Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wolf Creek Widow ~ Penny Richards


  • File Size: 812 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired Historicals (September 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2015
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00TXM1G1I


The Widow's Second Chance 
Meg Thomerson needs assistance getting back on her feet—even if it comes from the man who made her a widow. Ace Allen didn't intend to kill her husband, he only wanted to protect the town from the man's rage. Now Ace is keeping Meg's business and farm running while she heals, both physically and emotionally. But is he helping her out of charity—or because of something more? 
Half Native American, Ace struggles to find his place in the world. He keeps himself isolated from the community, but sweet Meg begins to penetrate his defenses. At first, he simply wanted to make amends to her. Now, if she'll let him, he could become the loving husband she deserves…

My take on this book:
Ace Allen feels guilt for killing Meg Thomerson's husband, thing is Meg only feels relief that he is no longer alive to hurt her. Ace decides that he and his mother will help Meg out on her farm while she recovers from her husbands final beating. Ace and Meg are both trying to work through past hurts, she is fearful of men, and because he is half Native American it's hard for him to believe that people would accept him. When feelings develop between the two Ace decides there can never be a future for them because he doesn't want her to be ridiculed for marrying someone like him. Will these two wounded souls find spiritual healing and perhaps even a love that will endure a lifetime?

Historical romance is one of my favorite genres to read and Wolf Creek Widow was that and more. The characters were so easy to connect with. I found my heart breaking not only for Meg but for Ace as well. He was such a kindhearted person who had faced many trials through his life, for so many years he struggled because he felt like he wasn't sure which world he belonged in. His faith in God allowed him to grow and realize the person he could be. The story that developed between him and Meg was second to none. Instead of it being a quick romance, the author allows the readers to witness first hand Meg's spiritual healing, something that happened because of the kindness that Ace and his mother showed her. I found myself savoring the dialog between Meg and Ace because of the many spiritual messages that were woven into them. While the author does deal with domestic violence she handles it very well, and the positive messages that comes from the story line is certainly inspiring. When I started reading this story I didn't realize that it was part of a series but honestly the author provided enough background information about the characters that I had no problems understanding the story. With that said, I was so swept away with this story that I feel like I need to go back and read the other books just to reconnect with the people in Wolf Creek. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Mapmaker's Children: Sarah McCoy


  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385348908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385348904





When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
   Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. 
   Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.

My take on this book:
I chose this book to read because I have always been interested in Civil War and WV history. This story enter twines the past and the present, and does it effortlessly. Eden Anderson has recently moved into a historical civil war era house in New Charleston WV, where she finds a porcelain doll head in the root cellar, a finding that will have he delving into the history of the underground railroad.

The author easily transitions from past to present within the pages of this story, and honestly the historical aspects were my favorite. While I could easily empathize with Eden and the issues she was dealing with, issues that allowed a connection with Sarah Brown, the daughter of the famous abolitionist John Brown, it was the historical aspects of  the Underground Railroad that held my attention, allowing me to feel like I was getting a bit of a history lesson. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction especially revolving around the civil war will find this an interesting read.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.


Her Brother's Keeper ~ Beth Wiseman


  • Series: An Amish Secrets Novel (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140168596X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401685966






Charlotte came to Amish country to find answers. What she never expected to find was peace.
Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she’s come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die. Unless she gets found out first.
But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.
Isaac’s been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn’t been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiance, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah’s family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.
As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan’s death, she finds more than she’d bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community—and her new family—do if they learn the truth about her?

My take on this book:
Her Brother's Keeper by Beth Wiseman is the first book in Ms. Wiseman's newest series Amish Secrets, and judging by this book it's going to be one of her best series yet! Charlotte Dolinsky is an Englisher  from Texas who is hurting over the loss of her brother Ethan. You see Ethan  went to Pennsylvania to work in construction and then decided to convert to the Amish faith, and was even actually engaged to be married to Hannah King. Why then would he commit suicide? That's what Charlotte wants to know and so she devises a scheme where she disguises herself as a distant Amish cousin of the King family and heads to Pennsylvania to find the answers she is looking for. She is welcomed into the family and even becomes friends with Hannah, but will they continue to be her friend if they find out who she really is? What about her brother's death, what will she learn about his death? 

Her Brother's Keeper deals with a few tough subjects such as depression, child abuse and suicide, but does so in such a way that instead of feeling overwhelming and depressing it left me feeling inspired and uplifted as the story unfolded, especially as Charlotte began to find her way.  Speaking of Charlotte it was fun to watch her become "Mary" because it was very realistic as well as humorous.I really liked the suspense/mystery of the story and found myself wondering just what happened to Ethan. Her Brother's Keeper drew me in from the beginning pages and made me feel like I had stepped into the life of these characters but that's what  I have come to expect when I pick up a book by Beth Wiseman. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Zetta's Dream ~ Sandra P. Aldrich

Well it seems like forever since I have written a post for this blog, but I am back and ready to go! Over the last few months I have read several books and can't wait to share some of my thoughts about them with you. The first book I am going to share is one that I actually read over a month ago and it's characters touched me in such a profound way that I still find myself thinking about Zetta and her family!





  • Series: The Zetta Series
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Bold Words, Inc.; First edition (February 25, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692357505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692357507




I would also like to share that for anyone who has Kindle Unlimited you can read this amazing story for free.


Zetta Berghoffer's dream of a sweet life is jeopardized when her husband, Asa, leaves to work coal so he can pay off their Kentucky farm. Determined to keep the family together, Zetta and their toddlers join Asa and her brothers at the Golden Gate coal camp just before Christmas 1922. She is eight months pregnant.

During the first week in the dismal camp, Zetta suffers fearful nightmares of cut trees and fresh dirt--Appalachian signs of trouble. Asa dismisses his wife's pleas to return to their farm, insisting their three-month stay will provide the $400 they need to give their children better lives. Disappointed, Zetta draws strength from her plump red-haired neighbor, Dosha, and the strong willed granny woman, Clarie, who will deliver her baby. And each morning, she thanks the Lord they are one more day closer to home. Or are they?
 

My take on this book:
Zetta's Dream takes readers back to 1922, pulling them into the life of a coal camp. Along with the hardships there are also the hopes and dreams of the characters that become so real that you feel like they might of actually lived the life that Ms. Aldrich allows us a peek into! 

Zetta Berghoffer is a 22 year old mother of two and expecting another baby living on a Kentucky farm. Her husband Asa along with two of Zetta's brother's  have decided to go off to work in the coal mines. Asa wants to go in order to earn four hundred dollars so that he can pay off the family farm and  provide a better life for his family. Zetta follows along with her two young children and begins life in the coal camp, and while she knows they will only be there three months her only wish is to go back home, and soon nightmares start plaguing her, providing a dark omen of what might happen if they don't leave the coal camp right away. Asa won't leave though and as each day brings them closer to home, one can't help but wonder if  Zetta's worries were for nothing.

Zetta's Dream is a story that grabs hold of the heart and wont let go, even after I finished the final page I found myself continuing to think about the character of Zetta and how her life might be. To say that she was a strong character is an understatement. Even though she is 22 she seems so much older than that, perhaps because of the hardships of life, but really I felt like it was just an inner strength that the author so realistically captured of what being a wife and mother really is! Ms. Aldrich paints such a vivid picture of Zetta's home and family that I could almost smell the cornbread cooking, and could just imagine the grittiness of the coal dust in the air!  Plenty of secondary characters shine in this story such as the granny woman Claire, who will deliver Zetta's baby, to Dosha and her husband, each character brings their own special voice to the story. My favorite secondary character had to be Julia. In the beginning I found myself disliking her, but as the author allowed me true access to her I found my heart breaking for her, because it seemed that she found something in Zetta that no one else had offered her. 

I have always been fascinated by coal camp stories and Zetta's Dream certainly gave me that, even touching briefly on the union movement, but more than that I found myself  on an emotional roller coaster ride wondering what might happen to Zetta's family. Hoping right along with Zetta for the best. A story that grabbed me by the heart and wouldn't let go! Easily one of the best books I have read this year! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal ~ Colleen Coble


A Heart's Betrayal 4

A Heart’s Betrayal (Thomas Nelson, June 2015)
Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.
When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband’s home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what’s more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.
Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.
But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his—and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man’s baby.

My take on this book:
 I have really enjoyed reading this series, and I think that this book A Heart's Betrayal just might be my favorite so far! When Emmie's husband is killed in an accident to say she is devastated is an understatement, but it's the life he never told her about that really shocks her to the core. She decides the only thing to do is to head west to join up with Sarah and Rand, knowing that she will never trust her heart to another again. It doesn't take long though for a kind soldier to begin to breach her defenses. Will she find the new life she is hoping for, and what sort of life will it be? 

Ms. Coble packs more than a few shocking twists within the pages of A Heart's Betrayal. Emmie's character is easy to relate to, and I couldn't imagine what life might throw at her next! I was rooting for Emmie to find some sort of happiness but couldn't help but wonder about the secret that she carried about her marriage,whether or not it would keep her from finding happiness. The ending leaves me quite anxious to read the next installment in the series! A page turning historical fiction read, that provides easy to like characters and a solid plot that moves along at a quick pace. I do recommend that this series be read in order to fully understand the backgrounds of the characters. 



Colleen Coble

{MORE ABOUT COLLEEN COBLE}

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including “Tidewater Inn,” “Rosemary Cottage,” and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.
Find out more about Colleen athttp://www.colleencoble.com/.





Melt into summer with a new giveaway from Colleen: four books (books one–four in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and coffee to pair with your new book!

One grand prize winner will receive:

-- A copy of A Heart's Betrayal

-- A box of Colleen's favorite chocolate truffles from DeBrand Fine Chocolates

-- A copy of A Heart's Danger

-- A copy of A Heart's Disguise

-- A copy of A Heart's Obsession

Enter today by clicking here.  But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 31th. Winner will be announced July 1st on Colleen's website.

Find out what readers are saying about the book HERE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

NIrV Study Bible for Kids


  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Hardcover: 1792 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (June 30, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310744032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310744030




The bestselling NIrV Study Bible for Kids starts early readers ages 6 to 10 on the rewarding path of reading and studying God's Word. This Bible uses the complete text of the New International Reader’s Version® (NIrV) which is written at a third-grade reading level and is perfect for those learning to read. With colorful artwork, easy-to-read Bible text, and fun features, kids will engage with the Bible in a way that makes it stick.
Features include:
•Presentation page—for personalization and gift giving
•32 full-color pages—includes illustrations to bring Bible characters and events to life plus helpful study information about the Ten Commandments, how to become a Christian, prayer, and more.
•Check It Out—sketches and descriptions of what life was like in Bible times.
•Brain Game—questions to help kids remember important Bible themes.
•Soak It up—key verses highlighted for kids to memorize.
•Book Introductions—brief overviews of each book with an outline of key events.
•Dictionary—key Bible words for quick reference.
•Map section

My take on this Bible:
The NIRV Study Bible for Kids is a great resource for children, but I am going to admit I find myself using it in my own Bible study. Why do I use a children's Bible? Well this one makes it oh so easy to understand what I am reading. It is geared toward a third grade reading level, with short sentences and easy to understand words which make comprehension of the Bible so easy. I find that I can read an entire book of the Bible in one sitting and come away feeling like I know what I have read. Along with the NIRV text there are several additional tools that really enhance this Bible especially for younger readers.First of all there is an introduction at the beginning of reach book of the Bible that not only touches on what the book is about but also points out important scriptures to read. A study help called the brain game which ask pertinent questions about what the user is reading, questions that would make great discussion questions for deeper thought. Check it out is another study aide that provides a picture and then explains in a few words what the picture means. Another great feature is that there is a dictionary included.  I like that there is a presentation page, making this Bible great for gift giving. I really feel like this is a very useful tool in homeschooling or even in Sunday school.I easily recommend this Bible to anyone who has trouble comprehending the Bible, or are just looking for an easy, readable version. My only complaint is that I wish the title wasn't specifically geared toward kids. I have a plain NIRV Bible that I love to use, and I sometimes even take it to meetings with me, but I hesitate taking this one because the cover seems a bit childish. I would love to see a NIRV Study Bible geared toward adults,but for now I will happily use this one.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.