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Monday, March 27, 2017

When Tides Turn

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of nine novels, including the Waves of Freedom series.  A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers' groups. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist, won the INSPY Award, and Booklist named it to the 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years and the Top 10 Inspirational Fiction: 2015. Her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist in the 2015 Carol Awards, and in 2011 she received the Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Please visit Sarah at www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, and on Twitter at @sarahsundin.

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face.  Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy's newly established WAVES program for women.  Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more o her than meets the eye.

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral.  The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess.  Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.

But love, like war is unpredictable.  When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore.  Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?

My Thoughts:
Sundin has brought to a close one of the best historical romance series centered around WWII.  As in the previous two installments, When Tides Turn was full of well-researched history, delightful and lovable characters, and action.  And, in Sarah Sundin style, the right mixture of sweet romance.  The action keeps the story moving and Sundin holds readers' attention until the very last page.  Don't miss this delightful series!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading,
Jennifer

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Her Secret

About the author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, 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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About the book: 

A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she's getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky...if only she wasn't too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone-even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called "The Recluse" confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God's gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there's always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.


To learn what others are saying about this book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
Shelley Shepard Gray never fails to deliver a solid storyline while highlighting the Amish.  She has gotten her new series, The Amish of Hart County, off to a great start with Her Secret.  
With solidly crafted characters, Gray grabs readers' attention from the very beginning and keeps them invested in the story with a bit of suspense and mystery until the very last page.  Readers will feel a part of the story.  This is for sure one of those books that will keep you up all night.  You won't be able to put it down!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions here are my own.


Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Door to Freedom: What Happens When Persecution Hits Close To Home?

Author of the captivating novel Side by Side, Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. She and her husband married a month after she graduated, and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. After 13 years living in Africa and the Middle East, Jana, her husband, and their three boys moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.


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It's rough and it's smooth. It's dark and it's light. It's a masterpiece. It's us. Here in Sudan. We are scared of it and drawn to it. There is an open door, and there is much opposition.

In the dusty, Islamic country of Sudan, Mia, who is raising her family in a Muslim country, has learned to boldly share her faith. Rania, the daughter of a wealthy Sudanese Arab, seeks to find the reason for her sister's sudden disappearance. Mia holds some of the answers, but both women quickly discover they must each walk through their own doors to freedom, the freedom that only comes when you trust God's sovereignty more than manmade security.

Part of New Hope Publishers' line of contemporary missional fiction, Door to Freedom, the sequel to Side by Side, opens the reader's eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Door to Freedom also reveals some of the struggles that Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith as well as for the salvation of the persecutors.


To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
I first encountered Jana Kelley's writing in Side by Side where we first meet Mia, Michael, and Rania.  I was excited to see the next part of the story in Door to Freedom.  Jana gives readers a clearer picture of the day to day life and religion of Muslims in Sudan and how those seeking to present and live the gospel before them should interact and live before them.  While the writing is a little stilted in places, the story is captivating.  I was challenged, convicted, and encouraged by Mia's story and Rania's.  The book could be read as a stand-alone, but I really encourage readers to dive into Side by Side first for context and introduction to characters.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions here are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tightropes and Teeter-Totters

Lisa Pennington is a homeschooling mom of nine who shares her life-one laundry load at a time-on her blog, The Pennington Point. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and women's groups and is the author of "Mama Needs a Do-Over." Lisa and her family live near San Antonio.

Find out more about Lisa at thepenningtonpoint.com.

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Do you wonder if you will ever find balance?
Lisa Pennington knows how to get up after losing her balance, even with a full house, a not-so-full bank account, and never enough energy. In her latest book, she offers readers:

-Strategies for finding balance in marriage, motherhood, and bad moods
-Playful yet biblically based tips for turning hard days around
-Inspiration for shaping obstacles into opportunities
-Ways to respond to irritations with gratitude
-Enthusiastic encouragement for living out God's purpose.

For every woman who wonders if her satisfaction in life will ever match her dreams, Pennington has real-life answers full of hope and humor.

To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
Lisa offers much-needed encouragement to the worn out and weary woman trying to juggle a million things and wearing many hats.  And she even offers a laugh or two!  Each chapter contains personal story, scriptural focus, a laugh, and practical application.  Because I'm a list maker, I appreciated how much of Lisa's information was organized into easy to remember "lists".  This book is well worth the time it takes to read through it.  It is practical and much needed!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Rescue Me

Susan May Warren is the ECPA and CBA bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than one million books sold.  Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT and numerous Reader's Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas.  She can be found online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook at SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.




When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway him - not just on the job but in his private life.  He's the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father's accidental death.  And he's the one - perhaps the only one - who believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him.  Safe, practical, and organized, she's nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding-heart sister, Willow.  
Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember.  But she wants her sister to have a happy ending.  Besides, Willow has other things to focus on - namely, nabbing the job of her dreams.  Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.
Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park.  Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers.  As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.

My Thoughts
Susan has been a long time favorite author of mine.  I loved her Christianson family series.  When I follow an author like I do Susan, I'm always curious to see if they can "keep it up" with the next series. One should never doubt Susan May Warren and if she can "keep it up" or not.  She never disappoints.
Rescue Me is the second installment in her Montana Rescue series.  We met Sam, Willow, and Sierra Rose in the first book, Wild Montana Skies.  I always appreciate an author who engages in writing a series but writes them in such a way that each book could be read as a stand-alone.  Susan does this well.  Susan is the consummate writer of romance mixed with a bit of mystery and suspense.  Her characters in this series are genuine and easy to become attached to and are relatable.  Susan doesn't wrap everything in pretty little bows of perfection but writes about real people in a real way.  The third installment, A Matter of Trust, will be available Summer of 2017.

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading,
Jennifer

Monday, February 20, 2017

Explore By The Book: 90 Days in John 14-17, Romans, and James

Timothy Keller and Sam Allberry sit alongside you as you open up the treasures of three enriching parts of God’s Word. These inspirational readings are presented in beautiful hardback format, complete with ribbon marker and space for journaling.
Carefully-crafted questions, insightful explanations and helpful prompts to apply the Scriptures to your life will take you to the heart of God’s word and then push God’s word deep into your heart.
These 90 devotionals in John 14-17, Romans and James, taken from the Explore Quarterly range, are a great way to start reading the Bible. If you already spend time each day in God’s word, this book will take you deeper in to the riches of Scripture, drawing you closer to the Lord and gaining fresh appreciation for His love for us in Christ.

Meet the Authors:
Timothy Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary. He was pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Virginia, for nine years before founding Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons.




Sam Allberry studied theology at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and has served on staff at St Ebbe’s Church, Oxford, and St Mary’s, Maidenhead. He is now part of the team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and also works as UK Editor for The Gospel Coalition. A popular conference speaker, Sam has written several books, including James For You, Is God Anti-Gay, and Lifted. Hobbies include reading, watching The West Wing and anything to do with South-East Asia.



My Thoughts:
So many devotionals are more "story" than substance and Scripture-focused.  I was pleased to see that 90 Days In John 14-17, Romans, James was a refreshing departure from this norm.  Carl Laferton, Editorial Director for The Good Book company, in the introduction encourages users of this resource to view each devotional in the book to be viewed not "as snacks, view them as meals" and encourages taking at least 30 minutes for each.  Carl even gives helpful insight into how to approach the scripture given for each day.
While some guidance (devotional thought) is given each day, the greater focus is given to helping the reader focus on giving keen eyes and thought toward God's Word.  Readers will find helpful introspective questions that guide you through a study and personal application of the Scripture focus for that day.  Each day also includes a whole blank lined page for notes or written prayers.
90 Days In John 14-17, Romans, James would be a perfect devotional/study guide for personal use or would even be a good resource for a one on one discipleship guide or small group study.
*I was given a complimentary copy of the resource.  All opinions are my own.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Friday, February 10, 2017

Control Girl

About the author:

Shannon Popkin is a wife and mom, a speaker and teacher, and a leader of small group studies. She's been published by "Family Fun," "MOMsense," "Focus on the Family Magazine," and other outlets. She is a contributing blogger for True Woman.com and has blogged for several years at shannonpopkin.com. "Control Girl" is her first book.
Find out more about Shannon at shannonpopkin.com.
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About the book: 

Tension, anger, fear, anxiety-it all begins with a heart that craves control.
Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don't match your version of perfect. When your perspective of how life should go replaces God's, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts.
Thankfully, there is a better way.
Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and
about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve's desire to know instead of trust, Sarah's inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah's controlling hand on her family's future, each of these women's stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.
Learn how you too can lay down this burden of trying to control everything and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.
To see what others are saying about the book visit HERE.
My Thoughts:
In Control Girl, Shannon Popkin uses the examples from seven women in the Bible to show first how control is a burden in our lives and how we can overcome it.  Through a spotlight on the lives of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Miriam, Popkin teaches readers how "surrender to God is what guards us against lives of white-knuckled misery...Jesus invites us to follow Him on a path of surrender to a place where God is in control and we are free."
I think we as women have a natural desire to "mother" and control so that everything stays alright for everyone around us.  At least it begins that way.  I have found in my own life that control quickly turns into worry which is ultimately a vote of no confidence in the Lord.  Popkin's book is so helpful!  Each chapter is divided into "lessons" where a portion of scripture is given to read and focus on followed by teaching, questions for personal study (more scriptures included) and ends with a scripture for meditation and personal prayer.
Control Girl is a biblical look at the issue of control and trusting God for outcomes. Popkin is a patient teacher guiding readers through the Word of God and not just her opinions.  This resource would be perfect for small group or personal study.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Control Girl Shannon Popkin
Blessings,
Jennifer