Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review - A Hearts Obsession By Colleen Coble


A Heart’s Obsession
By: Colleen Coble
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Lieutenant Rand Campbell recently returned home to Wabash, Indiana after being held a prisoner at Andersonville Prison, only to find that Sarah, the girl he had planned to marry was engaged to Ben Croftner.  Rand exposed Ben for the liar he was, but he still didn’t win Sarah’s heart.  Rand boarded the train for Ft. Laramie to protect the area from the Sioux Indian unrest.  After Sarah’s father died her brother insisted she would marry Ben, so she packed her bags and her little brother and boarded the train for Ft. Laramie to follow Rand, only to find he was engaged to the Major’s daughter, Jessica DuBois.  To make matters worse Ben also comes to Ft. Laramie as the new Indian trader, but also intends to make Sarah his wife. 

This short story is a very quick read.  From the first page I loved Sarah’s character, but was sad when it didn’t seem to develop into a deeper storyline.  Just about the time the novella really became interesting, it just ended, leaving you with a lot of unanswered questions.  Maybe this was the author’s intention…to leave you wanting more so you will read the next in the series.  For the most part it was an enjoyable book and I will look forward to the next one.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through Net Galley  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 - A Faith of Her Own By Kathleen Fuller


A Faith of Her Own
By:  Kathleen Fuller
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson-Fiction


Sometimes joining the Amish church is not for every Amish person, as Anna Mae and Jeremiah are finding out.

Jeremiah leaves the Amish community to pursue his dream of being a Veterinarian.  During the time he is gone Anna Mae finds herself questioning her place as Amish.  She feels trapped in accepting the life her parents want for her and longs for freedom to choose her own path. 

After being gone from Middlefield, Jeremiah returns home to help his Yankee mentor, Dr. Miller and hopefully to mend the breach between his father and him and Anna Mae.  Can Anna and Jeremiah rekindle their friendship?  Will their relationship become more than friends?  Will she choose the Amish way of life or her own path?

This is a touching story about two people who desperately want to follow God’s will.  Their struggle to do what is right will pull at your heart-strings.  Although this book is about the Amish anyone will be able to relate to Anna Mae and Jeremiah’s story.  This is a beautifully written book about love, acceptance, choices, consequences, faith and forgiveness.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, 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-Breath of Scandal By Sandra Brown


Breath of Scandal
By:  Sandra Brown
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing

1976 in the small country town of Palmetto, South Carolina, life for Jade Sperry and her boyfriend, Gary Parker changed forever.  Dreams for a future together ended because Jade was brutally gang-raped by the son of the wealthiest and most corrupt family in Palmetto, along with his two friends, Hutch Jolly and Lemar Griffith.  Jade’s determination to see justice prevail, helped her crawl her way to the road to find help only to have the police, her best friend, her mother, her boyfriend and the town turn their back on her.  They blamed her for the rape.  Gary thought Jade had been unfaithful to him and committed suicide when he saw her go to a lady who performed abortions.  Jade left Palmetto in a cloud of scandal and tragedy, but also with the determination she would return sometime in the future, and she would see justice served to those who had so brutally violated her and caused the death of Gary.

I have read this book before, but enjoyed re-reading it.  The plot of this book is filled with lots of suspense and drama.  The characters are so well developed you will become part of the drama as it unfolds.  This is not a book I would recommend if you are offended by explicit language and graphic descriptions of events, but if you can put that aside and read this book, written in Sandra Brown’s great fashion, you will not be disappointed.  It deals with the subject of rape, violence and the courage to recover.  It definitely will keep you turning the pages and praying justice will prevail. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Grand Central Publishing, 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.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review-Get to Know Jesus by Nancy I Sanders

Get To Know JESUS
A Biography for Kids
By:  Nancy I Sanders
Publisher:  ZonderKidz

Sara's Review (A review by a 10-yr-old)

I liked this book because it was easy to understand.  It had pictures of artifacts from Bible times like leather sandals with captions next to the pictures that helped to understand some of pictures better.  It also had a word bank that gave the meanings of the bold face words like "I Am This Word" which is a special name for God, meaning "He is Alive Forever".  I especially liked the "Did You Know" parts and loved being able to see Jesus' family tree without having to read all those long lists of names in the Bible.  I really loved learning things about Jesus I didn't know 

I really, really, really recommend this because it is a way cool book to learn about Jesus.  


My Review:

As a grandmother I love reading and reviewing children’s Christian-based books because I am always looking for books to help keep my grandchild rooted in God’s Word.  We often read and review them together.

This time my granddaughter specifically asked for the book “Get to Know JESUS”.  When I asked why this book, her reply was, “You can never know enough about Jesus”.  She is 100% right! 

As I read this book, I was amazed at how much information was packed into 113 actual pages, not to mention the help pages at the end.  It is written in easy-to-understand language with short but content filled events that will not overwhelm your child.  All throughout the book there are pictures, scripture, fun facts and maps to further explain each event.  One of my favorite parts of the book was the timeline of Jesus.  It is from the time of his birth to the time London was founded. 

I cannot say enough good things about this book.  Every parent or grandparent should take the time to explore this book with their children or grandchildren.  It is truly a factual book of Jesus from birth to becoming the man who changed history by giving us the plan of Salvation through his birth and death.  I am so proud of my granddaughter for choosing this book.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, ZonderKidz, 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.




Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Review-The Pirate and the Firefly by Tara McClary, Amanda Jenkins

Children's Christian Fiction

The Pirate and the Firefly
By:  Tara McClary Reeves &
Amanda Jenkins
Illustrations By:  Daniel Fernandez
Publisher:  B & H Publishing Group

From the Back of the Book:
What should a pirate do when following his mates means not following God?

Oliver is excited to be part of a pirate crew led by his new friend Captain Cole.  But when the buccaneers cause trouble and make bad choices, Oliver’s conscience bothers him.  Can he sail with his friends and still follow God?  In this swashbuckling tale, Phineas the firefly teaches Oliver that true friends don’t tempt us to do wrong or dangerous things…

My Review:
This is an adorable hardcover book that is sure to capture the heart of any little boy from ages 4-8, who loves pirates.  The cover’s illustration along with the story’s illustrations will certainly hold the attention of even the youngest child and keep them turning the pages.  I also think it would be a great reminder about not bullying and making bad choices or choosing the wrong types of friends for older children.  It is written in easy to understand language that will keep your child wanting to hear the story over and over again as they learn about courage, choices, growing in self-esteem, choosing friends wisely and more importantly growing in God’s Word.  I love how Phineas teaches Oliver about making wise choices that will lead to the best kind of treasure using Psalm 1:1-3. In my opinion, this is one of the best Christian-based little boy books I have read in a long time.  I would highly recommend this book.  I am simply blown away by the story line of this book and the illustrations.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by publicist, Sara Pence, Shelton International, B & H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN, 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-Lethal Beauty By Lis Wiehl


Lethal Beauty
By:  Lis Wiehl
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson-Fiction

Mia Quinn, prosecutor for King County finds herself and her family embroiled in a string of seemingly unrelated murders.  Mia is convinced someone further up the chain of command knows what is going on, but how can she prove it?  The case she is trying seems to be an open and shut case, but results in a hung jury.  The young girl who was murdered was dubbed “Lethal Beauty” by the tabloids.  Will Mia and Charlie, a Seattle homicide detective, be able to tie the murders together before more people have to die?

Although this work is Christian fiction it is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Its plot will take you into the world of modern-day slavery, human trafficking, prostitution and drugs, all without the use of profanity.  There are so many suspense-filled twists and turns it will keep you holding your breath and your fingers turning the pages.  Although it is filled with faith, forgiveness and second chances, it is not a “preachy” type book.  It will appeal to the Christian as well as the secular reader. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Thomas Nelson-Fiction, 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-After A Fashion By: Jen Turano


After A Fashion
By:  Jen Turano
Publisher:  Bethany House

Harriet Peabody, an out-spoken lowly hat girl, dreams of owing her own fashion shop where she can refurbish out-dated gowns to help the financially-strapped working class such as herself.  However she finds that dream quickly crushed when the owner of the shop where she works sends her to make a delivery to wealthy socialite, Miss Birmingham.  After the fiasco that ensued from that meeting, Harriet finds herself unemployed and reluctantly accepts a position as a companion to Miss Birmingham’s ex-fiancée , Oliver Addleshaw, who was her fiancée only in her mind.  Although Mr. Addleshaw is one of the richest men in America, no self-respecting young woman would ever become a paid companion…It just wasn’t acceptable in those days…but what’s girl to do with no job, no money and a family with a questionable background?

MS Turano creates another wonderful book with a lively cast of characters that will worm their way into your heart.  They will have you laughing one minute and crying or seething at the injustices of the world the next minute.  I recommend this book, especially if you are looking for an uplifting fun book.  It is filled with adventure and antics that will lighten your heart and keep you turning the pages.  In my opinion this highly colorful novel culminates in one of the best endings ever.  It was subtly filled with the constant desire to follow God’s will, but it is not overwhelming or “preachy” thus making it appealing to both Christian and secular readers.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook 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-Dauntless By Dina L Sleiman


Dauntless
By:  Dina L. Sleiman
Publisher:  Bethany House

Although this is a fun book to read it is filled with rejection and redemption.  It loosely parallels Robyn of the Hode, taking place in medieval England.  Lady Merry Ellison’s father led a revolt against the king and all his house-hold and peasant workers were put to death, except his daughter, Merry and a few peasant children who escaped.  Merry was thought to be dead but had lived the past two years in the woods stealing needed supplies for them to survive.  They were so stealthy no one ever saw them and they became known as the Ghosts of Farthingale. Before the revolt Merry, at the age of fourteen had been betrothed to Timothy Grey the ninth child, who would never be Baron of Greyham.  He loved Merry dearly and thought he had lost her forever until he accidently saw her.  In his quest to speak with her he put her and the children in great danger.  Now he must find a way to save Merry and help the children he has come to love.

I found this book to be highly entertaining.  Merry and the antics of the children often made me smile.  Little two-year-old Wren, stole my heart as she taught Merry with her imaginary Sunshine Men to once again yield her heart to God.  I found my heart being torn for the hardships they faced and angry when they were too stubborn to follow their hearts in what they knew was right.  This was a book I could easily lose myself in.  I would highly recommend it.  I read in in one afternoon. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook 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-A Harvest of Hope by Lauraine Snelling


A Harvest of Hope
By:  Lauraine Snelling
Publisher:  Bethany House

This is another wonderful book about the Bjorklund family and Blessing, N. Dakota that is sure to bless your heart.

This novel is the continuing saga of the Bjorklund doctors, the town of Blessing, immigrants and Miriam returning from Chicago after the death of her mother to continue her nursing studies under Drs. Elizabeth and Astrid.  From the minute Miriam steps off the train she is swept into the day to day hardships of a frontier town and is also struggling with her feelings for Trygve Knutson. The town is filled with tragedy from the death of a baby, to a fire that nearly ruins the whole town, to yes even racial unrest.  Can Miriam and the town find peace?  This question will be answered as you turn the pages of this novel

This book transported me back to a time my grandparents and parents used to tell me stories about.  A time when God came first and families and neighbors worked together in times of need to help each other.  It has its growth issues the same as any town and it had its share of racism because there was such a melting pot of nationalities.  Blessing, by any means was not perfect, but it was built strongly on faith and Christian values, triumph over tragedy and love for their fellowman.  As I read it, it made me wish I had lived in that kind of community.  This book will make you fall in love with its characters.  It will make you laugh and cry, but you will walk away with an uplifted heart and know that in the face of tragedy God is still in control and His love will prevail.  I highly recommend this book.  Although this is not the first book of the Bjorklunds, you do not need to read the others to understand the characters of this book…however…you will want to read them!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook 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.