High Cotton by Debby Mayne Review



Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family’s next reunion. On the one hand, she’ll get to see everyone in her mama’s family—folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there’ll be more drama than you can shake a stick at.

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law’s deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunion . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay’s teen self, but the woman she’s become doesn’t know what to make of this.

Shay’s contentment is challenged, and she’s determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she’s looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet and predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring.

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My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed getting to know the characters of this book. Each character is facing their own challenge and looks with apprehension towards the upcoming family reunion.

The story is set in the south and the author includes a lot of southern references (sweet tea, biscuits, and “high cotton”). I really enjoyed this setting as I’m a Pennsylvania native but love visiting the southern states…southern hospitality is very special.

The writing style flowed easily and the pacing was good. I loved the family dynamics. The reunion scene was definitely my favorite part of the book. Anyone who has been to a family reunion would be able to relate to the wild and crazy antics that occur in these scenes. The story has sweet moments, sad moments, a few twists, and many funny moments.

This book was a nice change from some heavier historical books I’ve been reading. It was a lot of fun.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Embraced by Lysa Terkeurst Review



A real embrace indicates an intimate level of closeness. It’s not a high five or a casual handshake. The best kind of embrace is when someone we know deeply loves us flings their arms wide open and pulls us in close.

Our hearts were made for this kind of love and security but for many of us, we know more about the pain of heartbreak and fear than the unconditional love for which we were created.In Embraced, Lysa shares her own struggles, doubts, and heartbreaks while pointing to the Ultimate Embrace: God opening His arms wide on Calvary through Jesus so that He could pull us close for all of eternity. Welcoming us into the safety and hope of His grace and His love.

And because we have been fully embraced by Him, we can spend our lives held securely by Him and trust all of His ways.

Through these 100 devotions, daily scriptures, and prayer prompts, readers will be equipped to:

Begin to find freedom from the struggles that have held them hostage by learning new ways to experience God’s love and more authentic ways to trust Him.
Surrender their deepest hurts by processing them in a godly way with Lysa, a friend who understands their pain.
Hear the Lord speak intimately to their heart by learning how to seek His direction.
Release the tension of wondering, If God is near why does He sometimes feel far away? by spending intentional, guided time with Him each day.
With an exquisite cloth cover, highly designed interior, ribbon marker, and stained page edges, Embraced will be a treasured keepsake for you as well as a meaningful gift for those you love.

My Thoughts:

I quickly became a fan of Lysa Terkeurst when I discovered her book, Made to Crave…there is something about the way she writes that feels very down to earth and friendly. I feel as though I am hearing from a friend when I read her writing. I also love that she is a woman that isn’t afraid to admit that she has many imperfections and struggles. I think this is why I’ve related to Lysa for so long…she’s real.

This devotional includes 100 days of devos that are geared towards the Christian woman who wants to feel the embrace of her savior. Each devo is only 3-4 pages long but they pack a big punch. Lysa shares her heart and struggles as she presents lessons on anxiety, insecurity, fear, and so much more. There is a great topical index in the back for days when the reader just wants to get a devotion on a specific topic. The days all start with a verse of scripture and end with a prayer.

The book is beautiful aesthetically…it is hardcover with a cloth over board cover. The design on the cover is water-colored with a gold title. The page edges are robin’s egg blue and the book has a cream colored ribbon bookmark. I would have been delighted to receive this as a gift and I’m certain that many other women would be as well.

This book is definitely a winner and I highly recommend it!

My Rating:  5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review.