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Book reviews

Book Review: I Love You to the Stars – When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers

I Love You to the Stars: When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers
I Love You to the Stars: When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers

I Love You to the Stars — When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers is a new picture book published by Kregel Publishing. Inspired by a true story, a young boy enjoys having his grandma and her dog live with them. Soon Grandma gets forgetful and needs to live in another home, but the love they have for each other remains the same.

 

And here’s a review reprinted with permission from Xochitl Dixon:

In Crystal Bowman’s I Love You to the Stars, readers are introduced to a close-knit family facing the heart-breaking decline of a loved one who suffers from dementia. Bowman’s gentle tone comforts readers as a young boy learns how to care for his grandmother while she transitions into a live-in facility. The illustrations compliment the text, showing a policeman helping the grandmother find her way home after getting lost and the mother grieving over the initial diagnosis. Each intimate scene offers readers opportunities to discuss and process the difficult circumstances and emotions families experience while serving as caregivers for dementia patients. The grandmother’s dog adds a sweet sense of hope throughout the story as young readers discover how this life-changing disease impacts everyone involved. I Love You to the Stars empowers young readers with the vocabulary to express their feelings as they step into a healthy supporting role and offer the priceless gift of sacrificial love.

~ Xochitl Dixon (www.xedixon.com), Our Daily Bread writer and author of Different Like Me, a children’s picture book that celebrates our differences and sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people.

 

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Crystal Bowman, Author
Crystal Bowman, Author

Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher and a bestselling, award-winning author. She has written more than 100 books for children and four nonfiction books for women. She and her daughter, Teri McKinley, are the co-authors of Our Daily Bread for Kids. She is also a lyricist, speaker, freelance editor, and Mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). More than 2,000,000 copies of her books have sold internationally, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is a regular contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and writes lyrics for children’s piano music. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their grown children and seven huggable grandkids. For more information, visit her at www.crystalbowman.com

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Book reviews

Book Review: Miss Tavistock’s Mistake

Miss Tavistock's Mistake, by Linore Rose Burkard
Miss Tavistock’s Mistake

Looking for a sweet and clean Regency romance?

Wit and humor abound in Miss Tavistock’s Mistake as a young woman in Regency England engages in a subterfuge while trying to assess the character of the man she’s betrothed to by arrangement.  As she falls in love, her troubles increase until she sees no way out of the lie.

How could such an honorable man ever forgive her deceit?

 

* * *

 

And here’s a great review reprinted by permission from The BookLife Prize:

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10

Originality: 9 out of 10

Prose: 9 out of 10

Character/Execution: 8 out of 10

Overall: 8.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: In this light, witty regency romance, Burkard engages readers with emotional highs and lows, an uproarious case of mistaken identity, and enough uncertainty to keep readers guessing.

Prose: Prose is lyrical, polished, and fitting for the genre. The author effectively captures the historical setting, while providing abundant humor and endearing characterization throughout.

Originality: Burkard provides a stellar concept that pivots on an arranged marriage, an amusing misunderstanding, and a bad match that might not be so bad after all.

Character/Execution: Readers will care for and gleefully follow the titular heroine as her hilarious subterfuge gets her in deepening trouble all the while she finds herself unexpectedly falling in love.

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Linore Rose Burkard, Author
Linore Rose Burkard, Author

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award-winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, she also writes contemporary romance and suspense.  has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: An Impossible Price

An Impossible Price by Davalynn Spencer
An Impossible Price by Davalynn Spencer

Book 3 in the Christian historical western romance series, Front Range Brides, is here! We posted book reviews of the first two books a few weeks ago.

Here’s a summary of the 3rd book, An Impossible Price:

He has to choose – keep his secrets or the woman he loves. He can’t have both.

With no husband of her own, midwife Sophie Price lives to keep others calm in their hour of need. But when a handsome horse handler steps off the train with a fiery stallion, he brings anything but calm as he looks her dead in the eye and clear through to her soul.

Clay Ferguson
 returns to the place he once called home, hunting a fresh start and the one woman who could draw him back. If he can hide his battered heart and the brutality of his past, maybe she’ll take another look and give him a second chance.

Both bear scars from their fathers. Both fight for life. Together, they may learn that love is worth its impossible price.

And here’s a review, reprinted by permission:

An Impossible Price is a work of fiction in the historical, Christian and romantic sub-genres, and was penned by author Davalynn Spencer. The third story from the Front Range Brides romantic series, in this adventure we meet protagonist Sophie Price, an unmarried woman who has devoted herself to helping others in her vocation as a midwife. But when horse handler Clay Ferguson arrives back in town and catches Sophie’s eyes, past and present collide with the potential promise of a future. So begins a tumultuous plot as the pair sees whether they can face the demons of their pasts in order to come together and fight for love despite its price.

Author Davalynn Spencer delivers a lot of emotion and drama in this highly accessible and enjoyable frontier romance read. The lead characters are both exceedingly well developed, with full histories and interesting backstories which we can engage with right from meeting them, only to find that the mystery deepens and twists more as the story goes on. I particularly enjoyed the tender unfolding of Clay’s past and all that he was trying to hide, which was a strong journey of truth and healing amid the interpersonal drama and romantic elements of the tale. The historical setting in a tough time of tough men lends itself well to the romance, creating juxtapositions for tender moments amid some very difficult and grim circumstances. Overall, I would highly recommend An Impossible Price for historical romance fans who want great writing, strong emotional arcs, and powerful messages of hope.

~ Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

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Davalynn Spencer, Author
Davalynn Spencer, Author

Bestselling author and winner of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction, Davalynn Spencer can’t stop #lovingthecowboy.
When she’s not writing Western romance, she teaches writing workshops and wrangles Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley.

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Book reviews

YA Book Review: Freerunner

A book review for YA novel—Freerunner

Freerunner by Kathy Cassel
Freerunner by Kathy Cassel

Set against the backdrop of the sport of freerunning, Kia must decide whether she will continue running or face her past abuser in order to save another child.

Learn more:

Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways. Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining a new sense of normal, her abuser steps back into her life. Not only that, but being on the track team causes even more turmoil. Why does the assistant coach, Cassandra Clark, dislike Terrence Jones so much, and even more troubling, why does Coach Clark dislike her so much? As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Kia realizes she has to choose between running from her past or saving a child from the same sort of abuse she suffered. But will she have the courage to do so?

And here’s the book review, reprinted by permission of Tracy Bradford . . .

“Everything you need in a great story.”

There are those rare, magic moments when you pick up a book, read the first few lines and immediately know you’ve found a gem. Freerunner is one of those stories.

Kiana’s unique circumstances and passions grab you, hold you, and never let you go. Coupled with a cast of characters you’d love to know in real life, such as Kiana’s friend Thorn, and a very real personal struggle with something too many have had to face, you find yourself drawn into not only Kiana’s story, but her world.

If you enjoy books that keep you ripping through the pages into the wee hours, Freerunner promises not only a great read, but a book you’ll want to share with friends and family. If you treat yourself to any books this season, make sure Freerunner is at the top of your list.

~ T.E. Bradford, author of the Divide Series and Six World Saga books.

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Kathy Cassel
Kathy Cassel

Author Kathy Cassel grew up in northern Indiana, lived in three different continents while her husband was in the USAF, and now lives in the Florida Panhandle. She and her husband have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. They also have four grandchildren. Kathy’s favorite activities are those that involve traveling and adventures that include her children and grandchildren.

In order to better relate to the characters in her stories, Kathy has done things such as whitewater rafting, certify in scuba diving, and get her motorcycle endorsement. She draws the line at skydiving.

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Book reviews

Book Review: Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Book Review for Editing Secrets of Best-selling Authors

by Kathy Ide

Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors
Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Kathy Ide’s book, Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors is a writers’ helps book containing tips from professional freelance editor Kathy Ide and numerous best-selling authors on how to edit a fiction or nonfiction book manuscript.

Aspiring, beginning, and intermediate writers will learn how to polish a manuscript to get it ready for publication.

Established authors can use these tips to edit other writers’ manuscripts, either in a critique group setting or as an editorial freelancer.

 

Here’s a review, reprinted with permission, from Denise Loock, General Editor, LPC Books:

If you want to wow an acquisitions editor, then you need to implement the tips in Kathy Ide’s Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. She covers everything fiction and nonfiction writers need to know. From organizing and plotting to formatting and legalities, Kathy explains what will move you forward in your writing career. Every chapter is chock-full of practical tips that will improve your writing. And, as if her expertise wasn’t sufficient, she has added tips from seventeen best-selling authors too. You’ll pull this book from your shelf again and again as you plan, write, polish, and proof your manuscript.

Editing Secrets is the second volume in Kathy’s writing craft series. Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors covers what writers and editors need to know about punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. Proofreading Secrets also contains handy reference points so you can easily locate additional information in The Chicago Manual of StyleThe Associated Press Stylebook, and The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style.

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Kathy Ide, Author
Kathy Ide, Author

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authorsand Capitalization Dictionary and editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a professional freelance editor. She directs the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She owns Christian Editor Network, parent company to The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors NetworkChristian Editor Connection, The PEN Instituteand PENCON, which she founded. For more, visit www.KathyIde.com.

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated

 

Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated
Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated

Linda Rooks’ book, Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated, is a winner of the Golden Scroll Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2019.  Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated guides a person step-by-step through the complexities of a separation. Dispelling the assumption that a separation will inevitably end in divorce, Rooks shares practical insights, biblical wisdom, true stories of reconciled marriages, and her own reconciliation story after a three-year marital separation. Through Scripture-based truth, practical wisdom gained from eleven years of ministry to marriages in crisis, and her own personal experience, Rooks demonstrates there is hope for reconciliation even when fighting for your marriage alone.

 

Here a book review by Rev. Dr. Michael Philliber, reprinted by permission:

It’s not just a book about restoring a marriage where there is presently a separation. As important as that is this tiny manual is far bigger than that. Linda W. Rooks, author, Resource Member on the Troubled Marriages Team of the Association of Marriage and Family Ministries (AMFM), and leader of a marriage reconciliation ministry in Central Florida, has given a hopeful hand to many whose marriages are disarrayed and desperate in her 176 page paperback, “Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated: A Practical Guide for the Brokenhearted.” Though this little guide has marital separations in mind, much of the material applies to those whose spouses are shackled to addiction, who are abusive, or adulterous. But it is also useful for those who simply desire their marriages to be healthier and never fall off the cliff.

Rooks takes her readers, men and women, through the various stages and traps that accompany a limping or broken marriage. She deciphers the ploys a “remaining” spouse will be tempted to play, the maneuvers the leaving person may likely employ, as well as the traps that await both parties if they’re not watchful. The author conducts us through the various parts of the path: from separation, through present relationship, to friendship, and then potential reconciliation. But she does this discerningly and wisely, such as, forgiveness and trust are not identical, and so forth. Many of her categories are meaningful, like discussing those who are overbearing in a marriage, and those who are passive; or the difference between letting go and giving up. All her material is buttressed by plentiful real-life examples and personal stories. What adds muscle to the volume is that Rooks and her husband walked through this vale of tears in their own three-year separation many years back and have surfaced on the other side.

Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated should be in the libraries of every Christian minister and counselor. But those who are married, divorced, separated, or thinking about getting married will find valuable resources between these covers. It is easy to read, and substantive. Not only do I highly recommend the book, I have just handed off my copy to a person whose marriage is in serious trouble because I earnestly think they will find sustenance and support from its pages.

My thanks to New Growth Press who willingly handed me a copy of this volume at our denomination’s General Assembly in June 2019, when I asked for it. They laid down no stipulations. Therefore, the evaluations presented herein are mine, freely made and freely given.

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Linda Rooks, Author
Linda Rooks, Author

Linda W. Rooks has a ministry of hope for those in broken marriages. Her award winning book, Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, and her earlier book, Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation walk with those in the midst of marital breakdown to bring hope and practical guidance to those desiring reconciliation. Linda writes for both adults and children, and her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Focus on the Family, HomeLife, and Today’s Christian Woman. Linda has participated in numerous radio and television interviews across the North American continent. She and her husband reside in Central Florida and thank God for the many reconciled marriages they witness through their ministry and the classes they lead.

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: Earl Grey with Ephesians

 

Earl Grey with Ephesians
Earl Grey with Ephesians

A book review of Earl Grey with Ephesians by Dr. Sandra Glahn, a six-week Bible study that explores the answers Scripture provides for “Who am I” and “Why am I here?” as well as how to live in light of these great realities. Workbook format. Leader’s guide included.

 

Enjoy this review, reprinted by permission of Mary DeMuth:

I remember picking up my first Bible study book when I was probably sixteen years old. I turned it over, looked at it like an anomaly. Why? Because I was an unchurched girl, recently converted, and I had zero idea about the Christian culture, Bible studies, or even what Habakkuk was.

I devoured the study.

But I also felt a little cheated.

The questions asked were basic. The who-what-where-when-why-how of questions–very little about history, the original languages or the context of the writing. I felt like I had ice skated the surface, but so much more lurked beneath the ice that I longed to understand.

For years, this was my conundrum, especially as I began leading women’s Bible studies in the 90s. Nothing really seemed to deepen my knowledge beyond what I had already discerned.

That changed when I encountered the Coffee Cup Bible Study series over a decade later. Written by Dr. Sandra Glahn, these were different. Those studies not only revealed far more about the Scripture, but they helped me become a better Bible student myself. Whenever a new study released, I was eager to dive in.

Her latest study is no different. Earl Grey with Ephesians unpacks this beautiful Pauline letter with a scholarly background, yet delivered in plain English. The text (New English Translation NET) is included in the purse-sized book, so you can take it wherever you go and still be able to study it in the margins of your life. Glahn empowers you to uncover the nuances of who you are in Christ (something so beautiful to grasp) in the context of a pagan culture (which, of course, has implications to our daily lives here).

~ Mary DeMuth

Sandra Glahn, Author
Dr. Sandra Glahn, Author

 

Dr. Sandra Glahn is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has authored more than twenty books, including The Coffee Cup Bible Study series.

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: Miss Tavistock’s Mistake

Linore Rose Burkard’s first book in The Brides of Mayfair

series, Miss Tavistock’s Mistake, released this month…

Miss Tavistock's Mistake
Miss Tavistock’s Mistake

Can Miss Tavistock’s mistake ever be undone?

Book One of a new series by an award-winning Regency author brings a much-awaited delightful romance in the vein of Heyer. Sweet and clean meets laugh-out-loud in this period romp that’s sure to please romance fans of all ilks.

Check out this review of Miss Tavistock’s Mistake:

Burkard, the author of Forever, Lately (2019), offers a humorous romp about misunderstanding and forgiveness amid the blindness of love.

As the story opens, Feodora Margaret Tavistock is a 9-year-old orphan and the newly adopted ward of her kindly but isolated uncle, the Duke of Trent. She’s rescued from a switch-clutching housekeeper by Gabriel Rempeare, a teenage cousin to whom she’s already betrothed, and she treasures this dashing memory throughout her adolescence.

At 19, she’s a beautiful, spirited woman, and she awaits Gabriel’s return from a stint in the navy. However, a series of misunderstandings lead her to believe that he’s dissolute and unfaithful. A combative exchange culminates in her assumption of another identity, “Lady X,” a gossip columnist’s moniker for Margaret Chrissendon, her uncle’s alleged mistress. Feodora finds herself thrust into a web of obfuscation, reluctantly supported by her chaperon, Mrs. Filbert. She’s still determined to pursue a social season in London, and she attempts to convince Gabriel that she truly is “Lady X”—and she also gives Margaret permission to assume her identity. It’s a tenuous arrangement, and as Feodora and Gabriel fall in love, she fears that the truth will end her chance to be his bride.

Over the course of this lighthearted, romantic series starter, Burkard combines elements of Sense and Sensibility and The Importance of Being Earnest to craft a delightful and comedic story that will certainly please historical fiction aficionados and those who enjoy wholesome, romantic stories. Burkard has also clearly done her research to immerse the reader in real-life historical context, including true events in the background to her light narrative. The book’s romantic tension, lush environments, and light comedy combine to provide readers with a sweet, heartwarming reading experience.

A clever tale that’s sure to delight fans of historical romance. ~ Kirkus Reviews

Linore Rose Burkard, Author
Linore Rose Burkard, Author

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. Best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, Linore also writes contemporary romance and YA/Suspense.  Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and children, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

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Book reviews

Book Review: Shadow of the Dagger

 

Shadow of the Dagger by Anne Greene
Shadow of the Dagger by Anne Greene

Shadow of the Dagger: by Anne Greene

Three people are murdered and one kidnapped to find the solution to a priceless treasure map. As Nicole Phillips seeks to find her kidnapped brother, she doesn’t know whom to trust. No one is who they appear to be. All is deception.

To bring his brother’s murderer to justice, CIA Intel Analyst, Josh Baruch, lays his life on the line. Can he walk the tightrope between obeying the killers’ instructions and bringing them to justice?

Because Nicole’s husband died in a mysterious plane crash, she fears falling in love again with a reckless, danger-loving type like her late husband. Josh Baruch, the CIA Analyst using her as bait to track her brother’s kidnapper, is just such a risk-taking man. Besides living on the edge, Josh is bitter about women and questions God.

 

The following book review is reprinted by permission of Janet Chester Bly:

This is the first Anne Greene novel I’ve read. Won’t be the last. Shadow of the Dagger jumps right into tension and never lets up. Vivid details, fascinating characters, and tight writing style push the story forward. Greene immerses the reader in the exotic Turkish culture, history, and ancient traditions, including the confining rules for women. She also portrays the breadth of beautiful countrysides and cityscapes with the intriguing architecture and confusion of mazes and corridors. Good pacing of changing POV scenes. Suspense couples with smoldering, yet controlled romance scenes. A complex plot brims with inner and outer conflict, mistrust and betrayal. Nicole Phillips is a gutsy heroine, full of faith, and I so relate to her directional dyslexia.

            ~ Janet Chester Bly, author of The Trials of Reba Cahill series.

 

Anne Greene, Author
Anne Greene, Author

Anne Greene loves writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer and about gutsy heroines. Her first book in her CIA Operatives series opens with Shadow of the Dagger. Her Women of Courage series spotlights heroic women of World War II. Blast off with Angel With Steel Wings. Her Holly Garden, Private Investigator series opens with Red Is For Rookie. Enjoy her award-winning Scottish historical romances. Anne hopes her stories transport you to awesome new worlds and touch your heart. Discover more about Anne at: https://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com

 

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Book reviews

Book Review: The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus

 

The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus by Janet McHenry
The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus

Janet Holm McHenry’s book, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus, published by Bethany House, is the only comprehensive book on the prayer life of Jesus. This nonfiction Christian living book is an engaging, vivid journey through the recorded prayers of Jesus as well as his practices and teachings on prayer. It provides to the reader:

  • Background, context, and a detailed look at each of Jesus’ prayers
  • Jesus’ teachings on prayer
  • A look at Jesus’s prayer practices
  • Scripture-based prayers along with questions for personal or group use.

 

Check out this book review:

“Have you ever echoed the disciple’s request, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’? Could your own prayer life use some tweaking or, better yet, an infusion of power and purpose? Then join me in welcoming Janet McHenry’s new book The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus: What Jesus Prayed and How It Can Change Your Life Today. Through a lifetime journey of drawing ear to God in prayer, McHenry lifts up more than a dozen different instances in the life of Jesus when he prayed intentionally–in times of praise, crisis, temptation, blessing, and provision. In this abundance of biblical teaching, we discover not only how to pray but also how to apply these scriptural principles to our own lives. This is the beauty of the author’s authentic stories of grappling with prayer in the trenches of marriage, parenthood, teaching, and writing–if she can do it, so can we! My favorite parts were her biblically based prayers that so beautifully concluded and summarized each chapter–I will be praying those even after I’ve finished the book. If you really want to ignite your prayer life, look no further than Jesus himself and let Janet McHenry’s wonderful new book be your guide.”

(review by Lucinda Secrest McDowell – reprinted with permission)

 

Janet McHenry, Author
Janet McHenry, Author

Janet McHenry, Author[/caption]Janet Holm McHenry is the author of twenty-four books, including the bestselling PrayerWalk. Featured on radio and in magazines, including Health and Family Circle, Janet is known for prayerwalking her small town in the Sierra Valley, where she and her rancher husband, Craig, raised four children. She coordinates the prayer ministries at The Bridge Church in Reno, is a county coordinator for the National Day of Prayer, organizes an annual prayerwalk for the schools, and loves speaking about developing a deeper relationship with her prayer teacher, Jesus.