Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Take the Trophy and Run

I received a copy of Take the Trophy and Run by Gail Sattler from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Like Mitford and Lake Wobegon before that, Bloomfield is a place we could all call home. Here, the residents enjoy a splash fountain in the town square, dine at the "Fancy Schmantsy" on tree-lined Main Street, and dream of reaching the 10,000 population mark -- only 22 more folks to go! 

The Bloomfield Garden Club, an all-ages group of lovable oddballs that will stop at nothing to make everything beautiful, maintains this piece of heaven on earth. But even such idyllic places as this have their share of 
dramatic characters and stories to be told.

Take, for instance, craft store owner Amber Weathersby. She wants to be a member of the garden club but has never received the blessing of a green thumb. Her friend, Stan the mechanic, has helped as much as he can -- even adding a timed sprinkler system to Amber's garden -- but the results never live up to the club's expectations. 

Her only claim to fame with that gang is her semi-famous garden gnome, Gnorman, who gets to hold the prized trophy each year in the Bloomfield Spring Fling contest's winning garden. 

But this year, instead of being the life of the party, her little star is gnomegnapped, and worse, the club's irreplaceable trophy has gone missing with him. While Amber is chasing the gnome around town trying to win the trophy, Stan is chasing Amber, trying to win her heart.

This was an interesting book.  I loved all the situations that Gnorman got into.  Many of the things that Amber went through are situations that I can totally relate to.  Why do we all want to be Super Man and fix everything ourselves?  This story helped me to see that we all need someone to lean on.  Many times that person is right under our nose.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Heaven Changes Everything

I recieved a copy of Heaven Changes Everything Living Every Day with Eternity in Mind by Todd Burpo and Sonja Burpo from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.
Live every day with the hope of heaven!

A shattered leg, kidney stones, and a lump diagnosed as hyperplasia. Times were tough, money was scarce, and the bills and frustrations were piling up. It was into this kind of stressed out life that God sent Todd and Sonja Burpo the interruption of a life-threatening illness and emergency surgery for their almost four-year old son Colton. An interruption that included his unforgettable journey to heaven.

How did they cope? And how can they help us keep thoughts of eternity in mind in the midst of our own overly busy, stressed out lives?

In fifty unique inspirational readings based on excerpts from their story, Todd and Sonja share their family’s responses and reactions to the Heaven Is for Real experience. They answer questions about what it’s like to struggle with and question God, to doubt, even get angry with Him. And offer new insights into what God might be doing with those interruptions he allows into our lives. Each reading closes with a scripture to provide biblical reinforcement of the ideas shared and a take-away thought or action point to help readers incorporate the reading's inspiration into daily life.

Keep the hope of heaven alive in your life. Heaven truly is for real, and it changes everything!

Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo is an extension of the first book, Heaven is For Real. In the first book, Colton Burpo, retells his story of visiting heaven.  If you haven't read Heaven is for Real, I'd really recommend reading that before picking up this devotional. Otherwise, you might feel somewhat lost.

This book has 42 inspirational readings based on excerpts from their first book. The readings share more personal experiences and thoughts based on their story and their lives since sharing Heaven Is For Real. In this book, Sonja shares her perspective as a Mom for the first time. These readings offer more comfort and encouragement for everyday life such as financial difficulty, stress and parenting.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Wedding Renewal in Sweetwater, Texas

I received a copy of A Wedding Renewal in Sweetwater, Texas by Kim O'Brien from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
 Sylvia longs to feel loved and cherished by her husband, Wilson—just like the heroines in the romance novels she reads. After she starts her own campaign to rekindle their marriage, Wilson worries his wife is having some sort of mid-life crisis. Her crazy behavior couldn’t come at a worse time. His business is booming, and he’s up for a big promotion. As Sylvia and Wilson continue to work at cross purposes, their entire life seems to be slipping out of control. Can they muster up the faith to let God revitalize their marriage, or is it already too late?
This book was good but seemed to have an abrupt ending.  I liked that Sylvia and her friends came together to help her be a "Proverbs woman" for her husband.  The situations that Sylvia gets herself into to help get the marriage she wants are very entertaining.  I can totally relate to making plans and having them go very differently than planned.  Like Sylvia I need to trust that things will work out for the better.