Monday, December 29, 2014

21 prayers of generosity review

"21 Prayers of Generosity: Living a Generous Life Through the Power of Prayer and God's Word" by CJ Hitz is a collection of 21 days worth of scripture and prayer concerning generosity.  Each day gives a focus of an area to be generous about and includes one to two scriptures.  I really liked this book.  It was probably my favorite of the 21 series.  I would recommend this book to anyone.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Body and Soul Publishing. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

shaker christmas

"Christmas at Harmony Hill" by Ann H. Gabhart is the story of a young bride, Heather, who is following her husband Gideon's unit during the Civil War as a laundry maid.  When it comes close to her time to give birth, she returns to her home to find her mother has died along with two of her brothers.  These deaths have hardened her father to turn her away.  She goes to Harmony Hill, a Shaker village, where her aunt Sophrene is living.  Sophrene is also experiencing a cross roads of sorts, feeling the need to change her life and experience love in a worldly way. 
I have read little about Shaker's and therefore don't know much to compare this novel to in a way of accuracy.  The Shakers are like anyone else, I guess.  Some are mean, some want to be powerful, some are kind, etc. The author doesn't show them in a kind light usually.   Heather finds shelter among them, though not always support.  She learns forgiveness of her father and never has a Shaker heart.  Sophrene is more the struggle character.  She has lived both ways, finding only peace as a Shaker.  However, she is no longer feeling that peace.  This is a fair book.  Those that like Amish books will probably like this one.  I give it three stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from

Saturday, December 20, 2014

family christmases

"Where Treetops Glisten" is three stories of Christmases from 1941 to 1945 involving the Turner family written by Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin, and Tricia Goyer.  These three ladies are experts at historical fiction and this novel is an interwoven showcase of the authors at their best.  The three authors do a brilliant job at maintaining a similar writing style and keeping the family dynamic flowing throughout the stories. 
The Turners have three living children and "Treetops" focuses on each child for three Christmases.  The stories are of love, of course, but also of the war both at the front lines and at home.  The Pete character will make any woman swoon and Merry is such a great character, the reader won't want the book to end.  I give it 5 stars.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Waterbrook Press. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

2nd Christmas

"An Amish Second Christmas" by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, and Tricia Goyer is a collection of four novellas all centering around Second Christmas.  Three of these stories are romance, the first one is sorta, but not really.  Second Christmas is December 26th; a day when Amish celebrate with friends, neighbors, and extended family.  The 25th is more of a reflective, close family day centered on remembering Christ's birth.  The 26th is more of a party.  Kind of like the "English"'s  Christmas eve and Christmas Day.  I'll give a review of the first novella, "When Christmas comes Again" by Beth Wiseman. 
Wiseman tells of a modern Amish family, whose husband/father has recently died.  The mother (and later the daughter) both stumble across the husband's estranged father.  He seems to be mentally ill and likes to tell tall tales.  He is a hoot and a half! I kind of wish this story had been a full sized novel so that I could  have gotten to know him better.  Wiseman tells the story with both humor and heart break.  The family comes to know their grandfather and begins to heal from their loss.  I really liked these authors.  This book is written like a showcase of their best work.  Definitely worth the money to buy.  I received this book for

evening prayers review

"Evening Prayers: For Every Day of the Year" by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt  is a daily devotional.  Every day has a short scripture and a prayer.  The devotions are not necessarily for evening; they can be read anytime.  The entries are of a generic sort and not designed specifically  for moms or men or youth or any particular person; they are for anyone of any age group.  They are also not at a beginner level with a hook, more written for an already Christian looking for closure at the end of the day.  A throwback to the childhood prayers before bed.  I liked having a little closure before bed that this book provided. The only draw back would be that when tired the book wouldn't hold my attention.  I had to start reading it earlier in the evening.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Handlebar Publishing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Rose

"A Christmas Gift for Rose" by Tricia Goyer is a short and sweet novel that takes place shortly after WWII in an Amish community in Ohio.  Rose Yoder is the adopted daughter of an Amish couple who is searching for her place in the world.  Jonathan, an Amish WWII vet, has returned from Europe with hopes of returning to Rose and their relationship.  Rose, however, believes there is only one right way and she gets to decide what that right way is.  The novel watches Rose mature as she searches for her true family and explores PTSD in soldiers returning from war. Goyer brings quiet a lot on impact in such a tiny little book.  Goyer is one of the few Amish writers that I really like, however, this book goes beyond the usual Amish scenario.  It goes much deeper into what a true family is and how all of us have wounds we just need to know how to live with them and heal.  I give this one 4.5 stars.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from