One of my favorite hobbies is reading. I don't just read books...I devour them. Seriously--my husband will buy me a book for my birthday, and I'll usually read it within 2-3 hours. A few years ago, I decided that I would read faith-based fiction & non-fiction and personal development books only, so on this page you'll find reviews for these kinds of books--both fiction and non-fiction. Whether you're looking for a fun read or something that will inspire you, I hope my reviews help you choose a book you'll love!Click here for recommendations for books for girls.
Publicly jilted by a local congressman, Sophia Makinoff determines to do something valuable for the world. Since she can’t go to China to be a missionary, she finds herself installed as the teacher for a small Ponca tribe in the middle of Dakota territory. As the daughter of a former statesman in Russian, Sophia has traveled the world and is used to facing danger and scarcity, which makes her a perfect match for this position. However, nothing has prepared her for the desperate poverty and hopelessness facing the Ponca tribe.
As she makes do with what she has brought with her and does her best to contribute to the cause of the Poncas, Sophia finds herself drawn to the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn. Both work hard, both love the Ponca people, and both share a desire to prove themselves worthy–to God and to the other. When the government disbands the Ponca Agency, Sophia and Will end up in the same town in Nebraska, giving them another chance at love and at helping the Poncas.
Through Rushing Water, by Catherine Richmond, is a fascinating historical novel. Though it was heartbreaking to read about the plight of this tribe and to see the [...] Continue Reading…
Callie has been real worried about her missing husband, Seth Kincaid, but when she sees that he’s alive and well back home in Colorado, all she really wants to do is shoot him. Seth, tormented by nightmares of his childhood injuries and the war and drawn to the peace of the underground caverns, hopes that he can be the man she wants him to be–and keep his wits long enough to remember her and their son!
In the latest novel in Mary Connealy’s Kincaid Brides series, Over the Edge, Seth and Callie work together to keep Seth from going over the edge–both literally and figuratively. Seth continues to struggle to maintain a hold on reality and his sanity as he fights the draw to hide himself in the cavern where he almost lost his life as a boy.
When Callie is kidnapped by an outlaw determined to get his diamonds back, Seth has to make a choice between the escape he’s found in the caves and reality. In the process of saving his bride, Seth finally faces the truth about what happened in the cavern that day, and he learns that the only peace he needs comes from God.
Like all of [...] Continue Reading…
Sam Hopkins is determined not to be the typical PK (preacher’s kid). He wants people to see him as he is, not who they expect him to be. (Don’t we all?) But when he accidentally stumbles on a way to be seen as more than Mr. Nice Guy by hanging out with the wrong crowd, he bites off more than he can chew.
In the midst of trying to figure out how to get out of the mess he’s gotten himself into, Sam runs into another problem–the kid sister of his idol and school hero. Jennifer is more than just a little strange–she sees and hears things that aren’t there. But when her visions come true and someone turns up dead, Sam is determined to help her.
Though meant for young adults, I really enjoyed this novel by Andrew Klavan. Crazy Dangerous is fast paced with a great story line. The story highlights typical teenage emotions and fears, while giving a realistic picture of what can go wrong when you begin to spend time with the wrong crowd. Sam’s story really is about being who you are, doing what’s right, and doing your best to follow God’s plan for your life.
**I [...] Continue Reading…
Imagine being in your early twenties with a young child and no one to turn to. Your family has shunned you, you’ve left the community you called home your entire life, and you’re making your way in the world all alone. And then an unknown person begins to threaten you and your child. This is Lizzie Engel’s life. Desperate to save herself and her child, Lizzie does the only thing she can think to do–return home to Kingdom, the small Mennonite community where she was born.
Unfortunately for Lizzie, her problems follow her back home. She must learn to trust God as He slowly restores relationships and shows her that things are not always as they appear. Inescapable, by Nancy Mehl, is a great thriller that keeps the reader guessing about who the bad guy really is. As a reader, I kept wishing that Lizzie would just be open and face her problems–trust someone. And, in fact, had she done so, the mystery might have been solved a lot sooner! But, Lizzie wouldn’t have found the peace that she finds in the end of this novel.
Inescapable is a great read, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the [...] Continue Reading…
Erin Healy’s latest book, House of Mercy, illustrates once again her gift for story-telling. The interesting blend of physical and spiritual danger and mystery make her books some of my favorites. This latest novel is no different.
We all find ourselves in need of mercy–usually over and over again throughout our lives. Beth Borzoi’s parents founded their ranch, the Blazing B, to help people who need a little more mercy than the rest of us–and their daughter, Beth, whose shares her full name, Bethesda, with the ranch, finds herself a living representation of her name & her parents’ mission–”house of mercy.” After a stunning series of events that begin when Beth tries to help out a friend, the family legacy is in danger. Beth’s older brother is ready to sell off the ranch that is home to so many who need it, and Beth’s only hope is her estranged grandfather.
After a mysterious encounter with a white wolf she names Mercy and the discovery of a special gift for healing, Beth finds herself following her new canine friend over the mountain in search of her grandfather. Though much of the book centers around Beth’s journey across the mountain, the book really [...] Continue Reading…
I think Karen Witemeyer is on her way to becoming one of my favorite authors. In a style much like Mary Connealy, Witemeyer tells stories of the old west, complete with honorable cowboys & strong women. Throughout all her novels, Karen Witemeyer weaves in a focus on God that is refreshing.
Short-Straw Bride is Witemeyer’s latest novel. Meredith Hayes first meets Travis Archer as a 10 year old when, after going after her lunch pail, she steps in a coyote trap on his land. Archer made a promise to his dying father to protect his brothers and his land, and that means that he never leaves it, putting up a defense that includes a reputation for shooting trespassers on sight. But when Archer finds Meredith and brings her to her home, she learns that Archer has a soft heart after all.
Several years later, they meet again when Meredith braves the Archer’s reputation to trespass once again–this time to warn him of a plot to burn their barn and steal their land. However, her actions leave her injured and end up threatening her reputation. Her uncle demands that one of the four Archer brothers marry Meredith, and Travis draws the short [...] Continue Reading…
When I was a little girl, my dad used to tell me stories about miracles. According to my dad, he was born with one leg shorter than the other. His grandma used to take him to every healing service she could find, but the miracle never came. Finally, she took him to one last service and surrendered the outcome to God. The next morning, my dad woke up completely healed. Both legs were the same length.
I don’t know that I’ve seen any miracles myself, but there have been times I’ve suspected the hand of God in my circumstances. Regardless, the stories my dad told me as a little girl continue to give me faith that miracles do happen–that angels do exist. It’s probably one of the reasons that I love books by Frank Peretti so much! :)
Anyway, the other day I saw Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters and thought I’d give it a try. The book is a compilation of real-life stories of supernatural events–from miracles to angels to demonic encounters. Some of the stories are very powerful. Others seemed to be put in just to fill the pages. Maybe it was that certain events spoke to me and [...] Continue Reading…
After a long day of grading, I decided to see what new books were available on BookSneeze. I chose A Path Towards Love by Cara Lynn James, the author of Love on a Dime. I expected a cute book, not the best read ever, and that’s exactly what I got.
Katherine Osborne is a widow who is doing her best to bring the citrus groves loved by her late father-in-law back into profitability. However, her wealthy parents, who didn’t approve of her marriage in the first place, want her to come home and marry her childhood friend, Randy. Katherine unwillingly makes a deal with her father that buys her some time with the bank holding the loan on her property, but forces her to return home for the summer.
Though she finds time on vacation relaxing, Katherine finds that she is expected to marry Randy. Unfortunately, she doesn’t love him. In fact, she finds herself drawn to another childhood friend, Andrew, who is Randy’s cousin. Because he is not wealthy, Andrew is not a suitable match. However, Katherine trusts Andrew with secrets about her marriage and finances that no one else knows. She trusts him with her life, but will she [...] Continue Reading…
My Stubborn Heart is a spectacular debut for author Becky Wade. With close to 350 pages, readers have plenty of time to sink in and enjoy getting to know main characters Kate Donovan and Matt Jarreau. Seemingly polar opposites, Kate is bubbly and talkative; Matt is quiet and private. Kate has been praying for a husband since she was a little girl; Matt has faced a tragedy that has caused him to shut out everyone he loves–including God.
When Kate agrees to help her grandmother renovate the family home in Redbud, PA, for which Matt has been hired as the contractor, the two butt heads as Kate determines to draw Matt out of his shell. A counselor in the foster system, Kate is used to dealing with hardened hearts, and the wall Matt has built around his heart slowly begins to crack as he learns to crave her bubbly and honest personality.
Through it all, Wade shows how God is working for a greater purpose than just an unlikely romance–He wants the hearts of these two people. This is an amazing story with great characters and tons of small details and insights that make it come alive for readers.
Interview with Becky [...] Continue Reading…
So, I chose a book because I thought my husband would like it–even though I know that the chances that he’ll actually read it are about one in a million. Regardless, No Matter the Cost, by Vance Brown, was an inspiring read, even if I’m not a man. The book is essentially a call to action for Christian men–asking them to join in a Band of Brothers in a unified fight against a common spiritual enemy. Brown utilizes the Lord’s Prayer as an organizing theme, giving new depth to the prayer and inviting readers to experience the prayer more fully.
Brown recognizes that many men are wounded, referencing the 9-11 fall of the Twin Towers as an experience that many men can relate to. “Maybe it was the tower of marriage or job or family or friendship or good health or some combination of all of them. Whatever it was, it collapsed in a heap of rubble and smoke” (Brown, 58). Like the Towers that fell on 9-11, these things seemed solid, indestructible. They were looked on as an accomplishment, a landmark. Their fall is indescribable. Unfathomable.
However, Brown offers these men hope–that there “is a power, a larger story, a [...] Continue Reading…