Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tried & True by Mary Connealy





Mary Connealy just keeps perfecting her craft! This book is a clear indication that she is learning and growing as an author with every new book she writes.


This is the start of a new trilogy called 'Wild At Heart." The youngest of three sisters that posed as boys and fought in the Civil War, Kylie is the least competent at manly pursuits and the one most desiring to live in her feminine guise. Trying to hold down a homesteaders claim to please her father is no easy task, especially when the land agent, Aaron Masterson, spends no time at all figuring out that she's a female and when other sinister characters are trying to run her off her claim.


I have only one complaint about this book. It was so good that I am having a horrible time waiting till the other two in the series are released and #2 is slated for almost a year from now so #3 will be even farther away. I keep saying I won't read any piece of a trilogy again until all installments are available but I love Mary Connealy's books so much that I just can't resist when one hits the shelves. She is at the top of my list of favorite authors because she keeps me amused through the whole impossible story each time.


Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I love Bethany House and all their authors!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Heaven Touching Earth: True Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters by James Stuart Bell



This book is a wonderful collection of stories by individuals that have been touched by God in a special way. Some are stories of miraculous healing, some are tales of provision and some are about protection. I have experienced some of these God moments in my life as have many people I know. But I always enjoy reading about other peoples' experiences like this. I am especially encouraged by healing stories because there is so much sickness out there. I was especially interested in a story about a woman who was cured of incurable cancer because I have a childhood friend who is battling cancer right now and I pray constantly for his healing. I read this book straight through like a novel because it was so compelling. Each chapter is an individual story by a different person but they are like potato chips -- you can't eat just one.


I highly recommend this book to everyone. Everyone, whether they realize it or not, longs for a relationship with God and these are stories of relationship.


I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and comments are my own. Thank you Bethany House for publishing such inspiring books!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Everyone Needs Forgiveness and Love



Everyone wants forgiveness. Not grudging words. Not “I forgive you but I cannot forget so stay far away from me.” What is desired is “I forgive you. You are special to me. Let’s move on.”

Everyone wants love --warm, fuzzy, huggy, feel good love that is completely unconditional but still holds you accountable for your part of the relationship. Not love that says I will love you only as long as you don’t disappoint me or only as long as I find you interesting or beautiful, but love that says, “I love you even when you’re crabby, even when you’re not looking your best, even when you’ve hit rock bottom and the only way left is up.”

Everyone has an empty spot in their innermost self that they are constantly trying to fill with something. No matter how hard you try to fill it with stuff or people or ideas, it never feels filled until you choose to fill it with an eternal love, acceptance and forgiveness that only comes from Jesus Christ. It is a relationship with Him, accepting His forgiveness and desiring to please Him above all else that fills that empty spot and fulfills all our innermost desires.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate


Jen Gibbs, an editor at a publishing house in New York City, goes on the hunt for the elusive author of a story that mysteriously appears on her desk. The hunt takes her to within a few miles of her hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There she finds the author, Evan and meets up with the past she has been avoiding ever since she left home. The manuscript is the story of Rand and Sarra who traveled in these same mountains in the 1800s. Both stories, similar in theme, keep the reader enthralled enough to not want to put this book down until the last delicious paragraph is finished and then there is still the desire for more.

This is by far the best book I've read of Lisa Wingate's. She keeps getting better and better. This story seems like her masterpiece so if the next one is even better -- WOW! I loved both story lines in this book and the characters are rich in the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I feel like I know a little more about this part of our country now and some of the issues the people there are dealing with (poverty, isolation, etc.) This is arguably the best book I've read all summer if not all year and I read a LOT of books. I truly cannot wait to see what comes next from this author.

I was provided a copy of this book by Tyndale for the purpose of reviewing it and I am thrilled to have the opportunity!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas



This story is set in the early 1950s in West Virginia farm country. It is the story of Casewell Phillips, a local man who is a woodworker and musician and devout Christian and Perla Long and her little daughter Sadie, who come to stay with relatives and forge a new life for themselves. It is a story of long-held bitterness and forgiveness. It is a story of drought and renewing rain. It is a story of religious zeal and Christian charity. It is a story of redemption. Many of the other characters in the story have a story of their own and this adds to the richness of the story telling here.

The book is well written and keeps the reader captivated throughout. I read it in less than a day because I wanted to know what happened next. This author needs to be heard from again! I was a bit dubious about a couple of points of doctrine but overall the book told a tale that was consistent with the period and setting.

For a refreshing new voice in Christian fiction and a cozy read I recommend this book to all. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Awakening by Traci Higley




Kallie is an ancient history buff and works at a large museum doing research into the lives and language of the Ancient Minoans. She is totally absorbed in this because she has no memory of her life before 7 years previous. She teams up with Dimitri Andreas, a rich philanthropist whose interest in her research is as strong as hers and they go on a world search for an artifact that will crack the code of the language.

Tracy Higley takes us through a whirlwind tour of Egypt, Venice (Italy) and the Greek island of Santorini. She has traveled to these places and has first hand knowledge of the tourist haunts in all these places which makes it real and fun. I have been to two of the three locations and enjoyed visiting again via this book.

I read this book pretty much straight through with a few brief stops when life got in the way. I was fascinating, mesmerizing and different from any book I've read recently. It is even different from most or all of Tracy Higley's other books, all of which I have devoured as soon as they came out. I am still reeling from the twist the storyline took and trying to process it but I would definitely give 5 stars to this book and recommend it to all of my friends. It's fresh and exciting and unique.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering



Drew Farthering and Madeline Parker, amateur sleuths, are making plans for their wedding when they get embroiled in a murder mystery at the local theater. The acting crew at the theater specialize in Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas and the Mikado is on the marquee when the owner and lead actor is murdered. The wife of one of Drew's employees and a former friend is implicated in the murder so they are determined to figure out who the culprit might be.

This book is set in the 1930s in England. I was skeptical at first as to whether I would like reading about this time frame but I was very soon caught up in the story and enjoying every second. Lines from Gilbert & Sullivan's shows ran throughout the story and that was fun. Apparently this is the 3rd in a series about Drew Farthering and Madeline and the ending hints at more to come. I am now on a mission to buy the two previous books and watch for number four to come out. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing more from this author.

This book was given to me by Bethany House to review. I did not receive any compensation for the review, other than the pleasure of reading this book. All opinions expressed here are my own.