Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review-Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin

Upon a Spring Breeze
By:  Kelly Irvin
Publisher: Zondervan

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the publisher, Zondervan, for free to read and review through the blogger review program at BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

Bess Weaver at the age of twenty found out just how quickly life can change.  One moment she is preparing stew for her beloved Caleb and contemplating the birth of their first child, when suddenly a tragic accident thrusts her into widowhood and a season of doubt.  As she struggles to deal with Gott’s will and build a new life for her son, Joshua, without her husband, she finds herself working at an Englisch bed and breakfast, but the advances of the owners son, is not acceptable to the Amish community.  The community rally’s around her to show her she must stay true to her faith and surrender to God’s plan.

Aidan Graber, Caleb’s dearest friend, finds himself guilt-ridden because he feels responsible for Caleb’s death…If he hadn’t sent Caleb to the store…he might still be alive.   Aidan has also had feelings for Bess longer than he can remember.  As Caleb lay dying in his arms, he promised him he would look after Bess and his child…but will Bess let him?


Although this is the first book I have read by Kelly Irvin, it won’t be my last.  By the end of the first page, I knew it would be hard for me to put the book down. Irvin weaves a story showing faith put to the test in seemingly unsurmountable situations.  She also shows that these situations can happen to anyone…even the seasoned Christian.  As I read Bess’ story, my heart ached because of the despair she felt in not being able to understand and accept her husband’s death as God’s will.  She knew from her teaching it was sinful to doubt, but her heart was broken.  Also from the standpoint of a new mother, she didn’t think because she was Amish that she was supposed to admit to depression.  She didn’t think Plain people suffered from it.  Even though her journey was difficult, with friends and family to support her, she was able to realize that God was patiently waiting for her to accept his love, grace and belief that His plan for her future was best.  This book is filled with love, forgiveness, acceptance and grace.   As you read it…just keep the tissues handy.  It will definitely tug at your heart strings.

Book Review-The Lies We Believe by TK Chapin


The Lies We Believe 
By: T.K. Chapin


Disclaimer:  I received this Book from the author, T.K. Chapin for free to read and review. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

About the book:
Twenty-two year old Emily, Ron Fields only daughter, stops to visit him one day to tell him she is going to Lighthouse.  Thinking it was a church Ron was very happy to hear that his daughter had returned to her faith, until she explained to him that it was not a Christian church but a new-age thing.  Ron decided to keep his feelings to himself.  Although he was devastated he didn’t want to risk losing his daughter again, because she had run away once before, because of church. 

In this instance not speaking the truth against the new age cult will change his life forever and possibly destroy his daughter….

Wow! This suspense-filled book will keep you turning the pages as the events unfold, that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  In this book Mr. Chapin shows us how seemingly “simple little lies” can cause harm to those we love and cherish. As a parent, my desire and constant prayer was that my children would grow up loving and serving the Lord.  When that happened I was so thankful, but realized after my first grandchild was born that I was not done with my prayers concerning my family…it was only the beginning.  He also shows us how a simple lie can turn a family into an overnight, nightmare… How easy it is for just one small deviation from the true word of God to turn your orderly world into doubt and confusion.  As he weaves this remarkable story, you will find comfort in knowing his characters face daily issues we all might face from time to time and that as Christians we don’t always listen to God’s heeding or seek His advice first, but through it all, there is love, redemption and second chances given to all of us who are willing to accept God. 

If you are a fan of Christian fiction, then this is a great book to read, however; if you love Christian fiction filled with suspense, murder and romance all mixed in with God’s love, then it is a must-read book. 

Thank you again Mr. Chapin for another “must-read” book.  Once again it has given me pause for thought in my Christian walk and has given me the desire to walk even more closely with God.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review-A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd

Disclaimer:  I received this eBook from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for free to read and review through the blogger review program at Net Galley. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

About the book:

Because of Annabelle Thorley’s deceased father’s financial ruin, her fiancĂ© decides to call off the wedding.  Her future prospects for a husband are not looking very good and to top it all off she is not at the mercy of her cruel brother. When she was a young girl she visited Fellsworth with her mother and her uncle told her to remember she was always welcome if she ever found herself in need.  Her only hope is to go to Fellsworth to her Uncle, in hopes she can have a normal life.  Although Annabelle had never had to work in her life, she begins teaching and finds it difficult to do things for herself that other people used to do for her.  It is not easy but she is determined to make her own way and not return to her brother’s home.

At the school Annabelle, meets Owen Locke’s daughter and falls head over hills in love with her.  Owen is a widower and is extremely protective of his young daughter.  However once he meets Annabelle, his once regimented life is in turmoil.  For the first time since his wife died he wonders if he can have a second chance at love, but first before he can think of developing a relationship with Annabelle, he must find out who is poaching on the land he is hired to protect. 

He wonders if they be able to find a future together?

My Thoughts:

Annabelle’s story will steal your heart.  At first her inability to take care of herself and make friends will make you wish you could give her a hug and tell her not to give up hope.  As she becomes more confident, she finds she is able to do most anything she puts her mind too.  Owen and Annabelle’s story will take you on a journey of theft, murder and mysterious strangers stealing their peace.  You will also see love, forgiveness and courage at work.   I love Sarah Ladd’s books.  Her characters are so well developed they feel real.  I highly recommend this book.   

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Review-Threads of Suspicion By Dee Henderson

Threads of Suspicion
An Evie Blackwell Cold Case
By Dee Henderson
Publisher:  Bethany House

Disclaimer:  I received this Book from the publisher, Bethany House, for free to read and review through their blogger review program. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.


Evie Blackwell is a top notch investigator for the Illinois State Police.  She has recently been appointed to the governor’s Missing Person Task Force, which is an elite group that will investigate cold cases. 

Evie and her new partner David Marshal are assigned cases in suburban Chicago. Evie is looking for missing Brighton College student, Jenna Greenhill and David is looking for missing private investigator, Saul Morris.  At first glance these cases seem to be totally unrelated, but then clues start crossing each other’s case.  David and Evie feel that everyone deserves justice no matter how old the case, but with the twists and turns in this book, there are personal questions that are unanswered for both of them, making them want justice more than ever. 

For me the book had a slow start, but being a fan of Dee Henderson, I felt there was a reason and stuck with the first few chapters.  As the book progressed I was hooked on the career of Evie Blackwell.  As Henderson weaves a story of murder, mystery and romance, she portrays Evie a strong confident person in her career, however her personal life is a mess.  She is sure she loves her boyfriend, Rob Turney, who has asked her to marry him, but she cannot get past his wealth and his parents seemingly disapproval of her career choice.  She simply doesn’t feel like she can ever fit into their world.   Will God be able to give her peace and show her his will in her life regarding Rob? 

In this book along with mystery and suspense there is also inspiration as David’s girlfriend, Maggie struggles with accepting that Jesus is real and that he did raise from the dead, however it is in no way “preachy”.  I truly loved the inspirational part of this book.   Maggie raised questions that a lot of people ask and Henderson’s answers were true and easy to understand.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Book Review-The Noble Servant By Melanie Dickerson





The Noble Servant
By:  Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson


Disclaimer:  I received this eBook from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for free to read and review through the blogger review program at Net Galley. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.


From The Book:
She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.
Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter bearing his seal, asking for her hand in marriage.
But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Disguised as a shepherd, Steffan hopes to gain entry to the castle and claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.
Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.
Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to his uncle’s evil plan.

My Thoughts:


If you are a fan (like me) of Historical Romance this book is sure to captivate you from the first page.  The twists and turns of this book definitely show that evil doesn’t pay.  You will find yourself holding your breath waiting for the next shoe to drop.  In the journey that Steffan and Magdalen are destined to take in order to take back their titles, you will find love, forgiveness, compassion and love.  This is the first book I have read by this author, but am looking forward to reading more of her books.  It is an afternoon of clean entertaining reading.  

Book Review-The Beloved Hope Chest By Amy Clipston






The Beloved Hope Chest
(An Amish Heirloom Novel, Book 4)
By: Amy Clipston
Thomas Nelson-Fiction
Zondervan

Disclaimer:  I received this eBook from the publisher, Zondervan, for free to read and review through the blogger review program at Net Galley. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

About the Book:

Mattie Fisher decides to tell her daughters about the secrets she has been keeping from them all these years, but with each article she takes from her hope chest she wonders if she is ready to deal with the pain of opening those old wounds and if her daughters will think less of her.  Her hope is that she can show her children that out of painful memories and sorrow one can find love and redemption. 


My Thoughts:
Amy Clipston is one of my favorite Amish writers.  I have read all four of these books and really hate for the series to end. 


Mattie Fisher’s story will steal your heart.  As she tells her daughters her memories you will find yourself reaching for the tissues, so keep them handy.  This book is filled with heartache, sorrow, pain, yet it will show that love and forgiveness will triumph in victory.  You will not want to put this book down until you have read the last page…so clear your afternoon.  If you are a fan of Amish stories this series is one you will not want to miss.

Book Review-The Chapel Car Bride By Judith Miller

The Chapel Car Bride
By: Judith Miller
Publisher:  Bethany House

Disclaimer:  I received this Book from the publisher, Bethany House, for free to read and review through the blogger review program. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

Although Hope Irvine lived a sheltered life in Pittsburgh, when Aunt Mattie died, she decided she was ready to travel in the chapel car to help her preacher father, spread the gospel to those in remote areas.  She was ready for adventure, but when the rail car arrived in the financially hard-hit coal-mining, suspicious-of-strangers, town of Finch, West Virginia, she is not sure what to expect.  Even though life is not exactly as she expected it to be, she is determined to use her music and ministering skills to teach the children about God and take her Sunday school supplies to the neighboring counties. 

Kirby Finch is the manager of the mine.  He has been sent there by his father because he had been caught gambling one too many times and his father told him from now on he had to work for his money.   Kirby offered to help Hope by taking her to the neighboring counties, but his motives were not exactly in step with God’s will. 

Luke Hughes is drawn to Hope and her father, because of his desire to learn more about God and because hope is not only pretty but kind too.  Luke has a hard time hiding his jealousy when Kirby offers to take Hope to deliver her supplies, because he knows his motives are not good.  He suspects Kirby will hurt Hope or even worse…put her in danger.  Will he and Hope find a future together? 


Judith Miller does it again with this touching story that takes place in the coal-mining town of Finch, West Virginia during Prohibition. Judith gives a lot of insight to the workings of the mine and the indebtedness to the “company store”.  The poverty and risk of death working in unsafe conditions of the coal mines will tug at your heart. Hope’s character is so well developed when she experiences such poverty for the first time and rejection because she is an outsider you can feel her despair.  Yet she takes that despair and turns it into determination to prove to the people of Finch that God can provide for them…with just a little faith, a whole lot of work and a ton of love.   This book is filled with inspiration, love, forgiveness and second chances.  I love books based on historical facts and this book delivered. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Review-Texas Fire By Gerry Bartlett


Texas Fire
By: Gerry Bartlett
Publisher: Kensington Books


Disclaimer:  I received this Book from the publisher, Kensington Books, for free to read and review through the blogger review program at Netgalley. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

Megan Calhoun is the daughter of an oil billionaire and doesn’t give a hoot about anything.  She doesn’t stick with anything very long, simply because she doesn’t have to…that is… until her father dies and in his will states she must learn the oil business in the field of his West Texas oil business for one year, otherwise she will not inherit one cent and she is not prepared to earn money on her own. 

Rowdy Baker, is not only a Calhoun engineer and ex-football star, but also a top notch stud!  The problem is…Megan has to live with him in a trailer, on the road, for one year!  How is she going to protect her heart and learn the family business at the same time? 

Rowdy isn’t happy with the situation either because he knows the riggers, foremen and stock holders are not going to be happy having a Calhoun who knows nothing about anything sticking her nose in their business.   The company is also fighting for its survival, so he knows there is going to be trouble with a capital “T”. 

Once trouble starts Megan quickly learns she must depend on Rowdy’s expertise to help her fix her company and find out who is trying to kill them and why?

This book will capture your attention from the first page and the twists and turns will keep you turning pages.  The characters in this book will have you laughing one minute and holding your breath the next.  If you are in the mood for romance, murder, mystery and a family full of strangers…you won’t want to miss this one.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review-Because of You by TK Chapin


Because of You
By: TK Chapin


Samantha Olsen had the perfect life, except when her husband, Dakota was being deployed to Afghanistan.  When those phone calls came, her life went into a tailspin and though she tried, she often could not hide her sadness and grief from Dakota.  When he was deployed this time she was really depressed because she was pregnant with their first son, who would be born before he came home and their daughter Kimmy didn’t even know her dad the last time he came home.  She just wasn’t sure how much more of this life she could handle, yet she knew he joined the army because he wanted to give his family a good life and she couldn’t fault him for that. 

This time while Dakota was on a KLE (Key Leader Engagement) in Afghanistan things went very wrong and Samantha received the news her husband was missing in action.  For the next couple years Samantha didn’t know if her husband was dead or alive, but finally the army sent paperwork stating he had been declared dead…yet she still didn’t have positive proof.  It was time to let God lead her in a new direction. 

Mason…came into Samantha’s life but, she just couldn’t have a relationship with him because he was…ARMY!  She just wasn’t sure she could live that life again…and with Mason came some surprises she wasn’t ready to accept.

This book will grab your heartstrings from the first page.  It will make you laugh and it will make you cry, so be sure to have the tissues handy.  The characters in this book are so well developed you immediately feel as if you are part of them, causing you to be drawn into the drama of their lives.  Although Samantha had great support from her family and friends, the center of her support was her faith in God and in knowing her husband, Dakota also had the same faith.  She knew in both of their lives they didn’t just know about God, but they knew him personally as they had accepted him as their savior.  This book is no way “preachy”.  The references to God and Salvation…just seem to fit!  Many times Mr. Chapin shows where she could have just given up and walked away from God, but instead showed us what can happen if we are willing to trust in him.  This book has many twists and turns that you won’t see coming!  This is definitely a book that will stay in your heart long after you have finished the last page.  This book has it all.  It is filled with love, learning to forgive, trust, faith and even romance. 

Thanks Mr. Chapin for another GREAT book!  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Book Review-The Memory of You By Catherine West


The Memory of You
By: Catherine West
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson-Women's Fiction

Disclaimer:  I received this Book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for free to read and review through the blogger review program at Net Galley. I was not required to give a favorable review only an honest review, nor was I compensated for my review.  All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.

After learning that her grandfather had a heart attack, Natalie Mitchell she is forced to return to the family-owned winery, Maoilios in Sonoma.   She vowed thirteen years ago when her twin sister died she would never return, but the winery was failing and her father wanted her to close it. Being a major stockholder she had the power to do so.  Little did she realize she would also be reunited with Tanner Collins her childhood friend.  Tanner is the vintner for Maoilios and fears if Natalie shuts down the winery he will lose his job.  In order to save his job, he must help Natalie find a way to turn the winery around and to save the winery they must heal Natalie’s past. 

From the first page this book will tug at your heart-strings.  Natalie’s captured my heart.  Her character was so well developed you could actually feel her despair as her family manipulated her into doing their bidding, her grief as she mourned her sister’s death and the guilt of the secret she had kept all these years.    With the help of her grandfather, uncle and Tanner Natalie found healing.  This book is filled with love, forgiveness, second chances and even a little romance.


In my opinion this book is a great afternoon read.