Friday, September 30, 2016

Mattie's Pledge - Journey to Pleasant Prairie 2 - by Jan Drexler

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About the book:

When she feels the pull of both home and the horizon, which will she choose?
Mattie Schrock is no stranger to uprooting her life. Even as her father relocated her family from one Amish community to the next, she always managed to find a footing in their new homes. Now as the Schrock family plans to move west from Somerset County to a fledgling Amish settlement in Indiana, she looks forward to connecting with old friends who will be joining them from another Pennsylvania community--friends like Jacob Yoder, who has always held a special place in her heart.

Since Mattie last saw Jacob, they've both grown into different people with different dreams. Jacob yearns to settle down, but Mattie can't help but dream of what may lie over the western horizon. When a handsome Englisher tempts her to leave the Amish behind to search for adventure in the West, will her pledge to Jacob be the anchor that holds her secure?

Tender, poignant, and gentle, Mattie's Pledge offers you a glimpse into Amish life in the 1840s--and into the yearning heart of a character you'll not soon forget.

My review:

I enjoyed this historical Amish story about Mattie, a young woman excited to head west with her family.  I could understand her thirst for adventure and wanting to see new places.  I couldn't understand how she could flirt with a dangerous Englisher and not realize that he might have bad intentions toward her.  She was pretty naive.  There were a few romances developing in the story as the group of Amish traveled west.  It was interesting to see who got together  Mattie struggled with trusting God and doing His will instead of her own, which I think we all struggle with.  There was some good discussion about faith.  It was interesting to see the different viewpoints in the story, especially of the bad guy.  His lifestyle made quite a contrast to the Amish way of living.  This book worked well as a stand-alone, though there are characters from book one here.  I would recommend this story if you like Amish books.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. Jan Drexler
    © Magnified Photography

    Jan Drexler

    Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Their experiences are the basis for her stories. Jan lives in...
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When Love Arrives - Misty Willow 2 - by Johnnie Alexander

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About the book:

Dani had planned to spy on Brett--so how did she end up on a date with him?
Dani Prescott can't believe the lie Brett Somers is trying to sell to the media. During an interview about the plane crash that killed his parents, he blamed Dani's mother. But the crash killed her as well. Vowing to restore her mother's reputation, Dani has been following Brett and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use to discredit him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is?

My review:

This was another wonderful, well-written story in the Misty Willow series!  I did not want to put this book down!  It was so satisfying to see Brett grow and change throughout the story, partly because of Dani, partly because of God and partly because of discovering he had a son.  I ended up liking Brett a lot, even though I wasn't so sure about him after reading book one.  Dani was a wonderful character, too, though I couldn't agree with her motives at the beginning of the story.  I loved all the discussion about classic movies and actors, especially Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, two of my favorites.  There were some cute romantic moments.  There were some good discussions about faith as Brett and Dani both struggle to understand who God is.  It was wonderful to see Shelby, AJ and her girls again from book one.  The story works as a stand-alone, but you definitely don't want to miss the first book.  I highly recommend this story!

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. Johnnie Alexander
    © Jodie Westfall Photography

    Johnnie Alexander

    Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to...
    Continue reading about Johnnie Alexander 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This Road We Traveled - by Jane Kirkpatrick

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About the book:

Tabitha Brown refuses to be left behind in Missouri when her son makes the decision to strike out for Oregon--even if she has to hire her own wagon to join the party. After all, family ties are stronger than fear.

Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. The trials they face along the way will severely test her faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family's survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn't know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life--and the greater part she had to play in history.

With her signature attention to detail and epic style, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites you to travel the deadly and enticing Oregon Trail. Based on actual events, This Road We Traveled inspires the pioneer in all of us.

My review:

This is a true story about a woman known as "The Mother of Oregon."   What an inspiring and fascinating woman!  Tabitha lived a full and adventurous life and it was especially amazing to see this older, disabled woman setting out on the Oregon Trail!  She had her shortcomings and regrets, but her bravery and trust in God were wonderful to see.  There were many instances where she prayed for guidance and safety and imparted her faith to her children and grandchildren.  It was also interesting to see from her daughter and granddaughter's perspectives as her daughter didn't want to go, but her teenage granddaughter was excited for the adventure.  There was a lot of hardship, accidents, starvation, Indian attacks and deaths, but also a lot of community and helping each other and Indians sharing their food just when they needed it.  There was a little bit of romance and some discussion of literature and art, which I enjoyed.  They were an educated family and Tabitha had been a teacher.  If you like historical fiction, you would probably enjoy this.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. Jane Kirkpatrick

    Jane Kirkpatrick

    Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have been...
    Continue reading about Jane Kirkpatrick 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Raven - A Coffey & Hill Novel 2 - by Mike Nappa

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About the book:

As part of his street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience's pockets while they watch. It's harmless fun--until he decides to keep the wallet of a prominent politician, hoping for a few extra bucks. When he finds compromising photos of the councilman and his "personal assistants," The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man. However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukrainian Mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named "Nevermore."

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues to rescue The Raven from a wild card bent on revenge.

My review:

This was an interesting and unique story.  I really liked Trudi and The Raven was pretty funny.  You don't know where the story is going and I liked the surprise of it.  I also really liked the Edgar Allan Poe references.  However, it felt like the story didn't move fast enough.  I got a little bogged down with the character Bliss Monroe and the details of her day-to-day.  I wanted to see more of Trudi and Samuel and her detective agency.  There was a little bit of romance to the story.  There was a stronger faith element than in the first book as The Raven thinks about his father's faith and rethinks his own.  Trudi also prays at different times.  There was some suspense as the story counted down and then there was the action-packed climax.  This story worked as a stand-alone, though you do have more of Trudi and Samuel's background if you read the first book.  You might like this book if you like unique stories with a touch of humor.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.


 The Author

  1. Mike Nappa

    Mike Nappa

    Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at FamilyFans.com, as well as a bestselling and award-winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide. When he was a kid, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe scared him silly. Today he owns everything Poe...
    Continue reading about Mike Nappa 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jesus Talked to Me Today: True Stories of Children's Encounters with Angels, Miracles, and God - compiled by James Stuart Bell

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About the book:

Jesus Loves the Little Children
Children have a special place in Jesus' heart. He told His disciples to "Let the little children come to me," encouraged them to welcome children in His name, and said that their angels continually see the face of God. Maybe that's why children are often more receptive to miraculous experiences than adults.

This collection of awe-inspiring true stories reveals how God works in the lives of these precious little ones. Through heartwarming accounts of children who have heard Jesus speak, encountered angels, and experienced miracles, we get a glimpse of the way God cares for the most vulnerable among us. Just as Jesus told His disciples, we could all use more childlike faith, and these stories "from the mouths of babes" will encourage you to hear from the Lord in a fresh, sweet, and pure way.

My review:

This was a wonderful book with many inspiring true stories!  Some made me laugh, some cry and a few gave me chills.  There were all types of stories, from children in everyday situations to times of intense grief and intense fear.  This book was a great reminder that God sees us and knows everything we're going through.  He cares about every detail of our lives and He's always there for us.  There's so much more going on in this world than we can see.  This was such an encouraging book.  I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. James Stuart Bell
    © David Vosburg

    James Stuart Bell

    James Stuart Bell is a Christian publishing veteran and the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He is the editor of many story collections, including Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters; Heaven Touching Earth;...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Heart Most Certain - A Teaville Moral Society Novel - by Melissa Jagears

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About the book:

Lydia King knows what it's like to be in need, so she joins the Teaville Moral Society hoping to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poorhouse herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his mother is the moral society's president. Lydia's first task as a moral society member--to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town--seems easy . . . until the man flat-out refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresees the harrowing complications that will arise from working together, and when town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs--and hearts--truly align.

My review:

I absolutely loved this book!  The plot was so unique with Lydia trying to get a donation from Nicholas and then him turning her preconceived ideas on their head.   I loved how he found unique ways to help the poor without humiliating them or making himself look good.  They learned from each other and brought out the best in each other.  It was wonderful to see how they both grew.  Nicholas had great pain in his past and had a hard time trusting people while Lydia also had a very difficult situation she was going through.  There was a good message, too, about trusting God with everything.  There were some cute romantic moments as they were both drawn together, but felt there were too many roadblocks to be together.  The discussion questions were some of the best I've seen.  They really made you dig deep into Scripture with many references to look up and consider how your own answers compare to Scripture.  I highly recommend this book!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. Melissa Jagears

    Melissa Jagears

    Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store, and A Bride at Last, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN...
    Continue reading about Melissa Jagears 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review of Janine Mendenhall’s ‘Starving Hearts’ and Prize Pack Giveaway!

About the book:

Starving Hearts (Heritage Beacon Fiction, May 2016)

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?

My review:

I enjoyed this story set in one of my favorite time periods, the Regency period!  I really liked the two main characters; Annette was very smart, independent, amusing and a little too impulsive for her own good.  Peter was such an honorable man who strove to do the right thing, even at a high cost to himself.  There were a few other characters that were nice enough, however I had a hard time with some truly evil ones.  Annette's mother treated her terribly and Peter's brother was horrible to so many people.  Then there was the man who attacked Annette, the mad man, and some others.  It felt like bad things just kept on happening with not a lot of hope.  I found myself getting very angry with different people and scenarios.  It was interesting to read about William Wilberforce and his fight to abolish slavery, though it was hard to read about how slaves were being treated. There was also some mention of women's rights.  I liked how issues of the day were brought into the story.  It was also fascinating to learn about the customs of the time.  There were some cute romantic moments and some great spiritual discussions.  I really liked the message about trusting God, even in difficult circumstances and when all hope seems lost.  Forgiveness was another strong theme in the story, both God's forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others.  I thought it was clever how the seeming bad turns in the story worked out for the good of those who loved God, another important verse from the Bible used in the story.  I would recommend it for it's strong spiritual message and if you like Regency.

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

About the author:



Janine 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.



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.

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