Book review · Nonfiction · psychology · Reading · Uncategorized

A most unusual read

I recently repainted this faded garden gnome. I hadn't realized at the time these fairytale mushrooms were probably Amanita muscaria. Before reading a book about Jeremy Downs' near-death experience, I couldn’t have told you anything about Amanita muscaria mushrooms. And yet my outdoor garden gnome sat among them all this time. They were featured in… Continue reading A most unusual read

Book review · historical fiction · Impressions · medieval romance · Reading · Uncategorized

A review of Tamara Leigh’s “Lady At Arms: Book One”

I have long enjoyed reading Tamara Leigh’s contemporary romances, but I had not read her historical ones – and she’s written quite a few now. I wanted to go back to her beginnings and read her first works of historical fiction. I learned those were the “Bride” novels (no longer in print) rewritten as the… Continue reading A review of Tamara Leigh’s “Lady At Arms: Book One”

Book review · historical fiction · Inspiring Reads · Reading · Uncategorized

Must-read novel for fall

If this novel ever finds its way onto the screen, Kristina McMorris' "The Ways We Hide" would have these descriptors: “strong female lead, WWII drama, suspense, based on true events and mature audiences.” McMorris wrote her novel from the perspective of Fenna Vos, a Dutch-American woman living during World War II, a time known as… Continue reading Must-read novel for fall

Book review · Christianity · Nonfiction · philosophy · Uncategorized

Defending the faith in the manner of Jesus Christ

Dallas Willard, taken fromChristianity Today article I first learned about the works of American philosopher Dallas Willard reading John Eldredge's book on resilience that I reviewed here. Dallas experienced a painful childhood. His mother died when he was 2, and his father remarried a woman who exiled him from the home. (I still haven’t learned… Continue reading Defending the faith in the manner of Jesus Christ

Book review · Devotionals · Memoir · Reading · Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

Talking with God

As a young mother, Suzanne “Suzie” Eller struggled to find the words to pray, despite prayer lists or formulas. She wanted to hear from Jesus. She wanted to have intimate talks with Him like she would a dear friend. When she didn’t know how to pray in difficult seasons of her life, Suzie found the… Continue reading Talking with God

Book review · historical fiction · Regency Romance · Romance

The Highwayman kept riding…

“A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure.” Michelle Griep’s “The Noble Guardian” had me so engrossed in this tale I had a hard time shutting my light off at night to go to sleep. The Regency romace reads like a stand-alone novel, but I later learned it's part of “The… Continue reading The Highwayman kept riding…

Book review · Memoir · Nonfiction · psychology · Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

Living a bold and blessed life

Beauty, fashion and lifestyle guru Dominique Sachse is one of my favorite personalities on YouTube. She started her channel in 2014 with her tagline, “Be Bold and Be Blessed.” At last count, she has 1.74 million subscribers. I subscribed after seeing a video on how to style a bob. I later learned this poised and… Continue reading Living a bold and blessed life

Book review · Nonfiction · Reading · Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

A review of Anne Graham Lotz’s book about the work of the Holy Spirit

A power outage this weekend allowed me to finish the 2019 book "Jesus in Me" by Anne Graham Lotz. Anne is the daughter of Billy Graham and a gifted Bible teacher. In this book, she gave a biblical overview of the Holy Spirit along with His role within the trinity, God the Father; God the… Continue reading A review of Anne Graham Lotz’s book about the work of the Holy Spirit

Book review · Uncategorized

Secret letters and secret rooms: A Review of Ladd’s “The Letter from Briarton Park”

Imagine you are a 19th century woman who thought you knew all you needed to know about your past. You were about to leave to find work elsewhere. The school where you lived since a child would close soon. But then, as she lay dying, the headmistress told you she's held onto a letter for… Continue reading Secret letters and secret rooms: A Review of Ladd’s “The Letter from Briarton Park”

Book review · Inspiring Reads · Nonfiction · psychology · Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

On regaining spiritual resiliency

I just finished Christian author and counselor John Eldredge's “Resilient: Restoring your weary soul in these turbulent times,” the perfect read after all we've been facing. He used the recent pandemic and prophecies about the end of the age to share with readers a way to access the source of our resiliency and strength found… Continue reading On regaining spiritual resiliency

Biography · Book review · History · Inspiring Reads · Memoir · Uncategorized

Reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes with fresh eyes

My second origami crane in gold next to the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. My cousins are planning a special memorial in May, a way to remember and celebrate my Aunt Elaine, who died Dec. 30 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. My cousins Abby, Rachel, and Aaron will hang a thousand… Continue reading Reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes with fresh eyes

Book review · Reading · Uncategorized

A different “Lizzy and Jane”

Recently I've found I gravitate to stories about chefs and food. I favorably reviewed "A Coincidence of Coconut Cake" by Amy E. Reichert, and the debut novel from Charmaine Wilkerson's "Black Cake" not too long ago. "Lizzy and Jane" by Katherine Reay became the next "cheffie" or "foodie" story for me to read. Available to… Continue reading A different “Lizzy and Jane”

Book review · Inspiring Reads · Memoir · Nonfiction

Review of Behind the Lights

If you’ve enjoyed music from “for KING & COUNTRY," then you may be familiar with members Joel and Luke Smallbone. They are brothers of Rebecca St. James, who I had thought blazed a trail for them with her own career in the Christian music industry. But really the Smallbone family as a whole has been… Continue reading Review of Behind the Lights

Book review · Nonfiction · Reading · Uncategorized

A Review of Jane Austen’s Genius Guide

"The finest novelist" "Moral philosopher" "Sharp social commentator" These are three of the ways Haley Stewart described one of my favorite writers of all time, Jane Austen. Her added appellation though is the topic of this book: "Life Coach" I went into reading her book with this in mind. Jane Austen’s Genius Guide to Life:… Continue reading A Review of Jane Austen’s Genius Guide

Inspiring Reads · Nonfiction · Reading · Uncategorized

Review of 3:16: The Numbers of Hope

In this relaunch of his 2007 book, “3:16: The Numbers of Hope,” Max Lucado returned to this well-known-loved-quoted passage of scripture from the book of John: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.… Continue reading Review of 3:16: The Numbers of Hope

Book review · Devotionals · Nonfiction · Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

When Your Hiding Place Is God

Corrie ten Boom wrote of her family's part in the Dutch resistance movement during World War II in her book, "The Hiding Place" that was later made into a movie. Her family and others with the resistance helped hide their Jewish neighbors in her father's watch shop from the Nazi forces. Despite their arrest, the… Continue reading When Your Hiding Place Is God

Book review · historical fiction · Reading · Uncategorized

Review of 2022 debut novel “Black Cake”

I just finished the novel Black Cake, which is on Goodreads members’ list of the most anticipated books of 2022. Charmaine Wilkerson grabbed my interest from the first troubling scene in the prologue. From the editor's synopsis, I knew estranged siblings Byron and Benny had come together following the death of their mother. Eleanor Bennett… Continue reading Review of 2022 debut novel “Black Cake”

Book review · Reading · Uncategorized

A Review of Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Beth Pattillo’s "Jane Austen Ruined My Life" made for a conversation starter when I carried the book to appointments. She had made Edward her Knightley, and he didn’t measure up in the least. How dare Austen fill her readers’ heads with happy endings and perfect love matches! I finished this book the week of Christmas.… Continue reading A Review of Jane Austen Ruined My Life

Book review · Impressions · Reading · Uncategorized

First Impressions of Jane Austen

I believe this was the cover art of the edition we read in class of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, published Dec. 1, 1983. I first read Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” in graduate school. I had taken a course on romantic love in English literature at Kent State University with Dr. William Hildebrand. Crazy… Continue reading First Impressions of Jane Austen

Book review · Nonfiction · Uncategorized

Review of Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louie Giglio

Nine life-changing words from a friend’s text resulted in the title and jumping off point for Louie Giglio's latest book, “Don’t Give The Enemy A Seat At Your Table.” He centered his study on Psalm 23 and focused particularly on the first part of verse 5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence… Continue reading Review of Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louie Giglio

Book review · historical fiction · Inspiring Reads · Reading · Uncategorized

A review of “The House at the End of the Moor”

I am a Victorian literature fan, so I am delighted when I read from a kindred spirit. Michelle Griep's “The House at the End of the Moor” not only has a Bronte-loving character, but it's like she donned Dickens' writing cap or something and created characters he would love. The story featured three main characters… Continue reading A review of “The House at the End of the Moor”

Book review · Movies · Songs for the journey · Uncategorized

Review of “The Armor of God”

War Room movie poster from Wikipedia I was already Priscilla Shirer fan after seeing her in the movie, "War Room." She played Elizabeth Jordan, a real estate agent whose marriage was falling apart. Karen Abercrombie played Clara Williams, a client who started to mentor Elizabeth and help her take back control of her life by… Continue reading Review of “The Armor of God”

Book review · Uncategorized

The note inside the Santa Suit

Christmas in July has passed I realize, but ‘tis the season for publishing Christmas stories. I just finished reading an upcoming novella from Mary Kay Andrews called “The Santa Suit.” I requested the title from Netgalley after reading the synopsis. Ivy Perkins bought a farmhouse based solely on a real estate listing. She knew it… Continue reading The note inside the Santa Suit

Book review

Page-turning, romantic, foodie adventure in Milwaukee

“The Coincidence of Coconut Cake” by Amy E. Reichert is a romantic foodie adventure about finding love, being true to yourself, and letting passion be your guide. And it’s a great virtual tour of the best of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Movies like “No Reservations” (2007) with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Abigail Breslin, and Aaron Eckhart came to mind… Continue reading Page-turning, romantic, foodie adventure in Milwaukee

Book review · Reading · Uncategorized

An Early Review of “A Christmas Legacy”

Anne Perry's latest Christmas story comes out Nov. 2, 2021 though Penguin Random House publishing. I requested an advanced copy of New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry's "A Christmas Legacy" that comes out Nov. 2, 2021. When I started this novel, I thought this was a standalone tale, but as I read the back… Continue reading An Early Review of “A Christmas Legacy”

Book review · Nonfiction · Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

A review of “I’ve Seen the End of You”

“Gripping." "Haunting.” “Mesmerizing.” These were some of the descriptions I saw for the book: “I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know.” Brain surgeon W. Lee Warren, MD, served in the U.S. Air Force and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from his experiences during the… Continue reading A review of “I’ve Seen the End of You”

Book review · historical fiction · Reading · Uncategorized

Shipwreck, smugglers, and scoundrels – oh, my!

Danger at sea, survivors of shipwreck, smugglers and scoundrels filled my mind and had me hooked while reading “The Light at Wyndcliff” by Sarah E. Ladd. The third book in the Cornwall Novels series took place in 1820 and opened with a prologue introducing a new character to the series, Evelyn Bray. She and her… Continue reading Shipwreck, smugglers, and scoundrels – oh, my!

Book review · Inspiring Reads · Nonfiction · psychology · Uncategorized

And I ran out of that cave…

elijahs-cave.jpg (450×450) (wordpress.com) Thanks to Netgalley, I received a free review copy of Chris Hodges’ new book “Out of the Cave: Stepping into the Light When Depression Darkens What You See” . Hodges is a pastor who struggled with anxiety and depression and understands the stigma surrounding mental health issues, especially among Christians. He says… Continue reading And I ran out of that cave…

Book review · Uncategorized

Review of “Nothing Wasted” by Kasey Van Norman

You may have seen these quotes floating around on the Internet: "Your past doesn't define you," "Your past doesn't define your future." The positive message conveyed, at least to me, is that who I was in the past doesn't have the final say in who I am becoming. I'm to forget the past and stop… Continue reading Review of “Nothing Wasted” by Kasey Van Norman

Book review · Reading · Uncategorized

Review of Gothic fiction pioneer’s “The Castle of Otranto

In October, I started Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto because it was one of the works that inspired Jane Austen to write the Gothic satire “Northanger Abbey.” Walpole, the 4th Earl of Orford, was 48 when he wrote this work in 1765. He said he'd awakened from a dream about seeing at the top… Continue reading Review of Gothic fiction pioneer’s “The Castle of Otranto

Book review · Inspiring Reads · Things I'm Learning

“God Loves Ugly” book & study guide review

My women's group chose Christa Black Gifford's "God Loves Ugly & Love Makes Beautiful" book and study guide for a 9-week study on Zoom. Christa is a popular blogger, singer, songwriter, and violinist, as well as an author and speaker. She has played violin on tour with the Jonas brothers, Jordan Sparks, and Michael W.… Continue reading “God Loves Ugly” book & study guide review

Book review · Inspiring Reads · Uncategorized

“Stay With Me,” a cozy, fall read

The cover art fits the description of Genevieve especially. In her first book of the Misty River Romance series, Becky Wade opened “Stay with Me” with a nod to “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Sam Turner, the owner of Sugar Maple Farms, found a young woman asleep on a bed in his guesthouse. The intruder,… Continue reading “Stay With Me,” a cozy, fall read

Book review · Inspiring Reads · Nonfiction · Things I'm Learning

A Review of Bob Goff’s “Dream Big”

It's been a while since I read Bob Goff's "Everybody, Always," but I remember him for his storytelling, generous spirit, and loving heart for people. Having read his latest book, “Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You're Going To Do About It,” I echoed my husband Dave's response: I… Continue reading A Review of Bob Goff’s “Dream Big”

Book review · Uncategorized

An ARC Review of “Vesper Flights” by Helen MacDonald

Dr. David E. Russell, Miami University, Dept. of Biology, shows one of the two female Saw-Whet owls to an audience member during a talk on banding owls on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, Nature Center Education Room, Germantown Metropark, Germantown, Ohio. I love exploring gardens and live for bird-watching...especially birds of prey. I remember the first… Continue reading An ARC Review of “Vesper Flights” by Helen MacDonald

Migraine treatment · Uncategorized

Approaches to treating chronic migraine 4

Fellow migraineur Teri Roberts is an advocate for those with migraine. She's the editorial director of the site Migraine Disease.org, an excellent resource for those searching for information when seeking treatment for migraine. http://migrainedisease.org I am especially thankful of this migraine rock star for one of her suggestions that led me to finally find someone… Continue reading Approaches to treating chronic migraine 4

Book review · Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

A review of Timothy Keller’s 2014 book on “Prayer”

I recommend the book “Prayer: Experiencing Awe & Intimacy with God” by Timothy Keller for readers who seek well-researched, well-thought-out answers about prayer. First impressions -- "This is not light reading." I almost quit trying to read this book altogether, even though I purchased this through a second-hand bookstore. That would have been a tragedy.… Continue reading A review of Timothy Keller’s 2014 book on “Prayer”

Uncategorized

A short chat about active reading

I will call 2020 as my year to learn about what it takes to have a rich prayer life. I do pray often, but I don’t have a prayer routine. Sometimes I am distracted by my mind’s endless list of demands. I want to pray and not just in crisis mode and not out of… Continue reading A short chat about active reading

Book review · Uncategorized

Review of “The Governess of Penwythe Hall”

“Fear is a bitter vile enemy – it will rob you of today’s joys and steal your strength to fight for your purpose.”– Elizabeth Abbott, “The Governess of Penwythe Hall” Sarah E. Ladd tipped her hat to the series "Poldark." She picked the location of the Masterpiece drama as the main destination for characters in… Continue reading Review of “The Governess of Penwythe Hall”

Uncategorized

Words With Scammers

I love word games and recently have gotten hooked on Words With Friends (WWF) on my Kindle. My strategy as a player has enjoyed some progress. I love when I have a strong opponent. I haven’t been able to play with my Facebook friends though. Every time I try to click on link that takes… Continue reading Words With Scammers

Uncategorized

Songs for the journey

I scan between two stations when I drive: KLOVE and Air1 Radio. Both are inspirational, Christian music stations. Dave and I support them financially. We’ve seen the difference the music and messages have made in our lives and in the lives of so many countless others. I’ve noticed trends in topics too – almost like… Continue reading Songs for the journey

Uncategorized

Close call

My hubby Dave was settling back into the old routine before his workday that Thursday, Jan. 2. The holidays were over. The trash can and recycling were set out. As he sat down in the driver’s seat of the Escape, he couldn’t catch his breath. I thought he had forgotten something when he came back… Continue reading Close call

Things I'm Learning · Uncategorized

I can have an e-lending library!

I was so excited today to learn that I can loan out books I own on my Kindle. I can have an e-lending library -- Woo-hoo! If you haven't seen this, let me share. Here is a screenshot of one of the books I just reviewed: See in the top line that says "You purchased… Continue reading I can have an e-lending library!

Book review

Christmas Novellas

Thanks to Bookbub I squirreled away some free Christmas stories from this service emails of the latest deals on books based on my chosen genres. I thought I’d get to those before Christmas. That didn’t happen. Holiday preparations mixed in with the usual suspects slowed my reading pace. I have only read two so far… Continue reading Christmas Novellas

Book review

A review of Gladwell’s “Talking To Strangers”

I was searching online for a book using search terms: “how to talk to people book.” Malcolm Gladwell’s latest work, “Talking To Strangers” was shown among the titles and remembered he also wrote the book, “Blink” that I wanted to read. But “Talking to Strangers” was NOT a book about becoming a better conversationalist. The… Continue reading A review of Gladwell’s “Talking To Strangers”

Book review · Uncategorized

How to be ‘C.A.L.M.’ in a chaotic world

Max Lucado said he "writes books for people who don’t read books.” His book "Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World" has short chapters packed with information, pertinent scripture, stories that illustrated his points well and segued into the next chapter at a brisk pace. I found myself quoting this book often to… Continue reading How to be ‘C.A.L.M.’ in a chaotic world

Book review

A second reading of “North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell

I decided to start a review as I start reading “North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s one I’ve read before, so I know the story, but sometimes I read to escape without much reflection. I might notice something in passing, but I don’t always delve deeper. This novel was Gaskell’s third novel that was… Continue reading A second reading of “North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell

Book review · Uncategorized

Help My Unbelief!

As a Christian, I have had periods where I wrestled with whether I was a true believer. I would go through periods of great depression and anxiety and question my faith. I would come out of the other side of that valley knowing Jesus carried me, but still wonder why I questioned my faith. I… Continue reading Help My Unbelief!

Book review

Sidebar to Review of Catherine Taylor’s “Beyond the Moon”

While I read Catherine Taylor’s debut novel “Beyond the Moon,” I remembered two other novels where main characters switch bodies and lives hundreds of years apart from each other. In Laurie Viera Rigler’s Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict,” Courtney Stone was drunk on Absolut, wearing her wedding dress, as she despaired of her broken… Continue reading Sidebar to Review of Catherine Taylor’s “Beyond the Moon”

Book review

A Review of “Beyond the Moon,” Catherine Taylor’s debut novel

I requested Catherine Taylor’s first novel “Beyond the Moon”  after reading that it is time-travel fiction. Time travel in books and film is one of my most favorite themes in fiction. The “how” and the “why” questions of time travel find their way to the surface often as I read. Even though my imagination is… Continue reading A Review of “Beyond the Moon,” Catherine Taylor’s debut novel

Migraine treatment

Approaches to treating migraine 2

In my first blog post about living with migraine, I said I would go into some of the treatments I’ve tried to help with migraine. I mentioned too that I have fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis. While trying to find ways to prevent & treat migraine, I learned I'm taking part in the genetic equivalent of… Continue reading Approaches to treating migraine 2

Book review · Christian fiction · historical fiction · medieval romance · Uncategorized

A return to medieval times…

While reading Lady At Arms, Tamara Leigh kept dropping breadcrumbs, hints for the reader to continue reading Baron Gilbert Balmaine's story. Why did Lady Graeye (pronounced Gray) Charwyck give him so much trouble? I could not wait. I had to find out why in "Lady of Eve, Book 2,". The scene opened with Lady Graeye… Continue reading A return to medieval times…