May 22, 2017

Wings of the Wind

Wings of the Wind is so much more than a Biblical retelling. It is a touching love story, rich with ancient history and themes of grace, forgiveness, faith, and perseverance.

This story is inspired by Deuteronomy 21:10-14, in which Hebrew men are instructed on how they are to treat their women captives—with dignity. I learned so much about the customs, beliefs, and hardships during the 40 year wandering in the wilderness.

Alanah and Tobiah are opposites in many ways (and you know the old saying about how opposites attract.) They are from different cultures, different belief systems and lifestyles. I find it fascinating how they react to each other, one with guarded understanding and uncertainty, one with contempt, and how they each begin to heal by the grace of God.

I love these characters, as well as the supporting characters and the Biblical people they represent. I love how the author made multiple storylines come together in a seamless, tension building way, and how these stories come to life as a vivid movie in my head. In simplicity, I love this book, the history displayed, and the stirring it has created in my heart—to search the scriptures, once again, for the crucial lessons of history.

I’ve no doubt you’ll receive rich blessings upon reading Wings of the Wind. I’m so happy to own the three books of this series, but sad it has come to an end. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Cossette’s work.

5 Stars

Cover: LOVE
Title: LOVE
Pages: 352
Series: Out From Egypt Book 3
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764218224
First Line: Forging through the teeming mass of Canaanite Soldiers in this vast army camp, I’d never felt more alone.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley.

May 20, 2017

Kids' NIV Visual Study Bible

Explore the Story of The Bible
People, Places, and History

The Kid’s NIV Visual Study Bible is an exceptional study tool, with drawings, photographs, maps, and numerous facts that help put passages easier to understand and to put in context. This Bible is geared toward children ages 5-12, but in my opinion, it’s suitable and helpful for all ages.

The hardback book is thick and sturdy, has an attached ribbon page keeper, and with 1,952 pages it contains the entire text of the NIV translation (New International Version) and is chockfull of additional study facts and info. The thickness of the book might make it inconvenient to carry to weekly services or study group, but is incredible for home study. 

Another great point of this book is the one column Bible text, which allows wide, colorful margins that display illustrations (over 700), interesting facts, and enough room leftover for your own handwritten study notes (or if you’re a Bible journaling enthusiast—your drawings.)

This study Bible is colorful, engaging, interacting, and most importantly brings the Word of God alive off the page. It’s a wonderful addition to any home library, and will certainly change and bless lives. (There is a presentation page in the front of the book if you give it as a gift.)

5 Stars

Cover: Love
Title: Love
Pages: 1,952
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0310758600

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Handlebar.

May 19, 2017

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandry is the second book I’ve read in this series. (I read My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille earlier this year – my review is here.) One thing I love about these books is they are fast reads with plenty of oomph and twists.

This story took me to the Superstition Mountains in Tucson, Arizona during the mid 1800s. The author does a nice job of description (without overdoing it) where the reader can sink into the scene, travel the desert trail, smell the arid scent, and experience times past in the Old West.

Carmela’s Quandry is a sweet romantic western, written in Carmela Wade’s point of view as well as her romantic interest’s, U.S. Marshall Freeland McKay. It felt more like a women’s fiction story (my favorite genre) taking place in the west, to me, because I was mainly invested in her dilemmas and internal growth. I also love the vein of faith that flows throughout this book, and theme of overcoming and conquering the past.

4 Stars

Cover: Like
Title: Like
Pages: 304
Publisher: Barbour Books
ISBN: 978-1683220077
First Lines: “You get out there, and I mean now.” Uncle Silas glared at Carmela, his white eyebrows nearly meeting over his thin nose.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to post a review.

May 17, 2017

Peace in the Valley

 "So Trey Stafford was sorry. Big deal. Staffords had a lot to be sorry for in Gray’s Glen…" ~Excerpt

Peace in the Valley, by Ruth Logan Herne, is the third book in the Double S Ranch series. Back in the Saddle, and Home on the Range are book one and two in the series, but each installment works nicely as a stand-alone.

If you enjoy modern day cowboys, then this book is a treat for you. The story has a healthy dose of heart and hope, the characters are believable and easy to sympathize with, and the book encompasses a lovely coming together of family.

"What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you took time to thank God for today?" ~Excerpt

I love the chance meeting between Trey (a country music singer, called home on an important undertaking) and Lucy (a single mother who’s life is literally falling apart.) Their internal and external struggles keep the story moving along, and I couldn’t seem to turn the pages fast enough.

This tender story has a lovely message, and leaves my heart full and soul sated. My favorite of this series.

5 Stars

Cover: Okay
Title: Love
Publisher: Multnomah
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-1601427809
First Lines: For once in his life, Trey Walker Stafford had aced his two older brothers. The fact that he had to risk his life and offer up a chunk of his liver to claim the title made it a dubious honor.

I received a Review Copy from the publisher via BloggingForBooks.

May 15, 2017

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May 14, 2017

Bread of Angels

Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven, and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of angels. ~Psalm 78:23-25

Bread of Angels is another wonderful book by Tessa Afshar. I’ve read several of her books and have never been disappointed. She is a talented storyteller who draws the reader back to Bible times and delivers a message of love, hope, and faith.

There is a lovely and familiar cast of characters—Lydia (the seller of purple, Phillipi, Paul, and more. It is effortless to sink into this story, and my emotions were given a tough workout. I love a story that makes me feel strongly—whether it’s amused, heartbroken, joyful, or angry. And I love it when I’m taken back to Bible times, learning the customs and such.

It was easy to sympathize with Lydia and felt the wounds of betrayal and fear. It seems with each Afshar novel I read I love it more than the previous one—but the fact is, they are all superb.

Lovely writing, brilliant storytelling, with a ministering and inspiring message. 

5 Stars

Cover: Like
Title: Love
Pages: 416
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 978-149406477
First Line (prologue): I have never served as a soldier, yet I have the strange sense that most of my life I have stared down the blade of a sword, the face of my adversary haunting me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network and NetGalley.