Tag Archives: Memoir

#BookReview: Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke

5 Jun

Under a Desert Sky is a candid and compelling read! When faced with her own cancer diagnosis, as well as the diagnoses of both her parents, Lynne Hartke wrestled with a myriad of thoughts, questions, and emotions. Relating her experiences to the Sonoran Desert, Hartke illustrates both the desolation and the beauty to be found in life’s desert places. Heartfelt and hopeful, Under a Desert Sky is a stirring memoir!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.


About the book:

There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions: Why? and Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question: Who? Who are you, God? Who are you to me?

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and crushing self-doubt. And then, the unthinkable. Cancer is now threatening not only her own life but also the lives of both her parents.

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites you to discover, as she did, that even in life’s hardest places, you are not alone in your fear, you are not foolish to hope, and you are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.

Learn more about the book and the author. 

#BookReview: And It Was Beautiful by Kara Tippetts

8 Mar

and it was beautiful

And It Was Beautiful by Kara Tippetts

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1QVAvgz

How do you live out extravagant love in the everyday moments? How do you celebrate grace when your life turns out differently than the one you dreamed?

Kara Tippetts discovered how to find joy in the small moments of life. She learned how to hold tight to hope even while battling intense physical and emotional pain. And she lived out the truth that God can redeem any story.

In her final book, Kara offers gentle reflections on living and dying well. She invites us to cultivate soft hearts even when we face great disappointment. Her ideas for living are hard-won, wrestled with in the crucible of family, illness, and faith. And her constant reminder is that whether we are in the midst of dark days or mundane moments Jesus is always there, life is surprisingly beautiful, and God is forever good.


Quote- And It Was Beautiful

My thoughts:

It’s hard to find words to describe the love and grace Kara Tippetts shared. After reading her first book, The Hardest Peace, I followed Kara’s journey of living and dying with cancer. Her words made me laugh, they made me cry, and they left a deep and lasting impression.

And It Was Beautiful is Kara Tippetts’ final book and a compilation of her writings and blog posts.  “The entries are arranged according to “acts” like the acts in a play. The acts do not represent a strict chronology, but they do follow the arc of her story. This approach may seem very basic, but Kara would have approved heartily. She liked the simple and the mundane, believing that it was in the ordinary that she saw the beautiful.”

The title, And It Was Beautiful, is a perfect summation of this reflective memoir. Kara Tippetts’ story is filled with heartbreaking and breathtaking beauty! 


Kara Tippetts

Kara Tippetts was the author of The Hardest Peace and the co-author of Just Show Up. She blogged faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, has been parenting their four children and leading the church the couple founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram




and it was beautiful

Click here to read what other Litfuse reviewers are saying about And It Was Beautiful.  My thanks to Litfuse Publicity for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.  All thoughts expressed are my own.

Review: Who’s the New Kid? | Fitbit Giveaway + Facebook Party

2 Jun


Who’s the New Kid? by Heidi Bond with Jenna Glatzer

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1R01IuI

Who’s the New Kid? shows readers how Heidi helped her daughter lose weight without the aid of fad diets, medication, or surgery and how other parents can do the same with their kids.

At nine years old, Breanna Bond weighed a whopping 186 pounds. Just walking up the stairs to her room was a challenge. Her legs chafed to the point of bleeding from rubbing against each other, and her school days were filled with taunts of “Hey, Fatty!” Breanna’s mom, Heidi, was devastated and wondered, How can I get my daughter healthy again?

In just over a year, Heidi’s plan worked! Breanna dropped 40 percent of her body weight and was transformed from a morbidly obese child who spent her days in front of the TV eating chips and chocolate to a vibrant, healthy, energetic little girl.


Who’s the New Kid? is an inspiring story!  In this encouraging book, Heidi Bond, Breanna’s mother, candidly shares the challenges and rewards of their emotional struggle and life-changing journey of transformation. 

While the book is primarily the Bond’s story of overcoming Breanna’s obesity, helpful tips and advice, nutritional information, a forty day meal and exercise plan, and recipes are also included.  Written with openness and honesty, Who’s the New Kid? will make you stop and think and encourage you to make the necessary changes in your life to achieve better physical health. 

I received a complimentary copy of Who’s the New Kid? through Litfuse Publicity.  I appreciate the opportunity to read this book and share my honest opinion.

Landing page:


Celebrate the release of Who’s the New Kid? by entering to win a Fitbit and RSVPing to Heidi’s June 9th author chat party!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Fitbit
  • A copy of Who’s the New Kid?

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 9th. Winner will be announced June 9th at Heidi’s Facebook partyRSVP here! 

Plus, participate in the #WhosTheNewKid conversation by pinning a family-friendly, healthy recipe (or two) to a Pinterest board!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on June 9th!



Heidi Bond has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, and The Biggest Loser. A sought after speaker, she has helped thousands of parents who are struggling with overweight, underactive children. Heidi lives in Clovis, California with her husband, Dan, and their children, Breanna and Nathan. 

Find Heidi and Breanna online: website, Twitter, Facebook

The Long Awakening

10 Dec

The Long Awakening

The Long Awakening by Lindsey O’Connor


On a crisp October day in 2002, Lindsey O’Connor woke from a 47-day medically induced coma. She heard her ecstatic husband’s voice and saw his face as she emerged from the depths of unconsciousness. She was bewildered by the people around her who looked so overjoyed and were so thoroughly attentive and attuned to her every move. Then came the question: “Do you remember that you had a baby?”

Lindsey drifted in and out of consciousness again for weeks. When she finally and gradually surfaced permanently from her long submersion, she struggled to understand that the day her baby came into the world was the day she left it. Her awakening was the happy ending for her family and friends–the miracle they had been praying for–but it was just the beginning of Lindsey’s long and frightening journey toward a new reality.

With visceral images and richly layered storytelling, Lindsey O’Connor vividly tells the poignant true story of the struggle to reenter her world and rebuild her identity. Underlying this life and death battle is a story of lost and found love, the effort to make sense of life-altering events, and the continuing search for self. This moving memoir paints a powerful picture of pain, beauty, and the unsurpassable gift of finally knowing who you are.


“The riveting true story of a life-threatening coma, a miraculous awakening, and the long quest to regain what was lost.”

Lindsey O’Connor has courageously shared the story of her awakening, after being in a medically induced coma for 47 days. In her stirring memoir, Lindsey recounts the events that would forever change her life and the lives of her family and friends. She details the physical and emotional struggles, as well as the triumphs, she endured on her arduous road to rediscovering herself and her family. Told with compelling candor, The Long Awakening is an unforgettable story that will speak to the heart of every person who reads it.

Lindsey O’Connor is a gifted writer and has written a book that will amaze and inspire you. Her story is one that is meant to be shared and one I hope you will read!


Lindsey O’Connor is the author of five books, a freelance journalist, and speaker. Her newest book is a memoir called The Long Awakening. She’s a narrative storyteller, produces radio stories, and has contributed to American Public Media’s Weekend America, WashingtonPost.com, The Rocky Mountain News, Christianity Today, Guideposts and others. She’s a former radio and television anchor and her audio book was a finalist for an Audio Publishers Association award. True story is her thing.

To learn more about Lindsey O’Connor, please visit her website, http://www.lindseyoconnor.com/.


My thanks to Lindsey O’Connor for sharing her story and for the opportunity to read The Long Awakening. I received a complimentary copy of this book; all thoughts expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received.