Monday, January 11, 2016

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

I had the advantage of reading her previous books in this series.  I knew before I read the first page that I would love Tessa's story.  Ms. Hedlund has a way of making her characters real.   You can't help to love Tessa and the Bjorklund brothers.  And you can't help to dislike Percival Updegraff.

This book shows how people live their lives in fear instead of trusting God.  We become prisoners of our fears and are trapped by being afraid to escape this prison.  We forget that God does have a plan for us.  It is not a plan of condemnation.  Tessa was so afraid that the citizens of Eagle Harbor would find out about her past.  She was convinced that her friends would look at her differently and not allow her to teach.    She was afraid of showing her true feelings to Alex.  She would have to give up teaching.  She was afraid of having to live in a lighthouse. It prevented her from being joyful.

Then there are people like Percival. Percival knew exactly how to prey on people's fears.  He was used to getting his own way and knew how to manipulate people.  His dear precious brother, Samuel, could not be manipulated by Percival.  He lived his life without fear until he was facing the possibility of losing Tessa and the Bjorklunds.  Others in the community feared what Percival could do to them if they refused him.

Alex was so used to protecting and helping his brother.  He had a difficult time putting his needs first.
His role was to be his brother's keeper.  He was convinced that he had to do this.

Fear can be a crippler.  Sometimes what we fear is fear itself.  Tessa and Alex each had their fears but with time they both realized they had nothing to fear.  They both forgot to put their fears before God and ask for his guidance.  When they finally did this, things turned out for them.

Excellent read.  If I see Jody's name on a book, I'm reading it!


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

After The Rain by Rita Gerlach

I was given this ebook to read for free.  I always start to read these books with some apprehension.  What if I don't like it?  What if I can't finish it?    Well, I didn't have that problem at all with this story.

The first chapter grabbed my attention and had me right until the last page.   I loved the main character, Louisa.  Her compassion for others even when she was up against adversity was such a joy.  Louisa saw the need and she would step right in and do what she could to help.  She was criticized for her compassion but she wouldn't let it stop her from doing her upmost to make the world a better place.  She had an inner strength that I admired.


The Title, After The Rain, signifies to me that after the rain the sun will come out and there is a new day to embrace and start over.  Louisa had her troubles.  She had her sorrow.  At times, she was hurt and confused. But she never gave up.  She kept looking to the future and knew things would be better
AFTER THE RAIN.

Five stars!  Absolutely loved it!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Shenandoah Family Christmas by Lisa Belcastro

Christmas!  It's the time of the year where everyone is in a rush to get everything done.  I prefer to order online and sit back and enjoy the season with a good Christmas themed books or stories.

I was hooked on this story from the very first paragraph.  No matter what decade or time period, mothers worry about their children.  It must have been absolutely horrible in those times when so many children could die from any illness or ailment.  It was even more so for Rebecca as she was aware that there were modern medicines that could cure her daughter (but beyond her reach).  She nursed her daughter the best she could and was frightenened that someone might catch this terrible disease.   She was exhausted while nursing her child and missed her husband.  Rebecca's undaunting love, faith, sacrifice and determination got her through this difficult period.  With constant prayer, Felicity pulled through.  Rebecca knew she was blessed.

 The real reason for the season is love.  Love for your family- your friends- your community.  Rebecca knew that she could enjoy what the modern conveniences could or would bring for her and her child but the future didn't have what she had now.  She was blessed beyond measure in the arms of Ben and Felicity.

After reading this novella, I took a moment thinking of all the blessings in my life. This Christmas, I am going to make sure that the ones I hold dear will know what I feel about them.  I want to live in the moment and appreciate my mother's touch, my grandchildrens' laughter and my husband's love.  These are the moments that will create a life full of wonderful memories.

I received this novella free to review.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Amish Christmas Sleigh by Kelly Long, Amy Lillard and Molly Jebber

It is a few days before Thanksgiving.  It snowed over 5 inches of snow this weekend.  I had a good cup of tea and the book titled “The Amish Christmas Sleigh” to read.  I settled in and completed this book of three stories in less than two days.

I have never read anything by these three authors – Kelly Long, Amy Lillard, and Molly Jebber.  But I will look out for these three authors in the future.

In each story, one of the characters holds on to a secret that haunts them.  They have difficulty in getting through a difficult time.  They can't let go of the past.  Someone  enters their lives that make them confront their fears and grab onto their last chance of happiness.

An actual sleigh is part of each story.  I believe the sleigh represents being free of the fears, the doubts, the worries.  When you are sleighing you are closer to nature and you are feeling the excitement of the ride.  You feel the cold air hitting your cheeks and you are not worried about anything.  It’s fun and you are exhilarated.  After the ride, you are relaxed and ready to sit back with that cup of cocoa.  This is what it feels when you resolve a problem.  You are happy, excited about tomorrow and so relieved.

I enjoyed this collection.  I loved that each story ended on a happy note.  A delightful holiday read.  ****
I received this book free to review.

Link to purchase- http://amzn.com/B00RRT31E4.
Link to giveaway - http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDBhZGNmNTQzZGFkMzUwNzcyZmIzY2U1NDc5MjA0OjY=/?


Monday, November 2, 2015

Dan Walsh - Keeping Christmas

A sweet and touching book that related to me as I was an empty nester at one time.  As I started to read, I was pleasantly surprised that it was based in Mt. Dora, Florida.  I know the place well and often frequented the Home Depot in Leesburg where one of the characters worked.

Judith and Stan were alone for the holidays for the first time.  Judith was having a difficult time with this change in her life.  Stan loved his wife and tried to make things better for her.  It is a story of  sacrifice, love and traditions.

I shed a few tears at the end of the book.  Change is inevitable. Judith and Stan were fortunate to have each other and both became closer as they went through this rough patch in their lives and marriage.  A valuable lesson is that your life doesn't end when your children are gone.  Your life will be different  and you will be creating a new normal.  The love between the parents and their children will keep them close even when there is distance between you.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

I should have known that this book would be a joy to read by just the title.  I read this in one day but enjoyed the "ride" to the very last page.   Joy and Miranda despite their age difference needed each other.  Joy had a plan and Miranda, with some hesitation,  joined her.  This a great read for Christmas or anytime of year where you need an uplifting story of how two people spread Christmas cheer.  The ending was almost predictable but I didn't care.  I enjoyed every chapter.  This almost could be a continuing series and it really is not a bad idea, Melody Carlson.

I finished this delightful story with a smile on my face and a determination to spread some JOY of my own this holiday season.   I will start spreading joy by giving this book to my mother to read.  Highly recommend!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher


The last page was turned and I wasn't ready to say goodbye to David, Birdy, Katrina and all the other wonderful characters of this book. But wait- there will be a sequel of the town of Stoney Ridge. I will be waiting to see how all the storyline play out. 

This is a great book with valuable lessons to be learned. You must stand firm in your beliefs. Don't take the easy way out. To forgive and to be forgiven is needed to move forward in a positive direction. GOD has a plan for you. He will guide you and protect you from harm if you let him. 

David knew that to be a good father he needed to read the Bible. He prayed to make the right decisions in his life and for everyone in his community. 

I felt a sense of peace reading this book. A joy to read.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick

Eliza is haunted by her childhood.  Her mother died and her father remarried.  She couldn't shake the memories of being kidnapped as a child.  She was ready to leave home and start her life with her new love.  Her father tried to warn her to not rush into things but she didn't want to listen to him.  Things didn't turn out as she planned.  Her husband wasn't all she wanted him to be.    Life wasn't easy.  She wasn't prepared when her husband wanted to move to the very area that she was running from in her thoughts and memory.

Eliza had many lessons to learn on her journey.  I enjoyed reading about Eliza and her road to maturity.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Chase by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky.

I just had the opportunity to read the new book by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky - The Chase.  I wish I had this book when I was younger.  Each chapter had the girl and boy's view of the subject matter.  I loved the message and the way it was presented.   This is a must read and I highly recommend it to anyone 12 and older.  They were very sensitive to their readers and they certainly didn't chastise anyone who may have already made an error in judgment.  I would to see this book given to youth groups for a book study.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

Today is the release day for this wonderful romance between Seamus, Sophie and Little Cate.  Sophie opened her arms and heart to the Ogilvy Family.  She made Little Cate her own but kept to herself her feelings for Seamus.  As the story develops, Seamus could either pull away or gravitate towards Sophie in their time of sorrow and need.

I loved this book.  Sophie was so like others...she was afraid of being hurt again and she learned how to take care of herself.  She was proud and found it hard to rely on others.  Seamus was hurt and buried his feelings.  He had so much love to give but was reluctant after his first marriage.

It is a story of Seamus and Sophie's journey of discovery about themselves and each other.

FIVE STARS!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Through Waters Deep By Sarah Sundin

Saran Sundin hit another home run with her new book - Through Waters Deep.   It is book one of a new series called Waves of Freedom.  I have never read any books before about World War II.  But after finding some books by Ms. Sundin last year, I am hooked.  Through Waters Deep is a book full of intrigue, romance and historical information.  The main characters are Mary and Jim.  They were childhood acquaintances but met unexpectedly years later in Boston at the Navy Yard.  Mary is a secretary and Jim is a naval officer.   The book explores their struggles and personal journeys that they must go through in order to conquer their fears.   As their friendship developed, their feelings for each other intensified.  I couldn't put this book down.  I loved it.  I am ready for the next book....it will be a long wait as it doesn't come out until 2016!

Another winner by Sarah Sundin!

Amish Neighbors

I have enjoyed reading this series about Wilma and her large Amish  family.  Wilma is adjusting to being a widow.  Her best friend, Ada, kee...