A River Too Deep by Sydney Tooman Betts

A River Too Deep


“A River Too Deep” is not one of those books the reader will breeze through but is actually one to savor. The story has the feel of a journal or memoir with very little dialogue and even that is a recounting of conversations by the writer, Alcy Callen. Beginning with a trip to visit her long-lost uncle, Alcy recounts events in her life that lead to her life among the Indians.

The novel is liberally sprinkled with scripture with a verse at the end of each chapter. Alcy’s descriptions of her life in the Indian village and her interactions with them were vivid and realistic. The most striking element of the story to me was Alcy’s strong dependence on the Lord and her determination to follow His plan for her life regardless of the personal price. Her obedience produced abundant fruit that was gratifying to read about.

“A River Too Deep” is an engaging novel that might just leave the reader comparing her own faith to Alcy’s.

This book was provided for review by Celebrate Lit.


In the spring of 1817, Alcy Callen and her father visit a step-uncle they have long presumed dead; but instead of enjoying a loving reunion, they are plunged into treachery and deceit. Nothing is as they expected and little is what it seems. Even the man who helps her escape is not the reliable suitor he appears.

Alcy is caught between gratitude and fear, unable to avoid her rescuer’s attentions or understand the responses they stir. Neither can she tell what sort of man he is or what he intends to do with her in the strange place they are going. Will he keep her for himself or will he sell her to the highest

Of one person only is she certain, but will he come for her before it is too late?

A River Too Deep is a 274 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre and was released on October 23, 2013. To purchase your copy, click here.


Sydney Tooman BettsSydney Tooman Betts and her protagonist-husband currently reside in the Shenandoah Valley near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several early chapters of this book.

While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) was involved in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level and serving as the Sunday School Superintendent, Children’s Church Director, or Women’s Ministries facilitator in several evangelical denominations.

Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.

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Blog Tour Stops

Feb 1: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

Feb 2: Cassandra M’s Place


Feb 4: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

Feb 5: Lavish Bookshelf

Feb 6: Daysong Reflections

Feb 7: Mary Hake

Feb 8: Christian Bookaholic

Feb 8: Reading Is My SuperPower

Feb 9: Texas Book-aholic

Feb 10: A Greater Yes

Feb 11: Simple Harvest Reads

Feb 11: Through the open window

Feb 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Feb 13: BukWurmzzz

Feb 14: For The Love of Books

Beyond the Silence by Tracie Peterson & Kimberly Woodhouse

Beyond the Silence


I wasn’t sure what to expect from a novel coauthored by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse. There is so much difference in their usual styles. After reading “Beyond the Silence” I can sincerely state that these two authors work very well together. With Peterson’s long acknowledged expertise with historical novels and Woodhouse’s obvious skill at suspense, this novel kept me spellbound until its conclusion.

The characters in “Beyond the Silence” were excellent. Even the bad guy was well defined. I liked everything about Lillian – her determination, her feistiness, and zest for live, but I especially liked her ability to see people for who they really were and her acceptance of those much different from herself. Her loyalty and compassion were other positive traits I admired. Even young Jimmy’s personality came through despite his lack of conversation.

The plot was suspense filled with a coldly evil villain who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. The townspeople and local sheriff too easily believed the worst of Woody Colton which allowed this man to get away with murder and other crimes much too long. With a strong spiritual theme, the story addressed such subjects as gossip and forgiveness.

I loved “Beyond the Silence” and hope to see more books by this well-matched writing team. This book is well worth the time.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


The shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth.

Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love–or will it endanger her even more?

Learn more and purchase a copy.



Tracie Peterson Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Find out more about Tracie Peterson at http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse.

 Kimberly Woodhouse  

Kimberley Woodhouse is a multi-published author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she’s shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and home schools with her husband of twenty-plus years and their two awesome teens live in Colorado.



A Son’s Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Son's Vow


Although Amish fiction is not my favorite genre, I know I can always depend on a good read when I pick up one of Shelley Shepard Gray’s novels. She has a unique approach that probes the depths of human emotions and brings her characters to life. I find it easy to empathize with each of them because their life situations are familiar despite the difference in culture.

“A Son’s Vow” takes place during a time frame following a devastating fire that killed several men of the community. Although no evidence proved him responsible, Darla’s father was blamed for the accident by many residents. With so many affected by the fire, relationships have been strained, even those between once close friends like Darla’s friend Lukas. Darla spends her days attempting to take care of her brothers and sisters in the absence of her parents and Lukas finds himself responsible for the mill since his father’s death. With so much responsibility and so many changes in their lives, can their friendship survive?

In this novel, Gray touches on the subjects of anger and domestic abuse which are not something most would associate with the Amish. The author illustrated how grief, anger, and stress can drive a person to do things he regrets and is ashamed of, yet cannot seem to stop. I particularly liked how the guilty party was brought to repentance and restoration through the loving and forgiving approach taken by those who confronted him.

I thoroughly enjoyed “A Son’s Vow” and liked how the title was tied into the story near its end. If this book is any indication, The Charmed Amish Life series promises to be a good one.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family.

Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

Shelley Shepard Gray’s first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.

Learn more and purchase a copy of A Son’s Vow.


Shelley Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.



Enter to win a copy of A Son’s Vow—five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced February 11 on Shelley’s blog!