Monday, November 30, 2015

The Midnight Visitors - A Book Review

The Midnight Visitors is a children's story book by Juliet David and is Illustrated by Jo Parry.  It is a beautifully written story about the birth of Jesus!  And just in time for Christmas!

The story is about Miriam the cow.  As Miriam is settling in for the night in her nice cozy cowshed, she is interrupted by a knock on the door.  First it is a family of rabbits, then a fox and next an owl all wanting a cozy place to rest.  Miriam is reluctant, but she lets them all in.  One last knock on the door brings a man and a woman who is with child.  Before long there is a new baby and Miriam will never forget this night that a very special baby was born in her very own cowshed.

Our children our never too young to learn the story of Christ and Christmas is an excellent time to begin to tell them of our wonderful Savior who came to this earth as a baby.  This sweet book is sure to keep the attention of young children.  The pictures are so cute and bright and colorful!  

This would make the perfect Christmas gift.  What a sweet tradition it would be to have a quiet moment on Christmas day to share with your child the real reason for the season!

***This book was provided to me by Kregel in exchange for my review.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Mountain Midwife - A Book Review

The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes was a little different than what I thought it would be.  I really thought I was getting a historical fiction book.  Instead it turned out to me a modern day story.  Even though there was an initial disappointment it did not take long for me to get over it.  It was a well written book and caught my interest from the first chapter.  The characters are well developed and easy to connect with.

This was the first book I read by this author, but from what I understand this author has written a whole series on midwives and those are set more in the past.  It's also said that some of the characters from the previous stories are mentioned in this book.  I would like to go back and read The Midwives Series.  If they are half as good as this book I know I will love it!

Ashley Toliver is a midwife in a small Appalachian community.  She comes from a long line of midwives and through the years she thinks she has seen it all.  One night a man knocks on her door, he has a pregnant woman with him who is in labor.   Ashley feels like something is off, but it is clear that this lady needs help so she lets them in.  After the birth, the mother starts bleeding dangerous amounts and Ashley knows she must get her to a hospital quick.   As she is making the arrangements the woman, the baby and the man that brought her all disappear.  Upon further discovery it seems as if this was a planned abduction.  Ashley is determined to find the women and her baby before it is too late.

Hunter McDermott has found himself in the lime light.  He is being seen as a hero for being in the right place at the right time.  He receives a phone call from a mysterious woman who seen him on the news and is claiming to be his mother.  When he finds out from his mom and dad that he is adopted he starts out on a quest to find his birth mother.  He seeks help for Ashley Toliver.  Ashley had no idea on man could turn her world upside down.  He has her questioning her plans for her future and now she doesn't know what she wants.

***This book was provided to me by booklookbloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Christmas Story in 40 Days - A Book Review

Each year as Christmas approaches I try to find a good devotional book that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas.   It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, but Christmas is so much more than lights, trees and presents.

For me, it is important to prepare my heart for this special time of year.  I love to spend a few moments each day with my family and focus and what Christmas really is about.  It strengthens us as a family and it also strengthens our walk with God.

This year I am reading The Christmas Story in 40 Days and it is exactly the kind of devotional book I like for this time of year.  The author suggests starting the book on November 15'th so it will take you all the way through the Christmas season, but that is just a suggestion.

As the title suggests, the book contains 40 daily devotions.  Each Day consists of a scripture, a short devotion sharing thoughts on what you just read and then there are questions that get you thinking and help you apply everything you just read to your own life.  It even includes a few blank lines for notes in case you want to jot down anything.  I really liked the addition of a "note" section.  It's a perfect place to write down some of your thoughts, or those of your family's as you discuss the questions. This will make it all the more personal and a great memory to look back on next Christmas!

Even though I have chosen to use this book for our family devotion time this season I think that it is the perfect book for individuals.  However you choose to use it, I think that you will enjoy it and it will help you remain focused on Christ during this very special time of year!

***Thanks to Aneko Press for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Christmas Story in 40 days you can do so on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Delighting in God - A Book Review

I never pass up an opportunity to read a book by A.W. Tozer.  He was such an awe inspiring man of God. he had so much wisdom of the Bible and things above that it is astounding.  Delighting in God is a follow up to The Knowledge of the Holy.  It is a book that will take you to deeper depths in your walk with God and I think it will give each reader the desire to know God in way they never have before.  I couldn't help but think of the old song "I Was Made to Serve the Lord" while reading this.  Our whole purpose in this life is to serve Him.  To do that to the best of my ability I must come to know Him on a new level.


"My worship grows and grows as my perception of God grows.  God cannot grow.  My perception of God grows and I experience Him day after day.  I should be more capable of worshiping God today than I was ten or twenty years ago." 

We were all created in the image of God and to fully understand who we are and what we were created to be we must first come to understand God so that he can work through us.

Delighting in God is the message Tozer intended to be the follow up to The Knowledge of the Holy.  He demonstrated how the attributes of God - those things God has revealed about himself - are a way to understand the Christian life of worship and service.  We are here to serve and adore him, but we can only fulfil that role by acknowledging who he is, which is the essence of the Christian life and the source of all our fulfillment, joy and comfort.

About the Author
A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) was a self-taught theologian, pastor, and writer whose powerful words continue to grip the intellect and stir the soul of today's believer. He authored more than 40 books. The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy are considered modern devotional classics. Find Tozer information and quotes at

Reverend James L. Snyder is an award-winning author recognized as an authority on the life and ministry of A.W. Tozer. His first book, In Pursuit of God: The Life of A.W. Tozer, won the Christianity Today Reader's Choice Award. Because of his thorough knowledge of Tozer, he was given the rights from the A.W. Tozer estate to produce new books derived from over 400 never-before-published audio tapes. James and his wife live in Ocala, Florida.
***This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Amish Christmas At North Star - A Book Review

When the weather turns cold I want nothing more than to cuddle up with a blanket, a cup of coffee and a good book.  Unfortunately this time of year it seems that there is never enough time.  As the holidays approach I find my days going by fast and my calendar quickly filling up.  One good solution is reading short stories.  

Amish Christmas at North Star is the perfect book to curl up with.  It is compiled of four short stories all centering around Christmas and they are short enough where each story is a quick read and you can still get other things accomplished!

One night four babies were born.  They were all delivered by the same Amish midwife on the edge of North Star, Pennsylvania.  The babies, who are called Rebekah's babies, are now adults.  Each novella features a different person that was delivered by Rebekah years earlier.

The first story is called Guiding Star and is by Katie Ganshert.  Chase Wellington is an Englischer who, after learning of the four births decides to investigate.  One of the babies disappeared shortly after the birth and he is determine to find out what happened.   His investigation leads him to Elle McAllister and it's not long before everything is brought to light.

The second story is Mourning Star by Amanda Flower.  Eden decides to investigate the death of her friend Isaac.  There are several possibilities of who the guilty person is.  Will Eden be able to uncover the truth?

The third story is In The Stars by Cindy Woodsmall.  Kore does his best to avoid North Star ever since his heart was broken by Savilla.  Now he has to return home and the one person he has been avoiding is now the person who he needs.

The fourth story is Star of Grace by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark.  Andy left North Star to join a new Amish settlement in Mississippi.  His whole family misses him him, but none more than his little brother who devises a plan to bring Andy home for Christmas.

I really enjoyed all of these stories and even found myself wishing a couple of them were a little longer.  Even though they are short stories, the characters are well developed and easy to connect with!  A must read for this Christmas season!

*This book was provided to me through in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Girl From the Train - A Book Review

When it comes to reading there is nothing I like more to read than a good historical fiction book.  I love it when I find an author who has weaved a beautiful fiction story mixed together with true historical facts.  Some authors seem to go the extra mile and bring a story that pulls at your heart strings and tears at your soul.  The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert is just such a story.

I new as soon as I seen the cover and read the back excerpt that this book would be good, and I was not disappointed.  It is one of those books that you don't want to put down.  The kind that when you do have to put it down you are thinking about it and rushing around just so you can sit down and read it again.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction!  It is a great story of love, hope and faith.  This book will be going on my list of favorites!

More about the book:

As World War II draws to a close, Jakob fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia.  They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl's unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.

Gretl is the only survivor.  Though spared form the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people.  When Jakob discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in.  For three years, the young man and the little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.

But Gretl can't stay with him forever.  Jakob send her to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families, so long as Gretl's Jewish roots, Catholic education and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.

Separated by continents, politics, religion, language and years, Jakob and Gretl will likely never see each other again.  But the events they both survived and their believe that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.

***This book was provided to me by in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rising Darkness - A Book Review

Sophie Wittenbauer grew up in a conservative Mennonite community.  Unlike the good citizens of her town, she lived under the abusive hand of her parents.  She made some horrible choices and disappointed a lot of people in the town of Kingdom, but that is all behind her now.  She left her old miserable life behind and has started a new life for herself.  She is now an aspiring crime reporter and hoping to get a "big story" and make a name for herself.  When Sophie receives a tip on an unsolved case, she heads to Sanctuary, Missouri in search of a murderer and $6,000,000 in missing cash.

Once in Sanctuary she goes undercover and uses the name Emily.  She is not thrilled to be in a Mennonite town and it seems that more than just memories of her old life are surfacing.  When she runs in to Jonathan, the only man she has ever loved, she is taken back.  He is now a pastor in Sanctuary.  He has a hard time believing Sophie, but chooses to help her anyway.  It also seems that someone is on to "Emily".  When she begins receiving threats and then is attacked, she is not sure who to trust anymore.  As she is trying to find the murderer she begins to find herself and the healing that she so desperately needed.

Rising Darkness is the third book in the Finding Sanctuary series by Nancy Mehl.  You do not have to read the series in order, but I do think you would find it more enjoyable.  Since each story is set in Sanctuary, MO you get to know and connect with many of the town folk and it is nice to see glimpses of their lives in each book.  Sophie's story in Rising Darkness is a story of healing and forgiveness.  I love how Nancy Mehl can write a book with a great balance of faith, suspense and romance.  One of the things I love most about this author's books is that she is actually located very close to where I live and the towns on the outskirts of Sanctuary are real towns and towns that I am in on a regular basis.  That is just a really cool aspect for me.

I did have a little more trouble with this third book than I did the first two.  It took me a while to get into and connect with it.  I didn't feel like it was as good as the first two, however, it was still enjoyable and by the last half of the book I couldn't put it down.  It just took me a while to get to that point.

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me with the book in exchange form my honest review.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas Time - A Book Review

Some of my most cherished childhood memories are of the stories and the time spent with my mother as she read to me before bedtime.  It was such a special time that me and my sister both looked forward to.  When I became a mother I quickly took on the tradition.  I have always enjoyed reading and I do believe it is in huge part due to the hours spent being read to as a child.

Teaching young children about Christ is one of the most beneficial things you can do for them.  It is never too early to start.  One of the best ways of teaching them about Jesus is through story books.  Christmas Time:  It's All About Jesus!  Written by Sue M. Barksdale is the perfect book to start with.  It is beautifully illustrated with bright colorful cartoon images that capture the story of the birth of Jesus through pictures.  Even the youngest of children will enjoy looking at these fun images.  The story itself is told in rhymes and does not stray from the truth of the birth of Christ.

The thing I liked most was the Christmas Time Devotions that were included in the back of the book.  This is a very unique inclusion that helps families center their Christmas around the true meaning.  Included with each short devotion is a short prayer and family activities.  This makes it fun for the whole family.

I am confident that your family will enjoy spending time together with your little ones while reading this great Christmas book!

If you would like to purchase Christmas Time you can do so on Amazon by clicking HERE.

A special thanks to Aneko Press for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Reason To Stay - A Book Review

A Reason To Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert is a modern day novel about Faith Marin who is the host of a television news show.  Her marriage to pro bass fisherman Geary is on the rocks.  Faith is ready to call it quits and file for divorce.  As she heads out to do an "on location" news story, the unexpected happens.  As tragedy strikes Faith's own life hangs in the balance she begins to realize that she can't bear to lose the one person that she needs most.

This book reminded me of an old favorite movie of mine.  "Up Close and Personal" starring Robert Redford.  I was definitely intrigued with the story line.  I don't read a whole lot of modern day novels, but I am glad that I gave this one a shot.  I really did enjoy it and the characters and the story line was so relatable.  The story goes back and forth between present day and Faith remembering when she met her husband, started her career and the events that lead up to where she is now in life.  Faith's in-laws are overbearing and her mother-in-law interferes in her son's life causing so many problems for Faith.  I think this was the most realtable aspect of the story, for me anyway.

This is a great story of love and fighting for what you want.  Sometimes the easiest thing to do is give up, but somethings...some people are worth the fight.  A great read that I would definitely recommend!

***This book was provided to me by Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride - A Book Review

As summer turns into fall and the days become cooler, it doesn't take long for my mind to shift to Christmas.  One of the things I enjoy this time of year, before things get to hectic with the holiday season, is reading Christmas novels.

I just completed The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson.  It is a joyous tale of and elderly lady by the name of Joy is eighty-five years old and her sons have made arrangements for her to go into assisted living housing closer to their location.  Joy has sold her house and is supposed to fly out to her new life in time for Christmas, but Joy has another idea.  She is going to take her RV across route 66 spreading joy all along the way.

Miranda is Joy's next door neighbor.  Her life is falling apart.  Her husband is gone, her house is being forclosed and celebrating Christmas is the last thing she has on her mind.  Joy convinces (more like guilts) Miranda into joining her on her joy ride.  It's not long before Miranda is enjoying herself and through the kindness of Joy she starts seeing things differently then she has in a long time.  This joy ride will do more than bring Miranda joy, it will change her life!

I really did enjoy this book and if I were to be completely honest, I was a little skeptical when I first got the book.  By the looks of it I thought it would be a silly novel, but instead it was a beautiful tale of generosity and happiness.  Joy is a spunky old lady that you can't help but love!   It is a quick read and once you start you won't want to put it down.

If you are looking for a quick Christmas book that is sure to put a smile on your face, then this is the book for you!

***This book was provided to me by Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review.