Dreams Rekindled By Amanda Cabot

I had read the first book in this series and so enjoyed it.  It took me a bit to realize that this was book two.  It has romance, humor, suspense and danger all rolled into one! 

Dorothy Clark has decided to be a confirmed spinster.  After watching her mother’s emotional breakdown after the death of Dorothy’s Dad, she has decided no love is worth that.  She never wants to put her children through such trauma.  Her dream is to become a writer, but this is a hard road to travel for a woman in the 1850’s.  Brandon Holloway moves to Mesquite Springs with the goal of starting a newspaper.  All he has is his printing press and some heavy baggage from the past.  He is impressed by the serene spirit and harmony of the community.  Things quickly change when an outsider moves there with ulterior motives which will threaten the town’s peaceful way of life and endanger many.

The excitement in the book kept me turning pages!   So many times I wished I could warn Dorothy and Brandon what was going on!  The lessons in the story of personal growth and leaving the past behind were phenomenal, and they involved seeing the truth rather than being guided by emotions.  A book you will want to read, but if you read at bedtime, start early because you won’t want to put it down!  I cannot wait for book number three!

I received this book from Library Thing’s Early Reviewers.  The opinions I have stated are my own.

Flooded: The 5 Best Decisions to Make When Life Is Hard and Doubt Is Rising By Nicki Koziar

Oh wow!  This book came into my life at just the right time! Life’s circumstances and suffering had me slip into a spiritual low.  My vibrant strong faith has faltered.  I found myself doubting God helping me in areas of my life. This made my suffering greater and I was ashamed of my spiritual walk.

The “unknowns” in my life had not only “flooded” me but almost washed me away.  What a blessing this book is! I know the stories in the Bible are examples to us in how to deal with trial, but I never ever thought of looking at Noah’s experiences in that way!  The book is divided into 5 decisions you need to make when faced with a crisis to be a conqueror.

Ms. Koziar’s writing style is one that makes you feel she is writing directly to you, very personable.  The Lord has brought me through many hard things in my life, but I realized that instead of it being a strengthening lesson, there has been some remaining doubt for what is to come. I realized doubt is sin, because I am not trusting God can take care of me.  She made me dig deep and look at what was really there in my heart and mind.  The author does it in such a way that you are guided into it and inspired, not beaten over the head and made to feel guilty. The words jumped off the page at me, requiring a highlighter, so inspiring! Another part I liked about the books is that she gives you “handles” to your wheelbarrow.  She doesn’t just point out the issues but presents ways to overcome them. You aren’t left hanging. Well written and easy to read but you will want to really study it! 

I received this book from Baker Publishing Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions stated are my own.

Make Their Day By Karen Ehman

Ms. Ehman is one of my favorite authors! I love sharing, giving and doing for others.  She always has beautiful, thoughtful and unique ideas to brighten people’s days and make them feels special.  This book as with her others has practical ideas anyone can do. The majority without a lot of work or cost. They are flexible in that you can personalize them to fit your special giving situation. More than ever right now people need to be encouraged. 

As the book cover says there are 101 of these little treasures. I found them all to be uncomplicated and easy.  The most impressive thing I found was that ALL of them are extraordinarily thoughtful, and that is something that really touches people’s hearts.  One of my favorite of the 8 sections is “Throughout Your Day and Around the Town.”  I love surprising people that work in the community as they are seldom recognized.

This is not giving me a pat on the back as the Lord gets the credit, but I want to share a personal experience in this area.  There was a woman at a very busy business in town.  EVERYTIME I was there no matter how busy they were or how grumpy a customer she was always patient, kind and wore a real smile.  The Lord kept prompting to do something for her.  So I put together a little bag, and wrote a letter telling her how much I appreciated her.  She cried.  Next time I went in she told me that day she had planned to take her life.  She was so discouraged and alone.  The tiny gift and note that only took a small amount of time gave her hope and made her want to go on.  I learned that you never ever underestimate the impact of small acts of kindness as in this book.  Remember, the gift you give is not truly the “gift”; the true gift is that you thought of them and cared.

I received these books from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

Facing the Dawn By Cindy Ruchti

This book is powerful; it will take your breath away!  The author captures the raw truth about parenting, grief, and just how overwhelming life is at times!  She brings you through the story with a kaleidoscope of emotions and circumstances but also with humor, reminding how God is with us in every moment we face.

Mara is what you might call a “single” married Mom.  Her husband is a humanitarian in Uganda providing water and wells for the impoverished. She has been keeping the home fires burning with working and dealing with her 3 children. The two teenagers are in full rebellion, and her sweet preteen is always her bright spot.  Everyone is missing and needing Dad.   She battles resentment for him not being there for his own family and guilt because of the importance of his work.

Then the real bottom falls out. She suffers 2 devastating life changing catastrophes.  Her world and life are turned upside down and she is paralyzed by the events and her family’s future.  Her forever best friend (as she calls her) Ashlee had moved back to town and not a minute too soon. Ashlee’s deep faith and personal journey with brokenness becomes a lifeline for Mara. One she doesn’t want at first. She continually turns Mara back to God and His truths. Ashlee never gives up, nudging her forward when she wants to give up.   I sure wish I had an Ashlee in my life.  Ruchti brings lightness to such heavy moments with Mara’s wonderful sense of humor.  The humorous thoughts you have in serious times that are so inappropriate and tactless that you dare not speak them out loud

I have not experienced these exact circumstances but I could relate to Mara’s pain and confusion.  What it is like to be incapacitated emotionally, physically and spiritually to the point you are helpless.   A very moving inspirational story! 

I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  The thoughts expressed are my own.