icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grace and the Preacher

About the Book:
At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs. 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

About the Author: 

 Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wife, mother, gramma, chocolate-lover, cat-petter, and--most importantly--a daughter of the King! With more than 1.5 million books in print in seven different languages, Kim enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Her "gentle stories of hope" are loved by readers and reviewers alike. Kim and her retired military husband, Don, reside on the plains of Kansas, the setting for many of her novels.

What I Thought: 
I have enjoyed every book that I have read by author Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Grace and the Preacher was no exception! I was reading it during a very stressful time in my life, and it took me away and thoroughly captured my attention each time I picked it up. I enjoyed the characters; the author does a great job of making you feel like you've met them in person.

There were many lessons throughout Grace and the Preacher. Just a few are forgiveness, grace,and repentance.  Faith and God are core to the story and characters. At the end of the book are a reader's guide and questions for discussion.  I recommend this book if you are looking for a clean, heartwarming story that contains romance and suspense.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review~The Ebb Tide

About the Book: 
From the back cover-Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home? 

About the Author: 
Beverly Lewis penned her first story at age nine while living near Lancaster County Amish farmland, where she grew up. She welcomes her many reader-friends each day on Facebook and personally replies to fan mail. Lewis lives with her husband in Colorado near their family.
Website: www.beverlylewis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialbeverlylewis/

What I Thought: 
In my opinion, author Beverly Lewis is the best of the best when it comes to Amish fiction. She has written so many fabulous books, it amazes me each time I read her latest release. She has done it again with The Ebb Tide. It is a beautiful romance with a theme of trusting God to lead you down the path He has chosen for you in life.

I enjoyed the setting of Cape May, which was different from the farms of most Amish stories. Ms. Lewis' descriptions of the ocean made me feel like I was right there on the sand looking at the waves. I loved the character Sallie-a sweet, loving girl who wants to please her family and community, but has such a strong passion for the beauties of the world around her. Her internal struggle between the two worlds was made clear with the author's talented storytelling. I read The Ebb Tide in record time-I did not want to put it down! I highly recommend it!

Learn more about The Ebb Tide, author Beverly Lewis, and her many other titles, including purchasing information, at www.beverlylewis.com

* I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Review~Written in Love

About the Book: 
When a postal error creates pen pals of two young Amish people, can they put behind their past mistakes to see the bright future God has written for them?
Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.
Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. But when Jalon suggests they meet, she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.
In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them.

What I Thought: 
 Written in Love is the first book in author Kathleen Fuller's new An Amish Letters Novel series. I've enjoyed many books by Kathleen Fuller; she creates wonderful stories that keep me engaged. Written in Love is a sweet love story of two young Amish people who have gone through hard times in their lives and are searching for happiness. Chapter one starts out with letters written back and forth between Jalon and Phoebe over a two month time period. I liked how the author did this, it gave a good base to the story.  Written in Love was easy to read and hard to put down! Phoebe and Jalon had to learn to trust in God and each other. Included in the book are a glossary and discussion questions. 

*I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

An Amish Home

About the Book: 
A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman—Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. But all of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.
Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston—Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.
A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid—Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is reignited.
Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller—Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?

What I Thought: 
I always enjoy reading books that are collections of novellas. An Amish Home is a wonderful book with four novellas from some of my favorite Amish fiction authors. Each novella is less that 100 pages, so a quick read. Each of the novellas has a glossary, discussion questions based on the story,  and at the back of the book there are two recipes from each story.  406 pages might seem like a long book, but when broken into four short stories, it goes by quickly.

All of the stories from An Amish Home have several things in common. The stories are all based on someones home,whether the main characters or someone else. It might seem like the home is the most important thing, but as they resolve the home issue they learn a lot about themselves. The characters encounter love, faith, patience, and following God's plan for their lives.

Although I don't have a favorite of the four novellas, A Flicker of Hope really touched my heart. Noreen has ached for a child for many years, and her relationship with her husband Thomas has grown cold. When their house burns to the ground, it seems all hope is lost. The couple must face their problems, and lean on God to get through this terrible time in their lives.

*I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Review~Redeeming Ruth

ISBN: 1619709074 | ISBN-13: 9781619709072 | List Price: $19.95 | Format: Hardcover | Page Count: 200 

About the Book: 
Redeeming Ruth is the inspirational, true story of an abandoned baby, a devastating diagnosis, and the way God loves broken, hurting people through us--even though we may be broken and hurt, too.

When Meadow met her, Ruth was a sixteen-month-old child that some church friends were hosting from an orphanage in Uganda. She had cerebral palsy and was so weak she couldn't lift her head. Meadow had always felt a call to adopt, but was this what God meant? Part family drama, part travel adventure, and part memoir, Redeeming Ruth is a heartwarming, against-all-odds story about the most unlikely pairing of a typical American family and a physically challenged orphaned girl from Uganda. Much more than an adoption story, this book explores what happens when we sacrificially reach out and share God's love with others.

Ruth's story will inspire families considering adoption, people raising or teaching children with special needs, caregivers, and those grieving the loss of a loved one, ministering to people with disabilities, or striving to serve God despite their own wounded hearts and broken dreams.

About the Author

 Meadow Rue Merrill is an award-winning journalist who has spent the following eight years corresponding for The Boston Globe and writing for The New York Times, Harvard University, and The Boston Sunday Globe Magazine. She has regular columns with The Portland Press Herald and Down East magazine.
Connect with the author:
TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook

What I Thought: 
Adoption is near and dear to my heart, as I was adopted and my youngest son was adopted as well. We were both domestic adoptions through foster care, so very different situations than the Merrill's. I cannot imagine traveling to a foreign country to adopt your child.

Redeeming Ruth is broken down into a prologue, 21 chapters, epilogue, author's note, author's thanks, readers guide, notes, and photographs. I thought the readers guide was a wonderful resource, whether you read the book alone or as a group. For each chapter, there is a bible scripture, questions for discussion, and application. The photos were just wonderful, eight pages of full-color images that melted my heart. 

What an amazing family the Merrills are! They did what God led them to do, period. More of us need to follow His lead, even when its so incredibly hard. Once I picked Redeeming Ruth up, I couldn't put it down. I just had to know what happened to this sweet baby and her new family. You know that saying "It takes a village"? The adoption and life of Ruth is a perfect example of that. So many wonderful friends and family did so much to help this family, some even strangers! The author is so honest and raw with her feelings through the years.

After we adopted our son from foster care at three years old, so many people praised us and said how lucky he was, and we still hear that even with him being 14 years old now!  I understand why people say these things, but once you have adopted a child you know that it is the other way around. How blessed am I to have this child? He has brought such joy to my life, and I have learned so much from him. He has some severe learning disabilities and health problems (not life threatening), and he teaches us so much with his strength and determination. I'm sure that's the same way the Merrills feel-they were so blessed for their time with Ruth. Although it appeared they were doing everything for Ruth, she was giving them all so much!

Do yourself a favor and read Redeeming Ruth-it is a wonderful story of love. All personal proceeds from this book  benefit orphans and people with disabilities in Uganda. Right now, Redeeming Ruth is half off at Christian Book Distributors: http://uroomtech.christianbook.com/redeeming-everything-life-takes-love-restores/meadow-merrill/9781619709072/pd/709072  

If adoption or foster care isn't for you, there are other ways you can make a difference! In the author's notes section at the back of the book are other ways you can help.

I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review~Treasured Grace

About the Book: 
From the back cover: In untamed Oregon Country, one young woman fights to keep her family safe. Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters, Hope and Mercy, became her responsibility. A hasty decision to head west seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start but has instead left Grace in a precarious position. When missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife agree to let Grace and her sisters stay at their mission for the winter, Grace is grateful. Until they hear from their uncle in Oregon City, the three sisters have nowhere else to go. 

As Grace adjusts to life in the West, she meets a fur trapper named Alex Armistead who intrigues and infuriates her in equal measure. But when a measles outbreak threatens lives at the mission and among the native Cayuse who live nearby, it is Alex who helps Grace use the natural healing remedies she learned from her mother to help where she can, despite Dr. Whitman's disapproval. As the death toll rises, so do tensions between the settlers and the natives, and Grace soon finds herself and those she loves n more danger than she imagined possible.  

About the Author: 

Tracie Peterson's love for history and research fuels the bestselling stories she writes. She is the author of over one hundred novels and the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award. Tracie and her family live in Montana. You can learn more about Tracie and her books at www.traciepeterson.com

What I Thought: 
I had heard of author Tracie Peterson, but had never read anything by her. When I first received Treasured Grace, I looked inside the front cover and was amazed at the number of books she has written! Now that I have finished reading Treasured Grace, I understand why she is such a popular author-what talent!

The character of Grace is an amazing, selfless, hard-working woman who is making sacrifices so her sisters can have a fresh start out West. The story is full of anguish, from the many deaths from illness to the Whitman massacre, which is a true event in our history. Grace is strong throughout everything, and relies on her faith heavily. She uses her midwifery skills to help many sick people, both white and Indian.  

Treasured Grace was a fascinating read; one I stayed up late into the night reading because I did not want to put it down. It is a clean story (no swear words or sexuality), with many Christian references and Bible verses. The topics of rape, kidnapping, and suicide are all touched upon, so it would not be a book for the younger crowd or those who might be sensitive to these subjects. I loved reading Treasured Grace, which is the first book in Tracie Peterson's new Heart of the Frontier series. I look forward to the next book in the series, and in the meantime I will be seeking out more of her books to read!

Treasured Grace is available to purchase at Baker Publishing Group.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Review~Mississippi Nights

About the Book: 
From the back cover: Two brothers, one death-the bond of brotherhood faces its greatest challenge against resentment and guilt.

Can the love between two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt?

When firefighter David Boyette's fiancee perishes in a car fire, he blames his brother, Sgt. Jeremy Boyette, for her death.

Three years later, David returns home with a dark and devastating secret. With the help of family, a woman's love, and a small child's devotion, can David overcome insurmountable odds as he and Jeremy face the bitterness that enslaves him?

Together the brothers must decide if the bond of brotherhood is stronger than resentment and hate.

About the Author: 
D.M. Webb (Daphne Self), a transplant from Mississippi who fell in love with Iowa, spends her days writing, biking, antiquing, and planning adventures with her husband and sons. Having always dreamed of being a writer she pursues this dream with only one goal in mind: To Glorify His Name. D.M. not only writes, but she's an avid reader who devours books in many genres. Catch some of her latest reviews at  www.rebelbookreviews.blogspot.com. Beyond her writing and reading, she also volunteers as a judge for the Genesis Contest and Carols Awards through American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).​
Connect with Daphne at:
Author Website: http://authordmwebb.weebly.com/
Author FB page link is https://www.facebook.com/WebbDM
Twitter page link is http://twitter.com/DaphMichele
Amazon Page link is  http://www.amazon.com/D.-M.-Webb/e/B007D8TXVO/

What I Thought:  
Mississippi Nights is a good, clean story that kept my attention throughout the 383 pages. The Boyette family is a strong Christian family dealing with issues families have to deal with. The two sons are a firefighter and police officer, and so they come into contact during work as well as family time. The tension between the boys is coming to a head, stemming from the death of David's wife years ago. David's hidden alcoholism is quickly destroying him, just when he starts dating Maggie, a sweet local girl who is a positive influence on him. 

All of the characters were very relateable, and I enjoyed how the strength of faith, family and community was focused on. 

You can purchase your own copy of Mississippi Nights in Kindle or Softcover from Amazon.

I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Polygamist's Daughter

About the Book: 
My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children...This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil's criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear-and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist's daughter?

Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist's Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search fro love, faith, and a place to call home.

What I Thought: 
I've always found polygamy a fascinating topic, and living in Utah, I probably hear and see more about it than if I lived in another state. Once I started The Polygamist's Daughter, I couldn't put it down.  Anna LeBaron tells the riveting story of her childhood in a polygamist cult. I honestly couldn't believe what this poor woman went through. The neglect and abuse that she accepted as normal life was horrifying.  It was hard to wrap my mind around the fact that adults could treat children like this. Even though Anna was always surrounded by many siblings and mothers, she felt alone and unloved. Her escape from the cult was inspiring.

Along with her amazing memoir, The Polygamist's Daughter has many pictures from her childhood, and a Q & A with the author. I highly recommend this book.

*Disclosure: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Review~The Sisters of Sugarcreek

About the Book (back cover):
   Devastated by a deadly fire that took the lives of their loved ones...
Lydia Gruber, a young Amish widow, faces an uncertain future. Without support or skills, how will she survive?

With the loss of her beloved Aunt, Jessica Holtz inherits Rose's Knit One Quilt Two Cottage. Though determined to keep the shop open, she doesn't know the first thing about knitting and quilting and begins to see her aunt's dream slip through her fingers.

Liz Cannon lost not only her dear friend Rose, but her partner in the Secret Stitches Society-dedicated to delivering anonymous gifts of hope to troubled folks. She and Jessica decide to keep the society going, choosing Lydia for their first mission.

The three women form an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of tragedy. As they walk together through triumph and heartbreak-through grief and new chances at love-they begin to discover that with friends by your side, a stitch of hope can be found anywhere.

About the Author: 

Cathy Liggett is the American Christian Fiction Writers' prestigious Carol award-winning author of Beaded Hope, her debut women's fictional novel, which was also nominated Best Inspirational Novel by Romantic Time's Reviewers' Choice Awards. Besides women's fiction, she also enjoys writing sweet romances. Cathy and her husband live in southwest Ohio. Visit her website at www.cathyliggett.com

What I Thought: 
I read a lot of Amish fiction, but I have never read anything by author Cathy Liggett. I found her book The Sisters of Sugarcreek to be a refreshing change from often somewhat predictable storylines. In this story, the Amish and Englisch worlds are intertwined, with two Englisch and one Amish woman becoming great friends. The themes throughout the book are kindness and faith. No matter what trials they are going through in their own lives, the Secret Sisters work to bring hope to those who are going through rough times. It was uplifting to read all the examples of women helping each other, even women who don't know each other.

The side stories of what is going on in each of the three women's lives were all interesting. While working to bring joy to others, they are each going through their own trials. The characters were fun and likeable, and easy to relate to. There are discussion questions at the back of the book. I think The Sisters of Sugarcreek would be a great book club book, and would be enjoyable for most women.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review~Her Secret

About the Book 

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

About the Author: 
 Shelley Shepard Gray is the “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author of the Seasons of Sugarcreek series, the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Families of Honor series. She lives with her family in southern Ohio, where she writes full time. Before her work in the inspirational market, Gray wrote several novels as Shelley Galloway. During this time her books appeared on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, and she won “RT Book Reviews'” prestigious Reviewers’ Choice Award.
Connect with Shelley: 
Website:  http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ShelleyShepardGray
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ShelleySGray
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/shelleysgray/ 

 What I Thought: 
Shelley Shepard Gray is in the top five of my favorite Amish fiction authors. Her Secret is the first book in her new series, The Amish of Hart County. I was excited to learn that there will be six books in the series. They will be stand-alone novels, connected by their location in Hart County, Kentucky.

The author is a master storyteller, and Her Secret kept me glued to the book until I was done. It is very suspenseful, and at only 247 pages is a quick read. Two new things that I enjoyed in this book were the location-I have not read about Amish in Kentucky before, and the main storyline of an Amish girl being stalked by an Englischer.  

At the back of the book is the P.S. Section, which includes About the Author, About the Book, Q & A With the Amish, Questions for Discussion, and Facts About Hart County. I think it is great to have these extra resources, and I look forward to the next book in The Amish of Hart County. 

Read more reviews at Litfuse.  You can learn more about Her Secret and where to purchase a copy at the author's webpage. 

Click here for the chance to win a copy of Her Secret!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Book Review~The Cherished Quilt

About the Book:
Tragedy tore Christopher’s world apart. But Emily believes there are enough pieces left behind to stitch together a beautiful new beginning. Emily Fisher is eager to meet the new employee at her father’s shop in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. But when Christopher Hochstetler arrives, his cold demeanor freezes her attempts at building a friendship. Longing for a fresh start, Christopher travels from Ohio to Bird-in-Hand to work at his uncle’s shop. Christopher’s heart is still wounded from memories of home, and making new friends is the last thing on his mind—he knows the pain that comes with losing those you love. When Emily is kind to him, he tries to remain distant, but he soon finds himself stealing glances at her throughout the day. When Christopher shares his tragic reasons for leaving home, Emily decides to make a quilt for him as a gesture of their friendship. Even though he is not a member of the church, she’s found someone with whom she can imagine a future. The two are quickly falling in love when a family emergency calls Christopher back to Ohio without warning.

What I Thought: 
The Cherished Quilt  is part of the Amish Heirloom novels by author Amy Clipston. I've read all of Ms. Clipston's Amish fiction books, and always enjoy them. The Cherished Quilt was no exception. My heart broke for Christopher, who blames himself for his brother's death. His father also blames him, which drove Chris to leave home and relocate to his Uncles home and shop in Pennsylvania. Emily and Christopher quickly begin to have feelings for each other, but Chris just can't escape the extreme guilt. Can he forgive himself so that he and Emily can have a life together? 

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book  from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Book Review~Home to Paradise & Author Chat Party

About the Book: 
Rose Anna Zook has watched her two older sisters marry two Stoltzfus men and has always thought she and John, the third Stoltzfus brother, would marry, make a home together, and have children. But John has other ideas. He’s enjoying his Rumschpringe in the Englisch world a little too much and isn’t interested in returning to the Amish community—especially to marry.
Rose Anna is determined to bring her man back into the Amish fold. John is equally determined to live his life free and unencumbered. Who will win this battle of wills? Will love prevail?

About the Author: 
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award from RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida. You can learn more about her on Facebook.

What I Thought: 
Home to Paradise is the final book in author Barbara Cameron's The Coming Home series. I did not read the other books in the series, but had no problem at all following the storyline and characters. It was a good standalone book. The author did a wonderful job making me feel like I truly knew the characters and the heartache Rose Anna and John were going through. The young adult Amish often struggle with the pull of the outside world, and Barbara Cameron does well in capturing this. John and Rose Anna just seem like they have to be together, as her two older sisters and his two older brothers are married. Now that I have read Home to Paradise and enjoyed it so much, I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in the series. 

You can read more reviews on this book at the Litfuse Landing Page. Visit the author's website for more information and to purchase your own copy. 

Home to Paradise, the final book in author Barbara Cameron's The Coming Home series, is not to be missed! Rose Anna Zook always thought she and John, one of Stoltzfus brothers, would marry, make a home together, and have children. But John, enjoying his Rumschpringe in the Englisch world, has other ideas. Rose Anna is determined to bring her man back into the Amish fold. John is equally determined to live his life free and unencumbered. Who will win this battle of wills? Will love prevail?

Join Barbara on Thursday, March 9, for a live author chat party on her Facebook page with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there—bring a friend or two who loves Amish fiction!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Product Review~Ozeri Oscillating Tower Fan

I know it isn't the hot summer months yet when you need a fan 24/7, but even in cooler months it can be so nice to have the air circulating. Gone are the days of the big, bulky, heavy box fans-the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan is sleek and stylish!

Product Description (From the manufacturer):
Boasting unrivaled technology, the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan oscillates at 60, 90, 120, or 360 degrees for partial to complete air circulation with 3 whisper quiet speed settings. Utilizing advanced cylindrical motion technology with over 200 noise-reducing micro-blades, the 360 Tower Fan achieves remarkable airflow velocity while remaining impressively quiet. The 360 Tower fan offers 3 fan whisper quiet speed settings for customized airflow. It also features 3 preprogrammed airflow patterns designed to foster sleep, relaxation and comfort with up to 360 degree complete oscillation for timely relief on a sweltering summer day or for refreshing circulation all year long. The Ozeri 360 Tower Fan features an 8-hour timer that can be programmed in 30 minute increments with ease, and a multi-colored LCD that displays all fan functions and the room temperature. All of the Fan's features, including programmable timer, are easily controlled via the included extended-range remote or via the fan’s front control buttons. The 360 Tower fan features a dismountable design that only requires the hand assembly of fan base using 3 included screws, with no special tools required. Satisfaction guaranteed.

My Thoughts: 
My family owns several Ozeri products, and we are very pleased with all of them. They are quality products, made to last, at a reasonable price. Our new Ozeri 360 Oscillating Tower Fan is a great addition to our home. Like I said above-it is sleek and stylish, and only weighs nine pounds. It was simple to assemble the base with the three provided screws. My husband and I both enjoy having air circulating all year round-the fact that this fan is unbelievably quiet makes it more enjoyable to do so. 

The bright, multicolored LED display is easy to read, and there is a dimmer for night. The remote is tiny but powerful-you can be quite a ways away from the fan and still use the remote. There is a little pocket of space on the back of the fan to store the remote:

There are so many great features on the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan, the entire family was excited to try out all the settings! I think the most amazing feature to everyone was the 360 degree oscillation. You can choose from 60, 90, 120, or 360 degree oscillation. Other great features are the three different airflow settings, and the 8 hour timer. The only negative feedback I have is the cord is too short for us. We live in a home built in 1974, and there are only a few electrical outlets in each room. The problem is easy to solve with an extension cord, but I really don't like the look of that. Other than that, there is nothing negative to say about the Ozeri 360 Tower Fan. It is loaded with great features, and looks stylish!

You can purchase your own Ozeri 360 Oscillating Tower Fan at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ozeri-Oscillation-Micro-Blade-Reduction-Technology/dp/B00I3RG0GA/

 *Disclosure: I received a sample of this product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Children's Book Review~Ellie Camps Under the Stars

The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant is an adorable series for young children that entertains and teaches them important life lessons. We were introduced to this series a few years ago, and instantly fell in love with the adorable characters Ellie and Pudgy. We have collected all of the books in the series, and they are some of my grandson Daniel's (5 years old) favorites! Apparently, we aren't the only ones who love them, because these books are on the Amazon Best Sellers lists!

The latest book in the series is Ellie Camps under the Stars. Ellie and Pudgy are excited to try camping, but as with anything new, they are a bit nervous about their new adventure. They put up a tent, hike, look at stars, cook outside,  and see wonderful parts of the outdoors.

As in the rest of the Ellie series, the characters have lots of fun but learn some things along the way. In this book, they learn to respect nature, and that they could hike farther than they thought! They had fun playing games, and learned about constellations too!

I love how the cute pictures and beautiful illustrations are mixed together on the bright, colorful pages. The print is easy to see, and would make a great reader for early elementary ages. There are occasional questions to ask your child, such as counting how many marshmallows Pudgy has. At the back of the book is a maze and connect the dots(stars), as well as instructions on taking pictures of your own stuffed animals.

As I already mentioned, The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant series is one of my grandson's favorites. He gets to choose two stories to read at bedtime, and quite often one or both is an Ellie adventure! He was so excited when we turned the page to see the constellation Orion, as that is his middle name! He quickly had to go show everyone else in the house 'his' constellation! He was also amazed at the picture of Ellie and Pudgy behind the waterfall, as he did not know that was possible.

As always, these great books spark lots of good conversation with my grandson. He has never been camping, and now he wants to go! So I think we will be planning a little camping adventure of our own this summer, and maybe even take some favorite stuffed friends to take pictures of!

Both Daniel and I highly recommend Ellie Camps Under the Stars and the rest of the series!  A really exciting fact is that the author, Ellie Fair,  is only 13 years old! She co-wrote the books with her Mom, Marci Fair. You can learn more about The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant on their Facebook page, and all of the books are available for purchase on Amazon.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Children's Book Review and Giveaway~I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug!

About the Book: 
I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!, written by bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney, is a playful and comforting bedtime book that imagines all the wonderful ways a child might give and receive a hug. Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy, slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples. Cooney’s sweet and simple rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is a sweet loving bedtime story book that is also sure to become a Valentine’s Day favorite for little ones who enjoy celebrating a day full of hugs and kisses from loved ones.  

About the Author & Illustrator:
Author Caroline B. Cooney was born in New York, grew up in Connecticut, and now lives in South Carolina. Caroline is the author of 90 Young Adult novels in many genres, and her books have sold over fifteen million copies. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is her first picture book. It’s based on a verse she wrote for her own children, Louisa, Sayre and Harold, who are grown now.

Illustrator Tim Warnes has been illustrating children's books for twenty years. He lives in Dorset, England, with his wife, children's illustrator Jane Chapman, and their two sons. When he's not drawing little critters, Tim loves to write, watch birds and play his banjo. Visit Tim at www.ChapmanandWarnes.com 

What I Thought: 

I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug!, written by Caroline B. Cooney and published by Zonderkidz (a division of Zondervan), is a 30 page hardcover book for children ages 4-8. It is full of cute, colorful illustrations. There is minimal writing on each page, making it an excellent book for beginning readers.My grandson Daniel, 5, loves I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug! When asked  his favorite part, he said it was all the animals. There is a dog, a cat, a pig, a horse, a bear, a duck, a worm, a whale, and a sheep! They are each described as how it would be to give them a hug. He also enjoyed discovering that there was a little patch of yellow with red polka dots snuck somewhere into each page's illustration. That was fun to look for!

I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug! was a perfect bedtime story-not too long, fun, and loving. Everyone loves hugs! This book would make a wonderful gift for a young child.  You can purchase your own copy from the Zondervan website.

I have one copy of  I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug! to give away to a reader. You must be a US resident. Additional guidelines below in the Disclosure. Winner will be emailed within 24 hours of contest ending, and has 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Book Review and Author Giveaway~The Mark of the King

About the Book: After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Read more reviews of this book at Litfuse.

Visit the author's website to learn more and purchase a copy

About the Author: Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.
Connect with Jocelyn Green: 
  What I Thought: The Mark of the King was outside of my regular genres that I read and review. Historical fiction from the 1700s is not what I usually read. I tend to get comfortable, but I am so glad I went outside of my comfort zone and read this book! Although on the long side at 395 pages, I read The Mark of the King quickly because I could not wait to find out what happened next. Julianne's life is one of tragedy after tragedy, yet she remains strong throughout a life of hardships. Her career as a midwife was fascinating. I was appalled at the living conditions of the settlers in the Louisiana Colony, and the way she was treated for the brand on her body, a brand she never should have received. Through everything, Julianne longs for a loving husband and children. I thoroughly enjoyed The Mark of the King and will be checking out other books by Jocelyn Green. 

Click here to enter to win a 5-book giveaway from Jocelyn Green. 

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review & Author Kindle Fire Giveaway~Eden The Animals' Parable

Book Description:
"Ask the animals,  and they will teach you." Job 12:7
In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals-especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden. With a wise, old donkey, innocent lambs, and legions of curious field mice-the animals follow their master's journey across Galilee and onto Jerusalem, rapt with awe and wonder and bearing great tidings-even if they don't fully comprehend the divine events they witness. Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible. 

About the Author:

Keith Korman is a literary agent and novelist. Over the years he has represented many nationally-known writers of fiction and non-fiction at his family's literary agency, Raines &Raines. The idea for Eden first came to him as a child when he saw the little calf jump across the stable in the prelude to William Wyler's Ben Hur. And he's been thinking about it ever since.
You can learn more about Eden and purchase your own copy here: https://www.edentheanimalsparable.com/book/
There is also a Facebook page for Eden: The Animals' Parable.   
More reviews are available at Litfuse.

My Thoughts: 
Eden: The Animals Parable was a delightful book to read. I really wasn't sure what to expect when I received it. It was a bit slow to start, but once the character Eden the dog was introduced, it all came together for me. I loved reading the gospel through the animals perspectives-although I know it was fiction, it gave me a fresh look at a story I already knew. The illustrations by Lisa Paris were beautiful. I think Eden would be a great book for an older child to read, as well as adults.
 Author Kindle Fire Giveaway!!
Return to the story of Jesus and read it from a new perspective in Keith Korman's Eden: The Animals' Parable. In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals-especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden. Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

Settle in for some winter reading and enter to win a copy of Keith's book and a Kindle Fire!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Eden
  • A Kindle Fire
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on January 24. The winner will be announced January 25 on Keith's blog.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of  this book free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review~The Angel of Forest Hill

Book Description: When Old Order Amish  Rose Kurtz is asked to leave her family, travel deep into West Virginia, and help Joel Dienner with his children in the wake of tragedy, the quiet young woman recognizes a home where she might find kindness instead of criticism and hope replacing harsh words. She agrees to stay in Forest Hill and become Joel's wife for the sake of his family needs, but their marriage is to be a partnership, one built from need, not love and affection.

As the years pass, Rose continues to beckon Joel to join life again, to take joy in his growing children, and to awaken his heart to the possibility of new love. Joel hopes that can move beyond deep-rooted hurts to see the beautiful Christmas ahead, their season. But will the arrival of a beautiful widow and a series of misunderstandings reverse how far Rose and Joel have come?

My Review: Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite Amish fiction authors, so I am always excited to read her latest book!  Then add in my favorite season, Christmas, and you have a recipe for a great  book. The Angel of Forest Hill was a sweet story of love and forgiveness. The thought of a young woman agreeing to marry a stranger (and they marry for life, no divorces) and care for his children is just hard to imagine. Rose and Joel's relationship grows over the years, but Rose still hangs on to so much hurt from her childhood and the harsh way her mother treated her.  I enjoyed this story and its characters. It was a quick read at just 196 pages, and includes two recipes as well.

*I received  this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review~Love Bears All Things

Book Description:

Could God be offering Charlotte a second chance at true love?
Charlotte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she’s forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Soon she is entangled in a web of deception and this time, she isn’t the only one keeping secrets.
Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancĂ©e’s betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlotte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before.
Charlotte begins building a friendship with Daniel that she’ll need to lean on when more surprises surface from her past and she once again finds herself torn between two worlds. Will Charlotte’s friends in the Amish community be able to show her the power of redemption and lead her home? And can she help young Jacob realize that God offers second chances at happiness when she isn’t even sure herself?

My Thoughts:

Love Bears All Things is the second book in the Amish Secrets series by author Beth Wiseman. I loved the first book, Her Brother's Keeper, and I doubted that Love Bears All Things could live up to it. Well, I was wrong! Love Bears All Things was just as wonderful of a read! It was a real page-turner, as I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. There were several issues going on that needed to be resolved, including some romance, the mystery of Charlotte's brother's death, and if Jacob would leave the Amish. The mix of Englisch and Amish lives is always interesting, even more so if a spark of romance is lit. From beginning to end, this book held my attention and kept me wanting more. As always with Beth Wiseman, I felt like I got to know the characters very well.  The Amish Secrets Series is a must-read!!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.