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Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

The Masterpiece is contemporary Christian fiction at its best. Having read and loved Redeeming Love, one of Rivers's previous novels, I had an inkling that I would enjoy her newest work, fittingly titled The Masterpiece. Many times Christian fiction can become a little too squeaky clean, which distracts from an exciting or enticing story line and pace. Being a Christian myself, I know that no one is perfect and Christians have just as many faults as everyone else. Therefore, Christian fiction should be real and not put on an act, pretending to be completely wholesome and pure. This is one of the reasons that I love Francine Rivers's novels. Her characters all have major flaws and pasts that haunt them. Many times they feel like or even try giving up, but God is not done with them yet. Rivers has a knack for writing long books with unique plot lines and memorable characters, and The Masterpiece is no exception.

The Masterpiece is a story of survival, grief, forgiveness, family, and love. Famous artist, Roman Velasco has a very checkered past, even though his future looks bright to those who don't really know him. The only person he lets get a little closer to him turns out to be a young, single mother named Grace, who becomes his personal assistant. Grace has been through many a tragedy and trial in her young life, but she knows and loves the Lord and leans on him in everything. Her parents died when she was a little girl, and God has become her one true father. Because of all the pain and bad relationships in her past, Grace keeps her distance and doesn't have any interest in becoming romantically involved with anyone. Her only goal is to be able to support herself and her infant, Samuel, so that they can be together full time and she can be a devoted mother to him. She is determined not to let her past dictate her future. Roman, on the other hand, is distrusting and unstable. He doesn't know the Lord. He lets his past mistakes and pain eat at him daily, unable to forgive or forget the horrible things he has done and seen in his young life. In and out of foster care during his childhood, running from the authorities, and tagging with graffiti in a gang, he is no stranger to the streets. No one knows his real name or the circumstances of his upbringing.

As Roman gets to know Grace, he starts to open up and question her about her devotion to God. When a new tragedy strikes, will Roman be strong enough to survive it?

Though this is a very long book, do not be intimidated. It only took me two days to read it, and I loved it. The story takes place in California and many of the landscapes and settings that are described are beautiful and breathtaking. The plot reads quickly, because it switches back and forth from present day back to the time when both Roman and Grace were children and teenagers. It is through the flashbacks that readers are able to get a better picture of the horrible things that Roman and Grace have both endured in their lives. I would highly recommend this novel for fans of Christian fiction, contemporary fiction, women's fiction, romance, and even mainstream fiction. It has a little bit of everything between its covers. The ending was a tad bit predictable, but that was to be expected with the kind of story it is. Even so, it was rather enjoyable all the way to the last page.

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Operation Clean Up Day by Jason Tucker

Operation Clean Up Day Cover

Operation Clean Up Day, a picture book by Jason Tucker and illustrated by Nick Roberts will be released on September 28, 2017 by Clink Street Publishing.

Operation Clean Up Day offers a simple story line with a clear message for little ones. It is split into different sections, called “Missions,” for different areas of the house that the two young boys need to clean up for their Mummy (ex: The Kitchen, The Bathroom, The Bedroom). With rhyming text and whimsical illustrations, readers see many different types of imaginative worlds dreamed up by the two young boys who would rather be playing make-believe than doing housework. From knights and ogres in the Kitchen to aliens and spaceships in the Bedroom, this little story have some amazing illustrations. The illustrations brilliantly portray the very active imaginations of two little boys. Dinosaurs, dragons, aliens, spaceships, castles, ogres…what more could a kid want in a picture book?

The ending is playful with the boy winking at readers. This story would be great for children age 5-10, who will relate to both the characters and the situation. A lesson to be learned for readers is that if you want to play, or go to the pool (as the two little boys are hoping to do), you must clean and tidy up first. Adults will have fun reading the book to youngsters as well.

Thank you to Authoright Marketing for allowing me to review a copy of this book.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK –

Barnes & Noble –

About the author:

Born and raised in London, Jason Tucker is married and is a father of three young boys. He is enjoying an international working life basing himself between London and Dubai. This is his first published work with a number of other titles in the pipeline as well as working on a number of other ventures including TV, Film & graphic novels.

Picturing Heaven: A Coloring Devotional

I've seen so many adult coloring books being published in the past year or so. This one is one of my favorites, because it's much more than just a coloring book. This book is jam packed full of devotional material and beautiful illustrations for the reader to color and reflect on the verses being expressed. The cover provides a beautiful preview of what is to be expected of the art-filled pages, waiting for the reader to color as they study the word of God. There are 40 devotion pages and 40 corresponding coloring pages included in this paperback, which is the size of a small children's picture book. This would make a great gift for a friend or loved one.

Here's the gorgeous cover that I referred to:

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Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for the review copy of this item.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Practical, Beautiful Women's Devotional Book

Bible Promises to Live By for Women by Katherine J. Butler is a beautifully crafted gift book for women. The imitation leather and compact size allow the book to be portable, but sleek. Women can easily carry the book in their purse or handbook and have it with them daily to look up verses in a variety of subject matter. The topics are arranged alphabetically in the Contents index at the beginning so that readers can easily find verses to help with virtually any situation or rough road in life. This would make a great gift for someone, or a nice treat to purchase for yourself. Each topic has a small, 1-page devotional section followed by 5-6 key verses from the Bible the speak specifically to that topic. The book is 303 pages long and published by Tyndale House Publishers.
 Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for a review copy of this item.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Bible Study Devotional/Coloring Journal

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of Ruth: Discovering your Place in God's Story in exchange for an honest review. Ruth is one of the Drawn In Bible Study devotional books. 

Included are scripture verses, devotional stories about Ruth, and sections to color. The book is meant for a four week long Bible study about Ruth. Other books in the Drawn In series feature different women of the Bible. This book would be a great devotional for a women's group to enjoy together, as well as a great gift for any woman hoping to grow in her Faith and be closer to God. 

The small paperback size includes 96 pages, and is convenient for traveling or bringing in a handbag to Bible study or wherever one can find a quiet moment to read and study God's word.  

Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a review copy of Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore. The first installment of The Line of Duty series, Crisis Shot, will be released on September 5, 2017 in paperback form. Having served as a Long Beach police officer herself, Janice Cantore's writing is authentic based on her own past experiences. The characters and the plot line are unique, capturing the readers attention in the beginning and keeping their interest until the final pages.

The story takes place in Long Beach, California to start and then later in Oregon, where the final character, Tess O'Rourke, moves to escape the negative backlash and media portrayal of a police shooting in which she was the officer involved. The book eludes to a possible romantic interest between Tess and handsome sheriff's deputy Steve Logan, wish whom she teams up to solve a double murder in Rogue's Hollow, Oregon. However, there aren't any romantic scenes, leaving the novel very clean and suitable for young teenagers who enjoy police procedural or small-town mysteries. I do hope some actual sparks will fly between Tess and Steve in future novels in the series, however, because they seem like they would make a great pair. Additionally, being in the Christian fiction genre, the language is also very clean, without the profanity that riddles most mass-market mystery/suspense/thrillers these days.

I would recommend this novel for fans of fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, and even Christian fiction. My favorite part of the story was the way the residents in Rogue Hollow embraced Tess into their town and welcomed her, even in the midst of the first murder and disappearance in their town in a very long time.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Creative Seek and Find Book for Children

Bible Sleuth: New Testament is a creative seek & find book for children of any age to enjoy. There are quick Bible scenes and verses from the New Testament on each of the two-page spread sections and then a list of pictures to find in each scene.

Children will enjoy finding the pictures, while also learning about the Bible in a different way than what they may be used to. This would make a great gift for a Sunday School teacher or any grand-kids or kids who enjoy books. It is comparable to the Seek-N-Find, ISpy, and Where's Waldo brands that are well-known and beloved.

Thank you to Tyndale Blog Network for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for review. My children love it already!