Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Stress Cure: Praying Your Way to Personal Peace by Linda Evans Shepherd

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What it’s about:

From the publisher:
“We live in a world filled to the brim with advice, and when it comes to dealing with stress, there’s plenty of advice to go around. Sleep more, eat better, avoid this, seek out that. But more advice on coping is not necessarily what the stressed and anxious person needs. What we need is a cure. Linda Evans Shepherd has discovered it.

The true remedy to stress, she says, is prayer. In this inspiring book, Shepherd shows readers how to recognize God’s continual presence and yield their troubles to the Prince of Peace. Through captivating stories, explorations of fascinating biblical characters, and examples of deeper-than-ever prayers, she brings within readers’ grasp the peace that passes understanding. Anyone who is overwhelmed by all of the urgent demands on their time will find in this book a lifeline to true peace.”

My thoughts:
Stress. A pretty small word that packs a big punch. While I know a few people that don’t seem to be effected by stress, most of us are. I am no exception to the majority in this case so when I saw I had the chance to read a book about curing stress, of course I jumped at it! Sometimes I struggle to get into non-felt ion books since I am such a fiction lover, but The Stress Cure was easy to read and understand and “get-into” for me. I found Ms. Shepherd’s writing style easy to follow, relatable, and peppered with humor to make this an enjoyable read. There was one particular line I have to quote since I am a fellow book lover and found this so true for my bedside stand…. “my office has been known to contain so many piles of books that you’d think the local library had opened a branch on my desk.” LOL Okay, I can relate to that! 🙂 Ms. Shepherd addressed many issues that cause our stress and how to pray our way and work our way out of those issues. I don’t think this book is meant to be a quick fix, but a guidebook on things to continually work on. There was one example Ms. Shepherd used that she addressed the issue that it probably seemed a petty issue compared to ours, and I agreed with her on that and don’t think the answer is quite as simple for bigger issues as what she presented. She took biblical stories and re-wrote them into much easier to follow and understand stories. Some of them got a little long, but they were very interesting, especially the one about Mary. I would love to read a biblical story made into a fictional novel by Ms. Shepherd. I have not read any other of her books, but now plan to and would recommend The Stress Cure.

I give this book 4 to 4.5 start out of 5 stars.

I received this book in digital format to read and provide my honest review.

About the author:

From Linda’s website:

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“Christian Retailing Magazine compares Linda to both Beth Moore and Stormy Omartian while Dr. John DeBrine, the host of the radio show Songtime USA, said Linda reminds him of a little lady he met in the sixties by the name of Corrie ten Boom. Patsy Clairmont says, “There is a bubbling up of Jesus-Joy that exudes from Linda that is absolutely contagious. I love her blend of humor and heart and I stand back amazed at her “go tell the world” determination.”

Linda Evans Shepherd, has empowered thousands across North America and Europe to release their burdens to God and walk closer with him. No matter that many in Linda’s audiences arrive worried and disconnected, they leave refreshed; with a deeper trust in God.

Linda says, “My favorite moment is the point where people ‘get’ my message. That’s the point everyone appears to receive an instant face lift and to lose twenty pounds of worry. What joy to see these precious ones trust God more deeply.”

Linda is a nationally known Christian speaker and a best-selling author of over thirty books. She’s the President of Right to the Heart Ministries, and the founder of GodTest.com . Her online and speaking ministries have seen well over 350 thousand people come to Christ and is seen by over 45,000 people daily.”

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Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz

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What it’s about:

“Wren”, Rowena Ballantyne, is a genuine, unassuming lady, more comfortable in the wilds of Kentucky than the rich society of Pennsylvania. Wren and her father go to Pennsylvania when her grandfather, Silas Ballantyne, summons them to come home to New Hope. Wren has never been away from her Kentucky home and struggles to fit in “polite/high society”. She finds the best pilot of the Ballantynes’ shipping enterprise, James Sackett, becomes her valued friend…. and maybe more? But Wren is an heir to the Ballantyne fortune and James is an employee. Can Wren find her place with her honest personality in this world of secrets and wealth?

My thoughts:

First of all, I think it’s important to say that I think this series needs to be read in order to get the fullness of the rich history this family has to offer. It is really fun to keep seeing what the characters from the first book are still doing in this third book. That being said, I really struggled with the first book (I know, I don’t understand because so many adore it so and I understand that, it just didn’t connect with me on the right level to do that) and I LOVED LOVED LOVED the second book. I loved the slavery history and the Underground Railroad information and the story itself really connected with me where I cried and was so devastated a couple times in it, where I texted a friend how devastated I was and how great Love’s Awakening is! My close friends are used to this. They humor me and how my books and the books characters are my friends. 🙂 With Love’s Fortune, I can’t describe enough how neat it was to see so much of the lives played out of many of the characters to this point from the other books. It has it all; love, deception, lies, wholesomeness, trials, heartbreak, and happiness. I did think it got a little long and drug out through the middle a little bit and ended a bit abruptly. I loved the rich legacy this book portrayed and the interesting historical details. I recommend this book and this series!

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book in digital format for my honest review.

About the author:

“Christy Award finalist and author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Her family resides in Kentucky and Virginia. According to Publishers Weekly, “Frantz has done her historical homework.” She is known for the depth of her characterization and research. The author is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California. Readers can find Laura Frantz at laurafrantz.net”

Tried and True by Mary Connealy

 

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What it’s about:

Kylie Wilde is the youngest Wilde sister. All three are living as men, but Kylie does not want to! She is being pressured by her father to homestead like a man, so she is. A land agent, Aaron Masterson, comes to check to see if the homesteading is being done legally, only to find a beautiful woman rather than a man! He doesn’t know what to do about her illegal claim (she had credit for serving in the Civil War as a male!) and while he tries to figure out what to do, someone starts dangerous scare tactics to get Kylie off her land. Aaron wants to protect Kylie and thinks marrying her is the only way….

My thoughts:

I loved the beginning of this book! It was spunky and fun! The first part of the book I just loved and rate that part 5 stars. The second part of the book really slowed down for me and just didn’t seem to quite fit. The second part was okay for me at 3 stars, so I’m averaging the two for a 4 star rating from me. I’ve definitely loved some of her other books more, but I still recommend this book and many will love it. I really loved the strong female characters and how different they were from each other and how different they had to act to please their father than their true personalities. I am looking forward to the stories of the sisters that will come next in this series!

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in digital format in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Mary Connealy is an awardwinning, bestselling author known for her fun and lively historical romantic comedies. An author, teacher, and journalist, Mary lives on an eastern Nebraska ranch with her husband and enjoys spending time with her four daughters and two grandchildren. Learn more at http://www.maryconnealy.com.

Beyond the Waves by Lynnette Bonner

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What it’s about:

From the publisher:
“Can a Love Shattered by the Sands of Time…Rise Beyond the Waves?

Taysia Green nearly chokes on her water when Officer Kylen Sumner shows up in her office claiming he’s back in town because he loves her. Since he’s broken her heart more than once, and she recently started dating youth pastor Blaine Pittman, she wants absolutely nothing to do with Kylen. But he’s been asked to stand in as the mediator between Taysia and wannabe model Sophia Clinesmith, who twisted her ankle in the parking lot of Taysia’s business and is threatening a lawsuit.

If she didn’t need him to help save her gym, Taysia would tell Kylen to take a long midnight walk on a short cliffside trail.

She’s perfectly happy with her life just the way it is.

So why is it that just the sight of Kylen Sumner sets her traitorous heart to dancing faster than it did the time Blaine kissed her?”

My thoughts:

Beyond the Waves started strong and was laugh out loud funny and entertaining where I did not want to put it down. There are some important messages and themes throughout this book that makes it more than just plain fun, even though it is fun. The parts that made it okay instead of really good for me were the multiple similar physical mishaps and Taysia being so naive at times it, it just didn’t go with the rest of her personality that I met in the beginning of the book.

I give Beyond the Waves 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.  So, I round up to 4 as I would recommend this fun, light read.

I received this book in digital format in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the author:

Born and raised in Malawi, Africa. Lynnette Bonner spent the first years of her life reveling in warm equatorial sunshine and the late evening duets of cicadas and hyenas. The year she turned eight she was off to Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school in Kenya where she spent many joy-filled years, and graduated in 1990.

That fall, she traded to a new duet–one of traffic and rain–when she moved to Kirkland, Washington to attend Northwest University. It was there that she met her husband and a few years later they moved to the small town of Pierce, Idaho.

During the time they lived in Idaho, while studying the history of their little town, Lynnette was inspired to begin the Shepherd’s Heart Series with Rocky Mountain Oasis.

Marty and Lynnette have four children, and currently live in Washington where Marty pastors a church.

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

 

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What it’s about:

From the publisher: “Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn’t even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel’s business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend’s mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store–where she quickly proves she’s much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams–or if God has a new dream in store for them both.”

My thoughts:

I enjoyed A Bride in Store! I loved the humor and some of the history incorporated into it! I did enjoy this book more than the first, so I think Melissa Jagears is an author to watch and we will continue to enjoy her stories and they will keep getting better! I was so surprised at one point during the book, I was just shocked and my mouth fell open. I love when a book can get that kind of response from me! The story line did seem to drag on a little for me after a while. The characters were memorable and multi-dimensional. I recommend this book.

I give A Bride in Store 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in digital format in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:

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Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at http://www.melissajagears.com.

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

 

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What it’s about:

Everett Cline has been jilted, not once, not even twice, but THREE times by mail-order-brides! He is done with looking for a woman or ever trusting one again. But he doesn’t know that his neighbor decided to send for one for him! Julia Lockwood arrives, beautiful but hurt and jaded. She doesn’t want to be treated a certain way because of her looks either. They agree to a marriage of convenience since neither of them are open to falling in love or getting hurt. But what their minds agree to may be different than what their hearts do and when their hearts don’t listen to their minds, they wind up getting hurt despite their best intentions. Is there a way to overcome their pasts and let their hearts change their minds?

My thoughts:

I love marriage of convenience stories! They have always had a soft spot in my heart. I enjoyed getting to know Everett and Julia… well I was introduced to Everett in Ms Jagear’s free e-book novella, Love by the Letter. Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Letter-Unexpected-Brides-Novella-ebook/dp/B00EVSB3N0/ref=la_B00BCU4VVQ_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410449661&sr=1-3. It’s a fun, FREE introduction to Melissa Jagears writing style! I have read it and I liked it! It was fun to get to see the rest of Everett’s story. I liked their story and think it’s worth a read. A Bride for Keeps is a gentle love story. I did get frustrated with the characters stubbornness so the story got a little repetitive and long for me, but it has a great message and many will enjoy and love Ms. Jagear’s first full length novel.

I give A Bride for Keeps 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in digital format in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at http://www.melissajagears.com. Melissa Jagears is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. Her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.

Lost & Found by Sarah Jakes

 

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What it’s about:

From the publisher:
“Like every girl, Sarah Jakes dreamed of a life full of love, laughter, and happy endings. But her dreams changed dramatically when she became pregnant at age thirteen, a reality only compounded by the fact that her father, Bishop T.D. Jakes, was one of the most influential megachurch pastors in the nation. As a teen mom and a high-profile preacher’s kid, her road was lonely. She was shunned at school, gossiped about at church. And a few years later, when a fairy-tale marriage ended in a spiral of hurt and rejection, she could have let her pain dictate her future.

Instead, she found herself surrounded by a God she’d given up on, crashing headlong with Him into a destiny she’d never dreamed of. Sarah’s captivating story, unflinchingly honest and deeply vulnerable, is a vivid reminder that God can turn even the deepest pain into His perfection.

More than a memoir, Lost and Found offers hope and encouragement. Perhaps you, like Sarah, find yourself wandering the detours of life. Regardless of how lost you feel, you, too, can be found.”

My thoughts:

I felt it took a long time to get into Sarah’s story. Some people really like the background information first, but a I prefer for it to be woven in somehow. Once the real story started, it picked up for me. I love the quote, “For the first time I realized the difference between a momentary struggle and a lifetime journey.” and I love the love and support Ms. Jakes wrote about that her family had for her when she first told them of her pregnancy. I enjoyed some of the book then and really wanted to read it for a little while, then I got mired up in the details of motherhood. And more details. While she an interesting life, I wasn’t looking for all the little details, I thought this book was more about overcoming hardships and how to deal with them and life than all of the details of her life. There are many awesome quotes in this book and Ms. Jake has a lot of insight and knowledge. If you really like reading details about other peoples lives, you will most likely really enjoy this book. I wanted more details on how to overcome the junk we all encounter and find hope for our poor choices.

I give Lost and found 3 out of 5 stars. I’m sure many will like and love this book, for me it was okay and not quite what I thought it was going to be.

I received Lost and found from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason

 

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What it’s about:

Danielle Harding has not had the perfect life. So much so in fact, that she has to take her 11-year-old son, Simon, and run. That same day, Kurt Harding dies so Danielle now thinks her life will get better and they are safe. It takes a while, but Danielle discovers that the danger is getting worse, but she has no idea why! Danielle finds Adam Buchanan who works for Operation Refuge and does her best to disappear with him. She doesn’t have much success and finds herself and Simon in constant danger with Nowhere to Turn! What will happen? You have to read it to find out! 🙂

My thoughts:

I was beyond excited to get to read and review this book after doing so for the first in this series. We were introduced to Adam, one of the main characters in the first book and now we got to know him better. I think it would be a good idea to read this series in order, but I think one could read this book on it’s own and understand it fine. I didn’t know what to think of Adam in the first book at times, so it was great to get to know him better in Nowhere to Turn. I liked Dani and Simon and how they were likable yet ‘real’ with flaws. There were definitely characters in this book that I didn’t like, but that’s how it’s supposed to be since they were the bad guys. There were a few elements that I guessed right away and one that seemed a little bit redundant with the first book and this one with how often it happened, but there were also things I did not guess and that totally took me by surprise. I love this style of writing and I had to make sure I had time to read rather than just try to read a few minutes here and there because it sucked me in and got my adrenaline going. My biggest disappointment is that it’s now read and over and I have to wait for the next book in this series to come out! 😉  I did like the first book in this series a little bit more, but I still love this book.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master’s degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at
http://www.lynetteeason.com.

What Your Heart Needs on the Hard Days by Holley Gerth

 

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What it’s about:

This book has 52 devotions that have titles/themes, a quote from Psalms, Ms Gerth’s lesson, a prayer start up and space to write your thoughts and space to write down what you are hearing from God, along with the chapters in the Psalms that you are supposed to read to go with the message/devotion. Holley provides encouragement and hope with God’s promises and character throughout these devotions.

My thoughts:

I wanted to savor this book and really stop and think about so many points Ms. Gerth made! While I couldn’t this time around since I needed to finish it fast for review purposes, I definitely plan to re-read this book and let it speak to my heart all over again. Holley has a way of being so genuine and real that this book comes across as all encouragement and motivation for me, never as preachy. She seems to know how I think and feel and the right things to say to get me to open up better in my prayers. I not only plan on re-reading this, I plan to buy a few as gifts. It’s a smaller book, but the impact is large and it’s a perfect gift-giving book to touch the heart of a friend. It’s a wonderful devotional that gets right to the point in short but hard-hitting chapters or devotions.

I loved this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Revell!

 

If you want to join he author in a Facebook club for her new book, you can! How cool is that? Here is the info on how you can follow along with the author herself while reading this wonderful book:

Holley will be hosting a face(book) club for her new book, What Your Heart Needs For the Hard Days! You can read about it on her blog at : http://holleygerth.com/heart-needs-hard-days and to join all you have to do is “like” her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HolleyGerthPage

 

About the Author:

 

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Holley Gerth is a best-selling writer, licensed counselor, certified life coach and speaker. She is cofounder of (in)courage, an online destination for women, which received more than one million page views in its first six months. She also reaches out to readers through her popular blog at http://www.holleygerth.com and a partnership with DaySpring. Holley lives in the South with her husband, Mark.