Posts

Showing posts from December, 2018

The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado {Book Review}

Image
~ Description  Imagine a Victorian England village in the Cotswolds where very little out of the ordinary ever happens . . . except at Christmas time.

This year, Edward Haddington, a lowly candle maker, is visited by a mysterious angel. That angel silently imparts a precious gift—a gift that’s bungled and subsequently lost. The candle maker and his wife, Bea, struggle to find the gift.

And when they do, they have to make a difficult choice. Who among their community is most in need of a Christmas miracle?

Join inspirational author Max Lucado and experience anew the joy of Christmas.


~ My Review  A dear story, full of charming settings, memorable characters (honestly, who doesn't love the Haddingtons?), and a theme that spells Christmas. 
I read this book after watching the movie and—quite honestly—I liked the movie better. The book had it's own perks, though, giving a bit more background to some of the characters. Emily was a more likable gal in the movie, in my opinion. xD

T…

Savanna's Gift by Camille Eide {Book Review}

Image
~ Description Forced to return to the ski lodge where she once worked, Savanna Holt is reminded of one special Christmas and how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life: Leaving Luke Nelson.

Stunned to discover Luke never left, but worked his way up from lift operator to manager, Savanna sees the opportunity as a gift from God. She’s determined to win Luke back. But Luke wants no reminders of his past hurt, or a relationship with the woman who put ambition before love.

Can Savanna convince Luke she’s changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?


~ My Review Well, gracious, that was cute. In a charmingly-written tale that reminded me of a Hallmark movie, this novella was sweet, touching, and heartfelt—all in under 100 pages.

Luke, Savanna, Mylie, and the Freemans were all such fun characters, each realistically done. And the medical details and loads of sarcasm weren&…

Silent Star by Tracie Peterson {Book Review}

Image
~ Description  In the 1940s, the small Pennsylvania town of Haven is rather subdued with their young men facing battles in far-away Europe. Young Andy Gilbert, burdened with his job of delivering telegrams bringing the news of those missing or killed in action, faces the coming holidays with dread and discouragement. With each new message he must deliver- met by screaming mothers, grief-stricken wives, and weeping families--he longs to join the ranks of the numbered dead. Only one elderly woman recognizes the pain and suffering tormenting Andy--and it is through her wisdom that the stars again can shine for Andy and for a town that desperately needs the hope those stars represent.

A touching novella book from a bestselling novelist.


~ My Review "Oh my, how heartbreaking!" was my first thoughts when I got a chapter or so into this book. And it certainly does hold a special sort of sadness. But there is hope, too. There's always hope. <3

The story—ahh, it turned out so…

Kind by Kellyn Roth {Book Review}

Image
Amazon || Goodreads

~ Description  Lt. Neil Hudson is sure to have a rotten Christmas.

How can he have anything but a rotten Christmas when he's stuck in war-torn Germany away from his family, friends, and all hope of a decent turkey dinner?

That's when the Slades come into his life.



~ My Review  A short story set in German a few months after the end of WWII? Sign me up!

This short, heart-warming tale by indie author Kellyn Roth did not disappoint. The teasing banter between Neil, Kell, and Clive was so fun and guy-typical. And the Slade family—ahh, they were darling!

A sweet story, full of Christmas spirit.

Four crush caps out of five! 


**I received a copy of this story from the author in exchange for my honest review.**


I'm doing a mini book review nearly every day leading up to Christmas, in participation with the 12 Days of Christmas blog party. Be sure to check out Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun! <3 

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury {Book Review}

Image
~ Description  A heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships.

Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.

Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.

For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.

Now t…

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti {Book Review}

Image
~ Description  An award-winning novelist’s heartwarming story about family and love lost, found, and finally truly revealed at Christmas.

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.


~ My Review  After grabbing this book for a couple bucks from CBD, I started it with little idea of what to expect... And I was blown away by what I found tucked inside the pages.

First, the Binder…

A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid {Book Review}

Image
~ Description  Todd, they always want you to adopt a dog. That's what they do. Besides, we don't need another animal around here, and most definitely not a dog.

When Todd McCray, a developmentally challenged young man still living on his parents' Kansas farm, hears that a local animal shelter is seeking temporary homes for its dogs during the days leading to Christmas, he knows exactly what he wants for the holidays. His father objects, but Todd's persistence quickly wins out. Soon the McCrays are the short-term foster family for a lovable pooch the young man names Christmas.

But what about all the other dogs who will be forced to spend the Yuletide season in cages? In the days that follow, Todd uses his special gifts of persuasion to encourage his hometown to participate in the Adopt a Dog for Christmas Program. What follows from his small act of kindness will teach his family, and his community, about peace on earth and good will toward men and animals.


~ My Review …

In the Dark Streets Shineth by David McCullough {Book Review}

Image
~ Description Christmas Eve, 1941. Mere days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the White House. As war raged throughout the world, the two leaders delivered a powerful message of hope that still resonates today.

Bestselling author and renowned historian David McCullough relates a compelling story about the spirit of Christmas and the power of light to shine in difficult, dangerous times. Also sharing the stories behind the songs "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas," this beautifully designed book is filled with historic photographs and uplifting messages that will bring the Christmas spirit home to your family.


~ My Review Wow. I'm not even sure how this book first ended up on my to-be-read list (seeing it around Goodreads somewhere would be my first guess), but gracious, I'm so glad I read it.

An inspiring, non-fiction account of …

Hannah's Hope by Karen Kingsbury {Book Review}

Image
~ Description Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury offers the final installment in her Red Gloves seriesthe heartwarming tale of a girl whose only wish is to be held by the father she never knew.

15-year-old Hannah Roberts remembers when her father was her closest friend. The image is hazy, though, pulled from her distant childhood memories, and her father is now very cold and distant. Feeling orphaned, Hannah lives a lonely life with her wealthy, ailing grandmother. As Christmas nears, Hannah learns a shocking truth: the man she believed was her father is not her parent after all. In an effort to find answers, she begins a desperate search for her real father, Air Force pilot Mike Conner. Local politicians and the city's newspaper catch wind of her quest, and the entire state joins in Hannah's hope that she'll find her father before the holidays.


~ My Review Holy moley, this book was fantastic.

Karen Kingsbury was a new-to-me author of 2018 that, after five amazing books, …

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson {Book Review}

Image
~ Description Laughs abound in this bestselling Christmas classic by Barbara Robinson! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids.

Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. And that’s just the start! When the Herdmans show up at church for the free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked. It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.

This year’s pageant is definitely like no other, …

Ilyon & Acktar blog tour {Spotlights + Review}

Image
Welcome to another epic stop on the combined Ilyon and Acktar blog tour! Fantasy series written and published by indie authors, these are much-loved books. I've been an honorary Acktarian for a few years, and I'm planning my first visit to Ilyon in the new year. ;) 

ACKTAR(Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page!)


About Decree The Adventure Continues.
Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.
The Blades as They Should’ve Been  A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family?
The First Mission When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help? 
To the Far Great Mountains  A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the b…

Hope Your Heart Needs by Holley Gerth {Book Review}

Image
~ Description  Understanding more of God's character and how he loves us changed bestselling author Holley Gerth's life in beautiful, powerful ways. She realized that she didn't have to settle for "I'm fine" when there was someone whispering to her in every moment, "You're mine." The hope, joy, peace, and purpose she longed for were already there, in the heart of God.
Now in 52 devotional readings, Holley shares with women the answer to the restlessness they feel in their hearts that keeps them hurrying, striving, pushing. She shows them that "the God who scattered stars like diamonds across the velvet of the universe, the keeper of every sparrow, the maker of us all, is inviting us to draw closer to him. He is the place where our hearts can go on the hard days and the happy ones, in the highs and lows, when we are sad or frustrated or downright giddy. He is what we've been searching for all along."

~ My Rating  4 stars

~ My Revie…

You have a Purpose. // The Carpenter

Image
Jesus likely would have begun his work as a carpenter while still a teenager. When we consider this, it seems like a decade or more of his time on earth could have been used differently. Only 10 percent of Jesus's life was spent in public ministry. I think we need to know this because we will all have "carpenter years." Times when we don't feel like we're living up to our potential. We feel like we could be doing something more, something bigger. We can resist the smallness. We, like the questioning crowd around Jesus, can become disappointed and disillusioned by what doesn't seem as grand as we'd imagined. // Hope Your Heart Needs by Holley Gerth, page 140

I'm not even exaggerating when I say that these lines jumped off the page at me as I read them. Wait...Jesus had a season of "smallness"? Yes, yes, He did.

His ministry, covered in the four Gospels, all happened in about three years—around 10% of His earthly life! The average life span in…

The Christmas Duet {blog tour}

Image
Happy Saturday, readers! Welcome to the Christmas Duet blog tour, featuring His Law is Love by Rebekah A. Morris and O Come All Ye Faithful by Faith Blum. Both of these darling works of fiction feature Christmas song references, which makes them especially fun. :D 


Synopsis Will hate and fear drown the song of Christmas love? 
Amelia is eagerly anticipating her first Christmas in the west, but she soon finds that her brother-in-law's worry and her sister's exhaustion reach far deeper than the cares of a ranch and a family. A rash of fires and cattle thefts is plaguing the area, and the three young orphans they've sheltered are under suspicion from their prejudiced neighbors. 
As hostilities mount, Amelia seizes every opportunity to help and encourage, but how much can one girl do? Will Reverend Brown win the community over to the true spirit of love? And will help arrive before everything they hold dear is destroyed?

My Review His Law is Love was such a lovely story! 
Ful…