About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

A Secret to Die ForA Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is only the second book that I've read by Lisa Harris but she is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. The heart-pounding action in "A Secret To Die For" begins immediately and it doesn't let up. The murder of a computer security specialist and his suspected connection to a possible cyberterrorist attack on the United States powergrid creates a story filled with adventure,intrigue and danger. Psychologist Grace Callahan and police detective Nate Quinn are old college friends who find themselves caught up in the race to prevent computer hackers from destroying life as we know it and they soon realize that their college friendship could possibly turn into something deeper if they can only overcome the extreme hurts that they have endured in the past. Three years ago Grace lost her young daughter to cancer and her marriage ended in divorce and Nate is still suffering from PTSD due to witnessing a bombing that recently took the lives of his police partner and many other innocent victims. Grace has found strength in her faith in God but we see Nate floundering in his. As his feelings for Grace deepen we watch his spiritual struggle during his efforts to protect her. In one moving excerpt, as he rushs to find Grace alive, Nate begins to pray.

'God, I can't go through this again. Please.' He'd shoved God into a box. Used him when he needed him or wanted something. And now that he needed him, he was ready to bargain, or beg, or whatever it took to get what he wanted. Except that wasn't how things worked. Not in this life. He knew that. Prayers went unanswered. People died."

This book is filled with intense action and suspense from the very first page and I found myself wondering if the author could sustain her momentum throughout the entire story. The answer is a definite yes; the mystery and suspense remain to the end! There are also two very believable characters who are struggling to overcome deep personal suffering as they turn to each other and attempt to completely rely on their faith in God. I truly enjoyed "A Secret to Die For" and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian romantic suspense fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher but my review is voluntary and these are my honest opinions.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

This Is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose.This Is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose. by Tim Tebow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

This is one of the first Bible verses that I learned as a child; a simple command for a child but how many of us practice this as adults? Tim Tebow has written a book to remind us to make each day "this day". "This Is The Day" challenges all of us to step outside of our comfort zones to try to make a difference. He shares personal stories and his own experiences to motivate us and he also includes Bible scripture to encourage our efforts.

I first became aware of Tim Tebow as the football player who chose to kneel and pray before and after his football games but my admiration for him as a person has greatly increased after reading this book. It is apparent that he loves sports but that his love for God is greater; he desires to be the best that he can be as an athlete but his passion is even greater to be a better Christian and serve God every chance he has. He realizes that God gave him exceptional athletic talent and that he can use his celebrity status to help change someone's life for the better.

In his introduction Tim Tebow tells us to "Imagine waking up each day fueled by a whisper 'This is the day'" and his final words remind us that "We often promise ourselves that one day we're going to do this or that. But we're not guaranteed one day. Who knows if it will even come? Besides, life isn't just about one day. It's about this day."

I believe that this will be an excellent book to share with young people and that its appeal will extend to both sports fans and Christian readers. I enjoyed This Is The Day and I am glad that I was given the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy.

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Publishers and voluntarily wrote this review. These are my honest opinios.

@waterbrookmultnomah #PRHpartner

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Christmas PrayerThe Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wanda E. Brunstetter is the author of almost 90 books and most of them are stories about the Amish people and their lifestyle but this book is actually a historical fiction novella. I am a fan of historical fiction so this story of traveling west by wagon train in the months before Christmas was especially appealing to me. Cynthia Cooper, her mother and her fiance Walter Prentice leave Independence, Missouri in April 1850 to make a new home in California. The Christmas Prayer soon becomes the tale of a young girl with the classic romantic twist: she is engaged to an older man but realizes that she has more in common with two younger men who are also traveling west in the same wagon train. Several unexpected events cause the wagon train to be delayed in reaching its destination when originally planned and a severe winter storm adds to the dangers of traveling in this unknown territory inhabited by native Americans. These circumstances create many times when a Higher Power is needed for both strength and guidance and Cynthia relies on prayer to help them. In the diary that she uses to record her thoughts she often shares these prayers and in the last entry she offers this prayer of thanks. "Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayers--not just at Christmas, but every day of the year".

This novella is an entertaining story filled with faith, adventure and the pioneer spirit that was the foundation of our great country. There is also a sweet love story that is suitable for both teens and adults to read. I truly enjoyed The Christmas Prayer and I recommend it for anyone wanting a quick, enjoyable holiday story. Its beautiful cover also makes it the perfect gift for the readers that may be on your Christmas list!

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher but I was not required to write a positive review. This is my honest opinion.

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The Ornament KeeperThe Ornament Keeper by Eva Marie Everson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I read this new novella by Eva Marie Everson I could totally understand how a group of Christmas ornaments could play such an important role in this story. I often recall certain events from my life as I pull out my Christmas ornaments each year and Felicia is no different. Christmas 2018 finds her separated from her husband and she really has little desire to decorate a Christmas tree. It is her daughter who encourages her to pull out the ornaments and it is through these ornaments that we see the life that Felicia and Jackson once shared. He had given her an ornament for their first Christmas together and each Christmas that has followed and she has established the tradition of hanging each ornament in its same special place each year. As Felicia slowly decorates the tree we are offered glimpses of a very complicated marriage that now seems to be over. During one painful memory Felicia asks herself "Was he baiting me? I honestly couldn't tell, and I wasn't sure I knew him well enough anymore to know. Maybe I'd never known him at all. Maybe I'd spent the last twenty years of my life with a man I'd only gone through the motions with."

I must say that I found myself sometimes impatient with Felicia because her memories show a husband who was devoted to her and their children. It is only as she continues to peel back the layers that I realized why Felicia was both un-giving and unforgiving. She is probably like many women who have harbored feelings of low self-esteem and long felt resentment for the lost dreams that they have given up by choosing a marriage and family. It wasn't until Felicia realized this that she could finally understand why she had never felt satisfied and truly happy.

The Ornament Keeper gives us a view of a wife who has often doubted her husband's love and glimpses of the good man who has never loved or wanted anyone else. It is a compelling story of family traditions, treasured memories that are both good and bad and the ultimate understanding that forgiveness is a necessary element in all relationships. It also shows that forgiveness of one's self is just as important as being able to forgive others. Eva Marie Everson has written an entertaining and inspiring Christmas novella and I highly recommend it!

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by JustRead Publicity Tours. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

My Thoughts on Christmas With the Cowboy

In a conversation near the end of Christmas with the Cowboy Lucy Maxwell Harris reminds her sister Emma that "Every single day we have an obligation to live a life that asks 'What's on the agenda today, Lord?' You, Travis and I have done that to the best of our ability with our lives and with Big Heart Ranch".

This is the third book in the Big Heart Ranch series and each one has been my favorite while I was reading it but I do believe that Christmas with the Cowboy is truly my top choice. I don't know if it is the heroine who loves all things Christmas or the hero who is Scrooge incarnate and could care less about the holidays. Could it be the adorable three-year-old twin girls who are being raised by their widowed mother but are now experiencing the joys of getting to know "Unca Zach"? Maybe it is Benjie and Mick and the other children who are blossoming from the love and care that they are receiving at this special ranch in Oklahoma. And then there are the three Maxwell siblings and the other employees who are determined to help these children. I'm not really sure of the exact reason but I do know that there are many things to love about this book! Readers get to see first hand the preparations that begin in November for the Holiday Roundup and continue through Christmas Day. We watch as Emma Maxwell Norman works to provide a wonderful holiday for her children and for the orphans at the ranch and I marvelled at her energy and her positive attitude. We also get to catch up with her brother Travis and sister Lucy and some of the other beloved characters from the previous books. And most of all, we get to view the incredible chemistry between Emma and her late husband's half brother. Zach Norman suffers from physical injuries he received during his service as a Navy SEAL and he  carries emotional wounds from his childhood that are equally painful; it is, however, his long-time feelings of love for his sister-in-law that may be the hardest for him to accept and to overcome.

Christmas with the Cowboy is the perfect book to help you get in the Christmas spirit! There are candy canes, chocolate chip cookies and Emma's famous chocolate muffins; Christmas trees and sparkling lights; beautiful music provided by carolers and bell ringers; ugly Christmas sweaters and even a Christmas baby! Most of all, this book has love of family, a devotion to God and the promise of a second chance at romantic love. This is a wonderful Christian romance and once again Tina Radcliffe proves her ability to write books that both entertain and inspire!

I received a complimentary copy from the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

My Thoughts on Too Blessed to be Stressed

This book could make you cry but it will definitely make you laugh! Reading "Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms" is like finding a series of therapy sessions that have been bound in a 5" x 7" book that you can fit in your purse! I am past the "mother stress stage" but I remember how it was and I just wish that this book had been available when I was the mom trying to stay afloat. There is a Stress Test for Moms at the beginning of the book to help determine your level of stress and then the therapy begins. Author Debora M. Coty has included scriptures, personal experiences, well-known (and lesser known) quotes, and a section titled Navigating the Hood (the MotherHood) at the end of each chapter to help readers better understand that they aren't the only ones feeling like "they just can't do it anymore". She shares a huge amount of wisdom and seasons it with a tremendous amount of humor!

Yes, it is entertaining but the inspiration and motivation offered are the author's primary goals. Being a mother causes many emotions. There are moments of overwhelming fatigue, total humiliation, extreme embarassment and a need to run away. Debora M. Coty assures us that these feelings are normal and they can be overcome because mothers also experience intense love and immense love. I especially liked this observation that she makes near the end. On page 215 she writes "As jarring as it is to admit, mothers never stop being mothers. We'll always care about, fret over, and fiercely love our kids--bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. Our Creator hardwired us that way; we relentlessly love our children like He relentlessly loves His (that would be you and me!)

Proof positive that we mothers are very special--we ourselves are very loved and we are indeed very blessed!

"Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms" is applicable to a first-time mother with a new baby or to a mom with numerous children; if you're now a mother to teens, you can definitely relate to the stress factors! This is a book that can be recommended to all mothers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.