Category Archives: Zondervan

In Tune with Love by Amy Matayo

In Tune with Love: An April Wedding Story by Amy Matayo is a sweet tale of a young woman, April Quinn, who writes lyrics on napkins, toilet paper roles, and any piece of paper she can get her hands on. April works at a bar where musicians have an opportunity to share their talent. She holds a grudge when lyrics she wrote is heard on the radio and quickly hits the top charts, sung by a former coworker, Jack Vaughn, who must have stolen one of the pieces of paper with lyrics written on it.


April’s sister, Kristin, is planning her own wedding and fires her wedding planner. April soon gets appointed to be the wedding planner with four days to go before her dear sister ties the knot. With no experience and a very low budget, April does what she thinks will work while her sister tears apart her ideas. The wedding singer cancels as well, which her sister decides to hire an old friend, Jack Vaughn, who happens to be in town.
While April and Jack reunite after years of April’s grudge, they hit it off well as April shares what her sister wants. Jack eventually gets the courage to talk to April about those lyrics. Can April forgive Jack? Will Kristin’s wedding be what she dreamed it would be?

This novella took me a while to read as I’ve been suffering from a headache called hemicrania continua. This headache makes it difficult to concentrate on anything and ruins any moment of good moods. But I did get to finish it!

This little love story isn’t really what I thought it would be from the title. I thought since the story started off about April, it would be about April’s wedding, when it was really her sister’s wedding. Maybe since I hadn’t read the whole series of wedding novellas, I started the book without the necessary information needed to understand what’s going on.

Overall, it was a nice light read that took me away from the compassion fatigue I get from work. So, a nice “getaway” for me! I encourage everyone who suffers from compassion fatigue to find a genre of reading to get you away from reality for as short or long as you need it! This novella is one of those great getaways!

In Tune with Love: An April Wedding Story by Amy Matayo is available on Kindle for $3.99. 

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St Amant

He left town because of the mistakes he made in his young adult love life. He started over. He found another love. He was about to get married. Then his fiancée died in an accident. He returns to his hometown, back to his family and to the root of the history of romance entanglement he originally left town to avoid. Living with his cousin, Chase finds himself a contracting job in attempt to restore the local theater, Cameo.

Stella is drowning in her sorrows after her one year anniversary of her divorce caused by her husband cheating on her and leaving her. She is a former beauty queen and trying to be her own person without the glitz and glamour. She is an interior designer by trade and her protective mother sets her up for a job as the interior designer for the restoration project at the Cameo. 

The first day of the project, Chase and Stella realize they need to work together. Chase is the boy who dated her sister and cheated on her with her own sister, Stella. The two know each other well, but have a history that may not be so easily reconciled. Can they fix the Cameo with all this history and drama in their backgrounds? 

When I started reading Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St Amant, my Kindle told me it would take me over six hours to read it. I was in total shock and wondered how long the book really was! After getting about halfway into the story, it suddenly changed the length of time to one and a half hours. I was much relieved. I still don’t know what was wrong with my Kindle, but it seems all is well now that I’ve completed the book. Ha!

  
Anyway, I became very attached to the characters in this story as I could find a piece of myself in many characters. Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St Amant is very nicely written and wonderfully ties in the importance of serving the homeless into the deep crevices of the story. I love how this story shares that everyone has a story. A phrase I hear often at church and at work:

“Everyone has a story you know nothing about.”

It is a helpful reminder that just like in Love Arrives in Pieces, people are broken. We all are. And we all need to put our prices together in our own way. Everyone’s story leads to something miraculous. Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St Amant is a Christian fiction book published by Zondervan.

A Simple Prayer by Amy Clipston

An Amish love story featuring a woman, orphaned at a young age, and a Prodigal Son, who left home after some teenage mistakes, this is an easy reading book taking place in modern times. This is a book focused on how simple prayers can change people’s hearts, a practice that doesn’t happen only in books.

Recently, I’ve come to love Amish stories of the amazing community togetherness and avoidance of modern technologies. In daily commutes involving the slow pace of a horse-drawn carriage and the expectations to follow rules of the community, I find the Amish to be an interesting people.

A Simple Prayer by Amy Clipston starts off with a man, Aaron Ebersol, returning to his hometown Amish community after he ran away seventeen years earlier. Aaron was returning because his friend found him after his mother had a stroke and keeps asking for him. Aaron is unsure if he wants to face his family after he abruptly left them when he was only fifteen. He tried to write to his parents and send them money to replace the costs of the bishop’s barn he burned down all those years ago. But he never heard back from anyone so he thought they forgot about him.

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Little does Aaron realize that he would encounter a family who wanted to learn about his Englisher adventures, except for his older brother, Solomon, and his wife Becky. After Aaron began working on his parents home in order to make it more convenient for his mother to get around, Becky began warming up to him.

Aaron also made friends with the woman, Linda, who helped at the bed & breakfast he stayed at nearby. It takes him a while to remember who Linda was, but soon they have very encouraging conversations that soon lead to their desire to talk more often. Linda shares with Aaron about how she and her parents were going home after church and was hit by a big truck that slid on the ice. Linda was thrown from their carriage and sustained some damage and scarring to her leg. While her parents had not survived this accident, Linda stayed with her aunt and uncle.

While Aaron tried to fix things with Solomon, Linda attempted to make things right with her uncle, who was quite mean to her especially after her aunt died. It seems these two were made for each other as they encourage each other through praises and suggestions on how to fix their respective family issues.

The idea of a child getting injured while on a carriage is familiar to me, as I read another Amish book, The Amish Clockmaker by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, where a similar incident happened. There is also a similarity where a young Amish man left the community, returning for another reason many years later.

A Simple Prayer by Amy Clipston is an easy to read book that is very difficult to put down. The Amish terms explained in the beginning are helpful to make understanding the conversations a little easier. This is a Zondervan Fiction book.

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Book review: Jesus without Borders by Chad Gibbs 

In a recent scroll through available books to read and review in NetGalley, I came across a book cover and title that caught my attention, Jesus without Borders by Chad Gibbs. The blue cover with an airplane, a train and a rickshaw caught my eyes and I was very curious as to what this book was about. If you think about it, there really aren’t borders when we can travel with these modes of transportation.

  

Not realizing what I was really signing up for when I downloaded Jesus without Borders by Chad Gibbs, I simply started reading. At first I thought maybe this author was taking a trip and explaining how we can bring Jesus to this area. Then, I started getting a better picture that this a book where the reader can see how Christianity is already in these locations, but with some reservations and persecution as a believer. 

The author, Chad Gibbs, takes the reader through several countries I would not picture to have Christian believers. But I was proven wrong and learned  new things about most of the countries beliefs. Each location has a history of why sharing the gospels is difficult and challenging. I also learned that sometimes our preconceived notions about some countries are entirely wrong.

As I read through Jesus without Borders by Chad Gibbs, I was taken to countries I don’t see my ever going to. It brought me out of the comfort of what I know and introduced me to life as a Christian in countries I only dream of. From Brazil to England, Russia to Uganda, Japan to Australia, China to Israel, India to Turkey, Chad Gibbs takes you to many corners of the world, if earth truly did have corners like it was once believed.

“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.” ~Revelation‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬ ESV

Jesus without Borders by Chad Gibbs tells me as the reader that every nation and tribe and language and people are slowly getting reached! While some of us will never get the chance to visit this amazing countries, a few of us will. This book gives future visitors a idea of what to expect when you get to some of these countries as well as how to potentiality fund such a voyage.

Set to release on March 31, 2015, Jesus without Borders by Chad Gibbs is published by Zondervan and available on Amazon, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.