From Mark and Susan Merrill, the founders of Family First, comes a collection of lists created for the busy wife who wishes to strengthen her marriage and love her husband well.It’s no secret that there is a wide emotional gap between men and women. Couples crave love and attention from one another, but they don’t always know how to show it. LISTS TO LOVE BY FOR BUSY WIVES presents creative and practical ways for wives to bridge this gap and improve their relationship. These thirty lists will carry wives through an entire month of learning to love their husbands more deeply with advice they will come back to again and again. From lists addressing a wide range of topics, readers will learn to set better expectations for their marriage, to communicate more effectively with their husband, to build a deeper foundation of love in their marriage, and much more.
This is a quick read, something you can pick up read the list for the day and get to work.
The authors touch on many important topics that I think we need to be reminded of, such as the way we talk about our husbands in public, what to do when you don’t feel like being intimate, texts to send your husband.
The authors suggest reading a chapter a day and then doing something from the list for the day and then once you have gotten through all of the chapters go back and so something new from the list.
I will be honest and say that for me there wasn’t any earth shattering. When I read a book about marriage I always hope to get something new and just feel like I got some good reminders of things I do know. But with that said I do think there is a lot of value in this book for someone who is looking to make changes in an easy and not overwhelming way.
“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”
At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.
Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.
When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it himself.
A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.
What a beautifully written book. If you haven’t read anything by Charles Martin you really need to. His books take you to a depth rarely found in books. There is a spiritual tone to everything.
I loved this retelling of the prodigal son. The book actually starts after Cooper is older and we catch up with him. Then the book flashes back to how he got where is today.
I also appreciated the music in this book (since I’m a music person). Charles describes what music can do to a person in wonderful pictures.
Overall, this is a great book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a new perspective on a story you already know.
The last thing Search and Rescue helicopter pilot Kacey Fairing needs upon returning home to Mercy Falls, Montana, is to run into her mistakes. After a devastating crash during her recent military tour in Afghanistan, she is emotionally broken but ready to start putting her life back together. She just wants to reconnect with her teenage daughter and spend the summer working as the new lead pilot of PEAK Rescue in Glacier National Park.
But her mistakes aren’t so easily forgotten. Because Ben King is also back in town.
Country music star Ben King abandoned his past when he moved to Nashville thirteen years ago to start his career. He hoped to heal his broken heart, caused by losing the woman he loved. But when his father is injured, Ben is called home to help manage PEAK Rescue during his recovery. He doesn’t realize his father has ulterior motives until his old flame, Kacey, walks into his house and back into his heart.
Now, with Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben will have to work together to save lives. But when secrets are uncovered and old hurts rise to the surface, will they walk away again? Or can they find a different ending to their country love song?
My thoughts and giveaway:
Surprisingly, I have only read one other book by Susan. I really liked that book I just haven’t gotten around to reading any others by her.
I have to say I am looking forward to reading more in this series. She has introduced a wonderful cast of characters.
The opening scene will have you hooked and will reel you in. There is so much going one, so many secrets, misunderstandings, miscommunication. I had to keep reading to see what really happened to end Ben and Kacey’s relationship. Susan did a great job just feeding the reader a little bit at a time, enough to keep you wanting more.
Kacey and Ben both have gotten good at running away from things but in this book they have the to face all that they ran away from.
Plus, there is another subplot playing out that I found just as engaging as the main plot. Just a great over all read.
Bob Fife was raised in a small Ontario town by a Christian mother and an unbelieving father. The tensions made for a dysfunctional home and an uneasy life. But nothing prepared Bob for being sexually molested by an older boy he trusted—or what happened in his heart afterward.
Out is the story of Bob’s descent into homosexual practices and out again. His fascinating journey takes readers from the confusion of his teen years, to his marriage and fatherhood, to his discovery and embrace of the flamboyant Toronto gay scene. He describes abandoning his young family in order to fulfill his same-sex desires, taking him to London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Provincetown, Key West, and San Francisco. Over a decade later, an unexpected visit from his college-aged son caused Bob to confront the consequences of his indulgences and begin to seek change.
Today, Bob has been out of his gay lifestyle for over twenty years. He has reconnected with the church, built and maintained healthy, nonsexual relationships, and healed his relationship with his son. For those who want a way to deal with their same-sex attractions, not celebrate them, Bob’s story points a way to grace and redemption.
Wow…this was a book I couldn’t walk away from. Part of it was because of the life Bob was living and I had to see his way out and I wanted to get there quickly.
This book will offer so much hope to those who truly want to find away out of the gay lifestyle.
However, this book can offer hope to anyone who struggles with any type of sin. Things Bob said in this book are the same things I had to deal with in my own life in overcoming abuse and lust. It’s interesting how really every sin is linked but can manifest itself in different ways.
Bob talks about the hole in his heart that he was trying to fill, about his thoughts following ruts and how he needed to make new paths. I just wanted to shout how I had to do that too even though I never had to deal with same-sex attraction I had to deal with lust for other men.
He does say up front that there will be parts that are difficult to read and it’s true. As someone who was abused reading about his abuse really bothered me and reading about his choices in choosing sin bothered me as well. But I wanted to fully understand his story so I didn’t skip a word.
I really believe anyone who deals with a sin that has them in chains can benefit from this book. So powerful is the work of God. He is good.
I think we also all need to cover Bob with prayer as the enemy hates that he wrote this book that speaks truth and is so timely as we are hearing so many lies and many Christians are even swallowing these lies. The enemy will try to attack Bob because of it this book. If you would just take a moment to pray from him I am sure it will have eternal effects.
International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small town in Ohio?
Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions . . . the kinds that make her a target for a killer.
Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or the just the beginning . . . ?
About the Author
USA Today best-selling author Jen Turano writes contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unusual storylines. Just outside Denver, Colorado, Jen and her husband live as empty-nesters, and they do so fabulously. Contact Jen at jenturano.com.
Guest Post from Jen Turano
The Making of “Finding Margo”
By Jen Turano
To say that my entrance into the publishing world was a tad difficult is certainly an understatement. My very first attempt at writing was centered around a middle grade book, specifically written for my son who was in the third grade at the time. After finishing that, and sending it out to all of five companies, none of whom represented middle grade, I then moved on to young adult with a little more interest sent my way, but no success story to report in the end. Not one to embrace the idea of complete and utter failure, I then tried my hand at a contemporary romance, moved on to what I assumed was a delightful regency romance, but one that turned out to be not that delightful, at least according to numerous agents, and finally landed on gilded age stories, filled with quirky heroines. That is when I finally received my very first publishing contract, which then saw me catapulted into the very weird world of publishing. After completing the second gilded age story of my two-book contract, I found myself with some time on my hands as I waited to see if anyone would read my stories, which might then result in an offer of additional book contracts. As I waited, I decided I might as well keep writing, so decided to try another contemporary story, although my agent at that time suggested I try to write an Amish book since she had numerous requests from publishers for those specific books.
Because my writing voice is not what anyone might consider normal, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to do justice to an authentic Amish story. Because of that, I settled on the idea of writing a contemporary romantic suspense, being a huge fan of that genre. I had a vague notion of exploring a theme centered around a dog walker who might stumble on a body while walking her pack of dogs, or perhaps have a storyline that centered around a makeup artist who witnessed a crime while setting out her makeup for a client, but those ideas went straight away when I pulled out the vacuum one fine day.
Vacuuming, as well as staining the deck, cleaning the shower, and power-washing the garage, are my go-to activities when I need to get the muse working right before I start a first draft. On that particular day, as I pushed the vacuum around the house, I suddenly had the most intriguing idea – an idea that started off with two delightful little words…What…and…If.
That was all it took for a premise to begin festering through my mind, a fester that grew into this – What if three Amish children were stolen straight out of their beds, never to be seen or heard from again until… Now here’s where it gets interesting. I decided to have a woman by the name of Margo Hartman, an international superstar no less, stumble into this small Ohio town quite by accident, and…she happens to bear an uncommon resemblance to an Amish woman who lives in this town. To add an addition sense of intrigue, someone immediately begins trying their very best to kill poor Margo.
By the time I was done vacuuming, the storyline for “Finding Margo” was firmly cemented in my mind, which translates into Jen had no choice other than to write the story. However, before my agent at that time found a home for the manuscript, I signed another contract for more gilded age books, which meant I did not have the time to commit to what was certainly going to have to be a three-book series since, well, there were three Amish children who’d gone missing.
Fast forward around five years and I found myself a little ahead of schedule at exactly the right time. There was a new publishing house in town, my current agent remembered me talking about this quirky book I’d written long ago, and as luck would have it, I found the flash drive that’s been home to “Finding Margo” for all these years.
Since my writing style has certainly changed since I first wrote Margo’s story, I ended up rewriting the entire book, and I must say that I’m still just as intrigued with the storyline as I was when it popped to mind while vacuuming what seems like ages ago. I’m just tickled to death that Margo Hartman has finally found her way out of a flash drive and onto the pages of a book. I’m hoping readers will enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today, and for supporting my books over the years. I cannot properly express how important all my readers have become to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for every one of you. You’ve brightened up my life and without you, well, I wouldn’t have anyone to share the stories that always seem to rumble around my mind.
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of her book! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine entries on the giveaway!
Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.
I have to say, I am loving everything I read my Michelle. She truly is a talented author.
From the very first chapter of this book I was drawn into Eleanor’s story and the journey she found herself on.
Then was rough and tumble Samuel. Who on the inside is really trying to seek after God’s heart and will. I love his honesty in questioning what God is up to when Eleanor comes into his life. How often do we do that same thing?
From their first meeting I could sense the tension would be great between these two characters and as they tried to fight growing feelings my heart ached for them.
I can’t forget sweet Grace, Samuel’s little girl who will pull at your heartstrings.
So many yummy layers to this book. If you enjoy a good historical romance this is a great one!
The dramatic shifts seen over the last few years—from economic to political to moral to beyond—have set the stage for a crisis that will affect every sphere of society. But this crisis isn’t just looming in the United States; all of humanity is at a crossroads like never before.
Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, offers God’s definitive answer to this approaching global crisis. He provides a fresh biblical perspective on:The agenda to secularize and de-Christianize America. What the upsurge of secular humanism looks like. The rise of ISIS and Islamic extremists. The looming financial crisis. Readers will overcome fear and confusion in the last days and learn to pray effectively for this nation and the world.
If you are bothered by all you seeing going on around you in this world, this is a must read.
Mike talks about everything that is wrong with our world. But I will say after hearing about what is going on in some other countries I see we aren’t as bad as I thought. However, we are headed in the same direction, unfortunately.
This book will open your eyes to the slippery slope America is on.
This book does offer hope as well. We as believers, need to step up and speak out for what we know is right. I do believe that has happened recently, but I think it needs to happen more and more.
Mike focuses on Psalm 2 and how that is a prophetic passage into what is going and what will happen in our world.
If you want a book to challenge your thinking and open your eyes I highly recommend this one.
As Daphne begins making reluctant plans to let Aunt Dee’s house and life go and pick up the pieces of her fractured life, the guy she’s been dreaming about begins to change his tune. Of course, another huge obstacle pops up at about the same time, threatening to ruin what might finally be true love. Meanwhile, she continues writing the advice column, learning more about love and commitment than she ever thought possible. But will she cinch the deal in time?
I have so enjoyed this series. From the first book I loved reading about Daphne, so much so that after the places I review for stopped offering the book I purchased that last two. I am so glad I read them all.
This last book is by far my favorite of the four. However, if I only read this book I’m not sure I would have loved it as much. Reading the whole series definitely gave a deeper sense of care for each character.
The book finished beautifully. In some ways as I expected but in others ways not so much. But wonderful all the same. This book is light-hearted yet has a lot of depth to it as well.
If you are looking for a fun series I recommend this one.
Haunted by the Unknowns of Their Pasts, Two Women Search for Answers Along the Shores of Lake Michigan
Chicago socialite Anna Nicholson retreats to the Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan, after breaking her engagement with her wealthy fiancé. Filled with questions about her newfound faith and troubled by a recurring nightmare, Anna finds solace in Derk Vander Veen, a seasonal hotel worker who plans to go into the ministry.
Prompted by a request from her son, Geesje de Jonge begins to sift through memories of emigrating from the Netherlands almost fifty years ago. As she writes them down for the Semi-Centennial anniversary of the town’s settlement, her story takes on a life of its own as she honestly and painfully recalls her regrets, doubts, hardships, and joys. Her story captivates Derk, who sees similarities between Geesje and Anna, and wishes to bring the two together.
Past and present collide as Anna and Geesje seek clarity, but neither expects the revelations that await them.
I have loved every book I have read by Lynn so I was anxious and excited to read her latest.
This book is set in my favorite state, Michigan. The setting is beautiful. Lynn did a great job of capturing the beauty of the area.
This book has many different layers woven together. I enjoyed Geesje story from her past, it was very interesting.
The weird thing about this book was that I was drawn in and then I found myself not engaging. I really bounced back and forth a lot with the story. There were times I was completely hooked and other times when I felt like something was off. I can’t pinpoint what it was that did that for me. I think I felt some of the dialogue was more modern than it would have been for the 1800’s. But I could be wrong.
Overall, I did find this book to be good, just not my favorite and I was a bit disappointed after reading other books by Lynn that I loved so much. But this book is getting great reviews so as always, this is my opinion only. If this book sounds intriguing to you then pick it up and give it a read.