Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | July 15, 2015

Enjoyable and entertaining Scottish romance

SkyeFive Days in Skye by Carla Laureano

Reviewed by Jill P. Jones

Radiant Lit Blog Tours

Genre: Romance

Publisher: David C. Cook

Date: June 10, 2013
Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan has one last chance to snag a high-profile client or she’ll have to kiss her dreams of promotion good-bye. When she’s sent to meet Scottish celebrity chef James MacDonald on the Isle of Skye, she just wants to finish her work as efficiently as possible. Yet her client is not the opportunistic womanizer he portrays himself to be, and her attraction to him soon dredges up memories she’d rather leave buried. For James, renovating the family hotel is a fulfillment of his late father’s dreams. When his hired consultant turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely unimpressed by his public persona, he makes it his mission to win her over. He just never expects to fall under her spell.

Soon, both Andrea and James must face the reality that God may have a far different purpose for their lives—and that five days in Skye will forever change their outlook on life and love.

Laureano has a way with words and Scotsmen.  She made the characters seem so real and the Isle of Skye so beautiful it was hard to believe it was all fictional.  Her description of Skye was so vivid not even the weather would put a damper on the imagination.  It was fun to see James and Andrea work through their past and their expectations to discover a love only God could offer.  Even though the novels that are strictly romance are not my first choice, I adored “Five Days in Skye” and will definitely be choosing Laureano’s books again.

Carla Laureano is the author of the RITA® award-winning romance Five Days in Skye as well as London Tides and the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (as C. E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons.
Five Days in Skye is available for purchase through Amazon.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Radiant Lit, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program, and the publisher, David C. Cook. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | July 9, 2015

Step into your purpose

DestinyEveryone wants to find their purpose.  T.D. Jakes contends that a yearning for something more out of life may not be a measure of ingratitude or immaturity but a sign that you may not have arrived at the place where God wants you.  In order to fulfill your purpose and your destiny, you must reprioritize your time, your finances and your life.

I wish I had read “Destiny” 20 years ago.  Although Jakes’ book is written for any age, it is most helpful for people in their 20’s and 30’s.  Jakes’ advice is well-presented and relevant to those who are searching for their purpose.  Parts of the book were tedious, but all-in-all it is a book filled with wisdom and revelation.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com  (Available for pre-order–Available August 4, 2015)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Hachette Nashville, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | July 9, 2015

A yearlong journey of contemplative prayer

prayersTaking a compilation of prayers he used in his own personal prayer journey, Kurt Bjorklund organized them into 260 days of prayers in his book “Prayers for Today”.  Using more than 500 classic and ancient prayers from Scripture, “The Book of Common Prayer” and people such as John Piper, Ken Gire, William Barclay, Marjorie Williams and others, Bjorklund’s collection has prayers of every type to help you learn how to pray and to guide you into a worshipful experience in your personal praise and quiet time.

This book will be one you will use over and over again, year after year.  The prayers will be just as relevant 30 years from now as they were 30 years ago.  Though numbered, you can use in any order and begin at any time.  God calls us all to prayer and Bjorklund’s book is an incredible and comprehensive resource designed to guide you during your quiet time.  He has taken the best prayers from some of the best books on prayer and combined them to make a lifetime of prayer come alive in your life.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Moody Publishers, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | July 9, 2015

Spend some time in Deep Haven with the Christiansens

wonderI always enjoy spending time in Deep Haven with the Christiansen family.  Reading Susan May Warren‘s stories about the Christiansens makes me feel like I’m attending a family reunion.  The latest installment, “The Wonder of You”, is Amelia’s story.  She cuts her year abroad short and returns to Deep Haven hurt and confused.  The man who broke her heart in Prague follows her home to plead for her forgiveness and to explain what happened was a simple misunderstanding.  But the Christiansen boys, ever protective of their sister, chase him away.

Roark doesn’t want to give up, but Amelia’s high school boyfriend also wants her back.  Amelia is even more confused and afraid of being hurt and alone.

“The Wonder of You” is a romantic story of forgiveness and pursuit.  It is a story of purpose and destiny.  Will Amelia and Roark find theirs?

I love the Christiansens and I am particularly fond of Deep Haven.  I know if you read one novel about Deep Haven you will love it, too.  The series finale, “You’re the One That I Want”, is coming in the Spring of 2016.  I have mixed emotions about it.  I’m looking forward to reading it, but I’ll be sorry to see the series end.  I’m cherishing this time of anticipating my next visit to Deep Haven.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of Susan May Warren’s Fiction Kick-Off Team. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 23, 2015

From Saul to Paul–the end of an empire and beginning of a mission

empires end“Empire’s End” is a fictional account of Paul’s transformation from persecutor of the Jews to the devoted bondservant of Christ who was later imprisoned and killed because of his faith in the Messiah.  Not as good as “I, Saul”, the latest book by Jerry B. Jenkins still thrills as Jenkins attempts to fill in the gaps (though fictional) of how Saul became Paul and all of the experiences mentioned briefly in Scripture but never elaborated on.

Thanks to Jenkins, Paul’s transformation comes to life on the Damascus Road and we get an exciting view of what might have happened between his meeting with Jesus and his call to be an apostle to the Gentiles.  Even if you know how the story ends, readers will still find themselves mesmerized by the story.  Paul’s life was marked by passion, obsession and violence, but his redemption story and the rest of his life were filled with an intensity and passion for the transformation of others.  Paul had no way of knowing that 2000 years later, people would be turning to God based on his words and testimony.

“Empire’s End” is well with the read, but, in my opinion, it should be read prior to “I, Saul”.   It ends abruptly suggesting a continuation.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Icon Media Group in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 23, 2015

Humor and creativity bundled in one book

doodleCombination joke book and doodle book, the “Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles for Girls” book by Rob Elliott will bring hours of entertainment and fun for girls.  This little doodle book for girls is perfect for keeping kids occupied while traveling or whenever they complain of being bored.  Filled with cute, clean jokes and pages and pages of ideas to doodle, girls will enjoy sharing the jokes and their artwork.  Because they get to doodle their own creations, each book will be as different as the girl who draws them.

Rob Elliott has written many joke books for kids, including the “Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles for Boys”.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 17, 2015

‘War Room’ Bible Study: Prayer is a Powerful Weapon

war roomWar Room” by Chris Fabry (book publication date August 4, 2015) is a new movie produced by the Kendrick Brothers coming to theaters on August 28, 2015.  Based on Matthew 6:6, “War Room” is a “compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power of prayer on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships and every area of life”.

The Bible Study (now available from Lifeway) features five movie clips and five challenging scriptural lessons adapted from the movie emphasizing the importance of a personal prayer life.  Miss Clara’s example demonstrates how a consistent prayer life helps prepare us for the hard times and keep us grateful for the good times.

The small group study guide encourages participants to develop their own prayer lives in their private war room.  The movie clips will definitely make your want to see the movie.  With five sessions of the Bible study, there is plenty of time to enjoy the study and prepare to see the movie to conclude the study.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Lifeway in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 17, 2015

Think you’ll never measure up? Get ‘Untangled’

UntangledAre you insecure?  Do you seek approval from others?  Do you have unreasonable expectations of yourself?  Are you all tangled up with knots of insecurity and expectations?

In “Untangled”, Carey Scott pinpoints the very issue that keeps us from believing who God says we are–a valuable and treasured child of God.  By craving approval and acceptance from others, we apply the world’s standards to God’s approval.  From the very beginning, men and women have gotten tangled up in the struggle for significance causing us to do things we weren’t called to do as well as things that get us into trouble.  It has also caused us to over commit and bring stress into our life.

Scott offers practical strategies for untying the knots that tangle us up.  The untangling prayers and loosening the knot questions at the end of each chapter are incredibly helpful for identifying the knots that tangle us up and for applying her strategies in our life.

As someone who constantly seeks the approval of others rather than God’s approval, this book is a lifesaver.  If you are in the same situation, I encourage you to read and apply the strategies presented in “Untangled”.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 15, 2015

Great character development, good story line

london tidesLondon Tides by Carla Laureano

Reviewed by Jill P. Jones

Radiant Lit Blog Tours

Genre: Romance

Publisher: David C. Cook

Date: June 1, 2015

Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace … only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together … or tear them apart for good this time?

(Reviewer’s Note:  This is the second book in the MacDonald Family Trilogy.  At the publisher’s request, I am reviewing this one first.  My review of Book One, “Five Days in Skye” will be posted on July 15, 2015.)

I enjoyed Ian and Grace’s story for a little while and then interest waned.  The story became frustrating even knowing that Grace had PTSD and couldn’t help what was happening to her.   Laureano’s character development is excellent with vivid descriptions.  Although it wasn’t the same reading experience as the first book, it is worth reading to get the full history of the MacDonald family.

Carla Laureano is the author of the RITA® award-winning romance Five Days in Skye as well as London Tides and the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (as C. E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons.

London Tides is available for purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Radiant Lit, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program, and the publisher, David C. Cook. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

anythingWould you prefer a safe, comfortable life?  Or do you want God to be everything?  When you tell God you will do anything, you surrender your choices and decisions to Him and spark something incredible.  When you promise God anything, you stop chasing superficial things that make you feel good and start living a life that matters.

In her recently updated book, “Anything“, Jennie Allen shares her anything story.  Telling God you will do anything is scary especially when you know what God is capable of and that He often works in ways we don’t expect.  Allen shows how praying the anything prayer can take you on a challenging, but wonderful adventure with God.

Anything” has been re-released with a Bible study included that challenges you and/or your small group to take steps toward submitting to God’s plan for your life and committing to doing anything for Him.  “Anything” will inspire you, challenge you and encourage you to do anything for God.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Booklook Bloggers, as part of Thomas Nelson‘s Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,758 other followers