“The Plain Choice” by Sherry Gore

“A True Story of Choosing to Live an “Amish” Life”

Notice the “” around Amish? Yeah…

I read a lot of Amish fiction. Anyone who follows my reviews knows that, but there’s something about this that doesn’t ring quite true.

It’s possible there are huge differences in Amish fiction and Amish reality – I kinda figured that one anyway…

It’s possible the publisher really doesn’t know the difference between Amish and Mennonite…

It’s also possible they’re using the word Amish because a lot of other people don’t know the difference between Amish and Mennonite…

Whatever the reason – this book is a good read. Well, it’s not always a good read. Some of the things Sherry has been through are enough to make the average person incredibly thankful for their nice, quiet, boring life.

But it is an interesting read and there is a lot of good in the life Sherry has chosen for herself.

In fact, I could easily see myself doing much of what she does.

I can’t give up my car or my phone but I wear long skirts all the time already and I love the idea of living more simply. The world has become so complicated, it’s amazing any of us are sane.

Whether you enjoy Amish fiction, Mennonite fiction or just reading about someone’s crazy, messed-up, overwhelming life – “The Plain Choice” is a good choice!

Review © JCMorrows


More about the book from Zondervan:

Raised in a broken family and emotionally overlooked, Sherry Gore grew up without a solid foundation, a prisoner of her own poor choices, and at times without hope. A series of terrible mistakes left her feeling wrecked and alone and a sudden tragedy threw Sherry into an emotional tailspin too powerful to escape.

Sherry hangs by a thread, unable to see how she can go on living, until it happens: on a morning of no particular significance, she walks into a church and BAM the truth of Jesus forgiving love shatters her world and cleaves her life in two: She goes to bed stunned; she wakes up a Christian.

Unwilling to return to the darkness of her former life, Sherry attacks her faith head on. Soon the life Sherry Gore remakes for herself and her children as she seeks to follow the teachings of the Bible features head coverings, simple dress, and a focus on Jesus Christ. Only then does she realize, in a fit of excitement, that there are others like her. They are called Amish and Mennonite, and she realizes she has found her people.

The plain choice that Sherry makes is not easy and life still brings unexpected pain and heartache – but it changes everything for her, as she becomes one of the few people on earth to have successfully joined the Amish from the outside.

She has found her place. And her story proves that one can return from the darkest depths to the purest light with the power of God.”

I was blessed to receive a copy of this free in exchange for an honest review!




“Called to be Amish” | Marlene C. Miller

What’s it like to be one of the few outsiders to leave the Englisch way of life and join the Old-Order Amish—and stay? In Called to Be Amish, this rare memoir by Marlene C. Miller, she recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.


Called to be Amish

This is the first memoir that I have read from someone who grew up and then chose to become Amish… and to be honest, it really wasn’t even close to what I was expecting to read!

Marlene did what very few people have ever been able to do… join the Amish faith – and be accepted by the Amish community!

In her memoir, Marlene does nothing to gloss over the hardships she encountered while growing up, or the lifestyle she experienced during her adult life in an Amish home – with things we take for granted. She gives examples of things she had a difficult time adjusting to (for example – she continued to use kerosene lamps because of her fear of starting a fire with the newer lamps).

Although they had plenty of good times together, Marlene seems to dwell a bit more on the hard times her family experienced.

At times while reading, I wondered if she would have chosen the Amish lifestyle, had she known how difficult it would be…
Review © JCMorrows 2015



Marlene MillerMarlene C. Miller joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Find out more about Marlene at http://www.mennomedia.org.




Called to Be Amish(MennoMedia, February 2015)

Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old–Order Amish—and stayed—since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them.

In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.

Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God’s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community.

Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God’s call as an Old Order Amish woman.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

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.




“Bella’s Gift” by Rick Santorum… with Elizabeth Santorum

How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation . . .

This is not a book about politics.

This is a book about love, grace, faith, respect, and family. This book is the Santorum’s way of sharing their love and devotion to their daughter, Bella! And they have the opportunity to reach many families with their story.

It greatly saddened me when I read that the doctors encouraged the Santorum family to give up on their daughter – just because of a disability. Well, I wasn’t really surprised – just disappointed.

Children – all children – are a blessing… and it doesn’t matter if they are “special” – as some wonderful people refer to those born with physical or mental disabilities. I love how Rick and Karen share their story about Bella – and how they see her as a blessing. Their respect for Bella, for all life – even before birth – is a blessing to everyone they touch.

Bella has enriched their lives and the lives of their family in more ways than can be recorded in a book. At her birth, Bella had already beaten the odds, and she continues to do so – thriving – at a miraculous seven years old!

If I knew nothing else about the Santorum family, because of their love and commitment to Bella, they are worthy of my respect – and my prayers. God bless you, Santorum family!

This is most definitely a book I’d highly recommend!


Review © JCMorrows 2015

More about this wonderful book from Thomas Nelson:

Rick and Karen Santorum’s inspiring story of life with Bella, their special-needs youngest child.

Four days after Rick and Karen Santorum welcomed their eighth baby into the world they were given the devastating news that their little girl, Bella, was going to die. The full story of life with Bella has never been told until now. This inspiring family memoir explores what it means to embrace and celebrate the life of each person, and find hope, even in the midst of painful challenges.

“Bella’s Gift” is the story of how the entire family came together to love and care for Bella and how God strengthened them during the storms and blessed their family with grace, peace, and joy.

Searchingly honest, faith filled, and surprisingly joyful, “Bella’s Gift “is a loving, lived-out testimony to the truth that everyone counts, even the least of these. “

Click on the links below to find more info and where you can get your own copy of this GREAT book!


I was blessed to receive a copy of this free in exchange for an honest review!




Halo Found Hope by Helo Matzelle | A story of hope, healing and a heroic journey of faith!

This story of hope and faith in the midst of great physical and medical adversity is sure to encourage you in your faith. Helo Matzelle’s Halo Found Hope is a must-read. Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope? Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor.

Halo Found Hope

A story of hope… and miracles… and life.

This is exactly how I would describe Halo Found Hope, the memoir of Helo Matzelle..

Try to imagine what you would do if you were told you have a brain tumor – I can’t honestly imagine how I would take news like this. How would I tell my family? How would news of a brain tumor affect my faith?

Halo Found Hope is an inspiring story of a young woman who, after a diagnosis of a brain tumor, lives through some very intense moments. I have a lot of respect for a woman who goes through such a serious surgery, then after coming through it without an incident – just to suffer way more than expected when her brain began to swell, causing one problem after another.

But this book is about much more than just a rare, one-in-a-million type of brain tumor and how it affects Helo and her family, it is about how God reveals himself to her – and how her faith is tried – and how she survives the problems that occurred after the brain surgery and the trials she faced on her journey back to the life she previously lived.

If you want your faith to grow, read Helo’s story… I heartily recommend it.

OK... yes, this one gets 5 stars too. I may have to go back and give the first one 5 stars too...



Halo Found Hope(December 2014)

Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope?

A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life… and her family waited.

Six days turned into eight weeks. She awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn’t feel half of her face, couldn’t hear from one ear, and could not speak. She couldn’t even tell anyone that she felt hopeless… or could she?

Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles. Helo’s story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo’s story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn’t need to be recognized by you, to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Helo’s website.


You can learn more and buy this AMAZING book by clicking the links below:



Halo is offering a Kindle Fire to one lucky reader to celebrate the release of Halo Found Hope!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Halo Found Hope

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 3rd. Winner will be announced April 4th on the Litfuse blog.

halohope-enterbanner{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}


Helo Matzelle

Helouise “Halo” Matzelle led a charmed life until receiving a shocking diagnosis in 2011 of a rare brain tumor sitting over the main artery in her brain. Matzelle’s passion is helping those who face various challenges and afflictions discover where true hope is found. She resides in Redmond, WA, with her husband and their three children.

Find out more about Helo athttp://halofoundhope.com/.

“The Faces of Cancer” by Sarah Price

“The Faces of Cancer” is a story of the hard journey of a very courageous woman.

Sarah Price has been down a similar road as many other women in this world – and she has penned a tome of encouragement and hope for those still to come.

She shares her experiences along a difficult path with us; using humor and an upbeat outlook that amazes me.

I’ve not been through cancer of any kind personally but I can not imagine that I would be able to handle it as well as Sarah has.

Although a big part of the book is Sarah’s message – that with God, anything is possible!

An excellent read – whether you’re facing a similar diagnosis, you’ve already been through the same thing or know someone who has, or even if you’ve never had any association with cancer at all.


4 Stars


And here is what Amazon has to say about The Faces of Cancer:

In May 2013, best-selling author of Amish fiction, Sarah Price, learned that she had breast cancer. From hearing “we caught it early” to almost having Stage 3 breast cancer that had spread throughout her lymph nodes, Sarah Price fought it with humor and acceptance, her faith in God’s plan stronger than her fear of cancer. After multiple complications (that are still on-going), she wrote this to help inspire others who are dealing with cancer, whether as the patient or as the family/friend providing support.

Mixed with Scripture and prayer, this story is about one woman’s struggle to balance her cancer diagnosis with the concern from family and her thousands of friends on social media who read and love her books. Readers will finish this book and know that God gives us what we can handle and, if you look at situations with a Sarah Price attitude, you will find that nothing can be too heavy for our shoulders.


Enjoy and God bless.

Proceeds from this book will be donated to the TJ Martell Foundation the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.



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



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






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

Have you ever considered adoption?

I met Jody not too long at a workshop she held in one of our local libraries.

I admit, I had never stopped to think about the roller-coaster ride that can be the road to adoption…but The Eye of Adoption has shown me.

It has also shown how having an amazing attitude can make the journey one that will change you – yes – but for the better.

Even the cover shows this unique contrast. You see the wind whipped clouds above a relatively calm sea of soothing blue and white and all you have to do is step in…

Once upon a time I considered the idea of adoption (as I was told by several doctors that I would never have children naturally) but God had other plans for me.

But… WOW! Am I glad I read this book!

Jody Cantrell Dyer has a wonderful outlook and a delightful sense of humor about the whole experience.

Whether you are considering adoption or not… read this book!

Jody takes us through every step of her journey with humor and helpful advice and she does it in such a way that shows us all the difficulties of the journey while making us laugh and feel joy with her!

What a wonderful gift this book would make for anyone in your life who is considering adoption!

Here is what GoodReads has to say about “The Eye of Adoption”:

“No one just adopts.” From the very first steps of acknowledging adoption as a choice to the final document that seals the deal, Jody Cantrell Dyer paints a raw, warm, heartbreaking and eventually triumphant portrayal that narrates the entire adoption process through compassionate and humorous prose.

Dyer’s candor and soul color each page of The Eye of Adoption. She directly addresses the sorrows of infertility and the demands of adoption while consistently word-weaving a life rope of assurance, humor, and optimism for her readers.

A middle-aged wife, mother, and teacher, Dyer “tells it like it is” in hopes that waiting adoptive parents, birthparents, adoptees, and those close to them will find kinship through her story.


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








Disclaimer: 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.

Author Spotlight: Melanie Dickerson | Award Winning Author of REAL Fairy Tales

Thank you for joining me for another exciting Author Spotlight!


Melanie Dickerson is one of my new FAVORITE authors – for her exceptional writing AND for her true-to-life portrayals of traditional fairy tales!



headshotA bit about Melanie via her WEBSITE:


Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.



And here is my interview with Melanie Dickerson:


You talk a lot about researching the towns and time period of your novels. What research have you done for the fairy tale part? Do you study the original fairy tales written by the brothers Grimm, Hans Christine Anderson and Charles Perault?

I wouldn’t say I study them, but I usually read them. More often than not, my stories are loosely based on the Disney movie as much as they are on the original fairy tales. My goal is more to write a story with some of the familiar elements that people relate to the Beauty and the Beast story, or the Sleeping Beauty story, or the Frog Prince story. For instance, in my upcoming book, The Princess Spy, which is a Frog Prince story, the heroine loses something valuable—a family heirloom bracelet—in the well, just as the girl in the original story lost her favorite ball in the well, and the “frog prince” offers to get it for her. In return she is expected to do something for him. So I try to incorporate some of the little details of the story into my books, and I also try to use some of the same themes from the original story, as well as the overall premise.


Your story plots are so intricate and many times, it seems impossible that things could work out like the tales we know so well. Do you sketch out a rough draft or an outline before you start writing? How often does a plot twist surprise you in the middle of writing?

There is always at least one plot twist that surprises me during the writing of the book. I do try to have a rough outline, at least in my head, before I start writing, but the details tend to work themselves out as I write and think ahead. I don’t write detailed outlines, though, before I write the first draft, and the first draft usually just needs a little tweaking and editing before it’s ready to send to the editor at my publishing house.


How do you come up with the names of your characters? How close are they to the original names of the fairy tale heroes or villains?

Right now I’m trying to decide what to name my Rapunzel heroine, which is the book I’m about to start writing. Should I call her Rapunzel? Something similar? Or just some Medieval German name I like that seems right for the character? I don’t know, honestly. My Snow White character I named Sophie, since Snow White seemed too unrealistic, and for my Beauty and the Beast character, I named her Annabel instead of Belle because it seemed more British, which is where I decided to set that story. So I usually try to make the name similar but accurate to the time period.


You recently signed a new contract with Thomas Nelson. The first book you mention sounds as if it will be following a similar line as your YA fairy tales. How much more adult will those stories be?

They will not be very different at all. Maybe one or two extra kisses, and maybe a slightly more mature situation here or there, but not very different at all from my “YA” stories, which appeal to adults as well. The heroines will be slightly older.


Any chance you have an idea for Rapunzel’s story? That would be a tricky one to make “real” I would think. (Yes I asked this question with no idea of how Melanie would answer my above question…)

Yep. I have to start writing it right away since it’s due to my publisher in 4 months! The heroine is a surprise, so I can’t say too much about her, but you will catch a glimpse of the hero, Sir Gerek, at the end of The Princess Spy. He is one of Duke Wilhelm’s knights who falls in love with a mysterious midwife’s only daughter. But when the midwife decides to separate the two, Sir Gerek will do anything to find her and get her back.


Thank You Melanie for giving us your time and sharing a bit about your work!
I don’t know about everyone else but I LOVE reading about how an author goes about their process and what’s next for them. It makes me feel like I’m chatting with an old friend.
And it makes reading the books that much more special too!


Click HERE to visit Melanie’s blog for updates and info, HERE for her Facebook page, HERE for Twitter and HERE for her Author page on GoodReads!


And now here’s a look at Melanie Dickerson’s most recent release:


The Captive Maiden


The Captive Maiden 300

A Cinderella Story


Happily Ever After…Or Happily Nevermore? 

Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother.

So when Gisela meets the duke’s son, Valten–the boy she has daydreamed about for years–and learns he is throwing a ball, she vows to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart.

But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.


And don’t miss the other fantastic titles in this wonderful series!


The Fairest Beauty

imageA Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Retelling


A daring rescue. A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what. When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.



The Merchant’s Daughter

imageA real-life tale of Beauty and the Beast


An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.


The Healer’s Apprentice

imageWhen destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love’s kiss.


Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.


Watch for her upcoming releases!


The Princess Spy

                       Coming in November!

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson


Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story.

Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin’s message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself ‘Lord Colin’ is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment.Margaretha knows she could never be a spy—not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she’s sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed.

Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.




The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest


No Cover Image yet

The first book in a NEW series Melanie most recently signed to publish with Thomas Nelson Publishers!

“Swan Lake” meets Robin Hood when the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant by day becomes the region’s most notorious poacher by night, and falls in love with the gamekeeper.

Jorgen is the gamekeeper for the wealthy margrave, and he is in pursuit of the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave’s game. When he meets the lovely and refined Odette at the festival and shares a connection during a dance, he has no idea that at night she is the one who has been poaching the margrave’s game.

Odette is caught up in a ring of black market sellers of poached animals. She thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. However, most of the animals are being sold by the greedy leader of the ring–her stepfather. When Odette discovers what he is doing, she threatens to expose him, putting herself in great danger.

The gamekeeper finds her poaching one night and shoots her, wounding her. When he realizes who she is, he hides her to keep her from being executed by the margrave and also to protect her from her stepfather. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the black market poaching ring . . . as they fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his gamekeeper is protecting a notorious poacher?




THANK YOU for joining me for this special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

And don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews –
there’s a new one up almost every day!

A True Account of an Amish Wedding | AND a GREAT story! WOW!

An Amish Wedding Invitation by Serena B MillerSerena B Miller was blessed to have made some very good friends among the Amish community who helped her to research her first novel Love Finds You in Sugarcreek Ohio and she was further blessed to receive an invitation to their daughter’s upcoming wedding.

She has written a wonderful account of that day (and a few of the events leading up to that wonderful day as well).

And I must say that it reads just as beautifully as her fiction.

Although it is clearly a true account.

Not only that, Serena really shows a unique understanding of the community and their ways. The wedding day, the ceremony and the celebration that followed were nothing like Serena was expecting and she handles those unexpected revelations with grace and a sense of humor.

Through her eyes we see the intricacies and the delicate handling of what so many of us in the “world” see as nothing more than an event meant to impress.

Clearly the Amish understand that the day is about celebrating and not about impressing anyone. They see it as a time to come together and enjoy each other’s company and fellowship and Serena shows us all of that with her beautifully crafted recounting.

As far as I can tell, the story is only available as an eBook but it’s .99 on Amazon so the price can’t be beat. Anyone who can and who is even remotely interested in Amish culture, should definitely buy it and read it!


Here is what GoodReads has to say about the book:

Amish fiction author Serena B. Miller takes you “behind the barn door” in this true e-short account of her experience of attending an Amish wedding.In her years of researching her Amish novels, Serena Miller has gotten to know several Amish families in Holmes County, Ohio. When she was invited to attend the wedding of one of her friend’s daughters, she expected it to be a casual affair: muck out the barn, throw a potluck together, send the bride and groom off on their honeymoon in a buggy with a Just Married sign hung on the back. But when the young bride shyly brings her a formal, professionally printed invitation, she realized everything she thought she knew about Amish weddings was wrong.

From the hand-arranged centerpieces—made from flowers the bride grew herself—to the portable kitchens the family rents to the elaborate and formally served meal, she realized that every detail of this wedding has been carefully and beautifully orchestrated by a bride and a society that cares very deeply about marriage. On the day of the wedding, Serena sits through the three-hour sermon preached entirely in German, after which the ceremony itself lasts under two minutes. She sees the grace with which the bride cooks for and serves her guests, and then stays to clean up after everyone has gone home. She is inspired by the way every member of the community seems to have some role to play in the event.

Serena, a pastor’s wife, has attended hundreds of weddings, and draws comparisons between the overblown weddings she normally attends and this “simple” wedding. She is inspired by the immensity of the vows this young couple is making—not just to each other, but to their community—and the faithfulness of the community that puts the focus on the marriage far more than the wedding itself.

Click HERE to find this eBook on Amazon. It’s only .99 and what a GREAT price!

Click HERE to visit Serena B Miller’s website

“Balanced” – Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom | by Tricia Goyer – an Invaluable resource!


Working at home while raising kids and juggling a career and family responsibilities is no easy feat. Author and homeschooling mom Tricia Goyer shares her tips for finding balance among all your many hats as a mom.

I follow Tricia Goyer on Facebook and twitter and her blog and I LOVE her books!

And I must admit that I too wonder how she does all that she does – or I did, until I read this book.

“Balanced” is a wonderful way of finding out the answer to all those questions. Tricia shares with other work-at-home moms how she handles all the hats she has to wear.

I’m not going to spoil it for you but I will say this – At one point in the book, Tricia makes a point of saying:

“Disclaimer. This book may not be for you if: You are looking for a simple how-to manual with only schedules, outlines, and agendas. You don’t think your spiritual life impacts your work and home life. You think the whole balance issue depends on you and not on your dependence on God.

In this book, there is as much inner work I’m going to talk about as there are ideas, helps, and tips for balancing. Because as someone who’s been working at home nearly all of my twenty-four years as a parent, I’ve discovered three main things:

  1. What I do isn’t as important as who I am.
  2. What God can do in my life and what He’s capable of doing can be two very different things—I don’t want to limit Him.
  3. My outward goals are only reachable if I submit my inward soul to God.

If this sounds like a book you need, good. If not, I understand! We moms only have so much time. You need to spend your time, energy, and hard-earned money on a book that will meet your expectations.

Know that I’m praying God will speak to your heart through my story. I hope you’ll discover good advice to help you follow the dreams God has placed in your heart and be the wife and mom you’ve always wanted to be.” – Direct quote from Tricia Goyer (Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom)

I really respect her for that. It takes a lot of courage and faith to present women with a reason they should not buy your book – and then to tell them you’re OK with it. Ironically, that makes me want to buy the book even more!

Tricia and I have a lot of different ideas on how a person should carry out their faith but they stem from the same ideals. And each Christian really does need to understand that they have a very different journey. Your walk with God is a very personal thing and what God calls one to do – he may not call another to. The point is this – I can see Tricia’s faith in every word. She may go about her faith and her witness differently than me but she definitely puts it all out there for the world to see!

As a homeschooling mom, I am encouraged by Tricia’s story and it definitely tells me I am doing something RIGHT! As a single mom, I am excited to see that Tricia gives so much of her time to help out other mothers – single and married alike. As a struggling writer, I am inspired by Tricia’s journey through writing and publishing and there is a lot of information in this book that benefits me greatly. Tricia talks about homeschool, faith, writing, family life and social media – and how to weave each one into your life without de-railing everything else.

And through it all is woven – a tale of faith so heartwarming, it renews my love for God all over again!

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who is a struggling writer, a work-at-home mom, a home-schooler, new to Christian faith, or someone who is just interested in Tricia Goyer’s life! It’s a great read – no matter your reasoning!


Click HERE to find out more about the blog tour and for other extras from Litfuse.

Click HERE to see the GoodReads book page.

Click HERE for Amazon.com, where you can purchase the eBook for Kindle!

Click HERE to visit Tricia’s website.

And when you’re done with all that, pop in to the Balanced Challenge

Click the following link to RSVP for the Balanced Facebook Party on March 10th – to chat with Tricia, win goodies and learn more about the Balanced Challenge!

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

Happy Reading



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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Balancing it All” by Candace Cameron Bure

20140224-233040.jpgThis book was not at all what I expected
in a good way.

Yes it is exciting to read about Candace and Kirk’s childhood and rise to Hollywood fame but it’s also very exciting to see how they managed to avoid the pitfalls that so many other Hollywood stars fall right into.

It is comforting to see that the family is very much like most of our own. I think a lot of people tend to think that just because someone is in a movie or on TV – they’re nothing like “normal” people.

Cameron makes a point of letting us know that her family was very normal as she was growing up and that she and her husband do what they can to provide their children with as normal a life as possible now.

I will hazard a guess that there are things in the book that people will not agree with but they should remember this:

Just because you do something in a different way, doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong – it’s just right or wrong for your family. A lot of people I know say they could never homeschool but it is exactly the right choice for our family!

All-in-all, it’s a great story. And I really enjoyed the read!

As far as the read itself – It’s very well put-together and it flows beautifully. I’m not sure if the “with Dana Wilkerson” means she is the one who did the writing or if it was more of a collaboration but whoever did the writing did a Great job!

It pulls you right in, moves quick and will have you laughing all the way through. The descriptions are so vivid, I can see it all unfold right in front of me and you get a very real sense from it. This is no fairy tale story that has been crafted to make life sound perfect – it’s real!

I am also thrilled to see how Candace weaves her faith into everything. Even talking about her childhood, she credits her parent’s morality as one reason for her faith. BRAVO Candace! I know a lot of people have had nasty things to say about the whole “proverbs 31 woman” thing but I am really impressed that Candace has stuck to her beliefs and her faith! It’s not easy when you’re being attacked on all sides.

Please know that you have plenty of supporters too Candace!

Well worth reading! You won’t regret it!

And the cover gets my son’s approval – which is a VERY big deal. He likes that she’s wearing a dress and that she’s covered nicely – no low cut top or too short skirt. So, GOOD JOB to the cover designer as well!



Here is a bit more about the book from B&H Publishing Group:

“How do you do it all?”

That’s the question that wife, mom, actress, and best-selling author Candace Cameron Bure is often asked. And it’s a question that women everywhere are asking themselves as we seek to balance all of our roles, responsibilities, and opportunities.

So, how do we do it? Working since the age of 5, Candace has been in a balancing act for nearly her entire life. She is the first to tell you that there is no miracle formula for perfect execution in every area of your life, but there definitely are some lessons to be learned, lessons that come to life in Candace’s story.

Come along and dig into Candace’s story from her start in commercials, the balance-necessitating years on Full House, to adding on the roles of wife and mom while also returning to Hollywood. Insightful, funny, and poignant, Candace’s story will help you balance it all.

Check out the book page on B&H Publishing HERE.

And you can read even more by clicking HERE. There’s also info on ChristianBook.com HERE.

And check out Candace’s website HERE.




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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.