New Books to Check Out!

Worthy Publishing kindly sent me copies of 2 new gift books to review. They are both small in size but strong in content. Check out the press release and my reviews below for more info!



NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 11th, 2013—The Worthy Publishing Group rounds out its Spring/Summer 2013 list with two gift titles penned by award-winning singer/songwriters Michael W. Smith and Travis Cottrell.

Smith’s book The Power of an Ordinary Prayer (Worthy Publishing, 9781617951923, July 2013, $14.99, hardcover) explores the heart of prayer and its power to transform your world. The beautifully-designed, hardcover gift book inspires readers to pray blessings over their loved ones, and in return discover the abundant joy and peace that can be theirs through the power of this simple blessing.

Dove-award winning artist, Travis Cottrell’s 144-page gift book entitled He Knows Your Name (WorthyPublishing, 9781617951916, July 2013, $14.99, hardcover), looks at those surprising times and places when God proves his radical love. With a remarkable introduction by NewYork Times best-selling author Beth Moore, Cottrell reminds readers that God is the hope, strength, and deliverance they desperately need in every circumstance—especially those moments when it is least expected.

“These books, written by award-winning recording artists, come on the heels of our success with titles from contemporary Christian music artists Laura Story and Nichole Nordeman,” says Jeana Ledbetter, Vice President of Editorial.Within the past year Worthy Publishing has struck a chord with readers with the release ofGrammy-award winning songwriter Laura Story’s devotional, What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?(Freeman Smith, 9781605873220, March 2012, $11.99, trade paper) along with Dove-award winning artist Nichole Nordeman’s Love Story (Worthy, 9781617950513, August 2012, $16.99, hardcover). “It seems we have found a niche transforming best-selling recording artists into widely read authors,” Ledbetter continues. Worthy is also scheduled to release Big Daddy Weave’s devotional Redeemed (Worthy, 9781605875224, August 2013, $11.99), based on the song recently awarded “Song of the Year” at the K-Love Fan Awards on June 1st.



by Michael W. Smith

A touching gift book that helps readers understand the power and beauty of prayer and how it can transform our hearts, so that we can be a catalyst for transformation in others. Many of us seek to be blessed more than we seek to bless others. It’s our heart aligned with the heart of God that brings blessing, because He is by nature extravagantly generous and loves giving gifts. No matter where readers are on their journey with God, they will be motivated and inspired to open their hearts and discover the abundant joy and peace that can be theirs through the power of a simple prayer of blessing.


In addition to winning several Grammy and Dove awards, Michael W. Smith has recorded more than 22 albums and had numerous hit songs in the Christian market and on mainstream radio. He is also involved in relief work, at home and around the world, and is the founder of Rocketown, an outreach to teenagers in a 38,000 square-foot facility in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. He has written several best-selling books including Old Enough to Know and Friends Are Friends Forever. He and his wife, Debbie, have 5 children and live in Nashville.

My Review

The Power of an Ordinary Prayer has a great fall themed cover. There are tree branches at the top right and autumn leaves are falling down on the rest of the cover. I love the feel of this book–it’s kind of slick and shiny. It makes me feel like the book is quality made! I also think they chose the perfect font & colors for the cover. Now that I’m done obsessing over that, I hope you want to know what I thought about the content of the book. I really liked it! The book is written in a devotional/journal type format. At the beginning of each chapter you’ll see the chapter title, a one-sentence prayer, and an applicable verse. The next few pages will have a story and an explanation, followed by a section on application. Next, there are a few questions for you to think through and answer on the provided lines. The story will then continue, followed by another question & journal area. Repeat that again, read a few verses, and then you’ll arrive at the next chapter. There are six sections. They are “Praying for…” The Promises of God, Spiritual Health, a Pure Mind, Personal Holiness, Backyard Blessings, and Spiritual Victory. I like the organization and tone of this book. You never feel like Michael W. Smith is talking down to you or preaching ‘at’ you. Instead, it’s obvious Smith seeks to help the reader understand prayer and blessings. As a gift book, I think this would be appropriate to give to a very close friend or family member. I’d also recommend reading it and passing it on, if you so desire. You may want to keep a separate journal for answering the questions if you plan on doing this.



by Travis Cottrell

Surprised by God When You Least Expect It

 Beth Moore joins her dear friend Travis Cottrell in showing you how to fully experience God’s presence at surprising times and places in your own life.

 According to Cottrell, God’s goodness is predictable. His mercy is dependable. His ability to work in every moment of every reader’s life, leading them to him, is unfailing. But often in those moments, even the most devout are distracted by great distress, failing to see or acknowledge God’s presence and provision. Cottrell reminds readers that God is the hope, strength and deliverance we desperately need. In every circumstance, especially those moments when we least expect it, God’s voice can be heard and his presence discerned. He Knows Your Name is a beautiful, 2-color gift book sure to be treasured.


 Dove Award-winning artist Travis Cottrell has been worship leader for Beth Moore and her wildly successful Living Proof Live! conferences for 15 years. Travis has been on LifeWay’s Top 10 Artists list for the past five year; Alive Forever has sold more than 150,000 units. He has 15,000 Twitter followers and approximately 11,000 Facebook friends. Cottrell lives in Jackson, Tennessee with his wife, Angela, and their 3 children.

My Review

Once again, Worthy Pub did a great job with this cover! The colors are gorgeous, and a small bird is featured on the cover. It’s the same size as the other book, so a great gift book size. I actually let my mom read this book, so I’ll share her thoughts with you! The introduction was written by Beth Moore. If you’re a fan of hers, I’m sure you’ll want to give this book a try. For my mom, it was a bit slow in the beginning. She had to push herself through it! Once she got into the actual book it picked up a bit. Cottrell has a great writing style and is easy to follow. He makes lots of good points and lays them out in an organized manner. At the beginning of each chapter you’ll find the title, a definition of a main word for the chapter, and a verse. There’ll be a few pages of text, a verse, more text, and a quote. Then you’ll see a few pages ‘For Reflection and Application’ with questions and answer space. The next page will feature two applicable verses and a short prayer. The ten chapters are as follows: Surprises; I Got Chills, They’re Multiplyin’; Not Without Hope; The Sweet, Sweet Sound of Worship; The Wide, Wide World of Worship; Words, Wounds, and Worship; Fear Not; The Great Adventure; Surviving Death; and Surrender. I really like the quote from the back cover: In the moments when you wonder how God will provide…In the nights when you long for His presence…In every season when you need to know His hope…God is speaking your name. I think this book would be a great gift for someone who is trying to see if God still cares or who is yearning for God’s presence in everyday life. It may be a positive reinforcement for someone going through a troubling time. Cottrell longs to see every person experience intimate worship with ‘the God who knows you by name.’

 Both books are 5.5″ x 6.5″ hardcovers and 144 pages long. They both released July 2 and list price is $14.99 for each. You can purchase these books at christian bookstores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and If you purchase one for a gift, get one for yourself, too! I think every christian can benefit from reading and experiencing these books.


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