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I’m not going to lie. When I was offered the opportunity to review this book, I did so because of the cover. “A Light On The Hill” by Connilyn Cossette is exactly the type of fictional book that filled my early-teen summers and I couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic at the sight of it. (Yep, you caught me… I am hands down the type of person who picks books by their covers…) Warm and beautiful with a soft matte finish, this is my kind of book cover!

The novel is set in Israel in the time of Joshua, seven years after the fall of Jericho. After being branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods, one young woman has hidden herself away on her father’s vineyard. Carrying the shameful reminder of her captivity in Jericho, Moriyah struggles to be content with a life lived behind a veil. After her father finds a match for her, a widower with two teenage sons, she begins to hope again. But soon it all goes horribly wrong and Moriyah is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the newly established Levitical cities of refuge, Moriyah’s travels bring her to the feet of danger, enemies, unexpected allies, and ultimately, God. 

The story is, in and of itself, well written. I don’t tend to read a lot of historical fiction nowadays but this book was a pleasant change from my usual fare. It’s a light and easy read with an interesting narrative. While the plot is fairly predictable, the characters are well rounded and likable and the scenes are well set.

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Every once in a while I read a book that enrages and deeply grieves me. For me, this book was that. But it was also so much more. It was a story of faith that perseveres in the darkest of circumstances and of a hope grounded in more than just man alone.

In her challenging and inspiring book, “I Will Not Fear,” author Melba Pattillo Beals shares with us a small glimpse into some of the heartache and persecution she has faced throughout the years. In 1957, Melba was one of the nine African American students who were chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The story continues throughout her life as a news reporter, wife, mother, magazine writer, and professor; highlighting the oppression she has faced in everyday life and countering it with an unwavering hope.

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We all have expectations for motherhood. Most of us, at some point or another, have carefully crafted plans for what our motherhood will look like, how it will come about, or who our family will be. And then, inevitably, we encounter situations that test and challenge those ideas. We’re forced to re-evaluate or else flounder under unrealistic goals.

I was super excited to receive an early copy of Jamie Sumner’s book, “Unbound” as she addresses the reality of motherhood and the struggle it can take to get there. Dealing with issues like infertility, miscarriage, difficult pregnancies, and special needs parenting, this book details some of Jamie’s own difficult journey while weaving in stories and highlights from women of the Bible. This book is beautiful and challenging, written with hope, honesty, and truth — and I was so encouraged by Jamie’s story.

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Book Review: Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

Police officer, Izzy St. John, is determined to uncover the truths behind her partner’s murder, even if that means putting herself directly in the line of fire. Her search for answers leads her to a large criminal organization and a list of possible dirty-cops,  which potentially includes one of her own family members. Mystery, adventure, and a bit of heat between her and a handsome homicide detective launches Book 1 of the Blue Justice series, “Oath of Honor” by Lynette Eason.

For me, no trip to the library is complete without a stack of mystery / adventure novels in hand. This is my go-to genre for easy-reading and unwinding. Being an avid reader of this genre, I was especially looking forward to reading and reviewing this book, Oath of Honor

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In this debut novel by Jaime Jo Wright, mystery and romance collide in a dual-narrative that takes us across time and generations to solve the dark secrets behind The House on Foster Hill. 

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“It’s not about you.” These are the four words that Sharon Hodde Miller opens Free of Me with, and the premise behind them captured my intention immediately.

In a world bombarded with messages about “self” this book serves as a purposeful refresher to re-direct our eyes upwards rather than inwards. Seeking to restore and redeem truths than have been twisted, Free of Us is a convicting and inspiring message to live a life for more than just ourselves.

With her easy writing style and gentle voice, it’s easy to see the author’s heart for gospel truth. Pushing past the temporary “feel-good messages” provided by the world around us, Miller leads us to exploration of an identity and worth found in Christ alone. Offering insights into seven different areas of life in which we tend to make about ourselves, Free of Us gently prods us to re-evaluate our approach towards God, Family, Appearances, Possessions, Friendship, Calling, and Church. The book concludes by offering four practical steps in helping to release our “me-centric” attitudes and turn our focus towards God.

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Another year is drawing to a close, and with it, comes my favourite reads from 2017! So without further ado, I give you a list of my top ten favourites (and I’ll even throw in a few honourable mentions too.)

In no particular order, my 2017 Favourite Reads are:

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If you’ve spent any time with me, you’ll know that I can fill endless hours with a good book. If a book is well written, I can immerse myself in almost any genre of writing and be completely satisfied. But if I’m being particularly truthful, there are genres that I don’t usually find myself drawn towards — and this is one of them.

Fiercehearted is written by Holley Gerth, a bestselling author, counselor, and life coach.

And I think if we’re being completely honest, the title “life coach” is why I tend to avoid books like this. It sets off too many alarms within my brain. I gear myself for books that are entirely “me-centric” rather than Christ-centric — a path I just don’t want to entertain. And I think that’s why I found myself so pleasantly surprised by Gerth’s book. Woven throughout each chapter is the call to embrace life as one who has been intricately designed by the Creator, and to live life fuller for Him.

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