Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Ann Baumbich


Finding Our Way Home

by Charlene Ann Baumbich


When the road home becomes daunting—sometimes a very capable girl on a bicycle can help find the way. “Charming, surprising, familiar, and just downright wonderful.” —Allie Pleiter, author of Yukon Wedding and Bluegrass Blessings When principal ballerina Sasha Davis suffers a career-ending injury at age thirty-eight, she leaves her Boston-based dance company and retreats to the home of her youth in Minnesota. But Sasha’s injuries limit her as much as her mother’s recent death haunts her. Concluding she can’t recover alone, Sasha reluctantly hires a temporary live-in aide. Enter the übercapable Evelyn Burt. As large-boned as Sasha is delicate, Evelyn is her employer’s opposite in every way. Small town to Sasha’s urban chic, outgoing to Sasha’s iciness, and undaunted where Sasha is hopeless, nineteen-year-old Evelyn is newly engaged and sees the world as one big, shiny opportunity. Evelyn soon discovers Sasha needs to heal more than bones. Slowly, as the wounds begin to mend and the tables tilt, the two women form an unlikely alliance and discover the astounding power of even the smallest act done in the name of love. Finding Our Way Home is a story of second chances and lavish grace.


Finding Our Way Home features two unusual characters, Sasha and Evelyn, who are very different. Sasha is a ballet dancer and the man Evelyn is engaged to does not have her parents blessings. So these two characters take us on their journey of  finding their way through life.


This book was slow for me at first, then it picked up a bit. Both of these ladies seemed a bit lost, and not sure where they were going next. The author has created two entirely different characters and woven a story of their lives as they take on a journey to find their way, both in a very different way. I read this book thinking it was a Christian book, but I am not so sure about that, even though it is published by a Christian publisher. It just seemed like these ladies were using their own strength to find their way and not depending on God. They were focusing on Grace, but where they really focusing on God? This is just my opinion.


If you like an enjoyable, pleasant book to read, I recommend this book for your enjoyment.


This book was provided by Blogging for Books through their reviewer Blogging program. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Buy the book HERE



Charlene Ann Baumbich is the author of the Dearest Dorothy series, Stray Affections, and Divine Appointments, as well as several nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. She is also a popular speaker, an award-winning journalist, and lives with her husband in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

A Perfect Square……..By: Vannetta Chapman

A Perfect Square

By: Vannetta Chapman

  • Reading level:Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback:352 pages
  • Publisher:Zondervan (March 31, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0310330440
  • ISBN-13:978-0310330448
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches



There’s more to the quaint northern Indiana town of Shipshewana than handcrafted quilts, Amish-made furniture, immaculate farms and close-knit families. When a dead girl is found floating in a local pond, murder is also afoot. And Reuben, brother of Deborah’s best friend’s fiancé, is in jail as the suspect! Reuben refuses to divulge any information, even to clear himself of a crime Deborah is certain he didn’t commit. So, with her English friend, Callie—fellow sleuth and owner of Daisy’s Quilt Shop—Deborah sets out to uncover the truth. But the mystery deepens when an elderly man seeks Callie’s help in finding his long-lost daughter, missing since the days of the 1965 Palm Sunday Tornadoes. An old man who has lost his past. A young man who may lose his future. Once again Deborah and Callie find themselves trying to piece together a crazy quilt of lives and events—one that can bring unexpected touches of God’s grace and resolve the tragedy that has shaken this quiet Amish community.






A Perfect Square by Vannetta Chapman


I was excited to revisit my friends in Shipshewana again in Vannetta Chapman’s second book in the Shipshewana Amish Mystery series. I really grew to love Deborah and Callie, Esther and Melinda and couldn’t wait to see what this book has in store for readers. And I can say that I love this book as much as I did the first, and was hooked from the very first pages.


When a young Amish girl is found dead in Ruben’s pond, he ends up being the only suspect, especially since he wouldn’t answer any questions the authorities were asking him. Who is Ruben trying to protect? Will he actually go to prison for life to protect this person? This murder of an unknown young lady has the Shipshewana community in an uproar.


With officer Shane Black on the case, Deborah knew that he would do nothing to find out Ruben’s innocence. That meant the job was up to her, and she would have Callie’s assistance. Turns out, Callie is looking for someone herself. A daughter, one that no one knows about except her very ill father. These ladies have their work cut out for them as the try to solve these mysteries.


I love how Vannetta Chapman weaves these stories together with characters that are well created and developed and a plot that will keep readers wanting to find out what’s gonna happen to whom. I highly recommend A Perfect Square for your enjoyment.


This book was provided by Zondervan Publishers for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.


About Inspirational Amish Author Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. She published a novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmas in October of 2010. Her first Quilt Shop Murder Mystery, Falling to Pieces (Zondervan), released in September 2011. Falling to Piecesis the first book in Vannetta’s Amish mystery three-book series.  Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Vannetta is a proud member of the following writing organizations: American Christian Fiction Writers Faith, Hope and Love (Inspirational Chapter of RWA) Romance Writers of America

You can also follow Vannetta at: The Vannetta Chapman Blog Facebook Goodreads

Perfectly Ridiculous… Kristin Billerbeck

Perfectly Ridiculous

by Kristin Billerbeck



Daisy’s ready for summer fun–but it seems summer has something else in store.

High school is over, and Daisy Crispin is happy to leave it in her past and look forward to a bright new future at college. In the meantime, she is planning an all-expenses-paid trip with her best friend Claire to Argentina–home of exotic food, the tango, and her handsome sort-of boyfriend Max.

When Daisy discovers she needs to do missions work to fulfill the requirements of her scholarship, she chalks it up to her monumental bad luck in life and kisses her vacation goodbye. What was supposed to be a relaxing time in the lap of luxury turns into hard work, sleeping on a cot, avoiding scorpions, and stressing about where she stands with Max. Daisy wonders if anything in her life will ever go according to plan . . .



This is my first book by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Daisy Crispin looks forward to finally being out of high school and on to her college adventure. But her major excitement is a trip o Argentina where her so call boyfriend is living. But Daisy’s adventure turns out to be anything but what she thought it would be.

Kristin Billerbeck writes a YA story that is so real life! She hits to subjects in tune with teens today, and the witty character of Daisy makes the book fun and exciting to read. This is a wonderful book that teenage girls will love to read. And while reading they will see the importance of putting God first in their lives and living for Him.

I highly encourage you to grab a copy of this book for you and your teenage daughter to read. You will not be disappointed in this read.

I received this book from Revell Publishers. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.



Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants, Perfectly Dateless, and Perfectly Invisible. A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She lives with her family in Northern California.

CFBA Presents Brian M. Litfin and The Kingdom


This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingThe KingdomCrossway Books (June 30, 2012)byBrian M. LitfinABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.


Book Three in the Chiveis Trilogy

War and disease have destroyed the modern world. Centuries later, feudal societies have arisen across Europe. No one can remember the ancient religion of Christianity—until an army captain and a farmer’s daughter discover the Sacred Writing of the one true God.

As Teo and Ana encounter the forgotten words of the holy book, they realize its message is just what their kingdom needs. Though exiled from their homeland, they join their hearts in a quest to return. But now an ancient pact has united the enemies of the Christian faith into a dark alliance that threatens to consume the known world. Racing to stay one step ahead of their enemies, Teo and Ana must battle heinous villains, stormy seas, and the powers of the underworld itself. As armies begin to mass for a final battle, the odds favor the forces of evil. Can Teo and Ana bring divine truth to Chiveis—or will the Word of God fade from the earth forever?



If you like books with a lot of adventure with a little romance added to it, then you will enjoy this book very much! But since this is the third book in the series, I highly recommend that you read the first two first, then this exciting and thrilling conclusion.

Brian Litfin is a gifted and talented writer, creating characters that are sure to find a special place in your heart. Grab a copy of the three books in The Chiveis Trilogy for a wonderful, thrilling summer read!

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Kingdom, go HERE.

CFBA and River North presents Wedded to War….by Jocelyn Green

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingWedded to War• River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2012)

byJocelyn GreenABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed…Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.


Still reading this….will finish shortly and post reveiw asap after that….blessings…Joy

When war erupted, she gave up a life of privilege for a life of significance.

Tending to the army’s sick and wounded meant leading a life her mother does not understand and giving up a handsome and approved suitor. Yet Charlotte chooses a life of service over privilege, just as her childhood friend had done when he became a military doctor. She soon discovers that she’s combatting more than just the rebellion by becoming a nurse. Will the two men who love her simply stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or will their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. This is the first in the series “Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War,” a collection of novels that highlights the crucial contributions made by women during times of war.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wedded to War, go HERE.




For Such a Time as This

by Ginny Aiken



Drought has forced farmers around the small town of Bountiful in the  Hope region of Oregon to mortgage their property. Then word comes of  plans for a spur line to run through the area and join the railroad in  nearby Milton. Folks with money see an opportunity to fill their coffers by buying farmland cheap then selling to the railroad for a profit. The Bank of Bountiful, owned by Eli Whitman, appears to be doing that, as  well.
Widowed two years earlier, Eli, with a son and daughter to  raise, sought a hard-working, educated Christian woman to care for them  and his home. Olivia Moore filled the bill, and as soon as Eli  recognized her as an excellent investment, he offered her first  employment then a marriage of convenience.
While Olivia is an  excellent choice, her large family gives Eli pause. He knows about the  problems posed by in-laws, so he will do whatever it takes to avoid a  repeat of his earlier experiences.
When Papa tells Olivia the Moore  family must move according to Eli’s terms for the new railroad line, she fears for their safety, since they’ll be homeless during winter. Where  will they go? How will they survive?
It is up to Olivia to convince  her husband to renege on his demands, though she swore before their  marriage she would stay out of his business.



I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Ginny Aiken and will sure be reading more of Ginny’s books in the future! Loosely based on the book of Esther, it was neat for me to read Olivia’s story, wondering what it was like for Esther, back in those Bible days.

Olivia was a wonderful young lady, with a huge heart. She was willing to sacrifice a lot in order to help her parents. As she moves in the Whitman household to help with the bankers children, life wasn’t easy for Olivia, but she was determined to do what she felt she needed to do.

Olivia was faced with many decisions, and some that would cause her to make a choice between her parents and her family. Why is God making her choose between people she loves? But in the mist of it all, God is there, and He shows Himself in a mighty way in the lives of them all.

You will enjoy this wonderful historical story, with the setting in the small town of Bountiful, Oregon in the late 1800’s. Olivia and Elijah are sure to find a place in your hearts and you will grow to love them, and the rest of the family as the story unfolds. Pick up your copy today for your own enjoyment!

I received a copy of this book from Faith Words to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.



Ginny Aiken, a former newspaper reporter, lives in Pennsylvania with her engineer husband. Born in Havana, Cuba, raised in Valencia and Caracas, Venezuela, she discovered books early and wrote her first novel at age fifteen while she trained with the Venezuelan Classical Ballet Company. She burned that tome when she turned a “mature” sixteen. Ginny has taught novel-writing seminars and workshops at Harrisburg (PA) Area Community College and Penn State University

Double Exposure….By: Susan Sleeman

Double Exposure

By: Susan Sleeman



  • Mass Market Paperback:256 pages
  • Publisher:Love Inspired (June 5, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0373444958
  • ISBN-13:978-0373444953
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches



Photographer Jennie Buchanan unknowingly captures a drug-cartel meeting on film. And now she has become a killer’s next target. Even worse, her only protection from the danger that threatens her life is the man who threatens her heart. Dodging bullets almost seems safer than facing the feelings stirred up by seeing former FBI agent and ex-boyfriend Ethan Justice again.Ethan vows to safeguard Jennie from the deadly men on her trail. And for a second chance at Jennie’s love, he’s willing to risk anything to expose the truth—about the drug smugglers, the past and the future together he still wants.

For more information on Double Exposure and where to buy, go HERE.


My Thoughts on this Book!

Double Exposure by Susan SleemanIf you haven’t read any of the Love Inspired Suspense, Double Exposure is a great book to start with. You will surely be hooked after reading this book! Susan Sleeman is a unique and gifted writer and will take you on an enjoyable suspense and thriller as you journey through this book.Jennie Buchanan doesn’t trust anyone, and likes to stay to herself. He is a gifted and professional photographer and enjoys her task of helping Mexican orphans. Someone is trying to stop her upcoming show at an art gallery, but Jennifer just can’t figure out why. But when she gets the message to “OPEN THE SHOW AND YOU DIE,” well, that’s all she needs to know, she has to find out who is threatening her. As it turns out, against her better judgement, the person hired to find out who wants to stop Jennie is her old flame, Ethan Justice. Thus making the entire situation interesting, and between the suspense and the romance you want to happen, you will not want to put this book down! Sometimes it is difficult to know which is more exciting and intense, the tension between Jennie and Ethan because of their past relationship or the suspense around the photo’s and negatives and what the perpetrators are doing to get their hands on them.In Double Exposure, Susan Sleeman creates a unique and exciting cast of characters that will weave their way into your heart. The situations they incur are real like and Susan does a fantastic job of weaving everything together to make a wonderful, thrilling story for her readers to enjoy.I highly recommend Double Exposure for your reading enjoyment. You will not be disappointed! And since it is a Love Inspired read, you can finish it in a few days! Making it a great read for those who don’t have the time for those thick books!This book was provided by the author, Susan Sleeman for me to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

For more about the book, where to buy, etc. go HERE



SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and
mystery novels. In addition to writing, she hosts the popular internet website Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure
of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have
two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson. To
learn more about Susan visit her website

Love in Disguise…by Carol Cox

Love In Disguise

by Carol Cox

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0955-0

Price: $14.99

Format: Paperback

Publication date: Jun. 12 | Division: Bethany House

Book Blurb

Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?

Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it’s the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can’t figure out who’s stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow… or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.

Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he’s falling in love with doesn’t really exist?

Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor, and mystery for a can’t-put-down read.

For More Information On This Book Go HERE


My Thoughts on Love In Disguise

Ellie Moore never thought she would be looking for employment, but after being told she was no long needed at her former job, she need a job and will take anything she can get. It just so happens she overhears a conversation about someone needing a woman for an undercover operation, and Ellie knew this job was for her. And after much convincing, she gets the job, a job that she will need to prove herself.

So all is well with Ellie now that she has a job, right? Well, much to her dismay, she finds herself in a whirlwind of circumstances that will literally keep her hopping! When she finds out her partner quits, Ellie decides to use her acting skills and the trunk of costumes to find out for herself just who is stealing the silver from the mines in Pickford, Az. And you just have to read the book to get the real impact of the story!

Wow, what an awesome debut book for Carol Cox. I thoroughly enjoyed this story full of mystery and a little romance added in. Carol did a wonderful job of keeping the two characters played by Ellie unique and different. I was on the edge of my seat at times because I thought Ellie was going to be found out. The setting in small town Pickford, Az was fun and enjoyable. Other than the silver thieves, the people of the town were nice and homely, people we all would love to meet and have as neighbors.

I highly recommend Love In Disguise for a really nice read! This is one book that will not disappoint!

A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House through The Suspense Zone. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.


About the Author

Native Arizonan Carol Cox has an abiding love for history, mystery, and romance. The author of more than 25 books, she believes in the power of story to convey spiritual truths. Carol lives with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona, where deer and antelope really do play–within view of the family’s front porch. Visit her website at

A Ranger’s Trail by Darlene Franklin

A Ranger’s Trail

by Darlene Franklin

About This Book

This is the fourth book in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

In 1875 Buck Morgan rode into Mason County with the Texas Rangers to quell the violence stirred up by the actions a vigilantly mob. The Hoo Doo (or bad luck) War erupted as suspected cattle rustlers were murdered by an angry mob.  Former ranger, Scott Cooley, gathers a gang to seek vengeance for the murders.
Suspected of cattle rustling, Leta Derrick’s husband was murdered by the mob a year earlier. Now she is siding with the rogue ranger, Scott Cooley and refuses to help Buck Morgan stem the tide of violence.
Will their actions fuel the fire of vengeance? Or will Buck and Leta strike an accord that leads to more than just peace?


Buck Morgan enjoyed his family, but he just couldn’t see himself tied down to ranch life, even though that’s what his family wanted. Being a Texas Ranger was in his blood, and nothing else would satisfy that longing.

Leta Denning would forever be angry at the Germans because they killed her husband in cold blood with her watching. Now she is left running the ranch with her teenage brother Andy and her young son Ricky.

As Buck spends more and more time at the Denning ranch, he realizes that Leta couldn’t run the ranch without help, so along with his duties as Texas Ranger, he also does everything he can to help around the ranch, without Leta’s knowing, that is.  But Buck also knows someone needs to protect Leta because of the wrath and fighting among the people. Things get a bit nasty, and someone needs to step in and gain control.

I am thoroughly enjoying this Texas Trails, Morgan Family series from River North. Book four, A Ranger’s Trail continues the Morgan family story. I have enjoyed getting to know Texas a bit better, even though the setting is years earlier. It is interesting to see how folks lived in those early days.

I really like Leta. She was strong, yet sometimes she showed weakness, but after seeing her husband murdered, how else could she be! Buck was just the right person for her. The attraction was so subdued at first, it just made things sweet between them. And as usual, there are the bad guys, and they didn’t care who they shot, young or old. The Texas Rangers were on the case though, and everything would turn out right? Wouldn’t it?

This is a great series and a very good read to continue the Morgan Family saga. I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of this book, along with the first three books and enjoy the journey of the Morgan’s.

This book was provided by River North Fiction
for me to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive
review. The opinions in this review are mine only.



About   Darlene Franklin
DARLENE FRANKLIN is the author of fourteen contracted books and novellas as well as several hundred short pieces. Two of her books have been finalists in ACFW’s Book of the year contest: Dressed in Scarlet and A String of Murders. Darlene lives in Oklahoma near her son’s family. Visit her website for information on upcoming titles.

CFBA Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingAlmost AmishBethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)byKathryn CushmanABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but all her life she knew that she wanted to write a novel “some day”. For her, “some day” came in 2003, when she started writing and never looked back.

Her first two manuscripts remain firmly ensconced in the back of her closet (the dust bunnies tell her they really are terrific!). Her third attempt became her first published novel.

A Promise to Remember and Leaving Yesterday were both finalists for the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

On the homefront, she has been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for nearly twenty-five years now, and their two daughters are currently braving the worlds of high school and college.

They’ve lived in Santa Barbara for over twenty years. It’s a beautiful place and Kathryn feel blessed to be there (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves her dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!)

When she’s not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find her trying her best to keep up with her daughters in their various theater, softball, dance, and filled-with-activity lives.


Proving the Simple Life Isn’t So Simple After All

Overcommitted and overwhelmed, Julie Charlton is at the breaking point. She knows she should feel blessed as a mother and wife–but she just feels exhausted. And then, the miraculous happens. Her sister-in-law Susan, a Martha Stewart-in-training, lands the chance to participate in a reality TV series about trying to live like the Amish and needs another family to join her. It’s just the break Julie needs.

But the summer adventure in simple living soon proves anything but simple. With the camera watching every move, Susan’s drive for perfection feels a lot like what they left behind, while Julie suddenly finds herself needing to stand up for slowing down. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, or dressing differently, each new Amish challenge raises new complications…and soon each woman learns unexpected lessons about herself and her family.



This is a very different book about the Amish, since it is Almost Amish. Susan is perfect. Well almost. Everything she does has to be perfect. She even makes sure her seventeen year old daughter is perfect in everything she does. That is the way life is suppose to be, right? And Julie is the opposite. She is struggling with just what her position in life should be. She can’t find a thing she is really good at.

Then the opportunity comes to be on the reality show, Almost Amish. This is Susan’s one sure take at being famous, and sister in law Julie is willing to help, alone with her son and daughter. This is an interesting read, one that will make you stop and think about your own busy life. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, though some parts irked me. Like when the producer, and even Susan was ok with the cameraman sneaking pictures and video of the real Amish people, even though they were told not too. The answer was that they would never know it. Well, that rips respect all to pieces. Anything to up the ratings, and thats just what they strove to do. I was really happy that Julie had the guts to take a stand that one time, which make a huge difference in the decisions from then on out.

My only problem with the book was wondering how the Amish would feel about a reality TV show like this, or even a book written like this about their life style. Is this an invasion on their private lives? I wouldn’t want anything that gives us a reading thrill to upset them in any way!

That said, go grab a copy and see what you think. It will be interesting to see what people think about this very interesting book!

A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House through CFBA. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Almost Amish, go HERE.

From Spice to Eternity……. by Yvonne Pat Wright

From Spice to Eternity

by Yvonne Pat Wright


I am thrilled to post my review of From Spice To Eternity today, written by my friend from the UK, Yvonne Pat Wright. Yvonne is one of those special people that you love from the start. I love her spirit, and her love for the Lord. You will find her book truly amazing, as she uses her love of spices to share the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I encourage you to pick up a copy of her book, and you can find a copy on AMAZON

About this book!

Book Description

Publication Date: May 28, 2010
What does life have to throw at you to wake you up. Spices and herbs
What does life have to throw at you to wake you up. Spices and herbs does it for recipes, but in life, the answer is much more elusive. An intriguing journey with Yvonne Pat Wright into her life of heartbreak, disappointment and despair and how she found her way to fullfilment and purpose through a love she never thought she would find.From Spice to Eternity is a compilation of inspirational stories drawn from personal life encounters while living on two islands: Jamaica and Great Britain. Stories of tears, loss and grief are balanced by joyous, exciting and triumphant tales, which above all, demonstrate the unrelenting and indefatigable love of God.
Go HERE for the website about this book
My Thoughts on this book!

Spices for a Christian book? Knowing that Yvonne wrote this book I knew it would be good, but I didn’t know what to expect with the spices tied into her Biblical writings. I found out that I was in for a treat! I used this book for a devotional, reading a few chapters each night and I was blessed with each chapter I read. In each chapter of From Spice to Eternity Yvonne gives us a spice and its meaning and purpose, then follows by a devotion tying this spice into our spiritual lives, then a recipe to use the spice she talks about.
One of my favorites is Cinnamon; because this is a spice I love and use a lot. Cinnamon is a healing spice and is credited to helping blood pressure and cholesterol. In her devotion for this spice, the author ties this healing spice to a healing story using scripture about the healing power of God. A few other spices she uses is cloves, vanilla, allspice, mace, mustard, nutmeg, and many more.
I really like Yvonne’s style of writing because it is easy to read and understand, and make a wonderful devotion to read each day. In addition to the devotion, you will find lots of information about each of the forty two spices in this book as well as their uses in recipes as well as for our health. And to top it off, there are many healthy, mouth-watering recipes to try for yourself.
I highly recommend this spice and devotional book for your personal library. It is a resource that you will use over and over! Grab a copy and check it out. You will not be disappointed!
This book was provided by the author for me to read and review. I was not required or expected to give a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

About the Author

Yvonne Pat Wright has just completed her first novel, From Spice to Eternity, released on May 14, 2010. She’s working on its sequel now. A young-at-heart grandmother Yvonne Pat was born in Jamaica. She spent the first twenty years of her life there, married and had her two daughters before migrating to the United Kingdom in the 1960s. There she attended Tottenham College and earned her Certificate in Business Studies. She also holds a Certificate:Seasoned Chef Cooking with Herbs and Spices from the SA Herb Academy.
After 25 years she returned to her native Jamaica. She worked in Advertising, writing News Releases. She joined the staff at the then Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation, and for a time was in charge of Radio and Television. She’s appeared on both Radio and Television, writing the scripts for her programmes.
She returned to live in the United Kingdom in 2006. She fulfilled her desire to write with her debut book From Spice to Eternity, an intriguing journey looking back at her life and interweaving exotic details of herbs, spices and recipes. She reveals how her heart gets captured for life. Visit her at

FIRST WildCard Tours Presents Jerry and Tina Eicher and My Dearest Naomi!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card authors are:
Jerry and Tina Eicher
and the book:
My Dearest Naomi
Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Jerry Eicher’s bestselling Amish fiction (more than 210,000 in combined sales) includes The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah’s Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. After a traditional Amish childhood, Jerry taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since then he’s been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies.

Tina Eicher was born and married in the Amish faith, surrounded by a mother and sisters who were great Amish cooks. At fellowship meals and family gatherings, Tina’s dishes receive high praise and usually return empty. She and her husband, Jerry Eicher, author of several bestselling Amish fiction titles, are the parents of four children and live in Virginia.
Visit the author’s website.


Jerry Eicher’s many devoted fans will be enthralled by this endearing novel in letters based on Jerry’s letters to and from his future wife, Tina, and their discovery that, indeed, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

When Eugene Mast leaves his Amish community in Worthington, Indiana, to teach in faraway Kalona, Iowa, he also must leave the love of his life, Naomi Miller.

For the next nine months of the school term, Eugene and Naomi keep their romance alive through love letters from his heart to hers, and from hers back to his.

Eugene writes of his concern that in his absence Naomi may find the attractions of another suitor to her liking. Naomi worries that Eugene may fall prey to the “liberal” Mennonite beliefs in the community where he now lives. Both can hardly wait until the school year is up and they’re finally reunited.


This book was very different than other books I read, but I really enjoyed it. Eugene and Naomi were separated for nine months, and during that time, they wrote to each other faithfully, keep their love going strong during their separation. The unique thing I found it that these letters were based on letters actually written by the authors, Jerry and Tina Eicher during a time in their lives when they were separated.

I think you will enjoy this beautiful love story, even though it is not written in the traditional style. It is kind of nice to have a change of reads sometimes, and I found this one warm and refreshing.

Why not go out and grab a copy to read and enjoy for yourself. It makes for a super great summer read!

A poignant and tender love story that will warm the hearts of readers everywhere.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 336 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736939423

ISBN-13: 978-0736939423


Naomi Miller stood beside the buggy, the corner of the front wheel inches from her side. Eugene Mast’s fingers were wrapped around hers. She looked up at him, the shadows from the moonlight hiding his blue eyes, leaving only the sides of his face visible.
“Do you really have to go?” Naomi whispered.
Yah,” Eugene said. “It’s something I need to do. But I’ll be back before you know it, and things will be like they always were.”
“Nine months is an awfully long time.”
Yah, but Da Hah will be with us. He will help us bear the pain of absence. And we are promised, you know.”
“But what will Bishop Enos say about this? We are both members of the church.” Naomi’s hands shifted in his. “What if there is trouble?”
Eugene laughed. “I don’t think there will be trouble. Bishop Enos knows I have no plans to forsake the church.”
“Even though you are running off to Iowa to teach at a Mennonite church school? It’s a terribly long way from Indiana.”
Eugene leaned forward, kissing her cheek. “I will write often, and that will help with the loneliness.”
Naomi pulled away. “Will you miss me? Perhaps a little?”
Eugene laughed again, causing his horse to turn his head to look at him. “I will miss you terribly, Naomi. I just believe this has to be done. If I don’t take the chance now, I’ll always look back and wonder.”
She sighed. “But it’s so dangerous out there. And the Mennonites can put all kinds of ideas in your head. Then you’ll never come back.”
He shook his head. “Please, Naomi, don’t make this harder than it is. I’ll come back. I promise.” He glanced at the envelope she had given him earlier. “Thank you for the card. I’m going to save it to open when I get to Iowa.”
“Okay. I think you’d better go,” she said. “I can’t stand this much longer.”
“I’m not much at goodbyes anyway,” he said. “I will always love you, Naomi. Goodbye…for now.”
“Goodbye,” she said, stepping back as Eugene climbed into the buggy. He slapped the reins against his horse’s back, waving once on the turnaround in the lane, his hand a brief movement from the dark interior. Watching the buggy lights move down the road and fade out of sight, Naomi stared long into the darkness. She then turned to walk back toward the house, pausing to look over her shoulder once more.
Monday evening, August 30
My dearest Naomi,
Greetings from Iowa. This finds me installed in the upstairs bedroom of my new home. The time was a little past eleven o’clock the last I looked. We pulled into the driveway of this little farm around nine, but I couldn’t see much in the darkness. We were met at the front porch by Lonnie and Luella Hershberger, the older Mennonite couple I’m staying with. The school board members who brought me out said their goodbyes and drove off in their van. I was shown around the house by Lonnie and Luella. After the tour, we ended up in the living room talking.
They seem like very nice people even though I’ve only just met them. Their house is a white bungalow with everything inside neatly arranged and in order. The kitchen is by the front door, with the living room in the back. I’m in the front bedroom, upstairs, overlooking the lawn. They said I could see the schoolhouse from my bedroom window, but it’s dark right now.
I feel strange and a little frightened to be out here alone. I’m missing you, of course, and the community. This awful sensation is wrapped around me, as if all the familiar props are knocked out from under me. In the meantime, I have to act as if everything is okay and be full of smiles. I can imagine right now you’re saying “I told you so,” but then maybe not, being the nice person you are.
I can’t thank you enough for the card you gave me before I left. It means so much to me. If I didn’t have your love to fall back on, I don’t think I could stand it right now. I know part of my problem is that I’m just so dead tired I could fall off the chair. The trip was long and more tiresome than I expected.
I suppose I’d better be off to bed. I won’t even start unpacking tonight. The suitcase is still open on the floor with only the things taken out that I need immediately. And that’s good enough for now.
Tuesday morning…
Good morning. I awoke to Luella hollering up the stairs. We had decided last night she would be my alarm clock since I didn’t bring one along. There is an electric alarm clock sitting on the desk, but I told Luella I didn’t know how to run one. And I sure wasn’t going to take the time to figure it out last night. She laughed and said hollering would be the Amish method anyway, and that it should make me feel right at home.
I smiled and said yah, but I didn’t mention that any reminder of home causes more pain than comfort right now.
I came downstairs to a breakfast of eggs and bacon, which I ate quickly. Then I stepped outside for a look around. The weather is nice, and I can indeed see the schoolhouse down the road. It’s a large, white, wooden structure with tall windows on the side. There’s a bell tower on top, placed toward the front. There’s a single tree in the yard.
Back upstairs, I started to unpack until I saw your second card. That brought a halt to the unpacking for a while. Who would have thought being away from you would be this hard?
As of now, the plans are that I will take the rest of the week to settle in at the schoolhouse. They only have a half-day scheduled for school on the first day, Friday. Then no school on Monday, since it’s Labor Day. Beats me how I’m supposed to keep myself occupied all that time with so little work to do.
The chairman of the school board told me the teacher who taught last year will be at the schoolhouse today by 10:00. She will give me details on the lesson plans and other pointers she might have on how to do things around here. I’ve been told it shouldn’t be that different from the year I taught at our Amish school, but I shall see.
While I think to mention it, I forgot to give you the other dove from my farewell cake at our families’ going-away supper. Somewhere in all the goodbyes it slipped my mind. I have the one, and you were supposed to get its mate. My sisters have it now and are supposed to pass it on to you. Hopefully we can match them up when the school year is over.
Luella said the mailman goes past at quarter till nine, so I’d better get this letter out. Here’s my address and a little rhyme. I know it’s not much, but it lets you know how much I’m missing you.
When the new moon hangs in the starry skyI think of love, of ours, of you and I.
With all my heart,Eugene

REUNION………….by Lauraine Snelling


by Lauraine Snelling









Keira Johnson, a 50-year-old mother of two grown sons, believes she lives a good Christian life without secrets– until she discovers a life-jarring fact her late mother kept hidden all her life. Kiera was born out of wedlock, and the man she had always known as her father had adopted her as an infant.
Meanwhile, Keira’s beloved 17-year-old niece, Kirsten, has just discovered an unwanted pregnancy. Her boyfriend, Jose, is bound for college and Kirsten does not know what to do. As the family comes together for a reunion, Keira and Kirsten struggle with their fractured pasts and jumbled present. Will truth and honesty be the catalysts that allow the entire family to find peace?
Inspired by events in Lauraine Snelling’s own life.



The Sorenson family will be getting together for a reunion for the first time since Dagmar Sorenson passed away. As Dagmar’s daughter Keira is busy getting ready for the reunion, she is also busy looking for her birth certificate to get her passport for her dream trip with her husband to Norway. But what she finds will change her life forever because her birth certificate doesn’t have a fathers name. Why would her mother do this to her? And who is the mysterious man who fathered her, along with her mom? And is she still a Sorenson? After all she loved the father who raised her, and he loved her as well.

This is a heartwarming story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, understanding and hope. And Lauraine Snelling creates a special unique group of characters that develop so well throughout the story, giving readers a wonderful and enjoyable read. As we read Keira’s story, we laugh and cry with her as she is forced to deal with the developments taking place in her life. And with all of the twists and turns in the plot, I couldn’t put this book down. I kept reading and reading until the very last word.

I highly recommend this wonderful heartwarming read for anyone that likes a nice, clean, fun, read. You will not be disappointed, so pick up your copy today!

Buy this book from / from / from Barnes & Noble

Buy an autographed copy from Lauraine

This book was provided by FaithWords for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.


Lauraine Snelling Long Bio:

Award-winning and best selling author Lauraine Snelling began living her dream to be a writer with her first published book for young adult readers, Tragedy on the Toutle, in 1982. She has since continued writing more horse books for young girls, adding historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers to her repertoire. All told, she has seventy books published.

Shown in her contemporary romances and women’s fiction, a hallmark of Lauraine’s style is writing about real issues of forgiveness, loss, domestic violence, and cancer within a compelling story. Her work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish, and German, and she has won the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Landand a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.

As a sought after speaker, Lauraine encourages others to find their gifts and live their lives with humor and joy. Her readers clamor for more books more often, and Lauraine would like to comply … if only her paintbrushes and easel didn’t call quite so loudly.

Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a watchdog Basset named Winston. They love to travel, most especially in their forty-foot motor coach, which they affectionately deem “a work in progress”.


CFBA Presents…..The Deposit Slip…by Todd M. Johnson

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingThe Deposit SlipBethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)

byTodd M. JohnsonABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years,

specializing as a trial lawyer.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota

Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of

International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip is his debut novel. He lives outside Minneapolis,

Minnesota, with his wife Cathy, and children Ian and Libby.

$10,000,000 Is Missing.

Erin Larson is running out of options. In the wake of her father’s death, she found a slim piece of paper–a deposit slip–with an unbelievable amount on it. Only the bank claims they have no record of the money, and trying to hire a lawyer has brought only intimidation and threats. Erin’s last chance is Jared Neaton.

How Far Will One Lawyer Go to Find the Money?

When Jared wearied of the shady ethics of his big law firm and started his own, he never expected the wheels to fly off so quickly. One big loss has pushed him to the brink, and it’s all he can do to scrape by.

And How Far Will Someone Go to Stop Him?

He’s not sure if Erin’s case is worth the risk, but if the money is real, all his problems could vanish. When digging deeper unleashes something far more dangerous than just threats, both Jared and Erin must decide the cost they’re willing to pay to discover the truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Deposit Slip, go HERE.


Wow, I just finished reading this book and my head is still spinning! If you like Randy Singer, then Todd Johnson is a must! So many times when reading this book I was so nervous at what was happening. There is no way to keep up with the twists and turns that happen in this story, it is full of them. And when you think its calmed down a bit, hold on to your seat because it takes another turn.

Todd Johnson will sure go on my list of favorite authors, and I will keep an eye out for his next book!

How can you loose 10 million dollars? Erin wants to make sure the bank doesn’t keep the money if it was truly her dad’s, but no one seems do know what happened to it. And no lawyer will take the case, that is until Jared finally decided to launch out and take it, against his secretary, Jessie’s will. It is just too complicated.

On the other side of it, someone is determined to go to the extremes to make sure no one gets close to information about the check being deposited in Larson’s account. But there was a reason that Larson left the deposit slip in his safe deposit box for Erin to find after he was gone.

If you like thrillers, then this book is a must! You will be thrilled out of your seat! I highly encourage you to grab a copy of The Deposit Slip to read and enjoy for yourself!

This book was provided by Bethany House through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. I was not required or expected to give a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Litfuse Presents…..Inescapable… By: Nancy Mehl…and Win a Handmade Mennonite Quilt


By: Nancy Mehl

About the Book:
Lizzie Engel is used to running away. At eighteen, she left her Mennonite hometown, Kingdom, Kansas, with plans never to return.
But five years later, the new life she built is falling apart. Lizzie knows she’s being followed, and she’s certain the same mysterious stranger is behind the threatening letters she’s received. Realizing she’ll have to run again, the only escape Lizzie can manage is a return to the last place she wants to go.
Once she arrives in Kingdom, Lizzie is confident she’ll be safe until she comes up with a new plan. In reacquainting herself with the town and its people–especially her old friend, Noah Housler–she wonders if she judged her hometown and her Mennonite faith too harshly. However, just as she begins to come to terms with her roots, Lizzie is horrified to discover the danger she ran from is closer than ever.
No longer sure who to trust and fearful for her life and the lives of those around her, Lizzie finds she has only one place left to run–to the Father whose love is inescapable.


Wow, I love this book! Lizzie, Clay, Noah, Lizzie’s mom and dad, Cora and all of the gang are just like family to me now! Wonderful characters created by Nancy Mehl to give readers a story that will stick with us for a long time! Oh, and I can’t forget Cherry Beary, Charity, what a precious little girl. And she loved her Prince Phillip!

My heart hurt for Lizzie and the way she was treated by her dad, and I don’t blame her for not wanting her daughter anywhere near him. He just had a different and difficult way of showing his love, because of the way his father treated him. But can Lizzie and her dad every have a relationship like father and daughter? Only God can break through the hard barrier of his heart and change him.

And what about the notes, and the guy that is following Lizzie? She had some difficult decisions to make because of her daughters safety. Will Lizzie choose Charity’s father, marry him so Charity will have her real mom and dad? Or will she choose Noah, who seems to be smitten by her?

I encourage you to grab a copy of Inescapable to read and enjoy. I love the mystery and suspense, with a little romance, and a whole lot of love. This is a story that will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it! You will not be disappointed!

I was provided a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group. I want to thank Amy for making sure I rec’d this book, even though the publisher didn’t send it in time for the tour. The opinions in this review are mine only.


About the Author

About Nancy:
Nancy Mehl, the author of 12 books, received an ACFW Carol Award in 2009 for her novel For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Wichita, Kansas, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson. Visit her website at




Please include the book trailer in your review as well! YouTube Link:

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Enter Today – 7/11-7/25!

Nancy Mehl Inescapable Quilt Giveaway


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FIRST WildCard Tours Presents A Promise For Mariam by Vanetta Chapman

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Vannetta Chapman
and the book:
A Promise for Miriam
Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Vannetta Chapman has published more than 100 articles in Christian family magazines. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Vannetta is a multi-award-winning member of Romance Writers of America. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas Hill country. Her first two inspirational novels—A Simple Amish Christmas and Falling to Pieces—were Christian Book Distributors bestsellers.
Visit the author’s website.


Amish schoolteacher Miriam King loves her students. At 26, she hasn’t yet met anyone who can convince her to give up the Plain school at Pebble Creek. Then newcomer Gabriel Yoder steps into her life, bringing his daughter, an air of mystery, and challenges Miriam has never faced before.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736946128

ISBN-13: 978-0736946124

MY THOUGHTS ON  A Promise For Mariam

After losing his wife, Gabe just wants to leave his Amish community and his family and get away from it all. He buys a rundown farm in Pebble Creek, moves he and his daughter Grace and hopes to stay to himself. He doesn’t need anyone for anything. Just make Gabe happy by leaving him alone.


Miriam King loves her job as a school teacher, and even though she is way past the marrying age for Amish young ladies, she is perfectly content with her students and doesn’t really care about settling down and starting a family. After all she has her students.


It is when new guy in town, or their Amish community, Gabriel Miller showed up at school to enroll his daughter in school that all changed for Miriam, though she didn’t really realize it at the moment.


I love, love this story! And I love the people of Pebble Creek. Vannetta Chapman creates a cast of characters that will steal your heart as you read her new book, A Promise for Miriam. Just what is that promise? Well that is why you need to read the book for yourself!


I found myself thinking of the characters in this book as real life people! Gabe is hurting so much, but he really wants to do the right thing for his daughter Grace. He wasn’t expecting to go head on with a determined teacher trying to do the best for his daughter. He should know what Grace needs more than anything, shouldn’t he? If you are like me, you will find yourself laughing quite a bit throughout these pages. Gabe was one of these people that was hilarious, even though he really didn’t mean to be. I can truly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this well written, wonderful Amish story. And I am eagerly looking forward to the second book in this series.


I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fiction, and especially Amish and Christian fiction. You will surely not be disappointed in this one!


Pebble Creek, southwestern Wisconsin
Three years later
Miriam King glanced over the schoolroom with satisfaction.
Lessons chalked on the board.
Pencils sharpened and in the cup.
Tablets, erasers, and chalk sat on each desk.
Even the woodstove was cooperating this morning. Thank the Lord for Efram Hochstetler, who stopped by early Mondays on his way to work and started the fire. If not for him, the inside of the windows would be covered with ice when she stepped in the room.
Now, where was Esther?
As if Miriam’s thoughts could produce the girl, the back door to the schoolhouse opened and Esther burst through, bringing with her a flurry of snowflakes and a gust of the cold December wind. Her blonde hair was tucked neatly into her kapp, and the winter morning had colored her cheeks a bright red.
Esther wore a light-gray dress with a dark apron covering it. At five and a half feet and weighing no more than a hundred and twenty pounds, Miriam often had the unsettling feeling of looking into a mirror—a mirror into the past—when she looked at the young woman who taught with her at the one-room schoolhouse.
In truth, the teachers had often been mistaken for family. They were similar in temperament as well as appearance. Other than their hair, Esther could have been Miriam’s younger sister. Esther’s was the color of ripe wheat, while Miriam’s was black as coal.
Why did that so often surprise both Plain people and Englischers? If Miriam’s black hair wasn’t completely covered by her kapp, she received the oddest stares.
“Am I late?” Esther’s shoes echoed against the wooden floor as she hurried toward the front of the room. Pulling off her coat, scarf, and gloves, she dropped them on her desk.
“No, but nearly.”
“I told Joseph we had no time to check on his cattle, but he insisted.”
“Worried about the gate again?”
Ya. I told him they wouldn’t work it loose, but he said—”
“Cows are stupid.” They uttered the words at the same time, both mimicking Joseph’s serious voice, and then broke into laughter. The laughter eased the tension from Esther’s near tardiness and set the morning back on an even keel.
“Joseph has all the makings of a fine husband and a gut provider,” Miriam said. “Once you’re married, you’ll be glad he’s so careful about the animals.”
Ya, but when we’re married I won’t be having to leave in time to make it to school.” Esther’s cheeks reddened a bit more as she seemed to realize how the words must sound.
Why did everyone think Miriam was embarrassed that she still remained unmarried? Did it never occur to them that it was her own choice to be single?
“Efram had the room nice and warm before I even arrived,” she said gently. “And I put out your tablets.”
Wunderbaar. I’ll write my lessons on the board, and we’ll be ready.” As Esther reached to pull chalk from her desk drawer, Miriam noticed that she froze and then stood up straighter. When she reached up and touched her kapp as if to make sure she was presentable, Miriam realized someone else was in the room.
She turned to see who had surprised the younger teacher. It was still a few minutes before classes were due to start, and few of their students arrived early.
Standing in the doorway to the schoolroom was an Amish man. Pebble Creek was a small community, technically a part of the village of Cashton. Old-timers and Plain folk alike still referred to the area where the creek went through by its historic name.
Miriam was quite sure she’d never seen the man standing in her classroom before. He was extremely tall, and she had the absurd notion he’d taken his hat off to fit through their entryway. Even standing beneath the door arch, waiting for them to speak, he seemed to barely fit. He was thin and sported a long beard, indicating he was married.
In addition to clutching his black hat, he wore a heavy winter coat, though not the type worn by most Wisconsin residents. The tops of his shoulders, his arms, and even parts of his beard were covered with snow. More important than how he looked standing in her classroom was the fact that he held the hand of a small girl.
Gudemariye,” Miriam said, stepping forward and moving past her desk.
The man still didn’t speak, but as she drew closer, he bent and said something to the girl.
When Miriam had halved the distance between them, he returned her greeting as his somber brown eyes assessed her.
The young girl next to him had dark-brown hair like her father. It had been combed neatly and pulled back into a braid, all tucked inside her kapp. What was striking about her wasn’t her hair or her traditional Plain clothing—it was her eyes. She had the most solemn, beautiful brown eyes Miriam had ever seen on a child.
They seemed to take in everything.
Miriam noticed she clutched her father’s hand tightly with one hand and held a lunch box with the other.
“I’m the teacher of the younger grades here, grades one through four. My name is Miriam King.” The girl’s eyes widened, and the father nodded again. “Esther Schrocks teaches grades five through eight.”
He looked to the girl to see if she understood, but neither replied.
“And your daughter is—”
“Grace is eight years old, just this summer.” Almost as an afterthought, he added, “I’m Gabriel Miller.”
“Pleased to meet you.” Miriam offered her best smile, which still did not seem to put the father at ease. She’d seen nervous parents before, and obviously this was one. “You must be new to our community.”
Ya. I purchased the place on Dawson Road.”
“Dawson Road? Do you mean the Kline farm?”
Ya.” Not quite rude, but curt and to the point.
Miriam tried to hide any concern she felt as images of Kline’s dilapidated spread popped into her mind. It was no business of hers where this family chose to live. “I know exactly where you mean. My parents live a few miles past that.”
“It’s a fair piece from here,” he noted.
“That it is. Esther and I live here at the schoolhouse during the week. The district built accommodations on the floor above, as is the custom in most of our schoolhouses here in Wisconsin. We both spend weekends at home with our families.”
“I don’t know I’ll be able to bring Grace in every day.” Gabriel Miller reached up and ran his finger under the collar of his shirt, which peeked through the gap at the top of his coat.
Miriam noticed then that it looked stiff and freshly laundered. Had he put on his Sunday best to bring his daughter to school on her first day? It said something about him if he had.
“A man has to put his farm first,” he added defensively.
“Some children live close enough that their parents can bring them in the winter, and, of course, most everyone walks when the weather permits.” Miriam paused to smile in greeting as a few students began arriving and walking around them. “Others ride together. Eli Stutzman lives past Dawson road, and he would be happy to give your dochder a ride to school.”
“It would be a help.” Mr. Miller still didn’t move, and Miriam waited, wondering what else the man needed to say.
She looked up and saw one of the older girls, Hannah, walking in the door. “Hannah, this is Grace Miller. She’s new at our school. Would you mind sitting with her and helping her this week?”
“Sure thing, Miriam.” Hannah squatted down to Grace’s level and said something to the girl Miriam couldn’t hear.
Whatever it was, Grace released her dat’s hand and took Hannah’s. She’d walked halfway down the aisle when she turned, rushed back to where they stood, and threw her arms around her father’s legs.
One squeeze and she was gone again.
Though it was fleeting, Miriam saw a look of anguish pass over the man’s face. What could be going through his mind? She’d seen many fathers leave their children for the first time over the last eight years, but something more was going on here.
“She’ll be fine, Mr. Miller. We’re a small school, and the children look after one another.”
“It’s that…” he twirled his hat in his hands once, twice, three times. “Before we moved here, Grace was…that is to say, we…well, her grossmammi homeschooled her.”
“I understand. How about if I write a note letting you know how Grace is doing? I’ll put it in her lunch box at the end of the day.”
Something like relief washed over his face.
Danki,” he mumbled. Then he rammed his hat on his head and hurried out the door.
Esther caught her attention from the front of the room and sent a questioning look toward the man’s retreating back, but Miriam shook her head. She’d explain later, at lunch perhaps. For now they had nearly forty children between them to teach. As usual, it would be a busy morning.
Gabe did stop to talk to Eli Stutzman. He wanted to make sure he trusted the man.
It helped when three girls and a boy who were the last to climb out of the long buggy stopped to wish their father a good day. The littlest girl, probably the same age as his Gracie, wrapped her arms around her daddy’s neck, whispered something in his ear, and then tumbled down the steps into the chilly morning.
“That one is my youngest—Sadie. Always full of energy, but she’s a worrier. This morning it’s about a pup she left at home in the barn.” Covering the distance between them, the older man removed his glove and offered his right hand. “Name’s Eli Stutzman. I take it you’re new here, which must mean you bought the Kline place.”
“I am, and I did. Gabriel Miller.” Gabe stood still in the cold, wishing he could be done with this and back on his farm.
“Have children in the school?”
“One, a girl—about your youngest one’s age.”
Eli nodded, and then he seemed to choose his words carefully. “I suspect you’ll be busy putting your place in order. It will be no problem giving your dochder a ride back and forth each day.”
“I would appreciate it.”
Stutzman told him the approximate time he passed the Kline place, and Gabe promised he’d have Gracie ready at the end of the lane.
He turned to go and was headed to his own buggy when the man called out to him.
“The Kline place has been empty quite a while.”
Gabe didn’t answer. Instead, he glanced out at the surrounding fields, covered in snow and desolate looking on this Monday morning.
“If you need help, or find something that’s worse than what you expected, you holler. We help each other in Pebble Creek.”
Gabe ran his hand along the back of his neck but didn’t answer. Merely nodding, he moved on to his buggy.
He was accustomed to people offering help. Actually delivering on it? That was often another story, though he wouldn’t be judging the people here before he knew them.
Still, it was in his nature to do things on his own if at all possible.
Was his new home worse than he had expected?
Ya, it was much worse.
The barn was falling in on itself, and the house was not a lot better, but he knew carpentry. He could make them right. At least the woodstove worked. He’d been somewhat surprised to find no gas refrigerator, but he had found out who sold blocks of ice carved from the river. The icebox in the mudroom would do.
Gracie would be warm and fed. She’d have a safe place to sleep and to do the drawing she loved so much.
He didn’t think he’d be calling on Eli for help.
He’d see that Grace Ann made it to school and church—he’d promised her grossmammis as much. But other than that he wasn’t looking to make freinden in Pebble Creek. He wanted to be left alone. It was the reason he’d left their community in Indiana.
He could do without any help.
His parting words to his parents echoed back to him.
“I can do it on my own.”
As he drove the buggy toward home, Gabe looked out over high ridges and low valleys. Dairy farms dotted the snowcapped view. Running through it all was Pebble Creek, no doubt a prime place for trout fishing most of the year. He’d heard the call of wild turkeys and seen deer. It was a rich, blessed area.
Pebble Creek ran through the heart of Cashton, the closest town. It also touched the border of the school grounds and meandered through his own property. It bound them together.
As he approached home, Gabe’s mind was filled with thoughts of the day’s work ahead of him. He wondered where he’d find the energy to do it all, but somehow he would.
For Gracie he would.
His parents had offered to send his youngest brother along for the first year, but Andrew was needed on the family place. And, truthfully, Gabe preferred to be alone—just he and Grace.
“I can do it on my own.”
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” his mother said. She had reminded him as he was packing their things that pride was his worst shortcoming, though the Lord knew he had many to choose from when it came to faults.
Was it pride that scraped against his heart each day? He couldn’t say.
He only knew he preferred solitude to company, especially since Hope died.
That seemed ironic, even to him. She had been his hope, his life, his all, and now she was gone. Her death had happened so quickly—it reminded him of one of the Englisch freight trains barreling around the corner of some bend.
A big black iron thing he hadn’t seen coming. A monstrosity with the power to destroy his life.
Which wasn’t what the bishop had said, or his parents, or his brothers and sisters.
He slapped the reins and allowed his new horse, Chance, to move a bit faster over the snow-covered road. He’d left Indiana because he needed to be free of the looks of sympathy, the well-intentioned words, the interfering.
So he now had what he’d wished for—a new beginning with Grace.
If it meant days of backbreaking work, so much the better. Perhaps when he was exhausted, he would begin to sleep at night.

Enough by Will Davis, Jr


by Will Davis, Jr


Book Blurb

Do you have enough?

Our culture pushes us to strive for more–more money, more stuff, more clout. But how much is enough? And how do we know when we have too much of a good thing?

In this provocative book, Will Davis Jr. challenges us to discover the peace that comes through contentment with what we have and compassion for those in need. Through surprising statistics, scriptural insight, and powerful real-life stories, Davis shows us the rewards of living with less in order to be more and do more with our lives.

If you want to pursue a life that truly satisfies, read on.



This book was a challenge to me because I am sometimes one of those people who keep wanting to buy and buy, just because I see something I think I want, or something that is such a good price I can’t give up. I’m not, however one of the higher income class people that have a lot of extra money to purchase whatever they want. My addiction to ‘Enough’ is sometimes on the yard sale level because something is just so cheap I gotta have it, only to bring it home and can’t find a place for it, or find that it isn’t so grand after all. Before reading this book, I already had a pretty good pile of stuff to sell on ebay, and now I am even more determined to hit ebay for a while getting rid of my extra stuff that is piling up in my extra bedroom, that has now become a storage room.

This book can appeal to many people in many different ways, but I feel it would be beneficial to everyone because there are very few people that only buy just exactly what they need and nothing else, whether it be expensive or not. I encourage you to grab a copy and read for yourself. It is a wonderful book with lots and lots of great insights on how we need to use more discipline in what we thing we really need.

“Available July 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55


Enough challenges the status quo pursuit of the American dream, which has produced less-than-stellar results. If your goal is actually feeling wealthy, secure, and as though you finally have enough, then Will’s book is a must-read!”–John Burke, author of No Perfect People Allowed


“If you’ve ever been guilty of searching for enough in all the wrong places (ahem, like me!), I dare you to read this book. Be warned that it will make you squirm in places, but in a good way–a very good way.”–Vicki Courtney, author of 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter


“I am so thankful for this book. I have been thinking about downsizing my lifestyle and freeing myself from the maintenance of too much accumulated stuff! After reading Will’s book, I am convicted to actually do it.”–Nancy Turner, host of This Is the Day for Moody Radio

“As usual, Will Davis Jr. has challenged me at a deep level. I am truly inspired to rethink my perspective on working, money, and the pursuit of the American dream. I highly recommend Enough for every American!”–Debbie Chavez, talk show host at; women’s conference speaker


Will Davis Jr. (DMin, Southwestern Seminary) is the founding and senior pastor of Austin Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church in

Austin, Texas. He is the author of Pray Big, Pray Big for Your Marriage, Pray Big for Your Child, Why Faith Makes Sense, and 10 Things Jesus Never Said. An avid hiker, mountain-biker, and water-skier, Davis and his wife, Susie, have three children and live in Austin, Texas. For more information about Will and his blog, visit

The Gifted by Ann Gabhart

The Gifted

by Ann Gabhart


Book Blurb

Some dreams were meant to come true.

Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her young life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down.

Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

Praise for Ann Gabhart’s Shaker Novels“The book rings with researched authenticity.”–Publishers Weekly about The Outsider


“A definite can’t-put-it-down book.”–Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author, about The Seeker


“A tender and inspiring read.”–Ann Tatlock, award-winning author, about The Blessed


“From cover to cover, The Blessed captivates and challenges–an absolutely wonderful read.”–Judith Miller, author of A Bond Never Broken




Having reading some of Ann’s books on the Shakers, I knew what to expect about their beliefs, though I don’t support what they believe at all! How can people actually believe this stuff, and live by it is beyond me.


And such were the struggles of Jassamine Brady. Growing up in the shaker neighborhood and loving her family and friends there didn’t draw Jassamine to their way of life at all. She found herself very interested in the ways of the world and she sought those ways, struggling to obey the strict rules she was brought up to follow. And when unforeseen circumstances brings young Tristan into her life, Jassamine may be closer than she thinks about finding out what the outside would is all about.


Ann Gabhart has such a unique and wonderful way of writing about these shaker people with and open attitude, not condemning them, but giving her readers a true and vivid insight of how they really live.


I highly recommend The Gifted as well as the first four books in this wonderful series by Ann Gabhart.


Available July 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55




Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Words Spoken True, Angel Sister, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.

Passages by Brian Hardin, A Litfuse Book Tour


by Brian Hardin

Book Blurb:

Many Christians feel guilty when they think of reading the Bible. Though they want to love reading Scripture, they rarely have time for more than a few verses on the run. But the Bible is not meant to be a burden. It is the story of God’s passionate love for His children. It is also not a book of mystical incantations. It is a best friend offering counsel and companionship. And it is not a distant relic, but something very near. Near enough, in fact, to be every reader’s story. So how do Christians delight in this story rather than see it as a source of failure? The founder of the immensely popular Daily Audio Bible, Brian Hardin shows readers how reading through the Bible in a year will change their life and the lives of others. Passages shows readers how to read the Bible and offers practical ideas for immersing themselves in God’s life-giving words. Here readers will discover that reading the Bible can be a breathtaking adventure.



This is a life-changing book, one that every Christian should read! I have read through the Bible a few times, but sometimes I felt like I was reading just to get through the passages, not enjoying them and getting the full effect of reading God’s Word. After reading Passages, I have more motivation that ever to get in my Bible and read it. I won’t promise faithfully that I will sure take this challenge; because sometime promises are broken, but I am going to do everything I can to make this a yearly challenge. And keeping this book to read along with reading my Bible is a must! Thank you Brian Hardin for a wonderful tool, and a strong challenge to have a daily relationship with God’s word. I really never thought of is as a daily relationship, but putting it that way makes it even more desirable to want to read!

I highly recommend this book to every Christian out there. This book will change your life, and help you with that daily relationship you need with your Lord.

About the Author

Brian Hardin is a speaker, photographer, record producer and an ordained minister. In 2006, he created the Daily Audio Bible, an online podcast that now delivers 1.5 million downloads a month. He has produced over 150 albums and works with artists and the arts extensively. He is married to Christian musician Jill Parr.

Daily Bible Reading & Devotion!

Brian Hardin, Daily Audio Bible


CFBA Presents Don Hoesel in Serpent of Moses

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingSerpent of MosesBethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)byDon HoeselABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Don Hoesel is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier

in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from

Taylor University and has published short fiction in Relief

Journal. He was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but lives in

Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife and two children. The

Serpent of Moses is his fourth novel.

Moses built and lifted up the brass serpent,

healing the afflicted Israelites of snakebites.

King Hezekiah called the serpent Nehushtan.

Long thought destroyed, it’s been buried for

millennia, secreted under the region’s shifting sands.

Now the Israeli government wants it back and they

will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Yet

they’re not the only ones who covet the Nehushtan.

Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne travels to Libya intent

on recovering the sacred object, but one does not

cross the Mossad and expect to walk away without a

fight. Jack and his friends must find the priceless

“snake of brass upon a pole” before those who are

also hunting it find them…and silence them forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of

Serpent of Moses, go HERE.

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