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

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

9780802414496

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

The Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

978-1-4964-2256-9

We have an ally. The shatterer will not prevail. Maggie goes forth to meet him.

Man the ramparts. Watch the road. Gird your loins, and collect your strength.”

The Maggie Bright, by Tracy Groot, takes place in England in 1940. Clare Childs has just inherited a yacht from a man who supposedly was her father’s friend. Clare has been living with her aunt and uncle since the death of her parents. There was just enough money left in her parents’ account for her to pay what was owed for the yacht. She is now living on the yacht and taking in boarders to help raise money for her to take it on a trip. The previous owner hid some documents on the boat that others want. One of the men is taken into custody and in jail. The other is one the loose and returns and severely injures Clare. While Clare is hospitalized, the Maggie Bright is called upon to help rescue soldier from Dunkirk.

Private Jim Elliot has been given the orders to make sure a man, Milton, gets home. Milton has a head injury and says things that do not make sense. Together they walk to the beaches of Dunkirk. On their walk they meet up with other soldiers going to Dunkirk. When they get to Dunkirk, they find the town has been attacked by the German’s and there are a lot of soldiers waiting to get on boats to get away from the area that is constantly under attack.

This story started out slow and had many parts to it. As the story developed, the different parts started becoming one very good story with a final connection. The story has suspense in it with the story taking a few twists and turns. The story is based on the evacuation of Dunkirk, at the beginning of WWII.

One of the important events in the story is when a day of prayer was declared. The author does a great job of pulling together the feelings of different people, to show that some did not believe in prayer, while for others it was of great importance. The day was so important for Clare that she hid the fact she developed a fever so she could attend the prayer time, and became very ill .

I really like this story. It is a great historical Christian fiction story. I feel anyone who enjoys reading stories centered around Europe during the war will really like this story.

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

360 pages

ISBN: 9781496422569

Publisher: Tyndale

To learn more about the author go to: https://www.tyndale.com/authors/tracy-groot/1376

To see the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT_yDcPpvtk

Some places this book can be purchased are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/maggie-bright/9781496422569

https://www.christianbook.com/the-maggie-bright-novel-of-dunkirk/tracy-groot/9781496422569/pd/422569

https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Bright-Novel-Dunkirk/dp/1496422562/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1493231137&sr=8-1&keywords=9781496422569

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/groot-tracy/the-maggie-bright-a-novel-of-dunkirk-may/7004555.html

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis

9780764212505

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis is a story of a young Amish lady that has always been curious of far away places. Sallie Riehl has been working at the Old Barn Restaurant for some time to save up the money to take a trip. She has decided to fly to Australia for two weeks and then return home to the life as an Amish woman. She has put off going through classes to joint he church until she returns from her trip.

Sallie’s nephew needs a very expensive medical procedure done, she sacrifices her trip to help pay for this. And Sallie’s father has decided it is time to turn the farm over to his son. Sallie’s parents will be moving from the farm house into the Dawdi Haus. It is a smaller home. Sallie’s younger sister will be getting married and at Sallie’s aunt’s suggestion, Sallie will be moving in with her.

One evening when Sallie is working, a young family come to the restaurant and request her to wait on them. The parents ask her to become their nanny for the summer. She will be living near the ocean in Cape May. And the classes to joint the church will need to be put off another year. Her parents agree to allow her to go since she gave up her trip to Australia.

While working for the family, she spends a lot of time at the beach. One day she meets a young Mennonite man, Kevin. She tries to tell herself he is just a friend, that she has someone waiting for her at home. But once she gets home she just cannot forget about Kevin. Now she is faced with making very hard choices.

This is a wonderful story. It is very well written and easy to read. I really like the parts in the book that show how generous Sallie is. As well as how loving her parents are to her, allowing her to do things that are not normal for an Amish to do. I like how important family is and how they help each other out. I thought it was very nice how Sallie’s mother gave Sallie suggestions for working with the issues Autumn has regarding her new baby brother. I especially appreciate the theme of seeking God’s guidance that follows through in this story.

I really enjoyed reading this story and I think anyone who enjoys reading contemporary Christian fiction and Amish stories will enjoy reading this book.

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

325 pages

ISBN: 9780764212505

Publisher: Bethany House Publishing

To read more about the author and books she has written go to:

http://www.beverlylewis.com

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/the-ebb-tide/350850

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/lewis-beverly/the-ebb-tide-softcover/6879790.html

https://www.amazon.com/Ebb-Tide-Beverly-Lewis/dp/0764212508/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

https://www.christianbook.com/the-ebb-tide-beverly-lewis/9780764212505/pd/4212505

You’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

from nashville

You’ll Think Of Me, written by Robin Lee Hatcher, is a contemporary Christian Fiction story of a single mom and her little girl. Brooklyn Meyers eloped when she was just seventeen years old. Her husband took off when he found out they were going to have a baby. Since then Brooklyn has been working as a waitress and raising their little girl, Alycia. One day Brooklyn receives legal papers informing her that her husband has died and she and Alycia are now the owners of his parents home.

Derek Johnson is a sheriff’s deputy that is trying to become an organic farmer. His childhood friend owns the property next to him and has told Derek that he could buy it when ever he has the money. Before that time comes, Derek gets a letter informing him his friend has died and left the property to his wife and daughter. Derek is also asked to watch out for them and to be a father figure for the man’s daughter.

Derek has blamed Brooklyn all these years for his friend leaving. He does not want her to move back to Thunder Creek. But that is what she does. She has plans for the property, that do not include selling it to Derek.

This is an awesome book that will grab your attention from the very beginning. It is the type of story you do not want to end. The story shows us how mistakes we make when younger can impact so many other people. In this case, the Alycia has never known a father’s love. She does not know what a “normal” family is. But the author uses Derek to tell her that there are different kinds of families.

It is fun to read the changes that have taken place inside of Brooklyn since she left Thunder Creek. Before she refused to go to church, now she feels differently about God. She no longer feels He is waiting to punish her when ever she misbehaved, like her father did. God loves her. God has changed her on the inside and continues to change her. God has provided for her with the home, friends and a job when she really needed one. Anyone who enjoys reading contemporary romance stories will love this story. This is a really nice Christian story, done so in a way that it is not preachy. The end of the story has some really good discussion questions for readers as well as an except from a paper the author wrote years ago.

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

305 pages

ISBN: 9780718085940

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Youll-Think-Robin-Lee-Hatcher/dp/0718085949

https://www.christianbook.com/youll-think-of-me/robin-hatcher/9780718085940/pd/085942

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/hatcher-robin-lee/youll-think-of-me/6900774.html

The Wrestler: The Pursuit of a Dream by Bill Vincent

9781684110674-Copy

The Wrestler: The Pursuit of a Dream, written by Bill Vincent, is a book for preteen boys. It is a story of Nicky, who grew up very poor and was bullied as a teenager. Despite being poor he and his brothers would wrestle and often watched wrestling. As Nicky grew up he became a wrestler and eventually wrestled in Japan making $50 a night. Now he is back home and is broke.

When the contender for the Wrestling Championship Match became injured, a new contender needs to be found. The World Champion selects Nicky to fight. The Champion has a plan to let Nicky fight for a little while and take him down. But Nicky takes this fight seriously. He trains and works out and is ready to fight for the Championship.

This is a good clean book for per-teen boys. The story show us how Nicky is able to get back into shape and fulfill his wrestling obligation. The story does have the violence that surround the sport but also shows the reader the respect Nicky and the Champion show each other after the match is over. The story also shows us how Nicky wants to help his girlfriend with his winnings instead of using them for himself. The part in the book that I really enjoyed is when Nicky took his wrestling obligation seriously and trained to get in the best shape possible. The story does mention the Nicky is a Christian, but there is no follow up on that. The story also leaves a few questions unanswered, like this could be the beginning of a series.

The author has been a pastor for over 20 years and has written many books that have helped people overcome the spirits and curses of Satan.

I received a copy of this book from BookCrash and this is my honest review.

110 pages

ISBN: 9781684110667

Publisher: Revival Waves of Glory

Some places you can purchase this book are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/bill-vincent/the-wrestler-the-pursuit-of-a-dream/6962782.html

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wrestler-bill-vincent/1121766640?ean=9781684110667