Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Upon a Spring Breeze" book review

Review of Upon a Spring Breeze

Every Amish Season, Book #1

by Kelly Irvin

30649243

Book Description

After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.

Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.

Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.

When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love?
 

MY REVIEW:   Plans, dreams, memories, Bess and Caleb had so many plans, dreams, and happy memories together in their short married life.  Plans and dreams for their precious bopli to arrive soon.  There would be cuddles and snuggles with their darling bopli together.  Then those plans and dreams were shattered in a flash.  Caleb would not be snuggling and cuddling their precious bopli with Bess.  He would not be holding her close in their bed or brushing her long, glorious hair ever again.   Never.  Never. Never.   Bess wonders how a good and loving Gott could do such a horrible thing as to take her mann just before their bopli was to arrive.  But he did take him. 
      Bess needs love, support and encouragement now and Aidan promised his best friend, Caleb, who asked with his last breath for him to take care of his bopli.   He works to keep his promise to Caleb.   But poor Bess is sad and angry and grieving.  Can she come around and learn to love and have joy and laughter again?   Or will she drown in her sorrow?
     My heart went out to Bess and to Aidan.  I grieved along with them as they dealt with the loss of their dearest friend.  I don't know how I would have been able to handle life or to get out of the bed every day and walk around as though nothing had happened.   I don't agree with the Amish way of handling grief with never mentioning the name of the deceased.  I feel that people need to express their grief and talk about their loved one.  Kelly Irvin tells the story of love and loss in a way that is gut-wrenching and raw with emotion.  She tugs on the heartstrings of her readers as she tells their story.    I am so excited that this is the first book in the Every Amish Season series.  I am looking forward to hearing more about Bess, Aidan and their friends and family.
        I simply had to give this book a star rating of five!  because it's just.that.good!
        I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  While netgalley would like for me to review the book if I choose to do so, I was not required to review this book and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin's newest series, Every Amish Series, begins with the debut of Upon a Spring Breeze, in April. It is a four-book series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This follows the Amish of Bee County series, The Saddle Maker's Son, released in June 2016. It is an ECPA bestseller. It follows The Bishop's Son, and the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Beekeeper's Son, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer called it "a beautifully woven masterpiece." The Beekeeper's Son was a finalist in the romance category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest.

Kelly has novellas in The Amish Christmas Gift and The Amish Marketplace, both of which were also ECPA bestsellers. She is also 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. The New Hope Amish series includes Love Still Stands, followed by Love Redeemed, which was an ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Plain Love Song.

Kelly has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine..

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and ACFW's 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 worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for 22 years before retiring earlier this year. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-eight years. They have two young adult children and have two grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and looks forward to visits with her grandchildren.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Review of "Clementine & Claudia"

Clementine & Claudia

by Piper Milton

31032372

The First World War is raging and sisters Clementine and Claudia are coping in very different ways. Clementine is a nurse on the front line, doing her best to save the lives of soldiers wounded while serving their country. Claudia, on the other hand, is living the good life in England, deliberately oblivious to the horrors her sister and so many others are living through. When they both meet their perfect man, their already fractured relationship is tested in ways they could never imagine.

The d├ębut novel from Piper Milton, Clementine and Claudia is a powerful and beautifully written story of romance and war and a wonderful addition to the romantic traditions of Penny Vincenzi, Soraya Lane, Brief Encounter and Downton Abbey.
 

MY REVIEW:  Historical fiction fascinates me.  I particularly love to read about the World Wars.   They are sad stories of love and loss, in most cases.   The stories of couples eager to marry and even to conceive a baby just in case the man does not return from the warfield are hauntingly beautiful.  The tragedy that many do not return is heartbreaking.  When I read knowing that, though this is fiction, the reality is that this was all too often the truth for far too many couples.   
   Two sisters who already have a volatile relationship both find the man they wish to marry.  Claudia realizes her dream before her husband, Alexander leaves for the warfield.  Clementine discovers her own true love but does not marry before they both return to the battlefield.   She saves lives and he is forced to take them.  Life continues to be volatile for the two sisters and in fact, it worsens and may never be repaired.   
     What a story!   This is the debut novel for Piper Milton and I would love to read more!   I can easily see the adventures of the characters of Clementine and Claudia continuing.  I know that I would love to meet the characters again.   So Piper, please consider this if you have not already.   Thank you for a beautiful, if sad, story.  
     My rating for this debut novel is 5 stars *****.
     I highly recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction.  
     I received a gift of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  I was not required to write a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Piper Milton is a mother of three and grandmother of four and lives on the south coast. Clementine and Claudia is her first novel.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Monday's Child" Book Review

Monday's Child Book Review
(Monday's Child Book #1)

by Clare Revell
15896003

Monday's Child must Hide for Protection... This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn't be so bad if Sara wasn't such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her. When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection program, she becomes the 'wife' of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke's American bravado, she finds he's kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was. But things aren't always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he's fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he's no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it's a race against time to find her husband's killer before Sara is silenced forever. 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK:  Oh, my goodness, Clare Revell, you are responsible for the dark circles under my eyes today, because I just had to stay awake last night until I knew how the conflict would be resolved!  Sara and Nick are two of the most adorable people.  The tension and sarcasm between them was so cute as there was obviously instant attraction between them.  But Sara is grieving, hiding from her husband's killer, and in witness protection and NICK is assigned to be her guard 24 hours a day.   She feels like a prisoner.  She feels alone.   
         Who wouldn't feel these emotions under the circumstances?  I imagine it would be incredibly difficult to go through the Witness Protection program.  It would also be unthinkably horrific to witness your husband's murder and suffer injury from gunfire yourself.   This novel was full of suspense, romance, and humor!  
         I would definitely recommend this novel to readers.

My Star Rating: (1 being poorly written and 5 being excellent book)   5 Stars!  *****
I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers .  I was not required to write a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
An image posted by the author.

Clare is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology. 
The first draft of every novel is hand written.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of four registrars.

"Fixing Perfect" Book Review

Fixing Perfect

by Therese M. Travis


24408469

In the community of Avalon on Catalina Island, a psychopath is kidnapping children and perfectly posing and painting the bodies of adult victims to resemble disabled artist, Robin Ingram. 

Robin struggles with feelings of imperfection, and knowing some madman has a macabre agenda—which includes fixing her—is unsettling. She’s relieved when paramedic Sam Albrecht steps up to help. 

Sam believes he knows the identity of the killer, and he wants nothing more than to prove it in order to keep Robin out of danger. Then Sam is arrested as a suspect for the crimes, and Robin’s life is thrown into a fresh whirlwind. She may not know who the real killer is, but she does know Sam is innocent…and she will find the proof to set him free, or she’ll die trying.

My Thoughts on this book:  I love the show "Criminal Minds" and this book reminded me of an episode of the show.  A psychopath is on the loose and in his sick, twisted mind, he thinks that he can fix a disabled female artist by kidnapping and killing innocent children and women. He then poses and paints the bodies and leaves them until the public understands his message.  This was a new author to me.  I had never even heard of her, but the description of the book drew me in.   I felt that her writing was well-structured and exciting. It left me eager to read more.  The only thing that bothered me as I read was that when I reached the middle of the book, I had already figured out who the psychopath was.  I like reading books where I don't know how the conflict will be resolved.  It makes the book more exciting when I am left to guess.  The suspense built and there were definitely many scenes with gory details.
        I highly recommend this book to those enjoy suspense.

MY STAR RATING:   4 Stars  (Scale of 1-5, with 1 beginning poor and 5 being excellent)
I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  A review was not required.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Therese M. Travis started writing when she discovered books came from people--around the age of eight. At eleven, she produced her first book, a single, handmade copy of The Ghost of Scotland Yard. She has since discovered that Scotland Yard is not in Scotland. Short stories and plays followed, and then she discovered Christian fiction, which combined writing stories and God, two of her favorite things.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review of Chocolate Soldiertru

Chocolate Soldier Book Review

(The Story of a Conchie)

by Hazel Barker

31427901

When World War II breaks out and men over eighteen are conscripted, Clarence Dover, a conscientious objector, refuses to go rather that compromise his principles. Instead, he joins the Friend's Ambulance Unit. From the London Blitz to the far reaches of Asia the war tests Clarence in the crucible of suffering. In the end, will he be able to hold his head up as proudly as the rest and say, to save lives, I risked my own?

One man will stand as God's soldier, not the war's soldier.
 

MY REVIEW:  World War II holds a true fascination for me. My uncle was killed in WWII in Normandy, France at the age of nineteen.  As I read the true story of Clarence Dover's conscientious objector status, I did not see why soldiers would be so offended. He did after all join the Friend's Ambulance Unit (FAU).  He risked his own life to save the lives of those who were fighting and killing.  He was serving and honoring God in the best way he knew how by refusing to bear arms and kill other young men.  I can also see the viewpoint of those who chose to fight to protect our freedom.  They also were doing what they felt was right for them.   
      Clarence Dover has a reason for being referred to as Chocolate Soldier but I will let the reader discover that for themselves so as not to spoil the book.  Readers will also be interested to see how Clarence's family and friends view him at the end of the war when they all return home.  
      I rated this book 4 stars as I would have liked a little more emotional connection with Clarence and the other main characters.   
       I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  I was not required to write a review of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:Hazel Barker


Hazel Barker is married to Ev Barker's son, Colin.  Clarence was Colin's uncle.  This is how Hazel came to know this true story and recorded it in this novel.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review for "The Case for Christ"

The Case for Christ:  Review

by Lee Strobel

73186

Using the dramatic scenario of an investigative journalist pursuing his story and leads, Lee Strobel uses his experience as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune to interview experts about the evidence for Christ from the fields of science, philosophy, and history.


My Review:  The Case for Christ uses scripture and commentary to explore the existence of Christ and how to prove it to oneself or others.  The author uses theologically sound arguments based on a series of questions listed below: 

Questions raised:  Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?Do the biographies of Jesus stand up to scrutiny?Were Jesus' biographies reliably preserved for us?Is there credible evidence for Jesus outside his biographies?Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies?Is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of faith? Was Jesus really convinced that he was the son of God?Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of Gof?Did Jesus-And Jesus alone-Match the identity of the Messiah?Was Jesus' death a sham and his resurrection a hoax?Was Jesus' body really absent from his tomb?Was Jesus seen alive after his death on the cross?Are there any supporting facts that point to the resurrection? What does the evidence establish--and what does it mean today?    

In reading reviews of this book, I noticed that many who are non-believers did not feel that it convinced them of Christ's existence.  They felt the book was only useful to Christians.  I personally feel that this book would be a helpful tool for Christians to study for the purposes of witnessing to non-believers.  Expecting non-believers to voluntarily pick up this book to read it is likely unrealistic if they simply do not care to know as many did state was the case for them.
        I give this book a 5-star rating and recommend it for seekers and for believers as tool to study or to witness.  
        I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  I was not required to write a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author:

Lee Strobel
                                                                                                                                                                                               Lee Patrick Strobel (born January 25, 1952) is an American Christian author, journalist, apologist and pastor. He has written several books, including four which received ECPA Christian Book Awards (1994, 1999, 2001, 2005) and a series which addresses challenges to a Biblically inerrant view of Christianity. Strobel also hosted a television program called Faith Under Fire on PAX TV, and runs a video apologetics web site. Strobel has been interviewed on numerous national television programs, including ABC's 20/20, Fox News, and CNN.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ?

Monday, March 27, 2017

4-Star Review of "The Idea of You"


Review of the idea of you

by Amanda Prowse


31828961

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…
This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?
MY REVIEW:  Wanting a child with your husband is a reasonable desire and Lucy wants a baby very badly.  She and Jonah conceive three times, with each conception ending in miscarriage in the first trimester.  Lucy is heartbroken.  Jonah is upset but already has a teenage daughter from his previous marriage.  His teenage daughter comes for the summer at Lucy's urging, but things are not so great between Lucy and Camille. Learning to live together proves challenging.  
         I definitely relate to wanting a child so badly. I felt that I could not bear to live if I did not have a child of my own when I first married at age eighteen.  I now realize that I could have lived a fulfilling life without children, but the young me did not feel that way.  I did have a miscarriage scare when I was early in my marriage and it was devastating to me.  I became absolutely hysterical once I was away from the doctor.  I really enjoyed this book and I felt it handled infertility and adoption well, but I am very emotional and I cry while reading many books and seeing movies, and I only cried once briefly during the reading of this book.  I just felt that the author did not quite hit that deep part of me that completely connected with the characters, Lucy and Camille in particular.  I really liked Lucy.  I felt great empathy for Camille.  I just felt something was missing in the emotions of the characters.  I needed MORE.  The final portion of the book seemed to cover too many loose ends in a quick fashion and left some important details out.  
          I highly recommend this book and think readers will anxiously return to finish the book as I did.   I give this book a 4 star rating.
          I received a copy of this book from netgalley and I was not required to write a positive review.   All opinions expressed are my own.   
About the Author:
Amanda Prowse
Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

4-Star Review of "A March Bride"

Review of A March Bride, A Year of Weddings #4

by Rachel Hauck

18168249

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.
Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, her heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.
Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own — right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

MY REVIEW:   Did you love Cinderella's story?  You know, the one where an ordinary girl meets her Prince Charming?  This book is definitely a Cinderella type story to please and enchant readers.  I did not read the prequel, Once Upon A Bride and I felt that I needed more information at times so I do recommend readers win that one first.  
    This book is simple and easy to read. It is one that is clean,with no sexual scenes apparent in many romance novels.  So parents can feel comfortable with allowing teenagers to read it.  It is predictable however, and didn't hold many surprises for me.  
     I am giving this one 4-stars and recommend it to readers who love a sweet, simple romance.
     I received a copy of this book from netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Rachel Hauck

New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.

She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers.. 

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer.

An avid Diet Coke fan, she is caffeine free. Sometimes you just have to compromise. 

She's never skied or jumped out of an airplane. She leaves such hijinks to Jason Bourne.

Visit her web site to find out more and click on the icons to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

www.rachelhauck.com

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review & Giveaway of "Buried Secrets"


Review & Giveaway of Buried Secrets

by Rachel J. Good




Guest post by Rachel Good: 
Readers who have read Change of Heart, the first book in the Sisters & Friends series, will remember Emma as the wild teen who defied her family. Her older sister, Lydia, tried to prevent Emma from making mistakes during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time. Throughout most of the story, Lydia and Emma were at odds with each other, but in the end, the family needed to forgive Emma and show her God’s love.

In Book 2, Buried Secrets, Emma has no memory of her rebellion, so she’s devastated when she finally does remember. Then she must confront her past, learn to forgive herself, and also ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of, we struggle to believe that God can forgive what we’ve done. But God’s mercy has no limits. Emma needs to open her heart to that truth. As she does, she discovers an important lesson: Some mistakes in the past can never be undone, but God can forgive anything.

Authors often write about themes that are close to their hearts, and I’m no exception. Many times, after I write a novel, I look back and see how God directed me to tell a story containing lessons I needed to learn. In Change of Heart, Lydia discovers that judging other people or suggesting ways they can improve their lives can be a form of self-righteousness. God used my young daughter to point that out to me, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. And as I finished the novel, I clearly saw it as a reminder not only to Lydia, but also to me.

Emma’s story also blessed me by reminding me how deep and wide God’s love is for each of us. No matter how we’ve failed, He never stops loving us, and His forgiveness is only a prayer away.

I also hope to remind readers that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” So often we expect hardship when we do God’s will, but He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Lydia learned in Change of Heart that God’s will was so much better than anything she could have planned, and Emma, too, comes to realize that, by trusting God to direct her life, she is blessed many times over.

Has God ever given you a desire of your heart? To enter the giveaway, share one of God’s blessings in your life. And let’s rejoice together at the many wonderful things He has done for each of us.


30838426



Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.

Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.

But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?  

MY REVIEW:   Boy, does this one have plenty of surprises?!!!  This novel threw a really big surprise for me.   It was something that I honestly don't think I've ever read about in any Amish books previously.   Amish fiction is definitely not new to me.  I am an avid reader and Amish fiction is one of my absolute favorites.  Rachel J. Good is a new author to me and I am very impressed with this novel.  I did not read the first book in the series, but it did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book.  I'm sure that reading book one in the series first would add some additional information that would make the story and characters continue on and become like family to the reader.   
          Emma and Sam were both highly likable characters.   I could certainly feel the emotions of both of them.   Family dynamics played a large part in the lives of Emma and her family.   Emma and her sister, Lydia, have some issues from their past to resolve and these issues keep cropping up in their present day lives.   Sam has been hurt by a girl once, and he doesn't care to be hurt like that again.   
          I highly recommend this book to readers!   My star rating on this book is 5!
          I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Book Tour. and netgalley.  All opinions expressed are my own.  



About the Author: 

Rachel J. Good

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her websiteFacebookauthor pageTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here.


Giveaway!!!  

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a full box of Whoopie Pies freshly baked for you from a bakery in Amish country, along with copies of Angels Unaware, the brand new Amish Words and Proverbs Coloring Book and Amish Quilts Coloring Book #1 (Large Print Edition), an autographed copy of Change of Heart, and an Amish cookbook!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries :   

Monday, March 20, 2017

5-Star Review of "The House on Windridge"

The House of Windridge Review

by Tracie Peterson

360025

When her mother dies in childbirth, Jessica's father sends his infant daughter from his ranch in Kansas back to New York to be raised by an older aunt. But Aunt Helen only cares for social standing and proprieties. She tells Jessica nothing of her fathers offers to take her back and instead pushes Jessica into an arranged marriage with a man who turns out to be abusive and unfaithful. When her aunt and husband die, Jessica is alone in the world except for her infant son. She learns of her fathers death and determines to rebuild her life at Woodridge, the ranch where her life began. But appearances are not always reliable, and Jessica doesn't know who she can trust. Will Windridge become the home she has always searched for, or will it be the scene of her final betrayal? 

MY REVIEW:  I was fortunate to be raised by my mother and father.  Jessica's life begins with pain and sadness when her mother dies giving birth to her.  Then her father has her aunt in New York care for her.   He is in Kansas on a ranch, far, far away from New York.  
I can only imagine the pain and rejection Jessica felt in this situation.  
     I fell in love and married the man of my dreams, but Jessica's aunt forces her into a marriage she arranges, a marriage that turns out to be abusive.  When he dies, she receives word that her father is dead and she is needed at the ranch.  The real excitement begins!  Will Jessica be afforded the chance to fall in love and marry someone of her own choosing this time or will she live a lonely, sad life on the ranch with her child?  
      I highly recommend this romantic historical romance.   There are references to faith and Christianity that were very encouraging and appealing.
      My rating for this book is 5 stars.  
      I received this book as a gift from netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review.
 
About the Author:
Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Visit Tracie's web site at: http://www.traciepeterson.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

5-Star Review of "A Love for Leah"

A Love for Leah Review

(The Amish Matchmaker #4)

by Emma Miller

30780206


The Widow's Second Chance 

Widow Leah Yoder married for love once. Now that she's come home to Seven Poplars, she wants a marriage of convenience that will provide a longed-for family without dishonoring the memory of her late husband. A steady, serious older man would be ideal—someone completely unlike handsome, fun-loving Thomas Stutzman. She and the aspiring organic farmer agree to court to prove that this time, the matchmaker has made a mistake! But as their friendship deepens, will Leah settle for what she thought she needed, or put fear aside for a second chance at happiness?

MY REVIEW:  I was mesmerized by Emma Miller's 4th book in the Amish Matchmaker series.  Imagining the anguish a widow who is grieving the loss of her husband and young daughter was really difficult.   I have not lost a husband or daughter, but I certainly would never want to have to go through such pain.  I have lost a husband through divorce however, and that includes a grief process as well.  There were many emotional hurdles to overcome when I married my incredibly wonderful second husband.  
      I willingly joined in fellowship with another denomination with my husband even after having served as a pastor's wife previously, and the differences between the Mennonites and Amish are much greater than what I experienced in my decision-making process.  I love reading Amish fiction.   The characters in this story were all lovable although there was one character that was trying on Leah's nerves.  I have definitely had relationships with women who interfered in other people's business as this one also another issue explored in the book.  
     I would like to recommend this novel to those lovers of Amish and Christian fiction.
     My rating for this novel is 5 stars.
     I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher.  A positive review was not required.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Emma Miller


Emma Miller is a wife, mother and a grandmother who lives a quiet life in Delaware.
She's the author of the Hannah's Daughter's series and is at work on her next 
Amish romance novel.

Monday, March 13, 2017

5-Star Review of "Open Hands"--Laura Story & Giveaway


Open Hands ......Laura Story featuring Mac Powell

Review & Giveaway of CD


Image result for laura story open hands



To View: Open Hands Official Lyric Video

Image may contain: one or more people and text

To View Open Hands Devotional, click here

MY REVIEW:  wow!  Laura Story never disappoints with her praise to God through music.  Her voice is a melody.  Her songs are praise.  Her love of God is evident in every note she sings.  Having Mac Powell featured on this CD is an extra bonus.  He & Laura's voices blend so well together.  They sound like I imagine the angels will sound when we all get to heaven.  

Chorus to "Open Hands"
I'm not afraid, of what I'll lose
My greatest joy is finding You

"Open Hands" is such a beautiful song.  It is truly uplifting.  I was immediately touched when I heard the song, "Death Was Arrested" as well.  As Easter approaches, this song is especially thought-provoking.  Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins.  Without his death on that miserable cross, we would die and lay in the grave that entombs us forever. There would be no "happily ever after" for us.  There would BE no ever after at all, but praise God, death was indeed arrested and abolished when Jesus rose from the grave and he set us free.  

Our Savior displayed on a criminal's cross
Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That's when death was arrested and my life began.

***** Five Stars!!!!!  
I received this music CD `as a gift from FlyBy Publishing.  A positive review was not required.  All thoughts and views expressed are my own.


About Laura Story
Image result for laura story

A Christian singer and songwriter who got her start as the bass player in the Christian rock act Silers Bald, Laura Story took the CCM world by storm by penning the Chris Tomlin-performed hit "Indescribable," which managed to stay at the top of that genre's charts for seven weeks. Originally a string bassist and never expecting to pursue what would eventually become her career path, Story joined Silers Bald as (eventually) a bass player after meeting vocalist Shane Williams at Columbia International University. With the band, Story would be a part of four albums, but felt that her true calling lay elsewhere, and by 2000, she was off on her own. Upon entering the studio to record her debut album, Story needed one more track, and quickly composed the work "Indescribable." The track would give the album a name, and was given an even wider audience when singer Chris Tomlin took the track to the top of the charts and to churches from coast to coast. Taking her success in stride, Laura Story went to work on independent album number two, There Is Nothing, which was released in 2005 while the musician continued on as women's leader and pastor at Perimeter Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The success of the album led to a deal with INO records, which released her third album, Great God Who Saves, in 2008. It was followed in 2011 by Blessings, which topped the Billboard Christian albums chart. INO became Fair Trade Services before releasing God of Every Story in 2013 and the Christmas album God with Us in 2015. The latter saw Story joined by Steven Curtis Chapman, Brandon Heath, and on multiple tracks, a 120-piece choir and 50-piece orchestra. ~ Chris True


Connect with Laura:   

http://laurastorymusic.com/

https://twitter.com/LauraStoryMusic

https://www.facebook.com/laurastory/

https://www.instagram.com/laurastorymusic/

GIVEAWAY:   to enter, leave a comment here on my blog, on facebook post https://www.facebook.com/rhonda.gaylenashhall, or repost and leave comment on my original post on instagram/follow for extra entry:   https://www.instagram.com/rhondanashhall/
Giveaway will be open until 3/17/2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

4-Star Review of "Raging Storm"

Review of Raging Storm

The Remant series book #2

by Vannetta  Chapman


Raging Storm

In the Darkness,
Anarchy Awakens


When a massive solar flare wiped out all modern technology across the globe, the small town of Abney, Texas, was thrown into chaos. Shelby Sparks and her teenage son, Carter, have found refuge, but Shelby knows she can't simply remain hidden forever. Carter is a type 1 diabetic in need of insulin—and Shelby will risk her life traveling to Austin to make sure he gets it.

Shelby's best friend and high school sweetheart, Max Berkman, won't even consider letting her make the perilous journey alone. Together, they manage to get to the capital—only to discover that while things are desperate in Abney, Austin has turned into an urban nightmare on the brink of anarchy.

Shelby and Max's search for medical supplies will lead them into terrifying territory, where the only thing more uncertain than finding what they need is the hope of making it out of the city alive.

* * *

In this second book in an eerily plausible, action-packed dystopian series, survival will be threatened and faith will be put to the ultimate test as a raging storm engulfs America.

MY REVIEW:  First, let me state that I am a huge fan of Vannetta Chapman's writing.   I feel that she spends a great deal of time in research and stretches the imagination.  I have always enjoyed dystopian novels, but this one fell short for me.  It pains me to say this because I don't like to be critical. I think that, for this particular series, it is extremely important to read the first book in the series.  I did not read that first book and I was confused and found it very difficult to get interested in the book until the very last quarter of the book.  
       The writing was impeccable as always with Vannetta's books.  I think that many readers, especially those who have read the first book in series, will find this book very enjoyable.   
      I am giving this book a rating of 4 stars and I do recommend it to those who have already read the first book in the series.   Of course, I always feel that no matter what others have rated a book, everyone makes their own choice.  In fact, for me, when a great number of readers are negative about a book, I like to read it to see if I agree!  
     I was given a copy of this book by netgalley and I was not required to write a review and I was not required for any review written be positive.

About the Author:
Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of many novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com

For more information, visit her at http://vannettachapman.com
https://twitter.com/VannettaChapman
https://www.facebook.com/VannettaChap...
http://vannettachapman.com/blog/
https://www.instagram.com/vannettacha...
http://vannettachapman.com/book-list/