Tag Archives: susan may warren

April Book Review 2018

4 May

As promised, April’s book reviews! I got a little excited while at the library one day and came home with a STACK of books of all different genres. It’s been fun bouncing around such different styles of writing these past few months. I have decided though, that I’ve got to stay away from the library for a few months at least to tackle my TBR list of books that I already own!

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby – Learn why God calls meat and dairy to be separated, hidden additives that contaminate food and practical ways to eat kosher.

~This was an easy-to-read book on eating kosher. I learned so much from it and it brought up many discussions between my OH and I about the topic. Definitely worth the read if you’re at all curious about the topic!

My Foolish Heart  (Deep Haven #4) by Susan May Warren – Unknown to her town, Isadora Presley is the voice behind Miss Foolish Heart, the talk show host guiding callers through finding  true love. When it seems that she’s falling in love with a caller, her ratings soar. What she doesn’t know is the the caller lives right next door, in the form of Caleb Knight. He has come to Deep Haven to start over after paying a steep price in Iraq. All he wants is to land the high school football coaching job and then he’ll reveal his disability. But he doesn’t count on moving in next door to a beautiful young woman. Desperate, he calls in to Miss Foolish Heart for advice.

~ As I have come to expect from Warren, this was a unique story line with endearing characters. It did take me a little bit to get fully into it though, as I felt there was so much longing for the past that it put me off. After a while, that eased and I just fell in love with Caleb, Issy and supporting characters.

The Shadow of Your Smile (Deep Haven #5) by Susan May Warren –  Noelle and Eli’s marriage is on the verge of divorce when an accident wipes Noelle’s memory of their life together. Not their life together, including their children and the tragedy that tore them apart. As she slowly finds her footing in this strange life that she’s built for herself, will their secrets tear them apart again or give them a second chance?

~Ahh, this one. What a heart-breaker. I’m learning that I have a hard time reading novels where the characters are struggling in their marriage. Aside from that, it was interesting how Warren wove the family’s restoration together after so much tragedy and ill-spoken words.

The Cozy Life : Rediscover the Joy of Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg – Learn how to slow down and enjoy each moment in every aspect of your life in this small treasure trove of inspiration and practical advice.

~This was a nice, easy read about Hygge – disconnecting from the fast-paced society (logging off social media, stepping off the rat race) and creating a life that we can enjoy and feel safe and content in. There’s even a 30 day challenge to Hygge.

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard – Adam Dunne’s life is perfect. Until his girlfriend doesn’t return from Barcelona. Until he receives her passport and a note “I’m Sorry – S”. He starts searching for her and ends up connecting her to a cruise ship called the Celebrate. And finds that another woman disappeared from the ship a year ago in eerily similar circumstances. To find out what happened, he has to make difficult decisions, do impossible things – like outsmart a predator on what seems like the perfect hunting grounds.

~You. Guys. Thrillers aren’t normally my thing. Well, if I do read them, they are Christian, aka ‘toned down’. But I’ve been following Howard online for years (hopefully that didn’t make me sound like a stalker…) I got this from the library and couldn’t. Put. It. Down. I read it in less than three days – all 368 pages of it. There was some cussing in it so beware if you decide to read it. The plot was incredible though. I was pretty much blindsided by the ending. Brilliant. I am still thinking about it, weeks later. If you enjoy a good thriller that will wake you up at night because the Killer just might be lurking in your bedroom, pick this one up.

As You Wish: Inconceivable tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – A first-person account of the making of the Cult Classic, this book is delightful. Elwes’ recounting of the whole process – from auditioning for the part of Wesley, to the 25th Reunion – will bring laughs, tears and add another level of enjoyment to watching Princess Bride

~Delightful. Absolutely Delightful. I am so glad I finally read this! If you’re a fan of Princess Bride, you have got to get your hands on a copy of this.

 

Currently Reading:

You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

How to be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Taken by Dee Henderson

Gifts of the Spirit by First Fruits of Zion

 

To Read:

Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh by Irving Stone

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck

Whispers of the Moor series by Sarah Ladd

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

My Top-15 Favorite books 2016

16 Dec

 

As I was writing one day, I had a brilliant (coughcough) idea. Why not make a list of my top favorite books that I’ve read this year and share them with you all? Of course, that meant choosing only 15. Not an easy task I assure you. Especially since I read 54 books this year!

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These are in no particular order because that’s just taking things a little too far.

  1. City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell
  2. Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi
  3. The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
  4. Little Britches by Ralph Moody
  5. Maire by Linda Windsor
  6. An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan (and series)
  7. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  8. Tucker Mills Trilogy by Lori Wick
  9. Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  10. Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren
  11. Lord of the Ring series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  12. Everyday Life in the 1800s by Marc McCutcheon
  13. Lights of the Veil by Patty Metzer
  14. Rocky Mountain Memories series by Lori Wick
  15. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle

Okay, so I might have cheated by choosing whole series’..But I couldn’t help it. And it’s my blog, so I can get away with it!

If you want to check out the books I’ve read this year on Goodreads and how I did with my year’s challenge, check it out here! I did want to read more health-focused books, as well as more biographies this year but I’ll have to move that goal on to next year’s reading goals. Overall, there were only a few books that I really didn’t enjoy. Either that means that I am getting better at picking books, or my standards have fallen… Let’s go with the first option, I like that one better.

Thanks for stopping by SGL and I hope you take the time to look around,

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas,

Laura

Series Review – Deep Haven

11 Apr

You know when you sit down to write a post and then you just do not like how it’s turning out? Sigh. That was me yesterday. So, I’m starting fresh and giving you a review on a series by Susan May Warren.

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(random insert here, puppy Abby is learning the sad truth that if she plays in the water, she has to stay outside til she’s dry-ish. Her sad puppy eyes staring at me through the sliding door are awfully pathetic right now)

Yet again, this is a series that I have enjoyed for years – but just the other week I learned that this is only half of it! There are 3 more books just waiting for me to read! ahaha, such wonderful news this is!

I will admit that the first book is my favorite of the three. The first reason being simply because it involves a bookstore. Happy, contented sigh.

~Happily Ever After – Mona Reynold’s  dream of opening her own bookstore and coffee shop is about to come true. With the help of her friend and a handyman that leaves her breathless, she races to fix the old Victorian house up in time for opening day. But when disaster strikes, her faith gets shaken and she turns to her handyman for help. Both will learn of God’s forgiveness and overwhelming love – and that His plans for them are far better than any they had.

~Tying the Knot – Anne Lundstrom was an EMT in Minnapolis when her life got ripped apart. She escapes to quiet Deep Haven, eager to start over and forget the pain of her past. What she doesn’t expect, or want, is to spend the summer at Noah Standing-Bear’s camp for inner-city kids. She’s torn in two directions, wanting to run as fast as she can from the daily reminders of her past, and drawn in by Noah’s charm.

~The Perfect Match – Firefighting is a man’s job – is exactly the thinking that Ellie Karlson has been fighting for fifteen years. Fighting for respect and a chance to prove herself. So when she’s given the interim fire chief position for the small town of Deep Haven, she’s determined to lead the crew and whip them into shape. Soon it becomes apparent that there’s an arsonist in town and she wonders if she’s the cause. The one fire she can’t fight is the one that Pastor Dan Matthews has set in her heart, and she’s not entirely sure she wants to.

Each novel, I feel, focuses on a different attribute of God, which I always appreciate in a series. It makes me think past the story of these characters and into how I feel/believe. I can highly recommend these three novels!

Happy Reading,

Laura

Did I mention my OH got me THIS for my birthday?!?!?!

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March 2016 Book Review

30 Mar

Happy End of March and almost- April! You will forgive me if I keep this brief, I really want to get to working on my novel and my window to do so today is swiftly closing. What with the sunshine and the smell of spring in the air, I keep getting lured outside in the morning to pull the never-ending weeds instead of writing. . . .

I’m debating about starting to give my rating ( 1 to 5 stars ) for the books I review but I just cannot decide! What do you wonderful SGL readers think? Do you like having that quick-reference point or not??

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Love Finds You – in Pendleton Oregon – Melody Carlson – Sunny Westcott is used to the quiet reflections of the small university where she had been a teacher for years. Signing on as a model had never been in her plans. But finding a new job had proven difficult and she needed the money. Then her friend Aubrey drags her to Pendleton for the rodeo, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys the ranch, the small town and riding horses. Meeting a cowboy that sends her pulse racing helps as well. While she’s there, she does some digging into the lives of her ancestors that used to live on the reservation nearby.

 – So. This review is a little sad to write. I normally LOVE Carlson’s books but while this one was very cute and fun to read due to the fact that it is set in Oregon, (i love my Oregon!), it seemed a little rushed. Well, at least the romance part of it did. Which left me rather dissatisfied at the ending. Apparently Carlson has a whole series of ‘love finds you in’ but this is the only one i’ve read! Just might have to get to the library and give the others a shot.

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Edmund Dantes spends more than a decade in Chateau D’if. Finally escaping, he focuses on exacting revenge on those who sent him there.

– What the what. This Book! It is taking me longer to read than I thought it would – as it is I’m only halfway through, but Dumas is a brilliant writer. Having only seen the movie (with Jim Caviezel ) , I was a little concerned about it affecting my enjoyment of the book, but so far – I’m loving the story even more! 

You Can’t Go Home Again – Thomas Wolfe  – I got this as a birthday present this past weekend (thanks brother!) and have read the first few chapters and am enjoying it so far.  I’m not looking up the storyline/synopsis though, as I am kind of enjoying having NO clue what the book is about. =) You’ll just have to come back and read my review! 

The Deep Haven series by Susan May Warren – Set in Deep Haven, Minnesota, each book follows those eager to plant roots in this small, tourist town. With romance, faith and a touch of mystery, Warren delivers a delightful, easy to read series.

-I reviewed them here! they are a fun, faith filled series that I’ve enjoyed for years!

Book Review- May!

29 May

“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ” – Chinese Proverb

How crazy everything has been! I am sorry  that this is the first post this week, but as it was a holiday earlier in the week, I’m sure you’ll forgive me. 

Right now my hands smell like lavendar thanks to the fabric softener that I just threw together… We will see how much I like it once the clothes have dried from waving in the wind.(I have a goal of hanging more laundry out to save money by not using the dryer as much but I abhor stiff clothes and towels.) I’ll let you know – and share with you what all I did to make it if it ends up being worth it! ha. 

Next for today is to clean the kitchen – how does it get dirty so fast? – and then make some strawberry jam. Yum! 

I think this past month I have read more than any other month this year! I love it.  There’s only a few books this time around that I’m not too excited about, but most of them have hearts or exclamation points next to them (that’s how I mark their rank to me. heart = love. ! = great etc…)  Now on to the list :

True Valor (book 2) by Dee Henderson – Part of the the Uncommon Heroes series. Gracie is a pilot in the Navy and Bruce is an Air Force Pararescue man. While they both are deployed, they write love letters until one day Gracie is shot down behind enemy lines. Bruce is part of the team that their only goal is to get her out alive. Henderson once again draws you into the military world with fantastic characters and descriptions.I also love the integral role that faith plays in the characters’ lives.  For the description of the first novel, click here- https://thestartofagoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/book-review-april/

True Honor (book 3) by Dee Henderson – last book of the Uncommon Heroes series. I think this is my favorite of the three. It is intense as its’ storyline deals with the September 11th attacks. Darcy St. James is a CIA officer gathering intelligence on the men profiting from the attacks. Sam “Cougar” Houston is a Navy Seal whose team gets deployed based on the information Darcy gathers. During this war, their romance flourishes. But then they find out that Darcy’s name is high on the terrorists’ hit list. I adore Darcy. She’s tough, gives her all and yet is overwhelmed and exhausted of keeping it all together. 

The Heartache No One Sees by Sheila Walsh – I must admit, I don’t think I’ve made it even halfway through this bible study book. It is good, but it isn’t turning out to be quite what I wanted. It is interesting learning more about Sheila Walsh – as she has her personal story in each chapter. This book is to help women with broken hearts from their past learn to accept Christ’s healing and acceptance. It is very well written, my disappointment with it has nothing to do with the actual book. Like I said, it’s more that I was searching for something else. 

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Take Hold by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz – This is off my OH’s bookshelf. And I have not picked it up as much as I want to. This book teaches about the unity and equality between Jewish believers and non- Jewish believers through Messiah;  the inheritance of non -Jewish believers through the covenants of Israel. As the back cover states “What is your relationship to the Land, the People and the Scriptures of Israel?”  

In Sheep’s Clothing by Susan May Warren – Gracie Benson is on the run – from the man who murdered her best friends. The man trying to keep her alive, an FSB agent, is haunted by mistakes of the past, and intent on catching the man who ruined his father’s life. What Gracie doesn’t know is that she carries a medical secret that in the right hands, could save millions. Outwitting the Russian old guard with a small group of friends is the only way to save Gracie’s life. ACK! I love love love this book. This romantic suspense, has everything you want in a novel! 

The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman – This is a modern retelling of the Brother’s Grimm fairytale, Snow White and Rose Red. I must admit that I forgot how much I enjoy this book! Bear, a rough and mysterious young man shows up on Blanche and Roses’ doorstep. While the sisters’ opinions on him are opposite, he becomes their closest friend in New York City. But Blanche’s fear that he was putting her family in danger, become horribly real and they must fight for their lives. (!!!) This book is a must read! I got this years ago from a dear friend and it has become a yearly read for me. 

Black As Night by Regina Doman – This is also a modern retelling of a fairy tale. This time it is Snow White.  She handles this one as well as the last book. I am halfway through it right now – and don’t remember too much about it which makes it more fun to read!  A runaway girl named Nora is found in the vestibule by seven friars who work with the homeless. While they offer her a place of safety, Bear searches for his missing girlfriend, Blanche. This suspenseful story brings back the characters from the Shadow of the Bear book with a whole lot more background on them. (plus I just found out there’s another book to this retelling ‘series’! i’m so excited to find it!!!) 

The Belly Off Diet by Jeff Csatari – I got this book from the library to try out some new recipes. It’s actually from Men’s Health, and is interesting reading. It’s got a quick-start 7 day program – recipes, workouts, etc – that is proven and says that you will see results within days. The exercises don’t require a gym (always a plus!) and the meal plan isn’t one that leaves you full at the end of each day. It’s full of REAL food – spaghetti, chicken wings, pizza, taco salad, etc. I’ve tried several already and plan on keeping them in my ‘repetoire’! For anyone looking to lose that stubborn stomach weight but hate the gnawing on your insides because the portion sizes are too small – check this book out! 

 

I already have a list of books to read this coming month – some from the library, some from my own shelf! Including – but not limited to – Finding Betty Crocker, A Tiger in the Kitchen, Fast, Fresh and Green, A Beauty so Rare and finishing Take Hold. I do want to read the Anne of Green Gables series, but not sure when I’ll start that! 

Happy reading friend and I’ll talk with you next week! 

~Laura

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