A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

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Things happen in life we cannot understand. We can only do our best and seek God’s guidance and move forward the best we are able.”

A Stranger at Fellsworth, by Sarah E. Ladd, is book three in A Treasures of Surrey series.

Annabelle Thorley’s parents have died and with the passing of her father, rumors of his financial status cause her fiance to break off the engagement. She is left living with her brother and sister-in-law in London. Her brother keeps reminding her of the situation and has told her she must marry a man she does not want to.

One night after a party, the man she is suppose to marry treats her badly. When she gets away from him, her brother also treats her badly. When she gets to her room she decides her only option is to run away. She has an uncle she has only seen once and decides to go to him for help. She convinces her lady’s maid to run off with her.

Earlier in the day Annabelle met Owen Locke, the gamekeeper and assistant to the owner of Bancroft Park. He is staying at her brothers home to assist his employer on the trip. Annabelle asks him to help her get to Fellsworth. Owen is from Fellsworth and friends with her uncle and helps her get to him.

Annabelle’s uncle assigns her to be a junior teacher at the school he runs. Annabelle has not worked before and finds teaching a challenge. One of her students is Owen’s daughter, Hannah. Hannah does not like it at school. One day after some girls are mean to her, Hannah tries to go home. She steps in a trap and gets hurt. Everyone at the school is looking for her and Annabelle takes a trail Hannah told her about, finds her and takes her home.

This is a very heart warming story. The author does a great job of introducing the characters and providing details of the story. I was able to envision the homes and school as well as the rough terrain and woods. And I could just feel the brown silk of Owen’s late wife’s gown. Based in England in the early 1800’s, the story shows us how the different classes of people lived. The wealthy were tutored while the poor sent their children away to a school and seldom saw them, to allow them a chance to get an education and learn a trade.

Even though this is Christian Fiction, it does not stand out and is not preachy. One of the parts of the story that stands out for me is that as a young girl, Annabelle went to church with her mother. With her mother’s passing the family no longer attended church. Now Annabelle does not have peace like Owen and questions her faith.

Being book three in the series, it is also a stand alone novel. I have not read the first two and was able to totally enjoy this book. I especially like that the story was fast moving with suspense written into the story. I would not consider this a romance novel, but there is just a touch of romance in the story as well. I feel anyone who enjoys reading historical stories based in England will truly enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers and I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: A Treasures of Surrey Novel (Book 3)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780718011857

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

You can read more about the author and books she has written at: http://sarahladd.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://www.thomasnelson.com/a-stranger-at-fellsworth

https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Fellsworth-Treasures-Surrey-Novel/dp/0718011856

https://www.christianbook.com/a-stranger-at-fellsworth-3/sarah-ladd/9780718011857/pd/011857

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-stranger-at-fellsworth-sarah-e-ladd/1123948844?ean=9780718011857

 

English River by Thomas Nye

English River

English River is book three in Amish Horses Series by Thomas Nye.

Lenny has moved in with his aunt and uncle to help them through the harvest. Lenny’s Uncle Noey has a horse farm and they have no children to help them with it. Aunt Ruth has hinted to Lenny that Uncle Noey needs help. Lenny likes being on the farm, but there is a lot of work. If he were to return to his English life in the city, he would not be working so hard.

Lenny has met Leah and they have developed a friendship. When Lenny goes back to the city to visit his parents, Leah and her sister follow. They say they are turning English to be with Lenny and his friend who went to the city earlier. When Lenny announces that he is going back to Noey and Ruth’s farm and that he is becoming Amish, the three go back with him

Having not read the first two stories in this series, I found the beginning moving rather slow until I caught up. The story is one of a close knit community of people who care about each other. The part in the story that stands out for me is the struggle that Lenny goes through deciding if he wants to become Amish, with all the hard work and the rules. The part in the story that surprises me is when Lenny visits with the English minister. I was really surprised by the thoughts the minister has about the Amish.

I enjoyed reading this story and plan to read this series in order. This book is such a good book about caring for others and helping them. I think anyone that enjoys reading Amish stories will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from Book Crash. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Amish Horses Series (Book 3)

274 pages

ISBN: 9781633570641

Publisher: CrossLink Publishing

To learn more about the author and books he has written go to: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Nye/e/B00LP6V9QW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1494959965&sr=1-1

Some places to purchase this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/English-River-Amish-Horses-Book/dp/1633570649

https://www.christianbook.com/english-river-amish-horses-series-book/thomas-nye/9781633570641/pd/570641

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/english-river-thomas-nye/1123853600?ean=9781633570641

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/thomas-nye/english-river/6958089.html

Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke

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Under a Desert Sky, by Lynne Hartke, is a very powerful book of Lynne’s walk through cancer followed by her parents’ walks through cancer. Lynne writes a very emotional and inspirational book. Her writing is so honest and truthful, asking the “why me” questions so many of us ask in the privacy of our own thoughts.

This book takes us through Lynne’s life and journey through cancer. Lynne fought the cancer fight and won. Shortly after, both of her parents began the cancer fight. Each fighting their fight in their own way.

The author takes us on hikes with her and her family, describing the beauty they see and the trials they go through. The one hike that sticks in my mind, is when their daughter just laid down on the dusty trail and told them to leave her there. But when her father reached for her, she got up, dusted herself off and went with him. To me, this relates to me the walk we have with God and through our lives. During the good, easy time, life is beautiful. But when we get ill or things get hard, we get overwhelmed. We want to just throw ourselves down and not go on. With God’s help we are able to get back up and finish the walk.

I just love this book! It often brought back memories of watching my parents’ through their cancer walks. At times I though she was writing my story. So truthful and honest and powerful and emotional all wrapped up together. This is a book that everyone would benefit from reading. Regardless if their trial in life is cancer or any other situation. This story will inspire you to keep going, to trust and will encourage you.

Just after I started reading this book, I received a call from my husband that I never wanted to receive. We dropped everything to make necessary arrangements and notify the children. We were making an ‘rush trip’ for my husband to have surgery. As I laid in the hotel that weekend, it was this book that I grabbed to read. While our situation was very serious, we were not alone. Others have had worse situations and through Lynne’s experiences I was able to just shrug off my normal life for the time my husband needed our every thought and action to be on him.

I want to thank this author for writing such a wonderful book. And the publisher for allowing this book to be available on their blogging network.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

256 pages

ISBN: 9780800727741

Publisher: Revell Publishing

To learn more about he author go to: http://www.lynnehartke.com/about/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/under-a-desert-sky/382370

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Desert-Sky-Redefining-Hardest/dp/0800727746

https://christianbook.com/desert-redefining-beauty-faith-hardest-places/lynne-hartke/9780800727741/pd/727742?event=CBCER1

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/hartke-lynne/under-a-desert-sky/6987044.html

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-a-desert-sky-lynne-hartke/1124824761?ean=9780800727741

Claiming Peace by Jo Huddleston

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With Good Intentions, written by Jo Huddleston, is book three in the Caney Creek Series. This is a continuation of the Jim Callaway family. Jim’s sister EmmaJean is now dating Terry and living with Jim and his new wife Caroline. Jim and Caroline’s children are away at college. Jim’s first wife was Callie’s sister. Callie, Arthur and their children Art and Jennifer still get together with the Callaway family on a regular basis. They all attend the same church as well.

At the beginning of the story, Art is in a facility for having legal issues. He is released just in time to get into college. Arthur and Art visit the school Art has chosen and spend time talking with people at the school who give Art good advice.

Meanwhile Callie has been struggling with health issues. She has a rare progressive brain disease. She has trouble with her balance and will eventually be in a wheelchair, then bed ridden and will eventually die. Her illness is progressing fast. Yet she has peace about it because before Jesus left this earth He said he would leave us peace. As Callie gets worse, EmmaJean and Caroline spend their days with Callie and sometimes help with the evening meal. When the end of her life gets near Callie wishes to go to the ocean. Callie, Arthur, Jim and Caroline go on the trip together. But the trip is cut short when Callie has a bad day.

Even though this is the third book in the series, the author has given enough back ground that it is easy to understand. I do think it would be better to read the series in order to get the full story. This is a story of strength, peace and second chances. I like how Art has changed his life around and is now in college. I especially like the part of the story that Callie gives her family instructions of her passing. She has so much peace and strength as she goes through the illness. As I read the story I wanted so much for a miracle to happen. And wanted more treatment to help Callie. But this story takes place in 1951 when the medical field was so much different that it is today.

I really enjoyed reading this story. It is so powerful showing us the strength and love the family has to help Callie get through her illness. And I like the author shows us the lives of small town life in the 50’s, a time and place where everyone knows and cares for each other.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Book Club Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Caney Creek Series

120 pages

ISBN: 9781939219169

Publisher: Sword of the Spirit Publishing

You can read more about the author and books she has written at http://www.johuddleston.com/

You can purchase this book at:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/claiming-peace-jo-huddleston/1116967037?ean=9781939219169

https://www.amazon.com/Claiming-Peace-Caney-Creek-3/dp/1939219167/ref=bseries_primary_1_1939219167

With Good Intentions by Jo Huddleston

Intentions

With Good Intentions, written by Jo Huddleston, is book one in the Secret Identity series. It is a short romance story based in 1959

Wainworth Development has purchased all but one business on the block they want for development. Oscar Wainworth has sent many men to try to make the purchase but none have been able to. Now Oscar is sending his William.

William visits the ice cream shop and spends time getting to know the owner, Jean Stewart. He finds out the reason behind them wanting to hold onto the shop and the dreams she has. William works with his father to make a deal that will allow them to make the purchase yet still allow Jean to have her ice cream shop and fulfill her dreams. The only thing is he has lied to the owner, giving a false name and occupation. During their meetings they have developed a friendship and now he has to tell her the truth of who he is.

This is a cute little romance story that can be read basically in one sitting. Perfect for the rainy afternoon. The part in the story that stands out to me is that the men who were originally sent, did not treat the women like they would men. And when William went, he spent the time to get to know the women and know the reason behind their attachment to the ice cream shop.

One thing the author points out with the story is that once you tell a lie, it changes things. Either you need to keep telling the lie or you need to confess the lie and pray that others will forgive you for lying to them.

This is a good clean story set in Alabama in 1959. Anyone who is looking for a short story to read for the evening or afternoon would enjoy this story. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

I received a copy of this book from the author through BookClub network. I have freely chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Secret Identity

120 pages

ISBN: 9781944203986

Publisher: Winged Publications

You can read more about the author and books she has written at http://www.johuddleston.com/

You can purchase this book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1944203982

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandary – by Susan Page Davis

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My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandary, written by Susan Page Davis, is a stand alone book in the My Heart Belongs series. The story takes place in the mid 1800’s in the Arizona territory.

As a young girl, Carmela Wade was traveling with her family in a wagon train when many of them got sick and died. Carmela was left an orphan. Her uncle becomes her guardian and forces her to travel around telling stories of being a survivor of an Indian kidnapping. He uncle makes her study up on Indian history to make her story more realistic. He also uses ink to put an Indian marking on her face. When Carmela does not want to do this anymore, her uncle tells her she has to. She has to do it to make the money he father supposedly owed her uncle before he died.

One day Carmela and her uncle are traveling to another city on a stagecoach when the stage is attacked. Carmela, US Marshal Freeland McKay and his prisoner are taken off the stage. Her uncle is injured and is taken with the stagecoach along with the money it is carrying. McKay is knocked out and his handcuffed prisoner forces Carmela to unlock the cuffs. The prisoner then cuffs Carmela to McKay. They are left to walk to the nearest stagecoach station to get help.

This is a quick read story to curl up with on a lazy day. It is a historical Christian romance story but it also has a lot of mystery. I admire the strength Carmela has to finally stand up to her uncle and put a stop to the lies. She also tries to help a young girl who actually was taken by the Indians and returned. Carmela is so sorry for the life she and her uncle have been living, she announces in church the wrongs they have done. This is a nice story with the theme of forgiveness at the end.

I think anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, especially those with romance and suspense will enjoy this book.

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

Series: My Heart Belongs

256 pages

ISBN:9781683220077

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

You can learn more about the author and books she has published at: http://susanpagedavis.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Belongs-Superstition-Mountains-Carmela%C2%92s/dp/1683220072

https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-superstition-mountains-carmelas-quandary/susan-davis/9781683220077/pd/220077

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-in-the-superstition-mountains-susan-page-davis/1125317838?ean=9781683220077

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/page-davis-susan/my-heart-belongs-in-the-superstition-mountains/6919075.html

The Parables of Jesus – by James Montgomery Boice

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Some sections of the Bible give us grand theology.

Some move us to grateful responses to God.

The parables ask us if there has been any real difference in our lives.

The Parables of Jesus was written by James Montgomery Boice. As a pastor, the author gave a sermon series on the parables. This book is a result of that sermon series. This book contains 30 parables that are broken up into 5 different categories. Parables of the Kingdom, of Salvation, of Wisdom and Folly, of the Christian Life and of Judgment. The author gives a lot of background to the parables and explains their meanings. He gives reasons as to why he feels they mean what they do.

One of the things that really stood out for me was where the author points out what has happened to sin. He points out the clergy dropped the word sin to not offend the congregation. Court jurists turned the word sin into crime. And psychiatrists calls sin a complex. So now no one is a sinner.

One of the things that I really like about this book is the author including a general index and a Scripture index in the book. This makes is really easy to go back and find something within the book.

This is a really good book to read to understand the meaning behind the parables. This is not a quick read book. While reading the book, I often found myself having to put the book down and just think about what I had read. I feel this would make a great book to use as a bible study or with a group to help dig deeper into the meanings of the parables.

I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishing Blog Review Program. I have written an honest review.

261 pages

ISBN: 9780802414496

Publisher: Moody Publishers

James Montgomery Boice (1938 – 2000) As well as being a pastor, he was also president and co-founder of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the parent organization of The Bible Study Hour on which Boice was a speaker for more than thirty years. The Bible Study Hour is still heard as a radio broadcast worldwide. Boice was a well-known author and speaker in evangelical circles.

Some place you can purchase this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Parables-Jesus-James-Montgomery-Boice/dp/0802414494

https://www.christianbook.com/the-parables-of-jesus/james-boice/9780802414496/pd/414496

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/boice-james/parables-of-jesus/6722944.html

https://www.moodypublishers.com/books/bible-study-and-reference/the-parables-of-jesus/

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang

978-1-4143-6446-9

Bees in the Butterfly Garden is book 1 in A Guilded Legacy Novel series written by Maureen Lang.

John Davenport took his daughter Meg to an exclusive boarding school when she was very young. She stayed at the school all the time and didn’t see her father. Unknown to her, he attending some o f her school functions.

Meg was lead to believe that her father was a wealthy businessman, but instead he was one of the most talented thieves. It is only when Meg goes home for her father’s funeral does she find out what her father really was. John did not want Meg to find out what type of man he was. But John’s girlfriend felt Meg had a right to know. John has been mentoring Ian Maquire sine he was a teenager and has trusted Ian to care for Meg.

Meg has decided she is going to follow in her father’s foot steps. She contacts a former friend, Claire Pemberton, from the school and plans to go visit for the summer and remake their garden. Under this pretense, Meg finds out where their family keeps their gold and makes a plan with Ian to steel it.

This is historical Christian romance story with a little bit of mystery mixed in. The part I especially liked in the story is how the Jesus on the cross picture covering the trap door lever attracts everyone’s attention. Despite having Christian upbringing Meg and Ian have turned away from it and now plan a life of crime. I also like the way the Pemberton family holds prayer time every morning that included their servants. As well as how the Pemberton children take advantage of their parents being gone for the summer and give temporary raises to the servants and give them a party in the park.

This is a good story to get lost in. It’s a good story to show that even bad criminals can turn their back on crimes and seek God instead.

Series: Guilded Legacy Novel (Book 1)

407 pages

ISBN: 9781414364469

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

To read more about the author and books she has written visit: http://maureenlang.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/bees-in-the-butterfly-garden/9781414364469

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bees-in-the-butterfly-garden-maureen-lang/1107872875

https://www.christianbook.com/bees-the-butterfly-garden-gilded-legacy/maureen-lang/9781414364469/pd/364469?event=

https://www.amazon.com/Bees-Butterfly-Garden-Gilded-Legacy/dp/1414364466

Never Give Up: You’re Stronger Than You Think by John Mason

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Never Give Up: You’re Stronger Than You Think is an inspiring book written by John Mason. This book is broken up into three sections, “Looking Inward”, “Looking Outward” and “Looking Upward”. Within these three sections are 52 nuggets of information to help us not give up on our dream. The author gives us tips on how to not give up when we are ready to quit, how to avoid trouble and how to keep our energy up when faced with difficulties.

The author points out that anything worth doing is going to have struggles. And that most people give up either when they have failed to do something they wanted, or when they have accomplished something they aimed for. The author points out to us that God does not quit. That God has given us gifts to use and excel at. God does not take back the gifts he has given us. That by using the gifts God has given us, we will get better at what we are doing.

The author uses Bible verses to show us that the Bible gives us directions for how to live. He also uses Bible verses to show us how to gain godly wisdom and the benefits of prayer. God will give us the answers we need if we listen when he speaks to us. God will tell us what he wants us to do and he will use us right where we are, just like he used people in the Bible such as Mary to be the mother of his son.

Some of the points in this book that really stand out to me are that we sometimes feel we should always be busy. This kind of thinking can be a trap. The important thing is that we are progressing. The author points out that the Devil tricks us into saying yes to so many things. We gets spread so thin that we are not able to excel at what we are doing. I wish I had read this 10 years ago when I left the work force and decided to volunteer “a little”. My little became very overwhelming quite quickly.

Another thing the author points out in the book is that everyone has a potential to lead and influence others. He actually lists 25 ways to lead and influence well. When I took my first job outside of the house after having our children, I had co-workers tell me I would not be a quiet person very long working with them. Little did I know that I would eventually be in a position of leadership in work, as well as my volunteer life.

One of the most important nugget, I feel, is sometimes the most important thing is to get away to a peaceful God-filled spot. To leave thoughts and feelings behind. We should have a place where we can go to be alone and focus on the Lord.

This is a very thought provoking book. This is a book that you may want to go back to from time to time to encourage you in your daily walk.

I received this book from the Revell Publishing. I have chosen to write this honest review.

166 pages

ISBN: 9780800727116

Publisher: Revell Publishing

To learn more about the author go to: http://freshword.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/never-give-up-you-re-stronger-than-you-think/376290

https://www.amazon.com/Never-Give-Up-Youre-Stronger-Think/dp/0800727118

https://www.christianbook.com/never-give-youre-stronger-than-think/john-mason/9780800727116/pd/727112

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-give-up-youre-stronger-than-you-think-john-mason/1123923483?ean=9780800727116

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/mason-john/never-give-up/6879825.html

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

978-1-4143-6447-6

All in Good Time is a historical Christian romance written by Maureen Lang. The story is based in the late 1800’s in Colorado. As a young man Henry Hawkins single highhandedly robbed stagecoaches. His goal was to get enough money to make a good life. He is now the most successful banker in Denver. In his employ is his uncle Tobias.

Before Dessa’s friend past away she had a dream of opening a home for prostitutes who wanted to turn their lives around. Now Dessa Caldwell wants to fulfill that dream. She has gotten donations from churches and stores but still needs a substantial amount to buy the house. She met with Tobias to get the loan. Tobias convinces Henry to give her the loan. Dessa gets the house cleaned up quickly but does not get any girls to come. The original plan was to have the girls that came to the house make items that could be sold to help pay expenses. Dessa was forced to seek out other ways to finance the home.

This is a good historical Christian romance story. The author gives the background to the characters as she introduces them to make them easy to follow. The story is slower moving and allows Henry’s faith to grow and the friendship between Henry and Dessa to develop over time.

The part of the story that I enjoyed the most is how the church and community came together to help Dessa establish Pierson House. I think anyone who enjoys reading historical romances will enjoy this story.

Series: A Guilded Legacy Novel (Book 2)

380 pages

ISBN: 9781414364476

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

To read more about the author and books she has written visit: http://maureenlang.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/all-in-good-time/9781414364476

https://www.amazon.com/All-Good-Time-Gilded-Legacy/dp/1414364474

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/lang-maureen/all-in-good-time-gilded-legacy-series-2/4893435.html