Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer

 The Memory Jar
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Series, Book #1
Tricia Goyer

Pub Date   Nov 1 2012

Every year, 30-40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive "resident" status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides!
Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love. Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she's also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart.
Now she's met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

My Review:
Tricia you had me hooked before the first chapter ended.  The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer was a very enjoyable book. I loved the whole idea of memory jars and thought it made this book all the more special in light of Sarah having lost her best friend.  I liked how the reader is introduced to
Sarah and her best friend,  Patty as children and then are allowed inside their heads to understand them as people.  Jathan was an Amish "knight in shining armor" and Sarah soon sees him in that role.
The memory jar is about friendship, love, family and loyalty.  I will be watching for the next books in the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers series. Tricia gets a high 5 for The Memory Jar.

I received this book from Net Galley and Zondervan for my honest review.

You can purchase this book at the links below.

About the author:
Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Learning by Karen KIngsbury

Book 2 in the Bailey Flanigan Series
by Karen Kingsbury
Bailey Flanigan is growing closer to her dream to be an actress and dancer in New York while Cody coaches a small high school football team ... on and off the field. But neither feels complete without the chance to share their dreams with one other. Can distance truly make the heart grow fonder? Or will Cody learn to turn to others to share in his happiness? And when tragedy strikes? Who will be there to provide comfort in the face of loss? As Cody's past catches up with him, he must learn to reach out for help or risk withdrawing permanently inside himself. Both Bailey and Cody find themselves learning significant life lessons in this poignant love story, featuring members from Karen Kingsbury's popular Baxter family.

My Review:
Karen Kingsbury always writes heart touching and "Life Changing" fiction. Learning, book #2 in the Bailey Flanigan  series was a very enjoyable book with characters that I look forward to learning more about in the last two books in the series, Longing  and Loving. I will highly recommend to my friends and family.  Bailey and Cody appeared in previous books by Karen and I was so excited that they got their own series.  Bailey is the kind of young women that you pray your own children or
grand children could be like. She has an unwavering faith in God and is not afraid to reach for the
"stars" and at the same time look to God for where he wants her future to go.  Bailey is proof that
young girls can live pure until marriage with the help of God and a strong family unit.
I give Leaving a 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Zondervan for my honest review and was NOT paid in any way for my review.

You can purchased Learning at theses sites.





Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist. There are more than 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen’s recent dozen titles have all debuted at or near the top of the New York Times Bestseller’s list. She is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen lives and works outside Nashville, Tenn., with her husband, Don, and their five sons, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. Also living nearby is their only daughter, Kelsey, an actress in inspirational films and married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky. For more information visit Karen's website. Karen is also on Facebook and Twitter, where she regularly interacts with nearly half a million reader friends.

Today's Shadow's by Becky Melby

Today's Shadows
Book #3 Lost Shadows Series
Becky Melby

Grad student Heather Conrad’s house-sitting venture is about to veer off course. When last minute changes leave Heather in charge of watching her former boss’s lakeside Victorian mansion and six-year-old daughter, Izzy, the surprises have just begun. Soon startling discoveries convince Heather that something just isn’t right around the house. As suspicions mount, Heather calls on security systems installer Ryan Tobin for help. . .then stumbles on a hidden stairway that leads headlong into a forgotten past. But what will Heather discover there that changes everything?

My Review:
Today's Shadow's by Becky Melby was a unique book that went back and forth in time to tell the story.  I was somewhat confused at the beginning, but as the story unfolded I was able to see that as
an important part of the overall story and how the past helped change the future. I loved all the discoveries Heather, Ryan and Izzy made in the mansion.  Ryan and Heather were very likable characters.  My favorite character was Izzy, because she was such an adventurous little girl who had me smiling throughout the book. I was pleasantly surprised at the ending as I did not see it coming. I enjoyed Today's Shadow's and plan to go back and read the other two books in the series.  I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

The other two book in the Lost Sanctuary Series are:  Tomorrow's Sun and Yesterday's Sun

I received this book from Net Galley and Barbour Publishing Group for my honest review.  I was not
paid in any way for my review.

You can purchase this book at:

You can learn more about Becky and her books at her website.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Ashton Park by Murray Pura

Ashton Park
The Dansforths of Lancashire, Book #1
by Murray Pura
Harvest House Publishers

For fans of the hugely popular Downton Abbey series, comes this equally enthralling story of the Danforth family of Ashton Park.
Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park.
The year is 1916. The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William's and Lady Elizabeth's three sons are all in uniform--and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.
As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting. During his long absences, Lady Elizabeth discreetly spends time in the company of the head cook of the manor, Mrs. Longstaff, who is her best friend and confidante. This friendship includes visits to a small Baptist church in Liverpool that exposes Lady Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship and preaching than she is used to and which she comes to enjoy.
Readers will follow Ashton Park's charming upstairs/downstairs characters through the perils of war and the affairs of the heart with relish--and with an eye to the sequel coming in Fall 2013.
Book One in The Danforths of Lancashire series.

My Review:
If you love Downton Abbey you will love this book! Ashton Park, The Dansforths of Lancashire, Book #1 by Murray Pura is a work of art. Set in the early part of 1900's in England during World War I, this book will take you on a grand adventure with the Dansforth's family.  I would love to see this series made into a PSB series. There are many great story lines in this book and the characters just draw you right in to their individual stories as well as the story as a whole.  You will laugh, cry and find yourself cheering for your favorite characters  I will be the first in line for the next book in the series.  Way to go, Murray, this is a winner and gets 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Net Galley and  Harvest House Publishers for my honest review.

You can purchase Ashton Park at the below links:

About the author:

Murray Pura earned his Master of Divinity degree from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and his ThM degree in theology and interdisciplinary studies from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more than 25 years, in addition to his writing, he has pastored churches in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Alberta. Murray’s writings have been shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award, the John Spencer Hill Literary Award, the Paraclete Fiction Award, and Toronto's Kobzar Literary Award. His novels for Harvest House include Face of Heaven and The Wings of Morning. Murray pastors and writes in southern Alberta near the Rocky Mountains. He and his wife, Linda, have a son and a daughter.

Review: Fatherless by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner

James Dobson, Kurt Bruner

Pub Date   Jan 15 2013

The year is 2042, and a long-predicted tipping point has arrived. For the first time in human history, the economic pyramid has flipped: The feeble old now outnumber the vigorous young, and this untenable situation is intensifying a battle between competing cultural agendas. Reporter Julia Davidson-a formerly award-winning journalist seeking to revive a flagging career-is investigating the growing crisis, unaware that her activity makes her a pawn in an ominous conspiracy. Plagued by nightmares about her absent father, Julia finds herself drawn to the quiet strength of a man she meets at a friend's church. As the engrossing plot of FATHERLESS unfolds, Julia will face choices that pit professional success against personal survival in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world.

In the dystopian tradition of books like 1984, Brave New World, and The Hunger Games, FATHERLESS vividly imagines a future in which present-day trends come to sinister fruition. The second and third books in the series, CHILDLESS and GODLESS, will follow at eight-month intervals.

My Review:
Life changing. Wow. Every now and then a book comes along that is entertaining and at the same time so close to the truth that it makes you wonder how soon we will wait to see this very thing happen in America.  FATHERLESS by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner is that book. It is the story of America gone to extreme in that the old, disabled and children are no longer the norm.  It is about a country that is an "all about me" world were men are no longer men and women are no longer women as God created them.  This book gives the reader much to consider. I look forward the the other books in this series, which are CHILDLESS and GODLESS, which will be released later this year.

I received this book from Net Galley and FaithWords for my honest review.

You can purchase this book at the below links:


Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Truth About Breaking Up, Making Up and Moving On

The Truth About Breaking Up, Making Up and Moving On
by Chad Eastham
Thomas Nelson
Published date: Jan. 8,   2013
Teen Boy 13-17
Teen Girl 13-17

Breaking up is hard to do, and it affects almost every teen at some point. This third addition to Chad Eastman’s bestselling series will be a great resource for teens. 
Ending a relationship, or being broken up with, is a common experience for teenagers, but they don’t always know how to deal with those situations in a healthy way. Using humor, Scripture, and practical advice, this book will give girls the tools they need to handle these events in their life and give them some fresh perspective as well. This is also a great resource for parents, youth leaders, school counselors, and anyone working with youth to equip them to walk with the teens who are experiencing heartache and tough decisions about relationships. 
The way people handle relationships as teenagers can set a precedent for how they relate with others for the rest of their lives; this book will give teens a foundation for a lifetime of healthy relationships.

My Review:
I asked to review The Truth About Breaking Up, Making Up and Moving On , by Chad Eastham because I am the grand mother of 7 grand-daughters, four between the ages of 12-16. Chad has a great way of making a serious topic totally fun for teen boys and girls, between the ages of 13-17.  He covers social media (FB, etc) today and its effects on teens as well as adults.  Chad frequently puts himself "out there" and explains how he learned to deal with certain experiences he had problems with. This puts the young reader in a more receptive mood to take advice from the book.  I learned a lot in this book myself which surprised me.  I will be purchasing this book for members of my family.
Thank you, Chad for a much needed book for teens in the social media age we live in.  You will learn how to break up, make up(or if your should) and how to gracefully move on.

I received this book from Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for my honest review.

You may purchased this book at the below links: