Saturday, May 31, 2014

Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma

About the book:

Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.
Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch's identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her "marriage."
Their journey to Gisela's mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

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About the author: 

New York Times best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of Daisies are ForeverSnow on the Tulips, and the contributing author of A Log Cabin Christmas. When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

Connect with Liz: websiteFaceobok,Twitter

My Take:  This book takes us to the last days of the World War II and takes us to a group of people that are trying to escape from Prussia into Germany.  This was interesting because you wouldn't think that Germany would be a place you would want to escape too during this war.  You follow along with this group as they learn to let God do the leading.  The story had some suspenseful spots as you wondered if everything would turn out ok.  This book was a great take on this time period.

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Love Finds You in Sugar Creek Ohio by Serena Miller

Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. The movie, produced by Mission Pictures International and filmed last fall in the actual town of Sugarcreek, will premiere on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT on Up TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel). Visit the movie website for more information.
The story: A mysterious outsider casts a long shadow on Ohio's Amish country. Policewoman Rachel Troyer has always looked after her three elderly Amish aunts, proprietors of a farmhouse inn near Sugarcreek, Ohio. The idyllic town is popular with tourists, who come to sample its famous Amish goods. But one thing is clear to Rachel --- Joe Matthews is no tourist. When the bearded stranger lands on her aunts' doorstep, begging shelter for himself and his young son, Rachel is suspicious.
Will she be able to uncover Joe's secrets despite her aunts' --- and her own --- growing affection for him?

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About the author: Prior to writing novels, Serena Miller wrote for many periodicals, including Woman's WorldGuideposts, Billy Graham's Decision Magazine,Reader's DigestFocus on the Family,Christian Woman, and The Detroit Free Press Magazine. She has spent many years partnering with her husband in full-time ministry and lives on a farm in southern Ohio near a thriving Amish community.

Learn more about Serena at:

My Take:  I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started reading this book.  It is a little bit suspense, romance, and Amish all rolled into one.  This is not a totally Amish book.  There are Amish characters and it is set in a town that has Amish but the story is really about the stranger who comes to town and the policewoman who just happens to be the niece to a trio of lovable Amish Women who run an Amish Inn.  The mystery revolves around the stranger who's truck breaks down and finds himself and his young son staying at the Amish Inn that the three Amish women said they would only use if they felt the need arise.  I will admit that I did have the identity of the stranger pretty much figured out before It was reveiled but I didn't have the murderer figured out till right before it was reveiled.  I found this book very intriguing and it kept my attention so much so that my family had to repeat my name several times to get my attention.    I would recommend this book for anyone who likes mystery, suspence and Amish books.  

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Miting by Dee Yoder

The Miting

The Miting by Dee Yoder


Leah is seventeen and Amish. Like many her age, she has lots of questions, but the temporary flight of freedom known as rumspringen is not the answer for her. She does not desire Englisher fashion, all-night parties, movies, or lots of boyfriends. Leah is seeking to understand her relationship with God, to deepen and broaden her faith by joining a Bible study hosted by an ex-Amish couple. She wants to know why Amish life is the only lifestyle her family accepts, why the church has so many rules, and . . . most disturbing, how godly men can allow her best friend to be abused in her own home. In the pressure-cooker environment of church and family, Leah is not allowed to ask these questions. When finally she reaches the breaking point, she walks away from the Old Order Amish life that is all she has known. Though adapting amiably to the Englisher world, Leah is tormented with homesickness. Returning to the community, however, entails a journey of pain and sorrow Leah could never have imagined. The miting--shunning--that will now be Leah's unendurable oppression every day is beyond her most devoted attempts to believe or understand. All the bishop and her family ask is that she abandon her practice of reading the Bible. Is that a price she is willing to pay?

My Take: Miting is another word for shunning.  Leah wants to be able to read her
Bible but the old order Amish group she belongs to forbids it.  Leah is questioning many things about how the group her family belongs to does things.  She attends a Bible Study that is lead by an ex Amish couple and when her family finds out they are furious.  She then decides to leave the Amish and become English.  After awhile away she decides to return to the Amish which leads her being put under the miting.  She must give up reading the Bible to no longer be under The Miting.  This book really brought to light how the old order Amish is different than the new order Amish and what it meant for someone to be under the Miting.  I would highly recommend this book if you like Amish fiction or if you just want to learn about Old Order Amish.

I received a review copy of this book from Kregel in exchange for  my honest opinion. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Kissing Bridge by Tricia Goyer

The Kissing Bridge (Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors #3)

The Kissing Bridge by Tricia Goyer

Rebecca is an Amish woman whose pained past compels her to leave everything to become a nurse---abandoning her family and community. Caleb is an Amish man who is counting down the days until hunting season. At a crossroads in his own life, the excitement of hunting game is all he looks forward to. All the while he wonders what to do with the rest of his life. Even though he likes the Amish lifestyle, what good is an Amish man without faith in God?An unexpected meeting pushes them together, and they embark with friends on a two-week-long wilderness wagon journey. Hardship tears down the flimsy walls of protection they've placed around their hearts, and as their friendship grows they open up to each other and eventually reveal their deepest secrets. While  on the outside they appear to be traditional Amish people, inside they both know they are anything but that. Will their secrets pull them together or draw them apart? And will their faith in God grow? There is a bridge to cross at the end of the journey. Will true love take them across?

My Take:  I enjoyed revisiting  West Kootenai, Montana.  This book focused on a new group of people and their secrets.  I liked Caleb from the start.  He is a take charge kind of guy and holds no punches.  It felt like the relationship between Rebecca and Caleb was natural and not a forced thing as sometimes authors try to make two characters fit.  I like Rebecca's reason for her secret and I was routing for her the whole time.  Will they end up together or will their secrets keep them apart?  Tricia Goyer weaves a fascinating tale that kept me going to find out what will happen next.  

I received a review copy of this book from BookLook Blogger program in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Defy the Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

Defy the Night

Defy the Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

If no one will do anything, she’ll have to do it herself.

In 1941 France is still “free.” But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives.

Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette’s job. And she asks Magali to help.

Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger.

My Take:  I am always curious to read books about people who did brave things during wars.  Like the people who hid Anne Frank and those who helped slaves with the underground railroad.  This book is interesting look at a young girl who helps smuggle refugee children.  This also examines the fact that you can effect others you love even if you are doing the right thing.  

I received a review copy of this book from Kregel in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

About the book: Dr. Frasier couldn't save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she's fighting for her own life.
It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier's colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.
Her "almost-fiancĂ©" Dr. Mark Gilbert's support only adds to Shannon's feelings of guilt, since she can't bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he's just been diagnosed with leukemia. Shannon thought it couldn't get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, "What did he say before he died?"
With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader's Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Connect with Richard at:

My Take:  This book starts out with a bang (literally) and keeps the pace throughout the pages.  Once I started reading this book I did not want to stop so make sure you have plenty of time when you start.  I cannot image what poor Shannon was feeling throughout the whole book.  It seemed like things just kept going from bad to worse.  I liked how the author keeps you at the edge throughout the whole book.  Great thriller.  Without language and sex.  Refreshing. 

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Spotlight of Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Brief Synopsis:
Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

Pressed Pennies is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.

Image of Steven ManchesterAuthor Bio:  Steven Manchester is the author of The Rockin' Chair, as well as the #1 best seller, Twelve Months (2013 San Francisco, DIY & New England Book Festivals award winner). He is also the author of A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Goodnight, Brian (2013 Southern California Book Festival award winner), and Pressed Pennies (due out May 2014). His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit:

Candle Bible Handbook by Terry Jean Day and Carol Smith

Candle Bible Handbook

Candle Bible Handbook by Terry Jean Day and Carol Smith

Travel through Bible history with this comprehensible exploration of the Bible, following the key narratives from Genesis to Revelation. Perfect as a child's first Bible reference, he will travel through Bible lands and times and discover how the people lived: the foods they ate, the homes they occupied, the clothes they wore, and the work they performed. There are sections of study questions throughout to further learning, as well as glossaries and FAQs to help understanding

My Take:  This would make a perfect first book for a homeschool class on the Bible.  The pictures are wonderful and the information is just the right amount to get children interested in maybe finding out more on their own.  The Study question throughout the book are great for just that purpose.  This book would be beneficial for all children to have when they are just learning how to dig into the Bible on their own.  

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion from Kregel.

Book Spotlight of Curtain Call by Jennifer AILee and Lisa Karon Richardson

 AlLee & Richardson to release Curtain Call,
final book in their acclaimed Charm & Deceit series

Curtain Call by Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson, the third and final book in the duo’s acclaimed Charm & Deceit series releases March 1, 2014 from Whitaker House.

The mystery/romance is set in New York City, 1868 and involves the murder of Sarah DeKlerk, Pinkerton detective Carter Forbes’ only unsolved case. Forbes appears in all three Charm & Deceit books which have been met with great enthusiasm from historic fiction lovers as well as critical acclaim.

The action focuses on Carter’s sister Emily Forbes, an aspiring opera singing who has landed the leading role in a New York City opera production and Dr.Samuel DeKlerk who is the murder victim’s brother and a renowned physician. When Dr. DeKlerk becomes a patron of the New York City opera, he and Emily meet and eventually work together to unravel the mystery of Sarah DeKlerk, a murder case gone cold.

The story has the quirky, colorful characters and plot twists readers and critics alike applauded in the first two series books: Diamond in the Rough and Vanishing Act.

“Lisa and Jennifer are brilliant storytellers, and their plot twists often caught me by surprise,” Joe Allison wrote in the Christian Writers Journal. “Diamond in the Rough is not a cut-and-dried genre romance, but an authentic taste of life in 1860s California. This is the first in a series. When you’ve enjoyed the first one, you’ll watch for more. I certainly am.”

Patsy Gans, in her 4-star Romantic Times review of Vanishing Act said, “This second book in the Charm and Deceit series has a wonderful cast of characters who want to help people have closure with the death of a loved one … AlLee and Richardson have merged their writing styles for a unique series of books.”

The Charm & Deceit series is the first collaborative effort from AlLee and Richardson who are both accomplished authors.

ISBN: 978-1-62911-007-3; $12.99; Frontlist; Historical Fiction/Christian/Romance; April 2014

 About the Authors  
Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson are a dynamic writing team. Curtain Call concludes the duo’s first series with Whitaker House, Charm & Deceit, which also includes Diamond in the Rough and Vanishing Act.

. Lisa Karon Richardson has led a life of adventure—from serving as a missionary in the Seychelles and Gabon to returning to the States and starting a daughter-work church—and she imparts her stories with similarly action-packed plot lines.

In addition to writing and ministry, Lisa manages medical malpractice litigation for a major health system. She lives in Ohio with her husband and their two children.

Influenced by books like The Little Princess, and The Secret Garden Lisa’s early books were heavy on governesses and “creepy boarding schools.” Though she says she’s mostly all grown-up now, she still loves a healthy dash of adventure in any story she creates, even her real-life story.

Besides the Charm & Deceit series she has published Impressed by Love (Barbour Publishing 2012), The Magistrate’s Folly (Barbour Publishing January 2013), Midnight Clear (Mistletoe Memories, Barbour Publishing, September, 2013).

Jennifer AlLee
Jennifer believes the most important thing a person can do is find his or her identity in God, a theme that finds its way into all her work. She has published numerous novels, short stories, devotions, and plays. Over the years, she has enjoyed being part of church drama ministries and worship teams. Jennifer lives with her family in Las Vegas, Nevada.

She writes:
“My first brush with fame came the day I was born in Hollywood, California, and my basinet neighbor in the hospital nursery happened to be Michael Landon, Jr. When she should have been looking at me, my Aunt Karen instead gaped at the man beside her and nearly passed out when she found she was standing next to Michael Landon, Sr. at the nursery window. Myconnection with the entertainment industry had begun.

“I've always loved books and writing came as a natural extension of that. In school, whenever there was a writing assignment, I was the kid that wrote way more than was necessary. In high school, my best friend and I would write short stories for fun and trade them with each other. In fact, I wrote my first complete book in high school.”

Jennifer’s books include: The Love of His Brother (November 2007, Five Star Publishers), The Pastor's Wife (February 2010, Abingdon Press), The Mother Road (April 2012 Abingdon Press) and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (November 2012 Abingdon Press), book two in the Quilts of Love series.

I received a review copy of this book from Whitaker House.  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Spotlight of Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell

Love Comes Calling

Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell

From Goodreads.comDreaming of becoming an actress, Boston socialite Ellis Eaton captures Griff Phillips' attention. But while filling in for a look-alike friend at the telephone exchange, she overhears a call that threatens Griff's safety. With handsome policeman Jack Flanigan investigating - and her heart in a muddle - will she discover what might be the role of a lifetime?

Casting the Net by Pam Rhodes

Casting the Net
Casting the Net by Pam Rhodes

Heart-warming English comedy of manners, featuring the trials and tribulations of newly ordained minister, Neil FisherIn part two of the Dunbridge Chronicles, Neil Fisher returns from ordination inspired by his sense of ministry, but determined to distance himself from the two ladies in his life. This is not altogether well received, and a wide segment of the congregation of St Stephen's, Dunbridge--including the music group--points Neil to the error of his ways.

Meanwhile Neil's close friend Colin and his wife Jeannie are delighted by the birth of a daughter, but is all well with the baby? Neil's mother Iris continues to meddle, to his irritation. Churchwarden Peter has said a relieved farewell to his flighty wife Glenda--or has he? Dunbridge is not as peaceful as it seems.

My Take:  This book is a great book to read if you are in the mood to feel like you are surrounded by a bunch of friends.  You will feel right at home as you read about the various people that reside in Dunbridge. 
This book will make you wish that you lived there and you will both laugh and cry along with the characters.  Great book.  Great story.   

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion from Kregel .

Book Spotlight of Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

When a suspicious accident occurs at the Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, in 1904, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate. Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father.