Sunday, December 21, 2014

Be Thou My Vision ~ Faith Blum

  • File Size: 3910 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500890537
  • Publisher: Faith Blum (October 26, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00NF3QV52

 October 26, 2014

The church was empty when I dragged myself out of the pew and headed out the door. As I opened the door, the corner of my eye caught a flicker of movement which I chose to ignore. I walked down the steps and was nearly bowled over by two wild boys. With arms grown strong and quick from man-handling two brothers growing up, I grabbed the two boys before they had a chance to escape me. 

Anna Stuart is comfortable with her life. She may be a 30 year old spinster, but she has her routine and enjoys taking care of her father and older brother. One letter shatters all her routines, comfort, and enjoyment. After learning of her brother’s death, Anna feels like her life will never be the same again.

Then she meets two motherless boys. Did God place them in her life to lead her to a new vision of life? Can she trust God to give her the desires of her heart before she even knows what they are?

Note from the Author: Even though this book is the 2nd in the series, reading book 1 is not essential to reading book 2. That being said, some things in book 1 would help you to further understand some of the backstory in this book.

My take on this book:
Be Thou My Vision is an old hymn that Faith Blum actually blends into her inspirational, historical romance that easily pulled me back to the mid 1800's. Thirty year old Anna Stuart has lived on her father's farm cooking and cleaning for him and her older brother Caleb, but always wondered about her younger brother Jed. When she gets a letter from him saying he is going to be hanged he shares his faith and encourages her to find God as well. When she decides to go to church it seems that God has a plan for her when two motherless boys who need guidance crosses  her path. 

Faith Blum knows how to blend faith, feelings, and characters together to make for a page turning story where the plot zips along, and the ending leaves you missing the characters and wanting to hear more from them!  I found myself drawn to the character of Anna from the beginning, it took the death of her younger brother to propel her into living again, something that the author allows us to see and experience as she decided to go to church. Her older brother Caleb also seemed to want change, and the secret he shared was one I certainly didn't see coming. My heart ached as Faith Blum shared what their childhood had been like and why the younger brother had left home at fourteen. While I wanted to dislike their father for the hurts he caused the author had me feeling empathy for him, and hoping that he would change his life. The romance was well written, there was a sweetness in seeing the feelings shift from friendship to something more. I loved the children, the exuberance they often felt jumped from the pages, and the relationship between father and sons was a nice contrast to how things were in the Stuart home. Ms. Blum allows her faith to shine thru as she shares the characters growth and change as they develop a closer relationship with God. I thought the turmoil that the author threw into the story added a nice balance to the faith based messages. Anyone who enjoys inspiring historical fiction will certainly enjoy Be Thou My Vision, I know I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

Reviewed for

Friday, December 19, 2014

Author Paul DeBlassie III answers the question: Why he wrote The Unholy ~ Guest Post

I would like to welcome Paul DeBlassie III the author of The Unholy to WV Stitcher today:

Why I Wrote This Book
DeBlassieCMYK4x6419F1233Writing The Unholy was motivated by my work treating survivors of the dark side of religion for over thirty years.  The dark side of religion generates a shame-based spirituality, and when people experience the dark side of religion their unconscious minds are profoundly violated. Rather than writing a self-help book for people who have encountered the dark side of religion, I decided to write a novel because images and symbols in fiction affect the unconscious mind in ways that information in nonfiction does not; they move straight into the unconscious mind, while information in nonfiction self-help books stays on the level of the conscious mind. Only by accessing healing images and symbols at the level of the unconscious mind, such as through stories like The Unholy, do people who have been injured by the dark side of religion begin to heal. And as they heal, they are able to free themselves from the effects of a shame-based spirituality and instead embrace a soul-based spirituality. 
Here's A Look At The Book:

“A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.”
  • File Size: 471 KB
  • Print Length: 203 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0865349592
  • Publisher: Sunstone Press (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F8OEH70
  • Purchase The Unholy here.

Paul DeBlassie IIIAbout the Author 
PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.  

The Willing Stone ~ The Adventures of Abby and Sofia ~ Beth Winokur

  • File Size: 651 KB
  • Print Length: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Leafy Greens Publishing (January 6, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HQ8WS6S

 January 6, 2014  7 - 11  2 - 6

It’s a new state, a new school, and a new world for Abby.

She thought her biggest problem was what to wear on the first day of fourth grade, but when she stumbles across The Folk, she discovers that her troubles have only just begun.

My take on this book:
The Willing Stone is the first book in The Adventures of Abby and Sofia series by Beth Winokur.It's a story that takes readers on a fantastic journey which grabbed my imagination and kept me guessing what would happen next with Abby and Sofia.

Abigail (Abby) Yard has plenty going on. She and her family has just moved in with her grandparents, and her grandpa warns her about someone called The Folk. Her greatest obstacle though is starting fourth grade in a new school. She hopes to fit in and make new friends, but it seems the only person who wants to be her friend is Sofia whom everyone calls "Bug Girl." The two girls soon find themselves on an adventure where they will learn just what Abby's grandfather was talking about when he mentioned The Folk, but more than that they will learn what being a friend is all about.

The Willing Stone by Beth Winokur is such a delightful read that touches on some very realistic topics which are going to make young readers think as they are pulled into the magical adventure that Abby and Sofia find themselves on. Abby and Sofia are very likable characters,while Abby sometimes makes poor choices she always learns from her mistakes which allows her character to grow. I could easily understand how she was torn between liking Sofia and wanting to fit in with the other girls, the author's message of true friendship comes thru loud and clear with this pair. I also loved how Sofia was comfortable being who she was, she wasn't fazed by what others said about her. It was also easy to imagine the snarky girls and their mean attitudes! I loved the sense of family structure and unity that I got while reading this story. The author's descriptions of the magical creatures that Sofia and Abby encountered put my imagination into overdrive! I could just visualise the eight foot sometimes mermaid, the troll along with the other creatures that they encountered. When the girls found themselves in a magical world I couldn't help but wonder if they would make it back home.The Willing Stone The Adventures of Abby and Sofia is a page turner with just the right amount of suspense, mystery and fantasy written in such a way to provide several positive messages while capturing the imagination and holding it until the final page.

Reviewed by

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Escape In Time by Ronit Lowenstein-Malz

  • Description

    Nessya’s grandmother, Miri Eneman Malz, has friends, a loving family—and a secret: she is a Holocaust survivor. When twelve-year-old Nessya learns the truth, she wants to know what happened. After decades of silence, Grandma Miri decides it’s time to tell her story.

    It all begins one terrible day in the spring of 1944, when Germany crosses Hungary’s border and soldiers arrive in Miri’s hometown of Munkács. Suddenly, the Jews are trapped and in danger.

    Surrounded by war and unimaginable hatred, the family makes a daring escape. But that is only the beginning, and over the course of the year new threats continually confront them. Incredibly, despite numerous close calls, they defy the odds and live.

    Based upon actual memoirs, this is the story of the Eneman family . . . of their remarkable ingenuity, astonishing luck, boundless courage, and unending love.


    My take on this book:
  • Escape In Time By Ronit Lowenstein-Malz is the story of the Eneman family whose sheer determination along with plenty of luck allowed them to survive the Holocaust, what makes this a heart rending story is the fact that it is based on an actual family that lived thru this horrible time in history. An emotionally charged story that is often suspenseful, but also provides small bits of humor that makes for a story with real life characters that aren't easy to forget once you finish the final page.

Nessya finds it almost impossible to believe that her grandma Miri is a survivor of the Holocaust, but her best friend Rachel is certain that she is because she overheard a conversation where it was suggested that Miri be invited to speak at the Holocaust Remembrance Day program. Nessi wants to ask her mom because surely she knows the truth, but Rachel reminds her that many families don't like to talk about it. Instead she convinces Nessi that they need to investigate and solve the mystery on their own, but when that plan fails they ask Nessi's mother anyway and she suggests that they talk to grandma Miri.  What will Nessi learn when she talks to her grandmother?

Ronit Lowenstien-Malz's characters literally jump from the pages of Escape In Time. She not only captures the fear and uncertainty that they felt, but also the hope and love that knits this family together. I found myself mesmerized by the telling of this story that was so rich in detail that I honestly felt like I was witnessing history take place within the pages of the story.While we feel the emotions of the characters that survived the ordeal of the Holocaust we are also allowed to see how the information impacts Nessya as she reads her grandmother's story. Reading the "diary letters" added a unique element to the telling of the story by providing snippets of the family's daily struggles, showing how fate intervened on more than one occasion to keep them safe.  Ms. Malz tells does a wonderful job of balancing detail and age appropriate information together to make for a story that will appeal to young and old alike. An easy to understand, yet informative story that is based on an actual family that survived the Holocaust. 

Reviewed for

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bachelor~ Stephanie Reed

  • File Size: 864 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0825442168
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (October 1, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

 October 1, 2014

In this sequel to The Bargain, Betsie Troyer is back home in her Amish community where she knows she belongs, free from the confusing Englisher way of life. She and Charley Yoder have made promises to each other, and her life is back on track--until Gerald Sullivan shows up with his young daughter, asking for Betsie's help. He’s on his way to find his estranged wife, and begs Betsie to take young Sheila in. When she agrees, Betsie's carefully planned life is shaken up again. Sheila's newfound faith is troubling to Charley--and his attraction to another girl is beginning to be a problem. But how can Betsie confront him when she is still trying to confront her own feelings about Sheila's brother, Michael? Keeping the peace between the Amish man she's always loved, a twelve-year-old Englisher girl, and a draft-dodging hippie is more than she ever thought she’d have to deal with in her simple, orderly life. Still, Betsie is convinced she can keep things from falling apart completely. Then during her best friend's wedding, tragedy strikes and her world is upended. She has to make a decision: does she love Charley or Michael . . . or is she craving a deeper love that only God can give? The compelling second novel of the Plain City Peace series, The Bachelor deftly weaves together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.

My take on this book:

Nineteen year old Betsie Troyer is glad to be back in her Amish community, but she knows that her family is on shaky ground because her parents Fannie and Noah left the faith in order to become Christians. Her aunt Lovina tried convincing them to come back but instead she left the faith as well. Betsie has plans to marry Chaley Yoder and become a good Amish wife. When she is ask to keep her Englisher's twelve year old daughter Sheila,she knows she shouldn't but does it anyway. Added to that is the fact that she is pretty close friends with Sheila's brother and things just seem to keep getting more complicated. 

I read quite a bit of Amish fiction and sometimes I find a really stand out series and Plain City Peace is one of them. I like that this series takes place in Plain City, Ohio and the time period of the seventies isn't one that I often read about in Amish series.The author does a very good job of capturing the time period, I don't think I have ever read the term draft dodger in an Amish romance!  What really makes this series shine is the unique storyline that involves the Troyer parents leaving the Amish faith, which causes their children turmoil. While the plot is smoothly written the author provides a few twists to keep it interesting. This book is the second in the  Plain City Peace series and I recommend that the books be read in order. Overall a unique Amish romance that is far from predictable. I will certainly be watching for the next book in the series.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jesus Daily ~ 365 Interactive Devotionals by Aaron Tabor, MD

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords (October 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455577235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455577231

Based on the major themes found on the most active Facebook page in history, JESUS DAILY is a 365-day interactive devotional that goes beyond even the fan page to create a deeper experience and cultural movement that celebrates your redemption in Christ. JESUS DAILY presents a devotional thought but also challenges you to respond to each daily reflection using a variety of social media tools. 

JESUS DAILY is a worldwide revolution in how you can connect, share, and worship the Father personally and with other believers.

My take on this book: 
I have long been a fan of using devotionals in my daily Bible reading so I was excited to see what Jesus Daily was all about. Well the first thing I noticed is the pocket size of the book which makes it very portable. The structure of the book is sturdy with slick shiny pages that are easy to turn, and there are several blank pages at the back of the book for writing notes. The structure of each devotional begins with a scripture verse, a daily devotional and then the unique thing about Jesus Daily is the connect section which encourages the user to do just that Connect! Connect with others whether it is going to the Jesus Daily Facebook page or connecting with another person in order to pray together, the main goal is to connect with each other! Doing this type of devotional is a unique approach for me, normally my devotion time is quite time, but I really find the encouragement of connecting with others allows me to grow spiritually in a way that doing a daily devotional alone just doesn't do. An easy to use devotional that encourages the user to connect and share about their faith, what a wonderful way to spend time with Jesus Daily.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Love Without End by Robin Lee Hatcher ~ Litfuse Blog Tour with review and giveaway

Love Without End || A King’s Meadow Romance (Thomas Nelson, November 2014)
Love without endChet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again?
Chet Leonard’s life was forever changed when his 17-year-old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men.
Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious 15-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King’s Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of becoming involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man.
When octogenarian Anna McKenna returns to King’s Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet may discover that true love has no end.

My take on this book:
Kimberly Welch's husband has been gone three years, dead of a heart attack and in that time she went from a life of privilege to swimming in debt, which causes her to wind up in Kings Meadow. Her almost sixteen year old daughter Tara isn't adjusting well to the change in circumstances and Kimberly isn't sure how to reach her. When someone gifts Tara with an untrained horse they seek out Chet Leonard the best horse trainer around. Chet isn't looking for a relationship because he is dealing with hurt of his own, but a relationship slowly forms between him and Kimberly. Can the pair overcome their past in order to find a happy future?
I have been reading Robin Lee Hatcher's work for a while because she has a unique way of drawing me into her stories, allowing me to feel as if I am right in the midst of the lives of the characters! I always enjoy reading what I consider second chance love stories and with this one Chet and Kimberly are each suffering different kinds of losses that have emotionally scarred them.   Wonderfully vivid descriptions allowed me to envision Kings Meadow as well as the Leonard ranch.The story easily transitions from past to  present as it not only tells the story of Chet and Kimberly but also we learn about Nana Anna as well.A touching story of how God works to heal hearts that have long decided to give up on love.  Love Without End is the first book in A Kings Meadow Romance Series and it easily left me anticipating the next book!

Robin Lee Hatcher


Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.
Find out more about Robin Lee at

Facebook/Twitter/ Pinterest

Fire up the romance this holiday with Robin Lee Hatcher‘s latest offering in the King’s Meadow Romance series, Love Without EndFor two single parents with bruised hearts, it’ll take more than a little courage to get back on the horse when it comes to love.
Celebrate love rising from the ashes of tragedy with Robin by entering her Kindle Fire giveaway.
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Love Without End and the rest of the King’s Meadow Romance series from Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 14th. Winner will be announced December 15th onRobin’s blog.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Their Tangled Hearts ~ Mary DeWeber

  • File Size: 1310 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 069223229X
  • Publisher: Avery Anne Publishers (June 10, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KWOPI06

Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Emma had spent the last five years learning to cope with tragedy. She should have known that Doc had something up his sleeve when he'd talked her into taking a cooking job at a Colorado cattle ranch. Cooking was the easy part. Working with disabled children was something she was decidedly not prepared for. Throw in a tall dark mountain of a man with a voice like warm velvet and she was completely over her head! It would take God to straighten out the tangled mess she had made of her life.

My take on this book:
Their Tangled Hearts by Mary DeWeber is more than just another inspirational romance, instead it's a heart touching story of a woman and man overcoming the many tragedies that life often throws our way in order to find the happiness that God intends for us all!

Emma Winter has spent the last five years carrying around hurts that she blames herself for. She has built such a wall around her heart that it seems no one or nothing can penetrate it. When her friend Doc asks her for a favor which is going to cook at a Colorado ranch she hesitantly agrees, but when she realizes that she will be working with disabled children she isn't sure that she can stay. Jake Peterson's sister owns the ranch and he has been staying there for awhile to overcome the tragedy that occurred in his life. Emma and Jake are drawn together in friendship, but when Jake realises he wants more he isn't sure he can penetrate the wall Emma has built around her heart.

Jake and Emma are well written characters who are going thru real life issues which makes it very easy to relate to them. My heart broke for Emma as I learned her story, the blame she placed on herself was so easy to understand, while there was a sense of sadness around her, the author also gave her strength, allowing for a multi-faceted real life character that was very easy to connect with.  Jake character was just as riveting, his tragedy was just as heart wrenching, and I couldn't help but want the best for both of the characters. I became totally absorbed in their lives, which were far from predictable. Instead of a smoothly flowing plot Ms. DeWeber throws in plenty of surprising curves which  made for a page turning read. Descriptive writing made it easy to feel the atmosphere of the ranch along with   the camaraderie that was present with the various people on the ranch. While Their Tangled Hearts provides several life lessons Ms. DeWeber gets her point across without sounding preachy instead the characters and their faith just enhance each other making the story realistic and easy to relate to. Mary DeWeber certainly knows how to tell an emotionally compelling story that makes you laugh and cry, but mostly it shows how God can take hurt, blame, anger and loss and turn it into healing if only we allow it.

Reviewed for

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads ~ S.R. Mallery

02_Sewing Can Be Dangerous CoverPublication Date: December 16, 2013
Mockingbird Lane Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book
Pages: 276

Genre: Historical Fiction/Short Stories

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The eleven long short stories in “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

My take on this book: 
I have always been a fan of short stories especially when each story in the collection is tied together with a certain theme. With Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads each short story has one thing in common and that's sewing. From the first story where a young immigrant girl is mistreated by her father, and forced to worked long hard hours in a sewing factory, that is until the factory burns down and everyone thinks she died, to the story of a cursed quilt and the problems it creates for a newlywed couple I found myself drawn into each story. Wondering about the lives of the characters. I think my favorite story had to be about a deaf slave girl and the accomplishments she makes as her quilting is used to help other slaves escape.Overall a great compilation of historical stories with unique characters and settings that allow readers to glimpse a wide variety of lives and the impact of needle and thread played in those lives.

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Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads is now in AUDIO!!! Listen to narrator, Suzie Althens, breathe life and depth into these stories!


About the Author03_S.R. Mallery

S.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life.

First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy. Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

“Unexpected Gifts”, her debut novel, is currently available on Amazon. “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads”, her collection of short stories, Jan. 2014, both books by Mockingbird Lane Press.

For more information please visit S.R. Mallery’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1
Review at Unshelfish

Tuesday, December 2
Review at Bibliotica

Wednesday, December 3
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, December 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews and More

Friday, December 5
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Monday, December 8
Review at WV Stitcher

Tuesday, December 9
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, December 10
Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, December 11
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, December 12
Review at Based on a True Story

Monday, December 15
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, December 16
Review at Book Babe

Wednesday, December 17
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, December 19
Review at Book Drunkard

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Evening Prayers For Everyday of the Year ~ Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

  • File Size: 2050 KB
  • Print Length: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Plough Publishing House; 5 edition (March 5, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JHHM15O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 

 March 5, 2014

We want to turn to God at the end of each day, but often don’t find the words to express our deepest feelings and longing. This collection of prayers is one of the few daily devotionals especially intended for use in the evening.

Blumhardt’s words bespeak a certainty in God’s nearness. The peace that flows from them comes from an unshakeable conviction that God’s kingdom is indeed on the way. In stormy and challenging times like our own, most of us need this reassurance frequently, if not daily.

My take on this book:
First of all I would like to say that the cover of this book fits perfectly, the peaceful tranquility I feel when I look at the cover is the same feeling I get whenever I open the book to read it. The book is broken down into 365 evening readings with each page consisting of a scripture verse and then a prayer. There is plenty of space at the bottom of each page to jot down notes or feelings that you may want to remind yourself of. There are also several blank pages at the end of the book that I am using for notes and reminders of my favorite prayers. I like that it is specifically geared toward evening use,making for a wonderful way to wind down at the end of a busy day. Evening Prayers is a wonderful addition to my daily Bible reading program, and while I have been reading in the month of December I plan on beginning this book with the New Year and using it as an evening devotional for 2015. I think this book would make a wonderful gift for anyone looking to find a little quiet time at the end of the day to reflect and pray. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

The Outlaw Takes A Bride ~ Susan Page Davis

  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition (March 1, 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 

 March 1, 2015

Johnny Paynter flees Denver to escape being hanged for a murder he didn’t commit. At his brother’s ranch in Texas, where he thought he could take refuge, he finds his brother, Mark—dead. Taking advantage of his strong resemblance to his brother, Johnny assumes Mark’s identity. Soon Johnny discovers that Mark had been corresponding with a widow named Sally in St. Louis, and she’s en route to be a mail-order bride to Mark. Seeing no other option, Johnny makes a fateful decision to go through with the wedding, posing as his brother. But Sally has secrets she's hiding, too. How will a marriage survive with so much deception?

My take on this book:
The Outlaw Takes a Bride by Susan Page Davis is the story of Johnny Paynter who is convinced by his friend Cam Combes that he is going to be hanged for murder if they don't run, thing is Johnny didn't commit a murder but Cam makes it seem like he will be accused. Johnny decides to head to Texas to stay with his brother Mark while he tries to figure out a way to clear his name,and Cam decides to go along, thing is when they arrive they find Mark dead! Because Johnny looks so much like Mark Cam convinces him to pretend to be his brother,so that they can stay at the ranch while they figure things out. Johnny soon realizes that Mark has been corresponding with a mail order bride named Sally and she is on her way to Texas. With plenty of coaxing from Cam Johnny decides to go thru with the wedding, but soon realizes that he has made a mistake when he starts to fall in love with Sally. How can he ever set things right with all the lies he has told, and if he does will he hang for a murder he didn't commit?

Talk about a mail order bride story with a twist! The Outlaw Takes A Bride by Susan Page Davis is filled with plenty of twists and turns that kept me wondering what might happen next, but more than that I really didn't think that Johnny would marry Sally, and when he did I couldn't help but wonder where the story would go from there! The characters were very well developed and easy to like, even the bad guy had me fooled for a little while. I could easily empathize with Johnny and the predicament that he got himself in, he was carrying the guilt of the lies he told, along with grieving for his brother, as his feelings developed for Sally he longed for her love but was certain she would hate him for his deceptions. The emotional issues that Sally and Johnny both were going thru created another layer to their complex story. Plenty of action kept the plot zipping along, from an outlaw gang, to the daily life on the ranch, the author creates a very enjoyable read. A good clean read that blends together a few faith based messages along with a different kind of mail order bride tale,along with a splash of suspense to make for a book that was hard to put down.

Reviewed for

Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars ~ A Civil War Story by Nancy Johnson

  • File Size: 2037 KB
  • Print Length: 147 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0989435644
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: eFrog Press; First edition (May 11, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KAJ50M4

 May 11, 2014

Purchase a copy here.
During the turbulent years of the Civil War, three young people struggle to follow their dreams as the war devastates their homeland and their way of life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Hannah Yeager works hard on her family’s farm and teaches young children in a nearby school. She and her parents remain loyal to the Union. Secretly her fourteen-year-old heart thrills to romantic literature. She dreams that someday she will find a true love. When she does, he is a handsome Confederate colonel.

The strong female character of Hannah will appeal to girls who often see the Civil War as all about the boys. Hannah is empowered by “The Crazy Man” who lives in nearby caves. She learns from him that she can do what she must do.

Hannah’s thirteen-year-old brother, Willy, is spirited and headstrong. He rebels against his family’s values and seeks adventure by joining an outlaw raider band, terrorizing the Union Army.

Charlie Richison is a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute. He dreams of bringing honor to the Confederacy, to his family, and to himself. He joins other VMI cadets to fight against the Union Army in the Battle of New Market.

Shenandoah, Daughter of the Stars, presents the beauty of the valley and the devastation brought by the war. It shows the effect of the Reconstruction years which follow the war. It presents real people, General George Armstrong Custer, General “Stonewall” Jackson, General John Breckinridge and shows their effect on the lives of valley residents.

Shenandoah examines the perennial dilemmas presented by war. 

My take on this book:
Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars by Nancy Johnson took me back to the days of the Civil War where fourteen year old Hannah Yeager, her thirteen year old brother Willy and their friend Charlie Richison find themselves growing up all too quickly because of the war that it raging around them. Hannah is content with life on the family farm, but her brother Willy longs to be a part of the action and runs off to join a band of raiders while Charlie finds himself in the midst of a struggle when the Virginia Military Institute is drawn into a skirmish in the Battle of New Market. When the fighting comes to the Yeager farm Hannah's life will never be the same. 

Nancy Johnson creates very believable characters with Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars. Her writing easily evoked real emotion allowing me to understand the urgency that Willy felt in wanting to join the fighting, but I could also understand his parents perspective as well. Each character lends a unique voice to the story, providing different perspectives that really add dimension to the story. I loved the strength of Hannah, and the character of Crazy was one that I could really believe might have lived during that time. Ms. Johnsons writing paints a vivid portrait of the tumultuous times that went on during the war, that along with the mentioning of many very real people lent a sense of realism to the story, making me feel like I was getting a bit of a history lesson as the story unfolded. The great attention to detail coupled with very realistic characters, and more than a few surprising twists made for a page turning read, one that left me wanting to know more about Hannah and Willy. A story that will appeal to young and old alike, especially fans of civil war fiction. While this book is the third in a series it can easily be read as a stand alone, I really had no idea that it was part of a series until I finished it. A civil war fiction tale that allows us to see events unfold thru the eyes of three very unique characters.

reviewed for

Swept Away ~ Quilts Of Love Series by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

    Swept Away cover
  • File Size: 2999 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (November 18, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KIW0M3A

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.
Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

My take on this book:
Grandmother Morgan wants to find her granddaughter Sarah Jane a husband, so she decides to do some matchmaking by hiring a handyman, Andrew Stevenson, to do some work on her home. Sarah Jane who would do anything she could for her grandmother, but she really isn't interested in a relationship. Her grandmother has a plan though to bring the pair together. As Sarah gets to know Drew though things start to change will she let go of old hurts in order to embrace the future that God has in store for her?
I was swept up in the lives of the characters and couldn't put this one down! I found myself drawn into the lives of these characters and could easily understand where Sari Morgan was coming from. She loved her granddaughter and wanted the best for her. I really enjoyed the interactions between Sarah and Drew, it was nice to see their characters grow and change as the story progressed. Overall another wonderful addition to the Quilts of Love Series that teaches about life, love, and the importance of letting go and letting God. Each of the stories in this series revolve around love and quilts which is a winning combination in my book! 
L. Hilton / C. Loven


*Laura V. Hilton* is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. *Cindy Loven* is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven. November’s QOL release is a spark of romance and fun just in time for the holidays.
Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th. 
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 9th. Winner will be announced during the “Merry Quilted” Christmas Facebook party on December 9th. RSVP today and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors (Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn) for a “merry” evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!