Sutter’s Landing (Kinsman Redeemer Series, Book 2) ~ Betty Thomason Owens

The year is 1955, and although they don’t have a comfortable life, Connie and Annabelle are happy to be home in Trenton, Tennessee.  But as Connie’s marriage draws closer, Annabelle worries about being alone. Something she doesn’t look forward to after losing her husband and sons. But, when an old friend shows up on her doorstep with a plan, Annabelle must make a decision to hold to her beliefs or live out her days alone.

Owens gently weaves a picture of the South with all its charm and bigotry. Through Connie’s eyes, we feel the pain when asked to leave a store because of color. We understand her remorse when friends are not treated like other folks. And we empathize with her when she and Alton are kept apart by family members.

One of my favorite scenes is the accidental meeting with a famous singer. I found the song mentioned on Youtube. I loved the fact that Owens included that particular part of history in her book because it made the story pop.

I have another favorite scene where one character is praying. I can’t share all the details without revealing too much. But I wanted to explain why this story will stay with me for a long time. During this particular scene, I suddenly had an epiphany of how the Lord continually watches over us, loving us, even though we may not return His love. And yet, He is still part of our lives whether we want Him or not.

How sad it must be to love and watch over and not have that love returned!

Although the author didn’t bring out my spiritual thoughts, the scene was the springboard that catapulted me into a wonderous moment. And that, my friend, is why I give Sutter’s Landing 5 hearts.

The second installment in the Kinsman Redeemer series is a crawl-into-your-favorite-chair-and-sit-awhile kinda book. Anyone who enjoys family, history, and the South, will enjoy Sutter’s Landing by Betty Thomason Owens.

I received an advance reader’s copy from the author. All views expressed are my own.

#BOOKGIVEAWAY: Today on Writing Prompts Thoughts and Ideas, Betty is offering to giveaway either a print copy or Kindle to one commenter. So click the link and comment for your chance to win!

img_9428 copyBetty Thomason Owens is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of their Louisville Area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Along with the upcoming Sutter’s Landing, Book 2, Kinsman Redeemer series (June 2017), her writing credits include a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy (2014), Carlotta’s Legacy (2016) Books 1 & 2, Legacy Series, and the Grace-Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015) (Write Integrity Press). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

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A Tapestry of Secrets~Sarah Loudin Thomas

Book Blurb: What is the weight of a secret?

And what happens when that burden becomes almost too much to bear?

51XK+M2rnRL._AC_US300_QL65_For decades, Perla Phillips has hidden the truth of a decision that still fills her with guilt. But now, seeing her granddaughter, Ella, struggle in a similar way, she’s prepared to finally open the past to her family, no matter the consequences. But when the opportunity is snatched from her in a most unexpected manner, will she have waited too long?

Spanning generations, this moving family drama weaves together the interlocking stories of two women as they navigate relationships, family, faith, and the choices that will shape their lives. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the story explores the courage to share the wounds of the past and celebrates the legacy a family passes from one generation to the next.

My thoughts:

In her book, A Tapestry of Secrets, Sarah Loudin Thomas has written a realistic tale of Appalachian life. The dialogue and everyday lifestyle brought the story to life. I felt as if I were walking in Ella’s shoes. But…

I never felt that Ella was struggling with the problem in Perla’s past. For one thing, Ella wasn’t focused on one person long enough for the problem to occur. I did, however, like Ella’s creativeness, especially when creating a quilt. I also enjoyed the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter.

However, as stated above, the romance strand was almost like a contest with Ella being the prize. Yes. As a writer, you can have several men wanting to court one woman. But Miss Ella seemed a little flighty in her decisions as she vacillated in her affections. In some instances, I wanted to scream, “Hello!”

Nevertheless, I forgave Ella when she finally made her choice. And the scene that made her choice plausible was a wonderful surprise! I thought it fitting to have her discover the man’s natural talent in the last place Ella expected to find him. Bravo, Sarah Loudin Thomas!

All in all, I liked the story. If you like reading stories filled with hope and forgiveness, love and restoration, you will enjoy A Tapestry of Secrets!

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 

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The Best Yes – Lysa TerKeurst

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

Book blurb

The Best Yes Lysa TerKeurst

Purchase Link

Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today

My Thoughts

Have you ever had problems with saying no?  I have. Do you often find yourself grumpy and stretched thin after saying yes? Yep, me too. Do you say yes knowing you don’t have the time or the energy to give the project 100%? I’m guilty.

And a stressed yes is like snow on a tree that refuses to release its leaves. It causes cracks and breaks at our core. – Lysa TerKeurst

In this world, we are often a blur of action until we drop in exhaustion.  But thankfully, there is a better way. In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst tells her readers how to decide when to say yes, how to implement the soft no, and when and how to give an answer.

I know the weight of carrying more than I should. And usually it’s because I’ve refused to release something before taking on something else. – Lysa TerKeurst

Using Biblical insights and personal stories, TerKeurst helps the reader to understand there are times when a no answer is better for everyone involved. She explains not making a decision is actually a decision and releasing the “good” things allow us to commit to our “best” things.

I can’t expect to have room for my Best Yes opportunities if I refuse to release the clutter. – Lysa TerKeurst

The Best Yes will give you an idea how to organize your time, evaluate your situation, and implement your God-given gifts in a way that pleases God, protects your relationships, and stops the insanity of chaotic decision making.

I thought The Best Yes to be informative and filled with practical advice. If you struggle with saying no, I recommend reading The Best Yes, Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.

I own a copy of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.

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Delighting In God ~ A. W. Tozer

Book Blurb

We were created in the image of God, and to understand who we are, we need to understand who God is. His very character and nature are reflected through us. Unless we fully grasp who we are, we’ll never become all God wants us to be.

Amazon Purchase Link

Amazon Purchase Link

Delighting in God is the message Tozer intended to be the follow-up to The Knowledge of the Holy. He demonstrates how the attributes of God–those things God has revealed about himself–are a way to understand the Christian life of worship and service. We are here to serve and adore him, but we can only fulfill that role by acknowledging who he is, which is the essence of the Christian life and the source of all our fulfillment, joy, and comfort.

 

My Thoughts

Most people are familiar with A.W. Tozer’s pithy quotes, but not the man or his messages. This was true in my case. I asked different people, while reading this book, if they were familiar with him. Most of them gave the same answers, “I’ve heard people quote him. He can be a little legalistic.” But, most admitted they had never read his books or messages.

In Delighting in God, A. W. Tozer talks about having the right perception of God and the effects it has upon the spiritual walk with God. If you are familiar with his quotes you know Tozer doesn’t mince words. You never have to wonder what is on his mind or how he feels about a certain subject. In his book, he shares what we must do to walk with God.

I enjoyed Delighting in God. I found myself highlighting sentences along the way. In one place he talks about hero-worship taking the place of  true worship—“magnifying the messenger and minimizing the message.” The more I read, I was reminded of how the more things change, the less they change.

Perhaps some believe him a little legalistic; I think it all depends on the reader. I did not perceive him as such. I believe him to be a man who believed in God and wished to share those beliefs.

I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

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Stand by Me

Charles Tindley

Charles Tindley

As a singer, it’s never enough just to sing a song. I want to know who wrote it and what moved them to put pen to paper and tell the world their inner thoughts. The more I know about the song, the more the words resonate with me as I realize this person understands my present struggles.

As a budding author, my eyes often wondered to the upper right hand corner of the page in search of the author.

I  noticed the songs Nothing Between, Stand By Me, We’ll Understand It Better By and By, and Leave It There had something in common. They were all written by Charles A. Tindley.

I thought I would share what I found about this brave and humble man.

Robert J. Morgan in his book, Then Sings My Soul, Volume 2 tells the following:

  • Born into slavery.
  • He used bits of newspaper found along the roadside to teach himself the ABC’s
  • Took correspondence courses. “Thus while I was unable to go through the schools, I was able to let the schools go through me.”
  • Called an unlettered ignoramus
  • Became a pastor
  • Established soup kitchens
  • Opened his church to the homeless in cold weather
  • Knew criticism, abuse, hard and many opposition

Did he understand the depth of what he was writing? Yes!

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