Review: Israel – God’s Heart by Ron Gafni & Kathleen Barrett

Israel

This book is packed with stunninng photographs of Israel and combined with Bible verses and commentary which bring even more meaning to the images. I was very impressed with the wide variety of photos contained in this book. Photos showing the packed city from an ariel view contrast with agricultural and animal photos. Rich farmland vies with breathtaking desertscapes. Some of the photographs that really grabbed my attention were the ones of the Dead Sea. Wow! Breathtaking views of it in this book.

While the book was a bit smaller than what I would typically consider a coffee table book to be, I actually am very happy with the size. It is easy to hold and flip through and can be stored in my bookcase much easier than a larger book. I am looking forward to reading this with my children.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Landing page:

You can see a sample of the images from Israel – God’s Heart at this Flipbook link:

http://online.fliphtml5.com/sbzi/lbnv/

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Israel

Israel-God’s Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel
(Skypics Israel, November 2016)
Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore.
The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni.  As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette’s of Israel’s modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God’s redemption plan for the world.
About the authors:
 
Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel’s High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in “National Geographic,” and his company, Skypics.co.il, provides books from its “Israel From Above” collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel.
 
 
Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in “Israel-God’s Heart” from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children’s devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission’s outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.
Find out more at http://skypics.co.il.
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Review: High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

High as the HeavensWhat a captivating story! There were so many things I loved about this book. One of my favorite things about High as the Heavens was the way the author slowly revealed important pieces of information as the story unfolded. This technique kept me enthralled and made the espionage storyline in the novel feel very real. I also enjoyed getting glimpses of events from the past that helped me understand Evelyn’s history.

I loved the fact that this was a WWI spy novel. It was such a unique setting and full of intrigue and danger. I could feel the uncertainty regarding who could be trusted in such perilous times. The author kept me guessing from beginning to end as to how everything and everyone was connected. I enjoyed this book so much!

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

High as the HeavensIn 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Breslin

Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing’s 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her first novel, For Such A Time, won American Christian Fiction Writers 2015 Carol Award. Kate’s second novel, Not By Sight released in August, 2015. When she’s not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington’s beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, both within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas.

Website   Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest

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Review: With You Always by Jody Hedlund

With You AlwaysWith You Always was such a wonderful novel! I’d been introduced to some of the characters in the free ebook, An Awakened Heart, so I was happy to connect with them again, and to meet some new ones, too. I believe that With You Always could possibly be read without reading the prequel, but I personally recommend reading the prequel because it does such a good job of setting the stage for this novel. The stories in both of these books seamlessly continue from the prequel to book one.

I liked Elise and Thornton so much! Even though they came from extremely different circumstances, they really were made for each other. I loved watching them fall for each other, even as I wondered how anything could ever work out for them to be together.

I loved the setting of the new town of Quincy, Illinois that was being built along the railroad. How hard it must have been for those women and men who had to leave behind their families for the chance of making a living far away from those they loved.

This is a book I enjoyed from start to finish. I am really looking forward to the next novel in the series.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

With You AlwaysA Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She’s had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children’s Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn’t want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother’s shadow and is determined to win his father’s challenge. He doesn’t plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JodyHedlundnew

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling historical fiction author. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Find Jody online:website, Twitter, Facebook

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Review: An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund

An Awakened Heart

This free ebook novella was such a nice way to introduce the Orphan Train series. The plot and characters were very nicely developed and I easily connected with them. There are actually two storylines going on in this book and both are very good. An Awakened Heart follows the story of a man and woman who are working to reach out to the destitute in their city, but it also introduces the reader to a poor immigrant family who is struggling to survive. It is a very moving tale and really sets the stage for the next book in the series.

Available for free on Kindle and Nook.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An Awakened HeartTrying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he’s grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him–plans that may include this feisty socialite?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JodyHedlundnew

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling historical fiction author. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Find Jody online:website, Twitter, Facebook

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Review: Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

SweetbriarSweetbriar Cottage delved deep into the heart of some very intense and painful subjects. This novel explored the past and present of the lives of the main characters, Josephine and Noah. I loved the way the story switched between the present day, the very distant past of Josephine’s youth, and the recent past when Josephine and Noah fell in love. Seeing where these two came from made it easier for me to connect with them and care for them. And I must admit that when I began reading this story, I wasn’t sure if I could like Josephine. But the author pulled it off and I did find myself hopeful for this couple as the second half of the book came into view.

Sweetbriar Cottage was packed with emotion. The author penned such convincing angst, longing, and confusion onto the pages. I could feel Noah’s heartache and the anger that he felt toward Josephine. And reading about all that Josephine suffered through in her childhood made it possible for me to understand the person she was molded into years before she even met Noah. All topics were handled with grace, while still getting to the heart of the matter. I could hardly set this book down.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

SweetbriarWhen Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

denise hunter

 

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of 30 contemporary romances. In 2016 two of Denise’s novels, The Convenient Groom and A December Bride, aired as Hallmark Original movies. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, playing drums, and reading as much as humanly possible. After raising 3 boys in Indiana, she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest.

You can connect with Denise on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Review: Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

Peace ValleyWell, this book was just fabulous! I have enjoyed the entire Double S Ranch series and Peace in the Valley is by far my very favorite of the three novels. This story had such heart and I loved the two main characters, Trey and Lucy. I loved their interactions and the attraction that was there between them. The kids in the story reacted realistically to situations given their various dispositions and added to the story nicely.

I recommend reading the entire series, because the reader will be able to see the various Stafford men meet and fall in love with the women who will change their lives for the better. However, I do think a reader could pick up Peace in the Valley and understand the story within its pages even if they haven’t read the first two books.

I was sad to see this book end, but it felt like the perfect conclusion to this series that I have enjoyed so much! Peace in the Valley will be a book that I read again.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Peace ValleyIn spite of their differences, Trey Walker Stafford knows he owes his life to cowboy and legendary rancher Sam Stafford–the uncle who rescued him after his parents’ death. Trey had left the Double S Ranch to pursue music against Sam’s wishes, but returns to central Washington when he learns he’s the best match for a procedure that could save Sam’s life. Although Trey’s found country music fame and success, he’s also endured the tragic loss of his wife. He croons about love, but struggles with a yawning emptiness he can’t explain.

Overwhelmed by a growing list of challenges, but mistrustful of Stafford men, single mother Lucy Carlton reluctantly accepts Trey’s help to revive her crumbling farm when Sam instructs him to repay the overdue debt to her family.

As the two grow closer, Trey slowly begins to open his heart to this beautiful woman and strives to let go of the grief he’s held for years. Lucy has a complicated history of her own. Can Trey accept her as she is, learn to forgive the past, and find the elusive peace he’s sought for so long?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 
Ruth Logan Herne has more than half a million books in print, including fifteen Love Inspired contemporary novels. Back in the Saddle is the first book in her new western romance series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.
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Review: The Bride’s Matchmaking Triplets by Regina Scott

Matchmaking TripletsI simply could not get enough of this sweet and touching story! I enjoyed it so much that it was difficult to set it aside, causing me to finish it much earlier than I anticipated!

This novel is the third book in the latest Lone Star Cowboy League series. I hadn’t read the first two books, yet had no problem at all jumping right in to the characters and community.

Speaking of characters, this community is full of great ones! I loved the two main characters, Elizabeth and Brandon. I was fascinated with their history together and interested to see how things worked out for them. The triplets were absolutely adorable, adding sweetness and cuteness to the story in just the right amounts. There were also characters that made me fume and those that intrigued me. It all came together to make a story that I loved from start to finish!

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Matchmaking TripletsMarriage by Necessity

When mail-order bride Elizabeth Dumont’s intended weds another, her only option is to take a job as nanny to abandoned triplet babies. Though she longs to provide a real home for her three precious charges, as a single woman she can’t adopt. Until her onetime sweetheart, minister Brandon Stillwater, offers a match of convenience…

It’s only for the triplets’ sake–that’s what Brandon tells himself. Insecurities once drove him and Elizabeth apart, and now small-town rumors have made them man and wife. And though Brandon doesn’t want to risk his heart this time, he’s not sure he can resist the feelings that are once again starting to bloom for Elizabeth. But can he convince her that this sweet surprise family is more than just convenient?

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

reginascott11-07medium

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t actually sell her first Regency romance novel until she had learned a bit more about writing such as vocabulary, sentence structure, and plot. After numerous short stories and articles in magazines and trade journals, she got serious about her novel writing. The Regency romance The Unflappable Miss Fairchild was her first novel to be published (March 1998). In 2011, she was delighted to move into Christian romance with the publication of The Irresistible Earl.

Besides her novels, Regina Scott has had published three Regency romance novellas (“The June Bride Conspiracy” in His Blushing Bride, “Sweeter Than Candy” in A Match for Mother, and “A Place by the Fire” in Mistletoe Kittens), which are now featured in electronic book form as Be My Bride. Her novels have been translated into Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese; and Lord Borin’s Secret Love and The Rake’s Redemption have been issued in hardcover, large print editions. Many of her works are also available as electronic books through Belgrave House’s Regency Reads line or as self-published works, such as Perfection.

Regina Scott and her husband are the parents of two sons. They reside in the Puget Sound area of Washington State and are members of the Church of the Nazarene. Born and raised in the Seattle area, Regina Scott is a graduate of the University of Washington. She comes by her writing talent naturally–both her parents were excellent writers in their vocations as teacher and electrical technician, now retired. Her mother envisioned the plot for “Sweeter Than Candy,” the novella which was written as a tribute to her.

Regina Scott is a devout Christian and a decent fencer; owns a historical, fantasy, and science fiction costume collection that currently takes up over a third of her large closet; and has been known to impersonate an independent consultant specializing in risk communication.

You can connect with Regina on her website, blog, Goodreads, and on Facebook.

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Review: Deadly Memories by Mary Alford

Deadly MemoriesWow! Deadly Memories was truly action-packed! There were twists and turns, coupled with the unnerving feeling of not knowing who to trust. I really liked these two main characters and felt for them as they tried not only to survive, but also to sort through what was real and what was not. I also enjoyed the high energy pace of this novel. It really didn’t let up! It was very interesting to slowly piece together the extremes that this enemy used to control people, including the psychological manipulations that the various characters were subjected to.

Very good and exciting story that I definitely recommend to fans of suspense.

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Deadly MemoriesWOMAN WITHOUT A PAST

Amnesia may be keeping Ella Weiss from remembering her past–but not from saving the little boy who’s been her fellow prisoner the last seven years. After managing to escape her cell, all she wants is to find where little Joseph is being kept. Instead she runs straight into CIA agent Kyle Jennings. Kyle isn’t sure if Ella is actually a kidnap victim or if she’s working for the gunrunner he’s been after. One thing he is certain of is her uncanny resemblance to the wife he thought he’d buried. To save a child’s life and stop a terrorist from slipping through his fingers, he’ll need to uncover the secrets of Ella’s past–and whether or not she’s really the woman he’s never stopped loving.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

mary alford
​I was inspired to become a writer after reading such romantic suspense greats as Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Soon creating characters and throwing them into dangerous situations that test their faith came naturally for me. In 2012, I entered the Speed Dating contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and later received “the call”. In addition to writing for Love Inspired Suspense, I also writes Christian romance and sweet romance.

Connect with Mary on her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

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Review: The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

The Noble ServantThe Noble Servant was an entertaining fairy tale with a light romance and some villains who were up to no good! This wasn’t my favorite of the author’s novels that I’ve read, however, I did enjoy it and found it to be a rather easy and fast read for me. I also appreciated that it was a clean story and definitely appropriate for teen readers, as well.

I liked the two main characters, Magdalen and Steffan, and enjoyed watching them work to overcome not only those who were plotting against them, but also ideas and attitudes that were the result of past painful experiences. Overall, I enjoyed this sweet story.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Noble ServantShe lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

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Review: What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander

What Hope RemembersI really enjoyed returning to Misty Willow in this third book of the Misty Willow series. I loved seeing what was going on in the lives of the couples from the previous two books. If you haven’t read the first two books, I think What Hope Remembers can stand alone pretty well. The reader will not get the full effect of the changes Amy has gone through and will have to work to understand some of the background references to the history of the land and historic buildings in the novel. If you want the full picture, definitely read the series in order.

Gabe was such a great character. I liked him from the start and my opinion of him continued to grow all throughout the story. What a stand up guy! I have to admit that while I liked Amy a whole lot more than in the previous books, I just did not really connect with her in this novel. I did feel for her and wanted things to work out for both of these characters. She was definitely a tough character and did improve greatly from the other books in the series. It was interesting to see her back story and find out how this trilogy wrapped up.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

What Hope RemembersWhen Amy Somers loses her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she’s crossing bridges she’d burned years before. With all the mistakes she’s made and the uncaring things she’s done–even to her own family–she can hardly believe that happiness will find her, especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy’s hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, he finds it difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Johnnie-Alexander2

Johnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011) and Golden Leaf Award (2014). The first of her three contemporary romances, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series), released from Revell in January 2016.

She also has won Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest).

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives in the Memphis area where her morning chores include feeding dogs, cats, chickens, and a small herd of alpacas.

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