Thursday, June 17, 2021

Crazy for You (Deep Haven Collection)

 


Crazy for You 

(Deep Haven Collection 3) 

Paperback – ebook, audio

May 25, 2021

My thoughts: every once in awhile you come across a book that grabs
 your interest from the very first page and holds it until the very end. 
Crazy for you was one of those books. I did not want it to end. Fans of 
Susie May Warrens deep Haven series will be over the moon excited to 
have more books this Northern Minnesota town on the shores of lake 
Superior. I wanted to read the book again the second time right away 
and it's rare that I want to do that. If you like Susan May Warren's books
 and you loved her deep Haven series, you will want to read these spinoffs
 set in the same area with well-loved and familiar characters. I was given a 
copy free and all opinions are my own









Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Charm Bracelet

 


The Charm Bracelet

Kindle Edition, 157 pages



When Lisa Archer’s charm bracelet is caught in a mall escalator, she is rescued by a flippant but dashing EMT. Steve Rollins seems to understand only too well Lisa’s mixed feelings toward her escort, Dr. Bryan Cooper, who gave her the bracelet.

When Lisa and Steve meet again, the sparks fly. Steve is sure Lisa hates him, and Lisa can’t help comparing vibrant Steve to mediocre Bryan, although Steve makes her furious every time she sees him. She tells Bryan she no longer wants to wear the charm bracelet, angering Bryan, and both are injured in an auto accident. When Steve responds to the emergency call and finds that Lisa is one of the accident victims, his guilt weighs him down.

Will he have the chance to ask Lisa’s forgiveness and start over in his clumsy attempts to win her heart? With a lot of prayer and some manipulation from Steve’s sister, he may be able to charm his way into Lisa’s life.

This romantic novel has elements of Christian faith. The e-book also includes a bonus short story, “Wandering Irises,” by Susan Page DAVIS

My thoughts: the charm bracelet is a charming novella about a woman 
who's been courted by the same man for 3 years with no commitment 
except for a charm bracelet when she gets a new charm every 3 months. 
An accident causes a paramedic to come rescue her when her charm
 bracelets gets caught and escalator. Thus begins a rather hit and miss
 relationship that didn't seem to go anywhere until suddenly it did. The
 story was sweet, probability level was low, but it was a nice read. It was
 told more than showed but it was still enjoyable. If you like novellas and
 love charm bracelets and paramedics you will love the story. I was given
 a copy free and all opinions are my own.







Monday, June 14, 2021

Safe and Sound


Safe and Sound 

Paperback – ebook

March 10, 2021


  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08YP2H4PJ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published 
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 350 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8719977874

  • A call for help draws Police Chief Cassidy Chambers deep into a wooded, isolated area on Lantern Beach. What she finds shakes her to the core—a friend is bleeding out, and his last words before dying are: They know. 

  • Figuring out who killed her friend and what his final words meant becomes Cassidy’s mission. Have members of the notorious gang that placed a bounty on her head discovered her new life? Or is someone else trying to teach her a twisted lesson? 

  • Elements from past investigations surface and threaten more than one person’s safety. Cassidy and her husband, Ty, must make sense of the deadly secrets that unfold at every turn. If not, the life they’ve built together might come to a permanent end.
  • My thoughts: this book is wrapping up all the loose ends in the previous
     books in the series. If you read the first few books and wondered about 
    all the loose threads you will want to read safe and sound to find out 
    what happens. There are still plenty of twists and turns so you won't know 
    what to expect but this is a nice conclusion to a series. If you like suspense 
    or cozy mysteries you will want to read Christy Barrett books. 
    I was given a copy  free. And all opinions are my own






     

    Thursday, June 10, 2021

    Part 2 of an Interview with Amberly Neese, Author of Common Ground

     


    The Scriptures hold the key to living at peace despite our differences. In each week of the four-week Common Ground: Loving Others Despite Our Differences Bible study, Amberly Neese combines stories of sibling rivalries from the Bible with personal experience, humor, hope, and her love of God’s Word. Common Ground provides a how-to for overcoming conflict by examining sibling relationships from the Old and New Testaments including:
    • Joseph and His Brothers: How to Combat Jealousy
    • Moses, Miriam, and Aaron: How to Work Together Despite Differences
    • Mary, Martha, and Lazarus: How to Appreciate the Contributions of Others
    • Rachel and Leah: Having Compassion for the Plight of Others
    These stories point readers to peace and reconciliation in all their relationships, reassuring them that it is possible to find common ground with everyone—despite their differences. Each week focuses on one story and overarching theme, exploring a primary Scripture text as well as other related passages to help give clarity on how to love one another despite differences and disagreements. Each day’s lesson starts with a Scripture Focus and Today’s Key Verses, includes questions and exercises for reflection and application, and ends with a Call to Action.

    Part 2 of an Interview
    with Amberly Neese,
    Author of Common Ground

     

    Q: What can we learn about Moses and his siblings about working together despite our differences?
     
    Moses, Aaron, and Miriam grew to understand true leadership. They also understood they were stronger together. Moses was the shepherd, Aaron was the priest, and Miriam was the prophetess. Moses led the people physically, Aaron led them in the religious practices, and Miriam led them in song. Moses, Miriam, and Aaron were also not without weakness, but their teamwork has earned them a place in our hearts as leaders, pioneers, and example of people who worked hard to find common ground for God’s glory.
     
    Q: How can we move from seeing things as a competition to appreciating the talents and contributions of others?
     
    The first step, of course, is to decide to celebrate others. Moses and his siblings understood that asking for help, recognizing one cannot do it on his/her own, and practicing humility makes one stronger.
     
    Moses and Aaron were both humble enough to work in tandem as the leaders of God’s people. The two brothers: God’s chosen prophet and shepherd, Moses, and God’s chosen high priest, Aaron, were not threatened by the other’s gifts. Moses was relieved when God called on Aaron to help shoulder the responsibility of speaking on behalf of God. 

    Throughout their ministry, together and separate, they were not afraid to let the other shine. During the long journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, Aaron often took a backseat to his brother. Aaron was not always prominent or active; he often played a supporting role.
     
    If we can learn from their example and choose to root for the rise of others, we begin to understand our connectedness as the Body of Christ.
     
    Q: How does looking deeper into another’s situation help us to find common ground?
     
    Looking more deeply into the life of another allows us to practice empathy and foster connection. If we are going to find common ground with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and frankly, with ourselves, we must put aside our judgment, keep our eyes on Jesus, and stop trying to earn His attention and affection. We can focus on that which we share—the forgiveness and love of God, our need for grace, our desire to know Him more, instead of our differences.
     
    Q: Tell us a little bit about the format of the lessons in Common Ground—what do readers do on their own, then how does coming together as a group work?
     
    For each week of the four-week study, there are personal lessons divided into five sections, or days, which participants may choose to complete each day or all at once depending on their schedules and preferences. In the participant’s guide, there is a Group Session Guide at the end of each week’s lessons to facilitate the session. In addition to these guides, the Group Session Guide Leader Notes provide additional helps including a main objective, key scripture references, and overview for each session. There is a 20-25 minute video for each week, available for purchase, that corresponds to each week’s study.

    Common Ground: Loving Others Despite Our Differences
    A Study of Sibling Rivalries in the Bible
    By Amberly Neese
     
    Available May 4, 2021 from Abingdon Women
    Study Guide with Leader Helps: 9781791014506 / $16.99
    DVD ISBN: 9781791014520 / $44.99
    About the Author
    Amberly Neese is a speaker, humorist, and encourager with a passion for “GRINspiring” others. As a featured speaker for the Aspire Women’s Events and the main host/comedienne for Marriage Date Night, two popular Christian events that tour nationally, she enjoys touching the hearts and minds and funny bones of people all over the country. The Bible says that laughter is good medicine, and she has found it’s also like glue—helping the truths of God’s Word to “stick.” Neese loves to remind women of the power and hope found in Scripture. Through a flair for storytelling and a love for Jesus, she candidly opens up her story alongside God’s Word to encourage others in their walk with Him.
     
    With a master’s degree from Biola University, Neese serves as an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University and the Master Connector for Inspiring Growth, an organization developed to equip and encourage growth in leaders and businesses. She is also the author of the women’s Bible studies Common Ground and The Belonging Project as well as the devotional The Friendship Initiative.
     
    She and her husband, Scott, have two teenagers and live in Prescott, Arizona, where they enjoy the great outdoors, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars.
     
    For more information, visit her website www.amberlyneese.com. She is also active on Facebook (@Amberly Neese – Comedian/Speaker), Twitter (@amberlyneese), and Instagram (@amberlyneese).








    Tuesday, June 8, 2021

    Bookshop by the Sea


    Bookshop by the Sea 

    Paperback – ebook, audio

    April 13, 2021

    by Denise Hunter  (Author) 


  • Publisher : Thomas Nelson 
  • Paperback : 336 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0785240471


  • Sophie Lawson should be enjoying her sister’s wedding day. But nothing could have prepared her to see the best man again.

    After her mother became bedridden and her father bailed on the family, Sophie found herself serving as a second mother to her twin brother, Seth, and younger sister, Jenna. Sophie supported her siblings through their college years, putting aside her own dream of opening a bookshop in Piper’s Cove—the quaint North Carolina beach town they frequented as children.

    Now it’s finally time for Sophie to follow her own pursuits. Seth has a new job, and Jenna is set to marry her college beau in Piper’s Cove. But the destination wedding reunites Sophie with best man Aiden Maddox, her high school sweetheart who left her without a backward glance.

    My thoughts: Bookshop by by the sea this classic Denise Hunter romance. 
  • The pages sizzled with the attraction between the two main characters. I couldn't
  •  put this book down and I wanted to sit down and read it again the second time 
  • right away. Denise Hunter is one of my favorite romance writers with good reason.
  •  If you like romance pick up a copy of Bookshop by the sea. This would be a great 
  • Beach read this summer. I was given a copy free and all opinions on my own.







  • Monday, June 7, 2021

    Finding Home (Within the Castle Gates 4)


    Finding Home 

    (Within the Castle Gates 4) 

    Paperback – ebook

    May 18, 2021



    Two hearts longing for home.

    A memorable first encounter brought them together, but then Susannah Stanley and Nicholas Pennington were torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. From the Lake District in Northern England to a Moroccan port along the African coast and the Napoleonic Wars in between, they struggle to hold onto hope they will someday be reunited.

    After being supplanted by her stepmother’s schemes and the betrayal of a friend, they finally meet again in the most unlikely of places. Now the battle is on to reclaim their rightful inheritance.

    Nicholas has saved hundreds of lives, but can he save their future and restore their home?

    If you like faith-filled romance, Regency era intrigue, and fairy-tale endings, then you’ll love this emotional tale from the Within the Castle Gates series by Candee Fick. Get Finding Home today and be immersed in another time.



    My thoughts: if you like castles and historical romances set in 
    ancient Great Britain then you would love the series. This newest
     book is more Irish for Scottish in tone. I don't understand the ancient
     language that's used in a song the author quoted which took away 
    from the story some in my opinion, but otherwise it was cute and had 
    tones of similarity with some  of the other books in the series. I am 
    looking forward to the next book in the series which is supposed to 
    be a contemporary. Again, if you love castles and historical romances
     you will love the series. Check it out. I was given a copy free. 
    All opinions are my own.




     

    Sunday, June 6, 2021

    Matthias by Heidi Dru Kortman

     

    Matthias

    Acts 1 and 2

     

     

    I saw Jesus ascend to heaven four days ago. Since his resurrection, we believers have been meeting with him every day, alternating between the temple courts, and this upper room, where the Christ last shared a Passover meal with us. He taught us about the Kingdom of God until his final minute on earth. The room is packed, and 120 of us make the space warm, but no one dozes. Peter has lifted his hands for our attention, and we all want to hear him.

    “Scripture had to be fulfilled,” Peter says. “Judas, who was one of our number and shared in this ministry, is dead. All Jerusalem has heard about this, and therefore another prophecy must be fulfilled. ‘May another take his place of leadership.’ ” Peter pauses. “Choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

    Whispers fill the room. People exchange glances, shrug, and shake their heads. Not many present fill those qualifications. I do, and I hope that one of the others might be chosen, since I have no idea how I’ll ever be able to witness to the ends of the earth. I have trouble making myself understood here in Jerusalem. How will I learn foreign languages?

    Joseph Barsabbas Justus moves to the front, near Peter, and I relax. He’s much more confident than I, and would fill Judas’s place well. Peter beckons to me, and after a moment, I join them.

    Peter leads the assembly in prayer. We ask Jesus to tell us His choice of a replacement for Judas. When Peter finishes, servants bring in lots. Each man draws and casts his lot, and when the numbers are counted, the appointment is mine! Peter lays a hand on my head.

    “Matthias,” he says, “the Lord Jesus has made his choice clear. You are to take up the work Judas once did.” 

    I draw a tense breath and nod. Keeping monetary accounts for the believers is simple, compared to being a witness. Jesus chose me. But I still don’t feel ready.

    In the last six days, I’ve learned that the other disciples aren’t all confident, either. Peter seems subdued, and spends much time in study of the lesser prophets’ scrolls. The fear I knew after our Lord’s crucifixion no longer disturbs me, but I’m on edge, anticipating the gift of power Jesus promised. Will it come today?

    At one moment I’m talking to Matthew Levi, and in the next I cannot hear him even if he shouts, because the room is filled with a wind-like roar. None of my clothes blow, and I don’t feel breeze in my beard. The flame at the wick of each lamp burns steadily.

    When the room grows brighter, I look for the reason. There’s a large flame above our heads, but it burns no wood. It’s like the burning in the bush Moses saw. As I stare, it separates into small flames that hover above each person.

    In that instant I know I’m prepared to work with the disciples. I realize what I’ll say to the Cappadocian Jew who has been staying at the inn near my home. He’ll be overjoyed to learn that God has provided Jesus, and he’ll never need another Passover lamb.

    I tug on Matthew Levi’s sleeve, to tell him, and my words are in Cappadocian. He grins and answers me in Pamphylian, but we understand one another. The wind-sound is replaced by one hundred twenty voices, praising our God and Savior in every language spoken by believers in the God of Abraham.

    Peter climbs the stairs to the roof. The other disciples and I follow. Thousands crowd the street before the house. Peter raises his voice. “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was accredited to you by miracles, wonders and signs…You put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead.”

    Someone below screams “what shall we do,” and Peter pleads with him to repent. It’s not the Cappadocian I know, but I’ll tell him when we meet.

     


     

     

    Heidi

     


    Heidi Dru Kortman DTM

    God's gifts and call are irrevocable.

    heididrukortman.com.

     

    Heidi Dru Kortman, a CWG Apprentice graduate, ACFW member since 2004, and Word Weaver member has published devotionals in various newsletters, and a collected volume of devotionals. Her poetry, flash fiction, and short stories have appeared in small magazines, and a website. She is applying herself to the task of writing smoothly polished fiction.

     





    Tuesday, June 1, 2021

    Anna In Love (The Bishop's Daughters)


    Anna In Love 

    (The Bishop's Daughters, 5) 

    Paperback – ebook

    May 11, 2021

    by Diane Craver  (Author)


  • ASIN : B094L58YL9
  • Publisher : Independently published 
  • Paperback : 206 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 979-8501726420

  • When Wyatt Winslow asks Anna King to go with him on his plane, will she risk displeasing her bishop father by doing something against their Ordnung?Eighteen-year-old Anna King wants to experience new things before she decides to join her Amish church. Although she enjoys being a midwife, Anna talks with her new friend, Wyatt Winslow, about doing something different. She wonders if college might be a possibility for her to get a nursing degree. She might even return to working as a veterinarian assistant. The handsome Wyatt likes talking with Anna about her future. Although her bishop father wouldn’t like her spending time with Wyatt, her friend Maggie invited him to their weekly Tuesday lunches. Wyatt stays with his Grandma Mattie for the summer because his grandfather died recently. He wants to be there for her and to help his Amish relatives with farm work. Wyatt was surprised and deeply hurt when his college girlfriend dumped him after their graduation. He can’t help being attracted to Anna. He asks her to go flying with him, but will she risk it? Flying is forbidden by her church district. She hasn’t taken her kneeling vows, so what could be the problem? If she asks for permission, her father will definitely say no. Anna doesn’t like to be secretive, but she wants adventure in her life.When his cousin, Clint Lambright, becomes interested in the beautiful Anna and takes her home after a youth get-together, Wyatt isn’t pleased. He doesn’t want the competition, especially since Clint is Amish. Anna notices Wyatt never complains about missing certain things like: electricity, air conditioning, and television. Would Wyatt be able to leave his world to join their Plain church, so they could have a future together? In spite of Clint’s interest in her, Anna feels God might have brought Wyatt to Fields Corner because he could be the one for her. Eighteen-year-old Anna King wants to experience new things before she decides to join her Amish church. Although she enjoys being a midwife, Anna talks with her new friend, Wyatt Winslow, about doing something different. She wonders if college might be a possibility for her to get a nursing degree. She might even return to working as a veterinarian assistant. The handsome Wyatt likes talking with Anna about her future. Although her bishop father wouldn’t like her spending time with Wyatt, her friend Maggie invited him to their weekly Tuesday lunches. Wyatt stays with his Grandma Mattie for the summer because his grandfather died recently. He wants to be there for her and to help his Amish relatives with farm work. Wyatt was surprised and deeply hurt when his college girlfriend dumped him after their graduation. He can’t help being attracted to Anna. He asks Anna to go flying with him, but will she risk it? Flying is forbidden by her church district. She hasn’t taken her kneeling vows, so what could be the problem? If she asks for permission, her father will definitely say no. Anna doesn’t like to be secretive, but she wants adventure in her life.When his cousin, Clint Lambright, becomes interested in the beautiful Anna and takes her home after a youth get-together, Wyatt isn’t pleased. He doesn’t want the competition, especially since Clint is Amish. Anna notices Wyatt never complains about missing certain things like: electricity, air conditioning, and television. Would Wyatt be able to leave his world to join their Plain church, so they could have a future together? In spite of Clint’s interest in her, Anna feels God might have brought Wyatt to Fields Corner because he could be the one for her.




    Marilyn’s thoughts:

    I love how Craver creates each of her story with Amish and Englishers with unique and unexpected happenings. Anna in Love drew me in from the start until the end. It was nice to catch up with the King family and the residents in their Amish community. Anna was next to the youngest Bishop daughter and was seeking for answers. When her friend introduced her to Wyatt, an Englisher, who is staying with his Amish grandmother for the summer she was attracted to him. Anna found she was in a triangle when Wyatt’s Amish cousin was interested in dating her. The twists and turns with unexpected but realistic events gave way to a delightful story. Will Anna find where she belongs before disappointing her family?

     

    This story is filled with family, community, faith, romance, hidden secrets and so much more. I would like to see Craver write Sadie’s story before ending this series.

     

     

     



     

    Crazy for You (Deep Haven Collection)

      Crazy for You  (Deep Haven Collection 3)  Paperback – ebook, audio May 25, 2021 by  Susan May Warren     (Author),  Michelle Sass  Aleckso...