April 30, 2017

Book Review: Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions


Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions: Leader's Guide, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert with Katie Casselberry is focused on the preparation and debriefing of short-term missionaries to poverty-stricken areas.
 
In the Introduction on page ten, the authors shared that "this guide is written for short-term teams entering low-income contexts, particularly those where poverty alleviation is being attempted.... Within the general context of two-week trips...this project addresses the elements of STMs [Short-Term Missions] that need to be refined in order to avoid harming low-income communities, to effect change in participants' understanding of poverty alleviation, and to foster increased support for long-term missions and development work."

On page twelve, the authors emphasize that a key element in all short-term mission trips is "to support an organization or ministry that is engaging in effective poverty alleviation. Situating a short-term trip in the context of an organization's long-term work helps prevent certain types of inadvertent harm."

This extensive and informative book is based on the authors' personal reflections and experiences, as well as in-depth research and scripture passages. It's essentially two books in one with the Leader's Guide and then the Participant's Guide with Scripting.

The Leader's Guide is divided into two main parts: A Different Sort of Trip and Implementing a Trip, and within these parts, there are nine chapters. Also, there are the following three sections: Introduction--The Need for This Guide, Suggested Learning Sequencing, and Final Encouragement: Respond, Don't Overreact. Each chapter ends with a Takeaways note to practically follow-up on the material previously discussed.

For convenience, the Participant's Guide is included in the second-half of the Leader's Guide, along with "a separate introduction and some annotations for you to reference as you facilitate each session." The Participant's Guide with Scripting features three main sections: Pre-Trip Training, On- and Post-Field Engagement, and Resource Modules, and within these sections, there are eight units and two modules. Also included is the Introduction: How to Use This Guide and Learning and Engagement Agreement

Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions is a quality resource for churches, mission organizations, Christian universities, and missionaries. Along with this book, there's a corresponding "online video-based study to doing short-term missions without doing long-term harm."


Note: I received this book from Moody Newsroom, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 29, 2017

Book Review: Thinline Bible


The Thomas Nelson Large Print Thinline Bible is a King James Version (KJV), and it's designed to easily read and transport.

According to the back cover, this particular Bible "strikes the perfect balance between portability and readability. This lightweight, convenient, and easy-to-read Bible is ideal for everyday use."

This black and gray cloth over board copy of the Bible features the full text of Old and New Testaments in an easy-to-read Thomas Nelson KJV font. It's a red letter edition with the word of Christ in the color red. Other sections include the One Year Reading Plan, 30 Days with Jesus, and full-color maps.

The Large Print Thinline Bible is recommended and geared toward all ages, from teenagers to older generations.

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Psalms 119:105


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 27, 2017

Book Review: The Last Good Cowboy


The Last Good Cowboy, by Kate Pearce is an interesting contemporary romance, which is focused on family dramatics and relationship drama.

Ry Morgan moves back home to the family ranch in California, after years on the rodeo circuit, where his twin brother is still competing. Since another Morgan brother is searching for their long-lost mother and sister, who disappeared over twenty years ago, Ry is trying to overcome the uncertainty of possibly meeting his mother again, as well as dealing with his recently unsteady relationship with his twin brother.

Shortly after arriving at the Morgan Ranch, Ry sees Avery Hayes again and he still has a secret crush on her. Ry has always wanted Avery, even when they were teenagers, yet his twin brother caused problems between them. Even though they both have changed in the eight years since high school, Ry and Avery build a new friendship as adults, which leads to more.

However, Avery is still struggling with lingering physical problems from a barrel racing accident, which lead to her current fear of horses. She's insecure and somewhat hiding at her family home and business, until she accepts a job at the Morgan Ranch. In addition to Ry and Avery's relationship, this story focused on their relationships with various family members and close friends. As the story unfolds, Ry and Avery are forced to deal with family complications and issues from the past affecting their future.

Since it's the third book in Morgan Ranch series, it's recommended to start with the first book, The Reluctant Cowboy, yet it's not necessary to read the books in order.

The Last Good Cowboy is geared towards those who enjoy reading modern romance stories.


Note: I received this book from NetGalley, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 25, 2017

Book Review: Murphy's Law


Murphy's Law, by Lori Foster is an enjoyable contemporary romance with an underling mystery mixed into the plot.

As the story unfolds, it's evident that Ashley Miles is determined to be independent and not fall for the wealthy and accomplished businessman, Quinton Murphy, even if their chemistry is unmistakable. However, their lives are slightly intertwined already and when an unknown someone is after Ashley, there's no stopping Quinton from trying to protect and claim her.

In chapter 2, Ashley is thinking that "whatever could go wrong, did. Murphy's Law. In her case it was more like Quinton Murphy's Law because when she got near him, she made mistakes left and right. One look at the man and she forgot common sense, self-restraint, and her touted goals for the future."

Since it's the second book in the Law series, it's recommended to start with the first book, Jude's Law, yet it's not necessary to read the books in order.

Murphy's Law is a captivating book with intriguing characters, and it's geared towards those who enjoy reading modern romance stories.


Note: I received this book from NetGalley, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 24, 2017

Book Review: Texas Homecoming


Texas Homecoming, by Leigh Greenwood is an interesting historical romance set in the 1860s.

Cade Wheeler left home to serve with the army for three years, yet his team was betrayed by his fellow soldier and hometown neighbor, Laveau. Now, Cade and his remaining team are set on justice for those who died and revenge against Laveau. 

When returning home to the ranch, Cade is surprised to find his neighbor's sister, Pilar, living and working for his grandfather. While Cade and Pilar work together to rebuild and reclaim their families' ranches, they start to fall in love. However, Cade and the surviving team members are hiding their secret intent against her brother. As the story unfolds, Cade and Pilar are forced to deal with their family dynamics, ranch complications, and issues from the past affecting their future.

It's the first book in the Night Riders series, and this book ends without fully wrapping up the overarching story line. Each of the following books in this series focuses on the surviving Night Riders team, as well as their quest for revenge proceeding along with romance.

Texas Homecoming is geared towards those who enjoy reading historical romances with some intrigue interlaced into the story.


Note: I received this book from NetGalley, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Book Spotlight: His Family of Convenience


His Family of Convenience, by Amy Ayers is the first book in The Medina Legacy series, and the release date is April 24, 2017.

Book Summary:  
"Senna Calla's one-night stand with the alpha boss, Marco Medina, was supposed to mark the end of her internship and their ridiculous attraction. After being unreachable and ignoring Senna for a year, Marco sweeps back into the country and summons her to his office, revealing he knows her secret...the secret created during their explosive night together. Marco is determined to be there for the son he's just discovered he has, but when it comes to being with Senna, his choices aren't his own. His meddling family expects him, the firstborn son, to follow through with the arranged marriage set up when he was a child. And Senna has no plans on being his mistress and still resents how her attempts to contact Marco were ignored. The only thing going right between them is the attraction that burns no matter the complicated situation they're in. Marco would do anything to protect his family, anything except decide between the legacy he was born into and the young family he's just found."

I've not yet read the book, His Family of Convenience, since I only received promotional information (not a review book copy) from the publisher. However, it's on my future reading list. Have you read this book or do you have plans to read it soon?

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Goodreads

Follow the Author: Twitter 


Book Spotlight: Playing the Spanish Billionaire


Playing the Spanish Billionaire, by M. K. Meredith is the second book in the International Temptation series, and the release date is April 24, 2017.

Book Summary:  
"Mateu Espasa, CEO of Barcelona's most luxurious hotel, knows how to deliver a five-star experience. When he learns the identity of hotel reviewer, London Montgomery, it seems harmless to play as her local tour guide to make sure she enjoys her stay and places his hotel back in the running for the Elite Life and Travel Magazine's hotel of fame. But every moment with London makes Mateu want her just a much as he needs that review. Constantly working to cover her mother's medical bills, London needs to have a little fun on this vacation. First on her list: Kiss a hot Spaniard, and her knight-in-shining-Armani at the train station seems to fit that bill--he's local and definitely hot! But when she discovers the man charming her is really CEO of the hotel she's reviewing--supposedly secretly--she decides to see how far he'll go to make her dream vacation a once in a lifetime experience. Mateu shows her the romance of his city and his soul, but when the truth comes out, the fun is over, and it turns out nobody wins in a game of hearts." 


I've not yet read the book, Playing the Spanish Billionaire, since I only received promotional information (not a review book copy) from the publisher. However, it's on my future reading list. Have you read this book or do you have plans to read it soon?

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Goodreads

Follow the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Newsletter

April 22, 2017

Book Review: Falling Hard


Falling Hard, by Stacy Finz is an interesting contemporary romance with intriguing characters living in the small town of Nugget, California.

Shortly after leaving his life as a Navy SEAL, Logan Jenkins discovered the true identify of his now deceased biological father. Logan arrived in Nugget in searching for a sense of connection to his father and extended family, who once lived on the Rosser Ranch.

 
During his initial visit to Rosser Ranch, Logan meets Annie Sparks, who hires him to help out for a few weeks, while uncovering his historical roots. Despite her productivity and determination, Annie recently had to leave her family farm to branch out on her own in agricultural economics, yet she's still dealing with on-going family drama.

Even though their situation is temporary, Logan and Annie give into their attraction to each other. As the story unfolds, they continue to deal with family issues, career choices, and geographical living options. Plus, Nugget is a typical small town with gossipy neighbors and quirky characters, yet there's underlying problems.

Since it's the ninth book in the Nugget series, it's recommended to start with the first book, Going Home, yet it's not necessary to read the books in order.

Falling Hard is an interesting story with intriguing characters, and it's geared towards those who enjoy reading modern romances, particularly small town romances.


Note: I received this book from NetGalley, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 20, 2017

Book Review: Compact Thinline Bible


The Thomas Nelson Compact Thinline Bible is a King James Version (KJV), and it's designed to be easily transported and accessible in various situations.

According to the back cover, this particular Bible is "designed to be a convenient Bible for reading or travel...easily fits in purses, backpacks, or glove compartments. This easy-to-carry Bible comes with features that will enhance your reading experience."

This navy and gray cloth over board copy of the Bible features the full text of Old and New Testaments in an easy-to-read Thomas Nelson KJV font. It's a red letter edition with the word of Christ in red, and this Bible features double ribbon markers. Other sections include the One Year Reading Plan, 30 Days with Jesus, and full-color maps.

The Compact Thinline Bible is recommended and geared toward all ages, from teenagers to older generations.

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Psalms 119:105


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.