Saturday, October 30, 2010

SIMPLE GIFTS by Lori Copeland

Marlene Queens was just suppose to go "back home" to Parnass Springs, Missouri, to get her late Aunt Beth's house ready to sell and settle her estate. Then she was going to get "out of town" before anyone found out the lie she has been living. Folks there think she is happily married to Noel and has a daughter and 2 grandkids. The lie is that Noel left her shortly after her daughter Sara was born for another woman and has since passed away. But Marlene is too proud to admit she made a mistake by marrying and leaving Parness Springs. But Marlene didn't know how much her Aunt Ingrid would need her, how the town's wanting to put a statue up in memory of her father would cause such problems and how her heart longed to stay and reunite with her childhood sweetheart, Vic. Can Marlene let go of her pride, confess her life was a lie and will God give her the future she was always wanted?
This story had alot of humor in it, alot of crazy days for Marlene with her Aunt Ingrid, alot of sorrow over remembering how she treated her Dad, and alot of yearning for someone she thinks she can never share a life with. It will take a major storm to bring Marlene and Vic together, but will it be too late by then?
I enjoyed reading this story.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WITHIN MY HEART by Tamera Alexander

This whole series of books, Timber Ridge Reflections, was great. I got to know and love the folks of Timber Ridge and Tamera does such a good job. Alot of times when I read a series one of the books may not be as good as the others, but in this series it would be very hard to pick which one I liked the best, cause they were all good. I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me a free copy for review, and thank Tamera for also sharing a little bit of herself in her books. I especially felt blessed to read "A Note From Tamera" at the end of book 3. I appreciated her thoughts on the 2 main characters, Rand and Rachel, when she said, "Rand and Rachel each took steps of faith into the life God was calling them to, though they couldn't see what that life would look like. Because, like us, if they could see, then it wouldn't be faith."
This story is about Rachel Boyd, who is struggling to maintain her late husband's dream of a ranch for her two young boys. She is a very stubborn woman, who has a hard time forgiving and forgetting and seeing the good in some folks. She also has a tender heart, easily hurt.
Dr. Rand Brookston is a great doctor and person, who has come West to make a difference in the healthcare of this small town. He has had an interest in Rachel for quite awhile, even though she has shown no interest in him. When they both are needed to help the life of a dear friend, they have choices they must make and their feelings for each other become quite apparent.
I had a range of emotions while reading this story and even had to get out the Kleenex box during a part in this book. The whole series has become a "favorite" in my book collection. (I also want to say the the person who had charge of selecting the covers for these stories did a awesome job!)
I would like to leave my review with a quote from the book that really meant alot to me, where Rachel is thinking back over hard circumstances in her life, it "didn't change the eternal truth that God was sovereign, that His provision was unfailing, and that His love was perfect." This story brought that truth home very well.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

BEYOND THIS MOMENT by Tamera Alexander

This is book 2 in the Timber Ridge Reflections series and I enjoyed it even more than I did book 1. It is a story of learning the hard way that the choices we make can and will effect more than just ourselves. A story of secrets, of prejudices, of love and of forgiveness.
Dr. Molly Whitcomb, a professor at college, finds herself being dismissed from her school because of a bad choice and finding herself taking a position as a teacher in the Colorado Territory at Timber Ridge. She is with child and no husband, so she tries to hide her disgrace by putting a ring on her finger and saying her husband has died. Sheriff James McPherson has a feeling things are not quite as they seem when she first gets to town, but he can't figure out what Molly Whitcomb is hiding. He also can't stop his growing feelings for her. The problem is, when he finds out the truth, what will that do to the love that is building between both of them?
Tamera Alexander does a great job of making the characters seem real and helping you understanding the thoughts and standards of that time for a woman like Dr. Molly Whitcomb. She also had the heart of the story in "A NOTE FROM TAMERA" at the end of her book. She said, "Some decisions, once made, have unavoidable consequences that cannot be removed, much like Molly's. However, even in those darkest of times, when we feel the overwhelming weight of our sin, God is always - always - yearning to forgive. He's not simply willing to forgive, mind you, He's eager to extend pardon."
This is a story well worth reading. You can easily read this as a stand alone, but reading book one first will help you understand the characters that much more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FROM A DISTANCE by Tamera Alexander

Tamera Alexander does such a good job of making you understand and appreciate the time and place in history you are reading about; the beauty of the "west" and the difficulties of living in the 1870s (and especially being a photographer). A well written and enjoyable story.
This is a story of Elizabeth Westbrook who travels to Colorado to capture in pictures the mountains near Timber Ridge. The fact that she is trying to win her place as a photographer for the Washington Daily Chronicle and that she is the daughter a well known politician, isn't something she wants the folks of Timber Ridge to know. Daniel Ranslett is a man who wants to be left alone as he lives in the Colorado mountains and tries to come to terms with his past and the part he played as a Confederate sharpshooter in the war. When Daniel shoots down the animal that Elizabeth is taking a picture of, things don't exactly get off to a good start. And when Elizabeth and her assistant Josiah have to leave town quickly, it's Daniel that must lead them on an adventure to photograph the Mesa Verde. The more these two are around each other the more each of them learns to appreciate the others strengths and weaknesses.
I think the author summed up this story when she writes "God loved her (Elizabeth) enough to intervene in her dream - to shatter it, to shatter her - only so He could put her back together and give her an even bigger, better dram. His dream for her life."
I am looking forward to book 2 and 3 in this series!

Friday, October 15, 2010

CODE TRIAGE by Candace Calvert

Another good drama story in the Mercy Hospital Series. This story is about Dr. Leigh Stathos and her dedicated police officer husband Nick Stathos. Nick has messed up on his marriage and Leigh can't seem to forgive him or trust him, which is why they are separated and divorce is just around the corner. There is ER trauma, confrontation with the "other woman", violence at the hospital that will lead to a killing, and through it all Nick trying to get Leigh to understand he still loves her and wants to make their marriage work. Leigh has problems though in believing that anything lasts forever, She can't except God's love is forever, and their marriage won't last forever either. She can't trust God, or Nick. Until she can understand God's love, she will never be able to except Nick's. I appreciated the struggles both individuals were going through, and in the end they both chose to do things God's way. As it was for all 3 of her books, Candace Calvert knows how to write stories that keep you glued to the book till the end!
I would also like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I have appreciated reading this Canadian West series. Book 4 continues with the journey of Elizabeth and Wynn. Wynn and Elizabeth find themselves being moved to a different outpost by the Canadian Mounted Police. Although Elizabeth hates to leave her new friends where they have been living, she is ready and willing to follow Wynn wherever his job sends him. What she wasn't expecting though was a smaller cabin, folks who wanted nothing to do with her, and no one who spoke her language. It took a tragic fire for things to turn around for Elizabeth and the village and then the Lord has other plans for them. Time after time you see the Lord working out the perfect plan for the Delaneys as they wait upon Him. It isn't always their plan, but they see how the Lord worked everything out for their good.
These are easy books to read and quite enjoyable.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


This book (3rd in the series) picks up literally the same day that book 2 finishes. I am enjoying reading this series, but liked books 1 & 2 better than 3. It continues the story of Elizabeth and Wynn facing hardships, but enduring. Elizabeth is able to start a school, begins to deepen her friendships and get to know the people better, but struggles with their inability to have children. Then Wynn is presented with a new posting at another village. Can God carry them through their deep struggles?
I think the story of this book can be summarized very well by a few sentences taken from the author in this book. Elizabeth's thoughts: "I knew that in orer to have peace with God one must meet His conditions. The first thing I had to do was to confess my sin. In this case it was my bitterness and resentment. I was angry with God. . . "
"What I did know was that God was in charge of my life. He was my sovereign God. He knew what was good for me, and I needed to understand that in His great love for me, He would comfort and sustain me. . . . "

Friday, October 8, 2010

WHEN COMES the SPRING by Janette Oke

This was book 2 in the series and you really need to read book one first, because book 2 starts right up where the first book leaves off. This story finds Elizabeth beginning her life with Wynn, but where they are sent by the North West Mounted Police leaves alot to be desired. Elizabeth must learn how to live simply where no other white women live and to learn to handle the long and cruel winters. Can their love for each other endure through the harsh conditions, the loneliness and the daily hardships of life?
I enjoyed reading of Elizabeth's life, and really came to appreciate her new friend Mrs. McLain. When she comes to understand how all the Bible stories she has been reading are true, it was just a precious and well written moment. I always appreciate it when the author explains the gospel plan in her books. Looking forward to book 3.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Elizabeth Thatcher is a city girl from Toronto. She finds herself agreeing to teach in a new frontier town in Alberta to please her mother and become better acquainted with her half-brother Jonathan and his family. Elizabeth is somewhat reluctant and not sure what to expect, but soon finds herself quickly learning to love her new family and the students she teaches in a small one-room school all by herself. Enter Wynn, a handsome and loyal member of the North West Mounted Police. Elizabeth is determined not to be matched up with anyone and Wynn is determined that his job is too demanding to ever be able to marry. Elizabeth begins to have feelings for Wynn, but can't get Wynn to respond. It will take a drastic move to get him to admit his love.
I haven't read any of Janette Oke's books for quite a few years, but enjoyed her writing style once again in this story. It was an easy read, and made me want to begin the next book in this series to find out what happens next!