25 Book Reviews

Friday, January 31, 2020

A Touching Story of Broken Relationships.... with self, others and God! Make sure that you enter the author's giveaway!


                     "Faith' s Journey"  
                     By Heather Greer   

About the Book:

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: February, 2018
Sometimes it’s the unexpected path that leads you on your journey back to faith.
Katie McGowan left her parents and their faith behind years ago. However, when faced with a devastating betrayal, Katie is ready to go back to Carbondale, Illinois to help her elderly parents despite their tempestuous relationship. Drained by the constant friction, Katie finds emotional support and encouragement in Austin. His practical, simple faith speaks to Katie, and she finds herself yearning for a new connection to God. As their friendship grows, so does the attraction between Katie and Austin.
Before her fledgling faith and thoughts of romance have a chance to take root, Katie’s cheating fiancé returns, remorseful and promising change. Can her tentative faith strengthen their past love? And if her heart breaks again, will Katie’s journey to faith end before it has really begun?

Click here to get your copy.
My Thoughts:

As I had not read anything by this author before, I had some trepidation upon opening this book. What if I didn't like it? Would I be able to write a proper review? To my delight, I found myself lost in the story of a young woman who has so many conflicts, some very similar to ones that I have experienced. The author does an excellent job of portraying flawed characters , even within the church, pastors, long time members who behave very differently during the week that they do for the short time they are sitting piously in a church building. The characters were so realistically and well described that I easily travelled their rocky path in the journey of life . Every conflict that the Katie experience was felt deep within me. Katie grew up in a Christian home but started to draw away from God, as she observed others living in a world of denial and pretense. She actually sacrificed a great relationship with the Lord because of hypocrisy of the church members . None of us is perfect!
Troubled relationships caused so many conflicts, the underlying theme of betrayal and the struggle to find peace within ourselves was present throughout the novel.

The plot moves along a slow steady pace with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged from beginning to end. Katie's parents needed her so badly, her boyfriend is caught in a very compromising situation, everything is just falling apart. As Katie struggles to find peace within , others come to the rescue in the most unexpected ways. 

I highly recommend this book to all readers. It is a believable Christian novel of the common struggles that can be faced by anyone. Learning to trust and forgive oneself and others is the key to happiness.

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

About the Author:

About the  Author

Heather GreerHeather Greer is a pastor’s kid and pastor’s wife from southern Illinois. Though her nest is quickly approaching the empty stage, with three of her four children out on their own, she enjoys the times she gets to spend with all her children, husband, and grandson. Equal mix geek and romantic, you could as easily find Heather watching an episode of Doctor Who as the latest Hallmark movie. Of course, you may find her baking, reading, or crafting too!
Heather’s writing and teaching ministries revolve around a passion to see believers grow in their faith. Though God has used her most often with teens and adults, she has worked in ministries reaching all age groups through the years. It is Heather’s prayer for God to use what she writes in her books and on her blog to challenge and encourage readers in their faith walks.

More from Heather

What happens when a person raised in church begins to see the failure of those within the church to live their faith every day instead of on Sunday morning? Often, the truths of scripture are pushed aside in favor of blanket statements like “churches are full of hypocrites” and “I don’t want to follow a God whose people are like that”. In frustration, they walk out the church doors in frustration. Sometimes they walk out with their beliefs intact, but other times faith gets left in the pew they vacate.
That’s what happened to Katie in Faith’s Journey. And when she left home for college disappointed with the people in the church she was raised in and at odds with her mother, it was all too easy to listen to the voices in her life telling her religion and God made no difference in life.  Deciding she knew better than anyone what her life should be, Katie makes her own decisions without considering the God she left behind.
It takes a return home for Katie to start realizing there may be more to God than the people in the pews. Maybe she was quick to see the failures of others to live their faith but slow to see her own problems with the same issue. And maybe it’s time to acknowledge that regardless of how others are living out their faith, God has plans for her and desires a relationship with her that defines who she is every day.
While the original idea that sparked Faith’s Journey was what happens when someone you love betrays you, I quickly realized Katie’s story was more than that. In a sense, the first betrayal she needed to face wasn’t the one with her boyfriend. It was the perceived betrayal by those in the church who failed to live faith outside the church walls. It’s a feeling I believe many Christians have to face since there isn’t a perfect person in any pew.
I pray Faith’s Journey may be an encouragement and give a new perspective to those who currently struggle with the idea of church. And I hope it’s also a challenge to those of us faithfully in the pews each week to make our time there about more than religion or habit. I pray Faith’s Journey challenges us to evaluate the depth of relationship with have with God and let Him change the way we live every day, not just on Sunday.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 24
janicesbookreviews, January 28
Artistic Nobody, January 29 (Author Interview)
Quiet Quilter, February 1
Older & Smarter?, February 2
Emily Yager, February 3
Godly Book Reviews, February 4
Pause for Tales, February 5
A Baker’s Perspective, February 6 (Author Interview)
Batya’s Bits, February 7


To celebrate her tour, Heather is giving away a Cozy Winter Nights giveaway including a $15 Amazon gift card, a mug, assorted teas and hot chocolates, chocolate, and a fleece blanket to create the perfect reading experience on cold winter nights!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Another Winning Novel by a Favourite Author, Vannetta Chapman!!

  "An Unlikely Amish Match"

      By Vannetta Chapman

About the Book:

Is she about to fall for trouble?

She could never love an Amish rebel…Or could she?

Susannah Beiler is determined to protect the other young marriageable Amish women from falling for the new bad boy in town…by pretending to date Micah Fisher herself! Their deal is simple: she’ll keep him company if he stays away from her friends. But she doesn’t count on finding out there’s more to Micah than his reputation…

My Thoughts:

I know that when I pick up a book by the author , Vannetta Chapman I am in for a good read!! Her unique storytelling style keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end. This book was no disappointment! It met all of my expectations and more!! "An Unlikely Amish Match" is the fifth book in the Indiana Bride Series but like the previous books in the series, it is a standalone. 

I immediately fell in love with Susannah, the main character, a flawed human being, just like the rest of us. Yes, she is living in the Amish community  however that does not exempt her from problems and challenges, of which she has many. Susannah has had a battle with cancer and is unable to bear children. In a typical Amish family , that can be a very real problem, as the usual is a rather large family. I was drawn into her life as she struggled with the fear of never being good enough to marry . What would a husband think of a wife that could not give him lots of children??  Micah, the "bad" boy enters the scene. I became very protective of my new friend, Susannah , as she decides to keep this unsavory guy away from her friends. Micah is attempting to get rid of his poor reputation and while doing so, he has to make some major decisions. Can Susannah trust him?  Would you?? The characters were so realistic and well developed that their rocky road of life became mine . I laughed , I cried and I became frustrated as I traveled alongside them. 

The plot is one that grabs your attention and won't let go! There are just enough twists and turns to keep you reading. The element of faith and believing in the good times and the bad are present throughout the novel. There are sweet scenes that will touch the hardest hearts. When Susannah admits her problems to Micah, I was so touchedl God doesn't always give us exactly what we want. It is very true that He never leaves us, but we have to admit our weaknesses and trust Him even in our worst moments. His Forgiveness never abandons us. It is always ready for us. The past can not be allowed to keep us from moving forward in a positive way. Happiness is waiting for us!!

This book was purchased from Amazon for review purposes. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the author:

Vannetta Chapman is the author of 30 published books. She has written for Abingdon Press and Harvest House Publishers, and she currently writes for Harper Collins Christian Publishing and Harlequin/Love Inspired. Her books have hit the CBD Bestseller list, the Amazon bestseller list, and her most recent release, A Widow's Hope, debuted at #17 on Publishers Weekly mass market list. She's received numerous awards including the ACFW Carol Award for best mystery (Falling to Pieces), and she was a Christy Award finalist (Anna's Healing). She recently signed a contract for an additional six books with Harelquin/Love Inspired.

Chapman has a BA and MA in English literature from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has taught for numerous writing groups and speaks around the country on writing, how to publish, and steps to finding an agent and landing a publishing contract. Chapman's releases include Amish romance, cozy mystery, novellas, romantic suspense, and dystopian. She has tutored writers in these genres and more. She currently teaches English at Central Texas College and writes full time. She's also the president for the Central Texas Chapter of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

For more information, visit her at
webpage -- www.VannettaChapman.coma

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Releasing on Jan.28!!! Another FANTASTIC Book By Shelley Shepard Gray !

     "Shall We Dance"
  By Shelley Shepard Gray


At twenty-seven, Shannon Murphy has just discovered that she has two sisters she never knew. Now, through Shannon’s loving persistence, the three of them are moving in together above her dance studio in Bridgeport. Shannon is excited to make a home with her sisters and to grow her budding business. Then she meets her newest client—he has all the right muscles, a perfect smile, and a lot of attitude. Will Shannon be able to keep things professional with this charming stranger?
Dylan Lange has a lot on his mind. He’s just been assigned a new partner at his job with the Bridgeport Police, and while he’s busy striving to protect and serve his town, he’s also trying to keep his baby sister out of harm’s way while she heals from her own trauma. And on top of everything else, he’s gone and lost a bet with his buddies, forcing him to take dance lessons. But when he walks into the dance studio to meet his instructor, a young and beautiful brunette with a sweet southern drawl is the last person he expected to find.

Get ready to fall in love again as Shelley Shepard Gray takes us back to Bridgeport, Ohio, where nobody gets left behind and a powerful community helps ordinary men and women to find extraordinary strength inside themselves.

My Thoughts:

First of all, I must admit... that when I see a new book being released by Shelley Shepard Gray, I am first in line to grab it! She has become a favorite author who uses her unique storytelling skills to produce books that keep a reader enthralled from beginning to end. This new book, the first in the Dance With Me series was no disappointment! It is an easy t read, easy to love contemporary romance that deals with two families that are brought together by dance! The author successfully intertwines their lives into a tale that will appeal to readers who love a good romance that also has an element of mystery. 

The characters are unique, described in such realistic detail that I was immediately drawn into their lives and walked alongside them in their rather rocky journey of life. Three sisters who have just discovered each other and attempt to form a family that they have missed in their earlier years, bumbled along, doing their best to support one another, while learning to truly understand each other. Then, there is a brother-sister team , a young police officer who is protecting his sister as she recovers from a deep seated trauma. The author brought these two unusual family groups together in a way that immediately appealed to me. The world of dance and music can heal the soul!!! 

The plot involves the sparks that fly as these individuals strive to come together as a unit . There were just enough twists and turns to keep one's attention . I have to admit that I read this book in one sitting.... causing me to lose some sleep as I read long into the night. 

The underlying theme of this book was one that touched me and made me really stop and think. The real meaning of family  comes through loud and clear. A unit that has patience, kindness, love can cure all past hurts and disappointments and make for a happy future. There are always second chances available.... we just have to take a courageous step forward and accept them!!

A five star book!! Well done, Shelley!! I loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the next in the series!!

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

Saturday, January 11, 2020

A New Amish Novel by Marie E. Bast. Make sure that you enter the Giveaway

   "The Amish Marriage Bargain"  

            By Marie E. Bast

About the Book:

Genre: Amish
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Will a baby girl bring them together at last?
She’ll do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart.
Nothing can keep May Bender in her Amish hometown—except caring for her baby niece. But the bishop insists that May also marry her widowed brother-in-law, Thad Hochstedler—the beau who jilted her to wed her sister. Can May risk her heart long enough to learn the real reason for Thad’s first marriage…and possibly rediscover their love?

Click here to get your copy!
My Thoughts: 

As Marie Bast is a new author to me I was a bit apprehensive when choosing to review this novel. Would it be the typical Amish romance or would it have some special twists and turns that would draw me into the Amish faith? Since I am an avid reader of this genre, I get somewhat tired of the sweet romance element , unless it involves complications and it varies from the norm. 

The book started out with a heartwarming tale, a marriage of convenience. The premise is good and many readers would love the simple narrative, however, my personal preference is for a book with a deeper meaning, more detailed challenges and complications. Don't get me wrong, there are many positive elements: the value of second chances, the struggle of forgiveness and redemption. I had difficulty getting involved with the characters and to me a great book has at least one with whom I can easily identify. There appeared to a lack of depth that attracts me and compels me to continue to read. 

The plot had great basic ideas that could have grabbed my attention had they been more clearly explained , with more unexpected twists and turns. This is clearly my own preference. Others may love this style of writing. 

This novel has great potential. I was just hoping for more depth and a clearer understanding of a marriage of convenience. I DO look forward to keeping up with this author and see how her writing develops.
This book was received from CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author

Marie E. Bast is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author. Her stories whisper words of hope and healing through complex characters and twisting plots. She enjoys writing Amish, contemporary and historical stories. Married for twenty-eight years, Marie and her husband have two grown sons and one daughter. When she’s not writing, she’s walking, golfing, gardening or spending time with her family. Visit her website at MarieBastAuthor.com or follower her on social media.

More from Marie

Did you know that until as late as the twentieth century, marriage was never based on love?
In fact, the institution of marriage predates recorded history. But in ancient biblical times, the reasons for marriage are numerous. The kings, nobility, wealthy, and aristocratic families used arranged marriages to ensure loyalty between kingdoms, which forced a united bound and ensured the integrity of their inheritance and the family wealth.
Arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, and marriage bargains were practical to keep property and kingdoms intact and in the family line. But these marriage contracts also spilled over into the commoners’ lives. In times of poverty, a daughter was only another mouth to feed and therefore a burden on the family. That fueled the arranged marriages where the groom gave the family money, animals, or some other commodity in exchange for the marriage.
Also, arranged marriages were instrumental for women over the age of 30 who were unwed. Even in the nineteenth century, many women would find that a marriage of convenience was the way to go. Often, a widower needed a mother and housekeeper for his family, and sometimes a woman without means to support herself would readily accept a marriage of convenience. Even today, some cultures still use arranged marriages.
But one of the most unique marriage of convenience is the marriage bargain, and that is the central theme to my newest book, The Amish Marriage Bargain, which releases in book form December 17, 2019, and eBook January 1, 2020. The marriage bargain is the specific negotiation of the terms of the agreement regarding a particular situation and often included land.
After her sister dies, May Bender will do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart. But like the days of old, the bargain goes deeper than that.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, January 2
The Avid Reader, January 3
Texas Book-aholic, January 4
Vicky Sluiter, January 4
Mary Hake, January 4
Among the Reads, January 6
Betti Mace, January 6
Older & Smarter?, January 7
Batya’s Bits, January 7
janicesbookreviews, January 8
Hallie Reads, January 8
Bigreadersite, January 10
She Lives to Read, January 11
Quiet Quilter, January 12
Pause for Tales, January 12
EmpowerMoms, January 14
Splashes of Joy , January 15


To celebrate her tour, Marie is giving away to four winners each a $25 Amazon card will also receive a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Memory Loss!! What Would you do if you had lost three months of your life? SCARY STUFF!!

                         "Forget Me Now"
                          By Alana Terry

About the Book:

Genre: Christian Mystery and Suspense
Release Date: July 19, 2019
She’s forgotten everything … including who it is that wants her dead.
Mia’s trapped in a nightmare inside her own mind. After a brain injury leaves her unable to form new memories, all she knows is that entire months of her life are missing. Those closest to her are dead, and someone’s on their way back soon to finish the job.
Heart-gripping, page-turning Christian suspense from the author whose books are called “intense,” “life-changing,” and “impossible to put down,” Forget Me Now is a psychological thriller with enough twists to keep you reading … and guessing … late into the midnight hours.
Download your copy today for a fast-paced adrenaline rush you’ll never forget.

Click here for your copy.

My Thoughts:

I have thoroughly enjoyed every book that I have read by this talented author, but I must  admit that I believe this novel is the best yet! Alana has a special talent of writing out of the ordinary plots that keep one glued to the page from beginning to end. What can I say about this book??? It is full of suspense and mystery that kept reading long past my bedtime. How would I feel if I woke up one morning with no memory of what had occurred in the past three months???? Scary, terrified, confused! Nothing made sense!

The main character, Mia, grabbed me and pulled me into her life from the moment she awoke. She was described in such realistic detail that I felt her every fear and terror. The flashbacks that the author used gave me a deep understanding of Mia and her life before and after. I walked alongside Mia as she tried to make some sense of her life and understand her past.

The plot was full of unexpected twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. I have to admit that I tuned out of the real world for a while as I walked alongside Mia on her tough journey of life.  The ending of this novel was a complete surprise. Nothing I expected happened! 

ALthough it seems to be a somewhat depressing, sad tale, there is an underlying message of hope that all Christians have. That is the only thing that keeps us going in times of trial. What would we do without hope in our Lord?

I highly recommend this book to all who enjoy suspense and mysteries. 

Definitely a five star book!!

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

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.

More from Alana

I love writing Christian fiction suspense. I have multiple series for sale and one of the things my readers have grown to appreciate is how many of their favorite characters show up in more than one series. Another aspect of my books that readers’ enjoy is the mystery, intrigue, and twists and turns involved as they reach the final page.
My new novel, Forget Me Now, has all the favorite elements mentioned above, but includes a new psychological thriller element that I hope readers will love as much as I loved bringing it to them. This novel asks the question, “What would you do if you woke up to find three months of your memory entirely gone? Who would you turn to for answers during that confusing time … and how would you react if you began to question the ones you turned to for the truth?
Read all about how Mia handles a predicament just like this (except even more dangerous) in Forget Me Now, complete with all the thrills and gripping suspense you’ve grown to love from Alana Terry novels as well as the reminder that God is always in control.
If you want, let me know your thoughts after you’ve had a chance to dive into this thriller that is truly unforgettable by emailing me at alana@alanaterry.com.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, December 28
Rebecca Tews, December 28
Blogging With Carol, December 29
Mamma Loves Books, December 29
Betti Mace, December 30
Genesis 5020, December 30
Emily Yager, January 3
Quiet Quilter, January 5
Texas Book-aholic, January 6
Bigreadersite, January 7
janicesbookreviews, January 8
Mary Hake, January 9


To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away the grand prize of 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.

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...