Monday, July 30, 2018

Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks by Jean Fischer (Author)

Book Description:  In the sweet, enduring art style of Precious Moments, this timeless book will help your children recognize all the wonderful things God has given them! Read along, and you will remember to enjoy the simple things, like singing silly songs, jumping in a pile of leaves, and watching the seasons change. The short, rhyming verses in this classic Precious Moments book don’t take much time to read at all, and they will create memories that last forever.

My Thoughts:  I have always adored Precious Moments books and figurines.  But as I have gotten older I haven't collected many Precious Moments items but whenever I see a book I just have to get it.
This is a small book.  This seems to be the week of small books.  
This is a precious book...see what I did there.  😊
It's a hard back back book and just right for little hands.  My sweet little niece loves books and so I'm reading good books to her.  But at two years of age she wants to hold the book, too.  So this book is just right for her little hands.
She loves the children in this book.  The pictures of children in this book are adorable with their teardrop eyes and sweet smiles.
This is not a storybook but a poetry book.  For example on 6th page there is a poem, Thank God for Wonderful Sounds:  

What is Sound? 
 Knock, knock.  Ding-dong.  Tick-tock too!
Rumble, grumble, bump and thud,
Toot , steak, moo!

Loud sounds, soft sounds, far and near.
Thank You, God, for giving me
Ears that hear!

On the one side of the book is a short scripture with a beautiful picture and then on the next side of the book is a poem like the one above.

A beautiful book, especially for lovers of Precious Moments.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Precious Moments
  • Board book: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Brdbk edition (July 24, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718098641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718098643

100 Days of Thanks by Thomas Nelson

Book Description:  The rush of a busy schedule, a barrage of disheartening news stories, and the wear and tear of everyday life can be enough to drag anyone down. Simply pausing to recognize and express thanks for the good gifts that surround you has proven to make a major difference in happiness, peace, and contentment.

My Thoughts:  I love small books.  Small books can be placed in a purse of backpack and are easy to read anyplace.
I especially love this book.  Before long the season of Thanksgiving will be upon us and this year I wanted a devotional type book to do before the season gets here.  
This book has a beautiful cover and is hardback!  
The introduction states, "Gratitude is an art-acquired through our observations or life experiences. Though at times it seems to be a lost art . . ."  So tis year I want to have an attitude of gratitude.
It's been an especially difficult year for our family and instead of looking at all the gloom and doom I want to feast on the thanksgiving and love that the Lord has sent our way.
On page 136, Day 88, Uncovering Gifts With Our Senses is one of the pages that truly hit home with me. 
This book is chock full...a short devotional on the left page with a scripture reference at the top and on the right page a question and room for the reader to write her thoughts.
Love, love this book!
This is one of those books that makes a great gift!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 24, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400311136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400311132
  • Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Summer is here, and we've got some great new releases to fill up those camping trips, car rides, and lazy days on the beach.  Our suggestions are intriguing and ready to pull you into stories of faith, love, and adventure.

It will be hard to choose between these five wonderful romances.These books are sure to captivate your imagination, from overcoming great odds together, to chance meetings with a dashing earl, switchboard encounters of the handsome kind, a mysterious vanishing, and a prince's choice.

Their lives are worlds apart; he's a royal prince and she's an ordinary girl, but everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel's coronation. It's the ultimate choice: His kingdom or her heart…God's will or their own?

When Mitchell's wife, Jill, kisses him goodbye, he has no idea that he may never see her again. When the police can't find her, Mitch asks his neighbor, Shelley, for help, but as weeks turn into months and Mitch and Shelley grow ever closer, he wonders how he can honor his vows to a woman who seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.

Switchboard operators, otherwise known as "hello girls," must conduct themselves according to strict--and often bewildering--rules, which include absolutely no consorting with gentlemen while in training. Hannah Gregory has never been good at following rules, but she doubts it will be difficult to keep that particular rule--until a handsome young lawyer starts getting under her skin.

A chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything, and Madeline St. James must trust that the Good Shepherd has led her to the altar to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Madeline's unwavering faith intrigues and exasperates the stubborn earl, but can the compromised couple forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?

After their professional athletic careers are sidelined, Tara and Ryan must find purpose and fulfillment in their new lives. With the help of the Junkyard King and a mechanical bull, can Tara and Ryan find the courage to climb Heartbreak Hill together?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Arms of Mercy (An Amish Mercies Novel) by Ruth Reid

Book Description:  On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.
Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.
Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

My Thoughts:  Ruth Reid pens a great story about an Amish young lady and her two beaus.
With all the Amish fiction out on the shelves an author needs to make the story interesting and as close to the real thing as possible.  Ruth Reid does just that...the story of Catherine Glick is not only interesting but the reader is as confused as Elijah, her boyfriend, when she goes missing from the bus.  How does one Amish young lady just go missing?!?!?
It's also interesting that Catherine thinks of her decision as a "shame" thing.  In reality it isn't but there's a lesson in there for people not to be so hard on themselves.
This is the second novel in the Amish Mercies Series.  I read it as a stand alone and didn't seem to miss anything.
This is a great read and a little different than the usual Amish read.  
The mystery of Catherine's disappearance makes for quite a story!

*This book was provided for review by Fiction Guild*

  • Series: An Amish Mercies Novel (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 5, 2018)
  • Language: English

Saturday, July 28, 2018

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} The Love Letter By Rachel Hauck

Book Description:  When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

My Thoughts:  It's been quite awhile since I've read a novel penned by Rachel Hauck.  I was excited to see this new story.
The Love Letter begins with Chloe auditioning for a part as the lead female, Esther, in a love story of two star crossed lovers during the Revolutionary War era.
As Chloe and Jesse take to the set to act in this love story their chemistry makes for a great plot.
Of course this means that the plot of this story switches back and forth from present to past.  Not too bad but a little distracting when the reader is involved in one of the couples' story.
Not everything is coming up daisies as Chloe and Jesse soon discover.
As Esther and Hamilton found that a relationship requires love and sacrifice so are Jesse and Chloe finding out that a true love requires, well more than love.
An interesting story with real to life characters.
A wonderful love story for a summer's day or a night with the stars.

*This book was provided for review by Fiction Guild*

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 12, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310351006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310351009

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Easy, Fluffy Biscuits

I found this great and simple recipe on Pinterest.  From The Marathon Mom...


  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. Mix flour and cream in mixing bowl, just til combined.
  2. Knead gently four or five times on lightly floured cutting board.
  3. Pat out to 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Cut out biscuits.  (I made about 18.)
  5. Bake at 450 for ten minutes or until tops are light golden brown.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

Book Description:  Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith ...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers? Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith. With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

My Review:  Siri Mitchell, in my opinion, is the "Queen of historical fiction."  Why?  She pens books that bring history to life...fact mixed with fiction creates a wonderful story.  Of course, she adds that special touch of romance with realism.
In The Messenger, we meet Hannah a Quaker.  This is probably the first book I've read that truly tells of the Quakers beliefs and their reasons for being peaceful...nonviolent fighters in times of war.
I must admit though, when I first began reading this book I was slightly confused.  Ms. Mitchell writes in the first person in both Hannah's voice and Jeremiah's voice.  That's when I noticed that each chapter is titled with either Hannah's name or Jeremiah's, thus giving the reader "the voice" for that chapter.  Once I realized this pattern I understood the story.
This is a wonderful story of living a life for God.  Hannah refuses to lie and Jeremiah needs her to be "spy."  In Jeremiah's eyes a spy and lies just go together like bread and needs the other in order to survive.  However, Hannah will not leave her God, not even for a handsome man.  
At first, Jeremiah "got on my nerves."  He seems strong and nice but then he changes and wants to take over everything...all for the sake of a war.
As the reader gets further into the story there's just one word that comes to mind-exciting! 
I loved this read!  The Revolutionary takes on a whole new look!  Hannah and Jeremiah's story touches the know...those sweet pitterpatters of love and faith!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Messenger, go HERE.

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers*

Meet the Author:
Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

The River by Beverly Lewis

Book Description:  She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.

            A line I can't move beyond...

           The River 

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.
Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

My Thoughts:  The River by Beverly Lewis is another must read book! especially for all those Amish readers out there.
I find that the title of this book, The River, tells a lot more than the reader is expecting.
Tilly and Ruth are sisters and they are both "used to be" Amish.  Tilly has married an Englisher but Ruth still remains single even though she still remembers her Amish boyfriend.  
It seems that the river has a life of its took the life of sweet Anna and it also is a barrier, a line, so to speak, between what was and was could be.  Interesting!
Ruth and Tilly are both seeking, trying to get on with the present but yet there is just something that holds each of them on the sidelines of life.  
Sometimes as humans we want to be and try to be all we can but "a river" comes in and sweeps away some of our dreams and our inspiration.  But with faith in God we can get past the river.  
Another grand read by Beverly Lewis!  This book also makes for great present!

*This book was provided by Bethany House*

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764212451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212451

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars, Book 1) Wanda E. Brunstetter

Book Description:  Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

My Thoughts:  It was like Christmas in July when I saw this in my mailbox.  I had been waiting for this new book by one of my favorite authors, Wanda E. Brunstetter.
I love prayer jars.  Prayer jars are a fairly new thing where one has a jar with a lid and one fills the jar with prayers.  Some people pray over the whole jar, others take out each piece of paper and pray over each individual request.  I like the latter.  
A prayer jar keeps our request ever before the Lord.
Anyway, Michelle Taylor has had quite a sad life and she also has assumed the identity of Sara Murray.  Michelle doesn't mean harm she just really needs help.
So when the Lapps find whom they assume she is their long lost granddaughter, Sara Murray, well quite an adventure in life, love and faith blossoms for Michelle who finds that living among the Amish is a dream.
Such a grand read!
Loved, loved all the "perks" that Mrs. Brunstetter fills this story with.  Life lessons for the lonely and not so lonely at heart.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing 
and was under no obligation to post a review."

  • Series: The Prayer Jars (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (August 7, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1624167470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1624167478

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Book Description:  Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world's judgments, and Eva has two--Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. 
Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

My Thoughts:  I love the title of this book because it makes a statement that is true about so many things in life:  More than Meets the Eye! But the ironic things about Evangeline Hamilton is that her eyes don't match in is bright blue and one is dark brown.  So some people think she is cursed.  Some people are so, well, stupid, when it comes to accepting others even by their eyes color.
This is a great historical romance with Logan Fowler trying to find the culprit who destroyed his family only to find Zach Hamilton the man in question is rather young and Zach's sister, Eva (Evangeline) is a ray of sunshine.
Logan is rather confused about a situation he thought was a all mapped out to be just as he thought.
So his well laid plans are well, More Than Meets the Eye!

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 5, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764212834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212833

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Wood's Edge: A Novel (The Pathfinders) by Lori Benton

Book Description:  At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact? 
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths. 
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples. 
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

My Thoughts:  Lori Benton is a new author to me.  I was intrigued by the cover of this book and the title.  The Wood's Edge stirs up thoughts of something happening, a secret of some kind.
Well, as I began reading I was not disappointed because in this historical novel as Ms. Benton not only describes colonial life in a real life way but the story begins with a "secret."  A dead child and a stolen child!  I think it's interesting that there is one brown child and one white child...I had read how twins can be very different in appearance and this is an interesting feature of this story.
I wasn't sure how the relationship between the stolen child and the left behind child would come about.  But Ms. Benton's writing brings it all together in a most unusual way, yet true to life.
This was quite one interesting read.  Without giving away any spoilers, it is about twins and how one twin misses/feels the absence of the other. But yet, there is so much more to this read that one should really read the book for herself to get the "whole" picture.
It's a great read about God's grace and mercy and His love for mankind.

  • Series: The Pathfinders
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 21, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601427328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601427328

Friday, July 13, 2018

Big Trucks: A Touch-and-Feel Book: Getting the Job Done Together (Touch-and-feel Trucks) by Thomas Nelson

My Thoughts:  Since we have a toddler/preschooler in the family I love these books that incorporate more than reading.
This book has a touch and feel part to some of the pages.  Such as on the first two pages when the strong truck is digging the child can feel the sand around the bottom of the pages.  
On the next page the child can feel the rubber tires of the truck.
And then on the next page the working vehicles have mirrors.
The next couple of pages have metallic glittery looking parts to the trucks and then back to sand on the road.
It's a great book for the child who loves trucks and working construction vehicles.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Touch-and-feel Trucks
  • Board book: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Multilingual edition (July 3, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140031058X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400310586

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Discovery Series by Wands E. Brunstetter

Book Description:  A young Amish couple faces formidable challenges in this innovative 6-part serial novel. Introducing you to Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus, whose marriage is threatened, Brunstetter leads you on a compelling journey of doubt, faith, love, and hope that will keep you reading---and guessing---until the end. A heartwarming saga! 128 pages each, six slipcased softcovers from Barbour.

My Thoughts:  This is one of the best "mini series" that I have ever read!  Each book is about this sweet, young Amish couple who are newly married, Meredith and Luke.
Intrigue, mystery and romance...along with Amish traditions.
Each of the mini books is a story within itself but each until you reach the sixth book has a wonderful cliff hanger.  
Yes, each book goes with the next.  
This is one great set....A must read for all Amish fiction lovers!

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: USA
Vendor: Barbour Publishing
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN-13: 9781624167515

Friday, July 6, 2018

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

Book Description:  Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.
My Thoughts:  So many times in our broken state of helplessness we can find mercy and grace in God's love.  Such is the case in Savannah Barrington's life.
None of us want our spouse to leave us for infidelity.  But many times those things are beyond our control.  When Savannah's husband leaves her after twenty years it hurts her to her core so she decides to go to a place where she remembers love and laughter--her parents' lake house.
At this place Savannah finds much more than she ever thought she needed but she also finds that she must learn to forgive.  Forgiveness never seems hard until we have to forgive.  
An interesting novel of hurts, healing and heart-to-heart thoughts and talks with those who know the meaning of listening.
*This book was provided for review by The Fiction Guild*
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 22, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785217436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785217435

Monday, July 2, 2018

Honeysuckle Dreams (A Blue Ridge Romance) by Denise Hunter

Book Description:  When Sam's wealthy maternal grandparents decide they want custody of the child, Brady knows he's in for the fight of his life. Brady's attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: the stability of an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiancée.
Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and she's finally been offered her dream job—in Atlanta. Unfortunately, her arrangement with Brady requires her presence in Copper Creek, and she is faced with missing the chance of a lifetime or standing in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

My Thoughts:  Brady is such an honorable, go to the end of the world type of guy.  So, when "his" baby, Sam, is to be taken from him because his ex-wife's sudden death has the maternal grandparents wanting the baby.

But Sam doesn't want the baby to go live with such evil people.  What to do?
Then his long time friend, Hope Daniels, agrees to an "arrangement" otherwise known as a marriage of convince so that Sam can live with his dad, Brady.
The story of how to people are the best of friends and then fall in love all because of a baby.
A modern day romance with a few twists and turns in the game of love and honor.

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*