Between the Wild Branches Book Review

between the wild branches book cover

Between the Wild Branches is another Biblical fiction novel which proves, once again, Connilyn Cossette is a master at weaving an interesting story that’s hard to put down.

Set in Ashdod, Philistia 1052 BC, Between the Wild Branches tells the story of Philistine champion fighter Lukio, and Hebrew slave to one of the king’s daughters, Shoshana. Although the two were close during their years growing up in Israel, they haven’t seen each other for ten years. When they rediscover each other, complicated matters only become more complicated.

This book is filled with a cast of intriguing characters. Some honorable. Some despicable. There is sacrifice and greed. Hatred and love.

Connilyn uses her well-researched vast knowledge of Biblical times to present an authentic world, and bring two different cultures to life. With unexpected twists and turns, Between the Wild Branches keeps the reader turning pages to the very end.

If you enjoy Biblical historical fiction at its best, then Between the Wild Branches may just be the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

The Heart’s Charge Book Review

Filled with likeable characters as well as scoundrels, The Heart’s Charge by Karen Whitmeyer is the second in her Hanger’s Horsemen series. You don’t need to read the first book to understand the second. I didn’t.

Set in Llano County, Texas in the spring of 1894, we meet Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks, Katherine Palmer and Eliza Southerland, and a cast of childre, among others.

Mark and Jonah, former Cavalry men, are part of Hanger’s Horsemen. Their motto taken from Psalm 82 is to defend the poor and fatherless, do justice to the afflicted and needy, deliver the poor and needy, and rid them of the hand of the wicked. As The Heart’s Charge progresses, we see them do just that.

Their first act of kindness leads them to a foundling home Katherine and Eliza run. Here, Mark is reunited with his lost love, and Jonah finds a woman who piques his interest.

After accepting a job to look into the mystery of kiddie nappers, they find people aren’t always what they seem.

If you enjoy Christian historical romance with a touch danger and intrigue, The Heart’s Charge may be the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Along a Storied Trail Book Review

Along a Storied Trail is another fine tale of Appalachian history by Ann Gabhart. I love Ann’s books and the way she weaves historical details into her stories.

Set in 1937, Along a Storied Trail is fast-paced and filled with lovable characters. It tells the story of Tansy Calhoun, a Kentucky packhorse librarian. Her job is to deliver books to the folks living near her home from the library in town.

When Damien Felding arrives in town to write about the area, Tansy is tasked with introducing him to the locals to get their stories. At the same time, Caleb Barton, Tansy’s old friend, returns home from Tennessee where he worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Complications arise as Tansy searches for the ideal man with aplomb.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction set in the Appalachians, then Along a Storied Trail is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

Don’t Miss Out Book Review

If, like me, your understanding of how the Holy Spirit works in your life is a little fuzzy, no matter how long you’ve been a Christ-follower, then Don’t Miss Out: Daring to Believe Life Is Better with the Holy Spirit by Jeannie Cunnion may just be the book for you. Written in thirty relatively short chapters, Don’t Miss Out can be read one chapter a day for a month, or multiple chapters at one sitting.

Written in a personal, conversational style, Jeannie backs up her insights of the person of the Holy Spirit with Scripture. I found myself taking notes as I read to be sure I didn’t forget some important point she mentioned.

Here is a sample of what I wrote:

  • There are no circumstances that can cause the Holy Spirit to leave you behind. He doesn’t give up on you when you give up on yourself.
  • The Holy spirit is a skilled communicator. He knows what to say when we are at a loss for words or need words to speak into a difficult situation.
  • Knowing the Spirit has a personality matters because we can’t have a relationship with a symbol. We can only have a relationship with a person, and that is precisely what we can have with the person of the Holy Spirit.

There is much more in the pages of Don’t Miss Out that speaks of the incredible benefits of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life. I highly recommend it. This is one of those books which I will keep on my shelf and read often.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

Flooded Book Review

In Flooded Nicki Koziarz looks at the biblical account of Noah and five decisions he made. Decisions we, too, can make to help quiet fear, resist the urge to try and control the uncontrollable, and find the familiar faithfulness of God when everything is falling apart.

Through examples she shows us:

  1. Noah was able to rise above the doubt his assignment could have caused by making the decision to walk with God.
  2. Noah listened and obeyed whether he agreed with God or not.
  3. Noah didn’t try to make sense of what God asked him to do.
  4. Noah remembered who was in control and believed God had a plan.
  5. Noah held to the familiar faithfulness of God when he stepped off the ark.

Using events from her own life interspersed throughout the book, Nicki shows how, like Noah, she worked through these decisions.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

The Moonlight School Book Review

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an historical fiction novel inspired by true events in the life of Cora Wilson Stewart in 1911 Rowan County, Eastern Kentucky. Set against a landscape devastated by lumber companies, and faced with poverty and illiteracy, we meet Lucy Wilson, her cousin Cora, Brother Wyatt, and a cast of endearing mountain folk. I especially liked young Finley James.

The story takes us along with Lucy as she leaves her father and stepmother in Lexington, to help Cora combat poverty by eliminating illiteracy. What Lucy doesn’t leave behind, though, are memories of the day her young sister disappeared. As Lucy interacts with the people of Rowan County, she comes to understand, just because a person does not have money, that does not mean they are poor.

If you enjoy Appalachian historical fiction with heart, such as books written by Ann H. Gabhart, then The Moonlight School may just be the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

Shadows of the White City Book Review

Set in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair, Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green, begins thirteen years earlier when Sylvie Townsend agrees to take care of the young daughter of a desperate immigrant from Poland, whose wife died during their voyage to America. Now, at seventeen, Rose Dabrowski disappears at the World’s Fair. This sets off a heart felt story filled with deceit, loyalty, deception, loss, sacrifice, and love amidst a wide ranging cast of characters.

With the help of her boarder, Kristof Bartok, Sylvie searches through the streets of Chicago for her adopted daughter. When Rose is found, however, all is not resolved. Decisions must be made which threaten the very thing Sylvie holds most dear.

Jocelyn Green is a master of descriptive writing, adding historical detail to every story she writes. Shadows of the White City is no exception. Within these pages you experience the great expanse and magnificence of 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, as you walk through it with the book’s characters.

If you enjoy well-written historical fiction with a touch of romance, then Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

A Cowboy For Keeps Book Review

Set in Colorado Territory in 1862, A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund tells the story of Greta Nilsson, a mail order bride who cares for her sickly younger sister, and rancher Wyatt McQuaid. After Greta arrives in Fairplay, Colorado, she must adjust her plans. Penniless following her stagecoach robbery, and learning her intended husband is dead, she is left with no few options. When her intended’s friend, Wyatt McQuaid, proposes marriage, Greta agrees.

A Cowboy for Keeps has heroes and villains, moments of hope and times of despair, characters to root for and those to despise. Sprinkled throughout the book are Scripture references to guide Greta and Wyatt on their journey of decision-making.

Although I enjoyed the dialog between Wyatt and Greta as their relationship developed, which gave a glimpse into who they were, the repetitious internal self-doubt and introspection often pulled me out of the story.

A Cowboy for Keeps is a book for those who enjoy Christian historical fiction marriage of convenience tales.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

Tidewater Bride Book Review

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz has us rooting for Selah Hopewell and Xander Renick as they navigate their world of English settlers and Powhatan Naturals amidst tobacco farms, treachery, loss, and love in James Towne, Virginia Colony in 1634.

Well researched historical details give readers a glimpse into what it was like to live in this time and place. While the use of archaic words lent realism and flavor to the book, it also sent me looking up the meaning of fortnight.

Although I looked forward to scenes where Selah and Xander interacted, I occasionally questioned the inclusion of other scenes and the relevance of certain characters to the story. There were times the actions of younger characters did not seem to fit their ages, and times the story felt amiss. The ending, to me, was abrupt.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

The Bible Recap Book Review

At 751 pages and one and a half inches thick, The Bible Recap: A One-Year Guide to Reading and Understanding the Entire Bible by Tara-Leigh Cobble is an absolute must- have Bible resource. Whether you grew up reading the Bible, or are just dipping your toes in the water, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

As I flipped through the pages of this book, I realized this one-year plan, written in English Standard Version, follows a chronological order. I love that! When I study the Bible, I like to have a clear view of the history that brought us to each point. This study guide makes that easier to achieve. Some select chapters have links for additional information on the reading.

Each day there are multiple chapters of a book of the Bible to read. Don’t get lazy and skip this part. Read the Scriptures. Sure. Tara-Leigh’s commentary explains what’s going on, but read the select chapters first and see what God has in them for you.

After reading your Bible, go back to The Bible Recap for a summary and commentary on the chapters. At the end of the commentary there is a section called Today’s God Shot which points out God’s attributes revealed in that passage.

Although biblically sound and solid, The Bible Recap does not make you feel as if you are slogging through a scholarly tome. Tara-Leigh’s writing style is conversational and easy-going. Her chapters read as if she is sitting next to you, the two of you are discussing the Scripture passages, how they fit together, and gaining new insights about our awesome God.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.