A Splash of Substance by Elizabeth Maddrey

A Taste of Substance


“A Splash of Substance” is a fun and witty contemporary romance that also delves into some pretty serious issues such as sustainable food and behind-the-scenes political manipulation. When Paige Jackson accepts a catering job for a senator’s fundraiser, she must work with Jackson Trent to plan it. Although both are Christians, each of them have such different ideas about what God has called them to do that they have very little common ground. Since this book is a romance, it is obvious that the pair will find a way to cross the divide between them. The misunderstandings, political intrigue, and even some scandal make the journey quite an adventure.

I found “A Splash of Substance” to be well written and a joy to read. The characters were realistic and endearing and I enjoyed reading about their romantic journey.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary Christian romance and look forward to this author’s future novels.

This book was provided for review by The Book Club Network.


She doesn’t vote. He works for a Senator. Is it a recipe for love or disaster? Paige Jackson has always stayed out of politics, leaving it to God to govern the world. She has enough on her plate as the owner of a catering company founded on convictions to buy local, sustainable fare. Jackson Trent works on Capitol Hill for Senator Carson, putting his beliefs in action to help shape national policy. Hoping to find high-end clients to keep her business afloat, Paige bids on a contract to cater the Senator’s next fundraiser. Shake-ups in the Senator’s staff leave Jackson grudgingly in charge of the event. After Paige is chosen as caterer, she and Jackson must work together despite opposing beliefs on how God calls Christians to participate in government. As Paige introduces Jackson to sustainable fare, it’s not just the food that piques his interest. When Senator Carson becomes front-page news in Washington, Paige is sucked into the whirlwind of scandal. Can Jackson convince Paige he wasn’t complicit and win her back or has politics burned his chance at love? Book One in a new series of Contemporary Christian Romance from Elizabeth Maddrey, A Splash of Substance is a heartwarming romance that also provides readers a chance to consider their views on the civic responsibility of Christians and sustainable living in the suburbs.


Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace. Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin

Not By Sight


I did not know what to expect when I agreed to review Kate Breslin’s second novel “Not by Sight”. All I knew is that her first novel had created a storm of hate and controversy, most of which was most likely undeserved. I will find that out for myself because after reading “Not by Sight” I absolutely must read “For Such a Time”. If Breslin’s skill is as pronounced in it as in “Not by Sight”, it simply must be superb.

The story itself is wonderful with captivating characters who inhabit England during the course of World War 1. The pages abound with drama, espionage, courage, friendship, and romantic tension that work together so well that I didn’t want to put my copy down to attend to the mundane demands of real life. Much of the story is described in beautiful and poetic prose that captivated my imagination. The title itself is a clue to what is inside the covers as both Jack and Grace must learn for themselves what it means to walk by faith and not by sight.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It is definitely in the running for my favorite of the year.

This book was provided for review by The Book Club Network.


Gripping Sophomore Novel from a Rising Historical Romance Talent

With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover. Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country’s cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she’ll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.

And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them–or the faith they’ll need to maintain hope.


A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. She is the author of For Such a Time and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. Find her online at www.katebreslin.com.

Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport

Brightest and Best


Although there are certainly elements of romance within the pages of “Brightest and Best”, two of them in fact, the real story is about what happens within the Amish community during the early twentieth century when the state of Ohio attempts to “consolidate” the Amish children into the public school system.

Based loosely on true historical events, the author does a marvelous job of helping her readers understand a bit more about the Amish and why they believe as they do about the need to educate their children within their own community. She also illustrated how prejudice is not always fueled by race but by difference in religion or culture. Excellent character development and a plot laced with conflict, a bit of mystery, romance, and a touch of humor work together to make “Brightest and Best” a very enjoyable book. Even if neither romance turns out quite as expected, I believe that makes this story even more believable.

This book was provided for review by the Barbour Review Crew.


The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittner and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English.


Olivia NewportOlivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning and The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. Her husband and two 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. Find out more at www.OliviaNewport.com.

For Olivia Newport’s website, Facebook or Twitter visit:




The Postcard by Laura V. Hilton

The Post Card


 “The Postcard” may be one of the best Amish novels I’ve read in awhile. With a somewhat different plot than usual, the story points the reader in the direction of true faith in Christ rather than dwelling on the much belabored lifestyle of the Amish. I also liked the way the honest portrayal of many of the characters that included anger, violence, confusion, and even a little passion (nothing objectionable). I appreciate that she showed how the Amish have the same emotions as the rest of us instead of trying to idealize their culture.

The story of a young Amish man who moves to another town to meet the young woman who has been his pen-pal for awhile. He has fallen in love with her through her letters and feels that the Lord has led him to meet her even if she is engaged to another fellow. There are plenty of complications including Rachel’s resistance but their comfortable friendship is difficult for her to resist. The question remains – “Is Rachel meant to be more to David than a friend?”

I really enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to more by this author even if Amish fiction is not my preferred genre.

This book was provided for review by the Book Club Network.


David Lapp (from Promised to Another) survived a “code blue” when he was in a buggy/semi truck accident in Seymour, Missouri. Now after extensive therapy he has lingering mobility problems and is still struggling to find his place in the world. Lured away from Webster County by thoughts of closed buggies and a postcard friendship he’s developed with an Amish girl in Jamesport, he moves north, hoping for a fresh start. He finds temporary work in the area teaching school, and also makes fishing flies and weaves baskets. He sells his products in the Amish markets in the Jamesport area.   Rachel Miller dreams of travel, but feels tied to her Amish life. She is being courted by Mark Graber, but wonders if there’s more to life. When she sees David’s name mentioned in The Budget, she strikes up a pen pal friendship with David while he’s in the hospital and in therapy, consoling him when he and his girlfriend part ways. She never dreams that David will come north and move into her community. David is still fearful in the buggy, especially in high traffic areas. Feeling he’s called by God to preach, David spends hours in the Bible, but the Amish discourage him, believing their ministers should be drawn by lot. Will David follow his call, even if it takes him out of the Amish church? Will Rachel realize her dream to travel?


LauraV.HiltonAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love. Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book Swept Away will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport, releasing in November 2014 (The Snow Globe), June 2015 (The Postcard), and November 2015 (The Birdhouse). A Christmas Amish book, A White Christmas in Webster County, will release in September 2014. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

Greenfield Legacy by Meredith Resce, Paula Vince, Amanda Deed & Rose Dee

The Greenfield Legacy


 “The Greenfield Legacy” is the story of the women in one family who have been affected their entire lives by one decision made in the past. When mother Mattie brings them all together to somehow reveal the whole truth, response is not quite what she expected. That one decision caused ripple effects in the lives of her daughters and their families that could continue to create havoc if not stopped.

At times, this book was difficult to read and I also had difficulty relating to many of the characters. I did not like the attitudes of one in particular but as the story progressed, I was able to gain some understanding about why she acted that way.

This story is a very good example of how things are passed down from generation to generation if the cycle is not ended. It is a fine example of the power of love and forgiveness that can change lives.

This book was provided for review by The Book Club Network.


Mattie was in love with Billy, but she was too young to wed. When Billy was conscripted to fight in Vietnam, they made a decision that affected their lives and their future. But so much pain resulted that Mattie never really healed. Every turn Mattie made affected her daughter and her granddaughter in ways she didn’t even realize. But forty-six years later, is it time for things to be set right? Navy is a young woman who suddenly finds out about her family. But what could be a wonderful opportunity is met with jealousy and apprehension from her cousin, Brooke and her aunt Connie, especially with handsome Aidan around. Each must look past their struggles and find forgiveness and trust, and perhaps even love.


Meredith ResceSouth Australian Author, Meredith Resce, has been writing since 1991, and has had books in the Australian market since 1997. Following the Australian success of her “Heart of Green Valley” series, an English Publisher has taken the first three books in this series, and has released them to the British and American Christian Fiction markets. She recently released her 15th project, ‘The Greenfield Legacy’. Apart from writing, Meredith also takes the opportunity to speak to groups on issues relevant to relationships and emotional and spiritual growth. Meredith has also been co-writer and co-producer in the 2007 Australian feature film production, “Twin Rivers”.

With her husband, Nick, Meredith has worked in Christian ministry since 1983. Meredith and Nick have three adult children, one daughter and two sons.

Visit Meredith’s website www.meredithresce.com

Paula VinceAward-winning author, Paula Vince loves to evoke tears and laughter through writing fiction. She stirs her stories with mystery, romance, drama and suspense to create something delectably special. A wife and homeschooling mother of three children, she resides in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, a beautiful spot for inspiration with its breath-taking scenery and four distinct seasons. For over ten years, Paula’s aim has been to provide quality faith-inspired fiction set in Australia. Her quest started way back when, as a Uni student, she discovered the writing of American Christian fiction authors. Her passion is to provide the same enjoyable reads highlighting her own country. “I’ve come to see that a story has its own awesome power to touch readers’ hearts in ways other genres do not. A story in which we grow to care for the hero has the potential to remain in our hearts for a long time. I love the challenge of making people laugh, cry and cheer.” After years of plodding on with minimal return, as Australian-based Christian fiction was regarded as something of an oddity, Paula’s efforts are beginning to bear fruit, at last. Her novel, “Picking up the Pieces” won the religious fiction section of the 2011 International Book Awards. Her novel, “Best Forgotten” was the winner of the 2011 CALEB Award in the fiction category, and also recognized as the best overall entry for the year, chosen over memoirs, devotionals and general fiction. Her most recent novel, “Imogen’s Chance” is an April 2014 release.

AmandaDeedAmanda Deed grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a Christian home and found faith at an early age. Her faith has been a basis for activities in music and literature since her teen years. She has had many experiences as she toured Australia with worship bands, travelling into remote and beautiful areas of Australia. These experiences served to deepen her love of all things Australian. The culmination of her passion for her country, romance and her faith, resulted in the first of her novels in the historical romance genre, The Game. Now married, with three children, Amanda enjoys the variety of being a mother, administrator/book-keeper, musician and fiction writer. Amanda’s debut novel, The Game, was awarded the 2010 CALEB Prize for fiction.

RoseDeeRose Dee was born in Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel. Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, decided to try her hand at writing two years ago. The result of that attempt is her first novel, ‘Back to Resolution’. Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. ‘Beyond Resolution’, and ‘A New Resolution’ are the second and third books in the ‘Resolution’ series. Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.