I am so pleased that you have stopped by for a visit. I hope you will enjoy reading my book reviews. If you would be interested in reviewing books on your own blog, check out the links for litfuse and Booksneeze.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A LASTING IMPRESSION byTamera Alexander - Book Review

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander is the first book in the Belmont Mansion series. It is the first book I've read by this author, and I must say I am enthralled. The story takes place in New Orleans and Tennessee in the 1860's post -civil war era. There is a depth of characterization which brings the story to life, and the word pictures of the author are incredibly detailed. The story itself is suspenseful, with surprises at every turn. I couldn't stop turning the pages, and was happy for the short chapters which bade me to keep reading.

Tamera had based her story around a theme, which is developed throughout. I found the scriptural elements very satisfying and personally challenging without being 'preachy'. I was happy to read this wonderful book, and look forward to the remaing two books in this series. I highly recommend this book.

Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose works have been awarded or nominated for various honors, including the Christy Award, The RITA Award, and the Carol Award. Tamera and her husband enjoy living in Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Visit Tamera's website http://www.tameraalexander.com/, follow her blog at http://www.tameraalexander.blogspot.com/ . Join her on facebook and Twitter.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Names of God Bible - God's Word Translation

This translation is by God's Word to the Nations, and the Names of God edition, General Editor Ann Spangler, was published in 2011. Spangler, well known for her Names of God books, has included  many helpful reference and study guides. The text itself is set up in a highly readable format. Names of God throughout Scripture are highlighted in brown, so they jump right off the page. In addition to the usual format, there is also an alphabetical listing of books of the Bible, an alphabetical list of names and titles of God, pronunciation guide to names and titles, book introductions, reading guides, topical prayer guide for the names of God, table of the names of God, and a name index. Throughout the text, key names of God are given for each book.

I found this Bible very user-friendly, and look forward to using it in my personal reading and study.

"Bible has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, December 8, 2011

THE SHELTER OF GOD'S PROMISES by Sheila Walsh - Book Review

Having recently attended a Women of Faith event where Sheila Walsh spoke three times, I just knew I wanted to pick up a copy of her latest book, The Shelter of God's  Promises. I have just finished reading it, savouring every morsel of truth. Sheila has a lovely way of re-telling biblical stories in such a way that the reader learns something new and applicable to our lives. This book is no exception. Truth is combined with everyday stories and a dash of humour.

In The Shelter of God's Promises, "Sheila unveils the foundational promises of God that secure our lives during even the most difficult times." (Taken from cover flap)

Chapter titles include:

Promises, Promises/ I Need Something to Hold On To

Provision/ I Don't Have Enough

Peace/ I'm Afraid and Feel Alone

Confidence/ I Can't See God's Plan in This Pain

Love/ I Don't Believe That Anyone Could Really Love Me

Grace/ I Have Failed

Hope/ I'm Broken

Strength/ I Feel Things Are Crashing Around Me

More/ I Know There's Something Better

Home/ I Have a Future

The book also includes an in-depth Bible study, which is suitable for small groups or individual study.

Also available: A DVD-Based Study features ten, 25-30 minute sessions and bonus resources for promotion.

Sheila Walsh is a powerful communicator, Bible teacher, and best-selling author with more than 4 million books sold. A featured speaker with Women of Faith, Sheila has reached more than 3.5 million women. Sheila lives in Frisco, Texas with husband, Barry, son, Christian, and her two dogs, Belle and Tink.

Keep up with Sheila at SheilaWalsh.com, Twitter and Facebook.

Listen to a clip of Sheila's teaching at http://www.christianbook.com/

Sheila's book is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPE by Melody Carlson - Book Review

The Christmas Shoppe

Melody Carlson has done it again. She has given us a Christmas novella, a quick read to warm our hearts. The Christmas Shoppe takes place in a small town, where everyone is entwined in each others' lives, and has a strong opinion about everything. The townfolk are very protective of their town, and then a stranger comes in their midst. Well, Matilda Honeycutt is beyond strange! She is eccentric. She sets up shop right in the upscale section of town, and no one knows quite what to make of it. Finally, curiosity gets the better of the citizens of Parrish Springs, and one by one, they enter the shop and their lives are changed.

Personally, I found the story line predictable, and there were so many characters that none were developed to any depth. The story seemed to come to a close quickly, and it wasn't entirely satisfying. I feel that if one or two of the characters had been developed more fully, it would have been more satisfactory. I had looked forward to reading this book, since last year's offering, Christmas At Harrington's, was a true delight. Melody is an excellent writer, but I found this particular book disappointing.

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the popular author of more than 200 books, including The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's. She was recently nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market. She lives with her husband in Oregon.

Melody's website is http://www.melodycarlson.com/. Follow Melody on Facebook Melody Carlson Books.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


How does one put into words the impact of this Women of Faith event? It was all that we had hoped for, and more. How uplifting to be in the midst of 8,000+ women, raising our voices in praise to our awesome God!

This was our first WoF event. We loved hearing from great speakers - Sheila Walsh, Luci Swindoll, Lisa Harper, Angie Smith, and Dr. Henry Cloud. We could relate so well to Nicole Johnson's dramatic presentations, and laughed till it hurt along with Ken Davis. We joined hearts and voices with the worship team, and were blessed by the singing of Natalie Grant and Mary Mary.

I was thrilled that WoF events give an opportunity to reach out to others. 650 children were sponsored through World Vision, donations were made to a local outreach, and Liberty University was promoted.

The concourse was full of tables with books, CD's and DVD's, Bibles, t shirts, and gifts. Just wish I'd brought more money!!

Imagine the logistics involved in providing lunch for over 8,000 women. It went smoothly.

We made use of the breaks to chat with those around us. We were so happy to note that we were surrounded by other Canadians, as well as by Booksneeze bloggers.

There were a number of 'God moments' for us personally, and we can just imagine that God was doing amazing things in many lives.
Sheila's message touched me deeply. "The Shepherd knows where we are, and He won't leave us. One day, He will bring us all the way home."

Thanks, Thomas Nelson Publishers and Booksneeze for the two free tickets. My daughter and I were truly blessed.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Imagine! Women of Faith, Rochester, NY

What a day we've had at the Women of Faith Imagine! Event in Rochester! Can you imagine being together with 8,000 women, praising our amazing God? The speakers today gave messages that challenged us. We laaughed till it seemed our seams would burst, and also shed a few tears. We can't wait for another full day tomorrow.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Well, here we are, my daughter and I, resting in our hotel room in Henrietta, NY. We are looking forward to our first Women of Faith event. We are expecting that the Blue Cross Arena will be filled with like-minded women, praising God through music and drama, and being challenged in our faith by some great speakers. We told the front desk clerk that we were here for a women's event, and he asked if it was Women of Faith! He said that was really a big deal. For sure, it WILL be!

I will write more tomorrow.

I received two free tickets from Thomas Nelson Publishers, sponsors of Women of Faith. I blog for them as a part of their Booksneeze program.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Love On The Line by Deeanne Gist - Book Review

It's battle of wills...and love is on the line! Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world...which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.

Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes that more than his job is on the line. (Taken from back cover.)

My review: I love the fiction of Deeanne Gist. She knows how to tell a great story, with well-rounded charactization and attention to detail. In Love on the Line, Deeanne brings to life Brenham, Texas in the early 1900's.

It is obvious that Deeanne has done her research, from train robberies, to telephone operators to birds. I particularly enjoyed all the birding references, and how Deeanne wove this element carefully into her story. She also injects a healthy dose of humor into her story.

I usually wouldn't choose a book with a western theme, but thought I would give it a try. I was pleasantly suprised. I highly recommend this book.

Deeanne Gist has rocketed up the bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews with her very fun, original historical and contemporary romances, including Maid to Match and Bride in the Bargain. Dee has earned three RITA nominations, won two Christy Awards, and loves interacting with fans through Facebook and Dee's Circle of Friends online. Find out more about Dee at http://www.iwantherbook.com/


I received a copy of the book for review purposes from http://www.litfuse.com/

Book is available through http://www.amazon.com/

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

THE HEIRESS by Susan May Warren - Book Review

Introducing Heiress – book 1 in the Daughters of Fortune series! Enter to win an opulent Gilded Age prize pack fit for an heiress in Susan May Warren’s fun giveaway ($100 to ModCloth.com, iPod Shuffle, Pearls, Titanic, Music & More!)!  All the details here: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13429072 “With unexpected twists and masterful storytelling, Warren has penned one of her best novels to date.” Pick up a copy today!

About the book: Heiress

They can buy anything they want—fame, power, beauty, even loyalty.
But they can’t buy love.

The beautiful and wealthy heiress daughters of August Price can buy everything their hearts desire. But what if their desire is to be loved, without an enormous price tag attached? When one sister betrays another for the sake of love, will she find happiness? And what happens when the other sets out across the still untamed frontier to find it—will she discover she’s left it behind in the glamorous world of the New York gilded society? What price will each woman pay for being an heiress?

Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, two women discover that being an heiress just might cost them everything they love.

My review: The Heiress is the first book I've read by Susan May Warren. I LOVED it! Susan is a gifted wordsmith. The writing is so descriptive, I felt transported to New York City in the Gilded Age. I could feel the richness of the fabric, smell and taste the food, and see everything through the eyes of the sisters and the men in their lives. Susan also brought the struggles of the lower classes to light, showing the hardships of the times for those who weren't part of the opulent society. Susan skilfully weaves historical details throughout. I felt the dilemmas of the characters as they made some poor choices with long-reaching consequences.
The Heiress causes the reader ro ponder a number of deep issues."What is true love?'' "What does it mean to be rich?" What is a blessing?" "Can we expect God to bless us in spite of the wrong choices?" I love how Susan speaks to these issues without being 'preachy'.

The book has discussion questions, making it suitable for a book club. The author's notes at the end explain many details which help place this story in its historical context.

This is the first in a new series, Daughters of Fortune. The next installment is Baroness. I, for one, cannot wait!

About Susan:
 Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

More information at http://www.susanmaywarren.com/
Follow Susan on facebook

Published by Summerside Press, http://www.summersidepress.com/.

Available through http://www.amazon.com/

I wish to thank http://www.litfusegroup/ for providing a copy of this book as part of their bloggers' review program.

Monday, October 3, 2011


It's that time again! Autumn beauty is all around us, and there is that refreshing crispness in the air. It is time to once again bring out The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs. This delightful book has become an enduring classic, and continues to delight children (written especially for the 3-7 year old), as well as parents and grandparents, teachers, day care providers, and Sunday School teachers.
In a society which places a huge emphasis on Hallowe'en, this story is a real tre at. Liz has redeemed a well known symbol and used it to illustrate biblical concepts. It is easy to understand, superbly written, and beautifully illustrated by Nancy Munger.
The Pumpkin Patch Parable is the story of a Farmer who chooses a pumpkin from the patch, washes it, then cuts off the top, removing the yucky, stringy part, making it clean inside. He then carves a smiling face in the pumpkin, and places a lit candle inside. When the pumpkin is ready, the Farmer places the glowing pumpkin outside to shine its light in the darkness.
The book has Bible verses at the bottom of some of the pages, which early readers will be able to read for themselves. This book is a great discussion starter. Highly recommended!
The Pumpkin Patch Parable is an enduring story, ready to be introduced to a new generation.

Available through http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.christianbookdistributiors.com/  and wherever fine books are sold.
Available in hardcover, as well as in the newer, larger board book format.

Friday, September 30, 2011


The Queen, by Steven James, is the 5th title in his series. All the books have titles based on chess, beginning with The Pawn, followed by The Rook, The Knight, The Bishop. These books get better and better. More are to follow.

The story centres on Patrick Brower, FBI Special Agent. Full of intrigue, plot twists and suspense, James keeps the reader on the edge  of his seat as the story unfolds. It is hard to put down. James has me hooked from page one. Thankfully, the chapters are short, allowing the reader to keep up with the changing points of view. James has a masterful way of manoevering around the intricately woven twists in the plot. The story is full of technical details, and is obviously well-researched.

Steven James is indeed a master storyteller. In addition to writing, James has also taught writing and creative storytelling on three continents.

The best endorsement I can give this series is the fact that my husband, a non-reader, is now engrossed in his 4th book, and will be reading The Queen next!

Keep up the great work, Steven. We can hardly wait to see what will come next.

For more information on the author, go to his website, http://www.patrickbowers.com/ and http://www.stevenjames.net/.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Monday, September 19, 2011

Review of THEO, a new DVD-based curriculum for children.

THEO, a presentation of Whitestone Media, is a brand-new DVD-based curriculum. It is designed to present biblical truth to children in a fun and interesting way. THEO is a loving older British gent, who cummunicates truth via his relationship with two mice, Luther and Belfry. The cartoons are upbeat  and colorful, and the mice are delightful.

Topics include: Saving Faith, Loving Obedience, Forgiveness, and Good News.
Scriptures taught include the story of Abraham's faith, Jonah's disobedience, and the unforgiving servant.

To learn more about the curriculum and its creators, go to http://www.theopresents.com/.

I showed the introductory DAD to our grandchild, ages 6 and 8. They loved it, and couldn't take their eyes off it. They were asked if they thought it would be good for children who know God as well as for those who don't, and they felt they would. One asked where they could see more, when were they coming out. They listened very attentively to the story, and found the cartoons with the mice funny.

What a great idea!

THEO curriculum is available through the website. The first is available now, with others to follow.

I received a review copy from

A LANCASTER COUNTY CHRISTMAS by Suzanne Woods Fisher - Book Review

About the book:

Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do--in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they've drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for--news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn't likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home--and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

My review: If you enjoy Amish fiction in a Christmas setting, if you love a sweet story, filled with family values, this book is perfect! As I am reviewing this, the weather is still warm, but I can imagine curling up around the fire, sitting in my favourite chair, cuddled in a cozy blanket or quilt, and thorougly enjoying this story.The story connects the lives of individuals, especially two women, who are brought together, and discover there is much to learn from each other.

Suzanne Woods is well qualified to write such a book. She has already written a series of three books based on Amish culture, as well as a number of books about the Amish. She also hosts a radio show, Amish Wisdom. I look forward to more books from Suzanne in the future.

Enter to win your very own iPad Prize Package in Suzanne Woods Fisher’s “Christmas in September” Giveaway! Enter at the link below and then be sure check out the blog tour – many of bloggers are giving away a copy of A Lancaster County Christmas! http://www.litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13425768 Winner of the iPad will be announced on 9/27 during Suzanne’s Facebook Party!

But, wait! There's more! The winner will be announced at the A Lancaster County Christmas Facebook Party on 9/27 at Suzanne's author page. During the party she'll be revealing something *BIG* - you won't want to miss it. She'll also be hosting a book chat, trivia contest and giving away a few early Christmas presents! Hope to see you there.

The book may be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/

Connect with Suzanne on-line at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/

I received a copy of the book for review purposes from Suzanne' publisher, Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group (http://www.litfusegroup.com/)
Follow the blog tour here. http://www.litfusegroup.com/blogs

Thursday, September 15, 2011

STUCK by Jennie Allen - A new DVD Bible study curriculum for a new generation of women seeking God

From promotional copy:
We are often so stuck in invisible struggles in our hearts and minds, we barely have space for God.

These deep struggles, these stuck places, are familiar to every one of us: brokenness, anger, discontentment, fear, and sadness. Stuck takes on these struggles within us so that we can encounter God. Because until we recognize that we are stuck and in need of God, we will miss what He has for us.

Jennie Allen's Bible studies are designed to draw women close to God and to each other. These shorter studies dig deep quickly, creating experiential conversations and allowing women to wrestle with Scripture in a deep and authentic way throughout the week.

My review:
This study, STUCK, the places we get stuck and the God who sets us free, is a refreshing new study, the first in a series by Jennie Allen. Allen addresses such themes as broken, mad, discontent, scared, overwhelmed, sad, and unstuck. We've all been there, and so can relate to what she shares, deeply and from her heart. The accompanying study guide emphasizes Biblical truth, and we are given various suggestions for applying it personally. I love Jennie's openess and sweet manner, as well as her honesty. This study is a breath of fresh air!
Jennie's material features 8 sessions on DVD, a study guide and leader's guide, as well as conversation cards for spontaneous and authentic discussion.

"Samplers of the Book and DVD have been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. DVD-Based Study available October 2011 at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson".  
A Letter From Sheila Walsh

Angels have always fascinated me. As a young girl, I would gaze in wonder at illustrations of their airy magnificence, soak up each and every story from the Bible about these specifically created beings and would imagine that my very own guardian angel was behind me each step of the way.

Fast forward to 2011 and I am still fascinated by these heavenly creatures. Yet now as a grown woman and mother, I find myself amazed and a little perplexed by what fascinates today’s modern little girl. Monsters,vampires and wizards, oh my! It seems these fictitious other worldly beings are now captivating their young minds and enveloping their young worlds. As a parent, I wanted to create a new children’s book series that would put the spotlight on a subject truly worthy of fascination....angels.

So I set out to develop a new character that young readers would embrace and delight in, and out from my pen and from my heart poured a new series, Gabby, God’s Little Angel. Gabby is an adorable guardian angel in training who finds that she has so much to learn about taking care of God’schildren. Introducing your little ones to the very real truth that, “He will put his angels in charge of you...they will watch over you wherever you go.” (Psalm 91:11 ICB); this delightful new series was written to teach this comforting message in a way easy for them to understand.

I am so passionate about teaching the little angels in your own lives just how much God loves them. I pray that through my new little friend, Gabby,they will discover this truth and rest assured that He is always watching over them!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

BLUE SKIES TOMORROW by Sarah Sundin - Book Review

About Blue Skies Tomorrow

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

About Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin received the 2011 Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and her second novel A Memory Between Us is a finalist for an Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. Her stories are inspired by her great-uncle who flew with the U.S. Eighth Air Force in England during World War II.

Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. Visit with Sarah online at www.sarahsundin.com.,www.facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor

Blue Skies Tomorrow is the third book in Sarah Sundin's Wings of Glory series. It is obvious that Sarah is a lover of history, the WWII era in particular. She has thoroughly researched the details. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII, and Sarah has toured a B-17.

I love how the three books tie together the stories of three brothers. Sarah alternately narrates from the point of view of those overseas and those on the home front. Blue Skies Tomorrow is my favorite of the three. It goes beyond the immediate, and delves deeper into the lives of the main characters. I found  myself really caring about the characters, and becoming engrossed in their stories. Sarah deals with real issues. This story is full of suspense, drama, and romance, and is a very satisfying read. It is a page-turner, from beginning to end. Well done, Sarah!

This book would be perfect for a book club, since it includes discussion questions.

I look forward to Sarah's next series.

http://www.litfusegroup.com/ has provided a copy of the book for review purposes.

Sarah's books may be purchased through http://www.amazon.com/ and other fine retailers. It is publishe by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont - Book Review

In her newest book, Patsy Clairmont compares people to stained glass windows. Patsy explains God's power to redeem our brokkeness. Patsy has 'been there', and so is able to share God's purpose in her own inimitable way.
Patsy, a recovering agorophobic, helps us to look at our lives through a new lens. The book is replete with Scripture and other quotes, and gives concrete examples of ways in which we can look through another lens. Patsy uses examples of art, poetry, and music to help us see life from a broken perspective.

Patsy's quick wit and depth of biblical knowledge combine in a powerful pint-size package. As a result of her appearances at Women of Faith...Patsy addresses tens of thousands of women each month. She has written more than twenty-five books in addition to contributing to numerous Women of Faith multiauthor books. Patsy and her husband Les of 49 years live in Tennessee. (From the cover jacket)

I found this book to be deeply thoughtful and challenging. Patsy's writing takes us to unexpected places, such as gardens and art museums, and causes us to think in a fresh way concerning God's healing touch.

To find out more about Patsy, check out her webpage. http://www.patsyclairmont.com/

The book is available through http://www.womenoffaith.com/ , http://www.amazon.co/ and other fine bookstores.
I am thankful to the publisher, http://www.thomasnelson.com/ for providing a copy for review as part of their Booksneeze program.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Amish Values For Your Family

Enter to win your very own Kindle Prize Package in Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Amish Values for Your Family Giveaway! Enter at the link below and then be sure check out the blog tour for the book. Many of bloggers are giving away a copy of Amish Values for Your Family http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13421895

Enter 8/15 - 8/31!
To celebrate the release of Amish Values for Your Family, Suzanne has teamed up her publisher Revell Books to giveaway a Kindle, and with Bill Coleman (the amazing photographer used on Suzanne’s book covers) to give away a signed Bill Coleman original.

One Grand Prize winner will receive an Amish Values Prize Package (valued at over $200) and includes:

* A brand new KINDLE
* A Signed Bill Coleman original
* Amish Values for Your Family (for KINDLE)

Click on one of the icons to enter. Winner will be announced on 9/2 at Suzanne’s blog. Be sure to stop by the blogs on Suzanne’s blog tour – many have copies of Amish Values for Your Family to give away.

But, wait there's more! Suzanne is running a Bill Coleman caption contest during the month of August on her blog. Title one of Bill’s gorgeous photos for a chance to win a print from Bill’s Amish Photo site and/or a copy of Amish Values for Your Family.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Women of Faith Imagine

I'm so excited to be attending my first Women of Faith Conference in November. For further information, check http://www.womenoffaith.com for an event near you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


From the back cover: "You'll find home one day. Sure as sweet tea on a hot afternoon." Words from Willa's sketchy childhood haunt her dreams and color her days with longing, regret, and fear. What do the words mean? Willa is far from sure.

So when Hale Landon places a ring on her finger, Willa panics, feeling she can't possibly say yes when so much in her past is a mystery. Bent on sorting out her history, Willa returns to Rockwall, Texas, to the Muir House Bed and Breakfast, a former funeral home.

But the old place holds her empty memory close to itself. Willa's mother utters unintelligible clues from her deathbed, and the caretaker of the house keeps coveted answers carefully protected. Throw in an old flame, and Willa careens farther away from ever knowing the truth.Set in a growing suburb of Texas, THE MUIR HOUSE explores trauma, healing, love new and old, and the life-changing choices people make to keep their reputations intact.

Watch the book trailer!

The Muir House by Mary E DeMuth Book Trailer from cosproductions on Vimeo.

My review: What an amazing story! Mary DeMuth has delved into the depths of the human heart to bring it to light. Her characters are real people with real struggles and situations not easily unravelled.
Mary's writing is very powerful. I was caught up in the story from first page till last, and often found the unexpected. Mary's writing, like life itself, is unpredictable, and answers don't emerge sewn up in neat packages. The characters are unforgettable, and I found myself wondering what happens next, as Willa continues to grow. I am left to consider, together with Willa, what is truth, what is home, and how do we find it? Is it important that secrets be revealed at all costs, or are some things best left alone?

Mary is a masterful writer, and her descriptions and analogies vivid. Above all, Mary is real, and writes powerfully, from her heart. This is her best fiction yet! I look forward to what is still to come. Well done, Mary!

About the author: Mary DeMuth is the author of several southern novels, including A Slow Burn, Life in Defiance, and the Christy Award finalists, Watching the Tree Limbs and Daisy Chain. She's also written four parenting books and a memoir, Thin Places. She's passionate about the written word, teaching, and mentoring writers. Mary lives in Texas with her husband, Patrick, and their three children.

Find out more at www.marydemuth.com

Check out The Muir House's facebook page in order to connect with other readers. There will also be giveaways, contests, and lots of author-reader interaction. http://www.facebook.com/TheMuirHouse

This book is published by Zondervan, who provided me with a free copy. The expection is that I will review the book, pass it on , and promote it by various means. I love being an 'influencer' for any books written by Mary DeMuth.

I HIGHLY recommend this book, and give it 5/5 stars!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE BLESSED by Ann H. Gabhart - Book Review

Trapped by obligation, one woman longs for the freedom of true love.

It is 1844 and Lacey Bishop's life is a tangled mess. When circumstances move Lacey to a nearby Shaker village, she is not prepared for the new life that awaits her. In the midst of her deep loneliness, Lacey works to fit in with this odd group. But everything shifts when she finds herself drawn to a Shaker man in a village where such relationships are forbidden.

Can Lacey ever find true happiness in this mysterious place?

My Review: The fourth in Ann H. Gabhart's series, this book unfolds more of the Shakers religious beliefs and lifestyle. Living just 30 miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky gives the author a rreal sense of what life in the community would have been like in the 1800's. She includes an historical note at the beginning of the book in order to place readers in the time and setting of her novel.
It is clear that this is a well researched rendering, and the characters come to life from page one. I loved the character of Lacey, and rooted for her as she faced challenges and dilemmas. The idea of a traditional family was particularly challenging. What is the true way? Lacey had been raised to believe one way, but those beliefs are then challenged by the Shakers. The theme running through the book is "What does it mean to be blessed?" How could she bring the feelings of her heart in line with the strange ways of the Shakers? The author leaves us with this dilemma until the end. That is what keeps readers turning the pages!

Each of the Shaker books is stand-alone, but once you've read one, you will be longing for more!

About the author:

Ann is the author of over twenty novels for adults and young adults. Contact Ann at www.annhgabhart.com, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. The Blessed is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm so excited! As part of Booksneeze, a program for bloggers sponsored by Thomas Nelson, I am among those chosen to attend the live event in Rochester, NY in November! This will be my first Women of Faith Conference. I will share more information as the date approaches. In the meantime, why not consider joining me there?

For further information regarding Women of Faith events in various cities, see the Women of Faith website. www.womenoffaith.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Craker - Book Review

Author and journalist Lorilee Craker was just like the rest of us, feeling the pinch from the financial fallout of 2008. As a freelancer, her income was going the way of the dodo-family dollars seemed like an extinct myth, the bank account some archeological evidence of past prosperity.

Then, inspired by a news segment covering the Amish and how they emerged from the economic crisis unscathed, she realized it was time to learn a thing or two about their time-tested approach to personal finances. While the middle-class was wringing its hands over the family budget and the wealthy were weeping over their slashed portfolios, the Amish were content as always, spared from the cares of the world and worldliness. They not only had financial health to support their lives, they exuded a wholeness that eludes so many when the financial bottom drops out.

In Money Secrets of the Amish, readers go on an "Amish money makeover," learning the choices, secrets, and disciplines that safeguarded the contentment and the coffers of America's favorite plain folk by spending less, saving more, and getting happier doing it.

Lorilee Craker is the author of eleven books, including the NewYork Times best seller Through the Storm with Lynne Spears. When not shuttling her three children to hockey, gymnastics, and everywhere in between, Lorilee moonlights as an entertainment and features writer for the Grand Rapids Press in  Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has written for magazines such as Parents and Parent and Child.

My review: The subtitle, Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving sums up the message of this book. I enjoyed Lorilee's stories and examples gleaned from conversations with members of the Amish community. These "Plain" people are certainly an inspiration for all of us. The Amish model delayed gratification as they admonish us to use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without. They also share their philosophy on bartering, keeping it simple when it comes to gift-giving, paying on time and keeping out of debt, second-hand shopping and recycling, to name a few. And perhaps most importantly, the best things in life are free.
Although we can't all live as Amish, we can learn the value of family, and although we probably don't have a cow to barter, we can share with friends and neighbours our goods and expertise. It is win-win when everyone takes home something useful. Many of the ideas in this book were already familiar to me, but what I took from it was encouragement to implement the things I already know. Challenging indeed in our affluent society.

This book was provided by the publisher, Thomas Nelson,  and C. Grant & Co.in return for an honest review.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daily Inspiration From WaterBrook Multnomah - No Images? Click to View is your Browser

Today's "Inspiration" from Waterbrook Multnomah is taken from Embrace Grace by Liz Curtis Higgs. Click on link to read entire article, as well as chapter one of the book. May you be blessed today, knowing that you are embraced by God!

Inspired: 7/14/2011 - Embraced by God

‎"When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." Titus 3:4–5

The forgiven life. The grace-filled life. It begins with an embrace, which is more than an elegant word for hug. Hugs are short-lived and friendly, handed out like after-dinner mints to acquaintances and strangers alike.

An embrace is more intentional. Longer. Warmer. Far more personal. We gather someone close--a spouse, a child, a friend, a sibling--and murmur words of comfort and affection. Or we simply let the strength of our embrace express the depth of our thoughts and feelings.

Wherever you are spiritually, whatever you have been through emotionally, you are already wrapped in the Lord's embrace. Held close by nail-scarred hands. Enfolded in the arms of One who believes in you, supports you, treasures you, and loves you.

He is waiting for you to embrace him in return. To accept the gift he's offering you. To listen for the whispered words you've longed a lifetime to hear:

You are loved. All is forgiven.

— Excerpted from Embrace Grace by Liz Curtis Higgs

Daily Reflection:

How do you feel God "embracing" you?

Read Chapter 1 of Embrace Grace
Read Chapter 1 of Embrace Grace
Read Chapter 1 of Embrace Grace

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A GREAT CATCH by Lorna Seilstad - Book Review

She wants to change the world.

He wants to change her mind.

It's the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.

My review: This is the first of Lorna's books that I've read. Now I want to read book one in the series, Making Waves, and also look forward to the third installment. Thankfully, they are all stand-alone books, so I could read book two without having read book one.

Lorna sets her stories in her home state, and her own family has historical connections with Lake Manawa area. I LOVED the setting. Immediately, Lorna's brilliant writing wisks us off to another time and place. I could relate to the characters from the beginning. They are endearing. Lorna has researched the subject of equal suffrage for women, and she brings the struggles of women in that time to life.

The story contains all the elements I look for in a good read - history coming to life, biblical truth presented in a non-preachy way, real struggles to understand God's plan for our lives, a liberal dose of humor, and a sweet romance. Well done, Lorna. I look forward to reading more of summers at Lake Manawa!

I highly recommend this book as the perfect summer read. Pack it in your beachbag along with the sunscreen!

About the author:

A history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves and draws her setting from her home state of Iowa. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Visit Lorna on her website, http://www.lornaseilstad.com/

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf - Book Review

A Reluctant Queen is a love story, based on the biblical story of Esther, a young Jewish woman who was influential in the delivery of her people from annhilation. We are told that this is a work of fiction, the focus being on the relationship of Esther and the Great King, and therefore, one could expect that the author will not follow the biblical account to the letter.

I enjoyed the characterization, the beautiful setting, the relationships - love, intrigue, trust, honor all woven together.  Esther is thrown into a very difficult situation, and questions if she is really the right choice. Was her uncle's dream really God's message for her? The dilemma which she faces has her seeking God and His will for her life. She seems an unlikely candidate, but this shows that God can and will use anyone for His purposes when they makes themselves available.

The relationship between Esther and the king makes her question if he really loves her, when he has other women in his life, and has fathered children. Will he leave her once she has borne him a legitimate heir? But in spite of everything, her love for him continues to grow.

This book is an interesting 'take' on the story of Esther. Being a lover of all things historical, I read this book with interest. Well done, Joan Wolf!

For further information on the author, please visit http://www.joanwolf.com/.

Joan will be wrapping up the blog tour and Kindle giveaway promotion during her A Reluctant Queen FACEBOOK party on her FB author page. During the party she'll announce the winner of the Kindle, host a book chat discussion, test your trivia skills (Is Esther's story in A Reluctant Queen fact or fiction?), and more. Don't miss this chance to meet the author and make some new friends!

A Reluctant Queen is published by Thomas Nelson. I received a copy for review purposes from Litfuse Publicity.

Available through http://www.amazon.com/ and other retailers

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rise and Shine by Liz Curtis Higgs

Rise and Shine by Liz Curtis Higgs is a wonderful book, full of 2-3 page devotionals. Included is a Scripture for each day, followed by encouraging words that will uplift you and jump-start your day. Liz concludes each days reading with a prayer as our response to the truth which was shared.

 Liz writes as someone who has "been there" and "gets it. She writes from the heart, and her love for the Lord and His Wordis abundantly evident. It is Liz's desire to encourage her sisters, to let all of us know how much we are loved by God, and how He accepts us just as we are. Liz points us to the One Who puts the shine in our lives, and helps us to rise above our circumstances.

Liz writes in her inimitable style, injecting a healthy dose of humor as she shares biblical truth.

I highly recommend this book to all who are desiring a freshness in their spiritual life. It would also make a great gift. Rise and Shine is available through http://www.amazon.com/  and wherever you purchase Christian books.