Book Review~The Pastor Takes a Wife, by Anna Schmidt

The Pastor Takes a Wife, by Anna Schmidt

Mrs. Schmidt is a gifted author. This book was a “Love Inspired” paperback, which I usually stay FAR away from, but I’m glad I didn’t this time!  It’s published by Steeple Hills, 2010. The book has good discussion questions for book clubs, too.
It is a fresh, unblemished romance, focusing more on the stories of the characters than on some rhapsodic flirtations nonsense.  You can trust this book to actually reflect Christian values and morals.
This clean Christian novel completely outshines any contemporary romance novel I’ve read, for several reasons:
1. There is good character development and relationship development that has a definite Christian focus.
2. Every sentence is important, and adds to the novel. I’m not kidding, every sentence adds something
that builds on the stories.
3. The romance between Megan and Reverend Jeb is so subtle and pure, that you can relax and know
Mrs. Schmidt has no intentions of taking the cheap and easy way out, so to speak, by writing paragraphs
of tripe and fluff that insults the Christian reader.
4. The problems are resolved in a logical, real-life way, the reader can easily believe the solutions are
credible and could happen in real life.

Allow me to digress just a bit here.
So MANY contemporary Christian romance novels, and even modern Christian historical fiction books are pure junk, not worthy of the name of Christian, and not worth your time to read them. Anna Schmidt’s book
is so much above almost all of the Christian fiction available today that you’d be doing yourself a huge favor
by reading it. Satisfying, original, believable, and refreshingly intelligent writing is what this book is all about. This book should have won a RITA award.

The main characters are Megan and Jeb. Megan was an unwed teen mother years ago, and has worked hard to give a good life to her daughter, Faith, and she has, with the help of Reba, the owner of an Inn, and Reba’s husband, now deceased. Jeb is a widower, a former manager of a global company, who became a
pastor after his wife’s death. They all live in a small town, where gossip is rampant, and the pecking order is rarely changed. They slowly begin a relationship with Jeb and Megan as friends, and they become close as events in the community give them new perspectives.

Anna Schmidt is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award presented annually by Romance Writers of America (RWA). Her novel A SISTER’S FORGIVENESS gave Anna her fourth finalist honor for the Reviewers’ Choice Awards from Romantic Times magazine. She has won that award twice before. In 2013 she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by her local Wisconsin chapter of RWA.

Anna Schmidt:  CHECK OUT:
* Anna’s website at www.annaschmidtauthor.com

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Book Review~ A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

This book was given to me free, by Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review, so, I  will say the information about the process of water filtration systems for cities and water chlorination’s  history, was well-researched and interesting enough to make me want to find out more about Dr. John Lael.  3 stars for that.  She did a good job of telling about the pioneering efforts of  male scientists in the area of providing clean water for Americans.

I did like learning as much as was available, about Dr. Leal and his work.  God willing, I’m planning to learn more about that.   John Laing Leal was a physician and water treatment expert who, in 1908, was responsible for conceiving and implementing the first disinfection of a U.S. drinking water supply using chlorine. (wikipedia)

1 star for the relationship between Nick and Rosalind.  It was superficial, IMO, and uninteresting to me,  and I found myself skimming past the descriptions of restless, fluttering love between the two, in order to read more about how cities tried several methods of delivering clean water to large cities.  He had a bad temper, she was bland, and the story about her brother Gus and his wife was more interesting than the plot around Rosalind and Nick.

The majority of the book was more like a textbook which was fine with me, but I was hoping for more depth about the lives of the characters.  One of her best novels was The Rose of Winslow Street, I recommend that.

As for mentions of God, Jesus, or the bible, there was very little of that.  I remember one sentence.  One reviewer recalled more mentions, but as for this being a truly CHRISTIAN historical fiction book, I’d say it’s shallow at best.

I’m not interested in reading any follow ups to this book.  I see by the other reviews I’m not alone.

 I received this book mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.

Bead Crafts Do It Yourself

I’ve been making bracelets with beads, and using a neat tool called the Wrap It Loom:

My daughter loves the bracelets, and I’m learning something fun and useful.  To make a bracelet, I use 1mm leather cord, and 8 mm beads, round and smooth.  I also use Nymo thread, and big-eye needles to make the whole thing run smoothly.  For the macrame bracelets, I used 1mm waxed linen thread or cord, and some beads I got off of a thrift store necklace, or I used 6/0 seed beads, toho brand, and decorative buttons from Beadaholique.  There are several places online to buy supplies, so happy hunting!!

Some bracelets I’ve made: 

If you want to make some for yourself, here’s a good tutorial:

Book Review~ William Henry is a Fine Name, by Cathy Gohlke

William Henry is a Fine Name is a book you don’t want to miss reading!  It’s an excellent account of the intricate workings of the underground railroad, slavery, plantation life, and all seen through the eyes of one 13 year old boy named Robert Glover, son of a woman who had grown up pampered, on a Southern plantation, and a man who was God-fearing and compassionate towards his fellow man.

Robert has a best friend, William Henry, who is a slave, but to Robert, he’s just a friend.  They did everything together, until things begin to happen that are a mystery to Robert, but not so to William Henry. 

Cathy Gohlke’s first book, such a great book indeed.  It’s obvious that she put her heart into this story, with the huge amount of information she collected and put together to tell this tale of the north, the south, slavery, and freedom’s price for many. 

The quilt on the clothesline, the pattyrollers, Quakers, Stargazer, Uncle Marcus, Grandfather, Ashland, Pa, Aunt Sassy, the moss on the trees, and the drinking gourd, all are unforgettable pieces of this story that will absorb your attention and keep you reading well into the night. 

I highly recommend this book, both as a history lesson from one person’s perspective, and as a book that will get you thinking.  There’s suspense, drama, politics, insight, and genuine love.   Get yourself a copy and settle in for a great historical fiction read.

Bible Study

I’ve been working through a good bible study course, offered free by  a church in Greenville, MI, called Liberty Baptist Church:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

So far I’ve finished a study on Islam, and a study booklet about music, what is Godly, and spiritual, and how to tell if music is appropriate for Christians to listen to.  They talk about content, control, and context of music.

Some quotes from the booklet:  “There is no such thing as neutral music.  All music has an effect upon the listener-without a word ever being spoken.  That is why God stated that all music which Christians listen to must have a melody to it, something with harmony, organized tones, and a sweet and agreeable sound. Very little of today’s contemporary Christian music can pass this test.”

They also bring up the fact that many churches entertain rather than exhort, reprove, and rebuke the members.  The booklet states:  What is true of babies?  They cannot do anything for themselves.  They have to be entertained, or they cry.  …… He cries out…..I cannot understand that old King James bible, so he finds a church that entertains with worldly music and a watered-down translation of the Bible.

If you’re interested in this free Baptist bible study, you can get some booklets mailed to your home or office, free.  Go here:  http://www.libertygospeltracts.com

Here’s the church’s web page:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

 

Also, I’m reading another book by Cathy Gohlke, called, “William Henry is a Fine Name“.  It was her debut novel, and it won a well-deserved Christy Award.  The book will appeal to everyone from young adult to senior citizen.  A review is coming soon, God willing.  In the meantime, get yourself a copy, and read it.