Thursday, December 29, 2016

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix


Of Stillness and Storm (Thomas Nelson, December 2016)
“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”
It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
Michèle Phoenix


Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.
Find out more about Michèle at

My take:  This book takes a look at a rare situation of a missionary spouse not being fully invested.  It takes a look at a wife who is a reluctant to be a missionary while her husband is the almost the perfect missionary.  She doesn't get the support that she needs in her marriage and as a parent as they have a 13 year old son who is a very reluctant participant and he becomes very depressed.  I can understand a bit as I am a preacher's kid and my dad wasn't home much as he was always at a meeting or visiting or some other ministry but he wasn't gone for weeks at a time.  But on the other hand my husband is a truck driver and was gone for weeks at a time during our children's young years.  Anyway all that to say that even though ministry is important your first ministry is to your family.  This is a good book that will make you think and make you feel for the characters. 

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinions. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Reading Goals

Here are my reading goals for 2017

1 read more of my books I already own
2. Take fewer books for review
3. Read 1 physical book a week
    Read 2 ebook every 2 weeks
    Read 1 audiobook a month
4. read books in series that I have already started and not start as many new series
5. write more reviews of books as I finish them.
6. do more book reviews on my youtube channel.  Malinda Detweiler.
7. Do more tbrs and book hauls on this blog.

My year in book 2016

This year I read 65 books.  I don't think I will get any more finished before the end of the year.

Here are the top 16 books that I read in 2016.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)

Winter by Marissa Meyer

A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

Zoo 2 by James Patterson

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

15th Affair by James Patterson

Alight by Scott Sigler

Arena by Holly Jennings

Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Everland by Wendy Spinale

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband by Elizabeth George

Here are the books that were my least favorite books of the year.

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
I gave this 2 stars

The rest of these I gave 3 stars.

Centralia by Mike Dellosso

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Silent Night, Deadly Night by Richard L. Mabry

Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase

The Remnant by Monte Wolverton

The Hanging Tree by Michael Phillip Cash

Rx Murder by Richard L. Mabry

Murder Mezzo Forte by Donn E. Taylor

Raven by Stacey Rourke

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

Locke & Key, Vol. 1 by Joe Hill

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

I read 18 Audio Books , 10 ebooks, and 37 physical books
I read a total of 20,320 pages
The shortest book was 48 pages, the longest was 980, average book length was 323 pages
My goal for this year was 50 books and since I read 65  I completed the year at 130%.

Waiting for Wonder by Marlo Schalesky


Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timeline (Abingdon Press, November 2016)
What if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
It’s easy to believe God when a promise is new. It’s hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It’s even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well. Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God’s character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.
Waiting for Wonder is a journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God’s true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God’s time.
Leader guide also available.
Marlo Schalesky


Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of ten books, including “Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey Through the Life of Mary.” A regular speaker and columnist, she has also published nearly 1,000 articles in various Christian magazines, including “Focus on the Family,” “Today’s Christian Woman,” “In Touch,” and “Marriage Partnership.” Marlo lives with her husband, six young children, nine horses, two dogs, five cats, two parakeets, ten rabbits, two chinchillas, three hamsters, and a bunch of fish in a log home in Salinas, California.
Find out more about Marlo at

My take:  It is so hard to wait.  But imagine that you were Sarah in the Bible and God had promised you that you would birth a nation but years and years went by and you were well past the time of having a baby. Would you wait patiently for God to fulfill His promise or would you start doubting like Sarah and think that you need to take matters into your own hands.  This is a great book that helps during the waiting times with God.  Remember that His timing is not our timing.  

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

fFatal Frost (Defenders of Justice #1)

From Mehl Ramps Up the Suspense in This Brand-New U.S. Marshals Series 
Mercy Brennan followed in her father's footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she's assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis's most powerful gang.
When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent--a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy's ex-boyfriend--to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety.
Initially unaware of the danger she's in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy's frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn't until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive--if help is even coming at all?

My take:  I really enjoyed this book.  I did figure out one of the surprises towards the beginning of the book but it didn't ruin the book for me.  There was plenty of action  and suspense.  I liked the way that Mercy changed throughout the book.  I look forward to reading the next book in this series.  

I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pray A to Z by Amelia Rhodes


Pray A to Z: Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy, November 2016)
Change the world one prayer at a time.
How would our community change if instead of absently saying, “I’ll pray for you,” we actually did pray–deeply, intensely, and purposefully?
Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father.
With compassion and encouragement, Amelia Rhodes offers Bible verses and prayer prompts, organized topically for every letter of the alphabet. There are five topics per letter–three prayers of petition asking God to work in a certain area of need, and two more prayers of praise to reflect gratitude for God’s presence in the daily issues and relationships of life. Through petition and praise, your specific, focused communion with God will lighten your heart as you place the heaviness of those prayer requests where they belong–on His strong shoulders.
Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.
Amelia Rhodes


Amelia Rhodes is a speaker and author of “Isn’t It Time for a Coffee Break: Doing Life Together in an All-About-Me Kind of World.” Amelia’s writing has also been featured in four “Chicken Soup for the Soul” titles, devotionals for the OneHope blog Undeterred and the international devotional “Upper Room.” Amelia has a growing speaking ministry and speaks regularly to women’s groups on topics of spiritual growth, friendship, and community, offering practical tools for living our faith in the everyday. She lives in Lowell, Michigan.
Find out more about Amelia at

My Take : I like books that help you to direct your prayers especially for your community.  I first used this book to help me with my personal prayers and now my husband and I are using them in our joint devotions.  Several of the topics we don't know anyone personally in that situation but we prayed for our community at large and for the organizations that help people in that situation.  This is an excellent resource for everyone who want to pray for their community. 

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.  

of stillness and storm giveaway

A tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry—don't miss Michèle Phoenix's new intimate and bold release, Of Stillness and Storm. It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. When a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again, the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past might be too much. Will it be the family's undoing?

Take Michèle's new book with you on your winter vacation and enter to win her Bookworm On-the-Go Prize Pack (because you can't take a stack of books with you when you travel).


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 31. The winner will be announced January 3 on Michèle's blog.


Praying A - Z Giveaway

Are you ready to change your community, one prayer at a time? Learn how to organize your prayer requests topically and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father with the help of Amelia Rhodes' new book, Pray A to Z. Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.

Learn more about Pray A to Z and how to pray for your community, and enter to win Amelia's Guide to Prayer Prize Pack to get you started.


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 20. The winner will be announced December 21 on Amelia's blog.


Scripture Doodles by April Knight



ScriptureDoodle: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, October 2016)
With inspiring exercises and prompts, this unique interactive guide introduces readers to a creative connection between Bible study, artistic expression, and worship.
Often, in the busyness of life, Christians forget that God created them to enjoy creativity. With guided instruction and completed examples, this beautiful book invites readers to draw closer to God through their own art.
More than a coloring book, ScriptureDoodle is a combination of Bible study, creative expression, and artistic community with artwork shared online at #scripturedoodle. Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, and facing grief, ScriptureDoodle gives the heart the creative space it needs. This book stimulates the reader’s imagination and helps integrate God’s Word into everyday life.
ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, December 2016)
Some of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God’s promises and faithfulness to His children.
ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God’s Word in all circumstances.
This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.
April Knight


April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight’s work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.
Find out more about April at

My Take:  This was very interesting as sometimes you have a full coloring page to go along with the devotional sometimes you have a prompt to help you create your own journaling activity.  Their are also tips to ehlp you with your art.  I liked these as they helped to bring out the creative side in me along with helping me to focuas on my devotion for the day.  Recommend to those who want to interact a bit while doing your devotions. 
Review books were provided by litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Miscarried Joy by Tanika Fitzgerald


Miscarried Joy: Moving Beyond Incredible Pain to Extraordinary Faith (Nyreepress Publishing, October 2016)
Faith over fear. Patience over frustration. Pain with a purpose.
In Miscarried Joy, Tanika transparently shares her deeply personal and disappointing experiences of losing her babies due to miscarriage. There were times when she felt God was the cause of her pain. However, her journey through the lives of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth and Naomi, revealed quite the opposite—God had allowed her pain for a much greater purpose. Each of these women had something in common: they learned to surrender their will and trust God’s plan beyond the pain. They were pushed to a posture of prayer that led them from questioning God to have total confidence in Him. Tanika discovered that this season of waiting didn’t show up simply to challenge her, but to change her.
With biblical depth, heart-filled transparency and a voice of passion, you will:
—Understand God’s heart in the midst of incredible pain
—Discover the importance of trusting God’s plan over your own
—Arm yourself with the strength to let go of bitterness and comparison to appreciate the beauty of your story
—Learn and implement spiritual principles and strategies to walk boldly in faith
—Embrace God’s delay and birth contentment in your season of waiting
What have you miscarried? What purpose have you had difficulty conceiving? Is it a calling you fear stepping into? A vision that has not yet come to pass? Miscarried Joy has something for anyone who needs help pushing through incredible pain to conquer discouragement, walk in faith and birth their purpose. God’s delay in your life could be a set up for your greatest calling to be fulfilled.
Tanika Fitzgerald


Tanika Fitzgerald is a lover of Christ, a wife to her husband, Maurice, a loving daughter and sister. She is passionate about equipping women to grow spiritually, live balanced lives and helping them to be ARMED for victory in every area of life. Tanika has been called to minister to others through her passion and gift of writing to inspire women all over the globe. She is also the visionary behind “ARMED Magazine”—a publication created to “Spiritually Equip for you Victory in Battle.” Her inspirational writing has been featured in numerous publications including “Hope for Women Magazine,” “Black and Married with Kids,” and more. Tanika has also interviewed powerful voices in the Christian community, including Lady Serita Jakes, Sheryl Brady, Charles Jenkins, Earnest Pugh, and more! Tanika is a woman who is passionate about her relationship with Jesus Christ, family, giving to others, laughter, having fun, and enjoying every moment that life brings!
Find out more about Tanika at
My Take:  I can't image how it must feel like to have a miscarriage let alone three in one year.  It would be very easy to blame God for this but in this book the author helps other women who have miscarried to get past the grief and to look to God for comfort during the grief.  I would recommend this to any woman who has gone through a miscarriage or even anyone who would just like to help women through this terrible time of loss.  

I received a review copy from Litfuse is exchange for my honest opinion.