Sea Glass Sunrise by Donna Kauffman

Sea Glass Sunrise (The Brides Of Blueberry Cove)

 

SynopsisWhen D.C. lawyer Hannah McCrae heads home for her brother’s wedding, she’s dragging a lot of baggage along with her—and she doesn’t mean suitcases. Betrayed personally, and humiliated professionally, the last thing she wants is a new man. That’s fine with square-jawed, rugged contractor Calder Blue. He and Hannah may be wildly attracted to one another, but all he wants is to build the town’s hotly contested new yacht club and mend a centuries-old family feud. Yet thanks to resentments old and new, day after day the pair wind up tangled in each other’s business—and maybe soon in each other’s arms.

Every bride needs something “blue”…

Includes a delicious wedding cake recipe!

I was given an advanced copy of this book to review by NetGalley

 

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this story with all its twists and turns. From the get go I found myself rooting for Hannah and Calder. The three sisters, Hannah, Kerry, and Fiona could not be more different, and yet they each  have wonderful traits that are endearing. There are a couple of tastefully steamy episodes, but I found some of the language distasteful and not at all necessary, in my opinion. Having been born in Maine, I enjoyed the fact that Blueberry Cove is on the coast of Maine. Family issues are always front and center and allow the characters to learn to trust one another in the midst, difficult though that is at times. Who doesn’t love a great love story with a bit of craziness mixed in? I’m looking forward to the next book in the series! 

 

Bookishly yours,

Robin

The Sound of Glass by Karen White

The Sound of Glass

 

Synopsis


It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.


Review: The Heyward men were known for being abusive and you will find out each mans story. I was a bit confused after I read the prologue and then started chapter one. It took a few chapters for me to start to connect and understand things. I love the journey that Merritt takes and all that she experiences along the way – facing her fears, realizing that it’s ok to be who she is, learning to love the people in her life, experiencing healing and being able to trust again. Throughout the book they begin to unravel the truth behind the airline crash. I had a hard time putting this book down!! This is a great novel for those who have experienced abuse as well as those who love them. 

Bookishly yours,
Robin

The Women of Valley View by Sharon Srock

Women of Valley View Collection: Books 1-3 (The Women of Valley View)

 

 
Samantha: inspirational women’s fiction (The Women of Valley View Book 4)

 

    

 

Look for book 5 about Kate coming late 2015 and book 6 about Karla coming in 2016!!

 

Reviews: Each of these women of Valley View are interconnected through their church and Bible study. They are good friends who always there for each other. They experience real fears and doubts, go through real struggles – sometimes with dire consequences. Each of these women is so relatable. Callie helps to reunite a dad with his two young daughters and a granddaughter. Terri struggles with her desire for marriage and a family of her own. Pams ex husband moves back to town with his new wife and she struggles with forgiveness, as he struggles to tell her something that will turn her world upside down. Samantha is raising a daughter on her own and gets involved with a wonderful young man…but there are roadblocks neither of them are sure they can overcome. I can’t wait to read Kate’s story! She’s a widow looking for Gods will in her new life. I think you will grow to life these women as I have. It’s the kind of book you don’t want to end. If you read them, please leave me your feedback. 😃

 

Bookishly yours,

Robin

Sand in My Sandwich by Sarah Parshall Perry

Sand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love By Sarah Parshall Perry

 

SynopsisThere is no perfect family, no life free of mess.

But in the midst of all of it, God is there, reminding us, “My child, I got this.”

You know that thing when you’re in Walmart at noon before you discover you haven’t brushed your teeth? Sarah Parshall Perry gets that. She also gets weird things showing up in her bed, her daughter requesting war paint, and her son crawling into a giant blue sock on Christmas morning. Sometimes, she gets that conflicted feeling of finding her kids hanging out in the dog’s cage and realizing that, yes, dog cages are not for people, but . . . they have stopped getting into trouble.

According to Perry, “The hardest stuff is the quickest way to God.” And if the systematic destruction of her carefully planned life is any indication, she’s on the fast track to sainthood! A mother of three children, two of whom are on the autism spectrum, she has experienced plenty of ups and downs. But from the chaos of her “ordinary” life, she pulls truth packed with humor, poignancy, and a naked honesty that will make you realize you are not alone in this delightfully messy thing called motherhood. 

So sit back, relax awhile, and get ready to laugh.

“Brokenness is part of our humanity and Sarah Perry gets it. Sand in My Sandwich is her story of living with transparency, grace, humor, and hope. No matter your challenge today, you will find yourself in her story. This book is a must-read for every woman.”–Shannon Royce, president and CEO, ChosenFamilies.org

Sarah Parshall Perry (JD, University of Virginia School of Law) is a wife and mother of three young children. She is the coauthor of When the Fairy Dust Settles (with her mother, Janet Parshall) and the author of numerous magazine articles, award-winning short stories, and poetry. Sarah has served in youth ministry for over ten years and is currently writing for http://www.ChosenFamilies.org where she encourages other families living with disabilities. She lives in Maryland.


Review: I applaud Sarah for how she has had to let go of perfection as God blessed her with 3 amazing children who would challenge her in many ways. She is open and honest about her struggles and she has a tremendous sense of humor. As her children have grown, she has she has learned to trust God and her Mother’s heart. I was swept up in her story and I think you will be too. 😃

Bookishly yours,
Robin

Defying ISIS by Johnnie Moore

Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard By Johnnie Moore

 

Synopsis: Has the Christian Holocaust Begun? 

A Christian genocide at the hands of Islamic extremists is unfolding in the Middle East. Entire Christian populations have been eliminated, and the ultimate aim of ISIS and the Islamic State is to eradicate the world of Christianity.

They are well on their way. Thousands of Christians arrive in refugee camps daily as tents can be seen for miles across the countryside of Jordan, N. Iraq and Lebanon.

Churches have been demolished, crosses burned and replaced with ISIS flags, homes destroyed, entire communities displaced, religious conversions forced, human torture enacted, children slaughtered, and all in plain sight.

In many cities every single Christian has been “taken care of” – displaced, murdered or forcibly converted, and just as the Nazis painted the Star of David on the homes of Jews, Jihadists have painted the Christian “N” (the first letter of the Arabic word for “Christian”) on the homes of indigenous Christian communities to identify them before destroying them. They have proclaimed that they will not stop until Christianity is wiped off the earth from the land of its birth all the way to your own backyard. So what can be done to help these brave souls in the crossfire and protect a holy land?

With never before told stories of horror and of hope, Johnnie Moore unveils the threat of ISIS against worldwide Christianity, and what the world must do about it. Along the way, he introduces us to the courageous Christians who have stared down ISIS and lived to raise their crosses higher.

Review: This was an eye opening, hard to read book. No one wants to think that these atrocities are happening or that they could happen to us. If ever there was a doubt that we are living in the end times, this group of Islamic extremists and what they are doing, have put that to rest. You will read about some hard things, but you will also read about some courageous people! I can only pray that God would give me the boldness to be as brave as the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. I encourage you to read this book and see what God would have YOU do in the face of this horrific treatment of our brothers and sisters who are suffering for their faith. I highly recommend this book! If you read it, please leave me your thoughts. 

 

Bookishly yours,

Robin

For Mercie’s Sake by Sharon Srock

For Mercie’s Sake: an inspirational women’s fiction novella – FREE ebook 

 

Synopsis: A victim of rape, sixteen year old Scottlyn Rich is disowned by her family when she refuses to abort the child she carries. Determined to raise her baby, she has no idea how to handle the obstacles ahead, she only knows that giving her daughter, Mercie, a chance to live is the most important thing she’ll ever do. 

Widowed school teacher Diana Kensington lost everything she held dear the day her husband’s plane fell out of the sky. Four hundred and thirty nine days later she still has no answer to her daily prayer. “What now, God?” 

Can trust be built between these two lost women? Can they work together to fill the void in each other’s lives, for Mercie’ s sake? 


Review: This is a quick read, but a very inspirational read on what God can do in the life of someone to bless others, thus being blessed themselves. Scottlyn was kicked out of her fathers house when she discovered that she was pregnant as a result of rape. In fact, her father threatens to take her to court to force her to place the baby for adoption. Behind the scenes God has been working in Diana’s heart to heal her grief and help this young woman. I don’t want to give to much away…I loved this story!!


Bookishly yours,

Robin

Life After the Storm by Jan Harrison

Life After the Storm: God Will Carry You Through

 

SynopsisAre winds of change, doubt, or grief swirling around you? Engaging author and teacher Jan Harrison shares how, when storms strike, you can depend on God’s spiritual supplies– His promises, His Spirit, His ever-present help, and the treasures of His Word.

After a storm of loss forever changed the landscape of Jan’s life, her faith and years of Bible study were tested. In that journey, she discovered how God was and is able to fill her every need. Now, with compassion and courage, Jan will help you:

  • stop living in fear of “what if” and be ready for life “even if”
  • sense God’s constant presence and gentle healing
  • experience the transforming confidence and faith that only a storm can unveil

Whether you or someone you care about faces a difficult season, the lifelines of God’s promises will lead you to life and hope after the storm.


Review: This book completely captured my heart! It was so difficult to put down, and I’m not usually a fan of non fiction. It was heartbreaking reading about the loss of her son, her grief made even more tragic because he was in another country at the time of his death. For a mom that is crushing…he was only 27. She shares her journey to surrender and healing…not easy by any means. Even as a believer we struggle with questions like “why” when unspeakable tragedy invades our life and turns it upside down. I love that she talks about switching from thinking of all the “what ifs?” And starts to think in terms of “God, even if”. That spoke to me. If you are in a storm currently or know someone who is, this book will really bless you. Share it with someone you know that needs to hear Jan’s story and her incredible honesty and vulnerability, all the while working towards surrendering her plans and embracing Gods. 


Bookishly yours,

Robin


Life After the Storm: God Will Carry You Through

Stronger by Jeff Bauman and Bret Witter

Stronger

 

Synopsis: When Jeff Bauman woke up on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 in the Boston Medical Center, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs, the first thing he did was try to speak. When he realized he couldn’t, he asked for a pad and paper and wrote down seven words: “Saw the guy. Looked right at me,” setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country’s history.

Just thirty hours before, Jeff had been at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon cheering on his girlfriend, Erin, when the first bomb went off at his feet. As he was rushed to the hospital, he realized he was severely injured and that he might die, but he didn’t know that a photograph of him in a wheelchair was circulating throughout the world, making him the human face of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, or that what he’d seen would give the Boston police their most important breakthrough.

Up until the marathon, Jeff had been a normal 27-year-old guy, looking forward to moving in with Erin and starting the next phase of their lives together. But when his life was turned upside down in ways he could never have fathomed, Jeff did not give up. Instead he faced his new circumstances with grace, humor, and a sense of purpose: he was determined, no matter what, to walk again.

In STRONGER, Jeff describes the chaos and terror of the bombing itself and the ongoing FBI investigation in which he was a key witness. He takes us inside his grueling rehabilitation, and discusses his attempt to reconcile the world’s admiration with his own guilt and frustration. And he tells of the courage of his fellow survivors. Brave, compassionate, and emotionally compelling, Jeff Bauman’s story is not just his, but ours as well. It proves that the terrorists accomplished nothing with their act of cowardice and shows the entire world what Boston Strong really means.

 Review: The Boston Marathon bombing was a horrific event! Jeff Bauman did not see himself as a hero or a celebrity or anyone that was even all that special. Little did he know how much his life was going to change as he stood at the finish line to cheer his girlfriend Erin on as she finished the race. There were certainly many heroes that day helping to save the lives of the victims. This book tells the story of what happened on that fateful day, as well as how Jeff dealt with and healed from his traumatic injuries. His girlfriend Erin stood by his side through the entire ordeal. Theirs is certainly a very special love story! There were so many parts of this book that just really moved my heart, it’s hard to just name a couple of them but I would highly recommend this book. It really made me realize how the ordinary become the extraordinary in the face of trauma. We truly are….Boston Strong!!

 

Bookishly yours,

Robin


Stronger

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

Wrapped in Rain By Charles Martin

 

Synopsis: “Tucker, I want to tell you a secret.” Miss Ella curled my hand into a fist and showed it to me.

“Life is a battle, but you can’t fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart.”

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker Mason has traveled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. But what Tucker himself can’t see is how to let go of the past and forgive his father.

On a sprawling Southern estate, Tucker and his younger brother, Mutt, were raised by their housekeeper, Miss Ella Rain, who loved the motherless boys like her own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and the boys was the only good thing their father ever did.

When his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face the agony of his own tragic past.

Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice—and her prayers. But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.

 

Review: Let me start out by saying that Charles Martin is one of my favorite authors!

When the story begins, we learn that Miss Ella has died and Tucker has taken her last name. Tucker Rain is an internationally renowned photographer with cover photos on all the major magazines. He is on his way back to the family home in a small Alabama town even as his agent tries to get him to go on jobs. The family home, which Tucker now owns, is called Waverly Hall. Tucker’s father was a very mean person, but he did have a knack for making money. By the time he was worth more than $50 million.

On his trip back home, Tucker meets a woman, Katie Wither with a young boy at a food stop and again later when her car breaks down. It turns out she was a neighbor of the Mason’s and a close childhood friend. She was a talented musician in her own right, who played the piano as a child at the Mason’s home with encouragement from Miss Ella. She studied piano at Julliard, and later married an unfaithful and abusive man, Trevor. She later divorced him and ran away to protect her son, Jase.

After he rescued Katie and Jase, and learned more about their situation, Tucker talks her into hiding out at the Mason home. When they arrive, Tucker finds out his brother has left the mental hospital where Tucker had taken him seven years earlier.

Katie, Jase and Tucker find Mutt and the three adults recall childhood memories and get together to plan a super Christmas.

The background information is introduced gradually, as needed, without distracting the reader from the main flow of the story, as is his style.

I think you will enjoy these characters. Tucker was able to forgive his father. Mutt tried to control himself, but he couldn’t. Katie was a good mom and a strong woman whose downfall was letting herself get tricked into marrying a man who turned out to be abusive. Moses, set good examples for the brothers both when they were children and when they were adults. Along with Ella, he helped them survive.

If you read this book, I would love to hear your feedback on the story and the characters.

 

Bookishly yours,

Robin

 
Wrapped in Rain By Charles Martin

Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story by Larry Libby, Joni Eareckson Tada, Ken Tada

Joni and Ken: an Untold Love Story by Larry Libby, Joni Eareckson Tada, Ken Tada

 
Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story

 

Synopsis: This is the true love story of Joni and her husband of 30 years, Ken Tada. A love story showing what it truly means for a man and a woman to live in love … in sickness and in health.

Even the honeymoon wasn’t easy. Did Ken realize what he was getting into when he proposed to Joni, a quadriplegic woman? As their marriage years moved on, Ken became increasingly overwhelmed by the never-ceasing demands of caring for Joni, who begins to experience chronic, extreme, nightmarish pain. Ken sinks into depression, and the couple finds themselves on parallel tracks in life, married and living under the same roof but drifting apart emotionally.

But as they fight for their marriage and find their way through the mazes of depression and pain, they wrap their two lives around their rock—Jesus.

During Ken’s denial of Joni’s diagnosis, and Joni’s thoughts of how wonderful a quick exit to heaven would be, they experience a personal visitation with the savior you will never forget.

 

Review: I loved the honesty, vulnerability, and genuineness of their love story. Mostly it highlights their journey through Joni’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. It gives glimpses into their early marriage right up to the current day. Joni broke her neck at 17 and God has used her quadriplegia in incredible ways, not only here but internationally. I would put this in your list of books to read for 2015! 

 

Bookishly yours,

Robin



Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story