2018

My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Clarissa’s Conflict by Murray Pura

GettysburgWhen War Reaches Clarissa’s Back Door, the Trustworthy Become Even Fewer.
Journey into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, of 1863 where Clarissa Avery Ross lives a full life. By day she is the daughter of a respectable shoemaker being courted by seminary student Kyle Forrester. But by night she is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, working with a mysterious man called Liberty. She would like to share her work with Kyle, but he refuses to enlist when the war breaks out. How can she remain true to a man being labeled a coward? When the war comes to her back door in an epic battle, the greatest challenges to her faith and love are yet to come.

Author Murray Pura writes a wonderfully researched book of Civil War Gettysburg. If you enjoy historical fiction, give this one a read! The dialogue between Clarissa and the men in her life did feel a bit wordy at times, but speech was different at that time and I understand that.

Often the heroine made me shake my head. So bold for a woman of that era but we know they existed. They did indeed work on the Underground Railroad and even put on men’s uniforms to do what had to be accomplished for freedom’s cause. And Clarissa was a spit fire! I think you’ll love her.

Full of historical facts, the book was not dull. Pura wove those facts into an intriguing story with well-developed characters. He also described Gettysburg so well that even though I’ve never been there I can see it in my mind. It’s a great way to travel!

There are, of course, battle scenes with thorough descriptions but never gratuitous gore. They were written with care, you can tell.

I will say that while I expected some romance, I got a bit more than I bargained for. Nothing bad, just a head strong maiden who couldn’t make up her mind and wasn’t afraid to kiss a man. More than one man, in fact. Goodness, what will this woman do next? Read it and find out!

 

Calming Angry Kids; Help and Hope for Parents in the Whirlwind by Tricia Goyer

CalmingSlammed doors. Hurting hearts. Tricia Goyer knows what it’s like to parent children with chronic anger. In Calming Angry Kids, Goyer draws on her own experience to help readers

  • understand what’s going on in a child’s brain
  • focus on relationship over rules
  • teach a child how to handle frustrations without outbursts
  • control how they express their own anger
  • establish a standard of respect in the home

 Including reflection questions and action steps at the end of each chapter, Calming Angry Kids shows weary parents that peace in their home is within reach.

Author Tricia Goyer is well known for the novel she writes. She, however, is very versatile as her non-fiction works are incredible.

Written for foster and adoptive parents, Calming Angry Kids has great information for any parent. We all have challenges with our children and Goyer gives us some ways to have peace at home while allowing children their feelings.

Honest about her own feelings, including frustration and anger, Goyer doesn’t come across as the perfect parent who has it all together. Her family needs help too! She assures us that prayer and professional help can work together. With reflection questions and action steps, this book is extremely user-friendly. A great read for parents!

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

 

The Lieutenant’s Bargain by Regina Jennings

BargainHattie Walker dreams of becoming a painter, while her parents want her to settle down. As a compromise, they give her two months to head to Denver and place her works in an exhibition or give up the dream forever. Her journey is derailed when a gunman attacks her stagecoach, leaving her to be rescued by a group of Arapaho . . . but she’s too terrified to recognize them as friendly.

Confirmed bachelor Lieutenant Jack Hennessey has long worked with the tribe and is tasked with trying to convince them that the mission school at Fort Reno can help their children. When a message arrives about a recovered survivor, Jack heads out to take her home–and plead his case once more.

He’s stunned to run into Hattie Walker, the girl who shattered his heart–but quickly realizes he has a chance to impress her. When his plan gets tangled through translation, Jack and Hattie end up in a mess that puts her dreams in peril–and tests Jack’s resolve to remain single.

Every book I read by author Regina Jennings is better than the one before. Book 1 in this series, Holding the Fort, was such an enjoyable read that I had high hopes for Book 2. And I wasn’t disappointed. The Lieutenant’s Bargain was rich in humor and history. I loved it!

An independent heroine and a dashing army hero who have a past cause some interesting situations. So well developed you’ll thoroughly enjoy getting to know the characters in this story.

Jennings did a very good job researching for this story and the notes at the end will enhance what was written as a historical novel. Full of surprises, this book is a great read!

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

 

Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot

JourneyIn her first year as a missionary to a small group of native women in the Ecuadorian jungle, Elisabeth Elliot faced physical and spiritual trials. In Made for the Journey, Elliot captures the mysteries and stark realities surrounding the colorful and primitive world in which she ministered. More than just a recounting of her early days, this is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to authentic Christian obedience to God.

Author Elisabeth Elliot writes a personal account that is essentially a prologue to her story Through Gates of Splendor. Before meeting Jim Elliot, Elisabeth had a heart for the world and traveled as a missionary, desiring to touch unreached people groups.

Written somewhat as a journal, we follow Elliot’s life as a young single woman in Ecuador. She writes about both the hardships and the victories; her reality in the jungle. Some of her thoughts and verbiage may seem strange for the current day, but the reader must remember the era in which this was written.

With clear and remarkable descriptions of people and places, this book was very interesting, made especially so because of her ongoing story as a missionary wife and her husband’s martyrdom. If you enjoy memoirs you’re sure to enjoy this one.

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

 

Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols

51sJ-SpPXfL._SY346_Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

I really wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this book since most of it is from the viewpoint of a ten year old, but thought I’d give it a chance. I’m so glad I did! Author Phyllis Clark Nichols created some very intriguing characters and situations that kept my attention right to the end.

Not afraid to tackle the subject of bullying (yes, even adults can be bullied), I loved how Mr. Lafferty handled his unique position. Our heroine, Julia, has such a heart for Mr. Lafferty that you can’t help but find it heartwarming.

While this is not a romance it is full of sweet moments that show love for our fellow man. A wonderful Christmas read with some surprises throughout, I highly recommend it!

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

 

A Teaspoon of Mistletoe by Barbara McMahon

51fqM0+mbfLAnnie Tolliver is happy as can be living in Lamberton, Montana. She has a successful business, life-long friends and a town that offers so much. Once she had the chance to marry and follow Jack to Chicago. Love didn’t prove strong enough. She turned him down and stayed with no regrets.

Nick Keller’s back in the States for Christmas. His work takes him all over the world with Doctors Without Borders. When he begins to explore the small town his cousin lives in, he is charmed with the activities, the people and one very special person.

Getting involved was not the plan for either Annie or Nick, but sometimes things happen for a reason. Can a stay-at-home woman give up everything to follow a foot-loose man to the ends of the earth?

This quick holiday read was entertaining and heartwarming. Both the heroine and hero have a heart for people, as proven by their actions. Well rounded and likeable they made an enjoyable read set in a cozy small town.

Can love bloom, in spite of obstacles? And is there room in their lives for an abandoned puppy? You’ll have to read it to find out!

I will say that I would have given this book five stars except that it was poorly edited and I found that a bit distracting. It was, however, worth the read on a cold winter night.

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

 

A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn

51ui6AYjI7L._SY346_With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

Okay, let’s just cut to the chase. I loved this book. Author Kelly Goshorn does a fabulous job with the story line and her characters. They seem so real!

Ruth Ann, our feisty heroine, sees herself as less than desirable due to a poor body image that was helped along by her mother body shaming her. Hero Benjamin thinks less of himself because of his upbringing. I love that Goshorn wasn’t afraid to tackle a couple of tough subjects. She did it with grace and humor. And did I mention she also writes about a white woman teaching at a school for black children, post civil war? You’ll be on the edge of your seat!

The dialogue in A Love Restored flows well. It’s very catchy and will hold your interest. I never felt like it was dragging or had become bogged down. My only issue with this book was that I couldn’t read it as fast as I wanted. And I’m still thinking about it. Yes, it was that good and if you enjoy historical fiction you’ll love this one.

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

 

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.

 

Christmas Charity by Susan Mathis

41On8xeIZnL._SY346_Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they emigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s 10-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can twenty-three-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her forty-nine-year-old husband and find charity for her angry stepdaughter?

This heartwarming Christmas story is a quick read but rich with well-developed characters you’ll fall in love with. Author Susan Mathis does a great job of taking us on the journey with Irish immigrants in the 1800s.

The biblical lesson of charity towards others is something each of us needs a reminder of from time to time, and Mathis does it in a non-preachy manner. Courage and faith are woven throughout the story as Susan learns about unconditional love in the face of rejection.

If you enjoy a good Christmas story with history and love laced through it, then you will enjoy Christmas Charity.

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

 

Lane Steen by Candace West

51L60909IoL._SY346_How can she let go of the past when she is forced to confront it?

Kidnapped by her father at two years old, Lane Steen never imagines she is living a lie until a new schoolteacher, Edith Wallace, comes to Valley Creek. Yet Edith is more than a schoolteacher. She is part of the past—a past hidden in a mysterious dream that has haunted Lane since childhood.

At sixteen, Lane yearns to escape from her embittered father’s hatred that engulfs her home. The schoolhouse is Lane’s only escape. Carefully, Edith works to earn Lane’s friendship, but love and trust doesn’t come easy for a heart plagued by hate. But then the truth shatters Lane’s world.

The truth sends Lane on a turbulent search into the past. Leaving Valley Creek behind, Lane reunites with a family she cannot remember—a family that surpasses her wildest dreams. A family that belongs to her.

Despite her newfound joy, her hatred for her father only deepens. Although she desires to experience the faith of her family, Lane can’t cast away one thing she holds closely: the hatred that helped her survive.

Digging into her father’s unbelievable past, she confronts the story behind her father’s ruin. Will she always be bound by hate?

Yet something even stronger binds her. Something stronger than her family, something stronger than her will. She is bound to Valley Creek, the place of her stormy childhood, the place of the man she loves, but more importantly, the place of God’s calling. Ironically, she finds love, purpose, grace, and forgiveness in a place she’d sought all her life to escape.

I hardly know where to begin. This story moved me in many ways. Hatred, unforgiveness, and fear are transformed the only way they can be; through God’s grace and mercy. And don’t we all need that?

Writing very reminiscent of author Grace Livingston Hill, Candace West gives us characters we can relate to and come to care about. Life is not easy in the Ozark’s and we see that plainly, but God is always there and always moving in this openly Christian novel.

Following Lane on her journey through life; through hard times and a discovery that leads to better times, life is not what it can be until Christ is allowed into the heart. You will love Lane, as well as most the other characters. Some will puzzle you, others will anger you, and that’s real to life writing.

If you enjoy Christian fiction with a purpose, but written in a style that is not preachy, then you will enjoy Lane Steen.

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

 

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

51gMKXxd7QLNinety years ago, Millie Sullivan’s great-grandmother was a guest at oil tycoon Howard Dawkins’ palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie’s great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage–and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight as two charming characters get caught up in the adventure of uncovering the past and finding their way to an unexpected future.

Well-developed, believable characters help to make this story enjoyable. You’ll find charming, quirky, determined, and lovable “people”, who will cause you to keep reading,

Mystery, romance, and even a treasure hunt will keep you turning the pages.

The story reads a bit slow but any book that contains an estate that feels like a castle is worth reading. And while it reads slow, it really is a good story with the great setting of St. Simons Island. If you enjoy Christian historical fiction you’ll enjoy A Sparkle of Silver.

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

 

The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan Drexler

511PAiOm1jL._SY346_Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

Not your typical Amish story, The Sound of Distant Thunder introduces us to Jonas, who volunteers to go to war during the Civil War period. I’ve never read of Amish during that period, nor an Amish man willing to go to war for his convictions. Interesting concepts!

Author Jan Drexler gives us a lot of details about her characters and the area where it is set. You will love the sweetness of Katie and the determination of Jonas. All of the characters are well developed and we see their point of view (pov) throughout the story.

The story will take you on a remarkable journey. It may begin a bit slow, but hang in there. If you enjoy Amish fiction and/or historical fiction, you’ll enjoy this book.

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

 

Comfort & Joy; The Christmas Lights Collection 2018 by Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Alana Terry

51sQG6lHioLThe third annual Christmas Lights Collection is pleased to present the 2018 collection, Comfort & Joy

Four heartwarming stories to fill this Christmas season with comfort and joy.

Alana Terry- A missing child. A single mom. An Alaskan trooper. There’s more to fear this winter than just the cold.

Toni Shiloh- Can a bookstore owner looking for swoon-worthy romance and a mechanic hesitant to trust his heart find love that will last?

Cathe Swanson- Scrap quilts, bridal gowns, an old Swedish homestead, and a family mystery. What more could you want from a Minnesota Christmas romance?

Chautona Havig- When Mitchell Bogaert’s inheritance involves a ghost story, that’s bad enough. His Christmas is looking ghastly on more than one score, though.

Oh my goodness. This collection has it all! Humor, romance, suspense, and a ghost story. Combine all of that with a wonderful assortment of characters and beautiful places and you have a Christmas book for lovers of Christian fiction.

I’ve read many of author Toni Shiloh’s books and absolutely loved her contribution to this series; Deck the Shelves. As a book lover, why wouldn’t I?

The other authors are all new to me and I enjoyed getting to know them. Alana Terry takes us into the Alaskan wilderness where terror reigned at Christmas in her book, Frost Heaves. The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson was fascinating. I learned a lot due to a bridal shop owner who deals with a disability. We also learned quite a bit about Swedish customs. Then Chautona Havig wrapped it up with a Christmas ghost story. Or is it? You’ll have to read it to find out.

I recommend this series for your Christmas book collection!

 

An Amish Homecoming: Four Stories by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Kathleen Fuller

51UhF-A50NLFour brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston

Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman

Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray

After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller

Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.

I loved this collection of novellas, written by some of my favorite authors. Relaxing to read, there still were life events that each had to work through.

Each story contains the theme of returning home. Forgiveness and trust are a central theme in the set of stories. Very heartwarming with well-developed characters, if you enjoy Amish fiction you’ll love An Amish Homecoming

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

 

Child Proof; Parenting by Faith Not Formula by Julie Lowe

51yX7VY1WuL._SY346_As a freedom-over-formula parenting book for parents of all ages, Child Proof provides biblical insight and encouragement for readers who want to parent by faith. As an experienced counselor of children and families and an adoptive and foster mom applying the CCEF model of biblical change, Julie Lowe uses Scripture and biblical wisdom to teach parents how to know their children and specifically love them with the love of Christ.

Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This parenting book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching parents how they can know their own children well and parent accordingly. By discussing particular issues parents might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how parenting formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.

Through Lowe’s personal and professional experience, parents as well as those helping parents—pastors, counselors and counseling students, youth workers, and churches—will discover gospel-centered application rather than formulas for the ideal family, equipping parents to be experts at knowing their own children so they can know Scripture and live it out personally in their homes.

There are many books available on the subject of parenting. Author Julie Lowe’s book is not just another one. If you want to parent by faith, this book is for you. The use of Scripture combined with biblical wisdom makes it one of the better ones you’ll find.

Child Proof is broken into two sections. The first lays a good foundation for parenting by faith. The second section discusses specific challenges in a child’s life.

Lowe is a parent as well as a licensed professional counselor and play therapist. This book is full of great information that will help you love your child with Christ’s love. A great read for parents, I recommend it.

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

 

Parenting First Aid; Hope for the Discouraged by Marty Machowski

41pwaLjXf0L._SY346_In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, best-selling children’s author Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t.

Parenting isn’t getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This useful resource is for the weary and overwhelmed parents struggling with their children’s choices, and the culture that wars against their souls.

For families with small struggles or weighty parenting trials—such as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellion—Parenting First Aid is full of personal, real testimonies of God’s faithfulness to those experiencing hardship.

The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

This devotional book on parenting is a wonderful resource for parents. Each chapter begins with a scripture and introduction then has daily scripture verses to meditate on that will be an encouragement. There are thoughts to ponder, then suggestions to help “bring it home”.  You’ll be uplifted by the testimonies Machowski included and feel better equipped.

This would be a good devotional for any parent.

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

 

A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World by J.A. Myhre

51LeLvbiZcL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World is a compelling African adventure story that will enthrall eight- to fourteen-year-old youth who love adventure and learning about faraway places. In the exciting fourth and final book in the Rwendigo Tales series, readers will be inspired by ordinary people who make the extraordinary choice to stand against great evil. Written by J. A. Myhre, a doctor living and working in East Africa, this adventure story teaches readers of all ages important truths about justice, overcoming evil, and the courage to make a difference.

In A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World, A doctor volunteering in a village plagued by a mysterious virus wakes up on a deserted island injured, sick, and near death with no memory of how he got there. As Dr. Mujuni slowly regains his memory, he pieces together the horrific reality of what happened to the community and learns just how far the government-backed officials will go to silence all knowledge of the epidemic. As a young girl named Nyakato, the only other survivor, nurses him back to health, the doctor must devise a plan to make their way back to the mainland, but what they discover on their journey is even more dangerous than they could ever imagine.

Through a series of perils and hazards, Mujuni and Nyakato must fight for more than their own lives, learning the true cost of overcoming evil and greed. Through their adventures, readers will find hope in the midst of great loss, triumph and courage in the midst of death and injustice, and love in the midst of darkness.

A great book for pre-teens and teens, they will enjoy the action and battle of good vs evil. Set in Africa, Myhre teaches a lot about the culture, including a glossary to help the reader understand the story.

For two decades Author J. A. Myhre actually served as a doctor in the area in which this book is set. Doctoring during the ebola outbreak helped Myhre to craft this story and caused fiction to feel real.

A compelling adventure book, it teaches readers significant truths about integrity, winning over evil, and being brave enough to make a difference in the world. I recommend it for your teen reader.

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

 

Romancing the Bride by Melissa Jagears

51JG-+FH6qL._SY346_Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; losing the land on their wedding day is another.

Desperate to keep the ranch where three of her children and a husband lie buried, Annie Gephart must marry or sell. Which of the few bachelors in town would consider a surprise proposal to wed a plain widow with a rebellious daughter, a spirited boy, and unpaid taxes—without laughing in her face?

Jacob Hendrix has never fully let go of his ranching dreams despite ending up as a small Wyoming town’s marshal. The job wouldn’t be so bad, except he’s more errand boy than lawman. When Annie proposes marriage without a single coquettish bat of an eyelash, can he commit himself to a woman he hardly knows for a choice piece of property he’d be an idiot to pass up?

But taxes aren’t all that threaten Annie and Jacob’s plans. Cattle rustlers, crumbling friendships, and wayward children make this marriage of convenience anything but. When they lose what they’ve sacrificed everything to save, will the love of a stranger be enough?

Romancing the Bride is the first book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like heartwarming marriage-of-convenience stories, you’ll love this sweet romance filled with endearing characters.

I have really enjoyed each book by author Melissa Jagears, and this one is no different. She writes in such a way that I am pulled into the story immediately. Great, well developed characters make Romancing the Bride an excellent read.

The course of love doesn’t always run smooth, and this story certainly proves that. Troubles abound but so does love and commitment. The question is who loves whom? There are many twists and turns within this story and you won’t get bored.

If you enjoy historical fiction, westerns, and/or clean romances, you will love Romancing the Bride I’m looking forward to the next book in this series!

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

 

Jax’s Tail Twitches; When You Are Angry; by David Powlison and Joe Hox

619G3B7UJsL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Everyone gets frustrated when something important to them goes wrong. In Jax’s Tail Twitches, the whole Squirrel family ends up out of sorts when acorn gathering doesn’t go according to plan. Although Papa, Mama, Jax, and Caspian Squirrel all get angry, they also learn about the power of saying sorry, seeking forgiveness, remembering God’s words, and praying together. Edited by David Powlison, Jax’s Tail Twitches ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes how we respond when life goes wrong. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will help children and adults remember to turn to God for help when they are angry.

Beautiful illustrations are sure to attract the little ones in your life! A great series, Jax’s Tail Twitches deals with anger and frustration. Jax’s family will teach your child about apologizing, forgiving, and praying together as a family.

A cute story with a wonderful message, I highly recommend it for your family.

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

 

Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up; When You Fail by Edward Welch and Joe Hox

61J2DP5mppL._AC_US218_Buster was sure he was the fastest bunny in the meadow. But during a race at summer camp, nothing goes as planned and Buster gets tripped up. After his epic fall, his older sister, Ivy, helps him see that failure is an opportunity to grow. As Buster remembers God’s love, he is able to let go of others’ opinions and accept that it is okay to try your best but not always be the best. Edited by Edward T. Welch, Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ comforts and sustains us through failure and turns our focus away from ourselves and toward others. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will remind children and adults of God’s love and help for those who get tripped up.

Fun, colorful illustrations will attract your child’s attention, and the moral of the story will teach a great lesson.

Buster is really disappointed and feels like a failure. His sister teaches him God always loves him, no matter what, and that it doesn’t matter what others think. Such a timely lesson for our children, it teaches truth from scripture. I highly recommend it!

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

 

Zoe’s Hiding Place; When You Are Anxious by David Powlison and Joe Hox

61J40K29enL._AC_US218_.jpgThis beautifully illustrated book invites children to remember that the Lord is near when they are anxious. Zoe, a fearful mouse, is worried about a class trip. As she talks with her parents, Zoe realizes that she can turn to God for help. Papa Mouse gives her a verse from the “Great Book” that she can read when she is afraid. She learns that she can tell God all about her fears, and he will comfort her. Also included is a tear-out page of “Back Pocket Bible Verses” that will give children a practical way to remember God’s words when they are afraid.

This wonderfully illustrated book addresses anxiety, and shows your child how to trust God when afraid. The story is fun, but has depth.

Zoe’s Hiding Place will be a good conversation starter when you read it with your child. There are helpful tips and scripture for parents to use. I highly recommend it.

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

 

Summer Plans and Other Disasters by Karin Beery

51W0SKhobuL._SY346_Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track. Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right? Trying to figure out God’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best-laid plans were truly God-inspired. 

 

I loved this book! The characters are so much fun that you’ll keep reading to see what they do next. From Callie’s lists planning her life, to brother Jack being afraid to commit, this story is definitely worth the read. Lighthearted and an easy ready, it still teaches us that our best plans don’t always work out. Aren’t God’s plans the best?

There are four points of view, which helps to keep things attention-grabbing. Along with clean romance (who gets the girl?), you won’t be disappointed in this premier novel by author Karin Beery. I hope we see more from her soon!

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

 

Gathering of Sisters: A Year with My Old Order Mennonite Family by Darla Weaver

41aE-a5ZUTL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Spend a day with sisters.

Once a week Darla Weaver bundles her children into the buggy, hitches up her spirited mare, and drives six miles to the farm where she grew up. There she gathers with her four sisters and their children for a day with their mother. In Gathering of Sisters, Weaver writes about her horse-and-buggy Mennonite family and the weekly women s gatherings that keep them connected. On warm days, the children play and fish and build houses of hay in the barn. In the winter, everyone stays close to the woodstove, with puzzles and games and crocheting. No matter the weather, the Tuesday get-togethers of this Old Order Mennonite family keep them grounded and centered in their love for God and for each other, even when raising an occasional loving but knowing eyebrow at each other.

The rest of the week is full of laundry, and errands, and work that never ends. But Tuesdays is about being sisters, daughters, and mothers.

Hear straight from Amish and Mennonite people themselves as they write about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each book includes A Day in the Life of the Author and the author s answers to FAQs about the Amish and Mennonites.

This heartwarming read will have you wanting to join Darla and her family! Chronicling a year of their weekly get togethers, Weaver shows us what a close knit family can be like. Children tumbling everywhere (even being naughty), games, and yummy recipes will bring a sense of fun.

You’ll find the style in which this is written very relaxing; definitely a much slower pace. While the book is a picture of their Tuesday gatherings, it really shows us much about relationships and the value of them. I loved the relationships this family shares. With God at the forefront, it’s no wonder they’re so close.

If you’d like a peak into a more relaxed life, rich with relationships, I highly recommend Gathering of Sisters.

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

Horse Gentler in Training (Winnie: The Early Years Book 1) by Dandi Daley Mackall 

51JwOIYJwAL._SY346_Now younger readers can saddle up and join Winnie and her family at the Willis Wyoming Ranch!

Winnie is the star of the bestselling Winnie the Horse Gentler series that sold more than half a million copies and taught kids around the world about faith, kindness, and horse training. Winnie could ride horses before she could walk, but training them is another story. In this new series, eight-year-old Winnie learns the fine art of horse gentling from her horse wrangler mom as they work together to save the family ranch.

When Winnie’s snobby classmate threatens to stop boarding his champion thoroughbred Princess at the Willis family ranch, Winnie has to come up with a tricky solution to convince him to let her stay. She learns that with God, all things are possible!

This easy to read book is just right for those youngsters just beginning to read chapter books. The font is a nice size and the horse facts, along with a true horse story, makes learning fun.

A cute story, your young reader will be on the edge of their seat, wondering if Winnie’s family will lose their ranch. The theme of trusting God threads though out the story, teaching children a great lesson. They will see that they can talk to God and go to Him with their problems.

Although the story is aimed at girls, boys will enjoy it too, especially if they like horses. I recommend it for your preschool and young elementary children.

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

 

Imagine…The Fall of Jericho by Matt Koceich

51uo5jINYGLThe last thing fifth-grader Jake Henry remembers (before the world as he knew it disappeared) is napping at summer camp. What happens next can’t be explained as Jake finds himself surrounded by massive stone walls that rise up all around him—in ancient Jericho! Imagine. . .The Fall of Jericho is the third release in an exciting epic adventure series for kids ages 8 to 12 written by schoolteacher Matt Koceich. The Imagine series brings the Bible to life for today’s kids as they ponder what it would be like to live through a monumental biblical event.

Don’t miss Book 1 in the Imagine Series–Imagine…The Great Flood or. . . Book 2–The Ten Plagues!

Always exciting, with peril and adventure, this is a great series for young elementary readers. Author Matt Koceich makes Bible stories come to life by placing a character in the story, allowing the reader to imagine themselves right there.

Jake is lonely and having trouble fitting in at summer camp. He finds himself in Jericho, where things are much different than what he’s used to. Get a copy for your young reader and let them experience biblical history for themselves!

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

 

When Your Kid is Hurting by Dr. Kevin Leman

pro_pbid_4138868Children today live in an unpredictable, disruptive, and often violent world. Many of them live in two different homes with different sets of expectations. They face bullying at school and online. They hear news of school shootings, and racially or religiously motivated violence. They may have lost a friend or a loved one.

As parents, the impulse to protect our children is strong, but that very protection can end up handicapping them for life. Rather than seek to save them from the hard things, parents must teach their kids how to cope with and rise above their problems. In one of his most important books to date, internationally known psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman shows parents how to

– be good listeners
– tell the truth, even when it’s difficult
– find balance between being protective and being overprotective
– approach hurt and injustice as a learning experience rather than fostering a victim mentality
– and much more

Whether your child is dealing with a difficult family situation, bullies, the loss of friends, the death of a loved one, discrimination, abuse, a teen pregnancy, or even just trying to make sense of what they see in the news, this compassionate and practical book will help parents equip them to process, learn from, and rise above their situation.

This is so hard for parents today; how to care for our hurting children without being a “helicopter” parent. We have to nurture them while teaching them how to deal with life.

While Dr. Lehman generally offers good advice, I don’t agree with everything he says. But that’s okay because as parents we won’t agree with all the advice we’re given, and must know how to separate the good from the not so good. I would like to see more encouragement given to parents who are doing their best to help their kids.

The book is divided into two parts. During the first half Dr. Lehman discusses specific challenges faced by today’s child, and how a parent can handle things. The second half is question and answer about frequent situations. I think this format is helpful to parents.

While I can’t unreservedly recommend this book, I can encourage parents to read it and glean what they can from it as I believe Dr. Lehman has our children’s best interest at heart.

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

 

In the Thick of It: Raising Sons to Be Men of Unyielding Conviction in a Culture of Confusion by Jason Cruise

41oP1eQxaFL._SY346_Do you have a plan, a real plan, for raising your sons to be men of God? 
You can bet pop culture has a plan for them, and it won’t be anything that honors God.

In the Thick of It lays out a proven model to help you raise your sons to be men of unyielding conviction in a culture of confusion. Each chapter will challenge and encourage you to be intentional about raising boys with a healthy mindset and faith framework in a spiritually hostile world. Jason Cruise, minister to men and father to two boys, covers timeless topics that are essential in the successful parenting of sons–including ​Divided Loyalties, The Judgment Day of Popular Opinion, Redefining the Goal, What My Sons Deserve from Me, Sowing Manhood, and An Unexpected Witness. No matter what stage of fatherhood you’re currently in, you’ll be encouraged and equipped to train a new generation as you discover this must-have blueprint for raising your boys to become godly men.

If you are raising sons, or even grandsons, I highly recommend this book. God has a plan for your sons. It’s time to find that plan, instead of allowing society to dictate who your sons should be. Although this book is geared towards fathers, mothers will learn a lot from it also.

Author Jason Cruise encourages us to train our young men up in the way they should go, and shows us how to practically do that. With chapters such as “The Judgment Day of Popular Opinion” and “What My Sons Deserve from Me”, there is much in this book to help raise sons to be men of integrity who follow God. Filled with stories and real life examples, you will find this book to be extremely helpful.

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

 

Think, Learn, Succeed: Understanding and Using Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life by Caroline Leaf

36739691Our thought lives have incredible power over our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. In fact, our thoughts can either limit us to what we believe we can do or release us to experience abilities well beyond our expectations. When we choose a mindset that extends our abilities rather than placing limits on ourselves, we will experience greater intellectual satisfaction, emotional control, and physical health. The only question is . . . how?

Backed by up-to-date scientific research and biblical insight, Dr. Caroline Leaf empowers readers to take control of their thoughts in order to take control of their lives. In this practical book, readers will learn to use

– The 5-step Switch on Your Brain Learning Program, to build memory and learn effectively
– The Gift Profile, to discover the unique way they process information
– The Mindfulness Guide, to optimize their thought life and find their inner resilience

Dr. Leaf shows readers how to combine these powerful tools in order to improve memory, learning, cognitive and intellectual performance, work performance, physical performance, relationships, emotional health, and most importantly a meaningful life well lived.

Each of us has significant psychological resources at our fingertips that we can use in order to improve our overall well-being. Dr. Leaf shows us how to harness those resources to unlock our hidden potential.

As always, Dr. Leaf has a wealth of great information in this book. The only reason that I don’t give it five stars is that she has trouble writing for the “average” person. This book is not for the faint of heart, but dig through it and you’ll be glad you did!

Dr. Leaf explains that your thoughts are so important to the direction of your life. Addressing several mindsets and personality types, you will find truth within the pages, and be given teaching to help you flourish. This book, if applied, will help you physically rewire your brain for success.

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

 

Murder of Convenience (Women of Courage Book 1) by Linda Shenton Matchett

41tnSP1cVfLMay 1942: Geneva Alexander flees Philadelphia and joins the USO to escape the engagement her parents have arranged for her, only to wind up as the number one suspect in her betrothed’s murder investigation. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, she must find the real killer before she loses her sight…or is convicted for a crime she didn’t commit.

Set in the early days of America’s entry into WWII and featuring cameo appearances from Hollywood stars, Murder of Convenience is a tribute to individuals who served on the home front, especially those who did so in spite of personal difficulties, reminding us that service always comes as a result of sacrifice. Betrayal, blackmail, and a barrage of unanswered questions… Murder of Convenience is the first in the exciting new “Women of Courage” series.

Set during WWII, this book is a great read for those who enjoy historical fiction. We are given some insight into the USO and the girls who performed for our troops. It was nice to see the patriotism that drove them.

Murder of Convenience has almost anything a reader could ask for. History. Danger. Intrigue. And of course light romance. There is a mystery to be solved that kept me guessing to the end. I thought I knew “who dun it” but I was very wrong.

Character Geneva Alexander deals with a physical challenge that isn’t just ignored or swept under the rug by the author. We learn a bit about Retinitis Pigmentosa and what could be ahead for Geneva. Yet she perseveres through the challenge. Her strength to solve the mystery and to allow love into her life is encouraging to those facing struggles.

I really enjoyed this book! Matchett has great, real to life characters that you will appreciate. I recommend it!

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

 

Eternity Between Us by Stephenia McGee

51sZUP9HMcL“This tale brings a turbulent time to life with nuance and sensitivity.”
JOCELYN GREEN, award-winning author of the Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War series

“An unnatural thunder rumbled through the air, carrying with it not thoughts of rain but of smoke and trepidation…”

After being forced to use a pistol against invaders, Evelyn Mapleton is no longer the timid girl her extended family expects. The more her aunt and cousin resent her new independence, the more Evelyn is determined she’ll make her missing father proud by taking up his cause and aiding Confederate soldiers–even if she has to outmaneuver the Yankees guarding her home to do it.

Samuel Flynn’s life is consumed with two priorities: learning to become a proper guardian for the young orphans he’s adopted and obtaining his physicians license. When his final testing sends him to a Federal Army field hospital, the last thing he expects is to be entranced by a mysterious woman. But when Evelyn’s misguided exploits put her life in danger, will he risk everything he’s worked for to save a woman he thinks is his enemy?

Based on first-hand accounts from the Civil War and with a strong romantic thread, this is a tale of faith, espionage, hope, and courage historical fiction fans won’t want to miss.

Seriously, author Stephenia McGee continues to outdo her own writing with each novel she pens. This one is fabulous. And let’s just talk about the cover a minute. I love it! The ethereal feel just pulls me in.

McGee does a great job of combining an intriguing plot with romance, faith in God, and history. The addition of actual first-hand accounts adds depth and even more interest to the story. Strong, well-developed characters along with incredible descriptions make this a page turner. You won’t want to put it down.

If you enjoy engaging historical novels with true life facts then read this book. If you’ve never tried engaging historical novels, then read this book. You’ll be glad you did!

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

 

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall

51ceMhXHq2LWhen an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of “big box” stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface–and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community–a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can’t marry and hold onto her professional job. She’s Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases–like the one that claimed her father’s life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene’s Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what’s happened and find the “missing” patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

Let’s just cut to the chase. I loved this book and will definitely re-read it. Now, why did I enjoy it?

This is a unique Christmas story. We have an Amish woman doing things that we don’t expect. As the back of the book tells us, she’s been allowed to continue her education. I really enjoyed this twist. And to top it off there’s a mystery to be solved!

The characters were wonderful. Charming, not so charming, and real; you will love them! And the descriptions of the town were so good that I want to go visit and hang out at the pharmacy.

The book discusses the pharmacy “life style” and heart behind it, it talks about family and what makes a family (not just blood), and the desire to help others, making this a heart-warming story. I highly recommend it!

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

 

Literarily for Keeps by Sarah Monzon

41yp-7xYIHLShe only has to pretend to be married for five days. What’s the worst that could happen? 

Literature professor Ashleigh Darmody never imagined her life would turn into a classic trope, but that’s exactly what happens when her sister Claire calls with a bizarre request–quickly find a fake husband. Backstory is a powerful thing, and Ashleigh’s has plenty of shadows, but is her past so shady that it requires an elaborate scheme to ensure Claire’s prospective father-in-law, renowned TV evangelist Ken Abrams, will give her his blessing to marry his son?
Already divorced from a man who turned out to be other than he claimed, Ashleigh now has to pretend to be blissfully married to a stranger for the next five days. But when the lines of fiction and reality blur with each tick of the clock, could a temporary deal turn into something for keeps?

First, don’t you love the cover? It’s so whimsical! Guess what? So is the story! Whimsical and fun. Don’t get me wrong, there are some deep subjects in here. We see how easy it is to judge someone’s heart and then how that affects life. (I won’t say more because I don’t want to give anything way.) But gee, there sure is entertainment when we see how far a sister will go to help. I did a lot of giggling.

This is a novella, so a quick read. And especially quick because I couldn’t put it down. Seriously, treat yourself to Literarily for Keeps!

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

 

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

51AnAx5-V7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.
The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

I can’t say enough good about this book. A time-slip, author Melanie Dobson has done a wonderful job of combining two eras. A very difficult time in history along with a current day mystery kept me reading as quickly as I could.

Twists and turns. Secrets. Hurts to be healed. Romance. Vivid details about Vienna and other places. Characters that are very well developed. This book has it all. There are some difficult scenes but the description of those is not overtly graphic so they weren’t difficult to read. There is even a surprising twist that brought explanation, redemption, and closure. At least it surprised me!

If you enjoy historical fiction that doesn’t shy away from hard truths, then Hidden Among the Stars is for you. It is simply stunning.

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

 

The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin

51lSVTDYUXL._SY346_Full-time FindingJoy.net blogger, speaker, marketer, podcaster, and single mom of seven, Rachel Martin presents a pivotal book for moms to spark the hope they need to overcome self-doubt, fear, pressure, and isolation.

This book is part encouragement and part rally cry for moms everywhere who have gotten lost within the pages of their own story, undervaluing all they do every day and exchanging the beauty of who they are for a Pinterest-perfect illusion. It gives you the tools you need to overcome fear, loneliness, and inaction.
By drawing on anecdotes and lessons from her own life, Rachel empowers moms to forget their past mistakes, celebrate what they’ve already accomplished, and dare to be real about their struggles. She teaches them to cheer each other on toward better days, so that “alone” is replaced with “comradeship” and “fear” is replaced with “courage.”
You can make changes. You can overcome fear and doubt. You can pursue dreams, find yourself, and live a life of deep happiness and uncontainable joy.

Author Rachel Martin just doesn’t mess around. She is very open about her life; the pain and the triumphs. She understands fear and isolation and presents a way to overcome. This is in no way a tell-all but an open honest discussion with someone who becomes a friend.

Martin will give you confidence as a mother. She’ll show you that you can be a mother and still have dreams for yourself. Dreams that you can fulfill. She’ll show you how to come alongside other moms and be their cheerleaders.

You will read and reread this book. I suggest you do it with highlighter in hand, but however you choose to, just read this book. Go ahead and cry. Step out of your comfort zone. Get to know your neighbor. You are brave!

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

@WaterBrookMultnomah #Partner

 

A Reason to Believe by T.K. Chapin

4110l-GOlyLHeld hostage by her past and a sense that she is unworthy of love, can Olivia be saved?

Olivia Montgomery has learned in life that most people are self-serving and only have their own interests at heart. After a broken marriage and an unplanned pregnancy takes her to the one place she never wanted to go again, Olivia must fight for her freedom and independence.

In a moment of life or death she meets Tyler, a man who seeks to honor God in all his actions. His love is not like anything Olivia has ever known. It’s foreign and yet the most powerful love she has ever experienced. It has the power to heal, to forgive, and it never gives up on her. Little does she know that there is One who can love her more than Tyler.

A heart-warming Christian romance that illustrates how God works out our hardships for His glory, continuously showering us with love.

Author T.K. Chapin can be counted on to tackle tough subjects in a sensitive manner, always leading the reader to a relationship with Jesus. This book was no different as God is the common thread through the entire thing.

Addiction and infidelity are not easy to read about, but I came to love Olivia. I almost found myself praying for her, she was so real to me.

Tyler struggles, as many Christians do, with an attraction he shouldn’t have. I will say that I struggled with Tyler’s character. It almost seemed as if he was “missionary dating” which is a no-no in my book. But I persevered and I’m glad I did. We all struggle with something and Chapin showed the proper way to deal with those struggles.

If you enjoy a contemporary story that isn’t all peaches and cream, but deals with reality, then you will enjoy A Reason to Believe.

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

 

Her Fear by Shelley Shepard Gray

36379973In New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s latest novel of suspense in her Amish of Hart County series, an EMT falls for a woman with ties to an Amish community where people are dying similar, suspicious deaths.

Sadie Detweiler never imagined she’d move to Kentucky, yet here she is: a pregnant, unmarried Amish girl banished by unforgiving parents to live with kin she barely knows. The men are gruff and her cousins are secretive. Worst of all, elderly matriarch Verba becomes mysteriously ill shortly after Sadie moves in. When EMT Noah Freeman arrives, Sadie immediately notices he’s unlike any other Amish man she’s met. Noah is warm, confident, and has an easy way with practically everyone in the community, both Amish and English. Though Sadie is drawn to him, she has little hope he will reciprocate her feelings once he learns she’s with child.

Noah can’t understand how a girl as sweet and lovely as Sadie ended up sleeping on a cot in Verba Stauffer’s kitchen. He also senses Sadie is terrified of something. Concerned, he checks up on her. Eventually they strike up a friendship and soon their attraction is undeniable. When Verba later dies at the hospital and her death is followed by two others, Noah’s boss wants him to dig around the Amish community for clues. He agrees—for Sadie’s sake—because only the truth will keep her safe and by his side.

Author Shelley Shepard Gray writes in such a way that her stories, especially this series, hold my interest from the very beginning. The books have been so hard to put down!

In this story, Gray addresses the subject of an unwed mother in the Amish community and her abusive family, something you won’t often read about. And Amish moonshiners? I never knew such a thing happened. But the Amish are human and have troubles and trouble makers, just like every segment of society. Hope and faith in God soften this story and bring redemption.

With well-developed characters and great descriptions of the communities you’ll be enthralled. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages quickly to see what happened next.

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

 

A Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter

5168kxa2qFL._SY346_Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.

Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.

Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?

A sweet story that takes us cross country while the country is being settled, A Christmas Prayer was a quick but enjoyable read.

With well-developed characters, you’ll see their struggles as they attempt to travel the California Trail. Add in adventure with dangers and romance, you’ll feel like you’re right there. And I’ll tell you this much; it didn’t end the way I thought it would!

Although author Wanda Brunstetter is known for her Amish stories, she also writes historical novels. If you enjoy her books you’ll enjoy this one.

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

 

Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms by Debora M. Coty

51OAkC4+C5L._SY346_Do you feel like you’re drowning in the everyday stress-pool? . . .
Wish you could make busy-ness a business so you’d be a millionaire? . . .
Welcome to the maternal order of slightly sagging sisters of the ‘hood. The motherhood. 

With her own offbeat brand of wit and near-wisdom, popular inspirational humorist Debora Coty addresses heart needs of moms drowning in the churning stress-pool of busyness. In her beloved mom-to-mom, grin-provoking style, Coty offers empathy, laughs, real-life stories, practical parenting survival tips, and fresh biblical insights to help you hear Papa God’s still, small voice through life’s chaos.

Whether you’re struggling with stress related to attitude, time-management, guilt trips, patience, or something in between. . .this humor-filled volume will deliver a much-needed smile and equip you with simple-to-implement tips for attaining the peace we all crave—the peace that passes all understanding.

Okay, I’m going to get this out of the way at the beginning. I don’t care for the title of this book and it almost turned me away. Yes, we’re blessed. But yes, stress happens. I would have given it a different title. But I persisted and I’m so glad I did.

Author Debora Coty makes this book feel as if you’re having coffee with a good friend. She’s warm, and chatty, and real. I’m sure we’d be friends.

The book itself is a great size and has an attractive cover along with a ribbon bookmark. Each chapter has scripture pertaining to that subject, witty sayings, and questions at the end to make you think about what you just read. The stories are true to life, and Coty will make you laugh. It would be great for a women’s study group.

Full of great advice for young mom’s, written by someone who understands where you are, I highly recommend it. And if you’re not a young mom, get it for someone who is!

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

 

Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon

51HJncC2OyLThey were prisoners of the past. Could legacy be the key to set them free?

Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping-stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie.

A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart.

Florida, 1816
Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the West shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?

I’ve become a fan of dual timeline stories, and author Sarah Monzon does a really good job with this style of story. Neither is Monzon afraid of tough subjects. Runaway slaves in the 1800s and present day characters that are confused and looking for answers. While there are light hearted moments, this book will challenge you.

Appealing characters that are well formed make this story come to life. You’ll come to know them well. The historic information was very interesting and I learned a lot. The modern day story had characters that were a little sassy and intriguing while the theme of family and forgiveness threads throughout the book. A great story, I recommend it

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

 

Fit to be Tied by Debby Mayne

51KHtdeWsSL._SY346_The Bucklin family loves each other too much to stay away. . . but not enough to behave.

Being rich is fine, but when wealth comes from striking oil, it can make a slippery mess for a family who doesn’t know what to do with it. The Bucklin cousins are all together again, and this family reunion is shaping up to be another hot mess.

Coralee falls for the police officer who pulls her over. Sally has finally found a guy, but now she’s not sure a relationship is even worth the bother. No matter how hard Brett tries to avoid trouble, he somehow stumbles right back into the thick of it. And Marybeth and Bucky continue to fumble and bumble as they learn just how to handle being rich.

The Bucklin family is known for drama—and family drama knows no bounds.

It was great visiting with the Bucklin family again; to see what has happened since the last family reunion. And I wasn’t disappointed. That family is certainly never boring. (This is the second book in the Bucklin Family Reunion series. You will need to read the first book, High Cotton, in order to understand what is happening with the family.)

Author Debby Mayne does a great job of bringing her characters to life. You’ll love them, want to shake them, and wonder what in the world they are thinking. But above all you’ll see their love for each other and it sets a great example in a world where so many families are factured.

The first book made me laugh often. While Fit to be Tied caused me to laugh, I felt it was a bit more serious, more introspective. Still very good, just different. If you enjoy reading about quirky families who love to have reunions, then you must read this book. And be watching for book three to come out in the spring of 2019.

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

 

Finally Accepted by Toni Shiloh

51CPCIlgvRL._SY346_There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.

Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.

As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.

Trending author, Toni Shiloh, has released the third and final installment of her Freedom Lake Series. I encourage you to read the entire series. Shiloh does an incredible job writing books that contain diversity in a positive light.

Threading through this book is the desire for love and acceptance. We see it in the very well developed characters who are written so true to life. And we see that love and acceptance being fulfilled through our God as Chloe and Darryl grow and learn to trust Him as well as the people in their lives.

Some of the characters are new Christians, so you’ll see a basic “teaching” in foundational truths that will encourage the reader in their own walk with Christ. But in no way is this story “preachy”. It’s full of the honest ups and downs of life.

Heartwarming and inspiring, I highly recommend it!

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

 

Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

5135gg7AJEL._SY346_Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they’re seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Gilbert is willing to propose marriage–except Temperance will have none of it. She’s finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won’t give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert’s help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.

It may sound trite, but this book was so difficult to put down! Mystery, intrigue, shady individuals, and lots of laughter make for a great read.

Wacky characters, loveable characters, characters that make you wonder “what were they thinking?!” They were all great. And author Jen Turano is a master at putting the reader in each scene of the book.

Set in the Gilded Age (late 19th Century), if you enjoy historical fiction with light romance and enjoy laughing out loud then you have to read this book!

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

 

Secret at Pebble Creek by Lisa Jones Baker

51RMTjjEgXL“Baker is a welcome addition to the genre.” 
—Sarah Price, bestselling author of The Plain Fame Series

Lisa Jones Baker’s heartwarming series continues as a new generation inherits precious hand-carved chests that bring blessings of faith, love, and happiness . .
 
When Jessica Beachy temporarily moves into the home of her late great uncle, Sam Beachy, she merely plans to remodel, sell, and head back to the city. She’s used to busy St. Louis and can’t imagine how she’ll spend her time in the quiet Amish countryside. But the carpenter she hires, Eli Miller, doesn’t think selling Sam’s home is a good idea. And while he’s steadfast in his Amish faith, he’s instantly drawn to Jessica’s vivacity and unexpected caring—especially as peaceful country ways make her question the dream she thought she wanted . .

But a lucrative offer to turn the house into a vacation retreat confronts Jessica with a heartbreaking choice. It will take trust, perseverance—and discovering a hope chest thought forever lost—for Jessica and Eli to boldly face obstacles and embark on a joyous future together . . .

Author Lisa Jones Baker does a great job of getting her readers involved in the story. Of course Pebble Creek is real. Weren’t you there while you read the book? And the characters are so well developed that they become your friends.

Full of hope and the love of God, this sweet story will encourage you to share your faith while accepting and loving people where they are. I highly recommend Secret at Pebble Creek.

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

 

Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel by Drew Hill

4116l5FOXbL._AC_US218_Alongside is a beautiful and practical companion for anyone who wants to learn how to better love the teenagers in their life. I found myself in tears as I read incredible real-life stories of the gospel breaking through the distractions, darkness, loneliness, and pain that often accompany adolescence. It tells the beautiful story of the gospel, and also offers tools that will help you communicate that story well as you walk alongside the teenagers in your life.”
Ellie Holcomb, Dove-Award winning singer/songwriter

Alongside is a much-needed resource for both parents and those in youth ministry. In this transformative book, Drew Hill unpacks the challenges teenagers face and how youth leaders and parents can share the gospel with them at this crucial age. Full of practical insight and biblical knowledge, Alongside is an invitation to love teenagers well with the hope of the gospel.

Our teenage friends are full of questions and longings. They re trying to figure out who they are, where they belong, and if they matter during this pivotal time of development all while facing new realities of loneliness and isolation, despite their social media followers.

Teenagers want to be chased, and Alongside brings Scripture to life and helps parents and those in youth ministry practically connect the life of Jesus to the lives of their adolescent children and friends.

Through Scripture and captivating personal stories from years of experience working in youth ministry, Hill pulls back the curtain and invites readers to step into the unfiltered world of teenagers.

How do we start meaningful conversations with our teenage friends? How do we build trust across the dining room table? What would it look like to prayerfully cultivate a group of leaders or parents with a shared goal of seeing Christ transform the lives of teenagers in our communities? What does Jesus have to say about caring for our middle or high school friends and how can he use us in his plan to rescue them?

Alongside offers practical application and biblical truths to highlight the complexities of relational youth ministry, address the needs real teenagers encounter in their daily lives and engage their hearts rather than just their behavior. Hill explores what it looks like to not only share the love of Jesus with our teenage friends but to share our very lives with them as well.

If you want to know how to come alongside teenagers with the Gospel, this book will be a gift. Reading Drew Hill’s words feels like taking a stroll with a dear friend who longs to walk with you on your journey.

If you minister to teenagers, love a teenager, want to help a teenager, then this book is a great resource for you. You’ll learn to meet them where they are and help them as they grow.

Each chapter has a different scripture based life lesson, which will allow you speak into your teen’s life in a way they understand. True stories will bring these lessons to life and bring encouragement to the reader. Scripture and prayers will point the adolescent to Jesus every time, showing how much He loves us.

Jesus came “alongside” people. He loved them where they were. And loved them too much to leave them there. I highly recommend this book as you come “Alongside” your teen!

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

 

Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words by Lorilee Craker

41ZTAR02D2LEver wish you could visit with a group of Amish or Mennonite women over a cup of coffee? In the pages of Homespun, Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns while we listen in. Lorilee Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collects these personal writings about hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God. Hear from one woman who struggles with feeling inferior to her sister, from another about her longing for a baby, and from a third who accidentally bought stretchy material to sew her husband’s pants. Each woman’s story is a testament to the grace of God and the blessings of community. Behind Amish romance novels and tourist spots and television shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. Every Amish and Mennonite woman has a story. In Homespun, you get to hear some of them.

Stories of faith. Of family dinners. Laughter, love, and tears. Such warm, welcoming women. I’m sure we could all be friends as we are received openly into their lives.

This lovely book will give you an opportunity to slow down, pour a cup of tea, and get to know the women of Homespun. You’ll be so glad you did as your faith is restored and you realize that we are all the same on the inside.

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

 

A Time for Every Matter by Chloe Flanagan

51ydjL1ccALSeven years ago, Madeline Pine went mad. At least it seemed that way. She traded in her fast-paced New York City lifestyle for a quiet small town existence. On the upside, she now has faith and a sense of purpose. 

Yet her tranquil world is upended when her nephew witnesses a murder, and she is faced with the challenge of keeping him safe. Compelling and enigmatic business mogul, Hiram MacArthur offers to assist her, but their growing attraction makes him more distracting than helpful.

New dangers, old memories, and a potential romance will all challenge what Madeline thought God wanted for her life. Will she trust His plan enough to embrace a new season?

Gripping from the very beginning, you’ll wonder who to trust in this novel by author Chloe Flanagan. And watch for the twist that all good mysteries must have.

The thread of forgiveness and trust in God is throughout the book and adds beauty to the story.

The characters are well developed and the plot is intriguing. I would have liked a bit more description of places but that’s just my personal preference. A fast-paced murder mystery with clean romance, I highly recommend it!

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

 

The Daily Question for You and Your Child by Waterbrook

51GeJACHozL._SX433_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgA fun, thought-provoking 365-question guided journal and keepsake that sparks daily interaction with your child to create a memory book capturing your child’s life, personality, and faith journey.

This interactive prompted journal allows a parent to create a keepsake of three years of their child’s life. By answering each of the 365 questions together on the same date each year, readers will get a unique and precious picture into their child’s feelings, development, and personality. Some of the questions focus on spirituality and the child’s heart, while some are meant to capture their creativity, spirit, and sense of humor. All questions spark conversations and memories that spn well beyond the pages of this book.

This journal is a great way to get to know what your children are thinking! You’ll record their answers to daily questions for three years and watch them change and grow.

The questions are serious, fun, or unique. What makes you feel brave? Who can you pray for tonight? What game do you like to play?

The book itself is hardcover and very well constructed. The cover is appealing to both boys and girls. On the front is a pocket to put your child’s picture each year. Another great way to watch them grow.

This book would make a great gift for someone, or would be incredible to add to your personal library. Grandparents would have fun with this too! I highly recommend it.

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

@WaterBrookMultnomah#Partner

 

Kingdom Files: Who Was David? (The Kingdom Files) by Matt Koceich

5104BmJ8awLWhat do you know about David?

Was he:
. . .a shepherd boy turned king?
. . .a faithful harp player?
. . .a brave giant slayer?
. . .all of the above?

Journey along with David in a field of sheep, in the presence of a towering giant, in the very center of God’s amazing power!

This biblically accurate story of David, created just for the kids in your life, explores the life of this shepherd boy turned king, while drawing 8- to 12-year-olds into a fascinating time and place as they learn about this faithful harp player and courageous giant slayer. Featuring three key sections—a Fact File, an Action File, and a Power File—kids will enjoying learning about the life of David while coming to understand that an ancient Bible story really does apply to their lives today. Dozens of captivating line art pieces add depth and interest to every chapter.

Kingdom Files: Who Was Esther? (The Kingdom Files) by Matt Koceich

61HKfoNiJaL._SY346_What do you know about Esther?

Was she:
. . .the beautiful Queen of Persia?
. . .the woman who hid her Jewish heritage from the king?
. . .the courageous one who risked her life to save her people?
. . .all of the above?

Journey along with Esther in a luxurious Persian palace, in the presence of a powerful king, in the very center of God’s amazing power!

This biblically accurate story of Esther, created just for the kids in your life, explores the life of the beautiful Queen of Persia, while drawing 8- to 12-year-olds into a fascinating time and place as they learn about the woman who hid her Jewish heritage from the king and ultimately risked her life to save her people. Featuring three key sections—a Fact File, an Action File, and a Power File—kids will enjoying learning about the life of Esther while coming to understand that an ancient Bible story really does apply to their lives today. Dozens of captivating line art pieces add depth and interest to every chapter.

(For ease, I’m going to review these books together, since they are in the same series and are formatted the same.)

I have read both David and Esther. They provide good information in a fun format for children ages 8 – 12. Scripture verses and clues about the biblical characters enhance the biographical information and help to bring them to life.

These delightful books will encourage spiritual growth in your children. They will feel like a detective as they follow clues and learn new things. And isn’t the cover art fun? I highly recommend this series!

I received a complimentary copy of these books but was not required to leave a review.

 

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Politano

51FT5ExEgDL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first. 

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they’ll not soon forget.

I loved this book. It kept my attention from page one and was extremely difficult to put down. Switching between the viewpoints of Tressa and Donegan, it moved at a really good pace.

The characters were well developed and very real. I learned about tending a vineyard and really enjoyed the lessons from the viticulturist at the beginning of each chapter.

Author Joanna Politano shows us how easy it is to misunderstand those around us; their actions and words. However, unconditional love, forgiveness, and a trust in God is a constant thread through this story.

If you enjoy Victorian Christian fiction, mystery, and a treasure hunt, then I highly recommend A Rumored Fortune. You won’t be disappointed!

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

 

Crack Yourself Up; Jokes for Kids by Sandy Silverthorne

51R1Gp7RHpL._SY346_Any kid can be a comedian with a little help from award-winning author/illustrator Sandy Silverthorne’s Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids. Perfect for kids ages 6-12, this zany collection of one-liners (Did you hear about the missing barber? Police are combing the city.), knock-knock jokes (Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Pizza. Pizza who? Pizza nice guy, don’t you think?), riddles (What’s red and goes up and down? A tomato in an elevator.), puns, and funny lists represents some of the world’s best clean humor. Add in the author’s hilarious illustrations and cartoons, and kids will get hours of fun with the kind of laughs that make milk come out your ose–that is, if you’re drinking milk while you read!

In a world of drama, this book is refreshing. In my home we’ve had a good time laughing and groaning at the clean jokes in Crack Yourself Up. Author Sandy Silverthorne has done a great job, but what would you expect from someone whose bio reads: “Sandy has worked as a cartoonist, author, illustrator, actor, pastor, speaker, and comedian. Apparently it’s hard for him to focus.”

Do yourself a favor. Get this book not just for the kids in your home but for the adults too!!

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

 

The Hope Jar by Wanda Brunstetter

51W2612vFPL._SY346_A Brand-New Series from New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

This new series by author Wanda Brunstetter is different than any of her other series. Equally as good, I really enjoyed it.

We are given a story line that is not a normal Amish story, and I found that intriguing. With a lot of lying and cover up comes unconditional love. It was great to see how people came to be concerned and caring for the “perpetrator”. (I’m trying not to give anything away here, but still express the warmth and love expressed towards someone who doesn’t merit it.) Undeserved forgiveness is a thread through the story.

Blending both the Amish and English worlds together, much as Brunstetter did in her Amish Cooking Class series, we get a better understanding of Amish life as compared to English life. As always, it’s interesting to learn about another culture.

While the ending may feel a bit unfinished, hang on. Book 2 in the series will be coming out soon!

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

 

Snowbound With the Best Man by Allie Pleiter

39017986Do their matchmaking daughters have the right idea? Snowed in with the best man at a wedding weekend, florist Kelly Nelson can’t help but notice that the handsome widower seems overwhelmed raising his young daughter. So Kelly is delighted when her own daughter befriends the girl. But when the little matchmakers target Kelly and Bruce with an adorable Valentine’s Day plot, will the reluctant single parents give love a second chance?

What a cute book. Who doesn’t enjoy light reading that includes a wedding, a snowstorm, and a romance?! As well as two of the cutest little girls you can imagine.

Author Allie Pleiter did a great job of putting me right in Matrimony Valley. I could see the town and it’s beautiful. I loved the people of the valley. So warm and friendly. And they’re sure to try matchmaking, making for some extra fun. You will smile and be so glad you visited Matrimony Valley.

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

 

As the Tide Comes In by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

51ksGTFwG0L._SY346_.jpgA New York Times best-selling author releases her first southern novel, a Steel Magnolias-meets-Sweet Home Alabama story set on St. Simons Island.

When an unthinkable loss sends Tara Abbott’s life spiraling out of control, she journeys from North Carolina to Georgia’s St. Simons Island. Although confused and scared, she hopes to find answers about her past – her life before the years of foster care and raising her two half-brothers as a young adult. Will she find steady ground on the island, surrounded by an eccentric-but-kindhearted group of older women called The Glynn Girls and a determined firefighter? Or will the truth splinter what’s left of her identity into pieces?

This book kept me fascinated from the first page. Typically author Cindy Woodsmall writes Amish fiction, and that’s how I know her works. However she shows herself more than capable of branching out with As the Tide Comes In. Well written, I hope we see more from the south.

The story has much heart break but through it all we are reminded that God walks with us, even though we may not have answers for tragedy. And though the story line is sad, there is hope as well as laughter. I mean four older southern ladies who want to mother everyone? That gives the reader much to chuckle about.

You’ll love the descriptions of St. Simon’s Island and if you enjoy history, you’ll find it in this book, along with interesting “ghost” stories. Time to plan a trip! With characters so true to life, I’m sure you’ll find Tara and Gavin there, as well as the Glynn Girls. I highly recommend this book.

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

@WaterBrookMultnomah #Partner

 

The Comeback Effect by Jason Young and Jonathan Malm

51jaUFhCWOL._SY346_The key to growth as a church, youth ministry, or a business is getting first-time guests to come back. And as any good manager of a hotel, a store, a restaurant, or an attraction knows, the key to getting guests to come back is not actually the rooms or the product or the food itself; it’s how guests feel when they’re there. It’s about hospitality. No matter how much effort and time we spend on excellence–stirring worship time, inspiring sermons, a good coffee blend in the foyer–what our guests really want when they come to our churches is to feel welcome, comfortable, and understood.

Written by a church consultant and a hospitality expert, The Come Back Effect shows church, ministry, and even business leaders the secret to helping a first-time guest return again and again. Through an engaging, story-driven approach, they explain how service and hospitality are two different things, show how Jesus practiced hospitality, and invite leaders to develop and implement changes that lead to repeat visits and, eventually, to sustained growth.

I’m going to begin this review in a rather unorthodox manner. With this book it works. Please don’t look at this and think this is an “I know everything so I wrote this book” kind of book. Authors Young and Malm tell us that they don’t know everything. But what they do know is incredible. The Comeback Effect is full of rich information that will help both the church and the business. And it’s full of humor. There were times I was cracking up while reading.

Very common sense, the chapters are short enough to read quickly. But I truly have half of the book highlighted. While an easy ready, I gleaned a lot from it. What really stood out was to stop looking at the guest experience from my point of view, but to look at it from the guest’s point of view. Pretty obvious but seldom done.

If you are involved in the area of hospitality in the church or in business this book is a must read!

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

 

Gracefully Broken by T.K. Chapin

51eG7eCcnuL._SY346_Corey Williams is a man who is like everybody else. He works hard, pays his bills on time and hopes to have enough money left over after payday to buy groceries for his wife and children. When one month turns to several where his finances just aren’t working, he takes an opportunity that will make his money problems go away. The only problem was it cost him everything . . .

It’s been three years since Holly’s ex-husband Corey was arrested and locked up. When he went away to prison it about destroyed her and the kids. She has spent three long years trying to piece together the broken fragments of their lives that her ex-husband left behind. She moved on and is now engaged to a wonderful man who loves her and the children. The only problem now is her ex-husband is being released from prison and it looks like her heart didn’t move on like her brain already did.

Corey not only served his time but found Jesus in prison. With a new heart and perspective on life, Corey now seeks to be the father and husband that he knows his family deserves. When he learns his wife is marrying another man, he realizes it might be too late.

Our actions have consequences and sometimes not everybody gets their happy ending. Jesus saved Corey Williams’s soul from going to Hell, but will He also be willing to save his family? Find out in the brand new Christian Romance, Gracefully Broken by T.K. Chapin.

Author T.K. Chapin doesn’t shy away from tough subjects, but handles them with God’s grace and mercy. Gracefully Broken is no exception. The good news of God’s forgiveness shines through, bringing hope to a seemingly hopeless situation. Sin has consequences, as Corey found out but there is always redemption available.

The characters in this story are so well developed that you will be able to relate to them and what they are walking through, even if you have never walked through something like it. They are likeable people working through junk, and allowing God to work.

A story of forgiveness and second chances, I highly recommend it.

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

 

Hart’s Truth; A Medical Romance by Kelly Long

40674132In 1920, a young doctor takes a job in a railroading town in the Pennsylvanian mountains and discovers the transforming power of love and faith. Hart Pagett is a young doctor with a desire to learn, but he doesn’t count on lessons in love and faith from his employer’s beautiful daughter. Abby McGuire knows a lot about medicine, but love has left her hurting. Could Dr. Pagett have the cure for her tender heart?

 

This book was a quick read but a good read. The characters are well developed and realistic; I loved them! It was especially fun to see how the relationship between the young doctor and the old doctor develops as trust is built.

Author Kelly Long did such a great job of describing situations, as well as the area of the Appalachian Mountains, that you’ll feel as if you’re right there. She also builds in some history that flows right into the plot of the story, making it very enjoyable to read.

The romance was sweet and built gradually, as it should. No whirlwind, just a believable development.

I really liked this book and recommend it.

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

 

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

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For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant facade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover. 

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls.

Hang on for a great ride with author Jaime Jo Wright! The second book by this gifted writer will not disappoint anyone who enjoys history and suspense. This duel timeline also incorporates some of the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, which are such a great fit in this deliciously scary story.

The characters are well written and complex. Wright successfully weaves two time periods together to create a mystery that I found intriguing. While this story is rich with detail, I was able to follow it. However at no time did I figure it out. Every time I thought I had another wrinkle was thrown in. I was also surprised to learn that a couple of the characters really did exist. I won’t go into who so that I don’t give any spoilers, but that aspect of history was interesting to learn about, and to see the differences in personalities.

Dark family secrets, murders, and other sinister happenings will keep you on the edge of your seat. However, through it all was God’s grace and love. He is always active in our lives.

This story is enthralling and I highly recommend it!

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

 

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause
Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse. (This book is a standalone.)

Well researched, author Kimberley Woodhouse does a great job of weaving together fact and fiction to make history come to life. You’ll recognize many of the characters in this story, and meet some new ones.

Learning to put God first, and to trust again, gives this a timeless draw. The descriptions of people, places, and events are intriguing and add to the plot of the story. With suspense and a light romance, this book has something for every history lover.

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

 

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

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As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against waterborne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city–but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York, Nicholas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team’s techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, the odds stacked against these two rivals swiftly grow more insurmountable with every passing day.

This is book 2 in the Empire State series. However, I haven’t read book 1 and had no issue following this story. It really does standalone.

I won’t lie. This started out slow for me and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to hang in there, but I’m so glad that I did. It picked up pace quickly and became hard to put down. I was turning pages so quickly that my husband couldn’t believe how fast I read it. So please give A Daring Venture a fair chance.

Now, about the book itself. I learned a lot about the water system of the 1900s and found it fascinating. Author Elizabeth Camden did a great job making her research flow into the story without making it dry reading. (See what I did there?) I enjoy learning as I read and I wasn’t disappointed.

The characters were charming, stubborn, fallible, and very human. There was mystery and intriguing as well as clean romance. I felt the main characters fell for each other too quickly, but that’s just my opinion. She’s a world changer, and he’s a sweet guy who protects the women in his life. You will love them, I promise.

If you enjoy historical fiction I recommend this one!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review. All thoughts are my own.

 

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

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Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

Author Rachel Fordham’s debut novel is incredible; it will tug at your heartstrings as you’re drawn into the lives of Em and Caleb. Loss through death due to the war and sickness was common but with perseverance healing can be reached. The characters come through as true to life and Fordham has me wanting to visit Azure Springs.

So many unexpected happenings had me turning the pages quickly. Hope for the future kept popping up, even though the main characters tried to squelch it. And we were reminded that beauty is not just outward. A good heart that cares about people has the most beauty.

The orphan trains are often romanticized but due to Fordham’s thorough research, we see that things didn’t always go well. I won’t say more as I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s obvious the author has a heart for orphans, and this story often had me fighting tears. If you enjoy historical fiction, this book is a must read!

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

 

The Heart of Home by Stephenia Mcgee

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Once a wistful romantic, Opal Martin now simply aspires to scrub the remnants of the War Between the States from her tattered life. But when a nearly drowned soldier appears and asks if he can die on her porch, she must guard against the sudden revival of her heart’s hope for love.

Haunted by the war, Tristan Stuart just wants to escape the pain. But when he wakes up at a house that looks too much like home with a woman determined to mend him, he may discover a new life worth fighting for. In order to save the last of what Opal holds dear, will he become the man she needs or let the troubled waters carry him away?

The Heart of Home is a companion novella to In His Eyes. While The Heart of Home stands entirely on its own, readers will enjoy seeing Ella and Westley again in Opal’s story.

It was wonderful to visit the south once again, and see Ella and Westley. I loved them in In His Eyes. Don’t worry if you haven’t read it, The Heart of Home is a standalone, but you will want to read In His Eyes.

Being a novella this was a quick read, but that doesn’t mean it was not a wonderful, full story. To “see” some of what happened after the Civil War is wrenching. So many trials and heartbreaks. Yet the characters in this story were determined to survive. They were written with such strength and passion that I fell in love with them. And her descriptions of the plantation and the area around it are fabulous.

Author Stephenia Mcgee does her research with her period piece stories. So many facts are woven into the fiction that you will learn new things while enjoying a wonderful story.

If you enjoy historical fiction with some clean romance you must read The Heart of Home.

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

 

Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh

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“There comes a point in every woman’s life where she must decide what to believe: the truth of the past or the circumstances of the present.” 

Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah has her wondering if she’s changed at all.

Micah Campbell can’t understand why Belle is so uptight and wants nothing to do with her until the gentle whispers of God tell him to befriend her. He didn’t count on the feeling of protectiveness to rise up or that spark of attraction.

When Belle’s past is revealed, Micah prays that his love can endure it.

This has been a great series, and Enduring Love won’t disappoint. I was so glad to return to Maple Run; it’s such a charming town with people who seem so real. Author Toni Shiloh has done a great job of helping the reader see Maple Run, as well as getting to know Belle and Micah. I enjoyed the fact that we are “visited” by characters in the previous stories. It was nice to see them again.

Throughout the story mystery and humor are woven together with forgiveness and love. Believe me, there is something for everyone. Shiloh isn’t afraid to take on the tough things in life, and to show us that with God all things are possible, including letting go of the past and moving forward.

If you enjoy a contemporary setting with clean romance and wonderful characters then you’ll love this book!

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

 

Starting from Scratch by Kate Lloyd

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En Alt Maedel—an old maid.

At age twenty-nine, that’s what Eva Lapp considers herself. And who could argue with her? Finding a good Amish husband at her age will be next to impossible. Plus, Eva’s unwarranted bad reputation in Lancaster County precedes her. Maybe living the Englisch life would be better.

Squeezed out of her childhood home by her brother’s boisterous family, Eva finds lodging and a new job managing a small café at a local plant nursery. But the challenge of her new position isn’t enough to distract from her current predicament.

To Eva’s surprise, her first love, Jake Miller, suddenly returns to Lancaster County. Flooded with emotions and filled with questions about Jake’s past, can Eva trust what she’s feeling?

Jake and Eva face many obstacles in their quest for a fresh start in the community, but perhaps with God’s help, they can find the redemption they both desperately need.

Author Kate Lloyd always writes a good book. This one is no exception.

The characters were well written, but sometimes I wanted to shake a few of them. They needed to wake up and grow up. And learn to make decisions. But hang in there; they grow spiritually and in maturity.

There were many twists, turns, and bumps in the road. It definitely kept my attention and I kept turning the pages as fast as I could.

A fun story with clean romance I highly recommend it!

 

The Hawaiian Discovery by Wanda and Jean Brunstetter

511t2xl3GPLEllen Lambright mourned when her best friend, Mandy, moved from Indiana to Hawaii. But now Ellen has received the Amish church’s permission to go to Hawaii and help Mandy through challenging times. Rob Smith works on the Williams family’s organic farm, far from his past mistakes and burning regrets. When Ellen befriends Rob, the attraction is mutual, but her commitment to the Amish faith stands between them. Could a heartfelt discovery lead to forgiveness, reunion, and love? Or is Ellen’s destiny waiting for her in Indiana?

Find out in this sequel to The Hawaiian Quilt from New York Timesbestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.

It always surprises me to read a story with Amish people in Hawaii, but these books are really good! And the return of familiar characters is always enjoyable.

The Brunstetter’s do a great job of putting the reader into the beautiful Aloha State. Their descriptions allow those of us who have never been there to “see” the splendor of the island. As well, the characters in this story are well developed and likeable; surely we’ve met!

n a story where things don’t go smoothly, you’ll see the thread of faith in God and love of family and friends. The character’s willingness to sacrifice their wants for the good of others really made me think.

If you enjoy Amish fiction I recommend this book. Whether you’re in sunny Hawaii, snowy Indiana, or somewhere in between, you’re sure to love The Hawaiian Discovery. And as always, there are delicious recipes at the end.

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

 

Backcountry Brides Collection

51n01HVAM4L._SY346_Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love?

Shenandoah Hearts by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1754 – Great Wagon Road, into the Shenandoah Valley (Virginia)
As the French-Indian War commences, Magda Sehler wonders if Jacob Owens lost his mind to have abandoned his Philadelphia business and moved to the Shenandoah Valley. Or has he lost his heart?

Heart of Nantahala by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
1757 – (North Carolina)
Joseph Gregory plans to buy a lumber mill, but Mabel Walker becomes a formidable opponent. When she’s forced to make a painful decision, she must choose between survival and love.

Her Redcoat by Pegg Thomas
1763 – Fort Michilimackinac (Michigan) during Pontiac’s Rebellion
Laurette Pettigrew grew up in the northern frontier. Henry Bedlow arrived against his will. Their chance meeting changes everything. Will a deadly clash of cultures keep them from finding happiness?

A Heart So Tender by Debra E. Marvin
1764 – (New York)
As thousands of Native warriors converge on Fort Niagara, jaded British Lieutenant Archibald Walsh and idealistic schoolmistress Susannah Kimball learn the greatest risk lies in guarding their hearts.

A Worthy Groom by Angela K. Couch
1771 – Sapling Grove settlement on the Holston River (Tennessee)
The Cowden temper has been Marcus’s lifelong bane. A trait Lorinda Cowden curses. Now, winning the heart of his bride hinges on fighting a war without raising a fist.

Across Three Autumns by Denise Weimer
1778-1780 – (Georgia)
Fighting Loyalists and Indians, Jenny White settles for strength over love . . .until Scottish scout Caylan McIntosh leads her family on a harrowing exodus out of Georgia’s Revolutionary “Hornet’s Nest.”

The Counterfeit Tory by Shannon McNear
1781 – (South Carolina)
Tasked with infiltrating an infamous Tory gang, Jed Wheeler has no wish to endanger the leader’s cousin, Lizzy Cunningham. He risks not only his life. . .but his heart.

Love’s Undoing by Gabrielle Meyer
1792 – Fur Post on the Upper Mississippi River (Minnesota)
When Englishman Henry Kingsley meets Abi McCrea, the daughter of a Scottish fur trader and Indian mother, will their worlds keep them apart, or have they finally found somewhere they truly belong?

Rather than leave a review for each story, let me just sum them up. If you enjoy historical fiction you must add this book to your collection. It is full of interesting facts woven into story form. I learned may new things and it was enjoyable.

Each author has done a great job. The detailed descriptions of the time frame and well developed characters will keep your interest. It was a difficult time to live, and that is portrayed in each story; hardships, cultural differences, and war. But along with the difficulties there is joy, romance, and laughter. I highly recommend this collection.

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

 

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

517nUneccdL._SY346_Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. 

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

This first book in The Patchwork Family series is a winner! Author Karen Witemeyer kept me turning pages quickly. Good guys and bad guys. Damsels in distress. Twists and turns. Romance. This book has it all!

Witemeyer’s writing is very descriptive, allowing me to see the Texas countryside as I read. Her unique characters are so life-like you’re sure they’re real, and you want to jump into the story to help. She tackles the situation of having two characters with physical challenges, and illustrates to us that everyone wants to be loved and accepted for who they are, not bullied or pitied.

A wonderful book by a gifted writer, I look forward to book 2 in this series. While we wait, make sure you read this book!

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

 

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman

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Bitter since his eldest brother abandoned their family in Ireland, Quinn O’Shea travels to Natchez, Mississippi, ready to shuck the weight of his duty and set off on an adventure of his own. It’s time Connor, as head of the family, took responsibility for their younger siblings. While aboard ship, a run-in with three Irish sisters lands Quinn in the role of reluctant savior. Though it may delay his plans, he cannot abandon the Young sisters, especially the tenacious yet kind Kiera.

Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera Young prepares to meet her intended and begin her new life. But she soon discovers the marriage her brother-in-law arranged was never meant to be, and a far more sinister deal was negotiated for her and her sisters.

Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice.

Includes discussion questions.

http://www.pamhillman.com

The second novel in the Natchez Trace series, I had no trouble following along but I do plan on reading book 1, The Promise of Breeze Hill. Why wouldn’t I read it? Book 2 was so good, I’m sure book 1 is equally as good.

Author Pam Hillman did a great job of taking you on this journey from Ireland to the colonies. Her descriptions are such that you surely are there. And her characters are wonderful. You’ll either love them or hate them, but you will not be undecided. Well defined, you will see and hear them as you’re reading the book.

The story clips along at a good pace with danger and intrigue as well as clean romance. But at no time did I feel rushed. I savored every word and hated to see it end.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction, with good guys, bad guys, and romance, you’ll enjoy this book!

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

 

Her Place in Time by Stephenia McGee

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Can love offer a new future…in the past?

A mysterious gown, unexpected courage, and a love that transcends time.

Nursing student Lena Lowery faces a grim diagnosis and a dangerous surgery. On the cusp of the life-changing procedure, Lena stays at the Rosswood Plantation Bed and Breakfast for one last weekend with her mother. There in an antique armoire, Lena discovers a Civil War-era gown that holds an unimaginable cure…a trip back in time to when the house served as a hospital.

Confederate Sergeant Caleb Dockery lost his brother, his eye, and nearly his life. Stuck in a makeshift infirmary, he’s counting the days until he can return to duty…and seek revenge. When a stranger appears, he suspects she’s a spy. If he can’t return to duty and find the revenge he craves for his brother’s death, he can serve his country by stopping this traitor. But her nursing skills are saving lives, and her courage and independence stirs his heart. When Lena’s safety is threatened, Caleb must strain the loyalties that bind him or risk losing her forever.

Caught between a future that holds no promises and a past that could offer new life, Lena must face an extraordinary decision. Should she return to her own time where her days are numbered? Or can she and Caleb find a love that stretches across time?

If you like historical romance with a twist, strong female characters, and heroes that transcend eras, you’ll love this journey through time that tests the limits of love.

*Her Place in Time is set in the house from The Liberator Series, just prior to the start of Leveraging Lincoln. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing Annabelle and Peggy in this new novella, but it is not necessary to have read the series prior to reading the novella.

Author Stephenia McGee writes a book like nothing she has written so far. If I could give this story more than five stars, I would. It held my interest from the very beginning and I was sad to see it end.

A fascinating time slip story, I loved the play between the Civil War and current time. Well researched, I felt as if I were in both time periods. The descriptions McGee gives are incredible. Strong, well developed characters kept me engaged. Throw in suspense and clean romance and this book was incredible. I highly recommend it!

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

 

The Girls’ Guide to Conquering Life by Jonathan and Erica Catherman  

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There’s a lot a girl needs to know as she grows up and makes her way in the world. Having a reference guide of practical how-to life skills and character traits can empower her to become a confident and capable woman. Coauthors Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer this collection of step-by-step instructions on 100 things girls need to succeed, including how to

– introduce yourself
– change a flat tire
– respectfully break up with a guy
– leave a tip
– apply for a job
– ask for a promotion
– behave during a police stop
– create a personal budget
– calculate square footage
– wash your face
– clear a clogged drain
– iron a shirt
– wear a scarf
– shoot a basketball
– sharpen kitchen knives
– and much more

In fact, if it’s in here, it’s an important skill or character trait practiced by capable and confident women. With great illustrations and sidebars of advice from world-class experts, this all-in-one reference tool for young women in the making is the perfect gift for birthdays, graduations, or any occasion.

A very simplistic book, The Girl’s Guide covers a lot of basic things that should be taught at home. Unfortunately they’re not always so it’s good that someone is handling it.

Written in a short, easy to understand way with directions and graphics, this book would be helpful especially to those who find themselves on their own at a young age. The fact that it’s divided into sections makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

While this probably isn’t a book for everyone, it definitely can be useful.

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

 

Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid

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He lost her once to a rash decision.

He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

If it can go wrong it did in this story. Author Ruth Reid keeps the reader in suspense and even includes…..an angel? You’ll have to read it to figure that out.

It was interesting to see the courting of this couple after five years. Why in the world isn’t he proposing? And then Catherine reconnects with an old friend who she thought was long gone. Reid leaves us wondering what will happen and with whom.

The characters are believable and the descriptions throughout the story helped me to see what was happening. The trauma from the accident is so realistic you can tell the author did a lot of research.

If you enjoy a sweet romance with suspense written in, then you will enjoy Arms of Mercy.

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

 

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

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Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

Book Two in the Vintage National Parks Novel is a standalone, so if you haven’t read Book One that’s okay. But believe me, you want to go back and read Book One, The Road to Paradise.

Loaded with history and culture about the park, I was drawn into this book with my love of camping. Pitching a tent in Yosemite would be incredible, especially after reading all the beautiful descriptions of the park that author Karen Barnett has written into this story.

The characters are well written and developed. I loved the transformation some of them made. Others really irritated me, some to the point that I wanted to tell them off, but then the fact that I became so involved made it a great read. Full of “I didn’t see that coming” moments, the book was really hard to put down. I highly recommend it!

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

 

The Wedding Quilt Bride by Marta Perry

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Widow Rebecca Mast returns to her Amish community with her son and a dream—to own a quilt shop. Carpenter Daniel King is determined to help Rebecca and revive their childhood friendship. But as he bonds with her son, Rebecca’s afraid the secret she’s been keeping will be revealed. Can Daniel convince Rebecca he’s a man she can trust—and love?

Feel comforted and at peace when you read these uplifting romances of faith, forgiveness and hope from Love Inspired. There are 12 new books each month! 6 from Love Inspired for those who love contemporary romance and 6 from Love Inspired Suspense who like some danger with their romance stories.

Author Marta Perry has another winner here, showing us that life doesn’t always go the way we expect, but God is always redemptive.

The Amish community portrayed in this book is a great picture of the Church. Warm, caring, always there to help, the characters made me want to visit with them. Of course not everyone is that way, which makes the story true to life and not sappy. The topic of domestic abuse is handled well. Much is alluded to, and not overly descriptive, which I appreciated.

While this is the second book in the series, I had no trouble reading it as a standalone. The Wedding Quilt Bride was a sweet, clean story that lovers of Amish fiction will enjoy. I recommend reading it!

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

 

The Rancher’s Secret Child by Brenda Minton

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After meeting the son he never knew he had, Marcus Palermo’s simple life turns upside down. Complicating things further is Lissa Hart, the boy’s lovely guardian. She’ll help him become a parent—but falling for a gruff cowboy is not in her plans. Will she realize her future lies in Bluebonnet Springs with the rugged rancher?

Feel comforted and at peace when you read these uplifting romances of faith, forgiveness and hope from Love Inspired. There are 12 new books each month! 6 from Love Inspired for those who love contemporary romance and 6 from Love Inspired Suspense who like some danger with their romance stories.

Author Brenda Minton has done a good job of making her characters seem true to life. They face tough situations that don’t have easy answers. We see that the things we do affect those around us, as truly “no man is an island”. But acceptance, grace, and forgiveness are threaded all the way through story.

A good, clean book with surprises and light romance, this book is an enjoyable read for a relaxing weekend. I recommend it!

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

 

Adamant; Finding Truth in a Universe of Opinions by Lisa Bevere

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By ancient definition, the adamant was known as both a diamond and a mythical stone of indestructible wonder. In more modern terminology, it describes a posture of unshakeable resolve and determination. If there was ever a time for us to be adamant about love and truth it is now. God is Love. God is Truth. Both love and truth are timeless, transcending our current trends and opinions. Sometimes the most loving thing we will ever do is to speak the truth, but speaking truth begins with living it.

Using the mediums of Scripture and story, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere takes readers on a journey into the Mountain of God, to the one place they can learn not only to abide in God’s unshakeable truth and love, but become adamant–people who are unmovable, determined, and steadfast. With conviction and passion, Lisa unpacks the concept of the adamant for readers, linking together the grand story of Scripture and God’s purpose in their lives. Readers will see that God’s plan is revealed as we dwell in Him; it is there that we are forged and shaped. As we abide in Christ our Cornerstone we are shaped into the image of the adamant.

There are so many opinions masquerading as truth. How do you know what real truth is? Author Lisa Bevere reminds us that Jesus is the Real Truth. He is unmovable; Adamant.

Using scripture and life stories, Bevere clearly points the way to Truth. A spiritual journey that is grounded in stability.

There were times the book was slow, or maybe it was the flow was a little choppy but it was still a good read, especially for the current day.

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

 

A Breath of Hope (Under Northern Skies Book #2) by Lauraine Snelling 

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Nilda Carlson has been trying to save enough money to go to America for months, so when a letter from Einar and Gerd Strand arrives, offering to pay her ticket, she jumps at the chance. Her younger brother Ivar accompanies her, and they can’t wait to join their brother Rune and his family in the northern forests of Minnesota. 

Signe and Rune Carlson are thrilled to welcome Nilda and Ivar to America, but life on the farm remains a struggle. Though Gerd has softened and grown to love the Carlson family, Einar is still harsh and unforgiving, obsessed solely with felling as many trees as possible. Rune is trying to build a new home for his wife and children, but Einar refuses to help and forbids anyone from the nearby community from stepping foot on his land. What dark secret must lie in his past to have caused him to isolate himself–and anyone living under his roof–in this way? When a tragedy lays the truth bare, the Carlsons and Strands will have to come together like never before and become a true family.

Well, she did it again! Author Lauraine Snelling does an incredible job with Book 2 in this series. We meet up with Rune and Signe, Einar and Gerd, and many other familiar faces. We also get to know some secondary characters better. Well described, you’ll feel as if they’re family. And the descriptions of Minnesota, the farm, and the town are done so well that you’ll be planning a trip to visit there.

Most importantly, Snelling portrays God’s forgiveness in an unforgettable manner, as well as a picture of Jesus laying down His life for us; we see that’s what Rune and Signe have done. The towns people and neighbors are warm and welcoming, as well as very compassionate. Hope and faith are woven throughout.

I highly recommend this book!

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

 

Ramble and Roar by Catie Cordero

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New York City, 1925. A place abounding with every good and glittering thing, or so Eliza Belcourt believes…

Leaving behind a broken heart and her parents’ selfish expectations, Eliza flees to Manhattan’s sleepless streets hoping to become the next famous jazz singer. But every sparkling dream comes with a price, and the Irish mob is ready to collect. As Eliza grasps for success and love, she finds that her city of bright promise might offer only dazzling lies.

Ramble and Roar is an honest, daring adventure that captures the pleasure–seeking decade of the 1920s in all its glory and grit.

Hang on for the ride! This debut novel by author Catie Cordero has it all. Mobs, speak easys, pretty girls who run away, and of course a dashing hero.

It’s easy to tell that Cordero has done a lot of research for this book. I learned new things about the Roaring 20s and what the culture was like. From rich, powerful families to waitresses living in the boroughs of New York, the characters in Ramble and Roar were real and gutsy.

The plot keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next, and to whom it will happen. Who can you trust, was my question. You’ll have to read the book to find out, but it’s full of twists and turns so be prepared to keep guessing. I’m looking forward to more from Catie Cordero.

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

 

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar

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Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where…
With Very Little Left of the Family Farm, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends. . .if only he were financially stable to offer her more.

When Lily’s life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?

Journey into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where a woman’s dreams and future happiness are on the line.

A great addition to the My Heart Belongs series, you’ll want to make sure you have this in your collection.

With many historical references, I learned several new things about that time period. If you enjoy history, you’ll enjoy this book. Author Andrea Boeshaar brought 1816 Virginia, and especially Middletown, to life.

The characters were relatable as they struggled, grew, and learned to rely on God. You’ll love most of them, but of course there has to be at least one you can’t stand. And believe me, I couldn’t stand him!

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction you’ll enjoy this book.

 

My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Millie’s Resolve                              By Rebecca Jepson

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Journey now to healing spa town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado in 1888
Where the past and present collide and a woman is on the precipice of unexpected love.

Millie Cooper, fisherman’s-daughter-turned-nurse, flees a painful entanglement with the wealthy Drexel family who summered near her childhood home in Nantucket, only to encounter them again six years later in Glenwood Springs. The serenity of her mountain hideaway in a town with healing springs is disrupted when she faces caring for the elderly mother and the expectant wife of Stephen Drexel, the man she’d once loved—at the request of his brother John, the man who’d kept them apart. Will Millie forgive the wrongs she feels were done to her, or will she come to see them as a blessing in disguise that leads her to greater joys?

As with all the books in the My Heart Belongs series, if you enjoy Christian historical fiction with light romance, you will enjoy this standalone story set in the beautiful state of Colorado. Having never been there, I enjoyed the descriptions within the story.

Author Rebecca Jepson makes her characters so realistic that you will find yourself talking to them; encouraging them to make the right decisions and scolding them when they make a wrong turn.

The twists and turns in this book are none the less infused with God’s love and forgiveness. Heroine Millie does something that can’t be done in human strength, but I won’t give any spoilers here. I recommend you read My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to find out what happens!

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

 

The Prayer Map for Women; A Creative Journal

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What Does Prayer Look Like? . . .
Find out in The Prayer Map for Women.

This engaging prayer journal is a fun and creative way for you to more fully experience the power of prayer. Each page features a lovely 2-color design that guides you to write out specific thoughts, ideas, and lists. . .which then creates a specific “map” for you to follow as you talk to God. Each map includes a spot to record the date, so you can look back on your prayers and see how God has worked in your life. The Prayer Map for Women will not only encourage you to spend time talking with God about the things that matter most. . .it will also help you build a healthy spiritual habit of continual prayer for life!

If you enjoy journaling you’ll love this colorful book. The template to follow is the same for each day, with things such as your prayer to God. What you may be worried about. What you’re thankful for, and who you’re praying for. Plus more!

Following the daily prompts will have you focusing on specifics and help you gather your thoughts as you communicate with God.

A great size to fit in your purse or briefcase, you’ll enjoy the feel of this journal. And the daily scripture verse will give you even more to meditate on during your day. I recommend it!

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

 

An Amish Heirloom; compilation of four novellas

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A Legacy of Love by Amy Clipston

Local volunteer fire fighter Leon King agrees to repair his ex-girlfriend Susie Bontrager’s grandparents’ antique rocking chairs for her future home with her fiance and is forced to acknowledge that his feelings for her have not quite gone away. As Susie spends time with Leon, she begins to recognize she is marrying the wrong man for all the wrong reasons.

The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman

Decades after inheriting her great grandmother’s cedar chest, Emma Fisher decides to pry it open only to discover a beautiful love story in the form of letters between her great grandparents. But as Emma immerses herself in their story, family secrets are revealed, and she must decide whether to share them to preserve family history or honor her great grandparents’ decision to leave them hidden. 

The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller

For the past two years, Shane Broyles has felt God leading him to join the Amish. He’s staying with his friends Noah and Ivy Schlabach in Birch Creek, OH, where he is reunited with Lucy Fisher, an old friend of Noah’s family. Shane and Lucy have never revealed their feelings for each other, but when they stumble upon an antique Bible at a flea market, they feel drawn to each other and to the mystery of the contents found within.

The Midwife’s Dream by Kelly Irvin

Iris Beachy serves as a midwife in her district where she longs for a family of her own. When her friend’s brother Mahon Kurtz seeks her help in delivering the baby of two young teenagers who have sought refuge in their town, they begin to see each other in a different light. Unprepared for parenthood, the young couple leave their baby girl behind in an antique crib quilt resembling the one destined for Iris when she becomes a mother. Mahon and Iris come together to take care of the baby as they try to find her parents, and they begin to see new possibilities for their future.

Instead of reviewing each book, I’m going to say read them all. Each author brings in her unique writing style and they are all fabulous. The communities were described so thoroughly you will want to go visit. And the characters; wow. In each book the characters were well developed and relatable.

Full of life’s trials and blessings, these novellas have the common thread of learning to trust God. Of having faith that He wants only the best for us. They kept my interest from beginning to end.

If you enjoy Amish fiction with sweet romance, this book is a must read!

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

 

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

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Can a former privateer and a determined heiress find lost treasure in 1725?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Pasts Collide in New Orleans when a Treasure Goes Missing
The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear.

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

If you enjoy stories with swash buckling action, you will like this book. Author Kathleen Y’Barbo did a good job of describing the privateers in this book but the title is a bit confusing as Jean-Luc will not stand being called a pirate. He’s a “legal” privateer. Regardless of what he is, I think you’ll enjoy getting to know him. And Maribel made me laugh. What a spit fire! (You’ll need to read the book to find out why.)

A fast paced book, I learned a lot about life aboard ship and found it interesting. However I felt that the ending of the book was rushed. As if the author had to wrap things up quickly. Also, I would have preferred a bit more detail throughout the book.

All that said, it was a book that was sometimes funny, sometimes sad. Faith in God, and going to Him in prayer were woven throughout the book but not in a preachy way. I encourage you to give it a chance. Sail the seas with Jean-Luc!

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

 

An Unexpected Redemption by Davalynn Spencer

An Unexpected Redemption

Sweet Historical Western Romance
An Unexpected Redemption – Book 2 in the Front Range Brides collection of stories about strong women who find and defend love in 1880s Colorado.
He doesn’t need her sass. She doesn’t need his approval. But they both need a second chance.

Abandoned by her faithless husband for the Dakota gold fields, rancher’s daughter Elizabeth Beaumont returns to her hometown determined to prove she’s not the impetuous girl she once was. Armed with a new skill and old determination, she’s intent on making it on her own. Discovering that the new sheriff lives downstairs in the same boarding house wouldn’t be nearly so frustrating if he’d stay out of her affairs, quit calling her Betsy, and stop making her wonder if she could love again.

Sheriff Garrett Wilson’s first attempt at law enforcement cost an innocent bystander his life, so he exchanged his deputy’s badge for a drover’s bedroll. Now he’s back wearing a star in a Front Range cow town, hunting an arsonist and falling for a woman who wants to know the secret behind his deepest scar. He can run again from his painful past, or he can stay and fight for the town that needs him and the woman who’s worked under his skin and into his heart.

Right off let me say that although this is book 2 in the series you can read it as a standalone. But why would you want to? Book 1, The Improper Proposal, was such a delightful book that I recommend you read it.

We all make mistakes, and Maggie and Garrett are not any different. These two characters are so well written that you will love them. The chemistry between them will make you laugh, and at times make you want to shake them. Can you say stubborn??

Author Davalynn Spencer writes a story that reminds us forgiveness is always possible, no matter what we’ve done. But we have to let go of the past and move on with what God has planned for our lives.

Written with mystery, warmth, and humor, An Unexpected Redemption is sure to please anyone who enjoys 1800s Christian Fiction.

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

 

When It Rains by T.K. Chapin

When It Rains

In need of a fresh start for herself and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Hannah Montgomery decides to relocate from Flagstaff, Arizona, to a ranch out in Eastern Washington, just outside Newport. It’s through living out in the open country that she hopes to reconnect with God and discover His will for their lives.

Enter Luke Williams, a busy investment banker with a dying father who lives on a ranch with fifteen acres of land. When Luke’s not flying out of state to meet with clients or in meetings all day, he’s out at the ranch, tending to his father’s needs.

When Luke realizes he needs someone full-time at the ranch to be with his father, he discovers Hannah. When Hannah needed a way out that wasn’t going to set her back financially, she found Luke and his father, Mac.

She has a past that still hurts. He has a history that’s complicated.

Luke might have all the qualities of a good and decent man, but so did her ex-husband who secretly had another family for over a decade. Can Hannah put the past behind her and let herself have another chance at love?

Author T.K. Chapin is never afraid to write about hard issues, and this story is no different. Abandonment, fear, teen pregnancy, and natural disasters; it’s all here but done so tastefully that it won’t offend.

The characters in When It Rains are extremely well developed and you will fall in love with them. If you’ve read any of Chapin’s Diamond Lake series you’ll even revisit with some old friends.

Through it all, we are pointed to God as our Healer and our Source. He always wants what’s best for us and it’s always more than we expected. Forgiveness is woven throughout the story, as is our need for a Savior. We can always depend on this author to tell us the truth in a loving manner. If you’re looking for a clean, sweet read, that isn’t sappy then I highly recommend this book.

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

 

A Borrowed Dream; Cimarron Creek Trilogy Book 2 by Amanda Cabot

A Borrowed Dream

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

This is book 2 in the series, and I haven’t read book 1. However I still enjoyed and followed this story with no issues. I am going to go back and read book 1 because I enjoyed this one.

Well written, author Amanda Cabot does a good job of pulling the reader into the story right away. You’ll meet colorful characters you love, and others you really dislike. Just when I thought I had everything figured out there was an unexpected twist that left me guessing.

God’s love, forgiveness, and redemption are woven throughout the story; a great reminder to us.

I will say that there is some violence towards the end, but it was not graphically written in. If you enjoy stories set in the old west, you will enjoy this one! It really has something for everyone; history, intrigue, light romance, adventure, and more.

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

 

Red Sky Over America (Ladies of Oberlin Book 1) by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Red Sky Over America

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America’s classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

This book will keep you flipping pages as fast as you can. Set in pre-civil war Kentucky, Author Tamera Kraft does not gloss over what happened during that era. Slavery was real and ugly, and that is not concealed. Spies, deception, hearts turned to the truth, and the Underground Railroad make this story a thrilling read.

I did find this book difficult to read at times. I would rather those things had never occurred. Because Kraft has done intense research, she is able to paint a vivid picture of what would have been happening and it’s not pretty. Yet this story tells a tale of truth and redemption, also, and is very inspiring. I truly recommend you read Red Sky Over America.

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

 

Under Prairie Skies; Prairie Sky Series Book 2 by Cynthia Roemer

Under Prairie Skies

~ Beyond shattered dreams lies a realm of possibilities ~
Illinois prairie ~1855
Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths were destined to cross again.
Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever.

I loved this book! Yes, this is book 2 of the series; however you can read it as a standalone with no trouble. But you won’t want to. Book 1, Under the Same Sky is a great book too.

Author Cynthia Roemer does a fabulous job of putting you in the lives of her characters. They are fleshed out so well that you’ll be sure they’re real people. You’ll love most of them but there are some scoundrels too. And I love her descriptions of life on the prairie in the 1800s.

A story of love and second chances, Roemer’s writing is reminiscent of Janette Oke and Karen Witemeyer. If you enjoy prairie tales of tests and victories you’ll love this book. I know I’ll be visiting there again.

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

 

The Amish Shop Girl: Barnville Stories  By Laura J. Marshall  and Amos Wyse

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To the English, she’s “that Amish girl”.
To the Amish, she’s that girl who went chasing her “dream man”.
Now unable to leave the city, what chance does Hannah have to find her perfect match?

Amish Stories from Barnville, Pennsylvania, Population 1300.

This charming story is based on the mistake that a young Amish girl has made. We all make them and often have to pay the consequences. That’s true in this story, but there is also mercy and forgiveness. And often time, as happened in The Amish Shop Girl, God will enable us to reach out to others during this time. Throughout we see the importance of following God’s voice and doing as He instructs.

Authors Marshall and Wyse have created characters that you will come to love, for the most part. They are warm and caring, and could be your neighbor. One thing I noticed when I first began the book is that the language is quite formal. That didn’t detract from the story and I adjusted to it quickly.

If you enjoy Amish fiction with a good moral story then you will enjoy this book.

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

 

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston

Amish Sweethearts

Love is in the air in these four sweet romances!

Love and Buggy Rides (previously published in An Amish Harvest)

Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

A Home for Lindsay

From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?

Where the Heart Is

Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.

Love Birds (previously published in An Amish Market)

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

I enjoyed each of these sweet stories. Some of the characters will be familiar if you’ve read other books by Author Amy Clipston. I especially loved visiting the Kauffman family again, and seeing what Lindsay is up to. Amy has such great story lines and descriptions that you feel as if the characters are real and you are a part of their lives. She also understands the Amish culture and writes about it with professionalism.

Each story kept my interest with its ups and downs; life isn’t always smooth. The thread of hope and love made these tales refreshing and enjoyable, and I appreciated that the characters allowed God to lead them.

If you enjoy Amish fiction and sweet romances, you will enjoy Amish Sweethearts.

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

 

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California; Abby’s Prospects by Janice Thompson

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco

An English socialite finds more treasure than expected on her trip to the American West.

When Abby Effingham becomes stranded in the middle of the California gold rush, her money depletes quickly even while her prospects for marriage increase daily. But Abby is on a mission to find her mother—not romance. Will a ridiculous scandal keep her from traveling on, or will it wake up an aloof innkeeper to the treasure right under his roof?

Samuel Harris runs a moderately priced hotel where Abby and her family’s elderly butler find shelter. He is looking forward to when she—and her parade of suitors—move on, though he concedes to let her work in his restaurant. When the sassy socialite is in trouble, will Samuel come to her rescue or find himself alone?

History about the Gold Rush, a mystery, interesting characters, and a sweet romance. If you enjoy historical Christian fiction you’ll enjoy this book.

San Francisco was rough during the Gold Rush, and author Janice Thompson shows us that. Saloons, saloon girls, and rowdy miners, along with someone who isn’t really as he portrays himself, keep the story jumping. But along with all of this are people who love God and love people. We see that no matter the sin, redemption is possible.

This was a fun read that many times kept me wondering what would happen next. Get yourself a copy and enjoy!

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

 

The Push; A Story of Friendship by Patrick Gray

The Push

When Marcus moved next door to John, they knew instantly they’d be friends. Now John and Marcus do almost everything together. They go on lots of adventures, with Marcus pushing John’s wheelchair and John fueling their escapades with jokes. Through their friendship, the boys discover that their unique gifts make them stronger together.

Based on the friendship of real-life best friends Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck, The Push teaches kids that people of all abilities have important roles to play and that we’re all better together than we are on our own.

This is the beautiful story of the friendship between Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck. I read their story in the book I’ll Push You and was excited when asked to read this version, written for children.

Gorgeous illustrations help to tell the tale of two very typical boys. One just happens to be in a wheelchair. The boys do everything together, with Marcus helping John when needed. Nothing stops them! What a touching tribute to an authentic friendship, teaching children that at the heart we’re all alike, and we all have gifts to contribute.

This book is fabulous for children and adults, and I highly recommend it.

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

Check out these pages for more information!

Author Patrick Gray’s page

Illustrator Justin Skeesuck’s page

To purchase: Amazon

 

Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh

Grace Restored

Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?

Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise.

Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken?

I have come to enjoy books by author Toni Shiloh, and this one doesn’t disappoint! I would love to visit Freedom Lake someday, if only it were possible. It sounds beautiful, and the people are warm and friendly.

The characters in Grace Restored dealt with some heavy things. Death of a spouse. Being a single parent. And one surprising secret that I won’t reveal, but in the “real” world can be devastating! So raw and honest in the way it was handled, and so beautiful in the way grace was indeed restored.

Through it all we see freedom when God is allowed to heal hearts and lives. If you enjoy contemporary Christian fiction that deals with real life in a very real way you’ll enjoy Grace Restored.

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

 

Amish Cooking Class – The Celebration by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Celebration

Lyle and Heidi Troyer have taken in a brother and sister, who were orphaned when their parents were killed in a car accident. Hoping to help the children adapt and make friends, Heidi decides to hold a series of cooking classes for kids. But kids are always accompanied by an adult—and that is where the trouble arises.

Miranda Cooper is living the life of a single mom to her two kids while separated from her husband, but Trent is trying to worm his way back into her heart.

Denise McGuire’s life as a wife, mom, and real estate broker is full and spilling over.

Darren Keller, single dad and firefighter, and Ellen Blackburn, single mom and nurse, find a few things in common.

Will hearts be healed over plates of Amish food?

Heidi and her cooking school are here for another session of lessons, this time for kids. It was so nice to visit with Lyle and Heidi again as they are learning that sometimes life throws us a curve, and we have the opportunity to be blessed in ways we didn’t expect.

The subject of foster care and adoption were interesting and handled well with all the feelings expected; care, concern, love, and even fear.

The characters are “real” people, in that none are portrayed as perfect. It was enjoyable to see how the Amish community reaches out to those in need, even to the English who live among them. Heartwarming, full of faith and hope, The Celebration was a quick read, but a pleasant one.

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

 

Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower

Lethal Licorice

Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .

A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .

First, let me say that this is the second book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. I haven’t read the first book, Assaulted Caramel, but I plan to. I was able to follow the story line in Lethal Licorice just fine, although I sure was curious about the things that were being alluded to.

The characters in author Amanda Flower’s book were quirky and fun. Easy to love, except for a couple of them, you’ll feel as if you made new friends in a wonderful little town. And who can resist a cute little pig?

Written in an easy manner, this story is relaxing to follow although you will be wondering who did what to who! Mystery and murder make an interesting twist for an Amish story and I definitely enjoyed this cozy mystery. I’m looking forward to book 3, Premediated Peppermint, coming out in September of 2018.

 

Journey of Grace by T.K. Chapin

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She was reeling from an ugly divorce. He had written off love after losing his wife years ago. A chance meeting changes these two lives forever.

JOURNEY OF GRACE is book one of the tightly woven Christian romance series entitled JOURNEY OF LOVE by T.K. Chapin. Follow the lives of three grown siblings as they face challenges of faith, love, and heartache. The JOURNEY OF LOVE series is a spin-off of the best-selling DIAMOND LAKE SERIES

When Grace Anderson left Newport, Washington, she thought it was for good. But now she’s back and trying to start a new life after running away from her abusive husband. Even surrounded by the love of her family, she can’t help but cling to the pieces of her past that hurt the most.

Owen McBride never dreamed of finding love again after losing his wife. The dashing Newport High School history teacher had written off love and was solely focused on living a life devoted to God and teaching children. That is, until he met Grace Anderson.

Will these two find love in each other’s arms? Or will God’s will be something completely different?

As always, author T.K. Chapin isn’t afraid to tackle tough issues. Abuse, divorce, death, it’s all there but not as dark as that may sound. The story is also full of grace, forgiveness, and love.

I enjoyed the journey back to Diamond Lake; it feels so familiar. The characters are well developed and through it all is the thread that we must depend on God for healing and in fact, life. This quick read is not lacking in life’s truths and I recommend it for those who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction.

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

 

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davison Politano

Lady Jayne Disappears

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance–and perhaps even her father’s death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

If you enjoy Victorian England and mystery, grab this book to read! You’ll be trying to figure out the mystery but there are twists and turns that make it really difficult to piece together.

Well written descriptions, great historical settings, and fabulous characters make this a must read. This book is not a shallow read that you’ll get through quickly, but stick with it and you’ll be glad.

Author Joanna Davison Plitano has done a great job with her debut novel and you’re sure to enjoy it!

 

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

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In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy’s mistrust, but he’s returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn’t expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for?

I loved this book! The history of the time was well researched, but more than that author Melissa Jagears wrote a book that has heart. The characters faced such things as bullying, prostitution, and stealing but God’s redemption was the theme woven through out. Through Him, we see that lives can be changed and made into what He desires. While it’s not a smooth path, hurts can be healed if we are willing to pray and give second chances.

This book is full of emotion and surprises. I never knew what was coming next, and that kept me turning pages as quickly as possible. There are also some laughs along the way, which helped the story from being too heavy.

I highly recommend you read this book!

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

 

I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith under Fire By Melba Pattillo Beals

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In 1957, Melba Beals was one of the nine African American students chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. But her story of overcoming didn’t start–or end–there. While her white schoolmates were planning their senior prom, Melba was facing the business end of a double-barreled shotgun, being threatened with lynching by rope-carrying tormentors, and learning how to outrun white supremacists who were ready to kill her rather than sit beside her in a classroom. Only her faith in God sustained her during her darkest days and helped her become a civil rights warrior, an NBC television news reporter, a magazine writer, a professor, a wife, and a mother.

In I Will Not Fear, Beals takes readers on an unforgettable journey through terror, oppression, and persecution, highlighting the kind of faith needed to survive in a world full of heartbreak and anger. She shows how the deep faith we develop during our most difficult moments is the kind of faith that can change our families, our communities, and even the world. Encouraging and inspiring, Beals’ story offers readers hope that faith is the solution to the pervasive hopelessness of our current culture.

Known as the Little Rock Nine, these students endured things I will never and can never imagine. The courage and determination shown by Beals, in the face of court orders and police lines, was incredible. To hear of the encouragement from Dr. Martin Luther King was inspiring to me. “You’re not doing this for yourself. You are doing this for generations yet unborn.”

Not a light, easy read due to the subject matter (the harrowing things these students went through), it was astonishing to see how she persevered in the face of hatred by leaning on God. And that she didn’t allow it to turn to hate is just proof that with God there is always forgiveness.

While I wanted to love this story, I didn’t. I did like it but I feel she could have put more passion into it to draw in the reader. That said it definitely is worth reading as a way of understanding where we were, where we have come, and where we still need to go.

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

 

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Phoebes Light

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was plain to see that Author Suzanne Woods Fisher did a lot of research into the history of this time. Her writing about the Quaker life was extremely interesting, and I appreciated the glossary that she included.

The characters in Phoebe’s Light were strong and well developed. There are some you’ll love, some you’ll strongly dislike, and some things will make you wonder, “What in the world was she thinking!” All flowing together in a thought-provoking way. (Sorry, I don’t want to give any spoilers so can’t say more.)

If you enjoy historical fiction, with some clean romance mixed in, this is definitely a great book for you and I highly recommend it. I look forward to book 2 in this series.

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

 

Imagine; The Ten Plagues By Matt Koceich

 The Ten Plagues

The Second Release in an Epic Bible Adventure Series for Kids
The last thing fourth-grader Kai Wells remembers (before the world as she knew it disappeared) is being surrounded by bullies on her walk home from school. What happens next can’t be explained as Kai finds herself on the run for her life in ancient Egypt! Imagine. . .The Ten Plagues is the second release in an exciting, brand-new epic adventure series for kids ages 8 to 12 written by schoolteacher Matt Koceich. The Imagine series brings the Bible to life for today’s kids as they ponder what it would be like to live through a monumental biblical event. 

Once again, author Matt Koceich writes a book sure to capture the imagination of any young reader. This book started off action packed and the reader is drawn into the story immediately.

The story is based on the Biblical story of the ten plaques in Exodus, but with a modern twist as Koceich pulls in a fourth-grader who experiences that time in history. This will definitely help your children put themselves into the time frame, also.

Addressing the subject of bullying, the story shows strength of character and faith in God. I recommend it for your young reader, although I think 11 and 12 year olds would be bored with it. This is more for those just into reading chapter books.

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

 

Set Free to Choose Right: Equipping Today’s Kids to Make Right Moral Choices for Life by Josh McDowell

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Popular Author, Speaker, and Founder of the Josh McDowell Ministry Speaks Out on the Popular, Culturally Relevant Topic of Right vs. Wrong

Directed to parents and gatekeepers of today’s youth, renowned speaker and author Josh McDowell focuses on the how-to’s of teaching teens and pre-teens to make right moral choices.

Set Free to Choose Right will help you come to understand:

  • why today’s kids feel they have the right to determine what is “right” or “wrong” for themselves
  • how culture reinforces that there are no universal truths and. . .
  • where this misconception historically originated
  • how to motivate kids to make good choices
  • it is God’s character and nature that makes right, right and wrong, wrong

Engaging stories and helpful illustration are provided to model how a person (of any age) can distinguish between right and wrong and make the right choice—every time!

Right off the top, please note that although the title doesn’t indicate it, this book deals primarily with the topic of pornography and youth.

Given our culture, and ability to access anything on the internet, author Josh McDowell does a great job of giving us statistics and stories, as well as solid advice when dealing with porn. He goes beyond that and gives us tools, as well as scripture verses to go along with those tools.

McDowell, as always, does a fantastic job of making this subject relevant to today. He knows how to reach our youth with God’s Word and shows us how to also. I highly recommend this as reading material for anyone who has a child in their lives.

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

 

Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection by Karen Witemeyer,‎ Mary Connealy,‎ Regina Jennings,‎ Melissa Jagears

Hearts Entwined

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory. 

Four novellas that are a quick but fun to read make a good book for a weekend of delight. All four are standalones, though they do link to series by the authors.

I found these stories relaxing, but they kept my attention. All of the characters were well developed and the plots were creative. Think camels in Texas.

These sweet romances also carry a thread of faith and forgiveness. And determination abounds. I really did like the characters in each story as they persevered through various trials. A little drama and a lot of humor make this book entertaining.

If you enjoy simple, sweet reads that still hold your attention, you’ll enjoy Hearts Entwined. I recommend it!

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

 

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

The Mayflower Bride

Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

This is a must read for lovers of historical fiction. Author Kimberley Woodhouse skillfully weaves well researched historical facts into her heart-warming tale in such a way that the past comes to life, as do her characters as they change and grow.

Reading what these pilgrims had to endure, along with many twists and turns, will keep you turning the pages. It certainly took great faith to do the things necessary to survive. The price they paid was high indeed.

For those looking for some romance, you won’t be disappointed with the tenderness displayed in this story. Well worth reading!

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

 

Love the War Woman by April Gardner

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For the DEFIANCE of a nation. For the DEFENSE of a tribe. For the LOVE of a war woman.

War woman Fierce Mink has loved Tall Bull as long as memory. He is beauty and power, but in the secret pockets of her spirit, he is vastly more. He is the brave to whom she swore her heart, the friend to whom she owes her life, and the chief to whom she will never be bound. Soon, he will be required to take a wife, but lamentably, Mink is severe, intimidating, hard-bitten by war—qualities a man appreciates in combat, not so under the bearskins. But perhaps it’s best he’s blind to her, for he clings viciously to the Beloved Path, and unbeknownst to him, she has joined her fire with Jesus.

Since his youth, Chief Tall Bull has treasured Mink. Even now, in their turbulent refugee world, she is comfort; she is home. Better yet, she shares his passion to preserve the Beloved Path and his fight to start anew in a land where they are no longer hunted. Then, a startling omen: before the blood moon, Tall Bull must make restitution for his transgressions, or the spirits will take payment. From her. A tragedy he would die to prevent.

Another portent looms—that of a horde of bluecoat soldiers pecking at their borders, threatening to drive the Red Stick Defiance into uninhabitable swamps. The Defiance will not go quietly, and as Tall Bull prepares for a brutal strike, he realizes the bluecoats aren’t his only enemy, and Mink’s life isn’t all he stands to lose.

April Gardner has written a book rich in history, and with deep knowledge of the Native American culture; their customs, traditions, and even speech patterns. The story flows in a poetic way, and the characters are both profound and intense. While you’ll instantly love some of the personalities, others will take a while to warm up to as they grow and have heart changes. Some you won’t like. Ever. And that’s okay. Gardner did a fabulous job of bringing all of them to life.

When I first started this book, I knew it would be good if it compared to the other books in the series. But it went so far above my expectations. I was reading as fast as I could simply because I needed to see how situations were resolved. Edge of the seat is the perfect way to describe Love the War Woman. And you will love her; the strength, honesty, and loyalty shown is incredible. And yes, this is book five in the series, but you could read it as a standalone with very little trouble.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction and are interested in other cultures, you will love this book!

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

 

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

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New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

Francine Rivers books are always awaited with eager anticipation by her readers. We know they will have depth of characters and story line. This one will not disappoint! I will admit that the first couple of chapters in, I thought I wouldn’t finish The Masterpiece. It’s just so different than her other books I didn’t think I liked it. But I stuck with it, and after a few chapters it grabbed me. I knew I would be finishing this book. In fact I couldn’t put it down.

The story is deep in that we see humanity sometimes at its worst; nothing is sugar coated. The characters are flawed humans who need God. Rivers does not mince words. There is no doubt that Billy Ray, aka Roman, and Grace need something only God can give. But at no time is the book preachy. It’s raw and honest. In fact, the author has done a lot of research into the seedier side of life, and that’s very evident.

Full of mercy, grace, and forgiveness, I loved where this book went. From people who have hit bottom, to those who have found their Savior, the theme of repentance and forgiveness resounds throughout.

For those of you who enjoy romance, there is definitely a boy meets girl thread. It is not all fluff and happiness, but is real to what many experience in this life. I encourage you to pick up a copy and read it. You won’t be sorry!

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

 

This Treacherous Journey (Heart of the Mountains Book 1) by Misty Beller

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Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety? 

Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.

But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?

Lovers of historical fiction will enjoy this new book by author Misty Beller. Set in the harsh Rockies, you’ll get a picture of the way life was lived, with all its adventure and danger. This book has a lot of twists and turns, and in many places will keep you turning pages as quickly as possible, just to find out what will happen next.

The characters in This Treacherous Journey were not only well developed, but very real. They faced the same fears, and longed for love, just as we do. They were very human. This was not just a physical journey to get from point A to point B, it was also a spiritual journey. They grew in their trust of God as He healed their hearts from old wounds, and then were able to open their hearts to each other. I especially appreciated that adoption was included in this story. Very heart warming.

Incredibly detailed, you can “feel” the landscape. The rough mountains paths. The cold and snow. Course cabins. It was all very well written, and if you’re in the mood for adventure I highly recommend this book.

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

 

Love’s Bright Tomorrow by Naomi Rawlings

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Aileen Brogan wants a place to call home. After leaving Ireland for America and losing her father and brother within a year of each other, she feels lost and alone. No matter how hard she tries, she just doesn’t seem to belong in the quaint town of Eagle Harbor. However, Sheriff Isaac Cummings is determined to help her fit in—into town and into his arms—if only she’ll say yes to his courtship. But if he knew her secrets, he’d surely rescind his offer.

Isaac is determined to serve the people of Eagle Harbor in a way that will do his family proud, but he’s haunted by past mistakes. When a band of criminals threatens his beloved town’s safety, he doesn’t want to fail the people he loves like he did four years earlier. But if he doesn’t turn out to be the hero the town needs, what chance does he have of winning Aileen’s resistant heart?

When old wounds reopen, can Isaac and Aileen figure out how to move past their brokenness and find the promise of a bright tomorrow?

Come visit the rugged yet beautiful coast of Lake Superior and the remote historical town of Eagle Harbor that readers can’t get enough of.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting Book 6 in the Eagle Harbor series. And while I hate to see it end, this was a great way to go out!

As always, Author Naomi Rawlings has written characters that are so life like you’ll want to take a trip to Michigan’s UP just to meet them. And her descriptions of Eagle Harbor are incredibly colorful. Both of these things work together to create a wonderful story.

The good, bad, and ugly are all represented in Love’s Bright Tomorrow. We see the heartache of an immigrant from Ireland. The care and love from the local sheriff. So many different personalities, including some favorites from other books in the series. Rawlings doesn’t shy away from tough situations, but handles them with grace and mercy.

If you enjoy historical fiction, with romance and adventure, you’ll love this book!

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

 

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

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Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

Author Jocelyn Green wows with this book. Her research into lace making and the history of the day makes this book a masterpiece. Deep, solid characters take you on a journey from France to the United States. I fell in love with Vivienne, Liam, and the young Henri. So well developed, you’ll be certain that they really did live in the 1700s. With all of its rich detail it won’t disappoint.

A Refuge Assured is a roller coaster ride of feelings as life ebbs and flows for the characters. History. Romance. Life and Death. This book has it all. If you enjoy historical fiction, romance, and espionage, you will revel in this book!

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

 

Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry

Under a Cloudless Sky

A charming and engrossing novel for fans of Southern fiction and the recent hit memoir Hillbilly Elegyabout a lush and storied coal-mining town—and the good people who live there—in danger of being destroyed for the sake of profit. Will the truth about the town’s past be its final undoing or its saving grace?

1933. In the mining town of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, two young girls form an unbreakable bond against the lush Appalachian landscape, coal dust and old hymns filling their lungs and hearts. Despite the polarizing forces of their fathers—one a mine owner, one a disgruntled miner —Ruby and Bean thrive under the tender care of Bean’s mama, blissfully unaware of the rising conflict in town and the coming tragedy that will tear them apart forever.

2004. Hollis Beasley is taking his last stand. Neighbors up and down the hollow have sold their land to Coleman Coal and Energy, but Hollis is determined to hold on to his family legacy on Beulah Mountain. Standing in his way is Buddy Coleman, an upstart mining executive who hopes to revitalize the dying town by increasing coal production and opening the Company Store Museum. He’ll pay homage to the past—even the massacre of 1933—while positioning the company for growth at all costs.

What surprises them all is how their stories will intersect with a feisty octogenarian living hundreds of miles away. When Ruby Handley Freeman’s grown children threaten her independence, she takes a stand of her own and disappears, propelling her on a journey to face a decades-old secret that will change everything for her and those she meets.

Dual time periods have become quite popular, and since I’ve gotten used to this style of writing I really enjoy it. Author Chris Fabry takes us from 1933 to 2004 and back very skillfully.

I will say it took me a couple of chapters to get into this story, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. Expertly written, with interesting history woven throughout, Fabry’s storyline is quite remarkable. His characters are well developed and intriguing.

The thread throughout this book reminds that us that, according to the Bible, truth sets us free. Secrets will always affect our lives adversely. It also addresses the need to forgive so you can move on in life.

Full of twists, turns, and winding roads, this book climaxes to a surprise ending that I truly didn’t see coming. I highly recommend it!

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

 

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

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Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she’s able to make ends meet, but lately he’s run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out. 

Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn’t find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she’ll take them.

When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she’s mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess–they’re not supposed to be so blamed pretty–but he’s left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess’s methods. Louisa’s never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?

A fun plot, author Regina Jennings did a good job of showing us life on a fort in the 1800s. The story started out slow for me, but it picked up a few chapters in, and I enjoyed the characters. From drama to laughing, this book was entertaining.

I thought Louisa’s ability to teach was a bit polished for someone who wasn’t a teacher but it wasn’t bad. The romance that blossomed was sweet and clean.

If you’re looking for light reading, with humor and history thrown together, then you’ll enjoy Holding the Fort. I look forward to reading book 2.

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

 

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

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Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?

Rachel’s friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls’ school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or who–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return–but where is he?

As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

 I was excited to return to Ivy Hill, and author Julie Klassen didn’t disappoint me. Klassen does a good job of putting the reader in Regency England. You can see the setting through her descriptions, and you become very familiar with the characters. Ivy Hill truly comes to life.

The story centers mainly on three friends, with other characters woven through out. If you haven’t read book 1 of the series you may have trouble following what is going on. I enjoyed the switching from one character to another, as they were all intertwined.

A slower paced story, I truly enjoyed being able to take in all of the description without feeling like I had to rush to see what happened next. Gentle romance, history, and a library. This book has something for everyone and I highly recommend it.

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

 

My Big Book of Bible Heroes Devotional by Glenn Hascall

My Big Book of Bible Heroes

Kids love My Big Book of Bible Heroes. . .and now your kids will love the My Big Book of Bible Heroes Devotional! 
This fully illustrated devotional explores the heroic characteristics of 50 Bible characters—including Joshua, David, Daniel, Ruth, Mary, and more. Each engaging reading features a full-color illustration followed by “where to find it in the Bible,” a relevant devotion for kids (ages 7 and up), plus a short prayer starter to encourage kids  to talk with their Creator, and “Becoming a Hero” questions to get kids thinking about the Bible and how faith can be integrated into their daily lives.

This colorful devotional will encourage your 7 – 12 year old to spend time in the Word. With a story to read, a devotional, prayer starters, and encouragement, this is a great book for kids.

Kids need heroes and this book will offer some. The focus is always what can be accomplished with God; how to become a hero with Him. The questions at the end of each chapter will get your kids thinking about God, His Word, and their lives.

While your child could easily use this devotional on their own, this would be a really good devotional for the entire family to go through together. If you’re looking for a good devotional for your elementary age child, I recommend this one.

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

 

Anna Lucia: Book 2 The Casa Bella Chronicles by Liz Galvano

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Vincenzo Castello
How hard it is to focus on the task at hand when your mind wants nothing more than to sink into sweet oblivion.
Almighty God, give me strength. Stone and weeds dug into his head, grit bit his face.
So much blood.
The weapon. He must act now or not at all.
Footsteps on gravel told of the enemies approach.
The Sicilian slowly tightened his grip. Through slit eyelids he watched and waited. The enemy raised his revolver.
Only God could have arranged this meeting. Only God could heal a woman so wounded. In His service by life or death; will this vow be fulfilled? 

Researched thoroughly, written well, Anna Lucia is worth reading is you enjoy Christian historical fiction. Author Liz Galvano takes us deep into the Italian culture with her writing about fencing, horseback riding, and of course Italian cuisine. But more than that, the obvious importance of faith in God and love of family is written all the way through this incredible book.

Galvano’s characters have a depth that you don’t always see in historical fiction. They seem so real with their flaws and strengths. You’ll laugh at the shenanigans of the men in the Castello family. You’ll melt at the protection and care given to the women in their lives. I’m sure if I were to go to Italy I would meet the most delightful people!

And the suspense! Full of twists and turns, this book held my attention from page 1 to the very last page. I hated to see it end and can’t wait for book 3!

 

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

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When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

If you enjoy historical fiction, you’ll love The Lacemaker. Rich in detail, this book held me from beginning to end. The time period was well researched and I could picture the town, the clothing, everything about the time period. The story came to life for me.

Because of the time setting there is a lot of political tension, but there is also a lot of tension between characters. Full of suspense, twists and turns, it becomes a challenge to know who to trust. There are characters to love, and characters to strongly dislike. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

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

 

Devotions for the Hungry Heart by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Devotions for the Hungry Heart

This simple little book of story-based devotions will change your world, one day at a time.

“Whether you have a healthy craving for more Jesus, or the barely discernible taste for a relationship with Him that seems beyond your reach, the glorious truth is that God put that hunger in your heart in the first place, and He is more willing to fan that flame than you or I could ever be.”
–From the Introduction

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, the Belle of All Things Southern, is back with a devotional guide for the Jesus-hungry heart. Grounded in scripture and offered in the author’s signature storytelling style, this devotional invites you to God’s table for a continual feast. With six prominent themes including Sharing, Needing, Celebrating, Praying, Surrendering, and Being Intentional, you’ll be challenged and encouraged to develop God-honoring traits in your spiritual life.

A delightful companion book to Tomlinson’s Hungry Is a Mighty Fine Sauce, Devotions for the Hungry Heart features a bonus full-color insert featuring more than a dozen mouthwatering recipes plus photos. You’re guaranteed to find nourishment for your body as well as your spirit!

The book itself is nice to hold. Just the right size and weight, it includes a bookmark ribbon. It is very attractive. But more than that, the contents are such that you will find your hungry heart filled.

A short devotion for each day, Tomlinson shares on six different themes, including scripture verse with each one, as well as stories from her life, for a total of 20 weeks of devotions. There are also a dozen recipes to fill your hungry tummy.

In all, a nice devotional that would make a good gift.

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

 

The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy by Susan G Mathis

The Fabric of Hope

After struggling to accept the changes forced upon her, Margaret Hawkins and her family take a perilous journey on an 1851 immigrant ship to the New World, bringing with her an Irish family quilt she is making. A hundred and sixty years later, her great granddaughter, Maggie, searches for the family quilt after her ex pawns it. But on their way to creating a family legacy, will these women find peace with the past and embrace hope for the future, or will they be imprisoned by fear and faithlessness?

Author Susan Mathis did a wonderful job with this dual timeline novel. Beginning in 1851 Ireland, you could “see” what was happening. The family forced to make a difficult decision. You could “feel” the ship creaking and swaying on the sea. The fear and the hope were evident. Then in the modern day, you sensed Maggie’s desperation and witnessed her spiritual growth.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical information that was woven throughout this book. Maybe because I have Irish ancestry it meant more, but it was all so well written that you were there.

Despair turns to triumph as both women learn to trust and lean on God. If you enjoy historical fiction, or stories with Irish legacy, I highly recommend this book!

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

 

Saratoga Letters by Elaine Marie Cooper

Saratoga Letters

It is 1777. The Battle of Saratoga, a turning point of the Revolutionary War, encourages the American Continental Army with their first great victory. But there seems little to celebrate for one patriotic woman forced to nurse wounded British soldiers right in their war camp. Thrust into deception by a cruel Loyalist uncle, Abigail lies in order to survive, all the while dealing with doubts that challenge her faith.

Then …

Two hundred years later, on the anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga, thousands arrive from Europe and the United States to celebrate the event—including descendants from the war. One young American, Abby, meets the offspring of a British soldier. When she is threatened, Abby turns to the only person she knows at the event—her British ally. Can she trust him with her life? Or will he betray her in the same way loyalist spies betrayed her ancestors? Perhaps letters from long ago will reveal the truth.

Author Elaine Cooper takes a historical event and uses it as a great story with characters that feel real to life. Starting in 1777 and jumping to 1977, she did a great job of tying these stories together. While she gives a lot of history, and helps you to see what life would have been like in 1777, it is in no way dry or boring. This story moves along quickly with lots of twists and turns.

While the first story was a bit gruesome to some people, it was realistic. You could hear the cries of the wounded and feel the fatigue of the medical staff. As well Cooper doesn’t shy away from the fact that there were prostitutes in camp, and many officers had mistresses. Again, this was realistic but tastefully written.

Well researched and wonderfully written, if you enjoy historical fiction you’ll love Saratoga Letters.

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

 

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York; Adele’s Journey by Amanda Barratt

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls

Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where…
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?

This next book in the “My Heart Belongs” series is truly worth reading. Author Amanda Barratt fully brings her characters to life and the Niagara Falls book has it all. Suspense, tension, romance, and learning to trust in God. Layer upon layer is revealed in this story as the characters grow.

It took be awhile to write a review because I honestly can’t tell you what I enjoyed most about Adele’s Journey. The story was so skillfully crafted that everything flowed together beautifully. All of the feelings were there, and I had to process at the end of the story. Adele is willing to sacrifice all for her family and I had to ask myself if I would be able to do that. Drew also sacrifices all for his family, but in a different way. While the two are at different points on the social economical scale, they are continually drawn together, making for an interesting tale.

While there is a lot of history added to this book, it is by no means dry or boring. Seriously, I couldn’t put it down and I hope to see more from Amanda Barratt.

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