For many people, Christmas can be a rather controversial topic. It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”, filled with reflection on the baby in a manger and quality time with family. While this may be the case to some degree, there’s more to the story for most families. . . In reality, this season is also a time of hectic chaos, heartache that seems to build up from a difficult year, and frustration over what we wish was true but isn’t. In a new book from Baker Publishing, “Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season”, Alexandra Kuykendall unpacks some great insights into being present AND finding joy in our own actual, imperfect Christmases. Continue reading
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first picked up my copy of of “God in the Movies: A Guide for Exploring Four Decades of Film”, edited by Catherine M. Barsotti and Robert K. Johnston. Published by BrazosPress in 2017, the purpose of the book is to “encourage movie lovers and small groups to reflect critically and theologically on some of the best movies of recent years.”
“God in the Movies” is a thick volume with in-depth discussions for 40 movies, all released between 1981 and 2014. This extensive list includes classics such as: “Chariots of Fire”, “Groundhog Day”, “Up”, “Life of Pi”, and of course many more. Continue reading
I have been anticipating my return to the fictitious town of Teaville for many months, until finally Melissa Jagear’s second Christian Historical Fiction novel in the “Teaville Moral Society” was released this summer. Published by Bethany House, “A Love So True” contains many recurring characters from her previous book “A Heart Most Certain” (and novella “Engaging the Competition”), but brings in a new cast, new challenges, and a new romance as well. Continue reading
I have been waiting a long time to finally discover the conclusion to a strange mystery that stretched over three books. . . With the release of the third “Cousins of the Dove” story, I finally received this closure! “My Daughter’s Legacy” was written by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould, and published by Harvest House in the summer of 2017. Continue reading
“With the greatest risks come the greatest rewards”. As one of it’s primary themes, this phrase is given many different layers and meanings in Roseanna M. White’s newest release, “A Name Unknown”. Before beginning this novel, I felt rather indifferent to it. I was neither excited about it, nor did I not want to read it. I simply thought I would give it a try, and had neither high nor low expectations for it. What I didn’t guess was that it would quickly rise to number one on my list of favourite books! Continue reading
It’s not every day that the second or third book in a series outshines the first. . . However, I’ve just finished a story which provides proof that it can happen! The “Prince Edward Island Dreams” series, written by Liz Johnson and published by Revell, began with “The Red Door Inn”, followed by “Where Two Hearts Meet”, and has just concluded with the best installment of them all: “On Love’s Gentle Shore”. Released in July of 2017, and obviously set on Canada’s smallest province of Prince Edward Island, this book was a must-read for me during the month of Canada’s 150th birthday. Continue reading
The “Hope Harbor Novels” by Irene Hannon are sweet, realistic-yet-whimsical, relaxing stories that are certain to boost your spirits and leave you smiling. In fact, they are a lot like Hallmark movies in book-format, with some extra elements of faith added in. “Sandpiper Cove” is the newest addition to this delightful series published by Revell, and is actually my favorite so far.
As I was saying, if you enjoy Hallmark-style stories, you should definitely plan a visit to the seaside village of Hope Harbor, Oregon. It doesn’t really matter if you read the books out of order, but many characters do recur in each novel and it is enjoyable to watch their continuing stories unfold in the background. Continue reading
Melanie Dickerson is the bestselling author of numerous novels, usually fairy tales set in long- ago times. Although I’ve never read her previous works, I’ve often wanted to and finally decided to give her newest novel from Thomas Nelson Publishers a try. “The Noble Servant” was released in 2017, and is endorsed as a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale entitled “The Goose Girl”, with hints of “The Prince and the Pauper” mixed in as well. While most of Ms. Dickerson’s work is labeled in the Young Adult genre, “The Noble Servant” is more broadly classified under Christian Fiction.
“She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant, but she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . . If she makes it in time.” With a tagline like this, it’s hard not to be captivated by this unique fairy tale retelling. Continue reading
Lynn Austin is a master at the art of writing. Her newest Christian Historical Fiction novel from Bethany House to showcase her skills was released in the winter of 2016. “Waves of Mercy” is a sweeping tale of love, loss, and faith that spans multiple generations and captures the hearts and minds of readers from the first page. Continue reading
I just finished one of the best books I’ve read in 2016, written by my all-time favorite author Michael Phillips. This story will hold a treasured place on my bookshelf, as well as in my heart, always. What book am I referring to? Well, it is the second in a Bethany House series called the “Secrets of the Shetlands”, which began in May 2016 with “The Inheritance”. The newest installment, which I just finished reading, is called “The Cottage”. Finally, the series will be wrapped up next summer with “The Legacy”. (And I can’t wait!) Each of these books is very closely interwoven, and picks up almost immediately after the previous book comes to a close. Continue reading