Oct 282014
 

Bad Guys of the Bible_COVER.indd Bad Guys of the Bible

Author: Dennis Gaunt

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Published: October 15th, 2014

ISBN13: 9781621088677

Paperback: 256 pages

Religious non-fiction

FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy and Sheila

Summary

These bad guys are smart. You can be smarter. This entertaining book shows how knowing the enemy can help you be a righteous warrior in your own life. Any discussion of bad guys has to begin with “in the beginning.” From Genesis to Revelation, you’ll get the dirt on the dastardly deeds perpetrated by Bible characters ranging from the truly villainous to the temporarily wayward. Weaving together gospel truth and humor, Dennis Gaunt shows that you can’t have a great story without a great bad guy—and that by studying and knowing the mistakes that biblical bad guys made, we can avoid falling into similar perilous traps. This entertaining and inspiring book also wraps up each chapter with thoughtful questions that invite readers to ponder and apply in their own lives the spiritual lessons from these fascinating stories.

Mindy’s Review

Dennis is the man.  Not only does he make the Bible interesting, he makes it understandable.  I found myself looking forward to each chapter to see what bad guy (or guys) was next.  I enjoyed the care and detail of each chapter.  The personal stories mixed with council from church leaders, past and present, along with insightful scriptures, were what made this book even better.  I took notes throughout and took pictures of the pages so I am able to look back and appreciate what I read.  Dennis added his awesome humor and lots of familiar quotes for chapter headings.  I think this helped make it for relatable for his readers.  As I was reading, I could hear Dennis saying the funny lines.  A personal fav was “tree house of wickedness”.

As with Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon, Dennis adds a lessons learned and not learned at the end of each chapter, to summarize and ask questions to the reader.  It added his own personal touch and humor to each chapter and a great review of what was discussed.  Honestly, the Bible, to me, is intimating and confusing at times.  I was able to understand and appreciate the Bible even more and was reminded of stories I hadn’t heard in awhile.  As with his first book, this one also teaches us to be ever mindful of the ultimate bad guy, the one who wants us all to fail, Satan.

I probably had about 20+ quotes that I would love to share, but the very last paragraph, ended with the author’s testimony.

I add my own testimony that God has big plans for you and your life.  When we choose to stand on the Lord’s side, we will discover “they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kings 6:16).  May each of us choose now to be one of the Lord’s good guys, to make whatever changes are needed, and to be true and valiant to Him every day of our lives. (page 235)

5 out of 5 stars.  Another solid book from Dennis.

Sheila’s Review

I loved Dennis’s first book, Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon. When I knew he was writing Bad Guys of the Bible, I couldn’t wait to start reading this new book.

The book jumps right in starting with the beginning of the Bible and the original bad guy, Satan and those he tempted, Adam and Eve, Moses and Jesus Christ. I like what Dennis had to say about why he started with him, “It’s essential that we learn to spot his tricks and traps early so we can avoid them.” 
 
One of the things that I love about the way Dennis writes, is the humor he infuses throughout such serious subjects. He knows how to keep the old Bible stories refreshing and relevant to today’s people, so teens and adults can relate to them. There is also plenty of quoted scriptures which I so appreciate him including. I was able to highlight many things as I read each chapter. I kept thinking of how I will be using each chapter as a Family Home Evening lesson with my family. Thanks for that Dennis! I have 16 lessons ready to go! ;) 
 
I was so excited to see in Bad Guys of the Bible that Dennis had included one of my favorite things from his first book. At the end of each chapter you’ll find…
Lessons NOT Learned and Lessons TO Learn. 
Let me give you an example from one of my favorite chapters, Chapter 7: More Whiners in the Wilderness=Lessons from the Exodus.
Lessons NOT Learned:
  • Random Israelite #1: “Hey, is it just me, or is this wilderness kind of rough?”
  • Random Israelite #2: “Now that you mention it, it is sort of unpleasant out here!”
  • Random Israelite #3: “Guys? I have sand in my shoe.”
  • Random Israelite #1:  “Oh that’s it! Where’s Moses? I want to go back to Egypt!” 
Lessons TO Learn:
  • Why does life feel like a harsh wilderness sometimes?Why do we have so many trials to deal with? How can we resist the temptation to murmur and complain when times are hard?
  • What made the difference between people like Moses, Joshua, or Caleb and those who wanted to go back every time something was wrong? What can you do to change and control your own attitude when you feel like giving up?
  • Make a list of the different ways you can gather spiritual manna every single day. For each item on the list, ask yourself: How can I avoid becoming ungrateful for this? What can I do so that I don’t become bored with the things Heavenly Father has asked me to do every day?  
See what I mean? Your Family Home Evening lesson is right there! I don’t think Dennis wrote this book for that purpose, but it is a perfect teaching tool. You can also see what a great wit this author has in his writing and in real life. The author also concludes the book with this thought…”The study of the bad guys of the Bible is the study of ourselves. By looking at the the things they did wrong, we can learn to do things right. We can outsmart Satan and all of his followers by being smarter than the bad guys. We did it once before, and we can do it again.No one is doomed to fail in this life; no one is destined to be miserable. Every person in this world has the opportunity to choose to follow Christ and be happy.”
 

This well researched and wonderfully written book must be in every Christian home that reads the Bible. This book deserves the 5 ***** rating that I’m happily giving it!

About the Author

Dennis Gaunt has been an avid student of the scriptures for as long as he can remember. He studied history and English at the University of Utah. He taught seminary and institute in CES for a number of years, and currently serves as the Gospel Doctrine teacher in his ward. He and his wife, Natalie, live in Sandy, Utah.

Author Links

Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase Links

Deseret Book / Amazon / Seagull Book / Barnes and Noble

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Sep 162014
 

for-elise-book-on-cd--1409088362_MED For Elise

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Published: September 2014

ISBN13: 978-1-62108-787-8

Paperback: 258 pages

Regency romance

FTC FYI: Received a paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable—until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not—or would not—be found.

After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: he has inherited his distant cousin’s estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton. Miles’s return to England is tarnished by only one thing—he is still haunted by Elise’s mysterious disappearance. So when he glimpses a woman with a startling resemblance to his lost friend, he’s shaken to the core. This is no mere shadow of the past: it is truly Elise. But his dear friend has changed—to the point that he questions whether it is really her, though he knows it is. Accustomed to rescuing Elise from childhood escapades, Miles takes her and those in her care back to his estate, even as he struggles to understand her fear and mistrust. As their friendship and feelings slowly blossom again, the shocking truth of their separated years is revealed, and Miles realizes more than ever that he must protect Elise. She slipped away once, and he cannot lose her again.

My Review

Miles finds his long-lost friend Elise and is surprised to see that she has a child.  He takes them both right away to his estate.  Elise is very close lipped and Miles can tell that Elise is troubled.  Little does he know it has everything to do with him.  Elise is a widow now and has been raising her daughter with her mother-in-law.  They have survived on close to nothing, and it is hard to Elise to accept Miles’s help, even though she has so little.  Once they arrive at Miles’s home, mysterious things start happening.  Can Elise let go of the past and ask for help?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I loved Miles, he had me at the first page.  His humor, spirit, and especially his devotion, will make him a character that I will compare others to.  All of the characters are magnificent.  Elise especially.  I also really liked Mr. Langley, Miles’s brother-in-law.  He was a great comic relief.  His sister Beth was a delight, too.  I really enjoyed the turn the story took with Elise and the secrets she was keeping.  The romance with a touch of mystery added in, was a perfect mix.  I liked how the events came about and one thing really surprised me!

5 out of 5 stars.  A perfect book from a perfect author.  I will read anything from Sarah.  Her books are always well-written and entertaining.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

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Aug 152014
 
Today we welcome Author Monique Bucheger and her newest book to our blog!!

 
 
Let’s learn a bit about Monique:
 
When Monique Bucheger isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events. Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy
the journey that is her life.
 
She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, an adorable granddaughter,  a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books and plans to write many more. You can find more about Monique and her works at:
Monique Bucheger (author of The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure)


Now for the fabulous book!
 
Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can. Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.” If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”
 
My Review:
This book is a great book for tweens to read. There are both male and female main characters in 7th grade, so all kids would enjoy this book. There are some mature themes in this book dealing with child abuse, so reading this book together with your child/children could lead to some good discussions. The author does a good job of presenting this storyline for the young reader.
 
 I also like the characters in this series of Ginnie West and her adventures. There is always some witty dialogue to be found. This book will be especially loved by your tween that loves horses and the country.


 
Come Join the blog tour:
 
Blog Tour and Dates
August 4th
August 5th
August 6th
https://xclairex00.blogspot.co.uk
August 7th
August 8th
August 9th
August 10th
August 11th
August 12th
August 13th
August 14th
August 15th
August 16th
August 17th
 
And Don’t forget to come to the party!!
 
 
 

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May 212014
 

Killing Ruby Rose_FINAL-2 Killing Ruby Rose

Author: Jessie Humphries

Publisher: Skyscape

Published: May 1, 2014

ISBN13: 978147720063

Paperback: 300 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

In sunny Southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died, she’s also got a few killer secrets.

To cope, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal). But after six months of therapy and pathetic parenting by her mom, the District Attorney, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.

When Ruby ends up killing a murderer to save his intended victim, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up swapping Valentino red for prison orange.

With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?

My Review

Wow, what a ride!  This is a very fast-paced, engaging book that doesn’t stop until the last page.  I was sure I knew what was going to happen next, but then I would turn the page, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I thought might happen, didn’t happen, and I would just have to keep on guessing what was going to happen next.  Ruby is a complicated, but enjoyable character with a great inner voice.  Liam was a fun addition that Ruby needed in her life.  With a dead dad and an absent mom, Ruby needed to try to let others in her life (other than her obsession with finding bad guys).  Huge twist at the end, but when I looked back at a few pages when I was finished, the twist made sense, but was still very shocking, and awesome!

4 out of 5 stars.  I am definitely looking forward to the sequel!

Content

There is some language, nothing I was offended by, no F word.  Some kissing scenes, no sex.  Some violence and references to crimes.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Ruby-Rose-ebook/dp/B00HZ6EEN6/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/killing-ruby-rose-jessie-humphries/1118811500?ean=9781477820063

JessieHumphriesAuthorPhoto-1 About Jessie Humphries: Jessie Humphries was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She received a BA from San Diego State University, where she cultivated her love of the beach, then lived in France, where she cultivated her weakness for shoes, and finally earned a law degree from UNLV, where she cultivated her interest in justice. After practicing law for several years she began writing, and, appropriately, her debut novel Killing Ruby Rose is a thriller about vigilante justice set in sunny southern California with a shoe-obsessed protagonist. Jessie currently writes and practices law in Las Vegas, where she lives with her husband and children.

Social media links:

Website: www.jessiehumphries.com

Blog: http://jessie-humphries.blogspot.com

Twitter: @JessieHwrites

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MsJhump

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessieHumphriesAuthor

Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/jessiehumphries

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7058718.Jessie_Humphries

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Apr 052014
 

 

 

 

Product Details

 

  • Title: A Year with Six Sisters’ Stuff: 52 Menu Plans, Recipes, and Ideas to Bring Families Together
  • Authors: Sis Sisters’ Stuff
  • Series: Six Sisters’ Stuff (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (March 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609078160
  •  FTC, FYI: I received a review hard copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Description

 

March 25, 2014

 

 

 

“What’s for dinner?” Three words every mom dreads.
Don’t panic! The Six Sisters are here to help you answer that question. The Sisters have gathered together more than 150 of their most popular recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts and have combined them into 52 stress-free menus of perfectly prepared three-course meals.
Filled with delicious tried-and-true family favorites and oh-so-easy-to-make dishes, A Year with Six Sisters’ Stuff features all-new recipes using basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Each menu is designed to make your dinner plans as easy as possible—and with such wide variety and a photograph accompanying every recipe in the book, you can easily mix and match menus to create a year’s worth of dinner ideas.
In addition, the Sisters share some of their favorite family dinner traditions and crafts, as well as 52 dinner conversation starters, a list of pantry staples, and, food storage plan for beginners.
So what’s for dinner? Whatever you’d like.

My Review: 
Can I tell you how much I love this cookbook? OK, I’m telling you now…I LOVE this cookbook!! There are so many things to love about this book and there are so many reasons to buy a copy for yourself. 

There are 52 menu plans included in this book. The beauty of this is that you can mix and match them and then have even more than 52 menu plans by the time you are done. 
-The layout of this cookbook is user friendly. My sister-in-law Lynne and I were looking through the book and we both said the layout is easy to see what ingredients are needed. Some times you have to search, but not here, it is in bold crisp print.
Recipes That Are Uncomplicated: The recipes included in the cookbook are easy to make. With women so busy these days we don’t have time to throw together complicated dinners. We need fast and easy dinners to put together for our busy families.
Inclusion of Crafts, Traditions and More:
These things were a happy bonus along with all of the fabulous recipes. Here are some of the exciting things you will find in the cookbook.

  • 52 Family Dinner Conversation Starters
  • 52 Weeks of Food Storage
  • The Six Sisters’ Pantry Staples=They list all of the ingredients that you will need to make the recipes found in this book.
  • DIY Menu Board: They show you an easy way to make a menu board to use in your home. Very cute!!
  • The “Crazy Dinner” Tradition” = This is such a fun idea. Every family member gets $5.00 to spend in the grocery story. each member can buy whatever they want for dinner. Then everyone heads home, fixes what they purchased, and then set a candlelit table and eats the meal together. I can’t wait to try this with my family.
  • Thankful Tablecloth  
  • Family Pumpkin Walk
  • Dinner on the Doorstep
  • DIY AT-Home Family Restaurant  

 -My Favorite Recipes:
I needed to include in this review some of my favorite recipes that I tried or want to try. Here are just some of them without including every recipe found in this book. ;)

  • Creamy Chicken Lasagna
  • Cheesy Artichoke Bread
  • Brown Sugar and Bacon Green Beans
  • Overnight Caramel French Toast
  • Tomato Tortellini Soup
  • Fresh Lime Salsa
  • No-Bake Peanut Butter Corn Flake Bars
  • Almond Joy Cookies
  • Caesar Salad Supreme
  • Hershey’s Cream Cheese Brownies

 Well if I haven’t convinced you yet that you need this cookbook, besides inviting you over for dinner some time, then you must not enjoy eating good food. As I said at the beginning of my review, I LOVE this book and I will be using it often!

Here is where you can purchase this book: 
Amazon and Deseret Book.

You have a chance to win one of ten cookbooks being given away!! Believe me, you will want to win one of these!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please go visit the Six Sisters HERE!

Meet the Six Sisters:



 In February 2011, we started our blog SixSistersStuff.com. After years of living close to one another, we were being pulled in many different directions- one sister moved to the West coast, another sister followed her husband to medical school, one moved away to college, and another sister had just lost a baby. We needed each other now more than ever and we used our blog as a way to stay in touch. We are all busy, whether it’s with our kids, jobs, school, husbands, community involvement, or something else eating up our time, so all the recipes and projects you will find on this blog are quick and easy! Our recipes are family favorites that use ingredients that can commonly be found in your pantry and our crafts and home decor projects can be made with little or no money. We don’t claim to be amazing chefs- we just know the importance of feeding your family a home-cooked meal and sitting down to eat it together. Our mom and dad taught us so many great values and we are thankful that they instilled the importance of family time in our lives. Even the busiest of people can make the food and project ideas we share, which will give you even more time to spend with your family and loved ones.

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Dec 052013
 

17157643 Chasing June

Author: Shannen Crane Camp

Publisher: Sugar Coated Press

Publish Date: December 14th, 2013

ISBN13: 9781484191262

Genre: YA contemporary

FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

June Laurie has it all—a budding career on the hit crime drama Forensic Faculty, a supportive and perfect boyfriend in her best friend Joseph Cleveland, and hopes of transferring her acting skills to the stage at college. But in a series of plot twists as dramatic as any Hollywood storyline, June’s dreams dim with a heavy dose of grown-up reality. Once she starts school at BYU, June’s days become filled with classes and the new challenge of dealing with jealous theatre majors who seem determined to give her the cold shoulder. Her happy plans for a future with “the one” take a turn, too, when Joseph dumps her to focus on preparing for his two-year LDS mission. Casting directors and the siren call of stardom beckon her back to California, while an old co-star appears on the scene to confuse things even more. Caught up in the drama of life—the type that has more intrigue, subplots, and unexpected romance than a murder mystery game—June starts to wonder if maybe her life’s script might end with a grand finale she never saw coming.

My Review

June is an absolute doll.  She is an easy character to love and cheer for.  June is quirky and fun.  Joseph is a doll too, but things are different between them this time around.  June and Joseph do love each other, but Joseph is going to leave on his mission soon and doesn’t want to hold June back.  This confuses June because she sees him flirting and hanging out with other girls at school.  Not only does it confuse her, she’s not happy about it.  She tries making friends with her vain roommates, but there isn’t really a friendship connection there.  Her friends from Forensic Faculty pay her a visit and Ryan especially is happy to see her.  Which makes things even more complicated between June and Joseph.

4 out of 5 stars.  Another great book from Shannen.  I can always count on her books to be funny, clean, and well-written.  Shannen’s writing is fun and solid, and I can see the darling gal she is in the stories she writes.  I really liked the relationship between Ryan and June.  It really conflicts me, because I love Joseph, but Ryan is likable and a great guy, too.  But, he’s not LDS and June has told him he wants to marry in the temple.  Joseph does go on his mission, and June’s career takes off as does Ryan’s.  The ending definitely sets up another book, which I can’t wait to read!

Shannen is the author of many fabulous books.  Her book Finding June, was a Whitney Award finalist in 2012.

Shannen is having a Facebook launch party for Chasing June.

Author Links

Goodreads / Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase Links (will be available when book is officially for sale, will update)

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Chasing June by Shannen Crane Camp

Chasing June

by Shannen Crane Camp

Giveaway ends December 08, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

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