Friday, February 28, 2014

Pirates, Mess Detectives, and a Superhero / VeggieTales / I Can Read!

Title: VEGGIE TALES: I CAN READ! 3 Books in 1.  Pirates, Mess Detectives and a Superhero
Author: Karen Poth
Publisher: Zonderkids
February 2014
ISBN: 978-0310742043
Genre: Childrens (ages 4-8)

In this 3 in 1 bind-up of VeggieTales I Can Reads, Junior learns that even pirates have to go to school, the town of Bumblyburg takes an angry mud bath, and Larry forgets to listen ... again!

Young readers follow their favorite Veggie friends in easy-to-read stories that help teach early reading skills as well as sound morals and Bible-based life lessons. Books included in this title include: Pirate in Training LarryBoy and the Mudslingers Listen Up, Larry

Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

VEGGIE TALES: I CAN READ: 3 books in 1: Pirates, Mess Detectives, and a Superhero is hardcovered and really a beautiful book.

The first book Pirates in Training is a cute story about Junior Asparagus who wants to join the pirates who don’t do anything. They talk him into staying in school and learning to be important things.

The second story, Larryboy and the Mudslingers Junior and Laura go to the beach and a evil worm slings mud at them starting a war of angry vegetables.

The third story, Listen Up, Larry, Larry has a problem listening to directions and so does Junior. He’s not listening in school.

All three stories have lessons for the children to learn, and they are really easy for beginning readers to read. My twelve year old (a very accomplished reader) even enjoyed these stories.

Highly recommended. 83 pages. $9.99. 5 stars. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Whispers of Hope - Giveaway!!!

Leave a comment to be entered for a giveaway of this title!   Include contact information

Author: Beth Moore
Publisher: Broadman & Holman
October 2013
ISBN: 978-1433681097
Genre: devotional

Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing, but how in the world do we do that? In fact, how should we effectively pray to begin with?

Best-selling author Beth Moore addresses these practical and pervasive matters in Whispers of Hopeby walking readers through an easy to remember and apply method of prayer, coupled with seventy daily devotionals and followed by prompts to put this prayer method into practice.

Indeed, Whispers of Hope teaches the manifestation process of powerful Word-saturated prayer in response to a daily Bible reading. In turn, you will better understand how devotional reading and prayer are central to a stronger relationship with God.

WHISPERS OF HOPE is a very nice devotional by popular speaker Beth Moore. I love the antiqued look of the pages, how they are a bit ragged. The paperback version (which I have) also has cover flaps to save your place. 

WHISPERS OF HOPE is available in ebook, hardback, and paperback, so you have your choice of format. It has a devotional with scripture to read, thoughts to ponder, then it has sections for you to fill out (or write in a notebook if you don’t like writing in books) for praise and thanksgiving, prayer requests, repentance, acknowledgement, intercession, equipping, etc. It is set up for ten weeks use. 

I really enjoyed using WHISPERS OF HOPE and highly recommend this devotional. 
5 stars. $14.99. 232 pages. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Princess Ever After

Enter Today | 2/13 - 3/6!
Rachel Hauck Princess Ever After

Book Info and Review
About the book:

Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0310315506
February 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance

Regina Beswick was born to be a princess.

But she's content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother's hand-painted book of fairytales.

Tanner Burkhardt is the stoic Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg. When he is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess, he must overcome his fear of failure in order to secure his nation's future---and his own.

Yet lurking in the political shadows is a fierce opponent with sinister plans to abolish the throne forever. Overwhelmed with opposition, Regina must decide if she's destined to restore old cars or an ancient nation. Together---with a little divine intervention---Regina and Tanner discover the truth of her heritage and the healing power of true love.

Okay, if you’ve watched The Princess Diaries then you’ve read PRINCESS EVER AFTER, with names and other information changed. This is the second book in The Royal Wedding Series. I didn’t read the first book, Once Upon a Prince, but I have it in my to-be-read pile.

You do have to suspend belief in order to read PRINCESS EVER AFTER. Reggie is a CPA turned mechanic to restore old cars, and she’s just landed a coveted car to restore. Her sometimes on, sometimes off boyfriend is pushing her to go into politics (and give up mechanics) and then suddenly she finds out that she’s a real life princess. What’s a girl to do?

Ms. Hauck is a hit and miss author for me. This book was a miss. It was very well-written, but it didn’t grab my interest and make me want to keep reading. If you love Ms. Hauck’s books, or The Princess Diaries, then you will love PRINCESS EVER AFTER. Give it a look and see if its for you.

$14.99. 368 pages.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the author: Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominatedThe Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Learn more about Rachel at:

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Londonderry Dreaming / giveaway!!!!

Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of this book. Include contact information!

Author: Christine Lindsay
Publisher: Pelican Ventures Book Group-White Rose Publishing
February 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, loved one another five years ago, until her grandfather separated them. 

That root of bitterness keeps them apart until a letter from Keith’s grandmother, Ruth, draws Naomi to Londonderry to find she’s too late. Ruth has passed on. After the death of his beloved grandmother, Keith has also come to Londonderry only to open the door to his past… Naomi…beautiful as ever, the girl who broke his heart. 

A mysterious painting in Ruth’s attic brings up questions about their grandparents’ entwined past and their own broken romance. More comfortable with the unspoken languages of art and music, Naomi and Keith find it difficult to share their old hurts and true feelings. 

Will the majestic coastline of Northern Ireland inspire them to speak the words to bring peace to their grandparents’ memory and to rekindle love? 

I enjoyed reading LONDONDERRY DREAMING and getting to know Naomi and Keith. Keith was a kind and loving hero, despite the way Naomi had wounded him, and he bent over backwards to accommodate her every need and to include her in activities with his cousins.

I wondered what made Naomi’s grandfather hate Keith and his family so much and had to keep reading to find out the secrets of the past. I was glad that the answers weren’t buried along with Ruth.

If you are looking for a quick, short romance to read set in modern day Ireland, then LONDONDERRY DREAMING is the book to consider. $3.99. 96 pages. 5 stars. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Where Courage Calls

Enter Today | 2/17 - 3/4!
Janette Oke Where Courage Calls

Book Info and Review
About the book: Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected . . .

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men---both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

WHEN COURAGE CALLS is rather slow starting with a lot of back story. I understood why Beth wanted to leave the fake, overly loud world she was used to, but I wondered why she wanted to go west when she seemed so frightened, needy, and even ill.  I also wondered who the hero was going to end up being. I saw possibilities, but didn't know who she'd choose. Even the way it ended left some doubt in the readers mind as to whether they would get together or not.

This isn't the best Janette Oke book I've ever read.  I was rather disappointed in it as it wasn't the warm, friendly style I've associated with her Prairie romances. This one had more of the stilt and language of the Golden Gild age--which really Beth came out of.

Still, it is well written and fans will no doubt want to read it. Especially those who watch the series on the Hallmark channel on TV.  $14.99.  336 pages. 3.5 stars.

Purchase a copy and read an excerpt: 

About the Authors: 

Janette Oke Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of "Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie," as well as the novel "Dana's Valley," which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Dream Dress

Author: Janice Thompson
Publisher: Revell
February 2014
ISBN: 978-0800721541
Genre: Contemporary romance

Big dreams take big leaps of faith . . . but what if you trip on the way?

A lowly seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own original dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. But when Jordan Singer, reporter for Texas Bride magazine, visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is humbled in his influential--and unnervingly handsome--presence.

Convinced she'll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement--especially from her friend Bella Neeley--to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well.

THE DREAM DRESS is the third book in Ms. Thompson’s Wedding by Design series, but it easily stands alone. Fans will want to read Picture Perfect and The Icing on the Cake to get Bella’s and Scarlett’s stories.

I enjoy Ms. Thompson’s fun stories, and THE DREAM DRESS is the best of her’s I’ve read yet. Quirky and fun, it has some laugh out loud moments and others where you just want to weep when everything goes wrong for Gabi.

A fun, light-hearted story that is sure to delight her old fans and win new ones. 5 stars. $13.99. 336 pages.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Year of Learning Dangerously

The Year of Learning Dangerously
Adult. Price $23.95

The Year of Learning Dangerously is available in paperback, hard cover, and e-book form, so however you want to read, it’s in your format. This is a memoir of a former child actress and now homeschooling mom Quinn Cummings. When Ms. Cummings decided to venture into homeschool waters, she quickly learned the real truth of it, and this book is a collection of stories that will make you laugh, cry, and teach you—maybe—how not to do it.

In The Year of Learning Dangerously she shares how she went to homeschool book fairs and conference incognito, trying to find the right type of curriculum for the school environment Ms. Cummings has in mind. That in itself is funny as she discovers all the different choices and attempts to make an informed decision.

The Year of Learning Dangerously isn’t a how-to-guide for homeschoolers. If you are looking for a book that tells you how to do things, this book isn’t for you. It is simply a fun look at Ms. Cummings’ experiences, written in an engaging style that will instantly draw the reader in from the first page, and keep them engaged from the last.

Ms. Cummings shares her thoughts about the socialization question that all homeschooling parents face—and how like most of us she slunk away with a polite smile, but internally planned comebacks and lectures to defend how much socialization the child actually gets (much more than nonhomeschoolers think). She also shares stories about the reality of starting school after pulling a child from public school when she discovers that her child really didn’t know how to add fractions and she had to start at a much earlier level in math that originally thought. 

The Year of Learning Dangerously is a look at the lighter-side of homeschooling—and maybe an educational look at the reality of it for the nay-sayers in the homeschool parents life—such as grandparents and other relatives, and friends who just don’t understand. Recommended for every homeschool library. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Spotlight: Londonderry Dreaming and giveaway!

Leave a comment (and contact information) to be entered into a contest to win a free ebook!

Londonderry Dreaming by Christine Lindsay

Acclaimed New York artist, Naomi Boyd, and music therapist, Keith Wilson, loved one another five years ago, until her grandfather with his influence over Naomi separated them. 

That root of bitterness keeps them apart until a letter from Keith’s grandmother, Ruth, draws Naomi to Londonderry to find she’s too late. Ruth has passed on. After the death of his beloved grandmother, Keith has also come to Londonderry only to open the door to his past…Naomi...beautiful as ever, the girl who broke his heart.

A mysterious painting in Ruth’s attic brings up questions about their grandparents’ entwined past and their own broken romance. But more comfortable with the unspoken languages of art and music, Naomi and Keith find it difficult to share their old hurts and true feelings.

Will the majestic coastline of Northern Ireland inspire them to speak the words to bring peace to their grandparents’ memory and to rekindle love?

Buy a copy here:    

Price is 3.99 for the Ebook available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. 
100 pages. 

Author Bio:


Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship. 

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her Multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming, is Christine’s first contemporary romance set in N. Ireland releasing Feb. 21, 2014.

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is also VP of Christian Authors’ Network. She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books. 

Please drop by Christine’s blog site or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest Facebook  and Goodreads

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Though My Heart is Torn

Author: JoAnne Bischof
Publisher: Multnomah
April 2013
ISBN: 978-1601424235
Genre: Historical

Gideon O’Riley has two wives—but he doesn’t know it.
Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.

As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength  she has.

While Gideon’s guilt  and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all?

Lonnie only wanted her husband’s love. Now that he belongs to another, can she surrender Gideon to a God with a bigger plan?

THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN is the second book in Ms. Bischof’s The Candence of Grace series. Readers definitely will want to read Be Still My Soul first as these books do not stand alone.  Even though I read Be Still My Soul last month, I was still a bit lost when I started THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN and it took me a few pages to be brought back up to speed in the story. It might help to read these books back to back and not with a month break between them.

Ms. Bischof is a very talented author. I loved her descriptive terms, making even the scenery come to life. She even took a man I didn’t like at the end of Be Still My Soul and made him someone I liked in the beginning of THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN. I hurt for these characters in this story, and can’t wait to read the third and final book in the series My Hope is Found (it is in my to-be-read pile) to see how the story concludes. The ending of THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it at all.

If you like historical fiction that packs a punch, then THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN is definitely a book to consider. $14.99. 352 pages. 3 stars. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The A - Z of C. S. Lewis

Book Info
About the book: 

A Complete Guide to His Life, Thoughts and Writings
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis's death, this complete guide covers all of Lewis' works, from his literary criticism to Narnia.
C. S. Lewis's work is widely known and regarded, but enthusiasts are often only aware of one part of his work-his children's stories and his popular theology; and yet he wrote so much more, including science fiction and literary criticism. This volume brings together all aspects of C S Lewis's life and thought. Arranged in alphabetical order, it begins with The Abolition of Man-written in 1943 and described as "almost my favorite"-to Wormwood, a character in The Screwtape Letters. This book will delight anyone who is interested in C. S. Lewis and wants to learn more about him, his thought, his works, and his life.

Colin Duriez
ISBN 978-0-7459-5586-5
Encyclopedia \ Biography
Lion Hudson
352 pages
$24.95 U.S.

The A – Z of C. S. Lewis is a comprehensive introduction to C. S. Lewis’s life, family, friends, career, marriage, and writings, as well as the worlds he created, the creatures that he imagined, and the studies he delighted in.  It’s also a volume that I wish that I had had close at hand when I was reading many of Lewis’s works.  The entries (in encyclopedic form, alphabetically listed) provide rich background for practically every important aspect of Lewis’s life, thought and works.  An asterisk clues the reader in to the fact that there is another important entry to be found elsewhere in this volume. 

The entries provide enough information to enable the reader to better appreciate Lewis’s writings, without boring the reader or inundating the reader with a glut of inconsequential details.  And the hardbound volume, at a size of 8 X 5 ½ makes this an encyclopedia that is truly portable.  Whether you are just discovering C. S. Lewis, or are a seasoned scholar of his life and works, this volume will enrich your appreciation for the genius that is C. S. Lewis.

5 stars for an outstanding addition to a Christian library

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: 

Colin Duriez was for many years a commissioning editor at Inter-Varsity Press UK. He has subsequently appeared as a commentator on DVDs of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, and BBC television's The Worlds of Fantasy. He is also the author of The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Story of Their Friendship, andTolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed to definitive reference works relating to Tolkien such as The Tolkien Encyclopedia (Routledge).

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Smitten Book Club

 I would like to invite you to participate in a Live Interactive Webcast with Stormie Omartian, bestselling author of The Power of a Praying® series. We would welcome you to join the conversation on February 18 at 9:00 pm ET.

To sing up for the free LIVE interactive Webcast and received Stormie’s weekly e-devotional, latest updates, and exciting offers go to


Enter Today | 2/3 - 2/20!
Smitten Book Club Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

Sign up to host a Smitten Book Club Brunch on March 22nd!
Smitten Book Club Brunch Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

Authors: Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
January 2014
ISBN: 978-1401687168
Genre: Contemporary romance / novella

The century-old Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!

The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back. Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends’ romantic exploits.

When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, theGuide proves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.

What’s more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold—exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?

In this remarkable collaborative novel, best friends Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt tackle the tale of the Gentlewoman’s Guide by writing for one book club member apiece. Smitten Book Club is a hopeful, hilarious story of friendship and healing, written by friends for friends.

SMITTEN BOOK CLUB is the third and final novella collection in the Smitten, Vermont series. This is the last novel that these four best friends will write together since Diann Hunt passed away from cancer.

The first story is written by Colleen Coble. Her character, Heather, found an old romantic advice book called A Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship and the lives of her and her three best friends begin to change. Heather’s old flame, Paul, came to town and plans to stay, and she begins to learn to trust and love despite his past bad decisions.  This was a really cute story. I could relate to Heather and her fear of being hurt again by a man who already hurt her once. 

The second novella is by Kristen Billerbeck and stars shy, unadventurous Abby who dresses and lives as if she is an eighty year old librarian instead of a twenty-seven year old one. However, she discovers her father left her a mission before she died- to have an adventure. And in the steady hands of Wyatt, Abby soon finds that she might have more in common with another literary character than she thinks.  This one... I enjoyed it, but it seemed more of a make-over type book. Become someone other than who you are to find love. I didn't like that message so much. 

The third novella in Smitten Book Club is by Diann Hunt. Lia, is a sweet kindergarten teacher who has a second chance at showing her best friend, Joey, how she really feels. However, he’s hesitant to move past a former loss. As Lia and Joey rekindle friendship, Joey sees the importance of forgiveness, moving on, and trusting God in the wake of sadness and anger.   This story was cute, slow paced, but it had a good faith message in it about forgiving those who hurt you.  It did seem to end rather abruptly to me--with the black moment and then it's over. 

The last story is by Denise Hunter and brings to a close the storyline that underlies all four novellas- the mystery of the gold and where it is hidden. Molly is still reeling from the death of her husband. Her outdoors business is more than she can handle and heading towards ruin. When business competitor Gage offers to help her out, Molly is instantly suspicious but eventually says yes. As they become closer, Molly realizes that she can trust again and follow her own dreams. And this was my favorite story in the collection. Dreamy sigh.  I love Denise Hunter's writing. 

I enjoyed all four novellas. They were cute, well written, and sweet. If you liked the first two books in the Smitten series, then you will want to read  THE SMITTEN BOOK CLUB.  $15.99. 384 pages. 5 stars. 

Purchase a copy:

Meet the authors: 

RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.  

Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award, Kristin Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. Her books include A Billion Reasons Why and What a Girl Wants.  

Denise Hunter is the award-winning and best-selling author of several novels, including A Cowboy's Touch and Sweetwater Gap. She and her husband are raising three boys in Indiana. 

Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate. Diann lost her courageous battle with cancer in December 2013.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Road Unknown

Enter Today | 2/10 - 2/27!
Barbara Cameron A Road Unknown

Book Info and Book Review

Author: Barbara Cameron
Publisher: Abingdon Press
February 2014
ISBN: 978-1426740596
Genre: Amish

Elizabeth is at a crossroad. She's been given the chance to experience life outside of her community, away from the responsibility to care for her eight younger siblings, but Elizabeth Bontrager can't decide which road to take. Goshen has its charms and pressures, but Paradise, Pennsylvania, sounds . . . well, like paradise. And it's also home to her Englisch friend, Paula. Decision made. Elizabeth is Paradise bound.

But will the small town live up to its name? When Elizabeth meets Paula's friend, Bruce, she quickly learns he wants more than a friendship. And the same might be true of Saul Miller, her new boss at the country story that sells Amish products to the Englisch community. As the two compete for her attention, Elizabeth is surprised to realize she misses her family and becomes even more uncertain about where she belongs. She has a choice to make: return home or embrace this new life and possibly a new love?

A ROAD UNKNOWN is the first book in Ms. Cameron’s newest series Amish Roads. I enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth and Saul.  Elizabeth is experimenting with English life—but not in a run-around way, but because she is running away from home.

The romance is rather flat—the sparks non-existent, but those in the Christian market who like quiet romances without sexual tension would love this book. I enjoyed the concept—an Amish girl leaving home for another area and living with the English, but still she is very involved in the Amish community.

The misunderstanding between Saul and Elizabeth seemed rather contrived and forced, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading A ROAD UNKNOWN. Fans of Amish fiction who enjoy reading Wanda Brunstettler and Shelley Shepard Gray will enjoy A ROAD UNKNOWN. $14.99. 304 pages. 4.5 stars. 

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Barbara Cameron is a best-selling author who has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the author of more than 38 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara is a former newspaper reporter. Some of her non-fiction titles include the Everything Weddings on a Budget Book and Her Restless Heart: A Woman's Longing for Love and Acceptance. Cameron currently resides in Edgewater, Florida.

Learn more about Barbara at:

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Amish Boyfriend

Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
February 2014
ISBN: 978-0800722265
Genre: Young adult / Amish

Shannon's summer just got a whole lot more . . . Amish?

Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer--getting her driver's license, a job, and more--and she can't wait to dive in. But her ill mother has plans of her own: to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can help her.

Turns out a "simple" life is actually a lot of hard work. But when a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, Shannon's ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. Will these plans come crashing down around her too? Or can she really make the jump into a whole new way of life?

MY AMISH BOYFRIEND was a quick read sure to appeal to young adults. My tweener daughter read the book twice in a row while I worked on another book – and is anxious to read it a third time.  Shannon is a sweet, caring girl, a typical teenager who is a caregiver to her very sick mom.

Being English, Shannon shocks her Amish grandfather several times, before she agrees to dressing more modestly. And then she is more accepted by her aunt and cousin. Ezra was a somewhat nice…typical teen boy… and it ended the way I expected it would. I hope, in his case, the apple doesn’t roll far from the tree.

If you have tweens or teens who love to read, then MY AMISH BOYFRIEND is one to consider. As an adult, I even liked it. 5 stars. $9.99. 272 pages.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A February Bride

Author: Betsy St. Amant
Publisher: Zondervan
February 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance novella

A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

Allie left the love of her life at the altar---to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine's Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family's destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress?

History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day---in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family---women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she's destined to repeat her family's mistakes. She can't bear to hurt Marcus worse.

Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar---him. When the two are thrown together for his sister's Valentine's Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

A FEBRUARY BRIDE is this months offering in the brides of the month series by Zondervan.  I enjoyed getting to know Allie and Marcus and finding out the reasoning behind Allie playing the part of a runaway bride—and how she and Marcus moved beyond the jilting to healing.

I absolutely loved Marcus’ mom. She was a total sweetheart, the dream mother-in-law for any woman who marries her son. 

The ending was a bit—unrealistic—in my opinion, but it was sweet and it worked for the story line. 

If you like romance novellas, you’ll want to read this one. $3.68. 4.5 stars. 80 pages. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dark Tide

Author: Susan Sleeman
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
March 2014
ISBN: 978-0373445882
Genre: Romantic suspense


Gina Evans knows her brother was murdered—even if the police won't believe her. After catching a quick glimpse of the evidence her brother had gathered, the same criminals are after her and her baby niece. And Gina's only hope is the man she left behind. Despite the painful memories, private investigator Derrick Justice won't fail Gina and her baby. Yet now, the woman he never stopped loving and the baby he's come to adore are in a killer's crosshairs. But can Derrick trap the cold-blooded murderer before he strikes again?

The Justice Agency: Family and law enforcement go hand in hand.

DARK TIDE is the fifth book in Ms. Sleeman’s The Justice Agency series. It does stand-alone, but readers (and fans) of Ms. Sleeman’s books will want to read the entire series.

I enjoyed getting to know Derrick better. He is a sweetheart, kind and considerate, and quick to think on his feet. I didn’t like Gina at first, but as she shared more information about herself and her past I started to like her more.

I decided that heroine’s in these books have to be a special breed because I would be dead the first time the bad guy tries to kill me. But they seem to survive multiple attacks. Really impressive.

I enjoyed reading DARK TIDE and finding out more about Derrick and what information Gina’s deceased brother was hiding. I especially wondered how they’d solve it and prove the guy guilty—especially since she gave him everything he asked for in the first attack.  A must-keep-reading book that kept me on the edge of my seat. $5.99. 224 pages.

Family and Law Enforcement Go Hand in Hand

Meet The Justice Agency - Ethan, Cole, Kat, Dani, and Derrick Justice-five adopted siblings with a law enforcement background who work together in the Justice Agency to help people who traditional law enforcement has failed. 

Book 1. Double Exposure featuring Ethan Justice June-2012
Book 2. Dead Wrong featuring Kat Justice November-2012
Book 3. No Way Out featuring Cole Justice May-2013
Book 4. Thread of Suspicion featuring Dani Justice October-2013
Book 5. Dark Tide featuring Derrick Justice March-2014

About the Author

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a bestselling author of inspirational and clean read romantic suspense books. Her first book, High-Stakes Inheritance was an ECPA bestseller. The Christmas Witness was nominated for the Daphne du Maurier Award and Thread of Suspicion for Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award. Susan lives in Oregon with her realtor husband. They have two daughters, a son-in-law, and an adorable grandson.

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