Monday, December 30, 2013

A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher

This book was totally not what I expected, but it was a delight.  Robin Lee Hatcher uses her own personal experience with divorce and God's tender mercy to the heartbroken to weave an enchanting story.  I could not put this book down.  I love the way she describes the main character searching to know God's will and the description of the way Christian friends can uphold and support someone during hard times.  The only caution I would have for readers is that if you are going through a divorce this may be a very hard book to read.  I have gone through a divorce and did not get the fairy tale ending that "Allison" received in this book but God was no less faithful to me.  So as you read the book it should be with a lot of prayer and with the assurance that God is with you just as described in this book - no matter what the outcome of your situation is.

I received this book from Booksneeze and was not required to write a favorable review.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stones to Bread by Christa Parrish

This book had me simultaneously devouring it and yet needing to pause between chapters because of the deep emotional impact it had on me.

The story weaves Liesl's current life with her memories of her childhood and fascinating historical facts about bread in various cultures and time periods. But this is more than an interesting read, it is a real heart turner. It made me think about what it means to really surrender to Christ. This story shows it is not just about being a missionary or preacher. Surrender means giving Christ the most hidden deepest pain and allowing Him to heal us.

The author wrote in a very realistic way about mental illness, grief, unresolved childhood trauma, forgiveness, feeling God's presence in your life and restoration/healing. It's not one of those rosy, sugar coated stories. There are parts that are seriously hard to read because of the painful account of Liesl's memories. But the way God leads her and cares for her so tenderly along the way to healing is so very beautiful.

I wish there was a sequel to this book!

I received this book from Booksneeze free and was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Peace on Earth by Mary Engelbreit

Mary Engelbreit NEVER disappoints!  I just received my copy of PEACE ON EARTH by Mary Engelbreit. Once again Mary has done it! She has captured the essence of love through her beautiful, precious drawings and matched them with the perfect poems, lyrics to songs and Christmas stories. I absolutely LOVED this book! I was thrilled to read some poems and stories I had never heard before. And the familiar Christmas Carols were brought to life with Mary's endearing illustrations. This book is a must for anyone's family Christmas collection. I am a grandma and a kindergarten teacher and plan to use this book in my home and at school this holiday season.

I received this book from the publishers through booksneeze and was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher is one of the Best!

Beloved is the third book in a trilogy of siblings who were separated after their mother died and father deserted them. They go on the "orphan train" to be placed with new families. Although this is part of a series it can be read alone. However, having read the first two books I highly recommend reading the entire series!

Beloved reels the reader in with the first chapter. The beautiful Diana Brennan is at her engagement party when her husband (thought dead) shows up. The rest of the book is pure genius - weaving together questions/answers about what it means to be a family, what does God expect out of us in regards to forgiveness, can love be rekindled after betrayal and historical facts of interest especially regarding a woman's limited resources and options in 1880s.

The dialogue between characters makes you feel like you are right there with them. Hurting and hoping and wondering right along with our heroine.

I couldn't stop reading this book and there were a few places I had to wipe tears away. This truly is a story that shows that where man it is impossible but with GOD all things are possible.

I obtained this book from the publishers at BookSneeze and was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Bride for All Seasons by Margaret Brownley, Debra Copton, Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher

This book is the perfect blend of history, fun and spiritual wisdom. Four great writers teamed up to create this book. Each story deals with a "mail order bride". Each bride discovers an unexpected surprise upon arriving at her destination. It was interesting to read about the different situations that would cause a man or woman to be part of a mail order marriage. While the times the women lived in are far different than our own - their longing for love and family are ones we all can relate to. Each story puts emphasis on God being able to bring good out a difficult situation. Each write in her unique way showed through her character that God cares about the details of our life and He is working to bring about good for each individual. Each young lady will win her way into your heart as you read about her faith, struggles and ultimate triumph in love!

I received this book from the publishers and was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold by Joyce Magnin

Harriet Beamer gives real meaning to good clean fun. This book has lots of adventure and excitement mixed in with deep family fun. Harriet is a likable character that has some real life sorrows, questions about life and God. She learns to deal with emotions such as: jealously, doubt, grief, anger, fear. She learns that God often has the treasure we seek right in front of us all the time. Harriet is 72 and I love it that she's the heroine of this story and it's not about another beautiful, young heroine like most books but rather an ordinary woman with an extraordinary heart. I'm not a senior yet so I can honestly say this book could appeal to anyone of any age.

This book was given to me free by the publishers and I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When Jesus Wept by Brock and Brodie Thoene

Although, I personally believe that we sleep until Jesus return when He calls us from the grave...I loved this account of the Lazarus story. It was moving enough that I could put aside my view on death as a sleep (authors believe we go directly to heaven) and enjoy the way Jesus touched the lives of those He lived with while on this earth.

The historical background of traditions, ways they tended vineyards, the rules for slave owning etc was all fascinating. This made the story come alive and be real for me. But the best part was how Jesus talked naturally to those He met and those who became His followers and friends. This book brought well known parables into the story in ways that Jesus could have used them to help specific people. I loved reading how Jesus transformed lives from harlots, to revengeful slaves to prideful wealthy land owners.

The way Jesus worked in each life in this story brought tears to my eyes and helped me realize how much He loves each of us today. There is a character who held hatred in his heart and yet he was able to show another man how to turn away from revenge to love. Later Jesus gently shows the character that he himself still has hatred for an enemy that is poisoning his own soul. It really spoke to me about how we all have choices each day in big and small ways to choose Jesus.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love

Dorothy Love is a talented writer and she grabs your interest and keeps it. However, I have mixed feelings about this book. I think I understand what she was trying to portray in this book. I also understand she was writing with the prejudices of the times in mind. But I still wish she had made a bolder statement that our skin color, our heritage, our culture - none of that matters to God or to those that love us. In some of the language and thoughts of the characters it was as if Ethan loved the heroine DESPITE her mixed heritage. I found that offensive. I would rather that he had told her he loved her as she was and embraced her WITH the mixed heritage. Throughout the book the heroine wonders if he can accept and love her if her knows what is in her mixed blood. I realize these are realistic feelings a person may have but I don't feel the book ever addressed her accepting who she was.

Another point I had mixed feelings about is that neither of the main characters really knew for sure if each other was a Christian until near the end of the book. It seems if you are a Christian it should be obvious to those around you.

I received this book free for a review from I was not required to write a positive review.