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Book Review, “Peace in the Valley,” Ruth Logan Herne author

peace in the valley cover

Peace in the Valley, by Ruth Logan Herne, is the third book in the Double S Ranch series.  This book illustrates what can happen to people when they follow God’s plan rather than their own. It completes the story of the Stafford family.

Trey Walker Stafford returns home to central Washington to give part of his liver to his uncle/father, Sam Stafford, the man who rescued him after his parents’ death and took him in as his own son. When Sam asks Trey to help him repay Lucy Carlton’s family for his past uncaring behavior by restoring her crumbling farm, Trey is happy to help.  But as Lucy and Trey work together and grow closer, he discovers Lucy’s past and is reminded of his late wife’s mistakes. He must decide if he can put the past aside and move on to share a life with Lucy and her children. His country singer superstar status only complicates the matter, leaving Lucy to guard her heart and expect disappointment.

I enjoyed this book. It was a fitting conclusion to this beautiful story of forgiveness and restitution. I found Lucy a very down to earth person, easy to relate to in real life. I especially liked Isabo, who seemed to lovingly take control when others needed her.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “Bible Promises for Parents of Children with Special Needs,” Amy E. Mason author

Bible promises for parents of children with special needs cover

Bible Promises for Parents of Children with Special Needs, by Amy E. Mason, is a wonderful book. It is a topical guide to God’s promises. It is designed to help those caring for children with special needs to find hope and comfort in God’s promises and stories in the Bible.

The topics selected in this book were selected to speak to the uniqueness of special needs parenting, including both the joys and the struggles. They are designed to encourage such parents and guide them into the presence of Jesus.  The topics, arranged in alphabetical order, are all comprised of Bible verses and a short devotion. Some of the topics included are: abandonment, anger, attitude, bitterness, embarrassment, caring, eternity, guilt, loneliness, obedience, and shame.

This is a marvelous book. Each topic is short and easy to locate, including not just one, but several Bible verses. It is designed to help parents “be assured of his constant grace and love for both you and your child.” Because the author is the mother of a child with special needs, her understanding of the challenges are evident in this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has or works with a child with special needs.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “The Chapel Car Bride,” Judith Miller author

chapel car bride book review

The Chapel Car Bride, by Judith Miller, tells the story of Hope Irvine. Having spent several years in Pittsburgh with her aunt, Hope is now ready to move on with her life. She is excited to accompany her father, the preacher in a railroad car that has been converted into a traveling church.

Hope is thrilled to play the organ for her father’s church services and to teach the children Bible stories on the chapel car. But when they arrive in Finch, West Virginia, they face a multitude of challenges. The people there are coal miners and are very suspicious of outsiders. Luke Hughes, a part-time coal miner, wants to learn all he can from Reverend Irvine while he has the opportunity. As he spends time with the preacher, he also begins to grow closer to Hope. When Kirby Finch, the mine owner’s son, comes to town and begins spending time with Hope, Luke begins to suspect that Kirby may be involved in illegal activities that put Hope in danger.

I enjoyed this book.  While Hope seemed a little naive, she was gracious and self-sacrificing. Luke was an ordinary man trying to help his family and follow God’s will.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Christian historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Upon a Spring Breeze,” Kelly Irvin author

Upon a Spring Breeze cover

Upon a Spring Breeze, by Kelly Irvin, is the first book in An Every Amish Season series. It tells the story of an Amish woman progressing through the grief process. The book includes discussion questions at the end.

Bess Weaver, just twenty-years-old and expecting her first child, is shocked when her husband, Caleb, is suddenly killed when a car strikes his buggy. Devastated, she begins by just getting through each day. But eventually, she takes a job at a local bed and breakfast cleaning and planting flowers to help her move forward. Aiden, Caleb’s best friend, is also grieving. In addition, he is in love with Bess, and struggles over the idea of reaching out to her. With his own farm recovering from a bird infection, he must begin from scratch. Having loved Bess since childhood, he is not sure how to proceed or what actions would even be appropriate.

This was a great book. I found it a little slow in the beginning, but could not put it down by the end. It tells a beautiful story of loss, love, and friendship. I  especially liked the three other widows who gathered to help Bess through this difficult time.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Deep Extraction,” DiAnn Mills author

deep extraction cover

Deep Extraction, by Diann Mills, is the second book in the FBI Task Force series.  In her “Note From the Author,” Mills describes it as a novel showing “how people can grow and become better people for their circumstances or sink into the depths of degradation.” Set in Houston, Texas, it centers around the murder of Nathan Moore.

FBI Special Agent Tori Templeton is shocked at the murder of her friend Nathan. Best friends with his wife Sally, Tori is determined to find out who hacked Nathan’s pacemaker and killed him. When Deputy US Marshall Cole Jeffers, also a close friend of the family, reinstates and joins the task force, the two are paired to solve the murder. As they investigate, they find that Nathan was not the man they thought, keeping many secrets that weave a tangled web of evidence to sort out. With Sally a suspect, they are motivated to find the truth and clear her name.

This was an excellent book.  I found it hard to put down.  The characters are very realistic, with flaws that any person could possess. I especially enjoyed Tori’s devotion to her friends and appreciated her honest struggle with faith in God.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Christian suspense novels.

Kara

 

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “Is the Bible Good for Women?” Wendy Alsup author

is the Bible good for women cover

Is the Bible Good for Women? Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture, by Wendy Alsup, is an interesting book. It seeks to answer the question, “Is it possible to embrace the inherent dignity of womanhood while still cherishing the Bible?”

This book seeks to explore the understanding of the role of women according to the Bible. It addresses issues that many in society consider threatening and harmful to women today. Alsup explores many issues, such as: How does God view justice and equal rights for women? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? How have the centuries distorted our interpretation of how God views women? How did Jesus approach the Old Testament and how does that help us read difficult passages today? And what is the difference between a modern view of feminism and the feminism that Scripture models? The author presents specific tools for understanding the manner in which God speaks to and about women.

This is a thought-provoking book. It addresses many issues concerning women in society today verses the role of women in the Bible. I appreciate the author’s view that men and women are created differently and with differing roles in the church and society.

I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to explore women’s roles in the church, but suggest that one may want to look through it at a local bookstore before purchasing.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “The Berenstain Bears Our Pets,” Mike Berenstain author

berenstain bears cover

The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets, a Living Lights title, by Mike Berenstain, is adorable. The illustrations are delightful and age appropriate for young children. The story touches upon the issues that arise when pets are a part of any family.

In this story, the Berenstain Bears bring their pets to a special service on Sunday, the Blessing of the Pets. As one might expect, however, the Chapel lawn becomes a regular zoo with so many animals: cats, rats, goats, snakes, fish, and birds. The Bear Country neighbors soon realize that the situation is never predictable with pets involved.

This is a wonderful book. It is quick to read and would hold the attention of any young child. I especially liked that it combines a love of pets with the responsibilities that go along with them. However, as some churches do not believe in blessing pets, one might need to explain to their youngster whether or not such a service would apply to their particular family.

I would recommend this book to anyone with young children.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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