Review: Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A mysterious English stranger appears in Mary Katherine Ropp’s kitchen one autumn night, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in the widow’s life.

The mother of ten, Mary Katherine is an empty-nester who lost her husband four years earlier. She misses her husband so much, she still talks to him. She pours her creative spirit into writing stories and serves as the district’s Budget newspaper scribe. An avid reader, her dream is to open a bookstore with her English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned combination store.

When an English man breaks into her house looking for food, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to her good friend, Ezekiel, who needs a cook at the restaurant he started after his wife died ten years earlier. Mary Katherine and Ezekiel set out separately to make sure their new friend isn’t caught up in the investigation, and their efforts keep bringing them together. They’re both still so in love with their long-gone spouses, so when the sparks begin to fly, they are beyond confused. Is it possible to find “The One” more than once in a lifetime?

But as Mary Katherine stands by her dear friend after the death of her husband, Mary Katherine is reminded of the terrible risk in giving her heart to someone. Can these two people, well-versed in the pain of loss, put the past behind them and trust in the hope of the future?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin is a heart melting tale. Two spouses have lost a loved one. They are still feeling the pain of their loss. To coupe they end up having conversations with their dead spouses. It was a bit heart breaking and understandable. No one wants to let go of someone they love. From there, the plot quickly turned interesting. It took just one stranger to bring two widowed people together. God is good. It showed that God has ways of bringing happiness to others. First, the kindness and understanding towards a stranger, and then their growing romance….Friendships have a way of evolving deeper, if we let them. In this case, I fell in love with the characters. I couldn’t help it. They had a way of pulling me in deeper. Sweet, engaging, and full of surprises, Through the Autumn Air is one wonderful Amish journey.

 

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He’s no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he’s shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiance betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn’t correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it’s Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen is historical romance that captures the heart and soul. Here, I got to explore the depths of humanity. How far are we willing to help others? An earl, suffering from war, gets a young boy soldier up on a horse when his fellow friend/soldier points a gun at him. Daring the earl to give up the horse so that his uninjured friend could run away. Yet the earl refuses and saves the boy instead. That day earned him more scars and possible death…Years later, just when everyone assumed him dead, the earl finds his father has died and is now taking up to hiding away from the public. Scarred, damaged, and licking his wounds, the earl is content to leave London’s society. Yet his plans are dashed when he comes back home. The one woman who caught his heart lives and teaches at his home residence. There they banter back and forth until both get their anger, loss, and grief straightened out…friendship builds up and so does the attraction and lust. However, both are too injured to let loose and love. The young female artist and the earl need to forgive, heal, and overcomes their fears.

I loved this novel. Kelly Bowen creates characters that are impossible to ignore. Her scenes are vivid, entertaining, and full of emotion. My heart broke for both protagonists. Their troubles made them three-dimensional. I easily was swept away by their actions, romance, and personalities. Plenty of heat, intrigue, and humor are displayed on the pages. These make it hard to stop reading the book. Overall, I highly recommend Last Night with the Earl to all readers. A discovery of art, passion, and inspiration await in this read.

 

Review: I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly

I Hate Everyone, Except You

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly pens a hilariously candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult.

Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker.

Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jump start her cheer-leading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). Clinton delves into all these topics—and many more—in this thoroughly unabashedly frank and uproarious collection.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I Hate Everyone, Except You is a deeper look into the man many have come to love. Clinton Kelly has always appeared to be this perfect well-put together man. I could never imagine him doing anything that was well-done.  His taste and mannerisms come alive in this journey. A journey through his younger years and into the man he is now. I found it quite interesting. There’s more depth to this celebrity than I thought originally. He’s funny, bold, and learns along the way. Watching him fail, wasn’t really failure…it was success in if it didn’t feel so at the time. Failure moments teach and change us. Clinton Kelly grew as he approached his station in his life and career. I loved his caring demeanor towards his family. He and his step-dad went from not liking each other to liking each other. I think we all can learn something from this memoir. Apply it to our own journeys and grow from them. Overall, I Hate Everyone, Except You was inspiring and motivational. The pages held a lot of humor making this feel nothing like a typical memoir.

Review: Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home–and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes–and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella’s happiest memories: the Abbott brothers’ garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn’t make her motor run quite so fast…and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He’s in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos–and the longest, sexiest legs he’s seen in forever. But Ella’s grit and determination won’t quit…and soon Mack can see that she’s been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that’s revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the backseat all along…and they’ve finally found the key?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham is an exciting romantic read. I loved the fierce protectiveness that Mack feels towards Ella. At first, he didn’t want her anywhere around him, but getting to know her changed all of that. Her determination sparked a fire inside of Mack. One that he tried to diminish but was helpless in shaking off. His attraction towards the beauty only increased. As other characters from the previous books and new ones came onto the scene it only sparked more of an interest to keep on reading. I ended up finishing the entire read in one sitting. Fast-paced packed with action, hot scenes, and humor to make the pages fly by…I was impressed.

Laura Trentham’s latest novel, wasn’t just a hot romance that I could not put down. It went deeper than that. It displayed the family and marriage abuse that Ella went through in her life. It gave me a glimpse into her loss. Losing a family member is never easy. The car mechanic garage meant and reminded Ella of her older brother. It was sentimental value to her. Plus, the brothers that worked it became like family to her. Despite what hell life brought to Ella, she bounced back. She became stronger and more independent. But she was also able to put some trust into the tough as nails mechanic aka Mack. Mack has his own personal struggles as well. I loved the depth and meaning this book brought. It was more than just a romance. It was life. Overall, I would highly recommend this romantic story to all readers.

Review: 101 ?s You Need to Ask in Your Twenties by Paul Angone

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties: (And Let's Be Honest, Your Thirties Too)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Adulting got you down?

Whether you just polished off your college graduation cake, are in your twenties or thirties struggling through a quarter-life crisis, you’re simply trying to figure out how to become all grown up, or you’re a parent looking for that perfect college graduation gift or Christmas gift for your twentysomething, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties is the book for you. 

To find important life answers in your 20s, you need to start with good questions. Author, speaker, and blogger Paul Angone has dedicated the last 12 years to helping twentysomethings and in this book he culminates his work to give readers wisdom through major life questions like: 

What’s the best way to know if you’re actually ready to get married?
Where’s the future of work headed and what does having a successful career look like today?
How do I make a choice when I don’t know what to choose?
How do I stop networking and start “relationshipping”?
Why do some people have great marriages while others have complete wrecks before they even make it to the highway?
Am I seeing the other side of people’s Instagram photos (you know, the side they’re not exactly posting pictures of)?
What are the Pivotal Plot Points of my story?
Do I have anyone on my “Dream Team”?
After his success with 101 Secrets for your Twenties and connecting with millions of twentysomethings around the world through speaking engagements and his blog AllGroanUp.com, Paul Angone captures the hilarious, freakishly-accurate assessment of life as a modern-day twentysomething (and thirtysomething) facing real Millennial problems, but now he’s digging even deeper. 

If you’re drowning your anxieties in Netflix and ice cream, are afraid you’re failing, going crazy, or both, or are just longing for a little guidance to get past “just getting by,” grab this book and start thriving in the most “defining decade” of your life.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties is an easy to read book that I found intriguing. Once I started to read, I just kept on reading it. There were a lot of great questions found here. Then there were the typical questions one would have asked this writer. I found interesting how he went through each question with a flair that made it not boring. It was nothing like what I had expected. No dull boring words filling up pages that would fall on deaf ears. Instead, I got exactly what the book said I would get. A deep thorough examination of myself. In other words, I got to explore where I was at, what I was doing, and where do I want to be.

Paul Angone is a motivational speaker. I did not need to read the back blurb to see that. Instead, I just read his book. I can see the intelligent words and wisdom they offered. It was like flashing a light into a dark tunnel. It inspired hope. The writing was clear and organized. Each chapter was divided into a particular subject with some of the writer’s own personal experience attached. I did not feel alone. This book, made me feel like I was understood and being heard. As a twenty-something, I had no clear idea where I was headed. But reading this book, I know where to go and what needed to be done. Overall, I would recommend this book to high school students and those who planned to enter college. It was a great read.

Review: Gather and Make by Genevieve Layman

 

 

Rating: 5-stars

Gather & Make by Genevieve Layman is one of the most interesting garden and nature books that I’ve read. Here, she discusses things such as the benefits of plants and nature to us humans. Insects like the bees are crucial to plants. There’s even a project to make for insects. I did not realize how many health benefits there was just in interacting with mother nature. But that was not the only things I discovered. Did you know that there is such a thing as horticultural therapy? I did not. Genevieve’s book has taught me a lot. It’s inspiring, peaceful, and fun. Plus, it’s educational to read. Inserted in this nonfiction book, are projects, trivia, and facts for each section. These informative pieces are not things I would have come across in similar books. The book isn’t just facts and text. There are step-by-step guides, and pictures that go in hand with everything she discusses. Especially, on the health benefits. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to all readers. Genevieve Layman is definitely an expert in her field of study, and her book is a must have. Old or young, there are plenty of things to do and learn in Gather & Make for all.

 

Review: 365 Days of Happiness by Jacqueline Pirtle

365 Days of Happiness: Because Happiness Is a Piece of Cake!

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Do you have fun with your own life? How often do you really pay attention and choose things to improve your day? In 365 Days of Happiness, author, energy healer, and mindfulness teacher Jacqueline Pirtle has created daily inspirations that help you mindfully work towards living a more vivid experience of daily happiness. Showing that you can put in work to change your life while having fun, the practices are full of whimsy and delight. Jacqueline decided to spend every day of 2017 devoted to her own happiness. She wrote every single day about the things she does to honor her joy, and used these writings to create this 365 day step-by-step guide, so she could teach you how to shift to BE and live in a “high for life” frequency of happiness too-no matter where you are at in your life right now. She started writing these for herself, but has a little sneaky intent to touch your heart every day and initiate new learning, understanding, knowledge, and wisdom for you to get closer to your true, authentic happy self. Through light, bubbly, cheerful passages, each day teaches you to find happiness, use those sour lemons, and shift yourself into a “high for life” frequency where you can reach happiness anywhere at any time.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Jacqueline Pirtle is a great motivation speaker. She has a flair for sending positive vibes to her readers everywhere. Brief, concise, and inspiring. Her book reads easy and gives great instructions. However, it was as if she assumed everyone is on the same page. Not everyone is. Some could take her advice as non encouraging. I felt more encouraged by her words but that’s because I am not sitting in a bad situation, at the moment. The pages had some great questions to ask myself along with simple tasks to complete. I thought that was what made this a good read. It’s not the best, but it definitely has the potential. Overall, it was an inspiring, uplifting, and feel-happy book.

Review: The Art of Fully Living by Tal Gur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Master the art of fully living, one life goal at a time.

Do you want to experience your one life—your whole life—to its fullest measure?

In this stirring book, author, blogger and lifestyle entrepreneur, Tal Gur offers his own transformational journey as an inspiring example and practical guide to implementing the art of fully living to its fullest potential. You’ll learn how to actualize your potential by forging all aspects of your life through the process built into your life goals.

Once you discover “the art of fully living,” there is no going back; it will feel unacceptable to settle for less than your dreams—and what’s more, you’ll dream even more wildly, aspiring to action with greater clarity of purpose, broader horizons of possibility, and holistic vision across all areas of your life.

The very structure of this book models Tal’s immersive approach to goal-driven living: each chapter of The Art of Fully Living is dedicated to a year of focus—socializing, fitness, freedom, contribution, love, adventure, wealth, relationship, spirituality, and creativity—and follows Tal’s endeavors as he works toward fulfilling 100 life goals in only 10 years.

This daunting ambition, springing from one late-night conversation among friends and a gnawing discontentment within the typical “success” story, becomes extremely relatable through Tal’s bold storytelling; what’s more, the deep lessons learned become immediately applicable for your own purposes as Tal thoughtfully extracts the actionable wisdom from his own experiences to articulate the principles and techniques of “the art of fully living.”

The Art of Fully Living takes you along the exhilarating ride of Tal’s journey while illuminating your own possible life-goal trajectory: as Tal relates how he socialized nonstop in vibrant Melbourne to master English and trained intensively to complete Ironman New Zealand and practice ancient Thai martial arts, you’ll learn how to apply immersion to achieve your own life goals; as Tal describes how he eliminated his crushing student debt in one year and attained financial and location independence, you’ll learn how to simplify your life, recognize your own present wealth, and turn your passions into a living; and as Tal animates his experiences learning to surf and salsa, to drum in a troupe and compose electronic music, and to write this very book, you’ll learn how to let your intuition be your guide, reveal your authentic core, and achieve flow—among the myriad other adventures and take-aways that fill this book.

Tal not only introduces the idea that the art of fully living is another skill to master but also guides you through honing this skill with chapter lessons and actionable key takeaways.

This is especially for you if you find yourself frustrated often, feeling low, or if you’re struggling while asking yourself “What do I REALLY want?”

You will find your calling.
You will define your life goals.
You will discover how to leverage your strengths to achieve your dreams.
You will know what it means to be truly free.
You will be fulfilled by the path you have chosen to take from this point on.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone discovered and did what made them feel fully alive?

Your dreams are your dreams for a reason; they are rooted in your deepest understanding of who you want and can become.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Art of Fully Living by Tal Gur is an excellent nonfiction book to read. It has many lessons about life that anyone, including myself can apply to their life. This book, was different than others that I have read in the past. The writer has gone on this journey for his own life and the way he tells it was enjoyable to read. I normally read mostly fiction because they can keep my attention. However, this memoir like guide was educational and refreshing to read. There were a lot of pointers that made me rethink the way I was going about my own life’s dreams. Overall, I recommend this book to all.

 

Review: The Man He Never Was

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Rubart will leave readers inspired . . .” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review for The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on–with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside–like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury–and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us–and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart is an interesting twist to the classic, Dr. Jekyll andMr. Hyde. Except in this case, the bad part of the main protagonist disappears completely. Like it was never there. Tore Daniels has had an awful temper. He has a wonderful family but sometimes his temper could be really bad…Toren goes missing. His family believes he’s dead until he suddenly pops up at the doorstep of their house. That’s where it gets really weird. Where was he, how did he go missing, and what happened to him while he was gone? These questions kept playing over and over again. His wife tries to push his buttons to see his temper fly but somehow Toren seems to hold it in way better than he ever did. His wife wonders who is this man…I found that a bit funny. The mystery is solved and it was a sweet ending. I loved these characters. There is a lot of inspirational messages on marriage, love, hope, and faith included in this book. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to all.

Review: A Passionate Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful Jewish tale of love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. During this time period, the struggles were harder. Especially, when their coveted ark disappears. Yet they still remain hopeful and obedient to God. I liked how Hannah turns to prayer when life brings her curveballs. She is strong, independent, and faithful. She is an inspiration to all women. Jill Eileen Smith’s historical fiction is well-written. It engages me to follow Hannah as her life dramatically changes for good to problematic to good again. Her love of her husband and God are strong. Hannah felt sad, angry, and hurt when her husband married another women. I wanted to hug her immediately. Her pain is real. It is easy to connect with her on many levels. The title is exactly what this book is about…and I recommend this read to others.

Review: Phoebe’s Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an enlightening Quaker journey. I love historical novels that take me back in time and hold me captive. The main cast of characters were interesting. They felt three-dimensional. The Quaker language and cultural is captured on every page. Phoebe wanting a different life than the one she has on land leaves for a life at sea. Until she leaves home, Phoebe does not realize just how much being on land means to her. Marrying the sea captain brings a whole new adventure to her life. Quipped with a journal from her great-grandmother, Phoebe learns a lot. Phoebe is wanting an adventure. That is exactly what she gets. Matthew is another main character that was easy to like. He’s a good man. Phoebe’s Light is inspiring in many ways especially, to women. Secrets, murder, and an emotional rollercoaster ride…all inside this intriguing story. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: The Recipe Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life–including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a heartfelt journey. Themes of family, love, and second chances are brought to life on these pages. I felt connected to the characters instantly. It was like I knew them for years. The pacing was steady yet emotional. The struggles were believable. Sam is a young woman who left her comfort to find her way in life. Only it did not turn out the way she had hoped. Frustrated and broken, Sam returns back home to find herself. Being back home, gave Sam all she needed. It was sweet, inspiring, and beautiful. Overall, I recommend it to all.

Review: A Vicarage Reunion

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters…

Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents.

Life as a singleton thirty something living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates. She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again.

New challenges face them as they start over–and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt is a heartfelt women’s fiction story. Romance, marriage, miscarriage and family life are put to the test. A journey that sucked me in from the first page. A young married couple have been suffering silently for a long while. Until one day, the wife decides she can’t take it anymore. Losing their baby, was the last straw for Esther. Esther is a daughter of a vicar. She knew her faith should be stronger but she felt broken, sad, and unhappy. Esther decided to leave her good husband Will. Only fate has plans that neither adult saw coming. Will loves his wife and alway will love her. He felt sad, broken, and unhappy that she left him. Worried about what he did to make her leave, Will goes about trying to woo his wife back into his arms.

It was so easy to like the characters. Relating to the married couple was like breathing in air. Their personalities made them believable. Heartache, fear, and their little flaws make way for a path of discovery, renewal, and acceptance. Both Esther and Will have a lot to figure out before they can get their lives back in-order.

Overall, A Vicarage Reunion, is sweet, thoughtful, and deep. I enjoyed following the protagonists as they fell and rose. Their dilemmas were understandable. The story was clean, well-developed, and engaging. I highly recommend this title to all readers.

Review: Beneath the Summer Sun

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry, and with two men pursuing her, she doesn’t have to look far. But after the pain she’s experienced, can she open her heart to love?

It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to shed her grief and remarry for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is it isn’t grief that’s holding her back, but rather a fear of a repeat of her abusive marriage.

Leo Graber has known–and loved–Jennie since they were children, and he’d hoped to court her when they were teenagers. But when he was fourteen, Paul’s father died suddenly in his arms. Ever since he’s been afraid of the searing pain of loss that comes from opening himself up to love. Now Jennie’s free again, and he’s fighting to have the courage not to lose her a second time.

Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman who makes it a point to stop by Jennie’s farm as often as he can. He’s grown to care for her, but he knows he has no right to court her unless he resolves his own struggle with his faith. He will have to change everything about his life in order to join the Jamesport Amish community. But would he be embracing a new life or running from his old?

The path isn’t clear for any of them. These three people, drawn together by circumstances and God’s plan, must come to grips with their pasts in order to discern God’s plan for their futures and find peace beneath the summer sun.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin is an interesting tale. One full of faith, hope, and love. Three protagonists have their own dilemmas to face. The question of them being able to move forward and find happiness caught my attention. Pain, loss, and fear cloud the characters as they struggle to face their issues. Clean and heartfelt, I felt like I was there with the characters.

Kelly Irvin has created a believable plot. Jennie is scared to love again after her abusive marriage. But with all of her kids, she needs a man in her life. Nathan is looking for love too, but he struggles accepting his faith. He must first find that before he can love anyone. Leo like Jennie has faced a loss. He lost his father and struggled with wanting to save others especially Jennie. But his fear of not being able to save someone he loves has him stuck in a rut.

A love mess with two Christian men chasing after one widow, made me smile. It gave a shed of lightness to Jennie’s dark marriage and to Leo’s loss. Having a third character brought out a little more in Leo. It gave me more of the push he needed to go after Jennie. Jennie is super easy to connect to…her situation made her likable. She felt real. I really liked her.

Beneath the Summer Sun was a sweet journey. A path to finding oneself and one’s heart. Having faith helped these characters face their lives in the present. Slow but steady, I think these characters will have found what they’re looking for in life. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel.

Review: Amish Sweethearts

Synopsis:

Love is in the air in these four sweet romances!

Love and Buggy Rides  (previously published in An Amish Harvest)

Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

A Home for Lindsay

From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?

Where the Heart Is

Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.

Love Birds  (previously published in An Amish Market)

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston is a wonderful collection of four short stories. Each story has a powerful message and heartfelt connection. I enjoyed following each of these characters. Their journeys were hard and full of promise. Hope, faith, and love are major themes examined in each of these tales. Amy Clipston captured the Amish language and culture down perfectly. It was like being there physically experiencing all of the scenes firsthand.

In Love and Buggy Rides, I got to meet these characters again from a previous collection. Two young Amish adults find themselves facing their fears. An accident involving a buggy brings them together in ways they didn’t think would.

A Home for Lindsey was exciting. I got to meet with previous characters from another story. However, in this one, I got to follow along and see if there would be happy ending. Love is simple yet complicated. This tale made me laugh and fall in love with the characters. Amy Clipston never disappoints. I was intrigued.

Where the Heart Is, showed me that even though we think we know something, it turns out that there’s always more to the story than originally thought. Here, there was a lo of anger directed at a father from his son. Boundaries were explored and tested in this story. It was interesting to watch the rift between them men become less sows the pages fly by. A young woman helping the son find strength and hope. A sweet journey.

Love Birds was my most favorite. Here, two best friends lose their friendship over a misunderstanding. It takes a lot of work, patience, and forgiveness before these two can begin again. Plus, there’s the secret attraction one feels for the other. It made the plot more engaging.

Overall the Amish Sweethearts, is a clean romantic collection of novellas. Each one facing a different love issue. The struggles felt real. Amy Clipston beautifully wove these words into three-dimensional worlds. I loved the Christian feel good environment filled with sweet promises.

Review: Burnt Orange by Meiah Shaun

Synopsis:

A coming-of-age story of Erin and Erika, Texas twins in an abusive home in a town segregated by white and black color lines, who are wounded by the revealing of a shocking family secret and long to escape their circumstances and erase what they have been labeled. Follow their journey in this compelling novel filled with inspiration and triumph.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Burnt Orange by Meiah Shaun is an interesting read. The characters felt so real. I can feel their troubles grow as the pages fly by me. Two sisters, twins, live in a black and white community. A place where there is a lot of racial tension. One twin, holds a lot of hope for the world. Her view is simple. Move away from their town if it’s so bad to live within…yet, her family stays and blames the white man for the lack of good jobs. The father isn’t my favorite character. I think he could be better towards his girls. This book is an emotional journey that will keep readers like myself hooked. Wondering what happens to the twin girls, Erin and Erika. The life they girls live is a difficult one. Yet they find some happiness. I liked how their grandmother, Momma, instilled good Christian values to the girls. She’s a comfort to have and they love her. I respected her. Overall, Meiah Shaun is a great writer. Her words come to life among her pages. Overall, I recommend this novel of hers to readers everywhere.

Review: Someone to Wed







Synopsis:

A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone to Hold.

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life. . . . 
A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate–and oh-so-dashing–earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past. . . . 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh is a must read! I was immediately hooked. The plot line is addictive. Intrigue got me hard. 

The female protagonist is a recluse. By her birth she went through an ordeal most haven’t especially from being within a not so poor household. Yet, Wren suffered greatly. That past is part of her journey in healing. She lets her birthmark define her. Shutting herself away from people and life in general. Her birthmark covers the whole half of her face. A purplish mark that will not go away. Wren feels hideous because of it. She’s at the point now, that she should wed. Wren wants a husband and a family of her own. However, she thinks no one would want her…and she has more than enough money to buy a husband. 

Then, there’s Alex. He is beyond good looking but has a heart of gold. He feels something for his recluse neighbor. Her marriage proposal struck him hard. She thought she wasn’t worth marrying. All because of her birthmark. But her cold opinion of herself keeps Alex away from her. But something about her has him rethinking it. There were moments when he got to see her without wearing a veil and where she smiled or laughed. Those few precious moments showed Alex the real woman inside of Wren. Wren just needed to believe in herself…

A marriage of convienece. Alex needs the money and Wren wants a husband. Except Alex won’t marray her unless she can see herself as a person of greater value than what she holds herself as. And they must have affection…

Little do they know it…but affection has been and is being felt on both sides…

Wren’s horrible past comes to light and her journey of healing is due to Alex and his family. Their acceptance of her despite her birthmark, helps Wren get the courage she needs to walk among them without fear. Little by little she learns to be braver and find herself with a life of joy…

Someone to Wed is about facing fears. Overcoming those obstacles that bound the protagonist to her previous life. Good things can happen, if we open ourselves to the chance. Taking risks, trusting, and falling in love are themes throughout this beautiful tale. I couldn’t stop reading it. Overall, I highly recommend Mary Balogh’s historical romance novel to all.

Review: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

Synopsis:

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. 

Now, Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner is a sweet romantic comedy. A young woman who writes sexy tales is in love with her pastor. Her career seems to clash with her pastor’s lifestyle of teaching what’s right versus wrong. I laughed out loud a lot with this story. It was crazy good. The characters are believable. Each protagonist has a past that they felt uncomfortable with until they finally let it out the truth. Not that they lied to one another. But that it was embarrassing for them to say until the right moment. Even then they struggled a bit. It was so real. Heartfelt, realistic, and enjoyable. Sarah and Ben’s relationship is different but it’s a happy one. They both felt a pull to be together and went with it. They trusted their gut. There were some moments when I thought oh no, what’s going to happen next and other moments where I was like, yes! I loved the protagonists. Overall, I recommend this beautiful tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: Wyoming Winter









Publisher: HQN

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis:

There’s something about those Wyoming men… New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer returns to the Cowboy State with a brand-new tale of desire and deception 
Cultivating his vast Wyoming ranch is all security expert J. C. Calhoun wants. His land is the only thing the betrayed rancher can trust in after discovering his fiancee was pregnant by another man. But all J.C. holds dear becomes compromised when a lost little girl leads him to Colie Jackson, the woman who destroyed his life.

Colie stops at nothing to protect the people she loves. Years ago she left J.C. for his own good. Now, for the sake of her daughter, she must depend on a hard-hearted man who won’t forgive her. As a band of ruthless criminals tracks their every move through the frozen Wyoming winter, Colie and J.C. will be forced to confront the lies that separated them–and the startling truth that will bind them forever… 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Diana Palmer is a great writer. Her stories capture one’s heart. The troubles that both characters have gone through make this a must read. Wyoming Winter is the latest novel by this writer.

The male protagonist was abandoned by his drunk father. His mother died in a car crash due to his father’s drunk driving. The father ran away, leaving his son to the authorities. Then, there was the one female who betrayed and hurt J.C. in a way that turned him against all women. His last string of trust broke completely. Then, he meets Rod. Rod has a sister who is nothing but a good woman. J.C. planned to woo her and then leave her hanging. But his heart wouldn’t let him. 

The female protagonist lost all of her mother figures early in life. All she has now, is her dad who is a minister and her brother, Rod. But Rod has been changed after since he came back from war. Rod is struggling to live like he used to live. Colie wants to help him, but there’s only so much she can do. Rod has to change or suffer the consequences. Colie meets J.C. a friend of Rod’s and falls deeeply in love. Something about him, has her heart so tangled in knots. But he doesn’t want marriage and kids. But Colie thinks he will change…

Danger comes out of nowhere and risks are taken. Both characters are torn apart. Lies and betrayal devastate them both. 
Can love conquer all? 
Colie and J.C. are reunited and it will take alltheir strength to move forward. Forgiveness, second chances, and love are major themes found here. I enjoyed Wyoming Winter. However, the pacing was too slow for my taste. Otherwise, it’s a great read. 

Review: Third Son’s Charm









Synopsis:

Ewan Mostyn thinks a job as a duke’s daughter’s bodyguard will be easy–but Lady Lorraine has a few tricks up her sleeve that spark an undeniable passion

Fiercely loyal to his friends and comrades, Ewan Mostyn is the toughest in a group of younger sons of nobility who met as soldiers and are now trying desperately to settle back into peaceful Society. Ewan trusts his brawn more than his brains, but when he’s offered a job watching the Duke of Ridlington’s stubbornly independent daughter, he finds both are challenged. 

Lady Lorraine wants none of her father’s high-handed ways, and she’ll do everything in her power to avoid her distressingly attractive bodyguard–until she lands herself in real trouble. Lorraine begins to see Ewan’s protectiveness in a new light, and she can only hope that her stoic guardian will do for her what he’s always done–fight for what he wants.

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Third Son’s Charm by Shana Galen is charming, sweet, and enticing. I loved everything about this story! The hero is sexy as hell and a man who wasn’t loved as a boy. His father mistreated him, didn’t believe in him especially when Ewan told the truth, and he turned a blind a blind to everything. Ewan was traumatized and beaten. His stutter and learning disability had left him feeling dumb his whole life. Until he came back from fighting an evil war. Then, he had something. Ewan made friends. But he still felt below everyone. Until Lady Lorraine came into the picture. She makes him feel good and like he’s smarter than he gives himself credit for…their relationship is out of force and a good deed. Soon, fate intervenes and both fall for the other. Yet, their family lives make it hard for them. A third son with no money and a woman of title and an heritance come together. Shana Galen’s words swept me off my feet. I was hooked. Her characters were amazing. Three-dimensional characters whose lives are full of risks, drama, and romance. Overall, I highly recommend the Third Son’s Charm to all.  

Review: Just In Time






Synopsis:

For most of his adult life, the only place he felt at peace was at home in Silver Lake, Ohio with his parents–but after their sudden death, he is left on his own. Eager to help their brother, Steve’s siblings, Scott and Sylvia, who both live in Los Angeles, scramble to find someone reliable to live with Steve. The answer to their problem comes in the form of Sylvia’s sister-in-law, Nancy, who is desperate to find a place to live; within days, she moves in with Steve. 

This is the story of Steve and Nancy, who, as virtual strangers thrown together out of necessity, forge a way to live in fragile harmony. Sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, Just in Time is a hopeful, firsthand account of the day-to-day roller coaster of life with a schizophrenic.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Just In Time by Joan Jackson is a psychological tale that immediately pulls readers, like myself, into the story. A young man is suffering from schizophrenia. That is a difficult situation to handle even back when this story was talking place. Stigmas were easily placed on people like the young man who suffered from that illness. The emotional journey on all sides was heartfelt. The siblings strong yet protective bond. A brother who desperately needed special attention and struggled day-by-day. A rocky battle that changed their lives. I was hooked. I liked the characters instantly. Just in Time a realistic adventure that I recommend to readers everywhere. 

Review: Right Where We Belong 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak returns to Silver Springs with a moving story about rebuilding your life when you’ve got nothing left to lose 
Savanna Gray needs a do-over. Her “perfect” life unraveled when, to her absolute shock, her husband was arrested for attacking three women. With her divorce settled, she takes her two children home to Silver Springs to seek refuge between the walls of the farmhouse where she was born. It needs a little TLC, but she’s eager to take control of something. 
Gavin Turner understands the struggle of starting over. Abandoned at a gas station when he was five, it wasn’t until he landed at New Horizons Boys Ranch as a teen that he finally found some peace. He steps up when Savanna needs help fixing things—even when those things go beyond the farmhouse. 
Despite an escalating attraction to Gavin, Savanna resolves to keep her distance. She trusted her ex, who had a similarly tragic background, and is unwilling to repeat her past mistakes. But it’s hard to resist a man whose heart is as capable as his hands.
Rating: 5-stars 

Review:

Brenda Novak is the best! She has done it again…honestly, I love this writer’s talent. Never has she written a bad book yet. Her characters are swoon worthy and easy to love. Their troubles swallowed me up whole. I cried, laughed, and cheered them on…Right Where We Belong fits the new novel perfectly. It’s about where the two main protagonists end up and where they find their happiness.

Life has been traumatic, insane, and troubled for both characters. Savanna Gray finds out her husband has been raping women instead of working. Her shock goes unnoticed by the people where she has lived. Her kids are being targeted because of what their dad did. Finally arrested, Gordon Gray is where he belongs. But the police need more evidence to keep him there for a long, long time. 

Gavin Turnerhas been abandoned and neglected his whole life by people who should have loved him. His stepmother left him in a park until the police found him. He was then, placed into foster care. His father was never around…now, he is grown and found a woman who is like a mother to him. She really cares. Because of that, Gavin can live a positive life. Until a crazy woman comes back into his life. Just when he thinks she’s gone…she comes back when he likes someone else. 

His next door neighbor and her two kids have a way of entering his heart…

Gavin is romantically interested in Savanna…

Savanna likes Gavin more than she should. Should she stay away? Or is it fate?

Overall, Right Where We Belong is a perfect romance. A contemporary that captures the harsh realities of life and spins them into both a heartbreaking and charming tale. Brenda Novak has a way of spelling her readers, like me, into her books. Superb, sweet, and a beautiful story. This, was definitely a memorable piece. I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Noelle 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Dog Named Christmas comes this heartwarming Christmas story about the power of family and the strength and love that comes from our pets. 

In this installment of the poignant stories of the McCray family and their lovable canines in rural Kansas, matriarch Mary Ann McCray is determined to shake up Christmas by accepting the role as Crossing Trail’s first woman Santa Claus. Mary Ann, always a bit of a rebel, is looking to offer a more progressive voice in the staunchly conservative town at Christmastime and has a few ideas up her red velvet sleeves. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Noelle by Greg Kincaid is a sweet holiday tale. One that pulls a family together and reunites them in a way that haven’t been. Happiness comes with time. A dog named Noelle does all the hard work. She’s a pretty Christmas dog that brings cheer everywhere she goes. The family mentioned inside also snatched my heart and soul. Everything felt so real. A beautiful emotional journey told by Greg Kindcaid. It’s memorable. An engaging story that hooks me right from the start. It kept me interested until the very end. Overall, I recommend reading, Noelle

Review: Home All Along 

Synopsis:

Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices.
Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Home All Along by Beth Wiseman is sweet. The characters and their circumstances show what life brings and takes away. Struggles are hard to handle. A little faith, patience, and love can lead them where they should be. The entire story was believable. A young woman lost her brother. Somehow finding her way back home. Home being an Amish community. Outside influences threaten her hold on staying there. But what will be will be. I’m an active reader of Beth Wiseman’s books. Each one is heartfelt. This one, is not different. I was able to easily connect with the characters. I felt their doubts, fears, and hopes. Any story that can pull me deeply into its plot, is one worth reading. That’s exactly what Home All Along did for me. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Love Held Captive 

Synopsis:

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.
Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.
Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.
When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray is a beautiful confederate tale. A story full of loss, grief, trouble, and regrets. But somehow, through it all, there is also hope. That built trust between characters. In that something more came between them. Something called love. Love bears all. Troubles, risks, and forgiveness are found on every page. Strong women and men. Suffered from one man…who tormented them. Then, with a newfound courage, they plan to bring their enemy down forever. Death lingers near. Rap, lies, beatings, and war are discovered here. Shelley Shepard Gray has created a realistic story and believable characters. It felt as thought I had traveled back in time. I felt everything the characters felt. Love Held Captive is exactly that. Each character ends up as a captive of their love. Pain and healing are two major themes featured inside this novel. It was heart breaking and heartfelt at the same time. Bittersweet…overall, I recommend this historical book to all. 

Review: My Four Hollywood Husbands







Synopsis:

Joyce Bulifant has lived the “Hollywood life” for nearly seven decades, and through it, experienced what few outside the entertainment world can imagine. While following the path of her own successful career, Ms. Bulifant managed to navigate the choppy waters of husbands’ alcoholism, codependency and an extended family of four marriages.

James MacArthur played Danno on Hawaii Five-0. Edward Mallory was Dr. Bill Horton on “Days of Our Lives.” William Asher was the famous director-writer-producer of “I Love Lucy”, “Bewitched” and the Beach Party movies. Roger Perry starred in “Star Trek” and over 300 TV shows and films. He has also composed music for Barbra Streisand and Bing Crosby.

Along the way Bulifant managed to command the spotlight for her own accomplishments. As Gavin MacLeod’s wife Marie on “The Mary Tyler More Show”, a concerned mother in the movie “Airplane”, dancing with Fred Astaire, and her reoccurring role on “The Match Game.”


My Four Hollywood Husbands is a rare peek into what happens off the screen. It’s a story of love, a lasting love that is woven through the fabric of the world of entertainment. It’s also a story about perseverance and overcoming obstacles—and that happy endings are indeed possible.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

My Four Hollywood Husbands by Joyce Bulifant is a memoir that shows how alcoholism can affect the individual and their loved ones. This, was a bit tough to read, because someone I knew died from alcoholism. It’s a real part of life. Scary when it happens someone we all know. The struggles are hard.  The entire book gave an insider’s view to this difficult journey. I also showed the consequences of the alcoholic’s actions on others close to the alcoholic. Then, there was the hope of getting through the addiction. Struggles are a part of life. We just have to battle them, until we get to where we need to be. I liked how Joyce Bulifant demonstrated this in her writing. Overall, My Four Hollywood Husbands is a great read. It’s an eye opener and one that I recommend to others. 

Review: The Proving 

Synopsis:

Having left the Amish life for the English world, Amanda Dienner is shocked when she learns that her mother has passed and left her Lancaster County’s most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. The catch is she has to run it herself for one year, acting as hostess. Amanda accepts the terms, but coming home to people she left behind won’t be easy.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Proving by Beverly Lewis is a beautiful Christian tale. A young Amish woman is to return home. Her mother just passed away recently and she alone has inherited the family bed and breakfast. However, there are conditions she must follow to keep it. After being away for five years, Mandy isn’t sure where she belongs. Being back home, is an emotional journey for her. Faith, love, friendship and new beginnings are featured on these pages. I was deeply engaged from the beginning. Theending was sweet. The plot’s pace was steady. Challenges are hard but here, I got to watch as the main character pursued hers. I enjoyed the hidden messages of wisdom. Beverly Lewis is indeed a great writer. Overall, I recommended The Proving to all. 

Review: Humanity’s Way Forward




Synopsis:

“The echoes of those scars can clearly be heard in Edge of the Known’s music. But one can also discern, quite distinctly, that other inexplicable thing that is within us all, the undying flame that transcends our wounds and sufferings…” 

Brandon Chane had always seen life through the eyes of an outcast, a misfit, a young man at odds with the world and with himself. Now they’re calling him a wounded healer; a shamanic Pied Piper for the throngs of alienated youth; a thief of fire. 

He wonders if he and his band can escape the claims that the world has suddenly laid upon them. But what about the cherished dream that he’s struggled so desperately to fulfill, the dream that finally seems to be coming to fruition?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Humanity’s Way Forward by Seth Mullins is epic. His novel depicts a group of young men wanting to become a famous rock band. Here, I got to watch them bond like family, sacrifice things in order to make their dream come true, and how fame hit them hard. Each character felt real. Their band was good. They worked hard and played hard. Yet, being famous sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They soar and fall throughout the pages. The plot was entertaining from the start. I was hooked immediately. It was one emotional rollercoaster ride after another. Seth Mullins did an excellent job in writing this novel. He protrayed humans at their weakest, worst, and best moments. Overall, it’s a worthy read that I recommend to all readers. 

Review: Professor Ladybug Teaches All About Me

Synopsis:

Welcome to the wonderful world of Professor Ladybug! This simple workbook is designed for children to explore and record facts about themselves, as well as their friends and family. 

These 80+ pages are also a great way to build self-esteem and confidence in any young child. Watch them get more confident through exercises that help them explore their favorite things as well as their own family relationships. 
The simple activities will provide hours of educational fun for your child and are perfect for home or school. Presented in an easy-to-use format, this workbook is designed primarily for early learners. Even the most reluctant learner will love exploring and learning with Professor Ladybug. Skill areas include: 

  • Self-Esteem
  • Reading Readiness
  • Memory Recall
  • Drawing Skills
  • Simple Sentences

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Professor Ladybug Teaches All About Me is an excellent workbook for young children. It creates a wide variety of activities that keep them busy. Engaging them to learn, think, write, create, and draw. I love it. The pages cover everything that the children will need to learn more about themselves, their families, pets, friends, and teachers. Color and trace activities inside as well. Creative with a great page layout. Certificates in the back to award to the children upon completing their learning tasks. I wish children’s workbooks were more like this one when I was little. Overall, I highly recommend this one to both teachers and parents alike. 

Review: The Two of Us 

Synopsis:

Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin.

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans. 

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding. 

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . . 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin is a stunning heartfelt piece. Once more, this writer, has created another tale to love. It’s a woman’s tale. Full of surprises and intrigue. Themes of acceptance, trusts, and love are explored. Victoria Bylin’s piece was inspiring, romantic, and a good clean Christian read. I felt excitement as I rushed through the scenes. The pages flew by fast. The plot was well-developed. Characters were great. I was rooting for them with each page. 

The Two of Us features a story of two sisters. The older one went through a rough patch. Her hesitation to love like her younger sister creates friction. A good man, Jake, loves her. But her heart isn’t as ready as I nor Jake would have wanted her to be. But it was understandable. I could easily relate to her inner struggles and sympathize with her. Mia is a tough woman. She handles responsibilities beyond any character I know. The two sisters, Mia and Lucy are wonderful people. Their love is warm and contagious. Many lessons are learned in this tale. Mia and Jake may finally find what they needed and want to have. Overall, Victoria Bylin has done a superb job with this novel. I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Amish Christmas Candle







Synopsis:

At the heart of winter’s darkness is the joyous glow of the Christmas season. In this love-filled holiday collection, warm yourself with the peaceful light of Plain gifts. 



SNOW SHINE ON ICE MOUNTAIN

Kelly Long

When staid Naomi Gish’s mischievous father hires strapping Gray Fisher at their candle shop for the season, she’s positive the old man has an ulterior motive. She doesn’t need help–but as Gray learns the craft of candle making, Naomi learns that love is not only possible, but God’s most precious gift.



A HONEYBEE CHRISTMAS

Jennifer Beckstrand

Of all the sacrifices Bitsy Kiem made to raise her three nieces Amish, giving up her Englisch life was the only thing she missed. With the girls married now, she has a chance to kick up her heels this Christmas–unless widowed Yost Weaver can convince her that Plain love is a flame that will never go out.



THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE

Lisa Jones Baker

Blessing those in need at Christmastime is one of Lydia’s favorite traditions. But without her newly married sister’s help this year, the task seems daunting–until handsome Mennonite John King shows her that hands joined to do good may unite hearts, as well. 


Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Candle is a great collection. Not my overall favorite. The stories are more modern living than the Amish way of living. I did enjoy how each character found happiness, hope, love, and healing. 

Snow Shine on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is a sweet yet inspiring Amish romance. Two young people who learn what love really is. Gray realizes love is peace and he’s never felt peace with any other girl except for Naomi. Naomi is a bit older than gray and very plain looking. But her heart, mind, and soul, are worthy of any man’s heart. Gray comes to realize that Naomi is the one. Naomi starts to feel like a wanted woman with Gray. But can she trust her heart to him? Kelly Long’s short story felt believable. It wasnt like other Amish tales I’ve read. Most wouldn’t allow the things that each character did without a chaperone or without some kind of consequence. However, it was sweet, engaging, and heartfelt. Gray not only finds peace but love and healing, too. 

A Honeybee Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand is another entertaining short story. I liked how one English woman left her way of life to raise her three nieces as Amish women. That took a lot of strength, determination, and power. Imagine leaving the life you have now, to live a plain simple one…I don’t think I could do it. I may enjoy it, but I would miss a lot of things. The writer brought an untraditional tale and still gave it a heart tugging feeling. I warmed up to the main characters. Overall, it was realistic and a great adventure. 

The Christmas Candle by Lisa Jones Baker is the last Amish tale inside this collection. I felt the Christmas holiday sweeping over me. The pages went by quickly. Excitement rushed through me as I read every page. Filling me with a sweetness that I couldn’t let go. The main characters were enjoyable to follow. Both having faith in God. This story was more traditional in the Amish setting than the previous tales before it. I really loved this one. Giving back to the community, learning to trust, and not giving up hope are great themes found, here. Lisa Jones Baker created a piece that I fell in love with…overall, I highly recommend reading The Christmas Candle to all. 

Review: Against A Crimson Sky







Synopsis:

The continuation of the sweeping story of young Countess Anna Maria, introduced in the epic PUSH NOT THE RIVER, as Poland picks up the pieces and joins forces with Napoleon in an attempt to bring down Russia.

 

AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY tells the interrelated stories of four characters in the aftermath of the violent dissolution of Poland in 1794 and culminates in the doomed 1812 winter march into Russia. Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has finally married her true love, Jan Stelnicki, but life is anything but ideal. Not long into their union, Jan takes to the battlefield in the hopes of ensuring a sovereign Poland for his children. Meanwhile, his best friend on the front lines continues to pine for Anna’s cousin, Zofia, but she has her sights set a little higher…on the emperor Napoleon. 

AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY interweaves these tales of intrigue, love and betrayal as one proud nation and one strong family struggle for unity.

Rating: 5-stars 

Review:

Against A Crimson Sky by James Conroyd Martin is a stunning historical read. I loved it. I got to experience the Polish culture and the people of Poland. My grandmother is Polish so, reading this was even more exciting for me. War times are difficult and can bring much sadness. Hope, courage, love, and family life are strong themes inside this novel. A noble woman loses her son and husband to war. Pregnant again, she’s hoping for a girl. Fate has a funny way of bringing a family together and tearing them apart. Intense, well-told, and engaging. I felt like I was inside the protagonist’s shoes. Her life became my own the instant I opened the book. Adventure of a lifetime was waiting for me on the pages. Pages that moved me quickly through the conflict, emotions, and actions from the scenes. James Conroyd Martin brilliantly captured a people and their lives in his writing. Words that became three-dimensional once they were read. Uncertainty, lies ahead but the ending was beautiful. I was happy it ended the way it did. Felt right. Overall, I highly recommend Against A Crimson Sky to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Summer House  

Synopsis:

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer.
Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.
No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. 
Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon is a superb summer read. A story about a family dealing with a lot of issues. The mother forces her kids back to the summer house. There she hopes to help them deal with their issues and maybe, find some peace. A worried mother over grown children. The mother herself has something to share with her children. She plans to sell their summer house. A place full of childhood memories for the children who are now, grown adults. The journey is rocky at first but smooths over as the pages are turned. Emotional, stunning, and heartfelt. 

Hannah McKinnon writes well. Her characters are believable. Each one adds to the plot. A different issue like the lost of a husband. Readers will easily relate to the them. I was able to understand and love the characters. The mother was the centerfold of this family. Strong, dependent, and clever. She loves her family. Caring, loving, and sweet. I couldn’t put this book down…The Summer House lured me from my seat and deep onto its pages. A deep entertaining read. One that pulled at my heart strings all the way. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers worldwide. Loss, love, and healing. 

Review: Any Dream Will Do

Synopsis:

Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.
Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.

The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.

But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber is as close to a realistic story as possible. Everything felt real. It was like reading a person’s journey from the rough life to a good one. A young woman has had trust issues due to the men in her life. With no One But a brother as family and as a friend, Shay had to learn a lot of lessons. Including, not trusting her baby brother. He relied on her and she made a bad choice because she thought it was a life or death situation. Her brother used her. Broke his promise and left Shay to deal with the consequences. Shay went to prison, lost her bank job, and is dealing with a lot of emotions. Anger, fear, and survival mode. After being released she finds no where to go. Stepping into a church, Shay’s life turns around….she meets Paster Drew. 

Pastor Drew is another interesting character. He and his very young kids lost a loved one. A wife and mother. Drew was hopeless and lost until he meets Shay. He sees hope for her. Even though she can’t. She has a tough attitude but inside she’s good. Drew calls a friend and help Shay into a program for women like her. Because he helped her, Shay forms an attachment of trust, liking, and hope towards him. Drew can’t help but feel good knowing he helped her. Something about Shay also gives him hope for the future. Then there’s his kids. Both meet Shay. Shay loves them as much as they love her. 

Debbie Macomber has written an inspiring tale here. I couldn’t stop reading it. The whole story made me cry, smile, and fall in love. Lost souls finding their ways after a tragedy. A little faith, hope, and love go a long way in this novel. Those who have been through a tough time can easily relate to both Shay and Drew’s issues. Struggles can make or break us at times. But it’s about continuing even when we have nothing else to lose. Overall, I recommend this contemporary to all. Any Dream Will Do is a must read. 

Review: Stargazey Point






Synopsis:

Shelley Noble’s Stargazey Point is a beautiful story of love, heartbreak, friendship, and new beginnings.

Devastated by tragedy during her last project, documentarian Abbie Sinclair seeks refuge with three octogenarian siblings, who live in a looming plantation house at the edge of the world.

South Carolina’s Stargazey Point used to be a popular family beach resort, but the beaches have eroded, most of the businesses have closed, and the crowds have gone. It’s the perfect place to hide from the rest of world.

But hiding is harder than she thought it would be. There’s a wise Gullah woman who seems to see into Abbie’s soul, and an intriguing man on a quest to bring Stargazey Point back to life.

Stargazey Point by Shelley Nobel is the perfect beach read any time of year.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Stargazey Point by Shelley Noble is a fascinating tale. Full of action, intrigue, and heartfelt moments. It instantly grabbed my heart from the beginning. I laughed, cried, and fell in love. The characters were amazing. Felt so real. It was almost like magic. The plot itself was interesting. Believable. Like stepping into a Hallmark movie. Shelley Noble’s words created a deeper meaning. Family, community, and new beginnings. Every page made me feel as if I were really there with the characters. 

Stargazey Point is a small southern spot that readers will love. History, culture, and the people who live there come to life on every page. Until now, I haven’t read any other books by Shelley Noble. I’m very happy to have read this one. A woman who feels depressed from her past is soon sent by a friend to Stargazey Point. There, she stays with her friend’s family. Two older women and an older man. Southern charm is turned up full notch here. Big southern plantation that somehow survived a storm that ruined the once thriving town. Money is almost out for one family. The brother has a kept secret that may come to save them and their home. Abbie comes looking for peace and ends up bringing life into the town and the people she met. It was hard not to like Abbie. She struggled with her own demons. Yet she gave everything she had to help others. Then, there’s Cab. He at first mistrusts her…but after knowing her a bit she soon engages his full attention. Sparks fly. But first fears have to be solved if they they even stand a chance at happiness. Themes like friendship and love are strong. Shelley Noble has done a superb job in creating this masterpiece. Entertaining, emotional, and charming. Overall, I recommend it to others. 

Review: Bold Love (A Letter To My Young Sisters)

Synopsis:

Bold Love: A Letter to My Young Sisters is a love letter full of personal experiences, science and deliberate encouragement to help one move through the challenges related to self-esteem, absent relationships and racial challenges. This body of work is written through the eyes of the writer as if she were her younger self. Bold Love speaks to young ladies and women that may not understand the pathology of their behaviors. Bold Love uses poetry and anonymous testimony to normalize any reader that may feel like their problem is one that only they have faced. Bold Love creates a platform to encourage self-reflection and makes a plea for one to accept their reality and not live in fantasy by holding on to what one believes should have been. The love letter is to encourage a young generation to learn who they are and where they come from and to not allow unfavorable circumstances stunt the promise that was put on their lives.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Bold Love: A Letter To My Young Sisters by Terri M. Bolds (MS, LPC) is a book of empowerment and self-esteem for young African American women everywhere. The writer gives readers a personal ride through the book. In this journey, challenges are presented. From relationships to racial conflicts, Terri M. Bolds gives a deeper meaning to these group that she targets in her pages. Exploring the behaviors of young women and opening their eyes. Moving forward is the main theme of this encouraging book. Reflections, deep thoughts, and questions to help these young African American women claim their future. I found it awe-inspiring. Overall, this was a great book to explore. 

Review: The Evolving Peacemaker





Synopsis:

What does our future hold? Is it possible for humanity to exist indefinitely in a world overrun with wars, intolerance, and terrorism? Will our civilization that is steeped in centuries of violence eventually learn how to interact with one another in respectful and compassionate ways? 

The Evolving Peacemaker: A Commitment to Nonviolence seeks to address these issues by taking a compelling look at the timeless teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most respected and influential figures of the twentieth century. 

Beginning with a foreword by Arun Gandhi, celebrated peace activist and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, The Evolving Peacemaker takes the reader on a compelling journey of self-discovery. 

This volume weaves Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence with author Leona Evans’s personal journey toward inner peace. 

Evans states: “We are frightened for the future and helpless because we don’t know how to make a difference in the world. It is time now to see that our only alternative lies in making a difference within ourselves.” 

The Evolving Peacemaker is a thought-provoking and inspiring guide to becoming the change we wish to see in the world. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Evolving Peacemaker by Leona Evans is a spiritual guide and journey to peace. Inside, I followed the writer’s own journey. I found this book to be inspiring. It encourages me to become better more accepting of others. Deep, thought provoking, and entertaining to read. The Evolving Peacemaker is an easy read. Comfortable to follow along. What I loved most about this nonfiction book, was Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. The writer is correct when saying we are afraid of an unknown outcome when we’re not sure how to take steps to make the world better. After reading this, I can easily see this being the most popular book. Self-discovery, peace, and transformation. Overall, this was a stunning piece. 

Review: Maybe This Summer





Synopsis:

Always a wingman . . .

Owen McConnell is used to being ignored. After all, it’s only when he appears as the Colorado Avalanche’s team mascot that he gets all the attention. When the costume is off, women tend to gravitate toward his famous hockey player friends. But after he meets lovely, damaged Paige Adams, he knows he can be the star player for her. She’s raising funds for the hospital burn unit, and Owen’s determined to help her out—and sweep her off her feet.

The burn unit has been near and dear to Paige’s heart ever since the doctors helped her after a vicious attack. Yet the scars—both emotional and physical—haven’t faded as much as she’d hoped. She’s closed herself off from relationships, and the thought of opening up is terrifying. But Owen’s sexy charm might be just the push Paige needs to start loving again.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Maybe This Summer by Jennifer Snow is a heartfelt novel. This was the perfect summer read. I instantly connected with the main characters. Their stories were they’re own secrets. Both felt some shame from what they do and what they are. Scars both physical and emotional have them wound up tight. The first time, Owen laid eyes on Paige, he knew she was it. She was the woman for him. Owen has had women pass him up for his hockey buddies. It was hard to imagine that since, Paige described him as hot and sexy. He too has physical scars like her. Yet all she saw was a sexy as sin man standing before her. Owen doesn’t see Paige as a women with scary scars. Instead he sees a beautiful, caring, smart woman. Paige works hard to help the burn center that helped her. Owen struggles with his own demons just like Paige. In a way, they both help each other move forward. Helping each other feel more confident in their skin. I loved that part of the story. Jennifer Snow took a realistic opportunity and brought it to life in an entertaining way. A way that opens up readers’ hearts. Understanding what it was like for both Paige and Owen holing onto and letting go of their insecurities was an eye opener. Overall, I highly recommend Maybe This Summer to readers worldwide. 

Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue






Synopsis:

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner. 

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan hold so many meanings. Deep, raw, and emotional. The journey for each character was sad, funny, sexy, and heartfelt. Delicious meals, hot sex, and  frustrated individuals during Christmas makes for a great read. Both lost someone special to them. Lucas lost his wife the night she told him she didn’t love him anymore. Eva lost her grandmother and Lucas’s grandmother is her friend. Almost like a second grandmother to her. Mistzy hires Eva to bring Christmas to her grandson, aka Lucas’s apartment. To Eva, he was supposedly in Vermont. However, both she and Lucas get the surprise of a lifetime. Between being strangled, calling 911, and being sexually attracted to one another, their time is interesting. I couldn’t help to laugh, cry, and love them. Lucas’s grandmother was also another character I admired and loved. She added humor, wit, and understanding to the tale. Christmas is approaching…Eva is a romantic and Lucas has a writer’s deadline. Can they both get what they wanted plus, more? Miracle on 5th Avenue is exactly that. Miracles do happen. Sarah Morgan’s writing was beautifully done. I highly recommend it to all. 
P.s. This should be a Hallmark movie. 

Review: Ralphy the Rabbit Finds Himself

Synopsis:

It’s never too early for a child to learn to feel special and happy about who they are.
Ralphy the Rabbit has always been self-conscious about his ears because they look like dog ears. He’s ecstatic when Marta finally overlooks them and takes him home from the pet store. But when Oscar the Cat fakes an injury, compelling Marta to neglect Ralphy and nurse a faking Oscar back to health, Ralphy wishes he could speak like the parakeets in the pet store to let Marta know about Oscar.
One day, Ralphy spots a magician on TV, who changes a rabbit into a little girl. That’s it! Ralphy wants the magician to change him into a little boy. He could get rid of his dog-like ears and tell Marta about Oscar! The problem? The magician works far, far away at the flea market and Ralphy has no way to get there. 
When an opportunity arises for Ralphy to get a ride to the magician, he and Oscar wind up stranded together on the streets of Orlando. Can Ralphy and Oscar overcome their differences and help each other? Will Ralphy reach the magician?
Join Ralphy and Oscar on their journey of self-discovery where they have the opportunity to learn about friendship, creativity and acceptance and above all, about being comfortable with who they are.
Ralphy the Rabbit: Finds Himself is the first book in the David L Wallace chapter book series. If you like entertaining early reader stories that provides you a way to teach a child to feel good about themselves, then you’ll love David L Wallace’s debut children’s story.
Get Ralphy the Rabbit: Finds Himself and give yourself a fun way to help equip children to navigate their ages 6-8, preteen and coming of age years, today. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Ralphy the Rabbit Finds Himself by by David L. Wallace is a beautifully illustrated children’s book. Inside, are many lessons to learn. Educational and entertaining to follow. Every page is engaging. I couldn’t stop reading it. Major themes of friendship and acceptance are found here. Ralphy the Rabbit is an interesting character. I instantly fell in love. Overall, I recommend this read to readers everywhere. 

Author Interview with Patricia Gachagan 



Author Interview: Patricia Gachagan, Born Together
ULM: What lead you to writing your inspiring memoir, Born Together?

 

I have always been attracted to writing, keeping journals over many years as well as being a fan of the old-fashioned pen and paper letter writing as I travelled and lived abroad. I simply started one day to write down and express my deep feelings about the unexpected journey I had been taken on after giving birth to my son. I always wanted to write a book and before I knew it I had 20,000 words written and realised this was my opportunity as well as my motivation.

 

 

 

ULM: What was the journey like for you as you went through your diagnosis of multiple sclerosis?

 

There was an element that the whole situation was unreal and that surely it couldn’t be Multiple Sclerosis as I had only just had my baby and I was in the throes of adjusting to life as a first-time mum. It was also quite terrifying waking up in a ‘different’ body day by day, with my ability and mobility changing dramatically and I had no control over it. I was consumed by fear at the same time as experiencing joy with my wonderful baby. It was a real juxtaposition of my emotions to contend with.

 

 

 

ULM: What were your first thoughts when informed of your diagnosis?

 

I suppose it was disbelief in amongst the absolute panic as I had found out by accident, on my own with baby Elliot, at a routine doctor’s appointment. Even although I knew MS was the main contender, I was still shocked at the realisation that my worst fear had come true. My panic was not for just for me, but for how little Elliot’s life would be affected by my diagnosis. I was so scared to begin with.

 

 

ULM: How did you feel when writing about your journey in Born Together?

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of writing Born Together. From the very first sentence, I was hooked. My writing journey unlocked many emotions, from grief and fear in the beginning to finally the relief of accepting my ‘new’ self and abilities. It very much challenged me, but I embraced those challenges fully and seized it as an opportunity to move forward with my new life.

 

 

ULM: Was the writing therapeutic for you?

 

Writing was very therapeutic for me and serendipitously came along at the same time as the counselling sessions I had been referred to by my GP. They very much worked together. They challenged me to the core about how I had been dealing with my diagnosis and all the changes it had brought about in my life. I had to face some hard truths and painfully let go of the ‘old’ me. It was not an easy task, but it was the beginning of a much brighter and more positive future. I am very grateful for my writing journey.

 

 

ULM: How did you find the determination to get through this difficult time for you and your family?

 

That was easier than anything else I had to face physically. Just one look at Elliot, just the thought of my wonderful son with his whole life ahead of him was enough to drive me forward with lethal determination that his life would not be adversely or negatively affected by me having a lifelong diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

 

 

 

ULM: What advice would you give to others going through what you did?

 

To stay positive and learn to accept your new self and the changes to your life. That is part of a process and doesn’t happen overnight, but the sooner it does happen, the better it is for yourself and those around you. There is the need then to adapt to those changes, but to stay very much focussed on what you can do and not hold on to the past and what you can’t do anymore. Try to see it as a new beginning and not an ending and take charge of your own health. I am very pro-active in managing my MS and that has been a defining fact in my new abilities and creating a different quality of life, but still one that is enriched and fulfilling.

 

 

ULM: As a mother of a new-born with a disability, was there anyone you had for moral support? What gave you hope during these struggles?

 

I didn’t then, and still don’t now, see myself as someone with a disability. I see myself as ‘differently’ abled, but able nonetheless. I focus on what I can do and achieve and it is a lot. My husband, Allan, was an amazing support and tower of strength. He still is and he too is very pro-active and determined. My mum and sister have been selflessly committed to supporting me and Elliot and were around a great deal in those early days. Elliot, and the importance of his future, gave me the hope and the belief necessary that I could manage well and turn my life around from a path of ill-health and disability to one of positivity, achievement and ultimately a happy and fulfilled family life.

 

 

ULM: What’s your favourite quote to live by?

 

‘Do ordinary things to live an extraordinary life.’

 

 

 

ULM: Your memoir mentioned a new treatment. Would you recommend it to others?

 

This new and pioneering treatment is called Robo-Physio and is based on a ‘Spinal Approach to Health’. It is a physio therapy device which releases the stiffness in your spine. I have seen good results of this therapy, but it needs to be used on a regular basis to maintain the benefits. It helped very much with my fatigue and ability during the period I tested it, allowing me to be able to move my body better, balance better and walk better at that time. This is a private therapy, but I would certainly suggest people look in to it and consider giving it a try. It is available through Pacla Medical and you can contact them to arrange a free trial. There are no side effects which is a clear bonus and seems to make it worth trying to see if it is suitable for you individually.

 

 

ULM: What are your plans for the future?

 

I plan to continue writing and sharing my positive message as far and as wide as I possibly can. I plan to live as full and enriched a life, with Multiple Sclerosis, as I possibly can. I want to show others that a chronic diagnosis like mine does not have to be the end. We all have to take what we’ve got, whatever that may be, and turn it in to the very best we can.

I have introduced my MS jigsaw to help support individuals with MS and I plan to develop that further with a view to extending self-help ideas for living with MS. My MS jigsaw has many pieces, all of which can help someone with MS manage their symptoms and reach the best quality of life they can.

 

 

ULM: Where can readers find you and your memoir online?

 

Readers can find me at www.patriciagachagan.com for more information and to buy Born Together. It is also available through kindle and at bookstores, such as Waterstones, to order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Born Together





Synopsis:

Born Together is the inspiring memoir of Patricia Gachagan, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and her determination to overcome the challenges to live a full life and to be a mother to her son, Elliot. When Patricia became pregnant with Elliot, she could not contain her joy and elation at the prospect of starting a family. But within hours of his birth, her body began to deteriorate. Born Together tells of Patricia’s struggle to cope with her declining health and the simultaneous demands of motherhood. 
Eventually, Patricia was diagnosed with MS, and it was put to her that her immune system had attacked itself, in error, following the birth of her baby boy. Patricia took an alternative approach to almost everything and refused to settle for a prognosis of a life of disability and vulnerability. Many doubted her ability to succeed, but her determination to turn her life around was rewarded with a new and pioneering treatment, researched by Medical Research Scotland and part-funded by the Scottish Government Enterprise Scheme. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Born Together by Patricia Gachagan is an inspiration to all. Her journey of determination and strength will amaze everyone who reads this book. It amazed me. Hooked me in fast. A mother’s terrible yet frightening journey of survival. After giving birth, her body was suddenly taken over by a paralyse. Her health kept turning for the worse. I kept thinking that she wasn’t going to make it. That this was going to be the saddest book I’ve read. But Patricia Gachagan held surprises from me. She kept moving forward despite her challenges. Every time I feel like complaining, I’ll always remember this book and consider myself lucky. Overall, I recommend this nonfiction book to readers worldwide. Especially, to mothers out there. 

Review: Under a Desert Sky


Synopsis:

There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places. 

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well. 

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life’s hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke is an inspiring memoir of one woman’s journey with cancer. Cancer is the toughest path one finds in life. It takes hold of us, crushing us under its pressure. Sometimes, we feel like we’ve lost the battle and want to give up. However, this book, redefines hope, beauty, and faith in the hardest places. Lynne Hartke’s words grabbed my attention immediately. Her words made me cry and feel that hope never dies. Pain only makes one stronger. Beautifully written by a survivor, who went through it all. Pain, grief, and hope. Overall, I deeply recommend this memoir to all. 

Review: Why Am I Still Single?





Synopsis:

Have you been asking yourself the question, Why am I still single? Do you find yourself repeatedly dating the same types of men over and over again? Have you felt like giving up on love and happily ever after? Are you tired of settling for less than you what you truly want and deserve in your relationships? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you cant afford NOT to read Why Am I Still Single by author, life coach, speaker, and therapist, Giovanna Burgess Geathers. Discover what may be holding you back from finding the love you want and learn how to identify your unhealthy relationship patterns and how your past issues and experiences may be directing and determining your current behaviors and decisions. Written from a practical, spiritual and psychological perspective, it is a combination of the author’s experiences, theoretical knowledge and insight as she seeks to help women gain a deeper understanding of their relationships with men, with others, but most importantly, with themselves. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Why Am I Still Single by Giovanna Burgess Geathers, LPC is a great self-help read. Inside, I found well-written book by a woman expert. Many relationships fail. Due to that people feel hopeless in finding love…and even go as far as to believe love doesn’t exist. Questions pop up when one is in this situation. Giovanna Burgess Geathers, LPC is experienced in giving mental, emotional, and behavioral health services. After reading her book, I can tell that she knows what she writes. This book helps guide readers like myself to better understanding ourselves and our relationships. There are many thought provoking questions that made me really think…as well as scenarios to look through and find insights as to what is happening. Exploring, understanding, and learning…can be done by following the writer through every page. I highly recommend Why I Am Still Single to readers everywhere.

Review: Love Happens

Synopsis:

In this must-have short-story collection, Melanie Moreland introduces us to Ethan Thomas in When Love Blooms. Melanie Harlow shares her novel, Some Kind of Love. Molly McLain and Rhonda James share Luke and Mia’s no strings weekend that could lead to love. Claudia Burgoa visits New York City in How We Met. Leap with Dylan Allen to London where we meet Cara’s dream man. Emery Jacobs revisits the Beautiful Torture Duet. Go on vacation with the beloved characters of the Unspoken Series by Gabbie Duran. I See You is based on secondary characters in Ginger Scott’s How We Deal With Gravity. Fall in love with Jeanne McDonald’s Shadow Kingsley in All Of Me. Lisa Kamps takes us to the ice arena with First Shot At Love (A Baltimore Banners Story). Bad girl Delilah meets Lance, her total opposite, in Wild Pumpkin by Martha Sweeney. Mia Kayla brings us Kent and Beth from Marry Me for Money, a couple with different views in All Work And No Play. In Love on The Edge, Molly Lee’s Dash and Blake from the Edge of Chaos spend their honeymoon chasing storms. Rockstar Silas Palmer finds love on the side of the road in Hitch by S.M. West. 
Fifteen authors come together to celebrate Autism Awareness month with proceeds benefitting SARRC and Myles-A-Part. 
Love Happens features stories about finding love, falling in love and being in love.

**Includes Some Kind of Love By Melanie Harlow** 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Love Happpens is anthology by many authors. Each one with their own unique talent. They have come together to put this collection for readers and to raise funds for Autism. I love when talented writers get together to help others. It nails my attention immediately. 

After reading these stories, I got to go on a lot of adventures. Different experiences of love, life, and meaning. Each tale was deep. Emotionally, I was swept up in its great wave after wave of stories. Another amazing thing about this anthology, I got to taste other writer’s work, whom I never heard of until now…their stories are not only entertaining but inspiring too. Love Happens is romantic, hopeful, and well-told. Sexy, realistic, and contains a lot of real life issues. That’s what really had me hooked. I was able to connect to the charcaters because of that. Overall, I recommend this collection to readers worldwide. There’s a little of everything inside…I have received this free copy for an honest review. 

Review: The Hideaway

Synopsis:

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.
After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.
Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.
Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.
When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton is a great read for women everywhere. The tale is easy to relate to and connect with the main characters. The writing was well-done. Readers like me will travel to New Orleans. There the story takes place. This book was an eye opener. It laid out choices. Choices that readers like me have to make in life. It’s never easy to make a decision. It just get harder as the time gets closer and places the pressure onto the charcater’s shoulders. Here, I got to explore topics such as family, love, and career. The plot goes further in showing that despite being happy in a successful life that there were things missing that only the life inNew Orleans could provide. I found it inspiring.

Lauren K. Denton’s main character, Sara Jenkins,  returns back to The Hideaway. A place where her grandmother lived. Now, her grandmother is gone and the place needs major repairs before selling it and heading back to her previous life. There Sara finds things belonging to her grandmother that affects her decision on life and whether she stays or not. Plus, there’s the people around her that she has come to love and know that will make saying goodbye that much harder. Nothing’s easy or predicatable in this read. The charcater can take either route and the intrigue is powerful enough to have kept me reading. But there’s also a danger. A land developer threatens to take The Hideaway…and only Sara can stop it. Choices…

The Hideaway is a fascinating read. The charming charcaters, the realistic lives they live, and their believable situations have hooked me. Southern way of life is sweet, memorable, and enchanting. Overall, I recommend Lauren K. Denton’s novel to all. 

Review: Brambleberry House





Synopsis:

Come stay awhile at Brambleberry House, a place infused with acceptance, healing and heart–as only RaeAnne Thayne can imagine it.

 
His Second-Chance Family 



Julia Blair spent many happy summers at Cannon Beach and fell hard for sweet local boy Will Garrett. Now the for-rent sign at Brambleberry House seems like a wonderful omen for widowed Julia and her young children. She craves the warmth she once felt in Brambleberry House–and in Will’s arms. But before he can embrace his first love, he’ll have to lay down the burden of the past and open his heart again.

 
A Soldier’s Secret 



Struggling to rebuild her business and her life, Anna Galvez knows she’s fortunate to have inherited Brambleberry House as her rock-solid base. When she finds a handsome new tenant in injured army pilot Harry Maxwell, Anna thinks her luck–in love, at least–might be changing. Until the lieutenant’s story begins to unravel…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

RaeAnne Thayne is a mastermind when it comes to creating the perfect contemporary romance tales. Her latest book, Brambleberry House, contains two short novellas. Each one has its way of pulling me deep into its journey. Epic, heartfelt, and well-written. The characters are to die for…

Inside, His Second-Chance Family, I got to two old sweethearts. Traveling back to their sweet moment of being 16-years-old and in love. A brief sweet kiss from a first love.  Their memory of that has stayed with them even now, as adults. One stayed and the other left. Now, many years later, fate has brought them together. Both have lost a loved one two. Their shared experience in pain, grief, loss, and love has a way of making a new path. Maybe, love and healing is in the air…

Next, is A Soldier’s Secret. Here, I got to meet a nephew of a deceased woman. His aunt gave her home to two ladies. One such lady was Anna Galvez. Her luck in love was bad. Her finance ran off with another woman and left her on their wedding day…

Now, she appears stiff as a board but there’s more to Anna than beats the human eye. With some help from a dog and the spirit of the deceased aunt…Anna and Harry might have a chance at a happily ever after. But they must overcome their fears and find courage to move forward. Love is in the air. It’s up to the charcaters to brace enoughto accept it.

Troubled hearts filled with pain, loss, and grief. RaeAnne Thayne has brought two unique tales that teach lessons of life as well as showing me that anything is possible. Love can happen when we least expect it to…overall, I highly recommend Brambleberry House to readers worldwide. The plot was enticing from the first page. Charming charcaters and tales that steal readers’ hearts.

Review: The Blue Hour




Synopsis:

Sometimes you get a second chance to live the life you’ve always wanted…if you’re brave enough to take the chance.
In this epic tale of love, loss, and redemption, the year is 1861, a time when women are expected to be married by a certain age. At 26, spinster Emily Wainwright has no reason to believe her sheltered life will ever change — until the charming Samuel Todd unexpectedly crosses her path.
Samuel yearns to homestead and start a family in Oregon, but he first needs to find a wife. Blinded by Samuel’s good looks, and grasping at her final chance to have a husband and children, Emily accepts his marriage proposal. However, Samuel is not the man she thought he was, and her marriage becomes a cold, cruel prison, offering her no solace amidst the hardships of farm life. 
When Samuel dies and a second chance at love and happiness arrives in the form of farmhand Cole Walker, Emily must overcome her bitter past—or risk losing Cole and the life she has always dreamed of having. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini is a historical read that will inspire many. Inside, readers will find out how women lived, what was expected of them by society, and the difficulty of marriage. Marriage is scary especially, during this time period. If stuck in a bad marriage, there was any escape. I easily connected with the main charcater. A pioneer woman. Stronger than most women I know. 

The Blue Hour presents readers with the journey of one woman. Emily Wainright. She wasn’t married yet but the pressure of it caused her some serious issues. Then, marrying lead her to a man who looked good outside but was rotten inside…the marriage was a disaster. No escape. But Emily spores her best to survive. Soon, fate gives her a second chance in life. Her husband dies leaving her free. Only Emily isn’t sure of what to make of the new man in her life. Life is hard and having already made one mistake, Emily is weary of making another one. 

Next there’s the male protagonist. Cole Walker. A decent man who is a farmhand. Good looking and kind. He is good for Emily. However, due to her past, Cole may not have a chance with her. Their futures are set on whether Emily can overcome her fears and let go of the past. Otherwise, she may lose her chance at happiness. Real happiness. 

The Blue Hour is an unforgettable tale. Detailing the hardships and life of women out west. I was fascinated from the beginning to end. Here, I experienced hard work, society’s rules and expectation, romance, love, loss, and kindness. The emotional journey was believable and stunning. Overall, I highly recommend Vicki Righettini’s novel to readers everywhere. 

Review: Three Little Words 




Synopsis:

“Sunshine, you’re my baby and I’m your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she’s not your mama.” Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system. 

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed – and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a biography that readers everywhere need to read. It gives readers a deep insider’s view to the foster care system. Sure we all think that it’s great the kids will be taken care of and all. But not all foster homes are perfect. Just like the fact that Americans are forced to believe about a 1950’s ‘ideal American family image’ that no family actually lived up to…society isn’t always that great. Inside this nonfiction book, I got to journey through the writer’s life as a foster kid and how she overcame the obstacles. I was deeply troubled by what occurred to her while in foster care and my heart tore in a million pieces. No child should have it worse when being taken care of…yet this woman did. I spent some time in foster care myself due to both my parents; however, my time in there was okay. But not all are lucky. I knew what happens. I remember seeing my day taken away from us kids the day before foster care picked us, kids, up…thus, relating to Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir was easy and sad. Bad memories…Three Little Words is a well-written book. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Wild Ideas

Synopsis:

Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out takes you on an intimate journey through the seven stages of the creative process. All along the way, counselor, artist, and writer Cathy Wild interweaves her own deeply personal story as well as provocative insights gleaned from her many years in private practice. Discover your authentic voice while exploring timeless themes that compel creative expression—curiosity and imagination, mystery and mourning, chaos and clarity, suffering and gratitude and many more. 

A feast for the heart, mind, and soul, Wild Ideas is designed for both artists and non-artists alike who are drawn to their inner world of thought and feeling. Whether you are already a working artist, struggling to become one — and especially if you want to feel more alive and engaged—this wise and thought-provoking book has the power to revitalize your thinking and renew your spirit of adventure. 

Wild Ideas can help you build a resilient foundation for engaging creative challenges in your life and work: 1) You will understand how to make the journey from inspiration to realization of a vision. 2) You will find clarity and comfort while learning to navigate the daunting emotional challenges that frequently block creators. 3) You will reclaim what is richest and most authentic about your own life. 4) You will feel inspired to replace apprehension about your creative capabilities with self-knowledge, trust, and a passionate spirit of adventure. 5) You will feel deeply supported as you unlock the mysteries of your own creative power! 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Wild Ideas by Cathy Wild is a great guide for building creativity. The writer has a lot to offer inside her book. A wonderful emotional yet inspiring journey to follow. Taking ones thoughts and placing them in a way that proves positive. I can’t see how anyone reading this book won’t be changed. It certainly drove me deeper into my life and changed how I felt. I read this book that led me out of my norm and it personally challenged myself. It is well-written and organized in a way that makes flipping through the pages easy. Wild Ideas is a self-help book that anyone and any age could read. Overall, I recommend it. 

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