Merry Christmas and happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday this month.
Now that December is officially over, it is time to reveal the book haul! So many amazing books released or were given to me this month.
No Safe Place by Sherri Shackleford
He lives by the law.
She’s running for her life.
After forensic accountant Beth Greenwood uncovers a money-laundering scheme tying her company to the organization that murdered her mentor, she knows she needs to go into hiding. With ruthless killers in pursuit, she’s forced to rely on homeland security agent Corbin Ross’s protection—even as his investigation suggests Beth is complicit in embezzlement. Can their uneasy alliance develop into something deeper—and keep them alive?
This looks like a fantastic suspense novel that I cannot wait to read. I’m so excited to participate in the Twitter part of the tour with Just Read Publicity Tours on January 5th. A huge thank you to Just Read Publicity Tours and Sherri Shackleford for my autographed review copy.
Made for the Journey by Elizabeth Elliot
In her first year as a missionary to a small group of native women in the Ecuadorian jungle, Elisabeth Elliot faced physical and spiritual trials. In Made for the Journey, Elliot captures the mysteries and stark realities surrounding the colorful and primitive world in which she ministered. More than just a recounting of her early days, this is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to authentic Christian obedience to God.
Elizabeth Elliot is a remarkable Christian woman who I consider one of my role models. So when I learned she had an updated version of on her stories, I knew I had to check it out. A huge thank you to Revell for my review copy.
Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house . . . Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .
When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.
This book looks like an adorable read for Christmas. I enjoyed chatting with the author about some of the themes in her book which you can read HERE. A huge thank you to Just Read Publicity Tours, Gilead Publishing, and Phyllis Clark Nichols for my review copy.
Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton
A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.
Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.
Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.
This book is the perfect mix of Groundhog Day and Pretty in Pink. Or any Molly Ringwald movie. If you’re looking for a super cute read, then you’ll want to check this out. You can find my mini-review on Instagram, but I do plan on writing one for the blog soon. I will also be participating in the Twitter part of the Takeover Tour with Just Read Publicity Tours on January 10th. A huge thank you to Just Read Publicity Tours, Blink, and Laurie Boyle Crompton for my review copy.
Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry
A brilliant transplant surgeon. A rogue organ broker. A ghost child. And the legend that could destroy them all. A brutal murder convinces surgeon Mia Kendall there’s more than she imagined to the mysterious spike in heart transplant rejections. Determined to find answers before she loses another patient, Mia gets sucked into a dangerous international medical web. With time running out for her youngest transplant recipient, Mia is forced to partner with a disillusioned ex-military pilot who flies brokered organs across East Africa. But searching for the truth will prove costly for the unlikely duo racing to stop a madman before he annihilates a rare and cursed bloodline.
I’m not usually a fan of medical dramas, but since this is a mystery thriller, I’m beyond curious to see what is in store with this one. The ebook was a freebie on Amazon.
The Marriage Bargain by Stephanie Dees
Jules Sheehan will do anything to keep custody of the two orphaned girls in her care—including a marriage of convenience with their uncle. Cam Quinn crosses the globe as a travel writer, but he’s ready to settle down. Now tough, tender Jules is offering the home he’s secretly longed for. Can this marriage in name only become a family of the heart?
This looks like a super adorable read. I’m currently working this series and I’m enjoying it. Look for my review coming to the blog by January 15th. A huge thank you to Just Read Publicity Tours and Stephanie Dees for my review copy.
The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas
In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through
Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother’s life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Larkin Heyward’s life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more–maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.
Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd’s and Larkin’s dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together–or maybe, it will take a miracle.
This sounds like an interesting story. A huge thank you to Bethany House for providing a review copy.
More than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer
When her family is threatened, she doesn’t expect falling in love to be their best defense
Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes—one bright blue, the other dark brown—Evangeline has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Evangeline has two—Seth and Zach, fellow orphans she now counts as brothers.
Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. And when Hamilton’s unique sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time they cross paths, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?
This is from a new-to-me author that I can’t wait to check out. A huge thank you to Bethany House for my review copy.
A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer
For readers who love a heartwarming romance and a rich historical setting comes a tale of a young woman with a heavy burden, the International Cotton Exposition, and the pursuit of true love.
Eighteen-year-old Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children, is expected to stay home and “take care of Mama” by her older siblings, but Laurel has dreams of starting her own family. Operating a silk loom at the Atlanta Exposition will give her the chance to capture the heart of a man wealthy enough to take care of Laurel and any children she might bear, as well as her mother.
Brendan Rochester’s parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Brendan meets Laurel. Marrying her would satisfy his parents’ command, she would look lovely on his arm for social events, and in her besotted state, he believes she would overlook him continuing pursuing rowdy adventures with his unmarried buddies. Brendan decides to woo Laurel. Willie Sharp is not well-off and must take on an extra job at the Atlanta Exposition as a security guard. When mischief-makers cause trouble in the Women’s Building, Willie is put in charge of keeping the building secure. He enjoys visiting with Laurel, who seems like the little sister he never had, but his feelings for Laurel change to something much deeper. Can Willie convince Laurel that he can give her better life–even with so little to offer?
Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. This looks like an interesting piece of history that I cannot wait to see portrayed on the pages. A huge thank you to Waterbrook for providing an arc review copy.
Indivisible by Travis Thrasher
Inspired by true events, Indivisible is a story of love, service, and finding each other all over again.
Darren and Heather Turner share a passion for serving God, family, and country. When Darren is deployed to Iraq as an army chaplain, Heather vows to serve military families back home as she cares for the couple’s three young children.
Darren knows he’s overseas to support the troops in their suffering as their chaplain. What he doesn’t know is how he will get through his own dark moments. And as communication from Darren dwindles, Heather wonders what is happening in her husband’s heart. Meanwhile, she’s growing weary in the day-to-day life of a military base—each child’s milestone Darren will never see, each month waiting for orders, each late-night knock on the door.
When Darren returns, he is no longer the husband Heather once knew. She is no longer the woman Darren wed. And so it’s at home that the Turners face their biggest battle: to save their marriage.
Based on the screenplay by David Evans, Indivisible is a tribute to the beauty of serving our country, the courage of choosing love in the darkness, and the power of a God who never gives up hope.
I love when those who serve our country are honored and I cannot wait to see this movie. So of course, I was excited when I found a copy of the book in my mailbox. A huge thank you to The Fiction Guild for providing a review copy.
Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.
From New York Times, bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.
At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.
This book has been on my TBR ever since I first heard about it. I absolutely love C.S. Lewis so I cannot wait to see what the author has in store. A huge thank you to The Fiction Guild for my review copy.
30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders
If you’ve ever confused the ark of the covenant with the ark of Noah, or Jericho with Jeroboam, Max Anders’ classic book, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible, is for you. In just fifteen minutes a day, you’ll learn the Bible’s key people, events, and doctrines to get more out of God’s Word. This simple-to-use, a straightforward guide has been recommended by Bible teachers and pastors for thirty years, and now it’s available in an expanded thirtieth-anniversary edition—with the most requested topics from the original edition restored and updated for today’s readers.
The “Arc of Bible History” to help you visualize the Bible’s overarching themes
The “Story of the Bible” summarizing Genesis through Revelation in just a few pages
The core beliefs of the Christian faith, focusing on the teachings that have united Christians for the last 2,000 years
A 13-week plan that provides teacher’s every creative and effective tool for teaching the Bible in 30 days
Fan-favorite bonus content, previously removed, now restored from the original edition.
This is one of the books that I’m currently working through. I think it is an excellent resource that would be best suited for a new believer’s class or a Bible survey class. I would recommend it in a heartbeat for one of those uses. A full review will be coming to the blog soon. A huge thank you goes to Flyby Promotions and Thomas Nelson for my review copy.
Making God Smile by Kim Taylor Henry
More than just an inspiring daily message, this book leads you on a year-long journey of aligning your actions to your heart’s intentions. Making God Smile overflows with encouragement, reminders, practical tips, personal and inspiring stories, scriptural insight, and biblical teaching that will show you how to reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. By embracing this fruit, others will see Christ in you and your life will be more than you ever imagined possible.
I’ve been looking through different devotionals that I’d like to use for the incoming year and I thought perhaps I’d look into this one. The Fruit of the Spirit is definitely a topic I’d love to explore more of. Once I begin reading it, you can guarantee there’ll be a review here on the blog. A huge thank you goes to Ellie Claire Gifts for my review copy.
Fabulous & Focused by Michele Medlock Adams
Addressing the issues that businesswomen encounter every day, including communications, relationships, opportunities, integrity, professionalism, and achievement, this devotional is a helpful companion and an inspiring start to every day. Written with humor and insight, the authors share hard-learned lessons and provide guidance for the many challenges and opportunities that women face in their career.
I’m not quite in a career just yet, but this looks like one that anyone can use from the bits that I’ve read so far. A huge thank you goes to Ellie Claire Gifts for my review copy.
Let the Earth Rejoice by Ellie Claire Gifts
These 365 daily readings reveal the ever-changing testament to the imagination and creativity of our God. His mighty handcrafted the tallest mountain and the most delicate snowflake. More than thirty writers share their observations and reflections of God’s goodness in the beauty and wonder of nature. Let the Earth Rejoice equips readers each day to know that the same God who created the ocean and cares for the hummingbird, also created and cares for you.
This is another devotional that I’ll throw into the pile to consider using for the new year. There are more than thirty writers who compiled devotionals for this book so I’ll definitely have to check it out. A huge thank you to Ellie Claire Gifts for my review copy.
True You by Michelle DeRusha
Many of us are bent on producing and achieving, striving and hustling for our self-worth. Beneath this relentless drive churns a deep yearning to uncover our true selves and our purpose in this world. Gardeners familiar with the technique called “pruning open” know that the secret to healthy plants and trees lies in subtracting rather than adding. Similarly, we begin to flourish as we let go of our false selves and allow God to prune us open.
With powerful stories and revealing research, Michelle DeRusha helps readers:
– learn how to declutter their hearts, minds, and souls through the practice of directed rest
– let go of busyness, striving, and false identities to embrace their truest selves as beloved children of God
– grow in their relationships, vocations, communities, and intimacy with God
True You offers those exhausted by the pervasive do-more, be-more messages of our society a path toward rest, renewal, and, ultimately, wholeness in Christ.
I can’t wait to see what this author has to say on this subject. I’ll be participating in the True You Bookstagram Tour through Just Read Publicity Tours on January 10th. A huge thank you to Just Read Publicity Tours and Baker Books for my review copy.
The Trapper by Jenna Kernan
Freed from her gilded cage
The daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Eleanor Hart is an artist who longs to capture in paint the raw power of the vanishing West. To do so, she agrees to her father’s conditions: He will fund the painting expedition if she agrees to marry a man of his choosing upon her return.
Her guide, rugged Cherokee trapper Troy Price, is impressed by Eleanor’s pluck, but on their journey, he transforms her longing for fame into a new yearning for freedom, adventure, and a forbidden passion.
Troy knows that he will never find acceptance in her privileged world, but despite all reason, he can’t resist loving her, even knowing that her father—and her promise to return—await.
This is an updated copy of an older version. I cannot wait to read this. This isn’t a Christian book so it probably does contain some scenes that aren’t completely suitable, but usually easy to skip over. Thank you to Jenna Kernan for providing a review copy.
Turner’s Woman by Jenna Kernan
With him, she found the courage to break free
Jake Turner could have left the sole survivor of a Crow massacre to die at the hands of her captors. Instead, he bargained for her life. He can’t explain what he feels when he looks at her but knows it jeopardizes his secret mission. Now, he’s saddled with unwanted baggage, or so he thinks! But Emma Lancing is full of surprises. As bold and quick-witted as she is beautiful, she soon rouses his admiration and ardor as, day-by-day, she turns from liability to the ideal partner.
At first, Emma wants only to escape a bleak future under her abusive father’s boot-heel. She’ll risk everything to evade his tyranny and vows to never again be ruled by a man. But journeying with Jake makes her long to join him on his adventures and taste passion in his arms! For a woman determined to keep men out of her life, Emma may just have met her match.
Part of the same series as the above, this looks like it’d be an interesting read as well. A huge thank you to Jenna Kernan for providing a review copy.
A Merry Navidad: 4 Latino Christian Novellas by Kathi Macias, Allison K. Garcia, Linda K. Rodante, and Cythnia Marcano
La Familia Es Todo — Kathi Macias — A large, once-close family that has drifted apart for various reasons. Will their longtime tradition of making tamales on Christmas Eve be enough to bring them back together?
Navidad & Familia — Allison K. García — When a blizzard traps the Campana family in their trailer on Christmas Eve with no electricity, internet, gifts, or Christmas decorations, will they drive each other crazy or will they discover the true reason for the season?
A Tamale Christmas — Linda K. Rodante — She’s an unwed mother at a Christian college. He’s a Latino student who left home and career to attend. Will the secret one of them carries to keep them apart or will God perform another Christmas miracle?
Have Yourself A Merry Little Cocoa — Cynthia Marcano — Every Christmas, Isidora Lopez tries to spend her way into the hearts of those she loves, while Firefighter Gabriel Ramirez has spent his, trying to move on from a lost one, until a chance encounter unexpectedly sparks both their lives.
This was gifted to me by one of the fabulous authors featured in this novella collection. These look like great reading for the holiday season. A huge thank you to Linda K. Rodante for providing a review copy.
Searching for You by Jody Hedlund
Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won’t abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.
Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.
Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he’s in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?
Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite all-time authors. This looks like one of those novels that are going to be emotional, but I’ve heard excellent things about this series so I can’t wait to see what the author has in store. I’ll be participating in the Searching for Your Bookstagram Tour so be sure to keep an eye out for that. A huge thank you goes to Just Read Publicity Tours and Bethany House for providing a review copy.
The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel
Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.
A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England–a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author–and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.
Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.
Two hundred years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.
The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.
This looks like an excellent read that I cannot wait to check out. Isn’t that cover so fun too? A huge thank you, Thomas Nelson and Lindsay Harrel for my arc review copy.
Warrior by Linda K. Rodante
Christian Romantic Suspense: For three years, Kati Walsh has hunkered down at a new place of worship to dab at church-inflicted wounds. Her one outreach is to her kickboxing friends at the gym, but she’s been praying for God to stir her heart again. But she’s not sure that the new assistant pastor and his friend Reece Jernigan are what she asked for—because Assistant Pastor Josh Corbin plans to win the hearts of the north-side neighborhood, mostly described as “the hood.”
When Josh plans a prayer walk in the neighborhood, both the congregation and the police are wary, but Josh insists that prayer works. He believes in spiritual warfare—prayer, praise, and the Word of God. Reece, on the other hand, has been on the streets before, and his weapon of choice is a 9mm Glock. Two close friends with differing perspectives and both with an eye on Kati. But they’re not the only ones—the gang leader from the north side has taken an unexpected interest in Kati, too.
This looks like a fantastic suspense novel that I cannot wait to read. Isn’t this cover amazing? A huge thank you to Linda K. Rodante for my review copy.
The Devoted Life by Marjorie Jackson
Come Experience It for Yourself. . . Life Is Good with a God Who Is Great!
This topically guided creative journal for teen girls offers inspiration and encouragement for those who desire to live their lives fully devoted to Christ. Amidst the loud, confusing voices of the world, trying to tell them which way is the right way to go, girls need to stop, rest, refuel, and reflect in the presence of their truest Friend and most loyal heavenly Father. Whether it’s through creativity, meditating on scripture, prayer, or writing, readers will join young author and artist, Marjorie Jackson, for a time of life-giving fun, faith-strengthening encouragement, and God-glorifying growth. As girls connect with their first love, Jesus, they will begin to understand that life is truly good with a God who is absolutely great!
I’ve looked this devotional and I think this is fantastic. The author gives a short little message that both encourages, challenges, and will help teenage girls grow closer to God. She has thought-provoking questions that would be perfect to use for discussion. She also includes coloring pages that fit the themes for each day. Highly recommend this. Look for my full review coming to the blog soon. A huge thank you goes to The Barbour Review Crew for my review copy.
And that’s a wrap! Did you see a book that you found yourself adding to your TBR? Or perhaps there is a book on your TBR that I received this month? Or perhaps you’ve read some of the books from my haul? Let me know in the comments. 😀