On My Bookshelf: Flower in the Hills

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Flower in the Hills by Norma Jean Lutz

Little description:Dark Foreboding Brooding Sinister

That’s how Latina Harmen viewed the Ozark hills. And she didn’t want to be here anyway!

Latina Harmen knew she was going to hate Missouri. “There’s nothing in Missouri!” she had told her father when he announced they were to spend the summer there.

And now she knew she had been one hundred and ten percent right.

Latina had taken for granted that she would be spending another happy summer vacation with her friends at Periwinkle Cove on the East Coast. After all, her family had spent summers there as long as she could remember.

Now, in the summer before her senior year, fate said she would be stuck in a hick town with no one around but her boring parents and bratty younger brother.

How could she have guessed the beauty that lay waiting for her in those brooding hills? How was she to know she would meet fascinating people, and that she would learn more about herself than she’d ever known?

How was she to know she would meet a special someone whose friendship and support would change her life forever?

˃˃˃ Whisk Back to a Simpler Time…

This young adult romance whisks readers back to a simpler time, before Internet and cell phones. A sweet story that will hold the reader captive to the very last page!

˃˃˃ Norma Jean Lutz Classic Collection

The Norma Jean Lutz Classic Collection includes re-released titles of previously-published teen novels. I hear from parents and teens alike who are searching for novels that are fresh and clean and yet full of compelling adventure!

This is why I made the decision to bring back the novels that I authored in the 80s and 90s. Reading audiences deserve a choice and I want to give them that choice.

These story plots are timeless; such stories never grow out of style in spite of the fact they were penned several decades ago. The first title in the Classic Collection is Flower in the Hills.

Genre: YA Fiction

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

Coming to Missouri was the best idea for Mr. Harmen. That’s why he brought the whole family here to spend summer, while he would finish his research project. Grateful for the place to stay, he comes to like the people and this old homely farmhouse. While he enjoys the scene, with no stress of city/ town life: shopping lines, gas station jam, car traffic, nor technology overload.  His daughter, Latina, does not share dad’s enthusiasm. She hates being here, the forsaken and slow land, filled with strangers and even less places to visit. For her, this year vocation is ruined. Struggling to connect even with the nature, she keeps away from native people, especially the blue-eyed young man who always laughs at her with his eyes. How dare he is! But every time she goes somewhere, he always catches her off guard.

Once she even wondered off to the old mill, but with a new storm brewing on the horizon, she assumed it would pass quickly. But to her horror, the rain continued to keep pouring. With the water rising, she was trapped in the mill. With no one around, and her family had no knowledge she was here, Latina panicked. She tried to run, but end up going in circles. 

She had no where to go. It’s the end, she wondered. But she herd someone calling her. The same young man she came to despise, the one who always laughed at her, he was there on other side of the water… After being rescued and fed, she learned alot about her rescuer, Tully Clause. 

Loved the story… Just don’t want to give out too much, I would say more surprises and dark secrets come later in the story, with the traps that cough one bad thief.

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

On My Bookshelf: After Acts

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After Acts by Bryan Litfin

Little description:What really happened after Acts?

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the biblical characters after Acts—from the well-known Matthew to the lesser-known Bartholomew—then this book is for you. Join Dr. Bryan Litfin as he guides you through Scripture and other ancient literature to sift fact from fiction, real-life from legend. 

Skillfully researched and clearly written, After Acts is as accurate as it is engaging. Gain a window into the religious milieu of the ancient and medieval church. Unearth artifacts and burial sites. Learn what really happened to your favorite characters and what you should truly remember them for.

  • Did Paul ever make it to Spain? Was he beheaded in Rome?
  • Is it true that Peter was crucified upside down?
  • Was the Virgin Mary really bodily assumed into heaven?

The book of Acts ends at chapter 28. But its characters lived on. 

Genre:  Christian Living

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 4 stars out of 5

I am taking this book not as a valuable resource of theology, but the theory of what might have happened to the apostols after Acts. Questions did rise up on the events taken place from the Judea and Jerusalem after the Pentecost. Then the History filled in the gaps between the first group of Christians til modern-day Christians. 

The author gives his insight on what happened later…even though Acts had closed the last chapter, but the lives of many continues to act, live and manifest for God’s Kingdom…

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

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On My Bookshelf: How is Your Soul

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How’s Your Soul by Judah Smith

Little description:Judah Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Is ______, explores what it looks like to cultivate a healthy soul in the midst of a busy life and points readers to the soul’s only true home and place of rest and fulfillment: God.

“How’s your soul?” 

It may seem like an odd question, but it’s what pastor and bestselling author Judah Smith chooses to ask his friends, rather than “How are you?” It’s a way to look past the externals and consider what’s going on inside, in that essential part of us that is often overlooked in the struggle to make our way through everyday life.

In the rush of living moment to moment, many of us find ourselves simply surviving, struggling daily with frustration, restlessness, boredom, and ever-fleeting joy. But if we would pause, we’d find that the things that matter most in life, what we are searching for in our busyness—stability, peace, hope, love—are rooted in the health of what Judah calls the “inside you.” 

In How’s Your Soul?, Judah explores that “inside you.” Sharing his own, often humorous, mistakes and foibles, he helps us find our way through the emotional roller coasters of life to discover the soul-healing essentials of rest, responsibility, restraint, and relationships, all rooted in what he calls the soul’s only true home—God himself.

How’s Your Soul? is an invitation to find lasting emotional satisfaction and stability by bringing our feelings into alignment with God’s truth, moving beyond simply surviving, and learning how to live each day with eternal significance.

Genre: Christian Living/ Religious

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 4 stars out of 5

What a question Judah Smith asks! A true state of our soul is important to be and to live to the fullest. He explains how the human soul operates and the vitality to keep it guarded and happy to be fruitful and successful. 

What a great reality of the soul, as Judah Smith states, it is the only true home, where God resides and moves, creating the new creature in us as the Author and Finisher of our salvation. The soul is the place of our being too. We need soul check-ups, to make it whole again, without hurt and wounds. The soul cannot prosper were wounds and thorns grow, so we need the healing touch of Jesus.

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

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On My Bookshelf: Born After Midnight

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Born After Midnight by A.W. Tozer

Little description:Will you press into heaven at the expense of earth?

It has been said that revivals are born after midnight. This is not because midnight is a magic hour—it isn’t—but because anyone truly desiring renewal doesn’t tire at seeking it.

Born After Midnight stirs us toward renewal. Be it in the realm of money, worship, worry, or prayer, A. W. Tozer applies God’s high wisdom to our everyday living to show how sin is bitter and Christ is sweet, helping us crave heaven and lose our taste for the world.

If you will take God for who He says He is, trust His promises as true, and forsake the world in clutching for heaven, it will cost you everything. But it will give you eternity. Born After Midnight invites you to seek what cannot be lost.

Genre:  Christian Living/ Theology

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

A. W. Tozer was  a strong theologian, who could explain main topics of Christianity and Christian living… In Born After Midnight he wrote about faith is a journey, not a destination. What do we do after we’ve got saved? Topics like keys to life, power of God, words and deeds, lust vs spiritual, the reality of God as the Light vs the reality of devil as a shadow, our focus on God, the greatness came to serve, the power of sanctifies thought, quality of living, humble heart, refined, return the “Oh!” in our prayers, little matter the most.

Strong theological points.

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

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On My Bookshelf: Talk Yourself Happy

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Talk Yourself Happy by Kristi Watts

Little description:Former cohost of The 700 Club Kristi Watts reveals the pitfalls that keep Christians from true joy and demonstrates the transformational power of speaking the words and promises of God.

How does a person bounce back after being beaten down personally, professionally, and emotionally? What impact do words, thoughts, and beliefs have in determining one’s level of happiness? Kristi Watts asked herself these questions after her marriage dissolved and she left a high-profile position as a cohost of The 700 Club. Initially excited to walk into a new season of life that she thought held the key to happiness, she soon stumbled into emotional pitfalls that left her discouraged, disappointed, and distant from God. Known as the upbeat host who was always filled with joy and laughter, she was anything but—yet she was determined to get her happy back! But how? By learning, as Kristi did, that true happiness is not simply acquired but rather cultivated.

When one’s words focus on faulty perspectives, faith is quickly derailed, but by remembering God’s blessings and verbally claiming His promises, hearts change. Using biblical principles, Talk Yourself Happy illustrates the importance of relying on God to tame our tongues and train our minds, and it exposes the hidden traps that keep Christians from living lives of happiness, empowering readers with the ultimate transformation of their hearts.

Genre: Christian Living/ Religious

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 4 stars out of 5

Kristi Watts has a bubbly personality, but also a genuine faith in God… With her personal experience on divorce,  being a single mom, and raising her boy, she shares how she came out from being broken, worthless, lonely, and rejected to be joyful, Christ-like person who roots in the Word of God and bring encouragement into other’s lives.

Journey with her to become happy again in the fullness of it….

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

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Ricotta Spinach tortellini

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If you go to a good restaurant you could see they have used many techniques to embellish the dish to stimulate your appetite. One of the main components of this food styling is the focal point of your plating. That is where mainly our eyes get attracted. It can be either in the centre, or […]

via Easy way of styling a dish – Ricotta spinach tortellini with Makhani sauce. — keralas.live

The Valley of Spices

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Whispers of the sun on the windy breeze

Carries colored blossoms through the valley. 

Sweetened scent, the very essence of youth

With mint and cinnamon hovering on the loose.

 

On the wings of life to gaze beyond

The melody adorns the listening heart.

Freedom to melt in the mingled spices,

With the sun rays it always rises.

 

Blending together

The aromas of Earth.

Embracing the sweet breath.

 A life of pungent choice to release.

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On My Bookshelf: The Sisters of Sugarcreek

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The Sisters of Sugarcreek by Cathy Liggett

Little description: Many lives were changed the day a fire burned down Faith Community Church, devastating the small town of Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Now a young Amish widow, Lydia Gruber faces an uncertain future. Her husband, a craftsman and volunteer firefighter, always took care of everything, keeping her isolated from others in their community. Without anyone or any skills, how will she survive?

With the death of her beloved aunt Rose in the fire, single mom Jessica Holtz inherits Rose’s Knit One Quilt Too cottage. Though determined to keep the shop open in her aunt’s memory, she doesn’t know the first thing about knitting and quilting and begins to see her aunt’s dream slip through her fingers.

When Liz Cannon lost her dear friend Rose, she also lost her partner in the Secret Stitches Society―the name they gave themselves while delivering gifts of hope to troubled folks in the dark of night. Liz convinces Jessica to keep the anonymous society going, despite the younger women’s inadequacy with knitting and sewing needles. But soon Liz has problems of her own as the life she has rebuilt for herself begins to crumble again.

When Liz and Jessica choose Lydia for their first mission, the three women cross paths and form an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of tragedy. As they walk together through triumph and heartbreak―through grief and new chances at love―they begin to discover that with friends by your side, a stitch of hope can be found anywhere.

Genre: Christian Fiction/Amish

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 5 stars out of 5

The Secret Stitches Society on the move again. Even though they lost one of the valuable ladies from their society to the fire, the group of women tries to bring more comfort for those who lost loved ones. Trying to deliver their packages of love and care to the chosen, Lis Cannon and Jessica Holtz venture out at night… What can go wrong with their delivery at night, without any invitation from the home owners? They practically are trespassers, hiding in the shadow, they quickly deliver to the destination and run away. But will it be always that smooth and unnoticed? 

Funny ladies, and easy-to-read book…

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

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On My Bookshelf: Spy of Richmond

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Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green

Little description: Trust none. Risk all.
Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can’t do it alone.
Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie’s home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city’s fortifications.
As Sophie’s spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father’s position as newspaper editor and a suitor’s position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.
Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?

Genre: Historical Romance/ Christian Fiction

Find the book on Amazon here.

My thoughts: 4 stars out of 5

This is the second book that I read written by Jocelyn Green, which is amazing. The stories she write are fully developed, characters maturing from one plot to another… The diversity in the cast of characters, the different angles on the plot and different themes are the stable of this author. She manage to do the great job in descriptions, dialogues… It’s all perfect, even the every side she touches in the story is amazing…She weaves the redemption and hope through her stories, even when her heroes and heroines have struggles and impossible situations. God’s grace and care always carry them through, which is true in our earthly lives. But for me her books a bit tinsy-winsy long, because I love to read it in one gulp….and these books hard to do in one gulp, because they make me think about our freedom and other blessings we have in USA today. 

Beautiful book.

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

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