Monday, March 31, 2014

Review of "Rebekah's Treasure"

Review of Rebekah's Treasure

by Sylvia Bambola 

20665950

Forced to flee war-torn Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Rebekah and her husband, Ethan, each take something of value: Rebekah, the cup of the Last Supper; Ethan, a copper scroll detailing the whereabouts of a vast Temple treasure. Ahead, separation and danger face them as each tries to survive. But it's not only external forces that could keep them apart forever but internal ones as they struggle to discover where their true treasure lies.

Rebekah's Treasure has won first place for adult fiction in the Florida State Association National League of American Pen Women. The novel's combination of history, love and suspense will capture and engage readers right from the start.

MY REVIEW:   " ''This can't be it,' I repeat.  
'It can be no other, Mama,' Aaron says.  His soft beard is caked with the dust of the road, his face blistered from the sun.  His eyes, ever on the lookout for danger, squint into the expanse. 
Esther leans wearily against the donkey and laughs. 'Were you expecting a Hasmonaean palace?' "
Rebekah's Treasure is a delightful read!!!   It is quite moving to read of a family who knew the Messiah and drank from the same cup as He did.   While fictional liberty has been taken to add to the story, facts are kept true.  Rebekah finds her own treasures and they are far more important than a cup.   Yet the cup is deemed more important to some shady characters and creates conflict for Rebekah and her family.   5 *****
I received a free kindle version of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  
About the Author:
Sylvia Bambola
Sylvia Bambola was born in Romania but lived her early years in Germany, a Germany still reeling from the devastation of World War II. At age seven she relocated with her adopted military family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in Germany lingered and was the inspiration behind her novel, Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist.

Life as an “army brat” gave her the opportunity to live in several states, including Hawaii. Then came nursing school in New York after which she married and began a family. Raising two children and being the wife of a business executive made for a busy life. So did working in marketing for a telecommunications company, then a medical software company.

Her first novel, A Vessel of Honor, written under the pen name of Margaret Miller, garnered a Small Press Editor’s Choice Award and was seriously considered for production as a television movie.

Bambola is the author of six published novels, lives in sunny Florida and has two grown children. She’s been a guest speaker at Women’s Aglow and various church functions, is a Bible study teacher at her church, and is learning to play the guitar.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review of "Through the Deep Waters"

Review of Through the Deep Waters

by Kim Vogel Sawyer

18310162

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.
MY REVIEW: "After easing onto the edge of the bed, Dinah clutched her hands together and whispered, 'You.' She swallowed.  'I know you're sick, Ma.'  Tori's face pinched into a horrible grimace.  'I told her not to say nothin' to you. An'don't call me Ma.'" 
 Through the Deep Waters truly touched a deep cord in my heart as I read it.   It reminded me of the woman caught in sin in the Bible and Jesus asked the one without sin to cast the first stone at her.   Dinah's life was born out of a sin-filled and sad life....she is the unwanted, unloved daughter of a prostitute who gave up her innocence to allow her mother to live her final days in peace and with some dignity.  Yet she is plagued with guilt and nightmares.  She certainly suffers PTSD although it is not called by that name.   She wants to make a better life for herself and finds work at the Clifton Hotel as a chambermaid.  The work doesn't sound very glamourous but it is in fact a job with great respect and honor attached to it.   Will she realize her dream of becoming one of the "Harvey Girls"?  Will she be able to get over the guilt and the nightmares?  And what will happen with the crippled chicken farmer, Amos, who finds he simply can not stop thinking about her?  This novel is one of forgiveness and second chances. 5 Stars *****
I received a free copy of this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.   

About the Author:
Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren. She invites you to visit her Web site at www.kimvogelsawyer.com for more information.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review of "The Tyrant's Daughter"

Review of The Tyrant's Daughter 


by J. C. Carleson

The Tyrant's Daughter

From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs

When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations? 

J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics. 

*Bonus Backmatter includes a note about the author's CIA past, and a commentary by RAND researcher and president of ARCH International, Dr. Cheryl Benard. Recommendations for further reading are also included. 

MY REVIEW:  "My brother the king does not like that he has to share a bedroom with me.
I don't like it either.  So I pretend he's not there.  I ignore his king-sized tantrums and the dirty royal socks that he leaves on my bedspread.  I pretend not to hear him when he tells me what to do."   
The Tyrant's Daughter allows the reader the rare look at the innocent people behind the tyrant's of the world.....the wives, the children, the ones whom they love and who love them back....the ones who are left to suffer the guilt of the pain the tyrant caused.   I had never really thought of the many innocent people behind terrorists like Saddam Hussein.  They too have wives and children who are hurt and shocked by their actions and just want their husbands and fathers to hold them, to rock them, to sing one more lullaby to them.   They may even innocently participate in some of the destruction and devastation as they are manipulated and used as pawns in the game of life, of war, of hatred.
I highly recommend this intense look into a fictional life of a fictional teenage daughter of a world tyrant.   It reminds me of watching a horror movie, where it is too horrible to watch and too fascinating to look away.     5 ***** 
I was given a kindle version of this book by netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author: 
J.C. Carleson

J.C. Carleson never intended to be an author. Although she was always a proficient writer of term papers, reports, and other necessary but mundane documents, she didn't consider herself cut out for the creative life.

Nearly a decade as an officer in the CIA's clandestine service changed that.

With her head now brimming with stories of intrigue, scandal, and exotic locales, Carleson was finally ready to give writing a shot. Her fiction and non-fiction works alike tap into her unique experiences, drawing readers into the highly charged, real world of espionage.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review of "Children of the Depressed"

Review of Children of the Depressed

by 

18325513

Have you ever wondered, Why am I so negative? or Why is my life so chaotic? Whether or not your parent was ever formally diagnosed with depression, you’ve probably always known there was something different about your upbringing. And even though you’ve grown up and moved on, you may still feel the after-effects of living with your parent’s illness.

In Children of the Depressed, a depression expert helps adult children understand and overcome common problems that stem from growing up with a depressed parent, such as poor communication skills and negative self-talk. Using skills and practices rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), you will learn to shed the old dynamics and ways of thinking that have been weighing you down and keeping you from enjoying healthy relationships and the life you deserve.
Most books on depression only focus on getting help for the depressed person. This book is written for you, the adult child of parents with who have struggled with depression. You need emotional healing after a dysfunctional childhood, and most importantly—you need an opportunity for your voice to be heard.

You don’t have to become stuck in the past. By identifying and recognizing the feelings you experienced at a young age, you will start laying the groundwork for a happier and healthier life—socially, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

MY REVIEW:  This is an excellent reference and self-help book for those who grew up with depressed parents.   The book identifies symptoms and behavior traits of the depressed.  It gives some excellent exercises for healing and looking at the past wounds for the purpose of healing.   The author also shows how many adults who lived in a home with a depressed parent will also suffer depression themselves.   Therapeutic work is recommended and effective tools are shared.   As an adult who grew up with a depressed father and also suffers from depression personally, I wanted to read this book with thoughts of helping my own adult children.  I know that my depression had a huge impact on the lives of my children and our family. I recognized my own depression and sought professional help early but it does not negate the effects my children experienced.  If you know or suspect that you had a depressed parent, I would highly recommend this book.  5 *****
I received a free copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review of "A Plain Love Song"

Review of A Plain Love Song

by Kelly Irvin

20262915

Adah Knepp wants nothing more than to make music. It's all she's ever desired--to sing and play the guitar and write her own songs. That's a dream that will never come true in the confines of her strict Amish community. But then she meets Jackson Hart, and all of a sudden she finds the chance for a different kind of life. A real stage, a real guitar, and a real opportunity to sing her songs to a real audience!

But pursuing her dreams means turning her back on her family and community--and saying goodbye to Matthew, the gentle Amish farmer she can't get out of her mind. Is it worth giving up the only home she's ever known to pursue her dreams?

MY REVIEW:   Adah has a song in her heart and she longs to write songs, but the Amish do not allow musical instruments or secular music.   What will she do?  Will she give up everything and everyone she loves to run off with Jackson, an Englisher, and follow her heart?  Or will she stay with the Amish and marry dear sweet dependable Matthew?  
I love music personally and singing is very dear to my heart.  It is a way for me to praise God and to honor Him with my talents, given by Him, so it would be very difficult for me to participate in a church that does not allow this free expression.   Do you think you would be able to give up freedom of musical expression?   Kelly Irvin explores these issues and more in A Plain Love Song.   4 Stars **** 
I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin's latest book in the New Hope Amish series, Love Redeemed, releases in March 2013. She is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. Love Still Stands, the first book in her spin-off series New Hope Amish, released in September 2013.

Kelly recently signed with Zondervan to publish a three-book series set in Bee County, Texas. The first book in the Lone Star series is set to release in 2015.

Kelly has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, published by Five Star Gale in 2010 and 2011.

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. She also serves as secretary of the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers. 

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso.

She has worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for 19 years.Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years, and they have two young adult children. They recently became grandparents for the first time. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and play with her new granddaughter.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review of "The Quilted Heart"

Review of The Quilted Heart Omnibus

(Quilted Hearts, #1-3)

by Mona Hodgson

17857637

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? 
MY REVIEW of Book One, Dandelions on the Wind:  "Clutching her cloth doll, Gabi looked at her.  'My PaPa came back.'"  This story is told with gut-wrenching honesty given to the feelings of the characters.  It is not difficult to imagine the emotional pain and physical hardship it created for a grieving mother-in-law and young daughter for the father to walk away and leave his newborn infant.   Can they accept him back into the fold and welcome him home?  Wooly is hoping and praying that they can do just that.   How will Maren fit into the plan?  She has been helping his mother-in-law and daughter on the farm and now he displaces her with his return, but she may be more than happy about the new arrangement.  Read to find out these questions and more.  This is a five-star novella.

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? 
MY REVIEW of Book Two, Bending Toward the Sun:  "'You're upset that I was speaking to an Irishman?' PaPa looked everywhere but at her.  'The McFarlands run freight wagons to and from the docks.  They're teamsters.  They're Irish.'"   Dear Emilie wants a family of her own and she also desires nothing more than to care for her dear widowed father.  He wants an entirely different life for her and he certainly does not want her courting an Irishman.  Prejudice rears its ugly head in book two, but can God soften the heart of a loving father or is it hopeless for Emilie?   Grab the tissue box and a comfy chair to read this novella to see what transpires.  5 Stars *****

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?
MY REVIEW of Book Three, Ripples Along the Shore:  "The woman's nervous giggle tensed Caroline's shoulders.  No one could take Phillip's place in her heart.  'I'm not seeking a replacement for my husband.'  'Perhaps you should, dear.'"   The Civil War split families apart and left many without husbands, sons, fathers, brothers, and unfortunately Caroline turns out to be one left without a husband.   Heading west from Missouri would add even more challenge and likely hardship to Caroline's life but it would give her a fresh start.   A different sort of prejudice is experienced in the third book.   Caroline turns to God and the church for her answers.  Could her enemy, one who may have even killed her husband, be the one to lead her on the greatest adventure of her life?   If you want an exciting, fast-paced historical romance, then this is a wonderful choice.   5 Stars again!!!   
This omnibus is top-notch and left me wanting to keep on reading and just leave the world behind me.   
I received a free copy of this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.   

About the Author:
Mona Hodgson


MONA HODGSON writes historical romance fiction set in American history and peopled with ensemble casts. Mona is the author of Two Brides Too Many, Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, and Twice a Bride in THE SINCLAIR SISTERS OF CRIPPLE CREEK SERIES and THE QUILTED HEART Novellas--Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along te Shore, and Prairie Song, Book 1 in the HEARTS SEEKING HOME SERIES--all published with WaterBrook Multnomah--Penguin Random Publishing. Her writing credits also include nearly thirty children’s books, contributions to eleven books for adults, and hundreds of short stories, articles, and poems in newspapers and magazines. One of Mona’s favorite things to do (besides writing or eating dark chocolate) is to speak at women's retreats and schools, and for women’s groups, librarians, and at writers’ conferences. Mona from Arizona lives with her hubby, Bob. Check out www.monahodgson.com to learn more. You can also follow Mona on her blog and at http://www.facebook.com/author.mona.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Review of "Kitty's Christmas Hope"

Review of Kitty's Christmas Hope

by Sharon Kleve

21524263

Kitty Skinner meets the perfect guy, he's kind, considerate and sexy as hell. She hopes to spend her favorite holiday with him, Christmas Eve. The only problem is, Aaron treats her like his best friend, not the girlfriend she dreams of being. To make matters worse he’s found his perfect girl and wants Kitty to help plan their first date.

Aaron Tyler thinks Kitty is sweet, talented and someone he can settle down with, but believes he has to deceive her into believing he cares for someone else to win her heart.

Nothing goes as planned when one mishap after another prevents them from admitting their true feelings.

Can Kitty and Aaron take a leap of faith and reveal their true feelings before their friendship takes a beating and miss out on their perfect date—Christmas Eve?

MY REVIEW:  "I've met this great girl and I want to ask her out.  And I want the first date to be perfect," he blurted.
     She felt the tread marks of a semi-truck on her heart. 
     How is that for a gut-wrenching conflict in a novella and a girl's heart?   I could definitely imagine the nausea and heartache that Kitty was experiencing at that moment as she sat beside the man of her dreams.   Now she agrees to plan the perfect date for him and HIS MYSTERY GIRL on her favorite day of the year, Christmas Eve.  What has she gotten herself into?  
     This is such a sweet romance.  I smiled as I started reading and smiled even more as I finished.   For all the cat lover's out there, Kitty has her own special cat who plays an integral part of the story.  I know, as I write this, it is the first day of spring but winter is still torturing many readers with snow and cold temperatures and promises of more snow. This Christmas romance is sure to warm hearts and remind readers why winter is not so bad after all.   5 Stars!!!  *****
I received a pdf copy of this novella from the author in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author:
Sharon Kleve
From author's bio on goodreads.com:
I love romance. I love reading romance, living romance (who doesn't), but I especially love writing paranormal romance. There's no greater feeling than watching my characters come alive in each other's arms. Most of all, I love giving my characters the happily ever afters they deserve, with a few bumps and bruises along the way.
One of my favorite things is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing myself in the emotions between the characters. I hope someday to inspire readers the same way my favorite authors have inspired me.
When not writing, I can usually be found either curled up in my recliner with my cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels. My least favorite activity is running laps around the high school track to burn off the bread and bagels and occasionally chocolate.

Member of the Romance Writers of America and the 2012 Treasurer for the Peninsula Romance Writers Chapter.

Review of "Forget Me Not"

Review of Forget Me Not

by Miralee Ferrell

20928497

Can a Lost Love be Redeemed?

Seven years ago, Julia McKenzie rejected the man she loved, wanting to experience more of life. Now, at the age of twenty-four, she regrets that decision. What will Seth think of her, when they encounter one another hundreds of miles from home? Will the man she cared for understand the direction her life has taken and love her in spite of her choices?

Pastor Seth Russell has never completely forgotten the girl he once courted. When she shows up in his new home of Baker City, all those feelings return. But why is she sneaking around town late at night? Even more important, will she reject him and break his heart again?

MY REVIEW:  "She hadn't come West with visions of winning souls like some missionaries she knew, nor did she hope to win any contests for high esteem among the stalwart members of the community, but her passion burned to make a difference in the lives of downtrodden people.  If she could make even one person's life easier, it was worth whatever sacrifice she was called to make."  Julia reminds me a great deal of myself.   I have always been rather outspoken and also want to help others.  That is the mark I would like to leave on this world, and Julia has the same attitude.  
This was a delightful novella to read.   I have never had the pleasure of traveling to Oregon but it certainly sounds beautiful.  I did not realize there was such a prejudice in that area against the Chinese people either.   I love learning new and exciting historical facts as I read a lively romance!  5 Stars, for sure!  
I purchased a kindle copy of this book with a gift card I received.   Lucky me!  

About the Author:
Miralee Ferrell 

Miralee Ferrell and her husband, Allen, live on eleven acres in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State, where they love to garden, play with their dogs, take walks, and go sailing. She is also able to combine two other passions—horseback riding and spending time with her grown children—since her married daughter lives nearby, and they often ride together on the wooded trails near their home. 

Ironically, Miralee, now the author of eight books, with many more on the way, never had a burning desire to write—at least more than her own memoirs for her children. So she was shocked when God called her to start writing after she turned fifty. To Miralee, writing is a ministry that she hopes will impact hearts, and she anticipates how God will use each of her books to bless and change lives.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review of "The Here and Now"

Review of The Here and Now

by Ann Brashares




An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.
Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

MY REVIEW:  The Here and Now is classified as YA, Young Adult fiction but I believe other adult readers will find it as engaging as I did!   This is a futuristic, time-travel work of fiction and it is fast-paced and intense.   The romantic plot is quite believable and is highly appropriate for young readers.   As a former middle school teacher, I would highly recommend this for both male and female readers.   Will Prenna be able to sacrifice her own happiness for Ethan?  This book would make a wonderful action filled movie. *****
I received a pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:    
Ann Brashares 
Ann Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the D.C. area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer with her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ann and her husband live with their three children in New York.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review of "Simple Faith"

Review of Simple Faith

by Anna Schmidt


After losing her beloved husband and daughter and surviving Hitler’s Sobibor death camp, Quaker widow Anja Steinberg dedicates her life to helping others and keeping her son safe. As a member of the resistance, she helps displaced Allied airmen get back to their units in England. The journey is rigorous and filled with danger and there is no time for romance. Then American Peter Trent parachutes into her life. She must face facts—her heart did not die with her late husband and true love could be hers again. But will a romance hurt Peter’s chance of escape from the Nazis—and endanger her life as well?

The Peacemakers Series:
Book 1 - All God's Children
Book 2 - Simple Faith - Available March 2014

MY REVIEW:   This book has given me incredible insights into WWII for those on the other side of our world.   I had seen many artifacts from my late uncle:   the censored letters home, his Purple Heart, his leave papers, picture of him in his uniform, his gravestone, and more.  But to think of the many silent soldiers who worked tirelessly to bring soldiers to safety and freedom was a real eye-opener for me.   I have a great respect for these special helpers as they put their selves and their families in danger every day and yet, they continued.    Add in the romance between Anja and one of the soldiers she saves, Peter, and this book is truly remarkable.   
I was given a paperback copy of this book by The Book Club Network and a pdf copy by netgalley.    

About the Author:

Anna Schmidt is the award-winning author of over twenty works of historical and contemporary fiction. A reviewer from Romantic Times notes that “Schmidt is not timid about presenting her characters with their faults laid bare for the reader to see.” 
Currently Anna is working on a new series set in WWII Germany with an American Quaker protagonist. The first novel--ALL GOD'S CHILDREN-has already been praised by Publisher's Weekly! Her trilogy of contemporary novels about Mennonites living in the community of Pinecraft just outside Anna’s winter home of Sarasota, Florida will be complkete with the publication of the third and final book A MOTHER'S PROMISE in Dec.. 
Anna is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award from Romance Writers of America and has finals and won the Reader's Choice award from Romantic Times magazine. Critics have called Anna "a wonderful storyteller"! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review of "He Who Has An Ear"

Review of He Who Has An Ear

 Who The Seven Churches of Revelation are Today

by Laura J. Davis

20524090

More than two thousand years ago the Apostle John had a vision he received from the Lord. He was told to write seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor. Out of the seven churches only two received commendation from the Lord. The rest were letters of warning. The letters to the seven churches are a message for this generation during these last days. He who has an ear will know what to do and act accordingly.

My Review:   This is a great resource for those who are interested in further Bible study and especially for pastors, Bible scholars, and professors.  I feel that this book would make a very nice small group study.    Laura Davis has provided in depth analysis of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation.  I really like the bulleted lists included for each of the chapters and the questions addressed for the churches:  Some of these questions addressed:
  • What did Jesus like about the church in Ephesus?..... in Sardis?
  • What did Jesus hold against them?
  • What did Jesus tell them to do?
  • What would happen if they didn't repent?
  • What did the Lord promise them?
  • What did Jesus know about the church in Sardis?
  • What would happen to them if they did not obey?  (Sardis)
  • What did He promise those who repented? (Sardis)
  • What did Jesus know about the church of Philadelphia?
  • What did Jesus like about them?  (Philadelphia)
  • What did Jesus dislike about them? (Philadelphia)
  • What encouragement did Jesus give them?  (Philadelphia)
  • What did He advise them to do? (Philadelphia)
  • What did He promise those who were victorious? (Philadelphia)
  • What is the key of David?  What does it represent? (Philadelphia)
The Rapture is discussed in depth and many of the theories concerning it. The attributes of Jesus are also discussed and analyzed in depth.  Thought is given to "Which church are you?"   This section allows us to examine our own hearts and test our true loyalty to God.  The "Wolves" of today are identified and discussed.  The wolves are considered to be today's false prophets, doctrines, and churches.    I am not sure that I completely agree with each of the wolves identified and named, but I do see the accuracy of many of the doctrines identified.   Finally the book addresses how readers can get back to the basics of loving God with all their hearts.   I personally believe that we are living very near the end times and the return of Jesus Christ is very close.   That is why I chose to read and review this book.   
I was given a free copy of this book from The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.   

About the Author:
Laura J. Davis

A singer and songwriter for over 25 years, Laura J. Davis turned her hand to writing full-time after an emergency surgery cuased the loss of her singing voice.  her debut novel, Come to Me, received a Reader's Favorite Award for Historical Fiction.  Her latest book, a Bible study called Learning from the Master, Living a Surrendered Life is a companion guide to Come to Me.  When she isn't writing, Laura is reviewing books and blogging.   You can touch base with her through her websites at:   http://www.laurajdavis.com or http://www.interviewsandreviews.com.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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"Rhonda's Doings"  Rhonda Gayle Nash-Hall

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Review of "A Road Unknown"

Review of A Road Unknown:  Amish Roads, Book One

by Barbara Cameron

20761261

Elizabeth is at a crossroad. Will rumschpringe lead her away? Or bring her home?

She's been given the chance to experience life outside of her community, away from the responsibility to care for her eight younger siblings, but Elizabeth Bontrager can't decide which road to take. Goshen has its charms and pressures, but Paradise, Pennsylvania, sounds
. . . well, like paradise. And it's also home to her Englisch friend, Paula. Decision made. Elizabeth is Paradise bound.

But will the small town live up to its name? When Elizabeth meets Paula's friend, Bruce, she quickly learns he wants more than a friendship. And the same might be true of Saul Miller, her new boss at the country story that sells
Amish products to the Englisch community. As the two compete for her attention, Elizabeth is surprised to realize she misses her family and becomes even more uncertain about where she belongs. She has a choice to make: return home or embrace this new life and possibly a new love?

MY REVIEW:  How many of us have felt weighed down by responsibilities of the home as young people?   We may want our own home some day but not as a teen.   We may want to run around and have fun like the Englisch friends we see, if we are an Amish teen who is expected to care for many younger siblings as well as household duties.   Elizabeth feels this way and just can't take it anymore.  She feels God leading her to leave Indiana and move to Paradise to stay with her Englisch friend, Paula.  She hops on a bus and heads off to create her own destiny, her own world, without all the burdens her parents place on her.   I loved this book.  Elizabeth is refreshing in her honesty and desire to do what is right.    I thoroughly enjoyed observing the workings of an Amish shop and the differences between the Indiana Amish and the Amish of Paradise, Pennsylvania.   Read this delightful book to find out if Elizabeth succeeds in making her own way.  Will she find love and happiness along the way? or will she be forced to return to Indiana?   5 Stars!!!!  
I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author
Barbara Cameron

CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 35 books (including new series upcoming for Abingdon Press in 2011/2012) including fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.
She sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and is  the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.
Her two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).

Crochet Diaper Cover and Hat

Diaper cover & girly hat for photoprop

Diaper Cover and Hat Crocheted as Photo Props

Diaper cover & hat for photo prop