Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sacred Path of Tears

Book description: The Sacred Path of Tears is a journal written by a young Cheyenne Indian woman, nicknamed Mokee, during the Indian Wars in Kansas in the late 1860s. After Mokee and her companion observe the Sand Creek Massacre, they warn the other Indian camps along the Smoky Hill River. They take cover in a barn near Salina, Kansas, where they are discovered by a widow and her two sons. Mokee’s companion leaves to join the fight against the white soldiers but hating war, Mokee, with her lighter coloring, gains a safe haven with the widow’s family. She finds a mentor in the well-educated widow and embraces the opportunity to read and write English. As her life unfolds, Mokee is torn between two worlds at war and the two men she loves, one a white settler and the other her companion, who has become a Cheyenne Dog Soldier. Though war is her constant shadow, Mokee tries to find the purpose for her life and a path of peace in her war-torn world.

My review: This is a great book! It is a work of fiction, but there is also a lot of historical facts throughout the book. The fact that it is written like a journal allowed the author, M. B. Tosi, to include historical information in such a way that Mokee became part of true events. I think that added a depth to the story that would otherwise not have been possible. The Sacred Path of Tears is the first book in The Indian Path Series. Each book focuses on a different group of Indians. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from WestBow Press a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Need You Now

Book description: When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene Henderson move with their three teenagers from Houston to the tiny town of Round Top, Texas.
Adjusting to small-town life is difficult for the kids, especially fifteen-year-old Grace who is coping in a dangerous way.
Married life hasn’t always been bliss, but their strong faith has carried Brad and Darlene through the difficult times. When Darlene takes a job outside the home for the first time in their marriage, the domestic tension rises.
While working with special needs children at her new job, the widowed father of one of the students starts paying more attention to Darlene than is appropriate. Problem is, she feels like someone is listening to her for the first time in a long time.
If Darlene ever needed God . . . it’s now.
Experience a family’s triumph over lies, betrayal, and loss while still clinging to the One who matters most.

My review: Beth Wiseman has tackled more tough issues in her book Need You Now. I don't want to give anything away, but this is a book that will really make you think. Ms. Wiseman has written a great story that will hold your interest until the end. I do feel that more could have been written on the two major issues that she addressed. The book ended too adruptly, and I don't think things were sufficiently resolved for the reader. Hopefully Ms. Wiseman plans to write more about the Henderson family in future books. I think it will be great if she does continue their story. I also think Ms. Wiseman introduced too many characters with stories of their own. If she chooses to write more about each of those characters that would help. If she chooses to let this book stand alone, I will be very disappointed! I do recommend this book, and I commend Ms. Wiseman for not being afraid to tackle such tough issues. Christians need to realize that these types of things are going on around us even in our Christian circles. 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, March 29, 2012

How We Love Our Kids

From the back of the book: Having problems with your kids? What if you are the problem and you just can't see it? "How We Love Our Kids" offers a unique approach, to help you as a parent transform your kids by making specific changes in how you love. It's the only parenting book that reveals the unseen forces that shape every interaction with your kids.

  • Identify which of the five love styles you have.

  • Discover the surprising dynamics that shape your parenting.

  • Get rid of your "buttons" so your kids can't push them.

  • Create a close connection with your kids that will last a lifetime.

  • Learn the seven gifts every child needs.

Based on years of research in the area of attachment and bonding, How We Love Our Kids shows parents how to overcome the predictable challenges that arise out of the five love styles and helps parents cultivate a secure, deep connection with a child of any age. Retool your reactions and refocus on how you love. Start today. Watch your kids flourish and thrive as they receive what was missing in your love.

My review: This is a parenting book that is much different than any other parenting book you will read. It is a book that focuses more on the parent than on the child and is a very interesting book to read. I think this is a great resource for any parent. Just understanding some of the concepts that are presented can be very helpful and eye-opening. I would highly recommend this book to every parent, even the ones that seem to be sailing along fairly smoothly with their kids. There will be bumps in the road with your children and this book can help you understand why those bumps are there. Milan and Kay Yerkovich have written this book in such a way that anyone can understand. It is an easy book to read with plenty of real-life stories to keep you interested. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brush of Angel's Wings

Book description: Rachel and Jordan's feelings for each other are hostile at first, but angelic intervention helps the two discover peace . . . and perhaps love.
The youngest and last unmarried of four sisters, Rachel Hartlzer spends most of her time helping with barn chores. Her role abruptly changes when her father hires Jordan Engles, the son he always wanted.
As Jordan takes on brotherly roles around the house, like escorting Rachel to the youth singing, the enmity between the two grows. Besides, Jordan has one foot in the Englisch world and is determined not to get involved with an Amish girl.
Neither realizes that God has sent an angel, Nathaniel, to help mend their hearts. The angel’s intervention helps them find peace and healing in accepting God's will for their lives.

My review: This is another book that I really enjoyed reading, but I am not sure I like all of the book. I enjoyed the story as well as the characters. I'm just not sure how I feel about the angels. They did add some depth and understanding to the story. However, it would seem the author, Ruth Reid, has attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to an angel. I think I understand why she chose to include the angels, I just do not agree with the way they are portrayed. I enjoy reading Amish stories and have read quite a few by several different authors. I am looking forward to reading more by Ruth Reid. 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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Wedding Dress

Book description: Four brides. One dress.
A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.
Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift—and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress—or feel certain she should marry Tim?
Then Charlotte purchases a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new, shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed”?
Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history—and its new bride—begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the beauty of finding true love.

My review: There were parts about this book that I loved and parts that I didn't like. I loved the idea of a wedding dress that was worn by four different brides over the span of one hundred years. I enjoyed reading about the journey the dress had taken. Rachel Hauck did a great job weaving the story of the dress, as well as entertwining the lives of the women that wore the dress. I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that the imagery Ms. Hauck intended was not clear enough throughout the story. The spiritual aspects were not strong enough. This is where I get to the part I did not like. The man in the purple vest did not fit in with the story line. He made things seem too weird. I believe Ms. Hauck intended for him to be part of the spiritual aspect along with the dress, but in my eyes it was not successful. I did not care much for Tim either. His character should have been stronger to fit with the rest of the story. Even though there were parts I did not like about the story, I did enjoy reading it. 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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

From the back of the book: Annie Martin loves the Plain ways of her beloved grandfather. Retreating from a contentious relationship with her mother, Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge.
But as spring moves into Pennsylvania and Annie spends time among the cherry trees with the handsome Aden Zook, she wishes she could forget how deeply the lines between the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are drawn.
Can Annie and Aden find a placed for their love to bloom in the midst of the brewing storm?

My review: The Scent of Cherry Blossoms is another good book by Cindy Woodsmall, but I did not like it as well as I liked the other books I have read by her. Some of the scenarios seemed a little unbelievable, although they did make for a good storyline. I enjoyed being reintroduced to some of the minor characters from previous books and getting to know them a little better. Once again, I appreciated the way Ms. Woodsmall was able to make her characters real in their personalities and struggles. If you enjoy Amish stories, I definitely recommend that you read this one. It just wasn't my favorite. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Dawn Comes Early

Book description: Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest novel for the emptiness of the desert. Answering an ad to be “heiress” to a vast cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory, Kate hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels.
But what awaits her is a life harder than the one she just left. There is no room for mistakes on a working cattle ranch, and Kate is ill-prepared for her new life. She quickly learns that dawn comes early. But she is tenacious.
Having been abandoned by a string of men, Kate has no intention of ever marrying. But she didn’t expect to meet Luke Adams, either. Luke awakens feelings inside Kate she doesn’t recognize, and his steady presence is a constant distraction. She has only written about love in the past, never known it herself. But her feelings for Luke stand in the way of all she has to gain if she is chosen as the heir.
Perhaps God brought Kate to the barrenness of the desert to give new life to her jaded heart.

My Review: I enjoyed reading Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley. I especially loved Kate and the comical situations she found herself in, but all of the characters fit so well in the plot. This is a great western romance with plenty of humor thrown in. Anyone who enjoys a good romance will want to pick this one up. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. 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.