Wooo whoo! Another bookshelf keeper! Tressa was filled with excitement and expectation at her father’s summons for her and her mother to come home. He had never done it before! Upon arrival she finds it was the butler who sent the message and her father is dead. She is of course heartbroken. She had never given up hope to have a relationship with her cold and distant father. Her mother is delighted because now she can spend his vast fortune he controlled. A monkey wrench is thrown into her greedy plans because it is rumored he has hidden the wealth but no one knows where! He had promised to tell Tressa before he died! So she and her mother sit in their magnificent castle home with an unpaid staff of 65 and “shillingness”.
As you know when it rains it pours with life’s problems. Merchants are demanding unpaid bills, treasure hunters and greedy relatives descend upon the castle hoping to get part of the hidden treasure. On top of that she is met by a shadowy man that claims was hired for her father to care for the vineyards. A job he never delegated to anyone!
I found this book to have many “treasures” of the best kind. First was the spiritual analogy of the vineyard and John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Even though this was a fiction book, it drew the reader to the importance of Christ and their relationship with Him. The author did it so naturally! It made the story even more beautiful. Instead of just reading and enjoying it I also derived spiritual insights and thoughts. The quotes from the notebook of a viticulturist before each chapter were though provoking, making me want to them more than once.
I loved the mystery, suspense and excitement! I was guessing from moment to the next about what was going to happen. Even when I jumped to conclusions I was usually wrong! Tressa’s sweet spirit and living as a Christian in such dire situations was refreshing. Her focus was on the needs of others despite her problems. I must say her mother was a bit annoying with her shallowness and “llama llama mama drama.” The author’s detailed descriptiveness of characters, emotions and setting made it like a movie was playing in my head!
An incredible book! I will definitely want to read every book Ms. Politano writes!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
I related to this book as soon as I read the title. The fear cycle, yes I know it well for many years. The picture pops in my head of a bicycle wheel going around and around. There are times that my fears would fade only to be brought back full force by thoughts or circumstances. I know from experience it is a vicious “cycle”.
I know God in His Word says “do not fear” but I have been caught in its endless circle.
Ms. Furlough’s book is light shining on this dark problem all believers face. She openly and honestly shares her journey in overcoming this debilitating stronghold Satan builds in our lives. The lessons she learned are the reader’s blessings. She asks questions I knew the answer to but was afraid (yes fear again) to face. The gentle way she nudged me into facing my fears, some I had not even named.
I like that she didn’t just talk about the problem but through scripture and reflection guided me with workable solutions defeat this foe in my life. She doesn’t sugar coat the fact that it will be a battle I have to fight with the Lord beside me, reminding me that my weapon is scripture. The 14 promises in scripture that God will protect me will be something I will use from now on.
Sharing her personal fears and struggles with them not only were uplifting but made me feel she truly understands! With God we have nothing fear and the old saying popped into my head, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”. Yes! I want “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” in Philippians 4:7
It is not a read it once book. You will want to read it, highlight in it, and make notes. I feel now I have a scriptural battle plan and the mindset truly have victory. It is going to be a process and a journey but so worth it!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
Happy dance!!! A new book by Jane Kirkpatrick always excites me! Not only is she an incredible author but I love that her books are based on true stories. The real life women she chooses are so varied and interesting!
Jennie Lichtenthaler’s story is proof that your circumstances and education have nothing to do with your ability to succeed! She was one of the first female doctors in the state of Oregon. That in itself is an amazing achievement considering women doctors in the 1800’s were shunned and not accepted. As I read her story, her success became extraordinary! Since her childhood her interest in herbs, medicine and natural healing had been a driving force. Not only to learn but to heal others. She never gives up her dream to become a doctor even in the face of insurmountable odds. Jennie’s family and husband drag her confidence even lower with the criticism and treatment of her. Married at a young age to an abusive alcoholic and drug addict her life held few opportunities. She has a learning disability, though the story never really says what it is. It makes reading and retaining written material difficult. Her son suffers the mental effects of the father’s addictions and is challenging to handle.
After her first husband divorces here which left her in poverty and social shame during that time, it opens the door to meet the love of her life, her second husband Josiah Parrish. He was a wealthy, influential minister. He had children that were grown and grandchildren so he was many year older than her. The vast difference in age had no bearing on the depth of their love and devotion. Each brought the other much joy and fulfillment. His love and belief in her led her to accomplish her dream and become a doctor.
As usual Ms. Kirkpatrick does an in-depth historical research, she leaves no stone unturned about her characters. I admired Jennie’s strength and faith in all the sufferings she was dealt. No matter what was thrown at her or how her heart broke, she kept moving forward, doing what needed to be done to survive. She never gave into self-pity or bitterness. Her loving attitude and sweet spirit was not affected by abuse or adversity. An extraordinary book!
When I chose this book based on the cute title I did not even notice the author was Roger Campbell: the famous writer, broadcaster, columnist, pastor, father and husband! With such a life of variety, insight and experience I knew it was going to be a great book and I wasn’t wrong! It isn’t a big book, only 165 pages, but it would be 3 inches thick if it was measured by the treasures within. This is a simple read, but very inspirational and thought provoking.
Each devotional is a page long with a scripture at the end. I was impressed with how much truth and wisdom each simple story contained. He shares personal experiences, biblical truths and lessons learned from people in the past. Each page was engaging and captured my attention. No matter what the tone of the story; he always ends it on a note of hope
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, not only from the entertainment side but also from all the ways it gently opened my eyes and mind to looking at many spiritual matters in a different light. A book shared not only from a full life but also a full heart. Refreshing and different!
I received this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
The title of the book drew me to it as I am always interested in better organizing my life, but once I opened it there was oh so much more! As I started to read it my eyes fell upon the words “live out of an empty soul”. That’s when I grabbed my highlighter. The author speaks of Christians who are so busy being Christians and serving the Lord but Christ isn’t the focus of their life. He asks us are we “driven” or all we “called”?
Some people are motivated by praise and success; others are caught up in serving and trying to meet all the needs and demands coming their way. As a minister’s wife for 26 years, I would often think about this. I love the Lord with all my heart but I would find myself “soul empty” because my time so full of the ministry. Yes I read my Bible and prayed but my focus wasn’t fully Christ but the tasks at hand.
No wonder we feel exhausted, hopeless and on the verge of burnout.
This book has so much to offer. Mr. McDonald shares attitudes and applications to establish if we are being driven or called to do something. He shares openly about his breakdown and shares how he began to rebuild his life on a firmer foundation. I like that he doesn’t just tell me I have a problem but gives me the tools to restore my life. I can learn how to reevaluate my priorities, control my time instead of it controlling me, how to re-enforce my spiritual inner life, and learn to truly rest. It excites me to see the world through the eye of the Bible and the Lord and not just what my flesh can perceive.
No wonder so many of us lack peace in our lives. I know I personally need to strengthen my inner world because my outer world the last few years has become almost too much to bear. The author jolted my mind with the example of Jesus ministry. Yes I knew it but I hadn’t ever noticed that he was never in a hurry. No one ever has or ever will have such a massive outer world to deal with. People constantly surrounding him and begging for help, teaching, dealing with those that wanted to harm him, and trying teach hard to teach disciples. Yet He was always at peace. Even as God in the flesh He took time to rest and be with His Heavenly Father. Amazing!
I so appreciate the built in study guide that will help me step by step to achieve this strengthening. When my focus is completely on Christ and all else that is shouting for my attention and energy will be sorted out as to whether deserves my attention or not. I will not be driven by the tyranny of the urgent but by looking through my Savior’s eyes. I want Him to be my only guide, not my planner or to do list. This book is to study and reread. I am keeping it as a reference book when I complete all it has to offer. An exceptional book all Christians need to read.
I received this book from W Publishing Group through Handlebar. I was not required to give a positive review; the opinions stated are my own.
I read the author’s first book Mercy’s Rain and could not wait to read this one! She is an incredibly talented writer that not only entertains but rivets your heart and mind to the story, bringing home incredible biblical truths.
The Appalachians and the unique people that live there have long fascinated me. Ms. Sproles was raised in the Appalachian mountains so her stories have a realism inherent from understanding the people, their ways, and their traditions.
Lochiel Ogle was born in the Tennessee mountains during the late 1800’s. Through no fault of her own, she had a large red birth mark on her face and neck. The superstition of the hills deemed it a “mark of the devil.” Due to the fear associated with this belief she suffered isolation and abuse by her adopted family.
As a young boy, her brother Gerald came upon the cabin where her mother had just given birth to her. The mother, in deep sleep was assumed dead by the boy. He was hoping a baby would ease his mother’s grief from the babies she had lost. Of course because of the mark, the infant was rejected and became a young woman filled with anger, hurt and confusion. She truly believed the curse and that the devil controlled her.
When she was 19 years old her brother tried to kill her and left her for dead. A compassionate Christian man named Walton found her and took her to his elderly mother, Edna. There for the first time in her life Lochiel, experienced love, kindness, acceptance and nurturing. While these were all very important needs, the greatest gift Edna gave her was to introduce her to God and His Word. Gently and lovingly she began to teach Lochiel that there was no curse and that she was not evil. Slowly Edna’s Christ like ways and teachings began to change Lochiel. It brought home that what we see has a horrible situation is God working to bless us.
This is an incredible story of forgiveness and love beyond what most of us cannot even begin to grasp. I saw God’s power working in Lochiel’s life in unimaginable ways. Suspense and surprise do not even begin to describe this novel. You will not be able to put it down! If you only read one fiction book this year, this is the one!
I received this book from Kregel Publishing. This is an honest review and the opinions stated are my own.
Hands down Victoria is my favorite all time dog trainer. Her no nonsense approach combined with kindness above all continually impresses me. I love my dog, Bill. He is my pal and my companion. It would be a lonely dull life without him. He adoringly looks at me and follows me everywhere I go. Our pets are so in tune to us I think sometimes we assume we are the same wavelength in the way we view things. It is easy to attribute human characteristics to our fur babies that just aren’t possible.
Not that we do it purposely but it does happen, I know I have done it.
The fact is a dog is a dog no matter how much we love them. While this book had some common knowledge, the larger portion of it gave me a greater understanding of what makes Bill tick. It shifted my “all about me” viewpoint of our relationship to seeing not only our interactions through his eyes, but also interpreting his actions and signals I have been missing.
She reveals special aspects of different doggy personalities. From the special meaning of tail wagging to vocalization and everything in between you will learn how your dog is trying to communicate with you his or her way.
I absolutely LOVED the dog pictures. The special charts, illustrations, and tips were great! I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to using what I have learned to make Bill’s life happier and our relationship better.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.
This is another great book by Ann Spangler! Her books are always great for Bible study and reading. Those people mentioned in the Bible are for us to learn from in both their positive and negative choices. Of the 20 “wicked” women Ms. Spangler covers, you might be surprised at first. Some of the women studied are “wicked” as in naughty girls and others are “wicked” in the slang term of awesome! In her talented style the author shares each lady’s story in such a way it brings them to life. I appreciate that she does not turn it into fiction, nor does she detract from God’s Word with a great deal of “imaginary” information. Her sense of humor is sprinkled throughout and makes the reading even more enjoyable. Although I have known about all these women through my Bible reading, this book helped me learn even more about them and see them in a different perspective. They became flesh and blood people with failures and struggles just like women of today.
The mini biographies include very interesting historical backgrounds concerning the women. Questions at the end of the chapters provoke thought into how you might apply what you have learned to your life, and deeper understanding of the woman in a scriptural context.
As always with Ann Spangler’s books, it stays in my personal library. It is great devotional or study book for groups, women, and teens.
I received this book free from http://www.BookLookBloggers.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
David Stolzfus had his hands full. He is a widower with six children, runs the local store, and is also a minister in his local Amish church. After his wife’s death he relocated from Ohio to Pennsylvania, hoping to start a new life. A new life awaited him, but not one he could have imagined.
His two oldest children shock him with devastatingly poor choices they made. Some of the church members are trying to find him a new wife to “fix” his problem of being alone. On top of that the church is facing some serious problems and David has innocently become a target of hostility.
You really do want to read this book. It is so well written and the author did a wonderful job developing all the characters. I am not sharing the plot because it is so diverse to do so would be a spoiler.
When I saw the title I was looking for one imposter in the story. What I found was several kinds of imposters; those that are hidden, those that are obvious, and those that are fake even unto themselves. It gave me a whole new view point on so many ways we are not honest with ourselves and those around us.
David’s way of dealing with his adult children’s mistakes was a beautiful example to follow. His love, lack of condemnation, willingness to be there for them, and patience were amazing. I feel it is because of the way he handled it, they were able to change their lives.
I was impressed with the way David handled persecution and attacks by choosing to do it God’s way. He didn’t give into the flesh even though he suffered at the hands of his enemies. As much as he loved his family, God was first in his life and surrendered the outcome to the Lord. With several of the characters it was a reminder that the very answers we need are often right in front of us. If we keep looking to God He will show us.
I cannot wait to read more books in this series!
I received a copy of this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Miriam Hastings is training as a nurse in Chicago in 1905. Her desire to be a nurse goes further than loving the vocation. She wants to be able to support her sick, widowed mother and young siblings that are forced to live in poverty. She finds herself with the opportunity of a lifetime: to train in a small hospital in Blessing, North Dakota. After just a few weeks, she is called back home as her mother has taken a turn for the worst. Although she wants to remain in Chicago, she is forced to return and finish out her year of training.
On the other hand, she finds herself unable to suppress her growing feelings for Trygve Knutson. He and his family, the Bjorklunds, are back bone and leaders of the fast growing, predominately Norwegian town. His family wraps her in love an acceptance. Her heart is torn between a life with Trygve in a town she adores and her family whom she loves so much. No matter what she does, she realizes she must make a choice and both will cause heartache.
I felt I was a part of Blessings, and through reading the book dreamed about how wonderful it would be to live in such a place. Life is simple but filled with hard fulfilling work. Whatever crisis might be faced, everyone rallies to shoulder the burden and help. I felt a part of the family’s closeness and interactions. Even though it was just a story, it gave me feelings of warmth and happiness.
I appreciated that the story was not a gushy portrayal a blissful life. The author showed the other side of misunderstandings, losses, grief, heartache, and problems. What makes it special is how each character works through these real life dilemmas based on their strong faith in God, biblical wisdom, and constant prayer. An uplifting story that you will find a “blessing” to read!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own.