The young girl Olivia creates a tolerable world in the midst of unwanted circumstances when her father dies. She is placed in the startlingly, bleak home of Jonas, a former friend of her father’s. Her strong character, deep faith in God, and her relationship with Ishmael, a worker in Jonas’ home keep her from sinking into total despair. Jonas wants nothing to do with her and at times can be cruel. As a hermit, he is even unaware a civil war is occurring. The depth of emotions amidst these characters drew me into their struggles. These very mismatched individuals make this quite a moving story.
This third novel in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series culminates with a story of old love, family forgiveness, and uncovered dreams. The hope in these themes moves the characters along not knowing where they will find themselves. People from the former books connect the series. The beauty of the island adds to the mix with the lighthouse as a main focus.
Natalie O’Ryan fights against a town who has pegged her as the town drunk’s daughter but can she hold her head high on her own? Will her wedding finally happen?
I recommend On Love’s Distant Shore. You may connect as characters work out the best way to live their lives with God’s help.
I received a copy from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.
Paralyzed absorbed me like Unplanned, Alana Terry’s first book in her Kennedy series, did. The main character, Kennedy, now a Harvard sophomore continues on after last year’s traumatic experiences. Anxiety has become a constant companion and post traumatic stress syndrome overwhelms her becoming an obstacle in her classes and relationships. A perpetrator leftover from Unplanned wants her dead. Everyone she loves remain in danger; her roommate, her pastor and his wife, the youth pastor, and anyone near her are not safe. The suspense fills the novel. Kennedy, also struggles with her faith in God questioning why he allows violence and pain to harm innocent people. The author includes different viewpoints to answer her inquiry. No preaching here! I immediately moved on to the third book in this series, Policed to discover what Kennedy confronts next.
I received a copy from The Book Club Network and the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.
I love when an author gives her characters real struggles, with deep angst, and life-changing decisions throughout the novel. Melanie and Craig Vander face different choices out of the tragedy that struck them years before. Will what they choose keep their marriage off the brink it is on or tear them apart?
To keep them financially afloat, Melanie desperately writes another novel and her characters may help her find what she needs. Her neighbor struggles with her own challenges. Grab this book and see for yourself what their relationship creates.
From the first page, I realized I was reading an above average book by a Christian author. The validity of the concerns, how she knit them into the story, and how each person concludes their situations excelled beyond my expectations! This book can be read by non-Christians. Her use of scripture and faith occur naturally.
I can’t wait to read another one of Ginny Yttrup’s books!
I received 2 copies of this book, an ebook from NetGalley and the paperback from Barbour Publishing. I have written my honest opinion and review here.
Stars in the Grass is a tender story of one family’s journey after a tremendous loss. Told by the nine year old daughter, Abby McAndrews, each member handles the tragedy with different emotions, actions, and faith in God. Abby’s curious mind, growing vocabulary, and sense of humor makes this book poignant, insightful, and moving.
Abby’s dad, John is the minister of a Presbyterian church which adds to the dynamics of their upheaval as a family. The turmoil in their home is heightened by Abby’s brother’s secret escapades. “Dad frowned and exhaled slowly, the receiver in his hand. He was used to answering other people’s problems not phoning with the problem.”
Doubt in God, anger, and grief fill their relationships with unexpected outcomes and may tear them apart. Will they find a way to pull together? What happens to a family whose loss is unimaginable? My heart ached for the McAndrews. Would they seek the God they thought they knew before tragedy hit?
I hope you will chose to put Stars in the Grass on your “to be read” list.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. I want to thank them for the opportunity to read this fine novel by Ann Marie Stewart!
After reading The Cure for the “Perfect” Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory, I realized how painful life had become for me because of my severe procrastination. Praying for motivation seemed ridiculous looking at how I wasted time, waited until it was too late to finish something, or saying “I’m sorry” for the umpteenth time. Each night I went to bed with a heavy burden of undone items on my to-do list. Yet it was a relief to sleep since that meant I was off the hook for a few hours. Oh, I did laundry, fed the dogs, and picked up the living room. Those things were easy.
I’m talking about purposeful, intentional, and meaningful things. My Bible study was done after Eric went to bed on the night before my class. I would cancel an activity because I had not done what I needed to do to attend or procrastinated too long to sign up. I wouldn’t write for weeks and then would face the embarrassment of friends asking how my writing was going. How many times did I say I was working on my office? The room looked like a cyclone hit it. Yikes, it goes on and on. How did I look in the mirror and like myself? What had I become? Every month as I saw my psychiatrist I would mention my challenge of wasting time, sitting doing nothing, and playing games on the computer. I kept hoping he would tell me what was wrong or tell me I was a terrible person, but he didn’t. He did suggest many times that I set up a daily schedule, write out goals, and set a timer for working on a project. I heard those ideas but rarely followed through. My anxiety and depression weren’t getting better. I constantly thought about how lazy I was or how unworthy I felt. It was easy to use the chronic pain I struggle with for why I don’t do things but I knew in my heart that wasn’t always the reason.
Sometimes we’re only motivated to change when the ‘pain of staying the same’ becomes greater than our fear of making a change. – Leslie Vernick
Then I signed up as a member of the book launch team for Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. I didn’t really know what was entailed, but I volunteered and was chosen. Well, now I would have to produce. There were people counting on me. I read the book and followed the private Facebook page of 100+ women. I actually did the assignments Kathi and Cheri gave us. Wow, this felt good! I put my blog on Facebook so I could provide endorsements for their book. I began to change. I began to see that I could be accountable. The chapters on procrastination were the best I have ever read on the subject. It felt like someone was listening to my inner conversations. I started getting more done than I had in months.
Each day I grew more fascinated with setting a few simple goals and seeing them through to completion. My office started to empty. There was a floor in there.
My husband left for a week. I wondered how I would do while he was gone. I allowed myself to watch the series Midwife that I had purchased on Vudu months ago never getting around to watch it. It was delightful, calming, and motivating because I was doing an activity that I enjoyed rather than doing nothing and feeling bad or blah. I cleaned more in my office. I could use my desk again. I actually sat in there writing my blog, catching up on emails, and working on my scrapbooking. The dogs loved it so I brought their beds in for them. We were happy campers. The biggest thing that I had put off was one last investment from my parents’ estate. My mom had passed away four years ago and I had let this slide. I went to the bank and found out what I needed to do to get it sold. Why was this so hard? I’m a grown woman. Are they going to bite me, yell at me, and tie me up? No, they offered me help. I have one more task to accomplish and the hardest thing on my list for three and a half years will be crossed off forever. Freedom! Yes, this kind of living is freeing!
I don’t know about you and your challenges. You may feel like you need to be perfect all the time or please everyone constantly, or perform to be acceptable. I suggest you read The Cure for the “Perfect” Life. God met me on so many pages changing my thoughts to good ones, helping me see myself though His eyes, and creating opportunities to do things differently. I haven’t played one computer game in weeks. My days are rewarding now. When I go to bed I can thank God for the accomplishments of the last twelve hours. The friends I made on the Braver Living Rebellion Facebook page cheered me on, encouraged me, and loved me just the way I am. They understood why I hadn’t fought my fears of taking care of that last investment. Kathi and Cherri were there to say, “Yes, this is why we wrote the book.”
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” —Psalm 143:10don
I am a big fan of Shelly Jean Beach so this book caught my eye while she and Wanda Sanchez were launching it. The writing is comforting, understanding, and healing. What help for the post traumatic stress sufferers, those with depression and anxiety, and others with painful pasts! Each short passage contains a portion with a person talking to God about their situation, a part where He responds, questions, and then a prayer. Each chapter contains five of these passages concluding with a weekend feature that asks the reader for their responses, conclusions, and an action to do. Scripture is funneled throughout the book giving soothing thoughts from God. Clearly this can be used as a devotion or an open door to discussion. The authors have lived the pain written on most of the pages and many will easily identify with their words. My own copy is underlined in numerous places even though my path is different. I found times when I felt such sympathy and other times, the empathy. I would suggest buying one for a friend and one for yourself so you can come along side them in their journey. Both Shelly and Wanda cull from their vast experiences in meeting and counseling those with PTSD from their training, research, and listening to broken hearts in their travels all over the country.
In the back of the book, a section is dedicated to understanding PTSD and its symptoms, where to find clinical help, online support and other resources. I found this to be an exceptional assistance for those who will be reading this book. For any unsure of the definition of PTSD, here is what the book has to say: “A mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the events, and triggers related to the event that cause flashbacks and memories.” If someone you know experiences any of these put this book into their hands.
I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review which I have given.
Eight days have gone by since one more medication change. The last one caused me to gain 45 pounds almost two years ago. Last Saturday ringing in my ears, “loopiness” – a feeling of being in outer space, not finding the words I wanted to say, and dizziness dominated my inner being. I went to church at 5:00 with Eric and wondered how many people looked at me thinking, “What a lovely woman, so put together!”
God encouraged me during the service. “This, too will pass and you are on your way to new things”, I felt Him lovingly say. My tears flowed as my heart ached.
I do want this to be over. I do want to feel alive again. The medication I have been on has left me exhausted and not being able to wake up until 10 or 11 in the morning. Half of Eric’s (my husband) day is already accomplished by the time I arise.
Maybe this will be the one! My doctor, also wants me to change to a different night time drug. He does his best to comply with my request to be off this horrid medication. He’s found that listening to me is valuable since I’m such a veteran. The new night time med will have to wait though. I have lowered my regular bedtime med and I seem to be sleeping okay and I’m waking up around 7 or 8. Wow, a whole day to be awake!
Well, the trail has rocks, curves, and u-turns, steep climbs and sudden downhills. I am putting one foot ahead of the other to see what is in store for me.