Friday, June 30, 2017

The Ebb Tide

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I think at one time or another all of us have felt that pull, that deep desire to visit these far off places, to see something vast and so much bigger than ourselves. I think that's why its so easy to relate to and like Sallie, she is the type of character who almost makes us take a close look at ourselves, who reminds us of those past yearnings for something more, something different.
I love Amish stories, and Beverly Lewis is among the best of this genre's authors, her stories are always so well done, so easy to follow, and so easy to fall in love with!
As Sallie discovers life outside of her Amish colony, and sees all that there is in the world outside, its a struggle for the reader to know whether we should cheer for her inquisitiveness or hope she returns to the Amish setting that we all love! The descriptions of the scenery in this book were so well done, it was so easy to picture the beauty and uniqueness of the oceanside town. 
As always Beverly Lewis has written a fantastic story, the book was incredibly hard to put down, I think I had finished it withing a couple of days (and some late nights!!). As is true with all her books, the only thing disappointing about it, was that it had to end!
I highly recommend it!!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

To The Farthest Shores

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I know when I have an craving to read a really good historical story, that Elizabeth Camden is one of the first authors I look up, as always her books are well thought out, well written with engaging characters, and hold the readers attention so well.
In Camden's book "To the farthest shores" we meet an army nurse named Jenny, shes a good solid character, very well written and easily likable. I appreciate when authors take the time to develop a good character, and to ensure that the strength of that character shines through in the writing/novel. Camden did a great job with this book, the main character Jenny is easy to like, she exudes strength and determination, and shows such integrity. I love when a female character is given the respect of being written as a strong character. I deeply appreciate that Elizabeth Camden writes a great deal of her characters in her novels this way.
Lt Ryan and Jenny's story is intertwined with past acquaintances and  heartbreaks, of secrets and lingering feelings. As we get to know the characters throughout the story we really get to feel like we know them, and have hope for their story to work out!!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

The Chapel Car Bride

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I am a huge fan of historical novels, I love reading about times past, and the unique ways people lived and worked, and sought to serve the Lord. Plus I've read many of Judith Miller's books and knew I was in for a pretty good read once I saw "the Chapel Car Bride"!
True to form, Judith Miller provided a story that captured the readers interest right away, with a unique setting and intriguing characters the story pulls you in right from the beginning and doesn't let go until the end! This was one of those books where you love the story and want to read as much as you can as often as you can, but also hate that eventually you'll hit the end! I really enjoyed the two main characters in the book, Hope and Luke, both having come from such different backgrounds, but see the way that their story is woven so cleverly together, it was really a treat to read this book! It was easy to fall into the optimistic and hopeful outlook of Hope in this story, as we see her desire to help those she meets in her travels with her father. I especially enjoyed her character in this book! 
I would highly recommend this book, its witty and clever, and a joy to read!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hope TV


I've got the unique opportunity this month of reviewing a television station, and I am so excited to share it with all my readers!!
I know I've a few regular readers from the Ontario area, and I've also passed on my recommendations for it to others in the area as well, and I'm hoping you, reader, will if you're able, give this station your attention!
One of my very favorite things in this world is music, especially gospel music, so the minute I saw that the Gaither gospel hour was part of their programming, I had an inkling that I was really going to love Hopetv! The best part though, is that the programming doesn't stop there, there is a vast array of programming on HopeTV that will spiritually feed you regardless of your tastes or where you are in your Christian walk.
Joyce Meyer 2016  The Chronological Gospels with Michael Rood
 From learning to walk in the fullness of God from Joyce Meyer, to following the timeline of Jesus' walk on earth in "The Chronological Gospel" (I have a strong new love for this show in particular, I absolutely love historical lessons about the Bible that give us deeper understanding of both The Word and Jesus) there is a full course meal found in this station!
As summer rolls around and our vacation times come up, I think I will begin to love it even more, while I'm a big advocate of attending a local congregation when you can, however HopeTV is a perfect way to still receive that spiritual feeding when a local church isn't a possibility. There is so much variety of programming that regardless of the "flavor" of your Christianity, there is still programming that will inspire and renew you!
I've found myself surprised with how much more I'm looking forward to our personal vacation time this year, now that I have this station to look to for my own growth, renewal, and inspiration. The biggest struggle of vacations, if there could be a struggle ;)  is that while I get that time of rest, more often than not, I'm in a place or area where that spiritual renewal, that gathering of believers, isn't a possibility. Now that I've been made aware of HopeTV and their programming, I know that my times of rest, will also have times of inspiration and refreshing, my church away from church.
I really encourage all of you to give HopeTV a chance, I have no doubt that, like me, you will be pleasantly surprised with the quality of programming and the variety of the teachings as well.

HopeTV is currently available on Bell 591, throughout Alberta & BC on Telus Optik 875 or Telus Satellite 591, in Manitoba on Shaw/MTS 11 and in Ontario and New Brunswick on Rogers 174.

I hope you all tune in and receive for yourselves the encouragement this station is dishing out!








Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Reunion

Reunion by Bruxy Cavey

I was looking forward to reading this book the moment I heard about it! As a minister's wife, I know the struggles my husband has in the church, and anything that could give either of us insight on reaching the people of today's world is something that I want to get my hands on!
To start with, while I did find the book incredibly interesting, and very insightful, I didn't 100% agree with everything the author wrote about, that number though was very small, and most of his points and insights were right on., I did find that he had many great points, and really highlighted the idea of who Jesus was/is, I really did enjoy learning quite a bit from him! I really appreciated his incredibly straightforward approach to explaining Jesus, and how to follow him. As someone inside the "Christian" universe, I find i'm too just so tired of the religiosity of our (universal) churches. I loved the real "Bare bones" approach that Bruxy Cavey had, there wasn't a lot of fluff or "Christian" lingo involved in his explanations, but such a simple and honest approach that I really could appreciate.
I would really encourage people to get their hands on this book, I think at the very least, it'll open our eyes on how the world views us, and how we might start reaching a world that's so tired of trite answers. So I'm giving this book a high recommendation, and passing that recommendation on to my husband and church library!!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Words of Grace



I really quite loved this little book, during a very difficult time in my life, I found it to be a calming exercise to just focus on a simple act of colouring, and also to read the devotional and focus on the Word of God made all the difference for me.
I appreciated that the devotionals were simple, they were written in a way that was easy to understand and their length made it easy to find time to add the devotional to my day. The art was well done, and easy to colour in. While I'm not always a huge fan of the adult colouring books (I find them too involved most of the time, and the amount of work to finish one makes me feel more stress not less!) I loved this little book, it was the perfect size! To be able to sit down and colour in a page and do the devotional in one sitting was a great way for me to de-stress at the end of a long day.
I would really recommend this book, its writing is insightful and calming, and the artwork was easy to colour and very well done. All around it was a great book!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Heart Most Certain

A Heart Most Certain

This turned out to be one of my favourite books I've read to date! As I've mentioned numerous times, I absolutely love historical fiction, and when there is a strong female character in it, it is doubly impressive!!
Our main character in the book is Lydia, while she's set to marry into a very influential and rich family she works hard to hide the shame of her family. So Lydia sets out to join the moral society looking to do good (and hopefully impress the mother of the man she plans to marry). Immediately Lydia finds herself facing challenges that she didn't expect, and when one of the city's wealthiest men decline her invitation to contribute to their cause, Lydia takes it upon herself to convince him that the Moral Society is worthy of investment.
Throughout it all though, Lydia finds that she is changing more that the minds she's set out to change, and discovers secrets that place her and others in deep danger!
I immensely enjoyed this book!! It was fantastic, I had such a hard time putting the book down and found myself up well into the  night when the storyline was just too good to walk away from!!
I 100% recommend this!!

Please copy and paste the following notice for all of the books (in it's entirety and without modifying the wording) at the bottom of your review:
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

The Artisan's Wife

The Artisan's Wife

I love historical novels, and I have greatly enjoyed many of Judith Miller's books, so I was thrilled at the chance to read "The Artisan's Wife". As a twin I really felt like i was able to emphasize with the main character Ainslee as she struggled to find her place and her identity apart from her sister.
After her sister running off to get married, Ainslee finds herself responsible for overseeing the tileworks that their family purchased. She is hesitant to jump into this adventure she was supposed to share with her twin, but with deep reservations she travels down to establish herself and prays that her brother can find a quick buyer. Unexpectedly Ainslee finds herself enjoying her work at the company, and more so the work she's able to do at the asylum located in the same town. As Ainslee settles in she begins to make friends and develop bonds with those around her.
I just really enjoyed reading "The Artisan's wife", the book was well thought out, and there was a real depth to the characters that you don't often experience in novels. I would highly recommend it!!

Please copy and paste the following notice for all of the books (in it's entirety and without modifying the wording) at the bottom of your review:
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

A Tapestry of Secrets

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I've read a number of Sarah Loudin Thomas' books, and have enjoyed them each time, so I was quite looking forward to reading "A tapestry of Secrets"! I loved this book, it had a historical focus to it, that I deeply appreciated, plus its main character was an artistic/crafting type so I immediately connected well with her!  The whole book is so well written, there were so many times that I felt as though I really knew these characters, and felt invested in their lives!
We meet two important characters in the book, Petra and Ella; Petra made a mistake decades ago that shaped her life and effected the relationships of those around her. As she prepares to reveal the truth she is suddenly struck silent. Ella her granddaughter who is taking time to care for her and who shares a deep connection with her struggles with choices in her own life, while also fighting for the town and church she grew up in.
Their stories lead us through the struggles and joys each faced and really drew me in, I absolutely loved this book!!

Please copy and paste the following notice for all of the books (in it's entirety and without modifying the wording) at the bottom of your review:
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."




Friday, August 05, 2016

Girl Defined

Girl Defined

I love books that don't try to put women into a box, that allow them to be the women God has created them to be, and that give them the tools to walk in that role with confidence!
I deeply appreciated that the authors didn't try to dictate that women need be a certain way (too many books expect that every woman's goal should be to become the proverbs 31 woman when some are called to be our Deborah's or Priscilla's!) but gave them the freedom to walk in the specific plan that God has designed for them!
I am going to be recommending this book to our youth group girls, they're so inundated with society's version of perfection and beauty that books like this are invaluable. I appreciate that Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird spiritually set out in this book where women's real value comes from and what real beauty looks like. This is one of the few books on "Biblical" womenhood that I can fully get behind, that has a great message of what it means to be a woman of God.
I highly recommend this book!! Wonderful!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Sea Rose Lane

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Irene Hannon is another author who I've enjoyed reading many times, and as always her books are emotional, thought provoking, entertaining, and an enjoyment to read. I appreciate the thought she puts into her characters, after a while they stop feeling like characters in a book and begin to feel more like friends and family. I love reading her books, I can absolutely lose myself in their pages (to the point that I forget the time, there were many nights where I accidentally read until 1am, this book was that good!)
I especially love that she's put out another book based in Hope Harbor, I loved the initial book of Hope Harbor so to read in that setting again was like visiting a beloved place!
We get to know in this book the characters Eric and BJ, one who's an attorney looking for some quiet and peace to get over a big disappointment and the other the one invading his quiet retreat and transforming it into a B&B.
I adored the quirkiness of the characters in this book, there wasn't this deep fall in love moment with them, but a gradual understanding and acceptance of each other. The dialog was quiet witty and I very much enjoyed their banter. This book was an enjoyment to read, and I would highly recommended it!!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Delilah

Finding God in the Hard Times

I have a serious love for these books by Angela Hunt, where she gives a new perspective on women in the Bible who are given a bad rap based on a few sentences and without backstories. While this book is a fiction novel based on a real Biblical story, it does deepen the understanding of the reader!  I love that Hunt took us to a place where we could understand that there were possibilities as to why Delilah did what she did. People don't always look at or think about the back story of the biblical "villains" so I really appreciated Angela Hunt giving us a chance to think about this stuff and to offer the grace that life isn't always so cut and dry.
My heart ached for the story Hunt created for Delilah, and really gave me pause, we forget that in those times women were very poorly treated and thought of, the acts of her stepbrother and the treatment of those around her opened my eyes to realize that there is much about the Bible characters that we don't know.
This is the third book by Angela Hunt that I've had the privilege of reading, and as always it was absolutely fantastic!
I highly recommend this book!!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When calls the heart season 3

I am so excited to share with my readers this opportunity, fishflix  has offered! They have  decided to give a free season one set when you preorder the complete season three collectors boxed set! I'm sure most of you by now have at the very least heard of the show, it is an amazing series based on the books by Janette Oke. It's wholesome television, there aren't worries whether this will be family appropriate, this is one of my very favourite series on right now, I love that I can share it with my family, even my 14 year old son enjoys it!! I highly encourage you to pick yours up today!!
When calls the heart season 3 collectors set