Book Review: This Road We Traveled

Jane Kirkpatrick, the author of This Road We Traveled, has written over 25 historical fiction books, many based on real people or incidents in the American West. Jane’s attention to detail and historical accuracy are evident as she follows the story of Tabitha Brown.

The Road We Traveled, by Jane KirkpatriclThis story starts in Missouri when Tabitha Brown’s oldest son returns from a trip to Oregon, eager to return. Because of her age, her family doesn’t want her to go on the difficult journey with them. She refuses to be left behind and hires her own wagon team. Showing true grit and determination, she joins them on the long trip to Oregon.

The book tells the story of leaving friends and family behind, the difficulties on the trail as fellow travelers get sick and die, and the hardships – and joys – in starting over in a new frontier. As she says at one point, “Just because a person chose a thing didn’t relieve them of pain.”

I didn’t realize until I read the author’s notes at the end of the book that Tabitha Brown is known as the Mother of Oregon. When she discovers how many children are orphaned along the Oregon trail, she gets busy. She starts a school that is now known as Pacific University. As one who loves Oregon, its landscape and its history, I felt that this made the story she told come alive for me.

Jane Kirkpatrick ( is a Christian author who writes about historical Christian women, women whose faith was deeply important.

I received a free book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an unbiased review.


Book Review: Hebrew Word Study

Reading a good fictional book is always good, but sometimes I need to stretch my brain. And this book does that gently. Hebrew Word Study is a study, written as a devotional with 90 short chapters, 2-3 pages each.  hebrew-word-study

The author, Cháim Bentorah (a teacher of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic), takes a Hebrew word or phrase and not only explains the English meaning, but provides insight on what the word meant at the time(s) it was used, but what it means for us today.

I must confess that I haven’t finished the book yet, but have enjoyed reading a chapter at a time. The author has a friendly and conversational way of explaining the word (or phrase) and how it’s used. For example, let’s take the word BELOVED, which in Hebrew is yadiyad. Here’s a short excerpt of the chapter.

You enter the heart of God the way a man enters the heart of a woman. He looks at her and says, “You are my beloved. There is no one else but you.” The word yadiyad is formed from the word yad, which means “hand.” Note that yad is repeated in yadiyad, thus meaning “hand in hand.”

I wish I could include the full chapter because it’s so descriptive. The author tells anecdotes and stories to make the meanings of the words and passages even more vivid.

So check this book out. You can learn a little Hebrew and more about your Bible from this book – and it won’t hurt at all.

Want more? Visit his website:

I received a free book from Whitaker House through The Book Club Network, Inc., in exchange for an unbiased review.

I love reviewing books

And I’ve been blessed with some really good books lately. About a month ago, I finished reading this book but was having a hard time putting it in words because it was so good…and so hard to let go of.

Searching for Eternity is the first book by Elizabeth Musser that I’ve read, and I LOVED it.Searching for Eternity I’ve added her to my list of favorite authors for sure. I started reading it while I waited for my car to get fixed. When the service guy came out and offered me a loaner car since it was taking longer than expected, I declined….I was so engrossed in this book.

In a nutshell, the story follows Emile de Bonnery. He’s a young teen in 1964 living in France when his father disappears. He and his mother are forced to leave the only home he’s known to live with a grandmother he’s never seen before in Atlanta, Georgia. He faces culture shock, bullies, and prejudice, but also meets Eternity Jones, a young woman dealing with her own hurts and dysfunction. Over the next four decades, he searches for his father…not knowing if his father left with another woman, if he’s dead, or is a spy in hiding.

The book is wonderfully written; the author has a wonderful way with words. The characters were well developed and REAL. She took me to Atlanta in the 1960s and to Lyon, France during World War II during the French Resistance. I felt like I knew these people and these places, and it was hard to let them go.

This book would fit in the Christian fiction category with some mystery, intrigue, forgiveness, and a little romance. I highly recommend it.

I received a free book from The Book Club Network, Inc., in exchange for an unbiased review.


Book review: All Summer Long

Even though All Summer Long is the second book in the Follow Your Heart series by Melody Carlson, you don’t need to read the first book first. This book opens with Tia, a culinary school graduate, working at a restaurant in a small town wishing for something more. Then she receives a call from her aunt in San Francisco asking her to come help remodel an old yacht into an upscale floating restaurant AND to be the chef.

She jumps on the opportunity and flies to San Francisco only to find that her aunt’s All Summer Longhusband is in the hospital. So who picks her up at the airport? Only that cute boy she met at a camp 10 years earlier. Leo. Small world, huh? And he’s still just as good-looking and nice.

The book takes us on a trip through remodeling the boat, planning menus, and meeting new people. There’s also a little drama when Tia gets caught in the middle of some uncomfortable secrets. I got a sympathetic pit in my stomach when Leo’s fiancée asks her to keep some secrets from Leo.

It’s an easy read, and hard to put down. The plot is a little predictable…you’re pretty sure you know how it’s going to end but you’re not exactly sure how. Will everyone still be talking to each other at the end?

If you like a good clean romance with a little faith thrown in, you’ll like this book.

My only “complaint” is that I wish it had included some recipes. LOL! Some of those dishes Tia prepared had me drooling…

I received a free book from Revell Publishing (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for an unbiased review.

Pray for Marysville

I don’t know that I have never been so sad and so proud at the same time.

As you may have heard or seen, there was a shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School yesterday. Two students are dead and four others are seriously and critically injured. Hundreds – even thousands – have been affected because of what they witnessed or heard. And it happened here. Less than 15 miles away.Pray for Marysville

Unfortunately, when it happens somewhere else, you feel horror and sadness, but life goes on. But this happened in our back yard. I know people who live and work in Marysville and know some of those involved.

My heart hurts for them all. For all of us.

In the middle of the horror and grief, there is good. My alma mater, Oak Harbor High School, was scheduled to play a football game against Marysville-Pilchuck last night. They chose to forfeit the PLAY-OFF game and take second place. Instead of a playing a game on Friday night, the Oak Harbor players showed up at a vigil in Marysville to support and pray with their rivals. What a classy and mature move. I am so proud of these young men and their coaches. Wow. Other schools in the area chose to wear Marysville’s colors (red and white) at their games.

It’s a horrible thing when young people lose their lives. And it’s deplorable that they lose their sense of safety at school. We all know that bad things happen every day in many places all over the world, but there is also good. Pray for those that are hurting, wherever they may be.

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