Stories Behind the Songs & Hymns about Heaven

by Ace Collins

F61803C6-6F26-45B8-AAAC-E90A7187C68D

I have to admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for this song. Piano sounds pouring through our home as my mother played this song anytime she needed to sit and be alone for a few moments. With our busy household, those moments were few and far between. When I hear it now, I miss the sounds of my childhood and my Mother being one room over — as opposed to 500 miles away.

As you can imagine, when I received this book, I was quick to turn to this hymn and read about its origins. I wasn’t disappointed. What a beautiful story it is. Lasting hymns, or any art really, only touch hearts if they have some depth and soul to them. A moving story behind it. A heartache that is felt by many even when it is still so personal to the author, composer, or artist.

I’m always so thankful for books like this. While I love a good piece of fiction, nothing really moves me like the true stories of God lifting others out of darkness and hopelessness. I encourage you to pick up a copy. With the holidays right around the corner, you can’t go wrong!

While I was given this book to review, I am always honest about my opinions. I will say that the only down side to this is that the author couldn’t always publish the lyrics. That, I know, is no fault of his. It would be nice to have them all there to ponder over as you read the stories that led to their creation. Good news – only a few are missing!

Link is in the above pic and throughout the page. Be sure to grab a copy! Thanks again, Baker Books!

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

by Julie Klassen

The much awaited, new series by Julie Klassen is finally here! Well, it was here before Christmas, but I have been a bit behind…

If you have read much Klassen, you will want to know that this book is significantly different than her others. All of her books have basically stood alone while this one is absolutely part of a series. The book didn’t really end at the end of the book. That being said, it was a great read. Her writing style has really deepened and grown since her debut novel, The Lady of Milkweed Manor.

Overall, I felt it was very well written. There were a lot of people to keep up with instead of the average handful you have in a novel. The point of view would switch from character to character rapidly and I would find myself confused at times trying to remember which person it was. I believe that it was just preparing the reader for the following volumes to come. So, if you don’t have severe brain trauma as I seem to have, you should be just fine! I definitely recommend this book (and anything by Julie!). She is a truly gifted writer!!!

Thanks so much for this read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

— Check out my fun face-offs with the awesome Julie Klassen!

PicCollage(4)      julie klassen


Who thinks we should do a giveaway???????

 

Head on over and enter to win. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US only (unless you would like to pay the shipping)

**Entries will be checked

The Reluctant Duchess

by Roseanna M. White

Another fabulous read from Roseanna M. White. In this book, she continues on with the characters from The Lost Heiress. The Duke of Nottingham is back and as brilliant as ever!! As he seeks God’s will at every turn, he is surprised by what God asks him to do next…

What a great book. It captures the good and the bad of the ton during the Edwardian era. It’s beautifully written and the characters have so much depth. God is so intertwined with this storyline that there wasn’t anywhere that had to stop to include Him. That’s so rare in a story and it’s VERY appreciated. No token prayer here and there in this one!

I love that Roseanna is not scared to talk about heavy issues either. Women were property that had the purpose of providing their spouse with money (by way of a dowry) and an heir. They were easily taken advantage of and ruined for life. Speaking out about rape and bullying is much needed even now.

If you have not read the first book, you will need to. The story will be confusing without. It’s definitely not a stand-alone novel. I do highly recommend! All of you coming off of 6 seasons of Downton, this is your chance to get an Edwardian fix!!! Just click on the links below to get your copy:

Thanks so much for this great book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion! Here’s to many more!!

Be sure to check out my exciting face-off with Roseanna!

PicCollage(2)

For Elise

by Sarah M. Eden

Sarah has done it again. She never disappoints!! This is another INCREDIBLE, Regency romance. It’s a story of redemption, intrigue, death threats, tragedies, true friendship and deep love. It’s absolutely beautiful. Best part? Characters keep their strength of character throughout the book. Nobody storms off after declaring their love and finding out something they didn’t like about the other person. They remain true. I love that kind of man. That’s a hero, in my eyes.

Every book by Sarah is clean, the plots move along and don’t grow stagnant, has wit and is full of loveable people. If you are looking for great Regency reads, you can stop here!! I give it 5 Solid Stars. Please pick up a copy for yourself and gift one to a sweet friend that’s needing some love!!! (Link is in the pic above)

Thanks, Sarah, for taking time to Face-Off with me and have me review your book! As always, this is my honest opinion! Here’s to many more!!!!

The Story of King Jesus

by Ben Irwin

What a sweet little story. So many children’s books are just full of “fluff”. I don’t usually buy them because people seem to think kids can’t grasp concepts, I suppose. It seems that Ben Irwin thinks differently and I love this. It talks about how we should love others and displays Jesus’ example throughout. A great gift for someone you know. (Link is in the pic)

The story is well written, it has bigger concepts than most children’s books and the illustrations are wonderful. I give it 5 Stars.

Thanks, netgalley, for this great read. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

The Darcy Brothers

by Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds

Wow! Yes, you read that right. There were FIVE authors that collaborated to write this book. I will say, from the beginning, if you are a Jane Austen aficionado and can’t bare to see her books altered, this is NOT the story for you. However, if you enjoy a little imagination and fun, you may find this to be a delightful little tale!

What we have here is a story of Darcy and Darcy. Yep! Fitzwilliam (the one we all know and love – especially in Colin Firth form) and Theophilus , his younger brother. While the basic storyline of Pride and Prejudice remains intact, overall it is quite changed. Of course, adding a character would do that to any story!

It’s always fun to revisit Pride and Prejudice and you’ll be delighted with the spin on each of these characters. At times, I felt it to be a little…choppy in its writing. I know that is because it is not one writer, but five. So, that is to be expected. It does not take away from the story at all. And, of course, I am of the opinion that you can never have enough Darcys!

You can visit these ladies, and all their fun stories, at: http://AustenVariations.com

If you would like to see my fun “face-off” with Maria Grace, just check it out HERE. Find out about guilty pleasures, color wheel fashion choices, and much, much more!

Thanks to you all for this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Looking forward to many more!


Well, these generous ladies have offered to do a second giveaway of The Darcy Brothers (ebook). You can click on the link here for multiple entries.

Before you start aiming that mouse at the rafflecopter link, BEWARE!! This book was written by 5 authors, as I have already pointed out. There are MANY, MANY options for entries. Only THREE are mandatory. The rest are COMPLETELY OPTIONAL! So, don’t worry or get overwhelmed. Just do the ones that you want (: If you do them all, you will have a bazillion entries.

GOOD LUCK!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Promise of Palm Grove

by Shelley Shepard Gray

Another Amish story? That’s two this month. A record! I am pleased to announce that I have enjoyed both. Maybe there’s hope for me yet (;

This is the first book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series. It’s different than most Amish stories in that it takes place in sunny Florida! The town of Pinecraft is a regular hotspot for Amish and Mennonite vacations. I like that this book was so “colorful” (which, when I think of Amish, I usually think in black and white).

Leona is engaged to be married. As she heads to Florida for a two week vacation, she is happy to be getting away to give herself time to think. Her intended is overbearing and has stated more than once that he is not interested in her opinions. As you can imagine, once in Florida, she meets another fella. Zach is a man that watches out for everyone else before himself. A Godly, selfless man. Leona must choose her future. Does she not go back on her word and stay with a man she cannot love, or should she break her word and follow an unknown path?

What I really liked about this book is the kindness and honesty. There are no big dramatic scenes. The characters are loveable and stay true throughout. I found it odd that there was a side story that never came to a conclusion. In fact, it seemed extremely random. I have to assume that it is just because they will be characters throughout the series. Although, in the preview of the second book, they aren’t mentioned. Not sure what to make of that. We shall see, shan’t we?

So, you need to pick up a copy! I definitely recommend it, especially if you love Amish fiction. It is a light and easy read. If you click HERE, you will find a link for a giveaway of this book (and a few others).

Thank you, Litfuse, for a copy of this book. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

The Parables of Paul

by J.Ellsworth Kalas

When Jesus was on earth, He spoke in parables. So many stories that would have a point. He knew that telling a story that the masses could relate to would be the best way to get his point across.

When we hear Paul speaking, we don’t usually think of him using parables, metaphors, and stories. We think of him just saying things how they are and not beating around the bush. What J. Ellsworth Kalas is showing, in this new book, is how he did, indeed, speak in parables, metaphors and stories! He used pop culture references constantly. It just takes some digging into the Bible and the culture to understand what he is saying and the depth of what he means.

I found this to be very interesting. I had never thought of Paul as a parable preacher. This author has done a lot of studying to bring you so many different examples. I definitely recommend you getting a copy!

If you would like to pre-order it, you can click on the pic above. It’s due to release on April 21st.

Thank you, netgalley, for this great book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

You’re Love no Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to be Perfect

by Holley Gerth

Once again, I am going to be honest. I am a prideful person that likes to think I get what I need from God, not “women’s books”. In fact, I usually run away from women’s groups, women’s books, etc… That being said, I knew I needed to read this book for a review, so I was kinda skimming over the words and just thinking, “blah blah blah”.

It’s really no wonder that God has to really…. knock me down a few pegs…. a lot.? Not in a bad way, but, in love. And, boy do I LOVE it…

So, after a few chapters of not really knowing anything she had said, I promptly confessed my pride and started over. I may or may not have actually gotten some really neat stuff out of it. (;

nBxr0tuWYNOHFR3QWAbK5MzRQ55er797cAFKsBq3O7tosdRxjMvn_p3nMX6CDQzKkGSUMRGqzbRpP-6j3jCoIQ3ixDJkPQWN5_1Lb7_L745qAPTRG_82ZGauSJSS2qEAwpo7lJPSlFl-yrRUgDAA8IWONhs7SqKJmo-iZcpsJZcb_0xfKMM7NrNsO82PL6zgjDMQMqXHxK-PwqnQc-Ct9hkHRMwiFteMBHolley has a way of saying things and just getting it out there. No gray. Just black and white. I really found myself enjoying it and, as you can clearly see, underlining portions. Actually, there were a lot of things that she said I hadn’t thought about, or just really stuck out as something I want to remember.

The point of the book is to show us we don’t have to be perfect. That’s the lie that started in the Garden of Eden and we continue believing it to this day. We were not made perfect. Only God is. So why do we try so hard?

One quote that really stuck out to me was, “Our role is simply to stay connected to Him. Ironically, we stunt our spiritual growth when we’re focused on making ourselves perfect.”

So, all this to say, Great Book! I absolutely recommend it. Make sure you check it out (and pray for me to continue to defeat my pride with God’s help!!)

Check out some more of Holley Gerth’s booksand see what you think! You can pick up a copy of You’re Loved No Matter What through that link. (Totally didn’t mean to rhyme that!!!)

Thank you, Revell, for this book. As always, this is my honest review! Here’s to many more!!!

Anna’s Crossing

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I am going to be very honest here. I don’t usually read any books about the Amish people. It’s for a couple of reasons. First of all, I haven’t read one I ever liked before. Secondly, while I love the way they watch out for each other and live a simple life, it seems to me that they’re more concerned with works than they are the heart. I usually find it to be too harsh.

So, when I was given this book to review, I really questioned whether or not I would like it. I was PLEASANTLY surprised to find that it is well written. This book held my attention, had a great storyline, and it was extremely researched. The history and knowledge that went into this book was phenomenal. I mean, really!!

The story centers around Anna (and some Amish and Mennonite families) crossing the ocean to have religious freedom in America in 1737. It really is a story of redemption and shows 1 Peter 3:1,2 in a wonderful light. (Well, it wasn’t exactly a woman winning over her husband, but you get the idea.) Her innocent and passionate love for her Savior won the hardened heart of another.

5147542857_1peter3_1_2-95910802034_xlarge

So, Suzanne! You have managed to win me over (: The kindness of Anna in this book won my heart. Also, the knowledge of you spending quite a bit of time with the Amish people, thus knowing their hearts, has given me a completely new perspective.

Thank you, Revell, for giving me this book. As always, this is my honest review!! Here’s to many more!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

6a00e551ef15fe88340191045c297e970c-pi

Suzanne Woods Fisher has so graciously agreed to sign a copy and send it to one lucky winner!!!! Click on the rafflecopter link and you will be able to enter multiple times!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway