Sunday, June 22, 2014

More mystery on the beach -- Seagrass Pier

I've not read many books by Colleen Coble  -- yet -- but it hasn't taken many for me to become a fan.  Just like the previous two books in her Hope Beach series, Seagrass Pier has just the right mix of romance and suspense.
Colleen has put together an interesting cast of characters -- several I would love to know in real life, and a few I would never want to run into.  The suspense keeps the plot moving at a very intriguing pace and keeps you guessing about who the bad guys really are.  The romance is very strong in the story and portrayed in ways I expect and appreciate in Christian fiction.  
Seagrass Pier works very well as a stand-alone novel, but I would definitely recommend the entire series to anyone who enjoys a great romantic suspense story.  If you've read the other books, you will recognize some of the characters in this story.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read what others think of Seagrass Pier here.
About the book

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger's memories . . . before they cost her everything. 
Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.
But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks---and vivid dreams of being strangled---she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor's murder.
Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked---by a man she's only met in her nightmares.
The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin's daughter.
Of course, he doesn't know about that. Yet.
Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there's no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her---before she remembers too much. 
Purchase a copy:

About the author:
Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Colleen can be found at: website, Twitter, Facebook

Sunday, June 15, 2014

An inspiring true story (with a GIVEAWAY) -- Plain Faith

Plain Faith is an inspiring, thought-provoking look at one couple's journey to find assurance in the love of Jesus.  The tragedy they suffered in losing two young daughters led them to search out, and eventually find, the truth of God's grace.

The tone of this book is very relaxed.  I felt as though I was sitting at the kitchen table, listening to Ora Jay and Irene Eash share their life story (with the help of best-selling author Tricia Goyer).

They begin by jumping right into an account of the accident and move from there to the quest that resulted from that horrible loss.  Even as they speak of finding error in the things they had been taught in their Amish background and share the rejection they experienced from friends and family, they do so with grace and love.  It seems their feelings toward the people they have had to separate from are characterized not by bitterness but by a strong desire for their loved ones' to come to a genuine understanding of God's love.

I highly recommend Plain Faith to readers who would enjoy an insider look at Amish life or an uplifting account of God's direction in the lives of ordinary people.

Thanks to BookLook blogging program and author Tricia Goyer for providing copies of this book in exchange for my honest review.


I have an extra copy of Plain Faith that I would love to share with someone.  If you would like a chance to win this book, leave a comment below.  Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.  Comment by midnight Tuesday, June 17, and I will randomly select a name on Wednesday, June 18.

About the Book:

This is the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters.

After the accident, the couple turned to their Amish community for comfort, but they remained haunted by the thought that they might not see their girls again in heaven. Would their deeds be good enough? Eventually Ora-Jay and Irene learned that grace---not works---was enough to ensure their place in eternity. But with that knowledge came the realization that they could no longer live in an Amish community that didn’t share this precious belief. Could they sever their connection to the Amish family they loved? This is the story of their journey to the hope that is heaven, a hope stronger than the loss of children, family, and a way of life.

Fans of Amish fiction will appreciate such a real-life look into the Amish community, co-written by bestselling author Tricia Goyer, and readers of all kinds will resonate with this tale of courage, resilience, and the redemption found in the grace of Jesus.

About the Authors:

Ora-Jay and Irene Eash
Ora-Jay and Irene Eash live in Northwest Montana where they have a small horse farm, offering sleigh and wagon rides. Five of their nine children are married, and they have four grandchildren. You can find out more at

Tricia Goyer
USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of more than 40 books, including the novelization for Moms’ Night Out. She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Tricia coordinates a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. They have six children.

Another fun Amish love story (with a GIVEAWAY) -- Huckleberry Summer

UPDATE:  Jennifer has offered to give a copy of Huckleberry Summer to one of my readers friends.  Just comment below and include your email address to be in the drawing.

If you want to read an Amish story that is just Plain fun -- Huckleberry Summer is a great choice!  Jennifer Beckstrand has given us another delightful read in her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series.

Everyone needs a Felty and Annie "Banannie" in their life -- or maybe not, for those who aren't interested in being the "victims" of matchmaking by their grandparents.  At any rate, they head a fantastic cast of characters that make this book a sheer joy to read.

Although the premise is the same as the first book in this series -- Mammi Annie is driven to see that one of her grandchildren is properly matched up with the right spouse, no matter what -- the details of the story are fresh.  A shy, never-do-wrong Amish girl; an adventurous, not-always-does-right Amish boy; and a big, friendly, messy dog team up for a fun love story that will bring plenty of smiles and several concerned scowls as well. 

Thanks to Jennifer for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I can't wait to see what matchmaking Annie has in mind next in Huckleberry Christmas coming later this year.

About the book:

With one of their grandchildren happily married, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking success. Because there's nothing more rewarding than sparking unexpected love--and putting Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, on the map for romance. . .

Cautious to a fault, Lily Eicher strives to live up to her dat's high standards. She's certainly not the kind of proper Amish girl who would make time for someone as impetuous as the Helmuths' grandson, Aden--even if his lively spirit and caring ways are showing her just how wonderful following her heart can be. . .

Recklessly doing the right thing got Aden into big trouble. A fresh start at his grandparents' is just what he needs. And shy, pretty Lily is turning his world upside down and making him want to prove he can do good within the rules. But now both must find enough faith and understanding to risk pursuing their dreams--together. . .

About the Author:

About Jennifer, from Jennifer . . .

I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish way of life and now write Inspirational Amish Romance. I am drawn to the strong faith of the Plain people and admire the importance they put on enduring family ties. I have visited and studied Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where I met with a bishop and a minister as well as several Amish mamms, dats, and children. It has always impressed me at what salt-of-the-earth people they are. My interactions with these kind people have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have a dear Amish friend with whom I correspond in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She helps me keep my facts straight and gives me inspiration for my stories.

My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

Learn more at her website.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A satisfying conclusion -- Seasons of Tomorrow

So, Rhoda finally finds true love with . . .

No, there won't be any spoilers here for anyone who hasn't figured this out yet.  But I would definitely recommend that you not even begin Seasons of Tomorrow until you have read the first three books in Cindy Woodsmall's Amish Vines and Orchards series.

This book brings a satisfying conclusion to so many stories that have been a part of the series.  As in the previous books, Rhoda and other members of the fledgling Amish community in Maine continue to face struggles, some that will make or break their attempts at establishing a viable settlement.  There are life and death situations and many instances that require difficult decisions in regard to following the rules of their strict way of life. 

Although different from many Amish stories I've read, this was all in all a good series and should be enjoyed by fans of good Amish fiction.

Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the book:

As love restores Rhoda, a sudden tragedy is the test of faith she never saw coming. 

More settled in her heart than ever before, Rhoda Byler feels a newfound confidence living in the Old Order Amish settlement she helped establish in Orchard Bend, Maine. Time has helped to heal the wounds of Rhoda’s recent severed relationship, and she finds that even her unusual gift of profound intuition is less of a burden as she continues to seek God’s wisdom for her future. She is happy to be working alongside the King family and the love of her life as they tend and nurture the settlement’s orchard.

Yet when Leah King’s involvement with Englischer Landon Olson becomes known outside of the Maine community, her disregard of the Ordnung could threaten all the Orchard Bend Amish are building. In the midst of addressing the discord, a shocking tragedy challenges the young settlement like never before, threatening to uproot Rhoda’s peace and the future of everything she holds dear.

When several members of Orchard Bend Farms are displaced, the estranged King brother is called upon to return. Can those who founded the new Amish community in Maine unite Or will the lingering pain of past hurts and present struggles result in the end of their dreams?

About the author:

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family. - See more at:

A beautiful, emotional story -- All My Belongings

All My Belongings is a beautiful story packed full of emotions -- from one end of the spectrum to the other.  There were moments that made me cry and others that brought a smile to my face.  And I'm not sure when I've read anything that tackled so many tough topics, but with such sensitivity and grace.
It took just a little while into the story for me to really connect with Jayne/Becca, but from then on I was definitely hooked. The story was so well written that it was very easy to feel with Becca as she grew in her relationship with Isaac, and more importantly in her relationship with God.  There were a few twists that kept the story very engaging, and the last twist -- well, that one I really didn't see coming, but I'm so glad it came.

This is the first book I've read by Cynthia Ruchti, but if it is typical of her storytelling, I certainly hope it is not my last.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
See what other readers think about All My Belongings here.
About the book: 
 A new life and a new identity can't protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away.
After spending years running from the shame her father put on her family, Jayne is determined not to let him steal her future in the same way he stole her childhood. Changing her name to Becca Morrow, she moves to California and settles into a new life and new job caring for ailing mother of handsome young businessman, Isaac Hughes.
But just as she's wondering if she and Isaac are headed for a relationship, Becca's patient passes away under unusual circumstances. Suddenly, her past catches up with her and the unnerving details of her heritage threaten to destroy all sense of home and all hope for love.
Even if she could clear her name, a phone call wraps a suffocating shroud around her heart. Her estranged father needs her help. But can Becca open her new life to the man who ruined her past?

Purchase a copy:

About the author: 
Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with "Heartbeat of the Home" radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.

Cynthia can be found at: website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Friday, June 6, 2014

Intense Military Action with Romance -- Raptor 6

This book was definitely outside the norm of the kinds of stories I usually read, but I'm really glad I decided to give it a try.

From the first page to the very last page of Raptor 6, Ronie Kendig keeps the action going at a very intense level.  The details are not all pretty or pleasant, but they are extremely engaging and intriguing.  I was appreciative of the list of acronyms at the beginning of the book and referred to them frequently to better understand the workings of the special forces and their operations.

I would think that a wide variety of readers could enjoy this story.  From exciting military action, to an enjoyable level of romance, all infused with a healthy dose of faith, there is something for almost everyone.  The story was not a quick, easy read but was definitely worth sticking with.  Be forewarned that not all the loose ends get tied up at the conclusion of the story, so you will likely be left with a need to continue reading as Ronie adds to the Quiet Professionals series.

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

See what other readers think of Raptor 6 here.

About the book

His mission. His team. Captain Dean Watters keeps these parts of his life in laser-like focus. So when hackers threaten both his mission and his team, Dean's Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Ten military super-secure computers are missing-which if opened, would give America's enemies a blueprint of US military intelligence. Failing to stop the hackers isn't an option.

Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. She's also a target. Her expertise in quantum cryptology makes her an unwitting pawn in the hackers' deadly game. They're coming for her, and Dean and his team must stop them.

Before the team can get to Zahrah, she disappears. Now Dean must race to rescue her and stop the hackers from unleashing terror on millions across the globe. But to do so, Dean will be forced to crack open the steel box around his heart-a move that might come at the highest cost.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: 
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children and a Maltese Menace in northern Virginia. Author and speaker, Ronie loves engaging readers through her Rapid-Fire Fiction. 

Ronie can be found at and on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Amish story with a difference -- A Season of Change

Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres of books, and I've read lots of them . . . but never one quite like A Season of Change.  And I found this first book I've read by Lynette Sowell to be a very enjoyable one.

The story is set in the village of Pinecraft in Sarasota, Florida . . . a real-life place quite unlike any other Amish community.  It is a winter vacation spot for large numbers of Amish and Mennonite people and a year-round home for some, where many of the rules and customs are considerably more relaxed than those in more traditional Amish locales.  When you add in the circus life of one of the main characters, you can imagine this story not fitting your typical Amish setting.

As is so often the case in well-written fiction, the characters make this story come alive.  Jacob and Natalie, Jacob's young children and his grandmother, Imogene, Henry, and others are all people I would love to visit with in real life.  And I couldn't help cheering them on, hoping there would be a way for all to find a "happily every after" --  right up until the story ended in a way I didn't quite expect.

Fans of Amish fiction should find this a delightful story.  I look forward to seeing what the author has to offer in the continuation of this series . . . which is just increasing my desire to visit Pinecraft in person!

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

See what other readers have to say about A Season of Change here.

About the book

An Amish widower finds love in unexpected places.

Amish widower Jacob Miller believes it was a mistake to visit the Amish village of Pinecraft for winter vacation, especially after his daughter is struck by a car. Stranded in Sarasota until his daughter recovers, Jacob grows increasingly wary of events that unfold in his unfamiliar surroundings---including the strange curiosity of Englischer Natalie Bennett.

Natalie never thought her circus career as an aerial silks artist would end with a blown-out knee at the age of 25. She also never knew her late mother had a secret---that she was once Amish.

When Natalie meets the Millers at the Sarasota hospital, she is attracted to their warm hospitality and simple ways---and soon wonders if they can help her find her mother's family. As Jacob and Natalie fall in love, their worlds collide. Will their differences tear them apart? Or will their love be strong enough to blend their clashing cultures?

Purchase a copy:

About the author
Lynette Sowell is the Carol Award-winning and ECPA best-selling author of more than 15 titles, including A Season of Change and Tempest's Course. When Lynette is not writing, she works as a medical editor and part-time newspaper reporter. She makes her home in Copperas Cove on the doorstep of the Texas hill country. 

Lynette can be found at: website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

In A Season of Change, book one of Lynette Sowell's new series, Seasons of Pinecraft, readers will discover a different side of the Amish community. A Season of Change follows Natalie and Amish widower Jacob Miller as they each discover the mysterious ways God works. Inspired by the image of a Plain woman sitting on a three-wheeled bicycle by the Pinecraft (an Amish community in Florida) post office, Sowell’s latest is a new take on the popular trend in fiction.

Lynette is celebrating with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on June 12th.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 12th. Winner will be announced at the A Season of Change Facebook author chat party on June 12th. Connect with Lynette for an evening of fun book chat, Amish-themed trivia, and prizes. Lynette will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the Seasons of Pinecraft series!

So grab your copy of A Season of Change and join Lynette on the evening of June 12th 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 12th!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A light western adventure -- The Heart's Pursuit

Robin Lee Hatcher's The Heart's Pursuit is a light western adventure that makes for a quick, fun read.

The story has a taste of the old TV westerns to it -- the bounty hunter chasing down the bad guys, passing through towns, spending lots of days in the saddle and nights on the hard ground under the stars.  Of course, the pretty girl traveling with the bounty hunter might not have been standard fare to those shows but definitely made this story more interesting.

Silver and Jared were both characters I enjoyed meeting.  Watching them work through the baggage they carried from past hurts and trying to navigate their way together through difficult circumstances made for a very good story.  Some of the twists of the story were pretty predictable, but others caught me off guard.  My only disappointment was that the resolution of the greatest conflict seemed to be anti-climactic and fell a little flat.  All in all, though, I would recommend this as a very entertaining read from Robin Lee Hatcher.

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

See what other readers have to say about The Heart's Pursuit here.

About the book

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.  A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.  An arduous trek toward justice---or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver's already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared's secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father's fortune. And Jared's in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family---even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn't theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven't dared voice: What happens next?

Purchase a copy:

About the author
Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.

Robin can be found at: website, Facebook, Twitter

Robin Lee Hatcher's latest novel, The Heart's Pursuit, is receiving critical praise: "The Old West lives again in this inspirational romantic adventure. . . . Themes of forgiveness, justice and mercy dominate the story and add to the characters' depth. Hatcher treats readers to a rich sensory experience—you can taste the desert dust and smell the smoke and stench of a crowded gambling hall." (Publishers Weekly)

Robin is celebrating the release of her novel by giving away a $200 "Romantic Weekend Getaway."

  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (Get away for the weekend with that special someone!)
  • The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 8th. Winner will be announced June 9th on Robin's website.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Robin's blog on June 8th to see if you won.