Category Archives: Clean

Life After by Katie Ganshert

Publication Date: April 2017

Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

“Bad things happen all the time, all over the world. And we believe in God’s goodness. We believe He is good. We say He is good. Until the bad things turn personal. That’s when we start to question.”

-Grandma Ally, the Sunday after 9/11, on our way home from church         

Autumn Manning lives in a world of her own since the accident. She struggles perpetually with the question of why. Why did she get on that particular train? Why did she survive? Why did her life get intertwined with that of Vivian Elliott? Even a year later the whys are endless in Autumn’s mind.

This deeply emotional and poignant tale shares the story of Autumn’s recovery and her involvement with the Elliott family. As Reese Elliott, the twelve-year-old daughter of Vivian and Paul Elliott, struggles to find a way to grieve the death of her mother. Her path to recovery from the traumatic loss of her mom leads her to inadvertently draw Autumn into the family’s personal turmoil.

A haunting and emotional story! The characters have depth and personality, each unique and slightly broken in their own way. The book draws the reader in from the beginning and it’s hard to put down. This is a serious read that deals with deep subjects such as why bad things happen to some people and not others and how God comforts us in different ways and in his own time. I very much enjoyed the book. The ending leaves the reader with a feeling of possibility and hopefulness. I would definitely recommend the book to readers of Christian fiction and contemporary fiction.

I received this book free from Netgalley and Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

Series: Double S Ranch Series

Publication Date: May 2016

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com

 

 

Once again Ruth Logan Herne takes us back to the Double S Ranch owned by the Stafford family in a lush green valley of Washington. The last of the Stafford brothers, Trey Walker Stafford, takes a break from his flourishing career as a country and western star and comes home for an extended stay. Trey doesn’t even make it to the ranch before creating turmoil with the nearest neighbor, Lucy Carlton, a struggling single mom raising four children.

The story includes the entire family from the first two novels. The large, all encompassing family is busy shifting with the changes that are underway in their lives. Weddings are being planned; houses are being built; and illness is being dealt with. All around them, the cycle of ranch life continues as they work to rebuild their town as well.

As change swirls all around them, they must remember to trust in the Lord for the answer to each of their prayers. The real story revolves around Trey and Lucy and whether two people from such diverse walks of life can find a place to meet in the middle. Once again the author does a great job of incorporating faith and the balance of life into the book.  Readers of contemporary inspirational fiction will enjoy this family saga.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Ruth Logan Herne Author Page

 

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True to You by Becky Wade

Series: A Bradford Sisters Romance

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy: Netgalley.com & Bethany House Publishers

“What I’ve learned,” she said slowly, thinking back to the loss of her mother and her broken engagement, “is that the past might be challenging and the future might be unsure. And that’s okay. The present is all we’re given, anyway. When we get to the future, God will there. He’ll supply whatever we need for each day.”

-Nora Bradford

 An interesting mismatched pair is at the center of bestselling author Becky Wade’s latest novel, True to You, set in Merryweather Historical Village in Washington. John Lawson, an impressive, good-looking ex-Navy SEAL, and Nora Bradford, an attractive, rather bookish young woman, meet under unusual circumstances. Nora and John both have complications to deal with before they can begin to think about acting on their initial attraction.

Meanwhile, Nora’s two sisters, Willow and Britt, make plans for her; John hires Nora for a research job; and John finds himself more attracted to Nora every day. As changes comes to each of their lives, John and Nora struggle to uncover the truth, maintain their faith, and live the life God has given them.

The book is an poignant story full of family, drama, and romance. The characters are fun, yet have depth and personality. The plot takes some unusual twists as the story develops.

I loved the book. A wonderful read for people that enjoy romance, family drama, and faith inspired fiction! We have two more books to come in the series. Anxiously waiting on the second now!

This copy was received from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Website and social media links:

www.beckywade.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorbeckywade

Twitter: http://twitter.com/beckywadewriter

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5298259.Becky_Wade

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/beckywadewriter/

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The Hideaway by Lauren Denton

Coming in April! New Author!

denton-lauren-the-hideaway

Publication Date: April 2017

Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson, division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing

 

“I’d sit along the edge of the water and imagine what it would have been like if things had turned out differently.”       

Narrated with the alternating stories of Sara, an aggressive young business owner living in New Orleans, and Mags, her 72 year old grandmother living and running The Hideaway, a backwater bed and breakfast in Sweet Bay, Alabama that is home to an eccentric group of older folks. Margaret Van Buren, Mags, to her friends wandered into the unusual bed and breakfast in 1960 and took it over after the owner left the area a few months later. Mags’ life had its complications over the years and as a result, she displayed a quirkiness that greatly embarrassed her granddaughter Sara.

The tale unfolds with the death of Mags and the inheritance by Sara of The Hideaway. The back story of Mags’ life is pieced together by Sara as she begins to make decisions about her inheritance. Sara’s life takes on greater meaning as she discovers a grandmother she never really knew.

The cast of characters in this story is entertaining and enlightening. I enjoyed the book and the lessons learned along the way by Sara. The moral of the story to me was that everything happens for a reason. We do not have to always understand the why. The novel has some mystery to it in the back story, some romance for all ages, and just a good story of family and all the love and difficulties that come with it.

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

 

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A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

hauck-rachel-a-royal-christmas-wedding

 

Series:  The Royal Wedding Series

Publication Date: 2016

Publisher: Zondervan and the Fiction Guild

 

 

“You’re redeeming the curse of Prince Michael, bringing the tradition back to life.”

                                                                        -Edward Tattersall

There is nothing like a good Christmas book filled with a real live prince, a beautiful young American woman, and a bell ringing tradition to spice up one’s holiday season. An entertaining read sprinkled with fairy tale romance, Christmas balls, and a Royal family!

After being dumped by Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom five years previously, Avery Truitt is hesitant to encounter the young man again. However, in order to see her favorite sister, Avery must endure the company of Prince Colin during the holidays.

The story follows Prince Colin as he learns to stand up for himself and act on the wishes of a power higher than himself and his rather overbearing father.  Avery reaches deep to find the faith and trust she will need to change her world and to truly believe in Colin again.  Will Avery show up on Christmas morning after the bell rings?

A fun and engaging story! Perfect holiday reading!

This ARC copy was received from Zondervan and the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

fisher-suzanne-woods

Series: The Bishop’s Family Series

Publication Date: Oct 2016

Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

 

“Watch and wait for God’s timing. You’ll know it when it comes.” 

-Dok

Ruthie Stoltzfus, a lively 17 year old Amish girl, is restless and can’t decide what she really wants to do with her life. Being Amish is a crucial part of her life, but the need for more than the Amish life is driving her in a different direction. To add to her confusion, Patrick Kelly, a quiet, intelligent young man from Canada, arrives for an extended stay at the Inn at Eagle Hill interested in becoming Amish.

Our story revolves around Ruthie, Patrick, and Luke Schrock, a 17 year old Amish boy who has been Ruthie’s on again and off again close friend since grade school. Of course, we also have the people of Stoney Ridge and their everyday lives making things interesting, mysterious deaths at the Inn, unexpected illness, and the odd romance here and there.

The book is an interesting read with undertones of faith, second chances, and finding ourselves where we are instead of always searching elsewhere. Ruthie’s restlessness and Patrick’s quest each lead them to come to the realization that the alternative to their current situation is not always the better one. The story is a pleasant read with a clear path to additional stories in the series. I especially enjoyed the bits of wisdom sprinkled throughout the story.

I received this copy from NetGalley.com and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for a fair review. The opinions and statements above are my own.

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Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund

hedlund-jody-newton-and-polly

Publication Date: September 2016

Publisher: Waterbrook and Multnomah, a division of Penguin Random House

 

 

 

“If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity befalls you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing.”

-William Law from A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

Jody Hedlund once again weaves a story around a very real historical man named John Newton, adventurer and philanderer and his wife-to-be, Polly Catlett, a devout and beautiful young woman raised in an upright manner. John meets Polly when he becomes late and is forced to stop at a distant cousin’s home one evening on his way back to the coast. John is an irresponsible person with no real sense of ambition when he initially meets Polly.

The story deals primarily with John Newton’s life after meeting Polly. Their story is one of Polly’s loves of music, hymns, and education and John’s struggle to become a person that deserves a girl like Polly. The characters in the novel, particularly John, undergo transformations as they mature and undergo life altering circumstances. From deckhand to writer of one of the most beloved hymns of all time, Amazing Grace, John grows and develops into a devout, Christian man. As a young man John tended to make the same mistakes over and over before he finally learning some valuable lessons. One of these lessons was the quote at the beginning of the review. This becomes one of his life mantras by which he learns to live.

The message carried throughout the storyline is that God loves us absolutely regardless of what we do and how we behave. The story also carries the underlying theme of the prodigal son, acceptance and forgiveness. This book will appeal to serious readers of Christian fiction and inspirational historical fiction. The story starts out a little slow, but gains momentum as it progresses. I liked the book and very much enjoyed the historical notes and details at the end of the novel.

 This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook and Multnomah and Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 4/5

 

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