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BOOK REVIEW: Driver Confessional by David L. Winters

Posted by Julie on May 23, 2017 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Driver Confessional

Antonio, a law student and part-time  ride-share driver, cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. for his next fare. His gentle manner and Italian good looks lead many to confess more than they intended. On a particularly dark night, a mysterious woman bares her soul and throws Antonio into a world of secrets. With his police officer brother and close circle of friends, he must solve a murder and thwart international terrorists before its too late.

 

I love a creative premise. With Uber and Lyft as a major form of transportation in metropolitan areas, I wondered how long it would be before they would take place in fiction. DRIVER CONFESSIONAL uses the ride-share premise and wields a journey through DC that includes mystery, murder, and international intrigue. Antonio is a law student and driver who isn’t looking for trouble when he picks up his fares, but he finds it.

I loved the premise of this book and I wanted to love it. I had trouble getting into the book, and I believe more editing might have been helpful. The idea is there, but the follow-through just wasn’t there for me.

PURCHASE DRIVER CONFESSIONAL HERE.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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CD REVIEW: Out of the Dark by Mandisa #GIVEAWAY

Posted by Julie on May 21, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Out of the Dark by Mandisa

Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called ‘Out Of The Dark’ because that is exactly where God lifted her out of!
You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America last week here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/mandisa-opens-overcoming-depression-47020463

The first track on Mandisa’s newest CD, OUT OF THE DARK, is a voicemail collage, and the messages set the tone for the journey Mandisa has been on since her megahit, “Overcomer.” By her own admission, the loss of a dear friend, her inspiration for the song, “Overcomer,” took her to a place so dark she isolated herself. Refused visits and calls. Re gained all the weight she had lost. Fought suicidal thoughts. With God’s love and guidance, Mandisa is back and her music is stronger for it.

Right from “I’m Still Here,” there’s something in her voice that conveys the strength in Him she’s gaining from her depression and grief. I don’t know how to explain it, a literal maturity that emanates, and I’m not saying it was something lacking in her before. There’s just something relatable in her words and voice that sends the message she’s not the same as she was. It wasn’t easy, it still isn’t. But God’s there.

This CD is perfect timing and for anyone fighting grief or questioning God, OUT OF THE DARK is a must listen. There are reflective songs and upbeat ones. Each song has a message, and by the end I realized as Mandisa emerges from the dark, she is now the overcomer.

This was an encouragement and blessing to listen to, and I highly recommend it.

YOU have a chance to win a copy! Leave a comment on this post or on social media on why you would like this CD and I will choose ONE US winner. Please leave a way for me to contact you when you leave a comment or I will choose an alternate.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Story Behind The Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df27myDpm1c

Acoustic Video for “Unfinished”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQFpXcvFI0A

To purchase “OUT OF THE DARK,” CLICK HERE.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Good Book by Deron Spoo

Posted by Julie on May 19, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

The Good Book by Deron Spoo

The Good Book offers a user-friendly guide to the Bible’s biggest ideas. A chapter from the Bible accompanies each chapter of the book, which helps readers understand the context and content of the Scripture passages in a way that can open the whole Bible.
 
Designed as a forty-day journey through forty key chapters of the Bible, The Good Book will appeal to those who already love and read the Bible regularly as well as to those who are just beginning their Christian journey.
 
The Good Book:

  • is a great evangelism tool for explaining the major themes of Scripture to those who want to know more about God, Jesus, and the core beliefs of Christianity;
  • gives new believers an overview of the Bible and lays a framework to help them understand Scripture passages;
  • helps longtime Christians rediscover the basic themes of Scripture and experience these truths in a new way; and
  • encourages Scriptural literacy as it pushes readers to read both one chapter of the book and one chapter of the Bible each day for forty days.
The Good Book is great for individuals, and it can also be used by small groups in an eight-week church-wide program or a forty-week journey that focuses on one Bible chapter each week. The Good Book will help people understand and live by the transformative truths of the Bible.
THE GOOD BOOK by Deron Spoo is a 40 day journey that can help you know the Bible if it is new for you, or, learn deeper truths and grow closer to God. There is a Bible story followed by contemporary explanations and examples that help understand the Bible better. I loved this book. I thought going in it might be geared more for someone who is new to the Bible and that I might “know” everything. I loved the way the author gave further commentary and information, especially the history and personal examples.
There were things that enhanced each story without taking away the holiness of the Bible or its truths. One example that I still remember weeks after finishing is about integrity. The story was about the Statue of Liberty. Although I knew it was made in France and shipped over, I never thought about when it was assembled, planes weren’t around. When they were, pilots noted when they flew over the Statue that the top of the statue was just as ornate as any other part that was visible to people from the beginning. What an example of integrity. That really stood out to me.
That’s just one tidbit filled in a book that isn’t just a good book, it’s a great one. Check it out today!
I received THE GOOD BOOK from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed are my own.

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Book Review: Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist

Posted by Julie on May 13, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Esther, Mary, and many more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.

This is a colorful book for girls ages 4-8 that features Bible stories that will help them learn about the Bible, important women who are part of “His-Story,” and draw closer to God. The stories are more for the elementary age, but it makes for a good nighttime routine where a parent could read to the girl.

The illustrations are colorful and feminine, very attractive for a little girl. What sets  the book apart is each story has an envelope flap that the girl can open. It is a letter that can be addressed to the reader, and it is an encouragement from God. Just reading it for myself was a special experience. I could see where a little girl would see her name (if you filled it in ahead of time) and be excited to see what God has to say to her.

I think this is a great book for any girl’s library. If they are the younger side, they will appreciate being read to and looking at the pictures. For the older girls, the stories they can read themselves and the letters from God make this is a book they won’t forget.

I definitely recommend LOVE LETTERS FROM GOD.

Purchase HERE

I received this book from the publisher and the review is my own honest opinion.

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Book Review: Brave is the new Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

Posted by Julie on May 5, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Brave is the New Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

In a culture that bombards women with “thinspiration” messages and pressure to “do it all” while wearing the mask of perfection, women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?

Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives—and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.

There’s nothing that inspires me more than reading other people’s stories. I love when there are anecdotes and testimonies full of encouragement that leave me with an attitude that I can do this. BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL is a wonderful encouragement because it offers hope among the pages.

The author shares different stories about overcoming, and they inspire. They are transparent, but not depressing. Each story is just right in length, yet you get the details needed.

Lee Wolfe Blum is a new-to-me author, but now she’s on my radar. I look forward to more, and I definitely recommend this book.

To purchase BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL, click HERE.

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

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Book Review: What If: All That You Can Imagine by K.K. Stewart

Posted by Julie on March 12, 2017 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Voltaire told us to “judge a man by his questions, not his answers.” I ask a lot of thought provoking questions in this ebook, all starting with the words – what if. We can barely go through life without asking what if about something. We are always questioning, always imagining. While the book takes a bit of a philosophical outlook on things, it also gives light humour that the average person can enjoy. The questions range from basic style choice to more controversial questions about life, and even about God’s existence. As Albert Einstein once said “the important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

This is a short book that can be read in one sitting, if you choose to. The author poses a series of questions, all beginning with, “What If?” Some of the topics are about the lottery, dressing for winter, culture/background, and Google.

This was an entertaining read. I enjoyed that some questions were light, while others were profound matters of faith. The author shares her own anecdotes and logic, while also using quotes from others that fit just right. I believe readers will enjoy WHAT IF: ALL YOU CAN IMAGINE and perhaps by the end, come up with some fun questions of their own because this book inspired them.

PURCHASE WHAT IF: ALL YOU CAN IMAGINE HERE.

I received a copy of this book through Smashwords.



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