25 Book Reviews

Monday, June 30, 2014

Another Five Star Novel by Bestselling Authors, David and Beverly Lewis

                                  "Child of Mine"
                          By David and Beverly Lewis

Having previously read "Sanctuary" by Beverly and David lewis,, I was looking forward to see what feelings that this book would arouse. Excitement over a new book by these authors was intense! I just knew that I would love this book, and I DID!!!

The story begins with flight instructor Jack Livingston and his situation including raising his eight year old adopted niece, Natalie. This little girl had experienced the tragedy of losing both parents in a horrific accident. When he travels, Natalie is cared for by her Amish nanny, Laura , who loves this little girl as her own. 

Then enters a second main character, with whom, I became a good friend! Eight painful years ago, Kelly's baby was kidnapped. Determination to find her little girl had kept her preoccupied and searching through the years. Kelly follows every lead to the bitter end. Now, there is one last clue, from a private investigator that ignites a minute flame of hope. Only a few miles away, lives a young girl who matches the profile. Could this mean Kelly's search is finally at an end???? Will it be her beloved child????

I became totally engrossed in this story from the first chapter. The characters grabbed me by the hand and led met through their trials and disappointments, also through some joys. For a book to appeal to me , I must be able to identify with at least one of the main characters. There was no problem in that department. I actually "lived" the story with them. They were real people with some very real problems. When attempting to overcome upsets and disappointments in life, the characters reacted in  similar way to that of any adult. Their faith in God came through loud and clear. To give our lives and trust over to Him is very difficult. Will Kelly and Jack be able to do it???

The plot had so many twists and turns that it kept me guessing from the first page to the last. Just when I thought I had answers to the many questions, there would be a new link in the puzzle. The story moved smoothly and quickly. I loved the unexpected complications!  I could NOT put this book down until I was finished. What  a fantastic surprise ending!!! Loved it!!

Definitely a five star book!!  I would highly recommend this book. It veers away from Beverly's usual style of an Amish household, however does include an Amish character.  A great book!!!

"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".

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quilts of Love - Another Great Book in the Series!

"Rival Hearts"
By Tara Randel               L

About the book: 

They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?q
Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter's Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.
Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

My Thoughts:
I have loved each book in this series and this was no exception. Each book's main plot contains a quilt, but the variety of authors succeed in making it unique and different from the others. 
I am a quilter! Anyone who quilts will realize how addictive this hobby is. Thus, you look at quilts, go to quilt and fabric shops, quilt shows, AND read any book that involves a quilt!! I guess we are a strange lot!!

The main character, Molly, appealed to me immediately. I could easily identify with this young lady who loved to quilt however was not athletic, not even a bit!! That is me!! You can find us both at a sewing machine but rarely playing baseball, canoeing or swimming!!! Molly tended to stay clear of these activities!!  This made her my best friend from the beginning of the book. Ben, the athlete, was also an adorable  character, full of charm, handsome, athletic BUT not a quilter. I can just picture the look on his face as he attempts to use needle and thread. 

The plot of the story was full of twists and turns. It grabbed my attention upon reading the first chapter and kept me engrossed until the last page. A well developed plot makes for a great read and this book fullfilled this ! 

The "Quilts of Love" Series has provided me with a wide variety of stories, all including a very special quilt in each one. Each author has been successful in composing a creation totally different from the others! That in itself, is a feat! Tara Randel is a new author to me, but you can be sure that I will be looking for her books in the future.

 A great summer read! Don't miss it!

About the Author: 

Tara Randel is the author of five romance novels including Lasting Love,Melody of Love, and This Time Love. A member of ACFW, Tara is also the lead author of the new Annie's Mysteries series (see AnniesMysteries.com). Tara lives in New Port Richey, Florida.

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A New Book in Amy Clipston's "Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel" Series !

          "A Mother's Secret"
              by Amy Clipston

About the book: 

Book two in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series.
Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever?
Carolyn Lapp longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother's farm with her parents and her 15-year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin's father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her.
His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But Carolyn isn't convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter.
When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn's brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance.
After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. But which of them will give her the family-and the unconditional love-she's longed for?

My Thoughts:

As I sat looking at my stack of books, waiting to be read and reviewed, I was reminded of a box of chocolates, in that  I knew that each one of them would be a great read, I knew the authors and have loved their creations, just as I always know each chocolate will be delicious, but which should I take first??? Then reality hits!! I have deadlines to keep and dates to post particular reviews, so I had to make a decision to read in order of those dates!

Looking at Amy's cover, was wetting my appetite for a "good Amish read"! A simple, rather old fashioned cover depicting a young Amish woman who looked deep in thought, stared at me from the table. As I opened the book, I certainly was not disappointed. This was a wonderful, light but great book!! It held my attention from beginning to end. There was just the right amount of mystery, complications, romance to keep me reading. It is a great summer read!

Amy tackled a rather sensitive subject, particularly in the Amish faith, that of a young unwed mother. It really brought home the idea that although these Plain People have strict values, they do suffer from the same human weaknesses as you and I . No one is exempt from daily problems, EVEN the Amish!!  This story made me stop and think!! We often put a religious group on a pedestal, thinking that their lives are perfect, that they don't have challenges. BUT, they sure do, as God made us all human!  The way that the situations are handled are somewhat different, but still true to the Christian faith. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well written, interesting characters and a well developed plot!!
Five stars!!

About the author: 

Amy Clipston holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, and two sons and four spoiled rotten cats.

Amy can be found at: website,TwitterFacebook

To read more reviews of this book: http://litfusegroup.com/author/aclipston

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

Purchase a copy:  http://ow.ly/xlHpQ

Another Great Amish Book!!

EForever Amish
By Kate Lloyd

 I LOVE to go to the mailbox and have a surprise waiting for me!! A book by a favorite author is the BEST !!!  Kate Lloyd has quickly earned that rank. My biggest disappointment was to read that "Forever Amish" is the last in her Lancaster trilogy !  I have enjoyed this Amish series so much, as Kate has used her talent to write an Amish tale with a different twist. Grabbed my attention immediately and I was hooked!!!

About the book: 

The latest book in the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy, Forever Amish introduces us to a young woman about to uncover a shocking secret and find an invitation to a new way of living. This is a story of forgiveness, legacies, and the ties that bind through generations.
It's the Last Thing She Expects to Find
Sally Bingham needs some time away to sort through the changes in her life and to rethink her upcoming marriage. Despite her ailing father's hesitations, she takes off for a bed and breakfast in Lancaster County for a weekend away. But her best-laid plans leave her in a near collision with a bishop's buggy and in the home of a mysterious Amish woman named Lizzie. Lizzie introduces her to a different perspective on life, a charming farmhand named Armin--- and opens a Pandora's box that will forever change Sally's life.

This book kept me glued to my chair!!! Kate writes with  the aim of keeping the reader captivated from beginning to end. The last page leaves you wanting more!! I wanted this series to go on forever. It begins with elements of mystery, leading into romance, secrets and ultimately, forgiveness. Nothing good can come from lying and hiding the past, as the characters learn in the story. In fact, secrets really do more harm than we often think. They change lives, sometimes to the good, if we allow God to work through them, or the result can be devastating. It all depends on how much we allow Him to work out His plan. 

The main characters are realistic and well described, in such a way, that their hurts, struggles and worries become your own. The main character, Sally, had an enormous struggle with her discovery of a hidden past, with abandonment, including her own sense of self worth.  She then has to  find a way to forgive and move on. Will she allow God to work through this devastating past??  A difficult task indeed!! Many of us could identify with that pain. Sally's friends and acquaintances may not be who she thought they were!! We have all experienced this problem, although perhaps not in such depth.

The plot was well developed and quick moving. It kept me guessing throughout the book, due to all of the twists and turns. Mystery, confusion and romance made this story alive with its action.

All in all, Kate has written another winner, in my opinion!! I would definitely recommend this book to all readers!!

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/xxswg

About the author: 

Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her novels. She is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest. Kate studied painting and sculpture in college. She's worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur.

Kate can be found at: websiteFacebookTwitterPinterest

To see more reviews of this book: http://litfusegroup.com/author/klloyd

This book was supplied by Litfuse and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A book full of mystery, suspense, intrigue and romance! What more could you want?

                        "Seagrass Pier"

By Colleen Coble

About the book: 

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger's memories . . . before they cost her everything.
Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.
But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks---and vivid dreams of being strangled---she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor's murder.
Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked---by a man she's only met in her nightmares.
The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin's daughter.
Of course, he doesn't know about that. Yet.
Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there's no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her---before she remembers too much.

My Thoughts after reading this book:

When this book arrived in my mailbox, I already knew I was in for a GREAT read!! Colleen has become a favorite author, always grabbing my attention on the first page of her book, keeping my heart in my throat, until the final page! This book was tops in suspense, intrigue, mystery and of course a romance, just to complicate the plot.

The main characters were unique individuals totally realistic and believable. To make a book good , in my opinion, I have to be able to identify at least with one of the characters. I certainly had no problems doing so. Elin became my best friend. I felt her pains, joys, confusions, determination and yes, even her love!

The plot has so many twists and turns that I was totally confused as to the answers to mysterious events. Every chapter brought a new complication to the story. I just had to finish this book in a marathon of reading!! Forget sleeping and eating!! Just as I thought that I had figured out the answers, another "Zing" would hit me head on!! I had to read to the last page to discover the answers I had been seeking.

All I can say is "WOW!"
A Five Star book!! I would recommend it to all readers. For those of you who think you don't like mysteries, try this one! Colleen Coble uses her talents in characters, plot and intrigue to produce the BEST of her creations!!

About the author: 

Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide.Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Colleen can be found at: websiteTwitterFacebook

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/xAP8O

This book was provided by Litfuse, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
To see other reviews of this title go to http://litfusegroup.com/author/ccoble

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Where do you go when changing your name is not enough??

            "All My Belongings"
                           By Cynthia Ruchti
About the book: A new life and a new identity can't protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away.
After spending years running from the shame her father put on her family, Jayne is determined not to let him steal her future in the same way he stole her childhood. Changing her name to Becca Morrow, she moves to California and settles into a new life and new job caring for ailing mother of handsome young businessman, Isaac Hughes.
But just as she's wondering if she and Isaac are headed for a relationship, Becca's patient passes away under unusual circumstances. Suddenly, her past catches up with her and the unnerving details of her heritage threaten to destroy all sense of home and all hope for love.
Even if she could clear her name, a phone call wraps a suffocating shroud around her heart. Her estranged father needs her help. But can Becca open her new life to the man who ruined her past?

My Thoughts:

Cynthia was a new author to me. I not read other books by her, so had no preconceived ideas of what kind of story was awaiting me. What a great surprise, this book was! An awesome beginning, from which a fantastic tale grows!! I was totally blown away by the beautiful style that Cynthia uses. Her story has you emotionally involved from start to finish. 

The main character, Becca, is a woman with whom I could easily identify. She had some very serious, yet real problems. My admiration for her courage and faith grew as the plot progressed. There were no easy solutions for Becca, yet she met each challenge head on. She became an true inspiration to me, making my battles seem very minor.

I loved the plot of the story. It was fast moving and at times intriguing. It is a romance but also a "sitting on the edge of your seat" kind of book!  Totally unexpected events keep you guessing, while the twists and turns in the plot continue to engage your interest. 

Forgiveness and hope are the theme throughout this book. The struggles to achieve both are what keeps Becca going. Regardless of roadblocks, she is determined to have her life back again. She may have to reinvent herself to survive, however, by listening to  God, not only her heart, but the reader's can be mended. What a wonderful hope!

Definitely a five star book. I will be looking for more new books from this talented author.

About the Author:

Taking multi-tasking to new heights (or depths, depending on your perspective), Cynthia Ruchti is the author of recent releases "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (novel) and "Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices" (nonfiction). She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of 41 years, loves on her three kids and five grandchildren, recently retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, writes devotionals for TheChristianPulse.com, is past president of the 2,700-member American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves as ACFW's Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the six already on the shelves. The year 2010 saw the release of her debut novel--"They Almost Always Come Home" by Abingdon Press (a Carol Award finalist)--and a Christmas collection novella, "The Heart's Harbor" in A Door County Christmas, a Family Fiction Reader's Choice, by Barbour Publishing. "His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not," released Nov 1, 2011. Another novella collection--"Cedar Creek Seasons" (Barbour) released in spring of 2012. "When the Morning Glory Blooms" (April 2013) will be followed by "All My Belongings" (2014, also from Abingdon Press). She writes stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark, but she gave up knitting, counted cross-stitch, sewing her own clothes, naps, and dusting baseboards a long time ago. You can find her at www.cynthiaruchti.com, at www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, or in the kitchen, brewing herself another cup of tea.

Cynthia can be found at: websiteFacebookTwitter,Goodreads

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/x96lt

This book was provided by Litfuse 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...