Thursday, July 20, 2017

Then There Was You + Giveaway!!

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.

Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He's determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.

When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?

My Thoughts:

In her third novel, author, Kara Isaac, does not disappoint! Set in the idyllic Australian landscape readers are introduced to event planner extraordinaire, Paige McAllister, and world-renowned worship leader, Josh Tyler. Ms. Isaac's witty humor spills onto the pages and into the character's lives as they navigate the murky waters of regret.

This romantic comedy is reminiscent of a bygone era when the meet-cute was enough to send a heart soaring and sarcastic flirtation was endearing. It's the kind of story that Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds would be perfect for!!

Ms. Isaac's story-telling is snappy, heart-warming, and delivers all the feels through well-developed characters and a relatable plot. This is Christian fiction at its best and makes Kara Isaac an author whose books will always have a place on my shelf.

You can purchase your copy of Then There Was You HERE


Then There Was You joins the shelf of BOOKS I LOVE and because I love it so much and because I'm so grateful to all of you who stop by my blog for reviews I want to thank you by GIVING AWAY TWO eBOOK COPIES of Then There Was You!! πŸ’—

Entry is simple!! All you have to do is answer this question in the comments below along with your email (for winner notification):

Tell me one thing that's on your bucket list.

**Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents 18 years or older (unless parental permission is given) and VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Giveaway closes on 07/25/17

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Israel-God's Heart~Landscapes and Legacy of Israel

Israel-God's Heart~Landscapes and Legacy of Israel by Ron Gafni and Kathleen Barrett

A captivating pictorial of the Holy Land and a Scriptural journey through God's redemption story. 

My Thoughts:

Israel has been a place I've always wanted to visit. A bucket list kind of location that seems to draw me every time I hear people talk about Israel. The history, the culture, the landscape-all of it intrigues me. So it was obvious that I would sign up to review this book because if I can't book my ticket I can at least visit the beauty of Israel through the stunning photography of Ron Gafni.

I think the beauty of this book is that it can be enjoyed by someone who has never been to Israel almost as much as someone who has been lucky enough to touch foot in The Holy Land. My sister and her husband are two such people. As I toured the pages of this book with her next to me it was exciting to see her eyes light up in memory of the places she visited. She was able to explain some of the locations beyond the descriptions in the book and it was clear watching her that she was visiting Israel all over again with each turn of the page.

Narrator, Kathleen Barrett, provides brief descriptions of the locales but includes Scriptural references that bring deeper meaning to each picture. With her narration it's hard to miss God's love for Israel and for His people-whether Jew or Gentile. This is one of those books that I think would be awesome to have on your shelf so you could refer to it as you read through the Bible. The visualization of the Biblical landscape will give the reader a unique perspective and help bring Israel's legacy to life.

If you've always wanted to visit Israel-this book will only enchant your desire further as you take in each breathtaking view of a country rich in culture, history, and beauty. If you've been to The Holy Land-this book will delightfully refresh your memories and probably make you yearn to visit again.

***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of Israel-God's Heart HERE.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

True To You by Becky Wade and GIVEAWAY

True to You by Becky Wade

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. 

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

My Thoughts:

Indubitable!! It is impossible NOT to love True to You. Honestly, this story had me from page one and it'll be a long time before I'll be able to stop thinking upon Nora and John's story.

First, let's talk characters. Nora is bookish, quirky, uber fan of all things British PBS television (that can be a thing, right?), and has captured the unsuspecting attention of former Navy Seal John Lawson-a hunky hero desperate to find out about his past. Okay, so those are the leads but this story is chock full of characters with personality that won't let you soon forget them. Whether it's Nora's sisters, her cantankerous grandmother, or the subtle invasion of handsome men who I'm hopeful will find their spotlight in future books-Ms. Wade delivers a colorful cast rich in depth that bring purpose to the story in profound ways that not only round out the plot beautifully but resonate with the heart and soul.

Now, let's talk story.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Joy of Letting Go by Vicki Caruana

The Joy of Letting Go by Vicki Caruana

Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

My Thoughts:

This little 52 week devotional is filled with scripture, quotes, and personal stories written to help parents whether they are embarking the newness of a child's independence or edging the empty-nest stage.

Having one daughter already in college and another leaving this year, I found some of the advice and encouragement helpful. Because I was reviewing this book I didn't have the luxury of reading it on a weekly basis and that maybe would've helped the book not feel so disjointed in its cohesiveness. One day I could be reading a devotion about toddler defiance and the next day the devotion touches on college responsibility. It felt a little jumpy but I was still able to glean some good stuff and I think most parents will too.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of The Joy of Letting Go HERE.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hometown Hero's Redemption by Jill Kemerer

Hometown Hero's Redemption by Jill Kemerer

When he becomes guardian to his friend's troubled ten-year-old boy, firefighter Drew Gannon knows he needs help. But before he can get former social worker Lauren Pierce to agree, he's got to prove he's changed from the sports jock who gave her a hard time back in high school. Returning home, Lauren wants no part of her old profession. She only wants to forget the unspeakable tragedy she left behind. She can't take responsibility for another child. Or a reunion with Drew—no matter how generous he's become. But a desperate boy and his handsome guardian may be more than Lauren can resist…

My Thoughts:

In the final installment of the Lake Indwell Series we meet firefighter Drew Gannon, the guardian of his best friend's son and desperate for help in securing a "normal" environment for the child whose life has been upended and the only one experienced to help is the goody-two-shoes girl from his past-Lauren Pierce.

My opinion of these short novellas often vary because for as many as I've read they too often feel fast, formulaic, and dismissible. However, author, Jill Kemerer, brings so much authenticity to her novellas that I can't help but become instantly immersed in the story world. And Hometown Hero's Redemption is no exception.

One of my favorite things about this story is the twists and setbacks Ms. Kemerer weaves throughout the plot bringing complexity to the novella you'd find in longer novels. The characters behave and react naturally, which I love because it makes them feel real. The faith element is subtle and organic as it breathes a sweet theme that resonated with me.

Hometown Hero's Redemption is the perfect summer read and might be my favorite of the series!!

***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of Hometown Hero's Redemption HERE.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chasing Famous by Lisa Lloyd

Chasing Famous by Lisa Lloyd

Have you ever considered your life as an audition? Regardless of who or where we are, we are constantly, often unconsciously, auditioning for a part. Loving wife. Amazing employee. Crafting queen. Socialite. All we really want is to be loved, affirmed, and accepted. What if we could learn to live the life we have always been auditioning for without all the stress?
Chasing Famous is a redemptive book that teaches us how to take the focus off ourselves and shift it back on to the glory of God. Written by a professional actress who readily admits that she is the most self-centered person she knows, Chasing Famous provides practical and sometimes humorous examples of scriptural truth that will help you master the natural self-centered tendencies of life. Once you've mastered these issues, and you can, your story will turn the spotlight on God where, you'll soon discover, what it means to truly live.

My Thoughts:

Am I chasing famous? Or am I chasing after what makes God famous? Author and actress, Lisa Lloyd poses these questions in her book, Chasing Famous-Living the Life You've Always Auditioned For. 

I was hesitant at first because how can my life as wife/mom/homemaker compare to this actress? But Lisa Lloyd removes all pretense immediately offering honest, heartfelt, and revealing guidance to live life in the Light of who God created each of us to be. Ms. Lloyd does this through chapters uniquely titled to reflect terms related to the stage. Topics like Method Acting, Encore, Booking the Job, The Aside, Trust Fall among many dive into the truthful theme that when we live on purpose--doing what God called us and created us to do--we will make Him famous. We can bring Him the glory and honor and live boldly in the calling.

I found myself underlining a lot of passages that became personal to me. Ms. Lloyd uses personal stories and Scripture to support each idea and at the end of each chapter there are a list of questions that will help readers dig deeper. I found each chapter gave me much to think and pray about. In fact, it gave me much to discuss with my growing teenagers and husband.

Chasing Famous is well-written and thought out book that I think would make a great women's study but can also be read individually. I think this would also be a great resource for young women who are preparing to face a world where the topics in this book will help validate them and encourage them to live boldly.

"What if you and I trusted Him with radial faith?" -Lisa Lloyd, Chasing Famous

At the end of this book, this is the question that remains on my heart and I believe Ms. Lloyd ignites the flames of hope by suggesting what if... How will I answer that question and what amazing things can happen in my life, in the lives of those around me, and in the world if I truly begin to chase what makes Him famous??

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of Chasing Famous HERE.

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different--and better--future planned for them than either could imagine.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this novel in the Hope Harbor Series. I was drawn to the characters instantly and could visualize the setting in my mind as I continued to read this easy story. It wasn't difficult to be pulled into the plot and becoming emotionally invested in the outcome. I was a little concerned as I got to the end of the story that so many pieces of the plot weren't wrapped up but the epilogue ties it all together believably, leaving me satisfied overall.

Ms. Hannon delivers characters with depth creating a balanced story that left me wanting more by the time I turned the final page. I haven't read any of the other Hope Harbor Series books so I don't know if there's further development with the main characters from this book but Ms. Hannon does a great job bringing these characters to life that I want to know more about them, which means I'll be picking up the rest of the series soon!

Overall, this is a great book that doesn't come off preachy (in fact, I very much appreciated the delicacy in which Ms. Hannon handles the faith component in this novel) and will be one of my top summer recommended reads for 2017 πŸ˜€

***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of Sandpiper Cove HERE

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