Friday, February 28, 2014

A Quick Mystery -- Scraps of Evidence

Scraps of Evidence, Barbara Cameron's contribution to the Quilts of Love series, is a light mystery, quick and easy to read.  

Tess has recently moved into a new position as a detective in the St. Augustine Police Department and is beginning her job with a new partner, Logan, a recent import from Chicago.  Both Tess and Logan are dealing with the impact of having lost someone close to them, and those losses affect their work, their faith, and their personal relationships. Tess's interest in quilts -- in particular, a quilt her Aunt Kathy made years before -- plays an important role in solving the mystery of the serial killer involved in the first big case Tess and Logan work on together.

I was drawn in to the mystery of this story right away.  Tess and Logan, as well as some of the other characters, seemed like people I would enjoy knowing and caring about.  And the amount of romance mixed in with the drama made for an enjoyable story throughout most of the book.  Toward the end, though, the story seemed rushed and a little disjointed.  There are questions that are not quite answered as the story reaches its end.

Even with some reservation explained above, I found this book enjoyable and would recommend it for a light, quick read.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

See what other readers have to say about Scraps of Evidence here.

***One issue I had with the book is not related to the author's story at all.  Neither the back cover copy nor the summary on the publisher's website was well-fit to the story.  A major character's name was incorrect, and the story line description was not entirely accurate in either case.  I hope that will be corrected on the website and on the book cover before there is another printing.***
 About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.
About the Author: Barbara Cameron is the CBD, CBA, and  ECPA bestselling author of 24 books including the new Stitches in Times series for Abingdon Press. Barbara has written fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers. She sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and is the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara's first two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of  RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW). 

Learn more about Barbara at:

Barbara Cameron's Scraps of Evidence is the newest book in the Quilts of Love line, and Barbara is celebrating with an "intriguing" Kindle HDX giveaway!
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 8th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog on March 10th.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Good Teen Amish Story -- My Amish Boyfriend

My Amish Boyfriend by Melody Carlson is a charming Amish story, enjoyable by any age reader but particularly geared toward a teen audience.

Shannon, the main character, seems like a typical teenager who gets thrown into situations that are anything but typical.  Watching her struggle and grow through a summer unlike anything she would ever have imagined provides an interesting story.  The book is written in a way that makes Shannon and many of the other characters come alive and draws you into their stories.

Fans of Amish fiction, as well as readers with no previous interest in the genre, should enjoy following this roller-coaster ride of a sixteen-year-old English girl in "Amishland."

Thanks to Revell Publishers for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

Shannon's summer just got a whole lot more . . . Amish?
Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer--getting her driver's license, a job, and more--and she can't wait to dive in. But her ill mother has plans of her own: to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can help her.

Turns out a "simple" life is actually a lot of hard work. But when a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, Shannon's ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. Will these plans come crashing down around her too? Or can she really make the jump into a whole new way of life?

Teen favorite Melody Carlson brings fans another surprising story of worlds--and families--colliding.

 About the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A New Series -- A Road Unknown

A Road Unknown is the first book in Barbara Cameron's Amish Road Series.  It is a fairly quick read with an interesting premise of a young Amish woman who runs away from home in search of a better life for herself.

Although the basic storyline is inviting, and some of the elements of the story add a fresh touch, different from much of the Amish fiction I've read, this book fell a little flat for me.  The story seemed a little choppy, and the characters did not really come alive.  It was fun to run into some "old friends" -- Jenny and Matthew -- from an earlier series written by Barbara. Fans of Amish fiction will surely find enjoyment in this story, even though I didn't consider it to be Barbara's best.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of A Road Unknown in exchange for my honest review.

See what other readers think of the book here.

About the book: Book 1 in the new Amish Roads series
Elizabeth is at a crossroad. She's been given the chance to experience life outside of her community, away from the responsibility to care for her eight younger siblings, but Elizabeth Bontrager can't decide which road to take. Goshen has its charms and pressures, but Paradise, Pennsylvania, sounds . . . well, like paradise. And it's also home to her Englisch friend, Paula. Decision made. Elizabeth is Paradise bound.
But will the small town live up to its name? When Elizabeth meets Paula's friend, Bruce, she quickly learns he wants more than a friendship. And the same might be true of Saul Miller, her new boss at the country story that sells Amish products to the Englisch community. As the two compete for her attention, Elizabeth is surprised to realize she misses her family and becomes even more uncertain about where she belongs. She has a choice to make: return home or embrace this new life and possibly a new love?

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Barbara Cameron is a best-selling author who has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the author of more than 38 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Barbara is a former newspaper reporter. Some of her non-fiction titles include the Everything Weddings on a Budget Book and Her Restless Heart: A Woman's Longing for Love and Acceptance. Cameron currently resides in Edgewater, Florida.

Learn more about Barbara at:

Barbara Cameron is celebrating the release of A Road Unknown with a $200 Visa cash card giveaway and a fun "Amish Roads" Facebook party.
One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card
  • A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 27th. Winner will be announced at Barbara's "Amish Roads" Facebook Party on February 27th. Connect with Barbara for an evening of book chat, Amish trivia, laughter, prizes, and more!

So grab your copy of A Road Unknown and join Barbara and friends on the evening of February 27th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Return to Sugarcreek -- Hopeful

In Hopeful, Shelley Shepard Gray has started another enjoyable Amish series set in Sugarcreek, Ohio.  Some of the characters are familiar from her earlier Sugarcreek series, while the main characters are first introduced in this story.
Fans of light Amish fiction should enjoy this charming story.  Miriam is a delightful character to get to know, and you can't help but care about her feelings that range from discouragement to hope.  She strives to accept whatever situation she finds herself in and be a good friend, even in the middle of her own disappointments.  Junior, Mary Kate, little Kaylene, and others each add their own delightful voice to the story.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
See what other readers think about Hopeful here.

About the book: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One

In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam? 
Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own.
Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.
If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

Purchase a copy:

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

Learn more about Shelley at:

Welcome to the blog tour for Hopeful, the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray's new series, Return to Sugarcreek. Critics have already given their thumbs up for Hopeful: “Lovable characters and a good story, full of romance and suspense . . . a must read." (Library Journal)

Enter to win one of FIVE copies of the book. 

Five winners will receive:
  • Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 23rd. All winners will be announced February 24th at Shelley's blog.

Enter today and be sure to visit Shelley's blog on the 24th to see if YOU won one of the books!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Exciting Debut Novel -- Shadows of the Past

Wow! A debut novel for Patricia Bradley, and it's a great one.  Shadows of the Past starts with mystery on the first page and ends with edge-of-your seat suspense.  

The pace of the story varies from time to time, but it is always at a level that kept me turning the page to see what the next twist in the story might be.  There are plenty of suspicious characters, and figuring out exactly how they fit together kept me guessing to the very end.  Elements of romance and faith round out a very well-written story.

I highly recommend Shadows of the Past (book one in the Logan Point series) to fans of Christian romantic suspense.  I look forward to more from Patricia Bradley, starting with A Promise to Protect coming this fall.

Thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the book:

While she's stalking the truth . . . someone is stalking her.

Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve--the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she works to uncover the truth, someone else will do almost anything to keep her from it.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife--a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. Now that his estranged brother is the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

Join the chase as Taylor and Nick search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present--and moving into a future they never imagined.

About the author:

Patricia Bradley's manuscript for Shadows of the Past was a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award, winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award (1st place, Inspirational), and winner of a 2012 Touched by Love award (1st place, Contemporary). She is a published short story writer and is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc. When she's not writing or speaking, she can be found making beautiful clay pots and jewelry. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at

More from the Inn at Eagle Hill -- The Calling

The Calling is another delightful Amish story from the pen of Suzanne Woods Fisher.  I can always count on Suzanne to deliver a fun story, complete with some quirky characters, a little romance, and a few unexpected twists and turns.

The Inn at Eagle Hill got off to a captivating start in The Letters (you can check out my review here) with a new cast of characters, as well as some familiar "faces" from a previous series.  Those characters, while almost all Plain folks,  definitely do not find life uncomplicated.  Their simple lifestyle offers no guarantee of simple solutions to their day-to-day struggles.  

Bethany Schrock, the main character of this book, has a lot of questions about her life, questions that are easily identified with as they could just as well be found in an English setting.  How she deals with those uncertainties drives the story, along with lots of things going on with friends and family around her.  Some of the most important lessons Bethany learns have to do with looking deep within herself and other people to try to understand the hurt that is hidden behind actions.  In the midst of the difficulties, long-time fans of Suzanne's books just might be surprised to see the responsible young Amish man Jimmy Fisher is turning out to be.

As a good installment in an ongoing series, The Calling brings resolution to some of the issues in the story.  However, there are plenty of loose ends left to make me anxious to read The Revealing, due out later this year.  I highly recommend this series to fans of great Amish fiction.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

See what other readers have to say about The Calling here. 

About the book

Book Two in the Inn at Eagle Hill series.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher delivers her trademark twists, turns, and tender romance in this delightful and exciting visit to the deceptively quiet community of Stoney Ridge.

Twenty-year-old Bethany Schrock is restless. Her love life has derailed, her faith hangs by a thread, and she is spending the incredibly hot summer days wading through a lifetime's accumulation of junk at the home of five ancient Amish sisters. About the only thing that holds her interest is the spirited and dangerously handsome Jimmy Fisher---and he seems bent on irritating her to no end.

When the sly old sisters and a guest at the Inn get Bethany involved in running the local soup kitchen and starting a community garden, she suddenly finds herself wondering, Shootfire! How did that happen? Despite her newfound purposefulness, a gnawing emptiness about a childhood mystery continues to plague her. Encouraged by Jimmy Fisher, she will seek out the answers she craves---and uncover a shocking secret that will break her heart, heal it, and point her to love.

Purchase a copy:

Read an excerpt:

 Meet the author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your mobile device! Download the Free App!

Learn more about Suzanne at:


Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher is celebrating her newest book, The Calling, by giving away TWO iPads, TWO Kindles, and TWO Nooks!
Two grand prize winners will receive:
  • An iPad
  • The Letters and The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Four second place winners will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX or a Nook HD—winner's choice!
  • The Letters and The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 8th. All winners will be announced February 10th at Suzanne's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne's blog on the 10th to see if you won one of the great prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another great story by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- Echoes of Mercy

One thing that I've come to realize over the past few years is this -- you just can't go wrong with a Kim Vogel Sawyer book!  Echoes of Mercy, a compelling story filled with interesting characters, is one more example of that truth.

Carrie, Ollie, Kesia, Noble, Annamarie, and the Holcomb children are all people I came to care about as I read, and they each added their own unique flavor to the story.  The faith exhibited by the characters -- some strong and some just in infant stages, the passion for people and for causes, and even the deceit and evil plotting of Gordon Hightower all fit together into a tale that sometimes made me smile and at other times brought tears to my eyes.  As usual, Kim brings her story to life and tugs at her readers' hearts.

Echoes of Mercy is a great mix of history, relationship, romance, and faith.  Through several of the characters, Kim shares insightful reminders of God's grace and provision.  One of my favorite lines in the book was near the end of the story when Noble offered Caroline an answer to her question about how to stop worrying and trust God:  "Very simply, Caroline, you open your fists and you give the worry over to the One who is capable of carrying it."

Thanks to Kim Vogel Sawyer for providing me an advanced reading copy of Echoes of Mercy.

About the Book

Sometimes a secret must be kept for the truth to be revealed. 

When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education.

Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?

About the Author 

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are in print and have garnered awards including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in Kansas, where she and her retired military husband, Don, run a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their four feline companions. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and nine grandchildren.

An Intimate Story of God's Faithfulness -- A Promise Kept

The only books I had previously read by Robin Lee Hatcher were some of her historical fiction.  But since I really enjoyed her writing in that genre, I decided to take a chance on A Promise Kept, a more contemporary story.  When I found out a little of the "story behind the story," I was even more intrigued and anxious to read it.

A Promise Kept is a very well-written, intimate story of God's faithfulness.  Although the story is fictional, it is based on a challenging time in Robin's own life -- what appeared to be the end of a marriage that she truly expected God to save.  As in Robin's own situation, the main character of her story finds herself doubting whether she correctly heard God's promise about her marriage.

As she begins digging into her aunt's story from the past, Allison learns important lessons about the present that help her find her way back to seeing God's way of keeping His promises. Robin does an excellent job of interweaving Allison's contemporary story with her Aunt Emma's surprising tale revealed through her journals.  And she learns that God is always faithful to answer prayer, sometimes in unexpected ways and in His own timing.

To learn more about Robin and the experiences that prompted her to write A Promise Kept, check out this interview.

See what other readers have to say about A Promise Kept here.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it.

But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved.

What had become of His promise?

Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.

The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she’d misunderstood.
Now living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman a lot like herself.

As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord? For a woman accustomed to being someone else’s savior, that will be even harder than it sounds.

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher's emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers---in His own time and His own ways.

About the Author

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. Winner of the Christy, the RITA, the Carol, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and many other awards, Robin is also a recipient of the prestigious RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of 70 novels and novellas with over five million copies in print.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. Her main hobby (when time allows) is knitting, and she has a special love for making prayer shawls. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet, the high-maintenance Papillon, and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat).

Check out Robin on Facebook and at her website.

  Don't miss Robin Lee Hatcher's stunning new novel, A Promise KeptRobin is celebrating with a fun giveaway and an encouraging Facebook Author Chat Party.
 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 6th. Winner will be announced at the "A Promise Kept" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 6th. Connect with Robin and friends for an evening of encouraging book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Robin's next book!

So grab your copy of A Promise Kept and join Robin on the evening of February 6th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 2/6!