Posts Tagged: book review

The Author Reads – Book Review of ‘The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms,’ by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Hope for When the Pain Won’t Quit

Everyone experiences pain at times. It can manifest physically, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually. It can follow tragic accidents, great loss, sudden betrayal, or unexpected and unwanted change.

Often it is temporary. But what do you do when it isn’t? When the pain just won’t go away, when healing does not come, when the grief and hurt settle in?

Drawing on her own experience of chronic pain and her years as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson provides a countercultural perspective on pain.

Offering hope without any false promises or empty platitudes, Dr. Bengtson unwraps the complex emotional aspects of dealing with pain. She gives you permission to question God, helps you identify the lies you’ve believed about your pain, and reorients your perception based on the truth of God’s Word.

Each chapter ends with a recommended playlist, reflection questions, and a prayer. Your pain may not change, but your experience of it can.

My Thoughts

Dr. Michelle Bengtson has a heart to help people, especially those who are hurting, both physically, mentally and emotionally.

This is clearly the message found in her previous books, and she has done it yet again in The Hem of His Garment.

Bengtson has written this book despite her own physical pain. She offers to link arms with those in pain, bringing hope. The choice is to hang on to it and Bengtson offers objective ways to put hope into action so one is not just reading about a solution but taking action upon one.

Chapter topics include how to focus, lamenting, relating to God and dealing with His silence.

Anyone looking for relief from any type of pain can find something to bring them hope through reading this book. Bengtson shares her heart with her readers so not one of them should feel alone in their pain.

About the Author

Dr. Michelle Bengtson entertained several dreams in her life: becoming a doctor, having children and writing a book.

She studied neuroscience, becoming a board-certified neuropsychologist almost 30 years ago. A few years later, the birth of her first son brought her second dream into reality.

God planted the third dream in her heart as a young girl. A few years ago, she published her first book, multi-award winning Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression.

Since then, she authored three more books including the award-winning Hope Prevails Bible Study and award-winning Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises. Today Is Going to be a Good Day: 90 Promises From God to Start Your Day Off Right, released through Revell in May, 2022.

She expanded her vision and became an international speaker, podcast host, and coach with a mission to restore hope, renew minds and empower others to live in their God-given identity.

Learn more at drmichellebengtson.com

The Author Reads ‘Sylvia’s Mother,’ by Jennifer Lynn Cary

About the book

Sylvia’s Mother

Forget about Women’s Lib. Return to 1972 Kokomo, Indiana for the second installment of The Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue series—Sylvia’s Mother—and the fight for personal independence.

Join Sylvia, her mother, Eileen, and the kooky mix-ups that all point to romance in this small-town romp.

Young Sylvia deals with what would be determined today as a helicopter mom. But she’s in need of freedom, though she’s not going to join a commune or become a hippie, she might be in love.

Seth Matthews, a former FBI agent, returns to Kokomo and realizes there was more than coincidence at play dealing with family memories. Will he agree to a farce to help out his nephew’s involvement with a love interest? Will his heart be guarded as well?

My thoughts

I enjoyed reading The Weather Girls series by Cary. Miss Cary draws her readers in from page one and this is no exception. It’s one of those series the reader can relate to, especially if they grew up in the late sixties and seventies. Miss Cary always weaves nostalgia into her stories, pleasing her audience.

If you enjoyed the Weather Girls and Judy in Disguise, then Sylvia’s Mother is a must-read.

The book is inspired by the pop 1960s song by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, because everyone dreams of a second chance with a first love.

More reviews of books by Jennifer Lynn Cary

Sunny: The Weather Girls Series, Book 1

Stormy: The Weather Girls Series, Book 2

More about the book, from the publisher

She’s an overprotective single mother…

…He’s a former protector who can’t give up the role.

But who will guard their hearts from scheming high school matchmakers?

Eileen Avery is determined her daughter Sylvia won’t experience the heartaches she did. Even if it means taking parenting lessons from her mother, the dragon lady. But she is not like her mother. Not even remotely.

If only Sylvia could see that.

However, the girl wants independence. How much is a good thing? And how much is too risky?

Besides, Sylvia is in love and needs a little freedom. It’s not like she’s about to run away to a commune and become a hippy. However, she is willing to try about anything to get her mom to loosen up, even play matchmaker. Maybe if her mother had her own love life, she’d quit trying to put Sylvia’s under a microscope.

But will it all blow up in her face?

Seth Matthews thought he’d said goodbye to Kokomo until an on-the-job injury with the FBI changed his plans. This town holds more than his family, and those memories had better stay buried for all concerned. But how was he to put his honed instincts on the back burner and stop safeguarding the ones closest to him?

He was willing to help his family with almost anything. But pretending interest in some woman to help with his nephew’s romantic endeavors? That was one thing he couldn’t see himself doing.

Until he realizes there was more than coincidence at play.

About the author

Historical Christian romance author Jennifer Lynn Cary likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl.

She is also a direct descendant of Davy Crockett, which, along with her Indy upbringing, adds fodder to her sweet/clean books.

She and her husband make their home in Arizona where she shares her tales of heritage and small-town life memories with her grandchildren.

Contact Jennifer at jenniferlynncary.com.

The Author Reads – Book Review of ‘The Dog Snatcher,’ by Phyllis Wheeler

The Dog Snatcher

The Dog SnatcherAs a middle-grade book writer (for those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s the age group of third through eighth grade but is not limited to that age group), I tend to read books in my genre. I love books about dogs, and I love my age group.

That’s why I’m excited to review Phyllis Wheeler’s new book, The Dog Snatcher – book one in the Guardians of Time series (released November 1, 2022).

Doesn’t everyone dream of what it would be like to go back in time?

Children love this kind of story as it makes their imaginations run wild. As a former teacher who often served recess duty, I would hear the children using their creativity during playtime. Time travel was definitely part of it.

In The Dog Snatcher, a magic key found at the end of a driveway leads eleven-year-old Jake and his twin sister to a clock shop that helps them travel in time to help find their stolen dog. Many adventures and mishaps ensue for a page-turning read.

It’s a great read for new chapter-book readers, as the chapters are short and illustrated with delightful pictures to enhance the reader’s imagination. I highly recommend this book and look forward to its sequels.

Buy The Dog Snatcher on Amazon

About the Author

Phyllis Wheeler, a homeschooling veteran, loves time-travel stories with a bit of fantasy thrown in. She writes books for kids that feature strong families and a moral compass.

Phyllis is the author of The Long Shadow, a time-travel tale that won a Purple Dragonfly Award and a Moonbeam Award. She and her husband live in St. Louis, where she tends her milkweed garden and hopes for butterflies.

Visit Phyllis at phylliswheeler.com.

The Author Reads – Book Review of ‘Legacy of an Immigrant: Four Generations of Flying,’ by Maria Vezzetti Matson

Maria Vezzetti Matson

I have the privilege of reviewing a soon-to-be-published book. I hope it gets you curious enough to follow the author for more good reads and tracking its publishing date.

My Thoughts

Grieving the loss of a loved one is hard, especially when you are young and don’t know how to deal with your feelings. Maria Vezzetti Matson addresses this subject with grace in her upcoming novel, Legacy of an Immigrant: Four Generations of Flying.

Memories are often the best gift to help heal the burden of grief and Matson uses story to assist in the grieving process.

Maria Vezzetti Matson

Matson is a gifted historical fiction writer, using her family experiences and locations to make this story come to life. Middle grade readers, teachers and adults will enjoy getting to know the characters as they jump to life from the pages. Matson is an author to keep your eyes on for more exciting adventures in children’s fiction.

While I had planned to review this book before its publication, I did not plan for its author to be the grand prize winner in my email blast giveaway. There were 150 entries, and my non-biased person pulled Maria’s ticket out of the box. Maria had so much fun opening the box that she made a YouTube video.

About Maria V. Matson

Matson is an educator, a Yooper (a native inhabitant of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), and the author of Alone to America and Journey into the Land of Hues: A Physics Fiction Tale of Colors and Discovery.

Contact her at mariavezzettimatsonauthor.com, [email protected] or visit her YouTube channel, The ZiaMia, or her Facebook Page, The Lucchesi Story.

The Author Reads – Book Review of ‘Lakeside Retreat: Life-Giving Inspiration From a Restful Shore,’ by Marci Seither

As I visit my BFF from high school who lives in Wisconsin, I realize she lives just a few minutes from the lake mentioned in this book, Nebagamon.

I am so excited – no; I’m jumping-up-and-down thrilled – because for the first time ever reviewing a book, I can actually go to the place it talks about. Lake Nebagamon is a real place, not a fictional location made up by the author of the book I’m enjoying. This is non-fiction at its best.

When things like this happen, they are called a “God-wink” because I don’t believe in coincidences.

I recommend adding Lakeside Retreat: Life-Giving Inspiration From a Restful Shore, to your devotional collection for the following reasons:

  1. It’s a refreshing read. Every page I turned brought me thoughtful delight and encouragement, not only with scripture, but also design. This book is eye-pleasing in every way, as each page flows into the next story.
  2. It’s a devotional you won’t want to wait for the next day to read and you will not want to put it down. Marci Seither has crafted a masterpiece from her heart. It’s the perfect devotional to supplement anyone’s personal quiet time.
  3. It’s full of resources. Lakeside Retreat will add relaxing and thoughtful personal lake-time stories, scriptures, and prayers as well as surprise additions like games, crafts, recipes and even emergency supply bag suggestions to sustain you for 72 hours.

What other devotional can you name that comes packed with so much information and fun?

Marci, I LOVE this book and can’t wait to share it with my lake-loving friends.

Find Marci’s book on Amazon.

Contact Marci: MarciSeither.com

The Author Reads – ‘Today is Going to Be a Good Day,’ by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

This book has come into my life at the most appropriate time. My life has been turned upside down, packed up, moved out and on to new things, thousands of miles away from my normal life, permanently.

In the process, I am hurting and struggle every day. Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s book, Today is Going to Be a Good Day: 90 Promises from God to Start Your Day Off Right, has come to my rescue.

Dr. Michelle has been struggling with cancer, which has caused major health issues for months. Yet through her ongoing pain, she published a book to encourage and uplift its readers.

Dr. Michelle’s strength through a difficult trial, in and of itself, should inspire us. But she has opened her heart and bared her soul to share personal thoughts she kept through her days of painful struggles.

I have been reading her book daily and love how she includes scripture and a suggested piece of music to listen to. I find myself singing the song and if I’m not familiar with it, I will look it up. Christian music always lifts my spirits.

What is really cool is I already had a reminder on my wall about having a good day.

Dr. Michelle’s book is compact, making it easy to tuck into in a purse or briefcase. It’s one I plan on sharing with hurting friends.

God knows what He is doing if we trust Him, and I believe there is a bright side to life no matter how crazy it can get. This book has truly been a blessing to me, and I am grateful Dr. Michelle chose to share it with the world.

Today is truly going to be a good day.

Order it on Amazon.