On My Bookshelf: With You Always

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With You Always {Orphan Train #1} by Jody Hedlund

Little description:When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She’s had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children’s Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn’t want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother’s shadow and is determined to win his father’s challenge. He doesn’t plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

Genre: Christian Fiction/ Historical Romance

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

I know one thing for sure, when I read Judy Hedlund’s books which absorb me deep into the reading so much that I stop only after the last page… Her captivating storytelling is beyond imagination. She stirs much pain, tough choices and risks made in the name of love, whether it’s in the medieval setting or in the present day or in between. Her ability to capture reader’s heart is amazing… This book is not the first one which I have encountered by Judy… the story of hope and chance of love where it wasn’t suppose to ignite and grow…. beautiful.

A villain and a prince, twin brothers set to do the challenge to find who will be the best for their father’s business… Rich, spoiled and determined to prove each other they can do the business not matter what and no matter how. Will their father approve the way each brother went to fulfill his will? There were just two requirements: to build a city and to merry for love in just six month. The time is running out! The father might not live through another week…

Provided by Bethany House Publishers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: My Daughter’s Legacy

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My Daughter’s Legacy {Cousins of the Dove Book#3} by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

Little description: Women of Unfailing Conviction

Virginia, 1864

Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love—whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor—ever fit in her broken world?

Virginia, present day

Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she’s finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained—her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man—to unlock the secrets of the past.

* * *

From the Christy Award-winning team of Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould comes a thrilling tale of two women longing to follow God’s leading, make the most of second chances, and find true love at last.

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Christian Romance

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

The story unites two distant relatives in one beautiful tale… Nicole Talbot and Therese Jennings.

Nicole Talbot is in sobriety program, and free from the forbidden liquid for a year. Keeping her promise to her aunty, she does even more than she signed for. But when she receives such a precious gift on her graduation day, a car, yet it threatens to stop her from the telling one heavy secret she carried her whole life… Would be she able to spill the beans and loose the car, or will she keep the secret to her grave and have a chance to drive the car; that is the toughest choice she ever made… She knew on the line is her deceased grandfather’s reputation… And with a new job, she finally met the most stubborn and untrusty man she ever knew… Why he doesn’t like her and always look for the excuse to make her life miserable and hostile on the ranch? Diving deep into the past…

While Nicole questions her shaken name and history, she learns undying truth about her great-grand ancestors… What a courage they had. Will she be able to outlive the brave legacy and be worthy for the name she carried from the birth? Or will it crumble from the accusation she was ready to reveal to the current investigator?

Therese Jennings was Nicole’s great-gran-granmama…  

I love how the two stories combined in one timeline… The author has a great skills in storytelling, and there were no confusion on who is who, and what  happens when. Two strong women in one bloodline, that’s a power of strong legacy and well-developed character. The details of the plot instantly transferred me into the story time… Amazing book.

Provided by Litfuse as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: The Cover Story

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The Cover Story (A Branigan Powers Mystery Book# 2) by Deb Richardson-Moore

Little description: A bizarre hit-and-run brings Branigan Powers back to the crime-solving beat

A fatal crash involving two college students heading home for the holidays seems like an unfortunate accident. But when the surviving girl wakens, she tells a curious story of the vehicle that forced them off the road–an old-fashioned, 1950s-style hearse.

Reporter Branigan Powers delves into the mystery that takes her to the college campus, and leads her into dangerous fraternity and sorority pledge parties.

Reunited with the homeless Malachi Martin, who is so adept at seeing what isn’t there rather than what is, Branigan must uncover what is really going on at the college before other students are put in danger.

This second installment in the author’s first cozy mystery series delves into the world of newspapers and life on the streets–both of which the author knows well.

Genre: Mystery/ Detective/ Christian Fiction

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Even though this is the second book from the book series, I was surprised that it didn’t feel like I have missed something… The smooth and just enough details pulled me into the invisible story line, that the last thing I thought was how could I finish the book already. The story itself was well planned and well paced, like a mystery calls for. Amazing work… I loved all characters: foes and friends, detectives and reporters, collage students and homeless, church folks and doctors…My favorite would be Malachi  and Branigan…. What a team!

The story itself just let me submerged into it deeply that I forgot to put a bet who did the murders, and yes there were couple of them, sadly!

The end had no loose ends and everything was uncovered what was hidden at the beginning..

PS.  Kregel has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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On My Bookshelf: Goliath Must Fall

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Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio

Little description:Fear. Rejection. Addiction. Anger. Comfort…Must Fall.

It’s likely you have a threatening giant in your life…an adversary or stronghold that’s diminishing your ability to live a full and free life. Frozen in the grip of rejection, fear, anger, comfort, or addiction, we lose sight of the promise God has for our lives. Demoralized and defeated, we settle for far less than his best.

God has a better plan for you, a plan for you to live in victory. That’s why he has silenced your giant once and for all.

In Goliath Must Fall, pastor Louie Giglio uncovers a newfound twist in the classic story of David and Goliath. The key to living free from our giants is not better slingshot accuracy, but keeping our eyes on the one and only giant-slayer—Jesus. Put your hope in him and watch Goliath fall.

Genre: Christian Living

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Louie Giglio teaches a different approach to the story behind Goliath vs David….the famous battle with a giant, a heart-warming reminder that God of David is our God today and He finished the work to put all the giants out of the business forever. As Goliath went out to belittle and defile God, he was not aware that this God of Israel will actually show up. He came to the scene with the most humanly unlikely candidate, but a warrior with a heart full of love toward God. David was  a friend to Almighty, and when this uncircumcised giant talked harassment and shouted lies full of treats and loud mouth, the God meant a mean business: slaying the giant with his head off. Goliath never saw it coming,  with his reputation pulled down from the nation’s pedestal of Hall of Fame, Goliath became the very bitter, forbidden and stale word to all the people who once put pride in him. That’s what happen to God’s enemies: He puts them all defiled and plastered to the floor as the skinned doormats. 

Louie Giglio gives the onlook to who is David in our lives… For many generations, Christians were taught that Davids are the people of God, but Louie gives the new approach that David is the very descendant of the royal line: Jesus Christ Himself… The Bible tells us that God fights our battles…. What a different twist on the story, a different reality..

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

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Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy by Nicole Johnson

Little description:Are you working harder than ever but feel like you’re accomplishing less?

Does your morning routine make chickens running around headless look sane?

Is your deepest sense of calm found in the bathroom with the door locked?

Do you check social media more than five times per day? Per hour?

Author, speaker, and actor Nicole Johnson knows what it’s like to feel as if you’re drowning in crazy. When she couldn’t catch her breath or stay awake long enough to talk with her husband, let alone God, she sought to find new ways of “being” in her life. Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy is a voice of possibility and peace for women seeking to find a calm spiritual center in a crazy, runaway world. As a wife and mom of young children herself, Nicole recognized that life had become out of control. And, with the help of a crisis, she started her journey to create the very calm she was craving.

Nicole’s voice is authentic, humorous, and practical, and at the same time deeply spiritual and real. She brings rich storytelling together with her desire to find calm, and in the process discovers a deeper faith. Her personal story grounds the book as she abandons mere tips and tricks (and the empty promises of time saving apps), to explore new practices — like creating a room of her own, setting technology boundaries, rediscovering the spiritual disciplines of quiet and still (they’re not bad words) — and then extending those practices to provide a safer, stronger refuge for calm to dwell.

Nicole’s journey is shared with relatable stories, insightful help, and practical ideas that explore the inner life of a recovering crazy busy woman finding her way to calm and a deeper relationship with God.

Genre: Christian Living

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Nicole Johnson stirred up a very important topic that has immersed from many hearts, including mine. The very desire for the calm and peaceful is imprinted in us by Almighty One, yet we need to let go and let Him be in control… at least this one is one on His resume, the very thing He is best, and He is best at everything. There is perfection and wholeness and beauty in all He does, and all He creates….

Love the book: the cover is amazingly beautiful and the content is valuable… We don’t have to tolerate crazy in our lives any longer!

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Do Baby Bears Have Mommies?

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Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? by Crystal Bowman, Teri McKinley &Ailie Busby

Little description: Kids ask a lot of questions. Some silly and some innocent. Some deep and some serious. The books in the I’ve Got Questions series address many of those childlike questions and offer satisfying answers. The content is lively and fun, yet meaningful and respectful of a child’s inquisitive mind. While the books have a strong educational component, the deeper purpose is to show parents how they can respond to their child’s questions with patience and love. Illustrations feature multicultural characters both male and female.

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? answers questions about animals. Children learn about starfish, elephants, bears, stars, earthworms, eagles, trees, and heaven, while absorbing the underlying themes of God’s love and grace and a parent’s love for a child.

Genre: Children Fiction

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Hot on the quest trail, your child will get some questions answered on the pages of this book. Talking about the most important questions that little ones think and dare to ask through their curious nature and in their discovery path… With rhyming short yet silly stanzas, the author uncover the animal world and other critters through the child’s eyes. It might be the very key to teach and reveal to the child the world beyond, but also to open up the love to the poetic flow…

Beautiful, yet so much different techniques presented in those illustrations.

PS. Tyndale House Publishers  has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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On My Bookshelf: The Captain’s Daughter

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The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere

Little description:Warm-Hearted Victorian Romance Brings 1880s London to Life

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Christian Romance

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Rosalyn Bernay shared her hardship in life: orphaned from the young age, with a father lost at sea, and with two sisters in the same orphanage, she learns to trust God no matter what. At seventeen, she went to another city to earn her living, yet something went amiss with her possition as lady’s companion. One unfortunate incident left her without job, penniless and ruined her reputation, stamping her as a thief. Running away for her life, Rosalyn stops in London, the grand city of many great opportunities, but soon she learns, the capital had its dark, ugly side…. Escaping from the brothel, she wanted to keep her dignity intaked…. she finds there is God’s hand in everything. With a new job offer, which she come across accidently, she was made a dresskeeper in one of the theaters…

Amazing story of hope and courage, faith in God and hardship of life….

Provided by Litfuse as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Kids’ Visual Study Bible

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Kids’ Visual Study Bible by Zondervan

Little description:The NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible, for ages 8–12, brings the Bible to life in four-color illustrated splendor. This study Bible includes a spectacular full-color interior featuring over 700 illustrations, photos, infographics, and maps on every page that visually represent key Bible information. Each page also features important facts located near the relevant verse. Intriguing facts; colorful, engaging maps; photographs; and illustrations make this a Bible they’ll want to explore.

Features:

  • Over 700 four-color photographs, illustrations, infographics, and maps throughout
  • Full-color design
  • Book introductions, including important facts and an image to orient the reader
  • One-column format with side bar study notes for ease of reading
  • Presentation page
  • The complete text of the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible
  • Beautiful cover featuring gloss

Genre: Children’s Book/ Religious/ Bible 

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Bible text can be tricky to the child who loves to see world through pictures and color… That’s why this one will be perfect for the boys who want to dive into the ancient times and   travel adventures filled and packed with action and never-ending grace of God…. Time to embrace the race and see the great I AM in action! 

The yellow border of the book reminds me the ancient sand grains which withstood much of the nature forces throughout the centuries.

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: I Am Devotional

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I Am Devotional: 100 Devotions About the Names of God by Diane Stortz & illustrator Diane Le Feyer

Little description: The God Who Saves. The God Who Provides. The Holy One. The names of God tell us who He is and how He loves us—explore the glory and the goodness of God in I Am Devotional.  

Children will learn to trust God in everything as they learn about the names and character of God in the I Am Devotional. Through 100 devotions, children will see how God’s names reflect His love, strength, trustworthiness, etc., and what that means as they develop a strong faith.

Name of God: I AM

Meaning: God is to be worshipped

Application: Worship God by how you live!

Diane Stortz has a proven history of connecting well with both children and parents in her writing. With sales of 500,000 inspirational books for children, Diane is a trusted name for Christian families. The art of Diane Le Feyer has captivated readers of I Am and will continue to delight in this accompanying devotional with vibrant illustrations throughout and a vivid cover embellished with foil and lots of striking glitter.

The I Am Devotional is the perfect companion to I Am, the Bible storybook that first introduced children to the names and character of God.

Genre: Children’s Book/ Religious

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

The book is bomb, a huge explosions of color and details… Love the style of illustrations…

I think, this one is for middle grade, for the students who understood the reality of God and want to have the relationship with God trough knowing the names of the Holy One…. Great read and revelations to all kids who want to know the God of Universe… With lots of pages to learn new situations and the written known scriptures, there is even the “Do Deeper” column, where kids can ponder about their lives and how God manifested in the past…and even write the prompts in their journal to reflect and think about God and life in general.

Provided by BookLook Bloggers as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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On My Bookshelf: Food52 {Ice Cream and Friends}

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Ice Cream & Friends  by Food52

Little description:A fun collection of 60 recipes, riffs, toppings, and serving ideas for ice creams of all styles.

Ice cream is more fun with friends, but also with cones, sprinkles, candied nuts, hot honey—you get where we’re going. So the editors of Food52 brought together sixty well-tested recipes for frozen desserts of all styles and a billion (give or take a few) ideas for toppings and add-ons. There are surprising flavors—think cinnamon roll ice cream, coffee frozen custard, and grilled watermelon cremolada—and spins on enduring favorites, such as spiced fudgesicles, cherry-mint snow cones, and even a chocolate-hazelnut baked Alaska. There are Saltine and waffle sandwiches, boozy floats, and something called “spoom.” There are tricks for making ice cream without a maker and spiffing up the store-bought stuff, and Hail Marys for when things go wrong (like when—whoops!—all the ice cream melts). But don’t be nervous: even if you’ve never made ice cream before, you’re in good hands with this no-fuss, all-fun book. Consider it your permission to play (and eat a ton of really good ice cream).

Genre: Cookbook

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

What’s better than chocolate… Ice cream, of course! Yey, Food52 created another amazing book. Filled with tips and pross, the recipes and photos just jump at you, calling to try this lusious and cold treats…. But what blew my persecution about icy cold desserts was the idea that ice creams don’t have to be sweet. What a news! The book provided couple of bizzare recipes for those who have the savory tooth: Black Pepper Feta Ice Cream (pg.139), Cucumber Sherbet (pg. 140), Burnt Toast Ice Cream (pg. 148), Beat Ice Milk or Avocado Gelado.. For more fruity, spicy, nutty, chocolaty goodness look in this book.

Love the size of the book. It’s not big but loaded with some icy creations that will make your taste buds dunce and melt from the squeal and delight.

Provided by BloggingForBooks as a complementary copy for my opinion and review.

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