Thursday, March 28, 2013

Finally The Mystery is Solved

Found: The Secrets of Crittenden County
Shelley Shepard Gray

Book Summary: A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive? As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets-including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed. Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?

Review: I really have enjoyed the entire trilogy. So much has changed since the series began. I laughed and cried when the mystery was solved. The people kept their secrets close to their hearts. It was an emotional end and everyone had a hand in the death of Perry as Deborah told her parents. It was an anticlimactic end that rounded out the mystery that loomed over so many people’s heads. I was surprised by who did it, for I had figured someone else for the murder. But as is true in life murder is passion run amok. Ms. Gray’s ending was much more realistic and tragic. It was definitely a series worth reading. Thanks for the ride Ms. Gray and making vividly real the many characters in your story.

I would like to thank Edelweiss and Avon Inspire for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

This Story Turned Out to be Everything I Thought it Would

Amish Kitchen
Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston & Kelly Long

Book Description: The Amish Kitchen is the Heart of the Home – and the Ideal Setting for Stories of Love and Hope. Fall in Paradise, Pennsylvania, always brings a brisk change in the weather. This season also ushers in unexpected visitors, new love, and renewed hope for three women. Fern has a green thumb for growing healing herbs, but longs for love to bloom in her life. Then the next-door neighbor’s oldest son, Abram, comes running into Fern’s kitchen seeking help for his little sister. The crisis soon leads to a promise of romance—until mistrust threatens to end the growing attraction. Nearby, Hannah runs her parents’ bed and breakfast, Paradise Inn—but her life feels nothing like Paradise. She longs for a man of integrity to enter her life, but never expected him to knock on the front door looking for a room. Will she be able trust Stephen with her future once she discovers his mysterious past? When a storm blows a tree onto Eve’s farmhouse, she has little choice but to temporarily move her family into her parents’ home. Outside of cooking together in the kitchen, Eve and her mother can’t agree on anything. But this may be just the recipe for hope in healing old wounds.
Review: This was a fun trilogy. The stories stayed with me even when I went on to my next book. I was getting these stories confused with what I was currently reading, which is the mark of good storytelling. Fern’s story was a lot of fun. It reminds me that even when one thinks there time for marriage is gone and are surprised to find that not to be true. I cried, laughed and rejoiced with all these characters. They truly were their own stories and yet they overlapped with just the right amount of blending to make it believable. Hannah’s story was exciting to see how these two unique characters were going to get along. Hannah’s parents were enjoyable and provided for a cute side story. I liked Eve and felt a bit of connection to her challenges at home. I would recommend this book to anyone.
I would like to thank Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food For Thought

For Women Only in the Workplace : What You Need to Know About How Men Think at Work
Shaunti Feldhah

Book Description: Do You Know the Unwritten Rules of the Workplace? As a veteran of Wall Street and Capitol Hill, Shaunti Feldhahn knows that even the most experienced Christian businesswoman can inadvertently sabotage her career simply because she doesn’t know how her male supervisors, colleagues, and employees think. For Women Only in the Workplace gives you startling insights into the expectations and perceptions of men at work. Whether you work in a corporate setting, a small business, or a ministry, you’ll find Shaunti’s research invaluable as you discover: • What you need to know about a man’s hidden insecurity • What “it’s not personal, it’s just business” actually means to men • How men view emotion in the workplace—and what they consider to be emotion • How what you wear can significantly hinder your effectiveness at work • The secrets to being strong and competent—without being viewed as difficult Based on eight years of intense research, extensive interviews, and national surveys of more than 3,000 men—from CEOs to assistants, from factory workers to lawyers—For Women Only in the Workplace gives you the keys you need to be who you are and be respected and successful wherever you work with men. Includes a group discussion guide.
Book Review: I found this book insightful. I did not agree with everything in this book, however I did think that there were many things worth learning and understanding. The best way to use this book is to glean information and work with everyone as professional as possible. While there is a treasure trove of research I also think there are just men (and woman) who are just difficult based on the fact that we live in a fallen world. The best that we can hope for is that as a Christian I can use this information to build up people around me.
I would like to thank Above the Treeline and Multnomah Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Next Generation of Preachers with Biblical Theology

Dug Down Deep : Building Your Life on Truths That Last
Joshua Harris

From the Publisher: What are you going to build your life on? Dug Down Deep is systematic theology like you've never seen it before. Readable. Relevant. Powerful. As best-selling author Joshua Harris shares his own journey from apathetic church-kid to student with a burning passion to truly know God, you'll be challenged to dig deep into the truths of God's word. With humor, conviction and compelling insight Dug Down Deep covers the basics of faith--God, scripture, Jesus, the cross, salvation, sanctification, the Holy Spirit and the church. Don't settle for superficial faith, dig deep.

Review: This was a good, easily read systematic theology book. I found the author’s journey to be very interesting and blended well with his theology. He is able to explain his understanding of theology to be transparent and well developed. I agree with much of his theology and am encouraged that younger people are holding to a Biblical theology by using the whole Bible and not parts of it. He has a fantastic story of mentorship and friendship with CJ Mahaney which is encouraging. Too often today people are coming up with Theology that is ‘new’ and this man has embraced the historical doctrine from the Bible.
I would like to thank Above the Treeline and Multnomah for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

A Lot Closer to the Big Reveal!!!

The Search
Shelley Shepard Gray

Back Cover: In the midst of a murder investigation in the heart of Amish country, one young policeman finds his heart led astray. The serenity of the quiet Amish community of Marion, Kentucky, is disrupted when the body of Perry Borntrager is discovered in an abandoned well. Now the small town faces the first death by mysterious circumstances in more than twenty years, and Detective Luke Reynolds is brought in to help investigate. But before he can solve the crime, he faces unexpected feelings for Frannie, the Amish owner of the local bed-and-breakfast. Though they butt heads at first, Luke finds himself drawn to Frannie's bedside when she's injured in a kitchen accident. Soon it becomes clear that Frannie knew Perry better than she let on . . . they'd been secretly courting when he disappeared. Has Luke fallen for the very woman responsible for the crime?

Review: I was looking forward to part two. I racked my brain throughout to figure out who it could possibly be. I think I know and am waiting for the reveal in book 3. I am enjoying the series and the suspense but sometimes think it is too long. I do like all the characters and am finding it hard to choose anyone as the murder. I like how the `mixed’ relationships are not made to be super simple because for each couple has real challenges to face when people have to adjust their religious practices. Even from Baptist to Presbyterian is a challenge for most couples. I liked the ending for the most part. I am hopeful for Beth. I would really like to see wonderful things happen to her. More than anything else I am looking forward to find a resolution to the death of Perry.
I would like to thank Above the Treeline and Avon Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Sequel Worth Reading

Touching the Sky (Land of the Lone Star Book #2)
Tracie Peterson

Book Summary: Her heart is caught between the man she loves and the sister she's desperate to protect. Though their first encounter is hardly auspicious, Laura Marquardt soon discovers herself drawn to the dashing Captain Brandon Reid. As an officer over the colored troops, he eagerly supports her desire to educate blacks and seek harmony in a town where the defeat of the South is a bitter reality. When Laura's sister marries her Confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation after overhearing a discussion with frightening consequences. In her heart she feels she should confide in Brandon, but Laura fears to do so may endanger her sister's life. Yet as the stakes continue to rise and Brandon's motives for pursuing her come into doubt, Laura questions where to turn...and wonders if her own dreams of love may be forsaken.

Book Review: I really enjoyed this story the best. The female lead was most enjoyable for me. The younger sister and the dilemma with her husband. The entry of the confederate officer was fun to watch knowing that he was the good guy. The drama with Laura's sister was realistic and intense. You could taste the dust of Texas and the challenges of the west in 1860's. From the opening intensity to all the drama with Laura's sister it was a page turner. I really enjoy the crafting of the story by Tracie Peterson. The development of characters, even secondary characters and the entire plot are pure enjoyment. I am always anticipating the next book before I finish the one I am in.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Chance to Read a Classic Story

Robin Jones Gunn

Book Description: The Glenbrooke Series Jessica ran from her past...but can she hide from love? Jessica Morgan wants desperately to forget the past and begin a new life. She chooses a small, peaceful town tucked away in Oregon’s Willamette Valley as the place to start over—Glenbrooke. Once there, Jessica conceals her identity from the intriguing personalities she meets—including the compassionate paramedic who desires to protect her and the jealous woman who wants nothing more than to destroy her. Will Jessica’s deceit ruin all hope for the future? Or will she find a deeper peace that allows her to stop hiding the truth from those who love her most of all? This heartwarming bestseller, book one in the Glenbrooke series, introduces the fascinating people of Glenbrooke in a compelling tale of romance and spiritual truth.

Review: I enjoyed this book the first time I read it and again this time. It was the first Christian fiction book I ever bought and for that alone means a lot to me. I loved the mystery that surrounds this character and the people, some of whom become lead characters later. This was a soothing story for anyone who was or is wayward in life, faith or with others. I liked and continue to use index cards with scripture on them. To this day it is one of my favorite things to do and use for book markers and to memorize. I thought the story line was well developed and the main characters well written. I am glad that I had another chance to read this story.
I would like to thank Blogging for books and Waterbrook for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.