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, June 30, 2016

All Summer Long Book Review

Follow Your Heart Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  A San Francisco Romance
     She's ready to take on a new challenge.  What she doesn't expect is an old flame.
     Tia D'Amico is thrilled to move to San Francisco to help her aunt transform an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant.  What's not to love?  Sunset dinner cruises, posh wedding receptions - the possibilities are endless and far more appetizing than staying in a monotonous job in her Podunk hometown.  Besides, some of her best memories are tied to San Francisco - especially the memory of Leo Parker, her crush from a long-ago sailing camp.
     When Leo Parker himself turns out to be the yacht's captain Tia is floating on air.  But will it all come crashing down around her when she discovers his heart belongs to someone else?
     Get ready for a romantic summer in San Francisco, where the future glistens brighter than the Bay at sunset.

REVIEW:  Looking for a fun, light read for summer?  This may be the book for you.  Ms. Carlson's backdrop of San Francisco in the summer is a great setting.  Tia's desire to break away from her family and make a name for herself is admirable.  I like how she steps up and takes the burden of remodeling the yacht off her aunt's shoulders after her uncle has major surgery and during his recovery.  Tia gets in there and is not afraid of hard work.
     Leo loves the water.  Unfortunately, his fiancee Natalie has extreme sea sickness and hates the water.  I like how he sticks to his desire to be a yacht captain when his father and fiancee pressure him into joining the family law firm.  Leo is also one that works hard to get the yacht ready to set sail with her passengers.
     Despite their attraction for each other, I appreciate Tia's determination to not cause Leo and Natalie trouble and is often put in precarious situations due to Natalie's problem with the water.
     As stated before, it is a great light read that is perfect for summer vacation.  Even though it is the second book in the series, the books completely stand alone with no reference to the other.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than 6.5 million.  She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice.  She and her husband live in central Oregon.  Learn more at

Delilah Book Review

Treacherous Beauty
A Dangerous Beauty Novel

SUMMARY:  A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible's Most Notorious Women
     Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone.  When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her.  She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.
     When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory.  By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence.  After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart.  No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

REVIEW:  We all have our opinions of Delilah, the beauty who brought down Israel's judge, Samson.  Most, if not all, are not favorable by any standard.  But, have we ever stopped to think about what her life was like and why she betrayed him?  Angela Hunt's novel explores a possible path Delilah's life might have taken.  She suggests her life may have started out as one of privilege then, due to circumstances beyond her control, she is forced to betray someone she loves.  Since there is no extra-biblical sources to pull from, the author does an astounding job developing a plausible background and story, following the account in Judges 13-16 as close as possible.
     The author did a wonderful job drawing me into the story and keeping my attention, even though I knew the Old Testament tale.  Now, while Delilah made some choices I didn't agree with, I found myself developing admiration for her as she fought for herself, her son and the widow she lived with, facing many trials and tribulations.  One part I was not comfortable with was Delilah and Samson living together without the benefit of marriage but, as I stated before, it's based on verses in Judges.
     This is an interesting novel that you might find as thought-provoking as I did.

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

Angela Hunt has published more than one hundred books, with sales nearing five million copies worldwide.  She's the New York Times bestselling author of The Tales of Three Trees, The Note, and The Nativity Story.  Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the HOLT Medallion Award.  Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.  For a complete list of the author's books, visit

Sea Rose Lane Book Review

Hope Harbor Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  Two people starting over . . . in a town known for second chances
     After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to Hope Harbor - only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed and breakfast.  Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos - and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect who's invaded the house with her motley crew.  As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda.  Yet when they join forces to help Hope Harbor's older residents, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?

where hearts heal . . . . and love blooms

REVIEW:  Eric Nash learns that even if your perfect job ends, it is just the beginning for something new and exciting, if you let God work.  I like how the author uses the talents Eric hasn't used in years to help BJ work on a major project during his time off.  BJ's desire to help the elderly in Hope Harbor is admirable and stems from a painful time in her life.  The solution she comes up with to solve a problem the Helping Hands program faces is perfect for all involved.  Charlie is the perfect foil for Eric as he pushes him to think outside the box and beyond what he had hoped to accomplish.  I like how Charlie always seems to know when he is needed and always gives excellent advice, even if the recipient isn't receptive at the time.  The ending is perfect as it shows sometimes God does give us our cake and let us eat it too.  One warning though - you may not want to read this book if you are hungry.  The fudge cake and fish tacos mentioned repeatedly sound absolutely delicious and kept me wishing I had some.
     It is the second book in the Hope Harbor series but can stand alone.  The first book, Hope Harbor, goes into detail about the Helping Hands Program and how it gets started.  This is a great book.  It is a perfect summertime read at home or on the beach.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series.  Her books have garnered dozens of honors, including three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America.  She is also a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame.   Visit her website at, on Twitter and Facebook.

Sins of the Past Book Review

SUMMARY:  Secrets and lies.  Danger that will never go away.  Join three beloved masters of romantic suspense for novellas where the past will not stay buried.

Dee Henderson - "Missing" 
     A Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing from her retirement community.  Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two soon launch into a race against the clock when they realize something dark may lie at the heart of the disappearance.

Dani Pettrey - "Shadowed"
     Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young Alaskan fisherman nets the body of a Russian open water swimming competitor.  Another swimmer, who'd been the dead woman's roommate years ago, is pulled into the search for answers as it grows more and more clear that something sinister is at play.

Lynette Eason - "Blackout
     A young woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong finds herself at risk years later when the real culprit is up for parole.  The loot taken that night has never been found and he believes she knows where it's hidden - only her memory of that night has always been unreliable.  Can she remember enough to find her way to safety?

REVIEW:  This novella collection is probably one of my favorites.  The authors are my go-to ones for great suspense without all the gore and junk.  If you like suspense novels, this collection is one you might want to pick up.
     In "Missing," the relationship between John and his mom is sweet and admirable.  His concern for her is one we all should have for our parents.  I also like how the developing admiration between John and Sharon, the lieutenant assigned to his mother's missing person case, does not move too quickly as in most stories but slowly over time.  The resolution of the kidnapping story was anticlimactic.  The way the story is summarized led me to believe more action and suspense would be involved. I felt it fizzled at the end.  The story line was interesting but I wonder if more could have been added.
     "Shadowed" is written as a prequel to Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage series.  The suspense grabs your attention right from the beginning.  I enjoyed trying to figure out who killed Kat and why they were after Libby.  Sometimes it was a little difficult keeping track of everyone and how they were involved but that is probably my only complaint.  The story kept my attention all the way to the end.  Probably my favorite of the three novellas.
     In "Blackout," the action starts immediately and doesn't let up much until the end.  There were times when I really wanted to help Macey get her memory back.  I like how her neighbor Chad is determined to help her find out who was terrorizing her and protect her along the way.  There were times in the story I wish I had written down the past events and how they tied into Macey's memories but at the climax of the story, everything falls into place and everything is clear.  Lynette Eason did not disappoint.

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

Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, including Taken, Undetected, Unspoken, Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story, Full Disclosure, and the acclaimed O'Malley series.  Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion.  Learn more at or

Dani Pettrey is the acclaimed author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged.  Her newest novel, Cold Shot, is the first book of her Chesapeake Valor series.  Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award, among others.  You can find her online at

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust, Nowhere to Turn, and No Place to Hide in the Hidden Identity series.  She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.  Learn more at

Jilted Book Review

Mended Hearts Series
Book Three

SUMMARY:  A heartbroken woman desires to move beyond old memories.  But will her past give way to hope?
     Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago.  Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest.  As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life in which the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.
     Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, of a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and of a town that must - once and for all - leave the past where it belongs.  It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

REVIEW:  Jilted is different from any other book I've read.  The main character, Lynda, struggles with depression.  She wants to hide herself away from everything and everyone, except her daughter. Lynda fights it by taking a job in a local diner and helping her sister.  The romantic lead, Clyde, is an ex-con who was convicted of a crime he didn't commit.  Even though he's been released, the town will not let him forget.  I really struggled with the attitude of the townsfolk and church members.  Even though Clyde has changed for the better, no one in the community or church want much to do with him.  Even Lynda had been asked to find another place to worship because of her struggles with depression and the stigma of her husband leaving her.  That's not the way the church should act.  The author uses a major event to help the church overcome their pharisaic bias and reach out to all peoples.
     The way Clyde treats Lynda when she is having an episode is tender and encouraging.  He talks to her, listens to her and does what he can to diffuse the triggers.  When information about her husband is uncovered, Clyde is there for Lynda, helping her find ways to adjust instead of retreating into her all too familiar depression. 
     This is the third book in this series but is great on its own.  The other books provide more information about Lynda's daughter Ruthie, Fawn and the town where they live but are not necessary to read Jilted

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

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face.  She has five children, teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local homeschool cooperative, and boasts 16 years as a home educator.  She resides with her family in North Texas.  Her first novel, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Silence in the Dark Book Review

Logan Point Series
Book Four

SUMMARY:  Bailey Adams is running for her life . . . again.
     When Bailey Adams left Logan Point two years ago for Mexico, she thought she was getting away from her problems.  Running into her ex-fiance Danny Maxwell was not part of the plan - neither was being chased through the city by the local drug cartel, the Calatrava.  Now despite her best efforts, Danny is her only chance of escaping the people chasing her and getting back to Logan Point safely.  Can Bailey find the strength to face what's coming?  And in the midst of the chaos, can she keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again?
     With lean, fast-paced prose that will keep you turning the pages, Patricia Bradley pens a superb story of suspense and second chances.

REVIEW:  This book starts off with a bang and keeps going until the end.  At times, it was a little difficult for me to keep everything straight when the action was at its peak, but other than that, I really enjoyed the story.  The author did a great job keeping me guessing about who the leader of the Calatrava was, why he and the Calatrava was after Bailey and what exactly was going to happen with Joel McDermott, Maria's uncle.  I like how the mystery was wrapped up and how the story of Bailey and Danny ended.  I thought more of the story line would involve the incident at the beginning of the book but only a few passing remarks were made about it.
     This is the fourth book in the Logan Point series.  You really need to read at least the second, third and fourth books to understand the underlying story of the missing guns and other references regarding other relationships and the pasts of some of the minor characters.  
     This is an enjoyable book and series by a somewhat local writer (she's from Corinth).  If you like some suspense and a little mystery, this might be a book series you would enjoy.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Patricia Bradley is the award-winning author of Shadows of the Past, A Promise to Protect, and Gone without a Trace.  Winner of a Daphne du Maurier Award and a Touched by Love Award, Bradley is a member of American Christians Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi.  Learn more at 

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Quieting Book Review

The Bishop's Family
Book Two

SUMMARY:  It was a well-laid plan - but it wasn't her plan . . .
     It's all her grandmother's fault.  For the last few months, Abigail Stoltzfus has helped her father with his genealogical research, hoping that breaking through a client's brick wall would also break his melancholy.  But now her intrusive grandmother has set her sights on marrying off Abigail and insists she come to Stoney Ridge, where there is a plethora of eligible bachelors.
     Except that Mammi is mistaken.  There are no eligible bachelors in Stoney Ridge, barring one, and he's all wrong. Dane Glick has the wrong last name and the wrong relatives - including the bishop who is at odds over a church matter with Abigail's uncle, minister David Stoltzfus.
     As the conflict grows, setting family against family, it's becoming clear that the path to a solution may lead to a Quieting - a removal of a church leader.  But for which one?  And when Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem - but will it create another?

REVIEW:  Reading this book, and this series, is like watching your favorite television series.  There are a lot of stories going on at the same time.  While the focus of this book was on Abigail and Dane, I preferred the parts that were about David and Birdie.  Abigail's obsessive compulsiveness with keeping everything organized was distracting.  I like how it really helped in her genealogy research but, like everyone in David's house, it made me a little crazy.  Dane's passiveness was a little too passive for most main love interests.  I like how he still wanted to help Abigail with her research into his family tree even though other family members did not like her or what she was doing.
     David's desire to help his community is one to be admired.  After finding out how Freeman took control of who became a minister instead of letting God choose, I like how David follows Jesus's command in Matthew 18:15-17 in confronting him.  I also like how he and Birdie, a very unlikely couple, work together, in solving the dilemmas David faces.
     The ending of the book was unique.  The way the author tied Abigail's genealogy research with David's problems and created an original solution was excellent and very enjoyable.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna's Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish.  She lives in California.  Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter@suzannewfisher

They Were Christian Book Review

The Inspiring Faith of Men and Women
who Changed the World

SUMMARY:  What do Abraham Lincoln, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Louis Pasteur, Frederick Douglass, Florence Nightingale, and John D. Rockefeller, Sr. have in common?  They all changed the world - and they were all Christians.  With passion and precision, Cristobal Krusen brings to light the little-known stories of faith behind twelve influential people of history.
     They Were Christians reveals the faith-filled motivations of these important world figures who made some of the most outstanding political, scientific, and humanitarian contributions in history.  Discover the true stories behind
  • the founding of the Red Cross
  • the family crisis that drove America's favorite president to his knees
  • the supernatural call that led a beautiful English socialite to save thousands of soldiers
  • and more
The fascinating profiles of these faithful history makers will encourage, entertain, and inspire you to deepen your faith, pursue excellence in your vocation, and serve others.

REVIEW:  This book was a very interesting read.  It consists of twelve brief biographies that, as the author described, tells "the rest of the story."  The stories are concise and go into just enough detail to keep the reader from getting boring and keep their attention.  Each person described is known for their inventions, contributions to medicine, or how they changed the thinking and beliefs of their time.  Most are not as well known about their walk with Christ.  Some started their walk with Jesus at an early age; some came to know Christ and His forgiveness of sin later.  But each one strived to emulate Jesus in their pursuit of peace, understanding and in helping their fellow man.
     While I am not a big biography fan, this is one book I really enjoyed reading and will keep on my shelf.  Check it out.  You might just learn something new.

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

Cristobal Krusen is a screenwriter, film director, and author who has lived and worked in Latin America, Australia, and the United States.  In 1988, he founded Messenger Films, a nonprofit film production company.  He studied English literature at Harvard University and also studied film and television at NYU and the Art Center College in Design.  He currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Anchor in the Storm Book Review

Waves of Freedom Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  In the time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love?
     Nothing slows Lillian Avery down - not her personal challenges and certainly not America's entry into World War II.  She finally has a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston.  The demands of her new job energize her.  But society boy Ensign Archer Vanderberg's attentions only annoy - even if he is her brother's best friend.
     During the darkest days of the war, Arch's destroyer hunts German U-Boasts on vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast.  Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves - and with drowsiness.  Could their be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling?
     As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question.  But can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affections?

REVIEW:  This book tackles some difficult subjects - physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and women working in traditionally men's roles.  Lillian wears a prosthesis on her left leg after a childhood accident.  That, along with being a woman, makes it very difficult for her to find a job, much less one as a pharmacist, since those positions were held by men.  After the sinking of his previous ship, Arch deals with PTSD.  He observes men on his new destroyer having the same issues coping by taking strong medication that starts to interfere with their job performances.
     Lillian's determination to break through the barriers is admirable.  She does the best she can and doesn't back down from adversity.  Along the way, she starts to win people over and their attitudes start to change as they see her instead of just her sex.  She uses a painful episode in her past to help her in a very difficult situation to bring criminals to justice.
     Arch finds out that he is not along in struggling with the death and destruction he's witnessed on the sea.  I like how he works to find another way besides drugs to help the men under his command and breaks up the prescription drug ring causing the damage.  Even though he hates the wealth and status he was brought up with, I was impressed with how he uses it to help others with PTSD and other wounded warriors.
     The author kept me guessing as to how the drug ring would be captured and how all the relationships that were hurt and wounded would mend in the end.  
     This is the second book in the Waves of Freedom series.  It stands well on its own but reading the first book will fill in the gaps around some of the other characters.  This is a remarkable book and a wonderful series.

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

Sarah Sundin is the award-winning author of the Wings of Glory and Wings of the Nightingale series, as well as Through Waters Deep.  During WWII, her grandfather serves as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England.  Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.  Learn more at

Monday, June 6, 2016

Through the Shadows Book Review

The Golden Gate Chronicles
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Brokenness.  Rubble.  Healing.  Rebuilding.  God grows life out of ashes; how will He redeem Elizabeth's past mistakes?
     Two years ago, the building of San Francisco were shaken off their foundations and burned to the round in the devastating earthquake and fire.  As the city rebuilds brick by brick, new hope is rising.  But Elizabeth King is also trying to rectify the rubble in her own life - and she's not sure anything will be able to erase her past.  But she doesn't anticipate finding new love.
     Helping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth commits herself to helping young girls escape brothels in Chinatown, one of the darkest sections of San Francisco. 
     When she meets rising attorney Charles McKinley, who desires to save the city from corruption, and has dashing good looks to boot, she can't help feeling hopeful.  However, she soon realizes while many loved ones may not turn away after discovering her secret, the man she loves will have no choice:  Elizabeth's past bears great consequences for both their futures.

REVIEW:  Trying to make up for her past wrongs, Elizabeth moves to San Francisco to help Donaldina Cameron by teaching her rescued girls how to sew and to play the piano.  She also goes with Donaldina into the heart of Chinatown to rescue those girls who want to escape the brothels and opium dens where they are held.  I like how Elizabeth leaves her comfortable life to help those who are coming from horrible situations to minister to them.  As she does, she sees the grace of God working in her own life.  As she faces her painful past and when all is revealed, I like how Donaldina stands beside Elizabeth when her job is in jeopardy. I also like how Charles does not bow to corruption but fights against it, even though it puts him and his future in a precarious position with powerful people. 
     This is a wonderful novel and a great end to this series.

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

Karen Barnett is the author of Beyond the Ashes, Out of the Ruins, and Mistaken.  Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids.  Visit her website at

The Beautiful Pretender Book Review

A Medieval Fairy Tale

SUMMARY:  After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride.  What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?
     The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast.  He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king's approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
     Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn't select her as his bride.  Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught.  No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
     Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice.  And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings.  But something else is afoot in the castle.  Something sinister that cold have far worse - far deadlier - consequences.

REVIEW:  This is magnificent book very loosely based on the fairy tale of The Princess and the Pea.  The author does an incredible job keeping my attention throughout the tale and keeping me guessing as to how it would end.  Avelina/Dorothea is an admirable character.  As she gets to know Reinhart, the margrave, she starts to develop feelings for him.  Because she knew she wouldn't be able to follow through with her feelings, she selfishly sets them aside and promotes her new friend Magdalen in a good light in hopes the margrave will pick her for his bride.  When trouble rises and previous threats come to fruition, Avelina/Dorothea does not cower but does what she can to protect the margrave and his land, even though it may cost her life.
     This story is well-written and enjoyable.  Melanie Dickerson is one author I will continue to look for and read.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson Publishers
for review without compensation.

Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist and author of The Healer's Apprentice, winner of the National Readers' Choice Award for Best First Book in 2010, and The Merchant's Daughter, winner of the 2012 Carol Award.  She spends her time writing romantic medieval stories at her home near Hunstville, Alabama, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Visit her website at  She can also be found on Twitter: @melanieauthor and Facebook: MelanieDickersonBooks.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Together at the Table Book Review

Two Blue Doors Series
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Great love, like great food, always involves risk.
     Three months ago, Juliette D'Alisa's world changed.
     In a bittersweet series of events, her mother's health took a turn for the worse.  Juliette and her brother opened their restaurant together to rave reviews, but her romance with Memphis immunologist Neil McLaren ended in anger and tears.
     Now as autumn sweeps into the Pacific Northwest, Juliette feels that she's finally on the cusp of equilibrium.  The restaurant continues to thrive, and her family is closer than ever.  She and sous-chef Adrian are seeing each other, both in and out of the kitchen.  Just when she thinks her world might stop spinning, a trip to the waterfront brings a familiar face across her path.
     Rather than dwell on her personal life, Juliette throws herself into work and research.  After reading her grandmother's letters from war-torn Paris, she still wants to know the full story - and she'll travel across countries and oceans to find it.
     But even Juliette can't outrun the man who stole her heart.  As she finally uncovers the truth about her family history, what will it mean for her own chances at lasting love.

Recipes and Readers Guide Included

REVIEW:  Oh. My. Goodness!!!!  I love this book, this series, everything!!  I got so caught up in Juliette's story and the letters of her grandmother, it was difficult returning to reality when I would have to set the book down.  The author kept my attention all the way through this novel and the series.  As Juliette worked her way through the letters, and eventually her grandmother's journal, I would get frustrated when the characters would have stop reading because I was anxious to see how everything worked out for Mireille and her little family. I also loved how Juliette came through her many trials stronger and better than before.  The way Juliette's life, and Mireille's, work out was satisfying, uplifting and inspiring.  
     This is one series you will want to check out.  You will need to read the other two books in order as each builds on the previous one.  It is one that will have a permanent place on my bookshelves.  This is one author that will be top on my list.

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

Hillary Manton Lodge loves nothing more than an good story.  She is the author of several novels, including the Two Blue Doors and the Plain and Simple series.  In her free time, Hillary enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and exploring her most recent hometown of Portland, Oregon.  She shares her home with her husband, Danny, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shiloh and Sylvie.

An Amish Market Book Review

SUMMARY:  All the color and variety of a quaint Amish shop in a charming collection of novellas by four of your favorite authors.  Feel free to come in and browse!

Love Birds by Amy Clipston
While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town.  Seth's friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday.  Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd's creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works.  As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust.  Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller
Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market.  And every week, Ezra stops by to purchase some.  Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it - Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary.  But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can't stop her heart from taking over her mind.  Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin
Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn't the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas.  But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn't think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick.  As she soon learns, though, Will's heart has been broken one too many times.  And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.
Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman
Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower.  When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill.  Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible.

REVIEW:  My favorite of these stories is probably A Bid for Love.  The idea of Ezra buying all of Hannah Lynne's butter when he already had enough was so sweet.  I also like how he searched out the buyer of the quilt Hannah Lynn favored just to get it back for her.  There were a few times I got frustrated with the characters for their lack of communication, but if they communicated correctly, the story may not have been as good.
     My next favorite was Love Birds.  Ellie's determination to help her mother make ends meet after the death of her brother, their only source of income, is admirable.  Even though Ellie goes about getting Lloyd to sell his birds the wrong way, I like how Lloyd figures out a way to sell them without going against his father's wishes and ends up helping Ellie and her mother.
     Love in Store is a different story and was very refreshing.  I like how the main characters are older and neither are looking for a love interest.  Even though Stella was difficult, I like how she started to soften up as she spent time with  David.  The mystery they solved had me guessing whodunit until the end.  Vannetta Chapman's stories have not disappointed yet.  This one is definitely included in this impression.
      I had a harder time getting into the novella Sweeter Than Honey.  I like how Isabella is different from the other teens during their rumspringa and is not interested in trying to find out what life is like outside their Amish community.  Will's strong work ethic is admirable and his concern for the local teens and the community is deeply heartfelt.  Isabella and Will bring out the best but stretches each other beyond their comfort zones.  One thing I found a disheartening is how Will and the Amish community do not want to have anything to do with Jesse, his brother who left to follow God's leading to become a pastor.  I understand the reasoning of being not wanting those who left around for fear others in the Amish community might decide to leave, too.  But, if they are doing God's work and ministering to other believers, shouldn't that be excused?  I don't know.  It was a good story once I got into it.
      At the end, there are all kinds of cool recipes for items mentioned in the book.  I may have to try out a few.

This book was provided by Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers
for review without compensation.

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series.  Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA.  Amy holds a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC.  Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.  Find her on Facebook: Amy Clipston and on Twitter:@AmyClipston.

Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield.  Visit her website at  She is also on Twitter at @TheKatJam and Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.

Kelly Irvin is the author of The Beekeeper's Son, the critically acclaimed first novel in teh Amish of Bee County series.  Kelly is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and teh New Hope Amish series.  She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.  Visit her on Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin or on Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author.

Vannetta Chapman is author of teh best-selling novel A Simple Amish Christmas.  In 2012 she was awarded a Carol Award for Falling to Pieces.  She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania.  Visit Vannetta's website:, Twitter: @VannettaChapman and Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks.