Sunday, October 24, 2021

Amish Story "for the Birds" -- A Season on the Wind


About the Book

Book: A Season on the Wind

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Amish Fiction

Release date: October 5, 2021

Ben Zook had only two loves in his life: books and birds. In a stroke of good fortune, he’d stumbled onto a way to cobble together those two loves into a career, writing books about rare birds. He was as free as a bird–until a chase for a rare White-winged Tern takes him to the one place on earth he planned to never return: his Amish home in Stoney Ridge.

Desperate for photographs of the elusive tern, Ben hires a local field guide, Micah Weaver, and boards at Micah’s farm, planning to “bag the bird” and leave Stoney Ridge before anyone recognizes him. But he neglected to plan for Micah’s sister, Penny. One long-ago summer, Penny had introduced Ben to birding, even sharing with him a hidden eagle aerie. That eagle became his spark bird–the one that inspired his lifelong love.

Ben. He was Penny’s spark bird. That was when she knew true love. She’d always hoped Ben would come back to Stoney Ridge. Back to his Amish roots. Back to her. The only problem? Ben has absolutely no memory of Penny.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

A Season on the Wind is another delightful visit with Suzanne Woods Fisher to her Amish community of Stoney Ridge.

This story is a good one for a number of reasons. The characters are fun to get to know. Learning their backgrounds and where they fit into the story at hand keeps things moving at a comfortable pace and leads up to some unexpected twists. If you have read some of Suzanne Woods Fisher's other books, you are likely to recognize some "old friends" from Stoney Ridge. The story has a nice amount of romance and engaging interactions involving friends, family, and other relationships. 

One of the major themes in the book is quite a unique one -- much of the story is built around some of the main characters' involvement in birding. There are fun pieces woven in between chapters with facts about birds, as well as nice little thoughts and life lessons. The author's enthusiasm about birds and her research into the Christmas Bird Count add to the interest level of the story.

I highly recommend A Season on the Wind to fans of well-written Amish fiction. Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.


About the Author

With over one million copies sold, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award winning author of over 30 books, ranging from novels to children’s books to non-fiction. She is a Christy Award finalist, a Carol and Selah award winner, and a two-time finalist for ECPA Book of the Year. She writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. Suzanne lives with her very big family in northern California.


More from Suzanne

Did You Know? 

8 Facts about the Christmas Bird Count

1) The year 2021 marks the 122nd National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) which, ironically, wasn’t always about counting live birds.

2) In 1900, the first CBC was launched as an alternative to the traditional Christmas “side hunt.” This holiday tradition encouraged people to go out into the woods on Christmas Day, choose “sides” to team up with and then, in the words of Frank Chapman, “kill everything in fur or feathers that crossed their path – if they could.” The winner was the “side” with the largest pile of dead birds. (Ugh!)

3) Frank Chapman was a prominent ornithologist, conservationist, and writer/editor who published Bird Lore magazine. He led the charge to end to this senseless slaughter and invited his readers to begin a new holiday tradition of counting, rather than shooting, birds.

4) Twenty-seven people participated in 25 counts that first year (in 1900). They counted 90 species of birds.

5) The idea caught on. Big time.

6) During December and January of each year, thousands of Christmas Bird Counts take place across the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. The purpose of the CBC is a scientific census—to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action.

7) Each CBC has an established 15-mile diameter circular count area. On a pre-arranged date, registered teams go out (with an assigned volunteer observer) and count the number of birds of each species they can identify within their assigned area. Each count has a volunteer compiler who sums up all of the lists and inputs the total numbers for each species into Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count database.

8) The CBC is the longest-running citizen science project and wildlife survey in the world. In fact, the CBC is considered the gold standard in citizen science.

And you don’t have to be an experienced birdwatcher to participate in the CBC! Bird lovers of all skills are welcomed. Even me! I’m a very enthusiastic amateur.


To learn more about the Christmas Bird Count, or to find a survey near you, go to

To learn more about Suzanne and the story about the Christmas Bird Count featured in A Season on the Wind, go to

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 23

Lighthouse-Academy, October 23

She Lives To Read, October 24

lakesidelivingsite, October 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 24

Artistic Nobody, October 25 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

For Him and My Family, October 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

CarpeDiem, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 27

Inklings and notions, October 27

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 28

Blogging With Carol, October 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 29

deb’s Book Review, October 30

Simple Harvest Reads, October 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 31

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 1

SusanLovesBooks, November 1

Mary Hake, November 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 2

Blossoms and Blessings, November 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 3

Splashes of Joy, November 3

Pause for Tales, November 3

By The Book, November 4

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 4

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 5

Spoken from the Heart, November 5

Vicky Sluiter, November 5


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Rich and Beautiful Story -- Freedom's Song

As a huge fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer's writing, I was excited to read her newest book, Freedom's Song. The themes and messages in the story cover the gamut of human experience, from its worst to its best.

As is usual for Kim Vogel Sawyer's style, the story is driven by her masterfully crafted characters. From the very beginning, I was drawn in to Fanny Beck's story of natural talent, love for her family, and the experience of unfair circumstances life has dealt her. As she moves from one circumstance to another, she meets and interacts with other characters who add many levels of richness to her passage.

In some ways, this book seems to consist of two very different stories. But in reality, it is a well-connected story of freedom and how that concept carries a wide range of meanings to different people in different circumstances. I have to believe Fanny would not have been prepared for the life she ultimately settles into had she not learned such beautiful and important lessons in her earlier encounters -- and found the joy of her freedom's song. I reached the end of the story with a very satisfying reminder of faith and hope and how they make any life journey possible and meaningful.

I highly recommend Freedom's Song to fans of great inspirational and hope-filled historical fiction. Thanks to the author's launch team for providing a digital copy of the book.  I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

Her voice made her a riverboat’s darling—and its prisoner. Now she’s singing her way to freedom in this powerful novel from the bestselling author of The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow.

“[An] enjoyable faith-filled adventure . . . Sawyer’s episodic narrative and rich assortment of characters fighting for freedom provide the story with many twists and unexpected side-plots.”—Publishers Weekly

Indentured servant Fanny Beck has been forced to sing for riverboat passengers since she was a girl. All she wants is to live a quiet, humble life with her family as soon as her seven-year contract is over. So when she discovers that the captain has no intention of releasing her, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape—an impulse that leads Fanny to a group of enslaved people who are on their own dangerous quest for liberty. . . .

Widower Walter Kuhn is overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his farm and young daughter, and now his mail-order bride hasn’t arrived. Could a beautiful stranger seeking work be the answer to his prayers? . . .
After the star performer of the River Peacock is presumed drowned, Sloan Kirkpatrick, the riverboat’s captain, sets off to find her replacement. However, his journey will bring him face to face with his own past—and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be free. . . . 

Uplifting, inspiring, and grounded in biblical truth, Freedom’s Song is a story for every reader who has longed for physical, emotional, or spiritual delivery.

About the Author

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, bestselling author with more than 1.5 million books in print in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades, including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim and her retired military husband, Don, live in central Kansas, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and her grandchildren.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Gripping Mystery -- Unknown

Unknown, by Vanessa Hall, is a gripping mystery set in modern-day Russia. The main characters are the son of missionaries and a rising star in the world of ballet. The characters are well-developed and very much alive, and the story is filled with elements that kept me engaged from beginning to end.
The story progressed at a comfortable pace, introducing new characters and hidden agendas as needed. The on-stage and back-stage ballet setting was unfamiliar, yet fascinating, for me. The close relationships shared by the church members provided a strong element of comfort and safety. And a few unexpected people helped keep the mystery moving. The faith element is overt and a driving force in the development of the story.
Unknown is the author's debut novel, and it offers the promise of more great writing to come from her. In fact, it is book one in her Grace Sufficient series, so there should be another related story on the horizon. I recommend this book to fans of Christian fiction. 
Thanks to the author for providing a copy of her book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book
He knew there was a cost. He just didn’t know how great it’d be.
Gabriel Kelly returned to Russia for one reason—to bury his parents. After ten years in the United States, he hadn’t expected to return to his childhood home in the face of tragedy. However, after short days in Moscow, he begins to consider if the same call that cost his parents’ lives is now upon him.
Sofia Rykova’s dreams finally came true when she became a principal soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet. One night, though, an old crush walks back into her life, making her wonder if there is more to life than ballet. Gabe Kelly is just as she remembered, just as she longed for—yet religion stands between them.
Unknown to Gabe and Sofia, danger lurks closer than either would have guessed. The deaths of Gabe’s parents grow more suspicious by the day, and Gabe and Sofia are drawn into the midst of a plot neither can escape. Will obedience to God’s call—in spite of their fears and desires—result in a price too steep to bear?

About the Author
Vanessa Hall is an author, musician, and homeschool graduate. Most days, she is reading, writing, or practicing the violin—or trying to find time for all three pursuits. Currently, she is working toward gaining a degree in instrumental music education. Unknown is her debut novel. 
Above all, she is a sinner saved and held fast by the abounding grace of Jesus Christ.

Action-Packed Historical Fiction -- Mercy Undeserved

Mercy Undeserved, by Kristina Hall, is an action-packed story set in the crime world of the 1920s. This is a time period and setting that is outside my usual reading choices, but I really enjoyed paying a visit to that era. The characters were very much alive, and their stories made for an intriguing page-turner.

The story includes elements of mobster-type danger (handled in non-graphic terms), instances of both good and bad decisions as Alberto and Lillian learn to work together to fight their enemies, and romance that grows in spite of all the obstacles along the way. The faith element and truth of God's undeserved mercy are very overtly presented in a variety of ways throughout the story. There were a few places where there appeared to be little bumps or gaps in the flow of the plot, but all in all this was a very engaging read that I would definitely recommend to fans of Christian historical fiction.

Mercy Undeserved is book two in The Moretti Trilogy. It can work well as a stand alone -- that's how I read it -- but I think I would really like to go back and pick up Promises Unbroken to answer a few questions I had as I read this one. 

Thanks to the author for providing a copy of her book.  I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

How much more will she lose?

Lillian Rossi had it all—a devoted husband, a new baby, and all the riches she’d dreamed of. But one January day changed everything. Now, the consequences of her late husband’s sins extend to her and her son, and Matteo, though only a baby, is the rightful heir to the Rossi empire, making him a target.

Alberto Moretti promised to protect Lillian and her son, but he well knows the cruelty and desperation of the Rossi family. He served them all too long—until God set him free.

As Lillian and Alberto are thrown together in a race to save her and Matteo’s lives, their own sins and Stefano Rossi’s plans threaten to destroy them. Will they fall prey to the danger so close behind, or will they find mercy they’ve done nothing to deserve?

About the Author

Kristina Hall is a sinner saved by grace who seeks to glorify God with her words. She is a homeschool graduate and holds a degree in accounting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, arm wrestling, lifting weights, and playing the violin.