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Book Reviews 

Penelope's Book of the Month-November 2020


Book: A The Book Lover's Companion


Author: Jo Massaro


Do you have an avid reader on your Christmas list?


Is your reading life is important to you? Preserve your impressions/record your journey/track your path through the library of your life.


Included in this book you will find a place to:


- List information on each book read

- Express your impressions and questions

- Record other books to be read

- Record book club reading lists

- Track borrowed books and loaned books

- Informational pages for book signing events


Included in this edition are recipes compiled from a collection of family favorites submitted by readers. Along with each recipe you will find an accompanying story, explaining the recipe's history.


Why didn't anyone think of this before? A wonderfully laid out book to record the books you read. Lines to record when you read it, genre, how you felt about it, if you would recommend, and more. There are some temping recipes to try too.

Pick up one for you and for yourself. I love mine.


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Penelope's Book of the Month-October 2020


Faith is Not Silent


Author: Billie Fulton


Inside the Prologue: An old cemetery lies in the middle of a hayfield on our farm in Missouri. For a century and half, seven souls have lain forgotten in silence. ……… We never could have foreseen the chain of events that occurred that day when our ten-year-old grandson asked the simplest of questions that began our journey to discover the hearts of seven people.


 My sister asked me to read Faith is not Silent.  The first three chapters set up the scene for the captivating story to come. The discovery of seven keys, a search of the attic, and a journal take you inside the intriguing world of Frances Neal-Catts-Crawford. Seven-year-old Frances makes her first entry on February 8, 1799 and in April 1890, at the age of ninety-eight, she writes for the final time. In between the time span is a peek inside of a real family who lived through a long span of good and troubled times in history. Actual diary entries along with facts of the time, make this story real.


You will be inspired by the strong faith of a woman who thanked God everyday even when it was a hard one. I will not soon forget Frances and her family. You won't either.


Faith is not Silent: Wherever books are sold.





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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.




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


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



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.


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.




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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.


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