BOOK REVIEW | “Room For Hope” by Kim Vogel Sawyer

 

 

WOW!

I mean… WOW!

I shouldn’t have expected to be so blown away… I mean, I’ve read other books by this author… but… just… WOW!

Kim Vogel Sawyer has a style of writing that drags you right into the story – and the case of Room For Hope, that is a good thing… and maybe a bad thing too.

You will feel Neva’s despair… mourn with her… cry with her… worry with her…

This book will sweep right into your heart and take hold – and, if you’re anything like me, you won’t mind one bit… except maybe when you’re experiencing the heart break right along with the main character.

Of course, that’s all part of the journey. That’s the point of the story. That’s the point of the writing – to put you in Neva’s shoes. You know the old saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. It’s absolutely true!

I can’t honestly say I would have handled things the way Neva does. I’m not certain I would have had the strength she did. But then… I didn’t live through the depression either so I may never know if I could have done what she did.

And no! I am NOT going to spoil it for you! You’ll just have to read it for yourself!

I know I can hardly wait to get my hands on another book Kim has written!

 

© JCMorrows 2016

 

More from Water Brook about Room For Hope:

In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?

Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.

When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”

Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

BOOK REVIEW | “When Love Returns” by Kim Vogel Sawyer

 

 

SOOOOO long I’ve waited for this book…
It was TOTALLY worth the wait too!

And so aptly named too! WOW!

When I picked up book 1 of this series, I did not think I would enjoy reading about the old-order Mennonites as much as my beloved Amish, but the way Kim writes them…

WOW!

The series is named: The Zimmerman Restoration series – and WOW! WOW! WOW! Kim could not have named it better!

Healing begins with book 1 – and with book 3, well… I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it is a MUST READ!

I can hardly wait to get my hands on another book Kim has written!

If you’re anything like me… you won’t want to put this book down.

 

© JCMorrows 2015

 

More from Water Brook about When Love Returns:

Riddled with doubt and lingering regrets, will Suzanne and Paul find strength in God to explore a second chance at love?

It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends–and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   WATERBROOK   KIM‘S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Reservations for Two” by Hillary Manton Lodge

 

This is the first book I’ve ever read by Hillary Manton Lodge!

Thank goodness there doesn’t appear to be an absolute need to read the first book in this series in order to read the second… however, I get the idea from other reviews that you really should read the first one before you read this one so don’t follow my example.

 

Reservations for Two is the second book in Hillary Manton Lodge’s Two Blue Doors series

OK… right away I want to mention that it is totally unfair to be reading a book about chocolate chip cookies… when there is nowhere I can go and get them!

However, the story is just as delectable as the cookies sound!

It’s an intriguing and entertaining story about long-distance love and all the challenges that come with it. And Hillary doesn’t gloss over anything. There are real hardships but you can see love shining right through them!

Lodge also deals with some mysterious family secrets through a series of letters – which just adds an extra layer of interesting to what was already a great story!

Definitely not one you want to miss! As long as you read the first book… first.

 

Review © JCMorrows 2015

Here is a brief synopsis from WaterBrook:

A culinary concoction of taking chances and finding love in the most delectable places

Food writer-turned-restaurateur Juliette D’Alisa has more than enough on her plate. While her trip to Provence might have unlocked new answers to her grandmother’s past, it’s also provided new complications in the form of Neil McLaren, the man she can’t give up.

Juliette and Neil find romance simple as they travel through Provence and Tuscany together, but life back home presents a different set of challenges. Juliette has a restaurant to open, a mother combating serious illness, and a family legacy of secrets to untangle – how does Neil, living so far away in Memphis, fit into to her life?

As she confronts an uncertain future, Juliette can’t help but wish that life could be as straightforward as her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Can her French grandmother’s letters from the 1940’s provide wisdom to guide her present? Or will every new insight create a fresh batch of mysteries?

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“The Wood’s Edge” by Lori Benton

AMAZING!

 

Simply amazing!

Lori Benton excels at writing fiction taken from REAL events! It is a singular talent that God has blessed her with and the world is a richer place for having her work out in it.

What is even more amazing is that, Lori and other authors like her have drawn me in to the past and taught me so much that I never learned in school.

No dry textbook this… No, this is a living, breathing, vibrant story that will hold you entranced until the very last page!

Don’t miss it! And don’t miss her other books!

Lori has quite a long list of amazing books to her name and I’m certain her fans will demand many more to come!

I hope you’ll give this wonderful book a chance. I’m certain you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2015

 

 

Here is a brief synopsis from WaterBrook/Multnomah:

At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this last book:

GOODREADS   WATERBROOK/ MULTNOMAH   LORI’S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

,I was blessed to receive a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“When Mercy Rains” by Kim Vogel Sawyer

 

 

This is my first book by Kim Vogel Sawyer… it WILL NOT BE my last!

I didn’t think I would enjoy reading about the old-order Mennonites as much as my beloved Amish but the way Kim writes them… I did and I’ll certainly be watching for more!

What an amazing story Kim Vogel Sawyer has written!

And no easy plot for this amazing writer… no sir.

She meets the challenge of a complex plot filled with deep issues and emotions and she does it head-on!

This is not an easy book to read. It deals with real issues and you could almost swear the people are real too. The strength of emotion is so strong, it’s difficult for me to describe – but Kim does an amazing job of it.

Don’t think it’s overdone though. I’ve read books where you find yourself wishing they’d stop with the description and just get on with the story. But Kim weaves the story right around the descriptions as if they are a tightly woven strand of DNA.

You won’t want to put this book down.

 

© JCMorrows 2015

 

More from Water Brook about When Mercy Rains:

She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.

Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.

Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.

Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.

Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?

 

TWEETABLES:

Can you go home again – When Mercy Rains?Tweet this!

When Mercy Rains – book one in the Zimmerman Restoration trilogy by Kim Vogel Sawyer!Tweet this!

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   WATERBROOK   KIM‘S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“A Broken Kind of Beautiful” by Katie Ganshert

A Broken Kind of BeautifulThis book really lives up to it’s name. Ivy Clark is broken and her beauty has become entirely superficial.

Katie Ganshert writes this story as if she lived it – better really because there is a stunning amount of insight that most people can not see in their own lives.

FAIR WARNING! There is a lot of reference in this book to alcohol, drugs and even sex but nothing really descriptive (too descriptive for me but most people wouldn’t bat an eyelash).

I suppose some people think it’s a necessity to see just how far a person can fall before God finds a way to bring them back up. That’s not giving anything away – you knew it had to happen.

Personally I don’t understand why this particular novel is classified as Christian fiction. It’s nice and all that Davis spends most of the book talking about trying to show Ivy about God’s love but there’s nothing Christian about Ivy until the last two chapters.

Oh well. Katie Ganshert‘s writing really pulls you into the story and even though you want to just smack Ivy through most of it (I did anyway) you can really feel her pain as she goes down this dark and disturbing road she is on.

2 Stars

Here is an overview of the book from WaterBrook Multnomah:

Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
 
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

Below you will find some fantastic links from Blogging for Books!

You can also click HERE to check out the book page on ChristianBook.com and HERE for GoodReads

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the Blogging for Books reviewer program by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Emma of Aurora trilogy by Jane Kirkpatrick

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Before I get into my thoughts, here’s a quick synopsis from GoodReads:

The Change and Cherish trilogy, based on the true story of Emma Wagner Giesy, now available in one volume:

A Clearing in the Wild:
When Emma’s outspoken ways and growing skepticism lead to a clash with the 1850s Bethel, Missouri colony’s beloved leader, she finds new opportunities to pursue her dreams of independence. But as she clears a pathway West to her truest and deepest self, she discovers something she never expected: a yearning for the warm embrace of community.

A Tendering in the Storm:
Determined to raise her children on her own terms, Emma suddenly finds herself alone and pregnant with her third child, struggling to keep her family secure in the remote coastal forest of the Washington Territory. As clouds of despair close in, she must decide whether to continue in her own waning strength or to humble herself and accept help from the very people she once so eagerly left behind.

A Mending at the Edge:
As a mother, daughter, sister, and estranged wife, Emma struggles to find her place inside—and outside—the confines of her religious community. Emma reaches out to others on the fringe, searching for healing and purpose. By blending her unique talents with service to others, she creates renewed hope as she weaves together the threads of family, friends, and faith.

And my first thought, when I opened the enormous box this monster arrived in was…

Holy Cow!

I know it’s a bit unoriginal but it’s the best I could come up with in that moment.

I realize this really has no bearing on the books themselves but it was the first thought associated with the book so I feel it’s worth sharing. I’ve noticed in a lot of the other reviews I’ve seen that people are excited to have all three stories in one place but I can’t help pointing out the opposite side to this. The book is enormous. For me, it’s been a bit of a hindrance. It’s difficult to read a book that is so large – in paperback. If the book were a hardbound, with a more flexible spine, I would have had a much easier time with it – which is why I read it on my e-reader.

However, I can see the appeal. It is nice to have all three books in one volume. It is nice not to have to track down three different books. And it’s nice to have only one price to pay instead of three.

My fascination with historical stories began with the Little House books. My mother read them to me as a child and I’m reading them to my children. As anyone who has read these knows, the stories are told through the eyes and voice of a child but they are true stories and Laura Ingals Wilder does a superb job of it in my opinion.

Laura Ingals Wilder and Jane Kirkpatrick have that in common. She takes the life of a woman who lived long before any of us were even born and makes her real to us. It’s a daunting enough task to write about a fictional character who lived many years ago but to write with such passion about an actual person, someone who you have never met or spoken with… that shows an incredible skill. I am not alone in my admiration and I intend to seek out more books written by Jane Kirkpatrick.

A wonderful read!

Click HERE for more information about this title from WaterBrook Multnomah and to read an excerpt of the book.

Click HERE for more info and reviews on GoodReads

Click HERE to see my review on the Blogging for Books website and help me out by rating it.

Click HERE for Jane Kirkpatrick’s website

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the Blogging for Books reviewer program by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 3: Christmas & Candy Canes

Have you ever heard the story of how candy canes got started?

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From what I can gather, candy canes are one of the great urban legends in the world. Apparently, a combination of time and infamy have built the story to such fantastic heights that everyone has a different version.

A candy-maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols from the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a “J” to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the “Good Shepherd” with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as a Candy Cane — a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who “have eyes to see and ears to hear.” Every time you see a Candy Cane, remember the Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at Christmas, and that His Love remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.

There are many different versions of this story out there to be found. I found 1 story HERE. Another story HERE (with a few similarities).
And they’re both very different from the story I read in this great little Christmas Advent Book by Lisa Whelchel years ago.
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The details of the story may have gotten a little confused over the years but the message remains the same.

It’s all about reminding people of Jesus’ love for them, for everyone!

It’s a message that gets lost in the Holiday craziness far too easily and far too often.

Think about that the next time you enjoy a candy cane or as you hang them on your Christmas tree.

And along with these different stories, there are many activities that go along with them. So find a fun way you or your children can share this message with people this season.

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There’s a great activity HERE and another HERE and another HERE.

There are many more that you can find, including the idea in Lisa Whelchel’s book “The ADVENTure of Christmas”. The book is a terrific investment. It’s full of great stories about all of the things we love about the Christmas season!
(I’ve shown the page below with the story…hope it’s not too fuzzy.)

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Copyright Lisa Whelchel & Multnomah Press

22 Days til Christmas

Merry Christmas and God Bless You!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below. I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Review of “Burning Sky” by Lori Benton

Difficult to believe this is Lori Benton’s first novel!

Burning Sky cover

This is not my typical choice but I certainly do not regret picking it.

Growing up, I loved the movie “Last of the Mohicans” probably more because of Daniel Day Lewis and the incredible music than anything else. But I do have Native American heritage so I hated most movies about “Indians” as most with Native blood do.

I also grew up reading the fantastic frontier novels by Janette Oke and, while this novel is less about gushy romance and more about the harsh reality, it does have a certain romance to it.

I think Lori Benton has done a fantastic job and I can’t wait to read her next novel.

Well done!

The frontier period is a difficult one to write about. SO much of what we know about that time is more legend than actual fact but I get the feeling that Lori has done her homework.

And it is so refreshing, in a world that has such a strong focus on intense sexuality, to find a wholesome romance that is clean and decent. It’s definitely a book I am comfortable passing on to my daughter.

If you’d like you can look up more reviews, get more information, read a sample chapter or just read more about the author by clicking one of the links below.

Thank you for reading my review!

God Bless!

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the Blogging for Books reviewer program by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Check out my other reviews for them HERE.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.