Coastal Breeze By Suzanne Woods Fisher

When I read a really good book then find out there is a sequel, I get excited! That was the case with Coastal Breeze. After I finished reading book 1, I couldn’t wait for this one!
Paul Grayson and his three daughters are starting new chapters in each of their lives at Camp Kicking Moose. Paul, with the help of his oldest daughter Cam has remodeled and decorated the derelict cabins into comfortable, appealing rentals. They are now open for business! I love the descriptions of the camp. It reminds me, before renovation, of old church camps I attended. The new changes are exciting, maybe because I have that old dream of owning a bed and breakfast.
Cam is engaged to Seth and wedding plans are in the future? Or are they? Even on the tiny island she has thrown herself into a major project. Her goal is to bring sustainable electricity to the unreliable one the residents now suffer with. Old habits are hard to change. Cam may be in a different location but her old business drive to succeed is still there, sometimes at the expense of relationships. Exciting and frightening events must take place for her to open her eyes to what is truly important.
Maddy, poor sweet Maddy. She opens an office on the island as counselor and therapist. Nervous but excited she feels she is finally living her dream. She does have clients but finds most of her skills are going to help her sisters. Her anxiety is better, that is until the new pastor parachutes in, yes parachutes! Much to her dismay she realizes it is Ricky, O’Shea the pest and tormentor of her youth, whom she has always had a crush. I feel of the three sisters, she experiences the greatest amount of change and discovery in her life. I liked how the story forces her to not only face her fears but learn to deal with things you cannot run from. Surprising facts come to light forcing Maddy to grow as a person.
Blaine makes a surprise return from culinary school and isn’t at all herself. She holds a painful secret that she only shares with Maddy. Always flitting from one interest to another like a butterfly, her new plans concern her family.
I didn’t want the story to end! Ms. Fisher hits it out of the ballpark again! Each character’s story is a view of God working in their lives. Not only drawing upon what they have learned of Him in the past, but also recognizing His hand in their circumstances in the present. The family dynamics and personal emotions of each character are so real. While there is seriousness, there is also humor that would pop up at unexpected moments. Paul’s unwanted pet duck was one of them! Peg, with her quirkiness and old Maine wisdom is my favorite character! At the end of the book is one of Blaine’s recipes! A nice surprise! After reading the too short excerpt of book three at the back, I anxiously await it!!!
I received this book from Revell Publishing I exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Lily’s Story: A Puppy Tale By W. Bruce Cameron

I know this book is recommended for 8 – 12 year old but I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult! I played it in my car to listen to during trips and couldn’t wait to go somewhere so I could listen to more!
This is a charming story about a mother dog and her puppies brought into an animal shelter. One particular one is the runt and very tiny. Being the only girl, her brother’s rough housing hard to handle. Maggie Rose is also the only girl and the “runt” of her family with 2 older brothers. She can relate to Lily’s situation. She was at the shelter frequently because her mom was director. She falls in love with this little puppy and names her Lily.
The story is told through Lily’s eyes and Maggie Rose. I am reviewing the audio book and the voice of Lily was so spot on! It is the sweet, innocent voice of what you would think a precious little puppy would have. The author does an amazing job of describing the experience, thoughts and feelings a tiny pup might have. If dogs could talk I think this would be accurate! He also captured the emotions of a child that has fallen in love with a puppy. Maggie Rose and Lily’s adventures are humorous, fun, and sometimes sad. The descriptiveness and narration were so good, pictures of the tale play across my mind like a movie.
A second story is told here, the plight of animal shelters with so many pets that need to be adopted and find a forever home. I feel it spoke about those generous volunteers across the country, who face heartbreak, give their time, compassion, and hard work to help the helpless.
A wonderful book for any age!

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Don’t Overthink It By Anne Bogel

This book’s title finds me guilty as charged! It is an area of my life I am working on. I have a master’s degree in overthinking. The author clearly and convincingly verified what I knew in my heart to be true but didn’t know how to change. For one, I realized in doing so am complicating any decision I need to make. Overthinking adds many unimportant ideas that appear as facts to me at the moment. There are usually nothing more than a lot of “what ifs”. I can see now that the Devil runs with this and my imagination goes wild. I believe it is a useful tool of his because my thinking becomes so cloudy I lose sight of God and what guidance He had in the matter. I also find myself caught up in anxiety which drains me mentally and physically. The more I over analyze the deeper I go and find I am stuck in this vicious cycle. Not only is there no answer to be found this way, but the useless thoughts just keep coming. Whew! No wonder I ended up in such a mess and still no direction!
The author goes even further than just learning to overcome this destructive thought process. She reminded me that by focusing on the principles that guide my life, (which for me come from God and His Word) I will be able make clearer decisions, because those are what most important to me. Another part that jumped out at me is this destructive way of thinking is linked with perfectionism which also goes hand in hand with fear of failure! A great book to help you overcome what is possible one of the biggest hindrances in making sound, choices.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Made to Move Mountains By Kristen Welch

Whatever mountains loom ahead of us in our spiritual walk, whether a dream or a problem, they usually seem enormous and impossible to overcome. I always try to remind myself that God loves impossible situations to show Himself strong.
Ms. Welch tells about the mountains she has climbed in her life. I liked that she was open about her experiences, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Transparency like that helps me get more out of the book. I can relate to being imperfect and do not feel I am somehow don’t measure up. Like many of us, her life had a mountain range to overcome and by that I mean they were in different areas of her life. As the founder of an organization providing homes for pregnant teens her challenges seemed hopeless. She did not falter but obediently looked to God no matter what fears or obstacles. This rang true for each mountain that arose in her path.
I liked that she used her own experiences to illustrate the different kinds of mountains we might encounter. Included are scripture references to direct and encourage the reader. I like the scriptures, and questions at the end of each chapter to help me apply the information to my personal situations. I also appreciated the page to journal my thoughts. It made the book even more personal to me.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I stated are my own.