Book Review: Grace and the Preacher

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Grace and the Preacher is the newest novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer, set to release in March of this year.

Grace is twenty-four, an old maid for her era, and longs to meet the new preacher she has been corresponding with and whom, she discovers, she has already fallen in love with.  Would he possibly be drawn to her as well when they met?

Theophil long ago stood up for truth, but in the process, created some mortal enemies, who are now hunting for him.  On the run, Theophil finds himself meeting a random person who seems to be the perfect one to help him out of his problems.  Soon enough he ends up in the same town in which Grace lives.

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While aspects of the book were cliched, and I did predict almost all critical plot twists, the author still had me turning the pages, curious to find out what would happen next.  She delves into themes of forgiveness, mercy, trusting God above even your heart’s greatest desires, honesty, etc.

Even though Grace and the Preacher does not make my Top 10 list, I enjoyed it and I intend to look into other books by the author. Read more about the book and author here.

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Long Time No Write

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been 8 months since I last posted.  I have gone back and forth as to whether I would ever resurrect this blog or not.  But as soon as I was notified that my domain was about to expire I knew that I wasn’t ready to stop blogging.

I make no promises to get back to any sort of blogging schedule.  I would rather keep this space for posting when I feel like I need or want to.

A brief recap of the last 8 months….

….The Wingman celebrated his third birthday.  Crazy, I know!

….The Pilot was gone for a while with his job and I worked on quite a few projects while he was gone.  Hopefully I can blog a bit about some of them!

…In June I became pregnant with our fourth child.  At 16 weeks, his heart stopped beating.  I went to the hospital, labored for 9 hours, and gave birth to another precious son.  It has taken a lot of time to process it all and I know I’m far from being done.  But I am sure some posts about his life and late miscarriage will show up here sometime.

…It has been an absolutely horrible few months.  There is no other way to describe it.  But I am holding onto hope.  “Sometimes holding tight [to Truth] feels more like hanging on, but don’t give up.  Don’t believe the lie that you should let go.  God holds you.  Hold tight to Him.”  (She Reads Truth by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams, page 170)

To close this post, I want to share this song.  It has been like my anthem over the past year.  When I first heard it, I was at a Tenth Avenue North concert and the song hadn’t even been recorded.  That tour was the first time they sang it for people.  I sat there with tears pouring down my face, not knowing how the song would grow even more important to me.  I hope that it is a blessing and encouragement to you as well.

 

Book Review: Fading Starlight

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Kathryn Cushman’s latest novel, Fading Starlight, was just released in May of this year.  It was a sweet story and an easy read.

After having a huge accident in her career, Lauren Summers heads to a private community to live for the summer.  She attempts to regain what she can of her career, invest in her hobbies, and reach out to her neighbors.  One neighbor in particular is not interested in her friendship.  Lauren must decide if she wants to pursue her old career or become the hands and feet of Jesus to her neighbor.

I appreciated how the main character has to grapple with personal pain and disappointment while also attempting to do right by her cantankerous neighbor.  In so many books, it seems that Christian characters don’t really struggle that much.  Lauren does have some things that she is working through.  I did, however, think that one of the key verses that she kept going back to was taken out of context.

While not a new personal favorite, I did think that Fading Starlight was a sweet story.  It was a fun addition to the books I took on our recent road trip.

Note: I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review.

-Bonnie

Book Review: Hope Unfolding

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I first discovered Becky Thompson’s blog when a post of hers went viral on Facebook.  As a result, I started following her and quite a few of her posts were very encouraging. When I discovered she had written a book, I was excited to get a chance to read it.

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Her book, like her blog, is easy to read but oozing with encouragement.  It is so obvious in every chapter that her heart truly cares about her readers even though she has never met us.

Overall, it was a little too conversational for my taste.  Each chapter started with a personal anecdote or some sort of story.  The anecdote was literally half or more of the chapter.  So for me personally it was a little too drawn out.

When she got to her main point…it usually wasn’t earth-shattering or revolutionary.  But it was just a whisper of something that my heart needed to hear as a Mom.  There were a couple chapters in particular that were great reminders for me and brought me so much encouragement.

If you are a Mom who wants a friend to sit down over coffee with you and encourage you to persevere in motherhood…this is a great book!

Read Becky’s bio here and join her online at her web site or on social media.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

-Bonnie

When God Changes Your Dream

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I had the privilege of writing my first guest post for a fellow blogger.  The Rosevine Cottage Girls were doing a series on how to trust and follow God when your dreams are changed or taken away.  I immediately thought of our dreams for a large family.  The path God has taken us down looks nothing like the dream I had for years.  It was (and is) a challenge to trust God with the new dreams He is bringing to us.

So here are a few thoughts from me about what to do when God changes your dream.

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December 22, 2011. I put on the most beautiful white gown and walked down the aisle to say “I do” to the man of my dreams. We were so happy that day. So insanely happy.

Since before we were married, my husband and I had thought that we would like about six children. We agreed that we would take it one child at a time, making sure that we were doing a good job parenting as unto the Lord before adding another child. But we thought the end result would probably be us having about six children.

After marriage, we moved into a 250 square foot apartment. It was tiny, but cozy and perfect for our first love nest. A baby would make it tight, but we knew we could do it for a few months until we moved out.

The months started to pass. We weren’t preventing pregnancy, so every month made me a bit more confused and discouraged as another negative pregnancy test greeted me.

Visit The Rosevine Cottage Girls to read the whole post.

Book Review: Counted with the Stars

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Counted with the Stars is a wonderful historical fiction book.  As I have said before, I am a harder sell when it comes to fiction, but I have really enjoyed this book.

Connilyn Cossette writes about an Egyptian girl, Kiya, who is sold into slavery by her father.  She is right in the thick of it when suddenly her beloved homeland is struck by terrible plagues.  Hearing rumors about a man named Moses, she tries to piece things together as she wrestles with what kind of terrible god would do such a thing.

I love this book because it is not predictable.  It immerses you into the story as if you were truly experiencing it as one of the Egyptians.  I have read the story in the Bible numerous times.  It’s an incredible story.  But to think of it as if I was experiencing it made the fear and terror come to life.  It made me think about the account in new ways.

Kiya eventually is able to leave her mistress and escapes with her family after the final plague.  They travel with the Hebrews, following Moses and God.  She is faced with questions about just who this Yahweh is.

The only criticism I would make is a minor one and that was with the Hebrew girl Kiya befriends.  A pet peeve is when Christian authors paint the Christian characters as habitually bubbly, happy, and smiley.  Joy does come from knowing God, but joy doesn’t always equal bubbly or happy.  But as I said, minor detail and does not detract from the whole story.

I will definitely be keeping this book for a re-read later!

Note: I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review.

-Bonnie

Book Review: The Mapmaker’s Children

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The Mapmaker’s Children is an easy-to-read yet intriguing book intertwining present day and Civil war history.

I have always enjoyed Civil War history and I have read quite a few historical fiction pieces on the Underground Railroad.  Sarah McCoy does a great job getting her readers into that world.

The book goes back and forth between Eden, a woman in 2014 going through infertility and marriage difficulties, and Sarah Brown, the daughter of the famed abolitionist John Brown.  At first I didn’t appreciate how much the author jumped back and forth between the two, but I quickly became engrossed in the story.

I appreciated the history, the dialogue, the descriptions, and the character and plot development.  There is some language that some readers might find distasteful (one instance of s— and several instances of d—) so I do want to point that out so that no one would be caught off guard.

mapmaker's children

I enjoy fiction that is not stereotypical and predictable, and this book was far from it.  Read more about the author, Sarah McCoy, and her other books here.

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for this review.

-Bonnie