Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Silence Of Winter by Wanda Brunstettler

"The Silence Of Winter" by Wanda Brunstettler gets 5 stars. I loved this. It is part 2 of 6 in the A Lancaster County Saga. I don't usually like books like that this, I want the whole book at once but I was given the first book by a friend and was kept turning the pages till the end and now I cannot wait till all six are out before reading them. In the start of the book Meredith learns that she is pregnant and is happy but has regrets that she didn't tell Luke that she might be before he left to go to Indiana. Meanwhile Luke is admitted to the hospital in a coma. But there is an accident and because no one knows who Luke is he is believed to be dead. So the sheriff tells Meredith and Luke parents he is dead This books tells about the memorial service that is held for Luke. Meredith is having pains and must see the doctor immediately. And the ending in this book is also a cliff hanger.
I was coming home from a visit to my mother and sister today and on the way home I started reading this story  aloud because I said oh no! and my husband said what and I started to tell him about the story and then I said see why I like reading it is as good as watching a movie and then I started reading it aloud and I happened to glance over at Carl and tears were running down his face. What a great story! TO BE CONTINUE!
I received a copy of this book from  Barbour Publishing's NetGalley Public Catalog for a honest review.

Goodbye to Yesterday by Wanda Brunstetter

"Goodbye To Yesterday" by Wanda Brunstetter gets 5 stars from me. I loved this novella. It is part 1 of 6 in the A Lancaster County Saga. I don't usually like books like that this, I want the whole book at once but I was given this book by a friend and was kept turning the pages till the end. Luke and Meredith are a young married Amish couple and Luke has lost his job. This story tells about their struggles and how like a lot of married couples they don't really share what they are thinking. Luke gets a call from his uncle to go to Indiana and learn a new trade and even through Meredith doesn't want him to go, he does. Meredith thinks she might be pregnant but she doesn't tell Luke because she doesn't want him to worry more about their finances. When Luke goes to the restroom at the bus stop he is beat up and robbed by a drug user.  This book leaves you wanting to read the next part. I love Wanda Brunstetter's books and this one hasn't disappointed me so far except I want to see how the story ends. Does Luke make it to Indiana and is Meredith pregnant ? TO BE CONTINUE.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Echoes by Robin Gunn Jones

"Echoes" by Robin Gunn Jones gets 5 stars from me. This book is number 3 of 8  in The Glenbrooke Series. Even through this is in a series the book was great as a stand alone. I am going to look for the other 7. 
Right before the  breakup Lauren Phillips's fiancee tells her "Things always seem to happen to you". This was said after the sudden decision to change her hair style which is only one of the funny episodes told in the book. After the breakup Lauren starts sending and receiving emails from KC. She also goes back to school to get her teaching degree. Lauren and KC are both fans of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems. They send emails back and forth for a year and then they decided to meet face to face. When Lauren spots KC at that place they decide on she gets scared and runs away only to eventually meet him in the place she runs too.
This story is about a online relationship and how two people can fall in love without meeting each other. This story is one that every reader would enjoy rather a Christian or not, even with the mention of Biblical passages ( which I especially liked). Lauren and KC's story is one that made me want to keep turning the pages to see how and when they would meet and if they even liked each other when they did meet. 
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Home By Dark by Marta Perry

Home By Dark by Marta Perry gets 5 stars. This is the first book I have read by Marta Perry. I have to be honest and say that at first I didn't like it but I keep reading it because we were going to be discussing  it in an online book club I am in. I had heard some people liked it and some people didn't and I was curious about it and I am the type of person that needs to finish a book once I start it. The book is about Rachel (who was raised Amish) comes back to Deer Run and discovers that her brother Benji has a secret. The secret is dangerous. This secret is putting Rachel and her daughter Mandy and others in danger. But because Rachel's family is Amish the family won't called the police but since Rachel and Colin(her late husband's friend) aren't Amish they do. The police are not any help so Rachel and Colin do what they can to find out what the secret is and what they discover and who is behind it surprised me. I had one of the bad guy figured out but really didn't see the other one as being bad till the end. In the middle of the main story line there is a mystery about something that happened when Rachel was a child. It will comes a shock when the reader finally learns what the two mysteries have in common. This story is a love story and a mystery and a story about forgiveness all in one. I will be reading more of Marta Perry' story.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Autumn's Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray

"Autumn's Promise"by Shelley Shepard Gray gets 5 stars from me. I think this novel was my favorite in the whole series. I was surprised by the ending but am glad it ended the way it did. I am just sorry that the Seasons Of Sugarcreek novels just have the three books. I would like to read more about Lilly. Lilly and Robert fell in love, even through Robert is Amish and decided to get marry,but then Lilly decided she cannot give up her independence to become Amish. Robert , who lost his first wife due to illness isn't going to lose Lilly so to keep her  he makes a change that I didn't see coming. The characters in all three novels of the Seasons Of Sugarcreek trilogy are easy to like and it was easy to imagine that I was watching the story unfold in front of me. Autumn's Promise was also about Caleb Graber realizing that all he had to be was the person God wanted him to be, not the perfect son. I even came close to having tears in my eyes a couple of times reading this book as I was really beginning to think about these characters as real people. These novels are about real life and problems and struggles that families share. I have read 2 series of books by Shelley Shepard Gray and was not disappointed. I will be reading her other series.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spiritually Stronger in 40 days by Serge Roux-Levrat

Spiritually Stronger in 40 days! by, Serge Roux-Levrat gets 5 stars from me. I have to be honest and admit that even through you are suppose to read a section each day for 40 days I read the book straight through to get the idea of the book. Now that I have read the book I am going to go back to the beginning and read it the way it is supposed to be read and do the homework. The sections are easy to read and after each section there is homework to do. The homework is easy to complete but you need to be completely honest while completing them. To do these homework assignments you will need a notepad. The homework is really personal inventory. I believe if you really do the homework you will be spiritually stronger and people will be able to see Jesus in you. This book will be a book I will turn to over and over again as I try to live as Jesus wants me to.  Serge Roux-Levrat used to be CEO of a publicly quoted company but that was changed in 2001, when he lost his job so he has lived what he writes in this book .This is a sample of what’s in the book “What are the best presents we can give to those we love? Money or material things? No. Sincere gifts from the heart, genuine acts of kindness, seeds of respect, big loving hugs, undivided and time, trucks of encouragement, spoons of wisdom, glasses of hope and helping hands. The beauty of these gifts is that we can ALL give them since they do not cost a penny! Every single day we should be giving priceless presents to others, not just once or twice a year. As Jesus told us. "It's more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35).I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.


SRL MInistries

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wishing On Willows by Katie Ganshert

"Wishing On Willows “ gets 5 stars from me. I was really wanting to read this book after reading  Wildflower from  Winter. This book did not disappointed  me. I was hoping to read more of Bethany and Evan's story  and I did as well as Robin's. In this book Robin is a proud owner of Willow Tree Cafe. Her cafe supplies treats and support for One Life ( a community outreach program for the people that are grieving and the teens) and her son Caleb is three years old now. But then Ian Mckay from Peoria and the mayor of Peaks Iowa wants to build condos and if they do they will tear down the cafe and Robin won't sell the cafe.
Ian Mckay and Robin feel an attraction for each other but don't want to admit it. Most of the town people are from the condos because it will bring more revenue for the town. Even  Robin's own sister-in-law  (Amanda) tells Robin she should sell  and that she shouldn't fight her attraction for Ian. When Robin tells Amanda she doesn't care if Amanda dates Ian, Amanda goes to a banquet dinner with him to Peoria to honor his father for being Employer of the year. Which Robin doesn't like at all. 
Robin's  life is all about her son Caleb and the cafe and helping the community. Ian has secrets that he is hiding. Robin and Ian find that they are really that difficult after all. 
I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to believe that good can come from pain. Robin and Ian come to realize that sometimes you have you just have to Be Still and trust God and follow your heart. 
     The author writes about real life things like children needing to go potty and about saying things in anger and then needing to apologize to her son. This book has a few  funny lines  and some really sad events life a fire in the cafe. I  was really surprised and really happy with the way the story ended. I will end this review with a direct quote from the book "Grace comes in all different shapes and sizes. Even the messy ones."This book is about moving on and letting go of the past.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert

"Wildflowers from Winter"gets 5 stars. I won this book in a contest and wasn't sure what to expect but once I started reading it I was hooked. This is Katie Ganshert debut novel. Bethany Quinn lives in Chicago and is an architect. She gets a call from her mother about her grandfather having a heart attack and about Robin's  ( who used to be her best friend) husband being in the hospital. Bethany decides to go back to Iowa and her life is forever changed. While in Iowa she meets Evan. And things go from bad to worse and then good comes. After her grandfather dies and she is left with the farmland she wants to sell it but Evan is left with the house and won't sell it. This story is about how Bethany finds that God isn't the God she picture in her mind as a child because of a not so kind preacher. Bethany learns to trust God not as a free fall into faith but as a steady climb toward it. (This sentence is kinda of a direct quote from the book page 288). I am hoping there is more of Bethany and Evan's story in her next book which is "Wishing on Willows"

guest blog for Linda Weaver Clarke and a ebook GiveAway

EBOOK GIVEAWAY: We are having a drawing for a free ebook. Read the interview and make a comment about it. Then choose which ebook you would like to read. 

You are the author of a historical sweet romance series called “A Family Saga in Bear Lake Idaho” that can be read by teens and adults alike. What was the inspiration behind the first novel?

In Melinda and the Wild West, I included one of my own experiences as a substitute teacher. An eight-year-old student had been labeled as a troublemaker by her teacher. The students had listened to the teacher and steered away from her, not wanting to be her friend. This not only made her feel degraded, but she wanted to fight back and she did. She stopped doing schoolwork, refused to be part of the class, and got into a few fights. She seemed angry at the world but after working with her for a while, I soon learned what a sweet and wonderful child she was. She had characteristics that I was impressed with. When she realized that I really cared, she was willing to do her work, just to please me. In fact, her mother was impressed that her daughter wanted to please me so much. I’ll never know how this young girl’s life turned out, but in my novel I chose a happily-ever-after ending, just because Melinda cared and made a difference in the girl’s life. 

This subject was important to me because something similar happened to one of my own daughters when she was little and it was difficult to see my child treated this way.

This novel has “sweet” romance and adventure. What kind of adventure? When Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, she comes face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

Do you ever add true family experiences in your historical novels

After writing my ancestors’ and parents’ stories, I felt so close to them and wanted to add their experiences to my “sweet” romance series. In Melinda and the Wild West, I added one of my father’s experiences as a boy. When he was thirteen, he was asked to bury the skunks that his father had shot. But before he buried them, he drained the scent glands of each skunk until he had a jar full of “skunk oil.” Then he took it to school with him to show his classmates. He was so excited as he explained how he had done it. But in all the excitement, the bottle slipped from his hands and landed on the schoolroom floor and splattered everywhere. The stench was so terrible that everyone held their noses and ran outside as fast as their legs could go. The teacher excused school for the rest of the day and my dad was considered a “hero” by his classmates because he had closed down the school.

What kind of research do you do for one of your novels?

I put a great deal of research into my novels. The subplot of Jenny’s Dream, the 3rd book in this series, is about Old Ephraim, the ten-foot grizzly bear. The research about this old grizzly was exciting to me because Old Ephraim was from southern Idaho, where I was raised. He wreaked havoc wherever he went, killing sheep and scaring sheepherders so badly that they actually quit their jobs. He was so powerful that with one blow of his paw, he could break the back of a cow. I found out he was the smartest bear that ever roamed the Rocky Mountains. No one could catch him. Every bear trap Frank Clark set was tossed many yards away from where he had put it, and the ones that weren’t tripped had his tracks all around it. How did he know? Because Old Ephraim only had three toes. So they called him Old Three Toes. He was too smart to be caught so Frank Clark had to outsmart him. In this story, I included every detail about this bear and his deeds.

The Bear Lake Monster was a fun one to research. Scotland has the Lock Ness Monster and Bear Lake Valley has theirs. In my 4th novel in this series, Sarah’s Special Gift, the subplot is about David trying to disprove the legend of the Bear Lake Monster. I was raised just over the mountain from Bear Lake so the research about the monster was fun. I discovered that it was 90-feet long, his eyes were flaming red, and his ears stuck out from the sides of his skinny head. Its body was long, resembling a gigantic alligator and it could swim faster than a galloping horse. It had small legs and a huge mouth, big enough to eat a man. (Ha-ha.) I was surprised about what I found. I even got an email from a woman who said that her grandfather had seen the monster. In fact, many people still believe in the Bear Lake Monster today.

What was the inspiration behind the last four novels in this series?

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, the 2nd book in this series, was inspired by my parents’ courtship. They didn’t meet the traditional way. They met through letters. Their story was so romantic that I patterned this book after their courtship and used my father’s sweet, romantic letters. Can people really fall in love through letters? Absolutely! With mysterious letters, cattle rustlers, a spunky woman, Halloween, and young love, there is always something happening.

Jenny’s Dream, the 3rd book in this series, was inspired because of some unpleasant childhood experiences that I experienced as a young girl and now Jenny must learn forgiveness before she can choose which dream to follow. Meanwhile, a legendary ten-foot grizzly is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community.

Sarah’s Special Gift, the 4th book in this series, was inspired because of my great grandmother who was deaf. I wanted to learn more about her life and how she coped with her disability. I learned so much about her and how courageous she was, so I decided to give her experiences to my character, Sarah. This story has deep-rooted legends, a few mysterious events, the mystery of the Bear Lake Monster, and a tender love story!

Elena, Woman of Courage, the 5th book in this series, is my last book in this series. My inspiration was the “Roaring Twenties.” This was a new decade of independent women, when they raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. I found that if a woman bobbed her hair, she was fired from her job. A new language grew from this time period. They used words like: Cat’s pajamas! Horsefeathers! Baloney! When referring to a woman, they used doll or tomato. What was the difference? A tomato was a woman. A doll was a good-looking woman. A woman’s legs were called “gams” and her lovely shape was referred to as a “chassis.” If you were in love, you had a “crush,” were “goofy,” or “moonstruck.” And when a woman was not in the mood for kissing, she would say, “The bank’s closed.” Thus, my new novel was born! As Elena Yeates fights to prove herself as the newest doctor in town, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

You may now pick the e-book you prefer for our drawing. Thank you for stopping by. Linda will be picking a winner on Friday, the 8th. 

"A room without books is like a body without a soul."  -- Cicero
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Safe In His Arms by Colleen Coble

Safe In His Arms" by Colleen Coble gets 5 stars from me. This book is a great stand alone but I'm glad I read "Blue Moon Promise" first to know the characters. I would recommend all of Colleen Coble's books.This book is mostly a love story with a mystery included. I wanted to finish this book in a hurry to see what was going to happen next and when I got to the ending I wanted to read more about the characters. In this book Margaret O'Brien's father hires a new foreman,(Daniel Cutler) for their ranch. Margaret is really upset because she has helped her father build up the ranch. Daniel Cutler isn't want he appears to be. Margaret  is confused about Daniel because she thinks he is a bad man but he is always talking about God. I received this book free from Litfuse for a honest review. and to learn more about Colleen Coble go to http:/