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Good Books for the Journey is Moving!

Leah Courtney
Don't worry! You can still find great book reviews for the whole family at my main blog- As We Walk Along the Road. Find the "Reviews" section in the menu bar, hover over it, and click on Good Reads Book Reviews.

I hope to see you at the main blog.

Review of Lucifer's Harvest by Mel Starr

Leah Courtney
A few months ago I reviewed a unique book by Mel Starr- a medieval murder mystery Ashes to Ashes. I thought that a historical fiction mystery, set in the Middle Ages was a very interesting concept, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I recently had an opportunity to review another book by the author- Lucifer's Harvest.

This book, like the other, features Hugh de Singleton, a surgeon and bailiff in the employ of a medieval Lord. Hugh once again finds himself in a position to use his medical knowledge and investigative skills to solve a murder. This is the tenth book about Hugh de Singleton, and, although you can read the books as stand alone mysteries, there are references to characters and events in previous books.

Review of Lucifer's Harvest by Mel Starr
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From the book's description...

Review and Giveaway of Michele Phoenix's Of Stillness and Storm

Leah Courtney
Of Stillness and Storm is by a new-to-me author- Michele Phoenix. It was poignant and moving. I was immediately drawn in to the life of Lauren who is an excellent character, very well developed. I found myself thinking of her and wondering about the book when I wasn't reading it- the true sign of an excellent book and compelling characters.

Review of Of Stillness and Storm, Christian fiction
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The topic of the book is one that I've rarely heard discussed, much less found as the theme of a novel. It's an important topic, though. What happens when one parent- or spouse- feels sure of God's call, but the call affects the rest of the family negatively? Where is the line between following God sacrificially and protecting spouse and children? I don't know the answers to these questions, but Michele Phoenix- who grew up a missionary kid- does a wonderful job making the readers think about them.

Review of End of the Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn

Leah Courtney
I love a good mystery that keeps me guessing along with the investigators as I read along. End of the Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn was a great one. It's in a series of mysteries featuring investigator D.I. Costello, but I hadn't read any other previous books and was able to catch on to this one fine. There were a few events referred to that I supposed came from previous books, but they didn't impede my reading and enjoying this story.

Review of End of the Roadie

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Review of Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

Leah Courtney
Some time ago I had the opportunity to read the first book in a new series by author Connilyn Cossette- Counted With the Stars. This series- Out From Egypt- is a biblical fiction series set during the time of the Exodus. I loved that first book and have now had the opportunity to review book two in the series- Shadow of the Storm.

Review of Christian fiction Shadow of the Storm
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From the book's description:

Review of The Name I Call Myself by Beth Moran

Leah Courtney
Last year I had the opportunity to review a couple of books by Beth Moran. I immediately found another great author and thoroughly enjoyed the books. (You can find my review of Making Marion here and of I Hope You Dance here.)

Review of The Name I Call Myself by Beth Moran
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Recently I found another Beth Moran book to be excited about- The Name I Call Myself.

From the book's description:

What Is Your Response When Times Get Hard? : Review of Shaken by Tim Tebow

Leah Courtney
As a Christian homeschooling family, we watched Tim Tebow's rise to fame in his early NFL career with great interest. Here was a pro athlete that was unapologetically a Christian. And, because of his time spent homeschooling, we could relate to him and his family there as well.

We were disappointed when we watched Tim cut from first the Broncos, then the Jets, and then the Patriots. But then time passed, and, to be honest, he slipped off the radar. I would occasionally hear things about him and the foundation that he established to minister to children who were facing difficult times and their families, to show God's love in those dark times.

Review of Shaken by Tim Tebow
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I've now had the opportunity to be a part of the launch of Tim's brand new book- Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms. In this book, Tim talks about his own feelings of being shaken when his lifelong dream of becoming an NFL quarterback dissolved around him.

Throughout the book, Tim looks at how we respond when the bad times in life come. Using examples from his own experiences as well as those of people he's met through the foundation and throughout other events of his life, Tim guides readers to look beyond the struggles and consider God's leading in their lives. He writes in a conversational tone as if he's talking to readers.

Tim begins the book by talking his own experiences in getting cut, once again, from the Patriots. Tim talks about his feelings and emotions and his own questioning of what, exactly, God was doing his life. He's open and authentic as he relates his personal struggles.

Tim guides readers to think about Who they belong to when they're facing hard things. He talks about facing your fears and about responding to the negative people around you. He encourages readers to trust in God's plan even when it seems as if things are out of control. And he talks about the power of taking action and taking a stand for what you believe in. He ends the book with a chapter that talks about the most important thing-a personal relationship with Christ.

The book is written in a down to earth, relatable tone. Readers will feel as if Tim is talking to them personally. Fans of Tim Tebow, sports fans in general, and any reader who is struggling with life's unexpected turns can read and be encouraged as they walk through their hard times.

You can watch a trailer for the book here.

Want to know more? Visit the book's website here.  And purchase Shaken on Amazon here. (The book will be released on October 25, 2016, but it is available for pre-orders.)

Visit As We Walk Along the Road for homeschool support and encouragement.

Review of Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund

Leah Courtney
Several years ago I came across author Jody Hedlund when I read her book A Noble Groom. I loved the book- her writing style, the character development. I've since reviewed two of her other books- The Preacher's Bride and Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion. I've loved each one and recently had the opportunity to review another- Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace. It's the story behind the author of one of my favorite hymns of all time- "Amazing Grace."

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From the book's description:

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

Historical fiction is one of my very favorite genres. When it's well-done I can envision the time and people well. But for me to really appreciate historical fiction, I want the story to be true to known facts. This can be a little dicey when authors write about real people as the main characters of their stories.

Jody Hedlund does this well. In this book as well as The Preacher's Bride and Luther and Katharina, the main characters are real people. And Jody Hedlund has taken what's known about them historically and has given the reader a look into the relationship they had with their wives. She stays true to the historical information available, and she makes the men and their wives real, believable people for the reader to "meet."

In this book, Polly and John are both well-developed characters.  The theme of God's grace runs throughout- not only in the life of John, who decidedly needs God's grace to change a life that's gone astray, but also in the life of Polly, who thinks that she has to work to earn God's love.

Needless to say, I give this one five stars. I loved it, and I'll be looking for others by the author. You can find Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace on Amazon here. You can read a Kindle preview of the book below.

Review of The Preacher's Bride

Review of A Noble Groom

Review of Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion

Visit As We Walk Along the Road for homeschool support and encouragement.

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