My Comments: This was a great read! I love books by Dan Walsh and combining his talents and the expertise of Gary Smalley makes for a super engaging book. I didn’t find out until I finished the book that this was the second one in a series. Didn’t matter – it can stand alone, although I would love to read the first book now.
I can’t understand families such as this because I grew up in a blue-collar family struggling to get by and my own family has been similar – no extra money to speak of. I can imagine there are people out there with these problems, however. Even if there is no money, relationships can still suffer because of unrealistic expectations. I have never known anyone who has changed as drastically as Tom’s father. I know that with God nothing is impossible, I’ve just never experienced a life changed as drastically. Imagine your spouse keeping such an important secret for five months – that he was laid off from his job. Imagine. Imagine a workaholic completely turning around and putting marriage and family first…imagine.
Thank you to NetGalley for my review e-copy. The opinions are my own.
From the back cover: Nothing is Impossible with God. NOTHING. Not even that thing. Your thing. The one thing that seems to defy all attempts to defeat it, restore it, heal it, change it, overcome it, undo it, or just to get through it.
If you’ve lost even an ounce of confidence in the power and loving attention of Got — if experience has told you that faith must simply acquiesce to impossibility — it’s time somebody told you different.
Bible teacher and best-selling author Pricilla Shirer explores two power packed verses of Scripture, displacing our doubts and rebuilding your assurance — not in a blind attempt to deny life’s adversities and troubles, but to show you that God is always up to great things. Amazing things. He’s a God who cares, and a God who CAN!
Believe it. Experience it. God is Able!
My Comments: This is a great little book by Priscilla Shirer and I have one copy to GIVEAWAY. All you need to do is submit a comment telling me you would like a copy of this book by Saturday, December 14, and I will use random.org to choose a winner! Good luck and Happy Holidays!
About the book: Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.
But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl’s recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour – a single father with strange culinary habits – seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.
When Wild Rose is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family’s past. Liesl has decisions to make…
My comments: Although this book has a story line that would normally interest and engage me, the writing style doesn’t appeal to me, so I found it unenjoyable. Although I love to EAT bread, it has been many years since I have actually BAKED bread, so the recipes woven throughout the book held no special interest to me, although I can understand why they would interest a baker or a full-time mom, and I normally love it when the author intersperses recipes into her writing. I personally found it difficult to relate to the character of Liesl. Parts of the book were engaging, although as a whole not so much so for me. I think this book would appeal to the 20-40 age range so that is who I recommend it to.
I received a free copy for review from Thomas Nelson and I have stated my honest opinions.
Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those few nights a week she spends with her quilting guild. Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home, and the woman acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan is attempting to communicate a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together, or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?
My Comments: This is the first non-Amish fiction book I’ve read by Barbara Cameron and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was somewhat predicatable, but sometimes I need a book like that. Cameron’s writing engages me. A sweet romance develops throughout the story. The only negative thing I can say is that the story ends somewhat abruptly. Maybe this will lead to a sequel? The story is clean and enjoyable. Christianity presents itself but not in a way that would off-put non-believers.
This book will be published in January 2014. I received a review copy from NetGalley. Thanks – this is my honest opinion.
It’s Christmas in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and Lucy Stone is excited about her acting debut in the town’s production of A Christmas Carol. But a real life Scrooge has everyone feeling frosty, and with a murderer on the loose, Lucy will have to unwrap her sleuthing skills faster than she can say, “Bah! Humbug!”
Lucy normally loves planning for the holidays, but this year, Tinker’s Cove has fallen on hard times. With so many residents struggling to make ends meet, Christmas festivities are a luxury some can’t afford. But the story’s not so bleak at Downeast Mortgage, whose tightfisted owners, Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner, are raking in profits from everyone’s misfortune. Half the town is in their debt, so when the miserly Marlowe is murdered, the mourners are few and the suspects are many. . .
It’s hard to feel merry amidst all the yuletide chaos. Between her reporting duties at the Pennysaver and nightly rehearsals for the Christmas play, Lucy hardly has time to search for a killer–especially one whose victim left behind so many possible culprits. Scribner believes Marlowe’s ghost has come to warn him of his own impending demise, and when he starts receiving death threats, Lucy wonders if there’s more to the omen than the ravings of a bitter old pinchpenny. . .
Can Lucy solve the case and deck the halls before the killer strikes again? In a season of giving, receiving a deadly Christmas present is definitely not what Lucy had on her wish list this year. . .
My Comments: I love these Lucy Stone mysteries by Leslie Meier. This one is no exception. The story intertwines with “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens in a cute way. Lucy lives a normal, regular life in Maine with husband Bill and now two daughters at home, Sara and Zoe. We’ve read as each child has grown up and in her son’s case started a family of his own. Lucy is a reporter for the small town newspaper, The Pennysaver. The economy has hit hard in their small town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine. Houses were being foreclosed, people were laid off one by one, and on top of all of that – a murder to solve and Lucy can’t leave that alone.
A Merry Humbug Christmas features two holiday romance novellas from hilarious and heartwarming author Sandra D. Bricker. — the perfect gift to yourself or someone else at this most wonderfully stressful time of year.
In “Once Upon a Jingle Bell,” A Bah! Humbug cruise to the Mexican Riviera is Joss Snow’s answer to this year’s quest to avoid the holidays completely; at least until she’s rebooked on a different kind of cruise altogether. Candy canes, holly wreaths, reindeer and ornaments seem to be stalking her on the 12 Days of Christmas holiday cruise extravaganza. An escape back to land is her only goal . . . until she meets a kindred spirit in rugged Irishman Patrick Brenneman, and then the game is on! Avoid Christmas festivities at all costs . . . except maybe for that one stop under the mistletoe.
In “It Came Upon a Midnight Deer,” Reese’s guilt over abandoning best friend Joss on their holiday tradition of avoiding all things Christmas is trumped by the joy of her recent engagement. Meeting Damian’s family for the first time on idyllic Sugarloaf Mountain is about as far from that Bah! Humbugcruise as she can get, and Reese can hardly wait to get there. But from the moment they hit that deer in the road just two miles from the cabin, everything seems to go wrong. There are no drummers drumming or pipers piping this particular year! And once she sets her future in-laws’ family cabin ablaze, she’s pretty sure there won’t be even ONE golden ring in her future.
My Comments: This was a very cute read. I especially enjoyed the second story, “It Came Upon a Midnight Deer.” The first story was cute, but I couldn’t relate to it as much. The stories were sweet and the characters likable. I could especially relate to Reese and not only because that is my maiden name. She was accident prone and non-athletic. The harder she tried, the more she messed up! I can definitely relate to that! This book screams warm and fuzzy throughout. The romances are idealistic which makes for a great escape. The tales in this book are helping me to get into the holiday spirit. Thank you NetGalley for another great read!
Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman
Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?
Always His Providence by Ruth Reid
Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community’s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.
Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis
Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn’t a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.
Includes Reading Group Guide and Old-Order Amish Recipes
My Comments: Loved this book and the way each story wove together. I love all three of these Amish fiction authors, so to find them working together in a single book was a must-read for me. Each story was gripping and I was glad to have this book on the long flight from CA to NJ! It made the time go by quickly. This isn’t per se a holiday read, but it’s a feel good for anytime including the holidays! Hard issues were dealt with such as rape, obesity, and dishonesty. All Christians struggle with these issues in one way or another within family.
Thanks again to the publisher Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for a review copy. My opinion is honest.
Read by Tom Brokaw illustrated by Robert T. Barrett
“From little things come big things,” Gail Halvorsen remembered his father saying. As a twenty-seven-year-old American pilot, Brother
Halvorsen’s job was to airdrop much-needed food and supplies to the people of West Berlin in the aftermath of World War II. But it was his simple gift of two sticks of gum that launched an extraordinary humanitarian endeavor and earned him the nickname “The Candy
Bomber.” Each day as hundreds of small white parachutes delivered treats to the children of West Germany, the wounds of war began to heal. “Operation Little Vittles” captured the imagination of people everywhere, bringing the spirit of Christmas to a world in need of peace and hope.
Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD.
Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.
With a career spanning more than fifty years, Tom Brokaw is one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism. The bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, he is a special correspondent for NBC News and has received numerous awards and honors for his work.
My Comments: This is such a sweet inspiring book that brought tears to my eyes. I love the story of the Candy Bomber. It is also great that instructions are given to make a candy parachute. A DVD is included with the book which shows news anchor Tom Brokaw reading the story and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing in the background. The DVD ads so much to the book. Parts of the story are acted out making the story come alive. I really think this story is a little old for my second graders. I think older children and even adults could gain much from it. Even better than just a children’s book, this book would make a great gift, coffee-table type book. This would make a great Christmas gift for that person who is hard to buy for.
Annie’s life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her
husband, Samuel, attend to the community’s minor medical needs. She occasionally
assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the
buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first
child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt
before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have
no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English
hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may
hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.
My Comments: Since I am expecting a grand baby any day now I am loving reading this book about two Amish young women expecting – one is expecting twins! This book has suspense, family history, warmth, and healing. I love Vanetta Chapman’s writing. It keeps me engaged. Her characters are real to life and likable. I give this book 5 stars!
Thank you NetGalley for me free review e-copy of this book. I loved it!