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?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Home for Christmas Book Review

Stories for Young and Old

SUMMARY:  They are some of the warmest childhood memories, those unhurried evenings around the fireplace, Christmas tree, or dinner table, when there was time for a story . . . Now, with this collection, you can keep the story-telling tradition alive in your family, and pass it on to your children or grandchildren.
     Home for Christmas includes twenty time-honored favorites.  Several are by world-famous children's authors; others are little-known European tales not available in English anywhere else.  Selected for their literary quality and their spiritual integrity, they will resonate with readers of all ages, year after year.

REVIEW:  I'm sorry to say I did not like this book.  Most of the stories were sad and depressing.  There was one story where the main character was very selfish and thoughtless. When he had a change of heart, the story ended abruptly.  Some stories just drug on and on.  Since they were written by different authors and were set in completely different time periods and places, I had a hard time switching thought processes to follow along.  I hope others will find this book more appealing than I did.

This book was provided by Handlebar for review without compensation.

Love Unexpected Book Review

Beacons of Hope Series
Book One

SUMMARY:  1859, Presque Isle, Michigan - What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?
     All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.
     An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town.  He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child.  So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma.  After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger.  Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.
     Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death.  It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

REVIEW:  From the very beginning, I was drawn to Emma and her story.  My heart went out to Patrick with his job in the lighthouse at night, taking care of a very busy two-year-old and trying to keep up with the housework.  At first, I wasn't sure if I agreed with their hasty marriage, but as I read on, I saw how practical it was and how everything played out. Patrick is a character that I admired, especially towards the end of the book.  Emma's determination to make her marriage and house one of love and contentment was praiseworthy.  This is a great book.  I always look forward to this author's books and especially to more of this series.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without compensation.

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of Captured by Love, Rebellious HeartA Noble Groom, and The Preacher's Bride, which won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award and the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers.  Jody loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at

Friday, December 19, 2014

Love Without End Book Review

A Kings Meadows Romance
Book One

SUMMARY:  For two single parents with bruised hearts, it'll take more than a little courage to get back on the horse when it comes to love.
     Kimberly Welch lost her husband to a heart attack in the blink of an eye.  But she's losing her daughter slowly, in the day-to-day tension.   In three difficult years, Kimberly has gone from Seattle socialite to Kings Meadow charity case, and her daughter is not responding well to the changes.  She's becoming a sullen, cantankerous teen.
     Chet Leonard lost his teenage son in a car accident.  Then his wife abandoned him and their two remaining boys.  He tries to keep his mind on the family ranch, but if the last two years have taught him anything, it's that sometimes you just have to let the memories hurt.  Let the memories hurt, and leave well enough alone.
     But when Chet volunteers to help tame Kimberly's daughter's horse, everyone gets more than they bargained for . . . especially when eighty-four-year-old Anna McKenna shows up.
     Nana Anna has reappeared in Kings Meadows after decades away, bringing with her the magnetism and transformative joy that come from a life well lived . . . just the kind of magic that a couple of unlucky-in-love single parents need to conjure up a little courage and raise a new family from the ashes of tragedy.

REVIEW:  Robin Lee Hatcher's latest book captured my attention from the beginning and held it to the very end.  I like how Chet stays engaged in his teenage sons lives and the relationship they have.  Kimberly is a good mom who struggles to keep it together after losing everything.  Even though her relationship with her daughter, Tara, was difficult, Kimberly never gives up hope that they will be close again.  My favorite character of all is Anna.  I love her spunk and energy!!  She is someone I would love to have in my life, to challenge me to continue pursuing Christ and everything that goes with it.  I like how Anna's story is woven in between the pages of Chet's and Kimberly's.
     This is a good book that I think everyone will enjoy.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson Publishers for review without compensation.

Robin Lee Hatcher is a best-selling author known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love.  The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Swept Away Book Review

Quilts of Love
Every Quilt Has A Story

SUMMARY:  School's out for summer, but one young teacher is about to get a lesson in romance.
     Sara Jane Morgan can outwit a roomful of students, but she's no match for her matchmaking grandmother.  Grandma's plans to teach Sara Jane to quilt are actually plans to introduce her to the shy handyman Drew Stevenson, whose fix-it chores make him a frequent visitor to Grandma's house.
     Creative as well as handy, Drew makes artisan brooms - a talent that surpasses Sara Jane's awkward attempts at quilting.  But what is he hiding behind his long hair and scraggly beard?
     Attracted to this mysterious man of secrets, Sara Jane uncovers pages from his old journal online, entries Drew wrote while hiking the Appalachian Trail.  As she secretly delves into the pages of Drew's past, Sara Jane discovers a tale rife with both pain and perseverance.  Just when her heart is about to break under the weight of all she has read, an accident threatens to separate her from this man she now loves - maybe forever.

REVIEW:  This story and it's main characters are a little different from others I've read.  Drew is not your typical good-looking, chiseled heart throb you normally read about.  He looks like a mountain man, with his long hair, scraggly beard and his ability to make brooms the old-fashioned way.  But underneath all that hair is a man who lost someone he loved but who found peace along the journey in the Prince of Peace.  Sara Jane still grieves the loss of her parents who died ten years earlier in an accident after they had fought and struggles with her faith.  Grandma, in the early stages of Alzheimer's, is busy trying to match Sara Jane and Drew together every chance she gets, much to their dismay.
     The timeline was a little off towards the end.  It was like the authors were trying to hurry up and finish the story and realized they still had a lot of ground to cover.  I was pleased that the main characters did not fall in love with each other and get engaged within a month of meeting, as happens in quite a few of the stories I read.  All in all, this was an enjoyable book.

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