Sunday, May 28, 2017

Book Review: "A Stranger at Fellsworth"

Annabelle Thorley has a terrible choice to make. She can marry a man she doesn't love, knowing he'll mistreat her but provide financial security in uncertain times. Or she can run away from all she knows, hoping the uncle who once promised a safe haven in need will be willing to make good on his word.

A chance encounter with Owen Locke, a resident of her uncle's town and a friend of his as well, gives Annabelle courage to make the hard but hopeful choice. Instead of safety and a fresh start, however, both Annabelle and Owen find themselves surrounded by scandal, mystery, and danger.

Readers who enjoy historical Christian fiction, mystery, and romance will find everything they love in Sarah E. Ladd's newest book, A Stranger at Fellsworth, the third in her Treasures of Surrey series (not dependent on the first two books). I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review and recommend all of Ladd's novels to you.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: "Sacred Privilege"

Kay Warren's new book is written especially for ministry wives, and I found it a privilege to read. Within its pages Warren shares her life stories, stories of childhood, marriage, motherhood, friendship, and ministry, along with all the wisdom she's gleaned. She's as honest as she needs to be in order to make her points to encourage and bless fellow ministry wives.

Chapters cover all the essentials: sharing the dream with your spouse, accepting who you are, adapting to change, helping your children in their unique role, conflict, privacy, friendship, your personal spiritual growth, and more. I especially appreciated her personal testimony presented in stages throughout the book; it reminded me I'm not the only one facing some of these challenges and gave me fresh ideas for handling them well.

I recommend Sacred Privilege to all ministry wives and thank Revell for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: "The Ebb Tide"

I don't know how Beverly Lewis keeps coming up with such fresh ideas for Amish stories, but she does. The Ebb Tide is especially inspired. It's about a young woman approaching her decision point to join the church or not. But she's always longed to see the world and knows that once she joins the church, she'll be expected to put such dreams away forever. When an opportunity comes for her to spend at summer on the beach in Cape May, she begs her parents to let her go, promising to settle down and join the church when she returns.

But Cape May holds unexpected insights and surprises. Readers get to watch Sallie Riehl wrestle with questions about her faith and her purpose and God's plan for her life. I especially loved how Lewis portrayed her family's response to her honest, coming-of-age struggle throughout the book. Sallie's and her family's emotions were so real and handled so well. Through a beautiful story, Lewis teaches grace, empathy, acceptance, and love.

I recommend this book which I received from Bethany House Published in exchange for this posting of my honest thoughts.

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.