Friday, March 9, 2018

I Prayed For You by Jean Fisher and illustrated by Frank Endersby

This children's book isn't a new release. It was published in 2015. But this beauty of a book is new to me. 

This would be a beautiful gift for an expectant mother and father. A wonderful first book for a little one. Most of all it is sweetness and would make for the perfect book to read when all snuggled up. 

Who doesn't love bears? The illustrations of this books are so precious. Soft and inviting. Warm and cozy soft hues blanket each page. You can leave the cover jacket on or for your convenience remove it. 

Here are just a few examples from the pages of I Prayed For You. 

"The first time I held you in my arms, you fell asleep all snuggly-cozy. And I prayed." {Thank You, dear God, for this cute, cuddly bear. May my little one know Your love's always there.}

"One day I gave you colorful paints and brushes, and you painted your first picture. As I hung it on the wall, I prayed." {Thank You, dear God, for my bear cub's sweet heart. To me, this child is Your great work of art.}

"The first time you got hurt, I gave you the biggest, warmest, safest mama hug, and I asked God to make you all better again." {Whenever my sweetie pie hurts for a while, please change that sad face from a frown to a smile.}

"Then, one day, you were so brave. You spent the whole day at school without me. And while you were gone, I asked God to help you." {My little one's headed for classrooms and hallways. Please go with my pumpkin today and then always.}

This just may be my favorite children's book of the year that I have been blessed to review. Just sweetness between child and parent. A time to open the heart and simply love. 

I cannot wait to gift this gem to my daughter and granddaughter. I know they will love reading this together. πŸ’œ

This children's book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

Jean Fisher has written many Christian books for adults and children. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she lives near the shore of Lake Michigan, where she enjoys watching woodland wildlife and working in her backyard gardens. 

Frank Endersby has experimented with many forms of art, from designing greeting cards to designing china patterns to illustrating preschool board books. Frank lives in the Cotswolds, surrounded by rolling hills and woodland glades, giving him lots of inspiration to paint. 

Night Night Jungle by Amy Parker illustrated by Virginia Allyn

Get ready to cuddle up with a book filled with colorful cuteness! I love what Amy Parker has done here with a book sure to fill a little one with sweet dreams. 

The illustrations are just amazing. Virginia Allyn has outdone herself on this adorable gem. The pages of this hardback are filled with such brilliant color that is sure to captivate little ones. 

The sun is setting in the jungle and the lemurs are thanking God for their food. The jaguars are splashing one more time before bed. The toucan is getting ready to brush before it's time for pajamas. The chameleons are curling up for one more story. The monkey swings through the trees before mama grabs him up for the night. The mama parrot sings a lullaby. The tadpoles take a ride on daddy's back before they say goodnight. Of course there is a cute sloth all cuddled up with mama. The book ends with all the animals, all God's creatures, snuggled in for the night. 

I love how God is woven within this nighttime story. A wonderful way to begin prayer for little ones. This is certainly a gem for children. The perfect end before dreams begin. 

This children's book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

God Bless You & Good Night written by Hannah C. Hall and illustrated by Steve Whitlow

This is a beautiful book for little ones! The cover is just so gentle and filled with love. The cover alone makes this hardback, with a cover that you can easily remove, very inviting. 

The illustrations are exceptionally gorgeous. They give way to bring imaginations alive and curious. Soft and gentle colors create a cuddle time sure to keep little ones focused. 

The story opens with a verse, "The Lord gives sleep to those He loves. -Psalm 127:2." What a wonderful way to begin sharing Jesus and open little hearts up to prayer. 

With each turning of the page we are introduced to different animals all readying for a goodnight's sleep. We start with giraffe's stretching from small to tall, polar bears grabbing a snack before hitting the sack, otters scrubbing until bubbles fly, penguins with jammies to give a giggle, kangaroos with a story, sloths climbing high to catch a breeze, a family of foxes snuggling in the hay, hedgehogs giving snuggle hugs, meerkats  closing their eyes to pray, owls singing a lullaby, elephants whispering, I love you, raccoons grabbing teddy bears, bunnies closing their eyes, ending with mamma and baby curled up with a nightlight made of fireflies. 

I cannot wait to gift this one to my youngest granddaughter. She will adore the animals and sweet story as she readies for sleep. I too think this is one your little ones will enjoy. 

This children's book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

Night Night Farm (touch and feel) by Amy Parker and illustrated by Virginia Allyn

Children will love this colorful gem of a book. The illustrations are bright and colorful. The story is sweet. The farm animals are all getting ready for sleep. As they all ready in their own ways the mice are waiting for their midnight hayride through the farm. 

This one will be perfect for my granddaughter who is one. The story gives room for lots of imagination. The pages are filled with lots of detail where the reader can even add their own imaginative additions to the story. 

For being a touch and feel that is a little disappointing. I expected more. There are circled textures on each page. The sheep is fluffy and the cat is very furry. The moon and stars are glittery feeling. The horse and pig are a smoother texture. On the last page the blanket covering the mice feels a little like flannel. Although it isn't quite what I expected it is still very cute and I think little ones would love to have this read to them at sleep time. 

This children's book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

How to Window Box (small-space plants to grow indoors or out) by Chantal Aida & Ryan Benoit

How creative! Are you on the search for something new, something creative to get excited about? This could be your new project. This is perfect for springtime! 

If you love gardening and simply don't have the space just maybe a window box is something you would enjoy. 

If you love flowers this is a great way to fill your home with beauty and color. There are many great ideas in this sweet gem of a book. There are sixteen different projects that are shared with the reader. A few that I would love to try are the Flower stand, the Southern Belle, the Edible Petals, the Danglers, and the Sunny Succulents

The authors go through instructions on how to garden a window, how to customize your box, resources, and of course beautifully colored photos of window boxes to get you visually excited to begin a new project. 

I seen this book and immediately thought of my daughter who is always decorating her home and she loves flowers. I am excited to share this book with her, but also to try some of these for myself. 

The authors share with each window box the location, indoors or outdoors, how much light is needed, which window is best, just how easy the box you select is, which soil is needed, which topping is suitable for your window box, how much water is needed, and how to feed your plants you have chosen. They give great detail! 

With each box they show the plants that are used and give the name of them. They go through each step to ensure your window box is prepared as best as possible. 

This is a great beginning to a new love. This too is something awesome to share with others. Get the kids involved. Plant and watch it grow! I think with the start that these authors have given, once learning how to create one of these boxes is just the beginning. The imagination can now soar to creating your own beauties to share. 

I am so happy I chose this book for review. I thought I would choose something different from my norm. Going outside the box is just what I needed. lol 🌷

This book was a gift from Clarkson Potter/Publishing for sharing my review with you. 

Chantal Aida and Ryan Benoit are the founders of the award-winning blog The Horticult. Gordon has written for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Teen Vogue, NBC, and more. As an engineer, photographer, and founder of Ryan Benoit Design, Benoit invents and designs modern furniture, fixtures, and planters that have been featured in the New York Times. They live in Southern California.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Ten Little Night Stars written by Deb Gruelle and illustrated by Gabi Murphy

I love finding wonderful books for my grandchildren. This is one I cannot wait to read with my granddaughter, Callie Grace. She's going to love it. 

The softness if this hardback book is great for little hands to touch. The cover and illustrations are exceptionally bright and colorful. They are fun and captivating for little ones. 

This is a dreamy read for bedtime. With each page we count the stars up to ten. Each page builds to finally saying goodnight. The stars added to each page give way to early learning, but there's so much more than counting stars. Each page gives way for so much attention to build even more story for little ones. There is much here to grab the imagination of children. 

We have a sweet story with elephants, bears, lions, pandas, monkeys, hippos, and raccoons. All of these critters are getting their little ones ready for bed. I think children will love all these cuties.

Most of all in this gem it gives time for parent, grandparent, and child to come together in a special way that will fill the heart with love. Let us count the stars, and too count the ways love is expressed through sharing this sweet read. 

This children's book was a gift from Zondervan for sharing my review with you. 

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart

I am a Rubart fan! My favorites are the Well Spring Novels, Soul's Gate, Memory's Door, and Spirit Bridge. His newest gem falls closer to these earlier works. I love how Rubart brings the spiritual world to life in the black and white pages. Many don't think much about it, but it is very real. 

There are always dark and light, good and evil, angels and demons, at work in us and around us. After all Satan is here to destroy and kill. He hunts us. 

We can see this in The Man He Never Was. What is it that I love? Let's start with the title. The Man He Never Was. Toren Daniels is like all of us. We don't want to admit that. That too was his issue. We know of the man he was before he was married and then the man after he was married. He lived with anger. He battled it. It was getting the best of him. He was at the end and this is where he has an experience he never expected. Through good verses evil, the battle continues, and we see Toren become a man he never was. He didn't become the man he use to be. There was something new in him. He had lessons to learn, a life to give up, and a God to trust. 

The cover also captivates me. We see the shadow of him walking through all that is green. For me, this is Toren walking away from who he was and embracing this new life in him. He had to walk the journey, he had to go the distance, he had to face the demons that held him from truly seeing beyond his vision. 

Rubart takes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and writes a story of today using this same premise of good verses evil. We get to see his journey as he comes face to face with the spiritual world around him. His life has become a mess and if he doesn't do something he will only spiral downward even more. But what I love is that this isn't about fixing his marriage or his relationship with his children. Yes, those are important. But more importantly Toren has to learn to love himself and this is something has never done. His past collides on the field as his anger only grows. 

Yes, in reading this novel it is easy to see how it will end. We know that good surpasses the evil. But it is the journey getting there that I loved. The words flow. The chapters connect greatly. The story continually grows and it kept my attention. I was able to read it in one setting, but what I will do now is go back to those last chapters and reread them. They go deep below the surface of what we naturally see. They bring to light the spiritual world around us. For me that are very poignant to my life today. Releasing the anger, looking back over my life, seeing the life I live today, and coming to understand that the new person God is creating me to be isn't something of my past. She isn't someone I once was. Not someone that is impossible to obtain. But someone very real when I make the decision to die to self and look to Jesus. (Galatians 2:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).

I cannot wait to see what's next for Mr. Rubart. I am always intrigued and always walk away from his works with much to ponder. 

Happy ReadingπŸ’œ

This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

James L. Rubart is the bestselling, Christy, Carol, RT Book Reviews, and INSPY award winning author of nine novels. A professional marketer and speaker, James and his wife have two grown sons and live in the Pacific Northwest. Want to stay in touch with James? Sign up for his newsletter (and an occasional freebie!) at

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry

There are those sweet times that you pick up a novel, begin reading, and you are swept away to another time and place. You know, those novels that not only tell a story, but captivate the heart. This is that novel for me. 

Meeting Ruby and Bean in 1933 greatly moved my heart. These young girls by all accounts shouldn't have been friends. Ruby growing up in town at the company store and Bean growing up across the tracks in an area where the company store was their lifeline. But something brought these two girls together and that is the story we are gifted to follow. 

Fabry is genius how he connected the years of 1933 and 2004. With each chapter we move back and forth to these years, each with their own importance to the story. Sometimes a writer can do this and as a story moves from year to year with chapter to chapter it can grow very confusing. But Fabry does so in a way that it flows like a crystal river. 

He brings us characters that I simply adored. My heart fell in love with Ruby and Bean. But there are more characters we meet that left an imprint. There is one in particular, Hollis. We witness this man fight hard for what he believes in. A land where family survived and lived generations before him. He doesn't want to give up his land and he is willing to stand alone. That's a huge message. Because there will be times in our lives where others sell out for one reason or another, and we must make the choice of what steps we will take. No matter what the choice there will be consequences. 

Another character I too adored and admired was Charlotte. She is the granddaughter of Hollis. She is a journalist. Her character is strong and sure. She walks fearless. She is living in 2004 and is doing some investigative journalism in the company store of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia. This takes her back to 1933 when the mine and store were connected in every way. 

Throughout the story we follow Ruby. We see her life when she was young and as she ages. She's living alone and has two grown children. Ruby wants to remain on her own, live with freedom, and carry on as she always has done. But her children are concerned and want to do all they can to protect and love her. This hit home for me because I am living this situation today. Although they are wanting to care and protect for their mother, they just aren't doing it in a way Ruby is accepting. I am grateful for these characters for they have taught me lessons that I can walk with my own mother. Most of all protection isn't always taking away the keys and freedom isn't always living with them. 

This is one of those wondrous stories that should be on the big screen. These black and white words came to life for me. I found this novel to be a treasure of love, friendship, forgiveness, and realizing a life well lived takes dedication beyond our own, but a journey of faith. 

I too must applaud Tyndale. More and more as novels are released from Christian based publishers, a reader expects to have faith woven throughout the novel, but more and more this faith in Jesus is missing. I can say that I haven't found that with Tyndale. They are remaining true to who they are for readers who appreciate a work penned with faith at the center. 

Happy reading. Enjoy!😊

This novel was a gift from Tyndale for sharing my review with you.

Chris Fabry is an award-winning, bestselling author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. Visit his website at

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cold Water by Samuel Parker

I chose this novel because Samuel Parker is new to me. I love being introduced to new authors. The title made me curious and of course the back blurb caught my attention. The cover has that thriller/suspense appeal. I was ready for an amazing read. 

Coming from Revell I am surprised. I have yet to read a Revell novel that didn't contain faith since it is a faith based publisher. I have loved Revell novels. But this one didn't contain any faith. There was no mention of God. So, for that fact this was a difficult read. I expected more, especially from Revell. 

I read novels of all genres. So a novel doesn't have to be faith-based for me to enjoy it. But when coming from a faith publisher that's what I expect. It doesn't have to be in your face. It can be gentle and flowing, but here it was neither. Nothing of faith. 

This is a very dark read. A killer. He's being chased. There is an evil presence within him. He wants redemption, but doesn't expect to find it. There's my issue again. I would have loved to see this sin filled man, being chased, having evil surround him, but journey to a place where redemption finds him. That was missing. 

The writing is exceptional. I love the flow of this writer's pen. Oh, this could have been a phenomenal read...if only. The story has power. It holds within it such promise for a great novel, but I had a difficult time finishing it knowing that is was really going no where. 

I will wait to see what's next for this writer and be captivated by his next work. I wish this could have been a wonderful review. It just wasn't what I expected at all. But just maybe you will pick up this novel and see what I have not been able to see. That is my hope. That you give this author a chance. There just may be something here within these pages that lights your fire and makes you excited to read!

This novel was a gift from Revell for sharing my review with you. 

Samuel Parker is the author of Purgatory Road. Born in the Michigan boondocks, he was raised on a never-ending road trip through the U.S. Besides writing, he is a process junkie and the ex-guitarist for several metal bands you've never heard of. He lives in West Michigan with his wife and twin sons. 

Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey

If you love baseball I think this will be a book you too love. Now I am not a professional sports kind of girl. Love high school sports and watching my kids and now grands play sports, but pro sports not so much. So, you may ask why I would choose this novel. Well, I chose it because it was penned by Billy Coffey, the title, and the cover. The title speaks volumes about the content in the novel. This novel is about two worlds and one of them isn't on the field, but home, the place where the heart longs to be. The cover is spectacular and because of this I was intrigued. 

Where we place our love matters. This is a huge take away for me from this novel. Owen has a chance to play ball. One night. Throughout this novel Owen isn't focused on the game so much, but as he sits on the bench his memory travels back in time. Now we continue to go from yesterday to present. I love how the reader is invited to see the relationship with Owen and his dad. The father wants him to succeed in ways that he never did. His mom encourages him and loves him no matter what his choices. But his father is pretty strong in his feelings. So to see this battle in his heart touched me. 

Another aspect that I enjoyed was the growth of Owen. He seemed to battle so much of who he was, who he was suppose to be, and who is really is. But everything changes with God. Something happens on that bench and it was a blessing to see the changes in the heart that took place as he remembered, thought about today as well as yesterday. Through this battle he is able to see what's most valuable in life. 

This one was slow for me. It was difficult to really get into it and want to keep reading, but once I did I seen the heart of this novel. Unexpected glory takes place within these pages and for that I am so happy I chose this novel. 

This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

Billy Coffey's critically acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm and a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The View from Rainshadow Bay (A Lavender Tides Novel) by Colleen Coble

Years back I fell in love with the writings penned from Colleen Coble. She writes fast thrillers that seem like they are made for the big screen. I have read every series she has penned and she has never ceased to amaze me. The Rock Harbor and Sunset Cove series remain faves for me. 

This latest series is beginning with a great read! I was hooked just with the prologue. She brings us characters that leap off the pages. She gives such detail into their lives that we can relate to them on many levels. We are able to journey with them as they seek truth and justice. They have endured loss and trial. We are gifted to see the heart of these characters. Yes, Colleen Coble is a master at keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. 

I enjoyed the depths of this novel. The story grows with each chapter. Just when you think it is about to calm down there's something more, something strange, another aspect for these characters to figure out. As they journey through we are allowed to experience emotions of anger, guilt, wounds of yesterday, trust and renewal. 

Wrapped in this novel is a faith that Coble never strays away from. That speaks volumes as her writing gift that she shares with us. These characters face mountain after mountain. But in their climb we their tenacity and constant push to keep going forward. 

I have to share that towards the end of this novel there were some aspects that were hard to believe as the story continued down these winding paths, but for me that brought to light that so much of our lives seems unbelievable at the time. But in each step we walk with faith and it is that faith and strength from our Savior that gives us exactly what we need to face the impossible. 

If you're searching for a great new series, maybe just an escape from the busy day, this is a terrific choice!! I cannot wait to see what is next to come in the Lavender Tides Novels!! 

This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you.

Colleen Coble is a USA Today bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, Rock Harbor, and Sunset Cove series. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

Cathy Gohlke is a favorite for me. She is a master storyteller. She weaves a story before us that takes us back in time to the year of 1940. The war is the backdrop for this story. The main theme is courage under fire. How do you find courage to move forward when you aren't even sure where to step? This is where we find our main character, Claire. A young and beautiful American who has joined the French Resistance. That alone sounds courageous, right? But what happens when the plan goes terribly wrong and the support you thought was waiting for you just isn't to be found? Claire is filled with fear, but the challenge is before her. 

What I love is that she doesn't want to go along with this any longer. The fear is too much. The love she holds for one is most uncertain. She has no idea where to turn. She needs help. This is where we see God move. Just when she thinks there isn't another way He makes a way. Just when she's too tired to budge, there He is to provide aid. A safe place to lay her head, protection in the darkness, and warmth when all she feels is cold. 

This novel journeys with Claire as she seeks solace for the children of this war. She wants them to be safe, to have a home, to have safety, but she doesn't think she's the one to do it. Oh, from Claire, which I didn't so much like at times, I could easily see myself in her. That self doubt, that fear of being alone, the feeling of just wanting to be with the one you love. But, Claire doesn't remain in fear too long. She finds she isn't alone at all. And most of all she realizes she is surrounded by love. Love unexpected. 

There is so much to this novel. The characters are beautifully written. The details give just enough and then gives room for the imagination to come alive. I wanted to leave my dishes and all my chores just so I could keep reading. I would close this novel at night and wake hours later dreaming about this story. That's one powerful story!!!

Claire so wanted to go back home. She just wanted things to go back to the way they were. Through her journey we see that God never leaves us. He remained with Claire and guided her right to where she was to be. You might say she bloomed right where she was planted. She found home in a place she never expected.  I love when God shows us that no matter what, no matter where we are, He is going to make way for big things to happen if we will just trust in Him. Little by little this is what Claire learned to do. 

I loved this novel. I cannot wait to see what's next for Cathy!!

This novel was a gift from Tyndale for sharing my review with you. 

Cathy Gohlke is a three-time Christy Award-winning author. She and her husband divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks. 

The Air I Breathe (Worship As A Way Of Life) by Louie Giglio

Louie Giglio is that cheerleader we all in our corner. He's that guy who loves to just talk Jesus. It isn't even that Jesus is the first word in the conversation. It's that every conversation goes back to Jesus. Simply put: He's in the air Louie breathes and it is so evident. Yes, this is how we are to live!! Breathing in Jesus in everything no matter how big or small. 

This is a little book with a mighty life lesson. Worship isn't just for Sunday. Worship is our life. Worship is breathing in Jesus. 

"We aren't designed to operate on a weekly worship cycle, but on a moment-by-moment connection of personal worship that's as much a part of our lives as the air we breathe. As we come together with other believers in worship, we bring that same sense of focus we've had in our daily journey. We bring that same determined devotion. Trust me, church is a lot better when our gathering are filled with people who have been pursuing God for six days before they get there. Church as a "refill" or a "tank-up" is a disaster. Corporate worship works best when we arrive with something to offer God. Sure, it is true that we are strengthened and refreshed by what happens when we worship with other believers, but leaning on Sunday as our only time of spiritual intake is a recipe for languid worship and anemic Body. Church is supposed to be a celebration of our personal journeys with God since we were last together. Imagine what would happen if each person in the congregation was seeking the face of God throughout the week. Some would encounter sorrow, others major happiness. But all would have a story to tell of God's faithfulness in good times and bad. What would happen if we came worshiping to church, filled with an awareness of His presence before we even reached the door? Well, for one, the lead worshiper's job would be a lot easier! And the intensity of our collective offering would be full-on. Can you see it? All of our personal streams of worship flowing into one surging river. One mighty anthem. A beautiful mosaic, telling an even greater story of who God is and what He's done."

This book is filled with wonderful insights on Spirit-filled worship living. Moment by moment worship. We all worship something, right? We may not think we are worshiping people, but we might be surprised to list the things that are of most value to us. Louie reminds us that, "Worship isn't something we attend, like a movie or a concert. Worship is something you enter into with all your might".

I enjoyed this book because it is a great reminder of what worship really is. It makes me think if I'm not worshiping all week and I leave it for Sunday what I am really gaining? If anything, I'm losing a great deal of blessings for the other six days of the week. I also take a way that worship has nothing to do with circumstance. No matter what kind of day I am having I can still worship. 

This is a book for any age, and for a believer at any of their faith journey. A mighty gift to the person who has not yet accepted Jesus as Savior. A great tool for Sunday school, a youth gathering, for any church group wanting to know what real worship is. 

After spending time in a Louie Giglio book I always walk away with great tools that help me in my faith journey. This is one I will keep on my shelf to go back to again and again. 

This book was a gift from WaterbrookMultnomah for sharing my review with you.

Louie Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church and the founder of the Passion movement. Since 1997, Passion has gathered college-age young people at events across the U.S. and around the world, uniting millions of students in worship, prayer, and justice. In addition to the Passion Conference gatherings, Louie and his wife, Shelley, lead the teams at Passion City Church, sixstepsrecords, and the Passion Global Institute. Louie is the author of The Comeback, I Am Not But I Know I Am, and Goliath Must Fall. Louie and Shelley make their home near Atlanta, Georgia. 

Missing Isaac penned by Valerie Fraser Luesse

This was a gem of a read. We travel through the years of 1962-1968 as we follow Pete, a young teen at the beginning of the story, but as we come to a close in the novel we see through these years he grows in great depths. 

This young boy faces loss, a loss I faced at the age of nineteen. Losing his dad greatly impacted his life. We see the character of his father through Pete's life. He lives a life of honor and doesn't allow trial or tragedy to cause him to choose a different way of life. He stays grounded in the foundation that his parents gave him. This is a wonderful trait to see in a character. He was easy to love. 

In the title, Missing Isaac, well, it fits perfectly. Isaac is another figure in the novel that stands out. He worked the land, but he was much more than a hired hand. He was a friend to the family. Pete's dad and Isaac shared a deep friendship. After the death of Pete's dad, Isaac steps in even more so to walk this journey with Pete. 

Friendships between these characters is sometimes hard to find in our world today. But Luesse gives us a great gift to look back in time when things really weren't so different as today. If we really look hard we can find those who are willing to walk the walk and talk the talk of a life of faith. I love how faith is woven throughout this novel. It is gently shared in the lives of the characters as we see them struggle and try to overcome the curve balls life throws at us at warp speed. Sometimes as we see there isn't much time to get over one hit before another is thrown our way. 

I love that this fictitious novel is grown in Glory, Alabama. Glory indeed is what we are invited to see. These characters are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We see priority and people doing what's right even when it's not understood by others. We see characters standing up for those they love, fighting for justice for those who no longer have a voice, all in a place where there is judgement if your different. 

We see the color of our skin shouldn't make a difference in how we are accepted, but because all of our colors are different we should embrace and celebrate the heart of man inside out. 

I really loved this novel. What a wonderful debut for this author. I cannot wait to see what's next. One thing I loved was the older characters who walk in such mighty faith and trust, who give advice with love and kindness. Characters who give without wondering what the cost is for them. 

We travel with Pete as he misses Isaac. We too get to see the legacy of Isaac. He wasn't a perfect man. Oh, but if not for the grace of God there go I. But what Isaac had was a deep love for others, whether for friend or for stranger, he was willing to give all of himself. 

I loved the relationships and how the author gave us such a powerful portrayal of what life is like when we dare to take a chance on really caring, seeing beyond ourselves, and being willing to spend time with another, not so much for our benefit, but for the blessing to reach far beyond just {me}.  

This novel was a gift from Revell for sharing my review with you. 

Valerie Fraser Luesse is an award-winning writer and a senior travel editor for Southern Living. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana's Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She lives in Alabama. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

If you're on the search for a legal thriller series this is it!! The first of the Hidden Justice Series is Beyond Justice. (Take a peek at my review). Cara Putman ROCKS! With great anticipation I grabbed up the second installment of this series and let me share with you that it is exceptional in every way! 

The characters leap off the pages. They are so full of life. Strong characters with determination and hope. They live their lives standing for justice, seeking justice, and using the law to their advantage in fighting evil. 

We once again get to follow the lives of the characters in the first novel, but this one takes on the journey of Emilie and a new character, Reid. Putman is a genius in bringing the reader characters with a purpose. They aren't just going through the motions of life, they are living every moment with intention. I love this! We are allowed to see the transparency in these characters through their emotions, wounds, and battles. 

I admire these characters in how they seek the truth. They don't do easy. They are ready and willing to give their all. They walk in faith. They cheer one another onward. We see friendships, a growing romance, the legal side of fighting for justice, and in all of this we see faith entwined throughout these magnificent people that the reader is invited to care about. 

Putman is wonderful with detail. She gives the reader an opportunity to follow the journey of the characters by giving us a fast passed, intelligent, and powerful read. I love closing a novel and wishing for more. This is one of those novels I didn't want to put down. 

In this novel we are reminded of the heroes that often fight for justice behind the scenes. They advocate for those who cannot fight the battle alone. We too see the main characters doubt themselves. We see the battle within as they question themselves. The battle of the flesh, of fear, of doubt. But, wow, do they overcome. This novel doesn't just take place in the courtroom as other legal thrillers. Putman takes us to the heart of each character as we travel with them through every aspect of their lives. 

Loved it!! I can't wait for the third installment of this amazing series. 😊

This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

Cara Putman graduated high school at sixteen, college at twenty, and completed her law degree at twenty-seven. She has published more than twenty books, teaches college courses, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.


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