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!

Friday, October 29, 2021

The Heart of a Cowboy (Colorado Cowboys, #2) by Jody Hedlund

The Heart of a Cowboy (Colorado Cowboys, #2)ABOUT THE BOOK

Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Powell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be taken seriously by the other team members, but at every calamity she faces, her grandfather threatens to send her home.

After watching his ma suffer and die in childbirth, Flynn McQuaid has sworn off women and marriage forever. Headed west to start a new life, he has his hands full not only taking care of his younger siblings but also delivering cattle to his brother. He doesn't need more complications.

When Flynn rescues Linnea from drowning during a river crossing, Dr. Powell promptly hires Flynn--unbeknownst to Linnea--to act as her bodyguard for the rest of the trip. As Flynn fights against the many dangers of the trail, he soon finds himself in the greatest danger of all--falling for a woman he's determined not to love.


We think of cowboys as being strong and courageous, able to brave all situations, but Flynn McQuaid finds his heart in jeopardy as he travels to the Colorado Territory with a group of scientists. One of them is a young woman in need of his protection, but it's soon apparent that Flynn may need protection also. Linnea Newberry could easily steal his heart, if he allows it to happen!

This is another wonderful historical romance from author Jody Hedlund, and it has everything that I love in a book. There are great characters, a wonderful setting, thrilling adventure, and an exciting romance. I absolutely loved that Flynn was so loyal and protective of his siblings, and I understood why brilliant scientist Linnea wanted to be respected by her male colleagues. Best of all, I was delighted that their blossoming friendship appeared to be leading to a deeper relationship. Could Flynn overcome his fear of love and marriage? Would Linnea be able to prove her abilities before her secret was discovered?

This book is a fantastic addition to the Colorado Cowboys series and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the rest of the McQuaid family. I highly recommend The Heart of a Cowboy to all who enjoy historical Christian romance.

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 



Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy teens, and five spoiled cats.

Learn more at Jody's Website     

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Twitter     Pinterest     Instagram     BookBub  

Colorado Cowboys Series

The Heart of A Cowboy

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Christmas Grace by Mindy Steele

Christmas GraceABOUT THE BOOK

Second chances and the Christmas spirit abound in Mindy Steele’s heartwarming novel, one of faith, love, and the power of community.

Grace Miller believed herself in love with the charming Englischer who eventually broke her heart. Now alone except for the secret life growing inside her, she arrives in the unfamiliar small village of Walnut Ridge, Kentucky, to hide and hopefully gain forgiveness.

She is pleasantly surprised, however, to find a tight-knit, welcoming group who help her heart grow right alongside her belly. And with the holidays around the corner, there’s plenty of preparations to occupy her mind. Also occupying her mind? Her strong, protective neighbor, Cullen Graber, the town’s blacksmith, who seems intent on not allowing her to ever suffer alone.

Cullen Graber gave up on love after too many losses early in life. He planned to live out his days focusing on his smithy business, yet the beautiful and mysterious Grace refuses to leave his thoughts. But can they open their hearts to God’s grace and create a new family together before Grace must return home?


What happens when a young girl places her trust in the wrong person and is left to face the consequences, completely alone? What if this girl is Amish and her misguided trust has caused her to be banned from her home and shunned by her community? Grace Miller is that young girl who has been sent to live completely alone, in a 'sinner's shack' at Walnut Ridge, Kentucky, until her baby is born. As I read this story, I could imagine Grace's deep shame, her utter sense of rejection, and her overwhelming desire to protect her baby. How could parents completely abandon their child? How could a religious community be so harsh? And then, Grace witnesses the difference between her strict Old Order Amish community and the Amish community in Walnut Ridge, where acceptance, friendship, and forgiveness are freely given...even to an unwed mother!

Christmas Grace
is filled with wonderful characters, heartwarming friendship, sweet romance, and the enjoyable activities associated with Christmas. Author Mindy Steele gives readers an early Christmas gift, with her captivating story and gentle reminder that religious rules and laws should never overshadow love for our fellow man. After all, everyone is deserving of grace!

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Mindy Steele writes sweet Amish fiction as well as romantic suspense. She is an author of 7 novels. The Miller’s Creek Amish series, Christmas Grace, Christmas in Cranberry, His Amish Wife’s Hidden past, and An Amish Flower Farm, releasing 2021. If not gardening or visiting her Amish neighbors, she is on the family farm writing her newest inspiration.

Learn more about Mindy by visiting her Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

Check out my reviews of other books by Mindy Steele

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Twin Tales Alike and Different by Brielle and Nadia Dupervil: Review, Interview, & Giveaway with iRead Book Tour


Join Us for This Tour from October 25 to November 19
Book Details:
Book Title:  Twin Tales: Alike and Different by Brielle and Nadia Dupervil
Category: Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 28 pages
Genre:  Children
Publisher:  RiaJay Publishing
Release date:  October 2021
Content Rating:  G - Suitable for all readers.
Book Description: 
Imagine having someone that is just like you in the world. Or what if there were not just like you, but everyone thought they were? Twin sisters Alexia and Denise might look alike on the outside, but they are very different on the inside. Join the sisters as they reveal what makes them unique. An enduring story of siblings who share a strong bond that parents will appreciate, and children will love.
Buy the Book:
Authors' Website
add to Goodreads


This is the sweet story of two little girls who are not only sisters, they are twin sisters! It's hard for most people to tell them apart because they look so much alike, so Alexia and Denise sometimes get frustrated when people get them confused. Why can't everyone see just how different they are?

Authors Brielle and Nadia Dupervil are also twin sisters, but the amazing thing is that they wrote this book when they were four-years-old! Twin Tales: Alike and Different allows them to remind everyone that twins may look exactly alike on the outside, but they are actually very different people. Their story is told in a fun way that children will enjoy, and there are bright and colorful illustrations that add the perfect touch!

Twins will especially love this book, but Twin Tales is an enjoyable book for all young people, and reading it as a family provides the perfect opportunity to assure children just how special and unique they truly are.

I received a copy of this book from the authors and publisher via iRead Book Tours. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 


Author Interview

I'm thrilled to feature this book on my blog today, and I appreciate that Brielle and Nadia have graciously answered some questions. They are very special little girls!

Q- Do you have any advice for new or aspiring authors?

First get your thoughts on paper. Think about what you want to write about and start working on it. After you get it all down, take some time and then come back to it and make changes. Do this over and over. Second, find some author friends. Talk to them about what they are doing and figure out if you can use any of their ideas. 

Q- Who did you dedicate your book to? 

After a lot of thinking, we decided to dedicate our book to other children that love to read, twins that want people to see themselves as individuals, babies that had to spend time in the NICU before they got to go home to their parents. 

Q- Why did you choose to dedicate the book to babies that had to spend time in the NICU? 

Since we were premature babies (born at 33 weeks) we had to spend a few weeks in the hospital before we could go home. While we were there we learned to breathe and eat. We also got to grow big and strong. Even though everyone was nice, we were sad that we could not go home with our parents. 

Q- What was something interesting that happen during the process?

After we announced that we were writing a book. Everyone asked if we would sign their copy. The only problem was we didn’t know how to write our names yet. We had to hurry and learn to write our names before the books came out. 

Q- What is up next for the Twin Tales Series? 

We are taking some time to really focus on this book, but we have lots of ideas for future books. Next up, we have a book that centers around culture and language and a book about gardening. We also plan to do an activity book for Twin Tales: Alike and Different.  

Meet the Authors:

Brielle has a bold and bubbly personality and never meets a stranger. You can call her the life of the party because there is never a dull moment when she is around. Brielle is a curious conversationalist who will talk to anyone who will listen.

Nadia is a soft spoken, articulate, gentle spirit. Initially she is reserved, but once comfortable she will win you over with her contagious laughter and the silly jokes she keeps in her back pocket for the right time. Nadia is caring and always does what she can to help others feel better. She is very in tune with her emotions and very direct when expressing them.

Connect with the Author:  website ~ facebook ~ instagram

Tour Schedule:

Oct 25 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 25 – 
Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Oct 25 - Kam's Place – book review
Oct 26 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 26 – @booking.with.janelle – book review / author interview
Oct 26 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 27 – Older & Smarter? – book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 27 - Rajiv's Reviews – book review / giveaway
Oct 28 – Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Oct 29 – Books for Books – book review
Oct 29 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book review
Nov 1 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 2 – Perfect Chaos – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 2 - @twilight_reader – book review
Nov 3 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 4 – I'd Rather Be At The Beach – book review
Nov 5 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Nov 5 - Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
Nov 8 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 8 – Westveil Publishing – book review / giveaway
Nov 9 - Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 10 – ajbookreads – book review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 11 – I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 11 – The Adventures of a Traveler's Wife – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 12 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Nov 15 - Gold Dust Editing & Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview
Nov 16 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Nov 17 – 
Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Nov 18 – 
Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
Nov 19 
– fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:
 TWIN TALES by Nadia and Brielle Dupervil Book Tour Giveaway

Monday, October 25, 2021

Tamar: Rediscovering the God Who Redeems Me by Shadia Hrichi

Tamar: Rediscovering the God Who Redeems Me

If God can choose the Canaanite Tamar to continue the line through which Christ would come, can anything keep Him from weaving your story into His redemptive plan?

Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah, is the first woman listed in the lineage of Christ. Mistreated, widowed twice, betrayed, and used as a prostitute... it seems impossible that God could redeem her story, but His plan of redemption was prewritten for all eternity-and nothing can get in His way.

Through this six-week, in-depth Bible study, you will discover that no matter life's twists and turns or your sins and failures, there is a God working behind the seen, redeeming it all for His glory.


Feeling defeated? Carrying guilt over mistakes that you've made? Take a closer look at Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah, who was the first woman listed in the lineage of Christ. Her name may not be known to many people today, but the circumstances of her life are very familiar in today's society. Author Shadia Hrichi offers readers a compelling, thought-provoking study of this woman who experienced the stigma of abuse and sexual immorality, and then had it removed by the God who loves us all. Hrichi shares an in-depth biblical history of the people and events that came before Tamar, and then blesses readers with a loving, compassionate look at this deeply misunderstood woman.

This is an enlightening six week bible-study and there are many ways to complete it. If you only have time for a fifteen-minute session per day, this book is for you, but I believe that once you begin it, you will find yourself investing much more time. I also predict that highlighted passages, bookmarked pages with post-it tabs, and digging deeper into your own Bible will be a valuable part of your devotions!

You won't soon forget this woman whose life was changed forever by a loving God who recognized her worth. Tamar: Rediscovering the God Who Redeems Me is an inspiring reminder of forgiveness, mercy, and redemption.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own opinions.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


SHADIA HRICHI is a passionate Bible teacher, author, and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She has received a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary as well as master’s in criminal justice from the State University of New York. In addition to LEGION, Shadia is the author of several Bible studies, including HAGAR and Worthy of Love. Shadia is often invited to speak at churches, conferences, and other events. Her insightful, witty, yet vulnerable teaching style reveals a compassion for the hurting, love for Jesus, and uncompromising commitment to the truth of God’s Word. Visit her Website or follow her on Facebook   Instagram     Twitter

Friday, October 22, 2021

Texas Christmas Revenge: An Uplifting Romantic Suspense by Connie Queen

Texas Christmas Revenge: An Uplifting Romantic Suspense

Certain a desperate 911 caller is her presumed-dead sister, emergency dispatcher Brandi Callahan follows the cryptic message to a terrified toddler…and an armed assailant. Now Brandi will do anything to protect the boy—even if it means asking her ex-fiancé, Texas Ranger Rhett Kincaid, for help. But can Brandi and Rhett stop this killer before he exacts his terrible Christmas vengeance?


Emergency dispatch workers often get strange calls, but how many times do they get a call from someone who's been missing for two years, and presumed dead? Brandi Callahan believes that she's just answered a frantic call from her sister, and her life is about to change forever. What follows is an action-packed story involving a disillusioned young woman, the Texas Ranger she once loved, an 18-month-old boy found abandoned in an old truck, and too many 'bad guys' to count! Brandi and Rhett Kinkaid experience extreme danger,  painful memories, and a surge of emotions, as they begin their perilous search for the truth. Was Brandi's father falsely accused of wrongdoing? Is her sister still alive? How does baby Levi fit into all of this confusion?

This is Connie Queen's second book and her writing just keeps getting better. Texas Christmas Revenge is a compelling story that kept me turning the pages, and I recommend it to all who enjoy inspirational romantic suspense.

I received a copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review, and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Connie Queen spent her life in Texas where she met and married her high-school sweetheart. Together they’ve raised eight children and are enjoying their grandchildren. As a child, Connie remembers her mom and sisters reading, but she preferred to be outside. It wasn't until later, she found the joy of being whisked away into another world. Today she resides in Nebraska with her husband, and Nash, her Great Dane, where she’s working on her next suspense.

Follow her on   Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible: 20 Immersive Stories from the Four Gospels by Bill Johnson, Eugene Luning


Let Jesus capture your child’s imagination!

If you are looking for a resource to help introduce your child to Jesus, look no further. The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible was designed to help kids encounter Him for themselves!

What makes the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible different from other children’s Bibles?

While other children’s Bibles contain informative stories from the Old and New Testaments, the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible puts kids in the middle of the action of twenty essential stories from the four Gospels. Through dynamic, first-hand storytelling, kids come face to face with the Living Word Himself, getting a clear picture of who Jesus is, what He is like, and His love for them personally.

A powerful resource for every parent, grandparent, pastor or teacher, the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible…

Introduces kids to the living Jesus who knows and loves them.
Captures children’s imagination with 20 stories from the Gospels.
Illustrates Jesus’ nature and character as revealed in Scripture.
Cultivates a personal connection with Jesus Himself.
Invites kids into a thrilling, life-long adventure with God.
Empowers children to actively engage with Scripture.
Offers insightful discussion questions to promote parent-child dialogue.
Is the perfect Bible for children ages 4-12.

The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible combines masterful storytelling with captivating artwork to create an imaginative, biblical encounter like no other. Presented in a simple, beautiful format, the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible will help you shepherd your kids into a thriving, dynamic relationship with Jesus. 

Available for Purchase HERE


This may not be a typical Bible for children, but it is one that they will be eager to explore. Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible is a collection of twenty stories from the Gospels, and children will be quickly immersed in the stories. Each chapter begins with a designated scripture and an introduction that begins with the word Imagine. 'Imagine lying on your back in the freshest, greenest grass.' ; 'Imagine being a guest at a beautiful wedding party.'; 'Imagine if you were a criminal.' What follows is a story that allows children to do just that: to imagine being there, in that bible setting, and experiencing what is happening. There are vivid illustrations that add to the story's appeal, and at the end of each chapter, there is a section with questions that's called Let's Talk About It. A perfect opportunity for parents and children to explore it even further!

Young people in today's society are bombarded with visual involvement and social media, and this book will entice them to read, explore, and learn more about Jesus. Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible is a beautiful, hardback book that would be perfect to give as gifts, and a fantastic addition to a church library.

I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book via FrontGate Media but there was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


Bill Johnson is a fifth-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. Bill and his wife, Beni, are the Senior Leaders of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and serve a growing number of churches that cross denominational lines, demonstrate power, and partner for revival. Bill's vision is for all believers to experience God's presence and operate in the miraculous--as expressed in his bestselling boks When Heaven Invades Earth and Hosting the Presence. The Johnsons have three children and eleven grandchildren.

Eugene Luning directs The Union, a ministry within the New Horizons Foundation, which exists for teaching, retreats, podcasting and spiritual counseling in Colorado and around the country. Additionally, he is the cofounder of a real estate technology company, Panoramiq Markets Inc.
Eugene and his wife Jenny are the parents of three children, Hadley, Tripp and Hoyt. They live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they also lead a weekly fellowship, The Anchor.

Learn more about the Moments with Jesus Project by visiting Facebook     Instagram


Here's a chance to win your own copy of this wonderful Bible. Enter HERE

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Growing Season: A Year of Down-on-the-Farm Devotions by Sarah Philpott: Review & Giveaway

The Growing Season: A Year of Down-on-the-Farm DevotionsABOUT THE BOOK

"Sarah has a voice that can speak to us all, and this book is a beautiful representation of her ability to just be real. After reading this book you’ll feel like she's your best friend."
—Jill Wagner, actress

Wisdom on Everything from the Soil to Your Soul

Farm life calls to the heart of every Christian, whether we experience it on daily walks through wide open spaces or in the country music we play while stuck in morning traffic. This is by God’s design—the cycle of trusting, sowing, and reaping mirrors our journey with Him.

With The Growing Season, you’ll witness how intricately farming and faith intertwine. Illuminated through the Bible’s truths and author Sarah Philpott’s own stories from life on a Tennessee cattle ranch, you’ll venture month by month and season by season towards relishing the splendor of God’s creation, realizing the need for you to trust Him in good times and bad, and rejoicing in the vision of abundance He has for you.

Packed with tips for baking, grilling, planting, and learning farm lingo, this collection of funny, moving, and inspiring insights will help keep you rooted in God’s desire for your life. Kick off your work boots, pour yourself a glass of sweet iced tea, and draw closer to your Creator as you celebrate His provision.


I am thrilled to have the chance to preview this new devotional that targets what I've long known and loved! Author Sarah Philpot describes herself as a "farm gal, farm wife, and farm mom", and this is what I was for many years. The Growing Season is 'a year of down-on-the-farm devotions' and it's truly inspiring! Philpot offers devotions for all four seasons, and she shares examples and illustrations to make them especially appealing. I like that there are multiple entries for each season and that there are also delicious recipes to try. Best of all, there are heartfelt observations about the joy that comes from working with the soil and seeing God's marvelous creation. Philpot writes in a way that speaks to my heart, and her use of Bible scripture, prayer suggestions, and reflection questions help make my devotion times even more special!

I have always loved digging in the dirt and getting dirt under my fingernails so these are devotions that I can totally relate to. I'll be using this book again, starting in January, and slowly savor it through the year ahead. And, even though it's filled with helpful tips for both novice and experienced farmers, please don't think that you have to be involved in farming to enjoy it. I highly recommend The Growing Season to anyone who loves God and nature, and I consider it a 5 star read!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via BlogAbout Blogger Network. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


An award-winning author, Sarah Philpott, PhD, encourages people through the written word. She is the ECPA Award-nominated author of Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss. Her newest release is The Growing Season: A Year of Down-on-the-Farm Devotions.

She is a proud farm wife and farm mom of four. Visit with Sarah at allamericanmom.net, where she writes about her family, life on a cattle farm in the South, and learning to cherish God’s provisions in joy and sorrow. 

Learn more by visiting Sarah's  Website    Facebook    Instagram     Twitter     


I have been provided a copy of The Growing Season to share with one of my blog readers. All that is required is an answer to one of these questions. Have you ever been involved in farming? Do you enjoy devotionals? Comment with your answer and please leave your email address so that I can contact you. This giveaway ends Monday, October 25th, at 11:59 PM

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Christmas Courtship (Berlin Bookmobile #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Christmas Courtship (Berlin Bookmobile #3)

In this endearing Christmas tale, a bookmobile librarian knows just the novel to help an Amish bachelor woo his next-door neighbor in the latest installment of the “charming” (Carla Laureano, RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye) Berlin Bookmobile series.

A solitary sort, forty-two-year-old Atle Petersheim spends his time hard at work in his wood shop. But as the days get long, he realizes just how lonely he’s become. When his longtime crush, Sadie Mast, a widow and mother of three, asks him to help her build a room in their barn for her son Cale, Atle can’t say no. Eager to pursue Sadie at last, he turns to bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller for courting advice. More than happy to help, Sarah Anne decides the best way to learn about love is through books—romance novels to be precise.

Between completing holiday orders for her flourishing food business, helping Cale navigate a dramatic new relationship with his boss’s daughter, and coming to terms with the trauma her late husband had inflicted upon her and her children—not to mention Atle showing up at her door with flowers—Sadie is in over her head. Though Atle’s efforts are initially clumsy and his declarations a bit awkward, Sadie can’t help but be charmed by him. He’s patient and kind...and at times even seems to know far more about romance than he’s let on.

Another delightful romance about the “transformative powers of love, hope, and faith” (Publishers Weekly), A Christmas Courtship is the perfect holiday read.


Shelley Shepard Gray has outdone herself! I thoroughly enjoyed book 2 of the Berlin Bookmobile series but this book is now my favorite! We get to revisit bookmobile librarian Sarah Ann, catch up with some of her patrons that we've already met, and glimpse Sarah Ann with her new husband, Pete. A Christmas Courtship introduces us to Atle Petersheim. Sadie Mast, Sadie's three children, and fun pets Bonnie the mare and pygmy goat Gwen! Atle wants to learn how to court a woman, but how many men, let alone Amish men, would be willing to read a romance novel to achieve their goal? Sadie is a loving mother but she's never known a truly happy marriage, and even her children have been affected by their late father's erratic moods. Atle is the complete opposite of Marcus, and Sadie is soon captivated by this gentle man who was so interested in everyone and everything around him! It's very sweet to watch Atle and Sadie as they advance from a business arrangement, to friendship, and finally something deeper, and I couldn't wait to see what would happen. Atle may want a wife, but is he willing to take on a ready-made family? Will Sadie's children accept a new person into their family? Can she learn to trust another man?

I appreciate that Gray once again shows the importance of libraries and librarians, and an added treat is that she begins each chapter of this book with an excerpt from the romance novel that Sarah Ann suggests for Atle to read. I do believe that Finding Love's Focus would be a great romance on its own!

A Christmas Courtship satisfies the desires of so many readers! There are wonderful characters, unforgettable romance, the emotions associated with the Christmas season, and many references to prayer, faith, and hope. I  highly recommend this lovely, heartwarming book to all who enjoy Amish fiction and Christian romance.

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


Shelley Shepard Gray has published over seventy novels. She currently writes Amish romances for Harper Collins, Kensington, and Simon & Schuster and contemporary women’s fiction for Blackstone Publishing.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degree in educational administration. She currently lives in Colorado Springs and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two young adults and she is an active member of her church.

Learn more about Shelley at her    Website     Facebook 
                                                       Twitter       Pinterest    Instagram    

Check out my review of Book 2 in the Bertlin Bookmobile Series

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Heart of Christmas: A Mosaic Christmas Anthology III by The Mosaic Collection: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

The Heart of Christmas

Author: The Mosaic Collection

Genre: Faith-Based Christmas Fiction

Release date: October 6, 2021

“At Christmas, we always…” And thus a tradition is born. The rituals stay the same, but if betrayal, illness, unfaithfulness, or tragedy strike, can cherished traditions survive?

When unexpected twists throw life out of kilter for the people in these stories, will beloved, time-honored customs lead them back to the heart of Christmas?


Click here to get your copy!

This is a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit, but be prepared! The Heart of Christmas has all of the 'feels', so you may alternate between laughter and tears. Six talented authors share stories of faith and inspiration, as they reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Some of these stories have grief and loss, while others are more light-hearted, but they all offer wonderful messages, and they all made me examine my own thoughts about the holidays.

The stories include  Broken Noel by Brenda S. Anderson; No More Night by Eleanor Bertin; Star Light by Sara Davison; Hart of Noel by Chautona Havig; Caught in the Act by Lisa Renée; and Claus-trophobic by Lorna Seilstad. This is a wonderful anthology and I will be reading these stories again, because you can never have too many reminders of love, faith, and the wonder of Jesus's birth!

I received a digital copy from the publisher via Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Authors

The Mosaic Collection launched in 2018 as an international community of independently published authors who approach life, faith, and writing together. Some have vast writing experience, others are somewhat new to the journey. Under The Mosaic Collection’s banner, they’ve published more than 20 novels and four anthologies.

With over 150 years of collective writing experience, Mosaic’s award-winning and best-selling authors are active leaders and members in prominent writing organizations. The goal of The Mosaic Collection is to encourage and uplift readers worldwide, offer hope in story form, and share the unconditional love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.


More from The Mosaic Collection

The Mosaic Collection authors welcome you into our hearts, homes, and lives and offer you tiny glimpses into our families and our favorite traditions.


Janice L. Dick

Christmas is always a special time of year. I love the festive reds and greens, strings of colored lights and gift-giving, but there is much that distracts us from the real meaning of the season. How do we hang onto the genuine, historical truths of the Savior’s birth? One of the traditions in our family is to read the Christmas story before we open gifts, thus realigning our focus to the most precious gift God gave us in Jesus. Visualize a fire in the grate, family lounging on every available couch, chair, and floor space; and one of the youngest grandchildren reading from the Bible, his eyes following his finger across the page. Once again, the age-old story comes to life as we hear of angels, shepherds, and a young couple keeping watch over the Christ-child in the manger. Maybe this year we will come up with a new way to direct our thoughts to the greatest gift ever given. To the nativity.


Sara Davison

The word Christmas immediately conjures up warm memories of church services, family, gifts, and food for me. The traditions my family engages in every year infuse this celebration of Christ’s birth with nostalgia and meaning. For me, one of the most meaningful traditions is setting out the nativity scene. Although the location has changed from mantel to coffee table to windowsill as we have moved from house to house, the little figures—the wise men, kneeling shepherds, Mary and Joseph gazing down at the manger with adoring looks on their painted faces, the cows and sheep curled in the corner of the straw-strewn wooden stable, the angel hovering above, the tiny baby in the manger—have never changed. I take my time setting up the display, slowly unwrapping pieces that have become a little worn and chipped over the years of being lovingly handled or played with by tiny toddler fingers. Each piece calls to mind another aspect of the beloved story in Luke 2. The nativity scene is the focal point of my decorations. In the midst of all the crazy busyness that can be the Christmas season, it grounds me and reminds me what this time of year is truly about.


Stacy Monson

Christmas is all about family for me – my nuclear family, grandkids, and in-laws, my family of dear friends, and the family of believers who rejoice at the birth of Christ. We’ve hung onto some traditions and welcomed new ones. As life situations change, we try to adapt and make the best of it, because regardless of what the holiday ends up looking like, it’s being with family that counts. So for me, Christmas is about celebrating the Christ Child with love, laughter, food and fun. It is indeed a time for celebration.


Milla Holt

Our four children are still young, so my love for Christmas is quadrupled because of their enthusiasm. We begin the buildup with an Advent calendar starting on December 1st. Every morning until the 24th, they open the day’s box, read the little lesson, and do a treasure hunt.

More than any other holiday, Christmas lends itself so beautifully to teaching them about the loving all-powerful God who knows exactly what it means to be human. They understand and marvel at how Jesus, the creator and Lord of the universe, once needed a diaper and had to be

potty trained. He had to learn to read, write, and spell just like they do. I love the reminder that one of his names is Immanuel: God with us.


Deb Elkink

Mom (a visual artist and farm-girl cook) and Dad (an imaginative storyteller of deep enthusiasm) made Christmas a celebratory holiday every year! Thanks to Mom, the food not only tasted fantastic, but the table and tree and household decorations were gorgeous. Thanks to Dad, our days were full of the magic of wonder (he actually climbed onto the roof carrying bells on Christmas Eve to herald Santa’s arrival) and the mystery of the Incarnation (reading the Luke story about the Ultimate Gift before a single package was opened). We were diligent church-goers except on holidays—including Christmas—when we would focus on family time and not attend the special services. Instead, following an afternoon of snowmobiling, and then mugs of rich cocoa around the fireplace, we five kids would wear our hand-sewn PJs, sing carols, and snack on expensive delicacies: Halva and roasted nuts and cheeses from around the world.


Candace West

My favorite thing about Christmas is fellowship with family and friends. At the end of the year, we gather at our homes or church to celebrate the birth and life of Christ. Because He is at the heart of our love for one another, He is the One Who strengthens the bond of our fellowship. Whether we’re opening gifts, gathering around the table, sharing laughter over cups of cocoa, or playing board games, I feel His love abiding through and within my loved ones. And I feel the whisper of His promise that one day all Believers will be gathered around His table of fellowship for eternity. Christmas is only a foretaste of our glorious future with Him.


Lisa Renee

What I love about Christmas is seeing extended family come together in one place, sharing memories of the year over delicious food. Most of all, I love how the world stops to celebrate a significant event in history, our Savior’s birth.


Brenda S. Anderson

There’s so much to love about Christmas! Music, gifts, twinkling lights, snow, decorations, chocolate, family time. It’s all so bright and cheery, and the world is focused on Jesus. The world may not understand who Jesus is and what He did for us, but there’s no better opportunity to show Him to the world. The opportunities to serve are vast, and being God’s hands and feet is a beautiful way to shine His light. Really, showing other who Jesus is, apart from the trappings, is what I love most about Christmas.


Eleanor Bertin

When I was six years old and just learning to read, I unwrapped a package I’d received for Christmas but didn’t know what it was. Puzzling over it, my dad came alongside me. Slowly, painstakingly, I sounded out the word Slippers on the label. Patiently, so unlike his usual brusque way, my father helped me. I cherished the nearness of him, always fearful he would give up on me. But he didn’t. That is one of my most treasured memories of him. There are others, too, like the one eleven years later when after my rebellious stint, my heavenly Father patiently and painstakingly began a transformation in my heart. My dad responded with what I now realize was his best effort at encouragement. “I’m glad to see you’ve made some changes.”

Christmas is always precious to me because of the memories it holds of how the Word made flesh worked His Word in me. He has never given up on me despite my slowness of heart to trust and obey. In painful and pleasant ways, for over six decades, He has assured me of His bountiful forgiveness and lavish love.


Chautona Havig

Tree night in the Havig house is most definitely our family’s favorite tradition. Even our older children tend to come home for the annual trek to the lot, the annual argument over which tree, and the annual popcorn and cranberry stringing party. It all ends with the final decorating. You’ll hear, “Oh, here’s your train!” or “Where’s my baby’s first Christmas?” as everyone jostles to get their ornaments in just the right place.  It’s chaos with popcorn all over the floor, Christmas songs belting out in our tiny house, and laughter. Tons of laughter. My personal favorite moment is when everyone has gone to bed and it’s just me in my dimly lit living room. That beauty, the memories, that laughter… it’s what I consider the Lord’s gift to me. I just get it early and it lasts a whole month!


Lorna Seilstad

Whether your family celebrates the Christmas season with special foods, a colorful light display, or a tree handpicked from a farm, I’m sure you have your own treasured traditions. Christmas traditions are one of the things I like best about the season. Our traditions make our families unique, and in a world where everything constantly changes, they remind us some things remain the same. There’s comfort in honoring Christmas traditions. They keep us connected to our past, help us rediscover our families, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Johnnie Alexander

My children’s Christmases were very different than the ones from my own childhood. Sleds and ice skates could be found under our Christmas tree, a baked ham on the dining table, and snow-covered hills outside our door. My kids, raised in Florida, never received “winter toys.” A roasted turkey usually graced our dining table but grilling out was also an option. Yet our Christmases were also similar. I passed along to my children the tradition of opening our stockings first—and everyone in the family has one. As adults, it seems they anticipate the goodies hiding inside their stockings even more than the gaily wrapped presents under their trees. Most important, though, is that my children are now sharing with their children the truth that my parents shared with my siblings and me—that the baby in the manger is our Lord Incarnate and Savior of the World.


Thank you for celebrating the release of The Heart of Christmas. We pray the stories within this anthology will fill you with love and joy and prepare your heart for the greatest celebration this season—remembering the birth of our Savior. What a sacrifice! What a gift!  What love.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

CarpeDiem, October 8

For Him and My Family, October 9

deb’s Book Review, October 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Joanne Markey, October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 14

Splashes of Joy, October 14

By the Book, October 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 16

Older & Smarter?, October 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20

Mary Hake, October 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 21


To celebrate their tour, The Mosaic Collection is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon gift card, two copies of The Heart of Christmas in paperback, and a $10 coupon to Mosaic’s Etsy shop!!

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


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