Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bethany House Reviews

The is nothing I like better than to curl up with some books in one fashion or another. I enjoy stalking my mailbox when I know there will be books arriving.  As I’m sure I have mentioned that in the past. And I bet you’re sitting there rolling your eyes and thinking “Good God woman - where is the quilting?” But if you look at the top of of my blog page, you might have noticed that I give fair warning by the statement “Quilter by Day and Book Lover by Night”. So having said that, you guessed it; another book review posting. 

I told you some weeks ago that I was reading “Finding Me” by Kathryn Cushman. This book is from Bethany House: a division of the Baker Publishing Group.


A Contemporary Drama of Family Lies and Forgotten Loves. 
After her father and stepmother's accidental death, Kelli Huddleston sorts through their belongings and learns a shocking secret. Years before, her father faked his death during a boat wreck at sea--and faked Kelli's as well. He'd run from a wife, a son, and a daughter back in Tennessee, meaning Kelli has a family she's never known.
She's already cashed the payout on her dad's life insurance check and looks at it as her ticket to a new life. The lure and puzzle of digging into this hidden past is too much to resist, and she soon finds herself in Tennessee. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are threatened, Kelli must make an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

What do you do when you find out everything you knew was a lie?  

Kelli makes a startling discover that has her reeling in a whirlwind of emotions as she makes her way through a journey of self-discovery as she begins to look for the truth about her family after the death of her Father & Step-Mother.  We follow her half way across the continent, from California to a little dot of the map called Shoal Creek, Tennessee.  Things are not what they seem on the outside. How nerve-racking it becomes for her.

We follow her half way across the continent from California to a little place called Shoal Creek, Tennessee. This book might have you doing a bit of soul searching as you read it.  I have to say that it had my thinking beyond on the normal amount that most books have on me.  It in it’s own way; would sneak back to the front of my mind long after I finished the book.  It can be intense at times and you could find yourself either relating with Kelli or know someone you how’s name pops in your head as you go further into the book.  

Kathryn’s characters are very relatable and for a Christian book, she doesn’t make it feel like you are getting thumped over the head with a 5” Bible. The story was smoothly written that allows for a pleasant reading pace and it is a “clean read” that even young adults would find interesting too.  In the back is a section for “questions for conversation”  that would be helpful at opening up dialogs across many different types group also.  

Over all I would give this a 4 out of 5 stars.

Please beware that I received this ARC from Bethany House in exchange of my honest opinions.  My words have no effects on the making of this book in any fashion.

Okay so now we have another book that I received from Bethany House.  

A Love Like Ours (Porter Family, #3)

Becky Wade Is the New Name to Know in Contemporary Romance
Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

This comes from the author Becky Wade. “A Love Like Ours” is book #3 in “The Porter Family Novels” but is capable of standing on it’s own. Which it did my case and I don’t feel like I was missing too much of the back story.  There is nothing worse than picking up a book to find out I’m missing some of the references made by the author.  

Becky has you looking at the story from both Jack’s and Lydie’s point of view. In the begin we get a sneak peek of Jake and Lyndie at a young age.  Then we come back to them twenty years later. I love their interaction between them and the rest of the cast.  Chances are you probably know someone like them in your own life.  It’s nice to see the characters as “real” people- warts and all. 

The subject matter that Becky uses to bring attention to plight of our troops as they are coming home.  We “see” a bit of what it is like for a returning Soldier from the War in Iraq and are dealing with PTSD -just ones our characters face.  There are others subjects brought up, such Mollie’s (Lyndie’s sister) disabilities from birth, to the perils of dating for Lyndie and her friend Amber, and let us not forget about Silver Leaf, the Casanova thoroughbred. Finding faith, dealing with unusual situations and healing (personal or otherwise) are dealt with gently lessons from the Bible.  

Over all I liked the book very much and think it deserves 4 out of 5 stars. I would be interested to know what you think of it.  I will be looking for the rest of the series next time I’m at my local library.

And for my final book, I read The Midwife’s Tale by Delia Parr.

From the Back Cover
Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she's hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha's world is shattered.

Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can't remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it's trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

This book is the first in the series: At Home in Trinity and Bethany House released it June 2, 2015. It is labeled as a Historical Romance.
One thing I liked about this book was the main female character was middle aged like myself.  I don’t know, but it seems like there isn’t a lot females in that age bracket in books.  Yes - she is a Widow, but in that time period the average person would live to only 40 years of age. I’m a lady in my 40’s, so I was able to relate to her in that sense. 

I like the fact the Martha was portrayed in a traditional role that was handed from one woman to the following generation but was shown to have some difficulties of her own when her daughter up & leaves while Martha was away with a patient.  We watch her interactions with those around around her as she learns to place her struggles in hands of her Faith. 

When I next visit the library, I want to check out series: Hearts Along the River and the Candlewood Trilogy. I would like to compare them to this book.  As I get older I have found that me taste in books has grown more towards the Christian themed books as they tend to be cleaner to read.  Don’t get me wrong I still read the other genres, but I do enjoy an easy read. 

And having said that, I deemed this book to also a 4 out of 5 stars.  Yea I know that a lot of 4’s this round but I think these books are worth it.

Well let’s wrap it up for this edition so until next time …


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