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Book Review: The Captive Heart

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The Captive Heart – By: Dale Cramer

Bestselling author of Paradise Valley, Dale Cramer, has done it again!  I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing another one of his enjoyable works!  If you haven’t read Paradise Valley, I encourage you to do so before reading Cramer’s The Captive Heart, because this 2nd book picks up right where Book 1 leaves off.

Book Description:

Ravaged by disease, preyed upon by ruthless bandits, the Bender family’s second year in Mexico has taken a grievous turn.  Faced with impossible choices, the expatriate Amish discover, more than ever before, what it means to live by faith and not by sight.

But it’s Miriam who must make the hardest choice as her heart takes her on a new and dangerous course.  Domingo.  “He is gentle,” his sister said, “until someone he loves is threatened.”  Is Miriam that someone?

“Cualnezqui,” he often calls her – The Nahuatl word for Beautiful one.  The chiseled native has proven himself a man of principle, grace, and power.  Yet is he the pearl of great price for whom Miriam would sacrifice everything, or is he merely a friend?  Tormented by conflicting emotions, she’s haunted by vivid dreams: Dressed in the coarse cotton pants and shirt of a peasant, she stands on the precipice of a sun-washed ridge searching desperately for Domingo.  Domingo the fierce.  Domingo the protector.

Domingo the forbidden.

This book definitely kept me reading, even more so than Book 1 in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series.  Many suspenseful events occur that keep the story moving and the reader intrigued – illness, a kidnapping, and a rescue in the shadow of a loss of loved ones.  Even though the main story line focuses on the events that involve Miriam and Domingo, Cramer does not forget the perils also faced by Caleb and the rest of the growing Amish community.  His characters are  just as captivating as they were in the first book – each one with their own personality, strength and struggles depicted in ways that forces the reader to want to learn more about them.  Caleb’s faith is pushed harder,  Domingo learns more of the ways of the Amish, and Ada becomes a hero in her own right. This book is another good example of how Faith, Love and Forgiveness can change the lives of others.  There is also the question of whether or not it would be wise to give up the Amish way to follow another way.

If you read this book, let me know how you like it.  I know I am now anxiously waiting to read Book 3!!

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 2551

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: Paradise Valley

Here is another book I recommend to all of my fellow readers out there, especially those of you who (like myself) are fans of Amish fiction.  If I were you, I would definitely add Dale Cramer’s Paradise Valley to your summer reading list!! I couldn’t agree more with New York Times bestselling author Beverly Lewis when she says, “If you like Amish fiction, you’ll love this book!”

Paradise Valley - by: Dale Cramer

 

Set in the 1920’s, Paradise Valley is a great example of historical fiction, having been inspired by actual events with the historical context of the novel being fairly accurate.   The story begins with the arrest of 5 Amish fathers for violating the Bing Act of 1921.  From this point forward Cramer’s characters — the Bender family — come to life through the eyes of 15-year-old Rachel, one of Caleb Bender’s daughters.  I encourage you to follow the journey of Rachel and her family as they move to Mexico to start a new life in a place where the American government cannot interfere with their Amish way of life.  They are faced with many trials and tribulations throughout their journey and their attempts to begin life in their new home, Paradise Valley.  See how they draw upon their faith and keep to “their ways” as temptation, hard times, and risky encounters with bandits threaten their new start. 

 

I hope you take the time to look this book up at your local library or book store!! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if you enjoy Amish fiction as much as I do, then I know you will too!!  Happy reading!!

 

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
 

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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Blogging, Book Nook, WAHM

 

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Book Review: Now I Walk on Death Row

Now I Walk on Death Row - by: Dale S. Recinella

I know I usually write positive reviews regarding the books I receive to blog about, and I guess that is due to my love of reading and my enjoyment of most genres.  However, if you are looking for a book that pulls you in with the first page and holds your interest captive all the way to the last word of that last sentence on the last page, then Dale S. Recinella’s Now I Walk on Death Row is THE book I would HIGHLY recommend to you!

Dale S. Recinella is a Wall Street finance lawyer turned lay chaplain whose life “change” has an amazing story which Recinella shares in this book.  Just when Recinella thinks his life can’t get any better as a high-class lawyer, it suddenly takes a horrible downward spiral — at the end of which is absolutely nothing except…. God and Jesus.   When Dale finally surrenders and puts God in charge,  his life’s path shuttles him and his family to places and to people Recinella would not even have considered beforehand.  And then, to end up as a lay chaplain for Florida’s death row and solitary confinement … I find that simply awesome!  A great testament of how our lives can change for the better if we stop, listen, and look for what God’s plan and purpose is for each of us.

I could go on and on about my favorite parts of Recinella’s journey, however I’m afraid that if I do I might ruin it for anyone looking to read this book.  So, if you are looking for a good, inspirational read — whether Christian or not — I encourage you to add Now I Walk on Death Row to your list.  I think Sister Helen Prejean states it best when she says, “Dale’s story is a bold reminder that no life should be treated lightly.  In the weighty matters of justice and mercy, Dale chose to follow Jesus, who sided with the poor, the dispossessed and the despised.  I hope what you read here impassions you to do the same.”

 

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
 
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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Book Nook

 

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Book Review: If God, Why Evil?

Many Christians and non-Christians alike have often pondered the question, “If God exists, how can He be an all-loving God and still allow so much pain, suffering, death, etc. in the world?”  Author Norman L. Geisler looks to answer this question, among many similar and related ones, in his book titled “If God, Why Evil? – A New Way to Think About the Question“. 

If God, Why Evil? - N. L. Geisler

I was given this book to review, and after finally finding the time to read and digest its contents, I am finally sharing this post with you.  I found this book to be a lot easier to read in comparison to other books that focus on tough questions and theistic topics.  For me, it read less like a text book and more like a one-on-one conversation with the author himself.  I think Geisler did a nice job keeping to the point as he gave his reasons and arguments for or against a topic related to the “If God, Why Evil?” question.  Not only did he use Biblical references to support the fact that God exists, he also gave scientific, philosophical and historical examples as to why evil exists.

In each chapter of the book, Geisler begins by giving three views on each topic related to the questions of evil: Pantheism’s affirmation of God and denying of evil; Atheism’s affirmation of evil and denying God; and Theism’s affirmation of both God and evil (found in Chapter 1).  Geisler then goes on in the remaining chapters to tackle the reasoning for and behind such questions as the origin, the persistence and the purpose of evil, physical evil, eternal evil (Hell), as well as the question of what happens to those individuals who do not have a means of learning about God or Jesus Christ (through churches, priests, missionaries, etc.).  Even though I think he was a bit philosophical at times in his explanations, I think Geisler did a good job in finding the Biblical and scholarly references to support his reasonings and answers to the questions and topics about evil.

I don’t normally read books like this one for pleasure or on a regular basis, but I did find it interesting at times. If I had to recommend this book to anyone, I would suggest it to a minister or someone in such a profession or position who is faced with having to answer such difficult questions for friends, family members, and congregation members.  I think it would make a good reference book for him or her with its easy-to-read topic layout, Bible verse references, and to-the-point topic discussions.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Book Nook

 

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