Posts Tagged ‘books’

Hi everyone!

I’m so sorry its been forever again! I wanted to let you all know though that I just recently started a new blog called “All Things Novel.” I’ve needed a place for a while now to use strictly for book reviews, so I finally created one! It’s a blog for book lovers of all kinds to hang out and “talk book”!

My first post on a novel about Queen Elizabeth I is already up, so I’d love to see you over at this new blog as well! No worries though-I have some fun plans in mind for The Fear List, and will be back here blogging again soon!

If you’re interested in subscribing to “All Things Novel” check it out at www.allthingsnovel.wordpress.com.

Thank you so much, and I’ll talk to you soon!


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Hello, readers! I have a special treat for you today. (And no, for once, it has nothing to do with fear.) The blog I normally use for book reviews hasn’t been working of late, so I decided to share one here!

Please read on to see what I thought of Sandra Byrd’s The Secret Keeper.

Title: The Secret Keeper

Author: Sandra Byrd

Publisher: Howard Books

Pages: 352

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First there was To Die For: A novel of Anne Boleyn. Now Sandra Byrd returns to regale us with The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.

As King Henry VIII’s last wife, Kateryn Parr enters a world of opposition and intrigue when she steps into his court. The story is told through the eyes of Juliana St. John-a young maiden who has come along to attend Kateryn.

The court may be full of trickery and deceit, but it is Juliana who may hold the biggest secret.

Not only does Juliana have the gift of prophecy, but in one of her visions she has also seen a prominent family friend shredding the dress of a very high-born woman.

Now Juliana is left to wonder: was she brought to the court for such a time as this? Will she have the courage to intervene when the time comes? And will she ever find true love of her own?

Once again, I couldn’t put this book down. I was transported to the very courts of King Henry himself. There was also a huge twist in the middle that completely surprised me.

Before reading The Secret Keeper I knew little of Kateryn Parr, so it was both fun and enlightening to get to know her through Byrd’s adaptation. She was a fascinating woman, and played a large role in the upbringing of Queen Elizabeth I.

Likewise, Juliana also played a strong female character. I especially loved how Byrd gave her the gift of prophecy. That’s something I’d never seen before in fiction, and I felt she made it both relevant and interesting.

The one and only reason I shaved off a star for The Secret Keeper was because I felt as if it was a little too similar to the first book, To Die For. Each book is set in King Henry VIII’s court, each has a queen with strong protestant leanings, and each has a lady’s maid who cannot have the love of her life because of social reasons. Because of the similarity between plots, it came down to a “Favorites” game: which was my personal favorite? For me, it was To Die For. So I feel as though I may be a little biased.

However, I’m confident those who haven’t read To Die For will find nothing to criticize in The Secret Keeper, and there are several variants to keep it interesting and worth reading for those who have.

There is one scene that depicts a rape, so please be advised.

But overall, I thought The Secret Keeper was fabulous. It’s one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, and I eagerly look forward to Byrd’s future installment: Roses Have Thorns: A novel of Elizabeth I.

Based on these first two books, I have a feeling this will be a strong series that readers won’t soon forget!

(Thanks to the author and Howard Books for giving me this book to review.)

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Recently, I talked about the fear of being still. (If you missed that post, you can read it here:https://thefearlist.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/be-still/ ) If you’re constantly busy, feeling depressed and overwhelmed with the to-do list you can never get to the end of, and wanting to go deeper in your spiritual walk, then I’d highly recommend checking out Grace Fox’s book Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women.

To learn more and to find out why, read my review below.  


Title: Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women 

Author: Grace Fox

Publisher: Harvest House

Pages: 286

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with all you have to get done? Felt as if you’d never reach the end of your to-do list? Struggled to catch your breath? Then I can relate.

I received Grace Fox’s book Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women at a time when I felt unbearably busy. There was schoolwork to be done, friends to call and wish a “Happy Birthday” to, blog posts to write, family business to attend to, and oh, yeah, I should probably read my Bible too.

So I drank in the title of her book and eagerly began reading, hoping against all hope that the book itself would deliver on what the title had promised.

To my great delight, it delivered on all that and more!

I literally began each day by reading Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day and it truly became one of the few restful moments of my day. I felt so refreshed and inspired after reading, it quickly became something I looked forward to every morning.

Each devotion was long enough so as to deliver something of value, but short enough that I didn’t feel overwhelmed at the prospect of reading it. Every devotion included an “Upward Gaze” (a prayer to pray), an “Inward Glimpse” (questions to reflect on), an “Outward Glance” (a pre-written prayer to pray for someone else), and “One More Peek” (one final Scripture related to the topic to meditate on).

The devotions were full of personal stories and easy to read. I especially liked the “Outward Glance” sections of the book. At times, it can be difficult to know how or what to pray for our loved ones, and often the “Outward Glance” portion for the day would be exactly what I needed and couldn’t seem to find the words to say.

I’d only recommend this book to two types of people, and they are these: If you are A) busy, or B) a woman.

If either of those things describe you, pick up this book, ladies! You won’t regret it.

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Hey all! I have some exciting news to share today.

A while back, my article “A Sign of Love” was accepted to be published as one of the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters, which officially releases tomorrow, March 13. In celebration of this, I’m giving away one free copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters! The contest is open to anyone and everyone (as long as you’re a citizen of the U.S. or Canada), so feel free to share with your friends!

Says Amazon: “Mothers and daughters. They are, at the same time, very similar and completely unique. This relationship – through birth, childhood, teen years, adulthood, grandchildren, aging, and every step in between – can be the best, the hardest, and the sweetest. Mothers and daughters will laugh, cry, and find inspiration in this collection of stories that remind them of their shared love, appreciation and special bond.”

If you’re looking for some inspiration or a gift for this coming Mother’s Day, consider entering!

Here’s how: Simply share the link to this post by either copying and pasting the link in your browser, or by clicking one of the “share” buttons at the bottom of this post, and help me spread the word! Either share the link to this post on either Facebook, Twitter, or in an e-mail, then leave a comment with your name to enter. The contest is open from now until Thursday night, March 15. A name will be randomly selected from a hat and the winner announced on Friday, March 16. If you are the winner, you will be contacted for a mailing address by Friday night so I can send you your prize.

Thank you for helping me spread the word, and best of luck!

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Today I am very excited to not only be reviewing Grace Fox’s fabulous book Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation, but to also be giving away a free copy to one lucky winner! To enter, simply share the link to this post on either Facebook, Twitter, or in an email, and leave a comment with your name. A name will be randomly selected from a hat, and the winner will be announced a week from today on Monday, February 6. The giveaway is open only to the U.S. and Canada.

Grace’s book is one of the best I’ve read on fear, so you won’t want to miss this chance!

To learn more about the author, read her interview here: http://wp.me/p132LV-nB  or read her guest post here: http://wp.me/p132LV-nX.

My Review:

Title: Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation

Author: Grace Fox

Pages: 256

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Before “meeting” Grace Fox through this blog, I’d never heard of either her or her book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first sat down to read. Was she a good writer? Would it be worth the read?

I can honestly say now on both counts, “Yes.”

Moving From Fear to Freedom addresses several concerns we all worry about such as the fear of personal inadequacy, the fear of facing the ghosts in our past, the fear of rejection, the fear over our family’s well-being, fear for the storms of life, and fear of an unknown future.

At the end of each chapter there were “Points for Progress” (discussion questions), “Promises to Ponder” (Scriptures on the subject), and “Praying the Promises.” Each of these were immensely helpful, but the one I found to be the most transforming was “Praying the Promises.”

It was something I’d never done before, and I found praying Scripture really helped make those particular verses come alive to me in a whole new way. Something about praying the promises God has given to us through Scripture made the verses so much more real and potent to me. For that alone, I’m grateful I found Grace Fox’s book.

To even read Moving From Fear to Freedom was freeing because I gained new perspectives on fears I’d stared at for quite some time. Every chapter offered something of value, and I came away from it feeling encouraged and inspired that, yes, freedom from fear is possible. I also left feeling more equipped to handle fear flare-ups in the future.  

Along with the book, you can also buy the DVD and Study Guide if it’s something you’d like to do with a small group, so that’s helpful as well.

For anyone who struggles with the fears and worries of everyday life, I’d highly recommend this book.

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Please stop by It’s a Wonderful Fiction for a review on the book To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn.

To Die For is the story of Meg Wyatt; trusted confidante and childhood friend to the infamous Anne Boleyn. As Anne rises to power, she makes Meg the mistress of her wardrobe. However, Meg is about to be charged with caring for far more than just clothes: she may become the caretaker of Anne’s very life. In the cruel and fickle court of King Henry the VIII, Meg soon learns the cost of loyalty may come at a higher price than anyone ever imagined.

Add to that an impossible romance fraught with rich but unloved suitors, and you have on your hands a terrific story.

It was a tremendous read, and is now one of my personal favorites. If you love historical fiction, you won’t want to miss this one!

To learn more and catch an interview with the author, stop by www.ireviewchristianbooks.blogspot.com.

Thank you, and I’ll hope to see you there!

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Announcing a new venture! My talented friend Nichole and I have decided to share a book reviewing site. We review pretty much any and all genres of Christian fiction, old and new. When you stop by you can always expect an honest review. If you’re looking for something new to read, we’ll be on the home front letting you know what we enjoyed and what we’d advise you to avoid.

Stop by, check us out, and follow! www.ireviewchristianbooks.com.

I posted my first review yesterday on a book that focuses entirely on fear. Come and see if it’s a book you might like to read!

Thanks so much for your support, and I look forward to seeing you there!

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