Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Life After by Katie Ganshert

From the publisher:
Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.
A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 
Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.

This book was deeper and richer than I had expected. And I had big expectations going into this book.  In a world where we give pat answers to really difficult and painful situations this book lets us wrestle in the midst of the turmoil and see all that is there to discover--both the pain and beauty and even sometimes, answers.  

Ganshert writes Autumn and Paul both with equal skill and character development.  I loved the secondary characters and how they added to the story's dimensions.  Sometimes in Christian fiction the story is all about the romance (and those are still fun to read!) but this book is so much more than a light read.  Autumn's journey and Paul's journey will probably not be exactly your story, but the questions they ask and the emotions they feel will resonate with you. 

 I found that after reading this book I had to process it.  To me, that's an excellent book.  To have to sit with a book and its story and meaning after the book has finished is what makes the difference between a good book and a great book.  

I highly recommend this book to others.

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

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

From the publisher:
With her penchant for seeing the best in everyone, Hope Irvine sees a world full of good people in hard places. When her father accepts a position traveling in a chapel car as an on-the-rail missionary, she is determined to join him in his efforts and put her musical skills to good use by serving the mining families of West Virginia, saving their souls, and bettering their lives.

Luke Hughes shares Hope's love of music and her love of God, but as a poor miner he knows he can offer her no future. Still, the notes she sings resonate in his heart. When she begins to travel with a young mine manager to neighboring counties, Luke can hardly suppress his jealousy. It isn't until he begins to suspect these missions of mercy might be the mine manager's cover for illegal purposes, though, that Luke feels justified in speaking up. But how can he discover the truth without hurting Hope or, worse, putting her in danger?


Hope Irvin's only dream is to work along-side her father in his ministry with the chapel car.  As the chapel car is pulled by train to various towns Hope works to win the trust of the women while her father preaches daily from the chapel car. Hope teaches Bible stories to the children and befriends the women.  Her father Pastor Irvine works to help build safer homes for the miners and their families.  As real friendship and acceptance is being built there is also something mysterious going on in the town.  When  unexplained wealth and unexpected accidents occur blame is cast in all directions.  Two young men in the town are vying for Hope's affections, Kirby the mine owner's son and Luke a miner supporting his family after his father's tragic death. Both seemingly want what is best for the miners and both are working towards better working conditions.  Or are they?  Hope must trust God to show her what is real and what path is the one God would have her follow.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon


From the Publisher:
Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different--and better--future planned for them than either could imagine.

This is the third book in the Hope Harbor Novel series but each book can be read as a stand-alone, although they are fun to read together as you get more depth in the story.  But if just this one appeals to you, don't be afraid to pick it up because it is part of a series.

Irene Hannon has created characters with depth and light-heartedness.  Hannon has the right blend of a book that you want to curl up and enjoy your spring or summer afternoon with.  It is the kind of story you can enjoy and is captivating without being suspenseful in a way that some of her other books can be.

I think readers will enjoy this book as well as the series.

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

Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl's Heart by Glenys Nellist Illustrated by Rachel Clowes

Cover Image

Glenys Nellist has done it again.  Her book are magnificent.  There are fourteen Bible stories, each two page spread has the original text in the Bible sited, as well as Nellist's own wording on that story to help the reader to see the story in a different light. To help the girls reading this to see God's love.  There is a Bible text (not linked to the Bible story itself but to the concept) and then a little lift the flap love letter that feels like it is written from God.

The lessons in this book that Glenys Nellist brings out can be for small girls all the way through mature women.  We all need to learn about women in the Bible who were brave, strong, hopeful, those who made mistakes and were forgiven.  This book is beautiful from the depths of the words to the beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes.

I highly recommend this book to others.

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

From the publisher:
It has been six years since army nurse Jenny Bennett's heart was broken by a dashing naval officer. Now Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher has abruptly reappeared in her life at the Presidio army base but refuses to discuss the inexplicable behavior that destroyed their happiness.

Ryan is in an impossible situation. One of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring assignment, he accepted a government mission overseas that caused his reputation to be destroyed and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor bound never to reveal where he had been during those six years, he can't tell Jenny the truth or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Although Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution, he can't pull it off on his own. Loyalty to her country compels Jenny to help, but she never could have imagined the intrigue she and Ryan will have to face or the lengths to which they will have to go to succeed.

Elizabeth Camden is an author that I look forward to each book that comes out.  I can't wait to see how she will create a story and characters that stay with me long past reading it. 

I think Elizabeth Camden is definitely an author to follow and continue to read.  That being said, I was disappointed with this particular book of hers.  I felt that the dialogue between the main characters was stilted and didn't seem real.  I also didn't feel they were developed.  Now I did LOVE  the secondary male characters and think that Elizabeth Camden should write his story! 

I do love how Elizabeth Camden takes history, and party I knew nothing about, and makes them come to light and alive.

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Grandpa Hugs by Laura Neutzling Illustraged by Cee Biscoe

This board book is a delightful book for young children to enjoy.  It is illustrated with different animals who are all supposed to be the grandchild and grandpa.  This could be for either gender of a grandchild.  I like that it shares different things about being a grandpa that can be fun.  It can be jokes, eating special treats, singing, learning new things, or praying. 

Laura Neutzling did a great job for children and grandpas to enjoy this book.

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

Monday, April 3, 2017

Harvest by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis

This is a book that gardener enthusiast will definitely enjoy!  This book shows the reader way to not only use vegetable gardens, but ANY garden to produce amazing things!    The book shares ways to use petals, leaves, roots, seeds, and fruit in many ways.  You can create floral arrangements to enjoy on your table or you can create dyes to natural dye fabric. 

The book is divided into three sections: Early, Mid, and Late for the garden season. It will share specific plants and how to use them.  I love that I can see things for Lilacs as well as Asian Persimmons and know that this book will really share lots of fun and unique ways to utilize many plants.

And, but no least, this book has beautiful pictures in it.  The photography is bright, bold, and so enjoyable to look at.

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