Thursday, January 21, 2016

5-Star Review of "Blue Ribbon Trail Ride"

Review of Blue Ribbon Trail Ride

(Horses and Friends book #4)

by Miralee Ferrell

25110480

Thirteen-year old Kate and her friends came up with the perfect way to raise money for her autistic younger brother and others to attend summer camp—a horse scavenger hunt! As local businesses donate money and prizes, Kate keeps the entry fees in her mom’s antique jewelry box.

But when the box and the money disappear, Kate and her friends must unravel the clues, hold on to hope, and solve the mystery along the Blue Ribbon Trail Ride.

MY REVIEW:  What could be more fun than a scavenger hunt on horseback with amazing prizes?   Kate and her friends come up with the idea to raise money to send Kate's autistic brother and others to summer camp but things go awry when the antique box with all the entry fees is stolen.   Kate, Tori, Melissa, and Colt then become amateur detectives and set up a sting operation to catch the thief and get the box and money back.  
This series is just plain fun and engaging!   It is written for  young adults but I love the books and this one was true to form and just as wonderful as the others!  Kate and her family are incredible Christian witnesses to all those around them and use their faith to help others on a daily basis.    Horse lovers are certain to be thrilled with this book also but I am personally not a big "horse lover" and yet these books are favorites of mine.  
I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers, young and old!   
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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 eighteen 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, January 18, 2016

3-Star Review of "Mennonite on the Edge"

Review of Mennonite on the Edge: An Unlikely Romance

by Cynthia Yoder

28176567

She's a newlywed...twenty-four...and desperate to know why she's so unhappy. 

Though a country-girl at heart, MaryJo wants to ditch her identity as a Mennonite in marrying Adam and living a life of adventure in Manhattan. But news from home kicks up memories she’d tried to forget. While she begins to question her choices, Adam lands a high-profile job, making a move seem impossible. MaryJo must make peace with her past and her current situation so that she can live the life of her dreams with Adam. But can she reconcile her craving for serenity in the City that Never Sleeps? 

MY REVIEW:   This is not your average Amish/Mennonite fiction.  In fact, MaryJo wants to leave behind her Mennonite roots and discover adventure.  While she does discover quite a bit of adventure, she is not happy.   
         This book was well-written but it just did not completely capture my rapt attention.   I felt that the past issues did not seem to be fully explained or dealt with by MaryJo.  It did speak clearly to me though that the highly restricted environment of the Mennonite faith leaves many young people confused and desiring more from life.   MaryJo tries desperately to love New York but she misses the tranquility of her home in Pennsylvania. This book did not fully address issues to my thinking and left me feeling confused and needing more detail in many places.    
        I rated this book 3 stars.   
        I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author:
Cynthia Yoder

from goodreads author bio:
I write memoir and fiction. My first novel, Mennonite on the Edge: An Unlikely Romance, was published in December, 2015. My first book, Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life was one of the first Mennonite memoirs published (in 2003). My second book, Divine Purpose: Find the Passion Within, was inspired by working as a life purpose coach for people who wanted to follow their dreams.

I live and work in New Jersey.

Friday, January 15, 2016

5-Star Review of "Grace's Forgiveness"

Review of Grace's Forgiveness

by Molly Jebber

25489177

A handsome newcomer with secrets shows a yearning Amish woman a chance at happiness—but their love will need all their courage to keep . . .

Grace Blauch is skilled at midwifery—and crafting quilts that help others pass on messages of enduring family love. But a disfiguring birthmark keeps the young Amish woman from a husband and home of her own—until Mark King arrives from another community. His helpfulness and independent nature earn Grace’s respect. And he finds her outspoken ways and determination to do right irresistibly appealing. Soon Grace is planning a wedding quilt of her very own . . . until her father discovers that Mark’s shunned brother is hiding somewhere in town . . . 

Grace can well understand why Mark took such a risk once she hears his wrenching reasons. But she fears even prayer will not convince her father to restore his blessing on their union. She wills herself to face the end of her dreams, but sudden danger and an impossible act of generosity will show her that abiding hope can inspire the most precious of miracles . . . 

MY REVIEW:  Grace is a character to adore!  She offers forgiveness freely to all around her and yet she has a spicy attitude about her as well.   She is very realistic.  Even among the Amish, who do not believe in taking pride in one's looks, she is often ostracized due to the apple-sized birthmark that mars her face.  She longs for a husband and children of her own to love, but she fears that will never happen but then Mark King moves to town and he only has eyes for Grace.   Will Mark's wayward brother ruin their chances for love and a home and family of their own?  
        This story is one that is definitely believable and stirs the heart strings.   I rated this book 5 stars and am dying to read the third book in this series, Two Suitors for Anna.   I highly recommend this book and author to readers.
        I received a print copy of this book from the publisher and an ebook of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Molly Jebber

"Change of Heart" is the first book in a keepsake pocket quilt series. Available now. In each book, someone will receive a letter tucked in a small pocket sewn on the quilt at just the right time. The second book, "Grace's Forgiveness" is available for preorder now and will be in stores and ebook January 29, 2016. I'm writing the third book now. "An Amish Christmas Sleigh" is releasing September 30th! 

A bit about me . . . .

I was raised in a small town in Ohio. If you had blinked twice, you would've missed it. It's grown by leaps and bounds. I've always found the Amish life interesting. I've enjoyed the many times I've visited their communities and learned about their lifestyle. Creating historical Amish characters and throwing them into difficult situations and joyous times has been challenging and fun. The greatest reward I've experienced in becoming an author is meeting wonderful people from all over the world who've been encouraging and supportive.

Visit my website at http://www.mollyjebber.com and sign up for my newsletter for members only contests, giveaways and where I'll be speaking!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

5-Star Review of "New Beginnings"

Review of New Beginnings

Book 1 of "The Sands of Time" series

by Pamela Jo
28263894
Upon her return from her best friend Charlie's wedding, Victoria found that the beautiful city of Chicago had never seemed emptier and neither had her soul. She realized she was surrounded by all the people in the world and she still felt lonely. Deciding to take her friend Charlie’s advice and make a change in her life, she packed her bags and moved to the west coast of Florida. Little did she know that the young Amish girl that she met on the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico would begin a spiral of emotional changes for both of them.

MY REVIEW:   I recently read a book that bored me right to sleep, but this was not that book!  This book kept me awake as I could not wait to read more and see what was going to happen with Victoria, Charlie, and Rebecca.    This book is full of hope and the opportunity for second chances and healing!    This is Pamela Jo's first solo novel and she has certainly set the tone for awesome writing and the hope of many more exciting books ahead!   
I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author:
Pamela Jo

Author Pamela Jo, best known as "Whoopie Pie Pam", is the author of several wonderful story/cookbooks, and best-selling co-author of the #1 best selling series, The Divine Secrets of the Whoopie Pie Sisters. She is also the founder and creator of the Whoopie Pie Book Club, a well known social media site. 

Inspired by the Amish for their simplicity in facing life, love of God, and honor for family, Pam found a connection with the Amish. As a result of her many years of traveling and conducting business with the Amish, she has established close friendships with many Amish families, friendships that she cherishes. She refers to them as her extended family.

She resides in West Virginia and Florida. When not reading, writing or traveling, she spends time with her family of three children, two son-in-laws and four awesome grandchildren. The remaining portion of her time is spent interacting with her cherished members of the Whoopie Pie Book Club.

Friday, January 1, 2016

5-Star Review of "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem"

Review of Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

by Lori Copeland

25073518

Meet Arlene Santana, a vibrant wife and young grandmother whose life suddenly takes a confusing and often laughable turn into a new reality framed by a severe brain injury. As one holiday after another speeds by, Arlene takes comfort in the amusing old people who surround her in the rehabilitation center and one special friend who relates well to Arlene. But when will her husband, whose love is more real to her than anything, come to visit her? Treasure this Christmas novella from bestselling author Lori Copeland that demonstrates the healing power of true love.

MY REVIEW:  Being a young grandmother in my fifties as the main character, Arlene Santana, is in the book, this book resonated with me.  It could just as easily happen to me or my friends.    This book really held my attention as I just felt so bad for Arlene who was trapped in a world that seemed entirely foreign to her.  Her family discussed whether or not the rehabilitation center was best for her, but for the majority of the book, she remained locked in it.  Yes, it seemed to be one of those centers that is far above others due to the money they charged.    Arlene waits and waits for her husband but her family only tells her that he is away and can't come ......for years.  I had to wonder here if honesty wouldn't have been a wiser option to answer Arlene's desperate pleas.  
       This is definitely a 5-star book and will give readers a great deal to ponder.
       I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Lori Copeland
Lori Copeland was born on 12 June 1941. She had a relatively late start in writing, breaking into publishing in 1982 when she was already forty years old. Over the next dozen years, her romance novels achieved much success, as was evidenced by her winning the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and Walden Books' Best Seller award. She has been inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame.

Despite her success in more mainstream romantic fiction, in 1995, she decided to switch focus. Her subsequent books have been in the relatively new subgenre of Christian romance. She has also collaborated with authors Angela Elwell Hunt or Virginia Smith on a series of Christian romance novels.

Lori and her husband of over forty years, Lance, live in Springfield, Missouri, surrounded by the beautiful Ozarks. They have three grown sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. She and her husband are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.