Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review)


  • Series: Amish Beginnings
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (March 3, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723194

Some endings are really beginnings . . . 

On a hot day in 1737 in Rotterdam, Anna K├Ânig reluctantly sets foot on the Charming Nancy, a merchant ship that will carry her and her fellow Amish believers across the Atlantic to start a new life. As the only one in her community who can speak English, she feels compelled to go. But Anna is determined to complete this journey and return home--assuming she survives. She's heard horrific tales of ocean crossings and worse ones of what lay ahead in the New World. But fearfulness is something Anna has never known. 

Ship's carpenter Bairn resents the somber people--dubbed Peculiars by the deckhands--who fill the lower deck of the Charming Nancy. All Bairn wants to do is to put his lonely past behind him, but that irksome and lovely lass Anna and her people keep intruding on him.

Delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions test the mettle and patience of everyone on board. When Anna is caught in a life-threatening situation, Bairn makes a discovery that shakes his entire foundation. But has the revelation come too late?

My Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. I did not really enjoy reading it although the topic was different than most Amish books. The majority of the book is set on the ship The Charming Nancy. It focuses on Anna Konig, an Amish woman, from Germany and the trip to America. I liked Anna ok but the plot moved a little slow due to the setting. Also there were a few things in it that I really did not care for in a Christian fiction book. I know the author did it to be authentic but I could have done without them like the pirate language and slave ship scene. Bairn and Anna start getting closer as the trip progressed. I like the relationship between them. There is a big twist at the end. I have read and loved all the author's other fiction series. Many readers love this one too. If you like Amish books and historical fiction then you might like this one. I will still read coming books.





Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, The Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace.

Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dauntless by Dina Sleiman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dauntless
Bethany House Publishers (March 3, 2015)
by
Dina L. Sleiman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the author:

Since selling my first book, I have also become an acquisitions editor for the company. I am a member of the Inkwell Inspirations blog, HEWN Marketing, ACFW, and a contributor to Christian Review of Books. I hold publishing credits in poetry and songwriting, and I was the writer and featured teacher in a nationally distributed instructional dance video for children. I have written several songs about the plight of the Islamic people, which have been produced in association with the Christian Broadcast Network. In addition, I have taught college and high school classes in writing and literature, as well as homeschool classes in the fine arts, and now enjoy teaching at writers conferences throughout the nation.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent


Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dauntless, go HERE.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Where Rivers Part by Kellie Coates-Gilbert (Review)


  • Series: Texas Gold Collection
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 17, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722739


Following in her estranged father's footsteps, Dr. Juliet Ryan has devoted her scientific acumen to corporate America, providing safe drinking water for millions--and affording her plenty of perks along the way. Then, without warning, a fast-moving disaster sweeps Juliet into a whirlpool of corporate scandal and puts lives at risk. As she scrambles to find answers, Juliet must face her deepest wounds and join forces with her father to expose a far-reaching conspiracy. Underneath it all, she struggles to forgive those who betrayed her trust--not least of all her own father.

Kellie Coates Gilbert's emotionally complex and gripping novel fearlessly explores the seduction of success, the fear of giving up control, and the redemptive power of learning to forgive those who have hurt us most. Like a mighty river with twists and turns and hidden rocks, this story will sweep readers relentlessly along until the satisfying conclusion.

My Review:
 
Dr. Juliet Ryan is a scientist who works to provide safe drinking water by overseeing quality control at a bottled water company. Her dad does not see eye to eye with her. He opposes her choice of career working for a corporation. He also is in quality of food and water control. They do not get along that great anyway. He cheated on her mother growing up and she knew about it. She holds it against him. Her mother is the peace maker until she dies suddenly which throws Juliet off. She is also dealing with a crisis at work. Children are getting sick and dying  possibly from some of the bottled water her company sells. She also has a love affair going on with one of her coworkers. This is an edgy Christian fiction book. I was uncomfortable with the relationship. The plot did keep me reading though. I wanted to see how the bottled water mystery played out. The characters are flawed and realistic and the plot well developed. Recommended to fans of the genre.

 
Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal and the author of A Woman of Fortune. Gilbert crafts her emotionally charged stories about women in life-changing circumstances in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband.

Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton (Review)


  • Series: A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 24, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401690496

One clutzy advice columnist.
One champion cowboy.
And an entire small town rooting for love.
Advice columnist Maggie Hope never dreamed she’d be shaking hands with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan over a high-stakes bet, especially one that involves horses. And saddles. And everything else a city girl like Maggie feels uncomfortable around. But after filling in for a coworker and interviewing the handsome cowboy, she finds herself doing just that. Anything to save her advice column.
Despite Maggie’s two left feet, Tru is bound and determined to bring out her inner cowgirl by teaching her to ride a cutting horse, trained to separate cattle from the rest of the herd. While her riding improves, their attraction intensifies, but Tru knows he can never let her into his heart—for her own good.
In Wishing Springs, a community full of meddling but well-meaning townsfolk, Maggie discovers the home she’s always longed for. But she’s holding something back—a secret that could destroy her reputation and any future she’s ever hoped for with the cowboy she might trust love.


My Review:

I enjoyed reading this sweet Christian romance book. I have read the author's Mule Hollow Love Inspired series too. This is the first book in a new series Four of Hearts Romance. Although Maggie and Tru are the two main characters there were many good supporting characters. At times it seemed like they wanted to take over the story. Maggie has some serious issues she needs to work through from her past. It takes a lot of the book for her to start trusting Tru. The romance develops slow but steady between them. In the beginning it was based on looks apparently he is good looking. But throughout the book she sees another side of him. Tru thinks she is a city girl who's a little crazy but in the end he admires her.  Wishing Springs seems like a great little Texas town full of "real" characters like Clara Lynn and Reba. There were also the twin men mayors who would switch out. The book had funny moments for sure. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. This series is  contemporary with a small town Western twist. I look forward to the next book in the series and going back to Wishing Springs. Recommended. :)


 
Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist first published in 2005 and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra is the author of the acclaimed Mule Hollow Matchmaker Series, and her goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words. Visit her website at www.debraclopton.com Twitter: @debraclopton Facebook: debra.clopton.5

Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Then Sings My Soul by Amy Sorrells

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Then Sings My Soul
David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
by
Amy Sorrells


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.


ABOUT THE BOOK

When Nel Stewart returns home due to the sudden death of her mother, she realizes her beloved father, Jakob, is struggling with dementia. With the reappearance of a high-school sweetheart, deliveries from Ukraine addressed to her, and the discovery of a mysterious, vintage aquamarine gemstone, Nel senses God is pulling her into the past to restore their faith and their futures. Told partially through Jakob's flashbacks of fleeing genocide-ridden eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel combines elements of mystery, history, faith and romance to reveal how God redeems the broken years ... and our future.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Then Sings My Soul, go HERE.


Monday, February 9, 2015

The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer (Review)



  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (January 27, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310339632

This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.
After Raine’s dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly  never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter’s youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that’s compromised when Raine reveals she’s pregnant.  
Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: “The baby is mine.”
Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke. 
As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.


My Review:

I read this book in one sitting Saturday afternoon. It was engrossing. I started reading and could not stop. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. My only thing is the ending was not as satisfying as I expected considering how the book developed. I loved the characters I was supposed to and disliked the others. The main focus of the book is really more Gin and Dan than Raine. I felt the pregnancy was more like a subplot to Gin figuring out life which I did not mine. I liked the flashbacks to how Cody and Raine's relationship developed too. They were both good teens who made a mistake and were redeemed. The writing was lyrical and a good example of a contemporary Christian fiction book. Recommended to fans of the genre. 





KATHRYN SPRINGER
is a full-time writer and the award-winning author of Front Porch Princess. She won the ACFW 2009 Book of the Year award for Family Treasures. Her most recent book,The Soldier's Newfound Family, hit the New York Times best-seller list in November 2012.
Kathryn grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books-which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written 19 books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Review copy provided by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Home is Where My People Are by Sophie Hudson (Review)


  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 16, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414391731


All roads lead to home. It’s easy to go through life believing that we can satisfy our longing for home with a three-bedroom, two-bath slice of the American dream that we mortgage at 4 percent and pay for over the course of thirty years. But ultimately, in our deepest places, we’re really looking to belong and to be known. And what we sometimes miss in our search for the perfect spot to set up camp is that wherever we are on the long and winding road of life, God is at work in the journey, teaching us, shaping us, and refining us—sometimes through the most unlikely people and circumstances. In Home Is Where My People Are, Sophie Hudson takes readers on a delightfully quirky journey through the South, introducing them to an unforgettable cast of characters, places, and experiences. Along the way, she reflects on how God has used each of the stops along the road to impart timeless spiritual wisdom and truth. Nobody embodies the South like Sophie Hudson, and this nostalgic celebration of home is sure to make even those north of the Mason-Dixon line long to settle in on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and reflect on all of the people in our lives who—related or not—have come to represent home. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the address on the front door or even the name on the mailbox that says home, but the people who live and laugh and love there, wherever there might happen to be.

My Review:

I thought this was a good memoir written with Southern flair. I did read and enjoy her first book A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet too. This book is a collection of stories about her life mainly focusing on family and her spiritual journey. If you are not into spiritual/Christian books, this is not going to be a book you like. I liked how she shared her struggles and the ways she made it through. There were many lol moments too. Home is where my people are summarize the book perfectly. Recommended. 





Sophie Hudson loves to laugh more than just about anything. She began writing her blog, BooMama.net, in November 2005, and much to her surprise, she's stuck with it. Sophie hopes that through her stories, women find encouragement and hope in the everyday, joy-filled moments of life. In addition to her blog, Sophie is a contributor to the Pioneer Woman's blog and serves as co-emcee for LifeWay's dotMOM event. A graduate of Mississippi State University, Sophie loves cheering like crazy at college football games and watching entire seasons of TV shows in record time. Sophie lives with her husband and son in Birmingham, Alabama.

Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.