About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Saturday, May 18, 2024

When Hope Sank: April 27, 1865 (A Day to Remember, #3) by Denise Weimer

When Hope Sank (A Day to Remember, #3)

Can Hope Resurface After Evil Tries to Drown It? 

Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic American disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.   

The Civil War has taken everything from Lily Livingston—her parents, her twin brother, her home. Now she works at her uncle’s inn and keeps her head down. Speaking up for her beliefs proved too costly in a part of Arkansas split by conflicting loyalties and overrun by spies and bushwhackers.   

Emaciated in body but resilient in spirit, Lieutenant Cade Palmer is crowded onto the Sultana with other paroled Andersonville and Cahaba POWs for the journey north. But a fiery explosion on April 27, 1865, rends the steamer and empties two thousand men into the frigid Mississippi River.   

Recovering from wounds that might end his career as a surgeon but clinging to his faith, Cade threatens both Lily’s defenses and her heart. How can she tell him she might’ve prevented the tragedy if only she’d reported a suspected saboteur’s claims? And when the man returns to town and encoded messages pass through the hotel, will Lily follow her convictions to prevent another tragedy?


Hooray, author Denise Weimer has a new book! I love historical fiction and I especially enjoy stories set around the Civil War, so I was thrilled to read her newest story! Weimer uses the 1865 sinking of the steamboat Sultana as the catalyst for a moving story of trauma and sorrow. Was this explosion that claimed the lives of over eleven hundred men an accident or an intentional act of terror? Was more evil planned by suspected saboteurs?

Weimer offers a vivid depiction of a tragic event that was quickly overshadowed by Abraham Lincoln's assassination and the herculean efforts to recover from the Civil War. She successfully weaves historical details into her fictional story of two people struggling to overcome the hurt caused by the conflict that divided our country, our states, and even our families! When Hope Sank is a moving account of death, deception, and despair but there's also a reminder that healing and redemption are always possible. Lily Livingston and Lieutenant Cade Palmer were challenged emotionally and physically as they tried to recover the hope that was believed lost. Would they allow God to guide their journeys?

When Hope Sank is a wonderful addition to the A Day to Remember series! I recommend it to all who enjoy historical Christian fiction.

I accepted an Advanced Reader Copy from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, Denise authored romantic novella Redeeming Grace, as well as The Georgia Gold Series (Sautee Shadows, The Gray Divide, The Crimson Bloom, and Bright as Gold, winner of the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for outstanding Southern literature) and The Restoration Trilogy (White, Widow and Witch) with Canterbury House Publishing. A wife and swim mom of two daughters, Denise always pauses for old houses, coffee and chocolate, and to write any story the Lord lays on her heart.

To connect with Denise, please use the following links: Website 
Facebook     Twitter     BookBub 


Friday, May 17, 2024

In Plain View: The Daily Lives of Amish Women by Judy Stavisky

In Plain View: The Daily Lives of Amish Women

A fresh view into a life that is anything but simple. 

What does the life of an Amish woman really look like? Over the course of a decade, author Judy Stavisky, a curious outsider, spent hundreds of hours getting to know the women of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County Amish community to find out the answer to this question. She joined mothers and grandmothers, unmarried women and teens, on their shopping excursions for household items, fabric, and groceries. They drove miles between undulating fields and shared hundreds of hours of conversation on everyday topics—laughing together about sneaking healthier entrees into their family’s evening meals, sharing concerns about their children, and trading family remedies for persistent coughs. As relationships evolved into enduring friendships, she grew to understand firsthand how Amish women bind their families and communities together.  

In Plain View draws the reader inside a community governed by faith and separated by time, taking a closer look at the roles Amish women assume within their families and community, their fierce work ethic, and their camaraderie. Hundreds of years of shared traditions come to life through a personal connection with Amish women, their own soft voices gently opening their world to an outsider. 


This book is almost an encyclopedia of Amish life! Author Judy Stavisky shares the wealth of knowledge that she gained during the time she spent with a group of Amish women in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She provided them with transportation, they offered her an in-depth view of their lives, and the result of this old-fashioned bartering experiment is a fascinating resource that's full of intriguing information and beautiful photographs! It's filled with facts about the Amish: their faith, work ethic, and education. I enjoyed reading about Amish schools and Amish weddings, and I was fascinated by the shopping strategies of these women, but the chapter on feeding an Amish family was mind-boggling! I've often heard that Amish life is simple but Stavisky completely shatters this myth. The daily lives of Amish women are anything but simple! Their days are long and hard but they value the path that they've chosen.

"In Plain View: The Daily Lives of Amish Women" is a must-read book for anyone who's ever had questions about the Amish way of life! I've read many Amish fiction books in the past few years and I'm also acquainted with several Amish families in my rural community, but this book gave me a fresh insight into the Amish lifestyle.

I received this book in a prize drawing. There was no obligation for a review and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Judy Stavisky, MPH, M. Ed., has spent considerable time over the past decade attending Amish schools, sharing meals with Amish families, and joining events hosted in the Amish community. Judy has a lengthy career in philanthropy and helping non-profit organizations become more successful. She is a co-author of Do It Better! How the Kids of St. Francis de Sales Exceeded Everyone’s Expectations chronicling the journeys of Philadelphia’s student refugees. Recently Judy has been supporting Philadelphia’s refugee resettlement efforts, connecting food insecure Philadelphians with meals, and is an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University. 

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