Saturday, December 16, 2017

All Things Now Living - Rondi Bauer Olson

Publisher:  Written World Communications
Pub Date:  May 15, 2017

This new YA release might be just the thing for your teen reader!  

About the book:

Her whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him.
Sixteen-year-old Amy doesn't like anything to die, she won't even eat the goats or chickens her mama has butchered every fall, but she can't let herself pity the inhabitants of New Lithisle. In a few short months the dome they built to isolate themselves from the deadly pandemic is predicted to collapse, but her whole life Amy has been taught it's God's will they die. They traded their souls for immunity to the swine flu virus, brought God's curse upon themselves by adding pig genes to their own.
Then, while on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle. At first her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are.
Amy's feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn't end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer, and was trying to prevent the coming destruction.
Now time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome's collapse, but if Amy doesn't find her father's contact in time, she'll die, along with everyone else.

About the author:

Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader and writer from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she lives on a hobby farm with her husband, Kurt. She has four grown children, works as a nurse, and also owns a gift shop within view of beautiful Lake Superior.
Find out more about Rondi at

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Christy" - Catherine Marshall

Pages: 512
Publisher: Evergreen Farm, 50th Anniversary Edition
Pub Date: October 17, 2017

From the publisher...

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.
But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.
Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?
My thoughts...

This is easily, hands down, one of my all-time favorite books!  It's actually one of the two that I like to re-read every few years.  

"Christy" is a story of real life in a land that is hard.  The terrain is rough, unfinished and unpolished.  The characters are rougher, unrefined and uneducated.  But from the very beginning, Marshall writes in a way that draws the reader in, inviting them to stay and share a story or two.

The imagery from the authors writing brings vivid scenes to mind, it's as if the characters are neighbors I've grown up with, right there in Cutter Gap.  The shacks and the mission, the school house and the church, they are all right there in my back yard just begging for a visit.  

The publisher even offers a downloadable map of Cutter Gap and a trailer to view on their website.  How  fun!  

**I give this book 5 stars and definitely recommend purchasing this special 50th anniversary edition**

About the Author...
Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
Find out more about Catherine at
 To purchase a copy of this edition, visit Amazon.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

"Total Christmas Makeover" by Melissa Spoelstra

Pages: 208
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub Date: October 3, 2017

From Amazon:

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it’s important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ’s birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.
Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.
In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season. 

My thoughts:

This is  great study or book to work through right before (or during) the holiday season.  I liked the "practical approach" and "reflection questions" the best.  I don't know necessarily if I would do this during the holiday season, I don't feel as if I would be able to devote a lot of time to it.  I think I might spread it out throughout November and December though and give it a try.

I give this book 4 stars and was given a copy inexchange for my review and promotion.

About the author:

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women's conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the "First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree," "Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness," and "Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible" studies and "Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home" book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.
Find out more about Melissa at