The review of books on this site, are my own opinions. I have either bought these books, borrowed these books or been given an advanced reader's copy to review. I never receive any money for my personal reviews.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Blame it on the Mistletoe is certainly a delightful story that just about everyone will enjoy reading. The little Pennsylvania town of Bright's Pond is the home of many diverse personalities each with a story to tell. Griselda Sparrow is a middle-aged lady who is just beginning to discover her wings. Agnes is Griselda's sister who has suffered from being morbidly obese and was moved into the Greebrier Nursing Home by way of a forklift. Griselda is taking flying lessons from Cliff Cardwell and she is questioning herself about her feelings for Cliff and also for her long time boyfriend Zeb Sewickey. There is quite a lot of strange things going on at the nursing home with elderly residents riding tricycles and smooching in the crooked gazebo that was built by a slightly odd little fellow named Leon Fontaine, who some people are beginning to suspect may be the source of a fountain of youth.

This book was provided to me to read and review by the publisher Abingdon Press and Net Galley.

When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

Hannah Lapp is an Amish teenager who has fallen in love with a Mennonite man. Hannah's father would never permit a marriage for Hannah to a Mennonite so she keeps the engagement to Paul Waddell a secret from her family. Unfortunately, a horrific thing happens to Hannah while walking down a deserted road and this leads to so many more complications in her life. How she comes to deal with the many things that happen to her makes a very interesting read that for some may lead to many more questions about the Amish faith and how they take care of their own problems.

I think that this book by Cindy Woodsmall will bring questions and perhaps resentment to some people who read it. This is understandable, but perhaps it is better to step back and realize that the Amish community is not like the English world (English meaning those outside the Amish community). The book is very touching but at times harsh, but this is life in this community. The story will continue into other books, so there will be some resolution for Hannah.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

Mattie's sweetheart for many years Gideon broke off their engagement without an explanation of what was really happening to him. After three years of seperation, circumstances throw them back together again, but will Mattie be able to find it in her heart to listen to Gideon and try to learn the truth of what happened three years ago. Much has happened to both of these people, but does ether of them know the other person all that well?
I really enjoyed reading this book. Cindy Woodsmall has such a lovely way of writing about some of the ordinary day to day things that occur in an Amish community. This is a lovely, easy to read story about love, forgiveness and trust. It also has a lot of references about cakes since Mattie has her own bakery and makes cakes for many special occasions. Just reading about the cakes makes me hungry. At the end of the book are a few recipes for some cakes that sound wonderful. I just might make a cake or two soon.

This book was provided to me to read and review by WaterBrook Multnomah’s blogging for books.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Road Trip by Jo Lynn Crozier

Imagine this, a woman named Liz wakes up too early in the morning with a terrible headache. Liz makes her way to the kitchen to get a hot cup of coffee. Heading back to the dining room to enjoy her cup of coffee and quietly visit with the Lord Liz hears a voice telling her that "My plan for you is ministry". Liz gulps and asks if He knows who He is talking to, as if the Lord would ever make a mistake. The Lord tells Liz that she is going to take a road trip with Him and Liz is excited to join the Lord on this trip. Liz is about to find out that the trip will be in a motorcycle sidecar with God as the driver.
The trips along the way take us to fantastic places that will open your eyes to so many of our basic beliefs and how God has given us so much and what He expects from us in return. These trips introduce us to angels, people, animals and even insects who will give you occasional humerous looks into the Lord's plan for all of us.
The Road Trip is a book that I recommend to everyone. The story is fun to read and inspires us to appreciate the fact that God is everywhere and always there for us.

This book was provided to me to read and review by Emanuel House Publishing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Amish Wedding by Kelly Long, Kathleen Fuller and Beth Wiseman

An Amish Wedding by Kelly Long, Kathleen Fuller and Beth Wiseman

Three Amish wedding stories in one book. The three stories follow the background and planning for the weddings of three couples. The first story is A Perfect Secret by Kelly Long and follows Rose and Luke as they deal with "secrets" from their past that effect their present lives. The second story is A Perfect Match by Kathleen Fuller and tells us about Naomi and Zeke as they deal with Zeke's fear of his own marriage becoming like his parent's and Naomi who must deal with a man from her past who abandoned her. The third story, A Perfect Plan by Beth Wiseman is about Priscilla and Chester. Chester is concerned that Priscilla is too concerned about having everything being perfect for the wedding of her dreams.
I really enjoyed reading the three stories. Each story intertwined with the others since the setting for the stories is in the same place with the same families but written by different authors. It was interesting to read about the various traditions within the Amish community, especially as to weddings. This really is a very sweet book and I will read it again. I highly recommend it to anyone intersted in the Amish and especially weddings.
This book was provided to me to read and review by

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunrise on the Battery

Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville have worked hard to achieve what they consider to be success. They have a beautiful home and life in Charleston, South Carolina with their three daughters. Their girls go to the best private schools and they all shop at high end stores and wear designer label clothing. Soon all of their hopes to belong to the best social circles will be open to them, but is that what they really want or need? Mary Lynn has found herself being drawn to Christ and wants Jackson and their girls to also become more aware and welcoming to God in their lives also.
At first I was drawn into the book but kept waiting for something to show me that these people were like any of the people that I know. I could not identify with parents that controlled every minute of their children't lives and by doing so, took away a lot of the choices that most teenagers are able to make for themselves. They seemed to be so tightly controlled, especially by their father, that there was no room for mistakes, a valuable learning experience for most people. I found it odd that a car was given to the oldest daughter who was only 15 and she was told not to get a ticket or the car would be taken back to the dealership. Of course she promptly got a ticket and the car was taken away. Personally, I would never have given a car to a teen that young and expected anything good to come of it. Every child needs rules, but they also need limits in what they should be able to do with new freedoms. The father was so utterly controlling, that he really didn't seem normal in any way. Then when he accepts God into his life, he goes completely in the other direction and does a really convincing portayal of a person who has completely lost it. Although at times I could almost see a hint of what this story was trying to tell us, it just annoyed me too much reading about all the nuttiness of Jackson and Mary Lynn to a lesser degree. Since there is a message contained in all the antics of this family, this book may be something that some people would enjoy reading.

This book was provided to me to read and review by Thomas Nelson via

Friday, October 28, 2011

Saving Grace by Annie Jones

Naomi, Rose, Gayle, and Lucy who live in Tennesee come together to re-spark their prayer circle and frienship. A local, eccentric old woman named Grace Grayson-Wiley, who likes to sit on her front porch dressed in very old clothing on the night of the Splendor Belle Gala becomes a bit of an obsession for at least one of the women. The prayer group is asked to help a woman at the diner to bring some food to Grace once per week and from there, the intrique of Grace's story slowly comes to light. The story tells us about each of the friends and a bit about each of their lives, families, loves and problems.
This was a rather nice story, but a bit under-whelming to me. I had a really difficult time just staying with the book and reading it. I must admit that at times it was interesting, but it was also a bit of a drag to read at others. I just couldn't seem to connect with the characters in the story. For the most part, the story was interesting at times, but annoying at other times. It wasn't a bad story, but it wasn't all that great either. I'd recommend others to read it and judge for yourself.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group to read and review.

Monday, October 17, 2011

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons

The American Civil War was a time of  great turmoil within the entire country. Depending on where you lived, you could be fighting with extended family, friends and neighbors. Amanda Belle, a resident of the coastal region of Texas, meets Captain Kent Littlefield of Pennsylvania and the Union army, she is attracted to him and soon falls in love with him. When Texas secedes from the Union, her brother goes off to fight with the Confederates and Littlefield remains with the Union. This contributes to a conflict for Amanda concerning her sense of loyalty to her family and her love for Captain Littlefield.

This was a very interesting book giving us a glimpse into our past and getting some idea of what people had to endure during the war. Along with the story of the war and what people had to endure, we have the family stories of the Belles and the Littlefields and the emotional blackmail of dealing with the strong prejudices of parents who refused to allow a Confederate or a Union person into their family regardless of how the couple in love feel about each other. There is also some glimpses into prison conditions, medicine and treatment of the injured. Soldiers had no real treatment for the PTSD suffered after seeing the horrors of what humans do to each other and having pain and loss infllicted upon so many. All in all, anyone who has an interest in The Civil War and what it was like to live during that time, should find this interesting to read. I do recommend it and did enjoy reading it.

This book was provided to me to read and review by Booksneeze.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson

The setting for this story is the town of East Salem in Westchester, County New York. It's the fall of the year and scary things are happening. The body of a young girl is found dead on top of a large rock. She had been at a party with other high school kids and now they are all suspects in her death. Unfortunately, no one can remember anything. Forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris is acting with the DA's office to help solve this case. She begins to be troubled by really scary dreams that keep waking her up each night at the same exact time. An aquaintance from Dani's high school days re-enters her life. Tommy Gunderson a former NFL linebacker is having some strange things happen on his property. An elderly woman has set off his alarm system and is found in the back yard babbling in various languages and holding a dead frog. She also tells Gunderson that he is next. Next for what? Gunderson is studying to become a PI and eventually becomes an assistant to Dani, helping to search for answers about the murder of the young girl and also to help protect Dani from the many weird things that are happening to her within her home at night.

Although this book has some rather gory scenes, it is quite a story to read. I found it difficult to leave the story, and kept wanting to know more and keep reading until the end. The book is really interesting and will grab you and keep you wanting to know more and know why things are happening. There is definitely a strong case for the presence of good and evil within our world and it does affect all of us in varying ways. Angels are with us and watching over us. Satan is also here and is present in many horrible ways.

This book was provided to me to read and review by

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Wonder of Your Love is the story of love between a more mature couple who have both lost their lifemates. Katie Ann was deserted by her husband for another woman and met a tragic end. She has a young son that his father never saw. They had tried for quite a few years to have a child together and now at 40 Katie will have to raise their child alone. Eli Detweiler's wife died leaving him with 6 children to raise and he did raise them and resisted friends and family's pushing him to marry soon after his wife's death. Now that his children are adults, he wants to travel and see the world without the obligation of a wife and more children. Once again, friends and family will push him to meet and consider Katie Ann to be his new wife. There is a spark between Katie Ann and Eli, but do they really want to marry and start a new life together?

This story was very interesting to read. The use of cell phones for other then emergencies or business surprised me. The various friendships in the story kept my interest, that and all the various interactions between the characters. I've enjoyed reading Amish stories and this one is one of the best.

This book was provided to me to read and review by

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Lancaster County Christmas

Christmas usually brings a sense of happiness and joy to many people. Mattie Riehl  has been hoping to tell her husband Sol that she is with child. A visit to the doctor did not bring the report that she has been hoping for. Jaime and C.J. are an English (non Amish) couple looking forward to a Christmas cruise with Jaime's father. Jaime was also at the doctor's office waiting to get a prescription to renew her sleeping pills that she has been taking since her mother died. When Mattie's son leaves a valued handmade whistle at the doctor's office, Jaime is asked to drop it off on her way home. Both couples meet but a car mishap and a big snowstorm keeps them together longer then any of them wish to be at this time.

The story is a lovely tale about the love between two very different couples. The additional story of how the Riehl's offer their home to the English couple to stay in during an emergency gives us a view into Amish life. The Jaime character was more then annoying to me and detracted from enjoying this book as much as I would love to have been able to say. All in all though, the book is a good short read and is worth reading.
This book was provided to me to read and review by Litfuse Publishing Group.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Charlotte Beck is not like other young women her age. She doesn't seem to want to do all the partying most young women looked forward to around the late 1880's. These parties brought the eligible bachelors and the lovely young ladies together to check each other out. The ladies looked to make a good match with a nice rich husband thus keeping up appearances and social standing. Charlotte wants to attend college and join her father's business but her behavior has finally exasperated Mr. Beck and he has an offer that she can't refuse or so it seems. He has a man in his sights for Charlotte. An astronomer from England you also happens to be a Viscount and his family business is in dire need of saving by Mr. Beck's business interests. If Charlotte will marry the Viscount, she will be permitted to attend college and the money from some business transactions between the Beck's business and the Viscount's family business will save his family from ruin. The only problem is that they both seem to not like each other very much.
This is a very cute story that I really did enjoy very much. Isn't it funny to imagine a father choosing who his daughter should marry and she goes along with it to get what she wants. I can't see this happening in our modern times, but I suppose there are areas of the world that still allow the father in a family to choose mates for his daughters, how sad that is in my humble opinion. Buffalo Bill Cody is a character in this book and the interaction of Charlotte and Colonel Cody is a fun part of this story. I always enjoy reading about the not so distant past and a little romance thrown in makes a very enjoyable read.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hidden Affections by Delia Parr

Annabelle Tyler has been betrayed. She has lost her parents and the scoundrel that she married has taken her inheritance and divorced her. The year is 1831 and divorce is a terrible mark against a woman in society. Because she is divorced, she can no longer teach and the people in the area where she was living, are not kind to her. On a trip to Philadelphia to start a new job in a candy store, the coach she was riding in is attacked by robbers and she is handcuffed to a male passenger who turns out to be a very rich man from Philadelphia named Harrison Graymoor, a known playboy type person. They spend the cold night together waiting for help to come. The local sheriff and other men from the area take them to a minister insisting that they are doing the right thing to force them to marry.
I enjoyed this romance story very much. I could almost imagine this fictional story actually happening way back when. It is a bit difficult to accept that anyone would be forced to marry a stranger under threats from the sheriff, but once I got past that idea, I just enjoyed reading the story and learning how love developed between Annabelle and Harrison. There are a lot of twists and turns and interesting characters in this book. Historical romances give us a chance to see how different things were in the past. This book is a worthwhile read and another fine story from Delia Parr.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to read and review.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spring For Susannah

Susannah Underhill has little prospects for marriage and she is alone. Because of her situation she decides to accept the offer of marriage to her minister's homesteading brother in the Dakota territory. Susannah is not exactly ready for what awaits her. Jesse, her new husband lives in a very small soddy, in a place with distant neighbors. Gradually it becomes apparent that the petite Susannah is more then up to the daily jobs that await her. As the daughter of a veterinarian, she has had a lot of experience working with animals, some who need immediate medical help. This ability to help animals comes in handy with the various animals who need attention when there is no vet around. Susannah also proves herself by the meals that she makes and how she makes the tiny soddy a home for herself and her new husband Jessie. Susannah's new husband is gentle and supportive toward her and does not rush her into anything that she is not quite ready for. Eventually she is expecting a baby and even this does not slow down her ability to work hard and keep the home running for Jessie and herself. An attack of grasshoppers causes a disaster for the farmers of the territory and Jessie decides to go off and look for work away from the soddy home and farm that he and Susannah live on. This causes all sorts of troubles for the young couple, but they both find their own ways to survive until they can be together again.

This was a joy to read. It always makes me wonder how people survived back before all the modern conveniences that we now can't live without. Deep inside all of us is a strength to deal with whatever we must face in our lives and our faith and belief in God will always keep us from giving into despair. If you enjoy reading about these pioneers and the lives that they lead, then this book is one you will want to read.

This book was provided to me, to read and review by Litfuse Publicity Group.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Foolish Heart

My Foolish Heart is the name of a syndicated talk radio show that the character Isadora Presley hosts. Even though Isadora or Issy as she is known to her friends, gives advice to the lovelorn, she has never even been on a date. Issy works on her radio show from right inside her home. Issy's listeners are not aware that she is afraid to leave her house but does manage to go into her yard and do gardening and even force herself to get a little exercise jogging around the block. Issy was in a tragic accident that took the life of her mother and put her father in a nursing home and on a respirator. Since that time, she has been suffering from panic attacks. When a new neighbor moves in next door, things begin to change for Issy. The new neighbor also begins to call her radio show and neither of them realize that they are neighbors, not just a name on the radio program.
I enjoyed reading this book. The support shown to Issy by her friends and father was very heartwarming. They all encouraged her to keep trying to do a little more and test herself beyond her own safe barriers. At times I couldn't help but think that Issy was a bit selfish,  her father was in the nursing home and she couldn't go and visit him. She wouldn't go out and buy some food, instead her friend had to bring her food and donuts. In a way it was almost like some people were just enabling her to pity herself and let her hide at home. I know she was traumatized by the accident and having her mother die in her arms, but it seemed to take a long time for her to finally break free and embrace life again. Grief and horrific occurances affect each person differently, so I guess she just needed time to come to terms with her problems. The story is really a very good read and I highly recommend it to all.

This book was provided to me by Litfuse Publicity Group to read and review.

Win a Night on the Town from Miss Foolish Heart

Win a Romantic Night on the Town from Miss Foolish Heart!

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest Deep Haven book, My Foolish Heart!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

To celebrate this charming novel about a dating expert who's never had a date, Susan has put together a romantic night on the town for one lucky couple. One grand prize winner will receive a Miss Foolish Heart prize package worth over $200!

The winner of the Romantic Night on the Town Prize Pack will receive:

* A $100 Visa Gift Card (For Dinner)

* A $100 Gift Certificate to a Hyatt/Marriott Hotel

* The entire Deep Haven series

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 16th. The winner will be announced that evening during Susan’s Miss Foolish Heart Party on Facebook! Susan will be chatting with guests, hosting a book club chat about My Foolish Heart, testing your Deep Haven trivia skills, and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, donuts, and more!) Don't miss the fun and BRING YOUR FRIENDS! 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Links to my Missions of Mercy book reviews

Contest Information

Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her 3 book Missions of Mercy series!

Three heroes, all on missions of mercy, who discover that God not only saves us from evil, but from the darkness inside.

Point of No Return: Can God deliver us from our mistakes? This question is posed to Chet and Mae as they race to save Mae’s nephew from an evil warlord in the Republic of Georgia. More here.

Mission: Out of Control: Does God turn his back on us when we fail? Brody and Vonya discover the answer as they conspire to capture an international smuggler and free a child soldier from war. More here.

Undercover Pursuit: What if we deliberately sin and harbor bitterness in our hearts? Is there a rescue from the dark places inside? Luke and Scarlett find out as they work to protect a bride-turned-informant whose courage could dismantle a human trafficking web. More here.

To celebrate the series, Susan is giving away a Missions of Mercy Prize Pack worth over $200! One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new FLIP HD Camera
* The entire Missions of Mercy series

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. You may enter once per email, facebook, and twitter. The contest ends on May 31st. Tell your friends! Winner will be announced on June 1st at the Litfuse Publicity site and at Susan May Warren's website. (While you're there, check out her rockin' new website!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Mission Out of Control by Susan May Warren

Brody Wickham is a former Green Beret who is now employed as an agent for an international security firm. Brody is hired by a rock star's father to protect her as she goes on tour. The rock star uses the name Vonya, but her name is Veronica Wagner and she is the daughter of a U.S. Senator. Vonya is keeping secrets that Brody must find out about in order to protect her. Vonya is a strong young woman used to having her way and not having to be watched and guided at all times.
This story has intrique, suspense and romance throughout the story.This book may appeal to women younger them myself, but is and interesting book for all ages. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it to others.

This book was provided to me by Litfuse Publicity Group to read and review.

Point of no Return by Susan May Warren

Chet Stryker is the head of an international security firm. Mae Lund would like to work for Chet, her former flame, but he won't hire her even though she is an expert pilot. Chet is brought in on a special job to find an American boy and an engaged daughter of a warload. It soon comes out that the American boy is the nephew of Mae Lund. As the story progresses we learn more about Chet and Mae and their previous relationship. Chet is concerned about the safety of the two missing people and also about keeping Mae safe and protecting her from some of the various people who seem to be following them and from the people who are holding grudges against Chet for things he was involved in, in the past.
This was an interesting, suspenseful story that I found to be a real page turner. At times I found Mae to be a bit annoying because of her being so headstrong. Mae eventually showed herself to be a strong and brave charactor, so I was able to overlook her early irrational behavior. Although I did enjoy the book for the most part, I think it may appeal to women a bit younger then myself.

This book was provided to me to read and review by Litfuse Publicity Group.

Undercover Pursuit by Susan May Warren

Scarlett Hanson has arrived  in Cancun to attend her sister's wedding. At the airport she is told that her sister's wedding dress cannot be found. Scarlett had to pick it up in Minneapolis for her sister and bring it to her. Scarlett is told that the dress should arrive by morning and Scarlett must leave for the hotel which is on an island and the ferry is leaving soon. She heads outside looking for the vehicle from the hotel that will take her to the ferry. She finds it and then gets in the car where a man is already inside waiting to go to the island too. This man is named Luke Dekker and he is an agent from an international security firm hired to attend a wedding and break up a big drug cartel. He is supposed to meet his date, another agent whom he has never met. He assumes that she is the agent and confusion reigns. Eventually this situation is straightened out and Scarlett and Luke's relationship begins to blossom.
Maybe I missed it, but the missing female agent doesn't show up until the story is almost over. There didn't seem to be any explanation of why it took so long for her to show up. It didn't really matter to the story, I was just curious since the agents from the security firm are always quite reliable. In spite of this problem, I really did enjoy this story. It was modern and up to date with drug cartels and such. The story was fun, scary, interesting and a rather good read.

This book was provided to me to read and review by Litfuse

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Promise of an Angel by Ruth Reid

The Promise of an Angel is the story of an Amish family dealing with a life altering injury to their young child and also with love and guilt. The strength of the Amish people is shown in this story and will give readers a good idea of how the Amish take care of each other and keep their faith strong. Nineteen year old Judith has waited for the last few years to marry Levi. At a barn raising, Judith notices her younger sister Martha seems to have the eye of Levi and is taking full advantage of that. This is hurtful to Judith, but she feels helpless to do anything about it. While everyone is gathered for prayer before their meal, Samuel the five year old brother of Judith gets up on the barn roof. He falls and Judith blames herself because she was preoccupied with watching Levi and Martha and not keeping an eagle eye on all of the children. How this story progresses and how the strength of believing in God and miracles is a major component of this story. There were times that I felt some anger toward the people who seemed to turn against Judith and what she had to say. Eventually the story began to shift the other way and a positive ending for everyone made this a really good story to read.

I received this book free through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Praying for Your Future Husband

Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer

When I was a senior in high school, our religion instructor informed us that we needed to pray for a good man. She told us to pray to St. Ann, the mother of Mary mother of God. We were told to pray "Dear St. Ann, send me a man." As I recall, we were supposed to say this prayer every tuesday, but why tuesday, that I just do not remember. Anyway, this book leaps beyond such simple prayers and gives young women a much more thorough approach to preparing their own life in readiness to welcome a soulmate. Each chapter gives you wonderful steps to follow to prepare your own soul through prayer and actions and to pray for the unknown man out there who will one day be your husband. This book will help you the reader to think about your own life and also to think about the man that needs you and your thoughtful prayers.
I recommend this book to all women who are looking for that special man and need some help. Although this book is meant for young women, I think any woman of any age will enjoy reading it.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell

A Heart Most Worthy
Siri Mitchell

There are many stories of immigrants to the USA and how they survived and prospered. This is the story of three young ladies from Italy who live in Boston around 1918 and are working in a high end dress shop. Luciana, Julietta and Annamaria are three young seamstresses earning their way at Madame Fortier's dress shop. There are many obstacles to overcome, being poor, not speaking English, prejudice and sometimes their own families interfere in how each young woman wants to lead her own life. There is history, intrigue and romance in this story and it is all interwoven to hold your interest to the end.
I would recommend this book to everyone. It was a really enjoyable read from beginning to end. I've read other books by Siri Mitchell and love her style of writing and choice of settings. Although you can't judge a book by it's cover, I really do like looking at the woman and the beautiful dress that she is wearing. It really adds to the story to picture the type of clothes that women wore at that time in our history. I'm sure that poorer women would only wish to have such beautiful clothes as the women who were able to buy dresses made at Madame Fortier's dress shop.
I received this book to read and review from Bethany House Publishers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Marianna Sommer was born and raised in Indiana within a strict Amish community. She expected to remain in Indiana and eventually marry Aaron Zook. Her older brother Levi had moved to Montana and that is where her family decides to move also. Marianna is not obliged to move with them, but chooses to do so to help her mother who is expecting. On the train and once the family arrives in Montana, they discover how nice so many people are. It also becomes apparent that the strict rules of the Indiana community are not the only right way to lead your life in God's way. The realization that a happy life devoted to God and family is possible outside of the strict rules comes as a bit of a shock to Marianna.
I enjoyed reading this book very much. I'm glad that Marianna was able to see a new side to her relationship with God and with her friends and family. The recipes at the end of the book are also an added feature that I'm sure many people will enjoy. This book was a step above the other Amish family stories that I have read. I think it presented a more real look into what it is like to be Amish in our modern times.

I received this book from Litfuse to read and review.

Here is a link to buy the book.

Here is a link to a contest that the author is having and a picture of a really sweet salt and pepper set that is part of the contest prize.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Followers wanted, please

Hi dear readers. I really do appreciate having so many people stop by to read my non-professional reviews of the books that I read, thank you everyone. Please become a follower by clicking on the area on the right side. Just sign up and that's all that is needed from you.
Please keep coming back and reading my reviews. Thank you again for being here for me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a highlander by birth and a lowlander by marriage. She has had to keep secrets from her husband and his family. She honors the nameless one and not the one true God.
Lord Donald Kerr, husband of Lady Elisabeth, has plenty of secrets of his own. Although he swears that he is true to his wife, he has many women that know the truth.
Lord Kerr's dowager mother, Lady Marjory has many secrets of her own. She loves being part of high society and spoiling her sons with too much of everything. She keeps her wealth in coins that are hidden beneath the floor boards in her room.
This story is set during the 1740's in Scotland during the time of bonny Prince Charlie's attempt to capture the crown. There is a lot of conflict between the lowlanders and the Jacobites. People's allegience to the crown and to whoever is occupying the town at the moment evenutally leads to fear and more secrets.
I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading Liz Curtis Higgs' next book from the 18th century in Scotland.

This book was provided to me to read and review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr

A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr

A Trail of Ink is the 3rd installment of the chronicles of Hugh de Singleton surgeon and baliff of Bampton Castle. Hugh is given some time off by Lord Gilbert Talbot to assist Master John Wyclif in the recovery of his stolen books. These books are worth more then the amount of money that it would take to replace them, so it is important to Master Wyclif to find them quickly. During the search for these books, crimes keep occuring around and to Hugh de Singleton. Several people are not happy to have him getting too close to their devious deeds. Hugh is also hoping to marry Kate, the daughter of one of the stationers in the town of Oxford. The pursuit of Kate also leads to scuffles with a knight who also wants her and all of the crimes surrounding the stolen books seem to intertwine with each other and lead to clues about the books.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Tales from medieval times and other long ago times in Europe have always interested me. As interesting as the story was, the frequent mention of pottage and maslin was a bit annoying at times. Sometimes it seemed like the crimes were not quite as important as getting more pottage and maslin. I mention this only because I found it a bit amusing for the most part. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries and stories about medieval England.

I received this book from Litfuse to read and review.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

If God Why Evil by Norman L. Geisler

If God, Why Evil? is a question that many people have asked and would like an answer that is understandable. This book by Norman L. Geisler will address just about every aspect of this question. Points are laid out in a manner that will make it easy for anyone to read and to understand.

Although this book was written to explain what is a somewhat complicated question, I did not enjoy reading it. There were too many criticisms of other author's books who have their own explanation of why evil exists. I think the author would have been better off stating his own viewpoint of the subject matter and not denigrating what others believe. The critique of The Shack at the end of the book seemed totally out of place and just another work that the author enjoyed giving a negative critique about. I will recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about this subject and get Mr. Geisler's opinion on God and evil in the world.

This book was provided to me to read and review by Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall

The Bridge of Peace tells us the story of Lena Kauffman, an old order Amish school teacher. Lena has had to deal with the stares and hurtful comments about her appearance. She has a large noticeable birthmark on her cheek. In her class this term, she has a disruptive student who will not listen to her. Parents are complaining and questioning her ability to control her class and also the decisions she makes about the students. This book also tells us about other friends and neighbors in the community. Grey Graber and his wife Elsie are having their own problems, but are trying to keep others from learning about their private life. They have a son who may be in Lena's classroom in the next term, but even this is causing problems for Grey and Elsie. Tragedy strikes and things will change for these characters. There are also other people in this story, such as Cara and her daughter Lori who have moved from New York to join the Amish community, Ada who is a widow and along with Cara, is trying to get a business going to support herself and Cara and Lori too. The Blank family have a lot of influence with the school board and their sons Peter and Dwayne cause a lot of troubles for Lena. Dwayne in particular is real bad news.
If you have a sensitive nature and don't like cruelty toward animals or humans, then you should be cautioned about this book. Some of what occurs in this book is rather upsetting and not the usual stuff I read in Amish Christian type stories. Perhaps the author felt that such strong descriptions were necessary to make her point about how mentally ill some people can be, while those closest to them may not even notice or want any help for their family member. One other thing that I found to be irritatiing was finding the list of characters at the end of the book, rather then at the beginning. Since I hadn't read the first book in this series, it took awhile for me to figure out who everyone was and what motivated some of them. I'm sorry that I didn't look through the whole book first, before reading it. That may have helped me to understand some of the characters a little easier. Other then the criticisms that I offered, I did enjoy the book very much.

If you would like to read the first chapter, please follow this link.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Journey to Riverbend by Henry McLaughlin

Journey to Riverbend follows the western adventure of Michael Archer as he travels to Riverbend to carry a message and the cross of Ben Carstairs mother to his father. Ben Carstairs has been alienated from his father and now he has run out of time to reconnect with his dad. Ben has been executed for a crime that many people felt he did not commit. Sam Carstairs, Ben's father never answered any of the many letters that Ben had sent to him. Michael Archer had stood by Ben and tried to save his life, but there just wasn't any evidence to prove his innocence. After arriving in Riverbend, Michael meets quite a few nice people including Rachel Stone who has turned her life around from a very dark past. Sam Carstairs is kidnapped and the local law and volunteers form a posse to go in search of him. Michael joins them. The search for Sam leads to adventure and understanding of how things were done in the old west.
I enjoyed reading this lively story, but really felt left wanting when it ended. Somehow I was really looking forward to the homecoming of all the men who went out in search of Sam Carstairs. It wasn't important to the story to have a reunion, I just would have liked to read about the various reactions of the townspeople. In spite of my slight disappointment with the abrupt ending, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good, clean old west stories.

This book was provided to me to read and review by Tyndale House Publishers.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

Lady in Waiting
Susan Meissner

Lady in Waiting

This is the story of two women named Jane.  One Jane lives in modern day New York City, the other Jane is Lady Jane Grey who lived in the 16th century in England. The modern Jane's husband has decided that they need a separation from each other to determine where their marriage is going. Jane is shocked and without a clue as to why he has decided that they need this separation. In England, Lady Jane Grey is living a life that seems to be completely at the design of others. Both Janes seem to be living lives that are directed by others and leave them both without choices. Looking at modern Jane and the long deceased Lady Jane, we can see similar choices that the parents of both Jane's have made or nudged their daughters toward. But at various times in their lives, they did make their own decisions.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoy reading about royalty and how they lived way back when. For that reason, I found Lady Jane Grey's story to be more interesting to me. A ring arrives at the family antique shop that the modern Jane manages for her aunt. The antique ring is discovered hidden in an antique prayer book. The ring has a Latin inscription and the name Jane. This leads to the back and forth chapters of the modern Jane and the 16th century royal Lady Jane Grey. It seemed to me that both Jane's felt that things happened in their lives without their consent. Eventually both Jane's realize that they did have choices along the way so they did have some control over their own destiny.

If you would like to read the first 4 chapters, please follow this link

This book was provided to me to read and review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers.