Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer: A Book Review

When Danger Arrives, It’s More Than Just Her Heart on the Line

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

My Review: Love, suspense, humor and a little bit of mystery make up this lovely story centered around Grace and Amos. I thought Grace and Amos were the cutest couple and I loved watching their romance unfold. I think it’s really neat how they were able to communicate with each other in a way that most others could never decipher.

I love that Amos isn’t the “typical” heartthrob male lead. He’s a bit of a geek, but he proves many times throughout this story that he is brave, heroic and selfless. I enjoyed all of the characters and the story-line of this book. I loved the town full of women, who somehow seem to keep accumulating men!

This is a sweet love story, but ultimately it is a story of redemption. It is a story about how God plans our steps, redeems our stories and creates beautiful things out of the ashes of our pain. I love the quote near the end of this book:

“Only a master weaver could intertwine dark and light threads in such a way that all one saw was beauty when looking back at the finished tapestry.”

This is a beautiful depiction of how God cares for us and works in our lives.

My only complaint regarding this novel is that I was unaware that it was book 2 in a series. I really hate reading books out of order, so I’m once again bummed that publishers don’t more clearly label a series as such. This book can easily be read solo, but I just prefer to read a series from beginning to end.

I do highly recommend this book!

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

 

Karen Witemeyer

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyerwrites historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.

The Woman’s Study Bible: A Review

Book Description

The Woman’s Study Bible poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation. Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, The Woman’s Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman’s Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.

Features Include:

Beautiful full-color design throughout Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy Book introductions and outlines Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees Quotes from godly women throughout history Set of full-page maps of the biblical world Topical index Concordance .

My Review: I was so excited to get this bible! I love the idea of an updated study bible specifically for women, designed by women. I also love that it happens to be in my favorite translation, the NKJV.

When I received this bible, my first thought was “This far exceeds my expectations!” and “It’s beautiful!!” It truly is a gorgeous bible. It is very aesthetically pleasing with it’s beautiful, large font, pretty cover, pink-edged pages and colorful notes. I obviously have just begun to enjoy and study this bible, but so far, I am very impressed. I love the articles in the beginning and all of the notes and insights throughout and I love that all of these insights and articles were written by women.

This is definitely going to be one of my most-treasured bibles for years to come. Highly recommended.

*I received a copy of this bible free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Life After by Katie Ganshert: A Book Review

About Life After

It could have been me.

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest.

Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.

In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

My Review: From the moment I read about this book, I was drawn to it. I just knew it was going to be a good read, and I was right! I was absolutely engrossed in this book from the start.

The story-line was compelling, the characters were likable, complex and vulnerable and the pace was perfect. The author did an excellent job telling this story, and telling it in a way that made me feel invested in the lives of the characters.

This is a book that not only draws your attention and entertains you, but it gives you pause to think about the “WHY” of things. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do some people survive, while others die? How do you deal with survivor’s guilt, remorse, guilt and shame?  Where’s God in it all?

This book does a beautiful job answering some of life’s toughest questions. It reminds us of God’s goodness, his love, his sovereignty and his restoration. This book should resonate with every reader and I highly recommend it.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

KATIE GANSHERT is the author of several novels and works of short fiction, including the Christy Award-winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Carol Award-winner, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie lives in eastern Iowa with her family.

Praying the Psalms by Ben Patterson: A Review

978-1-4964-1598-1Learn to speak the language of God’s own heart.
Have you ever tried to pour out your deepest feelings to God, only to discover that you can’t find the words? We want to feel connected to God, but sometimes it seems like we’re not speaking the same language.

There is no better place in all of Scripture than Psalms to learn to be with God. Praying the Psalms includes 50 selections from this book—songs of praise, cries for help, glad rejoicings, and humble offerings—accompanied by inspirational devotions that will open a divine window in your prayer life.

Adapted from God’s Prayer Book; now in a deluxe LeatherLike binding.

My Review: First and foremost, this book is gorgeous. It’s beautiful leather-like binding is elegant and this book is perfectly sized. It would make a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Not only is it gorgeous, it also lives up to it’s tagline “Drawing near to the heart of God”. This little book has a chapter devoted to each of the 150 Psalms. There are several pages focused on each Psalm, that explain the heart and intent of each and encourage the reader in how to powerfully pray each one. There is also a topical index located in the back to easily search for topics for specific needs.

This book would be excellent for anyone who desires to dig deeper into the Psalms and to draw closer to God in prayer.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Tyndale Blog Network  in exchange for my honest review.

Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers: A Book Review

Earth Psalms

Reflections on How God Speaks through Nature

earth-psalmsMillions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers’ bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime of exploring—abroad and in her own backyard—and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity?

Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine’s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.

My Review: I jumped at the chance to review this devotional by Francine Rivers. I have always enjoyed her works of fiction and her writing style, so I was very curious to see what she would do with a devotional.

The first thing I was struck by was the beautiful, full-color images throughout this book. I love having that visual picture to coincide with the words of wisdom and insight she is offering. The second thing that I discovered was that this devotional is unique, in that it is a weekly devotional rather than a daily one. I love that idea because I feel like I can meditate on one devotional theme throughout the week and really take the time to focus on it. I often feel like life is rushed and we breeze through things so quickly. It’s nice to take a full week to really think on the devotion.

Each devotional offers some personal thoughts and reflections by the author, as well as several scriptures, sometimes quotes and a section at the end for reflection, application and connection.

This is a beautiful devotional that I look forward to reading throughout the year.

*I received this book free of charge from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

 

francine-riversNew York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market for several years before becoming a born-again Christian. As her statement of faith, she wrote Redeeming Love, a retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush. Redeeming Love is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction and it continues to be one of the industry’s top-selling titles year after year.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the world. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for many honors, and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Francine’s novels have been translated into over thirty different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries.

Francine and her husband live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their grown children and grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Visit her website at www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

A Fresh Infusion of Joy by Sheila Walsh: A Book Review

_140_245_book-1998-coverCould you use a joy infusion?

When was the last time you had a spontaneous laugh because your heart was absolutely overwhelmed with joy?

Whether you’re facing mundane routines or painful hardships, joy often feels out of reach. But those who know Jesus can live joyfully, no matter what—it’s a gift that can only come from God. Jesus engulfs His followers with great love so that He may fill them with His joy.

Bestselling author Sheila Walsh invites you to discover daily joy. Through funny and inspiring stories, powerful takeaways, and encouraging scriptures, Sheila shows that joy sometimes comes from gratitude, God’s beautiful creation, grace, or simply delighting in God’s goodness and love. And it always comes from spending time in Jesus’ presence. He brings life, restoration, and . . . joy!

The 5 Minutes with Jesus series is the perfect way to start your day with a joyful heart.

My Review: I don’t know what it is about the word JOY that just gets me. I love joy and when I saw the title of this devotional and that it was written by Sheila Walsh, it definitely caught my eye!

This is a very nice devotional and I love that it’s made to be read in just a few short minutes. Not that I think devotional time should be rushed or timed, but with the busyness of life these days, time is precious and I think this devotional does a good job of making those 5 minutes count.

Each devotion begins with a story or thought that inspires joy. It doesn’t take long to read them, but Sheila does a very good job of getting her point across in just a page or two for each. My favorite thing about this devotional is that it is packed with scripture. You may only be spending 5 minutes in this devotional, but most of that time will be spent meditating on the word. I love that.

I’m really looking forward to continuing to read this devotional and becoming even more so a lover of joy!

*I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review from BookLook Bloggers.

This is Awkward by Sammy Rhodes: A Book Review

Book Description

_140_245_Book.1833.coverA supremely funny pastor to Millennials, with a massive social media following, tackles the thorniest of subjects—depression, sexuality, divorce, life online, and more—with a rare combination of uproarious, self-deprecating humor and profound, biblical truth.

My Review: I was not familiar with Sammy Rhodes prior to this book, and I was very much intrigued by a book about awkwardness. I myself am an introvert, and I’m all too familiar with awkward encounters!

My feelings on this book are kind of mixed. It’s a book about awkwardness, so I feel odd saying this, but at times the book felt awkward to me. The first half of it dealt with subjects that I can’t relate too, such as divorce and pornography. I did manage to take away a few bits from these chapters, but they felt a bit awkwardly written and at times, I felt like a little too much information was revealed?

The second half of the book really turned around. I felt like he became more comfortable in his writing and I found the subjects very relatable. I absolutely loved the chapters on friendship, introverts and social media. There were a few things he said that I thought were really profound, and made the book worth reading to me.

As for humor, there are moments when he is truly funny, but there are also times when I think he is just trying too hard. But, if you think about the point of the book, it’s to embrace your awkward. We all try too hard at times. We all want to be accepted. We all long for approval.

I think this is an honest book, with a measure of insecurity. I think the author is on a journey, just like the rest of us, to find a place where he can truly be himself. I applaud him for publicly including us on his journey.

  • I received this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers  in exchange for my honest review.