Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson

I was very,very excited when I heard about "Chateau of Secrets" as I am a huge fan of the Melanie Dobson's writings and love anything World War 2 related.I must say that the wait was totally worth it and this book did not disappoint at all! I felt that Melanie did a great job at capturing the times and portraying the war in a more realistic manner, bad things did happen and while the book addressed those things they did not dwell on them or give too much detail.
I love books that go back in time and have two heroines, surprisingly I liked both of them equally and enjoyed reading both of their stories. Gisele was a normal young girl who lived during extraordinarily hard times and has to make hard decisions, praying that she and those she loves will make it through the war. Chloe in present day seems to have it all, but when her perfect world comes crashing down and she sees what a farce it really is,will she be able to move on?

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and wants a small glimpse of what it might of been like living back then.

Between us girls by Sally John

I was delighted with this new series by Sally John. Very rarely does an author do a good job at writing more realistic book with likable and yet down to earth characters, where everyone is not gorgeous and brilliant. I fell like this book was a rare gem and had  great characters and a  engrossing story line. I love how the author weaves together a beautiful story about broken people from all walks of life. Jasmyn  has had enough bad breaks to last a lifetime, but finds a family in Casa de Vida and learns about friendship. I also liked the sweet romance that added just enough to the book without being overwhelming.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

A Sensible Arrangement
A Lone Star Brides book.
Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways… and dreams and secrets collide?

My thoughts: I am not usually big into mail order brides books, in my opinion that theme is way to overdone, but I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the latest book by Tracie Peterson.  I particularly enjoyed the main character, Marty, who was feisty and very endearing. The romance was sweet and the characters were likable with a good storyline,so what wasn't there to like? 
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

And life comes back by Tricia Williford

Filled with raw emotions and tear jerking moments this book is a wonderfully sad and yet a beautiful read. Tricia lost her husband unexpectedly at the age of 35, nothing could have prepared her for the ache that came from his passing away and in this book she shares her raw emotions and honest thoughts with the readers giving them a small glimpse of the grief she went through and the daily struggle of trying to pick the pieces back up. Even being a Christian did not stop Tricia from asking why her, but she learned that God was faithful and was with her every step of the way.

I highly recommend this read,I cannot even imagine the grief there would be in the loss of a spouse, but for anyone who has lost someone this would be a great reminder that they are not alone.

I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Maybelle in Stiches by Joyce Magnin

Maybelle In Stitches
Maybelle In Stitches | A Quilts of Love book.
Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.
Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.
My thoughts: Yet another heartwarming tale in the Quilts of Love series, as always it was a great,easy read with endearing characters and a good story line.  I loved the main character Maybelle,she was charming and I could relate to her in some areas.:)  I thought this book was a great reminder of the power of friendship and the love of God for us even when he doesn't seem to be there.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga

A Promise in Pieces
A Promise in Pieces | A Quilts of Love Book
It’s been more than 50 years since Clara cared for injured WWII soldiers in the Women’s Army Corp. Fifty years since she promised to deliver a dying soldier’s last wish. And 50 years since that soldier’s young widow gave her the baby quilt—a grief-ridden gift that would provide hope to countless newborns in the years to come. On her way to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Clara decides it’s time to share her story. But when the trip doesn’t go as planned, Clara wonders if anyone will learn the great significance of the quilt—and the promise stitched inside it.

My thoughts: I have been really enjoying the Quilts of Love series as they have all been enjoyable reads, but I think this one might be my favorite yet! I was very impressed with this novel,especially since it was the authors first work of fiction! This book is a story of love,hope and healing, dealing with the grief of war and yet the love of others in this world. Clara was a warm engaging character that I really enjoyed and I highly recommend this book!

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller

Mom Seeks God
The first months and years of motherhood can be the most challenging and disorienting of your life—and faith. When you’re surrounded by the happy chaos of children, how do you spend quiet time with God if the only quiet time you get is while you sleep? How can you demonstrate a solid spiritual life to your children if you don’t have time to pursue one yourself?
When Julia Roller discovered that her spiritual growth had been stunted by the busyness of life with her toddler, she embarked on a yearlong journey through ten spiritual disciplines: prayer, fellowship, submission, study, simplicity, silence, worship, fasting, service, and celebration. As she focused on each discipline, she discovered practical ways to observe them—even in the chaos of her every day.

My thoughts: Well being that I am not a Mother yet it is rather hard to totally see where she is coming from, but having been raised in a large family and having nieces and a nephew around I know somewhat how challenging being a Mother really is. I thought the author did a great job at relating how to maintain a relationship with God in the busyness of being a Mom and be totally overwhelmed. I think this would be a very encouraging, engaging read for any Mother who is trying to seek out God in the craziness of being a Mother.
I received a copy of this book for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

10% Happier by Dan Harris

10% Happier
10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.
After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.
We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice – that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It’s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it’s something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness

My thoughts: I was looking forward to a good self-help read,but was sadly disappointed in this book as the language was not good and I do not agree with the authors stand on religion.It certainly was not the kind of book I would re-read.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Advocate by Randy Singer

As a fan of Randy Singer's previous books I was delighted to read his newest book that not only was a legal thriller,but was historically based as well! This book certainly did not disappoint and it was an excellent read, not only because of the rich legal detail that is Singer's trademark ( I have learned way more legal jargon than I ever thought I would!) and the superb characterization, but the history was just fascinating! Singer was able to make ancient Rome come alive which I very much enjoyed.
I highly recommend this book and hope you will give it a try.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Shadow hand by Anne Stengl

I simply loved this book! Ever since discovering Anne Stengl's books she has quickly become one of  my favorite books, her series "Tales of Goldstone Wood" is extraordinarily good, a perfect blend of depth, detail, romance, action and riveting characters. Every time I read the newest book in the series I think it is my favorite..until the next one comes out!
Since this is part of a series I think it would be best if people read the books in order as Lady Daylily and Foxbrush are in previous books and their story would make a lot more sense having read the previous books.
Lady Daylily has had her share of disappointments and before the eve of her marriage to Prince Foxbrush she runs away, fleeing to the dangerous Wilderlands. Prince Foxbrush has been in love with Daylily since he was quite young and is devastated when she flees, vowing to find her.
What ensues is a tale of finding courage, the different types of love and the value of friendship.
I loved how real Ms. Stengl's characters are, all of them are flawed and yet very likable, even poor Foxbrush who I was very happy to see have a satisfying ending, one cannot help but feel a bit sorry for him!

I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a wonderful storyteller and fantasy.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Killing Jesus by Stephen Mansfield

This was a fascinating and interesting,especially right before Easter! I really appreciated all of the research and information that the author put into the book.
The most important death in the world, this book looks at the facts and fiction surrounding Jesus death and causes one to pause and think about the details.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A heartwarming story about the power of God's love on ones life. Dinah has not been shown much love in her young life, being born to a prostitute she learns to keep quiet and dreams of the day that she can escape. When Dinah's dreams are dashed to become a Harvey girl because of her age, she becomes a chambermaid to a hotel in Kansas. Dinah's struggles and triumphs are encouraging and she is a very likable character,I highly recommend her to any one is looking for a good, uplifting read that reminds one of God's love.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion but all of the thoughts expressed are my own.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

The Queen’s Handmaid
From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.
Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

My opinion: I loved this book by Tracy Higley,she was really able to bring history alive with it and it had me very engaged and eager to see what happened next! I am big into history but even if you were not a history buff I think one would find this enjoyable as she really makes history come alive and many of the characters have relevance to the scriptures which I thought was really neat.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A table by the window by Hillary Manton Lodge

I had never read a book by Hillary Manton Lodge or heard of her before so I was delighted to give her a try and I am so glad I did! I am always on the look out for new authors that I enjoy and am always thrilled when I find one,which is the case with Ms. Lodge's book " A table by the window". With a likable main character,some scrumptious recipes and enough historical intrigue to keep the pages turning this is a very enjoyable read!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher but all opinions expressed are my own.

100 tough questions about God and the Bible by Stephen M. Miller

I think many believers and especially new believers have many questions about the the scriptures and I think this book is an excellent tool to use on there journey of discovery. I don't agree 100% with the things the author said,but I think this is an excellent starting point and can help someone on their journey.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Know Orphans by Rick Morton

Know Orphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology
The global orphan crisis is complex. The church’s response should be comprehensive, but is it? In this provocative follow-up to Orphanology, author Rick Morton provides the framework for families and churches to have a gospel-centered response to the growing global issue of orphan care.
KnowOrphans addresses three distinct areas associated with global orphanology. Delving deeper into the criticisms of the movement, the need for reform, and what families can expect, author Rick Morton helps shape realistic perceptions of the challenges and rewards adoptive parents face in transnational adoptions. Through illuminating the work internationally adoptive families can expect,KnowOrphans offers solutions for the church in remedying the ills and deficiencies surrounding the church’s role in equipping and supporting families before, during, and after the adoption process. Knowing that the church’s response and attitude should be one that goes beyond adoption, KnowOrphans also addresses the complexities of how Christians are to respond ethically, compassionately, and comprehensively to the biblical call to care for orphans.
KnowOrphans is the next step in conversation as this evangelically based movement of orphan care matures and begins to live out James 1:27 globally.
My opinion:  When I think of orphans my mind is instantly drawn to James 1:27 " Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction". We should be carrying for the orphans and this book perfectly addresses that issue. I think any book that calls one to think outside of themselves and do more is a worthy book indeed and I cannot recommend this book enough!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion