“Clouds” by Robin Jones Gunn

Next door neighbors, Jonathon Renfield and Shelly Graham, grew up together, did everything together, were best friends, until all that changed over one dinner after high school and a question gone wrong. Shelly fled to start fresh, but five years later her path has led her back to all her memories.  On a trip to Germany, she stumbles across her childhood best friend, Jonathon, but now he is engaged.  Devastated, she returns back to the States to repair her broken heart.  But the Repairer surprised her by calling her by name.  Shelly finally realizes that she has been running away for a long time, and finally answers God’s call.  Now Shelly begins waiting on God’s timing, wondering if she will ever find the right man for her, trying not to think about the fact that Jonathon had been THE one.
 
Clouds is book 5 out of 8 in The Glenbrooke Series.  Although I want to go and read the other 7 books, I did not need to have read them in order to follow the story line. Well written and uplifting, Clouds is about friendship, and discovering what real love is, when to fight for a friendship and when to let go.  Above all, Clouds is about how God calls each one of us by name. Although fictional, Robin Jones Gunn writes about topics and events that connect with all of her readers.  Even during job loss, relocation, and the ups and downs of relationships, true contentment and joy are found in Christ Jesus. God does have a plan for you.
 
To purchase any of the books in The Glenbrooke Series, please visit http://www.amazon.com.
 
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 
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“Unstoppable” by Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic’s second book, Unstoppable, chronicles some of his own struggles and triumphs as well as stories of overcoming great struggles and difficulties of various people he has met while doing his work as an evangelist and public speaker.  His book is filled with many touching stories and personal triumphs and the truly compelling story of his relationship with his wife.
Vujicic’s gift is inspirational speaking.  Although sometimes his writing style leaves something to be desired, Unstoppable is truly inspiring.  Keep this book on hand for whenever you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself.  When life is not going how you think it should or how you want, Unstoppable, is a good reminder to live life the way God wants, “Let go and let God!”
If you would like to purchase Unstoppable, please visit http://www.amazon.com.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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“Be Still My Soul” by Joanne Bischof

Be Still My Soul is a novel about longing to be loved and accepted, heartache and loss, grace and forgiveness, and hope and redemption.  It is an historical fiction set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in the Appalachian hills.  Sweet and shy, seventeen year-old Lonnie Sawyer is forced into a marriage by her abusive father with the ladies’ man Gideon O’Riley, a man she barely knows. Instead of being free to pursue her own dreams upon her eighteenth birthday, Lonnie is forced into matrimony–yet another way her father seeks to control her. Distraught at the idea of being tied down to one woman, Gideon seeks to start fresh. So Lonnie is forced to leave all she knows to start life with this distant, unloving stranger–her husband.  Throughout all the misery and heartache, Lonnie clings to God’s promises, ones taught to her by her dear Aunt Sarah. Be Still My Soul is about patient endurance, accepting the new roles of husband and wife and later as parents, and trusting in God’s promises.
 
Be Still My Soul is the first book in the Cadence of Grace series.  Joanne Bischof writes in such away that you feel you are actually there in the Blue Ridge Mountains, experiencing the story first-hand.  Carefully developed, the characters are brought to life. The story is intriguing, and the reader is compelled to turn the pages to find out if Lonnie gives up in despair, or if her husband actually begins to love and care for her. So much information, detail, action, and plot twists are in the book that one begins to wonder how it will end. Although it is well written and the reader is drawn into the story, it feels a little rushed at the end, in order to tie everything together in the final couple chapters. That being stated, Be Still My Soul leaves the reader hopeful and content at the end of a good book.
Be Still My Soul can be purchased at http://www.christianbook.com. The first chapter is available below.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

 
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“The Widow of Saunders Creek” by Tracey Bateman

The Widow of Saunders Creek is about life, loss, love, trial, and hope. Recently widowed, Corrie searches for meaning and memories of her late husband Jarod, a decorated military, family, and town hero, when she returns to the land of his youth in the Missouri Ozarks.   Unbeknownst to Corrie in her desire to be close to the memories of Jarod, she plants herself deep in the clutches of spiritual warfare, steeped in the culture and the traditions of the land on which she lives.  There she stumbles on some strange happenings and it becomes a battle of forgiveness, faith, love and ultimately for her soul.
 
Tracey Bateman draws you in with her attention to the detail and her ability to allow you to relate with her characters as they deal with the pain of loss, struggle with “Why, God?”, and how one can and does begin to heal.   I enjoyed the portrayal of Corrie’s journey of trial, hope, and healing.  Although a little predictable, it has a fulfilling ending. The Widow of Saunders Creek is a well written and compelling read.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The Widow of Saunders Creek can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com.

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The Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack

The Fourth Fisherman is about an amazing true life event of three Mexican Fisherman who survived for nine months lost at sea and how God used that event to call another “lost” man to follow Him in his own life and marriage. The “lost”man is the author himself, Joe Kissack. Kissack was a television executive whose name is recognized with well known shows, such as–Mad About You; Walker, Texas Ranger; Ricki Lake; and Seinfeld.  Even though he had it all–fame, wealth, house, wife, cars, and children, his past haunted him and Kissack hid behind some serious addictions.  However, God wasn’t done with Joe and his family.  God shook up Joe’s world, stripping it of all distraction and then realigned Joe to Him and then pointed and paved the way to the three fisherman survivors.

Kissack’s brutal honesty and skillfully woven plot of his own life story with that of the Fishermen, keeps you hooked. It is another example of God working in the fabric of our lives, bringing people and situations together by His will and in His time.  The style of  The Fourth Fisherman is easy to read and pulls you in quickly.  Joe Kissack humbly puts his life, triumphs and failures publicly on display; but as he will quickly point out, the focus is not on him, or the fishermen, but on how God protected, uplifted and sustained these four men, thousands of miles apart and brought them together to glorify His Name. You don’t want to put it down, unless it is to research about the three Mexican Fishermen.  I highly recommend this book. It is a spiritually uplifting read about God’s grace and purpose in our lives.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The Fourth Fisherman can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com.


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