Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Book Review: A greater Story


Each of us is living a story

Sam Collier's story started with rejection. When he and his twin sister were born, their biological mother gave them up for adoption. Though Sam loved his adoptive family, he sometimes felt like a puzzle missing crucial pieces. But God reached into Sam's life and showed him that he didn't have to write his own story, because it was really God who was telling his story through Sam.

In this deeply personal yet remarkably universal book, Sam Collier tells his inspiring story of abandonment, sacrifice, gratitude, and rescue, revealing how God is always doing something bigger and better than we might imagine. He has a purpose and a plan for every single one of us, and he is always telling his greater story through our trials, our relationships, and our triumphs.

If you're in the middle of a challenging time and long to know that God is working through it, Sam's story will teach you how to see the big picture, even when there are pieces missing.

My Reflections: I had not heard about Sam Collier's story so didn't quite know what to expect from his memoir.

I was so surprised and moved by Collier's life journey. I absolutely adore people's life stories, they are so interesting and moving, everyone has a story it's just if they are brave enough to tell it. 

Collier does an exceptional job of weaving his personal story in with God's amazing grace and redemptive plan for each and every one of us. It is always amazing to look back and see where God has worked in the lives around us. It may seem pretty bleak in the short term but God always had a greater plan for all of us, sometimes we just have to hold on tight with eyes pointed upward. 

If you are looking for an uplifting and inspiring book this one is definitely a must-read!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Sam Collier:

Sam Collier is a pastor, speaker, writer, and host of the A Greater Story with Sam Collier TV show and radio podcast that currently airs in 100 million homes. He also communicates nationally and internationally as a speaker and regular contributor at...

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Saturday, 17 October 2020

Book Review: Set the Stars Alight


From The Back:

In an aged brick cottage in London, the magic of the past comes alive each night for the family of a humble watchmaker. In her father's fireside stories, Lucy Claremont's fascination with the high seas begins, leading her to devote her life's work to discovering the whereabouts of a legendary lost ship. But when tragedy strikes, it's childhood friend Dashel and his knowledge of the stars that may help her solve the puzzle.

Two hundred years earlier, three young lives are altered forever when a shepherd rescues the privileged son of a powerful admiral. As the children grow, war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, deep love, and a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption that fades into obscurity as centuries pass.

As Lucy and Dash explore mysterious ruins on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek.

My Reflections: Amanda Dykes newest book "Set the Stars Alight" is divine and begs readers to cuddle up with their favourite hot beverage and settle in for the rainy season (If you live on the Island that is) I'm always thrilled to read books by this author she writes timeless tales that make the reader want to savour and ponder her mystery entangled stories. 

This book has it all lyrical enchantment, heart-rendering sadness and is inspiring and uplifting all captured into one novel!

This story landed in my lap at just the right time, isn't God good! Thank you Amanda Dykes for penning a story filled with vivid imagery and a captivating reading experience!

If you are in love with words, mystery and history this my friends is your next read. I can't wait for the next story that comes my way from this writer, simply amazing!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Amanda Dykes

Amanda Dykes ( is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She's a former English teacher and the author of Set the Stars Alight and...

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Sunday, 4 October 2020

Book Review: These Nameless Things


From The Back:
Once held captive and tortured on a mysterious mountain, Dan was lucky to have made it out alive. But freedom comes at a cost. Left with little memory of the horrific ordeal, Dan can recall one thing--his escape meant leaving his brother behind.

With each day that passes, Dan waits with the other survivors in hope of his brother's escape. But just as long-forgotten memories start rising to the surface, the sudden appearance of a wounded woman throws everything into question. As Dan struggles to know who to trust, he is caught once again in a paralyzing moral dilemma:

How far will he go to save the people he loves?    

My Reflections:

I have to say I usually give positive reviews, but this book I just couldn't sink my teeth into. I found it dark and broody and couldn't really see the connections being made. Now, this may just be my lack of interest in these types of genres, so please do read it for yourself and decide. Next time I will read the back a little more carefully.

I had the storyline pegged from the beginning, it was hard not to miss. I just kept wondering if the book was going to reveal some great faith-based lesson, If it did I totally missed it. I am in a place in my life where I do not want to read unsettling distressing stories, and this may be why I was not a fan. 

I think if you like this type of read you may very well love it. I'm not a fan of sci-fi or horror types of storylines, so that is my issue not the fault of this storyline or book.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Shawn Smucker:

Shawn Smucker is the award-winning author of Light from Distant Stars and These Nameless Things, the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, and the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with...

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Book Review: Love And A Little White Lie

There's a lot of irony in hitting rock bottom

After a heartbreak leaves her reeling, January Sanders is open to anything--including moving into a cabin on her aunt's wedding-venue property and accepting a temporary position at her aunt's church despite being a lifelong skeptic of faith. Choosing to keep her doubts to herself, she's determined to give her all to supporting Grace Community's overworked staff while helping herself move on.

What she doesn't count on is meeting the church's handsome and charming guitarist. It's a match set for disaster, and yet January has no ability to stay away, even if it means pretending to have faith in a God she doesn't believe in.

Only this time, keeping her secret isn't as easy as she thought it would be. Especially when she's constantly running into her aunt's landscape architect, who seems to know everything about her past-and-present sins and makes no apologies about pushing her to deal with feelings she'd rather keep buried.

Torn between two worlds that can't coexist, can January find the healing that's eluded her, or will her resistance to the truth ruin any chance of happiness?

My Reflections:

This fresh and feisty tale won me over from page one. Who wouldn't be intrigued by the main character who is named after a summer month and living a tiny lie...she is working as a church helper and isn't even a believer. I enjoyed watching her evolve and grow into a well-rounded character. She is funny however like many of us she puts herself down and seems to struggle with low self-esteem it's no wonder since she has suffered a nasty breakup. To break free and start her new life that means putting herself in situations that may be uncomfortable, but help her grow. and grow she does!

The development of this character is fun to watch, written in first person you get to really grasp what January is thinking, what a hoot! Even if she found her quirky personality offputting, I think that's what drew me to her, who doesn't like a free-thinking character with a fun personality!

I absolutely loved aunt Doreen, I have an aunt Judy who I adore! Such a patient and loving soul! My aunt is just the same. Aunties are so much fun!

This is the third book I have read by this author and I have to say this one was my favourite thus far, I can't wait for a sequel which will most likely be based more on Dillion and or Aunt Doreen. I am definitely anticipating the release. If you want a book that has you laughing then crying and sighing in between this may just be your next read. Fun fact I was also staying in a cabin as read this novel, it was not however a wedding-themed one!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

About the author:

Tammy L. Gray

Tammy L. Gray ( lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas. Her nine modern and true-to-life contemporary romances include the 2017 RITA Award-winning My Hope Next Door. When not taxiing her...

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Monday, 7 September 2020

Book Review: Veiled In Smoke

From The Back:

The Flames Took So Much.
She Can't Lose Her Father As Well.
Meg Townsend and her sister, Sylvie, seek a quiet existence managing the family bookshop. Meg feels responsible for caring for their father, Stephen, whose spirit and health are both damaged from his time as a prisoner during the Civil War. Her one escape is the paintings she creates and sells in the bookshop.

Then the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district. The fiery explosions and chaos stir up memories of war for Stephen as he runs from the blaze and becomes separated from his daughters. Days later, when the smoke has cleared, Meg and Sylvie manage to reunite with him. Their home and shop are lost, and what's left among the ashes may be even more threatening than the flames, for they learn that a close friend was murdered the night of the fire--and Stephen has been charged with the crime. After he is committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum, where they cannot visit him, Stephen feels as lost to them as the shop that now lies in rubble.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life but prove the truth of what happened that night, before the asylum truly drives her father mad.
My Reflections:
This book had me utterly spellbound from page one. I adore Historical fiction and this book was accurately retold in a way that was honouring and evoking in a cohesive way. You can always count on Jocelyn Green to pen an authentic moving plot where you fall in love not only with the characters but for the entirety of not only the era and the city of Chicago as well.
Meg and Sylvie Townsend are sisters brought together by the caring of their Civil war veteran father who has PTSD. Together the girls try hard to keep their father safe while running their little book store under the apartment. When the great fire hits, the town is in a panice with looters and families running for their lives. In this chaos Stephen the girl's father gets scared and hides, but then is framend with his friends murder. Will Stephan be coherint enought to explain what happened or will he be destined to live out the rest of his years in the Cook County Insane Asylum? 
PTSD an often debilitating condition that ends up devastating many familys and individual living with it. Without help this disability can render an utter shutdown of the mind and body.
 In some people the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness from the constant nightmares and ever-present flashbacks start encasing a mind into a impenetrable fortress where the suffering individual sees no way out. Statistically deaths by suicide for popople who struggle from PTSD are 26.3 percent higher than the advrage population. 2020 data colloected from: Centers for disease Control and Prevention
PTSD was also refered to solders heart back in the day, it was treated with strong medicine which left patients unable to participate in life. These indivduals were mostly housed in insane assuylms of jails. 
Authour Jocelyn Green excells in her ability to resech all of her hystorical novels she is well known to do this with dedication, meaningful plots couple that with amazingly detailed backdrops and you have one fine writter!

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Book Review" Braver Stronger Smarter

From the Back:

"This book helped me remember how brave I am!"--AnnabelleWant to know something? Girls who worry the most are some of the smartest, kindest girls around. The worry you feel happens because you care deeply about things and people. You try hard and want to do the right thing, which is wonderful. But it's not fun to feel pressure, is it? That's why Sissy Goff wrote this book. To help you know how brave and strong and smart you really are.

Whether you're a mom, dad, aunt, or grandmother, you can help the girl you love overcome her worry and anxiety. This interactive guide--created for elementary-age girls but helpful for all ages--teaches you and your girl practical ways to work through overwhelming emotions. With fun stories and writing and drawing prompts to guide her, your girl will feel empowered, knowing she is deeply loved by a God who is bigger than her fears.

Also available from Sissy Goff! Raising Worry-Free Girls, a companion book that provides more in-depth information and strategies for parents and educators.
My Reflections:
I had the opportunity to set the stage for this book as I was able to read "Raising Worry-Free Girls" This first book has much more depth and insight but more geared to the parents. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and thought this book would be a fantastic way to connect with my daughter in a meaningful and safe way.
This second book "Braver Stronger Smarter" Could be done independently or with a parent. The foundation is laid for teaching girls the vocabulary to express their feelings. This is such an important skill for any child. The neat thing about this book is that it is adaptable and multifaceted, girls have the opportunity to notebook as they read through with a parent or independently. The note booking is unique because it takes all learners into consideration. An example is your child could respond with writing or drawing out the emotions they are feeling. Providing the opportunity to create different avenues of communication and expression.
If you have a young girl between the ages of 7-13 this would definitely be a fantastic tool to work on with your daughter (s).
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Sissy Goff MEd, LPC-MHSP

Sissy Goff, MEd, LPC-MHSP, spends most of her days counseling girls and their families, with the help of her assistant/pet therapist, Lucy the Havanese. Since 1993, Sissy has worked as the director of child and adolescent counseling at Daystar...

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Book Review: Dead End

From the back:

When a body is discovered in a field in Iowa, the police uncover fourteen additional corpses, some from twenty years ago, others from the recent past. The remains point to a serial killer with an MO the authorities have seen before--Ed Oliphant, a man who has been in prison for more than twenty years . . . and is FBI Special Agent Kaely Quinn's father. After several failed attempts to discover if Ed has been training someone to be a copycat killer, the police turn to Kaely in St. Louis for help.

Kaely promised herself she would never step foot in her hometown or set eyes on her father again. She's always refused to confront her past, but if she wants to prevent any more deaths, she must come face-to-face with the man she's hated for years.

As more bodies are discovered, Kaely races against time and her own inner turmoil to uncover the killer. Will this most personal case yet cost Kaely her identity and perhaps even her life?
My Reflections:
Oh, how I loved this book, actually scratch that I loved the whole series!
This is the third book in the series "Kaely Quinn Profiler" How I would love to learn how to read a person like an open book. 

Kaely Quinn may have some unusual ways of profiling her UNSUB. But her ways seem to work well until she loses control of her imagination, that paired with her imaginary friend Georgie, Kailey has some big issues to tackle. Including PTSD.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately, she is tasked with facing her Father the infamous "Raggedy man" he has been serving time for 20 years now and Kailey has never had the nerve to see him. But when a copy cat murder starts to ramp up the dead bodies, she feels it's time to try and get her father to speak about his protege, everything is too similar to his MO. Or is it?

I loved the psychology of this book. It really delves into what makes a serial killer or a psychopath? It shows how childhood experiences can shape a person for life. How PTSD works and the devastation it can bring to its victims. This theme also touched on the darker side of how the devil can use situations to hurt and steal and destroy.

If you love this kind of thing as much as I do you certainly will not be disappointed with this series. I'm just so sad it's finished!
This really is a must-read friends!!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl ( is the author of more than thirty-five books and a Christy Award and Carol Award finalist as well as the winner of an ACFW Book of the Year award. Her short story, Chasing Shadows, was in the USA Today bestselling...
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