Things Worth Remembering GIVEAWAY

The next giveaway is Things Worth Remembering by Jackina Stark. This is a moving story of familial relationships, especially between mother and daughter.

To Enter leave a comment with contact info (email).
Leave another comment if you are a follower or have my button on your blog for extra entries.
Giveaway ends Thursday, April 1 at 11:59EST.
US and Canada residents only please.

Winner will be announced on Friday, April 2.

Winner #2

Congratulations to :


Who won A Cousin's Promise!!
Chosen by Random.org.
She has been notified by email!

Watch for more Giveaways All Week!


The Gladiator giveaway

Two books to win today...The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw and a Bible trivia book called Lost and Found.

  1. Please leave a comment with contact information.
  2. Leave additional comments for additional entries if you are a follower and/or if you grab my button for your own blog.
  3. Giveaway ends Wednesday night, March 31, at 11:59pm.
  4. Winner will be announced Thursday morning, April 1.

Continue watching for more giveaways this week!!


Congratulations to:


She has won Home Another Way by Christa Parrish and a Bible trivia book called Connect the Thots.
An email notification has been sent!

Look for more giveaways all week!!!


A Cousin's Promise GIVEAWAY

Giveaway #2 is an ARC of A Cousin's Promise by Wanda Brunstetter, book one of the Indiana Cousins series.

Wanda Brunstetter is an award winning, best selling author who has sold literally millions of copies of her Amish fiction.
Synopsis for A Cousin's Promise, from author's website:

When a horrible accident cripples Wayne Lambright, he finds it difficult to take care of himself, much less Loraine Miller, his future bride. Will Wayne sacrifice his happiness to give her a better life? Having already been jilted once, Loraine’s terrified of another rejection. When Loraine’s old boyfriend, Jake Beechy returns to Indiana, he hopes Loraine will give him a second chance. How will God work to give Loraine the desires of her heart?

To enter giveaway, leave a comment with contact email. For extra entries, become a follower, and/or grab my button. Must be resident of US or Canada. Giveaway ends Tuesday, March 30 at 11:59 EST.


SURPRISE: Home Another Way Giveaway!

Day 1 of my week of a Giveaway per Day
I've decided to start the with a double giveaway, including a surprise title: Home Another Way by Christa Parrish. I will be giving it away with one of the Bible trivia books Connect the Thots.

You can read about Christa Parrish's book, watch the trailer or even read an excerpt at her website.

To enter the giveaway: please leave a comment with a contact email. For extra entries leave a separate contact if you are a follower or have my button on your site! Contest ends at 11:59pm, Monday, March 29!

Winner will be announced Tuesday, March 30!
Look for more giveaways tomorrow!

In my Mailbox Monday: March 29

In my Mailbox Monday originates from two blogs: The Printed Pageand The Story Siren. I am using it to highlight any books that come into my house the previous week, whether they are from the library, from a store, from a friend or actually in the mailbox.

This week I received two books for review::

I received In Harm's Way by Irene Hannon for a Revell Blog tour. This is the press info:
Irene Hannon’s bestselling Heroes of Quantico series has gripped readers with what reviewers have praised as “extraordinary writing, vivid scenes, and a surprise ending….a not-to-be-missed reading experience.”

In Harm’s Way is the final book of the series, where FBI special agent Nick Bradley is confronted by Rachel Sutton: Nick has seen his share of kooks during his fifteen years with the Bureau. But Rachel is an enigma. She seems normal when she shows up at the FBI office in St. Louis--until she produces a tattered Raggedy Ann doll she found and tells him she thinks something is wrong because of a strange feeling of terror it gives her when she touches it. Nick dismisses her, only to stumble across a link between the doll and an abducted child, setting in motion a chain of events that uncovers startling connections—and puts Rachel's life on the line.

Your browser may not support display of this image.Publishers Weekly praised the novel, calling it a “fast-paced crime drama with an aside of romance.” Filled with palpable suspense and a touch of romance, In Harm's Way is the final installment of Hannon’s thrilling Heroes of Quantico series.

My thoughts: I read book one and really enjoyed it. See my review here. I have book 2 waiting, so I'll read them both in time for the blog tour. I'm very excited about it!

I received Allon by Shawn Lamb for a Glass Roads Blog Tour. The following is the description they gave:

ALLON is a fantasy tale about a kingdom groaning under the oppressive rule of King Marcellus. Yet the King is also enslaved - to the evil spirit Dagar. The entire citizenry of ALLON holds fast to the prophecy that a new ruler will come, brought by the Guardians. He will bring peace. He will bring justice. He will bring love.

"He" is teenager Prince Ellis, an exile from ALLON who faces trials to prove himself able to rule ALLON and return it to glory. Ultimately, Prince Ellis must defeat Marcellus and the power behind the throne before ALLON can be restored.

ALLON - a magical tale of adventure, destiny, and faith.

I enjoy trying out new authors, and this is a debut young adult novel. It sounds like a allegorical fantasy, so I think it will be fun!!


Did You Know?

There is a FREE downloadable Kindle-like Reader for you PC. AND there are at least three well known Christian fiction books that you can also download for free.
I saw some Love Inspired novels as well. How did I not know about this!?! Anyway I wanted to make a quick post to let any other uniformed book lovers of this beautiful fact!


Easter Week Giveaways!

Next week is Easter week and to commemorate all that Jesus gave to us, I am going to do a giveaway each day of the week, Monday through Friday. I will post a different book each day. The rules of the giveaway are as follows:
  1. Open to US and Canada residents only
  2. You must comment on giveaway post with a way to contact you (email or blogsite).
  3. You can earn extra entries by becoming a follower or grabbing my button for your own sidebar.
  4. Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

I will be giving away the following in random order:
  • 2 Bible Trivia books
  • ARC of A cousin's Promise by Wanda Brunstetter
  • The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw
  • From Beholding to Becoming: praying through the life of Jesus by Kim Coleman Healy
Other possibilities include: Take One by Karen Kingsbury, or Things Worth Remembering by Jackina Stark.
Or the following that I still need to review: Hunter's Moon by Don Hoessel, Love is a four-legged Word by Kandy Shepherd, Or Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols

If you have one you'd like to win leave your vote in the comments by Sunday to give me time to complete any extra reviews that would correspond! I'll choose a couple more books based on what you want! Thanks so much! Let us Honor the King, especially in the weeks to come, as we remember His sacrifice that Saved us!!!


Lone Star Blessings by Bonnie Winn

This Love Inspired novel is book 1 in the "Rosewood, Texas series." Rosewood is a small close-knit town that reminds me a bit of Mayberry! Everyone knows everyone; they have grown up together and go to church together, etc. One day Kate Lambert moves into town to take care of her father, who is recuperating from a fall. On the way into town, she is pulled over by the sheriff, Tucker Grey: the tall, handsome, and widowed sheriff. Kate is talked into teaching Sunday School and meets Tucker's daughter, Alyssa (who has been attending church by herself since her mother died). Having lost her own mother at a young age, the two bond quickly, and Tucker feels convicted.

With touching moments, humorous scenes, and down to earth characters, Lone Star Blessings was a fun book to read. I read it all in almost one sitting! It was a cute story, with lovable characters. The descriptions were clear, and there was a solid Christian worldview throughout the book. The romance was tender and realistically slow-growing after all Tucker had lost, and the secondary characters supported the main characters and the story beautifully. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, sweet read. I'm curious who will be the main characters in book two, Return to Rosewood.


Gladiator by Carla Capshaw

I was excited to read this book. It engaged me quickly, and I love this time period and theme. The faith in the persecuted church, their strength and witness is inspiring. The church grew like wild fire because of that faith in the face of horrible trials and death. We live in an age where we have relative freedom of sharing Christ with others, and yet we hold back because of various small consequences. The believers of that day and age literally faced swords, slavery, lions, and beasts before they would deny their Lord! WOW, we should be convicted by that.

Pelonia has lost everything but her life and her God; if it were known that she was one of "the deviants," they would take her life as well. As it stands, she is a slave to the infamous Caros Viriathos, head of the gladiator training school and x-gladiator himself. When he first sees her, he is drawn to her instantly. He buys her from the slave trader, hoping to win her heart. She also feels for him, but vows she will not be a slave forever. He wants only to keep her near, while she wants her freedom.
It was a good story, an engaging and quick read. I had trouble reconciling some of the dialogue and actions to the characters and situations. Some of the things they said and did, or even thought did not seem believable; because of this, at times the romance felt forced. A slave and her master falling in love is tenuous ground and can be very exciting and emotional; however, I would have liked to see more justification to their growing feelings. That being said, the plot moved quickly. I loved the strong testimony of the Christian characters. There is a second one planned, and I would like to find out how the story progresses with the secondary characters. This is Capshaw's first novel, and I would imagine her next one will be even better.


In my Mailbox Monday...March 22

In my Mailbox Monday originates from two blogs: The Printed Pageand The Story Siren. I am using it to highlight any books that come into my house the previous week, whether they are from the library, from a store, from a friend or actually in the mailbox.

Well, it was the week I've been waiting for! I have read of others doing an excited dance when opening there book packages. That was me this week; I let out a "woo hoo," wiggled around and shook the box! My book had arrived: Francine Rivers' Her Mother's Hope. Along with it I received a book that I purchased for a gift (which I will not mention, so as not to give away the surprise). I also received a voucher for A Lineage of Grace, also by Francine Rivers, from Tyndale. I won it in their anniversary giveaway month. So it was a very exciting week. I'm not sure how next week will live up to it! :)


Night of Prayer

Friday night I participated in a Night of Prayer at my church. We started at 10pm and finished up at 6am this morning. It is hard to decide to sacrifice sleep in this busy world, to choose to pray through the night instead of sleeping. I have never done anything like it. The last time I went a night without sleep was the day before my senior comp was due in college (10 years ago)!! One of the remarkable things about last night is--I did not feet tired. The following day, I slept about 2 1/2 hours when I went home, then spent the rest of the day with my family. It brings new meaning to Psalm 63, "My soul finds rest in God alone." By devoting that time to him, He gave me what I needed to get through the next day. Many things get in the way of giving him our time, but I encourage you, even if you cannot do it over night--take some time to get alone with the LORD. And I don't mean the 15-30 minutes that you take each day for devotions, I'm talking hours with Him. You will not regret it! I know that I don't and I look forward to it again.

This is how our Night of Prayer worked:

We started with worship. We were encouraged to sit, stand, kneel, lie down, raise our arms, dance...whatever we felt led. Music is powerful, and God used it to focus my heart and mind on Him. It was a beautiful time, and the Lord was with us.

There was an optional time of instruction on how to pray. There was also a table with resources: prayer guides, books on prayer, journals and guides to devotional and prayer journaling.

There were individual prayer rooms designated for private prayer. A place to still, to speak out loud to the Lord, to journal, to read His word, etc--all just between you and our Father.

There were "stations" set up throughout the church for different aspects of prayer. These included Thanksgiving, Confession, Praying the Promises of God, Soaking up the Psalms, Praying the Names of God, and supplication rooms: request room, prayer for our church, prayer for our community, prayer for children and families, prayer for youth, and prayer for missionaries and people groups. Each room had handouts with suggestions. These rooms were open for us to move around on our own as we felt lead.
  • In the confession room, "Take it to the Cross," we were encouraged to write out our sins and burdens on a tissue and dip it in a basin of water situated at the foot of a cross. Once in the water, the writing disappears, just as Christ's sacrifice erases our sins when we repent! There was music playing in the background, and it was a wonderful thing to watch and know that I am forgiven.
  • The thanksgiving room had paper all over the walls for us to write things we were thankful for, categories included God's creation, His provisions, His promises, our problems, for people, and for answered prayers. You walked in and were surrounded by things for which to thank Our Lord.
  • To Pray the Names of God, art supplies were provided and a list of many of the names of Jesus. We were encouraged to create a picture, painting, drawing symbolizing who He is to us: King of Kings, Healer, Beginning and End, the I AM. What a beautiful and unique way to give Him praise.
  • To pray for our community, we were encouraged to highlight the the maps of the areas where we were committing to lift to God in prayer.
  • In the request room, we could leave a personal prayer request or write encouragements and scripture on another's card, helping lower their burdens through the roof to Jesus.
  • Praying God's Promises room gave us a list of Scriptural promises to claim.
  • In Soak in the Psalms, an audio of the psalms being read was played and we were encouraged to listen, pray, and or journal as the words washed over us.
  • The nursery was set up to pray for children and families, and we were given a list of 40 ways to pray for our kids.
  • The youth room was open for prayer for the teens.
  • A room with pictures of our pastoral staff was set up to pray for them and the church.

At 1am and 3:30, there was the option of corporate prayer. While a few women continued personal prayer, six of us met and prayed together. We prayed for individuals in need, asking God for wisdom, peace, healing, protection, and power. Thanking Him in advance for the work He would do. We visually went through the church and raised leaders and ministries to Him, everything from children and youth, worship, office staff, etc. It was wonderful to spend time in prayer with other women of God.

Finally, at 5:15 the remaining women gathered together in the sanctuary for more praise and worship. The music was especially moving after spending the entire night wrapped in His Presence. When we finally left, after clean up He gifted us with a glorious sunrise...Thank you Jesus!

Heavenly Father, Thank you! For such a glorious experience. For giving us a night to bask in You. I pray that you would lead others to seek such an experience. Lord, I want them to see You and feel You and know You better. I ask that you would give me gentle reminders when I start to drift, that I may stay close to You--always aware of You! Lord, "I want to burn with passion over You!" I thank You and praise You for loving and cherishing me! Help me show others Your love. Let me reflect Your glory. Each day I want less of me and more of You! You are an Awesome God, Lord, I love you!!

BOOK REVIEW: Her Inheritance Forever by Lyn Cote

The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time. Psalm 37:18-19 KJV

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. Her Inheritance Forever is the second book in the Texas Star of Destiny series, and I hadn't read the first book (The Desires of Her Heart). Set in 1836 during the Texas revolution, this was a wonderful historical romance. The characters ran into the famous Sam Houston and the infamous Santa Anna. Cote admits to taking "dramatic license" with two facts, but she includes a brief historical note to address those issues. Readers are left more informed of that era and war.
Brief Synopsis: Alandra Sandoval is a woman in charge of her own ranch in Texas, a time where women in leadership is extraordinary. She is fiercely independent and wants to prove that she can do it without a man; however, a series of events including the war, a kidnapping, and greedy relatives brings a man into her life. Scully Falconer is a ranch hand at the Quinn's ranch. The Quinns were Alandra's guardians after she lost her family (and the subject of the first book). Scully is asked to protect Alandra, and he does everything he can to do that. Both find more than they ever thought they would.
The characters in this book were well-developed, despite not reading book one. Back stories, thoughts, and actions showed us who they were and why. The romance was sweet; the relationships were tender. Alandra came to a very tough realization about herself in which she grew spiritually and emotionally. The storyline moved quickly, and there were moments of tension along the way. I know I would enjoy the rest of the series, and I look forward to reading others by Lyn Cote.

The Desires of Her Heart Cover Her Inheritance Forever Cover Her Abundant Joy(June 2010)


My first Award!

Christina from Reading Extensively has given me the Beautiful Blogger Award! Thanks...it's my first award and I'm pretty psyched!

Here are the rules:
1. Thank and link to the person who gave you the award.
2. Pass this award on to 15 bloggers that you've recently discovered and think are fantastic.
3. Contact those blogs and let them know they've won.
4. State 7 things about yourself.

Here are my seven things:
  • I am a Princess...daughter of The King!!
  • I love to dance!
  • My favorite color is teal.
  • I love Dr. Pepper/Diet Dr. Pepper, Cherry Dr. Pepper...whatever!
  • I have a twin sister! (fraternal)
  • I love dolphins and was able to scuba dive and snorkel with them in Eilat, Israel!
  • I may be the most disorganized person that I know :)

Bloggers receiving this award:
  1. Operation Encourage an Author
  2. Relz Reviews--possibly the first book blog I visited!!
  3. Word-Vessel
  4. Seekerville
  5. ChristBlade
  6. The Attic Girl
  7. Writing for Christ
  8. What You Reading Now? (one of the first connections I made in the blogging world)
  9. A Fiction-Filled Life
  10. A Sequence of Continued Delights
  11. Christian Book Giveaways
  12. Kathi "Easy Writer" Macias
  13. Bright Eyes and Lullabies ( a new blog, by a wonderful young friend of mine!)
  14. After All...Tomorrow is Another day
  15. and Of Course Winning Readings, for which I am now a contributing author!!


BOOK REVIEW: Beautiful Things Happen When a woman trusts God by Sheila Walsh

Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God is both a biography and spiritual growth book. Sheila Walsh tells about her battle with depression and admitting herself into a psychiatric hospital for treatment. She gives demonstrative stories of her past throughout a series of character studies about men and women of the Bible. She discusses ten different people and what she has learned from each one. There is also a Bible study included at the back of the book for personal or group study.

This is my second Sheila Walsh book. Years ago, I read All that Really Matters and really liked it. I was excited to read a new one by this Woman of Faith. Beautiful Things Happen did not disappoint me. The writing is authentic, and the stories are inspiring. There were, however, a few spelling and grammatical errors in the book, and while I would not say that it detracted from the content of the book, it was slightly distracting.

I took my time while reading this book. I let myself think about the messages and themes of each chapter. I benefited from it and will be sharing this book, possibly buying it as a gift as well. There were so many wonderful and thought provoking ideas. One of my favorites was the statement that "God is more interested in what He is doing in you than what He is doing through you." AMEN, if we keep our eyes and our hearts on Him than He can and will use us (sometimes without us even realizing it!) I love when God reiterates a certain message through various means. There were a number of other statements throughout the book that God used to speak directly to me, and I believe the same would be true for any reader. Trust in God seems like such a basic thing, but so often, if we are honest with ourselves, we struggle with it. Each day we have to seek to know Him better because in knowing Him, trust will be the inevitable result--And Beautiful things do happen when we trust in God!

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Booksneeze. This in no way influenced the thoughts and opinions shared in this review.

Teaser Tuesday: Hunter's Moon

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  1. Grab your current read
  2. Open to a random page
  3. Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  4. Share the title and author as well so that other readers can add the book to their wish lists if they are enticed!
***Be Careful Not to include Spoilers!! (Make sure that your teaser doesn't give too much away so that you do not ruin it for future readers!)

Today my teaser is from Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel, found on page 371:
Even CJ was beginning to realize the futility of continuing on. The truth was they couldn't travel as quickly as could their hunters.

From Amazon:
After a long absence, novelist CJ Baxter returns to his hometown of Adelia in upstate New York for his grandfather's funeral. Facing a messy divorce and doubting his talent as a writer, CJ is forced to confront secrets that have tormented him since childhood. To complicate matters, his brother Graham is running for a Senate seat, and the family is intent on keeping the most damaging secret--surrounding a murder and its cover-up--in the family, for fear the truth would ruin Graham's chances at winning. But with CJ airing their dirty laundry in his books, the family is forced to deal with him. CJ must find a way to remain safe while coming to terms with the newfound faith that compelled him to return to Adelia in the first place.


BOOK REVIEW: The Secret by Beverly Lewis

The Secret is the first in the Seasons of Grace series by Beverly Lewis, followed by The Missing, and The Telling, which releases next month. Grace Byler watches her parents and wonders. Her mom has been crying all the time and sneaking around. Then one morning, Grace wakes up and finds a letter from her mother saying she's leaving, with no explanation. Grace starts to look into reasons why her mother left, or locations where she might be. Meanwhile, Englischer, Heather Nelson is diagnosed with cancer and does not tell anyone. She decides a vacation to an Amish home is what she needs.

In both this book and the Annie's People series, Lewis writes a prologue and epilogue in first person narration, while the rest of the book is in third person. There is no indication that it is a journal entry, so this must be her way of introducing and wrapping up the story. Personally this does not appeal to me. It seems like an easy out.
The idea behind The Secret is enticing; I love stories about secrets. The beginning is intriguing, and I wanted to know what was happening "behind the scenes." The clues add up quickly, and it is pretty easy to predict what happens. The characters need a little more depth. I really did not feel any sympathy for Grace's mom, Lettie, or her dad for that matter. I needed more justification for her actions and his lack of communication. (eg. Was his own father like that? Was he afraid to open up?) I did enjoy the friendships depicted between Grace and Becky and their two Englisch neighbors. Beverly Lewis always gives a descriptive and inspiring picture of Amish living. We see how hard they work and how tight the community is. By the end of the book, one secret is revealed (although most will guess it), but nothing is resolved. Readers will need to read the next book for more answers. I think I have a pretty good idea of where the next two books are heading. We'll see...

Beverly Lewis remains at the forefront of Amish fiction, a genre that in my knowledge she practically started! She is from Lancaster County, PA, which is deep in the heart of Amish Country. She had written and published over 20 adult Amish novels, a half dozen picture books, and many young readers. She has won over 20 awards and sold millions of copies of her books. The Amish lifestyle is fascinating to Englischers throughout the country. We, who are often bogged down with worldly distractions, look at their simple life and long for something they seem to have that we don't. This is why it is so important for us to slow down. Turn off the tvs, computers, ipods, and cell phones. Get still. Get quiet. Put the LORD first!!!
Do not let the world distract us from Him!! I know this is unfortunately easier said than done, but God's word tells us to do it!!! Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning and I will trust Him to complete the work He has started within me!

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10


In my Mailbox Monday...

In my Mailbox Monday originates from two blogs: The Printed Pageand The Story Siren. I am using it to highlight any books that come into my house the previous week, whether they are from the library, from a store, from a friend or actually in the mailbox.

There nothing like receiving surprise books in the mail! I had signed up to judge for a contest a while ago and totally forgot! So I was more than pleased to see a book-shaped package on my doorstep this week containing...
Choices by Pamela Nowak

and Love is a Four-legged Word by Kandy Shepherd.

Also, we made a trip to the library this week, coming home with 8 picture books, an Elmo CD, a Veggie Tale movie, and 2 books for me. For myself, I got the first book in the young adult series, Mandie, by Lois Gladdy. They've been around forever, but I have never read any of them. I figured I'd check it out. I started reading it to my daughter, but I think she is a little young.
Also, I got out The Secret by Beverly Lewis, (which will be reviewed this week).


BOOK REVIEW: Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell

In Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips obeys the rules.

DRESS the right way.

BELIEVE the right things.

LIVE the right life.

But when love interferes, she faces a choice: FOLLOW THE RULES or FOLLOW HER HEART.

Susannah Phillips is the picture perfect Puritan woman, and more than one of the town's bachelors knows this. She has dreamed of the day when her John Prescotte will seek her hand; however, if the powerful Simeon Wright has anything to say about it, that will not happen. He wants her for his own.

Susannah knows that she is not the righteous individual everyone thinks her to be and struggles with her own sin nature. Then Daniel Holcombe moves into town to train the militia in defense against "savages." He introduces new ideas to Susannah about God and faith.

Throughout various trials that Susannah faces she learns who her true friends are. One is a great surprise. Small-Hope Smyth hides herself from everyone including her husband. She has a past that warrants this behavior, and in hiding she is able to observe the towns people with a keen eye. While most of the story is in Susannah's viewpoint, we get snippets from Small-Hope along the way. Susannah takes an inner journey toward God, toward faith, and toward love. Small-Hope also has an internal path to take; hers is toward healing, acceptance, and love.

(Before my thoughts, I will give a small warning: The ending may be a surprise and even a disappointment for some. I know a good friend of mine who would not like the sort of twist found here; however, it did not detract from the story for me. I felt the events fit the characters and plot-line and they led to inner resolution in Susannah's faith.)

I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh; it brought tears to my eyes. It made me curious; it made me wonder. The writing is skillful, and the imagery is vivid. The plot is steady and engaging. The romance is tender; the conflicts are tense. The historical detail is educating. The characters are three-dimensional and well thought out. I felt myself wanting to comfort the women and give insight to the men. Most of all, I loved the growth that the two main women experience.

I am thrilled that I have two more of Siri Mitchell's books in my TBR pile. Her latest novel, She Walks in Beauty, releases April 1 and is now in my "waiting on" list.


BOOK REVIEW: A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston

Amish fiction is one of the most popular sub-genres in Christian fiction. At the bookstore, we had women looking for them daily. I am not one of those avid followers that reads them all; however, I have read a few and will probably read a few more.
I enjoyed A Gift of Grace. There was some repetitive language throughout the novel, and I felt that the final conflict was unnecessary (maybe a little too much). Over all the plot was interesting and unique. The story centered around Rebecca Kauffman, who becomes legal guardian of her Englisch sister's two teenage daughters after a tragic accident. Rebecca had been unable to have children of her own and strives to do her best in this difficult situation. The girls are very different and conflict arises as Rebecca, her husband, and the two girls try to adjust. Each one sees God's will differently, and they must work to reconcile their own wills to each other's and to His. Speckled throughout the novel were delicious sounding recipes, and the final chapters set up the sequel nicely. A Promise of Hope releases on April 1, and you'll probably want to find out what happens next.
The characters were believable, each with his or her own internal struggle. They had to figure out how to act, who to be, and what to do. Each asked the question "is this God's will," and each heard a different answer, often believing that God's will matched their own. This is realistic and relevant, as we must search beyond our own desires to find what He wants in each situation. There were also enough external conflicts to keep the story moving. It was an easy read with thought provoking moments. For those who do not read much Amish fiction, this would be a good one because the focus is not on the Amish aspect, but on family relationships. Fans of Amish fiction are also sure to enjoy the Kauffman Amish Bakery series.

Teaser Tuesday: Love's Pursuit

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  1. Grab your current read
  2. Open to a random page
  3. Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  4. Share the title and author as well so that other readers can add the book to their wish lists if they are enticed!
***Be Careful Not to include Spoilers!! (Make sure that your teaser doesn't give too much away so that you do not ruin it for future readers!)

My teaser is from Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell.

On page 193:

"I stood there for one moment, staring at the door, wishing I might let myself inside. My message was too important, the danger too great for Susannah not to hear it."

About the book (from Siri Mitchell's website):

In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.

In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?


CFRB Tour: One Smooth Stone by Marcia Lee Laycock

One Smooth Stone
by Marcia Lee Laycock
This month, CFRB presents One Smooth Stone by Marcia Lee Laycock.

About the Book:
The Yukon is where Alex Donnelly is hiding from his past, the police, and even God. He is pursued by all three, and when confronted with new information, he returns to his birthplace to learn about his real parents. In Seattle, Alex learns that his birth mother tried to abort him, and that knowledge sends him on the run back to the Yukon. God has plans for him there. With a miraculous healing, struggles with rage, and an obsession with revenge, the story i
llustrates that God never gives up. Alex learns that no matter how far you run, God will find you; and no matter what you have done, God will forgive you.
I did not read this book because I am still so new to the Christian Fiction Review Blog, but it sounds good. The theme is something we all need to be reminded. There are a couple of great author endorsements at Castlequay Books. You can read the first chapter here. (It starts to pick up if you page down about four times.) Or check out the book trailer on youtube. See below for info about Laycock and her writing!

About the Author:
Marcia's writing began in the attic of her parents' home where she wrote stories for her dolls. They didn't complain so she kept it up. God has blessed her with publication in magazines, newspapers, on radio and the web. Her work has garnered praise from notable writers Mark Buchanan, Sigmund Brouwer and Phil Callaway. Her first devotional book, The Spur of the Moment won an Award of Merit at Write Canada and her novel, One Smooth Stone, won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award in 2006. Marcia writes a weekly devotional column that goes out to over 4,000 people. Her devotionals have been published by The Upper Room and The Quiet Hour, among others, as well as in anthologies compiled by Multnomah and Thomas Nelson. Marcia is currently the Sunday devotional columnist for Novel Journey.com and was a contributor to Hot Apple Cider.
Visit the author's website .

Purchase One Smooth Stone from
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher.
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