Sunday 30 April 2017

Book Review: A Stolen Heart

The future she dreamed of is gone. But perhaps a better one awaits . . . 
From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancĂ©. 

But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

My Reflections:

Warning..If you are on a sugar-free diet don't read this book! Sigh it was pure torture as I really love yummy treats and this novel mentions lots of delectable goodies.

All kidding aside if you are in the mood for a fluffy sweet (no pun intended) romance this book is for you. Set in the 1800's this first novel in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy will warm your heart.

Lydia Crawford is embarking on a whole new journey leaving the past behind her she moves to a little town in Texas, named Cimarron Creek. 

Her soon to be husband Edgar Ellis, was suppose to be patiently waiting for her. However, he seems to have disappeared and in his wake shockingly he left his... wife, and she so happens to be in the family way!

Just as troubling is that Lydia cannot go back home, she must make a go of her new life in Cimarron Creek, outsider or not her spunky attitude and steadfast faith must pull her through. 

Travis Whitefield the newly appointed sheriff is the perfect character to step up to the plate. His gentlemanly ways and protective nature are just what Lydia needs to regroup and figure out what is next. 
Travis, however, must get to the bottom of Edgar's disappearance. Was he shirking his responsibilities or was there something much more sinister involved? who is this newcomer? Does she have something to hide as well?

I found it interesting to see through the eyes of these characters the history of this time period. 
Recovering from the Civil War the townsfolk are resistant to newcomers especially Northerners. It must have been very hard to be moving from place to place and finding new normalcy in the turbulence post-war.

If you are looking for a slight mystery coupled with a Historical romance, this may just be the book for you!

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


Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of At Bluebonnet LakeIn Firefly Valley, and On Lone Star Trail, as well as the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW...
Continue reading about Amanda Cabot

Book Review: Quick Tips For Busy Families

Bring Out the Best in Your Kids--and Yourself!
Believe it or not, your kids are counting on you to unshackle them from their screens and engage them with the family. You can do it! By rescuing a boring afternoon. Making chores fun. Teaching mad skills and spellbinding life lessons. And finding fresh joy in road trips, holidays, and the daily routines of life. Family advocate and father of five, Jay Payleitner has gathered 144 simple secrets you can use, such as:

· Discipline techniques that actually work without nagging
· Using short notes and quick shout-outs to connect with busy kids
· Opening the door to spiritual conversations
· Turning your kid into a star in the classroom

In this collection of under-the-radar parenting strategies, you will find a dozen ideas you can use this week. Think of them as "parenting hacks." Be warned, though. Jay's tips come fast and furious. You'll laugh at one page and get real serious a few pages later. Now is the time to connect and celebrate your family, make memories, and bring out the very best in each other. Isn't that what you want?

My Reflections:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jay Payleitner's book "Quick Tips for Busy Families"

When you stop and think of the things you do as a parent, I'm sure you will often wish you had more time to impart those nuggets of wisdom and moments of grace.

Though I am home quite a bit I find myself torn between running a farm, managing an extremely busy business, couple this with homeschooling my kids and all these activities leave me feeling zapped of energy and truth be told often cranky. There has to be a balance right? Time to teach wisdom sprinkled with grace and love?

Payleitner's book is filled with nuggets of truth, sprinkled with humour and wit. This book contains 144 tips and strategies to help us busy parents navigate our children towards adulthood. It is definitely a good resource to have on hand, I would even go so far as to recommend it for the shelves of your local church library.

If you are looking for a quick read with the most benefits this may be just the book for you!

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


Jay Payleitner

Prior to becoming a full-time author and speaker, Jay Payleitner ( served as freelance radio producer for a wide range of international movements, including the Salvation Army, Prison Fellowship, Bible League, Voice of the Martyrs, and...

Continue reading about Jay Payleitner

Monday 17 April 2017

Book Review: Treasured Grace

In untamed Oregon Country, one young woman fights to keep her family safe. 
Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters, Hope and Mercy, became her responsibility. A hasty decision to head west seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start but has instead left Grace in a precarious position. When missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife agree to let Grace and her sisters stay at their mission for the winter, Grace is grateful. Until they hear from their uncle in Oregon City, the three sisters have nowhere else to go.

As Grace adjusts to life in the West, she meets a fur trapper named Alex Armistead who intrigues and infuriates her in equal measure. But when a measles outbreak threatens lives at the mission and among the native Cayuse who live nearby, it is Alex who helps Grace use the natural healing remedies she learned from her mother to help where she can, despite Dr. Whitman's disapproval. As the death toll rises, so do tensions between the settlers and the natives, and Grace soon finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.

My Reflections:

The cover is what drew me into the folds of this novel, I actually didn't even read the back. I have read quite a few books lately in this era, it must be an author theme?

This novel deals with a hefty dose of serious subject matters. Pain, death, heartbreak are constant. This is definitely not the sappy, happily ever after kind of read, but sometimes you have to live in reality and remember the atrocities that happen.
I do have to provide a warning that this novel deals with rape and unwanted pregnancy, some readers may find the subject matter a little too raw.

The story opens on the Oregon Trail year, 1847. Having just lost her not so endearing husband the Right Reverend T.S Martindale. 
(Ok bunny trail, why on earth is he called the Right Reverend? annoying!) Grace once is again left vulnerable and on her own to provide for her 2 younger sisters, one who is ailing. All parties are however relieved at the passing, as the reverend took advantage of this marriage of convenience, not even bothering to consummate the union.  

Upon arrival to the Whitman Mission, Measles and Cholera are two devastating epidemics that are victimizing both the native populations and the new settlers equally. 
A romance simmers quietly between Grace and a trapper she meets named Alex. There conflicting emotions run hot and cold throughout a good chunk of the book, not making this a sappy romance in my mind. I enjoyed how faith was a constant thread that wove this story together. Pain and sorrow can be stitched together with faith and love to provide a shelter in the storms of life. 

Treasured Grace was an emotionally charged read, that kind of left me feeling slightly depressed. The constant drama, with violent scenes, they really upset me. I would use caution if you are an abuse survivor, this book may be just too emotional for some sensitive readers.
It is however packed with historical events and many hours of research must have been poured into this volume. Though the ending is somewhat a token happy ever after, I am looking forward to the next installment.

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


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

Book Review: Your Next 24 Hours

One day.
One decision.
One amazing discovery.

A life with greater purpose and fulfillment is closer than you think. The decisions you make in the next 24 hours can change your life and influence the people around you . . . for good.

Your Next 24 Hours shows you the enormous difference you can make through small, doable acts of kindness in your family, community, workplace, school, and church. You'll read inspiring stories of unsung heroes, as well as celebrities like

- Kate Winslet
- Adam Levine
- Jake Gyllenhaal
- Zendaya
- Paul Walker
- Denzel Washington
- Amy Adams
- and many more

The kindness revolution starts with you! Begin reading Your Next 24 Hours today and make this day one of a more fulfilling life.

My Reflections:

Kindness, such a beautiful word. One person can make a difference in this busy world.
My life is proof of many people's acts of kindness, this changed my world for the better. It is my goal in this life to pay it forward as well, so when I saw this book being offered I jumped at the opportunity to review it.

The book launches into a tragic story about loss and the choices made in its wake. It set the stage for the birth of the renowned charity called, Convoy of Hope.

The book was filled with stories to encourage and uplift us. I found myself ready to face the next 24 hours with a new attitude and perspective. You can be well known for your acts of kindness like the mega rich person who showers help to the needy, but you could also be the quiet wallflower who makes a change one smile at a time or by buying a coffee for the family behind you in the drive-through. Change is a choice, you can actively make changes around you..or not, you decide.

I loved that this book includes a section called "Kind Ways." It gives practical suggestions to show kindness in may different scenarios, some I wouldn't have thought about.

All in all this book was refreshing and made me excited. I often feel like I am not making a lasting impact on the world around me, but this book reminded me that the little things count.

I highly recommend you read this book, we can all make a difference one choice at a time.

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

About the Authors: 

Hal Donaldson

Hal Donaldson cofounded and serves as president of Convoy of Hope, Inc. Since 1994, Convoy of Hope has distributed nearly $1 billion worth of food and vital emergency supplies to more than 70 million people.
Continue reading about Hal Donaldson

Kirk Noonan

Kirk Noonan is a former magazine journalist who now serves as Vice President of Creative Communications for Convoy of Hope.
Continue reading about Kirk Noonan
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...