty and design of Lucifer made him see the different picture that what God created him to be, which caused him to be prideful; and that cause him to be blind in foreseeing thing, especially the proud walk and the proud talk didn’t help him to see that he walked on the edge of the sword… He was limited in understanding God. While all were submitted to God’s authority, the Mighty One didn’t need to exercise His anger and wrath. The devil should have known that God will not share His glory with no one, while he tried to steal it from the Creator.

There is more topics in the book, like the chapter on the Serpent and the garden; crushed head of the Serpent, the new religion and how to neutralize the Serpent’s poison.

Yes! The Serpent in eternal humiliation… God made the devil our doormat. So be encouraged and read the book.

Provided by Moody Publishers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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