A ★★★★★ Book Review of Secrets of Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble, a Lavender Tides Novel | A Christian Fiction Suspense Novel

*I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers book review program and Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


This fast paced, dramatic story takes readers on an exciting journey to Lavender Tides, Washington.

Oddly enough, this was my first Colleen Coble novel. Being a prominent suspense novelist in the Christian fiction world and a USA Today Bestselling Author, I’m surprised I haven’t read Coble’s books before. Regardless, I’m glad I chose this book and even more delighted it did not disappoint. Rather, it enticed me to read more books from this clever, creative author. Secrets of Cedar Cabin was a book that immediately drew me in and kept me turning the pages as fast as I could. This novel was well planned, well paced and had enough suspense to keep me hooked!


Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was—can Bailey even trust herself anymore?

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down.

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava.

Filled with Colleen Coble's custom blend of suspense and romance, Secrets at Cedar Cabin takes us back to the evocative landscape of Washington's coast where nothing is quite as it seems. - Synopsis from Secrets of Cedar Cabin


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Secrets of Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble, a Lavender Tides Novel | A Christian Fiction Suspense Novel

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Secrets of Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble, a Lavender Tides Novel | A Christian Fiction Suspense Novel

★★★★★ ||  I enjoyed several aspects of Secrets of Cedar Cabin . The first being the pace of the book. It moved quickly and kept me so interested, I finished it in just a day and a half. Being a suspense fiction lover, I really enjoyed the story line and the plot as it thickened and wove. Being an animal lover, I enjoyed Bailey’s cat and the delight Sheba brought to the story. (I’ve since learned that Coble often includes a pet in each of her stories and that made me love her all the more!).

This novel was a great read, the suspense was intriguing and the plot was dark and sinister, but not in a bad way. The story had romance, a touch of faith and drama. None of it was overbearing or overdone. It was all just right! Coble’s characters were endearing and easy to relate to. Following along with them as they grow in their faith and relationships was encouraging.

One thing I will say is that there seemed to be a lot of characters introduced which left me a little disoriented. As a result, I had the sense the book was a part of a series, which I didn’t know at first. Because of my personality and the fact that I enjoy books more when read in order, I wanted to include this fact. I recommend reading the other books in this series first, but it’s not imperative. Coble does a decent job of making her books stand alone novels, but I believe the stories have more impact if read in order.

Since finishing the Secrets of Cedar Cabin , I’ve actually read the entire Aloha Reef collection which I also highly recommend. Coble is a master at her novels and I’ve enjoyed each and every one I’ve read so far!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of https://colleencoble.com

Image courtesy of https://colleencoble.com

Colleen Coble | Best-selling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com. You can also follow Colleen on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Secrets of Cedar Cabin or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


 

A Book Review of Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas by Sarah Young, Illustrated by Katya Longhi | A Children's Christmas Story and Picture Book

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers book review program of Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links to purchase the book and I will receive a commission based on sales generated.


Beautiful, spiritual and an excellent reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. This well planned book is sure to be a family favorite this Christmas season!


Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas by Sarah Young | A Children's Christmas Story and Picture Book

Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas by Sarah Young | A Children's Christmas Story and Picture Book

★★★★★ | This beautifully illustrated children’s version of the Christmas story details the prophecies and events leading up to Jesus birth and after. It is an excellent resource for families to read together at the Christmas season and use to discuss the true meaning of the holiday season. Not only does this adorable book have scripture laden throughout it in the form of easy-to-comprehend little blurbs, but it is spiritually sound as author Sarah Young narrates the Christmas story. Near the end of the book, there’s a message to children “from Jesus” and it is heartwarming and truthful.

Since my daughter is just under one, this book was a highlight for her with its bursts of colorful illustrations that she loved. It is a bit mature for really young children in terms of wording, so it’s best read with a parent who can encourage insightful study and answer questions a child might have. The book is paper pages so in that respect it’s better suited for older children, or toddlers who are gentle with books. (UPDATE: After posting this review, I learned this book is available as a board book!) Because the content is rich in spirituality, this book is appropriate for multiple ages with older children benefiting the most, however, it is one I intend to read to my little girl each Christmas. In our home, we don’t shy from the reality of what our Lord went through in his young days being sought out by King Herod or taken to the cross to die for our sins. We want our children to understand these things at an early age and this particular book is a great gateway in explaining how and why our Lord came to earth as well as the reasons He loves us as His children.


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Lastly, pick up your own copy of Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas or borrow it from your local library.

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 

 

A Book Review of Little Book of Thanks by Jean Fischer, An Illustrated Precious Moments Children's Book of Gratitude

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers book review program and Tommy Nelson, an imprint of Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links to purchase the book and I will receive a commission based on sales generated.


Adorable, classic and nostalgic… A beautiful way to cultivate a heart of gratitude with your little one this fall season.

Appropriate for any child under 10, this adorably illustrated book is meant for every child’s bookshelf! There are twenty-four sweet and silly rhymes throughout the book, making it the perfect countdown to Thanksgiving. Your child will love the soft, colorful illustrations that depict both boys and girls, animals and activities, in the classic Precious Moments theme.


Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks, a Tommy Nelson children's book by Jean Fischer.

Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks, a Tommy Nelson children's book by Jean Fischer.

★★★★★ || Precious Moments have always been near and dear to my heart. I have a treasured book of my own rhymes that my Great-Grandmother gifted me as a young child. I was so excited to come across the Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks for my daughter this year! Turning the pages to find the adorable and heart warming images of the Precious Moments children and animals, while reading the rhyming, and sometimes silly poems, brought a bit of nostalgia to my heart.

This endearing book is flooded with a theme of gratitude, making it the perfect avenue for cultivating a heart of thanksgiving with your little one. Each poem covers things like thankfulness for loved ones, food, toys, season changes, weather and more. In addition, there is an accompanying short Bible passage that would make great scripture memorization pieces for older children. It is a beautiful faith-based book!

Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks is an excellent quality, thick board book so children can enjoy the book from a young age on.  The illustrations are sweet, soft and subtle, yet eye catching as they often fill the entire page. My daughter (aged six months) loved looking at them as I read her this book!  I would highly recommend this book to other families with small children and look forward to reading this all year long with my little girl. It’s definitely a classic keeper that will stay on her shelves for years to come and hopefully be a book she cherishes enough to pass on to her own children someday!

Note: For families that do not have both parents involved in the child's life, please know this book does mention both a mother and father.  For children raised in single parent households or for those who have another individual as a guardian, that may be a sensitive subject. 


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Lastly, pick up your own copy of Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks or borrow it from your local library.  You can also find the other Precious Moments books available here.

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar, a historical fiction novel.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers book review program and Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A heartrending story of loyalty, courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar, a historical fiction novel from Thomas Nelson. 

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar, a historical fiction novel from Thomas Nelson. 

★★★★★ || Auschwitz Lullaby is a truly remarkable tale based on a the true story of Helene Hannemann, a German nurse who chooses family over freedom when the Nazis force her Gypsy husband and five children into encampment during WWII. As they are delivered to Auschwitz-Birkenau II, her story unfolds when she’s is torn from her husband and must fight to keep her family alive in the very place where thousands upon thousands of people died from starvation, poor living conditions, Nazi cruelty and disease. 

The author, Mario Escobar, closely follows WWII history and portrays camp life vividly, and yet, heartbreakingly well. As he wove his fictitious tale of real courageous men and women, I was pulled into life in the Gypsy camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau II. This story was very carefully crafted with captivating characters and events that keep readers intrigued from page to page.  I believe readers will want to celebrate the sense of loyalty and perseverance in the brave men, women and children of those perilous times when the Nazis sought to crush the very soul of humanity. 

As a true five star novel, I loved this book because it was rich in historical details, beautifully written and seemingly accurate. The author doesn’t sugarcoat camp life for his readers, but even in the harsh reality of circumstances, he maintains the dignity of his characters and offers bits of joy for his readers. This is a MUST READ for historical fiction readers and anyone with a particular interest in WWII or the Holocaust. It is my understanding that this book may be available in multiple languages as well for readers all over the world.


Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.

On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.

After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.

Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.

Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost. - Synopsis from Auschwitz Lullaby


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of http://www.marioescobar.es/

Image courtesy of http://www.marioescobar.es/

Mario Escobar Golderos has a degree in History, with an advanced studies diploma in Modern History. He has written numerous books and articles about the Inquisition, the Protestant Reformation, and religious sects. He is the executive director of an NGO and directs the magazine Nueva historia para el debate, in addition to being a contributing columnist in various publications. Passionate about history and its mysteries, Escobar has delved into the depths of church history, the different sectarian groups that have struggled therein, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas. He specializes in the lives of unorthodox Spaniards and Americans.

Learn more about Mario at http://www.marioescobar.es/. You can also follow him on Facebook or Twitter


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Auschwitz Lullaby or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 

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A ★★★★★ Book Review of The Solace of Water, by Elizabeth Byler Younts, a Christian Fiction Novel

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers book review program and Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


The Solace of Water is not a book to just be read, but rather a book to be experienced. 

Have you ever read a book that was so riveting, you needed time after finishing the book just to process the depth of the words and the emotions tied up in them? I’m feeling that way after just finishing the new release, The Solace of Water, by Elizabeth Byler Younts.  For hours, my mind and heart has mulled over what I just read - the extreme depth of grief, love, friendship and the redemption that can only be found in forgiveness.


A ★★★★★ Book Review of The Solace of Water, by Elizabeth Byler Younts, a Christian Fiction novel from Thomas Nelson. 

A ★★★★★ Book Review of The Solace of Water, by Elizabeth Byler Younts, a Christian Fiction novel from Thomas Nelson. 

★★★★★ || As I try to compose a review, I’m not even sure my words will do this novel justice. I loved everything about this book. How the characters and their thoughts jumped off the page, coming alive and coercing me to relate to them. How I felt angered over their decisions, grief over their losses and heartache over their pain. I felt the newness of life come about as forgiveness made its way into the lives of the characters, a refreshing balm for the soul. 

Words cannot describe how good this book was.  The Solace of Water is not a book to just be read, but rather a book to be experienced. 

Author Elizabeth Byler Younts wasn’t afraid to entwine hard truths or expose the realities of lies and deception. She brought life to the pages and made me, as a reader, see how we as humans make choices without fully realizing how they impact those around us.  Using a timeline when racial tension was at an all time high, she weaves a story that is just as relevant today as it was in the mid 1950’s. Friendship and love can transcend all religions, races and ways of life. 

I can’t say enough about this book, without giving too much of the story away. It is a story I would highly recommend to other adult readers. It is one that won’t soon be forgotten and quite possibly remembered for a long time to come.


In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.

After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.

Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.

With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.

Eminently relevant to the beauty and struggle in America today, The Solace of Water offers a glimpse into the turbulent 1950s and reminds us that friendship rises above religion, race, and custom—and has the power to transform a broken heart. - Synopsis from The Solace of Water


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of https://www.elizabethbyleryounts.com/

Image courtesy of https://www.elizabethbyleryounts.com/

Elizabeth Byler Younts writes women's fiction for Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She gained a worldwide audience through her first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl and is a RITA nominated writer. She is also the author of The Promise of Sunrise series. She has consulted on Amish lifestyle and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect for two award-winning television shows. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two daughters, and a cockapoo named Fable.

Learn more about Elizabeth at www.elizabethbyleryounts.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of The Solace of Water or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


 

A Children's Book Review of God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers by Hannah C. Hall, Illustrated by Steve Whitlow

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers book review program and Tommy Nelson, an imprint of Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes links to purchase the book  but I do NOT receive a commission from any sales generated.


This adorable children's book is perfect for your little one's nightly routine and bedtime snuggles, helping them learn to seek God and His promises through prayer. 

Appropriate for any child aged 0-7, this precious book of sweet, little critters and soft, rhyming phrases will help your child learn to pray in a practical way about praising God, giving thanks, praying for loved ones and overcoming fears, trials and worries. Each page offers colorful illustrations and accompanying scripture featuring the promises God has made to His children. 


God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers, a Tommy Nelson children's book written by Hannah C. Hall, illustrated by Steve Whitlow.

God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers, a Tommy Nelson children's book written by Hannah C. Hall, illustrated by Steve Whitlow.

★★★★★ || I truly adore the God Bless Our books and this new release is certainly no exception.  The practical way that the author teaches children to pray is both simple and sweet.  The ten little prayers can stand alone, with one read each evening or the entire book as a whole.  I loved that each prayer taught something different - praise, thanksgiving, casting your worries on Him, trusting in the midst of fear, praying for sick loved ones, repentance and even finding rest in God. This book would make a great reference point for parents to read with their children as individual circumstances arise in a child's daily life, helping them look to the Lord for comfort and peace. Throughout this book, children are encouraged to seek God with underlying messages of love, hope and trust. It is truly heartwarming and fulfilling. 

I enjoyed that each prayer had verses to support the sentiment and thought those would work well as memory verses for older children. 

The book is an excellent quality, with thick, board pages so children can enjoy the book from a young age on.  The soft, delightful illustrations are simply too precious! My daughter (aged two and a half months) loved looking at them as I read her this book!  I would highly recommend this book to other families and look forward to reading this multiple times with my little girl! 

Note: For families that do not have both parents involved in the child's life, please know this book does mention both a mother and a father.  For children raised in single parent households or for those who have another individual as a guardian, that may be a sensitive subject. 


I review for BookLook Bloggers

Lastly, pick up your own copy of God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers or borrow it from your local library.  You can also find the other God Bless Our... books available here.

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!