Monday, December 23, 2013

Sex and the Single Christian Girl by Marian Jordan Ellis

From the publisher:
"True love waits"--but what exactly are you waiting for? After all, we're constantly bombarded with Hollywood's idea of romance--that sex is no big deal, that everyone is doing it, that it's the only path to a happy ending. Maybe you've even begun to wonder, What am I missing? Is the wait really worth it? Marian Jordan Ellis has been there. She knows the pitfalls of giving in to temptation--but also the blessings of God's best found in waiting after she committed herself to Christ and to sexual purity. Now, from one Christian woman to another, she hopes to spare you from the heartache of sexual sin and instead point you toward God's best. Marian offers lots of practical advice, backed by biblical truth, to equip you with the tools to overcome past mistakes and future temptations.


I asked to review this book because while I am married, these type of books were very influential for me in my teen and young adult years and I wanted to see what was out on the market now to help Christian girls think through the decisions they make.

I particularly liked that she had small group questions for each chapter at the end of the book because this could be a good book for a small group to go through to help create accountability partners and a safe place to be supported and supportive.

Marian Jordan Ellis shares her own stories with the reader and I think this goes a long way to show that she has personal experience and struggles in these areas and has found a way to overcome in Jesus.  Marian shares how this is not just a physical battle but a spiritual battle and yet she also gives some practical advice.  Her book is not solely theoretical but she tries to be practical in her advice.

My main problem with the book was that at the beginning of each chapter she has a quote from a "rom-com" movie.  This bothered me because if she is trying to direct our thoughts away from all the "rom-com" industry, then this is definitely unhelpful.  She could have found just as powerful of quotes in other awesome spiritual books that make a similar point.  Having the quotes at the beginning of each chapter turns the reader, even if for just a brief bit, toward the "rom-com" world that Marian Jordan Ellis is trying to point away from.

I received this book free from Bethany Publishing House in exchange for my honest review.

Emma of Aurora: The Complete Change and Cherish Trilogy by Jane Kirkpatrick

From the publisher:
The Change and Cherish trilogy, based on the true story of Emma Wagner Giesy, now available in one volume:
A Clearing in the Wild
When Emma’s outspoken ways and growing skepticism lead to a clash with the 1850s Bethel, Missouri colony’s beloved leader, she finds new opportunities to pursue her dreams of independence. But as she clears a pathway West to her truest and deepest self, she discovers something she never expected: a yearning for the warm embrace of community.
A Tendering in the Storm
Determined to raise her children on her own terms, Emma suddenly finds herself alone and pregnant with her third child, struggling to keep her family secure in the remote coastal forest of the Washington Territory. As clouds of despair close in, she must decide whether to continue in her own waning strength or to humble herself and accept help from the very people she once so eagerly left behind.
A Mending at the Edge
As a mother, daughter, sister, and estranged wife, Emma struggles to find her place inside—and outside—the confines of her religious community. Emma reaches out to others on the fringe, searching for healing and purpose. By blending her unique talents with service to others, she creates renewed hope as she weaves together the threads of family, friends, and faith.


All three stories are in one large volume.  This is a positive a negative feature.  The positive aspect is that it is wonderful to have all the books together and not have to wait for the next book to come out before continuing on with the story.  The negative part is that it is cumbersome to travel with or read.  Being so thick (over 1000 pages) it isn't a book to take from home.  It also made it hard for me to want to begin reading it, in a way it felt overwhelming.

Jane Kirkpatrick has done her homework in making this historical novel based on Emma.  The afterward by the author includes more information about the real people and more facts concerning the Aurora Colony.

These books are not a love story but a story of a women who is really surviving and trying to thrive.  Readers of history will like to learn more about Aurora Colony and the way it was founded and set up. 

As a trilogy the pace is more slow than fast and some readers will enjoy this pace and others will not. I was not hooked into reading this so while I was not drawn into the story, others might be.

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Take Charge of Your Emotions by Dr. Linda J. Solie

From the publisher: 
Respected Christian Psychologist Helps Readers Find Relief from Emotional Pain

Linda J. Solie, a psychologist who has been in private practice for more than 20 years, says everyone can benefit from taking charge of their emotional health. She gives readers the skills to take control of their thoughts and behaviors by first identifying the problem thinking that creates painful feelings and undesirable conduct. Then using a seven-step process, she helps them change their feelings and behavior. Throughout the book the seven steps are applied to a variety of situations, both short term--such as a distressing mood--and longer term, including significant longstanding emotional pain. Grounded in faith, the reader's relationship with Jesus is always central to the process.

As William Backus pioneered a generation ago with Telling Yourself the Truth (more than 700,000 sold), Solie will reach thousands of readers who don't have easy access to mental health providers or can't afford them. Pastors and lay counselors will also find this an excellent resource to use and recommend.

Readers will find this book one that they want to keep on hand to go back and reference.  This is not an fluffy-easy-to-read book but instead takes the reader through the steps in a thorough manner.  Solie provides charts and appendixes with situations to help the reader be able to overcome the depression, anxiety, and anger they are in.  

Christians will resonate with her base of Christian moral and standards but will find this book to be a serious help to their emotional distress.  Some readers may find it too much to read straight through.  I could recommend reading a section and applying it and waiting a while to apply it before moving onto the next section.  In my recommendation I would not say that this is a book to speed read through but to take time in understanding and applying the concepts.

Perhaps my favorite chapter is entitled "Finding Joy".  I recently read another book that applied the idea of finding joy.  I am so glad that Solie included this in her book as life is not always easy, and even when we have steps and processes to help us overcome depression, anxiety, and anger--one of the best things is to be able to find joy in and despite the circumstances.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

From the publisher:
The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun.
Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold.  But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.
To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt.  Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.
Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together  mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.
I was interested to learn more about the reconstruction time after the Civil War, especially from a former plantation owners’ point of view.  This book will give readers one glimpse into the struggles and victories of that time period.

As far as a Christian fiction book, I did not feel that the character’s had any relationship or time where they connected to God.  Charlotte, the main character has her doubts about God, but there doesn't seem to be any resolution or any real struggle. 

I struggled with the character development aspect of the book, as Charlotte and Nicholas were growing feeling for each other, but it was more of a “tell” and not a “show”.  Even the ending left me feeling like I wished more had been said.  This was also the case with other secondary characters.  They were introduced and taken away and then reintroduced without it seeming very important or building up their characters.

There were some interesting facts about yellow fever, rice planting, and differing opinions after the end of the Civil War.

I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

From the publisher: Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.
Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.
But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.
As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.
Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.
I was somewhat skeptical when I chose this book to review, and when I got the book and realized it was written in letters, my skepticism increased.  Some books written, completely in letter form can be tedious to read.  This was not the case at all with this book.  I quickly read through each letter and found myself completely engaged in the story.
Katherine Reay's first book was a pleasure to read.  As Sam quotes other literature throughout the book, and book lover will enjoy seeing their favorite quotes and character's through Sam's eyes and voice.  
While parts of the story are light and entertaining there is a real voice that champions for the children who are placed in the foster care system and their need for love and families.  Reay's book will cause readers to think deeply on how actions affect others for life.
The spiritual aspect of this book is light but true to life.  Sam doesn't have a shocking spiritual conversion experience, nor are any of her problems dealt with a flippant manner.  Reay has Sam work through all her issues in a realistic way.  
In the letters Sam introduces other people in her life, and these secondary characters are just as intriguing.  I was attached to Alex, the Muirs, Father John, and other characters in Sam's life, and I know other readers will feel the same.
I only wish that the ending of this book was longer or there was an epilogue to tell more at the end of the story.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will look for other book written by Katherine Reay.
I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis

From the publisher:
Adam Colby is just doing his job, sorting through the unsold Alexander belongings after the estate sale. He is unprepared for what he finds in an old photo album, overlooked by the bargain hounds and treasure hunters—six decades of postcards and poems from Gabe Alexander to his wife, Pearl. The mystery of the Alexanders’ love entices Adam, a man unhinged by divorce and puzzled by the depth of commitment that he finds in the unabashedly romantic cards.
Forever Friday invites you to travel back in time to the early twentieth century Texas Coastal Bend where a young couple—Gabe and Pearl Alexander—are swept up in a miraculous love. As the heartwarming, pulse-quickening story of their relationship develops through Gabe’s poems, the Alexanders reveal a new way to consider what it means to be truly devoted to each other. Could the secrets of their love affair, laid to rest twenty years ago, hold the key to one man’s future?

The idea book was intriguing to me and that is why I picked it up but I just can't say that it was one I will keep.  

I did like the idea of a love and marriage lasting and not letting things get in the way.  But it seemed that Gabe and Pearl's relationship was more about romance and exciting outings that anything deep and solid.  I had a hard time trying to imagine them with kids or a solid marriage that was based on more than just fun activities.  

I also am not a huge fan of jumping forward in time and skipping dozens of years.  It was necessary for the book but that is just not my favorite way to read a story.  Others might really enjoy this aspect however.

Timothy Lewis' writing isn't what drew me away from the story, so I would try another book by him.  

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley

From the publisher:
When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom - an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.

But she isn't the only one there with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggert is working the scene undercover as well. And although their true identities are a secret, it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the spark that flares between them.

But neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn't removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they come to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets - and no one on the ranch is safe.

But neither are their hearts - the longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers - and their lives - depend on solving this case. Love will have to wait.

I really enjoyed this book from start to finish.  This is the third book in this series by Margaret Brownley and I think this one was my favorite. 

The history of the Pinkerton Agency and Wells Fargo Detective agency were fascinating for me to read more about.  This also added a whole new element to the series of the Brides of Last Chance Ranch.  The story was more than just working the ranch and trying to become a heiress.  There was mystery and intrigue, danger and romance.

Maragaret Brownley will keep the readers enthralled from the beginning to the end as they try to guess who the Phantom is and watch Miranda and Jeremy try to figure each other and the case out. Both Miranda and Jeremy are such fun spunky characters. 

This book also teaches a lesson on how we choose to view others and how it colors our view on life. Readers of the series will find the ending satisfying and will also enjoy reading a little about the previous characters Kate and Molly.

I highly recommend this book.

I received this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Return to Me by Lynn Austin

From the publisher: 
After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain. 

Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers. 

Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

I was excited to review this book by Lynn Austin.  I enjoy the smaller books of the Old Testament and was glad to see a Biblical fiction book written about the time of Zechariah and going back to rebuild the temple after the exile in Babylon.

My favorite aspect of the book was the way that Lynn Austin dealt with the characters belief in God and His laws.  Iddo especially struggles with the reasons that he serves God.  Is it out of fear or love?  Obligation or devotion?  This is a theme that affects many characters, why do they do what they do?  I found this very relevant and interesting for us today because some people do not know why they serve God.  And a theme that Lynn Austin brings out is that it must be from love.  

The majority of the story spans a few years and then near the end there are a few large gaps in time.  Some readers might not enjoy this but it was necessary for the completion of the story.  

Lynn Austin writes with details about Babylon, Jerusalem, and the surrounding areas with detail and historical accuracy that will impress readers.

I enjoyed this book and will look for more books by her.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Woman's Guide to Hearing God's Voice by Leighann McCoy

From the publisher:
God is speaking, readers just need to learn how to listen. This is especially true during times of trial or heartache, when women need to be reassured that God has a plan. In A Woman's Guide to Hearing God's Voice, McCoy provides personal stories, biblical narratives, and wise insight to demonstrate how God is already active in every woman's life. It's just a matter of knowing what to look for. Women will not only be reassured of God's care, they will be challenged to take hold of God when their faith is shaken. Includes end-of-chapter discussion questions for personal or group use.


I first read Leighann McCoy's Spiritual Warfare for Women and it was very impactful on my spiritual life.  When I saw that she had another book I jumped at the chance to review it.  I am very glad and blessed that I did.  

I think a lot of people want to hear and audible voice from God, but Leighann directs us to the BIble as how we hear from the voice of God.  She specifically focuses on how to hear God in difficult times.  Throughout the book she uses Biblical accounts and personal narratives to show us ways in which God speaks to us through the struggles of life.  While she will write the Bible story in her own words she always gives us the passage where it comes from in the Bible and asks us to read the Biblical account on our own.  

At the end of each chapter is a section where the reader (or a group) can really get into the heart of the matter.  There is a section for personal reflections, discussion questions, and a Bible verse to memorize to keep as a treasure.  Whether you are reading this book by yourself or with a group these end sections will be a true blessing.  If you only read the book and skip these sections you will miss out on a personal connection with God and hearing His voice.  

Leighann writes in a way that invites you into the intimate details of her life as a true friend, but she will not only back on sharing harder lessons.  She is a true spiritual mentor and I can't wait to share this book with others.

I highly recommend this book and Leighann McCoy as an author.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

From the publisher:
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey. 
Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith. 
While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

Carrie Turansky is a new author for me and I enjoyed that her story focused not only on the main characters but created secondary characters that were engaging and interesting.  If you are into books that discuss the difference between the "upstairs and downstairs" of life in England then you will definitely enjoy this book.

I enjoyed reading Julia's character and how she really does try to live by the principles she teaches others.  Her character is led by her convictions as a Christian and even her romance will be governed by it.  I liked that Turansky did not make Julia quickly get married but instead allowed for time to develop their love.  This is more inline with Julia's character.

I enjoyed this book and will be look for more by this author.

I received this book free from Blogging for Books Multnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

City on Fire by Tracy Higley

From the publisher:
In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.
Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.
Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.


Tracy Higley writes very strong and somewhat modern women characters.  If you enjoy women who know what they wants and don't let themselves be pushed around by society then you will enjoy reading her books.

Ariella is one of those strong characters, and while her situation and story is less believable than some would enjoy, others may find her an enjoyable character.

Cato, for me was the more believable character.  His actions, and even his coming to the Christian walk was something that made sense as you could see his journey over the years even before this story started.

I chose this book because I enjoy historical fiction and wanted to know more about Pompeii.  Readers will enjoy the historical work that Higley has done for this book.  At her website there are pictures and a blog/journal where you can see Pompeii and her travels.  After reading the book, you will definitely want to see real pictures of the place.

I received this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

From the publisher:
In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate. 

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.


As a reader and reviewer one of my favorite things to do is read the author notes.  If you don't read them, you usually miss out on some great details.  Especially with Jody Hedlund.  In Rebellious Heart Jody has taken the lives of John & Abigail Adams and used parts of their lives to build this story.  While the novel does not follow their lives directly, parts of the story are directly related to the real lives of John & Abigail Adams.  What a rich historical read Jody Hedlund has given us!  

Besides the rich history Jody Hedlund masterfully weaves drama and romance through her book.  Neither the hero nor the heroine are perfect and their flaws are easy to see.  Yet, as you read and understand the times they lived in, you can better appreciate the risks they took that defied much of society at the time.

Jody deals with the beginning of the revolutionary movements and feelings of the colonies.  Skillfully she takes us to a world that was struggling with the idea of obeying the rulers, as the Bible asked them to, and yet realizing when the power was corrupt and to follow God not man.  I felt Hedlund did a great job of sharing the struggles of this time and helping us to see it with clearer eyes.

I highly recommend this book.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

From the publisher:
Darcy St. James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend undercover on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further. 

The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble. 

He'd love to just forget her--but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

This is the third book in the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey, but it can be read as a stand-alone.  I have not read any other books in the series and I was still able to really enjoy this book.  However, I think that based on reading this book, you will want to start with book one because you will really enjoy each book!

On the back cover a reviewer compared Dani Pettrey to Dee Henderson.  I have to admit that I agree with that.  Dani Pettrey had suspense and romance woven in so that you were on the edge of your seat reading as fast as you could to see what happened next.

There was also spiritual depth to the book that I greatly appreciated   While there was romance and drama a good portion of the drama and pain revolved around making the decision to surrender to Christ and accept Him as a personal Savior.  

I am glad I read this book and will definitely plan to read the rest of this series soon!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin

From the publisher: 
Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A comfortable boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie's cozy life gets decidedly more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they've made?

With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin pens another exciting tale in her series featuring WWII flight nurses. Fans new and old will find in On Distant Shores the perfect combination of emotion, action, and romance.


This is the second book in Sarah Sundin's Wings of the Nightingale series.  You do not have to read the first book to enjoy this second book.

Sarah Sundin has done her homework about World War II.  As Sundin writes you are taken not only to meet characters but places and settings.  Readers will enjoy having the excitement of battles and daring situations without having to deal with "blood and gore" descriptions. 

I found it interesting to learn about the Wings of the Nightingale.  I know parts of World War II but learning about the nurses who did the nursing while in flight was new to me.  Readers who enjoy history will find Sundin's descriptions of flight runs, and training enlightening.  

Both Georgie and Hutch have weaknesses that can only be fixed by surrendering to God.  Even though it seems for a time that being together will fix the problems, both will come to realize that while love and friendship are gifts from God, the only thing someone can really rely on is God Himself.

While the story does focus on Georgie and Hutch, Sundin also begins to create more background stories for supporting characters that I assume will be the focus in books to come.  

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity and Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Meet Sarah: Sarah Sundin is the author of "With Every Letter" and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A "Memory Between Us" was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. 

Visit for more information.

Enter Today - 8/15 - 9/2! Sarah Sundin On Distant Shores

Monday, August 26, 2013

For Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall

From the publisher:
Working hard to develop a new Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is fully committed to rehabilitating an orchard with business partner Samuel King. But an impulsive decision has created an unexpected strain in her relationship with her beau, Samuel’s brother, Jacob, threatening plans for the orchard. Amidst mounting tension in matters of the heart and business, Rhoda finds that this fledging settlement feels like the home she has always longed for, and she begins to embrace the God-given, heightened intuition that has always felt like a burden to her. She longs for Jacob to fully be free of his past, so they can work towards the future together.

But as Rhoda uses her gift to unpack an old secret with her Englisch neighbors, it is not her beau but an unlikely ally that cheers her on. With the orchard on shaky ground and Jacob’s plans in question, Rhoda is determined to see things through to harvest. But can she trust her insight to direct her path in matters of the heart?

This series of the Amish Vines and Orchards is probably the most interesting Amish books I have read.  Cindy Woodsmall doesn't write the typical Amish stories and yet her details for the Amish life is vivid and draws you in.

This book is 3 of 4 in the series and I believe that readers will be happy to know that there is a book four.  Woodsmall's development of her characters and introduction of new characters continues to build more complexity and depth to her novel.  I would highly recommend reading from book one before you read this book, otherwise you might feel lost (however she does add the back story notes in the beginning of the book).

I am still uncertain about how I feel about Rhonda's "intuition" but it is interesting to see her begin to accept it and it no longer is as haunting to her.  The further understanding of her seeing Emma was also interesting.

Matters of the heart are always trickier than business but in this story both are intertwined and at the end the love triangle of this story will begin to have some resolution   When I read this book, I felt that no matter how the love story played out, it would not be an easy thing---and I was right.  There is a line in the book that I strongly disagree with in regard to marriage and love, but I don't want to give away the story so I won't quote it here.

The story is complex but well written, reader will enjoy this book as well as the others in the series.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.