Whispers in the Reading room

Well, I thought I posted this review months ago, and here I hadn't even written it yet!!  I enjoyed this book.  It is the third book in the Chicago World Fair Mystery series, but the story stands alone. It is fun and quick, great for a beach book or lounging on the back deck!!

From the back: Just months after the closure of the Chicago World's FAir, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.
Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.
Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn't merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.
Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks-- the man so many people fear -- is actually everything her heart believes him to be.


Giveaway! Yay!

I have a list of books, that I am giving away. Just comment on this post, with something you are excited about, and I will pick one random winner for every 10 commentors (up to 10 winners)! Winner's choice!

The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick
Better all the Time by Carre Armstrong Gardner
The Invention of Sarah Cummings by Olivia Newport
The Promise Box by Tricia Goyer (ARC)
Memory's Door by James L. Rubart
Under a Blackberry Moon by Serena B. Miller
 A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar
The Dog that Saved Steward Coolidge by Jim Kraus
Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray (review coming tomorrow)
Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon (review coming tomorrow)
The Amish Clockmaker by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

It's Summer!

I am finally done with school!  Aaagh, I am so excited.  I finished finals on May 16 and already started my fieldwork II experience!  Wow!  The last 2 years have gone so fast.  I 16 weeks of fieldwork and I will be ready to pass my boards and become a COTA!!!  With that being said, I am hoping to have more time to read and post this summer!  We will kick of the summer with a giveaway later this weekend.  So check back soon!


I Want It All!

Have you ever watched the High School musical movies? Everytime I read the title of this book, I have to sing it!!

So the question is, Do you want it all? --Because God wants you to have "it all" and even more!!

This was an encouraging read. Filled with real-life anecdotes and memorable quotes, there were many things that I took away from this book.  I will give you a little sneak peak and share the first and last sentences that I highlighted in my kindle!  "...the great life He intends for us to live begins and ends with the Word. The Word made flesh: Jesus." And the final one: "Being a woman of impact is not about doing more each day, it's about living to be led by Jesus with the days you are given."

Broken up into easy to read chapters, this would be a nice book to work through as a group.  Each chapter ends with reflection questions to help you on your journey.  Click on the book, if you are interested in purchasing through Amazon!

I Want It All


Pharoah's Daughter

Mesu Andrews is one of my favorite authors.  I was able to do a short interview with her a couple of years ago.  Here is a link, if you want to check that out!

Pharoah's Daughter lived up to the standards I have set for one of her novels!  Mesu Andrews' attention to detail adds depth to the plot, and her dedication to historical and Biblical accuracy make her books the kind that drive you back to The Word. I love reading the Bible stories as I read her fictional depiction of these characters.

Pharoah's Daughter takes us into the story of Moses, from the viewpoint of Anippe...the Pharoah's daughter.  Because it is a perspective that may be unconsidered by most, it makes for a very interesting focus.

I also love her "Author's notes" at the end.  She talks about how God worked while she was writing this book and ends with a prayer for her readers.  What a wonderful ministry she has made from the amazing talent God has given her!


Synced by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Synced: Living Connected to the Heart of Jesus (New Hope, February 2016)
Prayer can become extraordinary when we live connected to the heart of Jesus.
Synced encourages you to emulate the way Jesus lived His life. With real-life stories of people walking closely with Jesus, finding themselves in the right place at the right time, readers are challenged to examine what staying in step with the Spirit looks like. National best-selling author and known prayer expert, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, uses the familiar passage of the Lord’s Prayer as anchor points to present the way Jesus lived His life in step with the Father through prayer.
Every moment is pregnant with purpose. Every moment is drenched in power. Prayer is no longer the means by which you attempt to get God to perform for you and becomes, instead, the means by which you connect with His heart and mind. A praying life is a life of peace and soul-rest. A praying life is lived in sync with the heart of Jesus.

I actually didn't get this book as planned, so I ended up purchasing the kindle edition yesterday.  I have only read the first chapter so I can't write an actual review, but I thought that I'd highlight a couple of my favorite sections of chapter 1.
Here are two paragraphs:
He (Jesus) kept His eyes glued to the Father.  I'm captured by the way Jesus uses the language of seeing to indicate how He knew His Father's will.  he can only do what He sees His Father doing, and the Father shows Him everything he is doing.  To live synced, Jesus never let His gaze wander.  He kept the eyes of His heart locked on the Father.
When my eyes are on the Father, my focus is on His eternal hope and the stress of the world tends to fade, even when details and situations don't change. 
The second paragraph is:
In His all-night prayer in Gethsemane, we see Jesus linking His heart to the Father's.  Let me summarize the content of His recorded prayer in some new words. "Father, download Your will into my heart so that it overwrites any other desire. Download courageous faith that deletes fear. Synchronize My heart's desire to Yours."
This is a prayer that speaks to my heart.  I want to make it my own. I am a follower of Jesus, and I want to be more like Him everyday.    


The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick

Memories are a funny thing. Sometimes two different people remember the same incident totally differently.  And sometimes memories change with time.  They can help us learn and grow in new situations, or they can hold us back.  In The Memory Weaver, Eliza Spalding has many memories that she cannot seem to let go.  They continue to shape who she is and what she does, years following the events. She goes on a journey both literally and figuratively, to search out the truth of her memories. In the process, she learns who she is, who God made her to be.
I am on Christmas break for school and I finally have time to read.  I have finished 2 books already and cannot wait to get started on my next one.  I really enjoyed The Memory Weaver.  It took me on a trip to early America, with missionary families reaching out the the Native Americans and struggle and hard work a part of daily living.  Eliza Spalding Warren is a strong character who experiences both the ordinary and the extraordinary, both great joys and great sorrows.  Her family and friends have their own quirks and struggles and they form a outstanding cast of characters.  The historical backdrop is vividly drawn and the perfect setting for this story of truth, forgiveness, and hope.