Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First Date

From the back of the book: Addy Davidson is the last girl in the country who wants to be on the new reality TV show to win a date to prom with the President’s son. She’s focused on her schoolwork so she can get a scholarship to an Ivy League college, uncomfortable in the spotlight, never been on a date, and didn’t even audition for it.

But she got selected anyway.

So she does her best to get eliminated on the very first show… right before she realizes that the President’s son is possibly the most attractive guy she has ever seen in person, surprisingly nice, and seemingly unimpressed by the 99 other girls who are throwing themselves at him.

Addy’s totally out of her comfort zone—but that may be right where God can show her the most about who she is . . . and who she was meant to be.

My review: It took my brain a few pages to become acclimated to a teenage fiction book, but once it did, I really enjoyed the book First Date by Krista McGee. The plot was not really reality, but one that a typical teenage girl would love. I loved Addy's character immediately and her honesty made me laugh. Teenage girls will be able to relate to the spiritual struggles that Addy has as well as be encouraged in their own spiritual walk. Ms. McGee has based this story loosely on the story of Esther which also adds to the fun of the plot. I look forward to reading more books by Krista McGee and will certainly be saving this book for my own daughter to read in a few years. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Bittersweet Surrender

Carly Westlake is moving on after several heartaches have threatened her happiness. Breast cancer, unexpected divorce, the death of her best friend, and the death of her father have not destroyed her. In fact, things are starting to look up. Her chocolate spa seems to be doing well, and her high-school crush, Jake Mitchell, has decided to move back to town and is interested in a relationship. Carly is determined to move on with her life. Then secrets begin to be revealed, and Carly's happiness is threatened once again. Will Jake be there for her, or is Scott Hammond, her best friend's widower, becoming more than just a friend?

After reading Smitten I was looking forward to reading Bittersweet Surrender by Diann Hunt. Unfortunately I was disappointed. To me the book was too "busy". Ms. Hunt tried to tackle too many issues for one book and didn't seem to resolve any of them. Also, this book is classified as Christian fiction, but I didn't really see a lot of Biblical direction at all. A few references to prayer and church and a verse here and there just don't do it for me. When I read a Christian book I want to be encouraged and challenged in my faith. That did not happen with this book. Ms. Hunt has a great story-line and ideas. She just didn't take those ideas as far as they could have gone. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 23, 2011

When the Soul Mends

From the back of the book: After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.

Having left Owl's Perch more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. Hannah has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise; and her life-long dream of being part of the medical community is being realized. But almost immediately after her arrival, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiance Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah's mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah's absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain life-and perhaps to her first love?

My review: Wow! I was up until 1:30 in the morning finishing this book. There just wasn't a good stopping place. I couldn't quit turning pages until it was finished. I have read a few books by Cindy Woodsmall but this is by far the best one I have read yet. My only regret is that I have not had the opportunity to read the first two books in this series before I read this one. Ms. Woodsmall did a good job filling in important details from the previous books, but it just wasn't the same. A message of forgiveness is found throughout the book. Ms. Woodsmall showed that forgiveness is not always easy, but with God's help we can forgive even when grievously sinned against. Her characters were real and the situations believable. I really enjoyed reading When the Soul Mends, and would recommend it to anyone who loves to read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Love Lifted Me

From the back of the book: Jade and Max share a deep love, though revelations from his past have recently shaken their marriage. And Jade is completely smitten with Max's little son, Asa, whom she is now raising as her own. Their blended family brings her joy she's never known. But there is one more secret to be uncovered. One that will impact them all.

Max is doing his best to "man-up" and prove himself worthy of Jade's devotion. As well as that of his young son. It seems like life in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, will pick up where it left off until Max is faced with an unusual opportunity - leave his family's law firm to coach high-school football in Texas.

Realizing a fresh start will bring healing to their marriage, Jade takes the leap of faith and moves with him and baby Asa, bidding good-bye to her beloved Blue Umbrella shop.

The new beginning in quaint Colby, Texas, is soon sullied when Max discovers the high-school program isn't all it seemed. While Max struggles to rebuild a once glorious football team, Jade wrestles with news that could break Max's heart...and change their lives forever.

My review: A great book to read with the lessons of love, forgiveness, and trust written throughout the pages. The authors, Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck, did a great job writing a story that is down-to-earth and practical. The circumstances surrounding the plot could happen to anyone. The lessons are practical for everyone. As you read you will want to cry, yell, give advice, and cheer. A book that will have your emotions changing from one scene to the next as you read. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone that likes to read Christian fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mine is the Night

From the back of the book: Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?

Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet joy still comes knocking, and kindness is found in unexpected places.

Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?

The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland.

My review: I was so excited to finally be able to read the sequel to Here Burns My Candle. I was not disappointed. Liz Curtis Higgs is an amazing author. Her care in presenting accurate historical details is obvious. I love how she wove the unique setting of Scotland and it's customs into the Biblical account of Ruth and Naomi. The reader must remember that this is a work of fiction, but it is fun to see Ruth and Naomi unfold throughout the pages of this book in the characters of Elisabeth and Marjory. God's faithfulness and the promise of a redeemer are very evident as you read. This is a book that will keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning, and when you are finished you will be drawn to your Bible to read the book of Ruth. I highly recommend Mine is the Night. I hated to see it end! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


As the title suggests, Smitten is a romantic novel. This book is a collection of four short stories. They all take place in the small town of Smitten where the survival of the town depends on the mill. When four friends hear that the mill is closing, they begin a campaign to save their town. Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese each have their own story. As each one finds a way to capitalize on the name of their town, they realize that love follows closely at their heels. Natalie already owns a small business, Mountain Perks, that will appeal to couples seeking a romantic getaway destination. Julia once worked for a successful spa in NYC. What every romantic destination needs is a high-end spa. Is Julia the person to open one? Shelby has an etiquette school. Incorporating parties, ballroom dancing, and unique clothing designs is her way of adding appeal to their town. Reese is the opposite of Shelby. She is ready to open an outfitters shop to cater to those that love the great outdoors. All four women work hard to change their town from a mill town to a romantic destination.

The authors of this book, Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter have written an enjoyable book. Friends themselves, they have each written a short story about four friends with their own personalities ascribed to their characters. I particularly liked the way each story fit together to tell the story of the town of Smitten. These authors did a great job collaborating. If you are looking for a light read this is the book for you. It is a totally predictable book, but one you can enjoy from beginning to end. I received a complimentary e-book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

An Amish Wedding

An Amish Wedding is a collection of three short stories written by three different authors. A Perfect Secret is written by Kelly Long. A Perfect Match is written by Kathleen Fuller. A Perfect Plan is written by Beth Wiseman. Each story is entertwined as the same characters are found in each story.

In A Perfect Secret the reader is introduced to Rose Bender. She agrees to marry Luke Lantz who has been her best friend most of her life. He is very practical and matter-of-fact. At least Rose thinks he is. As the days progress toward their wedding she begins to wonder is she ever really knew Luke at all.

In A Perfect Match the reader is introduced to Naomi King. She owns her own bakery business, and finds herself agreeing to help her friend and employee Margaret to find a husband. When Zeke Lapp shows up in order to attend a friend's wedding, he finds himself the object of a matchmaking scheme. His ideas differ from theirs as to which girl would be best for him, and Naomi finds herself torn between helping her friend and being true to her own heart.

In A Perfect Plan the reader is introduced to Priscilla King. As she plans for her wedding everything seems to be going wrong. She has always had to have everything planned out and running smoothly. So, when things don't go as planned she begins to wonder if she is in God's will. Is she really supposed to marry Chester Lapp? Her heart says yes, but her circumstances say no.

I really enjoyed reading all three stories. A Perfect Secret had some unexpected surprises that kept me turning the pages. A Perfect Match was predictable, but an enjoyable story nonetheless. A Perfect Plan was a bit unbelievable with all the things that did go wrong. And Priscilla's character was a bit ridiculous, but I did enjoy reading the story anyway. It certainly was not as good as the other three. If you need a quick light read this would be a good book for that. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Good and Perfect Gift

From the back of the book: Things don't always go as planned-especially when it comes to our children. When her first baby, Penny, is given a frightening diagnosis, Amy Julia's world comes crashing down. Could she continue to trust God's goodness through what felt like personal tragedy? But challenging surprises often lead to unforeseen joy, and disappointments can turn into blessings. This wise and beautiful book is more than a courageous story of raising a child against the odds-it is a journey through the unexpected ups and downs of life and the discoveries that come along the way.

My review: I am required to write a review of this book, A Good and Perfect Gift, by Amy Julia Becker, but how do you write a review of someones life? The cover will capture your attention and draw you into the first pages of the book which in themselves will keep you reading. She has a writing style that will hold your interest. But what about the content of the book? I certainly can't critique it, but I can say that I appreciate the candidness and transparency that Amy Julia displayed. She opened her heart in the pages of this book. Her struggles, fears, and triumphs are all laid out for everyone to read. She was honest and who can argue against that! This book was also eye opening for me. How do we really view children that have special needs? I know this book will help me to think twice about what I say to the parents of these special children. This is a book that I highly recommend. It will teach you a lot. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Three Cups

Three Cups by Tony Townsley and Mark St. Germain is about a young boy who receives three cups and the start of an allowance for his birthday. Each week his allowance is divided among the three cups marked give, save, and spend. When his cups start filling up, his mom takes him to the bank to open an account and deposit his savings money. He learns to save his spending money until he has enough to buy the item he wants. The giving money is used to help others in need. As the young boy grows, he learns to divide any money he receives into his three cups.

This is a great book that teaches the basics for managing money. Parents will find this to be a wonderful tool as they begin to teach their children about money. The important thing to remember is not how much money your child has, but how he uses his money. It is all about establishing good habits that can last a lifetime. The end of the book also has a parent's guide to help them get started. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Tommy Nelson Publishers, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, through their Booksneeze blogger program, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thank you, God, for Blessing Me

Max Lucado has taken his beloved character Hermie and written a little Hermie book for preschoolers. Thank you, God, for Blessing Me is little Hermie's prayer of thanks for all the blessings that God has given him. A very short but poignant prayer that preschoolers can relate to and copy. Little Hermie is thankful for everything from personal needs to friends. Even though it is a short book, parents can take time with their preschooler to expand on being thankful for the things God has specifically given them. I love the pictures and the front cover caught the eye of my three-year-old right away. She enjoyed just looking at the pictures even before I read the book. Thankfulness can be taught to very young children, and this is an excellent book to help with that lesson. I am sure we will be reading it often. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Tommy Nelson, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lonestar Angel

From the back of the book: Five years ago Eden and Clay Larson's baby was stolen and never found. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.

Now Eden's moved to a new town. She's found faith and is trying to rebuild her life. She's even dating again-a sweet guy who plans to marry her someday. But then Clay arrives out of the blue and delivers shocking news: they're still married. What's more, Clay has been searching for Brianna all this time. And he believes he's found her: their daughter is in Bluebird, Texas, at a youth ranch.

To uncover the truth, Eden and Clay sign on as counselors at Bluebird Ranch. Working together, they rediscover their love for each other. But danger is closing in-Eden, Clay and their young charges are in jeopardy. As they fight to save their family, Eden realizes that God has been fighting for them all along. And His plans are for a more abundant life than they've dared to hope.

My review: As I began reading this book, I was quickly reminded why I enjoy books written by Colleen Coble. I was immediately pulled into the story and didn't want to put it down. In fact, I finished this book the same day I started it. Ms. Coble has woven a story of intrigue that will keep you guessing. I was able to put together some of the pieces as I read, but was not able to put it all together. It was a fast-moving plot with plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat. Her characters are down-to-earth and believable. An underlying message of trust could be found throughout the book but not in a "preachy" way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and even though it is the fourth book in a series, it can stand alone. I do look forward to reading the first three! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Christmas Singing

From the front flyleaf: Gideon Beiler has loved Mattie Eash since they were children. But when faced with unexpected circumstances, he makes up an excuse to end their engagement. He doesn't want to lie to her, but he believes that telling Mattie the truth will be more hurtful.

Brokenhearted, Mattie moves from Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, to Ohio, where she pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator. She finds a new beau-a man offering the secure relationship Gideon has denied her.

When Mattie is forced to return to Apple Ridge, she and Gideon must confront the suffering created by his dishonesty-and address the powerful emotions that continue to bind the two childhood friends.

My review: The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall is a beautiful love story. She has chosen to take the Amish out of their comfort zone to weave the backdrop of this story. Even though the Amish tend to live in their own "little world," this story is a reminder of how their lives can and do interact with the world outside. They have misunderstandings, hurt feelings, pain, sickness, and heartache just like anyone else and do not always react in the way that even they have been taught. Ms. Woodsmall has written a simple yet poignant story that you won't want to put down. Her characters are easy to relate to, and the lessons are relevant for everyone. I look forward to reading more by this author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Wonder of Your Love

From the back of the book: Katie Ann Stoltzfus lives in the small Amish community of Canaan, Colorado. At forty she is widowed and raising her first child. But baby Jonas will never know his father, and Katie Ann wonders if her Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about her as well. Is it really God's plan for her to be a single parent?

Eli Detweiler has come to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation. Having raised six children following the death of his young wife, Eli is finally an empty-nester. He's enjoying the slower pace of having no none to care for but himself.

When Katie Ann and Eli meet there is an instant connection. Yet as strong as the attraction is, they both acknowledge that a romance would never work. He is done parenting, while she has just begun.

But as their friendship slowly blossoms into feelings that are as frightening as they are intoxicating, Katie Ann and Eli question if the plans they made for themselves are in line with God's plans.

Can Katie Ann entrust her heart to another man, and rediscover the wonder of God's love?

My review: I enjoyed the last book I read by Beth Wiseman and was excited to read this one as well. The Wonder of Your Love certainly kept my attention without any problem. I enjoyed catching a glimpse of the characters from the previous book I read, as well as getting to know new characters in the same Amish community. Beth Wiseman included an interesting mix of Amish and English characters which I thought made the story line that much more enjoyable. The characters Katie Ann and Eli were at opposite points in their life, and I liked how Ms. Wiseman weaved their lives together. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I have a hard time with how the Amish are portrayed. This is only the second book I have read by this author, so I did not mention it in the review of my last book by her because I wasn't sure if that was typical of her books. She doesn't seem to want to make them truly Amish. I haven't studied and don't know a lot about the Amish way of life, but Ms. Wiseman seems to make them more "worldly" than they should be. Her books have just left me a bit confused. I do look forward to reading more by this author, and maybe I am the one that needs to learn a little more about the Amish. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Shadows on the Sand

From the back of the book: Carrie Carter's small cafe in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals...although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He's recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children-and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her.

When Carrie's dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries...and into her life. But when Carrie's own painful past becomes all too present, her carefully constructed world begins to sink.

Will the fragile relationship she's building with Greg implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry?

My review: I would not consider Shadows on the Sand an excellent book, but it was good. The author chose to cover a lot of "stuff" in the lives of her characters, but the biggest theme seemed to be forgiveness. The mystery was intriguing and kept me reading. The romance was appropriate and not overdone. I enjoyed the characters and setting, and I look forward to reading more books by Gayle Roper. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 19, 2011

God Gave Us You

From the back of the book: When a young polar bear cub climbs into bed one night, she asks her mama a very important question: "Where did I come from?" As Mama Bear tucks her little one under the quilts, she lovingly explains, "We wanted you very, very, much, and we are so very glad because...God gave us you."

I enjoy Lisa Tawn Bergren's adult fiction, so I was looking forward to reading one of her children's books. If her other children's books are as good as this one, she is a great children's author as well. God Gave Us You is a simple story that teaches children what a wonderful gift from God they are. As Little Cub asks questions about where she came from, Mama Cub answers lovingly and ends each answer with the phrase "God gave us you." Repeating phrases in books for young children is great, and "God gave us you" is a wonderful phrase to repeat! This is a story that will never get old. My three year old loves books, and I am sure that God Gave Us You will be read over and over again. The copy of the book that I received is a board book which is perfect for small hands. The colorful illustrations are fun to look at and discuss as well. If you are in the market for children's books, this is a book that would be great to add to your collection. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Waiting For Morning

From the back of the book: As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her-a husband other women covet, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, however, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a squad car pulls into Hannah's driveway, bringing two police officers...and devastating news that shatters her life forever.

In the days that follow, Hannah struggles with unspeakable feelings of sorrow and rage-feelings that fuse into one chilling purpose for living: revenge against Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who's caused all her pain.

In her fury, Hannah shuts the Lord out of her life. She's determined not to forgive Wesley or the God who allowed this tragedy to happen. Can two caring people help Hannah rediscover her faith...before bitterness destroys her?

My review: As usual, Karen Kingsbury has written a book that you can't put down. The characters are so real that you will find yourself wishing someone would introduce you to them. The circumstances are so real that you will find yourself praying to God that that will never happen to you. The Biblical truths are so real that you will find yourself learning and growing from them. Karen Kingsbury is able to write a book where people live! She is able to make you feel the emotion of the characters and circumstances in her books and when the book is finished you will wish there was more. Waiting For Morning is one of those books. I hated to see it end, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a complimentary e-book from Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mercy Come Morning

From the back of the book: Krista Mueller is in a good place. She has a successful career as a professor of history; she's respected and well-liked; and she lives hundreds of miles from her hometown and the distant mother she could never please. It's been more than a decade since Alzheimer's disease first claimed Charlotte Mueller's mind, but Krista has dutifully kept her mother in a first-class nursing home.

Now Charlotte is dying of heart failure and, surprised by her own emotions, Krista rushes to Taos, New Mexico, to sit at her estranged mother's side as she slips away. Battling feelings of loss, abandonment, and relief, Krista is also unsettled by her proximity to Dane McConnell, director of the nursing home-and, once upon a time, her first love. Dane's kind and gently spirit-
and a surprising discovery about her mother- make Krista wonder if she can at last close the distance between herself and her mother...and open the part of her heart she thought was lost forever.

My review: This was another book that kept me reading till the wee hours of the morning. Lisa Tawn Bergren does a great job weaving a story that will draw you in. You will cheer for Dane and Krista, feel anger toward Charlotte, and finally understand the power of forgiveness. This is a story that will cause you to think about what is truly important in life. I also like the way the book was written. The actual time-frame for the story was a few days, but facts from the past were needed for understanding. These facts were written as memories and placed between the chapters. Anyone would benefit from the lessons presented in this book, but I highly recommend this to those who did not have a very good relationship with a parent. I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Monday, August 8, 2011


From the back of the book: As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they're quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark.

They know that God desires to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, but their children are beginning to drift farther and farther away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those who are most dear to them?

When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God...and to their children?

My review: This is a great book! As I read, I did not feel like I was reading just another story. This book was real. The characters and the story were believable. There were moments of frustration, moments of anticipation, moments when I laughed out loud, and moments when I cried as I read. Courageous is a book that will challenge your faith. Even though this book focused on the dads, I was challenged as a mom to take seriously the responsibility of rearing children that love God and love people. Every parents should read this book. I couldn't put it down and look forward to watching the movie. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sweet Sanctuary

From the back of the book: In tiny Cottage Cove, on the coast of Maine, Wren Evans is raising her gifted son, Charlie. A single mom, she's fought hard to give Charlie a stable, secure home life. When a prestigious music academy in Boston expresses interest in Charlie's talent, Wren is willing to move them again to make his dreams come true.

But Wren doesn't know that Charlie has been praying for her. And the answer to her son's prayers will change both of their lives. As Wren plans their move to Boston, life in Maine begins to fall apart. Her job is threatened with budget cuts, and Wren's grandmother, Ruth, arrives unannounced, with an outlandish request.

Ruth wants the family gathered together one last time, at the summer home where, years before, an accident shattered Wren's peaceful childhood. In the tumult, Wren finds a friend in a handsome, kind-hearted local, Paul Callahan.

When the family gathers in Cottage Cove, old woulds will be healed, new love will blossom, and the innocent prayers of a child will be answered in a most unexpected way.

My review: I enjoyed Sweet Sanctuary. I wasn't sure what to expect by reading the back cover, and I am glad I decided to read the book. The authors did a great job weaving a story with real-life complexities and spiritual struggles. While situations may not be identical, mothers especially can relate to Wren's challenges and worries. I enjoyed the story-line, but the end of the book came abruptly. I felt the authors did not take enough time resolving some of the family issues. The relationship between Wren and Paul seemed to develop a little too quickly as well. Overall, however; it was an enjoyable story with believable characters and situations. This is a book I can recommed. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Restless in Carolina

From the back of the book: Tree-huggin', animal-lovin' Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is on a mission. Well, two. First she has to come to terms with being a widow at thirty-three. After all, it's been four years and even her five-year-old niece and nephew think it's time she sheds her widow's weeds. Second, she needs to find a buyer for her family's estate-a Biltmore-inspired mansion surrounded by hundreds of acres of unspoiled forestland. With family obligations forcing the sale, Bridget is determined to find an eco-friendly developer to buy the land, someone who won't turn it into single-family homes or a cheesy theme park.

Enter J.C. Dirk, a high-energy developer from Atlanta whose green property developments have earned him national acclaim. When he doesn't return her calls, Bridget decides a personal visit is in order. Unfortunately, J.C. Dirk is neither amused nor interested when she interrupts his meeting-until she mentions her family name. In short order, he finds himself in North Carolina, and Bridget has her white knight-in more ways than one. But the things Bridget doesn't know about J.C. could mean the end of everything she's worked for...and break her heart.

My review: Restless in Carolina was a fun book to read! Tamara Leigh has created a heroine that you won't forget. Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan was not at all what I expected from having read the back of the book. Her initial physical description totally caught me off-guard, and yet it helped make the book more enjoyable. Full of humor and very human, I fell in love with the character of Bridget immediately. I found myself reading quickly just to see what she would do and say next. Tamara Leigh developed a plot that kept me captivated, as well as characters that fit the plot. Wonderful humor, a bit of intrigue, delightful characters, and a much needed lesson on the power of forgiveness come together to make this a book you won't want to put down, as well as a book that you won't want to end. I certainly look forward to reading more by this author.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

From the back of the book: Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can't seem to keep her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte's father, Daniel, pressures her to settle into a nice marriage, despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.

Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can't refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex's family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.

But when Alex's feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she descover that maybe this marriage isn't so inconvenient after all?

My review: The picture on the cover of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck does not fit at all. I almost did not request a review copy because of the cover, but I am so glad I did! This is the first book I have read by Kathleen Y'Barbo. I enjoyed her writing style, and I loved the humor throughout the book. I never knew what Charlotte was going to do next, and loved her character because of it. This was one of those books that I didn't want to put down. Even though it is the third book in a series, I did not feel like I was missing anything from not having read the first two. However, if the first two are as funny and well-written as this one, I know I will thoroughly enjoy them! I look forward to reading more by this author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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An Unlikely Suitor

From the back of the book: New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.

One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?

Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?

And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class-but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?

As the lives of three young women-and their unlikely suitors-become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

My review: This is another enjoyable historical novel that I can recommend. I enjoyed getting to know Lucy and Rowena. The author, Nancy Moser, did a great job distinguishing their stations and yet melding their lives together. Sofia was a frustrating yet likable character, and Lucy and Sofia's mother was a perfect balance for the two. It didn't take long to figure out the "secrets" of the book, so the ending was predictable. But, all in all this was a book that I really enjoyed reading. I am glad I gave the author another chance. I feel she redeemed herself after the last book I read by her. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spring for Susannah

From the back of the book: With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Underhill agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister's homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn't see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.

In spite of her petite size, Susannah surprises Jesse with her abilities. The years she spent as her father's veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse's ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.

But Susannah's feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can't believe that Jesse's praise-or the tenderness and love he shows-could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.

My review: Writing my review for some books is very hard, and this is one such book. I was excited to read Spring for Susannah after reading the description from the back of the book. As I started reading I enjoyed Jesse's sense of humor, and the short prayerful phrases at the beginning of each chapter. His spiritual leadership and obvious love of God and the Scriptures was very evident. I wasn't far into the book, however, when the author seemed to become obsessed with bedroom scenes. I do enjoy a good romantic book, and while there was nothing inappropriate about the way these scenes were written, enough is enough! I kept thinking to myself, oh no, not again! If the reader is married she knows what happens between a husband and a wife. If the reader is a teenager or unmarried woman, constantly reading those types of scenes could lead to sinful desires or unwanted frustration. Our teens today are bombarded with sex almost everywhere they go. We need Christian fiction that portrays sex in a healthy way that is not overdone. And, that is exactly what this book is-overdone! Needless to say, I was happy to see Jesse leave to find work. However, his leaving did not fit his character. I found that to be inconsistent. Some of the minor characters did not seem necessary, and I couldn't understand what they had to do with the rest of the book. Some scenes were rushed and not fully developed, and the whole book ended very abruptly. I really wanted to like this book, but I do a lot of reading and this book fell far short! With so many other good novels to choose from, don't waste your time on this one! I received a complimentay copy of this book from the Litfuse Group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

To celebrate her debut novel, Catherine and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away a Spring For Susannah Prize Package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond (for KINDLE)

To enter just click one of the icons below and then tell your friends! But hurry, giveaway ends on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th at 5 PM (6PM MST, 7PM CST, & 8PM EST) during Catherine's Spring for Susannah Book Club Party on Facebook! Catherine is rustling up some fun for the party - she'll be chatting about the story behind her novel, hosting a book club chat, testing your mail-order bride trivia skills, and giving away some GREAT prizes! Don't miss the fun and tell your friends!

Blog tour schedule

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Reluctant Queen

From the back of the book: You've read it as a Biblical tale of courage. Experience it anew as a heart-stirring love story. She was a simple girl faced with an impossible choice. He was a magnificent king with a lonely heart. Their love was the divine surprise that changed the course of history. The beloved story of Esther springs to fresh life in this inspired novel that vibrates with mystery, intrigue and romance.

My review: I think this is the best novel I have read in a long time! Joan Wolf did an excellent job tastefully weaving a love story about Esther. I couldn't put the book down! Although the story of Esther is well-known, this book helps the reader understand a little better what life might have been like for her to go from such a simple lifestyle to the magnificence of palace life. The reader does have to remember that this is a fiction book. A few things have been changed from the scriptural account and details have been added. I appreciate the fact that the author was careful to note that she took liberties with the story. Reading this book has given me a fresh desire to go back to the Scriptures to read and study the Biblical account of Esther again. A novel that incites the study of Scripture is a well-written novel indeed! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Too Rich For A Bride

From the back of the book: Ida Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in the untamed mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado, for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniable successful businesswoman Mollie O'Bryan. Ida's sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.

Under Mollie's tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man's world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family's reservations about Mollie O'Bryan's business practices, but no matter how she tries, she can't ignore the two men pursuing her affections-Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.

Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed "suggestions" that young ladies don't belong in business. Will it take unexpected love-or unexpected danger-for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?

My review: Too Rich For A Bride continues the story of the Sinclair sisters. Even though I have not read the first book, I did not feel lost in this one. It can certainly stand alone. For the most part this is a typical romantic fiction book, however; I appreciate that the author did not focus so much on how each character looked on the outside, but what was on the inside. The characters are likeable and the situations are real. Mrs. Hodgson set this story in the late 1800's, but the lessons learned are so relevant for today. This was an easy enjoyable book to read. I look forward to reading more about the Sinclair sisters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Waterbrook/Multnomah Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Desert Gift

From the back of the book: A nationally known marriage expert, Jillian Galloway is at the pinnacle of success. Her syndicated talk radio show is a hit and her first book is about to release. But just as she's leaving for her West Coast publicity tour, Jill's faithful husband of twenty-four years drops a bombshell: he wants a divorce.

As her world crashes down around her, Jill flees to her parents' home in the California desert, wondering if everything she's built her career on-and everything she's built her life around-is a sham. She thought she'd done everything right. So how did her marriage slowly slip away? And will she ever get it back?

My review: I especially enjoyed the plot in this book. A marriage expert whose own marriage falls apart was a great idea that has not been overdone. I think Mrs. John did a good job developing a storyline that will pull the reader in and hold their attention. I will have to say though that Mrs. John's choice of character names was rather corny. While I enjoyed the story I had a hard time getting past the names Jack and Jill as well as the references to the nursery rhyme. I think it was just plain silly and didn't fit at all. If it weren't for the nursery rhyme references I would highly recommend this book. However, I will only give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Daddy Dates

From the back of the book: "Daddy Dates" is about a guy taking his best shot at being a successful dad by trying to know his girls-really know their fears, dreams, and opinions-and how he stumbles across an incredible strategy to do that with daughters of any age or stage. This funny, insightful, and relatable book poses the wildly original concept that should be a "duh" for most dads-but isn't. In order to raise a confident woman-to-be, show your daughter what it feels like to be treated with love, respect, and true interest by a man who loves her.

"Daddy Dates" is not another "how to" book from a parenting expert. It's a personal, eye-opening, often humorous look at an Average Joe's intentional pursuit of his daughters' hearts and minds, and the love-inspired steps he is taking to solidify Dad's place in each of their lives, forever.

My review: Daddy Dates is a great book for a dad (and mom) who has daughters. The book is fun, easy to read, and is full of practical advice. Greg Wright is open and honest about what has and has not worked for him in relation to his daughters. Even though some dads might already take their daughters on dates, Greg gives ideas and specifics about what does and does not constitute as a date. Some dads might find that their idea of a date is not going to make the cut. Each chapter is short and full of humor, so men that don't enjoy reading as a general rule will find this book very easy to read. Greg has also included helpful tools at the end of the book to help jump-start dads who might be unsure exactly what to do and how to start. Every dad who has daughters needs to read this book. Moms need to read the book as well if for no other reason than to support dad in one of his most important endeavors: "Becoming her hero, one date at a time." I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lilies in Moonlight

From the back of the book: After a roaring night on the town, fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis, dazed and disoriented, twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of a wealthy family where the effects of the Great War-over for more than half a decade-are still endured. Inside the walls of the Burnside mansion, Cullen Burnside, a disillusioned and disfigured veteran, and his widowed mother, Betty Ruth, who daily slips a little further into dementia, lead a lonely existence...until Lilly. Whimsical, lighthearted, and beautiful, she rejuvenates their sad, disconnected lives and blossoms in the light of their attention.

But Lilly, like Cullen, is hiding from a painful past. And when Cullen insists on returning her to her faraway home, their budding attraction seems destined to die on the vine. The resulting road trip becomes a journey of self-discovery-but what will Cullen and Lilly find at journey's end?

This is another book that I really enjoyed. It was fun getting to know each of the three main characters. I especially enjoyed Betty Ruth. The reader never quite knows what Betty Ruth will do next. Toward the end of the book the author had me a little worried about an idea that Betty Ruth presented. I was afraid the book was going to end in an unbelievable way, but Mrs. Pittman managed to pull away from the unbelievable and end in a satisfactory way. I was very glad that she did!

Mrs. Pittman also painted a very realistic picture of Lilly's background. The absence of grace and love in Lilly's growing up years is unfortunately common in many fundamental circles today. Lilly finds that the picture her mother painted of God is not accurate. Through the character of Lilly, Mrs. Pittman does a great job portraying true forgiveness. This is a great book to read! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Now I Walk On Death Row

From the back of the book: As a Wall Street finance lawyer, Dale Recinella had prestige, power and unthinkable paychecks at his fingertips. He was living the American least on paper.

But above the roar of life in the fast lane, Dale heard Jesus whispering to him. And his life took an unfathomable turn as he heeded Jesus' call: He sold everything he owned and followed Him-even to the stark floors of death row.

With the warmth and ease of a natural storyteller, Dale shares his amazing journey of going from high-powered lawyer to humble lay chaplain. And he reminds us that when we live out the words of Jesus, what we give up is nothing compared to what we receive in return.

My review: Wow! What a convicting book! Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Dale Recinella is a great story-teller, and as you read you will be drawn into the book. The story of his life, and his determination to obey what Jesus says will become a challenge to each reader. A powerful reminder that we should seek first the Kingdom of God. I was a little wary of what I would find on the pages of this book when I realized that Dale was Catholic. While there are a few doctrinal issues, that is not the main focus of the book. Any christian could read this book and come away with a renewed sense of the importance of loving God and loving people. I highly recommend that every christian read this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, courtesy of Chosen Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Beside Still Waters

About Beside Still Waters: Marianna Sommer believes she knows where her life is headed. Nineteen years old and Amish, her plan is to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and live in the only community she's ever known. When Marianna's family moves from Indiana to Montana she discovers life and faith will never be the same. As she builds an easy friendship with local guy, Ben Stone, Ben not only draws her heart, he also gets her thinking about what loving God and living in community is all about. As Marianna struggles to find "home", she also encounters God in intimate ways. Click here to watch the book trailers. Link to buy the book: Tricia is hosting a book giveaway on her blog. Also – she’s giving away a Montana Amish Calendar to everyone who enters the giveaway! Be sure to head on over to her blog and enter:

My review: The prologue pulled me into the book from the start. I enjoy Amish fiction and this one is different from most. Not only does the Sommer family leave their community, but they move to a community that is not afraid of the English. The struggles and emotions they face are real. Tricia Goyer has written in such a way and developed her characters so that you will be drawn into their lives and feel their joy and pain. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Friday, April 15, 2011

How To Be God's Little Princess

There are not many girls that don't dream of someday being a princess. But how does a princess really act? What does she wear? How does she talk? These questions and many more are answered in the book How To Be God's Little Princess by Sheila Walsh. This book is filled with practical advice on everyday life with Scripture as the basis and "princess" as the theme. Sheila Walsh has taken topics such as dress, style, poise, dining, friends, and many more and organized them into sections on the princess way: specifically God's princess. Each of these topics has plenty of Scripture, practical advice, fun activities, pictures, and helpful information. This is a wonderful book for little girls. It is a hands-on type of book that will certainly hold their attention. They are able to learn manners, etiquette, and true beauty in a Biblical, fun, and practical way. I will have fun reading through this book with each of my daughters as each topic becomes appropriate for their age. Its eye-catching pink cover has already caught their attention. This is a perfect gift book for any little girl, and I know I will be buying several to give away. You can't go wrong with this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tommy Nelson publishers, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, through the Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Courting Miss Amsel

Courting Miss Amsel was a fun book to read. Edythe Amsel arrives in the small town of Walnut Hill to teach the school children. The single men immediately see her as a potential wife, but she makes it abundantly clear that she has no desire to get married. So why does Joel Townsend always catch her eye? A single man raising his two orphaned nephews is the last thing she wants anything to do with. Her unusual teaching methods and one troublesome student soon become the talk of the town, and it doesn't take Edythe long to find out that Joel is on her side. Are enough of the parents on her side, or will the town council vote to relieve her of her teaching responsibilities? Does God really care what happens to a small town teacher who feels she must always have control? This is another great book by Kim Vogel Sawyer from Bethany House Publishers. I really enjoyed the storyline as well as the characters. This is a book that you won't want to put down once you start reading. You will laugh, argue, plead, and symphathize. The characters are very real, and the storyline engaging. The theme of allowing God to have control is quite appropriate. I think that is a lesson that all Christians need reminded of on a regular basis. This book provided that reminder in a fun effective way. I will be happy to recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Promises to Keep

A story told by a young girl about complicated life issues, Promises to Keep, by Ann Tatlock is a book that will draw you in. Roz has moved away from her dad with her mom, brother, and sister. An unexpected visitor, Tillie, becomes the help that Roz's mom so desperately needs. As life continues to unfold, Roz experiences uncertainty about her father. Tillie talks to her about heaven, but since her "father" has something to do with it, Roz is not sure she will make it to heaven. As her father secretly reenters her life she begins to ignore the past and trusts what he tells her. Although her friend Mara warns her, and her mom tells her to forget about him, she finds herself unable to break free from the power he seems to have over her. And what will she do about the secrets her brother asks her to keep? This story by Ann Tatlock is powerful! She writes from a young girl's point of view, and touches on several difficult topics. While this story is a work of fiction, the struggles that Roz and her family experience are very real, and these struggles are brought to life on the pages of this book. This book is a great reminder to christians to open their eyes and see what is going on around them! Promises to Keep will capture your attention from the very first pages and will hold you captive until the very end. This is definitely a well-written book that I will be happy to recommend to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Plain Proposal

I enjoy reading Amish fiction, so I was excited to try another author. Plain Proposal by Beth Wiseman is the story of a young Amish girl named Miriam Raber. Miriam is in her rumschpringe, but has not been tempted to try much of what is forbidden. The arrival of her English cousin, Shelby, has Miriam's mother, Rebecca, worried that some of Miriam's new and unexpected actions are a result of Shelby's influence. However, Rebecca has forgotten what it is like to be newly in love. Saul Fisher has finally seemed to notice Miriam much to her delight. She is willing to do anything it takes to be with him but is afraid her choices will tear her from her family. Saul has problems of his own which threaten his dreams. When Rebecca unexpectedly steps into the lives of Saul's family she begins to realize what it means to follow God's leading even when the outcome is not what she wants. Plain Proposal is a very enjoyable book to read. It has a very simple plot, but has some unexpected twists to the story. While this is an Amish story, the Amish tradition is not as prevalent as in other books I have read. It isn't really clear what "type" of Amish they are just by reading the story, although at the beginning of the book they are referred to as Old Order Amish. I don't think that is a negative, just unexpected. The characters were easy to understand and feelings and emotions were conveyed very well. While this is not the most exciting book I have ever read, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Here Burns My Candle

If you like historical fiction, you will love the book, Here Burns My Candle, by Liz Curtis Higgs. It is set in the 18th century in Edinburgh, Scotland and is full of historical detail. This is a story filled with secrets, love, despair, hope, betrayal, faithfulness, loss, and peace. As you read about a young lady and her mother-in-law, you will begin to realize there is something familiar about what you are reading. The story of Ruth will begin to emerge from its pages. As I got deeper into this book, I could not put it down. I was totally drawn into the story! The characters were well-developed and the plot engaging. It is a well-written story that includes a lot of historical facts and details. The dialogue at times is a bit tedious although understandable in context, but the author included a Scottish glossary in the back to help. I especially liked the way the story of Ruth was written into the pages. I did not expect it, but it made the book that much more intriguing. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. You will not be disappointed! In the meantime, I am looking forward to reading the next book. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transforming Prayer

"Take your prayer life from ordinary to extraordinary." That is what the book Transforming Prayer is all about. Daniel Henderson focuses on a very vital part of the Christian life: prayer. In this book he helps the reader understand the difference between praying a list and praying a worship-based prayer. Henderson shows you how to: "Overcome common barriers to praying effectively, awaken your prayer life with simple, biblical patterns of prayer, [and] enjoy Spirit-led prayer sparked by Scripture passages." In other words, the reader is shown how to seek God's face rather than His hand. This is a very practical book for any Christian to read, especially new believers. Henderson writes in a way that is easy to read and understand. He helps the reader realize how rewarding a Christian's prayer life can be by giving Biblical guidance and a practical plan for taking their prayer life from "ordinary to extraordinary." While praying worship-based prayers is not new to me, there are many people who do not understand. This is a great tool to offer to Christians who are struggling in their prayer life. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The winner of my giveaway is Norma Edie. Thank you to all four of you that entered!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Paws and Tales

This is the first video I have reviewed and my children were more than happy to help. Paws and Tales by Chuck Swindoll is a very good children's video. Two different stories are included on the DVD and include The Good Shepherd and A Good Foundation. The Good Shepherd tells of two young boys anxious to help the Shepherd and be junior shepherds for the day. They soon realize that it is not as easy as it sounds. Children will discover how Jesus, our Good Shepherd cares for us. A Good Foundation teaches children why having a good foundation is an important part of living a godly life. C.J. and Staci discover this truth in the story as they build a clubhouse in an old rotten tree.

A great video for children! Paws and Tales has cute animation, two great stories, and wonderful Biblical truths. My three children loved watching this movie, and as soon as the DVD had ended they immediately wanted to watch it again. It is great to have DVD's that help children understand Biblical truths that we are trying to teach at home. Chuck Swindoll has provided a perfect tool for parents to use.

My daughter, Suzannah, says she learned that sheep are dumb so the shepherd had to take care of them. She says that she enjoyed watching these stories and would love to watch more. Her favorite character was Staci, because she didn't like the way the sheep smell!

For more information on Paws and Tales videos visit here or here. I received a complimentary copy of this DVD from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Click here to watch a video.

Now for my first giveaway! To enter to win a copy of this DVD please leave a comment below for each child/grandchild you have, your favorite Bible character, and something you are trying to teach your child. Please leave a separate comment for each and include your email address. Contest ends February 19.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love and Respect

There have been many books written on love and marriage. While I have not read a lot of these books I am sure that Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs would be pretty close to the top of a list of good resources. As you read this book Dr. Eggerichs explains what the crazy and energizing cycles are. He then focuses on two important aspects: love and respect. Love deals with the needs that women have. Dr. Eggerichs gives men an acronym (couple) to help them understand how to love their wives. Respect deals with the needs that men have. He gives women an acronym (chairs) to help them understand how to respect their husbands. When following the guidelines of these two acronyms, couples can learn to stay off the crazy cycle and spend more time on the energizing cycle.

This was a very informative scripture-based book. A lot of verses were used to support the ideas that were laid out. Dr. Eggerichs wrote in a manner that was easy to read and understand. Most non-fiction books take longer for me to read; however, I was able to read through Love and Respect fairly quick. I appreciate how the book deals with the husband and wife separately. Equal responsibility is given to each spouse, and when husband and wife choose to follow Biblical principles and work as an individual there will be unity as a couple. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Amy Inspired

I only thought I had saved the best for last. Amy Inspired is the last of my Bethany House fiction books to review from the last set they sent me. What a huge disappointment! I had a really hard time getting into the book. In the story, Amy Gallagher was receiving one rejection letter after another in regards to her writing. I almost felt like the author was being autobiographical, and I could understand why those rejection letters were coming. Bethany Pierce, the author, seemed to be too wordy to me with a lot of unnecessary fluff. I really couldn't find a plot. I got to chapter 5 and finally had to give up. I just couldn't finish the book. Although considered Christian fiction, she had no real theme or gospel message to be gleaned from the pages of this book. Pierce's fascination with "underwear" and other like topics reminded me of my five year old. I could find no real purpose for this book I am sorry to say. Bethany House usually publishes outstanding Christian fiction that I can enjoy and recommend to others. They really missed the mark on this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hatteras Girl

The book Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler is a story that is set in North Carolina's Outer Banks. Jackie Donovan hopes to find a husband without the help of her relatives, works as a reporter for a local magazine, and dreams of one day with her friend Minnie owning the Bailey House bed-and-breakfast. Life has taken on a routine of helping her widowed friend Minnie and her son Zane, but it seems that God is answering her prayers when she is asked to interview and write an article on Davis Erickson for the magazine Lighthouse Views. Jackie soon learns that Davis owns the Bailey House, and hopes that he will soon hold her heart as well. Unexpected news seems to shatter both of her dreams, but in the process Jackie learns that to be still and wait on God can bring much greater happiness than she ever imagined.

Books written in first person are not usually my favorite, but the book Hatteras Girl, though not a favorite, is one that I enjoyed. There was nothing new about the storyline, and the ending seemed anticlimatic to me. That could be because it ended in a typical fashion. While there were some good characters there seemed to be a few too many to keep up with. The lessons of being still and waiting on God are very good, but they seemed to just be thrown in because a Christian book needs a Christian lesson. I think these lessons could have been incorporated throughout the story making them more believable. While this was a fun story to read, it is not at the top of my recommended books. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homosexuality and the Christian

Homosexuality and christian are two words that people do not like to see together and causes great discomfort. Homosexuality and the Christian by Mark A. Yarhouse is a much needed book. On the pages of this book Dr. Yarhouse delves into a subject that is typically taboo in Christian circles. He tackles difficult questions and answers them with scripture. The book is separated into three sections. The first section deals with "The big picture." Dr. Yarhouse explains exactly what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, and then he carefully describes sexual identity and how it develops. He moves on to the causes and the topic of changing sexual orientation in the last part of this section. Section two deals with questions and answers for family members who are faced with the announcement of a gay identity. Section three covers the church and the proper response to those who are having same-sex attractions.

I found this to be a very helpful book that every christian should read. Dr. Yarhouse writes in a way that is easy to understand and gives greater insight into the subject of homosexuality. He encourages the christian to understand this subject by providing information that is taken from God's Word as well as today's research. As this topic continues to be very controversial, we as christians must remember to speak the truth in love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A Rush of Wings

A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann is a book I have enjoyed reading again. Noelle St. Claire is running away although she is not sure why. She ends up at a horse ranch after riding on a bus for days with no real destination in mind. There she meets two brothers who are totally different. Rick Spencer runs the ranch, and his brother Morgan visits quite frequently. As both brothers seek to know Noelle better, her past from which she has unknowingly run begins to catch up with her. As her world falls out from under her, she realizes that there is a Heavenly Father that will preserve her from all evil.

Although I read this book several years ago, I was excited to read it again. The fears that Noelle faced were real, and even though our fears may not stem from the same reasons or experiences we all need the same promises from Scripture for our own unique situations. I enjoyed the story, and Kristen Heitzmann was able to make the Word of God come alive on the pages of this book. It was an encouragement in my own spiritual walk. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Love on Assignment

Cara Lynn James is a new author for me. I enjoyed reading her book Love on Assignment. This story is set in the early 1900's. A young lady named Charlotte Hale works at a newspaper as a secretary. She dreams of being a reporter, but just the fact that she is a woman makes her dream unreachable. When her boss offers her a chance to write a story, she can't believe her good luck and jumps at the opportunity. Mr. Phifer, the editor, asks her to live in the house of a professor as the governess to the professor's children. Professor Wilmont causes quite a stir with the articles he writes for another paper, and Mr. Phifer wants Charlotte to find anything she can to discredit the professor. Although her conscience gives her pause Charlotte accepts the job as governess. Little does she know that what she finds and experiences while working undercover will change her life and possibly destroy her dreams forever.

This is a well-written book that accurately shows the distinctions between the working class and the wealthy during this time-period. Mrs. James does an excellent job of describing and developing her characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the word pictures that she painted throughout the book. Not only does Mrs. James weave a tale of laughter, deception, romance, and secrets, she also displays the power of the gospel. I look forward to reading more from Mrs. James in the future. I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.