Category Archives: Books

Pulling on the heartstrings with “The Horse of My Heart”

Like many girls, I wanted a horse when I was little.  My dad grew up on a farm, and I was jealous that he got to have horses during his childhood and I didn’t.  Of course, he knew how much work went into taking care of a farm.  So instead he bought me toy horses and books about horses and took me horseback riding a few times.  Those things were nice, but just couldn’t compare to having my own pony!

Horse of My Heart book review

Image credit: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Now that I’m the mom, I have a daughter who wants a horse and I get to be the one who tells her all the reasons she can’t have one: it costs a lot to buy a horse and then board it somewhere, we don’t have room for one at our house, etc.

I guess it’s lucky that we live in Kentucky, which is known for horses.  We enjoy the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Kentucky Horse Park, and just driving by beautiful horses as we travel through our state.  I get to hear about the joys of horse ownership from a family at church that has horses on their small farm.

The Horse of My Heart

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Recently I had the chance to read the book “The Horse of My Heart,” edited by Callie Smith Grant.  The publisher, Revell, sent me a free copy for my honest review.

If you’re captivated by these amazing creatures like I am, then you will enjoy reading the short stores in this book.  I agree with the summary on the back cover, which says:

These true stories of horses and the people who love them are sometimes touching, sometimes humorous, and sometimes miraculous.  Always they are inspiring, like the horses themselves.  They will touch your heart, renew your spirit, and show you that surely God had us in mind when he created these magnificent creatures.

This collection of stories by various authors is charming.  I loved reading about the different horses and their personalities.  They are enchanting animals, and the authors brought out the individual beauty in the horses they describe.  The stories are personal recollections.  Most are about horses they owned or knew personally, but one author wrote about her mother’s love of the great racehorse Secretariat.

Most of the authors of these stories are women.  This book is ideal for women (like me) who have always been fascinated by horses.  I’m a little scared to share it with my daughter, since I know she will renew her ongoing quest to get her own horse after reading this book.  However, I will definitely share it with her since she will love the stories.

The book is easy to read, with each of the stories just a few pages long.  It has 32 true stories about horses, along with some interesting facts about horses tucked in between them. It’s designed for general readers.  I wondered if the book would use equestrian terms that I wouldn’t understand, but it gave me insight into life with horses without requiring me to know the jargon.

The Horse of My Heart: Stories of the Horses We Love (Amazon affiliate link) is available from Amazon and other booksellers.

Thank you to Revell for providing a complimentary copy of “The Horse of My Heart”
to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links, which help support this site.
For more information about affiliate links, please refer to my disclosure statement.

Finding Encouragement In “The Chase” by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky

Parenting is a tough business, so I’m always on the lookout for books and resources that will help.

The Chase by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky

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Recently I had the chance to read “The Chase: Trusting God With Your Happily Ever After” by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky.  The publisher, Revell, sent me a copy for free to facilitate my honest review.

I found that this book will be a great way to address the topic of boys with my daughter when she is a little older.  We have a few years before I’ll have her read this book, but I feel like the book has helped prepare me as a parent before the teen years arrive.  When she is a bit older, the book will be a good catalyst for important discussions with my daughter.

“The Chase” is written for teen girls and young ladies to help them have the right perspective about guys and relationships.  The book emphasizes chasing God first and trusting Him to provide the right guy – rather than chasing after boys as so many girls do.

From the back cover:

In The Chase, Kyle and Kelsey take turns telling their story – with Kelsey sharing secrets to a godly relationship and Kyle revealing the truth about what guys really think.  Together they’ll show you how to put God first, protect your heart, deal with the loneliness and peer pressure that come along with purity, and see yourself as God does.

“The Chase” does a good job covering the topic.  The format is helpful, with the authors alternating back and forth to address each chapter from both a male and female perspective.

Both of the authors share their own experiences from their dating days before they met as well as their courtship and marriage.  They keep it real by including the mistakes they made in their own lives along with things they did well.  The real-life experiences keep the narrative moving.

The result is a book that is honest and encouraging for Christian girls without being overly preachy.

My main criticism is that the book focuses on the idea that God has someone out there for you if you trust Him and wait for Him to provide the right person.  However, I know many good, Christian ladies for whom God did not lead them to a relationship and marriage.  With that in mind, I think it would be helpful for the book to better acknowledge that marriage isn’t the path for everyone.

Another criticism that some readers may have is that the Kupeckys focus a lot on letting the guy lead in the relationship.  While I understand where they are coming from with that viewpoint, it may be addressed in the book too simplistically and turn off some readers by sounding too paternalistic.

Overall, I believe the book is helpful for teens and single young women who need some Christian encouragement.  I look forward to sharing this book with my daughter and discussing it with her.

The Chase: Trusting God with Your Happily Ever After is available at Amazon (affiliate link) and other booksellers.

Thank you to Revell for providing a complimentary copy of “The Chase”
to facilitate my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links, which help support this site.
Please refer to my disclosure statement for more information about these affiliate links.

Book review: The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

I love lighthearted and uplifting books in general, but especially during the Christmas season.

When I had the chance to read “The Christmas Joy Ride” by Melody Carlson, it sounded like the perfect kind of cheery holiday book.  Thank you to the publisher, Revell, for providing a free copy of this book to facilitate my honest review.

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This novella captures the Christmas spirit, following an unlikely pair who spread Christmas cheer as they travel the country in a merry RV.

After losing her job and being left by her husband, Miranda is facing foreclosure on her home.  Meanwhile her 85-year-old neighbor, Joy, has decided to drive her old RV from Chicago to her new retirement home in Phoenix just in time for Christmas.

Miranda decides to accompany Joy on the Christmas joy ride she has planned.  Along the way, she finds herself helping with the special stops Joy has organized to bring holiday cheer to deserving folks along Route 66.

“The Christmas Joy Ride” is a fun-loving book that takes the reader along for an enjoyable ride as the characters sweeten the Christmas season for those they meet.

This is classified as a Christian book, but the Christian themes are subtle.  Since this book is from a Christian publisher, I did think the characters could have been more deliberate in sharing the true meaning of the Christmas season (Jesus) with others as they went along their adventure.  Instead, their interactions focus more on holiday traditions like food and decorations.  However, they’re living out the spirit of Christian charity by giving to others throughout their adventure.

Although they are focused on doing good deed for others, the characters aren’t one-dimensional.  Miranda’s flaws are apparent in some of her interactions in the situations they encounter.  We see the characters redeem the situations, and ultimately the characters are likeable – particularly Joy with her generous plan to make the most of her move to the retirement community.

Some of the situations in this book aren’t altogether believable, but is a fun look at an unusual Christmas vacation!

The Christmas Joy Ride is available at Amazon (affiliate link).

Thank you to the Revell Reads program for providing a free copy
of “The Christmas Joy Ride” to facilitate my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links, which help support this site.
For more information about affiliate links, please refer to my Disclosure Statement.