Lizzy & Jane: a review

A review of Katherine Reay's new novel #LizzyAndJane

Some books make you want to start reading them all over again the moment you're finished. Like the perfect dinner, you still want another serving to enjoy the flavors and textures one more time--even when you're completely full and satisfied. Lizzy & Jane is just such a book. Katherine Reay brings a delightful new flavor to the menu of modern fiction. She artfully mixes tales of deep sadness with love and joy, seasoning them with just the right amount of references to classic literature like Austen's Pride and Prejudice. While Katherine's first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, gave a … [Read more...]

Your Real Food Journey (a new book from Trina Holden)

Your Real Food Journey: a review of Trina Holden's new book #myrealfoodjourney #yourrealfoodjourneybook

I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. When I clean the closet, I have to do it all in one day. If I'm going to organize my office, I need time to do it all at once. And if I'm going to make changes to our family's diet, I want everyone to be on board so we can change everything at once. Consequently, it's all too overwhelming and I never even get started. But Trina Holden wrote Your Real Food Journey for people like me. She sits right down next to us (ignoring the caffeinated drink and sugar-laced snack we're enjoying) and gently explains how impossibly overwhelming that all or nothing … [Read more...]

stories that point to Christ

a review of the Well Spring Trilogy

Too often I make the mistake of avoiding books just because I don't usually read that genre. I knew James Rubart was a good storyteller. I'd been captivated listening to him describe his writing process two years in a row at the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference. It was fascinating to hear how he would take a "what if...?" question and write a book as if that "what if" were true. But Christian suspense novels aren't usually my type. Especially when they deal with alternate realities and spiritual dimensions. So I waited two years to discover the depth of James Rubart's … [Read more...]

A Promise in Pieces

#PromiseInPieces - a review of Emily T. Wierenga's first piece of fiction

I grew up on the stories of the Depression as told in Reminisce Magazine (back when there was a Reminisce Extra). I lived vicariously through the World War II era tales in the books like We Pulled Together and Won! collected and published by Reiman Publications. I might not be able to quote you exact dates or battle locations, but I learned more about World War II from those stories than I ever learned in my school history books. But I didn't develop this fascination with the World War II era on my own. It was my brother and guy cousins who fueled the fire. I loved reading the stories, but … [Read more...]

Surprised By Motherhood {my story}

#SurprisedByMotherhood {My Story}

I didn't expect to be surprised by motherhood. My little sister was born when I was almost 12. My baby brother followed 3 years later. I was an old pro at changing diapers and cooking dinner with a baby on my hip by the time the baby I was juggling was my own. I knew it would be different actually being the mom instead of the big sister. But I thought I knew what to expect. I thought I understood how much having a child was going to change my life, our life. And in a few ways, I probably was better prepared than some girls who haven't helped raise siblings and babysit cousins. But in other … [Read more...]

Worth the Fight

Worth the Fight (a review of @KaysePratt's eBook by @GretLouise)

Kayse Pratt has a talent for distilling a lot of information into a short and easy to read eBook. Her eBook Undivided Mom was a refreshing breath of fresh air, and now she's done it again with Worth the Fight. In Kayse's inimitable easy going style, she shares honestly about her own "high maintenance" marriage as she encourages others in theirs. In Worth the Fight: Lessons Learned in a High Maintenance Marriage, Kayse discusses five essential elements to every marriage: Commitment, Communication, Service, Laughter, and Sex. The explanation of "reflective listening" alone is more than worth … [Read more...]

Living Life on Purpose (a review of Notes from a Blue Bike)

a review of #NotesFromABlueBike

Each January I read the posts about choosing one word for the year. And each year I think, how could I begin to sum up my hopes for the year in one word? How could I guess what my year will hold? But this year, I kept wondering--what if I were to choose a word this year? What if it was more about the word God wanted to show me than about me choosing a word for myself? What might God have to teach me in this coming year? I'm part of a Bible study group going through Beth Moore's study of the book of Esther, It's Tough Being a Woman. It's been fascinating to delve into the historical account … [Read more...]

a book lover’s gift guide

There is no better gift for a book lover than another book to read. Here is a list of old classics and new titles that will make the perfect gift for any occasion! http://gretchenlouise.com/book-lovers-gift-guide/

There's no better gift for a book lover than another book to read. But sometimes it's hard to find something new and different to give to the avid reader. Whether you're getting a head start on next year's Christmas shopping, or have a birthday party to attend, hopefully this list will help you find the perfect gift. Here are some of my favorite titles, old and new, that might not yet be on the bookshelf or Kindle of the book lovers on your list. (And, if you like, comment and share your favorite titles!) For Children James Herriot's Treasury for Children We love these heart-warming … [Read more...]

Undivided Mom

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There are some books about motherhood that just make you feel guilty. Then there's Undivided Mom. Kayse Pratt weaves all-too-familiar stories with convicting truths for a grace-filled 14-day devotional that every mom will love. Kayse doesn't pretend to have it all together (even though she's written a helpful eBook called Getting it Together to help organize your household notebook). Kayse doesn't claim to have all the answers. Kayse doesn't even tell you that you have to give up everything that's not related to your children. Kayse simply shares Scriptures the Lord has been convicting her … [Read more...]

The Thing About (Dairy) Farmers

The Thing About Dairy Farmers - a fun new book by @NatashaMetzler

Farmers wives are privy to a lot of little-known secrets of the agricultural industry. We could tell you how much of a man's self worth is wrapped up in the state of his fields and the color of his tractors (ours are green, except for the Ford that was my husband's great grandfather's). We could tell you that farming requires a lot of patience with a good dose of risk-taking (some farmers are long on the patience, some err on the side of risk-taking). We could tell you about the fields and farming practices for miles around (those are our topics of conversation on Sunday afternoon drives, … [Read more...]