Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I'm going to use the plot summary from the back again, because I'm afraid the dialect in this book has rather brought out the deep south accent from inside me and I'm liable to sound awfully country trying to sum up this book.

At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs. 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

Well, this book most definitely falls under the category of 5 stars!

1: I love stories that have the older people falling in love too. Especially when it's a fellow who's raising daughter or niece on his own, and he starts to fall for the woman that the girl views in a motherly sort of way! It's sweet to see romance at that age too.

2: This is a story with a redemptive/growing story for almost all of the characters, including one plot twist that I wasn't expecting when the story began. I'm all for a storyline that'll throw me! At one point I let out this strained squeak, and for a couple of chapters, I couldn't sit still, so much anticipation was building up!

3: You have to love Theo's struggling attempts to become the preacher. It's humorous and sweet and sad all at the same time. This story will role you through your emotions. You find a connection with the characters, and I wasn't ready to leave the story when it was over! Side Note: How did such a spiteful man come to be Deacon?

4: People in stories who aren't family but are totally sweet and all like "Call me Aunt Bess" make me want to cry with joy. Family isn't just blood.

5: Even though Granny Iva died when Theo was just 7, the things she taught him still stuck with him, proving that training up a child in the way he should go really does work. I loved all the different spiritual aspects to this story. It was a great read and you should definitely add this one to your TBR list as well.

I know my review didn't hardly do the story justice, but I totally recommend this book!

Also, look at this pretty cover!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: Beyond The Silence by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

I'm going to use the plot summary from the back of the book, since I have way too many thoughts flying around in my head to make a comprehendible blurb.

 Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother's dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn't match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family's past. Lillian's seven-year-old charge hasn't spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he'll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love--or will it endanger her even more?

5! 5! 5 Stars!

1: I'm going to start off slow, because this is going to build up before it's over! Anyway, the historical details. And the information about olives. It was incredible. You can't read a book by either of these authors without coming out with knowledge on a subject that you'd never really considered. So, not only enjoyable, but also informative.

2: The writing itself, it's one of those that pulls you in so deeply. Whenever I put this down (under duress, apparently I need to eat) I was stunned by the fact that the house was so quiet. The fact is, I heard everything, in my mind, but so convincingly that I could feel the absence of sound whenever I lifted my eyes. Like when you've been in a room full of children and you walk out and your ears are echoing in the quiet. And, I really need to know. Is it hard to co-author? Do you say, "you write chapter 1, I've got 2" and keep going? I feel like this is probably kinda hard. But fun. I bet it's lots of fun.

3: This book was full of the consequences of gossip and hatred. It had bits of the pastor's sermons, and it had those sweet sweet prayers of  Lilian and Woody. It was a blessing, really, to read. (Plus, I was glad to see that Lilian also had a spacey moment in church. That makes me feel better.....That sounded terrible, but oh well!)

4: The bad guy, he always seems to get a section, but oh well. Such is life. Darwin is one of those that believes he is entitled. Everyone should bow to him, to his wishes. No one could cross him. The inability to be wrong. Traits that make for a dangerous man. One who's willing to kill, even in front of a 6-year-old boy. Forget in-front-of, he's willing, and ready, planning really, to kill Jimmy. A bad guy to make you squirm for sure.

5: Sweetest. Romance. Ever. I loved how Lilian and Jimmy took to each other, and without giving anything away, the ending was perfect. I hope hope hoped for that to be what Harry wound up doing. By the last hundred pages, maybe less, I was squirming in my seat from the perfection and sweetness that was happening. SPOILER now though so be careful, but I was so glad that they got married before the last page of the book. It upsets me when that happens, because I want to see what happens next.

So basically, you have to read this book. The story and characters will capture your heart. Add this title to your shelf! Now I REALLY have to get my hands on All Things Hidden (by the same authors, set in Alaska YAY! You know how much I love those Alaska stories!)

Thanks to Mimi and Papaw for my birthday present. (They got me another one too, and I can't wait to start it!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Just a little update...NOT! IT's my 18th BIRTHDAY

Oh My Word guys.... Today is my 18th birthday! What even just happened. I can't wait to spend lots of time with my family and maybe I'll get a couple of books for my birthday. Then I can share them with you! That would be awesome! Thanks for reading.

Also, for your enjoyment, pictures of adorable baby me, and one of today me.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Review: A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin

Jack is wounded on a mission. But the pretty nurse may just make up for that. Ruth says she doesn't date, and she definitely has a past, has some baggage, but Jack is sure that he is up for the challenge. Ruth is just as sure that she won't let any man past her defenses. They both wind up being in for some big surprises, and they also need to work on coordinating efforts a little more. (just my opinion there)

Well.... I'm definitely giving this one 5 stars.

1: Let's start with the riveting storylines. Don't get me wrong, horrible things happened, but I could not tear my eyes away from the pages. I felt myself drawn back to WWII and felt the craziness all around me.

2: I love the cover (and you will too!) It's so beautiful and it definitely adds to the historical feel of the book.

3: Speaking of the historical feel, this book has so many details about the airplanes and nursing and all that stuff. And it was way more interesting than any textbook could ever be! History-buffs......... this series is right down your alley (Or runway.. if you're into really bad puns/jokes)!

4: Learning to trust God in any and all circumstances. That was the main theme of this book. Whether it's facing your biggest fears or realizing that He will see you through, even though He may not take you around, your problems.

5: This is the second book, but it pretty much stands alone. There is a brief glimpse of Allie and Walt (YAY!) and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again in book 3. Just not Aunt Pauline. She's a jerk and I really wanted to just... something. Unfortunately... she has protected status as a member of the fictional community ;)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

Hope finally convinced her father to let her help out on his chapel car ministry, and she can't wait to get to Finch... until she's there and realizes the place is smaller than she'd imagined and wary of outsiders. Except for a miner named Luke. And if she isn't mistaken, there's a spark between them. If only Luke wouldn't get into it with Kirby Finch all the time. Hope is sure Kirby is trying to help the children, but Luke doesn't trust the man as far he could throw him.

I'm giving this book 5 stars and I've got very good reasons to do so! (But instead of the usual 5 point thing I'm gonna ramble)

This book, with its themes of the railroad, strikes, and unionization, are like my "back to basics" combo since In The Company of Secrets (also by Judith Miller) was the first adult book I read (besides I think maybe The Shunning, but other than that it was all teen/kids section for me at the library) and while I haven't ever managed to find a Judith Miller that I enjoy as much as the Postcards from Pullman series, this book was amazing. I honestly had no clue that this was even a thing! Kirby was so annoying, and I really wanted to slap him upside the head with his own book (or maybe his still) and I found myself comparing him to Mr. Howard in the Pullman series. (sorry if you haven't read them, because they are probably going to be all over this review! I'll try and control myself.) Luke learning so much from Preacher is so sweet to watch, and my heart dropped through my stomach at one point in Preacher's story. I was definitely crying by the end of the book. This is the type of book that has you saying "I wish I could have met Aunt Mattie, I'm sure I would have loved her" and then going "oh....yeah" as you try and bring yourself out of the fog of the West Virginia mountains. (Also, very authentic mountain talk! I love the mountains and this book carried me away to a place I'd rather be than almost anywhere else.) Really long... paragraph?........ short, read the book, buy the book, treasure the book. Plus, the cover has that raised lettering that I love. Yay!!

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: The Grumpface by B.C.R. Fegan

Since this is a short children's book, I won't do my typical 5 point thing-a-ma-bob. But here goes...

The Grumpface is a grouchy, ugly green fellow. (And I've just finished reading this, so I'm trying not to write this in matching cadence and rhyme!) This adorable little book (I'd give it a 5) is the story of how the Grumpface catches someone wandering though the woods and forces him to try and pass three tests to gain his freedom. However, he's a bumbling guy and his mistakes may just be funny enough to un-grump the Grumpface. With beautiful pictures and rhymes, this story will be sure to capture kids' attention, and, at some point, they will burst out in laughter! Be sure to check out this book for your kiddos, (Although the ugly green face is a bit disconcerting at times, (but in a cute way!) ;) I wish I'd had this before my sisters went back to Massachusetts. I'm sure Julie would have burst a gasket!

Thanks Bryce for allowing me to review your book!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Room For Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer

After waiting ages to get my hands on this book, I was quite pleased with the outcome of the family trip to Barnes and Noble. The book follows Neva, happily married mom of two, as she finds out that her husband died while out of town. But not on business, like she had been led to believe. No, he was spending time with his other family. And now, he's left his three illegitimate children in her care. Neva must find a way to get past the hurt and anger and hate if she's going to make it.

You may have noticed that I've lately been in a little slump, not finishing anything. Well this 5 star wonder has thoroughly brought me out I do believe.

1: I've said it before, I'll say it again. I love stories about adoption or orphans or kids in general and this is like the ultimate culmination of what I've been needing the past little bit here. Anyone who loves stories like that will definitely need to read this one!

2: Set in 1936, this is a time-period I don't often get to read about. I found it fascinating and attention grabbing. The detail was incredible.

3: This book is a book of growth. Each of the characters experiences a real growth throughout the story, and even the characters that you set out to hate, become liked. (I was rather shocked at this! It's been a while since I've manipulated in quite that way!)

4: The vivid word pictures and engaging plot will soon have you (if you're anything like I am) forgetting that you are even reading. You'll be transported across the way before you know what's hit you.

5: As far as unexpected endings, what I had imagined around chapter 8 or 10 or so, was nowhere near what was happening in chapter 40. And the ending, like all good books, left me longing for another glimpse into this family. I want so badly for there to be another installment in this story! (And there might be one. As soon as I've posted this, I'm going to look it up!)

A book you can't afford to miss, Room for Hope will sweep you away, and you won't want to come back!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ugh...guys! (aka Chit Chat 3)

I've seriously been in like a little slump here. I've been reading but I haven't finished a single book. Also, I've been watching too much British period drama. And I'm waiting on two books to come in the mail. I'm getting awfully impatient. Plus mom wants me to decide what to do for my 18th birthday party and I am stumped. Anyway, what I really got on here to say was "sorry for not posting in a while." Hope to have some reviews up sometime very soon.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Review: Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

Drew and Madeline must solve the murder of a certain Mr. Lincoln and Drew's mother, but things are not as they seem. Soon it appears not to have been Lincoln at all who was killed, and more and more people seem to have deaths related to this case. And when Mason Parker, Drew's stepfather and Madeline's uncle, is accused of being top dog in the scheme, things get much much more complicated.

I'm giving this book 5 stars.

1: It will keep you guessing the entire time! I did mostly have it solved right soon, but with as many twists and turns as a ride a Carowinds, I found there were a few small points on which I was incorrect.

2: Madeline and Drew are so adorable. Too adorable for words. But they're constantly calling each other darling in the sweetest way imaginable.

3: If you enjoy being swept into a historical work in such a way that you feel yourself truly in that time, then this book, and this series, are definitely for you! (Warning: British period drama cravings will ensue!)

4: I loved how Madeline kept pushing Drew to what he needed to do to get right with God. It was sweet and amazing, and only upped the level of adorableness.

5: I don't think any review is complete without mention of Mr. Dennison, affectionately called Denny by Drew, and his incorrigible son Nick, who just happens to be Drew's best friend. Quite the pair, the two of them. And I guarantee that you'll love them as much as I do!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Waiting-On-Wedesday: The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis

I've recently remembered how very much I love Amish stories, and I'm sure that this one will be amazing like most everything by Beverly Lewis. Here is the description from the website. This book is do to come out in May of this year!


Oh, to see the ocean, Sallie thought. And to spend the summer as a nanny. She shook her head in amazement. This seemed too good to be true, but she really must talk it over with Dat and Mamm, especially since she'd be gone so long.
And after I promised Mamm I'd take baptism classes this summer . . .
The Ebb Tide

Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted at Breaking the Spine.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review: A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

This WW2 novel will have your heart breaking as it follows Alli, who struggles to obtain her parents' approval, and Walt, a Air Force pilot, on their incredible and bumpy road to love. But when Alli's parents wish for her to marry Baxter, even threaten to disown her over the issue, it may be a bump to big to bounce over.

I'm giving this awesome romance 5 stars!

1: This is the first book I've ever read by this author, and I will tell you straight up, it won't be the last. The incredible WW2 research and detail have you soaring back to the 40s every time you open it up!

2: As someone who loves music, I found the references scattered throughout delightful. I laughed, truly laughed, when Allegra found out Cressie's name.

3: I believe this book probably is a pretty accurate detailing of what it's like to be a Christian in the military, having to stand strong when everyone around you is, well, not. Like I said, or meant to say if I didn't, the accuracy of this book, historically and otherwise, is amazing!

4: I loved the strong characters. I felt that even people with only one line made an impact on the lives of Alli and Walt. And I rather liked Cracker's turn-around. And don't get me started on how glad I was to see Mrs. Novak take to Alli.

5: Honestly, I didn't even read the back. I saw the cover, and the author (even though I've never read any by her before) and said, that's the one! I love the cover guys!

Well, looks like I'm hooked for life!