The Art of Losing Yourself – Book Review

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Being a fan of Katie Ganshert’s first three books, it was no surprise that I was thrilled to be selected to receive an advance copy of her latest book, The Art of Losing Yourself.

I devoured the book in just a few short days. I was drawn into this elaborate story world Katie created within the confines of the first and last pages for her characters. Carmen is dealing with her own issues when her 17 year old sister, Gracie, comes to lives with her and her husband, Ben. Over the course of the novel, the reader has a backstage pass to the ups and downs of their lives Continue reading

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2 Tablets – Book Review

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Whether you are recently wed or celebrating your golden wedding anniversary, there are always areas that can be strengthened and renewed in your relationship. Society has the mind-set that if it’s not working then you need to throw it out. However, that is not what God intended. So, where do you go for help? Continue reading

From the Start – Book Review

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Over the weekend, I received a wonderful surprise in my mailbox – an advance copy of Melissa Tagg’s, From the Start. The delightful characters from Maple Valley jumped off the page and into my heart.

(From the back cover) Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before. While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?

 As a writer, I immediately connected with Kate and walked along side her through the ups and downs of her journey in the novel. Melissa did an excellent job of making characters and the story real. Kate is a prime example. She comes to a place where she has her life figured out – all the pieces in place. However, she fails that God sees the big picture and her life isn’t going to go quite as she planned. It was a fabulous reminder for all of us, that God has a purpose and plan for each of us, we just need to be willing to take the risk, like Kate, and step out in faith.

I would highly recommend this book as well as Melissa’s other great books, Made to Last and Here to Stay. You will immediately fall in love with her characters and engaging stories.


**Don’t forget that I will be announcing the winners of my latest book giveaway on Friday. To enter, you simply need to leave a comment. I would love to hear about a time you took a risk and stepped out.

Deadly Echoes – Book Review

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Nancy Mehl has done it again! I’ve had the privilege of reading and reviewing her last four books, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to read her latest book, Deadly Echoes.

This is the second book in the Finding Sanctuary series. The reader will recognize the quaint town and several characters, but it certainly could stand on its own.

The main character, Sarah, who is the town school teacher is shocked to discover that her sister, Hannah, was murdered. As Sarah learns more about the attack, she begins to see similarities between it and her parents’ murder. She wants to keep her niece safe, but also desires to see that another family isn’t shattered by this killer. Therefore, with the help of her friend and local deputy, Paul, Sarah embarks on her own investigation. Will it lead to answers or danger?

Deadly Echoes brought out the sleuth in me. Nancy did such an exceptional job crafting the story that it had me guessing who could actually be trusted until the end. The twists and turns kept the pages turning. I would highly recommend this book, as well as, her previous suspense novels.

Always on my Mind – Book Review

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After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.

Heartbroken, especially when he discovers the identity of the baby’s father, Casper tables his dreams and determines to be dependable for once, helping his older brother, Darek, prepare the family resort for its grand reopening. Casper longs to be the hero of at least one family story, but a never-ending Deep Haven winter and costly repairs threaten their efforts—and the future of the resort.

Worse, one of Casper’s new jobs constantly brings him into contact with Raina, whom he can’t seem to forget. A tentative friendship begins to heal fresh wounds, but can they possibly overcome past mistakes and current choices to discover a future together?

 

Always on my Mind is the fourth book in the Christiansen Family novels. Susan May Warren shows exceptional skills as a writer as she weaves the reader into the lives of this family. She creates such a welcome environment that you can jump into the series at any point, although you will quickly want to start from square one and not miss a minute of this endearing family.

I also love how Susan incorporates faith throughout the story without forcing it off on the reader. I would highly recommend Always on my Mind, as well as, the rest of the Christiansen Family novels. Invite this family into your library and they will quickly find a place in your heart.

Daily Planner Review

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As a busy wife, mom, writer and speaker I am always on the lookout for a great planner. In the digital age when everyone has an app for that I still would rather reach for a physical calendar. I had the privilege of reviewing Sue Hooley’s Daily Planner through CWA.

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What I love about this planner is that it’s so much more than a calendar. Yes, it has a yearly, monthly as well as weekly calendars included, but there’s so much more. There are beautiful scriptures nestled within the pages to give you encouragement throughout the year. Towards the back of the planner there are sections for tasks and projects. This is a great place to put all your long term tasks around the house or school projects for the kids. It allows you to keep track well in advance so you don’t wake up to, “Mom, my science project is due tomorrow and where’s my costume for the school play?” Sue has included an information section to keep track of names, addresses and phone numbers. All these features are great, but my personal favorite would have to the shopping list section at the back. Each page has three perforated sections. These are a perfect size for making certain you don’t forget items on your next shopping trip.

I would highly recommend you order the 2015 Daily Planner. It would also make a great gift for the “planner” on your Christmas list.

Colliding With Destiny – Book Review and Giveaway

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For today’s installment of Friday afternoon fun, I’m going to share with you my latest review book, Colliding With Destiny, by Sarah Jakes. Not being familiar with Sarah Jakes’ writing I really didn’t know what to expect. However, I was drawn to this selection because it looks at the story of Ruth. She is a biblical character that I receive such hope from. Ruth faced many trials and tough situations, but God used them to transform her. She didn’t allow her past to define her, a lesson many of us need to be reminded of.

Sarah does an incredible job in this book of breaking down the story of Ruth and showing how it applies to our lives today. She ends each chapter with a journal section, which allows the reader to start implementing what she has learned, and a prayer. I believe in the power of prayer and loved that Sarah included this in the chapters. My favorite quote in the book would have to be, “Still, God saw my heart and blessed me in spite of my mistakes and losses. The culmination of the pain and the beauty in my life made me who I am. For so long I thought my scars made me damaged; I never realized they were the perfect canvas for grace” (page 201). There is such hope and comfort within these words for each one of us.

I recommend that you step into the story of Ruth through the pages of Colliding With Destiny. You will find hope and restoration.


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Today, I am giving away a copy of The Voice Bible. To enter you simply need to share this post with your friends, like my author page on facebook and leave a comment below about a book you would recommend. I will announce the winner on Monday.

The River – Book Review and Giveaway

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For today’s installment of Friday afternoon fun, I’m going to share with you my latest review book, The River by Beverly Lewis. It is no wonder she is a New York Times bestselling author. She can weave a story that draws the reader into the lives of the characters in Lancaster County.

The River focuses on two sisters, Tilly and Ruth, who left their Amish roots a few years ago. One phone call from their brother, Melvin, puts their lives into a tailspin. Their dad has a heart condition and is not doing well. Melvin urges them to return for their parents’ anniversary celebration, fearing it will be their last. Tilly digs in her heels at first, but eventually softens and decides to return with Ruth.

Upon returning, they are both forced to face issues from their past that have tucked away. Tilly and Ruth also need to mend relationships with their family since they left the community. Will they be able to get past this barrier and find acceptance and restoration?

I would definitely recommend this book. It is a relaxing read for those gloomy fall days.


between us girls

To kick-off this new segment on my blog, I am giving away a copy of Between Us Girls by Sally John. To enter you simply need to share this post with your friends, like my author page on facebook and leave a comment below about a book you would recommend. I will announce the winner on Monday.

Child of Mine – Book Review

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With summer in full swing, I am delighted to share another great book with you. Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis centers around little 8-year-old Natalie (Nattie). Both of her adoptive parents were killed in an accident a few years ago. Since then her flight instructor uncle, Jack, has been her guardian. He couldn’t have done it without the help of the Amish nanny, Laura, that has been with Nattie since she was a baby.

Like most little girls, Nattie longs to have a mother. She draws pictures of her family – Jack, as the dad; Laura, as the mom; and herself. Her aunt and teacher are concerned that she is growing too attached to Laura. Jack decides to start dating. There are many bumps along the road and he determines it is not worth the trouble.

Just as the saying goes, when you stop looking for something is when you find it, Kelly walks into Jack and Nattie’s lives. However, she brings along secrets and baggage of her own. Her own daughter was taken eight years ago. Will Kelly be what Jack and Nattie have both been looking for or will it all come crashing down when secrets are revealed?

Child of Mine is an incredible book with many twists and turns that keep the reader turning pages. I highly recommend you add it to your summer reading list.