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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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Book Review: Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette by Max Davis

Posted by Julie on December 18, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Book Review: Jesus was a Green-Eyed Brunette

If people saw less of us and more of Jesus, it would make a radical and significant impact on those around us. Read this exciting perspective on experiencing the sacred in the ordinary and loving others as Jesus loves us.
When Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette weaves heartwarming and miraculous stories of Jesus showing up in ordinary people, revealing that He knows us and is fully present in our everyday circumstances, especially in our difficulties. As best-selling author Max Davis puts it, When we are born again, Jesus lives inside each of us. He is very much alive today and still does incredible things — sometimes supernatural things — through us!

Davis’s own life was dramatically altered when he first came face-to-face with Jesus living inside a green-eyed brunette. That encounter started a forty-plus-year journey where Jesus became his best friend. When we see others as God sees us we will love them as God loves us.

Those hurting and weary from worn-out religion are longing for a fresh touch from the living Jesus. By letting Jesus live through us we become a conduit of His love. Authentic Christianity is not about religion but a relationship with Jesus. Davis challenges us to do more than simply receive His grace — we need to allow grace to soften, change, and shape us. As you read this book, you will laugh, cry, and come face-to-face with the living Jesus.

This book definitely had me curious, simply by title. It didn’t take long before I was completely captivated by the author’s story, and the testimonies included. They are all inspiring, but I think the one about the man who was crushed and lost his intestines—wow. That’s all I’m going to say. Wow.

If you aren’t sure what the big deal is about Jesus, or, if you tend to view Him as a stern guy who is mad at you, read this book and realize Jesus is mad FOR you. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

To purchase Jesus was a Green-Eyed Brunette, click HERE.

I received this book in exchange for review.

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Book Review: Liked by Kara Kampakis

Posted by Julie on December 11, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |
Liked by Kara Kampakis

Liked by Kara Kampakis

For many girls it starts early. The desire to be perfect. The need for approval. The longing for acceptance and being liked by a lot of people.

Thanks to social media, these desires now get channeled online. Girls can curate an image, build a following, and test-drive identities until they find one that draws attention and applause.But in this quest to be liked and noticed, girls often fail to feel loved and known. The result is a generation of girls who hunger for real and authentic relationships – yet are unclear on how to create them.

From popular blogger and bestselling author Kari Kampakis comes a powerful book for girls in the digital age. Designed to empower teens and tweens through the Christian faith, it’s packed with godly wisdom and practical advice related to identity, friendships, social media, and a relationship with God. 

Topics covered include:

  • Living for God’s approval, not human approval;
  • Cultivating a true identity;
  • Using social media wisely;
  • Building a positive reputation online;
  • Spreading kindness, love, and compassion;
  • Distinguishing online friends from real friends;
  • Building deep connections that last;
  • Handling rejection, criticism, and volatile emotions;
  • Activating your Christian faith; and 
  • Making an eternal difference, not a temporary splash.

For anyone exhausted by the quest to impress – and ready to rest in God’s unconditional love – Liked is the answer. Written succinctly with thought-provoking questions, it’s an ideal resource for a small group or youth group study, and a conversation-starter that will quickly unite mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends by speaking to the female heart.

This is a comprehensive look at how to successfully navigate the teen years when the world is pressuring girls to focus on being liked. It’s easy to read, full of practical, yet Biblical tips, discussion questions, quizzes, and more. I could see me going through this with my daughter, but it also is a great book to use with a small group. I see too many girls trapped in the lie that having likes and follows determines their love and success. I highly recommend LIKED to empower girls and speak truth into their precious lives.

To purchase LIKED, click here

I received a copy for review.

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ACFW: December New Releases

Posted by Julie on December 5, 2016 in ACFW, Book Review, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

December 2016 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

bella-natale Bella Natale! by Marianne Evans — An aspiring American artist and the widowed, Italian owner of a premier art gallery meet and fall in love in Florence when he champions her work, but there are her American family’s expectations and his five-year-old son to consider. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

with-this-kissWith this Kiss by Marianne Evans — A kiss stolen in a midnight snow. A jealous colleague at Jonathan’s firm is bent on revenge…revenge that puts Isabella’s store into legal peril. Will love be enough to see them through? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

mistletoe-daddyMistletoe Daddy by Deb Kastner — Bubbly Vivian Grainger bids on gruff Nick McKenna at Serendipity Texas’s annual Bachelors and Baskets for one reason–to help her build her hair salon; but once Nick finds out she’s pregnant, he does his best to build a path to Vivian’s heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

a-hero-for-heatherA Hero for Heather by Marion Ueckermann — When a “homeless” man she’s been helping rescues social worker Heather Blume from a vicious attack, she’s so grateful she violates one of the most important rules in her profession–she takes him home to tend his wounds. But the mysterious Paxton Rathbone is no homeless man…he’s a gentleman. When feelings grow, and Paxton’s past beckons, both he and Heather discover there’s a fine line between gratitude and love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

a-husband-for-hollyA Husband for Holly by Marion Ueckermann — Holly Blume loves decorating people’s homes, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to play house. Believing a house is not a home without a woman’s touch, Reverend Christopher Stewart is in the market for a wife. What woman would consider him marriage material, though, with an aging widowed father to look after, especially one who suffers from Alzheimer’s? Despite their differences, Holly resolves to finish her job of redesigning the Stewart home, while Christopher determines to re-form Holly’s heart. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

rocky-mountain-cowboyRocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe — Twelve years after she married another man, Rebecca Anshaw Simpson is back at Joe Gallagher’s ranch as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot. Becca won’t let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. But Becca never expected she’d fall all over again for her first love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:

christmas-cookie-mysteryChristmas Cookie Mystery by Naomi Miller — With Christmas right around the corner, Katie Chupp and The Sweet Shop get involved in a mystery when a certain dear family finds an unexpected package at their door. (Cozy Mystery from S&G Publishing)

Historical:

michelMichel: The Fourth Wise Man by Katheryn Maddox Haddad — This descendant of Daniel, also a wise man, sacrifices everything – his wife, his father, his home – to do what he is convinced God needs him to do, then finds out he was wrong (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)

five-nights-with-pharaohFive Nights with Pharaoh by Kristen Reed — Shortly after entering Egypt with her husband, Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s harem as his newest, most favored concubine. The breathtaking, ageless beauty is forced to cling to her faith in God as she prays for the strength to accept her new position and endures a series of mysterious plagues that can only be indicative of a wrathful deity’s divine judgment. Discover a remarkable reimagining of Sarai’s plight in Egypt, where she humbly set aside her own honor to protect the man through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Historical – Independently Published)

Historical Romance:

seven-brides-for-seven-texansSeven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Leslie Seilstad, Erica Vetsch — Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children–until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

a-pony-express-romanceA Pony Express Romance by Misty M. Beller — Pony Express rider Josiah English and the station master’s sister, Mara Reid, fall in love, but when the Express shuts down and Mara’s family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara’s life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Military Suspense:

conspiracy-of-silenceConspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig — A former Green Beret is confronted by past mistakes as he and his team battle a centuries-old plague and the terrorists bent on rewriting history. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Romantic Suspense:

hazardous-holidayHazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson — Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment–and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin’s struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he’ll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi’s certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it’s really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they’ve been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

christmas-conspiracyChristmas Conspiracy by Susan Sleeman — When Commander Jake Marsh loses control of a hostage situation and Tessa Long is injured, guilt eats at him. He blurs the line between the professional and personal, and visits Tessa at the hospital. But when a man tries to kill her in her hospital room, Jake disregards all of the rules and regulations that have allowed him to control his world and vows to keep her safe no matter what. Trouble is, the situation brings back memories from his childhood of the loss of his entire family, and for the first time in twenty years, he fears he’s no longer in charge of his life, and knows when he’s out of control bad things happen. Very bad things. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

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Book Review: The NIV Holy Bible for Girls

Posted by Julie on November 18, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |
NIV Holy Bible for Girls

NIV Holy Bible for Girls

The NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition is the perfect way to apply Scripture to your everyday life. Designed with the thoughtful writer in mind, a whimsical cover and journaling lines inspire reflection in God’s Word. This Bible contains the full text of the bestselling New International Version (NIV) translation.

Features include:

Lines on each page for journaling and notes
Thick paper perfect for any writing utensil
A presentation page for gift giving
A “How to Use This Bible” page to get started on the right foot
Ribbon marker
The complete text of the bestselling New International Version (NIV)

The NIV Holy Bible for Girls has a lot to offer.  Space in the margins to journal. Pages that were made so that when girls journal, they won’t bleed through. A Ribbon marker to keep track of reading.

The one concern I have is that the Bible is recommended for girls ages 8+. I think it needs to be a little older. I think at that age girls still need a Bible with explanation and different takeaways. This is the full Old and New Testament, and I’m afraid the journaling aspect wouldn’t be as utilized as much as it could be because the girls will be too young to understand.

That’s my only concern in what is otherwise a beautiful Bible.

To purchase the NIV Holy Bible for girls, click HERE.

I received this Bible for review and the opinions expressed are my own.

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Don’t Miss This: how to charm a Beekeeper’s heart

Posted by Julie on November 11, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini |
how to charm a Beekeeper's heart by Candice Patterson

how to charm a Beekeeper’s heart by Candice Patterson

Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. Until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he’s indebted to from a mistake made years ago.

When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers a compromise to keep her boutique, and her life, out of bankruptcy—she’ll aid in his lengthy recovery if he’ll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces.

Amidst a battle-of-wills, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, providing opportunity to overcome their pasts and start anew. Will this confirmed bachelor consider holy-matrimony, or will Huck’s choices sting them a second time?

 

Author bio:

Candice Sue Patterson studied at The Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in southern Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern-Vintage romance–where the past and present collide with faith. Visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 

 

 

 

 



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