Friday, September 18, 2020

Choose Joy A Coloring Book of Gratitude and Wonder

 

Relax and enjoy a creative approach to gratitude with this beautiful coloring book for adults filled with breathtaking illustrations and inspirational quotes from writers, hymns, and Scripture.

In today's hectic, stress-filled world, taking stock of our blessings and truly experiencing gratefulness isn't always easy, but this coloring book offers a beautiful and unique way to find moments of peace and quiet to meditate on gratitude. Each beautifully illustrated page features an original design from one of seven talented artists that illustrates a corresponding quote.

Features include:
    Large format 9.75" x 9.75" (25x25cm) pages
    45 single-sided coloring pages
    High quality, bright white paper stock--heavy enough to use pencils, pens, or markers
    Quotes from the Bible, hymns, and variety of inspirational writers, such as Charles Stanley, Henry Ward Beecher, Maya Angelou, Louisa May Alcott, Martin Luther King Jr., Shauna Niequist, Bob Goff, G.K. Chesterton, Mr. Rogers, and more
    A link to the "Gratefulness" playlist to help set the mood for worship, contemplation, creative expression, and a spirit of gratitude
    Illustrations by Holly Camp, Jennifer Tucker, Ann-Margret Hovsepian, Katie Howe, Laura Marshall, Bridget Hurley, and Radha Carlson--all artists previously featured in the bestselling Whatever Is Lovely and Everything Beautiful

This coloring book will take you on a journey towards deeper gratitude. Whether you are embarking on this journey by yourself or in a group, pick up your favorite art supplies and color your way to a new understanding of what it means to be truly grateful.

Pick up your copy here...

https://www.amazon.com/Choose-Joy-Coloring-Gratitude-Wonder/dp/0593232208/ref=sr_1_1?crid=29GSLWGJG1NWX&dchild=1&keywords=choose+joy+coloring+book&qid=1599752321&sprefix=Choose+Joy+A+col%2Caps%2C188&sr=8-1


The Ink & Willow line infuses contemplation and inspiration into the regular spiritual practice of creative-minded Christians, wherever they are in their faith journey. Each thoughtfully curated gift product is based in biblical truth and sparks a reminder of how God reveals beauty in the midst of our ordinary.

Throughout literary history, willow trees have been symbols of growth, balance, learning, healing, and harmony. Since willows often grow near streams or rivers, the name Ink and Willow was inspired by the verse in Psalm 1 about the person who delights in God and therefore is deeply planted and able to thrive, bearing fruit and prospering through every season. The word ink has a dual meaning, first as a nod to the act and art of printing words on paper, and then, in the sense that ink symbolizes life. In combination, Ink & Willow becomes the perfect metaphor for what this thoughtfully curated line of products is designed to do, which is to inspire, nurture, and engage Christians.

www.inkandwillowgifts.com and @inkandwillowgifts on social.


My Thoughts...

Adult coloring books are so relaxing after a long stressful day. I love the positive affirmation that Choose Joy has. Such uplifting pages and positive messages on each page. This would make a great gift. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Librarian of Boone's Hollow By Kim Vogel Sawyer

 

A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback—and learns to trust the One who truly pens her story—in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.
 
During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.
 
But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone's Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.
 
As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?

Pick up your copy here...


Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wife, mother, gramma, chocolate-lover, cat-petter, and--most importantly--a daughter of the King! With more than 1.5 million books in print in seven different languages, Kim enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Her "gentle stories of hope" are loved by readers and reviewers alike. Kim and her retired military husband, Don, reside on the plains of Kansas, the setting for many of her novels.

My Thoughts...
Historical fiction fans are going to be in for a real treat with Sawyers latest book.
A library in trouble and Addie willing to fix it.
This was such a treat for me, I would love to work around books all day. I loved the story line and the turn out was one for the books.
I gave this book 4 stars and I recommend it. It is not like Sawyers other books it was by far her best book to date. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Only Escape By Amber Rodgers

 

Summer Reynolds is a beautiful, successful and caring woman who is working the job that she has dreamed of since she was a child. She never imaged that being a nurse would turn into a nightmare. She starts to experience things that she cannot explain and feels as though she may be on the edge of a breakdown. She no longer feels safe walking to her car by herself after her shift, staying in her house by herself, or even spending time with her friends without looking over her shoulder. One frigid November evening as she is driving home the unimaginable happened. Summer now must figure out a way to get herself out the scary situation she has been put in.

Pick up your copy here...

https://www.amazon.com/Only-Escape-Amber-Rodgers/dp/1981638016/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Only+Escape+by+Amber+Rodgers&qid=1599751016&sr=8-1


This is the author, I have no bio...

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Resilient Leader By Alfred Ells

 

Adversity often comes without warning. Bad news is shocking. Betrayal is heartbreaking. It’s natural for a church leader to feel defensive and want to fight back. But fear and anger make for poor strategies when it comes to resolving conflict and thriving afterward.
 
Is it possible to rise above the storm and even thrive despite it? Ordained minister and leadership consultant Alfred Ells says yes, it is. Through stories of leaders who have suffered the traumas of betrayal, conflict, and failure, he provides insights, wisdom, and instruction on how to leverage adversity to become a resilient leader skilled at repairing any breach.

Pick up your copy here...

https://www.amazon.com/Resilient-Leader-Adversity-Change-Ministry/dp/0830781072/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3A4Y5KKHMI31D&dchild=1&keywords=the+resilient+leader&qid=1599876077&sprefix=A+Resilient+Leader%2Caps%2C175&sr=8-2


My Thoughts...

 This a must read for those in leadership  positions in the ministry. It give you so many insights to prepare you in times of conflict and crisis, gives you steps to try to resolve the conflict, it gives you tips to build resilience and  build healthy relationships.
It is a tool that everyone can read and use to help them in their position.
I recommend this book and gave it 4 stars. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Set A Seal Upon My Heart By Sarah Neisen


 God has a plan for all believers to solidify our faith and draw us deeper into a relationship with Him, and it's all found within The Song of Solomon.


Here you'll discover a treasure of intimacy with our bridegroom Jesus. Have you ever asked yourself 'Is there more?' Maybe you've wondered how the Bible really applies to your life. This Devotional Study will answer those questions and more.

In this book you will:

Discover the truth of God's great love and promises for your life.

Connect with Jesus daily and experience peace and joy.

Identify yourself as a disciple of Jesus and learn how to share your testimony with others.

Learn how to follow God's will and purpose for your life.

Fully embrace your role in the kingdom to bring glory to God.

Pick up your copy here...


Sarah Neisen is a graduate of the New Day School of Ministry and Co-Founder of Discipleship Training Ministries, SSM. Along with her husband Lee, they seek to teach and encourage believers in their identity in Christ so that the Good News may be preached throughout the world with signs, wonders, and miracles.

She is a regular speaker at churches in the river valley region of Minnesota and a guest speaker at local women's groups and retreats. Sarah and her husband have one son whom she homeschools. They live on a farm in south-central Minnesota with a plethora of chickens, ducks, cows, and other animals.

My Thoughts...
A Devotional and a  Bible Study in one. You can use this book to study The Song of Solomon and read your devotional every day at the same time. This is one of the deepest studies that I have seen in a while it really gets to the meat of the Bible.
This would be great for a small group or just yourself.
I hope that you will grab a copy of this Bible study to use with your Bible reading each morning. 
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Mordecai's Ashes By Arlana Crane

Karl Larsson is an out of work roughneck, home from the oil fields of Alberta and back on the west coast for the first time in years. His wife has left him and his future looks bleak. Becoming a detective is the last thing on his mind, but when Karl learns that he has inherited his estranged grandfather’s agency he decides to take a chance.

He doesn’t expect much action in a city as small as Victoria, BC, but Karl soon finds that Victoria is only the base of operations. His grandfather’s business took him across the length and breadth of Vancouver Island, and the Island is a world unto itself, with a culture all its own.

When a reporter from a national news agency asks him to investigate a drug running operation on the Island, Karl is drawn into a dangerous game. Finding the truth sounds simple in theory, but as Karl delves deeper he begins to realize that more than his life may be at stake.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Mordecais-Ashes-Larsson-Investigations-Arlana/dp/1777201217/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3EH3W6P1T88Y5&dchild=1&keywords=mordecai%27s+ashes&qid=1599353319&sprefix=Mordecai%27s%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-1

Arlana Crane is a fourth generation Vancouver Islander, currently living in Calgary, Alberta with her husband James. She loves to read, write, knit, play the ukulele and attend the theatre. Summer vacations will find her back on her beloved Island, enjoying the ocean and spoiling her niece and nephews. For more information please visit arlanawrites.com.

My Thoughts...
I love a good detective drama. This books was a fast paced read. It's a book that can be read in one sitting. If you are looking for a new author this just might be your author.
I gave this book 4 stars and I can't wait to see what Crane has in store for us next.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Airborne By Diann Mills

Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living―but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.

As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Airborne-DiAnn-Mills/dp/1496427173/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1598718888&sr=8-1

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is Director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Conference, and Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

Connect with DiAnn here: diannmills.com

My Thoughts...
Can you say this is an on time book? Who would have thought that Mills would write a book about something going on in the world before it happens to the world.
You have to read this timely message that you are going to be in awe of. The storyline the writing it is not to be missed.
I gave this book 4 stars. 
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Half the Battle By Jon Chasteen

Do you ever feel the pressure to hide your struggles in order to look like a “good Christian”? The truth is, we all face battles and hurts in our lives. Scripture is full of God-fearing men and women who tried to cover up their problems. For Mary and Martha, the death of their brother, Lazarus, was the ultimate devastation. They put his body in a dark place and rolled a stone in front of it. But God knew where they buried their pain, and He knows where you bury yours too.

Jon Chasteen explores Old and New Testament examples of people whom God invited to begin the healing process by confronting their secret pain. Through this book with an included study guide, you will learn to:

  • Acknowledge the struggles you’ve been avoiding
  • Let go of shame and regret
  • Partner with God in your healing
  • Find freedom and lasting peace

God wants to visit the place of your pain, redeem your past, and set you free. Will you let Him?

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Half-Battle-Healing-Hidden-Hurts/dp/1951227271

Dr. Jon Chasteen is president of The King’s University in Southlake, Texas. He and his wife, Michele, also serve as the lead pastors of Victory Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Jon’s greatest passion is to empower and equip the local church to live, move, and be in the fullness of Christ.

My Thoughts...
This was an encouraging read or should I say journey. It was one I was glad that I took.
We all struggle from time to time, so we need to have the tools to learn how to let go of the shame and learn how to heal. This was a helpful tool to moving in the right direction to start that healing process.
I gave this book 4 stars and I hope that you will grab your copy.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Christmas Swap By Melody Carlson

All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house's caretaker. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.

Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another delightful Christmas tale to warm your heart on those cold winter evenings.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Swap-Melody-Carlson/dp/0800738020/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2Z5YFZ4N6Q9RB&dchild=1&keywords=the+christmas+swap+by+melody+carlson&qid=1599351595&sprefix=The+Christmas+swap%2Caps%2C172&sr=8-1

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/

My Thoughts...
I have read every one of and own every one of Carlson's Christmas novellas. I enjoy them all and look forward to them every year. This year Carlson wrote a fun Christmas romance and the ski element was perfect. I want to read this again and again. I love a fun romance set in a ski town. I gave The Christmas Swap 5 stars two times. I HIGHLY recommend this novella.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Other People's Pets By R.L. Maizes

R.L. Maizes's Other People’s Pets examines the gap between the families we’re born into and those we create, and the danger that holding on to a troubled past may rob us of the future.

La La Fine relates to animals better than she does to other people. Abandoned by a mother who never wanted a family, raised by a locksmith-turned-thief father, La La looks to pets when it feels like the rest of the world conspires against her.

La La’s world stops being whole when her mother, who never wanted a child, abandons her twice. First, when La La falls through thin ice on a skating trip, and again when the accusations of “unfit mother” feel too close to true. Left alone with her father―a locksmith by trade, and a thief in reality―La La is denied a regular life. She becomes her father’s accomplice, calming the watchdog while he strips families of their most precious belongings.

When her father’s luck runs out and he is arrested for burglary, everything La La has painstakingly built unravels. In her fourth year of veterinary school, she is forced to drop out, leaving school to pay for her father’s legal fees the only way she knows how―robbing homes once again.

As an animal empath, she rationalizes her theft by focusing on houses with pets whose maladies only she can sense and caring for them before leaving with the family’s valuables. The news reports a puzzled police force―searching for a thief who left behind medicine for the dog, water for the parrot, or food for the hamster.

Desperate to compensate for new and old losses, La La continues to rob homes, but it’s a strategy that ultimately will fail her.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Other-Peoples-Pets-R-L-Maizes/dp/125030413X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=TBOZJJB62NYJ&dchild=1&keywords=other+peoples+pets+by+r.l.+maizes&qid=1598727588&sprefix=Other+peoples+pets+by+R.L.%2Caps%2C171&sr=8-1

R.L. Maizes is the author the short story collection, We Love Anderson Cooper, and the novel Other People's Pets, coming July 14, 2020 (Celadon Books, Macmillan). Maizes's short stories have aired on National Public Radio and have appeared in the literary magazines Electric Literature, Witness, and Bellevue Literary Review, among others. Her essays have aired on NPR and have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere.

Maizes is an alumna of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop.

My Thoughts...
La la and the animals were the best part of this book.
 If you are an animal love then you need to grab a copy of this one.
You are going to really enjoy the story.
I gave Other People's Pets 4 stars and I hope that you grab your copy.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Under Pressure By Robert Pobi

A series of deadly explosions rock the city of New York and with too many victims and no known motive, the F.B.I. turns once again to Dr. Lucas Page in Robert Pobi's Under Pressure.

On a beautiful October evening, New York City's iconic Guggenheim Museum is closed for a tech company's private gala. Until an explosion rocks the night, instantly killing 702 people, including every single attendee―yet the damage to the building itself was minimal.

An explosion of that precision was no accident and, in response, the FBI mobilizes its entire team -- but the sheer number of victims strains their resources. Were all 702 victims in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was there only one target and 701 unlucky bystanders? That many victim files is a staggering amount of data to sort through and Brett Kehoe, Special Agent in Charge of Manhattan, decides that he can't do this without more computational power.

Dr. Lucas Page, astrophysicist, university professor, and former FBI agent, is uniquely gifted for the task at hand―he can visualize a crime scene as if he was a bystander and can break down any set of data at a glance. Even though Page wants nothing to do with the FBI, with his city under attack and his family at risk, he steps in to find a killer in a haystack before they strike again.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Under-Pressure-Novel-Lucas-Page/dp/1250293960/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1599007773&sr=8-1

Robert Pobi's novels have been published in more than twenty-five countries, making bestseller lists around the world. He divides his time between Canada and the United States.

My Thoughts...
I love FBI thrillers, and I really love them when they are written by a pro. 
This is a new author for me, I flew through this book. It held my attention before I know it I was almost finished with it.
It can be read as a stand alone but I am going back and reading the first book in the series.
Be sure to grab your copy and check out this author, he is very talented.
4 stars and on to the next book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Shadows of the Dead By Spencer Kope

The best tracker in the world, a man with a secret and a special set of skills, must find two nearly untraceable killers before time runs out for their victims, in Spencer Kope's Shadows of the Dead.A woman―abducted and found in the trunk of a car after a high-speed chase―regains consciousness in the ICU to reveal two crucial pieces of information: the man who kidnapped her is not the same as the man who left her in the woods, and she's not the first victim―in fact, she is number eight.

Magnus “Steps” Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Known for his ability to find and follow trails over any surface, Steps is called in on cases that require his unparalleled skills. But there’s a secret to his talent. Steps has a kind of synesthesia where he can see the ‘essence’ of a person―what he calls ‘shine’―on everything they’ve touched.

Brought in to track the driver through a dense forest after the blood hounds have lost his trail, Steps and his partner Jimmy find the driver laughing maniacally, babbling about souls, and hiding a pristinely maintained box of eight posed rats. Now the Special Tracking Unit must chase two villains―through not just the real world, but the dark web as well―tracking an enemy they can't see, as time runs out for the unknown victims.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Untitled-Steps-Special-Tracking-Unit/dp/1250178347/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2SG2NO3I0DEQR&dchild=1&keywords=shadows+of+the+dead+spencer+kope&qid=1599006533&sprefix=Shadows+of+the+%2Caps%2C184&sr=8-1

SPENCER KOPE is the Crime Analyst for the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. Currently assigned to Detectives Division, he provides case support to detectives and deputies, and is particularly good at identifying possible suspects. In his spare time he developed a database-driven analytical process called Forensic Vehicle Analysis (FVA) used to identify the make, model and year range of vehicles from surveillance photos. It's a tool he's used repeatedly to solve crimes. One of his favorite pastimes is getting lost in a bookstore, and he lives in Washington State. Collecting the Dead is his first novel.

My Thoughts...
Who's ready for a mystery? Kope has a way of writing mysteries that pull you in and you live in the pages of the book as if you are living out the mystery not reading it.
This was my first book in this series and I did not feel lost of left out. It can be read as a stand alone. I plan to go back and read the first two in the series because I enjoyed this one.
I gave it 4 star and I  can't wait to read more from this author.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Cut To The Bone By Ellison Cooper

In Ellison Cooper's new standalone novel Cut to the Bone, a bus full of high school students has disappeared from Washington D.C. and FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must hunt down the culprit who has a link to her own past.

After grieving the death of her fiancĂ© and almost losing her job, Agent Sayer Altair is finally starting to rebuild her life. Her research into the minds of psychopaths is breaking new ground and her strange little family is thriving. But Sayer’s newfound happiness is threatened when she is called in to investigate a girl’s body left inside a circle of animal figurines below a cryptic message written in blood. When they discover that the dead girl is one of twenty-four missing high school students, Sayer quickly realizes that nothing in this case is what it seems.

As the investigation draws her in to a tangled web of fake identities and false leads, the trail soon begins to point directly to her own life. Now, Sayer must confront her painful past to uncover her connection to the deranged killer if she hopes to save the missing teens and protect everything that she loves.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Cut-Bone-Novel-Agent-Altair/dp/1250173892/ref=sr_1_1?crid=BJJQN7H3FNJG&dchild=1&keywords=cut+to+the+bone+ellison+cooper&qid=1599004597&sprefix=Cut+to+the+boone%2Caps%2C169&sr=8-1

Ellison Cooper has a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA, with a background in archaeology, cultural neuroscience, ancient religion, colonialism, and human rights. She has conducted fieldwork in Central America, West Africa, Micronesia, and Western Europe. She has worked as a murder investigator in Washington DC, and is a certified K9 Search and Rescue Federal Disaster Worker. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.

My Thoughts...

This is series just keeps getting better and better. I am addicted to it.
I can't get enough of Coopers books they draw me in from the very beginning and hold me until the last page. This can be read as a stand alone but why would you want to do that. The books are easy reads and you can read them in one sitting.
I gave this book 4 stars and recommend this whole series.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Self To Lose Self To Find By Marilyn Vancil





Discover the growth that’s possible when we understand our authentic selves as God intended by exploring more deeply the Enneagram tool, paired with profound scriptural insights.

The Enneagram—a system of nine interconnected personality types—has been developed over many years to offer opportunities for personal development and provide a foundation for understanding others.

Now a certified Enneagram coach shows how a scriptural perspective can lead us to a path of freedom. In Self to Lose, Self to Find, Marilyn Vancil unpacks our human dilemma, sets the scriptural foundation, explores the nine Enneagram personalities, and shows us practical ways to have a more meaningful life and healthier relationships. At its best, the Enneagram doesn't merely describe who we are, but shows us why we do what we do. It invites us to see the innate gifts and inclinations of our original design—the person we were before trials and traumas began to shape us. It also reveals the strategies and false narratives that keep us from becoming who we're truly meant to be.

Vancil offers a compelling biblical case for the Enneagram by drawing from John 12:24, which describes how we, like seeds, construct a protective coat that helps us survive in a world where we encounter challenges and insecurities. But for us to truly live a fruitful life, we must allow the protective coat to soften and fall away in order to grow.

This is what sets Vancil apart as both a seasoned Enneagram expert and a spiritual director: Within a scriptural context, she demonstrates how the Enneagram can be a vehicle for growth and transformation by laying out the realities of each Enneagram type, affirming the inherent genius of each type, showcasing the unhealthy tendencies of each type's false self, and illuminating the undeniable path to freedom for each one.

Combining rich biblical wisdom with Enneagram wisdom and real-life experiences, this compelling resource is a must for anyone who longs for a happier, freer life.

Pick up your copy here...

Marilyn Vancil has studied the Enneagram and its value in Christian spiritual transformation for many years. She is a Certified Enneagram Professional in the Narrative Tradition through Enneagram Worldwide, a certified spiritual director through SoulStream in Abbotsford, BC, and a trained life coach through Coach Training Alliance. She has also completed coursework on the Enneagram at Loyola University and the Deep Coaching Institute.

Marilyn facilitates workshops and retreats on the Enneagram, focusing on how it can be used to deepen one’s life with God and improve relationships. She practices spiritual direction and coaching from Seattle where she enjoys life with her husband, Jeff.

My Thoughts...
You are interested  in Enneagram then you are going to find this book very helpful.
This is a book that is so full of great insights and the information is easy to understand.
I really was thrilled to read and explore this one.
I gave this book 4 stars and I recommend this one.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Book Of CarolSue By Lynne Hugo

Award-winning author Lynne Hugo returns with a life-affirming, poignant novel in the spirit of A Man Called Ove—a story brimming with both wit and warmth about how a family gets on . . . and goes on.

CarolSue and her sister, Louisa, are best friends, but haven’t had much in common since CarolSue married Charlie, moved to Atlanta, and swapped shoes covered with Indiana farm dust for pedicures and afternoon bridge. Louisa, meanwhile, loves her farm and animals as deeply as she’d loved Harold, her late husband of forty years.

Charlie’s sudden death leaves CarolSue so adrift that she surrenders to Louisa’s plan for her to move back home. But canning vegetables and feeding chickens are alien to CarolSue, and she resolves to return to Atlanta—until Louisa’s son, Reverend Gary, arrives with an abandoned infant and a dubious story. He begs the women to look after the baby while he locates the mother—a young immigrant who fears deportation.

Keeping his own secrets, Gary enlists the aid of the sheriff, Gus, in the search. But CarolSue’s bond with the baby is undeniable, and she forms an unconventional secret plan of her own. How many mistakes can be redeemed?

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Book-CarolSue-Lynne-Hugo/dp/1496725670/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2VN1LNN8EX277&dchild=1&keywords=the+book+of+carolsue&qid=1597766313&sprefix=The+Book+of+Carol%2Caps%2C167&sr=8-1

Lynne Hugo is an American author whose roots are in the northeast. A National Endowment For The Arts Fellowship recipient, she has also received repeat individual artists grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her publications include eight novels, one volume of creative non-fiction, two books of poetry and a children’s book. She lives with her husband, a photographer, in the Midwest. They have two grown children, three grandchildren, and a yellow Labrador retriever who excels at barking and playing tennis ball shortstop.

Ms. Hugo has taught creative writing to hundreds of schoolchildren through the Ohio Arts Council’s renowned Arts in Education program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, and a Master’s from Miami University.

When an editor asked her to describe herself as a writer, she responded:

"I write in black Wal-Mart capri sweatpants. They don't start out as capris, but I routinely shrink them in the drier by accident. And I always buy black because it doesn't show where I've wiped the chocolate off my hands. Now that my son and daughter are grown, my previous high grade of 'below average' in Domestic Achievement has dropped somewhat. But I'm less guilty about it now. I lose myself in crafting language by a window with birdfeeders hanging in the branches of a Chinese elm towering over the house. When I come up for air, I hike by the ponds and along the river in a nearby forest with my beloved Lab. My husband, with whom I planted that elm as a bare root sapling, joins us when he can."

My Thoughts...
Review from an older person who is an only child. From someone who wants sisters so bad. I love books about sisters this one did not disappoint. I really like older characters also. So this book had both which made me super happy.  
You have to pick up a copy of this one and tell me what you think. I  gave it 4 stars.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Salvation Station By Kathryn Schleich

Despite her years of experience investigating homicides for the force, Captain Linda Turner is haunted by the murders of the Hansen family. The two small children, clothed in tattered Disney pajamas, were buried with their father, a pastor, in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. But Mrs. Hansen is nowhere to be found―and neither is the killer. In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show―until one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him the plan is just―God gave her the instructions in a dream. Multiple story lines entwine throughout this compelling mystery, delving into the topics of murder, religious faith, and the inherent dangers in blindly accepting faith as truth. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Captain Turner can only hope that she and her team will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer―before more bodies surface.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Salvation-Station-Novel-Kathryn-Schleich/dp/1631528920/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1RWN23P126AD0&dchild=1&keywords=salvation+station+kathryn+schleich&qid=1598062299&sprefix=Salvation+Station%2Caps%2C265&sr=8-1#customerReviews

I didn’t come into writing the usual way – creating stories from the moment I left the womb, through childhood and adolescence building a body of work, and then going off to college to pursue my dreams. But I always loved it. A geek in those god-awful years known as high school, I adored researching and writing papers. Especially in English and social studies. My mother suggested I get on the staff of the yearbook and school paper. In a fit of teenage rebellion, I refused, even though I planned to major in journalism.
When I was attending college in the 1970s, the aftermath of Watergate and the Washington Post reporters who brought down a president was on everyone’s mind. It seemed every kid in journalism programs across America wanted to be the next Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, so there was competition, to put it mildly. I changed my focus to broadcast journalism, and found myself in small Iowa and Minnesota towns, writing ad copy and reading the hog reports. Not glamorous in the least, but I thought maybe I’d discovered my true calling.
As often happens, life intervened. I had to take real (and often menial) jobs to pay the bills, and radio became a part-time gig. I discovered a different type of writing in the corporate sector interviewing employees on their volunteer involvement. I added writing and recruiting of volunteers for a large yearly fall church festival. In all those years of questionable career choices, writing was what I loved the most.
In my late twenties, I fell in love and followed my future husband to his first job in California, despite warning my girlfriends, “Don’t ever follow a man to be closer to him. Disaster is sure to follow.” So much for taking my own advice. Trapped in the worst job I ever held and with my spouse frequently working nights, I decided to go get a master’s in mass communications. Again, research and writing papers enthralled me. But I wasn’t really thinking about writing seriously yet – our graduate advisers kept telling us professors on the tenure track were about to retire and we’d have our pick in teaching jobs. Never one able to grab onto a trend before it dies, that would turn out not to be true. When we turned to the Midwest, I was completing my thesis. It was then that I realized how much I missed writing regularly and immersed myself in what would become a treatise on how Catholic women were portrayed in Hollywood films. It changed my life. I self-published two editions of work as a text for college students.
In the late 1990s I owned a freelance writing business, working primarily for non-profits doing everything from articles for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, visitor’s guides, press releases – the gamut of nonfiction work. My husband and I experienced some unique events and I began writing short stories based on those incidents. It wasn’t until my marriage ended that I delved into my pain and expressed it through writing.  In 2017 I published two stories – Grand Slam in The Accentos Review and Reckless Acts in the After Effects anthology published by Zimbell House.
This gave me the confidence to continue writing. I am excited to announce that my crime novel, Salvation Station, was published in spring 2020 through She Writes Press. The reviews have been positive, and I am grateful for the fantastic support of readers, friends and family. I keep that in mind every time an essay or short story is rejected by a writing contest. Like revision, rejections are a big part of the writer’s life and you have to grow a thick skin and remember someone else’s opinion is subjective. I keep moving forward, with plans to re-publish a suspense novel I wrote several years ago and continue working a new crime novel.
Every life is a work in progress, and I hope you’ll join me on this adventure and perhaps learn something new along the way. We can’t rewrite the past or erase mistakes, but if someone advises you to work on the yearbook, paper, or in small market to gain experience, take it. Even if it’s your mom and you’d rather not, remember these people have lived more life than you. My bet is you won’t regret realizing you don’t know everything after all.
My Thoughts...
Salvation Station was a really well written book. Schleich did a very good job with introducing the characters and laying out the plot. I read this book in a day. I think I connected with the authors writing style and just enjoyed the read. I gave this book 4 stars and I can't wait to read more by this author. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.