Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Godforsaken Daughter ~ Christina McKenna

About The Godforsaken Daughter

Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 17, 2015)
When Ruby Clare’s father was alive, they happily toiled together on their small dairy farm in Northern Ireland. Since his death seven months ago, Ruby—thirty-three years old, plain, and plump—has become a veritable drudge for Martha, her endlessly critical mother. Then comes the day when Ruby finds her late grandmother’s old suitcase in the attic. Among its strange contents: a slim, handmade volume called The Book of Light.
The deeper Ruby delves into its mysterious pages, the more confident she feels. But Martha, convinced that her newly empowered daughter must be possessed, enlists the help of psychiatrist Henry Shevlin. Henry is unflappable on the surface, yet inwardly he’s reeling from his wife’s unexplained disappearance the year before. As Ruby undergoes therapy alongside other local patients, including lonely bachelor farmer Jamie McCloone, all their lives intersect in unexpected ways. And Ruby, alone for so long, finds the courage to connect—with Jamie, with Henry, and with her own loving, indomitable spirit.
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My take on this book:
First let me say that when I decided to read this book I didn't realise that it was the third in a series, but with that said it really didn't matter. The author provides enough background information that I was easily able to connect with the story and the characters. This is a multifaceted book, on one hand it is a quick easy read that is smoothly written. Ms. McKenna is wonderful at creating vivid imagery that grabs hold and doesn't turn loose until the final page is read.The story unfolds like a well played movie with descriptions so vivid one can easily see the story unfolding.  I loved the way the author provided two different woman, each story running parallel to each other until finally their stories finally conjoin. Ruby was someone that was sad and lonely, her family treated her horribly, but it was the people that she met that provided the confidence that she needed.Her story easily was my favorite, and I found myself anxious as well as hopeful for how the ending of the story would play out. Speaking of endings it was quite satisfying and honestly was something that surprised me a bit!  I really enjoyed the splash of paranormal that was woven into the story. For me The Godforsaken Daughter was a book that I hurried through because I became so emotionally invested in the characters  that I had to know what would happen, but truly was sad to see their stories end.  I enjoyed this book so much that I will certainly be going back to read the first two books in the series! 

Christina McKennaAbout Christina McKenna

Christina McKenna grew up on a farm near the village of Draperstown in Northern Ireland. She attended the Belfast College of Art, where she obtained an honors degree in fine art and studied English in postgraduate studies at the University of Ulster. In 1986, she left Northern Ireland to work abroad. She has lived, worked, and painted pictures in Spain, Turkey, Italy, Ecuador, and Mexico.

Christina McKenna’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, March 16th: Write, Meg!
Tuesday, March 17th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, March 19th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, March 20th: Bell, Book, and Candle
Tuesday, March 24th: BookNAround
Wednesday, March 25th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, March 30th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, April 1st: WV Stitcher
Thursday, April 2nd: Joyfully Retired
Monday, April 6th: Unshelfish
Tuesday, April 7th: girlichef
Wednesday, April 8th: The Book Bag
Thursday, April 9th: My Bookshelf
Friday, April 10th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, April 13th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rosabelle's Story ~ J.E.B. Spredemann

  • File Size: 4379 KB
  • Print Length: 70 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Blessed Publishing (February 14, 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

 February 14, 2015
Rosabelle and Amos have enjoyed working together for years. When Amos finds a potential wife, Rosabelle is concerned. Why would he consider marrying someone he doesn't love? Can Rosabelle convince Amos that God might have a better plan for him than his own?

Rosabelle's Story is a modern fairy tale loosely based on the classic story of Beauty and the Beast, Amish-style, of course! A Christian fiction novelette.

My take on this book:
Rosabelle's Story by J.E.B. Spredemann is a short Amish christian romance that tells the story of Amos and Rosabelle. They have been working together for years in her father's hardware store. While Rosabelle is on the verge of graduating high school Amos is a young Amish man who feels like he needs to get married. Thing is there aren't many eligible Amish women in his area and so he decides to settle for someone he doesn't love because the one he really cares for is forbidden because she isn't Amish. When something happens to cause Amos' plans to unravel will he realize that God is at work in his life?

Rosabelle's story really reminded me of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, but with an Amish twist! Although a short story at seventy pages don't let that fool you Ms. Spredemann provides well developed characters and a plot that provides enough substance to make for a page turning read! I found myself connecting with the characters, and even though I pretty much knew how the ending would be that didn't keep me from enjoying the story, instead I think it made it better, after all my anticipation of wanting things to work out allowed me to sympathize with Amos while cheering on Rosabelle as she took matters into her own hands! Ms. Spredemann has a unique storytelling ability that makes me feel like I have actually stepped into the lives of the characters,experiencing their hopes and fears, as well as the tests that God sometimes puts them through. The positive faith based messages are very well done and fit  perfectly with the storyline. A good clean read that inspires as well as entertains. Ms. Spredemann is quickly becoming one of my favorite Amish fiction writers!

Reviewed for

Cindy's Story ~ J.E.B. Spredemann

  • File Size: 3786 KB
  • Print Length: 82 pages
  • Publisher: Blessed Publishing (December 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G83M4IY

 December 19, 2013

He's running from his past. She's hiding from her present. But God has a plan for their future... A modern retelling of the classic Cinderella story.

An Amish fairy tale for adults. Christian Romance, A novelette. 90 pages

My take on this book:
Cindy's Story by J.E.B. Spredemann is an Amish spin on the classic fairytale Cinderella, but with a unique twist.  Ms. Spredemann weaves in a faith based message that really provides a spiritual boost to the fairytale theme!

Seventeen year old Ella Zook also known as Cindy hasn't had an easy life. After the death of her mother at an early age, her father remarries a woman with two children and then he also dies. After that she basically became a slave to her family, even being threatened that she should never make contact with anyone otherwise they would put her out on the streets. Her only comfort is going into the woods, but when a young Amish man named Nathaniel shows up and befriends her, it seems that God hasn't forgot her after all. Thing is Nathaniel has something from his past that could change the way Cindy feels about him. 

I am a huge fan of Amish fiction and I don't think I have ever read a book quite like Cindy's Story by J. E. B. Spredemann. While written in the style of Cinderella, there honestly is so much more substance to this story than the classic fairy tale. Ella (Cindy) was such an amazing character. Even though her life was filled with nothing but hardship she kept an upbeat positive attitude. Great character development allowed her character to blossom and her faith to grow as the story progressed. The friendship that developed with Nathaniel certainly had a fairy tale quality, but there was also a deeper message of forgiveness that resonated as well.  I loved the spiritual messages woven into the story, instead of feeling overblown or preachy they fit perfectly and seemed very realistic. A quick easy read that's perfect for anyone who enjoys Amish fiction but honestly anyone looking for a fast paced romantic read that packs a inspirational punch will enjoy it as well! 

Reviewed for

The Trouble With Patience by Maggie Brendan

  • Series: Virtues and Vices of the Old West (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800722647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722647

Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with the restoration of a dilapidated boarding house in order to support herself. Despite her desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local sheriff with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: Patience needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse, and Jedediah needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But Patience gets more than she bargained for as she explores the depths of the "hanging lawman"--and finds both betrayal and love. 

My take on this book:
I am always excited to start a new historical fiction series and Maggie Brendan has a winner with The Trouble With Patience her first book in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series. The beautiful cover easily had me wondering about the town and characters I would be reading about, but it was the story inside that really grabbed my attention and kept me reading to find out what would ultimately happen with Patience and the sheriff! Speaking of the characters I really found myself rooting for Patience because she was so easy to like. She was new to a town where she didn't know anyone to try and restore her inheritance from her grandmother, The Creekside Inn,which is in Nevada City. Truthfully though there is much more to Patience, she came west to get away from a broken heart and an overbearing cold mother. She doesn't have such a great self image of herself and figures she will just remain single, but it doesn't take long for her to catch the eye of not only the sheriff, but also a handsome cowboy as well. 

There is much more going on than just romance, the author also provides a bit of suspense that piqued my interest. The author has a wonderful way of weaving emotion, faith and a historical flavor together to make The Trouble With Patience a an easy choice for historical fiction fans. The sneak peek of the next book has me anxious to continue this series!

A complimentary copy of this book was  provided for review.

The Beauty of Grace~ Stories of God's Love from Today's Most Popular Writers ~ Dawn Camp ~ editor and photographer

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800723791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723798

From the Back Cover

This is your invitation . . .
to slow down,
take a deep breath,
and know that 
you are loved.
In this hectic life, it's easy to forget that God is always near at hand, even though He sends us frequent reminders. The beauty amid the mess, a well-timed word of encouragement from a friend, the memories that won't let go of our hearts--they're all ways God extends an open hand to us. But if we're not paying attention, we can miss it.

Combining heartfelt stories from some of today's foremost writers with Dawn's stunning photography of God's incredible creation, The Beauty of Grace is your haven of calm contemplation amid the chaos. This inspiring collection includes stories of cultivating friendship, waiting on God, choosing joy, staying connected, learning to trust, and much more.

If you're in need of a little peace, a little quiet, a little beauty, find comfort in this: you're invited to experience them all within the pages of this soul-stirring book.

My take on this book:
Sometimes it takes reading a story that someone else writes to hear the voice of God in such a way that the story touches your heart and allows you to open your eyes and heart to the message that God is trying to get across to you. Well that's the sort of book The Beauty of Grace is, it's filled with short stories written by some of today's most popular writers, stories that will stir the soul, touch the heart and perhaps even open your eyes and ears to the message God might be trying to impart to you. Broken down into seven different topics including purpose,the big picture, surrender,trust, lessons learned, hope and encouragement, and worship, each topic includes several different stories that are meant to encourage and inspire. This is such a wonderful book, from the cover to the pages inside it's like a breath of fresh spring air. Each story includes a scripture verse that correlates with what was just read. While I had heard of several of the authors, a few were new to me, so it was a great way to sample their work.Overall a wonderful book that I used as a daily devotional, reading it morning and evening. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jesus Sees Us ~ Book And Doll Review

  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.8 x 9.5 inches ; 1.3 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Origin: USA
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 24 months and up

Purchase this doll here.

Check out the official website.

Be sure and check out the Facebook page.

  • Introduce your child to Jesus with the Jesus Sees Us doll and Christian lesson book
  • Soft body doll and hard covered book for children 2+
  • Christian family values and faith based message of Jesus for children
  • Beautifully illustrated book with Christian lessons to engage children
  • Perfect gift for Baptism & Christening, Eucharist & First Holy Communion
My take on Jesus Sees Us:

If you're looking for a unique gift for youngsters that will not only get them asking questions about Jesus but also learn the valuable lessons that Jesus wants all of us to know then Jesus Sees Us is just what you're looking for!  This doll is very sturdy and is age appropriate for ages two and up. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the wonderful facial features this doll has. The smiling face and brown eyes are certainly eye catching, and the soft body makes this doll easy for little hands to grasp. I shared this doll with a child who is six and she was very taken with it. She said she really liked the clothes that Jesus was wearing and even pointed out that he had sandals on his feet. It allowed us to discuss the styles of clothing that was worn during Jesus' time on earth. The doll alone is a great conversation starter but  paired with the book that is included it becomes an invaluable teaching tool that imparts valuable lessons that Jesus taught us, such as forgiving others,and sharing with others to name a few. From telling youngsters what Jesus did, and then sharing how they can be like Jesus this book is certainly going to spark conversations and help youngsters choose the right path.  I loved the opening sentence on the introduction page of the book that states You Are So Loved that someone couldn't wait to share all The Good News about Jesus with you. Bright illustrations really bring the pages of this book to life, and I can just imagine youngsters holding their Jesus doll as the pages are read. Whether you are just introducing your youngster to the wonderful love of Jesus or are building on what they already know I think this book and doll will be a wonderful way to build a solid foundation of faith that will stick with  youngsters as they traverse the journey of life. The only thing that I found lacking was that there wasn't a presentation page included with the book, in my opinion that would have been a wonderful addition because this doll, book combination would make a wonderful gift for any time of the year! 

A complimentary copy of this product was provided for review.

If you are considering giving Jesus Sees Us for Easter here is a complimentary $10.00 coupon code for JC10BLOG

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Promise of Palm Grove ~ Shelley Shepard Gray ~ Litfuse tour with review and giveaway

Promise of Palm Grove


The Promise of Palm Grove(Avon Inspire, January 2015)
Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?
A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancĂ©.
Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her-and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.

My take on this book:
I have been a fan of Shelley Shepard Gray since like forever so it's always a treat whenever she begins a new series, especially when it's an Amish series! The Promise of Palm Grove is the first book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft, I always enjoy reading books that are based around Pinecraft Florida, because while this setting is being used a bit more in Amish romance it's a bright sunny setting that Ms. Gray made me easily envision. Leona Weaver is having more than just second thoughts about marrying Edmund, his overbearing ways is making her think that he isn't the one she wants to spend her life with, thing the wedding is already in the works. She is taking a mini-vacation, really a two week trip of a lifetime with her two friends Mattie and Sarah to Pinecrest Florida where she hopes the Lord will bless her with a new heart and attitude about her upcoming wedding, but when she meets someone while on vacation will she decide to marry out of duty or follow where her heart is leading her?

The Promise of Palm Grove is a book that is filled with easy to enjoy characters, from the beginning chapters I felt like I was slipping into the lives of friends, and it was easy to want Leona to find true happiness. I could feel her dread every time she thought of Edmund! The story flows so smoothly making for a quick easy read held my attention from beginning to end! Anyone who enjoys Amish fiction will certainly want to read The Promise of Palm Grove, but honestly anyone who enjoys a sweet romance with easy to like characters and a richly woven, solid storyline should pick it up! A great beginning for an exciting new series, I enjoyed the little extras at the end of the book such as a recipe and pictures of Pinecraft along with Ms. Gray's top five spots to see in Pinecraft! Discussion questions are included which is an added bonus if reading in a book club setting. A sneak peak of the next book titled The Proposal at Siesta Key is also included and leaves me anxious to read it! 
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Shelley Shepard Gray


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.
Find out more about Shelley at

Don’t miss Shelley Shepard Gray’s new series, Amish Brides of Pinecraft, and the first book in the series, The Promise of Palm Grove! Romantic Times said, “Vibrant descriptions and details bring the plot to life in this heartwarming tale of new beginnings and renewal.” Does Leona follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?
Enter to win a copy of The Promise of Palm Grove—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced March 30 on Shelley’s blog!