Tag Archives: Thomas Nelson

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 14, 2017)
Price: $15.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN









Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is drawn in to a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, learning how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

* * * Vlog Review: ***


I have read every single book written by this author, and I can attest that she is a very talented writer. Like I said in my vlog review above, Julie Cantrell happens to be one of my favorite writers. I loved reading and reviewing all of her books and Perennials was no exception.

Although I would not classify this book as Christian, Perennials is wholesome, with a meaningful message. If I had to some it up in a few words, I would say it is about love and forgiveness.

My favorite character is Eva, who is also referred to as Lovey. She is the main protagonist whom I liked and related to. This book may be fiction, but it spoke volumes to me about overcoming and starting over.

I was honored to receive an advanced copy of Perennials in exchange for an honest review. Please be sure to preorder your copy now. You won’t be disappointed.

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Julie Cantrell is known for writing inspirational novels that explore the hard truths women typically keep secret. While she delves into emotional issues, she does so with a compassionate and open heart, always bringing readers through to a hopeful path for peace, empathy, and healing.








Posted in forgiveness, novels, spirituality | Also tagged , , , , , , Leave a comment

KJV Know The Word Study Bible

Paperback: 1824 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Price: $27.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN | CBD










The KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible. You can choose to study the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse, or topic-by-topic; each path offers powerful insights that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study. The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.

Features Include:

  • King James Version Bible text
  • Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
  • Insightful introductions for each book of Scripture
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Beautiful two-color interior page design
  • Comprehensive list of theological notes
  • Concordance
  • Full-color maps
  • 8-point type size


I love Bibles, and my favorite version is the King James Bible. So, I was eager to review Know The Word Study Bible.

The pros: I liked the book by book, verse by verse and topic by topic sections, and the fact that it is compact enough to carry around with you. My personal favorite is the Introduction and Notes.

The cons: The print is too small for me and I found it limited. What I mean by limited, is that it’s not like a Life Application Study Bible or ESV Study Bible.

Overall, I like the Know The Word Study Bible and would recommend it. It does offer more features than any other compact study bible I’ve seen. I believe this bible would work best for a new believer as it’s not too intimidating or overwhelming.

Disclaimer: I want to thank Litfuse Publishing Group for sending me a complimentary bible in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in book reviews, christianity, faith | Also tagged , , , , , Leave a comment

NKJV Personal Size Study Bible

Paperback: 2400 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Price: $29.99
Purchase: Amazon | CBD | BN










The NKJV Study Bible, the most comprehensive study Bible available, now available in a handy personal size with words of Christ in red! The acclaimed NKJV Study Bible is the most complete study system for all who desire accurate study in God’s Word. The Second Edition includes more features to make it the best all-purpose study Bible. Using the trusted New King James Version, The NKJV Study Bible has “the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor.” Nelson’s skilled team of scholars has produced the system to reach for when study in God’s Word is the goal.

Features include:

  • NEW attractive new full-color page design
  • NEW stunning Bible-land photos and graphics
  • NEW in-text maps and charts
  • Full cross-references with textual notes
  • Word studies and indexes
  • Bible Times and Culture Notes
  • Book introductions, outlines, and timelines
  • Reader-friendly notes and articles ideal for extended study
  • Deluxe NKJV Concordance including proper names


I happen to love Bibles, so I was curious to see what the NKJV Study Bible would offer, and was pleasantly surprised.

Other than the print being too small for my taste and it being on the bulky side, everything else about this particular bible is to my liking.

I love the color photographs showing the locations corresponding with the verses in connection with biblical history. The extensive cross referencing, exhaustive study notes, word studies and more. This bible is jam packed with helpful information, it’s amazing.

If you want to dig deeper in studying the Word of God, then the NKJV Study Bible is the one for you. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Posted in book reviews, christianity, faith | Also tagged , Leave a comment

Author Interview – Carolyn Weber

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite authors, Carolyn Weber. I discovered her after reading her first book, a memoir, Surprised by Oxford.

I have a penchant for memoirs, and this one was by far, my favorite.

Carolyn Weber came out with another fabulous book, Holy Is The Day which I reviewed recently.

I’m excited to share my first author interview with you.

When did you know you were a writer?

I don’t think there was a “moment” – although I do remember writing as a child but hiding my work because the teacher didn’t believe me when I tried to write a novel in grade 1. I’ve been an academic writer for some time because of my professorial career, but when I finally wrote my conversion memoir a few years ago (“Surprised by Oxford”), well, that was a turning point, and I’ve enjoyed writing more specifically as a faith walk, and hopefully as a praise since then.

What are your favorite books and why?

All types of books qualify as favorites for me – I don’t have one particular type. Though I do love many of the classics, and not just because I should. I honestly do find something enduring about them, and an appeal to aspects of our deepest humanity. Jane Eyre, The Brothers Karamazov, The Odyssey, Paradise Lost … they are all electric.

When did you decide to write your memoir, Surprised by Oxford?

Once I was tenured, and it was relatively “safer” to write a spiritual memoir in an academic environment. But by then, the story had percolated long enough too – I had promptings for ages from students and friends. So I finally sat down on my sabbatical and wrote it.

Was it your dream to become a professor or become a writer?

It was always my dream to teach, from as far back as I can remember. And I love to study writers, I love to read. Writing now across many genres, and pushing myself as a writer, has felt like “walking through the looking glass,” so to speak. I now know more intimately what the writers I had studied for so long had to actually go through – from the thrill of inspiration to the icy exposure of criticism. 

I enjoyed reading your new book, Holy is the Day? Can you tell us a little bit about how this book came about?

For some time, I had been sitting with the notion of what does it truly mean to be in God’s presence? When I discovered I was pregnant with a surprise baby, and one who potentially faced health problems, the writing process became a sort of prayer process in itself of trusting our God.

You touched a little bit about your leaving teaching? Do you think you will return to teaching English one day? Or do you want to just focus on writing?

I will always be a teacher. I can’t root it out, in spite of me. But for this life season, the writing and the parenting keep me busy enough.

In Surprised by Oxford, it chronicles your life and how you came to know the Lord. Do you find there is a conflict between being a Christian and being a professor?

No conflict exists in the actual teaching itself, or in the reading of books. Those things only facilitate my inner conversation with God, and my outer living of faith. Any serious conflicts, I have found, arise from bureaucracy and the fearful, but that is nothing new.

Do you find Christian writers to be mediocre? If so, why do you think this is the case and how do you think this can be corrected?

I think mediocre writers, like any other profession, exist everywhere. Christian writing can seem particularly beleaguered because there are strains and judgments placed upon it from within the church as well as from without. I know, for instance, that when I went to publish my memoir, some Christian publishers won’t publish profanity, point blank (even if it’s used carefully, not gratuitously). Or they want you to edit out gay people, or drinking. I can understand some concerns but overall this seems ridiculous. Life is where it is lived; Jesus showed us that by his very example among us. But then on the other hand, many secular publishers won’t touch a manuscript which takes Jesus seriously with a ten foot pole. So what is the Christian writer to do? Which God to serve, so to speak? I think this can often stilt or deform even the most well-intentioned writing. If we are each honest and forthright about our own stories before God, then I do believe He will use them where they are most needed.

What are your goals and aspirations as a writer?

I hope to encourage readers in their relationship with God but also let them know it’s okay to ask the big (or little) questions. Our God is not a fragile God. I would like to explore this strength and nuance and presence through many types of genres. The well is bottomless!

Lastly, what advice would you give a novice writer?

Pray. Pray when you pick up the pen, or strike the keyboard. Pray when you write, and edit and slash and cut. Pray when you have gushed out all you have for that day. And pray over the final piece. That what was in you seeking God would find its home in another who also needed it. That your writing would bring peace and praise. And that no other worldly static would interfere with your joy in the word.

Thank you, Carolyn Weber for this wonderful interview. I look forward to reading your next book.

Carolyn Weber is an author, speaker and professor. She has taught literature to undergraduates for 15 years, most recently as associate professor of Romantic Literature at Seattle University. As the Canadian Commonwealth scholar for literature, she completed her M.Phil and Doctoral degrees at Oxford University, and later served as the first female Dean of St. Peter’s College, Oxford.Carolyn lives in London, Ontario Canada with her husband and their 4 children.

Posted in blogging, book reviews, christianity, faith, writing | Also tagged , , , , , , 2 Comments

Holy Is The Day by Carolyn Weber

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: IVP Books (October 6, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0830843078
ISBN-13: 978-0830843077
Price: $12.00
Purchase: Amazon| BN | CBD










Life pulls us in many directions, sometimes even to the point of pulling our souls apart. We know rest and reflection are necessary for a healthy life—even Jesus took time to get away from the crowds, away from the demands of everyday life, to pray, to spend time with close friends, to sleep.

But when Carolyn Weber—emotionally and physically exhausted from managing her career as a college professor, writing her first book and parenting three children under the age of three—hears this truth from a friend, all she can think is: but who will do everything if I don’t?

And this sets her on a journey to find the still, small space in each day.

In these pages Carolyn reflects on the eternal beauty that lurks within the present. Drawing from literature, history and everyday life, Holy Is the Day is a collection of spiritual reflections that trace the way God’s ever-renewing grace is a gift of the present. Opening it we find poignant stories of endurance, humility, compassion, remembrance and gratitude, as well a harrowing account of near-death experience.

Carolyn gives us new eyes to receive the precious gift of the present and give it away to others.


In January of 2012, I reviewed Carolyn Weber’s award-winning memoir, Surprised by Oxford. This book spoke to me on so many levels.

Surprised by Oxford is one of my most favorite memoirs.

When I was asked by Intervarsity Press to review Holy Is The Day, I was more than excited, I was ecstatic.

Holy Is The Day is absolutely breathtaking. Carolyn Weber writes exquisite. She is a master wordsmith. Her writing reminds me of C.S. Lewis and Frederick Buechner, both of whom are my favorite authors. Carolyn Weber is in a lane by herself as her words are poetic and meaningful.

She writes so beautifully, that I am committed to reading everything she writes until the day I die. I know this sounds dramatic, but I am telling the truth. I do not want to miss out on anything she writes.

Holy Is The Day is written as a meditation. Carolyn Weber shares her personal experiences, weaving stories from Scripture. Her spiritual reflections are breathtaking and powerful.

Lately, the theme has been to live in the moment, Holy Is The Day is timely to say the least.

I was blessed to have received a complimentary advanced copy from Intervarsity Press for which I am grateful.

I highly recommend Holy Is The Day; it is beautiful beyond words.

Carolyn Weber is an author, speaker and professor. She has taught literature to undergraduates for 15 years, most recently as associate professor of Romantic Literature at Seattle University. As the Canadian Commonwealth scholar for literature, she completed her M.Phil and Doctoral degrees at Oxford University, and later served as the first female Dean of St. Peter’s College, Oxford.

Carolyn lives in London, Ontario Canada with her husband and their 4 children.


Posted in book reviews, christianity, faith, Healing, prayer | Also tagged , , , 1 Comment

Start by Jon Acuff

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937077594
ISBN-13: 978-1937077594
Price: $22.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN








Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome. Over the last 100 years, the road to success for most everyone has been divided into predictable stages. But three things have changed the path to success: Boomers are realizing that a lot of the things they were promised aren’t going to materialize, and they have started second and third careers. Technology has given access to an unprecedented number of people who are building online empires and changing their lives and changing their lives that would have been impossible years ago. The days of “success first, significance later,” have ended. While none of the stages can be skipped, they can be shortened and accelerated. There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.


I read Quitter, I went to the Quitter Conference and now I’ve had the sincere pleasure of reading Start.

I enjoy Jon Acuff’s voice. He has an impeccable sense of humor. This man makes me laugh harder than anyone. He also makes me cry. He is wise, compassionate and brilliant.

I wish I can carry a miniature Jon Acuff on my shoulder every day. He is the greatest encourager and motivator out there.

He doesn’t share what he hasn’t gone through. He is transparent with his struggles and the mistakes he’s made. He writes what has helped him go from Point A to Point B. He is generous with advice and doesn’t hold anything back.

His passion is helping others reach their dreams without destroying their lives. How can you not love this guy?

Start is the kind of book you will want to keep reading and not put down. It is full of wisdom, humor, inspiration, encouragement and motivation.

Why settle for ordinary, when you can be awesome. Jon Acuff tells you how to do it in, Start.

I loved Quitter and Start even more.  I believe  you will too.

Jon Acuff used to be a Serial Quitter. He had eight jobs in eight years, constantly hoping the next one would be different. From writing advertising for The Home Depot to branding for companies like Bose and Staples, he’s no stranger to the cubicle.

In 2010, Jon closed the gap between his day job and his dream job when he joined the Dave Ramsey team to become a full-time author. He has contributed to CNN.com, speaks nationally on a variety of subjects, and is the author of three books: Quitter; Gazelles, Baby Steps And 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt; and Stuff Christians Like.

He lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife and two daughters.

Posted in book reviews, writing | Also tagged , , , Leave a comment

Everything by Mary DeMuth

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: October 16, 2012
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400203988
ISBN-13: 978-1400203987
Price: $16.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN

Sample Chapter






“I don’t write this book as a condemnation or as a sermon. The last thing I want to do is provide a ‘how to be the best Christian in ten easy steps’ guide. I pen these words as a fellow struggler who is learning that what we think about God matters, how we allow Him to reign in our hearts matters, and how we obey Him in the moment matters. It all matters. Everything.”

Author and speaker Mary DeMuth has been abused, foreclosed, abandoned, and betrayed. She has been pressed and drained till it was too much . . .

But it was just enough to bring her to a place of surrender, piece by precious piece. In that surrender, she found the freedom of giving everything to God. And through Scripture, community, and the work of the Holy Spirit, she gives it all over again, every day.

In this gentle and challenging book, DeMuth describes the process and the nuances that shape us to be more like Christ. Her words are clear, vulnerable, and thought provoking, and every chapter is infused with Scripture.

Most of all, DeMuth provides personal and practical evidence that there is no greater pursuit than Christ. We must surrender everything, but it does not compare to the Everything He is, the Everything He gives.


I received an advanced copy of Everything to review. I also had the privilege of endorsing this beautiful book.

I read this book on my week off from vacation back in July. God spoke to me that week through Everything. I was beyond blessed.

While I was reading about Mary DeMuth’s life and experiences. I was able to put myself in her shoes. At times, I even felt we lived parallel lives.

I laughed and cried throughout this book. Everything made me think; it convicted me as well as challenged my walk with Jesus.

I had to ask myself the same question many times while reading this book, is Jesus my everything? If I say He is my everything, do I live as though He is?

I loved Everything and I highly recommend it.  I believe in the message and believe every Christian should read this book.

***Special offer for a limited time only***  If you’d like to receive these sweet gifts, purchase Everything October 16-23 and send the receipt to EverythingPromo@ThomasNelson.com. Check out the details here.

Mary DeMuth is an author and speaker who loves to help people lived uncaged, freedom-infused lives. She’s the author of fourteen books, including six novels and her critically acclaimed memoir, Thin Places. After church planting in Southern France, Mary, her husband, and their three teenagers now live in a suburb of Dallas.

Website:    MaryDeMuth.com
Facebook: AuthorMaryDeMuth
Twitter:      MaryDeMuth

Posted in book reviews, christianity, faith, forgiveness, Missions, prayer | Also tagged , Leave a comment

Book Review: Fully Alive by Ken Davis

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 10, 2012
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849948428
ISBN-13: 978-0849948428
List Price: $19.99
Purchase: Amazon | BN | CBD

Sample Chapter





Food labels, advertisements, politicians, self-help books–they all promise the same thing: a better life . . . or–as Jesus might put it–life to the fullest.

For millions this pursuit of happiness has captivated , ensnared, and, most disappointingly, it has alluded.  Which begs the question, what is the missing link?  Fully Alive explores the idea that God is glorified when man is “fully and eternally alive,” illustrated by best-selling author and motivational speaker Ken Davis’s most honest and intimate stories.

Ken invites us to walk with him on a journey, along a road of heartache and adventure to a place he calls “the land of the living,” and discover what may be missing in our lives.

A poignant and entertaining storyteller, Davis points out the practical steps necessary to live this way–everything from lightening up to taking a quality of life assessment, to overcoming trials–while also revealing the power of Christ’s resurrection available for each of us.

Get a taste of the beautiful urgency of today and begin moving toward a change in your life that draws from the joy and power that can be found only in Christ.


I admit, I didn’t know who Ken Davis was before reading Fully Alive.  So, it was especially sweet getting to know him by reading his story.

Ken Davis shares his struggles and triumphs in his life’s journey. He doesn’t hide anything.  He is candid and open in relaying details of his life.

Have you felt depressed or unmotivated lately? Have you been thinking about getting back in shape, but think it’s impossible?  Do you feel old and listless? Are you just going through the motions in life?  Have you thought, is this all there is?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, I strongly urge you to get this book.  Fully Alive will challenge, convict, inspire and invigorate you to make positive changes your life.

After reading this book, I realize I seriously have no excuse. Ken Davis shows you how its done. You get the sense that if he can do it, you can do it.

Ken Davis touches on various subjects, such as exercise, diet and faith.  He writes from a holistic standpoint and leaves nothing out.

This is my favorite quote:

“The glory of God is man fully alive: Striving in the midst of all odds.  Never satisfied with the status quo.  Seeking excellence in every area of life.  Because Jesus can raise the dead and because He Himself was raised from the dead, then no matter what my situation, I can know the power of His resurrection to live my life fully alive.” (Page 209)

I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to live fully alive.

Fully Alive will inspire, encourage and enrich your life. I highly recommend this motivating book to everyone.

In conclusion, I want to thank Daniel Decker and Thomas Nelson for allowing me the opportunity to read and review a complimentary copy of this wonderful book.

Ken Davis is one of the most sought-after speakers in North America. He has appeared on television and stage around the world, addressing groups as diverse as the Gaither Praise Gathering, The Kellogg Corporation, Focus on the Family, and Pentax Corporation. Ken provides a unique mixture of side-splitting humor and inspiration that never fails to delight and enrich a wide variety of audiences. Each presentation is carefully designed to fit the diverse needs of his clients. Davis’ daily radio program, LIGHTEN UP!, is broadcast on over 1,800 stations worldwide and spotlights his gift as a storyteller and comedian.  http://www.kendavis.com/

Posted in book reviews | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments