Friday, October 13, 2017

God Gave Us Family - A Children's Book Review

Little Pup's wolf family is on their wat to a special reunion with lots of cousins, games, roasting marshmallows and fun.  As the young wolf thinks about different kinds of families, it's the perfect opportunity for Mama and Papa to teach their inquisitive child about hte families that God brings together.  Some families are big and some families are small.  Some are led by grandparents and some are led by just one parent.  Some families include adopted children, yet each family is truly special.

Even the member of Little Pup's pack fill an important role in his family, although they sometimes pester him.  Papa gently reminds his son "We need to love the family God gave us".

This heartwarming tale will delight young hearts and help them understand how families of all types reflect God's unconditional love.

God Gave Us Family is a beautiful children's book written by Lisa Tawn Bergren and illustrated by David Hohn.  It teaches children the differences in families and how we should be thankful and love the family that God blessed us with.

The art work is so cute and colorful and this is the perfect book for snuggling up with your little one for some quality one on one time.  I love the "God Gave Us" theme! It is perfect for teaching your child about all that God has blessed them with.

This would be a great addition to your children's library.

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

A Time To Stand - A Book Review

In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?
Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.
Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.
Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer.
As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.
This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

This is the first book I've read by Author Robert Whitlow and I am now a fan!  It is a beautifully written novel and one that is very much needed with everything that is going on within our country.  It addresses so many issues with the main one being racism. 

The book speaks truth and healing and it will leave you thinking about what you read long after you put the book down.  I can't wait to check out some of the other books by this author.  If they are have as good as this one I know I will love it!

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Isaiah's Daughter - A Book Review

Isaiah's Daughter: A Novel of Prophets and Kings by Mesu Andrews is a truly remarkable book!  this novel is completely different than most of the books I've read.  I'm always a little leary of "Bible story" fictional books.  For one, I don't want to read a book in biblical language.  I want to read and relax and understand.  For two, I don't like when a Bible story becomes so fictional that it strays from the truth.

What I do like is reading a book like this and it being rich in The Word of God.  A story that helps you relate and connect with biblical characters that you've read about your whole life. These are the things that Isaiah's Daughter offered for me, not the prior. 

It is very obvious that the author is rich in knowledge of the Bible.  She has a writing style that is captivating and I felt transported to biblical times as it felt I was walking beside the characters as their story unfolded.  

I will definitely be checking out more of the Mesu Andrews books.  If her other books are anything like this one, she will quickly become a favorite of mine!

I want to share a little excerpt from the beginning of the book...  Isn't that just beautiful.  It's simply poetic!  The first sentence had my heart and I knew I was in for a great reading experience.

Songs are written of sons, but daughters are left to whispers. So gather near, friend, to hear of a daughter beyond imagining. She had the heart of a lion. Braver than a soldier. Wiser than a king. She was queen in Judah long after King David’s bones had turned to dust. Long after the arrogance of Solomon’s son split Israel into two nations. When the northern tribes seized the name Israel, the southern tribes called their new nation Judah and placed David’s descendants on their throne. Judah’s capital was the city of Jerusalem and its God was named Yahweh. But Israel bowed to pagan gods and even led some of Judah’s kings astray. Yahweh’s prophets spewed warnings, and Judah’s brave daughter, the lion-hearted queen, dared ask the prophets why? When? And how will Yahweh’s judgment fall? One incomparable prophet answered, foretelling Assyria’s cruelty as Yahweh’s weapon of wrath. Isaiah, a man born to royalty, shouted at kings and comforted beggars. The records proclaim him husband to a prophetess and father of two sons. This is recorded, detailed, written. But what of his daughter? Her story begins when the northern kingdom of Israel joins forces with Aram, a neighboring nation. They attack Judah in retribution for refusing to join their coalition against Assyria. Isaiah prophesies to Judah’s King Ahaz— a promise and a warning. Ahaz ignores both. His decision forever changes the life of Isaiah’s daughter.

Isn't that just beautiful.  It is simply poetic!  The first sentence had my heart and I knew I was in for a great reading experience.

I would definitely recommend this book.  Head on over to Amazon and grab your copy now!  You won't be sorry.

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

Christmas at Carnton - A Book Review

Aletta Prescott is doing her best to support herself and her six year old son.  Recently widowed (her husband died fighting for the cause in the war against the states) and a baby on the way she knows she must find work soon.  If things weren't bad enough she is not being threatened with eviction.  Thankfully she sees a flyer that the Women's Relief Society is hiring.  She goes straightway to apply for the position only to find out that the position has already been filled.  Before leaving, she meets Captain Jake Winston, a wounded soldier who is recuperating from his wounds and ordered to help at the society.  Because of Captain Winston's willingness to help she gets another opportunity at employment.

A quick friendship forms between the two of them and it's not long before deeper feeling begin to develop, but they both are intent on fighting their feeling for each other.  Will love win out?  Will Aletta risk falling in love with another soldier? Will Jake's injuries ever completely heal?

I'm pretty sure this is the first book I've read by Tamera Alexander and I was not disappointed!  I absolutely loved the character of Aletta. She is such a strong character and strength is profound.  She has a determination to not give up under any circumstance.  It's no wonder Captain Winston fell in love with her, but on the other hand it is very evident how Aletta fell for Jake!  

This is the perfect holiday story.  It offers hope, faith and the true meaning of Christmas.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history and romance.

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

Cherished Mercy - A Book Review

Cherished Mercy is the third book in the series Heart of the Frontier by Tracie Peterson.  Mercy is the last of the three sisters to be featured and I think her story was my favorite yet. She has such a gentle spirit and strong faith.  You don't necessarily have to read the books in order, but I think you will enjoy the series all the more if you do.

Historical fiction is my favorite and Author Tracie Peterson did an amazing job combining historical facts in a fictional story.  It offered all the things I love about a good novel.  I hope the author decides to revisit this family because I would love to continue with this story.


Mercy Flanagan survived the Whitman Massacre as a child, and now her heart's cry is for peace between the native peoples and the white settlers inhabiting Oregon Territory. Unfortunately, most of the settlers would rather the tribes were removed from the land completely, one way or the other, and tensions are rising. Mercy has grown tired of Oregon City and feels that she has a larger purpose in life, so when she learns that family friend Eletta Browning is pregnant, she travels south to the Rogue River Valley to help. 

At the Rogue River Mission, Mercy meets Eletta's brother-in-law, Adam, who has suffered a broken engagement. Mercy finds him attractive, but Adam seems determined to focus on ministering to the local tribes and keeps Mercy at arm's length.

When tragedy strikes and tensions in the territory reach the boiling point, Mercy is pushed to the limit of her strength. She and Adam must rely on their firm faith in God in order to make it out alive.

If you haven't started this series yet, I encourage you to do so.  This final book ends the series beautifully.

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Picturing Heaven - Book Review

Picturing Heaven: 40 hope-filled devotions with coloring pages, written by Randy Alcorn and illustrated by Lizzie Preston is a beautiful book!  It by far, passed my expectation.  When I received it in the mail and began to flip through the pages I got so excited!  Such beauty!  The illustrations are amazing.  Each have gold details already filled in.  I think this was very fitting given the title.

To be honest, I was hesitant to color in it!  The pictures seemed so perfect just the way they were and I didn't want to take away from it.  I soon seen that adding a little of my own color and creativeness just enhanced the page!

The devotions that are included are just as beautiful as the pictures.  What better way to unwind at the end of the day then with a devotion that sets your mind on the promises of God.  Coloring also helps me relax so the coloring pages paired with a devotion is the perfect way to set my mind at peace and concentrate of the things of God.

This would be a great gift to give to someone who enjoys coloring or to just treat yourself!

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

Coloring Christmas Devotions - Book Review

Coloring Christmas Devotions is the perfect book for the upcoming holidays!  It is the perfects size to take  on the go or curl up with at home.  Each page offers a short devotion or scripture.  On the opposite side there is a fun Christmas scene to color.  The verses are quoted in NKJV.  The pages are thick enough to use markers or gel pens without fear of bleeding through.  If you do not like coloring in book form, the pages are perforated to make it easy to remove and color more easily.

Each Christmas season I try to find a good devotion book that helps me step back from the hustle and bustle of the season and focus on the true meaning.  This book is perfect for this season.  The pictures are beautiful,the devotions are meaningful and the price is reasonable.  You can get it from CBD for $6.99!

As the holiday season is fast approaching now is the perfect time to pick up this great book.  While your at it you might as well pick up a couple to give as gifts!

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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Draw 50 Sea Creatures - Book Review

I've always wanted to be able to sit down and draw whatever I want without it looking like a two year old did it. Truth is though,  I am not artistic when it comes to drawing. Lucky for me there are plenty of books out there that help.

Draw 50 Sea Creatures is a great book to help anyone who can hold a pencil to draw fish, sharks, dolphins and more. The book takes you step by step until you have a complete drawing. It starts with simple shapes and slowly adds detail.

Now, I'll be honest. I've already admitted that I'm not an artist, but my penguin definitely looked like a penguin and my fish and turtle were recognizable as well. Now they weren't as good as the examples in the book, but definitely better than anything I could accomplish on my own.

This is a great book for all ages, however, I do think younger kids would enjoy it the most.

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

An Amish Christmas Love - Book Review

Do you know that there are only 103 day left before Christmas! How can that be! It seems like we were just celebrating the new year! 

Summer is always my favorite season, but as the weather starts turning cooler I always find I have more time to read. 

An Amish Christmas Love is a book composed of four novellas by some of the best Amish fiction authors. 

The four stories included are:  Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman, The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston, Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin and Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid. 

They are quick reads and sweet little stories that will quickly put you in the Christmas spirit. This book would make a lovely gift for anyone who enjoys reading Amish fiction. 

Herr is a short description of each story:

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.
The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.
Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?
Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home - A Book Review

Kim Vogel Sawyer has been one of my favorite Authors for quite sometime.  Bringing Maggie Home is her newest novel and it was a little different than what I'm used to from her, but it was still an enjoyable read.

When Hazel was 10 years old she was picking blackberries with her little sister.  Hazel turned her back for just a few minutes and just like that her sister was gone.  The little girl was never found and no one really knew what happened to her.  The tragedy shaped Hazel's life and she never got over being responsible for the loss of her little sister.

Almost 70 years later, Hazel faces her past when her granddaughter finds pictures of Maggie.  The sister that no one knew Hazel even had.  Meghan is an investigator and decides to call on her partner for help in solving the case of what happened to Maggie.

Hazel's daughter and Meghan's mom, Diane, has a lot of bitterness towards her mother.  As she learns more about her mother's past she begins to realize why her mom was so overprotective and why she did some of the things she did.

In their search for Maggie, relationships begin to heal and lives are changed, but will they get to the bottom of what happened all those years ago?

The book jumps around from past to present and from the different character's point of view.  I liked this set up and it made the book much more interesting.  The mystery of what happened to Maggie kept me enthralled and I couldn't wait to find out what really happened.

I would definitely recommend this book!

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

I really enjoy Bible journaling. If you haven't tried it yet, you should. It really enhances my Bible study time.

There are so many different journaling Bibles to choose from. So many, that if you are a beginner it can be overwhelming. So let me help you!  The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is a good one to start with. NIV is not my version of choice, I prefer Kjv, but regardless this is a great Bible for Journaling.

There are quite a few pages throughout the Bible that have printed images that are waiting for you to add your own personal touch through coloring. There are also a lot of blank areas for you to add your own special touch and add your own designs.

The pages are thick enough that I did not experience any bleeding. I used Micron non bleed pens, gelatos and cored pencils for the majority and was very pleased with the outcome.

The Bible is listed as large print, but I would not label it as that. It's not teeny tiny print, but definitely not large. The Bible itself though is a very nice size and it has a beautiful cloth cover. The Bible lays flat while you are reading and working on your pages.

I am very happy to have this Bible to work through and I would recommend it to others!

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Promise of Dawn - Book Review

I cannot adequately put into words how much I love Lauraine Snelling's new book, The Promise of Dawn. It is the first book in  her new series, Under Northern Skies.

I am just so excited about this series. I absolutely loved the books about the Bjorkland family set in Blessing, North Dakota. In the very first chapter of this book you'll learn there is a connection to the featured family and Ingeborg! I was so excited about this. Dare I hope that somewhere in this series we will revisit the beloved matriarch?

Either way, this series is one I'm looking forward to. I loved the character of Signe and her patience with Aunt, oh my, I don't know how she out up with her or uncle Einar. But, as the book progressed I have to say I even came to love these difficult family members.

One thing I really like about Lauraine Snelling's writing is that she describes the daily activities in such detail. This picks me up and transports me to a place in history and I can experience through words what life was like for these immigrants.

I can't recommend this book enough! Such an enjoyable read! I can't wait for book two!

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Beloved Hope - A Book Review

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson is the second book in the Heart of the Frontier series.  I would definitely recommend reading the books in order as they are tied together.  I did not do this and I did struggle some.  After I got through the first few chapters it began to come together better for me and the story began to flow.  I am so intrigued with this story that I want to go back and get the first book and read it as well.  I'll also be following up with book three when it is released!

The series is about the Flanagan sisters:  Faith, Hope and Mercy and how they make a new home in Indian Territory.  The sisters parents were killed in a terrible massacre and this is their stories.  The first book featured faith and this book was centered on Hope.

Hope is now safe in Oregon city and enjoys caring for the family's flock of sheep.  her mind and soul is starting to heal from the horrible massacre, but everything is put to the test when she is asked to testify against the Cayuse responsible for the massacre.

Hope is not sure she can bear to relive the horrific events, but neither can she risk her attackers being released.  As Hope struggles to make her choice an Army lieutenant named Lance Kenner becomes and unexpected ray of light in her life.  Perhaps she is still capable of love after all.  But will Lance still want her if he learns the whole truth of what happened to her at the mission?  Or are the secrets that lie in his own past more troubling?

I would note that there is some mature content in this book dealing with murder and rape during the massacres so it may not be appropriate for all readers.

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

The Return - A Book Review

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an amazing author and her book, The Return, is a a perfect example of why I love her books.  I have to say though, that it was the beautiful cover that first drew me to this one!

I have always been a huge fan of historical fiction and this book is inspired by true events.  There is a section in the back of the book that includes what's true about the story.  I always love when and Author includes these details! Not only is this an enjoyable fiction read you will learn a lot while reading it.  

The story is set in Pennsylvania in the 1700's, pre-revolution.  Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations nor those of devoted Hans-but then she never had to.  Not until the night she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid.  Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feeling she's developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort.  She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Han's hunger for revenge.  But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Even though this is book three of this series it makes a great stand alone book.  You will not want to put it down.  It will grab you from the first page and keep you enthralled all the way to the end.  There is lots of adventure and a little suspense.  The romance is sweet and pure.  Such a fulfilling book!

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

Gathering The Threads - A Book Review

When it comes to Amish fiction Cindy Woodsmall is my favorite author.  I have read all of her books and she never disappoints!  Her newest series,The Amish of Summer Grove, is my favorite yet. I have been patiently waiting for Gathering The Threads ever since I finished Fraying at the Edge.  I was so happy to finally get it and I was not disappointed.  This is the third and final book in the series and I was happy with the way the Author concluded the series.

First off, if you have not read the first two books I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning.  This is a series that needs to be read in order and Gathering The Threads is not meant to be a "stand alone" book.

The series starts out in an Amish birthing center where one women has just given birth and another is about to when a fire breaks out.  It's complete chaos.  The story then jumps forward 20 years.  The series is about Ariana and Skylar.

In the third book, Gathering The Threads, Ariana is back in the Old Order Amish world that she loves.  She had new perspectives and you'll have to read to see if they will draw her family closer or completely rip them apart.

Skylar has finally found her place among the Brenneman family, but when Ariana arrives, Sklyar feels that her new identity is being threatened as well as her sobriety.  Both girls must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight to the One who holds their identities close to His heart.

If you love Amish fiction I cannot recommend this series enough!  Actually all of Cindy Woodsmall's novels.  They are all great!

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

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 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 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 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!


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!


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 for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Ten Greatest Struggles of Your Life - A Book Review

I just finished memorizing Exodus 20 which includes all of the Ten Commandments.  It was my first big Bible memorization project.  I've memorized verses, but never a whole passage.  With that fresh on my mind and in my heart the book The Ten Greatest Struggles of Your Life came at the perfect time.  It is a devotional/christian help book based on finding freedom in God's commands.

The author, Pastor Colin S. Smith shares in this book that there is more to the ten commandments that meets the eye.  This book gave me a deeper understanding of God and His commandments.  I'd like to share a short excerpt from the introduction:

How can we know what God's love is like?  The answer is found in the Ten Commandments.  They show us what God is like, and they spell out the meaning of love...

God is love, and He calls us to pursue a life that reflects His character.  That's why He gave us the Ten Commandments.  They show us what God is like and spell out the meaning of love.  The reason we should not commit adultery is that God is faithful.  The reason for not bearing false witness is that God speaks truth.  The reason for not coveting is that God is content in Himself.  This is what God is like and since you were created in His image, this is the life for which you were made.

There are 10 chapters discussing each of the commandments separately and at the back of the book there is a very thorough study guide for even further personal study.  I found this book very encouraging and thought provoking.  It helped me to see a part of the Bible that I have know since I was a young child in Sunday School in a whole new light.  It became much more than mere words to me and helped me to know the God I love so much even better.

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

The Chapel Car Bride - A Book Review

The Chapel Car Bride is a sweet, romantic story set in West Virginia during the early 1900's.  

Hope Irvine has lived a sheltered life in Pittsburgh and is ready for a new adventure.  When her father takes a position as a preacher in a railroad car converted into a traveling church, she's thrilled at the chance to accompany him.  While accommodations in their new chapel car home are tight, Hope couldn't be happier putting her musical skills to good use and ministering to the people of West Virginia alongside her father.  But when their chapel car arrives in Finch, West Virginia, they find a coal mining community that has hit hard times and is suspicious of outsiders.

Luke Hughes works for the coal mine when he can, but the struggling company doesn't always offer steady work.  When Reverend Irvine and Hope arrive in town, Luke is intrigued by what the reverend can teach him...and by the lovely and kind Hope.

When Hope's desire to bring supplies and Sunday school classes to neighboring counties leads to her traveling with a flirtation young mine manager, Luke is hard-pressed to suppress his jealous.  But when he begins to suspect the manager's motives are less than charitable, can he prove it without hurting Hope, or worse, putting her in danger?

I love reading historical fiction and Judith Miller did an excellent job of combining historical content with fictional content and the results was pure reading delight. Before reading this book I had never heard of "chapel cars" and was intrigued by them.  The character of Hope is such a delight. She is very upbeat and sees the best in everyone and every situation. This book is full of good christian morals and was a joy to read. I also was glad that this was a stand alone novel.  I've read a lot of books lately that have been a part of a series and I was ready for a shorter read without being left hanging.  

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

In the Field of Grace - Book Review

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is a beautifully written historical fiction book based on the story of Ruth out of the Bible.  This is the first book I have read by Author Tessa Afshar and she has made me an instant fan!

I have read several books in the past from various authors based on biblical stories and more often than not I am left disappointed.  A lot of times the truth of the story gets twisted, but that is not the case with In the Field of Grace.  The author takes the Bible story of Ruth and weaves a fictional story based on the truth that the Bible shares.  It takes the reader to a deeper understanding of that day and time and for me it helped me to connect and see the Bible characters of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz as real people, not just a story.  It brought the story to life!  I will say that for me, after reading a fictional story based on a Bible story I always like to go back and read the Bible account afterwards.

I think most Christians are familiar with the story of Ruth so it is pretty clear how the story will unfold, but what you don't know is how the story will take hold of your heart.  You will experience the grief that Naomi felt when she lost her sons, you will experience the determination of Ruth to help Naomi and you will read about a love that is sweet and pure and sent from God above.

I highly recommend this book and believe that within it's pages you will be reminded of God's great faith, love and provision.

If you would like to learn more about the author Tessa Afshar and other books she has available you can do so HERE.

You can purchase the book by clicking HERE.

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

For Love and Honor - Book Review

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?
If you have read any of my past reviews you know that I am a huge Jody Hedlund fan. I hate to say it, but this young adult series has been a struggle for me. I have never really felt connected with the characters. This book in the series definitely left me wanting something more. It seemed more of a chore to read than a delight. 
I'm hoping that the next series will be something more enjoyable. I still consider Jody Hedlund one of my favorite authors. This book was just not for me.

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal

I get excited about adult coloring books, but it seems to me that so many of them are basically the same.  What interests me is something unique and different.

Tranquility, the prayer and reflection coloring journal is unique in every way!  The cover itself is absolutely gorgeous and what you find within the pages is even better.

Each page includes a small devotion, a Bible verse, something to color and a few lines for the reader to write.  The pages have some color on them and it's not set up for complete coloring.  A lot of the pictures have been filled in.

What I like best about it, is that you can have a devotion and while your are thinking on God's word you can color and reflect.  I like that there is not a whole lot to color.  This goes well with the devotional.  You don't have to worry about completing a whole coloring page before moving on.  There's a perfect and enjoyable amount.

I think this book would be a great gift.  With graduation just around the corner and Mother's Day as well, this would make the perfect gift!

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

Gifts From Heaven - A Book Review

I love to read, but truth is I don't always have the time.  Springtime is always extra busy around here.  By the time nighttime rolls around, I'm ready to collapse into bed and I can barely keep my eyes open for more than 15 minutes.

What works great for me this time of year is short stories.  I still can enjoy some book time, but not feel tied down to a long story.

Gifts from Heaven is the perfect book for this.  Not only can you pick it up and read a "story" here and there, it truly encourages the reader spiritually.  The book is filled with true stories of miraculous answers to prayer.  The book is complied by James Stuart Bell.  Each chapter/story is written by a different person.

I believe this book will encourage each reader.  Sometimes I get discouraged and feel like God is not hearing my prayers.  I think we all feel that way sometimes.  This book is a great testimony as to how God not only hears our prayers, but comes through in miraculous ways.

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

If I'm Found - Book Review

If I'm Found is the second book in the If I Run Series by Terri Blackstock.  I have been waiting for this book to be released since the day I finished the first book, If I Run.  The first book was the best suspense novel I ever read and I have eagerly anticipated If I'm Found.

If I'm Found continues the story of Casey, who is still on the run from the cops.  She is wanted for committing a murder that she didn't commit.  She is trying to collect evidence on the real murderers while on the run.  Dylan is still after her.  He insists that he believes that Casey is innocent and even though he let her escape once already she is leary to trust.

As Casey is fighting for her own self she stumbles upon another injustice.  She wants to help, but would it mean her own capture and paying for a crime that she didn't commit?

This is truly the best series!  The author alternates between characters and gives first hand accounts.  I really like this as it gives more insight to what each character is feeling.  Although this second book was not quite as good as the first, I have a feeling that the third and final book in this series is going to be amazing!  I can't wait to see how the author wraps this story up.  The worst thing about it is that I will have to wait a year before the next release.  More waiting!  UGH!

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

Long Time Gone - Book Review

Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy is the second book in the Cimarron Legacy series.  I first became familiar with this Authors novels with her first series The Kincaid Brides.  The Cimarron Legacy series has brought back the delight I had when I read that first series.  It's set in the old west with plenty of laugh-out-loud humor and romance.  It's the perfect balance to make a very enjoyable series.

Another thing I like about Mary Connealy's writing style is that when she writes a series, all the books connect.  I always enjoy seeing how they interweave with each other.  When I read a book that I really like I get "attached" to the characters.  When there is a series like this that connects, you still get glimpses in to the characters lives that you connected with in the previous book(s).

The only negative thing I can say is now I am going to have to wait until October to get the last book in this series!  If you are looking for a good, light hearted read, that is set in the wild west this series is the one for you.  Be sure to start from the beginning with No Way Up!


The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they uncovered the real plot to take their 1880's New Mexico ranch?  Justin Boden is a top rancher and a rugged man, and yet with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts.  And it doesn't help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin has ever laid eyes on.

With her and the doc's timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend.  Now Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the threats facing them.  It's clear now that everything that's occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret.  Can they pull together all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the risk of losing the ranch even greater than any of them could imagine?

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

The Acid Watcher Diet - A Book Review

I picked up The Acid Watcher Diet - A 28-Day Reflux Prevention and Healing Program for different reasons than what most people would get it.  I have Interstitial Cystitis.  It is a chronic bladder disease and causes great pain.  A lot of what I ingest plays a big part of where my pain level is.

I have a very acidic body.  There are times that I feel like I am burning from the inside out.  When the acid is up the pain in my bladder is worse.  If I eat bland food it seems to help.  I wanted to check out this book to see if it would help me to understand more of what I battle concerning the acid and hopefully get some new knowledge and recipes.

I was not sorry.  This is a highly informative book.  It does not only tell you the "why" but also gives the solution.  It explains the dangers of why high acid is so can lead to cancer, inflammation in the body, choking, post nasal drip and more. The diet recommended is a well balanced diet that is definitely attainable.  There are so many great recipes included and also an exercise plan. Following this 28 day program you will be well on your way to feeling better!

Whether you are needing help to lower the acid in your body due to acid reflux or other reasons such as mine, this book is a great resource.  Following the guidelines set within the pages you will be on your way to a much healthier lifestyle.

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie

I have been searching for a good Chicken Pot Pie recipe for a while now and I am happy to announce that I have found success!

I've made this yummy recipe a couple times now and it has quickly become a family favorite.

Instead of putting it in a pie pan I make it in a 9x13 glass casserole dish.  This is what I like best.  To each their own!

The last time I made it I made a roast chicken the night before and used the left over chicken for this recipe.   I loved doing it this way.  It made the recipe so much easier and allowed one chicken to stretch for two delicious and very different meals.

This would be a freezer friendly meal if you make it ahead.  Or if you have a smaller family you can eat half when you fix it and freeze half of it for later.


1 cup peeled and diced potatoes
3/4 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups milk
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 package of refrigerated pie crust (2 rolls)


1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place peeled and diced potatoes and sliced carrots in a large saucepan.  Add water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook covered about 8-10 minutes until crisp-tender.  Drain.

2.  In a large skillet heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add chopped onion and cook until tender.  Stir in flour and seasonings until well blended.  Gradually stir in broth and milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Stir in chicken, peas, corn and potato and carrot mixture.  Remove from heat.

3.  Unroll on of the pie crusts into a 9 inch pie plate.  Trim even with rims.  Add chicken mixture.  Unroll remaining pastry.  place over filling.  Trim, seal and flute edges.  Poke with a fork on top.

4.  Bake 30 minutes or until crust is lightly brown.  Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

An Uncommon Protector - A Book Review

Historical fiction is my favorite genre and I have always enjoyed reading books from the Civil War Era.  For these reasons alone I was excited to read An Uncommon Protector.  Not to mention the fact that I always enjoy Author Shelly Shepard Gray's books.  This is the second book in A Lone Star Hero's Love Story series.  I did not read the first book in the series and it is definitely not needed to enjoy this one, but if the first book is half as good as this one it will be worth the read.

The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey.  Both her  brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise.  Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can. 

When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner for the local jail.  If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.  

Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he's in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn't pay a few fines.  Laurel's offer might be his only ticket out.  Though she's everything he ever dreamed of in a woman, he's determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he's free again.  

But when the cattle start dying and Laurel's life is threatened, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line.  Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property.   It isn't long before Laurel realizes that Tomas Balker is fare more than just s former soldier,  He's a trustworthy hero, and he needs more than just his freedom.  He needs her love and care too.

From the first chapter I was hooked on this book.  The chemistry between Laurel and Thomas jumped from the book. Thomas seemed to have a "bad boy" demeanor about him and watching him soften around the edges was heartwarming.  Laurel is determined to keep her land and is a character that is easy to relate to.  

If you are needing a good book before the last few weeks of winter are over, this would be a great one to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of coffee!

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