Saturday, April 23, 2016

NEWLY UPDATED POST (with giveaway) Engaging southern fiction -- White

(Read through to the end of the post for a chance to enter Denise's giveaway.)

Sometime back I received an email from Denise Weimer asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing a new book she had coming out soon, White.  I read the book blurb, and since I enjoy learning about new authors decided I would give it a try.  Good new is, I'm glad I did.

White is set in modern times, but has a back story and rich history set much further back in time.  The book moves at a comfortable pace as the modern-day characters learn more about themselves and about each other while digging into the history of the property they are restoring.  Many questions arise and resolve as the story progresses.  Faith is an important element of the journey the characters travel.

Even though the characters are fictional, there is a historical basis to the story,  This book fits into a category I have come to really enjoy, one where I can learn history lessons in the setting of an engaging novel.

And I noticed one little tidbit only we true southerners who have moved a little ways north can fully appreciate:  at WalMart the characters put their purchases in "buggies," not "carts."  That was written by a bona fide southerner!

The restoration project and characters around which White is set provide the material for two more stories.  I am anxious to get the chance to read the rest of the story as those books are published.

Thanks to Denise and her publisher for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

See what other readers think about White here.

About the Book:

As historic preservationist Jennifer and brooding bachelor Michael restore his ancestors’ historic doctor’s residence in a rural Georgia community, they uncover the 1920s-era prejudice and secrets that caused Michael’s branch to fall off the family tree. Reserved recent graduate Jennifer’s determined to fulfill her first professional position with integrity even if her employer lacks a proper appreciation of history. Far more challenging – and sinister – than the social landscape of Hermon are the strange accidents hinting that someone doesn’t want them on the Dunham property. Yet Michael’s and Jennifer’s owns pasts pose the biggest obstacles to laying a fresh foundation of family and community.

You can order White either as a paperback or an ebook.

About the Author:

Denise Weimer is a native Georgia resident, writer and history lover. Her four-book, mid-1800s Georgia Gold Series with Canterbury House Publishing (SAUTEE SHADOWS, THE GRAY DIVIDE, THE CRIMSON BLOOM, and BRIGHT AS GOLD) combines historical romance with a touch of mystery. BRIGHT AS GOLD won the 2015 John Esten Cooke award for Southern literature. New in 2016, the Restoration Trilogy (WHITE, WIDOW, and WITCH) features a modern, suspenseful romantic over-story of a historical preservation grad helping a brooding bachelor restore his family property (house, apothecary and log cabin) with three historical back stories they uncover from three different centuries. She is also the author of historical novella REDEEMING GRACE and numerous magazine articles set in Northeast Georgia. Denise is a wife, swim mom of two daughters, and for many years directed a vintage dance group.  Visit Denise at

In honor of the White Celebration Tour, Denise is giving away a print copy of WHITE: Book One of The Restoration Trilogy, a $15 Starbucks card to representing the coffee-loving modern heroine, and a vintage hat to represent the historical heroine. Click to enter:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Slow, peaceful read -- Simple Pleasures

Marianne Jantzi's Simple Pleasures provides readers the opportunity for a glimpse into the life of an Amish mother and wife.

Although the author provides some organization of the writings into various aspects of her life, the book is not presented in flowing narrative.  Instead, she writes in snippets of information and thoughts, much like she might share in a journal or in conversations with a friend sitting at the table in her kitchen.  Joys and challenges of motherhood, details of daily routine, and unexpected events are all mixed in with insights and inspirational thoughts about her Plain life and the God she serves.

If you are looking for a slow, peaceful read with the chance to learn a little about the Amish life from one who lives it every day, Simple Pleasures could be just the thing for you.

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

See what other readers have to say about the book here.

About the book:

Young Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family's life on the snowy plains of Ontario.

The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God. 

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Marianne Jantzi is an Amish writer and homemaker in Ontario, Canada. Formerly a teacher in an Amish school, Jantzi now educates and inspires through her "Northern Reflections" column for The Connection, a magazine directed mainly to Amish and plain communities across the U.S. and Canada. She and her husband have four young children and run a shoe store among the Milverton Amish settlement of Ontario.

Monday, April 4, 2016

An emotional story -- An Unbroken Heart

Kathleen Fuller's An Unbroken Heart is an excellent addition to her Amish of Birch Creek series.

Kathleen has once again put together a story filled with complex characters with deep emotions.  She deals with difficult topics with a good dose of reality, combined with compassion, forgiveness, and healing that come from a strong trust in God.

Fans of great Amish fiction should really enjoy Joanna's story in An Unbroken Heart.  This book works fine as a stand alone, but Sadie's story in the first book of the series, A Reluctant Bride, is definitely worth your time as well.  I look forward to Abigail's story in the conclusion to this series.

Thanks to Booklook Bloggers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

An argument. A crash. In an instant, Joanna’s world is changed forever.

One minute, Joanna Schrock was arguing with her parents, and the next, her parents’ lives were claimed in a hit-and-run buggy accident. Her body is broken, but her heart is in even deeper pain— after all, how do you cope with your parents’ deaths when your last words were spoken in anger?

After an extended stint in a physical rehabilitation center, Joanna re-enters her Amish life. But nothing is the same—not even her feelings for Andrew Beiler.

Joanna has loved Andrew since the age of twelve, and her feelings have not changed throughout the years. She is thrilled when Andrew wants to get married, but she wonders whether it’s love he’s feeling, or pity. As the couple’s wedding date approaches, Joanna isn’t overcome with the deep joy she was hoping to feel; instead, she’s wracked with anxiety and guilt.

Joanna hears God whispering to her, Be strong and courageous, but she’s afraid that courage looks a lot like walking away from her dreams and into the plan of her Heavenly Father.

If Joanna takes the first step toward healing, will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? Or could God be changing the desires of her heart?

About the Author:

Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Wordand Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at, Twitter: @TheKatJam, and Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.