The Kill Fee By Fiona Veitch Smith

This is Ms. Smith’s second book in the Poppy Denby Investigates Series and I must say I enjoyed it as much as I did the first! Poppy is a roaring twenties newspaper reporter that has a knack for finding herself in the middle of criminal mysteries while trying to get her story!
Not only is the book exciting and suspenseful, it is also historical fiction, one of my favorites. I stepped back in time with the fashions, social issues and attitudes of an era of dramatic changes. I had never heard of the Romanov royal family or the red and white Russians until now. Very interesting!
Poppy finds herself in the midst of a dangerous political mystery. The Romanov’s Faberge egg was stolen at an exhibition she attends for the newspaper. Although it is heavily guarded, someone manages to turn out all the lights and a guard is shot. The more she investigates the murkier the evidence becomes. Instead of narrowing down the list of suspects the number grows as do the murders. Who can she trust? She begins to learn the sad history of the exiled royal family and their stolen treasures. Poppy finds herself in great danger and realizes she may have gotten herself into situations she cannot handle. She may have even put those she loves at risk.
The story is fast paced and totally unpredictable. Poppy’s eye for detail is amazing. I never knew what was going to happen from moment to moment, finding myself constantly surprised at every twist and turn. Even though the plot is multi-faceted it was easy to read and follow. If you read it at night plan to stay up late; you won’t be able to put it down! I couldn’t! Looking forward to Poppy’s next adventures!
I received this book from Kregel Publications. I have given an honest review and the opinions I have stated are my own.

The One Year Book of Healing By Dr. Reggie Anderson

I was drawn to this book by the title. The past year for me has been particularly challenging with heath issues. I was even more interested when I found the author was a Christian doctor! How wonderful to have a physician that not only has medical knowledge but puts the Lord first as a part of his practice. For three decades Dr. Anderson has cared for families in his country practice in a small town outside Nashville, Tennessee.
The book is divided into 12 months, and each one begins with a“check-up” where the good doctor with look at commonplace experiences both physical and emotional one might face. He gives a spiritual challenge for that month to enrich your relationship with God. Then there is a devotional for each day based upon his true life experiences he has learned by seeing Lord’s healing in the lives of his patients. Included with each day is a scripture, “Today’s RX”, a suggestion, or question for your study and a short prayer.
Seven prevailing truths are shared at the beginning that he has seen repeated lives of those he has cared for.
1. God is the one that heals.
2. Sometimes emotional healing must come first.
3. Healing comes in many forms.
4. Our hope for healing is only in Jesus Christ.
5. Prayer is an important part of the healing process.
6. Healthy living leads to healthy lives.
7. Sometimes we much overcome obstacles to healing.
I liked the fact the devotionals were genuine testimonies and godly wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of service. If found each one inspiring and encouraging. I book you will want to read and/or give as a gift!
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Effortless Healing By Dr. Joseph Mercola

I have long been a fan of Dr. Mercola. For many years I have read his articles and received his newsletter. He never fails to teach me something new or give me insight in ways to live a healthier life, naturally. He has a straightforward, no nonsense approach to explaining things. While he very strongly believes in what he is sharing, he is never pushy or makes you feel bad you aren’t applying everything.
Best of all, he practices what he teaches! I was very excited to have the opportunity to read this book!
I must say I as skeptical about the “effortless” part of the title concerning improving my health, but it is true! We do what we are supposed to and our body will heal as it was created to. The hard part is personal motivation and commitment to make the changes. He guides, we choose. When I started reading I presumed the ideas would be near impossible to implement. I was so wrong! This is something everyone can do!
The suggestions are simple and inexpensive. I liked this as many health books recommend many rather expensive ideas that are not in everyone’s budget. Resources are included after each chapter so you have access to products that will aid you.
Each 9 areas he discusses are ones those of us wanting to improve the quality of our health struggle with; water purity and hydration, eating more vegetables, burning fat, exercise (this one will surprise you), Sunlight and vitamin D, digestive health, sleep, ways to stay grounded (a very interesting chapter!), and health foods to avoid. The last chapter helps you create a healing plan that fits you.
I cannot even begin to tell all the new things I have learned from this book, and I have studied these many areas of health in depth for years!! The changes I make will be gradual but now I not only have goals in sight, but the tools to reach them! A book you will definitely want to read if you are serious about your health!
I received this book from the Blogging For Books Program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

The Wish By Beverly Lewis

How incredibly easy it is to see the faults of our own family, overlooking the blessings. Equally simple is see only the good things of another family and be blinded to the problems. The source of this is discontentment. That is exactly where Leona Speicher finds herself. Her heart yearns for her family to be like her best friend’s Gloria Gingrich: Fun, affectionate, and close. She idolizes them and fantasizes about becoming a permanent household member. To make the situation even more ideal, Leona and Gloria are as close as best friends can be.
Her heart is broken when the Gingrich family is shunned from the Amish church, disappearing in the night without even saying goodbye. Leona never quits missing her friend and mourns her absence for 3 long years. Out of the blue Gloria reaches out to her begging her to come for a visit. The family has abandoned their Amish faith and turned English. Leona wrestles whether or not to go. She still loves her friend deeply but isn’t sure not only what to expect but also putting herself in the English world.
With the purpose of trying to bring back with her and become Amish again she decides to go.
The trip turns out to be more than the rescue mission she had anticipated. She is shocked and disheartened by what she finds not only Gingrich’s lives now but what they had been all along. A beautiful story of love, true friendship, and learning to see the wonderful gifts God has given us.
I received this book Bethany House Publishing and was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Cheaters Never Prosper By Julia Cook

This book addresses a much needed subject with children – CHEATING! Not just in school but anywhere. As with all her books the subject is presented in a fun, interesting way that children can relate to. Great illustrations and the story written in rhyme are wonderful attention grabbers.
Some children don’t know cheating is wrong; others do and use it as an easy way to get the rewards or avoid unpleasant consequences. The sad thing is if a child cheats they will grow into an adult that does. Once someone cheats in one area it will spread to other areas of their lives. That is why I am so pleased to see Ms. Cook’s book on this subject so children can learn early.
Noodle has fallen into the cheating trap already in many parts of his young life. He doesn’t see anything wrong with it and uses the dishonesty of others as an excuse (sound familiar). I love what his mother says, “You can’t control what others do, Noodle, but cheating is a HUGE deal to you!” Mom covers the many reasons people may choose to cheat and how easy it is to continue doing it once you start. She shows beyond a doubt that cheating is NEVER the answer.
Noodle and Mom discuss ways he can break this bad habit and make things right with those he has wrong.
At the end of the book she shares 11 tips to help a child stop cheating. All are very insightful and helpful! This book is a part of Ms. Cook’s “Responsible Me” Series. A great way to help children build character!

Kit Kat and Lucy By Lonnie Hull DuPont

When we lived in the country we had lots of cats. They each had very distinct personalities and they never ceased to amuse or surprise us. I am an animal lover, any kind of animal. I was drawn to this book by the cover and of course the fact that was a personal story about a person’s beloved pets. I have to admit I was a bit concerned. Many books like this are, well to put it politely, boring and mundane. Also my past experience with several has been the author talking more about themselves than the pet the book is supposed to be about.
This book was anything but boring! I found it entertaining, humorous and I learned many new things I did not know about cats and why the act the way they do. The author had the perfect balance in sharing personal history about herself and her beloved cats. They complimented each other.
Kit Kat and Lucy were both rescues that found the DuPont’s. Like most felines they waltzed into their lives and claimed the family lock, stock, and barrel. I applaud Ms. DuPont for her openness about her depression and anxiety. The story wrapped around my heart about how Kit Kat and Lucy responded in very sensitive and amazing ways to comfort and uplift her. Ways that only a pet owner would believe and understand. I related as since my husband’s death, I for the first time experience panic attacks. My dog Bill helps me with his show of canine concern and love. The cat’s antics and manipulation of their “skin parents” were hilarious. For me it proved the old saying, “You don’t own cats, they own you.” This book was a joy and a blessing to read!!
I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. All opinions are my own.

Lucifer’s Harvest By Mel Starr

When Mel Starr writes a new book I cannot wait to read it! His books are unique to historical novels with settings in the 1400’s. An era you rarely see written about in fiction especially Christian fiction. I never cease to learn something new. His research has yielded such detail about every aspect of that time that people come to life. I especially am fascinated my Hugh de Singleton’s occupation as a surgeon and doctor. His mysteries continuously keep me guessing who the guilty party is and I never cease to be surprised! Also, his wonderful sense of humor adds even more entertainment.
Lord Gilbert Talbot, Hugh de Singletons’ employer is always assigning him jobs that have nothing to do with medicine. Hugh must oblige of course. In this story, he is taken to battle with Lord Gilbert. In war someone with medical knowledge and skills will be needed. He does not want to leave his family and knows the risk he might not return is real. This is definitely out of his comfort zone.
A far different setting than his other books, gives readers an opportunity to see how battles were conducted during that time and the lives of soldiers. It is 1370 and Prince Edward has called all soldiers and knights to battle to reclaim British territory that the King of France has seized.
Hugh must not only be cautious about being so near the battle, but also watch his back from an old enemy, knight, Sir Simon Trillowe. Sir Simon hates Hugh and holds a bitter grudge. When Sir Simon is found dead, his father and friends point the finger at Hugh as the murderer. In their eyes no one else has a motive. Lord Gilbert supports him and believes in his innocence. As usual he sends Hugh to find the murderer, except this time he is the suspect!! Quite a twist!
Sleuthing is a bit more challenging for the surgeon this time, being unfamiliar with the new area and not knowing anyone. None the less he sets out with great determination to clear his name. It was interesting to also learn the affects war had on civilians during that time. I am always impressed with Hugh’s commitment to God in all his conduct. He does not hesitate to treat and care for his enemies. I love his integrity.
My only complaint about this book is that it was shorter than the others. I would be happy if Mr. Starr would write one the size of “War and Peace”, but that would just leave me wanting more books. At the end of the book was the first chapter of his new upcoming book “Deeds of Darkness”. Looking forward to it! Another great book Mr. Starr! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Kregel Publications. My comments are an independent and honest review.

The Secret Language of Dogs By Victoria Stilwell

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.

When There Is No Miracle By Robert L. Wise

This book gives help to shed light on the age old questions so many have asked. Why didn’t God answer my prayers? Why didn’t God heal my loved one? Why does God allow suffering and pain when He can take it away? These are deep heartfelt searches for answers, but sometimes the answers we want do not come.
With our limited abilities as flesh and blood all we can see is our sorrow and distress, and need for relief. God is all knowing and all powerful and sees a much bigger picture, an eternal one.
The author helps guide us to open our minds and hearts to God’s purpose and working past our expectations of delivering the miracle we so desperately need and want. He addresses this through scripture and real life accounts. In doing so I felt he balanced human emotions with God’s truth. What he shares helps prevent us from looking at God as genie in a bottle waiting to grant our wishes. He approaches this issue directly but with the compassion of someone who had been there relates to where we are. While some might see book as depressing I found it hopeful. It beautifully reminded me that no matter what I face or how God chooses to answer, faith and trust in Him is all I need. I found this book encouraging and enlightening.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Kregel Publications. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Mattie’s Pledge By Jan Drexler

This Amish novel was very different to me. I always pictured the Amish as staying in one place for their entire lives, never making a harrowing journey by wagon train to start a new life. Very thought-provoking!
The Schrock family has decided to move to Indiana from Pennsylvania. The promise of more and better farmland at good prices is the lure. Plus an Amish community has already been started there. It is courageous not only because of the dangers of the journey but they will be starting from scratch, nothing but land.
Friends, family, and some friends from the past come to join them. Mattie is excited to go. She has had a wanderlust for long time, to see the world and have adventure. Not the norm for a young Amish girl.
Jacob Yoder and his family come to be a part of the wagon train. He knew Mattie from when they lived in the same community. She has always had a part of his heart. Mattie finds herself drawn to Jacob too, but struggles with becoming the typical Amish wife and staying in one place forever or fulfilling her dream of travel. Faith, family, and the simple lifestyle are ingrained in her, but her youthfulness finds many temptations. One such temptation is a dark haired, wicked thief, one of three brothers that continue to follow them to steal their horses. She finds herself dangerously enticed by him.
The story gives explicit details of the life and hardships of wagon travel in the 1840’s. I learned so much!! I was awed by how they took the difficulties in stride. The travel was hard by itself, but caring for children, cooking, unexpected illness, and hazards were dealt with matter-of-factly. I found it heartwarming how everyone helped each other and if you were lacking another shared what they had.
Their strong faith was their driving force and they never questioned or wavered. This would explain their success against some insurmountable odds.
The novel brought to light spiritual struggles we face today. One was Mattie’s discontentment with what they Lord had provided. Her unhappiness had nothing to do with her situation or others, but within herself. It took some very hard lessons and a lot of prayer for Mattie to see she had all she needed.
A major highlight for me was seeing true forgiveness. This is something people battle every day. The entire Amish group not only forgave them men that tried to harm with and steal, but helped them when they were in need. What a sterling example that forgiveness is a choice.
Life in the trail was hard and fraught with numerous unexpected problems and hazards. The people did not shrink back or complain. Without questioning, the people dealt with each one trusting wholly in God. This book was exciting, historically educational, and very entertaining!
I received this book free from Revell Publishing.