The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety By William J. Knaus

I had never in my life experienced full blown panic attacks until the loss of two loved ones a year apart. Yes I had had anxiety, but not the heart pounding, dizzy, out of control, feeling like I am going to die kind. It was terrifying! As much as would have liked a quick fix, there was no such thing. This book is a real blessing. I didn’t need a book to tell me what was wrong with me, but one that would show me what to do.
The book is great! As I read it, time and time again, I had these thoughts,
“Yes someone understands!”
“No I’m not crazy!”
“I am not the only one feeling this way!”
First of all there was not a bunch of medical mumbo jumbo. It was easy for someone without a PhD to understand. It reminded me that all feelings and actions begin with a thought. The extreme physical and emotional symptoms I was experiencing hindered me from remembering that. It also taught me what was actually happening to me physically during anxiety. By understanding this, it took the “claws” out of the bear I was dealing with. The workbook didn’t give me the idea of unrealistic, instant results, but that overcoming was a process and would take work on my part. Then in great detail it guided me step by step. There are many written exercises that help you take a good hard look at exactly where your anxiety is coming from, and concrete applications to implement each day. If you have a setback you can always return to the previous lesson and do it again.
By having the written workbook that keeps record of your thoughts and progress, you can go back and see how far you have come. Or, you can go back and review what you have learned when you repeat challenges you have previously had.
A great book! I highly recommend it for anyone grappling with anxiety!
I received this book free from New Harbinger Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

50 Things You Need to Know About Satan and Demons By Mark H. Muska

I read the author’s book, 50 Things You Need to Know about Heaven, and was impressed. Therefore, I was intrigued to read this book. I began it with a cautious note, as there is so much false information out there about this subject. With the spiritual state our world is in today, Satan and his demons have been glamorized, their evil, and power minimized, or underestimated by being made light of.
I have no desire to deeply study satanic information. In the Bible God tells us He wants us to be “simple” concerning evil. (Romans16:19) That does not mean I stick my head in the sand and pretend the world of darkness does not exist. It does! I only need to know what God’s Word says about it.
The author covers 50 common questions most people have about Satan and his realm. What I appreciated most was that his answers were not just his view point but backed up solidly by scripture, and lots of it! He also did not go to the extreme in looking at the subject, but stuck to what that was needed to know most. It was an easy read, well written, and very educational on this subject. A great book to study with adults and teens! Especially with young people, I want to answer their questions but not wet their appetite to know too much, as the occult holds a fascination for young people today.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Anna’s Crossing By Suzanne Woods Fisher

So many Amish fiction books are set in the present time. This one is unique in that it is historical Amish fiction. The Charming Nancy was a real ship that actually crossed the Atlantic in 1737 with a group of Amish and Mennonite believers coming to America. They sailed from Rotterdam in April and arrived in Philadelphia in October of the same year. A 7 month voyage! Traveling by ship during that time was no walk in the park! It was fraught with danger and suffering. Many ships and their occupants perished. A frightening fact that those who sailed knew was real possibility. There was lack of provisions, illness; great discomfort, and death, many of them children. The passengers rode beneath the ship with little fresh air or daylight. A walk on the deck was a rare treat, due to the hazards involved. With them in their tight quarters were all their belongings and animals. Vomiting from sea sickness and the stench of urine and feces was unbearable. Sickness and disease spread quickly in the unsanitary conditions. The Amish/ Mennonites faced even more hardships. They were ridiculed, discriminated against, and taken advantage of financially. Greedy captains charged outrageous prices for food, and passage. In addition they grossly overcrowded the ship with no thought of the safety or comfort of the passengers. Few were able to speak English. This is just a small part of what Anna, her family and fellow believers faced. Add to this these innocent, God fearing people had been in little contact with the world. Now they were thrown head first into it with unscrupulous people and bawdy sailors. A culture shock to say the least! Ms. Fisher does an incredible job of allowing the reader to join these pilgrims on their journey. Her descriptiveness is vivid. My chest tightened and I held my breath at times reading about their experiences. This was definitely and eye-opener! With all the history and detail the author weaves an exciting and personal story of the characters she has created. There are many surprises along the way. A must read! After reading an excerpt included at the end, of Ms. Fisher’s upcoming book, The Impostor, I anxiously await its publication. It will be a first in her new series, The Bishop’s Family. I received this book free from Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own. I

Experiencing the Loss of a Family Member By H. Norman Wright

Having lost my mother and my husband within a year of each other, I found myself reading as many books as I could on grief. It is an uncharted territory each of us must face at different times in our lives. We have no clue what is ahead, how we will respond, nor what is expected of us. As a Christian I wanted insights and guidance from the scriptures, and the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. Yes, our experiences and how we deal with our grief differ, but there are similarities that tie us all together.
Dr. H. Norman Wright is a not only a writer but a Christian therapist. In this book he shares his expertise and biblical knowledge to being to begin your journey through the sorrow. This book is for everyone. He includes valuable help in the loss of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend, pet and more.
I was so overwhelmed and consumed that it was hard for me to step outside the box of my pain and see anything else. This book helped me do that. It was a beginning, a first step. I was amazed at how the author described in detail many of the feelings and experiences I was encountering. Most of all the many scriptures and Bible truths strengthen my anchor to the only One that could help me heal. My journey is far from over, but I am thankful for the support and counsel I received from this book.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine By Julia Cook

I have found a new favorite children’s author! Julia Cook has managed to combine entertainment, colorful, fun illustrations, and addressing the issue of children’s worries in this wonderful book. The story will definitely keep and child’s attention.
Wilma Jean is a “worry wart”. Her anxieties surround “what if’s” of many things in and out of her control. Sounds like a lot of adult worry doesn’t it?
I thought it was so insightful how Ms. Cook dealt with Wilma Jean’s fears through the eyes of a child! Children worry a lot nowadays but most of the time they don’t feel comfortable or know how to share those concerns with adults. They sometimes even think the grown-ups will see their apprehension as silly, and unfortunately there are times they are told just that
Children will be able to connect with Wilma Jean and realize they aren’t alone. Better yet the child will be guided in how to view and deal with their worries. It isn’t just an enjoyable story; there are solutions offered. I believe adults should read the books too as they may be guilty of brushing off their little one’s burdens and not taking them seriously. They are serious to the child! Another plus I see is that this will be a starting point at a young age for kids to learn how to deal with stressors in their life. At the back of the book the author gives 16 ideas for adults, parents, and teachers to help an anxious child.
I know this book is for children ages 2 – 5 years but I would extend it to 10 years old. I am thinking about incorporating it into a Bible study for our ladies group on worry. I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Cook’s books! Go to http://www.juliacookonline.com to see more of them!

Cutie Pies By Dani Cone

There are several books published on small portion desserts and even meals, but this is the only one I know of with just pies! And who doesn’t like pie! Being it is only pies, this is still a very versatile cookbook. There is a great variety of recipes, each category having savory and sweet. Many of the recipes give the option to bake full size or smaller size pies. There are cutie pies baked in standard muffin tins, Petit-5s bake in mini muffin tins, pie jars, hand held pies, pie pops (love this one!), and standard size pies. There is a special chapter with different crust recipes, measurements for all the pies, and how to make the perfect crust. Even after many years of baking I learned some new things here!
This is a quality cookbook. Cover and pages are sturdy. The pictures are great and very tempting. Recipes are simple to read and follow. Ingredients are not complicated and the majority you will have on hand. I liked the heavy glossy pages that will hold up to many years of baking.
In the past, everyone baked pies but not so much now. Most are store or bakery bought. This book is a goldmine of gifts, treats for your family or parties. I think many would be great for bake sales. Smaller portions especially in desserts make it a treat but no guilt for over indulging. These recipes will give you the opportunities to not only bake something yummy, but also to show you took the time to show you really care. It would be fun for the family to have an all pie day! Pies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! With this cookbook you could do it!
I received this book free from Andrew McMell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Hope Harbor By Irene Hannon

One man is looking for answers by running away and a woman is looking for answers by struggling to stay. Michael Hunter and Tracey Campbell are unexpectedly thrown together in their totally opposite pursuits. Both have faced the loss of their spouses in very different ways, and grappling with moving ahead. Yet they are not the only ones in the seaside town of Hope Harbor that need healing and solutions. Anna Williams, a widow, has never healed over the death of her husband and estrangement from her only son. Then there is Grace, the unwed teen and her family that desperately need relationships repaired from years of misunderstandings. God joins all of them by surprising circumstances. He uses their hurts and godly characteristics to help one another.
This is a delightful story with so many facets; romance, godly love, self-sacrifice, faith, and forgiveness. On the opposite of the spectrum there was stubbornness, pride, guilt, unforgiveness and bitterness. These myriad emotions made the characters seem real. It reminded me of how I have seen God work in my life and others by means we could never imagine. As I read the book, and was able to look into each character’s hearts and minds, and I could see where they were fighting God and trying to choose their own paths, attempting to “fix” their problems. I saw myself at times when I have not trusted Him for the results and made things so much harder on myself. Just as most people tend to do, each person had put God in a box, deciding their “impossible” situation was hopeless and refusing to give the Lord control. This book is not only extremely entertaining, but a wonderful testimony of God’s power. Can’t wait for the sequel!
I do wish the author had included the recipes mentioned in the book. Especially for Tracey’s cranberry bread!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have shared are my own.