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The Wedding Chapel

Renee Ann Smith —  December 13, 2015 — 9 Comments

Rachel Hauck Wedding Chapel

Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Chapel is one of those stories that has all the stuff I love—a connection to the past, a second chance at love, family drama, romance, heartache and healing, reconciliations—and lots of heart.

It’s about a young couple navigating the troubled waters of their marriage and an older couple who never gave their love a chance.

It’s about the games people play when they don’t trust their hearts to those they should be closest to,

How they build barriers to protect themselves,

Or manipulate to get what they want—even if they must rip it out of the hands of someone they’re supposed to cherish—

And after all that, how God can smooth over the pain that has been festering and leave peace and healing in its place.

It’s also about a chapel that takes its place as a special character in the novel . . .

“Majestic with her stone walls and weather-worn beam trim, the chapel drank in the sunlight through the cupola, then reflected it back out through the windows. The canopying beech and cottonwood trees stretched leafy branches over the slanted slate roof, creating a thicket of serenity.”

Coach Jimmy Westbrook had build the chapel for the love of his life . . .

“She was part of him, this place. He’d deposited his sweat, his tears, and his heart here. And buried them with time.”

But somehow Jimmy hadn’t ended up living happily ever after with the girl of his dreams . . .

Too late . . . The truth branded his brain. The twist in his back intensified. Of course it was too late. He was an old man.

Too late to do anything about unfulfilled dreams.

Too late to win a love that was lost.

Too late for everything the chapel represented.

He, a hall-of-fame football coach, had ridden the bench in the game of life, waiting to be called in for a play that never came.”

Wedding Chapel Rachel HauckI think that’s all I can share here without giving too much of this wonderful novel away. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. Grab a copy today & tuck it away to enjoy when you have time.

This sweet story plus a cup of your favorite hot beverage will help you carve out an oasis of calm in the midst of hectic holidays. 

My students & I love Rachel’s books. They’re so looking forward to the day I bring my copy to school & add it to our bookshelves.

The Wedding Chapel is a Romantic Times Top Pick and one of Booklist’s Top Inspirational Novels of 2015.

It makes a great gift for teens on up. Follow this link to order the copies you need.

Follow this link to enter Rachel’s $100 GIVEAWAY & you might also win a copy of the book!

Thanks for stopping by today, story lovers! Blessings, friends!

Wedding Chapel Rachel Hauck

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In Perfect Time

Renee Ann Smith —  August 19, 2014 — 4 Comments

Sarah Sundin’s novels always remind me why we call the men & women of World War II,
“The Greatest Generation.”

Her most recent book, In Perfect Time, tells the story of flight nurse Kay Jobson and C-47 pilot Roger Cooper, who work together in Italy and southern France to evacuate the wounded and deliver paratroopers and supplies. They are hard-working, courageous, and quick-thinking. In their down-time, Roger entertains the local kids by playing the drums on any available surface, dreams of auditioning for a Glen Miller type big band, and stays far away from girls. And beautiful, high-spirited Kay, who can’t seem to break through Roger’s quiet reserve, appreciates him from afar.

Of course, we readers can see that Roger and Kay would be perfect for each other, but these characters have personal issues to work through before they can become a real team. Both Kay and Roger are damaged by families who did not cherish them—and even deemed them worthless. After years of being told they would never measure up, they are haunted by their parents’ hateful words.

Kay and Roger help each other wage powerful inner battles to overcome the negative messages of their youth and see themselves as God sees them. Their personal struggles and growth—set against the backdrop of the fierce fighting around them—make this a riveting, romantic story.

What I liked best . . .

  • How Sarah brings the World War II settings to life
  • The great dynamic between Roger & Kay
  • Roger’s marked up old Bible
  • Catching up with Georgie and Mellie (from previous books in this series)
  • A beautiful scene where an old hymn works truth & healing in Kay’s heart
  • The action—an especially harrowing capture
  • The USO war bonds tour
  • The Nightingale Sisters
  • The sweetly satisfying ending
  • How much my students love these books, as well!

My favorite quotes . . .

Sarah Sundin In Perfect Time“I think the heartbeat itself is a drum message from God. With every beat, He sends His message. His life, His love. His life, His love.”
~Lt. Roger Cooper, In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin~

In Perfect Time Sarah Sundin

“Something warm and light stirred in her soul. Her earthly father scorned her, but her heavenly Father—oh, what He had done for her. He loved her, forgave her sins, and gave her gifts too numerous to count.”
~Lt. Kay Cooper, In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin~

What you should do next . . .

BUY THE BOOK: Take “A Sentimental Journey” today! All you have to do is follow this link to purchase In Perfect Time for yourself. ***Thanks to Litfuse and Sarah Sundin for providing a copy for me to review.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: Click on the graphic below to enter Sarah Sundin’s contest to win a Kindle HDX!

Sarah Sundin Litfuse Kindle contest

READ: Follow this link to check out Sarah Sundin’s previous novels.

WATCH: Follow this link to check out some great World War II movies.

So has this put you “In the Mood” to re-visit the heroes & heroines of the Greatest Generation through books or movies?
Then my job here is done!

Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I made these graphics with photos from my account at RGB Stock Photos. Of course, PicMonkey is my tool of choice for tweaking the pic & adding the quote!

Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. (Follow this link for more Free Graphics.) Continue Reading…

 Lead Your Family Like Jesus

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I don’t have kids of my own, but after twenty-five years of observing family dynamics from behind my teacher’s desk, I’d have to say that parenting is the hardest job in the world. At our Christian high school, we dedicate ourselves to coming alongside parents as they seek to lead their children to Christ, guide their character development, and prepare them for life. So I’ll be sharing my copy of Lead Your Family Like Jesus with as many parents as possible.

I discovered this book as part of inspirational fiction author Tricia Goyer’s Launch Team. She co-wrote the book with Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges. 

Are you wondering what qualifies Tricia to write a book on parenting?

  • She began motherhood as a teen mom.
  • After she gave her life to the Lord, He led her to marry a godly man.
  • She and her hubs had two more children.
  • Tricia became a working mom (she’s written 30+ books) and homeschooler.
  • She started a Crisis Pregnancy Center.
  • She leads Teen MOPS.
  • Her family teaches children’s church together each Sunday.
  • Now that Tricia has a married son, son in college, and daughter in high school, she and her husband recently adopted 3 young children.
  • She provides a home for her grandmother, and Tricia is a grandmother herself.

Are you catching on that Tricia has much practical wisdom to share with parents in all stages of their journey? You can connect with Tricia here at her website, on Facebook & on Twitter.

How will reading Lead Your Family Like Jesus benefit you? This book will help you “take Christ out of the spare compartment of your private spiritual life and give him free rein in all your daily actions and relationships.”

I’d sum up the main takeaway with these lines:Leading like Jesus as a parent is first a spiritual matter. Whenever you have an opportunity to influence the thinking and behavior of other family members, the first questions you have to answer is, ‘Am I motivated by self-interest or by the betterment of those I’m serving?’”

My favorite chapters discussed the concept of EGO. Initially EGO stands for Edging God Out and allowing Pride and Fear to dictate our choices, actions, and reactions. The authors remind us that “Edging God Out separates us from Him, from others, and from knowing the true selves He designed us to be.” They then encourage us that “when we replace our tendency to Edge God Out with Exalting God Only,” we operate from Humility and Confidence and “influence our kids in a way that points them to Christ.”

Lead Your Family Like Jesus

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***Thanks to Tricia and Tyndale House for sending me a copy of Lead Your Family Like Jesus to review. Please, don’t miss picking up a copy of the book here! Both parents and parents-to-be will appreciate this book. And if you are a grandparent, one of the nicest things you can do for your grandkids is to share this book with their parents.

More encouraging quotes from the book:

“By looking at Jesus, you can learn how to build a loving relationship with your children and extended family—no matter how you were raised and no matter what challenges your family faces.” (Click to Tweet)

“When the bills appear bigger than your income, trust in God by acknowledging that He is your Provider. He will supply what you need—not always what you want. He promises to take care of His children.” (Click to Tweet)

“Family members will experience what’s in your heart and head when your motivations and beliefs about parenting affect your hands—your actions.” (Click to Tweet)

 Now for the GIVEAWAY!!! Continue Reading…