Sunday, May 24, 2009

Enduring Justice

As promised, I completed Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace.   It was  a gripping, intense read.  Here are my thoughts:
 Hannah Kessler was a wounded soul.  She experienced trauma in her childhood that left her ashamed and eager to hide her hurts with lies and avoidance.  She even ran away from home to escape her memories.  When she returns home, at last, her family is happy to welcome her back.  So is the handsome F.B.I. agent, Michael Parker.   As their feelings are rekindled and their relationship grows, there remains a secret that Hannah just can’t share.  Not yet.  Racial prejudice and corruption in the system seem to hold back justice.   Healing seems impossible.  Pain seems permanent. While crime and violence loom closer and closer to Hannah, God’s protection is also made evident.
Amy Wallace weaves a wonderful story that involves the reader in all the suspense and emotional turmoil of the main character, Hannah Kessler.   As the reader, you ride with Hannah  through all of her tension and  insecurity.  You begin to sense the trappings of the past that have bound her.  You really feel her struggle for justice and her desperation for freedom from this heavy weight she carries.
Enduring Justice is a wonderful read that will keep your eyes moving quickly over each page anxious for the justice and hope that Hannah craves.
At the end of this wonderful read, Amy Wallace shares her testimony and offers hope to the “real life Hannah’s” who are hiding their shame and hurts and hoping secretly to heal somehow.  Her testimony is powerful and grace-filled. 
Enduring Justice also provides wonderful questions upon the conclusion that make it a wonderful read for book clubs.  These are thought-provoking questions that will quickly lead you back to the Word of God for answers.
Click here to read more about Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace or order the book on-line.
* I was given this product free to review on behalf of WaterBrook, May 2009 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dear Mom

Melody Carlson is the author of the Diary Of A Teenage Girl series.  I became familiar with her writing when I had my teenage cousin Shayla living with me.  Shayla would read in her bedroom and come flopping herself onto the furniture and shriek in teenage excitement that this was “the best book ever!”  This endorsement from a typical, hard to please teen was enough for me to respect Melody Carlson for her ability to connect with her audience.

In Dear Mom (Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You To Know But Will Never Tell You), Melody weaves a beautiful dialogue from a teenage daughter to her mother.

Through this rambling, stream of thought “letter” mothers will catch the heartbeat of their teen daughters.  It’s like climbing in a time machine and before long you remember making -or thinking- the same requests and complaints of your mother.

Dear Mom is written like a letter from a teenager to her mother and it answers many important issues in relating to each other.

Imagine being able to get inside your teenager’s head, to understand why she pushes you away sometimes.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get to the bottom of the feelings, attitudes and emotions that they exhibit?  Mixed messages can create a mess.  Mothers need help, understanding and answers.

Dear Mom is a sweet and carefully worded book that gives you the truth that most teenage girls aren’t prepared to admit.  With raw conversation similar to reading a diary, this book captures the emotion and struggle of connecting with Mom.

At the same time, it’s the kind of book a teenage girl should want her Mom to read.  It says everything, while respecting the nature and trials of the teenage years.  It’s fair.  It’s realistic.  It’s honest.  It’s extremely readable.  Check it out here.

* I was given this product free to review on behalf of Random House, May 2009 

Mama’s Got a Fake I.D

Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira experienced a strange feeling once she became a mother.  What mother can’t relate to the feeling of being stripped of her identity and feeling like you’ve morphed into a crazy glob of maternal passion?  Motherhood effects us.  It confines and stretches us at the same time.  It’s easy to get lost in the changes and responsibilities of loving and caring for a child.  It’s a huge job and it quickly consumes us.

The author addresses the angst that mothers feel as they serve their families with love and devotion while, at times, feel empty of themselves.  She confronts the fake I.D’s and labels that mothers wear and challenges readers to be the woman that God designed us to be, full and complete.  She inspires us to be 3-D mothers who love our families and show our love by continuing to use the gifts, abilities and passions that God has placed inside of us.   That make us complete women who encourage our children beyond words.

Readers will learn how to see beyond the stereotypes of motherhood and encourage the women around them to reach their fullness in God.  Each chapter has discussion questions.  This book would be excellent to read for a Mom’s small group.

Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. is a reminder to me that being a mother is a blessing and an honor but at my heart, my true identity is as a daughter of Christ.
Check out this book here.

* I was given this product free to review on behalf of WaterBrook, May 2009 

Friday, May 1, 2009

God Is with Me . . .

God Is with Me through the Night and God Is with Me through the Day are vibrantly colorful picture books that address the abandonment fears of a child by reminding them that God is always near. Julie Cantrell uses adorable images of animals in nature to convey the emotions of a fearful, uncertain child. 

These books are designed for children ages 4-7, but I would have no problem sharing these wonderful pages with a baby or toddler. God Is with Me through the Night would be a wonderful read to scare away nighttime jitters and remind your child of God's promise in Isaiah 41:10. If daytime fears are more prevalent for your child, God Is with Me through the Day will chase their concerns away by referencing Psalm 56:3. 

My children and I truly enjoyed the vivid images of the animals that so perfectly matched each sentence of Julie Cantrell's books. We smiled at the brightness of color and were touched by the message of God's promise that He is always with us. 

 God Is with Me through the Night and God Is with Me through the Day are very similar in tone and message. This might be the only drawback of this product. No pictures are repeated though. Nature and animal lovers might find it worth while to purchase both. The repetition of the message might even help to further cement it into the child's heart. The price of the books is $9.99/ U.S or $10.79 /C.A. This isn't a bad price for a beautiful picture book. 

God is With Me through the Night and 

God Is with Me through the Day are both excellent additions to your little one's library. Your children will delight in the brightness of the pages and the sweetness of the animal world. I'm happy to recommend them. 

* I was given this product free to review on behalf of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2009