Sunday, May 26, 2013

Swept Away By Mary Connealy

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for a review. What do you do when the family you are in beats you? See what happens when a group of friends band together to seek justice in the Old West. Ruthy MacNeil’s parents died and Ma and Pa Reinhardt take her in to do all their chores and marry their son Virgil. They are headed west in a wagon train when they try to cross a river and are swept away. Only Ruthy survives. Luke Stone’s father was killed and Flint Greer has taken over his ranch while he was gone. Now that Luke is back, he is after justice and getting his ranch back. But how can he do that with all the gunfighters Greer has hired watching who comes and goes? Luke’s friends Jonas Cahill the parson, Vince Yates the lawyer, Dare Rikerthe doctor, and Big John are willing to help Luke, but will the whole town be destroyed in the process? And what should Luke do with Ruthy now that he has saved her from the Reinhardts and the river? She’s the workingest woman he’s ever seen, but is she the woman for Luke? Greer took over Mr. Stone’s ranch and then decided to find a wife. He marries Glynna but soon starts beating her and scaring her kids. How can Glynna escape with her life and keep her kids safe? Dare has been called to the ranch twice to tend to Glynna’s injuries. He finally realizes she isn’t clumsy but is being beaten. Can he help her and the kids escape as he helps Luke get his ranch back? If you enjoy a great Christian romance set in the old West this is the story for you! I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories in this series. Mary Connealy blends humor, faith, romance, and friendship into this series. By the time you finish this first book, you will have found new friends!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Difference You Make By: Pat Williams

I received this book from TBCN in exchange for a review. I was excited to get to read this book. The subtitle says it all: Changing Your World Through the Impact of your Influence. You have been influenced by many things; you have influence. How can you be an influence? Read this book to find out! This book is about Pat Williams and his battle with multiple myeloma, his position in professional sports, and his journey as a father. This book gives you tips on how to use your influence wisely. You can influence others by the way you treat them, you words, and accepting responsibility for your impact on others. There are sections in this book on the influence of our actions, words, and how to be a Christian of influence. Once you finish this book, you will understand how to be a true influencer: If we truly want to influence our world and the people around us, we must begin with prayer. The last quote in the book is the best: The difference you make tomorrow begins with the decisions you make today. For encouragement and inspiration, check this book out today!

When the Heart Heals By: Ann Shorey

I received this book from TBCN in exchange for a review. This is the first book I have read by Ann Shorey; I will be looking for more! She captured me on page one and I didn’t want to stop reading until I had finished When the Heart Heals. Rosemary Saxon used to be a nurse during the Civil War and then she moved to Noble Springs, Missouri. Elijah Stewart is the doctor in town and Rosemary decides she needs to find a job. She goes to Elijah hoping he will hire her as his nurse. She has the skills required, but during this time women are looked down upon as nurses. Some of the older people still feel like there is no place in medicine for women in any capacity. Will Elijah give her the chance she needs? What happens when Rosemary is threatened? She receives a note from a stranger, finds tracks of someone in her yard, and her actions come under scrutiny by her employer. Will Rosemary listen or do as she pleases? You will thoroughly enjoy this book! Rosemary and Elijah are very likable characters; both are headstrong and think they know best. Their bantering keeps you shaking your head, wondering how they could ever get along. The plot keeps you turning the page to see what is going to happen next. This book is for anyone who loves a great story. I cannot wait to read more by Ann Shorey.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shattered By: Dani Pettrey

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. Shattered grabbed me from page one and wouldn’t let go! The characters are fully developed and the plot is very suspenseful. The evidence presented is enough to have Reef McKenna arrested; how can his sister prove his innocence? Reef McKenna is arrested for killing Karli Davis. His sister Piper knows he didn’t do it. Deputy Landon Grainger is a friend of the family, but he believes the evidence will prove Reef’s guilt or innocence, regardless of how this affects Piper’s feelings toward him! Landon grew up thinking people lie; evidence doesn’t. Can he learn to trust the people he loves; can he learn to trust God? Piper must learn trust as well. When she sees Becky in Landon’s house, can she trust Landon that nothing happened, or will she trust the evidence? Shattered takes you on an adventure to prove Reef’s innocence. Why was Reef found standing over Karli’s body with the murder weapon in his hand? Who wanted Karli dead? What happened to Karli’s mother? Each clue leads Landon and Piper further into Canada’s backcountry and closer to each other. Can they learn to trust each other? If you are looking for a great suspenseful mystery that will keep you turning the pages, this is the book for you! Submerged is the first book in the series, but you can read this book as a stand-alone. There are more books coming in the series. I cannot wait to read more books by this author!

Full Disclosure By: Dee Henderson

This is another amazing book by Dee Henderson! From the first sentence, “I’m pulling into the scene now,” you are hooked and can’t put the book down. Special Agent Paul Falcon has been trying to solve a case for many years. Midwest Homicide Investigator, Ann Silver, delivers some information that will help break open this case. But who exactly is Ann? What are her secrets? Paul wants to find out. Dee does a superb job of weaving this story together with Paul trying to catch someone off the Top Ten Most Wanted list. Step by step, follow Paul as he solves this murder investigation. Intrigue, suspense, romance, and faith in God are all the components needed for a great story. Paul realizes several of his friends and family know Ann. He finds out he has to get Ann to trust him so he can get past the friendship stage to something more permanent. At one point, he shows up at her house. He tells her, “I show up when friends move.” He’s letting her know he’ll be there for her. Do we take time for our friends? Or do we take them for granted? Dee does an awesome job of rounding out the characters and bringing the story to life. And of course at the end, there is a twist you won’t believe. Be prepared to not put this book down until you’ve read the last sentence!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Twelve Unlikely Heroes By: John MacArthur

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a review. Twelve Unlikely Heroes caught my attention because sometimes I feel insignificant, like there is no way God could use me or my abilities to do His work. If you feel this way sometimes, too, then this book is for you. By reading the front flap we learn, “We have reason to hope. God can use anyone to accomplish His purposes. The testimonies of these biblical saints demonstrate a powerful truth—that God delights to work through weak, imperfect, and broken people in order to showcase His power, wisdom, and love.” No matter what your ability or talent, even if you think you don’t have any, God can use your willingness to show His love, truth, and glory. John MacArthur reveals the stories behind Enoch, Joseph, Miriam, Gideon, Jonathan, Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James, and Mark. If God could use a rebel, a social misfit, and a coward in the Bible, He can use the same kinds of people now. All you need to supply is the willingness to do His will. As stated in the introduction, “The greatest heroes are those who are the human means God uses to change people forever—for their good and His glory.” Most of the time it is the most unexpected and ordinary people God uses. In Jonah’s case, he was running from God; he would rather die than preach forgiveness to the Ninevites. Despite his determined disobedience and running away, God still used him. This book is for anyone who needs encouragement or is interested in the back stories of these biblical saints. If you feel that you don’t have the ability or talent to be of use to God, be encouraged! If you are willing, God is able. Step out in faith and let Him use you to perform His glory!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Some Fruits of Solitude By: William Penn

I received this book from New Leaf Publishing in exchange for a review. This book was a wonderful surprise! It is republished from a 1907 publication. The pages are even ragged to look like the old printing, but with a new look and feel. The proverbs, wisdom, and principles for better living included in the book are still relevant today. Advice about marriage: But in marriage do thou be wise; prefer the Person before Money, Vertue before Beauty, the Mind before the Body: Then thou hast a Wife, a Friend, a Companion, a Second Self; one that bears an equal Share with thee in all thy Toyls and Troubles. The language is authentic to Penn’s time, but the proverbs, wisdom, and principles can still be applied today. Check out this book and enjoy these time-wise fruits.

Perfect Lies By: Jennifer Crow

Do you feel like your life is overwhelming? Are you often tired, sick, or feel like nothing gets accomplished? Then you need to read this book recounting Jennifer Crow’s account of her life and how she dealt with an overwhelming life due to believing perfect lies that were crippling her existence. In this book, she identifies nine common lies that are recognized as destructive by mental health professionals and the Bible—lies that virtually every human being in the world is tempted to believe. When we believe these lies, instead of the truth, it impacts how we view life and our own lives and health. These lies stand between you and a healthy, joy-filled life. Crow states that God loves us still, even though we are so weak with temptation that we have given the devil power in our lives. As she began to realize that she didn’t have to be the perfect wife, mother, or daughter, living up to others’ standards for her or her unrealistic standards for herself, she could accept that she was lovable just the way she was. Jennifer Crow uses meditations and scriptures to impart the knowledge that she discovered to get her life back. She has also included a discussion guide. To get your life back on track, read this book and see how to defeat these lies in your own life.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Found in the Woods By: LoRee Peery

I just came across LoRee Peery’s books the other day. After reading Found in the Woods, I am now a fan for life! LoRee Peery does an awesome job of weaving a story of faith, trust, love, and overcoming fear into characters that you care about in a book that you will not be able to put down. I tuned everything out while reading this book, realizing that time had passed as I was lost in the pages. Beth Phillips is running from an abusive ex-husband, a past that she can’t change, and an unknowable future. She runs to a secluded cabin to hide and draw closer to God. Aiden Holt is following rumors of a wolf; as he tries to capture the wolf, he realizes he has lost his heart to Beth; however, he has a past and secrets of his own. Can they get past their fears and their past that has shaped them, to trust God fully and overcome their fear? All through this book, LoRee Peery gives us wisdom to use in our everyday struggle to live for God. “Knowing the Lord doesn’t promise a storm-free life. But it is the sweetest guarantee that I don’t have to face life alone. His grace carries me through anything I face. That’s in Isaiah forty-three.” She even gives you scriptures to back up what she is saying to help you in your walk. “Jesus is everything I need at any given moment. Strength, courage, shelter, inspiration.” No matter what you are going through, Jesus is all you need. People can make choices that mess up somebody else’s plans and their actions impact our lives, but whatever happens, God is bigger than anything we’ll face. There is nothing you can do about your past; trust God with your future. Having a personal relationship with Him is knowing that He is guiding your steps. Why is “Do not be afraid” the most repeated command in the Bible? Fear is paralyzing; it takes faith, trust, and love to overcome fear. The twists and turns in this story will take you on a journey of overcoming paralyzing fear by faith, trust, and love. This book is for anyone who has experienced fear and anyone who loves a great Christian romance. I cannot wait to read more by this author!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Noble Groom By: Jody Hedlund

Another amazing story by Jody Hedlund! A Noble Groom will hook you from the first page. Annalisa Werner was married to a man who stole from her, gambled, and then found dead. What’s she to do? As a German immigrant, her father says a husband has to be found for her. While waiting for her husband-to-be to arrive, Carl Richards needs a safe place to stay. But, if they find out who he is, they will kill him. Can he find the peace and security he needs here with Annalisa and her child? Can Annalisa learn to trust and love again, to move past Carl’s secret? Annalisa needs to get her fields plowed and the seed planted in order to pay off her loan, or she will lose her farm. Ward Harris is determined to own her land instead so he can build a successful sawmill on the land. How can she protect herself against him? Can she open her heart to Carl, or will she settle for a marriage with a groom from the Old Country? Annalisa and Carl find out that when you trust God, all things are possible. As they fight drought, fire, and typhoid fever, they realize faith in God and love for each other is all they need.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Lawman’s Second Chance By: Ruth Logan Herne

I loved this book!! Trust in the Lord, no matter what. Sounds simpler than it really is, but this is exactly what Lisa Fitzgerald must learn how to do. She has had breast cancer, her husband left her, and her mom just passed away. Her story will encourage everyone who reads this book! Alex Steele’s wife has died from cancer and he has moved with his three children. Can he trust enough to allow himself to fall in love with Lisa even though it might open his heart up to more pain? Could his kids handle going through that all over again? Ruth Logan Herne does a wonderful job combining caring, vulnerable characters facing a life-threatening situation. She will draw you into the story and the characters’ struggles with faith, trust, and hope. Psalm 27:14 speaks of the message of this story: Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Lisa and Alex can run from their feelings for each other, and let fear guide their steps, or they can have hope and trust in the Lord to lead and guide. Anyone who loves a great romance, or feels that life is too overwhelming, pick up this book today and be encouraged in the Lord!