September 30, 2015

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn 
"A Wedding At The Orange Blossom Inn"
Shelley Shepard Gray

A wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.
Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband’s memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?
Emma’s gentleness with Jay’s boys stirs something in his heart that’s been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son’s joy, Jay wonders if it’s time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.
Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?

I enjoy the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.  They are an enjoyable read where everything turns out for the best.  A very relaxing book to read when everything around you is going crazy.

Read more about this book here.


September 25, 2015

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Psalm 73:26 
"My flesh and my soul faileth:  but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

September 24, 2015

The Finishing School 
"The Finishing School"
Valerie Woerner

Are you tired of waiting for change to happen in your life? Do you feel stuck, even though you want to live more intentionally?
In today’s world, our most precious pursuit of a life well lived gets squeezed out by the silliest of things: binging on Netflix or ice cream, shopping trips for things we don’t need, bad habits we can’t seem to get a handle on, and so much more. Valerie has been there despite knowing what she wanted for her life. Actually do it? That’s the challenge.
After gobbling up all the non-fiction and self-help books her donut-filled belly could handle, she decided it was time to put her knowledge to good use and start actually living it out. You will hear about her journey through victories and plenty of failures and find practical tips to apply to your own pursuit of holiness. You will find homework at the end of each chapter that includes a worksheet to put real change in motion for your own life as well as recommended books to further study those topics that really test you.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  Valerie's style of writing was refreshing and light.  She wrote as if she were here in person talking to me!  She has a way of writing that makes you actually think about what you're reading.  

There are many lessons that I learned by reading her book and I was definitely challenged.  I found myself thinking about the book throughout the day and trying to implement what I had read. 

While this book was really helpful and encouraging, I would have really liked it more if she used the King James Bible.  

Valerie is obviously very knowledgeable and is not afraid to share her knowledge or her experiences.  She is very real and isn't afraid to for others to see her for who she really is!  I believe that really helped me enjoy the book more.  As she said herself, "we can relate to people who are real".  (paraphrasing) 

My favorite thing about this book was whenever Valerie referred to God (example: He, His, etc.) she would always capitalize it.  I am a firm believer in capitalizing references to God and His Word.  I'm so glad that she did that.  A lot of authors do not and it's disappointing.

Read more about the book here.


September 7, 2015

Counting on a Cowboy 
 "Counting On A Cowboy"
Debra Clopton

After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.

This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

I really enjoyed book one, but book two was kind of a let down for me.  Book two started off very similar to book one and that was discouraging.  Bo was funny and a cut-up in the first book and not so much in this one, almost as if he were two different people.  

The fact that everyone was o.k. with Bo's indiscretion bothered me.  Sure he knew better, and knew that he'd done wrong, but that obviously didn't mean anything. 

Abby, however, made this book enjoyable for me.  I can't imagine going through what she did yet, after some time, she kept going.  Abby was always willing to help others and was a true nurturer.  

I also like Pebble.  I like how she has strong standards and sticks to them.  She doesn't give into wrong to make people happy or to please them, nor does she try to shove her standards down other peoples throats.  She is right in not giving into Rand and condoning his drinking problems.   

"Counting On A Cowboy" reminds us of the importance of forgiveness and letting go.  

Read more about the book here.



September 5, 2015

"Sweet Mountain Rancher"
Loree Lough


Nate Marshall used to be a yes-man... until being so agreeable cost him dearly. But Eden Quinn has a way of getting him to reconsider his "just say no" policy. Which is how a bunch of troubled teens end up at his ranch for the weekend. Nate can't help but be attracted to the woman who keeps them in line.

This cowboy knows Eden's no damsel in distress, yet hers isn't a one-woman job. If she must do everything on her own, how can he help her... let alone get her to fall for him?

This was my first book by Loree Lough and I really enjoyed it.  Nate is a perfect gentleman and Eden is a wonderful person!  

"Sweet Mountain Rancher" is an enjoyable read and has great morals throughout the book.  I especially love that Eden has dedicated her life to helping troubled teen boys.  She is wonderful at it and is very inspiring!
A very easy read that will stick with you long after you put the book down!

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August 14, 2015

Cover Art 
"Through Waters Deep"
Sarah Sundin

It's 1941, America teeters on the brink of war.

Mary Stirling is a secretary at the Boston Navy Yard.  She runs into an old childhood friend, Ensign Jim Avery.  Jim is aboard a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood.

Sabotage is discovered on Jim's ship, so he and Mary work together to undercover the culprit.

What Jim doesn't know is that Mary has always had a crush on him.  But he only had eyes for a sparkling blond named Quintessa, Mary's best friend.

But as they work together, Jim begins to forget Quintessa and sees Mary as someone he could love forever.

Just as things seem to be heading in the right direction for Jim and Mary, Quintessa shows up after being dumped by her boyfriend.  So she comes to Boston in pursuit of Jim.

Meanwhile, the sabotage is escalating, putting both Jim and Mary in danger.

Sarah Sundin is a wonderful historical novelist.  She does such thorough research.   She portrays her stories so real to life that you feel as if you are there! 

This novel gave insight to how tense American feelings were prior World War II.  I admit that it did take me a while to get into it, but once I did, I really enjoyed it.  Reading about all of the technical ship stuff was kind of difficult because I'm not familiar with ships.

Mary was a true heroine in this book!  God gave her the strength to overcome her fears.  Once she overcame them, she was used of God more and became the person God intended her to be. 

I love how Jim and Mary encouraged each other in the Lord.  The way they openly talked about God to each other was refreshing.  They trusted God throughout the whole book, with big things and small things,   not just when it was convenient. Since they already trusted God with the small things, it was a lot easier for them to trust God with the big things.  That is how we should be as well. 

I love WWII historical novels and Sarah is one of the best authors for writing them! 

Read more about the book here.