Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wonderful! Review of 'Cowboys of Summer' by Mary Connealy, Cheryl St. John, Tina Radcliffe, Missy Tippens, Lorna Seilstad and Sherri Shackelford

About the book:

As the summer weather sizzles, relax by the pool with stirring tales of handsome cowboys and the spirited ladies who wrangle them into romance. Six of Christian fiction's most beloved authors join forces to bring you a collection of humorous, romantic and heartfelt novellas set against the sultry heat of summer.
In Mary Connealy's, "Dr. Tess and the Cowboy", sparks fly when Dr. Tessa Rhoades discovers dinosaur bones on Joe Holt's ranch and decides to excavate-even if that means kicking Joe off his own land.
In "Hometown Girl" by Cheryl St.John, injured rodeo champion Justin Cooper returns to the sleepy Oklahoma town he escaped for fame and fortune--and takes his biggest tumble yet--straight into the arms of Stevie Marshall, his first love who soon has him questioning his life choices.
In Tina Radcliffe's, "Lake Effect", cynical cowboy Tucker Jackson knows he's in trouble when he starts counting the days until the end of summer and praying 'summer girl' Jessica Richards will find a home for her heart in Paradise.
In "His Lone Star Heart" by Missy Tippens, rancher Zeb West tries hard not to fall for Beecher Brown, the feisty but off-limits sister of his best friend. As she tries to prove she's capable of running her family's ranch--the one he's trying to buy--he might just find he's met his match...for life.
Will Lorna Seilstad's characters make "Great Strides" when Dana Etherton, the owner of a horse therapy ranch, must choose between the kids she serves and Adam Malone, the embezzler who's been assigned to do community service there?
When Paige Monroe agrees to draw the press away from a country star's wedding by pretending to be the look-alike bride, she wasn't counting on having very real feeling for her decoy fianc├ę, Sterling Tanner. Sherri Shackelford's, "The Decoy Bride", shows what happens when two people feigning love forget they're acting.

My review:

These were wonderful stories of sweet, clean romance.  Some had a little bit of a faith element. There were some funny moments and some cute romantic ones.  I liked how there were some careers you don't see that often in stories, such as a paleontologist or the owner of a horse therapy ranch.  The stories were mostly light but did have some serious moments, such as Zeb thinking about growing up in foster homes or different characters having loved ones who'd died.  I thought some were better written than others and had better flow and pacing but overall, this is a great deal to get six stories by well-known names for such a great price for kindle.  I'd highly recommend it if you like romance.

I received a kindle copy of this book from JustRead. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Enjoyable! 'Buried Secrets' - Harvest of Hope 2 - by Barbara Cameron

Buried Secrets (Harvest of Hope #2)

About the book:

Family secrets could get in the way of a second chance at love

After her husband dies, Rose longs to be near her family—especially her twin sister, Lillian—so she packs up her young son and leaves their life in Ohio to move back to Paradise, Pennsylvania.

Luke Miller is ready to settle down in Paradise. He soon forms a partnership with Rose to help farm her land. He finds that he’s enjoying the company of the quiet, modest widow and she may be just the woman he’s been waiting for. But is Rose hiding a secret beneath her reserved exterior—one that could keep her from having a future with Luke?

And Rose isn’t the only one concealing something. Luke has a secret of his own, and it could threaten their partnership—and their chance at love.

My review:

I really enjoyed this story about a sweet widow and her adorable son finding a second chance at happiness and love.  Rose was a wonderful, caring person, still grieving the loss of her husband.  Luke was an upstanding guy, very helpful, even in the kitchen!  They both had a strong faith.  They learned the value of truthfulness and not keeping secrets.  There was quite a bit of humor in the story from Rose's son as he says and does things that are just so cute and funny.  He was my favorite character.  There's also some suspense as he gets into danger more than once.  An interesting cardinal made an appearance at significant moments sometimes, very mysterious.  A little bit of romance rounded out the story.  This worked very well as a stand-alone; no need to read the series in order.  I would highly recommend it if you like Amish stories.

I received a copy of this book from Gilead Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fascinating! 'Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus' - by Lois Tverberg

Cover Art

About the book:

"The Bible is an Eastern book. We see it through the colored glasses of Western culture. Much is lost. We miss the subtleties of humor and many of the underlying assumptions. . . . What lies between the lines, what is felt and not spoken, is of deepest significance."--Kenneth Bailey, The Cross and the Prodigal

What if you could sit down beside Jesus as he explained the Bible to you? What life-changing insights might emerge?

Vast treasures await us when we read the Scriptures as a native, through the eyes of one of Jesus's first-century Jewish disciples. Combining careful research with engaging prose, Lois Tverberg acts as a master guide, transporting us across the cultural divide between our world and that of the Bible.

As we begin to understand "how the Bible thinks," our own thinking will be transformed as well, and we will be able to approach God and the stories and teaching of Scripture with fresh insight. By opening our eyes to the way Middle Eastern people would have understood Jesus, Lois Tverberg takes us on a journey that will deepen our love of this very Jewish book, enriching our lives in the process.

My review:

This was an amazing book!  It was eye-opening to see how different our Western culture is from so much of the world, even today.  To realize that we have to overcome that, along with the difference in time periods, as well, was a lot to take in.  She makes a good point that I'd wondered about, too, that much of the world has a lot easier time understanding the family, the agrarian, just trying to survive mindset versus the individual, industrial, rich mindset of the West.  She had wondered why God had let the Bible become difficult for people to understand but she realized that for most of the world, it's not.  She unpacked what the word "Christ" means, that to us we don't quite get it without knowing more about the culture and Hebrew language. She compared how the Hebrews and Greeks thought and how the Greeks influenced the West. It was fascinating to see how the Hebrew rabbis link different passages of Scripture together because of a certain phrase used in each and how Jesus used the same technique.  We finally learn the importance of all the "begats" in the Bible; why do we really need to know the genealogies?  There were wonderful questions at the end of each chapter where you can dig deeper.  I have to read the other author's books; this one was just amazing.  I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the roots of our faith.

I received this book from Baker Books.  I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for this.  This is my honest opinion.

           The Author

  1. Lois Tverberg

    Lois Tverberg

    Lois Tverberg has been speaking and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past 20 years. Her passion is to translate the Bible's ancient setting into fresh insights that deepen and strengthen Christian faith. She is cofounder of the...
    Continue reading about Lois Tverberg 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Visa GC Giveaway and Review of 'Bound by Duty' - Military K-9 Unit #2 - by Valerie Hansen

Bound by Duty (Military K-9 Unit #2)

About the book:

Assignment: Single Mom Surveillance

The Military K-9 Unit series continues

Her serial killer brother’s escaped—and it’s single mom Zoe Sullivan who’s under suspicion! Sgt. Linc Colson trusts two things: his instincts and his Rottweiler K-9 partner, Star—and certainly not the pretty face he’s assigned to monitor. He’s done everything to keep her from getting under his skin—now he must stop those who want to put her six feet under.

My review:

I enjoyed this exciting suspenseful story and the mystery element there was to it, too.  Strange things have been happening to Zoe and it's not clear if her brother's behind it or someone else entirely.  There was some investigation in the story, which I like, along with the action and sweet romantic elements, of course.  Zoe and Linc have two good reasons not to fall in love, they've both been burned in love before, so they fight their attraction for each other, and they're working together and their bosses wouldn't like it.  They're continually thrown together for the case, though, and he comes to be the only one she's sure she can trust.  Her little boy was very cute and Star was great.  I love animals in stories; they bring such a great presence and it was especially fascinating to learn more about a military K-9 and how they operate.  There's some talk of faith as Zoe is a strong Christian and Linc has turned his back on God after feeling like prayers weren't answered.  I thought the ending seemed a bit rushed; Linc never seemed to confide in Zoe about past trauma and they didn't really discuss his newfound faith.  This story mostly worked well as a stand-alone, however, there were a few things mentioned that must have happened in book one.  I'd recommend it if you like suspenseful stories!  
I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity.  I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated.  This is my honest opinion.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Amazing! 'Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff' by Chip Gaines

Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff

About the book:
The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of 4 in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.

In Capital Gaines, we walk alongside him as he relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.

Capital Gaines is the perfect book for anyone looking to succeed not only in business but more importantly in life. 

My review:

Amazing!  I thought this might be more of the same as what was in the Magnolia Story, which was great also, but there was a lot here.  You really get to know Chip's heart, his beliefs, motives, passions, what makes him tick.  I admire him even more now.  It's amusing and informative.  I recommend it for everyone, not just fans of his show!