25 Book Reviews

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another Great Historical Fiction

Most Unsuitable Match, A"A Most Unsuitable Match"
By Stephanie Grace Whitson
I have always stated that my least favourite  genre is historical fiction!! AND what do I choose to review- just that!! But , you know, the more you read it, the more you like it- or in my case LOVE it!! You need to find the right authors and the right subjects and I have done just that.

Stephanie has done a fabulous job of involving you in this story. As the plot thickened, I became one with the characters. There were so many twists and turns that there was always a shock or wave of surprise at the next event. What a great talent, Stephanie has to be able to so engross you in her story, that you "forget",  to get supper or go to bed at night!!

The main character, Fannie is a young lady of privilege. When her mother dies and she is left alone, she discovers that there are some secrets that have been hidden away for many, many years and she finds herself traveling west to uncover the truth behind a  very important family secret.  Fannie is quite a determined young lady, although starting out quite innocent, discovers that she has the strength, with God's help, to  meet the challenges that she encounters, and there are many!!!

Meeting Samuel Beck on the steamship , during her journey to Montana, throws a complete surprise into the bucket!! He is on a mission to atone for his past failures, that still haunt him. Their meeting sparks a very unlikely attraction.  Opposites in every way, except..... they cannot stop thinking of each other!!

The journey ends and the attraction continues, although many obstacles and complications occur. And these are NO minor challenges!! I must not say more, to avoid giving away spoilers.

Will Samuel and Fannie  end the relationship with the journey or will it become just the beginning?  You MUST read to find out!! Just be ready for a page turner!! And GREAT surprises in the plot!
Well done , Stephanie! Loved this book!!!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Great Story of the World War II Era

View Blue Skie...jpg in slide showA Review of a Fantastic Book:

"Blue Skies Tomorrow"
   By Sarah Sundin

View Sarah Hea...jpg in slide showThis book was superior in its ability to portray the time of peril during WW II and people finding the courage to confront their fears. How could they ever embrace a love 
that would last? Sarah was so successful in her description of
this fearful time. You could feel the emotions of all of the characters -  happiness, sadness, fear-they are all present in this story- in such detail that you cry , laugh and rejoice along with them. This is an  appealing book to all of those who love historical fiction and romance!! And to the rest of us too!!

The main character, Helen, has been left a widow, due to the death of her son , Jay-Jay's father, who was killed in the battle.  When he went off to way, Helen felt compelled to move in with his parents, in order to have a safe place to live for herself and her child. Little does she know, what kind of life she will have there and what challenges will arise. Fearful events occur and she is left with the  feeling of  helplessness.

Helen's marriage to Jay-Jay's father was not the pleasant, ideal situation that everyone believed it to be, but after his death, she does attempt to keep up appearances of the grieving widow of a hometown hero.  This can only last so long before an emotional explosion occurs.
Raymond Novak appears on the scene. He prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, after serving his country.  When the beautiful Helen catches his eye, he is determined to develop a relationship with her, at costs that neither of them could imagine.
Ray and Helen are not sure their newly found love can survive with the challenges they meet.
This is a top notch book, filled with drama, and all the romance of the war era. It is the final of the series written by Sarah in the popular Wings of Glory series.
What an ending to a series!! Captivating from start to finish!

This book was provided by LitFuse in exchange for a review.

To celebrate the release of Blue Skies Tomorrow, the final installment of the Wings of Glory series, Sarah is giving one lucky winner A Vintage Kindle Prize Package! 

One winner will receive:

* Kindle with Wi-Fi

* Handmade vintage apron for you and a friend

* Blue Skies Tomorrow (for Kindle)

To enter just click one of the icons at the side of the blog. But, hurry, giveaway ends on 9/10. Winner will be announced on 9/12 at Sarah Sundin's blog. Details and official rules can be found when entering the contest.

Enter to win your very own Kindle Prize Pack in Sarah Sundin’s Blue Skies Tomorrow Giveaway! Enter  and while you’re there find out what readers are saying about Blue Skies Tomorrow.  http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13422832

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another Prayer Quilt done!!

For my sister in law , Jo-Ann who is undergoing chemo for breast cancer. Each stitch represents a prayer.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Message from Suzanne Woods Fisher - Re:Amish Values for your Family

Guest blog from Suzanne Woods Fisher for “Amish Values for Your Family” (Revell)

Five Things I’ve Learned from the Amish that Have Nothing to Do with being Amish and Have Everything to Do with being a Christian:

Being Amish is not a lifestyle. Life among the Amish has to do with faith. Faith can’t be squeezed to an hour or two on Sunday morning; it infuses their entire life like a teabag in hot water. What they do and how they do it is rooted in the spiritual question: What is pleasing to God?

Amish proverb: “Letting go of earthly possessions enables us to take hold of heavenly treasures.”

The Lesson: To pray about my day’s activities and offer them to God, first, for His purposes. And then trusting interruptions (seeing a friend in the grocery store, for example) or de-railings (those days when everything goes wrong!) to be God-managed.  

Cherish your family. A family that works together, grows together. Amish families spend a lot of time together and try to keep their work close to home. Children are valued as gifts from God, wanted and enjoyed. They’re included in all of Amish life—from barn raisings to three-hour church services. An Amish bishop once said, "We don't prepare our children for the future, we prepare our children for eternity."

Amish proverb: “Tomorrow’s world will be shaped by what we teach our children today.”

The Lesson: Involving children in chores and activities may not be the most convenient or efficient way to accomplish a task, but the benefits are long lasting. Look for ways to get everybody involved—cook together, sweep out the garage together, set the table together. And have fun while you’re doing it!

Draw a land in the sand. The Amish want to be good stewards of God’s resources—time, money, material goods. They know that convenience comes with a cost. They don’t want to be dependent on outside sources (such as electricity or gas!). Convenience means loss of something valuable. For example, fast food means less nutrition. More stuff means more maintenance. They’re willing to say no.

Amish proverb: “Things that steal our time are usually the easiest to do.”

The Lesson: Technology has its limits. And technology isn’t all good. Evaluate purchases more thoughtfully. Think of where a purchase or an added expense will lead your family. More time together or less? More stress or less? Reframe your view of time and money and goods as God’s resources.

Watch Your Words. The Amish continually stress the importance of filtering their speech.

Amish proverb: “Words break no bones, but they can break hearts” and “Mincing your words makes it easier if you have to eat them later.”

The Lesson: Say less. Prayer more.  

Nothing replaces face-to-face visits. Back in the day when telephones emerged on the scene, the Amish bishops made a deliberate decision to keep the telephone out of the house. They didn’t want to interrupt family life. But they drop everything for a face-to-face visit.

Amish proverb: “Use friendship as a drawing account, but don’t forget to make a deposit.”

The Lesson: Nurture relationships by investing face-to-face time in them. No technology can substitute for the real thing.

Honor the Sabbath. An Amish person would never think of working on a Sunday. But it’s more than that—they truly cherish their Sabbath. They spend time on Saturday to make Sunday a smooth and easy day.

Amish proverb: “Many things I have tried to grasp and have lost. That which I have placed in God’s hands I still have.”

The Lesson: Strive to make Sunday a different day than other days. A day of rest is important on so many levels—time to worship, time to reflect, time to re-energize. A re-charge your battery day.

Review of a book of Courage and the Strength of a Man and His Guide Dog

"Thunder Dog"
By Michael Hingson with Suzy Flory
If you are looking for a true story of inspiration, this is definitely the book for you. If you are an animal lover, this is for you, if you have faith or desire it, this is for you! Hey , I think this book is for everyone!! BUT , expect a few tears along the road .

Michael is blind, from birth- a tragedy , definitely, however, he and his parents turn this into a blessing and he becomes a successful business man with the aid of a guide dog. You can overcome challenges, I refuse to call this a handicap, because Michael does not see it as one! And he makes this very clear in his book. This book truly makes you thankful for what you have, but also makes you wish for the peace, contentment and determination, he has!

The story takes place in one of the towers on Sept. 11- yes, 9-11!!
Michael is at work on the seventy eighth floor of the tower, when the tragedy occurred.  He hears something disturbing and decides to let his guide dog lead he and his friend down the many flights of stairs to safety. This book allows you to experience the isolated, fume filled chamber of stairwell B . You feel the fear of hearing the shattering glass, explosions, but inability to see what is going on. Roselle, the guide dog, saved MANY lives that day. The peace that she and Michael exhibited was felt by all those with them. They gave the many panicy people peace and security that they would make it out of the building safely.

This book changes your spirit and perspective on life!  Thunder Dog highlights the  life of a person who overcame his extreme challenges with faith and success, in a sighted world. The rare trust between a man and his dog should inspire an unshakeable faith in all of us!!
What an inspirational book!! An excellent read!

This book was provided by Booksneeze in exchange for a review.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Simple Life- Something we should all think about!

View Amish Val...jpg in slide showA most enjoyable book to review:
"Amish Values for Your Family"
By Suzanne Woods Fisher

This book has made a definite impact on my life. I have always greatly admired the Amish people, their beliefs and commitment to them, as well as their sense of peace which they portray, as well as their ability to forgive.
BUT , I didn't really think that I could apply their way of thinking and acting into my own life and that of my family, Not being Amish, I seemed to think it was impossible. I do have a strong faith and was brought up in an evangelical church which shares many common beliefs as the Amish, however , not to the same extreme or in the same dedicated way.
Suzanne showed me , in her book, that YES , I can do it !! And I CAN influence those around me!!

I was particularly influenced by the chapter entitled "God Doesn't Make Mistakes" and the Amish proverb , "My job is  to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible".  This is a VERY hard thing for me to do. We have had many  serious health problems within our family within the past year. My first impulse is to worry, worry and more worry and then pray and TRY to trust in God's power and accept HIS answer. The answer is not always yes or maybe, or even wait. In our case, thus far, we have had scares of cancer, actual cases of cancer that are now undergoing treatment and some family challenges. I had to learn to pray, accept the problem and then trust!  This chapter referred to a case where  a young mother was left to support a large family- how would she cope??? But she did with God's divine intervention and the help of the community. We all have our Christian community to come to  our aid- even though we are not Amish.
Suzanne has done a superb job explaining the Amish way of looking at life. We all can learn so much from them AND you do not have to BECOME Amish to practice this  faith. We can all do it on a daily basis.
A wonderful book that makes your really think of ways which are really quite simple to apply to our daily live
This book was provided by LitFuse in exchange for a review.

About the book:
It offers loving ways to bring your fractured home back to life-Amish style. Read it and apply generously! It's a beautiful book-funny, charming, soulful, and beautiful."
-Mary-Ann Kirkby, author of I Am Hutterite

For readers who long for strong families that know how to truly enjoy life together, there is much to learn from the Amish. Values like community, forgiveness, simple living, obedience, and more can be your family legacy--without selling your car, changing your wardrobe, or moving out to farm country.

In Amish Values for Your Family, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows how you can adopt the wisdom of the Amish when it comes to family matters. In this inspiring and practical book readers will find charming true stories interlaced with solid, biblical advice about parenting, marriage, and all aspects of family life. As readers get an intimate glimpse into the everyday lives of real Amish families, they will learn to prioritize what's truly important, simplify decision-making, slow down as a family, safeguard time together, and let go when the time comes.

                                               Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction and the host of a weekly radio program called Amish Wisdom. Her most recent book, Amish Values for Your Family released in August. The Waiting is a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. Amish Peace: Simple and Amish Proverbs were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world.  When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth. Keep up on Suzanne's latest news on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog!
View suzanne11...jpg in slide show

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Indelible By Kristen Heitzman

** Kristen did it again!! She wrote a superb mystery that had me sitting on the edge of my chair!! I
had the ***great desire to read and read until I was finished the book. I just could not put it down!
Fleur , a main character , was described in terms and with such clarity, that I felt that I knew her. Her blindness was an asset, not a handicap!  Trevor , the hero in this book is a man of love , passion and commitment. He is seen as sensitive and in the middle of a crime that is constantly breaking his heart as he strives to settle it. ***Natalie, another  important character has special abilities that most do not think of as normal, but becomes very valuable in solving the crime.Both Evan and Travis fullfill their roles in the book. Evan's crimes are strange and makes you really think. Why does he do them and what is the motive?
It is a fantastic book. Loved it.
Provided free of charge in exchange for a review.

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...