Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"an october bride" by katie ganshert

As you probably know, I've been on this Year of Weddings train from the start. It started out with Denise Hunter's "A December Bride," and since then, I've read some amazing wedding stories ... but none has excited me as much as Katie Ganshert's "An October Bride."

She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time.

Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married-so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle.

While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications-the biggest being their true feelings for each other.

In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.


I love fake fiance/fake wedding stories. They're done all the time, and they're usually rather similar—two people pretend to be in love, and by the end of the story, they are. "An October Bride" doesn't break the mold, but it's an absolutely satisfying journey. Jake and Emma are both really likable characters, and I found myself identifying with Emma from the moment I began reading. The supporting characters are just as delightful, and I hope Ganshert will revisit this wonderful small town again—I think Emma's best friend needs her own story. I also really enjoyed the point of view—first person, present tense from Emma's perspective. It drew me into the story immediately.

I had incredibly high expectations for "An October Bride"—due to both the subject matter and the author. Happily, those expectations were met. I loved every second I spent reading "An October Bride," and I'm now itching to get my hands on another Ganshert novel! 5 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Ganshert's Wildflowers from Winter.
Read my reviews of the other "Year of Weddings" entries: December, JanuaryFebruary, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.

Katie Ganshert graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her husband, their young son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she's not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption. Visit her website at katieganshert.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, October 13, 2014

"love letters" by debbie macomber

Take a return trip to Cedar Cove in this captivating novel by Debbie Macomber.

In this enchanting novel set at Cedar Cove’s cozy Rose Harbor Inn, Debbie Macomber celebrates the power of love—and a well-timed love letter—to inspire hope and mend a broken heart.

Summer is a busy season at the inn, so proprietor Jo Marie Rose and handyman Mark Taylor have spent a lot of time together keeping the property running. Despite some folks’ good-natured claims to the contrary, Jo Marie insists that Mark is only a friend. However, she seems to be thinking about this particular friend a great deal lately. Jo Marie knows surprisingly little about Mark’s life, due in no small part to his refusal to discuss it. She’s determined to learn more about his past, but first she must face her own—and welcome three visitors who, like her, are setting out on new paths.

Twenty-three-year-old Ellie Reynolds is taking a leap of faith. She’s come to Cedar Cove to meet Tom, a man she’s been corresponding with for months, and with whom she might even be falling in love. Ellie’s overprotective mother disapproves of her trip, but Ellie is determined to spread her wings.

Maggie and Roy Porter are next to arrive at the inn. They are taking their first vacation alone since their children were born. In the wake of past mistakes, they hope to rekindle the spark in their marriage—and to win back each other’s trust. But Maggie must make one last confession that could forever tear them apart.

For each of these characters, it will ultimately be a moment when someone wore their heart on their sleeve—and took pen to paper—that makes all the difference. Debbie Macomber’s moving novel reveals the courage it takes to be vulnerable, accepting, and open to love.

After reading Mr. Miracle, I'd pretty much written off Debbie Macomber. Sure, I loved her stories, but I was pretty confident that her writing style wasn't for me. But I'd already requested Love Letters for review, so I knew I'd have to suffer through it. Well, I was wrong. Love Letters is a beautiful, fun, compelling novel, and I couldn't put it down.

Love Letters is the third book in Macomber's Rose Harbor novels set at the Rose Harbor Inn in Cedar Cove and takes place over one weekend. Innkeeper Jo Marie is still mourning the death of her husband Paul, but she's also slowly moving toward a relationship with handyman Mark Taylor. Inn guest Ellie has come to Cedar Cove to meet Tom, a man she connected with online, despite her mother's loud protestations. And married parents Maggie and Roy hope that a weekend at the inn will help them get past the problems in their relationship and rekindle their romance.

While I did think that Maggie and Roy's story resolved a little too conveniently, I completely loved everything else about the novel, and I cannot wait to find out where Jo Marie and Mark's story goes from here. (I literally yelled, "That's it?!?" as I read the last page. Way to make me want to come back for more, Ms. Macomber ...)

Jo Marie's story is the only one that weaves through all the novels in the series, while the other stories are fully resolved in each novel. You could probably read each novel as a stand alone if you wanted to, but I would recommend reading them all to get Jo Marie's full story! 4-1/2 stars.

Content note: There are a few mild swear words.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Macomber's Rose Harbor in Bloom and Mr. Miracle.

Debbie Macomber is a leading voice in women’s fiction. Eight of her novels have hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, with three debuting at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly lists. In 2009 and 2010, Mrs. Miracle and Call Me Mrs. Miracle were Hallmark Channel’s top-watched movies for the year. In 2013, Hallmark Channel produced the original series Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove. She has more than 160 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product free for review from Amazon.com through its Vine reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"a september bride" by kathryn springer

When they're chosen as the bride and groom for a community wedding reenactment, Annie and Jesse just may not be able to keep their attraction at bay.

Annie's always wanted a home and a family. But will pretending to be a bride get her closer to her dreams?

All Annie Price has ever wanted is a place to call home. Growing up in the foster care system, that dream seemed far away, but now Annie's dream may be coming true. A friend she met in an online book group wants to retire and has offered Annie a fresh start managing her little bookstore. Believing the opportunity is an answer to prayer, Annie packs her suitcase and moves to Red Leaf, Wisconsin.

The residents of Red Leaf welcome Annie into the fold . . . everyone except the bookstore owner's son, Jesse Kent. But Annie refuses to let the handsome deputy keep her from embracing her new home with open arms. She even volunteers to help the local historical society refurbish an old church and agrees to be the "bride" for a special reenactment celebrating the museum's open house.

Jesse Kent can't believe his mother has handed the keys to her business over to a woman she met on the Internet. Annie's beautiful, of course, and smart as a whip, but what do they really know about her, anyway? What if she's come to their town just for his mother's money? The only way to see if his suspicions about Annie Price are true is to keep a close eye on her-even if it means he has to marry her! Planning their mock wedding will give him the chance to uncover Annie's motive for moving to town. But as the day of the wedding approaches and secrets come to light, Jesse must face the truth. He wants Annie to be his September bride . . . for real.

"A September Bride" is another winning entry in Zondervan's Year of Weddings series, and it features some of the strongest chemistry of any of the novellas so far. Annie and Jesse's attraction is palpable, and they're both very likeable characters. The supporting characters are wonderful, as well, and I hope author Kathryn Springer revisits Red Leaf in the future, as there seem to be a lot more stories there!

I do think "A September Bride" suffers a bit because of its novella length. Annie has a secret that sort of, but not completely, comes to light, and as it was so important to her, I was surprised to see it dropped. (It's one of those cases where Jesse knows the truth, but she doesn't know that he knows.) I'm sure that in a full length novel, it would have been explored.

While I won't spoil anything, I have to say that the end didn't turn out as I'd anticipated—and I think this novella is so much better for it! Kathryn Springer is definitely moving onto my list of authors to watch. 4 stars.

Buy the novella.
Read my reviews of the other "Year of Weddings" entries: December, January, FebruaryMarch, April, May, JuneJuly, and August.

Kathryn Springer, winner of the 2009 ACFW Carol Award (Family Treasures), grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child, she spent many hours sitting at her mother’s typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books – which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. After a number of busy years, when she married her college sweetheart and became a stay-at-home mom, Kathryn rediscovered her love for writing. An unexpected snow day from school became the inspiration for a short story, which she submitted to Brio magazine. She went on to publish over a dozen more short stories for Brio, but it wasn’t until her youngest child started school that she decided to pursue her dream to write a novel. In August 2004, her Love Inspired® debut novel, Tested by Fire, was published. Encouraging women in their faith journey is the reason Kathryn loves to write inspirational fiction. She hosts a women’s Bible study in her home and volunteers in a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) ministry. When she isn’t at the computer, you’ll find her curled up with a good book, spending time with family and friends or walking on the trails near her country home.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"keepers of the covenant" by lynn austin

God's care for his chosen people comes to vibrant life in Keepers of the Covenant, the next installment in Lynn Austin's Restoration Chronicles.

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king's palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.

When the battles come to an end, Ezra's brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude's widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple---but the fight to keep God's Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges . . . this one for the survival of God's covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.

Like many 21st century Christians, I don't pay enough attention to the Old Testament, and I'm not quite sure of the timeline of events. I tend to think of the events in the book of Esther in a vacuum, so if you'd asked me who Esther's contemporaries were, I probably would have said, "Um, I think probably Ezra and Nehemiah"--simply because those books are next to one another in the Bible. But I had no idea that the events in Esther took place between chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra. (Austin's Return to Me covers Ezra 1-6.) So I was quite surprised when Keepers of the Covenant opened with Haman's plot to annihilate the Jews on the 13th of Adar.

Before, when I thought of Esther, of course I acknowledged how great it was that God saved His people, but I've always seen it through Esther's eyes. Seeing how the Lord saved his people through Esther from the perspective of the Jewish people scattered throughout the Persian Empire brought tears to my eyes. And really, the 13th of Adar is just the beginning of the story told in Keepers of the Covenant.

While there are a host of characters in this novel, Austin wisely focuses on just four: Ezra, Devorah (Ezra's sister-in-law/wife), Reuben (a Levite whose father was killed on the 13th of Adar), and Amina (an Edomite girl). As their stories progress and intertwine, Austin is able to clearly show God's care both for his chosen people and for the Gentiles.

In the Restoration Chronicles, Lynn Austin isn't just retelling Jewish history--she is bringing it to life on the page. While the books look a bit daunting (Keepers of the Covenant clocks in at 473 pages), the story they tell is fascinating. I couldn't put this book down, and I bet you won't be able to, either. 5 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.
Read my review of book one, Return to Me.

Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago.

Find Lynn online: website, Facebook

Lynn Austin is back with the next book in The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant. Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people.

Lynn is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.
keepers-400-click
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 21st. Winner will be announced at the Keepers of the Covenant LIVE webcast event on October 21st. Connect with Lynn for a fascinating evening centered around God's unwavering love for His people. She'll be hosting a Biblical fiction book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in The Restoration Chronicles, and much more!

So grab your copy of Keepers of the Covenant and join Lynn and friends on the evening of October 21st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
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Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, October 10, 2014

"the mason jar" by james russell lingerfelt

Peruse the Amazon reviews for The Mason Jar, and you'll see that it's a very divisive book. Either readers found it to be a beautiful, redemptive story ... or they kind of hated it.

What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she's ever read? "But," she said, "it's about you." The author is your college ex.

In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather's desk---letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.

Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.

A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.

Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall

When I read the synopsis of The Mason Jar, I was very anxious to get my hands on it. I thought it sounded intriguing and different. And while it certainly turned out to be unlike any other book I've read, I also have to say that I ended up falling into that second group of readers previously mentioned.

The aspect that I liked most about The Mason Jar was the relationship between Finn (Clayton) and his grandfather. His grandpa was a very wise man, and I enjoyed reading the letters he left for Finn in the Mason jar. Grandpa is really a small portion of the story (though his advice continually influences Finn), and I wish he and the Mason jar had been a larger focus.

I have to say that I was confused about a few aspects of The Mason Jar. Most of the story reads like a memoir, and I was never sure if that part was just being told from Finn's perspective or if it was actually Finn's book (also named The Mason Jar). Part of this confusion comes from the fact that when Eden (Finn's lost love) first hears about his novel, her friend tells her that Finn changed her name so that no one would know it was about her, yet she is called Eden throughout the entire book.

I also couldn't bring myself to care for Finn. The way he reacted to Eden's disappearance and his subsequent life choices certainly didn't endear him to me, but overall I just thought his story was boring. I really struggled to get through the novel.

The Mason Jar has been compared to a Nicholas Sparks novel, and perhaps that's where it loses me. It has been at least 10 years since I last read a Sparks novel (I got sick of the major characters dying or ending up alone), so I can't really speak to the similarities here. But I have seen a lot of films based on Sparks' novels, and I could definitely see The Mason Jar being made into a Sparks-esque movie.* (In fact, it's in pre-production right now.)

Ultimately, The Mason Jar was not a book I enjoyed. If you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks or are interested in a love story written from the male perspective, you might want to check it out, because you just may fall into that group of readers who find it to be beautiful and redemptive. 2 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.

*I don't enjoy Sparks' films any more than I like his books, yet I keep watching them, thinking that maybe someday there will be one that I like! The exception here is A Walk to Remember. Love, love, love that film ... and Shane West. But don't even get me started on the depths of hatred I have for The Notebook.

James Russell Lingerfelt is the author of The Mason Jar and writes articles for The Huffington Post. James connects with readers at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, and divides his time between Southern California and his family's ranch in Alabama.

Find James online: website, Facebook, Twitter


James Russell Lingerfelt's debut novel, The Mason Jar, is hot-off-the-press and causing quite the buzz. It's even been optioned for a feature film and is in pre-production.

Catch the spark by entering James' Kindle Fire giveaway!
masonjar-400-click
 
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at James Russell's blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective.

masonjar-enterbanner


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"thunder" by bonnie s. calhoun

Tired of waiting for the next Hunger Games or Divergent film to release? Bide your time with Bonnie S. Calhoun's entry in the YA dystopian genre, Thunder.

The Time of Sorrows is long past.
The future of Selah and her people is shrouded in mystery.
And the clock is ticking.

Hidden in the tall grasses along a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city, a hunter crouches. It is the eve of her eighteenth Birth Remembrance and high time she proves to herself and her brothers that she can stand on her own two feet. Selah Rishon Chavez waits not for game but for one of the small boats that occasionally crash against the desolate shoreline. Because inside one of these boats she will find her quarry--a Lander.

These people from an unknown land across the ocean are highly prized by the Company and bring a good price--especially if they keep the markings they arrive with.

Everything falls to pieces when the Lander whom Selah catches is stolen by her brothers, and Selah wakes the next morning to find the Lander's distinctive mark has appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her--Bodhi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell in the Mountain.

With evocative descriptions of a strange new world that combines elements of disturbing scientific advances, devious political conspiracy, and survival in a hostile wilderness, Bonnie S. Calhoun weaves a captivating tale of a society more like our own than we may want to admit. From the tension-laced first scene to the captivating last page, Thunder is an epic journey into the heart of humankind that explores how far we are willing to go when we're pushed to the limit.

Thunder is a teen dystopian novel in the vein of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy and Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy. It also bears similarities to Krista McGee's excellent Christian trilogy, the Anomaly series (which is probably my favorite YA dystopian series).

I really enjoyed the main plot of Thunder—Selah trying to find her father and learn who she really is. Her relationship with a young girl she meets on her way to the mountain is really endearing, and I appreciated the growth in her from beginning to end.

I did feel that a few too many characters were focused on throughout the novel: Selah, Bodhi, Selah's brother Cleon, the leader of the Company (the Mountain's "government"), his wife, a rival scientist, a lab assistant, the head of security, etc. I had no trouble keeping these people straight as Calhoun did an excellent job of character development, but I did feel overwhelmed with information. I think if Calhoun had focused on just two characters (Selah and Treva, the lab assistant) and let the events unfold from their perspectives, I would have stayed more engaged with the story throughout the novel.

I also think it's worth mentioning that, while Thunder is published by Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group, it doesn't really have any spiritual content. I don't think that's a bad thing, but someone who purchases a book from a Christian publisher will probably expect it to have a Christian message. I have no idea what's in store for the rest of the Stone Braide Chronicles, and I wouldn't be surprised if Calhoun brings in spiritual content along the way. Even if she doesn't, there's nothing wrong with that. I just don't want you to purchase the book expecting one thing and finding another. (Isn't that the worst?)

I really did enjoy Thunder, and I'd love to continue the series. Teens (and adults) who enjoy dystopian novels should definitely check it out. 3-1/2 stars.

Content note: This novel is action-packed and violent ... probably on par with The Hunger Games. Again, not a bad thing, as long as you know what you're getting into. I would have no qualms giving an older teen this book, but I probably wouldn't give it to a 7th grader. Think PG-13.

Buy the book.
Watch the book trailer. (Definitely one of the best book trailers I've ever seen.)
Read an excerpt.
See my review of "Tremors," the prequel novella. (Get it free here. )

Bonnie S. Calhoun loves to write, but it doesn't make her happy unless there are the three B's: body count, blood, and blowing things up. She also has mad skills at coding HTML and website design. Bonnie lives in a log cabin in the woods with fifteen acres and a pond full of bass. But she'd rather buy fish, ready to eat and under plastic, at the grocery store. She shares her domain with a husband, a dog, and two cats, all of whom think she is waitstaff.

To see an exclusive video trailer and to get more information on the Stone Braide Chronicles, go to www.BonnieSCalhoun.com.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

"buried beneath the words" by betel arnold

Words are powerful, bringing help or harm. In Buried Beneath the Words, author Betel Arnold shows how to get out from underneath the weight of negative words and how to restore life through the word of God.

Words! Words! Words!

Words all over the place. Accusing, blaming, and degrading words are the worst of all. After hearing those words over and over again, we begin to feel the weight of them threatening to crush the very life out of us.

Buried Beneath the Words cleverly shares a true life story about the different ways someone can end up buried beneath the weight of negative words. Then it shares a Christian course for how God's word can revive us. By putting the advice given within these pages into practice, you will experience an awakening of the real you—the you that has been buried way too long.

Buried Beneath the Words is a very easy read, but it powerfully shows the way words can affect us. Arnold uses examples from her own life to show how people can get beaten down by the words spoken about them (both by others and by themselves), and she also shows the freedom that can be found in Christ.

I think this book could be a great resource for someone who has been abused or bullied or simply has low self esteem. A notes section follows most chapters, complete with questions to help the reader think through the way words are impacting them, and I think this could be used very effectively as a small group study.

I do have a few qualms about one section of the book, where Arnold talks about confession (in this case, speaking truth over herself). She lists several confessions and the scripture to back them up, but I fear that a few are taken a bit out of context. (This is always a debate when applying scripture to your life, and probably most people who read this book will disagree with me here.) Also, the editor in me cringed every time I saw the word Bible uncapitalized, and I noted a few other spelling/word choice errors.

Ultimately, I'm glad I read this book. I couldn't see myself in its pages, mainly because the Lord has blessed me with very positive family and friend relationships, but I certainly will be more aware now of how the words I speak about others can be used positively or negatively. 3-1/2 stars.

Content note: Since we're on the subject of words, I think it's definitely worth mentioning that the author, while recounting conversations with her siblings, uses "Oh my G**" and a few other crude words. I was very surprised to find these in a book about the power of words, and, even if they were the words used in the real conversations, they could have been edited for print.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.

Betel Arnold is a Certified Christian Life Coach, her passion is to reach out to women with compassion, empathy and encouragement. She is the creator, co-producer, and co-host of Simply Talking, a local public television show addressing issues drawn from our daily lives to deeper questions that come from our personal tragedies. Betel has learned to integrate her roles as wife, mother, inspirational speaker and family advocate. It is Betel's personal life experiences of overcoming adversity where she was able to find the inspiration and inner strength to do the impossible. She inspires others to overcome the challenges that keep us from moving forward in our lives and achieving our goals. Betel Arnold has embraced her life's conviction to help women become all that God has called them to be.

Find Betel online: website, Facebook, Twitter


Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for Betel Arnold's debut book, Buried Beneath the Words.
Buried Beneath the Words Betel Arnold
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Buried Beneath the Words by Betel Arnold
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced October 13th at Betel's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Betel's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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