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Living Life Undaunted: 365 Readings and Reflections By Christine Caine

five-stars

Author:  Christine CaineProduct Details

Publisher:  Zondervan

Release Date:  April 1, 2014

Pages:  432

Genre:  Religion

Book Description:  Here are 365 thought-provoking devotions culled from the spiritually challenging words of acclaimed speaker and advocate Christine Caine. Including an introduction by the author, these short selections offer daily wisdom, inspiration, and companionship. These daily readings that encourage readers to do what God calls them to do are compiled from Undaunted and many of her other writings.

Wanda’s Thoughts:

What a great way to start your day with these daily readings! Rich in content, Living Life Undaunted is divided into sections for the four quarters of the year –
BROKEN
LOVED
EMPOWERED
COMMISSIONED
Practical thoughts and insights on life circumstances are applied to each reading and then concludes with a Moment of Reflection. Every day you’ll be inspired to delve deeper into the scriptures and invest in your spiritual needs.

Written in a clear and simple way, this compilation of daily devotions will inspire and encourage you. It is a wonderful companion to the Bible and will certainly help grasp God’s message written in the scriptures. I highly recommend – 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy from Zondervan through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review of this book.

About the Author:  Christine Caine Known for her ability to communicate profound messages of hope and inspiration, Christine Caine has a heart for reaching the lost, strengthening leadership, championing the cause of justice, and building the local church globally. She is a member of the leadership team at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, and also directs Equip & Empower Ministries.
In 2008, Christine and her husband, Nick, founded The A21 Campaign, an organization dedicated to addressing the injustice of human trafficking. The A21 Campaign’s comprehensive approach includes raising awareness, preventing future trafficking, taking legal action, and offering support services to survivors.
Christine Caine is an avid believer in the hope-giving power of the local church, she is the author of A Life Unleashed, The Core Issue; Run To Win, and Can I Have (and do) It All, Please?
Christine Caine in a nutshell:
passionate :: enthusiastic :: inspirational :: determined :: relentless :: devoted :: compassionate :: authentic :: creative :: innovative :: caffeinated :: Greek :: Australian :: traveling-preacher-chick :: wife :: mother :: speaker :: activist :: blogger :: author :: mentor :: fighter of human trafficking :: die-hard for the cause of Jesus Christ!
Website: http://www.equipandempower.org
Blog: http://www.christinecaine.com


Bones and Roses (Cypress Bay Mysteries #1) By Eileen Goudge

three-stars

 

 

Bones and Roses by Eileen GoudgePublisher:  Eileen Goudge

Release Date:  August 5, 2014

Pages:  234

Book Description:

New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge presents Bones and Roses, the first book
in her exciting new Cypress Bay Mysteries series!

Welcome to the northern California seaside town of Cypress Bay, where the surf’s up, the sixties
live on and long-buried secrets are about to surface.

From home invasions to cheating spouses, Rest Easy Property Management owner Leticia
“Tish” Ballard thought she’d seen it all. Almost four years sober after flambéing her real estate
career in an alcohol-fueled blowout, she’s finally in a good place in her life when the discovery
of skeletal human remains rocks her world and plunges her headlong into solving a decades-old
crime. Now she must delve into the darkness of her own past, including the one-night stand gone
horribly wrong with Spence Breedlove, who happens to be the lead detective on the case. When
the truth comes out at long last, Tish finds herself pitted against an enemy who will stop at
nothing in a fight for her own life.

Wanda’s Thoughts:

Cypress Bay, a seaside town in California – Tish Ballard had lost her career as a realtor because of her drinking. She is now the proprietor and sole employee of Rest Easy Property Management. She looks after vacation homes, doing upkeep and repairs.

The story picks up pace early on when skeletal remains are discovered in a trunk of a storage unit. This was a murder that took place decades ago with no witnesses, no timeline, and no forensic evidence. And the story unfolds as many secrets are untangled, with a myriad of obstacles to overcome.

The author created incredibly good characters. Tish’s best friend, Ivy, was wonderfully portrayed, and I found Arthur, the schizophrenic brother, to be quite interesting. I also enjoyed the splashes of humor spread throughout. The book had an interesting premise and a lot of potential. Unfortunately it just didn’t work for me. My interest waned and I struggled to finish this book. The blurb sounded interesting, but the book just didn’t deliver – it was just lukewarm. But perhaps you should read it and decide for yourself because I’m definitely in the minority. My rating is 3 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.

About the Author:  

I began writing at the age of eight, and wrote my way through the lean years, more than one marriage, single motherhood,and moving to the Big Apple on a wing and a prayer, with fifteen women’s fiction novels to show for it. Every life experience I’ve weathered has found its way into my novels in one form or another:bad exes, births, deaths,divorces, pregnancy scares,true crime (I was nearly kidnapped, at age 12, by the stranger whose car your parents warned you not get it into). It’s all part of the alchemy that makes for fictional gold.

BONES AND ROSES, Book One of my Cypress Bay mystery series, marks my entry into the ranks of mystery novelists. I’ve been a fan of the genre since I fell under the spell of James M. Cain reading his masterpiece, “Mildred Pierce.” I’m currently (and happily)wed to WABC-TV correspondent Sandy Kenyon, also known as the “taxi TV” film critic. We met when he was a radio talk show host and he interviewed me on the radio. How’s that for a Hollywood meet-cute?

My life’s goal was to have a day job that didn’t require me to wear pantyhose. Thankfully I’ve achieved that. Everything else is the icing on the cake.


Daisies are Forever (Women of Courage) By Liz Tolsma

five-stars

Daisies Are Forever by Liz Tolsma

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Release Date:  May 6, 2014

Pages:  352

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Book Description:  

Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.

Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.

However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”

Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella’s daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.

In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

Wanda’s Review:  

Wow! Another powerful read by Liz Tolsma – I couldn’t put this one down. The characters are vibrantly drawn and brought to life in this achingly sad novel – a story of bravery and survival.

This is a totally different perspective of WWII and one that I’m not familiar. I’ve read much about the Holocaust and what the Nazis did to the Jewish people. But this is a story of German refugees, set on German soil, near the end of the war. It portrays how the German people also suffered under Hitler’s wicked leadership. It looked like the war was lost. How many more innocent civilians would Hitler sacrifice to his pride?

The Russians were pouring in from the south and the Germans were not able to hold off the Soviets. It was becoming a dangerous area and many were fleeing before the Red Army arrived.

Gisela Cramer leaves East Prussia with her two young nieces, and three elderly neighbors, with a daisy tucked in her bible, to a safer place. Gisela needed to get to Berlin, and take care of her mutti, and from there they would travel to Munich. There was no guarantee they would survive and see liberation, and the courage it took to survive this dark period in history was just amazing.

And the story unfolds as they make this horrific journey in the middle of winter, into the frozen countryside, from Heiligenbeil to Berlin, Germany, trying to stay ahead of the Soviets.

Daisies Are Forever is an intense story written in vivid detail – a captivating and emotional read about a devastating time in our history. You don’t want to miss this one. My rating is 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.

About the Author:  Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013. Daisies Are Forever released in May 2014. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. Please visit her blog at www.liztolsma.blogspot.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@LizTolsma). She is also a regular contributor to the Barn Door blog.