Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Review: "To the Farthest Shores"

To the Farthest Shores was the first Elizabeth Camden book I've had the pleasure to read. It's an historical novel set in California mostly in 1904. Readers meet civilian nurse Jenny Bennett working for the U. S. Army at the Presidio. Jenny has overcome a traumatic start to life in order to become the respected, at least by her patients, nurse that she is. But she is hiding painful secrets in her heart.

Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher was once Jenny's patient, then her fiance. But when his life took an unexpected turn, he broke things off suddenly and without explanation. Thinking Jenny would marry someone else and go on without, he is surprised to find her still serving there. Jenny wants answers that Ryan can't give, though he longs to do so. Readers will enjoy learning how these two strong characters find their way.

Included in the historical part of this novel is some fascinating information about the early days of the cultured pearl industry and predecessors of the CIA. I recommend this book to readers who love stories set back in time. Bethany House Publishers sent me my copy, so that I could share my thoughts with you.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Book Review: "Let's Be Real"

Let's Be Real by Natasha Bure reads a lot like the book of Proverbs. It contains lots of sincere advice, not necessarily in logical order, from the heart and experience of its author to encourage readers just younger than herself. In the first chapter in which Natasha wants to teach her readers to discover who they really are so that they can be real, she talks about subjects such as overcoming fear, obeying parents, not being a drama queen, choosing your clothing style, and researching your family tree. (Advice on overcoming fear and researching your family tree are placed in boxes for quick reference should the reader want to look more closely at these at a later time.)

In the following chapters, Natasha goes on the discuss friendship, convictions, dating, family, health, beauty, faith, and being true to yourself, validating her advice with examples from her own life. Girls who read this book will absorb Natasha's insights into all aspects of living healthy and well.

Zondervan sent me a complimentary copy of this book so I share my thoughts about it with you. Now I am passing it on to my girls. I think they'll like her style.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review: "If I'm Found"

If I'm Found is the second book in Terri Blackstock's If I Run series; it's more intense than the first book and leads right into the third, If I Live, due out next March. In this second book, Casey Cox is still hiding from the law enforcement officers who framed her for murder while trying to prove her innocence. Dylan Roberts, a private investigator, hired by the victim's parents to find Casey, is now convinced of her innocence and working to bring the real killers to justice without letting them know that he is on to them.

But the pressure to prove her innocence while protecting her family from those who are after her, who would hurt them to get to her, isn't enough for Casey. Just as she did in the first book, she stumbles across a few more people in need of help: a falsely accused man and a severely misused child. Again Casey must put her safety and personal concern aside in order to find justice for other victims.

I recommend this book to fans of police drama and suspense. Zondervan sent me a complimentary copy, so that I could tell you what I think of it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Book Review: "Pursued"

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Nikki Boyd experiences one traumatic event after another in this newest novel by Lisa Harris. In fact, the first all by itself would put most people out of commission for a time, yet Nikki just keeps on going.

She has to. After her sister's disappearance, still unresolved, she is determined to help others not experience the loss, confusion, and lack of closure that she has known. She has devoted her life to finding missing people, and Erika Hamilton is missing. Nikki is determined to solve the mystery no matter what.

I enjoyed reading this third book in the Nikki Boyd Files series and love where Harris is taking her readers as Nikki not only works to solve mysteries, but to discover her true niche in life. Work, family, romance, and health: all have blessings to enjoy and challenges to meet. Nikki is learning how to balance everything God's way, pursuing her calling while contemplating dreams.

I recommend this book to fans of Christian fiction, action-adventure, and mystery. Thank you, Revell, for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Review: "The Bible Explorer's Guide"

The Bible Explorer's Guide is a great new book from Zonderkidz. I chose it for review because one of my daughters just loves books full of quick facts and photos. But I am really impressed with all this book has to offer her. Each spread has a collection of facts on a particular topic moving in a logical way from Old Testament to New. There are facts on archaeology, culture, geography, and history, all put together in a way that helps kids see the Bible's authenticity and value for life. Personally, I loved the pictures of artifacts that showed me what some items I'd read about actually looked like. The book ends with a summary of Who's Who in the Old and New Testaments and a timeline of events.

The Bible Explorer's Guide is an intriguing reference book that I believe kids will want to browse through repeatedly. Younger children will enjoy the pictures then grow into the facts. Some may even find value in hanging onto this reference as a springboard for deeper study.

I recommend this book for any parent hoping to build their child's curiosity about and knowledge of God's Word.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Review: "Sandpiper Cove"

Adam Stone just wants to make a new life for himself in Sandpiper Cove. He enjoys his work, looks for ways to help his community, and leads a quiet life with the dog he rescued on his way into town. When vandals strike twice, though, Police Chief Lexi Graham shows up at his door wanting any information he can share to help her catch the criminals.

Lexi is a single mom, living with her mom and raising her son. She also just wants to make a new life for herself. She won't tell anyone what happened to the husband they'd never had a chance to meet. She simply wants to lose herself in taking care of her town.

I think this is my favorite of the Hope Harbor novels so far, though I have enjoyed all three. It's a hopeful book about starting fresh and going strong after whatever devastating circumstances come along. Adam and Lexi may be the main characters, but other characters, both new and familiar from other books, are moving forward through trying situations, too.

I recommend this book and the others in the series to fans of inspirational Christian fiction. I thank Revell for sending a complimentary copy, so I could share my opinion with you.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: "Tranquility"

I am really enjoying this little coloring book for grown-ups. When I need a break in the middle of a hectic day, I can sit with it, read the words, then color in the simple patterns while I reflect on sentences that capture my attention. This keeps my hands busy while my brain goes to work, contemplating and praying about whatever comes to mind. After that, there is space for me to record my own thoughts and prayers. I leave my break encouraged by Scripture, healthy ideas, and meaningful time with God.

I love that the book has a little bit of everything. There are colorful drawings to enjoy, drawings to color, and blank spaces for drawings of my own. There are devotional thoughts, Bible verses, prayers, and lines for recording my own ideas.

If you are longing to develop some creative devotional time, Tranquility will help you start. I thank Tyndale House for sending me a complimentary copy for my own quiet time.