November 26, 2013

Reviewing "Lone Star Trail" by Darlene Franklin

"Lone Star Trail" by Darlene Franklin, is the first in a series of 6 historical fiction books called the "Texas Trails" series. The books are centered around the Morgan family and the struggles they and the people they meet face in mid-1800s Texas.  Very well written, this book quickly draws the reader into the series. Even if you aren't normally into historical fiction, "Lone Star Trail" is written in such a way that it's easy to identify with the characters and relate to their trials and struggles. Though we don't face the same types of challenges in today's society, the human spirit of blazing your own trail and providing a safe place for your family remains the same.

Here's a quick summary from the publisher:
"Judson "Jud" Morgan's father died for Texas' freedom during the war for independence. So when the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas (the Verein) attempts to colonize a New Germany in his country, he takes a stand against them. 
After Wande Fleischers' fiancĂ© marries someone else, the young fraulein determines to make a new life for herself in Texas. With the help of Jud's sister Marion, Wande learns English and becomes a trusted friend to the entire Morgan family. 
As much as Jud dislikes the immigrant invasion, he can't help admiring Wande's character. She is sweet and cheerful as she serves the Lord and all those around her. Can the rancher put aside his prejudice to forge a new future? Through Jud and Wande, we learn the powerful lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation among a diverse community of believers." 

 I enjoyed that this book took me back to my childhood in a way because it was reminiscent of some of the themes of  the "Little House on the Prairie" series.  Though reading about how labor intensive day-to- day life was for the settlers in those times makes me very thankful for the modern conveniences of today, sometimes I long for those simpler times when checking our smart phones every other minute wasn't part of our society.  Where waiting for the mail to arrive was the most exciting form of communication, and if someone called your house and you weren't there, they just called back later.
I've already started reading book two of the series and look forward to reading 4 more after that.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

November 9, 2013

Reviewing "Blessings for the Evening: Finding Peace in God's Presence"

"Blessings for the Evening" by Susie Larson is an absolutely beautiful book. Meant to be a nightly devotional, every page is filled with gorgeous photos paired with Bible verses and a blessing to read before you put your head down on your pillow.  It's so well done that upon opening it, there is a general feeling of peace that seems to spill out of the book. 
I can't gush enough about how great the book is and how excited I was when I first laid eyes on it.  When I received it in the mail, it went straight into my nightstand where it will stay for many evenings to come, I'm sure.  I would recommend "Blessings for the Evening" to anybody who wants to go to sleep concentrating on God's many blessings instead of the worries of the day. It would also make a great gift!

Here's a short description of the book from the publisher:
"Feel the concerns of your day fade away through the reassuring promises of God. These blessings offer refreshment to your soul and a biblical perspective to your thoughts.

 Borne from Susie Larson's own bouts with nighttime worries, each blessing and related Scripture is a daily, soothing reminder of God's love and mercy."

Disclaimer: I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Emily C! You were chosen by random number generator to win "An Elm Creek Quilts Companion" by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Thanks to everybody who commented and to everyone who reads this blog. I'm thankful for all of you!

November 1, 2013

Giveaway: An Elm Creek Quilts Companion

One of my wonderful readers is in for a big treat! I'm giving away one copy of the just released "An Elm Creek Quilts Companion", which is a beautiful keepsake book by Jennifer Chiaverini. The book is designed to be a companion to her very popular Elm Creek Quilts series, and if you are a fan, this is a must-have. Here's a synopsis from the publisher to get you super excited about getting a copy :).

"Over the course of the bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, readers have expressed a longing to visit Elm Creek Manor, meet the quilters themselves, and admire their beautiful creations. Jennifer Chiaverini’s An Elm Creek Quilts Companion is the next best thing to a guided tour. Inside, readers will discover a treasure trove of delights, including the Bergstrom family tree, character biographies, quilt block illustrations, full-color photographs of quilts featured in the novels, and "Behind the Scenes at Elm Creek Quilt Camp," an exclusive short story inspired by questions from real readers. No Elm Creek Quilts fan will want to be without this indispensable guide to the cherished series."

*Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite Fall treat or tradition is.
*Make sure I have a way to contact you via email if you win. If your account isn't linked to your email, please leave your email address in the comment.
*Last day to enter is Friday, November 8th. Winner will be announced November 9th.
*You must live in the U.S. or Canada