The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin


The Sea Before Us is the first book in Sunrise at Normandy series by Susan Sundin. The Paxton brother of Kerrville, Texas had a falling out that lead to Wyatt leaving home. He “borrowed” his younger brothers college fund and lost it all on a business adventure. Now he is in England as a US Naval Officer, saving everything he can to pay his brother back.

As D-Day approaches Dorothy, along with the other women in the Women’s Royal Naval Service are busy going through photos to make maps of Normandy. Wyatt then uses these to determine the attacks to be made. Dorothy has traveled with her family and uses photos from her travels. One of the new photos shows a shed on a property that never use to be there.

As Dorothy and Wyatt work together they develop a friendship that leads to Wyatt helping Dorothy find out who is stealing money from her father’s business. As their friendship deepens they both struggle as his home is in Texas and she is the only one to care for her father in England. And she has had feeling for another man for years.

This is a very interesting book to read. I enjoyed how this book shows the reader what the women did for the war, the important job they had and how it lead to success of the war. One thing that stand out in this book for me, is the depth of care Dorothy gives her father while serving in the war. Another is the determination Wyatt has to pay back his brother. I also enjoyed the surprise twist toward the end of the story that explains the change in Dorothy’s father and business. I think anyone who enjoys reading of this time in history will enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

373 pages

ISBN: 9780800727970

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Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Phoebe’s Light is the first book in the Nantucket Legacy series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. This is an interesting book to read. The story is about Quakers, their customs and some of their struggles. This book focuses on Phoebe Starbuck. She has always taken care of her father and has now found out he has taken a loan out on their home for another one of his business adventures and cannot repay. They have just a few short weeks to move out.

Phoebe has had feeling for Captain Phineas Foulger for years. He has come home from a whaling expedition and is visiting her. They marry and Phoebe insists on going on his next trip. What she does not plan for is to have seasickness that does not go away. She spends her days in their room reading her great-grandmothers journal that tells of a treasure buried on the island. She also finds out he has another wife and family. When she gets really sick he drops her off on an island to get medical care. He also leaves his cooper, her long time friend, Matthew, to see to her care and burial. She gets better and along with Matthew, she returns to Nantucket to find out her husband was murdered on the ship and Matthew is the suspect.

I enjoyed reading this book. The book show us what it was like for the Quakers at that time. The story is so well written, it is easy to imagine the struggles they has as well as the early settlers on Nantucket Island. We see the love and caring Phoebe has towards her father, yet we see the immature young lady who will take life into her own hands to get what she wants, even when it is not the right thing. I think anyone who enjoys reading Christian historical romance will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

352 pages

ISBN: 9780800721626

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A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith


A Passionate Hope – Hannah’s Story, written by Jill Eileen Smith, is book 4 in the Daughters of the Promised Land series. While this is a series, the novels are stand alone books as well. The author has an great job of writing this story based on 1 Samuel 1 in the Bible.

Hannah and Elkanah have been married several years and have not been able to have children. He is pressured by his family to take another wife to have children. He loves Hannah and only Hannah. He eventually marries Peninnah and they have many children. Peninnah’s mother lives with her and convinced her to taunt Hannah so Peninnah can have Elkanah. But Hannah is a loving a supportive person. She prays for a child, going so far as to say if she can have a son, she will give him back to the Lord’s work. Peninnah has always hoped Elkanah would love her the way he loves Hannah.

I really enjoy reading this series. I enjoy how the author has taken a small portion of the bible and written a fantastic story of what it may have been like for the people of the time. Even in a time of great troubles, Hannah and Elkanah love each other very deeply. The also have great love for God and respect for His tabernacle despite the going ons of the Priests.

This book would be enjoyed by anyone who likes to read Biblical Fiction. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

368 pages

ISBN: 9780800720377

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Little Critter Little Blessings Collection by Mercer Mayer


Little Critter Little Blessings Collection, by Mercer Mayer, contains four stories to help teach children how to treat others, how to be thankful for what they have, to not lie and to forgive others and ask for forgiveness.

You Go First: Little Critter always wants to be first. His teacher explains to him that having fun isn’t about being first, it’s about enjoying time with others. She tells the class that the God wants us to treat others as we want to be treated.

It’s True!: Little Critter has a tendency to not tell the complete truth. He leads his classmates to believe his grandfather has a real bi-plane and they all want to ride in it. Not knowing how to tell them it is just a model plane, he decides to run away. His grandfather picks him up and teaches him that God tells us the truth will set you free. If you are not truthful, you will not be happy.

Being Thankful: Little Critter is always wanting what he does not have. His father tries to tell him others would be happy with what he has. After spending the night at his Grandparents, his grandfather gives him a thankful rock to carry him his pocket to help remind him to praise God for all he has.

We All Need Forgiveness: Little Critter makes mistakes and hopes others will forgive him, but he is not forgiving to others. His friends get mad at him and his mother explains to him everyone needs to forgive each other, just as God forgives us.

This book is such a great book to help teach younger children basic life lessons about getting along with others and being thankful. Little Critter has been a long time favorite. The stories are easy to read and fun for little ones. These stories are written for preschoolers through third grade. The pictures are cute and colorful with lots of details. This is a hard covered book with regular pages, so could be damaged by the very young child. I think this book would be enjoyed by all little ones and their parents, especially the parents that grew up with Little Critter.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tommy Nelson, through Book Look Bloggers. This is my honest review.

Series: Little Critter

Pages 104

ISBN: 9781400310821

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The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse


The Mayflower Bride is the first in a new series by Kimberley Woodhouse. This is such a good book. The author has done extensive research to write a Historical Fiction based on the real events of the Mayflower voyage and it’s passengers. The story is so well written you will feel like you are right on the boats with them. The author has written the first 10 pages of the book to explain the story as well as to give meanings of words and list of people mentioned in the story. While this may seem extensive, the reader can jump over these if they wish.

The story starts out in Holland with a group of Separatists who are leaving their country for the New World. The Chapman family is a part of this group. The family recently lost their beloved wife and mother. Mary Elizabeth does not want to leave where her mother is buried.

William Lytton was orphaned young and was raised by an elderly man. He was taught carpentry skills that others are in need of. When the elderly man nears his death, he purchases passage for William. He is also asked to keep records of for the Merchants and Adventurers who provided the passage for many on the ship. The Merchants and Adventurers want to know those they paid passage for are abiding by their agreement.

The voyage is taken too late in the year and the waters are very rough. Many of the passengers get seasick and Mary Elizabeth and her friend spend their time caring for them. William also gets sick, and Mary Elizabeth spends time each day caring for him. While they felt an attraction to each other, since he is not a Separatist, they can have no future.

I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the rest in the series. The thing I like best about this story is how the Separatists would go to such extremes to be allowed to practice their faith. They left their homes and sailed to America to get away from the Church of England. The Chapman family spent almost a months wages to have a Bible of their own. I think anyone who enjoys reading Christian Historical Fiction will enjoy this story. There is suspense with the dangers of the voyage as well as establishing a new community. But there is also friendships and romance.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower (Book1)

ISBN: 9781683224198

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When God Made light, written by Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by David Catrow


Shimmer and Shine

be a beacon so bright

’cause when God made you, child, God made light.”

When God Made Light is a book written for children 3 to 8 years of age. The story is about how God made light, all the different kinds of light and how it looked. Light flickered, dashed, blinked, flashed, glared, glimmered, flared and sparked. The story tells us light came from the stars the sun, the moon and even fireflies. The light warms us, it helps plants grow, and inspires us. “And all that light-every bright golden hue-is the very same light that God put inside you.”

This is a nice story to help children learn about light and why it is so important and all the places we can find it. The pages are so cute, with active children as well as a dog and cat on every page. The illustrations are very bold and colorful. The story is written in rhyme and just the right length to hold the young child’s attention as well as for the young reader.

This story is written by the creators of When God Made You. The author, Matthew Paul Turner has written 17 books. The illustrator, David Catrow is an editorial cartoonist who has illustrated over 70 children’s books.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Blogging for Books. This is my honest reveiw.

48 pages

ISBN: 9781601429209

Publisher: Waterbrook

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Night Night Farm, Touch and Feel by Amy Parker, Illustrated by Virginia Allyn


Mice and pigs, chickens and cows-

Squeak, oink, cheap and moo…

Oh, the animals God has made!

And, Hey, He made me too!

Night night, God.”

Night Night, Farm Touch and Feel book is an adorable hard board book for children. This story takes the reader and children through the farm saying good night to the farm and animals. The story is written in rhyme, ending each set of pages with the sound the animals make. The pages are so colorful and contain fun things for children to touch. Some of the textures include the curly sheep wool, the smooth pig skin, the horse’s hair, cat’s fur, the shiny red chicken comb and waddle, a soft quilt and the bright shiny moon and stars. Our little one year old’s favorite is the sheep’s wool and the cat’s fur.

This is an adorable book written for 2 to 5 year old, this book can be enjoyed by any little one that enjoys having books read to them as well as the early reader. With 18 pages, this board book is a good size for little ones to hold. It’s hard shiny pages are durable and easy to clean. The pages are illustrated so brightly and have many animals and objects for the child to look for.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Blogger. This is my honest review.

18 pages

ISBN: 9781400310593

Publisher: Tommy Nelson

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Virginia Allyn has illustrated several children’s books She lives about a chocolate shop and collects children’s books. To see more of her illustrations go to:

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Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey


Steal Away Home, by Billy Coffey, is the story of Owen Cross. The story starts out at a major league baseball game in New York. Owen is 29 years old and plays in the Double – A’s. He has been invited to be a back up player for this one game. Through out the game, he spends his time remembering events surround his home town, school friends, parents and Micky. Owen comes from a small town where it was not allowed to mix with those from Shantytown. For those in that area, there was not even a church to attend. Until prom night when Micky, from Shantytown, saw something that encouraged her to start spreading the word of love and of leading her people in fellowship.

Owen comes from a family that from the outside looks idea. Owen’s father is training Owen to excel in baseball to have the future his father did not have. Owen and his father’s connection is baseball. But for Owen’s mother, who felt left out of their lives, Owen loved her just as she loved him. She was supportive and caring. She knew about Micky and Owen’s relationship and help them to continue seeing each other when it was not proper.

In a time and place where it was not normal to go to college, Owen received a baseball scholarship and went on to play ball. His plans were to take Micky with him to get her out of Shantytown, but when her father disappeared with her church’s money, her church went up in flames and she disappeared, that was not possible.

I found this story a little hard to follow. The story is told to us by Owen and flips between the major ball game and his past. I found the story to be rather slow going. With that said, the story has a very good message. The parts in the story that stand out to me are the feelings towards those from Shantytown, the poverty and the lack of even a church. Another things that stands out to me is Owen’s mother’s feelings about Owen and his father having baseball while she had nothing with them. Owen admission that he had to work with his father in baseball to get his approval. But his mother loved him, just as he loved her, he did not have to work at it. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy the sport of baseball and enjoy reading good clean stories.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers.

372 pages

ISBN: 9780718084448

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers


The Masterpiece, by Francine Rivers, is a very good story. With 484 pages, it is not a quick read. This is a contemporary Christian fiction that shows real life struggles Christians deal with. It also shows that yet we are all sinners, God forgives us our sins. The story deals with the issue of an unwed pregnancy and the decisions the mother has to make for the sake of her child and herself.

Roman is a successful artist in need of a personal assistant. His mother was a prostitute and would leave him alone at night. One day she did not come home. He was put in the foster care system and would run away, going back to look for his mother. He eventually ended up at the Masterson Ranch for troubled boys. It was there he finished his education as well as was given a start in his painting career. To this day he still falls back on his earlier life of tagging building, the taller the better.

Grace is a single mother in desperate need of a job. Her father was an abusive man who accidentally killed his wife and then took his life. She went to live with her aunt, who did not show her any emotional love. Grace grew up wanting to please everyone. She married Patrick, who just used her to put him through school and then left her for another woman. One night her friend convinced her to go to a club. Being a non-drinker, the drinks she had allowed her to make an unwise decision that left her pregnant. She was taken in by a family that she planned to let adopt her son, but when he was born she could not give him away.

Together Roman and Grace develop a working relationship They take a business road trip and Roman has a heart attack. He has an after life experience with creatures pulling him to hell. With this experience, he turns his life to Christ. Shortly after returning home, their relationship starts turning personal and Grace leaves his guest home and employment.

This is such a good book. Anyone who enjoys reading contemporary Christian fiction will enjoy this book. There are a lot of characters that span the length of the book, but are slowly introduced so easy to follow. This book does mention sex, drinking and swearing, so for the reader who does not appreciate those, this may not be a good book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, this is my honest review.

484 pages

ISBN: 9781496407900

Publisher: Tyndale House

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Out of the Ashes by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse


Out of the Ashes is book two in The Heart of Alaska series written by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse. This is a great story that follows the first book in the series. We return to The Curry Hotel and the characters of the first book.

Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier, from France, have recently lost their father. Their father has left them both letters, one instructing them to travel. Jean-Michel was injured in the Syrian Revolt and does not want to travel. He receives a letter from the aunt of an ex-girlfriend, asking him to travel to Mt. Denali, Alaska to help her heal from her past.

Katherine and Jean-Michel met each other years ago. When her father found out how serious their relationship was, he moved the family back to the United States and forced Kimberly to marry. Her husband was an abusive man who left her suffering emotionally, even after his death. With her grandmother’s insistence, they travel around the United States and end up in Alaska. When Katherine feels strong enough to spend time with Jean-Michel, they work toward helping each other heal from their past injuries and try to move forward.

I really enjoyed this story. I enjoyed the happenings in the hotel kitchen with the head cook. I’ve also enjoyed how Thomas has matured since the beginning of the first story. One of the things that stands out for me in this story is how eager Cassidy is to share her faith and help others in their Christian walk. I also enjoyed how Collette has gone from a young lady concerned about only herself to a person who helps others and puts them before herself.

I truly feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction will enjoy this story. It is a well written, good clean story that inspires the reader.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

Series: The Heart of Alaska (Book 2)

325 pages

ISBN: 9780764219245

Publisher: Bethany House

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