Category Archives: Book Review

The Importance of a Friendship in Biddy Chambers’ Life—and Ours! By Michelle Ule

Do any of you have a friend who would be willing to risk her life to help you?

Mary Riley

Biddy Chambers had such a friend in Mary Riley. Without Mary’s help, presence and encouragement, one of the most beloved devotionals, My Utmost for His Highest, might never have come into print.

The two were the same age, thirty-one, in 1915 when an opportunity arose for Biddy and her two-year-old daughter to travel to Egypt. Biddy’s husband Oswald, a noted Bible teacher, was serving as a chaplain at a YMCA camp north of Cairo during World War I.

Prior to sailing to Egypt, Oswald requested permission to bring his wife and child since Egypt was not yet a war zone.

The YMCA authorities considered his shocking request—no one else had a wife or child with them– and said yes. Biddy and Kathleen could come, along with a nurse.

How many of us have a friend who would volunteer to sail through winter U-boat infested waters to a war zone with a small child to live in an adobe bungalow in the Egyptian desert surrounded by Australian and New Zealand troops?

How many friends would volunteer to pay their way to live in a land of pestilence and illness in an era before antibiotics when summer temperatures regularly hit 130 degrees?

Mary Riley volunteered. She loved Biddy, Oswald and Kathleen and through her attendance at the Bible Training College (BTC) they ran in London prior to the war, she wanted to serve God, no matter where he sent her.

She also was a terrific cook and the ministry Oswald envisioned at Zeitoun camp could use her.

Three months after Oswald’s departure, Biddy, Mary and Kathleen caught a small ship. A passenger ship hit a mine and sank in the English Channel the day before they sailed. They passed two U-boat-sunk ships ruins in the Mediterranean Sea. The danger was real.

Once in sunny Egypt, they must have taken a deep breath when they saw their humble dwelling with sand as the floor.

Both women rolled up their sleeves and plunked a pith helmet on their heads. Mary cooked in the outdoors with the help of an Army orderly. Basically camping, she and Biddy turned the Zeitoun YMCA camp into a center of hospitality. They never knew how many people would drop by for dinner.

As one soldier wrote about Mary and Biddy’s arrival: “They kept open house for us all. Whatever they had they shared, and with little Kathleen running around and attending the Sunday services where she lustily sang the hymns, and Miss Riley’s cooking, we began to feel almost as if we were home again.”

When they went “up the line” to a more primitive camp, Biddy and Mary concocted fruit trifle to serve desert-weary soldiers at free teas on Sunday afternoons.

As one officer said, he would “forgo the comfort of a chair and sit on the sand to get such a meal,” as prepared by Biddy and Mary.

Oswald himself appreciated the women’s toil under arduous conditions, “it takes some vitality, morally, physically and spiritually to be cheerful in weather,” like they had in Egypt.

Mary mourned with Biddy when Oswald died unexpectedly from appendicitis in 1917. She helped keep the camp running while Biddy and Kathleen grieved.

At war’s end, the three sailed to England together in far less perilous seas.

Mary Riley did not have to lay down her life for her friend, but she was willing to do so when she accompanied the Chambers family to Egypt.

Biddy could not have traveled nor done the ministry she performed while in Egypt without Mary. Mary helped with Kathleen’s care (as did others), cooked and ministered to the soldiers while Biddy attended her husband’s lectures and “took down” in shorthand everything Oswald said.

From her notes, and those Biddy took at the BTC, Biddy compiled all 30 Oswald Chambers “authored” books in the years following his death.

For that reason, you can say that without Mary Riley’s friendship with Biddy and Oswald Chambers, readers for the last 90 years would not have had the bestselling devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.

We should all thank God for the friendship of Biddy Chambers and Mary Riley!

About the Author

Michelle Ule is the biographer of Mrs. Oswald Chambers: The Woman Behind the World’s Bestselling Devotional (Baker). You can learn more about her, as well as Biddy and Oswald Chambers, at her website, www.michelleule.com

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/mrs-oswald-chambers/384330

February 2017 New Releases in Christian Fiction

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Biblical:
redeeming-graceRedeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith — When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it. (Biblical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Biblical Romance:
building-benjaminBuilding Benjamin by Barbara M. Britton — Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife. As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her own tribe. (Biblical Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Contemporary Romance:
grace-and-the-rancherGrace and the Rancher by Mary Alford — Can a runaway singer and a makeshift rancher, thrust together by circumstance and held together by the common thread of loss and a love of music, find hope and a happily-ever-after under the stars of Delaney Mountain? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

capturing-beauty Capturing Beauty by Brenda S. Anderson — Photographer Haven Carlysle is a changed man. He returns to Duluth to capture the North Shore’s beauty … and to recapture the love of his son. But that means making amends with his ex-girlfriend too. Enter Callie Beaumont. All her life, Callie has longed to work outdoors soaking up God-breathed beauty, and the opportunity is finally on the horizon. But being the liaison between the handsome photographer and his son has thrown her dreams, and her heart, into chaos. Can Haven capture her heart when she won’t let him capture her image? And will his poor choices cost Callie her dream job and him the love of his son? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

the-lawman's -secret-sonThe Lawman’s Secret Son by Lorraine Beatty — Suddenly a Father Police officer Seth Montgomery knows all about order—but his world is thrown into chaos when he learns he has a five-year-old son. With little Jack suddenly in his care, Seth turns to neighbor Carrie Fletcher for help. Given her checkered past, Carrie prefers to keep to herself, but there’s no denying she cares for the boy—and her feelings for charming Seth are rapidly developing, too. When someone from Carrie’s past shows up threatening to jeopardize the life she’s worked so hard to build, Carrie will have to fight for her future with the new family she’s found…or risk losing everything. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

maybe-it's-youMaybe It’s You by Candace Calvert — Micah Prescott’s goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive ER nurse, Sloane Ferrell. Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane’s past. Can hope spring from crisis? (Contemporary Romance from Tyndale House)

a-second-chanceA Second Chance by Alexis Goring — Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with her “best friend,” Traci resigned herself to being a bachelorette for life. Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. But his widowed sister Gina Braxton appreciates his compassion and kindness, since she’s raising her two kids alone. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, Traci and Marc find hope for their broken hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romances)

the-amish-wandererThe Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton — After her daed, the bishop, is admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community, Bethany Weiss is ready to get away from Jamesport, MO—and away from God. Silas Beiler, dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, is hitchhiking toward Pennsylvania in hopes of stability. He sleeps in barns where he can and works for food when possible. When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago, full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Can their old love overcome both this new pain and the hurt and rejection of their past? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

avalancheAvalanche by Gayla K. Hiss — Set in the North Cascades National Park of Washington State, Avalanche is the inspirational story of one man set on revenge and the woman who risks everything to help him find the fugitive who killed his partner. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

the-doctor's-texas-babyThe Doctor’s Texas Baby by Deb Kastner — When Carolina Mason shows up in Haven, Texas, after a three-year absence, no one is more surprised than town veterinarian Wyatt Harrow. Especially when he sees Carolina’s two-year-old son, Matty. Their son. How could she have kept his child a secret? Carolina doesn’t deny the boy is his. She thought she was doing what was best for everyone when she left, but she realizes she was wrong. Though Wyatt is eager to make up for lost time with Matty, Carolina’s not so sure that extends to her. Can these former sweethearts navigate their complicated past to make a family for their son? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

spring-raineSpring Raine by Delia Latham — A last-minute decision sends a young woman to a seaside community and lodging at Paradise Pines…where life takes a whole new path. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

finding-joyFinding Joy by Melanie D. Snitker — A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. He returns to his family’s ranch, the scars on his face a daily reminder of all he’s lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers. Only deep desperation could force Chelsea Blake to work on a cattle ranch. But if she’s going to avoid her parents’ judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker’s efforts at forcing her to leave. Surprisingly alike, will the two set aside their disapproval to find immeasurable joy? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

General Fiction:
the-secret-heartThe Secret Heart by Marie Wells Coutu — After a whirlwind romance, beautiful Shawna Moore marries Hunter Wilson, the governor of Tennessee. Now, she wonders if the governor ever loved her or only hoped to avoid a scandal. In this modern re-imagining of the biblical story of Bathsheba and King David, an investigative reporter is asking questions–the wedding took place only six weeks following the death of Shawna’s first husband in Iraq. If he discovers the truth about Shawna’s baby, Hunter’s chances for reelection, as well as Shawna’s reputation, will be ruined. But keeping their secret is destroying their marriage. Will Hunter’s choice mean the end of his political career or his family? (General Fiction from Write Integrity Press)

home-at-lastHome at Last by Deborah Raney — All her life, Shayla Michaels, owner of the Coffee’s On bakery, has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts? Everything changes one icy morning when Portia runs into the street and Link Whitman nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with Shayla. Can they overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? (General Fiction from Abingdon Press)

baggage-claimBaggage Claim by Cathe Swanson — When Ben Taylor, widower and single dad, gets caught up in a dangerous insurance fraud network, he has to learn to take a stand for right – and make a leap of faith: can he trust his nanny – who isn’t quite what she appears to be – and his newly-discovered biological father to hide and protect his four young children? (General Fiction, Independently Published)

Historical Romance:
the-matchmaker-brides-collectionThe Matchmaker Brides Collection by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens and Liz Tolsma — Meet nine women of the late 1800s who have found themselves in the role of matchmaker. They think they have mastered the art of recognizing romantic potential in others, but when it comes to their own lives they have been unlucky in love. In small communities from Tennessee to Colorado, Wyoming to Indiana, love unexpectedly enters the women’s lives with men they never imagined marrying. But what will it take to get these ladies to say “I do”? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

the-reluctant-guardianThe Viscount’s Proposal by Melanie Dickerson — Leorah Langdon has no patience for Regency society’s shallow hypocrisy and unnecessary rules, especially for women. She’s determined to defy convention by marrying for grand passion instead of settling for a loveless union like her parents–or wedding a stuffy, pompous gentleman like Edward, the Viscount Withinghall. But when a chance meeting in the countryside leads to Leorah and Withinghall being discovered in his overturned carriage–alone and after dark–the ensuing gossip may force them together.Withinghall has his reasons for clinging to propriety and he certainly has no time for a reckless hoyden like Miss Langdon. But soon the two discover that Withinghall’s coach “accident” was no such thing: the vehicle was sabotaged. Strong-willed Leorah and duty-driven Withinghall will have to work together if they have any hope of saving her reputation, his political career–and his life. (Historical Romance from Waterfall Press)

the-reluctant-guardianThe Reluctant Guardian by Susanne Dietze — When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she’s rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her… Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he’d be. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

shine-like-the-dawnShine like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky — In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. An even which…might not have been an accident. When Nathaniel Harcourt returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor, he also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend. Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook Multnomah)

the-bounty-hunter's-babyThe Bounty Hunter’s Baby by Erica Vetsch — Bounty hunter Thomas Beaufort has no problem handling outlaws, but when he’s left with a criminal’s baby to care for, he’s in over his head. And the only person he can think of to ask for help is Esther Jensen, the woman whose heart he broke when he left town. But can he convince her to put aside the past until he tracks down the baby’s outlaw father? Esther is ready to run Thomas off her Texas ranch–until she spies the abandoned newborn in his arms. Soon, working together to care for the precious babe stirs old hopes of a family. With trouble heading to their door, they could overcome it together–if she’ll entrust her wary heart to this sweet, second-chance family… (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Thriller/Suspense:
raging-stormRaging Storm by Vannetta Chapman — When a massive solar flare wiped out all modern technology across the globe, the small town of Abney, Texas, was thrown into chaos. Shelby Sparks and her diabetic teenage son, Carter, have found refuge, but Shelby knows Carter can’t survive without insulin–and Shelby will risk her life traveling to Austin to make sure he gets it. Shelby’s best friend and high school sweetheart, Max Berkman, won’t let her make the journey alone. Together, they reach the capital–only to discover that Austin has turned into an urban nightmare on the brink of anarchy. Now the only thing more uncertain than finding what they need is the hope of making it out of the city alive. (Thriller/Suspense from Harvest House Publishers)

Speculative:
long-time-goneTime Search by Danele J. Rotharmel — While the TEMCO staff searches for clues to unravel the mystery of his real name, their enemy is lurking in the shadows searching for his targets–it’s anyone’s guess whose search will be completed first! (Speculative/Time Travel Fiction from Prism Book Group)

Western Romance:
long-time-goneLong Time Gone by Mary Connealy — Rancher Justin Boden is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on. With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine? (Western Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

And the Winner Is…

Congratulations to Kay Morrow who won the autographed copy of “My Mother’s Quilts: My_Mothers_QuiltDevotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith” by Ramona Pope Richards.  Keep watching because Ramona will be my guest soon, and my subscribers will have another opportunity to win a free copy.

This book will make the perfect Mother’s Day Gift.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Mothers-Quilts-Devotions-Needlework/dp/1617956120/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457995935&sr=8-1&keywords=my+mother%27s+quilts

#mymothersquilts

 

Friendship, Hope, and Grace & No-bake Christmas Crumble Recipe

 By Rose Allen McCauley

Thanks to Shelia Stovall for inviting me to her garden. I hope she doesn’t mind me tweaking her brand a little because my story in the eBook collection Home for Christmas fits right in with her brand.

God is a God of second chances which is the reason we celebrate Christmas-when he sent His Son to be born in a stable to live a sinless life so He could atone for our sins. That is why I love to read and write stories about second chances. Hope you will enjoy this summary of my book Christmas Grace and a recipe from the book Always remember “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

This collection contains 7 previously released novellas by the authors listed below:

My novella is entitled “Christmas Grace” and is very special to me as the idea popped into my head while at the funeral visitation for my daughter’s best friend in high school who died from kidney failure complications. The rest of the story is all fiction. It is about hope and second chances when my heroine, Grace, gets re-acquainted with Chris, who along with Terrie (his deceased wife) were all best friends in high school. They are both in Gatlinburg for Christmas and to plan their 10th reunion. While together they reminisce and start to have feelings for each other.  Can they let this relationship develop?

This cover is also special because my daughter and son-in-law are the models on the cover!

Since the stories have all been published before we are able to offer it for the special eBook price of only 99 cents, which has helped it climb to #1 in 3 categories on Amazon Kindle! Hope you can order it and enjoy lots of Christmas reading! Or you can read below how to win a copy on my blog!

That’s all for now, since I want to save room for the delicious dessert that is included in the book.  Merry Christmas everyone, and happy reading and eating!

To buy “Home for Christmas,” click on the attached link:

http://www.amazon.com/Home-Christmas-Heartwarming-Christian-Romances-ebook/dp/B015HLUPRE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449278107&sr=1-1&keywords=home+for+Christmas+by+Rose+McCauley

 No-bake Christmas Crumble Recipe

Crust:
2 c. almond flour
1 ½ cups oats
½ t. salt
1/4 c. coconut oil (melted)
12 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

Filling:

25-30 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½  c. + 1 T water

Topping:

1 c. chopped walnuts
½ cup slivered almonds
1 c. shredded coconut (can tint half the coconut red and half green for Christmas Crumble)

Directions:

  1. Grease a cookie sheet (around 10.5 in. x 15). In the food processor or blender, blend almond flour, oats and salt until the mixture crumbles. Add dates and process again until a crumbly mixture forms. Add the melted coconut oil and process until sticky. Remove mixture from blender. Save ¾ c. mixture for topping, and press the remainder of the mixture firmly onto the cookie sheet.
  2. Process the 25-30 dates with water until paste forms, scraping sides often. Spread all the date mixture onto the crust with a wet spatula.
  3. Sprinkle the saved ¾ c. mixture and press down, then sprinkle walnuts and press down. Sprinkle slivered almonds and shredded coconut and press down.
  4. Chill for several hours until firm, then cut into squares. Refrigerate until eaten or can be frozen.

About Christian Author, Rose McCauley

Rose McCauley is a Christian author and speaker. Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, Girl Scout leader, MOPS mentor and Moppet worker, scrapbooker, wife, Mom and Grandmother give her a wide field of ministry to women. She supports missions and has been privileged to spend time on three mission trips.

Rose has been happily married for over 40 years to her college sweetheart. They lived and raised their family of two daughters and a son on a farm of rolling hills in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky , but recently moved to Paris, KY. Their family is growing with the addition of a two sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren who are definitely GRAND!

Rose’s Website: www.rosemccauley.com She has a giveaway going on her blog this month. All those who sign up for her blog or newsletter or click her FB or Twitter icon on her page can earn one chance for each sign-up/click. You must leave a comment on her blog to let her know which things you clicked so she knows how may times to put your name in the proverbial hat for a drawing on Dec. 20th for a copy of the eBook Home for Christmas. If you win, you can spend the rest of the month reading her novella Christmas Grace and novellas by 6 other authors!

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IummD3
Twitter: @RoseAMcCauley

Fiction available in print and kindle:
Christmas Belles of Georgia (Barbour)

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Belles-Georgia-Romancing-America-ebook/dp/B0067D8IUS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449278489&sr=1-1&keywords=christmas+belles+of+georgia+by+rose+mccau

 

 

 

 

Christmas Grace

Non-fiction books: listed on website

Fiction available in eBook only:
Home for Christmas
Surrender to Peace (to be released in print early 2016 by Olivia Kimbrell Press)
Also to be released in July, 2016: The Courageous Brides Collection by Barbour

#ChristmasGrace #HomeforChristmas #ChristianRomance

Books I Read in 2014

According to my records, I read fifty-six books in 2014. I recommend them all. There were many books I started and did not finish. If a book doesn’t hook me by the end of Chapter 1, forget it. I have too many books on my list.

What do you think my reading choices say about me?

devending jacobinvention of wings

words in the dustgoldfinch

worthy browns daughterhelp thanks wow

under thew die and starryhomemade life

once upon a timeorphan train

still lifebreathing on her own

the lowlandvalley

aviatorsparchment

longbourn chestnut

all the lightsnow flower

cemeterysignature

delicioussilver

every secretforbidden

here to staycocktail

loves comes homesweet mercy

fireflyeverything

all mya place called hope

 

uncommon appeallizard

storiedsweet olive

magnoli market

greatermr. miracle

killing jesusbook thief

sarah's keyleaving time

gray mountainchristmas mourning

the leanin doggod rest

the christmas letternavy seal noel

redbordgideons gift

 

handsomesweet mercy

 

 

 

My Favorite Book Covers for 2014

I planned to post my top ten favorite book covers for 2014.  I couldn’t do it. There were too many I loved. See below my favorite twenty-five.  Can you name your favorite book cover from 2014? What was your favorite book this year? My favorite book for 2014 was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Unfortunately, the book cover did not make the cut.  Happy New Year and Happy Reading in 2015.

daccidental_book_club

all I love and know

and the dark sacred night

art of arranging flowers

 

cathedral of the wild

delicious

ghost wanted

glass kitchen

ice cream queen

king's mountain

long time gone

lost lake

lydias party

magnolia city

magnoli market

miracle in a dry season

No book

pearl

sea garden

seagrass pier

still life

story keeper

take this cup\

when love stirs

when the cypress whispers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti

download

I  recommend All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti. I’ve searched my mind for an author of similar style but have failed. My heart ached for Becca Morrow as she struggled with the baggage of her family’s sins. I loved getting to know Becca’s one friend, Geneva, a wise Christian lady who paves the way for Becca to start fresh in a new city, in a beautiful home. But there’s a catch. Becca is hired to be the caregiver of Geneva’s sister, Aurelia, who is suffering from dementia. You can’t help but love Becca and her sweet temperament as the she deals with the ever changing mood swings and personality changes of her charge. Aurelia can be sweet one moment and caustic in the blink of an eye. Anyone who has dealt with a loved one suffering from this debilitating disease would be thrilled to find such a compassionate caregiver as Becca. There’s romance as Isaac, Aurelia’s son, falls for Becca and there’s more than one surprise plot twist that will keep you turning the pages. You’ll cheer for Becca as she overcomes the obstacles to finding love and happiness.

#allmybelonging #Cynthiaruchti #dementiacare

Book Review: > Greater Devotional: A 40-Day Experience to Ignite God’s Vision for Your Life by Steven Furtick

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I rcommend this devotional for anyone stuck in a rut of mediocrity. Each daily devotional features scripture, Bible reading, and prayer focus. Mr. Furtick encourages the reader to listen to God and his plan for you. This little book is full of simple truths that we often overlook. I underlined many passages, but I my favorite is from day 15, “Everybody wants a miracle, but few want to do the work to prepare for the miracle.”

Another passage that caused me to pause and reflect was on day 21. “And what He has put inside of you is all you need to accomplish all that He’s called you do to do.”

Greater Devotional is not a ‘feel good’ book. Many passages will leave you feeling uncomfortable if you have a ‘bare minimum’ or ‘good enough ‘attitude in your service to God. This devotional encourages you to give it all you’ve got and then some.
#Greaterdevotional #Stevenfurtick #devotional

Book Review: Magnolia Market

magnolia_market
Judy Christie’s Magnolia Market will leave your mouth watering for a buttered biscuit and another ‘Trumpet and Vine’ novel.

It appears the only type of luck Avery Bouchard has is bad. The story picks up a year after the accidental death of her husband. Her in-laws are rich, and they have a grudge against her. With a family like Avery’s in-laws, who needs enemies?

At first glance, Avery appears to come from a world of high society and cotillions. But looks can be deceiving. She’s the only daughter of widowed missionary. This young woman doesn’t mind rolling up her sleeves and making the best out of a bad situation.

I loved Magnolia Market and recommend it to readers who enjoy stories that feature strong heroines, southern charm, quirky characters, complex families and small town living. If you haven’t read Judy Christie’s book, Sweet Olive, read it first. Magnolia Market will stand on its own, but why miss out on another great read.

#greatread #trumpetandvine #judychristie #bookreview #christianbook #magnoliamarket

A Place Called Hope by Philip Gulley

aplacecalledhoped
Philip Gulley’s A Place Called Hope made me laugh out loud so many times my husband looked up from his football game and asked, “What are you reading?” The book is funny but also has a serious side. Mr. Gulley bravely broaches a sensitive issue in the Christian community and caused me to consider my own stance. I decided that perhaps I should focus more on loving my neighbor than judging my neighbor. I was cheering for Sam when he said, “I tell you Mom, I’m tired of this nonsense. If the meeting wants to fire me for praying for two women, so be it. I’m not sure I want to even pastor a meeting where that would be an issue.” I have always liked Sam Gardner and his patient wife Barbara. Those who enjoy stories with small-town charm will enjoy A Place Called Hope. I’ll have to forgive Mr. Gulley for his old-fashioned description of Ms. Ruby, the town librarian. However, I must admit I laughed so hard my side ached as I read the passage. If you have not read the Harmony Series, start with Home to Harmony.
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