Book Review: Come to the Garden by Jennifer Wilder Morgan

Have you ever wanted to sit down and have a conversation with your guardian angel? Jennifer Wilder Morgan describes such a situation in her new book, Come to the Garden. Her main character, Jennifer, has the experience of meeting her guardian angel, Margaret, in her back yard garden. She has the opportunity to share memories and ask questions of her. I found the book very encouraging and inspiring, as it is filled with promises from God. The book was easy to read and follow. I recommend this book if you enjoy reading religious books packed with inspiration. The author writes with an intention of bringing freedom and healing to those who read the book. She also states that the book is written for all persons of faith with no particular denomination in mind and even for those of no faith. I found it slightly odd that the main character is telling her life stories to her guardian angel who would already know them, but by sharing those memories, Jennifer comes to some new insights and perspectives. Jennifer shares times in her life when God was greatly influencing her choices and decisions. I hope you enjoy reading this book.

1456501708685I was provided a complimentary  copy of this book for review from Howard Books. I was not obligated to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.

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Book Review: Angel in Aisle 3 by Kevin West

In the tradition of An Invisible Thread and Same Kind of Different as Me, Angel in Aisle 3 is the heartwarming true story of an unlikely friendship that began with a chance meeting in a grocery store between a bank executive bound for prison and an elderly stranger.

When Kevin West resigned from his job as vice president of a bank in 1998 after making fraudulent loans, he spent the time before his trial managing a family-owned, small grocery store in Ironton, Ohio. Dealing with serious marriage problems and with a prison sentence almost certainly in his future, Kevin was overcome with remorse and without a scrap of hope. It was at his lowest moment that Kevin called out to a power beyond himself for help, and God answered his prayer in the form of an elderly vagrant in a soiled shirt and tattered pants named Don.

When Don saw Kevin’s open Bible on the counter next to the register, the untidy, long-haired indigent took the opportunity to share Bible wisdom and life-giving truths that changed Kevin’s life. Finding a sense of peace in their conversation, Kevin offered Don a few basic groceries and an invitation to continue their conversation the next day. What began as a chance meeting between two individuals whose lives seemed headed for certain ruin, turns into an unlikely bond of friendship that saved them both.
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It was this friendship that helped Kevin thrive in prison, restore his failed marriage, and gave Don a chance at a new life that went beyond anyone’s imagination. Moving and awe-inspiring, this story of a pure friendship sheds light on the redemption and hope that can grow out of relationships based in faith.

This is one of those stories of faith and wisdom coming from unexpected places, or more specifically in the book, from an unexpected person.  Kevin, the author of the book, tells us of his true story of meeting what he thought was a homeless man in his grocery store that he started running when he lost his job in the corporate world after making some shady decisions to pad his own pockets.  Kevin considers himself a Christian man, but after meeting, his new friend Don, he discovers that he has so much to learn.  It is interesting how both characters, Kevin and Don are changed after their meeting.  I find this a very inspiring story that teaches us that even though we make mistakes and must suffer the natural consequences, God can still use those mistakes to make us a better person.   The book is not only a lesson on faith, but loving, forgiving and not judging others as well.  I recommend this book to those who enjoy reading the inspiring stories of  others, especially when those stories help us to make changes in our own lives.  It took a lot of courage for Kevin to share his story.  He spent time in prison for his bad financial judgments, but he also learned that judging others by our first impression is not the smartest thing to do either.  The book was a quick read for me as it has a nice flow of writing and I do think you will enjoy the book as much as I did if you choose to read it.  The book is being released tomorrow by Howard Books, so don’t miss your chance to get your hands on a copy.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review by Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.  I was not obligated to provide a positive review.  The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review: Esther by Rebecca Kanner

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From the award-winning author of Sinners and the Sea comes a breathtaking new look into the timeless tale of Queen Esther.

A glittering Persian king has a vast empire that reaches farther than where the sun meets the horizon. He is bathed in riches and commands a frightening military force. He possesses power beyond any other mortal man and rules his kingdom as a god. Anything he desires, he has. Any woman he wants, he possesses. Thousands of them. Young virgins from all across his many lands.

A Jewish girl is ripped from her hut by the king’s brutish warriors and forced to march across blistering, scorched earth to the capitol city. Trapped for months in the splendid cage of the king’s palace, she must avoid the ire of the king’s concubines and eunuchs all while preparing for her one night with the king. Soon the fated night arrives, and she does everything in her power to captivate the king and become his queen.

But wearing the crown brings with it a new set of dangers. When a ruthless man plies the king’s ear with whispers of genocide, it is up to the young queen to prevent the extermination of the Jews. She must find the strength within to violate the king’s law, risk her life, and save her people.

This is a story of finding hidden depths of courage within one’s self. Of risking it all to stand up for what is right.

I thought this was a well-written fictional account of the story of Esther.  At times, it seemed so descriptive and real to me that I felt like I was reading an actual account rather than fiction.  The author a wonderful job of putting you, as the reader, right in the middle of the action.  Speaking of action, this is another one of those rare books, that is difficult to put down when reading.  It is full of drama and suspense.  I enjoyed this author’s style of writing, with her descriptions and character portrayals.  I do hope that Kanner continues with a biblical fiction line and writes about more women from this Bible and their stories.  Though I know they are  fictional, I feel as if I am reading about actual situations and how they played out in reality.  I highly recommend this if you enjoy reading excellently written biblical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Howard Books, a Division of Simon and Schuster Publishers.  I was not obligated to write a positive review.  The opinions in this review are my own.

New Book Review: Promise to Keep

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World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance.

Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.

This is the first book I have read from this author, and it was very enjoyable and kept my interest throughout the book.  It was a book that I had difficulty putting down because I was wanting to read on to discover the outcome of the story.  The characters had many interesting connections which added to the interest of the book’s plot.  She gave each of them personalities that were true to their background.  If you like reading Amish fiction, then I highly recommend you add this book to your reading list.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Howard Books, a Division of Simon and Schuster Publishers.  I was not obligated to write a positive review.  The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review: The Quarryman’s Bride

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Book Description:

Emmalyne Knox and Tavin MacLachlan were destined to be together…until the tragic deaths of Emmalyne’s youngest sisters. Family tradition mandates that the youngest daughter should remain single to care for her parents in their old age, and now that daughter is Emmalyne. Her father unyielding, Emmalyne surrenders to her duty, heartbroken. Tavin leaves town, equally devastated.

Years later, Emmalyne’s family moves, and she and Tavin meet again. Their feelings for each other are as strong as ever, but their painful past and Emmalyne’s father still stand between them. Soon both families are in the midst of the growing conflict rising between the workers at the granite quarry that Tavin’s father owns and operates. When a series of near-fatal accidents occur, Tavin must figure out who is behind the attacks before someone gets killed.

Bound by obligation, yet yearning for a future together, can Emmalyne and Tavin dare to dream that God could heal a decade-long wound and change the hearts of those who would stand in the way of true love?

My Review:

This is the second book I have read in this series and I found it to be similar to the first.  A love affair occurs eventually between two very stubborn people that avoid it for various reasons.  It was an easy to read and the story kept my attention despite its similarities to the other book.  I enjoy Tracie Peterson’s writing and have read several other books she has written.  Her writing is very descriptive and the reader feels like they are a part of the story they are reading.  I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading wholesome Christian fiction.  As with many of the books I review, it would make a good book for a discussion group.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not obligated to write a positive review.  The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review: Lead Me Home

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Book Description:

Shiloh Griffin has no identity outside of her roles as pastor’s wife and mom. Some days that is enough. But not always. Particularly when she is partnered with the always confident, always gracious Jade Smith on a church ministry project. Rather than shying away from God in her nervousness, Shiloh clings to Him, seeking every day to redeem herself. When an opportunity arises for her to teach music at a local high school, she thinks maybe it’s just the thing to give her more significance. Then Shiloh begins mentoring Monica, a fifteen-year-old student. When Monica learns she is pregnant, Shiloh must confront her own darkest secret in the desperate decision facing the teen. If she turns away, this teen’s life—and her soul—could be in jeopardy. If she decides to stand up and help, she knows she’s the one who risks losing everything. Stacy Hawkins Adams’s second book in the Winds of Change series finds Shiloh at a life-changing crossroads: keep her halo intact, or lose her honor to save the girl’s. ‘Elegantly emotional and intriguing, the story reaches deep to gently touch the soul.’

My Review:

This was a well-written Christian fiction book.  The characters are likable and they go through realistic life-changing situations that the average person can relate to.  It was the first book I have read by this author and I look forward to reading more.  I enjoyed her writing and feel that most Christian women would like reading her books.  The book would be a great discussion book for a group.  I would highly recommend this book to others who enjoy Christian women’s fiction.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review from Booksneeze.com.  I was not obligated to write a positive review.  The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review: Secrets to a Happy Life

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Book Description:

Inspiring Biblical Wisdom Helps Readers Overcome Dissatisfaction and Discontent
Deep, lasting satisfaction and contentment elude many people. In his accessible book, Giovannetti addresses this contemporary issue by guiding readers through the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis. He answers the question “Is contentment possible?” with a resounding yes. Biblical wisdom and practical advice will help the reader find contentment in God rather than circumstances.
The author teaches at Tozer Theological Seminary and Simpson University as well as pastoring a church of more than 2,500.

My Review:

Happiness is more that circumstantial.  Many people state that if only “I could get that job, I would be happy.”  or “If only I could find a new house, I would be happy.”  When they reach those place, they find that they are no more happy than before, because they based their happiness of their life’s circumstances.  This book uses the story of Joseph in the Bible to show readers what it means to truly be happy.  It is strongly based upon scripture and quotes often from the Bible.  It is one of those books that helps you to make a true life transition after you have read it.  I found the reading easy to understand and it flows well between the scripture quotes and the discussions.  It would be a great book for a Bible study or even a reading group.  I strongly recommend this book to others and it is one that would make a great gift as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not obligated to write a positive review.  The opinions in this review are my own.