The Movement of Rings

Keels, Nadine C. The Movement of Rings: The Movement of Crowns- Book 2. Smashwords. 2013.

themovementofrings

SUMMARY:
As a servant to King Aud of Mundayne, spirited maid Naona finds herself entrusted with his signet ring. Torn between staying loyal to the royal family or the Princess of Diachona, Naona must also consider her own future. Hoping to not end up alone yet ashamed of her past, Naona finds herself needing to face her own inner strife while doing what is right for the people. Told from a different perspective than that of Book 1, The Movement of Crowns, author Nadine Keels sweeps readers away into a world of fantasy, romance, secrets, strength, courage and faith…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though I liked Book 1 of the Movement of Crowns series, I really liked Book 2. Not quite sure why I preferred it, I was drawn to it from the first page and didn’t stop until I finished. Written as completely as a full novel, surprisingly, it is actually a novella. With fully developed characters, a bit of sass and spirit, faith woven within, and turmoil mixed throughout, The Movement of Rings is an outstanding sequel.  Word choices, content, and characters definitely work well together for this second trip into fantasy. Remarkably, I am looking forward to Book 3, The Movement of Kings. (Nadine, you may just change my perspective on the fantasy genre yet!)

RATING:
4.75 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Movement of Rings from the author for my honest review*

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Divine Collision

Gash, Jim. Divine Collision: An African Boy, An American Lawyer, and Their Remarkable Battle for Freedom. Franklin, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2015.
divinecollision

SUMMARY:
Owing his experience to the author of Love Does, Bob Goff, American lawyer Jim Gash felt moved to act upon the whispers of his heart. In a far away country, locked in a perilous jail for murders he did not commit, Henry could only hope and pray to God. As two unlikely men become allies in their determination to change the justice system in Uganda for hundreds of people, the chance meeting can only be referred to as a divine collision of the highest kind…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Already a fan of the book, Love Does, this example of the tremendous outcome of loving others is exemplary. Not being able to ignore that tug on his heart, author and lawyer Jim Gash changed the world for literally hundreds of people…that is powerful stuff. Written in such a way that elicits strong emotional feelings, this book also reads like a thriller full of suspense, beauty and results. Ideal as a major film, sermon series or perhaps even the basis for a Bible study, readers will realize the difference that can be made in lives by actions. I absolutely recommend this book.

“Saving one person may not change the world, but for that one person, the world will change forever.”

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Divine Collision from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

Before I Forget

Gasby, Dan & Smith, B. With Shnayerson, Michael. Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, And Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s. USA: Harmony Books. 2016.
beforeiforget

SUMMARY:
Through a dismantling yet learning and loving journey of Alzheimer’s, restaurateur, model, celebrity chef and business owner Barbara Smith and her husband, Dan Gasby, share their thoughts, experiences, emotions and life traveling through Alzheimer’s course. With honesty, heartbreak, strength, courage and elegance, this team have decided to be advocates for those struggling with Alzheimer’s, both patient and caregiver. With points of view from each stance, each chapter ends with lessons learned about Alzheimer’s pertaining to stages, coping mechanisms, symptoms, care, and medications. With a beautiful cover and appropriate title, Before I Forget shares the necessity of research surrounding this diminishing disease.

SUMMARY:
Reading and finishing this book the same I received it, Before I Forget had a profound effect on me. Full of emotions yet factually based, it was so well written, just absorbing. Learning even more about Alzheimer’s as well as realizing almost every family will be affected in some way by Alzheimer’s, I cannot recommend this book enough. I absolutely loved the front cover picture and the personal story within as well as commend the authors for sharing their story as advocates making a difference…thank-you from the heart.

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Before I Forget from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Where She Belongs

Alexander, Johnnie. Where She Belongs: Misty Willow Series- Book 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.
whereshebelongs

SUMMARY:
Following the untimely death of her husband, Shelby Kincaid decides to move with her two young daughters back to her childhood home of Ohio. Strapped with the homestead property Shelby Kincaid hopes to buy, AJ Sullivan has let the house fall into disrepair. With family secrets tucked away, lessons to be learned and a home to be revitalized, Shelby and AJ may just find that their hearts have intentions of their own…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Always on the lookout for new authors, I have found one with Johnnie Alexander. Even better, starting a new series (Misty Willow) from the beginning and wanting to continue. More than just romance, a few surprises, secrets, turns and lessons of happiness mingle with faith, a good storyline and fun characters to create a well-rounded, enjoyable novel. With an excerpt from the next book due in fall of 2016, this is definitely a series I recommend and plan to follow.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Where She Belongs from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

My Life As An Amish Wife

Yoder, Lena. My Life As An Amish Wife: A Diary. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2015.

Mylifeasanamishwife

SUMMARY:
Sharing her personal life through her diary, author Lena Yoder was born and raised Amish. Hoping to debunk and demystify the socially portrayed and believed way of Amish life, she relates through her own journaling what to truly expect. Working on the family farm, raising several children, enduring hardships while creating memories, My Life As An Amish Wife shows straight-forwardly how many of the Amish actually live their lives. Through the many seasons, joys and sorrows, losses and gains, Amish life is simple yet full…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With an interest in the Amish way of life as well as brief experiences visiting an Amish area, this book seemed like a good match. Chronicling several years, the author told of many parts of her life, some happy, others sad, many just recounts. Well written yet perhaps a bit repetitious, it was easy to see the simpler way of life, the strong faith, the hard days of work, and the love for her family. Definitely a good choice for anyone interested in the true Amish.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of My Life As An Amish Wife from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

The Feathered Bone

Cantrell, Julie. The Feathered Bone. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 2016.

thefeatheredbone

SUMMARY:
Accompanying her daughter’s class on a fieldtrip to the Big Easy (New Orleans) during Halloween, Amanda Salassi is on edge. With costumed people, various vendors, a heavy rainstorm and strange acquaintances, the chaperones keep the 12 year-olds close. While responsible for a group of the children, her daughter’s best friend disappears. Coping with the guilt, grief, anxiety and chaos, Amanda must face many challenges in her life as it quickly unravels. In her personal midst of tragedy, shock and affliction, Amanda must learn to lean not on her own guidance but that of her friends, her faith and her strength…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Not sure I would have read this book if I had truly known what it all entailed, I am certainly glad I gave it a chance. With very strong emotions generated, from gut-wrenching to redemption, this contemporary novel stuck with me several days after finishing it. Written in a clever, effective manner, the intended messages and lessons did not miss their mark. Perhaps the most inspiring moment was the meaning of the title; something I had never considered before reading this novel. As a New York Times best-selling author, Julie Cantrell shares her inspirations and reasons for writing this book,  items that have a chance to lead people to faith, grace and courage. (Caution- due to thematic subjects, this book may not be appropriate for younger audiences.)

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Feathered Bone from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Raising Uncommon Kids

Cone, Sami. Raising Uncommon Kids: 12 Biblical Traits You Need To Raise Selfless Kids. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books Publishing. 2016.

raisinguncommonkids

SUMMARY:
Growing up in a different world today due to social networks, advanced technology and a general shift in priorities, Raising Uncommon Kids tackles those differences. Reminding parents that children are sponges and watch/ listen to our every word (except when supposed to be listening and paying attention…LOL), author, radio host and TV correspondent, Sami Cone, provides personal stories, Biblical characters, do-able actions, and lots of support and encouragement in modeling selfless, honest, respectable and responsible behavior for our children. Love, gentleness, harmony, forgiveness, patience, and kindness are some of the traits addressed, ultimately, focusing on adding good behaviors rather than eliminating the bad.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
So easy to read, so full of encouragement, and so full of positive ideas, I thought this book was well written with today’s parents in mind. Perfect as a gift for new parents, a moms’ ministry or Bible study, I highly recommend this book.  As a totally new generation of parents takes the reins of raising children, different ways of nurturing children may take place; however, essentially the main goal should be the same…Biblical morals, selfless attitudes and compassionate values. An excellent resource!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Raising Uncommon Kids from Baker Books for my honest review*

Thin Ice

Hannon, Irene. Thin Ice: Men of Valor Series-Book 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

thinice

SUMMARY:
As if losing her parents recently in a tragic car crash wasn’t enough, Christy Reed now finds herself dealing with the death of her sister, Ginny, in a house fire. While grieving, Christy receives a letter in the mail in her sister’s handwriting. Determined to find the truth concerning her sister, Christy works with FBI Special Agent, Lance McGregor. While searching for answers, Christy and Lance may discover more than they anticipated while their hearts reveal more as well…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As the second book in the Men of Valor series, I have to admit I enjoyed it more than expected. Not usually my top genre pick, the suspense mixed with romance worked very well. Perhaps aimed towards the adult audience (rather than YA) due to the criminal theme, I was certainly glad of the spiritual aspect included. As three brothers formerly involved with the military and now immersed in civilian life, it is definitely a current, contemporary novel. A fast, hard-to-put-down read, author Irene Hannon is truly a fantastic writer. Stunning cover!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Thin Ice from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Undaunted Hope

Hedlund, Jody. Undaunted Hope: Beacons of Hope- Book 3. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

undauntedhope

SUMMARY:
Hoping to leave her past behind, Tessa Taylor travels to Eagle Harbor, Michigan, to accept a teaching position. As a mining town, Tessa learns the hardships lived by both adults and children alike. Expecting a male teacher, chief mine clerk and self-appointed town supervisor, Percival Updegraff, is hesitant yet interested in the new young teacher much to Tessa’s dismay. However, much to her unexpected surprise, brothers Alex and Michael Bjorklund, keepers of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, begin a brotherly contest to win her affection. Lurking in the corner though may be danger she just might not be able to escape…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read and enjoyed the previous two books in the Beacons of Hope series, I knew Undaunted Hope would definitely be on my to-be-read list. An amazing author, a historically romantic novel, and an engaging storyline make for an excellent book. Being very familiar with the area in Eagle Harbor makes this novel even more perfect for me. Humor, suspense, romance, history and faith all mingle together in one of my now favorite books. Beautiful cover, too!

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Undaunted Hope from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

The Imitation of Christ

Watkins, James N. Kempis, Thomas A. The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions In Today’s Language. Franklin, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2015.

imitationofChrist

SUMMARY:
As a classic devotion read by many for the past 500 years, author James Watkins updates the original in his compilation, The Imitation of Christ. Modernizing the language and text which was originally written in Latin yet staying true to the meaning and intent, this classic rendering is sure to be available for many more years to even more readers. Part imitation Christ, part imitating Christ’s character, the included 90 devotions includes scripture passages, contemporary words, and section headings. Bringing a classic into the present and making it accessible to future generations, The Imitation of Christ claims to have been read second only to the Bible…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With a humble and faith-filled introduction to his new book, the author shares the impact of this book on his life. Due to that strong impact, he decided to compile and edit into today’s language, that very book. With a beautiful cover, a more compact size, an updated and useable set-up, and true to the meaning focus, The Imitation of Christ is a wonderful devotional book. By no means a quick read, the included devotions are thought-provoking, gentle, soul-stirring and life changing. Appearing to take little credit for his accomplishment, the author absolutely deserves credit for the positive influence on today’s era.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Imitation of Christ from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*