Thursday, January 24, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Blessed by Lloyd D. Newell and Mary Jane Woodger


ABOUT THE BOOK

As Jesus Christ prepared His faithful followers to teach the doctrine of the gospel, He presented perhaps His best-known discourse: the Sermon on the Mount. This profound address is directed to all those who seek to be His disciples, with powerful instruction as to the personal conduct necessary for living a Christ-centered life. And at the heart of this sermon are the Beatitudes, guidelines of the character traits and holy attributes that can serve as a guide for developing disciples. But how can these attributes be interpreted and attained in today's modern world? In Blessed: The Beatitudes and the Christlike Life, best-selling authors Lloyd D. newell and Mary Jane Woodger delve into each characteristic the Savior spoke of, providing powerful, real-life examples, scriptures, and prophetic insights detailing ways in which modern-day disciples of Christ can cultivate these eternal attributes. Those seeking the path of discipleship will find in this volume a thoughtful and inspiring guide to internalizing the timeless truths of the Beatitudes in our day.

REVIEW

Coming soon!

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*Jan. 25th: https://brightlystreet.com/, http://www.iamareader.com/


Thursday, January 17, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: The House of Stone & Ivy by Anita Stansfield


ABOUT THE BOOK

Orphaned as children, Hennie and Lottie share an unbreakable friendship. Together, they suffered the horrors of orphanages and the workhouse, and now grown, they continue to rely on each other. When Lottie approaches Hennie about a possible position at a manor house, Hennie is eager to work alongside her dear friend. However, to secure the positions as stable hands, they will have to undergo a bold act of deception: the women must disguise themselves as men.

Upon arriving at the manor, Hennie is stunned. Her new position is at Ivy Manor—the beautiful estate where her mother was employed long ago and where Hennie was raised until her mother's death. Hennie has wonderful memories of her friendship with the son of the house, Jack, and is shocked and dismayed to learn he has vanished. Living in disguise at the manor allows her to gradually uncover the truth of Jack's disappearance and eventually find him. Both Hennie and Jack are thrilled to be reunited, and their friendship is renewed. Soon, their relationship blossoms . . . and threatens their determination to remain concealed. With so much at stake, will they be prepared to risk everything for love?

REVIEW

Stansfield has written another compelling tale of love and friendship versus greed and manipulation.  Hennie is brought to Ivy Manor by her friend Lottie to work in the stables disguised as a man.  Hennie is stunned to be back at Ivy Manor, the place she grew up as a child before being sent to an orphanage after her mother died.  But she settles in and grows to like her life, despite the deception.  She's surprised to discover that the heir to the manor, her old friend Jack, has disappeared.  She wonders about him, but doesn't expect to ever see him again.  But life has a way of surprising one sometimes and she finds herself not only discovering Jack's location, but re-establishing her friendship with him.   But as their friendship grows into something stronger, they are left trying to find a way to be together in the face of the challenges that sent Jack running in the first place.  The tale is an intriguing one full of interesting twists and turns as Jack and Hennie face some pretty big obstacles.  I enjoyed this very much and recommend it to those who enjoy a well-told story of love and mystery.

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*Jan. 18th: http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/, https://thekeeledeal.com/


Thursday, January 10, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Saving Susannah Jones by Carolyn Twede Frank


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the still of a cool Colorado evening, the Circle J Ranch house burns to the ground, leaving Susannah Jones and her two brothers orphaned and homeless. Embittered by the tragedy, Susannah's older brother grows increasingly cruel, leading Susannah to make the difficult choice to leave the last of her family behind to forge a new life for herself. It is the kindness of Dr. Kate, the woman physician in town, as well as a chance meeting with a rugged homesteader that give Susannah the strength she needs to escape.

When Joseph Iverson encounters the harassed young woman on his land one day, he has no thought but to provide the assistance she so clearly needs. Overcoming his shyness, he takes Susannah under his wing and agrees to a marriage of convenience to liberate her from her brother. As the pair works side by side, their mutual admiration deepens. But their happy existence is threatened all soon by a series of "accidents" on the farm. With danger looming ever closer, Susannah and Joseph must discover who is bent on their destruction before the life and marriage they've built together goes up in flames.

REVIEW

After losing her father in a fire, Susannah Jones is left to deal with her brother, Stanley, who only wants her around because her father's will demands it.  But she's tired of dealing with Stanley's cruelty and attempts to escape.  When her first attempt fails, she flees into the wilderness and takes refuge on Joseph Iverson's farm.  His kindness is unexpected but appreciated.  When Joseph hires her as his housekeeper, Susannah hopes to be able to earn enough money to flee again, this time with her younger brother, Logan.  But Logan's appearance at the farm shortly after Stanley's catches her in a lie and Susannah decides that her best option is to make her fake marriage to Joseph real.  Just when things seem to be working out, someone starts sabotaging the farm.  And Susannah is left wondering if she's brought Joseph more trouble than she's worth.  Frank tells a compelling story of life, love, and struggle.  Susannah and Joseph are both sympathetic characters that I found easy to root for, and Logan is a delight.  This is an enjoyable read for those who enjoy hard-working pioneer stories with an element of intrigue thrown in the mix.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

NONFICTION REVIEW: Hero Dogs by WIlma Melville and Paul Lobo


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lola was a buckshot-riddled stay, lost on a Memphis highway. Cody was rejected from seven different homes. Ace had been sprayed with mace and left for dead on a train track. They were deemed unadoptable. Untrainable. Unsalvageable. These would become the same dogs America relied on when its worst disasters hit.

In 1995, Wilma Melville volunteered as a canine search-and-rescue (SAR) handler with her Black Labrador Murphy in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. At the time, there were only fifteen FEMA certified SAR dogs in the United States. Believing in the value of these remarkable animals to help save lives, Wilma knew many more were needed in the event of future major disasters. She made a vow to help 168 dogs receive search-and-rescue training in her lifetime—one for every Oklahoma City victim.

Wilma singlehandedly established the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) to meet this challenge. The first canine candidates—Ana, Dusty, and Harley—were a trio of golden retrievers with behavioral problems so severe the dogs were considered irredeemable and unadoptable. But with patience, discipline, and love applied during training, they proved to have the ability, agility, and stamina to graduate as SARs. Paired with a trio of firefighters, they were among the first responders searching the ruins of the World Trade Center following 9/11—setting the standard for the more than 168 of the SDF’s search-and-rescue dogs that followed.

Beautiful and heart-wrenching, Hero Dogs is the story of one woman’s dream brought to fruition by dedicated volunteers and firefighters—and the bonds they forged with the incredible rescued-turned-rescuer dogs to create one of America’s most vital resources in disaster response.

REVIEW

When Wilma Melville established the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation she had a goal.  She wanted to help train dogs for Urban Search and Rescue operations.  But she wanted to do it more effectively and efficiently than was currently being done.  At the time, most of the organizations currently doing such training weren't really interested in working with her as they thought they knew what they were doing, even though the results said otherwise.  Despite such opposition, Wilma was determined and with the help of a few volunteers and a talented dog trainer, she adopted her first three dogs, Ana, Dusty, and Harley.  In less than a year, these dogs that had been rejected became skilled search dogs with the help of their firefighter handlers.  They would go on to prove it after 9/11.  As the years went by other rescued dogs were trained and sent on missions.  The SDF (Search Dog Foundation) had found a formula that worked and despite the challenges that inevitably arose successfully trained over 200 dogs and handlers for USAR.  Lobo tells the tale through the eyes of Wilma based on many hours of interviews and interactions giving the story an immediacy that is quite compelling.  The stories of the dogs and their handlers are fascinating and amazing.  Reading about the searches said dogs and handlers conducted related to 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Haitian earthquake was eye-opening.  It's amazing to me the sacrifices and immense effort these firefighters and dogs made and continue to make to find even one survivor.  The value found in these seemingly worthless dogs is a testament to Wilma's determination and willingness to look beyond the obvious.
 
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