7/3/18

Dangerous to Know

I haven't finished this book yet. I started it yesterday and am 2/3rd of the way through. I have to admit that I am enjoying it. I am not a huge fan of the cover. I don't read a ton of straight romances and I find the image a little cheesy. My husband actually teased me about it; however the expression "don't judge a book by its cover" is valid here. If I had not been offered a copy to review, I may not have picked up this book and that would have been a mistake.
Now, since I haven't finished it yet, I can't vouch for a good ending, but I am crossing my fingers. Where I am now, poor Isabella Bankmill is surely headed for disaster. It is midnight and my book is still open on my lap. I had to set it aside to post my review because it was due today! 

Dangerous to Know is a quick read that stirs emotions and questions and has kept me turning pages. I am looking forward to seeing how Isabella handles the dilemma in which she finds herself. While I did find some of the relationships/feelings in the story seemed a little contrived, I am rooting for Izabella to make the right decision and rely on the Lord to lead her in that decision. I would recommend this book to others, probably giving in 3/5 stars, and I am planning to check out Megan Whitson Lee's other books via her website at www.meganwhitsonlee.com

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

6/27/18

Giveaway!

Either my comments are not working or no one wants a copy of Charles Martin's A Long Way Gone. My guess is you already have it, because Martin is a fabulous author, and this book looks so good.

My new giveaway this week is Rachel Hauck's The Wedding Chapel! This is another one that sounded so good to me that I purchased in twice. Tells you something about me, doesn't it?

How many of you buy books from Ollie's? I have left that store a couple of times with no books and been devastated that I couldn't find any I wanted because usually I need extra time to reduce my stack to a manageable pile! Anyway, here is your chance to win a free brand new copy of The Wedding Chapel. Just comment below for a chance.
Here is the synopsis from Amazon: 

A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.
For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss.
Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, to make a new life for herself in New York. She had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement—then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her.
Taking a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, Taylor is thrown back into a past of family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. When Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth the wait.

6/26/18

The Hunter and the Valley of Death

I love allegories and symbolism in novels. I love digging deeper into the meaning behind the story and learning something new.

The Hunter and the Valley of Death is filled with symbolism. This is the first book in The Psalm Series and is based on Psalm 23. The Psalms themselves are rich with imagery and lyrical language, and Psalm 23 is one of the most well-loved chapters in the Bible. It is the perfect place to start a thought-provoking and challenging new series that will drive you straight back to the Bible.  I found images in this book that correlated with a number of different scriptures/stories outside of Psalm 23 as well.

The Hunter and the Valley of Death illustrates one's struggle with loss and God's faithfulness in spite of our unfaithfulness. It is a fast read with vivid images like our adoption as sons and daughters of the King, anointing heads and overflowing cups, resting beside still waters, a literal journey through the valley of death, and the King sacrificing Himself to save us.  Some connections required a brief explanation at the end of the book, others may still be waiting to be discovered during a second read through.

This book does its job by creating memorable images and drawing readers to the Word.  My only complaint is that I wanted a little more from both the story and the brief study at the end.
It releases July 2 in e-book format, but is available for pre-order now for only $0.99. The second installment is Psalm 137 by Mesu Andrews, followed by Psalm 42 by Carole Towriss. Both of these are $0.99 pre-order as well, and I am looking forward each of them.
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6/16/18

What to Read Next?

I literally have hundreds of books lining the wall of my basement, probably hundreds more ebooks waiting to be read on my kindle. But I thought I'd share my immediate TBR list! Here are the books I hope to read this summer:

 Can You See Anything Now? by Katherine James
 The Hunter and the Valley of Death by Brennan McPherson
 The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright
Freedom's Ring y Heidi Chiaveroli
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse
The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron 
If I Run by Terri Blackstock
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk
The Last Disciple by Hank Hanegraaf and Sigmund Brouwer
The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry
Joanna A Story of Love and Betrayal by Gene Everett Weatherly

This is what I currently have planned to read next, but you will probably understand if I stray from this list some! Something new may catch my eye, or a different book may jump out of the shelf at me one day! Anyway, what are you reading now?

6/14/18

Giveaway Time!! Long Way Gone

I've been so excited to be able to read again and blog again that I've been buying books like crazy. It seems on my recent trips to Ollie's that I have purchased some doubles.  I really must want to read these books! I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to host some giveaways!  This week's offering is Long Way Gone by Charles Martin.

From the back cover:
At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O'Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.  
Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.   
When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it's too late to tell her the truth about his past -- and if he is ready to face it himself.  
A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.  

We have so much to learn from the stories and parables of the Bibles. For a chance to win a new hardcover copy of Long Way Gone, comment with your favorite Bible story or verse! And don't forget to tell your friends to visit for a chance to win too! Winner will be posted here next week With more giveaways to come!

6/10/18

Story Peddler

What a fun new fantasy series with some great lessons and applications. Perfect for readers of all ages, I know my daughter will enjoy this book as I did.

Lindsay A. Franklin's story telling creates a world where words become color, stories crystallize into pieces of art, and "art has a way of revealing the truth."

Tanwen is a story peddler/story weaver, who creates tangible trinkets from her with her story telling. When she loses control of her gift, she finds herself being hunted by the king's guard. Rescued by an unlikely band of other weavers. Tanwen works with this group to attempt to restore the kingdom. My one complaint was with the romance/love triangle. I wanted to see the feelings develop slowly and naturally, but instead it felt rushed. Aside from that, I found The Story Peddler to be filled with unique and lovable characters with an exciting and fast-paced story, and I thought this was a super-fun read. 

5/27/18

Biblical Fiction at it's Finest

Mesu Andrews is one of my favorite authors, and I have read most, if not all, of her books. I finally got around to reading Miriam and I was not disappointed. Mesu Andrews does her research, and it shows in the rich historical detail. While her books are fictional, the plots always align with the corresponding Biblical accounts. Andrews brings the historical figures of God's Word to life, adding plausible emotions and personalities.

Miriam, set during the plagues and exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, obviously centers around the sister of Moses. This book opened my eyes to new aspects of the Hebrews' journey to freedom: the suffering they experienced, the doubt many must have felt, and
the emotions and choices that everyone faced. I loved following Miriam's internal journey to growing faith in light of God's evident power. Her once strong faith was challenged when the God she thought she knew and understood seemed to change. While God worked, Miriam realized that Yahweh was the same loving and intimate God that she knew in El Shaddai. At the same time, His newly revealed power and miracles, brought new believers and follower in both Hebrews and non-Hebrews.

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That same Yahweh, who brought plagues that led to his peoples ultimate deliverance, is working in and through us to continue to deliver His people from bondage. WOW!!! He Is also that same El Shaddai who dances over us, whispers love to us, showers us with hope and joy---if we just open our eyes to Him.  Double WOW!! 

Thank You Lord, for your Word, for stories that reveal your power, your grace, and your love. Thank you for your intimate involvement in our lives, for including us in your plan and for having a plan for our lives. And thank you for story-tellers that bring Your Word to life, and drive readers back to the Bible hungry for Truth, hungry to know you better.