Sunday 31 January 2016

Book Review: Where She Belongs

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From the Back

Can love redeem a broken past?
Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's family homestead in the first place. His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he's let it fall into ruin. AJ's more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman. But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can't get her off his mind.

With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

My Reflections:

Johnnie Alexander has created a complex and thought provoking story with her newest novel Where She Belongs. This is the first book in the Misty Willow series, and I can tell you I am anticipating book two with baited breath.  Misty Meadows is a quaint little town, I would love it if my small town had this homey welcoming feel!

Shelby Kincaid is a sweet young widow with two small children. Wanting to start fresh in a familiar setting she shucks off the big city life and returns home to Misty Meadows. She returns to her family home which is owned by AJ Sullivan a handsome but neglectful property owner.
The disrepair is not entirely AJ's fault as he really never wanted the old house to begin with, it was left to him by his grandfather in his will. Shelby's dreams die just a little bit more, her heart is heavy when she discovers the state of the house, she has such hopes to start fresh.

Biblical values are themes thought this book. I enjoyed the character development and parallel storyline of this novel, the multilayered drama added such a pop! I loved the way Johnnie Alexander wove family dynamics and faith into the storyline, still allowing for our humanity to shine through. It is refreshing to have realistic characters.

 This book is so much more than just a simple boy meets girl type of drama, a real gem.
Kudos to Johnnie Alexander she has rated Where She Belongs in my literature to keep category.

I received this book free of charge from Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Graf Martin!

The Author

  1. Johnnie Alexander
    © Jodie Westfall Photography

    Johnnie Alexander

    Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to...

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Book Review: Beyond The Silence

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The Shadows Over This Olive Grove
Hide More Than Just the Truth

Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother's dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn't match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family's past. Lillian's seven-year-old charge hasn't spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he'll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love--or will it endanger her even more?

My Reflections:

This novel surpassed all my expectations, it takes off with speed and keeps up a steady pace throughout the drama. I should remember to expect nothing less from Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse, they are some of my favourite authors after all!

This heart wrenching drama grips at your sense of morality. Any story with a child at the middle of the heartache, makes me want to race through the book to ensure the story turns out in the end.

Lillian Porter a spunky, yet sheltered young woman makes the choice to shake off the cloistering atmosphere of her brooding Grandfather and the literal prison of wealth that envelops her.
Having secured herself a position as a nanny in Angels Camp, California Lillian sets off to start her new life. What she does not expect is the fact that her new employer is suspected of murder.

Woody Colton is living in his own prison of grief and isolation. The town will not accept the judges decision of his innocence, and maintain their belief that he was the murderer of his beloved wife. To add to his troubles things have not gone well since the death. His son refuses to talk, the threat of danger remains and his orchard is in need of heavy man power.

Wee little Jimmy knows the secrets that lay locked in his mind, he cannot seem to escape them. Is Lillian able to sooth this troubled child enough to solve the crime and save more people from dying at the hands of the murderer?

This story was so multi layered, that it was easy to get lost within the pages and not emerge until it was completed. Peterson and Woodhouse, you have done it again. A highly recommended book!

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review form Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you Graf Martin!

The Authors

  1. Tracie Peterson
    ©Lissa Barber Photography

    Tracie Peterson

    Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn...
    Continue reading about Tracie Peterson
  2. Kimberley Woodhouse
    © Pauline Fortuna

    Kimberley Woodhouse

    Kimberley Woodhouse is a multipublished author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she's shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and...

Thursday 21 January 2016

Book Review: The Berenstain Bears Easter Sunday

My Reflections:

As a child my favorite books were the Berenstain Bears collections, and now that I have children of my own I want to continue the tradition of providing fabulous books.

The newest Berenstain adventure is titled Easter Sunday, by the Living lights, a faith Story collection. Written by Mike Berenstain, Stan and Jan Berenstain's son you will be reaquainted with the Bear family that you have come to know and love.

This book opens with the bears getting ready for for church as they do every Sunday. This Sunday however the mood is brimming with excitement as they prepare to celebrate Easter! 

What I really loved about this book was the fact that the book highlighted our beliefs surrounding Easter and the importance of celebrating Jesus, not the Easter bunny. I also enjoyed the fact that this book illustrated the fact that all families celebrate Easter a little differently and that some families still enjoy easter egg hunts, while still believing in the true meaning of Easter!

At the back of the book parents can find a section labeled Activities and Questions from Brother and sister bear. This is a great resource for parent and children to dig a little deeper and have meaningful discussions about what they believe and then plan a fun activity after.

All in all a fabulous book for young kids, I highly recommend purchasing this one for your family collection of wholesome literature.

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Book Look Bloggers. Thank you Book Look!

Monday 18 January 2016

Book Review: Risen

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From the Back:

The Story of the Resurrection as You've Never Seen It Before
Epic in scope, yet deeply personal, this novelization offers a unique perspective on the story of the resurrection. Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to keep the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution. When the body goes missing despite his precautions, Clavius must hunt it down.

His investigation leads him from the halls of Herod Antipas to the Garden of Gethsemane and brings him in touch with believer and doubter alike. But as the body still remains missing, Clavius commits to a quest for the truth--and answers that will not only shake his life but echo throughout all of history.

My Reflections:

This 300 plus page novelization of the resurrection of Christ is quite a unique take on what may have happened after Christ died on the cross and risen again. It was interesting to delve into the life a soldier ( Clavius) who firmly believes that Rome is always right, and following its laws is the only way.
I found this book to be extremely entertaining and thought provoking in the same breath, although we have to remember this is purely fiction wrapped loosely around a factual event. The author does a good job explaining this in the author's notes found in the back of the book.

Told by the main character Calvius a Roman tribune, we experience what life may have been like for the people after Jesus's death. Imagine being a soldier ordered to keep guard over a tomb, only to lose the body. You can imagine what a stir that would cause, not to mention having to face Pilate.
Ordered to find the body Calvius traipses through all kinds of graves, even digging up last week's dead!
Calvius interrogates the followers of Jesus as well as Mary of Magdala, Pilate's wife and Herold to name a few. When no solid answers turn up he is forced to dig deep and really decide what he believes and what he is going to do about those revelations.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this fictional tale I was a little taken back with some of the topics. I would love to say that this is a good book to give to teens but in all honesty I will have to caution parents as there are topics that may not be suitable for youth. Originally I thought it would be a good book study to do with my home schooled older teens, after reviewing it however, I will not be using this book in our curriculum.

If you are looking for a fast paced novelization with a thought provoking perspective this may be just your book.

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you Graf-Martin!

The Authors

  1. Angela Hunt

    Angela Hunt

    The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times...
    Continue reading about Angela Hunt
  2. Kevin Reynolds

    Kevin Reynolds

    Continue reading about Kevin Reynolds
  3. Paul Aiello

    Paul Aiello

    Continue reading about Paul Aiello 

Saturday 16 January 2016

Book Review: The Midwife's Choice

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Come Home to Friendship, Family, and Faith in the Town of Trinity
In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly being questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life's calling with the demands of her family. Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter, Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult. At the same time, she must decide whether she'll risk reopening the heart she'd long closed off to love.

Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people. She knows which homes are filled with light and love, which families have slipped into grief, which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines...As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all--that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.

My Reflections:

This is book two by Deli Parr from her "At Home in Trinity" series and I must say in my opinion it is even better than the first!
 I was swept away in the very first chapter. The story opens with the main character, Martha Cade the local midwife assisting her new patient Nancy Clifford to birth her first babe. Things are not as they seem, and this story thread weaves itself throughout the book lending to a sensitive and troubling topic.  Parr pens the story masterfully, it is filled with depth and emotion, often making the reader feel a part of the drama enfolding.

This story takes place in the 1830's in the small town of Trinity. Parr does a fabulous job of sculpting that small town feel where everyone knows everyone and their lives are all intertwined. We get acquainted with many of the townsfolk from book one which is such a treat!
The many characters and varying personalities gives this novel a real multi layered experience. I so loved Fern and Ivy, sisters who run the bakery where Martha is living. These two really made this book sparkle for me, the shenanigans they pull off had me chuckling more than once!

Martha is following in the footsteps in her family in the trade of midwifery. As Martha's daughter has reentered her life she must decide to forgive and let her daughter chose her own path. Martha often struggled with her anger, pride and independence causing her to suffer in all of her personal relationships. Can Martha face these choices head on or will she continue to live a life pushing those closest to her away in favour of her career.

I highly recommend this book, just a perfect read to snuggle up with on a cold winters day!

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you Graf-Martin!

The Author

  1. Delia Parr
    ©Linda Kruger 

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Book Review: An Adult Coloring Book Live Loved

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From the back:

PRAY • CREATE • MEMORIZE • REFLECT • JOURNALHow would your attitude, actions, and responses change if you lived in the unconditional, immeasurable love of God? What would it look like for you to live loved?

Live Loved provides an opportunity for you to pull away from the hustle and bustle of life to pray, journal, and unleash your creative gifts as you marinate in the truth of God's fierce love for you.

• Spend time in prayer, reflecting and growing in your relationship with God
• Commit Bible passages to memory and deepen your faith
• Share your fun artistry with others through what you create

Color and doodle and learn to live loved as you craft God's Word into your heart.

My Reflections:

As a child I loved to color, as a mom I love to color along side my wee children. Now as a mom of older children who don't really color any longer unless it is for a school project I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to review this new book.

Not only is it a coloring book but it is so much more. It incorporates scripture verses! This is the first book I have seen like this, such a fabulous and unique outlet for creativity.

I so enjoyed reading the many verses in this book. I found as I let them soak in I would pray and ask God to show me more of what he wants me to learn, and how he wants me to grow in 2016. It is amazing what a little time with God can do to transform your day, so uplifting and life changing.

I love how every coloring page has a space on the opposite side to write notes. I am going to fill this book with my prayers, my hopes, my dreams, scriptures that God places on my heart. I am a color inside the lines kinda girl but you could be as creative as you want, after all you are an adult now and no one is going to be grading you!

My women's group just recently held a fun little exercise time where we were to write down our prayers for 2016 the very same day this came in the mail, coincidence I think not!
I will be using this little coloring book as my prayer journal and as a creative way to grow closer to God through prayer and expressing myself through art.

If you are looking for a new and fresh idea to start your prayer life off this year, this may be a fun addition to your morning bible study, and guess what my 2 girls want to join me. I love it!

I received this coloring book free of charge in return for my honest review from Graf-Martin Communications. Thank you Graf-Martin!

The Author

  1. Margaret Feinberg

    Margaret Feinberg

    A self-described "hot mess," Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive, and Women of Joy. Her books, including The Organic God, The Sacred Echo, Scouting the...

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