Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tattered and Mended (Review)

This review is for the book "Tattered and Mended" by Cynthia Ruchti. I have actually read three of Ruchti's fiction novels recently, so I was interested to read this nonfiction piece by her.

I enjoyed the perspective of this book. Ruchti focuses on things like antiques, quilts, and pieces of art that have historical meaning or a significance to someone's personal history. She talks about old crafts like journaling, keeping records, interviewing older family members, quilting, and so forth. These are somewhat of a lost art today. She speaks to these "old" things to show how easy it is for them to get broken or tattered. It is quite difficult to replace or repair these things usually. Finding a hole in a quilt that was made a hundred years ago can be devastating, but it can be repaired by an expert. She likens our hearts and souls to this. We have a God who is an expert healer. No matter the size of the hole inside of us, He can repair it over time.

I enjoyed this book and her stories. I think Ruchti is a great writer and if you are hurting, this is a good book for you to draw support from.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Refining Fire (Review)

This review is for the book "Refining Fire" by Tracie Peterson. This is the second book in her Brides of Seattle series, but I read this as a standalone novel and understood the plot and characters perfectly.

I am a fan of Tracie Peterson's novels, even the historical fiction she does, even though I really am not a very big fan of the historical romance genre generally. This novel had to be one of my favorites. This book is set in the late 1800's in Seattle, Washington, at a school created for ladies to learn how to become a proper wife. The story follows Militine Scott, who is in training but is resolved never to get married, and Abrianna Cunningham, who grew up at the school run by her aunts.

I have to say, Abrianna is one of the funniest characters I've ever "met" in a story. She is always getting into trouble, speaking her mind, and standing up for her beliefs. She is certainly unlike most women in the rest of the story and she will bring a few chuckles to the reader.

Honestly I felt that the story had a LOT of storylines to follow and there were a couple of things I wished were wrapped up that didn't get wrapped up - but I do realize this is part of a series, so that's probably why the author chose to finish the novel in this way. I still really enjoyed the book and would like to revisit these characters in the next book in the series.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7 Family Ministry Essentials (Review)

This review is for the book "7 Ministry Essentials" by Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman. As a youth leader who waffles back and forth between excitement and disappointment, passion and frustration, stress and glee, I was very excited to read this book. I was not really prepared for all the great advice though.

This practical advice comes from two ladies who share their triumphs and struggles throughout their years of work in ministry. I found myself nodding along with several of the things they pointed out (we are teaching our children moral development instead of spiritual development, we need to empower our parents) and marveling at some of the ideas they brought up (acting out the Bible chronologically, teaching the children how to be still and listen to God).

At first, as I was reading, I was excitedly telling things to my husband, who was relaying these things to our pastor. By the third or fourth chapter, though, I just started dog-earing every page that I wanted them to look at. Needless to say, the latter half of the book has tons of pages folded down!

I realize not all of these ideas will work for your ministry. Our church is too small for several of these ideas. But others can be implemented no matter the size of the ministry. And several of the things these ladies pointed out made me just shake my head in the realization that there may have been times I've been misleading the youth without meaning to. This book is definitely going on my bookshelf and I can't wait to use it for many years.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Friend In Me (Review)

This review is for the book "A Friend in Me" by Pamela Havey Lau. This is not the first book on friendship I have read this year, but it was one of my favorites. I loved the writing style of Lau, and I loved her honesty. I loved reading the perspectives of other ladies that Lau was able to incorporate into the book.

This book is filled with ideas on how to be a good friend, how to find good friends, mentoring, and she describes every topic with a variety of scripture background. The things in this book are things you can begin putting into action in your life. I hope that I can apply many of these things to be a better friend to my friends, and hopefully be a mentor or find a mentor one day. Now I realize the importance of these things.

I highly recommend for all women to read this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Letters From My Father's Murderer (Review)

This review is for the book "Letters From My Father's Murderer" by Laurie A. Coombs. This book was absolutely unlike any other book I have read in my life.

When Laurie's father was murdered, her father's killer was punished by life in prison. But Laurie was still full of anger and bitterness. She knew she was supposed to somehow forgive this man who murdered her father, so she wrote him and requested visitation rights. She was denied those rights by the prison, but her communication with Anthony did not stop. She was completely open and honest about her feelings towards him. She knew God was calling her to forgive Anthony but she did not know how she could get to that point. She also allowed Anthony to tell his side of the story from the night that her father was murdered.

The journey of their relationship is intriguing and fascinating. It is pretty unbelievable. Both of them go through the feelings of anger, shame, and confusion, but they both have their faith in God to lean on while they are sifting through all their feelings. I highly recommend this read.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Two Roads Home (Review)

This review is for the book "Two Roads Home" by Deborah Raney. This is the second book in her Chicory Inn series. I have read the first in the series but I believe this could be read as a standalone.

In this book, the focus is on Corinne and Jesse Pennington. The Penningtons are very restless. Corinne is tired of Jesse traveling so much for business, and it doesn't help matters when a coworker files a claim of harassment against Jesse. Not only that, the coworker seemingly won't leave the family alone, stringing them alone in threatening notes and actions. At the same time, Jesse is coming clean about wanting a career change, which would greatly affect the lifestyle Corinne has become accustomed to, and so she is also struggling with that.

Throughout the book, you can sense a restlessness with Corinne's parents as well, particularly her mother, who run the Chicory Inn, so I would think that will be a focal point in a future novel.

I enjoy these characters and I like Raney's style of writing. I would like to continue reading this series as they come out.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

What You Left Behind (Review)

This review is for the book "What You Left Behind" by Samantha Hayes. I read my first book written by Samantha Hayes about three months ago and I loved it. I loved the twists and turns in that novel and I really liked her writing style. So I was looking forward to reading another book by her. This one did not disappoint me.

In this book, Lorraine Fisher has come to Radcote just for a simple vacation with her sister. The city is still healing from a rash of teenage suicides when it looks like more suicides are beginning to take place. Lorraine is a detective inspector, so her police instincts set in. She begins investigating.

There are tons of suspicious characters - homeless teens, an autistic son, and plenty of other people who are just plain creepy. While reading the book you can prepare to suspect just about everyone of foul play. The ending is twisted and you won't be able to guess it. I love books like that. I look forward to reading another Hayes novel in the future.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, June 19, 2015