Friday, April 20, 2018

I Can Only Imagine (The True Story That Inspired the Hit Song and Major Motion Picture) by Bart Millard with Robert Noland

What a wonderful gem of a read! Inspiring and full of God's grace and mercy! This is a song I loved the first time of hearing it. Every time it comes on the radio it's like the very first time. One cannot hear this song and not be moved in a powerful way. 

This memoir is one that truly moves the heart and one that many will be able to connect with too. I loved the transparency and heart of this book. Pure and raw. 

Bart doesn't seem to leave out anything. He shares the beauty of life, the trials of heart, the mountains and valleys, along with the shadows where our wounds seem to live. He shares with us moments of his life that shine Jesus. Where there was pain he shows us forgiveness. Where there was unjust he shares with us peace of letting go. There isn't one area of Bart's life that he doesn't allow Jesus to use for His glory. 

I too love the photos of family and friends that he shares with us. He shares his young life, his home life, his family, and his musical gifts. It's like there isn't anything off limits for God to use. Super cool!! One thing I didn't know about Bart was the connection with Amy Grant. Oh, how God moves in those who serve Him. One can definitely see God has a master plan!

One of my favorite aspects of this book is what Bart shares in the very back. He could have easily shared his story and that was that, but he gives us even more. It's like God gave him pages and said, "Use them up. Use as many as you want. Just give Me the glory." That's exactly what Bart does!  We find in the Appendix Your Identity In Christ. This is where he shares what his mentor, Rusty, shared with him as he discipled Bart in walking with Jesus. He shares 75 verses where we can find our identity in Christ! To have all of these verses together, to be able to read them over and over is such a rich blessing. I intend to write them all in my journal that I keep with me in my purse. What a legacy! This gift given to Bart, he is now sharing with readers to continue to flow of blessings. 

I usually read fiction. But when this movie came out I started hearing everyone share about just how awesome it was for them. How their hearts were moved and how their lives impacted. When I seen the book for review I just had to grab it up. Boy, am I happy I made this selection. It's well worth the read. There is power in being transparent and in giving God glory for every aspect of our lives. 

This is Bart's life, but it too could be your life. There were aspects where I found myself within these pages. It's one that will leave your heart full. I think it's a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟read!!

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Daniel Key (20 Choices That Make All the Difference) by Anne Graham Lotz

The first book I read by Anne Graham Lotz, "Wounded by God's people", changed my life. It was a powerful read for me. One that began a healing in my wounded soul. So, when this book was available for review I wanted to see if this too would be a blessing. 

This is a gift book that contains a blue ribbon for page keeping. This book is just beautiful. Very inviting. This little gem is taken from Anne's previous work, "The Daniel Prayer." I have not read that selection, but if this is a continuance from those penned words I can only imagine it too must be a wonderful read. 

What makes all the difference? Anne brings us twenty findings to the keys of success. Faith, Worship, Loyalty, Prayer Partners, Praying for Others, Praying God's Word, Attitude, Listening, Daily Prayer Time, Perseverance, Desperate Prayers, Values, Focus, Courage, Confession, Fasting, Forgiveness, Humility, A Personal Relationship with God, and Commitment. It is in these keys that Anne takes us on a journey to walking closer with our Jesus. 

In each chapter she gives an opening verse, shares why that key is valuable, gives us words to 'think about it', and ends with a prayer on the key of that chapter. The entire book is Daniel focused, but God centered. Anne shares some personal stories that allow for a key to highlight the personal aspect. She too shares stories of others and some quotes that give great wisdom and insight. 

What do I love? The fact that Anne isn't the center of this book. Not her ideals or life, but God's very Word. She doesn't stray from His Word, but brings Daniel to us in a way that invites the reader to dive in and experience God's Word on our own. This is a wonderful gem of a book that only causes me to want to open up my Bible and read again the Word in the Book of Daniel. 

My favorite aspect of this book the prayer at the end of every chapter. Why? It isn't just a prayer shared by Anne. It is a prayer that begins with the Word of God. She teaches us to pray the Word. This is powerful for our growth in our faith journey. This is shared in chapter 6, a short chapter, but one that impacted me the most. Reading His Word, taking a scripture, praying it and making it personal to us. For me, that changes prayer. 

With all the scripture Anne shares one could easily use this for a devotional, an opportunity to read with the Book of Daniel, to read alone or in a small group setting. It would make a sweet gift for anyone in your life. I plan to pass my copy along to a friend who is right now climbing a mountain of trial. 

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

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

When I seen this book for review I was hoping it would be offered in print. It was the cover that caught my attention. Just beautiful. This too is my first opportunity to read a work penned by Sarah E. Ladd. I cannot wait to see what is next in this writer's future. 

Where to begin. I'm just going to jump in here. This is my second book this week I have read by Thomas Nelson. When I choose a Thomas Nelson novel there is one thing above all else that I expect. Faith. A novel where faith is at the center. That is what was missing for me in this novel. As a reviewer for Thomas Nelson, a Christian publisher, I could not review a book without sharing the disappoint I feel where faith isn't to be found in a novel published by them. 

If this were a secular fiction I would give it five stars. Sarah E. Ladd is exceptional. This was a beautifully penned novel. Once I began reading I didn't want to put down this book. I have a friend who calls these "Unputdownables". There is so much about this novel that I loved. But without being faith-based it was missing an element that could have made this novel soar. 

We start in the year of 1801 in Amberdale. Oh, this time period is one that I love and Ladd did a fantastic job in the details and bringing the pages alive for the reader. She captured the time and place with poetic beauty. We find ourselves going back in time to a weaver's life in England.

This was a time of uncertainty. A time where so many wanted to remain with tradition, but times were a changing and the people of Amberdale didn't want to see machines come in and take jobs away from the people who so desperately depended on them. This is who they were. The identity was based on being a weaver. 

The weavers and millers didn't see eye to eye. Too much was changing and hanging in the balance. You have some wanting to remain as is and others who were hopeful in this new generation coming forward to bring a new way of life. 

Our main characters are Kate Dearborne and Henry Stockton. Kate a weaver's daughter, and Henry Stockton, a miller's son. The Dearborne family and the Stockton family were enemies. The weavers were loyal to tradition. The millers were stepping in to advancing to a new era of production. Nothing wrong with either side, that is unless you were on the other side of their views. 

These are the two main characters, but there are other characters who I found myself admiring. One would be Kate's brother and the other would be Henry's sister. This story is just so well put together. The author gives the reader a glimpse into the heart of each character. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly. We see their struggles. But it doesn't stop there. We get to witness these characters growing into better people. They move past what was done and expected in the past. They see beyond the prejudice and look at the heart. 

The father of Kate and the grandfather of Henry expected them to honor them, to be loyal. They weren't suppose to have feelings and allow their emotions to get in the way of being loyal. But these two characters overcome the hatred of their earlier generation and step out and learn to be loyal to their own self, seeing how others should be treated and not allowing a hate to live within themselves. 

Oh, there is so much I could share about this novel, but then I would give away too much. I truly enjoyed this novel. I only wish, especially coming from Thomas Nelson, that faith could have been at the center of this Christian published novel. If the faith aspect was there this would have been far above a five 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star review for me. 

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

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. 

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

I chose this book because of the cover and title. The cover is gorgeous and speaks volumes. It is hurricane season, storms are approaches, but yet there is a calm where the unknown is coming in at high speed. Finding that calm in the storm is the key. A peace that surpasses all understanding. Trusting our God to bring about a peace we have never experienced before and so desperately need. 

When I choose a Christian fiction novel, especially from Thomas Nelson I expect to read a faith based novel. I am knowing that I when I open the pages of the novel before me faith is going to be woven through the story to bring a story saturated in seeing the characters come to faith, walk in faith, experience God in their lives, and journey through the storm witnessing God do something miraculous in the character's lives. Just to have them point to faith, to see their struggle in the storm come to a place where they seek Jesus, knowing even as the storm rages they can solace in Him. 

But lately in Thomas Nelson's novels for review this isn't what I am seeing. Faith being at the center, at least mentioned in some capacity is missing. In that alone it makes it difficult to review a novel. If this novel was in the secular publication it wouldn't be an issue. But being classified as Christian gives way to looking deeper in how I must review it. Those who seek out to purchase Christian fiction want to see faith at the center of the novel. 

This is a novel about sisters, their connection lost, marriage, children of a single parent home and a home where children are yet to be, dreams lost and dreams found. The main characters are Jenna who is the mother of Addie and Walsh, Betsy who is the older sister, and her husband Ty. 

Betsy and Ty live in Alabama and are farmers. They have a sweet life but something is missing. Ty is that strong character. He works hard and is a good husband. Jenna is living this new farm life, a life she didn't dream about, but one she fully embraced. Together they are building a life together and realizing children may not fill their home as they had so hoped. This is a toll that both are experiencing, but they are keeping their emotions on this safe level and not really sharing with one another. 

Jenna is the younger sister and a single mom. She is struggling to make ends meet at her coffee shop job, but she is hopeful. She's a great mom to her little girls. Something too is missing in Jenna's life. She and her sister haven't spoken in quite a long time. The last time they seen each other was a couple years back. Jenna gets a call to experience something she has dreamed of doing. If she takes this opportunity it could change everything. But what to do with her girls? She at first is only to be gone two weeks. She gives her sister a call and this is where the story takes off. 

We see Betsy take that call and her answer comes without first sharing with her husband. But of course Ty only wants Betsy to be happy. He has some questions about Jenna expecting so much from her sister. This sister relationship is explored more and the story builds on this. We see both sisters come to a place in life they had been longing for. 

Where Betsy is more centered on others, Jenna is more self-centered. Where Betsy is more settled in a scheduled life, Jenna is more spontaneous. I  could relate more to the character of Betsy. She was friendly and likable. She didn't expect so much of others and what she never expected of others what she herself wasn't willing to give. Jenna's character didn't settle in well with me. She was very selfish. A good mother, but always expected someone else to jump in where she wanting to soar. She expected more from her sister, but yet she didn't consider the impact on her sister. She had a dream and she wanted to see where this opportunity took her. 

I enjoyed seeing Betsy and Ty step in and take care of the girls. This was a new experience for them. As it turns out two weeks turned into more. Something they didn't expect, but they made the best of it. Through this experience they come together in a new way. This was lovely to witness. A marriage growing!

Jenna sees this opportunity to reach her potential. But while she is here she learns much more about herself than learning new things about photography. She's had everything in her all along. She just had to reach the place where she could see it for herself. 

For me, the best part of this novel was close to the ending when Jenna returns and the sisters share like they have never shared in their lives. So much was unspoken, so much to learn, so much to bring them together. Oh, this was a beautiful part of the story.

The novel begins with Betsy, then the next chapter we are introduced to Jenna'a life and then to Ty. The novel flows very easy. The writer does a fantastic job at allowing the reader to see the heart of each character. 

Now, this is only my opinion. I did enjoy the novel, but like I have shared it was faith that was missing for me. If faith was at the center of this novel, just wow! To see these characters going through so much come to a place of faith, feel God's peace, experience strength and grace from Him, it would have been a totally different novel. The novel I had hoped it would be. 

But it is my hope that you pick up this novel and experience something wonderful. Maybe the Christian aspect isn't something that you are seeking. If not you are going to really enjoy this novel and the seeing the heart of these characters come to life. 

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

Lauren K. Denton Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she's rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway was her highly acclaimed and USA Today bestselling debut novel.

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. thehorticult.com

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 JamesLRubart.com

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 www.chrisfabry.com.

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. 

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