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Monday, October 29, 2012

Music Monday: {Come to Me} by Jamie Grace

Love this song and video from Jamie Grace!  Such a catchy tune, with an awesome message!  They did an amazing job on the video, too -- love the old, rustic, vintage feel to it.

Thank you, Lord, for the peace, hope, and rest that comes from only You!

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV 

Enjoy and be blessed!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Revell Blog Tour: {A Love Surrendered} by Julie Lessman

About the Book:
Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy moves to Boston to stay with her spinster aunt. She longs for romance to fill the void left by her parents' death. But when she falls hard for Steven O'Connor, the man who broke an engagement to her sister, Annie is worried. Will he break her heart too when he discovers who she really is?

With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and emotional twists and turns, A Love Surrendered is everything Julie Lessman's many fans have been waiting for.

My Star Rating: 5 Stars

My Review:
Oh, where to begin!  There's so much to love about the latest installment by Julie Lessman!  A Love Surrendered has so many beautiful facets, and I loved them all!  From the unique setting of the Ocean Pier Dancing Pavilion, the dynamic characters, the heartwarming family connections, and some of the best dialogue I've ever read . . . A Love Surrendered has all the makings of a novel that will sweep you away to another time and place!

As with all of Julie's books, the writing is top notch!  No matter where the story takes you, you can't help but be pulled into the scene, where your senses are sure to be awakened.  You'll be surrounded by the sights, sounds, and feelings of angst, humor, passion, and love . . . and it's a beautiful thing, indeed!  Like good coffee or chocolate, a Julie Lessman novel is a sweet treat to be savored!  I'm so grateful that Mrs. Lessman continues to write stories that touch the heart on so many levels! 

And rest assured this story is not one dimensional -- not only do we get to experience the burgeoning love of Annie and Steven, we get to peek into the lives of our favorite characters from past books in the O'Connor family saga.  It's all woven together perfectly, and includes the trademark Passion with a Purpose, that readers have grown to love from Julie Lessman's novels.  It's that spiritual thread that is always so well done, and never an afterthought.  Not only am I entertained, I'm able to walk away from the novel having gleaned something through the beautiful messages of faith and God's love.

Since each book builds on the previous book, you'll want to be sure to start with the Daughters of Boston series, followed by The Winds of Change series. This is definitely a series that you need to read in order to get the full effect, and I highly recommend both series!  It's Christian Historical fiction with drama, passion, and romance that you won't want to miss!

**Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**

**Thank you to Revell for a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.**

Friday, October 26, 2012

{Friday Funny}

I saw this on Facebook, and I laughed out loud . . . for awhile!  As a matter of fact, I'm still laughing.  But hey, what can I say, I'm easily amused!  I hope you get a kick out of this as much as I did.  Have a fantastic Friday, and a wonderful weekend!  : )

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Music Monday: {If Only for the Taste} by Heather Clark

Hello friends!  So sorry I'm late for Music Monday, but I hope you'll forgive me.  I've been sick for several days with strep throat, but I'm on the mend!  So thankful for that!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet, and just let you enjoy this BEAUTIFUL song!  It's my first time hearing Heather Clark, and I'm speechless and in tears.  Amazing voice, with such a powerful anointing!  I'm listening to the samples from her album, Overcome, on iTunes right now -- WOW!  Where have I been?  I'll be adding this one to my iPod right away!  I pray that this song blesses you, dear friends.  Thank you for being here, and have a fantastic week!

I plan on having a few more posts this week, so be sure to check back for a quote, a book review, a sweet treat, and perhaps even a Friday Funny!  I have a couple days off work, so you never know.  ;-)

Enjoy and be blessed! 

For more information on Heather Clark and her music visit her website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{A Quote to Inspire You} by Francis Chan

WOW!  When I first read this quote, I was struck by how much it really "packs a punch" in so few words.  Very convicting, indeed.  I'm quite guilty of "settling in," and this is a great reminder to "step it up," so to speak.  We're to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and sometimes that's going to mean coming out of our comfort zone . . . doing things we might not want to do in our natural state.  But thank God for the Holy Spirit that gives us the desire, the motivation, and the "want to," to do God's work.

God doesn't call us to be comfortable, and I'll be the first to admit, I'm a little addicted to comfort.  And it's no secret, I can be pretty selfish -- especially with my time.  And just when I begin to think of how I'm really missing the mark, I'm reminded of His grace.  It's a constant process of molding us, shaping us, and changing our hearts.   The changes don't come overnight, but God is always working -- and I'm so thankful He's not finished with me yet!

Be Blessed,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Book Review: Revell Blog Tour {When a Heart Stops} by Lynette Eason

About the Book: Spunky and outgoing, nothing much bothers medical examiner Serena Hopkins--except for the thought of falling in love again. But when a serial killer is picking off her former classmates, Serena's life becomes intertwined with her old high school crush, FBI agent Dominic Allen. Is the secret she's keeping putting her next on the killer's hit list? Can she trust Dominic with the truth before it's too late?

Intense, emotional, and fast-paced, When a Heart Stops will have readers up late as they race to the finish to find out what happens.

My Star Rating: 5 Stars

My Review:  WOW!   Talk about great suspense!  In Book 2 of the Deadly Reunions series, Lynette Eason picks up where things left off in Book 1, When the Smoke ClearsWhen a Heart Stops is filled with fast-paced action and suspense!  I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next!  Who was behind the murders?  And exactly what's in that package?

Of course, since we're talking suspense here, you can' t help but try to figure things out.  For more than half of the book, I thought I knew who was behind the murders, and continued to second guess myself.  But in the end, I was wrong.  With so many twists and turns, Eason really has your mind thinking, and trying to solve the mystery right along with the characters, which is part of what makes the book so great.  You just can't figure it out!  The pages were flying, as I raced to the end to see what would happen!  Things were tied up -- somewhat -- but there are still some unknowns and loose ends hanging there . . . waiting to be uncovered in Book 3 (which can't come soon enough!). 

I know it can be cliche to say, but this book truly has that heart-pounding suspense that keeps you turning pages way past your bedtime!  Eason's storytelling is top notch, and takes the reader to the point of really feeling the character's emotions . . . the fear, the adrenaline rush, and the heart-racing tension.  I don't like to be SUPER scared, but this book did just enough to creep me out when it was time to turn out the lights and head up the stairs to bed.

The romance and faith elements were light, yet very believable and enjoyable.  I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy Christian Romantic Suspense!  This series is best read in order, and not as stand alone titles.  Be sure to pick up When the Smoke Clears first, and then be ready to jump right into When a Heart Stops -- it's a fast-paced ride you won't want to miss!

Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

(This book was provided free from the publisher for my honest review.) 

**I read on, that book three is titled, When a Secret Kills.  It's scheduled for publication in May 2013, so not such a long wait.**

Monday, October 15, 2012

Music Monday: {Song to the King} by Natalie Grant

Hello friends!  I pray that you're doing well today, and that this song will bless you. Have a wonderful week!  ~Michelle


This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.  -- 1 Timothy 1:15-17 NKJV

You came to the world  
For Love of one Like Me  
And Though I am the worst of sinners 
Grace is all I see  
Freedom from these chains  
My brokenness redeemed
Love and Mercy flowing down  
To life eternally  
How could I repay such a debt  
Except with my life 
How could I give anything but sacrifice Sacrifice of praise
Chorus: To the King Eternal, immortal  
Be all the glory forever Amen  
To the King Eternal, immortal  
Be all the glory forever Amen
In plenty and want  
Your strength is all I need 
And deep within these shadow lands  
Your glory never leaves
Chorus: My Praise will go on and on and on   
My Praise will go on and on and on 
My Praise will go on and on  
Oh my Praise will go on
Oh my Praise will go on and on and on  
My Praise will go on and on 
My Praise will go on and on
Oh and on and on and on and on and on 
And on and on and on
To the King eternal, immortal Be all the glory forever Amen
To the King eternal, immortal Be all the glory forever Amen
To the King eternal, immortal Be all the glory forever Amen
To the King eternal, immortal Be all the glory forever Amen
I’m giving all of me  
This is my offering

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music Monday: {Like an Avalanche} by Hillsong United

Like an Avalanche was released in February 2011, but I just recently heard it on KLOVE, and it was one of those songs that made me "stand up and take notice," so to speak.  The voice, the sound, and the message that just takes you to that beautiful place of worship . . . overwhelmed and completely in awe of our Savior!

I continue to be humbled and forever grateful by the amazing sacrifice on the cross!  The precious blood of Jesus that was spilled to provide us with a way to redemption -- bringing us back to the Father, where we always belonged.  

Thank you for lavishing us with your grace and mercy, Lord.  Thank you for providing us with salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ.  I certainly don't deserve it, but I am eternally grateful!

Beautiful God
Laying Your majesty aside
You reached out in love to show me life
Lifted from darkness into light

King for a slave
Trading Your righteousness for shame
Despite all my pride and foolish ways
Caught in Your infinite embrace

And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love love love
Burning in my heart

Saviour and Friend
Breathing Your life into my heart
Your word is the lamp unto my path
Forever I'm humbled by Your love

Take my life
Take all that I am
With all that I am I will love You
Take my heart
Take all that I have
Jesus how I adore You

And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compare to this love love love

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Revell Blog Tour: {With Every Letter} by Sarah Sundin

About the Book:
Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them?

Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Review:  With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin is Book One in the Wings of the Nightingale series.  The book is well written, and includes rich historical detail that really draws the reader in, and helps to immerse them into another time and place.

I enjoyed the unique storyline and plot, as well as the great character development.  Each character had their own unique voice and personality, which lent itself to some really great dialogue.  Whether the characters were facing a life or death situation or an exhilarating "sweep you off your feet" moment, you could really get a sense of being right there with them.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but at the beginning it did seem slow for things to get going.  I also found myself getting bogged down at times by the military and war descriptions in the book.  I realize it's necessary for the setting and storyline, but for me personally, I lost a bit of interest during those parts of the book. 

One of my favorite parts of the book was how everything came together towards the end -- it was creative, romantic, and fun, and definitely left me with a satisfied feeling as I turned the last page.

I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy WWII historical novels with a bit of romance, and great messages of faith, friendship, and mercy. 

**Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**