A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

A Baxter Family Christmas is a sweet clean read.  A beautiful book to snuggle up with in front of the fireplace, the Christmas lights twinkling in the background, while you sip on a warm mug of hot cocoa (or my favorite… Russian tea).  It is like reading a Hallmark movie.  FYI… I mean that in the very best sense.  I love Hallmark movies!

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The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

The Noble Servant is a lovely medieval fairy tale romance.  It has been said by other reviewers that The Noble Servant is reminiscent of The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm.  I’ve not read the story so I can’t speak to that.  I can say that The Noble Servant is a modern fairytale.  I find in our two primary characters qualities that are reminiscent of Cinderella and the prince in the classic fairy tale Cinderella by Charles Perrault.  The Noble Servant isn’t a copycat book by any measure though; it retains a distinctly unique style that is wholly Melanie Dickerson.

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Invitation: Cycle One of the Harbingers Series by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky

I was so intrigued by the concept of four well-known, talented, and unique authors writing a series of short stories together.  In the introduction, the authors explain that the stories were written independently yet joined together with an overarching storyline in a manner similar to a tv series.  I have read novels by all four of the authors and their writing styles are quite distinct.  I had no idea that they were friends… fun.  With the combined creativity of these authors, it is no surprise to me that they came up with such an ingenious concept.   

So, while I found myself intrigued I was also dubious.  Could the series be cohesive with the distinct writing styles of four different authors?  Would it be confusing? 

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To Love Anew by Bonnie Leon

To Love Anew begins with our heroine, Hannah, losing her precious mother to the sweating sickness.  Hannah’s mother provided her with a strong foundation of faith in God, a sweet and loving spirit, and skilled hands that aren’t idle.  As can only be, Hannah grieves for her mother and life is never the same again.  

Hannah’s situation is one that most of us will never experience.  Without her mother’s skills as a seamstress, Hannah very rapidly becomes homeless, alone and defenseless in a harsh and cruel world.  The reality of young women without means in 19th century London.

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God Loves Daddy & Me written by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrated by Laura Watkins

God Loves Daddy & Me and it’s companion book God Loves Mommy & Me just bring a smile to my face.  God Loves Daddy & Me points out positive attributes of a God honoring father loving his child as THE Father loves them both.  Laura Watkins’ illustrations bring such light and adorableness to the story.  The raccoon daddy and child are so cute!  You’ll love that the child is not stated as being male or female so daddy and son or daddy and daughter work equally well. 

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Open: Get Ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime by David Gregory

I have mentioned this before… some books are hard for me to review.  Open is one such book.  The reason that Open is difficult for me to review is the fact that God is using its message, along with John Bevere’s book The Bait of Satan (a bible study that I am currently going through), to work on a painful personal stronghold in my life.  I was hurt deeply a few years ago.  The kind of hurt that has radically changed the lives of my family.  I need to get past that offense.

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Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

I'm bringing you another oldie but goodie review from my Goodreads page.  I wrote this review in 2015 after I had first read the book.  I have more recently listened to the audio version of the first three books, Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent.  I enjoyed the books this time around as much as I had the first time.  And while I did find that the narrator for the audiobooks was incredibly talented, I struggled with the audiobook.  Primarily because I am not a teenage girl.  When reading, I can mentally skip over the more juvenile aspects of the story (these are not negative aspects... a teenaged girl is the target audience for these books).  When listening I can't and so those aspects stand out even more to me.  Anyway...

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The Cottage by Michael Phillips

I highly recommend any book written by Michael Phillips.  The Cottage is no exception.  It is a beautiful romance and a compelling Christian fiction read.  As is common in Phillips’ written works, The Cottage is a lesson-filled book.  It is a comforting read, a relaxing read, while at the same time a spiritually and morally challenging read... if you are listening.  I pray that you listen.  I'm going to encourage you now to read The Inheritance, the first book in the Secrets of the Shetlands series, if you haven't already and to then read The Cottage

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the best of 2016

A list of my favorite books (from my 5-star rated list) read in 2016.  They may or may not have been published in 2016.  Sometimes I am blessed and run across a book years after it has been published and find a new favorite.

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