Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Review - "Running Around (and Such)"

Linda Byler, a new author, to me offers a new and refreshing Amish story with her novel "Running Around (and Such)," the first in the Lizzie Searches for Love series. Byler grew up Amish and still is active with the Amish church. This is evident as the characters are very realistic and believable throughout the novel as everything is not sugar-coated, there is the negative and bad mixed in with the good. What jumped out to me is that Lizzie is a "typical teenager" as teenage girls may be stereotyped as and she is not portrayed as Amish girls of this age usually are in novels.

Lizzie feels as if she does not belong in her family or her Amish community at times. Lizzie feels inferior to her slim, pretty, and competent sisters, Mandy and Emma. Lizzie is overweight, loves to eat and loves fancy thing, especially high heels. Fifteen is a tough age for Lizzie as formal education is ending for her and she is expected to help around the house more and also work outside of the home. Staying in another family's home and helping out just does not appeal to Lizzie, yet this is expected of her. To add to the feelings of not fitting in, Lizzie's family moves to another county, in order to allow her father to follow his dream of farming much to her mother's dismay. This move is worse still as Lizzie and Emma are at the age of beginning to run around and there are not other young people their age in their county. In order to meet prospective husbands, Emma and Lizzie have to travel to another county on the weekends to spend time with other young people. Lizzie's life is never dull as she helps with the milking at home, works for a short amount of time with eggs and learns to make her own clothing.

Byler's novel is great for adults and also teenagers as Lizzie deals with emotions and also situations that "English" teenagers cope with as well. Byler's style of writing is easy to read. Lizzie has flashbacks throughout the novel and this allows the reader to know Lizzie better and understand her perspective.

*FSB Associates provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Book Review - "Blue Ocean Bob Discovers His Purpose"

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a copy of "Blue Ocean Bob Discovers His Purpose" to read and review! This book is filled with beautiful illustrations, a great story with a wonderful message that is written in rhyme and will hold the attention of children while getting the message across to them.
This is volume one of a new series, The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob. It is written by Brooks Olbrys and illustrated by Aleksandra Beaucher. And how this series has started is wonderful! Olbrys has studied the work of Bob Proctor and after Olbrys' son was born he wished to have these principles be available and more geared toward children, hence the creation of Blue Ocean Bob. I encourage you to check out the website:

This book begins with introducing the reader to Bob, someone many children and adults can relate to. Bob daydreamed about what his life may be like and he lived a good life, but he was not content with what he had. Something was missing for Bob, so he went on a journey to discover what else there is to life. Bob begins with consulting his closest friend (and bird) Zena and then goes to visit the sea creatures as Bob believes them to be "generous, happy and wise." Bob receives advise from various creatures. One of my favorite lines in the book is the advise Bob receives from Doc, a turtle. Doc advises, "Discover your passion, then simply jump in. Decide what you love, what excites and inspires - then make that your purpose and watch what transpires." This advise leads Bob to discover his purpose and knowing what he needed to do! Bob is reminded that although his purpose is set, he will "face crooked pathways and challenges too."

This book is a great story with a great lesson for children and adults. I am looking forward to more adventures of Blue Ocean Bob!

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

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review - "Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball"

I love Christmas - Christmas movies, books, music, everything, so I was excited to read Donita K. Paul's novella, "Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball!" This hardcover book has a beautiful Christmas scene on the cover as well as being a magical Christmas romance. Christmas is a magical time of year, but for some people it is a time of stress and painful memories instead of spending quality time together with family. Cora had difficulty getting into the Christmas spirit and she hated the frenzy of Christmas shopping. Cora had her entire life organized and protected until one day she stumbles upon an interesting bookshop on the even more interesting Sage Street. While browsing for a gift, Cora runs into her boss' boss, Simon in the same shop. Simon, ever so serious and socially lacking Simon, is also shopping for a gift. Both Cora and Simon receive a ticket to an annual Christmas Ball, a ball that is a well-kept secret, but has a unique history and stories associated with it. Neither knew that these tickets would be only the beginning of changes in their lives as through these tickets not only do Simon and Cora spend time together outside of the office, but with Sandy, Simon's sister as well. Cora's sister arrives in town causing chaos and may be the one to disrupt the plan of the ball's organizers if she has her way.

This book is so fun to read and is just a feel-good, magical Christmas story! Sandy's character plays such a vital role throughout the story and with the relationship that grows between Simon and Cora. Sandy and the shop owners are minor characters, but really play huge roles and are really a team working together. Sage Street adds mystery, romance and beautiful imagery throughout the story. I would love to have a Sage Street to walk down, window shop on and enjoy it's treats. It is a place that appears as if it belongs in another era, is uncrowded and filled with beautiful shops with unusual owners and wares. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get into the Christmas spirit!

* “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review - "Angry"

Written from the perspective of 16 year-old Emma, "Angry" by Laura L. Smith is a perfect book for teenagers to read. Emma is struggling with her parents getting divorced, her dad's new girlfriend, her mother's drinking problem and caring for her younger siblings. Along with this, Emma is involved with the school play and "drama" with friends and boyfriends. Emma prays to God throughout the book when she is in the midst of crisis, however she does not really appear to have a real relationship with God or really rely on Him. However, she is on a journey to really placing her trust in God.

This is the third book in a series that deals with teen issues. I thought this book was a quick, easy read and would hold the attention of a teenager. This book could be a great resource to use with a youth group, probably with the girls, as I felt like I was part of a group of teenage girls as I was privy to their thoughts and conversations. I think that by using this book, great discussions could result. Emma deals with real issues and her reaction to everything going on in her life is typical, teen girls would be able to really relate or know someone who could.

*I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Book Review - "A Rush of Wings"

Kristen Heitzmann had me hooked from her very first paragraph of "A Rush of Wings." Noelle is fearful, but of what she is not completely sure and she is not sure where this fear stems from. Noelle is searching for answers and also running from being controlled by the men in her life, most specifically her fiancee Michael who became physically harmful to me. Noelle finds herself taking buses to anywhere that will be far from home and lands at a ranch in a small town. Always loving horses, Noelle is drawn to the beautiful creatures at the ranch and this allows her to forge a friendship with the ranch owner Rick. Images and memories continue to immerse and flood Noelle's mind, but she struggles to piece them together. Through many trials and spending time with Rick, his brother Morgan and their family, Noelle discovers that she is missing out on something in her life that is important to the majority of this family - faith in God. But, why do all of these memories have "God" in them and why does He cause her more fear?

The reader is taken along on a journey with Noelle to sort through these thoughts and memories. I like that I was learning and reliving these along with Noelle and the past and fears were not revealed to me initially. This added to the suspense and also allowed me to really empathize with Noelle. The character development was great in this novel. Noelle begins as a rich, yet fearful twenty-three year-old who has lived in a secure environment with friends hand-picked for her. Noelle sets out on her own with little money and develops her talents and strengths in order to survive and really find herself. One of my favorite parts of the novel is the time that Noelle spends with the Spencer family at their home. The family is very real with their relationships with each other and how they accept Noelle into their lives and at times some are also wary of her. I would recommend this book to any fiction reader!!!

*Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Book Review - "Allison Investigates Does Chocolate Milk come from Brown Cows?"

Written and Illustrated by Colette Omans Nicoletta, "Allison Investigates Does Chocolate Milk come from Brown Cows?" takes the reader on a journey to discover where chocolate milk comes from. This book is perfect for children, it is educational and filled with beautiful pictures portraying each step that is taken in order for chocolate milk to be produced. Allison's dad tells her that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, but to Allison this does not seen quite right. So, Allison goes to a farm and sees different kinds of cows, helps milk the cows and goes to the plant where the milk is taken. This book is enjoyable to read and is written so that children can truly understand where chocolate milk comes from.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Review - "An Amish Christmas, expanded edition"

I really enjoyed reading "An Amish Christmas" last year, so I was very excited when Thomas Nelson offered the expanded edition! This is a book that should be read every year at this time as it puts you into the spirit of Christmas as you are immersed in a simpler way of life focusing on the true meaning of Christmas and highlighting family time during this special season.
The original edition of this book included 3 novellas. The first novella being "A Choice to Forgive" by Beth Wiseman. Lydia is offered a chance with her first love after many years, but has too much time passed and can she ever forgive him?
The second novella is "A Miracle for Miriam" by Kathleen Fuller. Miriam was teased and had her feelings hurt as a young girl, but people can change...or is the hurt too strong to forgive and forget?
The third novella by Barbara Cameron is "One Child." Sarah and David are childless and the pain that results from this is so strong. So, why on this snowy Christmas night is a couple brought to their door needing a place to stay and also ready to birth their first child?
The expanded edition includes "Christmas Cradles" written by Kelly Long. It is worth getting the expanded edition to have this extra, fourth novella. Anna travels a couple of hours to fill in for the local midwife so she can spend time with the family. Soon after falling asleep Anna is woken to travel to a home to help with the delivery of a baby. This is only the beginning of births for this late evening and early morning on Second Christmas for Anna and her faithful driver Asa. Anna also has a love for quilts and little does she know starting out how a quilt will assist her in each of the deliveries on this snowy night and how her heart and life will be forever changed.
This is a wonderful book to add to your Christmas collection. Each of these women author such beautiful stories. Being novellas, each story does not take long to read and yet each story feels complete and you will be left smiling and ready for Christmas (and snow!).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Review - "God Loves Single Moms"

Raising kids can be joyous and difficult at the same time. Teresa Whitehurst has complied what she knows and has learned first-hand about being a single mom in "God Loves Single Moms" in order to help other single moms like herself.
This is a very practical book that is also interactive for moms. It is filled with advice, tips, and help with the goal of helping the single mom to be more confident and hopeful in this challenging yet fulfilling role. Although, you may not have an earthly partner to help raise your children, God is always leading and is right by your side each and every moment. This is a great resource for single moms as it is jam-packed with words from one who is in the same role and is a great reminder of God's guidance and love.

“Available November 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review - "Amy Inspired"

"Amy Inspired" is Bethany Pierce's newest release from Bethany House. Amy is an aspiring writer, however instead of being published she is collecting rejection letters. If that is not bad enough, Amy's roommate Zoe is getting her work published. Amy works at the local university and spends hours upon hours grading papers. Restless with being stuck in a rut both with her job and writing, Amy is not feeling very inspired these days. Then Eli enters the picture and Amy finds herself struggling between friendship and stronger feelings for Eli and also needing to decide whether to play it safe or follow her dreams in all areas of her life.
The book is well-written and the style fits with the characters (creative writers and the language and style that the novel is written in). However, it is a different style from what I am used to and am a fan of.

*Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review.

Book Review - "Coming Back Stronger"

Drew Brees with Chris Fabry has released a memoir, "Coming Back Stronger - unleashing the hidden power of adversity." This is a must-read for all Brees fans and also for those who are not but would like to be inspired that anything can be overcome. Brees has faced several challenges in his life and yet he has pushed on and become a truly great NFL player, in the city of New Orleans that has also overcome adversity in the form of a hurricane. Brees relied on God to help him through his struggles and this is evident in this book.
This is a nice hardcover book complete with color photos. Great read!

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review - "Hatteras Girl"

"Hatteras Girl" is Alice J. Wisler's latest novel and fans of Wisler will not be disappointed! The book did not end how I initially thought it would. There were unexpected twists and turns along the journey throughout this book.
Jackie has held fast to her dream of owning a bed and breakfast since she was a little girl, and not just any bed and breakfast, but the Bailey House. Jackie is working as a journalist and living with her best friend and best friend's son. However, her main goal is to find out who owns the Bailey House and how she can obtain this property. The goal of Jackie's relatives is to find her a husband, and much to Jackie's chagrin, many blind dates are arranged for her. Suddenly Jackie has a date with a man that goes well and this is not arranged by her relatives and then she discovers that this man holds the key to not only her heart, but the Bailey House as well. Jackie is so caught up in her dream and her feelings toward Davis that she does not heed warnings from Buck, her brother's best friend. Join Jackie on her journey to fulfilling her dream!
I enjoyed reading this book! The setting was vividly described and transported me to summer in the Outerbanks. I wish that Minnie's story would have been developed more and that there could have been a possible relationship for her as well, and also her working through her grief more completely. I did enjoy the variety of characters in this novel and Wisler's descriptions of them and their roles. There are the loving, but sometimes overbearing relatives, the unexpected loyal boss and friends who are always there for you. I would recommend this book!

*I was provided with a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Review - "Christmas at Harrington's"

Be ready to be put in the Christmas spirit with Melody Carlson's latest novel, "Christmas at Harrington's." This is a sweet, quick Christmas read with a lovely cover, so the outside of the book is just as nice as the inside!
Lena is just being released from jail, for a crime she is innocent of, and is ready to start her life over in a new town. A new town because why would she want to return to her former one as no one believed her story. Besides Lena's parents have passed away during the eight years Lena spent incarcerated and her minister husband had an affair with a church parishioner. Lena really has no one until she meets Moira on the bus. Moira asks for Lena's story and thinking it will scare her away and Lena will get the empty seat back beside her, Lena shares only to have Moira offer to share her food. Lena continues to have contact with Moira and begins working as Mrs. Santa at a local department store, Harrington's. Everything is going great until a women from her past brings her child to Harrington's to meet Mrs. Santa and recognizes Lena and causes problems. However, losing her job turns out to be the best thing for Lena!
I was not ready for this story to end as there is still so much that could have been told. However, upon finishing the book I was smiling as it appears that Lena is getting the fresh start she deserves and will have a happy life as well as happy endings for the other characters as well! You will want to add this book to Christmas book list!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Review - "More Glimpses of Heaven"

Trudy Harris, RN has released a follow-up to her book "Glimpses of Heaven," titled "More Glimpses of Heaven." This is a book filled with "Inspiring True Stories of Hope and Peace at the End of Life's Journey." You will not be able to read this book and remained untouched by the stories. Each short story is an account that is shared of someone or several people in the final stages of one's life here on Earth. You will cry and reflect on your own life as you read about others' journeys through life and their final moments before meeting their Creator. This is a touching book that will make you appreciate the life you have and to not take a single moment for granted.

“Available November 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Book Review - "First Things First"

Known to many as a NFL star and most recently a star on the reality show, "Dancing With the Stars," Kurt Warner is more concerned with his faith in God, and his family. Kurt and Brenda Warner have co-written "First Things First," an intimate look into their lives. This book is unique in that it is written by this couple, so it alternates between husband and wife giving the reader each perspective. Kurt and Brenda are very candid and share things about their relationship with each other, with their children and what they have learned in life in general. Even if you are not a Kurt Warner fan, you will enjoy this book!

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Review - "Then Sings My Soul"

"Then Sings My Soul - Special Edition" by Robert J. Morgan is a timely release as it contains several Christmas carols/hymns in it. This book could be used as a devotional book or just as a book to read. There are 150 hymns included in this book along with a story about each one. Just a few of the hymns included are: "The First Noel," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Because He Lives," and "God of Our Fathers." It is fascinating to learn the backgrounds of the hymns and also something about the hymn's author. This is a great book for anyone who loves music and/or history! It is a beautiful softcover book with deckle-edged pages as well!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Review - "Emily's Chance"

"Emily's Chance" is the second book in Sharon Gillenwater's The Callahans of Texas series. This book picks right up where "Jenna's Cowboy" left off. The town of Callahan Crossing is trying to rebuild after a horrific fire destroyed part of the town and the town's history. Emily had been hired shortly before the fire occurred to organize the Callahan Crossing Historical Museum; however the fire destroys the current building. Chance Callahan meets Emily the day of the fire and knows he has got to know her better as he believes she is "his one." Determined to keep Emily in Callahan Crossing he donates a building for the museum and enlists the help of his mother with not only the museum, but her matchmaking skills as well. The title, "Emily's Chance," has double meaning as not only is the man Chance determined to be Emily's Chance, but working at the museum is a chance for Emily to add to her resume and leads to her getting a possible chance for a job of her dreams. Staying in Callahan Crossing past getting the museum established is not part of Emily's plans. Can her heart change her head?
It was difficult to stop reading this book once I started. Gillenwater made me wish I was a part of Callahan Crossing! The family relationships and friendships are so realistic as is the "small-town feel" of the book. I am hoping a third book comes out soon, probably Will's story this time!

“Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review - "Don't Look Back"

Do not start reading this book if you only have a few minutes to spend reading, once you start reading you will not want to put it down! Lynette Eason has another released another great novel, book #2 in the Women of Justice series, "Don't Look Back." I stayed up late reading and finished this book as once I started I was pulled into the suspense and romance that is on every page!
This book focuses once more on the Cash family as the first novel did in this series. Samantha and Conner are married, and continue to work closely on cases with Jamie, Samantha's sister, and Dakota, a friend of all, but who would like to be more than a friend to Jamie. Working as a forensic anthropologist, Jamie must relive and deal with the horrors that she experienced twelve years earlier while she was kidnapped and mistreated. While working on a case, Jamie feels that she is being watched and discovers that "The Hero," her kidnapper is around. Jamie refused to not live her life in fear and essentially not live like she did for so many years. Her goal is to find "The Hero" before yet another girl is harmed as Jamie discovers the number of victim is edging toward twenty. As Jamie works and spends time with Dakota, she is filled with feelings that are unfamiliar and she is not sure if she is ready to allow a man to be close to her and part of her life.
This is a great romantic suspenseful read! You will travel on a journey with Jamie as she trusts God and finds healing through Him and comfort that is only found through Him.

“Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book Review - "A Suitor for Jenny"

"A Suitor for Jenny" is Margaret Brownley's second book in her Rocky Creek Romance series. It is 1880 in Rocky Creek, Texas and Jenny is determined to find husbands for her two sisters. Jenny has very strict requirements for what makes a man suitable. Following her head instead of her heart results in not finding appropriate men. Falling for a man herself is not part of Jenny's plan and she is not willing to give into these feelings easily.
This is an enjoyable, quick read. I am looking forward to reading more books in the future from this author.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book Review - "The Waiting"

Suzanne Woods Fisher takes us back to the 1960s in Lancaster County in her latest book, "The Waiting," book two in her Lancaster County Secrets. There we will meet schoolteacher Jorie King, neighbor to the Zook family. Jorie is waiting for Ben Zook to return from serving the country as her heart has always belonged to him. One day the news is delivered that he is dead, this is shortly before Ben's sister-in-law loses a battle to cancer. Jorie and Ben's newly widowed brother find that they have feelings for each other, but then Ben arrives home. What will Jorie's heart tell her?
Fisher ties in the Amish culture will historical details of this time. An African-American vet arrives in town, much to the dismay of the "English," yet the Amish welcome him and his expertise with the large animals. Feelings and attitudes about the war are discussed even in the Amish community. Fisher has created a wonderful story that will pull you into the culture and lifestyle of this fascinating group of people during a decade of excitement and turmoil.

“Available October 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book Review - "The House on Malcolm Street"

I cannot imagine losing my mother, husband and only son to death over the period of two years and having to relocate myself and my daughter to a completely new town and a home with a relative of my late husband's whom I have never met. Yet this is exactly what Leah must do in Leisha Kelly's latest historical novel, "The House on Malcolm Street." Leah has sold belongings in order to stay in her home, however it is not enough and after having to sleep a few nights in the park with her young daughter, Leah must travel to Aunt Marigold's home. This is a story of facing fears, dealing with the past and finding peace with the future. It is understandable that Leah is angry with God, yet He is the only one who can truly help her. You will be taken on a journey with Leah and will experience a myriad of emotions alongside her. This is a quick and easy, yet emotional read, of mending one's heart.

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Book Review - "A Memory Between Us"

You will not be disappointed with the second book of Sarah Sundin's Wings of Glory series. "A Memory Between Us" continues the World War II saga and shares the story of another of the Novak brothers introduced in the first book of this series. Jack Novak is the older brother of Walter (the main character in book one), the older brother who is looked up to and admired, however we will learn that Jack ha his own insecurities. Jack is involved in a plane crash and is at the army hospital where he meets nurse Lieutenant Ruth. Jack falls in love with Ruth and tries to win her heart, however this turns out to not be quite that easy. Sundin takes us on the journey alongside Jack and Ruth as they meet, get to know each other, and work through things in each of their lives. Ruth believes she is broken and not worthy of anyone; will Jack be able to change her mind?
Sundin ties in the history of World War II in this historical fiction novel and makes it so realistic. Sundin has delivered an enjoyable read that is packed full of history, emotions, love and will keep you turning the pages until the end!

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Review - "A Hope Undaunted"

Julie Lessman has a new series for fans of hers (and for new readers, like me!) with the first book being "A Hope Undaunted." This is the first book in Lessman's Winds of Change series.
Katie Rose is the youngest child in her family and is determined to not live as her mother or her sisters, living under the rule of their husbands. Katie loves the advances that are being made by women and is going to be one of "those women." Katie has just graduated from high school and plans to attend law school in the fall. Also, her plans include Jack, a man who seems to fit in perfectly with Katie's plans, he has the money, looks, sense of humor and drive that seem to mesh with Katie's plan for her life. Suddenly, Katie finds herself in contact with Luke, or known previously by Katie in earlier years as Cluny, the one kid whom she could not stand. Being forced to do volunteer work this summer by her parents, Katie is working under the supervision of Luke. Given their history and then a new incident, Katie is the opposite of thrilled.
Lessman ties together family relationships, elements of the time period - 1929, and an easy reading style to bring us a wonderful book. This is a great start to a new historical fiction series!

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

It's a Giveaway Extravaganza! Kindle Giveaway, Facebook Party and Book Bomb - OH MY!

Visit the Roaring 20’s with Julie Lessman in the Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway! Julie’s latest series has just ‘shimmied’ it’s way onto the scene with book 1 in The Winds of Change series, A Hope Undaunted!

Find out more about the book, Julie here.

Enter The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway!

One Grand Prize winner will receive a KINDLE preloaded with Julie Lessman's latest title. The Prize Pack (valued at over $150.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, with Wi-Fi

* A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form and be sure to tell your friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 7th.

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Not only is Julie hosting the fabulous KINDLE giveaway, but also a FACEBOOK PARTY and a BOOK BOMB!!!

Are you ready for PRIZES GALORE??? Then come to the Facebook Party!

How does a gift certificate and a signed book given away EVERY 10 minutes during an hour-long Facebook party sound? (Yeah, we think it sounds pretty great too!) On October 7th at 5pm PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST, & 8:00 EST) Julie is inviting you to attend the A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party! She'll announce the winner of the KINDLE and in addition to the prizes every 10 minutes, she'll also be giving away great prize baskets filled with even more Romance and Technology (Netflix, Starbucks,, Champagne body Lotion, Pearls, & more!)!

BUT WAIT … there’s more (and no, this is not an infomercial … it’s WAY better!). If you participate in the Book Bomb on October 7th you’ll be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to All you need to do to participate is buy a copy of A Hope Undaunted on October 7th and send your receipt (just transaction number from store, store name & date) to! Each book purchased equals one entry, buy 10 books get 10 entries!

All this fun begins with Revell’s blog tour SEPTEMBER 19-25, when 122 blogger/reviewers will post reviews about A Hope Undaunted, followed by the Book Bomb and Facebook Party!

So mark your calendars with these important dates:

September 19-25: A Hope Undaunted will be making an appearance on blogs across the country (and beyond!) in Revell's blog tour!

September 20th: The Technology and Romance KINDLE Giveaway launches (contest runs 9/20 - 10/6)

October 7th: Book Bomb Day (where everyone is encouraged to buy the book online at the same time!) and Facebook Party - meet and chat with Julie, win some great prizes & find out who won the KINDLE!

Want to help us spread the word about all this fun and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate?

Share Julie's Giveaway Extravaganza on Facebook, Twitter or your blog and we'll enter your name into our random drawing to win 50 smackers to!

Once you've tweeted, posted on Facebok or added the button to your blog/website - simple email

href="">Amy and let her know you helped spread the word. Easy.

Here is a sample post for both Twitter/Facebook:

Tweet This: @JulieLessman is giving away a KINDLE and tons more during her giveaway extravaganza! Details here: Pls RT

Share on Facebook: Julie Lessman is celebrating her new release, A Hope Undaunted by giving away a KINDLE, having a Book Bomb and a Facebook Party! Prizes Galore - don't miss the fun!

Or add this button to your blog or website! Simply copy and paste the code in the box into the HTML screen of your blog or website. Then email Amy and let her know you did!

A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party

A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party
A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book Review - "LOL with God"

Pam Farrel and Dawn Wilson have created a fresh, fun devotional book for women, "LOL with God: devotional messages of hope & humor for women."
Each devotional has a text message that will remind us of God's love and care or be an encouragement to us. Each devotional is short with additional scripture to go along with the message that is shared. A feature I really like is the extra space at the end of each devotional for your reflection and own text.
I recommend this for women who feel that they are short on time but would love devotionals that deliver a lot in a small amount.

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book.

Book Review - "Outlive Your Life"

Max Lucado has brought us another wonderful book, "Outlive Your Life." You and me, most of us are just common people, not famous for anything, living our lives day in and day out, yet God can and will use each of us for wonderful and great things!
This would be a great book to use in a small group in addition to reading on your own. The chapters are not long, so they can easily be read at one time and each has scripture to go along with the main idea of the chapter. These are difficult times that we are living in and each of us is dealing with our own challenges, yet we can all make a difference. This book will help each of us on a journey toward making a difference if you choose!

Book Review - "Faithful"

Kim Cash Tate has written a Women of Faith Fiction novel titled "Faithful." This is the perfect title for this book as it tells the story of three women at various stages in their lives and involved in relationships, will they remain faithful to God and continue to trust God's faithfulness?
The book begins with Cydney in the midst of wedding plans...but not for herself, for her younger sister and on her 40th birthday, a double whammy for Cyd, single, turning 40 and the maid of honor for her younger sister. Dana has the perfect marriage until she discovers it is not perfect due to her husband's unfaithfulness. Phyllis longs for her husband to find faith. Life is not always as it seems and does not always turn out as we think, but God is still true and faithful.
Tate's style of writing is very real as it seems you are a part of the story and the characters could be friends of yours. I recommend this as a read to encourage anyone to remain faithful!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review - "Making Waves"

This is NOT your typical historical fiction novel! Lorna Seilstad's novel, "Making Waves" is the first book in the Lake Manawa Summers series. This is set in 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, not the typical setting for historical novels. I found this to be a fresh, enjoyable read - one that is sure to put you into a vacation state of mind!
This is Seilstad's debut novel, and hopefully not her last! I was drawn right into the story and wished that I was one of the elite who made camp at this lake!
Marguerite does not fit the mold that her mother wishes her to fill, luckily her father tends to be on Marguerite's side. Marguerite thrives on adventure and cannot fill the role of the "boring" society lady that is expected of her. This summer seems that it may be the last chance for a reprieve and possible escape from avid suitor Roger - Roger who is perfect for Marguerite according to her mother, but to Marguerite so boring. While at the lake and as a result of a few white lies, Marguerite finds herself spending time with sailing instructor Trip, Trip who is in no way like Roger and Marguerite finds herself falling for Trip. Suddenly, Marguerite's world is tipped upside down when she discovers a secret about her father and she may be forced to endure a life of boredom with Roger.
This is a new author you do not want to miss!!!
“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book Review - "Choosing to See"

As a parent, the hardest thing in the world must be to lose a child. This is something I cannot even imagine having to cope with. Mary Beth Chapman (with Ellen Vaughn)shares her life story and the having to deal with the death of a daughter in the book "Choosing to SEE." Mary Beth, wife of singer, Steven Curtis Chapman, never expected to only have a few short years with one of her adopted daughters, however this was part of God's plan for the Chapman Family. Filled with pictures and ancetodes, heartaches and joyous occasions, "Choosing to SEE" allows the reader intimate access to the Chapman family. Mary Beth shares her heart and in the process will help the reader to still rely on God through the good times and the bad.

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Review - " Amish Proverbs"

Suzanne Woods Fisher has created a beautiful gift book, " Amish Proverbs - Words of Wisdom From the Simple Life." Fisher's book is filled with pictures portraying this simple way of life along with ancedotes and tidbits of wisdom. One of my favorite proverbs that is included in this book is "Faith is the bridge over which we can cross all the unknown waters of tomorrow." Especially in today's society and no matter what "group" we affiliate with, faith is something that we all need in order to face the struggles and hardships of everyday life and have something to get up for in the morning.
Revell Publishers were kind enough to provide me with a second copy of this book to give-away! If you would like a chance to win it, please leave me a comment with your family family proverb. I will choose the winner a week from today, Tuesday, September 7th. Good luck!

"Available from your favorite Revell bookseller."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Book Review - "The Bishop"

The much-anticipated fourth book in the Patrick Bowers series by Steven James, "The Bishop" has arrived! A congressman's daughter is dead, and the killers are not done. However, Agent Bowers is having difficulty finding a link between the murders that are taking place. In the midst of trying to solve this difficult case, Bowers is also dealing with issues in his person life. Tessa, Bowers daughter has several questions as she is facing ethical dilemmas and trying to make decisions.
This is a well-written novel, long, but worth the time to read it! Honestly, the story will pull you in and you will fly through the pages. James' writing is quite graphic at times just to forewarn you, however this is expected in a suspense/thriller novel. Those scenes can be read quickly or skipped as the story is not one to be missed for suspense fans!

"Available August 2010 from your favorite Revell bookseller!"

Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Review - "Hurricanes in Paradise"

Be ready to be swept away to Paradise Island in the Bahamas once you pick up Denise Hildreth's "Hurricanes in Paradise." Vacations are supposed to be just that - a vacation - a time to rest, relax and recharge. However, it is not easy to escape from reality and "hurricanes" that are being dealt with in one's life.
Riley is the director of guest relations at a 5-star resort and loves her job! Riley is preparing for the arrival of three different guests - a widow, a fashion model and an author. What Riley does not know is that these guests are all brought here by God for a reason, reasons that the four women will discover as they are trying to escape from reality at the resort when a hurricane is brewing.
Hildreth will have you laughing, crying, and working through life with these four women. This is a fun summery read, how can it not be with the setting of the novel! But, it is also a book that will take each reader on a journey along with these four women who find healing and unexpected friendships.
*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book - thank you! *

Book Review - "The Seeker"

Set in the time period of the Civil War, "The Seeker" by Ann H. Gabhart will take you on a journey of love, friendship and discovering more about one's self and beliefs.
Charlotte is preparing to marry a man Edwin, however he suddenly shatters her plans and dreams when he shares that he is going to join the Shakers. Edwin is going to join a religious group that stands firm in their belief of not being married. If this is not enough, Charlotte has just been shocked with the marriage of her father to a woman who is young enough to be her sister and the fact that she is a woman from the North. Desperate for an escape from the changes in her Southern home and holding desperately onto the chance that she may still be able to convince Edwin to marry her, Charlotte decides to join the Shaker community. Charlotte joins the Shaker community at Harmony Hill; however she is completely oblivious to how her life will change and how decisions and plans do not always end up as planned.
This is the third book in a series; however if you have read the first two books, it is fine. But, this is a series you do not want to miss out on, so all three books are worth taking the time to read! Gabhart ties in historical aspects along with details pertaining to a community that may not be well-known to the readers. You will be quickly drawn in to the story and you will not want to stop until you finish the book!

“Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review - "Resurrection in May"

Award-winning author Lisa Samson has released a new novel, "Resurrection in May." May has just graduated from college and is searching to find herself. An unexpected relationship is formed between May and Claudius, a kind old man. After witnessing a horrific scene in Africa on her missons trip, May returns to the sanctuary she found before her trip at Claudius' home. During this time May meets up with a former flame and the turns that his life have taken force May to think about life, choices and the path that she is taking. Thus begins May's resurrection.
If you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you. Samson has filled this novel with hurt, heartache and very emotionally draining scenes. However, this is also filled with forgiveness, love and grace as the characters bond and work through the issues in their lives. This book is thought-provoking and the story is one that will be remembered.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Review - "The Faith Dare"

Ladies be prepared to be drawn into “The Faith Dare” once you start this book! Debbie Alsdorf ‘s book “The Faith Dare: 30 Days to Live Your Life to the Fullest” is an excellent resource to use individually or in a small group with other women. This dare is split into sections focusing on different areas, for example your relationship with God and then another section focusing on your relationship with other people. The lessons are relatively short and have scripture woven into them. There are guided questions that will help you to focus on and think about each lesson as well as provide an outline for journaling your thoughts. This is thought-provoking and well worth your time!
“Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Review - "Courting Morrow Little"

Laura Frantz’ latest historical novel, “Courting Morrow Little” is a must-read for historical fiction readers. This is the first book I have read by this author and will not be the last. I am hoping to get a chance to read Frantz’ “The Frontiersman’s Daughter” as the main character is referred to in “Courting Morrow Little” and I would love to know her story as well.
Filled with historical detail of the late 1700’s involving life in Kentucky on the frontier, hostility toward and from the Shawnee Indians and the British occupying cities, this book creates a vivid picture of life during this time. Morrow is faced with challenges and heartbreak at a young age as her mother and sister are killed by the Indians and her brother is kidnapped, leaving her alone with her father. Still after several years, Morrow lives in fear and is sent to live with her aunt where she will be safe. Upon returning to Kentucky, Morrow is faced with dealing with her father’s ailing health and also those in a group she has never forgiven. Morrow is of a marrying age, and living on the frontier there are many suitors , but only a few that are worthy. Morrow is faced with choices and must make choices of the heart and mind. This novel is a great story of love, forgiveness and redemption.
“Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book Review - "Touching the Clouds"

Bonnie Leon has a new series out here for those of us who enjoy historical romance fiction! "Touching the Clouds" is book #1 in the Alaskan Skies series and is different from any book I have read!
Kate Evans is looking for adventure in the 1930's. Kate lives with her parents in the state of Washington and has grown up flying with her father and working in their apple orchard. This is not enough for Kate, she needs something more and also needs to escape from memories that continue to haunt her. Following her dream to be a bush pilot in Alaska, Kate is faced with several challenges, challenges ranging from not being accepted as a woman pilot to losing her heart to a native who harbors secrets as well. Kate learns to place her trust in God as He continues to protect her in the midst of trials and also while making decisions in regards to the men in her life.
Leon has created a story that ties in historical detail from this time period, as well as the setting of Alaska along with romance and characters working through their guilt as to incidents in the past. This is an enjoyable read and I am greatly looking forward to the next book in this series!

“Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Review - "Driftwood Lane"

Denise Hunter's latest installment in her Nantucket Love Story series has arrived! "Driftwood Lane" focuses on Meridith Ward, stable, serious, engaged to an accountant and afraid to let herself fall in love. Meridith receives a shocking phone call while at work one day. Her father, who abandoned her and her now deceased mother years ago, and his new wife have not survived a boating accident and have named Meridith as the guardian for their three children - three children whom Meridith has never met.
This begins a life change for Meridith. She moves from St. Louis to Nantucket to care for these children until their uncle returns from riding around the country on his motorcycle. Upon arrival at the family home, Meridith finds their home, a bed and breakfast, not up to codes and begins to make repairs with the intent of selling.
Jake, or Uncle J, as referred to by his niece and nephews receives a shocking e-mail one night letting him know of his sister's sudden death and the welfare of the children. Jake afraid that he will not be able to see the children and hoping to find Meridith, the children's guardian unfit for the job, arrives at the bed and breakfast as a worker for the many repairs that need to be done, nothing more.
Meridith finds herself falling in love with the children and finds herself faced with the choice - the children or her future husband. Thrown into the midst of this is the unsettling feelings that Meridith is experiencing around Jake and whenever she thinks about him.
Filled with various relationships, past hurts, secrets, and the possibility for new family bonds and love, Denise Hunter has created a story that will keep you engrossed to the end. This is wonderfully written and easy to read as the story pulls you in and holds your interest. A great "summery" read!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Review: "A Love of Her Own"

Longing for a change and some adventure, April McBride heads off to Lewistown, Montana to attend her brother Josh's wedding. But, there is no way that April expected all that she encountered on the way and once arriving in Lewistown.
April who is first introduced in book 1 of Maggie Brendan's Heart of the West series as Luke's fiancee, returns as the main character in book 3, "A Love of Her Own," of the series. April has guarded her heart and not giving any man a chance since her engagement with Luke is broken. After riding a horse for hours, coming face to face with horse-trainer Wes and slipping into her brother's wedding ceremony dressed as a male, April realizes her life is about to change. April quickly learns to adjust to life without a maid and having endless money at her disposal. She makes new friends and learns what it is like to help people and feel needed. April shares her abilities by helping out driving the stagecoach and also working with a young girl who is struggling to walk again. Wes begins to fill April's mind and although he is not the type of man she normally would have chosen or someone her parents would be likely to approve of, April finds herself falling for him.
Brendan brings to life the mid-west in the late 1800's and creates likeable characters that although in a different time period, the reader can relate to and experience their emotions while reading their stories. This book (and series) as a whole are quick reads, I did not want to stop reading once I started! Brendan's writing style is very easy to read and is so vivid that the story just comes to life. This series is a must-read for those who enjoy historical romance fiction!

“Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Review: "Sarah's Garden"

It seems as if there are more and more authors writing Amish novels these days. However, Kelly Long is an author you do not want to miss out on! I read her work as part of "An Amish Christmas," and now a new novel by her, "Sarah's Garden" has been released. "Sarah's Garden" is book one in a A Patch of Heaven Series.
Sarah is a shy Amish woman and prefers to be working in her kitchen garden. Through some circumstances that arise, Sarah finds herself immersing into the English world and she meets an English veterinarian, Grant. Sarah has never felt like this before, but can she really be falling in long with an Englisher? Sarah finds herself in a struggle of following her heart or remaining true to her family and roots - basically her whole life up until now. Long uses great imagery and descriptions to help the reader create wonderful visual pictures throughout the book which adds to the enjoyment of reading the book and working through this struggle with Sarah.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review - "Out of the Spin Cycle"

Do you ever feel as a mother that you are part of a load of laundry on a continual spin cycle and cannot get off? There is just always a hundred things grabbing your attention and time all at once, leading to feelings of stress and being overwhelmed.
Jen Hatmaker has complied 40 devotionals in her book, "Out of the Spin Cycle - devotions to lighten your mother load." Filled with humor and stories, Hatmaker relates everyday incidents and experiences as a mother to various passages that will give you hope and help you to relax - for a few moments anyways! Seriously, this book is great to help you as a mother take a few moments a day to rely on God and spend time in his Word as a reminder that you are not alone!
Hatmaker shares incidents of spending loads of money on toddler clothing to dealing with the Santa issue in her home. This is an upbeat, down to earth devotional book for moms!

“Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Review - "The Homecoming"

If you have read Dan Walsh's "The Unfinished Gift," then his sequel, "The Homecoming" is a must-read! If you have not read "The Unfinished Gift" then read that book, and then this sequel! These two books contain in them a wonderful story set during World War II of three generations and how the three males in the family grow in their relationships with each other.
I love how this book picks up and continues on with where the story ended in "The Unfinished Gift." Shawn returns home after he learns of his wife's death and this forces him to come face to face with his estranged father who is caring for Shawn's son. Shawn is hoping to be home to raise his son and also spend time with his father as they are rebuilding their relationship. However, this is not the military's plan as Shawn is now considered a hero. With Shawn traveling and his father not in the best health, Shawn hires Katherine, the social worker, to be Patrick's nanny. "The Homecoming" continues to build the relationships between the three Collins men and also the new budding relationship between Shawn and Katherine. Also, the reader learns more about when Shawn is MIA and his new-found hero status.
Dan Walsh is a new author who I am looking forward to seeing more books by him published. Walsh is a gifted storyteller and his books are not ones to be missed!

“Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review - "Love on a Dime"

Have you ever kept something a secret from your family and loved ones because you thought it would bring them shame? Welcome to Lilly Westbrook's life, her life that is really a mystery to all except for her close friend Miranda. Cara Lynn James brings Lilly Westbrook to life in her Ladies of Summerhill novel, "Love on a Dime." Lilly is a lady of society engaged to a man who will bring her family to higher social status in the year of 1899. However, this is several years after she gave her heart to a man who was not of social standing to be deemed appropriate by Lilly's parents. When this man Jackson reenters her life, Lilly is forced to deal with her feelings toward Jackson and decide if she is really over him or not. Added to this, Lilly finds out that Jackson is the recent owner of a publishing company, a publishing company that publishes dime novels written by a Miss Fannie Cole. Miss Cole's true identity is a mystery to all, however Jackson's goal is to discover who she really is. Will Lilly be able to keep her secret of being an authoress a secret from Jackson and her fiancee and family? The stakes are raised when Lilly is blackmailed and when a rival publisher offers more money, which Lilly could really use to help support a charity she contributes to.
James delivers a novel that draws the reader into the character's struggles and dilemmas. Lilly is conflicted as to what to do in regards to her love life and also her secret work that is frowned upon by society. There are so many relationships between the characters that are developed well throughout the book and these along with the minor plots will draw the reader in until the very last sentence.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review - "Momology - a mom's guide to shaping great kids"

Shelly Radic, chief of staff at MOPS International, brings a handy book for mothers, "Momology - A Mom's Guide to Shaping Great Kids." This book is very easy to read and follow as it is split into 4 main sections. The first part, "Core" focuses on you as the mother, and this section is filled with topics such as emotions that you may deal with as a mother, and encourages you to think about your strengths and weaknesses. "Finesse" really focuses on the art of mothering and all that is included with this including making decisions and creating traditions. "Circle" is the third part and this focuses on others around you - acquaintances, family members including your husband and extended family. Everyone has a different circle based upon circumstances and how your life is lived. Stay at home moms may feel more isolated than working mothers or they may not depending on the network that each mother has plugged herself into. However, each of us needs supportive people in our lives for encouragement, help and someone who will listen. The fourth and last section is "Grandscape" focusing on God and the world as a whole around us.
This is the first MOPS book that I have read and I was not disappointed. It is filled with great insights from Radic. The book is designed in a way that it can be easily used with a group and have wonderful discussions or for use another with questions that can be pondered and perhaps shared in a journal or blog. This book can help moms feel more comfortable in the role of a mother and be a great learning tool.

“Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Review - "Uncovered"

Susie Davis has brought a very real, straightforward book for all of us wives out there titled, "Uncovered - revealing the secrets of a sexy marriage." Davis gets the message across that while we may wear several "hats" in our lives, our number one priority is being a wife; therefore our number one priority is our husband. Each chapter focuses on a relevant topic that will make you think more about yourself, your role as a wife and your relationship with your husband. Then there is a section to each chapter that is "uncovering the truth." This takes what you have just read and asks point blank questions that will really make you think and consider your relationship and why things are the way they are with you and your marriage. Davis even includes sections called "the male room" which has responses from men to various questions.
This is a must read for every wife, no matter how young or old, newlywed or been married for years and years. This book will really force you to think about your marriage and how you and your marriage has changed since the day you said "I do."

“Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, May 28, 2010

And the winner is...

Sorry this did not get posted last night, but the winner of the book, "The Heart Mender" is "basketballorange301"! Congrats! Hope you enjoy reading this book!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book Review - "What Happened to my Life"

To me it seems as if I am sitting down with Danna Demetre chatting over cups of coffee as I read through her 40-day devotional book, "What Happened to my Life." Demetre would like her readers to find new passion, purpose and joy in their lives.
This book is split into 3 parts. The first part focuses on ways/areas that cause us to believe there is something wrong with us. This stems from expectations we may have, being discontent and trying to balance every area of our lives. The second paret focuses on being content and finding contentment. There are personal accounts from six different women. The third part has devotionals for 40-days for us to embark on this journey - 40 days of rediscovering our lives! Each day's devotional includes an account from Danna Demetre and has a Biblical perspective and verses tied in along with a section for us to write our reflections on the day's devotional.
This book will help each of us who embarks on this journey to change how we view and think about our lives. This book is realistic and straightforward so it is easy to follow and participate in, making it a very useful and worthwhile devotional book.

“Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review - " Disaster Status"

Candace Calvert has released her second book in the Mercy Hospital series, "Disaster Status." Fans of the first book, "Critical Care" will not be disappointed. ER nurse Erin Quinn and Fire Captain Scott McKenna find themselves working together when Mercy Hospital is filled with patients suffering from the effects of a hazardous spill. Tension is high and everyone is on alert, and sparks are flying when Erin and Scott meet.
Both Erin and Scott have baggage that they are individually dealing with - past relationships and accidents that have taken loved family members. Erin and Scott cannot seem to agree on anything except for protecting those that are being affected by the spill. Will they be able to get past their differences and have a relationship besides working together?
Calvert brings the busyness and tension of working in a hospital during a crisis. Drawing from her own experiences, Calvert is able to recreate the scene for the readers and share very real emotions. A must read for those who love medical dramas!
*Tyndale House Publishers was very generous and provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review & Book Giveaway!! - "The Heart Mender"

Andy Andrews begins "The Heart Mender" with a personal account, he finds "hidden treasure" in his backyard. Upon his discoveries, Andy searches the Internet for clues as to what exactly he has found and then his wife's wisdom leads him to talk with the "old people" in his town for additional information. From all of this comes the story of Helen and Josef.
Set in a time period of great fear and suspicion all around, this story will transport you back to World War II. Helen has lost her own husband due to war and while out walking on the beach late one night she sees a body of a solider. Disgusted by the sight of his enemy uniform Helen must make a difficult decision. Helen's heart leads her to do a noble thing and rescue this man, leading her on a path of second changes, forgiveness and new love.
This story will remind each of us to look within a person and not look merely on the outside and to also open our hearts and minds to second chances.

Thomas Nelson Publishers was very generous and provided me with an extra copy to give away on my blog. If you would like to receive this book leave me a comment telling me why you would like this book. I will randomly pick someone a week from today - next Thursday 5/27!

"Book Review" - This Fine Life"

Eva Marie Everson's latest novel, "This Fine Life" take the reader back in time to 1959 and in the life of a young girl who is searching to know herself. Mariette has grown up in the lap of luxury and at 18 has just graduated from boarding school. Her father and mother have plans for Mariette, however their plans vary from each other and Mariette does not know what she wants for herself. Thrown back into life in her community Mariette has the summer to decide what to do with her life.
One day while visiting her father at his company Mariette meets up with a young man Thayne, however his social standing is not that to meet Mariette's parents' approval. Mariette must do what she has not done before, lie and sneak around behind her parents' backs in order to see a man who fascinates her and whom she believes to be in love with. As Mariette and Thayne begin a life together, Thayne makes a huge announcement that will change their world forever - Thayne is joining the seminary to pursue a pastoral career. Mariette believes she is not a "preacher wife's type,"what will her parents think, what is Thayne hiding from her past, what role will Missy and Ward (Mariette and Thayne's best friends) play, and how is Mariette going to survive adjusting to life in a small community without the luxuries she is used to along with women who do not care for her at all?
Everson draws in the reader into Mariette's life and Thayne's as well as they experience joys, suffering, surprises, and heartache. Mariette and Thayne will both learn about themselves and who they really are during these years of self-discovery. They will learn to rely on each other and others as well as they are forced to dive into life and embark on a journey with each other.

“Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review - "It Had to Be You"

Janice Thompson delivers a wonderful conclusion to the Weddings By Bella trilogy! You will be immersed in the drama and fun family moments with the Rossi clan once again...along with their friends who participate in the festivities involving more than one wedding!
Bella is trying to plan her own wedding to her cowboy fiancee D.J., yet she is up to her neck with planning weddings for others including her aunt and uncle who are finally a couple after decades. Along with this wedding comes family members from the homeland along with former mobster Sal. In the midst of this, Jenna (Bella's best friend) and D.J.'s brother are missing and Bella's sister has exciting news of her own to share!
Along with the weddings and exciting news, comes changes for the members and friends of the Rossis' including renovations to homes and in individual lives as well.
This is a must read for anyone who is a part of or longs for a big family!

“Available May 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Book Review - "How Do You Tuck in a Superhero?"

Rachel Balducci shares her stories of raising five sons in her book, "How Do You Tuck in a Superhero?" This is a delightful novel filled with touching and humorous stories of life as a mom of five boys.
Rachel recalls times of taking the boys out in public and receiving "looks," to hosting a party in her backyard for her parents amid holes that have been dug looking for treasure to entertaining boys in addition to her own five during playdates. This book is a treasure and must-read for anyone raising one or many boys as you will be able to relate, laugh and cry along with Rachel.

“Available April 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book Review - "Divanomics"

Michelle McKinney Hammond shares her stories and tips on "how to still be fabulous when you're broke" in her latest book, "Divanomics." Michelle was used to living a fabulous life, being able to have all her needs and wants, anything she desired - she was living the life. Then...suddenly, she no longer could afford her condo even and her shopoholic habits would be changed. While reading the book you will feel as if you are sitting down with Michelle talking face to face. She is very real in the book and it is written in a conversational tone.
In today's economy, struggling to find the extra money for the "extras" that are desired or even being able to meet needs is relevant for many people. Michelle has filled this book with tips for downsizing, finding bargains and finding treasure in what is already owned. "Dvia tips" are included throughout the books offering practical tips for living a life that is comfortable and allows you to live within your budget.
Making lists, prioritizing the areas in your life that you spend money and creating and following a budget are outlined in this book with Michelle's personal thoughts and tips on each subject. This book will force you to thnk about your life and how you live your life and spend your money.
*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.*

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review - "In Harm's Way"

Irene Hannon finishes her Heroes Of Quantico trilogy with "In Harm's Way," a riveting story featuring Nick Bradley. Nick has played a role in the other two novels in this trilogy, "Against All Odds" and "An Eye for an Eye." I really liked this aspect of the trilogy - that each of the three men (and the main female character in each book) play a role in each of the novels with each book focusing on the story of one of the men.
"In Harm's Way" presents the reader with suspense, romance, relationships and psychology. Rachel Sutton finds a ragged Raggedy Ann doll in a parking lot and experiences an odd sensation when the doll is in her grasp. Not understanding this and being rejected by the local police, Rachel goes to the FBI where she comes in contact with Agent Nick Bradley. Luckily, Nick witnesses Rachel's reaction to the doll and does not laugh off her story. Looking over some past photos the doll is noticed in the edge of a picture of an abducted baby. Through this doll, Rachel learns that she has a twin sister and is really not all alone in this world as she always believed to be as she was moved from foster home to foster home growing up. Nick fights his feelings for Rachel, however it is difficult to deny that the feelings exists when Rachel appears to be in danger herself.
I have enjoyed reading this trilogy and "In Harm's Way" was a great conclusion to this trilogy. The suspense in each book is just right along with the romance that blossoms between the agents and the women they come in contact with on the job. However, the stories are not "sugar-coated" as Hannon has completed research and it was interesting to learn more about the FBI and the various aspects of the responsibilities and roles of the agents. It was a difficult book to put down once I started it!

“Available April 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Review - "Never Let You Go"

Erin Healy's first solo novel, "Never Let You Go" is thought-provoking and overlaps into several categories. The main character Lexi, is struggling to raise a daughter on her own while holding down two jobs and maintaining a safe world for them. There is a science fiction feel to this book as well as Lexi struggles with determining what is actual reality and what may be a force or part of her imagination.
Lexi's life was changed seven years ago, and suddenly it is getting turned upside down again when a friend/enemy from the past re-enters making bizarre threats, her estranged husband becomes in contact with Lexi's daughter through Lexi's mother and a man who she secretly had an affair with who also murdered Lexi's sister is up for parole.
This book revolves around choices that people make - choices and how one's choices not only impact his or her life, but everyone's lives around this individual as well. However, the love and grace of God as well as forgiveness that we must extend to others is a key message as well.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review - "Too Close to Home"

The end of the cover blurb reads "Read this one with the lights on!" I agree! Lynette Eason's book 1 in Women of Justice Series, "Too Close to Home" is the most suspenseful book I have read in awhile! This book really made me jumpy at some points - of course, I ended up reading some of it late at night as I could not put the book down!
Special Agent Samantha Cash is called in to work with homicide detective Connor Wolfe on a case that is unfortunately very realistic for today - teens being abducted after talking with with people in chat rooms who are pretending to be someone they are not. Being that the story is so realistic, it was hard to put down, yet it was also so suspenseful and yes, scary at times.
Connor is struggling to raise a teenage daughter himself after losing his wife a few years earlier. As there relationship is not too strong, Connor does not know that his daughter is also communicating with people on the Internet and quite possibly the alleged abductor and murderer. As more girls are reported missing, Connor and Samantha become involved in a race against time as everything becomes way too personal! Samantha will learn some startling discoveries about her sister and also a close friend.
Eason's style is so easy to read and allows the reader to really get into the story. I felt as if I was a character in this story as the story felt that real! This is the first book I have read by Lynette Eason and it will not be the last! I am looking forward to more books in the Women of Justice series.

“Available April 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book Review - "An Honest Love"

I think I enjoyed this book more than the first in the series and I really liked that one as well! Kathleen Fuller's second book in her Hearts of Middlefield series, "An Honest Love" really focuses on the lives of 4 individuals - 2 couples on the journey of friendship growing into love.
The main characters of her first novel in this series play a minor role, so it is nice to read the first book as you can see how this family is changing and growing.
Elizabeth is at that age when she should becoming a more serious adult and interested in becoming a homemaker and mom. Elizabeth feels as if she is not prepared or as competent as she should be. She finds herself working with and spending more time with Aaron. However, Aaron is filled with regrets of choices he has made in his past and feels as if he is not good enough for an Amish woman. Join these two on their journey of friendship.
Anna is new to the area and trying to forget a broken relationship in the past. She is not willing to open up her heart to any man. However, Lukas showers her with kindness through helping Anna and her mother with their new shop. Anna slowly opens her heart to Lukas, however she is still not telling all of her secrets. An upsetting event causes a wedge between these two, will they make it back to the point at which they fell in love?
A must read for Amish fiction fans!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review - "Hand of Fate"

Beginning with a murder, Lis Wiehl along with April Henry deliver another great suspense novel titled, "Hand of Fate." If you enjoyed the first "Triple Threat Novel" you will not be disappointed with this one!
Picking up soon after the last case is resolved, three friends Nicole, Cassidy and Allison are thrown back into working a case together as fear and panic take over the city while these three women are going about their daily lives. This panic begins when Jim Fate, a controversial talk radio host, is poisoned by a gas in his studio while delivering his daily show. While the novel focuses on finding Fate's murderer and the cause for this horrid incident, the three women are dealing with secrets of their own. They will realize that they really do not know each other that well and that often friends do need to be relied on in order to make it through trials that are faced in life.
This book is very well written and holds the reader's attention right up until the last page. Wiehl and Henry kept me intrigued and guessing through the last page!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review - "The Promise of Morning"

When I received the offer from Revell to read and review Ann Shorey's 2nd book in her "At Home in Beldon Grove" series - "The Promise of Morning," I bought the 1st book in the series so I could read that first. I am so glad I did! I enjoyed both books so much and by reading the 1st book, I feel that I got so much more out of the 2nd book in the series.
"The Promise of Morning" begins in March 1846, seven years about book 1 "The Edge of Light" ended off. While "The Edge of Light" focuses on Molly McGarvie's life, Molly's brother Matthew and his family are introduced and play a role in the book as well. Although Molly and her family still play roles in "The Promise of Morning," this novel focuses on Matthew's wife, Ellie and trials and surprises that arise in this part of the family.
Shorey delivers stories that focus on realistic people living in the mid 1800's. The characters in this series are faced with common struggles for this time period and the strength that they use to overcome these hardships are inspiring for readers living into world which is harsh at times.
One aspect that I really enjoy of Shorey's writing is the relationships that are developed throughout the novels and the depth of growth experienced by the characters individually and with each other both.
I highly recommend this series to any historical fiction fan!

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review - "Ryken's Bible Handbook"

Picking up the Bible and beginning to read can be intimidating to anyone. Ryken's Bible Handbook is a book that can be helpful as it can be a guide for the reader before diving into the Bible.
This book provides background information on each book of the Bible and takes a literary approach with each book. Maps and charts are also included and also a topical guide. There is also a reading guide for those who wish to read the entire Bible in a year. This book is an invaluable tool for anyone who is just beginning to read the Bible or for anyone who is seeking for a deeper understanding of the many stories, truths and passages in the Bible.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of the book.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review - "Scattered Petals"

"Scattered Petals" is the second book in Amanda Cabot's Texas Dreams series. I would recommend having read book 1 in the series, "Paper Roses," first as you will appreciate the story more as book 2 picks right up where the first book left off.
Amanda Cabot creates very real characters in her books allowing you as the reader to experience their emotions, hardships and joys right along with them. I felt as if I were living in Texas along with the main characters and experiencing life in the mid 1800's.
"Scattered Petals" revolves around the story of Priscilla Morton, Clay Canfield's late wife's sister. Priscilla is seeking adventure in Texas and persuades her parents to travel to Texas to attend Clay and Sarah's wedding. Priscilla never dreams that she will be the only Morton to actually arrive to attend the wedding. Once arriving at the Canfield ranch and meeting Zach, she sees a resemblance between him and a man she wishes to never see again. However, as time passes Priscilla realizes that Zach may be the person who can help her with the trials she is facing and will need God's help in trusting Zach.
I love how Clay and Sarah's story is continued in this second book as well as the other people in their town. Priscilla and the life she builds in Texas is a great addition to this story.
Cabot has a flowing writing style that is easy to read and you will be quickly drawn into this historical romance novel. I am greatly looking forward to a third book in this series!

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book Review - "A Distant Melody"

Sarah Sundin has truly found her calling - writing historical romance novels! Her debut novel, "A Distant Melody," is hopefully the first of many works that will be released!
"A Distant Melody" is book one in the Wings of Glory series. Set during World War II the reader is transported to this time period and travels between California and England as the lives of Walt and Allie become alive. Allie is a young woman who has never been pretty enough according to her mother, has never been told she is pretty by her fiancee or felt that she is truly special to this fiancee as well. While traveling by train to a college friend's wedding, Allie is beginning a journey that will forever change her life. Befriending a mother and her young children on the train leads Allie to meet a serviceman Walt, who she ends up spending a great deal of time with as he is also a part of this friend's wedding. This week filled with wedding festivities is a great deal of fun for Allie as she feels as if she is surrounded by friends and people who really do care about her. However, omitted details, misunderstandings, and distance wedge in between Allie and Walt as they lead their separate lives thousands of miles away from each other. In the midst of war, Allie and Walt eventually are drawn together by corresponding through letters. However, Allie is still planning her wedding to her fiancee, Baxter, although she has several doubts. Faced with an ultimatum from her parents, Allie must make life-changing decisions. Allie learns what is important and gains courage by trusting God.
Sundin's has a flowing, descriptive writing style that draws the reader into the story. I felt as if I was transported back in time to World War II. The characters are so real and believable that the reader will wish for friends such as Allie, Walt, George and Betty.
This is a must read for all historical romance readers and for those who are not! I am looking forward to book two in this series being released and hoping it picks up where "A Distant Melody" left off!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review - "The Flowering Cross"

I recently received this book, "The Flowering Cross" by Beth Ryan from Thomas Nelson publishers. It is a sweet story for Easter to be shared with children. Katie and her brother NoNo are friends with a neighbor Papa Jack, whom the other children are afraid of. Katie goes to Papa Jack's beautiful garden to pick flowers to take to church on Easter Sunday to place on the cross. Through Katie's kindness and witness, Papa Jack decides to attend church with Katie's family and comes to Jesus as well. Before Easter dinner with the family, NoNo and Papa Jack go to his workshop and build a flowering cross for the dinner table.
This book illustrates the love that Jesus has for each of us and what the cross represents, Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. This book also contains "Faith Imprints" on several of the pages, statements that can lead to further discussion with your children along with a Bible verse correlating with the story text on the page. There are also instructions in the back of the book so that the reader is able to make his or her own flowering cross. This would be a wonderful book and project to become a part of families' traditions during Easter time.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review - "Love Your Heart"

Tim McGraw and Tim Douglas return with another story about the little girl Katie made popluar in the book, "My Little Girl." Katie in "Love Your Heart" learns an important lesson about talents and what she is really good at. Katie is involved in a talent show and has difficulty determining what talent she should use. This book is a great story to teach children that sometimes your talent and what really matters is what is on the inside and how you can help another person. Katie feels so good about herself when she helps a friend be happy! Her daddy confirms this by saying, "but most of all, I love your heart."
I would recommend this book for children up to age 10. This book is a nice hardcover book with beautiful illustrations and easy words geared for children.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review - "Abigail"

After reading Jill Eileen Smith's latest novel, "Abigail," I am so interested to dive into the Bible and study more about this remarkable and faithful woman! "Abigail" is the second book in "The Wives of King David" series. I am next going to read the first book in this series, "Michal." "Abigail" is fine to read as a stand alone novel, however I enjoyed it so much I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series!
Smith has created such a masterpiece in this novel! While reading this I felt as I were back in 1017 BC along with Abigail waiting for her betrothed, Nabal. Smith takes the reader on a journey along with Abigail as she marries Nabal, suffers heartache and pain and then later marries David, the future King. Abigail's emotions and struggles are so real and the reader will experience them right along with her. Throughout these years with Abigail she is faithful and always looking to the Lord for guidance and reassurance. Abigail is an example to the other wives and women in the tribe, often in the role as the peacemaker and one to maintain calmness during stressful times. Smith really describes well the heart of the beloved wife of King David, and the one wife who really shares his beliefs and is a role model for him to place his full trust in the Lord.
This has really opened my eyes into the culture and life of one of the women in the Old Testament. Smith's story seems to be well researched from the scriptures as well as history. I recommend this book to any historical romance fan!

“Available February 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book Review - "A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists"

Michelle LaRowe has complied a great amount of information for mom, old and new ones alike, in her book, "A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists." I would not describe this book as a typical book you would read during pregnancy or for raising children, this is so much more than I expected! This covers what tests to expect having done during pregnancy doctor visits, what is needed when expecting multiples, top questions to ask daycare providers and a dosage chart for common medications that may be needed for your child. However, this goes even further and includes lists for top toys for your child's first year, a toddler library, tips for balancing home, work and family and even recipes.
Each section is clearly marked and organized, so you can easily find what you are looking for. This is handy reference book for moms expecting a new baby or those with toddlers already filled with practical information.

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review - "Swinging on a Star"

What better way is there to spend a cold, snowy day than to curl up with a great book?! And with Valentine's Day being just yesterday, book 2 in Janice Thompson's Weddings By Bella series, "Swinging on a Star," would be a great choice! This series is one of my new favorite series!
I loved book 1 in the series, "Fools Rush In," and I was so happy when I started "Swinging on a Star," that it picked up right after the first book left off! Bella's family is still so crazy and so lovable, with the extended family being involved in each others' lives on a daily basis. If they weren't, this series would not be so enjoyable to read! Not only is Bella dealing with Uncle Laz's and Aunt Rosa's constant feuding, the parrot's singing and the pesky neighbor boy still snoopy around while trying to plan her first ever Renaissance-themed wedding, the best man turns out to be one of Hollywood's hottest actors! Suddenly, Bella needs to keep Brock's identity a secret, yet him staying in the Rossi household proves this task to be a difficult one. Bella's sister becomes star-struck and don't forget about Bella's boyfriend, D.J. - what is he going to think about the actor staying in the same house as Bella? The same lovable characters that are introduced in the first book in this series return, including the "three sisters" from D.J. home church along with the Neely brothers in some new and surprising roles!
Thompson's writing style is so easy to follow and get into, you will not want to put the book down once you start! I am looking forward to book 3 being released and hoping it picks up right where "Swinging on a Star" ends!

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Review - "Dreams That Won't Let Go"

I was drawn into this novel on the very first page! At first when I received this book, "Dreams That Won't Let Go" by Stacy Hawkins Adam, I was hesitant to start reading it as it is the third book in the "Jubilant Soul" series and I have not read the first two books in this series. However, once I started reading and got into the story I did not want to put it down! I am however going to find the first two books and read them just because I enjoyed this book, the Burns family and want to learn more of their story.
In this third book, Indigo is in the midst of planning her wedding and make life-changing decisions about her future. At the same time her prodigal brother Reuben returns to town, this would be fine except he is not explaining his long absence and all the attention is poured upon Reuben and his family while Indigo is feeling pushed to the side. Yasmin, their younger sister, is struggling with what she wants out of life as she turns 18 and ultimately breaks her family's heart and causes worry. With the support of a great friends(Max, Shelby and Pastor Taylor) along with extended family (Melba and Rachelle), the family is able to work through past issues and find some peace and repair relationships.
Adams' writing style is very easy to get into and follow, it just flows well. I felt as if I was in the novel with the characters. The characters and their relationships with each other are very well developed and realistic. This is a true extended family who is is involved in each others' lives, however still harbor bitter feelings and jealousy toward other family members. Adams does not create an unrealistic "everything is perfect" family by any means. The heartaches and feelings of hurt will draw you in and you will be empathizing with Indigo, Reuben, Peyton, Mama, Daddy and Max all throughout the book, as well as rejoicing when they have "breakthrough moments." Overall, a wonderful book that I would recommend to any fiction reader!

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Review - "Songs of Deliverance"

Heart-wrenching at times, full of joy at other times. This is how I would sum up Marilynn Griffith's lastest novel, "Songs of Deliverance." If you are looking to read a happy book, one that is happy from start to finish, this book is not for you; however this really is a book you do not want to miss out on!
Have you ever felt as if you cannot go on or what is the point of trying as no one has faith in you anyways? This perfectly describes the main characters in this novel. However, one lady had faith in these four individuals which made all the difference in the world and helped them grow as individuals and also their relationships with Jesus Christ and those around them.
Griffith's character growth is amazing and you will learn a lot as you journey through the book with them. Each chapter changes perspective either from Zeely, Brian, Ron or Grace's point of view. I loved this style and approach as I felt that it helped me to connect with each of the characters better and really understand where each was coming from. The relationships and ties among not only these four characters, but with the other characters in the book will keep you guessing until the end when all the ties are finally discovered and/or created.
I have never read anything by this author before,as I had received this book as a complimentary copy from Revell, so I did a search on her to see what else she has written. Griffith's novel, "Rhythms of Grace" appears to be a novel that introduces these characters and provides the "background" to this story. It is not necessary to read "Rhythms of Grace" before reading "Songs of Deliverance," however I am curious to know more of the characters' stories and what brought them to the point they are at in the beginning of the second novel.

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book (Bible) Review - " Mom's Bible - God's Wisdom for Mothers"

When I received this Bible, I was not sure what to expect in terms of the type of the Bible that it is. "Mom's Bible" is a "typical" Bible, however it is filled with unique aspects geared for mothers. Being a relatively new mom, I am excited about this! This Bible is New Century Version, therefore it is a Bible that is easily read and understood. The notes are written by Bobbie Wolgemuth.
At the beginning of each book is an introduction to the book, this helps relate the role of a mother to the specific book. Also included in the Bible are little "Insight"blurbs and "Godly Character" passages to encourage and help lead moms at different stages of motherhood and life. One aspect that I really like is a section that is included at the back of the Bible and that is questions that kids ask. Sometimes kids ask questions and we struggle to use the right words to provide the answer and explain in a way they can understand, I think this section will be very helpful!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book Review - "Jenna's Cowboy"

A new author to me, Sharon Gillenwater, has become a new favorite author of mine! "Jenna's Cowboy," the first book in The Callahans of Texas, is a delightful mix of family relationships, love, hurt, forgiveness and dealing with PTSD. The line on the back of the book sums it all up: "Can you ever get a second chance at your first love?"
Jenna is living back at home as a partner on the family's ranch with her young son following a divorce to her pro football husband. Re-enter into her life a man who Jenna always cared for, but never knew that he felt the same way back in high school. Nate was told he was not good enough for Jenna then, will things be different this time? However, Nate has just returned from active duty in the military and is struggling with nightmares and his memories of this time overseas.
Gillenwater shares a realistic story that can be related to in today's time. I was immediately drawn into the story in the first chapter and it was hard to put down. The family dynamics and everyday life are so real that is so easy to feel as if you are in Texas as a part of this close-knit family and town. Once you arrive at Callahan Crossing you are not going to want to leave! I am looking forward to other books in this series!

Monday, January 25, 2010

DVD Review - "Antonio Meets His Match"

"Antonio Meets His Match" is the second dvd I have seen in Max Lucado's Hermie and Friends series. I put this on to watch with my 18 month old daughter and it held her attention for quite awhile! I would recommend this for young children up to age 8.
Antonio is the strongest and bravest ant in the garden. One day some kilt wearing foreign ants move into the garden and Antonio's first response is to have them leave. Antonio and the others in the garden begin a journey of learning the very important lesson of loving your neighbor as you love yourself. This may be easy if your neighbor is a nice person, however this is more difficult if the neighbor is annoying and mean. Antonio learns that no matter how annoying or mean his neighbor is, he needs to love his neighbor. This is all learned through a series of unusual competitions and situations that result in everyone learning the important lesson.
The "love your neighbor" concept is woven throughout the entire story. Anyone wanting to share this message with his or her child should watch this dvd.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Book Review - "The Choice"

Get ready to enter the world of Lancaster County! Suzanne Woods Fisher draws you into this fascinating world in her latest novel, "The Choice," book of Lancaster County Secrets. Sol, the man who Carrie loves, is asking her to leave the familiarity in life, their Amish community, to join him as he follows his dream of being a baseball player. Carrie, left to raise her younger brother, following the death of her father and not wanting him to be left in the clutches of her step-mother, Carrie makes a decision that she believes will be in the best interest for her brother as well as herself. However, Carrie will struggle with her decision and will be forced to make this choice once again at a later time.

Fisher shares a story that is unlike many of the other Amish novels that have been written. Tying in relationships not only among those living the Amish lifestyle, but also the "English" living in the same area gives a realistic feel to the entire novel. Be prepared to experience a whole range of emotions as you experience Carrie's struggles, heartaches, joys and love. There were several times throughout the novel that I felt frustrated and upset due to the heartache that Carrie was experiencing, and then at times felt so hopeful for her as life seemed to be looking up.

The reader is quickly drawn into this novel and Fisher's style makes it easy for the reader to get lost in this world. I am greatly looking forward to book 2 in the Lancaster County Secrets series. I received a complimentary copy of this book.

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”