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 enjoy reading to my granddaughter and supporting authors through my reviews!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Grace Looks Amazing on You: 100 Days of Reflecting God's Love by Amy Seiffert

Grace Looks Amazing on You: 100 Days of Reflecting God's LoveABOUT THE BOOK

What if today is the perfect time to notice God's grace in one another?
Women are so often weighed down by comparison, anxiety, and fear that the idea that grace could look amazing on them feels unbelievable. But all around us are flashes of grace, shining examples of God's love.

Amy Seiffert says it's the everyday moments that Jesus shines through: making time for a friend even when your to-do list is pages long; apologizing to your neighbor when you don't want to admit you are wrong; opening the Bible when your soul feels hollow and empty.

Making the choice to accept God's limitless love no matter what and reflecting it back to the world around you--friend, that's when His grace looks amazing on you.

A perfect gift to affirm and encourage any woman, Grace Looks Amazing on You is a timeless Christian message packed with personal story and reflection, Scripture, and deep biblical truth. This 100-day devotional will help you change your perspective so you can confidently radiate the grace of Christ.

MY THOUGHTS..... 

We are now in the midst of a world wide pandemic and the release of this book is perfect timing. Suddenly, it is impossible to get a professional hair cut, makeup is seldom used, and dressing in our "Sunday Best" seems to be a vague memory. Amazing is certainly not the word we would use to describe ourselves right now because we tend to think in physical terms but author Amy Seiffert assures us that God sees each of us differently. He knows our thoughts and He sees our inner beauty and He thinks that "My grace looks amazing on you." God is offering us His wonderful gift of grace but are we willing to accept it? More importantly, are we willing to extend love and forgiveness to others? Will the amazing person that God sees be visible to others?

Most of us need encouragement and inspiration and Grace Looks Amazing On You is an ideal answer to our needs. There are one hundred devotions in this book and I felt like Seiffert was talking to me personally as she shares biblical truth with both humor and wisdom. The scripture, short devotion, and Grace Reflection for each day all contribute to make this a valuable resource for both personal devotion time or a group Bible study.

I received a copy of this book from the author but there was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy has been writing, teaching, and speaking on staff with Cru for over 18 years and is currently the Director of Outward Movement at Brookside Church. She is married to Rob since 2001, and they live in Bowling Green, OH with their three children Robby, Olive, and Judah.

Amy pulls you in with her story telling and down-to-earth insights. Weaving Biblical wisdom through her presentations, Amy takes you for a ride and drops you off back home filled up with truth, love and hope. Relatable, funny, and a bit provocative, Amy has the uncanny ability to articulate what so many are thinking about in their daily lives. She inspires, teaches and humbly relates to the mystery and messiness of life.

Learn more about Amy at her Website     Facebook     Instagram

View all my reviews

Love Finds a Way by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Love Finds a WayABOUT THE BOOK

Three stories of light-hearted romance from bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter prove Love Finds a Way. Widow Lorna Patterson returns to college looking for education not romance. Then she meets fellow student and culinary novice Evan Bailey. Will his persistence have her re-thinking love? When Shelia Nickels searches for her grandmother’s doll her hunt leads to antique dealer Dwaine Woods’s door. But will she find love instead of a lost treasure? Wendy Campbell doesn’t want a relationship, but her father does. . .for her. Will his matchmaking end with an unexpected romance for Wendy and paramedic Kyle Rogers?

MY THOUGHTS.....

Love Finds A Way is a trilogy written by Wanda E. Brunstetter in 2012 and it is made up of three contemporary fiction novels. In each of these short novels, people who aren't looking for romance seem to find it anyway!

In Blueberry Surprise a widow returns to college to fulfill her desire to become a music teacher. Evan Bailey has also enrolled in Bay View Christian College and he jokingly admits that he wants to 1) learn how to cook and 2) find a Christian wife. Will Lorna Patterson find something besides a teaching degree when she meets Evan?

Grandma's Doll offers a touch of mystery as Sheila Nickells searches for a doll that she loved as a child. When she finds it missing from her grandmother's attic she hopes that an antique dealer can help her find it. Will she find her beloved Bye-Lo baby doll? Is it possible that Dwain Wood will help her find something even more valuable?

Matchmaker 911 shares the romance between Wendy Campbell and paramedic Kyle Rogers that is being orchestrated by an unlikely matchmaker...Wendy's father. Wayne Campbell decides that this considerate young paramedic is just the person that Wendy needs in her life? Will his efforts work or will his matchmaking scheme be discovered?

Once again, author Wanda E. Brunstetter offers readers stories that both entertain and inspire. If you are an Amish fan looking for the usual Brunstetter book, you may be disappointed with Love Finds A Way but I found these three novellas to be enjoyable Christian romances. I recommend it to anyone looking for light, easy reads!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

To learn more about Wanda, visit her website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep: Review & Giveaway


About the Book



Book:  House at the End of the Moor
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre:  Christian Historical
Release Date: April 2020

An Opulent London Opera Star Escapes to the Rugged Landscape of the English Moors

Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

Click here for your copy!

MY THOUGHTS.....

What a story! Beginning in a cell block in Dartmoor Prison, and quickly advancing to a secluded house at the end of a moor, I was fully transported back to Devon, England, in the year 1861, to begin a journey that I won't soon forget. Maggie Lee and Oliver Ward might both be considered prisoners because Maggie has been hiding away near Dartmoor and Oliver Ward has been unjustly accused and sentenced to Dartmoor Prison. When he manages to escape, he is aided by this mysterious lady as they join together to clear his name and avoid being captured by a cruel constable who believes that his actions are done as a service to God. "Sebastian Barrow should've been a preacher....Now instead of saving souls, he shackled and locked them away."

Author Michelle Griep has created some memorable characters and some intriguing events for The House at the End of the Moor, a book filled with adventure, danger, mystery, and intrigue. There is also the suggestion of a romance that left me hoping for so much more! In one instance, Maggie tells Oliver that "You are a very kind man for a convict." Later, as she continues to help him, Oliver asks her "Tell me, when this is over, when I am a free man, would you do me the honor of allowing me to call on you?"

Griep vividly describes the initial feelings of fear and desperation and her description of the dark and dreary moor certainly magnifies these feelings. And then, a mutual respect develops between Maggie and Oliver and their emotions change to hope, faith, and trust. The key elements in this story are forgiveness and redemption and The House at the End of the Moor proves once again that no one does historical Christian romance any better than Michelle Griep!

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



About the Author


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 More from Michelle


What comes to mind when you hear the word moor? For some, images of Jane Eyre spring to life. For others, The Hound of the Baskervilles starts barking. But for most, it’s a big fat goose egg. The fact is that most Americans don’t have a clue what a moor is, but never fear, my friend…after you read the next few paragraphs, you’ll never again go blank-minded when you hear the word moor.


Last summer I skipped across the pond and tromped around Dartmoor with my daughter and husband. What an awesome experience. I learned first-hand just how windy this vast stretch of land can be, for that’s really what a moor is at heart: a vast stretch of land. Webster’s defines it as an expanse of open rolling infertile land. Sounds rather desolate, eh? Yeah. Kind of. But it’s oh so much more.

In spring and summer, green does abound. Gorse bushes. Scrubby grasses. Lambs and sheep and goats. All these animals roam free so there are trails worn into the dirt that you can hike along. But I hear you…where could you possibly go if there’s nothing besides some farm animals roaming around the place?

You could hike to a tor, which is a “high, craggy hill.” Some of them can be a little treacherous to climb, but sweet mercy, what a view! The earth stretches out like a green and brown quilt. As I hiked that day last spring, whispers in the wind inspired me to wonder a lot of what-ifs, and those what-ifs came together in a story of intrigue and betrayal.

What would you do if you found a half-dead man bleeding in the middle of nowhere? Find out what heroine Maggie Lee does in The House at the End of the Moor.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 18
The Avid Reader, April 18
Among the Reads, April 20
Remembrancy, April 23
Hookmeinabook, April 23
Emily Yager, April 24
Betti Mace, April 25
Stories By Gina, April 25
Splashes of Joy, April 26
Simple Harvest Reads, April 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Vicky Sluiter, April 26
Pause for Tales, April 27
Hallie Reads, April 28
Bigreadersite, April 29
Older & Smarter?, April 29
Genesis 5020, April 30
By The Book, April 30
Artistic Nobody, May 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

Before I Called You MineABOUT THE BOOK

Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there's only one match she's committed to now--the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency's requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.

With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

MY THOUGHTS..... 

Author Nicole Deese and her husband have gone through their own adoption story and their emotional experiences have enabled her to write a book that you won't soon forget. You'll smile. you'll laugh, you will certainly cry, but you will not forget this beautiful story. This is a book that has all of the elements of great contemporary fiction: a young woman who has never truly felt loved or supported by her family, her yearning to be a mother even if she isn't a wife, and an unexpected opportunity for love that she is convinced she must deny. I loved the romantic chemistry between Lauren Bailey and Joshua Avery but their Christian beliefs and her absolute determination to adopt prevent her from allowing anything further to develop. Joshua tells her "Our story is an original, Lauren. And I'm more than okay waiting on the next chapters to be written." All I could think was, who could deny a man who uttered these beautiful words?


Before I Called You Mine has many other memorable quotes and it's obvious that they could only be written by someone who has experienced her own questions and doubts.

 "I had faith, a relationship with God, and a calling on my life to follow and obey." 

"God's way is rarely easy, but it's always better than mine.”

“Love isn’t about instant gratification, it’s about showing up for the journey and riding out all the twists and turns along the way . . . together.”


Before I Called You Mine is filled with realistic characters and heart-felt emotions and I believe that it would be a wonderful movie. I also feel certain that it will be named as a book award winner. It is that good!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Bethany House but I wasn't obligated to write a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Nicole Deese's eight humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include the 2017 Carol Award-winning A Season to Love. Her 2018 release, A New Shade of Summer, was a finalist in the RITA Awards, Carol Awards, and INSPY Awards. Both of these books are from her bestselling Love in Lenox series. When she's not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior.



To learn more, visit her Website    Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

View all my reviews

Anchored by Death by Catherine Finger:Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit



About the Book




Book:  Anchored by Death
Author: Catherine Finger
Genre:  Christian Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: June, 2017

Police Chief Jo Oliver needed a little time to herself. But when her escape to Wisconsin turns deadly, she teams up with FBI agent Nick Vitarello, hoping to catch the Bow Tie Killer. Their romantic past and complicated present leads them into uncharted territory as they match wits with a psychopath bent on destroying everything they hold dear.



Click here to get your copy.


MY THOUGHTS.....


Jo Oliver is like so many of today's women. She has worked her way up and is now the Haversport Chief of Police but she also yearns to be a mother and this isn't working out quite as well. From the beginning of this book it's evident that Jo is a strong, capable woman but she is also emotionally fragile. Her efforts to adopt a seven year old girl appear to be on hold and she is also being forced to take a short leave from her job. It is while she is on vacation that she becomes caught up in the search for a murderer and her life is changed drastically. A serial killer, lots of twists and turns, and Jo herself as a target make this a book that will satisfy all who enjoy mystery and suspense.

This is the third book featuring Jo Oliver but author Catherine Finger shares prior history from the first two books to help readers who haven't read them. FBI Agent Nick Vitarello joins Chief Oliver in the hunt for the serial killer and the romantic feelings that they once shared are ignited once again. Romance lovers will enjoy this development and while they are tastefully handled, there are a few instances that may not appeal to everyone. What should appeal is that Jo's past is exactly that. She is now a Christian and there are many references to her faith and her belief in the power of prayer.

If you enjoy realistic characters, romantic suspense, and a faith-filled message, you will want to read Anchored by Death.

I received a copy of this book from the author via Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation to post a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


About the Author


Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.


More from Catherine

Thank you for your interest in the Jo Oliver thriller series. Today we celebrate Anchored by Death—book three in the series. The basic plot for this book came as a result of an FBI workshop I attended on how profilers track killers. A particular method was presented that really stuck with me. As I thought it over, I had the idea to combine a map of Wisconsin with the tracking technique I had learned, and I actually built the crime scenes around the theory. I then created a killer who would do the sorts of things I had mapped out, and in that order. This was a satisfying challenge for Josie and I enjoyed my research jaunts throughout Wisconsin while writing the chase and takedown scenes.

When Josie’s off the clock and spending time with family and friends, you can catch our heroine in the kitchen. Ever since her infamous Flourless Chocolate Cake appeared in Anchored by Death, fans have requested the recipe. For the epicurean readers, here is the recipe she used when preparing this special treat:

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ sticks butter
¼ salt
6 eggs, room temp
1 ½ cups sugar (white granulated or brown will do)
Confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder for dusting top and cake stand

How To:

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare springform or regular round pans with nonstick spray or butter and flour.

Melt chocolate, butter, and salt—microwave will work in a pinch—or add all to heatproof bowl and place over small saucepan of simmering water to melt without burning. Set aside to cool

Beat eggs and sugar until light and thickened, around 6-8 minutes. Fold in melted chocolate mixture until completely combined.

Pour batter into buttered and floured cake pan—springform or regular round—and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 90 minutes, until a toothpick comes out wet but relatively clean.

Allow cake to cool completely before removing from pan. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cocoa—Jo used a stencil for a quick and pretty design.

Thanks again for celebrating Anchored by Death—and know that I appreciate you. Readers are a special breed. As a lover of the written word and an author, I invite you to enjoy the read.

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, April 27
Holly Jo Morris, April 27
Older & Smarter?, April 28

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Catherine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Praying Women: How to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say by Sheila Walsh

Praying Women: How to Pray When You Don't Know What to SayABOUT THE BOOK

Do you ever find it hard to pray and don't know what to say? Prayer is one of the most powerful, life-changing things we will ever do, and yet we often struggle. It's hard to find the time. It's repetitive, we get distracted and sometimes even bored. And the answers often feel few and far between. The good news? There is a simple, powerful way to reignite your conversation with God.

In Praying Women, bestselling author Sheila Walsh shares practical helps directly from God's Word, showing you how to

- know what to say when you pray
- understand how to use prayer as a weapon when you are in the midst of a struggle
- pray as joy-filled warriors, not anxious worriers
- let go of the past and stand on God's promises for you now

Prayer changes you and it changes the world. You may have tried before, but if you're ready to start again in your relationship with God, let Sheila Walsh show you how to become a strong praying woman.

MY THOUGHTS.....

I was so excited to read this book and I certainly wasn't disappointed. I long to be known as a Prayer Warrior but I often doubt my ability to pray as I should. This book is just what I needed and Sheila Walsh seemed to be speaking just to me! Praying Women is filled with "golden nuggets"---nuggets of inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and God's Word. Walsh understands that Christian women aren't immune to pain and disappointments and her words offer the comfort that we often need. There are ten chapters that focus on different situations and I love that each chapter has Bible scripture, 'Prayer Reminders' and 'A Prayer When You Don't Know What to Say'. So helpful because I often find myself in this very situation!


"I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God. It changes me." C.S. Lewis

Walsh shares these words in her introduction and they set the tone for the whole book. Praying Women is a must-read for anyone wanting to develop a stronger prayer life and a deeper relationship with God. This is a book to keep and I highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy from Baker Books but there was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheila Walsh (05-07-1956) is a powerful communicator, Bible teacher, and best-selling author with more than 4 million books sold. A featured speaker with Women of Faith®, Sheila has reached more than 3.5 million women by artistically combining honesty, vulnerability, and humor with God's Word.

Author of the best-selling memoir Honestly and the Gold Medallion nominee for The Heartache No One Sees, Sheila's most recent release, The Shelter of God's Promises, has also been turned into a DVD curriculum and in-depth Bible study. The Gigi, God's Little Princess book and video series has won the National Retailer's Choice Award twice and is the most popular Christian brand for young girls in the United States.

Sheila co-hosted The 700 Club and her own show Heart to Heart with Sheila Walsh. She is currently completing her Masters in Theology.

For more about Sheila follow her Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

View all my reviews