Tuesday, December 31, 2019

An Amish Miracle by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid & Mary Ellis

Book Description:  Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman
Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?
Always His Providence by Ruth Reid
Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community’s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.
Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis
Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn’t a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.
My Thoughts:  An Amish Miracle  is a great read with three Amish novellas.
Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman is about Becky.  Poor Becky so insecure because she compares herself to other young women her age.  Becky is pudgy and feels like lit just isn't worth the effort.  She feels hopeless.helpless but after praying for God's help begins to overcome the temptations of foods.  However, Becky's problems seem to be internal because even as she loses weight and looks great she can't seem to accept herself.  A good lesson for all that our worth doesn't come from how we look but from our heart . . . always beautiful!
Always His Providence by Ruth Reid is about Rosa.  A tragic barn fire and Rosa becomes a widow.  Rosa's husband went into Adam's burning barn to save Adam.  Rosa's husband lost his life but Adam is saved.  Adam has a lot of guilt because Rosa's husband died and he lived.  But even more so because Rosa is left with debts and only has the income of selling eggs.  This short story brings tragedy to triumph because of He always provides!
Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis is about Hope.  Hope is a married Amish woman with a husband and three girls.  She has always wanted to give her husband, Stephen, a son.  Hope has also carried a deep secret for years.  Will this secret make or break their marriage? And as she gives birth to her fourth child, another baby girl, Hope realizes that her son has always been in her heart.  A story of forgiveness and God's grace.
Also included in this book are a Reading Group Guide and Old-Order Amish Recipes.
This book would make a great present for that Amish reader on your Christmas list!

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401688705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401688707

Monday, December 30, 2019

Psalm 91 for Mothers (God's Shield of Protection for your Children) by Peggy Joyce Ruth & Angela Ruth Schum

Book Description:  A Place of Total Protection for Your Family 


Did you know there is a place in God—a secret place—for those who want to seek refuge? It is a haven of physical safety and security that God tells us about in the Ninety-First Psalm—the one place in the Bible where all of the protection promises of God are brought together.

In Psalm 91 for Mothers Peggy Joyce Ruth guides you through a personal study of this psalm, explaining verse by verse God’s promises of protection, provision, and blessing for your children. Drawing from her personal experience as a mother and grandmother, she covers topics such as:

·          Accessing God’s shelter in times of danger
·          Protection from evils over which we have no control
·          Intervention of God’s angels on your child’s behalf
·          Teaching your child to call on God for protection

My Thoughts: I'm a mom and I long for total protection over my family. But how do I achieve this?  Through prayer and  God's care.  
Reading Psalm 91 is such an encouraging read for Mothers of all ages.
This read begins with the heart rending story of a too worn out mom who left a beautiful baby on top of her car with in an infant seat in the heat of the crazy Dallas traffic.  The author "just" happens to be behind this car and sees the infant carrier atop the car with the sweet little infant inside.  She is afraid for the child and out of urgency screams the name of Jesus four times just as the infant seat propels through the air towards traffic.  
This is quite an amazing story.  *true story*  And the rest of this book is chock full of life lessons and stories of God's amazing mercies and love to His people . . . based on Psalm 91,"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."
I posted the whole of Psalm 91 because the reader must read this verse to understand the book. . . this book is all about 'I will not fear' based on this one Psalm from God's Word.
There's no need to live in terror or fear because when one believes God and His Word, He answers!
A wonderful encouraging read that makes a nice gift for that new mom, too!

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616387343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616387341
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings

Book Description:  Daniel Whitely is a successful marriage counselor and bestselling author, yet his own marriage is in crisis and his daughter is drifting further away each day. To make matters worse, the deadline for his second book has come and gone, and he still hasn’t written a single word. 
When Daniel inherits an old camera from his grandfather, he notices an inscription on the bottom: “No matter what you think you might see, the camera never lies.” 
Daniel begins using the camera, but every time he develops his photos, they threaten to reveal secrets that could sabotage both his marriage and his career—exposing him as a fraud and destroying the life he has worked so hard to build. 
He’s faced with a choice: keep his secrets and save his career or come clean and possibly save his family. Which will he choose? Which would you choose? 

My Thoughts:  This was one of the most interesting stories that I've read in awhile.
It's so interesting that a picture does tell a thousand words about us.  So the camera never lies giving us all a new look at how our lives are being played out right before us in pictures.
Daniel Whitely inherits a camera and as he takes pictures and has them developed he begins to notice that his life is played out right before his eyes.  
He also begins to see that he, his wife and daughter do not have the perfect life as they thought they did.  The camera, the pictures and life begin to tell Daniel that he is a fraud.
On the other hand, Daniel begins to see what is really important in life.
This book drew me in and let me glimpse at what a world through a camera lens might display.
What a story!

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

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 3, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785230696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785230694

Lake Season (A Bluebell Inn Romance) by Denise Hunter

Book Description:  When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream of turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina, home back into an inn. Staying in town would be temporary—three years at most—then they plan to sell the inn, and Molly can get back to chasing her own dreams.
Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathaniel Quinn) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There, he meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.
Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn, she and Adam embark on a mission to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets he isn’t ready to share. Past and present collide as truths surface, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

My Thoughts:  After the Christmas rush I was excited to receive this book.  And a romance!  An it's the first book in a whole new series.  Ahh!  relaxing time!
Bluebell, North Carolina and an inn...kind of like a bed and breakfast.  Molly Bennett is trying ever so hard with the help of her siblings to fulfill their parents dream.  But as life would have it, dreams are not always what they seem nor do dreams always come out as expected much to our delight.
Molly and Bennett meet even though Molly isn't quite sure about Adam.  Molly fancies Nathaniel Quinn whom she doesn't realize at first is Adam!  Adam is a writer going by the name Nathaniel Quinn.
What really caught my interest in this romance was the long lost letter that Molly finds in the inn.  the mystery, the secrets that somehow incorporate into both Molly and Adam's lives.
This is a fun story with  lots of romance and bits and pieces of life on a North Carolina Lake.
I loved this story.  So much fun in a few pages.

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

  • Series: A Bluebell Inn Romance (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 12, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785222723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785222729


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Collateral Damage (Danger Never Sleeps) by Lynette Eason

Book Description:  Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.
Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can't take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he's not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

My Thoughts:  The subtitle to this story Danger Never Sleeps pretty much sums up Brooke Adams life after her near death incident in the army.  
It sees that Brooke is being set up for a murder rap when she walks into her office to find Asher James there with a dead body.
Of course, after she cries on his shoulder she can't take him on as a client.  As a counselor Brooke is to be above and not so emotional especially with a client.  Even though she can't take Asher James as a client she feels a strong pull toward him to help him.
And Asher James needs a counselor but how can he tell such a beautiful woman all his fears and disappointments.
I loved the fast paced story of both Brooke and Asher as they come to real life grips on their pasts and face the definite prospects of a beautiful future.
Of course, I love stories penned by Lynette Eason and this one didn't disappoint.

*This book was provided for review by Baker Publishing*

The Gray Chamber (True Colors) by Grace Hitchcock

Book Description:  Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?  On Blackwell Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.  With her late father’s fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. Do any of Edyth’s friends care that she disappeared?
At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

My Thoughts:  I love, love the True Colors Historical Stories of American Crime series.  And I love the stories that Grace Hitchcock pens.  
The Gray Chamber was eerie and somewhat scary but for a true crime buff ever so interesting!  And it's based on truth that happened many years ago which makes it an even better story.
It's one of this reads that one just keeps saying one more chapter cause I need to know what's going to happen.  And Edyth's evil uncle who tries tooth and toenail to get Edyth into a woman's lunatic asylum.  Just because she's a free spirit and he likes her money, well wants all her money.
But Edyth, though she may be eccentric, she is not stupid or a coward.  
She finds another inmate and together they can fight the bad.  Its sad how women used to be second class citizens and men could ramrod them into all sorts of bad situations.  
I found this story so intriguing that I just couldn't put it down.  

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

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Book Description:  Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela meets the duke's son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--and learns he is throwing a ball, she vows to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

My Thoughts: Melanie Dickerson authors fairy tales in quite a different way . . . she takes the original story and makes it into a more wonderful kind.of.today type of read. Kind of a parallel type of read. 
I've read the three preceding books and The Captive Maiden is my favorite.  Cinderella was also one of my favorite fairy tale princesses. But more than that I like the way this story reads and the flow of the story.
In the Captive Maiden we read about Gisela and her stepmother.  After her father's death she lives in servitude to her stepmother.  But there's Valten, the boy that Gisela has thought about and liked throughout the years.  When she finds out he's having a ball she is determined to go.
At the grand ball, dressed much like Cinderella, she catches Valten's eye but there are "others" who are intent that Gisela and Valten not get together!
This is a wonderful, grandtastic read about "another Cinderella."
A great book for tween and teen girls.  And some of us older girls love the story, too.  Does a girl/woman ever outgrow a great fairy tale?!?!

Don't forget to read these other "fairy tales" by Melanie Dickerson:
 Book 1
 Book 2
Book 3

Monday, December 23, 2019

Unforeseeable {Road To Kingdom, book 3} by Nancy Mehl

Book Description: Callie Hoffman has a good life in Kingdom, Kansas. She's engaged to Levi Housler, the new pastor of Kingdom Mennonite Church, and she spends her days working with Lizzie Housler, her friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law, at the town cafe. 
When a body is discovered on the road outside Kingdom and the deceased turns out to be the victim of a serial killer, the new county sheriff begins questioning Kingdom residents. Unsettled at the prospect of a killer in Kingdom, Callie is desperate to find answers for herself, especially when her own fiance seems to know more about the murder than he's telling. 
As the town battles an entirely unforeseen danger and Callie's very life is threatened, the stakes are as high as they've ever been and the people of Kingdom must learn anew to put their trust in God alone. 

My Thoughts: Another favorite author,Nancy Mehl, writes a fantastic novel in Unforeseeable!
I read the first two books in the Road To Kingdom series by Nancy Mehl and loved them!  So, again, I waited ever so {im}patiently for book 3.
Now Callie has a great life in Kingdom, Kansas and is engaged to Levi, the new pastor of Kingdom Mennonite Church.  
As the story begins the reader is hoping that Callie is on the road to a better life. And it seems like all is going well and, then, a body is discovered on the road outside of Kingdom. It seems that there is a serial killer in town.
Now Callie feels compelled to find the answers about the murders and it seems that her fiancee is "hiding" something from her.  Does he know more than he is telling?  The unforeseen danger of murder is like a milestone around the sweet town of Kingdom.  Can Callie help before the killer strikes again?  Especially when her own life is at risk?
What a read!  Full of light romance, mystery and suspense! 
The first two Road to Kingdom reads were great stories but this is by far my favorite!  
*This book was provided by Bethany House for review*

The first two reads in the Road to Kingdom:

  • Series: Road to Kingdom (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209291

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Farmers' Market Mishap by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter

Book Description:  Living alone for the first time in her life is lonely for Elma Hochstetler, whose twin sister Thelma recently married. Though they share the running of a general store, more and more of Thelma’s time is taken up by her growing family. Elma has dated some, but she wonders if she is just too picky to find love.

Through a mishap at the farmers’ market, Elma meets Ben Wagler and instantly likes him. But there is a problem. He lives in Grabill—50 miles away! But Elma has tried long-distance dating before, and it won’t work for her.  Besides the store needs her. Her sister needs her. Elma feels love will forever remain beyond her grasp.

Elma has a habit of putting others before her own needs. Can she learn to take a risk at following the desires of her heart?

My Thoughts:  First of all this is a sequel to The Lopsided Christmas Cake so I would suggest that you read The Lopsided Christmas Cake first to understand the dynamics of the family.
Sometimes family life is complicated especially when one of the family members marries before the other.  The "other" one may feel lonely and left out.  This is somewhat the case with Elma Hochstetler.   When her twin sister, Thelma, marries and is busy and is expecting a new little bundle of joy.
Elma and Thelma run a general store together but Elma just feels the need for her own "exciting" life.
Well as life would have it Elma finds love but not quite the way she wants it to happen.
This is the fun, light heated story of Elma's romance.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Christmas is just around the corner
 and the parties have begun! 
And I'm making these cuties for the Friday Teacher's Meeting!  

A healthy snack . . . 

Layer on a plastic toothpick (going up):
mini marshmallow
topped off strawberry 
slice of banana 
green grape

Fun and healthy!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

WOUNDED by God's People by Anne Graham Lotz

Book Description: As the daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, Lotz has lived among the faithful all her life---and knows that we are quite capable of hurting one another! Drawing wisdom from the biblical story of Abraham and Hagar, she explores the ways in which the wounded can become wounders themselves---and points us toward God's merciful healing grace. 

My Thoughts:  Reading Wounded by God's People by Anne Graham Lotz was like drinking a refreshing swig of cold water on a hot summer day.
I have often wondered why God's people, the very people who are suppose to show love, compassion and forgiveness, can be the most spiteful and mean to other christians and people?  The answer may lie in what Anne Graham Lotz calls the "wounders."  Those people, wounders,  have been wounded themselves so they want to strike out at others.
Throughout this read the story of Hagar and how she was severely wounded by Abraham and Sarah is the guideline for forgiveness and mercy.  While reading this book I saw that the "wounder" is not always or may never be the one who forgives but we must always draw closer to God for He is the healer of wounds. 
This is an easy to read not a dry philosophical book.  Anne Graham Lotz shares her hurts, sorrows and the love of Jesus.  More like a story within a story.  
I loved this book and will probably read it more than twice!  I,also, think this book would make a great gift for someone who may be going through a wounded time in his life.
*This book was provided by BookSneeze/Zondervan*
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310262895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310262893

Monday, December 16, 2019

Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, & Denise Hunter

Book Description: Four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country's premier romantic getaway-and each finds her own true love along the way. 

With Smitten Lumber closing, residents wonder if their town can stay afloat. Then four friends and local business owners-Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese--decide the town is worth saving. How will they do it? They'll turn Smitten into a honeymoon destination!As Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese work to save the town, each discovers romance in her own life. Meanwhile, the faith of a little child reminds the whole town what it means to have real faith in the God who is the always and forever Love.

My Review:  The lumber town of Smitten has been smitten with a case of bad luck; no lumber mill, no town?
But four friends decide the town is worth saving and come up with a plan! A honeymoon destination for those who are smitten by the love bug. 
"Natalie" by Colleen Coble is all about Natalie and Joe Smitten, the town leader.  Natalie finds that the heart of a person goes deeper than their words.  
"Julia" by Kristin Billerbeck how Julia must come to grips with Jake without letting him burn up all her plans.
"Shelby" by Diann Hunt is about Shelby and mountain man, Nick.  Shelby loves tea and Nick loves trees, ummm...quite a mix!
"Reese" by Denise Hunter finds Reese smitten by her long time friend, Griffen.  Reese's plan to get Griffen's attention is humorous and quite original.
This is a fun, light read!  A great book for sitting by the fire with a cup of hot tea or cocoa.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

Another great soup recipe from Pinterest!
12 ounces apple smoked bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, small dice
2 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• Pinch or two sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 (15 ounce) cans small white beans (or navy beans), drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken stock, hot
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preparation:  Place a large Dutch oven, or heavy bottom pot, over medium-high heat; once the pot is hot, add in a small drizzle of olive oil, and the chopped bacon; crisp the bacon completely until nice and brown, then remove with a slotted spoon, drain it on some paper towel, and set it aside for a moment; reserve about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, and set that aside for a moment, as well; wipe out the pot, and return it to medium-high heat.
Next, add back into the pot the bacon fat, along with the olive oil and the butter, and allow them to melt together; once melted and hot, add in the diced onion, carrots and celery, and allow them to soften and saute for about 5 minutes; next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in about 2/3 of the reserved, crisped bacon, as well as the Italian seasoning, the sea salt and the pepper, along with the white beans, and stir to combine; next, add in the hot chicken stock, stir, and allow the stew to gently simmer for about 40-45 minutes, partially covered with lid; about half way through the cooking process, mash the beans a little bit with the  back of your spoon, or with a potato masher, to break up the beans a little bit and release their natural starch to thicken the stew; after about 40 minutes, turn the heat off and finish the stew by adding in the chopped parsley, the lemon zest and the lemon juice; serve the stew with some nice, crusty bread to dip, and garnish with some of the remaining crisped bacon.
(Serves about 6)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A Plain Disappearance, Appleseed Creek Mystery Series #3 By: Amanda Flower

Book Description:  It's Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.
Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy's friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

My Thoughts:  The Christmas reads are beginning to make a bookshelf appearance!  Oh! Yes!  I don't have time during the Christmas season to read so reading all about it before the season is fine with me!
A Plain Disappearance is the third book in the Appleseed Creek Mystery Series.
I've read the first two books and throughly enjoyed them so I was anxiously awaiting the third!
Chloe is SO funny and entertaining.  I love the characters that Amanda has created for they are so true to life and feel like the neighbors next door.
Now, Timothy and Chloe are in a relationship.  And on their very first "real" date Timothy's sweet dog, Mabel, finds a body (dead in the cold snow) in the corner of an old barn.  Not the best of first dates!  But it only grows more intense from here . . . because all the evidence points to Timothy's friend, Billy, who also happens to be the local mechanic. 
The plot grows thicker when the police find out that Billy is actually an assumed alias.
There is a side line of Chloe's forgiveness of her father and trying to forge a new relationship with him and her step-mother.
Many things aren't as they seem...or people as they present themselves. 
I loved this read!  Such a great mystery! Truly a hard mystery to figure out!
The romance is fun and filled with all things Christmasy!

*This book was provided for review by Handlebar PR/B&H Publishing*

The first two books in the Appleseed Creek Mystery Series:

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: B & H Publishing Group
ISBN: 1433676990
ISBN-13: 9781433676994

Monday, December 9, 2019

Payback in Panama (The Cuban Trilogy, Book 3) by Noel Hynd

Book Description:  After two attempts on her life, Alex is faced with the ultimate decision . . . kill or be killed. U.S. Treasury Agent Alexandra LaDuca is at a crossroads. Her job is beating her up, emotionally and psychologically. And the moral battle between her faith and her responsibilities is taking its toll on her effectiveness. For the first time, she wonders how long she can last. Forcing an end to her long-running and treacherous duel with the heads of the Dosi Cartel, Alex knows this is her last do-or-die operation. It's time call in all the favors owed to her. Her fight takes her into the criminal underground of America's east coast, south into the violent underworld of Central America, across Honduras and El Salvador, and finally to Panama for a shattering confrontation. Alex's career, her life, and her future with the man she loves---a future she never expected after the violent death of her fiance two years earlier---are all at stake. After a final payback in Panama, nothing will be the same . . . if she even survives.

My Thoughts:  This is the third and final book in The Cuban Trilogy.  I've read the previous two books, Hostage in Havana and Murder in Miami.  And I LOVE these books by Noel Hynd!
Payback In Panama is probably my favorite of all three...maybe because the action and the end takes place.  Or maybe, just maybe, because Alex has matured and finds her "place."
Now, in my humble opinion, the reader should read all three books in order.  Reading the books in order gives the reader a sense of all that is going on in Alex's life, the "whole" why she is doing it and what "it" all means.  I'm not trying to be ambiguous, I just don't want to give away the story.
This read has great action and suspense!  Noel Hynd never disappoints me in this arena . . . I love the words he uses to describe the sights, smells and nerve binding tensions!
Alex is on assignment and at times the reader wonders if she will make it.  The underworld of Central America is SO brutal.
A great christian suspense novel!  

  • Series: Cuban Trilogy, The
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310324556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310324553

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Tattered Quilt (The Return of the Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club) by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Book Description:  Amish widow-turned-newlywed Emma Yoder Miller begins another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students, all with tattered pieces of their lives that need mending.
Selma is a belittling busybody. Terry is a rugged roofer who just wants a casual date with a pretty classmate. Blaine loses a bet and has to join the class, where he soon finds himself in friendly competition with Terry. Anna’s mother signs her up in a desperate attempt to keep Anna from leaving the Amish faith. Carmen holds tightly to bitterness while hiding her secret motives for taking the class. And Cheryl has a broken, mistrusting heart that needs just as much mending as the tattered quilt she brings.
Members of this new patchwork group find friendship, faith, healing, and restoration while gathered around their quilts, under the Father’s guiding hands — for only He can take what’s ragged and shabby from the lives of His children and turn it into beauty for His glory.

My Thoughts:  I read the first book in this Half Stitched Amish Quilting  Club and it was such a fun read.  
The first club was full of a mixed motley crew.  Again, poor Emma has quite a crew on her hands. I must admit that Selma got on my last nerve.  Terry  and Blaine have some kind of a guy fight going on.  Poor Emma (the only "real" Amish girl in the group) is way too stressed.  Carmen and Cheryl seem somewhat alike...both struggling with "issues."
This is a fantastic read!  There's not a suspense or mystery, just good people relationships and how people of all ages and backgrounds need/should get along in life.  And that's just what the Quilting Club does-it brings people together as they find out more about God and His mercies.
This is a stand alone read and it isn't just an "Amish" read.  Emma and her new husband are Amish but they just teach quilting. 
If you want a fun light read that is serious about God's mercies and lovingkindness then this is the read for you!
Loved, loved this read!  

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc. 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616260866
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616260866