Monday, May 27, 2013

The Guardian... a book review

The Guardian, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #3   -     
        By: Beverly Lewis
Series: Home to Hickory Hollow #3
Available now
ISBN: 9780764209796
Publisher Description:
When schoolteacher Jodi Winfield goes for a morning run, the last thing she expects is to find a disheveled little girl all alone on the side of the Pennsylvania road, clad only in her undergarments, her chubby cheeks streaked with tears. Jodi takes the preschooler home with her, intending to find out where she belongs. But Jodi is mystified when no one seems to know of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can't speak a word of English. It's as if the child appeared out of nowhere. 
 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

When Jodi returns Sarah to her family, she is drawn to the simple life of the Old Order Amish.  Amazed at how well the Amish children take to her, the bishop offers her a temporary teaching position at their one-room school house - just until the Amish teacher is available.  Jodi moves in with Sarah's family during her teaching time and slowly begins to seek God once again after her sister's death.

This book is a wonderful story of God's redeeming love and grace.  How many times do we feel like God has forsaken us? Left us alone in our grief? Depression? Loneliness?  Beverly Lewis has reminded us that God has a reason and a purpose for everything we go through.

I received a complimentary copy of The Guardian from Bethany House Publisher for my honest review.



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Zane... a book review


Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Available: July 1, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0373732524
Fiction / Romance / Adult theme

After losing his parents as a teenager, Zane has not allowed any woman to get close enough to break his heart.  He continually enjoys the company of different women; yet, each time, he tells them that he will not fall in love or marry any of them.  He is a self-confirmed bachelor.

Channing was one of his girls but she thought their relationship was different.  After nine months, she pushed him to either commit or not.  He refused; she moved from Denver to Atlanta.

Now, two years later she is back in town working.  Can they find each other again?  Will she be able to allow him access to her heart once again?

Read Chapter 1 HERE.

This is the first book from author Brenda Jackson that I have read.  Brenda draws the reader into the storyline from page 1.  The characters are written realistically and may remind you of people you know.  As an adult fiction book, it does not need to rely on the 'steamier" scenes to hook the reader.  The relationships between Zane and Channing and Zane and his family reminds us what life is all about... family.

I received a complimentary ebook of Zane from Harlequin Desire and NetGalley for my honest review.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wishing on Willows... a book review

by Katie Ganshert
Available NOW
WaterBrook Press
ISBN: 9780307730404
Fiction / Christian / Romance
As the sole owner of Willow Tree Cafe, Robin has poured her heart and soul into the business.  After the death of her husband, Micah, she renovates an old storefront with blood, sweat, tears, as their long-awaited child grows within her.
After four years of running the cafe, the town hires McKay Corporation to build condominiums on the site of her beloved store.  Robin digs in her heels and refuses to sell to the builder; if she sells, then One Life Ministry would lose its space, too.  As she wrestles with losing her cafe and her memories of her late husband, Robin becomes attracted to Ian - the developer working with the town mayor who is trying to "force" her out.... of course, for the good of the town of Peaks.
Katie Ganshert has written a moving novel about loss, grief, and recovery.  We all live through painful seasons in life: death of a loved one, a job loss, a broken marriage, depression.  Wishing on Willows invites us into Robin's story of healing in God's timing and His direction and reminds us how God is with us... all the time!
For more information on the book, click HERE
remember to listen to the author's podcast.
My rating: A
4.5 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of Wishing on Willows for my honest review from their Blogging for Books review program.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Uncle Tom's Cabin... a book review

Uncle Tom's Cabin  -     
        By: Harriet Beecher Stowe
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
(June 1811 - July 1896)
Originally published in 1852

My son and I just finished reading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe as part of our US History and Literature program for the year.  We utilize the Progeny Press study guide which includes vocabulary, literary terms, comprehension questions, and deeper thought-based questions.

Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide Progeny Press Study Guide   -     
        By: Kimberlee Foley, Michael S. Gilleland
More information on Progeny Press
can be found HERE.

A must read for everyone!  Just like other "banned" books, Harriet Beecher Stowe desires the readers to search themselves and decide for themselves their own beliefs and why.  Good books make the reader think deeply about personal and societal issues.  This is one such book.

Remember to read the classics alongside the contemporary novels and books.  You may just find a gem that speaks directly to your heart!

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
A +




Thursday, May 9, 2013

Plain Admirer... a book review

Plain Admirer  -     
        By: Patricia Davids
by Patricia Davids
Available: May 21, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780373878178
Series: Brides of Amish Country
Love Inspired Fiction

Book Description:

Love Is Only A Letter Away

So what if Joann Yoder's Amish community deems her a spinster? She's content to stay single. In the meantime, she's working hard to finally buy her dream house. So it's problematic when she's fired from her job to make room for the owner's nephew, Roman Weaver. His blue eyes aside, she simply can't stand him! Good thing she has the secret letters she's been exchanging with a mystery man to keep her going. But who is writing her letters? And could she possibly fall for him in real life, too?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

When her parents died, Joann fell under the care of her older brothers.  They felt she would be best if she spent time at each of the homes.  So, as she cycled between her brothers' homes, Joann dreamed her own dreams: home ownership and fishing.  She is content with staying single as long as she has her job at the Amish publisher and her new fishing pole.  To top it off, she feels inferior to the other unmarried women; she describes herself as plain.  Yet, she is far from it!

Patricia Davids has written a wonderful Amish story which gives the reader an insight into their lives.  The Amish feel family is a priority and look after the older generation as well as unmarried sisters.  From a modern perspective, I believe Joann should have had more of a say about the direction of her life.  I enjoy books which stretch my perceptions of other cultures, religions, etc.  In a way, I am jealous of the Amish's simple life.  How many times do we desire to get completely unplugged to simplify our lives?

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

I received a complimentary e-copy of Plain Admirer from NetGalley and Love Inspired for my honest review.



Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Matter of Trust... a book review


Series: A Mia Quinn Mystery
by Lis Wiehl with April Henry
Available: March 19, 2013
Thomas Nelson Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1401688066
Genre: Christian fiction / Mystery / Detective / Legal Thriller

Book Description:

When life is murder, who can you trust?
One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor’s office. The next minute there’s a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death.
Mia’s a natural for heading up the murder investigation, but these days she has all she can do to hold her life together. As a new widow with a pile of debts, a troubled teenage son, and a four-year-old who wakes up screaming at night, she needs more time with her family, not less—and working Colleen’s case will be especially demanding. But Colleen was her friend, and she needs to keep her job. So she reluctantly teams up with detective Charlie Carlson to investigate Colleen’s death. But the deeper they dig, the more complications unfold—even the unsettling possibility that someone may be coming after her.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Lis Wiehl has written another thought-producing novel!  With Lis' background as a former federal prosecutor, we are given a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Mia Quinn: mom, prosecutor, widow.  The themes in A Matter of Trust are based on real cases with a main character inspired by Lis' real life!
A Matter of Trust is not preachy; but through Mia's father's life, the gospel is shown.  God loves us and forgives us.  Possibly in future books, God's work in and through the characters will be seen more. 
Through another case Mia works on, the story opens up dialogue about cyber-bullying.  Is it ever right?  How can we protect our children and teens from being the target?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was sad that it had to come to an end.  I look forward to reading the next book in the Mia Quinn Mystery series.
My rating:  5 out of 5          A

I received a complimentary copy of A Matter of Trust from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their BookSneeze program for my honest review.


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