Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

This story is nestled in the charming English village of Ivy Hill.  There you will meet the heroine Jane, who at the outset seems the least likely to rescue anyone or anything.  Jane is a young widow who gained an inn through her husband's will.  The inn has a major loan against it and she must come up with a way to save the inn from financial ruin or lose her livelihood and her home.  Jane discovers some startling secrets along the way.  The side characters to this story are as intriguing as the main character.  Who are the "villians" and who are the "good guys" may not be as straight forward as one might imagine.  The more that is learned the more questions arise.  What are the real motives behind actions?  Who can be trusted?  This makes for a real page turner that is hard to put down.

Friday, November 18, 2016

NIV Journal the Word Bible

A lovely and practice idea!  This Bible comes with broad margins that are very fainted lined so you can write your notes to Scripture right in your Bible.  Whether it's notes from a sermon, Bible study group or your own personal studies, thoughts or prayers this is a wonderful idea.  I really like the faint lines because it doesn't make it look like a book you'd have in school.  It still appears as the Bible only you now can write in the border.  The lines help you write straight and space your sentences.  The cover of the Bible is really beautiful and has great eye appeal.  I also like the texture of the cover that is soft material over a hardbound book.  This Bible would be a perfect one to use in a group Bible study.  It would also be helpful for a new believer who wanted to add verses that correlated with others in a theme or even questions they wished to ask a pastor.  It is equally useful for teenagers or adults.  An added bonus is a handy table of weights and measures in the back pages to help the reader understand Biblical terms for weights and measurements.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Love Letters from God Holy Bible

Wow!  Glenys Nellist has done it again!  This is an amazingly, awesome, beautiful study Bible for young people.  Words cannot do it justice!  Not only are the illustrations magnificent but the "letters" from God really reach your heart.  If you've seen the picture books Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist you'll totally love this Bible.  Even if you have never heard of the picture books this Bible is sure to woo your heart.  Throughout the Bible there are "letters" from God speaking to the child and relating the Bible passage to modern day events or discussing feelings child might have.  Included in this Bible are prompts for children to "journal" or write back to God and express their thoughts and ideas and emotions.  The prompts are very creative and in different ways helps the help express himself.  Sometimes they are asked to make a drawing or do an activity and other times it is simply a written message back to God.  The back cover says this Bible is written at the third grade level but as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed reading the special messages throughout this Bible and older children would benefit from the rich spiritual messages throughout the "letters" from God.  It is a wonderful tool to help children learn to journal and record their spiritual journey.  This is also a Bible that could be read to younger children and the prompts could be discussed verbally to help younger children who are learning about God and His love.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

 Like a gently flowing river that picks up speed and hurls you over the white rapids - this book will have you hanging on to every word.  Persomi lives with a drunkard father and cowering mother.  From an early age she must find the inner strength not to give in to the depression and despair.  At each turn and twist of her personal journey she chooses to walk with integrity and look for ways to live fuller while seeking her own special purpose in life.  The author takes us through Africa's history during the atrocious time of Apartheid.  She shows us the political climate and various viewpoints held.  The reader will experience this in a heart wrenching way through the individual characters in the book and the consequences their held beliefs cost them.  The ramifications of dark secrets will impact Persomi in heart wrenching ways that no one could predict or imagine.  She is a character of rare steadfast faith and hope that shines like a light in a very dark time.  This is a 388 page book and I read it in one sitting because it is that good!

I received this book free from the publishers.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller

This is a much needed book on how to find Sabbath Rest.  This is an intelligent look at Sabbath from the perspective of a Biblical base as well as modern day research studies that confirm why a Sabbath rest is beneficial. But it is in no way a dry dissertation.  Shelly Miller brings to life Sabbath by personal stories that reflect the wonder, joy and healing of Sabbath.  She begins with Hebrew and Greek words that amplify the Sabbath rest God intended.  She goes on to explain the reasoning behind a Sabbath day and also sabbath moments where we carve out times of spiritual rest with just God and ourselves.  She emphasizes the "no guilt" mantra but rather a happy anticipation of the Sabbath day and times of restfulness throughout our every day week.  The reader is encouraged to guard the Sabbath as a treasure.  She explains that it is only in this Sabbath rest that we will discover precious jewels.  God made our bodies as such that if we do not participate in the Sabbath rest we will discover a forced rest by illness or anxiety.  Sabbath rest includes physical rest, mental rest and spiritual rest.  Through Bible references, scientific studies and personal experiences the author gives a picture of how precious and valuable the Sabbath really is.  The book concludes with a section on practical prompts to help the reader start to enjoy the Sabbath.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson

This author is a wonder!  She blends the picturesque scenery of Prince Edward Island with down to earth characters adds in a dash of charm with a remodeled inn and mixes in romance, mystery, and grace.  Liz Johnson immediately grabs your attention and holds your interest throughout the story.  It is almost an oxymoron with the tale gripping you at each turn with breakneck speed and at the same time the characters are in a very laid-back, peaceful atmosphere.  there are characters of different ages, dilemmas and experiences but their lives touch one another with profound impact.  You will read about a survivor's guilt and the battle within to find forgiveness and joy in life again. The reader is also shown a glimpse inside the head of someone who always comes in second.  The beauty with how the author deals with guilt -real or not deserved- is amazing!  This is just a superb story that demonstrates what believing in God's grace can do for us in intimate detail in real life situations.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

This story will take you right into the heart of God's people as they begin their journey to freedom from Egypt.  The tale immediately takes on a aura of intrigue.  You can almost taste the manna, feel the dust and grime on your face and feel the awe at witnessing the hovering cloud with shekinah glory bursting from it's midst.  Author Connilyn Cossette shares many factual details of the desert, the customs and times into her book.  She has a gift of sharing people's emotions, thoughts and actions in vividness that makes the reader feel they are part of the story not just a bystander.  The story of Shira, Ayal and Dvorah takes the ideal of forgiveness down to the hard root level of how this would play out in real life. Even as I read their individual stories I found myself at some points judging the characters of this book. I didn't always like them.  I was angry and horrified by their actions.  I even thought to myself, "Where is the author going with this?"  But with amazing skill and insight into God's way of seeing a person's soul she brings to life a wondrous picture of how much God wants us to be His beloved children no matter what our past may have held.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit.

Mary Engelbreit and joy go hand in hand.  I don't think it is possible to be disappointed by any product by Mary Engelbreit.  I love them all!  But her books are just superb!  Lovely, lovely illustrations.  If you know ME then you know how heart warming her illustrations are.  If you've never experienced a Mary Engelbreit illustration you just must get this book.  They are whimsical and will delight your heart!  I love that this book has a multi-cultural cast for characters.  So beautiful!  The story line is the story of Jesus birth as seen through a children's play production.  Each scene depicts a portion of the nativity with Mary's adorable characters dressed up in costume.  This will be a real winner for children and adults alike.  I can't say enough good about Mary Engelbreit.  She has such talent as an illustrator.  For me her illustrations reach my heart because she has heart.  The Bible verses and quotes she adds to her illustrations just make it all come together in a awe inspiring manner.  This book is worth every penny.  It's a work of art in picture and prose!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Love Unending by Becky Thompson

This is a book to help young mothers reignite their marriage after being consumed with caring for little ones and focused on their children’s needs.  It is a pleasant mix of marriage advice and personal down- to- earth stories from the author.  The book is a 21 day plan to a more fulfilling marriage.  Each chapter deals with a facet of daily married life.  For example one chapter is titled:  Greet Lovingly.  The author asks us to examine how we greet our husbands when they come home each evening.  What I liked about this book is that Ms Thompson selected areas that one might not realize affects a marriage as deeply as it does.  Does it really matter how we greet our husband?  But in each idea that she presents she brings in her personal life story to illustrate how important each chapter is to making your marriage what you long for it to be.  Then she gives you a challenge.  It’s like homework.  Something you do after you’ve read the chapter.  At the end of each chapter there are lines for writing down your husband’s reactions, how you felt and how the “experiment” went.  Throughout the book she reminds us over and over to start each day new.  This gives fresh hope to every marriage not matter what state you may find it in.  This is a very positive book!  Easy to read, easy to understand yet shares profound thoughts and encouraging throughout the entire text.  This 21 day challenge in book form is definitely worth the effort and doable.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

What I love about Suzanne Woods Fisher’s characters is that you can’t put them in a tidy little box and predict what their next move will be.  They are full of surprises and as complicated as real life people.  This is what endears them to the reader!  I’d love to have Birdy as a friend or sit down and chat with Ruthie.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a Bishop (pastor) who cared so much for his congregation as David does for his “flock”?  And although we get to glimpse into the unique world of the Amish community we also see that people everywhere have similar heartaches, woes, concerns and dilemmas and God is the Counselor who hears our pleas for help.  This is the third book in the Bishop Family series and shows the spiritual and emotional growth of characters we’ve come to love in Fisher’s other books. 

I received this book free from Revell publishers and was not required to write a positive review

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Christmas Love Letters from God (Bible Stories) by Glenys Nellist

This is possible the best children's author there is!  Glenys Nellist has an amazing gift for telling Bible stories with depth and astonishing profound prose!  Yet at the same time the story telling engaging young children and keeps their interest.  Her stories are worded so little ones can understand God's great love for them.  Absolutely stunning illustrations with warmth and beauty!  In the Christmas Love Letters from God it starts with the prophecy in Isaiah of the coming Savior.  Through the pages of this book a child sees each Bible characters significant role in the birth and welcoming of Baby Jesus.  Each page has a piece of the story, a corresponding Bible verse and flap that lifts up to reveal God's love letter.  The love letter relates what the Bible character witnessed to your child's life today.  The book tells of the reaction of Mary, Joseph, the angels, shepherds and wise men to the Baby Jesus.  The highlights of the Nativity are all there but in a deeper, brighter way.  This rendition really reaches your heart.  As an adult reading this book I am in awe of the gift God the Father sent and children's hearts will be awakened to the wonder of the love wrapped up in a baby named Jesus - God with us.  At the end of the book is a letter that your child can write his/her name in to accept this gift of Jesus into their own hearts.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat!  This book gives the term "page turner" true meaning!  This story at times shocking, unnerving, pulse racing, tear jerking and amazing will captivate you in the first pages.  The story spins back and forth from Cora, a bridal shop owner in the 1930s to present day Haley military veteran.  Haley has come back home to re-establish her walk with God and find a dream she can commit to.  When the old bridal shop she once played in is up for demolition she comes up with a plan to save the shop and in the process God saves her.  As Haley works through her own bouts of grief and guilt God continues to show her in intimate details that He is present in her life and that He loves her.  As she begins to cling to His grace, mercy and forgiveness her heart is open to wondrous possibilities for her life that she had never imagined.  As the reader goes back in time to Cora's heart rending story - one sees how God is meticulous in every piece of the puzzle in an individual's life.  The choices and consequences of one person's decision have far lasting effects into future generations than any can fathom.  The best thing is that God is still in control and He allows U-turns.  No mistake, no fumble, no sin is a match for God's unconditional love that unfolds in a person's life to bring about a plan of blessings if one just accepts God's gift as presented at the cross.

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

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Home on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne

One of the best books I've all year!  Ruth Logan Herne is a new author for me but I can assure you this won't be the last of her books I'll read!  In fact when I realized this was book 2 of her Double S Ranch Series I quickly went out and got book 1 Back in the Saddle.  To say I can't wait for book 3 to come out is an understatement.  This book (series) has lots of family drama!  With three strapping cowboy brothers each dealing with tremendous loss from their childhood and as grown men, there is a lot to deal with. This story offers readers a taste of processing grief, forgiving the unforgivable, restoration of faith, family and God's surprising ways of helping us become whole again.  Filled with a cast of intriguing and secret holding characters this is a book that is hard to put down.  Elsa, the counselor who needs healing herself from past trauma finds amazing peace as she reaches out to a hurting child.  A little girl abandoned by her mother and angry at the world finds wonder in the birth of puppies.  A man learning to trust his instincts and build a safe haven for his daughters find forgiveness a balm he didn't expect.  A grandfather who put his sons last commits to putting them first now as he faces his own time running out.  The small town flavor mixed with the big ranch living provide a wonderful blend of homey belonging that makes one wish they could live there among the Stafford clan and friends.

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

To Have and to Hold by Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade and Katie Ganshert

I absolutely ADORED this book!  And that is saying a lot because I usually don’t enjoy novellas that much. But with authors like Katie Ganshert and Becky Wade how can you lose?  If you haven’t read any of their other books GO NOW, I mean RUN and buy them!  Betsy St. Amant also pleasantly surprised me with her lovely addition to this book.  Each story is filled with quaint romantic settings that make you just long to jump into the pages of the book and be there!  A cozy bakery, charming florist boutique and a wedding reception in a transformed barn!  If that doesn’t wet your appetite to try this book let me tell you about the characters.  You will simply fall head over heels for the couples in these stories.  Not perfect characters but realistic characters with flaws and fears just like the rest of us.  How they work through those issues to embrace true love is not only enchanting but inspirational!  Still not convinced?  This book was so good that I read it non-stop while in the midst of a horrible sinus headache but I couldn’t help myself I just had to find out what happened next!

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

Thursday, June 9, 2016

I Believe in Jesus by John MacArthur

For parents who are serious about letting their children know able salvation this book is excellent.  This is a book for young children that details the steps in the process of salvation.  It begins with God creating the world and continues into the fall of man and God’s plan to save us and bring us back to Him.  The role of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are explained in terms a young child can grasp.  The examples of God’s love for us throughout this book is strong and tangible.  Jesus earthly life and the gift of Him as our friend and Savior is clearly brought out in this storybook.  Several scripture verses are provided on each page to emphasize the point being taught.  Bright, colorful illustrations compliment the word pictures.

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sea Rose Lane By Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon tells a solid love story.  Her characters don’t just fall madly in love and poof that’s the end of the story.  Hannon slowly simmers the emotions and brings them to a boil.  Her characters get to know each other.  They weigh pros and cons about the relationship.  They struggle with real life issues such as self-doubt, guilt, pride, greed, and whether they can trust each other with their secrets.  Hope Harbor is a place where I would like to live.  It has beautiful scenery, quaint small-town allure and authentic characters that would make wonderful friends.  Her Hope Harbor series is fantastic and I can’t wait for the next book!

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

All Summer Long By Melody Carlson

This is just what a summer romance book should be:  light and fun.  What could be more perfect than a restaurant on a ship in San Francisco Bay?  What I appreciated about Melody Carlson’s book is that she wrote about a love triangle that wasn’t.   You have to read the whole book to know what I’m talking about.  But that’s just an appetizer for you.  I seriously appreciate how Carlson has the characters dealing with some emotionally charged scenes with strong moral convictions.  While Carlson is a writer of Christian fiction, the dialogue flows naturally and is not “preachy”.  Her characters are believable, lovable and it’s an enjoyable experience getting to know each one. 

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

More Than Rivals by Ken Abraham

This is an amazing story of friendship and the power of that one friendship to change a town torn apart by fear and hate.  It begins when a young boy just wants to play basketball.  He makes a friend not “seeing” the color of his skin simply because that’s not what matters.  Throughout this book the reader is taken on one side of town and then on the other to see how each boy lives.  The reader is drawn into their family, school, social circles and into the very hearts and minds of these boys as they become young men.   When the final chapters unfold they are fueled with the tension of the 1960s in the South.  Your heart will be pulled in one direction and then another and at times feeling the frustration and pathos of the times as if you were sitting there with the spectators in that gymnasium for the championship ball game. 

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Gift for all People by Max Lucado

This little book packs a powerful spiritual punch!  Whether you’re a lifelong Christian or investigating the story of Jesus for the first time – this book will give you some wonderful thoughts to ponder and cherish.  Max Lucado has a beautiful God-given talent for explaining things in terms that at once resonant with the reader because of their simplicity and yet draw you into a profound sense of God’s love.  Whenever I’ve read Lucado’s books I find myself realizing that even if I think I understand a spiritual concept that Lucado brings me to a deeper, more personal level of understanding.  This book is appealing physically because it is small, easy to carry in briefcase, purse, backpack or totebag.  It doesn’t overwhelm the new believer with its innumerable pages or technical, theological jargon.  Lucado uses words a real life, ordinary person can understand.  This book can be read at Christmas or Easter as it tells the story of Christ.  It is a look into the story of salvation.  If you have never read a book by Max Lucado I can tell that each time I’ve read one of his books it makes me love Jesus more and feel Jesus love for me even more deeply.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Little One God Made You by Amy Warren Hilliker

In simple prose the important concept of the priceless worth of a child is told.  Author Amy Warrne Hilliker sets each page with words to comfort, soothe and affirm a young child in their unique place in God’s heart and this world.  The theme of no one is like you is told over and over through words of love.  The young child will enjoy words such as:  wiggly, squiggly toes and silly laugh in the bubble bath.  This Book is perfectly illustrated by Polona Lovsin to show loving interactions between an animal parent and animal child.  Scenes of tossing a baby squirrel, bear hugs, duckling tickles, fawn nose touches, smiles, grins and other expressions of joy and love are created through Lovsin’s adorable illustrations.

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

The Quieting – Book 2 of THE BISHOP’s FAMILY series by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The plot thickens as David Stoltzfus seeks counsel on what to do about his wayward Bishop.  His niece Abigail uncovers family secrets that generations have determined to hide and forget.  There are budding romances afoot, but will they ever bloom into fulfilling relationships?  And what to do about meddlesome Mammi who means well but can’t leave well enough alone?  These are just some of the situations the reader will encounter in the pages of this fun yet very meaningful book.  I appreciate how Suzanne Woods Fisher knows how to have some light hearted dialogue along with deep, insightful conversations between her characters.  This book especially deals with redemption discipline which I found inspirational.

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

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

There is plenty of intrigue in these pages with drug rings, addiction, shell shock, emotional scars, physical disabilities, friendships and romances on the brink.  All this and more you'll find in this book by Sarah Sundin.  The best thing about this book is that the characters struggle through their problems and wrestle with their choices.  In the process the author brings out their doubts, anger and longing for a God who truly cares about the details of their life.  Amazing things happen when each character surrenders their own strength to God's strength.  As the characters grapple with self-doubt, guilt and trust issues they evolve into more peaceful, loving and sincere human beings.  What each thought was impossible becomes possible through the grace and power of a loving Heavenly Father. 

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Together at the Table Book 3 Two Blue Doors Series by Hillary Manton Lodge

I don't know how she did it but Hillary Manton Lodge created an even more amazing conclusion book to her series than the opener.  And I LOVED the opening book in this series!  Juliette is a complicated, modern woman with old fashion values.  She is someone you'd love to have as a friend to confide in and have fun with.  While her family has it flaws and foibles it would be a blessing to be part of that extended family.  Lodge wove together a story with enough suspense to keep your interest and at the same time believable characters the reader can relate to.  Lots of secrets in this tale combined with faith, loyalty and the discovery of what makes a love endure.  Fabulous recipes are sprinkled through the chapters.  This is a book that you can enjoy on so many levels and will want to share with your friends.

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

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Baby Wren and the Great Gift by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Sally Lloyd - Jones is such a talented person for getting profound thoughts across to very young children.  She has a true gift!  This precious tale of baby wren will captivate your young child's attention from the start.  It is perfectly matched with Jen Corace's beautiful and comforting scenes on each page.  There is a phrase repeated throughout the text that children will enjoy repeating with you. There are many interesting and unusual creatures that baby wren encounters.  The theme of wondering what your special gift is carries throughout the story while demonstrating each creature has a different gift that is just as precious as the previous creature in the book.  The end of this tale is so magnificent because without trying the baby wren when experiencing the great wonders of God's glorious creation can't help but burst into song.  This song is individual to baby wren, it is the wren's gift to the rest of the word and it is completely perfect.

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Behold the Man by Bodie and Brock Thoene

You really will feel as if you are beholding Jesus when you read this book and it's predecessors Take this Cup and When Jesus Wept.  The Jerusalem Chronicles and the Thoene's previous series A.D. Chronicles give a intimate glimpse at the lives Jesus touched while here on earth.  As you read the words and thoughts of those who lived when Jesus lived you will be drawn into the awe, the splendor and the majesty of Christ's love for you.  If there is one thing I would say about this book it is that it made me want more of Jesus.  I was sad this was the last book and wished there was another.  The narrative is given in such detailed imagery that you feel as if you are there with the crowd hearing Jesus speak the Beatitudes or beside the father bringing his crippled child to Jesus or in the tumultuous, clamoring crowd outside of Pilate's palace.  In this book you will find history, religious practices, political intrigue, military strategies and hearts plagued by doubt, fears, hatred, revenge, disappointment.  And Jesus stands out amongst it all as the purest, gentlest yet fiercest example of love.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

What’s not to like about this book?  Mysteries to uncover, broken hearts that need healing, intriguing dialogue, complex characters with real life sorrows, hang-ups and issues, and a  dream-like setting on Prince Edward Island!  From the first page this author had me hooked and to say that when I got the end that I cannot wait of the next book in the series is an understatement if there ever was one.  Johnson writes with heart and soul.  She draws you into the story like you are living there on the island amongst the characters.  You want to be friends with them.  You’d love to sample some of Caden’s scones or sit in Seth’s favorite spot looking out at the sea or chat with Liz or be comforted by Aretha.  Liz Johnson knows how to tell a fascinating story and weave God’s goodness and mercy into it naturally.  Her characters struggle but God leads them bit by bit into His perfect plan for their lives.  This is a book well worth reading.  You will not be disappointed!

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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer

The more I read from author Kim Vogel Sawyer the more I like her!  This book has an unsettling theme of two wives with the same husband.  When he and wife #2 die, Neva is left with the horror of his hidden adultery and his 3 orphan children.  How she deals with the grief, betrayal and responsibility of raising his orphans along with the children she bore him makes for a heart wrenching tale.  But as the title hints at there is "room for hope" when Jesus is your Lord and Savior.  The journey Neva takes within these pages is worth the read and very inspirational.  However, I felt the end of the book was a bit abrupt and it actually felt like their should be a sequel to this book.  Is there?  One can only hope.

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan

This sweet little romance has all you'd expect from a Western love story.  They battle financial hardship, life threatening illness and suitors all trying for the same woman's hand.  The main character finds herself in an unfavorable position of having to work as a dancer at a saloon and starts to lose her spiritual foundation.  She is rescued by her brother's best friend much to her dismay and anger.  But life on the ranch proves to be much more than a reprieve from her former city slicker lifestyle.  She begins to heal from grief and bitterness and open up her heart to faith and trust in the Lord again.  Along the way she makes true heart friends and decides the the man you dragged her from the saloon just might not be so bad after all.

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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

On Lone Star Trail by Amanda Cabot

I love Rainbow's End retreat!  Reading this book and previous books in this series makes me wish there was a real Rainbow's End to visit!  Beautiful, descriptive words to entice the reader into the scene, the emotions, the pathos of the each drama the heroine faces.

This book deals with post traumatic stress, grief, and the  healing that comes with the help of God and good friends.  The story is not trite nor does it quickly wrap up things in a neat package.  There are real, agonizing moments in this book when the reader will find herself biting her nails or sitting on the edge of her seat and thinking, "Tell her!"  or "Tell him!"  There are different ways to find a happy ending and it might not be the obvious route and it might not be what you expect or thought you once wanted but if you let God led it will be better than anything you can dream of.  That is what this book is about.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Little One, God Loves You by Amy Warren HIlliker

This is a board book with a powerful message.  Author Amy Warren Hilliker is the daughter of renowned author Rick Warren.  She uses her father's message found in his book The Purpose Driven life and uses words and situations a young child can understand.  The deep spiritual truths are told in a warm, soothing manner.  The illustrations of a happy rabbit family cozily living together with cuddles and smiles in the perfect combination for the words of wisdom found in this precious book.

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Gift of Friendship by Dawn Camp

This little gem is a collection of friendship stories by various Christian authors.  It contains guides on how to be a friend, how to maintain friendships, how to find new friends, and how to weather storms together as friends.  There are also stories of a very personal nature contained in this book.  This is my favorite friendship book I’ve ever read because it wasn’t your typical friendship type stories.  There were unusual circumstances, but also the raw honesty of the authors to show themselves not in their glory, but in their messy, imperfect lives with hearts just like yours and mine.  Hearts that long to connect, to belong and to be cherished by a friend.  It was encouraging to read a book that didn’t paint a pretty picture, but instead told life as it is for women struggling in all manner of real life situations.  It was not depressing though because with the struggles this told tale after tale about how one friend can make all the difference in how we maneuver through this times of struggle.  At the end we are challenged to seek out friends in our time of need as well as be the friend when someone needs our comfort.

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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook by Judah and Chelsea Smith

This is a lovely book for young children.  It's also a great book for parents who want to instill Biblical principles into their children's lives.  The book goes through the entire Bible by highlighting key characters through the Old and New Testament.  The stories are short but exciting and will capture and keep a child's attention.  Each devotional reading starts with an introduction to the Bible story.  The introduction is a modern day story that applies the same principle as the Bible story.  The illustrations are charming!  I just love them!  Really adds to the grace and beauty of the book.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Secret of Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale

This book is not what I expected.  It deals with unfaithfulness, death, friendships, forgiveness and healing.  It is a book about "growing up" in a marriage.  The main character learns to face herself, her weaknesses, her flaws instead of blaming her husband for all that she views as wrong in the marriage.  Along the way both husband and wife make mistakes that bear consequences that hurt their marriage.  At the same time the main character's friend discovers she has cancer.  This leads to more soul searching.  It was a hard read for me because I disagreed with so much of what the characters did to each other.  But I can see how this book could be helpful to couples in a similar situation.

I received this book free from the publisher for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler

If you think you've read all there is to know about Amish life - think again!  This book is rich is historical facts during the 1840s with a personal insight into an Amish family's dilemmas.  You'll learn about the Amish, Mennonite and Dunkards.  There is romantic intrigue as Hannah and her sister Liesbet fall in love with men outside of their faith and hide it from their parents.  The story contains the travails of their mother's deep grief over losing 3 young children and the consequences her troubled soul has on the rest of the family.  Their father staunch and very rigid in his religious beliefs battles the war between love for his children and keeping the faith.  The family is faced with many hard decisions including whether to leave the only home they've known or find a new Amish settlement further west.  Hannah faces personal decisions of settling with a safe, secure future with an Amish man or following her heart to love a Mennonite man who risks his life to aid runaway slaves.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cats in Paris by Won-Sun Jang

This adult coloring book does have the flavor of Paris from it's charming cover to the "bonjour"back cover!  Inside you will find delightful kitties of all types.  Explore historical places with these cats.  Also visit cats lounging on cushions, wandering through butterfly gardens and surveying their domain atop a pile of suitcases.  Other cats proudly peruse book stores or bags of cat food.  You'll find cats on stamps, listed by types, playing with yarn, snuggling in a basket, wearing champion ribbons and leaving paw prints on the pages.  This book is perfect for a cat lover or lover of Paris or French culture.

I receive this book free from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.