Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: A Windy Spring Day by:Wendy Dunham

 A Windy Spring Day: God Gives Us Friends When We're Afraid
 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
A Blustery Day in Buttercup Grove

When a big wind goes whoosh, Skunk gets scared and could sure use a friend. Braving the storm to check on his best pal, Raccoon comes over for a visit and brings a big surprise—supplies to make a kite. Skunk and Raccoon work together to get the kite made and invite everyone in Buttercup Grove over to fly it, because some things are better to do with more than just two!

The Tales of Buttercup Grove series introduces young readers, ages 3-7, to the many fun adventures of Skunk, Raccoon, and the rest of their woodland friends. Along the way, your child will learn timeless Christian values, such as sharing, compassion, kindness, encouragement, and patience, and learn a key Bible verse at the end of each story.

My Review:
 Poor skunk! He is deathly afraid of the wind as it kicks up one day. But he didn't have to be afraid or alone long. His friend Raccoon came to help sit it out with him. While they waited it out Raccoon brought some supplies and they worked on a great project that will help pass the time. Soon the two friends are immersed in this project and what a great thing that it turns out to be. So much so that they share it with all of Buttercup Grove.

 These sweet little stories all combined in a precious book just perfect for my 8 yr old. We enjoy reading together the adventures of the woodland creatures from Buttercup Grove. Along the Christian values and a Bible verse for each story these are the most precious books.

Review: The Hope Jar by:Wanda E. Brunstetter

 The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars #1)
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
A Brand-New 3-Book Series from New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

My Review:
 Talking about a con artist. Michelle Taylor assumes the life and role of a girl by the name of Sara Murray. Sara being Amish proves to be a good fit for Michelle. The Amish, their lifestyle and all they have to offer seem to come at the best time for Michelle. She is trying to escape a devastating set of circumstances ones in which, there seem to be no escape or so she thought. She was able to become Sara and the Lapps believe her. But soon conviction gets the best of her and she starts contemplating telling them the truth.

 Its not long before Michelle assumes the role of Sara that some young men become interested. Thats all great and everything but what will they do when they find out they are being deceived? Michelle has a lot of explaining to do and she needs to act quickly because her whole story seems to be falling a part. The Hope Jar is based on a little jar of hope that Michelle finds. It is this jar that will set her free on so many levels.

 A great summertime read!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Review: The Edge Over There by:Shawn Smucker

 The Edge of Over There
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
The captivating sequel to the award-winning The Day the Angels Fell

Before the Tree of Life, everything in Abra Miller's life had been predictable. But after the Tree and the lightning and the angels, everything felt tenuous, like holding a soap bubble in the palm of her hand. She spent years looking for signs of that other world, waiting for it to break through. When it didn't, her friendship with Sam Chambers grew cold and distant, and they both wondered how any of it could actually have happened.

Four years later, 16-year-old Abra's long-delayed quest to find the next manifestation of the Tree of Life is renewed when she sees a woman walking up the road--a woman who looks exactly like Sam's dead mother. The woman directs her to New Orleans where she will find the grave of Marie Laveau, one of seven gateways between this world and Over There. As Abra enters The Edge of Over There and begins her pursuit of the Tree once more, she doesn't know whom to fear or whom to trust. But she's starting to think that some doorways should never be opened.

My Review:
 This book, the story is very different than what I typically read and review. Along with lyrical prose and Abra's flair for the dramatic this story is multi-dimensional. It has several different story-lines that meet somewhere in the middle. I liked the fact that I was sent on a wild goose chase to get down to the bottom of this character and what the Tree of Life was.

 Abra is taking an adventure and she takes us along for the ride. She is on a quest that only she alone can complete. It was jaw dropping to say the least. Now, I have to go back and read the first one because I can't get enough of this amazing story. A great read by the pool!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Review: Minding The Light by:Suzanne Woods Fisher

 Minding the Light
**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship's hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. "Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?" he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn't defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and "mind the Light," finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be--honorable, wise, faithful--she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren's business partner, cousin, and best friend--and Daphne's fiance. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?
Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

My Review:
 What an interesting take on love from this prospective. Suzanne Woods Fisher doesn't disappoint in the latest addition to the Nantucket Legacy series. Minding the Light is a Quaker term meaning, learning to see God's light both around and inside us. Reynolds Macy or "Ren" returns home after a very long whale exploring adventure to find things are not quite as he left them. He becomes quite depressing and irritated by this but there is one lady that can see straight through all of his issues and can peer straight into his soul. 

 Ren falls for a lady already taken. Daphne has a heart of passion and is very spirited. Ren is attracted to that, but unfortunately someone else, someone very close to him holds the key to Daphne's heart--his business partner, 

 Grandmother's journal from book one also makes an appearance in book two as well. I do feel that you really need to read book one to get a feel for the story and more background information. 

 A solid story line and great characters!


Review: The Hope of Azure Springs by:Rachel Fordham

 The Hope of Azure Springs
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 
About the Book:
Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won't be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He's determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn't expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

My Review:
 Em has nothing to prove except, maybe to herself. She has already been through an horrendous ordeal when her guardian was shot right before her eyes. Being 19 has had its challenges but now the weight of that has grown much heavier. Her guardian is gone, she is a young girl in the west by herself. She has a lot to figure out but not a lot of time to do it.

 She settles in a place called Azure Springs, Iowa. It seems this is a community she can fall in love with too. With its rolling hills and beautiful sunsets, whats not to love? But what she didn't count on was finding love, after-all she has a lot on her plate as it is without throwing love in the mix.

 Rachel Fordham has written a beautiful love story as her debut novel takes flight. Not sure many people would want to miss the love story between Em and Caleb. A very sweet story!

Review: River to Redemption by:Ann H. Gabhart

 River to Redemption
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll face an uphill battle.

Based partly on a true story, Ann H. Gabhart's latest historical novel is a tour de force. The vividly rendered town of Springfield and its citizens immerse readers in a story of courage, betrayal, and honor that will stick with them long after they turn the last page.

My Review:
 Ann Gabhart is no stranger to really good historical fiction. She really digs in deep and researches her role in the writing of a film on paper. She really gets to the heart of her characters and shows us a virtual movie. The story line is always strong so I love reading her books based on the fact that she is so incredibly talented. 

 Absolutely. loved Adria and Louis! The roles they play were dynamic. To me, Louis was that grandfather that you could always count on to protect you. He was a very simple man with amazing character that you could always count on. In the author's writing you could feel the love that Adria had for him. I fell in love with Louis. Because Louis was a slave rescuing him from that life was not going to be an easy one.

 This story was heart-wrenching at times and a beautiful love story, overall. A great story!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Review: Passion in the Pulpit by:Vines/Dooley

 Passion in the Pulpit: How to Exegete the Emotion of Scripture
 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:

Biblical exegesis doesn’t stop with the words alone. Faithful preachers exegete the emotion of the text as well.
It’s easy to let our own personalities dictate the emotional dimension of our sermons, but the best preachers mirror the Bible’s emotive intent in their sermons. In Passion in the Pulpit, Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley will teach you how to exegete not just the verbal content of Scripture, but its emotional appeal as well. They show you the role the Bible’s emotional intent should play in each stage of sermon prep, and:
Offer exegetical steps to discern the biblical pathos Teach you how to avoid manipulation while making your sermons emotional Help you determine the appropriate limitations of emotional appeal Give you verbal, vocal, and visual techniques to help convey the biblical emotional intent in your sermons When we elevate the Bible’s emotional intent above our own, we preach truth rather than personality.

My Review:
 If you want to amp up your speaking engagements and sermons many times we have to reach out to a fellow minister to do just that. My husband ministers every month to a group of people most often than not that are forgotten. He speaks to a group of people that are retired and living in a retirement community. He along with a few others volunteer here each month. These people are so encouraging and excited to see him as well as other fellow ministers.

 The look forward to that interaction each week. And I have to admit my husband gains some from being around these individuals that are much more mature than we are. I love hearing their stories and many times we cry tears with them as they share their innermost thoughts, feelings, and prayers. Such strong people yet so weak and they may have forgotten many things but God is not one of them.

 The mark of a good sermon my husband relates is that the scripture is exegeted correctly and appropriately for the congregation. Exegeting scripture is where you have basically tore it down and expanded on it and from what I hear, it isn't easy. But lucky for us there are many ministers and pastors out there willing to share their wisdom to help us grow in this area.

 Passion in the Pulpit is a great book to help explain many of the notions that we as ministers would like to do but don't really have the knowledge of knowing exactly how to follow through. Passion in the Pulpit is divided into three parts: understanding the challenge, discerning the emotive design of a text, and employing persuasive techniques. Each of these points are strong and the authors are able to carefully guide us through this tricky get gainful process.

 This book is very helpful and is interesting yet encouraging to those of this that still have a hard time in this area.