Tag Archives: book reviews

Review: Rooted in Love (Valerie Comer)


It was a treat to immerse myself in Arcadia Valley recently with Comer’s excellent and thought-provoking writing. This is the second novel in the Garden Grown Romance series, though it could be read on its own as well.

I particularly enjoyed that Comer took on the challenge of writing about divorce and remarriage from a Christian viewpoint. Due to my own experiences, I wanted so much to walk through Alaina and Cameron’s growing relationship and their struggle with what an imperfect background means for a couple striving to do life God’s way. It was well-handled as a serious issue not to be glossed over, and felt very real but not too heavy a load for the plot to carry.

Meanwhile, there were Cameron’s very active twin boys. I loved them so much! Like my own boys, they came across as full of energy, needing to be valued by the adults around them, and capable of great love in return. Comer always has the ability to make me love the children in her stories!

This book is definitely a great read you shouldn’t miss. You can also check out more of Arcadia Valley with other authors writing in this great setting – I’ve started Elizabeth Maddrey’s series and it’s a good one too!


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Review: Better Than a Crown (Valerie Comer)


Book Three of the Christmas in Montana series was so good! I enjoyed seeing another Miss Snowflake competition come together, this time told through Heather and Levi’s behind-the-scenes experiences. Their shared time also included caring for Levi’s niece Shelby, who stole the spotlight every time she appeared. Loved her!

Other highlights of the tale (in random order to avoid spoilers): the symphony, brownies (yum!), a fancy restaurant, and two adorable Chinese girls!

Check out the entire series and enjoy all the excitement in Helena, Montana!

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Review: You Can Do This (Tricia Lott Williford)

you can do this cover

I wanted to like this book, and definitely did enjoy the personality shining through from the author. I think it would be great to meet for tea and chat about our life experiences and dreams and such…

However, there was something missing in this book. At times I wondered if it had really come from Tyndale or from a mainstream publisher – the message so often appeared to be about what I must do rather than what God is doing or wants to be doing in my life if I’d just get out of the way already. Though there are biblical references at the end of the book, I couldn’t feel them as I read through it.

I want life advice that obviously comes from Scripture and is backed by it, not modern wisdom with the Bible as afterthought. That may not be at all what the author intended me to feel as I read it, but the fact still remains that I was left wanting more – a message with far more hope, one that doesn’t depend on what I can accomplish, but what God achieves in the human heart that is surrendered to Him.

Book description:

Our culture as a whole, and often the Christian culture in particular, discourages confidence in women. Tricia Lott Williford explores how confidence and self-awareness can be a path toward stronger and richer faith. She offers stories and strategies to inspire and lead women to develop the confidence to stand firm in the face of the blows, losses, and disappointments in life.

Readers of this book will think, laugh, and gain confidence to do what is set before them. They will feel hopeful, courageous, strengthened, encouraged, present, and confident. And finally, readers will be equipped to implement simple strategies to inspire contagious confidence in themselves and others.

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Review: Praying Upside Down (Kelly O’Dell Stanley)

praying upside down cover

Disclaimer: This ebook was provided by the publisher for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

I have to say it: This book is a must-read for all Christians, whether new, veteran or somewhere in the middle. Stanley has an effective manner in teaching how to achieve the goal of a prayer life that is truly alive.

The lessons in her book are presented along with art terms and concepts, which I found interesting partly because I grew up with an artist-parent as well (though it was my mum rather than dad, as Stanley experienced). Even if you aren’t familiar with art, however, you can learn valuable insights into developing a dynamic prayer life.

I appreciated the way Stanley approached this important aspect of Christian living, and I will go back again and again to put into practice the tips given at the ends of the chapters, ways to live out the concepts described.

Book description: When you talk to God, do you ever wonder if He really hears? Do your prayers start to feel rote or routine? Do you sometimes feel you don’t even know how to pray? Jesus is known for turning situations upside down . . . and He can do the same in your prayer life.

Your perspective on prayer and faith may never be the same again when you read artist and designer Kelly O’Dell Stanley’s delightfully accessible, innovative new book Praying Upside Down. Stanley uses imagery, simple techniques, and artwork to help you see God like never before and move your prayer life away from the preconceived and expected to a new level of intimacy. Praying Upside Down offers a fresh chance to learn something new, hear an answer you didn’t anticipate, and experience God in a more real, tangible way.

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What I’ve read lately

reading challenge cropped

I don’t seem to be consistent at writing book reviews anymore, probably since my book club message board faded away. Until I get that sorted out in my brain (possibly with the aid of a to-do-list app) I’ll attempt regular posts with thoughts on what I’ve read. At the least, I’ll have a record of books read! Yes, I have that at GoodReads, but this should be easier to note in a chronological manner. And I’m partial to this blog, anyway, so I’d rather have lists here. 😉

I was sent a reading challenge on Pinterest that I liked, so I’ll be choosing some of my reading material in 2015 based on that list. Here’s what I have for January:

A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet, plus A book by a female author – Always on My Mind (Susan May Warren). Soooo good!

A non-fiction book – From Tablet to Table (Leonard Sweet). Interesting, thought-provoking and hopefully practical for my own life.

A book from an author you haven’t read yet, plus A book you own but have never read – Firewall (DiAnn Mills). Good suspense, interesting premise!

A book you can read in a day – The Ordinary Princess (M.M. Kaye). I should re-read this every year, I love it so much!

A memoir – My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business (Dick Van Dyke). Very interesting, though I admit that I was lost at times with references to show biz names I hadn’t yet heard. Pretty long career for me to know everyone, though, plus his interest in silent films, knowledge of which I am quite lacking. That didn’t stop me from enjoying the read and feeling like I got to know a favourite actor better. 🙂

And I’m currently reading The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman) but I haven’t checked where that might fit on the challenge list. It’s been on my shelf since summer and I promised to pass it on to my mum, so I better read it!

I’ve requested two more titles from Tyndale, including Unveiled Wife (a blog I’m familiar with), and then want to save a space for the next Susan May Warren, book five in the Christiansen Family series. It would be nice if I could get them all as review ebooks, but I’m hooked on the series anyway!

Now I need to organise my days enough that I know when to fit in reading along with other pursuits. I can understand when people say they don’t have time to read, but if it’s important to you (and it is to me) you make time!

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Review: Evergreen (Susan May Warren)

This ebook galley was sent to me by the publisher for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

I can’t seem to get enough of the Christiansen family! I’ve reviewed each book of the series so far and waited impatiently between them. Now I’ve broken my no-Christmas-stories-before-November rule. 😉

This was a great story, no matter the season. John and Ingrid took on more depth for me and while I wanted them to be a perfect couple – as I suppose I had accidentally labelled them while reading the rest of the series – I also appreciated a look into the struggle to revive an “old” relationship.

The characters were great as always, the plot interesting, and the resolution definitely satisfying. I’m so glad Susan wrote a novella to keep me going till the next book’s release! 🙂

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Review: New Kid Catastrophes (Bill Myers)

This book for kids and teens was really funny. I admit that at first I thought I was too grown-up for it, but before long, I got into the goofy humour in the writing. I enjoyed both the story and the way it was written. I’ll have to remember to find Book #2 when I need a fun quick read.

Tyndale Summer Reading Program Book #19

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