Book Reviews – Do You Know You’re Already Amazing

Do You Know You're Already Amazing

Holley Gerth is one of my favorite bloggers/authors and when I found out I was going to be a part of the launch team for her 30 day devotional, I was so excited! I love her “You’re Already Amazing” book and when I found out this was a devotional based upon that, I knew it would be great!

In the intro of this devotional book, Holley says “Each of the thirty devotions in this book addresses a lie our hearts are tempted to believe and shares the truth that God wants to offer us instead.” This little book takes 30 truths that God wants us to believe, but that we as women struggle with ourselves, and puts it into a format that helps us to work out each truth for ourselves in order to move forward in freedom. Each of these are full of encouragement and reminds us that we are already amazing in God’s eyes! I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review and will be purchasing some to share with my family and friends!

Until next time…Keep it simple!


Book Reviews

I have been meaning to post the review of the following books for awhile now and life has just been busy the past month. I have recently become a member of NetGalley, a website where you can request books in exchange for an honest review. I love reading books and I’m glad I was able to find a place where I can get books to review here at SimplyMaude.

Love, AliceLove, Alice  by Barbara Davis is a book which blends the present day with the past in both a heartaching and heartwarming manner. It begins with a young woman who visits on a daily basis the grave of her fiancé who committed suicide just weeks before their wedding with no warning.  One day when she was sitting there she notices a lady leaving a letter at a nearby grave and decides to pick it up and read it. What happens after that leads to a quest for answers that unearths family secrets from years past…secrets that still have repercussions to present day. The author does such a great job in intertwining stories from the present and the past and melding the two in a seamless manner. The author also deals with the history of the Magdalene laundries/asylums where young unwed girls were sent to wait/work out their pregnancies. I had never heard of these and it was definitely a learning experience while reading this book. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be putting it on my to-be-read-again-soon list!!! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for this review.

My Sister's SecretMy Sister’s Secret by Tracy Buchanan is about Willow who was raised by her aunt after her parents were tragically killed in a car accident. When she receives an invitation to a photo art exhibit out of the blue, secrets from her mother’s life begin to surface and Willow learns that not everything is as they appear in her memory. This book was intriguing and kept me reading. I enjoy books that go between past and present and seeing how different factors change dynamics in relationships that affect future generations. The author introduced me to “submerged forests” and how interesting and intriguing they are. I enjoy learning about new things and I liked how the author took something I had not known about and weaved it into the main storyline of this book. Overall this book was a great relaxing read and I will look forward to reading more by this author. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for this review.

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

When I saw that Beth Moore was writing a fiction book, I knew that it was going to be on my to-be-read list! I received just a few sample chapters of The Undoing of Saint Silvanus and I have to say that I am intrigued to read the rest of it. It is about a young woman whose father has died and she agrees to go to New Orleans to visit her grandmother and go to the burial. What she didn’t count on is an investigation into her father’s death leading to family secrets being told surrounding an old apartment building called Saint Silvanus. The publication date on this is 9/20 and I am looking forward to getting to finish this book! I received a sample of this book from NetGalley in exchange for this review.


Until next time….keep it simple!


Beauty Begins – Book Review

I requested to review this book because so much emphasis/pressure is put on appearance these days. I know I fall prey to this mindset daily as well. I have always struggled with how I looked and how I didn’t feel as pretty or wasn’t as skinny as other girls. This started for me when I was like 11 or 12 and I still struggle with it even in my 30’s. Not only did I want to read this book for me, but I wanted to read it for my little girl. I don’t want her to struggle or go through the same mindset/thinking that I have dealt with my whole life.

Beauty Begins

To be honest…there is nothing in this book that I haven’t heard before. However, with that being said I enjoyed having everything laid out in one place and I feel like the concepts flowed smoothly through the book. I thought it was neat that this book is written by a mother and daughter team. It gives an interesting perspective into how what mothers think about/see themselves translates to their daughters.

The main focus of this book is helping people realize that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s eyes. No matter how the world may define beauty (and the world’s definition of beauty has definitely changed throughout the years), true beauty is from the inside and realizing that God made each person special and that our focus should be on Him and not what the world thinks.

At the end of each chapter there are some questions for personal reflection to help the reader through what their thoughts are on this subject and why they might think that about themselves. I originally thought this book appeals to readers of any age, however, there are parts that make me think it is geared toward younger readers (junior high/high school). However, honestly that is about the time that most girls are needing to hear this truth. The truth that God’s definition of “pretty/beautiful” is very different than the world’s definition. With that being said, I still think that it is a great read/reminder to women of all ages as well that true beauty comes from inside.

I really enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to all my friends! There are a lot of parts that resonated with me and I am hoping to instill a lot of these thoughts/values/beliefs into my daughter’s life as she gets older.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Until next time…Keep it simple!


Blogging Troubles

Do you want to hear something honest? I am having trouble with this blog.

Blogging Troubles

I can not come up with ideas that I want to post about. I have started many different posts, but when I go back and read them they all sound not interesting. I know I wouldn’t probably want to read the posts that I am writing (even though they are coming from my own head) and if that is the case why would anyone else want to read them?

I am enjoying learning about the blogging process and I feel like my creativity for my blog is right there fixing to come out, but it just needs a little big push. I feel like I am on the verge of being creative and coming up with interesting posts, but I am just not there yet.

I have realized something today and I don’t know what to do about it just yet. I was listening to Kat Lee’s podcast “How They Blog – episode 1” and this episode seemed like it was made especially for me at this time. She was talking about how blogging didn’t need to be for me, it needs to be for others. What?!? After hearing that…I realized that is a big part of my problem…I have been mainly focusing on me and what I can bring/learn from this…when in all actuality my focus needs to be what I can bring to help/teach others.

I also read this blog post titled “What I Would Tell My Newbie Blogging Self” and it explains/describes exactly what I am trying to say. I need to stop comparing myself to others and just enjoy doing this. I don’t need to stress about doing things the right way…I just need to start doing something.

So I am going to think on this for a bit and hopefully I will start getting on the right track with this. I will keep you posted and we will see what happens!

Until next time…keep it simple!


edit: So a couple of days after I drafted this, there was a blog post up on in(Courage) that resonated with me and I think applies to my problem of being creative and figuring out what to do with this blog. It talked about having “The Courage to Create from Who You Are“. This quote really stood out to me “Creating from what you know doesn’t mean you don’t explore new interests or develop mastery of something you’ve never done before. It also doesn’t mean creating something that pleases everyone.” I needed this so much. I feel like this was the kick in the pants I was needing. I literally just need to write about what I know. God has made me different than anyone else with different gifts and abilities, and I just need to embrace that and create based on me/God and not anyone else.  I think deep down I have known this all along, but just kept comparing myself to the different bloggers that I love following and that is not right. I need to just be me and not try to imitate or be like anyone else. God has given me my own abilities and personality and I just need to worry about being me and bringing glory to Him throughout this fun hobby.

Thanks friends, for listening to me ramble and I am getting excited to start new things here by just being myself and letting you guys get to know the real me. This is so getting out of my comfort box because I am a pretty private person, but I really feel like this is what God is leading me to do. Thanks for being patient with me as I process this and figure out what I need want to do.