Friday, August 31, 2018

Next Level Thinking: 10 Powerful Thoughts for a Successful and Abundant Life by Joel Osteen

42243361Daily Readings from Next Level Thinking: 10 Powerful Thoughts for a Successful and Abundant Life

 "Next Level Thinking" is a powerful book that encourages every reader to be the exact person that God has created them to be. Want to break free from the limits you've placed on your life? Grab this book and start to listen to the encouragement from Joel as he challenges you to not settle for anything but God's best for your life! Stop the excuses, the limits you've placed and even your limited thinking on situations and start dreaming big.  Start pursuing what God says about you! 
Joel takes a very positive, encouraging approach that encourages every reader to go the next level through 10 different chapters. I learned the most in the chapter about removing the shame, especially when he talks about shaking off the shame. He says before we reach our highest potential, we must get rid of any shame and this statement is something I have had to unpack since reading this book. We cannot allow our past become our identity and so many of us allow it to shape our future. This chapter meant a lot to me.
Overall, this was an encouraging book, with a positive message. 

About the Author:

Joel Osteen

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sons of Blackbird Mountain (Blackbird Mountain #1) by Joanne Bischof

36576080Sons of Blackbird Mountain

(Blackbird Mountain #1)

When Aven Norgaard leaves Norway to serve as housekeeper to her late husband’s cousins in Appalachia, she expects lads in need of care, not three grown men—each in need of a wife and bound by a powerful brotherhood. As the men carve out a living by brewing artisan liquor, young Haakon’s pursuit tempts Aven’s lonely spirit . . . but it is his deaf brother, Thor, whose silent strength shows her the depths of real love.
Unable to speak to any woman, Thor Norgaard never anticipates Aven will befriend him, let alone treat him as her safe harbor. Though hard cider is their livelihood and his greatest talent, he fights his way to sobriety with Haakon’s help, defying the bottle for Aven’s hand—only to face a battle of the heart that tests even the strongest bonds of brotherhood.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

My Thoughts:
Joanne Bischof is a new author to me. I have never read a book by her, but Sons of Blackbird Mountain was recommended to me and this was an amazing book! Put all books aside and grab this book. It is a great, sweet romance that will have you turning the page. The characters are well developed and I love that the author chose to write about the deaf community. 
I am in awe of the writing style of Bischof and found the language of this story to be beautifully compelling. Her writing style is amazing and you will enjoy this novel. 
This book was a delight and I treasured every minute of it. The author has a way with words and her writing is amazing. I highly recommend this book. 

Connect with Joanne

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About the Author:

An ECPA Christy Award winner and an ACFW Carol Award winner, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. Joanne’s 2016 novel, THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from Romantic Times Book Reviews among other critical acclaim. Joanne has a long-standing passion for romance and a budding fervor for theology. She is more and more awed by how wondrously the two go hand in hand. She lives in the mountains of southern California with her three children and is represented by Sandra Bishop of Transatlantic Literary Agency.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Secret at Pebble Creek (Hope Chest of Dreams #4) by Lisa Jones Baker

37509597Secret at Pebble Creek

(Hope Chest of Dreams #4)

While this book is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone. If you haven't read the others, this book will make you want to read the other three in the series. It is such a heart warming read. 
This story line and its characters just pulled at my heartstrings as we read about Sam, Esther, and the Miller's in Pebble Creek. I love visiting Pebble Creek and reading about the house that Jessica inherited. With the story of romance, faith and hope, this book is truly a wonderful read! I highly recommend this book! 

About the Author 

Lisa Jones BakerLisa Jones Baker grew up near a small Amish town in Illinois that she frequented with her family on weekends. She's also a dog lover and a fan of Scottsdale, Arizona, where she spent nearly two decades. Lisa graduated from Illinois State University with a French major, has been on 5 out of 7 continents, and considers her parents the best in the world. Raised in a Christian home, Lisa has always been blessed with love and support.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Not the Boss of Us: Putting Overwhelmed in Its Place in a Do-All, Be-All World by Kay Wills Wyma

36739645Not the Boss of Us: Putting Overwhelmed in Its Place in a Do-All, Be-All World

Kay Wills Wyma

Friday, August 24, 2018

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

36394907A Rumored Fortune

Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first.

My Thoughts:
Since reading Lady Jane Disappears, I was excited to read A Rumored Fortune. This book is one that will keep your attention and you will surely find it difficult to put down. 

As a reader, you will get to see Tressa, as a naive girl grow into a confident women. The characters are well developed and enjoyable. I found the storyline captivating and the themes of forgiveness, love and trust as great truths to wrap up the story.

 If you enjoy the Victorian Era, this book is a great read! You'll love the backdrop of the vineyards, a mystery, money and a treasure hunt. Give this book a read! You won't be disappointed! 

About the Author:
Joanna Davidson PolitanoJoanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids by Sandy Silverthorne

36739642Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids

Any kid can be a comedian with a little help from award-winning author/illustrator Sandy Silverthorne's Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids. Perfect for kids ages 6-12, this zany collection of one-liners (Did you hear about the missing barber? Police are combing the city.), knock-knock jokes (Knock, Knock. Who's there? Pizza. Pizza who? Pizza nice guy, don't you think?), riddles (What's red and goes up and down? A tomato in an elevator.), puns, and funny lists represents some of the world's best clean humor. Add in the author's hilarious illustrations and cartoons, and kids will get hours of fun with the kind of laughs that make milk come out your nose--that is, if you're drinking milk while you read!

My Thoughts:
Crack Yourself Up is a joke book for kids by Sandy Silverthorne. This joke book is filled with jokes, stories, riddles, knock-knock jokes, etc. My husband & I were laughing at several of them. I love the size of this book, which is perfect for a backpack or a lunch pail for your child to bring to school. Younger children will enjoy this book too.

I recommend this book to fans of jokes, riddles, knock-knock jokes, etc.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Let Me Be Like Water by S.K. Perry

37835900Let Me Be Like Water


A beautifully poignant and poetic debut about love, loss, friendship, and ultimately, starting over.
Twenty-something Holly has moved to Brighton to escape. But now she’s here, sitting on a bench, listening to the sea sway… How is she supposed to fill the void her boyfriend left when he died, leaving her behind?
She had thought she’d want to be on her own, but when she meets Frank, a retired magician who has experienced his own loss, the tide begins to shift. A moving and powerful debut, Let Me Be Like Water is a book about the humdrum and extraordinariness of everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:
Let Me Be Like Water by S.K. Perry is a book that will get ahold of your emotions. With grief, loss, love this book is beautifully written and has a important message of hope through. Friends are the family members we choose, but sometimes it can be difficult to leg them go. This book can be a very emotional read, especially if you have recently experienced loss or are dealing with grief.  The way this book is very different as a fiction book, but enjoyable. Le Me Be Like Water is written with poetic symmetry to a narrative that is very therapeutic. This book is a different read then I have read before. I will warn you that this isn't a book I would recommend for you youth or children because of the content in it. 

Connect with S. K. Perry

Website | Twitter

About the Author:
S. K. PERRY was longlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate in 2013 and is the author of the poetry collection Curious Hands: 24 Hours in Soho. She lives in London and Let Me Be Like Water is her first novel.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Desired by God: Discover a Strong, Soul-Satisfying Relationship with God by Understanding Who He Is and How Much He Loves You by Van Moody

36576153Desired by God: Discover a Strong, Soul-Satisfying Relationship with God by Understanding Who He Is and How Much He Loves You

We were made to be in relationship with God, wired to love and be loved by Him. We feel truly whole and complete only when we have a vital, passionate relationship with Him. And that relationship can occur only with a deep understanding of who God is and how much He loves us.

As the story of the Bible makes clear, God’s earnest love for His people is continually given and rejected. To understand how God can keep pursuing us like this, we must see Him as He is: overflowing with desire for, and relentlessly in pursuit of, His people. Desired by God gives a refreshing, eye-opening picture of this God, who wants with all His heart for us to know Him. And when we see Him clearly and fall in love with Him, we will find ourselves more grounded, satisfied, and cared for than we ever dreamed possible.

My Thoughts:
Desired by God is a great book that reminds the reader that people were created for relationship with God. Not only were we created for relationship with Him, but we are completely loved by Him and called to love Him. 
Throughout several of the chapters, the author gives examples of how God's people reject him and how people received His love. The author uses examples from the Bible and shows the reader how God is LOVE. This book reminded me again and again how I do not deserve Gods love, but He gives so freely and I need to accept it regardless of how I might feel on a particular day. I think we need to be careful not to get into a works based mentality, but just to receive God's love regardless of the situation that we might find ourselves in from day to day and this book reminded of that.  Overall, the author made some great points, some receptive, but great for someone who really struggles with believing God loves them. 

About the Author:
Van MoodyField expert Van Moody is an author, motivational speaker, pastor, and media expert source who advises on matters related to relationships as they pertain to friends, family, significant others and the workplace.

Moody has lectured in the classrooms of Harvard and Oxford Universities where he, himself, has also studied to further his quest for knowledge. Among his numerous affiliations, Moody is an associate trainer in Japan for EQUIP, the world's largest and most comprehensive grassroots leadership, personal growth and development organization founded by Dr. John C. Maxwell. He also serves on the board of directors for Joel Osteen's Champions Network.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Patriot Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #4)

The Patriot Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #4)The Patriot Bride

(Daughters of the Mayflower #4)


Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause
Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

My Thoughts:
Kimberly Woodhouse does an excellent job in The Patriot Bride, which is the 4th book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series. It is a great read and an interesting story line. I love how as a reader we are taken back into history and learn to lean into God. 

This story is a great read with suspense, romance, history and faith. The Patriot Bride can be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend reading the author four books in this series.

About the Author:

Image result for kimberley woodhouseKim is a devoted wife and mother, and a third generation Liszt student. She has passed down her love of the arts to hundreds of students over the years, recorded three albums, and appeared at over 700 venues.

Her quick wit, enthusiasm, and positive outlook through difficult circumstances have gained her audiences at conferences, retreats, churches, military functions, and seminars all over the country.

The Woodhouse family’s story has been on the front page of newspapers, in magazines, articles, medical journals, and most recently featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They were also asked to share their story on The Montel Williams Show and Discovery Health Channel’s Mystery ER.

Kim has been writing seriously for fifteen years. Songs, plays, short stories, novels, picture books, articles, newsletters – you name it – she’s written it. It wasn’t until a dear friend challenged her to “do something with it”, that she pursued publication. She now has multiple books to her credit, with more on the way.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Through the Autumn Air By Kelly Irvin

Through the Autumn AirThrough the Autumn Air

By Kelly Irvin 

"Kelly Irvin’s Through the Autumn Air is a poignant journey of friendship and second chances that will illustrate for readers that God blesses us with a true love for all seasons." —Amy Clipston, bestselling author of Room on the Porch Swing
The past filled her mind even as her heart yearned for stories yet to be told . . .
The mother of ten and a widow of seven years, Mary Katherine is a bundle of energy, always willing to step in and help her friends around her Amish community. Now that her last child is married, she pours her abundant creative spirit into writing stories, even as she speaks aloud to her late husband every day. Her dream is to open a bookstore with an English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned store instead. When her old school friend, Ezekiel, offers her a position as a cook in the restaurant he opened after his wife died, she knows she should accept. But does she really want to spend her time working over a hot stove?
When a mysterious English stranger breaks into her house to make himself a sandwich one autumn night, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to Ezekiel. They both see that Burke is need of more than a meal, and Ezekiel offers him the job at the restaurant.
As they set out to care for their new friend, Mary Katherine and Ezekiel find themselves often working together. Mary Katherine is drawn to Ezekiel, but she remembers the terrible risk of giving her heart to someone. Can two people in the autumns of their lives and so well-versed in the pain of loss put the past behind them and trust in the hope that comes with each new season?

My Thoughts:
The Every Amish Season Series is about a group of women who are all in different seasons of life, which is something that I have really enjoyed and loved about this series. Each woman differs by the number of children they have or their age, but the common thread is that they each have lost their husbands. 
Through the Autumn Air, has been my favorite book so far out of the series. With tender moments and laugh out loud moments, this Amish Fiction novel tells the story of a 60 year old woman who loves books. It made me wish that I knew Mary Katherine in real life. Her character is very compelling. This is a story you don't want to miss in the Every Amish Season Series! Make sure you pick up a copy today! I highly recommend it!

About the Author:
Kelly IrvinKelly Irvin's newest series, Every Amish Series, began with the debut of Upon a Spring Breeze, in April. The second book, Beneath the Summer Sun, will debut in January 2018. It is a four-book series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This follows the Amish of Bee County series, The Saddle Maker's Son, released in June 2016. It is an ECPA bestseller. It follows The Bishop's Son, and the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Beekeeper's Son, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer called it "a beautifully woven masterpiece." The Beekeeper's Son was a finalist in the romance category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest. 

Kelly has novellas in The Amish Christmas Gift and The Amish Marketplace, both of which were also ECPA bestsellers. She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. The New Hope Amish series includes Love Still Stands, followed by Love Redeemed, which was an ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Plain Love Song.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Her Fear (The Amish of Hart County #5) by Shelley Shepard Gray

36379973Her Fear (The Amish of Hart County #5)

In New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s latest novel of suspense in her Amish of Hart County series, an EMT falls for a woman with ties to an Amish community where people are dying similar, suspicious deaths
Sadie Detweiler never imagined she’d move to Kentucky, yet here she is: a pregnant, unmarried Amish girl banished by unforgiving parents to live with kin she barely knows. The men are gruff and her cousins are secretive. Worst of all, elderly matriarch Verba becomes mysteriously ill shortly after Sadie moves in. When EMT Noah Freeman arrives, Sadie immediately notices he’s unlike any other Amish man she’s met. Noah is warm, confident, and has an easy way with practically everyone in the community, both Amish and English. Though Sadie is drawn to him, she has little hope he will reciprocate her feelings once he learns she’s with child.
Shelley Shepard Gray

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars #1) by Wanda E. Brunstetter

36627503The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars #1)

What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?
Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.
Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

My Thoughts:
The Hope Jar by Wanda is a delight! I thought this book was a perfect read for a day at the beach. In fact, I read it from cover to cover while on vacation. I found the story of Michelle and Sara Murray to be one of hope, redemption, forgiveness and love. This story is very inviting and the characters are intriguing.  The plot was well thought out and The Hope Jar is another favorite of mine by Wanda. Aside from the Hawaiian series and the Christmas Quilt Novellas, I think this is going to be an excellent series and I cannot wait to read the next one in the book. Oh, and you'll need to read the next one because the reader is left with a cliff hanger at the end. So, does the case of Michelle and Sara ever get resolved? Grab the book to find out! I give this book 5/5 stars! The Hope Jar is definitely a favorite of mine!

Wanda E. BrunstetterAbout the Author:
 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.