A Fresh Batch of Book Reviews #11

I have three different books for you today: a prayer journal, a gorgeous illustrated devotional, and a Christian fiction novel.

Jesus, I Need You: Honest Prayers from a Trusting Heart is a unique prayer journal, calming and comforting to someone who is hurting, weary, or lonely. It is also ideal for the woman who wants to deepen her relationship with Christ through honest, soul-searching prayer.

The soft blue cover, decorated with floral motifs and gold foil, drew me in. It created the right mood for this contemplative journal. The book is divided into nine sections of differing needs. The category that spoke most to me now is “Jesus, I Need You…When I Feel Overwhelmed.” Each devotion begins with a brief, honest prayer. A scripture is included, then a journal prompt is given. You can fill in your answers, which makes this book convenient. I estimate that one devotion would take no more than 10 minutes of your time.

This book would make a thoughtful gift. When I consider the past seasons of my life, these are the times when this book would have served as a lifeline.

  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • New mom
  • Marriage struggles
  • Relationship problems
  • Trials on the job

Maybe you are in one of these seasons yourself, or you know someone going through one of these seasons. If so, this book will bring comfort, strength, hope, and deeper faith. I recommend Jesus, I Need You for the one who needs a prayer boost in a time of need.

GraceLaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart is a beautiful devotional based on the seasons. I am a big fan of Ruth Chou Simons, and I was blessed to interview her on my blog last year! Her scripture-based prints grace the small table in my hallway, and they inspire me every time I pass by.

This book is filled with beauty: photographs, illustrations, calligraphy, and best of all, 32 beautifully written devotions. There are simply too many good things to say about this book. I’d rather you see it for yourself, and I hope you fall in love with Ruth’s art just like I have.

I was so excited to see Ruth’s first book on the shelf at my local Lifeway store last week–BEFORE it releases on September 1! Also, I was THRILLED when the Lifeway clerk price-matched it to the Amazon pre-order price, so I got it for half-off the cover price. What a deal for the most gorgeous book I’ve picked up this year! Of course, you can preorder it now and get that same amazing price, delivered to your door. I think you’ll love GraceLaced as much as I do! Be sure to check out Ruth’s website for special preorder bonus offers.

At my local writers’ conference this July, I was blessed to meet author Deborah Raney and her artist husband Ken Raney. Her book Insight intrigued me because the storyline featured an artist. Since I’m an artist, I decided to choose this book as my first taste of her large collection of Christian fiction titles.

I enjoy fiction, but I don’t read it very often because I put my life on hold to finish the book (if it’s good enough). Insight drew me in and I read it all the way through on one Sunday afternoon and evening, enjoying every minute. I felt sad when it ended, not because the book had a sad ending, but because I felt so connected to her characters and I wanted the story to continue! To me, that’s a sign of quality fiction.

This story involves Olivia, a recently widowed woman, who goes to work for Reed, an artist in need of assistance for the first time in his life due to a health issue. Their stories begin to intertwine in unexpected ways as their romance blossoms. Life gets more complicated when she discovers she is pregnant by her dead husband. I enjoyed the details and nuances in each character’s story along with their stories of faith. I also liked the setting in a small Missouri town that’s similar to my own. I wasn’t quite sure how the story would end, so the book held my interest up until the last chapter.

Insight converted me into a brand-new, top-notch Deborah Raney fan. The best news is, as of this writing, the Kindle version is a 100% free download! Click on the link now to download it. Even if you don’t have time to delve into fiction at this moment, it will be ready and waiting for you, and you’re sure to enjoy this story if you like contemporary Christian fiction.


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16 thoughts on “A Fresh Batch of Book Reviews #11

  1. Sarah,
    Thank you….I always enjoy knowing what others think of books before I make the commitment to purchase them. Thanks for sharing….all the best in the back to school crazy….
    Bev xx

    1. Hi Debby–I’ve been reading a lot lately, and that’s when I like to share in batches. Have a great day!

  2. Thanks for these insights, Sarah. I’ve heard about Gracelaced but not the others, so I’m saving now to my Books to Read board on Pinterest so I can share and go back to later!
    Hope you had a wonderful summer.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    1. Hi Marva–thank you for pinning it! I hope you’ll have time to read them soon. My summer was the busiest in memory as I began freelancing, but I’m truly happiest living this freelance life. Blessings to you on your sunny island!

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