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.

Source: 7 Reasons Not to Participate in Operation Christmas Child — Emily Joy Poetry

Recently out on the shelves of Canadian grocery stores is a new coke in a green can called Coca-Cola Life. The marketing ploy is that it contains 1/3 of the sugar of regular Coca-Cola (sweetened with stevia and sugar), less calories and no artificial sweeteners.

My once in a while indulgence is a can or bottle of Coca-Cola. I was excited to try a healthier version.

My excitement waned after the first couple sips. It tastes sweeter than regular Coca-Cola and has less of that Coke bite I have come to love. It tastes lighter but in the end reminds me of drinking Coke that has gone flat.

It still contains artificial colors and chemicals. The product may be new and healthier but I will not be buying it again. I will go back to my occasional treat of regular Coca-Cola. 

The other 14 cans of Life will go to the trick-or-treat erstwhile.  I won’t be drinking them.
Overall:Will not buy again

16 months ago I had a debilitating accident. I tore my rotator cuff, sprained my ankle, pulled muscles throughout my back and hips. It’s been an awful process.

About 10 months ago I started seeing an accupucturist that uses active release massage with her treatments. I noticed she always used this mysterious minty smelling ointment at the end of our sessions.

The mysterious ointment was Ping On Ointment. It is a lip gloss consistency and comes in small plastic tubs. 

The ointment goes back almost 200 years. It is a Natural ingredient version of many popular muscle rubs. Rubbed onto the skin it is able to be absorbed through the skin and into the muscle. Menthol, camphor and other herbs help in reducing inflammation and pain.
For myself the smell is relaxing and I find when combined with massage it does help sore muscles.

It can be difficult to find and is easiest found on Amazon.

I love this ointment and how it has helped me during my recovery process.