Book Review | Where You Lead

where you lead.jpgTitle: Where You Lead by Leslea Wahl

Pages: 249

Genres: YA, Christian Fiction, Contemporary

Publisher: Vinspire (Sept. 15th, 2018)

Summary

A vision from God leads to the adventure of a lifetime.

Sixteen-year-old Eve Donahue’s lonely existence changes in an instant when visions of a mysterious stranger haunt her. Certain God is calling her for a mission, she bravely says yes and begins her quest to meet this young man.

Thousands of miles away, Nick Hammond has been dealing with his own unusual experience, an unwavering certainness to convince his father to run for political office.

When these two unlikely teens finally meet, their belief that God has called them to work together sets them on a journey of faith to untangle a web of deception involving international trade agreements, lost confederate gold, and a blossoming romance. As they follow century old clues, they realize God can call us all in big and small ways. We just need to listen and say, “Yes Lord, I will go where You lead.”

Where You Lead

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thanks to the publisher, author, and Just Read Tours!*

I had heard some really good things about Where You Lead, so when I was given the opportunity to review this one, I was so excited!  I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint.

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Book Review | Amish Covert Operation

amish covert operation.jpgTitle: Amish Covert Operation by Meghan Carver

Pages: 244

Genres: Romance, Mystery/Suspense, Amish, Christian Fiction

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (July 1st, 2019)

Summary

Can an agent in disguise keep her safe?

After Amish widow Katie Schwartz’s search for her reclusive brother results in a shooting and her finding a cryptic message, she must rely on federal agent Adam Troyer to shield her. But, undercover as a Plain man, can Adam save her brother’s life and protect Katie? Trusting the handsome Englisch agent is already dangerous…but falling for him could risk everything Katie holds dear.

Amish Covert Operation 

what i thought

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Book Review | Hiddensee

hiddenseeTitle: Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

Pages: 304

Genres: Fantasy, Retelling

Publisher: William Morrow (Oct. 31st, 2017)

Summary

From the author of the beloved #1 New York Times bestseller Wicked, the magical story of a toymaker, a nutcracker, and a legend remade . . .

Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.

Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea, an island that is an enchanting bohemian retreat and home to a large artists’ colony—a wellspring of inspiration for the Romantic imagination . . .

Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann—the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann’s mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s fairy tale ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults—a fascination with death and the afterlife—and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless? Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker 

what i thought

Hiddensee was such a unique and intriguing retelling.  It’s a book that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but for one reason or another, kept putting it off.  Since 2020 is the year I want to get my TBR down, I thought that it would be the perfect book to kick off my reading for the year.

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Book Review | The Jesus Who Surprises

the jesus who surprises.pngTitle: The Jesus Who Surprises: Opening Our Eyes to His Presence in All of Life and Scripture by Dee Brestin

Pages: 256

Genres: Nonfiction, Christian Living

Publisher: Waterbrook & Multnomah (July 23rd, 2019)

Summary

Join beloved Bible teacher and best-selling author Dee Brestin in discovering the surprising places Jesus shows up in the Old Testament and the unexpected ways He speaks into our lives today.

Offering a fascinating perspective on the historic, poetic, and prophetic books of the Old Testament, Brestin draws on her deep understanding of the full scope of the Bible to explore the timeless story of God’s quest to rescue each of us. She combines rich teaching, memorable storytelling, and an in-depth Bible study component to create a resource that shows readers how the story began (the books of Moses), how to live in the story (the poetic books), and how the story will end (the prophets).

The Jesus Who Surprises: Opening Our Eyes to His Presence in All of Life and Scripture

what i thought*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  A huge thank you to the publisher!*

Lately, I’ve been on a quest to find more biblically sound, Christian living books.  If you don’t often read this genre, then you might be surprised to find that a lot of the books labeled as Christian living, are oftentimes not all that Bible-based.  There’s a lot of cherry-picking Bible verses to fit the author’s agenda.  I’m happy to say, however, that The Jesus Who Surprises is not one of those books!

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Harlequin Holiday Blog Tour | Book Review | Coming Home For Christmas

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Hello and welcome to part one for my stop of the Harlequin Holiday Blog Tour!  I’m so excited to be partnering with Harlequin to share some fun and festive holiday books with you all.  To get things started, I’ll be sharing my review of Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne!


9781335504999_TS_prd.jpgTitle: Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne

Pages: 384

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Christmas

Publisher: HQN Books (Sept. 24th, 2019)

Summary

Hearts are lighter and wishes burn a little brighter at Christmas…

Elizabeth was trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents and she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life.

And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger, or the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.

But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined.

As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?

Coming Home for Christmas (Haven Point, #10)

what i thought

*I received a free e-copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  A huge thank you to the publisher!*

As many of you probably know by now, I love Christmas!  That also means I love Christmas stories! For nearly the whole of November and December I read almost exclusively Christmas books.  So, I’m always on the lookout for new ones.  So, when I read the synopsis of Coming Home for Christmas, I was instantly intrigued and just knew that this was the book for me!

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Book Review | All She Left Behind

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Title: All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick

Pages: 368

Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian

Publisher Revell (Sept. 5th, 2017)

Summary

Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s doesn’t approve of such innovations as women attending medical school. To leave grief and guilt behind, as well as support herself and her challenging young son, Jennie cares for an elderly woman using skills she’s developed on her own. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman’s widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal–but the road will be winding and the way forward will not always be clear. Will Jennie find shelter in life’s storms? Will she discover where healing truly lives?

Through her award-winning, layered storytelling, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to leave behind their preconceived notions about love and life as they, along with Jennie, discover that dreams may be deferred–but they never really die. Based on a true story.

All She Left Behind

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the publisher!*

Going into this book, I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t read any of Jane Kirkpatrick’s books before, and I didn’t know much about what the actual story for All She Left Behind was even about. That being said, once I got started, I found this book to be such a unique and interesting read.

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Book Review | No Ocean Too Wide

no ocean too wideTitle: No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1) by Carrie Turanksy

Pages: 368

Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian

Publisher Waterbrook & Multnomah (June 25th, 2019)

Summary

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”.

No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1)

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  A huge thank you to the publisher!*

I had heard so many wonderful things about Carrie Turansky’s books.  However, until reading No Ocean Too Wide, I had not read any of her books.  That being said, because of how well-loved she is, I went into this book with pretty high expectations.  I’m so happy to say, this book did not disappoint!

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Book Review | Midnight on the River Grey | Blog Tour!


Welcome to the Blog Tour for Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Midnight on the River Grey
Author:
Abigail Wilson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:
July 2, 2019
Genre: Historical Suspense/Gothic Romance

She knew the house was keeping secrets. If only the darkness would speak . . .

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

After reading the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued.  I love a good mystery, and that is something Midnight on the River Grey definitely has!

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Book Review | Ornamental Graces

Ornamental Graces.jpgTitle: Ornamental Graces by Carolyn Astfalk

Pages: 366

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Christian/Catholic

Publisher: Multa Verba Publishing (Oct. 11th, 2016)

Summary

After his duplicitous girlfriend left, Dan Malone spent six months in a tailspin of despair and destruction: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Just when his life seems to be back on track, he meets Emily Kowalski, younger sister of his new best friend.

Emily’s the kind of girl he’d always dreamed of—sweet, smart, and sincere. But he’s made a mess of his life and ruined his chances for earning the love and trust of a woman like her.

Could Dan be the man Emily’s been waiting for? How could he be when every time they get close he pulls away? And will he ever be free from his shady past and the ex-girlfriend who refuses to stay there?

Ornamental Graces 

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

As many of you probably already know, I love Christmas so much!  So, when I received Ornamental Graces for review, I was quite excited.  I’m a sucker for a Hallmark Christmas movie, and this book sounded just like one.  While I ended up enjoying this one just as much as any Hallmark movie, it was so much more than that, too!

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Book Review | Own Your Everyday

OYE.jpgTitle: Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley

Pages: 240

Genres: Non-fiction, Self-help, Christian

Publisher Waterbrook & Multnomah (May 14th, 2019)

Summary

Do you ever feel the pressure to prove yourself? Or to “figure it all out” as you’re waiting in seasons that seem like the awkward in-between? Does it ever feel seem that you’re the only one with “unfigured-out dreams”?
Jordan equips you to confront the feeling of being stuck and instead live your purpose by owning (not ignoring) your story, your quirks, your struggles, and everything that makes you, you.

In this book, Jordan provides practical tools as she shows you how to:
tackle limitations like disappointment, perfectionism, comparison, distraction, and more;
overcome the lie that you can’t live your purpose until or unless you reach a certain goal, milestone, etc.;
remove labels and break out of the box of expectations;
identify and eliminate excuses, insecurity, and unnecessary stress about an unknown future.

Own Your Everyday:  Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You're Made to Do 

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

I’ve been following Jordan Lee Dooley on Instagram for quite a while now.  So, when I saw she was releasing a book, you can bet I was so excited!  I’m happy to say that this book truly lived up to its hype, and I am so glad to have read it.

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