Here We Go Again!

Let’s Go!

It’s been almost three years since I wrote a book review! I’ve read several good books by unknown authors that I believe will be noticed in due season.

I’m excited to begin a new journey now that my oldest (young adult) has finished college and heading off to a six-month internship. My second child (young adult) is going into their junior year of college. It’s been real!

I’m looking forward to sharing reviews, interviews with various authors, upcoming books and much more!

Please share this with other book lovers!

Keep A Book in Hand…


Penny Wise by Dave and Neta Jackson


Dave and Neta Jackson has touch my heart again. Penny Wise, Windy City Neighbors Series is one of those book that hit home with me. The Jaspers is a Christian family striving to survive everyday life with raising three teenagers in Chicago. Michelle Jasper, the work-outside-the-home mother, women’s fellowship leader, and wife to a deacon in their church can be quite much.

The heart of this book resounds trusting God with our family. It also shows how much God cares for us regarding the little things in our lives.

Penny Wise is a book that will bring hope, courage, strength and a greater sense that God cares about the seemingly insignificant areas of our lives. When Michelle begins to “prove” her God by asking Him to bring pennies to her to prove that He would provide for her family, it brought back a time in my life where I actually did the same thing. He’s a faithful God!

If you need encouragement, a touch of suspense and just a well-rounded good read of learning how to trust a faithful God, then Penny Wise is the next book for you in the Windy City Neighbors Series.

*All opinions expressed are my own.*

Sandra W Titus


Beautiful Me – 21 Days to Embracing Your Beauty Within

Beautiful Me2Many of today’s women struggle with seeing themselves as beautiful. But who ever set a specific standard to beauty? Who ever set in stone that you have to look this way, have that shape, or wear those clothes to be considered beautiful? Who ever said that true beauty is all about what meets the eye? It’s all an unncessary pressure women place upon themselves and because of it, many are blind to the breathtaking beauty they possess inside.

In this book, LaKeisha Rainey-Collins seeks to boost the confidence of God’s daughters by redirecting their attention to their God-given beauty within. For 21 days, which is noted as the amount of time if takes to form a habit, LaKeisha is introducing women to the power of daily affirmation and prayer. Each day of affirmation speaks into the life of the reader and makes her aware of the beauty God placed within and upon her as he crafted her innermost parts. This book encourages its reader to not only know that she is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), but to believe that no matter what she look like, what she’s done, or where she’s been, there is an undeniable beauty woven into her divine makeup.


In anticipation of the release of this devotional by an anointed woman of God, LaKeisha Rainey-Collins, my expectations were not disappointed.

LaKeisha speaks and writes from her heart and experience of feeling inadequate. In reading just a few pages, the words penned are words to encourage, uplift and truly bless and show the love of God for His daughters.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the devotional more than once. There are “favorites” where I’ve personalized and mediate upon often.

If you are a woman who needs encouraging through God’s word, then Beautiful Me – 21 Days to Embracing Your Beauty Within is a great read!

*All opinions expressed are my own.*

Sandra W. Titus

Grounded (Windy City Neighbors) Novel by Neta and Dave Jackson

Grounded Windy City NeigborsGrace’s fiancé, bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near-constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unwilling to continue her current tour, she books a flight home. Traumatic events result in a paralyzing fear of flying. Stuck at home due to a major snowstorm, Grace begins, for the first time, to connect with the residents of Beecham Street. Will she recover her faith and overcome her fears, or will she give up her career? Grounded is an uplifting, contemporary tale in an urban setting featuring characters courageously wrestling with the real spiritual and practical issues of average people. THE NEIGHBORHOOD SERIES: It’s not often that something genuinely new and exciting comes along in Christian fiction. With “The Neighborhood,” Dave and Neta will introduce a new storytelling technique called Parallel Novels—each with its own drama and story arc, but with characters whose lives become intertwined. The Jacksons will also continue to draw on their proven strengths for multi-ethnic, relationally driven stories as they welcome readers to Beecham Street, a typical isolated and distrustful American neighborhood—until a tragic near-death accident.



Grounded is the first book in this Windy City Neighbor series. If you are looking for a fresh storyline and new characters that are ready to grab your heart strings, along with a very familiar couple from the House of Hope Series, then get your cup of coffee and a comfy couch and set your heart and mind to allow God to minister to you about His unmerited grace.

In Grounded, Neta and Dave once again opened up the storyline to allow us to see where we are in our lives, as well as to relay a message on how to get to that place where God desires we be in Him.

The characters are unique created and molded into people that could be our next door neighbors. The neighborhood is just an ordinary neighborhood, or is it?

To find our what happens to the main character, Grace Meredith, and how God teaches her how much He loves her, then by all means, this is a book you don’t want to miss reading.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Sandra W. Titus

Mama B: A Time to Dance by Michelle Stimpson

Mamma B A Time to DanceMama B thought her life would return to normal, but when her nephew, Derrick, comes knocking on her door, she has to reconsider. Though she’s not known for housing marital fugitives, she realizes Derrick is looking for more than a place to stay; he needs help finding his way back to God.

Of course, help is almost Mama B’s middle name until Henrietta crosses the line with her accusations about Mama B’s intentions with the recently widowed pastor. Mama B isn’t looking for romance with either the pastor or her suitor, Dr. Wilson—but will love come looking for her?



What I enjoyed the most about this book is the wisdom of God displayed in Mama B. She is a woman of grace and a prayer warrior. There are timeless lessons on how to walk in love and how and when to hold your tongue. Michelle Stimpson has taken a story and woven the Word of God throughout the book; and she didn’t fail to have you chuckling at hilarious moments that are extremely memorable. Also, if you enjoy a bit of romance, then you’ll get a taste in Mama B: A Time to Dance. I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

*All opinions expressed are my own.*

Sandra W Titus

Book Review: Come to the Table by Neta Jackson

Come to the Table

Kat may be new in her faith, but she’s embraced the more radical implications of Christianity with reckless abandon. She invited Rochelle—a homeless mother—and her son to move in the apartment she shares with two other housemates. And she’s finally found a practical way to channel her passion for healthy eating by starting a food pantry at the church.

Her feelings for Nick are getting harder to ignore. The fact that he’s the interning pastor at SouledOut Community Church and one of her housemates makes it complicated enough. But with Rochelle showing interest in Nick as a father-figure for her son, their apartment is feeling way too small.

But not everyone thinks the food pantry is a good idea. When the woman she thought would be her biggest supporter just wants to “pray about it,” Kat is forced to look deeper at her own motives. Only when she begins to look past the surface does she see people who are hungry and thirsty for more than just food and drink and realizes the deeper significance of inviting them to “come to the table.”

“. . . the plot and characters remain fresh and vibrant, shining spiritual truth from each page.” —Romantic Times TOP PICK for Stand by Me

____________________I can honestly say I enjoyed Neta Jackson’s Come to the Table. I don’t want to give too much away.  But seeing how Kat has matured and grown spiritually was really a sign to how we all, if willing and with God’s help, can overcome “ourselves.” It was definitely something fun for me to read.  It challenged me spiritually and to, once again, look into areas of my life that definitely need fine tuning; and where I need to be in ministry.

I walked away from reading this story definitely wanting to know more about ALL the characters, some a little more than others! You have to read it to see who I’m referring to.  But I want to see how they all are growing and what God has in store for them. As always Neta Jackson has another great book that will make you have a number of emotions, but most importantly its relatable for all people to read.

Writing Essentials

I did it! I finished a writing course. For almost two years it took me to get enough courage to register for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Writing Essentials Course, I finally did it! I emailed the last lesson the other day.

If you are serious and would like a mentor to help move you forward in your writing, then may I suggest the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild?

Writing Essentials includes:

This six-lesson course assumes your basic writing knowledge and serves as your initiation into professional writing.

Learn to capture your ideas, properly format a manuscript, communicate like a writer, self-edit the way the pros do, and find appropriate markets.

  • See your writing improve in only six lessons
  • Enjoy personal instruction, encouragement, and support from an experienced mentor via email
  • Polish your writing for best sales potential


Develop your writing through lessons written and mentored by industry professionals, handpicked by Jerry B. Jenkins.

Resources included: Christian Writers’ Market Guide by Sally Stuart; The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White; The Write Way by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis.

Join Their Community

Become part of the Guild’s family of writers and gain access to all member benefits for the duration of your course, including discounts, tips, and opportunities.

Ready to Get Started?

Write onward!

**Writing Essentials outline taken from the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild website.**

Sandra W. Titus

An Encouraging Change


Be Encouraged has been redirected to my other blog entitled, Devotional Blog. For inspiration and encouragement on this Christian journey please click here for more encouraging words of inspiration from the Word of God.

If you enjoy reading Christian Fiction and non-fiction books and have a passion for writing, then this site maybe for you. Also, we will attempt to provide information on the ins and outs of publishing from a novice who’s on a journey to fulfilling a dream to become a published author. So, please subscribe and spread the word!

Thank you.

Sandra W. Titus

Book Review: Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

…One fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past…a secret that will radically change her future…



My Review:

Glamorous Illusions is a novel where the story takes place in 1913.  Cora Kensington is a young woman where her world is turned upside down. Cora doesn’t come into the name Kensington until later in the book, which is very interesting how this comes about.  Lisa Bergren takes the reader on a journey around the world. It is a World History lesson wrapped up in life lessons and discovering who God destined Cora to be.  There is intrigue, romance, and mystery woven throughout.  Glamorous Illusions will keep you reading and wondering  if Cora will come to realize what her purpose in life is truly.


Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren for free through Lisa T. Bergren. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Book Review: A Place to Belong by Lisa Troyer

Looking for “a place to belong”? Find it in a community of women fostering relationships through authenticity, affirmation and accountability—find it in the Circle of Friends. Your outlook will never be the same as you explore the ministry potential of a dynamic group of “women helping women,” and catch their vision to be women committed to Jesus Christ, obediently seeking God’s will, and fulfilling their life mission as Christ-followers.

My Review:

In reading A Place to Belong, Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into God’s Adventure took me back to a time in my life, sometimes even today, where I struggled to “belong.” I’ve never felt “welcomed.”

Lisa Troyer and the comments from several women in the Circle of Friends Group share their experiences of finding a place to belong.

If you have struggled throughout your life of wondering where you fit in, then A Place to Belong is a book that will encourage and uplift you to know that you have always “belonged” if you are in Christ Jesus.



Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Place to Belong: Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into God’s Adventure by Lisa Troyer for free through The B &B Media Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.



This book is a wonderful reference to have in your library and a women’s Bible study group.