Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Review: Habits for Our Holiness by Philip Nation

Buy On Amazon
"Not your typical spiritual disciplines book
Most books on the spiritual disciplines follow the same pattern: introduce the discipline, prove it from Scripture, and give tips for how to do it.
Habits for our Holiness does more than that: It connects the disciplines to all of life. By showing how the disciplines have their greatest power when practiced in community and on mission, Philip Nation gives Christians a bigger reason—and greater desire—to pursue spiritual disciplines. He also warns us of what happens when we neglect them.
With plenty of examples, stories, and illustrations, Habits for our Holiness will inspire you to nourish your life with discipline, enjoy the fruit of godliness, and have a hand in building the church."


Summer is here. My freshman year of college is now a pleasant memory. One year down––three more to go. With the arrival of summer break comes more leisure time and what better way to use those extra hours in a day than by reading a good book (of your choice and not assigned by a professor, I might add)? 

Rather than dive head-first back into the fictional worlds I love, Habits for Our Holiness caught my attention and seemed like the perfect read to kick-off my summer vacation for two reasons. 1) Life gets busy––my first year of college revealed how I can slowly begin to slack-off in the spiritual disciplines despite my best intentions. Summer is a great time to evaluate and strengthen my relationship with Christ. 2) One of the students in my college asked me to lead a small Bible study group for the upcoming school year and I want to gain a deeper knowledge on the spiritual disciplines that I can put into practice as well as share with the girls in my small group. 

I have to admit (and I'm sure lovers of fiction can relate) that non-fiction doesn't always hold the attention. I've tried and failed time and again in the past. Habits for Our Holiness, however, does not disappoint. 

Philip Nation communicates his message in a clear, concise way that is easy to understand. Although his writing is simple, his message is profound. Mr.Nation defines a spiritual discipline as "a mental and physical act and a habit that expresses our love for God and fosters a greater display of His glory in our lives and a deeper understanding of His character and agenda." The author successfully shows how love is the common factor in all spiritual growth because "love is the central discipline of the Christian life."

Each chapter in the book is focused on a different discipline ranging from the commonly heard practices of worship, Bible study, and prayer to practices not normally identified as disciplines such as fellowship, rest, and simple living. I especially enjoyed Mr.Nation's insight into how practices like the last three mentioned can be applied in daily living as spiritual disciplines. The author breathes new significance into the more well-known disciplines by explaining their importance and showing how each discipline applies to God's mission at large. 

Habits for Our Holiness is a book that will provide a deeper understanding of the spiritual disciples to all people––whether they have much or little knowledge on the spiritual disciplines. For those seeking to deepen their relationship with Christ, breathe new significance to the spiritual disciplines, and learn how to practically live out the spiritual disciplines in everyday life and God's kingdom at large, this book is a necessary addition to your non-fiction, "practical life" library. I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars. (Don't worry––those fictional worlds will still be waiting for you when you're done!)

** Thanks to Moody Publishers and PR by the Book for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given **

Monday, January 4, 2016

Life Update + Top Books of 2015

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Writing this post feels like coming home after a long absence. I don't know where to begin––so much "life" has occurred in the last few months that it's hard to summarize in a few short sentences. Shall I start with the good news? 

• I have successfully completed my first semester at The King's College. One semester down . . . seven more to go. 
• I have made great progress in figuring out the NYC subway system. Yes, I'm a native New Yorker. Yes, I should be a pro by now, but I was homeschooled since seventh grade––that should explain everything.
• Because of the reading I've done for my college classes, I've branched out and read a lot of non-fiction in the last four months. A lot. Too much actually––which brings me to the bad news.

I have read very little fiction this past year. In the last four months alone, I have read not one fiction book. NOT ONE. There were a few times during this semester that I "tortured" myself by looking up new releases by my favorite authors with the understanding that I couldn't read any of them. #SoMuchToReadSoLittleTime. For this reason, CBRB's Top Ten Books for 2015 will be a little different. 

• Included in the Top Ten are a couple books I really enjoyed this year and . . .
• Eight books I was unable to read, but I'm confident they would've made the list

Without further ado here are CBRB's Top Ten Books of 2015 (in the order of their release dates except for the last two):
10. Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey

Feb. 3, 2015
9. The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

May 19, 2015
8. In Good Company by Jen Turano

June 30, 2015
7. Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

July 28, 2015
6. Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund 

Oct. 6, 2015
5. The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Nov. 24, 2015
4. Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

Nov. 24, 2015
3. The First Hostage by Joel C. Rosenberg

Dec. 29, 2015
2. Exodus by Cliff Graham

May 3, 2015
In Exodus, Graham breathes new life into the Bible character of Caleb. Because the Bible does not offer much information on the life of Caleb, this book does use a lot of creative license. But if you're looking for a captivating and eye-opening glimpse into the life of a courageous Bible warrior, definitely pick up a copy. This is Biblical fiction at its best.

1. Together With You by Victoria Bylin

April 7, 2015
I haven't read a book this wonderful in a long time. I learned about fetal alcohol syndrome, related beautifully with the heroine, and experienced spiritual encouragement. I love a book where I learn something new and connect with the character(s). Especially a book with a strong spiritual thread.

Carly Mason is a girl after my own heart. She's strong in her faith and in her convictions. She doesn't sugar-coat her decision to "save herself for marriage" and her compassionate, godly character stands out to Ryan and others around her. Because Dr. Ryan Tremaine is an atheist, he is distinct from most Christian fiction heroes. Oh, he's still a wonderful father and a "perfect" gentleman, but his spiritual journey sparkles because of his initial there-is-no-God philosophy. A large obstacle to Carly and Ryan's growing attraction is her faith in God––I enjoyed this unique approach and how, despite her feelings, Carly was unwilling to compromise.

Some of my favorite scenes were those written from Penny's point-of-view. Her voice seemed very realistic for a child suffering from fetal alcohol effects. I loved how Penny called her Heavenly Father "Dr.God." Seeing the relationship development among Ryan and his children––especially Penny––was heartwarming. 

Since Carly and Ryan are not in their early-twenties, their perspectives on life are mature and realistic which is a refreshing change. The depictions of Los Angeles and even Kentucky, Carly's home state, came to life. I could see the smog, feel the salt-laden ocean breeze, and imagine the rolling, green hills of Kentucky. 

While the plot of Together With You held my interest, the characters are what attract attention. They are real. Additionally, the ending was sigh-worthy and tied all the loose ends wonderfully. If you're looking for a novel driven by characters that leap to life––whose commitment to Christ is real––and that will stay with you for a long time afterward, pick up a copy of Together With You. I highly recommend it and give it five stars.


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What were your favorite books this past year? Did you read any of the books included in CBRB's Top Ten?

My second semester of college begins in a week and, unfortunately, this may be my only post for a while, but I would love to connect and stay in touch with you (that should motivate me to use social media more frequently;)! What is your favorite social media platform? Twitter? Instagram? Let me know––it is always wonderful to find readers who have similar tastes. If I could run into one lover of Christian fiction among the streets of NYC . . . that would be the day. 

Readers, I pray God blesses you abundantly in this new year. Keep living for HIM and . . . keep reading good books. 

Until next time!

~ Aizess

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hot-off-the-Press Christian Fiction Reads ~ July/August 2015

July 7, 2015
Thomas Nelson
Buy At Amazon
The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd

“It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail’s egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either bless or curse whoever possesses it.”

Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She’s done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille must allow a mysterious stranger to come to her aid.
Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content to work as the village apothecary. But when his brother’s death made him heir just as his father’s foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may be the answer to his many questions.
Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, these two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, they will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.
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July 7, 2015
Bethany House
Buy At Amazon
In Good Company by Jen Turano

After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren't always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position. 

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he's desperate for competent childcare.

At wit's end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance--with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children's parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?
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July 7, 2015
Revell
Buy At Amazon
To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

In an uncertain time, she faces a choice that will change her life forever

It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die--until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice--stay true to her friend or follow her heart. 

Exploring a unique slice of history, Rebecca DeMarino transports you to the wild land that would eventually become Long Island, 
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason
July 7, 2015
Bethany House
Buy At Amazon

1911 Long Island, New York 

Brianna and Colleen O'Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he's put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry--as long as her father's choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone's plans. 

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O'Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father's machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will 
they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?
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July 28, 2015
Revell
Buy At Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0800723422?creativeASIN=0800723422&linkCode=w01&linkId=QGUZFUDQ5AO5TA5R&ref_=as_sl_pc_ss_til&tag=httpaizesshom-20
Through Deep Waters by Sarah Sundin

War is coming. Can love carry them through the rough waters that lie ahead?

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Handsome and outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. On shore, Jim encounters Mary Stirling, a childhood friend who is now an astute and beautiful Boston Navy Yard secretary.  When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is discovered, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.
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August 1, 2015
Shiloh Run Press
Buy At Amazon
Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport

Ella Hilty’s deepest desire is to marry Gideon Wittmer and be a mother to his three children. But before the betrothal and ceremony take place, Ella’s 1918 Ohio Amish community gets caught in a storm of controversy when English government authorities dictate that Amish children must attend consolidated public schools rather than their one-room schoolhouse.


English schoolteacher Margaret Simpson had given up thoughts of marriage years ago, and she’s content with her peaceful life. But a budding romance and conflict with the neighboring Amish community lead Margaret down a path that she never expected.


Citing freedom of religion rights, Amish parents stand their ground against progressive English laws that threaten to erode their culture and beliefs beyond recognition, but their stance doesn’t come without consequences. Where is the balance between submission to God and submission to a God-ordained government that endangers the church?

Soon Margaret puts her last chance for romance at risk for the only choice her conscience can abide, and all eyes turn to Ella to bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English.
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August 4, 2015
Thomas Nelson
Buy At Amazon
A House Divided by Robert Whitlow

Corbin Gage can stand up to anyone . . . But his own divided house will bring him to his knees.

Corbin, a longtime legal champion for the downtrodden, is slowly drinking himself into the grave. His love for “mountain water” has cost him his marriage to the godliest woman he knows, ruined his relationship with his daughter, Roxy, and reduced the business at his small Georgia law firm to a level where he can barely keep the bill collectors at bay. But it isn’t until his son, Ray, threatens to limit Corbin’s time with his grandson that Corbin begins to acknowledge he might have a problem.
Despite the mess that surrounds his personal life and against the advice of everyone he knows, Corbin takes on a high-stakes tort case on behalf of two boys who have contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to an alleged chemical exposure. The defendant, a fertilizer company, is the largest employer in the area. The lawsuit becomes a tornado that sucks Corbin, Ray, and Roxy into an increasingly deadly vortex. Equally intense pressure within the family threatens to destroy, once and for all, the thin threads that connect them.
Corbin must find the strength to stand up to his personal demons. Justice for two dying boys depends on it . . . his family depends on it.
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August 4, 2015
Bethany House
Buy At Amazon
Not By Sight by Kate Breslin

With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.

Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country's cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she'll set off when she hands a feather to Jack. 

And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them--or the faith they'll need to maintain hope.
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August 4, 2015
Revell
Buy At Amazon
Trial Run by Thomas Locke (aka Davis Bunn)

Reese Clawson's work is mind-bending--literally. Her company specializes in global data analysis for an elite group of industry executives, and now a lucrative government contract is moving her into the realm of cutting-edge intelligence gathering. She is determined to crack the limits of consciousness--and in doing so, the boundaries of secrets and lies. But her experiment crashes as test subjects slide into a coma-like state. Reese is left scrambling to maintain control, drawing three disparate people into the search for answers--an adrenaline-amped thrill junkie with altered brain chemistry, an Italian scientist working on remote-viewing technology, and a math prodigy whose algorithms subvert computer encryption.


Will this piecemeal team prevail when a government operative is sent to investigate? As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and even time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don't know can kill you.
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August 18, 2015
Abingdon Press
Buy At Amazon
Be My Valentino by Sandra D. Bricker

Now that the whole truth has come out about her husband’s double life—including the fact that she and Jack were never legally married—Jessie is standing on her own for the first time in her life. As she struggles to put Adornments, her rental store for designer labels, on the map in Tinsel Town, her relationship with private investigator Danny Callahan gains momentum. 

When she dresses a reluctant Danny in Valentino for undercover work at a formal affair, it’s him rather than her store that captures Hollywood’s notice. Danny, snapped by photogs, lands as the unlikely cover model on the front of L.A. Magazine. So much for inconspicuous. Will his popularity thwart her efforts to grow her business? Or worse, can Jessie afford to put her faith—and heart—into another relationship when she’s so obviously handicapped in the good judgment department?
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July and August seem to be delivering some wonderfully diverse reads––from Contemporary (Be My Valentino) to Speculative (Trial Run). The cover of Through Waters Deep is gorgeous, but the blurb of Not By Sight is so intriguing (can you tell that I have a soft spot for World War I & II novels?:-) Which blurb and/or cover appeals to you the most (you can choose from those listed here or other Christian novels you may know of released/releasing in July and August)? Let me know in the comments below *inserts hand-pointing-down emoji*.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Character Interview and Giveaway: Gone Without A Trace by Patricia Bradley

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It is so wonderful to have Patricia on CBRB once again! To change things up a little, we decided to scrap the usual author interview and conduct a character interview with the hero and heroine from Patricia's new book Gone Without A Trace which releases July 7. 

Don't forget to enter to win a print copy of Gone Without A Trace in the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Enjoy!
_________________________________________

Describe yourself in three sentences or less.

Livy Reynolds: I want to see justice done and that’s why I’m a detective for the Memphis Police Department. I’m also a planner, a list maker, and I really don’t understand people who just take off without some sort of plan—something is bound to go wrong and then they’re up that proverbially creek without an oar.

Alex: I love to do things on the spur of the moment. Get in my plane and just take off in the clear blue skies. I don’t understand why everything in life has to be planned out. I mean, life is an adventure. 

What makes you laugh-out-loud?

Livy: A baby’s first smile.

Alex: Puppies and kittens. They can get into some of the craziest things.

You are doing a huge spring cleaning. What is easy for you to throw out? What is difficult to part with?

Livy: I travel light through life. Learned a long time ago, putting too much care into something is a sure way to get it taken away. But to answer the question, clothes, shoes, things like that are easy to throw out. I would probably hold on to my dad’s letters.

Alex: I don’t attach sentimentality to much in my life, so I can toss anything. Might keep my favorite old tee-shirt.

What is your fondest childhood memory? Your worst?

Livy: My fondest memory is taking care of the bully that kept threatening Robyn. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a cop when I grew up. Worst memory? The day my mom died.

Alex: The day I soloed in my plane. A bunch of friends from school went with me to watch, and it was great having them there to celebrate The worst was when my parents divorced and my mom went to live in California.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book (besides the Bible) would make your stay bearable?

Livy: Any book on how to build a boat. :) But if I have to choose a title, then Exodus by Leon Uris.

Alex: I like Livy’s answer. :) But for a title, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

If God allowed you to travel back in time and become a Bible character, which would you be? Why?

Livy: David. He kept messing up , but God saw him as a man after His own heart.


Alex: Paul. On the road to Damascus, he had an amazing encounter with Jesus and afterward, he wrote over half the New Testament.

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GIVEAWAY!
(This giveaway is only open to followers of Christian Book Review Blog, so be sure you are a follower!) 
Patricia has generously offered to giveaway a print copy of Gone Without A TracePrint giveaway is available to U.S residents only. Giveaway ends on Saturday July 4, 2015 at midnight (Eastern time). Thanks for coming by to enter! (Patricia will mail the book to the winner once she receives her author copies.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read CBRB's full disclosure here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review: The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea

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"Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates. With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent. 

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash? 
The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome."

** I am not yet done with The Sound of Diamonds, but I'll share my current thoughts on this book and, God willing, update my review once I'm finished reading it. **

There are three highlighting factors that set this book apart. First and foremost, the beautiful prose. The vintage English phrases coupled with the lyrical metaphors and similes sparkle––the words flow smoothly like a gentle forest creek. The descriptions are so vibrant they arrest my imagination, allowing me to easily envision each scene. And the characters' personalities unfurl slowly, laying a foundation for a close friendship with [the characters].

Secondly, I find the fact that Gwyneth is Catholic rather different from other Christian novels because of its significance in the story––this second factor harmonizes with the third and final highlighting factor: the interesting time period. The story is set during the turbulent times surrounding the disagreement between Catholics and Protestants. Interestingly, Dirk is Protestant and Gwyneth is Catholic. I'm not quite sure how the story will progress in regards to the spiritual element, but a Catholic heroine planted among Protestant rebels results in a unique story.

This is a debut novel and it's always great to find a new author. So if you're looking for a fresh voice in the Christian market and a story brimming with beautiful prose, relatable characters––and set during a fascinating era––grab a copy of The Sound of Diamonds. You won't be disappointed. It can be bought at Amazon.

** Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review, which I have given. **

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read CBRB's full disclosure here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review: Together With You by Victoria Bylin

Buy At Amazon
"Sometimes the most unexpected love can be exactly what a heart needs...

When a Lost Child warning blares over the mall's PA system, Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that the child suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly's past suddenly confronts her. Never again will she become personally involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny--and Penny's handsome father--tugs at Carly's heart.

Dr. Ryan Tremaine is trying to put his life back together. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan has put his faith in his Sink-or-Swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruit Carly Mason to be Penny's nanny.


Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?"

I haven't read a book this wonderful in a long time. I learned about fetal alcohol syndrome, related beautifully with the heroine, and experienced spiritual encouragement. I love a book where I learn something new and connect with the character(s). Especially a book with a strong spiritual thread.

Carly Mason is a girl after my own heart. She's strong in her faith and in her convictions. She doesn't sugar-coat her decision to "save herself for marriage" and her compassionate, godly character stands out to Ryan and others around her. Because Dr. Ryan Tremaine is an atheist, he is distinct from most Christian fiction heroes. Oh, he's still a wonderful father and a "perfect" gentleman, but his spiritual journey sparkles because of his initial there-is-no-God philosophy. A large obstacle to Carly and Ryan's growing attraction is her faith in God––I enjoyed this unique approach and how, despite her feelings, Carly was unwilling to compromise.

Some of my favorite scenes were those written from Penny's point-of-view. Her voice seemed very realistic for a child suffering from fetal alcohol effects. I loved how Penny called her Heavenly Father "Dr.God." Seeing the relationship development among Ryan and his children––especially Penny––was heartwarming. 

Since Carly and Ryan are not in their early-twenties, their perspectives on life are mature and realistic which is a refreshing change. The depictions of Los Angeles and even Kentucky, Carly's home state, came to life. I could see the smog, feel the salt-laden ocean breeze, and imagine the rolling, green hills of Kentucky. 

While the plot of Together With You held my interest, the characters are what attract attention. They are real. The ending, however, was sigh-worthy and tied all the loose ends wonderfully. If you're looking for a novel driven by characters that leap to life––whose commitment to Christ is real––and that will stay with you for a long time afterward, pick up a copy of Together With You. I highly recommend it and give it five stars. Together With You can be purchased at Amazon.

** Thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for providing a free eBook copy in exchange for my honest review, which I have given **

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read CBRB's full disclosure here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Girl Behind the Blog: Christian Book Review Blog

There is only one time in my life that I disliked reading . . . and that was in pre-kindergarten when learning to read was a chore. After I learned to read, I was the girl who loved filling my ziplock bag with books from my classroom library. The one who savored every minute of the half-hour "Independent reading time" in elementary school and had to be scolded by my teacher so that I would "put the book away" once the thirty minutes passed. I mean, why did I need to learn math when I could read a good book?

In middle school my cousin introduced me to the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke and my interest in modern Christian fiction began. (I had already read and loved classic Christian novels from Martha Finley, Grace Livingston Hill, and Isabella Alden.) By my freshmen year of high school I learned that I could obtain free Christian books in exchange for my honest review and so Christian Book Review Blog made its debut in the blog world. (You can learn more about these review programs in the Review Free Christian Books tab.)

Since then, Christian Book Review Blog has been a hobby of mine. Throughout high school, when the classic question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" arose, I was confident in my answer––I wanted to study Education . . . until roughly a year ago. God placed in my heart a desire to be a book publicist which came completely from left field and yet, fits my interests perfectly. It was a light-bulb moment––I had never seriously considered turning my love of books into a viable career. I like to say that I changed my major while in high school.

I am now a graduating high school senior with college just around the bend. God willing, I will be attending The King's College in NY, New York this coming fall with the intentions of majoring in Media, Culture, and the Arts as my first step to becoming a Christian Book Publicist. Before the college application process, I never realized how expensive higher education is––especially private colleges. I am now in the process of applying to scholarships to help pay for college (besides looking for a summer job).

In fact, I have recently been nominated for the $1,000 Young Christian Leaders scholarship for the month of June (I am one among ten nominees). Family and friends are asked to vote for a nominee, since votes account for 25% of the scholarship winning process. Anyone can vote for one nominee, one time everyday, in the month of June. Many of the authors featured on CBRB and readers of CBRB have become virtual friends and I would greatly appreciate if you would vote for me. Here's the voting link:


Thank you in advance for your help!

I continue to see the love of reading in my future . . . at the very least, I will continue to love and read the Bible. Thank you VERY much to all the authors and readers who continue to grace CBRB with their presence. This blog would be nothing without you! Oh, and please go vote . . . pretty please with a cherry on top:-) 

A Question for you: What is your dream job?