Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin - a book review

The World War 1 era has always intrigued me.  It was the period my grandparents lived through and I love reading about what life may have been like for them.  This novel is set in this time period.  I wish I could say that I loved it, but it didn’t hold my interest like I expected it to.  It’s a typical ‘beauty and the beast’ story with a very predictable ending.  There is some mystery involving uncovering traitors and spies but it the author didn’t go deep enough to make it interesting for me.  The romantic aspect develops very slowly and again, is very superficial.  I wish there had been more about the actual war.  The only in-depth descriptions seem to be when the female main character, Grace, is describing the landscape to the main male character, Jack, who is blind.  There were some humorous moments involving escaping livestock, sewing mishaps and ditch digging.
As always, I encourage you to make your own determination.  You might really like this book. I hope you do!

This is the blurb from the back cover: 

“In the spring of 1917, all of Britain's attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.
A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country's cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball.
But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.”

You can learn more about the author on her website.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and Baker
Publishing Group through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

       Photo Credit: ©Samantha Panzera Photography

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lost posts

Blogger seems to have deleted all of my posts from July 2014 through now.  They sent me some complicated instructions on how to repost them but not being very tech savy, I couldn't figure it out.

I'm not sure why they can't just fix it but that isn't an option, at least, they aren't offering.

You might be able to see a short blurb for each lost post on Bloglovin'.

Hopefully any new posts will stay posted.  I'm sorry for the inconvenience.  As you can tell, this is a very frustrating situation.

This situation has prompted me to revisit an idea I have been thinking of for a couple of years.  This blog is the blog that is associated with the book publishers that I review books for.  I have been advised by several other bloggers to use a different provider.  I am considering starting a personal blog with word press for any posts other than book reviews.

What do you think?

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton - a book review

This book has it all!  It has romance, adventure, intrigue, suspense, and mystery.  As the title states, Tamsen Littlejohn is being pursued.  As you read the story your first thought might be that she is being pursued by a scourned suitor.  As you read the story you realize that she is also being pursued by a man who loves her and by God.  Jesse offers her protection and through his strong faith in God, he shows her how her faith can be strengthened.
This is one book that I had trouble putting down.  I couldn’t wait until I could pick it up again to read. 

This is from the publisher’s  website:

“In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.

Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?”

The story takes place in the late 1700’s, a time of political upheaval and uncertainty and conflict among Indian tribes.  The characters are very believable and the author does a great job of keeping them interesting.  She also does a wonderful job of describing the landscape and surroundings.  You really feel that you are standing right there watching it all unfold.

If I have one criticism  it would be the choice of the heroine’s name.  Maybe it’s just me but I would frequently confuse it with ‘Tasmen’ . It is a very unusual name.

If you like historical Christian romances, you won’t be disappointed with this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Shining Light by Judith Miller - a book review


I had never heard of this particular group of people before, so reading about the Amana community was very interesting. You can tell the author did alot of research. 

It is written in the first person narrative, which for me, was a little hard to follow at first. Once I got used to it, it made the story much more interesting. 

 There are many twists and turns in the plot and sometimes I wondered how much more this little family could take.  God provides for them in ways they would never have expected.  This is definately a faith based novel but not at all preachy. 
The characters are very engaging and ‘real’.  Throughout the story of this family’s journey there a many characters that at times can be hard to keep track of.

Overall, I liked this book. I can’t say it is one of my favorites but it is well written and interesting. 

Here is a synopsis from the publisher’s website:
 The kind people of Amana have been her guiding light, but her greatest trial is yet to come...
 West Amana, Iowa, 1890
After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea with nothing.
Andrea must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time. She discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans--especially from the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, who takes her son under his wing. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas's future? Is she willing to give up the comforts and freedom of the outside world? And when yet another round of shocking news comes her way, will Andrea ever be able to find the serenity and hope that have eluded her for so long?”


I encourage you to read this book and learn about a very interesting group of people.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, April 25, 2014

For Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall - a book review

For Every Season  by Cindy Woodsmall


I have to preface this book review by saying that Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors.  I love that she writes about what she personally know about the Amish people.  I love the historical background she includes in her books and how she explains their doctrinal and cultural beliefs in a fictional setting.


However, I had a really hard time getting into this book.  There is a section in the front called ”the story so far”  that gives a brief synopsis of the plot line.  Even with that, I didn’t feel it gave the reader enough background to pick the story up at the start of this book.  I actually read the previous one and I still had trouble following it.  Of course, all of this is my personal opinion and is likely based on my short attention span.  I like a book to grab me right away.


This is from the publisher’s website:

“Working hard to develop a new Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is fully committed to rehabilitating an orchard with business partner Samuel King. But an impulsive decision has created an unexpected strain in her relationship with her beau, Samuel’s brother, Jacob, threatening plans for the orchard. Amidst mounting tension in matters of the heart and business, Rhoda finds that this fledging settlement feels like the home she has always longed for, and she begins to embrace the God-given, heightened intuition that has always felt like a burden to her. She longs for Jacob to fully be free of his past, so they can work towards the future together.

But as Rhoda uses her gift to unpack an old secret with her Englisch neighbors, it is not her beau but an unlikely ally that cheers her on. With the orchard on shaky ground and Jacob’s plans in question, Rhoda is determined to see things through to harvest. But can she trust her insight to direct her path in matters of the heart?”

There are some really yummy sounding recipes at the end of the book and a glossary of Amish terms which is very helpful.  There is also a list of characters which I found essential in trying to keep everyone straight.

Like I said, this is only my opinion based on my likes. You may find you really like this book.  I hope you give it a try and form your own opinion.  Go HERE to read an excerpt.

You can use the Amazon search box on the right side of this page to order it and when you do you help me out a little. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Wonderful, worthwhile inconveniences

This week while my daughter was visiting me for the evening, she found something on the internet that made her chuckle.  As she was reading me excerpts of what she found, I was taken back to when my 5 children were babies.  What she was reading was a list of things that mothers of babies and toddlers have to look forward to when their children are a little older. I am finding, to a certain extent, they apply to me once again.  I thought as she was reading them, I can add to that list, both from memory AND from my current circumstances.  I have the wonderful pleasure of babysitting for my 2 year old and 2 month old grandbabies....and I love it!  But it has reminded me of those long ago days...all those wonderful, worthwhile inconveniences  So, here's the list I came up with. 

Things a new mother (or babysitting gramma) have to look forward to:

  1. Sleeping all night (OK, my grandchildren go home at night so this doesn't really apply to me)
  2. Taking a shower when you need want to instead of when you can fit it in.
  3. Using the bathroom in private.....with the door closed.
  4. Drinking a full cup of coffee-----hot!
  5. Eating your dinner off your own plate instead of finishing what your child doesn't finish off theirs
  6. Watching something on TV other than Veggie Tales (I have to say though, my husband and I get a kick out of them)
  7. Speaking in full sentences
  8. Wearing a hairstyle that doesn't involve a headband or 'messy bun" (Goes along with #2)
  9. When your wardrobe consists fo something other than t-shirts and yoga pants.
  10. Completing a telephone call
  11. Smelling like eau de perfume instead of eau de spit-up
  12. Standing in the grocery line without swaying, rocking or bouncing
  13. Not having to hurdle child gates
  14. Doing things with both the same time
  15. Having copies of home decorating magazines on your coffee table instead of Winnie the Pooh
  16. Having a song stuck in your head other than "Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere...."
  17. Walking out to your car like a human being instead of a pack mule (Diaper bag, purse, car seat, baby,etc)
  18. When the attributes of the contents of a diaper are not the major topic of conversation
  19. When grocery shopping becomes a chore once again instead of 'mommy's day out'
  20. When you can once again use your snow shovel for the white stuff instead of shoveling toys.

Does any of this sound familiar to you new moms (or 'old' grand-moms) ?
Of course you also have lots of hugs and kisses and "I love you's" to look forward to.  Believe me....those will make up for all the little inconveniences !

I'll risk repeating myself and say how much I LOVE being able to spend time with my grandchildren....ALL of them.  What a blessing it is to get to watch them learn and grow.  One thing that struck me as I was writing this, was how fortunate we are to have modern technology, so we can email, instant message, skype, etc.  It is so much easier to keep in touch with them even though they aren't close by.
I'd love to hear what things you come up with to add to the list.
I'm linked up here:

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher - a book review

What a surprise!  Imagine yourself at your engagement party and who should walk in but your husband you thought was dead!  That’s what happened to our heroine, Diana. 

This novel follows Diana, her not-so-dead husband, Tyson and their loved ones on their journey toward forgiveness, honor and love.

It has its share of emotion, suspense and mystery, but I pretty much had it figured out by the middle of the book.

 I haven’t read any of Hatcher’s other books but I enjoyed this one. The only thing I found confusing was her use of flashbacks.  Fortunately, every flashback is preceded by a date so you know when it happens, and they do prove to be useful in understanding what the characters are feeling and why they behave and react as they do.  I also liked how the spiritual development of the characters is portrayed. 

This is from the publisher’s website:

“Best-selling author Robin Lee Hatcher returns to the adventurous American West in the final book of her Where the Heart Lives series. This story is filled with Robin’s trademark heartwarming and emotionally charged message of faith, courage, and love.
When Diana Brennan’s husband returns eight years after abandoning her, can she find it in her heart to forgive him?
Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him for eight years, Diana’s infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.
But when her husband returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition––she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.”
Go to the author's website to read a sample chapter.

You can also follow the link on the right side of this page tp purchase a copy from Amazon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook and Thomas Nelson through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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