25 Book Reviews

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.

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...