Wildflowers From Winter

Katie Ganshert

{Book Review}

Title: Wildflowers From Winter
Author: Katie Ganshert
Genre: Fiction - Christian Romance
Pages: 320
My Rating: 5

Synopsis: Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

(From the publisher) "A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn, has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?"

What I Loved: I loved how raw and real this book was. I was in tears within the first few chapters. Katie Ganshert is most certainly not afraid to expose the gritty reality of life's not-so-glamorous tendencies. It's amazing to know that this is a debut novel! Ganshert writes like a seasoned pro. Her characters didn't seem like characters at all, but rather real people going through real trials with more than real emotional struggles. She has an amazing knack for detail and descriptiveness. I will absolutely be reading any and all other books published by this gem of an author.

What I Wasn't So Fond Of: The only thing that left me wanting more was the ending. (If you've read any of my other reviews, then you know I'm a tough critic on endings. I always want more.) But *then* I went to Katie's webpage to do a little more studying up before I wrote my review, and to my most pleasant surprise, Mrs. Ganshert has an entire page of "bonus features" related to the novel. This would include in-depth profiles for three of the main characters, a wonderfully light-hearted interview with two of the MCs, a continuation of the ending (*gasp* what?? I was immediately in love. I had to write that in bold and italics because I can't even contain my excitement!), fun facts, real-life stories and inspirations and much, much, much more! Any doubts that I'd previously had about this novel immediately melted away and were replaced with excitement and eagerness to read more from this incredible author!

I couldn't be happier with my reading experience, and I absolutely look forward to reading more from Katie Ganshert!

About The Author
(From the author): I’m a slightly-frazzled, ever-inquisitive Midwest gal who’s passionate about Jesus, my family, writing, and all things romance, which is exactly what I write. Stories about flawed, broken characters who find faith and fall in love. When I’m not plotting ways to get my hero and heroine to cross paths, I enjoy watching movies with my hunk of a husband, playing make-believe with my wild-child of a son, hanging out with the crazy but lovable junior high students at my church, and chatting with my girlfriends at Panera®. I could talk books all day and am often spotted around town pushing a stroller, walking my dog, and reading—all at the same time.

*author bio taken from katieganshert.com


*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Let's Talk Tattoos

Don't worry, I'm not going to get into the specifics of what the Bible says about tattoos and whether or not we, as Christians, are allowed to have them.
However, I myself have one! In fact, it has a wonderfully deep and personal meaning to me. So that, ladies and gentlemen, is what this blog post will be all about.

When someone finds out that I have a tattoo, the first question they ask me is "Did it hurt?" to which I respond, "Yes, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting!"
The second question is usually, "What does it mean?" or "Why did you decide to get a moon?"

So why don't I start off by showing you the verse that inspired the ink:
In picture form of course! (Because pictures are more fun for everyone)

Now let me provide for you the wonderful insight that my study Bible has to offer on this particular verse:

" 'The darkness can never extinguish it (has not overcome it)' means the darkness of evil never has and never will overcome God's light. Jesus Christ is the Creator of life, and His life brings light to humankind. In His light, we see ourselves as we really are (sinners in need of a Savior). When we follow Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live. He removes the darkness of sin from our lives." (on John 1:5 in the Life Application Study Bible NLT)

So what does all of that mean to me? And even still, why a moon? Doesn't the moon represent darkness and nighttime?
Absolutely not.
To me, the moon represents the light shining in the darkness. The ever-so-slight gleaning of light that gives beauty and hope to a world covered by a blanket of hopelessness and tragedy.
In short, my moon represents my God. It represents His ever-present hope and shelter in my life. Even when I've turned my back on him completely.
I've walked through portions of my life that I sometimes wish I could re-write. But God carried me through it all. No matter how dark my life became, He was always there shining His light of love and hope into my world.
I can't express how thankful I am that He is a patient God!

Not only that, but my moon also represents my connection and personal relationship with God.
If you know me well, then you know that I absolutely love anything to do with outer space and stars (planets too!) and how beautiful the sky is at night when it's painted with little twinkling lights.
If you have ever had a conversation with me about any of these things, then I probably spoke this sentence to you: "When I look up at the sky at night, and I see the vastness of it all and the beauty of the Heavens, I can't help but feel an instant and powerful connection with God."
It's like in that moment, I feel at peace. I know that my Savior is standing right there with me admiring His creation.
It almost brings me to tears.
If you have the time, I absolutely recommend checking out this video of a wonderful speaker by the name of Louie Giglio entitled "How Great Is Our God"

P.S. It's about stars!

I wish that I had more to write, or more beautiful words to use to describe what I already have to you, but hopefully what I have written will give you some idea of what my tattoo means to me. And just exactly why I love it so much.

So in the mean time, why don't you check out a few of these pictures and let yourself be amazed by God's creation!

P.S. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what do they mean to you?
Leave your response in the comment section below!


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