Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

Meet Kelli Huddleston, a young adult woman who loses her job being honest in Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman. Amid this newest disaster in her life, Kelli goes to her father and step-mother’s home to clean out their estate from their recent and devastating passing. With grief pouring into every facet of her life, Kelli discovers her father is not who she thought he was, and to her utter horror, she realizes that she too is not the person she assumed she was. Seeking answers to her past and healing from grief, Kelli drives from California to Shoal Creek, Tennessee to find out who she really is.

From the first chapter, I loved how Cushman tells a touching story of a young women seeking answers and trying to make the best of very difficult situations. Cushman’s characters are unaffected and create a story of the fantastical mixed with the everyday routine of living. I particularly was fond of Ken Moore, and his astute assessment of Kelli and his willingness to help her accomplish what she came to Shoal Creek to do.

Finding Me is definitely worth reading with its unexpected plot and genuine characters. I found Finding Me to be an apt title for the journey Cushman takes us on to understand better who we are and what relationships really matter as we follow Kelli on her search for resolution and peace. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman for my candid review.


The Fortune Café by Heather B. Moore, Melanie Jacobsen, Julie Wright

If you want to relax and enjoy some entertaining and heartfelt stories, The Fortune Café by Heather B. Moore, Melanie Jacobsen, and Julie Wright is a perfect choice. As the debut novel for the Tangerine Street Romance series, in three novellas The Fortune Café introduces us to Chinese fortunes that really do come true. Cái, the eccentric own of The Fortune Café on Tangerine Street believes that the first fortune a customer receives in his café will become reality, and he takes pride in the way he chooses fortunes for his customers.

Mis-Fortune, the first novella in The Fortune Café, introduces us to Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café. Emma believes in fortunes for everyone else but not for her. When her old high school friend Harrison comes to the café, Emma must rethink her life and what a Chinese fortune can mean for her.

In Love, Not Luck, the second novella in The Fortune Café, Lucy grapples with an engagement that goes badly wrong when her lucky necklace breaks. Depressed by her seeming bad luck in every aspect of her life, Lucy finds escape with Carter her next door neighbor who believes in luck and making time for fun. What Lucy must decide is whether the luck is showered out because of charms or if luck is more of an attitude to be actively embraced.

Takeout, the third novella in The Fortune Café introduces us to Stella and her quiet life repairing jewelry and caring for her diabetic mother. Evan enters Stella’s life as a timely rescuer from an old boyfriend and stale relationship. Evan is definitely not who Stella would consider under normal circumstances, but Stella’s circumstances are not normal.

The Fortune Café does not disappoint and is delightful to read. Full of well written stories that loosely intertwine to engage readers in compelling plots, The Fortune Café speaks to hearts who long for happy endings.

More than Just the Talk by Jonathan McKee

How do you approach your children and teenager’s questions about sexuality and its place in God’s plan for husbands and wives who are married and committed only to each other? Not too long ago, parents addressed the topic of sex with their teenagers with a one-time talk that may or may not have answered all questions.

Author Jonathan McKee, in his new book More than Just the Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-To Person About Sex, explains to us that in a culture of lies and sexual perversions, our children need to be able to feel comfortable enough to come to us about all sexual questions and concerns about sexual behaviors or they will get explanations and lies from inaccurate and wrong sources.

Drawing upon his experience as a youth counselor, McKee introduces parents to the loud voices that youth face every day regarding their sexuality and how those voices and influences often go directly against God’s commandment that sexual relations exist only between a man and a woman married to each other.

With specific examples to underscore his experiences working with youth, McKee offers practical suggestions of how parents and influential adults can teach youth to understand for themselves why waiting for sexual relations within marriage is worth the wait. He also discusses common lies and misunderstandings that youth often have about sex and how that affects their behavior when they do not understand God’s law.

Finally, McKee addresses pervasive sexual perversions, like pornography, that youth confront in our culture and how responsible adults can teach and help youth understand the dangers of accepting and participating in activities that distort God’s true purpose for sexual relations.

Overall, McKee presents a candid, informative message of how to approach our youth with candor and honesty as we help them understand for themselves why sex is good when it complies with God’s laws, and why sex is harmful to them when distorted, perverted, and casually approached outside of God’s prescribed boundaries. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of More than Just the Talk by Jonathan McKee for my candid review.