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!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"By the end of the book, the overwhelming feeling is one of awe."

The Son in My Eyes  Mai Spencer with Dixie Philips
Reviewed by Graphoniac

ISBN: 10-1-935265-66-0
Deep River Books, ©2011
$11.24 @

Overall Grade: A
Compelling first-hand stories, minor flow concerns

The Son in My Eyes is the auto biography of Mai Spencer, a Vietnamese lady who has seen the hand of God working through even the most dire of circumstances. As a child, she lost family members to war and sickness, and nearly lost her own life when Agent Orange was sprayed over the jungle--and over her!--to destroy the broad leaf plants near her village. She endured beatings, railings, rejection, raids, poverty, abandonment, and so many more unspeakable things. In her autobiography, her reflection on her life, she sees those events not in a bitter light, but in the light of grace.

After having married an American and moving to the States, Mrs. Spencer became a Christian. She left all her Buddhist traditions. She began following God with her sensitive spirit, and ultimately started a ministry in Vietnam, investing in lives and making a difference one child at a time. The Son in My Eyes tells, first hand, how God used each of the difficulties in her life to prepare her for this ministry.

The writing is clean and easy to read, though it takes a little getting used to Mrs. Spencer's gut-level honesty. She doesn't sugar-coat anything: this is a tough, tough read. I admire her transparency, telling her painful story with such openness had to have been hard. Through that transparency, you can't help but see her amazing heart. Towards the end of the book, Mrs. Spencer notes that while some come to Christ immediately, others, like herself, come to Him "inch by inch." She goes on to explain that God doesn't waste trials, but rather uses them later in life to bless others. And that's where she's at now: blessing others.

If you're a stickler for writing style, you may notice a few rough spots where flow is iffy at best. Sometimes it's hard to see the relevance of what she's telling us, and sometimes it's just hard to keep up with the story. After a little while you adjust, though, and it feels like you're sitting in this sweet lady's front room while she shares the stories that come to mind.

By the end of the book, the overwhelming feeling is one of awe. How God can take such horrible, terrible experiences and use them for good... well, I won't spoil it: go read it for yourself.
  • The hard-to-read stories are tempered with knowledge of God's grace, and often scriptures.
  • It's clear that the author is not bitter, and wishes to share her story of God's protection through very, very difficult times.
  • The author is courageously honest, sharing good and bad alike.
  • Even with the story-telling style, the grammar is correct and easy to understand.
  • A little rambly, at times hard to follow, unpolished story-telling style
  • Intense situations, told rather matter-of-factly, may be hard to read for some, especially if they come from abusive families.

This product was provided free of charge to Graphoniac for review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"This is a fantastic book to leave out for guests to see"

Tea Cup Art ... and Reflections
by Joyce Wilkens
Review by Melanie at So Many Books
Hardcover: 122 page 
Publisher: Deep River Books (November 1, 2011) Language: English 
ISBN-13: 978-1935265818

TeaCup Art is a collection of teacups displayed in an array of artistic scenes, reflected on by author Joyce Wilkens. I have never given much thought to teacups prior to seeing this book, but I was drawn to the beauty of the photos. 
People have sat around for generations, in all countries sipping tea, sharing their lives and conversation in a multitude of different styles of teacups, each with their own stories. Teacups conjure up thoughts of warmth, friendship and a break from the daily grind.

Joyce takes each teacup and either it’s heritage or something from its characteristics and designs a scene to photograph. I love the artistic edge she gives to the simplicity of a teacup, bringing to life its stories and the life it has lived. The variety of cups is so fun to see and I imagine collectors of teacups would love to see her collection in photos.

I have been inspired to firstly use teacups a bit more, not always coffee mugs, and to keep my eye out for unique teacups to collect. This is a fantastic book to leave out for guests to see, and lead into a discussion of cups they have used and seen. I loved the concept of the book and the combination of Joyce’s reflections and artistic photos.

I received a copy of this book from Bring it On Communications in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"I cannot begin to tell my readers how wonderful this book is"

The Son in My Eyes

Reviewed by Sarah at Growing for Christ

By Mai Spencer with Dixie Phillips

ISBN: 978-1935265665
Deep River Books

About the Book: 

(from Deep River Books)

Raised a poor, young, Buddhist girl during the time of the Vietnam War, Mai Spencer nearly lost her life after being exposed to Agent Orange. Overcoming tremendous obstacles, and surviving the effects of the war, she found a sense of security in her new husband and life in America. It wasn’t until after three of her four children died prematurely, Mai turned from the false god of her childhood and cried out to Jesus, the Son of the Living God.

The Son In My Eyes – Seeing the Light Of Jesus In Vietnam, is a dramatic testimony of forgiveness and hope, and tells how God made Mai into a woman of destiny when He called her to return to Vietnam and build a church there.

My Opinion:

I had no idea what to expect when I first began this book, I mean I knew it was about a woman who was born and raised a Buddhist in Vietnam but beyond that I really didn’t know.  I cannot begin to tell my readers how wonderful this book is – even though you’ll read about the horrible things that happened to Mai as she grew up, you’ll see the wonderful woman that becomes one of God’s own children who is loved and protected even before she knew Him.

There were times that Mai should have been in a place where she would have been killed but God’s providence protected her – she didn’t know God but she knows now looking back that God indeed did protect her even while she was a Buddhist for His purposes.  She has sprinkled Scripture that means something to her or backed up what she was going through at a time in her life, even adding in Scripture that she later learned was applicable to her early life.

God can call even the hardest of hearts to Him even if at the time, that heart doesn’t recognize His sovereignty.  I have experienced this to in my life that God protected me even when I turned my back and hardened my heart toward Him, he kept me from things that would have all but ruined my life.  Travel with Mai from the time in Vietnam as she lives life with her dysfunctional family and on to her time in America with her husband and her children to being a successful business woman that begins church planting in her home country.

I have to say I loved this book even the pages that made me want to cry at her losses and the way she was treated as a child, this book was moving and so inspirational.  I will say the use of the word spanking was used interchangeably with beatings – that is the only thing I had an issue with – in that spankings aren’t the same as beating and abuse.  However, that being my only disagreement with this book, I wouldn’t let that deter me from reading it as I loved seeing how God was working in Mai’s life before she ever came to a Saving Faith in the True Savior.

Also Available on Nook and Kindle

**To read more reviews like this one, go to: Tell Us the Truth Reviews
**I was given a copy of this book from Bring It On! Communications in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Once I read the first couple pages I was hooked! Mai Spencer touched my heart."

The Son in My Eyes – Seeing the Light of Jesus in Vietnam
Author: Mai Spencer with Dixie Phillips
Review by Jennifer at Heavenly Mommy

I must admit, when I first read the title and realized it was a Vietnam story, I didn’t think I was going to like the book. Once I read the first couple pages though, I was hooked!

Mai Spencer touched my heart as I read page after page of her life growing up as a poor Buddhist girl in Vietnam. She nearly lost her life as a young girl when she was exposed to Agent Orange. But that was only the beginning. Spencer was faced with many more obstacles that she was able to overcome over the years.

She ended up finding true love when she met her American husband and moved to the United States with him. The tragedies kept coming though. Three out of her four children died prematurely and that’s what began to lead her to a life with Jesus. Even though Mai was raised in a Buddhist home, she knew that false god wasn’t who was protecting her. Spencer began to cry out to Jesus and she was saved!

Spencer’s love for God was so strong, she even gave up her successful business to return to Vietnam and build a church there. Her and her husband, Dennis, plan to spend the rest of their lives changing the hearts of the Vietnam people to follow Jesus. They are also the founders of Jesus in Vietnam Ministries. You can visit them here.

Mai Spencer demonstrates forgiveness and hope. She is such an inspiration to me and hopefully she will be for you as well.

Buy It!
If you’re ready for your life to be changed, The Son in My Eyes is available for $14.99 at Deep River Books by clicking here.

It is also available on Amazon at a more competitive price by clicking here.

Win It!
Editor's note: Jennifer feels so strongly that this book should be shared, she is giving away a copy of "The Son in My Eyes" over at her Heavenly Mommy blog. Stop by before Sept. 9 at 9pm PST to enter. Thanks Jennifer!
*I received a free copy of this book from Bring it On! Communications for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review in any way. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"A good coming-of-age story & one that I think all of us can relate to."

Watercolor Summer by Nan Corbitt Allen

Review by Erika at Musings From a Stay-At-Home Mom

Kathleen is a young thirteen year old girl dealing with the thoughts and emotions of a young teenager and the additional struggles of having disconnected parents. As she is dragged along to another “artist colony” with her artist mother who is seemingly ignorant of her daughter’s feelings, Kat resigns herself to another long summer. She feels abandoned by her father, who doesn’t care enough to join them, and is angry at her mother for being wrapped up in her own artist world.
Kathleen begins the summer with a bitter attitude and seems determined to not enjoy herself.

She resists efforts in friendship from resident 16 year old, Malcolm, who has Down Syndrome. She could care less about others and runs away at one point, only to stumble into a church camp, who safely returned her home with a Bible. Later, Kat would look back at that as a defining time in her life when the Lord’s hand was clearly apparent in her life.

As the summer continues, so does Kat’s sullenness, but she starts to notice Malcolm’s happy selfless attitude and also that of his eccentric caregiver, Jeanette. Despite her repeated rebuttals, they continue to show her love and friendship and it becomes obvious to Kat that there is something different about them.

Throughout continued family problems with her mom, dad, and grandparents, Kat realizes there is something solid and peaceful about Malcolm and Jeanette.  They had far from ideal lives, yet they lived so differently from her. By the end of the summer, Kat is forced to look deep into her own heart as Malcolm’s health comes into jeopardy.

The author, Nan Corbitt Allen, writes with a candor and style that really paints a deep picture of emotions. It was wonderful to read of Kat’s change of heart. This is a good, coming-of-age story and one that I think all of us can relate to, to some extent or another.

Buy It: You can buy Watercolor Summer on or other retail bookstores.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Ariel & Kit 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.