Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Gathering Shadows" by Nancy Mehl

Book Description

 April 29, 2014
Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

Author Bio:

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored fifteen books and is currently at work on a new romantic suspense series for Bethany House Publishing.
All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "It's a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help."
You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: www.nancymehl.com or find her newsletter at: www.nancymehl.blogspot.com. She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com and on FaceBook!"Gathering Shadows"  by Nancy Mehl is a five star book! I was hooked from the first page!

My Review:
"Gathering Shadows" by Nancy Mehl is the first book in the "Finding Sanctuary" series.  I give this novel five stars! This story grabbed me from the beginning and I read the book in one setting, I literally had to finish it to see how it ended! "Gathering Shadows" had a lot of mysteries to reveal, were they all related or where they just coincidences?

While Wynter is searching for her brother who was kidnapped nine years ago, she is stunned to learn secrets that her father has kept from her all her life. 

Can Wynther and Reuben King have a relationship, when they are from two difference worlds! Can Wynther learn to trust anyone enough to find her brother, or is he really gone forever?

Who is the kidnapper and why was Ryan (Wynther's brother) taken. When the answers are revealed, I think you might be surprised! I know you want to read "Gathering Shadows" and find the answers for yourself, I think you will agree it was worth the time you spent reading this book!

"Gathering Shadows" is more than just a mystery novel.  It has statements that can change your life if you accept them.  This book is full of them, here is just one example of many, on page 118 of the book, Jonathon encouraged his parishioners to follow the apostle Paul's commitment to forget the past and concentrate on the future. "Too many people are changed by one or two events in their lives. Something that colors their perceptions and alters the course of their existence on this earth. Usually the event is traumatic. something painful. But our lives are made up of many moments-good and bad. One incident should never define us, because God has already defined us. He calls us His beloved children. Victors-not victims. He calls us overcomers not overcome.We are new creations."Jonathon went on to say that "no one ever won a race by running backward. Instead, we need to keep our eyes forward if we ever hope to find the destiny that God has for us."

 I recommend this book to anyone liking mystery stories, even if is it Christian fiction, because this book is a book you cannot put down until you read the last page. The Christian truths in this book doesn't feel preachy, just interwoven so well that you know the characters speaking them live them.

I was given this book by the author for an honest review!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Ressurection (Future Savior Book 2)"by Jennifer Hartz

Book Description

 May 30, 2011

Time matters very little when you're dead. Christina discovered this intriguing fact after being tortured and stabbed to a tree in the strange land of Meric. A place where she experienced the most amazing journey anyone could have ever imagined.

Now that she's dead, she finds herself stuck in the past, 1991 to be exact. She's reliving some horribly awkward teenage memories. This adventure through time is almost like that awful dream where you're stuck back in high school, giving a speech, completely naked. Although, luckily for Christina, she has clothes.

Maybe it is just a dream. Christina doesn’t know for sure, but there is one thing she desperately needs to find out. Will she ever get back to Meric… get back to Shaw? 

About The Author
Jennifer Hartz wrote and illustrated her first novel, an epic tale featuring winged fairies losing their magic wands to evil trolls, back when she was six years old. She has been a fan of fantasy and science fiction ever since. From the Land of Mordor to a galaxy far, far away, Jennifer loves it all.

Born in Pittsburgh, but currently living in northeast North Carolina with her amazing husband and beautiful son, Jennifer spends her days teaching at a small private school in Norfolk, Virginia. Other than reading the Bible, Jennifer loves to read (and now write) Speculative Christian Ficion that has wonderful romantic storylines and exciting twists and turns.

The Future Savior series is Jennifer's first crack at a novel since the early days of fairy wand heists and she couldn't be more thrilled with its quick success.

My Review: 
I had a hard time deciding on how many stars to give this book because I loved the story and the concept , I have a little trouble with a few words that I consider cursing 3 and there was a scene that was a little too much like reading a non Christian book, no it wasn't r rated material just a little more involved than what is normally included in a Christian book. I have decided on a 4 star rating for these reasons!

"Ressurection" is the second book in the ( (Future Savior Series) and it is as good as the first one "Conception" and picks up right where "Conception" ends. There were times while reading this story I was literally saying out loud "No Way that cannot be " and I had to go back and reread that section again.  This book was hard to put down because I had to see how it ended, and the ending has me wanting book 3 " Evacuation".

This book uses Biblical stories in a way that I haven't seen used before, (like Daniel in the lion's den, no it isn't Daniel this time but if you know the Biblical account, you see the similarities. 

If you like scifi and fantasy in a Christian novel then you will like this series!  I recommend this series even you don't normally like scifi because I normally don't like scifi. The characters are people you can relate to and you might even find yourself wanting to interact with Shaw and Christina and their friends!

This book has surprises all throughout it's pages and I'm sure there are more awaiting Book 3!

I was given an ebook copy by the author for my honest review!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Promise to Return" by Elizabeth Byler Younts

When World War II breaks out, Miriam Coblentz’s peaceful Amish world is turned upside down... 

It’s 1943, and Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast are nearing their wed­ding day when the unthinkable happens—Henry is drafted. However, since he is a part of the pacifist Amish tradition, Henry is sent to a conscientious objector Civilian Public Service camp. When he leaves for the work camp, his gaping absence turns Miriam’s life upside down. Little does she know it’s only the beginning... When Henry returns home, he brings news that shakes Miriam and their Amish community to the core. Henry believes God has called him to enlist in the army and fight for his country, leaving her to make an impor­tant decision: whether to choose loyalty to the peaceful life she’s always known or her love for Henry. Two worlds collide in this unforgettable debut novel, providing a fasci­nating and rare look into Amish culture during World War II. While Henry is battling enemies across the ocean, Miriam struggles between her devotion to Henry and her love of the Amish way of life. One question is at the bottom of it all: will she follow the rules of her religion or the leading of her heart?
My Review
"Promise to Return" by Elizabeth Byler Younts is getting five stars from me! I have to be honest and say at first I wasn't at all into this book but as I kept reading I was drawn into the storyline! The author uses Amish language that is a little confusing but she explains what is meant in the next sentence without messing up the flow of the story.

This book is about The Amish and World War II. It is also a love story and how two people and their families cope with Henry Mast being drafted and then his decision to join the army.

This book has many surprises in it's pages but what I found to be the most surprising is that this book is written so well that you could almost feel the emotions that the characters were feeling. A couple of times while reading this book I wanted to cry. The characters actually felt like real people with real  heartaches.

Miriam Coblentz has many conflicts to deal with in this book,  like death and questions of whether or not to follow her heart or conform to the Amish way of life, or listen to the still small voice of God's.

I am going to include something that really stuck with me from the book, it is what Miriam told  someone dealing with quilt, something I believe we all need to know and believe, rather Amish or not. So I guess I can say this novel has life changing truth if we only believe, "He told me that he was only accountable to God. He wasn't accountable to the church or anyone else. Not his family. Not Me.  Not the bishop. If we do something wrong, if we have dishonored our relationship with God, we answer to Him. He is the only one who can really cleanse us from our sin. He's the only one who can wash away the guilt, bitterness...the shame." The church has a set of standards and rule that aren't bad, and our actions can hurt those we love and our church. But that guilt cannot consume us or we will never be whole. We can confess to the church, the bishop, our parents,but it would mean nothing without first confessing and pleading with Christ. "

This book is the first in the "Promise Of Sunrise" series. I am eagerly awaiting "Promise To Cherish" it will be available in Oct 2014. We will get to hear more about Eli, a character in " Promise to Return"

I was given a copy of this book by the author for my honest opinion.

Author Bio:
Elizabeth Byler Younts is an Air Force officer's wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters, currently living in central Pennsylvania. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch. Elizabeth is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
Elizabeth's first book SEASONS: A REAL STORY OF AN AMISH GIRL, her Amish grandmother's memoir, was an #1 Amazon Bestseller and winner of a BRAG Medallion. PROMISE TO RETURN, her first novel in the Promise of Sunrise series through Howard Books (Simon & Schuster), is a finalist for a 2014 RITA Award. Through her love for storytelling and her Amish heritage, Elizabeth shares with readers worldwide authentic stories filled with little known Amish history, faith, and romance.
Go to www.elizabethbyleryounts.com to learn more.

Monday, July 21, 2014

" The Midwife" by Jolina Petersheim

" The Midwife" by Jolina Petersheim gets five stars from me! It was a book that I wanted to read since I read her other book "The Outcast" and I wasn't disappointment!

BOOK THEME: The story about a mother who risks everything to save a child not genetically hers . . .

The Past -- Graduate student Beth Winslow was sure she was ready to navigate the challenges of becoming a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities with the baby, Beth is unprepared for the parents' decision to end the pregnancy -- and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers deep in a Tennessee Mennonite community.

The Present -- As head midwife of Hopen Haus, Rhoda Mummau delivers babies with a confident though stoic ease. Except in rare moments, not even those who work alongside her would guess that each newborn cry, each starry-eyed glance from mother to child, nearly renders a fault through Rhoda's heart, reminding her of a past she has carefully concealed.

Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia's due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.

Jolina Petersheim Biography

Jolina Petersheim is the bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. She holds degrees in English and communication arts from the University of the Cumberlands, and her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications. Her blog is syndicated with The Tennessean's "On Nashville" blog roll, and she also blogs weekly with nine other bestselling authors at Southern Belle View. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their young daughter. Follow Jolina and her blog at jolinapetersheim.com.
Excerpt from Jolina's "About" page:
I was born on a hot August day in the heart of Amish country. While my family moved to Tennessee when I was only three years old, my childhood was filled with stories of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors hiding TVs from bishops and concealing permed hair beneath kapps. But this unique heritage did not interest me. Instead, I pouted as my mother divided my waist-length hair into plaits and then forced me to change from purple overalls into a jean skirt and sneakers in preparation to visit our Plain friends--knowing, even at the tender age of six, that this combination was a fashion faux pas. Playing Hide 'n' Seek or Kick the Can with my Old Order Mennonite peers, however, I soon became grateful for that skirt, which helped me transition from Southern Englischer to intimate friend.
Years passed. I knew my Mennonite playmates had traded braided pigtails for kapped buns, yet on a visit to the community, I rebelled against my mother's instructions and arrived with unbound hair. During supper, which was eaten beneath a popping kerosene bulb, the hostess came and stood behind my portion of the bench. She slid out my blue satin ribbon and plaited my hair as I stared into my bowl of grummbeer supp accented with homemade brot.
The winter of my seventeenth year, I returned to the community to visit my once-raucous playmate whose ill health had transformed her into a soft-spoken friend. The whites of her deep brown eyes had yellowed from liver complications. Her family and my own gathered around her bed, which was heaped with spinning-star quilts, and sang hymns whose Pennsylvania Dutch words I did not know, but whose meaning struck my heart with such clarity, tears slid down my cheeks.
One week later, I stood beside her grave, wearing a thick black headband to hide my newly pierced ears with the fake diamond studs that stabbed the tender skin of my neck and gave me a migraine further magnified by jaw-clenching grief. I remember how the somber community huddled around her family as if their physical presence could shield them, not only from the slashing wind and sleet, but from the reality that their dochder and schweschder's body was about to be placed into the cold, hard ground.
I left for college that summer, almost eighteen years to the day I had been born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I was the first person in my immediate family to attempt a higher education. As I unpacked my flared Lucky jeans and beaded sweaters into wobbling dorm drawers, I thought I was leaving my Mennonite heritage along with a certain broad-shouldered, hazel-eyed man whose father had attended my father's Mennonite high school.
Three years, one death, and two lifetimes' worth of tribulations later, I realized that I had not lost the precious attributes surrounding my Plain heritage, so much as I had needed to go away in order to find myself.

My Review: 
This books travels from the past to the present and I believe that is what makes the book so interesting! I was really hooked from the first sentence of the prologue to the last word of this book!

The details are so well written that you feel you are actually talking to Beth and Rhoda and the other characters. I really felt their heartache and wanted to reach inside the book and give them a hug! 

The ending was a surprise, but that is what make the book such a great novel! 

I recommend this book to anyone, not just readers of Amish literature, who loves to read books that grips you and keeps you reading and likes to meet characters who stays with you even after you have finished another book!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Halfa Moon" by Joan Bannan

Joan Bannan/ Halfa Moon
ISBN: 978-1-4582-1185-9 | List Price: $17.99 | Format: Softcover | Page Count: 243

ISBN: 978-1-4582-1184-2| List Price: $35.99 | Format: Hardcover | Page Count: 243

ISBN: 978-1-4582-1183-5 | List Price: $3.99 | Format: eBook 

| Page Count: 243

Here is a link to a video for Halfa Moon

Halfa Moon is a story about a young girl’s journey from innocence to experience.

If affluence, brains, and beauty were all that mattered, Meg Randallman had it made. But Meg’s life began with two tragedies that haunt her gifted life with guilt and confusion.

After graduating from Stanford with honors, Meg seems destined to take a job in cyber security at “the Lab,” where she finds friendship and romance. She also finds herself in the cross-hairs of corporate espionage when she fills a position formerly held by a woman who was murdered.

My Review:Halfa  Moon is a five star book. 

This book covers everything I think: bullying, child abuse, kidnapping, murder,attempted murder,adultery,drug use and cancer but these things are not in great details and even has a police officer talking about stupid crooks that " tried to pull an ATM machine out of a cement sidewalk with a truck and it pulled the truck's bumper off instead, so they drove away leaving the license plate chained to the ATM.  This story is also about real love. I even learned about sugar and salt when making bread!
This novel is fiction but reads like it is real.This book also brought home once again,don't hold bitterness and grudges, for you never know when the chance to say "I'm sorry" or "I love you" is going to be taken away from you and you will have to live with regret and sorrow that you never took the chance to make things right when you had the chance!

This story is a great read and really hard to put down because you just have to see if there is a happy ending and if the murder is solved!  The twists and turns in this novel were so exciting and the ending is really super!

The details in this book are so well written that you can picture the events happening in front of you.  There were  moments in this story that had me crying for Meg! The ending was a real surprise to me but one that left me really feeling that all things good and bad happen for a reason if we just believe!

I recommend this book to anyone that likes mysteries and a little clean romance!

Disclosure: 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

Author BIO:
Joan Bannan is a native Californian, who still lives in Northern California. She was born Joan Freiburghouse in Modesto. Then when she turned eighteen, she became Joan Mangini for the next twenty-four years. When she wrote her first book she changed her last name to Bannan -- her grandmother's maiden name. She thought her mother's maiden name was too boring and that Freiburghouse would not fit on book covers.

Joan is a Christian. Her faith influences her writing, but she does not consider herself an evangelist nor does she feel called to explain her faith to her readers. However, her faith greatly influences her characters and the theme of each novel. She says, "I can't help it. I believe the world that is not seen is the real world. I allow my characters to be aided by divine intervention that is considered coincidence in the visible world. Christian friends call this type of coincidence, "a God thing.'"

There are two frequently asked questions that Joan is asked: "Are your novels based on true stories?" and "How do you write?"

Her stories are based on true stories and true characters, but they are greatly embellished by her imagination. Many of her characters are inspired by combining the personalities of more than one person.

Joan's novel writing is "whenever I have a moment," and "primarily a Pantser," though she has been whipped into shape by instructors to create basic novel structure before she ventures too far into each story. A Panster is a title used by writing instructors to describe an author who writes, "by the seat of her pants," rather than by a detailed outline. Joan finds she needs to enter a scene before she can imagine what needs to be there, what her characters will say to each other, and discover who else will show up.

Connect with Joan:
You can purchase your copy of Halfa Moon at:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Fried Chicken and Gravy" by Sherri Schoenborn Murray

"Fried Chicken and Gravy" by Sherri Schoenborn Murray is an easy five star novel to read! The characters are so "real" and that's what makes this a great read!

Book Description:
Missy Stuart is humiliated when she burns dinner for the super cute, yet outspoken new auto parts sales rep. But, when he suggests to her father that she should take cooking lessons from the old ladies down at his church, she wants to crawl under a car and die. 

Missy is perfectly happy working in their auto repair shop and has no intention of spending more time in the kitchen. But if filling the hole in her father’s heart is as easy as filling his stomach with fried chicken and gravy, it might be worth the effort. When she dutifully accompanies her father to church, she finds that she has more to learn than a bunch of recipes.

My Review:  This first book by Sheri Schoenborn is a must read for anyone thats like a funny clean Christian romance! This book shows the funny side of how a father plays matchmaker and how God can use a broken down car to bring people together and use the owner of that car to bring others to the saving grace of Jesus. 
There are moments I really laughed out loud reading this story and I want to tell you the ending was great! Once I started this book I didn't want to stop reading but real life called so I had to. If you are a fast reader it probably could be read in one afternoon. I really think my reader friends would like this one,but it isn't Amish, a lot of my friends only like Amish, but for the rest of you I recommend this story! 

I was given an ebook copy for an honest review!

Author bio: Sherri Schoenborn Murray has a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Idaho. She lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband, Dave, their three teenagers, and eight chickens. She was raised in a hunting-fishing family, and was dusting tackle boxes as early as age three in her father's sports store. She was blessed to have three grandmothers--all who shared their love for Christ with her.
Visit her website at www.christianromances.com

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"The Miting" by Dee Yoder

Book Description: Leah is seventeen and Amish. Like many her age, she has lots of questions, but the temporary flight of freedom known as rumspringen is not the answer for her. She does not desire Englisher fashion, all-night parties, movies, or lots of boyfriends. Leah is seeking to understand her relationship with God, to deepen and broaden her faith by joining a Bible study hosted by an ex-Amish couple. She wants to know why Amish life is the only lifestyle her family accepts, why the church has so many rules, and . . . most disturbing, how godly men can allow her best friend to be abused in her own home. In the pressure-cooker environment of church and family, Leah is not allowed to ask these questions. When finally she reaches the breaking point, she walks away from the Old Order Amish life that is all she has known. Though adapting amiably to the Englisher world, Leah is tormented with homesickness. Returning to the community, however, entails a journey of pain and sorrow Leah could never have imagined. The miting—shunning—that will now be Leah’s unendurable oppression every day is beyond her most devoted attempts to believe or understand. All the bishop and her family ask is that she abandon her practice of reading the Bible. Is that a price she is willing to pay?

My Review: 
"The Miting" by Dee Yoder is most assuredly five stars, I would give it ten stars if I could!

"The miting" is not like a lot of others that I've read in the fact that it doesn't it always paint a pretty picture, it paints a human one. Filled with ups and downs, trials and errors. It's a very good story, painting a truthful picture. It shows the humanness in us all and shows that although our cultures may be so diverse, the reality is that we are all more alike than we realize. This book has made me realize that the Amish that we Englishers adore aren't always the real picture.

While reading this book, there were moments I was yelling at the characters in the story, " are you for real and how can you do that to your daughter and church member and friend?
This book made me cry and then it made me want to hug Leah and another character, Martha, and then once again I wanted to yell at the characters.

"The Miting" kept me turning it's pages because I had to know how things worked out for Martha and the ending has me anxiously waiting for the next book! I was surprised at the way it ended for both Martha and Leah.

I encourage you to read " The Miting" and see the all too often "real" picture of the Amish. But be prepared to be shocked!

Author's Info:

Dee Yoder's fiction is based on the lives of her former-Amish friends. She is actively involved in the Mission to Amish People ministry as a mentor, volunteer, and author. In addition to writing over eighty short stories, her coming-of-age novel, The Powerful Odor of Mendacity, won the FaithWriters Page Turner contest in 2011. Dee lives in central Ohio.