Book Review: Mismatched Melody by Jodie Bailey

My rating: 5 stars

‘You claim to trust Jesus. Maybe He’s asking you to prove it.’

Haley Cantrelle works in guest relations on Joy Island. Her younger life was not the best and she has found a life here on the island that she loves very much and is totally happy. Right? Maybe. She is asked to step in for a participant at the island’s famous Matchmaking Weekend. She tries to back out of this but the owners, two precious elderly ladies, talk her into it. These two are characters, too, let me tell you! She reluctantly agrees, hoping the week will pass quickly and she can get back to her ordered life.

Cameron Reed is tricked by his boss into the week long event also. A former boy band star, Cameron has changed his name in order to be taken seriously. And as far as he is concerned, this even is certainly not serious. But maybe things will turn out differently for both Haley and Cameron.

Jodie Bailey has done a bang up job here. I loved every minute of this. Cameron and Haley’s characters are crafted so well that I felt every emotion they felt. And Bailey has added a wonderful spiritual theme as well. I was used to her super suspense, but Bailey proves here she has a definite wit and I loved it.  I hope she continues to use it on occasion.  Recommended.

*My thanks to the author for a preview copy of this book. The opinion expressed here is entirely my own.

  • Publication Date: April 9, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Book Review: How To Stir A Baker’s Heart by Candice Sue Patterson

My Rating: 5 Stars

‘Don’t believe the lies the enemy whispers in your ears. You are still you, despite your circumstances.’

Olivia Hudson is a mental health therapist, but when two huge blows leave her reeling, she spirals into a deep depression. No longer able to function in her practice, she heads to Stone Harbor, Maine, to help her baker grandmother, who is suffering from depression. Maybe she will find the healing she herself needs.

Blake Hartford is renovating his old Victorian house and farming blueberries, living his dream, but the wonderful town is withering in the dwindling economy. Due to a misunderstanding, both Blake and Olivia are heading up a tourism committee designed to redo the entire town. Like Olivia, Blake is also suffering some pain in his past. Neither Blake nor Olivia are to blame for their circumstances, but both must realize the power of forgiveness and allow God to mend their hearts and brokenness.

I am a huge fan of Candice Sue Patterson and she has only cemented that further with this book. I read it in one day and couldn’t tear myself away from it. She manages to show her readers the very depth of her characters’ hearts. We meet old friends again here and even though this is part of a series, it works well as a stand alone novel. The secondary characters touched me very much also. I hope Patterson sets another book in this small Maine town. She has described it so well that I find myself wishing I could visit! Truly full of the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God, this one is destined for the keeper shelf!

*My thanks to the author for a preview copy of this book. The opinions stated here are entirely my own. A positive review was not required and I received no compensation.

  • Publisher: White Rose Publishing; None edition (April 5, 2019)
  • Publication Date: April 5, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Let’s Pray For One Another!

I injured my back badly at the end of 2001 and for 8 months, I was in severe, near constant pain. My back has never been the same. But something happened during that time that blessed me so much. Some dear friends of ours, who had been our pastors briefly before going on the mission field, emailed me. Well, John emailed me. He had injured his back also and he told me, ‘every time my back hurts, I pray for your back, too.’ That touched me so very deeply and I thanked God for John, who I call my internet pastor.

I love to pray for other people. In fact, several times I have asked God to help me be more of a prayer-er. You see, when I need prayer, I want someone to lift me up to the Father, so I want to reciprocate. Since that back injury, I have developed several chronic conditions, none life threatening, but quite painful during flares. So when I am in a flare, I pray for those suffering from the same conditions. It doesn’t take long and who knows but what your prayer is the one to see them through that problem.

So why not let’s just make this a habit. Every time we go through something, and it doesn’t have to be physical, it could be a relationship issue, a job loss, etc, let’s lift up others who might be going through the same thing. We’d be helping and being obedient to the Word of God at the same time. So, are you ready to pray? I am!

Book Review: Driftwood Bay by Irene Hannon

My rating: 4 stars

‘Ignoring a need would be wrong.’

Irene Hannon takes her readers back to Hope Harbor for this fifth offering in the wonderful series. I love this little town on the Oregon coast and its inhabitants, especially Charley, the fish taco man, who, I’m convinced, is an angel.

Jeannette Mason has come to Hope Harbor after a grievous loss and is determined to shut herself off from every sharing her heart again. She has a wonderful business with her lavender farm and tea room and is completely happy with her life. But is her heart happy? Logan West has moved to Hope Harbor after his mother and brother die and he is left to raise his 5 year old niece alone. He thinks a small town will be best for the little girl, who doesn’t seem to have an ounce of happiness in her. Even the beagle puppy he buys for her has upended his life.

Then both Jeannette and Logan find themselves joining the town in making welcome a Syrian Christian family fleeing war torn Syria and begin to discover that love sometimes involves risks and doors God opens need to be walked through.

Once again Hannon has crafted believable and human characters, people with heartaches and fears and struggles with their Christian walk. I am a forever fan. Loved this and finished in one day. Recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. No review was required. The opinions stated here are expressly my own.

  • Publisher: Revell (April 2, 2019)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2019

Book Review: Miss Julia Takes The Wheel by Ann B. Ross

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘I left that alone, for it’s unbecoming to criticize a woman’s husband. To her face, at least.’

In this twentieth Miss Julia book, Ann B. Ross once again takes her readers on a wonderful ride (no pun intended) as we enter into the land of hijinks with Miss Julia Murdoch. Miss Julia’s doctor has taken an extended vacation with his wife and hired a replacement in his stead. She is not one to welcome change, so she decides she must do something about this situation. Miss Julia, ever the consummate southern gracious lady, invites them over to dinner along with two other couples she knows and loves. The doctor’s wife, Lauren, is an odd duck for sure and afterwards, Hazel Marie and Binkie pick up on some strange vibes from the doctor himself.

In the meantime, Miss Julia’s long time friend, LuAnne, who has divorced her philandering husband of 30 years, has just taken a job at the local funeral home. Add to the pot the fact that Lloyd has just gotten his first car, even though he is ashamed to be seen driving it, and you have all the ingredients necessary for a rollicking good time. And Miss Julia never fails to deliver. How that woman manages to get herself into the scrapes she does never ceases to amaze me. But she soldiers on like a good Southern lady, even when she’s knee deep in mud in the pitch black dark.

Put your seatbelt on and get ready for a hilarious ride as Miss Julia once again proves she is up to the task of setting folks straight in Abbotsville, NC. We see wonderful characters from previous books as well as a few new ones, who we’ll never see again. My husband always says to me when I’m reading a Miss Julia book, ‘What’s Miss Julia up to now?’ So I read to him and he laughs right along with me. Come along for the ride. Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher for an advance copy of this book. No positive review was expected. All the opinions stated here are expressly my own.

  • Publisher: Viking (April 2, 2019)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2019
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Book Review: The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘She was nothing more than a weak body of flesh who wore her tragedy like a badge of honor. And she was terrified it would happen to her again.’

Beck Holiday’s father died in the North Tower on 9/11 and since that day, she has lost every memory that involves him. Now, she is a cop with NYPD, a tough sergeant who has a horrible secret and she’s just been suspended for misconduct. Then a letter arrives telling her she’s inherited a house in Florida from a woman she doesn’t even remember knowing. She decides to go down to Florida and check out this mysterious inheritance. What she doesn’t know is that her life is going to change forever, especially when she runs into Bruno Endicott, who has fond memories of the times they both spent summers there as children and teenagers. She was his first kiss and Bruno has held a special place in his heart for Beck ever since. But Beck has no memory of Bruno.

Many decades before, widow Everleigh Applegate was widowed after an epic tornado tore through her Waco, Texas home and destroyed her life. Now she lives with her mother in a life that is destined to be completely uneventful. Everleigh has boxed her memories away and intends to keep it that way. But one day she runs into Don Callahan in the grocery store and her life begins to change a little bit at a time. But Everleigh carries a horrific secret in her heart, a secret she believes no one on earth will understand, a secret that will prohibit her ever having a happy life again.

Written in a dual time line, fifty years separate two women who will come to know the powerful healing through faith and love. And a beautiful Victorian home, The Memory House, will play a big part.

I could not put this book down. Rachel Hauck has always been a favorite author to me and this one just may be her best yet, in my opinion. She always includes a touch of the Divine and when I came across it here, I smiled, because I knew this was it and it is amazing. I stayed up till the wee hours to finish this book, at times with tears in my eyes. She knows how to write in such a way that brings these characters to life right before your eyes and involve you in the story to a powerful degree. It just amazes me how God pours these stories into her heart. Totally invested was I in this story. These characters just dance through my mind even after reading the last word. I highly recommend this book.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 2, 2019)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2019
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing