Friday, October 30, 2015

A great read for kids and adults -- Prayers that Changed History

Tricia Goyer shares her passion about the value of prayer in Prayers that Changed History.  Although the book is aimed at young readers, it contains interesting information and valuable insights for adults as well.

Tricia has compiled stories of 25 people whose lives and prayers played important roles in history.  Along with each account, she also shares a Biblical example of someone who  influenced their world through prayer.

This book is interesting and inspiring just as a simple read.  But as I read through the stories, I could see its value as a starting point for something much more.  The introduction to each historical character could be a catalyst for further study into the person and events surrounding their story of prayer.  This could be a great way for parents and children to learn together history that might not appear in

typical history textbooks.  It also helps bring to life the stories of Biblical characters and may encourage children to want to learn more from God's Word.

I recommend Prayers that Changed History to readers young and old who would enjoy being inspired and challenged to learn from and participate in the important practice of prayer.

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

About the book:

One prayer can change everything, says bestselling author Tricia Goyer in Prayers That Changed History.

Martin Luther. Sojourner Truth. Helen Keller. St. Patrick. We read their stories, and of other people like them, in history books and hear about the amazing things they did to change the world. But one part of the story is often left out: Each one of them wouldn’t have accomplished what they did without prayer.

In Prayers That Changed History, the stories of twenty-five notable people are presented along with how prayer changed their lives and changed history. Following each historical example is a biblical story that ties to that person’s life and actions, as well as ways you can use the power of prayer in your life as well. Because God isn’t done changing the world yet, and he would love to use you to make history.

About the author:

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of ten, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published more than fifty books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by Tricia is also on the blogging team at and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Learn more about Tricia at

"Everyone's journey begins somewhere" -- The Imposter (UPDATED POST WITH GIVEAWAY)

(Read to the end of the post for a giveaway.  Hurry, it's only available for a few more days!)

"Everyone's journey begins somewhere" -- just one of the words of wisdom from a minister in The Imposter, Suzanne Woods Fisher's newest book.  This visit back to Stoney Ridge just may be her best story yet!

The Imposter definitely ranks high among the excellent Amish stories I have enjoyed reading over the past 20 years.  The characters come off the page as you join them through their joys and struggles . . . and there is an abundance of both.  Their stories keep the interest level high as they learn to put the past behind and move on to new relationships and new experiences.

Suzanne has crafted a tale that is both inspiring and entertaining.  The conclusion of the story offers hope and promise . . . and it leaves plenty of questions to be answered as the series continues. I highly recommend this story to fans of great Amish fiction and anxiously await the next installment.

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

About the book:

A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again . . .

Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. But as her plans crumble before her eyes, she struggles to face an uncertain future. When a widow asks for help starting a new business, Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose.

What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farmhand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real or too good to be true? She's been deceived once before, and she isn't planning on experiencing it again.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a tale of love, uncertainty, and trusting God to write your story.

You can buy the book here.

About the author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, The Calling, the 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 an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Suzanne is graciously giving away a Kindle 7.  Click here to enter.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Travels with God -- Signs in Life

In her second book, Signs in Life, Deanna Nowadnick shares lessons from her day-to-day travels with God.  She uses the idea of road signs to point out warnings and instructions -- some of which she learned from by obeying and some (the hard way) by ignoring.  She also brings those lessons around to match up with important truths Moses and the Israelites encountered on their travels through the wilderness.

Deanna has a very personable style of writing, one where she shares openly and honestly in the form of friendly conversation.  She gets right to the "heart of the matter" without being forceful or "preachy."  Her descriptions of her own experiences provide encouragement for her readers to look for God's guiding road signs as we make our individual journeys.

Thank you, Deanna, for the reminders to slow down and follow God's direction.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A second chance at love -- When Love Returns

I've said it before, and it's true once again -- I have never been disappointed with a Kim Vogel Sawyer story.  When Love Returns is an excellent conclusion to her Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy.

Kim tells a story that is entertaining to read, while at the same time is filled with lessons on grace, love, and forgiveness.  She creates characters who face real issues that don't always have easy answers, but they find ways to deal with those issues with faith and hope.  As always, I closed the book with a sense of satisfaction and encouragement. I highly recommend When Love Returns to anyone who appreciates great Christian fiction. 

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

About the Book:

It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends–and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?

About the Author:

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives in central Kansas where she and her retired military husband, Don, enjoy spoiling their ten granddarlings.

Learn more about Kim at her website or on Facebook. 

The best matchmaking story yet! -- Huckleberry Hearts

Update:  Check out the giveaway at the end of this post.

Jennifer Beckstrand's Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series has been an absolute delight to read.  As each book in the series has come out, they have gotten better and better -- and she has really outdone herself with Huckleberry Hearts!

As usual, Annie and Felty are scheming to find a match for one of their grandchildren.  This time it's Cassie, who made the decision a few years earlier to leave her Amish life and get a college education.  She's back for a visit and is torn between her Amish values and her English plans.  Her conflict grows with the appearance of Dr. Zach Reynolds, someone Cassie has encountered before under not so pleasant circumstances.

Jennifer has put together an awesome story that made me laugh and made me cry.  Her writing style brings the characters to life in a way that invites you in and encourages you to stay for a nice, long visit. There are tender moments, hilarious moments, and crises of faith that bring up very real, very difficult questions.

Jennifer says that she's leaving Huckleberry Hill and heading down the road for a new series that begins next year.  I guess we can only hope that sometime she'll find a way to let us check back in on the Helmuths and their ever growing family.

Thanks to Jennifer and her publisher for providing a copy of Huckleberry Hearts in exchange for my honest review.

Buy the book here.

About the Book:

Though Cassie Coblenz left her Amish community to go to college, Mammi and Dawdi’s farm will always feel like home. It’s the ideal place for an extended study break—at least until her grandmother’s handsome Englisch doctor becomes a regular distraction. Zach Reynolds is the kind of heartbreaker Cassie has learned to avoid, no matter how charming he may be.

Unlike every woman Zach has met in recent years, Cassie doesn’t fall at his feet. Strong, generous, beautiful within and without—she’s everything he could want. Yet the gulf between them deepens when a tragedy shakes his faith. Now the good doctor has one goal—to become a man who could be worthy of Cassie’s love.

About the Author: 
Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series set in beautiful northern Wisconsin: Huckleberry Hill, Huckleberry Summer, Huckleberry Christmas, Huckleberry Spring, and Huckleberry Harvest. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the two scheming Amish grandparents who try to help their grandchildren find suitable mates in Huckleberry Hill. Who would ever suspect two elderly Amish folks of mischief?
Jennifer has a degree in mathematics, which comes in handy when one of her six children needs help with algebra. After twenty-five years of being a chauffeur, cook, maid, and nurse, she embarked on a writing career. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.
She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and three adorable grandsons, whom she spoils rotten.
Find out more about Jennifer and her books:

Twitter: @JenniferBeckst1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wrapping up the seasons in Willow Ridge -- The Christmas Cradle

Here's the thing about a great conclusion to a great series:  it's kind of a love/hate relationship.  I can't wait to read the final book because I'm anxious to see how things wrap up.  But I hate to read the final book because, well, it's the last chance to visit the place and the people I've gotten to know and love. That's exactly how I felt about reading Charlotte Hubbard's The Christmas Cradle.

I feel like I have become personally involved with Miriam, Ben, and their family and friends in Willow Ridge through the Seasons of the Heart series.  Charlotte has done an awesome job of creating a fictional town where her readers could imagine visiting -- or even living -- and people who would be great friends.  As in the previous books in the series, The Christmas Cradle is filled with joys and heartaches and lots of opportunities for love, faith, grace, and forgiveness.

This may be the only Amish series I've ever read where I just couldn't wait to see how someone gets what's coming to him, but each story had me anticipating how in the world Hiram Knepp would finally get his due.  My lips are sealed -- not even a hint at how it happens -- but Charlotte has masterfully crafted that into the story in a way that showcases real strength in some of her characters.  You will just have to read the book to see the resolution for yourself.

I am glad to know that Charlotte has a "spin-off" of the series on its way.  So just maybe we will get to re-visit some old friends after all.

Thanks to Charlotte and her publisher for providing a copy of The Christmas Cradle in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she’s starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn’t sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.

Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true…

You can read an excerpt from The Christmas Cradle here.

About the Author: 

Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard (a.k.a. Naomi King) writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her new Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people—to share hearth and home. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle, and the foundation of her earlier Angels of Mercy series. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.

Charlotte will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.  Follow the tour and comment often to increase your chances of winning.

Find out more about the tour here.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN gift card! - a Rafflecopter giveaway