Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith

From the publisher:
Outspoken and fearless, Deborah has faith in God but struggles to see the potential her own life holds. As an Israelite woman, she'll marry, have a family, and seek to teach her children about Adonai--and those tasks seem to be more than enough to occupy her time. But God has another plan for her. Israel has been under the near constant terror of Canaan's armies for twenty years, and now God has called Deborah to deliver her people from this oppression. Will her family understand? Will her people even believe God's calling on her life? And can the menace of Canaan be stopped?

This is the second book in the Daughter's of the Promised Land series.

I had a hard time getting into this book.  I felt that it was slow at first, however, I can see that perhaps the author did it that way to help the reader feel what the Israelites felt about waiting 20 years for deliverance from the Canaanites.  

I had a hard time liking Deborah and her daughter.  They were disrespectful of the men in their lives and while they had talents and gifts to offer, they continued to belittle and hurt others.  At the end the author wrapped this up, but after years of this behavior it is hard to believe that such a change could happen so quickly.  Deborah's daughter is also rude and immature to her mother and others as well--I find it hard to believe that suddenly at the end she matures.  

I really liked reading Jael and her family's story however.  That was my favorite part.  

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter

From the publisher:
Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancĂ© Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.

Zac was just beginning to get his life back on track after Lucy left him with no explanation. And now she’s back—vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. Has he been given a second chance with the only woman who stirs his passion and haunts his dreams?

Lucy knows she must unlock those missing months and discover why she threw everything away. And Zac knows that if he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life—but if Lucy’s memory returns, his would-be bride might say goodbye forever.

This is the second book in the A Summer Harbor Novel series.  Even if you don't read the first book you can still read this one and not miss too much.  The first book is great and I think you should read it as well, but if by chance you just pick this one up you can read it and enjoy it fully.

Lucy is a fun character to read. Bubbly, clumsy, and full of fun and life.  And yet she carries hurts that cause huge problems in her life.  Zac is an intense guy.  He is the counter to Lucy and they make a great match.  Their chemistry is fun to read and yet it is the love for each other that will really draw you in.

I enjoy reading all the secondary characters (especially if you have already read the first book in the series) and am excited to see what the future stories hold for each of them.

I received this book free from BookLook in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Gift of Friendship Edited by Dawn Camp

From the publisher:
Collecting over fifty true stories from some of today best writers, Dawn Camp offers readers a chance to sit back and experience the gift of friendship. With its beautiful photographs and poignant prose, this collection is a great gift for a dear friend and the perfect pick-me-up any time you need a boost. Contributors include Crystal Paine, Liz Curtis Higgs, Tsh Oxenreider, Myquillyn Smith, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Lisa-Jo Baker, Jessica Turner, Lysa TerKeurst, Bonnie Gray, Holley Gerth, Renee Swope, and many more.

Friendships.  Just the word stirs certain emotions inside of each of us.  Through nine sections Dawn Camp guides the reader through stories of friendship by various writers.  These are not fluff stories but real stories.  Some are hard to read others will bring laughter and joy to your soul.

This book takes the gift of friendship and digs into what it can really mean.  Whether is is forgiveness, vulnerability, hospitality, or pursuing friendship this book can give you hope and guidance.

I think you will find yourself thinking of certain friendships as you read from these various authors.  And I think you will be blessed.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Step by Step by Candace Calvert

From the publisher:
Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point―“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.

While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.

When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

This is the second book by Candace Calvert that I have read and I have enjoyed both of them.  Her knowledge of different areas of the medical world are interesting to read about.  For someone going through grief I think this would be a good book.  It talks a lot about the stages of grief and how each person tries to deal with it.  Candace also writes about how God is the one who will help heal us.

Both the primary story/characters and the secondary story/characters were very interesting.  There is a secondary character, Sloane, who really grabbed my attention.  I am eager to read the next book in the series to find out more about her story.  There is also another girl who I am interested to find more about.  I like how the stories all wove together in a way that didn't take away from each story but complimented it instead.

I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. 

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

From the publisher:
In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet--until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern--a young social justice lawyer missing since spring--and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents.

This is the first book in the Chesapeake Valor series.  And I am so excited about this new series by Dani Pettrey!  I loved her Alaskan Courage series and couldn't wait for this new series to begin.  I wasn't disappointed at all! 

What I love about Dani Pettrey is that not only is is a masterful suspense and romance writer but when fills her novels with God.  The characters are praying and relying on God in the midst of really intense situations.  But she isn't overbearing in her writing.  The flow is natural.  

This book introduces a lot of characters but it is setting it up for future books.  I already am eager to know more about Parker, Kate, Declan and the rest.  The romance is perfect and the suspense will keep you reading as fast as you can.  

I highly recommend this book.

I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. 

Snuggle Time Prayers by Glenys Nellist Illustrated by Cee Biscoe

From the publisher:
Snuggle Time Prayers, written by Glenys Nellist and illustrated by Cee Biscoe, is a perfect bedtime collection of fifteen prayers. This padded cover board book will help children settle down at bedtime and remind them of their blessings as they draw closer to God.

This book is perfect for babies and toddlers.  We always read a Bible story before bed but sometimes my toddler is too fussy or tired and we need something short a soothing.  This is perfect for that.  Each prayer begins with a Bible verse.  This Bible verse is the foundation for the prayer.  I love this because it is also training them for a unique way to pray--using scripture and then having their own words to pray that scripture.  To top it off the illustrations are wonderful.  I would have picked this up just for the illustrations but the words are simple yet profound.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Miriam by Mesu Andrews

From the publisher:
At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
 Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?

Book 1 in the Treasures of the Nile is The Pharaoh's Daughter.  You don't have to read that to understand this book but there are some part in the beginning of this book that if you haven't read the previous book will seem a bit confusing.  I actually enjoyed this book much more than the previous book.  

Mesu Andrews is a writer who gives detail upon details to Biblical stories.  She will create the world in ways that you may not have seen before.  I love the story of Moses and the Israelite's' freedom from Egypt but I have never felt so infested in the Egyptian lives as I did while reading this book.  I felt the pain and sorrow of what was happening, as well as the Israelite's' struggle to understand God and His plagues.

There was a lot of deep conversation about the silence of God.  I really resonated with this because I have experienced this.  To read about Miriam going through this and finding out new ways to listen and find God was very inspirational.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.