Shelley Shepard Gray has been holding out on us! | My thoughts on her new novel: “Secrets of Sloane House”

Granted I’ve only been reading Shelley Shepard Gray’s books for a little over a year but I feel certain that I did not know she had this in her.

I’m not a huge fan of mystery or suspense but when it’s Shelley Shepard Gray, it HAS TO BE worth reading! So I gave it a try and WOW!

Or I suppose I should say… Shelley Gray.

Secrets of Sloane House is an OUTSTANDING read!

Aw man… now I’m going to have to go read her Amish suspense series aren’t I…

I’m just kidding! After reading Secrets of Sloane House…
I really WANT TO!

I don’t know if she was intrigued by Historical mysteries before she wrote Amish or if writing about the buggies and bonnets crowd that drew her to this genre as well but I am not surprised in the least that this book is written so well!

I will say that I truly hope she continues to WOW us with her wonderful Amish romances but I am certainly not opposed to seeing more books of this type too!

I understand there us another “Chicago World’s Fair” coming soon and I find myself very excited about that one now too!

Not many authors can paint a picture like Shelley Shepard Gray. She is one author who will undoubtedly do very well – no matter what genre she is writing!

An author to keep your eyes on!




And here is a bit more about the book from Zondervan:

One woman’s search for the truth of her sister’s disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago.

Rosalind Perry has left her family’s rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family—she’s at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister’s mysterious disappearance.

Reid Armstrong is the handsome heir to a silver fortune. However, his family is on the periphery of Chicago’s elite because their wealth comes from “new money” obtained from successful mining. Marriage to Veronica Sloane would secure his family’s position in society—the lifelong dream of his ailing father.

When Reid begins to realize that Rosalind’s life may be in danger, he stops thinking of marriage prospects and concentrates on helping Rosalind. Dark things are afoot in Chicago and, he fears, in Sloane House. If he’s not vigilant, Rosalind could pay the price.

Set against the backdrop of Chicago’s Gilded Age and the 1893 World’s Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey of romance and mystery.


You can find even more at the links below – including how to purchase your own copy!






Disclaimer: I received the book free from the BookLook Blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

The Brickmaker’s Bride by Judith Miller | A Wonderful read!

The Brickmaker’s Bride is the first book I have read by Judith Miller but it will not be the last! 

Judith Miller has a way with words that draws you right into the story and I don’t mind telling you that I was not at all certain I would enjoy this book.

I’m so glad my fears were unfounded!

I was intrigued immediately. I was charmed by the honest Ewan and inspired by the fiery Laura.

Together, they weave a story that I never would have expected.

Judith Miller has written a story that not many others would have even thought of!

She has taken a commonplace business and used it to show us how the Civil War affected an entire community.

And what a GREAT job she has done with it!

I only recently discovered my love of Civil War fiction and I am excited to add Judith Miller’s book to my growing collection! And I hope to find even more of hers to add as well!

Don’t miss this book! It’s a wonderful story with delightful characters who have a strong faith in God that clearly drives their lives!


I’m so thrilled to find so many wonderful new books about this era and others being published by Christian publishing companies.

It’s wonderful!




Here is a bit more about the book from Bethany House Publishers:

In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.

Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it’s Ewan’s job to get the company up and running again.

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner’s daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she’s being courted by another man–a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he’ll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan’s hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?



And you can click on the links below to find out more about the book and/or how to purchase it!



I was given the opportunity to review this book free by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review!

Happy Reading


GOD Bless!

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I apologize for any inappropriate material.

They just keep getting better! | My review of “Huckleberry Christmas” | Book 3 in A WONDERFUL series from Jennifer Beckstrand!


This book is hazardous to any other plans you may have! Once picked up, it is nearly impossible to put down.

I had plans to edit 10 pages today but as yet, I’ve not edited even one. I simply could not put down Huckleberry Christmas once I picked it up!

And I am very glad of it!

I woke from a horrific nightmare this morning (very rare for me these days) and the matchmaking schemes of Anna and Felty were precisely what I needed to distract myself from the yuck!

It never takes more than a paragraph to find myself firmly planted in the story and never more than a page or two before I’m laughing and giggling at the antics of grandparents I truly wish were my very own!

And if those stubborn grandchildren of theirs would stop resisting Anna and Felty… well, the stories would not be nearly so interesting!

Jennifer Beckstrand certainly has found the perfect home in Bonduel, Wisconsin and I – for one – never want to leave!

Every single story is a fast-paced, fun romp through misadventure, misunderstandings and mishaps!

No one writes about Love the way Jennifer does. No one makes me laugh out loud the way she does and no one makes me wish more deeply that I were actually Amish.

Where else but in an Amish community, could you possibly find grandparents as wonderful, young women as feisty and young men as chivalrous!

Anna and Felty are the absolute best of the entire family! They are the ones who pull me into the stories and they are the ones that keep me reading! The youngsters they’re matching up are great fun and their community is so very wonderful but it’s the deep, heart-felt love that Anna and Felty have for each other that really holds me tight there in Wisconsin and makes me want to walk right into the pages!

I can hardly wait to start the next one!




More from Kensington about Huckleberry Christmas:

Now that they’ve happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons–and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love. . .

A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths’ widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She’s content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder’s proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be. . .

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith–along with the happiest of holidays–can bring.



You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.








I was provided this book free through Jennifer’s street team in exchange for an HONEST review!
(not hard to be honest about how AMAZING her books are!)


Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.


I LOVE finding New authors!!! | Do not miss Marta Perry’s NEW book: “The Forgiven” | Book 1 in her new “Keepers of the Promise” series!

What a WONDERFUL story! A page in and I was HOOKED! WOW!

Thank goodness we have every book of her Pleasant Valley novels! I won’t have to hunt them down to read them all. Of course we don’t have every book of hers but I’m going to be on the lookout!

And so should you!

Marta Perry is a masterful storyteller and she will pull you right in!

Wonderful story! Intriguing history! Excellent characters!

Just an all-around GREAT book!

Now I’m chomping at the bit to get my hands on the next one! LOL!

Susan Meissner nailed it when she said “Skillfully weaves the past and the present in a heart-stirring tale.”

DO NOT miss this book and do not miss any of her others! As delightful an author as Marta Perry is, I can not imagine even one of her books not being just as fantastic a read!

And it’s not just the writing I love. The very idea of someone storing up memories from the family’s past to share – well, not enough of us do that. And even among the ones who do, not enough of them get around to bringing the rest of the family in on their history.

And making the focus of the story an Amish family – perfect! Who better to show holding on to their precious family history!




A bit more about the story from Penguin:

When three women, all cousins, are given the task of sorting through the treasures of several generations of their Amish family, they each discover a story from the past that provides insights and inspiration for their own lives.

Central Pennsylvania, current day. Rebecca Fisher gladly accepted her husband Paul’s dreams as her own, but now that he has passed away, she’s struggling to raise two children and keep her home. Renting her stable to carpenter Matthew Byler offers a partial solution—even though Matthew has a troubled history, having sometimes failed to embrace Amish beliefs. As Matthew seeks to prove himself, Rebecca realizes how dependent she has become on others. Where can she find the courage to grow and change?

Lancaster County, 1941. As war threatens, Anna Esch pours her experiences into her diary. Her world seems to crumble as neighbors turn against the Amish and her love, Jacob, is sent to a camp far away for refusing to fight. She can’t know, as she grows from a girl into a woman during a time of trouble and grief, that one day another Amish woman will gain strength from the words she writes and will learn that she, too, can become a keeper of the promise.



You can find more about the book (and how to purchase it) by clicking the links below:




I was blessed to be able to review an ARC of this book – provided by the author.

Any opinions are my own and 100% true!

Happy Reading



Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“The Legend of the Candy Cane” by Lori Walburg

Not at all what I was expecting…

When I read the word “hardcover”, I assumed it was a regular hardcover book but what arrived in the mail was a board book.

Imagine my surprise…

Regardless of my surprise, my children LOVE it! Even though it is simple enough for a very young child to enjoy, my children (who are 8 and 11) are enchanted with the beautiful story inside!

My daughter has claimed it for her very own. She took it OFF of my shelf and proudly carried it to her own, where she gave it a place of honor.

My son is not quite as possessive of it but he stood over her shoulder as she read and did not once have a comment about it being a “baby” book – which is his usual comment about any book his sister who is three years younger, picks up to read.

Not that I can blame him… since he is reading on a high school level already.

But I think it says a lot about how wonderful the story within!

I am actually excited! Now, instead of donating the book, we have what will become an heirloom!


And no… we don’t have any other board books we will be able to pass on, none of them survived my own children. I’m so very thankful they are both learning to appreciate books now – being cautious with them and cherishing their favorites.

And The Legend of the Candy Cane is clearly already a favorite!

Here is a bit more about the book from Zondervan:

One dark November night a stranger rides into a small prairie town.

Who is he? Why has he come?

The townspeople wish he were a doctor, a dressmaker, or a trader. But the children have the greatest wish of all, a deep, quiet, secret wish. Then a young girl named Lucy befriends the newcomer.

When he reveals his identity and shares with her the legend of the candy cane, she discovers fulfillment of her wishes and the answer to her town’s dreams. Now will she share what she has learned?

Warm, lavish illustrations by James Bernardin bring to life a timeless tale by Lori Walburg, a story that will help families celebrate the mystery and miracle of Christmas—for many Christmases to come.

Click HERE to visit the book page on Thomas Nelson



You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.



FAIR WARNING: Some of the above links are NOT for the Board book.
If you want the board book, just look for the cover you see above in my review…

However, this AMAZON link is a board book with an older cover.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Happy Reading




Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Spirit of the Red Candle” by Betty Slade

Spirit of the Red Candle is a unique story – written in a well-researched voice.

There is so little about this particular woman in our beloved Bible, it must have taken painstaking research of the period and in-depth translations of the original texts to find enough information to do the story justice.

This is book one in The Scarlet Triangle series and Betty Slade has certainly found a good place to begin.

The exploration of our beloved Biblical persons has become quite popular lately and Betty picked a woman that many people have been intrigued by but were afraid to let anyone know.

I find it fascinating how well Betty has captured the supposed life events that would have led Mary Magdalene to become the woman we are familiar with.

I believe this is one of the reasons that Jesus spoke in parables and stories. He knew we needed that simple connection to truly understand his words and the meanings behind them.

Perhaps this is why I enjoy the New Testament more than the old. The writing, even aside from Jesus’ teachings, take on the more easily followed steps of a familiar tale or bedtime story.

I pray Betty finds many more “characters” to write about. It will certainly open up an entirely new way to look at the beloved Biblical persons we understand so little about.


4 Stars


Here is a bit more about the book from GoodReads:

In 2009, Betty Slade painted an oil of Mary Magdalene titled “Mary, Do not cling to Me.” She said that the eyes in this portrait haunted her and she felt Mary Magdalene had something to say.”I saw her pain and her yearning to tell me about her redemption. From a life snatched away in childhood to an unbearable demon possessed existence, she buried her inner self. She flaunted her pride and lost her dignity. When she came to herself she turned from the seduction of lies, blew out the red candle, and wrapped her soul in the promise of redemption.”

Mary Magdalene struggled with many of our present day issues. The answer she found was in plain sight. Love is the fulfillment of every soul and it comes in the morning light begging to be let in. History will do as it wishes. It confuses truth, compounds guilt, and shackles reality, but love is stronger than history.

Spirit of the Red Candle: Journal of Mary Magdalene is the first in The Scarlet Triangle Series. Mary Magdalene yearns to be free from the seven demons clutching her soul. Her journal chronicles her life in Magdala and her struggles to break free from demon possession. Mary Magdalene’s life unfolds from bondage into belonging.

From the Journal of Mary Magdalene:
The red stain of the pomegranate on our lips will linger through the night, but his words have been etched in my heart. I will travel with him. I will taste the strange new fruits from the lands he will show me. The chill of the wind cooled our mounting passion but not before I captured his heart.


Compelling isn’t it…


You can find more about the book and how to purchase it by clicking the links below!






I received this book free in exchange for an
honest review from the author


Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Introducing Rachel D. Muller and her DEBUT novel: “Letters From Grace”

First of all I would like to say that I congratulate Rachel Muller for making the decision to go Indie!

We live in an ever-changing world and the literature we love has to be able to flow and change with that world… and only the best writers know just how essential it is to be flexible!

Rachel Muller has written the novel of her heart. I know how that feels and I even feel as if I’ve been on part of this adventure with her.

I’ve watched as she blogged and hinted at the contents of this novel. I’ve read posts about her journey as an author and I applauded her decision to go Indie when the circumstances were not precisely what she wanted for her work.

Maybe authors today are making the choice to become independent because they want more control over their own work. They want to be the one who makes the tough decisions and I find that incredibly brave!

To read this work is to be transported to our own little piece of history.

Rachel did an incredible job researching her favorite period in history. I know I’ve enjoyed reading about where that research has taken her.

Letters From Grace is the first book in what is meant to be a series and I’m excited to see what is coming next!

Fair warning: this book is not for the faint of heart. The subject matter touches on one of the most difficult times in our country’s history and, though it does that very well, it is a difficult period to read about for many people.

But then war is never easy to read about…

The important part is that Rachel brings us this story, pulling us into a time long gone – reminding us why it is important to remember, why it is important to teach our children to remember.

I don’t know about you but I was never all that interested in history. If only all the events in history were put into novel form… I know I would enjoy it a lot more!


4 Stars


Here is a bit more about the book from GoodReads:

Is loving a man in uniform worth the risk?

Scarred from the death of her fiancé in World War II, Grace Campbell must learn to love again. Lieutenant Luke Brady could make falling in love easy…except he’s going to war. There’s one thing that can keep a thread tied between them—letters.

But the suave Dr. William Keller enchants Grace with his charm and proposes marriage. She must choose between them.

Will she settle for comfort and safety or risk losing everything on the Normandy beaches?


You can find even more about the book and how to purchase it by clicking the links below!




You can also read a bit more about Rachel’s Publishing journey HERE

and enter for a chance to win a copy of her book!






I received this book free in exchange for an
honest review from the author


Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.


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