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Book Reviews 

Penelope's Book of the Month-September 2020

 

 

Water colored Pearls—a novel

 

Author: Stacy Hawkins Adams

 

Description on Amazon: Three women spend a summer discovering that their less-than-perfect circumstances, their friendships with one another, and their faith are steppingstones to the lives they long to live.


Serena never thought she'd have children; now she has two active toddlers. But instead of being overjoyed, she's overwhelmed. Did she make the wrong choice in giving up her successful career to be a stay-at-home-mom?


Tawana, an ambitious new lawyer, is trying to pull her life to together, but her past keeps getting in the way. An incredible opportunity at a prestigious law firm forces her to confront her demons. Can her new responsibilities fit with her growing faith?


Erika's estranged, and once-abusive husband wants her back. He says he's changed, and he's even going to church. But is he telling the truth? Or is he just smooth-talking her back into a bad situation?


Enjoy this anniversary edition of Stacy Hawkins Adams' bestselling inspirational women's fiction novel.

 

Comments: One summer. Three Women. Real life issues perfectly intertwined to tell God's story. The book is written in an easy to read, fast paced manner. Inside these pages you may find hope for your current struggle. What struck me the most was the side story of Serena's minister husband and his personal struggle. What happens between two ministers is relevant to today's environment, but I don't want to give it all away.

 

I met Stacy at a Mount Hermon writers conference. She is an award-winning author, journalist and a captivating speaker known for weaving life-transforming tales (both fiction and nonfiction) that help readers grow confident in their own stories.

 

Perfect for book club discussions. I have recommended it to mine.

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Penelope's Book of the Month-August 2020

Shawna Marie Bryant

 

 Longing to Belong—Discovering the Joy of Acceptance

 

 

Author: Shawna Marie Bryant

 

Have you ever been betrayed or rejected? Were you abandoned by a parent and are still haunted by it? Did a spouse betray you? Was it a child who has rejected you or a co-worker or boss you feel betrayed by. Maybe it was a friend.

 

In Longing to Belong, Shawna embraces readers as good friends having a transparent conversation. She captures the pain of rejection and the certainty of hope. Through relatable personal experiences and biblical stories. Shawna takes you step by step to the truth of acceptance. This book is a resource you will use time and again.

 

Comments:

 

A mother of a two-year-old said she often felt invisible, but Longing to Belong helped her see that she has value and significance. She now understands that she is not invisible, and that God sees her and values her.

 

A 14-year old girl heard her mom read from Longing to Belong that Jesus said in John's gospel that the reason the world hates us is because it hated him first. When the teenager understood this, she was released from the burden of trying to fit in. She said that she wanted to belong to Jesus, not to the world that hated him.

 

Shawna is a longtime friend. It was an honor to endorse Longing to Belong.

 

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Penelope's Book of the Month-July 2020

Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

 

Author: Kathy Ide

 

A Must Read Resource for Every Author

 

Book Description:

 

Successful writers spend a lot more time editing than they do writing. They know that first drafts need extensive revisions to ensure their stories or messages come across clearly and effectively.

 

In this book you'll find a wealth of suggestions from best-selling authors who have studied editing techniques and implemented them in their books, which have touched the hearts and lives of readers around the world.

 

If you're an aspiring, beginning, or intermediate writer, this book will help you polish your manuscript and get it ready for publication. If you're an established author, these tips can help you edit other writers' manuscripts, either in a critique group setting or as an editorial freelancer.

 

After reading Editing Secrets, I am excited to share this must have resouce for every writer/author.

 
I know Kathy though my years at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. The last day of my second year, she explained "tight writing." It still took a few months for me to get it. Tight writing is explained in Editing Secrets. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Penelope's Book of the Month-June 2020

 The Choice—Embrace the Impossible


A Memoir


Author: Dr. Edith Ava Eger


AN UNFORGETTABLE STORY


At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced Edie to dance for his amusement and her survival. Edie was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945.

 

Edie spent decades struggling with flashbacks and survivor's guilt, determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she'd been unable to forgive—herself.

 

Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom. The Choice is a life-changing book that will provide hope and comfort to generations of readers. 


Even though The Choice took me into the horrors of the Holocaust and Auschwitz, I was left uplifted and encouraged about the future. A perfect read in the middle of the Corona Virus pandemic.


A bonus in this book is the healing journey that the reader can relate to and find forgiveness and healing in their own life.

 

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Penelope's Book of the Month-May 2020

A Son Comes Home —A Novel

 

Author: Joseph Bentz

 

I met Joseph Bentz at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference last year. He is a favorite instructor and encourager. It is my hope I will have the opportunity to study under Bentz in a future conference.

 

A Son Comes Home is the first book I have read by this author, and I was not disappointed. This is the story of a family that many readers will easily relate to. Bentz masterfully weaves several threads of a family's diverse secrets, built up hurt, and challenges together in a unique way, the reader will not soon forget. Search with Bentz for truth, forgiveness, and hope, which you may find in your own life. During these Coronavirus days, I was reminded of what is important in life.

 

An engaging read.

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Penelope's Book of the Month-April 2020

 


THE REASON FOR MY HOPE- SALVATION


Author: Billy Graham


For such a time as this. If you are looking for a book that gives you a reason to hope in these uncertain times, who better to read then Billy Graham.


Excerpt:

HOPE IS A GIFT, have you ever taken hold of such a prize that leads you out of uncertainty into profound assurance? If so, you have possessed hope. When it arrives, despair departs. An old Scottish proverb says, "Were it not for hope, the heart would break."


I read The Reason for My Hope several years ago but believe this is perfect for what we are dealing with today. It's inspiring full of wonderful stories and a message that will give you hope without fear of the future.

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Penelope's Book of the Month-March 2020

Good News Shoes Series


Good News Shoes 


Children ages 8-12


Author: Jill Osborne


If you're gonna run for your life, you gotta wear the right shoes.


Meet pre-teen Riley Mae Heart. She laces up her flaming orange Sole Fire running shoes as she takes you on amazing adventures.


This three-book series is great for girls, ages 8 to 12. And Grandpa's too. When my granddaughter was learning to read, she read this book to her grandpa. Her grandpa was so enthralled in the story that he finished it ahead of her. And this isn't usually his reading material.


Grandpa and I recommend Good News Shoes Series for your daughter, granddaughter, or friend. Have her lace up your shoes and come along with Riley.


Jill Osborne lives in Clovis California, but I met her at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. That year she was won the award for the most promising writer of the year.

 

Amazon.com 

 

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Penelope's Book of the Month-February 2020


The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy Book 3)


Author: Sarah Sundin


Release Date: February 4, 2020


In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers' betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for--fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family--the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

 

After Clay saves Leah's life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay's recurring dream comes true?
Sarah Sundin is the first friend I made when I attended Mount Hermon's Christian Conference over seven years ago. Since that time, Sarah has released several bestselling books set in WWII. I pre-ordered this book and can't wait to read it. I have it from a reliable source, this might be the best of Sarah Sundin. She never disappoints.


Sarah will speak at Peoples Church in Fresno, California on Saturday June 6, the anniversary of D Day. Stay tuned for more information.


https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Sundin/e/B002T94CLS%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

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Penelope’s Book of the Month-January 2020

Overcome Depression, Strategies from Science & Scripture

Author: Margaret Lalich, M.S.,M.A.

Do you experience any degree of depression or know someone who does? Overcome Depression might be just the resource that could help now. The book is laid out simply in an easy to understand manner. All aspects of depression from the spiritual and scientific view are addressed but does not ignore instances when professional help is needed. The author explores the mind and body and how they work together in understanding and overcoming the feelings of depression. Each chapter provides clear simple strategies that can be easily implemented. I recommend this book for anyone who experiences depression or have a family member who does and those who counsel those affected.

If this book piques your interest, but you are not sure, google Overcome Depression on Amazon and peek inside the cover, review the table of contents, and read a couple of sample chapters. It might just have some answers to help you move into a happy more contented new year.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Overcome-Depression-Strategies-Science-Scripture/dp/1732987408/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=overcome+depression&qid=1577403126&sr=8-4

 

 

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A Thanksgiving of Gratitude.

Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on our blessings. In 2019, I co authored my first full length book, A Cry of the Heart: Human Trafficking, One Survivor's Story was published. There are many people to be thankful for in the success of this book.

 

I am grateful:

 

For Debra Rush who trusted me to write her story that has opened many eyes and shed light on Human Trafficking.

 

For my many mentors, my writing group, friends at Mount Hermon, and others who have encouraged me along the way.

 

For the authors and city leaders who believed in this project enough to endorse A Cry of the Heart.

 

For my husband, Larry, and his unwavering support.

 

For my daughter, Megan, my number one fan.

 

For my siblings and extended family. Your support in buying, reading, Facebook posts, and encouragement inspired me more than you can know. A shout out to my sister, Marsha, who is my number two fan.

 

For my many friends who supported the book through attending book signings and recommending it to others. And for the friends who helped when I needed them.

For Clovis Book Barn and Patio Cafe, where you can pick up a copy of A Cry of the Heart.

 

For Orloff's Jewelers for hosting the book signing in June.

 

For the many invitations for Debra or I to speak and allowing us to promote our book at your events.

 

For the supporters of Breaking the Chains who have helped in so many ways.

 

A special thank you to those who left reviews on Amazon and/or Facebook. Your words encouraged and Debra and I more than you realize. (It is not too late to leave a review on Amazon)

 

It has been a year to remember for this author. Thank you for being a part of it.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone of you.

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