~~

Lifeway Free Downs

Lifeway Free For All

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Leave a comment

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

Song of SilenceAbout the Book

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

My Review

Lucy Tuttle was happy with her life. She was living her dream and passion by continuing the music program her father started. Her passion was teaching music to students in grades K-8 at a private school.

Charlie Tuttle was finally living his dream, retirement. Charlie loved being home and spending time with his wife, Lucy. He dreamed of the day Lucy retired too so they could do more things they enjoyed together.

One day both their dreams crashed at their feet. Lucy’s school has a reduction in force, and her job is eliminated. Charlie just wants to spend the extra time with Lucy, but she craves music and a career.  Their kids started moving back home and the quiet idyllic life is shattered.

Cynthia Ruchti has written a book, Song of Silence, that will resonate with many people on many levels: the wives whose husbands are home ALL. THE. TIME. after retirement, the educator watching arts programs being dismantled from schools, the person struggling to find (or keep) a job in today’s economy, the empty nesters whose kids are returning home and anyone living the day to day existence, wondering what happened to their dreams.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

Someone Like You

About the Book

Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate. A brand new Christian, she’s busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father’s less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she’s shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort’s general manager and her college sweetheart.

With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can’t ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client’s dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

My Review

Zeke Monroe is the General Manager for Caliente Springs Resort and is determined to bring it back to its former glory. Owners Ginger and George Travers, twins, are at odds about the resort’s destiny-Ginger wants to sell and George wants the resort to continue.  Unfortunately, Zeke is caught in the middle with plenty of ideas but no capital to implement them.

Julia Dare, Zeke’s love from six years ago, is now a single mom and owner of an event planning company. She is scoping out Caliente Springs for a client when she discovers Zeke is the GM.

Victoria Bylin has written a heart-warming and inspirational story of two struggling Christians who have a second chance at love.  Victoria shows us God’s mercy and grace working in their lives.

I enjoyed reading Someone Like You. It is a richly layered story, in which events shape each character’s lives separately in a plot that moves them seamlessly forward.  The story’s humor and compassion brought me to laughter, tears and joy.  The characters are real.  I want to hug most of them, but one evoked so much righteous anger that I could have hit him. Reading Someone Like You was like watching a movie rich in content and detail, and I was sad when I turned the last page.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Date Night

Date Night

About the Book

Ethan Miller’s family has done…what?

His profile is plastered on MingleInFaith.com. Now, this career focused, happy-to-be-a-bachelor is forced to endure an episode of speed-dating.

Interior Designer Natalie Gibbs is on the dating circuit, eager to find “the one,” but she has strict rules about the manner in which she’ll embrace a romantic relationship. She wasn’t even supposed to meet Ethan Miller—but God had other plans.

Ethan spends a month each year in Honduras, offering eye care to the underprivileged. He senses a sweetness to Natalie that prompts him to invite her along on the next mission trip.

The voyage leads them far from their home base of New York City, but straight into the hearts of the Honduran people. Slowly, Ethan’s heart is swayed toward the idea of love. But Natalie’s mission work teaches her about a love that reaches far beyond romance.

What’s God’s plan? Should their hearts combine—or does He want them to serve…and learn…from one another—and an extraordinary date night?

My Review

Natalie Gibbs, an interior designer, is looking for her soulmate, even though she has no real time to date, she decides, after much urging from her assistant, Peggy March, to signed up for a Christian site called MingleInFaith.com. However, she puts together very firm guidelines for her possible date.

Ethan Miller, a single guy, is badgered by his family to find a nice Christian girl and “settle down.” He would like to get married eventually, but right now all he wants to do is continue with his life as is. His life consists of a busy ophthalmology practice and yearly, month-long mission trips to Honduras where he gives free eye care to the underprivileged there.

How Natalie and Ethan meet is a neat twist to the “date night” concept and sets up a unique story of stepping out of your comfort zone and following God’s lead.

Date Night is a fun read that offers reaffirmation to all singles trying to live their lives as God wants.

Marianne Evans’ book is dedicated to all Christ-centered singles everywhere.

Date Night is part of the new Pure Amore imprint at Pelican Book Group! (Published in 2015) Pure Amore is a ‘book of the month’ subscription service featuring Christian romances centered on the concept of premarital purity and abstinence that doesn’t surrender one moment of the thrill to be found when two people fall in love. Check out Date Night and the other wonderful Pure Amore titles at: http://pure.pelicanbookgroup.com/

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

In the Shadow of Thy Wings (Ancient World #2) by A.M. Heath

In the Shadow of Thy Wings

About the Book

Devastation sweeps across the land, and the families of Maple Grove cannot escape when war arrives at their front doors. After her father entrusts her with a new and dangerous task, Sally Chandler must find the courage to obey despite her fear. Meanwhile, her best friend, Claire Harper, is determined to serve others, even if it means putting herself in danger. But with a certain handsome Union soldier stationed nearby, Claire finds her heart in danger of falling for the enemy. Their differing loyalties create complications that neither could expect; her twin brother fighting for the Confederacy is only one of them. Frank Harper left home with one goal in mind – to become a prosperous plantation owner. Two years later, not only is he further from his goal, but he’s beginning to question his own desires–something that becomes more complicated when his heart becomes involved. The families of Maple Grove must learn how to survive the uncertainty of war and a country split in two. While the war in the nation rages on, the battle within grows stronger. Will they learn that the only safe place to hide is in the shadow of Thy Wings?

*The Ancient Words Series is best read in order.

My Review

In the Shadow of Thy Wings is book two of the Ancient World Series and is as well written and thought-provoking as the first book, Where Can I Flee, was.

The saga of the Civil War picks up where book one ends, and we are again privy to the letters written by Claire and Frank.

Frank is beginning to question his “enthusiasm” for preserving the Southern way of life, and Claire is beginning to fall in love. Each of the twins is immersed in the horrific dilemmas many faced during this trying time in our country. The battles and the “fight” on the home front are richly illustrated, leaving you breathless at times.

As you read, you learn more and more about Frank and Claire, their father and their friends and come to care about them as if you personally knew them.

Heath has interwoven a story of faith and redemption in book two, also.

If you are an aficionado of the Civil War era and historical fiction, you will want to read both of these books. Even though the stories are labelled historical romances, the romance is secondary to the magnificent retelling of this turbulent time in our history.

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Where Can I Flee (Ancient World #1) by A.M. Heath

Where Can I Flee

About the Book

War is on the horizon during the spring of 1861. It will be an event that will change the lives of everyone in its path. The Harper family included.

Frank Harper is a young man full of dreams and ambitions. Even when the country is split and war breaks out, Frank will do whatever is necessary to see his dreams come true, even when that means putting on a uniform and leaving home.

For the first time, Claire Harper is forced to consider the reasons behind such a conflict. Should slavery be abolished? Which side should she be on, and what does God have to say about this? Claire is torn between her own opinions and those of her family. The struggle within her only increases when she repeatedly runs into a kind and handsome Union soldier. She longs to see her brother turn to Christ before it is too late. Desperate to reach her brother with the gospel, Claire pens a series of inspiring letters. Will she be able to handle all the obstacles of war and continue to be a witness to those around her?

How long can Claire last when her heart is torn in half and she is burdened for her brother’s soul? How long can Frank resist his sister’s urgent pleas or the gentle tugging from within? Can a man outrun a holy God?

My Review

Where Can I Flee is the debut novel by A. M. Heath and is a richly comprehensive novel of life during the Civil War. The research needed to write the story must have been mind-boggling. However, Heath was able to convincingly convey a tale full of the pain, struggles and suffering experienced by everyone during the war.

Claire and Frank Harper, twins, have been best friends their entire lives. When the War Between the States begins, Frank, wanting to preserve the Southern way of life (to include slavery), enlists, leaving Claire bereft.

We learn of the horrors, deficiencies and hardships the soldiers endure through letters exchanged between Claire and Frank, letters so well written you feel as if you’re in the midst of the battles yourself. Even though there are horrific scenes, the faith and love of God are portrayed throughout and give a compelling look at redemption and forgiveness.

Anyone who reads and enjoys books set during the Civil War is sure to appreciate and savor the richness and detail of Where Can I Flee and would surely want to read and own a copy.

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Moose and Men: Lost and Found in Alaska

Of Moose and Men

About the Book

Torry Martin—a comedian, actor, and hippie—fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.

My Review

I laughed until I cried and I cried.

Of Men and Moose is a collection of stories about Torry Martin and his friend Robert Browning and their exploits in the “Frozen Frontier” of Alaska. Torry left his life as an actor in LA, and along with Robert, set out on a quest for adventure in Alaska.  Boy, did they find it! Many times Robert was the voice of reason and rescued Torry, but lest you think all the mishaps were Torry’s, rest assured Robert had his fair share.

Torry’s ability to take a somewhat unusual story (at least for those of us who have never lived in or visited Alaska) and turn it into a hilarious account is a true gift. However, he doesn’t stop there; each of his stories ends with a Biblical application and perspicacity.

I can’t remember the last time I read a book that was so funny, yet so full of wisdom and spiritual insight, one that so aptly shows the need for humor and humility in our lives.

Of Moose and Men is a delightful book, sure to be enjoyed by both men and women (perhaps a Father’s Day gift).

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

~

Free for all3

Lifeway Free For All

Posted in Books reviews and more. | 8 Comments

The Cowboy’s Bride Collection

Cowboy's Bride

About the Book

Ride onto the open range alongside cowboys and cowgirls who embrace the adventures of living in the Old West from Kansas to New Mexico, Colorado to Texas. Whether rounding up cattle or mustangs, training horses, fending off outlaws, weathering storms, competing in rodeos, or surviving drought these cowboys work hard each day. But when hardheaded men have their weaknesses exposed by well-meaning women will they stampede away or will a lasting love develop? Find out in this exciting collection of nine historical romances.

My Review

The Cowboy Poet, by Susan Paige Davis, begins the stories in The Cowboy’s Bride Collection.

Rilla Lane has returned home to the family ranch due to her mother’s illness. She loves the ranch and her Ma and Pa, but the poetry that lives in her heart needs a release.

Bat Wilson, a cowboy, had come to work on the ranch while Rilla was away. They really didn’t know each other, but Bat was hoping to remedy that by writing his own poems.  What he didn’t expect was the ridicule he’d endure from the other ranch hands.

For A Song, by Susan Dietze, is a fun story full of miscommunication, misunderstanding and lots of faith and humor.

Aunt Martha Phipps believes she has the perfect answer to sisters Lily and Delia Kimball’s dilemma when she receives a letter from her nephew, Jackson Bridge. However, she only opens up a can of worms, and there will be a lot of talking to get out of the mess!

Crazy About Cait, by Nancy J Farrier, introduces us to Cait Sullivan and Jonas Hall.

Cait is one of the best horse trainers in the area, however, her father hired Jonas to train his horses for the cavalry, and Cait feels betrayed. Not only did Jonas get her job, but he had stolen and then broken her sister’s heart, how could she ever forgive him?

 Love’s Sweet Storm, by Miralee Ferrell, puts us on the trail with Addie Patrick during a blizzard.

Addie is stranded when her wagon careens off the path, and the driver is gravely injured. Knowing she’ll never survive without shelter, she sets out to find somewhere warm.

Grant Hollis is caught out in the same blizzard, but he’s injured. When he arrives at the line shack Addie found, he passes out, leaving only Addie to assist him.

Darlene Franklin brings us the amusing story of Millie Cain and Wes Harper in The Reformed Cowboy.

Millie recently relocated to Wichita from Boston in order to meet her pen pal and possible boyfriend, Wes. However, she first decides she would like to teach the Kansas cowboys lessons in etiquette and how to be true gentlemen. Mayhem and confusion ensue, leaving Millie to wonder if cowboys can learn!

Trey Carpenter, a rancher by trade, is supposed to meet his mother at the train station in A Texan’s Surprise, by Vickie McDonough. However, his Mom has a surprise for him-she brought along a widow, Sadie Hunter, and her two daughters, Abby and Martha.

Trey isn’t very happy about his Mother’s unannounced surprise; however, he’s even more unhappy when the local men begin to court Sadie.

The Wrangler’s Woman, by Davalynn Spencer, captures the story of Corra Jameson, widower Josiah Hanacker and his two children, Joe and Jess, and Josiah’s meddling sister in law.

Josiah needs help with turning his daughter Jess from wrangling and tomboy ways to a refined and genteel young woman, and if Corra agrees, she’s the perfect answer to his dilemma. If Corra’s unable to help with his daughter, his sister in law plans to spirit her away and train her properly.

Toby Lane needs to hire on as a foreman at the Double L Ranch in Cowboy Competition, by Becca Whitham, but he fears his family’s “curse” will keep him from doing his job.

Nia (Petunia) Lindley is trying everything she can to convince her Father she can “run” the ranch and still be a lady. However, her Father is doubtful and determined to sell the ranch. Toby may just be the answer to her problems if he can overcome the family “curse.”

The Cowgirl’s Lasso, by Jaime Jo Wright, is about Jonah Sparks and his search for a new foreman on his ranch. He is thrilled when his mentor, Charlie, recommends CJ Matheson. That is until he learns CJ is a woman named Celia Jo.

Jonah doesn’t believe CJ can do the job and constantly challenges and undercuts her authority. CJ knows she can work wonders for the ranch, if only Jonah would leave her alone to work.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Posted in Books reviews and more. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Mom

Mom motage.png 2

My Mom, she was a beautiful lady! I miss her!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers!

 

Posted in Books reviews and more. | 6 Comments