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Book reviews

Book Review: Right On Time by Angela Breidenbach

Mail-Order Standoff

Check out a new review for a story in The Mail-Order Standoff, which includes four stories of mail-order brides in the Old West who have second thoughts and place marriage plans on hold. How will their grooms win their trust?

Right on Time, the first historical story in The Mail-Order Standoff by Angela Breidenbach, is set in 1883 Montana. Could two people be less suited than an English gentleman and a western gal who is used to giving the orders? From the wild Montana Territory to the refined Kentucky horse farms, can Timothy prove worthy of Tara’s heart?

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Check out this review from a happy reader:

Review: The Mail-Order Standoff—4 Historical Stories

“I just finished your story “Right On Time”! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Very clever and very uplifting!

You are a great and fun writer!  Thanks for taking the time to write!”

God bless you….Bonnie S.—Indianapolis 

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Angela Breidenbach, CAN president

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist with specialties in England, Scotland, and Lecturing. She’s also a multiple ECPA and Amazon best-selling author. She writes Christian and family-friendly historical novels that are steeped in local flavor, lively characters, adventure, romance, and genealogy. She’s also the president of the Christian Authors Network. Angela lives in Missoula, MT with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who can shake hands, lay down and roll over, and jump through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angie can also. Catch her new podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach, launching in September. Memberships: CAN, CIPA, DAR
AngelaBreidenbach.com
Social Media: Bookbub, Facebook, Instagram, MeWe, Twitter: @AngBreidenbach

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Book reviews

Book Review: A Change of Scenery

A Change of Scenery by Davalynn Spencer
A Change of Scenery

Looking for a new inspirational historical western romance? Try A Change of Scenery by Davalynn Spencer!

A hidden fear. A daring challenge. A liberating love. 

A motorcar accident on a rainy Chicago night steals Ella Canaday’s fiancé as well as her ability to ride. Clinging to the remnants of her independence, she cuts her hair and her ties with her wealthy father and takes a train west as the seamstress with a moving-picture company. Colorado offers the change of scenery she needs. But she doesn’t expect the bold cowboy who challenges her to reclaim both the loves she thought she’d lost forever.

Cale Hutton needs the money the moving-picture company is paying for use of his cattle and horses, but he’s not keen on some city gal gettin’ in the way at the ranch. Between the filming crew by day and a rogue cattle-killing bear by night, his attention snags on the little bob-haired seamstress. Something about her easy manner around his horse sets his mind to find out what she’s hiding and why she has such a pull on his heart.

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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite:

When Ella Canady joined the moving-picture firm, Selig Polyscope Company, as a seamstress, she wanted to leave her pain-filled life in Chicago. The company was filming scenes at the Rafter-H ranch in Canon City, Colorado. Two brothers, Cale and Hugh Hutton, owned the ranch and needed the money. Hugh was a widower with three young sons, and Cale had never married. While there was a strong attraction between Cale and Ella, she had physical and emotional scars from a tragic accident that changed her outlook on life. Cale needed to establish a trusting relationship to discover her past that she was reluctant to reveal. Each of them had to face other problems – animals on the Hutton and nearby farms were disappearing at night; Ella had to deal with the jealous main star in the movie. In A Change of Scenery: The Canon City Chronicles 4, written by Davalynn Spencer, an engrossing tale unfolds.

One of the best features of this book is the insightful development of many characters. How several characters coped with tragic events in their lives is realistic, affecting relationships with those they love. This novel is categorized as a Christian romance and historical fiction work. It is a well-balanced blend of these aspects. The tale flows smoothly, and the book is easy to read. Author Davalynn Spencer has woven an entertaining, thoughtful story in A Change of Scenery: The Canon City Chronicles 4. While this is a stand-alone book, readers will want to read the earlier editions of this series!

~ reprinted by permission

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Davalynn Spencer, Author
Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer is a Publisher’s Weekly and ECPA bestselling author and winner of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction. She is the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters and the author of sixteen titles, both contemporary and historical. Connect with her at https://www.davalynnspencer.com

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Book reviews

Book Review: Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos

Finding Hope in Crisis by Grace Fox
Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos

Searching for a devotional to help you in trying times?

With personal stories and insightful perspectives, Grace Fox brings you ninety daily devotions of hope in her book, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. Press pause for a minute each day to read these gems and refocus on the truth that God’s strength will carry you onward. Inhale the Holy Spirit’s peace. Exhale your worries and fear.

Each day’s devotion includes a key Bible verse, a time to pause and read, and then an action step or a question to ponder. There’s also a short prayer for the moment and an encouraging quote from others who have walked through times of crisis.

 

Here’s a review reprinted by permission from Heidi McLaughlin:

This is one of the most beautiful devotional books I have ever owned. With its glossy cover and colourful pictures of flowers throughout, the beauty drew me in. But even more splendid and powerful are the words written by the author Grace Fox. All of her words are authentic and truthful because she has lived them. When we’re going through a crisis, our attention span and focus is short and it’s hard to comprehend an overload of words and Bible passages. That’s why these meditations are brief, but filled with truths and reminders of God’s presence, comfort and power. I am going to buy at least 10 of these books to give away as a gift to many people in my life who really need this encouragement.

~ Heidi McLaughlin

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Grace Fox is a career global worker, speaks at women’s events overseas and across North America, and has authored ten books. She’s a regular contributor to Mornings with Jesus (Guideposts) and a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She had her husband married in 1982 and celebrate three married children and nine grandchildren. They live on a sailboat near Vancouver, British Columbia.  

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Book reviews

Book Review: His Gift

His Gift by Joan C. Benson
His Gift by Joan C. Benson

We shared reviews of His Gift on October 10, 2020 and December 5, 2020, and here’s another review for this terrific novel!

His Gift: This historical novel is suitable for all ages, but the main character is in her late teens. This book is written to appeal to the YA audience, the NA audience, and every adult who has ever cared to dream.

Brace yourself for a thrilling race with twists and turns as a young woman is determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be.

As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. With Molly, the reader will discover the hope and peace found in a life yielded to the Giver of all gifts.

Review of His Gift by Elaine Johnson:

In life, it is easy for us to set goals that we think will bring us a touch of fame, fortune, or celebrity. Our thoughts may have developed from experiences with childhood recognition or a parent’s prodding, but sometimes it arises from an inner longing to develop a natural gift because of the innate satisfaction it brings. Such was the case with Molly, the 17-year-old protagonist of His Gift. Because of her musical ability, her desire to play professionally became a driving force, and she pursued her goal with determination and perseverance. However, when the opportunity came that would catapult her into a professional career, unforeseeable obstacles threatened her dream. The Great Depression had personal consequences she never imagined.

Readers may be able to relate to Molly as they recall their childhood visions of playing football in the NFL, competing in gymnastics at the Olympics, or having their art work hung in prestigious galleries. But few childhood dreams contain the resolve we see in Molly. Her faith in God carries her through her difficulties, though she doesn’t understand how God is working in her life. Many of us have shared that confusion during the pandemic of 2020. How can God allow these circumstances you may have wondered?

Benson’s research into this time period stays true to history, and opens our eyes to the struggles many endured in the 1930s. Her impeccable attention to details would bring a smile to my face, sometimes bringing my own past to mind.

Molly’s courage waffles up and down as she faces her challenges. At last, Molly relinquishes her grip on what she believed was hers and releases it to God’s Sovereignty. She begins to understand that His Gift was not given for Molly’s individual fame or fortune, but for God’s honor and glory. This lesson is for all of us. When we stop trying to do things our way and actively live according to His plan, then we will find deep joy, peace, and contentment.

~ Elaine Johnson, M.S. Education

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Joan C. Benson, Author
Joan C. Benson, Author

Joan Benson is a freelance writer, a former (K-8) classroom teacher and reading specialist, and a wife a mother of four adult children. She enjoys traveling to spend time with her eight cherished grandchildren who live in various parts of the nation. Joan has produced devotional materials for CBN.com, written numerous magazine articles (most recently for LifeWay’s ParentLife and Regent University’s The Christian Leader). She developed children’s Sunday School curriculum for over twelve years for LifeWay. In addition, Joan continues to write for an array of educational publishers (K-12), developing both teacher and student facing materials, including fiction, nonfiction, and assessments. Joan’s debut historical novel, His Gift, was released in July 2020. Joan and her husband, Jan, live in Chesapeake, VA, with their two Bichon Frisé pets.

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Book Review: Cuddle-Up Prayers

Cuddle-Up Prayers by Michelle Medlock Adams
Cuddle Up Prayers

Interested in a book that will help you pray with your toddler?

Cuddle up close with this collection of toddler-friendly prayers. These simple prayers cover everything little ones may want to talk to God about, such as asking for help, thanking God for food or friends, or just talking about what they think and feel. With its cushy, padded cover and sturdy pages, Cuddle Up Prayers is durable enough to withstand years of use from growing kids. As you spend time praying with your child, they will quickly discover that any time is a good time to talk to God.

 

A review by Nancy Sanders, reprinted by permission:

Is your child feeling sad? Are they happy? Or feeling thankful? Then it’s the perfect time to talk with God about how they feel…and this adorable book helps them get started.

With simple prayers of childlike faith, this board book helps littles learn to talk with God through prayer. Whether they feel jealous…or are celebrating their own God-given unique qualities…the prayers in this sweet board book with rhyming text help kids connect with God.

And the art is so adorable! With a variety of animal characters, every child will connect, no matter where they live around the world or what their background is.

A great way to cuddle up with your child…and talk together with God!

Here is a sample prayer:

PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DAY

I thank you for another day.
I know it will be good.
Help me to have a happy heart
And do the things I should.

No matter what, I’ll wear a smile.
I thank you for this day.
Help me to spread your joy around
At home, at school, and play.

Especially in these challenging days, it’s important to encourage children to talk about their feelings. And especially to teach them that God cares about everything they feel or think and wants to hear them talk with Him. This is a perfect book to use to help toddlers and little ones understand the importance of prayer and how to talk with God.

~ Nancy I. Sanders, author of The Very Oldest Pear Tree

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Michelle Medlock Adams, Author
Michelle Medlock Adams, Author

Michelle Medlock Adams is a NY Times best-selling ghostwriter and an award-winning journalist of more than 1,700 articles and 100 books. With close to 4 million copies sold, Michelle has earned over 70 industry awards from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, to name a few.

Michelle is celebrating the recent release of her children’s books, Cuddle-up Prayers, I Love You Bigger Than the Sky, and Writing & Selling Children’s Books in the Christian Market: From Board Books to YA, a book she coauthored with her agent Cyle Young. Michelle is also a much sought after writing instructor, having taught at more than 100 writers conferences. And, she has served as an adjunct professor, teaching “Writing for Children” at Taylor University three different years.

When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing with her husband Jeff and watching Doris Day movies. To learn more, check out her website at: www.michellemedlockadams.com online.

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: His Gift

His Gift by Joan C. Benson
His Gift by Joan C. Benson

We shared a review of His Gift on October 10, 2020, and here’s another terrific review for this novel!

His Gift: This historical novel is suitable for all ages, but the main character is in her late teens. This book is written to appeal to the YA audience, the NA audience, and every adult who has ever cared to dream.

Brace yourself for a thrilling race with twists and turns as a young woman is determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be.

As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. With Molly, the reader will discover the hope and peace found in a life yielded to the Giver of all gifts.

 

A review from Dr. Craig von Buseck, reprinted by permission:

Why are so many people intrigued by the character of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life? He was a talented young man with great dreams who ended up living a very different life than he expected because of life’s unexpected turns. The character of Molly in Joan Benson’s book, His Gift, is in many ways a female version of George Bailey. She is a talented young female pianist who wins a student audition for the opportunity to play with the Detroit Symphony. The Great Depression dashed that dream just as it was beginning to blossom. Like George Bailey, Molly must find ways to overcome the grinding disappointment to discover her own wonderful life. Joan Benson has crafted a delightful tale based on her mother’s story that is sure to inspire you to pursue your dreams despite all odds.

~ Dr. Craig von Buseck, author of I am Cyrus, Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel, and Nobody Knows: The Harry T. Burleigh Story

 

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Joan C. Benson, Author
Joan C. Benson, Author

Joan Benson is a freelance writer, a former (K-8) classroom teacher and reading specialist, and a wife a mother of four adult children. She enjoys traveling to spend time with her eight cherished grandchildren who live in various parts of the nation. Joan has produced devotional materials for CBN.com, written numerous magazine articles (most recently for LifeWay’s ParentLife and Regent University’s The Christian Leader). She developed children’s Sunday School curriculum for over twelve years for LifeWay. In addition, Joan continues to write for an array of educational publishers (K-12), developing both teacher and student facing materials, including fiction, nonfiction, and assessments. Joan’s debut historical novel, His Gift, was released in July 2020. Joan and her husband, Jan, live in Chesapeake, VA, with their two Bichon Frisé pets.

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: Reagan’s Reward

Reagan's Reward
Reagan’s Reward

Interested in a historical novel? Reagan’s Reward is one you’ll enjoy . . .

In the summer of 1912, Reagan Kennedy assumes the position of governess to the Bernheim family’s twin nephews, and her life at Cherry Island’s Casa Blanca becomes frustratingly complicated. Service to a Jewish family and tending to eight-year-old mischievous boys brings trouble galore.

Daniel Lovitz serves as the island’s caretaker and boatman. When he tries to help the alluring Reagan make sense of her new world, her insecurities mount as her confidence is shaken―especially when she crosses the faith divide and when Etta Damsky makes her life miserable. As trouble brews, Daniel sees another side of the woman he’s come to love.

Check out her book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc3W_tu55vE

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And here’s the book review, reprinted with permission:

The beauty of the Thousand Islands is but one reason Susan G Mathis writes such wonderful stories about them. The history and enchantment of the islands create the perfect backdrop for the mystery, romance, and godly journeys Susan develops with her characters, especially in Reagan’s Reward.

Susan takes one of her main characters, Reagan, a tender, sweet, young lady and places her in a tumultuous setting with a gruff patriarch who is opposed to Reagan as well as her faith.

Masterfully, Mathis brings her characters to a pinnacle outcome spurred on by the mischievous twin boys she is to govern and the island’s caretaker, Daniel, who is so intrigued by Reagan that his own faith is challenged and matured.

The journey to a pleasing outcome is sidetracked by the forks in the road of life making the reader wonder if things will ever work out. Such a satisfying and fulfilling read that will leave you better for reading this wonderful story written by Susan Mathis. ~ Laurie Raker

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Susan G Mathis, author
Susan G Mathis, author

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise, and her newest, Reagan’s Reward, are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including the Illumination Book Award, the American Fiction Award, and the Indie Excellence Book Award. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more information.

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Book reviews

Book Review: Dinosaur Devotions

Dinosaur Devotions book cover
Dinosaur Devotions

Dinosaur Devotions is a fun way to help your dinosaur-loving kids connect with God. These 75 devotions include bright, colorful illustrations and uncover facts about specific dinosaur species while providing spiritual insight and easy-to-understand takeaways that will encourage your children to take their faith to the next level! Your kids will also love segments like Dino Stats (a dinosaur’s measurements), Bible Excavation (a main Bible verse), Digging Deeper (self-reflection questions), Did You Know? (fun facts), and Jurassic Journaling (creative writing opportunities) that make this devotional interactive and even more memorable.

 

And here’s a review, reprinted by permission:

Any kid, boy or girl, who loves dinosaurs will find this devotional hard to resist. And while learning about 75 different dinosaurs, they’ll also explore 75 different biblical concepts about living as a child of God.

Each devotion includes pronunciation of the dinosaur’s name (try Micropachycephalosaurus without a guide!), Dino Stats (about the creature’s family, size, weight, and diet), and a fun Did You Know fact.

Focused on the biblical concept are Bible Excavation (a Bible verse), Digging Deeper (a question or two for expanding the devotion’s Bible concept), and Jurassic Journaling (kid-sized writing prompts).

Nicely conversational in tone, each devotion transitions easily from dinosaur facts to what the Bible has to say about kid issues like jealousy, temptation, and speaking kindly, plus biblical teaching about ideas like the true source of knowledge, God’s constant presence, and learning to pray.

The book avoids controversy; there’s no mention of how long ago dinosaurs lived or how they became extinct.

The very last devotion includes an invitation to make Jesus Lord by praying a suggested prayer. If your faith tradition includes something more or different, you’ll want to amplify this one.

Highly recommended. For ages 9-12 to read on their own but will interest younger children too. Families also could use this and the suggested questions and activities for a family devotional time.

~ Diane Stortz

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Michelle Medlock Adams, Author
Michelle Medlock Adams, Author

Michelle Medlock Adams is a NY Times Best-selling ghostwriter and an award-winning journalist of more than 1,700 articles and 100 books. With more than 4 million copies sold, Michelle has earned over 70 industry awards from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, to name a few.

Michelle is celebrating the recent release of her children’s books, Cuddle-up Prayers and I Love You Bigger Than the Sky, and she’s eagerly anticipating the release of Writing & Selling Children’s Books in the Christian Market: From Board Books to YA, a book she co-authored with her agent Cyle Young. Michelle is also a much sought after writing instructor, having taught at more than 100 writers conferences. And, she has served as an adjunct professor, teaching “Writing for Children” at Taylor University three different years.

When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing with her husband Jeff and watching Doris Day movies. To learn more, check out her website at: www.michellemedlockadams.com online.

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Book reviews

Book Review: Unleash Your God-Given Healing

Unleash Your God-Given Healing by Ginny Dent Brant
Unleash Your God-Given Healing

Unleash Your God-Given Healing by Ginny Dent Brant is an inspirational, Christian living book written with commentary from a well-respected oncologist, Dr. Robert Elliott. It explores nutrition, lifestyle, integrative and conventional medicine, and biblical wisdom in a practical way to assist people in preventing and beating cancer while surviving the journey.

 

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Here’s a review of Unleash Your God-Given Healing, reprinted by permission:

When faced with a cancer diagnosis, the worry and fear can be exhausting. I’ve been looking for a balanced strategy for dealing with my cancer. In this book, each chapter addresses matters I have researched, taken under consideration, and prayed about. With so much information available on “Doctor Google,” it is hard to decipher what is valid and what is charlatan. But Ginny backs up each chapter with valid research, practical suggestions, and commentary from a well-respected oncologist. This book is well written and organized. I appreciate that she offers suggestions to those who are on a budget.

I appreciate the author’s approach. First and foremost, her perspective is Christian. She looks realistically at the physical and spiritual needs of regular people—those with typical access to local, NCI (National Cancer Institute), and CTCA (Cancer Treatment Centers of America) medical treatment—and provides hope. She supplies information based on research by credentialed experts of many persuasions. From her eight steps to preventing and surviving cancer, I’ve learned a number of new things, and some questions I’ve had from my research were answered. Ginny quotes cancer-research authorities, giving me confidence in the validity of her information.

This author is smart, well connected within the medical community both conventional and holistic, and she offers an integrated approach that is exactly what I am looking for. I have read countless cancer studies over the last year, yet I am confused about many aspects of this disease and its treatment. Ginny’s book helps lift my haze of confusion and provides a solid game plan for battling cancer and then doing what can be done to keep it from recurring. She shows you how to unleash your own healing with lifestyle changes while your doctor is treating your cancer. These steps are doable, practical and well researched. This is a book I would buy it, and I would purchase copies for friends and relatives who have cancer. This is a message that needs to be heard.

~ Jann Barclift, Cancer Survivor

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Ginny Dent Brant, Author
Ginny Dent Brant

Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Her recent release, Unleash Your God-Given Healing is a Golden Scrolls Award Winner. More information and her cancer prevention blog can be found at www.ginnybrant.com.

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: His Gift

His Gift by Joan C. Benson
His Gift by Joan C. Benson

His Gift: This historical novel is suitable for all ages, but the main character is in her late teens. This book is written to appeal to the YA audience, the NA audience, and every adult who has ever cared to dream.

Brace yourself for a thrilling race with twists and turns as a young woman is determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be.

As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. With Molly, the reader will discover the hope and peace found in a life yielded to the Giver of all gifts.

 

Here’s a review from Joy Haralick, reprinted by permission:

This is a story of a young girl with enormous talent, potential and a once in a lifetime chance to fulfill her dreams. Then the Great Depression came crashing down, changing the course of her life. How does she reconcile her faith that God is good with the despair she is facing? The author makes the story and her characters come to life and makes the book hard to put down. The book personalizes an important period in American history. It also deals with coming of age, at a time when dreams are changed, crushed or deferred, and with a maturing of faith and an increase in understanding the goodness of God’s will. Our gifts and talents are given to us for the glory of God and the building up of the church universal and not for our individual glory. So our true success is not always the same as our fame or wealth. This can be a hard lesson for anyone, but especially so for adolescents, trying to figure out the complexities of their lives and their relations to the world around them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and stayed up late to finish reading it in an evening. I think it would be a particularly good book for young adults, for Christian home school reading and home school co-op libraries and for church libraries. The book, based on the life of the author’s mother, is a lovely memorial to her and the values for which she stood.

~ Joy Haralick, PhD

 

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Joan C. Benson, Author
Joan C. Benson, Author

Joan Benson is a freelance writer, a former (K-8) classroom teacher and reading specialist, and a wife a mother of four adult children. She enjoys traveling to spend time with her eight cherished grandchildren who live in various parts of the nation. Joan has produced devotional materials for CBN.com, written numerous magazine articles (most recently for LifeWay’s ParentLife and Regent University’s The Christian Leader). She developed children’s Sunday School curriculum for over twelve years for LifeWay. In addition, Joan continues to write for an array of educational publishers (K-12), developing both teacher and student facing materials, including fiction, nonfiction, and assessments. Joan’s debut historical novel, His Gift, was released in July 2020. Joan and her husband, Jan, live in Chesapeake, VA, with their two Bichon Frisé pets.