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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Sky Without Stars Reviews

A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare

Book Description:
About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love seriesfocuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

In 1951, Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she knows he will need to become as a white man to succeed. After his father's killed in a barroom brawl, Harold and Frankie move to Arizona, where she begins a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn and prayed into it.

She distrusts Christians, as her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian School, until she meets BIA agent Nick Vandergriff, a half-Lakota who's also caught between cultures. Nick must convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren't all bad as he tries to win her heart in order to put the stars back into her sky.

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Lovewebsite.
About the Author: Linda S. Clare is an award-winning coauthor of three books, including Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them (with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp), Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World, and Making Peace with a Dangerous God(with Kristen Johnson Ingram). She is also the author of The Fence My Father Built. She has taught college-level creative writing classes for seven years, and edits and mentors writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter and church retreat leader. She and her husband of thirty-one years have four grown children, including a set of twins. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their five wayward cats: Oliver, Xena the Warrior Kitty, Paladine, Melchior, and Mamma Mia!

Learn more about Linda at: http://www.lindasclare.com

My Opinion:
I'm torn with this one.  I have come to love and enjoy the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press but this one just didn't satisfy me, sadly.  In my personal opinion (which is all my reviews are) it fell flat.   Let me begin by telling you the things I liked about this book.  I really like the Lakota people, they are one of my favorite tribes, and I was very intrigued to learn that they quilted!  I also enjoyed some of the characters and scenes.  The Navajo Fair is mentioned and that part was enjoyable.  And one of the characters Mrs. Green really comes around and turns out to be a pretty good character!  Even though I didn't like some of the things she did and the way she treated others I really started to like her by the end.  And finally I really liked the message of forgiveness tied in the end.  But from the beginning it felt like the characters "loved" each other too soon.  There isn't any big revelation when Frankie comes to Christ.  She comes to understand forgiveness, but if she accepts Jesus as her Lord and Savior I missed it. :/  Which really disappointed me because I was looking forward to that scene!  There is a mystery slipped in here that I enjoyed up until the thief is found out.  I didn't like that at all because it was one of the best Christian witnesses in the book!  And while I understand that we are all humans with a sinful nature and we slip up it still bothered me that he almost became a stumbling block for the characters he had witnessed to.  Finally the end didn't seem like the end.  I kinda felt like someone somewhere cut out the end of my book and left me hanging!  Some very important questions weren't answered about character's decisions and it ended abruptly...  Overall I am happy I read it for the new things I learned I just wished there were more...

Songs: "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" by Chris Tomlin, "God-Shaped Hole" by Plumb, and "That's How You Forgive" by Shane & Shane

John 3:16

~ASC

*I received this book for the purpose of reviewing it this in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feellings about A Sky Without Stars. ~ASC

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DANCING WITH FIREFLIES || RSVP for April 10th Facebook Party and enter to win a Kindle HDX from @DeniseAHunter!

Don't miss Denise Hunter's latest Chapel Springs Romance, Dancing with Fireflies. Reviewers have already labeled Dancing with Fireflies "swoon-worthy" and "the perfect love story." 

Join Denise in celebrating the release of her new book by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway and RSVPing for her April 10th Facebook party.


fireflies-400-click

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dancing with Fireflies and Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 10th. Winner will be announced at the Dancing with Fireflies Facebook Party on April 10th. Connect with Denise for an evening of prizes, book chat, and an exclusive look at the next book in the series.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

Dancing with Fireflies denise hunter
Win a Kindle HDX!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

For Love or Loyalty Review!!!

For Love or Loyalty by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Book Description:
To atone for her father's evil, Lauren Campbell agrees to help Malcolm MacGregor. By the time she realizes she's the bargaining price to free Malcolm's mother from indentured servitude, it's too late.

Malcolm MacGregor only wants to free his family and exact revenge against Duncan Campbell. As the pride and joy of Duncan's life, his daughter Lauren is the perfect answer, but during the voyage to America, her faith continues to witness to Malcolm. He becomes enraptured with her, and upon their arrival, discovers he's sold her into a fate worse than death. Now Malcolm has the dilemma: free his family or rescue Lauren? Time is short and with little means, he needs a miracle.


My Opinion:
Love love love this book!  I was SO blessed by this story!  For love or loyalty is such an adventure and full journey!  Lauren is the kind of Christian woman I want to be and yet this book also holds the reality that even the strongest in Faith have their moments of fear and, sadly, doubt.  It also shows how as humans we can't always see the big picture like God can, but that doesn't mean He leaves us! :)  Starting out in Scotland Jennifer takes us across the sea to America.  The hardships of travel for both the people able to pay and the indentured servants is shown realistically from sickness to danger.  There are many great characters in this as Malcolm and Lauren find friends on and off the ship, but their are also many enemies with terrible intentions.  Through it all God watches over them as He shapes them into the people they need to be through the trials they face and the decisions they make.  Twists and surprises abound within these chapters.  Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen Jennifer threw in another turn that I didn't see coming.  For Love or Loyalty is a great read with adventure, suspense, Faith, love, courage, hope and so much more!  I cannot wait for For Love or Country!!!  This is a MUST READ!!! :)

Songs: "My Deliverer" by Mandisa, "He Leadeth Me" by The Cluster Pluckers, "Not For A Moment (After All)" by Meredith Andrews, "What Scars Are For" by Mandisa, "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" by Alan Jackson, "Lily Of The Valley" by The Cluster Pluckers, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" by Women Of Faith Worship Team, "Blessings" by Laura Story, and "Love Lifted Me" by Alan Jackson

Jeremiah 29:11

~ASC

*I received this book because I was interested in it an wanted to review is.  This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings about For Love or Loyalty. ~ASC

P.S.  Thank you Jennifer for getting me a copy of your great book to read and review.  I was greatly blessed by it and can't wait for more of the MacGregor Legacy! :)

The Quilted Heart (Three Novellas in One) Review!!!

The Quilted Heart (3 in 1) by Mona Hodgson

Book Description:
Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace. 
 
Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace? 
 
Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan? 
 
Bending Toward the Sun
Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own? 
 
Ripples Along the Shore
Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?


My Opinion:
A Lovely Collection.  I had wanted to read these stories when they first came out separately, but never got the opportunity.  So I was very happy when I got the chance to read them all in one!  The first story Dandelions on the Wind is great!  I love the characters especially the three main ladies Mrs. Brantenberg, Maren, and Gabi!  The whole concept of this first story is a great one as these people try to pick up their lives and move on after the Civil War.  Showing how God provides in ways we never expect, and that sometimes His ways aren't always our plans at all but they are far better! :)  I was SO glad after reading the end of this novella that I didn't have to wait for the next one!  Funny, sweet, and lovable.
The Next Novella Bending Toward the Sun was a little slower paced for me, but when I got into it I was deeply rooted!  I LOVE the end of this one and the whole set up.  Bending Toward the Sun touched on prejudices and letting go.  I love the spunk Mona gives to each of her characters especially Emilie as she grows up and steps out!  A very sweet read!
And Finally Ripples Along the Shore!  Caroline's story was highly entertaining.  Her courage and faith grows throughout Ripples Along the Shore which turns out to be just a taste of her tale.  Hard decisions are made in this one, secrets are hinted at but not reveled, and good byes are on the horizon throughout.  At the attempt to not give too much away; as the end came the good byes are bitter sweet and lovely.  This is where I was torn up!  Caroline and these other character's stories are cut short as they prepare to move on with their lives.  The ending is so sweet with good byes and thanks to God, but there are untied ends, unfinished stories, and unanswered questions!  I definitely need more!  After reading the Authors Note I found that these characters stories go on to the first in Mona's Hearts Seeking Homes series Prairie Song!  I really enjoyed reading the Author's Note as Mona goes into the stories behind the stories in a way.
Overall I love how these books show the different lives and changes after the Civil War and enjoy the whole quilting circle.  All of these stories show God's provision and great love for His children!  And I absolutely Love how Mona plants the title within the book so it drives home why she titled them thus; as well as the way she weaves scripture throughout.  The thing that gets me is I NEED MORE!!!! LOL!!!  I don't like where it ended and I REALLY want Prairie Song to see where Mona takes these characters!!!  I highly recommend these Novellas, just maybe after you've already got Prairie Song in your hot little hand and can immediately go on!  LOL!

Songs that were mentioned in the book and/or that fit: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" by Chris Rice, "Sweet Hour of Prayer" by Yoshie Ueno, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Nashville Harmonicas Band, "Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed" by Sovereign Grace Music, 
"Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" is also mentioned in this book but I couldn't find a clear enough MP3 on Amazon so I didn't link it up.  Songs may change or be added in the future and if I find a version that's clear and I like I'll add links.

Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 4:23, James 4:10, Ecclesiastes 3:1, Psalm 119:103, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 Samuel 16:7, James 4:6

~ASC

*I requested and received this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review it.  This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings about these Novellas. ~ASC


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