Book Reviews By Jody

Jody's Book Reviews

Title:Back in the Saddle: A Novel

The Prodigal Is Coming Home 

It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding...and why. 
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor.  And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

My Take On This Book

Colt is a well known person on Wall Street. He has all the nice suits and the look of a winner. But as the stock market starts to take a dive, he makes a decision to go back to his hometown. He grew up on a huge ranch called the Double S. It won't be easy going home for him since he has some relationships that need mending. So begins the story of a modern day prodigal son. Will he be welcomed by everyone?

Angelina finds herself working as a housekeeper at the ranch. She is very hard working and family oriented. When she meets Colt it is almost like an explosion going off. He didn't expect her to be in the house and she wasn't expecting him at all. As they begin to get more accustomed to each other they begin to have feelings for each other. Angelina knows that she is hiding something about her past and it is just a matter of time before her secret is found out. Will Colt support her or will he feel betrayed?

The Stafford men are a force to be reckoned with. Rough around the edges, decent, hardworking, stubborn to the core. But each grapples with deep wounds from their past. Patriarch Sam Stafford is finally ready to face the part he played in his broken family and willing to make amends...if it's not too late. What a wonderful set up for the Double S Ranch series.

I was provided with this book to review by Blogging For Books Bloggers Program in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Read with Me Bible for Little Ones

The Read with Me Bible for Little Ones
 is this perfect way to introduce the Bible to young children. Featuring simple language and vibrant, full-color illustrations by Dennis Jones, this action-packed padded cover board book is a great way to jump-start literacy and a love of the Bible.

My Take On This Book

This small 32 page board book with a 


front cover is for children from 4-8 years 


who enjoy reading Bible stories.

With colorful and expressive full-page

 illustrations. Having four stories from both 

the Old and New Testaments of the Holy 

Bible, covered are creation, Noah’s ark, 


and Goliath, Jonah and the big fish, Jesus’s 

birth, a day in the life of Jesus, His calming 

of the sea, and His ascension.

I received this book free from Zondervan 

part of the BookLook Bloggers program,for 

my honest and un-biased opinion.


Title: Samantha Sanderson Without a Trace

"Sam Sanderson is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, so she’s always looking for articles to publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become chief editor). With a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply of writing material.

In the fourth book of the Faithgirlz Samantha Sanderson series, Sam’s friend Tam Lee is missing. As the days pass, all clues seem to point to something sinister in Sam’s opinion. Sam must decide whether to do what everyone wants her to and let law enforcement continue to work as though Tam is a run-away. Or should Sam follow her heart and keep poking around looking for more clues?

The Samantha Sanderson series is about an ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams. Each book touches on a crime straight from headlines, from bomb threats to bullying, while following Samantha and her friends as they navigate middle-school and questions of faith."

My Take On This Book

Samantha is excited about going on a family vacation when she finds out a real good friend has went missing. She has to decide if she will trust the law enforcement to find her friend or is the investigation better left in her hands because this is a special case. She just knows that this is not a classic runaway case, there has to be more to it.

The Samantha Sanderson series is about an ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams. Each book touches on a crime straight from headlines, from bomb threats to bullying, while following Samantha and her friends as they navigate middle-school and questions of faith.

I received this book free from Zondervan part of the BookLook Bloggers program, for my honest and un-biased opinion.


Title: Messy Grace 

Sometimes, grace gets messy.
Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family.
But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…and a pastor.
Very few issues in Christianity are as divisive as the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church. As a pastor and as a person with beloved family members living a gay lifestyle, Caleb had to face this issue with courage and grace. 
Messy Grace shows us that Jesus’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t have an exception clause for a gay “neighbor”—or for that matter, any other “neighbor” we might find it hard to relate to. Jesus was able to love these people and yet still hold on to his beliefs. So can you. Even when it’s messy.

My Take On This Book

I found this book very different then my normal genres that is for sure. However, it was an intriguing & eye opening read for me. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.

I felt Caleb’s goal was to see the church demonstrate grace to the LGBT community, but not at the expense of the truth. He challenges believers to love people that struggle with their own sexual identity but yet without compromising biblical morality.

After reading this myself and still skeptical as I know what the Bible teaches me, and what it says about homosexuality. I just wonder to myself if anyone asked himself or herself at any point throughout this book while reading it, what is the real truth about being part of the LGBT community, but yet being a Christian? 

 I think I walked away from reading this book still confused and not quite sure where I stand with the issue of Messy Grace.

I was provided with this book to review by Blogging For Books Bloggers Program in exchange for an honest review.

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“Feathers—no matter what size or shape or color—are all the same, if you think about them. They’re soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.”

In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth-grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry—gone, without a trace.

Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda’s daughter sinks into depression. And Amanda’s husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda’s whole world has collapsed.

Amanda knows she has to save herself before it’s too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell’s master portrait of love in a fallen world.

My Take On This Book

This is a book about some very tough subjects. It consisted of Human Trafficking, abusive relationships, and suicide are all disturbing; no matter how well the story is written it was a very upsetting book for me. I did not even make it three quarters of the way through the book if that, and had to quit, I just could not read anymore. It hit home for me personally, with the suicide and the abuse. I just could not go on any longer.

I received this book free from Zondervan part of the BookLook Bloggers program, for my honest and un-biased opinion.

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The Under the Sea Holy Bible, NIrV is a perfect gift for children ages 6 to 10. Themes of underwater fun and sparkling fish grace the interior of this wonderful children’s Bible. 

The outside is covered in foil and sparkle. The interior has color inserts featuring whimsical underwater scenes with themes of God’s care and love for each of us and all of creation.

My Take On This Book

Under The Sea Holy Bible has a very nice cover and some cute pictures inside. They intended for children ages 6-10 to read this Bible, and I would say this Bible is more for teens and young adults. The writing is very small for little eyes to see, but I don’t think this would make a good Bible for kids to learn how to study the Word. I would recommend this Bible for families with older children. I was given the opportunity to review this Bible from the BookLook Bloggers program, for my honest and un-biased opinion.

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Help your children develop a closer relationship with God through prayer.
The more we talk with God in prayer—bringing Him thanks, praise, joys, hurts, confessions, and requests—the stronger our faith becomes. We’re not always sure how to pray . . . but Jesus says that prayer is something to be learned. And what better time to learn how to pray than during childhood, when habits that will last a lifetime are formed?
This 52-week experience is a terrific guide for families to understand prayer. From “Wow!” and “Thank you!” prayers to “I’m sorry!” and “Help!” prayers, children will learn what it means to draw near to God and to be changed by Him. Holly Hawkins Shivers, a mother gifted at connecting with kids, makes every discussion engaging and relatable, and helps young believers grow leaps and bounds in their faith.
Give your children a gift that will stay with them forever—the power of prayer.

My Take On This Book

 Coming Soon

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