With You Always

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould

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Photo courtesy of Baker Publishing Group

During the past year I have been introduced to the wonderful world of Amish fiction. I used to live in western Maryland, and there were Amish everywhere up there, so I was already familiar with “the People”, and some of their ways, but reading Amish fiction has showed me much more.

Mrs. Gould did an excellent job captivating your attention from the very beginning. Here characters are so interesting. What you first see isn’t always what “meets the eye”. I know this is book three in the series, and I have not read books one and two, but I was able to jump right in with this book and fall in love with the Lehman family, despite their many quirks. I have to admit, there were times I wanted to “knock some sense” into Rose…I felt as if she were a real person, and I was so disappointed in the reckless decisions she made.

My favorite character, by far, is Reuben Byler. He is very long-suffering and compassionate in his care for Rose and the rest of the Lehman family. Of course, he is human, and had to deal with his own hurt feelings at being deceived by Rose. He had every right to ignore her and to get on with his life without her, but he was very loving in stepping up and taking care of her and her daughter.

I, for one, prefer sweet, innocent books without such running around, but I know these things do happen in the Amish Community, and I guess in order to keep things realistic, Mrs. Gould had to write of them. I did appreciate that she was vague in describing what happened…didn’t come right out and describe how she had “lost her purity”.

Well written, well researched, and well received!

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

From This Day Forward


This book was very refreshing! I enjoyed it thoroughly! I loved the close family ties, and how the whole community of Blessing was like one big family unit. Their worship of God was a big factor in their lives as well, which I appreciate very much.

I love how the ladies have a special day to pray together, and how they all supported Deborah during her struggles of the heart. 

I also appreciated the author using the King James Bible for her quotes. 

Seeing the points of view from both Deborah and Toby was good as well. We could take a look at the struggles and triumphs from male and female perspectives.

The only thing I didn’t like was that I didn’t start reading this series sooner! I just HAVE to read the other books in this series now! 🙂 I highly recommend this book to everyone!
I received a free ARC from the publisher (Bethany House). No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

The Cottage

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I just completed this book. It was well written and edited very well. But I disagreed with several aspects.

  1. Alcohol use by the “good” characters. I understand the author trying to write the villains of the story as being at the pubs, drinking their beer and whiskey. The Christians in the book consumed wine as well. As I wrote in another book review, the Bible says in Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
  2. David’s view of going to church. He doesn’t think it is important to actually go to a physical church. I disagree. God instituted both the church body of believers, and also the gathering of them together. Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Matthew 18:20, Jesus says “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” It is very important to gather with other believers for encouragement, support, and learning.
  3. The Pastor seems to indicate that Jesus was just a man who knew God, not God’s Son. He says …”If my quest was to know God, then where else was I to begin but with the account of the Man who said He knew God…” Maybe this is not what the author was trying to bring across, but it seemed to say so to me.
  4. Seems to teach salvation through works. The pastor said he hadn’t been a Christian, and that he was just living through tradition. But then he said he learned that to be a Christian, he would need to go around doing good, by giving to and helping the poor, and turning the other cheek. Those things are very important, and Jesus did teach those things. BUT, those are the FRUIT of salvation, not the “RECIPE”, so to speak. Salvation is through the blood of Jesus Christ, His birth, death, AND His resurrection three days later. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Acts 16:31, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 2:21b, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Now on to the good. I liked how sweet David Tulloch was, and how he cared so much for his people. And I liked seeing Alonnah Ford step up to the plate as the new Laird, and showing similar compassion. It seemed a bit unrealistic to have David fly 5,000 miles to the states to return Alonnah’s journal, but hey! This is a romance book, right?

I also liked how the author went back and forth from past to present with Alonnah’s great grandmother’s journal. It was a very interesting layout and I enjoyed it.

Overall, it was a well written, well laid out book, but I just don’t agree with some of the teachings.

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

Not Halloween…

I don’t celebrate Halloween. I celebrate Popcorn Ball Memorial Day.

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Photo courtesy of Kayrosyrup.com

Yes, those disgusting balls of popcorn and syrup that little old ladies give to unsuspecting children on October 31. They hide them in treat bags, making kids think they are getting a bunch of candy, and I can just imagine those little old ladies laughing deviously from behind their closed doors, peeking out their windows at the disappointed looks on the children’s faces. So to all those out there that have been forever emotionally scarred by a like experience as a child…

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Love’s Faithful Promise

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I found Deirdre O’Leary to be a very loveable character, as well as her mother and most of her family. Over all I enjoyed this book, but there were a few points on which I was disappointed:

  1. The use of wine. I thought it was unfortunate for the author to have the Christians in the book to drink wine at Christmas time. I’m of the belief that “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
  2. Intensity of the romance. I’m like any woman-I like a good romance that’s sweet. But I thought for a Romance from a Christian publishing company, this one was a bit too sensual. The images brought up in Matthew’s mind for example.

Now for the good: I really liked the readability of this book. It was very smooth from chapter to chapter. I didn’t even know this book was part of a series until I was reading the Acknowledgements in the back of the book. I think it’s wonderful that this book could be read by itself and not leave big questions in it that cannot be answered unless you read another book. I love to read a good book series, but I love it more when I can read each book individually.

This book was very well written and, with the exception of the 2 points listed above, I enjoyed reading it. As I’ve written in former reviews, I love books with close families. I grew up in a large family, so this means a lot to me.

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

 

Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of the Missing Goop

Since I was a child I have always loved mystery books. This book was captivating. I loved the quirky characters, especially Smashie. The way her imagination runs crazy, to the point where she actually suspects herself as being the crook is hilarious! My only negative comment about this book is the use of the word “heck”. As a mother I would prefer not to see this in a child’s book (or any book for that matter). Many parents try to steer their children clear of empty descriptive words, and I think this one fits that category. Other than that, it was a nice book!

I received a free temporary digital copy of this book through NetGalley in return for my honest opinion.