Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Revealing: A Book Review

About The Book:

Love does extraordinary things to people . . . 
In a single, impulsive act, Naomi King chooses to follow her heart into unfamiliar territory, jeopardizing all that she holds dear. If anyone finds out what she's up to, she's in for trouble. But when it comes to Tobe Schrock, Naomi believes it's worth it. 

But it all comes crashing down when a young woman arrives at the Inn at Eagle Hill with an unexpected delivery for Tobe. Add a guest at the inn with a curious talent and a genealogist who is more interested in modern-day Schrocks than in old family trees, and evidence starts to mount that points to something sinister at work. Or someone. 

In this riveting conclusion to The Inn at Eagle Hill series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher pulls out all the stops with a fast-paced tale of deception, revelation, and romance.


You can read an excerpt of this book, here, in PDF format

You can access the reading group guide here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The LettersThe Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace, and an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

My Review:

Well the Eagle Hill Series from Suzanne Woods Fisher comes to an end with The Revealing and all I can say is this is the BEST conclusion to a series I have read in a very long time.

The book concludes one of my favorite series from this author, and ties all the story lines together, making it a great read for all fans of the Amish Fiction genre.

With an exciting story line, some romance and a whole lot of mystery, this book will appeal to all who read it. I cannot wait to see what comes next from the author. 

Here is a list of what is coming out from Suzanne Woods Fisher in the next couple of years:

“Christmas at Rose Hill Farm: An Amish Love Story”
(Revell) August 2014
“Anna’s Crossing: An Amish Beginnings Story” (Revell) April 2015
“The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness” (Revell) July 2015
A three book Amish fiction series, ‘The Bishop’s Family’ (Revell), 2016 and 2017.
A three-book historical
fiction series about the early Quakers of
Nantucket, called ‘Petticoat Row.’ (Revell) 2017 and 2018
Doesn't that look fantastic! I cannot wait to read these all!
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase The Revealing at your favorite Christian book retailer from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Revell Reads Blogger Program and Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

90 Minutes in Heaven: A Book Review

About The Book:

In the ten years since 90 Minutes in Heaven was first published, millions of people worldwide have read the incredible true story of Don Piper's experience with death and life--and in reading have found their own lives changed.

Now you can experience the continuing story of 90 Minutes in Heaven with this special anniversary edition. Along with the story of his accident, death, return to life, and painful recovery, Don offers personal reflections on the impact the book has had on him, his family, and the millions who have heard his story. Also included are true stories from readers about the effect 90 Minutes in Heavenhas had on their lives, favorite Scriptures and quotations on heaven from Don, a photo insert, and a publisher's note on the book that started the heaven publishing phenomenon.
Discover for yourself the book that everyone has been talking about--and watch your life change for the better.


You can read an excerpt of 90 Minutes in Heave here, in PDF format


You can use this study guide for a great resource for small group and individual reflection (pdf format)




About The Authors:


Don Piper is a New York Times bestselling author and has been an ordained minister since 1985. He has appeared on TodayThe 700 Club, James Robison's Life Today, and many other television and radio programs, and teaches across the United States and around the world. He and his wife, Eva, live in Texas. Learn more at www.donpiperministries.com.


Cecil Murphey has written or cowritten more than one hundred books, including Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. Cecil can be contacted at www.cecilmurphey.com.

My Review:

To be perfectly honest, I have been genuinely skeptical of the "gone to heaven and come back" books that seem to have drowned the book market in recent years. I have only read a few of them, and one I completely did not enjoy at all and the others, while good to read, I remained just as skeptical after reading. Then I had the opportunity to read 90 Minutes In Heaven.

From the start it was clear this book was different than others I have read that documents trips to Heaven. This book chronicles Piper's life both before and after that fateful day he died and came back to life. I loved the honesty and rawness with which Piper and Murphey write. The writing flowed nicely, while slow at time, the authors were authentic, without feeling fake. It was more about the impact of death on us left behind, then his actual visit to Heaven. I really appreciated how encouraging and impacting this book was. I also very much loved the very last part of the book that included the authors favorite Bible verses and quotations. These are wonderful for not only encouraging oneself during difficult times of losing a loved one but also to give to someone else. 

If you have lost a loved one or know someone who has, this is the ideal book to read.

I highly recommend this book and give it a thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase 90 Minutes In Heaven at your favorite Christian book retailer from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Revell Reads Blogging Program and Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Atlas Girl: A Book Review

About The Book:

Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. 

Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents' rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else--anywhere else. Her travels took her across three continents in buses, cars, and planes, across mountains and over deep blue seas.

What she hadn't realized was that her faith was waiting for her the whole time--in the place she least expected it.

Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a deeply personal story of the yearning we all share to be truly known, entirely forgiven, and utterly loved.


You can read an excerpt of Atlas Girl here, in PDF format



About The Author:

Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, columnist, artist, author, and blogger at www.emilywierenga.com. She speaks regularly about her journey with anorexia and lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Trenton, and their two sons.

My Review:

Oh my heart....where do I begin to write about a book that has touched the deepest part of me with each word read. Not since reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts have I read a book that was so exquisitely written, and impacted me so much.

The book is beautifully written, raw with emotion, and you will shed tears. I know I did. To see the amazing journey that Emily has traveled in her life, and the way God moved in her heart at each step is so relatable to whomever will read this remarkable book. Covering topics of eating disorders, forgiveness, redemption, grace, coming of age and the unconditional love that comes from Jesus, I was so blessed to be a part of the blog tour for this book. A wonderful, yet difficult read (it opened up some feelings that I realized I had yet to completely deal with) it is one that I ABSOLUTELY loved. While I read this book quickly for review purposes, I am absolutely going to go back and read it again to absorb all the nuggets of truth I know God wants to teach me through Emily! 

I also love that Emily Wierenga is an Albertan like me! Also included in the book is a discussion guide, making this book great for book clubs, and even small group studies. 

And to add to that discussion guide, will be a ONLINE BOOK STUDY starting November 3! I will share more details about that as they come available to the blog tour members!

I highly recommend this book and give it a HUGE thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Atlas Girl at your favorite Christian book retailer from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of the Revell Reads Blogger Program and Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***


Blind Trust: A Book Review

About The Book:

Kate's not sure how deep this deception goes--but she'll do whatever it takes to find out.
Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money and can't believe that it came from her sweet elderly neighbor. Or that it has landed her in the middle of another of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and one that strikes too close to home for comfort. 

As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But then will it be too late for her and Tom?


You can read an excerpt of Blind Trust here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several novels, including Deadly Devotion, book 1 in the Port Aster Secrets series. She is a two-time winner of the Canadian Christian Writing Award for romance, winner of the 2012 Reviewer's Choice Award from Romantic Times, and winner of a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Her debut novel, Deep Cover, was recognized as one of the top five novels of the year by Family Fiction magazine. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband. Learn more at www.sandraorchard.com.

My Review:

From the very first pages of Blind Trust you are taken on spine-tingling, up-all-night reading type journey. There are twists and turns a plenty and this book will appeal to all fans of the genre of Christian crime and mystery. 

Author Sandra Orchard has brought a great read in book two of the Port Aster Secrets series, bringing together main characters, Tom and Kate, to another great mystery to solve. The story lines flow nicely and I loved seeing the development of the characters even deeper in this book, then the first. 

Christian messages are woven nicely throughout the book without being overly preachy, making it a perfect read for someone who might have questions about church and Christianity, maybe new in their faith, or not even a Christian. I really quite enjoyed this read! Book 3, yet to be titled, is set to release in June 2015 and I cannot wait to see where the author takes the characters of Kate and Tom next.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Blind Trust at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Revell Reads Blogger Program, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any manner***

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hope Rising: A Book Review

About The Book:


Extreme poverty does not have to exist. When Christians accept that fact and start living accordingly, we will find the solution is already within our reach.
Worldwide, 19,000 children die from preventable deaths every day. If that statistic leaves you feeling powerless, you are not alone-but you are wrong. If a false sense of powerlessness has lulled you into apathy, it's time to shake off the grogginess of low expectations and get to work. We can make this world a place where kids do not die from easily preventable diseases.
In Hope Rising, Scott Todd of Compassion International pens a galvanizing, comprehensive vision of the movement that will eradicate extreme global poverty through transformative Christian generosity-and do it within our lifetime. Todd provides riveting evidence to show that we are much closer to that goal than you might think.
According to Todd, we live in an historic moment, and chances are you are already part of it. The gospel is already reshaping lives from thoughtless consumption to informed concern. Twenty-first-century Christians are generating multi-continent grassroots movements through communications and travel. Public and private sectors are working together. It's a whole new era of philanthropy, compassion, and justice aimed at eradicating the pandemic of extreme global poverty.
This is a future we have the God-given power to create. This is the history we hope to write.
As Todd envisions, "The twenty-first-century Christians embraced the entirety of their gospel-the truths it proclaims and the muscles it demands-with a new integrity. They did not deteriorate into humanist liberalism, as some had feared. Nor did they pile works on top of Grace…They simply determined that their world did not need to have children dying of preventable causes such as dirty water."
About The Author:
Scott C. Todd, Ph.D. is the Senior Vice President for Global Advocacy at Compassion International. During his ten years of service at Compassion he has held a number of posts, including Director of Compassion's HIV/AIDS Initiative, Child Survival Programs, and a range of special programs serving children in poverty around the world.
My Review:
Hope Rising was definitely an eye-opening read. My family and I have been supporters of Compassion Canada for several years, and so were aware of some of the statistics regarding world poverty. However, Hope Rising, made me aware on an even more shocking level. It was a stunning reminder that faith is more than just believing in something, but acting on that faith. And what better way to act on it, but to help eliminate poverty on a global level. But the author goes a step further to explain that more than food, water and shelter, what people need most is to know Christ, and that is where we are supposed to step up. The book was well organized, but at times repetitive. I did enjoy the book overall though. It would be a great book for all church leaders, and all Christians really, to read, digest in deep discussion, and act out to help end poverty.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Hope Rising at your favorite bookseller from Thomas Nelson
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Book Look Bloggers and Thomas Nelson, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Relaxing With God: A Book Review

About The Book:

Jesus didn't come to get you to do more or work harder. He came to give you rest!
Jesus calls us to exchange the heavy yoke around our necks for something he said is "easy" and "light." So why are many Christians feeling weighed down and burned out? The simple answer is that we're constantly being told we should "do more" and "be more" for God.
Bestselling author Andrew Farley calls this what it is--works-based religion--and presents us with a surprising paradox: good works spring from spiritual rest. So if you long to experience true release from the crushing expectations that the world--and the church--often throws your way, you'll find lasting hope in this unexpected message.


You can read an excerpt of Relaxing With God here, in PDF format



About The Author:

Andrew Farley is the lead pastor of Church Without Religion (ChurchWithoutReligion.com) and bestselling author of The Naked Gospel, God without ReligionHeaven Is Now, and The Hurt & The Healer. Andrew's live call-in radio program airs nationwide each Sunday on Sirius XM. Connect with Andrew on Facebook and Twitter (@DrAndrewFarley). Get free downloads and learn more at www.andrewfarley.org

My Review:

 At the beginning of each year I always pick a word that I will focus on through the year, and apply it to all parts of my life. This year I chose the word, "Discipline". Little did I know just how much this choice would impact me, and just how much it was a "God-thing" that I chose it. In the last eight months of 2014, I have read a couple of books (for review) about spiritual discipline and heard two sermon series on this very topic. Do you think this is something God wanted to have me learn about? Absolutely!

Spiritual Discipline. When I think of this word I used to think, "oh now what do I have do?" But in the last year I have really began to dig into what the practice of spiritual discipline really is. Most of the resources I have dug into have been ones that give an overview of the various disciplines but recently I had the opportunity to read about one specific one in the book, Relaxing With God.

God has always said "rest in me", "be still and know" and "come to me, all who are weary and I will give you rest". But in this day and age it is all too easy to be in the "go, go, go" mind set and not rest when we really should. Too much to do and that to-do list does not usually have rest on it.

Relaxing With God has been just the book I needed to read in the journey I am on in my life at this moment.  It is a beautiful reminder that we are not to be in bondage to performing as a Christian but to be in a relationship with the Creator. With Bible-Based truths and powerful reminders this is a great read. While a quick read, it is chocked full of valuable truths that will impact you for life. I especially loved the seven part discussion/study guide at the end, and hope to dig further into God's word through it.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Relaxing With God at your favorite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Love Comes Home: A Book Review

About The Book:

When the flush of victory fades, there remains a winding road to an uncertain future.
World War II is finally over and the people of Rosey Corner are joyfully welcoming the boys home. The Merritt sisters in particular are looking toward the future. Kate is eager to start a family and live out her dream of happily ever after with Jay. Evangeline craves a beautiful house and encourages Mike to pastor a big-town church. Victoria wants what can never be. And Lorena is growing up and wondering more and more about her birth family.

Each sister must learn to hold her plans with a loose hand, trusting that God will guide and strengthen them as they share the joys and sorrows of life in their little corner of the world.

Award-winning and bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you back to Rosey Corner for a heartfelt story that closes the distance between the things that were and things that can yet be.


You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

My Review:

Once again author Ann H. Gabhart has brought the reader into the world of post-World War II, which a style of writing that only she can do. You will meet many of the same books from the first  two books in this series, Rosey Corner,as well as meet new characters that will touch your heart. The book does not steer clear from difficult issues, tackling the issue of PSTD in depth,  and there is likely at least one character that one will relate to as the book is read. We see that life is not always perfect yet God carries us at the times we think all hope is gone.

The writing style of this book drew me in from the first pages and held my attention until the last pages. The characters were raw, honest and allowed me to really connect, even though they were fictional. It is clear that the author did much research to make this a very authentic read, and I cannot wait to read more from this exciting author.
Up next from Ann H. Gabhart is a book called The Innocent, from the Shaker series. It will release in Summer 2015.


I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Love Comes Home at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Match of Wits: A Book Review

About The Book:

After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancée, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes, by hook or by crook, she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home... until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics. 

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?
You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format
About The Author:

Jen Turano, author of A Change of Fortune, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, and A Talent for Trouble, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

My Review:

Jen Turano has done it again!

A Match of Wits is a super cute read full of bantering between the awesome characters, full of wit, and full of fun romance! I thought all the characters were very well developed and found myself reading late into the night to see what would come of the various interactions and relationships that existed within this superb read! The story flowed very nicely, and I love that the author made me feel like I was watching each scene as if I were right there. 

While A Match of Wits is the fourth book (and final) in the Ladies of Distinction series, it does well as a stand alone novel as well. This book was a fantastic end to a much loved series! I look forward to what is next for author Jen Turano. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase A Match Of Wits at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing and the Revell Reads Blogger Program, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Murder at the Mikado: A Book Review

About The Book:

When a celebrated ACTOR IS FOUND MURDERED IN HIS DRESSING ROOM, all signs point to Drew's old flame. But behind the curtains nothing is what it seems and this quickly becomes hisMOST puzzling case YET.
Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has calmed down some, Fleur Landis, a former girlfriend, reappears, in dire need of his help. She's married now, no longer an actress--but the lead actor in her former troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect.

Drew would rather focus on his fiancée, Madeline Parker, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur and her family in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline begin investigating, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. It seems nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between.

Both the murder case and the presence of the beautiful, exotic Fleur put a heavy strain on Drew and Madeline's relationship. Will their still-young romance survive the pressure?


You can read an excerpt of Murder at the Mikado here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Julianna Deering has always loved British history and literature and is particularly a fan of the classic mysteries written by Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and now works for an attorney specializing in wills and estate planning. She lives outside Dallas, Texas, where she loves to quilt, cross-stitch, and watch hockey. Learn more at www.juliannadeering.com

My Review:

A classic who-dun-it with superb characters that will have you reading late into the night.

That is what you get as you read the latest book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series from author Julianna Deering. Combining mystery, historical fiction and romance, you will be on the edge of your seat as you read this book! With fun characters, plot twists, and great story lines you will not want to miss this one.  It was a fun read, perfect for summer reading and I look forward to reading what comes next from this author.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Murder at the Mikado at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Revell Reads Blogging Program, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Captured By Love: A Book Review

About The Book:

Michigan Territory, 1814A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger
discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.


You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format

You can use the following discussion questions for a book club here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at JodyHedlund.com.



Twitter
JodyHedlund
Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJodyHedlund
Website
http://JodyHedlund.com





My Review:

Jody Hedlund is a newer author for me to have read in the last two years, but she is by far one of my new favorites! Captured By Love is the third book in the Michigan Brides series and let me say this is my fave book by far in this series!

The book takes you back to 1814 in the Michigan Territory and you will be delighted as you read the journey of Pierre Durant and Angelique MacKenzie! The character development is flawless and the story line is choked full of historical facts based on Mackinac Island. It is very evident that the author does an extensive amount of research and the story line of this book does a wonderful job of combining true events with fiction. With each chapter read, I was feeling as though I was engaging with the characters and all they experienced. 

 As I finished reading Captured By Love, I could not help but wonder what comes next for the author. One look at her website answered that question! Love Unexpected, the first book in the Beacon of Hope series, will release in December 2014! Can't wait to read that one!

I highly recommend recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Captured By Love at your favorite book seller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***