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Big News - New Reviewer Lindsey Trammell | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews, Reviews, Reviews by Lindsey

Big News – There’s A New Reviewer Here

Big News!!

I have asked one of my best book buddies to write reviews here for all of us to enjoy!   Everyone meet Lindsey!

Lindsey Trammell

Hey! My name is Lindsey, wife to Anthony and mom to Kendall and dog Charlie. We are from and live in Oklahoma. I like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain…. Just kidding. I love to cook, listen to podcasts, read, and attend group fitness classes. I am just your average yoga pant wearing, nosy, coffee drinking soccer mom with a passion for discussing books.  Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorite genres. I’m always in search for books that will stick with me for a long time no matter the category.

Please give Lindsey a warm welcome!  Friend her on Goodreads. Stick around, she is reading some great books on her upcoming vacation, and I bet she has some reviews for us when she gets home.

So glad to have you contributing your reviews here on my little dot on the web.  Thank you!!

Reviews

Feathers – Faith in Flight Podcast

featherspod

Feathers Podcast by Amy J. Bennett

Let me just say that I feel like half of this post was written by Amy J. Bennett, because well, I have copy and pasted her words here to describe her podcast, #Feathers, as well as her little bio. Amy, I hope you don't mind.

Now, on to the good stuff!

I found Amy years ago, when she blogged at Permission to Peruse. Honestly, I can't remember how I found her (it's late and my brain just isn't working). But, I loved her immediately! She's one of those people that I could see myself hanging out with. Going to Women of Faith with, or SheSpeaks (I really want to go to SheSpeaks!).  After you check out Amy, her blog, and her podcast, you will love her too!

Amy J. Bennett – her bio, in her words.

I’m a 36 year old working mom of two daughters and one son.

I married my high school sweetheart Scott 16 years ago.  I graduated from college with a Computer Science degree 2 years later and have since been working with a large bank in Charlotte, NC as a developer.  I’m lucky enough that I get to work from home several days a week.  Scott began his dream job as a State Trooper 11 years ago.

We are in a suburb of Charlotte just inside South Carolina called Fort Mill where we both grew up raising our own family.

I started blogging in 2002 when I was pregnant with our first daughter Emma.  In fact, you might have passed through my old blog Permission to Peruse in the past.  In the Spring of 2013, I moved to this new home.

In short, this is a lifestyle blog written by a Christian mom in the Southern suburbs.  One of my favorite things to do is sit with friends over coffee at Starbucks right around the corner. Often, these posts are just what we’d talk about if we did the same.  So why do I share it in print and in public?  Well, I have a feeling we go through a lot of the same things.  I need to hear a “me too” more often than I’d like to admit and I’m sure you do too.  I’m hoping as I reflect on life, we both can grow together.

Feathers – Faith in Flight – the following are Amy's words.

Feathers is a podcast which shares stories of God speaking and His people having just enough faith to believe Him and obey.

Each week we interview one guest who shares their story of faith. Perhaps God called them to something which seemed scary or crazy and they had to trust Him and obey or perhaps God asked them to travel a difficult road and asked them to remain faithful to Him.

I hope Feathers inspires you and encourages you to take flight in your own faith.

If you click on the Feathers – Faith in Flight link then you will be able to see the list of women Amy has interviewed so far on #Featherspodcast.  Personally, her interview with Natalie Snapp is what encouraged me to start blogging again. Thanks, Natalie!

Doesn't Amy sound like someone you'd love to hang out with at Starbucks? Do me a favor…head over to her blog amyjbennett.com, and watch the video about her southern accent. You will love her even more after that.

Be sure to check out her Feathers story, their adoption story, and the 50 Random Acts of Kindness but don't feel like you have to stop there!

Now, with all good things it seems something bad comes with it. Not always, just seems to be common. So, let me just say that Feathers is on a brief hiatus. It's cramping my style, I'm not gonna lie. BUT, Amy said that it will be back. (I heard that in that crazy Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, did you?) There is more good here than bad! This gives you a chance to go through and catch up with all the earlier episodes! When you do, come back and tell me which one encouraged you!

 

 

Reviews

I Love Birchbox!!

First of all, I want to clarify that Birchbox has no inkling who I am, and they have no idea that I am posting about their awesome service!!!

Now, let me tell you a little about Birchbox just in case you haven't heard of this great service! Birchbox is a company that spends their days researching ingredients, trends and products. They deliver high-end beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples that have been customized for you. They help you find products that you will love! After you try one of the many samples, you can purchase a full size product right in the Birchbox Shop.

Every month I get an email from Birchbox telling me that they have shipped my box. It is one of the best emails I get all month! I wait patiently for about a day, and then I check the post office daily.

ACR_7716
Sometimes I wait like a week before I check the post office box, but when I know this box is headed my way I am happy to drive all the way to town to fight traffic on the square to see if my pink treasure has arrived.

As soon as I get the box, I have to open it. I am one of those people that take up one of the parking spaces at the post office opening my package, while people circle the block looking for a parking place. So far, I have not had to add change to the meter.

Look how cute the box is that comes inside the pink box. I'm a sucker for cuteness!

ACR_7717
Cute, cute, cute and filled with goodies!!

Obviously, I cannot get an autofocus camera to focus, but these are the goodies that came in October.

ACR_7724Let me just tell you a little bit about what is in the box.  I did not take photos of each individual item, so you will have to do a little research if you are interested.

DevaCurl – 3 Step System

A no-foam trio of grapeseed oil shampoo, curl-taming conditioner, and genius soft-hold gel.

dr. brandt – microdermabrasion skin exfoliant

Breakthrough at-home treatment for a glowing complexion – no pricey derm appointment needed.

Supergoop! – City Sunscreen Serum

This is an antiaging SPF 30 serum that creates a weightless UV shield, & can be worn year-round.

theBalm cosmetics – Stainiac in Beauty Queen

Bestselling stain that gives cheeks and lips a sheer, rosy tint.

Bonus – Birchbox Find

Occasionally they come across mass-market discoveries that are exciting, time-saving, or just generally awesome. The "Finds" are always in addition to your usual samples, and never in place of them.

This month – ChapStick Hydration Lock

It is clinically proven to moisturize lips, from 9-5, 8 hours. It also doubles as a lip primer and comes chock full of damage-defending antioxidants like CoQ10 and Vitamin E.

If you want to become one of the people that sits in your car ripping open boxes to see what kind of goodies they sent you this time, then go on over to Birchbox and sign up for your very own monthly subscription! Then maybe we can compare our goodies!

Reviews

Inspired – Joey+Rory

Inspired
It's no secret that I love Joey+Rory's style and music!

So, imagine my surprise when I watched their show (Yes, they even have a show on that there tee vee) and saw that they had recorded a Gospel Album. I'm a sucker for hymns.

I had to have it, and I love it! Love, love, love it!

There's not one song on there that you won't like! Promise!

Oh, and did you know that they are having a baby? Yep, it was on their show! You really should watch it! 

 

Book Reviews, Reviews

Rooms by James L. Rubart – Review

RoomsBook Description:

On a rainy spring day in
Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic,
twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a
home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside
out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a
stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting
Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the
beach every weekend.

When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of
the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new
friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is
spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the
tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly
discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation
of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him
into an astonishing new destiny.

Review:

When writing book reviews on any website, such as goodreads or amazon, you are given five stars to rate a book, and I need at least ten stars for this one!! The cover itself is worthy of a full five stars!!

I loved this book! Loved. It.

One problem with reviewing a book that I loved is that I want to just ramble on and on, and by the end of the review you would probably not even need to read the book. So I am trying to rein myself in on this one.

Micah, the main character, wasn't a religious person/believer and honestly, if you are not a believer than this book might not be for you. If you are on the edge, or a sure-enough believer, then you will love this book. You may just devour it like I did.

Chaos might not be a strong enough description of Micah's life after he received the twenty-five-year-old letter from his great-uncle. He planned on going to Cannon Beach to see the house that his great-uncle had built just for him, and then put it on the market. He wanted nothing to do with Cannon Beach;  there were nothing but bad memories there. He had the perfect life, until he realized it was changing.

There was certainly a Team Julie vs. Team Sarah vibe going on as I read through this book. I was on Team Sarah, I'm just sayin'.

James L. Rubart has written a great story of good versus evil, one that you just can't get out of your head. There are twists, turns, and lessons to be learned. 

I have become a James L. Rubart fan, and will warn you now, I will be reviewing the rest of his works.

I was given the opportunity to read this title for free via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

Book Reviews, Reviews

Letters from Ruby by Adam Thomas – A Review

LettersrubyBook Description:

When the newly ordained Episcopal priest Rev. Calvin Harper arrives in
Victory, West Virginia, to be the pastor at an ailing
parish, he has no idea how much he still has to learn
about being a priest. Thankfully, Ruby Redding takes the young
man under her wing and teaches him everything she has learned
throughout her long, storied life. Seminary never taught
Calvin that the only true way to be a witness to God’s
presence in this world is to remain in relationships with people no
matter what life throws at them. His studies never
taught him that detachment is the bane of ministry. He
never learned that deep grief comes only from deep love. But in his
first year in Victory, Calvin learns all this and more from
Ruby, a woman so full of God’s light that it can’t help
but spill onto the people around her.

Review:

"You can't take responsibility for how other people react to what you say. But you can think about how they will hear your words."

That was just one of my favorite quotes from Ruby, of Letters from Ruby.  Ruby is a older, wise woman that was full of great quotes full of advice.  This book was not written as a self-help book, but if a person was to
read this and take some of the advice given by the wise women Pearls,
Brooch, and The Two Purses, they might be surprised at how it helps.

Letters from Ruby is a great story to escape into, and experience a bit of history and romance. Ruby is my favorite character of the book, but honestly there are several great characters to choose from. Rev. Adam Thomas captured the best features of each character. These ladies reminded me of different ladies from our own church.

This title gives you lots to think about, and to laugh about. If the first chapter doesn't hook you, then you can't be hooked. Hint: New Priest. Breaking & Entering. I really can't say more.  Be sure to grab it as soon as it hits the stores, August 20, 2013.

Thank you Abington for my free copy.

Reviews

gods at war by Kyle Idleman – Book Review

Gods-at-war
Book Description:

In gods at war, Kyle
Idleman, bestselling author of not a fan, helps every believer recognize
there are false gods at war within each of us, and they battle for the
place of glory and control in our lives. What keeps us from truly
following Jesus is that our hearts are pursuing something or someone
else. While these pursuits may not be the 'graven images' of old, they
are in fact modern day idols. Behind the sin you're struggling with, the
discouragement you're dealing with, the lack of purpose you're living
with is a false god that is winning the war for your heart.

According to
Idleman, idolatry isn't an issue—it is the issue.

By asking
insightful questions, Idleman reveals which false gods each of us are
allowing on the throne of our lives. What do you sacrifice for? What
makes you mad? What do you worry about? Whose applause do you long for?

We're all wired for worship, but we often end up valuing and honoring
the idols of money, sex, food, romance, success and many others that
keep us from the intimate relationship with God that we desire.

Using
true, powerful and honest testimonies of those who have struggled in
each area, gods at war illustrates a clear path away from the heartache
of our 21st century idolatry back to the heart of God — enabling us to
truly be completely committed followers of Jesus.

Review:

Okay, who wouldn't be interested in reading this book after reading that description? (That was taken from the back cover of the book.) I want to know who could read this book, and be the same person they were when they picked it up. Ann Voskamp's comment made me think about that, and I agree with her, I'm not sure it can be done.

When I first looked at the table of contents, I could see where this was going to take me. It was going to open my eyes to all of the idols in my life. So not a good thing. I didn't expect to read about the idols in my life that hadn't even crossed my mind. This can be a brutal read, I'm not going to lie to you. But. (You knew that was coming, right?) But, anyone that has committed their life to Christ and is trying to be a better Christian should read this book. In my opinion, it will help you see the things you need to work on in your everyday life. It will help you see the things that are possible to change. That is how it worked for me.

I challenge you, yes you, to read this book. Will you take that challenge?

Kyle Idleman, also the author of not a fan, and H2O, has recently released a study for this book, gods at war. I am on the search for it now!

I
received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an
honest review.

Reviews

The Struggle by Wanda E. Brunstetter – Review

TheStruggleBook description:

When Timothy Fisher, his wife Hannah, and their daughter Mindy leave
Pennsylvania to begin a new life in Kentucky, Hannah finds it hard to
adjust. Will Christian County ever feel like home? Nothing Timothy does
seems to please Hannah. Has the move from Lancaster spelled the
beginning of the end? When a tragedy occurs, an inconsolable Hannah
blames her husband for their loss. Timothy can barely rise beneath the
weight of guilt, his wife’s hostility, and stress of his job. What
dramatic second chance will God provide to heal their grief?

Review by my friend, Laura.

There is something about the perceived
simplicity of the Amish lifestyle that I find very fascinating.  So when I was given the opportunity to
read this book I jumped at it. 

This book has several storylines, but the main one is about an Amish
couple that move from Pennsylvania to Kentucky and the struggles they go
through.  Hannah is very attached
to her mother so her husband Timothy decides to move the family to Kentucky in
hopes that his wife will finally turn her attention from her mother to
him.  Just as Hannah is finally
adjusting to the move tragedy strikes and their lives are changed forever. 

Ms. Brunstetter does an amazing job of
showing the conflicting emotions of both characters as they deal with their
grief and work to pull their lives back together. 

I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the life of the
Amish people. While they live their life with few of the modern amenities I am
so accustomed to, their relationships and daily struggles are very similar to
mine. 

I found out after reading it
that this book is the third book in the Kentucky Brothers series, so I will
definitely have to go read the first two books.  I would encourage anyone who enjoys Amish fiction books to
pick this one up today.