Friends, Partners & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson

9780800728113

Friends, Partners & Lovers, by Kevin A. Thompson, tells the reader what it takes to make a marriage work. It is not just a book for those who are struggling in their marriage, it is also a great resource for any one who is married or going to be married.

The author points out that the number one cause of divorce is that the marriage died because one or both of the spouses neglected to intentionally invest in the marriage. In a healthy marriage both spouses play the roles of friends, partners and lovers. By doing this, we let our spouse know that we will always be by their side, we will always have their back and we let them know someone will always see their soul. Being a good spouse takes time and is demanding. Unless we play all three roles we are failing to give our spouse everything we promise, and everything they deserve.

The author states that healthy marriages do not have less conflict, rather they have more positive interaction. He also states that if both partners are willing, a marriage can radically change. But you can’t change your marriage by trying to change your spouse. You can pray for a change in your spouse, but you must start with a change in yourself. The conclusion of the book gives us eight questions to think about, to see if there are areas in our lives that we need to change.

I enjoyed reading some of the personal things the author puts in the book. The one thing that stands out most in my mind is that he felt he could tell how the marriage will last by how the couple feeds each other the cake at the wedding. I think back at weddings I have been to and seen couples “smash” the cake into their spouse, while other weddings the couple have been so respectful that if they get frosting on their spouse, they take a napkin and clean their spouse’s face. I have not thought of this before, but it makes sense that those who take care with their spouse show more respect and love.

Another thing that is pointed out in this book is that your spouse needs to be your friend. But they cannot be your only friend. You need other friends that you can turn to, that you can talk with about things that your spouse does not care to talk about.

This is a good book for married, or soon to be married people. I really think this book is one that should be recommended at marriage enrichment classes or counseling. There are some points within the book that may offend the reader, as the author goes deep in how we need to treat our spouse and what we need to do to help our marriage. To get the most out of this book, I feel it should be one shared by both spouses, and not just read by one. In my opinion, if only one is going to read the book, it will be the one who is putting in the most work to make a marriage work. And some points in the book may make they sit back and think about things that are not being done in their marriage. As well as things they deserve in their marriage that they are not getting from their spouse. Each chapter ends with “Be Intentional” questions that will make you really sit and think.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing and I have written an honest review.

224 pages

ISBN: 9780800728113

Publisher: Revell Publishing

To read more about the author, go to: http://www.kevinathompson.com/

Some place you can buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/friends-partners-and-lovers/383870

https://www.amazon.com/Friends-Partners-Lovers-Takes-Marriage/dp/0800728114

https://www.christianbook.com/friends-partners-lovers-takes-marriage-work/kevin-thompson/9780800728113/pd/728119

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/thompson-kevin-a/friends-partners-and-lovers/6987048.html

Sacred Privilege by Kay Warren

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My passionate prayer is that every pastor’s wife will get to read this book, because it could save your life, marriage, family, and ministry from a lot of unnecessary pain. And it can help make the rest of your life, the best of your life.” – RICK WARREN

Sacred Privilege, by Kay Warren, is written mainly for pastor’s wives. It gives encouragement, and tips for other wives in ministry. She goes into detail explaining how as a pastor’s wife, you will lose your privacy, you will be criticized, there will be complaints and conflicts. With these she tells the reader to leave it to God. She explains not to get caught up in trying to please every body.

The author explains that you will not be in ministry very long before you realize you have said yes to God in a way that will challenge every part of you. The author explains you need to accept who you are and know that be open to change. She also explains that you need to take care of yourself and your needs. And if there are children involved in the family, you need to help them . Ministry couples raising children have the normal stress of raising children. But they also have the additional stress of know everyone in their congregation will be watching them as they raise their children as well as what their children do.

I found this to be a very interesting book to read. I am not a minister’s wife, nor am I a minister’s daughter. I do, however, have family members in the ministry field and this book helped me to see the stress and sacrifices that minister wives deal with. I appreciate how the author uses her life experiences to help other wives. I think this book should be recommended reading for spouses of those in training for ministry as well as for family and close friends.

I received this book from Revell Publishing. I have written an honest review.

272 Pages

ISBN: 9780800728168

Publisher: Revell Publishing

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

Some place to purchase this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Privilege-Life-Ministry-Pastors/dp/0800728165

http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/sacred-privilege/378170

https://www.christianbook.com/sacred-privilege-life-ministry-pastors-wife/kay-warren/9780800728168/pd/728164

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sacred-privilege-kay-warren/1125738339

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/warren-kay/sacred-privilege/6987049.html

Naomi’s Hope by Jan Drexler

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Naomi’s Hope, written by Jan Drexler, is book 3 in the Journey to Pleasant Prairies series. The year is 1846 and Naomi Schrock and her family have settled in an Amish community in Indiana. A few years earlier, Naomi and her family stopped at a home that had been damaged by a storm. Inside they found a little boy, Davey, who had hidden in the fireplace. He is the only one who survived. Naomi adopted Davey and is raising him with the help of her family. Every year they celebrate his birthday by allowing him to look through a box they took from the house. Inside the box are items that belonged to Davey’s family, including the title to their property.

Davey is an energetic little boy and spends time walking to their new neighbor’s place. Their new neighbor, Cap, is a single man who lost his wife and child years earlier. Davey and Cap develop a relationship and Davey wants to pretend Cap is his father. With Davey visiting Cap frequently, Naomi also spends time with Cap. Naomi doesn’t feel any one would want her and Cap is still mourning his family. They develop a friendship but Naomi does not approve of Cap’s suggestions and opinions of how she raises Davey.

A new preacher moves to the area. Shep and Cap knew each other when they were younger and Cap is not fond of Shep. Shep has left his wife with her family, saying her health was not good. She shows up at his door one day when a young girl is visiting him. When Shep does not get chosen to be a preacher for the area, he convinces the other Amish community to separate. Shep also breaks into the Schrock home, taking papers from Davey’s box. On one of his travels and he meets a family that looks like Davey. He talks them into going back with him and pretending to be Davey’s family. They will take Davey away and also get the papers for his family’s property.

I really enjoyed this story. It is a nice blend of historical fiction and Amish fiction. While this book could be a stand alone story, reading the books in order will help the reader know other characters and events. While things happen that test the people’s strength, the message of faith and hope are very evident in this story. The story gives us some incite into the Amish life and life in general at the time. While this is an Amish romance story, it is also a story of family and community coming together and helping each other out. I believe anyone who enjoys reading Amish stories will love this series.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing and I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Journey to Pleasant Prairie (Book 3)

384 pages

ISBN: 9780800726652

Publisher: Revell

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

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/naomi-s-hope/375610

https://www.amazon.com/Naomis-Hope-Journey-Pleasant-Prairie/dp/0800726650

https://www.christianbook.com/naomis-hope-3-jan-drexler/9780800726652/pd/726656

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/naomis-hope-jan-drexler/1124824713?ean=9781493407217

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/drexler-jan/naomis-hope-journey-to-pleasant-prairie-3/6987038.html

Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson

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Under a Summer Sky, written by Melody Carlson, is book 3 in the Follow Your Heart series. Nicole Anderson is a high school art teacher who has recently broken up with her boyfriend and is feeling stuck in her job. Just before the end of the school year, her mother makes a visit to her classroom. Her mother has made arrangements for Nicole to go to Georgia and watch her friend Vivian’s home and co-manage her art gallery while Nicole and her husband go on a long cruise. Nicole has just days to get everything ready.

Nicole and her family are friends with Vivian’s family. They use to go on vacations together, so Nicole knows Vivian’s boys. But they are all grown adults now and have not seen each other for years. Vivian’s husband comes from old money and their home is beautiful and Nicole is looking forward to spending the summer there. What she does not expect is to find herself caring for Vivian’s granddaughter as well.

Nicole has never worked in an art gallery before and finds herself struggling to work with Vivian’s employee, Amyra. Amyra is an ex-girlfriend of one of Vivian’s sons. Vivian’s son’s encourage Nicole to fire Amyra.

This is a great contemporary romance story. Set in the south, the story gives some background to the area as well as southern traditions. This is a fun book to read for enjoyment. This story can easily be read on a lazy weekend. Even though it is part of a series, it is a stand alone novel. The story line and characters are well developed. The story of a summer romance as an adult seems different to me. As well as having a parent make your summer plans to start immediately after school is over, for the majority of the summer. This is not realistic to me. But overlooking that, it was a fun read. This is also considered a Christian fiction story. The Christian aspect of the story is very light. This is more a good clean romance story.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. I have chosen to write an honest review.

Series: Follow Your Heart (Book 3)

320 Pages

ISBN: 9780800723590

Publisher: Revell

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

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/under-a-summer-sky/351630

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/carlson-melody/under-a-summer-sky-follow-your-heart-3/6987031.html

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Summer-Sky-Savannah-Romance/dp/0800723597

https://www.christianbook.com/under-summer-sky-follow-your-heart/melody-carlson/9780800723590/pd/0723590?event=GOOGORG

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-a-summer-sky-melody-carlson/1124824716?ean=9780800723590

An Amish Summer

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An Amish Summer is a compilation of four novellas written by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin.

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelly Shepard Gray is a story of two sisters with very similar names that go to a wedding in Shipshewana and meet the same man. Sharon is healing from a broken relationship, while Sherilyn loves to write letters to people. After meeting Graham at the wedding, she writes to him. They plan a vacation to Pinecraft with their friends. Graham realizes that he thought he was writing to Sharon instead of Sherilyn

Summer Storms by Amy Clipston is a story of Arianna and Jesse, who are engaged to be married. When Arianna’s brother, Tobias, gets drunk he tries to race Jesse. Jesse send Arianna home and stays to help Tobias. When Tobias and Jesse get to the home, Tobias and his father get into another argument. As a result his father decides Arianna and Jesse are not to see each other anymore and the wedding is called off.

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller is a story of an Amish family who have a tourist home and shop. They also hire Judah to help on the farm. Esther has had a crush on Judah, but he only sees her younger sister Sarah. When the family takes in an Englisher, Sarah flirts with him and Judah is able to see her true side.

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin is a story of Jacob and Martha. They both lost their mothers at a young age. Martha was left to take over caring for the family. While Jacob is reckless and likes to have fun in ways Martha does not approve. Both have feelings for each other but Martha does not approve of the things Jacob does with his friends.

The stories within this book are short, easy to read stories to lose yourself in. All of the stories are romance stories that have couple who need to move past obstacles. Summer Storms and One Sweet Kiss are stories of what one must do to show their love. Jesse goes out of his way to help Arianna’s father and Jacob gives up his recklessness to show Martha he can be dependable. While in A Reunion in Pinecraft and Lakeside Love the stories show how we have to look inside of ourselves and follow God’s direction in our lives. Graham had to made the decision to make a relationship with the gal he remembered from the wedding or the one he has been writing letters to. Judah has to move past his feeling for Sarah and see who she really is.

I enjoyed reading these stories. They are the perfect length to read in an evening. I think anyone who enjoys reading stories of the young Amish will really enjoy reading this book.

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

400 pages

ISBN: 9780718078843

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

To read more about the authors go to: www.shelleyshepardgray.com, http://amyclipston.com/, http://www.kathleenfuller.com/, http://www.kellyirvin.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Summer-Four-Novellas/dp/0718078845

https://www.christianbook.com/an-amish-summer-four-novellas/shelley-gray/9780718078843/pd/078843

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/various/amish-summer-four-novellas-4-in-1/7005793.html

http://www.thomasnelson.com/an-amish-summer

The Farmer’s Market Mishap by Wanda E. Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter

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The Farmer’s Market Mishap, written by Wanda and Jean Brunstetter, is a sequel to The Lopsided Christmas Cake. This is also a very good stand alone story.

Elma Hochstetler and her sister Thelma inherited their grandparents home and store. Thelma has recently married and is expecting her first child. Elma is now left in charge of the store and is living in her grandparent’s home alone. Thelma is only able to help at the store a little bit and their employee is moving. Elma has hired a new employee, but she is not much help as she spends a lot of time visiting. Elma is also left to deal with having to care for the home as well. There are many things that need repair. She calls in Delbert, a friend of Thelma’s husband to do the work. Thelma has decided that Elma and Delbert should get together and has many get together inviting both of them.

Elma, Thelma and her husband take part in the farmer’s market. While Thelma and her husband are looking around, Ben visits their table and visits with Elma. This is the start of a relationship between the two. But since they live 50 miles apart, visiting each other is hard. If they were to have a future together Ben would have to leave his mother and her farm or Elma would have to leave her twin sister and the store.

This is a wonderful little story. The story is so well written that it is easy to see Elma and Delbert are not meant to be together and I kept waiting to see if Elma and Ben could figure out how to move forward. Elma is kept so busy with the story, her animals, the house and her sister. I got tired just reading all that she accomplished.

This story will be greatly enjoyed by those who enjoy reading Amish stories. It is a good clean romance with a little mystery and suspense written in it.

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

Series: Lopsided Christmas Cake (Book 2)

208 pages

ISBN: 9781634099325

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

To read more about the authors go to:http://wandabrunstetter.com/ https://www.christianbook.com/page/fiction/fiction-authors/jean-brunstetter

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Farmers-Market-Mishap,14729.aspx?Tab=Books

https://www.christianbook.com/farmers-market-mishap-sequel-lopsided-christmas/wanda-brunstetter/9781634099325/pd/099320

https://www.amazon.com/Farmers-Market-Mishap-Lopsided-Christmas/dp/163409932X

http://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-farmers-market-mishap-wanda-e-brunstetter/1125051918?ean=9781634099325?ean=9781634099325

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/brunstetter-wanda/the-farmers-market-mishap/6996348.html

To watch the book trailer go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuhRTRNAg7I

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

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Bread of Angels is a Biblical fiction story written by Tessa Afshar. Using  Acts 16, the author writes this awesome story of Lydia. The author has done an exceptional job of retelling this story to bring it to life for the reader. This story is so well written that it is hard to remember that it is fiction and not the real story. The author’s descriptions are so good that I could see the most beautiful purple fabric possible.

Lydia is the only child of a well know dye master that has a secret formula to make purple. Lydia helps her father in the business that is on land that her family has owned for generations. One day her father is injured and rescued by an upper class young man, Jason. Jason starts visiting Lydia and eventually Jason’s mother becomes a partner with Lydia’s father. Jason’s mother has set up Lydia’s father and brings false accusations against him. The courts rule against him and he loses their home and business. He also is beaten and eventually dies from the beating.

Lydia takes some of the business items with her when she leaves their home. While staying with a friend of her father’s Lydia meets Rebekah. Rebekah has been turned away from her home. Together Lydia and Rebekah travel to Philippi. With the help of General Varus’ mother, Lydia starts a new business making purple fabric with her father’s secret formula. The business grows and becomes so successful that another dye master starts causing serious problems for her.

Lydia has kept parts of her past a secret and struggles with being fearful. After hearing apostle Paul give a message, she give her life over to God. I really appreciated this part of the story. Especially when she told her employees that she did not expect them to make the conversion just because she did. That it was to be their very own personal decision.

Anyone who enjoys reading Biblical fiction will love this story. The author brings the story of Lydia to life.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

416 pages

ISBN: 9781496406477

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishing

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: https://tessaafshar.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/bread-of-angels/9781496406477

https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Angels-Tessa-Afshar/dp/1496406478

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/afshar-tessa/bread-of-angels-softcover-jun/7004534.html

https://www.christianbook.com/bread-of-angels-tessa-afshar/9781496406477/pd/406473

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bread-of-angels-tessa-afshar/1125139747?ean=9781496406477

The Divide by Jolina Petersheim

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The Divide, by Jolina Petersheim, is the second book and conclusion of the Alliance series. This is an awesome series. It was well worth the year wait to read the second book. Just like the first book in the series, this book has a lot of depth and twists and turns. I found myself staying up very late to find out what happens. The story is very well developed. We get to know more about the main characters as well as their background. One of the things that is stressed in this series is that violence is not God’s way so it is not the Mennonite’s way. But Leora has lived a life caring for and protecting those she loves. She wonders if she will have to choose between her family or her faith.

In book one, an attack destroyed the region’s power grid and changed the life for everyone. People fled their homes in search of food and shelter. The Old Order Mennonite community became under attack and the community fled to the mountains and built a new community.

Now in the new community they find food was very scarce. People got sick and many died. Bishop Lowell is killed by someone trying to get into the community and Jabil is now the Bishop. AS spring comes the community start gardening and moving toward the future. Leora is torn between clinging to her love for Moses and a life with Jabil. She accepts Jabil’s proposal but starts having doubts about being part of the community. Her brother has left the community to join the militia.

Members of the militia have manged to get an old airplane working and have located the Agricultural Resurgence Commission’s (ARC) camp. The ARC is going around forcing the people to join their group and work for them. Those who refuse are killed. Some members of the militia decide to take down the ARC.

I think anyone who enjoys reading about the Mennonite life will enjoy this story. As well as anyone who enjoys suspense and romance stories. However, this story does have a fair amount of violence and death

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: The Alliance (book 2)

400 pages

ISBN: 9781496402226

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

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

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/search?q=9781496402226&f=3

https://www.amazon.com/Divide-Alliance-Jolina-Petersheim/dp/1496402227

https://www.christianbook.com/the-divide-jolina-petersheim/9781496402226/pd/402225

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/petersheim-jolina/the-divide-softcover-jun/7004533.html

Weaver’s Needle by Robin Caroll

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Weaver’s Needle, written by Robin Caroll, is a Christian fiction story that is filled with suspense with a touch of romance. This is the first book I have read by this author and really enjoyed the story very much. The story is very well written with very well introduced characters. Landry’s faith is very strong and she relies on her relationship with God. Nickolai questions his faith and his beliefs in God. The story also touches on the religious beliefs of the Apache Indians.

While the main part of the story is about finding the map, we are also pulled into the search to find out who murderer is. We are also introduced to native culture of the area.

Bartholomew Winslet purchased the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map. While taking it to safekeeping he was murdered. His wife has asked Landry Parker and Nickolai Baptiste to find the map for her. Only the person who returns to map to her will receive the $50,000 payment.

Landry is former military and a recovery specialist that is trying to keep her father’s legacy going. She needs the job for the income. Nickolai was shot while on duty as a police officer. He is now considered one of the best recovery specialist. The search for the map takes them to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where the map is based on.

While in Arizona, Laundry and Nickolai are being targeted. The secretly start working together. The story show us how they have to put their distrust of each other aside and work together.

This is a great story, I think anyone who likes a good mystery will enjoy reading this story.

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

320 Pages

ISBN: 9781634099943

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

To learn more about this author visit her website at: http://www.robincaroll.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Weavers-Needle,14720.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=287

https://www.amazon.com/Weavers-Needle-Robin-Caroll/dp/163409994X

https://www.christianbook.com/weavers-needle-robin-caroll/9781634099943/pd/099941

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/caroll-robin/weavers-needle-jun/6996349.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