Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

October 23, 2017

In This Moment {Karen Kingsbury}

in this moment karen kingsbury
Hamilton High Principal Wendell Quinn is tired of the violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancies, and low expectations at his Indianapolis school. A single father of four, Quinn is a Christian and a family man. He wants to see change in his community, so he starts a voluntary after-school Bible Study and prayer program. He knows he is risking his job by leading the program, but the high turnout at every meeting encourages him.

A year later, violence and gang activity are down, test scores are up, and drug use and teen pregnancy have plummeted. The program is clearly working—until one parent calls the press. Now Quinn faces a lawsuit that could ruin everything.

With a storm of national attention and criticism, Quinn is at a crossroads—he must choose whether to cave in and shut down the program or stand up for himself and his students. The battle comes with a high cost, and Quinn wants just one attorney on his side for this fight: Luke Baxter. In This Moment is an inspiring, relevant story about the nuances of religious freedom and how a group of determined people just might restore the meaning of faith in today’s culture.

My Thoughts:
I have to be honest - I did not enjoy this book. I've read through the entire Baxter series this year and was really looking forward to continuing to catch up with the family. However, this book is hardly about the Baxters at all. And Wendell Quinn just never hooked me.

Yes, this book has a current storyline, and clearly, Luke Baxter has become a legal success. But I wanted more Baxters. More of the family I have fallen in love with. More of their time together and their lives. I just feel this one felt forced and fell flat. Such a disappointment for me.

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October 16, 2017

KJV Know the Word Study Bible

Diving deeper into God's Word can be easy and rewarding if you break it down book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic with the new KJV Know The Word Study Bible by Thomas Nelson. The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God's Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.

My Thoughts:
For years I have wanted to study the Bible - like REALLY study it. But I honestly did not know where to start. The thought of just picking it up and trying to break down verses was intimidating to me, but I have not been able to get my hands on a KJV resource. This Bible is the answer to my prayers - literally!

Within this Bible are so many resources to help kick off an in-depth study of God's word. Words and phrases are broken down with simple explanations or background information linked to each. Verses are cross-referenced to help in the study as well. I have found great use of my Bible highlighters with these pages as I match words with their definitions, verses with their related texts, and meanings I would have never figured out on my own.

If you are looking to really dig into the Bible - and especially if you are a fan of the KJV - then this Bible is a resource you cannot afford not to have in your hands. You will love how this Bible can guide you in your walk to really know God's word. I am so thankful for the opportunity to receive this Bible and will cherish it for years to come.

This fall, become a regular student of the Bible and enter to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of the KJV Know The Word Study Bible
  • A Kindle Fire 7
  • A Kindle Fire case (winner's choice)
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 31. The winner will be announced November 1 on the Litfuse blog.

October 9, 2017

Blue Ridge Sunrise {Denise Hunter}

blue ridge sunrise denise hunter
Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe--a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

My Thoughts:
I must admit I have very conflicting feelings about this book. Parts of my loved it, while parts of me wanted to put it down. But after much thought about this book, I feel I was mostly just not used to Hunter bringing such real characters to life on the pages of her books. This book has pre-marital sex, unwed mothers. divorce, abuse, and so very much heartache.

Zoe has lived her life far from God. When she found herself young and pregnant, she ran off with with a singer and began living the life of a performer on the road - and participating in all that comes with that. She has returned home and inherited her grandmother's peach orchard and begins trying to put her life back together. However, I felt Zoe's change of heart from Kyle to Cruz happened so quickly and gave a false hope of how easy it is to get out of an abusive relationship. These things don't typically happen overnight.

I loved Cruz so much. I feel his heart has always been in the right place when it comes to Zoe and her family. However, he has made mistakes in the way he has tried to express his love and affection for the family. This has brought about so much paid for himself and the ones he loves. I appreciated him taking up for Zoe even though she was pushing him away. And his patience in entering back into her life was endearing.

In the end, I was disappointed with parts of this book. But I still enjoyed the start of this new series from one of my favorite authors. We also were introduced to several characters who I feel have stories coming during this series and I definitely do not want to miss those. So, I would recommend this book for Hunter fans, and those who enjoy a good turned-life-around story. However, if you are easily offended by mention of situations not always found in Christian fiction, I recommend you give this one a pass.

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