“Return to Bella Terra: Book 3 of The Italian Chronicles Trilogy (Volume 3” book review

Return to Bella Terra: Book 3 of The Italian Chronicles Trilogy (Volume 3), book review

This book continues the story of the immigrant family from Sicily. Maria and her family have been in America for several years and are trying to make it work. But they have learned that the stories they heard were greatly exaggerated- the streets were not paved with gold! But they were committed to becoming Americans. Until…

Maria receives word that her mother is dying! Her sister urges her to come for a last visit. After a quick talk with her husband, Maria and her oldest son, Nico book a trip. Thankfully, they arrive in time to spend the last few days with her mother and attend to the funeral and other details after her mother passes.

Nico, on the other hand, learns that things are a bit different than when he left as a child. He meets a beautiful women and instantly falls in love! He also learns the difficult truth regarding the situation of his birth and gets to know his birth father.

This is an interesting book about a close family who is divided by a wide ocean as well as some secrets. But they have faith that God is working in all their lives.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

You may purchase this book on Amazon or from a local retailer.

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“the Hidden Side” by Heidi Chiavaroli, book review

hidden side

“the Hidden Side” by Heidi Chiavaroli, book review

Two stories, 200 years apart, slowly come together in this novel by Heidi Chiavoroli. New York 2016- the Abbott family is ok one minute and not ok the next. High school student, Chris, is the shooter at school which kills 3 students. His twin sister witnessed it. Now Natalie, the mother, is trying to keep her family and her whole world from completely falling apart.

New York 1776- Mercy Howard is secretly engaged to Nathan. They hope that the war ends soon so they can wed and begin their lives together. But Nathan Hale is captured and hung as a traitor. Now Mercy goes behind enemy lines to gather intelligence for Washington to further Nathan’s mission.

Both of these stories are full of sadness. In the wake of recent school shootings, it has actually been difficult to read. But the author carefully brings the reader to a place of understanding and peace.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale Fiction. All opinions are my own.

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“the better mom” by Ruth Schwenk, book review

the better mom

“the better mom” Growing in Grace between perfection and the mess, by Ruth Schwenk, book review

Motherhood is a wonderful and messy time. Just because we now have a child does not mean that we are automatically a good mom. Ruth Schwenk gives and open and honest look at being a mother, along with examples and encouragement that mothers of all ages can relate to.

This is a wonderful book that is focused on the new mother and the mother of young children. As the mother of four children, she is a expert on these topics. She shares examples from her own life that make us feel that she really understands the struggles of mothers everywhere. She also gives Godly counsel for many situations that can be discouraging for mothers of youngsters.

This would be a great gift for a baby shower!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Weaver’s Daughter” by Sarah E. Ladd, book review

weaver's daughter cover

“The Weaver’s Daughter” by Sarah E. Ladd, book review

Kate has grown up in a weaver’s family and is very loyal to the profession and community. So has Henry, but his family has come to dominate the town’s industry by investing in new machines rather than keeping true to the old ways of hand weaving the wool. When these two groups collide, it impacts the whole town.

Henry has seemingly returned from the dead, as he was reported to have been killed during the war. After the family and town bury and mourn him, he returns. This changes everything! His grandfather is ready to push Henry into the business and a suitable marriage. While Henry is resistant, he is trying to learn all the changes that have occurred during his three year absence.

Kate longs to be included in the weavers business. Her father just wants her to keep to the women’s roles of dying wool and caring for the house. She wants more.

This is a story of family loyalty and following God’s leading. I enjoyed the story and look forward to another book about these characters.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Martha’s Flowers” by Martha Stewart, book review

“Martha’s Flowers” by Martha Stewart, book review

The cover of this book is just beautiful and makes me think that spring is here! “Martha’s Flowers” is a coffee table book that has wonderful pictures of colorful flowers for every type of gardener and garden. While most of the arrangements may not work for my garden, I was inspired to plant and harvest flowers to brighten my yard and house.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a member of the blogging for books program. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Rescue” by Jim Cymbala, book review

the rescue cover

“The Rescue” by Jim Cymbala, Seven People Seven Amazing Stories, book review

This book is a compilation of seven stories about people who had reached the end of themselves and turned to God to save them. Each story has lots of background and substance to demonstrate the depth that people fall to without God’s help. And the wonderful part of each story is how God used ordinary folks to make a difference in their lives and save them from sure destruction.

This is a small, hard cover book that has a nice looking dust jacket. It would be nice to give as a gift to a friend who is going through a hard time.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Healthy Living Handbook” by Laury Harris Smith, book review

Healty living cover

“The Healthy Living Handbook” Simple Everyday Habits for your body, mind and spirit, by Laura Harris Smith, book review

This is a book that is divided into three sections: Spirit, Mind, and Body. Each section has 10 chapters that direct the reader to reevaluate and restructure various parts of your life to be healthier.

This book is written from a Christian perspective and begins with making sure your spiritual life is in order and that you have the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, church attendance and faith. The second division deals with organization and moods and suggests various areas of life to get together. The final section has to do with your body and includes eating well, exercise and sleep. Each section has specific actions to put into place. The book is designed to be tackled in 30 days, one chapter per day, so that by the end of the month, you have a better grasp of your life as a whole.

From the cover design and title, I expected more of the book to be about physical items and action, rather than the last 10 chapters. But all the info is good and we learn that we are more than our body.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Chosen publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Courageous Women of the Bible” by Latan Roland Murphy, book review

courageous women cover

“Courageous Women of the Bible” Leaving Behind Fear and Insecurity for a life of confidence and freedom, by Latan Roland Murphy, book review

Courageous Women are mentioned all though the Bible, and this book highlights 12. Each chapter of this book explores a woman who has exceptional experience and displays courage. The chapters begin with the story of the woman and give lots of detail, including the Biblical passage which tells her story. There are contemporary examples and real life applications too. At the end of the chapter personal Bible study steps are listed including the entire Bible passage to read and discussion questions. At the end of the book are more questions with a lined page to write the answers in a journal type entry. This book would make a great book for a group of women to go through in a formal or informal group. It is also appropriate for individual study.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Nnewts” By Doug TenNapel, book review

“Nnewts: Escape From the Lizzarks” by Doug TenNapel, book review

Herk is a young Newt who just longs for stronger legs. As a newt, he must spend time in water until he grows up enough to be on land. But when his little village is attacked, he is forced to leave his home and leave behind all he has even known. Now on the run, Herk encounters strange creatures he has never seen before.

This is an incredible coming of age story set in a graphic novel. The illustrations are eye catching and complex, while at the same time easy to follow. The story quickly grabs the reader and makes for a page turning action story.

This type of book appeals especially to boys who may be reluctant readers, and the illustrations hold their interest and encourage them to read more. This story may seem simple, but there is a lot of underlying plots that will interest adults too.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book. The author and I are college friends. After 30 years we have reconnected and I highly recommend his books. https://www.amazon.com/Escape-Lizzarks-Nnewts-Doug-TenNapel/dp/0545676460/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1523286471&sr=8-3&keywords=nnewts

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“The Heart’s Appeal” by Jennifer Delamere, book review

“The Heart’s Appeal” by Jennifer Delamere, book review

Julia has moved to London to attend school to become a doctor. The college has recently opened its doors to women, and Julia is set on being accepted. However, while traveling by train to attend a lecture, the train derails and many passengers are injured. Julia is able to quickly assist passengers and actually saves the life of Michael.

Michael is trying to be the good son and marry a wealthy woman to save his family. But when he is injured in a train accident, he meets a young woman who changes his plans. As much as he tries to put Julia out of his mind and heart, he cannot.

This is an interesting story of family loyalty vs personal happiness. The characters are real and the story moves along at a good pace. I hope there will be another book in the series.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own.

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