Once you finish reading An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti, you will undoubtedly want a family like the Binders. As the family gathers at the cottOnce you finish reading An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti, you will undoubtedly want a family like the Binders. As the family gathers at the cottage of Dodie and Wilson Binder in the woods just north of Stillwater, something of a family tradition, Micah and Katie prepare for her first visit on meeting the family and of course the parents. They have been dating for almost 10 months and while things have been going great, Katie knows no matter how perfect Micah is, he won't want anything to do with her once she reveals what she has been hiding. What she didn't expect was for him to propose just moments after they arrived at the cottage.
They just didn't expect her answer to the question. Of course, she said, "No." She expected reactions she didn't get and while the woman rallied around her, the men attempted to figure out why she had said no and to hopefully figure out a plan to keep things going between the two. Perhaps she simply needed more time. Perhaps being under the pressure of being in a home filled to the brim with family members she was just seeing and meeting at the same time. No one wanted to think it wasn't because she didn't love Micah. The truth was she truly did, but now all Katie wanted to do was make plans to escape this place before Christmas arrived.
Yet no matter how much she tried to pull away, the families closeness, genuine love and peace kept her from making any immediate plans. She found herself trying to come up with legitimate excuses of why she shouldn't just rush on out the door. Being a nurse practitioner gave her much needed insight that most people missed and one thing was certain, despite all appearances, Micah's grandfather didn't look well at all. What it was she wasn't certain, but perhaps she might be needed after all and it wasn't for finding time to explain things with Micah even though she needed to do that. What she would find in the course of the time she spent with the Binders is that they truly were a family that wasn't afraid of honesty or for showing one another how they truly felt. She might just get more than a miracle this Christmas.
I received An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti compliments of Worthy Inspired and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest opinion. This is truly a beautifully inspired Christmas book that will not only get you in the mood for Christmas but quite likely change how you view the Christmas season. Life is filled with fleeting moments and no tomorrow is ever a guarantee. This story helps you to appreciate each day as if it were an endless Christmas. For me, this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars and has found a permanent home in my personal library!...more
There are some authors who when you see that they have written another book, you don't even consider what it is, you simply pick it up. I've done thatThere are some authors who when you see that they have written another book, you don't even consider what it is, you simply pick it up. I've done that with every book I have read of James L. Rubart's since picking up Rooms. It also came as no surprise that Andy Andrews, another favorite author of mine, shared a wonderful review of James' latest novel, The Five Times I Met Myself. Those two things were enough to make sure that this landed up in my MUST READ pile and I was not disappointed although my shelf space between books of Rubart's and Andrew's is steadily growing. But if you like one, you will definitely LOVE the other.
This time, James Rubart takes readers into the world of dreams. Think of the possibility if you could figure out a way to manipulate your dreams so vividly that you could command what you would dream and who would be present. What if you got so good at doing it that in your dreams, you had the opportunity to go back in time and give advice to your former self to perhaps change the outcome of your present day situation. Imagine the rights you could wrong. There would be no such thing as regrets. Yet that is precisely what happens when Brock Matthew's wakes up after another nightmare about his father who has died. There is a message he wants Brock to know but just when he thinks he is going to figure it out, he wakes up.
His friend Morgan provides him with a book, Lucid Dreaming: Turning Dreams into Reality that helps him not only understand dreams but how to manipulate them in such a way he hopes to figure out what he father was trying to say and hopefully get them to stop. He has to do something because it is more than just his dream life that is unraveling. His marriage to his wife Karissa is not all that he remembers it used to be. But then again with all the issues he has had dealing with the Black Fedora coffee business he and his brother management, he hopes he can sort them out one at a time and get back on track eventually. He is up against a time line he can't manage and time is running out faster than he can figure out what to do until he encounters his younger self before he dated his wife. What advice might you consider giving him? You just might be surprised!
I received The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart compliments Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This one does have a bit of a twist to it like you might find in It's A Wonderful Life or Family Man. It does make you truly consider the consequences of the decisions we make and if you could do it all over again, would you really change anything? What would the impact be along that new timeline? I absolutely LOVED this book and at the end it really gives the reader something to think about and take away. For me this one rates a solid 5 out of 5 stars. A reader's discussion guide is included at the conclusion of this book which would work out great for a book club. I highly recommend this one! ...more
Just in time for the Christmas season, Bob Welch has released this amazing and beautiful Christmas inspirational book, 52 Little Lessons from A ChristJust in time for the Christmas season, Bob Welch has released this amazing and beautiful Christmas inspirational book, 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol. In it you will find those fond moments in the movie A Christmas Carol and how we can use those moments to impact our lives and those around us to help draw people closer to Christ in ways like never before. Most people have watched the movie The Christmas Carol and can identify with the them of the restoration and forgiveness and renewal Ebenezer Scrooge experiences in the course of one evening through the four spirits that visit him. He gets the opportunity to make amends before his life ends and therefore condemning him to the same fate of his partner Bob Marley.
The story of Ebenezer Scrooge probably stands out in all of literature as the one of the most redemptive - a hopeful portrait of a life radically remade and one that will inspire us all to take into consideration the little life lessons that can be gleaned when watching A Christmas Carol or perhaps reading it this Christmas in a whole new life and light. Bob Welch reminds us that if there is mercy for Scrooge, there must be deliverance in equal measure for all us in this heartwarming book.
For example in the Lesson 6 "It's About More Than Christmas" we are given a quote at the beginning of each chapter from Charles Dicken's classic novel, A Christmas Carol, and in this case, "The only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely." ~ Scrooge's Nephew, Fred.
"When you think about it, it'd odd that the world selects a particular time of year when everyone is supposed to be nice to everyone else. The unspoken inference is that you should feel no particular responsibility toward others the rest of the year. Oh, sure, children might be told their Christmas cache is dependent on whether they've been naughty or nice all year long, but the overriding message is that this is a special season of kindness.
"Dickens was particularly fond of the Christmas season, and he expressed that fondness in A Christmas Carol through Bob and Fred, the latter of who makes an impassioned defense of Christmas: " a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their hearts freely." Hear! Hear! But shouldn't we amortize such spirit all year long instead of offering only a lump-sum payment come December? The point isn't to deride such others-oriented thinking, but to remind us all that that's how Scripture suggest we should live: All year long, 24/7. Every day. In good times and in bad times. In sickness and in health. Joyfully. With others in mind. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit," says Philippians 2:3. "Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." At Christmastime. and not at Christmastime. All the time." (except from Lesson 6, page 19-20).
I received 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol by Bob Welch compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This would make a great gift for anyone who loves Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol or simply looking for a great inspirational book for Christmas that they can reference any time. There is so many great quotes and life lessons that you can't help but want to review the book or movie once again and see it from a different perspective. This would even be a great resource to incorporate into small groups Bible Studies or for youth or church lessons as well. There is so many great aspects you can glean from this book and it makes for a perfect book to begin 52 days before Christmas to put you in the right frame of mind. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and has found a permanent home with my Christmas collection. ...more
Karen Kingsbury is one of the best authors I have come across and her books are quite literally life changing because they convey a situation no one wKaren Kingsbury is one of the best authors I have come across and her books are quite literally life changing because they convey a situation no one wants to truly deal with and puts the reader in the drivers seat to take the wheel. In her latest novel, Waiting for Morning, it is every wife and mother's dreaded nightmare no one wants to have to face. Hannah Ryan is waiting for her husband and daughters to arrive home from their weekend camping trip. It is one that the three have taken as a way of bringing summer to a close and embracing another school year ahead for the teens. Only this time it would be different as two police officers arrive to tell her that there has been a car accident and that she needs to come with them.
Brian Wesley has been trying to find a way out of the bottom of the bottle he runs to whenever his life gets out of hand. This is just another of those times. When he gets fired from his job as a mechanic due to trying to stay sober but falling behind in his workload. His boss even tells him that he worked better when he was drunk. Now Brian has to head home and tell his wife Carla that once again he's out of work. It wouldn't be too bad but with the birth of their newborn son, Carla had hoped that Brian might straighten himself out once and for all. She has given him an ultimatum this time, if he starts drinking again, she will leave him for good. He just can't go home without figuring a way out of the mess he has found himself in.
In a series of divine circumstances, their two worlds will intersect and forever alter their lives. He just never dreamed that he was too drunk to get behind the wheel of his truck and head home. He had done it more times than he could remember and he had hoped it would be just like all the others. His truck went through a traffic light and he plowed into the Explorer that was carrying Hannah's family. The initial impact would send their vehicle mid air and land wrapped around a phone pole. Brian of course would walk away from this but those in the vehicle would not be so lucky and for Hannah, her faith will be tested like never before when she learns the outcome of this accident. Will she be able to trust God no matter what happens? She just hopes that this is a really bad mistake and her family is just late coming home with a reasonable explanation.
I received Waiting for Morning by Karen Kingsbury compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is such an emotional and heart rendering but honest novel. I think we all hope one day that we will never have to face the challenges Hannah has to in this novel, but because it pulls on our emotional heartstrings we can't help but be invested in this story to see how it all plays out. I believe this is a must read to anyone who wonders where God is in the midst of any situation where the outcomes is less than what we have prayed for and conveys a sense of hope that readers can relate to. It doesn't all come wrapped up in a pretty bow with a happily ever after ending and that is what makes her books so genuine and in demand. For me this one easily garners a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. This is the first book in the Forever Faithful Series!...more
As a book lover, almost any time of the year is exceptional when you find a great novel, but by far for me, Christmas books are my favorite, especiallAs a book lover, almost any time of the year is exceptional when you find a great novel, but by far for me, Christmas books are my favorite, especially if they contain a great message behind them just perfect as we begin to roll into the holiday season. Traci Borum has written a truly inspirational and heartwarming book, Seeking the Star and one I can honestly highly recommend if you love Christmas books half as much as I do.
Late one winter's night a drifter collapses just outside the door of an elderly couple, George and Mary Cartwright, in the English Cotswold village of Chilton Crosse. They immediately take him in and nurse him back to health, not knowing why he's been out in the weather or what his story is. They fell that when he is ready he will open up, and for now set about making him feel welcome. They invite him to stay through the holidays as a winter storm approaches and soon learn that Ben has a past that he isn't ready to share just yet. He finds solace in working among the people in Chilton Crosse as a way of staying busy enough until it is time to move on, a journey of no destination and one he wishes he could find a sense of peace with.
As the days move forward, Ben soon begins to make small changes, first shaving his overgrown beard, then his hair and finds a confident in Mac MacDonald, a man of many talents. Ben begins to let down his guard with Mac and is able to share a few things with him while the two working on the nativity set for the town. He is that wise old sage that offers advice without needing to know the full story and can see that Ben is still working something out from his past.
As more time unfolds, Mary is able to get Ben to open up more as George shares the story of the death of their son Sheldon and how they are able to find peace without him being with them any longer. Mary tries to talk to Ben about God, but Ben has simply given up on the God he used to know. She explains that only through her faith in God have they found that peace to keep going in spite of their difficulties, but she knows she can't push him to reveal what he is trying so hard to forget. The only clue is a silver angel that Ben keeps close to him at all times.
I received Seeking the Star by Traci Borum compliments of Red Adept Publishing for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I can't imagine dealing with the things that Mary and Ben have had to face and still hold onto their faith, but I also know that without it, you are truly locked in a prison of your own making. My only hope after finishing this book is that Traci will create a sequel to tell us what the outcome of Ben's life will be. If not, I guess we can all dream up our own outcome to what happens next, but I believe that is what all readers want when they read such an exceptional and heartwarming story like this one. I've truly been blessed to read this one and now it's my turn to share it with you in hopes you'll pick this one up and add it to your Christmas collection. It has now found a permanent home in mine and thus a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. This is the third book in the Chilton Crosse series....more
WOW! Three simple letters that define how blown my mind is by Ted Dekker's latest novel. It quite literally goes beyond what the human mind can compreWOW! Three simple letters that define how blown my mind is by Ted Dekker's latest novel. It quite literally goes beyond what the human mind can comprehend or even begin to put into words. Perhaps the best part of this novel is the disclaimer that Ted offers to readers that this is a fictional novel written using various portions of Scripture from the Bible to transport readers back in time to a pivotal moment in history that has forever changed the world.
A.D.33 is the sequel to Dekker's previous novel A.D. 30 in which the queen of the desert known as Maviah finds herself questioning the very experience of Yeshua whom she encountered in the city of Petra. She now finds herself in great opposition in defending that very faith for the lives not only of the Bedouin people, but also the life of the orphan boy, Talya, she is raising since the death of her own child, at the hands of those that defy Yeshua and His teachings. As she attempts to reconcile the recent kidnapping of the love of her life, Judah, she finds she must search within herself and resolve the very identity she believes defines her and those around her.
As a woman in the culture of the Middle East, she carries as much weight as those considered outcasts by society. She struggles with knowing how to apply the power she has found in her faith in Yeshua, but like all of us, when pushed to the breaking point, realizes that her faith is much like that of seed scattered among the rocks, when adversity comes, it withers. As those she truly cares for and loves is brought under the tyranny of those in power, she wonders how those who follow Yeshua keep their faith. Not until she meets up with Him once again, does she realize that they will all follow away until they realize what Yeshua means to take up your cross and follow me. One by one as they follow Yeshua up to the point of being betrayed and crucified, the realization of all His teachings won't be understood until they accept His way over the way of the world.
I received A.D.33 by Ted Dekker compliments of Center Street Publishers, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest opinion. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review, aside from a free copy of this novel, and the opinions contained here are my honest and personal ones. There are simply so many great take aways from this novel I never understood til I walk through this with Maviah's character and truly felt the impact of Yeshua's wisdom from the Bible. For those of you looking for a wonderfully powerful biblical historical fictional novel, pick up not only this novel but A.D.30 as well to gain the full impact of Maviah's story of finding her faith and understanding it as never before. In my opinion, one of THE best novels of 2015 and well worth all 5 out of 5 stars. Well done Mr. Dekker, well done!...more
I love it when I read a novel in which the ending seems to be right in front of you. Like you have it all figured out before you get to the end how itI love it when I read a novel in which the ending seems to be right in front of you. Like you have it all figured out before you get to the end how it will all work out. Its the way of most novels. Then the rug gets completely pulled up from underneath it all and you're left wondering, "Well that is not how I thought it would work out." You find yourself debating whether or not it was a good book after all, but is that really what is going on, you're simply mad cause it didn't go the way you wanted. That is just what I got when I finished with Every Breath You Take from Travis Thrasher.
You can tell he simply loves music, because I find them scattered throughout his novels. I think my husband and him would be great friends. In this novel referenced quite a bit with The Police, Sting, and Cold Play, we find two soul mates that are no longer together despite the fact that they work in every way possible. Kayla Rowe, 26, has had enough. When she quits her high paying job in marketing on the whim of following whatever dreams she has, her friends think she has lost it. She simply tells them she can't waste another 5 to 10 years doing the same thing with the same results but no passion for what she is doing. It may have to do with the fact her boyfriend Ryan has proposed to her, and while she said yes, she can't help but remember the one man she gave her heart away to so many years ago. That man that she will always love. She just isn't sure if it is Billy Harris, the man she was once engaged to, or her father that she lost when she was 2.
All Kayla knows is that she has to make some hard decisions before her wedding and as much as she would love to talk to her mother, that isn't going to happen. Her mother walked out on them when she was born and never looked back. So she takes her conversations to her father's grave and wonders what he would say if he was alive. Their bond seems to transcend the spiritual. Thomas Rowe, Kayla's father has been well aware of what has been happening in her life from his seat in heaven and is suddenly provided with a unique opportunity to visit his daughter one final time. The catch is, he can't tell her that he is her father and he must help Kayla come to a decision of what is best for her despite being locked in a past she can't seem to fight free from.
I received Every Breath You Take by Travis Thrasher compliments of the author himself for my honest review. Aside from the free copy of this novel, I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are my own personal ones. I loved this story because as a parent, there is a bond that you have with your child that transcends human understanding and logic. Love simply does not end, because someone is no longer with you. It is the legacy that we take with us long after they have left. The bond between Kayla and her father, besides a passion for music and that unconditional love that simply accepts things as they are without trying to influence any chance. That comes across all the way through this novel even though the ending was not what I thought it would be. I applaud Travis for throwing that twist in. I would have done it as well even though I didn't like experiencing it on the other end from a reader's perspective instead of a writer's one. I get why it was done and love it. For me this one was a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. ...more
A small boy by the name of Peter is used to seeing his mommy pray in her special prayer room, and now he is searching to find his own special place toA small boy by the name of Peter is used to seeing his mommy pray in her special prayer room, and now he is searching to find his own special place to pray. You can help Peter begin his search in the delightful, beautifully illustrated hardcover children's book, Peter's Perfect Prayer Place from Stephen and Alex Kendrick, creators of the upcoming movie War Room.
Peter searches and wonders if his perfect place to pray, might be among the pots and pans. Is it up on his swing? Inside his tent? Where can God hear him the best? As Peter begins his hunt, he looks and looks but soon finds himself getting discouraged. But what he discovers is that the place that is the best is anyplace, God hears you no matter where you are. Peter finds help through the conversations he has with his mother and father, and children are encouraged to learn that no matter where you are, God is always ready to listen to your prayers.
Included in this book is a prayer poster and 4 pages of stickers that encourage your child to spend time talking to God, whether praying for their parents, helping them to be nice to their siblings, praying for people in other countries, to bless their best friend and a place for parents to write down their child's prayer. There are even stickers that say "God Answered" so your child can see how God answers those prayers and teaches them that prayer is the best weapon we have as Christians and that God does answer them, sometimes in ways we had expected and often in ways we didn't want.
I received Peter's Perfect Prayer Place by Alex and Stephen Kendrick compliments of B and H Kids Publishing Group and Icon Media Group for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review, aside from a free copy of the book, and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I loved the illustrations because as a child that is what appealed to me the most. As a child is learning to read, their memory will aid them as they look at the pictures to read the story back to you. To bonus of having a prayer poster is amazing because it highlights the importance of journaling our prayers so we can be encouraged when we pray and know God has answered them in the past. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars. ...more
Six very different people. Yet all had an encounter with one man who would change their lives forever. They would be the same in some aspects but vastSix very different people. Yet all had an encounter with one man who would change their lives forever. They would be the same in some aspects but vastly different because of that one encounter and in many cases a continued relationship as being friends of Jesus.
In the book, The Friends of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury, we get an up close and personal look at the very lives of six people who were forever changed in remarkable ways by those who encountered Jesus. From Simon, once a man of political power and influence, brought low and left abandoned by his family and friends when he became a leper. It was only through his faith in Jesus Christ, that would offer him a new life and a new faith. Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus, was one of Jesus' closest friends, who would have her own faith challenged and tested when her brother dies while waiting for Jesus. She learns what the meaning of belief truly is. Jarius, a man who had one of the highest places of authority in the council of the high priests. As they are making preparations to arrest Jesus, he learns his daughter is dying. He has to make a decision to be with his daughter during her final hours, or trust and hope that the Jesus they have been debating truly has the power to heal.
Mary Magdalene, is probably one of the most notable women from the Bible, aside from Mary, Jesus' mother. Hers was a life spent looking for answers in all the wrong places for happiness until she was seized by the power of seven demons. Her life would have remained an internal prison if not for the love and compassion from Jesus to dedicate the rest of her life to serving Him. Peter, the rock on whom Jesus would ultimately build His church upon is finding redemption and meaning to his life even after following Him for three years and would deny him three different times. For John, often called the one Jesus loved, learns how the first in the kingdom of God, will be the least and learn a life of what serving Jesus will truly mean.
I received The Friends of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review, outside of a free copy of this book and the opinions are my own personal. For anyone who loves a connection between the people who encountered Jesus in the Bible, you will absolutely love how Karen, deligates a separate chapter for each of these characters and how they seem to link together in the ways Jesus worked not only in their lives from an external perspective but a lasting internal one as well. For me the biggest eye opener was the statement from Gamaliel, one of the oldest Pharisees on deciding the fate of Jesus claimed, "Leave Jesus alone! Let Him go! For if His purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from the Father, you will not be able to stop Him. You will only find yourselves fighting against God." This is evident in the life of Christianity, it has never stopped, no matter what they threaten and the message is a timeless now as it was then. Well worth 5 out of 5 stars. Discussion questions are included at the end which would make for a great personal Bible study or for book clubs. ...more
In the novelization of Old Fashioned by Rene Gutteridge and based on the screenplay by Rik Swartzwelder, we follow the stories of Clay Walsh and AmberIn the novelization of Old Fashioned by Rene Gutteridge and based on the screenplay by Rik Swartzwelder, we follow the stories of Clay Walsh and Amber Hewson who have made some mistakes in their past which has moved them into their current situations on how they each view relationships from vastly different perspectives, in this case polar opposites. Clay was your stereotypical frat boy who found women were just part of the college experience and didn't care for feelings or emotions as he went through his experiences with women. Amber was severely abused physically, emotionally and mentally for not living up to the standards of the last guy she dated and now has a different view of what love looks like. Now they both are struggling to find something that works and in Clay's case a complete 180 degree of relationships when he forms boundaries that Amber sees as old fashioned in a contemporary world.
I received Old Fashioned the novelization by Rene Gutteridge compliments of Propeller LLC and Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review of these wonderful books. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review outside of a free copy of the book for my honest opinion. This is a must have for anyone considering dating, parenting and relationships from a Christian and biblical perspective. It offers an alternative to what the world would view offers society today and in keeping with the biblical and moral standards found in the Bible. For me, this was well worth all 5 out of 5 stars especially when parents are looking for an alternative way to keeping purity before marriage and a biblical view on relationships and courtship! Chivalry is definitely not dead!!...more
I can't imagine the pain of losing someone you love. Fortunately for me, I haven't had to deal with it, but watched many go through it. It's not easy,I can't imagine the pain of losing someone you love. Fortunately for me, I haven't had to deal with it, but watched many go through it. It's not easy, especially when they are your last connection to family, no more exist outside of them and when their gone, you're left all alone. That is what Summer Snow is facing after learning that her Granny is dying of congestive heart failure and only has about six months to live. She makes Summer to promise to take some time off from running her grandmother's bookstore and follow a small list of what she believes Summer gave up to take care of those she has loved in her life from her parents to her grandmother.
She knows it won't take long and has promised to do what she can to be around for Summer when she is finished, but is making no promises as God can call her home at anytime, but she promises to do whatever she can to help. The first item on her list is also one her grandmother requires she must involve in completing the remainder of the items on the list with, her childhood friend, Martin Langtree. She just isn't sure what his status will be like after being apart for twenty years, but after her grandmother tracks down his address she agrees to go and at least ask for his help. What could it hurt?
Yet she finds Martin, dealing with his own issues. His parents have gotten a divorce and departed ways separately leaving Martin and his two brothers Desmond and Ivan to live in their sprawling home with their inheritance but also never to contact them again. While Martin has attempted to live within his means, his two spoiled younger brothers felt the need to never change the lifestyle they were accustomed to, like country club memberships, servants, extravagant spending sprees on unnecessary items for the home and clothing, they come to a realization that all of Desmonds investments have gone horribly wrong and they now need Martin's help and his money or they risk selling their family home. What will they do now?
I received Summer's List by Anita Higman compliments of Litfuse Publicity and River North Publishing for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are my own. I love the idea that one of our childhood friends might just be the love of our life, we might have missed growing up simply because we weren't focused on finding love over friendship. Who hasn't had a person in their past that they wonder, what might have happened if things had worked out differently, where would they be now if they had! It's a way to live vicariously through the characters of Martin and Summer who tackle a wonderful list of things I myself might have to do before this life ends as well. Definitely one you want to make sure winds up on this summer's reading list. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars!...more
I don't think I've ever had such a profound feeling after reading a novel like I have after finishing Five Days in May by Ninie Hammon. You want to reI don't think I've ever had such a profound feeling after reading a novel like I have after finishing Five Days in May by Ninie Hammon. You want to remember that name because her books will have you remembering them long after you have finished and to me, that is a sign of a talented and memorable author. WOW! Was my initial thought after reading this novel. How can I possibly sum this up in a review without giving away too much but convey to people looking for an exceptional book to please pick this one up.
The only way to partially describe this book is among notable movies like The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. If you've watched either of them, it's not that the actors themselves are what makes the movie but the story being illustrated on the big screen. Five Days in May is precisely that while it remains in book format and I truly hope and pray that some worthwhile production company picks this up and really sees something it in and breathes life into it on the big screen. It's message is too small for television.
It's a story about sacrifice and how far you're willing to go to see that sacrifice through. It's a story about how the lives of Emily Prentiss, Reverend David "Mac" McIntosh, Jonas his father, and Joy his daughter would intersect in a way that would leave them all changed forever by their circumstances and what drew them together.
All four people have a date with destiny and what occurs on that warm Friday in May in 1963 can only be described as miraculous. Mac has been struggling as the town of Graham's pastor since the loss of his wife Melanie. While he watched cancer strip away the very life of the woman he loved, all his prayer to God seemed to go unanswered and he can no longer stand in front of a body of believers and talk to them about a God he no longer believes in. His 16-year-old daughter Joy is struggling to come to terms with no only her mother's death but has now discovered she is pregnant. Not something a preacher's kid ever wants to deal with in highschool and believes the only answer to her problem is to find a way to get rid of the baby growing inside her. But her father is certainly the last person she wants to talk to.
Jonas has watched Alzheimer's take away Maggie, the woman he agree to love and care for until death parted them. Most days she isn't the same woman he married and she doesn't even know who he is. She rambles on about events that aren't even a part of their life, and worse, she screams bitter profanities at him, while she struggles with a disease that has claimed her mind. Jonas knows there is only one way to fulfill his marriage vow and he will do what it takes so she doesn't have to suffer in her private nightmares any longer. Emily Prentiss or Princess awaits her coming execution in just 5 short days and all she knows is she must convince the pastor who is coming to meet with her, that she isn't crazy and she knows more than most people do about others through her visions. Will she be able to convince him that something wicked is coming to the town of Graham before it's too late for them all?
I received Five Days in May by Ninie Hammon compliments of the author herself. I actually came across her through Facebook posts about her incredible books. I knew that based on people comparing her with Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee and in my opinion Stephen King, I knew I had to read her novel. You always want to believe that the book will hold up to all the compliments but this one does that and so much more, I simply can't articulate it well enough. To say that it's well-written seems so shallow, because it takes you by the hand and never lets go until the end. You don't just read this novel, you become part of it. There is no religious elements in this story but to convey that there is an underlying theme of what it means to lay down one's life for another, the very same belief Christian share about the sacrifice of Jesus. That is what you will find in your own way in this novel I hope. For me, a home run with 5 out of 5 stars and I will be adding this author to my "MUST HAVE" list, because if this is a taste of what she brings to her books, I want them all!...more
When you take three very talented best-selling authors like Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert and Susan May Warren and have them collaborate on threeWhen you take three very talented best-selling authors like Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert and Susan May Warren and have them collaborate on three contemporary short romance stories and place them in one exception book, you have Chance at Loving You! This is such a beautiful collection of exceptional and heart-warming romance stories that offer the hope of redemption, the possibility of second chances and always following your heart despite the pain of the past. All of these stories do just that. This is a perfect book to pick up when you want a romance collection that will leaving you loving the stories and trying the recipes that concludes each one. Guaranteed to fill your heart and your stomach with love and culinary flavors!
Terri Blackstock takes the lead with For the Love of Money. Both Julie Sheffield, a waitress and Blake Adcock, an entrepreneur learn how difficult it can be to follow your dreams. Despite how much you might want them, God might have other ideas in mind when Blake loses everything but knows he can't stiff Julie and instead offers her an IOU along with half of a lottery ticket. Will they both win big or will money just cause more problems than either of them could possibly understand?
Candace Calvert whips up quite the delicious romance in The Recipe. Aimee Curran is about to see the reality of her dream of being a culinary winner of a vegan cooking contest when she realizes that the recipes of her mother's she had been relying on to help her win the contest, may have more to offer than the food she is trying to create and that might in fact save more than just the life of the seniors she works with. Is God cooking up something more than just food?
Finally Susan May Warren takes us for a spin with Hook, Line and Sinker which showcases Abigail Cushman and the man, Ross Springer she has always loved but never told him. Now they are faced off with a fishing challenge between their two ministry groups to see who can land the biggest catch over a three day trip. Will the odds be in her favor or does God have a bigger fish for her to catch in the process?
I received Chance of Loving You by Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert and Susan May Warren compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book for my review and the opinions are strictly my own. I simply can't wait to try each of the recipes that accompany these stories that will definitely stay with you long after you finish this romance collection. These are some of my favorite books because you truly get a taste of each of these best-selling authors all tucked into one sweet romance book. In this reader's heart, it definitely has earned a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. ...more
"We only have one chance to write the story of our lives, make yours a bestseller."
In the second novel to find its way into the Angels Walking Series,"We only have one chance to write the story of our lives, make yours a bestseller."
In the second novel to find its way into the Angels Walking Series, Chasing Sunsets from best selling author, Karen Kingsbury picks up right where Angels Walking left off. This series is about how heavenly angels are involved in what are called "Angels Walking" missions on earth, to help those they are assigned to defeat some evil circumstance or even move our characters along on the divine path God has laid out for them despite the odds against them from the enemy.
In this case Jag and Aspyn are chosen because they work well together and this is one of the more challenging missions to deal with. The fate of the future rests in the hands of events playing out perfectly but even they don't know what God's finally outcome will be in this situation and Jag feels personally responsible since his last mission didn't work out like he'd plan and the human, Terremce Williams had lost his life when Jag couldn't see through some of the details leaving his son without his father and the only memory was watching his father die.
Now this time, gang violence is sweeping the inner cities of Los Angeles despite all the attempts from Dodgers pitcher, Marcus Dillinger who wants to provide an outlet for the inner city youth over the gangs, the WestKnights and the EastTown Boys. With the rise in gang related killings Marcus doesn't realize there is a contract on his life for an up and coming gang leader Dwayne Davis. His girlfriend sixteen-year-old Lexy is looking for someone to protect and care for her and right now, despite how she feels, that person is Dwayne. She doesn't understand why he didn't settle on killing three EastTown gang members instead of Marcus, but she'll support him nonetheless. Its the only life she's ever known.
For Mary Catherine, she is coming to terms with her latest report from her cardiologist who has informed her that her heart has become enlarged and she needs to curb her adrenaline laced past times or wind up with a less than full life. All Mary Catherine knows is God is the only person in control of the number of her days and if she only has a few short years left, she wants to live life to the fullest. This is the very reason why she can't fall in love, because she doesn't want to have someone fall in love with her and to lose her before they have lived a rich life. Jag and Aspyn definitely have their work cut out for them and for now, they will need all the prayers they can find to make this mission a success.
I received Chasing Sunsets by Karen Kingsbury, compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is such an exceptional series that I have looked forward to with the introduction of each new book. I was completely smitten with the first novel Angels Walking and Chasing Sunsets is such a beautiful follow up that you can help but want to pray along for the characters that are struggling with the many obstacles life throws there way. Karen doesn't rush through this one and know at the conclusion of the novel, there is more to tell to the stories of the characters you meet in this one. I can't wait for the third novel much like the season finales of your favorite shows. The spiritual supernatural element is not overwhelming much like a true angels presence is, more behind the scenes carefully orchestrating things. You see how limited their powers are and that is what makes this such a endearing series. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and there's even a special angelic encounter of Karen's she shares at the conclusion of this one. ...more
Sometimes the best books are ones that contained a bunch of short stories geared for specific holidays. When I was asked to review Easter Stories: Cla Sometimes the best books are ones that contained a bunch of short stories geared for specific holidays. When I was asked to review Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season, by various authors I knew this would be something that would help get me in the mood for Easter. I had read a similar book from Plough Publishing House during Christmas and hoped this would be along the same lines.
While there are some notable authors like C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Goudge, and many others, that were selected for their spiritual value and literary quality. While most of them do meet those standards there were a couple that I would not be able to read to a young child based on the language used to describe why a donkey has long ears. It would be one I would have to pass on sharing with my children or simply remove that part of the story that tells why a Robin has a red breast.
For the majority of the book there are some great stories that I had never read before that capture the true essence of what Easter is supposed to be about without all the world's hype on Easter bunnies, marshmallow peeps, basket hunting and egg dying. These stories capture the meaning of the sacrifice that Jesus made when he came here as Savior to the world and how it changed how we treat one another. All the stories in this book are not 100% religious in their content but do tell fables that encourage us to change how we perceive and treat people today with kindness and hospitality. This book could be used for any purpose besides Easter and for those that are looking for a great book that captures some of those older stories from notable authors, you might just want to pick this one up.
I received Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season compliments of Plough Publishing House and FlyBy Promotions for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. One of my favorite stories was from Leo Tolstoy, Two Old Men. It is about two older men who decide it might be the perfect time to take a trip to Jerusalem before they get too old to go. Along the way they become separated but what each learns truly is life changing for them both. There are 27 incredible stories to chose from in this book. For me this one rated a 4 out of 5 stars due to the fact that not all the stories I read would NOT be suitable for all ages in my opinion....more
I can honestly saw without a doubt that Stephanie Landsem is one of the finest biblical fictional authors I've read to date. Her ability to take the wI can honestly saw without a doubt that Stephanie Landsem is one of the finest biblical fictional authors I've read to date. Her ability to take the well known Bible stories that are masked in so much unknown and breath such life into them, you'd swear that they were a part of the Bible. The elements that she utilizes to create the back story for such well loved characters in her previous novels in the Living Waters Series, such as "the thief on the cross," the Samaritan woman at the well," and now the beloved character so many women can relate to, Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary.
In her latest novel, The Tomb, is the third novel in the Living Water series. Trust me when I say, if you love those well known stories from the Bible, you will want to pick up this entire series. Before the story opens, the readers are in for an explanation by Stephanie Landsem about how these stories evolve and one I had never really considered, until I got the "A-ha" moment hit over my own head. In The Tomb: A Novel of Martha, is not her attempt to recount the historical events that took place in Bethany two thousand years ago. Instead, it is a re-imagining of how Martha, a woman who was "anxious and worried about many things," might have been transformed into the faith-filled woman of John 11:22, who said to Jesus - as her brother lay in his tomb - "Even know I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you."
Another author Jill Eileen Smith,in her praise for the Tomb, captured the essence of this entire Living Water series when she adds, "Often when we read the biblical story, we don't stop to think about who these people were, what they thought, how they lived - especially when we are unfamiliar with the culture of the day. The Tomb gives us a rich glimpse into that culture and into the lives of these characters: their hopes, their joys, their fears. You will never see Martha quite the same way again."
That is precisely what the reader will glean from this inside look into what really made Martha, the beloved character from the Bible, the proverbial worrier, the woman who never stopped and was always busy working hard to make sure everything was perfect, couldn't see where all her efforts were truly going. I had never really considered what her story might be. The Bible doesn't speak of their parents and with Martha being the oldest, one might assume that all the household responsibilities of raising her younger brother and sister would fall naturally to her. Thoughts of her own future would pale with making sure everything else would be addressed before her own needs were considered.
This translates so beautifully in this novel and it truly saddens me every single time, that the novels are over too soon. I feel like I have truly been given a look into the lives of characters of the Bible I had never considered before until I have finished another one of Stephanie's novels. Her introductions to other secondary characters is woven so seamlessly you often find yourself asking if you missed connecting those pieces together when you read the Bible so many times before. From the demon possessed man, to the plots against Jesus by the Sanhedrin, the story is breath-taking, magical, and one I know I will read again and again. These novels are so rich in detail, you can't put them down. You simply won't want to. So be sure to set aside time to take a virtual vacation back to the time of Christ and see for yourself one of the most unforgettable miracles from the Bible as you read, The Tomb.
I received The Tomb: A Novel of Martha by Stephanie Landsem compliments of Howard Books for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. Such a beautiful novel that captures the demon possessed man, Simon the leper, Martha, Mary and Lazarus, as well as the saving grace that can only come from time spent with Jesus Christ as you witness first hand these events as though you are part of the action and not just reading a novel. This is one of those novels when you read it, you want to tell every single person about it, so they can enjoy it as much as you have. My only hope, is that like most series, it doesn't end at the third one and Stephanie has plans for another one, fingers crossed!!! Hands down, a well deserved standing ovation and worth every one of the five out of five stars. ...more
It would come as no surprise to people who know me to know that I've always wanted to open a coffee shop/book store. Just for the main reason that I aIt would come as no surprise to people who know me to know that I've always wanted to open a coffee shop/book store. Just for the main reason that I absolutely think the two go perfectly together. I absolutely LOVED having the opportunity to review Max Lucado's latest novel, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, a Heavenly Novel. It's a bit like a more contemporary It's A Wonderful Life story tucked between the pages, and it's one without a doubt you will fall absolutely in love with.
Chelsea Chambers is on the brink of making quite a few decisions that will impact not only her future, but the future of her two children as well. Finding out her NFL super star husband Sawyer was unfaithful pretty much impacts her on a personal level. Her kids only want to be reunited again, despite the fact their dad made a mistake and wants a second chance. But Chelsea isn't about to fall for his lines like she did when she married him the first time, despite what her kids want.
Her financial world is rocked when she learns that the coffee shop, Higher Grounds, she inherited from her grandmother, owes back taxes she can't even afford. Even with payments, the amount of business the coffee shop brings in is a far cry from what she will need. The last thing she truly wants to do is sell it. Trying to get money from her soon-to-be-ex-husband Sawyer is not possible since his get rich quick schemes and the affluent life style the NFL provided him has left him with nothing and he cleaned out what remaining savings they both had. Chelsea has nothing to fall back on but a prayer that God will help.
That's when Manny shows up to help, an angel who has been sent on an answer to prayer to help fix the problems in Chelsea's life. Yet the only way to truly shake things up is to bring the coffee shop into the 20th century and that includes internet. But the only website, customers are able to log into while at the cafe is provided by an unnamed company who offers a router and service to try for three months without any obligation. It seems that God has gotten his own blog in which He alone will answer any one question that you might have. Is it real or simply a gimmick to help get Higher Grounds out of debt? You definitely want to pick this one up and see how it all turns out.
I received Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is one of my favorite novels from Max Lucado and hope he plans on extending this into a series. I love the many inspirational ideas that stem from what happens when the entire community is involved including the local pastor. People will soon realize that God is a lot more concerned about the little things going on in their lives than the answer to a bigger prayer they might have in mind. This would make a wonderful Hallmark Channel movie and hope that this is not the last of these novels from Max Lucado. I'd rate this one an unbelievable 5 out of 5 stars and a Reader's Discussion Questions are included at the conclusion of this novel. ...more
Looking for an exceptional Christmas novel that surpasses your expectations of being more than just a story you read but one that might just change yoLooking for an exceptional Christmas novel that surpasses your expectations of being more than just a story you read but one that might just change your life? You might want to snuggle up to Steven Manchester's latest novella, The Thursday Night Club: A Tale of Christmas Spirit. At just around 152 pages, this one can only be found at this time as an eBook, but is one you certainly don't want to miss.
The Thursday Night Club is a group of five college students who get together every Thursday Night for dinner, games and just being with one another. It has evolved over time to a betting challenge between the guys, Randy, Kevin and Jesse to see who could out prank the others for a simple wager of .25 each. The winner would take all! Something you could see a group of college guys doing.
Only when the challenge takes an unexpected turn with the sudden loss of Jesse, the group can't seem to find a way to deal with the grief that they are experiencing and that fact that Thursday nights will never be the same without him. Jesse it turns out found better uses for his time than arranging pranks on his friends, he found that simple acts of random kindness went a whole lot further than people believe, even outlasting their own life.
The group of four friends decide to honor Jesse's memory and each of them antes up for the standard bet of .25 each in an effort to see who could do the most charitable act without being recognized for their efforts. The winner would be selected by one of their college teacher's who would be the only one privy to what they were up to. Randy, Kevin, Izzy and Ava all spend the next few weeks coming up with charitable ways to honor Jesse's memory. What they don't realize in all of their efforts is that there will be no real loser, even though someone would eventually win the $1 pot they all contributed to. In fact, they're changed so much that each of them decides to keep the efforts going, not just for the bet, but for the sake of leaving a real legacy behind that will outlast their own lives.
I received The Thursday Night Club by Steven Manchester compliments of the author and The Story Plant Publishers for my honest review. Besides receiving a downloaded copy of the book, I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is one you really want to pick up to add to your digital library and one that I could see being incorporated into your own version of a Thursday Night Club much like the characters in Steven's novella did. This one is heart-warming, charming and gives you so much more than a short and sweet story, it is the real meaning behind the Christmas spirit, to love one another in ways that people could never repay, but in hopes that they will pay it forward in their own way. For me, this one easily garners a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. ...more
Heaven is a very real place. As believers, we have the hope and faith of believing that when this life ends, our eternal one ends. Dann A. Stouten inHeaven is a very real place. As believers, we have the hope and faith of believing that when this life ends, our eternal one ends. Dann A. Stouten in his debut novel shares one such experience of Schuyler Hunt, who takes a journey one afternoon while his wife and daughters head out for a all-girls shopping trip to inquire about a cottage for sale. This cottage reminds him of the one from his childhood and might just be the perfect thing to consider making a purchase on to help his own family share in his favorite times at the lake!
Sky needs this time alone not only to reflect on his favorite times at the cottage, but also to get away from the stress of always coming to the aid of her younger brother Ben. It always seems like Sky has bailed Ben out of one financial mess after another and this time is no exception. Ben has overspent on the line of credit the bank has extended on the used car lot his brother now manages. Instead of immediately coming to his rescue again, he simply needs to take some time to consider just what to do, and another perfect reason for this trip.
Only when he arrives, he gets more than he bargained for when he arrives at the entrance of the property in a rain storm and gets his car stuck in the mud. Knowing it's late, he decides to sleep in the car until morning. When he arrives at the real estate office, he meets Michael DeAngelo who tells Sky, they have been expecting him. Sky figures his wife has made these arrangements and thinks nothing of his comment. He is escorted into the cottage, where he meets Ahbee who makes him an amazing breakfast. Ahbee tells him that he is about to get a true taste of heaven, but doesn't understand all the implications just yet. He thinks Ahbee is taking about the home made cinnamon rolls he made for breakfast. Sky thinks he truly has gotten away from all the cares of home and is now in God's country. Ahbee tells him that he is and he will be learning quite a few things during his stay at the cottage, but whether he stays or not is his choice.
What Sky is about to encounter will truly be a heavenly experience as he enters Angel's Gate and spends some time at the cottage reflects on God's interaction in his life and the people who have moved on to heaven are now given a rare moment in time to share something that God wants each of them to pass along to Sky in his quest for answers to the problems in his life. There are so many great and inspirational quotes it is too hard to list them all here, but trust me, once you pick this one up, you will also find yourself on your own journey into a small slice of heaven!
This novel reminded me so much of Mitch Albom's One More Day in which the main character Sky finds himself in heaven where he gets to visit with those who have died for a day. His mother, grandparents, friends and mentors all share a bit of heavenly wisdom along with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to encourage and inspire Sky to become a much better person with the time he has left on earth. He remembers that "time is an unrenewable resource that should never be wasted," and spends the "time" he is here learning from those who have gone before them. This is such a wonderful novel that gives us all a glance into what heaven might be like and cause us to live our lives with the time we have left on earth, with more passion, purpose and love. I'd rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. ...more
I've been a huge fan of anything written by Ted Dekker. In fact, there hasn't been anything I've read that I haven't loved. Now whenever I get a requeI've been a huge fan of anything written by Ted Dekker. In fact, there hasn't been anything I've read that I haven't loved. Now whenever I get a request to review any novels from him, I don't even have to read the synopsis because I am already so excited to get my hands on another of his exciting series. His latest novel A.D. 30, was inspired by his wife, whom he references as Maviah, the main character in this novel. She has to utilize all her strength going beyond what she feels and pulls from an invisible source to deal with what life hands her throughout this novel.
But it wasn't so much the story that captivated me as much as Ted's chapter "My Journey into A.D. 30" at the beginning of the novel that really hit home for me as a believer. I too have struggled in my life as a believer so many times, when adversity hits home and we struggle to find that strength in Christ to measure up and move forward often times failing worse than a non believer might. It's a brutal honesty of his heart that resounded with me and made me want to venture into my own personal search in reading this novel. "What about you? You're saved in the next life as a matter of sound doctrine, but do you often feel powerless and lost in this life? Without a doubt, the answer for me and I am sure plenty of other readers will be a huge "Yes!"
Ted references Jesus in this novel as Yesua, the name He was called in His day. He takes readers into the search through this novel to discover "His Way through the lens of a foreigner - a Bedouin women who is cast out of her lofty position in the deep Arabian desert by terrible tragedy. Her epic, unnerving journey forces her to the land of Israel, where she encounters the radical teachings of Yeshua, which once again turn the world upside down." (5). As the alliances in which Maviah's people has broken down and betrayal runs rampant, she is the last hope, much like Esther was to her own people, to find salvation and restoration in meeting with Herod to broker an agreement that might save her father as well as her town of Dumah.
Along the way, her loyalty will be tested, her beliefs in the gods of Ancient Egypt will be questioned, and the faith and unconditional love she finds when she encounters Yeshua is bound to affect you in a remarkable way. It truly is a story of sacrifice for those you love and how far you might be willing to go, what the costs of revenge truly are, and how we can find strength in the midst of the darkest places in our life. Now I can't wait for the next novel A.D. 33 to come out. What an amazing novel that will impact you long after you finish the final page.
I received A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker compliments of Shelton Interactive and Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups, for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. I absolutely love the richness of the details in this novel. I actually felt like I was part of Maviah's small caravan as she and her companions headed out across the desert oasis relying on the stars and the sand to help navigate the way to Sepphoris to reach King Herod before she is hunted down by the Thamud who are trying to stop her. It truly allowed me as a believer to experience the Way of Jesus as I never had until reading this novel. I love the interaction between Yeshua and Maviah and how she conveys how He literally saw not only her but through her to the deepest places of pain in her life, much as I would expect Yeshua would if we encountered Him. Well done again Ted Dekker, and now I wait anxiously for A.D. 33 in anticipation!!! Hands down a 5 out of 5 star novel!...more
Just when Charlotte Taylor thinks her life is perfect, she is in for a rude awakening. Just as she had assured her grandmother that things were finallJust when Charlotte Taylor thinks her life is perfect, she is in for a rude awakening. Just as she had assured her grandmother that things were finally settling down at her job and her financial future looked secure, her grandmother wasn't as sure as Charlotte was. Now that her grandmother had passed away leaving her an inheritance she wasn't supposed to use for anything but for fulfilling her dreams and having fun, Charlotte learns she is about to laid off. Seems like her grandmother had insight into her future she didn't even though the signs were right in front of her.
So Charlotte decides that she will take her grandmother's advice and follow her dream even if most in her situation wouldn't recommend what she is about to take on. Buying a cottage she has dreamed of owning and renovating it the way she envisioned. She knows it will only be a matter of time, before one of her resumes lands her another job and she has the time invest in completing the project right now. Following her heart, she buys the small cottage in Gordon Falls but soon realizes that it will need more work than she thought.
Jesse Sykes is just two months away from saving enough money to buy the cottage he knows he can easily renovate and turn it around to make a tidy profit. Just what he needs to launch his own company and begin to buy and flip even more properties in the future. His parents, despite their best intentions, have never seemed to offer Jesse much encouragement in career as a volunteer firefighter. They don't understand why he would put his life on the line without getting any monetary compensation to do it. He's hoping that if he can purchase this cottage, he might be well on his way to proving them that he can make something of his life.
Only he didn't plan on someone beating him to it. When he learns that Charlotte has purchased "his" cottage, he is less than thrilled. But since she is friends with the Chief's wife, he knows that he can at least ensure she isn't taken advantage of in the repair costs to renovate it. It will at least be something he can profit from since he can do the work and perhaps build up his own nest egg to buy another property later. Only what he doesn't plan on is falling for Charlotte in the process. Will he be able to keep a professional distance from her or will God have something bigger in mind for her in the future.
I received Saved by a Fireman by Allie Pleiter compliments of Harlequin Love Inspired Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. The Love Inspired division of Harlequin Romance is such an way to read a wonderful romance with the values you'd come to expect in a Christian Romance novel. These are small enough to fit in your purse to read anywhere you find the time, and feel like you've read a much larger novel in the process. I love the idea of a dream renovation and romance all in one, especially with a fireman who can cook a wonderful meal including dessert!! I highly recommend and can rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars. ...more
I can't imagine a more challenging Christmas than the one 15-year-old Hannah Robertson is finding herself facing. Managing a full schedule as a freshmI can't imagine a more challenging Christmas than the one 15-year-old Hannah Robertson is finding herself facing. Managing a full schedule as a freshman in high school would be difficult enough, but her parents are beyond busy serving as the ambassadors in Sweden. The one thing Hannah has been able to count on is that her parents have always managed to be home for Christmas. Even though most of the time, they are busy with political meetings and dinner plans, it was still nice to be able to spend time with them. But this is not what is going to happen this year. The email response from her mother was simply that they could not find the time to make it home this year. They hope she understands. Hannah's response? "Fine, Mother. How completely understandable that my parents would choose parties in Sweden over Christmas with me. Love you, too."
When her mother received Hannah's email response she found herself feeling a bit guilty believing that Hannah had come to accept the busyness of how involved they were in Sweden and had hoped she might be relived not to have to attend all those parties and gathering if her parents had come home. Guess not after all. The one thing her mother believed might just help was if she finally came clean with the truth about Hannah's real father. That her biological father was not the man she married, but the man she left when Hannah was four. She had hoped to tell her when she turned eighteen, but now might be the perfect time to tell her. So she packaged up a few photos of Mike Connor, Hannah's real father, a pair of pilot wings and shipped off a letter she had hoped would explain her decision to walk away from him 11 years ago.
To Hannah, realizing that Jack was not her real father explained how he acted around her and filled in all the missing holes in Hannah's heart. She dreamed of the man who had read to her, played with her and one she fondly loved and now she had to find a way to find him against all odds based on what little information she had. The man she was looking for was serving in Iraq and had been searching for her all his life. Now all they needed was the perfect Christmas miracle.
I received Hannah's Hope by Karen Kingsbury as a free copy for my honest review compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I've been a huge fan of Karen Kingsbury's novels since my very first one. She gets right to the heart of the reader's emotions and inspires such a feeling of hope and love, you find yourself smiling as you finish each book. It makes you want to be a better person and inside changes your heart. Included in this book at the conclusion are a list of projects you can involve yourself with to help our service men and women serving our country this Christmas which evokes the meaning behind this series of books. This is the fourth book in the Red Glove Series and can be read in any order or as a stand alone. What a perfect gift to give someone this year for Christmas and one I rate a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. ...more
For those of you that have ever loved so much at one time but had to watch that time in your life slip by, there is hope that you will one day find itFor those of you that have ever loved so much at one time but had to watch that time in your life slip by, there is hope that you will one day find it again. Best-selling author Karen Kingsbury takes readers into the hearts of Maggie and Jordan Wright who are finding themselves trying to find a way to get through the death of her husband and Jordan's father due to a sudden heart attack. Jordan is dealing with it much harder as an eight-year-old boy who was loved dearly by his father, but the love Maggie shared with him was simply a business transaction in the marriage. She only had that perfect love once in her life as a young girl searching for answers and finding it on the shores of a lake one summer.
Maggie has since resolved to give up on love forever and find a way to move forward in her life as a busy district attorney. But she can see that Jordan needs more time than she can find to give him. His grades are suffering and he has now taken his problems directly to God in a letter. Knowing his mother always has the right answers, Jordan believes that his special prayer for a new daddy must be written out and mailed by his mother. He knows beyond a doubt that God will hear him and answer his prayers.
Casey Cummins understands that level of grief that Maggie and Jordan are feeling. He too, lost his wife Amy and his unborn son due to delivery complications. He knew that he would never find a love like that again, but there is still an empty place in his heart for helping others. He learns about Healing Hearts, a program that places grieving children with single adults as a way of helping them through their struggles and that feels like the perfect answer for managing his own grief. Now he prays that God will provide him with just the right child for him and hopes he won't have to wait too long.
I received Maggie's Miracle by Karen Kingsbury compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions here are strictly my own. This is the second book in the Red Glove Series and is bound to ignite a spirit of love and hope in your heart this Christmas season. It is about believing not only in miracles but the power of prayer to restore those broken places in our hearts and find hope once again. There is also a list of activities to inspire you to incorporate them into your Christmas season and give back some hope and love to those that are hurting. I love the idea of reading this book a chapter a day starting at Thanksgiving as a way of encouraging and inspiring us all to be better people. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. While these are part of a series, they can be read as a stand alone and in any order. ...more
Karen Kingsbury's inspiration for writing The Red Glove Series was based on what she saw modeled by her father, how on one Thanksgiving, he loaded upKaren Kingsbury's inspiration for writing The Red Glove Series was based on what she saw modeled by her father, how on one Thanksgiving, he loaded up a plate of leftovers and headed out to find the first person in need and pass the plate of food on to them. It would create such a lasting impression of the very nature of what God implied when He asked us to care for those in need, those that are hurting and ones we can lessen the burden for in unremarkable ways. Gideon's Gift begins the series and shares with us the store of how one little eight-year-old girl named Gideon who was struggling with finding a Christmas miracle in light of hoping her leukemia this year might go into remission.
She truly believes in the message she has heard that Christmas miracles come to those who believe. As she and her father, Brian Mercer made their way to the hospital, they stopped like they always did while waiting for the blood tests and shared in a rare conversation, "What is their own idea of the perfect Christmas?" Little did Gideon know how God was listening to one girl's request to have the perfect Christmas just once, one that would blow the doors off any ordinary miracle and one that would change not only her life, but the lives of the people she would touch this year.
Earl Badgett had hoped that all his years of living on the streets might one day take his life, but it looks like this is not going to be that day. As he makes his way into the local mission to get a hot meal, he holds on to the only hope that keeps his heart from growing cold. A single pair of red gloves hand-knitted by his wife Anne, two years ago for his Christmas present. It was almost two years to the date when he would once again find himself remembering that fateful night that claimed the life of his wife and daughter and would also claim any remnant of the Earl that once loved them. Now he spends his days and nights hoping this will be the night that he will join them in heaven, but one encounter with Gideon at the mission will change them both forever and show how powerful prayer can truly be to those who believe in God.
I received Gideon's Gift by Karen Kingsbury compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is such an amazing inspirational novel that would make a great Christmas gift that you can read together as a family, a chapter each night, to gain a true meaning of God's power and that of prayer. How God can change a hardened heart and show the amazing power of sacrificial love for another. There is even a section at the conclusion of the book that shares ways you can extend the gift of service to others this Christmas. I can highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something to stir the real reason behind Christmas and put you in the perfect Christmas Spirit and easily give it a 5 out of 5 stars!...more
"At any given second, somewhere in this grand old world of His, someone kneels beside a bed, or a couch, or inside a mildewed cardboard box underneath"At any given second, somewhere in this grand old world of His, someone kneels beside a bed, or a couch, or inside a mildewed cardboard box underneath some remote highway overpass, and asks, 'God, do miracles exist?'
And not just on Thursday afternoon."
I love it when you pick up a book that changes your life for the better. One that you will never let be far from arms reach, so when you feel life is slowly unraveling beyond your reach, you can grasp it with both hands and never let it go.
The James Miracle from best selling author Jason F. Wright is that book for me. Short, sweet and too the point, their is something so powerful and moving tucked between the covers of this book, you feel like you've been given a secret. One that is whispered in the quiet as you read the words on the pages, and ones you know will stay with you long after you close the book.
Sam and Holly Foster are that couple that you would see and know that without a doubt they had each found their soul mate and was inevitable that they would meet and have that ideal marriage we all dream about. Sam was the one who his father claimed "could sell sand at a desert flea market."He was someone so committed to work harder than those around him, and he knew he would find a way to provide for his family, a talent he simply called, "The Sam Show." Holly Foster would be the one woman in Sam's life that would prove to be the exception to every rule Sam would ever establish.
Sam learned from sage advice from his father that life's miracles happen when you least expect them. "He said it wasn't the well-planned, made-for-television moments that change and define us but instead our destiny is determined by how we choose to weave into our lives the random, unexpected happenings on seemingly normal Thursday afternoons. 'Be prepared for chance, change and miracles.' He said that miracles would come in a thousand and one different packages and some would feel better on your soul than others. Sadly Sam's father dies before Sam could truly appreciate his wisdom. Sam's father in his mind was a true genius."(pg 2) Now those hard learned lessons will come to test Sam and Holly in a way they never expected and would change their lives forever.
I received The James Miracle by Jason F. Wright compliments of Shadow Mountain Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are my own except where notated. This is a book you will need to read more than once because each time you do, you discover something you didn't see before. You will discover that miracles happen when you least expect them; that miracles can be granted by strangers; that if you can't see miracles, perhaps you're looking in the wrong direction and will prepare our hearts to say, 'Father, what is thy will?" This is easily a book that you will not only read in a single sitting, but will undoubtedly read again and again. There is a pure hope that comes from this story and I can't wait to find even more books by Jason F. Wright to add to this one in my permanent library. This one by far is worth 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. ...more
I really hated this novel this end, but no matter how long I took to read it, the end was inevitable. After I finished each story, I wanted so desperaI really hated this novel this end, but no matter how long I took to read it, the end was inevitable. After I finished each story, I wanted so desperately to see a screenwriter take this to some big production company and make this one into a movie that I could only compare to It's A Wonderful Life if it were to make it on the big screen. Oh how I wish I had the money because I firmly believe we all need something like the stories tucked between the pages of the novel Where Treetops Glisten, a collaboration of three of the finest World War II authors I've ever read. Each of them as a stand alone author is truly a best selling author in their own right, but when you couple such talent, you are bound to capture something that truly transcends the ability to capture it all in words. I only hope I can do it justice as a book reviewer.
For anyone who loves WWII and romance set amid the backdrop of Christmas, then you will LOVE this collection. Each of the authors have agreed to take the children of the Turner family, one that lives in the small town of Lafayette, Indiana each set to one of three Christmas songs that were written or became popular during the war. They are each uniquely different but connected so that you can transition from one family members lives as they each share their story.
In White Christmas, Cara Putman showcases her talent with Abigail Turner, who is a recent widow trying to move forward in her life without her husband working for Glantz Candies, famous for their candy canes. She isn't looking for love and is trying to figure out where God is in her life. She meets a stranger on a bus one night and can see he is carrying some great burden on his shoulders even though he meets her eyes with a smile. She knows that helping others is the perfect way to get rid of the loneliness during Christmas and takes your mind off your own troubles. Is he the answer to her prayer?
I'll Be Home For Christmas by Sarah Sundin, was my favorite of the three because it felt like A Miracle on 34th Street with a WWII setting. Pete Turner, Abigail's brother, is on furlough for a month to celebrate Christmas with his family before heading back into service flight planes. He finds a lonely little girl, Linnie, standing outside a store window without her mother, and offers to help her find her way home after she explains she has wandered off, yet again. He wasn't planning on her mother being Grace Kessler, the little girl he used to bully when he was younger and by the look on Grace's face when she sees him, she has no plans on forgiving him even though he managed to bring her daughter home.
Finally Tricia Goyer takes a spin at Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Meredith or Merry Turner who has taken up training as a combat nurse in the Netherlands. She had hoped that she can find a way to mend her broken heart while patching up the wounded servicemen instead. But she can't help but wonder how she missed all the signs that pointed to the man she loved was a German spy. How can God redeem her broken heart while trying to mend the soldiers injured in war to send them home for the holidays?
I received Where Treetops Glisten by Cara Putman, Tricia Goyer and Sarah Sundin compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I know I will be rereading this one again as I sit back during the Christmas holiday and reminisce about WWII where so many men and women gave their lives as they continue to do so currently for the freedom and peace we all enjoy in countries far from home. The messages that can be found in each of these stories is about hope and love in the midst of adversity and I think Tricia Goyer summed it up the best with these words, "The thing about love is that it's slow to fade. It's not a bad thing. Love is meant to last." (pg 289). You can definitely tell the authors worked hard to keep their stories separate but connected in a way that truly defines who Abigail, Pete and Merry Turner are and the love they share with not only their family but with others around them. That is the true meaning behind Christmas is that love is meant to last just like Christ's love for us is eternal. Hands down a true 5 out of 5 stars and the perfect gift for the romantic or service men or women in your life for Christmas!...more
Well all hope that when we walk this path called life, that adversity will somehow overlook us, that it will happen to the "other" guy and not us. We'Well all hope that when we walk this path called life, that adversity will somehow overlook us, that it will happen to the "other" guy and not us. We'd prefer it that way but so often it does happen to us and begs us to ask the question, now that this has happened, how will we manage? Will it change the course of our lives so much that we don't move forward, that we forget how to live without that title, that salary, that marriage, that family any longer. What truly defines who we are inside? Certainly not our circumstances as one man is about to find out.
In the latest novel from Charles Martin, A Life Intercepted, takes us through the struggle and adversity of what happens to the rising football star Matthew "the Rocket" Rising. He was the greatest thing to ever happen to Gardi, Georgia. From his high school career as quarterback it was as perfectly scripted as you would hope a life as a quarterback would be. The back to back wins throughout his years in high school, back to back wins subsequently in college, and the hope of a future with his wife and high school sweetheart Audrey. He was much different than all the other football heroes because he refused to take any personal credit for the teams wins, instead emphasizing that it takes an entire team and not just one man.
That was what set him apart from everyone else. He had his heart and mind in the right places and not just on his skills as a football player. Even his wife supported his game from the humble beginnings to the cusp of success. But just before he got to the top of his future game, just when it looks like all his dreams would come true, the lights would be turned out and his life would take a turn he never saw coming and all those who truly believed in Matt's character would begin to doubt they ever knew him at all. Now the only thing facing him would be 12 years behind bars at prison for a crime he didn't remember committing and one that would change how the world would forever label him including his wife Audrey. This is Matthew's story of what happened and how he would attempt the come back of his life.
I received A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest opinion. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions in this review are strictly my own. I've been a huge fan of Charles Martin's novels because they truly cut to the core of who we are as humans and this is no exception as he begins to strip away Matthew Rising from his humble beginnings to his pinnacle of success. What dedication he has to encourage and motivate his fellow teammates and to showcase the true unconditional love he has for his wife Audrey. I couldn't imagine how painful this was for her and even his close friends. This is a fictional novel but based on the Author's Notes at the end, shows the true inspiration of this idea for the novel. It truly shows the power of forgiveness and creates an inspiration for those areas in our own life where we might need to exercise forgiveness and just what it really means for us. For fans of football fiction with a side of romance thrown in for good measure or if you are just a fan of Charles Martins' novels, definitely pick this one up. I would rate it a 4 out of 5 stars. ...more
"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing, some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." ~ Hebrews 13:2
There"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing, some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." ~ Hebrews 13:2
There are simply some books that touch more than your heart, they embed themselves into your soul and change you for the better. Those are the books you want to run around and simply tell everyone you know to grab this book and read it. This was simply one I could not put down. I've been a huge fan of supernatural Christian fiction, the kind of books that deals with the unseen world, or the world in which angels and demons dwell, because I believe it's real.
Karen Kingsbury, who remains one of my all-time favorite authors, has begun a new series, Angels Walking and the first book to make it's debut is the same title, Angels Walking. In it, we get a first hand glance at the workings of a group of angels assigned to work in the lives of some people struggling to make ends meet and to make sense of their lives. If they continue on their chosen path, God's glory in all of it, would end up lost and so would the humans to whom they have been assigned. They are simply known in the heavenly realm as the Angels Walking Team.
There first mission is to work with Tyler Ames, who is making his way to the big league as a rising pitcher for the Florida minor league baseball team, the Blue Wahoos. On the most critical night of his career, his is about to pitch the most perfect game and in the stands are recruiters from the Reds. He knows if he can finish this game off, he will be set for life. But God has other plans in mind for Tyler, one that will take him all the way to the lowest points in his life to teach him a new beginning. It will be one that will undoubtedly bring him back to God and clearly see that God has His hand in it all.
The Angels Walking team has also been assigned to Samantha Dawson, who was Tyler's first love from high school and the only girl that truly believed that Tyler could go all the way. Now six years later, Tyler has grown so much that time since he went away to make something of himself that he simply never looked back and in the process forget the girl back home that believed he could do anything and go anywhere he dreamed. Now Sami is struggling against her own desires and those of the man she is dating Arnie, who only dreams of a political future and how he can get to the top. Sami is the dream match for a man looking to one day become the next president and knows that with Sami by his side, he will be assured no skeletons will surface that might destroy him. But has Sami given up on her own dreams to settle for what her grandparents and Arnie have in mind instead for her future?
Virginia Hutcheson is stuck living in the past, 1970 to be exact. Alzheimer's has stripped her beautiful mind and left a former shell of who she used to be. All she knows is that she needs to find her son Ben but it seems like no one will believe her. She spends her days and nights locked up, medicated to prevent her from leaving the retirement facility, and wishing for one more day with her son Ben. Her daughter Cheryl has been notified if her mother gets any worse, she will need to be transferred to another facility that is more suited to deal with the advance stages of Alzheimer and one that would be more than an hour away. If only she could find a way to reach her mother before it's too late?
I received Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. The one thing I can tell you about most of Karen Kingsbury's books is that stay with you. They change you. They most certainly will make you cry and you will definitely want to read them again and again. I am slowly growing my collection and have proudly added Angels Walking to my collection. The only downfall is waiting for the next book in the series to be published. The writing style is superb, the characters believable and flawed, and the intervention of the angels is to remain unseen as to ensure God is given the glory and they are not worshiped instead. This is such a beautiful book that anyone who is looking for a book that will change the way they see the world and our circumstances in it, this is for you. A reader's discussion guide is included and I look forward to hearing about Karen's angel experience in her next book. I know I have clearly seen the hand of God at work in my own life and know without a doubt that there are Angels Walking among us. Hands down a 5 out of 5 stars!!!...more
Looking around almost everywhere, you see homeless people. While some may chose this sort of life as a scam and a way to earn money, there are othersLooking around almost everywhere, you see homeless people. While some may chose this sort of life as a scam and a way to earn money, there are others that find their way into this situation through a series of unforeseen circumstances. I am so glad that Davis Bunn decided to utilize this as the backdrop of his latest novel, The Sign Painter. It does more than highlight the homeless, it shows us that hope is possible and most simply want the opportunity to get out of it as fast as possible and often times, children and families are impacted the most. Their stories are worth getting to know.
In The Sign Painter, Amy Dowell is struggling to find a way just to keep her head above water. After the death of her husband two years ago, she has watched her world as she knew it slowly slide into an oblivion. First the loss of income her husband provided, then the loss of health benefits, then she had to declare bankruptcy and finally had to watch her home go into foreclosure forcing herself to where she is today, living with her young daughter Kimmie in her husband's old truck with a camper shell.
Now with the prospect of a job on the horizon, she hopes she can convince the local Methodist church to consider her position and let her daughter into their day care program, long enough to make some money. But what Amy gets in return is far more than expected and puts her back on the grace of God. Just in time, the church offers her and Kimmie a small apartment that she can stay in for 9 months, as long as she remains drug free and finds employment. In return, they will take care of Kimmie during the hours she has to work. Now if she can begin to find trust in the people she finds herself surrounded by again, she might find more than she is hoping for. Her job as a sign painter for Denton Chevrolet will allow her a small cushion to live on until she can find another free lance assignment, but there is more going on at the car dealership than the owner is even aware of, or is he? You'll have to pick this one up to find out how it all ends for Amy and her daughter Kimmie.
I received The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I've been a fan of Davis Bunn since my first encounter with his book, The Black Madonna and continue to be amazed out how diversified his novels are. This one offers readers insight into the lives of a single mother who finds herself in the direst of circumstances while the neighborhood she is working and living in, is being plagued by drug dealers and criminals moving into the houses nearby. It shows how difficult it can be living in the midst of crime while trying to find a way out. Once again Davis Bunn engages his readers through capturing their heart without them realizing it and taking them along for the ride of their life. An unforgettable novel that will have you rethinking the homeless people you see on the street the very next time. I would rate this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and there is a great discussion guide and author Q and A at the conclusion of this novel. ...more