Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Make Ahead Kitchen

Skip the hassle of last-minute meals and leftovers and replace them with simple, healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare make-ahead dishes! Your family will love these comfortable meals, new favorites, cozy drinks, and tantalizing desserts—all of them prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to worry! Enjoy simple, soul-filling foods without the chaos of preparing them at the last minute.

About the author: Annalise Thomas is a big city girl married to a small town boy. Every day is a joy and a challenge as she learns to live and love this small town life. Annalise is a foodie with a deep passion for everything edible and for sharing what she loves with others. Annalise is a wife and mom, a baker, a cook, and a blogger. She and her family live a very real life and eat as much real food as possible.

My thoughts: I adore this cookbook! It does a wonderful job of providing simple, yet fun recipes that are geared towards making life easier. I know that it came at the perfect time for me, since I am learning to juggle two little ones. So, having new recipes to try that I can make when they are napping or in bed for the evening is a huge plus. I also like that these recipes make potlucks and entertaining easier.
I love the maple glazed cinnamon rolls (especially that it makes a large batch, so there is plenty to share or freeze!) and her soups are incredible. Really though, this is just a great recipe book. I like the variety and how the recipes are different variations of favorites. Two thumbs up!
I received this recipe book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Like A river from its course


An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hopeThe city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little--known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Fuhrer's plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

My thoughts: What an incredible story! At times, it is tragic and hopeless, but I feel like it is a very realistic picture of what it must of been like to live in Ukraine during the early 1940's, with Germany invading and the war tearing the world apart. While this story shows the ugliness of war (I would not recommend it for younger readers, since it deals with some mature subjects that is part of war), it also shows how hope and goodness can grow out of the most barren ground.
I haven't read a lot about what happened in Ukraine during WWII, so this book was especially interesting for me to read. I thought that Kelli did a fabulous job of weaving the four stories together to show readers several different sides of the war. I only wish there had been a bit more in the epilogue!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

More than Rivals


An Inspiring True Story Set in the Midst of the Civil Rights Era
By 1970, racial tension was at a breaking point in the southern town of Gallatin, Tennessee. Desegregation had emotions running high. The town was a powder keg ready to erupt. But it was also on the verge of something incredible.
Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon were boys growing up on opposite sides of the tracks who shared a passion for basketball. They knew the barriers that divided them--some physical landmarks and some hidden in the heart--but those barriers melted away when the boys were on the court. After years of playing wherever they could find a hoop, Eddie and Bill entered the rigors of their respective high school teams. And at the end of the 1970 season, all-white Gallatin High and all-black Union High faced each other in a once-in-a-lifetime championship game. What happened that night would challenge Eddie and Bill--and transform their town.
Readers will love this fast-paced true story of courage, determination, character, and forgiveness.

My thoughts: Being a child of the 80's, I don't know what it was like to live during the Civil Rights movement and it is hard to understand how people could be so hateful just because of the difference in skin color. In this wonderful, true story, a town is not getting with the rest of the world to make strides to end segregation until basketball brings two boys together. While there is some language that I did not appreciate (though, I understand why it was used, since it is probably how things were back then), the story is excellent and I highly recommend it. You don't have to be a basketball fan to appreciate this wonderful story of two boys who didn't see or focus on their differences.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

You're Already Amazing


Her book, by the same title, started the ball rolling on daring women to seek after the woman that God has called them to be and pursue His purpose for their lives. In this interactive, engaging LifeGrowth study, Holley builds on her book and does a wonderful job of centering around 6 ideas:
Who God created Us to be
What's true no matter how we feel
Our amazing journey with Jesus
God's plan for our relationships
God's purpose for our lives
How we can thrive for a lifetime
This is an excellent study that I look forward to doing with a group soon! I love the quotes and thoughts in it, particularly "With Jesus, We're not only amazing. We're enough. We're beautiful. We're wanted. We're chosen. We're called. We've got what it takes.... not to survive but to change the world". Isn't that an awesome thought? I think that this is an excellent study to do on your own, with a friend, or in a group!
I received this study from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Take Ten: Favorite book covers



I wouldn't say that these are my favorite book covers of all time, but I can say that they are some of my favorites, some of which I would totally love to frame. Is it sad that lovely new additions of my favorite stories make me want to purchase another copy of that book?;) I know, it is a marketing ploy. And, it works...;)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.
This is my favorite coloring book to date! The nice thing about the pages of this is that you could actually frame them an not feel bad for ripping up a book.;)

God Bless America


Enter the pages of this coloring book for adults, and you will find a peaceful way to reflect on what makes America a truly amazing country: our values of equality, opportunity, faith,family, character, generosity, justice, and perseverance. Each coloring page features an original design from one of nine different artists, illustrating an inspirational quote from one of the Founding Fathers, an historic document, a patriotic hymn, or another of America’s heroes.

Slow down, quiet the noise, and express creativity as you color your way through history.

So grab your colored pencils or markers, find a comfortable spot to relax, and spend some time celebrating America. To help set the perfect patriotic mood, a link to the “Coloring America” playlist is included inside.

My thoughts: With our Independence day just around the corner, this seemed like a fitting coloring book to review! I love the American theme of the pages, from the pictures to the fun quotes and writings on the pages! I like this book since the pages are all by different artists, so they are all unique and different styles. I also love that, while there is plenty to color on the pages, they aren't too repetitive in design like some can be. (I guess I get bored with those sorts of pages;))
This would make an excellent gift or would be fun to pull out and share at a family get together over this next weekend!
I received this book from Blogging for Books.

Hidden Agendas

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We like to pretend that hidden agendas are just for self-important bosses or egotistical politicians, but we all have them. Deep down, we all have a secret plan for getting from where we are to where we want to be, even if we refuse to admit it to ourselves.

And if our hidden agendas aren’t enough, we wear masks to obscure the truth even more. We put on these masks—like religion, appearance, power, politics, or protection—to drive our agendas. But all of this leaves us feeling phony, ashamed, guilty, and afraid. It’s killing us and hurting those we love. But for most of us, it will be a cold day in a hot place before we will be fully honest with anyone else.

There is so much more to life than hiding, pretending, and never being loved. In fact, there is already one person who sees behind the masks we wear and the hidden agendas that drive us. It does no good to tell God that you’re sick when you’re drunk, that you love him when you don’t, or that you didn’t steal and eat an apple (with apple juice dripping down your chin). God always recognizes and loves the “you” behind the mask.

So what can we do about the hidden agendas we have and the masks we wear? How can we gather the courage to be real? “Being real” has to start with your relationship with your heavenly Father. God already knows you inside and out. But God doesn’t know you in order to “out” you to your friends. His unconditional love for his own is reason we can pray to our Father without fear of rejection or judgment. Knowing God’s love, knowing that your heavenly Father is for you not against you is the only reason to give up your masks and develop the type of authentic relationships you never thought you could have.

My thought: This book was on an interesting subject: the masks and agendas that we hide behind when we go to church. I thought that the author has some interesting thoughts on being genuine and opening ourselves to being honest. I thought that he had an excellent point about confessing our sins to one another and how to be wise about doing so.
The stories and personal insight he shared was especially appreciated.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Seed


Young Madeline and Roark are desperately running from the shadow that destroyed their home and is threatening their lives.

One day, they encounter Tatus, an older man who has sworn to avenge the death of his family at the hands of the shadow, and they form an alliance with him. Tatus promises that he can keep them safe from the shadow if they will help him build a fortress. So they build.

But as fortress-building consumes their lives, Madeline and Roark are increasingly filled with anger and fear, and an unseen evil threatens to ultimately destroy them. When they finally face the shadow, he presents them with an unthinkable offer that will reveal shocking secrets of the forgotten past, the unseen present, and the unimaginable future.

We’ve all had the feeling that something’s not quite right with our lives. It’s bigger than any specific failure or disappointment. It’s bigger than any person. No matter what you achieve or how much you drink or sleep, you can’t shake it. It haunts you-night and day-and propels you to do something. So you build. You build and build the maze that is your exhausting life. Sound vaguely familiar?

The Seed: A True Myth is a journey into the personal labyrinths we create to protect ourselves and those we love from the pain of living in a broken world. Guzman’s “true myth” takes the reader on an unforgettable journey that is, in essence, the grand narrative of God’s redemptive work in the world. This page-turning Christian fantasy tale is packed with mystery and drama, and readers will feel the weight and power of redemption as they journey alongside Guzman’s characters in their epic battle. The Seed deftly communicates the heart of Trinitarian theology through story-without using theological language or Christian terms-and reinforces biblical themes such as God’s character and man’s true identity and calling.

My thoughts: I enjoy a good myth or allegory style story, since they are enjoyable to read and figure out the true meaning of. While this one was interesting, it was hard for me to get into at times. I did like a lot of the over all themes of the story, though I didn't care for some of the language. I felt like, at times the story seemed to drag a bit. The lesson on fractals was interesting. And, I did like the message of the story. So, in the end, I was glad that I read the book. Of you enjoy stories like G.K. Chesterton, then I think this one is worth checking out. Guzman isn't quite as straight forward as Lewis, nor epic like Tolkien. I think comparing him to a modern Chesterton is a fair comparison though.
I received this book through Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dawn of Liberty



Purchase your copy here.

About the Book



Liberty comes with a price. Can a fledgling nation bear the cost?

British forces advance upon a struggling colonial army. The time of decision has come. Declare independence, or give up the fight. The weight of a nation rests on Samuel Adams’ shoulders as he joins the delegates of the Second Continental Congress. Can he raise the cause of Liberty above the fear of the King’s wrath in the hearts of his countrymen?

Three riveting short stories follow Samuel Adams as he struggles through the events surrounding the Declaration of Independence and evokes the Dawn of Liberty.



Dawn of Liberty



Liberty hangs in the balance. With Pennsylvania’s vote divided, the declaration may not pass. Samuel Adams has two hours to convince the delegates to pass the document, or the lives sacrificed for freedom will be worthless.

 



A Shot at Freedom



“The Regulars are coming!”

Samuel Adams is awakened by Revere’s cry of alarm. A large force of British soldiers are marching on Lexington to seize him and his compatriot John Hancock. Adams and Hancock encourage the militia to make a stand against the Regulars, but should they stay and join the fight, or escape to safety?



Travail of a Nation



Samuel Adams felt the weight of the nation resting on his shoulders as he and his cousin entered the Pennsylvania State House. If the declaration did not pass today, their chances at ever truly gaining independence were all but lost. The British forces bound to arrive in New York any day would crush their revolution if it was not bolstered by a formal declaration. The “Travail Of A Nation” has begun…


About the Author



Author of over half a dozen books, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/


Guest Post From Amber Schamel

On July 4th, 2016, Americans across the nation will celebrate the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Besides the basic overview you got in history class, how much do you really know about the document and the men that signed it?

As an American and a history nerd, I was upset when I realized how much I didn’t know the struggle these men went through, who they really were, what they felt, and what they were putting on the line when they signed their name to that document. There are SO many inspiring stories in the signers and founding fathers, so when I began looking at which signer to feature in Dawn of Liberty, it was a tough decision to pick only one. One of the signers was terminally ill and rode unthinkable miles through the rain to be there in time to sway the vote. Most were away from their homes and families for incredible amounts of time. Some sacrificed fame and fortune.

But after looking through all of the names, I ended up with Samuel Adams. Sam is such a passionate and inspiring character, and I really related to him. He voiced his passion for freedom and independence before the idea was popular, spent countless nights writing articles and pamphlets promoting the cause, always held faith and optimism that someday the Colonies would be free from the tyranny of England. His character is so intriguing and inspiring…Yet, Sam is only known as a beer brand.

Talk about infuriating a history nerd!

Sam Adams is a patriot and a hero. The more I learned and read about him, the more I liked him. Americans should know Sam for who he really is, rather than as the icon to sell liquor. That’s why I am so excited for people to meet Sam in DAWN OF LIBERTY. These stories give folks a chance to experience the tension in Philadelphia at the time of the signing, meet some of the signers, and feel the weight of the decision placed in their hands. It is my hope that this collection of short stories will make the signers more than just portraits in a history book. By the time you finish reading it, my prayer is that you feel you know Sam and his compatriots as friends.


Blog Stops




June 24: A Greater Yes



June 26: bigreadersite








Giveaway

[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

To celebrate her tour, Amber is giving away a signed copy of The Healer’s Touch and a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Enter to win here: https://promosimple.com/ps/9ccf





My thoughts: This book is a fun collection of short stories surrounding the Revolutionary war and Samuel Adams. I like that the stories highlight some of the incredible testimonies of God's hand in the founding of America. Amber does a great job of bringing the stories to life and helping them flow seamlessly. I thought it was interesting to read about how much Sam Adams sacrificed in the way of spending time with his wife and financially.
It will be fun to re-read these stories with my children when they are a bit older!
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Take ten: favorite 2016 releases thus far



1.
This is probably the book I was most excited about this year, and it lived up to my expectations! If you enjoy Victorian style stories, then this one is a must!

2.
This one is a wonderful debut story! I love the nerdy, LOTR's aspect of the story.

3.
This one was an excellent conclusion to the Christiansen family series.

4.
I adored this one!


5.
While the first book in this series was amazing, I think this one was even better! I really need to check out some of the author's other stories, since this one was just fantastic.

6.
I read a fair bit of non-fiction, but I feel like a lot of them don't make it on to my list. This one was just what I needed though, so I have to include it! Super encouraging as a mother.

7.
This WWII era series has blown me away!

8.
This one is surprising. I loved it!

9.
I very much enjoyed this series!

10.

What books are on your list? Which should I add to mine?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Beyond the Rising Tide


Kai met Avery only once--in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he's not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death.


My thoughts: When I received this book, I wasn't sure what to make of it. The premise sounded interesting, but it would take a special author to pull something like that off. Well, Sarah Beard is a special author and did a great job of telling the story of Kai, a young man who felt rejected by the world until he gave his life saving another, and Avery, the girl who can't get past his sacrifice in order to truly live. When Kai can no longer take seeing her pain from the other side, he breaks all the rules in order to help her discover that life is worth living.
I love the characters in this one! Their sorrows and joys are easy to relate to. I enjoyed the story immensely and highly recommend it for an interesting summer read.
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Jilted


Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

My thoughts: How do you cope when the people you love keep leaving you, whether through death or choice? Lynda Turner is a woman who no longer believes she has the right to happiness. After losing most of the people she has loved in her lifetime, when the chance for love comes her way, she feels she doesn't deserve to be happy. As secrets come to light and old hurts mend, she begins to see life in a whole new light.
I enjoy the honesty of this series. Varina has taken on some tough subjects with each of her characters and done a wonderful job of spinning a story of hope and restoration. With this being the final book in the series, she wraps things up nicely. I look forward to reading her next book or series, since she does a great job of writing stories that are so lifelike.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.
Jilted Varina Denman

Medical Judgement


Dr. Sarah Gordon lost her husband and daughter. Now she’s about to lose her life.

After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn’t think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her—and that person wants to see her dead. But first, they want to see her suffer.

Her late husband’s best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, and they’re both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear, but even the best home alarm technology won’t protect her. Who is doing this, and why are they after her?

My thoughts: This story starts off running! Right away, Sarah is thrown into chaos when her home catches on fire. Having suffered through the loss of her husband and young daughter, you instantly feel sorry for her that she is now having to deal with someone bent on making her suffer more! The mystery was interesting and kept me on my toes. I liked the characters and how there is a lot going on. If you are looking for a suspenseful summer novel, then I can recommend this one!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Father's House


Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant – her father’s love.

But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated fa├žade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.

When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.

My thoughts: This is an excellent story! Rose writes in an engaging manner that keeps the story moving along at a fast pace. There is a bit of language in this story, but I felt like it was justified due to the character of the person who used it. While this is the story of an abusive relationship, it is also one of hope and finding peace when away from that relationship. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about was that the main character didn't avoid the appearance of jumping into another relationship when she was still married. I know I am being picky though.:) Otherwise, the story was excellent!
I received this book through Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Believers, Thinkers, and Founders

In Believers, Thinkers and Founders: How We Came to be One Nation Under God,  Kevin Seamus Hasson—founder and president emeritus of the Becket Fund for Religious liberty—offers a refreshing resolution to the age-old dispute surrounding the relationship of  religion and state: a return to first principles.

“The traditional position,” writes Hasson, “is that our fundamental human rights—including those secured by the First Amendment—are endowed to us by the Creator and that it would be perilous to permit the government ever to repudiate that point.” America has steadfastly taken the position that there is a Supreme Being who is the source of our rights and the author of our equality. It has repeated that point for well over two hundred years throughout all branches and levels of government.

Never mind, says the secularist challenge. God is, to put it mildly, religious. Religion has no place in Government. So God has no place in Government. It’s just that simple.
But for the government to say there is no creator who endows us with rights, Hasson argues, “is to do more than simply tinker with one of the most famous one-liners in history; it is to change the starting point of our whole explanation of who we are as Americans.”

He proposes a solution straight from the founding: the government acknowledges the existence of God who is the source of our rights philosophically but not religiously. This idea of the “Philosophers’ God” is a conception of God based not on faith but on reason. Hasson suggests that by recognizing the distinction between the creator of the Declaration of Independence and the God of our faith traditions, we may be able to move past the culture wars over religion that have plagued the country.

In Believers, Thinkers, and Founders, Hasson examines the idea of the “Philosophers’ God” while looking at a host of issues—including the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer at public events, and prayer in public schools—as he demonstrates how we can still be one nation under God.

My thoughts: In Believers, Thinkers and Founders: How We Came to be One Nation Under God,  Kevin Seamus Hasson—founder and president emeritus of the Becket Fund for Religious liberty—offers a refreshing resolution to the age-old dispute surrounding the relationship of  religion and state: a return to first principles.

“The traditional position,” writes Hasson, “is that our fundamental human rights—including those secured by the First Amendment—are endowed to us by the Creator and that it would be perilous to permit the government ever to repudiate that point.” America has steadfastly taken the position that there is a Supreme Being who is the source of our rights and the author of our equality. It has repeated that point for well over two hundred years throughout all branches and levels of government.

Never mind, says the secularist challenge. God is, to put it mildly, religious. Religion has no place in Government. So God has no place in Government. It’s just that simple.
But for the government to say there is no creator who endows us with rights, Hasson argues, “is to do more than simply tinker with one of the most famous one-liners in history; it is to change the starting point of our whole explanation of who we are as Americans.”

He proposes a solution straight from the founding: the government acknowledges the existence of God who is the source of our rights philosophically but not religiously. This idea of the “Philosophers’ God” is a conception of God based not on faith but on reason. Hasson suggests that by recognizing the distinction between the creator of the Declaration of Independence and the God of our faith traditions, we may be able to move past the culture wars over religion that have plagued the country.

In Believers, Thinkers, and Founders, Hasson examines the idea of the “Philosophers’ God” while looking at a host of issues—including the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer at public events, and prayer in public schools—as he demonstrates how we can still be one nation under God.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Centurion


An ambitious Roman soldier. A stunning crucifixion. An unlikely romance. A long war and a chance reunion—the moving parts that make The Centurion a gripping story of love, duty, and sacrifice.

Lucius has always dreamed of military conquest and Roman glory. Little does he know how a routine crucifixion will change him forever.

Curious about this “King of the Jews,” Lucius seeks out His followers and falls for one Mary Magdalene. But all is interrupted when Lucius is called to lead military campaigns. There the hardships of war, year after year, wear him down to nearly nothing.

When Lucius finally returns to Rome, the city has lost its allure. A chance encounter tests his allegiances, and he must decide who he is, what is real, and what is worth dying for.

This work of historical fiction includes an extensive annotated list of sources.

My thoughts: I was a bit surprised that The story starts with the day of Jesus' trial, though it makes sense due to where Lucius is a Centurion.
I thought that this story was filled with rich historical details. I especially appreciate all the work the author did in researching the time to make it come alive. This is a informative fictional story set in the tumultuous time surrounding the crucifixion of Christ, as well as the years after.
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

In the Field of Grace


Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi's home in Israel. Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she had left--a strong back and a willing heart--to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.

Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.

My thoughts: I have had this on my TBR list ever since it came out. I am embarrassed that it took me this long to get around to reading it! Once I started it, I could not put it down, since Tessa nails bringing the story of Ruth to life. I can imagine that it is a delicate balance between staying true to what we know about the story and times and bringing it to life by adding more characters to the story. I think she does a wonderful job of filling in the story of Ruth and Boaz. I loved that both of the main characters challenge the reader to be a better person. While I have enjoyed all of her stories, I think that this one is my favorite yet, since it's a wonderful story of loss and hope, pain and joy. I know I have a tendency to just focus on the blessings that people in the Bible received and not think too much about what they went through to get to that point. This book is a great reminder to trust God through the trials, since He always has our best interest at heart, and often there is a blessing on the other side of the trial.
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

Sea Rose Lane


Three-Time RITA Winner Invites Readers Back to the Captivating Coastal Town of Hope Harbor
After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed & breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos--and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who's invaded the house with her motley crew.
As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?
Three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon takes readers back to Hope Harbor for a new season of charm, romance, and second chances.

My thoughts: While the first Hope Harbor novel was lovely and a great story, I do believe I enjoyed returning to Hope Harbor even better with this story! There is a lot going on with both Eric and BJ to bring them to the place where the story begins. I like that both characters have depth to them, which makes them easy to relate to and more than just characters in a story. I enjoyed the themes of the book and that there are other stories going on in addition to Eric and BJ's. Those who read the first story will be thrilled to see some of the previous characters, but there are also some new ones. You don't need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one, since they stand alone well.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Make your children world explorers

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worldexplorers 


Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a "staycation." Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead circle the globe with Focus on the Family's "World Explorers" summer adventure kit!




Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you've determined where you're going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country's unique culture.




Click here to sign up and receive your free summer adventure kit.




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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.

Take ten: Most anticipated books of the latter half of 2016


1. An Elegant Facade, July 2015

I loved the first book (it was refreshing), so I am hoping this one will be every bit as delightful!

2. Missing, July 2015

This is another one where the first book blew me away! I look forward to reading this one, in hopes that some things will start to be resolved.;)

3. Without Warning, August 2016


4. The Lady and the Lionheart, August 2016

Doesn't this one look gorgeous?

5. A Lesson in Love and Murder, September 2016

The first one was quirky and adorable!

6. My sister's Prayer, September 2016


7. The Cautious Maiden, October 2016

I've only read the first one, but it was excellent! (this is the fourth one)

8. Tangled Webs, October 2016


9. Lost in Scotland, November 2016

I've adored her other books, so I look forward to seeing how this one is!

8. A Portrait of Emily Price, November 2016

Hurray! One of my favorite authors.

10. The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

I wasn't thrilled with the last book I read by her, but I am hopeful this one will be more my speed.

What books are you excited about? Are there some I should add to my list?