I am so pleased that you have stopped by for a visit. I hope you will enjoy reading my book reviews. If you would be interested in reviewing books on your own blog, check out the links for litfuse and Booksneeze.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Ready for Christmas? How often do we hear that question asked. I think the one asking is wondering if we have our tree up, gifts bought and wrapped, baking done, house cleaned, and so on. I think of something else.

Is my heart prepared to worship Jesus - Immanuel, God with us?

I love the story of the shepherds in the fields, who were the first to hear the message from the angel that the long-awaited Messiah had been born. And they were told where to find Him, and how He would be recognized.

Imagine witnessing that great heavenly host of angels as they gave glory to God! After the angels left, they hurried to Bethlehem to see the baby.

I remember teaching a class of two and three year olds at our church. Small as they were, they recited a poem. "The shepherds were excited to see God's only Son. The Bible says they came with haste; I know I would have run!"

The shepherds were the first people to see the Lamb of God. How appropriate! They worshiped Him.
"O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord."

After they had seen Jesus and worshiped Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this Child. They could have told how the angel came and announced the Saviour's birth, or how the glory of the Lord was shining all around them, or how the angels were giving glory to God. But instead of speaking of their personal experiences, they focused on Jesus. What a witness that was. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told  them.

The story of the shepherds challenges me to focus on the One who became flesh and dwelt with us, who paid a debt He didn't owe because we have a debt we cannot pay. The spotless, sinless Lamb of God came to take away the sins of the world.

I am reminded of the song, O Come, All Ye Faithful. And so we come, as did the shepherds, to bow down and worship. But then we must share the good news with others. "Go Tell It On The Mountain," Jesus Christ is born!

May those with whom we come in contact over the Christmas season see that Jesus is at the centre of all we say and do. And may this celebration be a blessing to you and your family. Have an amazing Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson - Book Review

The Christmas Pony is a Christmas novella set in 1937 Arizona. It is just before Christmas, and all eight year old Lucy wants is a pony, which she saw for sale at a nearby farm. But her mother and grandmother run a boarding house with no paying guests at the moment, and barely enough money to care for themselves. They needed paying boarders.

When in town doing errands, Lucy meets two strangers on their way to California. The car breaks down, and they are in need of a place to stay. Lucy tells them about her mother's boarding house, and convinces them to stay. Lucy learns about the couple, and wonders if they will still be there for Christmas.

Lucy's world is about to change forever. It will be a Christmas to remember.

I love Christmas novellas, and this one does not disappoint. It is well-written and gripping, lifting one out of the 21st century and back to simpler times. I found myself turning the pages, and putting it aside with difficulty. It is a quick read. The story is heart-warming, and will not only prepare you for Christmas, but will remain in your heart long afterward. I highly recommend this delightful book.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred, including several Christmas novella.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller, from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

THE GIFTED - Book review

'''The Gifted" is 5th in the Harmony Hill series by Ann H, Gabhart. These stories all center around life in the Shaker community of Harmony Hill.
You CAN tell a book by its cover when it comes to Ann's books. They are gorgeous! I would love to have all the covers in frameable prints.

Ann's writing is superb. At once, I felt as if I were a part of the Shaker community. The author writes beautifully, with plenty of description.

I fell in love with the main character immediately. Jessamine Brady is a girl struggling with where she belongs. She has been a part of the community since childhood. She is curious, and desperately wanting to know how life is in "the world". Her curiousity leads her into places of conflict. Does she belong in the Shaker village, or in the world?

This book is a fascinating read. I highly recommend it.

The author:

Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky, Ann H. Gabhart has walked the same paths her characters might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a colorful backdrop for her Shaker novels. Gabhart is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Outsider, The Believer, The Blessed, The Seeker, and Angel Sister.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

 Available through www.amazon.com, www.christianbook.com   and wherever you buy Christian books.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

EMBRACED BY GOD by Babbie Mason - Book Review

Embraced by God is a 21-day encounter with the unconditional love of God. The book contains seven promises to study, and each chapter presents four challenges by which to embrace the day. By the end of the book, Babbie hopes you will have increased your capacity to love God and to receive His love. Go on a journey of discovering what it means to be unconditionally loved, approved, accepted, forgiven, blessed, cherished, treasured, and favored by God.

The subtitle os this book is Celebrating Who and Whose You Are.

The seven themes are:
  1. God's Passion for You is Unconditional 
  2. God's Picture of You is Beautiful
  3. God's Presence in You is Perpetual
  4. God's Provision for You is Immeasurable
  5. God's Plan for You is Exceptional
  6. God's Power in You is Accessible
  7. God's Promise in You is Incomparable
Each day, there are exercises in response to the reading. Think About His Love, Read About His Love,
Pray About His Love, and Be About His Love.

In this book, Babbie combines Scripture with personal experience. Here is the story of a woman consumed by love for God. For those new to the faith, this would be an excellent book of affirmation, and for mature Christians, a great reminder of the depths of God's love.

For more information, see www.babbie.com

This book is available through www.amazon.com. www.christianbooks.com, and other fine retailers.

Copy for review provided by Litfuse Publicity. Published by Abington Press.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WORDS SPOKEN TRUE by Ann H. Gabhart - Book Review

Words Spoken True, Ann H. Gabhart, 978-0-8007-2045-2

One woman stands ready to defend her newspaper . . . even if it means losing out on love
Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father's newspaper offices. With ink in her veins, she can't imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855.
When Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over a competing newspaper, the battle for readers gets fierce. After Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune's future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story--and the girl.
Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold you in its grip until the very last page.

This well-written story is filled with much emotion, and will keep you wondering how things will turn out. There is a lot of conflict and tension in this story which gives us  a glimpse of Louisville in the mid 1800s. Well worth the read.

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister and the Shaker novels The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, and The Blessed. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Kentucky.

Ann's books are availabe through www.amazon.com, www.christianbookdistributors, and other fine retailers.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Monday, January 30, 2012

THE MAID OF FAIRBOURNE HALL by Julie Klassen - Book Review

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, set in Regency England, is sure to satisfy those readers who enjoy an historical novel written about that period. It is Julie's latest book, following in the tradition of Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary's Daughter, The Silent Governess, and The Girl at the Gatehouse.

The setting in an English country house is reminiscent of Upstairs, Downstairs, with the focus primarily 'below stairs'.  Julie has done extensive research, and the story is filled with many details. We are given insight into the time period through numerous quotes (epigraphs) at the beginning of each chapter. This book will keep you turning page after suspenseful page, discovering the
numerous twists in the plot, until at last a satisfying conclusion is reached.

Brimming with romance and danger, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall takes readers inside the fascinating belowstairs world of a 19th-century English manor, where appearances can be deceiving.

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?
~taken from back cover

This book would make an ideal choice for a book club, as discussion questions are included.

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Friday, January 13, 2012

Musings On Snow

                                                     Snow Angel

When my brother and I were young, we loved to play in the snow, building forts and having snowball fights. We stayed outside till our noses were red, and our mittens wet with melting snow. Oh, did I say mittens?

Invariably, we managed to get our mittens covered in burdocks, much to mum's chagrin. Then one day, mum had had enough. She told us that if we got our mittens covered in burdocks, she would have us pick them off. Sure enough, the inevitable happened. Mum spread newspapers on the living room floor, and there we sat, picking off every one of those burdocks. I can't recall that happening again!

Years later, there I was, bundling up our two year old daughter to play in the snow. No sooner was she completely  dressed than - you guessed it. She had to go to the bathroom! So, bundling her up once more, I sent her off to play while her baby sister napped. She had such a happy time outside, and didn't want to come in. Finally, in she came, melting snow dripping on the floor. I thought of burdocks on mittens and melting snow on the floor, then sat down to write the following...

For Heather

First snow - so clean, crisp, fresh -
Child-like wonder fills your eyes
As you watch "stowflakes" gently falling -
As you walk, ever so slowly,
Plodding through snow,
Bundled in boots and snowsuit,
I delight anew in God's beautiful gift
Now blanketing the earth.
Seen through your eyes somehow makes it seem so new.

Lord, help me not to lose this sense of awe and wonder
When I see puddles on my clean floor
And burdocks on mittens!

© Lynn McCallum
December 1, 1979