Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Review of 'The Last Bride' by Beverly Lewis

The Last Bride (Home to Hickory Hollow, #5)The Last Bride by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Suggested Age: 14+
Genre: Christian, Amish Fiction

Oh my goodness!!! This book was one of my favorites in the series. My only complaint was that there weren’t quite as many visits with Ella Mae as I like. I just adore that little old lady and I do wish I’d had a few more sips of tea with her this time.

I thought this story was a bit more unique than your humdrum Amish tale. It wasn’t a teen pregnancy story or even a very atypical forbidden romance. Nope, this story had twists and turns and situations that were more than meets the eye. There was depth to the story that is lacking in a lot of Amish fiction. So many other books seem to be the same old story over and over. This one was different.

Tessie Miller is madly in love with Marcus King. Her father has forbidden the union without any explanation whatsoever.

So, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world and then they return to Hickory Hollow. No one knows of their secret union…

How long can Marcus and Tessie keep this a secret? Then, the unthinkable happens. Tessie finds herself in serious trouble with the church and with her family.

Will she ever find forgiveness or will a simple mistake cost Tessie a lifetime of pain and regret? I have to say, when I read the term, “the unthinkable” in the synopsis? I honestly had very different thoughts about what was going to happen. I was surprised! I mean…I totally wasn’t suspecting what happened to have happened!

I know if you all have read the synopsis that you probably think you’ve got it all figured out but just give the book a chance. Your jaw will drop in that, “dun dun dun” moment and you’ll say, “Wait, what just happened?!”
View all my reviews|Excerpt


The FiddlerThe BridesmaidThe Guardian
The Secret Keeper The Last Bride

Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry.

Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."

You can find out more about this author by visiting her website at http://www.beverlylewis.com/

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Review of 'A Mother's Secret' by Amy Clipston

A Mother's Secret (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel #2)A Mother's Secret by Amy Clipston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Suggested Age: 12+
Genre: Christian, Amish Fiction
I don’t know if you all recall how badly I disliked the first book in this series…

If you do, I’m sure you’re wondering why in the world I agreed to read this one. Well, to be honest? I wanted to see how the rest of the characters were faring, even if I disliked Hannah for leaving her child.

Well, I’m really glad that I gave this second book a chance. I really enjoyed it! Now that Hannah is mostly out of the picture, I found the rest of the characters to be pleasant and enjoyable to spend time with.

As I mused on all of this, I will admit that I felt a little bit silly to have a grudge against or distaste for a book character but I suppose that just makes me a bit more of a booknerd than I thought I was.

If you were like me and thought the first book was meh, read this one. I gave it a five star rating, in contrast to that one star rating I gave book one. Very pleasantly surprised!

This book follows along with some of the same characters as book one. Pretty much the only character I really liked from book one was Joshua. So, I was eager to get to know more about him.

When Joshua meets Carolyn Lapp, it seems like there’s an instant attraction but Carolyn has a secret and it could destroy their budding friendship and relationship. This isn’t a little secret, it’s a pretty big one, one that brings shame to not only Carolyn but also to her family and potentially to the man that chooses to marry her.

I thought this book had some great themes of forgiveness, both the forgiveness we find in Christ but also in forgiving ourselves. So many times we ask for Christ’s forgiveness and though he grants it…we beat ourselves up and live in constant misery because of one little mistake.

Overall, this book is great and I have a sneaky suspicion that Josh and Carolyn’s story may not yet be over and will continue in book three. The author pretty much dangled a bone, a juicy and potentially drama-filled bone right in front of my face. I went from hating book one to being scared to read book two…all the way to being downright hopeful and eager for book three!!!
View all my reviews|Excerpt


Amy Clipston is the best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. She and her family live in North Carolina.

Find out more about Amy on her website at http://www.amyclipston.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Litfuse Review of 'Four Weddings and a Kiss'

Four Weddings and a KissFour Weddings and a Kiss by Margaret Brownley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Suggested Age: 14+
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction

It took me a bit to get into this book…I’m not sure why because once I got started, I really enjoyed it. I thought the book had a pretty fast pace to it but I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I’d hoped. I think maybe because the four stories were nearly stand alone and were only tied together by the prologue and epilogue. That’s the only thing I would have changed about this book. I would have made the story flow a bit better together.

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy
Maisy MacGregor’s reckless ways injured rancher Rylan Carstens, endangering his livelihood. So she signs on as his caregiver – but just until he’s well enough to run his ranch. Maisy’s tender care soon has Ryan falling hard and fast. Can these two willfull souls give up their solitary ways to embrace love?

My thoughts: I am not sure why but this one bugged me. I felt like Rylan was a bit too overbearing and only changed his ways to get what he wanted, Maisy. The story was well written but I found Maisy and Rylan both to be a bit overbearing

A Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher
Molly Everton writes the most popular features in her town’s newspaper. When newcomer Jack Ludgrove is named the new editor, Molly is flabbergasted. She wants the position for herself and will do what it takes to get it. But Jack is not easily intimidated. He’s determined to change Molly’s mind about him – and win her heart too.

My Thoughts: I thought this story was okay, a bit rushed but I really liked Molly and Jack. As it is a short story, I understand why it felt so rushed but I really wanted to slow things down and get to know these likeable characters a bit more.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton
Katie Pearl must rebuild her ranch after the tornado, but she can’t do it on her own. Treb Rayburn is a cowboy with a serious case of wanderlust. He signs on to help Katie so he can afford a new horse. But once Treb gets to know Katie, will his desire to stay drown out the call of the open road?

My Thoughts: This one was my favorite! I really enjoyed this story and I nearly wish it’d been a full novel. I felt so much for Katie and I appreciated that Treb was willing to take care of her without wounding her pride. Wonderful plot and story.

Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley
Grace Davenport is a young widow in a heap of trouble. When her son asks attorney Brock Daniels to take on her case, Brock wants to say no, but then he meets the lovely Grace. As Brock and the boy work to free Grace, Brock discovers that her arrest may be the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

My Thoughts: I know, I said that ‘A Cowboy for Katie’ was my favorite but this one is a very close tie! There was a bit of humor and just a sweet simple romance. It didn’t really read like a cowboy tale like the rest of the stories but it was a very pleasant read.

Overall: A very solid 4 star
View all my reviews


**Margaret Brownley is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author and has penned more than thirty novels. Her books have won numerous awards and has written for a TV soap opera. @margaretbrownley

**Robin Lee Hatcher is a Christy and RITA award-winning author. She is the author of over seventy novels and her work often appear on bestseller lists. @robinleehatcher

**Mary Connealy is an award-winning author of romantic comedy with cowboys. Mary and her Nebraska rancher husband have four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren. @MaryConnealy

**Debra Clopton is an award winning author of sweet, heartfelt, western romance that face life with a smile. With over 2 million books in print, Debra's first book-to-movie aired on ABC Family and starred LeAnn Rimes. @debraclopton
I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own. To view other reviews and learn more about the blog tour for 'Four Weddings and a Kiss' please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Litfuse Review of 'A Stitch and a Prayer' by Eva Gibson

A Stitch and a Prayer (Quilts of Love, #18)A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Suggested Age: 14+
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction
You know, I just couldn't get into this book. I tried, I really did.

The main character, Florence—oi, that woman came off so needy and whiny.

I literally read all of her dialogue in a pouty, baby voice. I understand that she was pregnant, alone, and dealing with a medical condition but she came off more like a young child.

The constant stuttering to denote moments of weakness happened far too often for my liking as well.

I honestly thought this book would have a bit of pioneer spirit. I just didn’t find it in this book. I wish I could have enjoyed it—it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

The year is 1899 and Florence has married her love, Will and together they are settling in a newly built cottage.

Florence is plagued with a medical condition—one that is alluded to throughout the story but I can’t recall what actually happened to her. It seems that the details surrounding her illness are swept under the rug.

Shortly after her marriage, Florence finds out that she is pregnant. However, after a threatened miscarriage—life for her is pretty stressful. This was one thing I could understand a bit. I can imagine that if a woman had a threatened miscarriage in those days—it’d be a very difficult, “wait and see,” situation for the expecting mother.

Then, Will leaves for reasons that Florence can’t begin to understand. However, he has promised to return before the birth of their baby. This results in quite a bit of whining from Florence. I mean, in truth, I’d be whiny and needy if my husband up and left me as well but—it wasn’t very pleasant to read.

Overall, I think that the book could be enjoyable if you’re not bothered by needy characters. As it is a character trait that grates on my nerves—this just wasn’t the book for me.
View all my reviews


Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, A Stitch and a Prayer, by Eva Gibson. A quilt becomes a labor of love for a lonely wife mysteriously separated from her young husband.

Celebrate May's release by entering to win a Kindle HDX and RSVP for the Quilts of Love "Quilting Bee" Facebook party with the Quilts of Love authors.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 17th. Winner will be announced at the "Quilting Bee" Facebook party with Emily Wierenga, Loree Lough, and Tara Randel. RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Eva Gibson is the author of twenty books, including The Gift of Forgiveness and The Three Marys. She currently teaches "writing your life story" classes for Portland Community College and is an active member of Oregon Christian Writers. She has lived most of her life on the family farm in Wilsonville, Oregon, which is the setting for A Stitch and a Prayer.

I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own. To view other reviews and learn more about the blog tour for 'A Stitch and a Prayer' please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here
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