Friday, December 11, 2015

The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbria By Jill Dalladay

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

The dramatic story of a seventh-century evangelist

Chosen as Eostre s handmaid, Hild will serve the fertility goddess for a year before being wed. Her future is predictable until King Edwin claims her as kin and she learns that her father was murdered.
Her first love is given a command in Edwin s forces and vanishes from her life, wed to her sister. The court is baptized, ending the old religion and Hild s role. Life looks bleak. She can t stop wondering who killed her father.
Suspecting Edwin, she challenges him, only to be married off to safeguard his northern frontier. Struggling in a loveless marriage, she is intrigued by the Iona priests making pilgrimages to spread Christ s love. When home and family are lost in Oswy s sack of Edinburgh, she finds herself in enemy hands, but meets the charismatic Aidan.
Inspired and guided by him, she builds communities to live and teach Christ s love. She attracts followers. Even her old enemy, King Oswy, entrusts his child to her, gives her Whitby, and seeks her help to reconcile divisions in his kingdom.
She never ceases battling against old superstitions resurrected by storm, plague, and solar eclipse, but at last she receives a bishop s blessing from a man she trained herself.


My Thoughts: 

The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbia is Jill Dalladay's debut novel and it is fantastic. As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction and of debut authors, I couldn't not pass of the opportunity to read this.  This book takes place in 7th Century Medieval England, where beliefs are in the gods and goddesses, making sacrifices in their names but the belief of the One God is starting to pick up throughout the world. This story starts when Hild is 12 years old and goes through her life and her role in Christianity in England. I learned so much about Christianity's beginnings, the ending of the worship of many gods, and 7th Century England. I am not very familiar with this time in history so there were many things I found myself looking up and reading more about. Jill Dalladay writes with authority about 7th Century England, beliefs of that time, the hierarchy of this time, and the ups and downs of war.  I found myself in awe of  how the transition from pagan religion to Christianity took place, how Christianity was spread throughout the countries, and how whole countries accepted Christ and were baptized. Even Hild's story shows the transformation from pagan worship to acceptance of the Christ. I found myself unable to put this book down as I found myself caught up in Hild's story.  I enjoyed Jill Dallady's style of writing and am excited to read more from her. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, especially about Christianity.  I give this book 4.5 STARS.

A Thousand Shall Fall: Shenandoah Valley Saga Book 1 By Andrea Boeshaar

I received this book from the author, Andrea Boeshaar and Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book . The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:


A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off--only to find she's fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they're all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.
Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally--and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?
Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.
         

My Thoughts:  


A Thousand Shall Fall is the first book in Andrea Boesharr's latest series, Shenandoah Valley Saga and it is great! This is the first book by Andrea Boesharr's I have read but I have a few on my TBR pile, so I am excited to dig into them.  As a huge fan of Historical Christian Fiction and my love of the Civil War this book had the perfect blend. Andrea Boesharr has the perfect blend of fact and fiction in this book that really kept me interested and I learned some more about this time in history.  Andrea Boesharr writes with authority about all things Civil War including all of the places the war took place, the way of life before, during and after, the state of things in both the North and South, and the attitudes of the people in the different places. I found myself having a hard time at first getting into the book but after the second chapter that was not the case. I really found myself unable to put down this book, not wanting to have to wait to get back to it!  The characters are well written and are real people. I really enjoyed this book! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, it will not disappoint! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. I give this book  I give this book 4 STARS.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Another Way Home: Chickory Inn Series Book 3 By Deborah Raney

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:  

Grandchildren are not in short supply for Grant and Audrey Whitman, although their middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, after trying for years, have not been able to contribute to the growing family. Danae is open to adoption, but Dallas will not even discuss it. Her despair over never having a family of her own is so deep, it even causes her to question God’s plan for her life. Knowing she must find something to do to fill her lonely days and energize her life, Danae volunteers to work at a newly opened women’s shelter in town. She was only looking for a way to spend her time, but getting to know the hurting women at the shelter fills her heart and she learns to live a life of gratitude once again. But heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil— and leave them all forever changed



My Thoughts:

Another Way Home is the third book in Deborah Raney's Chickory Inn series and it is the best one so far. I have had the honor of reading and reviewing the first two books in this series and each one is better than the last.  Another Way Home focuses on Danae and Dallas Brooks. They have been trying for many years to have a family, had many fertility treatments, and haven't been able to get pregnant. Danae's sisters have 5 between them and one on the way and each time it kills Danae to not be a part of it and it affects the relationships Danae has with other people especially her sisters and question God's plans.  Danae has been open to adoption but Dallas won't do it or talk about it. Danae decides she needs to find something to fill her days so she volunteers at a women's shelter even though Dallas and her Dad have some major reservations. Danae finds being at the shelter helping these women and children brings her joy she hasn't had in a long time. Danae finds herself filled with purpose and really connecting with one woman and her son especially. Even Dallas comes to the shelter to help and he finds himself connecting with the little boy.  When Dallas and Danae help her out over Thanksgiving and the events that unfold from there throws their lives up in the air and changes them forever.

Another Way Home is FANTASTIC. I am a huge fan of Deborah Raney having read quite a few of her books since I started reading Christian Fiction. Those who read my reviews know that I don't read much in the category of Christian Contemporary fiction but  I have a few authors of Christian Contemporary Fiction that I read and Deborah Raney is at the top of that list. I really feel that Another Way Home is the best book I have read by Deborah Raney.  This is one of those books that after I read it I had to take time to process before I could review it because it is that kind of book. I really had a hard time putting it down at night, this book grabbed me from the start and held on to me until the end, keeping me guessing how it would all work out until the end. I don't know that I will be able to do this book justice in this review because it is just deep and well written but I am doing to try. In this book, Deborah Raney deals with some big topics and she writes with authority on them including adoption, infertility, the effects of infertility on the family, domestic violence, and the effects domestic violence has on adults and children. Another Way  Home really deals with these topics honestly and tastefully. As I read this book, the emotion and levity of this story really hit me. Deborah Raney wrote with such passion that you can feel the emotions in her writing. I really love that she is able to write about these topics cleanly, without having to be graphic. As a reader, I felt the full effects of these things without it having to be vulgar or violent. This book really brought out a range of emotions from laughing out loud to heartbroken and sobbing  for the characters. The characters in this book and this series are well written and relatable to everyone, things don't just work out in the end but how the characters handle them is key.  As someone who has dealt with some of these issues including infertility and domestic violence Deborah Raney captured not just the topics but the heart of these issues and all the emotions that surround them for everyone, not just the main characters but all of those around them and in the situation with them. This book really touched me and it is one of those that will stay with me for awhile. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, especially after the sneak peek at the end of this book.  I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who reads Contemporary Fiction, it will not disappoint. I give this book 5+ STARS.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Respectable Actress By Dorothy Love

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.
India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.


My Thoughts:  

A Respectable Actress is Dorothy Love's latest novel and it is fantastic. Dorothy Love is one of my favorite authors. She writes Christian Historical Fiction that really keeps you on the edge of your seat and A Respectable Actress is no exception. From the start, this book grabs the reader with mystery and keeps you guessing until the end. This book has a little of everything: mystery, murder, romance, action, and adventure. I found myself unable to put this book down. Dorothy Love does a fantastic job of mixing fact and fiction into this book. The Civil War Era has always been one of my favorite times in history so it was great to learn more about the Reconstruction Era and our justice system at that time in history which is VERY different than today.  I really enjoyed the characters in this book, they all were real people who had messy lives and secrets like the rest of us. Dorothy Love writes with authority about Civil War, Reconstruction of the South, The South and the United States during this time, and the justice system during this time. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction with a little suspense, you will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more of Dorothy Love's books. I give this book 5 STARS.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Valley of Decision: Carthage Chronicles Book 3 By Lynne Gentry

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision---leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can't---secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie's surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.


My Thoughts:

Valley of Decision is the third and final book in Lynne Gentry's series The Carthage Chronicles and all I can say is OH MY GOODNESS!!!  As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction, The Carthage Chronicles series had me hooked. This book and series is a perfect blend of past and future. Lynne Gentry seamlessly transitions between the two worlds and brings them together perfectly. In Valley of Decision it is Thirteen years later and Lisbeth has moved on with her life knowing she can never see Cyprian again. Now their daughter is 18 years old and decides in a hasty decision to go back to the third century to save her father and bring him back to the present.  Lisbeth finds herself heading back to the third century, this time with her father in tow. It is thirteen years later in the present but in the past it has been less than a day. Maggie finds out her grandmother, Magdalena is on trial for her life and Maggie's father is her legal counsel even though he has his own worries for his life. Maggie tries to save her grandmother and her three friends with the help of 2 men who have feelings for Maggie and the diversion they create starts riots and destroys the one thing the new proconsul loves. Now it is in question whether anyone will survive and how they will get back to their own times.

I had the privilege of reading all three books in this series and wow, each one was better than the last. The Valley of Decision brings this series to an explosive, unexpected end.  The story picks up right where the second book ended and so much is in chaos. Lynne Gentry writes with authority on archeology, art from both past and present, our world past and present, and time traveling. Lynne Gentry does what not many authors can and that is flawlessly transition between the past and present, making time traveling seem possible.  This book and series had me on the edge of my seat, guessing until the end. I could not put the books down and could NOT wait for the next one to be published.  I enjoyed all of the characters in this book and series, a great mixture of characters from completely different times brought together.  I enjoy Lynne Gentry's style of writing and really learn a lot from her writing as a craft and through historical facts. She brings together the perfect blend of fact and fiction, I found myself looking up and learning so much about our history especially as Christians and the struggles they faced. I am sad that the series has ended but enjoyed every minute of it. I HIGHLY recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I do recommend reading the books in order. I cannot wait to read what Lynne Gentry comes up with next! I give this book and this series 5+ STARS!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Promise to Keep: Promise of Sunrise Book 3 By Elizabeth Byler Younts

I received this book from Howard Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife's death in this touching historical romance.

Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin's deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther's grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.


My Thoughts: 

Promise to Keep is book 3 in Elizabeth Byler Younts Promise of Sunrise Book and I really enjoyed it. I have not read any books by Elizabeth Byler Younts so I was excited to have the opportunity to read a new to me author. Especially a new to me Amish Fiction and Christian Historical Fiction author. As a HUGE Amish Fiction and Christian Historical fan I am always excited to learn of new authors to read.  Promise to Keep is the 3rd and last book of the Promise of Sunrise series but it definitely doesn't need to be read in order and this book can definitely be read as a stand alone.  This book takes place during WWII and the impact it had on the Amish and English alike. Esther Detweiler was orphaned as a child living with her grandmother and taking care of her. When Esther's cousin died, Esther and Orpha took in her deaf daughter, Daisy because Irene's husband Joe decided to enlist in the military. Irene was raised Amish but left when she married Joe Garrison and was shunned by everyone except Esther and Orpha.  Until Esther took in Daisy no one knew she was deaf, they all thought she was "simple" but eventually Esther figured it out and taught herself and Daisy to communicate mainly through sign language and their own ways. Esther knew Joe would be back for Daisy after his service was done but that didn't change that Esther has been a mother to Daisy and the only parent she has really ever known so when Joe comes home, Daisy doesn't understand and is very angry. Esther is afraid of what will happen when Joe is ready to take Daisy back and raise her. As Esther works with Daisy and Joe, Esther and Joe start to have feelings for one another past being in laws and co parents for Daisy.

I really enjoyed this book by Elizabeth Byler Younts! As a huge fan of Amish and Christian Historical fiction this book is the best of both worlds. When I requested this book I was not aware it was the third and last book in a series and didn't know until I finished the book and read the acknowledgements at the end. This book definitely can be read as stand alone. I could NOT tell that it was part of a series and I did not feel like I was missing any parts of the story. Elizabeth Byler Younts grew up in an Amish Community so there is a knowledge and authenticity to this story that really stands out. I found myself learning so much more about the Amish and their role in WWII, the military in general. Elizabeth Byler Younts paints a realistic, honest look at Amish life, not just the happy or pleasant. I found myself taken in with this story from the start and had a hard time putting it down. This story is great and I have definitely found another author to add to my list! I look forward to reading Elizabeth Byler Younts other books! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish and Christian Historical fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Methuselah Project By Rick Barry

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 


Nazi scientists started many experiments. One never ended.

Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed--until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.

When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success--but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America--just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015--and the world has become an unrecognizable place.

Katherine Mueller--crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle--offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee?

Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.




My Thoughts: 

The Methuselah Project is the first book by Rick Barry I have read and all I can say is AWESOME! This book takes place in two different times in history until they collide into the present. Parts of the book take place starting with WW2 and other parts take place in the present and eventually the past catches up with the present and they come together and it is explosive.  Captain Roger Greene was born to fly. From the time he can remember it is all he ever wanted to do, so when he could, he joined the US Eighth Army Air Force and flew planes for the WW2 efforts to defeat Hitler.  One of his missions he is shot down. Captain Greene survived and was taken prisoner by German soldiers. Instead of going to a POW camp, Captain Greene wakes up in a cell somewhere with six other service men in separate cells. Captain Greene and the other men in this project are referred to by their number 1-7, Capt. Greene is number seven, the last person captured for this project.  Soon it is explained that these men have been chosen for medical experimentation of a serum of sorts that is like a Fountain of Youth. The project extents the subjects life span, their bodies do not age, and their bodies can heal from sickness or injury in no time flat. All seven men were inoculated with Methuselah but Captain Greene is the only one of the seven that survived. After the war ended the Methuselah Project continued being funded by private people and referred to "The Organization"  Capt. Greene is held captive in from December 1943 until his escape in March 2015. Simultaneously Katherine Mueller lives in Atlanta with her Uncle Karl. Karl took her in when both of her parents died when she was very young. Katherine comes from a long line of German descendants who are part of this organization called Heritage Organization or HO as those inside call it.  Captain Greene and Katherine's paths crossed and now they are in a mess together. As Roger tries to stay alive, Katherine is doing what she can to help him even though his story sounds outrageous.

The Methuselah Project is really a fantastic read. From the first page until the last this book grabbed a hold of me and kept me on the edge of my seat. I had a VERY hard time putting this book down.  As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction I was excited to learn more. Rick Barry writes with authority about World War Two history, science and technology past and current, flying/being a pilot, and the Armed Forces. Rick Barry writes with such detail that I honestly felt like I was there, a part of the action. The characters in this book are amazing. I really enjoyed the characters, good and bad guys. Sometimes it was hard to tell which were which.  I love books like this! The idea of the Methuselah Project really started me thinking about the sciences out there and what people can do with it, good or bad.  The Methuselah Project is a work of fiction but wow, to think it could be real, really gets you thinking. I found myself experience a range of emotions as I read this book from laughing out loud to crying. This book has a little bit of everything: mystery, intrigue, murder, romance, and action. So I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Rick Barry! I give this book 5+ STARS.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Stone Cold Case: A Rock Shop Mystery Book Two By Catherine Dilts

I received this book from Roger Charlie Publicity and Management and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Rock shop owner Morgan Iverson's discovery of human remains reopens a cold case and unhealed wounds in a Colorado mountain town, while her find of a rare gemstone sparks a dangerous treasure hunt.

The remains are those of Carlee Kruger, a prom queen who vanished fifteen years ago. Carlee's mother asks Morgan to investigate. A Sasquatch look-alike may hold the key to both Carlee's death and the gemstone, but he eludes the police, despite repeated sightings by an elderly cowboy and the rock shop's donkeys. As she uncovers the past, Morgan becomes the target of someone determined to keep the truth buried.

In book two of the Rock Shop Mystery series, amateur sleuth Morgan Iverson digs into gemstone prospecting to solve a Stone Cold Case.



My Thoughts:

Stone Cold Case is the second book in Catherine Dilts Rock Shop Mystery Series and it is fantastic. From the time I can remember I have enjoyed mystery books so this book was definitely for me! I have not read books by Catherine Dilts but now that I have, I definitely have another author to add to my must read list. I don't usually read a book that is part of a series unless I have read the previous books but Stone Cold Case sounded too good to pass up and I am glad I didn't pass it up. This book can definitely be read as a stand alone. Catherine Dilts does a great job making sure new readers have the details needed not to feel lost. I did not feel that the details were overdone to the point that it would bore someone who read the first book. This book had the perfect balance.  This book starts a few months after the last one started with Morgan Iverson making a go of her rock shop and learning what she needs to about rocks and geology. While with a class in the forest Morgan falls into human remains and a "Bigfoot" type mountain man on the loose. Morgan dives in with her amateur sleuthing skills she finds herself getting herself into something bigger than she could imagined.

Stone Cold Case is a great book! Catherine Dilts writes with authority about Colorado, geology, gems, rocks, running a business, and solving mysteries. This book grabbed a hold of me and made it very hard to put it down! I really felt like I was there as the story unfolded.  Catherine Dilts kept readers guessing until the end and leaving me wanting to read more. As I stated, I did not read Catherine's debut novel but that did not detract from my enjoyment of her book. I enjoyed the characters including Morgan's elderly donkeys that escaped all the time. I enjoyed both the seriousness and the silliness in this novel.....I found myself laughing in lots of parts at the hi jinx Morgan found herself in. I really enjoyed this book and I think that anyone who enjoys Mystery/Suspense Fiction, you will enjoy it too! I have the first book in this series, Stone Cold Death, on my TBR pile. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series too! I give this book 5 STARS.
I want to thank Catherine Dilts and Samantha Lien from Roger Charlie for this opportunity to read and review this book!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Wedding at The Orange Blossom Inn: Book 3 in Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish Brides of Pinecraft Series

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

A wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.
Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband’s memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?
Emma’s gentleness with Jay’s boys stirs something in his heart that’s been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son’s joy, Jay wonders if it’s time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.
Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?


My Thoughts:

A Wedding at The Orange Blossom Inn is the third book in Shelley Shepard Gray's latest series, The Amish Brides of Pinecraft and it is fantastic! As a huge fan of Amish Fiction, Shelley Shepard Gray's books are in my top 10 to read and this latest book did NOT disappoint! In this book Emma Keim and Jay Hilty are both widowed with three children each and of course Frankie the beagle who brings them together in the first place because of his love of pizza.  Again this book takes place in Pinecraft with a good portion at The Orange Blossom Inn, the setting for the other two books.  Shelley Shepard Gray writes with authority on The Amish, their faith, the communities throughout the US, Pinecraft,FL, and the hospitality industry. I love the setting being in this beautiful inn. I can pictured myself there as I read these books. Shelley Shepard Gray information about the Amish is correct and in each book I have learned more about the Amish that I didn't know before. I had a hard time putting this book down, the story grabbed me from the start and held on. I found myself laughing in parts, especially those with Frankie, the beagle and crying in others. I enjoyed meeting new friends and learning about old friends from books past. This book can be read as a stand alone because Shelley Shepard Gray's writing makes it easy to keep up but also not too much to bore those of us that have read the series.  I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed! I am excited to learn that there will be a Book Four in this series, Can't wait!! I give this book 5 STARS.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Heart's Home: Journeyof the Heart Series Book 6 By Colleen Colbe

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are mine.


Book Description:  


Emmie’s hope for a life with Isaac is overshadowed by a tragic loss at Fort Phil Kearny.
Isaac Liddle is keen to marry Emmie, and she knows she shouldn’t hide her pregnancy from him any longer. But before she can tell him her secret, a widower friend asks the impossible of Emmie: Will she honor her promise to his dead wife by marrying him to care for the orphaned baby?
With the Sioux Wars threatening outside the fort, Emmie’s solemn vow threatens her happiness from within. Will she honor a promise sure to break her heart—and Isaac’s? Or is there another way to find a home for her heart?


My Thoughts:

A Heart's Home is the last book in Colleen Coble's Series, Journey of the Heart, and it is a great book.  As most know I am a HUGE Christian Historical Fiction fan but I am not too keen on novellas until I read this set of novellas. Colleen Coble's approach to the novella is fresh and really kept me interested,. I enjoyed the flow of the books and the frequency of their release. This installment wraps up all the stories really well. This book really gets the emotions going from joy to extreme sadness. This story continues with Emmie's journey, as she struggles with her own insecurities and a promise she made a friend she is very conflicted especially since she herself is pregnant and won't be able to hide it much longer. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed, but you definitely have to read them in order. I give this book 5 STARS.


A Heart's Promise: Journey of the Heart Book 5 By Colleen Coble

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

Emmie makes a promise to her friend that, if fulfilled, could mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac.

Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie’s heart and hand. Though Emmie resolves to keep her heart in check, it hurts when she sees that another woman has set her bonnet for Isaac.
Then Emmie’s dear friend extracts a costly promise: if anything happens to her in childbirth, Emmie will marry her widower and raise the baby herself. And it seems Emmie may have to fulfill that promise. But can she live happily without Isaac?



My Thoughts:

A Heart's Promise is the fifth book in Colleen Coble's Journey of the Heart Series.  This series is a collection of six novellas that tell a whole story.  As I have stated before I am not usually a fan of novellas but this series changed my mind.  In A Heart's Promise more of Emmie Croftner's story unfolds.  Emmie is in love with Isaac, a lieutenant in the US Army and Isaac is in love with Emmie but Emmie does not want Isaac to find out about her past so she decides to let him go. Emmie fears he will walk away when he finds out she is pregnant so she decides to let him go first.  As Emmie goes on with her life she has a hard time seeing another woman with Isaac, but the shame of her previously life keeps her from Isaac. Amelia, Emmie's close friend is also pregnant but fears she will die in childbirth and asks Emmie to promise if she does die that Emmie will marry Amelia's husband and raise the baby as her own. Emmie makes this promise to Amelia, knowing what it means and what/who she is giving up. 

A Heart's Promise is a great read. These novellas definitely need to be read in order so that the story can be enjoyed. I enjoyed that the focus was more on Emmie's story but the characters from the other books are still around and we get to continue following their stories.  The characters in this story are very real people, living life. I have to say my favorite character is Emmie Croftner.  Emmie Croftner's life has been hard, but she has made it through. She also fights to have a life but she doesn't believe she can have true happiness. I cannot wait to read the final book to see how these stories finish. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Eve: A Novel By WM. Paul Young

I received this book from Howard Books A Division of Simon & Schuster for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

From the author of the twenty-five-million-copy bestseller The Shack comes a captivating new novel destined to be one of the most talked-about books of the decade.

Eve is a bold, unprecedented exploration of the Creation narrative, true to the original texts and centuries of scholarship—yet with breathtaking discoveries that challenge traditional beliefs about who we are and how we’re made. Eve opens a refreshing conversation about the equality of men and women within the context of our beginnings, helping us see each other as our Creator does—complete, unique, and not constrained by cultural rules or limitations.

When a shipping container washes ashore on an island between our world and the next, John the Collector finds a young woman inside—broken, frozen, and barely alive. With the aid of Healers and Scholars, John oversees her recovery and soon discovers that her genetic code connects her to every known race. No one would guess what her survival will mean…

No one but Eve, Mother of the Living, who calls her “daughter” and invites her to witness the truth about her own story—indeed, the truth about us all.

As The Shack awakened readers to a personal, non-religious understanding of God, Eve will free us from faulty interpretations that have corrupted human relationships since the Garden of Eden.

Thoroughly researched and exquisitely written, Eve is a masterpiece that will inspire readers for generations to come.


My Thoughts:

Eve is the latest book by WM. Paul Young and it is a good one. I have not read any of his other books but do have them in my To Be Read pile. Eve is the retelling of the story of Creation and the fall of Man from a personal viewpoint,  seeing it from the view point of Lily, one of the main characters in the book.  This book was definitely well researched and gives the story of creation a modern look God and the story of man. I felt the writing was good but I had a hard time keeping up in the beginning but eventually it all evened out and I felt I had a firmer grasp on the message WM. Paul Young was writing about. I did have a hard time connecting with the book but that shouldn't discourage readers from this book. I think this book is a good book and for anyone looking for a modern telling of the story of creation this is definitely the right book for you! I plan on reading Eve again and hope to be able to add more to my review.  I give this book 3.5 STARS.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Until My Name is Known: Tell of My Kingdom's Glory Book 1 By Sonya Contreras

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt is a love story between God and His people. God woos His people to Himself as He prepares them to leave. Before leaving, God must fight Pharaoh for possession of His people. See how God changes all people: some for the better, others not. None stay the same. How will He change you? Can you trust a God Who destroyed a nation before your eyes? Would you want Him as your Friend?
See God free His people from Egypt’s bonds before a watching world. Trace His Finger in the lives He touches. The time: 2450 BC. The Place: Old Kingdom of Egypt where Pharaoh is god. His people worship him. Israel’s God arrives. He challenges Pharaoh. His power touches all people. They must change. Some do not concede. They suffer. Others yield. They find freedom.
Until My Name Is Known brings all to see the one true God. Read it to see Him. Today’s historians and archaeologists puzzle over the fall of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, But the world at that time heard of God. The world knew that He is the Lord. His Name was proclaimed in all the earth.


My Thoughts:

Until My Name is Known is the first book in Sonya Contreras debut series, The Tell of My Kingdom's Glory and it is a good book. As my regular followers know I am always interested in reading books from brand new authors and that one of my favorite genres is Biblical fiction because of all the history. Sonya Contreras writes with authority about the bible, Egypt during biblical times, how the different religions were structured, and how the hierarchy was structured.  The book has the right balance of fact and fiction to keep the book interesting. I enjoyed this book and felt like I was there watching things unfold as I read. I liked that the book told the story from the different points of view from Pharaoh to the slaves. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction, you will enjoy this. I look forward to reading more from Sonya Contreras.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Perfect Cast: Book One of Love's Enduring Promise series By T.K. Chapin

I received this book from the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

“Meeting him was fate, loving him was a choice, and spending the rest of my life with him… well that was destiny.”

At the brink of adulthood Jess thought she had it all figured out, that was until her parents split and her mom whisked her away to the middle of nowhere. Her Grandpa’s farm was the last place on earth she wanted to be, and with no cell phones, internet or cable she was destined for a summer of boredom.

Man of Her Dreams
Clint Foster, the man who has everything going for him. Successful, charming and downright gorgeous; Clint’s the man she can see a future with. The only problem is her Grandpa’s farmhand Levi keeps getting in her way.

Trading in rock concerts for chicken coops and sneakers for cowboy boots; join Jess as she finds love in the unexpected places.



My Thoughts:

The Perfect Cast is the first book of T.K. Chapin and it is great!! I have never had the pleasure of reading any of  his books until now. I am very glad I had the chance to read this one. I really enjoyed T.K. Chapin's unique writing style, every chapter was from a different characters point of view and it really gave the whole picture of what was going on physically and emotionally. The transitions between characters and chapters were flawless, I never felt lost or confused.  Their parents are separated and it has caused a huge rift between Jess and her mother, Tiffany. So Roy is trying to help  all of them process through all of this especially since Jess and Henry believe their Mom left their Dad just because, when the real reason was infidelity. Roy has a helper on the farm, Levi who spends most of his time with Roy. From the start Levi and Jess explode....their interactions are hilarious.   Jess had made it clear she could not wait for the end of summer and she had no plans of enjoying herself but as she started to give things a chance, she started to make connections. All of the teenagers know each other in this area since they grew up together so any get together Jess goes to Levi is there. Then Jess meets Clint and she falls for him, she thinks he is the man of her dreams and sees him in her future.  Unfortunately people and situations are not what they seem and Jess learns that big lesson in her summer with Grandpa Roy.

I really enjoyed T.K. Chapin's unique writing style, every chapter was from a different characters point of view and it really gave the whole picture of what was going on physically and emotionally. The transitions between characters and chapters were flawless, I never felt lost or confused. As for the characters, I LOVED the characters in this book, even the not so good ones. The characters are well written and very real. I really enjoyed Roy, Jess's Grandpa. who lives the statement age is just a number. Roy is a faithful servant of the Lord and lives his life according to God's plan, or at least tries very hard to. I could not put the book down. It moved at a steady pace and definitely kept me on my toes through out the whole book. This story definitely has twists and turns. I found myself laughing in some places an crying in others.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction with some romance, you won't be sorry. I cannot wait to read more from T.K. Chapin and read the rest of The Love's Enduring Promise series. I give this book 5 STARS.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Through Waters Deep: Waves of Freedom Book 1 By Sarah Sundin Enter to Win an Anchors Aweigh Prize Pack!!

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinion expressed here are my own.



Book Description:

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.



My Thoughts: 

Through Waters Deep is the first book in Sarah Sundin's latest series, Waves of Freedom and it is great! As a fan of  historical fiction I really was excited to read it. Also my Dad and my husband both served in the Navy so I am always interested in reading about the Navy, so this book had both. Sarah Sundin writes with authority about the 1940's, the Navy, WWII and events leading up to it, and Boston.  Sarah Sundin writes a perfect mixture of fact and fiction that kept me engaged. I loved learning about the shipyards and the different ships that were built and used during this time. I found myself looking up names and places to get a better picture of the story.  I found myself unable to put this book down because it kept me guessing until the end. This story had a little of everything romance, mystery, history, and adventure. As I read this book I felt like I was there with Mary Stirling seeing the story unfold. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read the rest of  this series! I give this book 5 STARS.



Dive into Sarah Sundin's explosive new series, Waves of Freedom, with book one, Through Waters DeepWhen evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them in the midst of their budding romance.

Join Sarah in celebrating the release of Through Waters Deep by entering to win an Anchors Aweigh prize pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Through Waters Deep
  • A nautical tote bag
  • A set of compass rose notecards
  • A "Hope Anchors the Soul" journal
  • A Boston Tea Party earl grey tea set
  • Through Waters Deep apron
  • A set of nautical tea towels
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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. The winner will be announced August 25th on Sarah's blog.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Irish Meadows: Courage to Dream Book 1 By Susan Anne Mason! A Kindle Fire Giveaway and An Author Chat

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

Irish immigrant James O’Leary has spent his life building Irish Meadows into a thriving horse farm and is not about to let hard economic times threaten its success. He intends for his daughters to marry prosperous men–ones who will secure the family’s rightful place in society, and at the same time, guarantee the future of Irish Meadows. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their father expects them to marry well. Yet despite his wishes, Brianna, the quieter sister, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry–as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards. When stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from college and distant family member Rylan Montgomery stops in on his way to the seminary in Boston, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?


My Thoughts: 

Irish Meadows is the first book in Susan Anne Mason's Courage to Dream Series and it is amazing. This is also Susan Anne Mason's debut book!! WOW! I am a huge fan of Historical Fiction and Debut books so this was the perfect match for me! Susan Anne Mason did an amazing job on this first book of weaving fact and fiction into this wonderful book. She writes with authority about horses, running a stables, the church rules, orphanages and the people that run them,  society in 1911, and the way of life during this time. As I read this book I felt like I was right there at Irish Meadows watching the horses and the people. Susan Anne Mason's writing transported me to this time and place, inside the lives of these characters.  I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Each one of them with their unique personalities that fit together like puzzle pieces! I have to say my favorite character is Rylan Montgomery. Rylan is a great character that has a great sense of humor and is so sensitive to the others around him and has the desire to help everyone. As Rylan struggled with his own dilemmas, he never hid from them or lied, he stated them out loud and honestly.  I found this book very hard to put down. From the first page until the last I did feel transported to this other world, part of the lives of the people at Irish Meadows.  I found myself laughing in parts of this book and crying in others, as this book deals with some heavy and not so heavy subjects! I did really enjoy this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I have found myself another other to read and I am excited! I cannot wait to read what Susan Anne Mason has in store for us next!  I give this book 5 STARS.

Will Brianna and Colleen have the courage to stand up to their father's schemes to save their horse farm and instead pursue true love? Don't miss Irish Meadows, the newest book by Susan Anne Mason! As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, their father grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

Join Susan in celebrating the release of Irish Meadows by entering to win her Kindle Fire giveaway and RSVPing to her September 1st author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • One copy of Irish Meadows
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 9/1. The winner will be announced at the Irish Meadows Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Susan and other readers, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor By Melanie Dobson

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.
Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.
Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.
Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.
Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.


My Thoughts:


Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is Melanie Dobson's latest book and it is just WOW! When I read the book description I was taken in by it and knew I had to read it. As a Mom of 3, I have 2 children who are special needs on the Autism Spectrum and so as I read this book I really identified with much of what her parents went through except at that time there was no name or treatment for it, it was said to be because of bad parenting especially by the mother. This story takes place in two times, the present where Heather Toulson is home in England cleaning out her family home after her father dies and then in 1950's and 60's from Libby's birth until the the past catches up to the present. Melanie Dobson does a fantastic job transitioning between the different times and the different characters, the flow is amazing, flawless actually. Melanie Dobson writes with obvious expertise and experience with the Autism Spectrum and all of the good and bad that comes with it.  She writes from her heart about Libby and Libby's special gifts, the gifts she passed on to her family. Oh just a beautiful story. From the start, this story grabbed me from the first page all the way to the end, also keeping me guessing until the end. Melanie Dobson really gives an accurate view of a child with special needs and all the things that come with it, the hard and the beautiful. The gifts these children have, a way of thinking that others cannot understand. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time, the impression left on my heart. I found myself laughing in some parts and sobbing in others. Definitely an emotional book! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction! You will not be disappointed! Melanie Dobson is on my top 10 list of authors I MUST read! I give this book 5+ Stars!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer's List By Anita Higman

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:  

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love... didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.  
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?
With lovable characters and surprising twists, Summer's List is a simple delight.


My Thoughts:  


Summer's List by Anita Higman is a wonderful, wonderful book. I have had the pleasure of reading a few books by Anita Higman and I have always enjoyed them, but Summer's List is on a whole other level!  Summer Snow has not had an easy time in life. When her parents were hurt in an accident, Summer was there caring for them through the end and also running her grandma's book store, a children's book store that Summer spent most of her life. Summer Snow spent most of her childhood having to be an adult and care for the needs of others. Granny Snow has found out she is dying and with what time she has left she decided that Summer needs to have adventures so she makes a list of fun things that Summer never got a chance to do that Granny felt were essential, Summer's List. Granny Snow wanted to be able to be a part of this list with Summer.  The first thing, Find Martin Langtree, Summer's childhood best friend whom she loved. Martin lost his mom and was adopted and had to move away and they never saw each other again. Granny Snow knew how important Martin was and still is to Summer and figured Martin would be the perfect one to do this list with Summer.  Granny Snow gives Summer her list and an address and she is off to do number 1 on the list, find Martin and ask him to do the list with her.

I LOVED this book. It caught my attention right from the start and definitely kept me all the way to the end. Anita Higman writes with authority about Texas, bookstores, gardening, and loss of a grandparent. I was very close with my Grandpa, like Summer with her Grandma, so this story really spoke to me. I also had a friend like Martin that I have known since we were babies and we have lost touch and I miss him! This is a book that will stay with me for quite some time! The characters in this book are fantastic and I enjoyed being able to watch them all be transformed by God's word.  I found myself laughing in places and crying in others! Definitely was an emotional read.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you won't be disappointed! I cannot wait to read more from Anita Higman! I give this book 5 STARS.

Two Roads Home: Chicory Inn Book 2 By Deborah Raney

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?


My Thoughts:


Two Roads Home is the second book in Deborah Raney's Chicory Inn Series and I really enjoyed it! I had the honor of reading and reviewing, Home to Chicory Lane, the first book in this series and was excited to have another opportunity to read and review this one! I am a big fan of Deborah Raney's writing so I am always on the lookout for her latest books.  In Book Two the focus is on Corinne and Jesse Pennington, the Whitman's oldest daughter and her husband. Jesse and Corinne live a comfortable life with their three girls but Jesse is feeling incomplete, he is not doing what he wants to do, and that is go back to school to become a teacher. Corinne is also feeling this incomplete feeling and feels Jesse's, but neither one has spoken to the other about these feelings.  They find themselves in the middle of a life storm when a co worker makes advances toward Jesse during a business trip. When Jesse rebukes the advances, he finds himself  being accused of harassment by this co worker. As this storm is brewing Jesse and Corinne are feeling led to find other dreams.

I really enjoyed Two Roads Home. I found myself being able to relate to this couple in many ways. Jesse and Corinne are the "old married couple" who everyone assumes has everything in life together, settled but they aren't. Both of them are restless and looking for something else for their family.  Deborah Raney writes with authority about Cape Girardeau, Mo, being a Stay at home Mom, running an inn inside a family home, marriage, and following God's leading.  I found myself unable to put this book down once I started it, from start to finish this book took many twists and turns and was definitely not what I expected, which I love!! I really enjoy the cast of characters in the Whitman Family especially Grant and Audrey Whitman. They are such pillars for their family and puts their faith in God's plan. They are devoted to their family and their inn. I love the interactions between them. As I stated, in this book the focus is The Pennington Family but fear not, the characters from book one are also back.  I loved reading Jesse and Corinne's story while being able to keep up with the rest of the Whitman Family.  I highly recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed.  I am excited to read the next book in the series, Another Way Home! I give this book 5 STARS

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal: Journey of The Heart Book 4 By Colleen Coble

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered a terrible truth. A woman she's never met reveals that she and Emmie shared the same husband and that the bigamist had never divorced his first wife. The home and farm are not Emmie's property after all.

Suddenly displaced and powerless, Emmie realizes she can't stay in Wabash, Indiana, any longer. She makes for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning await her. But when she arrives, she discovers she's carrying a child, conceived before her husband's death. Was the new start she'd hoped for only a mirage?

At Fort Laramie, a soldier named Isaac Liddle begins to court Emmie, prompting her to wonder whether she could ever really be his--and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.




My Thoughts: 

A Heart's Betrayal is the fourth novella in The Journey of the Heart series by Colleen Coble. I love reading Colleen Coble's books, but not a fan of novellas until I started reading this novella series! In this latest installment we read about Emmie Croftner, the sister of Ben Croftner (the villain of this series), and she is in trouble.  Emmie's husband is killed in an accident and when Emmie goes to his home to claim the home and the other things she inherited, she finds out that He already had a wife, so Emmie has no claim to any of the properties. Emmie knows she can't stay in Indiana so she decides to head to Fort Laramie, Wyoming where her friend Sarah is, hoping to find a fresh start, but after she gets there she finds out she is pregnant with her "husbands" child.  I loved reading about Emmie and her continued story. It was nice to see more characters in this book. Rand and Sarah are still part of this book but Emmie's story takes the front seat!  This book still keeps you guessing until the end and leaves you at a cliff hanger. I really did enjoy this installment and look forward to reading the rest! I enjoy the historical aspects of this book and the whole series! Colleen Coble is definitely an expert on this time in history and the US during this time. This book definitely kept me engaged from start to finish, leaving me anxious for the next installment. I look forward to the rest of the novellas in this series! I give this book 4 STARS.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Proposal at Siesta Key: Amish Brides of Pinecraft, Book Two By Shelley Shepard Gray

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

A young Amish woman, yearning for freedom, crosses paths with a handsome Mennonite celebrity in a deeply moving tale of friendship and self-discovery—the second installment in the unforgettable New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.

Penny Troyer rarely disobeys her parents. In the years since her sister’s tragic death, they’ve wanted nothing more than to keep her safe…even if it means never leaving the house.
But tonight, she’s bending the rules because Michael Knoxx, the most famous member of The Knoxx Family Singers, a traveling Mennonite Evangelical family —is scheduled to speak. Penny has heard of Michael—how he lost part of his leg in a terrible accident and uses the experience to inspire others—and knows she must meet him. So, for the first time ever, Penny stands up to her parents and goes out on her own.
Though he speaks about living life to the fullest, Michael knows he needs to take his own advice. Life on the road is grueling and Michael wants to slow down, to rest…to perhaps meet someone who sees him as a man, not just a celebrity. So when a twist of fate allows him the chance to stay a little longer in Pinecraft, Michael knows God is showing him a new path, especially when he discovers how much he and Penny Troyer have in common.
But new friendships can’t stop time. Soon, Michael’s time in Pinecraft will be over and he’ll be back on the road. Her time with Michael has brought her happiness, but will she be able to follow her heart? Or will she be faced with the one thing she’s sure she’ll never have the courage to do?



My Thoughts:  

The Proposal at Siesta Key is the second book in Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish Brides of Pinecraft series and it a very good story. As my readers know, I am a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction so Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my favorite authors in the genre! I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, The Promise of Palm Grove so I was very eager to read this next story.  In this book we meet Penny Troyer, an adult who lives a very sheltered life with her parents. Years before Penny's sister, Lissy, died and their parents have kept Penny close, afraid of losing her too.  Penny wanted to go to see a traveling Mennonite Evangelical Family, The Knoxx Family Singers and listen to their son, Michael speak about his own accident in which he lost one of his legs, but her parents didn't want her to go. Penny tells her parents she is going, and she goes.  Michael Knoxx is a very talented speaker who talks about living life to the fullest but he himself doesn't do that. He spends so much time on the move from place to place that he wants to slow down, stop and meet others to be friends with, not adoring fans.  Penny and Michael have a chance meeting that evening, as Penny is walking home.  Penny enjoyed her time so much and decided it is time to be out in the world, which includes her looking for a job. Michael finds himself having to stay in Pinecraft at the Orange Blossom Inn for a month and his family are back on the road. Penny gets a job at the Inn and helping Michael is one of her tasks.  As they spend time together, they begin a beautiful friendship, having feelings for each other but Michael knows he will have to go back on the road and both of them don't want to lose the other.

The Proposal at Siesta Key is a wonderful book, part of a wonderful series.  Shelley Shepard Gray writes with much authority on The Amish, Pinecraft, Florida and the areas around it, Mennonite faith, and traveling.  Her knowledge of Pinecraft, Florida and the areas around it is amazing. She is truly an expert on this community. As I read this book, I felt like I was there in Pinecraft and Siesta Key experiencing the sights along with our characters. Such vivid and detailed descriptions.  As I stated, I read the first book in this series so it was great to see the sights from the first book and to see new sights.  Also I enjoyed meeting new characters/friends but also getting details about my "old friends" from the last book. So many fun and interesting characters make up this book. I enjoyed all of them. This book addressed violence in an Amish Community, which isn't common to read about in Amish Series and it was a reminder that bad things happen to everyone, no one is immune, but what makes it different is in how we respond to it.  I found myself unable to put this book down. From the first chapter until the end I was taken with this book and the characters.  The Proposal at Siesta Key can be read as a stand alone book, not necessary to read the first book to read the next one.  The details in the second book are enough for a new reader but not too much for someone who read the first book. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, definitely will not be disappointed. I look forward to the next book in the series and reading other books from Shelley Shepard Gray. I give this book 4 STARS.