Reviews by Beth Strand
On 6/15 Beth Strand wrote: I’ve been a huge fan of the Berenstain Bears books since I discovered them when my oldest was little. I loved the way they addressed real-life challenges kids face like bullying, lying, team sports, and moving with fun, good humor and common sense. The illustrations were fun and the humor made them ... "The Berenstain Bears God Made You Special"
On 3/9 Beth Strand wrote: Celia Browning has it all. She’s a wealthy, beautiful Savannah-ite with a handsome beau and lovely prospects and a family secret that may threaten to cost her everything…including her life. A series of threatening letters begin to arrive and a scandal-hunting newspaperman threatens to divulge details ... “The Bracelet” Evokes Gothic Romance
On 2/1 Beth Strand wrote: Kimberly Welch lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. In the aftermath, she lost everything else when the secrets of her husband’s finances were revealed. Now, she and her daughter are living with her old friend in the small town of Kings Meadow and her once delightful daughter is becoming a ... “Love Without End” is a Solid, Satisfying Romance
On 11/11 Beth Strand wrote: Lady Alethea Sutherton is casually displaced from her home when the death of her brother, the eighth Earl of Trittonstone, leaves the title and all the property to her cousin. With no other options available, Alethea moves to Bath to live with her Aunt Ebena. Alethea’s eccentric behaviors give her ... “Prelude for a Lord” is Mid-Range Historical Romance
On 9/27 Beth Strand wrote: Sera James is on the hunt for a picture, a beautiful, haunting portrait of a young woman and a violin that Sera saw once in a Paris gallery. Now she’s seeking the portrait as the crowning piece to a display of Holocaust era art and, frankly, to satisfy her own curiosity about the beautiful woman with ... “The Butterfly and the Violin” is a Haunting Love Story
On 7/7 Beth Strand wrote: Gisela Cramer was sent to East Germany to keep her safe from the war but the Russians have brought the war to her doorstep, again, and she finds herself running for her life while charged with keeping her two nieces safe. Mitch Edwards has survived most of the war in prison since his capture by the Germans ... “Daisies are Forever” Grabs but Doesn’t Hold the Reader
On 6/20 Beth Strand wrote: “The Amish Artisan Village” in Middlebury, Indiana, is an idyllic intersection of Amish businesses encompassed by a peaceful conference center and inn. Amber Wright loves her job running all this until a series of frightening incidents proved that an innocent man may have been murdered. With the ... “Murder Simply Brewed” is a Delightful Blend
On 4/8 Beth Strand wrote: Jake Barnett hasn’t slept in weeks. Phillip McBride, dead for 20 year, is haunting Jake’s dreams, threatening the fragile peace he has worked out in his life. His wife, Kate, fears for him while trying to put her own past behind her. Death is coming closer to both of them and to the town of Mattingly…can ... “The Devil Walks in Mattingly”
On 2/27 Beth Strand wrote: Veronica and McKenna are about to have the summer of their lives in the cottage McKenna inherited in Scotland, but Veronica is worried that she is losing her grasp on reality. Why is the gorgeous, kilted young man she keeps seeing invisible to anyone else? When a pair of ancient rings and a letter ... “Doon” is a Delight!
On 2/8 Beth Strand wrote: I really don’t mind recycling old story plots as long as they are well executed. In the case of “A Miracle of Hope,” the story line plays out the “marriage of convenience turns to true love” plot with enough skill to make it an enjoyable read. I wonder how necessary it was for it to be ... “A Miracle of Hope” is a Nice Romance Although Perhaps Not-so-Amish?
On 1/1 Beth Strand wrote: Tommy Gunderson has been in the battle of his life as he and a small group of dedicated friends try to stop an evil that is invading their valley. Already, Tommy’s pond has been contaminated with Provivilan, a powerful and sinister drug. Can Tommy and Dani find a solution and stop the evil forces ... "Fatal Tide” Races the East Salem Mystery to a Staggering Conclusion
On 8/29 Beth Strand wrote: Looking for a fun little read with a main character on the far side of 60? Then meet Harriet Beamer. Slightly impulsive but completely loveable, Harriet manages to get herself in hot water in the most charming manner. Always with the best intentions, Harriet’s bright red sneakers seem to guide her ... “Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold” is a Gem
On 7/28 Beth Strand wrote: Curtis Ireland and Amy Lang are both grieving a sibling lost in a senseless accident. Could those deaths be more than just tragic coincidence, as Amy suspects, and will investigating them bring both Amy and Curtis into more danger than they’ve ever imagined? Will the secrets they both carry keep ... “Rosemary Cottage” Combines the Best of Romance and Mystery
On 6/24 Beth Strand wrote: Take a floating condominium development, a blind prophet, a child who sees what the adults around him can’t, a clash of faith and add a dash of apocalypse. String it together with well-written characters and a terrific plot and you have a new brand of Christian fiction that combines the edginess of ... “Afloat” Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat!
On 2/25 Beth Strand wrote: If you like fantasy and you like angels, then this mix of the two by Shannon Dittemore will be right up your alley. Brielle and Jake, both humans blessed with unusual abilities are being targeted by the “Evil One” himself. Unknown to them, they are pieces in a much larger battle, one taking place ... “Broken Wings” Delivers Fast-Paced Angelic Fantasy
On 1/29 Beth Strand wrote: Julia has it all. She’s a successful artist in New York, well, making a living at least, and has a handsome British boyfriend. She’s heading away for a summer in Budapest and there may be a ring in her immediate future. Julia’s life is focused on the future, until her past decides to come calling. ... “Moon Over Edisto” Will Warm Your Heart
On 1/24 Beth Strand wrote: The widowed Grace Beiler came to Pine Hollow seeking a refuge for herself and her autistic son. Marriage was nowhere in her plans until circumstances force her to choose between marrying a younger man and losing her son. Can she be a wife to this passionate younger man and will the secret he harbors ... “Threads of Grace” Weaves a Delightful Romance
On 1/17 Beth Strand wrote: Based on actual events, this fictionalized account of love and conflict set against the Westerville Whiskey Wars of 1875 and 1878 brings an era to life with ease and grace. Susanna Hanby has her whole life ahead of her in a comfortable pattern. After a quick visit to her married sister, she’s enrolling ... “Lovelier Than Daylight” Brings the Westerville Whiskey Wars to Life
On 12/31 Beth Strand wrote: Sophie Caldwell has returned to the scene of her unhappy childhood determined to prove herself as a newspaperwoman despite the mystery of her parentage which puts some people against her. On one of her earliest interviews, she meets and finds herself attracted to Ethan Heyward who very quickly displays ... “Every Perfect Gift” Left Me Lukewarm
On 12/3 Beth Strand wrote: After seeing Ken Davis at Women of Faith, I jumped at the chance to review this book. Ken had to be one of the funniest, most entertaining and inspiring speakers I’ve ever seen. Now the ability to speak live doesn’t always translate to writing well but Ken is just as entertaining on the page as in ... Are You Living "Fully Alive?"
On 10/7 Beth Strand wrote: Truly the only reservation I have of “Darkness Rising” is that I wish I’d read the first one first. Starting with book two in any series can leave you feeling like you came into the play on the second act but Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson do a nice job of weaving background into the story without ... “Darkness Rising” is a Supernatural Thrill Ride
On 10/1 Beth Strand wrote: I don’t know about you but I love “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s on my “watch-it-every-year” list along with “The Bishop’s Wife.” So, when I saw that Bob Welch had put together “52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life,” I was intrigued. And, a little doubtful…was this ... “52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wondeful Life” is a Must-Read for Capra Fans!
On 8/12 Beth Strand wrote: Dapne Sweeten’s life has taken a severe turn for the worse. Left at the altar in a designer dress, she experiences the worst thing a professional nose can have…a sudden and complete lack of smell. Dapne is set to start a new job in two weeks using her well-trained nose to create scents that will ... "The Scent of Rain"
On 7/16 Beth Strand wrote: Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but Luci Swindoll has packed up almost 80 years of wisdom on how to be happy and packaged it in bite-sized essays. Each essay focuses on a different life lesson in happiness. The lessons are sorted into five parts, The Basics, Developing Your Style, Achieving Balance, ... If You Want to be Happy for the Rest of Your Life, Read ”Simple Secrets to a Happy Life” by Luci Swindoll
On 5/8 Beth Strand wrote: Is there something you find yourself craving more of? Romance, time, chocolate? Cravings may be a natural part of life but sometimes they get out of control and we find ourselves stuck in behavior cycles that are the best for us. We don’t even understand where our cravings are coming from. In “Constantly ... What Are You "Constantly Craving?"
On 2/13 Beth Strand wrote: Former classmates Cassidy, Allison and Nicole jokingly call themselves the “Triple Threat Club” because of their respective careers as a crime reporter, prosecutor, and FBI agent. Right now, a threat they never anticipated is moving in their direction and their lives are about to experience a major ... "Heart of Ice" Will Chill You to the Bone
On 1/23 Beth Strand wrote: Looking for a relaxing but thought-provoking novel to while away a winter’s afternoon? If so, I highly recommend “Down Molasses Creek” by Nicole Seitz. You’ll meet Ally Green, recently returned to an empty house and a lost love after her father’s death. After years of running from her past, ... Spend an Afternoon "Beyond Molasses Creek"
On 1/3 Beth Strand wrote: Mega-successful entrepreneur, Jonathan Rush has it all and then some. However, when we meet him, he is flying in his private jet to Fairbanks in the dead of winter. His goal is not another business deal but instead dealing with a mystery from his own past…why did his mother abandon him when he was ... Make Time for "The Encounter"
On 12/16 Beth Strand wrote: Smitten is a four-part story featuring novellas by four different authors, Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunter and Denise Hunter. The premise is fun…the town of Smitten, Vermont, faces financial ruin when the largest employer closes its doors. Searching for a way to save their local economy, ... Not Exactly Smitten with "Smitten"
On 12/1 Beth Strand wrote: I divide self-help books into three categories. 1) Read them and toss them, 2) read them and pass them, or 3) read them, reread them, recommend them, reread again and keep my copy safely at home. “Healing is a Choice” by Stephen Arterburn definitely falls into the third category. Warning: This ... "Healing is a Choice" by Stephen Arterburn
On 10/14 Beth Strand wrote: I’ve got to admit that I got this book for the title, after all, Christian Zombie Killers…how great is that? I was completely unsure what to expect but ended up really liking this book. First, a warning, this book is not intended for young audiences, I say high school and up. This book is a hybrid ... The “Christian Zombie Killers Handbook” is Not for the Faint of Heart!
On 9/22 Beth Strand wrote: The cast of characters in "There You'll Find Me" may sound a little hackneyed, but Jenny B. Jones pulls you right into the story and gives the characters an authentic voice that makes them more real than stereotype. The story centers around Finley, a grieving hotel heiress, who goes on a study abroad ... A Lot to Like in "There You'll Find Me"
On 9/12 Beth Strand wrote: I have loved Patsy Clairmont ever since my first Women of Faith Conference more than a decade ago. This tiny older lady captivated her audience while holding a tangle of rubber bands. Her dry, witty, yet compassionate delivery carries over onto every page of “Stained Glass Hearts” and I must say ... Making Something Beautiful from the Pieces - “Stained Glass Hearts” by Patsy Clairmont
On 8/29 Beth Strand wrote: There’s nothing like hearing a survivor tell their story and Brenda Warner tells her story of trials and triumphs with a blend of grace and humility. From her life as a young Marine receiving the kind of call no parent ever wants to hear to the devastating loss of both parents, Brenda recounts her ... Help is always “One Call Away”
On 8/15 Beth Strand wrote: I like biographies. I really, really like biographies but this one was a bit of a slog. If I was writing a term paper or wanting to assign a reference book for a student, this would be a go-to book but as an enjoyable read, it fell flat. The information is well-organized, there are many excerpts from ... Just the Facts - George Washington Carver by John Perry
On 7/15 Beth Strand wrote: Words are powerful. We’ve all experienced the damage harsh words can do and, hopefully, have felt the balm of kind words in troubled times. Many of us can identify with Mark Twain’s remark about being able to live a week on a good compliment but The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley goes ... Making Words Count - “The Blessing”
On 6/15 Beth Strand wrote: I’m not sure anyone else in American politics today is quite as polarizing as Sarah Palin. People seem to love her or hate her without any kind of middle ground. So, I was intrigued at the opportunity to review “The Quotable Rogue - The Ideals of Sarah Palin in her Own Words” by Matt Lewis. Sarah ... The Quotable Rogue