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.

Half the Battle: Healing Your Hidden Hurts Book Review

As is true with most things, there are good and not so good. I found this to be the case with Half the Battle: Healing Your Hidden Hurts by Dr. Jon Chasteen.

First the good.

Dr. Chasteen points out most of us are engaged in a battle of some kind, saying we all have hurts and wounds. Before we fight external battles, he says we must fight the internal battles we hide and cover up.

He states the only way to truly rid ourselves of the shame and guilt of these hidden wounds is to invite God into them, allow him to take his knife to the wound, and let him remove it.

The majority of the book talks about wounded, rejected people. In the final chapters Dr. Chasteen compares the World War I and the story of Gideon to facing our battles today in the light of Jesus as our guide, in the unity of believers, and with praise.

There is a study guide at the back of the book with additional questions for consideration.

Now the not so good.

I found the way the author wandered back and forth through various scriptures to prove his point extremely disjointed and distracting.

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

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blog About Bloggers Network for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave. Leave a comment between October 8, 2020 and October 14, 2020 for an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book. Winner will be notified by October 20, 2020.

You can find my October 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.

Prevail Book Review

Beginning with Genesis 12:7 and ending with Revelation 22:12-13, Prevail: 365 Days of Enduring Strength from God’s Word by Susie Larson gives readers exactly what the title promises; enduring strength from God’s word.

Reading Prevail is like talking with a trusted friend about your problems, fears, and doubts, knowing she will point you to God’s truths without the least bit of ridicule or condemnation.

Although I appreciate the way Prevail works its way sequentially through the Bible, I especially appreciate the Table of Contents which lists each devotion by subject. I find that helpful when looking for a devotion that addresses a specific need.

Each devotion has a highlighted verse, meaningful commentary of the Scripture that speaks to the reader in a personable, encouraging way, and points the reader to God. This is followed by the Scripture reference the devotion came from for further study, an application statement, and short prayer. The pages are beautiful. Swirls of varying pastels adorn each page. I found that soothing.

I highly recommend Prevail: 365 Days of Enduring Strength from God’s Word for those seeking more from their daily devotional.

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

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

You can find my September 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.

What Momma Left Behind Book Review

With the authentic voice of an Appalachian storyteller, Cindy Sproles’ novel, What Momma Left Behind, takes you to 1877 Tennessee with all its heartache and promise. With that said, if you are unfamiliar with Appalachian expressions and dialect, you may find What Momma Left Behind somewhat confusing to get through.

This is a story of loss, love, sacrifice, and eventually, forgiveness, as we journey with seventeen-year-old Worie Dressar following the death of her mother at a time when disease spreads through her mountain community, killing parents and leaving orphans to fend for themselves.

While there is much to like about this book, I came away with unanswered questions I wish the author answered.

If you enjoy reading Christian historical fiction written in an authentic Appalachian voice, What Momma Left Behind just might be the book for you.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of 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 Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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

I Am David Book Review

In the book, I Am David, Jimmy Evans explores ten lessons from King David’s life and how they relate to our lives today. Leader and study guides at the back of the book are designed for use in small group study. Each lesson in the study guide begins with an introduction, moves to key thought, key Scriptures, discussion points, and ends with activation questions to consider ways the lesson can be applied to the reader’s life.

Here is a brief example of how Mr. Evans discusses events in David’s life and compares them to the reader’s life. In the section titled, The Whisperer of Pride, he says each of us have a choice in how we respond to the good things God gives us. We can take credit for what God gives us, like David did at the time he ordered a census of the people in the land of Israel, or we can walk humbly and gratefully before God, using what he gives to advance his kingdom.

Something to consider.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of 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 Blog About Bloggers Network for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave. Leave a comment between June 9, 2020 and June 15, 2020 for an opportunity to receive a free copy of the book. Winner will be announced June 18, 2020.

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

Warfare Prayers for Women Book Review

Within the pages of Warfare Prayers for Women by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock, you will find over one hundred short devotional prayers with scripture and declarations for standing on God’s promise to be with us through each area of our life.

One of the things I appreciate about Warfare Prayers for Women is the way it is divided into nine sections readers can read and pray through according to our various seasons of life.

While we may not all experience each of the areas described, perhaps we will find information in those sections which can be used to help others.

The nine sections included in Warfare Prayers for Women are:

  1. Praying with Power
  2. Praying against Hindrances
  3. Praying for Life’s Milestones
  4. Praying for Children and Grandchildren
  5. Praying for Family and Friends
  6. Praying when Single
  7. Praying through Tough Times
  8. Praying in My Senior Years
  9. Praying for My community and Nation

There are also sections titled Important Prayer Helps, and Scriptures for Intercession and Warfare.

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

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