1.17.2019

Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse ~ Review


My Review:

Selene Ravenwood is the heir to her Great House, and to a gift believed by outsiders to be lost, she trains under her mother as a dreamwalker fanning the flames of other's nightmares. Selene tries to deaden herself to the pain that she is inflicting, but continues her training in hopes of sparing her sister a similar fate. Her father encourages Selene to discover other uses for her gift, and believes that she has the power to help bring the fractious houses together, if she can get out from her mother's influence.

Will Selene follow in her mother's footsteps, or choose the less sure path, risking it all and trusting a stranger with her life to bring the Great Houses together against the oncoming invasion?

I didn't know what to expect with this new series, and honestly I was on the fence as to whether I wanted to read this series or not, but I'm sure glad I did! Morgan L. Busse is a previous Christy award finalist, and I'd heard of her books before, but had never read one until now. Ms. Busse is a masterful storyteller, her world-building felt seamless and flowed effortlessly with the story.

 I was instantly drawn to Selene, she is brave, compassionate, and a loving sister, though she must hide many of her feelings behind a mask. She is good at holding the cards close to her chest, and is justifiably reluctant to trust. Selene is self-aware, protective of her sister, bound by duty, she shows the world a cold detachment while locking away her deepest feelings as if afraid to hope. Selene is the kind of heroine that I could cheer for, vulnerable, with an untapped inner strength and longing for more, for purpose.

Damian is the youngest Grand Duke, and he doesn't take his responsibilities lightly. He is a natural ruler, with a heart for the people, bearing the duty of his people's safety. He has a vision of unity amongst the Great Houses. Selene intrigues him, he sees past her mask of coldness, and can't help but be drawn to her and the secrets that she keeps.

An excellent start to a new series, I was instantly drawn into the masterfully crafted world of powerful gifts, nobility, politics, and intrigue. Selene is a brave young woman, mentally strong, with a desire to break the chains of past generations. One of my favorite characters is Caiaphas, he is a wise man who has sacrificed much in hopes of working towards peace and unity. A gripping read, from beginning to end, I liked the way that Ms. Busse brought the chill of Ravenwood's atmosphere to life, with a strong sense of urgency and intrigue. One of the best Christian fantasy books that I have read in a long time, I can't wait to read the next installment in the series!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.16.2019

The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to be a Light in the Darkness by Erwin W. Lutzer ~ Review


My Review:

In this book Erwin Lutzer compares post-modernity to Babylon, challenging Christians to be Daniels in a world that pushes them to compromise.

Mr. Lutzer challenges his readers to live set apart lives for God, unbending to the culture. He uses the Israelites living in Babylon as an example, how God called them to separate themselves from what the rest of the culture was doing, chasing after idols.

Mr. Lutzer explores how we got to this point in America, and how we can prepare for the future. He looks at our culture, the media, our phones and electronic devices, as well as the government and how we as Christians should respond to the political turmoil.

I really liked how he explained his position on how we as Christians should respond to controversial issues, and there was a lot of good food for thought. Mr. Lutzer has really thought through many things, and rallies Christians to respond to their calling to be lights in the darkness, set apart, and uncompromising on God's word.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.15.2019

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano ~ Review

Lucie's Review: 

Heiress Isadora Delafield is a pawn in her mother's social climbing schemes, her mother is pressuring her to marry an elderly and creepy Duke. Her butler helps her devise a plan to go into hiding as a member of service. Izzie has no experience whatsoever, but she is willing to do anything to get away from her mother's marriage plans.

Ian Mackenzie helps his aging uncle on the farm, Ian is looking for help so that he can balance the farm and housework. He hires Izzie. Amos and Birdie are not his biological aunt and uncle, but they took Ian in when he needed help and now they are family to him, his Aunt Birdie has taken in 4 young orphans as well and could use some help.

Hilarity ensues as Izzie navigates farm life, taking care of an aging couple, a gaggle of orphans, along with the animals.


Jen Turano returns with a brand new series and her signature situational humor and larger than life characters.

Izzie is naive in the ways of farm life and household tasks, raised in high society she has not had an opportunity to learn basic skills. She wants to learn to not be so helpless, she applies herself with diligence and shares her love of reading with the children.

Ian has worked hard to make something of himself, he also wants to return the kindness shown to him by Uncle Amos and Aunt Birdie. He loves them dearly, yet he also wants to raise his social standing so that he will be able to give his family a comfortable living.

Overall, a fun -filled read from beginning to end, I'll admit that the premise wasn't the most believable, but it was an enjoyable read regardless. I loved the quirky characters, and how supportive Izzie's friends are in helping her escape her unwanted suitor. Ian and Izzie connect over their shared love of books, and he is very patient with her. The start of another fantastic series, that Ms. Turano's fans old and new are sure to enjoy!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.14.2019

Code of Valor by Lynette Eason ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Financial Investigator Emily Chastain finds her life endangered after her friend Heather sends her some mysterious pictures which she never receives. Emily is assaulted after work and set afloat on a boat on a lake.

Detective Brady St John is enjoying a relaxing vacation by the lake when he hears a woman's screams. He rescues her from the lake and finds himself wrapped up into protecting Emily, while she tries to find out who is after her and why.

A fast paced, action packed read, Brady and Emily are constantly on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of the people who made Heather disappear, and who are now after them.

Emily doesn't know who she can trust, but as she fights to stay one step ahead of the people after her she unravels more of the mystery learning more about her plight. She is clever, and resilient. I loved how relatable she is, she isn't the perfect Barbie type, and struggles with self confidence and body image.

As Brady gets to know Emily, he is drawn to her strength, and her strong faith. He admires her and wants to do what he can to keep her safe and stop whoever is after them. Brady is been through some rough break ups in the past, and isn't looking for love, but can't help but be in awe of her quick thinking and bravery.

Overall, a heart racing read that will have you holding onto your seeing and gasping for breath! Another great addition to the St. John Saga, I loved the tension, suspense, and just how down to earth and relatable Emily was. One thing after another has Emily and Brady scrambling for answers. Highly recommend this thrilling adventure!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.11.2019

The Marriage Bargain by Stephanie Dees ~ Reviews

Lucie's Review:

Jules Sheehan has been caring for the children of her friend, after a terrible accident leaves the girls, Emma and Eleanor, orphans. She has grown to love them dearly and takes her promise their mother very seriously, and will do what she can to fulfill her duty.

Cam Quinn hasn't been to his hometown since he left and never looked back when his stepdad kicked him out. After the death of his sister he wants to be there for his nieces. He is surprised when Jules approaches him with a proposal of a marriage of convenience so that they can both keep the girls and keep them from their unstable grandmother who also wants custody.

Jules has a lot on her plate, caring for the girls, running a bakery, and her mother's restaurant. She is used to making a plan and sticking to it, so when she comes up with the idea to marry Cam, she prays that it is the right thing to do.

Cam has a lot of baggage from his past, and struggles with feelings of inadequacy, wondering if he is up to the task of raising his nieces and if he has a chance at winning Jules' heart. He is a natural with Emma and Eleanor, and wants to be a stable person in their lives.

Overall, a story about two people overcoming the challenges before and behind them, taking a chance on love and finding a home. The children are adorable. Jules and Cam must trust God and take a leap of faith, they grow a lot over the course of the book. It was a sweet romance, though at times frustrating.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.10.2019

No Safe Place by Sherri Shackelford ~ Review

Review:

Beth Greenwood is a forensic accountant, when she uncovers a money laundering scheme and her mentor goes to the authorities with the information that she uncovered, her mentor is killed. She knows that she needs to go into hiding, but she is scared to go to the Feds because of what happened to her mentor, and on top of that she looks suspicious because she ran, and she doesn't have the evidence to prove her innocence.

Corbin Ross is a Homeland Security Agent, he doesn't want to suspect Beth, but she doesn't have anything to prove that she isn't involved.

Working together to pin down the killers who are after Beth, Corbin and Beth must work together united by their uneasy partnership to capture the culprits.

Corbin, despite his suspicions, can't help but admire Beth's tenacity in bringing the thieves to justice. He served his country in the military, he has a strong sense of responsibility and duty. He puts pressure on himself, and holds himself to the highest standards.

 Beth has moved around so much for her job, and doesn't have many friends. She is scared, but she also wants to stand for what is right. Beth's faith is put to the test during this ordeal, I admired her strengths and vulnerabilities.

Fasted paced adventure, with great characters, and high stakes. Great tension between the characters, and a well paced plot, there is a lot going on. I liked the complexity of the plot perfect within this format, it fit well and kept me hooked, there was a lot going on but I never got lost. A book well worth reading, and great first foray into suspense for Ms. Shackelford!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

No Safe Place
By Sherri Shackelford
Christian Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
January 1st 2019 by Love Inspired Suspense

He lives by the law.

She’s running for her life.

After forensic accountant Beth Greenwood uncovers a money-laundering scheme tying her company to the organization that murdered her mentor, she knows she needs to go into hiding. With ruthless killers in pursuit, she’s forced to rely on homeland security agent Corbin Ross’s protection—even as his investigation suggests Beth is complicit in embezzlement. Can their uneasy alliance develop into something deeper—and keep them alive?


About the Author


A former naval reservist with a top-secret security clearance, Sherri writes rapid-fire suspense featuring captivating characters and heart-pounding romance. She's authored more than a dozen novels for Harper Collins publishing, including both historical and contemporary suspense.


Tour Schedule

January 7th:
Launch
The Power of Words
Splashes of Joy
January 8th:
Hearts & Scribbles
Jorie Loves A Story
January 9th:
Colorimetry
Rockin' Book Reviews
January 10th:
Simply Kelina
Labor Not in Vain
By The Book
January 11th:
The Barefoot Reader
Heidi Reads...
January 14th:
Faithfully Bookish
Locks, Hooks and Books
Among the Reads
January 15th:
Book by Book
The Becca Files
January 16th:
EmpowerMoms
Wishful Endings
Author Loraine D. Nunley
January 17th:
Tell Tale Book Reviews
Harlie's Books
Two Girls and a Book
January 18th:
Min Reads and Reviews
Remembrancy
January 19th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will win "A Little Bit More Romance Box," which includes the following items in a Decorative Box (pictured):
- Romance Bubble Bath
- Classic Cover Harlequin Notebook
- Collectible Addition Book of Romance Poems
- Romance Bath Bomb
- Scented Candle
- Fuzzy Socks
- Books: No Safe Place and His Substitute Mail-Order Bride by Sherri Shackelford, and Undercover Memories by Lenora Worth

US only
Ends January 23, 2019

Grab Our Button!

1.06.2019

Made for the Journey: One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador by Elizabeth Elliot ~ Review

My Review:

Previously published as These Strange Ashes.

Elizabeth Elliot tells of her first year of mission work before her marriage to Jim Elliot, in the jungles of Ecuador among the Colorado people, working alongside three other women, Barabara, Dorothy, and Doreen. Mrs. Elliot details living among the native people, who seemed to be content with their way of life with no need for the foreign missionaries in their midst.

Elizabeth share the struggles, disappointments, and discouragement she felt during that time, trying to transpose Tsahfihki into a written language. There were many set backs, and things that made her question her calling to the Colorado people even in the years afterwards.

I found much encouragement in this book, seeing how even Mrs. Elliot didn't always see the reasons or results, struggled to find hope or purpose in her calling in moment. God doesn't make mistakes, and "we should not be surprised at how our loving Father works all things together for good." A great reminder that we don't always understand God's plan.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.04.2019

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan ~ Review

My Review:

Poet and writer, Joy Davidman Gresham, is looking for spiritual answers and struggling day to day in her marriage to fellow writer Bill, when she first writes to C.S. Lewis "Jack". Jack and Joy develop a regular correspondence, their friendship spanning decades and the Atlantic Ocean.

This book is an absolute masterpiece, telling of the improbable love story between Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis. This is the first book I've read by Ms. Callahan, she is a gifted writer, the words float off the page and seamlessly into my consciousness, she always seems to find the perfect verb or adjective that fits the tone and brings you right into the heat of moment.

 Joy is very self-aware, she is far from perfect, and at times feels far from God, she struggles with every human emotion, jealousy, fear, desire, and I loved how I got to see Jack through her eyes. Joy is a wife, mother, poet, writer, divorcee, Jew, former Atheist, Christian, amateur theologian, and more, her quick wit and writer's sensibilities, honesty and faith bring her and Jack together. Their unique friendship is a comfort and well of strength to each other through the years, they were able to share deep conversations and multiple topics--most especially literature.

Overall, a magnificent read that lives up to and exceeds the tall expectations set by tackling the literary love of Jack and Joy. I'd read many books by C.S. Lewis before reading this book but hadn't known much of Joy Davidman, I immensely enjoyed the introduction to her works and snippets of her sonnets at the start of every chapter. An utterly fantastic read, the gravity of the characters, and how Ms. Callahan painted a picture of Jack and Joy that will forever influence how I think of them, she captures their wit, humor, honesty, faith, and convictions in a real, yet otherworldly way. A must read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.01.2019

Favorite Books of 2018 ~ Year Review

2018 was a wonderful year of reading.

 I (Faith), challenged myself to read 130 books as well as more non-fiction books.
In the end I read: 134 books.
82 Fiction
50 Non-Fiction
Here are some of my favorites!
While as a reviewer I read many books that are new releases, this compilation is more of an overview of my own personal reading and books I found to be notable that I read in the year of 2018, both new releases and older publications.  

Favorite Biographies


Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas 
A thoroughly engrossing biography, that can come across as intimidating in size (the publisher's description officially states a 608 page count), but is well worth the read. Reading this book I was surprised to find out how little I knew about one of Germany's greatest, yet least sung heroes, who dared to do what few others would, standing up for what was right, and living in holiness to the glory of God. Reading this book is what got me started on my Dietrich Bonhoeffer kick, and this year I read The Cost of Discipleship, Life Together, and his Advent compilation God is in the Manger. 
Eric Metaxas digs deep weaving together the younger life, influences, and convictions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a highly readable fashion. 


Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee
Though written chronologically in story form, this book tells the true story of North Korean defector and survivor, Sungju Lee. He tells in harrowing detail of his boyhood in North Korea, starvation, scavenging and stealing as part of a gang to survive and losing his parents, to his journey to South Korea. Stark and tragic his story is true. A great introduction to the North Korean plight, written in a friendly format that will draw the reader in and raise global awareness. 


Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry
Passionate, and powerful, written in a flowing emotive prose Jackie Hill Perry tells her story of finding new life and hope in Jesus Christ. Raw at times, heartbreaking, yet full of hope at the difference that Christ makes. I didn't know what to expect going into it, but it surpassed my expectations. 


Born Again by Charles W. Colson 
Being a Millenial I was not alive during Nixon's presidency or the Watergate scandal that rocked our nation, and I knew of Chuck Colson in the context of outspoken defender of the Christian Worldview through radio, magazines, books, and conservative political activism. I thought little of his past, but after reading this book I am continually in awe of God's transforming power. Reading about Colson's younger years as a powerful staff member on Nixon's team, ruthlessly doing whatever needed doing in the name of the desired outcome, and then to his new life and faith in Jesus Christ. He went on to write How Now Shall We Live?, founded Prison Fellowship, and continue to be a voice in politics. 


Devoted by Tim Challies
A collection of short biographies of the mothers of some of the greatest preachers past and present. All who prayed for their children faithfully and never gave up, ordinary mothers who shaped their children through their faith by prayer, discipleship, and example. Featuring the mothers of John Newton, John Piper, Augustine, Timothy, Charles Spurgeon and more. A beautiful book focusing on the relationship and influence shared between a mother and son. 


A Higher Call by Adam Makos
A remarkable true story of chivalry and combat during WWII, that gives a rare glance at the German perspective and strong sense of duty and honor. The book tells the stories of American 2nd Lt Charlie Brown and his bomber crew, parallel to that of German Ace Franz Stigler and the incredible act of chivalry between two enemies that they would never forget. 



50 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren W. Wiersbe
This book has been on my reading list since high school, and this was the year I finally read it. Immediately after I wondered by I had not read it sooner! It is a wonderful resource with 50 concise biographies of influential Christians some of which I immediately recognized and others that were more obscure. If you are just getting into biographies and don't know where to start this is a great first step, because after reading this book by reading list grew by at least 40 volumes. I learned so much about these 50 people, their faith and theology that shaped our foundation, doctrine, and evangelism of Christianity for years to come. 

Honorable Mentions
Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas
The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron
Andrew Fuller by John Piper

Favorite Christian Living Books



The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield
Hands down one of my favorite books of the year, thought provoking, honest, and inspiring. This book encourages Christians to live out radical and practical hospitality, opening our homes and our lives to bless and be blessed by others. Mrs. Butterfield shares how her family lives out their faith, and have seen strangers become friends, and friends become family in Christ. You can read my full length review HERE


The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung
Mr. DeYoung skillfully and articulately discusses the connection between grace and holiness in this well written, engaging, highly quotable, and concise read. He points to shifting our focus from legalism, instead inviting readers to live like Christ. Concise, cutting right to the heart of the matter, I often had to put this book down for days at a time while I digested much of what he saying. I highly recommend this book on Christian holiness and sanctification.


The Counselor by A.W. Tozer
A balanced and scriptural approach to the Holy Spirit the oft misunderstood and sometimes ignored member of the Trinity. Mr. Tozer takes a passionate yet measured approach to the Holy Spirit, backing up his points with the Bible, encouraging his readers to step into a Bible-based relationship with The Counselor.


Counter Culture by David Platt
I've always appreciated David Platt's straightforward yet compassionate approach in ministry. And in tackling tough topics he takes it straight to the gospel, this book is no different. David Platt takes readers through many hot-button topics, abortion, immigration, homosexuality, racism, persecution, pornograpy, poverty, and sex slavery, and what the Bible says in regard to these topics, as well as what our Christian response should be based on God's word.

Mr. Platt deals compassionately with many hot button issues, with the truth of Scripture not sugar coating things either. He encourages readers to live their Counter Culture faith in today's world
.


Honorable Mentions
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler
The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
Bloodlines by John Piper
The Attributes of God by A.W. Tozer
Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
Dangers of a Shallow Faith by A.W. Tozer
Delighting in God by A.W. Tozer
Of God and Men by A.W. Tozer

Favorite Classics


The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 
Bonhoeffer urges readers to cast off cheap grace, easy accepted. But to strive instead for a costly grace, lived in our everyday lives, showing itself in sanctification and holiness. A timeless read, as hard hitting 50 years ago as it is today. It was so rich in great teachings that I could read but a few pages at a time, so as to give myself time to absorb his preaching. Highly recommend.


Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The classic correspondence between senior demon Screwtape and his junior demon Wormwood as he advises him on how to best tempt humans to their side. Through the correspondences Lewis reveals hard-hitting truths about us, our egos, and the sin that we try to hide from ourselves, as well as the power of faith in God that is stronger by far than any power of hell. 

Favorite Children's Book

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Set during the time of Jesus's ministry this book follows young Daniel Bar-Jamin, a young Zealot set on revenge. A fast-paced read that brings the turmoil and conflict between the Jews and the Romans to life, painting a realistic picture of the oppression faced by the Jews and how Jesus defied all expectations of the kind of Saviour who would come to save them. 

Honorable Mentions
The Hank the Cowdog Series by John R. Erickson --These books never fail to bring a smile to my face, as I get older the more I appreciate them!

Favorite Young Adult Fiction


West by Edith Pattou
The long awaited sequel to one of my all-time favorites, East. I was sad at first that Rose and her White Bear couldn't just be happy and live a modest life, yet Rose, being adventurous by nature would have never been satisfied to have a quiet existence. In some ways I agree that this book lacks the magic of its predecessor, but in other ways I think that the magic is stronger. Rose's love for her small family is tested, she must risk everything, fighting for the ones that she loves, knowing that she might be forced to give them up. Her heartaches cut to the bone. But Rose isn't the girl that she was when she first loved the White Bear, she has grown, matured, and become more independent, learning from her mistakes. 

I think that while different than East, West compliments it well, exploring different relationships while delving deeper into existing storylines. West is a satisfying sequel, the stakes are higher, and the characters have grown. The things that I am tempted to say that I didn't like are what make it stronger.

Honorable Mentions
There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Favorite Re-read

East by Edith Pattou
A re-telling of the Norwegian fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, this book follows the adventurous Rose and her White Bear. Rose is born to a superstitious mother, and when hard times come the White Bear comes to take her to his castle, promising prosperity for her family in return. Rose goes with the bear willingly, and finds that she alone has the power to free the bear from a terrible curse. I re-read this favorite in anticipation of the upcoming sequel, West, and fell in love with it all over again. I love Rose for her determination and grit, her love for her family, and sense of duty to right wrongs. 


Favorite Fiction



Where We Belong by Lynn Austin
Sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes have a thirst for adventure and a passion for finding God's calling in their lives. Raised by their intellectual father, who encouraged their scholarship and their faith they experience more freedom than many young ladies of their time and station. But when their father meets a proper and society concerned widow, and with their father's failing health they must fight to pursue their passions.

Their story jumps back to their childhood and youth, and the events that marked Flora and Rebecca's lives, as they seek God's purpose in their lives. We also get a look into the lives of their unconventional servants Soren Petersen and Kate Rafferty, and how they came into the sisters' lives. A story sweeping decades from America to the streets of Paris and the deserts of the Holy Land.

I love how the sisters live their faith, they weren't just content with their comfortable life, but wanted to use what God had given them to help others and show them His love. Different from the Christian romances of this genre, this book stands apart in it's powerful message of faith, and strong female protagonists based loosely on real people.

Full review HERE.


Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
Becoming Mrs. Lewis tells the story of Joy Davidman the divorced American writer and poet who would one day marry C.S. Lewis. This book takes us through Joy's painful marriage to a fellow writer, and how she found faith and began corresponding with C.S. Lewis. I loved the honesty of this book and how it shows that we still struggle with sin despite coming to faith. Ms. Callahan is a wizard with words and has a way of finding just the right adjective or verb to describe every feeling, tone, or action. A stunning read.

Full review coming soon, will add link and edit the above text then.



Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof
An achingly beautiful and bittersweet tale of love, loss, addiction, and family, set in the heart of Appalachia. The Norgaard brothers make their living off of distilling and fermenting the finest hard cider on the mountain, but when their cousin's young widow, Aven Norgaard comes to live with them at the request of their recently deceased aunt, conflicts beneath the surface come to to a head. One of my favorite things about this book is how the characters are so complex, flawed, and I loved how the dichotomy of the struggles at war within Thor were portrayed. Ms. Bischof makes good use of silence, and not all dialog is spoken, she makes the most of body language to show the varying relationships between the characters.
Full review HERE.


 A Dangerous Legacy & A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden
Elizabeth Camden is on of my very favorite authors and her latest series is absolute dynamite. The first two books follow brother and sister, Lucy and Nicholas Drake as they fight a decades long family lawsuit that would decide the accessibility of affordable running water to tenement and multi-level buildings. There is intrigue, mystery, and romance set in New York City from the dank undergrounds and city slums to the high stakes meeting rooms of high society. Masterful and engrossing storytelling that makes them impossible to put down, teeming with historical details that make the story spark to life. Ms. Camden just gets better and better, and these two books are two of my all time favorites from Ms. Camden. You can read my full review for A Dangerous Legacy HERE & A Daring Venture HERE by following the links.


Into the Free & When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell
This duology follows Millie growing up in the town of Iti Taloa on the tail end of the Depression, as she goes from troubled young girl to a married woman still haunted by her past. I like how Millie finding out about her past, helped to her make sense of her life and why people treated her the way they did.Vibrant and vivid characters, in their complexity and duality bring this book to life, nobody is one thing, cruelty and kindness find a home under the same name. These books had me riveted by the characters who shone through their scars along with the mystery, love, loss, faith and forgiveness. These book brought me to tears multiple times, and I loved how the author was able to make me hate a character, and then later on coming to understand and forgive them. Moving and unforgettable.

Into the Free full review HERE
When Mountains Move full review HERE


King's War by Jill Williamson
Jill Williamson has outdone herself in taking us back to Er'Rets and the origins of the House of Hadar, with fantastic world-building, character development, and faith. Multiple storylines entwine and diverge with complexity all leading up the the culmination with the battle between Armania and the dark powers from the Lowerworld. Old Testament themes set in a new fantasy world, full of adventure, daring, betrayal, magic, faith, friendship, and love. 
A fantastic conclusion to a worthy saga.

Full review HERE


Honorable Mentions
Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd
A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette
The Sheriff of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden
Searching For You by Jody Hedlund
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
 The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

What are your favorite books that you read in 2018?






12.30.2018

The Quotable Tozer by A.W. Tozer and edited by James L. Snyder ~ Review

My Review:

This year I "discovered" A.W. Tozer and went on a multiple book long reading spree of some of his more famous works, favorites being Attributes of God, The Counselor, Delighting in God, and Of God and Men. 

A.W. Tozer was a pastor, writer, and magazine editor, who had a strong passion for Spiritual truths. This volume is a collection of quotes from his various works, books, essays, and articles, arranged alphabetically and topically.

This book is a hardcover of about 360 pages, a good end table book, as it isn't exactly one that is easily read straight through but is better digested a bite at a time. It would make a great gift.

I will admit it was harder to read in nuggets as I missed the context and the reading flow of a book. But it is still a worthwhile read. Tozer is never a bad idea in my book!


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