Friday 24 October 2014

Book review: To Everything a Season

Cover Art

From the Back:

Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Returns Again to Her Popular Red River Valley Setting
Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons--especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.

When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?

My Reflections:

I love historical fiction, and if you follow my blog you will instantly be able to see this passion displayed in the books I choose to review. I had high aspirations in this newest series, titled Song of Blessing. Unfortunately this was not the case with this particular novel.

The main character is not introduced until well into the story, and by that time I was confused, as the synopsis on the book told a whole different story than the one I was reading. Not only is this book a slow start it also is written in a fashion that expects the reader to have a foreknowledge of characters and events. I felt through the entirety of this book that I was missing something integral to the plot. These factors had me lagging through this book with listless enthusiasm.

The thing I did enjoy about the book was the small town of Blessing, in North Dakota. The story is written for the time period of 1905. What a nice place this Author has created. Who wouldn't want to live and raise a family there. Sure there were some attitudes of prejudice, being that most of the town was made up of Norwegians, who had immigrated. I enjoyed how most of the close knit community welcomed new people who moved to Blessing with open arms.

If you enjoy a leisurely read, where characters are slowly infused into a story line, and life is just a little simpler, this may be just the book for you. I will certainly continue to read this wonderful authors books as I have quite enjoyed them in the past.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

Thank you Graf-Martin!

About The Author:

  1. Lauraine Snelling 

    Lauraine Snelling

    Lauraine Snelling, an award-winning author of fifty-plus books with sales of over 2 million copies, also writes for a wide range of magazines and teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California....
    Continue reading about Lauraine Snelling

Thursday 23 October 2014

Book review: Becoming Bea

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From the Back:

Can Bea and Ben Turn Rivalry Into Romance?

Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.

One person she'll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They've known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?

My Reflections:

Becoming Bea is a delightfully sweet story. This is book #4 in the Courtships of Lancaster Country series.

Having read Courting Cate, and loving it, I was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to read this new installment in the series. I will get around to reading the first book Adoring Addie sooner or later! So that being said I feel this book can be read as a stand alone, the author's writing style allows for enough information to encompass the gap.

Take an Amish girl who is slightly insecure and completely introverted and add an inspiring and humorous story line and you have Leslie Gould's newest release Becoming Bea.

Bea Zook takes a position as a nanny of sorts, to a neighbour who has just had triplets, she soon becomes indispensable, even though she starts off a little unsure and a lot self conscious. It was beautiful to watch this character blossom into a self assured individual.

When Bea happens upon Ben Rupp her high-school nemesis, she tries to do what she does best out spell him. The past has left some scars, but all the washing and caring for the three little ones has given her time and space to think good and hard about her true feelings concerning this certain handsome man.

Ben knows how to ignite Bea's ire, but can he learn how to communicate to her in a way that has a positive effect on her heart? Can two people who can't even agree on anything really have a future together?

Lestlie Gould has created a well rounded story, somewhat of a coming of age tale. I enjoyed how Gould was able to bring Bea's character from a introverted, insecure, and immature person into a  healthy and charming character. I think we can all relate to some of Bea's struggles, it is a rite of passage to grow and learn who we are in Christ, it truly is a beautiful progression.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About The Author

  1. Leslie Gould

    Leslie Gould

    Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 CBA bestseller The Amish Midwife, a 2012 Christy Award winner; ECPA bestseller Courting Cate, first in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; and Beyond the Blue, winner...
    Continue reading about Leslie Gould

Monday 20 October 2014

Book review: A Matter of Heart

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From the Back:

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica's dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

My Reflections:

 I am a big fan of Tracy Peterson, and although I found this book to be entertaining this book did not get the expected reaction I had anticipated.

Set in 1896 in a small town nestled in Texas, we meet Jessica Atherton, a self absorbed and pampered woman. Jessica is struggling to turn a new leaf, to change her very nature.
Being raised with her well off family has done some serious damage, and Jessica is finding change to be elusive.

Austin Todd is a man with a past, he is running to chase away his demons. Working for the Texas Rangers is a honest job that Austin truly appreciates, It keeps him too busy to remember... trying to to bury the past and move into the future he meets Jessica and is intrigued by her forthright and spunky demeanor. Will he succeed in moving on with his life, and burring the demons that haunt him?

I enjoy a complex storyline, but this one had a few too many characters for me to really connect deeply with any one of them. I found the secondary characters to be a tad flat, one dimensional and not well developed.
I did however appreciate how Peterson knit together a story rooted in faith and self discovery even though I may not have felt the same instant connection and depth as I did with some of her other novels, I was truly satisfied with this aspect of the story. It is beautiful to watch a character grow and discover who they are in Christ!

Having read the previous two novels A Sensible Arrangement and a Moment in Time, I would highly recommend  starting with book one of the Lone star Brides Series and working your way down, that way the reader will benefit from the background knowledge that Peterson is so apt at orchestrating. For this reason I would not consider this a stand alone novel.

The thing about Tracy Peterson is that she has a knack for weaving one tale into another seamlessly and without fault, she really is a talented author and for this reason, although I was not terribly moved by this book I will certainly be reading her next book: A Steadfast Heart, Brides of Seattle book #1 set to release in January of 2015.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

The Author

  1. Tracie Peterson
    ©Lissa Barber Photography

    Tracie Peterson

    Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over one hundred novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in...
    Continue reading about Tracie Peterson

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Book review: Renewing Your Mind

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From the Back:

Overcome the Hurts of Yesterday and the Fears of Tomorrow
As people created in the image of God, we have been given the capacity to choose what we do and do not believe. Yet even followers of Christ often stay mired in misguided ways and unhealthy thought patterns.

In Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Neil Anderson reminds us that faith is a journey of growth, and that as we mature in our beliefs, we should experience a total change from the inside out. In this fourth of eight Victory Series studies, you will learn how to allow Christ to rule in your heart, be led by the Spirit, tear down mental strongholds that keep you in bondage, live under grace, and overcome anger, depression, and losses. This study, with six sessions, can be used individually or in a group, and includes a leader's guide, along with illustrations and questions for deeper reflection and practical applications.

We are not called to dispel darkness on our own; instead, being an overcomer means knowing how to turn to the light of Christ, our source of truth. Only in doing so will we win the battle for our minds.

My Reflections:

This book is a powerful tool that will help to transform your life and grow your faith journey. In pure Anderson style you will be guided on a path to spiritual and personal growth. Anderson remains one of my favorite authors simply because he helped me change my life, directing me towards healing and ultimately the one who heals all brokenness my God. I was helped greatly through the book the Bondage Breaker, and have directed hurting people to this book (and the Bible) since.

It is no surprise that when I saw this book come through my email lists to review that I jumped at the opportunity.

This book is comprised of six sessions, the titles being: Being Transformed, Living Under Grace, Overcoming Anger, Overcoming Anxiety, Overcoming Depression, and Overcoming Losses. I equally found each chapter to hold valuable truths that can help hurting people heal and overcome struggles of depression, loss and discontentment.

In all the chapters Anderson references the bible and includes key points and verses. He also includes daily readings (passages of the bible) where we can turn to glean a greater understanding of our struggles and how God intended us to deal with them.
At the end of the chapters there is a study guide which would be great for a small group setting or to  explore your relationship with God and your life situations on your own.

This book, in my opinion like the Bondage Breaker, is a fabulous tool to help the broken and wounded people in our lives to experience the freedom only God can bring. It is such a blessing to be reading this book "healed" God is Good, all the time, in the pain and brokenness we can be made new and beautiful.

I encourage you if you are hurting and in need of help, pick up this book or the Bondage Breaker, seek out a good Christian counselor, talk to your family doctor, and ask your church family for help. Don't suffer alone, there is light on the other side, God is with you even when all you can see is darkness, he will open your eyes to his love and freedom. Wholeness can be yours, I am living proof of Gods grace. I will be praying for you my friend!

About The Author:

  1. Neil T. Anderson

    Neil T. Anderson

    Dr. Neil T. Anderson is founder and president emeritus of Freedom in Christ Ministries. He was formerly the chairman of the Practical Theology Department at Talbot School of Theology. He holds five degrees from Talbot, Pepperdine University, and Arizona State...
    Continue reading about Neil T. Anderson

Monday 13 October 2014

Book Review: The Marriage You've Always Wanted

Marriage You've Always Wanted, The  
ISBN13: 9780802411570 

From the Back:

From America's favorite marriage expert and author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, The 5 Love Languages®
Respected marriage counselor Gary Chapman looks at the key issues that will help you build the marriage you've always wanted, answering such real-life questions as . . .
  • Why won't they change?
  • Why do we always fight about tasks and responsibilities?
  • Why should we have to work at sex?
In the warm, practical style that has endeared him to audiences worldwide, Dr. Chapman delivers advice on all the "big issues" of:
  • Money
  • Communication
  • Decision making
  • In-laws
  • and much more
Each chapter includes a "Your Turn" opportunity for reflection and interaction with between spouses.
Discover the "joy potential" in your marriage and your "ministry potential" for God!

My Reflections:

Another stellar book from best selling Gary Chapman. His insight and the practical approach to relationships has made this book one of my favorites, along side of the Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, my top favorite. Gary Chapman is the bestselling author of the Five Love Languages, he is a well known and trusted professional who has helped countless couples achieve greater intimacy and deeper loving relationships.

When I decided to order this book for review I thought, "just another book on relationships," this one is well worth your time, a must read if you are thinking about marriage, or have been married for 40 + years. 

This unassumingly small book of 143 pages, can save your marriage.

I have a pretty awesome marriage, we love each other, we are devoted and pretty darn happy with each other, but I was able to glean so much from this book that I am happy to say that I am learning to take our relationship past awesome. The changes I am experiencing are not from trying to change HIM they are about changing ME, and my attitude on how I deal with the little conflicts that are bound to crop up.

I think ideally it would be beneficial if both couples read the book together, that being said change is achievable by adjusting your attitudes and the way you react to the irritants in your relationship. I loved Chapman's story about his wife being a neglectful drawer closer, and how he had to simply accept his role as the man in the house who would close every drawer and cupboard that was left ajar.

My favorite part of the book was a section at the end of each chapter titled, "Your Turn" you are encouraged to dig a little deeper and explore your life by working through a set of questions. A great way to weed out your selfish desires and walk along side God and really lean onto the scriptures. After all it takes three to have a good marriage, God at the top and you and your spouse on each side!

This is definitely a book I will keep in my library to reference and loan out to friends!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Moody Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Moody Publishers".

About the Author : 

Gary Chapman

 Gary Chapman

GARY CHAPMAN is the author of the bestselling Five Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio program airs on more than 400 stations. For more information, visit
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