Christian Book Reviews hosteb by Bring It On! communications

April 9, 2013—Hello bloggers, reviewers, and book lovers!

We know-this site is looking a little rusty. We had to set aside our book reviews for several months in 2012, but we are back and hoping that you will join us!

In the weeks to come, many new reviews will be rolling in and when they do, we will be posting them to our new site which is nearly ready to launch. You can visit us at

So....out with the with the new! Thank you for being a fan of books! We love what you have to say!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Experienced Mother of an autistic child's review of Lonely Girl, Gracious God.

“Lonely girl, Gracious God”

Review by Ruth 

Recently I had the privilege of reading ‘Lonely Girl, Gracious God.’ Being a mother of an Autistic teenage boy myself, I’m always interested in reading about other parents’ experience. I was especially curious in this book because Lauri’s experience happened in the 80’s, 10 years before mine. Autism then was hardly mentioned. Most people never heard of it, but those that knew what it was didn’t paint an encouraging picture to parents. Lauri experienced what so many parents experience when they first hear that their child may have some kind of disability or is not quite ‘normal’. Lauri takes you into her journey of discovery of what Autism was.

 I could so relate to the emotional rollercoaster that a parent goes through. The waves of guilt, the denial, and the judgmental looks from others, the embarrassments, etc. One of the things that struck me was how she discovered some of the same therapies (experimental at the time) that I discovered.

 Lauri is very transparent with her faith, how in all her challenges, she draws her strength from God; she is transparent about her family and marriage  how it affected each member of her family. Again, I can so relate and I’m sure so many other parents of not just Autistic children but any disability can relate. I like that Lauri was very proactive. She admitted to her ignorance and fears, but she always pushed herself to learn how to help her daughter Farema.  Lauri was and still is her best advocate.

  Lauri’s and Farema’s journey is still going so even though Lauri ended her story on a positive note, I would remind the reader that Autism is a spectrum. Each child is unique to his or her disability. What Farema went through doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will go through the same things. I don’t want the reader to be fearful of Autism but to be encouraged by the victories that other parents are having  by all of the new therapies that are out there. Do your research (you know your child best) and be proactive. I recommend this book to the parent of an Autistic child to draw strength and ideas and to anyone that knows of someone that has an Autistic child so they understand the parent and how to help them. 

This review is Ruth's opinion. She was not compensated for a positive review.

"I felt like I truly knew each person (in this book)" Come read about Watercolor Summer....

Review done by WeeShare
Watercolor Summer

Written by: Nan Corbitt Allen

Pages: 208

Release Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1935265672

About this Book (as taken from the Allen House Productions website)

In the summer of 1969, Kathleen’s thirteenth year, her mother drags her to yet another artist colony on the beaches of Northwest Florida. There, Kat’s feelings of isolation and hopelessness, spawned by her parents’ estrangement, develop into a selfish rage . Malcolm, a mentally-challenged boy who lives at the artist colony, tries to befriend Kat, but his very presence annoys her to her core. Though it takes a long and difficult summer for Kat to see it, Malcolm and his colorful guardian, Jeanette, are the examples of true and selfless love. The canvas of Kat’s life, first stained by pain and trial and now touched by love, begins to transform into a masterpiece.

My Thoughts

It's the summer of 1969 and 13 year old Kathleen is unwillingly along with her mother at an artists colony on the beaches of Northern Florida. She's generally unhappy, feeling isolated, hopeless, and unwanted.

Kathleen, who feels unwanted by her own family, has little understanding of true love. She meets Malcom, a mentally-challenged boy, who she absolutely cannot stand. However, as the summer winds on, things begin to change for Kathleen. This boy, who at first annoyed her to the core, begins to teach her an important life lesson. The love he and his caregiver share is unlike anything Kathleen has seen or known before.

Each and every character within this book is very well-portrayed. I felt like I truly knew each person. Their feelings and emotions tugged at me, drawing me further into their story. The author has a gift for description. I could picture vividly almost everything that she wrote.

This was such a wonderful story. If you're looking for a book that you absolutely will not be able to put down, then check out Watercolor Summer by Nan Corbitt Allen.

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. I was provided with a copy of the book for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.

Planet of the Apels reviews Lonely Girl, Gracious God!

I was sent a book, Lonely Girl, Gracious God A Mother's Story of Autism's Devastation and God's Promise of Enduring Love on behalf of Bring it On! Communications. You can buy this book on Amazon

About Lonely Girl, Gracious God:

This is a very inspiring biography and autobiography. It's about a mother that raises a girl that has autism. For a long time Lauri, the mom and author knew something was wrong with her daughter, Farema. Lauri spent much of her time hiding her daughter's odd behavior from others. She just didn't know what Farema had. Doctor's even had a problem diagnosing little Fee. Autism was just starting to be researched at the time of Farema's childhood. Something in Lauri longed for Farema to be normal like her three older sister's.

Days became long. Lauri felt the need to keep Farema stimulated socially. One day she took her for a ride. She was looking for anything to do. They spotted an ice skating rink. Farema skated with ease. Many other individual sports such as biking, horseback riding and swimming came naturally for Farema. Ice skating seemed to be Farema's calling. 

Ice skating was the solution to Farema coming out of her shell. She moved into her own home, skated for the olympic ice skater, Scott Hamilton and got a job at the local skate rink. Everything seemed to be looking up for Farema. 

Lauri never expected that Farema was doing too much. The 20 something Farema had a giant set back. Farema got lost in her own world.  
How This Book Related to Me:

I totally could relate to Lauri's feelings in the beginning. My son Mica had many problems when he was a baby. He was born with a cyst under his tongue; making his tongue mis-shaped. We were told that Mica may never talk. He had to see a team of doctors; much like the team of doctors that were talked about in the book. I worried about him not being able to communicate vocally.

Mica had a funky crawl. He tucked up one leg under him; not using it at all. I did some research at the time. His crawl was a key characteristic of autism. I was afraid something was wrong with our son.

We are so lucky that Mica is a normal boy. I worried so much for nothing. At the time it seemed so very important to me. You want your kids to fit in with others socially and to do well in life.

I just found out that one of our neighbor's has autism. He is Isaak's age. I never knew the importance of autistic kids needing social interaction with other kids their own age. I mistook autism as a disorder where kids were better off by themselves. I'm so glad that I understand the disorder so much more through reading this book! 

This story helped me to understand that although we strive for normal {whatever that is}, we have to take things as they come. Except a situation for what it is. Most importantly, don't take things for granted like we often do. 
About the Author:

Lauri Khodabandehloo is a major supporter in the autism community. She is a contributor for Chicken Soup for the Soul; sharing her heart felt story about raising Farema, her daughter that has autism. 


The opinions on this post are my personal take on the products. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I am not compensated to provide my opinion except for receiving the products themselves to test out. Bring it On! Communications provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so choose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.


Smoothie Rock-A-Teller is a big hit with this blogger!

Review done by Wendy
This is the story of David and Goliath told through from the view of a smoothie rock.  He talks of God's plan and how He made us and shapes us.  To pray for those that make fun of God and for those that don't love Him.

Smoothie Rock-A-Teller brought a smile to our face with his way of seeing the world.  He knew people were called people, but he called them talking walk-abouts.  Birds are tweeter flappers! There are more but it really was sweet. Rock-A-Teller's version of David and Goliath is endearing and mesmerizing.  He knows God has a purpose for him and this is his story of how he became the rock that took down that meanie Goliath.

 The illustrations by Gregory Cannone are very detailed and vibrant.  This is a nice sized hardcover book that many children will love and understand the story and the messages.  Great for at home or for a Sunday School.    There are also Rockie  (devotion time) points to talk about at the end of each chapter. 

I received a complimentary copy for review from Bring it On! Communications.

This book was definitely worth staying up all night for!!

Review done by Erika

Maximal Reserve, by Sam Batterman, is an intriguing thriller, combining science, current events, Biblical end-day prophesy, and pure adventure. It follows the journey of Phil Channing as he begins working for oil giant, Axcess Energy. Phil's ambition and knowledge as a petroleum engineer makes him uniquely qualified for a specific job Axcess wants: find oil. What Phil isn't prepared for is the crazy adventure he finds himself on as he discovers the world's largest oil reserve ever just one week into his new job. Soon, Phil finds himself running for his life as he is hunted down by terrorists, determined to keep the discovery secret. When his fiance is put in jeopardy, Phil will do anything to save her, even putting his own life on the line.

Maximal Reserve is a great book. It was obviously well researched, something that always makes a story more believable and intriguing. And while science and technical subjects were detailed, I never felt "lost" in following the plotline either as can happen with some books. The book presents some interesting theories, including the Abiogenic Theory, which is the idea that "petroleum is abundant and a function of deep-earth processes." 

Sam Batterman is a great author, who is clearly passionate about his work. I liked what Sam wrote in the end "Reference" section: "Defaulting to either side of the argument in an extreme fashion seems to break the laws God has given us. Worshiping the creation instead of the Creator does not allow us dominion over the ecosystem He has given us, and on the other side of the spectrum, reckless use of resources destroys our ability to exploit them for the advances of civilization."

I really enjoyed Maximal Reserve. I read the first half of the book over 3 or 4 nights, but then finished the second half in one night because the suspense was too great to put it down! That says a lot because I am usually very good about shutting my book at a reasonable hour because I do need my sleep. But not with this book! And it was definitely worth staying up too.

I highly recommend this book and I plan on looking up Sam Batterman's other book "Wayside" as well. Check out Maximal Reserve today - you'll be in for a great adventure when you do! Maximal Reserve can be purchased at

Disclaimer: Thanks to Ariel from Bring it On Communications for providing me with this book to read and review. This was not a paid post and the opinions are solely my own and were not influenced by the sponsor


Friday, May 27, 2011

This author tells a very personal and candid story...

Review done by Tiffany

 Title: Lonely Girl, Gracious God

Author: Lauri Khodabandehloo





About The Author: Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor Lauri Khodabandehloo shares her very personal and heart-tugging story of raising a daughter with autism during a time when doctors were just learning about the disability themselves.

The Review: Lauri knew her child was different, even before she gave birth Lauri thought something was wrong. When Lauri’s fourth daughter Farema was born Lauri had a sense that Farema was different. Farmea responded differently to sounds and displayed odd behavior toward her mother and her entire family. This story recounts exactly what Lauri wen through trying to raise a child with a disability during a time when autism was just beginning to be researched and understood.

Laurie’s strong faith in God, patience and perseverance would bring her and her family full circle dealing with the ups and downs of raising an autistic child  in a time when the doctors didn’t know much autism. This very personal story definitely tugged at my heartstrings.

This was a very touching book, I couldn’t put it down. I kept reading because I was eager to know how little Fee’s life turned out.  All I have to say is this story is truly enduring and you will be touched by Laurie’s story. Thanks so much to Lauri for telling such a personal and candid story.

Buy a copy of this book for yourself from Amazon.

I was sent a free copy of this book for review purposes. The above thoughts are my own. I was not monetarily compensated to give a positive review.

This has good lessons to teach after the book is read!

Review by Rockabye Butterfly

Book Summary:  Temba is a boy who has many dreams. Owning a bicycle, and living in a safe neighborhood are two of his dreams. Temba’s favorite dream is to visit the ocean. He longs to hear the sound of the crashing waves and to taste the salty water. One day he enters a contest. The prize is a trip to the seaside by train! Temba believes in the Dream Giver; but as with any dream, he learns that obstacles may arise that threaten to steal a dream away.

When I read this book, I assumed the Dream Giver was God.  Temba lives in a poor neighbourhood with not much and uses his dreams to carry him away to a better place.  He dreams of visiting the seaside and asks the "Dream Giver" to have his dreams come true.  It teaches that sometimes dreams can come true, and it seems to be a book to encourage children to keep dreaming because big things can happen when you dream.  A good character building lesson in this book I would say is "holding hope".  Even when Temba thought he failed, he was upset, but he still held hope, still dreamed and woke up happy.  It reminds me of when we go through rough times in our lives, we still hold onto hope, to our Faith, which in turn keeps us positive.  And sometimes, when it's according to His plan, dreams do come true! Which is a good lesson to teach after the book is read.

My daughter liked this book because she is a true beach baby and loves the beach!  This book had the beach in it! :)  I'm not sure she grasped the full message in this book at 3.5 years old, but I am for sure going to be referring to this book also, later on when we will be working on more extensive Character Studies together in the future.

This book definitely captivated my 3.5 year old's attention!

Review done by Rockabye Butterfly

Book Summary:  Not far from here lives The Rose Princess in a kingdom ruled by her father the King. One morning she awakes to find a splendid package at the end of her bed full of gifts and a card from her father encouraging her to use the gifts wisely. Unaware of what lies ahead, the princess sets out on a journey of learning and adventure where she meets several people who are in need. Suddenly she realizes that the gifts she has received can help the others, and that she has to make a choice…keep the gifts to herself, or help others by giving the gifts away.

When I read this book, I saw the symbolism of the King being our God the Father, giving us our gifts that are unique to each of us; and the princess, as myself, His child.  I like that this book is a character building book, building qualities such as generosity and sharing and giving away what you have in order to help people in need.  They learn that with a positive attitude and a giving heart, you can really impact someone else's life in a great Godly way; so I like the lessons in this book.

My daughter loved the pictures in this book, the bright look, and she loves all things princesses!  The book went through emotions- happiness, empathy, sadness... and it seemed like my daughter was feeling each emotion as it went along according to her facial features during the read and her comments along the way.  I can conclude that it definitely captivated my 3.5 year old's attention!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of  The Rose Princess and the Special Gift  from Bring it On Communications for this review.  The opinions I have given are mine and were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Looking for a book that will keep the kids interested while sharing God's message?

Review done by Liz

Smoothie Rock-A-Teller On The Whopper-Stopper is just the book for families who love to share Bible stories with their children in a fun and new way!

Smoothie Rock-A-Teller: On the WhopperStopper

Smoothie Rock-A-Teller On The Whopper-Stopper is by Dr. Gerald Mittmann and illustrated by Gregory Cannone.

The ISBN number is 1935265784, the publisher is Fish Pond Kids, with an upcoming release date of Sept. 1, 2011 at an MSRP of $12.99

This adorable children’s book is about a very special rock, who just knows that God has a purpose for him. The rock, named Smoothie, settles in a creek bed. One day he hears lots of commotion around the creek- on one side the Philistines and on the other the Israelites. He hears Goliath, whom Smoothie describes as a “whopper,” saying mean things about God and feels sad. When David, the “whopper-stopper,”  arrives and decides to face Goliath, Smoothie discovers God’s plan for them for both!  A great story for children ages 4 and up!

Dr. Mittman presents the story of David and Goliath from a new perspective-the rock that took down Goliath! His messages, one, which is God having a plan for each of us and two, trusting in God are presented in a consistent and kid-focused way. He has written questions throughout the book that help kids to find the message by thinking critically and analyzing what is going on in the story. The perspective alone does a lot to reiterate the great story of David and Goliath though, my kids were tickled pink to hear Smoothie talking about birds, fish and the people he sees! The illustrations are soft and large, filling each page with a picture that tells the story, a great pairing between story and visual, which especially helped my 2 year old daughter to enjoy the story along with her big brother.

My children were immediately drawn to this book because it has two things they love: rocks and the story of David/Goliath. After a very lively reading of this book with my children, I can honestly say I would recommend it to a family with young children, it’s very well written and illustrated, with a clever perspective that entertains young and old! I can’t wait to read more books in the Rock-a-Teller series!

“To read more reviews like this one,  go to Tell Us The Truth Reviews!”
 Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. No other compensation was received.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Uncle Eben's Christmas, good enough for Hallmark? Come read about it!!

Review done by Heart2Heart

A different take of the traditional Christmas Carol, we find Eben Johnson just days before the Christmas season, hard at work trying to make it another successful year in his Home Improvement Store.

It's a Monday morning just promptly at nine when he arrives for his staff meeting with his department heads. After all the normal business agenda items, Myron Hoffman announces that one of the employees isn't following his stores holiday policy. When he asks for the employee's name, Myron tells him he will talk to him about it privately later.

Eben Johnson once more reiterates his stores policy against refraining from using the words Merry Christmas in his store, from referring to items as holiday decorations or lights to the use of Happy Holidays in his stores advertising, but most importantly, no one is to wish anyone a Merry Christmas.

What Eben Johnson will come to understand this year is just how his store policy may in fact cost him customers and ultimately affect his bottom line in the end.

In the book, Uncle Eben's Christmas, by Stephen Alan Slater, we find out just what Eben believes and why he is so dead-set on making sure Christmas and Christ stay out of his life. He personally feels that all his good deeds he does everyday will ultimately win out over his "sins" anyway. He has nothing to fear. Yet when his bad mood gets the best of him when dealing with his niece about Christmas, he is about to get the surprise of his life.

I received Uncle Eben's Christmas compliments of Bring It On Communications and Deep River Books for my honest review and think this would make for a great Christmas book to add to your collection. It brings about so many questions regarding evolution versus creation in addition to offending other religions with the Christmas greeting. I think this book hits it right on the head and provides more insight into why someone people act the way they do during the Christmas season. This one rates a perfect 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about this book, the author and where you can purchase a copy of this book, please click on the link below:
Uncle Eben's Christmas by Stephan Alan Slater


Kelly's FIRST review on Sand to Pearls written by Heidi McLaughlin

Review done by Kelly



The first chapter of this book is above.  Please read it!  The first chapter grabbed me.  So many of the ideas and feelings resonated with my own experience.  If it touches you, as well, this may be a significant book – one that changes your life.
This book found me at a stressful time.  I was dealing with some rough issues and feelings.  Similar to what Heidi McLaughlin says about “…feeling lonely and overwhelmed with too many obligations and choices. Life is tough these days and many people feel trapped.”  I was feeling trapped.  Then I started reading Sand to Pearls and it gave me hope.  Not only hope, but tools to enrich my life and “turn sand to pearls”.  Tools to take something scratchy, irritating, gray, into something rich, beautiful and luminous.
I loved Sand to Pearls.  I have gone back to it several times when I’ve been challenged by feelings of anger and loneliness.  And each time, I find something that picks me up and gives me the hope to keep moving.


“Sand to Pearls is chocked full of wisdom, practical, joy-filled and inspiring.”- Debbie Taylor Williams
“Grounded in Scripture and the vulnerability of a sincere Christ follower, this book is a tool for women to savor and act upon.”- Nancy Beach

Could NOT Put this Book Down! Come read why...

Review done by Jan


The Place of Belonging
 is a beautifully written story told through the eyes of a child growing up in the “big sky country” of Montana.  It’s the 1940’s… Janie lives with her mother and grandmother, until her mom marries and moves to a farm. Janie then lives with her grandma and visits her mom each weekend. 

Eventually Janie moves to the farm to live with her mom and new dad.  Life on a farm takes some getting used to, and Janie also has a whole new family, as her mom has more children. Life isn’t always easy, but Janie never doubts that her loving family has her best interests at heart.  

I loved this book! It is an entertaining step back in time, but also an emotional story of separation, loss and belonging. It’s so well written that I almost felt I was part of the family. I thought about giving my book to a friend to take on her vacation, but I couldn’t part with it! This is a book you’ll want to read over and over. 


About the Author:
   Jayne Pearson Faulkner graduated from Central Bible College and worked for Gospel Publishing House. While a missionaries to the Philippines and Tonga, she and her husband raised four children. She now lives in Oregon with her family.

This book is available at Christian Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Deep River Books.

Bring It On! Communications provided me with a copy of this book to read and review.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More than just a resource, this author tells how God can use Autism for His glory

Review done by Cara Nitz

Are you a parent of an autistic child or do you know someone who has an autistic child? Maybe you just want to learn more about how autism can change your life when you are touched by it. If any of these resonates with you, I have just the book for you. 

Lonely Girl, Gracious God  is a fabulous book that share a mother's love for her autistic daughter. Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor Lauri Khodabandehloo shares her very personal and heart-tugging story of raising a daughter with autism during a time when doctors were just learning about the disability themselves. 

Taking us on a journey down the broken road that leads us to the truth of God's overwhelming faithfulness, and His promise to never leave us, she shares the special bond between those who are challenged with a developmental disability and the people who love them.

As a teacher, I used to have autistic children in my classroom, and so I am familiar with autism. However, I believe that you cannot understand what being a parent of an autistic child is like unless you are one. I have a very dear friend who has an autistic teenage son, and I find myself hungry to learn more about autism and how it changes your life, so I can be a better friend to her.

I borrowed her this book, and she read through it very quickly. Here is what she had to say - 

"As a mom of a nearly 15-year-old son with Autism, I have seen my share of resources throughout the years. There seems to be tons and tons of information on Autism research, techniques, education, methods, and law. What I have always felt, and always will feel, is that while all of this information is good and valuable, it doesn’t speak to what I really know about autism. Autism, is indeed given to us by God, as a gift."

"I was both excited and nervous to see the title of the book, and its subtitle: A Mother’s Story of Autism’s Devastation and God’s Promise of Enduring Love. I was excited just to finally see a resource with God in the title, but, nervous because I knew the book probably contained some heartbreaking, and close-to-home stories. I was correct on both feelings."

"Lauri Khodabandehloo recounts the story of her family dealing with all of the twists and turns of Autism. Lauri describes in detail the early signs she saw, but through faith, was compelled to not recognize as autism. To me, Lauri was NOT in denial, she was acting out of faith. At one point in the story, Lauri was confronted by a well meaning individual and told that she suspected Autism in Lauri’s 4th, and youngest daughter, Farema. Although at the time, Lauri could not see what her friend saw, later, through God’s grace, she was able to go admit that her friend was a blessing. That is a repeated theme in my own life that I share with the author. While my heart and brain may think one thing in the present, the future always holds the wisdom and grace of God. My favorite quote from the book is: 'God caused everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).'"

"While reading the book, I did not really see a sad and dark tale of devastation. Any mother, especially when the mother is close to God, can see that a child’s life may be challenging, but, even hardship is your gift and blessing from God. That is what I felt when I read Lauri’s words. It wasn’t until the end of the book, after recounting all of the fight for progress, then when a drug reaction caused regression, did I feel that devastation. One of the blessings of this book is that Lauri lists all of the prescriptions that her daughter was given. This is cautionary wisdom working! I hope other readers see this and take it as an experience to value the hindsight of this mother. We can take note that we need to listen to God, and that sometimes he speaks to us through others. God definitely spoke to me through Lauri."

You can find Lonely Girl, Gracious God at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and more.

*Bring It On! Communications provided me product to review, and I was under no obligation to review if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.*

To read more reviews like this, go to: Tell Us The Truth Reviews.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dig Deep as you Read this review of Sand to Pearls!

Review done by bassgiraffe

Sand to Pearls” by Heidi McLaughlin
“Do you wish that you had a blueprint for a rich, fulfilling life?
Many of us mistakenly think that if we were prettier, smarter, had less obligations or a fulfilling romantic relationship we would, at last, be joyful and content.
chasing after false illusions of success can propel us to make unwise and detrimental choices. Ofter we remain stuck in our uncertain reality because we don’t know how to move forward.
…Heidi McLaughlin shares from her personal discoveries about how God can turn resentment into freedom, regrets into rejoicing and shame into radiance. If God can take a tiny insignificant grain of sand and turn it into a unique, gorgeous pearl, then He can certainly turn our insecurities, fears and worst decisions into a magnificent new beginning!” (taken from the back cover)

My Thoughts-
When I was sent the description of “Sand to Pearls” I knew this book was for me. And although I haven’t gotten all the way through it yet I am learning so much from it. This is not a sit down and read really quick book. This is a life changing, mind changing book to help you get on the right track/thought process of life.
The first chapter “Obligation or Invigoration: Is That a “Should” on Your Shoulder?”, really meant a lot to me. I’m usually the “yes, I’ll do it” at church. And a lot of times I really didn’t feel like doing it, but felt “since it’s a church thing I SHOULD do it”. The funny thing was after reading this chapter I asked God to help me know when to say “yes” and when to say “no” when someone asks me to do something at church. That very next Sunday I had someone ask me if I would like to lead a lesson in their Sunday school in the next few weeks. Usually I would have just said “yes” right then but I asked them if I could get back to them the next day so I had some time to think and pray about it. In the end I wasn’t feeling like it was the time for me to lead the group of kids and I was able to say “no” and not feel guilty about it. I couldn’t believe God gave me my first lesson that same week. He’s awesome like that.

The second chapter, “Sabotage or Success: Breaking the ‘Nobody’ Barrier”, is a chapter I need a lot of work on. I think I highlighted most of the chapter. But I know I am a somebody and that God loves me and has plans for me. I just need to let Him be in control.

Each chapter gives you a “problem” and examples of people who have gone through this problem and what God’s Word has to say about it. At the end of each chapter you get a sections called S.T.O.P. it gives you a Scripture, has you Thanking God, Observing what God is telling you and a Prayer.

I would recommend this book to all women. But please keep in mind your life will change. This book is also not for a woman’s Bible study as I think this one is for your personal growth. Maybe you could work through this book with one accountability partner, just so you could keep each other on track but I find in Bible studies we tend to say what we “should” say instead of what we really need to say.

You can see Heidi McLaughlin on 100 Huntley Street on May 20th. I know I will be watching as I am really interested in seeing what she has to say.

FIND it-
Author’s website
book website
* Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate my review. This post reflects my honest, personal opinion and experience with the product which may differ from yours. Product information courtesy of the sponsor. No monetary compensation was provided for this post.

Children's Books with a Message! Come Read About It!

Review done by The Jacobsen Family


We are a family that LOVES to read. Growing up, my mom loved to read to us and did so often, instilling in us a love of reading.  Now as a mother myself, I love to read to my own children, and already see a love of reading in them as well.  We love all sorts of books, but as a mother, I am always thrilled to find great books that teach my children a good moral lesson.

I was recently contacted by Bring It On! Communications and asked if I was interested in reviewing some Deep River Books. Of course we were!! We were sent 2 children's books, The Rose Princess and the Special Gift by Mike de Vetter, andPookster and the Unloose Tooth by Rhonda Funk, part of the Pookster and Bubs series of books.

The Rose Princess and the Special Gift is about a princess whose father gives her a package full of gifts with a note encouraging her to use them wisely.  She goes on a journey and meets many people in need, and has to decide whether to keep the gifts for herself, or help those in need by giving them the gifts.

I was very excited to read The Rose Princess and the Special Gift, as our homeschool curriculum had recently touched on the talents and gifts God gives us and the need for sharing them with others.  My kids immediately made the comparison of the king and the gifts to God and the talents/gifts He gives us.  They loved that the princess chose to give her gifts to help those in need, and this opened a discussion of gifts and talents we have, and how we can use them to help others in need. 

Pookster and the Unloose Tooth is also a very fun, entertaining book! This book is about a girl, Pookster, who wants to lose her teeth so badly she prays that she will lose them.  She is unwilling, however, to wait until her teeth (and God) are ready, and with the help of some dental floss, a door knob, and a big sister, takes care of it herself.  Now all she wants is for her teeth to grow back in!  This story teaches us the lesson of waiting on God and His perfect timing.

Logan is at the age where he is losing teeth, so this was fun for all of us as we could relate to the character.  This book also came with a read-along CD, which we love!  The kids love the read-along books, and it's nice for me when I need to do something and want them busy and out of trouble! 

We loved each of these books equally, although my daughter, of course, adores The Rose Princess book.  These books are wonderful in that they encourage your child to learn from the actions of the characters in the stories.  I highly recommend these books for any child in your life!

Buy It: You can purchase The Rose Princess and The Special Gift for $12.99, andPookster and the Unloose Tooth for $11.99 from the Deep River Bookstore.

 Bring It On! Communications sent me the aforementioned items free of charge to help facilitate my review. No other type of compensation was received.  These are my honest opinions on the products. Please see my terms of use for more information.  A big thank you to Bring It On! Communications and  Deep River Books for allowing me to review these items!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Book on Kindle!

Randy Butler's new book, 

Reclaiming Heaven's Covenant 

won't release until September, BUT!!

YOU can get ahead of the game and purchase a Kindle version on Amazon NOW!!

Check it out HERE!!

Bummed about Gas Prices? Come Read this review about a Maximal Reserve!


maximal reserve cover
Synopsis:  Petroleum exploration engineer Phil Channing uncovers the single largest oil reserve in history--and he's only been employed for a week! The find is so large that it dwarfs all Middle East reserves combined, and lies so deep within the bowels of the earth that it can't be reached by any conventional method. He discovers how to tap into this Maximal Reserve through research left behind by a college friend who was brutally murdered just before Phil took the job. The secret lies in the cryptic revelation of a complex of lava tubes on the southeast side of the Dead Sea known as Etsba Elohim--the Finger of God. This knowledge provides the ability to reach this incredibly strategic resource and threatens to change the world's balance of power and wealth in favor of the small nation of Israel.

You can read an excerpt on the author's website!

About the Author: Sam Batterman grew up in the 1980s with a pocketful of quarters to play Defender and Asteroids in one hand, and a stack of computer magazines in the other. After four years of teaching himself computer programming, and being accused of being a nerd, he decided to make it official, and traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to get a Computer Science degree from Bob Jones University. After working for a pharmaceutical giant just outside of Philadelphia for eight years, he finally achieved his high school dream of working for Microsoft as a software engineer (where he still works). 

Sam lives with wife, Susan, and their two kids, in Southeastern Pennsylvania. He periodically teaches Computer Programming at a Christian school, and enjoys seeing kids get excited about the technology that he loves so much. Being a huge fan of Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy he decided to try his hand at fiction, a secret desire since high school. Sam and his wife serve at Valley Forge Baptist Temple in Collegeville, PA. Check out his blog and website too! And check out the Facebook fan site, for his first book in the series, Wayback!

Review:Ah, the Sophomore books in series! You guys know how I like them! I was lucky to discover this one through Mama Bzz and am very happy I got to read it! 

This is a very quick read and if you like suspense, mystery, conspiracy, historical based books with some romance thrown in, you'll love this book! It reminded my alot of a religious based tv crime show- it had all the characters that you typically find, had the crime scenes (including some detailed crime scenes that might be a little much for some people), a crime that lead to a mystery and then back again, I could really see it as a mini-series on the Ion channel! 

As it includes oil companies, the bane and employer of many Louisianans, made it even more interesting! The topic of never ending oil is one that we can all relate to right now with gas at an all time high of almost $4 a gallon (which by the way really galls us in LA., as we pay excess taxes on it, even though it comes off our shores. SIGH, thanks those in Baton Rouge getting the kickbacks...), and the conspiracy theory was NOT overdone. I will be looking for the first book in this series for sure! I highly recommend this book as a breath of fresh air in the mystery/suspense realm!

And don't worry about it not being a giveaway right now- after a couple of friends read it, it will be up on the Top Shelf for giveaway!

In the meantime, if you want a ebook of it, it's available on Kindle through Amazon!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this books for review purposes on this blog, free of charge, from the author, via Bring It On Communications (and Mama Bzz) .No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told what to say about the book!

Great Review for The Amusings of a Missionary!


Title: The Amusings of a Missionary 

Author: Ken Board
ISBN: 9781935265313
Publisher: Citadel, A Division of Deep River Books
Publishing Date: 2010
Price: $14.99

Ken Board has served as a missionary in Japan for the past 42 years. Wow. That’s a long time.

The Amusings of a Missionary is a collection of some of the short messages he has written for his church bulletin over the years. He has certainly been in some strange, interesting, and funny situations. From his experiences as the father of four children to his tales of different animals to dropping his camera into a bowl of ramen noodles, the author shares about his life in Japan. There he ties it in to a Biblical principle and how it applies to our lives. Pastor Board seems down-to-earth; he has the ability to laugh at himself J

I personally didn’t find the book as funny as I expected (considering that the title says "amusing") but I did learn things about Japan that I didn’t know. It’s interesting how with some creativity, practically any situation can be coupled with a Bible verse and illustrate something in the Christian life.  There are around 200 anecdotes in The Amusings of a Missionary.  While this book did not tickle my funny bone, there is nothing wrong with it so I feel safe recommending it. 

~I received this book free from Bring It On Communications in exchange for my honest review.


In depth review of Lonely Girl, Gracious God


Lonely Girl, Gracious God is a mother's story of Autism's devastation and God's Promise of enduring Love.


From the moment Farema is born, the youngest daughter of four girls, her parents realize she's not like other children her age.  She doesn't reach out for her parents like most children do, she doesn't make eye contact, nor talk and coo but she can cry, make funny finger flickers in front of her face, and stiffen, almost like she is having a seizure.  Frantic, her mother takes her to doctor upon doctor trying to find a diagnosis that will fit with her mindset.  She doesn't want her daughter to be autistic and she pushes anyone out of her life that even suggests it.

Through many trials and tribulations, Farema and her family learn to grow with her condition and take one day as it comes.  Feeling it important to keep friends and stimulation in Farema's life, her mother enrolls her in many schools, clubs and sport events, only to be told that Farema just didn't fit in with the other kids.  One day, after fretting about her daughter slipping away from them, she takes her on a car ride and they stumble upon an ice rink.  And for the next several years, Farema learns to open up, communicate and skate like an Olympic champion.  However, as fates would have it, Farema begins to fail in her new found strength and freedoms and slips into a place where only God can lead her from.


I really loved Farema and enjoyed watching her grow up into a beautiful young woman.  I liked the flow of the story and thought it to be well edited.  I liked the strength in Lauri's reserve to believe in God and put her trust in him, even when she was fighting his diagnosis of her child.  I loved how Farrah looked after her sister even sacrificing herself at times, her love for her younger sibling was beautiful to read and she deserves a huge hug for her tenacity to stand by her sister, even when she was ready to run screaming from the room. 

I wasn't impressed with the father, he could've been more supportive and attended more of these discussions with his child's welfare.  Perhaps if they had walked that path together, Farema's diagnosis could have been found sooner, but to me, it felt like the two of them were always at parental odds with one another, and this sometimes worked against Farema's well being.  

I was appalled to watch how Farema's treatment went from doctors and nurses running test upon test upon test with no real solution and then after many years of one on one treatment, drugs were introduced to her system.  I mean all kinds of them, drugs to keep up awake, to put her asleep, to stop hallucinations, and some of her medications weren't even allowed to be mixed and yet the doctors continued to push more and more drugs on the poor child.  What has the AMA medical system come to??  I'm not even sure if some of those drugs were clinically tested long enough to be ingested into human bodies!!  I am glad that Lauri found the strength thru the Grace of God, to stand by her child, her husband and her family!

From the moment of her birth, Farema was not like her sisters. She didn't respond normally to sounds or the touch of a hand. She was different. Embrace this mother's deeply personal account of tragedies and triumphs, along with joys and sorrows of raising a child with the devastating disability of autism. 

When lives have been turned upside down and we have nothing left to cling to, God offers amazing grace to find encouragement and authentic hope in the face of overwhelming confusion and grief.

Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor Lauri Khodabandehloo takes us on a journey down the broken road that leads us to the truth of God's overwhelming faithfulness, and His promise to never leave us as she shares the special bond between those who are challenged with a developmental disability and the people who love them.

 **  Disclosure:  I did not accept any compensation from the publishers other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!!  **

If you have a heart for the Autism Community, you will love Lonely Girl, Gracious God.

book! While reading Lonely Girl, Gracious God by Lauri Khodabandehloo

Christi wrote...

My Review: I am loving this book! I'm actually in the middle of it, but having a special place in my heart for anyone on the autism spectrum, this book is right up my alley! I love how we serve a Lord who loves us all where we are and can use us all to serve Him with the gifts that He has given us!

Thanks again to FIRST Wild Card Tours for the opportunity to review this book!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Heartfelt Review of Lonely Girl, Gracious God


My Review:

When Lauri Khodabandehloo gave birth to her fourth daughter, Karema, she had a “knowing” that there was something different about her, but not the specifics.  Karema responded differently to sound and touch and displayed peculiar behaviors.

Lonely Girl, Gracious God is a memoir about Lauri’s tenacious perseverance, love and faith in a God she knew would bring her through the tragedies and triumphs, as well as the sorrows and joys of raising a child with autism.  It’s also about the struggles and inner strength of a young girl who desperately wants friends her own age as she grows into adulthood.

Lauri’s book is an honest look of what it’s like to reluctantly accept the diagnosis of autism, as well as an inspiration to parents who find themselves raising an autistic child.  It’s raw and real.  It encompasses the testing of the bond between husband and wife and how autism affects the whole family.  It’s not very pretty at times, but her goal was to let others seek comfort through writing about their trials, as well share the knowledge she picked up along the journey.  She’s encouraging, and comes across strongly about how her faith in God was tested and how faithful He was.

It’s a story that will stir your heart with multiple, conflicting emotions as you read the day-by-day struggles and joys of accomplishment.  It teaches empathy for families who are dealing with the unsettling issues of raising an autistic child, and insight to families who don’t understand the difficulties and behaviors of the autistic child.

Although the book is written mainly from Lauri’s perspective, she details the reactions, turbulence, thinking and feelings of each member of the family.

My gratitude goes out to Lauri for being candid enough to enlighten those of us who haven’t traveled this road.

Reactions to Lonely Girl, Gracious God - by Lauri Khodabandehloo

REACTION by Anne Payne

I can say that for me this isn't a book I can read quickly. There are so many emotions and experiences being shared that I am trying to reconcile them in my mind as I go along which is challenging to me since I am also the mom of a 28 yr old daughter who has been severly disabled since birth. Perhaps if you have not experienced any of the situations that Lauri is sharing you might be able to read the book faster. I find myself analyzing thoughts and actions taking place in the book, and making comparisons between my experience and Lauri's.

What did YOU experience while reading this book?

New FIRST Wild Card Tour - Lonely Girl, Gracious God Review!!


This book is a "must read" if you have, or know someone who has an autistic child. Teachers can learn from this as well. Nina Meier : )

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is: 

and the book: 

Lonely Girl, Gracious God 

Deep River; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011) 

***Special thanks to Arielle Roper of Bring it On! Communications for sending me a review copy.***


Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor Lauri Khodabandehloo has written many stories speaking of the special bond between those who are challenged with a developmental disability and the people who love them. Lauri lives with her husband in Eugene, Oregon and remains active in the autism community.

Visit the author's website.


Embrace this mother's deeply personal account of tragedies and triumphs, along with joys and sorrows of raising a child with the devastating disability of autism.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 266 pages 
Publisher: Deep River; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1935265466 
ISBN-13: 978-1935265467 

One More Day!!

You have One More Day to join 

At Home Mama's 

5000 Fan Celebration Event!

There are tons of products up for giveaway, including:



Go check it out!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another FIRST Wild Card Tour - Lonely Girl, Gracious God Review!!

REVIEW DONE BY TheJollyBlogger

Lonely Girl, Gracious God Review:

When Lauri became pregnant with Farema (Fee, as she is called), she knew something wasn’t quite right. She was in denial for a long time — vacillating between wanting and not wanting to acknowledge the disorder. Her own insecurities from her upbringing exacerbated the feeling that she wasn’t measuring up to certain expectations. It was further exacerbated by the cultural differences of her husband Cody who is a Muslim.

I can only imagine how frustrating (and exhausting) it is to deal with temper tantrums and other challenging behaviors. Lauri sacrificed much to make sure Fee had the best in everything from medical care to education. It was what any parent would do. This book brings to light the exhausting and challenging journey of one family’s experience with a child who has autism.

Need a Good Summer Read?

Review done by Granola Mom 

Maximal Reserve

Summer reading – definitely.  Maximal Reserve is an action packed, information dense, prophesy loaded, quality read. 

It is filled with a little bit of conspiracy and fabulous content regarding the Middle East, Israel, and the oil reserve. 

Though fiction, much of the content isn’t too far from the truth.  Biblical truth, that is, regarding what I believe is the future of the nation of Israel.

This book is definitely written by a man.  I liked it . . . Sam Batterman kept me in suspense . . . but sometimes I suppose I thought Mr. Batterman gave me a little bit too much detail about the blood and guts left at the scene of a crime. 

Yea.  I wanted to turn my face.  (But that is hard when you are reading a book because then you umm . . . can’t read.)

You can find Sam Batterman on Facebook or purchase his book on Amazon ($11.99)  (there is even a Kindle version!)

This is a MamaBuzz review. The product was provided by Bring it on Communications in partnership with Deep River Books for this review.