Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix (review)

ofstillnessandstorm_phoenix_thnelsonfrom the book cover:

“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing. Continue reading


Monthly Recommendations: Historical Fiction

The January 2017 topic for the Monthly Recommendations group is Historical Fiction.  If you’ve been following my blog and/or social media accounts, you will probably have noticed that this is one of my favorite genres.  So I recommend works of Historical Fiction quite often.

I was having too much trouble narrowing down my choices, so I am going to offer my recommendations up with a slight twist.  So, I am presenting to you my


(though I reserve the right Continue reading

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay (review)

aportraitofemilyprice_reay_thnelsonPublisher’s Description:

Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter . . .

Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.

But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart. Continue reading

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (review)

ourendlessnumbereddays_fuller_tinhouseFrom the book cover:

My father told me many times that winter that the world ended beyond the hills…

Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed.  Deep in the wilderness, Peggy and James make a life for themselves.  They repair the hut, bathe in water from the river, hunt and gather food in the summers, and almost starve in the harsh winters.  They mark their days only by the sun and the seasons.

When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and begins a search for their owner, she unwittingly unravels the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, discovers the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she thought she’d lost.

After Peggy’s return to civilization, her mother begins to learn the truth of her escape, of what happened to James on the last night out in the woods, and of the secret that Peggy has carried with her ever since. Continue reading

Restoring Love, a novel by Jennifer Slattery (review)

restoringlove_slattery_newhopepubPublisher’s Description:

Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she’s also working on restoring something—herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common—a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love? Continue reading

His Pepper Heart: Short Fiction by Brandy Heineman

hispepperheart_heinemanFrom the back cover:

“You must really like peppers.”

Their date was entirely forgettable.  The meal maxed out the spicy scale; the conversation, not so much.  If she hadn’t stolen Zachary’s journal-or read the stupid thing-she never would’ve fallen for him.  Messing up is unpalatable, but unless she returns the journal, how will she have a prayer of seeing her name peppered across its pages?

Continue reading

Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope by Texie Susan Gregory (review)

slenderreeds_gregory_barbourPublisher’s Description:

Trapped beneath 400 years of Egypt’s injustices, the Hebrew people await deliverance from generations of Egyptian slavery. But while it is still dark, God is at work. Young Jochebed is unaware the Master Weaver is preparing her to mother three formidable leaders: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses.

Shiphrah, the half-Egyptian midwife tasked to kill Hebrew male newborns, remembers childhood stories of a merciful God and cannot resist His call on her life.

Two women, each following the dangerous path God has set before them—this is their story. Continue reading