Saturday, December 31, 2016


UNPLANNED by ALANA TERRY

This book  handles a controversial subject with grace and insight. I appreciated how the author gave both viewpoints and allowed readers to really  grasp the issue with details and openness. I love the authors writing style and I am now a huge fan of hers. The story is fast paced, gripping with tension and keeps readers rushing to turn the pages.

The main character in the book Kennedy , is a young woman who has just returned from China. I can't imagine going to a foreign land and trying to understand the language. Can you imagine being oversees for ten years and then suddenly come home to the states? Kennedy has a full load as she attends Harvard. The author did a great job of describing the day to day schedule for a college student. Kennedy is trying to balance everything in her life but I think at times  she may have been overwhelmed. When she decides to volunteer at the pregnancy hotline center she finds herself in a situation that will test her faith. The caller tells Kennedy some very unsettling things but won't let Kennedy know who she is. The tension on the phone was a pure adrenaline rush. The author gives a chilling account of what happens when a young girl finds herself in trouble. Will Kennedy be able to find the girl in time?

The book is powerful and at times very intense. I thought the story was well written without giving the choices more biased on one side then the other. The reader can  feel the strain the young girl is going through as her voice shakes with fear as she talks.  I found myself thinking how people are so quick to judge others. No matter what you believe , this story is a heartpounding  action packed read  till the end. Will the young girl who called come forward? What happens at the pregnancy center that causes people to be on edge? I enjoyed the book and appreciated the attention given to people who volunteer to work hotlines at different places. It can make a difference to someone in trouble when the person on the other end of the phone is compassionate and non judgmental. Thank you for writing an inspiring and intriguing story. I look forward to more books from this gifted author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookfun.org. The review is my honest opinion .

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO RUTH by KEVIN FOSTER

I have been blessed lately with receiving several devotional books. They are different from each other but all draw from the Word of God. I like devotionals because they draw me deeper into the Bible and give me points to really think on. This particular devotional is centered around the story Ruth along with Naomi, and Boaz. It is well written and holds readers attention with scriptures and illustrations found in the Bible.

The devotional book is  longer than others but it has a vast of wisdom and knowledge that seems to draw you in the book as you turn the pages. What is significant about the book of Ruth? There are so many nuggets of truths  to keep reader's immersed in the devotional for an intimate time with God. I did like the discussion about marriages. It says on page 13, "Husband's, the decisions you make will be felt by your family long after death. Your decision has the ability to bless or curse." That sure is a big responsibility to take on but with guidance God can help husbands make good choices.

I have always heard that God sees and hears everything .   Do we forget about that when we try to hide things that we know are wrong? It's funny how that slips our mind as we think about things not of God. As I taught a Sunday School class one day I gave this illustration to the 10 and 11 year old boys and girls. I asked them to think about  what they had done over the weekend. Did they say things with their friends that hurt someone else?  Were they  disrespectful to their  parents? As I continued I asked them if they knew Jesus was sitting right beside them during the last few days, would they have changed anything they did or said ? Would  we change anything we do or say if we could see Jesus right  beside us?

The book is filled with chapters that readers will find can be applied to their daily life. I liked how precise and thought provoking the author wrote. I would encourage readers looking for a book that helps  you study scriptures and the  book of Ruth with a fresh insight to grab a copy of this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookfun.org. The review is my own opinion .

BUILDERS and BLOCKERS OF LIFE by RANDALL SMALLS

I loved the way  the book opened by the author asking, "What will it look like when your dreams come true?" That sure is a question to think about. We all have dreams about having great jobs, money, power, fame etc. but what would we do if it suddenly happened? Would we be ready for the outcome? I always had a dream of becoming a teacher. I loved teaching and wanted to share with others. I wanted to make a difference. But things got in the way and my dream never happened. One of the key things the author said that really spoke to me was, "You might want to start now by imagining what it would feel like to have finally made peace with your past." I loved his encouragement to move forward and "stop obsessing over your past." That sure was a heart check for me. I have allowed my past to keep me stuck where pain dwells.

The book tells us that we don't need to change everything overnight but rather take baby steps. I know I can go full throttle when I want to change something. I lack the patience I need and sometimes I move to quickly without thinking everything through. One of the keys ingredients I  forget to include is God. It's time to take a step back, close my eyes and focus on one thing at a time. I sure do know about  disappointment and that causes me to say"well I tried and give up." What happened to my faith? Did I give up on hope? How many excuses will I find not to change?

I found the book to have a great plan to guide readers to get rid of what has been "blockers in your life" and start taking steps to having a better life. I never though about fear being a bully. That one really grabbed my attention. I live with fear , anxiety and depression everyday . What I didn't realize that I have let those things bully me into feeling worthless . For me it is time to stand up and fight . I loved the tools he has given readers to become courageous and "face challenging tasks and confrontations." The more I delved into the book, the more I could feel something rising inside of me. I want to be free from my past, I want to stop being bullied by fear and I need to be courageous and go for for it.

"We can literally change our lives simply by changing our minds."

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookfun.org. The review is my honest opinion.

MIRACULOUS POTENTIAL by WAYNE CHANEY JR.

I wasn't sure what I was in store for  when I started this book. As I read about the author's sudden emergency I knew I was in for a powerful story.  I was a bit surprised that the author thought that " more people make resolutions at funeral services than they do on New Year's Eve." Maybe it's because at a funeral it is a wake up call . We are not promised one moment on this earth and being at a funeral will certainly make you rethink your life choices .

The book really made me ponder what I have done during my life . Did I listen to my call that God had for me? Am I just going through the motions and not being serious about the things I should be? Have I been listening to God's voice? I knew the answers to these questions and realized I have not really started to be obedient to what He has called me to do. I think about a simple encounter at a grocery store. I run into someone I haven't seen in awhile. We exchange pleasantries but I never ask where she is going to church  at. Did I miss a chance to share God with her? What if that was my opportunity to guide her back to church?

I enjoyed the different references of people in the Bible. I loved  how he talked about Eli's son and their rebellion and unrighteousness acts. The good news is God will forgive us for our rebellion and we can get back on track. I know I have veered off course with my own selfish desires.  I have also let fear stop me from listening to His  directions. It is nice to know that we have a God of second chances. One of the things I enjoyed most about the book was the way the author spoke with compassion and gave us directions  on how to overcome obstacles we let get in the way. We all make mistakes but for some of us we let that keep us from doing the work God has called us to. We may lack confidence but with God's guidance we can overcome what is stopping us from reaching our full potential.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookfun.org. This is my honest opinion.

EARTH PSALMs by FRANCINE RIVERS with KARIN STOCK BUURSMA

I have been waiting to get my copy of this book for awhile. When I opened up the package and saw the book I was in awe. This book is so beautifully laid out that I couldn't put it down. It was everything I hoped it would be , but so much more. The devotional is fifty-two weeks long but I had to glance at every page right away. The pictures are amazing and vibrant. The words are like a breath of fresh air. Each week is a different subject that speaks  to your heart. I loved the scriptures that accompany each week. It brings the Word to life and reemphasizes what the topic is.

The devotional is such a joy to have and at the end of each week  the book includes a reflection, how to apply what you read and a prayer. I have read several devotions but this one  is so easy to read and talks about subjects we all struggle with. Since tomorrow is the first day of a new year, I will begin the devotion in earnest. I can't think of a better way to start a new year than with God's word so eloquently presented in a book that will certainly encourage me, feel me with joy and give me topics to ponder. I highly recommend everyone grab a copy of this book. I am excited to start a new journey in 2017 with a devotion that touches my soul and gives me comfort as I absorb every word .

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookfun.org. The review is my own opinion.

Friday, December 30, 2016


PEACH BLOSSOM RANCHER by ADA BROWNELL

I have not read a book from this author before but I find her writing quite intriguing. The story is set in the late 1800s to the early years in 1900. The author does  a good job of describing the time period and how it was difficult during that era. I have always loved books that are set in the 1800s and love learning about the way of life for people during that time.

John Parks has returned to make the ranch a profitable place again. He sure has his hands full trying to reestablish the peach orchard and making the ranch a thriving place again. What obstacles will he face ? I loved the character and thought he was a hard worker with great instinct. I loved how the author included a mystery that made John at the center of it. He seems to have his hands  full with the sheriff breathing down his back. Can he prove his innocence? To add to his increasing challenges he has some female admirers. Will John be able to keep his focus on getting the ranch and orchard running again?

What really grabbed my attention in the book was the vivid description of the insane asylum. I could feel my skin crawl as I read the different people that were in there. I think it really bothered me about the treatment the people endured. It made me think about old movies where the patient  gets  shocked. There always seemed to be creepy staff that didn't want to be bothered with the patients. They got labeled as crazy and locked away in a little room.  The author really did her research about the treatment during this time period of patients locked up in the asylum. I could feel tears come to my eyes as some were so desperate to leave there. They were mistreated and misdiagnosed with no one to defend them. Can you imagine being in a place like that knowing you don't belong there? Dr. Dillion Haskill  is determined that he will get out of the place. Will he succeed in getting freed? What happens to the other patients in there?

This story is packed with intrigue, love interest , injustice and faith. I found myself thinking for awhile after I finished the book. How many of us have had to fight against accusations? Do we turn our back on people with mental illness?  I really loved this book a lot and it  gave me some real soul searching to examine in my life.

I received a complimentary copy of of this book from the author and Bookfun.org. The review is my own opinion .

Thursday, December 29, 2016


BURIED MEMORIES by CAROL J. POST

What an intense , intriguing thrill ride this book is. All the elements are there for an  action packed story that grabs you at the beginning and doesn't stop till the very end. The author once again gives her readers an edge of your seat story with vivid descriptions that keep your heart pounding with anticipation. I started the book and found myself hanging on every word, every action and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Nicki Jackson has moved to Cedar Key to start fresh after a broken engagement. I loved her strong character and her determination. After the murder of her mom when she was a child she lived in foster care .  She endured abuse, and lost  contact with her sister and always wondered what had happened to her. What happens when Nicki starts searching for her sister after  such a long time apart?

Tyler has come back to Cedar Key to stay with his brother and sister-in-law to recover from injuries sustained in the war. He is very guarded and doesn't like to talk about his past. it was nice to see Nicki and Tyler reconnect after many years. I wonder who had a crush on who when they were younger?  Tyler is having nightmares but tries to play them off as nothing. The intensity of his nightmares brought on by PTSD were very well written and I loved how the author made it authentic.

As Nicki and Tyler begin to rekindle their friendship strange things start to happen. Why is Nicki having recurring nightmares about a woman getting killed? The incidents start mounting and danger lurks nearby when threatening letters start showing up. No one is safe around her and Nicki thinks she should leave. Will Tyler be able to keep her safe? The story is powerful with threats, attacks and an explosive ending. I loved the twists in the story and how faith and trust in God brought people together to help Nicki. You don't want to miss this story that has intrigue, a mysterious stalker, danger , surprises and an ending you won't see coming.  Be sure you grab a copy and get ready to be captivated by the riveting story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.

THAT SUMMER by JO HUDDLESTON

This book reminds me of a coming of age story. The setting was described very well and detailed the hard times people went through in the late 1920s. It was hard to find work to support your family during those hard years. Our main character in the book is Jim. He is a hard working young man who tries to please his dad but it doesn't seem to be enough. Jim's dad is quite abusive at times and the entire family tries to stay out of his way. Jim's mom was a very  sweet lady and loved her family. After awhile Jim decides he has had enough and leaves his home for the city.

Jim hopes once he reaches the city he can find work and give some money to his mom to help out. He did worry about his siblings and mother but hopes he can prove to his father he can make it on his own. The story flowed with ease and gives us a sense of what it was like growing up during the depression. I can just  imagine people going door to door looking for work and the discouragement they felt as they were told there is no job available. I loved Jim's never give up attitude as it continued throughout the story.

I don't want to give a lot of the story away but I will say it was a very emotional read at times. Jim has to find his way back to his roots and will learn hard lessons along the way. I liked how the author used temptation to show how easy it is to stray away from God. Will Jim fall for the first girl he meets? Sometimes we make wrong decisions but God is always there to help us. There are several characters in the book that will have a great impact on Jim's life. I loved the feeling of watching the story unfold before me and how each decision or wrong turn in Jim's life defined his next journey. It is a wonderful story that shows us how faith and love are so important as we go through our lives. You don't want to miss this inspiring story of a young boy that starts a journey to make his life better and the lessons he learns along the way. I loved the ending and it made the story come to a beautiful close with happiness and a few surprises.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Bookfun.org. The review is my own opinion.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


A ROYAL CHRISTMAS WEDDING by RACHEL HAUCK

When I was younger I always dreamed of a fairytale wedding. I wanted the beautiful sweeping wedding dress and a white carriage to ride in to the church. There would be a red carpet for me to walk on and as I saw my prince I would hear harps playing in the background. Yes I bet young girls everywhere had similar dreams about their weddings. This  story is enchanting, graceful and filled with forgiveness and love. I enjoyed the references to faith throughout the book that wasn't overwhelming but subtle.

Avery had her heart broken several years ago by Prince Colin. Now she and her mother are traveling to see her sister in Brighton Kingdom for Christmas. It will be a nice distraction for  them since the death of Avery's father. There is one slight problem though. Who do you think she will run into when she gets to Brighton? Will she be able to forgive Colin for the pain he caused her?

Colin is a handsome and very eligible bachelor. All the young women are vying for his attention. Even though he is seeing someone,  will old feelings stir up when he sees Avery again? It must be hard to grow up in a royal family. There are protocols to be followed and appearances made with the up most of refrain. Can you imagine always being in the spotlight and everything you do is scrutinized? Colin has a strong sense of faith and I loved how he stands up to his dad with great respect.

One of the best parts of the story for me was the  Pembroke Chapel Bell. The history goes back one hundred eighty- two years and was so interesting to read. For me the bell was the focal point for the entire story. I loved the details of it and how the author brought the bell to be a part of a beautiful love story. I really enjoyed the book and thought it flowed well. Will Avery find her Prince? Will Prince Colin listen to God and follow his heart? Get ready for a story that is faith filled with a romance that little girl's dream of.

I received this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.

TWILIGHT AT BLUEBERRY BARRENS by COLLEEN COBLE

I can always count on this author to write a book that keeps me glued to the pages. Her writing style is very poetic with words that flow with ease. I love a story that has strong characters and this one is filled with them. I loved how the scenery was described and learned a lot about how blueberries are grown.

Kate has her hands full trying to keep the family business going. It is not an easy task. As the crops falter she must devise a way to get extra income. The little cottage on her land would be a perfect place to fix up and rent out. I think I would have liked to live at the cottage myself. It sounded very quaint and peaceful. I was a bit overwhelmed with all that Kate had been through and thought how strong she was to be able to continue being focused on the day to day chores. She certainly has had a rough time with cancer, and several family members going off to prison.

Drake has suddenly taken custody of his nieces when a tragic accident takes his brother and sister-in-law. He can't believe that his brother had anything to do with the unforeseen tragedy. Drake can't let it go and wants to investigate the senseless deaths on his own. Drake finds the perfect place to stay with his nieces at Kate's newly remodeled cottage. I loved how Kate took to the little girls right away. I think it helped her to begin to heal from everything she has gone through.

The book has several ongoing story lines that I found to be very intriguing. Kate senses that someone is after her . Is it one of her relatives that has revenge in mind?  Drake is determine to find out how his brother and sister-in-law really died. Will he find the answer he needs? The story has some intense moments that give readers twists  and turns. If you enjoy reading books with intrigue and a bit of romance I highly recommend this book.  The author does a great job of showing how important trust and faith is. No matter what we are going through we must remember to have faith and remind ourselves we are important to Him.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


MATTIE'S PLEDGE by JAN DREXLER

I love reading books set in the 1800s. You can get a sense of how tough it was to survive during this time period by the great description the author provides. I can't imagine traveling for  days in a wagon filled with all your belongings. The terrain is rough in areas and dust blowing around certainly didn't add any comfort to the trip. The story is well written and I felt like I was sitting in the wagon with Mattie and her family.

It will be a new adventure for Mattie as her family decides to move from Pennsylvania to Indiana. Have you ever moved to a different state? For Mattie she is looking forward to the move but saddened that her sister Annie will not be going with the family. Annie and her husband Christopher have decided to stay in Pennsylvania. I could feel the sadness that swept over the family as they soon would be leaving without their sweet Annie. It is always hard on parents to see one of their children start a new life. I could sense that Christopher was determined that he would not move his family. I really liked his character and thought he was a good family man.

Mattie will learn along the way that there are many choices to be made. As the wagon train grows, Mattie is reunited with an old friend. Jacob and his family have joined the group in hopes of a better life. Does Jacob know that Mattie has always been smitten with him? I found Mattie's character to be a dreamer and looking ahead for something better. She is smart and wants to get out of her rut of day to day routines. Will the new land they are traveling to be just what she is looking for? i can't imagine what it was like to be stuck on the road for days with no real place to sleep comfortably at night. When we go camping I usually stay awake all night. I hear strange sounds and always think some  big animal is going to attack us.

The story is very interesting and takes you on a journey with families looking for new beginnings and a better life. I loved how the author portrayed Mattie struggling with her faith. Is she mad at God because she doesn't think He is listening to her? Sometimes we find out that the things we thought we really wanted, wasn't what we needed to be happy. The story also deals with forgiveness in a very compassionate way. Do you find it hard to forgive someone who has hurt you? I loved the story and found myself so caught up in Mattie's story that I didn't put the book down till I finished it.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Program. The review is my own opinion and I was not compensated for it.

Monday, December 26, 2016


GETAWAY WITH GOD by LETITIA SUK

In the world today it seems like women have busy schedules. There are meetings  to attend, errands to run, chores to get through and a family to take care of. When was the last time you took a day for yourself? How long has it been since you and God shared a meaningful talk or spent time in His presence? For me I seem to always have something I need to do, but it's time for each of us to relax and have a "me and God" time. I have gone to my share of retreats. They are fun and there is always great teachings and fellowship. But I always feel kinda let down when I leave . It feels like I wasn't really there totally because I couldn't concentrate.

I loved when the author says, " A retreat beckons you to snuggle up with God and let him love on you." That is exactly what I need. I want one on one time with God. I loved  the idea of finding a quaint little bed and breakfast to use as a personal retreat. There is no hustle and bustle there, no schedules and you are left to yourself to enjoy the peace and quiet. The author includes a list of helpful ways to get ready for your retreat and even includes what to pack for your trip. Now it's up to us to move forward and prepare for the retreat.

There are different retreats that will meet your needs. Maybe you just want to stay in your room and rest and study a particular scripture. For others it might be to take a walk in the country and enjoy the beauty that He  made. Whatever you decide,  make it fit your needs so you can get the full benefits of a personal retreat. The more I read the book the more I felt the promoting of the Lord . I have longed to get away to just be by myself for awhile. I know I need to get back on track and deepen my relationship with God. The book is very useful and guided me through steps to make my desire come true. I encourage you ladies to take that first step. It's time to get refreshed, renewed and "Getaway with God."

" You too have a future that only God can see, and He invites you to have a hand in shaping it."

I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications. This is my honest review.