Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey






















From the publisher:
FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.
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I read this book in one day. The book was amazing so I couldn't put it down. This is the third book in the Chesapeake Valor series and each book has been attention grabbing from the start.  I enjoy how Pettrey is bold in the way she talks about God through these books. It isn't an afterthought but instead strong, just as the characters are strong. 

Declan Grey is a character we have been getting to know and in this book we really get to spend more time with him and with Tanner. The development of Tanner and Declan's characters through the other books and into this one has only made the excitement for this book more intense! 

There is suspense, mystery, love, family, friendship--this series is amazing.  You won't want to miss it.

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton





















From the publisher:

In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

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Many Sparrows is an intense trip into the western frontier with imperfect characters wrapped in God's grace.  Clare is waiting for her husband to return to their damaged wagon when her premature labor begins distracting her from watching her four year old son.  His disappearance begins a long journey of physically searching for her son Jacob as well as a spiritual search for a God that can make good out of any situation.  As Clare learns to truly wait on the Lord her heart is challenged in ways that sometimes feels unbearable.  She will look her child's kidnapper in the eyes and see evil there.  She will watch as another gains her child's trust and love.  She will learn not just tolerance of another people's ways but admiration.  This tale weaves back and forth between the settler's world and the Native American's way of life.  Told in stark, unfiltered descriptions the author shows "both sides of the story" as the saying goes.  She gives fair say to each and helps the reader see more clearly how the lines of absolute rightness are not often as they appear.  While trusting God to do the impossible Clare also learns to accept the impossible.  Through this transformation in her soul she finds a God bigger than any of her fears or even her dreams.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Start Where You Are Note Cards













This is a beautiful box with twelve cards and envelopes.  Each are different with inspirational sayings. I love the soft colors of each card.  I personally think it is better to buy this box and send out cards than buy each card individually at a store, the quality and beauty of each card will show the receiver how special you think they are.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker





















From the publisher:
In this highly anticipated new book, beloved author Jen Hatmaker parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere. Whether it’s the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”) or the way she learned to forgive (God was super clear: Pray for this person every day, which was the meanest thing He ever said to me. I was furious.), she offers a reminder to those of us who sometimes hide in the car eating crackers that we do have the moxie to get back up and get back out. We can choose to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold, and lead vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives.
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This is my first Jen Hatmaker book. I heard/read so many good things about her previous book that I wanted to read her newest book.  Early in this book I felt like Jen was sitting with me and talking as a friend to a friend.  It wasn't heavy but laughter inducing, while at the same time it spoke to deep truths that my heart is struggling with and longs for. 

Jen Hatmaker has a beautiful writing skill that allows her to touch the hearts of the readers through humor and yet deep, deep truth without making it overwhelming or a book you have to slog through.

This book made me wish I could get together with Jen because she was so vulnerable and personable in this book.

I am so glad I go this book and look forward to getting more of her books in the future!

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Unseen by Sara Hagerty





















As I read this book I found myself hearing God whisper His love to me. He was showing Himself to me in all the moments I felt were wasted. Small, unnoticed. I found myself more in love with Jesus.

Sara's writing is easy to read and engage with. She writes as a friend writing to another friend. It is honest and in her honesty it gives the reader permission to be honest themselves and to hear God whisper to them.

I love the end scriptures that are for you to study. I love that there isn't a specific way that Sara directs you to use these, instead it allows personal freedom to study scripture as God leads you. I have been using them to do adoration and it has filled my soul in a way I have not had in a long time.

I have already ordered this book for friends and will keep sharing this beautiful message. It is a quiet message, yet one that will resonate and change the way your heart hears all the noise and silence in all you do.

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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From the publisher:

Every heart longs to be seen and understood. Yet most of our lives is unwitnessed. We spend our days working, driving, parenting. We sometimes spend whole seasons feeling unnoticed and unappreciated. So how do we find contentment when we feel so hidden?
In Unseen, Sara Hagerty suggests that this is exactly what God intended. He is the only One who truly knows us. He is the only One who understands the value of the unseen in our lives. When this truth seeps into our souls, we realize that only when we hide ourselves in God can we give ourselves to others in true freedom—and know the joy of a deeper relationship with the God who sees us.
Our culture applauds what we can produce, what we can show, what we can upload to social media. Only when we give all of ourselves to God—unedited, abandoned, apparently wasteful in its lack of productivity—can we live out who God created us to be. As Hagerty writes, “Maybe my seemingly unproductive, looking-up-at-Him life produces awe among the angels.”
Through an eloquent exploration of both personal and biblical story, Hagerty calls us to offer every unseen minute of our lives to God. God is in the secret places of our lives that no one else witnesses. But we’ve not been relegated to these places. We’ve been invited.
We may be “wasting” ourselves in a hidden corner today: The cubicle on the fourth floor. The hospital bedside of an elderly parent. The laundry room. But these are the places God uses to meet us with a radical love. These are the places that produce the kind of unhinged love in us that gives everything at His feet, whether or not anyone else ever proclaims our name, whether or not anyone else ever sees.
God’s invitation is not just for a season or a day. It is the question of our lives: “When no one else applauds you, when it makes no sense, when you see no results—will you waste your love on Me?”

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander



From the publisher:
Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success--General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. 
    
Seeking justice . . . 
   
Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancĂ©--and has shattered her world. 
   
Struggling to restore honor . . . 
   
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family--and Nashville society--do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both.
   
Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 
   
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 
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I recently moved from near Nashville.  I was able to visit Belle Meade Plantation and I love how Tamera Alexander weaves the real life people into this novel.  The history of Nashville and Belle Meade Plantation is fascinating -- and if you have read her other books based in Belle Meade Plantation, each book shares a different part of history.

Nashville comes alive in this book and what is really amazing is the way she brings to life the education of freed slaves after the civil war.  The strength, determination of these brave warrior souls is beautiful.  It also shows how we c an easily forget all that our country has gone through. 

I love the history of the railroad in the book as well as the Jubilee Singers and Fisk University.  This was such a great historical lesson for me. 

I love the way Tamera Alexander writes. She writes a romantic love story but doesn't pretend that all things are perfect. She doesn't make everything turn our the way the characters want and that allows the reader to feel the the novel is more true to life. 

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 


Monday, August 7, 2017

High As the Heavens by Kate Breslin



From the publisher:
In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's cafĂ©. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She's a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service. 

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

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Kate Breslin is taking you into 1917 and teaching you about what it was like to live in German-occupied Brussels in a way that is captivating and will teach you history as you have never seen it.

Evelyn Marche is a strong and wounded character. Her strength and tenacity to survive gives glimpse into what many woman may have done.  They had to learn to be rise up and be who they should be.  Her backstory will cause you take a look at all that the survivors of that time period had to deal with. It is incredible to think about. And sobering.

The injured pilot and the danger of the undercover operations was fascinating. It is amazing how the people of Europe did all they could to change the horrific things that were happening, even if it was just a few brave people.

This book really helped me appreciate all that the different citizens did during this world war.

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.