Thursday, December 31, 2015

First Book of the Year 2016

Sheila at Book Journey is hosting the first book of the year 2016. Her website is:

I have two different books I will be reading. I have trouble reading non fiction all the way through so I am alternating it with a fiction book I started earlier this week.

I picked Spark Joy because I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo this year and it was hands down my favorite book of 2015. I cleaned out at least 1/16 of my belongings including around 800 books. 

I picked When Secrets Strike because I read the first book in the series a few months ago and really liked it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Whatever is Lovely: A Coloring Book for Reflection and Worship

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Clr Csm edition (December 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429285

  • Color your way to peace and worship.
    We live in such a busy, hectic world—but what waits for you inside this cover is a way to quiet the noise, express creativity, and spend some sweet time with God. Each page features an original design from one of a dozen different artists, beautifully illustrating a contemplative quote from an inspirational writer, a beloved hymn, or Scripture.

    When we create, we echo the heart of our Creative God who designed everything and gave us the capacity to recognize beauty.

    So go ahead! You have permission to pick up your colored pencil and be reminded of truth in a fresh way.

    My Review:

    This is a wonderful adult coloring book. The pages are nice and thick with no image on back so you only color on front of page. There is a nice bible verse or poem on the back of the page. The only bad thing is the pages are not made to be torn out. I love the title. It is taken from the verse Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." If you would like to see some of the images from it they are available on Amazon. Recommended to fans of coloring.

    Review copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott (Review)

  • Series: A Saddler's Legacy Novel (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 9, 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595547859

  • Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli―until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.

    On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann's dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.

    Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann's compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann's father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.

    When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost.
    If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?


    The characters and plot were interesting. It was well written. The romance felt like it was secondary to the plot though. I liked the time period and all the historical details. I could feel the emotions of the characters. Ann  and Will are the main characters in the story although there are some interesting secondary characters too. There was some intrigue, action, and romance. Overall there was a strong faith message. Recommended to fans of deeply historical Christian fiction books.

    Rosslyn Elliott's historical fiction won two 2012 Carol Awards and was named as one of Lifeway Fiction's Top Ten Reads of 2011. She has published three critically-acclaimed novels and a book of plays for young people. Rosslyn teaches literature and drama and lives with her husband, daughter, dogs, cats, and horses.

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

    Friday, December 11, 2015

    The Final Summit by Andy Andrews (Review)

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; First Edition (April 11, 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785231202

  • David Ponder is back. This time the fate of mankind is in his hands.

    This is mankind’s last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent humanity hurtling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship, and it consists of only two words.

    With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history’s best and brightest minds to uncover this solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to discover the answer.

    Readers first encountered David Ponder in The Traveler's Gift. Now, in The Final Summit, Andrews combines a riveting narrative with astounding history in order to show us the one thing we must do when we don’t know what to do.

    My Review:

    This is the sequel to The Traveler's Gift. Overall I thought it was a quick, easy, interesting book. It makes more sense if you read the Traveler's Gift first which I also enjoyed. The Traveler's Gift is the story of one man's search for meaning and success in life by traveling back into time and speaking with seven historic individuals like Abraham Lincoln. In this book David Ponder is now elderly and his wife deceased. He often references the seven gifts he received in the first book. He is asked by Gabriel, Angel of God, to come lead a final summit. At this summit are other Travelers through time. They are names everyone will recognize like Joan of Ark. Gabriel gives them the problem to solve and sets a timer. David is only allowed five helpers from the audience and he does not get to pick them. Gabriel said the answer is mankind's last chance. Of course they do not get it right on the first try and it is interesting to read the logic behind each answer. I am not going to spoil the book by giving away the answer. Recommended.

    Received book in exchange for an honest review from Booklook blogger program.

    Sunday, December 6, 2015

    The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren (Review)

  • Series: Christiansen Family
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 18, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414378459

  • Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

    Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

    While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this latest book about the Christiansen family. The Christiansen Family series has all been good. This book focuses on Amelia, the youngest daughter. The other family members are present and we continue to learn more about their stories in each book. It can stand alone but is better if read in order. Amelia is the baby and acts like it. She went overseas for a semester abroad but goes home because she had her heart broken. Back home she has her high school sweetheart, Seth, who still wants her. Roark the guy she fell in love in Europe comes to America to win her back. Unknown to her and most everyone else he is heir to a really large hotel company. I love the setting, Deep Haven, and the other characters. The book was well written and engaging. There were humorous moments too. Recommended.

    Growing up in Minneapolis and attending the U of MN, I learned to love city life, although I'm a woodsy girl at heart. Or maybe I'm an adventurer -- having lived and traveled all over the world, including Siberia Russia as a missionary for eight years. Probably that's why my characters can't sit still, and seem to get into one scrape after another -- they're too much like me! I love God, my family, my country, my church, and feel privileged every day to be able to write stories.

    Chance of Loving You by Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert, and Susan May Warren (Review)

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 16, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496405371

  • An anthology by three bestselling romance authors
    For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock Trying to launch her own design firm while waitressing on the side, Julie Sheffield was drawn to the kind man she waited on at the restaurant last night . . . until he stiffed her on the tip by leaving her half of a sweepstakes ticket.

    The Recipe by Candace Calvert Hospital dietary assistant Aimee Curran is determined to win the Vegan Valentine Bake-Off to prove she’s finally found her calling. But while caring for one of her patients―the elderly grandmother of a handsome CSI photographer―Aimee begins to question where she belongs.

    Hook, Line & Sinker by Susan May Warren Grad student Abigail Cushman has agreed to enter the annual Deep Haven fishing contest. She’s a quick learner, even if she doesn’t know the difference between a bass and a trout. But nothing could prepare her for competing against the handsome charmer she’s tried to forget since grief tore them apart.

    One chance for each woman to change her life . . . but will love be the real prize?

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this collection of three novellas. These are some of my favorite authors so I knew I had to read this book. My favorite of the three is The Recipe by Candace Calvert. My least favorite is For Love of Money. They are pure Christian romance stories. The faith element is present and well done. I am not a big fan of novellas because I feel like more plot development is always needed. I was okay with these stories. Recommended to fans of the genre.

    Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci (Review)

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (February 24, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804186834

  • The definitive cookbook for using a spiralizer: the kitchen gadget that turns vegetables and fruits into imaginative, low-carb dishes. 

    On her wildly popular blog, Inspiralized, Ali Maffucci is revolutionizing healthy eating. Whether you’re low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo, or raw, you don’t have to give up the foods you love. Inspiralized shows you how to transform more than 20 vegetables and fruits into delicious meals that look and taste just like your favorite indulgent originals. Zucchini turns into pesto spaghetti; jicama becomes shoestring fries; sweet potatoes lay the foundation for fried rice; plantains transform into “tortillas” for huevos rancheros.

    Ali’s recipes for breakfast, snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads, casseroles, rices, pastas, and even desserts are easy to follow, hard to mess up, healthful, and completely fresh and flavorful. Best of all, she tells you how to customize them for whatever vegetables you have on hand and whatever your personal goal may be—losing weight, following a healthier lifestyle, or simply making easy meals at home.

    Here, too, are tons of technical tips and tricks; nutritional information for each dish and every vegetable you can possibly spiralize; and advice for spiralizing whether you’re feeding just yourself, your family, or even a crowd. So bring on a hearty appetite and a sense of adventure—you’re ready to make the most of this secret weapon for healthy cooking.

    My Review:

    This cookbook was easy to read and use. I still have a list of recipes I want to try. I made the sweet potato fries and they were delicious even more so because of the shape. Zucchini is definitely the easiest thing to spiralize. I liked how she included tips and lists of vegetables and fruits that spiralize the best. Recommended.

    Combining her inherent Italian-American love for pasta with her commitment to a healthy lifestyle, ALI MAFFUCCI launched She lives in Jersey City with her husband, Lu.

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

    Deadlock by Diann Mills (Review)

  • Series: FBI: Houston (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 17, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414389950

  • Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?

    That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.

    When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.

    My Review:

    This is the third book in the FBI Houston series but can stand alone. The focus agents in this book are Thatcher Graves and Bethany Sanchez. They get off to a rocky start. She has a brother that has been in trouble with the law and Thatcher is the one who arrested him. Add to it they have very different styles of working a case and you get sparks. Both get frustrated with the way the other one works while the killer eludes them. Her brother is out of prison and is harassing her and her family thinks she is the bad guy. So Bethany has stress from home to go with the serial killer she can't catch. The character of Thatcher needed more development. The main focus of the plot really is on Bethany. The mystery/suspense is secondary. There are many twists and turns. The ending is satisfactory. Overall it was an okay Christian mystery suspense with a touch of romance.

    DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

    Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Carol award contests.

    DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

    DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at

    Review copy provided by Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

    Saturday, December 5, 2015

    Emma by Jane Austen December Read A Long

    Dolce Bellezza is hosting a read a long of Emma by Jane Austen. It lasts all of December. Go here for the sign up post:

    I have read this but since it has been a long time I want to re read it so I am joining in the read a long. :)

    A summary of the book:

    Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.

    Monday, November 30, 2015

    The Impostor by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review)

  • Series: The Bishop's Family (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 6, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723200

  • Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived?

    As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy
    for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check.

    When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deceitful deeds?

    Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher introduces her loyal fans to a brand-new series set in their favorite town--Stoney Ridge. As always, Fisher delivers endearing characters and plot twists that keep readers turning page after page after page.

    My Review:

    This is the first in a new Amish series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Stoney Ridge is a setting familiar because some of her other books are set there too. This book can stand alone. The main character for this book is Katrina Stoltzfus. She moves to Stoney Ridge because her father moves her family. Once there she finds out the guy she liked is marrying someone else. Turns out to be a good thing for her though. I liked how her different relationships were developed. The widow and Andy Miller end up being big influences in her life. In the background are the Bishop issues. There is a big twist for her toward the end. The conclusion was good and I look forward to the next book in the series.

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of Anna's Crossing, the Lancaster County Secrets series, the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, 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 is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher

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

    Sunday, November 8, 2015

    Every Girl Gets Confused by Janice Thompson (Review)

    • Series: Brides with Style (Book 2)
    • Paperback: 336 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (October 20, 2015)
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800724009

    Katie Fisher and Brady James may be a match made in heaven, but that doesn't seem to guarantee them a happily ever after accompanied by angelic choirs. In fact, the sounds being heard at the bridal shop where she works are on the contentious side lately, as a bride- and groom-to-be try to mediate the growing rivalry between their basketball-obsessed families in the middle of play-off season. On top of that, Katie's parents are nagging her to get out of Dallas and come home to tiny Fairfield where her former boyfriend Carson is waiting for her, ready to rekindle their relationship. Oy vey! What's a girl to do? And will she ever be able to wear that gorgeous wedding dress she won?

    The breezy fun continues as Janice Thompson throws everyone's favorite small-town girl into big-city bridal chaos--and makes her choose between the love she thought she lost and the love she stumbled upon in the aftermath.

    My Review:

    This book is the second in the Brides with Style series. I recommend reading them in order because the main characters are the same and the plot continues into the next book. The main focus of this series is Katie Fisher. Her two beaus are Brady and Carson. There are a multitude of great supporting characters including her family and co workers at the bridal shop. The story is told from Katie's point of view only though. Brady is not quite as perfect as he came across as in the first book although he's still good compared to other men. In this book he is faced with the challenge of a second surgery on his knee and possibly never playing as a professional basketball player again. He ends up having to deal with some depression and pushing Katie away. Katie never gives up on him.This author features a different theme in each of her books. This book features Doris Day quotes at the beginning of each chapter. And a Doris Day wedding dress design. Overall basketball is mentioned quite a lot between Brady and the other characters who are fans. This book had the author's trademark humor throughout. Katie is not the only character with relationship issues and romance. There are other characters who fall in love too. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Recommended to fans of Christian Chick Lit. 

    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 hugely popular Weddings by Bella series, the Backstage Pass series, and the Weddings by Design series, as well as Every Bride Needs a Groom. She lives in Texas. Learn more at

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

    The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson (Review)

    • Hardcover: 176 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2015)
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800719678

    Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this short Christmas book by Melody Carlson. The premise was interesting. Joy who is 85 years old wants to travel by RV with her middle aged neighbor Miranda down old Route 66 spreading Christmas Joy. Joy has a blog called Christmas Joy where she writes about Christmas. She held a contest for her readers and then picked six people who needed Christmas Joy. These are the stops she plans on the trip. She packs a ton of boxes with Christmas decorations labeled for each stop. Miranda is not sure what she got herself into but no way was she going to let Joy travel by herself at her age. I wish it was longer because I really liked the descriptions of each stop and the people whose lives were bleak and Joy rolls in and brightens it all up with Christmas decorations and sometimes a little more. When Joy gets sick before the last stop I was so disappointed! But Miranda takes up the reigns and does it by herself. I do not want to spoil the book for anyone but I did not like part of what happened on Miranda's last stop. I thought it was unbelievable even for a cozy Christmas book. Relationships between men and women do not form instantly or overnight into marriage talk especially strangers. Otherwise the conclusion was feel good and satisfying. This book definitely put me in the spirit to read more Christmas books. I have liked all the Christmas books by this author I have read. Recommended especially to fans of the Hallmark movies!

    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 BusThe Christmas DogChristmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Cat. 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

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

    A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert (Review)

    • Series: Texas Gold Collection
    • Paperback: 336 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (October 6, 2015)
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800722746

    As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she's anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she'd like to forget. Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary's life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn't know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while Faith considers whether divorce is the only answer to their issues, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.

    Kellie Coates Gilbert takes readers on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves themes of unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage--and the ultimate healing power of love.

    My Review:

    A Reason to Stay is the third book in the Texas Gold Series but can stand alone. They are not connected by anything other than being set in Texas. Faith and Geary have a whirlwind romance after they meet when she is covering a story at a bass fishing event. The sparks were present in full force. Unfortunately they did not dig deep enough on issues before they got married. Faith had a rough childhood with her parents always fighting and not much of a faith background. Geary has a big super involved loud family and his faith is very important to him. His family is also not sophisticated and Faith tries hard to be. They both have faults that get magnified after they get married. He does not have boundaries with his family and Faith works too hard to make it up the ladder. This is a recipe for disaster. The characters and plot were well written and engaging.I felt the emotions. I was a little uncomfortable by the descriptions of their love life. I thought it was a bit much for a Christian fiction book. The plot goes back and forth between present time with Faith in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury and the past. The flashbacks are how we learn the most about the characters and what happened. We never really get to hear or see Geary's side of things. At the end of the book it goes to present with Faith waking up and Geary still there by her side. The troubles have not magically gone away and they still have issues to work through. The conclusion was good but a little predicable. I was not happy with part of the epilogue though and I will leave it at that. Overall a good contemporary book. 

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

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

    Saturday, October 31, 2015

    Miracle Drug by Richard Mabry (Review)

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (September 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1630881184

  • Overcoming these odds will take more than a miracle drug—it will take a miracle.

    The infection wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did. The treatment was supposed to take care of it, but it didn’t. Then Dr. Josh Pearson discovers why—his patients, including the former President of the United States, have been dosed with a different strain of the original virus, one that is universally fatal. The only chance for survival is treatment with an experimental drug, but the manufacturer might already have discarded its supply.

    As if treating the President of the United States isn’t stressful enough, the situation goes from bad to worse when Rachel Moore, a nurse Josh is falling in love with, falls ill. With the nation’s eyes on him, Josh must pull off a miracle to save a man who holds a good deal of power and the woman who holds his heart.

    My Review:

    This was an okay medical themed Christian fiction mystery/suspense book. The premise of the plot was interesting. SPOILER ALERT: I felt like the climax of the plot came way too early. The rest of the book was finding out who was behind getting the President and Rachel sick and why. END
    The book moved slower than expected for a mystery/suspense book until the end which was explosive. Some of the characters needed more development. I did like the relationship between Josh and Rachel. The bad guy was easy to guess and a twist at the end did not fit the book. Overall it was not the best medical thriller by this writer. I loved his Prescription for Trouble series. I look forward to seeing what he writes next.

    Richard L. Mabry, M.D. is a retired physician who writes “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have won multiple awards. He and his wife live in Central Texas. You can follow Richard online at, as well as on Twitter (@RichardMabry), and Facebook at RMabryBooks

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

    Monday, October 26, 2015

    Vendetta by Lisa Harris (Review)

  • Series: The Nikki Boyd Files (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 6, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800724177

  • No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Person Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels that this case is getting personal, and that she is not the hunter at all--but actually the one being hunted.

    My Review:

    Vendetta starts a new series featuring Nikki Boyd. She is an agent for the TN Missing Person Taskforce. Nikki is out hiking with her deceased best friends' husband, Tyler,  when she gets a call to help with a  missing teenager. He tags along with her to help. Investigating this disappearance brings back a lot of bad memories of her sister disappearing ten years ago. Nikki is determined to do whatever it takes to get this girl back. It is a wild ride with a few twists and turns.  It held my attention from the beginning and I could not wait to find out what happened next. It had mystery, suspense, and a little romance. It was not explicit or too gritty. The faith element was not developed enough though. I hope to see more in the next book in the series. Recommended to fans of the Christian romantic suspense/mystery genre.

    Lisa Harris is a Christy Award winner and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. The author of nearly thirty books, including Dangerous Passage, Fatal Exchange, and Hidden Agenda, Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa. They currently live in Mozambique, where Lisa leads a women's ministry and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. Learn more at

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

    Sunday, October 25, 2015

    Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart (Review)

  • Series: The Hidden Springs Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 20, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800726768

  • After a few years as a police officer in Chicago, Michael Keane has no trouble relaxing into the far less stressful job of deputy sheriff in his small hometown. After all, nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. Everyone in town is a little uneasy. Still, no one is terribly worried--after all the man was a stranger--until one of their own is murdered right on Main Street.

    As Michael works to solve the case it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs.

    My Review:

    Murder at the Courthouse is the first book in a new mystery series by A. H. Gabhart. The plot line was interesting and had a lot of potential. Unfortunately I did not enjoy reading this book as much as I thought I would. The plot moved slow and the mystery part needed more development throughout the book. I guessed the bad guy early on in the book. Also the romance was extremely awkward and underdeveloped between Michael and Karen, the woman preacher in town. The minor characters were nicely done. I liked the side plot about Michael helping a troubled kid named Anthony Blake. This was a cozy mystery with a small town feel like the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I want to read book two when it comes out to see where the author takes the story and I have enjoyed reading several other books by this author.

    Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she's published many books for both adults and young adults. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Christian Fiction Book by Booklist magazine. Her Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award. Ann writes about Kentucky history and small town life and as A.H. Gabhart is the author of the Hidden Springs mysteries.

    Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann loves hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dog, Oscar. See more about her books at or join the conversation on her Facebook page,

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

    Saturday, October 24, 2015

    Promise to Keep by Elizabeth Younts (Review)

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Promise to Keep
    Howard Books (October 13, 2015)
    Elizabeth Younts


    A Word from the Author:

    I’m Elizabeth, a blessed child of The King. I’m a middle-born daughter, military officer’s wife, homeschooling mama, writer, closet DIYer, and, dare I say it, Downton Abbey addict. May I also mention that I love both my history and my coffee rich.

    I am formerly Amish and my heritage is very dear to me and thankful to be so accepted among my still Amish family. I can still speak PA Dutch, too! You can learn more about my Amish family in my first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl.

    My three book series with Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) is a dream come true. The series is titled The Promise of Sunrise. In this series you will live through World War 2 from an Amish perspective and experience their unique struggles as conscientious objectors during wartime. What happened if one of their members enlisted? What was it like to serve at the Civilian Public Service Camps for years with almost no compensation? How did Amish women and families cope when a son or father was drafted? I look forward to taking you back into the richness of these years of Amish history through fiction.


    World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance.

    Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

    When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

    As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.

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


    Promise to Keep is the third book in the Promise of Sunrise series. I did not really enjoy reading this book. The mood was depressing and dark for most of the book. The plot moved slow and felt like it was dragging at parts. What interested me to pick it up was the story details. It did not seem like a cookie cutter Amish book. It did deliver on that aspect. It was not a traditional Christian Amish book. I felt like it pushed more boundaries especially on the romance side between Joe and Esther. Sparks flew between them. Those romance details unsettled me a little but it felt more realistic. It was a little edgy. I have not looked at the other two books to know if I was missing anything but it did not seem like it. The author did a good job on developing the main characters Joe and Esther. The ending was unexpected but fit the book.

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

    Friday, October 23, 2015

    Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong (Review)

  • Series: A Place to Call Home (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800726478

  • The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

    With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this light romance book. Although it is the fourth book in A Place to Call Home series it can stand alone. The supporting characters are great and repeat from previous books. At first Dr. Jessica does not fit in so hot in Last Chance. Football is huge for this small town and she does not get it at all. I am not a huge sports fan either so I understood her. I also understand the town being from one kind of like that in a different part of the country. I loved Coach Andy as the hero. He had good chemistry with Jessica from the beginning. The author does a good job with descriptions and character development. I felt like I was there many times. This was a great series and I hope the author revisits the town of Last Chance again. Recommended.

    Cathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico. Her debut novel Welcome to Last Chance won the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women's Fiction. She is also the author of One More Last Chance and At Home in Last Chance. Learn more at

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

    Saturday, October 17, 2015

    24 Hour Read a thon October 2015

    I am a little late getting my start up post done but it has been  busy morning. I have not read a lot yet and I am getting ready to go to a family dinner then hair appointment. I have a whole stack of books on my nightstand waiting for me when I get home. My favorite place to read is in my bed with my cats. They love to read. ;) My goal is just to read! I have a hard time focusing lately and there is always something else that needs to be done. I love having an official excuse to sit and read for awhile. lol I need my sleep so I will probably go to bed around 10:30. I will post a finish post tomorrow morning. If you would like more information go to this site:

    Friday, October 9, 2015

    The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry (Review)

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 27, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825443879

  • In World War II, German scientists began many experiments. One never ended.

     Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed―until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.

     When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success―but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America―just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015―and the world has become an unrecognizable place.

     Katherine Mueller―crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle―offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee?

    My Review:

    This was an interesting fiction book. Roger Greene was a pilot in WWII and got shot down in a firefight  with German planes. Instead of going to a regular pow camp he was taken to a special jail where he underwent an anti aging experiment. It worked but the doctor died and most of his research burned. So poor Roger spent the next 70 years of his life in another jail with researchers trying to recreate it. The characters and plot were interesting and unique. I loved Roger. I thought the spiritual aspect needed more development though. There was a lot of buildup to the meeting of Roger and Katherine. We learned about her present story in between the telling of Roger's years in captivity. The first meeting happened later in the book than I expected. It was a good transition for the book to a faster paced race to the end. It was a good conclusion but the opposite would have fit the book better in my opinion. Overall a good different kind of book. I liked reading it. Recommended.

     Rick Barry is the author of Gunner’s Run, another World War II novel, Kiriath’s Quest, and over 200 articles and fiction stories. In addition to being a World War II buff, he is the director of church planting ministries at BIEM, a Christian ministry operating in Eastern Europe. He holds a degree in foreign languages, speaks Russian, and has visited Europe more than fifty times. Rick lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Visit him at, or on Twitter (@WriterRickBarry)

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

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    A Wedding at Orange Blossom Inn by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)

  • Series: The Pinecraft Brides
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (September 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062337740
  • In the third book in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, a wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love

    Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband's memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

    Emma's gentleness with Jay's boys stirs something in his heart that's been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son's joy, Jay wonders if it's time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

    Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?

    My Review:

    A Wedding at Orange Blossom Inn is the third book in the Pinecraft Brides series. I have enjoyed reading all of them. The two main characters of this story are Emma and Jay. There were many supporting characters including all of the children they each have. Emma has three young girls and Jay has three sons. They add really interesting side plots to the book. There are complications of course. Emma's parents and ex in laws do not want her to move on and remarry. A major side plot develops with Jay's oldest son. He falls in love with the lady who runs the Orange Blossom Inn's niece. At one point it kind of felt like that plot was taking over the main plot of Jay and Emma. But overall the story worked together. There were many funny moments including one pizza loving dog. I love this series. I recommend reading them in order as most of the character's stories keep going in the next book. The Orange Blossom Inn and Beverly are the backbones of the whole series. I can't wait to read the next book in the series which promises to focus mainly on Beverly's story.

    Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

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

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

    Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton (Review)

  • Series: A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 11, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401690519

  • After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

    Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

    Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.
    This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

    My Review:

    This is the second book in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. Counting on a Cowboy can stand alone but all the characters are the same except for Abby who is new in town. The main focus of this book is on Abby and Bo. Bo Monahan is one of the co owners of the Four of Hearts Ranch and has a side business of making stirrups. Abby meets him on her first day in town by accident. When she learns Bo has a baby and it was left at his doorstep, she feels like she needs to step in and help the clueless cowboy. This was supposed to be an inspirational romance book. I felt a little let down by the lack of spiritual development and content in the book overall. The secondary characters were good and made the book interesting. Abby and Bo had sparks from the beginning. Abby had serious things in her past she needed to move beyond before she could start a relationship with Bo though. The conclusion was satisfying and fit the book. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next book in the series.

    Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist who was first published in 2005 and has more than 22 novels to her credit. Along with her writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra is the author of the acclaimed Mule Hollow Matchmaker Series, the place readers tell her they wish was real. Her goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words. Visit her website at

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

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    R.I.P. X Reading Challenge hosted by The Estella Society

    I have participated in this reading challenge for years. R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril  is what the title stands for. It officially runs from September 1 through October 31. It is perfect for ushering in the Fall season. I sign up for Peril the Third which is a one book commitment. There are several options to pick from. I have not picked my title yet. The only requirements are that the book fit into one of the following genres. I really enjoy mystery and suspense.

    Dark Fantasy.

    For more information and to sign up please go to this website:

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    'Til We Meet Again by Ray and Betty Whipps (Review)

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 18, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496405487

  • Ray and Betty Whipps both served in Europe during WWII: Ray as an infantryman under General Patton in the trenches of Normandy, Paris, and Belgium, and Betty as a field nurse in Cherbourg, France. The two met when Betty tended to Ray after he was injured in a mortar blast. Both strong Christians, the two bonded over their shared faith, and as Betty nursed Ray back to health, they fell in love and vowed to marry after the war. However, soon after Ray returned to his unit, he was captured by German forces and held captive in Stalag VII, Germany’s largest prisoner of war camp. It was there that Ray’s faith was put to the ultimate test as he endured the most horrific weeks of his life―weeks marked by brutality, malnutrition, back-breaking labor, and near-constant death. The only thing that kept him alive was the dream of someday reuniting with Betty.

    Told in first person from Ray’s perspective, with personal wartime letters from Betty interspersed throughout, ’Til We Meet Again is a sweeping love story set amid the backdrop of WWII. The perfect combination of “in the trenches” battlefield accounts and classic 1940s romance, this memoir reads almost like a novel. It is an epic story of faith, hope, and love, and a nostalgic look back at one of the most memorable periods in American history.

    My Review:

    This was a good Memoir set during WWII. Ray and Betty Whipps served in the US military. Betty was a nurse and Ray was in the army infantry. The majority of the book focuses on Ray's war experiences. Part of the love story came from the copies of Betty's letters home. The book is mainly told from Ray's perspective. The book was well written and easy to read. The story held my attention from beginning to end. My favorite part of the book is witnessing the Christian faith of Ray and Betty in action. I do wish the love story was a bigger part of the book. Overall this was an interesting memoir that I enjoyed reading. Recommended.

    Review copy provided by Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    "Anne of Green Gables," My Daughter, and Me: What My Favorite Book Taught Me about Grace, Belonging, and the Orphan in Us All by Lorilee Craker (Review)

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (August 20, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496403438

  • A charming and heartwarming true story for anyone who has ever longed for a place to belong.

    “Anne of Green Gables,” My Daughter, and Me is a witty romp through the classic novel; a visit to the magical shores of Prince Edward Island; and a poignant personal tale of love, faith, and loss.

    And it all started with a simple question: “What’s an orphan?” The words from her adopted daughter, Phoebe, during a bedtime reading of Anne of Green Gables stopped Lorilee Craker in her tracks. How could Lorilee, who grew up not knowing her own birth parents, answer Phoebe’s question when she had wrestled all her life with feeling orphaned―and learned too well that not every story has a happy ending?

    So Lorilee set off on a quest to find answers in the pages of the very book that started it all, determined to discover―and teach her daughter―what home, family, and belonging really mean. If you loved the poignancy of Orphan Train and the humor of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, you will be captivated by “Anne of Green Gables,” My Daughter, and Me. It’s a beautiful memoir that deftly braids three lost girls’ stories together, speaks straight to the heart of the orphan in us all, and shows us the way home at last.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this book especially because Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite series ever. The author has a good writing style and the story flowed well. The only part I did not like is where she speculates on what the different birth parents were thinking at different times. The main theme of the book revolves around her adoption, Anne's adoption, and her daughter's adoption. The book is a memoir and she tells her life story along with the others seamlessly. Her humor is refreshing. The book held my attention from beginning to end. I loved the parts of Anne of Green Gables she works into the book. I am convinced I need to re read it now. I have a different perspective having read this book. God is our heavenly father which makes us not truly orphans is one the things I am taking from this book. Recommended.

    Lorilee Craker speaks for MOPS groups and at other events for mothers. She writes on entertainment for a major daily newspaper and is the author of several books including Loving Life with Your Preschooler. She lives in Michigan with her husband, Doyle, and their two sons.

    Review copy provided by Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin (Review)

  • Series: Waves of Freedom (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (August 4, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723422

  • It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

    Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

    My Review:

    Through Waters Deep starts a new series called Waves of Freedom. It is a Christian historical fiction book set right before World War Two in the US. The main characters in this book are Jim Avery and Mary Stirling. This is one of my favorite authors because she puts enough historical detail without weighing the book down. I enjoyed reading this book. It had romance, suspense, and mystery. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. The book held my attention from the beginning to end. I felt like I was a part of the book. Mary and Jim were an unlikely team. Mary comes off as timid, quiet, and shy. Jim is a good looking navy officer. They went to high school together but Jim was enraptured with Mary's best friend. Then they meet up again unexpectedly in Boston and become friends. They have chemistry but Mary is convinced he would never want her. He does not speak up when he starts to like her and almost loses the chance forever. I liked how the characters matured over the course of the book. Great start to a new series. I have read and enjoyed all of this author's books. Recommended.

    Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, In Perfect Time, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2014, On Distant Shores was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards from both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served 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. Visit for more information.

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

    Thursday, July 30, 2015

    The Innocent by Ann Gabhart (Review)

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (July 7, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723415

  • Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The war ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep her beloved dog, an animal that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?

    My Review:

    I think this is the first book I have read featuring the Shakers. All I really knew is that they were famous for their plain furniture. This is a Christian fiction book set right after the War between the states. Carlyn does not know if she is a widow since her husband did not come back from or send word.  The government also has no clue. She has no money and owes on her house. Unfortunately her landlord is a horrible evil man and is trying to put her out. Back then unmarried/widow women did not have very many options. She lives by a Shaker settlement and knows they take in almost anybody because it is their way. She meets Sheriff Mitchell Brodie for the first time when the landlord has him come with him to give her warning to vacate her house. He ends having to take her dog because the Shakers allow no pets. He is taken with the lovely widow and wants to help in anyway he can. Mysterious deaths start happening at the Shaker village where she is having trouble fitting in. He comes to investigate and check on her. I know without a shadow of doubt I do not want to be a Shaker now. The author does a great job with descriptions and background without bogging the book down. I loved the relationship between Carlyn and Mitch. The book had a great mysterious/suspense feeling to it too. It was not a completely traditional historical fiction book which I liked. The book held my attention from beginning to end. Recommended.

    Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. She's published over twenty-five books for both adults and young adults. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Christian Fiction Book by Booklist magazine. Her first Shaker book, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Ann writes about Kentucky history and small town life. See more about her books at

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

    Classics Club Spin 18

    My Classics Club Spin List for August This is a hodgepodge of books left on my list I made in 2017 for the Classics Club. Tomorrow the clu...