Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prayers of a Stranger

Book description:  "While visiting the Holy Land, Amanda answers the prayers of a stranger . . . and begins an amazing Christmas journey.

Amanda Vance is ambivalent about her husband’s idea for a big family holiday up north. Last year she planned a special Christmas in their own home, carefully preparing a nursery and the keepsake ornaments for their newborn. Now that room stands as empty as her heart.

Then a neighbor’s mishap turns into a last-minute chance for Amanda to take a much-needed vacation to tour the Holy Land.

An extraordinary turn of events allows Amanda to help answer a young mother’s plea for healing. Then, filled with a sense of awe, Amanda visits the place of Jesus’ birth. There she discovers anew the miracle of the Christ child—God incarnate as a tiny, vulnerable baby.

Her return to Florida marks a momentous shift in her soul and in her marriage as she begins to realize that her journey didn’t end in the Holy Land. And that God doesn’t just answer prayers of strangers . . . but also those of her own heart."

My review:  The events of this book take place during the Christmas season.  It is a simple story with a lot emotion, and  the characters and their situations are real.  Davis Bunn has a way of making a story come to life and pull the reader into the lives of the characters.  I did not want the book to end.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters that stayed in Florida, but I really enjoyed traveling to the Holy Land with Amanda.  I felt like I had journeyed there with her as she touched the lives of those she met and began her own journey of healing.  A great reminder that even though we might be hurting there are those who have hurt just as much or greater than us.  It is when we stop to make their pain our pain that we can begin to find healing for our own soul.  This is a wonderful story.  I highly recommend it!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program.  All opinions are my own.    

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Wreath of Snow

Book summary:  "On a reluctant visit home, an icy reception from her family in Stirling sends Meg Campbell fleeing for the train station, determined to spend the holidays alone in Edinburgh. When snow delays her departure, Meg pours out her heart to fellow traveler Gordon, an affable newspaperman who asks all the right questions, even as he keeps his own heartache under wraps. Then an unexpected turn of events finally points them both in the right direction: home. This stand-alone novella captures the unexpected gift of forgiveness and the hopeful stirrings of new love."

My review:   The only thing I don't like about this book is that it is too short!  Liz Curtis Higgs is a great storyteller, and A Wreath of Snow is a wonderful story!  I couldn't put it down.  Even though this is a novella, Ms. Higgs did a great job developing her characters.  She packs a lot into such a short story, and the message of forgiveness is very clear.  While parts of the story were predictable, the ending contained an unexpected twist which added to the intrigue of the story.  Ms. Higgs shows her readers that love and forgiveness are truly possible with God.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Twice a Bride

Book summary:  "Willow Peterson is at a crossroads. Standing alone over her father's fresh grave, she ponders the question she's seen etched on everyone else's face. Will this loss send her over the edge too, as her husband's death did? She has come back once from the devastating effects of loss, started fresh in Cripple Creek, Colorado, and might find her second chance at love working as a portrait artist for photographer Trenton Van Der Veer. With help of the spirited Sinclair Sisters, can Willow embrace God's plan to overcome her past and provide a home for her?"

My review:  I really enjoyed reading more about Willow Peterson after being introduced to her in a previous book about the Sinclair Sisters.  Her character is funny, honest, and real.  It was also fun seeing what was happening in the lives of the Sinclair Sisters.  Twice a Bride is a book that can stand alone, but if the reader has read other books about the Sinclair Sisters it makes this book that much more interesting.  The author does a great job digging deeply into the lives of her characters and Willow was no exception.  Trenton Van Der Veer's character was a perfect compliment to Willow's character, and I enjoyed his part in the story as well.  This was a book that I did not want to put down, and although the ending was predictable there were plenty of circumstances leading up to the ending that were not.  I look forward to reading more about Willow and the Sinclair Sisters.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.