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In The Cradle Lies by Olivia Newport

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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

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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…

The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport

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Meri has run away from her stressful life and all of her family's pressure to become a doctor. She ends up at the Inn and Hidden Run Bed and Breakfast where she meets Jillian the genealogist and her father, Nolan, the mediation lawyer. As they become friends, Jillian and Nolan try to help Meri face her family struggles in The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport. Jillian helps the family reconsider their traditions as they look at today's challenges through a view at the past. We follow a dual timeline to get a feel for the people who influenced Meri's family many years ago and take a look at Meri's family struggles today.

I enjoyed The Inn at Hidden Run as a whole. The characters were interesting small town people. I didn't like them all to start with but the two that I struggled to like grew on me a bit more by the end of the book. Since this is the first book in a four book series, it will be interesting to see how the characters grow and develop throughout the…

Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson

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Writing a story, a poem or a song is hard work. Yes, we may feel called to do one or more of those things but it is still work to answer that call. Andrew Peterson in Adorning the Dark presses in to the creative process and shares some of his insights and his personal life.

Adorning the Dark is part memoir and part encouragement and invitation to the creative process for all of us. He tells about how he has struggled to write songs and music and poetry and even to creative beautiful gardens on his property. He pulls from musicians and writers in the past and present and shares advice and stories that leave you nodding, Um Hmm, yes, that is how it feels, at times.

I would encourage anyone who is a writer or creator in some area to read Adorning the Dark. It is insightful and full of hope and beauty for those who wish to create. At the same time, he also tells it like it is and that it is work to create. As Peterson shares in this book, there are struggles and there are times you feel l…

Bible and Breakfast:31 Mornings With Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu

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There is a little circle in the upper left corner of the cover of Bible and Breakfast by Asheritah Ciuciu that says, "Feeding our bodies and souls together." I love that idea--of starting my days with Jesus and a healthy breakfast. Some days may not go as planned but this could be the goal for 31 mornings anyway.

Bible and Breakfast is a beautiful book all the way around. The colorful pictures of healthy food dishes on the cover and throughout the book inspire me to eat healthfully and to spend time with both my family and our Bibles as we do so. This book starts out with an introduction to both the Bible reading plan and the recipes. There is also a section with frequently asked questions/answers in the beginning. Ciuciu addresses people of all ages that may be using this book and offers ideas on how to get the most out of it. She also offers ideas on how to get the most nourishment for your body from the recipes. Each devotional includes a "snack on the go" with …

Always Look Twice by Elizabeth Goddard

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If there was an award for any books that you cannot put down, this book would be in the running. Always Look Twice by Elizabeth Goddard hooked me from the beginning and kept me quickly turning pages until the end.

Harper Reynolds traded her job as a crime scene photographer to live a more peaceful life photographing nature and wildlife. Then one day she accidentally captures a murder on film while out in nature. She runs away from the scene and loses her camera. Former Green Beret Heath McKade finds her and ends up protecting her. But what is she being protected from?

I had been looking forward to this second book in the Uncommon Justice series for quite some time. Always Look Twice was worth the wait for me. The plot kept moving at a breathtaking pace and I truly didn't want to put it down. This plot also had a lot of twists and turns and I didn't see part of the ending coming. As the author let us in on a few of the secrets as the book went along, I did guess part of the e…

Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters

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Journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia. She is there to do a job and then move on to bigger and better places. Until her boss dies suddenly and it looks pretty suspicious. Deputy Ryan Frost gets involved as he seeks to find out what happened. Is Vivian just looking for the next big story--or is she seeking more than the answers in her small town life and relationship with Ryan?

I so loved Vivian and Ryan in Deadly Deceit. I enjoyed their lighthearted banter and their relationship all the way through the book as they worked together to find someone called the Watcher. I wanted to pace myself with this book because I knew I would want book 3 in the Harbored Secrets series. However, both the romantic relationship and the plot kept me turning pages. I didn't have it all figured out and it kept me guessing until close to the end. I enjoyed all of the characters and getting to see Lane and Charlie again. I also liked the small town vibes in Deadly Deceit and how people ca…