Monday, October 31, 2016

A Heart Most Certain

A Heart Most Certain

This turned out to be one of my favourite books I've read to date! As I've mentioned numerous times, I absolutely love historical fiction, and when there is a strong female character in it, it is doubly impressive!!
Our main character in the book is Lydia, while she's set to marry into a very influential and rich family she works hard to hide the shame of her family. So Lydia sets out to join the moral society looking to do good (and hopefully impress the mother of the man she plans to marry). Immediately Lydia finds herself facing challenges that she didn't expect, and when one of the city's wealthiest men decline her invitation to contribute to their cause, Lydia takes it upon herself to convince him that the Moral Society is worthy of investment.
Throughout it all though, Lydia finds that she is changing more that the minds she's set out to change, and discovers secrets that place her and others in deep danger!
I immensely enjoyed this book!! It was fantastic, I had such a hard time putting the book down and found myself up well into the  night when the storyline was just too good to walk away from!!
I 100% recommend this!!

Please copy and paste the following notice for all of the books (in it's entirety and without modifying the wording) at the bottom of your review:
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

The Artisan's Wife

The Artisan's Wife

I love historical novels, and I have greatly enjoyed many of Judith Miller's books, so I was thrilled at the chance to read "The Artisan's Wife". As a twin I really felt like i was able to emphasize with the main character Ainslee as she struggled to find her place and her identity apart from her sister.
After her sister running off to get married, Ainslee finds herself responsible for overseeing the tileworks that their family purchased. She is hesitant to jump into this adventure she was supposed to share with her twin, but with deep reservations she travels down to establish herself and prays that her brother can find a quick buyer. Unexpectedly Ainslee finds herself enjoying her work at the company, and more so the work she's able to do at the asylum located in the same town. As Ainslee settles in she begins to make friends and develop bonds with those around her.
I just really enjoyed reading "The Artisan's wife", the book was well thought out, and there was a real depth to the characters that you don't often experience in novels. I would highly recommend it!!

Please copy and paste the following notice for all of the books (in it's entirety and without modifying the wording) at the bottom of your review:
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

A Tapestry of Secrets

Cover Art

I've read a number of Sarah Loudin Thomas' books, and have enjoyed them each time, so I was quite looking forward to reading "A tapestry of Secrets"! I loved this book, it had a historical focus to it, that I deeply appreciated, plus its main character was an artistic/crafting type so I immediately connected well with her!  The whole book is so well written, there were so many times that I felt as though I really knew these characters, and felt invested in their lives!
We meet two important characters in the book, Petra and Ella; Petra made a mistake decades ago that shaped her life and effected the relationships of those around her. As she prepares to reveal the truth she is suddenly struck silent. Ella her granddaughter who is taking time to care for her and who shares a deep connection with her struggles with choices in her own life, while also fighting for the town and church she grew up in.
Their stories lead us through the struggles and joys each faced and really drew me in, I absolutely loved this book!!

Please copy and paste the following notice for all of the books (in it's entirety and without modifying the wording) at the bottom of your review:
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."




Friday, August 05, 2016

Girl Defined

Girl Defined

I love books that don't try to put women into a box, that allow them to be the women God has created them to be, and that give them the tools to walk in that role with confidence!
I deeply appreciated that the authors didn't try to dictate that women need be a certain way (too many books expect that every woman's goal should be to become the proverbs 31 woman when some are called to be our Deborah's or Priscilla's!) but gave them the freedom to walk in the specific plan that God has designed for them!
I am going to be recommending this book to our youth group girls, they're so inundated with society's version of perfection and beauty that books like this are invaluable. I appreciate that Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird spiritually set out in this book where women's real value comes from and what real beauty looks like. This is one of the few books on "Biblical" womenhood that I can fully get behind, that has a great message of what it means to be a woman of God.
I highly recommend this book!! Wonderful!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Sea Rose Lane

Cover Art

Irene Hannon is another author who I've enjoyed reading many times, and as always her books are emotional, thought provoking, entertaining, and an enjoyment to read. I appreciate the thought she puts into her characters, after a while they stop feeling like characters in a book and begin to feel more like friends and family. I love reading her books, I can absolutely lose myself in their pages (to the point that I forget the time, there were many nights where I accidentally read until 1am, this book was that good!)
I especially love that she's put out another book based in Hope Harbor, I loved the initial book of Hope Harbor so to read in that setting again was like visiting a beloved place!
We get to know in this book the characters Eric and BJ, one who's an attorney looking for some quiet and peace to get over a big disappointment and the other the one invading his quiet retreat and transforming it into a B&B.
I adored the quirkiness of the characters in this book, there wasn't this deep fall in love moment with them, but a gradual understanding and acceptance of each other. The dialog was quiet witty and I very much enjoyed their banter. This book was an enjoyment to read, and I would highly recommended it!!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Delilah

Finding God in the Hard Times

I have a serious love for these books by Angela Hunt, where she gives a new perspective on women in the Bible who are given a bad rap based on a few sentences and without backstories. While this book is a fiction novel based on a real Biblical story, it does deepen the understanding of the reader!  I love that Hunt took us to a place where we could understand that there were possibilities as to why Delilah did what she did. People don't always look at or think about the back story of the biblical "villains" so I really appreciated Angela Hunt giving us a chance to think about this stuff and to offer the grace that life isn't always so cut and dry.
My heart ached for the story Hunt created for Delilah, and really gave me pause, we forget that in those times women were very poorly treated and thought of, the acts of her stepbrother and the treatment of those around her opened my eyes to realize that there is much about the Bible characters that we don't know.
This is the third book by Angela Hunt that I've had the privilege of reading, and as always it was absolutely fantastic!
I highly recommend this book!!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When calls the heart season 3

I am so excited to share with my readers this opportunity, fishflix  has offered! They have  decided to give a free season one set when you preorder the complete season three collectors boxed set! I'm sure most of you by now have at the very least heard of the show, it is an amazing series based on the books by Janette Oke. It's wholesome television, there aren't worries whether this will be family appropriate, this is one of my very favourite series on right now, I love that I can share it with my family, even my 14 year old son enjoys it!! I highly encourage you to pick yours up today!!
When calls the heart season 3 collectors set

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Miracles from Heaven




I was so excited to have the opportunity to review this movie, I have been looking forward to seeing the "Miracles from heaven" (and hopefully eventually getting my hands on the book!!) I had some very high expectations for the movie, I've heard so much about it, and so many good reviews are out there that I was pretty certain that I would love it. And I did, so much.
"Faith is really the only true shelter", what a wonderful line, for me it really sums up so much of this movie and the Christian walk. Though throughout the movie there are times of doubt and sorrow, there is this underlying faith that shines through throughout it. The movie portrays the characters with such a humbleness and authenticity that it was so easy to grieve with them when they faced sadness and rejoice with them when their miracle came through. I honestly can't say enough good things about this movie, its a faith booster, it makes you look at a life and realize that God does work today, that He moves Today, and when we share the experience of seeing someone else's miracles its boosts our faith too! This movie, it broke my heart at times and made me rage and cry with them, and eventually celebrate with them!
I absolutely loved this movie, I thought All the cast members were excellent, (which you don't always see in a Christian movie, so that was fantastic!!) they were believable and I truly felt like I was going through this with them!
I 100% recommend this movie, I think it needs to be played in our churches and in our homes, I think the world needs the message that this movie is sharing!

I received a viewing of this movie in exchanged for an honest review!









Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Loving my actual life

Loving My Actual Life

This book spoke to me on so many levels, and I am deeply grateful to Alexandra Kuykendall for writing it! As a mom of a teenager I know all about feeling inadequate in raising our child and as a PW I know all about the feelings of financial insecurity too lol. I so appreciate that Alexandra didn't try to brush under the messy parts of life, or try to be an answer to all life's problems with quick pat quips and formulas for becoming the successful and secure Christian that everyone assumes you have to be. I love that she let it be known that loving this life, in its mess and problems, trials and joys is not only okay, but something to be cherished. I think too many (especially Christians) try to strive to be someone else's definition of perfection that they miss out on this beautiful life they're living right now! I think this is a must read for every Christian, and will be recommending it constantly, her message of loving life even when its messy is something I think our people need to hear!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

The Real Heaven

The Real Heaven

I have to admit that I do tend to love the books out there about people's visions or visitations to heaven, I find them heart warming and inspiring. But I've also had a nagging question about whether any of what is shared in these types of books is 100% Biblical. I looked into it a bit, but hadn't done any really in depth studying on it. So I truly appreciate that Chip Ingram took the time to really study the scriptures and put together this book! "The real Heaven" answered some of my questions I've had about previous books I've read, and I also feel that I've become more grounded on what the Bible does say about Heaven. I love that everything in this book isn't so much an "Opinion" about heaven, but a Scriptural in depth look, that is backed up by the Bible.
So I would absolutely recommend this book, I think it'll be a great tool to have on hand when others have questions (or when we ourselves have questions), and I know that when the next big "Heaven" story comes out, the first place I'll be looking will be in my Bible and this book. I think this is a must own for anyone involved in pastoral ministry or outreach!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Finding God in the Hard Times

Finding God in the Hard Times

I 100% loved this book, one of my very favorite worship songs is "Blessed Be Your Name" and I deeply loved this book by Matt and Beth Redman, the vulnerability that they showed sharing their lessons and stories was so inspiring. The lessons we the readers get to learn through their book are deep, life changing, and so important! My favorite source of comfort in times of pain and hurt is in the book of Psalms, so instantly I felt a strong connection to the book and the message the Redman's were giving.
I think one of the best lessons a Christian can learn is to worship God when life is hard or painful, I think our worship takes on so much more meaning when we can stand before Him broken and hurting and still say "God is a Good Father' and know that its true. I think the deepest growth in Christ we can have is during the most difficult times where we chose to lean on Him and trust Him inspite of our circumstances.
I highly recommend this book and will be purchasing some for both our library and to keep on hand to give away for hurting friends.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Sins of the Past

Sins of the Past

I was really looking forward to reading "Sins of the Past" All of the authors of the book are among some of my absolute favorites, so I had some big expectations for this book! And it absolutely did not disappoint, while I'm not a huge fan of romance books, I love the Suspense genre and this collection of Novellas kept my attention throughout the book. I think the only thing I didn't love about this book was that I wish it had been longer!
With each story within the novella there is a surprising amount of depth especially considering that there is less of the story then we would usually see from these authors! My favorite novella within the book I have to say is Lynette Eason's "Blackout" With her character of Macy Adams, who I thought was a fantastic Character! I love that the main character in Eason's story isn't someone who lived a perfect life, but has made some big mistakes. I love that she (Macy) is so relate-able to so many people.
However while It was my favorite within the Novella, I need to point out that the other stories are just as good, and the whole book is well worth the read!!
I Highly Recommend!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Full of Grace


I'd like to start off by thanking  FishFlix.com  for giving me the opportunity to review "full of Grace" for them, I enjoy reviewing books and really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to review this film!
Full of Grace is a movie based on the time line of 10 years after Jesus joined His Father in heaven, we get to see the lives and struggles that the disciples and Mary, Jesus' mother, faced as they continued on in the work that Jesus started while on earth.  I did enjoy this movie, there were some parts I really liked, some that confused me a little, and a small portion that I would they would have done better.
First of all, I loved how well the script included and the actors displayed the commitment and passion and trials of the "first followers" of Christ. It truly gives a different perspective considering how life not only changed for them (in a good way) but also became harder. I think we all know that the early followers of Christ were in because of their beliefs, and that their trials were unique, but this movie really portrayed well aspects that I wouldn't normally have considered. The leading of the disciples, and what they decided to act upon spoke to me. It shouldn't have surprised me, but I guess I had assumed that they more than anyone would lead  assured of their choices of every next step. I was surprised of their struggle, and that they seemed to have trepidation and insecurities in regards to if they were doing the right thing. It was a really interesting concept that I hadn't thought about before.
I appreciated their portrayal of Mary, Jesus' mother as well, she was shown in the movie in a role of for lack of a better word "advisor" in some instances. I appreciated that the writers didn't just place her in the background as many Christian movies sometimes have the tendency to do.
There were some scenes that just confused me and I'm unsure what they were portraying in general, however those were few and far between and didn't really bother me or my opinion of the movie!
Lastly, there are only a few complaints about the movie that I have, and they are relatively minor. There were just a couple of actors who had very thick accents, as someone who has a hearing distortion, I had a very hard time making out what they were saying. As well the movie did have a tendency to take its time throughout the movie, I felt that there were a couple of scenes that did tend to just go on a little too long.
In all, I did very much enjoy this film, I thought it was well written and very eye opening! Its definitely not a movie that you'd watch for just its "entertainment" value, but if you're looking for something thought provoking and challenging, then I think you will love this movie! So I would 100% give "Full of Grace" a big recommendation, and will be recommending a copy for our church library as well!



I was given the opportunity to review the movie "Full of Grace" by FishFlix.com in exchange for an honest review,






Saturday, April 30, 2016

Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee

I believe this was my first opportunity to read a novel by Mike Nappa, and I have to say I will be on the look out for him from now on! His style reminds me of a combination of Ted Dekker and Randy Singer, he delves deep into a genre that most Christian authors are afraid to dive into! (and suspense/horror are one of my favorite genres so I'm always very excited to see a new author who does this well!) I don't think there are enough good things I could say about this book, except that everything you are expecting from it, delivers and more! The book was shrouded in mystery and suspense, the whole story was put together in such a way that I deeply struggled to put the book down. There wasn't really one part of the story that didn't keep the story moving along. Unlike other books that are fast paced in that way, Nappa's writing style kept the reader understanding the story, there weren't so many twists and turns that we couldn't figure out where we were, but enough that I could hardly put the book down!
I 100% recommend this book, and this author, I will be eagerly looking for more of his stuff!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

The Red Door Inn

Raising Uncommon Kids

I Seriously loved this book, its become a welcomed addition to my book shelf and will be read many times over! I don't think there are enough good things I could say about it, Liz Johnson has woven a story full of intrigue and suspense while adding a kind and godly tone throughout it! and the descriptions she gives of PEI make me want to take off on a trip for a visit! (I also love that she wrote about a beautiful place in Canada that deserves so much attention!)
In "The Red Door Inn" we learn about Marie, and her trials as she tries to escape a family situation that causes her great anxiety and pain. As she struggles to hide away from her past she meets up with a kind elderly man who invites her to work for him as he struggles to open an Inn in memory of his late wife. I loved the love that these characters were able to show for each other, in following Christs mandate to help "The least of these", This book spoke so much to me about the value God sees on everyone we meet, and how it is our job to reach out to them. I absolutely loved this book, and I highly recommend it!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Flirtation Walk

Flirtation Walk

Siri Mitchell is another author who I am constantly on the look out for, her historical romances are some of my favorite books! So many of her stories have a redemption theme to them that really speaks to me. I love that she doesn't try to create characters that have this kind of "perfection" about them. I love seeing the characters develop and grow into a godly portrait!
In flirtation walk we get to meet the character Lucinda Pennyworth, who struggles with her past of helping her conman father swindle others out of their inheritances. upon learning of his passing, Lucinda feels that she has no choice but to seek out her mother's family. As she comes to learn of how wrong her past was, Lucinda struggles to make up for and correct her previous thinking. At the same time she is also getting to know a Cadet called Seth who she immediately feels a bond with. As both struggle with circumstances they feel they must correct they also struggle to get to know each other as well.
In all, I would highly recommend this book, well worth the read!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

A Treasure Concealed

A Treasure Concealed

I've enjoyed reading Tracie Peterson's books for a long while now, and am always excited to see her stuff up for review! I know that every time I'll have a great story to dive into!
This time was no different, Peterson put together a great story, it had a fantasic flow to it that kept me engrossed in the story till the very end!
The book "A treasure concealed" is focused upon Emily Carver, and her struggles as she  helps a gold obsessed father keep their home running while she cares for her ailing mother. As Emily struggles to keep her family afloat she meets a young geologist named Caeden, who immediately captured her attention, but her loyalty and commitment to her family stand in the way of allowing herself to care or consider leaving home.
In all, I loved this book, as is true with all of Tracie Peterson's other books, there was a such a depth of character within the people of the story that you really felt like you knew them, and cared about their well being.
I would 100% recommend this book, it was an excellent read and had a fantastic (and sometimes suspenseful!) storyline!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."