Book Review: Diary of a Jackwagon

Diary of a Jackwagon
by
Tim Hawkins

My husband and I have been fans of Tim Hawkins for a few years now, so I was stoked to have the chance to read and review his first book, Diary of a JackwagonWritten in the same style that make his stand up routines so hilariously funny, readers will enjoy this chance to get a sneak peek into Tim’s twisted mind. Those familiar with his comedy may recognize his bits on topics like yoga pants and Christian cuss words, but there is a lot of new material, too. Picking up this book is sure to put a smile on your face and have you busting up laughing.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Waiting for Morning

Waiting for Morning
by
Karen Kingsbury

When Hannah Ryan’s husband and daughter are killed by a drunk driver, her life is forever changed. As she walks through this tragic time in life she questions her faith and wants nothing more than see justice served to the man who took her family from her. Hannah’s grief causes her to become an advocate for MADD, a cause that she throws herself into wholly. Unbeknownst to Hannah, her other daughter Jenny, who survived the fatal accident, is suffering from survivor’s guilt and depression. What Hannah thinks is just teenage moodiness is something much deeper and serious. Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who destroyed the Ryan’s life, is dealing with his own issues after the accident, one poor choice has altered his life forever. His life continues on a downward spiral and he feels hopeless. As Hannah, Jenny and Brian travel through this time of trial in their life, they all must learn that they need to trust in God and his unfailing love. What results is a beautiful tale of grace, love and forgiveness.

Written in a way that is super real and raw, Waiting for Morning is a book that really engages the reader and draws them into the story. Kingsbury deals with the issues of hate, teen suicide, depression, faith, and forgiveness in a way that readers could picture themselves dealing with it. This is a great book, once you start reading it you won’t want to put it down. Just make sure when you to have a box of tissues handy when you start reading. :)

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Get Access to Every ‘Adventures in Odyssey’ Episode Ever!

It’s August, which means it’s nearly time for your kids to pack up their pencils, zip up their backpacks, and hop on the school bus. Aside from prepping them for their new teachers, new classes, or maybe even a new school, it’s important to prep their faith. Sign your whole family up for Adventures in Odyssey‘s Odyssey Adventure Club for a special price of $9.99/month. The club is an essential tool to teach your children to share their faith at school, to be bold, and to grow in their relationship with God.

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Join during the month of August for $9.99/month, and you’ll receive these benefits for being a member:

  • Unlimited streaming of Adventures in Odyssey library (800 episodes) retail value over $1,500 USD
  • New monthly exclusive episodes
  • Monthly Web Quests
  • Monthly Clubhouse magazine subscription (U.S. Residents Only)
  • Daily devotions based on Adventures in Odyssey episodes
  • OAC monthly member newsletter
  • OAC exclusive video stories
  • Animated Odyssey videos, Last Chance Detectives, and more!

Spend the last few weeks of summer vacation with your kids listening to Adventures in Odyssey episodes and build their faith!

Ready to join? Head over to the website and sign up today!

Book Review: Crazy Little Thing Called Love

This review is part of a blog tour. To see what others are saying about the book, click here.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love
by
Beth K Vogt

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a book by Beth K. Vogt, so I was glad to have the opportunity to review her latest novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love. In this new book, we meet Vanessa Hollister, a newly engaged paramedic. When her super practical fiance insists on planning their wedding around a medical conference in Vanessa’s “hometown” of Destin, Florida, she must wrestle with a past she thought she’d left behind for good. While on a solo wedding planning trip back to Destin, Vanessa comes face to face with her past and her ex-husband, Logan. She’s forced to deal with emotions that come bubbling to the surface when she and Logan end up at the same shelter during a hurricane. When she finds feelings she thought were gone still lurking under the surface, she’s got a difficult choice to make.

This was a great summer read, it would be a perfect book to pack in your bag on your next trip to the beach or the pool. Even at 352 pages, it’s a quick book to read.  The storyline is engaging, the characters are fun and it’s set at the beach, what more could you ask for?

 I look forward to reading more books in Vogt’s Destination Wedding series.

To read the first chapter of Crazy Little Thing Called Love, click here.


Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Longing for Paris

Longing for Paris
by
Sarah Mae

When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew it was something I needed to read. Here’s what I read that drew me in:

For anyone who has ever daydreamed of another life . . .

Most days, you wouldn’t trade what you have for the world. You love your husband and your kids, and you are grateful to God for your life. But there are days when you feel as though life is rolling over you in waves and you are just going through the motions. You find yourself aching for something more, something that is calling to depths of who you are, maybe for something you can’t even name.

For Sarah Mae, it was Paris, a place that is known for breathtaking beauty, inspiring art, and exquisite food. But as she searched her heart, she found there was more to her longings than she anticipated.

Join Sarah Mae in Longing for Paris, a soul-searching, light-filled journey for the woman who knows she can’t uproot her life to discover herself and her longings, but who desperately wants to uncover them so she can get unstuck and choose a life that is filled with beauty, adventure, and deep joy . . . right where she is.

This book did not disappoint!  With quotes such as:

“God cares about our dreams, because He cares about us.”

and

“Our bents, our personalities, our skill sets are not accidents. God put them into us for His glory and purposes. To not accept how God made us would be to deny His glory.”

Sarah Mae helps readers to realize that the longings within us are not something we should see as weaknesses or things to be ashamed of, they are God-given. They are reminder that we are made for so much more than what this earth holds.

Using her longing for all things Paris as the basis for this book, Sarah Mae gives her readers advice and encouragement on how to find their own little bits of Paris in their everyday life.  Each chapter ends with a section entitled “Unearthing Your Longings” that give readers practical advice on how to discover and indulge in their longings throughout everyday life along with some scriptures to meditate on. Also at the end of each chapter is an “Invitation to Paris” which invites readers to do something fun and adventurous with a Parisian twist; anything from finding the best croissant in town to watching a French movie or splurging on French soap.

The biggest thing I took away from this book was that my longings are not a secret to God, he has created them within me.  I don’t need to feel ashamed of longing for beautiful things, my God has created me for those and for so much more. Now my job is to figure out ways to incorporate them into my daily life through little adventures and splurges. This book hold some practical advice and encouragement to do just that.

Your longing may not be for Paris, but don’t let that stop you from picking up a copy and learning about ways you can incorporate your soul’s longings into every day life.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: The First Family Detail

The First Family Detail
by
Ronald Kessler

Based on the blurb on the back cover of this book, I expected this book to contain stories about things Secret Service agents had witnessed while on duty.  This book holds quite a few of those stories as well as accounts of the ways the Secret Service is putting our leaders in dangerous situations due to budget cuts and issues in upper level management. I went into this book expected an inside look at some of our leaders and their families, but I was also made aware to problems that exist within the Secret Service and the culture these problems create. The book is easy to read and very informative, but not quite what I expected. The last chapter of this book, as well as the epilogue, come across as a scathing review of the way the Secret Service operates.  It’s not something I was expecting to stumble upon as I finished the book. That being said, I did enjoy getting a small peek into the private lives of some of this nation’s leaders.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Join Odyssey Adventure Club for a Summer Challenge

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Summer . . . a time that kids pine for during the school year and parents may anticipate with something akin to dread. Fearing refrains of “I’m bored” or hours spent on the couch playing video games can make moms and dads nervous about the long, hot months stretching before their family. Focus on the Family’s Odyssey Adventure Club offers an answer, encouraging parents and kids to embrace faith and fun with the Take the Plunge Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse magazine’s Summer Challenge.

Take the Plunge

The Take the Plunge challenge features:

  • Master Mind Monday — commit God’s Word to memory
  • Ways to Play Wednesday — spend active time with your family
  • Faith Sharing Friday — share God’s love with others

The Take the Plunge challenge helps families memorize at least five verses, engage in five activities together and share their faith with five people before the school doors swing open again. Those who sign up will receive an 11-week plan with suggested verses to memorize, activity ideas (such as visiting a war memorial) and ways to witness (such as passing out popsicles at the park with an invitation to your church), making this challenge the perfect tool for parents who want summer to be a time of spiritual and social stimulation for their kids.

“Research tells us that the more senses we involve when teaching children a principle, the more likely it is to stick,” Plugged In editor and Adventures in Odyssey podcast host Bob Smithouser says. “Bible memorization by itself is great, but it becomes even more powerful when put into action. Know it. Share it. Live it.”

Families who sign up to take part in the challenge at www.whitsend.org/summer will have access to weekly verses to memorize, ideas for family fun and suggestions for service projects that allow a family to share their faith. Additionally, anyone who signs up to participate in the Take the Plunge challenge will receive a free scene from the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, as well as a free story from the book Strange Journey Back.