Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cookbook Review: The Blender Girl by Tess Masters

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607746433/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1607746433&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=U26JXMXNBCT4EKKJ
About the book:
The debut cookbook from the powerhouse blogger behind theblendergirl.com, featuring 100 gluten-free, vegan recipes for smoothies, meals, and more made quickly and easily in a blender.
What’s your perfect blend?

On her wildly popular recipe blog, Tess Masters—aka, The Blender Girl—shares easy plant-based recipes that anyone can whip up fast in a blender. Tess’s lively, down-to-earth approach has attracted legions of fans looking for quick and fun ways to prepare healthy food. In The Blender Girl, Tess’s much-anticipated debut cookbook, she offers 100 whole-food recipes that are gluten-free and vegan, and rely on natural flavors and sweeteners. Many are also raw and nut-, soy-, corn-, and sugar-free.

Smoothies, soups, and spreads are a given in a blender cookbook, but this surprisingly versatile collection also includes appetizers, salads, and main dishes with a blended component, like Fresh Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce, Twisted Caesar Pleaser, Spicy Chickpea Burgers with Portobello Buns and Greens, and I-Love-Veggies! Bake. And even though many of Tess’s smoothies and shakes taste like dessert—Apple Pie in a Glass, Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake, or Tastes-Like-Ice- Cream Kale, anyone?—her actual desserts are out-of this-world good, from Chocolate-Chile Banana Spilly to Flourless Triple-Pecan Mousse Pie and Chai Rice Pudding. Best of all, every recipe can easily be adjusted to your personal taste: add an extra squeeze of this, another handful of that, or leave something out altogether— these dishes are super forgiving, so you can’t mess them up.

Details on the benefits of soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating; proper food combining; and eating raw, probiotic-rich, and alkaline ingredients round out this nutrient-dense guide. But you don’t have to understand the science of good nutrition to run with The Blender Girl—all you need is a blender and a sense of adventure. So dust off your machine and get ready to find your perfect blend.

My rating:
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Interview & Giveaway! June McCrary Jacobs | Author of A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom!

 

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, June!! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

June:  Hi, Melanie. Thanks for inviting me to share with your readers. I’m an author, sewing designer, and freelance technical editor living in the San Joaquin Valley of California. My debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom,’ was released on October 8, 2013, by Cedar Fort Inc. The book won Cedar Fort’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest. I like to blog about sewing, books, and my other adventures.  

1.)  What is your novel, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’, about?

June:  The novel opens with a first grade girl, Mary Noel Simmons, being hit by a car. Tragically, her little dog, Cocoa, dies in the accident. Even though Mary Noel suffers some serious physical injuries, the most worrisome injury is the trauma she experiences in losing her best friend—little Cocoa. She withdraws from her parents, doctors, and teacher, and exists in silence for a few weeks.

In an effort to help Mary Noel’s family with her astronomical medical bills, the girl’s first grade teacher, Amber Kellen, and Mary Noel’s father’s employee, Paul Watkins, work together to organize a fundraiser called ‘Angels for Mary Noel’. The Apple Blossom community pulls together to help this family in need, and the fundraiser is an overwhelming success.

Mary Noel begins the healing process by speaking again to the relief of her parents and everyone else in the community. As an added bonus, Amber and Paul form a very special bond—so there is a dash of romance in this holiday tale. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll stop my summary here.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1462113524/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1462113524&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=XKP5333WUV7JL4PQ2.)  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

June:  I’ve loved to read and write since before I was in Kindergarten. When I was in sixth grade I decided I wanted to write a book when I ‘grew up’. My declaration about my goal was, sadly, met with very little enthusiasm from the adults in my life. With patience and encouragement from my husband and friends, I worked on my writing as the years passed. It took me a while to reach my goal, but I’m very glad I persevered. 

3.)  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0076DDGIW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0076DDGIW&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=OTGTBF3VLIEUUGLH
About the book:
THE SANCTUARY is the gripping story of vigilante priest, Danny Hansen, who is now serving a fifty year prison term in California for the murder of two abusive men. Filled with remorse, Danny is determined to live out his days by a code of non-violence and maneuvers deftly within a ruthless prison system.

But when Renee Gilmore, the woman he loves, receives a box containing a bloody finger and draconian demands from a mysterious enemy on the outside, Danny must find a way to escape.

They are both drawn into a terrifying game of life and death. If Renee fails, the priest will die; if Danny fails, Renee will die. And the body count will not stop at two.

THE SANCTUARY is Ted Dekker at his best, a powerful thriller that relentlessly plumbs the depths of punishment and rehabilitation, both in a flawed corrections system and in the human heart.
My rating:
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Weekly Giveaway Link-up #53

Welcome to Weekly Giveaway Link-up hosted by Crystal @ Just Another Book Lovin' Girl and me. This is a linky where you can submit your blog's Christian book and book-related giveaways and find other giveaways. A new link-up will be posted every Monday.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1601425902/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1601425902&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=WNDA2LOA3MI5ILJP
About the book:
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong

Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the fa├žade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

My rating:
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Jaye L. Knight | Author of Resistance!

 
 
 photo JayeAuthorPhoto_zps07af0a22.jpgWelcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Jaye!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 

Thank you so much for having me! I’m a single girl in my mid-twenties. I’ve been a full time author for a couple of years now. That takes up most of my time, though I do run a jewelry shop on Etsy on the side. I was homeschooled K-12, which was excellent in fostering my love for writing. I’m not sure if I would have pursued it seriously if I hadn’t been homeschooled and had the time. I’m a Wisconsin country girl. I love everything about the outdoors, except for winter. They don’t call it the Frozen Tundra up here for nothing. It’s been COLD. This time of year I hole up inside and don’t set foot outside unless I have absolutely to.

What is your novel, Resistance, about?

Resistance is the first book of a new adult, Christian fantasy series called Ilyon Chronicles, which will have six books total. It mostly centers around two main characters—Jace, a half-blooded former slave/gladiator who struggles with his mixed blood and whether or not he has a soul, and then Kyrin, a young woman who has a perfect memory and struggles with the demands of society. Though it’s fantasy, parts of it have an almost dystopian feel. I also tied in a lot of historical inspiration, especially from ancient Rome, since I’m also a big history buff. This is the book’s logline.

When a cunning emperor threatens the lives of any who refuse to worship his false gods, a half-blood haunted by his bloodstained past and a young woman with a perfect memory must overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KFXB1IM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00KFXB1IM&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=NLZTYHBVIHIETN6CWhen did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I started out writing when I was eight years old. My mom is also an author. Seeing her writing and collecting old magazine photos for her characters must have looked really fun to me so I had to try it. I was fourteen when I decided I actually wanted to pursue writing seriously. It was just after the first time I read The Lord of the Rings. I wanted to write and share stories like Tolkien.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Found by Shelley Shepard Gray


www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062089757/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062089757&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=HO2RUW7LZCMQQVWF
About the book:
A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive?

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.  

Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?
My rating:
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Overwhelmed by Perry Noble


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E1O6VG8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00E1O6VG8&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=WZS75RDL2QWLXXKL
About the book:
Stressed out? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Good news—you’re not alone!

No one ever said life was going to be easy. Between financial struggles, marital issues, health scares, and the regular, run-of-the-mill problems of everyday life, it’s easy to feel weighed down and trapped by your circumstances. In times like these, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel and quit. Well, don’t do it!

Perry Noble has stood at the edge of the abyss himself, and in Overwhelmed, he shares the keys to unlocking the chains of anxiety and despair once and for all. Building on the premise that when we shift our focus from our circumstances to Christ, everything changes, Perry walks readers through a life-altering plan for overcoming stress, worry, depression, and anxiety so we can be free to enjoy the abundant, joy-filled lives we were created for.

God knows we’re frustrated. He knows we’re tired. He knows we’re struggling. But He also knows how things are going to turn out. He is greater than anything you are going through . . . so don’t give up on God. After all, He’s never given up on you.
My rating:
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Giveaway Link-up #52

Welcome to Weekly Giveaway Link-up hosted by Crystal @ Just Another Book Lovin' Girl and me. This is a linky where you can submit your blog's Christian book and book-related giveaways and find other giveaways. A new link-up will be posted every Monday.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up (January 16)


Weekend Wrap-up is where I share what I read this past week, am currently reading, and hope to read this coming week, and (when applicable) the current giveaways/giveaway winners. Occasionally I'll post some other stuff as well. Be sure to follow my Pinterest boards "Free Kindle Books" and "Book Deals" to see the good deals/freebies I share about. :)

Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Wrap-up on your blog/site (if you do, please leave the link in a comment so I can stop by) or, in a comment, share what you've accomplished (reading-wise) this past week. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Heather Blanton | Author of Hearts in Defiance!


 photo heather_blanton_zps4cc9bc2f.jpgWelcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Heather!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 
            I grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina and still consider the Blue Ridge Mountains God’s country. I write historical fiction, love every Western ever made, but I am a big Trekkie. I’m still recovering from Gunsmoke getting cancelled. My favorite authors are Lous L’amour, Edgar Allen Poe, Francine Rivers and Tamara Leigh. In a short conversation with me,  two important facts emerge pretty quickly: I am a proud Christian and I love cowboy boots! I am a study in profound conundrums and contrasts.
 
What is your novel, Hearts in Defiance, about?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1500914665/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1500914665&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=OT7MVRZZU6LZZ5LV
            MEN MAKE MISTAKES. GOD WILL FORGIVE THEM. WILL THEIR WOMEN?

Charles McIntyre built the lawless, godless mining town of Defiance practically with his bare hands ... and without any remorse for the lives he destroyed along the way. Then a glimpse of true love, both earthly and heavenly, changed him. The question is, how much? Naomi Miller is a beautiful, decent woman. She says she loves McIntyre, that God does, too, and the past is behind them now. But McIntyre struggles to believe he's worth saving ... worth loving. Unfortunately, the temptations in Defiance only reinforce his doubts.

Billy Page abandoned Hannah Frink when he discovered she was going to have his baby ... and now he can't live with himself. Or without her. Determined to prove his love, he leaves his family and fortune behind and journeys to Defiance. Will Hannah take Billy back or give him what he deserves for the betrayal?

Gritty and realistic, this is the story of real life and real faith in Defiance.
 
 photo 17472832_zps37ccfbb8.jpgWhen did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
            When I was five or so, the cartoon “Funky Phantom” ended and I didn’t want it to. So I told the next chapter to my mom and she typed it up for me. I was hooked!
 
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekly Giveaway Link-up #51

Welcome to Weekly Giveaway Link-up hosted by Crystal @ Just Another Book Lovin' Girl and me. This is a linky where you can submit your blog's Christian book and book-related giveaways and find other giveaways. A new link-up will be posted every Monday.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up (January 9) & Giveaway Winner!


Weekend Wrap-up is where I share what I read this past week, am currently reading, and hope to read this coming week, and (when applicable) the current giveaways/giveaway winners. Occasionally I'll post some other stuff as well. Be sure to follow my Pinterest boards "Free Kindle Books" and "Book Deals" to see the good deals/freebies I share about. :)

Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Wrap-up on your blog/site (if you do, please leave the link in a comment so I can stop by) or, in a comment, share what you've accomplished (reading-wise) this past week. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Interview & Giveaway! Rachel Skatvold ~ Author of Beauty Within!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Rachel!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 

Thank you for having me today. I’m a follower of Jesus, stay at home mom, blogger and writer of Christian romance from the Midwest. I’m happily married to my wonderful husband of seven years and we have two sweet boys that are one and four. They keep me pretty busy but they are such a blessing.

What is your novel, Beauty Within, about?

Beauty Within is the first novella in the three part, Riley Family Legacy Series. This contemporary Christian love story unfolds with a young widow returning to her hometown in search of a new beginning with her two young children. Meanwhile, a handsome police officer from the city is on the run from dark shadows in his past. Will this unlikely pair be able to move past their circumstances and discover the Beauty Within God’s plan? Readers can click here to read the full summary.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NLVRWIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00NLVRWIS&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=IZH5JILCQCJLKJB2When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

My love for reading and writing started when I was very young. However, I never dreamed about publishing anything until my junior year of college. At the time, I thought I wanted to be a teacher but changed my major after realizing how much time I would have to spend away from my two year old son. Soon after, I started writing my first full length novel, Enduring the Flames. This novel is not published yet but I’m hopeful that it will be soon.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 

I enjoy listening to Christian music while I write but each novel seems to have its own sound track. It’s never the same artist. For example, while writing my first novel, which is about a young Christian music artist, I listened to a lot of Kristian Stanfill songs.

Where do you like to write? 

I have a writing desk in my living room, which I used mostly when my kids are taking a nap. However, most of the time I end up writing in my favorite chair whenever there is a free moment.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

As a stay at home mom, most of my day is spent with my kids. I love that I have the privilege of staying home and taking care of them while they are young. I also enjoy singing, reading and camping with my family.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=91081&picture=tent-campingWhat is your favorite genre to read and why?

I love Christian romance, whether it’s contemporary or historical. I’ve always been a romantic at heart, so I enjoy reading love stories as long as they are sweet and squeaky clean.

What is your least favorite genre to read?

That’s a hard one since I read a large range of genres. I’m a social butterfly when it comes to books. However, I think I’d have to say thrillers or anything paranormal. I don’t reading something that will give me nightmares.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet? 

Great question! It’s hard to pick just one but I’d have to say, Australia. I love a good adventure.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 

I love Mathew 5:14, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” It is the theme verse for my blog, Learning to Shine.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

Right now my favorite song is He Knows My Name by Francesca Battestelli. Actually, I love all of her music.

Ooooh! I love that song! What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas!

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?

Fall has always been my favorite because I love sweater weather and the changing leaves. My birthday also falls in October so that’s another plus.

Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms?  Thunderstorms
Chocolate or Vanilla?  Definitely chocolate … yum!
Tea or Coffee?  Iced Tea
Call or Text?  Text … unless I have a lot to talk about
Cats or Dogs?  Both!
Early-bird or Night-owl?  Night-owl … who whoo!  I get most of my writing done while the kids are asleep.
Introvert or Extrovert?  Introvert
Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook
Mystery or Romance?  Romance, as long as it’s squeaky clean!
Sneakers or Sandals?  Sandals or Flip flops

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 

Yes! Thank you for asking. I’m currently working on the second installment of the Riley Family Legacy Novellas. It is called Beauty Unveiled and will be released in early April. I’m so excited to continue this series.

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

Thank you for having me. It’s been fun. For the readers: I have a rafflecopter giveaway for an eBook copy of Beauty Within, so don’t forget to enter. Also, I would love to connect with you through the links below. God bless!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Buried by Elizabeth Goddard


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0373446454/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0373446454&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=WLMDKIGZP3VET4WR
About the book:
NOWHERE TO HIDE

Fleeing to Alaska is the only option for Leah Marks after witnessing a murder. Afraid for her life, the legal investigator hopes a remote cabin will be a safe shelter. But the killer has tracked her to Mountain Cove. As he chases her into snow-packed Dead Falls Canyon, an avalanche buries them both. Saved by daring search and rescue specialist  Cade Warren, Leah longs to tell him the truth. But how can she, without bringing even more danger into Cade's life? Especially when they discover the killer is very much alive and waiting to take them both down.

Mountain Cove: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide
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