25 Book Reviews

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Dual Timeline Tale by Popular Author, Olivia Newport! Make sure that you enter the giveaway!

                 "The Inn At Hidden Run"
                     By Olivia Newport 

About the Book:

A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family TreesMeri flunks out of medical school—and runs from her parents. Genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy’s digging traces the family long tradition of doctors to an ancestor saved during a yellow fever outbreak in Memphis in 1878. As Meri’s family closes in, Jillian gets the final puzzle pieces in place just in time for them all to learn the truth. The Inn at Hidden Run is the first book in the Tree of Life series. Readers will come back to backdrop of a lovely mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that inspire them to connect with their own family histories and unique faith journeys.
Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts:   

I have read many books by this author and enjoyed every one of them, however found this tale very difficult to "get into". Don't get me wrong, this novel is well written but just not one that grabbed my attention. It may very well appeal to others but just was not one of my favorites. Historical fiction is not one of the genres that I usually read and I was a bit surprised to find this book was  one of dual timelines, one in the present day, the other in 1878 Memphis. 

The characters were well described in a realistic manner, however, I found it hard to get involved in their lives. I had difficulty remembering who was who and  which era they were living in. This made it difficult for me to make a connection with them. 

The plot was one that had an excellent depth to it. The topics were very different from the usual. Getting deeply involved in the tale became a problem for me. I struggled to finish reading this book. It did end on a very positive tone. 

Basically, this book is just not one that I would recommend for readers who are not enthralled with historical fiction. I believe that it is an excellent book for those who love that genre. I just found it very confusing and the dual timeline kept me struggling to remember who was who and what was currently going on.  That being said, Olivia Newport remains an author that I do enjoy. This book was clearly just not one that appealed to me and me alone. I DO believe that it is a very creative work that would appeal to many. 

This book was supplied by CelebrateLit. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own. 

About the Author:

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

More from Olivia

Of Family Lines and Family Lore
I suppose it all started in a cemetery.
Once, while a group of relatives were visiting a cemetery, one of my cousins and I wandered off and looked at all sorts of graves, speculating about the names we read and the lives they represented. We were duly scolded both for separating from our families, which caused some consternation, and for being disrespectful—though I think the second accusation was a false one!
Just because we were young children didn’t mean we were disrespecting the dead. Quite the opposite. We were respecting lives long forgotten with our curiosity about who they were and what legacies they left.
These days a lot of people are interested in genealogy. Entire TV series spin around the theme, and DNA kits show up in Christmas stockings. Lost branches of family trees find the main trunk—sometimes with big surprises.
My new Tree of Life series is set in the backdrop of a lovely Colorado mountain town I hope you’ll want to visit often, where a father-daughter genealogy team link present to past on family trees and characters learn about who they are, where they come from, and their unique faith journeys as they discover their own Tree of Life.
It all starts with The Inn at Hidden Run. When Meri arrives in Canyon Mines because she wants to run away from her family, true answers come from understanding the past that generations have forgotten—the accounts from another time and place no longer handed down but that still form the backbone of the family’s story.
What’s the backbone of your family’s history? How is it shaping your own future?

Blog Stops

Hallie Reads, May 22
Bigreadersite, May 23
By The Book, May 23
Mary Hake, May 28
Quiet Quilter, May 29
Remembrancy, May 30
Moments, May 31


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Inn at Hidden Run!!

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/e1c1/the-inn-at-hidden-run-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Fantastic Read!! Be sure to enter the author's giveaway!

            "The Amish Widow's Rescue"

                     By Rachel J. Good

About the Book:

Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: May 28, 2019
The perfect family awaits…if only he’ll risk his heart.
Pregnant and recently widowed, Grace Fisher is determined to provide for her family on her own. Thankfully, her jam business is popular in her Amish community. But it’s difficult keeping up with her work, her farm chores, andher two mischievous children. Especially now that they’ve taken to idolizing their neighbor Elijah. While the handsome farmer is kind and generous, he seems intent on holding Grace and her little ones at a distance…
Elijah Beiler has always admired his neighbor Grace. So standing by while she struggles to support her family isn’t an option. Offering to take over her farm duties, Elijah is determined to help while remaining detached. He knows all too well that love only leads to heartbreak. Yet the more time he spends with Grace and her children, the harder he finds it to leave each day. But can Elijah overcome past hurts and open his heart to this ready-made family?
“A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Timesbestselling author, on The Amish Teacher’s Gift
Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts:

Rachel Good has quickly become a favorite author of mine. Her books exhibit a talent in bringing us "down to earth", dealing with challenges in the Amish community that each one of could experience in our Englisch world. This book is the third in  the Love and Promise series, but can be thoroughly enjoyed as a standalone. I had read the first two but I have to admit that this novel was outstanding in its depth and emotion. 

I found myself deeply involved with the characters from the first chapter. Each character was described so realistically that they were easy with whom to identify. I walked alongside them on their rocky road of life. They sure had their hills and valleys. The hurts each hit me very deeply. Made me really think ! What would I do in that situation??  It was obvious that God was working through their lives in a very special way. 

The plot was filled with unexpected twists and turns, keeping the reader engaged from beginning to end.  The issues that were addressed were ones that are rarely seen in the Amish genre, described with understanding and grace. The hearts of these dear ones had to change in order to forgive themselves and others as well as to allow them to love unconditionally, as the Lord wants us to. 

Will I be reading more by this author?? YES!! I definitely will be waiting for Rachel's next creation!! 

This is a fantastic read! Don't miss it!!

This book was received from CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

About the Author:

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, her website and by signing up for her newsletter.
and forgiveness. The bestselling author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farms and attending family events. Rachel has more than 40 books in print or forthcoming for both children and adults under several pen names. Find out more about Rachel and her books at
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House & Harlequin), Love & Promises (Hachette/Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and the forthcoming Unexpected Amish Blessings and Surprised by Love series (Kensington). She also has several anthologies in print as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Book.

More from Rachel

The story idea for The Amish Widow’s Secret came to me after I’d just finished reading stories to my Amish friend’s children to give her a little break. She was expecting a new baby, and while we sat in their kitchen enjoying a snack, her husband came in.
The tenderness in his eyes as they talked made my eyes well with tears. It was obvious how much they loved each other, and they both supported each other. A perfect companionship. Not everyone gets to experience that bond, that caring.
It made me wonder what she’d do without him, and the seeds of a story was born. I decided to explore how a widow would cope with a pregnancy and two children alone. In the Amish community, of course, no one is ever left on their own. Everyone chips in to help.
So, what if the handsome and reclusive bachelor next door felt obligated to help, but wanted to avoid getting involved? Would he eventually soften his heart toward children and love?
As I wrote, I wondered if Elijah Beiler could get over a previous heartbreak. He needed to face his past before he moved forward, so I gave him that opportunity. A surprise visit and unwelcome news force Elijah to rethink everything he believes about parenting and love. And about the person who destroyed his world. He also needs to face the bitterness he’s been harboring.
Sometimes learning more about the circumstances or reasons of the person who has hurt us causes us to see the whole situation in a new light, making it easier to let go of the hurt. That’s what happens to Elijah.
I hope his journey will encourage readers to consider the places in their lives where they’ve been holding onto pain and reevaluate those experiences in the light of God’s forgiveness and love. To write this story, I needed to do that too.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, May 28
Emily Yager, May 31
Bigreadersite, June 1
Vicky Sluiter, June 3
Mary Hake, June 8
EmpowerMoms, June 9
Genesis 5020, June 10


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of autographed copies of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Big-City Amish, a copy of an Amish cookbook, and an authentic Amish headscarf!!
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/e2ab/the-amish-widow-s-rescue-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Complicated Family Dynamics!! Make sure that you enter the giveaway!

                            Moments We Forget
                By Beth Vogt

About the book:

Genre: Contemporary fiction, woman’s fiction
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine. Now, Jillian’s on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she’d hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again. Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be “just Jillian,” the less-than Thatcher sister? Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever?

Click here to purchase your copy.
My Thoughts:

This, the second book in Beth's Thatcher Sisters' series, draws you into the lives of the three sisters , every bit as much as the first one did. I thought that my box of tissues was well used for "Things I Never Told You", however, I was mistaken. Out came a new box as I made my way through Jillian's story. This author has the unique and ability when dealing with sensitive topics, to draw you deeply into the lives of young women who each have a struggle . Jillian, as the middle sister, feels very neglected and on her own to fight a battle that not one of us would want to encounter. As she works her way through the ravages of cancer and its way of taking over her life, she also attempts to reconcile with her two other sisters who have been separated far too long by grief and circumstances. With the realistic and vivid description of each character , the reader easily identifies with them, feeling every hurt, disappointment and fear. Deep emotions arise as you walk alongside Jillian in her struggles with health and relationships. 

The plot keeps one so totally engrossed that time passes you by. I have to admit that I read the book in one sitting. I could not put this novel down!!! The unexpected twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat, just waiting for the next disappointment or tragedy to fall, as usual, in the character's weakest moments! This is reality!! The rocky road of life trips us up on occasion, however, Jillian found the strength she needed, when she needed it most. You could feel her inner strength as it developed in the most unexpected ways. God is always nearby, however, we must seek and accept His help.

So many sensitive topics addressed in this story of these women, cancer, adoption, relationships that were falling apart, were done so in such a caring manner. Beth Vogt has the unique talent of appealing to her readers' empathy in such a way that it grows, unnoticed, as the characters develop. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a work of fiction!!! 

This is definitely a five star book addressing so many topics that many avoid. I am eagerly awaiting Book three in this series!!

This book was provided by CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. A positive review was not required.

About the Author

Beth-VogtBeth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A women’s fiction novelist, Beth’s first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released May 2018.
Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly‘s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us.
An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.

More from Beth

“A sister is like yourself in a different movie, a movie that stars you in a different life.”
Deborah Tannen (1945-), sociologist
I’m launching Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, and I’ve just turned in the final book in the series. I’d love to share book three’s title with you, but I don’t know what it is. (Of course, book three might have a final title by the time you read this—that’s part of the fun of prerelease deadlines.)
One thing I do know: the theme of “Little Women gone wrong” is woven through all of the books . . . thanks to the Thatcher sisters: Payton, Pepper, Jillian, and Johanna.
Sisters, be they real or imaginary, can be complicated.
Of course, there are sisters who have close relationships. They “get” each other and love doing life together.
But then there are the sister relationships that are like mismatched socks. Or those expensive jeans you loved in the store, but when you bring them home, they never quite live up to those moments in the dressing room.
Such are the Thatcher sisters. Johanna, Jillian, Payton, and Pepper grew up in the same family. They’re all tall. They love Broncos football and board games. But in so many ways their lives are like different movies because they each made different choices. Choices that changed and separated them. Moments We Forgetcontinues to explore whether the Thatcher sisters can find a way to understand each other enough to bridge the distance between them.

Blog Stops

Livin’ Lit, May 7
Carpe Diem, May 8
Simple Harvest Reads, May 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, May 10
Genesis 5020, May 13
By The Book, May 13
Bigreadersite, May 14
Moments, May 15
Hallie Reads, May 19


To celebrate her tour, Beth is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card plus a softcover copy of Moments We Forget!!
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/e26d/moments-we-forget-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...