April Showers Bring May Flowers

Do you feel it?  Spring is in the air! For some of you I wish I could say all your cold weather is gone, but then I would have to follow up with an “April Fools.”  Soon, very soon, it will be summer. Unless you are like me and live in sunny Florida where winter only lasts one month. Here in the US, April is also tax season; some of you are waiting until the last minute to remit, because you may owe, and some of you have already received your returns and put the money to good use. With some of that tax money, let me suggest some very worthy books.

This month my review list is a bit longer than usual. This is for two reasons: one, I have some awesome author interviews coming up in the next several months that you will not want to miss; and two, I want to give you a head start on your summer reading list.  Each one of these books would make a wonderful summer read! I try to only bring books to you that I know you’ll enjoy, and that will also touch your heart. You don’t want to miss the debut novel of Michael Landon Jr, who is the son of late Michael Landon from Little House On The Prairie. Sharon Hinck brings us a light hearted book with a message of God wooing us to Him. The Sentinel by Landel Bilbrey is a must read for any family with young sons. Kathryn Cushman brings us a book of God working in impossible situations. And Jan Watson brings us a heartwarming story from the hills of Kentucky. And lastly Beverly Coggins  helps us with our spring cleaning that we all dread. What wonderful stories to read while on vacation or just relaxing at home during the summer.

One More Sunrise
by Michael Landon Jr.
& Tracie Peterson
Bethany House Publishing
368 pages

One More Sunrise is the debut novel of Michael Landon Jr., son of Michael Landon.  This is a great first novel!  It is the story of a man who deals with life, not going as he planned, making some serious life changing mistakes and still finding redemption.

Joe Daley, married his childhood sweetheart Meg, and had dreams of becoming a WWII fighter pilot in the military.  Fifteen years later, Joe is a crop duster and dealing with the dark depression of the way his life has turned out.  This depression has affected his marriage, and the type of father he has become.

What appears to be a normal day in the cockpit, becomes the flight of his life. Joe is suddenly forced to face many of the demons he has been running away from. Is it to late to save his marriage? Will his children forgive him for being a distant father? But more importantly, will God?

This book is a must read for your summer reading list. I look forward to more books from Michael Landon Jr. He displays real characters, facing real consequences for their actions. But what will God do with our mistakes?  Praise God we serve a God of redemption!

Symphony of Secrets
By Sharon Hinck
Bethany House
304 pages

Have you ever lived your whole life chasing after a dream?   Amy’s dream is to play in a symphony.  After many, many years her dream finally becomes a reality, only to realize that someone on the symphony is trying to ruin it.  Amy uses her haphazard sleuth abilities to uncover the mystery.

Amy Johnson is a single mom of a teen-age daughter.  She is cranky, with few people skills.  Her drive to be successful only results in a strained relationship with the people closest to her. Amy has kept family secrets from her daughter, and in order to restore her relationship with her daughter and to solve the mystery of the symphony Amy is finally forced to face them.

Sharon gives us a glimpse inside the mind of a non-Christian viewing Christians around them. She displays how Amy comes to feel God pursuing her through her passion of music. As a reader we can see past Amy’s lack of people skills, to a desire to aggressively go after what matters. No matter where our interests lie, music, literature, sports, etc., God finds a way to communicate to us. This book will make you laugh, and you will see the underlying theme that God loves us so much that He will meet us right where we are.

The Sentinel
By Landel Bilbrey
Bridgemaker Books
324 pages

A father from the land of Terrenea, the city of Callow, tells the story of his twin sons’ (Jaden and Jerol) quest for Sentinel, the city of destiny. On the way, they must collect the 4 keys to mettle (manhood): vision, courage, integrity and service.

But Azrael awaits.

Driven by an ancient vow to stop any boy from entering the sacred city. His plans are evil, his minions are many, and his aim is sure… Keep all seekers, at all costs, from finding the royal keys.

This book is a mixture of The Chronicles of Narnia and Pilgrim’s Progress. If your boys are anything like mine, a good battle helps keep them involved. This story will give parents or teachers a great platform to share about the struggles common to all men with a Christian perspective.  My middle son (age 13) highly recommends this book.  Perfect summer reading!

Torrent Falls
by Jan Watson
Tyndale House Publishers
416 pages

The year is 1886 and Copper just lost her husband to a buggy accident. Copper has decided to move herself and her young daughter Lily back to her childhood home in Troublesome Creek. Copper was not sure how she was going to operate the run down farm she inherited from her father and raise her daughter by herself. But God answers prayers and Darcy and Dimmert entered her life suddenly. Darcy helped Copper with the cooking and cleaning, Dimmert help Copper with fields and farm animals. Copper’s late husband was a doctor, so Copper became a skilled midwife and with these skills was able to reach out to the women in this little Kentucky area.

Also waiting back in Troublesome Creek is her long ago sweetheart John Pelfry. Copper is not sure she can ever love again, but when she begins to open up, things from the past come between Copper and John. Copper is faced with many difficulties and begins to renew the faith in God she had as a child. Where does one find God’s peace and direction in the mountains of Troublesome Creek?

Watson does such a beautiful job making this book come alive. The scenery described in the book is breath-taking, and you feel like you have become part of Copper’s family. Some of the characters are not always likable, but Jan shows us that there is God’s beauty in each one of us. Also Jan demonstrates when things go according to God’s plan there is abundant blessings in the end. This book was such a joy to read!

It is Spring that means spring cleaning, so I wanted to give one resource to help. Let me introduce you to Professional Organizer, Beverly Coggins, she wrote a series of seven mini books to help you get organized.  They are easy to follow, and help you every step of the way.

The seven books are:

  • Three Steps to Organizing your Child’s Room
  • Three Steps to Decluttering
  • Three Steps to Organizing your Kitchen
  • Three Steps to Organizing your Office
  • Three Steps to Time Management
    for the Stay-at-Home Mom
  • Three Steps to Clever Cleaning
  • Three Steps to Time Management at the Office

In some of her work books she includes a Hassel Free Dinner CD.

To get you started here is a link to download a free dinner menu: Click here

And you can visit her daily at her blog 1-2-3-Get Organized, where she gives daily tips for helping you stay organized.

Happy reading and spring cleaning!

©2008, Laurel Wreath

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