Monday, April 26, 2021

The Things I Never Told You by Beth Vogt


Book Description:  It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine―as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.
But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

My Thoughts:  If you have a sister or sisters you know that there can be and probably will be drama.  Well, Beth Vogt delves into family dynamics...the push and pull of sisters.  
Three sisters separated by who have been separated now must find a common thread.  
An emotional read as the sisters tread through the deep emotions of forgiveness and redemption.
Sisters dealing with grief and secrets are trying to overcome when the oldest sister passes away.
Oh, the things that we keep hidden in her hearts.  Oh, the pains of family hurts and the healing and hope of forgiveness.
Such a great read! 

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496427246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496427243

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Prayer Map for Women: A Creative Journal By: Compiled by Barbour Staff


Book Description:  This unique prayer journal is an engaging and creative way for you to experience the power of prayer. Every page will guide you to create your very own prayer map as you write out specific thoughts, ideas, and lists, which you can follow--from start to finish--as you talk to God. The Prayer Map for Women will not only encourage you to spend time talking with God about the things that matter will also help you build a healthy spiritual habit of continual prayer for life. Paperback with a spiral wire binding.

My Thoughts:  I'm always on the lookout for journals or devotionals that will help me in my walk with the Lord.
So when I was offered this small book, The Prayer MAP for women, I jumped at the chance to read it.
Each section consists of two pages...there is a place at the top of the left hand page for the date, then a Dear Heavenly Father...this is where you write your prayer, then Thank You gratitude area.  And then a place to write what you're worried about, people you're praying for.  On to the next page...Here's what's happening in my life, I need section, Other things on my heart to share with God.
Little burgundy hearts show you which way to go.  Thus creating a type of map.  
The creative part comes when you write in the sections.  😊
There are verses at the end of each section. 
I am in love with this creative journal.  This is the "bestest"  one yet!
This makes a wonderful gift!  

Format: Spiral Bound
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Barbour Publishing
Publication Date: 2018

The Robin's Greeting by Wanda Brunstetter


 Book Description:  For the past two years Belinda King, along with her two grown daughters and teenage son, has been struggling to keep the family greenhouse running. Despite disconcerting events that have threatened to put them out of business, they have survived two growing seasons. And now Belinda can focus on the two suitors vying for her attention. Herschel Fisher, a new acquaintance, makes her feel relaxed, and Monroe Esh, an admirer from her past, reminds her of her youth.

My Thoughts:  Oh my!  This is the last book in the wonderful Amish Greenhouse Mystery...Book 3. 
I was so sad for this book to end because it was like being a part of this family.  But, oh! what an ending.  I loved this book.
Okay, it may be my favorite book of all the Amish Greenhouse mysteries.  Why?  It's a happy book and there's so much in it.
Belinda King and her family are like the best family.  they all work together and have survived two growing seasons, as well as, growth in their own lives.
Belinda may be a mom and a widow but now that her kids are more mature it seems that she has two suitors.  Two great suitors who are vying foe her attention.
This romance was like icing on a great cupcake.  Too good not to finish!
And, yes, if you haven't read the previous two books in this trilogy you need too.  All the stories build on each other.
Don't miss this story!

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

  • Publisher : Barbour Espanol (March 1, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1643524798
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1643524795

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Fun Friday


{Blog Tour} A Chance for the Newcomer by Lisa Carter

Book Description: Chef Kara Lockwood didn’t think changing a small-town diner’s menu would cause a boycott, but the locals sure do love their apple pie—especially fire chief Will MacKenzie. Kara’s not sure she and the single father can ever learn to live peacefully as neighbors. But even as they clash over pastries, local matchmakers and Will’s little boy are determined to bring their stubborn hearts together.

My Thoughts:  Once again Lisa Carter hits a home run with this sweet but not sappy story.
As a teacher I love stories where one more person is invited into the group.  So A Chance for the Newcomer hit home with me.
Cara Lockwood is a chef.  I can't imagine cooking more than once a day but Cara is changing the small town diner's, The Jar, into something different.  And boy, oh boy! does she have a fight on her hands.
But the people of Truelove begin to see the error of their ways, kind of. With a town name of Truelove how can they not be nice.
This is a short story but a fun story.  And who doesn't need some happiness in life right now.
The way Lisa carter writes makes the story flow and the friends, er characters, become true to life.
Make sure to grab your copy today.  

*This book was provided for review for the blog tour*

  • Publisher : Love Inspired; Original edition (May 25, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Mass Market Paperback : 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1335488936
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1335488930

Monday, April 19, 2021

The White City: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime by Grace Hitchcock


Book Description:  While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

My Thoughts:  I was so excited to learn that there will be a bevy of books, each with a different color about historical true crimes in America and by different authors.  How exciting!
So begin with is White~White City.
This true crime takes place at the Chicago World's Fair where a lot of people including criminals will come to see and steal.
As Winnifred Wylde (gotta love her name) is having tea with a "possible suitor" it becomes quite apparent to Winnifred that this suitor just isn't going to work for her so as she is daydreaming and looking out the window at the crowd she sees a man grab a young woman's arm and pull her into a deserted alley.  Because the young woman was fighting for her arm to be released, Winnifred realizes that this is not good.  So, she takes after the people with the possible suitor following...the possible suitor can't keep up and sits down to rest.  Winnifred keeps going but loses the couple in the crowd.
When she realizes she can't find the couple Winnifred goes to her father, Inspector Wylde for help.  Her father dismisses her notions as silly and wants to get back to work.  
But her father is worried about her and asks his newbie, Jude Thorpe, to go keep an eye on his daughter-without being seen.
This is a fantastic read!  I loved, loved it!  
And am anxiously awaiting the next true colors mystery!

  • Series: True Colors
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683228685
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683228684

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Choosing Real: A Devotional Thought Journal by Bekah Jane Pogue


Book Description:  When you enjoy God's company first--even in the uncertain moments of life--the heavenly Creator will transform your mind to view your schedule, work, relationships, parenting, and responsibilities as opportunities to dance in life's storms and honor how beautiful simple can be. That's the message of the Choosing REAL journal, where popular author and blogger, Bekah Pogue, walks with you into life’s unplanned circumstances. . .and she reminds you it is in these very moments that God invites you to notice, respond, and even celebrate how He shows up—in every little detail. Featuring quotes from Pogue's, Choosing REAL, alongside inspiring scripture selections and journal prompts, you will be encouraged to record your personal thoughts and feelings. . .and to accept the invitation to embrace life just as it is!

My Thoughts: I've never read Bekah Pogue's blog but I was looking for a new journal and saw this one so I picked it.
It's a beautiful hardback book with 224 pages. The pages on the left side have a scripture and the page son the right side have a short/mini devotional and then a question.
Then each page is filled with lines so the reader has plenty of room to write her thoughts.
This is a devotional thought journal so it's set up for a lot of writing of one's thoughts.
I also love the little gold stars that are splayed on the edges of the pages.  I just love the look of this journal but as I said above I love ALL the room for writing.  I believe that is the whole purpose of this journal...writing out one's thoughts and choosing what is REAL.

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683229320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683229322

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Healing Jar (The Prayer Jars) by Wanda Brunstetter


Book Description:  Lenore Lapp is an Amish schoolteacher in her late twenties still living at home with her parents and grandparents. She thought love had passed her by until she meets Jesse Smucker, a widower with a baby daughter. She quickly falls in love with them both and accepts Jesse’s proposal of marriage, but Jesse breaks off their engagement when he realizes he can’t marry only for convenience.
Resigned to living single, Lenore throws herself into caring for her elders. While working in her grandmother’s garden, she digs up an old jar. Will Lenore find healing for her broken heart and solve long-buried family secrets by reading the note contained inside?

My Thoughts:  This third novel in The Prayer Jars by Wanda Brunstetter is my most favorite out of the three.  Probably because it's about a school teacher and healing.  Isn't God good to give us healing?
Lenora Lapp is a loving. sensitive young lady who has much to offer.  So when Jesse Smucker asks her to marry him, even though he is a widower with a baby daughter, Lenora know that she loves Jesse and his sweet little daughter.  So when Jesse breaks their engagement, he breaks Lenora's heart as well.
Lenora decides to forget about love and help her aging grandparents.  Whole working in their garden one day she digs up a jar filled with slips of paper.
This is the beginning of the Healing Jar.  Oh, what a read!  O, What hope and healing!
Mrs. Brunstetter writes with such emotion that the reader feels as if she might be Lenora.
Loved this story!

  • Series: The Prayer Jars (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (August 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1624167497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1624167492

Monday, April 12, 2021

Joyful Surrender (7 Disciplines for the Believer's Life) by Elizabeth Elliott


Book Description:  In our age of instant gratification and if-it-feels-good-do-it attitudes, self-discipline is hardly a popular notion. Yet it may be one of the most important lost virtues of our time. In Joyful Surrender, former missionary and beloved author Elisabeth Elliot offers her understanding of discipline and its value for people of all times. 

My Thoughts:  I've always enjoyed Elizabeth Elliott's comments on the radio and her books.  
This book is quite interesting but I was a little taken aback at Mrs. Elliott's comments at times.  She seems a bit harsh in her "dealings" with humanity.  I realize that as we grow older that we, sometimes, see the world in a different way.  It seems that Mrs. Elliott views 7 Discplines for a believer:· 
* discipline your mind, body, possessions, time, and feelings
*overcome anxiety
*change poor habits and attitudes
* trust God in times of trial and hardship
*let Him have control in all areas of life

I agree with Mrs. Elliott that we need disciplines in our christian walk.  BUT we can't do all of these things on our own.  I'm not real sure but she seems like she's reformer/reformed...a person who makes changes to something in order to improve it.
It seems to me as Mrs. Elliott has aged that she has changed...she rambles in her story telling. I'm not sure the reader needs to know just where she is at each time she writes. 
To be honest I was bit disappointed in this book.  Guess I was expecting a more biblical view.

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Revell
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800729471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800729479

Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Pie Lady: Classic Stories from a Mennonite Cook and Her Friends by Greta Issac


Book Description:  What is a Pie Lady moment? For one family, it s breakfast on the patio. For another, it s Mom serving up creamy chicken and noodles. These are Pie Lady moments: times of goodness and glamour in the middle of ordinary days. In The Pie Lady, Mennonite homemaker Greta Isaac ushers readers into the kitchens of Velda, Shyla, and other Pie Ladies as they whip up confections and concoctions that please the mouth and nourish the soul. Fans of Ruth Reichl, Sherry Gore, and Ree Drummond will love Isaacs intimate, delectable writing. Home cooks will love the recipes that appear in each chapter. Maybe you drop grapefruit slices in a glass of water. Maybe you brown the gravy and salt it from eighteen inches up. (Forget for now the sink full of dishes.) Each cook has her own Pie Lady moments. Each has a story to tell. Hear straight from Amish and Mennonite people themselves as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press.

My Thoughts:  When I saw this book I thought it would be all about pie.  I was so wrong!
This book is a treasure of inspiration.  A slice of life passed on to others.
Mrs. Issac is a Mennonite wife and mother who has "pie" moments."  Those inspiring times where she has a short story or a memory that has to do with a specific dish she has made...not necessarily pie.
I love her thoughts and inspirations about life.  To me this is more like a devotional book with wonderful recipe thrown in as a reference point.
There are 194 pages all filled to the brim and then at the end of each chapter there is a wonderful recipe.
I've decided to use this as a devotional book as I read and journal from my daily devotions.
This is a smallish, not too large of a book and it would make a great gift.  

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1513804219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1513804217

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Present Danger (Rocky Mountain Courage) by Elizabeth Godddard

 Book Description:  Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He's committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.             When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn--one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he's failed her before. And if he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts.

 My Thoughts: What a read!  What a story!  What a cover!  Oh, yeah it's a murder investigation at its best.
This is the first book I've read by Elizabeth Goddard and it won't be the last.  
I love the thrill of the investigation, the clean romance and the way Mrs. Goddard uses descriptive words, not just adjectives, to describe all that is transpiring in this mystery.
Of course, I love mystery/suspense novels and this book is one of the best.
Jack Tanner is great detective and all around great guy.  He discovers a body in the national forest.  The national forest of all places!
But he needs help on this murder investigation so he ends up working with Tara Conners, a long lost love.
But what he and Terra don't know until they begin to uncover the facts about the murder only to discover that the murder must be tied in to the stolen artifacts.
And, poor Jack, he's failed the gorgeous Terra before.  
It's a great story!

*This book was provided for review by Revell*

  • Publisher : Revell (April 6, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0800737989
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0800737986
  • Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

 Easy, peasy bread recipe from Betty Crocker

*3-4 whole ripe bananas
*1 box yellow cake mix (you can also use gluten free, sugar free or other flavor)
*2 large eggs


*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
*Smash bananas in a large bowl, then add remaining ingredients and mix well.
*Spray 2 small loaf pans or 1 large loaf pan with non stick cooking spray.
*Fill the pans (or pan) with batter.
*Bake at for 35-40 minutes - you might need to bake longer if using 1 loaf pan.

** Use a chocolate cake mix for chocolate bread or add chocolate chips for a nice mix.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus by Karen Ehman


Book Description:  Whether you're a working professional, a wife, a mom, a sister, an aunt, a daughter-in-law, or any combination of these, your life is busy. And no matter what stage of life you may find yourself in, what your hurried and overcrowded heart needs most is rest. Beyond time-management skills or tips for worrying less, you need a few minutes to connect with God's heart.

My Thoughts:  If you're a mom or a working woman then you know how busy life can get.  Or let's just admit it, all women are busy.  There's always something to do.
As the keeper of the house, the time management lady or the grandma who helps out.  Women find there time is short and much to do.
So, when I saw this nice medium sized, hardback devotional it was love at first sight.  The cover has a "springy" look with small pinkish flowers all around the from cover. There are 100 quiet moments/devotionals that help calm our soul and draw us closer to God.  And I love the subtitle. Pressing Pause, because that is exactly what we need to do to find our strength in Him.
There are some questions that help the reader to think about her life and then a short space with about three lines to write one's thoughts on.
The font is nice and in a green color with pink writing through out the devotional.
It's such a relaxing color scheme that it's a joy to open the book and read.
There is a scripture at the top of each devotional. 
Love this book!  And it makes a wonderful gift!

  • Series: Pressing Pause
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310095409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310095408

Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Governess of Penwythe Hall (The Cornwall Novels, Book 1) by Sarah E. Ladd


Book Description:  Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request for her to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she’s tried desperately to forget.
Jac Twethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced, he battles both grief at his brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

My Thoughts:  This book captivated from page one.  It's such an intriguing story.  And it's the first book in the Cornwall Novels so there will be more to come.
As soon as I began this story I thought of the words christian gothic fiction.  I'm not sure that there is such a genre but if there is then this book is it.
Poor Cordelia Greythorne.  Everything seems to be against her.  And that mother-in-law, Ada Greythorne, just about gets one's goat!  It's terrible to dislike a book character so much but dislike Ada Greythorne I did!  Such a mean dried ups old woman with out an ounce of grace or pleasantness.
As the story progresses things in Cordelia's life become a bit more convoluted. She is now working as a governess to five children.  So, when the children lose both of their parents, lo and behold, the father has stated in his will that Cordelia is to remain with the children.  But in order for her to remain with the children she must take them to Penwythe Hall back to the same area she left after her husband's death.
What a story!  What grit!  And what forgiveness!
This is such a fantastic read!
  • Series: The Cornwall Novels (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785223169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785223160