Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits

Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
– from Amazon’s website


I personally didn’t really like this book. I didn’t like the writing style and don’t remember much of what was said. I found the writing style to be more of an abstract thing which I didn’t like. I also didn’t do the group study questions but when I looked at them afterward, they probably would have been a good idea to go through even though I read the book by myself. They would have been more helpful than just reading the chapters and I probably would have remembered more of what I read.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Moving Target by Lynette Eason

When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don’t show up for Quinn’s surprise birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy just decided to take off for a long overdue vacation. But it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord.

Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it’s not long before she realizes she’s in the clutches of a madman exacting revenge by hunting. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives, hoping to find their killer before the next game begins. Because if they don’t win this game, they die. – from author’s website.


I was happy to finally get to see Quinn and Maddy’s story after reading about them in the first and second book in this series. It was suspenseful from the first chapter and I was always wondered what would happen next. It reminded me a little of the short story The Dangerous Game we had to read in school where the person was hunting humans. I had an inkling for who the bad guy was, but I wasn’t able to figure out exactly who it was until the end. I enjoyed trying to figure out who was the one behind it and how there were hints to lead you in a certain direction but never gave away who it was until the end. Eason wrote another mesmerizing suspenseful romance with an excellent blend of the two.

Your Cholesterol Matters by Dr. Richard Furman

85 percent of people over the age of 50 have significant artery blockage without any symptoms.

Two-thirds of the time, the initial symptom is a full-blown heart attack.

Doctors routinely tell patients to watch their diet, get regular exercise, and lose weight. They also increasingly prescribe “cholesterol lowering” drugs that patients will take every day for the rest of their lives. The pill makes us feel like we’re doing something, so we slack off in our goals for a healthier lifestyle. To make matters worse, the pill solves only a portion of the problem, giving us a false sense of security.

Dr. Richard Furman wants you to know that you don’t have to pin your health hopes on expensive medications that only address a small part of the cholesterol puzzle (and often have negative health-impacting side effects). In this practical guide to better health, he offers specific strategies to

· lower your levels of “lethal” LDL cholesterol
· raise your levels of “hero” HDL cholesterol
· develop new habits that make healthy living easy and natural
· adjust your lifestyle in order to stay off of expensive medications
· and more

Your aging process depends on the health of your arteries. Dr. Furman’s advice will not only give you extra years but, even more important, it will improve the quality of those years, beginning today.
– from publisher’s website


This book has some good points, but I didn’t really like the writing style. I found Furman simplified things too much and came off a little condescending. I felt like he had a superior air about him when talking about people’s choices and how he makes the correct one but most people make the wrong ones. He kept mentioning the medical research, but I found that he didn’t give the medical research, instead he talked specifically about his practice and his experiences. Personally, I would have liked if he had actually used the research and maybe used his practice and experiences to further explain it.

For the Record by Regina Jennings

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Rather than Wait for a Hero, She Decided to Create One

Betsy Huckabee has big-city dreams, but nobody outside of tiny Pine Gap, Missouri, seems interested in the articles she writes for her uncle’s newspaper. Her hopes for independence may be crushed, until the best idea she’s ever had comes riding into town.

Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but unfair circumstances have made moving to Pine Gap his only shot at keeping a badge. Worse, this small town has big problems, and masked marauders have become too comfortable taking justice into their own hands. He needs to make clear that he’s the law in this town–and that job is made more difficult with a nosy reporter who seems to follow him everywhere he goes.

The hero Betsy creates to be the star in a serial for the ladies’ pages is based on the dashing deputy, but he’s definitely fictional. And since the pieces run only in newspapers far away, no one will ever know. But the more time she spends with Deputy Puckett, the more she appreciates the real hero–and the more she realizes what her ambition could cost him. – from author’s website


The suspense was a little flat but it wasn’t the main focus. The romance between Joel and Betsy was the main focus and I enjoyed the banter and dynamic between the two of them. It was easy to feel along with the two of them and understand their motivation behind some of what they did. It was a cute little romance with some suspense, but it didn’t have much substance to it. I was a little disappointed with the ending because it was hyping up to lead to a head but it never really lived up to the hype.

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

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Harry Houdni’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926— Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage. – from author’s website


This book was a lot more suspenseful than Cambron’s other books. I was a little disappointed there wasn’t the weaving of two different stories like in her other books. There were several flashbacks that gained a peak into Wren’s life when she was younger. However, because there wasn’t the weaving of two different stories together, it allowed me to get deeper entwined in the one. It was set in an intriguing era and setting and kind of made me wish I could have experienced Houdini’s illusions and the vaudeville era when illusions were that much more astounding because almost everything you saw was new before it became mainstream. I loved the illusions and that most of the illusions remained as such. The intriguing time period and setting, as well as the intriguing characters, left me satisfied at the end.

Because You’re Mine by Colleen Coble

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Alanna has been plagued by tragedy. So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.

When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can’t lose the last piece of Liam she has left.

Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry’s family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.

To make matters worse, Liam’s best friend survived the car bomb. She’s never really liked Jesse and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear.

But then things start happening. Things that could easily cost Alanna her life—or the life of her unborn child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?
– from author’s website


This book was different than any other romantic suspense book I’ve read. Unfortunately, I can’t say much about why because it would give things away. I’ll say this though, that things aren’t as they seem. At first, I didn’t really like it and was frustrated about not getting the point of view of the one character and the characters were oblivious or making excuses for things. But once I figured out what was happening, I was excited to see how it would end and how things would be revealed to the characters. Some of the Irish wording and phrasing made it a little harder to get into but made it more authentic. I found it an interesting story that was very different from anything I’ve read. The romance was different from what I was expecting and was as big of a focal point as I thought it would be. I enjoyed the suspense as normal in Colleen Coble’s books.

Alive in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer

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Is the Holy Spirit Active in Your Life?

Many people look to extraordinary experiences as evidence of the Holy Spirit. But what happens when the experience ends? How can we be filled with the Spirit every day in the ordinary things we do?

In never-before-published material taken from A.W. Tozer’s sermons, Alive in the Spirit answers these questions and, in a balanced perspective, explores what the Spirit’s involvement in your life should look like.

Many talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but few accept God’s conditions. Tozer lays down these requirements in his trademark bold and wise way. Though every Christian has the Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. Knowing the difference will change your life.
– from publisher’s website


This book was a little different than I was expecting. I found that it was more a call to be alive in the Holy Spirit than a practical guide to reach it. In the later chapters, it gave a few practical steps, but it was more a call to revival instead. It was more philosophical but was fairly simple to understand. Some of my favorite quotes from the book were:

“We will never get anywhere unless the Holy Spirit has the authority to convict us so that He might bring us into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and a steady walk with Him” (p. 84-85).

“I have endeavored to point out that there are certain gifts and talents, but there are some that come like fruit, and the tree does not cultivate the fruit; the farmer does” (p.140).

“Some people have not wept an honest tear for anybody in distress, but they will weep while there is somebody sitting at a desk somewhere in the studio making believe they are in trouble” (p.171-172).

I really enjoyed the book because it made me think about how I live and what I think about the Holy Spirit. It was thought-provoking and challenging.

8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS by Fiona McCulloch

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal condition in women. It affects 10-15% of women worldwide, causing infertility, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, hirsutism, acne, and hair loss.

PCOS is a condition that varies from woman to woman – each experiencing her own unique presentation. There are numerous women who have been told “You can’t have PCOS – you don’t fit the typical description!” or “Just lose weight, and you’ll be fine”. This book will dispel those harmful myths and dive deep into the science underlying the mysteries of PCOS.

“8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS” is a natural medicine encyclopedia for PCOS, including the newest research and discoveries about PCOS and detailed information on treatment options.

In this book, Dr. Fiona introduces the new concept of 8 key health factors that must be addressed for restoration of health in women with PCOS. 8 Steps to Reverse your PCOS will give you the tools to identify which of the 8 PCOS factors are present in your body through quizzes, signs and symptoms, and key lab tests.

You’ll be empowered to be the heroine of your own health story with the help of this unique, step-by-step natural medicine system to heal PCOS. – from author’s website


For those who have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or have the symptoms of PCOS, this is an excellent resource. It is very informative and fairly easy to understand. She uses some medical language but explains what she means in a way most people will understand. Dr. Fiona McCulloch addresses every aspect that affects women with PCOS and gives steps that work to improve symptoms and explains how it helps with the symptoms. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and because of how informative and easy to understand it was, I bought a copy so I could refer to it in the future.

The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson

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Perfect for readers who want a heartwarming and hopeful Christmas story

Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club–enjoying one another’s company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they’re sure that without her the group can’t continue.

When the group gathers “one last time” to open a bag Abby’s husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas Angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way–little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever. – from author’s website


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was a nice little story of how four friends challenged themselves to be angels to other people around the Christmas season after the friend who held them together dies unexpectedly. The book is a fairly quick read because it doesn’t go deep into each person’s story. You get a surface version of their stories with a little sprinkling of depth. Even with the topic of the book, it was a cozy read with everyone having a happy ending.

Twilight at Blueberry Barrens by Colleen Coble

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“I need you to keep these girls safe . . .”

Kate Mason has devoted herself to caring for her family’s blueberry barrens. But after her fields stop producing fruit, she’s forced to come up with alternative ways to make a living.

Renting out the small cottage on her property seems an obvious choice, but it won’t be enough. When entrepreneur Drake Newham shows up looking not only for a place to rent but also for a nanny for his two nieces, it’s almost too good to be true. And maybe it is—because Drake brings with him dangerous questions about who might be out to kill his family.

The more time Kate spends with Drake and the girls, the more difficult it becomes to hide her attraction to him. But a family crisis isn’t exactly the ideal time to pursue a romance.

Meanwhile, Kate learns that her uncle—in prison for murder—has escaped. Add to that a local stalker who won’t leave her alone, and Kate is looking over her shoulder at every turn. With threats swirling from multiple directions, she wonders if her blueberry fields will ever flourish again . . . or if this twilight is her last.

Set on the beautiful coast of Maine, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens brings together suspense, romance, and the hope that one day new life will come again. – from author’s website


I always enjoy Colleen Coble’s books for the blend between romance and suspense. This one was no different and I really enjoyed that there were several suspects and how the suspense tied together. Colleen Coble has a way of writing characters that get under your skin and you can’t help but root for them especially if you’ve followed them for a whole series. I enjoyed seeing characters from previous books and finally getting Kate’s story. Sunset Cove is a place that makes you want to visit in real life. As far as the characters go, I could see a little bit of myself in the main characters and could understand the fear of relationships both Kate and Drake had. Overall, it was an enjoyable, sweet romantic suspense.