Together Forever


This is the second book in the Orphan Train series. (You can see my review of the first book here.) I enjoyed reading this book, but not as much as I enjoyed the first book. Together Forever had more passionate scenes, (thankfully no sexual content, but very steamy kisses and touches) and that made me a little uncomfortable, like I was actually watching the public displays of affection in person. I believe they let too many boundaries down before marriage, not to mention before even being engaged. I also felt that Drew was way too flirty with Marianne from the beginning.

But in a positive light, I like how the author showed that sin has consequences. Lies will be found out, and the outcome is never worth the temporary relief the lie brought.

The author did a very good job of captivating your attention and making you fall in love with her characters, especially the children on the orphan train. I was sad when the book came to an end because I wanted to hear more from them. I do look forward to the next book, and am hoping to find out what has happened to Sophie, Nicholas and Olivia.

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.



A Breath of Hope


This is Book #2 in the Under Northern Skies series. I enjoyed it as much as I did the first book! It was nice getting to know some of the other family members of the Carlsons. Once again I love Mrs. Snelling’s style of writing, making you feel like you are right there with the characters, facing their hardships and rejoicing over their victories.

Once again I only had a couple things I didn’t care for. First was the use of brandy as a social drink when the immigrants were at the rich lady’s home. The second thing was the act of baptizing the baby. I don’t agree with infant baptism, as an infant has no recognition of sin and therefore cannot get saved until they understand. (I’m not saying a baby will not go to heaven if it dies before it understands. I believe if the child has no understanding of sin, and why Jesus died on the cross, that they are under the age of accountability and will go to heaven.) Baptism is an outward show of an inward confession of salvation.

Every detail of this book seemed so realistic, from the gutting of the fish to the churning of butter, to the birthing of the calf. I would definitely recommend this book to others to read! I look forward to reading the next book in this series!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

Out of the Ashes



I loved the setting of this book. The way the authors captivated your attention right from the beginning was remarkable. I felt like I could really relate to the minor character Cassidy in the book…I’m 20 weeks pregnant with my second child (a boy!) and can feel her pain with mood swings and a changing body! My heart went out to Katherine and all the pain she must have endured. The same with Jean-Michel. I used to live near a military base, and some of the marines came to my church. To hear some of their stories, and to see the impact that combat can have on a person is eye-opening. The authors did a wonderful job capturing that.

I love Katherine’s grandmother, and really appreciated the fact that she felt bad for taking matters into her own hands. Even though everything turned out well in the end, it was good to read about faith and trusting the Lord to work things out for us.

I thought salvation could have been emphasized a little more in the book-it wasn’t very clear to me about accepting Christ as Savior and turning from your life of sin and unbelief. To me it seemed to imply that to be a Christian, all you had to do was start reading the Bible and praying. I may have just misunderstood the authors’ intent, though.

Overall, and very interesting and intense read! 4.5 out of 5 stars!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

Where We Belong


Where We Belong

Lynn Austin


This book is different than the books I have reviewed lately, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Full of adventure, Biblical perspective, and romance. I loved getting to read the book from the different characters’ viewpoints-very creative! The characters were well defined and so different from each other.

One point that I disagreed with was the justification of lying to do a greater good. Rahab’s story in the Bible was quoted as being a reason it was ok to lie. God never told Rahab to lie in order to protect the Israelite spies. She could have simply not answered, or told the truth. God had/has done great and mighty miracles-divided the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to cross on dry ground, made the waters of the Jordan River recede as they crossed, and many others. He could have blinded the eyes of the king’s men so they couldn’t see the spies, or protected Rahab’s life from those same men if they planned to kill her. God doesn’t need our lies to accomplish His plan. However, He showed mercy to Rahab. Don’t ever mistaken God’s mercy for God’s approval. I do thank the author for showing the results of the lies the characters told as not turning out the way they expected.

I appreciate the use of the King James Version in this book.

The love of the sisters for each other was beautiful.

Rebecca refusing to marry a man that does not share her faith in Jesus Christ was admirable. I thank the author for including that in the story. I am a firm believer of the verse in Amos that says “Can two walk together, except they be agreed”. She waited faithfully for him to become a believer before they could have a serious relationship.

I also thank the author for including strong creationism arguments in this book. Darwin’s book has done much evil down through the years, even though he has no true scientific evidence in this book to support his theories. His book was actually written with the title “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”. Natural Selection. The process of eliminating the so called “weaker races” to create a better and perfect race. This was the mindset of many horrible people down through the years, i.e. Adolph Hitler. Also, it is the mindset of many pro-abortion people of today. God created the life-it’s up to Him to decide when the end will be for that life.

I truly enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more of Lynn Austin’s books in the future!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

The Promise of Dawn


This is the second book I have read by Lauraine Snelling and I have to say I was not disappointed. Her characters seem very realistic. The work was described to the tiniest detail, which made it seem I was there with Signe, working right beside her. It was very easy to visualize this story. The author truly did her research!

Only one issue I have is the mention of alcohol. That’s the only point on which I agree with Einar Strand. I’m a “teetotaler.” 🙂 There are other ways to confuse and ease pain without alcohol.

Signe’s faith in God wavers, and I wasn’t sure if it was implied that she could lose her salvation or not. I don’t believe you can. If you truly accepted Christ as your Savior, then no man – not even yourself – can pluck you out of the Father’s Hand. (John 10:28 and 29). But there are times when your faith is tried and tested. I’m glad she came out on top.

I’m also glad Rune was able to get up his courage to stand up for his family. It’s hard to “go against the grain” for some people. It was good to see him do what was right for his family.

I am certainly looking forward to hearing more from the Carlson family in the future books of this series!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

Beloved Hope


This book picks up where the first book, Treasured Grace, left off. Grace’s younger sister Hope is the main character in this book, and we follow her struggles of fear, bitterness, and the ability to forgive those who wronged her. The author did a very good job depicting Hope’s feelings. Very realistic.

Pros: Very clear plan of salvation throughout the book. Uncle Edward has a very easy going way about him and uses it to be a good witness.

I loved that the author used the King James Version.

I felt like I was right there with Hope as she was working with the sheep, and preparing the wool to spin into yarn. It made me want to take up spinning yarn as a hobby!

Cons: For me personally, pages 320-322 was a little bit too intimate. I understand why the author desired to include the after-marriage scene in the book, to further let us delve into the fears and struggles that Hope experiences due to the horrors she lived through at the Whitman Mission Massacre, but for me it was a little too much information. I didn’t feel the need to envision them undressing to know that she was ready to let go of the past and move on.

But I thoroughly enjoyed the other 327 pages of this book! It was full of surprises, and I look forward to book three being released!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.


With You Always


I recently read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it! I’ve always been interested in the orphan train, and I’m looking forward to the other books in this series to be released.

Elise is a strong woman with a lot on her shoulders. The author did a good job captivating my attention and making me fall in love with the characters. The vast differences between the three sisters makes me think of all the differences between me and my 5 sisters. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Thornton is a likeable fellow but, in my opinion, a bit flirty. But he is honorable, and that I like. There were a few instances that seemed a bit too intimate for my tastes (i.e. the kitchen closet scene,) but it is all just hugs and kisses, no sexual content.

I appreciated how the author wrote about a sensitive issue of the day (prostitution,) yet did it in such a way as to bypass any explicit scenes. Prostitution was a sin in the past of some of the women, but not included in the book.

I also appreciated that the scripture references listed are from the King James Bible.

Overall a good read!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

The Ebb Tide


I read this most recent book by Beverly Lewis, and I literally could not put it down! Mrs. Lewis is my favorite author on Amish fiction. I immediately fell in love with her characters. I especially appreciated Sallie’s desire for a closer, more personal relationship with God. For her to be able to break away from religious tradition was very brave. But I like how she respected her parents through it all, and sought their blessing on each step she took.

Once again, Mrs. Lewis writes so realistically. I felt as if I were reading about real people. I could picture Cape May vividly in my mind, even though I have never been to New Jersey.

I have no negative things to say about this book. Thank you, Mrs. Lewis, for writing this book!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson


This is one of the best books I have read in a long time! I could hardly put it down. The flow of the book was very good, and my heart was in my throat a few times, waiting to find out what happened next. Here are some of my favorite things about this book:

  1. The plan of salvation is very clearly written in this book. Faith and salvation are very prevailing topics in here. I’ve read many Christian books where Christianity is mentioned, but it is not clearly written how you can become a Christian. Not so with Treasured Grace. On several occasions it is mentioned that salvation is believing on Jesus Christ as your Savior, and the gospel is clearly written out at least on one occasion.
  2. The author really did her research into the Whitman Massacre and life in those days. I felt like I was there, commiserating with those poor helpless women and children.
  3. The different emotions that those women would have gone through are well written into the story. Hope’s anger and subsequent lack of care about life seemed very realistic. The terror they felt, I felt as I read the book.
  4. I also liked that Grace’s marriage of convenience was not praised. The fact that she had taken a vow before the Lord to love her husband and that she didn’t mean it was spoken of and she understood that it was wrong. She almost made the same mistake again. Her heart was in the right place, but it’s never right to do wrong to do right.
  5. The book is very Pro-Life. Hope wanted to end the life of the baby she was carrying, but was talked out of it, and came to understand that killing the innocent child would not right the wrong that was done to her. Thank you, Mrs. Tracie Peterson, for including such a delicate topic and standing so strongly for the right!
  6. The scripture used throughout this book is the King James Version. I really appreciated that, as I believe it is the inspired Word of God to English speaking people.

This is the first book by Mrs. Peterson that I have read, and I can’t wait for other books in this series to be published!

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.



Quick Tips for Busy Families By James Payleitner


Image courtesy of Bethany House Publishers

Whew! This book was full of all kinds of tips, anywhere from what to put on a list when going out of town, to keeping a fully stocked supply of Pez candy dispensers on hand. And, as with any advice, there are some really good ideas that you can take and start using right away, and there’s some that leaves you saying, “Huh?” You’re not ever going to agree with someone 100%, and Mr. Payleitner doesn’t expect you to. He just wants you to read the book of things he has learned and discovered in his years of parenting, and glean what you can use out of it. For some people, it will be a must read and a book they will consult for years to come. For others it will be one of those books you read once and then never pick it up again. It was well written and edited. I liked the fact that each of his strategies were only one or two pages long, so if you are in a hurry you can read just one or two, but if you have the time you can read half the book in one sitting. A lot of his strategies have to do with making memories and spending time with your children, and I agree. Family is so very important! You only get one chance at parenting each child…make the most of it! Don’t just hurry on by and miss all those precious opportunities. God has given you your children for a reason. Make memories with them! Put down your phone long enough to recognize the special, wonderful, and great responsibility of being a father or mother truly is! That’s what I gathered from this book.

I received a free copy from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.