My review of “Love at Mistletoe Inn” by Cindy Kirk | Stop #11 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

Another Exciting Year of Weddings has begun with Love at Mistletoe Inn!

What a fun read!

My own personal experiences and beliefs aside… the plot of this story makes for a fun adventure, but it is not exactly a good model for romance.

Think about it…

Couple rushes into a marriage…

Someone freaks out, changes their mind and tries to back out…

Annulment/divorce/loss of paperwork is supposed to happen but doesn’t quite work out…

Said couple is still married… OH NO!

While it is always entertaining, it presents the same sort of outlook that causes so many problems in marriage (in my own personal opinion) – no one feels the need to take marriage as seriously as they should.

Having said that…

I’m so glad to see more than one author capitalizing on the quirky relative angle. I am finding stories much more enjoyable now where we have matchmaking grandparents or a scheming Aunt who dip their fingers into the heart of things!

The remainder of the characters are fun and interesting. Even the idea behind how Hope and John got together and then split up before the “I do”s were even done… is well developed and intriguing.

And I am glad to see that a writer who does not typically write Christian fiction can do it so well. It gives me hope for the entire romance novel industry.

 

 

More from Zondervan about Love at Mistletoe Inn:

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Hope Prentiss didn’t go to the Harmony High School senior prom. Instead, she and John Burke drove to Boise and got married. At eighteen. But when Hope panicked after saying “I do,” the mail-order preacher assured her he just wouldn’t send in the paperwork. No forms, no marriage, no problem. Right?

Well . . .

Now, ten years later, Hope discovers that her prom-night wedding counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. And he’s staying with her Aunt Verna at the inn where she and Hope host weddings. Though Hope thinks she wants an annulment, a little time with John makes her think twice . . . and emotions between the more-or-less Mr. and Mrs. Burke reach a boiling point a soon as they get a moment alone.

With annulment out the window, Hope finds herself staring in the face of a divorce. But after spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce … or a real wedding of her own.

 

 

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

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   CINDY‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook Bloggers 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.

My review of “Forever Christmas” by Robert Tate Miller | Stop #8 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

Funny story: When I read the synopsis for this book, it immediately made me think of a movie I saw years ago.

In fact… from the synopsis, the book sounds exactly like the movie – so of course, I was intrigued. I just had to read it!

As far as I can tell, Robert Tate Miller is the man who actually wrote the movie script, so I’m guessing he decided he wanted to offer this wonderful story to the reading world as well.

It’s more than a little odd… reading a book that came from a movie – very different from reading a book that later becomes a movie.

The expectations are very different because you already have a picture in your head of what is happening.

So… for anyone who saw the movie who reads the book, they’ll be able to visualize very well while reading.

Two somewhat unique observations…

1) From all of the other reviews I read through, it appears that I am the only reviewer who has actually seen the movie.

2) I have to wonder if Robert Tate Miller is no longer interested in writing for Hollywood since his stories are full of miracles and heartwarming Christmas and that seems to be the last thing Hollywood is interested in at the moment… even on his website, it sounds as if Robert is doing everything he can to forget he ever wrote for Hollywood – which seems like a fine idea to me.

 

 

More from Thomas Nelson about Forever Christmas:

One snowy Christmas Eve, Andrew’s life is tragically turned upside down. Then a heavenly gift provides him the opportunity to make things right.

Andrew Farmer is on the fast-track in the literary world. As an up-and-coming agent, he is constantly on the road, wooing prospective clients and making a name for himself. But all of his travels leave his wife and childhood sweetheart, Beth, home alone, wondering what has happened to their marriage.

Andrew returns from yet another last-minute trip, knowing he needs to make amends to Beth for his departure just days before Christmas, but he doesn’t expect her frosty greeting and the argument that ensues. Would they have spent their last moments together arguing had they known that just before midnight on Christmas Eve, Beth would be hit by an out-of-control taxi that would ultimately take her life? Andrew would like to believe not, but it isn’t until he meets a humble, straight-talking angel in disguise named Lionel that Andrew receives the opportunity to try again.

Lionel grants Andrew the gift of the last three days of Beth’s life to relive, but there’s a hitch: her fate cannot be changed. Only one gift will save her life, and Andrew has a mere seventy-two hours to figure out what that gift is or he’ll lose Beth forever.

 

 

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

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   ROBERT‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   LIFEWAY   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

THREE DAYS via IMDB.com

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

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.

 

Book 3 in Amy Clipston’s Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel is FINALLY HERE!

A Dream of Home is the 3rd novel in Amy Clipston’s “The Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel” series It is scheduled to be released November 4, 2014. Yes, I got an early look! I LOVE being a book reviewer!

OK… now about the story.

I have to admit that I fell madly in love with Emma in A Mother’s Secret and I was nearly heart-broken when things did not go the way she planned…

So of course, I was excited to see her return in
A Dream of Home.

I have never been a combat nurse but there are a few things in my past that occasionally come back to haunt me so I feel a sort of kinship with Madeline Miller.

It also helps that Amy Clipston writes her nightmares so well that you truly feel like you’re right there, experiencing it with her.

I did not feel a kinship to Saul Beiler however.

Actually, when I was reading book 2: A Mother’s Secret, he nearly knocked Barbie off the pedestal of most disliked characters. He was just so rude and abrupt and… well, annoying.

I NEVER could have imagined that Saul would be remotely interested in a REAL relationship. I was sure he was just one of those controlling and angry men who hide behind their religious convictions.

BOY was I wrong!

I love that Amy Clipston occasionally throws you a crazy curve ball! It keeps her books interesting in a way that not many authors think of.

And I am NOT giving anything away about the story!

You’ll just have to read it for yourself! Trust me when I say that it is WORTH a read!

And keep watching! Amy has ANOTHER book coming in this series. It’s slotted to release next year.

And I’m sure A Simple Prayer will be just as fantastic as the first three in the series!

Happy Reading!

 

5star

 

Here is what Zondervan has to say about A Dream of Home:

Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiance a year ago-but death has a way of changing everything.

Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.

Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His eleven-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community-and married another man-but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door.

Madeline’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.

But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they-and everybody else-have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?

 

Click the links below to find more info and or to buy the book

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   AMY CLIPSTON’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   CBD   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

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.

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!

 

5star

 

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!

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   CHRISTIANBOOKS   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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 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!

Exciting!

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.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN PUBLISHERS

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CBD   GOOGLE BOOKS

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

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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

A wonderful alternative to secular comics!

Raegan & RJ in SpaceGood morning! I am reviewing a fantastic new Graphic Novel: Raegan AND RJ IN SPACE  by Richard Collins.

This is actually the first graphic novel I have ever read and I have to say, while I’m not much of a comics fan myself, I love it!

I think it’s possible that kids of all ages will love this book! I say that because a lot of teens or young adults love comics just as much as those who are 10 or 12.

This is a graphic novel that would appeal to them all, I think.

And it has a WONDERFUL message too!

This is a book that any parent should buy if they have children who are interested in comics of space or astronauts!

Aside from the wonderful pictures and the fun story-line, the book includes many bonus pictures of the ship layout and colony maps – which I love in the Sci-Fi books I read so I’m sure kids would LOVE them!

My son is obsessed with space travel and he was so excited to see that this book looked at space travel from a Christian perspective. It’s so difficult to find reading material along these lines for him. It’s not so hard to find main-stream Sci-Fi novels or graphic novels but from a Christian world-view… nearly impossible.

So this book is a blessing as well!

Don’t miss it!

 

4 Stars

 

Here is a bit more about the book from BookCrash:

 Raegan and RJ in Space: Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ is a full color 48 page graphic novel which tells the story of the first Christians to start their own space program, travel to the Alpha Centauri star system, and establish a colony. If you love Jesus and space adventure, blast off with Raegan and RJ and 5 Christian families as they ‘Colonize the Galaxy for Christ!’ Reviewed by Readersfavorite.com: 5 out of 5 Stars… well designed… well written… extremely creative… a masterpiece! ‘Go Raegan and RJ in Space!’

You can also find more information and/or buy the book by clicking on the sites below.

RAEGAN & RJ IN SPACE – WEBSITE   AMAZON

Disclaimer: I received the book free from the BookCrash Blogger program

in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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

God bless!

A look at the new series by Nancy I Sanders.

Good morning! I am reviewing a new book from Zonderkidz today: Get to Know King David

This book is part of an intriguing new series by Nancy I. Sanders. Thus far there are 4 books available but with so many wonderful characters to chose from, we will most likely see more to come!

not only does it give children interesting facts to mull over, but it also follows the Common Core Standards.

The author did a great job with the beautiful color maps and photos, along with scripture references and lots of fun facts.

For very young children, I think this book would be exciting to read and it is very… easy… to read.

Hopefully children will connect with the way Nancy tells a story about King David.

And the word bank makes learning about King David interesting… and fun!

The chapters are very descriptive – and the timeline is full of interesting information.

Children should find this book an easy read and an entertaining way to learn about the life of one of their favorite Biblical characters!

 

Here is a bit more about the book from ZonderKidz:

 A Shepherd and A King David lived an adventurous life. He protected his family’s sheep from lions and bears. He fought a giant with just a sling and stone. He even spent years hiding from men who were trying to kill him. And eventually, David became a great king. But David was also a man of God. Learn more about this hero from the Bible and his exciting place in history. Discover what it was like to grow up in ancient Israel and then be a king of God’s people. King David—part of the Get to Know series—will teach you everything you need to know about an imperfect young man whom God used to do great things! Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5

 

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

GOODREADS   ZONDERKIDZ   NANCY’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES

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

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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

God bless!

My review of “Prelude For A Lord” by Camille Elliot

 

There is so much more to this story than a young girl playing the violin.

 

Yes there is a hint of danger, yes there is adventure and romance but there is also an intriguing family dynamic that was clearly very well researched.

Bravo to Camille Elliot for doing such a wonderful job!

I recently attended a writer’s conference and one of the authors writes historical fiction and she stressed that accuracy in research is key to telling a convincing story. Clearly Camille knew that already!

I admit it is a bit difficult at times to follow the language but it really does take you back into this far away time when life was so much simpler and yet so much more complex.

Camille Elliot draws us in immediately with a shock that just may knock you off your feet as well. And then she takes us on what – at first appears to be a simply spun take of a young and somewhat odd woman.

But it soon becomes clear that we are in for a wild ride. This is not the regency romance I grew up with… This is a tale of deceit carefully woven and the danger that comes along with it.

What a surprise! A mystery and a romance wrapped up in a historical novel that you would not truly expect either from.

 

 

Here is more about “Prelude For A Lord” from Zondervan:

 

An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?

Bath, England 1810

At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forte. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.

In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.

But when a thief s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.

Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .

 

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

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   CAMILLE’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   LIFEWAY   BOOKSAMILLION

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

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

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

“The Loving Kitchen” by LeAnn Rice

 What a wonderful cookbook!

I’m not sure precisely how southern LeAnn Rice is since a recipe for fried green tomatoes is conspicuously absent from “The Loving Kitchen” but she certainly understands the southern tradition of hospitality.

She talks about what hospitality is, how she does it and why she does it. She ties her messages to the readers in with beautiful scriptures and with the myriad of dishes shared with us through the pages of this southern style cookbook.

The recipes she does share are wonderful. Some of them are variations on classic favorites, some of them are a mixture of two or three different styles, techniques or recipes and some of them are her original ideas.

As I went through the pages of the book (I have this particular book on my kindle), I book-marked nearly every recipe and I was making a grocery list before I got halfway through the book. After I had said “yum” to myself half a dozen times, my kiddos were looking over my shoulder and making their own comments about which recipes they were excited to try.

The recipes are well-written and easy to follow with the added bonus of extra little tips and tricks tucked in here and there.

LeAnn also shares quite a few stories about how certain recipes came about or at what events she typically serves them – which I find incredibly useful. It always helps to have a little background or some direction when you are planning a meal or an event.

As far as the format, I acquired this book on kindle because the physical copies were all spoken for and I really wanted to check it out. I am someone who typically prefers a physical copy of a book so I don’t do a lot of reading on my e-reader but I do feel I have enough experience to adequately judge the similarities and differences. This book works very well on e-reader and while, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a physical copy, a cookbook might actually be easier for some on an e-reader.

Either way you buy it, this is not a book to be missed if you enjoy good, wholesome, home cooking and some great stories to go along with them!

 

4 Stars

 

What Thomas Nelson has to say about “The Loving Kitchen”:

The Loving Kitchen is a collection of comforting recipes straight from the kitchen of popular food blogger LeAnn Rice.

You know the feeling you get when you’re an overnight guest in someone’s home, and you awaken to a hot-off-the-griddle breakfast? Or when a coworker brings in a pan of her famous brownies to celebrate your recent promotion? Doesn’t it feel great when dinner at the neighbors’ house includes multiple courses of scratch-made recipes and conversation that lingers beyond dessert and that last cup of coffee?

For many of us, these are the moments in which we feel most loved. That’s the idea behind The Loving Kitchen. Get your family’s day started right with LeAnn’s fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, or a bowl of Almond Coconut Granola and yogurt. Keep your favorite sports fans fueled through the entire game with hearty servings of Hot Sausage and Spinach Dip, or toss together a Grilled Chicken and Berry Salad for lunch with your dearest girlfriends.

Want a signature dinner you can serve on those special occasions? Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Orange Cranberry Glaze with Creamy Smashed Baby Potatoes is the perfect meal to celebrate a milestone. LeAnn’s sunny narrative and ideas for bringing people together will remind you that the best meal you’ll ever cook is the one you prepare as an act of love.

 

 

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

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   LEANN RICE’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   BOOKSAMILLION

 

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

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

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

“The Kissing Bridge” by Tricia Goyer | Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors book 3

The Kissing BridgeIt’s always fun to read a book that is part of a continuing story.

And I really hope we get 7 books out of this series!

Tricia Goyer certainly has a deep well of story lines. Each book of hers that I have read is clearly original. There is no feel of having read the same story in a slightly different form over and over again.

Tricia continues the story that began with The Memory Jar – beautifully in The Kissing Bridge. We see some familiar characters and we meet new ones.

And we get to enjoy the familiar surroundings colored through the views of different people and their experiences.

It’s wonderful!

In fact, I recently read another story that is at least loosely attached to this series and it was equally wonderful.

Tricia Goyer wrote a novella for An Amish Garden called Seeds of Love. It was about the Amish of West Kootenai, Montana as well.

The Kissing Bridge is the third book in this series and it is just as enjoyable a read as the first two.

If you enjoyed The Memory Jar and The Promise Box, you will enjoy The Kissing Bridge!

And I am certain that, if you are a fan of Tricia Goyer’s writing, you will love this book!

4 Stars

A bit more from Zondervan about The Kissing Bridge:

Caught between a stifling Amish community and an unnerving outside world, a devout young woman on the run is about to become the newest arrival to West Kootenai, Montana.

On the day of her sister’s death, Rebecca Troyer took her first step away from the Amish. Rebecca had always strayed a little outside the fold—a job at an Englisch bakery, long weekends with non-Amish friends—but nothing could have prepared her family for what she is about to do: Rebecca is abandoning the community to attend nursing school. She is headed to college, into “the world.” But she has to make it across the country first.

When she stops in West Kootenai, at the home of a lapsed Amish friend from her youth, Rebecca finds a lot more in Montana than she had bargained for—namely a handsome working man named Caleb Hooley. Caleb is at a crossroads of his own. A daredevil bachelor with high standards, he has decided he’ll never find an Amish woman who can quench his thirst for adventure. Needless to say, the pretty Amish girl who has fled her community in secret catches his attention immediately.

As hearts are opened and secrets are revealed, Rebecca and Caleb find they have much more in common than just their Amish background. But can this runaway find love with a risk-taker who has lost his faith in God? All it will take is one week in the wilderness to find out . . .

Click HERE for more about this book from Zondervan

HERE for ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And HERE for Tricia Goyer’s website.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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.

Step into An Amish Garden for Love, Faith and Family! Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer and Vannetta Chapman are exceptional!

"An Amish Garden"  Beth Wiseman, Tricia Goyer, Kathleen Fuller & Vannetta ChapmanAn Amish Miracle is the only other book I have read in this “series” so far and An Amish Miracle gave me the impression that these novels follow along with the same characters in the same community and An Amish Garden does not follow that same pattern.

Perhaps it was just An Amish Miracle that did that or perhaps the connective tissue is only meant to be a common thread and that one worked out that way. I can’t say absolutely because I’ve only read the two so far.

In Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman, the story has taken on a bit of a soap opera style.

It’s kind of like those articles or pictures we see. You can’t look away because it’s holding your attention so fiercely.

“Rooted in Love” Beth Wiseman

Rosemary is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul has been interested in her for years, but Rosemary has turned him down repeatedly. Saul begins helping with her family’s garden, but someone is sabotaging his efforts—and keeping a secret that could change their lives.

The synopsis is actually quite misleading but… when aren’t they really?

Rosemary is not at all what I expect from the typical Amish girl but she is well-written. You are immediately intrigued and confused by what seems to be a situation of love had and then lost. We feel for her – with all she has to do in a day and missing her mamm, I know I expected that to be the reason her relationship with Saul came to a sudden and abrupt halt.

But Miss Wiseman surprised me. It was not anything I could have seen coming. Bravo Beth. Great writing and great development. The story and the characters are exceptionally well-developed for a story that stretches a mere 83 pages.

 

4 Stars

I truly thought Amish names were mostly taken from the Bible but I suppose even some Amish feel the need to stand out and be a bit… different. We certainly see that in Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller.

Honestly it’s a bit difficult to know for certain whether this story happens in the same community as Rooted in Love or not because it is a very central story. Again you will find that the synopsis gives absolutely no clue to the actual story…

“Flowers for Rachael” Kathleen Fuller

Rachael’s garden is beautiful, but she is lonely. Gideon is in love with Rachael, but when Rachael finds her garden in shambles after a crisis, she rejects his help. Will she realize she doesn’t have to do everything on her own?

The skill Rachael displays with her garden makes me wish I were better with tending plants. One of these days I truly want a home of my own where I can have a beautiful vegetable garden. And flower beds would be great too.

Watching Rachael and Gideon circle around each other is highly entertaining. I never would have imagined such matchmaking and scheming going on in an Amish community. More and more stories now are showing us that the Amish are more like the rest of us that we ever would have thought possible.

4 Stars

 

Tricia Goyer has another hit on her hands with Seeds of Love!

Right away we’re pulled into the intriguing and interesting storyline. Tricia is one of the few authors I know of who can successfully write two different styles in one story. You’ll know what I mean when you read the story. AMAZING!

“Seeds of Love” Tricia Goyer

When a corporation shows interest in buying Sadie’s heirloom seeds, she panics. They are all she has left of her Dat and Mem. Eli believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leaves her heartbroken. Will she trust him again, and will the seeds of a new relationship take root?

Once again, the synopsis is a tad misleading but, I have to say, it’s much closer to the story than the others so far. I also have to say that, of the three I’ve reviewed so far, this is my absolute favorite! Tricia Goyer has been truly blessed. Her writing is superb and she has always been one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. She writes with such a clear voice and you always come away from her stories feeling like her characters are good friends.

It’s also a good sign that the story brought tears to my eyes. Despite my mother’s jokes – I do not cry at the drop of a hat so it’s very telling that Seeds of Love touched my emotions so strongly.

Tricia Goyer has added an amazing story to this collection and it is a very valuable piece of the whole. If you were on the fence about buying the book, I will say this. I still feel that the book is a good value – because of this story!

5star

Saving the best for last certainly applies to Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman.

WOW! Just WOW! I have to admit that I was not exceedingly impressed with the first two stories in this compilation. They are well-written, just not precisely what I was expecting. But the last two stories overshadow any disappointment I could have possibly had overall.

“Where Healing Blooms” Vannetta Chapman

Emma discovers a run-away teen in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a woman and her two children. Then her mother-in-law reveals a secret about her garden. Will Emma choose loneliness or learn to accept God’s gifts?

The synopsis for Vannetta’s story is the only one I would classify as spot on. It gives you a perfect overview of the story without giving too much away.

Vannetta Chapman is an exceptional writer. I would never in my life have expected to enjoy a story about a grandmother as much as I did but I could not put this wonderful story down. If my description of Tricia’s story didn’t convince you to buy the book, please do so on account of Tricia’s and Vannetta’s! They are well worth it!

Vannetta writes with her usual flair, pulling you right into the story and into the characters’ lives like a relative coming for a visit. Her community is always well-developed, whether the story takes up 300+ pages or only 103. Every word of the story helps convey the peace and healing that every character finds in this wondrous garden. It is truly an AMAZING story and a perfect end to the book!

5star

Click HERE for the book’s page at Thomas Nelson

Click HERE to read more about this title on ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

Click HERE to visit Beth Wiseman’s website

Click HERE for Kathleen Fuller’s website

Click HERE to visit Tricia Goyer’s website

Click HERE for Vannetta Chapman’s website

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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.

Happily Ever After or… Not? “A March Bride” by Rachel Hauck

20140228-153818.jpgOK… truth – my initial review started this way:

“It’s HERE! It’s HERE! It’s HERE!

I’ve only just read “Once Upon A Prince” but it seems I’ve waited forever to read the next chapter in Nathaniel and Susanna’s romance!”

And THEN I read the book.

Yeah… this review is going to be different than my others.

I’m going to spill a bit – can’t help it. Because at some point while you’re reading… anyone who is remotely like me, is going to get mad.

And I mean MAD!

Mad as in – you’re going to be ready to skin Rachel Hauck. That’s pretty serious. And yes, I was there. And I was there hard-core.

At that point, only a mildly morbid curiosity kept me reading.

And then… you realize – WHOO! Rachel Hauck is a GREAT writer! She has me so mad, I’m ready to scream – over… a book. That’s GOOD writing!

And at that point, you couldn’t have pried the tablet out of my hand!

After all that, she did come through. You knew she would. You had to know, all along that she would find some way to make it all come out OK.

And then, just when you think it’s all OK, just when you’re ready to enjoy the rest of the book, she hits you with another whammy and you’re ready to scream again, you’re ready to stomp over to Europe and rip into somebody.

But she’s no dummy, that Rachel Hauck. She does all this on purpose. It’s kind of like God’s plan. Even the missteps and trials help you on your way to the destination God has in mind for you. I LOVE that Rachel has that in mind when she’s writing these stories.

In fact, God is central to her novels in a way unlike most others you will read. It’s AMAZING! God has truly gifted Rachel Hauck with such an amazing gift!

The only complaint I have about this book is that there wasn’t more of it!

Now I just keep hoping to hear a book 3 announced in her Royal Weddings series!

5starCan I give it 10 stars?

Here’s a bit more about the story from Zondervan:

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.

Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.

Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity.

When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

For more about this and the other titles in this series, click HERE.

Click HERE for reviews from Christianbook.com. And click HERE for reviews from GoodReads.

Click HERE to visit Rachel Hauck’s website.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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.

“A December Bride” by Denise Hunter | It still works for February – the month of LOVE!

20140224-081745.jpgOK mom. I have to take back what I said… I LOVE this book!

When I started reading the book, I was sure it would end up on my “not a favorite” shelf in GoodReads.

I could NOT have been more wrong.

It’s a FANTASTIC story. And now I find myself determined to go hunt down the rest of Denise Hunter’s Chapel Springs stories.

I seriously misjudged this novella and I’m so glad I gave it a proper chance. Otherwise, I might never have discovered how wonderful is truly is!

It is possible I’m not the only one who might jump to the wrong conclusion so I’m going to give you a couple of hints that I really don’t think will kill the story.

The synopsis might give you the wrong idea – especially if you’ve ever read Zebra or Harlequin romance novels. You might expect it to be one of those things where the two characters make a shady deal about getting married and then doing a “quicky” divorce later.

It’s NOT! Thank GOD!

Granted, the reasons for the “fake” engagement are not all that altruistic or even honest but they do not drag marriage through the mud like I was afraid they would. This is truly a good, decent, Christian story. And, while I hold that courtship is still the best way to head toward a marriage – it could be said that this is about what they have. They’re “engaged” before they even kiss and there’s a minimum of physical contact because the whole thing isn’t real anyway.

A terrific story, excellent writing, real characters and great world-building! And it’s easy to get right into the story – even if you haven’t read any of the others that Denise has written. I didn’t even realize this was part of a continuing series until I got to the end and saw “other books by Denise Hunter…” – which I now have to read…of course.

5star

If you haven’t already decided to read it, here’s a brief synopsis from GoodReads:

What started as a whim turned into an accidental – and very public – engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season – for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiance would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map.

Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client. For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.

For more people convincing you this is a GREAT book, click HERE to read more reviews on GoodReads.

There are even more people who have reviewed and LOVED it on Amazon HERE and you can snag the e-book while you’re there too! And if you like ChristianBook.com better, HERE is their link.

And don’t forget to visit Denise Hunter’s website HERE!

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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.

“Captives” by Jill Williamson

CAPTIVES
Well I can officially chalk another one up to my 10 year-old son… And it really shouldn’t surprise me.

When I pulled the book out of the package, he said he didn’t think it was a good book for us.

And he was/is 100% right.

Not that it’s a bad book. It’s just not our taste – not at all.

The writing isn’t bad… a bit disjointed and lacking a certain flow that writers typically achieve as they become more seasoned but – all in all, not bad.

Personally, I don’t feel this should be marketed to teens. That’s most likely my biggest problem with the book. Yes, Mason is 17 but he is not 17 like a teen today would be. Granted most teens could do with a bit of growing up but I suppose my point is that we don’t live in a world anything like the one here so it’s not a very good example for most teens today.

Also, a chunk of the secondary characters are about as far from 17 as you can get.

I think my other problem is that this fits squarely into the dystopian fad that is so popular today and, while I am glad to see Christian writers getting into the popular markets, I have moved so far past that particular genre myself, I just can’t seem to get into it like I once could.

So please, don’t take my opinion as your only source of info.

3 Stars

Here is a little blurb about the book from Zondervan:

One choice could destroy them all.

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem—taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.

Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?

Click HERE for more from Zondervan about this title.

Click HERE for reviews from Christianbook.com and HERE for reviews from GoodReads

Click HERE for the author’s website.

Decide for yourself if it’s a story for you.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

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.