“The Forever Sky” by Janalyn Voigt, book review

The Forever Sky (Montana Gold Book 4) by [Voigt, Janalyn]

“The Forever Sky” Montana Gold, book #4, by Janalyn Voigt, book review

Maisey has been hurt by Rob enough, so she is not allowing him another chance, even when rides into town looking incredible on his horse.  She and her daughter have settled into a comfortable life, and she does not need any new complications, which is what Rob will be.

After three long years away, Rob is ready to commit to Maisey in a way he was not ready for when he rode out of town.  His time in the gold fields were successful and he has enough money to buy his own ranch to settle down.  But will Maisey see it the same way.

Before he can have a long talk with her, Indians come and carry her away.  This all feels so familiar, as Maisey was taken by Indians when there was extreme illness in the tribe, and they thought she could help.  While she was able to help some, others died, including some of the precious children.  Rob and others from town ride out to save her!  But things do not go as planned.

This is the continuation of the first 3 books in the series, and the characters are familiar and established.  It is an easy read, quite enjoyable for the quiet holiday time, or while traveling.

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

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“Darling Hedgehog goes down a foxhole” by Auralee Arkinsly, book review

“Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole” by Auralee Arkinsly, illustrated by Julia Swezy, book review.  Beginning reader book with short chapters.

Darling is a young hedgehog who has lost her parents.  At the beginning of her search, she asks Miss Fox if she has seen her parents.  Miss Fox lies, and after inviting Darling into her house, tells her she does not know where her parents are.  Darling tries to be respectful of Miss Fox and does what she says.  They spend the day together, but Darling realizes they are very much different.  In the evening, she discovers her parents in a cage in Miss Fox’s pantry.  Together the family escapes and returns home.  Darling is soothed by her parents and learns her lesson about not trusting foxes.

This is a read aloud book for preschool- 1st grade, and a short chapter book for lower elementary students.  It is a fable type story similar to “Little Red Riding Hood” and should be viewed as a fable.  Young children always need the protection and guidance from their parents, and this book illustrates this lesson very well.

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

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“The Perfect Tree” by Denise Dunham, book review

“The Perfect Tree” by Denise Dunham, illustrated by Samantha Wade.  Children’s book- K-3, Christmas theme.

DeeDee and her family  move to smaller house just in time for Christmas.  While the family adjusts to all the newness, DeeDee is ready for Christmas and all the trappings.  Dad gently lets her know that the new house is too small for a Christmas tree, but they will still celebrate.  At school, the gift exchange goes terribly wrong as her name is never called and she receives no present.  As her disappointment grows, she tries to keep a sweet spirit, and even when she is completely sad, a complete surprise brings an answer to her  prayers.

This is a sweet Christmas story that shows how love and family are more important than material possessions.  It is a good read aloud for preschool to 1st graders, and a self read for young elementary age students.

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


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“Words of Hope” Words of Comfort for Women” by Carolyn Larsen, book review

Words of Comfort and Words of Hope are both 90 day devotional books written for women.  Each day has a scripture, and a 1 page devotional written to inspire with words of comfort and hope in difficult times.  The small size book is perfect to read with your morning coffee or take along to read during a break at work.  The cover features a feminine flower design and is really quite pretty.  This book would make a nice stocking stuffer or exchange type gift.  These books are just two by the author who has written several devotional books for women.

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

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“The Melody of the Mulberries” by Tonya Jewel Blessing, book review

“The Melody of the Mulberries” by Tonya Jewel Blessing, Big Creek #2

This is the second book in the Big Creek series and the story begins right where book #1 ended.  The story is set in 1920’s Appalachia and involves the lives of Emerald Ashby as well as Coral, Earnest and their families.

The characters are well developed and complex, each dealing with issues personally and as a family.  The community is close knit and most people know their neighbor’s business.  But the community also works well together to care for each other, especially the children.  Much of the story involves the “learners” as the school children are called, and their work as well as relationship with their teachers.    There is a strong Christian message through out the book.  The characters are not shy about sharing their belief, and denouncing evil.  Coral is determined to visit Charlie in prison and share God’s love with him, as well as her forgiveness.

While I basically like the story, the extreme dialect made it difficult and slow to read.  I appreciate the author’s attempt to capture the way folks  talk in this region, but I did not like reading it.  The story was full of many details and it seemed to drag at times, for me.  But overall, a good story of forgiveness and redemption.

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

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“Stitches in Time” by Suzanne Woods Fisher, book review

“Stitches in Time” by Suzanne Woods Fisher, The Deacon’s Family series #2, book reivew

Molly came to Stoney Ridge for a new start, and she just loves her students and teaching.  There are several single men in her community, so may be someday, she can be courted like the other girls her age.  But for now, she is happy being the teacher.  Until Luke is selected as a new deacon.  To fulfill the dying wish of his mentor, he agrees to help with foster children in their area.  Molly is the first to volunteer to become a foster mother, to a cute young girl.

Things do not turn out exactly as she had planned, as the immediate need for foster care is for teenage girls.  But Molly gives it a try.  She is quickly disappointed as the girls she is assigned are dishonest and often getting into trouble.  This is a strain on Molly’s patience and her health.

Luke is trying to be a good deacon, after being chosen during the solemn ceremony.   He feels he is neglecting time with his new wife and his work.  But he tries to do it all.  He sees some very sad and troubling things in church member’s lives, but stays true to his calling and tries to help.

As the weeks go by with the foster girls in their homes, the Amish of Stoney Ridge adapt and assist each other.  They learn and teach.  In the end, the girls learn valuable lessons of honesty and integrity.  And one family receives an incredibly special parting gift from one of the girls.

I enjoyed this story.  It was an interesting combination of  Amish and English words coming together to accomplish a large goal.  I look forward to reading #3 in the series.

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

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“The Roll of the Drums” by Jan Drexler, book review

“The Roll of the Drums” by Jan Drexler, The Amish of Weaver’s Creek #2.  book review

Ruby Weaver is 28 and single, which in 1863 meant she was termed an Old Maid.  But she was not fearful for her future.  She was happy helping her parents on the farm, and was an active member of her Amish community.  But all that changed when the Fischer family came to the farm.  Gideon had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and was forced to carry supplies during the Civil War.  He could not take care of his family or his Amish community.  Most of the church members left in the wake of raids by soldiers who stole their food and livestock.  But Lovinia stayed, waiting for Gideon to come home.  Finally he did, but he found the family starving and his wife ill.  He loads them into the wagon and searches for help, which he finds at the Weaver farm.

This is an interesting story of how people suffered during the Civil War, even those who were not fighting.  And it gives some insight into the Amish traditions of family, marriage and farm life.

This is the second of the Weaver’s Creek series, and since I had read the 1st, I could keep up.  I suggest you read #1 prior to reading this book, so you understand the characters and situations.

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

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“The Bright Unknown” by Elizabeth Byler Youts, book review

The Bright Unknown JustRead Blog Tour


The Bright UnknownTitle: The Bright Unknown
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Literary Fiction
Release Date: October 22, 2019

This poignant and heartbreaking novel explores the power of resilience, the gift of friendship, and the divine beauty to be found in the big, bright world—if only we’re willing to look.

Pennsylvania, 1940s. The only life Brighton Friedrich has ever known is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of Riverside Home—the rural asylum where she was born. A nurse, Joann, has educated and raised Brighton, whose mother is a patient at the hospital. But Joann has also kept vital information from Brighton—secrets that if ever revealed would illuminate Brighton’s troubling past and the circumstances that confine her to Riverside. Brighton’s best friend is a boy she calls Angel, and as they grow up together and face the bleak future that awaits them, they determine to make a daring escape.

Nothing can prepare Brighton and Angel for life beyond Riverside’s walls. They have no legal identities, very little money, and only a few leads toward a safe place to land. As they struggle to survive in a world they’ve never seen before, they must rely on each other and the kindness of strangers—some of whom may prove more dangerous than the asylum they’ve fled.

Narrated in Elizabeth Byler Younts’s gorgeous style, The Bright Unknown is a sparkling search for answers, family, and a place to call home.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook


My review:  This is a really open and honest book about the characters life, in the 1930’s and today.  The story switches between the child’s view of her world inside the mental hospital and her adult life.  The details shared are actually pretty hard to read, and made me feel quite sad for the system of dealing with people who are mental ill.  But I feel the author had a significant story to tell and she was all in.

I would suggest that if mental illness is a struggle for you or a family member, this might not be the book for you, as it is so brutally honest.  But it does give us some rays of hope, in the characters who care for these people and the extra measures of love that were offered.

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


Elizabeth Byler Younts

Elizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience through her first book, Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Solace of Water and the Promise of Sunrise series. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, her two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets.

CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


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“Horse of my Dreams” by Carrie Smith Grant, book review

“The Horse of my Dreams” edited by Carrie Smith Grant

Horses are some of the most intelligent animals.  The human horse bond can be very strong!  Many have favorite stories about their relationships with their horses, and this is an excellent book that compiles 32 such stories.

These stories are told from many perspectives and share deeply about the horse and the owner.  This is an uplifting and encouraging book for horse lovers of all ages.  It is especially appropriate for teen age girls, who often are very taken with horses.

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


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“Dark Ambitions” by Irene Hannon, book review

“Dark Ambitions” by Irene Hannon, book review.  Men of Valor #3

Rick has been rather pleased with the success of his summer camps for kids in foster care.  After the excitement of the summer, he enjoys the cold and quiet months of winter to do repairs and enhancements.  But when he follows a blood trail that leads to the boat house, he is on edge.  As a former Army Night Stalker, he knows all the well the dangers that may be waiting for him.  But rather than finding the source of the blood, he found 2 small items, that he immediately knows were left by a friend.  Now he has to find him.

After years with the police department, Heather has transitioned to the private industry as a PI.  She really enjoys the guys she works with and the work is interesting and rewarding.  Her new client, Rick, provides an interesting case and she is happy to help him find his friend.  She pulls out all the stops to find the missing guy, and with each turn, she learns more and more that make this missing person case something much more.

This is an interesting book and the end was quite a surprise for me.  This is an easy to read book, but there is no spoilers!

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

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