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 enjoy reading to my granddaughter and supporting authors through my reviews!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Crow's Call by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Crow's Call (Amish Greenhouse Mystery #1)ABOUT THE BOOK

Mysterious Events Plague a Greenhouse in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country

When Vernon King, his son, and son-in-law are involved in a terrible accident, three women are left to cope with their deaths, as they become the sole providers of the family they have left. The women’s only income must come from the family greenhouse, but someone seems to be trying to force them out of business.

Amy King has just lost her father and brother, and her mother needs her to help run the family’s greenhouse. It doesn’t seem fair to ask her to leave a job she loves, when there is still a sister and brother to help. But Sylvia is also grieving for her husband while left to raise three children, and Henry, just out of school, is saddled with all the jobs his father and older brother used to do. As Amy assumes her new role, she also asks Jared Riehl to put their courtship on hold. When things become even more stressful at the greenhouse, will Amy crumble under the pressure?

MY THOUGHTS.....

What happens when a tragic accident takes the lives of three members of one family? How do the survivors carry on? The answers to these questions are the basis of this new book by Wanda E. Brunstetter and it powerfully illustrates why she has become one of the best-selling authors of our time. She completely captures the varying emotions of these family members after their tragedy. We witness the strength and deep faith of a woman who has lost a husband, son, and son-in-law; the faltering faith of a young widow who wonders how God allowed this to happen; and the outright rebellion of a teenage boy who has lost his father, brother, and brother-in-law. Several mysterious occurrences involving their Amish greenhouse, a romance that seems doomed, and a crow named Charlie all contribute even more interest to this story.

The Crow's Call has everything that I've come to expect in a Brunstetter book and it offers readers a reunion with characters from The Prayer Jars series. An inspiring faith message and a mystery that is left unsolved certainly makes it a book to recommend and I am eagerly waiting to read The Mockingbird's Song, book two of the Amish Greenhouse Mystery.

I received a copy of this book from the author but there was no obligation to post a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

To learn more about Wanda, visit her website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest


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Monday, March 30, 2020

The Blue Cloak by Shannon McNear: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit



About the Book



Book:  The Blue  Cloak
Author: Shannon McNear
Genre:  Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: March, 2020

Evil Incarnate Leaves a Trail of Destruction across the Frontier

Book 5 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence in 1797 at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend Sally Rice’s wedding only to watch the marriage dissolve into horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin Micajah become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims.

How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?


Click here for your copy.

MY THOUGHTS.....

This isn't the first book that I've read by this author but it is certainly one that I will long remember! The Blue Cloak is historical fiction and some may consider it hard to read but in the end, it is a story that proves God's providence in our lives. McNear has based her book on true facts that occurred in Tennessee and Kentucky during a two year span that began in 1797. Two men known as Big and Little Harpe began a reign of murder and terror and took with them three women who were victims themselves. These women were accused of these heinous crimes but were ultimately acquitted of any wrongdoing. Their punishment had certainly been in the treatment that they themselves endured.

This was a time when frontier settlements were miles apart and it took months to receive news and McNear clearly shows the fear and uncertainty along the Wilderness Road. The Harpes have been called some of America's first serial killers and she explains in her author's notes how she struggled with presenting these true facts in her fictional story. She admits that she considered giving the project up because of the truly evil deeds of these two men but she decided to show that "God is truly stronger than evil". As I read McNear's account, I found myself wanting to stop but unable to do so. Yes, there is violence but the author avoids offending readers and through it all, she is quick to remind us that there were Godly people praying for guidance and for God's protection as they feverishly worked to stop this evil. I also appreciated that she shows forgiveness as a central theme through it all.

The Blue Cloak is the latest book in The True Colors Crime series from Barbour Publishing and I am giving it 5 stars. It is beautifully written and McNear's attention to historical detail and her efforts to share God's presence in her story makes it a wonderful historical Christian novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


About the Author



Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.


More from Shannon


How dark is too dark for a Christian to write?

That was the question I wrestled with when deciding whether or not to take on the story of the Harpes. The histories in Scripture itself aren’t rated G, but writing fiction requires a level of detail and depth of emotion I wasn’t sure would be wise, or helpful, to explore in this case. But as I prayed and sought the counsel of those whose discernment I trust, the answer came back, overwhelmingly …

Is God stronger than the darkness, or not?

Well, of course He is. And nothing in human history has ever escaped His notice, or taken Him by surprise.

So, was there something redeeming to be found in the tale of the Harpes?

For the first few weeks of research, I walked around in a state of shock at the horror of the historical accounts, but details surfaced that helped me shape my fictional characters Rachel and Ben. With Rachel working in her family’s trading post near the wild frontier town of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Ben a lawyer who recently passed the bar, the real-life Hugh Lawson White provided a handy connection point between them. Many other details fell together in ways I had not foreseen when I began developing the story. Sally Rice Harpe, however, rose to the forefront. This was more her story than anyone’s, but realizing I couldn’t properly write the book without using her point of view? That was scary. I knew the moments I’d have to visit, some of them in real-time.

Despite the tragedy, however, I could see an overarching story of spiritual warfare. Felt a growing conviction that prayer must have played a vital role in bringing the Harpes’ reign of terror to an end. So it is my hope that against the backdrop of one of the most chilling episodes of our country’s early history, the hand of God shows clearly, and that yes, the reader finds it redemptive.

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, March 25
Genesis 5020, March 26
Remembrancy, March 26
Among the Reads, March 27
Betti Mace, March 30
Older & Smarter?, March 30
Robin’s Nest, March 31
Stories By Gina, April 1
By The Book, April 2
Artistic Nobody, April 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Pause for Tales, April 5
Hallie Reads, April 6

Giveaway





To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Blue Cloak and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Border Breach by Darlene L. Turner

ABOUT THE BOOK

When drugs are smuggled across the border

it’s their duty to stop the culprits…at any cost.

Forming a joint task force, Canada border officer Kaylin Poirier and police constable Hudson Steeves have one objective: take down a drug-smuggling ring trying to sell a new lethal product. But when the smugglers come after Kaylin and Hudson, this mission becomes more than just a job. Can they live long enough to solve the case?
 



MY THOUGHTS.....


Darlene Turner has written a suspense novel that has all of the elements that I love: dedicated heroes, unknown villains, criminal acts that must be stopped, and non-stop action. Kaylin Poirier and Hudson Steeves are both strong characters individually and as a team they are unbeatable but it is their personal characteristics that make them so special. Hudson's moral compass is based on his deep trust in God and Kaylin's personal doubts help lend realism as she struggles to find and develop her own strong faith in God. Grace and forgiveness are a central theme but did I mention the romance? It's apparent that both Kaylin and Hudson feel an undeniable attraction to each other but can they ever hope for a future together?

Border Breach is an exceptional debut novel that is filled with heartwarming scenes and surprising revelations. It is a must-read book and I certainly recommend it to all who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction and romantic suspense.

I received a copy of this book from the author but there was no obligation to write a positive review. I am voluntarily sharing my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders. 

Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     Pinterest


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Saturday, March 28, 2020

This Side of Yesterday by Angela D. Meyer

This Side of Yesterday (The Mosaic Collection Book 8)ABOUT THE BOOK

Ginger Mooreland is stretched beyond her limit. Her beloved grandfather she cares for is showing signs of dementia and she is in danger of losing the Jukebox CafĂ©, which has been in the family for generations. Without the Jukebox she’s not sure how she can take care of her grandfather. The confidence that has bolstered her in the past is replaced with doubt.

Mike, the pastor of the local community church, has become a close friend to Ginger over the years. As their feelings for each other grow, Ginger questions whether she needs one more thing unsettling her life.

Convinced that his wife, Irene, who disappeared shortly after Pearl Harbor is still alive, Grandpa sends Ginger on an unlikely quest to uncover the truth. As Ginger traces the threads of Grandpa’s past and deals with her doubts about the present, she discovers far more than she ever expected for her future.

MY THOUGHTS.....


This is a realistic portrayal of how a person can feel overwhelmed by their circumstances. Ginger finds herself dealing with her aging grandfather's dementia and struggling to keep his life-long business afloat. Add a minister who is becoming more than a friend and the possibility that she has a grandmother somewhere out there and you can see just how helpless she feels. This Side of Yesterday is a sweet story of love, perseverance, faith, and devotion and I understood Ginger's emotions as she alternates between fear for her grandfather, impatience with his actions, and then overwhelming guilt over that impatience. The hope of finding a grandmother she has never known and her increasing awareness of her deepening friendship with her minister also throws her in a tailspin. He seems eager to help but is she willing to let him? Can she trust Pastor Mike's assurances that God is truly with her on this unknown journey? Will her grandparents be reunited once again?

This is the eighth book of The Mosaic Collection and it is certainly a worthy addition. Faith, hope, and trust are always emphasized in these books and this book is no different. I certainly recommend This Side of Yesterday to all who enjoy contemporary fiction with a Christian message.

I received a digital copy of this book. I was under no obligation to leave a positive review and these are my honest thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela D. Meyer lives in Nebraska with her husband of 28 years. They have two children, both of whom they homeschooled. Angela graduated from college with a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, but instead of working overseas, she spent several years in New England as a nanny.

Angela co-leads a women’s Bible study at her church and serves on the leadership team of her local Christian writers’ group, Wordsowers. She enjoys the ocean, beautiful sunrises and sunsets and hopes to someday ride in a hot air balloon. Her aim in life is to love God and love others. She is a contributor to The Benefit Package, a devotional compilation.

Learn more at her Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram




View all my reviews

Friday, March 27, 2020

Draw Me to Your Side by Marguerite Martin Gray: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit



About the Book



Book:  Draw Me To Your Side
Author: Marguerite Martin Gray
Genre:  Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: February 25, 2020

Warships in the harbor explode with battle cries for freedom in the hearts of Charles Town’s Patriots.
 Charles Town, South Carolina, 1776—With the British war ships threatening his family and livelihood, Louis Lestarjette commits to aid Francis Marion, Christopher Gadsden, Silas Deane and other fiery Patriots with secret correspondences in code and in French. Although not convinced that the colonies can succeed in separation from Britain, he abides by his word—available with funds, his time, and if necessary, even his life.

 Louis’ potential volatile role leaves Elizabeth Lestarjette uncertain of the future. Add to that her impending confinement, the secret missions her friends embark on, and the ever-encroaching danger into her domestic world, and the cost of independence grows steeper with each passing day. How will her family survive the coming turbulence?  How will she survive not being an active part of it?  One thing is certain, she must draw to God’s side or lose heart altogether.

Draw Me to Your Side… a prayer whispered against the coming destruction.

Click here to get your copy.

MY THOUGHTS.....

This is a captivating story of love and devotion between a husband and wife and a tale of loyalty and commitment to the cause of freedom. Louis and Elizabeth Lestarjette have a deep love for each other and their two young children but they find themselves caught up in the efforts of the American colonies to separate themselves from England. It is 1776 and Charles Town, South Carolina is the home of both Loyalists and Patriots during this pivotal year of the American Revolution. Author Marguerite Martin Gray paints a powerful picture of a family trying to maintain a normal life during a time of secret meetings, increasing distrust, and the ever present threat of danger. Elizabeth fears for her husband's safety but she realizes that "they were fighting for family and a peaceful place to live."

From the very beginning I was drawn into the drama of Draw Me To Your Side and I found myself very impressed with the amount of historical detail that Gray included in her story. It's very apparent that she devoted a lot of time to the research of this exciting period of our nation's history and she powerfully describes Elizabeth's conflicting emotions as she alternates between fear and complete faith in God.

I certainly recommend Draw Me To Your Side to all who enjoy historical fiction and Christian romance and I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Author



Marguerite Martin Gray enjoys history especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches Spanish and French and has degrees in Spanish, French, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She received her MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Presently, she lives in north Louisiana with her husband and rescue cats.


More from Marguerite


I have always loved history, probably because my father took me to every historical site he could find on our travels. As I listened to him tell the story of our ancestors to a group of tourists at our Antebellum home, I suddenly realized that he was weaving tales about my own blood line. Very soon after that I flew to Charleston, South Carolina and began my research. From that first of many trips, my Revolutionary Faith Series arrived.

Draw Me to Your Side is Book Four of the series. The titles play a very significant role in the series, each having a dual meaning. The human element is obvious. Although the series is more historical than romance, the titles offer a glimpse into a potential romance. The other element is spiritual. God is the one who weaves his love and hope into their lives.

If you love book titles as I do, as you read this series, see if you can determine the dual meanings of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, Bring Me Near, and now Draw Me to Your Side.

Happy Reading!

Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, March 25
Older & Smarter?, March 27
Betti Mace, March 29
KarenSueHadley, March 31
Emily Yager, April 1
Pause for Tales, April 5


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Card and a copy of the eBook!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Turning Tide by Melody Carlson: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit


About the Book



Book:  Turning Tide
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Release Date: Feb 15, 2020

As the Great War rages on, Sunset Cove continues to feel its impact. Running the small town newspaper, Anna McDowell can’t escape the grim reports from the other side of the world, but home-front challenges abound as well. Dr. Daniel is serving the wounded on the front lines. And Katy, expecting her first child, with her husband in the trenches, tries to support the war effort with her Red Cross club. Even as the war winds down the costs are high—and Sunset Cove is not spared.


Click here for your copy!

MY THOUGHTS.....

There are so many reasons why I've loved the Legacy of Sunset Cove books by Melody Carlson and this fourth book may be my favorite. Carlson introduced us to some memorable characters in the first book and Turning Tide allows us to see how they've grown and changed during the years. Anna and her daughter Katy have found the men of their dreams and they've both become successful business women. Now, in 1917, they are faced with the greatest challenges of all: waiting for both of their men to come home safely from serving in WWI; preparing for the arrival of Katy's baby;  and trying to deal with all of the problems that a World War causes. Will Anna's fiancee and Katy's husband safely return to Sunset Cove? Is it possible for the returning soldiers to adapt to life as civilians or will shell shock (PTSD) keep them from experiencing a happy life? Can the residents of Sunset Cove escape the terrible epidemic that is taking lives everywhere?

Readers are entertained and enlightened as Carlson continues to write about World War I, American society as it was during those years, and the Spanish Flu epidemic that ravaged the world in 1918. How ironic that many of the things that Carlson mentions are just what we are hearing and seeing today during our Corona Virus 19 outbreak! But through all of their trials and adversity, we see the citizens of Sunset Cove relying on faith and prayer to see them through.

If you are looking for a book that will fill you with many emotions as you learn about our country during the last year of World War I, you will want to read Turning Tides. I love that hope, faith, and family are stressed and I recommend it to all who enjoy Christian historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the author. I wasn't required to post a positive review and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts and opinions.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


About the Author


Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.


More from Melody


Writing about the WW1 era has definitely been a good history lesson for me. Prohibition laws in Oregon (and rum-runners breaking them) combined with a massive war that changed the world and a global epidemic is worth paying attention to. Especially since history sometimes repeats itself. The early 20th century had a lot going on—much that seems nearly forgotten. I’m glad to see the movie 1917 is doing well—and we plan to see it this week. Although I’m not a fan of gruesome war movies, this era continues to intrigue me. Even as I wrapped up my Sunset Cove series with Turning Tide I was left wondering . . . what’s next? But isn’t that the beauty of story?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, March 16
By The Book, March 19
Wishful Endings, March 19
Betti Mace, March 21
Remembrancy, March 21
Mary Hake, March 22
Artistic Nobody, March 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Older & Smarter?, March 26
SPLASHES of Joy, March 28
Vicky Sluiter, March 28
Pause for Tales, March 29

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize package of a complete set of The Legacy of Sunset Cove series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.