Read a Book Monday: “Begin Again: The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt and Receiving Rest” by Leeana Tankersley

Have you ever felt stuck in a rut?  Like you were getting no where fast or pain was your constant companion?  No, this isn’t an infomercial.  I just want to tell you about a book I recently read that helps release hurt and receive rest.  Now I have your attention.  Don’t I?

“Begin Again: The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt & Receiving Rest” by author Leeana Tankersley is a 182 page Christian Living/Women book which is followed by Acknowledgments, Notes, and Author information.  The vividly colored cover with fuchsia colored flowers and large white lettering refuses to go unnoticed.  It drew me in and did not want to let go until the last page.  #pageturner

This is the first book I have read by author Tankersley, and I was very impressed.  Her style of writing is very much to my liking.  After reading a few pages it felt more like a chat.  I was talking with a friend about our problems and what needed done.  She was transparent about her challenges and life, but she didn’t linger over longer on them.  The book was well written, easy to understand, well researched and organized.  It had Scriptural references and was inspiring as well as encouraging.  I felt refreshed after reading it.  The author was genuine and to the point in her book.  She wanted to be helpful and was.  I gleaned things from “Begin Again”.  There was a feeling of hope.
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Based on a quote from St. Benedict,  “Always we begin again.”, this book was written as encouragement for readers to trust God and begin again when dealing with trials in life.  The author leads us to see God is with us every step of the way whether we are struggling with pain, day to day issues, marital problems or whatever the case might be.  God is still there as we begin again and helps us with that.  We are not alone and never stuck.  Always we may begin again.
The author provides practical, useful tips and information to assist readers that want to start afresh.  Her ideas are to get readers moving beyond the past and the hurt it carries.  Relying on God and His plans for our future help us start over. She advises to begin again with God directing your way.  None of us can do this on our own.  Author Tankersley also says we must realize we have a hurt or pain, whether emotional, mental, or physical.  Then we should call out for help.  Wow!  Easier said than done sometimes, but none of us can do all things alone.  So, the author encourages us to begin again by trusting God.  Recognizing there is pain and a problem that needs fixed is the starting point.  Then she explains we need to realize what we are dealing with can be enormous, as in a move, new job, new relationship, or as small as accepting where we are, without regret.  So we need to do the next tiny thing that moves us forward.
Readers are nudged to listen for God’s guidance as we change things and handle our life.  Aren’t you glad God allows us to write our own stories and edit them every single day?  I certainly am very thankful.  Actually I am blessed He is there to help and show me what needs to be changed.  We receive as many “do overs” as we need.  Maybe we need one every morning.  That’s okay.  God offers them freely and generously.  This book made me realize that more.  It steered me toward the sunshine of God and today, and away from the gloom of yesterday and its regret and pain.
I gladly recommend this lovely, soul stirring book.  It stepped on my toes in parts and gave insight on what I could do to change.  Do this as a reading group!  There are so many that will relate and love the chance to discuss and pray.  At times I wondered how the author knew I needed to read just that particular message.  Bet she had a little help from above, don’t you.  Rating on this is definitely 5 out of 5 stars.

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Read a Book Monday: “His Risk” by Shelley Shepherd Gray

Today is Read a Book Monday so tell me what you are reading? I hope it’s an interesting book. The book I have to discuss today is by author Shelley Shepherd Gray. This book kept me from doing anything except reading. Once started it is near impossible to put down. It is a “wow, that was amazing” book. Are you ready to hear about it?

“His Risk” by author Shelley Shepard Gray is the fourth in her “The Amish of Hart County” series. Even though it is Book 4, it can be read as a standalone. However, this is such an excellent series you will want to read them all. IMG_1611Trust me! This book is a thrilling, exciting read that takes only one page to grab your attention.  It isn’t your typical Amish novel.  This is a gritty, crime fiction with romance and Amish.

Author Gray has an exceptional style of writing. Her vivid descriptions take me away and I am immediately invested. Her storyline is well organized and well researched. Providing twists and turns, she keeps readers captivated. Characters are believable and well defined. They were also well rounded with good and bad attributes. I felt as though I knew them through their dialog and interactions. This book is written from four characters’ perspectives.

This book is the tale of Calvin Fisher, who left Horse Cave, Kentucky when he was a young teen boy of fourteen years old. Leaving his past behind, he is now an undercover informant for the DEA, specializing on a gang, the Kings. This gang is mixed up in serious crime. Calvin returns home because of a family crisis and while there meets Amish nursery school teacher Alice Yoder. Sparks ignite and a romance begins between a devout Amish girl and the forbidden Englischer (Calvin). As their relationship gets more serious Calvin is concerned that he might bring harm to Alice because of his connections to the Kings and the head of their organization, West Powers. As things begin to happen, Calvin questions his worth to be in Alice’s life and she is skeptical about him.

“His Risk” is a sweet romance, but much more. The emotions of the characters jumped right off of the pages and into my heart. I wanted to figure out the mysteries and twists. This is an amazing intrigue, suspense Christian novel. The issues tackled are relevant and timeless. Grace and forgiveness are two of the main points. Praying, faith, trust, hope, child abuse, and bullying are among life lessons this novel discusses. It is encouraging and inspiring. Lessons on God hearing our prayers and having a plan for us as well as forgiving others and ourselves are notable.

Another nice thing about this 265 page paperback novel is that after the book there are some extra things. You will get information on author Shelley Shepherd Gray. IMG_1609She is a faithful Christian mother of two living in Ohio with her hubby.  There is a letter from her about her book, and she states Book 5 comes out July 2018. Next are discussion questions which are great for a reading group. It concludes with a sneak peek at Book 5.

“His Risk” is a thrilling, Christian action, mystery, romance that I did not want to put down. I kept imaging it as a movie and wanted to cast the parts. Actually I want to watch it. It would be a great movie! Set in Hart County, Kentucky the scenery would be beautiful. Some parts were discussed about Louisville and Cincinnati, both close to my Southern Indiana hometown.  The Amish culture and language are intriguing. This book has a sprinkling of Amish in it and I did long for more.

I highly recommend author Gray’s newest release. Anyone will love it. It has a bit of everything (romance, mystery, action, inspiration, intrigue) so there is something for everyone. You might want to get a reading group and start with Book 1. They each have inspirational messages and discussions. All are so good! You will not be disappointed.

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