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Showing posts from April, 2014

"One Perfect Spring", written by Irene Hannon

Oh, how I love this Missouri girl! Once again, Irene Hannon has proven she has a gift to pen a story that reaches the depths of the heart. She can write suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat and she can stir up a romance that makes your heart soar. 
I fell in love with Irene Hannon when I read her Guardians of Justice Series, "Fatal Judgement", "Deadly Pursuit", and "Lethal Legacy". Then I was blessed to read her next series, Private Justice, which included, "Vanished", and "Trapped". Next up was, "That Certain Summer". Can you tell I am a huge fan? LOL I have never been let down by reading an Irene Hannon book. She is gifted with the pen to bring a story to the reader they can relate to and be so absorbed that they stay up late in the night turning pages. 
In her newest gem, "One Perfect Summer", we find a novel about relationships. One about God's perfect timing. We see what He can do with what see…

A Broken Kind of Beautiful written by Katie Ganshert

The words penned by Katie Ganshert go far beyond the back cover description. When Katie shares in her acknowledgments that her second book was much more difficult to write than her first and the third was much more difficult to pen than the second, I can totally see why. I have read all three of Katie's books, and although I love her first two creations, this is by far my favorite! She has truly created a masterpiece. 
Not only is the cover gorgeous and so telling, this story is breathtakingly Katie at her best! God is present within these pages. Her writing is spectacular and her passion of faith is evident throughout the story. 
There are two quotes within this story that I am still pondering. I am hoping to get them copied and framed to sit on my desk where I write daily. 
"If I have to choose between easy or what will bring me closer to Him, I pray my choice will be Him." 
"God isn't in the business of pampering His children. He's in the business of perfe…

Songs of the Shenandoah by Michael K. Reynolds

I just closed the last page of, "Songs of the Shenandoah", and let me tell you, I do so without dry eyes. This was one of the most precious and extraordinary novels I have yet to read. This is why people fall in love with books. Michael K. Reynolds is brilliant! After reading the first two books in this series, I can tell you that this third treasure is my absolute favorite of all! 
This series is a penned masterpiece. A classic for years to come. Stories such as these do not just appear. They are created by one who has been gifted with telling a story. Not just any story, but one that is filled with everything one can imagine. Michael K. Reynolds has closed this series with a magical journey into the past. 
I couldn't read fast enough. Every page spills over with such intensity. My heart was being tugged in every direction. These characters are unforgettable. We see them at their weakest moments, struggling to find themselves in the midst of a time past that held such …

Don't Be a Drip!

At night I lay down. After a busy day I am calmed by the quiet. I'm snuggled up and close my eyes. Sleep isn't far away. I'm thinking of sweet dreams. But there it is, that sound that is bugging the fire out of me. I try to ignore it. I don't want to have to get up. I'm so comfortable. I can't take it. I toss the quilts back and make my way to the bathroom. Just that one constant drip causes me to want to pull my hair out. It isn't comforting. It's downright annoying. Just one drip could literally keep me awake all night and I can tell you without a doubt that it would not give me a great waking.

Once that drip has been turned off I am now able to quiet myself and calm my thoughts as sleep overcomes me. A goodnight of rest does wonders for the body, mind, and soul. But what happens when that calm is disturbed? Everything is out of whack!
"If one blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse to him. An en…

In Golden Splendor by Michael K. Reynolds

I love how Michael K. Reynolds takes a character and makes him so approachable. Once again he has allowed the reader to be carried away to another time and place. Oh, the splendor of it all!!
"In Golden Splendor" continues the story of the Hanley family. Although this second book of the series focuses on Seamus, we too get to catch up with Claire once again. 
After reading book 1 in the series, "Flight of the Earls", (check out my review), I fell in love with the writing of Michael K. Reynolds. This is truly becoming an all time favorite series of mine. I am so excited to open the pages of the last book of this trilogy. 
We truly see that God has a plan for each of us. We may make poor choices and get off track, but God is never off track. He uses our ash for beauty. This is exactly what He goes with the life of Seamus. The Hanley family didn't think Seamus would turn out to be much of a man. Even Clare wasn't so sure he could make it on his own. What I lo…

Flight of the Earls by Michael K. Reynolds

"Flight of the Earls" is an extraordinary journey into the past. Every so often I have the pleasure of reading an unforgettable book. You know those books. They stick with you forever. You share them with friends. You walk away feeling blessed that you were gifted to turn the pages into another time and place. 
Michael K. Reynolds is an outstanding storyteller. Within the first few pages I was completely captivated. He gives a vivid portrait of the lives of the characters. He doesn't just share the surroundings or circumstance. He shares their heart. He opens us up to being moved by extremely rare characters. I think his writing style is exquisite. 
I was moved by this story. Stories within a story. This is a sweet gift to the reader. I connected with the characters and felt as though I knew them. Clare Hanley captured my heart and held it in her hands throughout the story. 
This is a story of hardship and redemption. A story of new beginnings and finding one's self …

Noah and the Mighty Ark by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Margaret Spengler

On the day of the arrival of this sweet and beautiful book my three year old granddaughter happened to be here. We opened the package together and she pulled out the book. "Oh, Nanny, look! A pretty book!" We sat and opened the pages. She was immediately captivated by the illustrations. They are beautifully created. Peyton loved the bright colors. 
For my three year old granddaughter the story captured just enough for her little mind to comprehend. Noah and the ark is a story that I have been sharing with her for the last year. This is a great beginning for little ones. I have seen reviews that said there wasn't enough information. Not enough subject on sin and so on. For me, little minds cannot be carry such heavy information. I thought the story line was perfect. Just enough to capture their imagination and short enough that they will want to come back to the story again and again. This is the opportunity of the reader to share more information and answer questions fo…

Jumping Ship and Landing in the Grace of God

God makes His plan.

We run.

We change direction. It's our life, right?

We do it our way.

He takes our new life and creates beauty from our mess.

We see Him work. We see Him move. We feel His presence.

Then again we step back and circle the desert. We go round and round.

He stops us. Time is altered. His grace finds us.

We are persistent and disobedient, but God is forever reconstructing the plan. The purpose is the same. To bring us to Him. He forever gives us time to learn, to settle in and brings us to remember to pray.

You know, I think I can connect with Jonah. Can you? Such a short book compared to others, but one that packs a mega lesson. You can't run from God! 
Jonah was kind of prideful. He was called to Nineveh to warn those living there. He more or less looked at God and said, "Are You kidding me? You wanna save them? Those people? You want muah to go there?" Did Jonah think he was better? Was he just filled with fear? Maybe he held contempt for these peo…

Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Before I even begin to write my review I feel like I need to apologize. I have read books by Richard Mabry that I have enjoyed immensely. This novel doesn't fall into a favorite for me. I was intrigued when I seen the cover and read the description. I was expecting a novel that focused around the medical field. Other than the main character, Shannon, being a doctor, and all of her friends being doctors, it had nothing to do with medical field. To me, with the title, "Critical Condition", I'm leaning to believe this is a suspense novel that has something to do with what the cover projects.

Richard Mabry's words flow easily. He does give an interesting story. But, I couldn't connect. I kept reading, waiting to fall in love with the characters, but it never happened. I enjoy reading unforgettable, and I'm so sorry to say, but this doesn't fall in that category for me.

The story moved along at a slow pace. Yes, in the beginning, Shannon's boyfriend di…

Praying Honest

Don't ignore your heart. Admit your anger. See through to your bitterness. Restlessness and anxiety are real. They are powerful tools for the enemy who wants to destroy your heart, mind and soul. We wake each day with so much on our minds. The list is endless. We have good days and those that seem never ending. Our hearts can become stone. Our blood can boil at the drop of a word. Life is hard. Don't you agree? 
We often bottle up everything and when we come to pray we don't share with Jesus what's real. We stay in a comfort zone. "Dear, Jesus, I pray for Sally Mae as she has surgery this morning. I lift up Kathy who is suffering from cancer. I lay Joe at Your feet as he faces a new obstacle. I ask for a special blessing upon Kim and Rick as they are facing divorce." Sound familiar? 
I'm not saying anything at all is wrong with this prayer, but after all, aren't we speaking with Jesus? He already knows our prayer before we speak it. He knows of every…

Four Margaritas

You know what I'm uncovering? Most of the things we worry about never come to fruition. Recently I had surgery on my hand. It was the third surgery on the same hand. I can be honest with you and share that I was completely terrified. My biggest fear? The block. If your not familiar with a block, it's a shot that numbs the entire arm so when you wake from surgery you feel no pain whatsoever. Now, that part is a blessing, but when your fingers begin to tingle, watch out!!

With the first two blocks I had a LOT of pain with them. They go right under the collarbone and sometimes under the arm too. (That was my first one). The second block I had was some serious pain. So, as you can imagine the night before surgery sleep did not come. Even in the morning as I prepared to leave I felt as though I just wanted to keep my pain and ignore the surgery. But, I knew that wasn't an option.

My hubs was able to stay with me until I went back to surgery. Everyone was so nice, but that nicen…

Big Picture Interactive Bible by B&H Kids Holman Bible Publishing

First I must share that HCSB is my favorite Bible! There just isn't another like it. Holman publishes the best of the best in Bibles. I have an outstanding study Bible that I absolutely love. So, when I received this children's Bible for review I was over the top excited. I now have grandkiddos that are going to love spending time learning stories that they will connect with over a lifetime. 
This Bible is for boys between the ages of 8-12, but it could really be used for a girl too. And the ages can also vary according to your child. You are the best judge of that. I encourage you to follow the highlighted links and check out all of the children's Bibles. You are sure to find the perfect Bible to fit your little one. 
This is a beautiful and inviting Bible. The pictures are big and bold. I think that's a great visual aid for little ones. They tend to ask more questions and can connect with the story on a whole new level.
There too are memory verses for little ones to beg…

Wedded To War by Jocelyn Green

Wow!!! Jocelyn Green can pen a magnificent story. She is an outstanding storyteller. I first read, "Widow of Gettysburg", (check out my review),which is the second book in the series. Yes, I'm going a bit backwards, but it doesn't matter at all. This series doesn't have to be read in order. Whichever book you start with is going to make you fall in love with Jocelyn Green. 
If you love history this is a book that will take you back to another time and place. Through Jocelyn's words you can feel the surroundings. You don't have to imagine too hard. She easily takes you there on a journey into the life and times of the people of the Civil War. The characters are rich and courageous. Something I love about his series is that it left me inspired. 
It's hard to imagine a time when it was frowned upon for women to enter the profession of nursing. That's exactly what the main character, Charlotte, faces as we meet her in this wondrous novel. We not only…

What Follows After by Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh is gifted with the pen. His words leave me breathless at times. When I open a book penned by Dan I know I'm in for a rich blessing. I too know when I close the last page I'm going to be left wanting more. 
I am seriously blown away by the novels Dan pens. He is truly a gifted storyteller. This is one of those novels that stays with you after you have closed the last page. He gives the reader so much to think about. Life lessons are grown throughout the pages. The story begins and you know without a doubt you are about to embark on a journey no one else is able to provide. 
This novel is rich. The characters are undeniably relatable. The story begins in 1962. I wasn't even born yet, but Dan is able to bring me back in time to a place that has left a mark in history forever. 
I loved, "What Follows After". The title and cover are so telling. This is another inviting novel that I couldn't put down. This is an emotional read. One that enters the heart …

Orchard of Hope by Ann Gabhart

I can tell you without a doubt that Ann Gabhart is one of my favorite authors. Not only is she a fave writer, but one sweetheart of a woman. I so admire her and one day hope to inspire others through writing as she does.
This is part of the Hollyhill Series. I began with reading, "Scent of Lilacs", and then went on to book 3, "Summer of Joy". (You can check out all of my reviews of Ann's books.) So, I was blessed when Ann sent me book 2 to complete the series! 
Everyone should visit Hollyhill. It's a place that holds such beauty and grace. The characters are real. They are people we are able to connect with and grow with. You could say this is a coming of age of story for the main character, Jocie Brooke, but this series is filled with characters that will touch your heart. 

I fell in love with Jocie when I met her in, "Scent of Lilacs". I would have thought this to be my fave of the series, but then I went on to read the last of the series and a…

The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

Billy Coffey writes lyrical. Poetic. Deep. This is the first novel I've read penned by Billy Coffey. I'm excited to read more of this author. This book was fascinating. 
I'm hoping to read, "When Mockingbirds Sing". He is a writer who brings the reader to the deep. A territory no one wants to visit. The past. Living in the present can be overrated when the past overrides every joy. These characters cannot get past the guilt and shame they carry. Sins of the past have a way of destroying everything good of today unless we can totally surrender. 
These characters are holding onto such deep pain. A wretched torment. Their journey is one of forgiveness. Finding forgiveness and most of all forgiving themselves. 
The main characters are in agony and almost live as though the more they do for others the past will somehow just erase. All they want is to make it through the night without being tormented by dreams. These dreams even begin to walk with them throughout the …