Shelley Gray joins up with 3 of her fellow Historical writers to bring us a TRUE treat!

Among the Fair Magnolias is the newest collaboration from Thomas Nelson and it is FANTASTIC!

Shelley Gray gets together with Tamera Alexander, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser to bring us four wonderful Love stories – each with a touch of mystery!

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander is your typical “orphans out on their own, lost their family home, desperate to make a better life for themselves” story. Except it ins’t typical AT ALL! Tamera Alexander hooks you with the first sentence and doesn’t let go until the very last one!

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray is a romance with more than one twist. Shelley uses her exceptional talent for romance and combines it with her flair for suspense to intrigue her readers!

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love is a story of the age old problem; Do I follow my heart or my family’s wishes?  I refuse to spoil it for you – it’s JUST TOO GOOD!

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser involves a favorite storyline of mine! It’s always a struggle to try and decide whether you should take a chance on love, but when you have the added impossibility of forbidden love, it’s a journey that you DO NOT want to miss!




And here is a bit more about the book from Thomas Nelson:

During the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women—their destinies forged by birth and heritage—face nearly impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander

Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home.

So when the new owner Aidan Bedford seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front—this time, a battle of the heart.

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray

Seven years ago Russell Champion was betrayed by the two most important women in his life. Now Russell returns home, but is it too late to make amends with his mother and find closure with his true love?

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love

Abigail Clayton hopes to reconcile with Dr. Wade Bennett and become his wife. But her father insists she marry her distant cousin Charles Kittridge so the plantations of the two families will be joined. With her wedding looming, Abby must choose between duty to her family and the yearnings of her own heart.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser

Emily Derracott loves her childhood friend Thomas McGinnis, but she cannot marry a man who doesn’t share her strong convictions about the freedmen. Besides, she harbors a secret love for someone else. But the prospect of becoming his wife is not only improbable—it is completely impossible.

Includes Recipes and Discussion Questions


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






I was blessed to receive this book free in exchange for an honest review.

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An advance look at “Swept Away” – a new Quilts of Love story | A collaboration between Laura V. Hilton and newcomer Cindy Loven

I love having the inside track on so many Fantastic books!20140722-131957.jpg


I admit, I have only read a couple of Laura V. hilton’s books and I did not know what to expect from this collaboration.

I was not disappointed!

This is a wonderful story and a terrific meeting of two clearly talented authors!

You can see little touches from each author all throughout.

In a recent interview HERE, Laura made a point of saying that Cindy took the lead with all of the quilting descriptions but they blend together so seamlessly you would never know the book wasn’t written by one author.

I’d say that counts as a triumph for this duo!

Dare we hope for a possibility of more books in the future…

I would read them!

And I am excited to see what Cindy comes up with in the near future!


4 Stars


Here is what Abingdon has to say about “Swept Away”:

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.


You can find more information about the book from these popular sites:


And it is available for pre-order already at the following sites:



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


Happy Reading




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“An Amish Miracle” anthology – WOW!

An Amish Miracle CoverThese anthologies are a GREAT idea!

Not only do you get three stories in one, you get to see the writing of three different authors – which tells you whether you like all three authors and want to buy more of their books.

In my case, the answer is “YES!” And I will be hunting up books I don’t already have from these authors!


In the first story: Always in my Heart, we get to see the major differences between Amish marriages and Englisch marriages. What does the typical Englisch husband do when he finds out his wife has been hiding something from him for their entire marriage? Read the story to see what the typical Amish husband does.

It’s astonishing.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Mary Ellis and her writing is phenomenal. She does have an odd habit of using the Deutsch word for wife a lot instead of having her husband call her by name and this is the first book I’ve read where this was done but I don’t know everything about every Amish community so maybe this is common in some of them… Her writing is so wonderful, even with this small oddity, I could NOT put it down. GREAT Story! GREAT Writing! Read it!

The same is true of the second.

Ruth Reid’s writing – also fantastic! She draws you right into the story and you can feel the character’s emotions so clearly. It’s so hard to let go of the story, that when it’s over you almost want to cry.

This is the first book of hers I have read also and I can’t WAIT to go hunt down more of hers!

In the second book we see a different character’s story but in the same community. I LOVE when they do this! It’s so much better than having to wait for the next book in the series to come out.

I didn’t think the story of a lonely widow would appeal to me much but it really did. It was amazing. I found myself staying up far beyond my usual bedtime to read I haven’t done that in a while.

I never could have imagined that Amish girls would have to deal with weight issues. Who could have guessed? But that is indeed the main conflict of the third story in this anthology.

Beth Wiseman handles the story beautifully. I found myself feeling Becky’s pain as I read. And yet, I could feel myself feeling the pain of other characters as well and it was enlightening and heart-breaking as well. Great writing! WOW!

I found myself thinking about how this is a wonderful story to share with my daughter and even my son. Even at a young age, I feel it is important to share stories and lessons about life with our children – especially about dating and self-esteem issues.

This story also shows us that sometimes… even if God’s answer is yes, it’s not always the best thing for us.

All three of these stories are wonderfully written and beautifully flowing one into another and I can’t wait to go back and read “An Amish Gathering”, “An Amish Love”, “An Amish Wedding”, “An Amish Kitchen” and the upcoming “An Amish Garden”. I’ll probably wait to read “An Amish Christmas” until a little closer to Christmas time this year.


And here is a brief synopsis about the three stories from GoodReads:

Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman

Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?

Always His Providence by Ruth Reid

Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis

Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn’t a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.

You might notice the order these are in. For some strange reason they are listed this way on the back of the book too. But they come in the opposite order inside. Weird huh…

HERE is a link to GoodReads for more info and reviews.

HERE is a link to Beth Wiseman’s website.

HERE is a link to Ruth Reid’s website.

HERE is a link to Mary Ellis’s website.

And HERE is the link to the book’s page on Thomas Nelson.


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“The Amish Seamstress” by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

17177607“The Amish Seamstress” is the fourth book in The Women of Lancaster County series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

I started reading the first book in this series (The Amish Midwife) some time ago and I could not make myself finish it.

Just to clarify:
at the time, I was quite frustrated by a very angry book (another that I was reading at the same time) that I quickly decided to stop reading once I became aware of the problem.

Since then, a dear friend has convinced me that this series is worth reading. Since I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, I decided to give the series another try.

I also thought it might be interesting to read this one first and go back to the others… to see how that works. It doesn’t always work to read books out of order. With this one, it works. But I have a feeling that the story will mean a lot more if the series is read in order. Once I go back through and read from the beginning, I’ll have a better perspective on that.

From Harvest House

Izzy Mueller is an exceptional listener and gifted caregiver. She’s also a talented seamstress. As the young woman sits with her elderly patients, she quietly sews as they share their stories. She’s content with her life until circumstances reconnect her with someone she once loved. Zed Bayer, a Mennonite, is not what her family is hoping for in a spouse, and his creative interest in filmmaking is definitely at odds with her Amish upbringing.

As Izzy is swept up again in Zed and renews her friendship with his sister, Ella, she begins to ask questions about her own life—her creative longings and historical interests, her relationships and desire for romance, and most importantly, her faith. What is the path God has for her? Can she learn from the past of both her family’s and Zed’s—or must she forge a completely different future of her own?

I imagine writing a collaboration is not an easy thing, especially since we don’t see nearly as many of them as we see single-author books. Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have found the way to do it right. I applaud them and I hope they collaborate on more stories in the future.

There is a lot of conflict in these novels and I can see now why it was so difficult for me to get into the first one. I am a person who has seen more than her fair share of conflict and drama so I tend to do everything I can to steer clear of it. If you are this way as well, don’t let that stop you from reading these books. The end result is worth any heartache or frustration.

…don’t let that stop you from reading these books. The end result is worth any heartache or frustration.

I plan to go back and read from the beginning of this series and then review each one in order (I may even re-review this one with that new perspective once I finish them all).

“The Amish Seamstress” is most definitely a continuation of the series but there is a good amount of information about what happened in previous books so you shouldn’t be lost.

The story draws you in and you find yourself wanting to go on…

The characters are very strong and, in some cases, formidable. The story draws you in and you find yourself wanting to go on, if only to find out what happens next. I can’t wait to start at the beginning again and see how it all develops into where we are now in this fourth book.

In other words, it’s a very well written book – which means most likely that the entire series is well-written. Although that is not always the case so you should make that judgment for yourself. Start from the beginning with “The Amish Midwife” (along with me) and see what you think. Now I just have to find time to go read all four books and review them.

Now I just have to find time to go read all four books and review them.

Ah, the frantic busy-ness of fall…

If you would like to read a chapter of “The Amish Seamstress”, get more information about upcoming releases from Harvest House or just get more info about this book, click HERE to go to Harvest House. Or click HERE to go to the page on GoodReads.

Mindy Starns Clark’s website can be found HERE.

Leslie Gould’s website can be found HERE.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Harvest House Publishers book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading



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