House at Saltwater Point – A Book Review

The House at Saltwater Point 
Colleen Coble

My first experience with Colleen Coble was the first book in this Lavendar Tides series titled
The View from Rainshadow Bay (A Lavender Tides Novel). It was such an interesting story from the very start. When I was done I couldn’t wait until the next book in the series came out. And here it is! It officially releases Tuesday July 3, 2018. You don’t want to miss it.

Synopsis

Ellie Blackmore is making  a name for herself as a house flipper. But when her sister Mackenzie disappears, Ellie can’t focus on anything but uncovering what happened. Her only clue is the bloodstain on the deck of Mackenzie’s boat. Ellie knows her sister isn’t on the best of terms with her ex-husband, Jason, but he wouldn’t kill her — would he?

Coast Guard intelligence officer Grayson Bradshaw believes Mackenzie faked her own death after stealing a seized cocaine shipment. The problem is convincing Ellie who seems to view him as the true enemy.

Both Ellie and Grayson want truth, but truth — and family — is often more complex than it first appears. From international terrorism to the peaceful lavender fields of Puget Sound, The House at Saltwater Point (A Lavender Tides Novel) is a thrilling race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.(From the back of the book)

My Thoughts

Have you ever read a book that captures your attention and is written so well that it keeps you guessing the entire time? Yea, that’s this book!!! I was not able to predict what would happen next. It keeps you on your toes. It’s definitely a book you could finish in a day or so because you can’t put it down. I loved that I didn’t know what would happen next. The characters were authentic and lifelike. They had real emotions, real interactions, and were overall well developed. I loved the little bit of romance included but did wish there was a tad more. There were storylines within the story and lots of depth to the plot. It’s helpful to have read the first book in the series but this book can be read without having read it. I can’t wait for book 3 in the series. Colleen Coble is an author you don’t want to miss. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Ascetically speaking, the covers of the books in the Lavender Tides series are so pleasing to the eye. They are gorgeous.

I received a copy of this book from the author as a member of her launch team. I was in no way obligated to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

To purchase a copy visit:

For more information about Colleen Coble and her work visit her website https://colleencoble.com/
or her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/colleencoblebooks/

*Affiliate Links included. I receive a few pennies for your purchase at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog! 

Falling for You by Becky Wade – A Book Review

Falling for You
By Becky Wade

Synopsis
Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is reveling in the peace and quiet of her hometown right up until the moment she comes face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, Corbin Stewart.
Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants… except where Willow is concerned. He’s never been able to forget her, but Willow makes it crystal clear she’s unwilling to risk her heart again.
When a decade’s old mystery in Corbin’s family brings them together, will the heartbreak in their past and the complications in their present keep them from falling for one another all over again?

(From the back cover of the book)


About the Author
Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and INSPY Award. Learn more at http://www.beckywade.com

(From the back cover of the book)


My Review

This was my first experience reading a book by Becky Wade. I had high hopes because of how beautiful the covers of her books are. My expectations were exceeded when I read the book. The characters are charming, funny, and so real. I wanted to have them as my friends. They weren’t surface but deep. The story took twists and turns that kept me interested. I loved the tension between Corbin and Willow. I was rooting for them and wanting them to love each other. I struggled with some of the text/email/message content between chapters.  I found it confusing some of the time. I wondered if it was necessary. But I LOVED THIS STORY! It’s a fast read. One where you stay up way too late at night to keep reading… “just one more chapter!” It’s romantic, funny, mysterious, and just so fun. I can’t wait to check out some of Becky Wade’s other books.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany Publishers as a member of their blogger program. I was in no way obligated to write a positive review. All opinions stated here are my own.

Purchase a copy for yourself here:

Or a copy of book 1 in the Bradford Sister Series here:

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Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley – A Book Review

Justice Betrayed 
By Patricia Bradley
A Book Review

Synopsis

It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elivis impersonators — one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken — she’s forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic’s home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend’s killer?

When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four? (From book’s back cover)

My Review

Do you ever watch crime shows on tv? This is one of those in written form! High action, suspense, intrigue, irony, murder, and a little bit of romantic tension make this story a thrilling read from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down! I had never read anything by this author before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It met and exceeded my expectation. Loved the subtle references to scripture. It wasn’t in your face and obnoxious. There was just enough to get the reader thinking. Characters were well crafted as was the plot. There were twists and turns with characters as the story progressed. As people’s stories came out the story blossomed in a way I didn’t expect. I would love to see more about these characters in the future! I will definitely read more by Patricia Bradley. I have a feeling she will quickly become one of my favorite authors. Don’t miss this book! It’s a must read.

I received a copy of this book as apart of the publisher’s blogging program. I was under no compulsion to write a review. All opinions stated here are my own.

To purchase a copy click here:


Read some of Patricia Bradley’s other books here:

For more information about Patricia Bradley visit her webpage https://ptbradley.com/
facebook https://www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor/

Affiliate Links Included. I make a small portion of sales made through the links at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!  

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

 

The Captured Bride
by Michelle Griep
A Book Review

Michelle Griep captured my attention in her book 12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Book 1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. It was such a unique story full of mystery, history, romance, and deception and I was fascinated by her writing style. The plot was so well thought out. It was definitely a book I was sad to see end.

When I saw Ms. Griep was apart of the Daughter’s Of the Mayflower series I was excited to read her book The Captured Bride: Daughters of the Mayflower – book 3! It is the story of “Mercy Lytton,.. a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause… to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not only her life that is threatened. It is her heart. Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort — gold stolen from him in the first place. But as it turns out, the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought. Can love grow and survive divided loyalties in the backcountry wilderness of the Colony of New York?” (Back cover description)

What a great adventure story; full of action, intrigue, mystery, love and loss! Ms. Griep is a wonderful storyteller who captures her reader and doesn’t let them go. She weaves mystery into a story that leaves you at the end of your seat at every twist and turn. Love the slow love that develops between Mercy and Elias. There were hooks that I never expected and tons of action that kept me reading hours into the night. I questioned the addition of a few of the characters that just showed up for what seems like such a brief part of the story. I wish they would have been tied back in again at the end. They seemed like they didn’t serve a very strong purpose. This is my favorite of the Daughter’s of the Mayflower series yet. I loved this story and gave it 5 stars. Ms. Grieps characters are so deep and richly developed. Her stories are layers deep and captivating.

For a FREE PREVIEW click here:
The Captured Bride (Free Preview): Daughters of the Mayflower – book 3

I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions stated here are my own.

For more information about Michelle Griep visit her website: http://www.michellegriep.com
or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michellegriep/

You can find books 1 & 2 of the Daughter’s of the Mayflower Series here:

(Affiliate links included. I receive a small percentage from purchases made through these links at no cost to you. Thank you for helping to support my blog!) 

Finding Strength & Hope in God’s Word

Finding Strength & Hope in God’s Word
A Devotional for a Mother’s Heart

At the beginning of the year I decided to do a Chronological Bible reading plan. I’ve tried them in the past and got to like Numbers 3 and called it quits. I thought I would try it again and said to myself “This is my year! I’m not quitting after I’ve read about how so and so begat so and so!” I chose to do it so I could have a more linear understanding of the Bible. I started to see what a relational God we have. I was seeing God and Jesus in every corner of the Bible! He wants us to know him and have an intimate relationship with him. God revealed to me during my reading in Psalm 119 that we are strengthened according to his word and we can find hope in his word! By being in his word more consistently my understanding of who God is and how much he delights in his children when they live abiding lives of obedience has grown exponentially.

I have experienced such sweet times of worship at my kitchen table where the Lord meets me in his word and jumps off the page and I see him in my life. I see him in the way the sky looks painted by his finger, or when I spot a new tomato in my garden, when I think about how the events of my life are being orchestrated by a loving and caring father, or when I see him sending friends knocking at my door at just the right moment. Even as my kids are running around playing and it’s chaotic, I have these sweet moments of worship after he reveals himself as I read.

As we grow in the knowledge of God’s character through the study of his word, we can’t help but be strengthened in our love for him. We cannot love what we don’t know. Just like when we fell in love with our husbands. You had to get to know him first. God wants you to fall in love with him.

When we know God we can trust him with our kids, we can trust him with our husbands, we can trust him with our hearts and lives and have hope for the future because we know he is trustworthy, steadfast, just, faithful, merciful, loving, kind and patient.

After 4 years of homeschooling, we decided to send our kids to school and through the whole process I’ve heard the Lord over and over whisper to me “trust me!” Left to my own devices, I become overwhelmed and afraid. Knowing who God is strengthens my resolve and helps me to trust in him because I know he’s got it! My fear can’t stand at the feet of Jesus.

Give the Lord what you can and trust that he will honor your faithfulness in the small things. He can take 2 minutes of interrupted reading and turn it into a huge learning experience. Pray that he will open your eyes and reveal himself to you! Pray that he will give you the time! There are plenty of ways to spend time in the word while your kids are running around. Include them in it and read a kid’s devotional together or read the bible together and talk about it. Post scripture around your home. Listen to sermons or podcasts while cooking or in the car. It is ok if your kids don’t get their kiddy music all the time.

There’s eternal value in spending time reading the word and growing in knowledge and understanding of who God is through his word. Take the time, even if it’s just a few minutes, even if it’s full of interruptions and even if it’s not what you hoped in terms of depth or time. God can use anything!

In His Image by Jen Wilkin – A Book Review

In His Image by Jen Wilkin 
A Book Review

I was introduced to Jen Wilkin and her teaching about a year ago when my church’s women’s ministry did her 1 Peter study. I loved her approach to Bible Study. I was excited to see a new book from her. Jen Wilkin is an author and Bible teacher. She has a background in women’s ministry, and has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. She is the author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds and None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing). (Bio from From In His Image back cover) In usual Jen Wilkin fashion, she has created another book that is written in love but packs a punch! This is the best book I’ve read in a long time. 

The goal of the book is to help the reader know God and allow him to make us more like Him. “God’s will for our lives is that we conform to the image of Christ…” (In His Image p21) Wilkin gently but firmly guides the reader to know more about Gods character and challenges us to desire to reflect that character. Very practical. The application side of the book is fabulous. Wilkin has such a great way of saying it like it is but in a loving way. EVERYTHING is backed by scripture. This is not fluff. It is deep and meaty. I read it slowly so I could chew on every nugget of wisdom. My understanding of who God is has increased tremendously after reading this book. My bible reading has also gotten better with this increased understanding of who God is. Great book. 

For more information about Jen Wilkin & her ministry check out her facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/wilkinjen/?ref=br_rs

You can purchase a copy of Ms. Wilkin’s books here:

I received a digital copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. It was so good I bought a copy!
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Radical Hospitality

A Book Review of Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt

The word hospitality gets tossed around like a squishy baby in a room full of women. However, do we really have a true understanding of what Biblical hospitality truly is? In her book, Just Open the Door, Jen Schmidt describes hospital in this way: “Hospitality, unlike entertaining, treats everyone as a guest of honor rather than grasping at honor for yourself. Opening your door has nothing to do with the actual setting, the guest list, or the food The atmosphere can be exactly the same yet have very different results based on the heart attitude of the one who welcomes.” (Just Open the Door page 8) When we have people in our homes it can be hospitality, when we talk with someone on the street or in the halls of church it can be hospitality. Hospitality doesn’t have to be limited to the department of church that plates up cookies and brews coffee. Hospitality is a heart attitude; one that says “You are welcome here in my home, in my heart, and I want to know you!” We can demonstrate this hospitality no matter where we are.

I think it’s interesting that at the basis of the word hospitality is the word hospital. When we invite people into our lives and we open our hearts to them, we are like a hospital of sorts… not only for our hearts but for theirs. When we take time to know and love people healing can happen. We are called into community. Hospitality is a community builder. Christ gathered and invited people into his circle and we are called to do the same. We get to gather and love on each other.

An important question we need to ask ourselves is “Why do we open the door to others?” Is it for me or for them? We can serve Christ by loving and serving others. Another important question to ask yourself is “Whose life are you leaving a mark on?” and “Who is leaving a mark on yours?” Hospitality doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect. It’s all about the mark being left on each others lives. Not what they think of our fabulous pinterest worthy decorations and whether our home is spotless.

Just Open the Door does a fabulous job of describing what true Biblical Hospitality is and what it isn’t. The author is so relatable and funny! She tells of her own journey towards true hospitality in a way that invites the reader in on her journey and encourages them to want to take the plunge. She tells of the emotions and struggles involved, the insecurities of inviting people over last minute with no time to clean, and the joys all these encounters brought to her life. I love the Elevate the Ordinary sections full of practical application and ideas! The Dear Jen sections ask common questions everyone wants to ask but might be too afraid, and answers them in a graceful authentic way. The chapters are short and easy to read. I found myself underlining, laughing, and saying “huh! that’s so true! Never thought of it that way!” over and over. This is a well thought out book that is so applicable and necessary. I would highly recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from Lifeway in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated here are my own.

You can find a copy of the book here as well as a copy of the study guide.

 

For more information about Jen Schmidt, free resources and ideas for all things check out her blog at http://beautyandbedlam.com or her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/beautyandbedlam

*Affiliate links included. 

Finding the Love of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation

Finding The Love of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation by Elyse Fitzpatrick

A Book Review

Ever wonder what the point of reading the Bible is? It’s just a history book. What does it mean for me today? I can’t understand it. Do any of these thoughts go through your head when someone mentions the Bible? This book is here to help you; to answer your questions and help you see how the Bible connects within itself and also connects and is very relevant to us today. The author begins by explaining why the Bible is important and what it is ultimately about. It’s not about me. It’s about God. It is God’s love story! Then she goes on to introduce and explain 4 categories to use while reading the Bible to help you see Jesus in stories about Moses or Abraham or any other place in the Bible, because Jesus is all over the Bible. He isn’t just in the Gospels (New Testament) when he walked the Earth. The Bible comes alive when you can see how Jesus is in it all; even before he was born to Mary. Ms. Fitzpatrick then uses these 4 categories to show the reader how the love of Jesus is found in the Books of Moses, in Israel’s stories, in his songs & sayings, in his prophets, in his law, and in the gospels. She writes clearly so the reader can follow and understand. Her writing is broken up into easy to understand chunks. I would recommend reading the book slowly so you can fully digest everything she is saying. Then open your Bible so you can practice what you’ve learned for yourself.

This book is geared more towards women but is helpful for everyone. It can be used by new Christians or those who have been saved for years. There’s something for every stage. The author is passionate about what she writes and wants the reader to see the joy of reading their Bible. I found the book extremely applicable and helpful for my own Bible reading. I write the 4 categories in my journal so I can have them handy when I’m reading. I would recommend this book!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions stated here are my own.

Check it out here:

For more information about the author check out her facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/elysemfitzpatrick/

Some of her other works:

 

*Affiliate Links included. I earn a few cents for purchases through these links at no cost to you.
 

 

Adamant by Lisa Bevere

Adamant by Lisa Bevere

Adamant: Finding Truth in a Universe of Opinions is Lisa Bevere’s newest book published in April 2018. I was intrigued by this book and was excited to have an opportunity to read and review it. It seems as though everyday we are inundated with people’s opinions through social media. Everyone wants to share how they feel about all the latest hot items, how the president got off his airplane, hollywood stars and their extravagant lifestyles, what new health trend is exploding onto the market, how we should handle guns & all the violence, and the list goes on and on. Where is truth in all of this? What is truth? How can we as Christians stand up to all the various opinions floating out there? Should we just ignore them and push our own opinions? Everyone has opinions. But it’s not opinions we should be basing our lives and feelings around. We should be living for the truth; the truth found in God’s word. God and what he says should be the moral compass for our lives. He should be the rock at the center of our lives. The one we run to, fall back on and rely on when the chaos of the world is screaming at us from every direction.

In comes Ms. Bevere’s book! Do you ever use the word adamant? What are you adamant about? Did you know the word began as a noun? An invincible stone, adamas in Greek. Weapons formed out of this material wouldn’t break in battle. They were invincible, unchanging, and forever. Ms. Bevere calls Christ our adamas. He is our rock, our cornerstone, invincible, unchanging and forever. I loved this picture! He is the only thing we can rely on fully. He is the only one who can be trusted. The book lays out all the reasons Christ is the only adamant. He is adamantly intimate and constant. He is adamant in love and in hate. He is adamant that we love; adamant for truth. He calls for adamant transformation. We are adamant in Christ. The author finishes by charging the reader to be adamant in Christ for Christ in this world of chaos and opinions. We have the truth of Christ in us. It’s calling out wanting to be given to those around us. We are called to share the truth of Christ with others. This book helps us be confident in who Christ is and who he made us to be. Through scripture, personal experience and wisdom gained over years of Bible study, Bevere shares her heart with the reader in a loving, gentle but firm way. I loved this book and know you will too! The chapters are a little long for my liking and I think it would make it easier to read if they were broken up a little more. But take your time, read slowly, and glean from all the golden nuggets you will find in this book.

I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review. All opinions here are my own.

Check out other books by Lisa Bevere here!

For more information about the author check out her website at https://messengerinternational.org/lisabevere/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisabevere.page/

 

Breaking the Fear Cycle Book Review

 

Breaking the Fear Cycle by Maria Furlough is in many ways the best book I’ve read all year. The author begins the book with the heart wrenching story of the loss of their 4th child Gideon to Potter’s syndrome. She tells of the fears she faced head on and the way her fear took over and drove her to decisions she might not have otherwise made. She then tells of the ways the Lord intervened and had a greater plan for Gideon and her. This plan wasn’t an escape as quick as you can plan. It was a plan that would face the crippling fear holding hands with God and be forever changed because of it.

The book is FULL of scripture, prayer and heart probing questions. Each chapter is ended with a prayer and a list of questions for meditation and self reflection. The author encourages journaling and getting quiet with God to allow Him to show you your fears and the control they have over you. Through scripture examples and examples of her friends and acquaintances, the author illustrates her points and brings them to real life for the reader. She connects our fear with our misunderstanding God and who he is. She clearly combats that with guiding the reader to scripture to see who God is and why we can trust him with even our greatest fears.

I love the authors vulnerability. She instantly gains the trust of the reader when she says it like it is. I don’t see her as someone who is high and mighty and has it all together. Instead I can see myself in her. I can relate to her. I have an increased bravery to face my own fears because of the way she faced hers. Don’t miss out on this book! It doesn’t disappoint.

For more information about the book https://www.breakingthefearcycle.com/
or the author’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/maria.furlough/

I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated here are my own.

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