Thursday, January 31, 2019

With Winter's First Frost (An Every Amish Season Novel) by Kelly Irvin

Book Description:  At age seventy-three, Laura Kauffman knows she is closer to the end of life than the beginning. If God willed it, she would join her beloved late husband soon. Even so, Laura wonders what purpose God might have for her in this winter of her life—and why this season seems so lonely.
Widower Zechariah Stutzman is facing his own barren season, despite the great-grandchildren swirling around him. With his Parkinson’s worsening, he had no choice but to move in with his grandson’s family, though now he feels adrift and useless.
When Laura offers to help with Zechariah’s five great-grandchildren after their mother has a difficult childbirth, Zechariah is unsure how he will adjust to the warm but tart demeanor of this woman he has known since grade school. But soon Laura and Zechariah learn they are asking God the same questions about loss and hope. And they begin to wonder if He is providing answers after all.

My Thoughts:  This is the fourth book in the Every Amish Season series.  And I've been able to read each one.  Each book is a story in itself and!
What struck me most about this story was the winter month of life.  Laura Kauffman and Zechariah Stutzman are both in their seventies and both have lost their mates.
Laura wonders what her purpose in life is now that is old and alone, and at the same time Zechariah is struggling with the same questions only Zechariah is struggling with Parkinson's too.
The ironic thing is that Zechariah and Laura have known each other since primary school but, yet, they don't know each other.  So, when Zechariah's granddaughter has almost difficult child birth, Laura steps in to help care for the children.
This is a wonderful story of those "winter" years and how God is not finished with us yet.  Learning and adjusting even romance can come at any age. 

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Series: An Every Amish Season Novel (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031034817X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310348177

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} The Teacher's Bride (An Amish Brides of Birch Creek Novel) by Kathleen Fuller

Book Description:  Christian Ropp moves to Birch Creek to accept a teaching position in the rapidly growing Amish community. He’s determined to put the rambunctious school in order as well as check another task off his list: finding a wife. Of course, that would be much easier if women were like textbooks, straightforward and logical.
When an accident puts Christian out of commission, a new community member named Ruby Glick takes over his classroom. But Ruby’s exuberant teaching style clashes with Christian's careful methods and he worries his students will never be the same.

My Thoughts:  I was so excited to see that Kathleen Fuller has a new novel out.  She's a master story teller in my book!  😊
Christian Ropp is like a lot of teachers he not only wants to help the students but he won't allow chaos to rule the classroom either.  Well, when an accident causes Christian to be out of school for awhile Ruby Glick who is new to the community substitutes for Christian.  
Ruby's teaching techniques are not quite like Christian's procedures.  Ruby is rambunctious and happy to put it lightly.  Ruby doesn't seem to have a serious thought or a constructive idea.  However, the kids do love her and do seem to be learning.
Poor Christian he doesn't know what to think!  Will he ever have control over his class again.
Such a fun and humorous read!  Lots of laugh out loud moments and trying to guess what will happen next.
Sometimes we learn to take ourselves less seriously and have faith for the moment.
Loved, loved this read!

*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*

  • Series: An Amish Brides of Birch Creek Novel (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (December 4, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310355079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310355076

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin

Book Description:  Nina Fischer carries a camera wherever she goes—so she can view life through a filter. Safely. After her mother abandoned her to the streets, Nina has kept people at a distance, including her uncle, who adopted Nina and her sister. Wealthy and proud, he is a good man, a fair judge, and someone many in San Antonio admire. 
But when he is murdered, and the detective assigned to the case accuses Nina of the crime, she knows she must act. She’s determined to use her journalism background to find the real killer. The two men in her life want to help, but can she trust them?  She’s known Rick since they were children, but now he’s an attorney whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina’s tragic loss. And then there’s Aaron, a news videographer; using their friendship could break the biggest story of his career.

My Thoughts:  Kelly Irvin is a new to me author.  But she's one I'll be keeping on my to go list.
Tell Her No Lies is filled with a lot of action, suspense!, and a smidgen of romance.  
I love, love suspense and this book kept me on the edge of my seat.  literally!
Nina is a strong young woman who has been dealt a rather bad hand in the life department.  But Nina is one to let it keep her down.  However, she does have an unusual way of dealing with her life...she keeps a camera hanging around her neck and looks a life through a filter.  
When her uncle is killed and she is accused of the murder she is more than determined to find the killer.
Using her journalism skills and her camera Nina is on the move to find the bad man but then Rick, whom she's known since childhood wants to help her and Aaron, the news videographer, wants to help her too.  But whom can she trust?  It seems the men in her life haven't always been a help.
Quite a story with a somewhat surprising ending!  Loved it!

*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild* 

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785223118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785223115

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

{Barbour Blog Tour} Camp Club Girls: Bailey by Linda Carlblom

Book Description:  Whether the Camp Club Girls are investigating the whereabouts of eccentric millionaire Marshall Gonzalez, encountering out-of-control elk stampedes in Estes Park, uncovering the rightful ownership to a valuable mine, or solving the case of frightening events in Mermaid Park, you'll encounter six charming, relatable characters who combine their mystery-solving skills to save the day.

My Thoughts:  This is a 4-in-1 mystery book.  Yay!  Four stories to enjoy!
I'm always on the lookout for great YA stories with a message for my young niece.
And Bailey with four great stories is a book
The Camp Club girls first mystery is to investigate the millionaire Marshall Gonzalez and find out why he is missing.  
The second mystery is about elk.  Bailey and Kate are almost run over as elk go amok  in Estes Park.  The Camp Club Girls help keep people safe as well as keeping animals in their natural habitat.
Then in the third mystery which happens to be my favorite one simply because its in New Mexico and its about Native American Indians.  Bailey and Elizabeth go help a distant cousin in her pottery shop.  And when the mystery of who wins a mine arises, Bailey and Elizabeth are there to help set things right.
The last mystery takes place in Florida as Bailey and Sydney go to spend part of the summer with Bailey's grandma.  When suspicious activities happen in Mermaid Park Sydney and Bailey are happy to help find the culprits.
Four short mysteries for girls that have them traveling to four different states in America.
Great mysteries for 4th-6th grade girls.

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

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Series: Camp Club Girls
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books (February 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683228286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683228288

{Fiction Guild Blog Tour} Chosen People by Robert Whitlow

Book Description:  During a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her four-year-old daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.
Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, typically uses her language skills to represent international clients for an Atlanta law firm. When her boss is contacted by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the woman’s family under the US Anti-Terrorism laws, he calls on Hana’s expertise to take point on the case. After careful prayer, she joins forces with Jakob, and they quickly realize the need to bring in a third member for their team, an Arab investigator named Daud Hasan, based in Israel.
To unravel the case, this team of investigators travels from the streets of Atlanta to the alleys of Jerusalem, a world where hidden motives thrive, the risk of death is real, and the search for truth has many faces. What they uncover will forever change their understanding of justice, heritage, and what it means to be chosen for a greater purpose.

My Thoughts:  Robert Whitlow has become a favorite author of mine.  He pens about out.of.the.healine stories with a legal and suspenseful twist.
This story takes place in Israel.  And o,my!  this could be on our news headline.
It seems like a "regular" attack that takes place at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  When the attack takes place a mom sacrifices her own life to save the life of her four year old daughter.
Hanna Abboud is a christian and works with the Atlanta law firm when her language skills are needed.  So when her boss is contacted about the Israeli woman's case. her boss asks Hana to join the legal forces on behalf of the family.  Hana is not sure so she takes time to pray about it and then agrees to help.  Before long Hana and Jakob realize they need more help in this matter and seek the help of an Arab investigate, Daud Hasan.
Soon the three are in the alleys of Jerusalem seeking motive and knowledge about the case. 
What a story!  Robert Whitlow takes us beyond a legal matter into a heart matter.  What people do for love, justice and county!

*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718083040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083045

Monday, January 28, 2019

In the Shadow of Denali (The Heart of Alaska) by Tracie Peterson, Kimberley Woodhouse

Book Description:  Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel outside Mt. McKinley. While John will be expedition and wilderness exploration guide for the wealthy tourists, Cassidy has signed on as a cook's assistant. Both are busy as the hotel prepares to welcome the president of the United States on his way to drive in the golden spike to officially complete the railroad.

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice of a seasoned Alaska mountain guide. Ever since his father's death climbing Mt. McKinley, he's worked to earn enough money to make the trek to the Alaska territory himself. His father's partner blames their guide for the death of his father, but Allan wants to find the truth for himself. He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear, and much more dangerous, than either could ever imagine.

My Thoughts:  I've always loved books authored by Tracie Petersen and now she has teamed up with Kimberley Woodhouse to write a great story set in Alaska.
Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, are in Alaska to work at the famous Curry Hotel which is within view of Mt. McKinley.
Cassidy is working as a cook's assistant and her father will be a guide in the wilderness for wealthy guests.
Then Allan Brennan comes along to be an apprentice as a mountain guide.
This historical romance was fascinating!  And Cassidy's cooking well as, the mountain guides adventures was a fun lesson for this reader.
There is a bit of a mystery in this read too.  Allan's father's guide blames the death of his father on their guide but Allan is there to be an apprentice so he can to find out the truth concerning his father's death.
Meeting Cassidy and finding that she is a great partner in helping him find out the truth in this somewhat dangerous mystery.
Then the president of the USA is making a stop at the hotel as he travels to drive the golden spike to complete the railroad.
A lot of history and mystery combined with some sweet romance.

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

  • Series: The Heart of Alaska (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764219235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764219238

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Forgiving Jar (The Prayer Jars, Book 2) by Wanda Brunstetter

Book Description:  Sara Murray had never met her mother’s parents and was surprised to learn after her death that they were Amish living in Pennsylvania. When she is finally able to make the trip to meet them, she is shocked to learn someone else has been living with them and pretending to be Sara. Sara can’t understand how quickly her grandparents are willing to forgive the imposter.
Secrets and deceit seem to follow Sara, and she is so tired of it. Though soon she meets Brad Fuller who is visiting her grandparents for during Christmas. She likes him a lot, but even he seems to pull away from her, not being totally honest.

My Thoughts:  I've enjoyed all of the Prayer Jars stories.  Such an interesting way to heal and pray.
But this second story, the Forgiving Jar, was so good!  
I love the tinge of mystery and the thumbful of romance.
Sara Murray is a delightful young lady who handles life's problems with grace and goodness.  But even the best of people get overwhelmed at times.  Being overwhelmed with shock when she learns that her mother's people are Amish and then when she gets to visit them to learn that another young lady is living with them using her name!
The deceit really gets to Sara and she is tired of it all!  So when she meets Brad Fuller she just can't seem to trust him.
Loved this wonderful story of learning to forgive....for they know not what they do.

*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 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (February 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1624167489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1624167485

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Book Description:  When Mulan takes her father’s place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this journey her whole life—and that her life, and her mother’s, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, Mulan has little power in the world. If she can’t prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death—or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.
Disguised as a young man, Mulan meets the German duke’s son, Wolfgang, who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the new soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times—or showing him up in embarrassing ways.

My Thoughts:  I've been waiting for this next book in the Hagenheim fairy tales.  The story of Mulan!
Of course, this is not the Disney version for it is a christian YA read.  
I love how Mulan and her mother have a loving relationship.  And how Mulan is not a perfect girl.  She is clumsy and the townspeople make fun of her.  Not exactly leadership qualities since it was prophesied that she would one day she would save her country in battle.  Quite unlikely!
But as the story continues Mulan's dad unexpectedly dies.  What to do.  In an age when women have little to no rights, Mulan makes a decision to dress up as a boy and take her dad's place so that her mom won't be cast out and, maybe just maybe, she won't end up marrying the local butcher.
Loved this story!  So well thought out and great research done for the time era!

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718074777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718074777

Castle on the Rise (A Lost Castle Novel) by Kristy Cambron

Book Description:  When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.
From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

My Thoughts:  This book cover reminds me of The Secret Garden but it's a lost castle.  In Ireland!  
Three women.  Three timelines.  Three romances .  The three different story lines are slightly hard to keep straight.   But necessary for this story.
I truly liked Laine Forrester's story.  I was hoping it would all about her and lost castles.  😋 Laine is drawn to the land and finds that the land has a story to tell.
It's quite an interesting story.  
All about Ireland and romance.  Of course, having three different time lines isn't easy to write about.  Kristy Cambron does an excellent job with keeping it all straight and then describing the scenery and castle plus the romance makes for a great read.
This is quite a thought provoking read but one needs to read this story in one setting, in my opinion.  Reading it all at once helps the reader to keep the story line together.
*This book was provided for review by BookLook*
  • Series: A Lost Castle Novel (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718095499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718095499

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Because You're Mine by Colleen Coble

Book Description:  Alanna has been plagued by tragedy. So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.
When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can’t lose the last piece of Liam she has left.
Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry’s family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.
To make matters worse, Liam’s best friend survived the car bomb. She’s never really liked Jesse and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear.
But then things start happening. Things that could easily cost Alanna her life—or the life of her unborn child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?

My Thoughts:  Anytime Colleen Coble writes a new story I grab it.  She is one of my to.go.authors. 

As I began reading Because You're Mine I was immediately immersed in the story of Alanna and her unborn child.  

Alanna has not had the best of luck.  So, when her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour.... it seems that her life will not get better.  Poor Alanna!  It seems that life goes from bad to worse.  But there is always hope and Alanna holds on to life and hope for herself and her unborn child.  An interesting part of this story for me was the strong bond that a mother has for her child even her unborn child. And all that she will do to protect her child.

There are twist and turns in this spellbinding read!  

Of course, there are a couple of characters in this read that seem all to real and not likable at all.  But in true "Colleen Coble fashion" the twists come when the reader least expects them.

This is one of those reads that the mystery/suspense reader will not want to miss!

This book would make a great Valentine's gift for that reader on your list!  💕

*This book was provided for review by BookLook*

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718083806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083809

Monday, January 21, 2019

Maybe It's You (Crisis Team) by Candace Calvert

Book Description:  ER nurse Sloane Ferrell escaped her risky past―new name, zip code, job, and a fresh start. She’s finally safe, if she avoids a paper trail and doesn’t let people get too close. Like the hospital’s too-smooth marketing man with his relentless campaign to plaster one “lucky” employee’s face on freeway billboards.

Micah Prescott’s goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive Sloane Ferrell.

Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane’s past.

Can hope spring from crisis?

My Thoughts:  When I read my first book by Candace Calvert a few years ago I was hooked.
I like the Candace incorporates the medical field into a suspense story.
In maybe it's you Sloan Ferrell who is an ER nurse must escape her risky past.  New code, housing, and job.  Sloan must not trust anyone.
Micah Prescott is dealing with a family tragedy but he has a goal to improve Hope hospital's image. Micah likes everything by the book but some things in life just aren't cut and dry.  Some things take time to deal with and then there's forgiveness.
Then there is the smooth talking campaign man who has campaign to plaster an the one lucky employee's all over the interstate billboards.
Interesting read as Sloan tries to work and hide, Micah tries to work and find forgiveness, and then that unrelenting man who tries make Sloan's life somewhat miserable.
I think this is my favorite Crisis Team read!  
I loved the suspense and just a little bit of romance, makes for one wonderful read!

*This book was provided for review by Tyndale*

  • Series: Crisis Team
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141439036X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414390369

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe (Supper Club, Book 2) by Carla Laureano

Book Description:  Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can't deny that she's stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it's a sign that her luck is finally turning around.
Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he's looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he's already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country--an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

My Thoughts:  This is the second book in the Supper Club and it's so good!  Even though it's the second book, it is a stand alone.  
Melody longs to be a top pastry chef and own her own bakery but instead she is in a chain bakery, making do.  But after seven years she finds that she wants more than mediocre living.
Then a handsome, Justin,  intriguing man shows up during a snowstorm---literally on her workplace doorstep.  Is this a sign that things will be better?!?!?                                   But as Justin and Melody get to know each other as star crossed as it seems, love seems to be in the air.                                                                                                         When dreams collide....what is a girl to do?  Sometimes waiting is hard but it can be so.worth.the.wait!                                                                                                              This is the story of faith, love and waiting on God to make your dreams come true.                                                                            This is such an enjoyable read.   But be sure to read The Saturday Night Supper Club too. 
  • *This book was provided for review by Tyndale*                                                                                               Series: The Saturday Night Supper Club
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 5, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496420284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496420282

Love Where You Live by Shauna Pilgreen

Book Description:  Despite being part of one of the most mobile societies in history, it's easy for us to feel stuck where we are. Whether because of a recent move or because we're still in the exact same place we've been for years, many of us just aren't where we thought we'd be or doing what we thought we'd be doing. Sometimes we may wonder if God knows what he's doing. How can this be part of his plan?
With enthusiasm and contagious joy, Shauna Pilgreen assures readers that, yes, God does have a plan and a purpose for them--right where they are. In fact, he sent them there. She invites readers to "live sent," showing them how to see their surroundings with fresh eyes and renewed energy. Weaving her own remarkable story with biblical habits readers can incorporate into their daily routines, Pilgreen equips us to reach out into our communities with God's love, knowing that our efforts are never in vain.

My Thoughts:  I am not a nonfiction reader but every once in awhile a book grabs my attention and I need to read it.  Such is the case with this most excellent read.
I've always been happy with the place where I live but because of some unexpected bumps in our lives I recently experienced a, maybe we need to do more/we should move.
Then I began reading love where you live and now I feel that the Lord would use us to be a blessing where he has us.
In the section, It's a lifestyle, Shauna tells the story of how Pizza Works.  How Plan A may not come to fruition so we go to Plan B and Plan B is the "answer."  But most importantly we must incorporate not only biblical habits into our living but we must live close to our Savior and Lord and then everything falls into place.  Because He will lead us in green pastures and we will love where we live.
A wonderful encouraging read!
        *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing                                             and was under no obligation to post a review*                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (January 22, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800735110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800735111

Yay! For Books!


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Homemade Hot Cocoa


  • 4 c milk
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c good quality cocoa
  • 1 1/2 c miniature marshmallows
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook and stir over medium low heat until the marshmallows are melted, about 10 minutes. (I actually had mine on the stove for about 30 minutes and I just stirred occasionally)
  2. Remove from the heat and pour into mugs.