Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

978-1-4964-2683-3

Lady of a Thousand Treasures, by Sandra Byrd, is a heart warming story set in England in 1866. This is the first book in The Victorian Ladies series.

With the death of her father, failing health of her uncle and shady business practices of her employee, Eleanor is left to sell her family’s treasures to keep her family’s business and home. Meanwhile Baron Lydney has past away and left instructions for Eleanor to inventory his art collection and determine it’s future. She is to either leave it to his son, Harry, or donate it to a museum. Harry and Eleanor had an unspoken relationship commitment prior to his leaving for business. But his commitment kept him away a lot longer than he planned. Between Eleanor’s lack of trust in Harry and his father’s negative feeling toward him, Eleanor feels she is expected to donate the items.

I really enjoyed reading this story. At 437 pages, it is not a quick read. The thing I like the most about the story is the Christian references. They are there, but not to the point the story is preachy. I also like that there are not a lot of main characters to keep straight. The story flows very nicely and has a very good message. Eleanor will do anything for her family, even parting with treasured belongings. She will also find ways to make her housekeeper’s life easier even when she has no money to do so. I feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction will really like this story.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network, this is my honest review.

Series: The Victorian Ladies (Book 1)

437 pages

ISBN: 9781496426833

My rating: 4.9 stars

To learn more about the author and other books she has written go to: http://www.sandrabyrd.com/

This book can be purchased at:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/the-victorian-ladies-series-1-lady-of-a-thousand-treasures/9781496426833

https://www.christianbook.com/lady-of-a-thousand-treasures-softcover/sandra-byrd/9781496426833/pd/426836

https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Thousand-Treasures-Victorian-Ladies/dp/1496426835/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540407411&sr=8-1&keywords=9781496426833

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Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner

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Stretched Too Thin, by Jessica N. Turner, is written for working moms who face the daily struggle of finding time in their day for everything. She covers topics such as taking care of yourself, your home, your children and spouse as well as fulfilling job duties. Some of the things that the author mentions in her book that stand out to me are: to separate the “need-to-do” from the “nice-to-do”, setting realistic goals, taking advantage of time spent in the car and at meal times to connect with your family. But the things that stands out the most to me is taking care of yourself. Take care of your physical as well as spiritual needs. Connect with others, take care of friendships and make time for your spouse.

The author has written this book using her life experiences to help other moms who may be struggling. The one thing I like about this book are the reflections at the end of the chapters. I was not really impressed with this book, as most of the things the author mentions are just common sense things that most moms struggling with life have already thought of. I also was let down with the fact that there is minimal mention of Christian life in the book. I expected a little more since it is published by a Christian publishing company.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blog Program. This is my honest review.

240 pages

ISBN: 9780800723491

My rating 3.8 star

The author is a marketing professional and speaker as well as writer and founder of the blog The Mom Creative. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and three children.

This book can be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Stretched-Too-Thin-Working-Smarter/dp/080072349X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539913749&sr=8-1&keywords=9780800723491

https://www.christianbook.com/stretched-working-guilt-work-smarter-thrive/jessica-turner/9780800723491/pd/723498?event=PRREV

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/stretched-too-thin-how-working-moms-can-lose-the-guilt-work-smarter-and-thrive-9780800723491

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

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Rule of Law, by Randy Singer, is an intense, well written legal/political suspense novel. There were times while reading this story I felt I was reading the news instead.

The President of the United States ordered SEAL Team Six on a mission to rescue a member of the Saudi royal family and an American journalist. The mission was a complete failure with all the Seals losing their lives. After the funerals, envelopes were delivered to the girlfriend, Paige, and grandfather of fallen Seal Patrick Quillen providing information that questions if the President knew the mission would fail.

Paige worked for the attorney general of Virginia and was now facing taking on a case of which she would need to leave her job to fulfill. The case would try to get to the bottom of what happened to the SEALs.

I really enjoyed reading this story. I was especially taken with Patrick’s grandfather when he said, “God gave him to me for a season. But he belongs to the nation now.” The story is full of suspense action. I was disappointed with the lose of life so soon in the story, but without it, there would be no story. The author’s experience as a trial attorney is very evident in this story, with how well the legal aspects were written. This is a very good story, however, it would have been better as part of a series. The book is big, with 460 pages, so it is sort of hard to hold for long lengths of time. And there are so many characters, it is sometimes hard to keep them all straight. But I am very glad I read this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes political or legal suspense.

460 pages

ISBN: 9781496418166

My rating: 4.6

To learn more about the author and other books he has written go to: http://www.randysinger.net

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.christianbook.com/rule-of-law-softcover/randy-singer/9781496418166/pd/418166?event=PRREV

https://www.amazon.com/Rule-Law-Randy-Singer/dp/1496418166/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539290807&sr=8-1&keywords=9781496418166

A Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter

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A Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a wonderful short story. While not the typical Brunstetter Amish story, this one is really good. Three families are traveling by wagon from Independence, Missouri to California to start new lives. They were to travel with a larger group but arrived to late, so they decide to try to catch up with the larger group. Cynthia Cooper has agreed to marry Walter Prentice when they get to California to ensure she and her mother have a financially sound future. But the trip brings out their differences and she questions if she can follow through on her promise. Cole is leading the group on the journey. He is planning to search for gold and is traveling with his sister, Virginia, who plans to teach. Jack is a young widower moving with his two children to help his brother on his ranch. Virginia and Cynthia help with Jacks young children. Cole and Jack hunt and care for the group. But Walter does not help with the group and focuses only on himself. When there is disagreements with him, Cynthia’s mother takes his side.

This a a wonderful short story, just 170 small pages plus recipes used on the journey. This book is a beautiful book that would make a nice gift. The cover in framed in glossy red with gold embossing. The inside pages are all framed as well. This story shows the importance of working together as a group. The story is a feel good story that is easy to predict what will happen. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy historical fiction and have a lazy evening to read it.

I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

170 pages

ISBN: 978168226574

My rating: 4.8

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to:www.wandabrunstetter.com

Some places this book can be ordered are:

https://www.christianbook.com/the-christmas-prayer-wanda-brunstetter/9781683226574/pd/226574?product_redirect=1&Ntt=226574&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Prayer-cross-country-mountain-danger_and/dp/1683226577

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

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The Cumberland Bride, by Shannon McNear, is book 5 in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. Each book in this series is written by a different author. The series starts out during the 1600’s and each book follow the last one, but characters do not follow through to future stories, so these are also great stand alone books.

This story takes place in the spring of 1794. The Gruener family is moving to Kentucky and the father has hired Thomas Bledsoe as their scout to help the family. The oldest daughter, Kate, falls on may situations during the journey. Thomas is there to help her and believes she is not strong enough to handle the frontier. However when Kate and Thomas are taken by the Shawnee he sees how strong she really is.

Thomas has vowed to not fall for a woman after seeing how women, including his sisters, have been hurt when he has had to leave them. He enjoys the life of being free and able to travel about.

I really enjoyed reading this story. This is Shannon McNear’s first full length novel. It is full of adventure and suspense. The story is written so clearly, it is easy to imagine the country and the relationships as the group traveled. This story also shows how important prayer was to get through the hardships. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower (book 5)

241 pages

ISBN: 9781683226918

My rating: 4.7 stars

To learn more about the author and other stories she has written go to: http://www.shannonmcnear.com/p/the-stories.html

Some place to order this book are:

https://www.christianbook.com/the-cumberland-bride-5/shannon-mcnear/9781683226918/pd/226918

https://www.amazon.com/Cumberland-Bride-Daughters-Mayflower-book/dp/1683226917/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1539283066&sr=8-2&keywords=9781683226918

A free preview of the book I currently available at: https://www.amazon.com/Cumberland-Bride-Free-Preview-Daughters-ebook/dp/B07GL9QS3H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539283066&sr=8-1&keywords=9781683226918

Thirsty for More by Allison Allen

9780800728205

Thirsty for More, by Allison Allen, is a powerful book that shows the readers that everyone goes through “dry times” where we wonder where God is or how He left something happen. It is through theses times that we see how God is there to help us through and help us grow. The author uses her personal experiences to give insight into how we can find God during those times and experience his blessing. She shows the reader how God uses these times in our lives to give us rest as well as strengthen us.

This is not a quick read book, but rather a book that is better read a little at a time and thought about. The chapters end with “Reflections” that contain a Bible passage and additional thoughts on the chapter topic. I enjoyed reading this book. I especially enjoyed how the author used her personal experiences to help the reader see that they can grown during hard times. I think this would be a good choice for a Bible study.

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

205 pages

ISBN: 9780800728205

My rating 4.5

The author is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, a former Broadway performer and a current Bible teacher and speaker.

This book can be purchased at:

https://www.christianbook.com/thirsty-discovering-unexpected-blessings-desert-season/allison-allen/9780800728205/pd/0728205?product_redirect=1&Ntt=0728205&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

https://www.amazon.com/Thirsty-More-Discovering-Unexpected-Blessings-ebook/dp/B07D6XGZPV/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/thirsty-for-more/384470

Imagine: The Fall of Jericho by Matt Koceich

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No matter what happened in life, he finally understood that God’s love for him was as real as the trees that reach up around him.”

Imagine: The Fall of Jericho, by Matt Koceich, is the third book in the Imagine series. This is a great Bible adventure series written for kids 8 to 12 years of age. Based on Joshua 6, this story gives an idea as to what it might have been like to live through the fall of Jericho. I really like this series, it is full of adventure as it teaches children Bible stories. There are not a lot of good clean juvenile Christian stories that teach old testament Bible like this one does.

Jake is a fifth-grader that feels alone. His friend was suppose to go to camp with him, but got sick at the last minute. Jake is taking nap his first day at camp and finds himself living the Bible story of the fall of Jericho. When he wakes up he meets one of his cabin mates, Darius. At the end of the week, he felt he has made a real friend.

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

Series: Imagine (book 3)

109 pages

ISBN: 9781683227144

Matt Koceich is a school teacher. He lives with his wife and children in Texas.

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.christianbook.com/imagine-the-fall-of-jericho/matt-koceich/9781683227144/pd/227144

https://www.amazon.com/Imagine-Fall-Jericho/dp/168322714X

An Amish Homecoming by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray and Kathleen Fuller

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An Amish Homecoming is a compilation of four wonderful short stories written by four great Christian authors. These stories involve Amish ladies who are returning home after being gone for some time. The ladies struggle with how they will be accepted into their community. I really enjoyed reading these stories. They show how sometimes we have to ask others to forgive us for our actions, and we have to forgive others so that we can move on. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Amish stories.

No Place Like Home”, by Amy Clipston, is about Eva who left her home and went to live near her husband’s family. After the death of her husband, she stays near them so they have their grandson nearby. When her young son asks about meeting her parents, she goes home. She finds their part time farm hand is now working full time and living in her parent’s daadihaus. She accuses him of wanting her parent’s farm.

When Love Returns”, by Beth Wiseman, is about Sarah who is forced to go home for a place to stay following Hurricane Harvey. Her parents and ex-boyfriend, Abram, do not know she has a child. Because of an unfortunate incident, she is not sure who the child’s father is. Now that she is home, she is forced to work on her relationship with her mother and Abram.

The Courage to Love”, by Shelley Shepard Gray, is about Irene who has recently lost her English husband. While on a trip she meets the Wengerd’s and agrees to work part time for them in exchange for living with them. Their son Marcus does not approve of the arrangement but is forced to apologize to her for his actions.

What Love Built”, by Kathleen Fuller, is about Carolyn who left her community many years earlier. At her brothers request, she moves back home and is working on opening her dream bakery. She is very head strong and does not allow others to help her. Atlee comes to her bakery one night looking for his friends home and sees that she needs help. He works out an arrangement to help her. But just before the opening, her bakery is vandalized.

I received a copy of this book from Zondervan publishing through Booklook Bloggers. This is my honest review.

399 pages

ISBN: 9780785218487

My rating 4.8 stars

You can learn more about the authors and books they have written by going to their web sites at:

http://amyclipston.com/

http://bethwiseman.com/

www.shelleyshepardgray.com,

http://www.kathleenfuller.com/

Some places to purchase this book are:

https://www.christianbook.com/an-amish-homecoming-beth-wiseman/9780785218487/pd/218484

https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Homecoming-Four-Stories/dp/0785218483

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

9780735291041

The Christmas Remedy, by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall is a nice little story that blends the English and the Amish lives. Holly took a job working at Greene’s Pharmacy after the death of her father. She has received permission from her bishop to work towards becoming a nurse. Her desire is to help the Amish community become better aware of their health needs and understand the care recommended for them. To do this she feels she needs to give up being a wife and mother.

Holly’s employer and dear friend, Lyle, suffers a stroke. A member of the State Board of Pharmacy shows up to investigate five prescriptions that were filled the day before Lyle’s stroke. Lyle cannot remember that day at all. Trying to help get the information needed, Holly turns to Joshua Smucker, a young man from a nearby community, to help locate the person the medication was for.

This is a great story. With just 200 pages, the story is filled with goodwill, caring for others, restoring relationships, mystery and romance. The part of the story that really stands out to me is when Lyle’s son comes home to help his father. The son is so resentful of his father’s reaction after his mother’s death as well as how his father runs Greene’s Pharmacy. But with helping run the pharmacy and visiting with others in the community, the son is able to see the other side of the story. I also enjoyed reading the part of Holly’s sister helping decorate the store. She admits she enjoys the Christmas tree, even though their religion does not allow for them to have one.

I really enjoyed this story. I feel anyone who enjoys reading Amish fiction will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook & Multnomah. This is my honest review.

198 pages

ISBN: 9780735291041

My Rating: 5 star

To learn more about the author and other books she has written go to: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com

Erin helps her mother-in-law edit, brainstorm and research for their stories. She is also a writer, musician, wife and mother.

Some paces this book can be pre-ordered are:

https://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/558389/the-christmas-remedy-by-cindy-woodsmall-and-erin-woodsmall/

https://www.christianbook.com/the-christmas-remedy-an-amish-romance/cindy-woodsmall/9780735291041/pd/291041

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Remedy-Amish-Romance/dp/0735291047

When Your Kid is Hurting by Dr. Kevin Leman

9780800723064

When Your Kid is Hurting, by Dr. Kevin Leman, is a self-help book for parents of school age children to help them deal with hurtful issues their children may have. The first part of this book deals with different topics, such as social media, mass shootings sexual violence, discrimination, gangs, depression, bullying, grief and family issues. The second part of the book is a question and answer section in which Dr. Leman gives answers to several tough questions parents are faced with, such as divorced family situations, abuse, rape and emotional issues.

The part that I feel is the best in this book, is the suggestions Dr. Leman gives for parents with talking to their children. He gives tips of what to say, what not to say and how to get your child to talk to you. A couple of things that really stand out to me are:

When you ask your child what they think, you are treating them like an equal.

Allow your child to come up with their own solution.

Let your child know you understand they are going through a tough time. Listen to them, give support in non verbal ways such as a hug or favorite meal and let them take a break from faith-based activities if they feel the need.

Don’t panic, stay calm, respond but don’t over react. Don’t judge them, give them comfort and let them know you will get through the difficult time together.

I really think this is a great book for parents of school age children and I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who lives with or works with children.

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

273 pages

ISBN: 9780800723064

My rating 4.8 stars

To learn more about the author, books he has written and purchase some of his items go to: http://www.drleman.com/store/

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.christianbook.com/hurting-helping-child-through-tough-days/kevin-leman/9780800723064/pd/723062

https://www.amazon.com/When-Your-Kid-Hurting-Helping/dp/0800723066

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/when-your-kid-is-hurting/349150