30 June 2011

A Suitor For Jenny, Book Review

Beginning with the statement "A good  man is like a good corset. He will always be supportive and never leave you hanging" Margaret Brownley once again entertains us!
Complete with a very imaginative list of advices to prospective brides, this 2010 release of # 2 in the Rocky Creek Romance series brought a few chuckles!
In fact 'A Suitor for Jenny' was just the light hearted novel needed to relieve yet another chilly weekend (along with some hot cocoa)! 

 I think I would do you a disservice if I reveal too much about the story! It suffice to say this is the story of three sisters, the older named Jenny or 'Colonel Jenny' as she will soon be known. 
Jenny takes her sisters future very seriously and after consulting 'The Compleat and Authoritative Manual for Attracting and Procuring a Husband' she moves to Rocky Creek in order to to just that!
After all Miss Abigail Jenkins, Author of said manual, clearly advices 'When looking for a husband, it's best to go where the odds are in your favor'.
Jenny soon realizes however there is much more to it than placing an ad such as:

Wanted: Husbands
Only Men with Good Character needs to apply
Interested Parties are to meet at the Grand Hotel
10 am to 4 pm
Must provide Proof of Financial Security.

Of course all is not going according to plan as both the younger sisters have a mind of their own and Jenny discovers only God brings people together. 
Margaret Brownley peppered her story with just the right amount of lively characters set in the 1800's to make it a very entertaining description of frontier life! My favourite is the Preacher's wife who was sentenced to hang and wears her bustle in the front!

And remember...God's plan is the best plan after all!

A Suitor for Jenny is a fun filled Christian novel you will enjoy reading and pass along to a friend!
It includes a Reading Group Guide. Be sure to visit MargaretBronley.com!

I give this one 4 stars!

Note: I was not required to review this book and this post reflects my opinion only!

29 June 2011

Just Another Day...

We can see the Mountains clearly from the North Beach today as well as the next island...
Forecast for today: Showers for the most part with ocasional sun breaks, 13 degrees C (57 F)

Guess who came to breakfast this wee morning?

'I can see that nice potato in the composter...Let me pull a bit more...'

And if you think this is funny, guess who showed up when the Pest Controller came by the neighbour's...Maybe for a laugh at those silly islanders folks...
(I featured this one extra  large for you to see)
If you guessed along the line of Mickey Mouse, think again...Someone decided we did not have enough wildlife on the island and brought us a....Chinchilla?

Island life...

Dion The Wanderer Talks Truth, Book review

Rock music was definitively not something I remember in my younger years albeit Jazz, Classical and operas sounds resonated throughout our household.
The years went by and one glorious day I met this crazy Englishman whom I am told arrived on these shores (before the Beatles) sporting long hair and carrying a guitar on his back!
Let's roll forward 36 years...yes, I married the lad. He still loves Rock & Roll and occasionally still plays his guitar.

When I spotted Dion the Wanderer on the list of books available to review I knew this was perfect for us!
Growing up much like me with Classics (his Father played the piano whilst his Mum sang), my husband tells me by the time Rock & Roll came in his life in his mid teens he was hooked!
It is then he first came to know the name of Dion DiMucci whom along with his group The Belmonts was definitively a force in the Rock & Roll movement.

 In his book Dion the Wanderer talks about his life in a candid and often revealing way. Though he has a very succesfull life, he was a very unhappy person and as you read, each chapter of the book has its own funny or sad story about those glorious years.
Although he made many friends throughout the music world he felt often loneliness. Too many of his friends dealt with drugs, alcohol and drepression problems. 
In the end, Dion finally reconnected with his Catholic roots.
'It's often said that the Church is not so much a hotel for saints as a hospital for sinners'. 
'The Church is big, and it has room for everybody.'
I found this part truly riveting!

Rediscovering his faith - something brought about by his Father in law combined with a wonderful experience in his Saviour Jesus - he finally makes his journey into a much more rewarding life.
An inspiring read riddled with information about the Rock & Roll he loves as well as many of the music names we know but most of all a story about reafirming your faith!

'When a man is doing what he loves and doing it well, he knows it'.
Dion, the name stands out. It always has!

So go ahead, roll off the top of the car, take a long drive, sing along with the Wanderer and remember those good old years! I am sure the Good Lord will hum with you!

For all those who remember the sixties and Dion, a most enjoyable gift!
And don't forget to introduce the teenagers to the Wanderer!

I gave this book 4 stars!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company.
I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Dion -- The Wanderer Talks Truth. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

27 June 2011

D Day, Ready or Not!


Today being the 27th of June I do not want to be far from the phone/laptop...Our young friend's due date is today but we all know Mother nature has the last call when it comes to Baby's timing...
Many miles separates us Mum to be and I but we have kept in touch! She shared the plans for the nursery and sent me sonograms which I have looked at many times in these past few months...What a wonderful way to 'see' Baby !

Will this be a precious little Princess or a handsome Prince? No one knows as yet!
And so whilst I wait, visions of wonderful little dresses and dungarees dances in my head...

 God is good, God is great!

25 June 2011

Blooms, Despair and Agony

Blooms...Such lovely pink Peonies....

 Despair...Mum and Dad said I played too much Frisbee...Time to rest they said....

Agony...Two minutes in my Frisbee game and I ripped a whole nail of my paw...
(Doctor Vet said I was very good when she took care of me...Got a BIG cookie for it too!)

If it were'nt for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all...

That's all Folks for today!

24 June 2011

1940's Nostalgia, Rationing and Victory Garden

Grocery shopping is certainly not what it used to be...or it?
Like most of us I tend to buy what is on sale and in season or at least try to! Our household is rather small these days since both our children have moved on. But despite all my careful planning (which I constantly tweak as my daughter calls it) I still am shocked at the cost of food!

Quality versus quantity was always my choice but even there I have made some adjustments.
Along the years we have found ways to cut costs by switching lightbulbs, placing water savers, reduced electric usage, canceled services such as satellite tele, magazines subscriptions, land line and so on...
Inflation always seems to catch up...
We limit our trips off island to once or twice a month and these mainland trips are clocked for maximum efficiency...Gas (petrol) cost continues to climb!
The old adage that you should divide the cost of any item by the amount of time you will use it is still a good one prior to purchase thankfully!

'Keep calm and carry on' is of course my husband's motto! Victory gardens, rationing were very much 'in vogue' when he was growing up and we are therefore adapting to a return to austerity programs such as advocated by Mr. Cameron and Mr.Obama...Neither one of these gentlemen have had yet a taste of Lord Woolton's pie!

So, on with a Victory garden...complete with 8 to 10 feet height fences to keep the deer and racoons away, lots of slug pellets to repell the nasty little things, raised beds repleted with countless bags of soil to supplement our poor island soil, we are trying our hand at gardening for produce! Hopefully we should reap something of our carefully planted seedlings of green beans, parsnips, melons and so on...

 Our nights are still around 7 degrees C (45F) whilst these 'warm summer days' average around 12 degrees C (55F)... I do not imagine the tomatoes will produce much despite their containers setting but I can attest the strawberries were not too bad...all 8 ounces!
The flowers however are bountiful and the (never ending) showers helps their growth year around! 

And so remembering the 1940's nostalgia I thought it a good idea to look in some ideas for 'new and inventive ways' to help our family...To be sure there are worse things in life but the following rationing still was an eye opener.

One Person's weekly food allowance in 1940:

4oz (113g) lard or butter
12oz (340g) sugar
4oz (113g) bacon
2 eggs
6oz (170g) meat
2oz (57g) tea

Hum...There is no coffee on that list, or chocolate or...Keep calm and carry on will not be easy!

The nostalgic 1940 era often brings to mind the 'good old days', Big Band music, Vera Lynn singing 'Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover' (oops, somebody forgot to mention to the lyrics writer they are no blue birds in England!), air raids, shelters, the swap of clothes and farewells to the troops...
Like many people I am fond of the 1940's and movies such as 'Mrs. Miniver' and 'The Best Years of Our Lives' are some of my favourites! 

But the reality is far from the romantic ideas we hang on to... 

God is good,God is great, let's pray we never see another War...

23 June 2011

The Sacred Meal, Book Review

Nora Gallagher is truly an amazing gifted writer and The Sacred Meal is once again proof of her special talent!
As part of The Ancient Practices series this is an amazing book you just know instantly belongs on your personal library shelves.
Much has been written about Holy Communion throughout the centuries and very often the information offered by various Churches confuses believers. 
Yet at the last supper, Jesus simply said 'Take, Eat of My Body and Do This in Remembrance of Me'. 
But do we really understand what He meant?

In The Sacred Meal, Nora Gallagher explains her own vision of the Lord's table whilst revealing many of her personal struggles and triumphs. This book is a wonderful reminiscence of sometime sad, at times even humorous inspirational stories about her faith. 
As I read her testimony I realized she helped me to redefine my own thoughts and ideas of the Sacramental Meal. This is a 'must read' book I cannot wait to share with everyone!

I guarantee you will find yourself returning time and time again to chapters such as 'The Soup Kitchen', "The Magic and Thanksgiving', 'Scotchtape and Bailing wire' and more!

A complete study guide is included for group studies along with references notes for those who wish to find out more about her research.
This book provides us with the means to better understand the Lord's supper and would be an excellent addition to any Christian library!

This is 5 stars material!

I received this book free from Booksneeze as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

22 June 2011

Seek Me With All Your Heart, Book Review

 From the Publisher's:

Some Amish are making the trek to Colorado for cheaper land. Others are fleeing strict bishops with long memories.
For Emily Detweiler and her family, the move is more personal. Tragedy struck Emily in Ohio, shaking loose everything she believed was firm, including her faith. Her family took the bold step of leaving Ohio to resettle in a small Amish community in Canaan, Colorado, where they hope the distance will help erase painful memories.

David Stoltzfus's family moved to Colorado for reasons he doesn't understand. But Canaan is turning out to be something other than the promised land they all anticipated. Fearing that a health condition will cut his life short, David plans to return home to Paradise, Pennsylvania, as soon as he can. But then he meets Emily, who stirs feelings in his heart despite his apprehension about the future.
Emily's growing love for David surprises her, but she fears that he will find out the truth about her past and reject her. But what if the truth is that they are made for each other? And that God longs to give them the desires of their hearts if only they will seek Him first?
My thoughts on this book:

One of the many joys to share with a daughter is reading. When she was only a toddler my husband would write words on a piece of paper and place it on the refrigerator. The first were God and Dog!

We were very proud of her reading skills and she seemed to soak knowledge faster than we could purchase the books. Thus weekly library visits soon became an absolute must and we visited 3 of these! We actually purchased a membership at a nearby college library for her so she could borrow additional books there!

Throughout the years skepticals would question her quantity of reading material and this included her teacher. I was actually asked by this lady to question my daughter on the contents of any book she read just to be sure she read everything in its entirety...Don't laugh, I even decided to offer our daughter 10 cents for each book read...only to beg off within a few months...

The years have gone by and she is still an avid reader! Her interests are not always mine but when she recommends an author or a particular book I know it is very good!

The Amish world described by Beth Wiseman is like an opened window on a world which Englishers such as ourselves find fascinating!
Seek me with all your heart is also the first book I read by Beth Wiseman and I found myself drawn to the story within a few pages.
Beautifully written, with an engaging plot developing steadily along the pages, this is a much more accurate insight on Amish life than anything else I might have read in the past! The author does not shy from describing hardships found even amongst the Amish. Yes life can be a struggle but Faith can work wonders!

Her realistic characters are guaranteed to surprise you even at times! You will find yourself laughing also at references to the Englisher life whilst learning more about a world few know truly well and often misunderstood.
It is a particular skill of a good author to lead any reader on a path of discovery and Beth Wiseman reminds us that Faith will sustain us through ups and downs as long as we let God in our heart!

Like those beautiful Amish patchwork quilts made of intricate and carefully stiched pieces life can become whole and rewarding if we trust in Him! Beth Wiseman's characters and their plies are carefully chosen to let you know He is always near if we just listen!
Seek me with all your heart is the first book in the series Land of Canaan and is certain to be a throughly enjoyable read for anyone who delights in learning more about Amish life.

To learn more about Beth Wiseman's books please visit her website here

I gave this book a heatwarming 4 stars!

Just a quick reminder: I was not asked to review this book and all opinions are entirely my own!

20 June 2011

Island Garden and Corgi bits...

Cool weather still on the island...perfect for these lilies though...

This little Angel has been with me a very long time...

Corgi Lover lives here...

A glimpse in the background....

Rushed for camera and just caught it!

There is the frisbee...Come on Human...Go get it!

See, you bring it to me...it is not so hard!

It is not easy to train a Human but I am a very patient Corgi!

19 June 2011

Father's Day 2011

Today is Father's Day and we remember all Dads around the world!
A Dad wears many hats...In this house we remember the Scout leader, the Bible school teacher, the weekend 'gentleman farmer', the 'absent minded' professor, and so much more...

I found this poem and I wanted to share it with you! It says it all!

(© Karen K. Boyer)
He never looks for praises
He's never one to boast
He just goes on quietly working
For those he loves the most
His dreams are seldom spoken
His wants are very few
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken too
He's there.... A firm foundation
Through all our storms of life
A sturdy hand to hold to
In times of stress and strife
A true friend we can turn to
When times are good or bad
One of our greatest blessings,
The man that we call Dad.

Happy Father's Day! 
Always remembered,
never forgotten!


He wakes up lonely in a foreign land,
A far away place, full of sand.
A battle cry is His waking call,
Many men have yet to fall.

He is weary, tired and drawn,
On the horizon He sees the dawn.
One more battle, then He’s done,
When will this war be won?

In another place His children play,
Storing memories for a rainy day.
They miss His laugh, His stories too,
Mums are good, but never true.

Six long months and then we see,
Our hero return home to me.
For you see, my hero is my Dad,
A soldier fighting, it is so sad.
(By B Donaldson - age 10) 

 May your Father's Day be a blessed one!

16 June 2011

Beyond The Gates Of Splendor, Review

I find myself very often spotting special features, acknowlegdments or notes following a book or a movie that spurs my curiosity. 
When it comes to Aviation in particular (in all probability because of my being married to an Ex-RAF lad for the last 36 years!), I like to check it out. Thus I saw a few pictures of what I thought to be a movie and turned out to be not only a documentary but a movie as well!

I was lucky enough to find the "Beyond the Gates of Splendor" at our local library and I have not stopped thinking about it! If you have never heard of it, please take a moment to check it out here!
Faith comes in many sizes...I would describe mine as being very little indeed...
This however is to be witnessed!!
I cannot imagine for a single moment having the courage displayed by both these men and women who traveled to a harsh and often cruel place to bring the word of God to one of the most dangerous indigenious tribe of Ecuador!

The amazing feat these five families displayed can only be admired by the rest of us! The dedication of all five men in their mission work is but tenfold by the wives who followed their husbands to the jungle, preparing supplies, learning to handle two ways radios, and dealing with untold challenges all while raising their families away from everything they ever knew and loved...and stayed behind afterward to continue in their husbands dreams to bring the word of God to others!

Perhaps the most amazing feat however was these women's love and forgiveness for their fellow human beings...
I found the documentary spellbinding, particularly the actual footages of all five families as well as the priceless (last) photos taken by the five missionaries. (On a quick note, this movie is rated of course PG-13)

A movie was also made called "End of the Spear" and should be seen as well! 
And you might like also to check out the book "Through Gates of Splendor"! 
I hope to review it here very soon!

Because they believed, they give it all...

14 June 2011

Spring For Suzannah, Book Review and Giveaway

 Publisher's Review:

Booklist says, "Inspired by [folk] lyrics, Richmond arrives on the inspirational fiction scene with a moving debut novel. Readers will be filled with hope that Susannah will learn the true meaning of love. Highly recommended where inspiring, romantic historical fiction is in demand."

Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.
When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory .
Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her-and his faith in God's perfect plan-slowly begin to chip away at the wall she hides behind.
When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.
She looks to the future with a renewed heart. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.

My Review:

Since this weekend was quiet enough to let  me relax (after a week of feeling  somewhat frazzled) I picked up "Spring for Suzannah" to enjoy along with a nice cuppa! 
I was looking for something light to read but with a good solid plot, the kind of novel you immerse  yourself into.

This is a debut for Catherine Richmond but a few pages in the book I knew "Spring for Suzannah" would be a throughfully enjoyable read and I was not disappointed.
I think we all agree we like to read about these incredible frontier women who braved the wilderness, tamed the Wild West,  raised families, often burying some of their loved ones, faced starvation, wildlife threats, and built a life for themselves along their mates. 
Let's  not forget their contributions in building schools, churches and developing entire towns whilst uphelding God's word!

The setting for Catherine Richmond novel (written with the help of a few chocolates along the way - my kind of gal!) is the Dakota Territory, a few years after the end of the Civil War. 
Suzannah travels outwest to meet her new husband, Jesse. Theirs is a marriage by proxy, not unusual at that time. What is unusual is that she brings uncommon skills to her new way of life.
Her new home is a soddy, barely large enough to contain her husband and herself. Her companion is a dog, her only friend is Martha, a Norvegian just learning the English language and she lives miles away.  The prairie is everywhere, there are many dangers such as wildland fires and the often weather changes!  To survive is a daily challenge, being caught unprepared could mean death.  There are no church, no school, no doctor and loneliness has a way to pervade everything!

Jesse is a hard worker farmer but also a loving husband who has seen much horror during the War yet believes in God implicitly. His comfortable relationship with the Lord at times is even funny! 
Shy Suzannah is insecure and lives in fear her new husband will send her back East but with patience Jesse reaches her heart and they soon see their union blessed. 
When tragedy happens however, Suzannah must deal with the pain and here as always we are reminded God is always by our side. Suzannah matures in a real pioneer woman when she realizes God has a plan for her after all!

Catherine Richmond describes her characters as living a full life, theirs is a romance that blooms in a lonely often harsh world. She does not shy from describing their intimacy, reminding us God made all things beautiful and His love is constant.
I cannot say honestly I would recommend this as a read for young girls but again, this Christian novel was written with much care and faith and a more mature audience will truly enjoy following Jesse and Suzannah's story. 
The author's careful details gives us yet again, a little window on these pioneers women who made a New World thus providing us with a bit of history, along with an afternoon of true relaxation. 
Just what I was looking for!
Many thanks Catherine Richmond and I hope you will soon pen another story for us.

I give this book 4 stars!

I received this book free from Litfuse as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Meet Catherine Richmond:

Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.

For more about Catherine, please visit www.catherinerichmond.com.

You might like to check other reviews here:

And now for the Giveaway!

To celebrate her debut novel, Catherine and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away a Spring For Susannah Prize Package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond (for KINDLE)

To enter just click one of the icons below and then tell your friends! But hurry, giveaway ends on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th at 5 PM (6PM MST, 7PM CST, & 8PM EST) during Catherine's Spring for Susannah Book Club Party on Facebook! Catherine is rustling up some fun for the party - she'll be chatting about the story behind her novel, hosting a book club chat, testing your mail-order bride trivia skills, and giving away some GREAT prizes! Don't miss the fun and tell your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

13 June 2011

Monday Morning, A Quiet Life and Others Things...

Monday mornings on the island are usually very quiet...Visitors have gone on the last morning ferry, earlier than usual in fact, since once more we are experiencing cancellations due to low tides...

A peaceful atmosphere remains...Robins, Chickadees and finches are entertaining us with their songs, the Stellar Jays are calling loudly for their peanuts, the deer are browsing in the garden and due to the night rains everything smells just cleaner and so earthly...

It is still cool though but all windows are opened to let fresh air in...
MacIntosh the Corgi is taking a nap after his morning walk in the rain...He did not relish wearing his coat though however light a drizzle it now appeared to be...No frisbee playing today!
Maira the Cat is sleeping nearby...

House picked up, bed done, dishes cleaned, laundry soaking and now for a relaxing pick me up...A cuppa!

I will be on the morning ferry tomorrow for some (overdue) shopping and to pick up the post on the mainland! 
On the agenda for today, preparing a shopping list (any forgotten items means I must wait another 2 weeks), writting mail to send overseas and gather all library material for return...

Monday morning,
A quiet island life...

Today is a good day! 
God is good, God is great.
We are truly blessed!

12 June 2011

Blogging, Making Friends and Learning

Blogging means you share something about yourself, make friends and in the process learn something about others! 
That's the part I like best and of course let's not forget I am a dreamer...
My blog is actually called "Live and Dream a little Dream " but to me it always is Dream a little dream... I would like to believe I do both equally but I will admit the second means so much more...

Sarah Sundin is one of these special Authors who continues to pen warm heartfelt stories certain to entice us to dream! 
Never forgetting we are all of us "under His wings" she writes about people who are facing many challenges yet trust in the Lord to remain by their side.
I enjoy the settings (Air Corps) and particularly the time frame (The Fourties) as I have shared in the past on this blog.
I am also happy to state I have finally saved enough pennies to buy her first two books (versus borrowing from the local library!). 
"Blue Skies Tomorrow" will appear on shelves in August 2011 and yes, I am looking forward to read it too (no worries, pennies saved for my very own copy as well!)

Her many (blog) features includes an inspiring B17 video...The photos above shows we were truly inspired and decided to go and see it all for ourselves!
Additionally one of her blog features is a reminder of Today's in WW2 History
For i.e. today it says:
'70 Years Ago—Jun. 12, 1941: US Naval Reserve called to active duty.'

Europe had been at war since 1939 beginning with the invasion of Poland. In Decembre 1941 the United States of America joined the rest of this worlwide military conflict which sadly lasted another 4 years .

I thought to share this on my blog today of all things because something many have already forgotten happened also on 12th June 1944:

'Lieutenant John F. Kennedy receives the Navy's highest honor for gallantry for his heroic actions as a gunboat pilot during WW2 on this day in 1944. The future president also received a Purple Heart for wounds received during battle'. 

Today many of our Soldiers, are still fighting for Freedom! Some will never come home...
For all of these brave men and women and the many like them who came before, 

A quick reminder: This post reflects only MY opinion and any afore mention of book reviews or such were not requested!

10 June 2011

The Gospel For Real Life, Book Review

In our pursuit of Holiness we learn about the Cross, the pleasure of Obedience, the satisfaction of Justice and some of you might say you have heard all of this before and much more.
But in The Gospel for Real Life, Jerry Bridges does indeed go one step further, allowing us to receive new understanding and fresh insight to many questions many of us have in our daily lives.

The author clearly explains Christ's wonderful gift to His people, Eternal Life! There is so much more to this gift than we think and here you will find an explanation for all that you might have wondered about living the Gospel every day.
After all, a daily walk with God our Father can become a wonderful experience only if we received His gift in our heart!

As a Bible teacher, an author and a member of The Navigators' collegiate ministry group Jerry Bridges never fails to help us in our desire to learn more about our Saviour, to be more like Him.
In Chapter one for i.e. we learn about the unsearchables riches in God's plan.
Each chapter in fact provides more insight on this wonderful plan!

This paperback version now includes a complete study guide for individuals or groups, and as we have come to expect from Jerry Bridges, a complete list of resources/acknowledgements.

An excellent addition to any Church library and a thoughtful gift for any Christian!
I rate this one 4 stars.

I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

A Reluctant Queen, Book Review and Giveaway

Publisher's Review:

An inspiring re-imagining of the tale of Esther, a young Jewish woman thrust from a life of obscurity into a life of power, wealth, intrigue . . . and tender love.

See the story of Esther in an entirely new way-with all the political intrigue and tension you remember, but told as a passionate and tender love story between a young man and woman. Misunderstood by many, King Xerxes was a powerful but lonely man. Esther's beauty caught the eye of the young king, but it was her spirit that captured his heart.

Imagine anew the story of Esther, one of our faith's great heroines, destined to play a key role in the history of Christianity. More here

About the Author:

Joan Wolf was born in New York City but has lived most of her adult life with her husband in Connecticut , where she raised two children and countless numbers of assorted animals. Joan is the author of numerous historical novels including The Road to Avalon which Publishers Weekly lauded as “historical fiction at its finest.”

For more about Joan and her other books, please visit http://www.joanwolf.com./

Now for my review:

Joan Wolf courageously chose to write this novel after one of the most familiar books of the Bible, the book of Esther.

In "A Reluctant Queen" the author gives us some insight to what life must have been for this beautiful Queen who captured the love of the Persian King, leaving her way of life, her faith and her family for his Harem.

But taking in consideration her honest call to our attention this is to be a fictional story after all, I still find myself struggling with it.

(Esther and Mordecai - Aert de Gelder)

Telescoping us in time to pace the novel is quite understandable.
Historical facts however can only be tempered so much if the story is to have some credibility.
I could not agree with the Author's notes: for i.e. as Ahasuerus's name has many variations including the Greek equivalent of Xerxes (thus making it one and only one person and Esther's husband), depending on which Bible translation you are using and is also documented historically.

Additional liberties were taken when depicting certain characters and it also included a tendency to sexual innuendos which for my part distracted from the beauty of the Queen's love for her Persian King. Sometime less said is better!

In addition the Book of Esther has inspired countless generations of Women all over the world for her courage, determination, love, loyalty and sacrifice. As such, a novel based on this inspiring story could have been a lovely gift for any young Christian woman!

Regrettably this "light read' version brought neither enjoyment or knowledge. I have always thought of Esther as larger than life and felt somewhat cheated.

I give it 2 stars.

I received this book free from LITFUSE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

You might like to check out other reviews here: 

 A Reluctant Queen KINDLE Giveaway and Facebook Party

To celebrate Joan Wolf’s debut Christian Fiction title, A Reluctant Queen, Joan and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away A Reluctant Queen prize package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf (for KINDLE)

To enter, just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the contest ends on June 20th. Winner will be announced on June 21st during Joan’s A Reluctant Queen Book Club Party on Facebook (details below)! Hope to see you there – bring your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Join the fun on June 21st! 

Joan will be wrapping up the blog tour and Kindle giveaway promotion during her A Reluctant Queen FACEBOOK party on her FB author page. During the party she'll announce the winner of the Kindle, host a book chat discussion, test your trivia skills (Is Esther's story in A Reluctant Queen fact or fiction?), and more. Don't miss this chance to meet the author and make some new friends!