Friday, September 22, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Bringing Maggie Home


Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar
Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where...
With Nothing Left, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight about current laws, and despite a poor start, the two are becoming friends.

Then, while Mac is away on business, Lily is faced with the impossible decision of marrying a man twice her age or she and her brothers becoming homeless, as her late father gambled away their home and acreage. But with debts being called in, will Lily be forced to choose a loveless marriage just when she is discovering what true love could be?  What can she possibly do? Will Mac return in time to spare Lily a lifetime of unhappiness? 

"In the Shenandoah Valley" makes me want to pack up my car and go on a road trip to Virginia, which is a place I have never visited, but I instantly fell in love with the time period and Lily. I felt so much emotion for Lily, especially after losing her father and trying to pick up the pieces of her life, including her younger brothers who often found themselves in trouble.

Mac is ready to start gardening after purchasing a wonderful piece of land. Not only is he excited about his endouvers for the land, but he cannot wait to have a home, but he has to have a new dream of what he will do on the boats. He is quick on his feet and I thought his character was well written too. 

I love how Andrea wrote this time period, the description and the details. I felt that she did her research and the book was very enjoyable. Of course, this book wasn't without a little romance and also some banter between the two main characters. One of my favorite parts of this book is the faith element. The characters are involved in many aspects of church, prayer and trying to be obedient to God. I found this style to be perfect. It wasn't preachy, but carried a great tone. I give this book 4/5 stars. Thank you to the publishers for providing a complimentary copy for review. 

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar has been married for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Daniel, have three adult sons, daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Andrea's educational background includes the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where she studied in English, and Alverno College where she studied in Professional Communications and Business Management.

Andrea has been writing stories and poems since she was a little girl; however, it wasn't until 1984 that she started submitting her work for publication. Eight years after that, she was convicted about writing for the Christian market. She read books in her genre (Inspirational Romance & Women's Fiction), studied the market, and worked hard to hone her craft.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today by Evan Moffic

The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rhinestones on My Flip-Flops: Choosing Extravagant Joy in the Midst of Everyday Mess-Ups Want to Read Rate this book 1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Rhinestones on My Flip-Flops: Choosing Extravagant Joy in the Midst of Everyday Mess-Ups by Jane Jenkins Herlong

Rhinestones on My Flip-Flops: Choosing Extravagant Joy in the Midst of Everyday Mess-Ups

RHINESTONES ON MY FLIP FLOPS offers the message Jane lives by: prove people wrong and laugh while living your dreams.

Monday, September 18, 2017

God Is for Real: And He Longs to Answer Your Most Difficult Questions by Todd Burpo, David Drury

God Is for Real: And He Longs to Answer Your Most Difficult Questions by Todd Burpo, David Drury

GOD IS FOR REAL addresses the questions: What is God like? Why are things the way they are in spite of who God is? If Todd's first book, Heaven Is for Real, was about the then and there of heaven, GOD IS FOR REAL is about the here and now on earth: Why are there are so many hypocritical church people? Why do Christians make such a big deal about the cross? Why doesn't God seem to answer our biggest prayers? People are tired of pat answers offered up in churchy language explaining away their questions; we want the down-and-dirty truth. What bothers us about life and faith is real and gritty. We need a plain-spoken voice to offer God's answers to difficult struggles and painful doubts. Todd charges into these subjects with a fireman's courage, a small-town friend's vulnerability, and a local pastor's compassion. He helps articulate the questions people have, then gives them relevant biblical wisdom for taking their next steps in faith. God is ready to meet you! Are you ready to meet Him?

My Thoughts:

Previously, I have read the book "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo and that is the story of Todd's son, which is a fantastic read if you haven't read it. However, God is For Real is the book of tough questions that most people are looking for answers to, with practical and Biblical truths. I love how authentic Todd is with his approach and yet he helps the reader keep eternity in mind. This book is for anyone looking to have crucial and critical conversations about the Christian life. This is great for the believer or the non-believer. I enjoyed the story of the Jerusalem reporter and how Todd went into a deeper, yet meaningful discussion with her. Overall, I thought this book was thought provoking and it is a good book to soak in. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy. I give this book 4/5 stars. 

About the Author:
Todd Burpo is pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan and a volunteer fireman. He and his wife, Sonja, have four children: Colton is an active 14-year-old; he has an older sister, Cassie; a younger brother, Colby; and a very special sister he met in heaven, yet to be named.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

The Day the Angels Fell

About the Author:

I think everyone’s looking for a place in the world – not a physical location as much as an emotional one. Just a tiny bit of space to set up shop, to exist.

Life hinted at where that space would be for me when I was a small boy and books picked me up and carried me away. If you came looking for me in the mid-80s you would have found me sitting on a large porch attached to a ramshackle farmhouse, reading about Narnia or the Shire, brushing away the flies, constantly saying, “Okay, mom, just one more chapter.”

But then, normal life got in the way. I wandered. Geographically, I went to a hot city in Florida, an old village in England, and then back to Virginia. Emotionally, I traveled even further. Finally, after ten years of searching, I found stories again. Or maybe they found me.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection: Nine Stories of Poverty and Opulence During the Gilded Age

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection: Nine Stories of Poverty and Opulence During the Gilded Age

Journey along in nine historical romances with those who lives are transformed by the opulence, growth, and great changes taking place in America s Gilded Age. Nine couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build a future together through fighting for social reform, celebrating new opportunities for leisure activities, taking advantage of economic growth and new inventions, and more. Watch as these romances develop and legacies of faith and love are formed."

Of Rags and Riches is a great collection of nine romance novellas from some amazing authors who will invite you to be apart of amazing places, romances and stories that you will love. These are fantastic reads! 

Union Pacific Princess by Jennifer Uhlarik
Dakota Territory October 1867

Head back to 1867 to the Dakota territory where we meet Dara and Gage who face danger on the rugged country as the railroad is not yet complete. Dara embarks on a journey with her father, but finds herself being rescued more than once by a man who isn't her father. Will money be an issue or will love be enough to sweep her off her feet? 

The Right Pitch by Susanne Dietze
Get ready to head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as baseball becomes the focus of this book. Women weren't allowed to play before this time, because it was a gentleman's sport, but leave it to Winnie to play for the Children's Hospital. She isn't just your average glamorous woman, but one who is willing to get dirty. Enter Beck Emerson into the picture who is wounded from the war, but finds common ground with Winnie. Will baseball strike out a love story ?

A Gift in Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo
It's March 1871 in New Orleans, Louisiana when Sam Austen and May Bolen are forced to meet after  the passing of her father. His will stated that they would meet and also that they would marry. Of course, we know that arranged marriages never work out, but can both Sam and May get past the will and learn forgiveness? Will they discover a love that lasts forever? Or will it just be to satisfy a will requirement? I would have have loved to read more of this story in a longer version, but that is my opinion. 

For Richer or Poorer by Natalie Monk
Get ready for an amazing story of survival, forgiveness and reconciliation as we meet Elle who is from Poland and really wants to look for Mr. Right and by Mr. Right, I mean Mr. Rich to get her family to America. However, rather than Mr. Rich, she meets the most caring man who has a heart for orphans. Will Elle choose her heart or wealth to bring her family to the US? I love the heart of Woody in this story and how he helped Ella with translations... Great story.. Read it! 

A House of Secrets by Michelle Griep
Joseph and Amanda, engaged are helping those of St. Paul who are the least of these. Their hearts are so big. Amanda wants to do whatever she can to help and is quite strong in her thinking. She wants to open a school for children who are less fortunate, while Joseph is the city attorney and wants to shut down a brothel. Of course this couple who wants to stand up for social injustice is thrown curve balls as they face challenges and even an unexpected person that I didn't see coming. This story was more adventures than I thought it would be and the mysteries of this story was great! 

Win, Place, or Draw by Erica Vetcsh
I loved the romance between Beryl and Gard in Win and Draw. A younger woman, Beryl who has a love. for horses, especially Lacey and is not like other women in society during this time. She doesn't follow the same social standards as this era, especially as her mother tries to set her up with eligible bachelors who are "suitable", but they don't fit with who Beryl is. I love how Gard and her meet and their commonality. I won't say anymore to give this sweet novella away. 

The Fisherman’s Nymph by Jaime Jo Wright

Living in the woods of Wisconsin, Abby and her father have a business where people go out adventures and this how they make money to survive. One man comes to stay with them, Charles the third to get some peace and quiet from his life. Will Abby find a way to Charle's heart in the woods despite all that is going on with him? Will she be able to face her past? 

The Gardener’s Daughter by Anne Love

Bay View, Michigan 1895
I love that this story of Maggie was set in Michigan. Maggie is a library assistant who's faith can't be shaken and her personality is kind. She is taking care of her father, but is also asked by a professor to tell the stories of his students. Will a story unfold between the professor and Maggie or will she have to choose her father? I thought this story had an interesting pace. It was fast at times and slower at other times. 

A Tale of Two Hearts by Gabrielle Meyer 
Is love boiling between Lucy Taylor and Eli Boyer? Oh, this one had me in stitches! Get ready to get in the driver seat and watch a woman who is willing to do anything to help her family in their time of need to help provide.... This one is fantastic! 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us by Timothy R. Jennings

The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us

required. All opinions are my own. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Holiday Cookies Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season by Elisabet der Nederlanden

Holiday Cookies Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season  by Elisabet der Nederlanden
Pinwheel Cookies to Red-and-White Meringue Kisses to Apple Cider Caramels, find new inspiration for the best of seasonal baking with Holiday Cookies.

This instant holiday classic is packed with 50 recipes, each gorgeously photographed and meticulously tested, along with dozens of decorating and packaging ideas. Filled with reimagined favorites like Giant Molasses Spice Cookies and Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies; confections like Peppermint Bark, Smoked Almond and Cacao Nib Brittle, and Dark Chocolate-Hazelnut Fudge; and detailed instructions for gorgeous gingerbread houses, cookie place cards, and edible ornaments, this is a cookie book like no other. Because the recipes are easy to scale up or down, Holiday Cookies is perfect for cookie exchanges, gift-giving, and just enjoying throughout the season. From a veteran baker and recipe developer, each cookie in this collection is guaranteed to be a stand-out, and destined to become your new Christmas classic.

My Thoughts:
It seems early to start thinking about the Christmas season, but it is never to early for me to start thinking about Christmas cookies and gifts to make. "Holiday Cookies" is a beautiful Christmas cookie book about how to make the most delicious gingerbread man you've ever seen or to enjoy the most delectable peppermint bark! This cookie book is small, yet full of the most festive, well rounded Christmas cookie recipes you could want! It has great tips on how to get the icing just perfect and I can imagine these will be favorite cookies for years to come. I love that this is a hard cover book too! I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Gathering the Threads
Gathering the Threads
Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?
After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?
Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.
Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.
My Thoughts:
I really enjoy Amish Fiction and I think "Gathering The Threads" takes Amish fiction to a different level in the deepness of this story. This is a series of three stories and I think it would have been great to read the other two first. You do get a summary at the beginning, but I still think it probably doesn't do this series justice, but you can read this as a stand alone. Swapped at birth, Ariana is struggling when she finds out that she is not the biological daughter of the Amish family she thought she was. Of course this creates tension, confusion, anxiety and so many questions as her Amish parents seek to find their biological daughter. This book enters the stages of Arianna's entry back into the Amish lifestyle. She is more confused than ever and she doesn't know that she can follow the bishops rules. She wants to what is right, but she doesn't know how. Will she be able to do what is right? This book is a great book of a woman standing up for a faith in God and what she believes is right. The ending was unexpected, but it was fantastic! Cindy did a fantastic job with this book and I can't wait to read the rest of this series. I give this book 5/5 stars and a favorable review was not required. 
About the Author:
Cindy Woodsmall
Cindy Woodsmall is the "New York Times" and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s "Nightline," the "Wall Street Journal," and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Monday, September 11, 2017

These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

These Healing Hills

Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She's published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800's, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009. Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960's. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl. Visit Ann's website

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Beyond the Castle A Guide to Discovering Your Happily Ever After By Jody Jean Dreyer with Stacy L. Windahl

Beyond the CastleA Guide to Discovering Your Happily Ever After

By Jody Jean Dreyer with Stacy L. Windahl
Published by Zondervan


When the credits roll and you've left the park, when your Disney day is over, how do you take the magic with you into your everyday work and life?
Jody Jean Dreyer worked for the Walt Disney Company for 30 years and in Beyond the Castle she shares one-of-a-kind stories and insights into what sets the Disney experience apart, as well as secrets to help readers discover their own “happily ever after.”
Beginning with her first position as a summer intern at Walt Disney World, through her role leading synergy and special projects for Disney (reporting to former CEO Michael Eisner), to her work with top leadership at Walt Disney Motion Pictures sharing the magic of Disney films around the world, Jody unpacks secrets that can change the way we understand ourselves, our work and relationships, and how we can find our own path to happiness. You will read her stories about working with Walt’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, her front-line role in the opening of theme parks around the world and her own journey to discovering how to bring some Disney magic into every day.
The wish for happy endings is written in our hearts. Every park guest or movie watcher is looking for their own “happily ever after,” as they ask the questions: What’s my story? Does it matter? Will the story end well for me? Jody’s personal experiences and her underpinning faith help her to offer practical and sometimes unexpected principles to better appreciate and navigate our own stories .
Jody’s entertaining storytelling will satisfy a reader's desire to open the doors and peek inside the castle – and more, to unlock and illuminate life’s true treasure.
My Thoughts:
A a huge Disney history fan, I have several books on the Disney company and continue to get my hands on all books Disney including a few written by former cast memories such as Jody's book. While I enjoy these books and learn more about the parks or experiences from the person, this book had a different spin as it came at it with some what of a faith perspective, but I didn't feel that it was carried throughout the entire time. I also enjoyed the career and legacy that Jody leaves behind and the glimpse that the reader gets into reading the book of her life into the company, which is a privilege for any Disney fan. I enjoyed the stories, but was hoping for these significant moments to have more details. I think that Jody writes about her experiences, but I don't feel the emotions, nor does she really go in depth of the experiences. This may not be the reason for her book, but I was really hoping to read unique stories in depth with things that we don't often get. I really feel that Jody has the capacity and experience to do so. This book feels more like a leadership, self-help book instead of book about one of a kind stories about the amazing company and the lessons she learned, which I think is helpful. I think this book is a great read and worthy of reading for any person who loves to read. I do love how she talks about the "branding" of the company. I found this to be very interesting. Overall, I recommend this book and the lessons that Jody talks about in this book. As  a Disney fan, we can all learn something from it! I give this book a 4.5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. Please do not use my review without my consent.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Shine: Stepping Into the Role You Were Made for by Allison Allen

Shine: Stepping Into the Role You Were Made for


Friday, September 8, 2017

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

Rule of Law 
What did the president know? And when did she know it?
For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.
Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.
Equal justice under law.
It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?
My Thoughts:
Fans of military, political thrillers and legal novels will enjoy this book! It is a book of action packed, page turning, romance, political chase all woven in one story. This book is written well and has twists and turns that are easily detectable. The legal aspect of this book was very intriguing to me and I was highly engaged as I thought about the military aspects when it came to things being covered up, illegal activity and oh, so much more! This book is worth the suspense of a great read. I give this book 4.5/ 5 stars. A favorable review was not required. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy.
About the Author:
Randy SingerRandy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel "Directed Verdict." In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school's Board of Visitors.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Goodreads Author), Jean Brunstetter, Richelle Brunstetter

The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith

About the Book:

One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.
Luella’s Promise
By Wanda E. Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Lapp gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her daughter. But Luella isn’t sure she will ever marry if she can’t find someone with maturity and faith like Dena’s husband Atlee Zook.
Karen’s GiftBy Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life’s pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?
Roseanna’s GroomBy Richelle Lynn Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can’t help blaming herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old friend returns to town, and she battles feeling for him—afraid of being hurt again.

My Thoughts...

I love Wanda's books, so I couldn't wait to read her novella collection, but little did I know how much I would love the writing down by her granddaughter. Roseanna's Groom was my favorite novella and while they were all fantastic, this one was by far my favorite. The theme throughout all of these novellas is one of a quilt... I will not give anymore away, but I loved all the generations of the women that started in the beginning from Wanda's story all the way to to end with Wanda's granddaughter, Richelle. You will love each and every single one as they invite you into the Christmas season and bring out emotions. I love the aspect of family, faith and trusting in the hard times. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to Wanda for sending me a copy. A favorable review was not required. 

Purchase your copy here! 

About the Author:

Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of almost 90 books with more than 10 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine and USA Today.

Wanda's fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda's desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.