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The Christmas Calendar Girls
by Samantha Tonge
Fern, Davina, and Cara bond over children who attend the same school in Birchwood Estate. With different personalities and strengths they value each other rather than hold jealousies. In The Christmas Calendar Girls by Samantha Tonge, the ladies work together to save the food bank that is a lifeline for so many in the community, from the addict to the unemployed parent struggling to provide.
It’s the busy Christmas season and late to begin a project to raise money, but Fern has an idea to save the food bank and engender community spirit and good will. Her friends jump on board to help.
All is not smooth sailing, however, with the project and its changing deadlines or in the “calendar girls’ ” personal lives. Fern is a widowed journalist trying to find a new normal for herself and her daughter Lily. Perhaps she is ready to have a relationship again. Kit, a former client of the food bank, stirs her heart, but is he ready for romance? Davina has always been close to her twin boys, but the more sensitive of the two begins pulling away and the pair get into a fight at school. Cara is fantastic with food, very creative, and a doting, stay-at-home mom. Suddenly she seems to have lost it all as she burns foods, uses the wrong ingredients, and forgets school notices and weather appropriate clothing for her kids. She fears the onset of early dementia.
Watching these characters grow as they lean on each other and gradually reveal their secrets and rooting for them as they try to help those less fortunate, makes for a gentle, interesting, and inspiring story. Birchwood Estate will never be the same.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Aria for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publication: October 3, 2019—Aria
That’s what Cara’s homely place was like…If it was a person it would have been a welcoming aunt, who always had your favorite biscuits in and never forgot to send birthday money.
“Bringing everyone together, friends and family, over food and drink, with the purpose of helping people facing difficult times…your idea really does encapsulate everything that the festive season should be about.”
Sometimes I worried I’d never meet another man. I didn’t need one to look after myself and Lily. But I wanted the company. The closeness. I missed that.
Love Life Again: Finding Joy When Life is Hard
by Tracie Miles
I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t encountered some difficult circumstance or season in their life. In Love Life Again: Finding Joy When Life is Hard, Tracie Miles offers a different perspective on life for the person struggling. She walks the reader through many aspects of looking to enjoy the life you have even if it is not the life you hoped for. This is not a list of tips and tricks, although each chapter does end with a challenge, questions to reflect on, an action item, a prayer, and an invitation to smile.
Tracie comes alongside you as a friend, one who has experienced the depths of desperation herself. She encourages you to recognize Satan as the enemy and to fight back by drawing closer to God. She shares the importance of loving and valuing yourself and reaching out to help others. She advocates forgiving yourself, if needed, and forgiving those who have wronged you. As you work through the book, Tracie will help you focus on God and the people God puts in your path. She will show you how to turn complaining into praising and convert stressful thinking into thankfulness. Tracie Miles is not offering an instant remedy, but she is sharing a road to contentment through faith in Christ and by drawing close to his sheltering love.
Category: Christian, Nonfiction
Notes: written primarily for women
Publication: August 1, 2018—David C. Cooke
Sweet friend, you don’t have to search for a different life in order to enjoy life; you simply have to embrace the one you have by putting Christ at the center and asking Him to help you enjoy life, despite life.
There came a time I had to accept that my life had not turned out the way I thought it would and no amount of wishing it were different was going to change it.
All too often we think our enemy is society, people, circumstances, or hardships. But the reality is that Satan is our enemy, not people or circumstances. While he is not in control of this world and what happens, he can wage war on our hearts and minds. He can convince us that we have a right to be grumpy and no reason to be joyful. He can feed us nagging lies to keep us discouraged, angry, unforgiving, or without hope.