Picturing Heaven by Randy Alcorn, Illustrated by Lizzie Preston (Review + Giveaway)

About the Book

Picturing Heaven Randy Alcorn Lizzie Preston

Imagine Heaven the way the Bible describes it―a place of exquisite beauty brimming with marvelous detail and intricate patterns; a special dwelling place free of corruption and sin; and a place of both rest and enjoyable, meaningful work.

Let the power and majesty of Heaven fill your heart with joy as you color these 40 designs carefully interpreted from the pages of Scripture. Savor a respite from daily life as you read and meditate on devotions from best–selling author Randy Alcorn, a leading authority on Heaven. Picturing Heaven will offer you comfort and relaxation, while filling your heart with restful assurance that God prepares a special place for those who love Him.

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Review: Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel’s final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby’s tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons—and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel’s lawyer, Lucas Hough—the lure of Brigitte’s story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

 

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Befriend by Scott Sauls

Befriend: Creating Belonging in an age of Judgement, Isolation, and Fear by Scott Sauls wasn’t quite what I expected in this book. But that’s not at all a bad thing.

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In a world where much of our communication with others is via Facebook, text messages, instant messages, 140 characters on Twitter, or photos on Instagram, we’ve lost a lot of personal interaction. An opportunity to go deeper. Be more understanding. Give a piece of ourselves to others. In short, we’ve limited ourselves to our circle of friends online and in our cell phone contacts. How many of us even take the time to send a personal, meaningful email to a friend or family member?

What Scott Sauls encourages readers to Befriend is to step away from the computers, to put down the cell phones, and make real connections. And again, the challenge is to step outside our circle of influence and get to know people who are different than us—the poor, the wealthy, people with different political views, the disabled, and children to name just a few.

At the beginning of the book, Sauls offers three ways to read his book: read a chapter a day (to ruminate on each challenge), as a small group study, or reading it through in one or two sittings. I can definitely see the advantage and potential for deeper friendships as well as servant opportunities that would benefit a small group.

Even reading Befriend in a few sittings challenged me to reach out to others. Others who don’t live in my neighborhood (or city or country). Those who have less (or more) than me. People who view life through different eyes than I do. Because in the end, my relationships should be a reflection of Jesus, and he hung out with every type of person.

***The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Catching Heat by Janice Cantore

In the third and final installment of the Cold Case Justice series by Janice Cantore, readers get to catch up with Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy as they embark on their first case together on a special task force.

In the third and final installment of the Cold Case Justice series by Janice Cantore, readers get to catch up with Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy as they embark on their first case together on a special task force.

catching heat cover

Their case brings the two of them near the town where the mastermind behind Abby’s parents deaths, and she is desperate to do a little digging while in the area. Even if Luke doubts the plausibility of her proof.

As both Abby and Luke deal with their growing attraction to each other, they also have to learn to trust each other, to open up. When they are handed one more case to look into, one that they all believe will lead to only dead ends, things get interesting…and dangerous.

While more series authors tend to write stand-alone stories these days, it’s nice to come across one like Cantore’s every once in a while. I enjoyed following Luke and Abby through all three books (Drawing Fire, Burning Proof, and Catching Heat), gives the readers more insight into these two characters. By the end, I was not only wanting the happy ending for Abby and Luke, for Abby to find the answers she so desired, but also felt like I really knew these two characters. Of course, this means that if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, you may as well just purchase them right now.

Cantore offers a book that keeps the action moving along (I didn’t want to put it down) while including her expertise and knowledge of police procedures. Who better to write such a thrilling page-turner than an experienced ex-law enforcement officer.

***Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Deadly Encounter (FBI Task Force) by DiAnn Mills

It’s hard to keep up with the almost constant release of new books (several on the same day) and August brings fans of Romantic Suspense more than enough to keep us busy through the end of the year. In her first in her FBI Task Force series, author DiAnn Mills offers readers some unique twists—and plenty to keep our minds occupied throughout—in Deadly Encounter.

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Veterinarian Stacy Broussard volunteers as an airport ranger. One Saturday, when she is out riding, she and her horse come upon a body. And a drone. What follows is a twisted, convoluted plot that even the FBI is having difficulty solving.

FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc is determined to get to the bottom of both the murder and discovering who is responsible for stealing the missing drone. But can he trust the pretty veterinarian? He’s been burned before by putting trust in the wrong woman.

Add in a 12-year-old boy who has grown up too fast due to a dysfunctional family life and a genius IQ, and this book is full of endearing and engaging characters.

While I appreciated all of the twists and turns of this novel, sometimes there was almost too much going on. But the good news is that everything comes to a satisfying conclusion. I also appreciated that the relationship between Stacy and Alex grew from distrust to friendship to potential for more as opposed to the usual insta-love that often happens. Hopefully, we’ll get to catch up with this gang in the next FBI Task Force book.

Does Deadly Encounter sound like something you’d enjoy? Read the first chapter.

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DiAnn Mills
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is the co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She also speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.

***The Tyndale Blog Network provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.