Jesus Always

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Young, Sarah. Jesus Always: Embracing Joy In His Presence- 365 Devotions. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2016.

SUMMARY:
Filled with 365 page-length devotions including completely written-out referenced scripture verses, Jesus Always is a larger beautiful edition encased in a soft imitation brown leather. Written from a first-person perspective, each devotion reads as if Jesus is speaking directly with you. Worthy of gift-giving, a silk pink ribbon accompanies this new release from popular author, Sarah Young.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Always having heard of this author and her very successful series of devotionals, I was eager to read one for myself. Available as a deluxe edition in an elegant cover jacket, the book opens flat with an easily read font and graceful borders. Enjoying the personal devotions and the included scripture verses, I would be proud to give this devotion as a gift (or keeping it for my own use). Looking for my new devotional for next year has now been checked off my to-do-list and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of Jesus Always from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

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An Amish Christmas Love

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Wiseman, Beth. Clipston, Amy. Reid, Ruth. Irvin, Kelly. An Amish Christmas Love: Four Novellas. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Containing four Christmas novellas (Winter Kisses, The Christmas Cat, Snow Angels, and Home for Christmas), the new collection in An Amish Christmas Love is written by several successful Amish authors. Filled with stories surrounding Christmas, each well- developed short story is similar yet unique. Heart-warming, faith-filled and Christmas-themed, these Amish genre novellas are sure to help celebrate the Christmas season.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Already enjoying the four authors’ writing in this new Christmas compilation, I knew it would be a perfect addition to my Christmas seasonal books. Liking to read these special stories around the Christmas time, I truly enjoyed this collection. Though all were good, I especially connected with The Christmas Cat due to the subject and author. Quick to read yet filled with the Christmas message, An Amish Christmas Love is meant to be shared. Perfect for a library or personal collection, you cannot help but be warmed.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of An Amish Christmas Love from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Carve

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Abrantes, Melanie. Carve: A Simple Guide To Whittling. New York, USA: Clarkson Potter/ Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Beginning with the toolbox and filled with tips and techniques, Carve shares the journey from wood to utensil. With projects rated from beginner to advanced, professional woodworker and author Melanie Abrantes includes the necessary ingredients, nicely explained directions, and personal tips for each design. Accompanied by photographs of each step as well as the finished product, maintenance and templates are also included.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As an art spanning many decades, whittling can be done most anywhere. This beautiful little book takes the ancient front- porch art and gives it a modern twist. Easy to understand yet producing impressive results, both the book and the resulting objects would make a welcomed gift. I not only liked the design of the book but the safety factor, wood choice explanations and contemporary turn. Even my husband was intrigued and packed the book in with our camping gear for next year around the campfire. Definitely a book to share!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

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

Perennials

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Cantrell, Julie. Perennials. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Haunted by a fire that happened years ago, Lovey (Eva) leaves town, far away from her bitter sister, Bitsy (Elizabeth). Living her own life while dealing with guilt, disappointment, anger and loss over the shed fire, Lovey is called back home to help plan her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Chancing a visit home though it may mean facing the pain from the event all those years ago, Lovey must make decisions which could change her life forever.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With an absolutely beautiful cover and a very appropriately named title, New York Times bestselling author, Julie Cantrell, centers her newest novel around perennials. Even with an inspiring and creative topic, unfortunately, I had trouble really connecting with this novel which surprised me.  Truly liking her previous books, I am not sure if it was the story or me personally that just couldn’t merge with the story this time. Struggling to finish with a few reservations along the way, I will definitely read this author again while hoping for a different reaction.

RATING:
3.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Perennials from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Church of the Small Things

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Shankle, Melanie. Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
New York Times bestselling author and blogger at The Big Mama Blog, Melanie Shankle in her new book, Church of the Small Things, shares her personal little moments that add up to so much more. Wondering if those small things really matter, she tackles the tough questions while she journeys to a more content place in life. Taking the time to ponder and enjoy, in her witty and honest manner and style of writing, Melanie reveals her experiences growing up which shaped her while offering hope, encouragement and a deeper message.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
While expecting something a bit different from this book due to the title, I was not at all disappointed to find the message portrayed within. Nodding my head in agreement so many times while laughing out loud, there were also some heart-aching moments sprinkled throughout. With her usual humor, Melanie Shankle writes an easy to read, relatable and uplifting book that caused me to stop, smile and enjoy the small moments that contribute to my overall busy life. A truly down-to-earth, faith-filled book from a favorite author, I knew I would enjoy this book having read her previous books. Definitely a book I will recommend and reread as the depth intermingles beautifully with the funny.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Church of the Small Things from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*