The Price of Truth – Review

 

How do solving mysteries and restoring vintage quilts go together?  Like needles and thread!  Kidding aside, when Guideposts Books puts together a series, you can bet it will be uplifting, inspirational and always interesting.  Sarah Hart is a vintage quilt restoration expert, and an avid quilter herself, who tends to get tangled up in one mystery after another.  In “The Price of Truth”, Sarah’s in Boston with her daughter-in-law, Maggie, an antique dealer, for an antique auction.  The Maple Hill Historical Society has asked Sarah to bid on a quilt they believe was owned by one of the town’s founders.  But there’s something fishy going on with the quilts at this auction.  Sarah has to find out if the desired quilt is even authentic, then discover why other quilts are selling for way above their value, before it goes up for bid.  Meanwhile, an elusive stranger keeps having secret meetings with the auction manager and Maggie’s best friend is having marital problems.  Read on as Sarah uncovers the mysteries of the quilts, helps Maggie’s friend rethink her divorce plans and saves an auction house’s reputation.

The Price of Truth is #20 in the Patchwork Mysteries Series from Guideposts Books.

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The Scent of Cherry Blossoms – Review

I don’t normally care for romances but I chose this one because of the Amish twist.  The Amish fascinate and inspire me.  Ms. Woodsmall does an excellent job of introducing and acquainting us with her main characters.  She is generous with information about them and their backgrounds.  She paints pictures of landscapes and situations that play like a movie in the imagination.

Annie comes from a broken Old Order Mennonite home in which her mother has struggled to raise several children amid the shame of her husband abandoning the family.  Aden’s Old Order Amish father and brother, Roman, were injured in a farming accident which left them unable to continue to provide for the family in quite the same way as before.  Annie’s struggles with her mother are emotionally charged.  Roman’s struggle to come to terms with his disability rings very true.  The way these people of faith handle their challenges and ultimately turn to their Creator to help and heal them is inspiring.  The problem of forbidden love between childhood friends Aden and Annie is resolved amid surprising twists and conflicts.

This is just a good old story, with characters who are real people with real problems, which today’s Old Order families are not immune to.  They have their warts and their roses (or should I say cherry blossoms?) and it is inspiring to see them grow and improve in the course of resolving their problems.  I really enjoyed this book. It’s a pleasant escape to Amish country and a “simpler” life.

Cindy Woodsmall is an award-winning and New York Times Bestselling author.  She has written several other books, including When the Soul Mends and Plain Wisdom.  Her friendships with Amish and Mennonites began in childhood and continue to this day.  She homeschooled her children as they were growing up.

Cassandra Campbell has recorded over 100 audiobooks and is an accomplished actress and high school teacher.  Her narration is clear and expressive without distracting from the story.

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms, “A romance from the heart of Amish country”, by Cindy Woodsmall, copyright 2012, audiobook narrated by Cassandra Campbell is available from  Christian Audio for $10.98.

22 chapters, 335 minutes (6 hours)

I would like to thank Christian Audio, for providing me with a free review copy of this audiobook.  No other compensation was received for this review.

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The Heavenly Man

China is a Communist country.  Christianity is illegal and those who preach it are cruelly treated.  If a family has one child already and is found to be expecting another, the mother is detained and the developing baby aborted.  If the mother manages to escape and have her baby, enormous fines and other punishments are imposed.  Bibles are confiscated and those who possess them are beaten.

When Brother Yun got his first Bible, he read it hungrily, memorizing everything he could, even sleeping with it.  He immediately began proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in small villages across China.  From that moment on, he experienced persecution, torture and imprisonment by the Chinese government.  Brother Yun recounts his imprisonments, tortures and escapes in graphic detail.  Although there are those who question the extent of his reported tortures, his message is clear:  Jesus is love.  Jesus is everything.  Jesus’ love is worth dying for.  The way he handles his tormenters, never losing faith, is truly inspiring and heartrending.

In a country such as ours, where so many of us who call ourselves “Christian” are lukewarm at best, the mere thought of suffering torture, blood, pain and death for the sake of Jesus Christ gives pause.  Would I?  Could I?  Or would I deny Him and hide, gradually losing what little faith I had?  Not a dilemma I want to be faced with.  However, Brother Yun’s story causes me to question whether I am witnessing to Jesus Christ in my everyday life.  Do I hunger for the Eucharist and the Word?  When presented with the opportunity to attend Mass or read the Bible do I respond with enthusiasm?  Out of duty?  Turn my back?  Is my faith and hope contagious?  Do I radiate peace and love?  Good questions to keep in the front of my mind on a daily basis.  In the end, don’t we all want to be greeted with those precious words, “well done, good and faithful servant.  Now enter in and claim your reward.”?  Brother Yun concludes by challenging the Western Church to return to basics.  As the theme of this blog suggests, I think that’s a wonderful idea.
Christopher Jean gives a compelling reading as Brother Yun, with Jeannie Park as Yun’s faithful wife Deling.  The readers lend warmth and truth to their characters and the audiobook (copyright 2008 by Hovel Audio) is a joy to listen to.  The Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun, with Paul Hattaway, (c) 2002, was originally published by Monarch Books.
I would like to thank Christian Audio, for providing me with a free review copy of this audiobook.  No other compensation was received for this review.
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Amazing Love

As a prisoner in a Nazi death camp, Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch watchmaker, saw many of her family and friends die.  A fateful mistake caused her release only one day before all women her age were to be killed.  She had every reason for despair and revenge.  Instead, a few years later, she brought the Gospel of Jesus to the very women who were her guards in that concentration camp.  The same women who had hated and despised her, were now imprisoned, and hungry for hope.  With some difficulty, the grace of God and a box of chocolates, Corrie won these women to Christ.

Amazing Love is the story of Corrie Ten Boom’s life of evangelization after surviving the Nazis in World War II.  Originally published in 1953, the audio version is well read by Nadia May, (c) 2010 by Christian Audio.  Ms. May’s reading gives a personal quality to the narrative.  I almost believed I was listening to the author herself. Corrie travels all over the world bringing the Gospel to movie stars in Hollywood, communists in Russia, and the poor in developing countries.  Her courage and confidence are inspiring.  She even admits to bouts of arrogance, when relying on her own talent and strength fails her, until she remembers to pray, and turn her will over to Jesus once again.  Time and again, she is called upon to perform the impossible.  Exorcizing demons, healing the sick, flying across the world to spread the gospel, with no money for plane tickets all demonstrate the power of God, manifested in the weakness of this woman.  Relying only on her faith and trust in Jesus, Corrie does all that is asked of her, and many souls are converted to Christianity.

This is a very thought provoking, as well as entertaining account of Ms. Ten Boom’s adventures.  As Christians we are called to evangelize.  To spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  Do we really know how to do this?  Can we even spread it around us in our current every day lives?  I am left with much to ponder, and a thirst to learn more about how to do what I can to lead others to the love and peace I find with Jesus.

On sale right now for $7.49 from http://christianaudio.com/amazing-love-corrie-ten-boom.

Thank you to Christian Audio Reviewers Program for providing me with this free review copy.  No other compensation was reveived for this review.

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The Touch

by Randall Wallace, (c) 2011, published by Mission Audio

“The Touch” is that rare, life affirming sensitivity that a few medical professionals and others posses.  Doctor Andrew Jones is one of them.  After a tragic accident in which his fiancee is killed, he abandons his gift and loses himself in teaching instead.  Lara Blair is the billionaire heiress of a medical research and equipment company.  For years her firm has been trying to perfect a surgical instrument that will duplicate a surgeon’s movements and allow never-before-possible deep brain surgeries to succeed.  When one of Lara’s executives stumbles across an exhibit containing a highly detailed micro-miniature sculpture of the Lincoln Memorial, and discovers the identity of its creator, Blair Pharmaceuticals begins a relentless pursuit of the talents of Dr. Jones.

There is a higher power at work, however, as Lara and Jones find themselves facing old fears, and questioning whether their lives should continue on their current paths.  The most compelling question is, will Andrew be able to defeat the demons that have tormented him since the death of his fiancee, in order to save his new love?

This audiobook contains a powerful message about the dignity of life at all stages, as well as the healing power of God’s grace.  It is a touching romance, without vulgarity, though one brief passage is probably not suitable for young ears.  Paul Mitchell delivers an exceptional reading, his voice resonating with the different emotions conveyed throughout the story.  Available for $12.98 from http://christianaudio.com/the-touch-randall-wallace.

I had trouble loading the MP3 files onto my ipod directly from the website, but no problem whatsoever downloading it to the computer and then transferring it to my ipod from there.  The complete zip file loads really fast and opens easily.

Thank you to Christian Audio Reviewers Program for providing me with this free review copy.  No other compensation was reveived for this review.

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