Bunny’s First Spring by Sally Lloyd-Jones

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Bunny’s First Spring is a sweet little tale of a bunny who is worried. One day, everything seems dark and dead. Winter has come, and he worries things will stay as they are in winter.

When he was born, everything was new and fresh, warm and beautiful. But then the seasons change, and his mother guides him through his feelings and struggles as they wait for spring.

But spring does come, and the little bunny understands.

This is a sweet little story that would be great to help teach about hope, about the earth, about seasons, and even about rabbits. I enjoyed reading it to my children.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan

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Patience is alone in the old western town of Nevada City, a booming gold rush town in the territory of Montana. The man she once loved is dead. Thankfully, her late grandmother left her the Creekside Inn, a little boarding house that needs to be revived. Patience is ready for a fresh start.

As she makes strides in her business, she finds her heart drawn to Jed, the town marshall, with a shady past. Jed is drawn to Patience as well, but his past has kept him from getting too close to ladies. Can she accept what he used to be?

As crime soars, and hurts some of Patience’s friends, the past comes out. Patience finds out that Jed is the “hanging lawman,” and the truth about Patience’s true love is surprisingly close to home. Can she forgive? Or is what happened in the past true justice after all?

Sparks fly between these two main characters, and I found myself swept up in the sweet love story, as well as amused by their antics! I look forward to the next in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith

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Have I ever mentioned I love biblical fiction?! I really love it, and this one did not disappoint.

Hopefully, we have all read of Rahab. She was a harlot that hid the Israelite spies on her roof. Then she was promised by the spies that when Jericho fell, she would be saved, and all in her house, as long as the scarlet cord was hanging from her window. The imagination and research of the author really brought Rahab’s story to life.

We know from the Bible, that Rahab remained in the Israelite camp after Jericho fell. She married a man named Salmon, and gave birth to Boaz (who redeemed and married Ruth). She is also in the kingly line into which Jesus was born. I love that God used a harlot, saved by grace, to have descendants which would include His own Son.

There is very little in the Bible about Rahab, so most of this story is most likely fiction. But it never hurts to imagine… How did she end up being a harlot? Was it her own choice, or was she a slave? How did she meet her future husband? How did she come to believe in God while living in pagan Jericho?

This story is precious! It is one of grace, and hope in God. You will not be disappointed if you pick up this book… you won’t be able to put it down!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Romancing Your Better Half by Rick Johnson

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This book is all about intimacy in marriage, how to achieve it, but also keep it. It talks a lot about communication, and about the differences in how men and women communicate. It talks about how women have more emotional needs, while men have more physical needs. There is a chapter just for women, about men. And another just for men, about women.

Mr. Johnson is a very colorful author, easy to read, easy to follow. He is witty and honest in his advice. I really love how he confessed his shortcomings, and how he is trying to overcome them for the good of his marriage. It’s refreshing when authors don’t “know-it-all.”

While there was a lot of sound advice in this book, there wasn’t much that I haven’t read or heard somewhere before. It’s always good to be reminded and re-focused, but there wasn’t too much in the book that helped me at this time in my life. I would definitely recommend it though, because it’s full of truth and great practical advice! Definitely a great book!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Where Rivers Part by Kellie Coates Gilbert

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This was a book unlike others I’ve read. Most fiction books are purely romance, but this one was different. I enjoyed a glimpse into a corporate world, one I know nothing about. It was simple enough not to overwhelm me, but complicated enough to make for a great story!

Dr. Juliet Ryan finally landed a big job, one that can show her father what she is made of. They have never seen eye-to-eye, because of past mistakes. She is the director of QA, quality assurance, in charge of the lab at a bottled water company. The company is coming into one of the biggest mergers in its history, and is getting ready to go global. At the same time, a breakout of E.Coli occurs in the city. Assured she has done her job well, she never even thinks it could be from their own bottled water, until the unthinkable happens!

Juliet finds herself in the midst of a personal tragedy, all the while she is fighting for her job, her company, and her own name. She begins to suspect everyone around her as the story continues. Who is to blame?

This book was easy to read, and had a perfect amount of suspense. I did not enjoy the affair between a few of the main characters. I know these things go on, but I personally think it could have been a little more subtle, and less offensive. However, there were no graphic details.

Overall I enjoyed this book.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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At Home in Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

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Kaitlyn can’t ever be “good.” Deserting her 6-year-old daughter last summer had definitely been the low point of her life. Thankfully, her big brother Chris was always there to pick up the pieces. Now she’s here in Last Chance, starting to get her life together. But no one seems to notice that she’s actually being responsible, and actually being a good mother. Except Steven.

Steven has had a rough past, just like Kaitlyn. The two have been warned by friends and family, not to trust each other. But being “black sheep” isn’t the only thing they have in common. They both love Olivia, Kaitlyn’s daughter, their families, and against their track records, love living in Last Chance.

This sweet love story goes into the subject of forgiving yourself after God forgives you, and moving on with your life. God can give a clean slate like no one else can.

The third in the “A Place to Call Home” series, this one is equally as sweet as the others.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Little Chick’s Bible book review

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I am always on the lookout for children’s books I can review, then give to my kids. I loved this one, and am so glad I got a copy of it.

It has a soft little cover. It’s mouth opens up, and little wings wiggle. It’s so cute. The back cover is plain yellow, and fuzzy as well. The inside pages are board pages, so they’re nice and sturdy. The artwork is adorable, and there are 8 stories, made up with cute little rhymes. The stories included are: God’s Wonderful Work (Creation), God’s Friend Noah, Baby Moses in a Boat, David Fights a Giant, God’s Greatest Gift (Jesus’ birth), The Real Neighbor (the Good Samaritan), It’s a Miracle (Feeding of the 5,000), and Jesus Opens Heaven’s Doors (Jesus’ death and resurrection). This is a very good book, perfect to take to church.

It’s a Miracle

Where Jesus went, the people came

To have him heal the sick and lame.

They stayed until the day grew late.

But who could feed a crowd so great?

A young boy gave the food he brought:

Some fish and bread, though not a lot.

Jesus blessed both fish and bread,

And all the people there were fed!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris

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This book is the third in the “Southern Crimes” series. The Hunt family of Atlanta are mostly made up of law enforcement, and this trilogy follows each of the three siblings.

Michael Hunt has been undercover for 8 months, and several months ago, he was thought to be dead. His family has been grieving and life has gone on without him. But he made the decision to keep going, almost ready to bring down the drug lord he has been working with. But his cover is suddenly blown, and one of his partners is executed before his eyes.

Olivia Hamilton has been receiving emails about her father. She can’t trace them, but surely these accusations can’t be true. He can’t be involved with Cartel de Rey. But her worst fears quickly become reality, and she and her brother help Michael escape death.

On the run, Michael, Olivia and her brother Ivan race to uncover the truth before their lives are lost. The Hunt family discovers Michael is alive, and quickly investigate to find the truth before Michael dies, for real this time.

Such a fun, action-packed adventure that will be hard to put down! And the Southern Crimes trilogy ends with the love of family, and faith in God at the center.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Kidnapped by the Taliban by Dr. Dilip Joseph

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Wow, what a book! I was seriously blown away by this one.

In late November 2012, Dilip Joseph traveled to Afghanistan as he had done many times before. Being a medical doctor, he was connected with an organization helping, and educating the people there. He didn’t realize how that trip would be different from all the others, and that he would be forever changed.

When Dr. Joseph and two of his colleagues were traveling between villages, they were held up and kidnapped. They were forced to hike for about 9 hours that first day, got little sleep, were forced to watch violent videos of other Taliban members being murdered or tortured, and hiked some more.

Ransom demands were made, and they were threatened with death. They got tired and hungry. But that is what I expected from a story such as this.

The surprising part came when the second day, one of the Taliban asked the doctor about his life at home. They exchanged stories of wives and children, extended family (family is almost sacred to those in the Middle East), and hope for the future. It went beyond just getting information. The Taliban member doing most of the talking, even asked Dilip if he could help him get into the U.S. It seemed he was interested in education, and a better future. The doctor felt that most of the men there felt trapped, and wanted something more for their lives, for their families, and for their country. Every time it was time to eat, the captor treated the captives well, wanting them to eat more than themselves, wanting them to be full.

Two parts really stood out to me and made me view them differently forever.

1. At one point, the doctor’s 2 colleagues were separated from them. They were going home. This was the lowest moment for him, fearing to be facing this alone. For the first time, he sat down and began to cry. What was going to happen to him?! There were 4 or 5 members of the Taliban left with him at that point. One of them took of his headscarf, and wiped his eyes with it. Each member took turns, drying the tears that fell from his eyes.

2. When Navy SEALS came in just after midnight on that last night, all of the Taliban were killed. The one he had “connected” with earlier, talking about family and future, did not die right away. The doctor said he wanted to go to him and somehow comfort him, but he feared being disrespectful of his rescuers, so he turned away. That was the decision most regretted.

The only thing negative I have to say, is that Dilip Joseph’s Christianity is very vague. I was left wondering if he is Catholic, non-denominational, or what? He mentions God and faith a lot, but it’s not clear, and there is no gospel.

I learned so much from this book. So, so much. I wish I could share it with everyone. The Taliban as a whole, have been guilty of so many violent, evil actions. But they are human. Some of them are trapped and want change, but they don’t know where to turn. It makes me feel so compassionate for them, and want to pray more for them.

I also learned how thankful we should be to live here in this safe nation. President Obama made Dilip’s rescue a top priority. There were generals, organizations, and of course, the Navy SEALS all putting time, effort and money into rescuing one man. The lead SEAL of the night, the first through the door, was shot and killed, along with the 5 Taliban. What a story!

Please read it!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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A Baby for Christmas

*Re-blogged from Living on PB&J.

I will never forget my first taste of motherhood. 7 years ago, I was just a few weeks away from delivering my first baby. It was Christmas. I had decorated, and gotten my new little boy’s clothes ready. I had packed my hospital bag. Everything was ready!

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I sat in my sparkling-clean, shimmery, glittery, all-decked-out-for-Christmas, pre-children house, and pondered the Christmas story. I had heard it all my life, but somehow in 2007, it had new meaning.

I would sit in my rocking chair with my hand on my tummy, feeling my little boy kick and squirm. And I thought of Mary.

Mary was told that Jesus would be the king, that He would deliver His people. Joseph was told that He would save His people from their sins. But what did they really understand? The Bible doesn’t tell us all that Mary understood.

When baby Jesus was born, the shepherds came straight out of the field to worship her Son. Oh, Mary knew He was special, but they worshiped Him? She pondered all these things. She wondered, and she was amazed!

I wondered, as I felt my little boy inside me, if Mary knew her Son would have to be a sacrifice. I could not imagine being in her sandals. I even thought of God in a whole new light… as a Father. I could not imagine giving up my precious Son, even for good people, let alone murderers, thieves, and those who will never accept the free gift of salvation.

That Christmas, days away from meeting my firstborn son, I drew closer to my precious heavenly Father. What love, that He should give His firstborn, even His “only begotten” Son just for me!

Jackson. Born December 28, 2007:

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