Andrew Smith's Blog

My name is Andrew. Come and have a look inside my life and watch me share what is on my heart.

Highway to Hell: The Roads Where Childhoods Are Stolen By Matt Roper Book Review


Highway to Hell is a personally story about a journalist, Matt Roper and a Canadian country singer, Dean Brody and their journey to a dangerous highway in Brazil called BR-116. This highway was known to be populated with child prostitution and exploitation. On the highway, they first met a little girl, Leilah about 11 years old in a lilac dress and she was selling herself for 25 reals (about 10 dollars U.S. currency) to tourists and truck drivers. Most of their parents know their children are selling their bodies for money where they can buy food or even drugs. And some parents and grandparents of these children force them to where they can have the money and most of it is generational. Earlier that day, Matt and Dean met with the president of the state assembly and he told them that child prostitution doesn’t happen anymore on BR-116. They later found out how untrue his statement really was. This book will cover the truth of what’s happening on BR-116 highway.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone is passionate about protecting children from predators and every parent and pastor should read this book. The book was heartbreaking to read because of the horrible events that Matt and Dean encountered on their journey. I haven’t ever personally been to a foreign country before and it was very eye opening to me. The book is really difficult to imagine that young girls would be involved in child prostitution and no one is doing anything to stop it and save the girls. I liked how Matt described the children and people that they met very well and I felt like I was seeing a glimpse of some of the terrible conditions they witnessed. I immensely liked the lyrics of a song Dean Brody wrote about Leilah which made him actively wanting to get involved. I also have trouble understand how some of the parents aren’t trying to stop their children from selling their bodies and how they can just by and watch their children put their self into danger. The book is a very critical book and it’s important that we wake up to what is happening in the world around us. If you’re seeking an excellent book on the topic of child prostitution and exploitation, then please read this book!

 

I received this book free from the publisher from Kregel Publications book review bloggers program."  
 

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Highway to Hell, then check it out on Amazon.com:

Once A-Day Country Faith, 56 Reflections from Today’s Leading Country Music Stars Compiled By Deborah Evans Price Book Review


 
Country Faith was a beautiful designed devotional book that included a scripture verse from a popular country music artist, a personal story about why they choose that verse, and an artist photo. The book featured country artists like Rodney Atkins, Carrie Underwood, Eric Paslay, Josh Turner, Easton Corbin, Lee Brice, Wynonna, The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert, Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Lorrie Morgan, Hunter Hayes, Jimmy Wayne, Florida Georgia Line, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, Trisha Yearwood, Danny Gokey, Lee Greenwood, Lauren Alaina, Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town, Randy Owen from Alabama, Scotty McCreery, Barbara Mandrell, Jamie O’Neal, Craig Morgan, Phil Vassar, Dustin Lynch, and many more. Some of the artists even revealed their personal insights into how a verse inspired a song. Many of the stories shared was about their music career and their faith in God. The back of the book also contained an Introduction to the Book of Mark.
 

I would recommend this astonishing vibrant devotional to every single country music fan and it is perfect for the country music lover. I was encouraged by the faith that was prevalent throughout the book and how the artist opened up about how their favorite Bible verse has impacted them. I especially liked Josh Turner, Dustin Lynch, Easton Corbin, Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry, and Miranda Lambert’s stories and verses. I liked how Carrie Underwood presented Romans 38-39 and she reminded me of the importance of understanding that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. No matter my mistakes and failures, God still loves me unconditionally. I also appreciated how Lorrie Morgan choose Psalm 23 to bring her comfort during difficult seasons and the deepest valleys of life. Some of her own was when she lost her father at 16 and her husband, Keith Whitley and God was her shepherd and light through the darkness. I loved how genuine The Band Perry was in stating that James 1:2-4 encouraged to keep perseverating through 12 years of struggling to make it in the music business. What if they would have quit long ago? They realized now that the long journey helped prepare them. It was refreshing to a number of my favorite artists included in this book and I really enjoyed reading this book and flipping through the amazing photos and seeing the different layouts of the pages. This would make a wonderful gift for the country music fans in your life. I highly recommend it! 
"I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program."  
 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Country Faith, check it out on Amazon.com:

Friend Me By John Faubion Blog Tour and Book Review



My Review:

Friend Me was an enjoyable fiction novel that could easily become true in today’s times. I liked how the plot presented the dangers of technology and how virtual friend online software could be the next social media outbreak. I can see how people are turning more and more to technology and the internet than into engaging in person to person conversations. This novel was a little frightening it because it could cause our marriages and relationships with friends to be replaced with creating our own perfect person online. I enjoyed how much suspense John Faubion included and the way he portrayed the character Melissa was just plain eerie. The book makes me even more determined to protect my future marriage and to appreciate my friendships even in more depth. It’s terrifying that in the future you might have to safe guard your marriage from virtual creations. If you’re looking for a book that will keep you engaged and on the edge of your seat, then read this book!

 “I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group."

About the book: When a lonely wife and her frustrated husband each secretly pursue companionship online, neither dreams that a real woman is behind their virtual creations, threatening their marriage---and their lives.

Scott and Rachel's marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. As Rachel desperately tries to re-create a friendship with a friend who has passed, Scott becomes unfaithful and is torn between the love for his wife and the perfection of his cyber-girlfriend. But neither realizes that there's a much larger problem looming . . .

Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant---and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the virtual friend software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all---Scott, his family, and Rachel's life.

As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it's a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it's too late.

In today's digital age, the Internet presents all kinds of opportunities to test our personal boundaries, and this exciting and suspenseful story raises important questions about the ethics of virtual relationships. Friend Me will open your eyes to a new---and terrifying---moral dimensions and how they play out in the real world.

Read an excerpt and purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/taPkJ

About the author:



John Faubion has spent many years in Asia as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States, John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949 Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis with his wife, Beth, and their daughter.

Learn more about John at: http://christiansuspense.com

Read what others are saying:

 
 
 
John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Me, with a Kindle HDX giveaway!
friendme-400

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Friend Me by John Faubion
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 22nd. Winner will be announced February 24th on John Faubion's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.

The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More By Bruce Feiler Book Review


About The Book:
 

The book that revolutionized our view of what makes families happy . . .

Determined to find the smartest solutions and the most cutting-edge research about families, bestselling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler gathered team-building exercises and problem-solving techniques from the most creative minds—from Silicon Valley to the Green Berets—and tested these ideas with his wife and kids. The result is a lively, original look at how we can create stronger parent/child relationships, manage the chaos of our lives, teach our kids values and grit, and have more fun together.

The Secrets of Happy Families includes more than two hundred unique practices that will help your family draw closer and make everyone in your home happier. It has already changed the lives of millions of families, and it can do the same for yours.

 

My Review:

I would recommend this amazing resource to every single parents or going to be parents. Let me first begin by saying that I’m not married and I don’t have a family yet but one day I will. I read this book in order to better equip me ahead of time and this book did just that. I loved how this book covered hot issues like managing money, creating a mission statement for your family, the importance of family dinner, resolving conflict, discussing sex, family vacations, and so much more.

I immensely like how Bruce Feiler suggested to readers the importance of eating meal regularly together and how the research correlates to this. I loved how he recommended that families could play word of the day games at dinner time, have autobiography night, pain points, word game night, and bad and good. These were great creative ideas to keep mealtime interesting and fun some nights. I especially like how he included a huge amount of research to back up his strong points throughout the entire book. The toolkit at the end of the book was extremely helpful in connecting the books main points together.

Another key chapter I liked was about building a mission statement for your family and sticking to your core values. He also had a helpful section of eighty words to describe your family to assist readers in writing down their mission statement of their own personally family. Another aspect of the book was on the chapter of sex and I was shocked to learn that only 85% of girls had have the talk with their parents and boys were only half. Why are we not talking to our children about sex and why do we get so uncomfortable and chicken out? I liked how he was very real in being honest about how parents need to be having the talk with them.

This book taught me a great deal on how to be a parent when that time come and how to lead my family in a Christ like manner. If you’re seeking a wonderful parenting resource, then read this one!

“I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group/ HarperCollins Publishers for this review”.

Purchase a copy and download the Happy Families Toolkit: http://ow.ly/sSUq6

Meet the Author: Bruce Feiler writes a column in contemporary families for the New York Times and is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Council of Dads. He is the host of several series on PBS, a popular lecturer, and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and twin daughters.

Learn more about Bruce at:
http://brucefeiler.com

Read what others are saying:

http://litfusegroup.com/author/bfeiler
 
In The Secrets of Happy Families, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler has drawn up a blueprint for modern families — a new approach to family dynamics, inspired by cutting-edge techniques gathered from experts in the disciplines of science, business, sports, and the military. Written in a charming, accessible style, The Secrets of Happy Families is smart, funny, and fresh, and will forever change how your family lives every day.

Bruce is celebrating the release of his book with a family fun "Happy Family" Kindle HDX giveaway.
happyfamilies-400-withoutclick

  One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 15th. Winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on the 17th to see if you won.

Hot Buttons: Bullying Edition and Image Edition By Nicole O’Dell Book Review



The Hot Buttons: Bullying Edition and Image Edition is number 5 and 6 in the Hot Button series. The Bullying Edition covered the different real aspects of bullying and what is classified as bullying. There is verbal, physical, social, and cyberbullying that is harming our children’s health and self-esteem. Kids with special needs or disabilities, race, religion practices, and sexuality tend to be bullied more frequently. Nicole looked at the critical reasons behind why cliques bully and one of the shocking reasons is many bullies bully in order to belong to a group and to become popular. She also offered advice if your child is a member of a clique and how to handle if your child is the bully.

 

Nicole O’Dell shared throughout both books with readers her personal experience with being bullied and the affects it had on her. Before she entered middle school, she was bit by a mosquito and she contracted encephalitis and it made her gain some weight. She was called butterball by a classmate and was teased and bullied because of it. She struggled with emotional damage and she began exercising and dieting to lose the weight. A few years later when she started high school, the same guy who picked on her began to hit on her. She began to believe the lie that body size and appearance makes you desirable and she chased popularity.

 

The Image Edition instructed parents on comprehending how much pressure is being put on our kids and the expectations to look a certain way. She also explained the concepts of “spark, flicker, flame, and blaze” and how this lead her to being concerned with her appearance and bullying. She was very real in discussing with parents on the importance of being the parent and not their best friend. Satan loves to entice and lie to our teens and he promises acceptance from peers if you lose weight, gain muscle, and look like this celebrity or model. Nicole advised parents to build their child’s confidence with positive compliments and to encourage our children to be genuine and kind to others.  

 



I would recommend these outstanding books on bullying and image to every single parents, future parents, pastors, youth group leaders, and counselors. This series is an enormous blessing to readers and they will greatly influence and guide parents to assisting their children in dealing with today’s issues. I immensely liked the features of the strategic scenarios and how parents are encouraged to describe the different scenarios and then the teens is supposed to choose the best answer they would do in that situation. I really believe this would be a thought- provoking activity for children. I don’t have children yet, but one day, I plan on having them and this will be a series that I reread whenever that time comes. It has reinforced the need to pay attention to the signs of bullying and signs of negative body image being instilled into our children’s minds. I was shocked most by the statistics presented in these chapters and it opened my eyes to the real essential of reaching out to our teenagers and connecting with them on a deeper level. I appreciated the overview she has even in these books and she has set up the foundation where countless beneficial conversations can occur between parents and teenagers. If you’re looking for a great parenting series, then I highly recommend you read these books!


 

"I received this book free from the publisher from Kregel Publications book review bloggers program."  

 

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Hot Buttons, then check it out on Amazon.com:

 


 

By Grace Alone: Finding Freedom and Purging Legalism from Your Life By Derek Prince Book Review


In By Grace Alone, Derek Prince explored the law and legalism and following all of the religious rules to being a good Christian. He began the book by looking at the Law of Moses and how it was a closed system and you have to follow the commands perfectly. The good news, Derek revealed that Christ fulfilled the law when He died on the cross for our sins and we now have the concept of grace. Another strong point of the book is Derek discussing the true definition of love and how we need people in our lives who will stand beside us instead of the ones who only want to betray us with a kiss. He thoroughly went through the diverse benefits of grace in multiple chapters.

 

I would recommend this magnificent book on understanding the concepts of grace to all believers. I learned the importance of getting rid of our legalism and all of our rules that religion tries to put on us. I immensely loved how he portrayed how grace was introduced and how it has changed when Jesus died for our sins. The book is a little long to read because it’s written more formal and treacherous. But it’s effective at presenting the information of the slope of grace. If you’re pursuing a book on comprehending grace, then read this one!

 

 

“I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Publishers/ Chosen book review bloggers program.”     

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of By Grace Alone, check it out on Amazon.com: