25 Book Reviews

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Wonderful Story of Hope!

            "Miles From Where We Started"
                     By Cynthia Ruchti

About the Book:

Genre: Christian Romance/Family life
Release date: October 16, 2018
These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.
Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.
The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition, and an at-risk, trouble-seeking missile of an eleven-year-old is unexpectedly launched into their travel plans. Close quarters get even tighter, and the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.
Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness they expected. How can they find a new beginning when the road ends?
 My Thoughts:

Cynthia is a talented author who always grabs the reader's attention on the first page of her book and keeps one totally engrossed throughout the story. She deals with subjects that are realistic and yes, sometimes, heartbreaking. 
The characters were so vividly described that I immediately saw into their hurting hearts and their struggles to keep afloat. A short marriage that is in danger of being ended is never an easy decision. I loved both of the main characters and easily identified with them, as they each examined their hearts to deal with a life changing decision. Each of them had sincere reasons for believing as they did. To complicate matters, a foster child is thrown into the mix as well as a road trip in a very small camper. Wow! What more could happen?? LOTS! The plot is full of twists and turns that keep one glued to the page, wondering what on earth could next be thrown in their difficult journey !

The question is, "Can  they weather this stormy season together to come to a decision that is right for both of them?" This is clearly a time to let God take over completely and trust him to plan their future. Faith is the underlying theme throughout the book. If one doesn't have that, what hope is there??

This is a book that makes one examine one's own life. What is really important? The need to communicate and keep one's eyes above is the key. God and He alone, can heal the breaking hearts and deal with difficult situations. 

This is definitely a five star book!  Don't miss this fantastic read!

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

Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author:

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope through novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and speaking events. She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences across the country. She married her grade school sweetheart, and the two live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Guest Post from Cynthia:

I have a confession to make. I heart millennials.
My other novels have had a few millennial characters. Some even played starring roles. But I knew there was more to the heart of millennials than I could gain from listening to the often unfair sighing or comedy routines about that generation. As a person, I wanted to know them better—what are they really like? What challenges do they face with which previous generations saddled them? What strengths to they offer our culture?
Until now, I hadn’t written a story about a millennial couple whose marriage was in crisis. Like, serious crisis. I-don’t-want-to-be-married-to-you-anymore. That kind of crisis.
As any good novelist knows, part of what we do to our characters is make the situation worse. So, millennial couple, approaching their one-year anniversary, ready to call it quits because “This marriage thing is really hard. Is it supposed to be so much work?” But what if…? What if they were forced to be together for three weeks…in a micro-camper…on America’s backroads…with an 11-year-old foster boy troublemaker…and both the husband’s AND the wife’s jobs depended on the trip’s success?
Plot idea in hand, I set off to write Miles from Where We Started, not entirely sure when I began the journey where they would end up or how they’d get there. It was an education for me in so many ways. The impact of the turning point of the story? In the words of my millennial friends, “That’s lit!”
Side note: I’m a big fan of a young teen musician at our church. The boy has mad skills as a keyboard artist. He approaches life as if it’s an endless game of Ninja Warrior. Why walk when you can vault into the room? Why walk up a flight of stairs when you can hop four at a time? He also sports a perpetual smile and is famous for his kindness, but his eyes give away that a little mischief may be hiding behind that smile. I asked Judah’s permission to use his name (and a little bit of his personality) as the foster child character in Miles from Where We Started. I can’t wait for him to read the part he inspired.
Can’t wait for you to read it, too.
Hemmed in Hope,


Blog Stops

The Power of WordsOctober 25
All-of-a-kind MomOctober 26
Lighthouse AcademyOctober 26
Quiet QuilterOctober 27
Christian BookaholicOctober 27
cherylbbookblogOctober 28
Simple Harvest ReadsOctober 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
RemembrancyOctober 28
Godly Book ReviewsOctober 29
Captive Dreams WindowOctober 29
By The BookOctober 29
Maureen’s MusingsOctober 30
Spoken from the Heart , October 30
SusanLovesBooksOctober 30
D’S QUILTS & BOOKSOctober 31
Mary HakeNovember 1
Book by BookNovember 1
amandainpa , November 1
Pause for TalesNovember 2
Just CommonlyNovember 2
Baker KellaNovember 3
Inklings and NotionsNovember 4
Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 4
Texas Book-aholicNovember 5
Carpe DiemNovember 6
A Diva’s HeartNovember 7
BigreadersiteNovember 7


To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away a grand prize of the Adventure begins” large tote bag, “This way to adventure” travel notebook, “Home is Where We Park It” metal wall hanging, a teardrop camper birdhouse, PLUS a $50 gift Visa gift card…to start your adventure fund!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ea/miles-from-where-we-started-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Don't We All "Dare to Dream Again"? Please enter the author's giveaway!

                    "Dare to Dream Again"
                          By Alana Terry

About the Book:

Genre: Christian Romance
Release date: May 8, 2018
Will love bloom just as sweet the second time around?
Losing her husband has taught Gloria more than anything else how to rely on God.
His grace alone gave her the strength to raise her children — a sweet angel with cerebral palsy as well as a daughter who wants nothing more than to serve God as a missionary on foreign soil.
Gloria couldn’t be prouder of her girls, but a future without them both by her side sounds empty and hollow.
When God thrusts a godly man like Derek into her path, Gloria isn’t sure she’s ready to jump headfirst into a relationship.
But maybe God’s giving her the chance for a happily ever after … a second time around.
Purchase your copy here!
My Thoughts:

Alana Terry has once again accomplished what she set out to do!! She succeeded in writing a sweet Christian romance, a tale that enables those of us living everyday, ordinary lives, can easily identify with .  This author uses her unique talent to involve us in a situation that could easily be one that we could experience.

The characters were described in a realistic fashion so that I could easily identify with them. Dealing with single motherhood is a topic that we encounter every day. Healing must take place before the future can appear bright once again. The title , "Dare to Dream Again"  , is perfect for this book. Both of the main characters have accept the past difficulties and proceed to follow God's plan in their lives. Will it be together or apart????? God's still small voice will guide us in our future if only we will listen! We all need to realize that the past is exactly that! None of our thoughts can rid us of it! Nor do we really want it to! But we do have hope and faith to guide us in our journey. It is perfectly fine to move on and dream again!! Reach for the stars!! God is watching over us at all times. 

I truly enjoyed this novella. Short and sweet but oh so meaningful!! So full of the truth!  Now , I am eagerly awaiting Alana's next book telling us Susannah's story (Gloria's daughter)!!

This book was a gift from CelebrateLit and the author.  The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own. I was not required to give a positive review. 

About the Author

Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Guest Post from Alana

Hey everyone! Fall is here. Our family had a great summer. Everything in Alaska is gorgeous in the summertime. One of my favorite childhood memories that my husband and I have introduced our kids to is Vacation Bible School (VBS). With so many volunteers giving of their time to build relationships with each other and the kids who attend, it’s a week filled with so many great Jesus moments. I thought it would be fun to write a book about VBS. Dare to Dream Again is about two VBS volunteers who not only become friends, but just may dare to fall in love.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, October 26
Bibliophile Reviews, October 27
Mary Hake, October 28
Artistic Nobody, October 29 (Spotlight)
Texas Book-aholic, October 30
Janices book reviewsNovember 1
Carpe Diem, November 2
BigreadersiteNovember 5


To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a $30 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56d/dare-to-dream-again-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, October 19, 2018

A Fabulous New Collection of Amish Novellas!!

   "An Amish Homecoming"

    By:  Amy Clipston
           Beth Wiseman
           Shelley Shepard Gray
           Kathleen Fuller


No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston
Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?
When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman
Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.
The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray
After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.
What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller
Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.

My Thoughts:

What more could be better than sitting down on a cool autumn day, hot chocolate by your side, reading a brand new collection of novellas by well known authors??? What a great way to relax and enjoy the outstanding talent of these amazing women! 

Each of these novellas can be enjoyed as stand alones , although they do have a common theme. The main character in each story is returning home, however, each is at a different stage of life. Coming back after an absence is never without difficulties as these characters discovered. The past tends to follow one regardless of age or circumstances. 

Each tale centers around family and the need to persevere in both happy and challenging situations. Hopeless situations only appear as such, when one does not have the will to fight to overcome. The characters' faith in God and His power shines bright and clear throughout this book.

These four authors share the talent and skill of describing their characters in a realistic fashion with such vivid details that one can easily relate with them as they faced struggles and painful pasts. I could feel each and every hurt that was experienced. It became very clear that a promising future is only possible by believing in God and allowing Him to plan the future. Forgiveness of the past by God and oneself is so important. 

 The plots all have just enough twists  and turns to keep one engaged from the beginning to end of the story. I appreciated the authors sharing their expertise of the Amish faith and lifestyle in such an accurate, detailed manner. How the Amish deal with problems differs vastly from what we are used to in the Englischer world. 

This is definitely a book not to be missed!! A perfect read for a Saturday afternoon!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley . The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Cara Putman Writes ANOTHER winning novel!! A FANTASTIC mystery! Enter the author's giveaway!

                       Delayed Justice
                       By Cara Putman

About the Book:

Genre: Legal Romantic Suspense
Release date: October 15, 2018
She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard. index
Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jamie, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.
Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.
This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.
My Thoughts:

Cara Putman has quickly become one of my "must read" authors!! Her outstanding talent in dealing with delicate subjects while developing her plot is to be applauded. I  loved the previous two books in her "Hidden Justice" series but this book is the BEST yet!! 

A couple of very tough subjects are addressed, that of child molestation and PTSD . These have occurred for many many years and are very present in today's society, thus tend to  appeal to the interest of most of us . The effects on the victims are tragic and long lasting, as the author describes in her tale, doing so in an understanding, respectful manner. 

The main characters are so vividly and realistically described that one becomes immediately involved in their lives. As I read, I felt every hurt, fear and the extreme feeling of the presence of evil in their lives, something that all had to deal with. The desire to deal with the past and move on to a positive future came through loud and clear. The strength that one has to possess to come forth with hidden facts is unbelievable. 

The plot kept me on the edge of my seat!  There were unexpected twists and turns from beginning to end of this book. I simply could not put it down once I had started to read. Danger, action and suspense were all present, with a romance thrown in to add to appeal to the reader. 

This book will appeal to a wide variety of readers, those who are interested in society's evils, the justice system, the rights of a victim and to those who just enjoy a great book!!

Five stars awarded to this deserving novel!!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has
wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.
Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com

Guest Post from Cara

Delayed Justice was a hard story to write.
I’d known from Beyond Justice that Jaime had a hard story, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. She tried to hide from her past. She tried hard, but in the end it slowly spilled out. A young girl wounded deeply by someone who should protect her. And now as a professional young woman, Jaime is still fighting the shadows.
She believes she’s okay, or as okay as she’ll ever be.
Instead, she has to learn that there’s so much more waiting for her. Freedom from the chains of a past she didn’t choose. A love that will never end. And a God who has always loved her even when she questions His existence because of her past.
I think we’ve all lived that. There’s a place in our hearts that seems beyond His reach. For some of us, it’s a barrier to knowing Him. To others of us, it makes us question what we thought we knew about God. And for others of us, it presses us deeply into Him. Jaime’s book, Delayed Justice, explores this space. The space where some days we scream at the heavens Where are you, God? And the days we just curl into ourselves because life is too hard.
And in that space of shadow and light, God ultimately shines brightest. This is a truth that is slowly revealed through friends and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, September 29
The Avid Reader, September 29
The Power of Words, September 29
The Lit Addict, September 30
BBHfiction, September 30
Painting with Words, September 30
Real World Bible Study, September 30
Janices book reviews, September 30
cherylbbookblog, October 1
Back Porch ReadsOctober 1
Cafinated Reads, October 1
Faithfully Bookish, October 1
Lighthouse Academy, October 2
Livin Lit, October 2
Bigreadersite, October 2
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 3
The Becca Files, October 3
Blogging With CarolOctober 3
Genesis 5020, October 4
Cathe Swanson, October 4
100 Pages per Hour, October 5
Multifarious, October 5
Book by Book, October 5
Mary Hake, October 6
Godly Book Reviews, October 6
C Jane Read, October 7
Buy, Borrow, Skip, October 7
The Mimosa Blossom, October 8
Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Remebrancy, October 9
Carpe Diem, October 9
Quiet Quilter, October 10
At the Fence, October 10
By The Book, October 10
God is Love, October 11
Texas Book-aholic, October 11
Henry Happens, October 12
Have A Wonderful DayOctober 12


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize package that includes a Courage Dear Heart bracelet, a The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe print, a copy of Delayed Justice, and a box of Turkish Delight!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5c4/delayed-justice-celebration-tour-giveaway

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...