I have never been much of a risk taker. I have had some exciting times but for the most part I am a pretty ordinary and normal person. I thought I lived a good life and did the right things until recently the last couple of years my weight really ballooned up on me.

It seemed like no matter what I did, the weight would just keep going up. I went from slim and trim to borderline morbidly obese. To be honest, in the beginning I said, oh the clothes don’t fit like they used to, and I’d go up a size. Then there came a point where half the stores I used to shop in didn’t carry my size. Until now there are two stores I can buy clothes from. I find its hard to walk up stairs. I am often achy.

My life career plans have been put on hold.

It took all my courage to eventually talk to my doctor, and she sent me to a gynecologist, the result being that I have been diagnosed with PCOS. I probably always had the it but when I was thin it wasn’t causing symptoms, as I gained more weight the PCOS picked up and then made it harder to lose weight.

So now I am extremely heavy, diagnosed with PCOS and a symptom of it is being insulin resistant, so losing weight is harder and putting it on is easier.

Now I am beginning to put myself first, make healthy choices and live for me. I have this, and I will do all that is in my power to win.

First I need to admit my bias. I love and devour every book I can get my hands on written by Melody Carlson. I have read dozens of her books over the years and have yet to be disappointed. She is able to build a strong female character and an interesting read.


Under a Summer Sky does not disappoint and provides a captivating story that provides a nice escape from the world. I read Under A Summer Sky over a weekend. I will admit there are some faults, the story has some flaws and some small things that just couldn’t happen exactly that way. If you are willing to forgive the continuity errors. Carlson invites you to go to Savannah on vacation with art teacher Nicole. The summer however doesn’t turn out as relaxing as Nicole has hoped as tensions arise and a “ghost” or two make an appearance.

If you want an easy read that provides an escape from reality check this book out or many of Melody’s other works.

From the Publisher

She’s anticipating a quiet summer surrounded by beauty. She never expected a fresh chance at love.

High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn’t long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who’s determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of her childhood friends–who also happen to be brothers–vying for her attention.

With the backdrop of a gorgeous historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to spend the summer surrounded by splendor . . . and tantalizing possibilities.

About the Author
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”


A story with a twist and a touch of redemption. The story follows professional thief Rosemary who had grown up on the streets of London just before the first world war. She knocks on the door of her next mark, thinking she can work and angle and get the high valued items she needs to survive on the streets. Instead we follow Rosemary as she slowly evolves from Urchin pretending to be someone better to becoming someone better.

I am a fan of historical fiction, especially with a twist. The story is lively and is a page turner. It will be interesting to see what author Rosanna M. White writes next.

From the Publisher
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins who helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets–instead they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary is beginning to question whether she can continue in this life when she’s offered the challenge of a lifetime–determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. After all how does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
As Europe moves ever closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown–so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstep pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth–about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

About the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of nine novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at http://www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”


Set in the 1890’s Heart on the Line follows an unsual story of love through the telegraph that unintentionally echoes today’s world of online dating. The author has well defined characters and the novel goes at a good pace. I enjoyed that Heart on the Line had an unusual protagonist of Amos Bledsoe, he is quiet, reserved but through the novel the reader see’s that under his quiet nature is a strong spirit willing to do whatever it takes to keep Grace from danger.

I enjoyed the 1890’s setting, it felt well researched and believeable and the main characters were well developed and felt real, flaws and all. I hope you can check this out.

From the Publisher

When Danger Arrives, It’s More Than Just Her Heart on the Line

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

Karen Witemeyer
Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”


A historical thriller the reader is brought into the world of a WW1 Nurse working in occupied Brussels but there is a twist, she isn’t just a nurse but also a spy working for a resistance group. There is adventure, intrigue, a few times when I was quickly turning pages to find out if Evelyn’s over would be blown.

Then add in the growing romance that turned into love between a nurse and an injured pilot. The book is a page turner from the first chapter until the end. You will have to pick this up for yourself to see what happens. I can almost guarantee if you like historical fiction with a love story intwined you will want to pick this up.

From the Publisher

A British nurse in WWI German-occupied Brussels, Evelyn Marche spends her days at the hospital and her nights working at a café . . . or so it seems. Eve’s most carefully guarded secret is that she also spends her nights carrying out dangerous missions as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.

When a plane crashes as she’s en route to a rendezvous, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to recognize the badly injured pilot as British RFC Captain Simon Forrester. She risks her life to conceal him from the Germans, but as the secrets between them grow and the danger mounts, can they still hope to make it out of Belgium alive.

The Author
Kate Breslin
A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. She is the author of For Such a Time and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. Find her online at http://www.katebreslin.com.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”


On Love’s Gentle Shores by Liz Johnson
I am a little biased with this story being from the Maritimes and having pleasant memories of Prince Edward Island myself. I enjoyed getting caught up with the charactors of Natalie and Justin. It was a light hearted novel that connected with the heart. The author had well developed characters and I felt transported to the island where I could see the red sand and feel the cool breeze. I enjoyed reading this novel and I couldn’t put it down. It inspired me to take my own trip to island.

I recommend that you pick up this book as a way to relax and escape for a while from the pressures of the world, you won’t regret it, you will only wish that it was longer. I can’t wait what the author’s next books have in store.

From the Publisher

Natalie O’Ryan had no plans to return to Prince Edward Island. But when her fiancé books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose’s Red Door Inn, she sets out to plan the perfect wedding. Yet she can’t possibly plan for a run-in with Justin Kane–the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin has never forgotten Natalie. He’d been prepared to follow her off the island until tragedy struck, leaving him to run the family dairy farm. He’s done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him–but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he’s been missing.

After Natalie’s reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin’s property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin may discover that there is more between them than broken promises and an old friendship.

About the Author

Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she’s not plotting her next trip to the island, she works in marketing. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, including The Red Door Inn and Where Two Hearts Meet, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Tucson, Arizona.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

One Dominion: Prepared For A Purpose

Authors:  Paul Richardson and Bob Beasley

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As Canada has celebrated 150 years, the Bible League of Canada has put forth a stunning collection of photographs to correspond to the history of our country. I am blown away by the beauty in the pages and the quality of the book. For myself it renewed my own longing to explore Canada from coast to coast. It also connected to my sense of seeing God through creation. I have kept this book on my coffee table in my living room since receiving a copy. It has been a wonderful conversation piece.

Don’t let the simple cover fool you. Inside the pictures and history take the reader away from their living room and allows them to travel across our vast country. I encourage you to pick up a copy, it would especially make a nice gift for a Canadian far from home as it celebrates our beautiful land and our accomplishments as a county.


“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

Press Release

One Dominion invites readers into an exploratory journey through Canada’s history, highlighting key moments of faith and Christian influence, from the founding of educational institutions and hospitals, to the creation of countless charitable organizations and architectural masterpieces. With inspiring accounts of individuals who founded our country upon the Living Word of God, One Dominion helps readers uncover a deeper understanding of Canada’s foundations and futures, through Scripture and the tests of faith passed by those who have gone before.

In this carefully crafted book, Paul Richardson, President of Bible League Canada, and Bob Beasley, Vice President of International Ministry at Bible League Canada, identify Canada’s purpose and mandate as a nation, as inscribed on the Peace Tower of Parliament Hill: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” (Psalm 72:8 KJV) Through stunning photography and enthralling historical accounts, this book is designed to instill confidence and hope in the Christians of Canada and encourage them to steward well the resources, opportunities, and peace with which this country has been blessed. Richardson encourages, “Canadians have much to be thankful for, past, present, and future, and much to steward well, both at home and for the benefit of other countries. This is a great reminder of just that.”

With an eye to the future, Bible League Canada has committed to helping Christians not forget how deeply Canadian culture, education, government, and institutions are rooted in a Bible-based worldview, to the glory of God. As Richardson and Beasley commission readers to remember, “When Canada was first formed as a nation, we received our national mandate to see God have dominion from sea to sea. By every account, we are a blessed Nation. We are blessed for a purpose and that is our international mandate: to see God have dominion to the ends of the earth.”

One Dominion is available through Bible League Canada at https://bibleleague.ca/onedominion/, and both Paul Richardson and Bob Beasley are available for interview.

With You Always

by: Jody Hedlund

series: Orphan Train

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A historical novel set in 1850’s New York during the financial crisis. The story follows heroine Elise Neumann as she struggles to find a way to support her younger sisters. Although already an immigrant in New York a glimmer of hope arrives when she learns of the Orphan Trains offering jobs in Illinois. Things aren’t always as good as they seem.

Having read a lot of historical fiction, I am familiar mostly with England during the 1800’s. This novel was fresh in having never heard of the “Orphan Trains”. The writer’s background as a social worker shines through in places as the history is tied into the fiction. I found myself enjoying book but after finishing the book wanting to find out more about the history. Through my own research I learned that the author was meticulous in many of the details of the story. She was able to bring history to life. I enjoyed reading this one book and hope to read more in her series Orphan Trains.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

From the Publisher About

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children’s Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society’s orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother’s shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn’t be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they’ve been working toward?

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at http://www.jodyhedlund.com.

The Captain’s Daughter
by: Jennifer Delamere
series: London Beginnings

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I seem to find myself reading a lot of historical romance, especially books from an earlier era. The Captain’s daughter follows the story of a strong woman named Rosalyn in Victorian London. The story is swift moving and captured my imagination as I felt myself connecting with our heroine as she see’s the world through eyes filled with hope despite hardships. She quickly develops a friendship with Nate as they work together backstage. She has high aspirations to be on the stage.

It was well written and I found the day easily escaped from me as I didn’t want to put the book down to see what happened next. The author seemed to have done her research on historical England but also the intricacies of working in the theater. The main characters were easy to relate to and felt well developed. This is the first book in a series and I look forward to reading the next book due in March 2018.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

From the Publisher: About the Book

London, 1879

Forced to Leave All She Loves Behind, She Seeks a New Life in a City Bursting with Opportunity, But Fraught with Danger

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided–until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

About the Author

Jennifer Delamere
Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Women Who Move Mountains

Praying with Confidence, Boldness, and Grace

by: Sue Detweiler

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As a leader of a church I often find myself browsing the different resources and reading quite a few. Although I preach a lot about listening to that still small voice, I find it difficult as a leader to take time for my own personal prayer life. I find myself often caught up in the business side of church and preparing a service for next week.

The title of the book alone reeled me in Women Who Move Mountains. It is a tough thing to be a Christian in an ever changing world. This book has a little bit for everyone in it. I found it especially empowering for myself as a female leader. It has a style of one chapter having reflection questions to help the reader delve deeper into their faith, beliefs and practices and the next chapter having a story of a Biblical woman with questions to help the reader delve deeper into the faith story and what that means for their own circumstances.
Unlike some books out there this had a multifaceted approach when it came to ways of connecting deeper and asking yourself the bigger questions. Such as journaling, study questions and at some point there will be videos posted on the author’s website. Once the videos are posted this might be a good book to use in a small group.

There were some chapters that I connected more with than others but that is to be expected with this type of book. If you are wanting to learn more about building a stronger prayer life and connecting more with your faith, you might want to check this book out.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”


About from the Publisher:

Infuse Your World–and Your Heart–with God’s Life-Giving Power

Amid our packed schedules and life’s curve balls, our hearts long for more. We want to live and love well; we want to be a source of joy and life for others. The good news is that we can–and the secret is found in the simple act of prayer. Prayer was never meant to be a recitation of requests, but rather a drawing closer to the heart of God.

In this book, Sue Detweiler reveals how to
· Exchange the obstacles of life for the promises of God
· Pray with passion and confidence rather than fear and insecurity
· Transform brokenness into wholeness, anxiety into peace, and disappointment into hope
· Become a woman whose powerful prayers transform not only her own life, but the world around her

With a study guide and journaling prompts included, this is the perfect book to take you deeper in your prayer life, either on your own or with a group.

About the Author:

Sue Detweiler is a wife, mother of six, author, radio host, and pastor with more than 25 years’ experience in leadership, ministry, and education. She is also a popular speaker who shares her heart and wisdom internationally on issues related to marriage, family, women, prayer, leadership, and ministry. Sue and her husband, Wayne, have recently relocated to Frisco, Texas, to plant Life Bridge Church north of Dallas.