What is the Next Right Thing?

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The next Right Thing

 

Weighty decisions are apart of life. And these days, I feel like one is waiting for me around every corner. I knew when I saw the title of author Emily P. Freeman’s new book The Next Right Thing, I needed to read it. I have the tendency to get caught up in the future, and the fallout I feel my decisions will have on life.  Freeman’s take on decision making is practicle, applicable, and very helpful. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to pin down a right choice, a critical step, or making a life-changing decision.

There are a few chapters that were stand-outs for me in The Next Right Thing. Chapter 5, Look for the Arrows, was especially poignant. Freeman explains that sometimes, listening to your personal desires and those of your spouse can help you discern your next step. It isn’t always that easy, but our hearts often lean in the right direction before our minds do. I also loved Chapter 13, Don’t Rush Clarity, where Freeman points out that we should let go of our timeline, and our expectations of certainty.  Certainty of outcome is maybe the biggest roadblock for me personally with concern to decision making. Lastly, Freeman suggest finding co-listeners in Chapter 15. Co-listeners are trusted people in your life who are able to listen objectively that can be trusted and are a safe place. I love this idea so much. There is something to be said for wise counsel!

I requested The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman from the publisher because I was looking for some guidance in descision making. At this point in my life, I thought all of my big decisions were over and done. Not true! What school is right for my kids, should we move, are our careers the right choice, and is it time to move on from where we are? Those are just a few things keeping me up at night! I received an advanced copy of this book to read without the requirement to leave a positive review. I have not been compensated. All opinion are my own.

 

 

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Something New from Jocelyn Green

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between two shores

 

Jocelyn Green is an author of some pretty amazing historical fiction. In fact, I am always sure to be aware of when she has a new release! I was truly excited to read Between Two Shores. Having said that, this novel was not my favorite. I am not sure I can put my finger on it, but I have a few ideas.

Between Two Shores began with a series of flashbacks that tell the back story of the main character, Catherine, her family, and Simon (a man she once loved.).  I somehow got lost in the flashbacks. So much so, I was afraid there might have been a prior novel and I had failed to read it! I thought for certain I had missed something. Secondly, I was a little disappointed in the big plot twist I for sure did not see coming. Had I not been so far into the story…i might have thrown in the towel.

Somewhere in the story…i really tried hard to find it again…Green writes that sometimes stories don’t end the way we think they should. This is true for me for this book.  Here is the thing, just because this book wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean it won’t be yours. If you love historical fiction, a war-time story, and strong female characters, this could be your favorite book all year! I requested a copy from NetGalley to read because I know I love Jocelyn Green books. I was not required to give a positive review and I was not compensated.

Reading a ROMCOM!

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flights of fancy

 

There is no one else who writes like Jen Turano! I feel like she needs her own genre in the Christian Fiction category of Romantic Category.  Flights of Fancy is laugh-out-loud  funny, flirtatious, and fantastic story telling! If you are looking for something fresh to read to get you out of your reading rut, this book is for you!

In Flights of Fancy,  American Heiress Isadora Delafield flees home to escape marriage to a dangerous Duke.  With the help of a few friends, Isadora, “Izzie,” makes her way to Pennsylvania to answer a posting for a housekeeper at Glory Manor.  Hoping to hide out long enough to escape her mother’s plans for her life, Izzie finds herself  neck-deep in all sorts of shenanigans. Mostly she discovers a handsome self-made man, Ian, who is unlike any society bachelors she has ever encountered.

I love, love, love, the page time author Jen Turano gives to Ian and Izzie. Page after page, Ian and Izzie get to know one another and spend time together. It’s absolutely fantastic!  This book is definitely a love story, but also a mystery, historical fiction, and a comedy! i requested a copy of this book from NetGalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.

New From Tamera Alexander!

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with this pledge

 

This novel is exquisite storytelling and a must read for all historical fiction fans! Inspired by the real love letters between Captain Roland Jones Ward and Miss Elizabeth Clouston, Tamera Alexander tells a beautiful story of love and loss.  With This Pledge is taken from the pages of our country’s most turbulent time, the Civil War.

Miss Clouston, “Lizzie”,  is a governess for the Carnton family near Franklin, Tennessee.  Everything about Lizzie’s life is in turmoil.  Her heart hopes slavery will meet its end in this terrible war, while her fiance fights for the Confederacy.  The war arrives at her front door when the Carnton home is unexpectedly turned into a field hospital.  Among the wounded is Captain Roland Jones, a handsome Confederate soldier with whom Lizzie finds an unexpected attachment. As the story unfolds, Lizzie is forced to come to terms with who she loves and what her life will become once the war ends.

There is so much wonderful in this book.  Tamera Alexander tells a riveting love story against the back drop of a dark and grim time in our history.  Not only does she help us know the circumstances of the characters, but she also guides us through the two sides of the conflict.  It must have been a difficult task to write about such tumultuous period in history. She did such an amazing job of stepping into Lizzie’s and Roland’s shoes to allow us to see their life through their own eyes.

I never miss a new release from Tamera Alexander and you shouldn’t either!  With This Pledge is a must read for this year!  I know with great certainty that it will be on my Best of 2019 list! I requested a copy of this novel from NetGalley to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. NetGalley gives readers an opportunity to read books in advance of their release. Check them out at NetGalley.com!

Lady of a Thousand Treasures

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Lady of a Thousand Treasures

 

Reading Sandra Byrd’s A Lady of a Thousand Treasures was a much needed change of pace for me. It is a lovely Victorian Age historical filled with mystery, treasure, interesting history, and love. Many years ago I was an avid reader of all things Victoria Holt. Byrd’s novel reminds me so much of those lovely historical fiction books I read as teenager.

Both young and older readers will enjoy A Lady of a Thousand Treasures.  If I had to give it a rating for appropriateness for a younger audience, I would fall somewhere between G and PG. While there is a love story in to book, it’s mild and respectful. This lovely story is about an equally intelligent and beautiful Eleanor Sheffield. She is unique in that while she is associated with the upper crust of society, she is a woman who earns a living by evaluating antiquities. She learned her trade from her father and uncle. Early in the book, we learn that Eleanor must evaluate the worthiness of her former love interest, a baron’s son named Harry. Harry stands to inherit his father’s fortune of treasure if Eleanor finds him to be honorable and true.

While I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, there were a few chapters where I definitely had to push through. I would have enjoyed more page time spent with Eleanor and Harry together. However, I did enjoy getting to see a peak at their past as Eleanor flashed back throughout the story. I requested a copy of this book from its publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. This is the first time I have read a book by Sandra Byrd and I am happy to say I am excited to read her other titles.

Summer’s Best Surprise

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sons of blackbird mountain

 

This book was one of those books that made me sorry I gave other books five stars. I am flabbergasted by the amount of love I have for this book! It is such a great story!! I couldn’t get it to download onto my e-reader, so I literally read the entire thing on my tiny i-phone 6 with my Kindle app. There are not many books I would do that for outside of  a few long-standing favorites.  I am a long time reader of historical fiction and I cannot fathom how I have missed books by this amazing author. I am feel like I have found a new favorite author and I so excited to read her other titles.

What makes this book so special is the way Bischof brings you into the story immediately. I did not have to read two or three chapters to feel like I knew and loved the characters. The book flowed so well and from the beginning I found myself cheering on Aven in her journey to a new beginning. I loved the set up, the setting, and the other characters- especially Aven’s love interest,  He is not your typical hero and has a few obstacles to overcome. As soon as I read the last page, I knew I would read this book again. I highly recommend it!

I requested this book from the publisher because I love historical fiction. I was not compensated for reviewing this book and all opinions are my own.

A New Favorite!

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engraved on the heart

 

This book is such a good example of why you should read new authors! Tara Johnson wrote an outstanding debut novel with Engraved on the Heart. It has all the essential historical fiction components: an interesting historical subject, a strong heroine, love, and a dashing hero.

I read this book in giant chunks, staying up too late to get just a little bit further.  This novel centers around the beginning of the civil war and the work of the underground railroad. A young lady, Keziah Montgomery, is the daughter of a Confederate family in Savannah. She reunites with an old friend, Dr. Micah Greyson,  who shares her heart and her desire to help enslaved people escape to freedom. Keziah does all that she can to protect their secrets, including agreeing to marry a man of her father’s choosing.

There is nothing lacking in this first effort by Tara Jacobs. I can’t wait to read her next book that should be out next summer.  If it has been awhile since you tried a new author, this one is for you. I requested a copy of this book from the publisher because I love historical fiction. I was not required to give this book a positive review. All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated.

From the author of The Mountain Between Us!

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Send Down the Rain

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin was a risk I am so glad I took! This novel is far outside of my normal reading genre of historical fiction.  I chose to read it based on the fact that Martin is the author of The Mountain Between Us.  I enjoyed the turmoil and intense relationship between the characters in the movie and figured I would give this novel a try. Send Down the Rain did not disappoint!

The central character in Send Down the Rain is Joseph, Vietnam Vet who has spent most of his life in anguish.  He has lost everything including the love of his life. This story is riveting, fast-paced, action-packed, and a page turner! It is also centered on a life long unrequited love story.  If you are looking for a novel to hold your interest this summer, Send Down the Rain is your book! If you are in a reading slump (happens to the most devout book lover), this is your book!

I truly enjoyed Charles Martin’s new title Send Down the Rain. I requested a copy from BookLookBloggers in search of a new favorite author and I feel as though i was successful. I was not required to give this title a positive review. All opinions and enthusiasm are my own.

 

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

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hurrican season

 

“Weeks before landfall, the storm had begun as a puff of air, a gentle breeze that floated across Africa, picking up dust and dirt and red Saharan Heat. It coasted to the ocean were it spread out over the water like milk from an overturned bucket.”  Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton begins the same way, a gentle breeze. I loved so many things about this book: the setting, the building of the storm, the relationships, and an ending that feels like a beginning. Denton’s story of two sisters with different struggles and circumstances in the heat of summer and hurricane season makes for perfect beach reading.

Having experienced difficulty in having children without medical intervention, I could totally relate to Denton’s character Betsy Franklin. That being said, if you have recently been made aware of your own fertility issues, this book might need to wait a bit. Other than that, this book is an excellent read! I requested a copy of Hurricane Season from BookLookBloggers. This was a book I literally chose because of the amazing cover! I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way.

More Than Parenting Advice

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The Life Giving Parent

I love the heart behind this new book by Clay and Sally Clarkson. The Life Giving Parent  is not a step by step instruction book full of the do’s and don’ts of raising children. It is a philosophy of parenting children based on eight key principles derived from scripture. Reading this book was like getting the best parenting counseling session from a Godly couple who successfully raised children who love the Lord.

I enjoyed the chapter on Cultivating Your Child’s Character the most. This chapter is about your child’s “inner person,” their identity, personality, and capability. Clay describes their identity as who they are in God’s eyes, their personality as what they are like by God’s design, and their capability as what they can do with God’s help. Influencing their inner person develops and forms their character. It is so important for our children to know they are loved, redeemed, and created for a purpose. I love how Clay and Sally make a point to remind us that we are the most important influence our children have! Our own lives, how we live and walk out the Christian faith, is the greatest opportunity we have to develop our children’s character.

If you are an expectant parent, or a parent of children who are already half-grown, this book is for you.  I love and appreciate the wisdom of Clay and Sally Clarkson! I requested an advanced copy of  The Life Giving Parent from Tyndale publishing. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own.