25 Book Reviews

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Pearls of Christmas | Day 1 – God with Us . . . And Us with Him by Susan May Warren

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.
If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
God with Us . . . And Us with Him
By: Susan May Warren
Every year over labor day weekend, the Warren family has a MWE. Mandatory Warren Event. It’s a call to come home and enjoy the long weekend with our favorite people. Since my children have left for college, I relish every second of this weekend—the laughter in the kitchen, the long conversations in the family room, the frenzy of backyard football, the quietness of the morning as we drink coffee on the deck and watch the sunrise. I cherish these people, and when they are with me, I drink in their presence.
I’ve been reading the prophecies about Christ this season and came across Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord himself will give you[ a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
I am struck by the word Immanuel. God with us. The closest I get to comprehending this is reading about how Jesus’ loved his disciples. Surely they relished the time with him more profoundly after his resurrection, knowing he would soon leave.
Thankfully, he didn’t leave them for long and sent His Holy Spirit. God . . . still with them.
As I consider the magnitude of this God who would come to earth, who would abide with the disciples, and then with me, I have to wonder not only do I relish God’s presence in my life, butdoes God relish time with me? Am I committed to embracing His entrance into my life? Am I even making the effort to see Him?
Imagine that during our MWE weekend, I ignored my children, and they, me? I would lose the joy of their presence.
It is not surprising to me that the Jewish people did not recognize their Savior. After all, who would guess that the Almighty might package himself as a baby and appear among them, fragile and dependent? But today, we know the story, we know the miracles, we know the truth, and God invites us into an abundant relationship, one that He wishes to relish, one that will change us. A relationship that will slake our thirsts and satisfy our hungers. One that reminds us that we are never alone.
Because every day we are a mandatory event to our Immanuel.
This season, look for the ways that God is your Immanuel, with you, every day.
Susan May Warren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 novels. With over 750,000 books in print, her stories of family, romance and adventure have earned her acclaim and reader fans from around the world. Visit her website for upcoming books and sneak peeks!
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Friday, December 7, 2012

A GREAT Christmas read for only .99 and enter to win a Paperwhite Kindle!

"A Christmas Homecoming"
            By Mary Ann Diorio         
    About A Christmas Homecoming: (taken from LitFuse)
Seven Christmases have passed since Sonia Pettit last heard from her daughter Jody. Since Jody's departure, Sonia's world has been turned upside down. Her husband has died of a broken heart, and her son, bitter over his sister's destructive actions, has become rebellious.
Her greatest desire is to have her family together at Christmas, but after what Jody has put them all through, can Sonia truly forgive her daughter?
Jody Pettit O'Dair ran away to experience a life of adventure and excitement, but since her departure, her world has been turned upside down. She's been abandoned by the man she met and married, lost her job, and is unable to care for her two children. With nowhere else to turn, this prodigal daughter begins the long journey home and prays she will be welcomed after walking away so long ago.
Will Jody find forgiveness in the arms of her family as easily as she received it from God? 
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/fKkNc   

My Opinion of this book:  This book involves a story that could be found in the Bible- it immediately reminded me of the parable of the Prodigal Son, however Mary Ann tells it in a modern setting.  Her characters appeal to all the emotions we tend to feel at Christmas, memories of those missing, disappointments , as well as of  Christmases past, when everything was joyous. A heartbroken mother, ( and many of us, as women, can feel deeply for her), a daughter who has made a terrible mistake and suffers the consequences, a son who has become embittered by circumstances. The detail used to describe all of the characters have us engrossed in the story from the first page. We feel the hurt and despair that Sonia experiences, as the Christmas season approaches and she recalls the sudden disappearance of her beloved daughter. Pain and memories that Jody feels , are intense , and she became very real to me. THEN, the reader experiences the happiness and true joy of the Season! Forgiveness  and faith in God is examined in detail , in this short book. Will Jody's whole family truly forgive her? Will her children get to know their grandma?
The plot is fast moving and keeps us glued to the pages, wanting to know what is going to happen next.  So many events and so many surprises. The ending of this novel  had me in tears, as I felt the shock and forgiveness that is  always available to those who love the Lord.  

This book is just what we need to read at Christmastime, when time is short, but feelings are intent. It is honestly a story of redemption!
Five star book!!! Well done!!

Book was provided by LitFuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Meet MaryAnn:  

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio loves God, people, children, and dogs, in that order. She also is passionate about story and its power to transform the human heart. Dr. MaryAnn, as she is affectionately called, writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of life. She is Adjunct Online Professor of Fiction Writing for Regent University and coaches writers on their journey to publication. MaryAnn and her husband Dominic are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters and a fantastic son-in-law.
Find out more about MaryAnn at http://maryanndiorio.com/. 

To read more reviews of this book and to see the book trailer, please click on the following link:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A New Mystery/ Thriller, NOT to be missed!!!

"When A Heart Stops"
    By Lynette Eason

This fabulous author of mystery and intrigue , has again come up with another winner!! Lynette is a talented suspense writer , who continues to shock me with each book. Her talent to throw in the unexpected is outstanding. I read, completely engrossed, waiting  for the next surprise in her plot. You find yourself turning those pages as quickly as you can to discover the  next event, which always surprises you even more.  This book is a `sit on the edge of your seat` kind. 
When A Heart Stops, is the second in her newest series, Deadly Reunions. It follows When The Smoke Clears. Both are equal in their ability to  keep you reading beyond your bedtime and through the night. You just can not put these books down until you have finished.

Lynette`s characters come alive in your mind. You feel their fears, confusion, pain, as well as joys when the mystery is finally solved. NEVER have I been able to predict the conclusion of one of these books. The suspense and character involvement keeps you going from beginning to end. This author is certainly one who is skilled in balancing breath taking action with complicated characters, who are unique but realistic.

Serena , a medical examiner , is used to  dealing with death, every day in her job, however this time , it is not easy. The victim is known to her . The eerie scene before her, sets her on edge. Almost as unnerving , is the fact that she the FBI agent Dominic, a childhood crush, who becomes involved with the case. 
As evidence is gathered and the suspense mounts, it seem as if they have a serial killer on their hands. One with disturbingly familiar methods!   Serena and Dominic ,  together , must work to find the pattern and end this killing before the murderer strikes again.  Suddenly, Serena appears to be chosen to be the next victim. When her life is at stake , she must decide if the secret she has been keeping, has put her on the killer`s list. Can she trust Dominic with the truth!!! Or , will she wait too late!!

 You MUST read to find out!! Definitely a five star book to all suspense lovers!!

Book was provided by Revell in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A New Take of Taming of the Shrew- THE AMISH VERSION!!

"Courting Cate"
The Courtship of Lancaster County, book 1
           By Leslie Gould
Leslie has truly written a winner with this book. It is a totally different take on "The Taming of the Shrew", Amish style, and she does it in a unique , appealing style. The first book grabs your attention and you are unable to put this book down!!! It has to be read  AND fast!!! You are compelled to find out what happens!! Twists and turns in the plot keep you engrossed and at times, even totally confused.
The characters, although realistic , are so different from one another. They are described with such detail that you feel they become one with you. You feel the hurts, temper tantrums, as well as the joys and fears that the characters experience..Cate,  with the sharp tongue, and fiery temper , seems to be out of character, with her beauty and striking appearance. She has driven away every suitor who has come her way. Her sister, Betsy, on the other hand, is sweet, lovable and flirty. She has attracted  more bachelors in Lancaster County than you can count. 
Then, we come to the father of these two very different girls. He is a very wealthy, strong willed man who has made a rule that is upsetting and heartbreaking to his two daughters. He has said that Betsy cannot marry until Cate is settled in a permanent relationship and married. BUT untameable Cate will not cooperate . She has driven away every available suitor, UNTIL  Pete , a great , stubborn, determined man arrives on the scene. He is prodded by men in the area to take a chance and win  Cate's hand, , BUT she wonders, is his interest true or is it because of a scheme?????
You will have to read to discover the answer to this strange situation. I found this book so hard to put down, that it was completed in a day and a half.

Well done, Leslie!! A five star book!!!!!!

About Leslie Gould:
Leslie has been the coauthor of the bestselling book "The Amish Midwife, winner of  the 2012  Christy Award for Contemporary Series. She has an MFA in creative writing  and lives with her husband and four children in Portland, Oregan.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Win a Kindle Paperwhite and connect with Kristen at her 11/27 Facebook Party!

Another Number One Romantic Suspence
                By Kristen HeitzmannThe Breath Of Dawn

Taken from book cover:
“Heitzmann weaves a many-layered tale keeping readers entertained and wondering when the next bit of drama will occur.” –Publishers Weekly
Corporate turnaround specialist Morgan Spencer, dubbed the “success guru,” has a Midas touch in business. But losing his wife sent him to the brink, and his two-year-old daughter, Livie, is all he’s living for–until they encounter a woman whose trouble just might draw him out of his own.
Four years ago Quinn Reilly did the right thing. Now the man her testimony put in jail is getting out. Though she has put up barriers to protect herself and those around her, she has come to care for the Spencer family, especially the winsome Livie and her mercurial father. Unwilling to put them at risk when the threats begin, she requests something she hopes the super-successful Morgan might be able to deliver.
Fixing problems is what Morgan does best, but his counterproposal takes them in a direction neither is equipped to handle. Determined to confront the past,

 Purchase a copy here.

Enter the contest, take part in the Facebook Party. Have some fun, read a great book and win a prize!

Kristen Heitzmann


Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including “Freefall”, “Halos”, “A Rush of Wings”, and the Christy Award winner “Secrets”. She and her husband, Jim, and their family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she serves as worship leader in their church. Visit www.kristenheitzmann.com for more.
Find out more about Kristen athttp://www.kristenheitzmannbooks.com/.

My Opinion and Views of this book:

Opening this book, was like breaking into a box of specialty chocolates, knowing that it will be a great experience, but also being surprised at what is found in each individual candy, BUT, instead of a taste of chocolate , we have a DELICIOUS mystery/thriller/ romance!. This was my feeling when I started reading Kristen's book!!  You can't eat just one!! You can't read just one chapter! Once you start, you are hooked, until you have read that last page at the end of the book.  Her ability to grab your interest on the first page is outstanding. I just HAD to read to find out what happened next and next and next!!
The characters are described in such vivid detail, they become one with us, a very dear friend  or member of the family. You find yourself thinking for them and wanting to give advice or at times, a big hug. The struggles that are felt within each, becomes YOUR'S! The joys and happiness , as well as the tears and fears are also felt deeply within the reader. It is that feeling that keeps you totally engrossed in this book.
Kristen is also very talented at developing a main plot with subplots, each one, enveloping you in a sense of intrigue, mystery and love.
The twists and turns keep you guessing and wondering if the past will be confronted. Will the characters survive to build a future?

This is truly a mind boggling story- wondering what will occur next, a book of showing the importance of trusting God and using your faith to plan the future, all in God's timing. Will the main characters survive long enough to do so??

Definitely a five star book!! Keep them coming , Kristen!

To read other reviews of this book click on this link: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/breathofdawn

Book supplied by LitFuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A New Book by Tricia Goyer- FANTASTIC!

Join in the Facebook Party on Nov. 7th to discuss, have fun and maybe even win some super prizes!!

                     "The Memory Jar"
                     By Tricia Goyer
Taken From LitFuse Info:

About The Memory Jar: 
Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series

Every year, 30-40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive 'resident' status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love. Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she's also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she's met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?
My thoughts on this book:
This book was stupendous!!! Is this a real word?  No other way to describe this work of art! Tricia's plot was a completely different take on the normal Amish fiction. Absolutely marvellous view of an Amish girl, Sarah,  who decides she will never wed. When the young men arrive on the scene, she certainly does not even expect to fine a beau. She never expects to go home with one of them as a bride. 
Then comes the truly  intriguing part of the plot. The idea of using a memory jar in this story, was so unique. I was totally entranced by this idea. To save memories in a jar is one which ALL could do and make it meaningful. What Sarah was doing was saving her memories in the jar , INSTEAD of dealing with them and allowing them to hurt her . We don't have to use a Memory Jar in that way, but what a clever and different idea, Tricia used, and incorporated to become a very important part of her story. 
It has given me so many good ideas. For myself, my family and children .
Character development  excellent. I truly felt that Sarah was a dear friend and I wanted to give her advice at some times, a hug at others and a good push in the right direction at particular moments.
You could feel the struggles, pains, and challenges that Sarah had kept hidden from others.
When Jathan appears on the scene as such a kind , gentleman, your feel his interest in Sarah and his desire to help her overcome her hurts. He is a man you want to get to know better. But the question you have throughout the book, is , will Sarah realize what a wonderful person he is and will she let go of her hurts and deal with them. Will she allow God to work?

All in all, this book is definitely a five star book!!! I am definitely looking forward to the next in this series. Plan on late nights and nothing done in your house until you finish reading this book!! Waiting impatiently for Book Two.

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/esMtx  
Meet Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Find out more about Tricia at http://triciagoyer.com.

If you wish to see more reviews on this book , please click on this link.

Book was provided by LitFuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bestselling Author Dee Henderson comes out with another

"Full Disclosure"
By Dee Henderson
If you are a Dee Henderson follower, you will love this new book of her's. It is full of mystery, intrigue, and best of all a love story. 
A Synopsis: Ann Silver is a cop, a Homicide Investigator. She is called in to  help a local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murders.  Along with her, is Paul Falcon the FBI's top murder cop. He is also a problem and case solver with a reputation that cannot be questioned. 
These two have their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass off a case on her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death are the subject and mystery to be solved. The two of them get to know each other, Paul suspects there is more to Ann than meets the eye and he is definitely right. What secrets is she keeping from him??? He is falling in love with her, BUT who is she REALLY???? That is what he strives to discover as the crime scene unfolds and life becomes more complicated.
My Feelings:
I found it VERY hard to get into this book. It is very lengthy and full of what I felt were often unneeded details. It just seemed to go on and on, and there were pauses when actually, I couldn't figure out what was going on or why the chapter was there. Perhaps , her regular readers would appreciate these details, however to me, the book was too long and too slow moving to keep me interested. It was an effort to complete the reading of this book. I have read others by Dee, that kept me on the edge of my seat, this one did not do that. I was rather disappointed by it. Hopefully , it does appeal to others, as Dee is a superior author who generally writes with great feeling and has you living the story. I did not find that in this story. I do think it is well written and has lots of promise, it was just not a book for me.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".  

A Different Type of Book from Jerry Eicher and his wife, Tina

"The Amish Family                      Cookbook" By Jerry and Tina Eicher

From bestselling Amish author, Jerry Eicher, comes a very different type of book. NO , it is not fiction!!!! It is a cookbook, written by he and his wife. 
There are too many unique and different recipes to describe in a short review, but it is fun to try out the new ones and some of the old favorites , with a twist or little change in them.  The only problem that I have experienced with this book, and it is more of a publishing company problem , is the organization of the recipes and how the ingredients are arranged. These recipes must be read in entirety before you begin cooking, as some of the ingredients are used later in the making of the delicious creation. For instance, don't throw out the egg yolks , as I did, because they are used later. That is just a small hint to use when following them. The recipes are delicious and cannot be faulted. Some, to me, were very unusual and that is the great part. Always fun to try something new!!

In addition, Jerry added Amish wisdom and humor from the  Plain people. You will have a laugh or two as you cook and read. The book also has room for side notes which I really appreciate, as I often decrease quantities. You will laugh , cook and pray , as you use this newest recipe book.

Can be purchased through Harvest House or Amazon.com.
Book provided by Harvest House and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another Touching, Emotional Story from Author , Dan Walsh

"The Reunion"
By Dan Walsh

Dan has once again successfully created a story that touches ever emotion within a soul. "The Reunion" is an unusual  type of story. I imagined a book about a family  who comes together , after years apart and on and on. Boy, was I wrong!!! The topic of the book was a complete surprise and one which was dealt with deep sensitivity and understanding. The characters become so real to me, I shed tears as I made my way through this book. I don't believe anyone could keep from feeling the depth of the emotions. The only real problem with this book was, I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN UNTIL I READ THE LAST PAGE and even then, I didn't want it to end. I wanted this uplifting story of gratitude, forgiveness, and  return to faith , to last forever. The characters listened to God and followed his plan. I believe that is what touched me so deeply.  

The plot was one of entrancement and at times great surprise. There was romance, great grief, great happiness, facing hard situations. You name it, it was there.
The twists and turns kept me glued to my seat as I read and read and read!

Aaron Miller is one of the main characters. He knows all about loss and sadness. He has lost love, dignity and most important of all, chances. He was once a hero to many and honoured as such  in battle. Aaron had received the highest honour of all from the president- a very important medal.  Then, why does he end up as a handyman at a trailer park, living in a hut??? 
Dan shows us very clearly how God can redeem anything we think we have lost in life. It isn't gone forever, we just have to accept  when we will follow His plan  and then He  finds us again and brings it back to us.  Someone important is searching for Aaron and this changes his life forever. Little does he realize , as he feels lost, he has continued to rescue many and bring them back to God. God rewards those that listen and follow his commands and although Aaron was tempted to resist, he came through and was rewarded in a grand way- with family  and best of all appreciation , worthiness and love.  Aaron has been a hero to many- he has no idea what impact he has had on their lives , until he is made to listen.

Dan manages to prove to us that EVERYONE can get a second chance at love and  life, BUT only if they follow the Lord's desires and plans, all in His time and ways.

Definitely a five star book.  Please keep writing Dan!!  CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!!  What more could I ask? You touch my heart and encourage me with every book you write. Thank you !!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

The Heart's Journey: Stitches in Time Series / Book 2 by Barbara Cameron

Barbara Cameron has done it                         again!!! 
Book 2 of the Stitches in Time Series is every bit as fantastic as Book 1, "Her Restless Heart" !

When I reviewed Book 1 of this series , I was delighted and amazed at the talent  author, Barbara Cameron exhibited in her characters, plot and the true characteristics of the Amish shining through. I have read every one of her books and not one has been a disappointment. The only disappointment that I have, is when I come to the last page and realize I have to wait for the next in the series!!

Barbara does her research well. The Amish characters are well developed and their faith and life is accurately represented. Yes, they are real people. Yes, they have the same problems that you and I have- it is how they handle them that is the big difference! Do they still face challenges in accepting how their children act and in how the community reacts to an event? Of course, they do!!  Are they perfect? NO WAY! They just strive to do God's will and cope the best that they can in difficult situations. I appreciate the fact that Barbara does not idolize them! All of them are normal humans but so normal that they become part of you. You feel their fears, failures, joys, challenges and successes.
The plot is extremely well developed, with twists and turns. Just when you think  that you have the answer to a problem, out pops another character who changes the actions of the others dramatically.
The main character, Naomi,  is getting ready for her "big day" , the wedding which has been in the works for many years, but for some reason, unknown to others, she lacks the excitement and seems unmoved byt the preparations.  She feels like a servant to her fiance, not a bride. Is he too controlling, or is it her reluctance to be  a faithful wife. Naomi has to figure out the problem.
Naomi is a prayer warrior and decides to take a break from her job as a quilter in her grandma's store and travel to Pinecraft, an actual Amish village, near Sarasota , Florida . While there, she hopes to figure out her feelings. Then , enters an Englischer, Nick , to whom Naomi feels attraction. He just happens to be the driver and on top of that a kind, Christian gentleman. Are they falling in love , or is she just on the rebound from her unhappy and tense relationship at home??? What is God's plan? Can they continue their relationship and still stay on the right path??? 
Boy , does Barbara throw in some surprises in this book!! I can say no more , or I would be adding spoilers. 

I can only  say it is a fantastic book of the Amish genre and I am eagerly awaiting Book 3. A five star book , for sure!!!

Book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review by the author.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Know Someone with Cancer???? This is a GREAT book to give as a gift or to use for yourself!

   "dear deb"
By Margaret Terry

"A Woman with cancer, a friend with secrets, and the letters that became their miracle."

This is truly an accurate description of this book. It is a book of letters from a woman who needed the miracle of healing from the dreadful disease , cancer and another who needed to share her stories of the past to heal her past.

Does God always heal?? Well, in this book, there was healing for both but not in the way, one of them would have wished. The healing of cancer was not to be , but to go and be with the Lord is one way of healing a dreadful disease and to be made whole once again.

These letters started out to be a daily  way to send words of encouragement , but of course became more than that. I absolutely loved the letters. They could apply to any of us, not just a patient who is suffering.  Margaret used her great talent of writing to  express her thoughts as mini stories of happiness, grief, disappointment  and she creatively used these to uncover powerful thoughts that she had carried many years. At times, I cried, at times , I laughed. Her motive was to carry her new friend from  this life to the next and she did just that. God was sure at work in both women.

Deb and Margaret formed a twosome that is to be envied by all. You could feel their closeness and the way God does have a plan for all of us, even when we feel there is no hope.  I came away from reading this book truly believing in the power of miracles. They may not always be what we seek, but God does know best and Margaret shows us how to accept the good with the bad. YOU are the maker of miracles if you follow God's plan, accept His timing and believe.

What an outstanding book! I do not usually like nonfiction writing but this book grabbed me and held me, also made me think of things in my life that I could greatly improve as well as things I could share to help others.

Thank you Margaret for sharing your innermost self. A five star book in every way.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Interview with Suzanne Woods Fisher- Discussing her new children's book "Life With Lily"

Here is some more info about this new book!! A neat interview. Take a look at my review, as well as a personal interview with Suzanne. 
How is writing for children different than writing for adults?
Suzanne:  For this age group, we created each chapter to have its own story arc because that’s how children read. There is an overriding story arc, but it’s not quite the same as an adult novel—with building suspense that reaches a crescendo. Also, the vocabulary is aimed for 8-12 year olds. My editor even has a software program that checks reading level of vocabulary. Happily, we passed!
What do you hope readers take away from the Lily books?
Suzanne: Here’s what drew me to collaborating with Mary Ann: her memories reflect a warm, happy Amish childhood with fully dimensional characters. Nothing saccharine, nothing severe. The Amish are part of America—a unique culture living right in the midst of a busy, modern world…and thriving.
The ‘Lily’ series invites readers to peek in the window of a delightful Amish family. I think there are many layers to enjoy about the Lily stories—the top layer is getting to know a funny little girl. But there are deeper layers, such as seeing how Lily’s wise parents handled difficult situations (wait until you meet Teacher Katie. Hooboy!).
By the way—we want to invite your readers to check out the interactive website for children that our publisher, Revell, created to complement the ‘Lily’ series:www.adventuresoflilylapp.com. Coloring pages can be downloaded, Mama’s recipes are shared, there are games and crossword puzzles, and readers can ask Lily a question. Hope you’ll all drop by!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Susan Warren has done it again!! Written a book that I could NOT put down!!

About the Book: 

A Deep Haven Novel

Sometimes the secrets we keep to protect ourselves can be our undoing.

To all who know her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses a sporting event, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the quaint harbor town of Deep Haven, Deidre received a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker.

Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on parole and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the courage to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?

My Opinion of this Book:  This is another winner in my eyes!! Definitely a five star book. My attention was captured from the first page of this book to the last!! The topic addressed was unique and at times mind boggling. The characters are so well described , they become very real to you. I simply loved Annalise. She was an innocent person caught in a most difficult situation. I wanted to give her a big hug and say it would be okay. Susan's plot is well developed with so many twists and turns , that I could NOT put this book down until I was finished. It was full of romance, intrigue, inspiration and tragedy , that she manages to pull together into an example of how this life can give you second chance if you give God your trust and let Him lead the way.  Only a talented author, such as Susan could pull all of these things together to produce a topnotch story that keeps you on the edge of your chair. 

WARNING- Don't begin this book unless you intend to stay up all  night to finish it and ignore your family's requests for meals!!
Super job, Susan. I LOVED this book!!!! My favorite, so far!!

Meet Susan:
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning novelist of over thirty novels. A five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.

Find out more about Susan May at http://www.susanmaywarren.com/.

To read more reviews of this book click on this link:http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/you-dont-know-me-by-susan-may-warren-200-weekend-getaway-giveaway-and-facebook-party-1023
Link to buy the book:


This book was given by LitFuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Brand New Childrens' Amish Fiction Book

"Life With Lily"

By Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger

About the Book: ( From LitFuse Info)

Book 1 in the ‘Adventures of Lily Lapp’ series.

Lily is six in this story, just starting first grade in a one-room schoolhouse in upstate New York. Her parents are busy building a farm, and soon animals join the family—Jenny the cow and Chubby the miniature horse. A baby brother arrives, too, which Lily has mixed feelings about. (She wanted a sister!) Aside from a mischievous friend like Mandy Mast, Lily is happy at school and even happier at home. 

Trouble is brewing at the schoolhouse and change is on the horizon for Lily and her family.

My Opinion of this Book:
Another delightful book from Suzanne Woods Fisher!!! With the help of co-writer, Mary Ann Kinsinger. These two ladies have come up with yet another winner!!! I have not read anything by Suzanne that has not filled me with anticipation from beginning to end. This book for children was no exception. What a funfilled book !! The story also importantly informs youngsters of many facts of the Amish lifestyle, and emphasizes the importance of family, faith and trust in God, even in challenging times. Lily,  the main character is a sweet, little girl, full of mischief , always trying to stay out of trouble,  who encounters many changes during her short life- and they are not always positive or desired!! Just like any child, she must learn to deal with them. I felt that I wanted to give her a hug when she was struggling to understand adult matters. She became MY little girl!! Now, that shows how well these ladies described their characters.   The plot is full of unexpected happenings!!  I absolutely LOVED this book and can only imagine how a child would be spellbound at all that occurs and how Lily copes with her life, in an Amish lifestyle. As always, trust in God is stressed in this book , as is family values. Suzanne has once again come up with a winner!!! 
This book will be put in a special place in my home waiting for the first grandchild! It is a must read - excellent for a readaloud and discussion starter in your family. 
Link to buy the book:


To CELEBRATE the release of Life with Lily, Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger are giving away an eReader! Then on 10/16 they'll be announcing the winner at a fun Author Chat Party where they will be chatting with readers and giving away fun prizes! Click for details and don’t miss the fun. http://ow.ly/e60XJ 

Meet Suzanne: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has one husband, four children, one son-in-law, a brand new grand-baby, and a couple of dogs. She graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.

Suzanne has contracts with Revell for six more books about the Amish, both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the host of “Amish Wisdom·” on toginet.com, a weekly radio program featuring guests who are connected to Simple Living.

Find out more about Suzanne at http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/.

To read other reviews of this book, please click on this link. Find out what others thought of this book.

This book was provided by LitFuse in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beverly Lewis continues her Home to Hickory Hollow Series

"The Bridesmaid"
By Beverly Lewis

Beverley Lewis, the author who started the whole exciting trend of the genre of Amish fiction, is continuing to share her talent in the writing of a new series. The first book, "The Fiddler" grabbed my attention and I could not put that book down. I loved the plot, the characters and the meaning that came through the entire book.
This second book, "The Bridesmaid", although still written in her unique style, and a good story, did not quite appeal to me quite as much. Don't get me wrong. I did enjoy the story, as my husband could attest to that fact, as supper was late, I didn't always hear what he said to me.... LOL.

It probably would appeal to others in a greater sense, however , somehow it did not quite satisfy me. I loved it, but just not quite in the same way as The Fiddler.

The characters are well developed and I did feel for Joanna, who was always a bridesmaid, never a bride, as her friends liked to remind her. That was my life for many years , so I felt empathy for her and her desires. Then entering the scene was Eben who hopes to make Joanna his bride, if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana and move to Lancaster.  His hopes and desires all hinge on his brother who has gone off to the Englischer's world and is now married. Joanna could join Eben there, but would she????? Will he ever get away from the farm???

We are kept in some suspense throughout the story, as we wonder whether these two people will stop and listen to God and follow His plan for their life.  
All in all, it is a extremely well written book.
Definitely worth the read!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Brand New Book by Tricia Goyer

Preorder your copy NOW!! It is a great book!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jerry Eicher's Two Newest Books are NO Disappointment!

"Where Love Grows"
              By Jerry Eicher

This novel is Book 3 in the Fields of Home Series. What a marvellous continuation of the story and further development of all our favorite characters who were present in the earlier books.  Susan, the so called rebel has come home to her small Amish community. I found myself admiring her courage in returning- as she had done the frowned upon- getting GED requirements, a driver's license and even dating an Englisha man!!  She became my hero, as she goes back to her former lifestyle, with her head held high, although at times, very frightened of letting her family know of all she did in her "other" life. On top of all the other problems of returning, she goes back, with a friend Teresa in tow, with her young son. Teresa's quest to belong to the Amish is to be admired. This book begins with the marriage of Teresa to a young Amish man , James.

Thus, the story expands, with a new family entering the Amish community. Teresa has truly worked diligently to fit the character of a good Amish girl. She and Susan , again meet many challenges. Susan decides to give her old boy friend, Thomas , another chance, but here , the complications begin. Her Dat's new hired hand has shown an interest in her, as well. Who is God's life partner for her and how will He show her his plan for her life??  I had such sympathy for her, that at times I felt she was part of my family. I felt her confusion, her heartaches, as well as her joy.  Jerry has described his characters so well that you have them as friends/family forever!!
Susan , at one point, considered going back to the Englisha world, just to escape the decision making that she had to do. It would be easier to forget the romance!!

Jerry continues to give us great insight into the Amish lifestyle and way of life. Since he comes from that background , it is accurate and his books are filled with details and facts that ordinarily may  not discover.
Another five star book!! Eagerly awaiting the next one!!

This book was provided by Harvest House and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...