Tag Archive: books

Everyone has a battle, a massive Goliath to fight in life, it can be as simple as providing food for the family, complex as a broken relationship, or as big as fighting a terminal illness.
Bo Stern and her family are fighting one. Her husband has been diagnosed with ALS. In the opening chapters, Stern treats her own feelings, fear, despair, fright as she comes to grips with this Goliath in her family’s life.
As Bo Stern takes us through God’s leading in her life in this Bible study, I see many parallels along my own journey.

I personally have always believed that God will always provide, and Beautiful Battlefields published by NavPress http://www.navpress.com/product/9781612913193/Beautiful-Battlefields-Bo-Stern certainly reinforces that concept!
While we may never understand the ‘why’ of our battles, following this Bible study will give the reader a deeper insight into ‘where’ we are being led in adversity and just ‘how’ God expects us to get there.
His provision and guidance are the key, our acceptance is the lock that must be opened to find His fulfilling love.
As I read this, thinking about some of the things going on in my life and in the lives of others I care about, I was convinced that I needed to recommend this book and study to our pastor.
I know that I will be returning to Beautiful Battlefields again and again as I finish my journey through life. There will always be a Goliath to be conquered, a battle to be fought as God tries us in the fires to bring us closer to Him.
I received this book for review purposes, the opinion given here is my own. 5 stars

Celebrate the release of Unbreakable with Nancy Mehl by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 5th Author Chat Party on Facebook!

Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Books one & two in Nancy’s Road to Kingdom series (Inescapable and Unbreakable)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the “Unbreakable” Author Chat Party on March 5th. Connect with Nancy, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books, and fun Mennonite-themed giveaways.

Grab your copy of Unbreakable and join Nancy on the evening of the March 5th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer has taken an old plot and given it a new personality. Published by Tyndale, Brandmeyer’s new book, “Mind of her Own”, almost makes amnesia sound like it could be fun.

Louisa Copeland is a ‘perfect’ wife for lawyer Collin, despite three young children, their home is spotless, the car pool is run, dinner is ready when/if he arrives home. Something is missing, maybe her life is too perfect and too bland, she certainly feels lost. What is the secret she is hiding?

When an accident sends her to the hospital, unconcious, it is not Louisa who wakes up, but the vivacious Jazz Sweet, best selling romance author. Nothing like Louisa, nothing at all!

Jazz enters the Copeland home as a guest, convinced that at least she can do research for a new book, but as days pass and she looks for herself, she must accept the fact that “Jazz Sweet’ doesn’t really exist and Louisa Copeland is hiding somewhere inside.

Collin finds a stash of Louisa’s journals hidden in a closet and as he begins to read, hoping to help Louisa regain her memory, discovers some hurtful truths about his marriage and family life and who Jazz Sweet really is.

Now both of them are on a quest to bring Louisa back, but keep some of Jazz in the picture.

All this leads up to an ending that brings the memories back, leading to surprising results for Collin, Louisa/Jazz and their entire family.

I give this book 5 stars

Great author announces new contest


Amy Clipston always delivers a wonderful story, and this contest includes not only one of her new books but other nice gifts that are sure to please.

I suggest you go to Amy’s blog and read about her inspiring story as a kidney donor as well as signing up for this new book.

The citizens of the small Mennonite community of Kingdom, Kansas are being plagued. Fear is growing.
After receiving a warning to be ‘careful’, quilt shop owner, Hope Kauffman is run off the road. Shaken and scared, she is relieved when neighbor Jonathon Wiese arrives on the scene in his truck to help her home.
Her attraction to Jonathon grows and she begins to question her engagement to pacifist Ebbie Miller.
Jonathon is trying to promote the church elders into taking a stand.
When a member ofthe community is murdered and buildings set on fire, people begin to wonder why the local sheriff keeps finding excuses that all these happenings are accidental.
Is it someone outside the community, or one of their own?
How do the Mennonites choose to protect themselves, will they depend on God’s promises, or take matters into their own hands?
This is a good read, with a touch of romance, plenty of mysterious happeings and a surprising ending.
Nancy Mehl’s characters ring true, the story keeps you on edge all the way.
Bethany House Publishing http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse provided me with a copy of this book for review purposes. The opinion provided is strictly my own.
I give this book 4 1/2 stars and will be looking for more of Nancy Mehl’s books in the future.

A Christmas Journey Home written by Kathi Macias,  was her 2011 Christmas novel.

Pregnant Isabella and her husband Francisco are encouraged to leave Mexico in the aftermath of gangland type murders in Ensenada, Mexico. Isabella’s family are senselessly gunned down. Crossing illegally, the two are abused, homeless and afraid as Christmas approaches. Then a gang of thieves raid their camp, leaving Isabella completely alone.

North of the border, Miriam Nelson, mourns the death of her border patrol guard husband. She hates illegals, and refuses to allow her gridf and hurt to heal. She locks herself in a world of work, shutting out her mother and six year old son. Her excuse it to keep their small ranch, her real reason, to keep all feelings at bay.

The paths of these women cross in a story that gives insight into both the illegals and thier reasons for crossing the border and those who live near it.

Macias brings out many concepts I would never have thought of as she brings these characters to life in their journey ‘home’.

I wrote the author a ‘fan’ letter after reading this book to let her know how it affected me.

Five stars, only because I am not allowed to give more.

Cheryl Baranski of Virginia is the winner of the Jam.

Today, the skies are gray and gloomy. It’s 50 degrees and looks like it might rain. The weather forecasters are saying we might have some snowflakes in the next few days.

Black-capped chickadees have been hanging around. My mother-in-law always called them ‘snow birds’ and believed that if they came in numbers there would be snow.

Most of my Christmas crafting is finished, the last stocking was done this morning, one scarf to go and a couple of hats. Then unless something strikes my fancy, the yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks can rest awhile. But as always, this time of year, I picked up some pretty yarn to add to the big basket by my chair.

And I printed some patterns I want to ‘try’, so I doubt they will be out of business for a while yet. Surely someone will ‘need’ a scarf, hat, mittens or such in the future.

Earlier this week, I did some bartering, I traded some of my jellies for some of different flavors with a neighbor, then a couple of jars for a series of books from an author friend, and some books for some handmade gifts with yet another friend.

Each of us came away happy, feeling we had gained something we wanted on the trade.

Things like that are sort of like a big hug, don’t you think?

It is time to start baking cookies, to eat and give away!

Yesterday, I made some of Hubby’s and my favorites, and yes, some were sent out the door.

Recently, Pam Jarrell, moderator of a book club I belong to on Facebook, put together a cookbook of favorite cookie recipes. In it, are included Hubby’s favorite,  and one of the many used in our home when the girls were growing up, Griddle Cookies, sent by my daughter Tara.


There are many others, some I fully intend to try out this year. Also included are some memories from a number of the contributors.

Since community cookie making was a big part of our lives and still is, I was very honored to be a part of this book, the memories of a house filled with cooks, cookies, and laughter is very precious to me.


I managed to finish Carla Stewart’s “Stardust” this week. That was quite a feat with all the company and celebrations going on. I found myself sneaking in a page or two as often as possible. I wanted to know ‘what happens next’ so much!

I will say that Carla Stewart is joining the ranks of ‘my favorite authors’. I really enjoyed her book “Chasing Lilacs” and this one is even better!

When Georgia Peyton’s husband leaves her and their two small children for another woman and is found dead a few weeks later… Georgia’s life takes a lot of twists during a hot Texas summer in the 1950’s.

She has questions about her own family, there is a polio epidemic,  a bequest of the Stardust Inn and a number of strangers entering her life, one of whom is the dead husband’s pregnant mistress, complexities and mystery arise in every direction as she tries to make a new life as a widow raising two young daughters.

I loved it! Five stars and already ready to re-read this book!


In ‘Southern Mystical Moments’, Patricia Graham uses several short tales to familialize us with the unusual inhabitants of the deep south.
The ‘boojum’,something akin to sasquatch, an owl that brings tidings of an unpleasant end to a loveLy day, and an encounter with a river monster can send a tingle down your spine.
These short stories do a fine job of retelling the lore of the areas, as I compared them with tales shared by story tellers in the Ozarks where I was raised.
I enjoyed the ‘regional language’ used by speakers, rather than the homogenous English we are expected to use today, it presents a flavor of the strong independent mountain people in these tales.
The book ends with a novella, “Magic Under the Willow Tree” written by Verna C. Humphrey weaves a tale of the inherent magic of the willow tree, accepted from time immemorial and a touch of Voodoo to bring about a reincarnated love.
I plan to share this book with my grandkids and great-grandkids so they will not lose the rich legacy of things unseen that abounds among the mountain people, both here and in the Great Smoky Mountains.
I want to thank the authors for bringing them to life.