Giveaway and Six Books I’m Thankful For

Everyone (hopefully) have books which have inspired them or changed their lives. Ones they will cherish for a lifetime. I certainly do. Below are my top six, and if you would like a chance to win a copy of your choice of one of my top six, just comment with one book you are thankful for and why. Give away is open until December 2nd at midnight. So you don’t have to leave your email for all to see, just enter it here on Rafflecopter and click that you left a blog post. That’s all there is to it. Share it with others.

In no particular order, 10 books (besides the Bible) that I am thankful for on my reading journey.

When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke – This was the first Christian Fiction book I ever read and it is what pulled me from reading some books that were definitely not healthy for my young Christian walk at the time. This particular series showed me what a healthy marriage looks like and what God-honoring love looks like.

“Nothing in her cultured East Coast upbringing prepared Elizabeth for a teaching position on the Canadian frontier. Yet, despite the constant hardships, she loves the children in her care. Determined to do the best job she can and fighting to survive the harsh land, Elizabeth is surprised to find her heart softening towards a certain member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Book 1 of the bestselling Canadian West series.” – Amazon.com

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano – This book just has so much depth and really gave me new understanding about being attached to the Vine.

“Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.” – Amazon.com

Brentwood’s Ward by Michelle Griep – The book that introduced me to this amazing author and continues to guide me in my own edits and writing style.

“Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.”

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Whitemeyer – I read most of this book to my Grandmother during my good-bye trip the fall before she passed on. This book will forever be precious to me. I still haven’t worked up the nerve to read it all the way through, but maybe soon.

On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he’s forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he’s haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind–a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna’s outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?” – Amazon.com

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson – This book really taught me to look at hard circumstances differently, and especially dandelions. Every time I see one now, I smile and feel encouraged to keep on going.

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?” – Amazon.com

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope – This nonfiction book really taught me how to look at myself through God’s eyes after what I felt was a devastating blow to what I thought my identity was. It was so good, I pick up a physical copy whenever I find one and save it to pass on to someone in need of that assurance.

“Often the biggest obstacle to living out our faith is our own doubt–about our worth, our abilities, our relationship with God, and situations in our lives. A Confident Heart gives voice to the questions, doubts, struggles, and hopes so many women have. Author Renee Swope shows us how to identify, overcome, and learn from our self-doubts so that we can live confidently in God’s assurance, truth, and grace. Perfect for women’s small groups or individuals, A Confident Heart is an authentic, insight-filled and encouraging message for any woman who wants to exchange defeating thought patterns with biblical truth that will transform the way she thinks, feels, and lives.” – Amazon.com

Don’t forget to leave a comment with what book you are thankful for and why!

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson

This book is hands-down my favorite Civil War novel of all time. My jaw absolutely dropped at how well this story was written and all the details that went into this story. I have never felt so immersed in history as I did in Where Dandelions Bloom. Every time a battle detail or name was dropped, my history nerd brain went wild, knowing exactly what was going to happen historically but no idea of how it would intersect and affect the characters of the story. Seriously, I could read this one over and over and over again.

Genre: Historical Romance, 1861, Early Civil War

Plot Overview: 

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

What I loved: The history in this book was the most astounding I have ever read. There were so many incredible details, and to see it through the eyes of a woman disguised as a man and a photographer sent to record the War, it was just word defying.

Favorite Character: Aside from the main characters, whom I absolutely loved, Jonah was a favorite. The orphaned boy who joined the war efforts stole my heart from the beginning.

Who would like this: Anyone who loves great historical details, stories of women soldiers, espionage, the Civil War, and hope in desperate times.

Rating and Why: I gave this a six-star rating because it totally blew me out of the water. Everything was so amazingly detailed, yet seamlessly woven together that it takes my breath away. Even now, weeks later, all I can do is shake my head in wonder. And now, every time I see a dandelion I see hope. It truly is amazing to transform something I once took for granted as being a weed into a symbol of hope.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. The review above was influenced in no way by this and the above opinions are my own.

Purchase Links:

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