Tuesday, July 11, 2017

With You Always - A Book Review

With You Always by Jody Hedlund is the first book in the Orphan Train series.  I'm really excited about this series! I've always been interested in the Orphan Trains and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.  Not to mention I love Jody Hedlund.  So really, I was destined to love this book.

It is the early 1850's and Elise Neumann is working hard to care for her younger sisters.  They have been living at the 7th Street Mission.  The mission helps prostitutes reform, but the Miss Pendleton wants to help out Elise.  This makes the other ladies very jealous.  

The city is a very dangerous place and one day while on an errand Elise finds herself in the midst of danger as the gangs of the city start rioting.  Thornton Quincy comes to her rescue and helps her back to the safety of the mission.  There is an instant connection between the two, but Thornton must stay focused.  He has the chance to inherit his family's wealth, but he must first prove himself more worthy than his brother.

Elise and Thornton are two people for completely different worlds but they cannot deny the spark between them.  If they let it continue to grow they will lose everything they've been working for.

I always enjoy the Author's note at the end of the book.  Not all Author's include this, but Jody Hedlund did not disappoint here either.  I enjoy getting a glimpse into the thought process behind a book and a little more facts to go along with the fiction.

I would definitely recommend this great book.  I can wait for the second book in the series to come out!

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Abiding Mercy - A Book Review

I can't believe we are already well into the month of July.  This year is flying by!  As the temperatures are heating up this week, I have found myself wanting to sit inside where it's cool with a good book. If you find yourself wanting a good summer read, then I have a recommendation for you!

Abiding Mercy by Ruth Reid is one of the best Amish fiction books that I have read in a long time.  It is a story that grips at your heart.  As the story begins you read about a little baby being snatched away.  Fast forward several years and we get to know 16 year old Faith.  She is a young Amish girl who loves her life and is looking forward to joining the church and marrying Gideon.

Faith's world comes crashing down around her when she finds out she is not who she thought she was.  Not Faith, but Adriana who was kidnapped 15 years earlier.  She has so many questions.  Can she really trust anyone?  Will she ever feel like she belongs anywhere again?

What I love about this book is that you get to see both sides of the story.  There is so much emotion involved and there was more suspense then what I thought there would be.  You think you pretty much have it figured out with the general story line, but let me tell you, this book goes a lot deeper then what I expected.

An excellent read and a great way to spend a hot summer day!  You won't want to put this book down until you are finished!

***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

You'll Think Of Me - A Book Review

Sometimes you just don't connect well with a book or it's characters.  This was the case for me with You'll Think of Me.  I have read lots of great books by Robin Lee Hatcher and she is a great author, but I really struggled with this book.  There was a certain thing that went against my personal convictions and I think that might have added to my struggle.  Plus, I had just finished reading a great novel right before this one so my expectations were pretty high.

Although I did not care for the book I think if you are a fan of this author you should still give it a try.  I know I will continue to read future novels from Mrs. Hatcher.  This book just was not a good fit for me.

From the back of the book:

In a small town in Idaho's idyllic wine country where the past looms large, can two people realize their individual dreams for the future . . . together?
Abandoned once too often, Brooklyn Meyers never intended to return to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Her hometown holds too many memories of heartache and rejection. But when her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies and leaves his family home and acreage to her and their ten-year-old daughter Alycia, it's an opportunity to change their lives for the better—a chance Brooklyn can't pass up, for Alycia's sake if not her own.
Derek Johnson, Chad's best friend since boyhood, isn't keen on the return of Brooklyn Meyers to Thunder Creek. He still blames her for leading his friend astray. And now she has ruined his chance to buy the neighboring ten acres that would have allowed him to expand his organic farm. To add insult to injury, Chad's dying request was that Derek become the father to Alycia that Chad never was. How can he keep that promise without also spending time with the girl's mother?
Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Derek and Brooklyn must both confront challenges to their dreams and expectations. He must overcome long held misconceptions about Brooklyn, while she must learn to trust someone other than herself. And if they can do it, they just might discover that God has something better in mind than either of them ever imagined. 

***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

I'll Push You - A Book Review

When I received I'll Push You I wasn't really sure what to expect.  It's different than the usual books I read and I wasn't convinced that I made a good decision in choosing it for a summer read.  My doubts were quickly pushed aside as I began this inspiring book.  It is a quick read and if you have some extra time you can easily finish it in one long sitting.  For me that was a good thing, because once I started I did not want to put it down.

It truly is an amazing book about friendship and love.  I felt as I was on a journey right along with Justin and Patrick.  I laughed, I cried and was inspired by this book.  This is the kind of friendship that everyone needs.

Come to find out there is a documentary being made and I can't wait to see it!  I definitely recommend this book and when you are done you can pass it on to a friend!

Two best friends, 500 miles, one wheelchair, and the challenge of a lifetime.
Friendship takes on new meaning in this true story of Justin and Patrick, born less than two days apart in the same hospital. Best friends their whole lives, they grew up together, went to school together, and were best man in each other’s weddings. When Justin was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease that robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, Patrick was there, helping to feed and care for him in ways he’d never imagined. Determined to live life to the fullest, the friends refused to give into despair or let physical limitations control what was possible for Justin.

So when Justin heard about the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trek through Spain, he wondered aloud to Patrick whether the two of them could ever do it. Patrick’s immediate response was: “I’ll push you.”

I’ll Push You is the real-life story of this incredible journey. A travel adventure full of love, humor, and spiritual truth, it exemplifies what every friendship is meant to be and shows what it means to never find yourself alone. You’ll discover how love and faith can push past all limits―and make us the best versions of ourselves.

***Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Esther - Drawn in Bible Story

If I had to pick a favorite Bible story, the story of Esther would be at the top of my list.  I've always loved reading about her courage and her faith in God.

So naturally, I was excited to see there is a Drawn in Bible Study series and one of the women featured is Esther.  Other books in the series include Ruth and Mary.

This is a unique Bible study that features a Bible study combined with coloring pages and questions.

In this busy paced life you can take time to reflect on God's word with this book and enjoy some relaxing time of coloring while you are at it.  Included are notes for the author that enrich the Bible Study as well.

If I were to change anything about this book I would make it larger and add a few more coloring pages.  I would also like to see it in a different Bible translation.  I have never been a fan of The Message Bible and would rather see it in a different version. However, this did not take away too greatly for me.  It's easy enough to read out of your favorite version and use the book for the study questions, thoughts and coloring.

***Thanks to Tyndale for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Indescribable Coloring Book

I am so excited to tell you about my new coloring book!  I think everyone has heard the song "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin.  Now there is a coloring book based on the song!

It is without question, my new favorite coloring book. The lyrics to this #1 worship song is paired with awe-inspiring pictures in this beautiful coloring book.

There are more than 90 coloring pages and they have perforated edges if you want to tear the pictures out for easier coloring.  I myself like to keep the pages in the book, but it is just my personal preference.

I love the pictures.  They display real pictures that are the perfect size.  The pages are thick enough for markers without worrying about bleeding through.

This beautiful coloring book would make the perfect gift for anyone on your list.  Better yet, buy it for yourself and enjoy some relaxing and peaceful moments while enjoying the beauty of this one of a kind coloring book.

***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Guide to the Empty Nest - A Book Review

What's a mother to do when her children are no longer children, but adults?  In recent months I have found myself asking "What's next for me?" or "What am I going to do now?"  My oldest son got married and moved more than 10 hours away.  My youngest daughter just finished her senior year which also ends our homeschool journey as a family.

For the past 23 years my life has revolved around my children and I wouldn't of had it any other way, but now that they are grown it is time for me to refocus and see where it is God wants me.  Just because my kids don't need me 24/7 anymore does not mean my life is over.  In a way it is just beginning.  I have plenty to look forward to and plenty of free time now to do other works for the Lord.

I wanted to read Guide to the Empty Nest because of where I am in life.  I though it would offer some encouragement and maybe a little direction.  I really didn't care for the book.  For me personally it made me feel like the authors think you have to go out and do something huge during this stage in your life.  I did not relate to their stories and personally felt a little let down after reading it.

I think greatness depends on you.  Maybe all you can do is visit a sick friend or sew a blanket for a new born, but to the person you are helping...that's a great thing.

Find your purpose and don't let others tell you what that is or make you feel inadequate!  You can do great things for God no matter how small you think they might be.


***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Warfare Praying - A Book Review

Warfare Praying:  Biblical Strategies for Overcoming the Adversary by Mark I. Bubeck is a follow-up to the bestselling book The Adversary.  Author Mark Bubeck uses his pastoral heart, biblical wisdom and personal stories to write this compelling guide to walking in spiritual triumph.  He shares his time-tested tactics for victory with a sincere desire for you spiritual welfare.

* Live out your union with Christ
* Be filled with the Holy Spirit
* Wear the whole armor of God
* Pray mightily amid spiritual warfare
* Help others stand strong in the faith

Prayer is such a vital part of the Christians life, but all too often we fall into a habit of "good night prayers" or "table graces".  If ever there was a time to step up your prayer life, it is now.

This book is such a great resource and encouragement.  It is rooted and grounded in The Word of God and is not base on one man's opinion.  In our life we are faced with spiritual warfare daily so it is vital that we know how to pray a warfare prayer.  It is time to put on the whole armor of God and this book will guide you in a way that will enrich your prayer life like never before.

This book will be going on my shelf of favorites and will be something I know I will be referencing and loaning out in the years to come.

No matter what your battle you can fight it on your knees!  God is there to help you through.

***Thanks to Moody Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Threads of Suspicion - A Book Review

I used to only read christian romance and historical fiction books, but anymore my favorite "go to" genre is suspense.  Its books like Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson that has made me love the mystery and suspense.  I don't like anything too dark or gory.  I always think it sounds funny to say "christian suspense" but this book is the perfect example of what I like.

From the moment you open the book you won't want to put it down.  The characters are well developed and the story is fast paced with plenty of things to keep you guessing.  I was not aware that this author intertwines characters from previous novels so this has intrigued me to pick up some of her prior books to see what the back story is of a few of the characters.

If you are looking for a great summer read this is a good book to start with!

BACK OF THE BOOK:

Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


A Stranger at Fellsworth - A Book Review

First of all, let me just mention the beauty of the cover of this book!  If that does not instantly draw your attention I don't think anything will!  Absolutely gorgeous!

Sarah Ladd has written some of my favorite books and how I missed the first two of this series is beyond me.  I will have to go back and start fresh with book one.  With that being said, even though this is the third book in the series, it is also a great stand alone book.  It's not one of those series that you have to read everything in order.

This is a historical romance and it has plenty of mystery and romance.  It is a quick read and fast paced.  No saggy middle!  Sometimes I struggle with the Regency era, but this author tends to make it modern enough for me to enjoy while still having enough history to make it believable!

I would definitely recommend this book!  It would be a great summer read to relax by the pool with!

BACK OF THE BOOK:

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancĂ© has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, where her estranged uncle serves as the school’s superintendent. Upon arrival, Annabelle learns that she must shed her life of high society and work for her wages for the first time in her life.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to purchase land he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s death, Owen begins to consider a second chance at love.
As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.


***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.