Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On My Reading List

Right now on my reading list are:

Cindy Smallwood's
A Season For Tending

Amanda Flower's
A Plain Scandal

Amy Clipston's
A Hopeful Heart

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Introducing A Unique Overview!

Introducing the Old Testament
Tremper Longman III

Book Description: An abridged edition of the bestselling book An Introduction to the Old Testament, this rich guide makes Old Testament scholarship accessible to the average reader. Renowned Bible scholar Tremper Longman III gathers the best in historical research and literary analysis to lead the reader through each book of the Old Testament. Most significantly, Longman explores the meaning of each book in light of its cultural setting. Abbreviated chapters highlight key research discoveries, ensuring that the information is both significant and manageable. Including questions at the end of each chapter for group discussion or personal reflection, Introducing the Old Testament makes the words, history, and culture of biblical times come alive for readers. Laypersons as well as church leaders will take away a solid understanding of the historical background and theological message of the Old Testament and be inspired to apply biblical truths to their lives.

Review: This was a well laid out book with pretty consistent format. I liked the summary that started each new book of the Bible and how it laid out the overview. Than it was author and when the book was written. I personally think that Christians can get stuck on this and found that at times a lot was dedicated to this. I believe that this can cause others to stumble or lead to pointless arguments. One of my favorite overviews was how does this anticipate the Gospel. While I personally believe the Bible is a one story of the Gospel from Genesis forward to Revelation. Overall it was a brisk introduction to the Old Testament. From Bible Book to Bible book there were some variations and extra topics but this did not alter the flow of topics or consistency of the general layout.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan 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, July 24, 2013

Anathema is a great read

Colleen Coble

Book Summary: When Hannah refuses to forgive a terrible sin she becomes anathema--shunned. But the real question is, can she forgive herself? Visitors come to Parke County, Indiana to enjoy the lush farms, to buy the Amish quilts, and to experience the peaceful ways of the Amish families who live there. But when a double murder rocks this quiet community, the Amish residents resolve to forgive even this unfathomable offense. Hannah, however, finds forgiveness out of reach--both for the murderer and for herself. She harbors a secret shame: while the crime was committed in her own home, she was out meeting with her forbidden love, her English beau, Reece. The elders of the community insist that Hannah must forgive her family's killer or be shunned. When Hannah refuses, she runs away with Reece, leaving behind the only life she's ever known. Years later, Hannah must journey back to the place she no longer calls home. Can she find the forgiveness and belonging she so desperately desires?

Review: I enjoyed this story very much. While it was an Amish mystery it was not about being Amish. It was about making mistakes, paying for them emotionally and mentally. Not only was this a great mystery it was a psychological thriller. The person who did harm to family was controlling her without her knowing it was even occurring. That is what made this such an amazingly good thriller. I read it quickly and was not disappointed by the outcome. Thanks to Colleen Coble for this enjoyable read!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not My Cup of Tea

Illusion: A Novel
Frank Peretti

Book Summary: Dane and Mandy, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy's life-or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns and tries to rebuild his life without her, Mandy, supposedly dead, awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970. Distraught and disoriented in what to her is the future, she is confined to a mental ward until she discovers a magical ability to pass invisibly through time and space to escape. Alone in a strange world, she uses her mysterious powers to eke out a living, performing magic on the streets and in a quaint coffee shop. Hoping to discover an exciting new talent, Dane ventures into the coffee shop and is transfixed by the magic he sees, illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. But more than anything, he is emotionally devastated by this teenager who has never met him, doesn't know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met and married some forty years earlier. They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but even as Dane tries to sort out who she really is and she tries to understand why she is drawn to him, they are watched by secretive interests who not only possess the answers to Mandy's powers and misplacement in time but also the roguish ability to decide what will become of her. Frank Peretti has crafted a rich, rewarding story of love and life, loss and restoration, full of twists and mystery. Exceptionally well written, Illusion will soon prove another Peretti classic.

Review: I love Frank Peretti’s writing style. His characters are very realistic. Illusion had all of that and more. For me I found the beginning very difficult because it was one tragedy after another. Dane lost his wife in a car accident; Mandy/Eloise loses her father, mother and essentially her life. I found for me that there was a lot of magic and I found that to take up a lot of the book. While interesting for a while it became stale. The relationship between Dane & Mandy/Eloise was difficult and challenging. There was a lot of mystery where I felt like I was missing essential information to sort through any of the events going on. The ending had a lot of wrap up that placated the events for me I just was not sure I could buy it. I feel very sad that I did not enjoy it more and some of it may be the hype I had about the return of Frank Peretti. I do believe I will read his next book and more than anything I am glad that he is better from his illness of the past. It is for that I am most happy with.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Howard 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.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A New Classic

And the Shofar Blew
Francine Rivers

Book Summary: He seemed like the perfect pastor to lead Centerville Christian Church. She was the perfect pastor's wife." When Paul Hudson accepted the call to pastor the struggling church, he had no idea what to expect. But it didn't take long for Paul to turn Centerville Christian Church around. Attendance was up-way up. Everything was going so well. If only his wife could see it that way. Still, he tried not to let her quiet presence disturb him. She knew something wasn't right, and it hadn't been for a long time. . . . Eunice closed the bedroom door quietly and knelt beside her bed." I'm drowning, God. I've never felt so alone. Who can I turn to but you, Lord? Where else does a pastor's wife go for help when her marriage is failing and her life is out of control? Who can I trust with my anguish, Lord? Who but you?" Grasping her pillow, she pressed it tightly to her mouth so that her sobs would not be heard.

Review: This was a well written book about a pastor, his family and a church that became huge. Paul Hudson and his wife were compelling as a couple that began to fracture because as the church grew Paul became consumed by growing this church into a mega church. She became immersed in their child, supporting Paul’s needs, the Bible and Bible Study. There were hints possibilities of straying and relationships yet Eunice was a devoted wife. When everything crumbles that is when Paul finally wakes up to the ruin of his relationships. Ms. Rivers is a wonderful wordsmith. This book of fiction is a Biblical example of what fidelity is in practice for not just Eunice but the Church.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ahead of Its Time

Robin Jones Gunn

Book Summary: In this dramatic contemporary romance by bestselling author Robin Jones Gunn, Lauren Phillips enters the wild, uncharted territory of the Internet on her home computer and "connects" with a man known only as "K.C." As she struggles to recover from a broken engagement, Lauren keeps busy by working full time and striving to finish her college degree. But her correspondence with K.C. quickly becomes the thing she loves most...and the source of dreams she cannot bear to relinquish. When the opportunity comes for them to meet after a year of corresponding, Lauren faces a tough choice: Is she willing to risk everything...including a broken heart? Readers will stay "on-line" to find out in this bestselling former Palisades release, now the third book in the new Glenbrooke series.
Will Lauren risk losing her a man she's never met? Lauren Phillips tries to keep busy while recovering from a broken engagement. Then one day, through her home computer, Lauren accidentally connects on the Internet with a mysterious man she knows only as K.C. Lauren's e-mail relationship with K.C. quickly becomes the thing she loves most in life..and the source of dreams she cannot bear to relinquish. After a year of corresponding, the opportunity appears for them to meet. Lauren faces a tough choice: Is she willing to risk everything...including another broken heart?

Review: I really enjoyed this book and series. I was not sure about this particular title when I first picked it up. I hemmed and hawed about reading it. Once I started it I was sorry that I waited so long. Since I read the books out of order I was already familiar with the main characters. They were a great mix and contrast in story line from the other books in the series which made it a good ongoing series and single. There is no need to read them in sequence or you can just read one of them. Although once you read one you are going to want to know how the other stories come about. Lauren and KC are more common today than when this story was written, I think and that is what makes this more timeless.

A Good Mystery

Dangerous Mercy
Kathy Herman

Book Summary: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. --Matthew 5:7 When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards--and her namesake, their daughter--she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince's halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet. A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele's handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she "knows" them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends' concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele's defenses, sits down at her kitchen table ... and they begin to talk ...

Review: There are many good qualities in this book. They mystery was ongoing and not surprising overall with the resolution. I enjoyed reading about all the previous characters. That made so much of it worthwhile. I did find it slower to get into. Once it took off it was a quick read and I wanted to know how it was going to be resolved and that Adele was going to be OK. I thought the wrestling match Adele had with herself and others about forming relationships with the men from Haven House. That was a great part of the book and something very real when you are doing ministry. The only thing that was sad and true about ministry is that doing ministry alone is unfortunate because many times the people of God forget that we are to be partners in ministry privately and corporately. Overall it was a good read and was very realistic. The ending was remarkable and worth the wait.
I would like to thank Net Galley and David C. Cook 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.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Completed Trilogy!!

The Reckoning
Beverly Lewis

Book Summary: Katherine Mayfield, the new Mistress of Mayfield Manor, always dreamed of a fancy "English" life. But as the seasons pass, she finds herself grieving the loss of her Amish family and dearest friend, Mary Stolzfus. Shunned from the Plain life she once knew, Katherine finds solace in volunteer work with hospice patients--a labor of love she hopes will bring honor to the memory of her birth mother. Unknown to Katherine, her long-lost love, Daniel Fisher, is desperate to locate his "Sweetheart girl," only to be frustrated at nearly every turn. Meanwhile, she delights in the modern world--once forbidden--cherishing the attention of Justin Wirth, her handsome suitor. Her childhood entwined with Daniel's, yet her present life far removed from Lancaster County, Katherine longs for the peace that reigned in her mother's heart. And once again, she is compelled to face the heritage of her past.

Review: In part 3 of this series we have come through terrible discovery to tragic events and a mild medium for Katie. Now we are coming to a conclusion of sorts. What will be Katie’s future and who will she marry. The biggest changes for Katie are to come. She adjusts to life without her birth mother and learns to enjoy this new found world she lives in. She has a nice suitor and yet for Katie she longs for greater peace. Will she remain with Justin or will Daniel find her and recapture her heart. These are the questions that come with the conclusion to this series. A truly enjoyable conclusion with a roller coaster of emotions, while each book stands on its own merits but for greatest enjoyment is to read them all. Looking forward to the final Hallmark movie and DVD of this series, too.

Genesis a book worth digging through

The Promised One
Nancy Guthrie

The Promised One provides a fresh look at the book of Genesis, leading women in discovering how its stories, symbols, people, and promises point to Christ. Over ten weeks of study, participants will see Christ as the agent of creation, the offspring who will crush the head of the serpent, the ark of salvation, the source of the righteousness credited to Abraham, the substitutionary sacrifice provided by God, the Savior to whom the whole world must come for life, and much more. 
Each weekly lesson includes questions for personal study, a contemporary teaching chapter that emphasizes how the passage fits into the bigger story of redemptive history, a brief section on how the passage uniquely points to what is yet to come at the consummation of Christ's kingdom, and a leader's guide for group discussion.
Nancy Guthrie is the kind of author that brings out little gems that show a bigger picture of the book of Genesis. It is a must read for anyone that would like to explore Genesis. I have enjoyed that this book is an easy read and the format is easy to read while going through Genesis. I have look long and hard for books that delves into Genesis and that is exactly what Nancy Guthrie does.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Crossway Publishing, Inc. for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

A Quick Read

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Tullian Tchividjian

Jesus + Nothing = Everything is the equation that Tullian Tchividjian took away from a year of great trial and turmoil. He describes the bitter divisions that soured the beginning of his pastorate at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and the personal anchor that he found in the overwhelming power of the gospel. The book of Colossians forms the basis of Tchividjian’s call for Christians to rediscover the gospel and continually reorient their lives around Jesus. 

Tchividjian insists that many who assume they understand the gospel fail to actually apply its riches to their lives. He takes particular aim at self-righteousness, which motivates moral behavior by fear and guilt. In contrast, the gospel of grace, with the radical freedom that it brings, provides the only sustainable motivation for Christians. This book delves into the profound theological truths of the gospel, yet the message is intensely practical—Tchividjian sounds the call for believers to lean hard on Christ in every area of every day.
This book was easy to read through and at times Pastor Tchividjian goes on so much with the title it is almost numbing and tiresome. His main point is well taken in that we bring nothing to our Lord when he bestows salvation on us and that anything we try to bring are filthy rags. The events that lead to this book are the same trials every believer experiences when they are doing the work of the Gospel. The world hates this message, there is no other way they could live if they did not do all they could to destroy the Jesus of the Bible. Which is the main point of any trial. Thank be to God that this trial was one that he was able to grow closer to the Lord.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Crossway Publishing, Inc. for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Stellar Sequel!!

Lightkeeper’s Bride
Colleen Coble

Book Summary: When Katie answers the call of duty, she awakens the call of her heart. Katie Russell loves working as a telephone operator in Mercy Falls, California. But since childhood she has been expected to marry well. Her family presses for an engagement to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster and though he doesn't stir her heart, their engagement promises a secure financial future. Working the phone lines one evening, Katie overhears a chilling exchange between her friend Eliza and a familiar male voice. Katie soon learns that Eliza has diappeared, and the crime may be linked to another investigation by handsome new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Katie and Will soon form an alliance. An alliance that slowly blossoms into something more. Despite the danger surrounding her, Katie is powerfully drawn to Will. But she is not at liberty to marry for love. And though society forbids their growing affection, Katie can't help but notice Will's sense of peace. It's a peace that rests on his trust in God--a trust that Katie has never had to depend on, with her future so clearly mapped out before her.
But the more Katie uncovers of the mystery, the more she discovers about herself, her past, and the brilliant future that could be hers if only she has the courage to trust in God and follow where her heart so fearlessly leads.

Review: Such a pretty cover and a thrilling book to go with it. Kept me at the edge of my seat from almost the start! I liked the Katie and Will very much they were fun together and trying to guess who did it and what else was going on was mind teasingly fun. Those are the things that keep me going through the book. I really liked how well everything went together and how I did not doubt the timeline of events. Colleen Coble has had me as a faithful reader since the first book I read of hers. I have yet to be disappointed.

Monday, July 15, 2013


I also review for Netgalley, booksneeze and above the treelines edelweiss!

along with reading for myself. This is my favorite hobby!

Lightkeeper's Daughter

Lightkeeper’s Daughter
Colleen Coble

Book Summary: With the lies of the past behind her, Addie finds love . . . and discovers her true Father. Addie Sullivan leads a quiet life in a northern California lighthouse. She mourns the death of her father and endures her mother's bitterness, until the night a storm brings an injured stranger and a dark secret to her home. The man insists she is not who she thinks she is, but rather "Julia Eaton"-the child long lost and feared dead by her wealthy family. Seizing the chance to be reunited with the Eatons, Addie leaves her lighthouse home but decides to keep her true identity a secret until they can unravel the mystery. Addie loves the Eatons' palatial home tucked away among the California redwood forests. She feels secure with the jovial family, adores the young boy who is her charge as governess, and finds romance with his father John, a young widower. But sinister shadows overtake Addie's joy. As dusty rooms and secret compartments give up their clues about her past, Addie finds a faith and a love she could never have guessed. To embrace this new world of promise is to risk her life; but to run away is to risk losing the greatest love she's ever known.

Review: I love lighthouses so I was drawn to the cover and the location immediately. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. That ‘what if…’ idea is always a fun idea to explore. I liked Addie and her compassion on the woman who raised her. It had great twists and turns that made for and exciting read with some whimsy that made for better fiction within some of those twists. I enjoy Colleen Coble’s writing very much. I can get to the nail biting parts where I am hesitant to see where this turn will take me in the story and am always delighted with the outcome. The background characters were fun and made me struggle to think of who will be the next main characters in this great trilogy.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Must Read!!!!


Book Summary A Thrilling New Romantic Suspense from the Genre's Newest Star

Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

Review: Part 1 - I am half way through this book. I was hooked at about the 3rd page!!! My brain is going a mile a minute to figure out the ‘who and whys’ of this mystery!! This is just the right amount of intensity and mystery. I also like the characters! Landon is fantastic and you just want to root for him in every way. I like Piper more and more as the story goes along, but she seems very young at times and naive about things at times yet other times she is on the mark. Reef is the perfect dupe for the murder and headstrong which makes him great. Had some difficulty with Kayden, because she can be one who doubts everyone around her and unrealistic about life in her environment (very believable because not every character is picture perfect). Really looking forward to reading Darcy's story!! Liked her immediately and the fact that they think she is some small time ski journalist is great. The background story of Gage and Meredith is great (although it may have been mentioned in the previous book which I have not read) and tantalizing when the next book comes out more answers and probable questions will keep me hooked! I agree with the fanfare I hear about Dani Pettrey this is one well written book! More to come when I finish!

The Final outcome!! The last half did not disappoint! I was on the edge of my seat with the travel, the waiting and the extra events with all the background characters. I have seldom read a book where there were so many characters that really were building blocks to the background and keep me entertained at the same time. I loved it. I really liked the ‘dead ends’ and other type of redirects it was fabulous. I hung on every word not wanting to miss a thing!
I would like to thank Library Thing and Bethany House Publishers 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.

Please forgive the reprint on some of this I just had to post my initial thoughts at the start and wanted to reprint to make it in one place!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shattered (Part 1)

Dani Pettrey

I am half way through this book. I was hooked at about the 3rd page!!! My brain is going a mile a minute to figure out the 'who and whys' of this mystery!! This is just the right amount of intensity and mystery. I also like the characters! Landon is fantastic and you just want to root for him in every way. I like Piper more and more as the story goes along, but she seems very young at times and naive about things at times yet other times she is on the mark. Reef is the perfect dupe for the murder and headstrong which makes him great. Had some difficulty with Kayden, because she can be one who doubts everyone around her and unrealistic about life in her environment (very believable because not every character is picture perfect). Really looking forward to reading Darcy's story!! Liked her immediately and the fact that they think she is some small time ski journalist is great. The background story of Gage and Meredith is great (although it may have been mentioned in the previous book which I have not read) and tantalizing when the next book comes out more answers and probable questions will keep me hooked! I agree with the fanfare I hear about Dani Pettrey this is one well written book! More to come when I finish!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Intense Ride!!

Rosemary Cottage
Colleen Coble

Book Summary: Amy came to Rosemary Cottage to grieve, to heal, maybe even find love. But there’s a deadly undertow of secrets around Hope Island…. The charming Rosemary Cottage on the beach offers Amy Lange respite she needs to mourn her brother, Ben. She’s even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. It’s always been a refuge for her and her family. She also wants to investigate Ben’s disappearance at sea. Everyone blames a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder. Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. If anyone knew who little Raine’s father was, Curtis could lose his beloved niece. Yet he can’t help being drawn to Hope Beach’s new midwife, Amy. He even agrees to help her investigate what happened to both Ben and Gina. Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? Or will their quest for truth set them at odds with each other…and with those who will go to any length to keep hidden things hidden?

Book Review: The mystery was a lingering scent in every aspect of the book. I liked the lead characters although sometimes Amy was a little annoying at points but overall enjoyable. Curtis was a little judgmental about Ben when his sister too had a history, but no more so than anyone would be. I liked Edith and the sheriff along with the main characters to Tidewater Inn. It was a great continuation although there was no need to read the other book to be able to enjoy this book. The cover picture is what really drew me to this book and the inside of the book made it worthwhile by itself. I read this with some putting it down because of the intensity of the story. I am now hopeful to visit these characters again in the next book. It was a wild ride in the last 3rd of the book but what a fun and suspenseful one at that.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson 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.

Gets Better Every Time

Robin Jones Gunn

Book Summary: This bestselling former Palisades release is book five in the new Glenbrooke series by award-winning author Robin Jones Gunn. Shelly Graham has moved home to Glenbrooke, where she's flooded with memories of her high school sweetheart, who took off for Europe after they broke up. But when Shelly travels to Germany, she suddenly runs into the former boyfriend who has filled her thoughts. Learning that Jonathan is engaged, Shelly hides her feelings for him. After returning home, however, she must face these feelings, especially after her path crosses Jonathan's yet again. Only this time, if they can find the strength to be honest, they just might discover what God has in store. She remembers their childhood with longing their parting with regret... Coming home wasn't supposed to feel this way. After five years as a flight attendant, Shelly is home again, in a house alive with happy memories. Yet she feels strangely lost. Without direction. Alone. Where is Jonathan Renrield when she needs him? Jonathan, her best friend nearly all her life, her first and only love. Shelly hadn't meant to hurt him when she left him behind to chase her dreams. And she misses him more than she's ever admitted. When they unexpectedly meet in Germany , Shelly manages to hide her feelings from Jonathan-and his fiancée. But she can no longer hide them from herself. Will she ever be ready to tell Jonathan the truth? Will she have the chance? Not until a business trip takes her to charming Glenbrooke , Oregon does Shelly finally understand: only the truth can set her free. But is it too late for her and Jonathan?

Review: I grow fonder of this book every day. When I first read it I enjoyed the twists and the turns, the clever dialog and how well written it is. I now can appreciate it from time and experiences and realize that sometimes what we look for when we are younger have flaws that bring us rewards greater than we can ever imagine. For me this is just such a book because a first love is precious but to mature it and care for it are a tremendous responsibility. It is always romantic to ponder the ‘what ifs’ in life. This book delves into this with heart wrenching moments and with many exciting backdrops of Germany and Oregon. I enjoy the ancillary things in books sometimes more than the big themes for me it is upon those little details that build believability. It is always a pleasure to read a writer who crafts a well written tale. Thanks to Robin Jones Gunn and God for the gifts he gives of ideas along with the talent to write.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Great Ending

Robin Jones Gunn

Book Summary: The charming town of Glenbrooke, Oregon, welcomes readers once more to delight in a contemporary love story. In this all-new offering in the heartwarming Glenbrooke series, bestselling author Robin Jones Gunn's characters get two lessons on love: it's not based on performance and its motives must be pure. When Leah Hudson, the "ugly duckling" among beautiful sisters, meets mysterious newcomer Seth Edwards, she thinks someone could love her after all. Their friendship grows, but Seth has things he must work through before he can open himself to anyone. An unexpected inheritance serves to complicate matters that strike to the core of Seth's and Leah's hearts and faith.
Leah Hudson loves to give. But when others want to give back? Well, that's another story entirely!
After years of pouring herself out for others, Leah, an average twenty-seven-year-old woman, finally finds herself receiving. She has her own cottage in Glenbrooke, wonderful friends, a great job at the hospital, and the attention of Seth Edwards, the new guy in town. She even wins a cruise to Alaska when she accidentally dials the number of a radio station! So why can't Leah relax and enjoy this new season of her life? When an inheritance of fifty acres of prime Oregon woodlands is left to her-with a certain condition attached-Glenbrooke's town lawyer, Collin Radcliffe, prompts Leah to question Seth's motives for his interest in her. Only by turning her affections in a new direction will Leah be able to hear the true song of this springtime of her life.

Review: This was a great standalone book and to the series. I learned so much from the entire series! This book was one of my favorites in the series. I looked forward to the reprint of these books. They were so sweet and enjoyable. It was easy to like Leah she was the kind of person anyone would want as a friend. The Biblical woman Leah and this character were similar and it was such a memorable pairing that this is one of the things that resonated with me most. I liked the romance and all of the windfalls Leah had but for me the Biblical reference was the greatest.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Revisiting Old Friends

Waterfalls (Glenbrooke Series #6)
Robin Jones Gunn

Book Summary: Pretty, spunky Meri has never had a problem holding her own with attractive men. But her trip to Glenbrooke, Oregon, takes a decidedly interesting turn when she finds herself sharing a picnic with a man who makes her heart beat in triple time. When she discovers her picnic partner is none other than movie star Jacob Wilde, she loses her characteristic cool and ruins everything! The next time their paths cross, the tables are turned. Jacob is eager to publish his children’s books, and Meri, as an acquisitions editor, is the woman he needs to impress. She’s more than willing to let him work at it. Partnering on a project, Meri and Jake begin to spend a lot of time together. As Meri learns to distinguish the real Jake from his Hollywood persona, she can’t help but be drawn to him. But what will it take for him to see her in a different light—and realize she has more to offer than her editorial expertise?

Review: This is a book I have read more than once. The entire series was a favorite! I really liked the characters in this story. I found Meri to be a character I can identify with and thought that the other characters who were reoccurring to blend nicely with this book. You can read as a standalone or the entire series. I have read them out of order. The fact that this is a 2nd or 3rd reprint is what makes this series one that stands the test of times in Christian Fiction. I can honestly say this series had a huge impact on me the first time I read them and the second time was like reminiscing with old friends.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mixed Feelings

To Love and Cherish
Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller

Book Summary: Escape to a Beautiful, Historic Island Resort, Bridal Veil Island, Georgia 1898 Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose. Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady's maid. Evan isn't afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon. He wants to marry Melinda--but not until he's sure he can support her and a family. Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island. With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved. But the hurricane isn't the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way. Has she given her heart to the wrong person? Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?
Review: I tried real hard to like this book. I gave it time and I mulled over how Melinda must feel and Evan must feel but at the end of the day I was lukewarm. I did grow to like Melinda the best and thought that Evan was just so bland. He may have had the best intentions but really only worked to please her with words when she did not get what she wanted. Even when she was happy he seemed to snub her at times. I think both these authors are talented and this was an awkward plot. Where do you go with a topic for a long period of time with a part time meeting place? Make the female character that starts out exceedingly responsible and mature do something flighty? That did not fit. I can understand how others would find this to be great because all things aside Melinda was smart and had been wealthy. She understood the ways of the rich although her mother taught her kindness and grace. There were many places about prayer and how we fail to do this with the big decisions. That was a grounding reminder that Melinda acts as I do.
I would like to 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.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Blessing

Psalms, Volume 2
Kathleen Nielson

Publisher Summary: In this second study of the book of Psalms, Kathleen Nielson takes us on a tour of additional well-chosen individual psalms, helping us to take them in deeply, savor their poetry, and receive from them the very breath of God. Then she goes a step farther—not only teaching the Psalms to us, but teaching us how to keep teaching ourselves, by providing additional psalms for individual study. Learn from the Psalms how to praise and pray, and learn from Kathleen how to learn the Psalms.

Review: I love this book. I prefer things like this printed form because it is a great tool to write in. The greatest part of this book and series is that you dig into so many places in scripture. I find it to be a great way to go through the Psalms and tie in scripture of relevance. This is one of my favorite things is how well scripture goes with scripture. I find it a true gift when someone is able to do this. It is through these workbooks and reading scripture that I have become better at doing this. Thanks be to God for Kathleen Nielson sharing her gift in these books and by the reading of His Word.
I would like to thank Net Galley and P & R 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, July 3, 2013

Unique Organizing

The Home Office Handbook
Lorie Marrero

Book Summary: An organized home office is within your grasp. Get a grip on your home office with these handy pointers! This handbook is for entrepreneurs, telecommuters, stay-at-home parents, and home-based business owners, complete with video bonus lessons and printable reference sheets online.
Review: There were a lot of practical ideas in the book. I liked the layout overall. Sometimes I found the information provided to be limited to one website or person (sometimes was a friend of the author). This was not an example of professional referral. Yes, it is OK to provide a friend or someone who has provided a service for you well as the referral. Although by just providing one referral and that is a friend seems limiting and preferential. Things do not always work out especially when written in the pages of a book. I found some of the advice to be a personal preference and a demand placed on the reader to do ‘as I say’ only requirement. It could shut someone’s ears because people want assistance and help dealing with this not an autocratic requirement by some they have never met. When you are face to face there is a personal relationship that can demand you can demand more of them.
I did find some of the information refreshing and helpful. There were new references that I had not heard of and was able to look into. Many times there were 2 or 3 places to get information and this was particularly helpful because when you are paying for something shopping around is key to customizing for and individual or family needs. Over all an easy read with a lot of information that can be utilized for assistance with a home office.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Greenleaf Book Group 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, July 2, 2013

One of my Favorites

Newlywed Games
Mary Davis

Publisher Summary: Every woman will relate to Newlywed Games, a hilarious romantic comedy about a "little white lie" that grows into a very big problem. Meghann Livingston invents a husband to soothe her dying mother. But when her mom miraculously recovers, then comes for a visit, Meghann is hard-pressed to explain her "husband's" absence! Before Meghann can come clean, her handsome, elusive boss, Bruce Halloway, inadvertently steps into her romantic charade ... and to Meghann's shock and horror, insists upon playing "son-in-law" to her mom. The masquerade's success depends upon them playing their newlywed games extremely well. But when they do, both Meghann and Bruce -- even as they struggle to overcome the consequences of their deceptions -- find themselves falling in love ... for real!

Review: This was a fantastic book. I just loved the whole premise. The struggle the couple had being dishonest and falling in love for real. It was funny, quick paced and all around fun! I would reread parts of this book again. It was just so unique. This author has some smaller books but I would love to see her have another longer book to enjoy. Her characters were fresh and realistic. The plot was continuous and had no deviation from its purpose. A must read for every romance reader. I read fiction to see how people work situations out with believability and Ms. Davis did this up right. It was a pleasure to read the first time or the 3rd time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Worth the Wait

No Safe Harbor
Elizabeth Ludwig

Book Summary: She came to America searching for her brother. Instead all she's found is a web of danger. Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York. She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother--but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps. With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love?

Book Review: The cover of this book is what drew me in first. I really was looking forward to reading this book and was not disappointed. I liked Cara and Ana. The premise and some of the details was complex regarding the civil unrest in Ireland. I was not always clear about who was on which side. Overall there seemed to be no good side that at some point in civil issues everyone loses something tangible as in the case of this book families were separated and/or divided. I loved the characters and how complex they were on the whole. The current secondary characters set up nicely for the next in the series. The mystery dragged at times and I am hopeful that it was due to setting up the series and the future characters which would help make all of them flow together. I think the real mystery was more subtle than Eoghan on the run from his civil enemies. This is a timely novel about significant division in a nation and the sides’ people choose.
I would like to thank Library Thing and 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.