Thursday’s Thought

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Sneak Peek Spotlight-This Is The Day by Tim Tebow

Get a sneak peek of Tim Tebow’s new book, #ThisIsTheDay, to be released in September! Download chapter one at http://TimTebow.com/ThisIsTheDay

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

My Review

I came to sympathize with Eva (nicknamed Lovey), the protagonist of Perennials. She feels betrayed by her older sister Bitsy. No matter which direction Lovey turns, Bitsy is doing everything in her power to hurt and destroy her. I could empathize with Lovey. I could imagine Lovey, at age 45, becoming tired of running. I could believe her seeing her father’s request to come for his and her mother’s 50th anniversary as a way to “come home again.”

I was looking forward to reading Perennials, by Julie Cantrell. I had not read any of her books but had heard many good things about her work as an inspiration fiction writer. I think of the inspirational fiction genre as a publishing arm of the Christian community. You can imagine my surprise when I found the protagonist follows the teachings of her Buddhist mentor. I was even more surprised at allusions to Mary, Christ’s mother, speaking to and guiding other characters in the book.

I love to learn from the novels I read. Julie Cantrell vividly weaves an abundance of flowers and trees into the story’s setting, along with information about the cities portrayed in the book. Perennials teaches us about the color and greenery God has planted in His world.

Perennials is an interesting story. It speaks to our heartfelt need for home and family, even under circumstances that are desperately difficult. The book resonated in my life; it inspires.

I received this book from Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is drawn in to a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, learning how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

When Christ Appears: An Inspirational Experience Through Revelation by David Jeremiah

My Review

David Jeremiah’s book, When Christ Appears, is set up as a devotional study of the book of Revelations. Dr. Jeremiah divides Revelations into short, easy to digest and understand chapters. In each chapter, he begins with several verses from Revelations and explains them in a way that is simple and straight-forward. He then ends the chapter with prayer.

The book is an interesting and somewhat fascinating study of the last book of the Bible.

I must admit, I usually skip over most passages in Revelations when I read the New Testament. One reason, and Dr. Jeremiah seems to agree (at least in some areas), is parts of it seem so foreboding. However, reading When Christ Appears, gave me a new perspective. Although, I will probably still skip a lot of it in future readings.

One small detail about the book that was a little frustrating is its constant enjoinders to read and references to The Jeremiah Study Bible, which I don’t own.  It was not noted as being a necessary accompaniment when I received the book.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publishers Summary

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW THE BOOK OF REVELATION APPLIES TO YOUR LIFE?

When Christ Appears brings clarity to one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible. The book of Revelation promises a special blessing for those who take the time to peer into the future with the apostle John. Readers learn that Christ triumphs. Satan loses. Sorrow, sickness, and death disappear. And God Himself wipes away the tears from every eye. When the heartache of this present world weighs heavily on us, we have only to look up and look ahead at the radiant end of one story and the joyous beginning of a new story that will never end.

Book Spolight: Pockets of Joy

About the Book:

Name of book: Pockets of Joy

Author: Roxane Battle

Genre: Non-fiction, inspirational

Roxane Battle was on television for much of her adult life. As a news reporter and anchor, she traveled the world and met notable people from Jay Leno to Mariah Carey to Prince. But shortly after landing her dream job in her hometown of Minneapolis, Roxane’s marriage fell apart. Every day was a battle to keep it together on camera while piecing her life back together at home as the single mom of eleven-month-old Jarod. At one point, broke and alone, dinner was a single chicken McNugget. With wit, dignity, and gripping detail, Roxane shares her story of intentionally looking for joy during this challenging chapter of her life. Her faith was the guiding force as she searched for moments of gratitude and found a lifetime of grace. She also includes secrets to spiritual, professional, and personal wholeness for today’s woman, with chapters on authenticity, service, generosity, gratitude, self-care, yielding, forgiveness, and more.

click to purchase your copy

About the Author:

Author Roxane Battle is veteran TV news journalist well known in the Minneapolis region for her work as an anchor, reporter, and former co-host of the KARE 11-NBC Today show. She currently produces award-winning videos for corporate and non-profit clients through her company, Roxane Battle, M. A., LLC. Named an “Architect of Change,” Roxane is a contributor to mariashriver.com and has been featured in Working Mother, Ebony magazines, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press. An entertaining and inspiring speaker, she is regularly called upon to address civic, business, and philanthropic groups. She’s recently been a keynote speaker at events hosted by the Girl Scouts, TeamWomen Minnesota, and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

For more on Roxane Battle: www.roxanebattle.com

pocketsofjoy.com

www.facebook.com/roxanebattle

Twitter @roxanebattle

Guest post from Roxane Battle

What this book is about is the season in my life when I was on my own and overwhelmed with trying to put my life back together while I learned how to raise a child and navigate a demanding television career. A working, divorced single mom. That was me. For years.

There were many days when I smiled in front of the camera and cried alone at night. During those years, my time in the wilderness, I learned a lot about myself.

I am now at a point when I am able, willing, and desire to share the very personal and intimate stories of how I found peace in the midst of my struggles. I discovered what I call pockets. Pockets of joy. The kind of joy that causes your eyes to mist and wash over the hurt. The kind of joy that catches you by surprise and for a moment makes you forget, if ever so briefly, that you ever felt pain. The kind of joy that, in some ways, cannot even be described.

It is my hope and prayer my story will enable others to grasp a piece of the kind of joy I’m talking about and allow it to stir the kind of hope within that can renew and transform.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 26

Carpe Diem, October 26

autism mom, October 27

Avid Reader Book Reviews, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 29

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 30

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 31

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 1

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 2

A Greater Yes, November 3

A Reader’s Brain, November 4

Splashes of Joy, November 5

Mary Hake, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

His Grace is Sufficient, November 8


Giveaway

In honor of her tour, Roxanne is giving away

Grand Prize Package: Pockets of Joy, hardcover edition, in Pockets of Joy tote bag with Abba Jerusalem Frankincense pillar candle, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book.

1st Place Package: Pockets of Joy, hardcover edition, “You Are An Amazing Woman” (Abbey Press) mug, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book.

2nd Place Package: Pockets of Joy, hardcover edition, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c16e

Amish Cooking Class-The Seekers by Wanda Brunstetter.

the-amish-cooking-class

About the Book

Join a class of unlikely Ohioans who take cooking lessons at Lyle and Heidi Troyer’s Amish farm. A woman engaged to marry, an expectant mother estranged from her family, a widowed mom seeking to simplify, a Vietnam vet who camps on the Troyer’s farm, and an Amish widower make up the mismatched lot of students. But Heidi’s cooking lessons soon turn to life lessons as they each share the challenges they are facing. Is this what God had in mind when Heidi got the idea for cooking classes?

My Review

Heidi Troyer, an Amish woman, needs something to occupy her time. Taking a page from her Aunt Emma’s life, she decides to give cooking lessons similar to her Aunt Emma Miller’s quilting classes (Many of you may remember Emma from The Healing Quilt). Little did she know that she and her students would learn many life lessons along the way.

The Seekers has a motley crew of cooking learners that include a Vietnam vet with PTSD, a young woman who was kicked out of her home when her parents found out she was pregnant, a widower still grieving his wife’s death, an amateur photographer who becomes engaged and a widow with two small children yearning for a simpler life. Each person, including Heidi, is searching for answers.

Wanda Brunstetter does an impressive job of developing each of the characters and relating the story from each one’s viewpoint.  As you read and watch each one change, you are cheering or jeering for the individuals, depending on what the circumstances are, and come to care about each one.

Heidi’s recipe cards (recipes are at the end of the story) include an apt and applicable Bible verse, and it’s neat to see how each person reacts to the different verses.

Even if cooking isn’t your forte, I believe you will still enjoy reading Amish Cooking Class-The Seekers by Wanda Brunstetter.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

The Miracle of Mercy Land

the-miracle-of-mercy-land

About the Book

What if you had the power to amend choices you made in the past? Would you do it even if it changed everything?

Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensable to old Doc Philips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn—it’s the biggest news story of her life, and she can’t print a word of it.

Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City—decisions they’ve made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages—Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book’s strange purpose. But when a mystery from Mercy’s past arrives by train, she begins to understand that she will have to make choices that will deeply affect everyone she loves—forever.

My Review

From the very first sentence in The Miracle of Mercy Land, the author River Jordan takes you by the hand and pulls you into a fantastical journey full of darkness, sunshine and life.

I was surprised when I received the book, to find Mercy Land is the lead character’s name and not a place; however, that only adds to the power of her story. (I received an Advanced Reader Copy with little description included.)

This book will affect each person that reads it differently for the same reasons the character’s lives are affected differently; we all have our own weaknesses, demons, desires and individual stories.

This book is full of mysticism and fantasy, not my usual reading fare. Nevertheless, the last two books I’ve reviewed have been of this genre and in spite of this, I’ve enjoyed both books. Perhaps the Lord is telling me to enjoy more whimsy in my life?

Mercy is a young woman who left her home in Bittersweet Creek, Alabama for Bay City, Alabama in order live her life as she wanted and not as conventional wisdom dictated.

Along the way, she becomes the indispensable right-hand woman for Doc Philips, the editor and publisher of the local paper.

One early morning Mercy receives a strange call at her boarding house from Doc Philips. Thus begins a journey into a world of suspended belief and fantasy.

Doc possesses the biggest news story of her life, but she can’t print a word of what she knows and comes to know as a result of Doc’s mysterious call.

The Miracle of Mercy Land will leave you asking yourself a lot of questions about your own life and choices made.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a  blogger book review.

I am not required to write a positive review. 

**This is a corrected, updated version of an earlier review.**

Today’s Tome

I’ll Settle for Love (The Trampled Rose Series) (Book One) by Michelle Lynn Brown is one powerful book-don’t let the title fool you.

Leanne, recently married, was running from a home life full of darkness and secrets and a mother’s constant belittling and censure.

Mike, her husband, was a master fixer upper.  Now, everything was falling apart and Mike couldn’t fix it.

Mike and Leanne’s daughter was not normal, but Mike kept overriding Leanne’s concerns, urging her to give Karen more time and understanding.

Leanne was falling apart; the strain of caring for a 4-year-old autistic daughter, a 2-year-old rambunctious son, hiding from her past and her marriage crumbling was causing her to withdraw even deeper into her feelings of self-loathing.

Mike wouldn’t listen and Leanne couldn’t tell.

I’ll Settle for Love (The Trampled Rose Series) follows the life of Leanne and Mike McKinley as their marriage is falling down around them. The novel is filled with many scriptural truths and practical applications that everyone can use but especially those hurt and hurting.

Michelle Lynn Brown writes a raw and inspirational book about abuse, self-loathing and the dangers of “playing” at Christianity.  She holds no punches when describing what a true marriage, with Christ as the foundation, should look like.

This book will touch anyone married or single, male or female, young or old.  There is an abundance of scriptural gems to glean. Just one warning-once you start reading you won’t want to put it down.