Monday, August 30, 2021

Undercurrent of Secrets (Doors of the Past) by: Rachel Scott McDaniel

 Book Description:  As wedding coordinator for the 100-year-old steamboat The Belle of Louisville, Devyn Asbury takes pride in seeing others’ dreams come true, even though her engagement had sunk like a diamond ring to the bottom of the Ohio River. When the Belle becomes a finalist in the Timeless Wedding Venue contest, Devyn endeavors to secure the prestigious title with hopes to reclaim some of her professional dreams. What she hadn’t planned on was Chase Jones showing up with a mysterious photo from the 1920s.
A century earlier, Hattie Louis is as untamable as the rivers that raised her. As the adopted daughter of a steamboat captain, her duties range from the entertainment to cook. When strange incidents occur aboard the boat, Hattie’s determined to discover the truth. Even if that means getting under First Mate Jack Marshall’s handsome skin.

My Thoughts:  I absolutely love the cover of this book.  It speaks of gentler times of days gone by.
Such an interesting story of a wedding coordinator whose own engagement fell to the bottom top the Ohio River, well, at least the ring fell to the bottom of the river.
And then Devyn meets a man Chase Jones, who has a torn photo that looks as if it were taken on the Belle.  But who is the woman in the photo and what was on the other part of the photo?
Devyn and Chase pursue the mystery of the photo.With twists and turns at every venue will they ever find the meaning of a torn photo?
Such an interesting story on such an interesting vessel...a steamboat!
There is a satisfying ending as the two stories end with clarity.

*This book was provided for review by Barbour*

Title: Undercurrent of Secrets
By: Rachel Scott McDaniel
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Barbour Books
Publication Date: 2021

Sunday, August 29, 2021

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson

 Book Description:  There’s nothing quite like family—for good or bad. But in a world where we sometimes know more about the Kardashians than we do the people sleeping right down the hall, it’s easy to forget that walking through life with our family offers all sorts of joy wrapped up in the seemingly mundane. There’s even a little bit of sacred sitting smack-dab in the middle of the ordinary. And since time’s-a-wastin’, we need to be careful that we don’t take our people—and their stories—for granted. Whether it’s a marathon bacon-frying session, a road trip gone hysterically wrong, or a mother-in-law who makes every trip to the grocery store an adventure, author Sophie Hudson reminds us how important it is to slow down and treasure the day-to-day encounters with the people we love the most.

Written in the same witty style as Sophie’s BooMama blog, A Little Salty to Cut the Sweetis a cheerful, funny, and tender account of Sophie’s very Southern family. It’s a look into the real lives of real people—and a real, loving God right in the middle of it all.

My Thoughts:  With all of the reality shows on TV, I wonder if people forget that the family God gave them are the "real" people we need to be with!??!
I love the title of this book because that's exactly how a family unit can be classified  . . . a little Salty with the Sweet by  Sophie Hudson is a timely reminder that we need not take for granted the family that God has given us. Family, that group of people that we have so much in common with, those peoples who are there for us through thick and thin.   The ones we fight with (salty) and have fun with (sweet) and make memories with. Our family is the one we make "our story" with . . . they are the ones who know us best.
Remember that one (or maybe more than one) vacation that went terribly wrong.  You know the one, where the rear axle on your family car kept coming off as you made your way home from Grandma's house and your dad kept stopping every couple of miles to fix it.  But in the end we had to get a hotel room and didn't go to church that Sunday because dad was fixing the axel?  We ate doughnuts for breakfast and read Good Housekeeping!  See, if you have a memory like that you probably have a family that has many memories.  Keep those memories and write them down.
Great book!  And a great gift, too!  I'm thinking that this will make a 
great grandparents day gift...or a great gift for that baby shower in July!

*Tyndale Publishing*

List Price:
Trim Size:
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Gathering Shadows (Finding Sanctuary 1) by Nancy Mehl


Book Description:  Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. 

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

My Thoughts: I absolutely love to read novels/stories by Nancy Mehl!
The Gathering Shadows (the first book in the Finding Sanctuary series) is classified as romantic suspense but, yet, Mrs. Mehl puts so much more into this story.
I love Wynter Evans . . .just love the way her name is spelled.  Wynter is strong and courageous but yet gentle and kind hearted.  Wynter struggles with her past.  And there is Rueben King {sigh!} the young mayor . . . here is the romantic part. 
Wynter's brother disappeared over nine years ago.  then Wynter comes across a picture of a big that resembles her lost brother.  She is drawn to and must go after the clues to see if this is really her brother.  
She travels to the town of Sanctuary.  Sanctuary is the town where Rueben King is mayor. 
There seems to be shadows everywhere Wynter looks.  It seems that the truth may never "show up."
This is quite a read!  The ending, the I.didn't.see.that.coming! and the suspense make for zone fantastic read!
But don't take my word for it....go read it for yourself! 

  • Series: Finding Sanctuary (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764211579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211577

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Amish Christmas Matchmaker (Indiana Amish Brides) by Vannetta Chapman


Book Description:  With her wedding business thriving, Annie Kauffmann could never leave her beloved Amish community. So when handsome Amish cowboy Levi Lapp tries to convince her father to move the family to Texas, she must put a stop to it. If Annie finds Levi a wife, he might forget his dream of moving…but can she keep from falling for him herself?

My Thoughts:  In my book there is nothing better than a Love Inspired romance especially when it's about Christmas and is authored by Vannetta Chapman.  A win-win!
This fantastic story is almost an oxymoron...An Amish matchmaker?!?  But then again no matter what, we all need love in our lives.  
Annie Kaufman actually has a wedding business so it's not all love and games.  However, she doesn't seem to have any romance in her own life.  And it seems that Annie is quite happy with her life so when Levi Lapp begins to talk her father into moving-to Texas of all places!  Annie decides she'll have none of that nonsense.  But love can get in the way of most well laid plans.
In a fun loving sort of way, Vannetta Chapman captures the romance between two young Amish people and somehow gets their families involved too.
This is a great story to begin your holiday season!

  • Series: Indiana Amish Brides
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired; Original edition 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1335479430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1335479433

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021

Life Behind the Wall: Candy Bombers, Beetle Bunker, and Smuggler's Treasure Paperback by Robert Elmer


Book Description:  Cut off by the Iron Curtain This epic tale extends across generations and unfolds against the backdrop of a dangerous Cold War Berlin. This historically accurate, action-packed, three-books-in-one edition features three generations of resourceful teens living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Titles include: Candy Bombers: In spring 1948, teenage cousins Erich and Katarina are simply trying to survive in war-ravaged Berlin when the Soviets blockade the east side of the city, isolating its citizens---and starving them---behind the Iron Curtain. Beetle Bunker: In August 1961, Sabine discovers a forgotten underground bunker. Though she first uses it to escape her crowded home, she soon realizes her hideout could possibly take her family under the wall to West Berlin and freedom! Smuggler's Treasure: In spring 1989, life is good in West Germany, and even the Cold War seems to be thawing in the warmer weather. But as Liesl works on a class project about the history of the wall, she stumbles onto a startling secret no one will talk about.

My Thoughts:  Oh! Be.Still.My.Heart!  I could not believe my eyes when I saw this book . . . I was so excited. . . . like a kid on Christmas morning!  This is THREE books in one volume!  All three of the Life Behind the Wall books by Robert Elmer!  
I first read Candy Bombers about 10 years ago.  But I never got the next two books Beetle Bunker and Smuggler's Treasure.
I must tell you, that even though I am an adult, these are the best books ever!  
In Candy Bombers the reader is introduced to Erich and Katarina living in the city of Berlin after the Soviets blockade the east side of the city.
Then in Beetle Bunker, the reader meets Sabine who discovers an underground bunker.
And then in, Smuggler's Treasure the reader meets Liesl who lives in West Germany during the Cold War.
Sorry my book descriptions are short but I hope they are teasers for you (no spoilers) so that you will read this wonderful trilogy!
Yes, these books must be read in order because there are overlaps in each book from the previous.  And what a better way to read them in order than to have a 3-n-1 book!  
I love this trilogy!

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Revised edition 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031074265X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310742654

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Saving Amelia by Cathy Gohke


Book Description:  Increasingly wary of her father’s genetic research, Rachel Kramer has determined that this trip with him to Germany—in the summer of 1939—will be her last. But a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, changes everything. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter, Amelie, deaf since birth, as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.

Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that hang like ebony spiders from every government building in Berlin. She fears her father’s files may hold answers about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems “unworthy of life.” She risks searching his classified documents only to uncover shocking secrets about her own history and a family she’s never known.

Now hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young—a driven, disarming American journalist and unlikely ally—who connects her to the resistance and to controversial theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Forced into hiding, Rachel’s every ideal is challenged as she and Jason walk a knife’s edge, risking their lives—and asking others to do the same—for those they barely know but come to love.

My Thoughts:  I love summer and, again, this summer I entered the Tyndale Summer Reading Program.  So glad I did!  As one of my "prizes" I picked this book Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohke.
When I first saw the cover of this book I actually passed it up. Then I went back and read the description and thought it sounded interesting.
When the book arrived it sat on my TBR for a couple of months and then the other day, since I was finished with my last book, I decided to read it.
Well, this is one great read!  As I began reading I first thought the book was going to be about a rich young woman and how she saves a young deaf girl from the Third Reich.  Oh!not!so!  Well, this does come into play but there  is SO much more to this story.
I had to put the book down several time because it IS so intense!  
This book is about life . . .what is our duty to others AND Dietrich Bonhoeffer!  Wow!  
The suspense, the story line, the challenge of one's duty to Christ!  Cathy Gohke pens an incredible, put.down story!
This is my favorite read this summer!  
You just gotta read this book . . . it will make you think!  

  • Paperback: 464 pages

Monday, August 9, 2021

Light from Distant Stars: A Novel by Shawn Smucker


Book Description:  When Cohen Marah steps over his father's body in the basement embalming room of the family's funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory. As the last one to see his father, Cohen is the primary suspect.
Over the next week, Cohen's childhood memories come back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his father being asked to leave his pastoral position. The game of baseball that somehow kept them together. And the two children in the forest who became his friends--and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he's been avoiding: Did he kill his father?

My Thoughts:  There are times when I begin reading a book and wonder, "What am I missing?"  This is such book.
I just could not understand what the author was saying in this story.  I was lost from page one.
Now if you're the type of reader who enjoys dystopia or "christian" science fiction, well, you may enjoy this read.
The story centers around the father of Cohen Marah.  Actually the story seems to be about the father...but, then again, I'm clueless about the story.  Just didn't get what was going on.
The author knows how to write, it is the story itself that I had trouble with.  Yes, I get that there was child abuse and the man wanted to let go of the ugly things.  However, the story part just never got to me.

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Revell
  • ISBN-10: 0800728513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800728519

Sunday, August 8, 2021

The Scripture Memory Map for Women: A Creative Journal (Faith Maps) complied by the Barbour Staff


My Thoughts:  I'm always on the lookout for journals or devotionals that will help me in my walk with the Lord.
So when I was offered this small book, The Scripture Memory MAP for women, I jumped at the chance to use it.
Each section consists of two pages...there is a place at the top of the left hand page for the date, then a square for My Memory Verse For Today, Then a place for This  Verse is important to Remember Because and enough space for you to write, Then What It Means To My Faith, Then onto the second page where there is space to write How It Applies To My Life, Then a square for Knowing This Verse Will Be Helpful When, and lastly My Prayer For Today and a space to write your prayer. 
There are colorful hearts, butterflies and arrows that point you show you which way to go.  Thus creating a type of map.  
The creative part comes when you write in the sections.  😊
There are verses at the end of each section. 
I am in love with this creative journal.  This is a Fantastic plan for memorizing God's Word!
This makes a wonderful gift!  

  • Series: Faith Maps
  • Spiral-bound: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1643520881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1643520889

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}


We did this wonderful fish Charcuterie board with fish, tortillas, 
onions, fresh was wonderful!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris


Book Description:  Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victim's husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.
Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn's theory, Josh soon realizes that the attack that took his wife's life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn's team--and what their end game is--before it's too late.

My Thoughts:  Lisa Harris never disappoints when she writes a mystery/suspense/thriller.  This story is!
Caitlyn Lindsey's character comes alive in the first chapter when "things" begin happening that aren't suppose to happen.  She feels like someone is also watching her and maybe they are.
At first I wasn't sure about Josh Solomon...well, his character seems a bit weak but that soon changes and one can't help but fall in love with Josh.  He doesn't take on a super personality he just becomes more thoughtful.
As one reads on in the story there a lot of action takes place it seems that there is an under current of "something" happening but the reader can't quite figure out what.
Just when I felt I knew what was going on, well the game changed.
I loved, loved this story!  Great suspense and great mystery combined in one fantastic story of intentions gone haywire.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800729161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800729165

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Yellow Lantern: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime by Angie Dicken


Book Description:  In 1824, Josephine Clayton is considered dead by everyone in her Massachusetts village—especially the doctor she gas assisted for several months. Yet, she is still very much alive.
After the doctor’s illegal dealing with his body snatcher to obtain her body, Josephine awakens, positioned as the next corpse for his research. To cover up his crime, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. They strike a deal—Josephine will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help the body snatcher procure her replacement.
At the mill though, Josephine is praised for her medical remedies among the other female workers, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager, Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

My Thoughts:  This is an incredible story.  One that begs to be read.  The reader tries to put the book down but keeps wondering what happened?!?
the Yellow Lantern is not astray for the faint of heart.  Oh, no!  This story is about dead/living people and one young woman's mission to live.
Grave robbing?  When one hears those two words together one van't help but wonder shy would anyone want to see old bones.  Well, it turns out that there is profit to be made from old bones and body snatchers are a breed all their own.
This is the third book in the True Colors "series."  These books don't have to be read in order...they are stand alone mystery/suspense.  And.O.So.Good!
Angie Dickens writes with a scary pen bringing up things that happen in the dark but are brought to light.
I loved this story!

  • Series: True Colors
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1643520830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1643520834