I have been wondering about Christian dystopian novels.  Dystopian societies are everywhere right now, so I was excited to see that branch into the Christian genre.  I hope Anomaly will reach individuals that follow the dystopian theme but may not normally read Christian novels.  It is a very entertaining book with well-drawn characters.  The plot moves quickly, and there is a strong Christian message of the hope that Jesus gives.

Thalli is about to be annihilated because she is different.  She feels emotion. The Scientists that originated their community thought they had eradicated feelings from existence after the nuclear war sent them underground.  Thalli is a anomaly.  When she is no longer able to hide her feelings, she is taken to the Scientists where her childhood friend, Berk, works to prolong her life.  While in the Scientists pod, Thalli meets John.  The only person (other than the scientists) left from life above, he shares what he knows about the Designer.  Thalli seeks everywhere for what is really true and finds that the Designer had been drawing her to Him.  She also realizes that He has a plan for her, and she is prepared--even if it means being annihilated!

 Packed with emotion, action, and a strong theme, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book!  In fact, I know a couple of people that I intend to share it with right away!
I did receive my copy free in exchange for this honest review.


Midnight Sea by Colleen Coble

Leilani Tagama is attempting to change her life when she is suddenly blinded by a mysterious shooting at her aunt's coffee farm.  As she struggles to live with her new disability, Ben Mahoney is called in to help.  Ben uses Fisher, the service dog he is training, to get onto the coffee farm for his own reasons.  Soon both Ben and Lani suspect there is more behind the shooting than originally suspected.  As they try to figure out what is going on before someone else gets hurt, they also have to work through their own pasts in order to move forward in their lives.
Midnight Sea is an exciting read.  The story moves quickly and the characters experience real discovery and growth.  I wish there was a little bit more development of the "villain," but overall the characters were well-rounded and unique.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I have all of Coble's work!  I would highly recommend her.


Bride for All Seasons

It All Started with an Ad in a Mail Order Bride Catalogue…
Melvin Hitchcock of the Hitching Post Mail Order Bride Catalog isn’t dishonest—not exactly. If he tweaks his clients’ applications a bit, it’s because he’s looking out for their best interests.
This charming bouquet of novellas introduces four Hitching Post prospects in the year 1870, each one eager for second chances . . . and hungry for happiness. Year in, year out, they’ll learn that love often comes in unexpected packages.
And Then Came Spring by Margaret Brownley
Mary-Jo has been unlucky all her life. But who would guess she’d travel halfway across the country to meet her match . . . only to find him dead!
An Ever-After Summer by Debra Clopton
Ellie had no idea she’s not what Matthew ordered. And what’s wrong with being a “Bible thumper” anyway? She’s determined to show him she’s tougher than she looks—and just the girl he needs.
Autumn’s Angel by Robin Lee Hatcher
Luvena would be perfect for Clay if she didn’t come with kids. But kids are a deal breaker, especially in a rough-and-trouble mining town. The trouble is, there’s no money to send them back. . .
Winter Wedding Bells by Mary Connealy
David’s convinced he’s not long for the world. He needs someone to mother his boys when he’s gone—nothing more. Can plucky Irish Megan convince him to work at living instead of dying?
This is a series of novellas based on romantic matches put together by Melvin Hitchcock's half-truths and twisted lies.  I found the concept very interesting and the stories entertaining.  Each one is a quick read in which God intertwines lives in unique ways.  Novellas in general always leave me wanting more because there is not enough time to really develop and grow a character.  However, this book makes a fun and light, summer read.  
I did receive my e-copy free in exchange for my honest review.  


Letters to katie

The Amish community of Middlefield is busy in this latest addition of the Middlefield Family Novels.  Letters to Katie centers around Katherine Yoder, but we also follow another couple's journey.  Sawyer and Laura have opposition from both of their families as they pursue their relationship, while Katherine tries to let go of her lifetime crush, Johnny Mullet.  She unfortunately has a hard time moving on.  When a bout of meningitis leaves her with short term memory loss, she finally learns what or Who she needs to seek.  It is not Johnny Mullet, but as they both seek His will for their lives, their lives fall into place.

This is a sweet story with a lot happening.  There were many characters, and I questioned the motives of some of the secondary ones.  It is the first Middlefield Family novel that I have read and while the story does stand alone, I feel like I would have gotten more from it had I read the others.  I cannot review it as part of the series, but by itself, it would have been stronger to focus on one of the two major story lines involved.  There was a good message, and I really appreciated the strong theme of seeking the Lord's will for your life.

I did receive a free ARC in exchange for this honest review.


Sleeping through Fireworks

Watching the fireworks last night, I witnessed a vivid picture of finding rest in the Father.  In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  Isaiah 30:15 says this: "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength."  

My two year old son was not sure about the loud cracks and bright explosions in the air.  As the fireworks began, his face slowly dropped, his bottom lip jutting out with little whimpers escaping.  I pulled him onto my lap and he said, "stroller."  He wanted to go home.  I asked if he wanted to lay down with daddy, and he nodded.  I laid him down on his daddy's shoulder and he held on tight.  Within minutes he had fallen asleep.  Fear forgotten, he was secure in His daddy's arms.  Wow!  Regardless of what is happening around us or to us, we can rest in Him.  He is our protector and provider--our strong tower, where we find refuge.  Safe and protected in our Father's arms we can find rest and security in any and every situation because He is always there.  We just need to go to Him!  We can rest, forget the world around us, and know that we are safe in His arms! 

Psalm 46:10
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God..."
Psalm 144:2
He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge...
Proverbs 18:10
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.




the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won hisfreedom after a retrial.
exemption from external controlinterference, regulation, etc.
the power to determine action without restraint.
political or national independence.
personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.

John 8:31-32 & 34-35
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you FREE.”
34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.35“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.36“So if the Son makes you free, you will be FREE indeed.

Romans 6:14-23
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
    15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,18and having been FREED from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
    20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.22But now having been FREED from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:1-4
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set youa FREE from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.c And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 9:19
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:13-14
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.

Ephesians 3:12
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

James 1:25
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 

1 Peter 2:16
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.