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Oct 22, 2018

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

Monday, October 22, 2018
Every Breath

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
UK Publisher: Sphere (16 Oct. 2018) £18.99
US Publisher: Grand Central (October 16 2018)$28.00
Review copy from the publisher, thank you!

In the romantic tradition of
The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a story about a chance encounter that becomes a touchstone for two vastly different individuals -- transcending decades, continents, and the bittersweet workings of fate.

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.

Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.

Illuminating life's heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope,
Every Breath explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties -- and asks the question, How long can a dream survive?

I have heard about Nicholas Sparks' books for quite a long time but this one knocked on my door, so Every Breath is the first of his that I've read. It was impressive; something that makes you want to reach out and hug your loved ones as Every Breath is one of those emotive love stories that gets your eyes watery and your nose all red and sniffly. The story of these two souls of Tru and Hope colliding is a poignant one and seems improbable that a love so deep can blossom from a simple weekend of a chance encounter. It is a fictional story of course, but the writing sets it up so that you are unconsciously pulling for these two characters as if they are as real as you and I.

Kindred Spirit is the name of a mailbox that is located near a resort community that inspires both the story and our characters, and I will always (incorrectly) associate this book with that title. It perfectly described the connection between Tru and Hope. Have you ever met your own kindred spirit and selflessly let them go? Have you always wondered what would happen if you met again, perhaps in a different time, a different circumstance? Have you loved two people at the same time, but maybe in a different way? It's a romance novel yet so poignant and touching that you really could not forget these two characters. Go ahead and give Nicholas Sparks a try.. I am so glad I did!

I turned off commenting long ago on the blog but I welcome comments at the Facebook page here.

Oct 3, 2018

Join me for Sarah Koontz's bible study BEFORE I GO (giveaway!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Sarah Koontz
Sarah Koontz, Living By Design
BEFORE I GO is the name of an upcoming bible study presented by a very inspiring lady Sarah Koontz that I wanted to share with you. Some of you may or may not know that at some point over the last year I have found a new hobby for bible journaling and it was through online sharing on Facebook that I found the loveliest of ladies Sarah Koontz. Someone had posted about a bible study coming from Sarah focusing on Solomon's Wisdom  which I was able to focus on during my lunch breaks (in the car!). That study was so eye opening for me and perhaps it was because I felt she was talking to me! Her audio commentary spoke to my heart in such an exceptional way I could not help but want to follow more of her devotionals. I've studied each of her studies after that and recently participated as a launch team member for the brand new study Before I Go through the Living By Design Ministries.

And while the name of this blog is Burton Book Review I realize the book in question here, the bible, may not be your thing for so many personal reasons. I want to say that I respect you for that. I also implore to try out this study of Jesus's last words from the book of John. A fun fact I learned through this study is that John uses the word BELIEVE ninety-eight times in his gospel. One simple action, believe! Why should you follow Jesus? This study will show you how worth it it is!

All you need to complete this free online Bible study is 15 minutes per day, an open mind and your mobile device (or your computer).

The Before I Go study will offer you an email full of engaging content each morning including a few days of rest on the weekend with an emailed goodie like a cellphone wallpaper to keep your mind creatively inspired, continually aiding in your reflection. Perhaps you will be inspired to create in your bible journal!

The 21 day study will focus on John 14-17. You may have been told Jesus is the way and you doubtfully ponder this context for our modern lives. Let Sarah help you apply Jesus's teachings found in these three very important chapters of John's gospel. There are so many ways this study will help you apply some of Jesus's teachings to your everyday life. This could help you deal with work issues, your relationships and bring you to a greater understanding of God's truth.

This is an invitation to show you who Jesus really is! What a glorious opportunity to see Jesus Christ through the eyes of one of His closest friends, John.

Won't you join me?
visit this site to enter your email address and you're in!

Each day will focus on a key verse from the scripture alongside the commentary from Sarah to help put things in a new perspective.
There will be action points. Things to ponder.
There is a discussion question if you choose to follow along on the daily facebook thread.
There are references to other resources to help us find more truths because even Sarah knows that even she can use some back up.

My favorite feature is the link that will be in each emailed devotional to her Audio Commentary! You can listen to her devotional at any time by just clicking on her link to the audio. The Bible can be confusing and Sarah really hones in on the scripture and examines what God really wants us to do, and you don't need to do anything but sit back and listen (or read)! You do need to register with your email address so that she can send you her goodies starting on October 15th. I do hope you will join me using the #BeforeIGo hashtag for discussions.

We are celebrating the release of this powerful new study with weekly giveaways at and other collaborating blogs. Each handcrafted giveaway item is inspired by the beautiful truths in John 14-17 and we are so grateful for our talented creative partners who have donated these items to support the study.

This week’s giveaway bundle is worth more than $122. It features handcrafted items from Drift Design Co, AE Lettering Co, Evy Letters, and Copperhead Jewelry. Enter below for your chance to win!

In addition to this fantastic giveaway, everyone who pre-registers for the study by October 14 will be entered to win a custom handpainted Bible from Wheat and Honey Co.

THIS STUDY IS FREE! There is no reason you cannot pre-register today! Please feel free to reach out to me to ask any questions.

I turned off commenting long ago on the blog but I welcome comments at the Facebook page here.

Oct 2, 2018

Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge #2) by Connilyn Cossette

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge #2) by Connilyn Cossette
Published by Bethany House October 2 2018
eGalley from NetGalley, thank you!

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.
Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.
As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

This was an intriguing story set long ago before the times of Christians but a time when there are villages devoted to serving a 'god' of their choosing. Sofea was brought up in such a way that her father was a bit of a 'god' himself, and while she thought he was a terrible person she just accepted that sacrifices and violence was okay as long as it was for her father's purposes. When a tragedy strikes her village Sofea and her cousin soon find themselves on a new land with new customs and a language she did not understand.

While this is book two of a series, I did not read book one and is not necessary to enjoy this story. In fact, it wasn't until others had started talking about this book did I realize it was part of a planned trilogy. This novel continues with Eitan and Moriyah's family and now it includes Sofea and Prezi for this installment. Eitan is smitten with the wild haired Sofea but she has seen the evil ways of man and trusts no one. It takes time and patience to trust; since this is told as a historical romance we learn a lot of the history behind the customs of the earlier generations of Yahweh believers.

Love, patience, service, forgiveness are just a few of the themes covered in this story. I most appreciated the way Sofea was wary at first of the new (to her) God of Israel and rightly asked questions first before letting herself jump in blindly. The spiritual growth was wonderful to watch yet it is not told in that preachy way that turns more secular readers off. The other fantastic part was the way the historical context was presented; I could easily imagine the settings that were portrayed. There was even a plot to kill the high priest underfoot as part of the scandalous intrigue! I am definitely looking forward to reading more from Connilyn Cossette. Another great historical and inspirational novel from Bethany House.

I turned off commenting long ago on the blog but I welcome comments at the Facebook page here.