“firefly summer” by Kathleen Y’Barbo, book review

“firefly summer” by Kathleen Y’Barbo, book review

Sessa Chambers has endured so much hurt and heartache, she is not sure she will ever really recover. Her husband died when her son Ross was just a youngster, and then 20 years later, Ross is killed in a robbery. Then a mysterious phone call leads Sessa to become the guardian for her granddaughter, Pansie. Then, she lands her dream job, restoring carousel horses for the Smithsonian. How much more complicated can her life become?

Trey Brown has been released from prison. After two years behind bars, he is free, or is he. His medical license has been restored and he has been offered a job. But can he pick up a scalpel without losing his lunch? And he feels he must apologize to Sessa and ask her forgiveness. That is probably the hardest thing he has ever attempted.

This is a story filled with tragedy and loss, but also forgiveness and grace. The characters seem real and genuine. The story moves along and keeps my interest.

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

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Firefly Summer

Redbud Press (June 23, 2015)


Kathleen Y’Barbo


RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots (read about their real-life romance here!). Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.


A new cowboy romance from award-winning author Kathleen Y’Barbo.

Trey’s biggest challenge isn’t performing surgery…it’s restoring Sessa’s heart!

Artist Sessa Chambers may never recover from losing her prodigal son. Even as she grieves the tragic decisions that led to his death, and left her with a toddler to raise, she’s asked to work on her dream project—restoring carousel horses for the Smithsonian. But she can’t do it on her own…

Dr. Trey Brown can’t pick up a scalpel again. Yes, he acted in self-defense, but the events of that awful night haunt him. He was trained to save lives, not take them. When he goes to the young man’s widowed mother to apologize, she’s not at all what he expected. For one thing, she’s not as alone as he thought—not with the fearsome ladies of the Pies, Books, and Jesus Book Club in her corner. For another, she’s beautiful, and being in her presence is more jolting than any eight-second bronco ride from his former rodeo days. Before he knows it, she’s captured his heart as easily as they capture the fireflies gracing Sessa’s Texas ranch.

How can they overcome their past to embrace a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Firefly Summer, go HERE.

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“The Bishop’s Son” by Kelly Irvin, book review

“The Bishop’s Son” by Kelly Irvin, book review The Amish of Been County #2

The is the second book in the “Amish of Bee County” series, and continues the story started in the first book. While the characters are the same, this book will stand on its own, if you have not read #1.

Leila has been in love with Jesse from the time she saw him in his father’s store, but she is unsure of his intentions.
Jesse is the bishop’s son. But he is searching for his faith- whether he can remain in the Amish faith or must leave to fulfill the calling God has placed in his heart.
Will is Jesse’s cousin and he is in love with Leila, but keeps his feelings to himself out of respect for Jesse. But as Jesse explores more and more outside the Amish community, Will is getting a bit more bold in declaring his intentions.
How can Leila chose?
This is an interesting story of Amish and English conflict, but more about the views of evangelism rather than lifestyle, as is usually the topic of books. I enjoyed the book and was kept guessing until the end. Looking forward to #3.

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

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“Deadlock (FBI Houston) by DiAnn Mills, book review

“Deadlock (FBI Houston) by DiAnn Mills, book review

When you work for the FBI, crimes are apart of your daily life. But to start the new job with 2 murders that receive a lot of publicity is not the way Bethany Sanchez had dreamed of her first day. Her partner, Thatcher Graves, was ready for a new partner, but not prepared for the gorgous Special Agent Sanchez. As they work together to solve these violent crimes, they learn a lot about each other in the process. And while their work styles are very different, they quickly learn that they compliment each other- in more ways than one.

This is a fast moving crime story with several interesting twists and turns. It is a page turner and not predictable, although in the end, good does counquer evil.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the series.

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

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“My God and My All” by Elizabeth Goudge, book review

“My God and My All” The Life of Saint Fancis of Assisi by Elizabeth Groudge

We are all familiar with some of St. Francis’ quotes, but do we know much about the man? Probably not. This republished book, originally from the 1950’s, has a lot of information about this famous man.

The author, Elizabeth Goudge, is a British novelist, who combines her talent for writing with research to give us a very complete story of St. Francis. She uses ancient as well as more contempory sources to fill in much of the detail of St. Francis’ life, and we are able to better understand the man and his mission.

This book is very readable, unlike a text book or biography. It reads more like a novel, with very descriptive language and character development. This is a book for anyone interested in ancient missions and 12th century history. It would make a good assigned reading book for high school ancient religion or history class.

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

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“Q & A a day” 364 questions, 4 years- book review

“Q & A a day” 364 questions, 4 years- 1460 sketches, for Creatives book review

This is not your ordinary journal or diary. Q & A is a journal that asks a unique question each day, with space to record your answer. But the answers are to be sketches. And the journal is designed to be used for 4 years, with each page divided into 4 sections.

There are many aspects of this book that I really like! First, the questions!! Often the blank page is the hardest part of journaling to conquer. This book takes the guess work out of what to record. And the fact that it is to be used for 4 years- I love that idea. It will be so easy to look back over the last years to see how your answers and circumstances have changed. There is also space to write brief comments about the sketch or to record memorable adventures or achievements.

On the other side, this journal is wonderful for those who like to draw and sketch. But for those, like me, who are artistically challenged, this would be a frustrating experience. I would probably just write my answers, which I think would work too.

Overall, I think this is a great new journal! I see it being a special gift for a high school grad to record college years.

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

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“The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis” by Jerry Root and Mark Neal

This book is a scholarly work suitable for university literature or religion class. FYI- this is not the “Chronicles of Narnia” or even a book for the faint of heart. It is a college text book.

With that being said, this is an excellent, well documented and organized book about the imaginational expression of much-loved author C.S. Lewis. We all have our favorite Lewis books. We know a little about the man and his spiritual journey. But this book dives deep into his literary works, his experiences that gave him fuel for his stories and other authors he admired or disliked.

This is a very well documented book with over 50 pages of notes and bibliography. If you are interested in C.S. Lewis and his writings, this is the book for you. But it is best read in small bites!

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

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“Reluctant Bride” by Kathy Fuller, book review

Sadie has always said that she will never get married. But when her parents are killed in an auto vs buggy accident, she is left with no choice by the marry the bishop’s son, Aden. Ever since his older brother tried to kiss her against her will, she has harbored resentment against Aden and his brother Sol.

Aden has had a hard life- abused by his older brother because his father, the bishop, demanded it. Now, he sees a way out of his father’s home. And a way to really protect Sadie. He feels guilt for not protecting her from his brother’s advances all those years ago.

This is a story of power abused by church leaders and forgiveness of brothers. I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more about Sadie and Aden.

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

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“The Prince Who Was Just Himself” by Silke Schnee, book review

“The Prince Who Was Just Himself” by Silke Schnee, book review

The Royal couple were waiting for the birth of their third child. And when he arrived, they were thrilled. But after a little while, they noticed he was just a little different. His eyes, the way he smiled, and how he reacted to the people around him. But the real test of this prince came when the enemy of the kingdom threatened. With his sweetness, the young prince was able to make friend of the enemy.

This precious book deals with Down’s Syndrome with simplicity and grace. The illustrations are wonderful and the story is one that any child can understand. There are helpful resources in the back with other books listed if the adult wants more information.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I love this book.

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“The Ties that Binds” by Cindy Woodsmall, book review

“Ties that Binds” by Cindy Woodsmall, book review

Ariana loves being Amish and is comfortable in her family. But her lifelong dream is to own her own restaurant. She has been saving for years to buy an abandoned café’ in town. And now it is almost time. She must have all the money by the end of the month.

Quill left the Amish 5 years ago. While everyone in the community has abided by the bann, Quill has rendered services to other Amish who have considered leaving. Sometimes they decide to stay but if they decide to leave, Quill and his brothers have a system to help make the transition a smooth one.

Now Quill is helping Ariana purchase her cafe’. And he is helping her parents determine if there was a mix up at the time Ariana and her brother Abram were born. It is a complicated and quite possibly life changing for both Ariana and the other girl, who was raised by and English family.

This is an easy to read book that deals with the conflict often experienced with the Amish and English, and how they interact. I look forward to reading more in this series.

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

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“The Sea Keeper’s Daughters” by Lisa Wingate, book review

“The Sea Keeper’s Daughter” by Lisa Wingate, book review

Whitney Monroe is an accomplished chef and has worked in restaurants all over the world. But now she has her own restaurant, but it all is in trouble. She needs more money to keep it running. But when she receives a phone call from the neighbor of her step-father, informing her that he has fallen and is in the hospital, it all comes unraveled. Whitney has not had a good relationship with her step-father, but feels a sense of duty and goes to help him.

When she arrives, she finds the hotel where he lives, in disrepair. But she also meets several neighbors and tenants of the building. As Whitney works to help her step-father recover, she also starts sorting the belongings stored on the other floors. During this search, she finds some very interesting items. This includes letters sent to her grandmother from her sister. The interesting thing is that her grandmother did not read them. As Whitney puts the letters in order, she discovers many things about her family, past and present.

I enjoyed this book and appreciated the back and forth between modern day and the past. The characters were well developed. I did feel the book ended rather abruptly, but definitely set up the readers to want to read book #2. I also felt the chapters were too long.

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

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