Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Burning Sky Book Review

SUMMARY:  I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life.  But who there will remember me?  What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.
     Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family's New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People.  At the boundary of her father's property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path and she feels obliged to nurse his injuries.  The two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence - her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors or war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.
     When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa's vision.  Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky?  And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm?  In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against "savages" abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa's safety unsure.
     Willa is a woman caught between two worlds.  As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage - the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow.  Is she brave enough to love again?

REVIEW:  This book is impressive and extraordinary.  The author does a wonderful job describing the difficulties Willa faced in returning to her former home after living with the Mohawk tribe.  The struggles are not only with trying to recover her parents' land and reputation but with herself.  When Tames-A-Horse brings Willa two children who are half-Mohawk/half-white to care for, Willa is forced to deal with the memory of the death of her own children.  She also struggles with loving again.  Her Mohawk husband had died but her heart had gone to her Mohawk brother many years ago but was forbidden.  Neil MacGregor shows Willa that she can love again, not just him but the people around her too.  Forgiveness and acceptance also abounds throughout this book.
     This is Lori Benton's first book and I think she did an excellent job.  She set the bar pretty high but I look forward to reading any future novels from her.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review without compensation.

Lori Benton spent her late teens and early twenties pursuing a career as a wildlife artist, attending the Maryland College of Art & Design before she began painting professionally.  When not writing or researching, Lori can be found exploring the mountains of southern Oregon with her husband, Brian.  Burning Sky is her first novel.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Big Year for Lily Book Review

The Adventures of Lily Lapp
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Get ready for more FUN and FRIENDSHIP with LILY!
     Every day brings new adventures for Lily!  With cousin Hannah at her side, life is filled with surprises - including a rotten school trick played on her by Effie Kauffman and a surprising change of heart in the worst boy imaginable, Aaron Yoder.  But tears turn to laughter as Lily turns ten, wears grown-up clothes, sits with her friends at church . . . and turns the tables on Effie.
     You'll adore this tale of love, laughter, forgiveness, and ties that bind an Amish family together.

REVIEW:  Like the two before, this book is delightful and fun to read.  Lily is a typical 9-10 year old little girl who gets into lots of messes and makes lots of mistakes.  When she is wrongly accused of stealing lunches at school, her parents help her to endure and overcome this adversity.  Kids could learn a lot from Lily of what to do (and not to do).  My kids love this series and I can't wait to pass this book along to them.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Revell for review without compensation.

Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  She is the coauthor of the Adventures of Lily Lapp series and lives in Pennsylvania.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace.  She lives in California.  For more information, please visit and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.  Also, check out Lily's website at

Monday, July 22, 2013

Anomaly Book Review


SUMMARY:  Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live.  The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream.  But she is not afraid.
     Decades before Thalli's birth, the world was decimated by a nuclear war. But life continued deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten.  There they created genetically engineered human beings who are free of emotions in the hope that war won't threaten the world again.
     Thalli is an anomaly, born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can bearely contain.  She has survived so far by hiding her differences.  But then her secret is discovered when she's overwhelmed by the emotion of an ancient piece of music.
     The Ten quickly schedule her annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk - a scientist being groomed by The Ten - convinces them to postpone her death and study her instead.  While in the Scientists's Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance.
     As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer - someone even more powerful than The Ten.  What's more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan.  And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she's been looking for all along.
     Thalli must sort out what to believe and who to trust, before her time runs out . . .

REVIEW:  Usually, science-fiction type books are at the far, far, far bottom of my MUST READ list.  But, since this is targeted for youth and being intrigued by the summary, I decided to check it out for my children.  The book was very interesting and the story grabbed me from the very beginning.  The twists, turns and tests that occur after Thalli's anomaly is discovered by The Ten kept me on my toes.  My favorite characters are Thalli, for her courage and determination, and John, for his diligence in preaching the gospel to those being annihilated and eventually to Thalli and Berk.
      This is the first book in a series.  I will definitely be on the lookout for the rest.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.

When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob.  She is also the author of First Date, Starring Me, and Right Where I Belong.  Visit to learn more.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dolled Up to Die Book Review

The Cate Kinkaid Files
Book 2

SUMMARY:  Cate's not sure just what she expected . . . but she knows it certainly wasn't this.
     When Cate Kinkaid receives a frantic call about a triple homicide, she drives to the scene against her better judgment - aren't triple homicides more up the police department's alley? - only to find that the victims are not quite who she expects.  Now she has a new rule to add to everything she's learned in her short stint as an assistant private investigator: always find out if the victims have human DNA.  Because these three do not. 
     But who would shoot this nice lady's dolls?  What possible reason could the shooter have?  And then there's the startling discovery of another victim, who definitely does have human DNA . . .
     With tension that is matched only by humor, Dolled Up to Die is the exciting second book in Lorena McCourtney's Cate Kinkaid Files.  You won't find a place to stop and take a breath in this fast-paced story.

REVIEW:  The storyline is different from any I've read before but it has just the right amount of mystery to keep you guessing as to who the murderer is and why.  While it does move at a faster pace, you should not get lost or confused.  The characters are wonderfully developed and my favorite, of course, is Cate.  She tries hard to be a good Assistant Private Investigator but makes mistakes just like the rest of us.  She is comfortable in her own skin (and flaming carrot red hair) and is not afraid of taking chances.  Cate has a big heart and is willing to help anyone in need.  This is a great book and a wonderful read.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

 Lorena McCourtney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of dozens of novels, including Dying to Read, Invisible which won a Daphne du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America), In Plain Sight, On the Run, and Stranded.  She resides in Oregon.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The World of Jesus Book Review

Making Sense of the People and Places of Jesus' Day

SUMMARY:  Know Jesus better by understanding what shaped his world.
     Sometimes it's hard to find your bearings in the New Testament, as you enter the time and place of Jesus and His disciples.  There are confusing practices, new people groups, and even unexplained religious conflicts.  How did it all come about?
     Dr. William Marty walks you through the history leading up to the arrival of Jesus in order to help you better understand His life and teachings.  He answers such questions as:
  • Why did "Israelites" start being called "Jews"?
  • What's a "synagogue" and what happened to worshipping in the temple?
  • Who were the Pharisees and why was Jesus so upset with them?
  • Why didn't anyone like the Samaritans?
     Get to know the times in which Jesus lived, so you'll better understand His teaching and ministry.  And along the way, discover how God prepared the world for the One who would turn it upside down.
REVIEW:  This novel is a wonderful reference book that helps explain the situations and circumstances leading up to the time of Christ in a way modern-day Gentiles can understand.  The book starts out with a VERY brief history of the Israelite nation.  The author's main focus is on the circumstances of the exile into Babylon, the return of the Jews to Israel and the "Silent Years" where God's Spirit did not speak to the prophets before Jesus' birth.  The author explains the changes in political power in an easy-to-understand way along with how these changes affected the language and religious worship in the Middle East and the conflicts that developed.  This book helped me better understand this often overlooked time period in history and explains people groups and other events better than other books I've read.
     This would be a great book to have on hand as a reference when you read the gospels and even other parts of the New Testament.  It is one I will definitely keep and refer back to often.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without compensation.
Dr. William H. Marty is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute and author of the bestselling The Whole Bible Story.  Bill and his wife, Linda, attend Willow Creek, Chicago, a church they helped start.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Small Town Girl Book Review

Rosey Corner Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  How long can two people stand on the brink of love without plunging in headfirst?
     In the autumn of 1941, rumor of war whisper through Rosey Corner.  The town practically vibrates with apprehension, as if it is holding its breath.  But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh.  As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking.  And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can't draw her interest. 
     Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything and Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways.  Could she truly be in love with him?  And if he enlists, will she ever see him again?
     In her gentle and textured style, Ann H. Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip your heart and stir your spirit.  Fans of Gabhart's Angel Sister will love seeing Kate Merritt all grown-up, as well as other they have come to love.

REVIEW:  Having read and liked two of Ann H. Gabhart's books, I was interested in reading this one when it came across my e-mail.  I had not read the first Rosey Corner book, Angel Sister, but did not need to as this book stands very well on it's own.  The characters seem so real that I often thought about them and their situations when I wasn't reading about them, trying to come up with solutions for their problems.  My heart went out to Jay as he struggled with his past and the baggage he carried with him.  There were times I just wanted to shake the two of them, especially when they were being hard headed and difficult, not listening to the Lord when He spoke to them.  The fun and zest for life Lorena, or "Birdie" as Jay called her, made this book even more enjoyable. 
     I really enjoyed this story.  My 12-year-old daughter has been begging me to let her read it when I finished it because she liked the description on the back.  This would be a great book to take on vacation or even a stay-cation and read on your down time.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted.  She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.  Find out more at