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Esther the Queen

Esther is a young Jew living in the Persian kingdom of King Xerxes. She lives with her cousin Mordecai's family. She's had to care for Mordecai and Leah's children a lot lately, because Leah has just had a baby and she hasn't been up to caring for them. But Mordecai has just told Esther that it's time to betroth her to a Jewish man, and to make matters better, he is willing to allow her some say in the matter, something that wasn't normally done in this period of time. Esther is ecstatic and goes to the festival to tell her best friend Johanna the news. Johanna is happy to help her friend find just the perfect man. Leah stays home with the children, praying for Esther to see the man she should marry and know that he is the right man. Only Esther doesn't see any man that can hold her attention at the festival. Johanna and Esther are on their way home when a handsome stranger asks for help getting water from a well, but this stranger isn't just any man, it's King Xerxes himself. Johanna realizes it's the king first and immediately bows to the earth, but Esther is busily getting water for him from the well and doesn't realize until she looks into his face. She embarrasses herself and is mortified hoping that her family doesn't hear about her behavior. But what her family does hear is that the king would like Esther to present herself at the palace to be one of the virgins the king will choose his new queen from. Esther is not sure what to do, Mordecai presses her to go, but what does the Lord want for Esther? Her choice will either leave her life the same or alter it drastically.

I loved this re-telling of Esther's story! I love the details that Heather Moore adds to make this more of a novel than a scripture story. I love the way this story sparks my imagination about how things would have been for Esther, first living among the Jews and then in the palace. How drastic the changes must have seemed to Esther. How much courage she had to even be able to have gone to the king's palace. Obviously, I knew how the story was basically was going to end, because I know the scripture story, but there was plenty of twists and turns to keep me from wanting to put this book down. I read it quickly, in an afternoon, because I was so excited to see just where Esther's story would take me. I highly recommend this book! 

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About the CD: Award-winning tenor Nathan Pacheco has toured the world featured alongside world-class artists such as Yanni, Katherine Jenkins, and Placido Domingo. In all of his travels across South America, through Europe and Asia, and across America, Nathan often includes spiritually rooted and uplifting songs in his repertoire. This album is a collection of his favorite songs that connect with those spiritual moments from his performances across the world. These songs take the listener on a beautiful journey with classic hymns such as "Be Thou My Vision," soaring Italian epics like "Nella Fantasia," and modern classics such as "Forever," by Kari Jobe. Performing with intimate acoustic backing and often featuring piano and cello, Nathan's desire with this album is to help people reach higher, to feel deeper spiritual connection, and to find peace through songs that life the soul.

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1. Forever
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3. The Lord’s Prayer
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Deseret Bookshelf Plus Review

I'm super excited to be able to tell you about Deseret Bookshelf's newest feature, Plus. I actually first heard about plus coming six months ago at Deseret Book's ladies night. I thought it sounded pretty great and now that I've tried it, I think it's even better than it sounded. It's basically a subscription that you add on top of the Deseret Bookshelf App. If you have Deseret Book's Platinum membership, you pay only $6.99 a month or $69 a year. If you don't it's $9.99 a month or $99 a year. Either way that's a really good deal for what you are going to be getting.

Here's the deal. With plus, you get to listen to all of their audiobooks...for FREE! Something I noticed on this is that you get to listen to even the newest books that are just barely in the store for FREE. I love this! Who has the time to run to the store to grab the book the very day it comes out? Not me, I'm too busy chasing kids around to do that!

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About the book: Brynn Caley is about to start her dream career running an outdoor sporting goods store when an out-of-town business guru makes his own offer on the property. Coerced into forming a temporary partnership, Brynn, with her ski experience, finds she has to work with fishing expert Gage to run the year-round shop. 

Through a series of innocent misconceptions and a few blatant lies, Brynn doesn’t realize that the handsome single guy on the construction crew is her new partner, and he doesn’t want to set her straight until he can gain her favor. She, on the other hand, would do anything not to work with the stuffy businessman she’s only met through email. 

Inspired by the movies You’ve Got Mail and The Shop around the Corner, Kayaks & Kisses is a heart-warming tale of finding love in autumn leaves, outdoor activities, and new friendships.

My review: This book was so fun! I loved that it's loosely based on one of my very favorite movies, You've Got Mail. There was at …