Monday, October 16, 2017

Upcoming Reading Marathon

by Andrea Renee Cox

Coming up in November, I'll be hosting a reading marathon of Katherine Reay's books in celebration of her new release, The Austen Escape, which releases on November 7. Stay tuned through this article for more information about the books involved in the marathon. I hope many of you will join in on the reading fun. I've checked with Ms. Reay, and she said she may stop by to answer any questions we have about her books as we discuss them. How awesome is that? I love it when authors get involved in discussions of their books.


Where?

The Katherine Reay reading marathon will take place on Goodreads in the Christian Fiction Devourer group, of which I'm one of the moderators. You may find the thread for the marathon by clicking here.

Can't decide yet? No worries! There's another opportunity to join near the bottom of this article, and I'll be adding a reminder to the bottom of the next several articles for your convenience.

When?

These are the dates of discussion for each book. Spoilers will be allowed for each book on its discussion date, so beware of that if you're popping in while you're in the middle of reading one of the books. The pace is one novel per week, but you don't have to participate in all of them if that doesn't fit into your schedule.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

by Andrea Renee Cox

Heartache in a Book

*** 
DISCLOSURE: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, authors, and sites like Netgalley, Litfuse Publicity Group, and Blogging for Books. They do not require me to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
***


From the outset of this story, I knew it was going to twist my heart into a pretzel. While I didn’t much care for Philip, his arguing with his wife was what first endeared me to Clare. It was clear she wanted the best thing for her family, and it’s hard sometimes to know what that is, especially when the leader of the family is off chasing a whim. I’m glad I stuck through with Clare through the stubbornness she displayed often throughout the remainder of the book, because her heart journey was exquisite. To have one’s son stolen by Indians and then to attempt to gain those Indians’ trust in order to get merely a glimpse of the child lost to you… I can imagine how much one’s heart would wrench and ache in that scenario.

My favorite character was Wolf-Alone. He was quite mysterious, and I can’t remember him in The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn (I wish I had time to reread that one right now!), but he was the type of guy who stands for what he believes in and tries to keep the peace but is willing to fight for his people too. Ultimate hero, right there. So yeah. I may have to dig out my copy of Tamsen after all. I want to see what happens next to Wolf-Alone, who might just go by a different name in the other book.

Monday, October 2, 2017

See: A One Word Update

by Andrea Renee Cox

Recently, I read an update on Cara Putman’s One Word. It’s an interesting article, and I hope you’ll give it a look.

After reading that one, and recalling that I was planning on updating you guys on my own One Word for 2017, I am here today to share how God has opened my eyes this year.


My word is "see." One of the things that God whispered to me pretty early on was, "See what I'm already doing in your life." Okay. So I thought I was appreciating them as they came along, but sometimes life sweeps us along too fast if we aren't being deliberate about it. God has done some pretty amazing things in my life this year. Here are just a few:

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Question of Honor by Jesseca Wheaton

by Andrea Renee Cox

DISCLOSURE: I received compensation for my honest review. Writing a positive review was NOT a requirement.

The heart of A Question of Honor was engaging, well expressed, and heartrending. While there were typos, inconsistencies, and factual and historical errors, this was a powerful, emotional story that easily gripped my soul. There is room for this author to grow in her craft, but she is already carving out space for her beautiful stories in the world of literature. I am eager to read more from her.

The way two different story lines came together was interesting. It was fun getting to know both sets of characters and their quirks, hopes, and challenges. Even more enjoyable was when their individual stories crashed together. It wasn’t always pretty – war’s an ugly thing, after all – but a thread of hope was the binding agent spreading to every page.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Why Not Ask for Patience?

by Andrea Renee Cox

This article began by my reading a guest article on Tricia Goyer’s website. (Stay tuned for a link to that article.)



There was a line in the article that said, “It’s kinda like praying for patience. Never do that either.”

My hackles went up on that one, to be completely honest. Who was this woman to tell me what my faith journey should look like? How could she possibly know what spiritual lesson I need to learn? And why do people keep telling me not to ask for patience?

(The rest of the article was amazing. Amy Matayo had some great points, and I appreciated her insight on faith being hard sometimes. So true!)

Why should I not ask for patience if that’s what I truly need to learn?

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

by Andrea Renee Cox

Before we get to today's article, let's take a moment to pray for the folks in the path of Hurricane Irma and anyone who will be touched by Hurricane Jose. Also, for those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Katia, the earthquake in Mexico, and the wildfires blazing across western portions of the United States.

Father God, please comfort and protect the people in the paths of these storms and natural disasters. Help them to stay as safe as possible and evacuate as needed. Please infuse each heart with Your love and comfort. Help hearts all over the world to draw closer to You because of these disasters we're facing. Thank You for all the volunteers and authorities who have all been helping residents through these storms. Bless each of them for their commitment to helping those around them. In the name of Jesus Christ, I praise You for being our Port in the storms of life and ask safety and recovery for those in the path of these storms. Amen.

***

There are things in my past I cannot change. Things that have broken me, left behind scars... Only one God could reach into those dark places and heal them. The scars remain, as do the lessons learned, but the pain has been transformed to divine joy.

The Lady and the Lionheart reminded me of my journey with God to discover just how far inside a person His healing touch can go. This story of a tattooed beast and a soiled beauty was a charming, deep, richly flavored tale with such heart and raw pain laid bare for the audience to do with what they will. That's what I cherish about Joanne Bischof's stories: Her heart—vulnerable and honest—flutters on every page, through every word.

I was surprised that the faith thread wasn't clear or really noticeable until chapter nine. This was different and unexpected. But then faith oozed into the fabric of the story and swept into a magnificent crescendo, so it turned out not to be a bother that faith was a latecomer. Better late than never, as they say.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

by Andrea Renee Cox

Today is Labor Day, so tell me:

How are spending Labor Day?

Are you having a barbecue?

Is your day being shared with friends or family?

Are you able to enjoy a day off from work?