Tuesday, July 7, 2020

These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker



These Nameless Things, is the latest book by author Shawn Smucker. I've read several of his previous books and really enjoyed them. This one was a little different and was (according to the author notes) a what if in reference to Dante's Inferno. I know nothing about Dante's Inferno so I was probably not the right one to read and review this book since the allegory was lost on me. To me it was just a story of a village and the odd things that happened to keep the people in place or hurry them along. I don't get much from symbolism or when stories have deeper meanings, I'm a read-for-entertainment type of girl and not one who wants to read stories to make me think. This one just wasn't for me. It was a clean read though and I think would be good for younger people, especially younger men.

This book provided for review by Revell. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

2020 Book List


January

1. A Family-Style Christmas by Carolyne Aarsen
2. Covert Christmas by Hope White
3. Hazardous Homecoming by Dana Mentink
4. Exit Strategy by Shirlee McCoy
5. Payback by Hope White
6. Ten Thousand Charms by Allison Pittman
7. Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
8. Speak Through the Wind by Allison Pittman
9. With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman
10. One More Song to Sing by Lindsay Harrel
11. The Justice Game by Randy Singer

February

12. Robert Frost - Selected Poems
13. When Church Conflict Happens by Michael Hare
14. Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill 
15. Blessed are the Misfits by Brant Hansen (reread)
16. The Protector’s Mission by Margaret Daley
17. The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright
18. Reunion Mission by Virginia Vaughan
19. Bodyguard Reunion by Margaret Daley
20. Wrongly Accused by Laura Scott 
21. Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell
22. The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel 

March

23. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
24. The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson 
25. The Living Room by Robert Whitlow
26. Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright
27. Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant
28. The Traitor’s Pawn by Lisa Harris 

April 

29. The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L'Engle 
30. The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck
31. Gaffe Out Loud by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
32. Joke and Dagger by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
33. Wreck the Halls by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
34. Disillusioned by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
35. Dead Silence by Robin Caroll
36. Random Acts of Malice by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
37. Random Acts of Outrage by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
38. Random Acts of Iniquity by Christy Barritt (Kindle)

May

39. Fanatically in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones (Kindle)
40. Hadley Beckett's Next Dish by Bethany Turner
41. Something to Believe In by Jenny B. Jones (Kindle)
42. Standoff by Patricia Bradley 
43. A Caffeine Conundrum by Angela Ruth Strong (Kindle)
44. It Came Upon A Midnight Crime by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
45. Swept Away by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
46. A Splinter of the Cross by Vicki Flynn (Kindle)


June

47. Stories that Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner  
48. Key Witness by Christy Barritt
49. Cold Case: Clean Getaway by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
50. Cold Case: Clean Break by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
51. While You Were Sweeping by Christy Barritt (Kindle)
52. Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke
53. Midnight Shadows by Carol J. Post
54. Heart Land by Kimberly Stuart

July


55. These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker
56. A Cuppa Trouble by Angela Ruth Strong (Kindle)
57. One Light Still Shines by Marie Monville
58. Desperate Measures by Christy Barritt
59. Hidden Agenda by Christy Barritt
60. Lifeline by Christy Barritt

August





























Thursday, June 4, 2020

Stories that Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner



Stories that Bind Us, the latest by Susie Finkbeiner, has cemented this newer author to the list of my favorites. Very relevant to our times, this book addresses several issues including, death, grief, racism, and mental illness, all while weaving in Biblical truths. The characters came to life for me and the book kept my attention throughout. I never once became bored with the story or wished it to hurry along. I savored this book because the writing was as beautiful as the story. I also loved the little nod to Marvel and Stan. This is a perfect 2020 vacation book as it will give the reader a lot to think about in between chapters. 

About the book:

Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at forty. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what's next, never imagining what God had in mind.
When her estranged sister returns to town, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a five-year-old nephew she never knew she had. In 1960's small-town Michigan, they make an odd pair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful that what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.

This book provided for review by Revell. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Comparison Girl by Shannon Popkin



Comparison Girl, by Shannon Popkin, hits to the heart of every woman who has ever looked at another and felt the sting. Shannon pulls from her experiences and shares her vulnerability (which is sometimes quite brutal) in an effort to show the reader where we should be gaining our worth and to Whom we should compare ourselves. This would be a great book for a group study and is appropriate for women of all ages. Comparison is something we aren't immune from and can lead to envy and jealousy, giving way to bitterness if we don't face it and deal with it. I appreciate Shannon's willingness to teach on this subject. I found myself agreeing with her throughout the entire book and was happy with the solid teaching she offered. 



Enter to win a copy here

About the book:

Women compare constantly—on social media, in their neighborhood, at church, even in the school drop-off lane. They glance sideways and ask themselves, "How do I measure up?" All this assessment feels like a natural way of finding a place in the world. But it pulls them into feelings of inferiority or superiority, guiding them into a trap of antagonism by the enemy.


Satan would like women to strive to measure up, constantly adding to a tally sheet that can't ever be balanced. The way of Jesus is completely upside down from that philosophy. Instead, he says the last shall be first--and the greatest are those who empty themselves, lay down their lives, and serve each other.
 
Through conversations Jesus had and parables he shared, Shannon Popkin has created a seven-week Bible study to address this tendency to compare and judge ourselves and others. Each chapter is divided into lessons, allowing women on a time budget to read a Bible passage, engage in a complete train of thought related to the topic, and then make the content personal--all in one sitting. And the informal teaching tone will make women feel like they're meeting with a trusted friend.


Suited for both individual and group study, Comparison Girl will guide women to leave their measure-up ways behind, connect with those around them, and break free from the shackles of comparison!


Click to read an excerpt

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Standoff by Patricia Bradley

 Standoff, by Patricia Bradley, is the first in a new series entitled Nachez Trace Park Rangers. The action opens on the first page and the reader is whisked into a story with a little romance, several murders, intrigue, suspense and action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I like to read while exercising on a stationery bike every morning and sometimes the books I choose make my workout longer, this one seemed to make my 45-minutes fly by. It's a clean read and I appreciated that. There were a lot of characters and I had to really concentrate to remember who was who while reading, that was the only downside for me. This book took place in Mississippi, a state I've never been to, and it was interesting to learn a little about the area through the eyes of the characters. 
This book provided for review by Revell

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Hadley Beckett's Next Dish by Bethany Turner

Hadley Beckett's Next Dish, by Bethany Turner, is a delightfully fun novel to read. Two cooking-show hosts sparring with each other and themselves as they work through a competition and then a chef-focused television series. At first they count the days until they no longer need to see each other and then the walls begin to drop and they begin to somewhat get along. I liked the behind the scenes look at cooking shows, the explanation of dishes I've never heard of before, and the melting of hearts. This is a clean read and I appreciate that. 

About the book:

Months ago, hot-tempered celebrity chef Max Cavanagh publicly fell from grace, leaving southern belle celebrity chef Hadley Beckett at the center of the drama. Now forced to work together again, these polar opposites will either fall in love or burn down the kitchen.

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel’s other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.
When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he’s sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public’s good graces is to work alongside Hadley.
As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.

This book provided for review by Revell 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Traitor's Pawn by Lisa Harris


The Traitor's Pawn, by Lisa Harris, is a suspense-filled action novel with a touch of light romance. Aubrey Grayson is a detective carrying hurt from her father abandoning her when she was a child. Her childhood friend, FBI agent Jack Shannon, is back in town searching for someone selling secrets to China. Their paths cross after many years apart, both of them ignore the spark before them. The book opens with action in a supposed attempt on Aubrey's life and the trail circles around to parts of her life she doesn't expect. I loved that this was a clean read with enough action and suspense to keep your attention without any gory scenes or obscenities. There is a theme of forgiveness that runs through this book and the characters learn the freedom that comes with it. 

This book provided for review by Revell