25 Book Reviews

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lisa Writes Another Hit!!

"Firefly Island"
  By Lisa Wingate

About Firefly Island:
Sometimes love takes you on an adventure completely off the map.

Mallory Hale's life quickly veers off course when she falls hopelessly in love. After a whirlwind romance, Mallory finds herself leaving the bustle and action of Capitol Hill for the remote town of Moses Lake, Texas-with husband, stepson, and a U-Haul in tow.

A sweet, mishap-filled journey into marriage, motherhood, and ranch living ensues, and Mallory is filled with both the wonderment of love and the insecurities of change. But what she can't shake is the unease she feels around her husband's new boss, Jack West. Jack's presence-and his mysterious past-set her on edge, and when hints of a scandal emerge, Mallory finds herself seeking answers . . . and comes to realize that the middle-of-nowhere home she wasn't sure she wanted is the very place she'll risk everything to save.

My Review:
  Firefly Island is a wonderful story about relationships, taking chances, change, adventure, regrets and finding meaning in life.
I found this to be a MOST intriguing book! I was entranced from beginning to end and found it very difficult to put down, even for a moment. I HAD to know what was going to happen next. Lisa has a special talent for capturing your attention immediately, in the first chapter, and maintaining it throughout, by adding unexpected twists and turns in her plot. You can never guess what is “around the corner”- on the next page. What is predictable, just doesn’t occur.  The mysteries were solved- although NOT in the way I had guessed.

Lisa has a unique ability to describe her characters in a such a realistic way that their fears and challenges become your's .  I could feel Mallory's desire to be married and have a loving husband and family. Her pain and terror glued me to my seat.  Heartache was felt, as well as her every joy. Her stepson was simply adorable.  I could picture him, enjoying the vivid descriptions of his appearance and behaviors. Jack, Mallory's husband presented  a mystery.  I loved him and disliked him all in the same chapter.  To be able to connect with the characters, is what attracts me to a book. AND this book did just that!! A total success!!

"Firefly Island" is definitely a five star book!  Lisa Wingate is an author to watch. I am already anticipating her next book!!

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/hVNrv

Meet Lisa:
Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Blue Moon Bay, and Larkspur Cove, which won the 2011 Carol Award for Women's Fiction. Lisa and her family live in central Texas.
Visit www.lisawingate.com

Win an iPad Mini from @LisaWingate! RSVP for 3/19 Facebook Party!

Lisa Wingate is celebrating the release of Firefly Island with an iPad Mini giveaway and a fun Facebook Author Chat Party (March 19th).


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • The Moses Lake series (Firefly Island, Blue Moon Bay and Larkspur Cove)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends . Winner will be announced at the "Firefly Island Author Chat Party on March 19th. Connect with Lisa, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Firefly Island and join Lisa on the evening of the March 19th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another Marvellous Mennonite Mystery by Nancy Mehl!!

By Nancy Mehl


Gentle and unassuming, Hope Kauffman has never been one to question the traditions of her Mennonite upbringing. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal he arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.
Despite the attempts of Hope and other Kingdom residents to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, while Ebbie insists Kingdom must remain true to its foundation. When Hope’s safety is threatened by a mysterious outsider, she can’t help but question what she’s always been taught about the Mennonite tradition of nonviolence.
As it swiftly becomes apparent the threat Hope faced is only the beginning, the town that’s always stood so strong finds itself divided. With tensions high and their lives endangered by an unknown enemy, will Hope and the people of Kingdom allow fear and division to break them or will they draw on the strength of the God they serve?

My Opinion:

Nancy Mehl is a talented author who certainly knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat while reading her book. "UnBreakable" is the second in her Road to Kingdom series, following "Inescapable", however you could read it as a stand alone. 
I was immediately caught up in the drama and mystery on the very first page of the book.  When a story begins with someone being warned to be careful because someone is threatening to destroy houses of worship as well as the Christians who live in her town, you know it will be an intense situation. 

The characters were very real to me, as they had been in Book 1. Hope, a favorite of mine, became a very good friend for whom I was concerned. I wanted to give her advice and help her solve her problems. I could feel her every fear and worry.  The conflict that Hope experienced in her relationship issues,  tore me apart, not knowing what she would choose to do. I felt her pain. The other main characters were just as well developed throughout the story. Nancy has very ordinary, realistic characters, so that you can easily identify with them in times of problems as well as in times of joy.  To me, a good book has characters that I can FEEL and understand. Nancy is very successful in the development of them throughout the book.

The plot is one which has twists and turns. Around every corner is another complication, which is completely unexpected. Just when I would think I had answers to the mystery, another wedge was encountered and throw me off completely. The element of surprise kept me on the edge of my seat.

Faith in God and the importance of keeping true to  your faith came through loud and clear. Hope, as well as the rest of the town, had to come to terms , with the fact that even when in danger, you need to pray and have the reassurance that God is with you and has a plan. His plan may be hard to understand. The people of Kingdom were shocked at the cruelty of those who were attacking their beliefs and  had to understand that  although the storms raged around them, God would take care of them. A hard concept for any of us to deal with- we could certainly identify with it!!

This is a five star book!! Mennonite mysteries are not common to find! It was a great read, unusual subject, fantastic mystery!! What more could you ask?

Celebrate with Nancy by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 5th Author Chat Party on Facebook!
Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Books one & two in the Road to Kingdom series by Nancy Mehl
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the “Unbreakable” Author Chat Party on March 5th. Connect with Nancy, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books, and fun Mennonite-themed giveaways.
Grab your copy of Unbreakable and join Nancy on the evening of the March 5th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today.

Nancy Mehl

{More About Nancy Mehl}

Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored fourteen books and is currently at work on a new series for Bethany House Publishing. All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.” Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com or her blog. She is also active on Facebook.
Find out more about Nancy at http://www.nancymehl.com/Welcome.html.

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

Friday, February 22, 2013

A FABULOUS Self- Help Book!! Using humor and grace!

"Fear, Faith and a Fistful of
          By Debora Coty

In preparation for writing Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, Coty conducted a survey of 500 women between the ages of 18 and 80 in order to pinpoint real fears women struggle with most on a daily basis. Gathering the information from her speaking events, online responses via her website, and surveys sent out to churches around the country, she discovered the top ten fears women face:
1) Loss of loved one (spouse/children/parents)
2) Debilitating disease/illness/cancer
3) Failure
4) Old age/senility
5) The unknown/the what-ifs
6) Loneliness
7) Dependency on others
8) Rejection
9) Specific Critters (snakes, roaches, rats, etc.)
10) Being judged unfairly

My Feelings about this book:
This book exemplifies Debora's unique style of writing- it makes you laugh,  giggle, at the same time as making you examine your life and giving you ways to calm an anxious heart.  If you need ideas to work through, in order to sidestep life's worries, then this is the book for you!! Are there any of us , who do not need this, at some time in our lives???  I know I do!!

Debora gives us tools to work with.  If you are ready to get rid of Fear's power and become more confident and secure, work through each chapter and you will meet your goal.  The ideas are practical and have a Biblical base.  The author admits that we all have worries and fears- both real and imagined.  Financial, health, relationships, loss , pain, the unknown, are all dealt with, using spiritual insight.  

I especially found the end of chapter to be helpful. Entitled, "More Pluck, Less Chicken"- in Debora's witty style, she gives us questions to examine our lives and  use the tools that she has given us in the specific chapter.  The ability to use humor, while looking at serious problems is outstanding and unusual. I absolutely loved this book!! It will have a place on my coffee table, within easy reach, as I am sure that I will need it again and again, to remind me that God is in charge of my life!

Definitely, a five star book!!

Debora, you did it again!! Grabbed my attention and made me laugh!! All while making me examine my life!!

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/hyrj3

About the Author:

Debora Coty is an occupational therapist, a piano teacher, and a freelance writer. She's also involved in the children's ministry at her church and is an avid tennis player. Debora began writing to fill the void when her last child left for college, and it has since become a passion. Debora has a real knack for getting across sound biblical concepts with a refreshing lightheartedness as attested in her monthly newspaper column entitled "Grace Notes: God's Grace for Everyday Living."

To see other reviews of this book:  


One “sweet” winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A Debora Coty Library (Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate, More Beauty, Less Beast, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, and Everyday Hope)
  • Chocolate (Every good thing begins with chocolate!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/6/13. Winner will be announced at Debora’s “Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate” Facebook Party on 3/7. Debora will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement – bring your friends! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Debora via Skype.)
So grab your copy of Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate and join Debora and friends on the evening of March 7th for an evening of fun. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun,  RSVP today.

This book was provided by Litfuse, in exchange  for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A New Author to Amish Fiction!! AND a GREAT one!!!

Product Details"A Quilt for Jenna" 
  By Patrick E. Craig     

Patrick Craig is a new author to me, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at the talent this author has exhibited in his first Amish fiction.  Patrick is a lifelong writer and a musician. He has served as a speaker, and pastor, however, now concentrates on writing and publishing both fiction and non fiction books.

"A Quilt for Jenna" is the first in a new series of books, "Apple Creek Dreams".  The main character, Jerusha, is the most talented quilter in Apple Creek, Ohio. The community claims that she is actually the best in the whole state! And she has just completed her most beautiful quilt yet, which she plans to enter in the the Quilt Fair in Dalton. Jerusha hopes to win the prize money enabling her to leave the Amish way of life- away from memories of Jenna, her daughter she lost a year before and of Reuben, her tormented husband, who has been missing since the child's death.

On the way to this important life changing event, Jerusha gets caught in a storm of  the century!  She is trapped in a car as well as with her memories- NOT good ones!!  Her driver has left her to get help.
Then comes a shock to the reader- another little one enters the story and makes her way into Jerusha's grieving heart in a totally unexpected way.  Can this child heal her pain and heartache?? 

I was totally enthralled with this story of loss and redemption.   From the time I picked up the book,  until I finished it, my feelings and emotions were in turmoil. Patrick has described the characters so  well and made them so realistic, that I was living their lives along with them.  I felt every pain, challenge and hurt that Jerusha experienced. She became part of me!! That , for me, is what makes a good book. When I can identify with the characters,  I love the book!! 

The plot was extremely well developed. The twists and turns in intertwining plots, Jerusha's life, the child's, the driver's, all became one. Just when I thought that I had figured out what would happen next, another surprise came out at me from nowhere!!  Sitting on the edge of my seat, I continued to read far into the night, as I just could not put this book down.  The conclusion of the book was a total surprise to me!!

The main topic, of a hurting Amish quilter, appealed to me and will to many others. Jerusha seeks happiness after many heartbreaking events. Will she let God carry out His plan?  Will she seek His will and accept His forgiveness and redemption?

This is definitely a five star book!! I will be looking for the next in the series! Can hardly wait. Patrick Craig is an author to watch for!!

Book was supplied by Harvest House Publishers , in exchange for a fair and honest review.


A Fun Book with a Wedding Theme

"Picture Perfect"
By Janice Thompson

Product Details

If you are looking for a light romance, with quirky characters and lots of humorous situations, then this is the book for you.  It is an easy read, quite predictable, and enjoyable if you want to pick it up for the purpose of relaxing. You don't need to think about an intense plot, just read for pleasure.  I must admit that it is not my usual type of book and I found myself looking for deeper meanings and twists and turns in the plot that just were not there. But, I came to the conclusion, this author writes for another purpose. Her readers and followers would say this is Janice's usual style. She writes to put humour in situations that are normally tense  and typical of what life brings.  She offers an inside look at wedding planning and businesses used when preparing for the big day.    Anyone who is currently planning that special time in their life, would find this story to be useful in relieving the worrisome situations that can occur, as Janice brings humour to all !

The main character, Hannah is  a successful photographer. She will soon be featured in a Texas Bride magazine, thus, is very serious about her celebrity client for whom she has been hired. This will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley's list of recommended photographers.  BUT , it could all come crashing down in a huge failure, because of one man, a fantastic competitor, Drew Kincaid.

The competition heats up! But to Hannah's surprise, it is not only the business aspect that is getting intense.  One handsome man, one single girl- both photographers!! What will you get??? A romance in the making!! The only thing in the way, is that if she lets herself get involved, will she lose her important contract as the photographer of the famous wedding that could make or break her business????   Should she succomb to the picture perfect love, or should she follow her dream of being a top photographer??

You must read this book to find out!!

"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".

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Winner of "A Home for Lydia"

AND the winner of "A Home for Lydia" by Vannetta Chapman is ............. "babyruthmac"!! You will receive an email asking for you name and snail mail address, so Vannetta can send you your book.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Leave a comment under my review  of A Home for Lydia  , including an email address , and you could become the winner of an autographed book!!! Vannetta has generously offered a copy to a reader of my blog!!
Contest ends on Feb 14th.  A fair and random drawing will be  made.

Another Winner From Vannetta Chapman!!

"A Home for Lydia"
    By Vannetta Chapman

I was very honored and excited to be included on Vannetta's Street Team to help launch her new books. What a privilege to be chosen to publicize her books-  the earlier ones, which I already had read and loved, as well as the new ones yet to come!! 

Vannetta's newest book, is a continuation of the Pebble Creek Series,  following "A Promise for Miriam". Next in the series will  be "A Wedding for Julia".

Aaron Troyer is a farmer, like his dad  and gossdaddi before him and wishes to farm in Indiana , his own stomping ground!  However, God has other plans. He finds himself travelling to Wisconsin to oversee his deceased uncle's small group of Plain cabins located along Pebble Creek. The challenge that he did not foresee, was working with the somewhat stubborn, willful , yet attractive housekeeper, Lydia. 

Aaron has never had to contend with such an outspoken Amish female, in his entire life.  Lydia has strong opinions about EVERYTHING, including how the cabins are to run,  and lets them be known. Oh, do sparks fly and lightening flashes as the two young people clash on thoughts and new ideas to improve the cabins.  However, when danger strikes, NOTHING was more important to Aaron than making sure Lydia was safe.

Aaron and Lydia , come together to work on the vacation property, to make it profitable. Can they  find out who is causing the troubles and meet the challenges?? Will they be successful??  Lydia's heart has been softened with Aaron's care and concern. Is there a future for them together? Will the home that she has dreamed of, become a reality?

You MUST read this book to discover the answers!!

My Thoughts
Vannetta has a very special talent of describing her characters in a realistic way- in fact, within pages of beginning to read this book, I felt as though Lydia was a member of the family or at least a very good friend. The ability to make us become part of the story is evident throughout , being able to feel the challenges, stresses, worries, and joys that each character experiences. 

The element of mystery kept me glued to the page. The plot had twists and turns that were totally unexpected. In fact, within a day of receiving the  book, I was finished. Just couldn't put this book down!!  The intertwining plans were extremely well connected. With the mystery, a romance ran side by side.

The Amish faith and lifestyle has been well researched. The basis of the Amish community is  trust and faith and it comes through strongly .  Although many serious problems take place, they are dealt with in a typical way of the Plain People. With prayer and humility.  The reality is there!! 

Definitely a five star book!! Not to be missed!!

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest and fair review.

About the Author:

Vannetta Chapman writes fiction full of GRACE. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. Vannetta  lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband.
For more information, visit her at
                                          webpage -- www.VannettaChapman.com
                                         blog -- http://vannettachapman.wordpress.com
                                         facebook -- www.facebook.com/VannettaChapmanBooks, and
                                          pinterest -- http://pinterest.com/vannettachapman

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Winner of Barbara Cameron's New Book!!!!!

The winner of "Heart In Hand"  
     By Barbara  Cameron 
The winner will receive an email asking for her mailing address. I will forward it to Barbara. She will send you an autographed copy of Heart in Hand, as soon as it is released. ENJOY!!

The name was chosen randomly, names put in a hat , and my husband did the honors!!

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...