Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall

Starving Hearts


One of the hazards of reviewing books is the frequent addition of new authors to my must read list that continuously increases. At this rate I will never read all the books I want to read. And yes, you guessed that I’ve added Janine Mendenhall to my list. I absolutely adored “Starving Hearts”!

Annette and Peter were both unforgettable characters. Despite her serious health problems that embarrass her mother so, Annette is actually a strong and intelligent young woman who is determined to make a difference to others. No way is she planning to let her mother force her into an unwanted marriage, especially to the man who assaulted her. Peter is one of those men with outstanding character who are often overlooked by those whose aim to to succeed at all costs. I thoroughly enjoyed watching as the relationship between him and Annette became stronger despite all the odds stacked against them.

What a story “Starving Hearts” is! Not only is it a delightful regency romance but it is also suspense filled mystery of the very best kind. It is one of those tales where just when everything looks to be going in the right direction, another complications appears out of nowhere to send everything off course once again. Annette and Peter are caught up in the malevolent plans of a deranged man who will stop at nothing to achieve his revenge. Death and danger lurk around each corner and hope seems lost more than once. This story has more twists than a mountain road and I held my breath at times in fear of what could happen. I so appreciated the way the tables were turned on the villain at the end. They say that “all’s well that ends well” but what a suspenseful journey to get to that end!

I am so looking forward to the next book in this series “Never Past Hope”.

A copy of this book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.

She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

Purchase a copy:
Starving Hearts Giveaway

Janine MendenhallJanine Mendenhall teaches teens English, of all things! Sometimes she sleeps, but most nights she reads, writes, or watches movies like “Pride and Prejudice” and claims she’s researching her next book. “Splickety Love” and “Splickety Prime” have published her flash fiction. She and her husband, Tom, live in North Carolina where they and their two golden retrievers help gratify the needs of their five children and two cats.

Find out more about Janine at




Janine Mendenhall’s ‘Starving Hearts’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Will Annette’s search for love and acceptance replace the loss and hurt in her heart? Find out in Janine Mendenhall’s book one, Starving Hearts, of the Triangular Trade Trilogy. Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Join in the search for love and acceptance with Janine and Starving Hearts by entering to win the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway.

starving hearts - 400

One grand prize winner will receive:

starving hearts - collage

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 12. The winner will be announced September 13 on Janine’s blog.

starving hearts - enterbanner










Peppers Galore!


Our garden has been quite prolific when it comes to our pepper crop. We have several varieties that include mild banana peppers, cayenne peppers, poblanos, two varieties of jalapenos, and habaneros. We also have two or three varieties of bell peppers that are not producing quite as well. There is one ghost pepper plant that has survived but so far no peppers.

I have canned  enough sweet & spicy pepper relish for the next year and about nine jars of my husband’s favorite “Cowboy Candy” aka pickled hot/sweet jalapeno pepper slices. I have roasted and peeled quite a few poblano peppers for the freezer and halved and deseeded multiple poblano, jalapeno, and banana peppers for the freezer also. We have given away quite a few and the peppers keep coming.

Earlier this year I bought a dehydrator from a friend for $5. My son asked if it would work to dry peppers to make our own cayenne seasoning and maybe even habanero. I told him to give it a try so he took the dehydrator and enough peppers to fill it home with him (he lives next door).

Today he brought the dried peppers back and pulverized them in my Blendtec. It worked wonderfully! We now have freshly ground dried cayenne and habanero pepper. I haven’t tasted it but my son says it tastes very good – different from what we buy, probably because it is so fresh and has no additives. He already has another batch going in the dehydrator. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone on his Christmas list receives some home grown dried hot pepper this year.

Dried Pepper Seasoning

Cayenne Pepper on Left ~ Habanero Pepper on Right


A Bee In Her Bonnet (The Honeybee Sisters) by Jennifer Beckstrand

A Bee in her Bonnet


Amish fiction is not my very favorite genre but I have to say that the Honeybee Sisters and their Aunt B are so entertaining. In the second book of the series “A Bee in Her Bonnet”, sister Poppy Christner takes center stage. Always something of a tomboy, Poppy is not particularly interested in men – except to prove that she doesn’t need their help. Neighbor Luke Bontrager seems to show up at the worst of times – just when Poppy finds herself in need of a hand. Wanting to be a good neighbor, Luke attempts to save Poppy over and over, much to her dismay. After all he is just one of the boys she grew up with who always loved to make fun of her. Luke was not interested in Poppy, he wanted a more feminine girl in his life. So why could he not get Poppy out of his mind?

I thoroughly enjoyed “A Bee in Her Bonnet”. The Christner family is so much fun. I loved the unique names their aunt came up with for each pet in the household. Even the cats had their own personality. An ongoing mystery that began in book one continues through this one but has yet to be resolved. I can guarantee that I will have to read book three in order to find out who is behind the vandalism and threats on the family’s farm. The interaction between characters is excellent and the development of the romance between Poppy and Luke was inspired.

Jennifer Beckstrand has found a new fan with her witty and entertaining novels. I look forward to “Like a Bee to Honey”, the third book of the series.

A copy of this book was provided for review by Amazon Vine.


Their bees produce the most delectable honey in all of Wisconsin. And the three Christner girls are fondly known as The Honeybee Sisters throughout their peaceful Amish community–where their spirited sweetness is attracting any number of hopeful suitors. . .

Lively, determined, and independent, Poppy Christner isn’t about to let some vandal keep making mischief on her family’s farm. She’s been outrunning boys and standing up for picked-on children ever since she was a girl–no matter how much her prideful, arrogant schoolmate Luke Bontrager insulted her. So Poppy certainly doesn’t need his interference now, especially since he’s made it plain he prefers demure, ladylike companions. In fact, if Luke doesn’t stop helping her find the culprit–and growing humble and remorseful–she’ll be forced to notice how handsome his change-of-heart is making him. And that could mean falling in love–maybe for a lifetime…

Purchase a copy of  “A Bee in Her Bonnet” HERE.


Jennifer BeckstrandJennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.

Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.



A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas

A Tapestry of Secrets


I fell in love with the Appalachian Blessings series with its very first introductory novella and have eagerly awaited each subsequent book. I especially liked “Miracle in a Dry Season” but I now believe “A Tapestry of Secrets is my very favorite one.

If asked what makes this series and this book so outstanding to me, I would be hard pressed to come up with a definitive answer. I loved the Appalachian setting, the strong bond between family members and in turn their relationships with their neighbors. The close connection the characters had to their roots and the underlying spiritual thread that ran throughout were also important features.

I loved reading about Perla once again but it was also a bit sad to see her declining health in her old age. I liked Ella’s character and have to admit that I much preferred one of her suitors over the other. I was happy with how things turned out for her and also was impressed with how the author resolved the situation with the other man. Some important lessons and bits of wisdom were scattered though “A Tapestry of Secrets” if one pays even a smidgen of attention.

I know all good things must come to an end and I suspect the Appalachian Blessings series may now be complete. I hate to see it end but anticipate equally great books from Sarah in the future. I can’t wait to see what she has to offer her readers next!

A copy of this book was provided for review by
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


What is the weight of a secret?

And what happens when that burden becomes almost too much to bear?

For decades, Perla Phillips has hidden the truth of a decision that still fills her with guilt. But now, seeing her granddaughter, Ella, struggle in a similar way, she’s prepared to finally open the past to her family, no matter the consequences. But when the opportunity is snatched from her in a most unexpected manner, will she have waited too long?

Spanning generations, this moving family drama weaves together the interlocking stories of two women as they navigate relationships, family, faith, and the choices that will shape their lives. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the story explores the courage to share the wounds of the past and celebrates the legacy a family passes from one generation to the next.

Read an excerpt from “A Tapestry of Secrets” HERE.

Purchase a copy of “A Tapestry of Secrets” HERE.


Photo Credit: © Kristen Delliveniri

Photo Credit: © Kristen Delliveniri

Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children’s ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season and Until the Harvest. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in North Carolina.

She can be found online at



1 2 3 528

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Christian Books

Janine Mendenhall’s ‘Starving Hearts’ Giveaway Starving Hearts Janine Mendenhall

Carrie Stuart Parks’ Undercover Artist Starter Set When Death Draws Near Carrie Stuart Parks

A Beauty Refined’ Blog Tour and Giveaway A Beauty Refined Tracie Peterson

Dana Mentink’s Sweetness Unleashed Pack Giveaway Fetching Sweetness Dana Mentink

Join the Flock! Litfuse Publicity Group blogger

Frequently Auto-Approved Professional Reader
Reviews Published
2016 NetGalley Challenge Challenge Participant

I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network

I review for BookSneeze