Monday, November 7, 2016

Doodletopia Fairies- Book Review

I received this book free from blogging for books in exchange for this review.

I originally thought that this was a coloring book or possibly a "finish the doodle" book, but it's honestly a book of step by step instructions to draw your own fairies. It may be my own lack of skill, but I found the "doodles" to be time-consuming and somewhat difficult. However, I think its a great tool to improve on your drawing skills.

Book Review: When Others Shuddered by Jamie Janosz

This book tells the stories of eight women with great faith who did great things. The best part? They acknowledge God as the reason for their success.

I was surprised by the fact that I hadn't heard of many of these women before reading this book. In fact, all but one was an unfamiliar name. Each woman and her story differed from the other. They all had very different lives and trials to overcome. However, they all shared the same faith. It's the kind of faith that tells us that God has a plan and we have no need to worry when he is in control.

It's very refreshing to read about women with great faith throughout history. I feel like women can often be overlooked when thinking about people in history with great faith. It's also encouraging to see that other women have achieved such levels of faith and it's possible for all of us as well.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for this honest review.

A Book Review: Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers and Karin Stock Buursma

I received this book for free from Tyndale publishers in exchange for this honest book review.

This book is designed to be a weekly devotional, but I choose to read it daily. I do think it would best serve as a tool for small groups since they typically meet on a weekly basis. However, I found it beneficial to add to my daily reading.

My favorite thing about this book is the wonderful photographs throughout. They are all very bright and beautiful. This devotional surely gave me a new appreciation for nature and the beauty that God has created.

Each devotional starts with a verse. The body of the devotional is a story about a time the author experienced something to do with nature that can be related to the verse and topic of the weekly devotional. It also includes reflect (questions related to the reading), apply (some instructions to apply the reading directly to your life), and a prayer.

I suggest this book to anyone and everyone, but especially those who would use it in small groups.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mindfulness: A Journal by Catherine Price (Review)

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest book review.

I have been searching for a good Journal Prompt book for what seems like forever. I'm not completely sold on the fact that this book is both the prompts and the journal and here's why: When you get just a prompt book you are able to do them over and over again using your own notebooks and free-writing. While I agree this is still possible with the built-in-journal style I'm way less likely to do it. At the same time, it's more convenient to not have to use two books. So I'll leave it to you to weigh in the pros and cons.

I do also want to note that this book isn't just full of random journal prompts. These prompts are to get you thinking and some even have semi-spiritual content. I have my own beliefs that I will not share here, but don't mind sharing if contacted with question, but I'll tell you there are a couple prompts I skipped over which is actually encouraged according to the forward in this book. 

Since this is a journal and has spiritual content I really can't recommend it without knowing someones beliefs and/or preferences, but I will say that if you want to do some deep thinking this is pretty good journal, but don't force yourself into a prompt that doesn't fit you. 

Happy Reading loves <3

Amanda Renea

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review of An Unexplainable Life by Erica Wiggenhorn

I truly can't say enough good things about this book. This book is an in-depth study of both the book of Acts as well as the concept of living a life unexplainable apart from Christ. Take that in for a second. This book is a guide on how to live life in such a way that others can't help to see Christ when the look at you.

Just like any guide, you have a choice whether or not to follow the steps. You have a choice to fully or partially commit. So if you would like to see results from using this study you must be "all-in".

In each daily study you will have a specific reading to read aloud as well as in-depth study questions. Erica Wiggenhorn also often includes tidbits of historical information that makes the text more understandable. Often she includes links to her website where you can further study a certain topic.

This book has the potential to change your life. It's a wonderful study and I would suggest it to both groups & individuals.

I received this book free from MP Newsroom in exchange for an honest review.

God Bless!

Review of Pop Manga Coloring Book Book by Camilla d'Errico

I really enjoy coloring to relieve stress and this book has been extremely helpful. The pages are beautiful and unique while staying in the Manga style of art. This book has mermaids, sea creatures, and winged creatures all accompanying Manga humans. Along with the beautiful coloring pages it has quite the cute introduction that I won't spoil for you.

I do suggest this book to any colorists out there. The only downfall (which isn't truly a downfall) Is that it doesn't have the repetition of pattern that some colorists look for. Instead, it is a unique piece of art on every page.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible for Women by Barbour Publishing - Book Review

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is more than just 365 verses. It contains a full years-worth of short and sweet daily devotionals. Each Devotional contains at least one verse, a devotional pertaining to the verse, and a prayer.

I suggest this devotional to anyone who may be busy and have trouble spending time in the Word. This is an easy 5-minute a day starting to point for anyone wanting to get into studying God's Word more or for anyone wanting to add a little more to there time with God.

My personal preference, is to ignore the printed prayer and pray one of my own. I love my personal time with God, especially my prayer life and don't wish to use a pre-written prayer. However, I do read the prayer at the end of each day.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Daily Wisdom For Women 2017 by Barbour Staff (A book Review)

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book has all the makings of a great devotional. Each devotional contains a Bible verse, a few in-depth paragraph about the Bible verse, and then a prayer. However, this devotional was not for me. I don't want to discourage you from buying this book if it's what your looking for, because it is filled with great truth and wonderful little prayers.. It simply wasn't the kind of devotional I read often.

I have two things that I always have in devotionals I buy. Firstly, personal stories or fill-in questions so the devotion really stays with me throughout the day. Although this book did relate verses to real life it definitely wasn't personal stories. I find that I had trouble reading the daily devotions and really had to push through. Luckily, this book did have the other thing I desire: quick daily devotionals. I enjoy doing multiple devotions (or studies) at a time. Usually one on a topic and one broad topic devotional. This has been my broad topic devotional.

So as you can see this book is a really great read, if it's what you're looking for. I always suggest to know what you want in a devotional before you buy.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I am Found by Laura Dingman - Review

I received this book free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a wonderful study resource to help us overcome shame. It features personal stories from the author, bible verses to look up, questions to answer, and a daily prayer. This is so much more than a simple devotional. Laura Dingman gets to the very core of shame. This book goes over definition, cause, and how to overcome. How great a thing to live unashamed?

If I could add one thing to the book it would be a note section at the end of each day. I like to write my own prayers as well as any notes (this is a very thought-provoking study).

I did like that it wasn't a difficult study filled with 100 daily questions you have to look up answers to. Yes, it has those important questions, but it's not an overwhelming amount. I find that the usual reason for not completing studies is lack of time. This one however, won't take an hour out of your day and it is more than worth the time to learn to live unashamed.

I give this book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

5 Minutes With Jesus by Sheila Walsh - REVIEW

I got this book absolutely free from in exchange for the honest review you're reading now!

This is the kind of devotional I'm used to. It's not a single Bible verse followed by a couple paragraphs describing the meaning of a verse, followed by a pre-made prayer. Instead, each devotional within this book contains a personal story or retelling of a Biblical story and a small list of verses pertaining to the story they proceeded.  Each story has a wonderful lesson to learn and the Bible verses are always relevant.

What really got me was the personal stories. I was in tears quite often because I relate so well. Sheila Walsh has found messages from God in her everyday experiences and what a wonderful thing that is! I won't spoil any of the book for you, but I will tell you that I found many life-changing messages. One in particular, has extremely impacted my out-look on life for the better. I can't think the wonderful Sheila Walsh enough for writing such a life-changing book. I enjoyed it immensely.

I will tell you that although each devotional has it's own topic, the book is not set on one topic. For me, that was great because I was getting a new message with every devotional, but if you're looking on an intensive study on one topic, this is not it. This isn't a bad thing. Like I said, I enjoyed the diversity in messages within the book.

5 Minutes with Jesus by Sheila Walsh gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PUNDERDOME - The Card Game

I received this game free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

I was excited when I saw this clever little card game. Puns are not my strong point, but I had high hopes in becoming a little more "punny" when making jokes (get it?). I must say, this game is a little more confusing then expected.

The game starts out by someone reading a joke which is supposed to be answered with a pun that fits, although there is an answer on the card. That earns you an extra 30 seconds in the round (this is only done once). Then each round you are given a verb and noun to make puns out of. You get points based on how many puns you make. The winner gets to pick one of two mystery envelopes  (which you fill out a slip saying what "prizes" could be won). I think the two mystery envelopes are unnecessary and kind of confusing. Not everyone has prizes on hand and if you must include prizes why not one known prize? In short, the game is over-complicated.
The game even brags that it will soon replace the popular game "Cards Against Humanity". That is just a lie. In fact, this game is lower on the "fun" meter than the similar "Apples to Apples". I guess I had hoped that a game all about making puns, which is form of joke, would be more funny.

Punderdome had great potential, but they over-complicated. If they really wanted to be as great as "Cards Against Humanity" they should have kept it just as simple as they did, with only two decks of cards without any added prize envelopes or "starter jokes". I do suggest this game, as it does get you thinking, but I suggest using only the two decks of cards and just going wild thinking of  puns. You can even assign points if you wish. I do plan on playing this again with my friends, but simplified. 

Due to the excessive amount of over-complication I give this game 2 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Prayer by Michael Ross & Arnie Cole - A Book Review

I received this book free from in exchange for my honest review.

This book was not at all what I was expecting nor what I was looking for at the time. However, it was exactly what I needed to read.

I was on the search for a Bible Study on prayer to help my own prayer life, but found this amazing book on prayer. It contains ways to pray, statistics on prayer, verses about prayer, when to pray, and prayers that have been prayed throughout history. The book remains a "attention-grabber" through real-life stories revolving around prayer.

If your prayer life is struggling, like so many of ours can be, this book is helpful. It not only shows real-life statistics on the affects of prayer in our life, but also helps us learn to pray and why it's important to pray.

If you want to learn more about prayer and history on prayer this book is good for that too!

The only downside is how "jumpy" the book is when it comes to topic and how the chapter title doesn't always perfectly fit the chapter content.

I give this book 4 out of five stars for all the great research done and informative statistics.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Two Minutes in the Bible Through Psalms by Boyd Bailey - A Book Review

I received this book free from, a fabulous source to get free ebooks in exchange for review. This review is truthful to my own opinion.

This book is actually a 90 day devotional. I completely read the book in one day due to the fact I have a 30 day deadline on all book reviews and had trouble putting it down, but I plan to do a more in depth study over the next 90 days.

I want to start out by saying that Boyd Bailey is a talented writer. You'll find his writings to be both truthful and easy to understand. He masterfully interprets Bible verses into plain English, in-depth studies while keeping the whole truth. 

As for the book, it's a great tool. As I stated before, I have completely read the book, but I also plan to add it to my daily devotions over the next 90 days because it is such a wonderful tools. Each day features at least one Bible verse, a devotion, study questions, and Bible reference on the day's topic for if you would like to do further reading.

5 Stars and I'm looking forward to his next devotional!

P. S.

I apologize for a shortened review. It's due to the fact that devotionals have no pot line or characters for me to comment on. Devotionals are tools, not stories. Happy reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Waiting For Morning by Karen Kingsbury - Book Review

I want to start by saying I've always been a fan of Karen Kingsbury's writing. She's extremely talented at writing realistic pieces that often hit close to home. I usually find myself in tears multiple times while reading any of her books. Waiting For Morning is certainly no exception. With realistic characters, a realistic plot, and the ever so real loss that so many of us have gone through this book is both a good read and a tool. It's a guide within a story about God's love and overcoming loss.

Along with loss comes a very real emotion: Anger. The main character, Hannah Ryan, is completely overcome with rage and a yearn for revenge towards Brian Wesley, a drunk driver who killed her husband and one of her daughters. As a result, Hannah shuts the Lord from her life.

Hannah has a second daughter still with her, relying on her. With the help of two loving supporters she is able to overcome her anger and find healing in forgiveness.

Karen is famous for tear-jerking books, but also happy endings. I do encourage this read, but it did trigger a lot of repressed emotions that left me feeling somewhat depressed. However, the book is wonderful. Five stars!