Decades of loss, an unsolved mystery, and a rift spanning three generations
Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.
Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.
When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?
"Bringing Maggie Home" is one of the most fantastic books I have read lately as a stand alone lately. This book had me from the beginning to the end. The characters were complex in details and emotions. I feel like the characters were jumping off the pages and I couldn't put down this book because I wondered what was happening to them after I had to put them down for work . The faith thread is amazing through these mother and daughter relationships. This is a story that I don't think I will ever forget! Don't skip ahead to find out what happens because their were moments where I wanted to know what was going, but trust me, stick this out to the end with Maggie and Hazel. You won't regret it! I give this book 5/5 of stars! This author wrote a fabulous book!
About the Author:
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where... With Nothing Left, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.
Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight about current laws, and despite a poor start, the two are becoming friends.
Then, while Mac is away on business, Lily is faced with the impossible decision of marrying a man twice her age or she and her brothers becoming homeless, as her late father gambled away their home and acreage. But with debts being called in, will Lily be forced to choose a loveless marriage just when she is discovering what true love could be? What can she possibly do? Will Mac return in time to spare Lily a lifetime of unhappiness? "In the Shenandoah Valley" makes me want to pack up my car and go on a road trip to Virginia, which is a place I have never visited, but I instantly fell in love with the time period and Lily. I felt so much emotion for Lily, especially after losing her father and trying to pick up the pieces of her life, including her younger brothers who often found themselves in trouble. Mac is ready to start gardening after purchasing a wonderful piece of land. Not only is he excited about his endouvers for the land, but he cannot wait to have a home, but he has to have a new dream of what he will do on the boats. He is quick on his feet and I thought his character was well written too. I love how Andrea wrote this time period, the description and the details. I felt that she did her research and the book was very enjoyable. Of course, this book wasn't without a little romance and also some banter between the two main characters. One of my favorite parts of this book is the faith element. The characters are involved in many aspects of church, prayer and trying to be obedient to God. I found this style to be perfect. It wasn't preachy, but carried a great tone. I give this book 4/5 stars. Thank you to the publishers for providing a complimentary copy for review. Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar has been married for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Daniel, have three adult sons, daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Andrea's educational background includes the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where she studied in English, and Alverno College where she studied in Professional Communications and Business Management.
Andrea has been writing stories and poems since she was a little girl; however, it wasn't until 1984 that she started submitting her work for publication. Eight years after that, she was convicted about writing for the Christian market. She read books in her genre (Inspirational Romance & Women's Fiction), studied the market, and worked hard to hone her craft.
The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today
At age 30 Evan Moffic became the leader of a large congregation. He had great success. But he couldn't find happiness. Then he found a 2000-year-old prayer. In it were hidden elements of Jewish wisdom. They became a part of his life and those of his congregation and transformed them and him.
In the tradition of Rabbi Harold Kushner, Moffic opens up wisdom that has been at the heart Judaism for thousands of years. He distills the "Eilu Devarim" an ancient prayer for happiness found in the Talmud into ten practices that empower us to thrive through setbacks, so nothing can hamper our happiness.
The ten practices are simple:
· Honor Those Who Gave You Life
· Be Kind
· Keep Learning
· Invite Others into Your Life
· Be There When Others Need You
· Celebrate Good Times
· Support Yourself and Others During Times of Loss
· Pray with Intention
· Look Inside and Commit
The rabbi unpacks these practices of the 2000-year-old prayer with insights for today, that will help you find ways to live with greater happiness and meaning. He draws from interactions with thousands of congregants, as well as his own experience. His conclusion that these actions bring happiness is corroborated by science: people who conduct authentic lives of faith live, on average, seven years longer than others, have more friends and are healthier. :
The Happiness Prayer helped me to learn a lot about the Jewish culture and specific Judaism in many different ways. I found and learned the different to many Hebrew words, which made it easier to understand some Hebrew words I didn't understand. I was amazed to learn that a Hebrew Child is named at eight days old. This book was informative and provided so many great details on customs that I wasn't aware of. Although The Happiness Prayer, wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, it gave me a lot of other insight that I had not expected. I think if the reader can open up their perspective and being willing to learning, this book will open your eyes to new things and a new perspective of doing things. I give this book 4/5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review.
Rhinestones on My Flip-Flops: Choosing Extravagant Joy in the Midst of Everyday Mess-Ups
byJane Jenkins Herlong
RHINESTONES ON MY FLIP FLOPS offers the message Jane lives by: prove people wrong and laugh while living your dreams.
As a nationally recognized Southern humorist, wife, and mother, Jane provides scriptural take-home wisdom and common-sense timeless truths. The purpose of RHINESTONES ON MY FLIP FLOPS is two-fold: to remind readers about biblical women who faced change and to provide life lessons about handling change that will benefit every woman. This book is designed to hit the heart with teachable stories that will encourage, inspire, and create laughable, honest moments. The book's common-sense, biblical answers will help women confidently face another day with empowerment and to pass their wisdom to the next generation.
Grab your pair of favorite flip flops, your southern charm and get ready for some deep belly laughs. Rhinestones on My Flip Flops is full of Biblical wisdom, humorous stories and some of the most ridilous funny things that you will ever read. However, if you think this book is all about the giggles, you will be sadly mistaken. It also has deep moments of truth and heart ache. You will find yourself in tears, but mostly laughter. What I loved about Jane was how she wrote this book in a way that makes the reader want to seek more Biblical truth in their every day life. Allow this book to help you seek the scriptures further, deepen your faith and help you apply Godly principals into your everyday life. I loved this book and I know you will too. It is one to keep on the shelf to read again and again for different seasons of life. I give this book 5/5 stars! Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary book for review.
About the Author:
From the tomato fields of her native Johns Island, South Carolina all the way to runway of the Miss America Pageant, Jane's contagious optimism helps audiences learn how to handle difficult life situations with a sense of humor and grace. Through really funny original Southern stories and award-winning singing audiences learn life-skills dealing with stress to achieve more success. Jane travels across the country and has spoken in New Zealand and Germany. She is fluent in four langues: English, Southern, Northern and Gullah.
Jane's story of overcoming being labeled Dyslexic and other challenges give audiences a recipe for balancing their own personal journey with humor and hope through folksy wisdom-Southern style.
Jane is the author of the book, "Bury Me with My Pearls," "Bare Feet to High Heels: You Don't Have to be a Beauty Queen to be a Beautiful Person,"and "What Ta-Tas Teach Us." Coming soon to be released September 2017 by Hachette Publishing, "Rhinestones on My Flip-Flops." https://goo.gl/aN5otq
As a professional singer, Jane has recorded multiple CDs including her Big Band, Gospel and Broadway CD entitled, "Favorites." In addition, Jane has recorded her CD of Christmas Classics entitled, "The Spirit Of Christmas" along with numerous live recording of her comedy and live speeches that are available on iTunes and Pandora.
God Is for Real: And He Longs to Answer Your Most Difficult Questions by Todd Burpo, David Drury About: GOD IS FOR REAL addresses the questions: What is God like? Why are things the way they are in spite of who God is? If Todd's first book, Heaven Is for Real, was about the then and there of heaven, GOD IS FOR REAL is about the here and now on earth: Why are there are so many hypocritical church people? Why do Christians make such a big deal about the cross? Why doesn't God seem to answer our biggest prayers? People are tired of pat answers offered up in churchy language explaining away their questions; we want the down-and-dirty truth. What bothers us about life and faith is real and gritty. We need a plain-spoken voice to offer God's answers to difficult struggles and painful doubts. Todd charges into these subjects with a fireman's courage, a small-town friend's vulnerability, and a local pastor's compassion. He helps articulate the questions people have, then gives them relevant biblical wisdom for taking their next steps in faith. God is ready to meet you! Are you ready to meet Him?
My Thoughts: Previously, I have read the book "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo and that is the story of Todd's son, which is a fantastic read if you haven't read it. However, God is For Real is the book of tough questions that most people are looking for answers to, with practical and Biblical truths. I love how authentic Todd is with his approach and yet he helps the reader keep eternity in mind. This book is for anyone looking to have crucial and critical conversations about the Christian life. This is great for the believer or the non-believer. I enjoyed the story of the Jerusalem reporter and how Todd went into a deeper, yet meaningful discussion with her. Overall, I thought this book was thought provoking and it is a good book to soak in. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy. I give this book 4/5 stars. About the Author: Todd Burpo is pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan and a volunteer fireman. He and his wife, Sonja, have four children: Colton is an active 14-year-old; he has an older sister, Cassie; a younger brother, Colby; and a very special sister he met in heaven, yet to be named.