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#The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere–Review–4 stars-#NetGalley

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The Christmas Star is a heartwarming holiday sweet tale about change, forgiveness, hope, and God.

Maddie is a charismatic seven-year-old orphan girl with CP who loves to play matchmaker. After Maddie’s classes, a school van would take Maddie to Glory’s Place, to wait for her foster parent. It was one of Maddie’s favorite places to go. 

Amy has wanted children of her own, for years, but her former husband was too busy drinking and being selfish to share her dream. After their divorce, Amy volunteered to work at Glory’s Place. She wanted to spend time with children who needed her. And, that is where Amy met the matchmaker. Maddie was determined to bring together Mr. G. and Amy. Maddie was positive that the two of them belonged together. But when the two adults met, they were sure that Maddie was mistaken.   

The Christmas Star is a sweet holiday romance, well-written, touching, and full of hope.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and gifted conference speaker. She has published ten titles including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into movies (starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris) and garnered big ratings for CBS television. LifetimeTelevision adapted The Christmas Hope (starring Madeline Stowe) and premiered it December 2009 to stellar ratings as well. Donna’s non-seasonal novel, The Angels of Morgan Hill, has captured the same warmth as her Christmas books and continues to please loyal and new fans alike.

Donna is the recipient of a Retailer’s Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and was recently inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence joining such luminaries as Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Senator John Glenn. Donna is an in-demand conference speaker having appeared at countless women’s and family events, including select Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences.

Donna’s latest book, The Christmas Journey (October 2010) is a retelling of the story of the Nativity told through Donna’s signature voice and accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered watercolor illustrations throughout. The eighty-mile journey of a common carpenter and a simple peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, the journey of Joseph and Mary and her delivery inside a common barn continues to bless and inspire hope in people around the world.

Look for her brand new novel entitled “The Christmas Note this fall (2011).

Donna lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, Troy, and their children, Grace, Kate and David.

Learn more at http://www.DonnaVanLiere.com

#The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March–Review–5 stars–#NetGalley

the christmas wishing tree:.jpg 850.jpgA Delightful, Sweet Small Town Romance–The Christmas Wishing Tree –Coming 9/25/18

 

The Christmas Wishing Tree is a delightful, touching and well-written story about healing hearts, believing in dreams, and the magic of Christmas.  

Although Devin Murphy wasn’t able to spend as much time as he wanted to in Eternal Springs, Colorado, it was his favorite place to visit during Christmas. Year-round, Eternal Springs was known as a place of healing, and loving friendships, but during the Christmas season, the enchanted small town came alive with magic.

Seven-year-old Reilly Stockton thought he was dialing the North Pole when he reached Devin Murphy. Devin didn’t have the heart to tell the boy that he wasn’t Santa. After spending a good amount of time talking with Reilly. Devin did his best to reach the boy’s mom to tell her about her son’s Christmas request.

Dr. Jenna Stockton was tired of being the target of someone’s sick, mean-spirited tricks and scare tactics. Unfortunately, if her stalker’s plan was to frighten her and traumatize her son, Reilly, he was successful. Jenna thought that maybe it was time to go off the grid for a while. Perhaps they could visit Eternal Springs, the fascinating place, Santa had told her son about.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet heartwarming small town romance. The plot is intriguing, the dialog witty and natural, and the characters likable, developed, and flawed.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

Emily invites you visit her website at www.EmilyMarch.com

 

#Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde-Review-4 stars #NetGalley

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New Captivating Story, Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Coming 6/19/18!

 

When Roseanna’s friend, Alice, died, Roseanna was changed forever. The two of them had been best friends and workaholics. Alice took her overworking habits, however, to an extreme. She never took a vacation. Alice was saving her money for early retirement. The problem was, though, that Alice never got the chance to enjoy her savings, before she died. That incredibly, sad fact, changed Roseanna. So even though Roseanna was a successful senior partner in a Manhattan law firm, she walked away; leaving everything behind. 

Roseanna bought a tiny rundown house, on seventy acres of land. What Roseanna thought she wanted most in the world was peace, quiet and solitude. But what she discovered made her happy, was something, entirely different. 

Roseanna was flawed. She had a problem being intimate with people. She kept everyone, including her thirty-year-old son, at arm’s length. But, something magical happened on her country farmland, which made her rethink everything. 

Heaven Adjacent is an emotional and touching story about relationships, forgiveness and finding happiness. Most people understand that happiness comes from within. It also comes from sharing one’s life with others, showing kindness, and helping those in need. Roseanna discovered that when she let go of her rigid, and selfish ways, something beautiful happened, so magical, that she would pay any amount of money, to keep it. Heaven Adjacent is a well-written, thought-provoking, and humorous story. I loved it.

Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including THE WAKE UP, ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, and DON’T LET ME GO. 

An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

She is co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

Her novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS’ EDITION in August of ’14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of ’14

LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards. Both BECOMING CHLOE and JUMPSTART THE WORLD were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List, and JUMPSTART THE WORLD was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. WHERE WE BELONG won two Rainbow Awards in 2013 and THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS won a Rainbow Award in 2015.

New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER’S PURPLE HEART are now available. Also available is THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD, her first book-length creative nonfiction. 

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton. 

For more information and book club questions, please visit the author at catherineryanhyde.com

The Art of Fully Living by Tal Gur–Review-4 stars

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A True Story of One Man’s Incredible Journey!

The Art of Living Fully is an insightful and thought-provoking memoir. 

Tal Gur had all the perks of being a successful businessman when he decided that the corporate life was not for him. He wasn’t happy. So he decided to give it all up. Tal Gur made a list of goals that he wanted to achieve in his life and started fulfilling them, one by one. This book is his story. 

I like how the author outlines exactly how he went about reaching his goals while traveling around the world. Tal Gur doesn’t only include his successes but also his discouraging moments. Many of the inspirational points that he makes in this memoir are exceptional and good reminders about believing in oneself. 

While reading this book, I couldn’t help but think about the goals that I’ve met, and the ones that I still have on my list. Tal Gur encourages the reader to plot out their goals and follow their dreams. In a nutshell, this book is a wealth of knowledge in an easy to follow format about living life to the fullest, being true to yourself and finding happiness.

Thank you, Tal Gur, for my complimentary copy, of your inspirational memoir, The Art of Fully Living.

~4 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Tal Gur, a blogger, entrepreneur, and devoted adventurer, has spent a decade pursuing 100 major goals around the globe. But his journey had its challenges. Like most people, he faced crippling self-doubt and struggled for a sense of purpose. Behind every difficulty he discovered a life-changing gift, and now he’s passing what he learned onto others. Find out more about Tal and his 100 life goals project at http://www.FullyLived.com

 

Practice Makes Purpose by C. Paul Schroeder–Review-5 stars

life on purpose 850.jpgCheck out C. Paul Schroeder’s Newest Release, Practice Makes Purpose!

 

Practice Makes Purpose is a well-written, thought-provoking and insightful read. In this book, Paul Schroeder takes time-tested spiritual truths, and demonstrates, for the reader, practical ways to follow them. This is a book about loving, giving and living a more joyful and peaceful life. It’s a book that will challenge the reader to examine their heart. Although the book is easy to read, following the principles in it, takes determination.

Doesn’t living with more love, forgiveness, compassion, and peace, sound heavenly? Yes, of course, it does. Will following the practices outlined in this book be worth the effort? Absolutely! 

Thank you, Paul Schroeder, for my complimentary copy of Practice Makes Purpose.

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from Author’s page on Amazon)

C. Paul Schroeder (M.Div.) is a social entrepreneur, author, and spiritual teacher who has spent over 20 years working at the intersection of spirituality and social change. He served for more than a decade as a Greek Orthodox priest. After a divorce and a period of personal and spiritual crisis, he left the priesthood and founded New City Initiative, a nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to helping people who experience poverty and homelessness achieve their full human potential. During the seven years he directed New City, he and his coworkers trained individuals, nonprofits, and businesses to use the Six Spiritual Practices. He is the author of Practice Makes PURPOSE: Six Spiritual Practices That Will Change Your Life and Transform Your Community, and the translator of St. Basil the Great: On Social Justice. He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Find him online at http://www.sixpractices.com.

 

The Wake Up by Catherine Ryan Hyde-5 Shining Stars–#Book Review

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Don’t Miss Catherine Ryan Hyde’s Newest, Heartwarming, 5-Star Release, The Wake Up—Coming 12/5/17!

The Wake Up is an outstanding, five-star, character-driven book. Once I started reading this novel, I lost all track of time. I quickly became absorbed in the character’s lives and had a hard time putting the book down, for even a moment. The Wake Up is a heartfelt story about love, trust and acceptance, and how two struggling, lost boys, found their place in the world.

Aiden Delacorte is an empath; he is also a cattle rancher. From a young age, Aiden learned to shut out his feelings. He hid his true self under layers and layers of blocked emotions. Aiden wouldn’t come alive again until the day he stopped drinking. But, by then, Aiden’s business as a cattle rancher, was a successful and thriving one. So, Aiden was at a loss; because, he could no longer stomach the fact, that he was raising cattle, for slaughter.

Aiden’s life took another major turn when he fell in love with, Gwen, a single mother. Gwen’s daughter, Elizabeth, was an easy child to love, but her son, Milo, not so much. Milo had a unique ability to zero in on a person’s weakness and bait them until they reacted. Aiden found himself to the point of violence when he saw Milo hurting his dog. Aiden could feel his dog’s pain and fear, and those feelings drove Aiden almost to the point of no return. Little did Aiden know though, that he had a lot in common with Milo and that they would become each other’s teacher.

This story is absolutely beautiful. It touched my soul. Catherine Ryan Hyde has a magnificent ability to bring her characters to life. All the characters in this book are developed, but Milo and Aiden came alive for me. This book warmed my heart, made me think and feel, tear up and smile. It’s a heartfelt story with many layers. I was engrossed from the first page until the last. The Wake Up is a quality read that I highly recommend.

Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

~5 out of 5 shining stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Free-Range Writing by Jenny Alexander–5 Stars–#Book Review

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Check Out Jenny Alexander’s Newest Writing Book.

Free-Range Writing—Released 11/14/17

 

Free-Range Writing is a fantastic resource. This book is designed to help stimulate ideas and make writer’s block a thing of the past. Free-Range Writing is beautifully written and easy to follow. Each writing exercise takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete and is specifically designed to assist the writer in exploring different genres. I was amazed to find how easy it was to climb out of my comfort zone and craft a short piece in a different genre. Free-Range Writing isn’t just a book of prompts to get the juices flowing again; it’s a collection of thought-provoking passages to assist the writer in reaching the inner corners of their heart and soul.

Jenny Alexander illuminates for the writer seventy-five brilliant ways to unleash creativity, emotions, and imagination. This book is an outstanding tool and one that I’ll refer to again and again.

Thank you, Jenny Alexander, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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