Misleading Miss Verity By Carolyn Miller

I have read the other two books in Ms. Miller’s Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley series, and enjoyed them immensely, but I have to say this is my favorite thus far! I appreciate in all of the author’s books the strong spiritual thread that runs through the stories.
The setting is 1820 in Scotland. This is an era where the wealthy adhere to a very shallow, pretentious societal code of conduct, especially where young women are concerned. Verity is from just such family and much to her mother’s dismay could care less about the dos and don’ts. Sadly her mother was more concerned outward appearances and material possessions that one’s eternal soul. In fact not only was
Verity and unbeliever, but she saw the Bible as fairy tale. Constantly in trouble either by her conduct or speaking her mind, her mother decides to send her to her grandmother’s in Scotland to consider her ways. Ahh but Grandmamma is a kindred spirit! When she hears of her mother’s plans to marry her off to a disgusting older man, she secretly sends her to Scotland to stay with her school friend Helena and her family. Her father is a minister.
There she meets Anthony Jardine, new laird of an estate that has been neglected by previous relatives in that capacity. Pulled away from his duties as a minister, he wants to make a difference. He has little money, disgruntled and mistreated tenants, and a mansion that has . . . well, seen better days. Here he meets Verity. Helena’s family home adjoins his property. A romantic spark is lit between the two.
So many things to like about this book! Verity’s capers kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved her quick wit! The humor between her and Anthony kept me smiling and laughing. She delighted me that she was herself and nothing else, no matter what the expectations of others might be. In spite of the fact she was a viscount’s daughter she held no airs. The fact that Helena’s family was somewhat poor, Verity did not compare, but was always gracious and sharing.
God works in people’s lives in the most unexpected ways to bring them to Him. Would Verity’s “escape” from a disastrous marriage lead her to true freedom? As always with the author, the descriptiveness of the setting, the characters plus their inward thoughts and emotions drew me right into the story. Another delightful book by Carolyn Miller! I promise you, you will want to read all her books!
I received this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

My Bedtime Bible Prayers By Karoline Pahus Pedersen

You can never start too soon teaching children to pray. My daughter prayed with her sons before they were born each night. They are just babies but the tradition continues. One of the most important privileges we have is to be able to speak to our God personally and directly, anytime or any place. Too often prayer has been reduced to bedtime or even just meal time with families. Children grow up hearing the adults pray with them but are not familiar with doing it themselves. This little book is a wonderful stepping stone to showing children they can talk to God. And even more importantly speak to Him as if He were a close friend.
The book contains 44 sweet prayers with scripture references. All illustrations are colorful and fun. The soft cover the book is easy to clean. Each prayer is simple and written as a child would speak. Although the book’s title says “Bedtime” prayers, they can be prayed anytime of the day. The table of contents at the front of the book is a great resource to choose a prayer meeting the needs of the moment. The questions and statements at the bottom of the pages make it personal for the child and God’s part in their life.
There were only 2 things I didn’t like about the book. Part of the time God is referred to as “Dad”. While kids need to know He is their Heavenly Father, I felt Dad was too familiar and disrespectful for our Creator. Also I would prefer there weren’t the pictures of Jesus, something I don’t like in any form of drawing. No one living knows what He looked like. Presenting the pictures as His likeness I feel is not appropriate. Otherwise it is an outstanding book!
I received this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

My God Loves Me Bible By Cecilie Fodor

I think it is so important to introduce little ones to the Bible as young as possible. Bible story books are the best way to do that and the more the better!
This one checks all the boxes with the cute colorful illustrations and durability, as do many do. I like board books for little hands to touch and discover without fear of damage. Also the heavy pages make it easy for munchkin hands to turn the pages. The soft cover is appealing to touch and also passes the sturdy test, but this one goes a step beyond in several ways.
What impressed me the most was the stories. There are a total of 18, each 2 pages long. The page covering pictures are attention getters and illustrate the story very well. One page has the title, scripture references and a paragraph. I was very impressed how in that in very few lines the author not only captured the story but also how it connected the child personally to God. The opposite page has a heart with how God loves them as shown in the Bible story.
The handle is such a great addition! Children love to imitate the adults in their life. Many grownups have Bible covers with handles to carry to church. This was the child can carry their books too. What a wonderful way to instill taking your Bible to church and other places! I habit to instill early! I think it would be a great quite time book for them during services!
A wonderful addition to your youngster’s library and a great gift for showers, holidays, and birthdays!
I received this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

The Melody of the Mulberries By Tonya Jewel Blessing

I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s first book, The Whispering in the Willows and was excited to see her second book. It is a delightful continuance the previous book. Appalachian culture and life style has always fascinated me. Ms. Blessing not only gives insight into this, but also into the minds and thinking of the people. One particular subject is the superstitions and mysticism that is so prevalent. I liked the strong biblical strength of the main characters as the not only relied on God but tried to share His truths with their neighbors. Their continuous focus on the Lord was an example and encouragement in relationships, and misunderstandings. I was impressed with how she handled prejudice and racism, showing how God’s love can overcome. I am looking forward to Tonya’s next book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Bookcrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

What Am I Feeling? By Dr. Josh Straub & Christi Straub

Emotions are powerful things, not only for adults but also for children. Sometimes it is hard to understand them or even why we are experiencing them, especially for little ones. Good feelings are easy but bad ones are confusing for kids. Adults can usually name them but children can’t. They just know their feelings are there.
This book is a beautiful tool to help young ones understand emotions are a part of the way God made us, but we must learn to control them. We aren’t just victims of
how we feel. I love, love, love the repeated saying, “A feeling is just a feeling, it’s not in charge of you.” One all ages need to remember! The authors offer child and parent ways to biblically get a reign on strong emotions with God’s help.
I liked that the book was in rhyme. This is not only delightful to the child but helps them remember what has been read. The illustrations are spot on! Colorful and simple pictures of children in emotion sparking situations that all little ones can relate to. The feeling chart was great but I would have like to have seen greater number represented. I am going to go on line and copy a more extensive chart to use with the book.
A wonderful book for kids and a great teaching tool for parents! I received this book from BH Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

One More River to Cross By Jane Kirkpatrick

To say I am an avid fan of Jane Kirkpatrick is putting it mildly! I have loved all her books but she really out did herself this time! Her detail (as always) to research is impeccable. What I find remarkable is her ability to understand and capture the emotions and physical details of the people involved to the point the story does not appear as historical fiction but a personal account of the characters.
The 1800’s was a time when settlers were heading west for the promise of better more prosperous lives. These brave men, women and children had no idea what danger or difficulties lied ahead, all they saw was their dream. In 1844 the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend left Missouri to travel over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to California. As they reach the mountain range snow begins to fall and the trip becomes a race against time to before severe winter weather sets in. The decision is made to divide up into 3 groups. One will stay in a crude built shelter and protect supplies until the others return in the spring. As the remaining 2 groups move on, they realize the way is impassable for the wagons. A second larger crude shelter is built and the women and children are left as the third group forges on to California to bring back a rescue party.
As I read I thought about how my impressions of these westward settlers pretty much came from the show Wagon Train. Boy was I misguided! The hardships these people faced are unbelievable! The constant fear of death or loss of a loved one was a part of life. The lack of food and starvation was an endless reminder of their mortality. It is one thing to be hungry yourself, but to have small children with nothing to eat is another. Can you imagine giving your children animal hides to chew on hoping there would be some sustenance? Mothers who bore children on the journey even feared they would not have breast milk for their babies to survive.
And the cold, oh the cold! Fire didn’t do much to warm you and about the only thing between you and the elements was a crude structure that had snow and wind blowing through the cracks. I don’t do well with frosty weather, and Ms. Kirkpatrick’s descriptions their battle against frigid temperatures was so vivid I found trouble keeping warm!
What I found truly amazing was their perseverance, ingenuity, and courage. People from all nationalities and walks of life worked together without pettiness or irritation even during the worst of times. Instead of whining and dragging each other down, they uplifted and encouraged one another. No one belly-upped and quit in the face of their suffering which is what I am sure I would have done! A remarkable book you want to read! I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Christmas in Winter Hill By Melody Carlson

Slow my beating heart! Another Melody Carlson Christmas book! I cannot even express how I look forward to each one of Ms. Carlson’s new holiday books! It amazes me how she captures the spirit of the season and all character’s individual perceptions.
Winter Hill looks like a fresh new start her life and her career to recently divorced Krista. Her job as a small town city manager turns out to be much more complex than she anticipated. A difficult childhood in foster care has turned Krista into a non-Christmas person. Even with her little daughter Emily she doesn’t celebrate the holiday. Wouldn’t you know it! Winter Hill is Christmas celebration crazy! As new city manager she is thrown directly into the hubbub of planning the big event. More serious problems are at hand as Krista finds some concerning evidence in the inner workings of the city finances.
There were so many emotions Ms. Carlson captured in her characters. For one, the excitement of town’s people preparing for their giant annual celebration. It was contagious just reading it! I could picture all the food, game booths and families spending quality time together.
Not everyone has Currier and Ives Christmas memories. Pain and disappointment can sometimes run deep, like Krista’s from her childhood in foster care. I felt her struggle in trying to hide her attitude from her new associates and her sweet little daughter. I experienced her anxiety of doing the right thing even though it was unpopular as a new person in town. The author’s talented writing also enabled me to picture each person, the decorations, and all the details surrounding the story. It was almost like watching a Christmas movie! Not only will this book put you in the Christmas spirit but will delight you with many surprises along the way. Another incredible Christmas book by the author! I can’t wait for the next one!
I received this book from Revell Publications in exchange for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.

Forged through Fire: A Reconstructive Surgeon’s Story of Survival, Faith, and Healing By Mark D. McDonough, MD

Mark McDonough went through more suffering, emotional and physical, in his life they numerous people put together. As a child he faced the debilitating effects and a long healing from Guillain-Barre syndrome. One would think that was enough for one lifetime. When he was 16 he faced an even greater hardship. A house fire took the life of the beloved mother and little brother. He experienced burns over 65% of his body. There was even more tragedy for him to face in future years which he shared in his story.
This was a very moving and thought provoking book for me. The author’s transparency in his thoughts and feelings took such courage to put on paper. His descriptions of the year’s pain, discouragement and agony during the medical treatments he experienced were incredible. I could sense at points the intensity of the pain and emotional distress was beyond what he could find words to describe. As I read I thought several times, “I would have just given up.” Yes, he wavered, doubted, wanted to quit and just throw the towel in on life, but he did not!
He grew stronger in the Lord and learned each time to rely on Him in great greater ways. None of this is sugar coated, trust me! Not only did the author prevail over insurmountable tragedies used those sufferings to help others. He against all odds became a plastic and reconstructive surgeon to help burn victims like himself. What a gift I know that has been to all his patients. He had the insight and compassion other doctors could not.
I found myself ashamed for my pity parties and despair over what I have faced. I don’t think I can ever look at my problems the same without thinking of Mark. I am even having problems finding the words to write this review! This is a book you want to read! Dr. McDonough’s story is more than just a publication to read. It is a testimony and encouragement to everyone facing trials. I can tell it was written out of love to all those who read it.
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Autumn Frost By M.D. Schlatter

I loved this book! It is a very wholesome read with strong Christian principals. I especially liked that the author had a modern day setting but with the biblical and moral values from bygone days that we badly need restored!
Autumn was very young when her beloved mother died. As years go by her grief and loss are compounded by her father’s abuse. He had grown bitter over the loss of his wife and struggles to raise his daughter and work. Each time she has run away he finds her and brings her home
Through a magazine ad Autumn applies to be a companion for the wealthy Lady Cannon. She is a devout Christian with very high standards and strict qualifications for whomever she hires. Autumn is deceptive in her application, leaving the impression she is alone in life. Lady Cannon hires her and Autumn’s life will take a far-reaching turn. Being a willing and hardworking she grows by leaps and bounds in skill and experience, but most of all spiritually. With her employers love, patience and generosity she blossoms into a beautiful young woman. In spite of all her progress forward she cannot out run her unresolved past with her Dad.
There are so many surprises throughout the book which made the story even better! Not only the solid biblical influence impressed me but the true salvation message, and how prayer was the foundation for each character. A unique book you will want to read!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Light Before Day By Suzanne Woods Fisher

This is the third book in the Nantucket Legacy Series. I am happy to say I have read all three! This can easily be read as a standalone but you won’t want to miss reading the other 2!
Henry Macy and his twin sister Hitty are summoned home following being gone on a whaling expedition for 3 years. Their cantankerous grandmother has died leaving them her fortune with some very detailed and constraining guidelines. Should they decide not to follow her wishes the fortune would be given to their scoundrel of an uncle that robbed their father of all he had. They don’t want the money, but what about using it to help their community? Their choice is not an easy especially with the other instructions their grandmother has left.
This book as with the others draws the characters to Great Mary’s diary. A family heirloom passed down since the 1600’s. Wisdom never is out of date and this treasure continues to guide the family member who receives it. It has been a major part of each book and I couldn’t wait until another page of it was revealed.
Nantucket in the 1800’s had greatly grown from its humble beginnings. The whaling industry was still the center of it. But with time and progress come new challenges and struggles. Discrimination and conflict concerning slavery was a major issue. It was interesting to see it from the view point of that era and how the Quakers dealt with it. The story was exciting complex with the plot and characters. I love the unexpected surprises! Definitely a book for your reading list!