Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hunting Hope by Nika Maples

Hunting Hope PKHunting Hope: Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light (April 2016, Worthy Inspired)
Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage.
Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.
Nika Maples became a hope hunter after suffering a massive brainstem stroke that left her quadriplegic in her twenties. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and-if she lived at all-she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.
Whether you or someone you know is going through a situation that feels hopeless, you will find encouragement in Hunting Hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical trauma, a financial hardship, or a relational crisis, you will find empowerment in Hunting Hope. As you read, you will cling to 20 truths about God’s character and practice 5 daily disciplines that will develop your own character in crisis.
You will become a hope hunter.
Maybe it doesn’t matter what causes suffering in our lives as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives. Maybe we were all meant to be hope hunters.
Nika Maples


Nika Maples is the author of Twelve Clean Pages, the memoir of her survival of lupus and a stroke that left her quadriplegic at age 20. After learning to walk and talk again, she became a public school teacher, winning 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. She holds an MA in English Education from Columbia University and currently is pursuing an MDIV from The King’s University. When she is not traveling to speak, she lives, writes, and laughs as much as possible in Fort Worth, Texas.
Find out more about Nika at http://nikamaples.com.

My Take:  I have been struggling with a medical issue for going on two years now.  I was happy to open this book and learn a little more each day about hope and I was glad to have God lead me to what lesson He wanted me to learn through all of this and turning my trials into hope.  I am trying to practice the five disciplines.  I try to listen to wait God is telling me. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. 

Hunting Hope by Nika Maples

At twenty, Nika Maples learned that when hope was all she had, she claimed it boldly while defying all odds to recover from a devastating stroke. The lessons from that struggle are powerful and universal, and she shares those lessons in her new book, Hunting Hope. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and—if she lived at all—she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.

Celebrate the release of Hunting Hope with a $200 Getaway Giveaway (details below) and a live webcast with Nika on May 26!

hunting hope-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of Hunting Hope
  • A $200 Hilton gift card to give a hope hunter the chance to rest
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 5/24. The winner will be announced at the Hunting Hope live author webcast on 5/26. RSVP for a chance to connect with Nika and other hope hunters, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

hunting hope-enter

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 26th!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid.

Dream of Miracles
A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid


A Dream of Miracles (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)
Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.
Mattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son’s mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.
Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.
When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?
Ruth Reid


Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life.
Find out more about Ruth at http://ruthreid.com.

My Take:  This book was very interesting to me as I have a Social Work degree and have worked in Social services for a great deal of my working life.  I do know of some people becoming over zealous in their jobs in the name of keeping the clients safe when what they are really going is just making everything worse,  Mattie comes under fire when she takes he child to an unfamiliar doctor and the doctor thinks he spots abuse.  Bo is the helpful Social Worker who just wants to do his job the best he can.  This book is about what happens when they all meet up together. 

I was sent a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review by Litfuse. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own #3)

From Goodreads.com
Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan's interest turns threatening. Lucinda's widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta's life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson's estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there's much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail's matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can't ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it'll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.

About the Author:
Jen Turano

Jen Turano, author of the Ladies of Distinction series and the A Class of Their Own series, is a graduate of the University of Akron. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

My Take: I really enjoy Jen Turano's books. She always has fun and unusual characters that make the story interesting and a page turner.  This book is no different.  This book has a mystery to it and it is what is keeping you guessing and turning the pages.  The main character Lucetta has to leave New York city and her friend sets it up so she can stay at her grandsons estate.  This is where the mystery is as strange things are afoot and Lucetta becomes involved.  Also Lucetta's friend wants to set up Lucetta and her grandson.  Mystery and romance how can you miss.  Great story and fun.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Synced by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Synced: Living Connected to the Heart of Jesus (New Hope, February 2016)
Prayer can become extraordinary when we live connected to the heart of Jesus.
Synced encourages you to emulate the way Jesus lived His life. With real-life stories of people walking closely with Jesus, finding themselves in the right place at the right time, readers are challenged to examine what staying in step with the Spirit looks like. National best-selling author and known prayer expert, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, uses the familiar passage of the Lord’s Prayer as anchor points to present the way Jesus lived His life in step with the Father through prayer.
Every moment is pregnant with purpose. Every moment is drenched in power. Prayer is no longer the means by which you attempt to get God to perform for you and becomes, instead, the means by which you connect with His heart and mind. A praying life is a life of peace and soul-rest. A praying life is lived in sync with the heart of Jesus.

Jennifer Kennedy Dean is executive director of the Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. The author of numerous books, studies, and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation, her book Heart’s Cry has been named National Day of Prayer’s signature book, while her book Live a Praying Life® has been called a flagship work on prayer. Widely recognized as an unusually gifted communicator, Jennifer speaks all over the country calling God’s people to discover the difference between a prayer life and a praying life. Jennifer is the author of such books as Altar’d, Clothed with Power, Conversations with the Most High, Life Unhindered!, Power in the Blood of Christ, Power in the Name of Jesus, Secrets Jesus Shared, Set Apart, The Power of Small, and much more. A highly demanded speaker, her engagements include respected organizations such as the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove and Focus on the Family. She is a board member for Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, a member of America’s National Prayer Committee, a member of National Professional Women Association, and national prayer director and board member for Christian Women in Media.

My Take:  This book was very intense in that it convicted you on how you should be more in Synce with God like Jesus was.  Jesus did nothing without first bringing it before God.  We should be that way too.  The author brought this all to our attention by using The Lord's Prayer as a guide to this type of life.  If you want to bring your life more into synce with God then you may want to read this book to help you on the path to that life.  Reading the book of Matthew and the Lord's Prayer will help too. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

A Thousand Shall Fall (Shenandoah Valley Saga #1)

A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

From Goodreads.com:  A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off--only to find she's fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they're all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally--and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar's extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

My Take:  If you like historical fiction then you will love this book.  This book has it all love, romance, war , spies. Carrie Ann learns not to believe everything she has been told about the Yankees.  But where will her loyalties lie?  With her friend from the south or her new friend from the north?  A very good book that that will appeal to many people not just historical fiction lovers. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings

At Love's Bidding (Ozark Mountain Romance #2)

From Goodreads.com   After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the furious family, her grandfather tracks it to the Missouri Ozarks and makes an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house if they promise not to sell anything until he arrives.

Upon their arrival, however, they discover their new business doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its manager, ruggedly handsome Wyatt Ballentine, is frustrated to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more cattle than they can count--but no mysterious painting--Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and salvage a bad situation getting worse.

My Take:  This was a delightful romp into the Ozark Mountains. This is the second in a series but you don't have to have read the first one to enjoy this one.  Miranda's family owns an auction house in Boston.  She is carrying on her grandmother's legacy of being nice to the more unfortunate.  After a particular auction there is a mishap about a painting the they accidently sold. They track it down to Missouri and decide to try and get it from there.  Miranda decides to go to keep an eye on her grandfather and also to get a break from her cousin who is wanting to marry her.  Once the get to Missouri they are not use to the way things are done and how casual things are.  they also know nothing about cattle whichi is what the Missouri auction house deals with.  This a great story that has all the humor that accompany a duck out of water story.  

I was a sent a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Litfuse. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck.

The Wedding Chapel

The Wedding Chapel (Zondervan, November 2015)
For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.
Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ‘49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.
Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.
When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.
When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.


Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as "The Wedding Dress," "Love Starts with Elle," and "Once Upon A Prince." She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, "Softly and Tenderly," one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

My Take: This story is told from several different points of view and unlike other books that I have read you do not become more involved in one story line over these others but you are equally invested in all four.  This also is told from the past and the present , the past being in 1949 and in 2015.  This story kinda of hit home a bit as one couple in the book got married quickly after a whirlwind romance and my daughter had a similar story but unfortunately her husband decided not to fight for their marriage and she became divorced yesterday, this couple decided to fight.  Not everything was clean cut and everything was fine but it made for a good story. 

I received a review copy of this book for my honest review. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis


From Goodreads.com:

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

My Take:  I really enjoyed this book.  It was a little bit of a different take on a dystopian  take on the future.  Water is scarce and Lynn's Mom teaches her that she needs to protect their pond no matter what.  You shoot whoever comes near without asking questions.  After Lynn's Mom dies she meets some other people who teach her to have a bit more compassion to  a point until some savage men come and decide to take whatever they want including people.  The ending was satisfying and I look forward to reading the next novel in the series. 

I read this book on my Kindle from my personal book collection. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Wrapup and Dec tbr.

I had a pretty good reading month in November.  I completed 5 books. (Hopefully I will finish a sixth one but don't know if I will be able to get it finished before midnight).

Here are the books I finished in November

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audio


Audacious by Beth Moore Audio

An Endless Christmas

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti


Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

And the book I hope to finish tonight

Silent Night Pursuit

Silent Night Pursuit by Katy Lee

My TBR for December

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink, #2)

In a Handful Dust by Mindy McGinnis

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium, #2)

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Fatal Trauma

Fatal Trauma by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #3)

The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa

The Girl from the Train

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert

At Love's Bidding

At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings

A Thousand Shall Fall (Shenandoah Valley Saga #1)

A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar