Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Blue Hour by VickiRighettini

The Blue Hour: A Novel

Sometimes you get a second chance to live the life you’ve always wanted…if you’re brave enough to take the chance.

In this epic tale of love, loss, and redemption, the year is 1861, a time when women are expected to be married by a certain age. At 26, spinster Emily Wainwright has no reason to believe her sheltered life will ever change — until the charming Samuel Todd unexpectedly crosses her path.

Samuel yearns to homestead and start a family in Oregon, but he first needs to find a wife. Blinded by Samuel’s good looks, and grasping at her final chance to have a husband and children, Emily accepts his marriage proposal. However, Samuel is not the man she thought he was, and her marriage becomes a cold, cruel prison, offering her no solace amidst the hardships of farm life.

When Samuel dies and a second chance at love and happiness arrives in the form of farmhand Cole Walker, Emily must overcome her bitter past—or risk losing Cole and the life she has always dreamed of having.
 

My Take : This must be a new topic that authors are interested in as I have seen several books lately on the topic of women going on the Oregon Trail.  Emily is a bit naive in the book and ends up in a hard life with a husband who doesn't really love her and she doesn't really love him.  She ends up going out west out of desparation which I think alot of women felt back then if they weren't married and having a family by a certain age.  This book is about maturing and realizing what you want out of life and if you are willing to buck social norms to get it.  A great historical fiction book that helps you understand that time period. 
Recommend if you like historical fiction. 

I Received a review copy of this book by Virtual Author Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. 

Witch by Denise Weimer

Witch: The Restoration Trilogy, Book Three

Having restored Michael Johnson's ancestors' house and apothecary shop and begun applying the lessons of family and forgiveness unearthed from the past, Jennifer Rushmore expects to complete her first preservation job with the simple relocation of a log home. But as her crew reconstructs the 1787 cabin, home to the first Dunham doctor, attacks on those involved throw suspicion on neighbors and friends alike. And while Jennifer has trusted God and Michael with the pain of her past, it appears Michael's been keeping his own secrets. Will she use a dream job offer from Savannah as an escape, or will a haunting tale from a Colonial diary convince her to rely on the faithfulness of his love? 

My Take:  Witch is the 3rd book in the Restoration Triology by Denise Weimer.  I haven't read the first two books and think that they probably would add some more light to what is happening in this book but I enjoyed this book just the same.  The author weaves the past and present together to form a compelling story that is both thrilling and uplifting.  I enjoyed the history throughout the book and learned quite a few things that I didn't already know about the conflict with the Native Americans.  I also liked the present day story of restoration in both the buildings and the lives of the characters.  This is a Christian historical fiction book and God is very much a part of the story.  I hope to go back to read the other 2 books. 

I received a review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.  

Other Breakable Things by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood

Other Breakable Things

According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.

Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.

Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.

And now it is.

Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.

And she’s not giving up so easily.

A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.

Right down to the thousandth paper crane.
 

My Take:  This was a heart wrenching, uplifting, tears streaming , grin from ear to ear wearing book.  Go into this book with the knowledge that your heart will be ripped out and stomped on and put back shredded but you won't care because this book is that good.  This book is about death and dying so you know that it isn't a light reading book.  Definately not a book for a beach trip as you will get burned to a crisp or never come out of your motel room because you won't want to put it down.  This book is perfect for those rainy days in spring that will bring the flowers just like this book has the dreariness but also the optimism.  This is not your typical YA book and it deals with a heavy subject but it also deals with friendship and new love and just a bunch of emotions.  Highly recommend.

I received a review copy of this book from Chapter by Chpater in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Unsinkable Faith by Tracie Miles



Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live (David C. Cook, April 2017)
For many people, remaining optimistic and feeling positive about themselves and their lives is a constant battle — especially when circumstances are difficult and life is hard.
For others, negativity is something that only sneaks up from time to time, yet still wreaks havoc in their hearts. Regardless of the root causes, once pessimistic thoughts permeate our minds, our feelings and emotions begin to control us instead of us controlling them. Eventually it doesn’t seem possible to stay positive, happy, and full of joy, and negative thought patterns shake our faith, causing us to sink emotionally, mentally, and spiritually over time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite what storms roll in, hearts anchored in God don’t sink. When we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel and live, even if our circumstances remain the same. Intentionally embracing the opportunity to experience a transformed heart and a renewed mind opens the door for a changed life, because a positive mind will always lead to a more positive life.
In Unsinkable Faith, author and Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Tracie Miles offers hope for women who struggle with negativity. Each chapter explores Tracie’s and other women’s personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life. This book will equip you to:
—Replace pessimism with positive thinking by becoming the captain of your thoughts;
—Learn how true joy and happiness are based on choice, not circumstances;
—Overcome unhealthy habits of negative thinking by intentionally implementing three easy mind-renewing steps;
—Stop feeling hopeless and pitiful, and start feeling hope-filled and powerful instead; and
—Discover that when you change the way you think, you change the way feel, and in turn you can change your life completely.
Tracie Miles

{MORE ABOUT TRACIE MILES}

Tracie Miles is a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and a bestselling author who’s spent the last twelve years inspiring women to become who God called them to be. She’s the author of “Your Life Still Counts” and “Stressed-Less Living,” and a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotions.
Find out more about Tracie at http://traciemiles.com.



My Take:  This was a very good book for me in my personal life right now as I am currently dealing with a disability that is still fairly new to me and struggling with a disease that is constantly changing from day to day.  This book helps us to remember that no matter what we are going through everyone else is dealing with something also.  How we deal with life is a choice and you can deal with it either with negative thoughts or positive thoughts.  Because of my situation I have been dealing with mild depression also so this book has helped with that situation also.  This book helps you focus on scripture
and gives you a challenge for each of the chapters.  
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Litfuse.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray



Her Secret (Avon Inspire, March 2017)
A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.
Shelley Shepard Gray

{MORE ABOUT SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY}

Shelley Shepard Gray is the “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Families of Honor series. She lives with her family in southern Ohio, where she writes full time. Before her work in the inspirational market, Gray wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she won “RT Book Reviews'” prestigious Reviewers’ Choice Award.
Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.

My Take:  I found this book to be a very edge of your set type of book that you don't always find in amish Fiction.  This book showed that the adversion that the Amish have to asking for help not only from the English but from other Amish isn't always the best as sometimes the problem just gets bigger and bigger.  The problem in this book was not solved by not asking for help but made worse and the victim just felt worse and was made to feel like it was their fault.  Later in the book it was shown how other people in the victims family felt like they were being a bother when they asked for help.  This definately is not your run of the mill Amish book.  

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.  

5 book giveaway



The next book to keep you up way past your bedtime? Shelley Shepard Gray’s Her Secret, a suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker. Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love with Isaac (the friendly Amish man who lives next door), more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.
Enter to win a copy of Her Secret. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced April 3rd on the Litfuse blog!

Sealed Up by Steve Dunn Hanson

Sealed Up: The Course of Fate--Book One

from Goodreads.com : The Da Vinci Code unsettles. SEALED UP shakes to the core!

UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, in a funk since his young wife’s death, learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.

Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through an incredible jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.

When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.

And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?

Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense thriller begs a startling question: Could it happen?

My Take:  I found this book to be an ok book.  There were a lot of  Spanish words that were not translated so if you didn't speak Spanish you might be a little lost in places like I was.  I thought that the archeology theme was interesting as I have always been interested that you find out how people lived by what they left behind and what is in the ground in the rocks and soil.  I found the theme of founding of the Mormon church interesting.  I did feel like there was a climax toward the middle of the book and that the end of the book was a bit anticlimatic.  I see that this is a book one so maybe that was the reason.  I will be interested to read the next book and see what happens next.  I do hope that these characters come back.  

I received a review copy of this book from Pump up your Book in exchange for my honest review.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Prayers for a Simpler Life by Faith Sommers

Prayers for a Simpler Life: Meditations from the Heart of a Mennonite Mother ;

Prayers for a Simpler Life by Faith Sommers

From Goodreads.com   Do your quiet times with God feel disconnected from the rest of your overflowing days? Shouldn't our devotions affect how we live our lives? In this 90-day devotional for women, plain Mennonite mother and wife Faith Sommers helps connect your moments with the Lord to the rest of your life. Steeped in the faith of Amish and Mennonites, who maintain that how we live is as important as what we say, Sommers' words hold gentle warmth and wise nudging for readers tired of disjointed living. Offering daily devotions, prayers, journal prompts, and ideas for how to simplify your life and strengthen your faith, Prayers for a Simpler Life guides readers toward a deeper commitment to the way of Jesus.

My Take :  I was suppose to post this review last week but I didn't get the book until the day I was suppose to post so then I was suppose to post the review either on Monday or Tuesday of this week and for one reason or another I didn't find time to do that so I am posting today.  I am a bit happy that I didn't post till today because that gave me alittle more time to savor this book a bit more slowly which is kind of what this book is about.  Taking your time to spend meaningful time with the Lord.  Not just a read a short scripture and a little devotional about it then pray and your done short of thing.  Don't get me wrong these devotions aren't long and the Bible passages aren't either but they give you the opportunity to reflect on what you are reading and to really think about it.  Each devotion has a passage to look up and small article to read , a prayer and a reflection thought.  There are 12 whole weeks to really dig into.  each week is a different topic.  I look forward to using this devotional every year.  It would be perfect for the beginning of the year.  Highly recommend. 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion from MennoMedia.org.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Home to Paradise by Barbara Cameron



Home to Paradise (Abingdon, February 2017)
Highly anticipated final book in The Coming Home Series from best-selling Amish author Barbara Cameron.
Rose Anna Zook has watched her two older sisters marry two Stoltzfus men and has always thought she and John, the third Stoltzfus brother, would marry, make a home together, and have children. But John has other ideas. He’s enjoying his Rumschpringe in the Englisch world a little too much and isn’t interested in returning to the Amish community—especially to marry.
Rose Anna is determined to bring her man back into the Amish fold. John is equally determined to live his life free and unencumbered. Who will win this battle of wills? Will love prevail?
Barbara Cameron

{MORE ABOUT BARBARA CAMERON}

Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award from RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Find out more about Barbara at http://barbaracameron.com.


My Take;  Even though this is the third book in this triology I was able to read it with no problem and I hadn't read either of the first two books.  I liked reading this book as it seemed to shed a little light on the practice of the Amish young folks taking some time to run around before they join the Amish Church.   It also showed the Amish doing volunteer work in the community which you don't read about very much.  I will probably go back and read the other two books in this series because I found this book to be very good.  

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. 



Monday, February 27, 2017

Dominion by D.A. Hewitt

Dominion

From Goodreads.com:
It's the year 2075. Lunar mining and processing facilities have prospered near the lunar south pole, where the Moon's largest city, Valhalla, rests on the rim of the Shackleton Crater.



Dominion Off-Earth Resources has beaten the competition into space and is ready to establish its monopoly with the opening of the orbiting space resort Dominion. But Pettit Space Industries has a secret plan to emerge as a major contender in the commercialization of space. The upstart company is training the first space rescue squad at a secluded off-grid site in Barrow, Alaska.



The rescue squad gets nearly more than it can handle when its first mission involves the Pope, who's traveling to the Moon to establish the Lunar See. During the rescue attempt, they discover Earth is imperiled by an asteroid large enough to cause mass extinction. Using the unique skills taught during their training, skills emphasized by the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung, these Jungi Knights must elevate their game if they are to save both the Earth and the Pope—while not getting killed in the process.
 


My Take:  This book was okay.  I found that some of the descriptions were a bit long and I didn't really get the whole Catholic church was a big part of the world politics and thus were a big part of the moon politics.  I liked the part of the story at the first that was set on earth more than the part that was set in space.  I have just recently started reading sci fi so maybe some of this is usual for the genre but it bugged me.  I thought that the two characters that were children of the founders of the two companies were a little selfish and didn't really think about how their actions were going to affect others.  There is insta love so if that is a turn off for you be aware.  Even though it may not seem like it.  I actually would like to see more of these characters just to see if they grow up any.  I think this was okay for a beginning but it could be alot more.  

I received a review copy of this book from Pump up Your book, in exchange for my honest review.