Stress Point Blog Hop: Book Review & Giveaway

I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting and chatting it up with Sarah Francis Martin at the She Speaks Conference last year (where I may or may not have freaked out that she recognized me by name and called me over to the She Seeks table to chat with her!), and I'm so thankful that I did. She is truly a beautiful person inside and out, with a super bubbly personality, a totally on-fire heart for the Kingship of Christ and a deep love for 20-somethings ministry.

That said, I am so honored to have read Sarah's wonderful book that she wrote specifically for all of us 20-something's, and to share this book review/giveaway with all of you on Oh, Restless Bird today!

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Stress Point: Thriving Through Your 20s in a Decade of Drama

Genre: Bible Study/ Women's Interest

Release Date: 6.5.12

Pages: 272

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Tag Line: 
Want to ditch the drama and thrive through your twenties?

Body image. Friendships. Career. Money. Dating. All these issues and more serve as points of stress for the 20-something woman, and combined they can make for a decade of drama in a girl's life. Sarah Francis Martin is the slightly older girlfriend who's been there, done that, and got the not-so-cute-t-shirt. Through this interactive Bible Study, Sarah helps young adult women address each stress point by encouraging them to wait on the Lord, worship Him, and make Him the focus of their lives. 

In Stress Point you will...

  • Find interactive chapters covering ten stress points for the 20-something woman
  • Dig through Scripture to apply truth to each stress point
  • Engage with real, raw, and relevant stories from girlfriends just like you
  • Journal through each chapter to engage with God in a meaningful way
  • Interact with Sarah through her video blogs for each chapter
  • Connect with your girlfriends in a Stress Point Survival Group; leader guide included

What I Loved: 
Stress Point is truly a love letter, written from the heart of a woman who's been-there and done-that, and has been called and purposed by God to reach out to every 20-something young woman who is living her every day, sometimes super stressful and drama filled life. Sarah constantly reminds us that we are not alone, and that we must shift our focus back onto the Kingship of Christ throughout Stress Point.

This book fell into my hands right when I needed it to the most. In fact, the very first chapter (the one on Career Stress) talked exactly about the type of things that I was struggling with, fretting over and dealing with at work. Even after having read the first chapter on Career Stress I didn't expect to find that God would so greatly speak to me on such a deep and personal level, even breaking me down at moments to truly examine my heart, after having read through every other chapter too (we should never underestimate our King and the ways in which He speaks to us, huh?)

Really I am just so thankful for my friend Sarah, and for her wisdom held within this beautiful book! This is not just a book that you skim through, only read once and forget about. This is a book that is going to redefine stress in your life, for the better. I know it has for me at least!

The advice on every stress point from a-z was met with sincere honesty, Girlfriend Case Studies, Journal Spots, Prayer Spots and the raw and real quality of been-there done-that wisdom that Sarah presents (even painfully at times it seemed) in sharing her own stressful stories of her own 20-something life, really resonated with me and spoke immense volumes to my own restless stressed out self. 

Other things about the book I loved were: 

How Sarah mentioned a different name for God and it's meaning in each Stress Point Chapter (This gal knows her stuff!)

That each of the chapters were hard hitting, but totally relateable and really really well laid out in the following format...

Stress Point, Girlfriend Case Study, Identify Yourself, Worship @the Throne of the King, Waiting @ the Throne of the King, Finding Focus on Him Alone, Stress Diverted and Lay It All Down Before the Throne (all with journal spots for your own thoughts and notes.)

If I didn't mention the super-pretty cover I'd have to be crazy, people! Ahem, I adore the cover! <3

I loved that at the end of the book there was a place to journal through and reflect back on each chapter and the bible verses. (This was so helpful!)

What I Didn't Like So Much: 
The fact that I didn't get to study the Word, sip on a mocha frappe with this book in hand and chat it up with my dear girlfriend Sarah sitting across the coffee house table from me. Other than that, I'm good! ;-)

I'm Recommending This Book... If you're a 20-something who longs to live out your faith in your every day drama filled life, and are in need of learning how to worship Him on a much more bold and deeper level than ever before, then this hard-hitting yet comforting, totally relatable, chock-full-of-excellent-girlfriend-chat-time book is for you, my dear friend! 

*I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers/Sarah Francis Martin for the purpose of this review.

About The Author: 

Sarah Francis Martin has a passion to encourage and relate to women in their twenties, and is honored to do so through She Seeks, the 20-something ministry of Proverbs 31. Her relevant and conversational style will lead young adult readers to live out the Kingship of Christ in everyday life in order to find godly success, purpose, and well-being. Obsessed with pink lip gloss and all things artsy-crafty, Sarah lives with her husband and son in North Carolina. Her ministry, LIVE IT OUT!, is a space for 20-somethings to connect with one another and grow closer to Jesus. For more information on Sarah and her ministry please visit her website at:

Check Out These Links...

View the Stress Point Book Trailer Below: 

Visit Sarah Francis Martin's Blog at the Link Below:

Purchase Stress Point at the Links Below...

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Would YOU Like To Win a Copy of Stress Point?

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Team Novel Teen Blog Tour: Swipe by Evan Angler

Age Range: 8+ (middle-grade readers to infinity and beyond!)

Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / Dystopic
Release Date: 4.6.12
Pages: 288
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Tag Line: Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong?

Summary: Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, Swipe follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn’t even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship. 
The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It’s almost Logan Langly’s 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn’t been able to shake the feeling he’s being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back.
When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers? Find out in the first book of this exciting series that is Left Behind meets Matched for middle-grade readers.

What I Loved: Oh, where to start, indeed!? I don't want to reveal too much information about the world of Spokie, AU or whether or not Logan Langly gets the Mark or not, because this is a story that has to be revealed rather slowly, and secretly, if you catch my secret-spy drift. It's rare that I say this, but you are just going to have to trust me that SWIPE was a cling to the covers, don’t turn out the lights, stay up until the very wee hours of the morning, riveting story that remains with you after you’ve finished reading it for days on end kind of a novel, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed and will definitely be reading again in the near future (and I daresay that those words rarely come out of my mouth often!) That said, I can't tell you much, but what I can tell you is that you NEED to read SWIPE!

The characters (Logan, Erin, Dane, Hailey, et al.) had such a "real" quality to them, the description and writing by Mr. Angler was awesome, and I really enjoyed reading about a future North America/American Union and thought that overall it was a really unique action/adventure/mysterious take on future/end times/the Mark of The Beast from the book of Revelation seen through the eyes of 3 young people. I also loved that no character was secondary in this book. Every character has a defined or undefined of right now that is. I'm hoping that SNEAK will fill in the blanks and answer some more serious questions about Logan's sister, the Dust, DOME, and will reveal what really lies in the city of Beacon and the lives of the characters as the story continues on.

What I Didn't Like So Much: There wasn’t any one single thing that I disliked or hated in the whole entire novel. And coming from this girl (the type-a picky one), yeah, that’s saying something alright! In fact I absolutely loved the story and the characters to pieces so much so that I am STILL thinking about the story and the characters nearly a week after having finished reading the book. Needless to say, I am EAGERLY awaiting the arrival of the 2nd book in the SWIPE series, called SNEAK (which is due out this September!)

I’m recommending this book… If you love dystopic novels like The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and Matched by Ally Condie or The Left Behind Series by Lahaye and Jenkins then SWIPE is definitely a book you’ll want to read…and more than just once too! I'm giving SWIPE a 5 star rating (and those don't happen often, coming from me!)

About The Author:

Who is Evan Angler?

Evan Angler is safe, for now. He lives without the Mark, evading DOME and writing in the shadows of Beacon.

As a kid he was quiet and well-behaved, having grown up in a town not unlike Spokie, where he enjoyed music, drawing, hover-dodge, astrophysics, hiking, virtual reality . . .

None of that matters now.

Evan Angler is the author of SWIPE. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about it, and you didn’t hear anything from him. Don’t make eye contact if you see him. Don’t call his name out loud. He’s in enough trouble already.

And so are you, if you’ve read his books.

Check out these other links…

Book Trailer:

Author's Website:

Purchase this Good Read on Amazon

Also, check out these other Team Novel Teen bloggers to see what they had to say about Evan Angler's novel SWIPE.

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about SWIPE by Evan Angler by clicking on the links above, and check out for more information about Team Novel Teen.

Note: In conjunction with the Team Novel Teen book tour, I received a free copy of this book for review.

*Why Differ? // Read this Guest Post on Oh, Restless Bird written by author Evan Angler

Why Differ? // Guest Post by Evan Angler

We live in a world where things can be easy. Tablet computers that fit in our pockets and make calls for us and tell us where we are. Globalized digital networks that connect us effortlessly, all the time. Modern medicine that works wonders. News that arrives the moment it happens. Food that stays fresh forever.

This isn’t science fiction. This is reality. And in the American Union, all you need—for any of it—is the Mark.

So what’s wrong with that? The Pledge unifies us, does it not? Just as its Mark protects us? No one could argue that it hasn’t brought us together, that it hasn’t created peace . . . that our allegiance to the Chancellor hasn’t bound us and given common ground from which all our ideas and ideologies may grow. Together. Compatibly.

After the years of slaughter, after the decades of political and environmental devastation that forced more and more of us to fight over less and less land, water, food . . . was this unity not a welcome change for all of us?

It isn’t even compulsory. No one has to Pledge. But who wouldn’t? In the years since its implementation, the Mark has rightfully become the capstone of a childhood well spent, the crowning achievement in a young man’s or woman’s life, the opened door to citizenship, adulthood, independence . . .

Every schoolchild knows that in the wake of the Total War, this Mark has become the very symbol of our commitment to patriotism and peace. It is the constant reminder of our loftiest intentions.

To be Markless is to reject these ideals. To be Markless is to be different.

So why would anyone choose to be different? In a world of absolutes, of black and white, of right and wrong, why would anyone choose “wrong”?

My name is Evan Angler. I may have answers to these questions. But I can’t risk writing them. Not here. Not on the Internet, for anyone to see.

And you wouldn’t risk reading them.

But if you are determined . . . if you are determined to learn the truth, no matter the cost, then what I can tell you is this: I’ve put what I know onto paper. Old-fashioned, obsolete—paper. Where it can’t be copied and pasted with the stroke of a stylus, where it can’t be sent around the world at the press of a button, where it can’t be recorded and stored forever in a million irretrievable pieces across cyberspace and time for any watchful eye to see. Paper is intimate. It is between you and me. It is fragile. It can be destroyed.

And when you find it, if you find it . . . once you’ve read it . . . I do encourage you to destroy it.

Swipe is the first volume in the chronicles of Logan Langly, Erin Arbitor, and the Dust. Their account is dangerous; the information within it is forbidden.

I wrote their story for everyone. But if you are not yet thirteen, if you have not yet Pledged to the Chancellor in exchange for his Mark of citizenship, if you have not yet made that choice to conform to given definitions of what may be easy and what may be “right” . . . then I have written this story especially for you.

For I’m not ashamed to tell you that I’m still afraid of the dark. And if you too have ever turned out the light only to feel that tinge of panic, that inkling that someone, somewhere, might possibly be watching . . . I’m here to tell you that they are.

At its heart, Swipe is a book about friendship against the odds. It’s a book about a group of boys and girls who stick together to stand up for one another and for what they believe in.

But why would they choose to be different? Why would they choose “wrong”?

Are you ready to learn the truth? 

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Evan Angler
Who is Evan Angler?    

Evan Angler is safe, for now. He lives without the Mark, evading DOME and writing in the shadows of Beacon.

As a kid he was quiet and well-behaved, having grown up in a town not unlike Spokie, where he enjoyed music, drawing, hover-dodge, astrophysics, hiking, virtual reality . . . 

None of that matters now.

Evan Angler is the author of SWIPE. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about it, and you didn't hear anything from him. Don't make eye contact if you see him. Don't call his name out loud. He's in enough trouble already.

And so are you, if you've read his books.

Evan Angler
Evan Angler      

                                                   / / /

Stay tuned into the blog, because tomorrow I'll be posting my own thoughts on the novel SWIPE by Evan Angler himself. Thanks for reading!