by admin | Feb 16, 2019 | Amish, Books, Romance
Mending Fences is so much more than an Amish romance novel. It probably contains the absolute best examples of forgiveness and restoration that I have encountered in any other novel. It was both gratifying and touching to follow Luke’s journey through making apologies to each person he hurt through his past actions, especially as he began to realize exactly how his unthinking pranks had affected others. Then the revelations at the end that illustrated even further the depths of forgiveness other characters had given in their own situations left me with the belief that this novel was definitely inspired by God.
The story itself is very well written with the serious subject of rehabilitation and restoration lightened by a few quite humorous incidents scattered throughout including a time or two when Luke’s attempts to make things right backfired on him. At least his intentions were pure! I loved all the other characters and enjoyed encountering a few from earlier novels. I especially liked David and his loving method of imparting wisdom to others.
I am so thankful that I agreed to review this book. Even if you are not a fan of Amish fiction, Mending Fences is one book you should not miss.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.
Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him. He has been allowed to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, he must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.
Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.
And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm, and Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend her only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.
Read an excerpt here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including Mending Fences, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.
by admin | Feb 15, 2019 | Books, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Mystery/Suspense, Split Time
The Curse of Misty Wayfair is one of those books that grabs hold of the reader and won’t let go. With a dual timeline, the stories of both Thea Read and Heidi Lane, two women from two different centuries. It is a story of family secrets and a legend that has lived on in Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin for over one hundred years.
Wright has woven a haunting tale of two women, each searching for her own identity. The narrative does move a bit slowly at first as it builds layer upon layer of the foundation that becomes the story that the reader doesn’t want to put down. It is a book that I was eager to reach the conclusion but yet I did not want it to end. It’s gothic atmosphere, vivid portrayals of mental illness and dementia, and the descriptions of the mental asylum, and Thea’s work as a traveling photographer all contributed to create a wonderfully spooky book. Despite the mysterious vibe, The Curse of Misty Wayfair has a strong spiritual message of finding one’s identity in the Lord.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to many more by this author.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to turn-of-the-century Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin. When the clues she finds lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a postmortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.
A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother–who is battling dementia–compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman haunting the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns–and with it, Heidi’s fear for her own life.
As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, they must overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined.
Read an excerpt here.
Purchase a copy here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jaime Jo Wright is the Christy Award-Winning author of The House on Foster Hill. She’s also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime works as a human resources director in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two children. To learn more, visit www.jaimewrightbooks.com.
by admin | Feb 10, 2019 | Amish, Books, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
I am one of those readers who sometimes wants to say “enough already” with Amish fiction although there are a few authors I will read. Laura V. Hilton is one of those authors because I know I will find an entertaining plot with authentic characters and situations, as well as a liberal dose of practical faith. I am always happy to read a book by this author.
The Amish Candymaker is entertaining and sometimes humorous yet probes deeply into the insecurities that affect the way Agnes Zook and Isaac Mast view themselves. I loved the way the author wove both scripture and Amish quotations into the story. Bishop Miah was an important character with plenty of wisdom who helped Agnes and Issac to overcome their past by constantly reminding them of their God who never fails.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book although I was tempted to distraction by the frequent descriptions of wonderful food. Sugar is no longer part of my diet but I do remember it well. It was also fun reading about characters from previous books and seeing them from a different point of view. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing not to like about The Amish Candymaker and I recommend it to other readers – even those who do not really like Amish fiction.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
|Title: The Amish Candy Maker
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Genre: Amish Christian Fiction
Release date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Whitaker House
Agnes Zook finds herself on her own in a small Amish community in Mackinac County after a tragedy kills her family. Most of the Amish call her “off in den Kopf” (strange) since she’s starting her own business and forging her own way in the community instead of relying on the bishop to take care of her. Since she’s viewed as non-submissive and too-forward for an Amish woman, she’s not courted by young men in the area.
Isaac Mast is on the verge of leaving the Amish church. He’s become a sought-after auctioneer and has a thriving business, but he feels confined by the strict rules. When his brother is severely injured in a wild fire, Isaac receives a letter from his sister-in-law, begging him to come to Mackinac County to help out while his brother is hospitalized. Isaac agrees but is unsure how to manage their young children when he has weekend auctions he’s expected to attend.
Agnes may be the answer to a prayer. Sparks fly when she and Isaac meet. But could their differences help them form a deeper connection to their faith…and each other?
Click here to purchase your copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Laura Hilton is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web. Her first series with Whitaker was The Amish of Seymour, comprising Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (2012 Laurel Award winner, first place in the Amish Genre Clash), and Promised to Another; and her second was The Amish of Webster County, comprising Healing Love, Awakened Love, and Surrendered Love. Her next series was The Amish of Jamesport, featuring The Post Card, Snow Globe, and The Birdhouse. Her latest books include The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer, and Love By the Numbers. Laura and her husband, Steve, live in Arkansas with their five children, whom Laura homeschools.
RECIPE FOR FUDGE À LA AGNES ZOOK
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge
Courtesy of Laura V. Hilton
1 bag (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
2 cans sweetened condensed milk, divided
6 tablespoons butter, divided
20 to 30 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or six regular-size ones broken into four or five pieces each
For the chocolate layer: Line a greased 8-by-11.5-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine milk chocolate chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 4 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.
Pour into prepared baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature, then move to the refrigerator while preparing next layer.
For the peanut butter layer: In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine peanut butter chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.
Pour on to the milk chocolate fudge layer and press pieces of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the surface. If desired, group candy pieces in a grid-like fashion for easier cutting later.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight or until set.
Remove from refrigerator, lift out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper, and cut into squares, with roughly one miniature peanut butter cup or piece of a cup per square.
Store in the refrigerator.
|Christian Author, J. E. Grace, February 5
My Devotional Thoughts, February 5
Carla Loves To Read, February 5
Among the Reads, February 6
Girl’s In White Dresses, February 6
Britt Reads Fiction, February 6
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7
The Avid Reader, February 7
Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, February 7
Emily Yager, February 8
Quiet quilter, February 8
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 8
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 9
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 9
Maureen’s Musings, February 9
Bibliophile Reviews, February 10
Vicky Sluiter, February 10
Through the Fire Blogs, February 11
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11
Daysong Reflections, February 11
Texas Book-aholic, February 12
|Janices book reviews, February 12
Carpe Diem, February 13
A Baker’s Perspective, February 13
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14
SusanLovesBooks, February 14
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 14
Blossoms and Blessings, February 15
Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, February 15
Inspiration Clothesline, February 15
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16
Pause for Tales, February 16
Have A Wonderful Day, February 17
For the Love of Books, February 17
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 17
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 18
Bigreadersite, February 18
To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a grand prize of a large and small spatula set and a $10 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
by admin | Feb 6, 2019 | Books, Historical, Romance
I have the first two books of this series waiting on my TBR shelf because I purchased them but have not had the chance to work them into openings of my review calendar. However badly I want to read them, I must try to meet my commitments first. I was tickled to be given a spot on the influencer team for A Desperate Hope so I actually had to read it! Of course now I find myself wanting to drop everything and read the other two right now.
Eloise Drake and Alex Duval once had a strong connection until their relationship was discovered and the pair was separated and sent away. Years later they find themselves on opposite sides when Eloise is sent to Duval Springs to evaluate the value of the property that will be destroyed when the valley is flooded to build a reservoir to supply New York City with water. Despite the conflict in their jobs, Eloise and Alex find themselves working together to find a solution for the townspeople before it is too late. A risky scheme seems outrageous to many but Alex believes that crazy as it seems, it might just work. But winning Eloise’s love again might be nearly impossible.
I enjoyed A Desperate Hope very much, especially the history behind the story. Having actually had experience with eminent domain to a lesser degree, it was nevertheless easy to identify with the townspeople. When the state decides it wants your property, there is very little a citizen can do to stop them from taking it. The story itself was intriguing with secrets revealed and a bit of action and danger along the way. An excellent book that kept me involved until the very end, A Desperate Hope lived up to my expectations. I am looking forward to whatever Elizabeth Camden has in store for her readers next.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author and Bethany House. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Eloise Drake’s prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she believes is finally behind her. A mathematical genius, she’s now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.
Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town–but he needs Eloise’s help to succeed.
Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he’d lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them.
Read an excerpt HERE.
Purchase a copy:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elizabeth Camden (www.elizabethcamden.com) is the author of twelve historical novels and two historical novellas and has been honored with both the RITA Award and the Christy Award. With a master’s in history and a master’s in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida.
by admin | Feb 5, 2019 | Books, Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Suspense
As a rule, I would not expect corporate law to be anything but routine and boring but in author Rachel Dylan’s hands it is anything but. Stakes are high in Dylan’s third and final book in her Atlanta Justice series when a high profile case may be more than it appears on the surface. It just may be connected to the murder of Mia Shaw’s good friend Chase who was originally handling the case.
Determined to see Chase’s murderer receive justice, Mia vows to do everything she can to see that the accused man is convicted of the crime. After all, there is plenty of evidence pointing to him as the murderer. When she is assigned to complete the case Chase was working on, troubling facts begin to emerge and Mia finds herself a target and her life in danger. The only person she can depend on for help is the Noah Ramirez, the man working hard to prove his friend innocent of the murder.
Once again I found myself immersed in a book by this author, turning pages as quickly as I could read them to find out what would happen next. I also loved the fact that Mia was a new Christian and that several conversations about faith were so deftly woven into the plot that it flowed naturally. It is also evident that as a lawyer herself, Dylan knows her stuff when it comes to the legal aspects of the story which makes it all the more authentic. At risk of offending his fans, I would personally put her novels up against John Grisham’s any day.
If you enjoy romantic suspense with a legal setting, I would highly recommend Breach of Trust as well as the entire Atlanta Justice series.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author and Bethany House Publishers. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Corporate litigator Mia Shaw suffers the shock of her life when she finds her colleague and friend brutally murdered. Grief-stricken and furious, Mia vows that she will do anything to seek justice and make the killer pay.
The man accused of the murder is a friend of security tech guru Noah Ramirez, but the evidence just doesn’t add up. To save his former ATF partner, Noah needs to convince Mia that the real killer is still on the loose.
Mia soon has more than the criminal prosecution to worry about, however. She is tasked with taking over her friend’s last case and learns he was hiding secrets about his client. She thinks she may have stumbled upon corporate espionage that has turned deadly, but she has no idea of the danger involved. Her only ally is Noah, despite their difference of opinion on the homicide case. Can he win Mia over to his side and protect her from ever-growing threats?
Read an excerpt HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids–two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.racheldylan.com.