Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodbye to Yesterday Book Review

The Discovery
Part 1 of 6
A Lancaster County Saga

SUMMARY:  Instead of experiencing newlywed bliss, Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus are faced with the greatest challenge of their young lives.
     When Luke Stoltzfus loses his job at a furniture store in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, he is given an opportunity to learn a new trade from his uncle who lives in Indiana.  Despite his wife's reservations, Luke jumps at the chance and makes plans for a quick trip to Middlebury.
     Along the way, Luke meets with tragedy, and life as he knew will never be the same.
     Despite all odds, will the faith and love Luke and Meredith share be enough to bring them back together again?  Or will Meredith begin a new life with another?

REVIEW:   Reading this book is like watching my favorite television show.  The storyline builds and, just as things start getting interesting, you are made to wait until the show airs again to find out what happens next.  The book is not very long, only about 121 pages, and I finished it in about an hour and a half (my reading time was stop and go).  I am afraid to write anything about the story in fear that I will give away something important.  This is a great book and I can't wait to see what happens in the coming issues.  The second book in the continuing saga is due out in March 2013 and I will be waiting!!

This book was provided by Handlebar for review without compensation.

Award-winning, bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter and her husband live in Washington State but take every opportunity to visit friends in Amish settlements throughout the States.  For more information about Wanda and her books, visit her website at

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolate Book Review

Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries

Are you ready to strip Fear's power 
and become the confident woman 
you were meant to be? . . .
     Maybe it's time for a healthy dose 
of truth gift-wrapped in humor.

     With her own brand of off-beat wit and near-wisdom, inspirational humorist Debora Coty addresses heart needs of women worn down by everyday fears - financial, health, relationships, loss, pain, the unknown, the what-ifs - both real and imagined.  With fresh spiritual insight, Debora shares hope, scriptural lifelines, and a few LOLs along with simple, practical tips for sidestepping fear with faith (and a fistful of chocolate!).

REVIEW:  In this delightful book, Debora offers practical advice on dealing with the heavy subject of fear with loads of fun and laughter.  The stories she shares of people struggling with common fears helps her readers understand they are not alone.  She also gives you different ways to overcome this very common emotion and scripture to help you develop courage.  The questions at the end of each chapter offer reflection. This is an awesome book that everyone should read!!

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.

Debora M. Coty is a popular speaker, columnist, internationally published writer, and award-winning author or coauthor of dozens of books.  She's also an orthopaedic occupational therapist, writing instructor, pianist, and tennis enthusiast.  Mother of two grown children, Debora makes her home in central Florida with her husband, Chuck, and desperately wicked pooch, Fenway.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When the Heart Heals Book Review

Sisters at Heart
Book Two

SUMMARY:  In a country healing from war, can a young woman find healing for her heart?
     Courageous and unconventional, Rosemary Saxon served as a nurse during the Civil War, a service that has caused most women in town to regard her as unfeminine and even downright vulgar.  Although she would like to put that part of her life behind her, she needs to support herself.  She takes a nursing position with Dr. Elijah Stewart, but whenever they are together they always seem to do or say the wrong things.  When someone threatens Rosemary, will she find the courage to stand, or will she leave town - and Elijah - forever?
     With tenderness and grace, Ann Shorey invites you back to the town of Noble Springs, Missouri, for an engrossing story of love's tentative first steps and fragile future in the face of opposition.

REVIEW:  This is a great follow-up to Ann Shorey's first book, Where Wildflowers Bloom.  My heart goes out to Rosemary, who struggles with the image most of the women in town have of her.  Being a nurse nowadays is a noble profession but after the Civil War, it wasn't thought of very highly.  I like how she uses the knowledge of using herbs and plants for health remedies gained from her mom to help the townspeople and to aid in the care of Dr. Stewart's patients.  When her greenhouse and plants are wrecked and her life threatened, I like how Rosemary didn't back down but remained firm and true to her calling.  I also liked how her relationship with Dr. Stewart developed and how things worked out with her parents.  This is a great book.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Ann Shorey is the author of Where Wildflowers Bloom, The Edge of Light, The Promise of Morning, and The Dawn of a Dream.  Ann and her husband make their home in southwestern Oregon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Picture Perfect Book Review

Weddings by Design
Volume One

SUMMARY:  She's trying to focus on her future.  How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?
     Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio.  She'll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine.  And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley's list of recommended photographers.  But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.
     As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it's not the only thing getting more intense.  She can't get the handsome man out of her thoughts - or even out of her line of sight - and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare.  Will everything she's worked for slip out of her hands?  And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?
     With contagious humor and a cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives you crazy bridal-business drama, sweet romance, and a satisfying dose of laughter.

REVIEW:   This is a cute book.  I like the storyline of competitive photographers, how they are often thrown together for photo sessions and other events and how their interest in developing a romance comes about.  I LOVE Bella's family and their zest for life.  Even though they are a minor part of the book, they bring life to Hannah and her parents and help them make some much needed changes.  I also like how the situation with the celebrity bride works out when her publicist starts making unreal demands on Hannah.   If you are looking for a fun book to read, this one is for you. 

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter.  An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into.  Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner.  She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series and lives in Texas.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Unbreakable Book Review

Road to Kingdom
Book Two

SUMMARY:  Gentle and unassuming, Hope Kauffman has never been one to question the traditions of her Mennonite upbringing.  She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed the betrothal he arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.
     Despite the attempts of Hope and other Kingdom residents to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to sir in teh small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is teh leader of the move to reform, while Ebbie insists Kingdom must remain true to its foundation.  When Hope's safety is threatened by a mysterious outsider, she can't help but question what she's always been taught about the Mennonite tradition of nonviolence.
     With tensions high and their lives endangered by an unknown enemy, will Hope and the people of Kingdom allow fear and division to break them or will they draw on the strength of the God they serve?
REVIEW:  The story line drew my attention, especially with all the gun control issues being talked about today in the U.S.  While the story does not talk about gun control by name, it does bring up trusting God with everything, including your safety when your life is threatened, and not relying on violence to solve the problem.  I like how the author shows both sides of the coins, the effect they have on the townspeople and how the conflicts are resolved.  The only issue I have (and it's not really an issue, just curious) is the girl Hope meets in Washington who could be her twin.  I thought she would be relevant to the conflict but is not mentioned again.  
     This is a great story and the book, even though it is the second in the series, stands well on its own.  I recommend it to anyone wanting to read an interesting suspense novel.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.
 Nancy Mehl is the author of thirteen books and received the 2009 ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award.  She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW.  Nancy lives with her husband, Norman, and the puggie, Watson, in Wichita, Kansas.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rebekah Book Review

Wives of the Patriarchs
Book Two

SUMMARY:  Can love heal the rift between two souls?
     When her beloved father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever.  Though she should be married by now, it's clear that Laban is dragging his feet, waiting for a higher bride-price to line his pockets.  But then Rebekah is given a chance to leave her home to marry Isaac, a cousin she has never even seen, and her hope for the future is restored.  Little does she know what a wondrous and heart-wrenching journey she is beginning.
     As Rebekah experiences the joy of young love and the bitterness of misunderstanding and betrayal, her resolve is tested.  When the rift between Isaac and her grows to wide it is surely too great to be mended, can she trust the God of Isaac's father Abraham to bridge the gap?
     Join bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith as she fills in the blanks around the life of the enigmatic Rebekah. 

REVIEW:  Even though there is not lot of information on Rebekah and Isaac in the book of Genesis, the author does an excellent job in "filling in the blanks."  I love how she tells Isaac's "story" showing what he might have been like and how almost being sacrificed by his father might have affected him, Sarah and Abraham even later in life.  Jill's idea shows how this might also have affected Isaac's relationship with his wife, Rebekah, and their twin boys.  When I read the story of Rebekah and Isaac, I often wonder why they each would favor one child over another.  This book helps the reader imagine what their lives might have been like before and after their marriage and why they might have made some of the decision they did.  The best part was getting a better understanding of two crucial characters in the history of Israel.  This is one of my favorite books so far.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba, all part of the Wives of King David series, and of Sarai, book in the Wives of the Patriarchs series.  Her writing has garnered acclaim in several contests.  Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.  Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

5 Days to a Clutter-Free House Book Review

Quick, Easy Ways to Clear Up Your Space

SUMMARY:  A clean, organized, and restful home is only 5 days away.
     If you've picked up this book, you want to reduce the clutter in your home, organize what's left, and keep it that way.  But does the sheer scope of the project give you an anxiety attack?  Don't let fear stop you!  Organizing and time management experts Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims show you how, with the right game plan and a healthy dose of adrenaline, you're just 5 days from your goal.
     With their proven team-based approach, even the most overwhelming de-cluttering job becomes doable.  Section one shows you how to de-clutter, with each day of the week focused on one reachable goal.  Section two shows you how to cultivate time-tested habits that keep your house in the clean, well-ordered state you've just achieved.  You'll even learnhow to deal with common obstacles such as
  • filing
  • storage needs
  • health issues
  • space restrictions
  • the car
  • even family sabotage!
So what are you waiting for?  The home of your dreams is just a week away.

REVIEW:  This book is packed full of ideas on how to get rid of the clutter in your house and storage areas.  Their ideas seems workable and they lay out detailed descriptions on how to accomplish even the most daunting tasks in a short time.  Included are step-by-step instructions for each of the five days you have set aside to work.  To make the work easier and more manageable, they suggest you enlist the help of friends and family to help sort through your things and keep you on task.  Once you get everything organize, the authors give you ideas on how to keep the clutter away and stay organized.  Also included in the appendix are lists of books, websites and other resources to help you stay on track and maybe find other ways to help you keep things nice and orderly.
     Check it out if you are tired of the clutter and want some help getting a hand on things.  It is also a great resource to refer to help keep the order in place.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Sandra Felton, The Organizer Lady, is a pioneer in the field of organizing.  She is the founder and prsident of Messies Anonymous; the author of many books, including Organizing Magic, and the coauthor of Organizing Your Day and Smart Office Organizing.  She lives in Florida.

Marsha Sims is an international speaker and lecturer on time management and organization.  She is the founder and president of Sort-It-Out, Inc. and Clutter-Free University.  She is the coauthor of Organizing Your Day and Smart Office Organizing and lives in Florida.

Courting Cate Book Review

The Courtships of Lancaster County
Book One

SUMMARY:  When this couple gets to courting, sparks will fly!
     In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance.  Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!
     But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule:  Cate, as the oldest, must get married before Betsy can do so.  Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor - until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.
     Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand.  But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?

REVIEW:  This book is an adaptation of Shakespeare's play, Taming of the Shrew.  Since it has been a while since I last read or watched the play, I had a little trouble comparing how it this story with the original.  I like how the author added a new twist to it by making the main characters Amish.  My heart went out to Cate because I understand where she is coming from with her hurts and failures in love and life.  At times, I had a hard time with decisions Pete made after he and Cate were married but, after I finished the book, I understood his thinking a little better.
     This is a good book and would recommend it to anyone wanting an interesting and refreshing read.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without compensation.

Leslie Gould is the coauthor of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife, winner of the 2012 Christy Award for Contemporary Series.  She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and resides with her husband and four children in Portland, Oregon.  Visit her online on Facebook or at

Friday, February 8, 2013

A New Home for Lily Book Review

The Adventures of Lily Lapp
Book Two

SUMMARY:  New town, new house, new friends - and always lots of fun!
     Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community.  In this small town, Lily has to get used to a new school, new friends, and Aaron Yoder, the most annoying boy in the world!  But some changes are good, like exploring an attic full of adventure and getting anew baby brother.  Still Lily wonders, why can't God bring her just one sister?

REVIEW:  This book is just as intriguing as the first.  I love Lily's look on life.  She enjoys school and her family but isn't too happy with her new house and some of her classmates.  Lily doesn't let that stop her from finding fun wherever she goes and in whatever she and her brother do.  One of my favorite parts is towards the end when some of their neighbors come over and help the Lapps build a new addition to their house.  When they are finished, Lily gets to move out of her bedroom located in the upstairs hallway and relocate into her new room in the attic. LOVE IT!!  My twelve-year-old daughter read it and loved this book too.  We are both look forward to reading more about Lily's life and the adventures she will find in Pennsylvania.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in somerset County, Pennsylvania.  she is the coauthor of Life with Lily and lives in Pennsylvania.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace.  She lives in California.  For more information, please visit andconect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.  Check out Lily's website at