I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.
The story of Avery, the marriage therapist, and her clients Marissa and Matthew is bone-chillingly good. Avery is practicing therapy in what she calls her ten-step plan and has been very successful at it. She is also hiding secrets about her past and dealing with some unscrupulous people who are determined to destroy her career if not her life. Marissa contacts Avery for help when she realizes that her marriage is going downhill fast and she wants to save it. The best thing that someone could have told me before I read this book is that all is not as it seems. There are layers of deception that are peeled away slowly and methodically. The plot is so well written that it immediately pulled me into Avery’s troubles as well as Marissa and Matthew’s. The characters were totally well-fleshed out and very complex. Just when I thought I knew them well, there was another revelation about their past. This was the kind of book that was entertaining as well as thought-provoking. I enjoyed the read, but it also made me think about how well we actually know someone. Polly, Marissa’s helper in her store, was irritating at first, then more irritating and ultimately understandable. There were a lot of nuances and red herrings throughout the book that made the ending mostly a surprise for me, something I really enjoy in books since I’m such a mystery buff. I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy great plots, fantastic characterization and pondering what an outcome will be. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Sarah is the mother of three boys, which explains why she wrote part of her debut novel at Chuck E. Cheese. Seriously. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. Please visit www.sarahpekkanen.com
This book will release on March 8, 2022, but it is available for pre-order now. Purchase Links:
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for providing an ARC for me to read and review. This complicated book had me enthralled and giving the characters advice because I got so involved in the story.
The unthinkable meets the unimaginable in this creative new book that has the entire grid go down and the little town of Shadow Ridge, Texas, left to survive on its own. The townspeople have to find ways to get water, grow food, and cook meals without any electricity. Reading this book was like reading a book about a disaster that could actually happen one day. No one knows why the grid went down in the event called the Quake, but everyone knows their lives have changed. Jace and Levi are visiting their parents for their anniversary and now they can’t leave town because there is no transportation or even a way to call others to find out what is happening outside of their little world.. Since Jace’s father Garrett was injured badly and can’t return to law enforcement, Jace fills the gap and is determined to do his best to keep the town safe from roving bandits and crime. The book was fast-paced and horrifyingly believable. There are multiple layers to the story, with family relationships, the innocence of childhood and the criminals who want to destroy the town and everyone in it. I really enjoyed how the layers were revealed, with each chapter bringing more excitement and some high drama. I also enjoyed the underlying love story when Jace decides that he really would like to get to know single mother Morgan better. There is so much tragedy in this book, but there is more hope, a desire to forge a better future and to trust that goodness and love are still possible. I was delighted to know that this is the first book in a new series and look forward to the second Fallout book. Excitement and some good practical means to survive if you are off the grid are only part of what is included in this amazing book! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author as part of her review team. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Biography (from the author’s website)
I’m a wife, mom, teacher, author, dreamer, photographer, world explorer, but most importantly a follower of Christ Jesus.
I currently live with my husband near the Indian Ocean in Mozambique where we work as church-planting missionaries. We’ve started the empty nest stage, which means I’m always ready for school breaks and visits! I see my writing as an extension of my ministry which also includes running a non-profit organization.
The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)
When I’m not working l love hanging out with my family at the beach, playing games, cooking different ethnic dishes, and heading into the African bush on safari.
This extraordinary book is available now. Purchase here:
This non-stop, fast-paced romantic suspense thriller had me on the edge of my seat and advising the characters about what they needed to do next to stay safe. Beginning with an attempted assassination with a boat and moving to gunshot wounds and exploding dams, the action in the book never let up. There are twists galore that kept me reading and guessing until the very satisfying conclusion. The characters of Nathan and Erin were so human, with flaws and doubts just like all of us have. I really enjoyed the heroics of Nathan and the determination of Erin. The character that surprised me was Erin’s mom Celia, a lady with a strong will and a lot of secrets from the past. I enjoyed reading about characters from the first book in the series, but this one can definitely be read as a standalone without creating any confusion at all. With spot on tension and intense drama, the book called to the mystery lover in me and touched all of the right buttons to enthrall me. I highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys a fast pace and a heart-thumping adventure. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books via Netgalley and a hard copy from the author because I am a member of her review team. I was not required to write apology review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
With over a million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over fifty novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES–a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried,Backfire and Deceptionare finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.
Coming on November 2, 2021, but you can pre-order it now from any of the following retailers:
Many thanks to author Elizabeth Goddard and to Revell Books for this wonderful book to read and review! I sincerely appreciate having been chosen to participate in the ARC reviews for this talented and inspiring author.
Hope Fischer is on a quest to find out what happened to her sister Faith since she doesn’t believe the story about her suicide. Headed to an off-the-grid town named Benediction, she has to be saved from drowning by a rogue intelligence agent named Gage Graham. Gage is off the grid and hiding and promises to help Hope find out what really happened to Faith. Together, these two define romantic suspense. They fall into and out of danger throughout the course of their undercover investigation, making the book a fast-paced and exhilarating read. I really enjoyed the fire and determination in the main characters as well as the plot that was non-stop action. I also liked getting to know the sheriff of the nearby town. Ryan was a hero nursing his own broken heart but willing to risk his life for fighting for what’s right. The grit and sheer courage of Gage and Hope led to several times when I’m pretty sure I was holding my breath or at least gasping. Intense intrigue and sweet romance combine to make this book a winner for me! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
About the Author
Juno Rushdan draws from real-life inspiration as a former U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer to craft sizzling romantic thrillers. However, you won’t find any classified leaks here. Her stories are pure fiction about kick-ass heroes and strong heroines fighting for their lives as well as their happily-ever-after.
Although Juno is a native New Yorker, wanderlust has taken her across the globe. Fortunately, she is blessed with a husband who shares her passion for travel, movies, and fantastic food. She’s visited more than twenty different countries and has lived in England and Germany. Her favorite destination for relaxation is the Amalfi Coast, Italy for its stunning seascape, cliffside lemon groves, terraced vineyards, amazing pasta, and to-die-for vino.
When she’s not writing, Juno loves spending time with her family. Exercise is not her favorite thing to do, but she squeezes some in since chocolate and red wine aren’t calorie-free.
She currently resides in Virginia with her supportive hubby, two dynamic children, and spoiled rescue dogs. Check her out on Instagram, Facebook or follow her on Twitter or BookBub. She loves to connect with readers!
I start each day with devotionals and Bible reading, and Sunday, of course, is no exception. Today, I want to share with you the verses that spoke to my heart and pray that they will also speak to you.
In a world in which everything seems to be shaking, we are told to stand firm. Don’t pay so much attention to what is happening around you as to what the Lord has told you to keep busy doing, i.e. His work. Whatever we do for God has eternal rewards, but all of the time we spend worrying about the things going on in this world amount to nothing in the long run. I personally have just about stopped watching news shows. After all, my husband fills me in on the important things and then I don’t get so overwhelmed with all of the bad news that seems to be on 24/7. That leaves me more time to worship, praise, read God’s Word and do whatever tasks He has called me to do each day. Win, win!
We all get tired of doing nice things for others and then never getting any appreciation. But I have learned that it is not the thanks that I get from others that really means something to me. It is the good feeling that I get way down deep inside me, the feeling that God is pleased. So, while I am working for God (see verse above), I can devote myself to looking for good things to do for others.
Most of us wake up each day and have a plan for what we hope to accomplish. After decades of frustration, I have learned to give whatever plans I may have over to God and let Him bless them or change them. His way is always, always, always better than mine!
This final verse spoke directly to me as a comfort for my mental state these days. After years of belonging to the gym and going for water aerobics classes twice a week, my nutritionist told me last week that I should not begin exercising again until I can maintain a diet of at least 1400 calories a day. Well, with all kinds of dietary restrictions and a rebellious gastro system, I seldom make it over 1000 calories. Thus, my husband and I decided to drop our gym membership until some future date, yet to be determined. We have not been going due to Covid restrictions anyway, so it seemed to be an expenditure of funds that we could not afford. It was like we were donating to the gym but getting no benefits. Once I can exercise again, I will start with my home exercises first and see how that goes. God knows exactly what is going on with my physical body and encouraged me today with His Word that my training in godliness is eternally beneficial.
Well, that is all from me for today. It is almost time to awaken my husband and for us to head to church. I covet your prayers this week as I am setting off on a new adventure soon. My husband calls it my “deployment.” Our son contacted us that his regular childcare worker is not available and he needs help for the next couple of months. So, I am headed to Maryland while my husband stays here in Virginia, taking care of his commitments. I know that I will definitely enjoy being with the grandchildren (ages 6, 3 and 4 months), but I will also miss the loving care of my spouse and just the comfort of being in my own home. However, I choose to see this as a ministry of love and pray that God will strengthen me each day for the work He has set before me. If I’m not online much, now you know why.
Have a blessed day, a blessed week and keep choosing to do God’s will each day in every way possible!
One of our pastors has posed an interesting question.
If you knew that you only had thirty days to live, would you change how you live? If so, how would you change?
Thought-provoking and deep and I’m not sure how I would answer it yet, but I am pondering it and invite you to ponder along with me. Of course, we cannot know the time of our death. Jesus said that the Father knows. We know that God has told some people in the past to get ready to die. King Hezekiah immediately comes to mind. He is the king who turned his face to the wall and cried out to God for more years, a wish that God granted him. I would hope that if God told me that I was about to die that I would be ready and willing to go with Him then, but we just don’t know until such an event happens to us. So, ponder with me, if you will, what would you change in the last month of your life?
As I have been aging, at first approaching death was a scary thought for me. Now, it has become an inevitable end to this life on earth and the beginning of a new life with God. It means the end of all of the aches and pains and daily concerns. Of course, it also means missing my loved ones here on earth, but there is always the promise to see them again in Heaven some day. No more sorrow or tears and no more goodbyes has me looking more expectantly towards Heaven, more with excitement and less with fear. How about you? Do you ever think about your own mortality? Do you think about what Heaven will be like?
In a devotional that I read this morning, the writer had been told that she only had a short time to live and was fearful of death. Having lived over a decade past the time the doctors pronounced for her, the fear had become distant and her new attitude was one of wonder. No one really knows what Heaven is like, so her curiosity was stimulated. She says that her curiosity was somewhat satisfied when she was with an elderly woman just before she died and with her last breath, she said, “Wow!” Now, that, my friends is food for thought. What will we say when we cross over into eternity with God? I think”wow” is pretty descriptive, don’t you? (Daily Guideposts 2021, October 19, 2021)
I don’t want you to leave this post without promises from God that will hopefully stir your heart to look up and await Him with expectation and hope. (I heard someone say that hope is not dead because He is a person!)
May God bless and keep you throughout this day and until we meet again on this page. Meanwhile, drop me a line in the comments and tell me the answer to my question above. Thirty days. What, if anything, would you change in your life?
Since writing this blog, I have one more thing to look forward to in Heaven…I get to meet you believers who have followed me online and see you face to face. I appreciate each of you and pray God’s blessing and His continued presence in your lives daily. I remain a servant of Christ and a seeker of truth. Until next time…
This is a beautifully written story set in the Amish town of Stoney Ridge, a peaceful town filled with people who genuinely care about each other and practice the tenets of the Amish faith daily. When Ben Zook, who used to live in Stoney Ridge and who is a famous birdwatcher, returns to the town, he has one goal in mind. He wants to see the White-winged tern, a bird that is rarely seen in the states. Ben has come to meet with Micah Weaver, a teen boy who has a speech impediment but who knows birds better than anyone around. Ben stays in a guest house provided by Penny Weaver, Micah’s sister and an old friend whom Ben does not recognize, much to her dismay. The stage is well set for a complicated tale of family, friendships won and lost, relationships and choices. I was drawn into the story of these complex and realistic characters from the beginning. Each character is presented realistically, complete with flaws and human foibles, but they are also each seen as uniquely suited for the tasks that they are expected to do. As Ben spends more time with the Weavers, waiting for that Tern to appear, he also goes on a trip of self-reflection and discovery. He has escaped from Stoney Ridge once and does not want to return permanently, but he does have roots there that cannot be denied. The most brilliantly written parts of the book occur at the end of each chapter where we are introduced to various birds that Micah and Penny have seen as they walk around their environs. The habitat of each bird as well as their eating and mating habits are described in a meticulously detailed way that inspired me to curiously seek my guide to birds that includes photos so that I could picture the bird as they were described. Thus, this book was entertaining, educational and encouraging as it sought to gently guide the characters to the place that God would want them to be. I really enjoyed the language used in this novel; it was almost like lyrical prose, calling to my heart as the birds spoke to Micah. There was some inevitable conflict between some of the characters and a little mystery involved with Ben’s cousin Natalie, a young woman who seems to want to know more about the Plain people but won’t reveal her reasons for her curiosity. The relationship between Ben and his estranged father is a focus of Ben’s self-discovery and forgiveness is a definite thread throughout the book. Fans of brilliantly written Christian fiction will thoroughly enjoy this book and it’s message of heart, home, and hope. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: As a member of the Revell Reads Blogger Program, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
This lovely story is ready for you to order and enjoy. Purchase Links:
This morning, I read my devotional as usual. I’m currently reading the book of Jeremiah and there is a reason he is called the “weeping prophet.” He went around telling everyone to repent and people ignored him, to their detriment. I see so many parallels with what he wrote and with what is happening in nations throughout the world that it saddens me to see such rampant and flagrant sin. Sins that were once shamefully hidden are now “out there” for all to see, flung into the face of God. There is a price to pay and we are just now beginning to pay it.
I also read my daily dose of Dr. Denison and was not at all amused to read that a high school in FL crowned a transgender as homecoming queen. As I said, sin is no longer hidden, but it is flaunted and outrageously proclaimed as right.
So, what are we as Christians to do? We are told to shine our lights to a dark world. But we are also told to “abide.”
I’m sure since we have all studied science, we know that the moon has no light except what is reflected from the sun. Thus, we have no light unless we are reflecting the Son. We have to be part of the branch of Jesus in order to produce fruit. Frankly, just to be able to stand and say that sin is sin in today’s world requires a close contact with the Lord, an abiding, if you will.
verb (used without object), a·bode or a·bid·ed, a·bid·ing.to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.to have one’s abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a small Scottish village.
We stay in the Lord Jesus. We don’t walk away and join in the darkness, but we stay in His light and reflect it to others. Some may be repelled by the light because they prefer the darkness. But our hope is always that some will be attracted to the light and come to the knowledge that can offer the assurance of an eternal future with Him. We dwell with Jesus. We are not just occasional visitors eating at the table of plenty that He has provided us. We live there! Every day, every minute of every hour. That’s our home, where we should feel the most comfortable. Going out into the world does not mean leaving Jesus behind. He dwells in us, just as we dwell in Him. So, when we are doing our daily activities and interacting with others, we have that light to reflect to others because it is in us.
I fall far short of what I should be as a Christian, but all of the sin in the world is not pulling me away from Jesus. Rather, I am tucking myself in closer to Him, desiring not just His grace and mercy but also His protection from the evil of the world. I desire that protection for all those with whom I come in contact, too. They will not know He is there for them unless I tell them, or unless you tell them. The consequence of sin is death and eternal separation from God. I agree that it is often difficult to share our faith with unbelievers who mock or who walk away as fast as they can. However, if one life is changed, it is worth it.
My prayer for each of you today is to be that light that the world needs and to abide in the Lord so that you can reflect His glory, grace, goodness and mercy. Be the person God created you to be, His beloved child. God bless you, my friends.
This is a brilliantly written contemporary romance with likable characters and a constant undercurrent of humor. Rory Perez inherits a food truck from her aunt, but she has no clue how to actually cook Mexican food. Nevertheless, she tries to make it a success for the sake of Grady and Nicole, the real chef and her best friend. Having the money she needs to keep the food truck running is Rory’s priority, so she is more than a little incensed when one of the town’s wealthiest residents asks for cooking lessons and then becomes her rival in the cooking contest. Jude Worthington is a lawyer but wants to be a cook and own his own food truck. There are some really funny scenes between these two as Rory who is clueless tries to teach Jude how to cook. The text messages between the two are priceless and chuckle-worthy. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this story of two stubborn people who have to find themselves before they can find each other. With themes of self-acceptance, forgiveness and trust, this is a book not to be missed by those who enjoy clean contemporary romance, with a dash of cilantro, a few tears and a whole lot of smiles. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell via Netgalley since I am a member of the Revell Reads Blogger Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
What a lovely and heartwarming Christmas story! Hannah is a dog trainer and the guardian of her deceased sister’s twin toddlers. She is hiding a secret about the father of the girls, but she promised her sister not to tell. Her promise ends up causing her a lot of problems with Luke Hutcheson, her neighbor and the girls’ biological uncle. The story itself is a simple one, with secrets and romance and children who just need to be accepted and loved. The addition is that the adults in this story need to find acceptance and love, too. Although the ending is predictable, it was such a sweet read getting there. With dogs added to the mix, it was a perfect story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was entertaining as well as inspirational to read how the relationships developed with the people and with God. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Excerpt of Finding a Christmas Home by Lee Tobin McClain (Sep 28)
Hannah Antonicelli walked out of the Rescue Haven Learn-and-Play and flopped down on the bench that ran along the wall of the red barn.
“Cold for sitting outside, isn’t it?” Her friend Gabby wrapped her heavy parka more tightly around herself before sitting beside Hannah. Despite the fact that she and her husband oversaw all Rescue Haven’s programs—the dog rescue, the after-school program for at-risk boys and the childcare center—Gabby always had time to stop and chat.
And Gabby was right: November in rural Ohio wasn’t sit-outside weather. Wind whisked across the neighboring cornfields, rustling the dry, light brown stalks, carrying with it the faint, clean smell of oncoming snow. “I just need a minute before I start with the dogs,” Hannah said.
“Take a minute! Take an hour, or the whole morning off, if you need. It’s a great thing you’re doing, providing a home for Marnie’s girls.”
“The Learn-and-Play is the only possible way I’ll manage, so thank you for accepting the twins on short notice.” And she didn’t want to take advantage of Gabby’s generosity by skimping on her part-time job as the Rescue Haven dog trainer. What with everything that had happened, she’d already taken too much time off. Not to mention the fact that Gabby was pregnant and didn’t need extra stress. “Let me know if they need anything or get upset.”
Caring for her sister’s eighteen-month-old twin girls had been the right thing to do when Marnie had died of complications after a drug overdose two weeks ago. The desperate phone call from her estranged older sister had shaken Hannah’s world at its foundation. She and Mom had rushed to Marnie’s side and instantly agreed to care for the twins they barely knew.
Which meant that, for now, Hannah was back in her childhood home. Mom’s house had plenty of space, a big yard with a tire swing and was close to Rescue Haven.
Anyway, until they got the twins’ lives in order and their schedules figured out, it was going to take two of them to manage things. Being in the same house was just easier.
Mom was busy trying to keep her struggling bakery afloat during hard times. She was also grief-stricken and guilt-ridden over Marnie’s death—not in any shape to be a primary caregiver. Whereas Hannah… Hannah was more angry at her sister than anything else. Marnie had neglected her babies. She’d caused terrible pain to their mother. And she’d entrusted Hannah with a secret that wasn’t going to be easy to keep.
The blond, curly-haired twins had instantly become Hannah’s priority in life. She had to raise them right, and she would. She yawned. The twins hadn’t slept well last night—again—and she was just so tired…
She might have actually dozed off for a few seconds, and when she opened her eyes, she felt like she was dreaming. “Who’s that?” she asked Gabby as she stared at the movie-star-handsome, rugged man striding toward them.
“You don’t recognize him? That’s Luke Hutchenson.”
Hannah’s stomach lurched. “When did he come back to town?”