The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the Book:

Allison Moore is making it. Barely. The Seattle architecture firm she started with her best friend is struggling, but at least they’re free from the games played by the corporate world. She’s gotten over her divorce. And while her dad’s recent passing is tough, their relationship had never been easy.

Then the bomb drops. Her dad was living a secret life and left her mom in massive debt.

As Allison scrambles to help her mom find a way out, she’s given a journal, anonymously, during a visit to her favorite coffee shop. The pressure to rescue her mom mounts, and Allison pours her fears and heartache into the journal.

But then the unexplainable happens. The words in the journal, her words, begin to disappear. And new ones fill the empty spaces—words that force her to look at everything she knows about herself in a new light.

Ignoring those words could cost her everything . . . but so could embracing them.

My Review:

Do you ever read a book and stop to wonder if it was written just for  you (but you know it wasn’t)?

I can’t count many times I did that with this book. I was sitting there, absorbing the story and thinking about how real and just amazingly deep this story was.

You have several characters in the book, the sibling pair along with their mother. I hardly have words to describe it, other than this story brings to life how sometimes totally confusing life can be, when you think you are doing the right thing and maybe you are, yet things are just going worse and worse.

Do you get down to the nitty gritty and just write/talk or look to God for the true guidance in your life?

I just went through a tough year, and it is not likely to get easier. But reading books like this with deep spiritual encouragement, along with just the love of God seeping through every page really just brightened my whole life. I was refreshed and ready to keep going. I am thankful to authors that take the time to create stories that inspire.

It is so hard for me to stand up for myself, and when you know you can lose everything if you do? Wow. It is even harder. I related so much to Allison and wanted to just be her best friend when I was done.

I highly recommend this book.

 

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The Bible- Weaponized.

That title alone could bring about a lot of confusion. For some, they are imagining “The Sword of the Lord” as in Christianese terms, the bible could be referred to.

For some though, they may be thinking along the lines that I am. When the bible has been used to hurt, kill and wound other people that believe in it.

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

Galations 5:13, 14″

I think often this verse is not one that is pulled out too often.

This week, I was in a car driving along a road near familiar places to me. As I traveled and the road signs went flashing by, memories flooded in.

Unbidden. Unwanted. Painful Memories.

The bible being used as a weapon, rather than loving on ones neighbor. “Christians” that claimed love, biting and devouring one another while seeking to use chains of legalism to bind others.

“You know the bible says to submit to your husband. You should do whatever he tells you, as long as it is not sin. Oh, you think that is sin? You are just trying to avoid your wifely duties. Smile and bear it. Take up your cross.”

The words sound good. “Take up your cross.”, “Deny yourself”, and other biblical terms. But how are they applying in cases where people are harming others, and using biblical excuses to cover them up?

“The bible doesn’t talk about self care or taking care of yourself. You should be careful about how much you think about it. Depression is likely being caused by sin you have not confessed. Instead, work harder to deny the lusts of the flesh and sacrifice yourself. If you die, isn’t it to the glory of God?”

They are taking advantage of something. The fact that many people are willing to do just about anything for God. But when they are taught about a false god that demands so much more than he gives, it ends up being a false religion.

I was willing to do anything for God. I still am. But I know God, and what He will ask of me. I am not listening to the voices of others telling me what God is saying as as cliche as it sounds, I know His voice. When those others butt in and try to tell me in different voices that they are the voice of God, that is when I can easily reject it.

As I drove down the highway of memories, I rejected those thoughts of legalism and condemnation that rained down, and put up my umbrella. “Not today.” I’ll say. “I am walking with my Savior today.”

I am rejecting the use of the bible as a weapon to kill and heap death on others, and instead embracing using it to show the Love of God.

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The Crossing at Cypress Creek by Pam Hillman

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

My Review:
This book was a great part of the series, with many friends from previous books coming into the story. I loved the main characters!

It was different seeing all the unrest in the time period, where often I think it was easy to think that besides wild animals and the weather, there was not that much to fear. So not true.
This author is talented in the way she weaves a story, with underlying story lines that entrap your mind and make you want more.

I obtained this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

 

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description:

Four women captured King Solomon’s heart in different ways, and he indulges his desires despite warnings. For all his wisdom, did Solomon or the women he loved ever find what they were searching for?

My Review:

I love reading biblical fiction and this author is talented in telling a story. 

They do a very good job of capturing the life of a king with the love for God, but also the draw to women to obtain more peace, power and lands. 

Her skill weaves a tale of the confusing facts of polygamy, and its downfalls, even when you think it is sort of ok. I loved Solomon, and yet, I didn’t like him at all. He was the hero that you wanted to do the right thing, but felt like he kept going back to his desire for power, but had a good heart in it all. 

If you want to understand more about this unique king that married, what seems like half the world’s princesses, pick this book up. It is fascinating with a lot of stories in it. 

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Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

My Review:
This quirky romance, is not really a romance as much as a tale of two people falling in love despite the determination of one to not go there.
I loved that this story was not about young people, but explored life and what it could be between two people with totally different lifestyles.  I enjoyed the storyline with the family dynamics.
Don’t read this book if you are just looking for a cute story with no depth. This story hides the depth between still surfaces. I loved it!
I obtained this book from the publisher and NetGalley. My opinions contained herein are my own.

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Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description:

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

(Copied from retail site)

My Review:

I love this author’s books. This one had a different feel than some of her others, but not in a way that was anything bad. I found myself slower to get sucked in, but once I was in, there was no surfacing until I finished. Set in ancient Corinth, you find the bible times awakened for all your senses as you experience them through the eyes of the characters, though completely fictional for the most part, some historical characters are here as well.
I loved it and cannot wait to read the sequels!

 

This book was provided for review by the Tyndale Blog Network. The opinions are my own.

 

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The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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As a counselor, Sophia Barrett is trained to help people cope with their burdens. But when she meets a new patient whose troubles mirror her own, she realizes she hasn’t dealt with the pain of her recent past. After making a snap decision to get away for the summer, Sophia moves overseas to an apartment above a charming bookstore in Cornwall, England. She is hopeful she will find peace there surrounded by her favorite thing: great literature.

Bookstore owner Ginny Rose is desperate to save her business without asking for help from a husband who’s decided to take a break from their marriage. Ginny never imagined she’d be solely responsible for keeping afloat her husband’s dream, but the unexpected friendship with her new renter has her feeling more optimistic. Between the two of them—and Ginny’s brother-in-law, William—the bookstore might stand a chance.

Then Sophia finds a notebook in the bookstore that contains journal entries from Emily Fairfax, a governess who lived in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. Sophia learns that Emily harbored a secret passion for becoming an authoress—as well as a deep love for her childhood friend, Edward, whose station she dared not dream to touch.

Eager to know more of Emily’s story, Sophia goes on a quest—dragging Ginny and William with her—to discover the heart of the woman behind the beautiful entries. Soon Ginny’s need to save the bookstore becomes more than a way to save her marriage, and Sophia finds new purpose of her own. Together they find that sometimes both heartache and hope can reach across the centuries.

My Review:

I don’t know that I have read a book that spoke to me as deeply as this one. It is hard to even describe it. I was sitting in a public place, reading and was struggling to hold back tears. For me, that is something that meant it touched me somewhere beyond the surface.

I loved the story, both the modern and historical. The author did an incredible job of capturing the novel location, but also the hard topics that she touched on. Domestic Violence, abandonment, and discovering oneself all are packaged in this book, but don’t assume this is a heavy story. It is one of those books that you will want to give as gifts to other book lovers.

This book is to be released Feb. 26, 2019! I would highly recommend it.

I obtained this book from the publisher through NetGalley. The opinions contained are my own.

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A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the Book:

Eloise Drake’s prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she’s finally put behind her—or so she thinks. A mathematical genius, she’s now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town—but he needs Eloise’s help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he’d lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them before it’s too late.

 

My Review:

Where can I begin?

I loved this conclusion to this series, but I would say that they could be read as stand alone books. You understand some more of the main character’s story when you have read the previous two books, but you don’t have to have read them.

First of all, the history. She knocks it out of the park with the history of an event that we don’t know that much about. Water is the theme in all three books, and it continues here. The characters are flawed. In fact, there is not much to like about either of them in the beginning, but as you read, they grow on you.

Pain. Rejection. Love. Anger. Mystery. This book has all the elements intertwined and giving us a picture of what it would have been like for a woman in a position of power, but also for a man in power, but having to work with someone he cared for that no longer cares for him.

Romance? Yes, there is romance. But the focus of the book is the story with the romantic threads. I found that I wanted to follow the story, regardless of the romance.

I would recommend this series for older teens and adults that love unique historical books and want to have their fancy tickled to search for more details.

I obtained this book from the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

My Review:
In this continuing story about the next brother in the tale of brothers, we get to meet Adler. I found myself loving how these books need to be read in order to get the most out of the story. Violet was different for me, with her height and draw to the mission field. I related to her on the mission field calling, and as she fought through what that meant to her, I loved it.
This book was an expert tale of giving you insight into WW2, and what happened on the ground and in the air. It gave you insight into the family dynamics and struggles some people faced, and how they used their faith to battle them out and win.
I felt like I lived through that part of the war when I finished this book, it was so vividly portrayed, yet I didn’t feel like it was overly graphic and violent. It still though gave a very accurate picture that I see.
Excellent storytelling! I would highly recommend.
I obtained this book from the publisher. My opinions contained herein are my own!

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Code of Valor by Lynette Eason

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

My Review:
This book was one of those books you do not want to put down. You are afraid if you do, something bad will happen to the characters. While this does have a happy ending for the most part, I will warn that it is not all happily ever after. Bad guys are plentiful in here and will keep you guessing as to who they are. Romance is not the primary goal of this book, but it does play a role.
I found this book a good book to read on one of the snowy days!
I obtained this book from the author and Netgalley. The opinions contained herein are my own!

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