Tuesday, November 25, 2014

THE STONES by Eleanor Gustafson

This is a novel on the life of King David.  The author gave a look at David's motives, emotions, the chaos in his life and his abilities.  She weaved a good believable story of a biblical person we know a lot about from reading the Bible.  This story is told through the person of Asaph, who was a Levite musician, which made it even more interesting.  It is a fictional account, with scriptural accuracy.  You get to see the behind-the-scenes look as to why people did the things they did.  There will be a giant being killed, wars and a lot of fighting men, temptations and deceit, and a man who experienced the unfailing love and forgiveness of his God.

Although I enjoyed reading this story of David and having history "come alive", I felt that David's passion and love for his God could have been more a part of his life than what was portrayed in this book.  David's dependence and worship of his God were what made him to be a man after God's own heart and although I know he was a person with faults and all, I felt his love for his Lord was not as strong in the story as I would have liked to have seen it.  That being said, I truly did enjoy reading this 593 page story which went by very quickly and which I would recommend to others to read and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ANGEL HARP by Michael Phillips

Marie Buchan, an amateur harpist, became a widow at age 34 and is now soon to be 40. She comes to the realization that life is passing her by and decides to follow a dream of hers all the way to the hills and coastal shores of Scotland.  But her longed for summer in Scotland will bring her more than she ever imagined.  The music of her harp will capture the attention of many in the small coastal village she finds herself settling into.  She will also find herself drawn into the lives of the local curate and the local duke and will find herself facing the truth about her life, her Lord and her love of two different men.  Be prepared to travel to Scotland and be drawn into the life of Marie Buchan and others in the quiet local village of Scotland.  You will feel the breeze blowing in from the shores of Scotland and feel yourself there enjoying walks through the fields, right along with Marie.

Michael Phillips, the author, it is said,  "has a unique style of interweaving expansive and thought-provoking spiritual themes with dramatic story lines, memorable characterization, and rich historical settings".  That pretty much sums up what he did here in "Angel Harp". Scotland is considered home for this author for a portion of the year and you can tell this in the reading of this story.  This was not a fast moving story and I had to give myself time to settle in and get the feel of this book, but once I did I had a hard time putting it down as I neared the end.    There is a sequel to this book, "Heather Song" and I look forward to reading it in the very near future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I liked the story line of this book.  A women, Trudie, approaching her 30th birthday is set up by her sister, Lane, on a blind date.  Lane decided not to date this man, Mason, because he was her financial adviser, so she sets him up with her sister.  Trudie has never tried to compete with her glamorous sister and has always been blunt and to the point with her life and with others.  But Mason and Trudie just seem to hit it off, even on their first date.  The chemistry between them just fit like a glove.  When Lane sees what a great guy Mason truly is, she lets her sister know her change of mind about the man and how she is in love with him after all.  Trudie, being the sister that she is, decides to step back and give Lane a chance to win Mason.  But Mason is a pretty smart man and sees through Trudie's backing off of her wanting to be with Mason.  Can they all find their heart's desire and still stay friends?

I liked Mason as a person.  He was very sincere, romantic and thought things through.  He didn't give up on Trudie, saw the best in her and helped her see her potential and "go for it".  He was also very sensitive to Lane and her feelings.  It was a "love triangle" and I enjoyed myself watching everything unfold and come to a satisfying conclusion.  This is one of my favorites in the "Love Finds You in . . . series".

Sunday, November 2, 2014

EVERY NOW AND THEN by Karen Kingsbury

A story of two people who lost someone they loved on 9/11, and how they each dealt with that loss.  Alex Brady lost his Dad, who was a New York fire fighter and who died in the Twin Towers.  He shut out all the people who cared about him, moved to California, and made it his goal to eliminate evil in the world and prevent tragedies like 9/11.

Holly was Alex's girlfriend when that fateful day happened, and although she tried hard to be patient and wait on Alex to handle his grief, Alex eventually sent her away and that relationship died.  Now Holly is in California working for Oak Canyon Estates and selling houses that are being built.  The problem is that an environmental terrorist group has targeted that sight, during the fire season, to make a statement and burn it to the ground.

This was a well written story that helped you see the struggles Alex was going through and kept you on the edge of your seat at times during a few harrowing action scenes.   I liked how the author helped us all to see "how Christ never intended for people to rid the world of all bad things, but for people to deal with the evil inside themselves".  I felt real peace for Alex when he realized what his Dad had lived all his life; "He believed that trouble was a certainty in this world, but he was not to worry because God had already conquered the evil in this world".

I will give a warning near the end of this story have some Kleenex handy, because if you are like me, you are going to need several of them.  This was part of a series, but you can easily read it as a stand alone.  It does touch base with people from the other two books, and it is always good to read about how people are doing from other stories.  It was a story I finished reading, but didn't forget about when I put the book down.  A story I will think about "every now and then".

Monday, October 27, 2014


Ruth Livingstone's life is suddenly changed when her father, Reverend Livingston,  places a young child in her care and sends her away from her home, to a small village in New Jersey.  She can tell no one her real name and must act as if the child is hers, until her father can be cleared of serious charges against him and the child's dead mother.

Ruth finds her new life hard for many reasons, but finds some solace tending a forgotten garden along the River.  Here she meets Jake Spencer, a man recovering from a serious fall (or so he says).  He also is in town hiding his identity so he can "get the scoop" on Ruth for the newspaper he works for.  Both have a lot they are hiding from each other and so their whole relationship is based on lies.  But love does begin to bloom.  Then the secrets come out and that tender blossoming love will see if it can stand the test of time.

I liked the story, but was a little confused throughout the story why Ruth's father did what he did with the child and with his daughter Ruth.  It will become clear near the end of the story.  It was not a fast paced, action packed, romance read, but a "slow and steady wins the race" kind of book.

Monday, October 20, 2014

BECOMING LUCY by Martha Rogers

A story that takes place in the Oklahoma Territory in the late 1800's.  It was a book that kept moving and always had something happening to keep your interest.  It begins with Lucinda Bishop, a young girl of 17 who loses her parents in an accident and finds herself leaving the well-to-do life in Boston and going to live with her Aunt and Uncle in Oklahoma.  She must adjust to her new surroundings, learn the joys and hardships of living on a ranch in the wild open countryside, and learn what it means to love and be loved.

Jake is a ranch hand who has a lot of things from his past he is hiding.  But his feelings for Lucinda and his new found faith in the Lord help him come to terms with his past and face the consequences for his wrongdoing.  Can they trust their God to work things out for good?  I think you all know the answer, but it is still enjoyable watching how everything works together.  I look forward to reading more in this series as I liked the way this author wrote and felt a part of the life on the Oklahoma Territory.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

AGAINST THE WIND by Bodie & Brock Thoene

I was taken back in time through this story and I found myself on a small boat trying to survive until help arrives.  It is a time of war, where Germany is attacking the British skies, London is being bombed and children are trying to be evacuated to America for safety.  I experienced sadness, hope, and wanting to endure this tragedy.

I liked the way the author kept taking you back in time and letting you read some of Elisa Lindheim Murphy's diary entries.  It helped you in a small way see how she got to where she was at the present in the story.  The people on this small boat, both young and old, you will come to know; some you will like and some you will want to throw overboard.  As it says on the back cover, "Zion Diaries ventures into the lives of the inspiring and intriguing characters who loved intensely, stood up for what was right, and fought boldly during Hitler's rise to power and the dark days of World War II".

This was a hard story to put down once I started, with an ending I wasn't expecting.  I will say no more, except I look forward to more in this series!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

OHIO BRIDES by Cara C. Putman

The three stories written in this one book all take place in the 1940s and are about the Miller family; their two girls and one son.  In book one Josie Miller has just married her sweetheart Art, and now they face the challenges of a new marriage, new job and new city.  It was a good look into how they faced the heartaches and joys that were set before them.  In the second story you find Mark Miller working on a secret project for the war and finding himself drawn to Evelyn Happ who is with the WAVES.  She finds herself working with Mark and they both work together as engineers to help the war effort.  They will battle their feelings for each other as they learn to trust each other.  In story #3 you will fall in love with the youngest Miller, Kat as she makes the All-American Girls Professional Softball League.  Kat will struggle to prove her worth as one of the youngest on the team and also to prove to reporter Jack Raymond that she is more than just a young girl who loves playing ball.

I enjoyed all three stories and getting to know the Miller family.  They were a family that had a love for the Lord and convictions that they lived by and it made a difference in their life.  Each story was different but all had a common thread and that was keeping God in the center of your life and waiting upon Him through difficult situations.  All three had a good love story built in and I enjoyed my time in Dayton, Ohio!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

AT THE SCENT OF WATER by Linda Nichols

I don't think I can adequately express what a great job this author did in telling a story.  As it says on the back of the book, "Two unimaginable tragedies . . . Two broken lives. . . .  that gives one a small clue as to what you can expect.  The title of the story, which comes from Job 14:7-9, also gives one a clue as to what to expect, "At least there is hope for a tree:. . . . Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet 'at the scent of water' it will bud and put forth shots like a plant."  This was a story filled with sorrow, heartache and pain, but through it all God was able to bring forth hope, joy and healing.  You will see Him directing the path and you will find hurting hearts healed.  I will definitely be reading more by this author.

This is a story of Samuel and Annie Truelove.  Samuel is a gifted heart surgeon who married the love of his life, Annie.  They had their home in the mountains of North Carolina and  were blessed with a little girl.  Tragedy will strike this family and deep sorrow will overtake them and they will run from each other and from their God.  But God is faithful and will send people and circumstances into their life to draw them unto Him and back to each other.  Be prepared to feel their sorrow and heartache and to shed some tears, but you will also see the hand of God at work and rejoice in how He works things out.

I will close with a poem you will read near the end of this story which if you never read this story you should at least read this poem,
 "My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me.
 I cannot choose the colors He works so steadily.
Oft times He weaves in sorrow, and I, in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.
The dark threads are as needed in the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles case to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why."

Thursday, September 25, 2014


This is book 3 in the "Postcards from Pullman Series".  Although I enjoyed reading this story, it didn't appeal to me as much as books 1 and 2 did.  I would definitely recommend reading these books in the order they were written, because they are a full story together and reading them separately you will miss too much background and information.  I do enjoy how much detail and attention to history this author provided for me as I read her stories.

It is 1894 in the city of Pullman, Illinois and the working class people at the Pullman Car Works are about to unite as a Union and go on strike.  Working wages and housing costs in the city of Pullman are not good and Mr. Pullman shows no signs of caring about the people who work for him, only about the money he is making for himself and his investors.  Fred DeVault and Olivia are still trying to find time for each other as Fred helps head up the strike and Olivia stays busy as assistant chef at the hotel there in Pullman.  Then there is also Lady Charlotte Spencer who finds herself heading back to America from England with her son, Morgan.  There is a lot of things happening during this story but the main emphasis is upon the strikers and the union and how is affects the whole country at times.

My heart goes out to the people that were living during this time in Pullman and Chicago.  Life was not easy for them; they took a risk and I will let you determine whether it was worth it or not.  The "romance" part of the book was not an obvious part of this story, but it just naturally flowed with the story as you saw people trying to live and make a living and at the same time fall in love during hard times.  The faith of some in a God who can work all things out will give hope and courage to those in despair.  This was a series I enjoyed; I felt I was learning the history of this time and place as I read, and getting to know how the people lived during this time.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


This is a series of books that I would strongly suggest you read in the order they were written.  Each story picks up where the previous leaves off and if you were to pick up book two, "Whispers Along the Rails", without reading book one, "In the Company of Secrets", you would not have the background of the characters to fully understand what is going on.  I enjoyed having book two pick right up with the story, and you will close the book wanting to pick up the next one to see what happens next because it kind of leaves you "hanging" at the end.  I also appreciate the covers on each of these stories as they do a good job of portraying the feel of the story.

In this story Olivia Mott finds herself as assistant chef and as an undercover worker for the Pullman Palace Car Company as she rides the rails and observes how the people employed for Pullman do their jobs.  She is VERY naive though as what she thinks are mere suggestions to improve the company, are really sinister ways of getting people fired.  At the same time her "friendship" with Fred seems to be at a standstill as there are too many situations both her and Fred seem to be misunderstanding.  I will say at times Olivia needs to not be so naive and start to put some things together in the town of Pullman.

You will also get to follow up on Lady Charlotte in this story and find her in Chicago.  She will have a lot of growing up to do, but as she finds herself under the wings of a dear Christian lady and employed at Marshall Field's department store you will see Charlotte's heart soften to the things of the gospel and her life change for the better.  She will still need to go back to Pullman though and figure out what happened to her baby she left behind.  I appreciated Charlotte a whole lot more in this story than I did in book one.  I look forward to seeing how the author brings it to a conclusion in book three, "An Uncertain Dream".

Although this is a work of fiction, I enjoyed how the author centered her story around a real town and a real company and the way life was back then.  There was a whole side of the Pullman Company and how it operated and handled their employees and the quality of work they expected that was very enlightening.

Monday, September 15, 2014


As it states in the front of this book, "Judith Miller is an author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels".  I was entertained and educated on the town of Pullman, Illinois.  My thinking was this series would take place on a Pullman train car (I didn't read what the story was about, but got this from the cover and the series title), and was surprised to discover that Mr. Pullman built a town around his production of his Pullman railroad cars.  I enjoyed learning about this town and was pleasantly surprised at the end of the book by that fact that the author encouraged her readers to visit this town.  I think I would like to do that next time I travel up near Chicago.

The Bible verse at the beginning of this story was aptly quoted, "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor.. . .".   I quickly discovered how much trouble one can get into by not telling the truth.  Olivia Mott didn't set out to lie, but she finds herself fleeing England and her job as an assistant cook to the Earl and Countess of Lanshire, and taking with her Lady Charlotte, their daughter.  Upon arriving in Pullman, IL she finds herself in real trouble with a deceptive job reference, a pregnant Lady Charlotte, and a story to go along with it all which is far from the truth.  She finds herself being sought after by a Pullman supervisor and a Pullman employee and although she only has eyes for one of them, she refuses to be honest with both of them.  Eventually her lies will be found out and then there will be consequences.

I liked the story line, the characters and the things I learned about the town.  I also liked the way it just naturally led itself into a sequel, book two, "Whispers Along the Rails".  It left you hanging a bit as to what will become of Olivia and made me want to pick up book two and begin reading.  There was a little bit of danger, adventure and romance and left me wanting more, which is a good fit for me.