Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | March 26, 2017

A small town, a big secret and murder

no accidentHidden Springs is a very small town. Everyone knows everybody and secrets are hard to keep.  When the town realtor falls down a flight of stairs in a house known for its own mysteries, the coroner rules it an accident. Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane wants to agree, but circumstances and clues point to foul play.  When a teenager, who is a possible witness to the incident, is threatened along with her family and a man is murdered in the same house, Deputy Sheriff Keane must re-think the first case and discover who is guilty of murder and why.

A.H. Gabhart has continued the story of Hidden Springs in “Murder Is No Accident”.  Just as any small town, Hidden Springs is full of character and characters.  Even in Hidden Springs, truths long hidden come to light when murder crops its ugly head.

If you grew up in a small town, you know the drill.  You are either clamoring to get out or fighting someone to stay.  Most of the citizens in Hidden Springs have dug in their roots, but some who come back only to visit or tend to the needs of aging relatives are itching to leave.  Michael Keane and his life-long love, Alex are struggling to maintain a long distance relationship.  When Alex returns to take care of her uncle who has had a stroke, she must decide whether to marry Michael or leave him and Hidden Springs forever.

Gabhart twists mystery after mystery–both ancient history and new struggle to find an answer.  Will the house continue to hold an aura of mystery?

“Murder Is No Accident” is an excellent mystery and suspense-filled story about a small town and its people.  At some point, the reader will figure it out, but there is an element of mystery that will be withheld until the end.

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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 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 | March 24, 2017

Women’s field guide for spiritual warfare

warfareFirst published in 1991, “A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare” (revised and updated) by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock is now in its third printing and has been revised and updated to include challenges faced now (over 20 years later) that were only a blip on the horizon then.  In 1991, there was no Internet or online social media sites to deal with.  The battle for our families has deepened.  Families are not as tied to the church as they once were. Marriages are taking a hit.  Depression, fear and anxiety are more prevalent than ever.  This is a crucial time and, as women, we need to know how to take our place in the battle.

Sherrer and Garlock’s field guide teaches us when, where and how to go to battle against an enemy we can’t see.  The biblical guidelines, inspiring stories and practical steps Sherrer and Garlock provide will help us step out in confidence and fight for what we hold dear.

As much as I was inspired by the stories of others, I found the bullet points and simple prayers to be most helpful.  My favorite and most helpful chapters were (12) “Are You Under Attack?” and (13) “Lessons From the Field”.  Even if you purchased “A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare” 20 years ago, you definitely need this updated version.  It will be a resource you will use all the time.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing  Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a 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 | March 24, 2017

Current headlines with a heart-stopping plot

warningThe third and final installment in Joel Rosenberg‘s J.B. Collins series focuses on the fight on terrorism, in particular, what would happen if ISIS unleashes it’s terror inside America.  In “Without Warning”, J.B. Collins, Reporter for the New York Times, has just recovered from terrorist attacks in Jordan where world leaders are critically injured and the president is captured.  The president, who was rescued with Collins’ assistance, is still in denial about the threat and dangers of ISIS and the possibility of terrorist attacks within U.S. borders.  The president refuses to take ISIS threats seriously.  When terrorists attack Washington D.C. during the President’s State of the Union Address and the President still continues to deny the looming threats against the U.S. from ISIS, Collins takes matters into his own hands.

This book is hard to put down and hard to read.  The plot, although fiction, is just as real today.  Do our leaders fully understand what ISIS is capable of?

If you have read the first two books in the series, of course, you will want to read this one to find out how it ends.  I encourage everyone to read all of three books (“The Third Target” and “The First Hostage“).  “Without Warning” comes complete with a surprise ending.

I enjoy Rosenberg’s books. They are relevant and give us information about current events we can find nowhere else.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a 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 | March 10, 2017

Finding spiritual truths in superhero movies and comicbooks

superheroesCan you really find spiritual truths in the comicbook and movie stories of Superman, Batman, Spiderman and even Iron Man?  Can the men and women who take up the pages of comicbooks really have woven within a profound spiritual message?

Well, yes, they can, and they do.  Ed Strauss has written “The Superheroes Devotional” incorporating 60 stories from superhero comicbooks and movies including well-known figures such as Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Ironman to others like the Black Widow and Shazam.  There are also some villains mentioned as well.

You don’t have to be a superhero fan to find these devotionals compelling and interesting. If you have a superhero fan in your household or a friend who loves them, this is a great way to learn about them and gain a spiritual message as well.  It is interesting to note that there are some superheroes who professed to be Christians and many stories with a Christian undertone.

These devotionals will entertain as well as make you think. They are a great way to help to bond with your children and teach them Christian values.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Barbour Publishing, Inc. I was not required to write a 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 | March 10, 2017

When God says wait….

waitI seem to always be in a season of waiting. Waiting on God is hard. That is why He provides daily manna–little things for which to be grateful while we wait. But sometimes it’s hard to appreciate this daily nourishment when we have waited for what seems like a long time to us. What if we wait and wait and God says no. What if our dreams don’t ever come true? What if…? What if…? What if….? Are you struggling? Does God seem distant, maybe even insensitive, uncaring?  “When God says, ‘Wait'” by Elizabeth Laing Thompson is timely and encouraging.

Thompson shares the stories of imperfect heroes in the Bible like David, Miriam, Naomi, Sarah, and Joseph and shows how they came out on the other side with their faith intact.  Out of the 12 stories, you will find your story or stories that will help you learn how to wait when God doesn’t answer right away.  When God says wait, He doesn’t tell us how long.  There are only two things we have control over:  how we wait and who we become while we wait.

If you are struggling with God and His command to wait on the desires of your heart, “When God Says Wait” will show  you how to journey through the waiting.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Barbour Publishing, Inc. I was not required to write a 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 | March 7, 2017

The danger and romance of the Alaskan wilderness

denali“In the Shadow of Denali” by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse gives us a glimpse of life in the early Alaskan wilderness along with its beauty and charm.  In the Alaska’s early development, it brought many who sought adventure and beauty by hiking through the dangerous wilderness and climbing its perilous mountains.

Allan Brennan’s father died on a mountainous climb under mysterious circumstances.  His body was never recovered, and Allan spent his entire life believing that wilderness and exploration guide, John Ivanoff, was responsible.  He traveled to the Curry Hotel where Ivanoff and his daughter, Cassidy, work to be an apprentice to the seasoned Alaska mountain guide.  Hoping to discover the truth about his father’s death, Allan discovers the beauty and attraction of the Alaskan wilderness and falls in love with Cassidy.

Although predictable, “In the Shadow of Denali” will catch your breath with the description of the mountains and the beauty of Alaska.  The characters will grab your heart.  Peterson and Woodhouse did an excellent job of collaborating as you would never know the book was written by two people.  The flow worked very well for them.  They created an excellent villain.

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It was not a book that I could not put down, but I always wanted to pick it back up again.  I savored every bit and hope that we hear more from Allan, Cassidy and John and their future at the Curry Hotel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing  Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  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 | March 4, 2017

‘Door to Freedom’ a story of modern day persecution

door“Door to Freedom” by Jana Kelley continues the story of Mia Weston, who is raising her family in Sudan, a Muslim country.  In this sequel to “Side by Side“, Mia is learning to share her faith boldly in a country where the persecution of Christians is common practice.

Based on real life events, Kelley presents a story revealing the struggles Christians face under Islamic law.  In addition to seeing Mia’s story, we are also given insight into a Muslim family torn apart by the Gospel when two of their young daughters seek a relationship with God.

This powerful story is an eye-opening account of what really happens when Christ changes lives in a country known for persecuting Christians.  Sometimes becoming a Christian isn’t all worship and blessings.  Sometimes it’s hiding and suffering.  Christians who have never experienced true persecution should be praying for those who are.  By sharing this story, Kelley encourages Christians to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith.

This story is not only inspiring, but it is also gripping. Mia’s decision to proclaim her faith boldly scares her friends and family, but she still remains obedient to God and trusts Him to keep her safe.  Rania, the daughter of a Sudanese Arab, seeks to discover the truth behind her sister’s disappearance, and becomes infatuated with Christ.  She must make her own decisions about her faith and struggle to stay safe.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  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 | February 22, 2017

Spiritual practices for personal renewal

sacred-pausesThis fast-paced world is full of distractions.  Yet, God never intended for us to be so busy that we can’t enjoy a relationship with Him.  April Yamasaki‘s “Sacred Pauses” incorporates creativity with spiritual disciplines.

From choosing an everyday icon to remind you to focus on your relationship with God to simplifying your life so that you can do what God has called you to do, Yamasaki teaches you how to keep Christ in your day.

Most of us think of a retreat as time spent away from it all to focus all of our attention on God. However, we return to our real world, and it becomes difficult to draw our attention to God.  Yamasaki shows us that we can take some sacred pauses throughout the day and focus on our relationship with God.

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I love the way Yamasaki encourages creativity in our Christian walk.  We are not confined to traditional methods or following a specific plan.  She also recommends journaling and provides journaling prompts to help you get started.

 

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | February 22, 2017

Another action-packed adventure from Susan May Warren

rescue-meSusan May Warren has a way of making fictional towns become as alive and colorful as the characters she creates.  “Rescue Me”, set in Mercy Falls, Montana, is the second book in Warren’s Montana Rescue series.  Her first book in the series, “Wild Montana Skies“, was an introduction to the PEAK Rescue Team and settling some issues from the past.

This new novel tackles strained relationships, blossoming romance and an action-packed adventure that leads two unsuspecting people on a fight for survival in life and in love.  Sam and Willow lead a youth group on a hike in Glacier National Park where bears have been known to attack unsuspecting people and the weather has been known to be fickle. When the group gets stranded, it’s up to Willow and Sam to save the day.

Both Sam and Willow have experienced tragedy in their life and are guarded in their relationships.  Sam is dating Sierra, who is nothing like her impulsive, bleeding-heart sister, Willow.   Willow doesn’t want to hurt her sister, but she has been in love with Sam ever since she can remember.  Both want nothing but happiness for Sierra who has experienced her own troubles in her love life. (You will have to read “Wild Montana Skies” to get the background on her story.)

Warren has truly surprised me.  I loved Deep Haven and the Christiansen family almost too much.  When the series came to an end, I felt like I had lost not just a book series, but a long-lost family.  I loved Deep Haven and enjoyed going back there as often as Warren would allow.  I read “Wild Montana Skies” with prejudice never dreaming that Mercy Falls and all of its residents could touch my heart like the Christiansens.  I was very wrong.  I found myself angry over Willow’s circumstances and saddened by choices others were making for her.  I also rejoiced with her successes.

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 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 | February 21, 2017

Control Girl Giveaway with Shannon Popkin

control-girlThe curse of Eve will forever haunt women, but there is a way to put a lifetime of control issues behind us.  By studying seven women of the Bible (Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel and Miriam), we can learn how to surrender our “burden” of control and submit to God’s leading.  We can put our past “failures” behind us and move toward a new freedom.

Shannon Popkin, author of “control girl”, doesn’t just write chapters filled with information and personal examples, she also includes lessons learned through her study of the above-mentioned Bible girls.  They make great studies which lead to great discussions for small groups.

If you are looking for a support group for women battling control issues, the lives of these seven women will deliver examples of what not to do and find God’s way.  You will finally learn to release the control you never had and give it to the One who truly has control.  By surrendering control, you can find peace, joy and security.

Are you trying to stay in control of your quest for peace, joy, and security . . . and you’re exhausted? Shannon Popkin’s debut book, Control Girl, is a must-read for anyone with a heart that craves control. Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve’s desire to know instead of trust, Sarah’s inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah’s controlling hand on her family’s future, each of these women’s stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.

Learn how to give up control to God and become a Jesus girl! Enter to win a prize pack that will help you give up your Control Girl tendencies.

One grand prize winner will receive:



Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on February 21. The winner will be announced February 22 on Shannon’s blog.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  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.”

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