One Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are by Ann Voskamp

I have no idea where this book came from, or who asked me to review it.
It was released last year, and I usually receive books that are soon to hit the book shelves.

I am forever grateful, though, to whomever sent me this book.

Voskamp highlights a little known Greek word that is packed with superior Christian meaning: eucharisteo (with grace, thanksgiving, joy). She has opened my eyes to the beauty of deliberate choosing how one reacts to any kind of situation... deliberately choosing grace.

I have written a lot about forgiveness, but this surpasses that small, tightly focused study to encompass an entire life and every second in that life. It is a lifestyle beyond worship of the holy God, but experiencing how deeply God loves us, then sloshing that love all over our loved ones and even strangers. When that deliberate decision is made, then the pain of having to decide to forgive and work through all that junk is no longer necessary.

Excellent, stupendous book. Buy it, now! It is so very worthy!

I give it 5 stars of 5 stars.

Drawing heartbreaking beauty out of the simplest of details, Ann Voskamp invites you into her grace-bathed life of farming, parenting, and writing---and deeper still into your own life. Here you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is fully alive, and a way of becoming present to God that brings you deep and lasting joy.

 Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today, she's a writer for DaySpring, a speaker with Women of Faith, and partners with Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children.Featured on the TODAY Show, in WORLD Magazine, and Focus on the Family magazine, Ann loses library books, usually has a sink full of soaking pots, and sees empty laundry baskets rarer than a blue moon. There are gifts everywhere and the sky and the fresh mercy over the farm is large and all is grace. Her blog is a global well for the weary and soul-thirsty seeking the quiet grace of the Giver: More at


Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

I thought this would be a most interesting book because it was touted as Downtown Abbey meets Agatha Christie. Not at all. This is a very transparent mystery, and that means it is no mystery at all. To be fair, I have been reading Agatha Christie eBooks, Greatest British Mysteries, and 100 All Time Great American Mysteries. I've been entrenched with mysteries since January.

Deering is a pseudonym for an author who has multiple books published, this is her mysteries name. She notes in the back that Knox was well known for writing a 10 commandments for mystery writing and then she says she broke or bent them all. Well, it shows. It is not the best offering from this experienced author. I was disappointed because the premise is so great.

The twists are not that twisted, and there are no surprises. I give this book 1 star out of 5


Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie in This Sparkling Mystery

Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew's stepfather's company come to light and it's clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer--and trying harder to impress Madeline--Drew must decide how far to take this game.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rules of Murder, go HERE.

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014).

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