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Posts Tagged ‘inspirational’

On the night her 2 sisters died in a horrible accident Marianna Sommers was born. Raised in an Amish community in Indiana Marianna has tried her entire life to make up for the loss of her sisters.

Marianna is almost 20 and starting to think about having a home of her own. Aaron Zook has been taking an interest in her. He is building his own cabin and has dreams of one day living in it with Marianna.

Marianna’s brother Levi has left the community. He has caused embarrassment and heartache for his parents. When Uncle Ike comes to visit he talks about his life in Montana and how the Amish community there is not as strict as Indiana. Marianna’s father decides to move the family to Montana for a year to see what it is like. This causes Marianna great heartache at the thought of leaving Aaron and her brother behind. Her parents ask her to go with them for just 6 months as her mother is pregnant and needs Marianna to help with the younger children.

Marianna is determined to not like Montana. She is only there for 6 months to help her mother and then she plans to return to Aaron and her more strict Amish community. What she doesn’t count on is meeting Ben. He is not Amish, but he is a good friend to the Amish community. Hearing Ben talk about God as if he is a close friend raises all kinds of questions for Marianna. Marianna slowly learns to love the community of people, but she also realizes that she is coming to care for Ben and that cannot happen.

Meanwhile back in Indiana Aaron has tried to forget Marianna by trying to learn to love another girl. Naomi is heartbroken over Levi leaving, she too is trying to mend her broken heart. Will the two of them find comfort and love in each other’s company?

The story and characters grew on me as I progressed through the book. The second book in the series comes out in October and I am determined to get it so I can find out what happens. I am not normally an Amish fiction fan, but I did enjoy Beside Still Waters.

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Janessa’s husband Brock is a researcher specializing in tick-borne diseases. Throughout his research he has staunchly supported his theory that Lyme disease cannot be chronic. Legislature has been passed, based on his research, denying patients long-term treatment for Lyme disease. The consensus being that a round of antibiotics will take care of Lyme.

Now someone with a vendetta against Brock and others on his committee is determined to get even. He manages to infect Janessa with Lyme. The Stalker tells Janessa that she must change her husband’s mind about his stand on Lyme or he will also infect their daughter Lauren.

As Janessa steadily gets sicker and tests come back negative for Lyme disease Brock refuses to believe that anyone has infected her. He thinks that she is faking her whole sickness in order to keep him from leaving her for another woman. As the Lyme continues the destruction of her body, Janessa enters what is called the Lyme Wars. She finds a Lyme literate doctor that will treat her. Trying to bring the monster out that infected her Janessa goes to the local news station and tells her story. The question is will this do more harm than good?

I really enjoyed this novel, but living in the country makes me not want to step outside again! Janessa’s struggle to find someone to believe her was heart-breaking. Brock’s attitude and treatment of Janessa made me want to throw something! The suspense was nail-biting and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end! There was a lot of information about Lyme disease in the story and at the end of the book. The author herself has lived the Lyme battle.

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Amalise Catoir is a law student in New Orleans. She works at a cafe to support her continued education. Having been raised in a quiet bayou town she enjoys living in the busy city.

She meets Phillip Sharp one day when she steps into an art gallery to get out of the rain. He is showing his paintings. Although his paintings disturb Amalise she is drawn to Phillip. He wants to paint Amalise. She is drawn to him and determined to love and protect him from his pitiful childhood.

Even though Amalise is warned by her best friend from childhood Jude, she is determined to pursue her relationship with Phillip. She enters into a hasty marriage with him. Even before she marries him there are signs of Phillips dark moods. He and Amalise attend church together a couple of times but Phillip is not interested. Amalise feels that if she loves him enough and gives him time that he will eventually come to church.

Once Amalise graduates from law school she is offered a job with a law firm in New Orleans. As a new lawyer she is expected to put in long hours and attend many parties. Phillip is not happy with the long hours nor is he happy to attend the parties with her. He keeps tabs on every hour of her day. He wants to know where she is at all times and with whom she is with. Soon he not only is manipulating Amalise with his words, but he also resorts to violence causing Amalise to tread lightly when she is with him.

Hiding Phillips true character from her parents, Jude and her co-workers, Amalise has nowhere to turn but to her Abba Father. Things soon fall apart when Amalise finds Phillip with another young girl. Determined to leave him she packs for a business trip telling herself that she will never go back to him. This action sends Phillip over the edge and the consequences are devastating.

This was such a well-written book. I was invested in Amalise’s character. I felt frustrated with her that she couldn’t see Phillip’s true character. But the author does explain how Amalise was manipulated. Although the subject of the book was dark the author was able to show how God can and will forgive us our mistakes and give us new life.

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We Be Big is the story of two “sexy fat guys” that do a morning radio show in Alabama. Their story is told in alternating chapters between Rick and Bubba. They tell how they became the successful morning show stars that they are today. The premise of their success throughout their career has been to “keep it real”. They share their lives on the air. In the book they share about their successes and failures leading up to the Rick and Bubba show. On the air they have shared humor and heartache and even when it is not popular with their sponsors or bosses, they share their faith. Throughout their story they share how God has brought them every step of the way in their success. They give Him the glory.

I really enjoyed reading their story. I have never heard the Rick and Bubba show but it sounds like it would be very entertaining. There is something about them sharing their lives that draws people in. Their stories brought a smile to my face and at times tears to my eyes.

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Ariella was sold into slavery as a young girl to an evil Roman politician. She escapes him by disguising herself as a young boy and joins a gladiator troupe. They arrive in Pompeii to entertain the citizens who’s boredom and debauchery has turned into a demand for more and more bloodshed in the arena’s.

Cato has escaped to Pompeii after his failed political career in Rome. He is determined to live a life of leisure as a winemaker. What he doesn’t count on is the corrupt leadership of one man who is determined that Cato will not usurp his authority in Pompeii.

When Cato chances to meet the young “lad” Ari and discovers her secret he is determined that she will no longer fight in the arena. Sparks fly between the two. Ari’s heart has been hardened by years of abuse and she is determined not to let this Roman into her heart. When Cato’s sister is wrongly sent to jail he is determined to end the corruption that has been governing Pompeii. What he doesn’t count on is the evilness of this ruler, the support of local Christians, and the simmering mountain of Vesuvius. Will Cato find faith in the Christian’s Messiah or will all be lost to evil?

I have said before that I am not usually a fan of Historical fiction. But T.L. Higley writes in a way that captures and holds my attention. I loved her novel Guardian of the Flame and Pompeii City On Fire did not disappoint me. The characters and story have stayed with me even after the exciting ending of the book!

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Mona’s dreams of opening a coffeehouse/bookstore are about to be realized. She has just purchased an old Victorian house with every dime she has saved up for the last 10 years. Mona is stubborn and determined to do all of the work herself. She realizes after her first look at the place though that she is going to need a handyman to help her in order to get it ready for the opening of tourist season in 6 weeks.

It is not easy for Mona to hire Joe. Mona is independent and does not need any romantic entanglements in her life. Plus there has yet to be a man who meets all of her requirements. She has only found that man in Jonah, a character in her favorite author’s books. He is her ideal man and she refuses to settle for anyone less.

After she hires Joe several things happen to make her realize that someone is trying to sabotage her dream. She feels that she does not deserve to realize her dream. She feels that God could not possibly want to bless her with granting her dreams because of the deep guilt that she is carrying around.

Joe has his own secrets to keep. He has been wandering around for most of his life. He can’t afford emotionally to become attached to Mona. From the moment they meet though he is drawn to care for her. Unable to forgive the father who left him and his brother and mother when he was 15 he can’t seem to grasp that he has become just like him. Always running away from his troubles.

Joe has come to Deep Haven to visit his brother that he hasn’t seen in years. He feels guilty about that but soothes his guilt with the fact that he has paid for his brother to stay at a group home. Even when he realizes he has feelings for Mona he cannot reveal to her the true nature of his brother’s handicap. But he is keeping another secret from her that may even be more damaging than that.

For the most part I liked the characters of the book. I did get a little tired of the constant battle that both Joe and Mona had within themselves to keep their “deep dark secrets” and to deny the attraction that they felt for each other. Also there seemed to be a lot of teary eyes in this one. I’m not a fan of a character that constantly cries. It seemed like both Joe and Mona were always welling up. It got kind of old. Not only did Mona and Joe keep secrets from each other, it seemed that the author wanted to keep these secrets from the reader too. Maybe if some of Mona and Joe’s reasons for keeping secrets had been revealed sooner in the story the tears and fears would have been more understandable to the reader.  

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Welcome back to Otter Bay! This is the 3rd book in the Otter Bay series. I have read A Shore Thing but haven’t read Sweet Waters yet. In Fade To Blue we read about Suzanne’s story. She is Gage’s(from A Shore Thing) sister who came with her son Jeremiah to live with him after her husband was sent to jail and divorced her.

Suz is working for a company that restores art. She is learning how to do the tedious job of restoring a piece of art to its original beauty. She finds out quickly though that this isn’t her passion. She loves to paint murals.

Suz’s world is set on end when she runs into an old flame. Seth was her boyfriend when she decided to marry Len her ex husband. It’s a small world when she starts running into Seth everywhere she goes. He has bought a window washing company and they seem to be working on the same places. Seth is bitter about their old relationship.

When Len is set to be paroled he writes Suz a letter letting her know that he is a changed man and he wants to be involved with Jeremiah’s life. Suz is confused about her feelings for Seth and her desire to give Len a chance to prove his new life.

Throughout all of Suz’s struggles, her brother and his fiance’ Callie are there to support her and offer advice and love. Also her friend Letty whom she works with. I’m hoping that there is another installment to the Otter Bay series and that it will be Letty’s story.

I enjoyed Fade To Blue. I did get a bit frustrated with Suz lack of seeing the true colors of her ex husband. I think that she should have been more searching into the truth of her ex’s conversion. For the most part I am becoming attached to the characters that make up Otter Bay.

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