Thursday, June 14, 2018

Secret at Pebble Creek (Hope Chest of Dreams 4) by Lisa Jones Baker

I love a good series!  I get to spend time and invest in the characters and story lines.  When I heard that the Hope Chest of Dreams Series was going to have another story I couldn't wait to get my hands on it!


From the description:   Lisa Jones Baker's heartwarming series continues as a new generation inherits precious hand-carved chests that bring blessings of faith, love, and happiness . . . 

When Jessica Beachy temporarily moves into the home of her late great uncle, Sam Beachy, she merely plans to remodel, sell, and head back to the city. She's used to busy St. Louis and can't imagine how she'll spend her time in the quiet Amish countryside. But the carpenter she hires, Eli Miller, doesn't think selling Sam's home is a good idea. And while he's steadfast in his Amish faith, he's instantly drawn to Jessica's vivacity and unexpected caring--especially as peaceful country ways make her question the dream she thought she wanted . .

But a lucrative offer to turn the house into a vacation retreat confronts Jessica with a heartbreaking choice. It will take trust, perseverance--and discovering a hope chest thought forever lost--for Jessica and Eli to boldly face obstacles and embark on a joyous future together . . .

So after I ran around and hugged my book I got around to the serious business of reading it.  I am going to start out by saying that you need to read the other books in the series first.  This book doesn't release until August-ish so you have time.  Yes, you could pick this up and read it but you are going to miss some of the back story lines and really miss out on getting to know the characters on a deeper level. 

Sam and Esther were like ripples in a pond.  Their lives impacted a community and reached beyond to Jessica.  Jessica touched my heart with her story.  Broken, lost and wary will she find peace in her new community?  

With a dash of mystery, a handsome carpenter, and old friends from previous stories this was a wonderful read.  With prayer and trust in the One who holds us in the palms of His Hands all things are possible.  Will Jessica learn to lean on Him and find the love, home, and family she's been waiting for?  

Pick up your copy of Secret at Pebble Creek and find out!  Happy Reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed 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.*

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Hawaiian Discovery by Wanda and Jean Brunstetter (Book 2)

I love it when I am whisked away to a unique location when I read.  

From the back:  An Amish Woman Finds Love in Hawaii

Ellen Lambright mourned when her best friend, Mandy, moved from Indiana to Hawaii. But now Ellen has received the Amish church’s permission to go to Hawaii and help Mandy through challenging times. Rob Smith works on the Williams family’s organic farm, far from his past mistakes and burning regrets. When Ellen befriends Rob, the attraction is mutual, but her commitment to the Amish faith stands between them. Could a heartfelt discovery lead to forgiveness, reunion, and love? Or is Ellen’s destiny waiting for her in Indiana?

Find out in this sequel to The Hawaiian Quilt from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.

This book is the sequel to The Hawaiian Quilt which you should definitely pick up and read first.  The book can stand alone, but you miss some of the finer points and details.  

Mandy and Ken now own a B and B in Hawaii.  Ellen is the main character and I really enjoyed her.  

As we've come to expect with Wanda and Jean's books there are a lot of twists and turns that come out to surprise the reader.  The two make a dynamic storytelling team and it's always fun to see what they come up with.  

With beautiful prayers, scriptures, and surprises this fun and fast paced read is worth saying Aloha to.  So pick up your copy of The Hawaiian Discovery on June 5th and get ready for a great story!  Happy Reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed 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, June 1, 2018

The Backcountry Brides Collection by Eight Talented Authors

I'm back in the saddle!!  It's been a long few months due to my little one's health issues and I'm behind on my reviews.  I'm playing catch up and headed to the Colonial American Frontier. 

In this collection eight women seek love on the frontier: Love on Colonial America’s Frontier

Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love?

Shenandoah Hearts by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1754 - Great Wagon Road, into the Shenandoah Valley (Virginia)
As the French-Indian War commences, Magda Sehler wonders if Jacob Owens lost his mind to have abandoned his Philadelphia business and moved to the Shenandoah Valley. Or has he lost his heart?

Heart of Nantahala by Jennifer Hudson Taylor  
1757 - (North Carolina)
Joseph Gregory plans to buy a lumber mill, but Mabel Walker becomes a formidable opponent. When she’s forced to make a painful decision, she must choose between survival and love.

Her Redcoat by Pegg Thomas
1763 - Fort Michilimackinac (Michigan) during Pontiac’s Rebellion  
Laurette Pettigrew grew up in the northern frontier. Henry Bedlow arrived against his will. Their chance meeting changes everything. Will a deadly clash of cultures keep them from finding happiness?

A Heart So Tender by Debra E. Marvin
1764 – (New York)
As thousands of Native warriors converge on Fort Niagara, jaded British Lieutenant Archibald Walsh and idealistic schoolmistress Susannah Kimball learn the greatest risk lies in guarding their hearts.

A Worthy Groom by Angela K. Couch
1771 - Sapling Grove settlement on the Holston River (Tennessee)
The Cowden temper has been Marcus’s lifelong bane. A trait Lorinda Cowden curses. Now, winning the heart of his bride hinges on fighting a war without raising a fist.  

Across Three Autumns by Denise Weimer
1778-1780 – (Georgia)
Fighting Loyalists and Indians, Jenny White settles for strength over love . . .until Scottish scout Caylan McIntosh leads her family on a harrowing exodus out of Georgia’s Revolutionary “Hornet’s Nest.”

The Counterfeit Tory by Shannon McNear
1781 – (South Carolina)
Tasked with infiltrating an infamous Tory gang, Jed Wheeler has no wish to endanger the leader’s cousin, Lizzy Cunningham. He risks not only his life. . .but his heart.

Love’s Undoing by Gabrielle Meyer
1792 - Fur Post on the Upper Mississippi River (Minnesota)
When Englishman Henry Kingsley meets Abi McCrea, the daughter of a Scottish fur trader and Indian mother, will their worlds keep them apart, or have they finally found somewhere they truly belong?

I love a good collection and each one of these stories tell a unique tale but weave together well in the book.  I was especially drawn to Magdalene from Shenandoah Hearts.  She was spunky and I enjoyed her immensely.  

The years span from 1754-1792 and the writers took a lot of time and effort in researching their work.  Take time and read the author notes, some have web pages and/or Pinterest boards with the actual history that they drew ideas from. The history buff in me appreciates the time and effort that this took.  

This was a really great read and I enjoy the collections I get from Barbour.  So pick up your copy of The Backcountry Brides and get ready to ride back to a different era.  Happy Reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed 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.*

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Romans - Journible the 17:18 Series (Journibles: the 17:18 Series) by Robert Wynalda and Dr. Joel R. Beeke

To purchase click here

I'm back on tour and this is a really unique book.  In this book YOU become the scribe and make a unique and personalized book. 

Why the 17:18 series?
In Deuteronomy 17, Moses is leaving final instructions concerning the future of Israel. As a prophet of God, Moses foretells of when Israel will place a king over the nation (v. 14). In verse 18, the king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law (the entire book of Deuteronomy) from the scroll publishing house, but to hand write his own copy of the law. Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are discovering that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information. Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also. From such understanding came the conception of this series of books.



How to Use These Books

Each book is organized so that you can write out your very own copy of Scripture. You will be writing the Bible text only on the right hand page of the book. This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page to write your own notes and comments. From time to time a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aid in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments.

What I really liked about the book:  This book allowed my creative genie out of the bottle.  I got to write out the whole book of Romans.  There was no right or wrong.  This is a pretty unique concept and I really spent more time meditating on God's word.  There is plenty of space for my personal thoughts and I can pass this book down in the family if I choose to do so. 

What I wish was different:  I have larger handwriting and there just wasn't always enough room for all the verses.  Some ended up getting squished and that makes the book not as pretty.  I also wish the reflection questions were a bit more in depth and stimulating.  I didn't feel like they helped me gain much new insight on Romans.  

But I'll leave the final verdict up to you.  Follow the blog stops and enter to win your own copies!  Happy Journaling! 


About the Author

Dr. Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited seventy books (most recently, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Living Zealously, Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, Getting Back Into the Race: The Cure for Backsliding, Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace, Living for the Glory of God: An Introduction to Calvinism, Meet the Puritans, Contagious Christian Living, Calvin for Today, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, and Taking Hold of God), and contributed 2,000 articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. is in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He is frequently called upon to lecture at seminaries and to speak at Reformed conferences around the world. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.



GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the tour, Reformation Heritage Books is giving away a grand prize of the entire set of New Testament Journibles!!   Click here to enter

Blog Stops
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 17

Vicky Sluiter, May 17

Seasons of Opportunities, May 18

Lighthouse Academy, May 18

Bibliophile Reviews, May 19

Purposeful Learning, May 19

Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, May 20

Just the Write Escape, May 20

Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting, May 21

Book by Book, May 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 21

God’s Little Bookworm, May 22

Artistic Nobody, May 22

Genesis 5020, May 23

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23

Have A Wonderful Day, May 24

amandainpa, May 24

Bigreadersite, May 24

With a Joyful Noise, May 25

Pause for Tales, May 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 25

Among the Reads, May 26

Live. Love. Read., May 26

Multifarious, May 27

Rebekah’s Quill, May 27

A Baker’s Perspective, May 28

proud to be an autism mom, May 28

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 29

Janices book reviews, May 29

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed 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, April 24, 2018

Woman of Courage (Audible Book) by Wanda Brunstetter

I had a long drive on our family vacation and needed a good audiobook to pass the time.  I was browsing through Amazon and found this book:  

I was excited.  For several reasons, it's a book about Quakers and they don't get enough love (in my opinion) in the Christian fiction world, I can drive and still listen to a good book, and it's a Wanda book!  Yay!  

From the blurb: Take a 3,000 mile journey with Amanda Pearson as she leaves the disgrace of a broken engagement and enters the work of a Quaker mission in the western wilds. The trip is fraught with danger, and Amanda is near death before reaching her destination. Among those she meets are an Indian woman who becomes her first convert and a half-Indian trapper who seems to be her biggest critic. But love follows her into the wilderness and will determine the course of her future. You are sure to enjoy this historical romance adventure from New York Times best-selling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.

OK, when I started listening I was a little concerned.  The audible narrator, Jaimee Draper, was a little extra perky and chipper.  Thankfully, she toned down as the story progressed and by the time we were halfway through she really was a fantastic Amanda.  

Through the story Amanda is being refined and becomes, with God's help, a true woman of courage.  Spunky, caring, and bold in her witness Amanda desires to work with a Native tribe in a mission after being jilted by her creeper fiance.  Having to bury her father on the journey, going through several illnesses, and meeting a stubborn guide on the way Amanda begins to see that God's plans for her life are more amazing than she can even being to imagine.  

The story starts out a little slow, but my husband and I were drawn in as it unfolded and we both enjoyed it.  So pick up your copy or recording and discover Woman of Courage!  Happy listening!  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Love Amy by Amy Young




I'm on tour again!  Join me and my fellow bloggers as we explore a really fascinating memoir.  To purchase your copy click here


She came to China with a lesson plan. What she found was a new sense of purpose. Amy Young traveled to China in the mid 1990s to teach English to educators. But she never expected the profound way they would enrich her soul. With the influence of the enchanting country and its extraordinary everyday people, Amy extended a two-year assignment to nearly two decades far away from home. Starting shortly after her arrival, Amy shared her stories and her unique perspective through a series of letters. Her nine years of correspondence demonstrated a country going through growing pains: from political unrest to the SARS epidemic to budding prosperity. Amy battled language barriers, cultural faux pas, and invasive mice with nothing to lose. She even fought for her life with a potentially deadly illness, unsure if she'd survive to share her tale. Throughout her journey, Amy drew strength from God and came to appreciate the beauty and power of an ordinary life lived well. Love, Amy: An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China is one woman’s deeply moving journey of self-transformation. If you like humorous anecdotes, immersions in Eastern culture, and honest stories that aren’t afraid to dig deep, then you’ll love Amy Young’s heartfelt tale. Buy Love, Amy for an inspirational guided tour into the heart of China today!

I am an avid reader of memoirs and really enjoy diving into diverse cultures.   From battling mice to being operated on without anesthetic you are drawn into her world with her powerful storytelling.  Her descriptions of China are amazing and you feel that you are really there along side of her.  Proof that real life is so much more imaginative than fiction can be.  

Amy Young grows as a person and she's not afraid to share her life with us.  I was rooting for her and came to care about the people she brought to life.  This was my first read from her and I'm definitely going back and finding her other writings.  

So pick up your copy today of this amazing story and be prepared for mice!  Follow the tour and make sure to enter for your chance to win below!   

About the Book


Title: Love, Amy

Author: Amy Young

Genre: Memoir

Release Date: June, 2017

She came to China with a lesson plan. What she found was a new sense of purpose.



Amy Young traveled to China in the mid 1990s to teach English to educators. But she never expected the profound way they would enrich her soul. With the influence of the enchanting country and its extraordinary everyday people, Amy extended a two-year assignment to nearly two decades far away from home.


Starting shortly after her arrival, Amy shared her stories and her unique perspective through a series of letters. Her nine years of correspondence demonstrated a country going through growing pains: from political unrest to the SARS epidemic to budding prosperity. Amy battled language barriers, cultural faux pas, and invasive mice with nothing to lose. She even fought for her life with a potentially deadly illness, unsure if she’d survive to share her tale.


Throughout her journey, Amy drew strength from God and came to appreciate the beauty and power of an ordinary life lived well.Love, Amy: An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China is one woman’s deeply moving journey of self-transformation. If you like humorous anecdotes, immersions in Eastern culture, and honest stories that aren’t afraid to dig deep, then you’ll love Amy Young’s heartfelt tale.



About the Author

Amy Young is a writer, speaker, and advocate for embracing the messy middle of your one glorious life. Author of Looming Transitions, Twenty Two Activities for Families in Transition, and The Looming Transitions Workbook, she also created the blog The Messy Middle (www.messmiddle.com), has been a part of Velvet Ashes, (an online community for missionaries) from the beginning, and contributes regularly to A Life Overseas. Amy enjoys nothing more than being with her people, wherever they are in the world. She also enjoys cheering on the Denver Broncos and Kansas Jayhawks. After nearly twenty years in China, she returned to Denver and much to her shock, discovered she enjoys gardening. 



Guest Post from Amy Young
The tug for a life that is “Anything but Boring”

When I was in college the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Sarah Plain and Tall changed my life. You’ve probably seen it and been moved too. Sarah, a spinster by the standard of her day, moves from Boston to the fields of Kansas to consider marrying a widower and help him raise his children and work his farm. Her brother could not understand why Sarah would move from so-called civilization to the middle of nowhere. But the longing she felt for her life to matter resonated deeply with me.

I was in the liminal space between adolescence and adulthood. Like Sarah, I knew I could stay where I was and live a good life, but I wanted more. And so I moved to China.

Our world is one that loves big, change-the-world stories. I love them too. I remember reading The End of the Spear, the story of Jim Elliott and his friends who were martyred for their faith. I also lost myself in the stories of Gladys Aylward, William Carey, Lottie Moon, and Amy Carmichael. I remember reading about a missionary that had some worm pulled out of his stomach that was the size of a large snake. Disgusting! Fascinating! All for the gospel! The life of faith was exciting and God was on the move all the time! While it is true, the life of faith is exciting and God is on the move, it is also ordinary, boring, disappointing, and confusing. When I started compiling the letters I wrote from my days in China, I was embarrassed by what “first year Amy” said. She was so clueless, so uninformed, so willing to display her lack of cultural knowledge. I wanted to put my hand over her mouth and ask her to please pipe down because she did not really believe what she was saying. But she did, “first year Amy” could not know what “fifteen year in China Amy” knew.

These change the world stories I love? Turns out they have been more sanitized than I realized without showing the cultural and ministry progression that must have taken place.

Even now, knowing what I know, part of me wishes my newsletters contained miracles and throngs coming to Christ because of my work. I thought throngs and miracles were what a “real” cross-cultural worker would do. I thought that would show that my life mattered, like Sarah’s when she moved to Kansas. Don’t we all want our lives to matter? I believed that mattering was measurable. By compiling and writing this book the lesson Love, Amy has taught me is that too often we confuse size with significance. I still hear the whisper that says, “Amy, really? You wrote about the cultural beliefs that influence standing in line and you think that is worth people giving of their prayer, money, and time?” Part of me is reluctant even now to publish these letters because they are common. In truth, I am happy with my life and the contributions I have made. Of course I have regrets and wish I’d handled certain situations differently. But if all we hear are the spectacular stories, we can miss the gift our beautifully ordinary lives can be.

Who made it into the Gospels? A widow and her two mites. A boy and his few fish. She is described as offering out of her poverty. His common lunch was used to feed more than he could have imagined. Jesus did not tend to elevate those in power or those who seemed impressive.

My first year, a fellow teacher in China told me, “You’re lucky you’re still in your first year. Wait until your second year and you have told all your stories. You’ll have nothing to say in your newsletters.” Isn’t that the heart of what we fear—that we will have nothing to say with our lives? The secret to combating this fear is not that secretive. Show up and be present. Taken individually, these letters don’t add up to much, but put them together and much to my surprise, month after month I wrote an accidental memoir.


As ordinary as it is, I do have to say, life in China was anything but boring! If you love memoirs and want to hear stories that will make you laugh or cringe (and sometimes both), join me on a college campus in China.


Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a grand prize of a letter writing basket that includes a $25 Amazon gift card!! Click here



Blog Stops
Reading Is My SuperPower, April 19

Inklings and notions , April 20

Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, April 20

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 21

Mary Hake, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Carpe Diem, April 23

A Baker’s Perspective, April 24

Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 26

Artistic Nobody, April 27 (Spotlight)

Lots of Helpers, April 27

Bibliophile Reviews, April 28

proud to be an autism mom, April 29

A Greater Yes, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 30

Janices book reviews, April 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1

Bigreadersite, May 2

margaret kazmierczak, May 2 (Interview)


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed 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.*

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Amish Teacher's Gift by Rachel Good (The Love & Promise Series Book 1)

I was super excited to get a copy of Rachel Good's newest book coming out this month.  



From the back:     A Teacher's Love
Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it's not easy with a deaf young son who doesn't understand why his mamm isn't coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.

With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn't sure she wanted to take on teaching, too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she'll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. And, together, they could have the loving family she'd always hoped for.

This was a really great book.  I felt for Nathan and the struggles he was going through with his son.  He trying so hard to be everything for his little boy after the tragic loss of his mom.  He doesn't understand why she's gone and becomes fearful of the one parent he has left.  

Ada is coping with loss and grief as well.  She's struggling to be a breadwinner and raise her siblings who are also grieving.  When she is offered a job at a special needs school as a first year teacher she jumps at the chance.  Ada struggles to find a way to reach and teach her pupils.  Clever, caring and resourceful Ada's strength and courage shine through!

With themes of forgiveness, second chances and a sweet romance thrown in you won't want to miss this book!  So pick up your copy of The Amish Teacher's Gift on the 24th this month and enjoy a great first book in a new series!  Happy Reading!  


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed 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.*