Monday, January 31, 2011

Paradise Valley


by Dale Cramer

Read the Back:

I would do a great many things for you. Even at sixteen, Jake’s handsome features hold the calm certainty and patient confidence of a man, and Rachel Bender knows – Jake Weaver is the one.

Rachel will grow into a strong young woman with powerful gifts – but in a faraway country, without her Jake. In 1921, Ohio’s new law forces Caleb Bender’s family to seek sanctuary in the wilds of Mexico, where the government will not interfere with their Amish way of life or take their children from them. Nor will it protect them from the bandits terrorizing the countryside.

In an unfamiliar land where no one speaks their language or knows their ways, the Benders establish a homestead in exile. Sisters Emma, Rachel, and Miriam find strengths unimagined, gifts unexpected, and yearning beyond their deepest dreams. Even steadfast Caleb is compelled to wrestle with the demands of faith, only to discover that love has its own demands.

My Thoughts:

Gripping from the very start. Within the first 5 chapters of the book I was hooked! It’s rare that a book can grab me that quickly, but I’m glad it did. Dale Cramer’s book differs from most Amish books in that it adds an adventure side to it as well. There were parts of the book that were very suspenseful and parts where you could just soak up the emotions of each character.

I really love the character of Jake Weaver. He is the hopeless romantic type that most women can only dream of. Each character has their uniqueness to them and I really love that about Dale’s writing. You can vividly picture each character and the emotions they feel are raw and grip the reader.

I also found myself still learning new things about the Amish culture and language. I just love the way that the Amish dialect is peppered throughout the book and it intermittently reminds me that the characters are Amish as sometimes you can forget or your imagination can drift away from who the characters really are.

Thank you to Dale for writing such a beautiful piece of work. I recommend this book highly to anyone!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fatal Judgement


by Irene Hannon

Read the Back:

U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action during his years in law enforcement. But he’d rather go back to Iraq than face his next assignment: protection detail for federal judge Liz Michaels. His feelings toward the coldhearted workaholic haven’t warmed in the five years since she drove her husband – and Jake’s best friend – to despair…and possible suicide.

As the danger mounts and Jake gets to know Liz better, he’s forced to revise his opinion of her. And when it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes are raised. Because now both her life – and his heart – are in danger.

Full of suspense and romance, Fatal Judgment is a thrilling story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

My Thoughts:

This book took me a little while to get into. It’s the first time I’ve read a book with the premise of a U.S. Marshal so being a little unfamiliar with the background of a U.S. Marshal’s job could’ve played into that a bit. Initially the plot felt highly predictable, but as I got further into the story I became more directly involved in the story. The way the author describes the characters via another character’s eyes really helps the reader to feel the emotions that the describing character is feeling. I was quite surprised to find out about a character ½ way through that I thought I’d spend the whole book guessing about, but it really helped his character develop more and fit the story well.

When I finally hit the ½ way point of the book I found it harder and harder to put down. There was a lot more action and suspense and I was becoming so engrossed in the book that it was as though I was watching a movie. There were several times I had to remind myself to breathe because I had been holding my breath in anticipation of what was going to happen next.

I really loved the way the characters interacted with each other from the jeering and the way the author describes each character’s facial expression throughout. It really helped the vividness of the story. My suggestion to anyone wanting to read this book is to pick it up for sure, but be sure to give it time to work its magic. Stick with it and you WON’T be disappointed!

This review was made possible because I was provided a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room


by Nancy Guthrie

Read the Back:

Draw nearer to God – and to each other – every day during Advent.

How many Christmas mornings have you found your family gathered around the tree with presents beautifully wrapped and a scrumptious feast on the table – but with hearts that have not been prepared to truly take in the wonder of God’s becoming human? Not this year.

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room, a family Advent devotional from Bible teacher and mom Nancy Guthrie, is designed to bring your family together during a season that is often too much about programs and presents and simply not enough about Jesus. Along with devotions for every day in December, this resource includes explanations of some hard-to-understand elements of popular Christmas carols and discussion questions that will draw your elementary through high school age kids into the conversation, transforming this time together from a dry lecture into a treasured family experience.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. The readings were short and sweet which is important when you have a 2 yr. old trying to listen to your words. I really enjoyed the interspersing of well known Christmas carols and the explanations of what some of the words mean within them. The discussion starters are great for adults, but are definitely not for young children. The prayers are meaningful and relate perfectly with what each reading is trying to get across. There is also a section within each days’ reading that guides the reader to other scriptures that reference the theme of the day. For example, on the day that is titled Eagerly Waiting the author gives the readers two scriptures that talk about “Waiting for Jesus to Return”. These particular scriptures are ones that I wouldn’t necessarily have found on my own (Titus 2:11-14 and 2 Timothy 4:8).

This beautiful hard cover edition would make a great gift for the holiday season and its compact size would mean it would mail well (cheaper than bulky gifts) so why not surprise a loved one next Christmas?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pink Espresso Giveaway


What is PINK Espresso?

PINK Espresso is a proud Canadian fashion and beauty company (e-commerce), based in Ottawa, Ontario. They retail products include: Jewelery, Beauty and Organic/Vegan cosmetics, Nail products and Brand name bath and lotion products. Most of their products are made in Canada and from Canadian companies.

Their website is very easy to use and customers can purchase a variety of fashion and beauty products all at one stop only with their finger tips, perfect for busy moms and gals.

They also wholesale jewelery and they are seeking jewelery distributors which is perfect for moms if they are interested in starting their own business while taking care of their family at the same time! (text courtesy of Canadianladybug Reviews).


You can win a 1.75Ct. 18K White Gold GP Solitaire Pendant with one 18K White Gold GP Chain - 18inch /18KGP-SC2 as well as a pair of earrings of 3.0Ct Stud Earrings. It's simple...visit Canadianladybug Reviews blog and follow the instructions to win.

Best of luck to everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Voices of the Faithful


Read the Back:


Loving the world as God does involves extreme sacrifice. It also has radical effects, demonstrated in these 366 true accounts of fellow believers from around the world.

A Christian claims the names of God at knifepoint and lives to tell about it…
Prayer revives a coma victim, in defiance of village witch doctors…
A Bible verse between friends helps a Hindu family discover the light of Christ…
An abused seven-year-old asks, “Do you have any pills that would give me hope?”…
A former Muslim finds forgiveness in the Jesus she denied…

Voices of the Faithful brings you the amazing stories of hundreds of Christians worldwide who daily go to the outer limits of spiritual devotion and are living the passionate, courageous life Jesus challenged us all to live.

If you’re bored with your comfort-fit Christianity, if you’re ready for God to shake you awake, then take the challenge. Find out in these pages what on earth God is doing in your generation…and discover your role in making a difference in the world.

My Thoughts:
This is an amazing devotional. Each day starts out with a verse, followed by someone’s story, and ends with a prayer. The stories are truly impactful and really open your eyes to what’s going on around the world and what sacrifices people are making in the name of God.

I really enjoy the length of each day’s devotion as well. Being a busy mom, I constantly struggle to find time to be with God each day. These bite-size devotions are just perfect.

I love the vine artwork throughout the book. It really reminds us to bear good fruit. Another great feature is at the beginning of each new month, Beth Moore writes a couple of pages explaining what will be the focus for the month. It’s a great overview and it allows the reader to easily transition from one focus to another.

This review was possible because I received a free copy of Voices of the Faithful from Thomas Nelson Publishers.