Book Review · Books

Happy: The Journal

Do you need a new journal for 2019? Look no further. Happy: The Journal, is a journal filled with a theme for each month that helps you get outside your funk to helping you be more creative, finding joy in the little things and making this year even more awesome than last.

There are many different things covered like: friendship, family, creativity, mindfulness, and more. I like that each month has a theme, in that it helps focus you on a particular area of your life. With the themes are great questions to answer, places to do doodle your mood for the month and a place to put what you are thankful for at the end. I think this is a great balanced journal to use for this year and would make a great gift as well.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Happy: The Journal by Fearne Cotton from NetGalley. The views expressed are my own. If you love journals then you’ll want to go grab a copy.

Book Review · Books

Beauty In The Broken Places

What would you do if your spouse had a stroke right in front of you and you are only in your early 30’s? What if this happened in the air on a plane? Novelist, Allison Pataki experienced this on their way to their Hawaii vacation to celebrate the daughter they were going to be having. Beauty Of The Broken Places is Allison’s memoir of what happened after that fateful June day.

This memoir was a front row seat to what it’s like to experience your loved one ending up with a traumatic brain injury and how to care for them. Allison doesn’t hold back the raw fear, frustration and sadness over what happened. She also, shares how her and her husband, Dave’s friends, family, strangers they met along the way helped out. Allison also, covers the topic of faith, doubt and hope.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Beauty In The Broken Places by Allison Pataki from NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own. This memoir is my second favorite book I’ve read this year. This book is intense and such an important read. This memoir is truly about the power of family and friends, how even the smallest assistance given when someone needs it is huge for them.

Book Review · Books

Healing The Soul Of A Woman

Do you have a lot of past wounds whether they be emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual? If so, you aren’t alone. Joyce Meyer’s recent release handles this topic in depth. The cover of this book is of a beautiful rose in bloom. It’s vibrant in color and perfection. A woman is a like a flower in that she can only bloom when she feels safe, cherished and loved.

Joyce has her own stories of past abuse that she survived and this helped spur her on to want to help other women. This book is her reaching out, to give you the spiritual tools to aid in your healing. Joyce covers topics like confidence, codependency, creating healthy boundaries, liking who you are, and more. She also, covers topics about faith, God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and how God wants to heal wounds so we can be free.

This book may not be long, but the meat on the inside is rich with flavor. Each topic may not always be easy to stomach (conviction anyone?), but I think this book will help you start on your journey to healing.

I received a complimentary copy of Healing The Soul Of A Woman by Joyce Meyer from Faith Words. I am a fan of Joyce Meyer. She doesn’t hold back truth even if it comes across harsh. She is very frank and she has no qualms in telling it like it is. Usually this quality is a turn off for me, but Joyce does it in a firm, loving manner. If my grandma had been a preacher then she would have been a lot like Joyce.

Book Review · Books

The Quiet You Carry

Victoria’s life changes the day her mom dies. Her mom asks her to promise she’ll take care of her dad. Victoria says, “Yes,” not realizing what this will entail. How do you help a grieving parent when you, yourself, are trying to grieve as a teen? Victoria does her best to help out by cooking and cleaning. Her dad meets Tiffany who he takes a shining to. Next thing Victoria knows she’s gained a stepmom and a stepsister, Sarah.

Life seems to be turning into something normal once Tiffany and Sarah enter Victoria’s life until the night her dad acts weird towards her and throws her out. Literally. Victoria lands into foster care, not understanding why. She is placed into Connie’s home.

Life in her new foster home is like walking on eggshells. Connie is strict and not one to hand out sympathy. Victoria attempts to befriend her foster sister, but the other girl mainly keeps to herself. Being at Connie’s means that Victoria is thrown into attending a different school and living in a different town.

Will Victoria adjust to her foster home? Can she start over in a small town where it seems everyone knows everyone else’s business? Can Victoria keep her secrets hidden indefinitely?

I received a digital ARC copy of The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess from North Star Editions and Flux, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are strictly mine. This book is engrossing from page 1. I could not put this novel down. Victoria’s story is an important one that everyone needs to read. This book will have you crying, laughing, cringing and cheering. For a debut novel I’m beyond impressed. I will definitely be searching for other titles by Nikki Barthelmess because she is a talented author you won’t want to miss. Definitely keep an eye out this year for this upcoming YA novel.

Book Review · Books

Raising Faith

What would you do if your child could see people who have passed on and you aren’t a believer of the supernatural? Claire Waters finds herself in this exact predicament. Her daughter, Faith is shy and not one to boast of her abilities. When she is little Claire discovers her daughter’s psychic ability. At first Claire is creeped out, wondering if her daughter is safe with these people she can see, but Faith never seems frightened. To Faith it’s normal to her and nothing is wrong. This memoir is Claire’s journey in learning about her daughter’s supernatural abilities.

Claire does a great job of being forthright in her skepticism and how she goes about researching these gifts her daughter has. As someone who didn’t believe in life after death, after her daughter confirms she can see her grandfather, Claire is provided more evidence that helps her in believing her dad isn’t truly gone. He may not physically be there, but that doesn’t mean he’s not there in spirit form.

This book was fascinating. I can’t see spirits of people who have passed on, but I do know someone who can see angels. I believe this is a spiritual gift you have to be careful and mindful with. I do believe there are demons out there that can masquerade as someone you may have known and try to trick you. Not all spirits are good and safe. They are those that want to harm you. I do believe in life after death and I do think those who have passed on can send us signs. This book a bit out of my comfort zone, but I do find the topic interesting. I think children are more open to the supernatural because they haven’t been tainted yet by the world.

I received my digital ARC copy of Raising Faith by Claire Waters from John Hunt Publishing, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are strictly my own. If you enjoy books about this topic then keep an eye out for this title next year.

Book Review · Books

The Sparkle Effect

Even though I’m more of a tomboy than a girlie girl the title of The Sparkle Effect captured my attention. This book has a cute name, but the contents are a spiritual powerhouse of a wake up call to your soul. This book is not a fast read. You can try to read through it quickly, but it begs to be savored and respected. Kristen writes from the heart with stories from her personal Christian walk, the struggles and triumphs she’s faced, as well as a prayer at the end of each chapter along with applicable Bible verses.

I enjoyed reading Kristen’s book. Some of it I honestly found a little schmaltzy in its Christianese language, but I also, think this book is meant to be reread multiple times. There are spiritual diamonds inside and only one reading scratches the surface.

Kristen is the epitome of gorgeous. She brings to mind a childhood friend of mine I always thought of as having it all together: beauty, brains, a perfect life. I know that’s a lie and no one has a perfect life. I like that Kristen is forthright in how her life truly is.

If you need a book that will inspire and humble you then this book will rock your world. This book is geared for women. I wonder what countless Christian young ladies lives would be like if they were gifted Kristen’s book at the start of high school or college?

I received a complimentary copy of The Sparkle Effect by Kristen Dalton Wolfe from Faith Words. The views expressed are only mine. Thank you Kristen for being an open book, to shine a light for those who need a light to help guide them on their Christian walk.

Book Review · Books

Still Standing

What would you do if you were falsely accused to being involved in illegal activity your spouse was involved in? Anaite Alvarado experienced just this in 2015 when she gets arrested in Guatemala. Anaite has dual USA citizenship since her parents are Guatemalan. Her husband, at the time, had only the previous year advised her of some financial trouble he was in. She was not involved whatsoever.

Anaite is whisked away by the police one morning after her children are sent off to school. I can’t imagine the trauma of being taken away without being able to warn your children of what is going to happen. Her memoir, Still Standing, is her journey being stuck in prison and waiting to be freed. Anaite’s account of prison life is intense, sobering, and educational. Her time in there shows how humane inmates are and how they help each other stay sane through their friendships and generosity in sharing what little they have.

I received a complimentary copy of Still Standing by Anaite Alvarado from Apollo Publishers care of Smith Publicity. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you are needing an inspirational read I highly recommend this memoir.