“The Teacher’s Bride” by Kathleen Fuller, book review

teacher's bride cover

“The Teacher’s Bride” by Kathleen Fuller, book review, Amish Brides of Birch Creek novel.

Christian Ropp moved to Birch Creek to be the teacher at the local Amish school. together with his sister, Selah, the Ropps are trying to become a part of the Birch Creek community. Christian is a life long learner and really enjoys teaching. He keeps a very organized classroom and the students are beginning to thrive under his teaching.

Ruby Glick surprised her brother, Timothy, and his wife Patience when she showed up on their door step. On an impulse, she decided to move to Birch Creek to find a husband. She knew from an earlier visit, that there were several unmarried men in the community and she hoped to marry one of them and start a family.

Christian and Ruby meet unexpectedly, and become casual friends. Ruby agrees to help Christian be more comfortable around women so he can win the hand of Martha. Ruby is trying to learn to be more confident and thoughtful, rather than making rash decisions.

This is a light and fun book about personality differences and how opposites often attract. The plot is rather predicable, but enjoyable. This book in is the Amish Brides of Birch Creek series, so many of the characters from the other books are featured, but this book stands alone.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Who I am with you” by Robin Lee Hatcher, book review

who I am cover

“Who I am with you” by Robin Lee Hatcher, book review, A Legacy of Faith novel

Jessica is broken, but she is trying to get through each day, following the tragic auto accident that killed her husband and young daughter. When her grandmother dies a few months later, all the terrible feelings and hurt return. Jessica inherits her grandmother’s Bible, but does not have the heart or faith to read it. This bible actually belonged to her great-grandfather, and as Jessica finally begins to read it, she learns of his story.

Ridley has come to Hope Springs to escape the world! He is running away from a scandal he did not cause, but the media has pinned all the blame on him. His parents offer him their vacation cabin as a place to rest and relax. He enjoys the physical work available at the cabin in the woods.

Neither Ridley or Jessica are looking for a friend or a relationship, but this seems to be what is developing. Ridley’s faith in God is strong and he is leaning into God’s love and guidance. Jessica has about given up on God, but as the weeks go by, she is ready to read the Bible and listen to God’s word.

Robin Lee Hatcher is one of my favorite authors, and I am happy to be reading this new novel by her. I enjoy the real life type characters and the story line- both are realistic and move along at a pace that is easy to read and enjoyable.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“We Hope for Better Things” by Erin Bartels, book review

“We Hope for Better Things” by Erin Bartels, book review

Elizabeth is a journalist who is not afraid to do what it takes to get the story. This has worked well and she is gaining a following, until her boss unexpectedly fires her. She now has time to follow up on a lead from a distant relative she did not even know she had, and goes to meet her. She ends up staying a while and uncovers some interesting things in the house and details long hidden about her family.

This is a very interesting book about racial tension within one family, over three generations: 1860’s, 1960’s and present day. Each generation had to work with the ideas of how blacks and white worked and lived together, and the impact was quite amazing.

I enjoyed this book and learned some new things too. The author kept the story line going and it did not bog down in too many details. I was eager to read each chapter, as another little piece of this family’s puzzle was revealed. She kept my interest until the very last chapter, when the final piece was laid down and the story complete.

I recommend this book, especially to readers who enjoy history and family stories.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Ranchero’s Love” by Nancy Farrier, book review

The Ranchero's Love (Land of Promise Book 2) by [Farrier, Nancy J.]

“The Ranchero’s Love” by Nancy Farrier, book review.  Land of Promise Book #2.

Rosalinda is trying to start over and provide a good life, no, a better life for her ninos  than she had.  But it is so hard.  Her mother sold her to a rough and desperate man in order to save herself and her little sister.  At the time, Rosalinda thought that her mother sold her because she did not love her.  But as she begins a new life after being rescued from the place of bondage (human trafficking)  and learns of God’s love, she begins to realize that her mother was trying to save her little sister, who was weak and young.

Lucio is the son of a great land owner and is ready to settle down, marry a woman like his late mother and begin a family.  He is attracted to Rosalinda, but she does not fit his ideal for a wife.  As he fights against the attraction, Rosalinda is also trying to fight her longing for a godly man to marry and become the father to her children.

This is a deeply emotional book.  The story line moves very slowly and much attention is given to details of the feelings of the characters.  I felt at times that the story was really dragging and that I was reading for the second or third time a conflict between characters, or  an internal struggle the main characters were dealing with.  However, I did appreciate the way that the author showed that God’s love and forgiveness can change lives that others may feel are nonredeemable.  This is the second book in the series, but it stands alone as the reader is given a lot of back ground and can easily understand and follow the story.

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of the book by the author as a member of BookCrash.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Silent Days, Holy Nights” book review

Silent Days Holy Night blog tour

Let’s all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.

ABOUT THE BOOK

silent days, holy nightTitle: Silent Days, Holy Night

Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Release Date: October 30, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house…

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

My review:

This is a heartwarming Christmas season story about an eleven year old girl, Julia and the reclusive Mr. Lafferty.’  Julia was now old enough to under stand the rumors about town of the mansion and he man who lives there.  But she really wonders if they are true.  When her father has an appointment at the mansion, she tags along and meets Mr. Lafferty.  He is nothing like the rumors had said he was.  In fact, he is a very wealthy, and caring man.  She decides to get to know him better.  He enjoys her piano playing, so they begin with that.

In the business of the Christmas season, we can all learn from this young girl and the impact made on her life and that of the entire town.

Diclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Gilead.  All opinions expressed are my own.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phyllis-Publicity750x1000

Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.

CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter


silent days, holy night giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only):

  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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“Enclave” by Thomas Locke, book review

elclave cover
“Enclave” by Thomas Locke, book review

America, as we know it, has been gone for almost 100 years. The new world order is a collections of enclaves, governed, more or less at the local level. But, it is really every man for himself in many ways.

Catawba is the largest and wealthiest of the enclaves in the southern region, and by all accounts is pretty stable. It is the business center for the surrounding enclaves. But there has been a recent discovery that will change the whole business model.

And the people are different than we are now. Many, possess unique powers which can be used for good or evil. The rulers of the enclaves are threatened by these “specials” and have sent a group to round them up. Many Specials group together to save themselves and each other.

Caleb is a young trader. He is a special, but so far has hidden his ability from the authorities. The new discovery has been entrusted to him and he is betting his life that he can save himself and the world.

This is a sci-fi book and the plot is slowly reveled in the opening chapters. The characters are quickly introduced and it took me a few more chapters to get them all straight. There is a lot of action and suspense!

Interesting fact: Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, a well known author.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher,Revell. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Seat by the Hearth” by Amy Clipston, book review

hearth cover

“A Seat by the Hearth” by Amy Clipston, book review

Priscilla left the Amish life but found the world a pretty cruel place. After becoming friends with a guy who she met while waitressing, she moved in with him and then had his baby. By this time, he had shown his real personality, which included physical abuse, drinking and verbal abuse. When it became real to her that her son was in danger, she fled the situation and returned home, hoping her family would receive her back, but knowing she would be shunned.

Mark had been working as a farm hand for the Allgyer family for a while, and really liked training horses. When Priscilla came home with her young son, he was surprised, but welcomed her. He quickly became friends with Ethan and helped him learn to live on a farm.

When Priscilla seeks out Mark for a conversation in the barn, and reveals the abuse she endured, he is shocked and wants to help. But the Bishop and Mr. Allgyer find them sitting close together and suspect the worst. They force the two to agree to be married or be shunned. Mark cares for Priscilla and agrees to marry her and adopt her son Ethan. They keep this a within the family to save Priscilla’s reputation.

I enjoyed this book. It is easy to read and the story line moves right along. While it is the third book in the series, it can stand alone, as much of the history is revealed through out the story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Banner_WhenHeartSings_Blog

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

When the Heart Sings-FINAL-front_cover_020518a-HRTitle: When the Heart Sings
Series: Music of Hope #2
Author: Liz Tolsma
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Natia has a secret, and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose…

The Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their Polish farm to a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear— but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price.

 

My review:

1943.  Poland.  The Nazis have a firm grip on the country, and despite all their efforts, the Jewish families are now forced from their farms.  Natia and Teodor are separated at the train station, with Teodor sent to the factory and Natia “rescued” by a German woman.  This woman is the camp overseer and treats both Natia and his wife with a harsh hand.

As the days progress, Natia takes daily walks near the factory and sings words of encouragement to Teodor and others held within.  They both hold on to these precious moments of contact and use the strength of the other to make it another day.

As the days turn into weeks, all endure more harsh conditions.  Teodor attempts an escape.  Natia tries to help a homeless Jewish woman who later dies on her door step leaving her infant son for Natia to keep.  Natia tries to share God’s love and provision with the wife of the home, but she is very reluctant.  However, she does begin to see God in Natia and his strength is her strength.

This is a very moving story and one that shows the depth of human love as well as human depravity. There is a lot of detail of the terrible things that happened to the Jews under the Nazi rule, and may not be appropriate for young adult readers. While it is the second book in the series, I feel it stands alone, as I had not read #1.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of the book from the publisher, Gilead Publishing.  All opinions expressed are my own.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

liz tolsma

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

CONNECT WITH LIZ: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


when the heart sings blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of When the Heart Sings
  • Just One More Chapter’ throw pillow seen HERE

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 3, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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“Return of the Song” by Phyllis Clark Nichols, book review

jr_ReturnoftheSong_BLOG

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Return of the Song by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

My review:  Caroline is a gifted musician who was devastated when her fiance’ was tragically killed just before their wedding.  Six years later, she has moved on with her life, but still is haunted by the song she was writing for him and cannot finish.  Each year on the anniversary of his death, she plays it, but cannot finish the song, and it ends with her banging her fists on the key board.

She has never played the song for anyone, but when she hears the song played by a stranger- twice.

This is a gripping story of healing, music and family.  Caroline is surrounded by family who loves her and cares deeply for her.  She cares for her piano students and really wants each one to love the piano and and music.  But she is trying to finally move on past the wedding and marriage that never happened.

I enjoyed this book and felt the characters were real and likable.  This family cares for their own and want each to be the best they can be.  There is a hint of mystery in the story and it is slowly and carefully revealed through out the story.  I enjoy the musical parts of the story, as I am a musician and can relate to how important music is and memories are liked to music.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

return  of  the  songTitle: Return of the SongSeries: The Rockwater Suite #1 Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols Publisher: Gilead Publishing Release Date: September 18, 2018 Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction When Caroline lost her love, she lost the music too. Caroline Carlyle’s dreams were crushed when her fiancé died six weeks before their wedding. For years she wrestled with aching loss and shattered faith, struggling to find the inspiration that once came so easily. Abandoning her half-finished piano compositions, Caroline trades her old ambitions for the comfort and familiarity of life as the town’s piano teacher. But Caroline’s world turns upside down when a mysterious stranger enters her life. Filled with courage and fresh purpose, Caroline embarks on a quest to track down the beloved, rare piano she played as a child. Her search leads her to Rockwater, the Kentucky estate of a wealthy gentleman, where Caroline finds her heart may be composing a surprising new song. PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phyllis-Publicity750x1000

Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events. Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling. She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman. Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband. CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter


return  of  the  song  blog  giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of Christmas at Grey Sage
  • a print copy of Return of the Song

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 12, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 19, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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“Hidden Peril” by Irene Hannon, book review

peril cover

“Hidden Peril” by Irene Hannon, book review Code of Honor series, #2

Like many teenagers, Kristen and her best friends just know that when they grow up they are going to change the world and make it better. It has taken her a while, but now she is doing it. With her store that sells fair trade items and helps to economically challenged in her neighborhood, Kristen is making the world better. But then things start to go wrong, terribly wrong. People are dying. And somehow she has to make it stop.

Detective Luke Carter is assigned to this case. He is new to the department and really wants to make a good impression, plus he is a good detective and knows how to solve difficult cases. He gets right to work and begins to unravel the mystery of these deaths.

But while all this is going on, there is a little romance in the air too.

This is a mystery romance and has so much going on that it is hard to put down. It is the second book in the series, so if you have not read the first one, there are some details that you might not catch, but you can read it. Of course, we are left hanging and waiting for number 3.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell. All opinions expressed are my own.

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