“Just Look Up” by Courtney Walsh, book review
Lane Kelly has worked so hard to be successful. And she is! This is the presentation that will get her the promotion. Until her phone rings and she has to go home. Home. Where she left following high school graduation and never looked back. Now she must face it all. But she is a different person, isn’t she?
Ryan Brooks wakes up in the hospital with a huge headache. But he quickly realizes that he is in good shape compared to his buddy, who hit the pole head on when a truck crossed the middle line into their lane. And he was riding a motorcycle. How can he go on from here?
This novel is set in the same small town as the other novels by the same author, but the characters are fresh and new. I enjoyed the other novels and this one was wonderful too.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
“The Divide” by Jolina Pertersheim, book review, #2, following “The Alliance”
This novel picks up the story 6 months after the Mennonite community has fled to the mountain following the failure of the power grid, and modern life as we know it. While the Mennonites are much better equipped to live in a world void of modern conveniences, most other people are not- and this causes many problems as food and medicines run out. Leorna and her family have moved up the mountain and set up a community that is relatively self sufficient. However, they must hide and discourage visitors- friendly and unfriendly- as the food supply is very limited, especially now that winter has settle in.
Moses has healed from the bullet he took while Leorna and her community was escaping. Now he is with a militia that has formed at the air port. He is still concerned about Leorna, and actually is in love with her, but does not see himself as best for her, as he is not a Mennonite.
This book is the second in the series and does not give much background to what has happened in the first book. Even though I read book #1, I had a hard time remembering all the characters and events. I suggest reading the books back to back.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale house. All opinions expressed are my own.
“Peace in the Valley” by Ruth Logan Herne, book review- Double S Ranch series #3
Sam Stafford is the heart and soul of Double S Ranch, but his health is not good and in fact, without a serious procedure, he will die. This complicates things with the boys around the ranch have become quite strained. Each must find his place again in the working of the ranch and the family.
Lucy is just trying to keep her ranch afloat, but it seems impossible, not matter how hard she works. When Trey comes to repay a long overdue debt, as instructed by Sam Safford, she is not sure how to handle it. And then there is the matter of Trey- he is someone special, but is he right for her?
This is the 3rd in the Double S Ranch series. The conflicts of the previous books are mentioned and new issues are presented in this book. The grace and love of God and shown through out the series and forgiveness really is the attribute that is allowed to flow through all the characters
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
kids’ NIV Visual Study Bible, book review- Explore the story of the Bible: People, Places and History
Getting a kid to read and study the Bible can be a challenge, but this new Kids’ niv Visual Study Bible does a great job of adding pictures and images to catch the attention of kids (and adults). The color scheme of the Bible is pleasant and appealing without being over the top. The cover has cool pictures that invite the kid to open and explore the book. The pictures and captions are short enough to peak interest, but not to long that he gets bored or bogged down.
The size of the Bible makes it good for a child to read and carry- like to church. This would make a great gift for a upper elementary age boy or girl.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this Bible from the publisher, and from Handlebar marketing group. All opinions expressed are my own.
“A Love so True” by Melissa Jagaers, book review- Teaville Moral Society novel
Evelyn Wisely works tirelessly for the women who live in the red light district of Teaville. She knows they are women who are caught in a seemingly impossible situation but if they could, would leave for a better life. All the while, she is hiding a secret that could change her whole life.
David Kingsman comes to Teaville to escape his father’s harsh treatment. The business assignment is simple- sell the glass plant. But David sees it as a challenge, could he make the plant profitable? And then make his father like him? He does not count on meeting the woman of his dreams.
This is the continuation of the Teaville series, although it stands pretty well on its own. I enjoyed the book and getting to know the characters. Hopefully there are more in the series planned for the future.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own.
“The Beloved Hope Chest” by Amy Clipston, book review, An Amish Heirloom Novel, #4
This is the continuation of a family story that has continued through out the Amish Heirloom series. But rather than continuing with the present, this story goes back to the recent past and tells the story of Mattie, the mother, and the way her life was prior to having her 3 daughters, who are all adults now.
Mattie shares the events that led to her marriage to her now husband, and the girls’ father. She reveals the tragedy of the death of her husband and new born baby- and how this affected her life with her new husband. The pain and insecurities she felt as a young bride were huge in her mind, and she could not allow herself to be loved. But Leroy had always loved her and now had the opportunity to prove it to Mattie.
This is an interesting conclusion to the series, and shows how fragile people are, especially during times of deep grief. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to others.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.
“Catching the Wind” by Melanie Dobson, book review
“What happened to Brigitte Berthold?” is the question Daniel Knight has been asking himself for over 50 years? And he is not about to give up now.
When they were children, they escaped Germany after their parents were captured by Gestapo agents. They walked for miles and months, only to be separated when they arrived in England. But Daniel never forgot his promise to find her. Many years later, he continues to search.
Quenby Vaughn is a reporter in London who loves the thrill of digging deep into a story and telling it. And she is good at her craft. Daniel hires her to find Brigitte. She wrestles with the story and all involved, but is up to the challenge.
This was one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time!! I really enjoyed it. It had a great balance of going back (WWII) and present times, slowly weaving the characters together into an incredible story. I could not see the end coming- and was so surprised! Wonderful book!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyldale Fiction. All opinions expressed are my own.
Alena is a sweet 12 year old girl, who gets to do some pretty cool stuff. But on most days she is just the oldest of 4 girls, late for school and forgets to climb back in bed after using the bathroom at night.
In this book, Alena wins a contest sponsored by her favorite Christian recording artist and gets to be in a movie with her. This sudden opportunity changes her whole summer plans for herself, her family and her friends. But Alena’s family is behind her in the adventure, so they head to California.
This is an easy to read book with lots of dialogue between all the characters- friends, parents, sisters, etc. The story line moves along at a fast pace to keep the reader’s attention. The plot is really pretty believable. And I appreciate the positive roll her parents play in her life.
This book is written by a young girl and her mother- so is pretty realistic. It is a good read for a young girl.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, Zonderkids. All opinions expressed are my own.
“Love Letters from God-Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart” by Glenys Nellist, book review
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book of popular Bible stories featuring women of the Bible. Each two page layout features one character. There is a well written, easy to understand story for each character emphasizing a character trait that is evident in this woman’s life. The special feature on each page is a lift-the-flap letter written to the child from God explaining how the character trait will be evident in the child’s life.
I think this book is a great read aloud for older preschool children. It could be read over a period of days. Another use could be for Sunday School or VBS story time. The last page if a lift-the-flap letter that the child is to write to God. This could be expanded if used in a group setting- as a take home paper that the child completes.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zonderkidz. All opinions expressed are my own.
“The Chapel Car Bride” by Judith Miller, book review
Hope Irvine has lived with her elderly aunt in Pittsburg until her aunt recently passed. Now she pleads with her father to allow her to accompany him in the Chapel Car. This converted railroad car travels the rails bringing preaching of God’s word to those in need. She loves singing and leading the children’s lessons whenever the Chapel car stops. But their stop in Finch, West Virginia proves to be a challenge for Hope and her father.
Luke has worked in the coal mines which took his father’s life many years ago. He does not really enjoy the work, but it is the only way to provide for his mother and sister. He feels he can never get ahead of the company, because like all mining families they are forced to rent their housing from the mining company and shop at the company store. These fees are deducted from their wage, with little or no cash left.
Kirby Finch is sent to Finch as a punishment by his father for mishandling money and responsibility. His job is to keep the mine productive and not allow men to join the union. He has other, less legal, motives in mind. And having Hope in town is just an added bonus.
This is a fun story of young love in a difficult time and place. The characters are likeable and the plot moves at a steady pace. I enjoyed the book.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House.All opinions expressed are my own.