25 Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Story of Sorrow and Betrayal, the Ability to Turn sorrow to Joy! Enter the giveaway!


                      "Anna's Secret"
                    By Blossom Turner

About the Book:

Genre: Inspirational Romance
Release Date: May 1, 2019
Anna Clarke has faced loneliness for years, caring for a sick and distant husband. Recently widowed, with all that brought meaning to her life gone, the consummate good girl falls
from grace in a moment of weakness and passion.
Horrified to find she is pregnant, she is surprised when those closest to her assume the baby is her late husband’s. Guilt and pride allow the lie to live until her deceit hits a wall when the biological father Dr. Matthew Carmichael comes calling.
Shocked at how one lie bled so easily into another, Anna realizes her reputation of devout Christian living is about to disappear like a leaf caught in a windstorm. She hears the whisper of her loving Heavenly Father, who longs to restore her soul, but does she have the courage to face the scandal and the truth of her feelings toward the handsome Dr. Carmichael?
 Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This book struck a deep note in my heart of the importance of the great need that we all have to forgive and be forgiven. Anna has had a very sick husband who she loved and cared for in his neediest hours, when he was very ill. Never would one suspect that she would ever stray from God's path. But, as we all are, Anna was human!  She made one mistake that immediately caused her to fall from grace and suffer emotionally and spiritually. How could Anna ever have let her human desires become so strong that she became pregnant with another man's baby?? 

This novel tells Anna's story in a creative, realistic fashion that has the reader living alongside her. I felt every hurt, challenge, fear that this wonderful woman experienced as she was forced to live a very visible result of this one mistake. Yes, although a sin was committed, it does not mean that one must live forever in disgrace and self pity. I was so encouraged by the underlying theme of this book... facing and admitting the truth of the scandal and  asking our faithful Father for forgiveness can bring a wonderful feeling of joy and hope for the future. 

This book had a plot full of unexpected twists and turns that kept me glued to the page. My heart was breaking as I wanted to cry and scream at the seeming injustice of one single sin. But that is just what God tells us. One sin, one request for forgiveness is all it takes to forgive ourself and others and once again find happiness. And.... in spite of all the deep moments in this book , it does have a happily ever after ending... one that is realistic and emphasizes the willingness of a faithful Lord who will never leave us. Any one of  us could be ensnared with sin. One slip is all it takes. The beautiful ending has one knowing that redemption and forgiveness is always waiting for us. 

WOW!! A fabulous story that hits on some very deep issues. Kudos to the author for telling us this tale in such a heartrending way!!!

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

About the Author

Blossom Turner is a free-lance writer published in Chicken Soup and Kernels of Hope anthologies, former newspaper columnist on health and fitness, an avid blogger, and
published novelist. Her authentic understanding of the power of forgiveness through life experience has inspired this compelling novel, Anna’s Secret, where failure, God’s love, and romance collide. She and her husband, David, have two grown children and live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Read more at blossomturner.com.

More from Blossom

I am a hopeless romantic, it has been at the core of my being from a child up. I dreamed of a
love that would whisk me far from the pain of my childhood upbringing.
When I first started to write Anna’s Secret, I had not yet learned all I needed to know about forgiveness. I was half-way through the book when sorrow and betrayal hit my marriage. (See “About Me” at https://blossomturner.com) I stopped writing for years.
However, as God healed the broken and restored my soul, words of love once again danced within my being. God directed that I finish this book weaving in all I learned from the crucible of suffering in my own life. Through understanding the restorative power of God’s forgiveness when humanity fails, I wrote Anna’s Secret with a strong thread of hope woven into its fabric.
Readers have expressed to me that the authenticity of this book has brought them to tears and given them a love story that entertained. However, the part I love the most … Anna’s Secret has inspired some readers to ask God for the help to forgive themselves, or for the power to offer the gift of forgiveness to another.
My prayer is that you will find Anna’s Secret an entertaining romance, inspiration to your soul, and that you will enjoy the happy ending … always a happy ending. After all, God is the God of happily ever after, and heaven is the home in which all His children will find the greatest love of all.

Blog Stops

Robin’s Nest, February 18
Rebecca Tews, February 19
Maureen’s Musings, February 20
Texas Book-aholic, February 21
Blogging With Carol, February 22
deb’s Book Review, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
janicesbookreviews, February 25
Inklings and notions, February 26
Quiet Quilter, February 27
For Him and My Family, February 28


To celebrate her tour, Blossom is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Anna’s Secret and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Is there hope after losing a spouse? How about after losing a second one? Be sure to enter the author's giveaway!

                             "Beyond Second Chances"
               By Shirley Quiring Mozena

About the Book:

Genre: Christian, Religion, Christian Life, Inspirational
Release Date: August 31, 2015
A woman who knows grief and loss after the death of her second husband, is jilted just before an ill-advised remarriage, yet retains her trust in a loving God. Shirley Quiring Mozena leans on her relationship with her faithful God while experiencing the pangs of loneliness and regret. Weaving in her family’s backstory, she tells of a shy pastor’s daughter who through dramatic life experiences learned a deep trust in God’s faithfulness in all circumstances. When a new man in her life appears, can Shirley trust his love? One woman’s story of love triumphing over loss will strengthen and inspire.

Click here to get your copy.
My Thoughts:

Although I rarely enjoy this genre, memoirs/biographies, I decided to give this book a try , as I had previously read the author's book, "Second Chances" and could see that this is an author who after suffering the loss of not one spouse, once again finds happiness in a second marriage. I admired her strength and fortitude. For those who have lost a spouse, this is an excellent read. There is hope to once again find happiness in life. Now, Shirley has written a second book, after losing her second husband and once again has to find a way to make her way through the dark and rough times. Her deep belief in God helps her stay focused on Him and how He always provides us with a plan, even when we least expect it. 

I did have a bit of trouble following the storyline as it seemed to change often from one husband's death back to another , then ahead. Perhaps, I am just a lover of fiction! I am sure that many would find this book very useful. 

Shirley Quiring Monzena relates how she is able to regain her faith and find peace and joy in her future through her strong belief in God. He not only provides second chances, but third!!  I am not sure that I could live her life, but I do admire her for gaining the desires of her heart in a Godly way. 

A great book for those who have lost a spouse and are wandering aimlessly through life attempting to find happiness once again. 

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

About the Author:

World traveler, Shirley Quiring Mozena is happy hiking a trail, sitting by the fire reading a good book, or having a cup of coffee with a friend. She loves adventure and is ready to go at a moments notice. Shirley has shared her story throughout the country, and is a retired music
teacher and librarian. She enjoys entertaining with her husband in their home with a good meal and scintillating conversation.
Shirley has experienced the greatest test of her faith through the death of her two husbands. Together, she and her husband, Jim, work with others who have lost loved ones through death.
Shirley would be happy to hear from you at her website: www.shirleymozena.com

More from Shirley

Can you find love again on a couples matching site? Yes. And no. In my first book, Second Chances, I share how I found love and married second time on a matching site. Seventeen months after our marriage, my husband died. I didn’t think I’d ever love again, but after time, explored the same website only to be crushed with disappointment. My dreams were destroyed. As a result, I learned to fully surrender to God and be contented in whatever state I was in—married or single. This book continues my story and ends in joy! Find out what happens in this second book. God blesses us Beyond Second Chances. Read my story and be encouraged.

Blog Stops

My Devotional Thoughts, January 30 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, January 31
janicesbookreviews, February 1
Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 2 (Author Interview)
Andrea Christenson, February 5 (Author Interview)
Quiet Quilter, February 6
Vicky Sluiter, February 8 (Author Interview)
Stories By Gina, February 9
Susan K. Beatty, Author, February 10 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Shirley is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Amazon gift card and a copy of Second Chances!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Another Winning Amish Tale by Molly Jebber! Enter the giveaway!!

                   "Hannah's Courage"
                     By Molly Jebber

About the Book:

Genre:  Amish Historical Romance
Release Date: January 28, 2020
A loaf of fragrant cinnamon bread for breakfast . . . a sweet and creamy custard pie for dessert. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery has something to delight locals and visiting Englischer alike. And within this warm, welcoming community, there’s always room for love to grow . . .
Hannah Lapp’s life, like a long-cherished recipe, is satisfying just the way it is. She enjoys whipping up desserts at the bakery, tutoring local children, and socializing with dear friends. One of those friends, Timothy Barkman, has made his interest in Hannah clear, but she’s been in no hurry to change her circumstances.
No sooner does she feel ready to grow closer to hard-working, handsome Timothy than Hannah finds she may have waited too long. Charlene Shetler intends to become Timothy’s fraa. It’s little wonder he’s attracted to such a pretty, forthright young woman, but is the newcomer all that she seems? Only when Hannah is willing to confront some difficult truths can she move bravely toward a life of abiding faith and love . . .

Click here to get your copy!
My Thoughts:

"Hannah's Courage" is the third book in the Amish Charm Bakery series and can be thoroughly enjoyed as a standalone. I must admit that I believe that I enjoyed it more because I had read the first two and to me, this story was a visit to old friends in a familiar community. Charm is a lovely little place that I have visited many times and there actually is a bakery that I can't miss going to ! Thus, the setting of this book stimulated all of my senses... I could smell those delicious goodies baking and  taste the wonderful pastries!

The characters are so realistically and well described that you easily identify with each one. Hannah was a dear person who feared change, much like myself. Although she had desires and dreams, she kept them to herself rather than pushing forward. She had deep feelings for a particular young man, she kept them to herself...... perhaps for too long. Did she miss her opportunity?? Charlene was a character who I struggled to like! She was pushy, at times to the point of rudeness. Not the type of person who I would want for a friend. She also had feelings for the young man, Timothy! Would Hannah regret her decision to leave the bakery, a job she loved, to teach, a job she did not really love, just to avoid watching romance pass her by?

The plot moved at a slow steady pace with some unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed from beginning to end of the novel. There were no jolting moments, however, this sweet romance had qualities that definitely appealed to me. Poor Hannah had so many challenges to face, some within, some caused by others. 

Overall, this is a heartwarming tale that emphasizes love, faith and the courage to express ourselves in a kind, honest fashion. Hannah's faith kept her strong in times of challenge , achieving more than she ever expected. 

All lovers of the Amish Fiction Genre will enjoy this book. Molly Jebber will not disappoint!

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

About the Author

Molly Jebber’s Amish Historical Romance books have been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Ten Recommended Reads, in USA Today’s HEA, Romantic Times and many other media sites. She’s tours and speaks for Stonecroft Ministries – Women’s Christian Connection, and about Amish history/traditions, writing, marketing, publishing, and her books. She loves God, her family, and friends. She enjoys swimming, golf, reading, and says yes to butterscotch pie and parasailing, but no to coconut and skydiving! Visit http://www.mollyjebber.com for a complete list of her books and speaking events.

More from Molly

I related to Hannah in this book where I had to find the courage to make some hard decisions. Maybe you’ve had some hard choices to make and finding the courage to follow through has been difficult for you.
Have you had a bad day where nothing goes right? We’ve all had those. Hannah’s has many days like this, and she is torn about what to do from one problem to the next in her life. She makes some snap decisions, and faces life-altering challenges. You’ll laugh and want to stomp your feet at the twists and turns in this story.  She’s good at giving her friends advice, but has trouble following it. I can relate to this in my life at times. Maybe you can too.
The Sheriff and Dr. Harrison are still regular customers at the bakery where she whips up mouth-watering desserts. She and her friends cry, laugh, and offer each other advice. I love time with girlfriends, and Hannah’s no different. You’ll relate to her, root for her, want to reach in the book and shake her at times (I’m sure my friends have wanted to do this with me a time or two!), and wonder how what the future holds for her.
I hope you’ll follow my blog tour and enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize at the end of the tour. The more you enter, the more chances you have of winning!
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Your Facebook comments help me to get to know you better, and I appreciate it so much!

Here’s a recipe Hannah’s whipped up for you. And there are more in the back of Hannah’s story.

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoonnutmeg
  • ½ teaspoonsalt
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cupbrown sugar
  • 3eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3large apples, peeled and cut into large pieced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoonvanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 pan with butter and coat with 2 tablespoons of flour
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sift two additional times and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil and both sugars, and mix until well blended.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix again.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter and mix thoroughly. By hand, fold in apples and walnuts and mix until evenly combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool in the bundt pan for 20 minutes.
  8. While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Bring to a boil and allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute.
  9. Remove the cake from the pan, onto a serving plate. Spoon the glaze over the warm cake.
  10. Cool for a little longer before serving.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 30
Genesis 5020, January 30
Texas Book-aholic, January 31
Batya’s Bits, February 1
Quiet Quilter, February 1
She Lives to Read, February 2
Bigreadersite , February 3
deb’s Book Review, February 4
Pause for Tales, February 5
Older & Smarter?, February 6
Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 7 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
SusanLovesBooks, February 10
SPLASHES of Joy , February 11
Vicky Sluiter, February 12


To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a Molly Jebber grand prize collection that includes a handmade quilt and Amazon 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...