Reviews

Where There’s a Will by Amy Rognlie

WillA mysterious postcard, a decades-old mystery, and a cranky realtor have suddenly thrown Callie Erickson’s plans into a tailspin. Callie, Todd and friends have their hearts set on building Hope House, a home for sex-trafficking victims. But before they can make much headway, Callie is confronted with the mysterious death of someone much closer to her than she’d like.

Was it murder? Callie isn’t so sure, but with Todd’s help, she’s doing her best to find out, even as she is drawn deeper into their relationship. Can she trust herself to love him? In the meantime, Aunt Dot and Harry are dealing with intrigue of their own. Will Harry’s missing relatives ever be found? As Callie delves deeper, she learns startling answers to these questions and to the questions of her own heart.

Mystery, murder, and light romance. What more do you need in a cozy mystery? Author Amy Rognlie once again gives us a fun book to read. You won’t be able to put it down as you try to figure out “who dun it”.

Where There’s a Will has many twists and turns and a great plot. Confronting a difficult subject with grace and mercy, this is more than simply a fun tale. Rognlie always interlaces her faith throughout her stories, but never in a preachy, in your face kind of way. It’s just a normal part of life and I love that.

The characters in this story are marvelous. You will laugh out loud and fall in love with them. I’m making trip to Short Creek in the future, where I’m sure I’ll be able to find them. I highly recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall

BrideLieutenant Owen Masters and Emeline Baratt meet on a British warship as sworn enemies. Where will Emeline place her loyalties when forced to spy against her country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

War Forces a Choice Between Love and Country

A trip home from England to Maryland in 1812 finds Emeline Baratt a captive on a British warship and forced to declare her allegiance between the British and Americans. Remaining somewhat politically neutral on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy—until she starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Lieutenant Owen Masters on land to spy, she must choose between her love for him and her love for her country.

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall.

For lovers of historical fiction, The Daughters of the Mayflower series has been a real gem. Full of history and adventure, you can’t help but learn something new. And they don’t need to be read in any particular order.

Author MaryLu Tyndall did a good job of weaving a faith element through this story. She also shows us that God doesn’t love us because we’re “good”, nor does He punish us for being “bad”. Our Father loves us.

The characters are well rounded and interesting. With lots of swagger, you’ll enjoy hero Owen Masters who isn’t what he seems. And heroine Emeline Baratt is strong and brave while stuck in the middle of tough situations.

Tyndall’s descriptions of ships struck me as realistic. Can you hear the seagulls? Feel the waves? I think you will. So if you enjoy historical fiction I recommend Liberty Bride.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

Hidden Treasures; Finding Hope at the End of Life’s Journey by Robin Bertram

51UXlM1nWQL._SY346_Many people are facing life-threatening diseases, terminal illness, and the long-term care of elderly parents, but have few resources to rely on in these difficult times. They often keep their challenges private only to suffer in silence with no real support system. This book delivers practical solutions to the problems everyone must deal with when they are experiencing the degradation of the quality of their life or the potential loss of a loved one.

Based on experiences derived from 25 years of prayer ministry, Bertram’s Hidden Treasures provides insight and guidance to equip patients, family members, and friends to walk through these challenging times with foresight, looking for and expecting to see God at work in many miraculous ways. It offers sound advice grounded in the truths found in Scripture and the wisdom revealed through real-life stories and case studies.

This book helps those who have ever wondered . . .

  • If God is good, why are we going through this?

 

  • What will our family do during this crisis?

 

  • How do we fight the fear that is trying to consume us?

 

  • How can we encourage reconciliation in our family?

 

  • Where can we find peace in the journey?

 

  • What happens when we die?

 

  • Is there life after death?

 

  • What is heaven like?

 

Hidden Treasures will inspire, motivate, and encourage loved ones to begin to walk the road to heaven without the fear and anxiety associated with death and dying. They’ll discover that the Word of God has answers to the questions that seem to have no answer; and that comfort awaits as they begin to view their situation from a heavenly perspective. Ultimately, it reveals that hope is available, death with dignity is possible, and there are hidden treasures to embrace along the way.

We will all face death and dying at some point, whether we’re faced with it through a loved one’s journey, or our own. And as author Robin Bertram reminds us, it doesn’t have to be scary and can be faced with dignity. Hidden Treasures will console you with the reminder that God is always near. For the believer, death is just a step in our walk, and the one that will take us to the Father.

This book is a wonderful resource to use during life’s final journey. Both practical and spiritual, you will be reassured that what you’re feeling is normal. Full of scripture and personal stories, you’ll see God from beginning to end. While the topic is thought to be morbid or frightening by many, Betram writes in a very uplifting manner and you will be comforted and encouraged.

“In the midst of utter darkness, I cried out to God and shined His light into the deepest part of my soul. I could see again.” Robin Bertram

 

 Benjy and the Belsnickel by Bonnie Swinehart

41us1Isj2GLThe Belsnickel is coming…

Dressed in black from head to toe.
Porcupine quills in his hat. A whip in hand.
And bells that jingle with every step.

Benjy, a lovable eleven-year-old in the 1930s, just can’t seem to keep himself from pulling pranks and letting people down. His target is most often Miss Nettie, the schoolmarm at the one-room schoolhouse where he gets into more trouble than she’s willing to tolerate. Maybe he’s pulled one too many practical jokes…because everyone keeps telling him he’s going to get a visit from the Belsnickel.

Although Benjy believes the Belsnickel is just an old Pennsylvanian folktale told to scare kids into better behavior, deep down he fears the grim legend is real.

When the Belsnickel comes knocking, Benjy quickly learns he is no fable.

What a fun book for your slightly more advanced reader! (I would suggest ages 7 and up.)

You will probably laugh out loud at the mischief this young man gets into. He really is lovable and just can’t help himself as he enjoys what he considers to be a good time. Such a typical boy!

But…..does he get away with it? Or is there recompense for all that mischief? Read it with your child and see if Benjy learns a thing or two.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

A Seat by the Hearth (An Amish Homestead Novel Book 3) by Amy Clipston

51mzOm2QbzLPriscilla Allgyer knows she cannot leave the past behind. But can love lead her toward the promise of healing?

Priscilla Allgyer left the community to escape the expectations of Amish life. Now, years later, she is forced to return—along with her six-year-old son—to the place she thought she’d left behind forever. Though once estranged from her family, Priscilla is welcomed by her mother, but her father is cold and strict. He allows Priscilla to stay with them provided she dresses plainly, confesses her sins, and agrees to marry within the community. Once again, she feels suffocated, trapped, and alone.

As Priscilla reluctantly completes her shunning, she catches the eye of Mark Riehl, a farmer with a playboy reputation. Wary of Mark, Priscilla barely gives him the time of day—while Mark, unused to being ignored by the women of Bird-in-Hand, won’t give up the pursuit of her friendship. Priscilla desperately needs a friend in Mark, even if she doesn’t realize it—and after Priscilla’s father and the bishop catch her and Mark in a compromising situation, their relationship becomes more complicated than ever.

As affection quietly grows between them, Priscilla struggles to open her heart and reveal the painful secrets of her past. As Mark works to earn her good faith, can they both learn the hard lessons of love and trust? And can two friends discover a happiness that only God himself could have designed? The third book in the Amish Homestead series, A Seat by the Hearth invites us back to the Lancaster community where friendships are forged and love overcomes all.

Let me start out by saying although this is book three in the series, you could read it as a standalone. However, reading books one and two will make book three richer for you.

Author Amy Clipston continues to get better with each book, and that’s saying a lot as I believe she is one of the best authors of Amish fiction. This book, in my opinion, is quite possibly her finest so far. Clipston doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects, such as abusive relationships, and shunning. But as always, she wraps it up with forgiveness and redemption.

The characters in A Seat by the Hearth are well developed and very believable. You will fall in love with them; especially Mark. To see how he developed as the story went along was wonderful; it is so well written. This book has all of the feelings; heartache, sadness, anger, and joy. I seriously couldn’t put it down and read it as quickly as possible just to see what would happen next. And yet, I didn’t want it to end. I highly recommend adding this to your library!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

Snow Angel by Davalynn Spencer

51vZDxm9XyLInspirational Western Holiday Romance
As a child, she lost something precious at Christmas. Twenty years later, she’s about to lose her heart.

Lena Carver works as her physician brother’s medical assistant, housekeeper, and cook despite her disfigurement from a childhood accident. Each year, the Christmas holidays come with contradictions—cherished memories of a mysterious encounter and painful recollections of a great loss. Lena lives with the belief that she is beyond love’s reach, until a dark-eyed cowboy arrives broken, bruised, and bent on changing her mind.

Wil Bergman wakes in a stranger’s home with a busted leg, a bullet-creased scalp, and no horse. Trail-weary, robbed, and penniless, his dreams and plans for a future are suddenly unattainable. Forced to recuperate in the home of a country doctor, he finds himself at the mercy of a surgeon whose sister’s healing touch has power to stitch up his lonely heart and open his eyes to the impossible.

A lovely Christmas story with a sweet romance, author Davalynn Spencer has done a good job of making her characters come to life in a town you’ll want to visit.

This novella takes on subjects that aren’t easy but are handled gracefully. And who doesn’t love a Christmas story that even contains….an angel?

Seriously, if you’re looking for an enjoyable Christmas tale with a damsel in distress and a hero, then look no further. Pour yourself a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy Snow Angel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

A Reason to Forgive by T.K. Chapin

41M+emC+D+LCindy Carlton’s heart knows the pain of loneliness far too well.  She’s been married for over two decades to a man who has grown cold and distant over the years. She struggles to see anything ever improving. Her hope reignites one day when her husband agrees to attend a marriage retreat at Diamond Lake. Could this be an answer to her prayers?

David Carlton married the love of his life twenty-six years ago. He thought he knew her, but then she did the unthinkable and unforgivable, shattering his trust forever. David never stopped loving Cindy, but he did stop showing it and nurturing their marriage. Keeping her at a distance, he learned to rely on the walls he built around his heart so she couldn’t hurt him anymore. Then one day, his wife invited him to a marriage retreat. He feels inclined to go. Little does David know . . . his life would change forever.

From the best-selling Christian romance author, T.K. Chapin, comes a Christian romance novel that focuses on the difficulties that can and do exist in many marriages today. This inspirational romance gives readers a glimpse of God’s ability to influence our lives when we allow Him access. A second-chance romance story that will lift your spirits and tug at your heartstrings.

Author T.K. Chapin has always gotten to the heart of issues, and this book is no exception. Chapin’s characters are well developed and very real. As they walk through emotional events such as betrayal and forgiveness you’ll see God’s redemption plan unfold.

A Reason to Forgive will challenge you to look at your relationships. Are you showing the love of Christ to others? Are you walking in forgiveness? All of these are presented but definitely not in a preachy way. Chapin writes about life and God in a very warm way.

It’s always great to read another book that lets me return to Diamond Lake and visit with old friends. I highly recommend any book by T.K. Chapin.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

I Know the Plans by Melissa Wardell

51dFmiV8LhLAll the plans Tiffany and Brad made for their lives as individuals were thrown to the wind the moment they met. Now, after almost a decade of marriage, they spend more time apart than together. Though plans remain unfulfilled, their hearts seek to remain steadfast and connected.
After Brad returns from his latest tour in Afghanistan, it is evident that the man Tiffany married is no longer the same. As Brad struggles with reacquainting himself with his life, Tiffany questions how it could be part of God’s plan. Have the sins of their past finally come back to haunt them? No matter how much support they have in their family and friends, the choice is still theirs. Will they continue to trust God with their lives or will they choose their own course?

Author Melissa Wardell has the knack of drawing in her readers right from the beginning, and this book is no different. It became a page turner immediately.

Wardell isn’t afraid of writing about tough subjects and she continues in that vein with I Know the Plans. Injuries while serving in Afghanistan. A marriage that is struggling. Complex characters who are questioning God. This story can get intense at times, but in all the right places. And it’s not all intensity. Just like any family, there are moments of fun.

If you want a book that will show God’s plan; His love for us, then I highly recommend this one!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

 

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