Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Review-A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

A Baxter Family Christmas
By:  Karen Kingsbury
Publisher:  Howard Books

It has been two years since Erin, John Baxter’s daughter, husband and three of their four daughters were killed in a car accident. 

Erin was an organ donner. Her heart was given to Kendra Bryant, an Atheist.  John, against the wishes his children, Ashley and Luke, invites Kendra to spend Christmas Eve dinner with them because he is missing Erin.  Ashley wants to protect ten year old Amy, the only survivor.  John feels it is what Erin would want and Amy secretly wants to hear her mother’s heart beat again.

Kendra Bryant is struggling with the need to find understanding in why someone else had to die in order for her to live.  She believes spending Christmas Eve with the Baxters will help her heal and bring happiness back to her life, but her husband is less than willing to attend the dinner.  Will the Baxter’s unwavering faith in God restore peace to the family and will Kendra find the peace she so desperately longs for?    Will her husband make the decision to attend with her?  Will Ashley and Luke put aside their feelings for their father’s sake?  Those questions will be answered as you turn the pages of “A Baxter Family Christmas”.                            

My Review:
What an emotional storyline!  Everytime I read a book by Karen Kingsbury I determine it is the best one yet, however this truly is the best one yet!

As I turned the pages my heart connected with each member of the Baxter Family.  Their struggles were heartfelt and real.  MS Kingsbury showed how our desire to serve God is sometimes overshadowed by the inability to get beyond the events in our lives, yet she also shows once you let God have control how it eases the struggle and you can truly find peace.  You may, like me, find yourself crying when Amy secretly wants to hear her mother’s heart beat one more time and the peace she finds in knowing the woman who has her mother’s heart will never be her mother, but will always have a part of her mother.  For a young person that was a pretty profound understanding.  She also helps us to understand how our lives influence the lives of other, even when we don’t realize it.  This is a book that will stay with me long after I have read the last page. 

If you are a fan of Karen Kingsbury and love inspirational books this is absolutely a must-read!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Howard Books through Net Galley, blogger review program, for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review-The Captive Heart By Michelle Griep

The Captive Heart
By:  Michelle Griep
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Shiloh Run Press

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she's to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she's never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he's determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

My Review:
Although this is my first reading of work by Michelle Griep, I assure you it will not be my last.  What a compelling story!  I was hooked from page one and kept on the edge of my seat until the last page was read.   I read it in one setting.  I just couldn’t put it down.

The characters were so real you immediately became caught up in the story.  It was easy to sympathize with both Eleanor and Samuel.  Eleanor had to leave England and when her would-be employer was a no show, she had no choice but to marry a complete stranger so she could care for his daughter and have a home for herself.  Samuel is very protective of Grace and will do anything to insure she is well cared for.  He is haunted by his past and finds it easier to live away from civilization as much as possible.  As they struggle with the journey set before them, they find the courage  to love and rebuild their lives. 

MS. Griep’s descriptions are so real you can feel the despair, smell the unwashed bodies in the ship’s hold, and yet experience love and compassion at the same time.  It is a beautifully written story.  This book is well worth reading as it will leave you with a renewed spirit.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Barbour Publishing, Inc. through Net Galley, blogger review program, for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

Just a Kiss
(A Summer Harbor Novel)
By:  Denise Hunter
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

“Just a Kiss” is a beautifully written captivating book by Denise Hunter.  MS Hunter brings home the reality of dealing with PTSD and being an amputee.  Riley doesn’t believe his life will be worth much when he returns home and he knows his chances of winning Paige’s (whom he has secretly loved for a long time) love will never happen.  In his mind who would want an amputee? 

I was hooked from the first page.  The characters and storyline are real-life and completely believable.  Hunter does a great job portraying PTSD episodes without it dominating the storyline.  I would classify this book as an easy read, yet it is filled with thought-provoking scenarios as Riley and Paige deal with some life-changing events.

Although this is the third in the series, it can easily be a stand-alone book.  I didn’t have any problem identifying with the characters and I have not read the others in the series, however since I enjoyed this book so much, I will now go back and read them.  I read this in one afternoon as I couldn’t put it down.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Thomas Nelson,  Net Galley, blogger review program, for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-A Love Made New By Kathleen Fuller

A Love Made New
An Amish of Birch Creek Novel
By:  Kathleen Fuller
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Abigail Schrock left Birch Creek to go to Middlefield to take care of her younger sister, Joanna, who was hurt in the accident that also took the lives of her parents.  Although she had not heard from her boyfriend, Joel Zook while she was gone, she knew in her heart when he asked her to stop by his house, that he was going to ask her to marry him.  Instead he told her their relationship was over.  He found someone else.  In her despair she couldn’t help but wonder if she had been prettier or hadn’t gained those extra pounds while taking care of her sister, if Joel would have still loved her. 

Asa Bontrager, an Amish ladies-man, was shocked when he felt God tell him to give up everything in Shipshewana and return to Birch Creek to pursue Abigail.  Yet Abigail was having no part of Asa Bontrager.

If you are a fan of Amish novels, this is a must-read.  It is filled with peace, love, and a renewing of faith.  Abigail finds herself unwilling to stop running from the past and let the future happen because she still wants Joel and not Asa, however God has other plans for both of them.  You will find yourself crying with her as she faces the heartbreak and loss of those she has loved and you will experience the joy as she learns to once again let God have first place in her life.  I highly recommend this book!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Thomas Nelson,  BookLook Bloggers, blogger review program, for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-A Love Transformed By Tracie Peterson

A Love Transformed
Sapphire Brides 3
By:  Tracie Peterson
Publisher:  Bethany House

Although Clara and Adolph Vesper had been married twelve years, it was a loveless marriage. In spite of their arranged marriage it was a shock to learn her husband had been murdered.  According to her brother in law, Otto, she and the children were left penniless.  In her state of shock, she didn’t consider he might not be telling her the truth, because she had designed sapphire jewelry for her husband’s company that netted them a fortune.  Suddenly things are happening that doesn’t add up and she begins to fear for her children, so with plans unknown to her family, Clara and her twin children, Hunter and Maddy flea to Montana to her Aunt and Uncle’s farm. 

Any book by Tracie Peterson in my opinion is a must read.  “A Love Transformed” will keep you turning the pages and on the edge of your seat as Clara’s story unfolds.  You will be right there with her when she reunites with the one man she truly loved, Curtis Billingham and the fear of losing her children becomes all too real.  Her fight for understanding and peace will leave you in tears.  Clara and Curtis’ struggle to let go of the past and let God have first place in their lives will renew your faith.  If you are a fan of Tracie Peterson, this is a book you won’t want to miss.  It is filled with forgiveness, love, peace and second chances.   I highly recommend this book.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Bethany House for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review-One of the Few By Jason B. Ladd

One of the Few
A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance
of the Christian Worldview
By:  Jason B. Ladd
Publisher:  Boone Shepherd

About the Book:
A US Marine fighter pilot explores life’s important questions as he prepares for combat, searches for truth and wages spiritual warfare during his mission to become a better husband and father.  As a child Jason grows up in a loving military family but does not have much spiritual guidance.  He draws from his life experiences and training as a fighter pilot to lose his spiritual apathy and find true salvation.

My Review:
Before I begin my review of “One of the Few”, let me say without a doubt it is the most insightful book (except the Bible), I have ever read.  It gives concrete evidence of the truths of Jesus Christ.  Be prepared…this book may cause thought-provoking emotions that will cause you to read the footnotes for a better understanding and it will not be a book you can whiz right through!  You might even find yourself in prayer because you found a picture of yourself in the same doubt and misconceptions as Mr. Ladd on his way to finding real peace in Jesus Christ. 

I really don’t know where to begin as this book touches on almost every question a non-believer could ask and then out of left center field cautioning the Christian about the pitfalls of drinking to pornography and how to look for the hidden messages in seemingly innocent TV programs we watch right down to children’s cartoons (just to name a few).   He even explains the difference between killing during war-time and actual murder.  In every situation he has scripture to back up his statements and in many instances scientific findings that parallel the Bible.  Mr. Ladd has taken the events of his life, to share his journey on the quest to find real peace in Jesus!

Mr. Ladd explains that as we search for the truth for God, the only thing that will hinder us from accepting word of God is our pride.  He also doesn’t shrink away from telling Christians it is time to quit being apathetic and stand up for what is right. 

In about the twenty-fourth chapter of his book I came across a passage that truly spoke to my heart.  It brought tears to my eyes and peace to my heart to be reminded again of what God means to me and the price he paid so that I might have eternal salvation.  With Mr. Ladd’s permission to use this quote,  I would like to add that passage to my review…”In him, I will put my trust.  On him, I will depend.  Through him, I will persevere.  For him, I have meaning, purpose and destiny.  By him, I see my own brokenness.  Out of him, comes forgiveness and love.  I am a follower of Jesus Christ—owned by the Father and purchased with blood of his Son.”  (end of quote).

This book is not only for the non-believer, looking for peace, but also a reminder to the Christian to be ever vigilant in the fight against the war on evil.  It is everywhere…even in places it shouldn’t be. 
Thank you Mr. Ladd for this wonderful book!  It is a wake-up call for all who may read it.   I highly recommend this book.  It is well worth the time it will take you to read it and you will be thinking about it for a long time after you have read the last page. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the author, Jason B. Ladd for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review-Forever Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Forever Doon
By:  Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Publisher:  Blink

“Forever Doon” begins with the Witch of Doon in power.  Queen Veronica is hiding from the witch in the countryside while trying to rebuild her life. Believing her beloved, Jamie has been killed, and trying to keep the citizens of Doon safe from the wrath of the witch is not an easy task, but Veronica must put her own grief aside and prepare her people for a fierce war that is to come.  Her life was slapped with a double whammy, because her best friend Mackenna and her boyfriend, Duncan, are trapped in the modern world in Alloway, because the Brig O’ Doon was destroyed and the portal fragmented.  This war will be fought on many dimensions with an unlikely army…of The Destined who willingly followed their Calling from all walks of life and from all countries, gathering together in Alloway, while waiting for the rebuilding of the Brig O’ Doon.

Although this book may be written for a young adult…if you need magical escapism, love, romance, and mystery this is a book you will thoroughly enjoy. Sadly, this is the fourth and final book in the Doon series. With each book I have been transported back in time when witchcraft was as real as eating.  The war between good and evil will keep you turning the pages and the imagination of the authors will keep on the edge of your seat, biting your nails as the undead (skellies) do the bidding of the witch against the Doonians. As the story unfolds you will find Queen Veronica doubting that she can be queen to Doon without Jamie, as she believes the witch has killed him.  The authors have done a great job in showing that even though we ask, in this case the Protector of Doon, to intervene it is not always the Protector’s will but in the end He will choose what is best.  The battles fought are not without loss but with great triumph for the people of Doon. 

I have loved the characters of Veronica, Mackenna, Jamie and Duncan from Beginning of the series.  They are fun-loving, a bit unconventional and serious when they need to be.  Although you do not need to read the first 3 books in the series, I highly recommend that you do so. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Zondervan, (Blink) for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review-One Friday Afternoon by T.K. Chapin

One Friday Afternoon
Diamond Lake Series Book 2
By: T.K. Chapin

Before I get started in my review…I have said this before, if you love contemporary inspirational Christian Fiction then you must read T.K. Chapin’s books.  I promise you will not be disappointed and will finish the book feeling refreshed with a renewed faith in God, knowing there is a solution for the situation you may be in. 

In “One Friday Afternoon” Elizabeth Collins knows her marriage is over and she played a big role in it…but she decides to take a trip with her husband to the Inn at the Lake, hoping she and Nathan can renew their relationship before it is too late.  However both she and Nathan are keeping secrets that once revealed could tear them apart forever.

Wow! This was a soul searcher and a half!  As I read the events leading to Nathan and Elizabeth’s distance in their relationship, I wondered if I would be willing to let God lead in my life?  It was a shocker to think that I might not be able to put my feelings aside and let God take the lead and step out on faith.  Although T.K. Chapin takes the situation and molds it to fit in with forgiveness and the restoring of faith, he shows the journey is not easy…but it is possible with God as your pilot and a willing heart.  I thought the first book in the series, “One Thursday Morning” couldn’t be topped, but again I was wrong.  Although you do not need to read book one in the series, I encourage you to do so and let the inspired writings of Mr. Chapin speak to your heart. 

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of this eBook by the author T.K. Chapin for review.  I was not compensated for my review nor was I required to make a favorable review.  All thoughts in this review are mine.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review-A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson

A Beauty Refined
Sapphire 2 Brides
By:  Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethany House

Finding herself pregnant, Elizabeth Von Bergen realizes after losing three previous babies due to her abusive husband, she would have to leave him in order to save her unborn child’s life.  Leaving her other children, Phoebe and Dieter to go stay with a relative in England was the hardest thing she had ever done, but her plan was to have her daughter Phoebe join her. She doubted her son, Dieter would since her husband had poisoned him against her and he would soon be leaving for school. However, Count Von Bergen told his children their mother had died in a shipwreck while traveling to America and he forbade Elizabeth to ever contact them, for if she did, he would have her killed. 

Count Von Bergen was going to Helena, Montana to buy Sapphires and had agreed to have Phoebe accompany him.  Phoebe is excited at the prospect of visiting America but little does she realize the plans her father had for her.

Ian Harper works as a lapidary in Helena. The first time he sees Phoebe at the Broadwater Hotel, where his mother works, he finds her beauty breath-taking.  As their friendship grows he realizes her family’s story is a lie but she doesn’t know it.  Phoebe is smitten by Ian and begins to think about staying in America, even though her father has betrothed her to Duke older than himself …Will Phoebe defy her father for the first time in her life?

“A Beauty Refined” is a fast-paced Christian-based, Historical romance filled with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat from page one to the finish.  As Phoebe sees her mother for the first time in ten years and learns she has another brother, Kenny…she has much difficulty accepting her father was abusive to her mother.  Her mother gives her all the returned letters proving her mother is telling the truth, but her heart is having a hard time accepting it.  As her father’s deception unravels Phoebe, her mother, and little brother find themselves in grave danger.  Their faith in God is put to the test as they try to find a godly solution to their situation. Phoebe’s struggle in learning that God is real, and accepting Him as her personal Savior will bring tears to your eyes.  This book is a must-read if you enjoy Historical Christian Romance mixed with intrigue and inspiration.   

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Bethany House, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-One Thursday Morning by T.K. Chapin

One Thursday Morning
Diamond Lake Series (book 1)
By: T.K. Chapin

How could Serenah tell her abusive husband, John, she was pregnant?  Would John accept that it is his or in his drunken stupor will he accuse Serenah of infidelity and will she be beaten once again?  Will she lose this wonderful life growing inside her?  These are some of the situations that Serenah faces as she struggles to deal with her husband’s abuse. 

Even though she loves John, she realizes not only her life, but the life of her unborn child is in danger. Serenah packs her belongings and moves cross country to Newport, Washington.  It’s a little town outside of Spokane that is just the right place to start over where no one can find her, especially John, even with all his money and contacts.  Dixie’s Diner and her friendship with Emma Montgomery (co-owner of Dixie’s Diner) was her saving grace.  Meeting Charlie certainly helped to spice things up a bit too!

I was hooked from the first page and couldn’t put the book down until I finished it.  I found myself holding my breath as I felt the fear Serenah felt.  I found myself crying for her and wanting to comfort her.  This book involves the reader on so many emotional levels.  Mr. Chapin in my opinion is on the best Christian romance writers.  I have read most, if not all, of his books and this book by far is the best ever.  He takes a real-life situation and shows how faith, love and God’s unfailing grace can change your life. 

This is book number one in the Diamond Lake Series.  This is definitely a must-read!...and I can’t wait for the next one! 

Although this book is Christian-based it will appeal to the Christian as well as the secular population. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the author, T.K. Chapin, for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.