Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The Friends of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

the friends of jesus

About the book: America’s favorite inspirational novelist and #1 New York Times bestselling author offers a richly told tale about six of Jesus’ closest friends and companions, bringing biblical truths to life in this captivating continuation of her Life-Changing Bible Study series.

In our everyday lives, friends are the people whom we spend the most time with, go through struggles with at times, and who know us best. Each of Jesus’ friends—Peter, John, Matthew, Judas, Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus—traveled with Jesus and were part of His daily ministry, and each has a compelling story to tell. There were some who would question or doubt Him…and one would even betray Him. Kingsbury brings these fascinating personalities to life in ways that will not only help bring you closer to the truths found in Scripture, but also to Christ.

By combining valuable, instructive Bible study with compelling, insightful character sketches of Jesus’ companions, Kingsbury provides you with a deeper understanding of the scriptural teachings featuring these fascinating people. Emotionally powerful, thought-provoking, and soulful, The Friends of Jesus will help you to appreciate the Bible and understand how it applies to your relationships with the most important people in your life.

My Thoughts: I love reading these Bible based books by Karen Kingsbury. She makes the characters come alive. I usually do not like these types of books, but I make an exception with this book and with her first book in this series, The Family of Jesus. Kingsbury has the ability to make these people real by giving them thoughts and situations I can relate to. I wanted to read this book because I totally enjoyed the Family of Jesus. This book did not disappoint. I felt as if I knew the characters and she adds just enough detail to help me imagine these characters and what life was like for them. I’ve read the stories in the Bible many times and this just adds new dimension and makes me think. I like to think, especially about the Bible. Thank you Karen Kingsbury for your great books and now taking your fiction writing to a whole new level!

I gave my honest opinion in exchange for a free e-copy of The Friends of Jesus from the publisher and NetGalley. Thank you!

A Blessing for Miriam – Book 2 in Land of Promise – by Jerry Eicher

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Blessing for Miriam

In the second book of bestselling author Jerry S. Eicher’s new Land of Promise series, Miriam Yoder is looking forward to her wedding day with Wayne Yutzy. But when beautiful Esther Swartz arrives to care for her ailing grandmother, Miriam is wary of Wayne’s past relationship with Esther.

When storms rip through the small Amish community in Oklahoma, Miriam’s daett arrives to help in the rebuilding efforts. Under pressure from Miriam’s daett the relationship with Wayne is upended, leaving Miriam to wonder if she must now build her new life as a single Amish woman.

My Comments: Love this author and love this book.  I read someplace that reading Amish fiction is like taking a vacation in your mind, and I so concur with that. This book took me to a place I would not normally get to go and visit. Miriam and her relationship with her parents intrigues me. It is SO not like my experience with my family, especially my parents – father in particular. The submission  of Amish women is mind-boggling to me. Miriam had  very rough go in this second book. Everyone wanted to run her life (in my opinion). She became stronger as she fought tragedy after tragedy. I so admire her and I wonder if there are many women Amish or otherwise quite like her. I finished this book with high opinions of the women and not so high opinions of the men. They definitely rule the roost! I recommend this book and this author to fans of Amish fiction – it is a definite vacation for the mind.

I received this ebook free from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Daughter of the Regiment by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015


About the Book: Maggie Malone inevitably experiences the effects of war firsthand—first, with her brothers joining the Missouri Irish Brigade and again when a group of unknown bandits attack her farm. Desperate to hear news from her brothers, Maggie sets off to find them at the Federal Army camp. There, she quickly captures the admiration of Sergeant John “Colt” Coulter, who immediately notices her skill and dedication. When circumstances require that Maggie remain with the brigade, she discovers that there’s a lot a good woman can do to help the brave men she comes to think of as “her boys.”

As the hostess of an acclaimed Missouri plantation, Miss Libbie Blair has learned to play her part and remain uninvolved in the business affairs and political aspirations of her brother, Walker. When his endeavors lead him to organize the “Wildwood Guard,” a group of locals in support of the Confederacy, Libbie must gracefully manage the house with officers camped out on the lawn. With war drawing closer to her doorstep, she must find a way to protect those who depend on her.

When military maneuvers and a subsequent battle bring the Irish Brigade (and Maggie) to Wildwood Grove, Libbie’s home is commandeered as a field hospital. The two women whose brothers have fought on opposite sides of the same battle come face to face while tending the wounded in the aftermath of a battle won by Union troops.

MEET THE AUTHOR (especially for Nebraskans):

Saturday, April 11 at 2:00 p.m. @ Barnes & Noble Southpointe Pavilions (Lincoln, NE)

Friday, April 17 @ 11:00 a.m. @ Crete Public Library (Crete, NE)

Program lecture ‘Women in the Civil War: From Homefront to Battlefield’
April 24-25, Panel & keynote address @ Wordsowers Christian Writer’s Group Conference (Omaha, NE)

Tuesday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. @ Wisner Heritage Museum (Wisner, NE)

Program lecture ‘Women in the Civil War: From Homefront to Battlefield’

Saturday, May 2, time TBA @ Chapters Book Store (Seward, NE)

Thursday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m.  @ Lexington Public Library with Plum Creek Quilt Guild (Lexington, NE)

Program lecture ‘Women in the Civil War: From Homefront to Battlefield’

Additional events TBA.

DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT: A Novel by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Faithwords | Hachette Book Group

March 24, 2015 | 978-1-4555-2903-2

336 Pages | $15 | Trade Paperback Original

 About the Author: Stephanie Grace Whitson is the author of over twenty-seven titles. A frequent ECPA bestseller, Whitson is a RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Winner and a two-time Christy Award finalist. When she isn’t writing, speaking, or trying to keep up with her five grown children and perfect grandchildren, she loves to take long distance rides aboard her Honda Magna motorcycle named Kitty. Her church and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum take up the rest of her free time. She received her Master of Arts degree in history in 2012. Stephanie and her husband reside in southeastern Nebraska.

My Comments: I learned a lot from reading this book. I had interest because even though I’m not Irish, I have an Irish name from my husband of 42 years. I loved the character, Maggie Malone. She is strong and independent and way beyond her years and the time in which she lives. I didn’t know how badly the Irish were treated. The time in history is interesting to me. I didn’t get as attached to Libbie Blair. I couldn’t relate to her, and being a born and bred Yankee, I had little understanding of her life. This book also interested me because Whitson took two completely different characters and wove their lives together – fascinating!  This book has action, romance, and historical interest.  If you are interested in history and like reading about fascinating characters, this book needs to be on your TBR list!

E-mail links:

Indie Bound:

The Amish Nanny by Patricia Davids

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

amish nanny

A Family In Need

A reclusive Amish logger, Ethan Gingerich is more comfortable around his draft horses than the orphaned niece and nephews he’s taken in. Yet he’s determined to provide the children with a good, loving home. The little ones, including a defiant eight-year-old, need a proper nanny. But when Ethan hires shy Amishwoman Clara Barkman, he never expects her temporary position to have such a lasting hold on all of them. Now this man of few words must convince Clara she’s found her forever home and family.

Brides of Amish Country: Finding true love in the land of the Plain People.


My Comments:  This book was very predictable, but still an enjoyable and sweet read.  Two incomplete families come together for the sake of the children – love it!

Miriam’s Secret by Jerry Eicher

Saturday, January 24th, 2015


miriam's secret

In this first book, Miriam Yoder has a secret. Her compassionate care for Amos Bland during his last days resulted in her receiving a large inheritance. When Ivan Mast indicates his intentions at romance, Miriam suspects he’s discovered her hidden wealth and has plans that aren’t inspired by his love for her.

Seeking a fresh start where no one knows her, Miriam accepts a teaching position in faraway Oklahoma where she meets Wayne Yutzy, a local greenhouse employee. His interest in her seems genuine and when he proposes, Miriam accepts. Happiness surely awaits the newly engaged couple….or does it?

Book one in the Land of Promise series

My Comments: Wow, this  book was so different and I couldn’t put it down. Jerry Eicher’s books ring with authenticity because he was Amish. He is also a very good writer! Unbelievable to me that someone would keep wealth such as Miriam inherited a secret. Also unbelievable to me that someone who is not family would leave such a fortune to somebody else.  But I love it!

Love Without End – Robin Lee Hatcher – A Western Romance

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

love without end

Chet Leonard’s life was forever changed when his seventeen year old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men.

Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious fifteen-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King’s Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of become involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man.

When 84-year-old Anna McKenna returns to King’s Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet’s families at last discover a love without end.

My Comments: In reading this book we are following the lives of a couple of different people – Anna, Kimberly, and Chet and their respective families. The story was engaging enough although I felt it kind of dragged along in a few places. I normally really enjoy Robin Lee Hatcher, but this book was just ok. If you enjoy western type or cowboy books you may enjoy this more than I did. I usually enjoy reading about older characters and I found Kimberly’s and Chet’s predicaments interesting. I’m not really sure about the Anna story line, maybe I wasn’t reading carefully enough this time.

Snow Angel Cove

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

snow angel cove

Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward’s Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she’s stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a hero, but she’s not expecting one who almost runs her down with his car!

Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza’s hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew what his life was missing before Eliza, but now he’s willing to risk his heart on a yuletide romance that could lead to forever.

My thoughts:  Great book and good romance for holiday reading. I liked this book so much I bought another by the same author named “The Christmas Ranch.” I need feel-good, happy books for holiday reading and this fit that category!

Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Mistletoe promise


About the book: Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.

Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:

1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day

The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.

My thoughts:  Great, great book! I got the listening version and listened twice on the way back and forth to work. I love Richard Paul Evans’ books. He always includes some sort of redemptive lesson and they are faith based. He writes the story in such a believable fashion – that something I could never conceive of actually seems like it could happen. This book is definitely Christmasy and feel-good. I’m glad I spend the time listening to it! I bought my granddaughters the first two books of his Michael Vey series for Christmas and I can’t wait to hear what they thought of those. I’m anxious to see if they like those books as much as I enjoy the adult books. Good writing from Mr. Evans and great reading for me!!

Huckleberry Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

huckleberry christmas

Now that they’ve happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons–and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love. . .

A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths’ widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She’s content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder’s proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be. . .

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith–along with the happiest of holidays–can bring.

My Comments:  I enjoyed this sweet book although for some reason it took me a while to “get into” it. I absolutely loved Annie and Felty the great grandparents of Beth. They made me laugh out loud – a funny, completely warm and fuzzy, in-love with each other and life, great-grandma and grandpa. I plan on going back to read the previous two Huckleberry books, Huckleberry Summer and Huckleberry Spring.

Tyler, who was left at the altar, is another endearing character. His father, the bishop, seemed to instill in him the qualities of a Christian gentlemen. He is a total keeper, but Beth almost never finds this out!

Sweet little Toby, Beth’s son, steals Tyler’s heart completely. One wonders who Tyler loved first, Toby or Beth. This book has suspense, romance, family relationships (both functional and dysfunctional). I loved it and there’s a little more “holiday” throughout than some Amish books.

The River by Beverly Lewis

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014


She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna’s death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
A line I can’t move beyond…
The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can’t undo?

My Comments: Once again Beverly Lewis writes a GREAT Amish novel. I found the story quite engaging, even though some parts were kind of predictable–but not completely so. I didn’t completely understand the family dynamics. Both sisters in the family left the Amish and became English. Of course I’ll never completely understand the Amish, although I find their lifestyle completely fascinating. Relationships were key – daughter and father; sister and sister; brother and sister, and mother and daughter. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the story of the demise of Anna the youngest sister. I feel this could have been explored a little more deeply – maybe another time. Keep the Amish novels coming, Ms. Lewis!