BOOK REVIEW | “When Love Returns” by Kim Vogel Sawyer



SOOOOO long I’ve waited for this book…
It was TOTALLY worth the wait too!

And so aptly named too! WOW!

When I picked up book 1 of this series, I did not think I would enjoy reading about the old-order Mennonites as much as my beloved Amish, but the way Kim writes them…


The series is named: The Zimmerman Restoration series – and WOW! WOW! WOW! Kim could not have named it better!

Healing begins with book 1 – and with book 3, well… I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it is a MUST READ!

I can hardly wait to get my hands on another book Kim has written!

If you’re anything like me… you won’t want to put this book down.


© JCMorrows 2015


More from Water Brook about When Love Returns:

Riddled with doubt and lingering regrets, will Suzanne and Paul find strength in God to explore a second chance at love?

It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends–and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?



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


Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.




 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

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

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

BOOK REVIEW | Gather Around the Amish Table by Lucy Leid | COOKBOOK

OK… I may not have what it takes to be Amish but I’m pretty sure I can handle eating like the Amish! Of course I don’t have a garden to tend or acres of land to till, plant and tend to so I may have to find some clever ways to imitate the work they do to work off all those calories… otherwise my hips may have a fit on me. LOL!


Not too many people in today’s world have the time it takes to make every single thing their family eats from scratch.

More and more often, take-out or boxed meals is the norm… yes, even in our family… but with wonderful resources like this book, at least we have the opportunity to find some new recipes we can try out when we have the time or when we make the time for it anyway.

And the recipes inside pretty much ALL look amazing!

PLUS, the awesomeness of the book does not stop there! Lucy fills the pages with wonderful tips that anyone can use in everyday life. She also sprinkles in some fantastic stories about the people of the plain communities.

In short, this book is a treasure and I am thrilled I was given the opportunity to review it. I can hardly wait to try out the recipes that fill the pages. I may even pop back in with updates for you!

Until then, here are some pretty pictures here… just to tease you – and make you want to go snag a copy so you can start testing out the recipes yourself of course!

Review © JCMorrows 2015


image   image   image


YUM… right!


Gather Around the Amish Table (MennoMedia, September 2015)

Straight from Amish kitchens to yours, this cookbook offers favorite family recipes and charming stories from Amish and Mennonite cooks.

Bake the pecan rolls that taste best after an ice-skating party, or try the hoagies that a community sold to help an Amish family with hospital bills. Discover the cocoa cupcakes with instructions to “stir by hand” that one young cook took literally, or whip up the whoopie pies that one Amish woman took to market in her horse and buggy.

These cherished recipes speak of comforting traditions, lively communities, and strong Christian faith. Gather your family around the table to sample the nourishing fare and trademark charm of the plain people. In the words of one cookbook contributor: “Bake someone happy!”

Learn more and purchase a copy.



Lucy Leid is an Old Order Mennonite wife, mother, and cook in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Find out more about Lucy at


Get your fall baking underway with an Amish baking basket giveaway from Lucy and MennoMedia!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. The winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.



Book Review | A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn by Shelley Shepard Gray | Book 3 in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn, the third book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Amish Brides of Pinecraft series is another wonderful story.


As with so many of Shelley’s books, Emma Keim and Jay Hilty are so very real, so very normal… and oh so interesting!

They’ve both lost spouses and with three children each, the most logical solution seems to be getting married.

But it can’t be that easy… It may be fiction but it’s very true to how reality works. Life simply doesn’t work out that easily most of the time.

Things happen to make it difficult… Unforseen circumstances pop up… Even family can make things rough. Not saying anymore. That’s all you get from the synopsis and I will not ruin the story for you. Read it. I’m confident you’ll love it!

Shelley writes such wonderful Amish romances but she doesn’t take the easy road – which I greatly admire!

OK… OK… I’ll stop torturing you. You know everything has to work out for the best – right? It is a romance. 😉

I will also take this opportunity to say, if you haven’t read books 1: The Promise of Palm Grove and 2: The Proposal at Siesta Key, you should!

And there’s ANOTHER book coming soon too! Can you tell I’m excited…?

Review © JCMorrows 2015



A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn (Avon Inspire, September 2015)

In the third book in New York Timesbestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, a wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.

Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone.

Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely.

But when she meets Jay Hilty — a handsome widower with three young sons of his own — Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles.

Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship — and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband’s memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

Emma’s gentleness with Jay’s boys stirs something in his heart that’s been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations.

Witnessing his son’s joy, Jay wonders if it’s time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?




Make sure you check out the Giveaway over at LITFUSE!

Enter to win a copy of A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn—five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced October 1 on Shelley’s blog!




Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Find out more about Shelley at


Book Reviewer… Influencer… Street Team… Where do I fit and what do I do?

Anyone who follows my book blog, knows that I review books… A LOT of books! I LOVE to read and I love to share my thoughts on these books with my followers.

Along this journey, I have been blessed to join several different street teams.

Recently I was forced to leave one of those street teams (on my own… NOT by the author). And, given some drama that has trickled through blogger circles of late, I felt the need to make mention of something that tends to be misunderstood…


A REVIEWER is someone who reads books and then posts reviews on sites like​, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc…

Some of these reviewers are sent books by publishers or promotional companies or the authors themselves.

Along with this “gifted” book comes the requirement that the reviewer gives an HONEST review… not just a positive one.


shutterstock_143336716An INFLUENCER is someone who is part of a selected group of people who are chosen to help launch a book. Most authors ask the members to post reviews but they require them to be positive. In the case that a reviewer can not post a positive review, they are asked to post none at all – or at least to wait until a month or so after the book has released.

But the main job of an influencer is to help get the word out about a book’s release. They are responsible for splashing notifications across social media, requesting the book at local libraries and passing out promotional materials like bookmarks and pens.

2b82cdeA STREET TEAM is a combination of the two above.

The street team members’ job extends beyond a book’s release. They notify their followers and friends about sales on the author’s books, special giveaways and more. They also hand out promotional materials (when the author has them to pass out), and they are usually required to read the author’s books and review them.

Typically, an honest yet positive review is no problem in these groups because the members are generally fans of the author’s work. However, most authors do not require a positive review – simply an honest one… in order to have lots of reviews up – to encourage sales.

If a street team requires a positive review, this should always be made clear before the reviewers join. However, lately there has been a bit of drama that has made this point a bit murky.

There are street teams out there that are run, not by the author but by a fan or by the author’s assistant. When the case is a fan running the team, there may be some issues because the fan has their own ideas about the author’s work and if a member’s review does not line up with their own opinion, they may find it difficult to be unbiased.


My caution is this:

Reviewers – be careful about what street teams you join. DO not join simply because the author is high-profile. Join the street team of an author you admire, one you will have no problem promoting!

And be sure to read all of the requirements BEFORE you join!


Authors – be cautious about how you run your team (or who you choose to run the team for you). Any drama that goes on will not be laid at the feet of that person on social media. It will be attributed to your team and YOUR name.

Also… you should be extremely careful about setting boundaries about reviews. 5 stars on Amazon is great but word of mouth still carries a tremendous amount of weight and if a reviewer is unhappy, they will most likely tell almost everyone they know about it.

I would also suggest you watch what works and what doesn’t with your friends’ street teams. Learn by example and never hesitate to make suggestions to friends about their own teams. Just because you see where something doesn’t work, does not mean they do.


Of course it has to be said… some authors do not deal well with bad reviews. But think of it this way… Is it more important to have ALL good reviews or to have a large number of reviews? Whether the reviews are bad or good, having a large number means that a large number of people have read the book.

And… I speak from experience when I say that I have NEVER allowed a negative review to sway me from reading a book that interested me. I have also read more than a few books that received nothing but glowing reviews – which I did not enjoy.

Think about it…

God Bless!


© JCMorrows 2015

“When Mercy Rains” by Kim Vogel Sawyer



This is my first book by Kim Vogel Sawyer… it WILL NOT BE my last!

I didn’t think I would enjoy reading about the old-order Mennonites as much as my beloved Amish but the way Kim writes them… I did and I’ll certainly be watching for more!

What an amazing story Kim Vogel Sawyer has written!

And no easy plot for this amazing writer… no sir.

She meets the challenge of a complex plot filled with deep issues and emotions and she does it head-on!

This is not an easy book to read. It deals with real issues and you could almost swear the people are real too. The strength of emotion is so strong, it’s difficult for me to describe – but Kim does an amazing job of it.

Don’t think it’s overdone though. I’ve read books where you find yourself wishing they’d stop with the description and just get on with the story. But Kim weaves the story right around the descriptions as if they are a tightly woven strand of DNA.

You won’t want to put this book down.


© JCMorrows 2015


More from Water Brook about When Mercy Rains:

She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.

Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.

Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.

Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.

Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?



Can you go home again – When Mercy Rains?Tweet this!

When Mercy Rains – book one in the Zimmerman Restoration trilogy by Kim Vogel Sawyer!Tweet this!


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


Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.




 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

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

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

A review of “The Midwife” by Jolina Petersheim

The Midwife by Jolina PetersheimWhat can I say about The Midwife?

I can say this. It is not a easy story to read.

Jolina Petersheim deals with some very strong and serious issues in The Midwife and it will be a very difficult book for a lot of women to read.

In my own case, it’s exceptionally difficult and I’m certain that has colored every perception that grew from the reading of this intensely emotional story.

Am I saying not to read this book?

NO. I am not saying that at all.

In fact, if you enjoy intense drama and deep emotional turmoil, this is definitely the book for you.

In fact, Jolina’s writing is so exceptional, I was drawn into the story – even when I was thoroughly disgusted with several different things about it.

I know it’s probably silly but I don’t care for the cover at all. In fact, I almost didn’t request it because of the cover alone but you know the old adage – “Never judge a book by it’s cover.”

I don’t care for the back and forth way the story is told – it’s difficult to keep up with and it seems unnecessary once the “big revelation” is made (not saying anymore than that), but it continues to the last chapter. It took me almost to the end of the book to understand why it has to be this way but I don’t care for it nonetheless.

I really don’t care much for Rhoda Mummau at all. She is not at all what she is supposed to be. Yes, she is human and humans make mistakes so her character is very believable and that is another thing that shows Jolina’s skill as a writer. We don’t have to like main characters for them to be written well.

So… What did I like about the story? That one is a tough question to answer without giving too much away. There are a lot of things revealed throughout the story that gave insight into why our characters are the way they are and I LOVE that Jolina put those tidbits in. Again, it just goes to show her depth as a writer. She knows that out characters have to have flaws to be “real”. And she doesn’t hesitate to paint them in vivid detail.

I liked the ending. I wish there had been more of it but I did like where everything ended up. I was very afraid for a long time that I was going to hate the ending so it was a vindication for my pushing on to the end to see where it all went. It wasn’t a perfect little fairy tale happy ending but it fit the story very well.

I liked how Jolina brought to many different things in to affect the characters lives. Without these small details and events, it would have been far too dry. But Jolina clearly knew what she was doing and brought in enough details to fill out the story and give it life.


Here is what Tynedale has to say about The Midwife:

Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she’s been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she craves.

Graduate student Beth Winslow is on a path she never would have chosen. Heartbroken after surrendering a baby to adoption, she devotes herself to her studies until she becomes pregnant again, this time as a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy—and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen House.

Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives to the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her past and those she thought she had left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.

For more from Tynedale about The Midwife, click HERE

For, click HERE   For GoodReads, click HERE

To visit Jolina Petersheim’s website, click HERE





Disclaimer: I received the book free from the Tynedale 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.