Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review of Silver Threads: Weaving Godly Wisdom Into the Life of Younger Women by Kate Megill

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

Quite a few years ago, as a young homeschooling mama, I stumbled upon a web board that was a forum for Christian homeschoolers. Many times, through the early years of homeschooling and child rearing, I asked questions on the board, seeking advice and encouragement and prayer. It was difficult, with young children, for me to get out very often and join a group like this in real life. And, to be honest, I hadn't found this kind of mentoring and encouragement in the few places I had looked.


One of the women who was a huge encouragement to me on the board was Kate Megill, a homeschooling mama of eight. Many times Kate answered a question or made a comment in a way that was just what I needed to hear at them time. Always her statements were Christ-like and kind. And she always based her opinions in Scripture.

I'm not an extrovert- in real life or online- so I seldom carried on long conversations on the board. Kate probably doesn't even know the impact that her words sometimes had, the discussions I had with my husband about things she had said. Even some of the things that strengthened my relationship with my husband during those early years of parenthood were things I learned from Kate.

And so, when I learned that Kate had written a book about mentoring younger women, I know it would be wonderful. Who better to share her wisdom about mentoring? And I have had the privilege to read through Kate's book for review. Kate's book is Silver Threads: Weaving Godly Wisdom Into the Lives of Younger Women.

Kate begins Silver Threads by taking a look at why we need godly older women to come alongside younger women (from Titus 2:1-5). Sharing her own story, she shows the importance of these godly older women, and she talks about discipleship.

Part One looks at some of the characteristics of the "older women" mentioned in Titus 2. She also looks at where to find these older women mentors and even gives younger women some advice of what to do if they can't find an older woman to be in their lives.

In Part Two Kate shares about becoming the older woman mentioned in Titus 2. Always focused on Scripture, Kate uses several passages to discuss the traits needed to develop in the older woman. Then she gives some practical things that the older woman should remember- dos and don'ts of discipleship.

Kate also takes a look at how the older woman might begin being an influence in the lives of younger women- whether in an organized way or simply in living by example. And she reminds us of something very important- beginning this discipleship process of older women teaching younger women with our own daughters. I must admit that I was convicted here. While I love the idea of being a mentor and encouragement to younger moms, I often overlook the fact that my daughters are going to be those future young moms!

In the final section, Kate takes a look at the impact of discipling younger woman on the local church and even on the world. As I said in the beginning of this post, I can certainly testify to the impact that can be made when an older woman takes the time and effort to make a difference in the lives of younger women.

Silver Threads is an excellent call to action. I want to be an influencer as Kate- and later others- have been for me. I want to remember to begin at home with my daughters. (I have a teenager and a preteen!) And I want to be and encouragement and adviser to other women also.

You can purchase Silver Threads through Amazon as a Kindle read or a paperback. And it's a read I can highly recommend!


Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead by Diane Noble

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.


The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead was a fun read. At times it was romantic, at times suspenseful, and at times thoughtful. But it was at all times a fun read.

There isn't anything really deep as far as character development in the story. The perspective changes from the first person perspective of our main character- El Littlefield- to third person perspective focusing on other main characters at time.

But even though there isn't lots of depth of characters, the fast-paced, suspenseful story was a really enjoyable read. I was caught up in the mystery from the start. And, although transitions were a little choppy at times, the mystery of the figurehead's disappearance along with El's missing best friend not to mention the trouble of all the illness from the banquet catered by El's catering group, were all enough to keep me very interested in reading to the end.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.





This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead
David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)
by
Diane Noble


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning novelist Diane Noble writes stories that tap into the secrets of the heart.

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She recently finished writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one, The Sister Wife, and book 2, The Betrayal, which are published by Harper Collins/Avon Inspire, are now in bookstores.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.

ABOUT THE BOOK

She’s Passionate about Solving the Case ... with the Town’s Life-Long Bachelor

El Littllefield runs The Butler Did It catering. It’s the perfect cover for her to solve “who-done-its” (nothing too dangerous, please!) in this small university town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While catering her most important event yet—a fancy retirement dinner for Dr. Max Haverhill, life-long bachelor and history dean—countless guests fall ill, a 200 year-old relic is stolen, and her best friend vanishes. All in the first hour.

As El and Max race to solve the mystery, they discover there’s more to their relationship than simply solving the case. Welcome to Eden’s Bridge—the perfect small town setting for big intrigue, romance, and humor.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead, go HERE



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Friday, September 12, 2014

Review of Mirror Images by Laurie Norlander

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

Laurie Norlander is a new to me author. But I was very intrigued by the title and description of the book - Mirror Images- when I chose it to review.


From the book's description:
They say seeing is believing... What if they’re wrong?

That's Maddy's dilemma when she sees her volatile ex-boyfriend at his identical twin's funeral. It's the first of many surprises as Maddy quickly discovers nothing is as it seems in the close-knit community of Churchill, Wisconsin. Despite lingering feelings for Nic, Maddy’s skeptical of claims that his millionaire brother committed suicide. Her suspicions turn to horror when Maddy stumbles across evidence the man was murdered - and Nic may be responsible.

Maddy's search for truth plays out against the backdrop of small town politics and a personal struggle with doubt. When a second tragedy tangles Maddy in a web of danger and betrayal, how far will she go to unmask the killer?

Mirror Images is a riveting romantic suspense novel woven with insights on friendship, forgiveness, and the power of faith.


So I began reading the book with high hopes. But I was soon to be disappointed.

Although the book is written in first person from Madison's perspective, we don't get to know her or the other characters very well at all. I didn't feel like they were developed well. And it always frustrates me to read a book when I can't identify with the characters.

But I thought at least the mystery and intrigue would hold me, make me want to keep reading to find out what happens. And I have to admit that the story was set well in the beginning to capture my attention. But even that intrigue wasn't enough to make me want to keep reading.

The story was rambling and somewhat difficult to follow. Things would happen that just didn't seem to make sense in light of other information we had from previous events. This made the story line very choppy and hard to keep up with.

I didn't feel like the book was really a "romantic suspense novel" either. Throughout most of the book, Madison (rarely called Maddy in the book) hates the primary male character. And when her feelings for him are revealed, the change is very abrupt and doesn't fit very well.

Although I began with high hopes, I just couldn't like this one. I give it two stars and a PG for content (there is reference to murder and suicide but not graphic descriptions).

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review of The Healer's Touch by Lori Copeland

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

The Healer's Touch is a very simple Christian fiction/romance novel. It's an historical novel set in the Old West. There wasn't anything deep or momentous in this read, but it was a decent story with a somewhat interesting plot.


Lyric's mother is plagued with a mental illness so people leave them alone- far alone. None of the folks from nearby Joplin, Missouri want to get anywhere near them. The presence of a very strange and creepy light that occurs near their home place doesn't help matters. (The author explains the very real phenomenon of this light in the introduction.) But a mysterious man- who happens to be a U.S. marshal crashes into her barn one day running from the light. Lyric helps the man and cares for him as he recovers. But as they grow closer, she is concerned about the fact of her mentally ill mother.

There wasn't much depth to this read. The characters were not developed extremely well, so I didn't feel as if I got to know them very much. The plot was interesting but not very believable. I was interested enough to want to keep reading and find out the conclusion.

I can recommend it as a simple, short read. I give it 3 stars and a G rating for content.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.


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Review of The Amish Blacksmith by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.


Product DetailsThis spring I was able to review a book from Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner that was part of a series- The Men of Lancaster County. The series is written from the perspective of Amish men. Reading the first book took me a while to get into it because it was coming from a man's perspective. But then I really enjoyed the characters and the story.


I found the same thing when I began The Amish Blacksmith. The main character in this story is the nephew of the first story's main character. And there is some reference to the people from the first story. But this one could easily be read and understood as a stand alone novel.

In this story, Jake befriends the niece of the blacksmith to whom he is apprenticed. She has a reputation of being the odd girl who moved away when her mother died in a tragic accident. But she's back and Jake sets out to befriend her as a favor to his boss. Although Jake has a girl that he's courting, he is very even keel with no passion or emotion. As time goes on, he finds himself enjoying his friendship with Priscilla. And Priscilla challenges him to open up and really feel.

As with the previous book, I had a difficult time relating to a story told in first person with a male main character. But as I read, I really enjoyed Jake and Priscilla and the story unfolding. It's a sweet romance with a good message as the characters are faced with God at work in their lives.

I give this one 4 stars and a G rating for content.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Review of Making Marion by Beth Moran

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

Making Marion is one of those books that I couldn't put down, but at the same time I wanted to hold on to it as long as possible. I didn't want it to end, but I wanted to find out how it ended.


From the book's description: She had been looking for somewhere to stay, but instead Marion Miller finds herself on the wrong side of the reception desk at the Peace and Pigs campground and, despite her horrible shyness, promptly lands herself a job.
Marion came to Nottinghamshire--home of Sherwood Forest--to discover her father's mysterious past, but all she has to go on is a picture of her father dressed up, it would seem, as Robin Hood. 
Life on a busy campground challenges Marion's formerly controlled life--the pigs roam free, the resident chickens seem determined to thwart her, and an unfortunate incident with a runaway bike throws her into the arms of the beautiful, but deeply unimpressed, Reuben.
Yet, Marion's would-be boyfriend Jake, and Reuben's stunning fiancée Erica, conspire to leave little room for Marion to daydream about the twinkling eyes of her rescuer . . . Will Marion ever find peace, and perhaps even love, among the pigs?
Including a large cast of memorable, colorful characters, Making Marion is an outstanding debut romantic comedy that touches on issues of identity and family with a natural ease.

Although the book is described as a romantic comedy, there is so much more to it. Marion deals with social issues that stem from a traumatic childhood. She has to confront issues from her past with courage and forgiveness. We see things from her point of view told in first person, but she meets a whole host of characters that are quirky and charming or sometimes spiteful and mean-spirited. There certainly is humor here, but there is also a touching theme of love and acceptance, of ourselves as well as of others.

Things aren't always perfect for Marion, and everything doesn't always come out rosily. But there is plenty of laughter and hope and joy that balance out the tough, realistic life issues that Marion and her friends face.

With a cast of characters that I thoroughly enjoyed and a very interesting story line to keep me wanting to know what happened next, Making Marion was an excellent read. 

I give this one 5 stars and a PG rating for content. I can definitely recommend it as a great read. You can find more information or purchase it from Kregel here  or from Amazon here.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review of Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.


Miracle in a Dry Season was a different sort of novel. It's tone was little more somber. It's Christian fiction with a bit of a romantic story line, but it's definitely not just a romance novel.


The prevailing theme is forgiveness and refreshment. And Sarah Loudin Thomas does an excellent job weaving all of the elements of the story around this theme.

I was a little hesitant when I began because the feel of the novel is just different from the Christian romance stories I often read. But as I read, I really began to enjoy the read. I loved the characters. I enjoyed the story line. And although the tone of novel wasn't so sweet and simple as some of the novels I enjoy, the difference was refreshing.

This is one I can definitely recommend, and I look forward to finding more from the author who was new to me. I give this one 5 stars and a PG rating.



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Miracle in a Dry Season
Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)
by
Sarah Loudin Thomas


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope


It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.


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