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.

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 booklookbloggers.com 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!

MORE ABOUT THE STORY:

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 bad...it 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.

INGREDIENTS:

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)

DIRECTIONS:

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

Be Bold - An Adult Coloring Book Review


If you still haven't tried adult coloring you really should.  It is so relaxing and the perfect way to end a stressful day.

My newest coloring book that I want to tell you about is Be Bold - A Coloring Devotional by Ellen Elliott.  It is definitely my new favorite. Another past time of mine is doodling and the images in this coloring book reminds me of images that I would doodle.

On each page there is a short devotion that includes a Bible verse and a story that can be applied to your life. On the opposite page is a big bold picture for you to color. What's even better is that each coloring page features a Bible verse.  While you are coloring you can reflect on the Word of God!

If scheduling a daily quiet time with God has become challenging, it is time for you to Be Bold!  This coloring book was created for people just like you.  Your quiet time will quickly become something that you will look forward to.

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Spy of Richmond - A Book Review

My favorite genre is historical fiction and the Civil War Era is one of my favorite time eras to read about.  The Spy of Richmond is by Jocelyn Green and is the fourth book in the Heroines Behind the Lines series.  You don't necessarily need to read the books in order.  I have read a couple other books from this series and this one by far has been the best.  

It is a perfect mix of fact and fiction.  I felt transported in time to a time period that we can only read about in history books.  


Trust none. Risk all.
Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can't do it alone.
Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie's home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city's fortifications.
As Sophie's spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father's position as newspaper editor and a suitor's position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.
Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?

Sophie's courage to do what's right is inspirational.  The character's in the novel are well developed and easy to relate to.  You won't want to put this book down until the last page!

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

An Amish Home - Book Review

An Amish Home is four novellas in one book.  The stories are from some of my favorite Amish authors like Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Ruth Reid. There is so much I like about this book.  Sometimes I need a break from larger novels and a book with shorter stories is perfect for quick reads.  Each of these are as enjoyable as a full novel and I really love how they all focused on "home".

A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman - Sara Lants always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family.  When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. All of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all her dreams.  As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins one again to see her cup as half full.

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston - Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O'Conner reluctantly take Chace's Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property.  They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation.  But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chance and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller - Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive.  So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on.  The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas.  As they work to build Martha's kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?  

A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid - Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy..for a while.  Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards.  All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost.  When a fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble.  As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past.  Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope and love is reignited.

I would definitely recommend this book.  It is uplifting and will remind the reader of the real meaning of home.  Each of the novellas have a lesson to be learned that will encourage the reader.

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

Still Life - A Book Review

Still Life by Dani Pettrey is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor Series.  I would recommend reading the books in order.  You could still understand and enjoy it as a stand alone book, but I think it would be more enjoyable read in series as there are many return characters and it's better to connect with them and to keep them all straight.

After Avery Tate was  blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, she answered an ad for a crime scene photographer.  She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright and changed her life, but six months ago, when her feeling for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot.  Worse, her friend can't be found.  She immediately calls Parker for help.  As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig in to the mystery, they find themselves face to face with a relentless and deadly threat.

I just love a good suspense novel and this book is perfect.  It was fast paced and a little edgy.  I found myself thinking about it long after I would stop reading.  It made me a little on edge as I get "scared" easy so if you are like me I would not read it at night.  It was like being a part of a real crime scene investigation and was very interesting to see how several people worked together to solve the mystery.  It kept me guessing until the end!

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


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Grace and the Preacher - A Book Review

When Theo Garrison was 15 years old his outlaw cousins tried to get him to help them with a train robbery.  Instead, Theo fled the scene and because of him his cousins were caught and thrown in jail.  Ten years have passed and his cousins are getting out early for good behavior.  The last words his cousin spoke to him were words of revenge.  Now Theo is on the run and looking for a way to hide from his cousins.  A chance encounter opens up an opportunity for him to hide.

Grace Cristler is twenty-four and has all but given up on finding a husband.  Living in an area where there are no eligible men has not helped her situation.  Grace's uncle has decided to retire as preacher of the small town of Fairland, Kansas.  Grace has been writing letters to Reverend Rufus Dille, the man who will be taking her uncles place.  Grace cannot deny her growing feelings for him, even though she has never seen him.

Will Theo's dishonesty come with a price?  Will Grace be able to forgive Theo of his deceit?  More importantly will Theo allow God to save him from his past and give him a brighter future?

This is such a beautiful written story.  I have come to expect nothing less from one of Kim Vogel Sawyer's Novels.  She is my absolute favorite author and with each book I read written by her I am reminded why. There is always a rich faith and in this book it is Theo's memories of his grandma that helps him come to the Lord.  What a great reminder that if we plant seeds along the way, God can use them to help a person in the future.  We may never see the fruits of our labor, but Gods can use the words we say and the example we live to reach others even after we are gone.

I am a big history buff and I love the historical setting.  I loved the fact that Theo was from Bowling Green, Missouri.  Being a Missouri girl myself, I always love reading a book that is set in my home state. With just a few weeks of winter left, what better time to grab a book and spend a couple days reading!

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

Who Are You To Judge?

If you are a christian chances are someone has said to you "don't judge me".  It seems like in today's world just about everything is accepted but judgement.  Christians get accused of judging without ever uttering a word.  In reality, what many don't realize is that right judgement is the very key to right living.

Erwin W. Lutzer, the Author of Who Are You To Judge,is the senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago.  In this book he addresses the difference between judging and being judgmental.  I think there is a very fine line between the two and we must be very careful not to be judgmental.  It's okay to hate the sin, but never the sinner.  We cannot win the lost if we do not have love.  On the other hand, it is okay to judge someone by their fruits.  If it doesn't line up with the Word of God, it is a sin.  No sugar coating it.  No gray area.  It's black and white.  We don't have to fear calling sin for what it is, we just need to learn the proper way.

This book came in a very needed time in my life.  Sometimes Christians are accused of "judging" because they stand on the Truth of God's word.  You should always remain true to God's Word and never afraid to speak Truth, just do it in a loving way.

If you are wanting to better understand the difference between judging and being judgmental, this is a great book for you. It is very thought provoking and I believe it can help you with your walk with God.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Attributes of God - Book Review

To know God more you have to know God more.  There are so many attributes to our Heavenly Father and the more you know Him, the more you will love him.  The Attributes of God Volume 2 - Deeper into the Father's Heart by A.W. Tozer is a great book to read if you have a desire to draw closer to God.

The attributes studied in this book is:

God's Self-Existence
God's Transcendence
God's Eternalness
God's Omnipotence
God's Immutability
God's Omniscience
God's Wisdom
God's Sovereignty
God's Faithfulness
God's Love

There is also a study guide included.  It has been added to help the reader get the most of the book.  It helps you to understand more clearly what Tozer is saying and how to apply the truths to your own life.  It can be used for personal use or in a group.

This is not a fast read. This is a book that you need to savor and process.  Tozer has long been a favorite of mind and this book reminds me of why.  While reading it causes a faith and a desire to know God even more to spring up within your soul.

This one will go on my shelf next to my favorites and I'm sure I'll be referencing it plenty in the future.

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

Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book Review

Jesus Calling Creative Coloring and Hand Lettering by Sarah Young is more than your normal adult coloring book.  It is filled with quotes from the best selling devotional book called Jesus Calling.  each of the illustrations and passages are a reminder of God's love.

What's unique about this coloring book is that it not only features coloring pages, is has simple tutorials and templates in hand-lettering.  On these pages you can trace, sketch out your ideas, fill in and add your own details and much more.

The book has more than 100 illustrations and hand lettering quotes.  The pages are perforated and thick so there is not worry if you want to use markers.  I did and there was no bleeding through to the opposite page.

What's perfect about this coloring book is that you can relax and focus on God's Word as you are creating your own artwork.

The pictures are fun, not to big and not too little.  Lots of spring like images of birds, butterflies and flowers.

If you enjoy coloring and  focusing on God as you create, this is a great coloring book for you!

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

In the Shadow of Denali - A Book Review

In recent years I have been quite interested in Alaska.  I would love to visit this beautiful state someday, but for now I can enjoy books like In The Shadow of Denali to give me a taste of what it was once like to live in Alaska.

In the Shadow of Denali is the first book in The Heart of Alaska Series by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse.  I am so excited for this series and if the other books are anything like the first, I won't be disappointed.

What's great about this book is that it has true historic facts inter-weaved within a fictional story.  It also shares plenty of biblical truths and a faith in God which is another huge plus for me.
I love how the author's shared their passion for Alaska, not only in the novel itself, but in the Author's Notes.  I always enjoy reading what is true and what prompted the writing of a book.

The book is about Cassidy Ivanoff and her father John.  They work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel near the foot of Mount McKinley - Denali as it's still called by the natives.  John is the wilderness and exploration guide for the wealthy tourists while Cassidy works in the kitchen as Cook's assistant.  The entire staff buzzes with excitement during the buys days preparing for the President's imminent visit.  His historic trip to dedicate the new national park on his way to driving in the golden spike to officially complete the Alaska Railroad will be the beginning of a new era for all of them and place The Curry at the heart of Alaska.

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice to the seasoned Alaska mountain guide, with hopes of discovering the truth about his father's death on the mountain years earlier.  His father's business partner blames the guide for Henry Brennan's untimely death, but Allan cannot be at peace until he know for sure.  He finds and unlikely ally in Cassidy, and the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear and much more dangerous that either could ever imagine.

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

A Moonbow Night - A Book Review

When picking a book to read there are several things that I go by to help make my decision.  If it is an author that I love it is a deal sealer, but the cover and the book title are also important details for me.  If it catches my eye I am usually sold on it.  A Moonbow Night had so many things going for it to help me make my decision to read this great book.

I have read several books by Laura Frantz and I have always been pleased, but the beautiful cover and the amazing title is what grabbed my attention first.  If you have read very many of my reviews you know I am a huge fan of historical fiction, especially by an author who does her homework before hand.  This book was rich in history and I loved that the author included a note about her research and what led her to write on the subject matter.

Winter is the perfect time to curl up with a blanket and spend the afternoon reading.  A Moonbow Night is a book you won't regret picking up.  You'll be transported back in history where you will experience romance, heartache, dangers and faith in God.  You won't want to put it down until the last page.

After fleeing Virginia, Temperance  Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River.  It's a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersman traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucke-men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew, looking for an experienced guide.

Though he balks when Tempe is appointed to lead his team through the wilderness, it isn't long before Sion must admit that her abilities may outmatch his own.  But can the tenuous tie they are forming survive the dangers waiting just around the bend?

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

Because You're Mine - Book Review

Colleen Coble is one of my favorite authors and her newest book Because You're Mine reaffirmed why.  This book has it all.  Mystery, love, suspense, faith, hope...so many emotions, and as always I was kept guessing to the end. You don't have to worry about a saggy middle.  This book will keep you eagerly turning pages until the very end.

If you are a fan of Contemporary Christian suspense novels then this book is for you.  Even if this is not your normal genre I would encourage you to give it a chance.  I used to only read Historical Romance and it's books like this one that has me looking and enjoying other genres.

Alanna has been plagued by tragedy.  So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.

When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn't know where to turn.  Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can't lose the last piece of Liam she has left.

Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law's control.  it seems like the perfect solution, but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry's family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.

To make matters worse, Liam's best friend survived the car bomb.  She's never really liked Jesse and now she can't seem to get away from him.  When he takes Liam's place in their band, it's almost more than she can bear.

But then things start happening.  Things that could easily cost Alanna her life - or the life of her unborn child.  Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?

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


Friday, January 6, 2017

Junie B. Jones First Ever Musical Edition

If you have young children,  especially little girls,  chances are you know who Junie B.  Jones is.   There are several books available featuring the character of Junie.   Now for the first time ever you can get a Junie B.  Jones Musical Edition.

It comes with two cds. The first cd is the audio book -  First Grader (at last).   Being in first grade means having to get used to a whole new classroom and a whole new teacher, and a whole new bunch of children. When Junie B.  Tries to read the words on the chalkboard...she can't.   Could it be possible that she needs glasses?

The second cd has 16 songs on it.   It is Junie B. Jones the Musical.   It is adapted from several of the Junie B.  Jones books. Cute songs with a catchy tune!

This is a very entertaining set and is perfect for bringing along in the car for long trips or even a shorter trip to the grocery story,  etc.

Parents,  please note...if you are not familiar with the Junie B.  Jones books be aware that Junie misbehaves and is somewhat of an onery little girl. You may want to preview the cd and books yourself before giving g them to your child.

***Thanks to bloggingforbooks.com for providing me a copy of the cds in exchange for my honest review.

Where Does Love Hide? A Children's Book Review

I have reviewed several Children's books and I have to say out of all of them Where Does Love Hide has been the best by far.

I just love this little book! It is a board book which makes it perfect for little hands that can grab and rip paper pages.   The book can take some wear and tear of active toddlers.  The illustrations are bright and colorful and are sure to keep the attention of little eyes and active minds.

The unique part of this book is that on each page there is a little flap on each page that you have to open and see where love hides.   It teaches a sweet lesson of how to show love to others with a simple and effective layout.

This is the perfect book for those special moments with your little guy or little girl.


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

Made For a Purpose - A Book Review

Made for a purpose is an adorable children's book with a great message.

This delightful book appeals to the "why?"  in every child,  inspiring them to discover God's wisdom displayed in the world around,  as well as within them.

God made everything for a purpose and you can teach your young child this important truth by reading them this beautifully Illustrated book.

It is soft cover,  and has a nature theme.  The book ends with telling the reader that "you were created for a purpose too...so you can enjoy His creation.

Your young child will enjoy the cute pictures of beavers,  duck woodpeckers and more.

Reading books to your child is a special bonding time and this is a book that all can enjoy!

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