Friday 30 September 2016

Book Review: A Heart Most Certain

From the Back:

". . . a memorable read for fans of redemptive historical romances."--Publishers Weekly on A Bride at Last
Lydia King knows what it's like to be in need, so she joins the Teaville Moral Society hoping to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poorhouse herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his mother is the moral society's president. Lydia's first task as a moral society member--to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town--seems easy . . . until the man flat-out refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresees the harrowing complications that will arise from working together, and when town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs--and hearts--truly align.

My Reflections:

I simply loved this book, everything about it was captivating. Melissa Jagears is a solid writer who can be counted on for producing entertaining and relevant novels, in this day and age that is saying quite a lot!
 I have always had a passion to help out women from all walks of life. This novel made me ponder just how my biased nature could view women and their delicate situations. It was an uncomfortable feeling but a very good reminder that we can not judge, or let our experiences color our judgment. God sees us all exactly the same. No one is better than another, sin is sin be it doing it or thinking about it..

Lydia King is in for a surprise, she thinks she is just going to waltz into Nicholas Lowe's office and come out with a hefty donation for the Teaville Moral Society. Things are rarely easy, however, and Nicholas is alike to Ebeneezer scrooge. Lydia's life is going to be turned upside down as she badgers the man incessantly. Not one to give up she intends to get what she is after, and perhaps a whole lot more!

Nicholas Lowe is used to turning people down, he is as pig-headed and stubborn as they come. However, what is is not accustomed to is a certain Miss King being so endearing and stubbornly beautiful! Nicholas sees potential in Miss King and her kind heart, coupled with unbending perseverance may be just what he needs to help him with his secret acts of charity.

This book can change the way you view life around you, it can open up your eyes to things unseen and unspoken, if you open up your heart and really soak in the underlining significance.

It is not a usual occurrence to come away from a novel and ponder the issues in my surrounding community and the ways I can contribute to society as a whole. This book is so well rounded it is labeled historical fiction but it is oh, so much more than that. We have redemption, self-sacrifice, hypocrisy, charity and deceit all wrapped up in a beautifully done well-flowing story line that melds all these elements perfectly. 
Sigh, I so can't wait for Jagears next edition!

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


  1. Melissa Jagears

    Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for KeepsA Bride in Store, and A Bride at Last, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN...
    Continue reading about Melissa Jagears

Book Review: A Tapestry of Secrets

From the Back:

What is the weight of a secret?

And what happens when that burden becomes almost too much to bear?
For decades, Perla Phillips has hidden the truth of a decision that still fills her with guilt. But now, seeing her granddaughter, Ella, struggle in a similar way, she's prepared to finally open the past to her family, no matter the consequences. But when the opportunity is snatched from her in a most unexpected manner, will she have waited too long?

Spanning generations, this moving family drama weaves together the interlocking stories of two women as they navigate relationships, family, faith, and the choices that will shape their lives. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the story explores the courage to share the wounds of the past and celebrates the legacy a family passes from one generation to the next.

My Reflections:

A Tapestry of Secrets is book three in Sarah Loudin Thomas's series Appalachian Blessings. 
Ah, I so enjoy reading a novel that you simply cannot put down, and this is one of those books. Lucky for me I fell sick with a terrible cold and had to read this book straight through!
Loudin Thomas has a unique style to her writing, she draws her characters in with slowly unfolding tidbits that develop the story line fully by its conclusion. Her style is so inviting and the story line is multidimensional which makes the reader feel like she has stepped into a whole new world. I so love when a book can take me away! 

Ella gets the call no granddaughter wants to receive, her beloved grandmother Perla has suffered a stroke. Ella rushes home to help care for her ailing grandmother, and in the process escape a certain Mark Arrington.

Ella is am an artist by trade so her profession is flexible enough that she is able to accommodate the needs of her family. Ella is prepared to hunker down and help where she is needed and hopes her dear grandmother can continue to stay in a familiar environment. With conflict arising from her aunt Sadie who would rather see Perla in a home, Ella must stand firm and do what is right. 
The plot thickens when a land developer arrives to build a hunting preserve. The townspeople along with Ella are concerned about the long-term impact this kind of development could have on this quiet little piece of heaven. This hunting lodge would be located right where the church is sitting. Although the church is suffering in many ways Ella is determined to stand strong for her family and the townspeople and do everything she can in order to save this refuge.

Perla has such little time to make her past known to her daughter and granddaughter. The stroke has taken her ability to communicate effectively, but is there some way in which she can convey the secrets that are locked in her mind?

I simply loved how the suspense builds as the story progresses, it makes it impossible to reenter your regular life until you reach the last pages. Definitely a page turner! I have read all three books in this series now Miracle in a Dry Season and Until the Harvest, and I can safely say that they all could be stand alone novels but to get your full enjoyment I would certainly recommend you read these as a series!

I am looking forward to the next book from this very talented author, so please hurry up and write Sara Loudin Thomas!

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


  1. © Kristen Delliveniri

    Sarah Loudin Thomas

    Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children's ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season and...
    Continue reading about Sarah Loudin Thomas

Monday 26 September 2016

Book Review: The Artisan's Wife

From the Back:

As Ainslee McKay reluctantly leaves all she's known, the beauty of forgiveness and new beginnings comes to light in a West Virginian town with hidden depths. Ainslee McKay's world is upended when her twin sister secretly elopes and leaves Ainslee alone to move to Weston, West Virginia, to fulfill their obligation at the McKay family's new tile works. While her brother, Ewan, agrees to travel with her and help her learn the ropes, she still intends to sell this business she no longer wants if a buyer can be found.

When the talented Levi Judson arrives to show Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she's impressed at his skill and passion for the business but feels she must keep her true plans for the business a secret from him. And though Levi hopes for a long, successful career at McKay Tile Works, he's hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light--or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?

My Reflections:

Judith Miller's newest book "The Artisan's Wife" is set in West Virginia in the late 1800's. This is book three in the series, Refined By Love. The final installment wraps up the previous books (The Brickmaker's Bride and The Potter's Lady.) 

I so loved getting to know the Mc Kay family and the three different professions the ladies were involved in. I was acquainted with the inner workings of a brick maker, a pottery maker, and now a tile maker. The history in Miller's books is well researched and extremely interesting, but then again I love museums and history alike!

Ainslee has given her word to fulfill her part in the tile business, much to her dismay her twin sister has eloped and the burden lies on Ainslie's shoulders. Making the best of a complicated situation she moves to West Virginia to run the new tile works business until her brother can sell it. Will the men of this new town listen to a young woman? Not wanting to make too many connections Ainslee works to cut her losses and move on with her life, that is until Levi Judson enters into the equation. 

Levi moves to Weston, West Virginia to be close to his brother Noah who is a patient in an Asylum. His brother, however, is not crazy!
When Ainslee Levi and Noah get together they discover a real, creative edge to the tile works designs, could this be a promising career or should Anslee cut her losses and return home to her safe and predictable life?

I so enjoyed Miller's female characters, they are strong, stubborn and delightfully real. I also enjoyed how this novel tied up the loose ends of the previous two. It was a delicious, bittersweet read as I knew I was saying goodbye to all my beloved characters!

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


  1. Judith Miller

    Judith Miller is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her family make their home in Kansas. Learn more at
    Continue reading about Judith Miller

Sunday 25 September 2016

Book Review: Your Powerful Prayers

From the Back:

The all-powerful God of the universe loves us and wants to talk with us--but it doesn't always seem that way. Why is prayer so hard at times? And why are some prayers answered while others are not? Susie Larson knows the struggle. But through the years she has learned to pray with confidence and joy, approaching God as His beloved child. 

In this warm and wise book, Susie shares how you, too, can reach the heart of God. Discover how to:

· Pray more persistently, humbly, and boldly
· Overcome common hindrances to effective prayer
· Combine reverence, expectancy, and a tenacious hold on God's promises

Prayer isn't merely a means to an end. God invites you to an intimate and profound dialogue with Him, to experience His movement in your life, and to know His overwhelming joy, power, and peace. Experience God's presence as He strengthens your faith, encourages your heart, and shifts your perspective.

Includes reflection questions for personal or group use. A DVD study companion is also available separately.

My Reflections:

Susie Larson's book Your Powerful Prayers was a balm to my parched prayer life. Her perspective and nurturing spirit spoke to those quiet places in me that usually get ignored with the bustle of everyday life.

Who wouldn't want the reminder that God loves us fiercely! 
God is right there waiting for you, all you need to do is talk to him. 

Meaningful and nourishing biblical truths mixed with honest and heartfelt stories make this a fabulous tool to get your prayer life vibrant again!

Broken down into three sections the reader is guided through relevant and well laid out topics that include God, Your Fortress, God Your Father and Jesus, Your King. 
The back also includes sample prayers. I loved this inclusion, sometimes my mommy prayers can be so repetitive, and predictable, it's nice to have something more substantial than "give me patience, wisdom, and stamina!" Or my favorite "help!" LOL kidding aside (well kind of) 
These prayers are handy to pray when words are lost and exhaustion is at its peak.

Larson's book is not a tool to get God to do what you want but rather a reminder to us of who God is and how the Bible says we should live and grow closer to him. 

I will certainly be checking out Larson's other writings and adding her to my author lists.
A great book for parents, prayer groups, or anyone looking to deepen their prayer journey.

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


  1. © Jenny Bedard Photography

    Susie Larson

    Susie Larson ( is a radio host, author and national speaker. She hosts her own daily live talk show,Live the Promise with Susie Larson, which airs across the Upper Midwest and in several other locations around the country. Active in...
    Continue reading about Susie Larson
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...