Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Last Bride

Of her Old Order parents' five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie's father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they'll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

This is the fifth book in the Home To Hickory series by Beverly Lewis. And what a fabulous addition to the series it is!

Tessie and Marcus throw caution to the wind when her father refuses to let them court and marry and elope. Hoping that they can change her father's mind and live together as man and wife, they meet secretly in the home Marcus is setting up for them.

But one day something terrible happens that will change everything. Can Tessie find a way to make her commitment to Marcus, her honor of her parents and her desire to join the Amish faith come together for a happily ever after?

Beverly Lewis is the absolute queen of Amish fiction. There is simply none better. And this story is just another jewel in her crown. Though this is part of a series, it, and all of the books in this series, can be read as stand alone novels.

Don't miss this one!


This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Through The Deep Waters

Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.

The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?

I don't know when I've read a book that has pulled me closer to God than this book. The message is not subtle but it's not pushy either -  it's just incredibly moving.

This book is wonderful reading entertainment - I couldn't put it down and read it in one day (staying up way, way into the night when I should have been asleep) but it's also a good story for anyone who is hurting. Anyone who feels unloved - anyone who needs to know that they are loved unconditionally.

The three main characters - Dinah, Amos and Ruthie - all have problems. Dinah is ashamed of her background. Amos has physical problems that are impossible to hide and make him a target of ridicule. Ruthie wants what she can't have. They are drawn with both strengths and weaknesses - just like all of us. And at the core, all three want the same thing - love.

Pick up this book - you won't regret it. Highly recommended.

Check out this link to read the first chapter:

And you can go here for more information on when the book will be available and how to order it:


"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Big Picture Inteactive Bible

Are our children really getting the full meaning of the stories as we read the Bible to them? When we read the Bible to our children, the stories are often in bits and pieces and focus on "being good." But children should get the message of "being saved" from reading the Bible instead. The Big Picture Interactive Bible (B&H Kids) is the first children's Bible of its kind-the Jesus story from start to finish, filled with features and interactive elements that capture the true meaning and significance behind all of the verses and stories.
The Big Picture Interactive Bible has nearly a thousand features in full color throughout including pictures of key items so children can understand what they're reading. The B&H Kids Augmented Reality App (free and available for Android and iPhone) creates a digital pop-up book when used with full-color illustrations, bringing the Bible to life for each child. It features the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a clear, contemporary English translation that's faithful to the original languages of the Bible. 
Other features included are:
  • Big Words - Colorful Bible Dictionary entry with photos, maps, illustrations and descriptions of key terms, right in the Bible text.
  • Big Questions/Big Answers - Kids always want to know why. This feature asks and then answers many of the common "big questions" throughout the Bible.
  • Christ Connection - This feature can be found from Genesis to Revelation and will help kids understand how each story points us to Christ and His work for us.
  • Introductions - Basic information about the books of the Bible will give kids perspective on the who, what and when for each book as well as "the Big Picture" from that book and key stories it contains.
  • Icons - Special icons are placed throughout the Bible to connect to the Gospel Project for Kids curriculum.
  • Memory Verses - Scripture memorization is much more than "saying the words." When a child memorizes a Bible verse and puts it to practice in their daily life, that child begins to learn how God can lead his life. The top 100 verses to remember are highlighted throughout the Bible.
  • Parent Connection - This feature is designed to help parents be empowered to engage deeper in the story with their kids.
  • Seeing the Big Picture - This feature digs into key Bible stories to help young hearts and minds grasp the meaning and provide parents with extra information to discuss the Bible with their kids.
What a fabulous Bible this is! The art work is colorful and perfect to draw a little one's attention.

There are many little "pop outs" throughout that have verses to remember, explanation of terms that kids might not know and questions (with the answers included) about the verses.

There are maps and an index to the Bible stories in the back for quick reference.

Sure wish I had this when my kids were little but I know I will spend many hours with my granddaughter curled up on my lap reading through this one.

Highly recommended - this would be perfect to tuck inside an Easter basket.


Many thanks to B&H Kids for providing this Bible to me for my honest review.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Minding Molly

Molly Zook Has Everything Planned Just Right.
Or So She Thinks!

Molly Zook's always liked being in control, so she's struggling with her mother's wish that, to save the family farm, she marry Mervin Mosier. Especially after Molly meets Leon Fisher. He's from Montana but is now training horses at a nearby ranch. He's tall and muscular and confident--Molly has never met anyone like him and she's sure he feels the same about her.

Determined to let nothing get between them, Molly tries to coax Mervin into falling back in love with Molly's best friend, Hannah. A weekend camping trip in the Poconos could be just the place...but things quickly go awry, and it seems Leon and Hannah might be falling for each other instead! Will Molly keep struggling to control everyone and everything around her? Or will she learn to let God handle the twists and turns of her life?

This is book three in the Courtships of Lancaster County series by Leslie Gould. I have read book one but not book two and while these books are good as stand alones - there were frequent references to things that I can only assume happened in the second book. You can still enjoy the book and the references don't make the story confusing - it just gives you that feeling that you've missed something.

I enjoyed this story - there are four main "younger" characters that the book focuses on - Molly and her best friend Hannah, and Mervin, who lives next to Molly and has been sweet on Hannah for years, and Leon, who has come from Montana to work for Hannah's father. There's a bit of musical romance partners and some wondering who will end up with who. There are fears to be concurred, misunderstandings to muddy the waters and a couple of near tragedies to get your heart pumping.

As I mentioned, there are updates on characters from previous books, so if you've read them in order, you'll get to check in with old friends. And if you haven't read the first two books yet and you want to read them, I'd suggest reading them in order as there are spoilers in this last book.


My copy was graciously provided by Bethany House Publishers  for my honest review.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Quilted Heart

Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?
Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

Bending Toward the Sun
Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

Ripples Along the Shore
Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?

What a wonderful collection of stories this is! I haven't read many novella collections but I have read enough to know that they don't all following the same "rules". The last one I read, the stories were tied together by the location but the characters didn't really carry from one story to the other except for a mention of how the characters from the previous story were doing. In this collection, the characters from the previous stories play a larger part in the next story. It's almost like as the story continues, another voice does the story-telling from their point of view.

This lovely group of ladies, who meet every Thursday to quilt, are strong, devoted ladies picking up the pieces of their lives after the Civil War. Each has experienced trials along the trail to true love. And each is faced with an obstacle to overcome in the face of that true love.

Such a joy to know that you can read one story in a day - but then when you pick up the next day, you'll run into some of the people you met the day before but it's a fresh, new story.

For more information on Mona Hodgson, you can check out her website:

You can read the first chapter of the book here:

Highly recommended.


I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Match Made In Heaven

There's a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas!
In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?
A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.

No Match for Love
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?

About the Author

Karen Witemeyer is a winner of the Carol Award and has been a finalist for the RITA Award and National Readers' Choice Award. She lives with her husband and three children in Abilene, Texas. Learn more about Karen at

Mary Connealy is well-known for her award-winning, bestselling historical romantic comedies. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Regina Jennings is the author of two acclaimed historical romances, with a third to release soon. She lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

Carol Cox is the author of more than 25 books and novellas. A pastor's wife and homeschooling mom, she makes her home with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona.

I have never been a fan of novellas. I prefer a book I can really get to know the characters and spend some time with them.

And then I read this collection. Each story is a stand alone story but they are all set in the same town and you do get a repeat of some of the characters - if only as an update of where their lives have gone - so you would want to read them in order.

They are around a 100 pages long so they're great for when you want a quick read but you really do get to know the characters in those 100 pages.

Each of these stories was written by a different author but their writing styles are similar enough that it's not jarring going from one to the next. And I love that there's both romance and humor in the stories. Great for a Saturday afternoon curled up with a quilt.

This book is a wonderful addition to your library and I highly recommend it.


My copy of this book was graciously provided by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Plain Disappearance

The third book in the Appleseed Creek Series was just as good as the first two - I am simply loving this series and can't wait for the next one (there will be a next one won't there Ms. Flower? Please?).


It's Christmas time in Amish Country and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek. She's especially excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy's friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

This series gets better with each passing book. The characters we love are back and have brought along with them some unexpected surprises.

The love story of Chloe and Timothy continues. Greta is still trying to keep Appleseed Creek safe from criminals. Becky is still cooking - and planning an all out Christmas party. And there's a special surprise guest in store for Chloe. And of course Grandfather Zook is handing out advice and learning more and more "Englisch" words.

Don't miss this one. It's a page turner.


My copy of A Plain Disappearance was complimentary in exchange for my honest review of the content.