When You Love a Prodigal by Judy Douglass

I imagine the father of the prodigal son in the Bible (Luke  15:11-32) every day was praying and longing with all his heart for that prodigal to change his ways and come home. I can imagine because I love a prodigal of my own. When You Love a Prodigal: 90 Days of Grace for the Wilderness by Judy Douglass was a book written in process over time. She shares her heart and how God worked in their lives in this book.

When You Love a Prodigal has 90 individual reflections written by a woman who traveled through life with a prodigal. In the beginning, she defines "prodigal" so we are all on the same page. She has divided the book in to sections: love, grace, time, rest, trust, prayer, promise, hope, spirit, and gift. Each reading in each section relates to that topic. In the end of the book, her son writes a brief note and she writes a brief note in closing.

Douglass shares her heart in When You Love a Prodigal as a mom praying for a son who lived a life for his own pleasure. She s…

Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

Mystery abounds in Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright. This book fascinated me from the very beginning until the very last page.

Aggie Dunkirk heads to Mill Creek, Wisconsin to stay with her elderly grandmother, Mumsie, after losing her real estate job. Aggie takes what she thinks will be a mundane job as a secretary for a cemetery working with archaeologist Collin. Instead, she finds a lot of surprises in this small town--unsolved crimes and new crimes, relatives she didn't know she had, and changes to new and old relationships. In this dual timeline story, Imogene struggles to solve the case of who killed her sister, Hazel, in the 1940s.

Echoes Among the Stones kept me guessing all the way through the book. There were a few things I did guess correctly and a few surprises along the way. What I really liked about this book was how the characters reflected how they dealt with grief in their lives. I truly felt for them as they struggled to come to terms with what had hap…

Women of Courage: A Forty Day Devotional by Mary Carver and (In)Courage

I have been getting (In)Courage readings since they began and have often been inspired and encouraged by these on-line posts. While they are good to read, I am a huge fan of books (obviously) and it is so nice to have readings in a book form with the new Women of Courage forty day devotional.

This new Women of Courage devotional book does have forty days worth of devotionals in it. Each one starts with a brief Bible passage, followed by a heartfelt reading, and concludes with a prayer for the day. What I especially love about this book is that each reading features a woman from the Bible--both Old and New Testaments. Some have names like Leah, Ruth, Dorcas, and Esther, while we don't know the names of others like The Bleeding Woman or the Woman Caught in Adultery. Yet, each woman teaches us something about courageous living for God each day. The Women of Courage Forty Day Devotional also groups each of the readings into topical sections so you can just be encouraged by women of g…

The Promises of God Bible Storybook by Jennifer Lyell and illus. by Thanos Tsilis

The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell starts with a note to all of the grown-ups. In this introduction she shares her experience in teaching Sunday School for many years to all ages. She shares why she chose to write this book and how she hopes it touches the hearts of both the children being read to and those doing the reading. I immediately felt encouraged that this was a book full of blessings to all that learn about the promises of God. I also love that the stories in this book start with the premise that God always keeps His promises. Then the last story reminds us that Jesus is coming back some day--He promised.

I thought the illustrations in The Promises of God Storybook Bible brought the stories to life with their vibrant colors and detailed pictures. I like the way the stories are told. These are a good length for shorter attention spans. Then each story ends with just a few questions to help bring about some good family discussions. This book would be great f…

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

Adventure, danger and a dash of romance make for one exciting new novel by Lynette Eason. Collateral Damage kept me guessing and turning pages quickly throughout this story.

Collateral Damage starts out with a bang literally as several characters are either hit by a bomb or were there when the bombing took place. Eason reveals more about the bombing and a corrupt system through the plot in layers like an onion. . .I got just enough to keep me turning pages before she revealed a little more information which kept me quickly turning more pages. I am sure I audibly gasped at one point because something happened that I just didn't see coming--although in retrospect there had been a little foreshadowing. Much of the book kept me guessing until the end. The characters were all interesting. I truly liked the main couple, Brooke and Asher. Watching their romance blossom left me smiling and I giggled a few times at the humor Eason included in the couple's banter. The unsavory character…

In The Cradle Lies by Olivia Newport

Tucker is on the run from some family secrets--and to a ski destination to think about skiing and finding a historic ski slope called Hidden Run that hasn't been a working ski run in many years. Can Tucker find the long-ago used ski slope and ski it while he is staying Canyon Mines? Can he forget his family history for a few days so he doesn't have to think about the last words of his grandfather who recently passed away? In The Cradle Lies by Olivia Newport tells both Tucker's story and his grandfather's history through a dual timeline.

I did enjoy The Inn at Hidden Run, the first book in the Tree of Life series. However, I think In the Cradle Lies was even better than the first one. This story kept me turning pages to find out more of Tucker's background and to find out what happened to Tucker to cause him to be such a reckless spender and skier. Not only that but there was one surprise that I wouldn't have seen coming except it was alluded to on the back of…

The Society of Extraordinary Racoon Society on Boasting by Randall Goodgame and illustrated by Joe Sutphin

Maggie and Morty Raccoon have given up their sneaky ways but they may just have a new struggle. In The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society by Randall Goodgame, the raccoons may just feel the need to out-do each other in their giving. However, the young raccoons learn a new lesson on boasting from Matthew 6.

Goodgame is experienced with writing children's books and songs. I think it clearly shows in the prose of this book. I like the rhyming tempo and the words that remind children that boasting is not a good way to behave around others. This book not only has rhythm but it has some brightly colored illustrations to go along with it that make the story a stand-out read to young ones. The pages are a heavy slick paper that should be easy for little fingers to get ahold of to turn the pages themselves too. The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society on Boasting was a fun read for our family--in fact my husband and I enjoyed it as much as the young ones.

I received this book fr…