Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Two Reviews: Faking Grace (Fiction) and Open (Non-Fiction) August 7, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:49 am
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faking grace 2

Faking Grace


Tamara Leigh

From the back cover:

All she wants is a job. All she needs is religion. How hard can it be?

Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.

A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but Steeple Side only hires committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith–a plan of action that includes changing her first name to Grace, buying Jesus-themed accessories, and learning “Christian Speak.” If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and two-day-stubbled, blue-jean-wearing British hottie wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.

When Maizy’s boss at the newspaper decides that she should investigate–and expose–any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her Steeple Side colleagues–and Jack–will show her grace.

My thoughts:

This is the second book I read by Tamara Leigh. The first book I read was Perfecting Kate and I loved it. So I was a bit concerned that Faking Grace might not be able to live up to my expectations.

I had nothing to worry about.

I think I have found a new favorite author. I love Tamara Leigh’s style. Her writing is funny, and witty. Her characters full of flaws and real.

Through Maizy Grace’s eyes we see what many unbelievers see when they look at Christians. They see that we aren’t perfect, we don’t have it all together, we make mistakes. But we also see that if we show grace to others we can draw them to the foot of the cross, into the loving embrace of the Father.

This book is so full of conflict I had to keep turning the pages. There is a ticking time bomb that you know will explode in Maizy’s face and we are just waiting until it happens and then wondering how she will ever get out it. How will she salvage the friendships she has begun to forge? Can she? Will her friends forgive her?

There are a few LOL moments, when Maizy uses her new “Christian speak” incorrectly. There is just so much truth in this book that it forces us to take a look at our own faith an examine how genuine it really is.

You can grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping, or the publisher.

You can read Tamara’s bio here.

You can visit Tamara’s website here.

You can read the first chapter here.

More info. here.

A copy of this book was given to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

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Open by Craig Cross

From the back cover:

Open is a revolutionary program to help readers stay in step with God through the encouragement of accountability partners.

Tiger Woods. Anthony Weiner. Goldman Sachs. Bernie Madoff. Penn State. What do all these names have in common? They all exemplify the cheating and stealing and secret lives that lead to widespread ruin. Sadly, these high-profile examples indicate the depths to which any of us can sink. Why do we make poor decisions so often that can lead to life-shattering results? What’s missing? The answer: accountability.

Open is an essential guide for understanding the role of accountability, what it means for how you live, and how to approach the process. It covers three steps to incorporating this practice into our lives. You will get the Why—breaking down specific reasons our society needs more accountability, especially at the personal level. You will see the What—this part will explain in detail what a life of accountability requires: honesty, courage, and a supportive accountability partner. You will explore the How—learning how to become accountable, the ins and outs of choosing an accountability partner, the relational dynamics involved, what to do if an accountability relationship isn’t working, and much more.

Open is a proven method for releasing the powerful grip the many negative influencers in society have on the security and success of individuals and families.

My thoughts:

What I am discovering about non-fiction books is that I only connect with them if they are full of real-life stories. When the author shares their struggles and their victories.

This book that does that. The author shares his own experience with accountability groups and what works and what doesn’t.

I have tried being accountable to someone before and it didn’t work for me, because I wanted to hide my sin. I have tried being the one holding someone accountable and it didn’t work because the person always came to me after they did the very thing they didn’t want to do, not when they were considering it. I felt more like a trash can to dump their garbage than a support to walk them through victory.

I think this is a much needed book that churches should have stocked in their libraries. I believe people do want to be held accountable but they don’t know how or what it should look like. This book tells you why you need accountability and how to make that happen.

Ultimately, it is up to each of us individually to make that choice to be held accountable, you have to want it to make it work.

I also think it is great that this book is written my a man because it empowers men to do it and see that it is possible. I think women are more likely to seek this type of relationship because of our make-up, we are relational like that, we want to pour our hearts out to someone who will understand us. Men can find this difficult, but I think this book can lead them to the road of that type of relationship.

Grab a copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, , Deeper Shopping or the publisher.

You can visit Craig Gross’s website here.

A copy of this book was given to me by Thomas Nelson through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for an honest review.


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