“Like Never Before – Great Depth, Spiritual Insight and Romance

I have enjoyed all of Melissa Tagg’s books to-date.  She is excellent at developing her characters and weaving spiritual truth into contemporary, realistic settings.  “Like Never Before” is book #2 in the Walker Family Series, and while you needn’t have read “From the Start” (book #1) to enjoy this book, you’ll really enjoy it a lot more if you have.  Themes found in “Like Never Before” include the guilt a working, single parent can struggle with, the guilt of moving on after the death of a spouse – and how the death of a spouse can affect extended family relationships.  Divorce,  disappointment with God,  false security and reconciliation are other themes that combine to make “Like Never Before” an emotionally engaging story with great depth, spiritual insight, romance and a hint of mystery.  It had been awhile since I’d read the first book in the series (again, these books can stand alone but are better as a series), so it took me a little while to “refamiliarize” myself with the Maple Valley setting- for that reason I felt like it was a bit of a slow start.  But, as I got into the story and the characters, I developed a great appreciation for its depth.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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Review of Elizabeth Camden’s “Until the Dawn”

Set in New York in the early 1900’s, “Until the Dawn” takes on the opposing worldviews of naturalism and Christianity, and in particular the untenable belief that if you cannot see or prove something, it must not exist.

Author Elizabeth Camden packs in some thought-provoking metaphors, like the idea that we may limp along in life as best we can with painful, infected emotional or spiritual wounds, which-unhealed- ultimately destroy our relationships and rob of us joy.

Camden’s characters are always entertaining, dynamic and realistic.  This is a romance, so of course there’s a small element of predictability, but one thing that sets Camden apart in this genre is her humor and ability to keep things real.  She’s also an excellent descriptive writer, in this case vividly portraying isolated, small-town life along the Hudson River. (She includes some incidental history of the development of weather forecasting as well).

Fans of Elizabeth Camden won’t be disappointed, while those unfamiliar with Camden will gain appreciation of a great writer who always manages to address relevant issues of contemporary society in a framework of historical fiction.  “Until the Dawn” will definitely provide you several hours of absorbing entertainment.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Blogger Bonus Program Week 1 Challenge

I decided to join a blogger bonus program with Bethany House Publishers and its pretty cool!  So far I’ve had a chance to chat with Melissa Tagg, the author of “From The Start”. Melissa also wrote “Made to Last” and both books are great romantic comedies that pack a good faith-building theme.

One of the challenges of the blogger bonus program this week is to share a favorite quote from the book, “From the Start”.  This wasn’t hard, because one of the things I most enjoyed about this book was the theme of waiting on God and being willing to hold plans loosely.  Here’s my favorite quote:

“More and more I’m seeing the value in stepping back and waiting.  Discerning when it’s right to hold on and when it’s right to loosen up and let go.” 

Cover Art

More info on the book here:  http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/from-the-start/353800

An Entertaining Contemporary Story of Love and Life: “From the Start” by Melissa Tagg

Product Details

Melissa Tagg does a great job incorporating a strong Christian message into an entertaining, contemporary story of love and life. Her characters, Colton Greene (a professional football player forced into early retirement because of an injury) and Katherine Walker (a one-hit writer who’s feeling washed up) learn to trust God’s plan as better than their own when their paths intertwine through shared hopes, disappointments, trials and triumph.  Ms. Tagg creates a strong sense of small-town life and community, of fall and football, and the challenge of finding one’s way when life brings unexpected changes.  Humorous, realistic, and unrushed- “From the Start” will provide you with several hours of enjoyable reading.  If you’re not familiar with Melissa Tagg I’d recommend this book as well as her first novel, “Made to Last”.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Baker Publishing Group.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Blessings for the Evening

Blessings for the Evening

“Blessings ­­­for the Evening” is a beautiful devotional book.  The scripture and prayer for each evening is contemplative and relaxing; and author Susie Larson effectively leads you to set aside the stresses of the day and focus on the Lord and His goodness.  You almost can’t help breathing deeper and feeling calmer as you meditate on the daily verse and make the prayer your own.  The photography accompanying each entry is stunning and contributes to the soothing and inspiring effect of the book.  My only regret is that I received this book as a Kindle download.  It was too large for my Kindle to support (because of the photographs) and I had to read it on the computer through Adobe.  This is a book you want to hold with your hands and reflect on each evening.  It would be a great purchase for someone (like myself) who struggles with an overly-active mind at night and who wants to practice calming their mind and focusing on the Lord. I think this book would also be a very useful tool for memorizing comforting and encouraging scriptures- the ones you will find in “Blessings for the Evening” are short but powerful.  I wouldn’t normally seek out a short devotional like this, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been missing something; I’ve needed to slow down and take time to reflect more.  This book has really helped me to do that.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Baker Publishing Group.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.