Book Review

In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Do you love Christian fiction but you want to try something completely new? Let me show you my new favorite series, perfect for lounging around by the pool this summer — The Timeless series by Gabrielle Meyer! And today, we’re taking a closer look at my most anticipated read of the year, the second book in the sequel — In This Moment.

Reader’s Thoughts:

Maggie inherited a gift from her time-traveling parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each morning, she awakes in a different time period without any time having passed. The catch? She has until her twenty-first birthday to choose which time period she wants to live the rest of her life in — forfeiting the other two forever.

Just like the first book in this series, the premise for this novel is fresh and absolutely riveting. Time travel stories often include a main character who travels backward or forward in time to an unfamiliar era, and is therefore forced to navigate and confront unknown expectations or realities. In this series, the main character is born into multiple time periods. This means that she is fully comfortable and at home in each of them. While she cannot intentionally change history (or she’ll forfeit that time period forever) she carries with her the skills and knowledge gained in each of her other lives.

In this book, Maggie is a highly driven and motivated character. She knows what she wants from life — to help heal others, working as a nurse or doctor in her various lives. Because she knows she will ultimately give up two time periods, she’s desperate to gain all the knowledge and life skills she can. This is especially apparent in Maggie’s 2001 life where she’s already a third-year resident doctor — the youngest ever. At first, this feels extremely far-fetched… Until you realize that despite the fact Maggie looks twenty years old in 2001, she’s cumulatively lived over 60 years!

Little details like this make the story a lot of fun. They also emphasize the fact that Meyers thought through the time travel rules really well. Any time I had a question as a reader, Meyers addressed it soon after.

There are also some subtle links between time periods — for example, Maggie has a familial connection to the President in each era and visits the White House in all three lives. So yes, you have to suspend some disbelief (it is a novel about time travel after all!) but it was thoroughly enjoyable to let myself be swept away for the ride. Each time period also felt well-researched and fully distinct, with memorable characters and plot points in each.

One of the main driving aspects of this novel is which time period Maggie will ultimately choose to live in for the rest of her life. (I guessed wrong!) There are some light faith moments woven in throughout the story, as Maggie struggles with knowing where God is leading her.

At the very start of the book, Maggie meets a different man in each of her lives and finds herself drawn to all of them. The romance throughout is clean and sweet, and it was fun to try and figure out which mand and time period Maggie would pick. My one critique with this, however, is that throughout the novel, Maggie spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to pick the life she wanted to live. She wrestles with who she really is and how she can best live out her calling as a healer. In the end, it felt like it mostly came down to which man she wanted to be with. While I completely understand that this is a key part of the life she wants to live, it also wasn’t quite the strong reasoning that I felt had been building throughout the novel.

While the ending wasn’t the jaw-dropping experience I had in the first book, In This Moment contained its fair share of the unexpected! I flew through this novel in a day and am already excitedly awaiting news of the third installment in this brilliant series.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the book:

(From the publisher): Maggie inherited a gift from her time-crossing parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each night, she goes to sleep in one time period and wakes up in another. Until she turns twenty-one, when she will have to forfeit two of those lives–and everyone she knows in them–forever.

In 1861, Maggie is the daughter of a senator at the outbreak of the Civil War, navigating a capital full of Southern spies and wounded soldiers. In 1941, she is a navy nurse, grappling with her knowledge of the future when she joins a hospital ship going to Pearl Harbor. And in 2001, she’s a brilliant young medical student, fulfilling her dream of becoming a surgeon.

While Maggie has sworn off romance until she makes her final choice, an intriguing man tugs at her heart in each era, only complicating the impossible decision she must make, which looms ever closer. With so much on the line, how can Maggie choose just one life to keep and the rest to lose?

Redeeming Love

Movie Review & Giveaway

When you think of books that have left a lasting impression on you, what stands out?

For me, the sweeping love story Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has long held a special place in my bookshelf. A retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea, this novel is such a beautiful picture of the unfailing love of God. We’re all broken, sinful, and unfaithful. And yet, God calls us to Himself and offers healing and redemption.

And so, when I saw that a film adaption of Redeeming Love was going to be hitting theatres, I was very excited to see how this complex and classic story would come across on the screen. I was given the opportunity to preview this film in advance, and it absolutely lived up to expectations! AND to celebrate the fact that this new movie is IN THEATRES NOW, I’ve teamed up with Graf-Martin Communications to offer a giveaway! (Canada only, keep reading for how to enter!)

Ready for a little glimpse at the film? Check out the Redeeming Love trailer here:

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Book Review

Courageously Expecting by Jenny Albers

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of the questions I’m frequently asked, is about book recommendations for women who are pregnant after a loss. And so, it is with great delight, that I share this brand new book — Courageously Expecting by Jenny Albers.

“Courageously Expecting is like a comforting embrace from a friend who understands. Gently exposing the intricate aches and fears of a pregnancy after loss, Jenny Albers invites readers to step into this new season of life with expectant hearts and open hands. No matter our tomorrows, this thirty-day journey of hope and faith serves as a moving testament to the fact that joy is always on the horizon!”

I’ve been following along with Jenny Albers’ story and blog for a few years now. And when she asked if I would read through a copy of her book and potentially endorse it, I was beyond honored.

Any mother who finds herself staring once again at those double pink lines after a miscarriage or stillbirth, will know the aches and fears that come with another pregnancy. Using her own story and cementing it in Scripture and faith, Albers invites readers to step into this new season of life bravely trusting the God who holds it all.

Each day, readers will encounter Bible verses and faith-based truths about what pregnancy after loss really looks like. This book doesn’t shy away from the difficult or the uncomfortable. Instead, it is raw and honest and overflowing with encouragement for those whose wombs hold life but whose hearts will always hold missing babes too.

Pregnancy after loss is confusing and complicated. But we don’t have to walk this road alone — God meets us here. With thirty days of stories, reflections, and letters, this book helps newly expectant (or those considering it) to step forward courageously in this new season.

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Book Review

Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This past year, I decided to try a genre that I don’t read very often — contemporary romance. I love books that are fun and flirty, and have all the romantic-comedy vibes. And Tacos for Two gave me exactly that! This is an inspired-by-a-classic love story that I would happily recommend to those looking for a sweet, no-steam read. (Scroll for my full review!)

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Children’s Book Giveaway

The Happy Crab by Layla and Kevin Palmer

Want to know the favorite book around our house lately? The Happy Crab by Layla and Kevin Palmer. I was gifted a copy earlier this week, and I can’t even tell you how many times my kids have read it. The three-year-old already has it memorized and I’ve caught her “reading” it to both her younger brother and to all her dolls.

So, I am super excited to share that I’ve teamed up with Graf-Martin Communications to share a GIVEAWAY copy of this new children’s book! (Keep reading for how to enter!)

About The Happy Crab:

(From the publisher) Happy is an adventurous little crab whose world is suddenly turned upside down (literally!) when a mama and her son find his large, unbroken shell on the beach. When they discover the crab is still living inside his perfect home, the boy is faced with a decision: Keep him or let him go. This delightful tale, based on a true story, reminds us how important it is to put others’ needs ahead of our own.

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Book Review

The Lines Between Us by Amy Lynn Green

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in my very first cover reveal! Amy Lynn Green’s novel was one I was eagerly anticipating, and helping her with the reveal was just icing on the cake! (Check out my reveal post here!) When The Lines Between Us was released in August, I was beyond excited to finally get my hands on this most-anticipated read! And the best news? This new novel is just as amazing as it looks and sounds.

About The Lines Between Us:

(From the publisher): A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women’s Army Corps.

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families’ and country’s chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they’re called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don’t add up.

A member of the Women’s Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother’s pacifism, but she’s shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it’s wrong to lie; she’s willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.

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Somedays we all need a little encouragement. And these 9 motherhood memes will give you all the feels! Packed with inspiration and love for the busy mama, they are too sweet not to share. Because this season may be physically draining… but our hearts? They’ve never been fuller.

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Book Review

Yours is the Night by Amanda Dykes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Last year, I received a copy of Amanda Dykes book, “Set the Stars Alight” and I fell in love. (If you haven’t read it, go order a copy here!) So when I heard that Yours is the Night was coming out this year, it quickly became one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. Now, the problem with most anticipated reads is that sometimes, you hype them up so much in your head beforehand, that when you actually read the book, it pales in comparison. But let me tell you, this was NOT a problem with Yours is the Night. This book completely met all my expectations for a beautiful story full of hope and light.

Amanda writes in a way that is lyrical and magical. Her words chip away at the darkness and spill light through the cracks and crevices of the characters’ broken stories. I’m not the type of reader to highlight sentences in novels, but if I was, this book would be filled. There were so many times I had to stop and simply soak in the beauty of a phrase or paragraph. (Keep reading for the rest of my review!)

About Yours is the Night:

(From the publisher) The trenches of the Great War are a shadowed place. Though Platoon Sergeant Matthew Petticrew arrived there with a past long marked by shadow, the realities of battle bring new wounds–carving within him a longing for light, and a resolve to fight for it.

One night, Matthew and his comrades are enraptured by a sound so pure, a voice so ethereal, it offers reprieve–even if only for a moment. Soon, rumors sweep the trenches from others who have heard the lullaby too. “The Angel of Argonne,” they call the voice: a mysterious presence who leaves behind wreaths on unmarked graves.

Raised in the wild depths of the Forest of Argonne, Mireilles finds her reclusive world rocked when war crashes into her idyllic home, taking much from her. When Matthew and his two unlikely companions discover Mireilles, they must embark on a journey that will change each of them forever . . . and perhaps, at long last, spark light into the dark.

On the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier comes an emotive tale inspired by the courageous soldiers of World War I.

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Book Review

Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

About Come Back to Me:

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

Reader’s Thoughts

A time-travel, Christian romance novel? I don’t even know where to start with this one. Except to say, that I was absolutely fascinated.

Time travel books can always be a little hit or miss. And honestly, walking into this story, I wasn’t sure how well the time travel aspect was going to work out. The idea of holy water from the tree of life acting as the means to access the past was definitely a unique idea. However, the author took time to patiently set the story and work through her version of the time/space rules. While there were a few time-travel aspects that still didn’t fully make sense to me, the story was entertaining enough to overlook those lingering questions.

I also felt that the book was wonderfully set. I haven’t read a lot of medieval set stories, and this one transported me! The storyline felt very carefully researched and Marian’s reaction to landing in the 1300s felt entirely plausible. There were a lot of little details here that made the timeline very authentic — including acknowledging the immediate differences Marian would have faced as a woman and how that would play out in a relationship. The plot also had enough unexpected turns that I was kept on my toes!

Which leads me to the romance part… If you’ve read some of my other book reviews, you’ll know that I’m not usually a fan of the romance genre. And for a Christian novel, Come Back to Me had a lot of it. However, I think there is room to show passionate marriage relationships within Christian fiction. (It’s a clean read but it does have some very vulnerable and intimate moments.) This part of the plot did give me all the Outlander feels (similar romance plot) and I just went with it — because, you know, time travel. So why not?

All in all, I thought this was a really creative premise with an entertaining story. Perfect for those who love historical romances or suspenseful reads with a little science fiction. I will definitely be checking back for book two in the series!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group
and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
 All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Jaime Jo Wright’s BEST BOOK YET!

I’ve been following Jaime’s writing journey since her very first novel. With books like The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus and The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond, this author is known for her faith-based but creepy and gothic-feeling stories. On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor was no exception to the eerie, mysterious feel and I LOVED it.

About On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor:

1885: Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life.

Present day: Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

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Unknown Threat Book Review

Book Review

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Unknown Threat is 300 pages of non-stop action! Right from the very first few pages, I was thrown into this fast-moving story and utterly captivated from start to end. If you love romantic suspense, you’ll want to check out this new series from Lynn H. Blackburn! (Keep reading for my full review!)

About Unknown Threat:

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

Luke has teamed up with Faith before, but he’s not convinced she’s up for the job and she’s not convinced he’s telling her everything he knows. As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to learn to trust each other and work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

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Look at a mother’s hands.

They may not look like much. Hands that were once manicured and polished, are now speckled with colored markers and non-toxic paint. The chips in her nails arrive courtesy of countless Lego stacks pried apart and Paw Patrol stickers scratched off walls. Her hands have seen more loads of laundry than ever thought possible. And her palms have pushed swings and carried coats and gripped stroller handles until they were calloused.

But her hands? Oh, her hands. They are evidence of such deep love.

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