Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Review: Truth Be Told


Book Synopsis: 
When Amelia Wagner takes over her father's newspaper in 1893 Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper's commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have serious consequences. Her father's revealing articles about the Great Western Investment Company have caught the attention of the wrong people, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father's statements.

Determined to find out the real story, Amelia begins her own investigation. She's joined by Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who's been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company, a man Amelia finds both perplexing and intriguing.

What they uncover stuns them both--and has far-reaching implications for not only Ben and Amelia but all of Granite Springs. Can they reveal the truth before the enemy finds a way to silence them for good?

My Review:

This is my second novel that I've read from Carol Cox and I'm enamored with her writing style.  In Truth Be Told, she paints a picture with her words to describe rich detail of the time period.  It's as if you are walking the very streets she is writing about!
Her characters of Amelia and Ben are rich with character and style and their ensuing relationship blossoms with grace. 

Amelia arrives via train to Granite Springs to work with her father on their newspaper but soon finds herself on her own.  She holds fast to her father's words to seek only the truth, including in journalism and writing.  She soon encounters a sweet and wonderful man working for the Great Western Investment Company, the catalyst of this novel, which ends up being very company she ends up investigating!  The twists and turns of the plot make this book as wonderful as it does page-turning. Their attraction to each other is evident from the beginning but they are not able to be together due to various events and individuals that keep them apart.  This book is so refreshing in it's inclusion of cowboys and the great wild west, simplicity of life, murder, mystery, intrigue, friendships found and lost, and love finding a way through adversity and trial. 

I adore the intertwined faith that fills these wonderful pages.
The inclusion of scriptures and prayers that the characters say is refreshing!  This book is romance done right!
*Disclaimer:  I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House,
a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review.  
Any reflection of such is my own and this review is an honest reflection of such.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Review: Adventures Under the Mango Tree

God bless the Klepp family.  Honestly, this book moved me to my core!
I received a copy of this book for review but had no idea the sheer impact it would have on me to read it.  It's a honest, real-life approach to the biblical scriptures of humanity, selflessness, sacrifice.  From the opening pages where Mrs. Klepp shares her calling and quoting Romans 12:1-2, this book is about giving even when there isn't anything TO GIVE.  God will prevail and provide!

While this book is not earth-shattering, it's pages are filled with love and
stories of generosity, sharing, and caring.  What struck me most of all, aside from being a missionary called to do God's work abroad, is how they put so much of themselves to the side to give to others.  While Dennis battled a potentionally life threatening cancer, and most of us would not budge from the US and the medical care we have here, he and his wife went into the midst of the jungles, so rural and bare bones basic that a sheer love of God's forgotten children was enough.  The power of prayer proved to be stronger than fear
and conquered the unknown. 

I found myself applauding Lillian at times as she described taking in children who's mothers had died in childbirth, going to the neighboring cities to get supplies, even when it put her life in danger.  I had to laugh at the concept if eating outside the comforts of our fast foods and cushy supermarkets - especially when something like termites were considered a delicacy.  While I said outloud "No Thanks!", she described it with graciousness and following the plan that God obviously chose for her, bugs and all. 

I loved the addition of the pictures ~ it brought the book to life and gave it so much more realism.  This book is not all happy endings and everything coming up roses.  There are passages and chapters that will break your heart and you will need some tissues nearby.  But mostly, if you want a book that will fill your heart with pride for those that go above and beyond in the name of God and His Word, if you want a book that shows extreme sacrifice and a lesson in what we may do in our backyards, then this book is a great resource.  It's uplifting, inspirational, educational.

This book is a quick read - 21 short chapters and packs a punch in it's 106 pages.  It's a great read for students, sunday school lessons and leaders alike.

You can read more about Lillian Klepp and her mission's work

Disclaimer:  A copy of this book was provided to me (to review and give my honest opinion) by  The B&B Media Group.  The opinion expressed above is my own.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: Fly a Little Higher


Book Description:  Laura Sobiech tells the amazing story of how God used her son’s battle with cancer to touch the lives of millions.

“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”

This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.

At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing good-bye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed not one life but millions, making him an international sensation.

But Zach’s story is not just about music. It’s a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It’s about how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the music industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and school children across the globe.

Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” Fly a Little Higher is about how God used Zach to do something big.

My Review:  What an absolutely astounding book.  From the first first pages, I could not control the tears or the swell of love in my heart for this mother ~ not just for the loss of her beloved son, but of her triumphant and courageous fight to let him live the life he had to live.  While Zach's life was short and he was gone too soon, this book is a glimpse inside the life he did have and how he graced so many lives.

Raised in a close-knit and loving family, Zach was surrounded by love from day one.  Being diagnosed from cancer and having to live the life of a teenager with cancer, the struggles, fear, joys, triumphs and eventually, acceptance.  His gift of song and music is a gift to the world, a legacy left for the rest of us to not only have a part of him, but the message it brings.

I've PTL never lost a child but have lost a parent to cancer way too young. 
I found many similitaries in this book to what I went through and this book was more of a self help message than I could have dreamed.  We all suffer in the journey of loss but this book makes it so profoundly easy to understand and

know that God does not want us to suffer.  He is there with us each step of the way. 

The strength of the Sobiech family and the love for this son, Zach, resonated with me long after I closed the last chapter of this book.  Make sure you have tissues nearby when you open this book!

*5 well deserved stars*

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for review by BookLook for an honest review. The above opinion is that of my own entirely.