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, October 27, 2016

The Devoted Book Review

The Bishop's Family Series
Book Three

SUMMARY:  The Amish life is all she's ever known - but will it satisfy her soul?
     Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home.  Secretly, she's earned her GED, saved her money - but she can't quite set her journey into motion.  Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.
     Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own.  He's come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to "everything Plain."  Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished - especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor. 
     Ruthie's next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame.  Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back - and Patrick Kelly is in his way.
     Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred - and the promise of hopes fulfilled.

REVIEW:  Everyone has struggles.  Some are know to others, but there are many we keep locked inside, afraid to let them be known for fear of repercussions.  Ruthie longs to further her education but is limited within the Amish community.  Patrick is sick but wants to live life to the fullest.  Luke is fighting demons from his past and doesn't know how to beat them, or if he wants to.  Each one is determined to do what they think is necessary to accomplish their dreams and desires, sometimes to the detriment of others.
     This is a good read.  While reading, there were many times I was aggravated at Luke's irresponsible actions and encouraged by Ruthie's stance on issues. I like how Dok (Ruthie's Aunt Ruth), Birdie, and David's stories are interwoven throughout, continuing from previous books.  As in my previous reviews, David and Birdie are two of my favorites.  The strength and wisdom David shows in response to David and Goliath problems within the community are encouraging for someone who may be facing the same situation.  Birdie's faith and outlook on life is a breath of fresh air.
     To completely understand the relationship of Ruthie and Luke, plus the problems David encounters within his little Amish community, you must read the other two books in this series.  For a complete understanding of the relationships of this community and how they intersect, you can read the author's Stoney Ridge series, or most of her previous novels.  They each overlap and crisscross the others, almost like a real small town.
     I look forward to other books by Suzanne Woods Fisher and the continuation of the lives of these characters.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including The Imposter, The Quieting, 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 and Facebook at

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The 10 Myths of Teen Dating Book Review

Truths your daughter needs to know to 
date smart, avoid disaster, and protect her future

SUMMARY:  Your daughter is ready to date.  You need help!
     There is no moment of greater panic in a parent's life than when his or her daughter begins to date.  But many parents feel ill equipped to guide their daughters through the minefield that is teen dating.   And by the same token, teenagers crave genuine information about dating and relationships.
     So how do you talk to your daughter about relationships and her future happiness?  Expert educator Daniel Anderson and his daughter Jacquelyn help you navigate the biggest dating myths, including: a boyfriend will make your daughter happy, she should trust her feelings, and sex will enhance her relationship.  Combining scientific research with poignant personal stories and practical application, this book will equip you to teach your daughter how to date smart for today . . . and tomorrow.

REVIEW:  While I was reading this book or anytime she would spot it laying on the kitchen counter, my teenage daughter would roll her eyes and just make a disgruntled noise.  Hannah was embarrassed because I received this book after she started dating her boyfriend.  Since I very rarely dated in high school, I want to help my beautiful daughter safely navigate her through the teenage dating years and beyond.  This book was very helpful in giving me insight to current teenage dating practices, thoughts and ideas.  The authors discuss ten common myths, such as "a boyfriend will make me happy," "love and sex are the same," "he will never hit me again," and "serial dating and living together will make my marriage better" and shows examples, along with data and research, on why these myths are false and tools to use to avoid falling in these traps.  At the end of each chapter, there are questions to reflect on and ones to discuss with your daughter.  These questions will give you a place to start discussions and help you when you talk to your daughter.  Some are difficult and may make you feel very uncomfortable but, unfortunately, are necessary in today's teen scene.  Even though some myths build on the previous one, they each provided information that is very helpful for both teenage boys and girls, along with adults finding themselves on the dating scene. 
     The authors are both teachers in the public schools in Oregon.  Daniel has been teaching for over twenty years and has learned from his students as well as helped them in difficult situations.  Jacquelyn is Daniel's daughter, also discusses her dating experiences as a teen, as well as those of friends and classmates she knew in school.
     This book has been very helpful and is a great tool to have during these crazy years.

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

Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player and a father of two grown daughters and one son.  As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships.  He and his daughter Jacquelyn Anderson, a twenty-something high school teacher, decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together.  Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Raven Book Review

Coffey & Hill Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  As part of his street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience's pockets while they watch.  It's harmless fun - until he decided to keep the wallet of a prominent politician, hoping for a few extra bucks.  When he finds compromising photos of the councilman and his "personal assistants," The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man.  However, he quickly finds himself in over his heard with the Ukrainian Mafia and mired in a life threatening plot code named "Nevermore."
     Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues to rescue The Raven from a wild card bent on revenge.

REVIEW:  This story kept me on my toes, trying to keep everyone straight and remember details about each character.  At times, it moves at a slow pace then will quickly escalate then slow back down.  There were times when scenes seemed to drag.  But, the author kept me trying to figure out if "Nevermore" was real or just a rumor that had been started.  The details involved in the story that leads up the the finale were many and, at times, hard for me to keep straight, but oh so worth it.  The twists, turns and switches kept me from guessing how everything would play out.  The ending fit everything so well.
     The only draw back was innuendos to events that occurred in the first book in the series, Annabel Lee.  It was confusing to me trying to understand the references made and how they impacted this novel since I had not read it.  Sometimes they were about characters and relationships pertinent to The Raven and others that were not as important.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at, as well as a bestselling and award winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide.  When he was a kid, the stories of Edgar Allen Poe scared him silly.  Today he owns everything Poe ever wrote.  A former fiction acquisitions editor, Mike earned his MA in English literature and now writes full time.  He is the author of Annabel Lee

The Christmas Angel Project Book Review

SUMMARY:  Abby Wentworth is the glue that holds her book club together.  So when she unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the rest of the women in the group are stunned, saddened, and sure that, without her, the group can't continue.
     They gather "one last time" to open gifts Abby left behind, little knowing how it will change each of their lives - forever.

REVIEW:  This is a relatively short book, only 166 pages long, but packed full of insight, inspiration and love.  I like how each woman used Abby's gift to inspire themselves and each other to do things out of their comfort zones.  In turn, they found friendships and great blessings along the way.  Realizing that God brought them together, I like how they encouraged each other in their various endeavors and developed deeper relationships with each other, family, and those around them.  This is a great book for the Christmas holidays or anytime you would like a little inspiration and encouragement.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million.  She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington's, The Christmas Cat, and The Christmas Joy Ride.  She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice.  She and her husband live in central Oregon.  Learn more at