25 Book Reviews

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The First Book in a New Series By Tracie Peterson.!

                                                     "Steadfast Heart"
                      By Tracie Peterson

This book is the first in a new series entitled "Brides of Seattle".  Tracie Peterson`s love for history and research is evident in this novel. She is the author of over one hundred novels and recieved the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award.  She writes with passion , producing books that keep you totally engrossed! "Steadfast Heart" is no exception to this !! Tracie has written another winning novel!  

The main character in this story, Lenore Fulcher, despite her spoiled upbringing , is not pretentious at all. She truly believes that marriage should be based on true love, nothing else!!  Wealth, appearance and possessions are definitely not prerequisites for a future husband to possess. Her father's opinion differs greatly. He thinks that his daughter has wasted enough time searching for  the perfect mate. He wants desperately to marry her off to one one of his business partners- one who is SEVENTEEN years older - this is out of the question in Lenore's opinion.. 

At this point, a young lawyer from Chicago , Kolbein Booth , arrives in Seattle searching for his independent, headstrong sister , who he thinks may have answered an ad for mail order brides. Kolbein is sick with worry and the mess in which he believes his sister is. With all of this on his mind, he storms into the Madison Bridal School, demanding to see his sister!! ONLY, she was not there. Nor have they ever heard of her!! His sister may not be present but Lenore is!! Something about her captures his attention.  Could this be the perfect partner for Lenore?? But... there are so many complications! Can  a romance develop??

Although I am not usually a big fan of  historical romance, this book was a pleasure to to read.  I truly enjoyed it !! It contained every element in the story that I feel must be there to appeal to my interest. The characters, although a bit quirky, were realistic and believable. They each had their unique personalities . I easily related to the main character, Lenore,  although I did feel the attention was often directed more on one of the other characters, Abrianna. I would have preferred the focus to remain on Lenore, however this did not affect my opinion of the book. 

The plot was interesting, full of twists, turns and surprises. It held my attention from beginning to end. There was just enough unexpected actions to keep me involved. It tends to be an easy read, with some laughs along the way. A great book to take with you on vacation ! 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Definitely a must read for all Tracie Peterson fans!

"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 Brand New Amish Novella By the BEST of the BEST!!

"An Amish Cradle"

By Amy Clipston
    Beth Wiseman
    Kathleen Fuller
    Vannetta Chapman

How could this book not be fabulous???  These top Amish fiction authors have put their efforts together into a book that "Wows" every reader!!! Of course, Amish Fiction just happens to be my favorite genre, so I just may be a bit biased! As well, all of these authors just happen to be  my favourites! 

Each of these ladies has written a novella dealing with the birth of an infant. It is surprising how although each is a separate story, they seem to tie together in the most perfect way. The stories have a common theme, babies! But these particular stories deal with topics that differ from the norm. The Amish are real people and encounter the same kind of challenges as you and I! They are not exempt, because they have a strong faith! Surprise!! They are human!  Each author deals with tough subjects but does it in such a delicate , compassionate way. Generally, you don't read an Amish novel that deals with Down's Syndrome, or a child born out of wedlock, or a blind mother's challenges when she delivers twins, or when a mom has another child at age 42! These amazing authors gave me such insight into these four families. Each situation became a part of my life. The stories had me feeling their challenges, crying with them as well as rejoicing in their happiness! God has given these four authors a special gift to communicate His love, support, forgiveness and hope in such a positive fashion. You can feel their love for the Lord shining through their writing. 

This is a book that I would highly recommend to all readers. It is definitely worthy of five stars!! It will show you that although the Amish communities appear peaceful, full of faith, the individuals experience trials just as we do! I loved the way in which problems were solved, all with faith, hope and trust in God's wisdom. Each one in the same way- listening to tha quiet voice of our Lord and allowing Him to carry out His plans for their lives! 
Don't miss this book!! It' s truly magnificent!!

Beth Wiseman: "In His Father's Arms"
Anne has been dreaming about motherhood her entire life. Now she is doubly excited that she and her best friend are due with their children the same week,. 
But when Ruth's baby is born with Down's syndrome, she and her husband struggle to understand God's plan.

Amy Clipston: "A Son for Always"
Carolyn and Joshua are thrilled to be pregnant with their first child. Carolyn was just a teenager when she had her son, Benjamin. She feels solely responsible to secure his future. As Joshua watches Carolyn struggle to accept his support, he knows he has to convince her that he will always take care of Ben. He has become his OWN son!

Kathleen Fuller: "A Heart Full of Love"
Ellie's mother has  not stopped meddling in her personal life since Ellie lost her sight and now has taken it up a notch since Ellie is pregnant. When Ellie  gives birth to twins, her insists on moving in to care for them . When the situation becomes unbearable , Ellie is forced to take a stand... and finally find out why Mamm can't let go!!

Vannetta Chapman: "An Unexpected Blessing"
At age 42. Etta thought that she was finished having children, but she's pregnant again. Aflter a frightening labor, Etta finally gives birth, but her constant worry over her estranged grown son, David, haunts her still As a new mother again, Etta must hold tightly to the promise that God will watch over her children and that one day, David will return. 

About the Authors.:

Award-winning, bestselling author Beth Wiseman is best known for her Amish novels, but she has also written several successful contemporary novels, set primarily in her beloved Texas, including Need You Now and The House that Love Built. Both have received glowing reviews. Beth's The Promise is inspired by a true story. Website: www.bethwiseman.com Twitter: @bethwiseman Facebook: Fans-of-Beth-Wiseman

Amy Clipston is the best-selling author of the  Kauffman Amish Bakery seriesHer novels  have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. She and her family live in North Carolina. Website: www.amyclipston.com

Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, The Mysteries of Middlefield. Website: www.kathleenfuller.com Twitter: @TheKatJam Facebook: Author Kathleen Fuller

Vannetta Chapman is author of the best-selling novel A Simple Amish Christmas. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over 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. Website: www.vannettachapman.com Twitter: @VannettaChapman Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Third Book in "A Place to Call Home" Series

"At Home in Last Chance"
   By Cathleen Armstrong

This is the third book in Cathleen's series, following "Welcome to Last Chance" and "One More Last Chance". Sweet romance continues to blossom as it did in the previous two novels. It is another gentle love story, with its theme of hope, everyone always has one more last chance!!

I was delighted when I found that this book was offered for review purposes. The other two in the series were easy to read and very enjoyable. The hope for the future was clearly a theme in both and I just knew that it would be present in this new novel. AND I was right!! This new creation is a story of making choices, resulting in always giving us a chance to correct our mistakes. 

The main characters, Kaitlyn and Steven have always had a similar philosophy of life. When the going gets tough, they get going, but is it the correct way??? They do get out.... of town and veer far away from the problem. Now, once again, they are both in Last Chance, New Mexico and making an attempt to start over ! Will it work??? It has been tried before!!

Kaitlyn is working to reestablish a relationship with her seven year old daughter that she left in this town , deserted in fact, six months earlier. Steven is  there to attempt to prove to his family that he is not the irresponsible charmer he used to be. Kaitlyn and Steven find themselves drawn to one another. They are both making a diligent try to become better people , however, others can't always let the past go! Can they learn to trust one another when they don't even trust themselves???

Last Chance is a sleepy little town, that is the perfect setting for this type of story. The characters prove to be appealing , realistic and quickly worm their way into your heart. Both of them consider themselves to be failures and are working so hard to redeem themselves. Small towns tend to make this a difficult task, as mistakes made by individuals are usually remembered for a LONG time! Kaitlyn and Steven were easy with whom to identify. Should a person be judged for previous mistakes?? I found that I wanted to give them encouragement and a big hug. I lived in this story , feeling every challenge, hurt and joy. 

The plot was one that was easy to read. It moved at just the right pace for a small town. I was kept engrossed throughout the book. A clear message was the theme throughout the plot, even when there appears to be no hope, another chance is always available to change your ways, asking forgiveness and the past can be mended! There is redemption for all of us!! 

A good, but easy read.

This book was supplied by Revell , in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Great New Book for Young Adults!!!

      miles from nowhere
         By Amy Clipston

This best selling author, Amy Clipston, of Amish Fiction , the "Kauffman Amish Bakery series, also writes the BEST young adult books!! Although classed as for youth, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is truly a winner for all readers!! I am certainly NOT young, but I loved this book!

The main character, Chelsea has always been a dependable , responsible girl who was  working diligently on her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Her arrival in New York City to start college will be a time of great excitement. In her last summer in North Carolina, she  has settled into her role as the lead  designer for the local summer stock theatre group easily and eagerly, ready to tackle a challenging yet worthy job. The one down side to the summer was that her best friend, Emily , was always busy working late and spending time with Zander. The tensions with Chelsea's boyfriend, Todd , were running high. It appeared that her summer was NOT going to be all that she had imagined. Her plans were falling flat!

Then, entering the scene, is the handsome,  popular Dylan, who joined the summer theatre group. He's a college boy who makes Chelsea feel free and alive. Chelsea believes the best thing to do is to break up with Todd and soon she is doing the unthinkable kinds of things for this fine Christian girl. She is sneaking out at night to meet Dylan at parties that are certainly not  of the kind that a decent young woman would attend. Before she knows it, her late nights and other activities are interfering with her job, her role in the play as well as her family and friend relationships.  Chelsea is wandering farther and farther from God and His plan for her life.

The summer becomes wilder than she had ever dreamed. Will Chelsea realize her dreams are falling apart. Will she listen to the quiet voice trying to lead her in the right direction???

The characters in this book were so realistic and typical of this day and age, that I easily identified with them. They became my children, who I wanted to at times, shake them , encourage them, hug them , as well as give them some advice. As I am the mother of a young person, I am fully aware of the temptations out in the world and in this book, felt I wanted to take the parent role!! 

The plot moves quickly and keeps the reader engaged throughout the book. You feel the struggles and mixed emotions that Chelsea deals with. This is the world that our young people deal with on a daily basis. I had no idea which path Chelsea would choose to follow. Her adventures were somewhat frightening however excellent learning experiences. But would she use them as such?? 

This was a fantastic read, not only for young adults but for parents as well. A good book for discussion with your teens involving keeping your Christian values as well as how your decisions can affect your future.

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Thrill Ride from Start to Finish!!!

           "Hidden Agenda"
              By Lisa Harris

If you want to read a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, with your heart pounding, this is definitely for you!!  

The plot is chalk full of twists and turns, keeping the reader enthralled from start to finish. The story moves quickly through the world of crime. Just when you think that you have solved the mystery, another complication occurs that has you totally puzzled once again!  A non stop chase keeps you guessing, as well as breathless.

Presumed dead by friends and family, Michael Hunt is alive - and on the run!  His cover has been blown and the  enemies are on his heels. He knows that they are closing in. Michael has been working on his undercover assignment for a long eight months. Suddenly, it has blown up in his face!! With a hit on his life and corruption within the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law!! His only hope happens to be the daughter of the one who wants him dead- Olivia Hamilton. The evil that is encountered has all of the  characters have their faith shaken and tested. They discover the importance of trusting and faith in God, even in the middle of the worst possible circumstances that life can throw at them . 

The characters are realistic and well developed. You feel their every fear and challenge. In fact, you become one with them, fearful , shaking in your boots, waiting for the next tragedy to occur. You are on the run with them!!!  

This book is far more than a chase and a romance novel. It is a story of faith tested, when in the most dire and threatening circumstances you could ever imagine. Where is God when you need Him most? He is there, but you have to  call upon Him and trust Him to pull you through.

Definitely, a FIVE star book!! A roller coaster of a ride through an undercover agents experience. Will he be able to trust and obey ? That is the important question. When your life is threatened , what do you do???

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Third Book in Barbara Cameron's "Amish Roads Series"

"One True Path"
By Barbara Cameron

One offer that I NEVER refuse, is to review a book in the Amish Fiction genre. Excitement reigns in this household, especially when it is requested by the author herself! I have read every book by Barbara Cameron and have never been disappointed. Each one is unique and keeps me intrigued from the first page. "One True Path" is no exception to this!  As I have read the first two book in this series, I eagerly delved into this new one, wondering what adventures I would encounter.


 Amish marriages are forever. Abram Lapp believes he could love his neighbor forever, but Rachel Ann is enjoying her Rumschpringe, exploring Englisch life with a very Englisch boy named Michael. As Abram watches Rachel Ann stray from the life he had hoped for them, he regrets not telling her that his feelings for her have deepened.

Rachel Ann loves the freedom she has away from the familiar Amish rules and responsibilities. But when tragedy strikes and her brother is critically wounded in an accident, she begins to feel a pull toward home. She struggles with guilt and throws herself into working two jobs to help with hospital expenses. Leaning on Michael for support, she realizes he might not be the man she needs…or wants. Could the husband she has hoped for be waiting right next door?

Barbara Cameron's has a special talent of describing her characters realistically and in such detail that you can easily identify with them. Rachel Ann became one of my friends, one to whom I wanted to give advice and a big hug every time she encountered a challenge or problem and this seemed to be a LOT of the time. Her confusion about many important life decisions were felt deep within me. Can Rachel Ann leave a faith that she has been born into and raised to follow? She enjoys freedom in the new Englischer life that she has been taking part in, but is this enjoyment going to last?? Will a new love last or is it just the feeling of the moment, that will die away? 

The plot moves at a quick pace which keeps you glued to your seat until you have reached the last page. There are many twists and turns that complicate the situations that occur. Just when you think you have figured out all the answers, there is another surprise lurking around the corner. 

I would highly recommend this book! It is a winner!! Barbara Cameron has once again succeeded in writing an Amish novel that is unique and not quite the norm. That is exactly what keeps me reading her creations!! I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with next!!

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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Bakery Bunch!" What is THAT??

The Excitement of Becoming a Member of The Bakery Bunch! 

What on earth is with all this PURPLE stuff???? You may wonder this, as today's blog post is so different from my usual postings, in which I review new  Christian Books!  Some time before Christmas, I just happened to see a posting on Facebook from Amy Clipston, one of my favorite Christian authors. She writes great Amish Fiction as well as Young Adult books. Amy asked for people who would be interested in becoming on her publicity/street team to respond to her. As I LOVE her books, of course, I did so immediately. I knew that there would be many others who would do the same and that my chance of making the team would be slim. To my great surprise, I received an email a while after , telling me that I had a spot on Amy Clipston's Bakery Bunch!! 

To make life even sweeter, each member was told that Amy was sending us a box of goodies, so watch the mail. I expected a little something. HOWEVER, I was wrong!! This is what the mail truck delivered to my home!

My dog, Jackson was VERY curious about this purple box!! 

After a few sniffs, Jackson decided that he had no interest in it! There were definitely NO dog treats in this container!

I, on the other hand, could hardly wait to open this box!! An early Christmas gift from Amy!!

The contents of this box were simply amazing!! A cup, pens, bookmarks, luggage tags, an ARC of Amy's new Young Adult book, "Miles From Nowhere" and a bright purple, shopping bag!

My cup with Amy's name on it, goes many places with me . Here in the photo, it accompanied me to card making class at the church. Of course, it does cause people to ask questions- what is the Bakery Bunch, who is Amy Clipston? and that gives me a chance to tell others what a super author she is and that they should give             her books a try!

My shopping bag has been a most useful item!! It has gone to the grocery store, the library and to my very favorite spot, the quilt store, Kindred Spirits, where I spend at least one day a week, with my friends quilting.

A luggage tag has been placed on my case on wheels that accompanies me to quilting every week. Useful, with my name on it, but also to answer questions, who is Amy Clipston, why do you have that tag on your case???

I took time this week to visit the Welland Public Library, where I presented an employee with plenty of Amy's bookmarks to hand out to patrons, as well as a couple of pens for her to use. How nice to be able to give someone something for doing me a favor!
While at the library, I had my photo                                                                 taken holding one of Amy's books!

NOW, is an important task for all the readers of my blog!!! Who would like to win this novella, soon to be released, by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathy Fuller and Vannetta Chapman???? Amy has generously said that she will provide one to the winner of my contest. All you have to do, is to leave a comment on this post. I will draw the winner on Feb. 1. Two consolation prizes of a pen and luggage tag will be sent to the second and third name drawn.

I must say that this Bakery Bunch is a great way to spread news about a great author!! If you have not yet tried reading one of Amy's books,  go to her website, www.amyclipston.com and find out all about them!! You won't be sorry!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Heartache, Romance, Challenges! A January Wedding Story!

"A Brush With Love"
By Rachel Hauck

Ginger Winters, the main character in the story is an outstandingly talented hairstylist who possesses scars that no one can see, at least if she can help it! She expects nothing from anyone, least of all a chance of love!! A childhood tragedy causes her to feel unworthy and ugly. She suffers daily from the pain and trauma, attempting to overcome it by bringing out the beauty of others. Ginger has travelled the world as a personal stylist for the rich and famous. Her success almost makes her forget that she will NEVER be one of the "beautiful" people.
 Then, a weekend arrives, one in which Ginger needs extreme confidence. She is  the acclaimed "beauty-maker" for a very special Alabama society wedding. Unfortunately for her, these self centred young people know of Ginger's past trials and show no understanding or sympathy. 
To complicate matters, Ginger's high school crush, Tom, has returned to town and has showed up at her shop looking for a haircut. Twelve years previously, he had disappeared on her, and had broken her heart. Can she trust him now?? 
To make the society wedding a more challenging situation, Tom is part of the wedding party. He attempts to wind himself into her life once again and challenges Ginger to see her own beauty! Will Ginger remain chained to the past or will she be able to move into a positive , exciting future???

I must say that I became engrossed in this story from the very first page. The characters are so well described and realistic , that they became my best friends. I felt Ginger's worries and pains. Her challenges and fears became part of me. Tom was also easy with whom to identify. He was sympathetic, kind and gentle, a young man that we all wish we could know. His desire to improve Ginger's image of herself and make her a self confident woman, spoke clearly to us of a good Christian man. 

The plot moved quickly with just the right amount of twists and turns, to keep you on the edge of your seat. Just when the situation appeared hopeless and couldn't get any worse, it did!!! But the resolution of the problems were a true surprise.

I absolutely love this book and was extremely disappointed when it ended!!
A five star book!

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Quilts of Love" Series Produces Another Winner!

"Masterpiece Marriage" 
     By Gina Welborn 

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

About the book: 

He wants to save his business. She wants to be a professor. But are they asking for more than they can really have?
After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane's Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs.
Eager to acquire his aunt's quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him.
Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn't mean sacrificing her ambition?

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

I am always delighted when offered a  "Quilts of Love" book to review. Each centres on a quilt but the variety of plots and characters is amazing.  Some are romance, others mystery, and still others combine one of the former with historical themes. I have yet to be disappointed with one!! I have loved them all.

Gina Welborn is a new author to me, but certainly is one that I will be watching for in the future. Although the story takes place in 1891, many of the  events could very well happen in current times. Although the plot centres around a quilt, there are many twists and turns that grab your attention and have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Both of the main characters have ambition and are determined to follow their plans to achieve their goals. However,  a conflict arises, as Priscilla and Zenus , both headstrong and opinionated, have goals that are extremely different. The quick moving plot keeps you wondering throughout the book.

The character are well developed and realistic. In fact , you become so engrossed in their problems and challenges, that you tend to forget that they are fictional!! I wanted to shake them at times and at others , give them a big hug and some sympathy. 

This is definitely a book not to miss!!  
A five star book!!

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

Gina Welborn is the author of several novels and novellas, including The Heiress's Courtship. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers; the president of Faith, Hope and Love; and a founding member of InkwellInspirations.com. She lives in Cache, Oklahoma, with her pastor husband and their five children. Visit her online at GinaWelborn.com.

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...