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