STAR OF PERSIA: ESTHER’S STORY

13 03 2020

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This was an interesting story, even though it seemed hard to read.  The subject line is about Queen Esther and begins when she is a small girl as Hadassah when she meets Queen Vashti.  This comes from the book of Esther in the Bible, so it was not hard to figure out what was coming next, even though it was fictionalized at the same time for easy writing.  I have given this a 3-star rating, as it was difficult reading, especially at the beginning, but you will enjoy it.

 

SYNOPSIS: In an effort to complete a war his father had planned to win, King Xerxes calls every governor, satrap, and official in his vast kingdom to his palace in Susa to strategize and feast. When they finally leave, he decides on one more week of frivolity, which ends in the banishment of his favorite wife, something he never intended to do. But when he discovers Esther, Xerxes is sure he has a second chance at happiness.

In her wildest dreams, Esther could never have imagined that she would end up as queen of Persia. Yet she knows better than to become complacent. Another of Xerxes’s wives is vying for position, and his closest advisor has a deep and dangerous grudge against Esther’s adoptive father. Caught in the middle of palace politics, Esther will find herself in an impossible position: risk her life or consign her people to annihilation.

 

jill eileen smith

 

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

 

Star of Persia came out for sale March 3, 2020.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

 

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ISAIAH’S LEGACY

6 03 2020

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I am sorry to say that I was unable to get into this book.  I am thinking maybe it just was that I wasn’t ready to ready this type of book.  I have read the first two books in this series and loved them, so that is why I am thinking it was just me.  I have tried this multiple times to read, but I just ended up putting it down.  I have rated this a 2-star, where the beginning needed freshened up to make it interesting in the fact that you would want to read this.

 

SYNOPSIS: At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle’s help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah’s five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she’s eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father’s strict adherence to Yahweh’s Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.

 

Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh’s chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah’s throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria’s crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle’s long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she’d never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh’s mother: Isaiah’s daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah’s dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord’s promise, “Though we’re helpless now, we’re never hopeless–because we serve El Shaddai.” Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah’s legacy.

 

Mesu Andrews

Mesu Andrews is the Christy Award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter and numerous other novels, including The Pharaoh’s Daughter, Miriam, Of Fire and Lions and Love Amid the Ashes. Her deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in North Carolina with her husband, Roy, and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren.

 

Isaiah’s Legacy became available for sale February 18, 2020.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from NetGalley for my honest review.

 

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SAINTS: BECOMING MORE THAN CHRISTIANS

5 02 2020

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I knew this was going to be a good book because I have enjoyed Addison Bevere’s parents’ books.  So to start off, this is not a book that you can just sit and read.  This is one that needs to be done with your Bible open.  He begins in explaining what saints really means.  Then he goes on that this is not the “Christian” name, but a life-style.  We can become saints here on earth.  You don’t have to die to have the “title” put on you.  This all comes from living for God.  Good job Addison!

 

SYNOPSIS: The Bible uses the word Christian to describe followers of Jesus a grand total of three times. But there’s another identifier that fills the pages of the New Testament–a word we’ve mistakenly reserved for the halo-wearing elite, losing something profound in the process.

Saints.

Wrapped in this ancient word is a divine invitation to discover who God created you to be and awaken to the life you were meant to know. Using Scripture and stories from his own experience, Addison Bevere makes a compelling case that the life you desire is found in the mystery of this sacred identity.

If you want to exchange lifeless religion for the wonder of following Jesus, this book will spur you onward in your journey.

 

addison bevere

 

Addison Bevere is a man who appreciates the simple things in life—time spent playing with his four kids, late-night conversations with his wife, interesting words that no one uses, a meaningful day of work, and, of course, a good book. Addison is also the COO of Messenger International, an organization that impacts millions of people in over 150 countries through its various initiatives, and the cofounder of SonsAndDaughters.tv.

 

Saints became available for sale January 20, 2020.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

 

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DISCERNMENT

13 12 2019

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This is a very interesting book that needs to be read slowly so you can digest what is being said.  I call this a study book and I have highlighted many areas in here.  To learn to discern the voice of God is very important in the Christian life and Jane Hamon has a way of putting it so you can understand.  One thing that really jumped out at me was a quote she did from James Goll’s book, The Discerner: every follower of Jesus receives the gifts of revelation and discernment and every believer needs to use them.  That alone, right there, could be a sermon.  We need to realize that we can step into that gift whenever it is needed.  There is so much in this book that were eye-openers, that you will need to read to discover them.

 

We are living in such critical times today that it is imperative for believers to learn to use every tool given to us by the Holy Spirit. We are called to be kingdom influencers–to discern the times in which we live, to discern the moves of the Holy Spirit, and to discern angels and demons.
With extensive expertise and personal experience, prophetic leader Jane Hamon takes a deep dive, biblically and practically, into one of the least known and most unused gifts of the Holy Spirit.  This book will help you operate in greater spiritual authority and walk in wisdom as you help build God’s kingdom on earth.

 

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Jane Hamon serves, with her husband Tom, as senior pastor of Vision Church @ Christian International. In their nearly 30 years of ministry together, they have built a thriving local church, traveled to more than 50 nations, and helped to lead Christian International Ministries, founded by Dr. Bill Hamon. A clear prophetic voice and eloquent teacher, Jane Hamon travels extensively ministering at national and international conferences, consulting with leaders, and teaching at Bible colleges. She is frequently featured on a variety of Christian television programs. International School of Theology. Jane makes her home in beautiful Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, where she enjoys fulfilling some of her favorite roles in life as wife, mother, and now “Mimi” to her growing number of grandchildren.

 

Discernment became available November 5, 2019.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.





OF FIRE AND LIONS

11 11 2019

Of Fire and Lions Cover

This is a book that kept me glued to it!  This goes through the book of Daniel, but with a human interest twist; what possibly went on behind the scenes.  The main characters are Daniel and Bilili (Abigail).  A lot of this story has to do with Abigail.  We start at the point of the exodus from Jerusalem to Babylon.  Daniel, with his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were princes in Jerusalem.  Abigail, who is also one who is being sent to Babylon, was put into the care of the four princes.  Daniel took it upon himself to protect Abigail, who was just a young girl.  Their love for each other grew from there, but there are many obstacles that keep them apart.  Will they ever get together?  If they do, will they remain loyal to Yahweh?  You will need to read the book to find the answers to these questions and more.

 

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she’d perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear–until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?
Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

 

Mesu Andrews

Mesu Andrews is the Christy Award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter and numerous other novels, including The Pharaoh’s Daughter, Miriam, Of Fire and Lions and Love Amid the Ashes. Her deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in North Carolina with her husband, Roy, and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren.

 

Of Fire and Lions was a finalist for the Christy Award and it became available for sale March 5, 2019.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from NetGalley for my honest review.

 

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FORGED THROUGH FIRE

26 09 2019

forged through fire cover

 

This was a very interesting story about the life of the author, Mark D. McDonough, MD.  All that he went through would have stopped most people, but he kept going on.  At the age of 16, getting terribly burned over about 60% of his body while his mother and youngest brother died in that same house fire.  He had a stroke, lost another brother to suicide.  This is just a taste of what he went through.  But he didn’t quit.  He went on to be not just a doctor, but a plastic surgeon to help restore burned victims like himself.  While he was going through his first surgery, he had a near death experience (NDE).  That bolstered his faith, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from becoming an alcoholic like his father.

 

This is a book not just about what he went through, but how he got through it.  This is a very encouraging story that will help all of us to keep on going…to not quit.

 

When Mark McDonough was a teen, a catastrophic fire claimed the lives of his mother and younger brother. It also left Mark with burns on over 65 percent of his body. During a long and painful recovery, his faltering faith in God was strengthened by a remarkable near-death experience. Inspired to pursue a career as a plastic surgeon to help those who suffer as he has, McDonough has overcome numerous other adversities on his journey, including addiction and a stroke. Now he shares his incredible true story of survival and perseverance to bring hope and healing to those dealing with great physical and emotional pain.

Anyone who has suffered or watched a loved one suffer from a personal trauma, disease, or loss that has tested or stolen their faith and exhausted their emotional resources will find real hope in this redemptive story.

 

mark mcdonough

 

Mark McDonough is a physical therapist, physician, and plastic and reconstructive surgeon.  A graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and trained in general, burn, and plastic surgery at the University of South Florida and Vanderbilt University, he has served as an adjunct professor in physical therapy and worked with trauma patients at hospitals in Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida, where he later founded his own practice.

 

Forged Through Fire became available for sale September 3, 2019.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

 

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Stories Jesus Told: The Lost Son Comes Home

2 09 2019

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This was an enjoyable book taken from the parable in the Bible of the Prodigal Son.  It is written in a way that children will be able to understand it.  It also teaches that real love is unconditional – no matter what we have done, the Father will welcome us.  A good life lesson that hopefully the children would remember as they grow up into adults.

 

The parable of the prodigal son comes alive in this picture book. Realistic artwork helps children connect to the characters’ emotions: the prodigal’s discontent, the father’s heartbreak, the brother’s jealous anger, and more as the story unfolds. As children understand these emotions, they begin to grasp God’s unconditional love and forgiveness as demonstrated by the father welcoming his son home.

 

tim ladwig

 

Tim Ladwig is a published author and an illustrator of children’s books. Some of the published credits of Tim Ladwig include Tonight You Are My Baby: Mary’s Christmas Gift (HarperBlessings), Probity Jones And The Fear Not Angel (Paraclete Poetry), Good King Wenceslas.

 

The Lost Son became available for sale August 7, 2019.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in ebook style from NetGalley for this review.

 

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