litfuse

This is the place to see all my reviews of books sent to me from Litfuse 
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FOR SOME ODD REASON E-BLOGGER HAS DECIDED TO HIGHLIGHT CERTAIN WORDS WITH LINKS PLEASE IGNORE THEM......
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ABOUT OF STILLNESS AND STORM

Of Stillness and Storm (Thomas Nelson, December 2016)
I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”
It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

MY REVIEW
From the first chapter I wanted to know more about who was who and what was what. At first I did not like the way it went back and forth in the dates but then it made perfect sense as the story as it went on. I liked the characters, they were believable and I just wanted to know more about them and what was going to happen next. It was a good to read about what they went through and where they came from. It was a good story and kept you wanting to know what was going to happen...
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story-line.

ABOUT MICHÈLE PHOENIX

Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.
Find out more about Michèle at http://michelephoenix.com.
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ABOUT EXPERIENCING GOD THROUGH HIS NAMES

Experiencing God Through His Names 
What’s in a name?
Names are more than groups of letters that represent a person or identify objects. Names are powerful. A person’s character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. God’s attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. If we comprehend the meanings of His titles, we can know God more intimately. In Experiencing God Through His Names, Sheryl Giesbrecht walks with you on an exciting journey to discover and absorb the truth about God’s character. In the next 31 days, God wants you to get to know Him. Are you ready?


My review
How can you go wrong with the Names of God! This is a small but powerful book because of the names of God. I started reading this little book in the mornings with my quiet time. I pray, then bible then the book. Sometimes it coincided with what I was reading in the bible which I think it is awesome! I would remind myself what I read about Gods name throughout the day....which really helped me.....there was just enough to read without it going too long and dragged out....there were a few times tough when I wish there was more to know about Gods Name...I enjoyed this little book and it taught me some things about Gods Names that I did not know before...I would give this book and A if I graded it.....would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about Gods Names...it was an experience!

{MORE ABOUT SHERYL GIESBRECHT}

Sheryl Giesbrecht has written three books, hundreds of articles, blogs, and columns. A nationally syndicated radio host, Sheryl is a sought after inspirational speaker who facilitates leadership training for thousands internationally.
Find out more about Sheryl at http://www.FromAshesToBeauty.com





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 POCKET PRAYERS



Bestselling author Max Lucado has teamed up with six authors to write the Pocket Prayers series for those in need of peace, renewal, rest, faith, hope, joy, direction, serenity, and courage.
Short, simple prayers are very effective, which is why each book in the series contains forty guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation, including for:
Moms (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Grads (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Dads (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Military Life (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Teachers (written with blogger Jennifer Hale)
—Friends (written with Betsy St. Amant)


My review
I like the size and covers of these little books....but was a bit disappointed in the inside....was hope for more...i was not as excited as when I was to read and review them....after reading 2, I stopped and put them on my shelf....do not know if I will ever read them again...probably not...sorry I usually give a positive review but I have to be honest....not a fan of Max....i would not recommend these books...



{MORE ABOUT MAX LUCADO}

More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.

Find out more about Max at maxlucado.com.

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Sit, Stay, Love (Harvest House, April 2016)
Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.
Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.
Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.
As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…
Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

My Review
I love animals...i have 2 dogs and a cat....love dogs and love this book.....I was just happy to read it and share it with my sister...who has 5 Beagles....love the silliness and quirkiness this book has....was a joy to read and was and easy read which i like ...very light and airy!!! Lovely story-line and some truths in there..really enjoyed Dana Mentink writing!!!

 I would recommend this book to all animal lovers, especially dog lovers...



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Through the Shadows

by Karen Barnett


about the book

Just as San Francisco is trying to recover from the destruction from the earthquake that nearly destroyed it two years ago, Elizabeth King is trying to recover from her past regrets. To help right her wrongs, she dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels. Though she risks her life for these girls, she is infinitely more terrified of opening her heart to anyone. Then she meets attorney Charles McKinley, a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics. Can Elizabeth maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will she find love and faith through the shadows of turmoil?


my review

It is a shame this is the 3rd book in the series....i am sure the first 2 were well written also...this book was compelling and moving. i wish i had read the 1st two first but iit is a type of stand alone book....maybe...not sure have not read the 1st two books as i have mentioned. This is the first book i have read that Karen Barnett has written and i am now a fan....her writing is very well done....and enjoyable.

 i would recommend this book to those who have read the first two in this series.


Biography

Karen Barnett, author of Beyond the Ashes, Out of the Ruins, and Mistaken, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two kids, and three mischievous dachshunds. When she's not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her family through dusty history museums. Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) honored her with the Writer of Promise Award in 2013 and a Cascade Award for her debut novel, Mistaken, in 2014. Karen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) and has been published in Guideposts and other national magazines.



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 a daughter's dream

by Shelley Shepard

About the book
In Shelley Shepard Gray’s second book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past…and finding love in one another. Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at. That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student? Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness…and true love?
My review
I am in love with Shelley's book....this one is also an awesome read!!! The characters are alive ! I enjoy books that talk about the amish and the way they live. Shelley makes you feel you are right there with them...love all the characters and the way the story goes....I love Shelley's books!
 I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read!!!




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Finding God in the Ruins 

About the Book
If God is love, why do we hurt so much?
When the reality of your pain doesn’t line up with what you’ve been taught in church, then what? While many abandon their faith or embrace hopelessness, it is possible to discover the God who heals your heart in the midst of the pain.
Matt Bays has been where you are. His unforgettable stories of loss and healing will usher you into a life where gratitude overpowers anger, hope overcomes despair, and hunger for God replaces indifference to God. With a fresh and original writing style, Bays demonstrates that true redemption is far more powerful than the temporary fixes of sanitized Christianity.

My Review

While this book is really great in so many ways, Matt does say some things that make me uneasy. For instance, he quotes Psalm 44 and says that David is thinking ill of God. While David is questioning why God is allowing these things to happen, I do not believe that David is actually thinking ill thoughts towards God. He also says, "When the God of your church origin gives you the remedial cliche for your pain time and time again, there's not a thing wrong with sticking your middle finger right in his face." Really?! God is still GOD! This isn't something I would do to another person, let alone the Lord. This is the perfect example of what is wrong with many American Christians today. We want to bring God down to our level and there is a loss of reverence for the Creator of us all.
This book is definitely written with an open heart. I did get a lot from the book but caution the reader to be aware and to be discerning when reading the book. This book has gotten a lot of press and sometimes people tend to overlook the questionable things and just accept it without question because of the hype. As I said, be discerning. Always question what you read and make sure it is in the same things as what Gods Word says.

About the Author
Matt Bays is a writer, speaker, and musician with a passion to call people out of their hiding places. In ministry for twenty years, he and his wife, Heather, live in Indianapolis with their fun-loving and insightful teenage daughters.

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About the book: 
Come Empty: Pour Out Life's Hurts and Receive God's Healing Love (SonRise Devotionals, March 2015)

When a water vessel is filled with dirt and stones, it cannot be used to quench a thirst.

But, when this vessel is emptied, there is an opportunity to fill it until it overflows with fresh, cool, life-giving water. Water that quenches. Refreshes. Soothes.

Our souls are the same: filled with fear, doubt, and disappointment. Running over with unanswered prayers and lingering questions. When we empty the mess of our lives in the presence of God, we're offered an invitation to come. An invitation that allows us to come empty --- so that we can be filled until we overflow.
Come Empty: Pour Out Life's Hurts and Receive God's Healing Love guides you through fifty days of experiencing the fullness of God's love and His ability to overcome life's hurts. Each day, you will receive assurance of God's presence in your difficult situations. Each devotion gives new vision and perspective when you're hindered by emotional blind spots, and leads you to experience God's peace and wholeness. When His invitation is accepted, He will set your captive mind and heart free to live fully by His grace. The question is not if you will get an invitation. The question is, will you come? 

Purchase a copy:
 http://bit.ly/1QmQgGY

My Review
I wanted to review this book because it sounded like me in some way. When I read pages 17~19 I was immediately curious. I was reading about myself...for the last few days it has been rough, but it is because I stopped caring and fell into a fog...So reading this really caught my eye...The woman at the well is me.......and Saundra hit the nail on the head...its like she knows me personally ...and that's why I liked this book! It is personal to me, someone understands what I go through and how I can overcome it with faith and trust in the Lord,God Almighty. The 50 day challenge is one I will complete and might do it again or share this with another person. Either way I have to say this book points to the answer for all things who is Jesus Christ . And that is the most important reason of all. There are no gimmicks here, no “you must pray this prayer” type book. Not preachy but teachy :) All in all I would recommend this book to ANYONE who thinks they are stuck in the mud, or in a fog, or too busy and for many more reasons...Thank you Saundra for writing this book.


About the author:

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a Board Certified internal medicine physician. She shares with audiences nationwide on the topics of eliminating limiting emotions, finding grace in difficult places, and experiencing personal renewal by drawing near to God. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women's Day, Redbook, and First For Women magazine. She is the founder of I Choose My Best Life. Her other books include award-winning Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves.

Connect with Saundra: websiteTwitterFacebookPinterest







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Beyond the SilenceBeyond the Silence 

About the Book

The shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth.
Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.
Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love–or will it endanger her even more?

My Review
I really like Christian novels, but I do not like those that are “preachy”.
I thought that this book was interesting and the story line moved quickly. This novel did have sections that I thought were a little too intensely sermonizing or moralizing. While I agree with what was written, I thought these sections were a little long and took away from the story.
The power of silence over spoken words was a strong message of this book. One I need to learn. The description of things and people came alive and was well written. All in all this was a good read.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes Christian Novels.

About Author


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. **||** Kimberley Woodhouse is a multipublished author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she's shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and homeschools with her husband of twenty-plus years and their two awesome teens live in Colorado


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A Thousand Shall Fall: A Civil War Novel 
(Kregel, November 2015)


About the book: 

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War
Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off---only to find she's fallen into the hands of the enemy.
Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they're all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.
Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally---and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?
Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, 
A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar's extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

My Review
I so enjoy books such as this on written about the Civil War. I do not know why but I just do! Page one in love with book already...The horrors of battle are vividly described, and those issues are important for us to remember if we're to understand the time period accurately.
loved the story line...enjoyed the characters...they were believable...the book cover was good too...loved the history written in it ...I learned a lot of things ....God was in this story...lots of turns and twists...Carrie Ann was a brave woman.
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A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” Psalm 91:7, KJV

I would recommend this book to hose who enjoy true history and romance...

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Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1jbj37T

About the author: 
Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs "The Writer's ER," a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.Connect with Andrea: websiteTwitterFacebook

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Valley of Decision:

A Novel (The Carthage Chronicles)

by 
About the Book
Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.
Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.
All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.
With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.
Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.

My Review

I am happy that this is the first book of this series!!! When I first started reading I got a bit confused.... Once I got into it, I was there with the characters and all the things that were going on around them....it is a romantic adventure as the description says. There are many turns when you turn the pages of this book, which keep you wanting to see what was going to happen next. The characters go through many different trials, which we can all understand. In the end I was satisfied but wanting more...

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a romantic adventure with many twists and turns.
Every choice has a consequence

Would LOVE to read the other 2 books in this series!!!

About Lynne

If you could visit another time and place, where would you go?
I grew up on a Kansas dairy farm. Our cows didn’t travel. So neither did we. I longed for adventure. I wanted to visit exotic places and meet famous people. Imaginary trips became my escape from rural isolation.
In an instant, my mind could magically transform a tree house into a medieval castle, hay bales into a pioneer fort, or a dank root cellar into a time portal that could transport me into the ancient civilizations of the Bible. In my make-believe world, I was bold, brave, and beautiful. The heroes were handsome and romantic. Humanity’s fate hung in the balance. Good always triumphed over evil. And in the end, I left the past in far better shape than I found it. Outlandish journeys still feed my creative soul. I love to explore Roman baths or traipse through old English castles. My mind goes crazy imagining myself living in those times. The stories I write launch modern women into ancient adventures. If you long to step away from the ordinary, open my books, and come away with me.
Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications. Her newest novel, Healer of Carthage, is the first in The Carthage Chronicles series. She is a professional acting coach, theater director, and playwright with several full-length musicals and a Chicago children’s theater curriculum to her credit. Lynne is an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer whose first love is spending time with family.



http://lynnegentry.com/blog/






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Irish Meadows 
(Courage to Dream Book #1) 
by
Susan Anne Mason


About the Book
Faced with an uncertain future, sometimes all you have left is the courage to dream.
Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.
Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry—as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.
As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?



My review
So, yes, Irish Meadows doesn’t really establish anything new and it’s formulaic and predictable—but I enjoyed it all the same, mainly because of Colleen’s arc. And Brianna and Gilbert, though annoying at first, do get better—and so does their relationship I really enjoyed this novel, because it gave a very good view of the era of the early 1900’s. And most importantly, are we keeping God at the center of our decisions?

 I would recommend this book to those who love historical fiction and are looking for a unique read.

ABOUT SUSAN ANNE MASON

Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, “Irish Meadows,” won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.
Find out more about Susan Anne at http://www.susanannemason.com

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Hearts Made Whole
 (Bethany House, June 2015)
by
Jody Hedlund


ABOUT BOOK
Can she forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?
After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.
Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation–the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?


MY REVIEW
I have enjoyed reading a few of Jody's books and was happy to see this book up for review!!!
 I have always held a fascination for lighthouses.This book captured my attention from the first page to the last and I ended up reading late into the night. It is a definete page turner.
 I like that the characters had flaws, just as we do, making their story believable. Also liked the spiritual element woven throughout. This story has so much to offer: mystery, danger, tears, heartbreak, joy, laughter, lurking evil, healing—physically and spiritually, betrayal, forgiveness, love and strong faith.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading GOOD story!!!

ABOUT AUTHOR
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults. As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories. She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.
Find out more about Jody at http://jodyhedlund.com/




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Tattered and Mended
by 
Cynthia Ruchti

ABOUT BOOK
For years, society and especially the church required that we hide our brokenness and pretend that all was well, even when it was terribly broken. Now, people have become comfortable with our tattered edges, our character weaknesses, our “old, familiar sins,” and forgotten that God doesn’t intend to leave us in a state of disrepair. God calls us to something other than the wild pendulum swing from hiding our scars to flaunting them. Rather than resigning ourselves to desperately clinging to shreds of recovery, or discarding the broken, threadbare, scarred relationships, we can engage in the process of healing through Christ. Jesus reclaims what we fear was damaged beyond repair. His soul-mend leaves hope where the wound once was. And, as we engage in the process of healing, we grow in appreciation of how God tends and transforms our wounds.

MY REVIEW
At first I was skeptical about this book. I was thinking it would be yet another self help book. BUT, to my surprise I was wrong. This book hits the nail on the head, at least for me. There were pages that I thought ....how does she know exactly what I am going through. But, to my disappointment, the Cynthia didn't go very far with answers to struggles one may have in life.Yet the she did warn the reader not to expect such remedies. I suppose she hopes that you, the reader will rely on God and His word to help you through your troubles. This book was a beautiful picture of hope in the dark times and although not a spectacular read it wasn't bad at all! We have a God who is an expert healer. No matter what the circumstance is HE can repair it over time.
I would recommend this book who desires inspiration troubled times

ABOUT AUTHOR

Taking multi-tasking to new heights (or depths, depending on your perspective), Cynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of recent releases "All My Belongings" (novel), "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (novel), and "Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices" (nonfiction). She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of 42 years, loves on her three kids and five grandchildren, recently retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, is past president of the 2,700-member American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves as ACFW's Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the eight already on the shelves. The year 2010 saw the release of her debut novel--"They Almost Always Come Home" by Abingdon Press (a Carol Award finalist)--and a Christmas collection novella, "The Heart's Harbor" in A Door County Christmas, a Family Fiction Reader's Choice, by Barbour Publishing. "His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not," released Nov 1, 2011. Another novella collection--"Cedar Creek Seasons" (Barbour) released in spring of 2012. "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (April 2013) was followed by "All My Belongings" (2014, also from Abingdon Press). Her books have recently been honored with two Selah Awards, two Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and awards from CAN Golden Scrolls and AWSA Golden Scrolls. She tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through writing and speaking, but she gave up knitting, counted cross-stitch, sewing her own clothes, naps, and dusting baseboards a long time ago. You can find her at www.cynthiaruchti.com, at www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, or in the kitchen, brewing herself another cup of tea

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Beyond the Ashes 
(Abingdon Press, June 2015)
by
Karen Barnett

ABOUT THE BOOK
Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes?
Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn’t anticipate finding new love.
Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he’d always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert’s widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.
Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

MY REVIEW
I chose to read Beyond the Ashes because I had never read any of Karen's  novels and I love reading books by new authors  for me..and I'm very glad that I did. In this book you will find a lot of realism in the story, dark themes contrasted with spiritual insight and the promise of hope - all elements that I enjoy reading in a book. Although a sequel to Out of the Ruins, which I really wish I had it can be a stand alone book. It is heartfelt, romantic, sad, inspirational, and humorous. It was also full of friendships, family, sacrifice, service, and love. I loved the setting of post-earthquake San Francisco. It's not an historical setting I've read about before. It's also not one that I had thought much about until now. It was such a terrible catastrophe and yet the city dug in to rebuild, not only structurally, but also many people who never would have befriended each other or been unified in a cause were brought together. It was still a tough situation with illnesses and poor housing for so many. Beyond all these details were these characters that I came to love.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a GOOD read.


ABOUT AUTHOR
Karen Barnett, author of Beyond the Ashes, Out of the Ruins, and Mistaken, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two kids, and three mischievous dachshunds. When she's not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her family through dusty history museums. Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) honored her with the Writer of Promise Award in 2013 and a Cascade Award for her debut novel, Mistaken, in 2014. Karen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) and has been published in Guideposts and other national magazines.


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Summer's List 

By



About the Book
A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.
Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love... didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.  
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?
With lovable characters and surprising twists, Summer's List is a simple delight.

My review
I liked the spiritual lessons in the novel. Summer's grandmother is a real spiritual inspiration. There are lessons in forgiveness and restoration as even Granny admits she doesn't get it right all the time. We see the importance of prayer too. This is an unusual story in many ways, but it in unusually sweet as well! It reads like a modern day fairy tale of sorts. The life circumstances of the characters are both very normal and larger than life. I don’t even think Granny could have imagined how far reaching the result of her list would be!

This is the first book I have read written by Anita and I have enjoyed her writing!
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading.



About Author


Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.
(Full Bio) CBA best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published (several co-authored) for adults and children, and she has three books (fiction and nonfiction) to be released. She is a two-time finalist for a Selah Award, and she’s won a Cascade Award as well as an Inspirational Readers Choice Award for 2011 and 2013. She has also been honored in the past as a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston. Her coauthored book,Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, was on the Nielsen’s best-seller list for five weeks for religious adult fiction and #6 on the CBA best-seller list for fiction (January, 2011). Anita’s novella in the compilation,Once Upon a Christmas Eve, was given a four-star review in Romantic Times Magazine and has been optioned for a movie.
Some of Ms. Higman’s publishers are Guideposts/Summerside Press, Barbour Publishing, McGraw-Hill, Roman & Littlefield, Lillenas Drama, Moody Publishers, Abingdon Press, Standard Publishing, Bethany House, and Simon & Schuster/Howard Publishing.
Several of Anita’s books are Winter in Full BloomTexas WildflowersLove Finds You in Humble Texas,and A Merry Little Christmas. She also has contributions in twelve nonfiction compilations.
One of Ms. Higman’s co-authored books entitled, A Tribute to Early Texas, has a foreword by Elmer Kelton and has won a San Antonio Conservation Society Citation as well as a Westerners International Book Award. She was named a Favorite New Author in the 15th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards, and in the 16th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards her co-authored novel, Castles in the Air, was one of the winners in the Favorite Contemporary Romance category. Also Anita contributed to an animation script that won a Gold Remi Award.
Her novel, Love Finds You in Humble Texas, was chosen by Crossings Book Club and is available in hardback, large print, and Harlequin/Love Inspired editions. Anita and the novel, Love Finds You in Humble Texas were featured on The Harvest Show, a Christian program with eight million regular viewers.
Ms. Higman has won two awards for her contribution to literacy and has raised thousands of dollars for literacy with her book, I Can Be Anything, while serving on the board of directors of Literacy Advance of Houston.
Anita Higman has a BA degree in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art from Southern Nazarene University, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Writer’s View, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.





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Hutterite Diaries:

Wisdom from My Prairie Community (Plainspoken, Book Three)


About the Book
What would it be like to share all your possessions and live in Christian community? In Hutterite Diaries, Linda Maendel offers a rare glimpse into the daily routines and communal faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. From stories of working together to bring in the fall potato harvest to laugh-out-loud tales of sisterly love laced with revenge, Maendel invites readers into her Bruderhof, or colony, nestled on the prairie of western Canada. Here children and adults work, play, eat, and worship together, crafting a community of goods and living out an alternative to the individualism and consumerism of mainstream society.
Because few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites, this book offers a rare-glimpse into Hutterite life.
Plainspoken series real-life stories of Amish and Mennonites includes:
Book 1 Chasing the Amish Dream: My Life as a Young Amish Bachelor by Loren Beachy
Book 2 Called to Be Amish: My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order by Marlene Miller
Book 3 Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom from My Prairie Community by Linda Maendel

My Review
I wish I read the first book but,I enjoyed reading this book very much! I love to read about ways of life other than my own. I find it fascinating. I love the idea of living in a "community”, which I do live.....there are 4 of us..two husbands and two wives. I am truly blessed in my life!!! I have always been drawn to books about the Amish. I believe it is because they live a simple life. It was interesting how this book was written like a diary hence the name of the book....it was an enjoyable read.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish or those who are interested in their lifestyle


About Author

Linda Maendel is a Hutterite author, blogger, and educator who lives in Elm River Colony outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Find out more about Linda at

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The Proposal at Siesta Key
Amish Brides of Pinecraft,

Book Two

by
Shelley Shepard Gray


Book
A young Amish woman, yearning for freedom, crosses paths with a handsome Mennonite celebrity in a deeply moving tale of friendship and self-discovery—the second installment in the unforgettable New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Penny Troyer rarely disobeys her parents. In the years since her sister’s tragic death, they’ve wanted nothing more than to keep her safe…even if it means never leaving the house. But tonight, she’s bending the rules because Michael Knoxx, the most famous member of The Knoxx Family Singers, a traveling Mennonite Evangelical family —is scheduled to speak. Penny has heard of Michael—how he lost part of his leg in a terrible accident and uses the experience to inspire others—and knows she must meet him. So, for the first time ever, Penny stands up to her parents and goes out on her own. Though he speaks about living life to the fullest, Michael knows he needs to take his own advice. Life on the road is grueling and Michael wants to slow down, to rest…to perhaps meet someone who sees him as a man, not just a celebrity. So when a twist of fate allows him the chance to stay a little longer in Pinecraft, Michael knows God is showing him a new path, especially when he discovers how much he and Penny Troyer have in common. But new friendships can’t stop time. Soon, Michael’s time in Pinecraft will be over and he’ll be back on the road. Her time with Michael has brought her happiness, but will she be able to follow her heart? Or will she be faced with the one thing she’s sure she’ll never have the courage to do?




Review
As I have said before, Shelley is on my top 5 favorite authors and she has done it again!!!
Just like the previous novel, I really enjoyed the story! This book has certainly kept my interest into reading to see what happens next!
I enjoyed the strong friendship that developed between Michael and Penny from their basic day-to-day interactions. I also liked how each character began to notice the little details about one another as they forged their friendship and it began to blossom into a mutual attraction. Their raw emotions being shared and honestly painful stories brought both of the characters closer as trust began to form in their bond.This gives me hope that I may find someone with whom I can be completely honest with and share my innermost concerns and feelings.
While The Proposal of Siesta Key dealt with some heavy topics, all were treated with dignity and respect and were not over-dramatized. Michael's mission and Penny's new found freedom were the main parts of the story, as was their friendship. All in all it was a light-hearted read that made me want to visit Pinecraft again, just so that I might have the chance to run into a few of the "characters"again!
If you enjoy Amish romance I would recommend this series to you!

Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.


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To Win Her Favor
by
Tamera Alexander

About the Book

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.

An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He's come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he'd wagered, especially when Maggie Linden's father makes him an offer he shouldn't accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance--and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder--Maggie's father, aging, yet wily as ever, makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail--Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

REVIEW
Tamera is on my top 10 list of authors...I love reading her books!!! And this book is yet another awesome read. The story is believable as the characters are too. It is a page turner and I was to the point where I would say to myself, “just one more page and then I will stop”...but would continue reading!
Tamera has done it again and I can not wait for her next book!!!
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys to read and great story!!!

Author

I grew up reading anything and everything I could, so it was a natural step when my interest eventually turned to writing. To date, I've published ten award-winning and bestselling novels including my April 2014 release, A BEAUTY SO RARE, which debuted on the CBA bestseller list and stayed on the list for three months, thanks to you!

I write what some of my readers have termed historical "grit-lit," which is Southern historical fiction/romance set in post-Civil War Nashville. I also write Colorado Territory historicals set in the wilds and grandeur of the Rocky Mountains where I lived for over seventeen years. At the heart of each of my books is a female and male protagonist at crucial turning points in their lives. As each story has unfolded in my writing, I've taken the couple's journey with them and hope you'll enjoy taking each of these journeys too.

I live in Nashville, Tennessee, with my husband--not far from the antebellum mansions about which I write--and with Jack, our sweet little Silky Terrier. My husband and I have two grown children who live nearby as well, which makes life pretty wonderful.

My next release, TO WIN HER FAVOR, publishes in May 2015, and is the second standalone novel in the Belle Meade Plantation series set, of course, right here in Nashville, TN at the famous Belle Meade Plantation founded in 1807. My other Southern series is set at the opulent Belmont Mansion (now surrounded by Belmont University), which was built by Adelicia Acklen in 1853. Both of these mansions are house museums that welcome patrons so I encourage you to visit Belmont and Belle Meade if ever you're in Nashville.

For more about my books, please visit www.TameraAlexander.com or join me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TameraAlexander or on Twitter @TameraAlexander 



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The Promise of Palm Grove:

Amish Brides of Pinecraft,

Book One

By
Shelley Shepard Gray

About the Book
A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.
Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her-and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.
Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

My Review
I've read a few of Shelley's books before and loved them, and this one is no different!
The book was such a quick and easy read. The characters are all easy to be believable. I enjopy books about the Amish. Shelley has written this book with great detail that you will feel like you are actually in sunny Pinecraft, FL. And within the story!

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a nice book to read, mainly for the teenagers.


About Shelley
I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.
I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.
Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.
I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.
Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.


Visit Shelley on her website and her Facebook.



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The Case of the Jewel Covered Cat Statues
by
Cindy Vincent


ABOUT THE BOOK
Buckley and Bogey, Cat Detectives, find their next big case with the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency to be their most complicated ever! It all starts when someone hides a mysterious package in their Mom’s antique store – in the middle of the night! Of course, the boys find it, and put it in a nice, safe place, until they can open it . . . and, find the rightful owner. But that’s when a whole bunch of suspicious people show up in St. Gertrude, and every single one of them seems to be after that package! Holy Catnip! Plus, everything happens just when a priceless, jeweled statue collection goes on display at the St. Gertrude Museum. Missing from that collection are two jewel covered cat statues that disappeared almost a hundred and fifty years ago.
But soon Buckley and Bogey wonder how long those statues will stay missing. Because this is one case that really keeps them on their paws! From a trip to the Museum, and to an old church for the Blessing of the Animals; and from dinosaurs to diamonds, they end up dodging shady suspects the whole time. It sure helps to have their friends with them, especially when the bad guys make a beeline for boys. That’s because it becomes very clear, very quick — the priceless cat statues aren’t the only cats those crooks are after! Holy Mackerel!


My Review

I LOVE CATS!!!!!!!
I found reading,The Case of the Jewel Covered Cat Statues makes me think of a fable, because a fable is a tale that teaches a moral lesson, often with animals as characters - and that is exactly what Cindy's stories do. In addition to the well-plotted mystery and humor, Christian values are creatively woven throughout, in a way that offers a springboard for discussion with young ones - values like teamwork, mentoring, love of family, hard work, persistence, the wisdom that comes from a long life, learning to look past the surface, and reaching out to the handicapped.
I found several parts of this story especially touching. One, that the senior Miss Mokie was loved, respected, and sought out for both her company and the wisdom she offered. Second, the way other cats reached out to two special-needs cats, Annie (blind) and Henry (deaf), and worked to find them loving homes.


About Author

Cindy Vincent was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She holds an M.A.Ed, and is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper books, the Daisy Diamond Detective book series, and the “Cats are Part of His Kingdom, Too: 33 Daily Devotions to Understanding God’s Love.” She lives with her husband and the real, live Buckley and Bogey, who run surveillance on her house each and every night.
Find out more about Cindy at



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SWEPT AWAY
Quilts of Love series
by
Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

About the Book

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.
Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.


MY REVIEW
I have read several books from the “Quilts of Love” series.
All of them are different and well written , just like this one!
I could understand the need for love that the characters had or needed.
The story was believable and the women were all relate-able. Good read and will be adding this one to my collection!!!

I recommend this book to those who just enjoy a good book!!!!!!!


ABOUT L. HILTON / C. LOVEN

*Laura V. Hilton* is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. *Cindy Loven* is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.
Find out more about L. Hilton / at 



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THE SEA HOUSE
BY
Elisabeth Gifford
ABOUT THE BOOK
In 1860, Alexander Ferguson, a newly ordained vicar and amateur evolutionary scientist, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the remote Scottish island of Harris. He hopes to uncover the truth behind the legend of the selkies—mermaids or seal people who have been sighted off the north of Scotland for centuries. He has a more personal motive, too; family legend states that Alexander is descended from seal men. As he struggles to be the good pastor he was called to be, his maid Moira faces the terrible eviction of her family by Lord Marstone, whose family owns the island. Their time on the island will irrevocably change the course of both their lives, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after they are gone.
It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child's fragile legs are fused together—a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? To heal her own demons, Ruth feels she must discover the secrets of her new home—but the answers to her questions may lie in her own traumatic past. The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford is a sweeping tale of hope and redemption and a study of how we heal ourselves by discovering our histories.

MY REVIEW
I wanted to read this book because of the location of where this story takes place. In the breathtaking view of 19th century life on an isolated Scottish island. If only the 20th century story could be as interesting.
Ruth is a very troubled woman, making her description of her story somewhat unbelievable. She blames all her problems throughout the book due to a terrible and traumatic event that she has kept secret from her childhood. She is such a miserable and self-centered person and filled with drama that it was very hard for me to spend long periods of time reading about her. Because of this obsessive self-focus, she gives little time to the descriptions of her husband or her friends, which causes me to question if they are real people.
The only reason why I kept reading is it so beautifully describes the 19th century and the natural beauty of the Outer Hebrides, a place I have always wanted to visit!!! But I’m afraid that’s the only part of the book I kind of enjoyed.
I would recommend this book those who like a fantasy drama filled book.
I pray, Elisabeth that God will keep you and bless you all the days of your life. In Jesus Name Amen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She has written articles for The Times and the Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.

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