25 Book Reviews

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another Winning Novel from Suzanne Woods Fisher!! Enter the GREAT Giveaway!!

           b                        "The Devoted"

  By Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Book:

Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home. Secretly, she’s earned her GED, saved her money—but she can’t quite set her journey into motion. Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.
Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished—especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.
Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back—and Patrick Kelly is in his way.
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred—and the promise of hopes fulfilled.
My Thoughts:

Another totally awesome book by Suzanne Woods Fisher!!!! This is the third in "The Bishop's Family" series, all of which I have enjoyed immensely . There are Christian lessons to be learned within the tale.

 Suzanne has the unique talent of drawing the reader right into the Amish community, into the lives of those that reside there, making one feel right at home with the characters. These characters are so well described, making it easy to identify with each and every one.  I loved most of them, however, I must admit that a couple quirky characters tried my patience!  The author is to be highly commended for her knowledge and understanding of the Amish faith. Although some sensitive subjects are encountered, they are dealt with , with grace. The false beliefs of some people , that Amish individuals don't experience problems is quickly erased!  As I read this book, I became completely immersed in the community and characters' lives. I felt their every pain, hurt, challenge and joy.  

There were also lessons to be learned, exemplified by many of these dear ones. Suzanne has once again taught us Biblical lessons within her fictional story. One of my favorite quotes was "Be careful not to confuse wanting with what really matters". How many times do we want it all but not pay attention to the importance?

The plot is fast moving, full of twists and turns that keep the reader glued to the page. It is filled with drama, emotion and words of wisdom. Just when I thought life's problems were being solved, there would be another bump in the road to complicate the lives of my friends. My husband can attest to the fact that the world passed me by as I became part of the community of Stoney Ridge. Household tasks were forgotten as I attempted to solve the problems of the characters in the book. 

Definitely, this is a five star book!
I highly recommend it to all readers!! 

This book was a gift. The opinions expressed are my own. 

                                            About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

To purchase your copy, click here.

Blog Stops

October 18: cherylbbookblog
October 18: Blogging With Carol
October 18: Mary Hake
October 19: Simple Harvest Reads
October 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
October 21: Daysong Reflections
October 22: Back Porch Reads
October 23: Lighthouse Academy
October 23: The Power of Words
October 24: Bigreadersite
October 25: Artistic Nobody
October 25: Donna’s BookShelf
October 26: Pause for Tales
October 26: Bukwurmzzz
October 27: Splashes of Joy
October 27: Bibliophile Reviews
October 28: ASC Book Reviews
October 28: Vic’s Media Room
October 28: inklings and notions
October 29: Jeanette’s Thoughts
October 30: Book by Book
October 30: Quiet Quilter
October 31: Two Girls and a Book


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a copy of The Devoted and an iPad Mini 2 16GB! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a60b

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Danger Strikes Even Quiet Hideaways!!

                                                           "Tangled Webs"
       By Irene Hannon


Three-Time RITA Award Winner Delivers Another Heart-Stopping Thriller
After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn't on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana's foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action--ready or not.

Bestselling author Irene Hannon draws readers into a web of psychological suspense where danger lurks in dark corners . . . and keeps them captive until the very last page.

My Thoughts:
This is the third and last book in Irene's "Men of Valor" series and although it is part of a series, it can easily be read and enjoyed as a stand alone. This author has gained a place on my list of favorite authors with her talent of creating stories packed full of suspense, romance, as well as an underlying theme of the importance of Christian values. The novel commences on a high note and the intrigue increases and intensifies as the plot progresses. If you love books, as I do,  that keep you on the edge of your seat with your heart throbbing, then this title should be added to your must read pile!  The suspense kept you on a roller coaster ride with the valleys getting lower as the plot progressed. 

The characters are appealing and very easy to identify with. They are so realistic that the reader is pulled right into their lives. Every hurt, fear and challenge is felt alongside them. The relationship between Finn and Dana is intense . You can feel the chemistry between them.

When a plot is full of danger, action, as well as a complicated mystery, you can not help but get involved. The world passed me by as I could not pull myself away from this book!! With my heart throbbing as the intrigue grew and became more complicated, I just had to read the conclusion. 

I highly recommend this book to all readers, since it is chock full of suspense and romance, with a Christian theme present throughout .

This book was a gift from the publisher. The opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Powerful Book of Hope and Faith!

!           "Everything is Possible" 
         By Jan Bricker with Sheryl Berk


Born without Legs, She Inspires Others to Overcome
Jen Bricker was born without legs. Shocked and uncertain they could care for her, her biological parents gave her up for adoption. In her loving adoptive home, there was just one simple rule: "Never say 'can't.'" And pretty soon, there was nothing this small but mighty powerhouse set her sights on that she couldn't conquer: roller-skating, volleyball, power tumbling, and spinning from silk ribbons thirty feet in the air.

Everything Is Possible is her incredible story--a story of God working out his plan for her life from beforeday one. Readers follow Jen from the challenges of growing up different to holding captive audiences numbering in the tens of thousands. Everything Is Possible shows readers what they can accomplish when they remove the words coincidence and limitation from their vocabulary. Filled with heart and spirit, as well as Jen's wit, wisdom, and no-holds-barred honesty, this inspiring true story points the way to purpose and joy. Foreword by Nick Vujicic.

My Thoughts: 

Whenever I feel like I just don't have the energy to do my daily activities, I will definitely think of Jen Bricker!! The words "I can't" are just not part of her vocabulary. Imagine yourself not having legs! Would it be easy getting around to do your everyday activities??? Definitely not!!  Yet, this woman lives her life to the fullest!! Does she find excuses ?? NO WAY!!  This book definitely teaches me to be thankful for what I have and can do, as well as making  me rethink what life is all about. If this individual can do the "impossible", what makes the rest of us think that we can make excuses??? Jen's determination and faith exemplifies her deep faith in God. He has made us in His image. Then, why do we think we can say, oh we are too tired, we ache today, can't possibly go out and work??!!  Jen is an inspiration and positive influence to every individual she meets!

Her story is truly motivational ! If she can do it, so can the rest of us!!! What a wonderful testimony Jen's life is! She claims God is her strength and then proves it. She has dealt with her adoption and her physical limitations in such a positive uplifting way. The use of her disability to gain believers is a great example to all of us!

 What a fantastic book!!!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is now available at your local booksellers. The opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Turning up the heat on COLD cases!!!

     "Traces of Guilt"
An Evie Blackwell Cold Case

          By Dee Henderson


Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job. 

Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have.

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie's  determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

My Thoughts:

Dee Henderson writes in a unique style, immediately drawing the reader into the story with the main characters, Gabriel and Evie. They are characters with whom you easily identify, realistic and well described, making you travel their mysterious, frightening path alongside them . Their fears caused me to tremble and sit on the edge of my seat, as I wondered what twist or turn would next occur!  The plot is full of nail biting events, resulting in keeping me up long after bedtime. The two cold cases grabbed my attention and kept me immersed in this dark world from the beginning of this book, until the last page.

 I have to admit that this author has not always been one of my favorites, however, this book made me rethink my opinions. The plot in this book moved slowly but steadily with just enough surprises to keep my attention. I spent much of my reading time attempting to figure out these mysteries, but had little success. Dee succeeded in shocking me with unexpected outcomes.

I highly recommend this book to those who love mysteries. This one will keep you thinking from the first page to the last. 

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is now available at your local booksellers. The opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Fantastic Christmas Novel from Popular Author , Charlotte Hubbard! Enter the giveaway!

"Christmas At Promise Lodge"
      By Charlotte Hubbard


As the year draws to a close, the brand-new colony of Promise Lodge is thriving, a welcoming community that offers three Amish sisters a fresh start. And as Christmas approaches, gifts big and small are given with love . . .

  As Promise Lodge’s first wedding arrives, the evidence of a community building a foundation for the future is a cause for celebration. But the bishop’s narrow-minded wedding sermon doesn’t sit well with the Bender sisters, the town’s courageous founders, especially widowed Mattie Schwartz. She believes marriage and family aren’t the most important of God’s gifts—even if she suspects her tender feelings for Preacher Amos Troyer run deeper than simple friendship. 

Amos hasn’t given up hope that stubborn, spirited Mattie will change her mind about taking another husband, but when an accident threatens to change the course of his life forever, he wonders if the Lord has sent him a message. He’ll need faith, hope, and charity to find the right path—and a Christmas blessing to convince Mattie to walk it with him.    

My Thoughts:

Charlotte Hubbard has very quickly become a favorite author!! Her unique talent of creating a very different storyline involving the Amish appealed to me in the first of her Promise Lodge series and this book was certainly no disappointment. Charlotte deals with a variety of characters that have unique problems/concerns that are common to all of us but we rarely hear of them among the Amish. Not because they don't have them, but because they need to be addressed with compassion and understanding. This author has the required talent of doing so. 

The characters are described with such clarity that they at once became close friends. For me to consider a book a great one, I must be able to identify with at least one of the characters. I had no difficulty in doing so with these interesting, somewhat quirky individuals. I walked alongside them in their ups and downs in life's path, feeling their every hurt, worry and joy. They are people that I would love to meet!! Faithful, trusting Christians who have concerns just as you and I have. 

The plot moves at a steady pace throwing in twists and turns just when you don't expect them. Whenever life seems to be smooth sailing, that is when the roller coaster ride begins. Considering this to be a romance, there was just enough mystery and intrigue to keep a reader on the edge of her seat, at least , it did this one!!

 An extra bonus in this book.... is the great recipes included. NOT just one or two but a compilation of those discussed in the story!!

This book is a great read, full of hope, trust in God and faith in the future!! I rate it as a five star!! 

My only problem ..... is that now I am impatiently waiting for Charlotte's next creation!!!! 


Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please visit GoddessFish.com to follow the tour, remember the more you comment better your chances on winning.
Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter here to win!

 Exclusive Excerpt from the Book: 

Mary Kate gazed at her sister, unsure of what to say. Not so long ago she and Gloria had held similar conversations about the boys they saw around town or at weddings, but now that she was pregnant with an unknown man’s child the prospect of attracting a boyfriend was a dream that would never come true—not that her sister noticed. Gloria was twirling a kapp string around her finger, smiling and batting her long lashes as she anticipated what she’d say and do when Roman finally noticed her. At twenty-two, Gloria had left a few boyfriends behind when they’d moved here from Sugarcreek, Ohio—and Mary Kate had no illusions about her sister’s innate ability to attract additional young men here in Missouri. Gloria had always been prettier than she, and more outgoing, and better at flirting and making small talk, and—

Well, everyone knows she’ll be getting hitched before long, Mary Kate mused with a sigh. The Bible tells us of the haves and the have-nots, and Gloria’s got her share of blessings and mine, too.

Gloria blinked. “Oh—Mamm wants me to ask if she can bring you some food from the wedding meal. We can fix you a plate—”

Mary Kate’s lips twitched. It would be like Mamm to think of feeding her, while Gloria had mostly hurried home to share her plan for enticing Roman. “No need for that,” she assured her sister. “Maybe if there’s food left after all the guests have eaten a plate would be nice, but I’ve got some of Beulah’s cheese and—”

About the Author:

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.
Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40 years and their Border collie, Ramona.

Links to purchase a copy of this book:

This book was a gift from the author. The opinions and thoughts are my own.

How It Appears Is NOT Always the Truth!!

                    "After September"
                   By Stephanie Smith


From the outside, Rose Davis had the perfect life: a long marriage to a successful politician, two grown children away at college, and respect within her community. When she suddenly finds herself divorced, she turns her back on God.
In an effort to reclaim her life and pride, she spends the summer in the Caribbean. Her plan does not include meeting Patrick, the charismatic local doctor with a tragic past who ignites a passion both unexpected and thrilling.
As she begins to open up to love, doubt and fear creep in. Once again she finds herself broken hearted, left on her own to pick up the pieces. It’s only when she experiences the unmistakable love and grace from the very One she turned away from that Rose realizes what she needed most was there waiting for her all along.
My Thoughts:

Whenever encountering a new author's works, I am always a  bit leery ! Will I be able to write a review that is positive in nature?  I really dislike writing negative comments! What a relief, I felt, upon starting this book!! It captured my attention right away and kept me engrossed until I had finished the last page. Stephanie Smith is to be highly commended for her debut novel!!  It is an easy to read, contemporary story dealing with divorce and the emotional difficulties that follow such a life changing event. 

The characters are realistically and well described in such detail that Rose immediately became a best friend with whom I could  sympathize. The feelings that she was dealing with were typical of all Christians who have experienced a failure in their marriage. The handsome doctor, Patrick , had me in a bit of a swoon!! He , also , was dealing with a past full of heartache. I loved the way the author described the developing relationship, all with  a Christian outlook. 

The plot moved steadily with just enough unexpected surprises to keep the reader wondering about the outcome. Although this book is easy to read, it did keep me glued to my seat until I was done. Both of the characters are on the rocky road that life has dealt them. Many challenges crop up as roadblocks to a developing romance that could help heal the past. They both learn to put their trust in God as to where their lives will lead them next. Our plans are not always the same as His, and His timing may interfere with how we wish things would go. The test is, can we let go and let God????

I highly recommend this book. It is a great read, leaving behind many thoughts. Although I read it in a short time, I pondered the underlying meanings  for quite some time. 

Congratulations, Stephanie, on your first book! Looking forward to your next creation!

Link to purchase book: http://amzn.to/2dsjo5B

Stephanie’s love of the written word began long before she could read. As a child she would hold a newspaper in hand and move her fingers along the page, pretending to read along.
By the time she was a teenager, she dreamed of writing stories that would touch people’s lives, much like hers had been by so many authors.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys listening to Christian rock music while she writes, spending time with her family, watching British television, or reading YA fantasy novels.

Guest Post from Stephanie Smith

I’m so excited to work with Sandra and Celebrate Lit to launch my debut novel AFTER SEPTEMBER which I’ve come to see as a labor of love and trust in the Lord.
You see, becoming a published author has always been my dream, but every time I’d try to write a novel, the inner critic would kick in and stop me in my tracks. I’d write a few paragraphs before giving up, unhappy with all my written imperfections. So, I continued my day job and the idea of writing a novel, let alone publishing it, became less and less realistic. For some reason I never lost that kernel of hope that it might happen one day. God was speaking to me then, I just didn’t realize it.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After six months of intensive chemotherapy, I was in remission and had the strongest desire to write a novel. At first, the idea was to write a fictional story based on my experience. As I started to write, it just didn’t feel right. I then switched to writing a memoir, but that too fell flat. Frustrated, I gave up on writing once again.
Fast forward to 2013 and the idea of AFTER SEPTEMBER came to me. The premise was about a woman who goes through a divorce, spends a summer in the Caribbean and has a summer fling. The idea was so strong I began to write. I couldn’t help but write. As the story spoke to me, I kept this mantra in my head: “Just write. Just write.” I was finally able to quell my inner critic and nine months later, completed the first draft. Boy did I feel accomplished! Well, the feeling didn’t last very long. After getting feedback from a few beta readers, I re-wrote the entire story in a different point of view.
When I finished I realized I had to put this story in a box. A genre box. Was it women’s fiction? A romance? Christian or secular? After reading more about these genres I realized I’d made a big mistake. I hadn’t identified my brand from the get-go and the story didn’t really fit in any genre. Too secular for the Christian market; too Christian for the secular. It makes sense to me now why the first round of agent queries were declined.
I began to pray in earnest, seeking God’s will for this story. I felt He’d led me to write Rose’s story and realized my agenda had gotten in the way. Why would God have me write a story with pre-marital sex? The answer is He wouldn’t. Once my heart was satisfied I knew the direction He wanted me to go, I was back to the drawing board. Once again, I re-wrote AFTER SEPTEMBER. This time I kept my Christian viewpoint in mind and after the third re-write the final version was born.
Well, life has a funny way of stopping you in your tracks. I’d begun querying agents for the second version, and in June 2014 my cancer came back. You’ve got to be kidding me!
Okay, Lord. I trust you. I put my faith in You.
Another six months of intensive chemo put me back in remission. PRAISE GOD! I resumed my agent query and again met with rejection after rejection. This didn’t stop me. By this point I was bound and determined AFTER SEPTEMBER would be released. My hopes were raised when a small publisher I’d have given anything to work with wanted to read the entire manuscript. With baited breath I waited. When the disappointed rejection came, I nearly gave up. But God had other plans. See, when I placed my trust in Him, I had to accept His will, not mine. His time, not mine.
The last on my list to query before going the self-pub route was Desert Breeze Publishing. I submitted my story with the expectation of another rejection. Around January 1st of 2016 I received THE e-mail I’d dreamed about: an offer for a contract. I was in shock. THANK YOU LORD!! Nine months later, AFTER SEPTEMBER has been published. I want to pinch myself. I feel it’s all a dream and I’ll wake up.
A dream that began in my early teens took until my mid-forties to come to fruition. What I’ve realized is writing isn’t a dream but a calling. God knew this and remained patient with me as I finally figured that out. A calling to give women hope while reading a romance novel. Such became my tagline: “stories of life…love..hope”
What I’ve learned from this is to never give up on your dreams. Never stop believing God has something in store for your life, even when it seems like you are living one struggle after another. He is faithful to His promises!

Blog Stops

October 14: Simple Harvest Reads
October 15: Back Yard Reads
October 16: Bibliophile Reviews
October 17: Daysong Reflections
October 18: A Greater Yes
October 19: Pause for Tales
October 20: Quiet Quilter
October 21: For the Love of Books
October 22: Bigreadersite
October 23: Carpe Diem
October 25: Christian Bookaholic
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!
To celebrate her tour, Stephanie is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!Click here to enter:https://promosimple.com/ps/a611

This book was a gift from CelebrateLit. The opinions are my own .

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...