Monday, May 25, 2015

Margaret's Ark by Daniel G. Keohane ~ Free at Amazon for Kindle for a short time!

I started this book blog back in 2009 and since that time, I have read several books that have become life time favorites of mine.  

One of my absolute favorite books is Margaret's Ark by Daniel G. Keohane.  I truly could not put this book down till I had finished the very. last. page!  Click here to read my 2012 review on Margaret's Ark. 

  • ASIN: B005BR27XA

From the Publisher:

On April ninth, thousands of people wake from the same dream, angels instructing them to build a biblical ark in their front yard, or the town square or little league field. Anywhere, to prepare for the worst natural disaster to strike the world since the days of Noah. A widowed California high school teacher risks everything to build a boat in the sixty days she is given. A homeless and self-proclaimed prophet of God preaches across Boston's waterfront, unaware that he is not alone in his visions. A young priest is torn between the signs around him and the skepticism of his Church. A physician’s plans for advancement are threatened by her husband’s dreams of a coming flood. 

In the end, only thirty people may board each boat. As the world slowly comes to grips with events unfolding around them, they must weigh their own faith in the exceptional and identical visions of so many people. The skies are clear, without a hint of rain. But if the dreams are true, something terrible is looming on the horizon.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Decision by Wanda E. Brunstetter

  • ISBN-10: 1616260882
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616260880
  • The Prairie State Friends (Book 1)

The Decision by Wanda Brunstetter is the first book in her new Prairie State Friends series. 

The story opens with Elaine Shrock finding her Grandfather seriously ill. He is dying and his last request is that she promises to care for her Grandmother. Elaine loves her Grandparents dearly and she readily commits to this promise. 

Keenly feeling the loss of her Grandfather, she is soon faced with life changing obstacles when her Grandmother becomes diagnosed with serious illness.  While her faith is strong, she stays committed to her promise but the decisions she makes have far reaching effects. Effects that she never dreamed of having to face. 

Will she ever find happiness and love again? 

I spent a delightful and relaxing afternoon reading The Decision.  I was impressed by the deep characters and the complexity of the story line that kept me interested and engaged from the beginning to the end.   

What I found most impressive though, was  how Ms. Brunstetter creatively acknowledged and weaved the issues that caregivers often face when caring for a loved one with chronic illness. 

All in all, I found The Decision to be an interesting and enjoyable book!

Many thanks to Kim @ Nancy Berlin Public Relations for the opportunity to review this book. My review is an honest reflection of my impressions, thoughts and feelings regarding this book. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Find a Quiet Spot and Relax Into the World of Cindy Woodsmall ...

  • ISBN-10: 1601427670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601427670

I've enjoy reading Cindy Woodsmall's books over the past several years. She is such a gifted writer and I am fascinated with the Amish and the Amish lifestyle. 

Hope Crossing is a compilation of the complete Ada House Series and includes The Hope of Refuge, The Bridge   of Peace and The Harvest of Grace.

All three books are wonderfully written with deeply engaging characters and a rich story-telling that flowed from one book to the next. As I love reading series, I was thrilled that I could read all three back to back without any waiting for the next book to be released. 

I came away from reading these books very relaxed, smiling and renewed. Contented in having read a really good book. In this case, having read THREE really good books!  :)

From the publisher:

Hope Crossing…where Ada’s House stands as a haven for weary souls looking for kindness, faith, and second chances.

The Hope of Refuge

Two very different women are pulled by their strongest desires. Deborah Mast joined the Amish church and longs to marry her fiancĂ©, but he is changing. Cara Moore is forced to look into a life that was meant to be hers. Will Ada’s House help them realize their hearts’ desires or will it force them to accept what life has done to each of them? 

The Bridge of Peace

Living out her passion for teaching, Lena Kauffman’s work is suddenly interrupted by a series of pranks and accidents targeted toward her and her students. When tragedy strikes her dear friend Grey Graber’s family on school property, the school board begins to blame her for the trouble. As grief and confusion take their toll on Grey and Lena’s friendship, they are both forced to face a new reality that may offer the peace and love they each long for.

The Harvest of Grace

Fleeing a terrible mistake, Sylvia Fisher dedicates herself to saving the failing Blank farm. When prodigal son Aaron returns, he is surprised by this unusual farmhand who opposes all his plans. Will Aaron and Sylvia’s unflinching efforts toward opposite futures mask the bigger picture—a path to forgiveness, grace, and the promise of love?

A Big Thank You to Blogging for Books for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for a review. My review is a reflection of my own thoughts, feelings and impressions of this book. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick

  • ISBN-10: 1617736554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617736551

The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick is a beautifully written novel about family, friendship, second chances, and healing.  It is filled with deeply moving characters and an emotionally rich story line that will make you laugh, cry, ache and smile. I so enjoyed reading  this book!

Lucy Toomey, a long time political campaigner is about to celebrate the final culmination of years of hard work when she receives word that her older sister, Alice has died. 

With Alice's death, Lucy is forced to return home to a small town in Wisconsin. Returning to a past haunted with memories of Alice's accident as a teenager and the life changing effects it held for her sister, herself and their family. 

As Lucy sorts out Alice's seemingly eccentric last wishes, she begins a journey of self realization finding healing, friendship and joy in the most unexpected ways. 

Through learning more about Alice and the life she left behind, Lucy finds unique gifts from Alice that open the door for Lucy to find  things she never dreamed she was missing and the life she never knew she was longing for.

Many thanks to Kim @ Nancy Berlin Public Relations  for the opportunity to review this book. My review is an honest reflection of my thoughts and feelings about this book.


Friday, February 13, 2015

The First Principle: A Novel by Marissa Shrock

  • ISBN-10: 0825443571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825443572

Ages 13 and Up

Kindle version on sale for $1.99 through February 15, 2015!

From the publisher:

In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For fifteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same--until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall. When Vivica speaks out to defend her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Marina Ward, she has no idea she's sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. 

But it isn't long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory abortion--or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother's chances at becoming president. A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. Can Vivica trust these rebels to help her or will they bring everything crashing down around her? 

Accepting their help may come with consequences she isn't ready to face. Marissa Shrock's debut novel crafts a chilling story of what may be to come if we allow the economic and moral crises currently facing our country to change the foundations on which we built our independence--and of the difference one person can make when they choose to trust God's lead.

My Thoughts:

The First Principle: A Novel by Marissa Shrock is her debut novel and I have to share that this book is a great read. I found this book to be intriguing, engaging and somewhat disturbing. 

More to the point, my teenagers really liked this book and recommend it for reading! (Now that's high praise)

While the novel did not come out and fully state the story takes place during the end times, it is pretty evident that it does. For example, Vivica's world is governed by US regions rather than states, government has taken over the citizens individual rights and controls what food they can eat, jobs they can have, population control through forced birth control and if necessary, forced abortions. The government in this novel has dictated laws on what is taught in school, what can be discussed in personal and private lives, and most of all the outlawing of Christianity and the Bible.

My Thoughts ~ 

I found it intriguing that the perspective of The First Principle while strongly referring to God, His message through the Bible - salvation, the story's focus was not on the rapture itself.  Rather, the focus was on a very realistic version of what life might be like for a teenager living during the end times. 

It portrayed the government's revocation of it's citizen's personal freedoms ~ the freedom to choose how to live, choices of what we believe and how we raise our children and how many children to have; the right of free speech and the right to religious freedom.     

The phrase "in the not-too-distant future" was an eye opener for me. It was rather scary even as a Christian to realize that I could clearly see how today's issues in our government, society and religion could be the seeds that sprout and bloom "in the near future" into the type of society and government so evident in this book.  

It most definitively left me feeling unsettled and opened up some very earnest and thought provoking family discussions, including faith in Jesus Christ.

My family and I highly recommend reading The First Principle!

Many thanks to Kregel Publications for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest and up front review.