Monday, December 31, 2012

A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick

A Clearing in the Wild (Change and Cherish Historica, #1)A Clearing in the Wild by Jane Kirkpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Young Emma Wagner seems to be born into controversy.
As a Bethelite woman she is expected to be content with a simple communal life where everyone dresses the same, individuality is frowned upon, and women are expected to keep silence. When Emma Sets her heart on marrying Christian Giesy despite the fact the leader of the colony opposes it, it doesn't take a lot of persuasion for him to agree to letting her accompany her new husband and a group of scouts on a mission to Oregon.
As their scouting mission progresses Emma begins to question the Bethelite leader and his ideas that women are little more than the servants of men. As she begins to find her voice in a male dominated society, she also starts to believe that God chooses individuals not communities, and that He made His creation to be unique and individual.
A Clearing in the Wild is absolutely inspiring!
Although she can be selfish and short sighted at times, Emma is a heroine. She follows the old German proverb " Begin to weave/God provides the thread". Even when things don't make sense she still "weaves", still leads as God guides her and provides the "thread".

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Gideon's Gift ~ Karen Kingsbury

Gideon's Gift: A NovelGideon's Gift: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hadn't read this book in a long time, I knew I liked it but it was even better than I remembered it!
Gideon is dying of Leukemia but when she is told she is in remission the first thing she wants to do is help feed the street people at the local mission. Here she meets "Old Earl", who has given up on life after he loses his wife and little girl. Gideon is determined to help him believe again but she knows her time is running out so she prays for a miracle so big that it could only be a Christmas miracle.
This is such a heartwarming book! The kind that leaves you feeling more thankful and aware of less fortunate people around you.
Add this book to your Christmas reading list! You won't regret it!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

The Christmas Shoes ~ Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Shoes (Christmas Hope #1)The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a modern Christmas classic! Who hasn't heard the song, watched the movie, and read the book?
This book is only 129 pages but don't let the size fool you, there is so much to this story!
I almost cry every time I read the part where the little boy says "my dad said that Mama might leave to see Jesus tonight.... I want her to look beautiful when she meets Jesus."
This is such a wonderful Christmas book! I highly recommend making this little book a Christmas tradition!

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Couragous ~ By Randy Alcorn

CourageousCourageous by Randy Alcorn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read this book once before and thought it was OK but after rereading it I was surprised how much I had missed the first time through.
This book is definitely NOT just for men and fathers, there is SO much about forgiveness, true love, and salvation through Christ Jesus!
I was deeply touched by many of the characters in this book but especially Nathan, his devotion and sincerity is absolutely inspiring!
Makes me want to be a better "Jesus follower"!!!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Interview and Giveaway with Pam Funke!

 ~ How do you usually celebrate the holidays? My family and I usually spend the week before Christmas baking cookies for ourselves and to give out to our friends and neighbors. Christmas day is spent opening presents, visiting family and friends, cooking a big dinner and watching Christmas movies/specials together.

 ~ What's your favorite holiday treat? My favorite holiday treat is Coburg Eggnog and Molasses cookies.
~ Are there any Christmas movies or songs that you love over others? My favorite Christmas movies are Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story. My favorite Christmas song is Oh Holy Night.

~ What three words could you use to describe what Christmas means to you? love family God

 ~ You're walking down the street and you see a store full of Christmas decorations. What do you do? Go in the store of course and look at all the decorations for new ideas.

Also visit Pam's Funke's website and follow her blog at..

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Christmas Sweater ~ Glenn Beck

The Christmas SweaterThe Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After Eddies dad died three years ago his mom took on multiple jobs just to make ends meet, but this year Eddie is determined to get a bicycle for Christmas. But all Christmas morning brings is an ugly homemade sweater.
Eddie takes his anger and frustration out on his mom for what "she's" done to him.
But when she is killed that night through a tragic set of circumstances Eddie can't let go of the fact that he didn't tell her he was sorry.
He let's his anger begin to control him, until he doesn't even know who he is anymore. Not knowing how to deal with the past he decides to ignore it and shut out everyone associated with those past memories, especially his grandparents.
Eventually he is miserable, he has deeply hurt the people around him, he is consumed in his own guilt, anger, and self-pity. Although he wants to change he is too afraid to face the storm that now stands between him and forgiveness.

This is by far my favorite Christmas book!! It is a dramatic and emotional story that I couldn't imagine not reading every Christmas. I can't recommend this book enough!
Even if you do not agree with Glenn Beck's political views, don't let it keep you from reading this book, there is nothing political at all in The Christmas Sweater.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

All I Have To Give ~ Melody Carlson

All I Have to Give: A Christmas Love StoryAll I Have to Give: A Christmas Love Story by Melody Carlson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's only three weeks until Christmas and Anna is afraid she has ovarian cancer. She determines she will make this the "best Christmas ever". But her husband Michael knows nothing about her symptoms or her plans and she begins to feel neglected by his long hours at the office. Her sister Meridith is thinking about getting a divorce, and Anna starts to wonder why Michael is never at work on the nights he can't come home.
It looks like her "best Christmas ever" is going to quickly turn into the worst Christmas ever!

After reading "The Gift of Christmas Present" by Melody Carlson, I wasn't expecting much more than just a good Christmas book, and I wasn't disappointed.
The plot was extremely predictable but at least the characters were well thought out and verily believable.
If you are looking for a quick, festive read this CHRISTmas season than you will probably like this book.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Gift of Christmas Present ~ Melody Carlson

The Gift of Christmas PresentThe Gift of Christmas Present by Melody Carlson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Christine learns that her Mom and Dad aren't her birth parents, and that her real Mother was killed shortly after she was born she sets out to find her estranged Grandmother.
But when she arrives her Grandma thinks she is there for a housekeeping job. Christine decides to play along in order to learn more about the mother she never knew, but what she finds is a web of lies and guilt that hurt worse than she could have ever imagined.
I really liked the plot of this story but the characters are too unbelievable and shallow.
I understand that it is a rather short book but I thought the character development was exceptionally weak, even for a novella.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Still Lolo By Lauren Scruggs

Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family's Journey of HopeStill Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family's Journey of Hope by Lauren Scruggs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! This book is AMAZING!!!!
Lauren and her family candidly tell their story, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
From the remarkable birth of Lauren and her twin sister Brittany, to the sad story of their parents divorce, the forthright conversation throughout the book is refreshing!
Despite Laurens conviction that God has a perfect plan for her life is still not enough to keep her from doing things the way she wants to do them, not because she's a weak person but because she's human, but she comes back to him in humility and asks his forgiveness.
After finding forgiveness and acceptance her life seems to move along relatively smooth until the night of her tragic accident. After walking in to the propeller blade of their friends airplane, she loses her left eye and left hand, but she is lucky to have gotten away with her life.
While recovering from her accident she becomes angry with the whole situation, but with help from truly godly family and friends, she begins to quit being afraid of being imperfect, of being different, and as she wrote in her book, "TO BE TRULY OKAY WITH HOW OTHERS SEE YOU".
My admiration for Lauren Scruggs is off the charts!
This book is definitely inspirational, I'm SO glad that I read this book!!!!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, I was not required to write a positive review.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Lone Star Trail (Texas Trails Series #1)

Lone Star Trail (Texas Trails Series, #1)Lone Star Trail by Darlene Franklin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Morgan Family is a proud and patriotic Texan family, and Jud the man of the Morgan household is definitely not enthusiastic about the German immigrants invading the land his father died for.
But when circumstances bring the Fleisher family, who have just arrived from Germany to the Morgans ranch needing their help, Jud finds that he is falling in love with the beautiful, hard working, and selfless Wande Fleischer, but will he let his heart conquer his prejudices?

The Lone Star Trail was an exceptional book!
It was informative and entertaining, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the Texas Trails Series!
This book is great for anyone who likes historical fiction or western fiction!

I received this book to review from Moody Press Publishers, I was not required to write a positive review. 

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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Snow AngelThe Snow Angel by Glenn Beck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Again, I am amazed by how well Glenn Beck writes!
The story is about Rachel, a woman used to being physically and verbally abused from the time she was a child by her mother. She marries a popular football star Cyrus in hope of a happily ever after story. But he is as abusive and possessive as her mother was, and she finds herself isolated from her family and friends. Will she ever believe in herself enough to leave or will she be content to be a pawn in the lives of overbearing people?
This book was sad and inspiring, and definitely NOT political in any way!
This is a great Christmas read! 

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Friday, November 16, 2012

The Silver Hand (The Song of Albion, #2)The Silver Hand by Stephen R. Lawhead

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so disappointed with this book!
First of all the book is written through the eyes of Tegid, who is blind for half of the book!
Second of all the story line went into a stall. There are so many wasted pages and side stories that are totally irrelevant!!
After reading, and immensely enjoying "The Paradise War", I really wanted to like this book but I was so unimpressed I don't believe I will even read the last book in the trilogy "The Endless Knot".

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Monday, November 12, 2012

The Paradise War (The Song of Albion, #1)The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Paradise War seamlessly weaves in Celtic mythology and how it "correlates" with our present day world.
I thought the  "time between times" theory was really profound! While I don't believe that it is a sacred time and place it is still an incredible thought when you consider it!
Overall I loved this book, but I thought the profanity in the first few chapters was rather tacky. There was quite a bit of cursing in the first 5 chapters and then there isn't another swear word in the whole book, it seemed as if the characters became different people. That being my only problem with this book, I still think it deserves 5 stars!

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With diabolical lies and manipulation on both sides of the revolution, it's hard to know who to trust.
Now Katniss is worth more dead than alive, not only by the Capitol but by the rebel President Coin as well.
Wanted as a martyr by the leader of the revolution she inspired, Katniss knows time is running out but she will stop at nothing to kill President Snow.
In the end she realizes that she has been played as a fool, but is it to late to alter the outcome of her efforts? And if she does survive against all odds, will her life even be worth living? 

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I try to be open minded but I'll admit I had my doubts about this book before I even opened the cover.
All the fan-hype and the "Team Gale or Team Peeta" was enough to make me skeptical.
When I started this book I was really not that blown away, by the time I finished it I am addicted!!
I'm amazed that a book written in first person could have such complex spectrum of surrounding characters. I have never read a book that was more emotionally moving than the Hunger Games! It's SO heartbreaking, you could just cry for poor Peeta! :'(
I want to finish this Trilogy so bad now!
I'm beyond impressed with the Hunger Games!!!

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Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katniss had no intentions of starting a revolution, but that is exactly what she's done.
Now she has two choices, flee into the woods with her family before things get worse or stay and fan the flames of rebellion, against the tyrannical Capitol.
She chooses to stay, putting everything and everyone she loves in intimate danger.
Then through a diabolical turn of events Katniss and Peeta find themselves once again in the Hunger Games, and with the Capitol seeking revenge it doesn't look like the odds are in their favor.
The Mockingjay has become the token of the revolution, it's the token Katniss wore so naively in the last Hunger Games, and it's a direct insult to the Capitol... and now Katniss is The Mockingjay.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Arms of Deliverance: A Story of PromiseArms of Deliverance: A Story of Promise by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was not quiet as good as the other three books in the Liberator Series in my opinion, but still a 5-Star book!
I think the parts of Mary and Eddie are rather slow until well over halfway through the book, it seems like they are never really doing anything important and you find yourself skimming through their parts so you can read Lee and Kristine's story!
Overall though the story is very interesting and engaging!

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Dawn of a Thousand Nights: A Story of HonorDawn of a Thousand Nights: A Story of Honor by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, to put it simply is amazing!
This is my favorite of Tricia Goyer's WWII novels!
The story is intricately written about two pilots, who are in love with life and each other, separated by a Japanese war camp and a world at war.
Libby flies planes for the WAAC's and Dan is flying P-40s in the Philippines and later is forced to endure the Bataan Death March.
From an intoxicating beginning, set on the beautiful Hawaiian Islands to it's bittersweet ending, this book is a masterpiece of historical fiction.

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Night Song: A Story of SacrificeNight Song: A Story of Sacrifice by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I expected a lot from Night Song, and I was definitely NOT disappointed!!!!!
I may actually like this book better than From Dust and Ashes!
I'm awed by Tricia Goyer's books, they are absolutely BEYOND AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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From Dust and Ashes: A Story of LiberationFrom Dust and Ashes: A Story of Liberation by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can not rate this book high enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is my favorite book I have EVER read!
Tricia Goyer made me think of the displaced persons and concentration camps in another whole dimension! I definitely think my scope of history was broadened by reading "From Dust and Ashes".
I was moved to tears many times while reading this book!
The characters, the story, the historical detail, they were all perfect and made this book just outstanding!
THIS BOOK BLOWS THE CHARTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Songbird Under a German MoonSongbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was AWESOME!!!!!!!
I loved the historical detail that was weaved seamlessly throughout the book!
Before reading this book I had no idea who Richard Wagner was or how Adolf Hitler was inspired by his song "Rienzi"! I also was clueless about the Bayreuth Festspielhaus!
With an intriguing plot and realistic characters this book had almost everything I look for in a historical fiction!

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