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?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Seagrass Pier Book Review

A Hope Beach Novel
Book Three

SUMMARY:  In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger's memories . . . before they cost her everything.
     Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones.  Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit.  A miraculously perfect fit.
     But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks - and vivid dreams of being strangled - she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor's murder.
     Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself.  Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked - by a man she's only met in her nightmares.
     The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her.   Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin's daughter.
     Of course, he doesn't know about that.  Yet.
     Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart.  And there's no time to waste.  One man is desperate to silence her - before she remembers too much.

SUMMARY:  This was an awesome book!  I was hooked from the very beginning and stayed that way until the of the story.  The twists and turns of the story had me on the edge of my seat, turning pages until late into the night, trying to figure out who the murderer was and what the conclusion would be.  The idea of a heart transplant recipient with memories of the heart's previous "owner" was new to me but I really liked it!  I found it interesting that Elin took on some of Laura's characteristics: favorite colors to wear, how she took her coffee, that she even liked coffee, along with having some of Laura's memories, after the transplant.  The only thing I would add to the book would be more of a conclusion in regards to the map from Thailand.  Other than that, and even this is a very minor thing, this book is a keeper.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.
Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide.  Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Forever Amish Book Review

Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy
Book Three

SUMMARY:  It's the Last Thing She Expects to Find
     Sally Bingham needs some time away to sort through the changes in her life and to rethink her upcoming marriage.  Despite her ailing father's hesitations, she drives to Lancaster County for a weekend away.  But her best-laid plans leave her in a near collision with a bishop's buggy and in the home of a mysterious Amish woman named Lizzie.  Lizzie introduces her to a different perspective on life, a charming farmhand named Armin - and opens a Pandora's box that will forever change Sally's life.
     The last book in the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy, Forever Amish introduces us to a young woman about to uncover a shocking secret and find an invitation to a new way of living.  This is a story of forgiveness, legacies, and the ties that bind through generations.

REVIEW: This book was not the typical Amish romance story.  Where most heroines has some idea of their Amish background or connections, in this one, Sally has no idea.  She headed to Lancaster County to meet a mysterious Lizzie and to think about her upcoming marriage.  This is about the time I wondered what was going on and where was the plot line headed.  Most of the time, I was wondering what was going on with Lizzie and her family.  They were so secretive about everything.  So was Lizzie's dad, Honest Ed.  He kept a bunch of secrets about his life growing up, Lizzie's mom and afterwards.  To me, my favorite part was the end.  I like how Lizzie and Armin worked things out and that all the secrets everyone kept were revealed.
     This was an okay book.  Unfortunately, not one of my favorites.

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

A native of Baltimore, Kate Lloyd spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the inspiration for the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy.  She is a member of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and has done extensive research on the Amish.  Kate and her husband live in Seattle.  Learn more about Kate at and and on Twitter @KateLloydAuthor.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Mother's Secret Book Review

Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel
Book Two

SUMMARY:  An unwed Amish woman years for real love and a family.  The only thing in her way is the shame she's been carrying for half of her life.
     Thirty-one-year-old Carolyn Lapp has never been married - but she's been a mother for fifteen years.  In a community with strict standards and a long memory, Carolyn knows she might never find a man who will have her and her son, Benjamin.
     Carolyn's family tries to marry her off to a widower with a daughter who needs a mother.  A marriage of convenience doesn't sound so bad, yet despite her loneliness, Carolyn knows what she really wants: a traditional Amish family and a marriage for love.
     When Benjamin gets into trouble at an auction, he finds himself beholden to a handsome horse breeder named Joshua Glick.  Joshua and Carolyn feel an instant attraction, and soon a romance is budding between them.  The trouble is Joshua believes Benjamin is Carolyn's nephew, not her son.
     After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention.  Can either man give her the family - and the unconditional love - she longs for?  Or will her past once again sabotage the future she wants?

REVIEW:  This storyline - an Amish woman who had a child out of wedlock - was one that caught my eye.  I love how strong Carolyn was.  She stands up for herself and he son, even when it isn't easy.  Though most of the community has forgiven Carolyn for her indiscretion, her brother Amos hasn't.  He constantly reminds Carolyn of it, and never passes up an opportunity to hold it over her head and judge her.   I like how she honors his position as the leader of the family but doesn't let his constant barrage keep her down.  She keeps the welfare of her son foremost in her mind, hoping that the time spent with Joshua repaying the debt he incurred will put and keep Benjamin on the right path.
     While reading this novel, I was reminded that we should not judge others by their past sins.  Once they confess their sins to the Lord, as Carolyn did, it is not our place to judge them any more.  We are made new creatures in Christ.  Joshua's mother, Barbara, and Amos both tried to remind everyone of Carolyn's past but were shown that once it is forgiven, we should also forget.

This book was provided by Booklook Bloggers and Zondervan for review without compensation.

Amy Clipston is the author of A Gift of Grace and four additional novels in the best-selling Kauffman Amish Bakery series.  She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled-rotten cats.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Through the Deep Waters Book Review

SUMMARY:  A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all.
     Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amid the secrets held in every dark grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel.  But when she finds out she isn't old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas.  Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
     The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past.  When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his physical disability and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ's love.  But can she ever accept the gift she so desperately needs?

REVIEW:  This is a good book about how God's love can overcome anything we've done or had done to us, if we will just let Him.  Dinah's past of being unloved by her own mother and growing up surrounded by lies keeps her from being open to God and his promises.  Her roommate, Ruthie, grows up hearing God's word but still struggles with God's will for her life.  Amos also grows up with knowing about God but struggles with his love when it looks like he won't get what he has always longed for.  The author does a great job bringing the story around and showing how these characters grow in God's love and His acceptance.  I love how once Dinah's secret is revealed to her supervisor, he and those who work closely with her stand up for her and support her. 
     This is a good book but it can be hard to read at times. 

This book was provided by Blogging for Books for review without compensation.

Kim Vogel  Sawyer is a best-selling author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope.  More than one million copies of her books are in print and have garnered awards, including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.  Kim lives in Kansas, where she and her retired military husband, Don, run a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their four feline companions.  She enjoys spending time with her daughters and grandchildren.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Out of the Ruins Book Review

The Golden Gate Chronicles
Book One

SUMMARY:  "God, save her. I'll do anything.  Just make her better.  And You'd better be listening, God, because if You dare take her away . . . I'll never speak to You again."
     Abby Fischer doesn't know if God will answer her prayer for her dying sister.  She doesn't know if miracles really happen.  And she certainly doesn't know if the handsome Dr. Robert King, with his risky experimental treatment, is the one to remedy her doubts.  When tragedy strikes and the mighty San Francisco earthquake shatters what is left of her heart, Abby wonders if God will hear her as she flees alone through burning streets.  What will it take to show her that the One she doesn't want to love is the One whose love will save her?
     A shaky prayer.  A shattered faith.  A city in ruins.  What - or who - will bring Abby back to God?

REVIEW:  This was a really good book.  Most of the time, I felt like I was there, running through the streets of San Francisco, trying to navigate the chaos of a city whose streets are torn up and buildings are on fire.  The author also does a great job describing the medical advancements of the early 20th century, especially in the treatment of leukemia and the effects on the patients.  I also like how the author explained the difficulty Abby and Robert had finding each other and their loved ones in the earthquake and fire aftermath and how some did whatever could to help others, even those who were considered outsiders, like the Chinese.  Abby's turn of faith was inspiring and brought a smile to my face.
     This was a great book.  I look forward to reading others in this series and other books by this author.

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

Karen Barnett is the acclaimed author of Mistaken and has also been published in Guideposts magazine.  She lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and a dachshund named Mystery.  Find out more at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Meant to Be Mine Book Review

SUMMARY:  Ty Porter has always irresistible to Celia Park.  All through high school - irresistible.  When their paths cross again after college - still irresistible.  This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia.  Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.
     The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality.  Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be her husband.  He's a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he's long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he's known since childhood.
     Five and a half years pass.  Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter.  Ty's achieved all of his goals.  Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.
     How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia's trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

REVIEW:  This story has some fascinating ideas:  an unrequited high school crush suddenly realized; a whirlwind courtship and a cheesy Vegas wedding; a marriage that was never dissolved; and a child from one night together.  I like how Celia gives up her dream of owning her own bakery to work in a university cafeteria so her daughter could have a stable life and how, once Ty finds out about his daughter Addie, he does everything he can to keep in touch as he travels.  Neither think about their own wants or desires but only their daughter. Celia's lack of faith in God stems from having to struggle on her own for so long but it slowly grows as she gets to know Ty's family and see their faith, especially Ty's brother and sister-in-law's.  At times it seems like Ty is really pushy to get what he wants and, to me, it got a little annoying but he does seem to mature into a wonderful man and thoughtful husband.
     This was a fun book that I enjoyed reading.

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

Beth Wade is a graduate of Baylor University.  As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States.  A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas.  For more information on Becky and her books, please visit her website at

A Season of Change Book Review

 Seasons in Pinecraft Series
Book One

SUMMARY:  Can a past filled with loss lead to a new season of life?
     Stranded at a Sarasota hospital at the bedside of his ailing daughter, Amish widower Jacob Miller is wary of his unfamiliar surroundings - including the strange curiosity of Englischer Natalie Bennett.  Natalie, an aerial silks artist whose career in the circus ended before it began, has just uncovered a secret her mother kept hidden for years.  Her mom - or rather, mamm - was one Amish.
     A hundred questions suddenly surface.  Why did Natalie's mother keep this secret for so long?  Does Natalie still have Amish relatives?  How can she learn more about her heritage?  Can Jacob trust Natalie's piqued interest in his family and their simple ways, or will their clashing cultures thwart their hopes for finding the love of a family?

REVIEW:  This book is set in Pinecraft, Florida - a real community of Amish and Mennonite families - which gives the story a different feel from other Amish novels and makes this story interesting.  My interest was piqued when Natalie searches for her mother's family.  With her mother and her dad's parents deceased and her father remarried and living across the country with his new family, Natalie feels all alone in the world.  I like how the author dealt with differences in the Englisch and Amish cultures and how they mix in this little hamlet very well.  The situation of falling in love with someone whose life and lifestyle COMPLETELY different from yours is handled delicately with surprising results. It was interesting that even though Jacob and Natalie worshipped God in very different ways, their desire to live for and follow Him completely were very similar.
     If you are looking for a book that is a little different from the rest, check this one out.  I think you might like it.

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

Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of ten novels and eight novellas.  She makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Heart's Pursuit Book Review

SUMMARY:  A jilted bride, desperate to save her family from ruin.  A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.  An arduous trek toward justice - or redemption.
     Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea.  Bad for Silver's already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town.  Bad for bounty hunter Jared's secret, single-minded mission for revenge.  But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father's fortune.  And Jared's in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family - even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.
     The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn't theirs to take.  Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicions arise, putting Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most.  To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the questions they haven't dared voice:  What happens next?

REVIEW:  This book was different than most historical romance books I've read.  Silver's determination to find her former fiance and return her father's money is one to be admired.  She doesn't think about herself or her reputation but only her father.  She sticks with Jared, never complaining even when things are looking bad.  I like how she encourages Jared to take an orphan, Dean, left behind when the two men they are chasing kill his parents, even though they are low on supplies.  Also wondering "what happens next?" towards the end of the novel, the ending was refreshing.  An enjoyable ending to a surprising book.

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

Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of seventy books.  Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award.  Robin and her husband currently reside in Idaho.  For more information, visit

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Silenced Book Review

 Alaskan Courage Series
Book Four

SUMMARY:  Jake Knew Something Was Wrong.  But He Never Guessed How Wrong.
     A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber.  Is it a terrible accident or something darker?  When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help.  With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again - but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him.
     Kayden's climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident.  And worse, it seems the  killer is onto them.  When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger.  But the truth is far worse that he could ever image.

REVIEW:  Dani Pettry does not disappoint her readers with Book Four of this series.  I sat on the edge of my seat, anxiously turning the page, trying to figure out where the story was headed and how everything would work out.  The characters are well-written and the story is very intriguing.  The action was fast moving and the suspense was intense.  Now, this is the fourth book.  It helps to have read the other books to understand Jake's past, Kayden's resistance, and the other characters in the book but I think it would be okay to read it by itself.  I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to reading the last book when it comes out next year.

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

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the author of the bestselling romantic suspense novels Stranded, Shattered, and Submerged, winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel and the Colorado Romance Writers 2013 Award of Excellence.  She and her husband have two daughters and reside in the D.C. Metro area.  She can be found online at

All My Belongings Book Review

SUMMARY:  A new identity can't protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away.
     Where do you turn to when changing your name doesn't give you the anonymity you want?  When running hundreds of miles away isn't far enough?  When your search for a place to belong lands you right back where you began?
     One phone call destroys all the hope Becca Morrow has for a life beyond the shame of her past.  Further discredited by the death of her elderly, ailing patient - the mother of the influential businessman, Isaac Hughes - Becca's new life is shattered and her longing for love slips away.  Working to clear her name, Becca must learn to see the beauty in the ugliness of dying, to accept the tenderness in forgiveness, and - at last - discover that where she belongs isn't as much about her family history as it is about her faith in the One to whom she'll always belong.

REVIEW:  The idea behind this story - trying to live your life anonymously after a family member becomes known across the nation for being a serial killer - is interesting.  My heart went out to Becca as she tried to move past her past and start a new life.  When her father's actions come back to haunt her, I LOVED how Isaac, Geneva, and Becca's new friends stand behind her and fight to clear her name.  While I found the idea to be interesting and loved the characters and their interactions, the story was missing something.  The author had some great ideas but I missed the edge that would have kept me sitting on the edge of my seat and turning the page. 

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

Cynthia Ruchti is an acclaimed author and speaker with more than 30 years of broadcast experience.  The Professional Relations Liaison for American Christians Fiction Writers, Cynthia has also written articles for numerous magazines and industry publications.  Visit her online at