Book Review! These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

9780800723637

Title: These Healing Hills
Author: 
Ann H. Gabhart
Rating:
4/5
Release Date: 
September 5, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII’s end writes to tell her he’s in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

When Francine’s and Ben’s paths intersect, it’s immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.”

Review: This book was really wonderful. It was sweet and drew me in with such vivid imagery. I could see the mountains, the cabins, and the sometimes treacherous paths through the woods. It was peaceful, although hard work, and I couldn’t help myself from wanting to be right there with Fran. I got lost in this story and didn’t really want to come back out.

I loved Granny Em and Sadie with their goofy ways but Sarge was definitely my favorite! He was such an adorable and reliable dog, and I was impressed with this ability to smile.

The sense of community in this wonderful mountain village was inspiring. I loved the way everyone seemed to look out for each other, at least for the most part. The world sure could use more of that these days.

This was my first book by Ann H. Gabhart but after this one, it definitely won’t be my last.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

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Book Review-The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

9780800722708

Title: The Christmas Blessing 
Author: 
Melody Carlson
Rating:
4/5
Release Date: 
September 5, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby’s father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant’s paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don’t know that she–or their grandson–exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?
Beloved author Melody Carlson pens a story of love, hardship, and reconciliation that will leave readers filled with Christmas joy.”

Review: I loved this book so much. It was such a super short book; it only took me a few hours to finish it. I didn’t think it was as much of a Christmas book as I was hoping, but the story was so heartfelt and warm, that you couldn’t help but fall in love.

I loved this book from beginning to end and will reread this book around Christmas time in the future. This is the kind of story I would love to curl up with in front of a fireplace with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and a nice blanket.

 *I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review! CSB Reader’s Bible by Holman

Title: CSB Reader’s Bible 
Author: 
Holman
Rating:
3.5/5
Release Date: 
09/01/2017

Description from the publisher: The CSB Reader’s Bible provides the perfect opportunity to read the Bible in its original and simplified form, uninterrupted by verse and chapter references. This unique Bible reading experience invites the reader to encounter God’s Word as a grand narrative and have a fresh experience with the Bible.

Features include: Single-column reader’s text, Simplified page design, 10-point type, Ribbon marker, Smyth-sewn binding, and more.

The CSB Reader’s Bible features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSB’s optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others.”

 

Review: This is a really great format for reading through the Bible. It was really easy to read without having the page breaks always in the way. It felt more like reading a regular book and I found it easier to concentrate on the message and not get distracted. Reading this early on a Sunday morning was wonderful and I was able to get lost in the Word for a while.

The design of this Bible is excellent. The cover seems really durable and well protected. It does lie flat so you can lay it down and read without having to hold it the entire time, this is a big deal to me. It also has the customary ribbon bookmark and dedication page.

This translation is different than the NKJV that I usually read so some parts were a little weird for me. I hope that the translation was well done and is at least very close to the original. The message didn’t seem different but the wording was definitely switched around.

I really enjoyed not having chapter and verse numbers but it did make it more difficult if I wanted to look up a favorite verse or to compare translations.

All in all, this is a great Bible to just sit down and read, but I will definitely keep my other Bible on hand for researching or quick look ups.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

Book Review! Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson

Title: Cherished Mercy 
Author: 
Tracie Peterson
Rating:
4/5
Release Date: 
September 5, 2017

Description from Goodreads: After surviving the Whitman Massacre as a child, Mercy still prays for peace between the native peoples and the white settlers of Oregon Territory. Longing for purpose, she travels to another mission to help a friend. There she meets Adam, a handsome young minister. When tragedy strikes yet again, Mercy and Adam must rely on their faith to make it out alive.

Review: Cherished Mercy was a wonderfully intense book. I have loved Mercy from the beginning of this series and was really excited to read her story; I was not disappointed. This book was wonderful, heartfelt, and at times very sad and suspenseful. This book made me tear and get Goosebumps.

I loved Mercy’s relationships with Eletta, Isaac, and Faith as well as Adam and the Tututni. She truly loved everyone, no matter their skin color. The way she defended the Tututni with her own life was heroic and beyond brave. I also loved how well she and Adam complimented each other. Their love story was engaging and sweet. Their shared love for Faith was inspiring to read.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

Book Review! To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon

Title: To Be Where You Are
Author:
 Jan Karon
Rating: 
4/5
Release Date: 
September 19, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “#1 New York Times bestselling author Jan Karon returns with the fourteenth novel in the beloved Mitford series, featuring three generations of Kavanaghs.

After twelve years of wrestling with the conflicts of retirement, Father Tim Kavanagh realizes he doesn’t need a steady job to prove himself. Then he’s given one–but what, exactly, does it prove? Meanwhile, newly married Dooley and Lace face a crisis that empties their bank account and turns their household upside down. Is the honeymoon over? Is this where real life begins?

As the Mitford Muse editor stumbles on a quick fix for marital woes and the town grocer falls in love for the first time, Father Tim and Cynthia receive an invitation to yet another family wedding.

But perhaps the bottom line is this: While a star blinks out in the Mitford firmament, another soon blinks on at Meadowgate, and four-year-old Jack Tyler looks forward to the biggest day of his life–for now and forever.

Jan Karon weaves together the everyday lives of two families, and the cast of characters that readers around the world now love like kin.”

Review: I loved getting back to this amazing small town and being able to hang out with the crazy cast of characters that live in Mitford again. I have missed all of them way to much since the last book.  I was glad to get a lot more of Dooley and Lace and of course Father Tim and Cynthia, but I was really glad to get more of Avis Packard and Coot Hendrick, and Little Grace Murphy was such a treat. Coot has cracked me up since he first showed up in the books so I was glad to see him back as a main character here. We didn’t see as much of Avis, other than just being the grocery proprietor. His journey in this book was wonderful and I had to shed a tear or two.

I loved reading about Dooley and Lace’s marriage and of course little Jack! The excitement of Name Day was heartwarming and I couldn’t get enough. They are such amazing parents, but of course not perfect. I was glad to see the way they struggled with parenting but rose above it. The way Dooley and Lace handle the trials and stresses of life and marriage was also wonderful. Life isn’t always roses and they learned that right away but the way they worked together and trusted God was amazing. Both grew up so much and became even better adults in this book and I truly hope there will be more of their story in the future.

I was also eager to get to see Father Tim and Cynthia again. Their marriage cracks me up and inspires me at the same time. I love their banter and the way they are always there for each other; their marriage is one I aspire to.

I did have some issues in the beginning, however. It took me quite a while to get back into her writing style. I assume the other books in this series are the same, but it’s been so long since I read the other books that I forgot.

I got frustrated with the way she begins each characters part. She doesn’t usually give the name of the character you are reading, instead just used pronouns “she” or “he”. Meaning it could be many people in the book. At times it took until the end of the characters few paragraphs to be able to figure out who I was actually reading about.

She also shifted within their place to different characters at times, making it very confusing. This was particularly difficult when I was reading about Dooley and Jack, it would start in Dooley’s perspective but then suddenly shift to Jack without distinguishing between the two, using only “he”. The only way you knew it was Jack, was because Dooley wouldn’t say that.

All in all, once I got into the book and back into her style, I really enjoyed it. I truly hope this isn’t the last book in this series, but I have a feeling I will say that after every book. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for the final ending. At least if this book is the final end, it will be a good one.

*I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

Book Review! Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley

Title: Justice Buried 
Author: 
Patricia Bradley
Rating:
4/5
Release Date: 
September 5, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

Crackling with romantic tension and laced with intrigue, this suspenseful story from award-winning author Patricia Bradley will keep readers guessing–and looking over their shoulders.”

Review: I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It had me hooked from the first page and didn’t let up until the final one. This book was suspenseful and definitely kept me on my toes. I tried really hard to figure out who was guilty but to no avail. I was really impressed with how well this book was written and with how complex the characters were.

Kelsey was amazing and I loved how tough and smart she was. I also liked that she was always braver than she gave herself credit for. Brad was also really tough and brave and the way they interacted and helped each other was fantastic to read. They both cared so much about their families and other people, even complete strangers, and their dedication to their families was refreshing.

I loved this book and it ended way too soon for me. Hopefully there will be another book in this series!

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

Book Review! Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great Outdoors by Eva Shockey, A.J. Gregory

Title: Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great Outdoors
Author: Eva Shockey, A.J. Gregory
Rating: 
4/5
Release Date: 
August 29, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “A world-famous bow hunter who defies the stereotype that hunting is a man’s game, Eva Shockey is a real-life Katniss Everdeen–a TV and social media star at the forefront of a new wave of women and girls in outdoor sports.
Eva Shockey grew up aspiring to be a dancer, like her glamorous mother. But something about spending family vacations RV-ing across North America and going on hunts with her dad sparked in her an unduring passion for a different way of life.
In Taking Aim, Eva tells a very personal story of choosing the less-traveled path to a rewarding life in outdoor pursuits like hunting and fishing. For her, as the millions of fans who follow her life on TV and on social media can attest, that has meant hunting as a way of harvesting food, caring deeply about sustainability and healthy eating, and getting closer to God in nature.
In this riveting memoir for the adventurer in all of us, Eva takes us along for the ride as she scales rugged mountains in Alaska, tracks 1,500-pound bull moose through unforgiving Yukon terrain, and meets the many challenges of a life in the outdoors. Along the way we learn that hunting is about so much more than letting an arrow fly or pulling a trigger.
Whether you’re a lifelong hunter or a city dweller who has never set foot in the wilderness, Eva’s story offers a timeless, empowering message about rejecting stereotypes and expectations, believing in yourself, and finding the courage to pursue your own unique dream.”

Review: Eva Shockey puts you right in the passenger seat of her life. Starting with a hunt, and then going back to what brought her to that point in her life, I really felt as though I was getting to know a good friend. Though I follow Eva Shockey on Instagram, I knew very little of who she really was. I enjoyed getting to know this inspirational woman a little better and learn a few things I didn’t know about hunting.

 

I enjoyed reading about this fascinating woman’s life and all the things that made her become one of the most famous women hunters today. I never would have guessed that she didn’t understand hunting when she was young. Her father being a professional hunter, I just assumed that she always hunted with him and dreamed of following in his footsteps. I enjoyed her stories immensely and am glad that I decided to give this book a try.

 

This book is inspiring for young women everywhere. Eva Shockey was able to become a dominating force in a typically men’s only sport. She was able to prove that anything is possible and never doubt yourself or your dreams.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great Outdoors by Eva Shockey, A.J. Gregory