Posted in Book reviews, Books, Chuck Black, Litfuse, Pictures, Reviews, update

Book I read during 2014

Another year is coming to a close. Seems so soon, doesn’t it?

This past year I’ve been able to read quite a few lovely books! In fact, I’ve read over 50 this year, which is a new record for me. :) I thought I would share what books I read this year, and which ones absolutely touched me and remain on my ‘favourite’ list!

 

The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2) Shadowed by Grace (Story of Monuments Men #1) God's Daughter (Vikings of the New World Saga, #1) Solomon's Song The Quilted Heart Omnibus (Quilted Hearts #1-3) The Thief (The Living Water Series, #2) The Well (The Living Water Series, #1) October Baby The Queen's Handmaid Visible Threat (Critical Pursuit, #2) Mary Magdalene A Sensible Arrangement (Lone Star Brides, #1) Grace Unplugged Pearl in the Sand For Such a Time Abraham And Sarah: The Long Journey 30 Days to a More Beautiful You: A Devotional for Girls Daisies Are Forever The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing Miranda Warning (A Murder in the Mountains, #1) Raptor 6 (Quiet Professionals #1) The House of Mercy A Broken Kind of Beautiful The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking Rebekah's Treasure In the Field of Grace A Heart for Milton: A Tale from North and South A Bride for Keeps (Unexpected Brides, #1) A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1) Forgotten: Seventeen and Homeless (Secrets, #1) A Bride in Store (Unexpected Brides #2) Kingdom's Dawn (Kingdom, #1) A Memory Between Us (Wings of Glory, #2) Kingdom's Hope (Kingdom, #2) Kingdom's Edge (Kingdom, #3) Thief of Glory Citizen: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II Love Amid The Ashes (Treasure Of His Love) Sew, It's a Quest (The Bookania Quests #1) The Crown of Anavrea Finally and Forever (Katie Weldon, #4) The Silver Bowl (Silver Bowl, #1) Destiny Defied The Princess Spy Destiny Delivered And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity Shades of Mercy (Maine Chronicle, #1) How to Be a Pirate (How to Train Your Dragon, #2) Swept Away (Quilts of Love)  Bella at Midnight Dash and Cinder  Ransomed At Home in Last Chance (A Place to Call Home, #3)  (If you click on the image of each book, they will lead to my review of it, if applicable. The last one “At Home in Last Chance” will be reviewed in January).

 

So that is it – or at least most of them. These are the ones I added on Goodreads (and the images are from that site as well); there were a couple others that I read, but forgot to add to GR…

As some of you may remember, a good percent of these were review books. I liked more than half of the books I read, which is always a good thing! As for my favourites, it is really hard to choose, and the list might be too long, so I will try to keep it short and list one the ones that I super loved (in no order):

“God’s Daughter” by Heather Day Gilbert

“The Well” and “The Thief” by Stephanie Landsem

“Visible Threat” by Janice Cantor

“Pearl in the Sand” (though I’ve read it numerous times before), and “In the Field of Grace” by Tessa Afshar

“For Such a Time” by Kate Breslin

“Daisies are Forever” by Liz Tolsma

“The Cross Centered Life” by C.J. Mahaney (oh my word was this amazing!! Everyone should read this)

“The House of Mercy” by Alicia R. Ruggieri

“A Broken Kind of Beautiful” by Katie Ganshert

“A Distant Melody” and “A Memory Between Us” by Sarah Sundin

“Kingdom’s Dawn”, “Kingdom’s Hope”, and “Kingdom’s Edge” by Chuck Black

“Love  Amid the Ashes” by Mesu Andrews

“The Crown of Anavrea” by Rachel Rossano

“Destiny Defied” and “Destiny Delivered” by J.A. Marx

“Ransomed” By Elizabeth Ender

Like I said, there were many!! I truly adored each of these books and they made huge impacts on my life. :)

So, what books did you read this past year, and which made it to your favourites? I’d love to hear!

Posted in Book reviews, Moody Book Review, Tessa Afshar

Moody Publisher Book Review of Tessa Afshar’s “In the Field of Grace”

“In the Field of Grace” by Tessa Afshar

Biblical Fiction

5 out of 5 Stars

Source: MPnewsroom

About the book:

Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi’s, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.

But God has other plans for her life. While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi’s chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.
 
Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel’s destiny and the future of the whole world.

 

My Review:

Oh my goodness did I love this book. I knew I would, though. :) Tessa Afshar never disappoints! At least, I don’t think so. Each book she writes is absolutely amazing, and it is a joy to read. I always learn something from them, and love and appreciate the depth she adds to each book.
This was a beautiful retelling of the Book of Ruth from the Bible. The characters came so alive, and you got to see so many new aspects that you don’t really think about when you read the Biblical account. I just love that Miss Afshar always enhances the Biblical accounts and always points the reader back to God and to read the Bible account above all else.
I loved every inch of this book, and was so pleased to read it. The characters were magnificent, and you grew to love each and every one of them – even the ones you didn’t think you would like!
Towards the end, I would come to a spot that I’d think it was over and then find that there are still quite a few chapters left – and normally, that might not be such a good thing, but when it comes to Miss Afshar’s books, it is always a good thing!! I personally think that these books you could read forever :D I guess I may be a little biased though, seeing as I love them so much…
But yes, back to the story-line. What else can I say other than that it was amazing? So well done, and so many truths! And I loved that the healing process specifically in Boaz’s life wasn’t just right away – it was really a process, and that made it so realistic.
I do think, though, that the book should have been named “Pearl in the Night” as was an option at the beginning. “In the Field of Grace” is definitely a lovely title, don’t get me wrong, but I think “Pearl in the Night” would have fit it so well! I loved that part towards the end….*sigh*. I won’t give away anything. But go read it for yourself!! And though it is not a direct continuation of “Pearl in the Sand” (Tessa Afshar’s first book), it is definitely related, and it would be nice to read in order – but at the same time, “In the Field of Grace” can easily stand alone, as can “Pearl in the Sand”.
I am so thankful for the chance to read this! I loved it so much.

 

I received a complimentary copy of “In the Field of Grace” from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Posted in Book reviews

Moody Book Review: “The White Umbrella: Walking with survivors of sex trafficking” by Mary Frances Bowley

Title: The White Umbrella: Walking with survivors of sex trafficking

Author: Mary Frances Bowley

Type: Non-fiction

Number of pages: 200

Source: Moody Publishing Blogging program: http://mpnewsroom.com/

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Description: 

Sex trafficking. We hear about it on the nightly news and in special interest stories from around the world, but it occurs daily in communities all around us. Every year, thousands of young women are forced into sexual exploitation. Most are under the age of 18. The damage this causes to their emotions and souls is immeasurable, but they are not without hope.

The White Umbrella tells stories of survivors as well as those who came alongside to help them to recovery. It describes the pain and the strength of these young women and those who held the “white umbrella” of protection and purity over them on the road to restoration.

This book offers principles and guidance to anyone with a heart for these hurting young women and a desire to help. It is an ideal resource for individuals or organizations seeking to learn what they can do to assist these victims in becoming whole again.

 

My Review:

This book is one that you’re sure not to forget. And one that should definitely be read by anyone who is considering working with (or even praying for) survivors of the sex-trafficking trade.
It gave me such a better view into what the girls and women go through *after* they are out of that slavery, and what you can do to help them.
It was very sad, too – I expected that. It is real-life accounts; some told by the women that went through it themselves.
This book is a gem. Wellspring Living Program is amazing and I wish I had the opportunity to volunteer there.
I had to take my time with this book, and sometimes take a step back from it, because it was heavy and hit hard. But it was so good and so helpful. I know I will look back on it many times. I have learned much from it, which I appreciated it.
Really, I think this is a must-read for those considering involving themselves in the campaign to end sex-trafficking.
It is an amazing and awe-inspiring book. But do read with ‘caution’ – this isn’t a fluffy happy read. It is a serious plight of women everywhere.

 

Thank you to Moody Publishing for my review copy. :)

I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

Posted in Book reviews, Moody Book Review

Moody Book Review: “Abraham and Sarah” by Roberta Kells Dorr

Title: Abraham and Sarah
Author: Roberta Kells Dorr
Type: Fiction, Biblical
Number of pages: 265
Source: Moody Publishing Book Program http://mpnewsroom.com/
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Description:

Abraham and Sarah is a masterful historical drama from the moment that Abraham strides into the pagan temple to rescue Sarah. The couple set out in search of the blessings God had promised: abundant fertile land and descendents more plentiful than the stars.
But years of wandering bring the couple to Egypt where once again Abraham convinces Sarah
that as sister and brother surely they will pass safely through the territory. But
Pharaoh takes Sarah into his harem where she befriends Pharaoh’s daughter, Hagar.
Together the three are ordered to leave.
Years of barrenness have embittered Sarah and she hatches a plan: Hagar must become the vessel for the child God has promised. Ishmael is born to Hagar and so is jealousy born in Sarah’s heart. But God had a plan and He was right all along. This miracle unfolds with Historical authenticity leaving the reader with a better understanding of the ancient world and the life-changing faith of Abraham and Sarah.

My Review:

I was very excited to receive and read this book. And when I got it, I was even more excited because the new cover is gorgeous (this book is re-published from 1995), and I love Biblical fiction. However, I was sadly very disappointed upon reading it. I had read a review where someone said that the author took great liberties with this book, and I must agree. It is much more fiction, than Biblical. I also feel the story is a poor representation of Abraham and Sarah and many ways. To be honest, I had to set apart in my mind the fact that this book was about Abraham and Sarah (in other words, I chose to think of it as a work of fiction completely, not relating to Biblical accounts), because it taints the Biblical account for me. I do not believe Abraham or Sarah would have acted like the author presented in this book.
I think this book had good potential, but it wasn’t executed well. I felt that quite a bit of the information presented was inaccurate and definitely not factual.
However, I am not completely opposed to trying more of the author’s books in the future, as I have read one other of her books that I enjoyed.
And please keep in mind that even though this was not my favourite read, doesn’t mean it won’t be yours. I don’t want to point others away from it just because I did not care for it. One man’s least favourite, is another man’s favourite :)

I received “Abraham and Sarah” free from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review.