MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Thursday, July 12, 2018

God's Blessing Day by Day: Daily Devotional for Kids

God's Blessing Day By Day: MyDaily Devotional for Kids
Johnny Hunt, editor
ISBN: 9781400311306
Publisher's Synopsis:
One of the greatest gifts - and greatest challenges - of raising children is introducing them to the ways of God. As parents and grandparents, we want to impart our faith to the children we love so dearly, and it can feel more difficult than ever in the fast-moving, instant-access culture in which we find ourselves.

God’s Blessing Day by Day,compiled by Johnny Hunt and more than 50 pastors and church leaders, is the perfect way to build faith through gratitude.

This easy-to-understand, child-friendly devotional is the perfect way to engage your family. Each devotion is written on topics children care about and includes great prayers and takeaways that will spark conversation as the timeless Word of God instructs and inspires your children.

Impart a deeper connection with the Lord in your children, help them establish healthy habits of devotion and prayer, and equip them with the tools they need to grow their faith.

God is my Helper
PS 121:2
"Do you know that God loves to help you?
He's a good Helper to have because He can do anything!..."
(segment from Week10, Wednesday pg.58)
"Dear God, every day I need Your help for many things.
Thank You for helping." (prayer on pg.58)
"My God is big enough to help me with
any problem."
(memory banner on pg.58)
MrsK's Review:
Ok, so when this review package came, this mother... grandmother... teacher... librarian never made it down into my work station. The minute I opened the covers of this devotional, an excited request for the grandchildren went out into the front room. 

These devotionals are not just child friendly, the scripture passages and its teachings are so supportive for moments of discussion and sharing. The illustrations help smaller children look and listen (can you say cute, sweet, and tender).

The format is perfect for any day of the week that you choose to read, which in this reviewer's opinion is perfectly matched for the little one who might just be picking which devotional to read because of an illustration connection. Each devotion gives the author's name and city and state, which speaks volumes to children about the vastness of His faithful.

A must own for all young families and grandparents!
Gift this one... you will be passing on God's word by planting
seeds into our future generations,
 "Exceptional!" MrsK

"It's good! It helps you know more about God. The pictures are really cute."
Riley Ella

"I wish I would have waited before I bought a different devotional.
This one makes understanding easier for kids from ages 4-9.
I like that it has a little prayer at the end,
plus a key phrase for them to memorize.
The illustrations just make it extra special!"
Brie (Riley and Gabriel's mom)
Tommy Nelson Mommy Program
Meet the Editor:
God’s Blessing Day by Day is a trustworthy devotional compiled by renowned pastors and church leaders. Edited by Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, this devotional is the perfect way to introduce your children and grandchildren to a legacy of faith.

Thomas Nelson

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson

The Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim, #8)
ISBN: 978-0-7180-7483-8
Publisher's Synopsis:
From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.

Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.

But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.

"You're a thief, and you'll never be anything but a thief."
MrsK's Review:
In 1401, Aladdin's life changes. Mustapha enters his life and appears to be a welcoming guardian. Right away Aladdin knew that Mustapha's ways were not what his mother would want for him. It took one kind hand, a small loaf of bread, and a promise about a place called Hagenheim to bring Aladdin "away from the bazaar and away from his Arab homeland."

For the past few years, Aladdin has been learning a new language, as well as the ways of a scribe at the Hagenhiem Cathedral. While on an outing to the Hagenheim Castle, Aladdin sees the "girl angel." His introduction to Lady Rose and her daughter Lady Kirstyn will once again change the path of his life. In all the he has learned, he recognizes that Hagenheim is a "safe place full of families who were kind to each other. And so, for now, his life would be centered around his daily learning, his walks with Lady Kirstyn, and becoming the best steward for the castle's orphanage.

Yet, by the time 1414 arrives, Aladdin awakened to the revelation that he would need to make a fortune for his future to become his reality. Although leaving Hagenhiem would bring a heaviness to the hearts of those who have given him a life beyond his imaginings, he had to fulfill his quest or he would never be able to ask for the hand of the one whom already held his heart. 

With Aladdin's decision to leave, Lady Kirstyn's heart would become burdened beyond the edge of its brokenness. The heaviness "...seemed to foretell evil happenings." How would she overcome the long separation from her dearest friend? Will it be possible for her to focus her attention on the needs of the orphans at Hagenhiem? Over time, would Aladdin even want to return to Hagenhiem or her? 

Aladdin's story-line weaves a reader's emotions in and out of bear attacks, jealous heirs, kidnappings, and killings. Those characters which will tug at your heart will know a victory that is priceless. Those characters of whom ill-got-gains is their "soul" focus will be held accountable. 

Melanie's "gifted" talent for re-telling our most beloved tales continues to enthrall, captivate, and endear her readers. These novels are crafted for the generations of readers beyond our place in time!
"God, please let me asleep."
An adventurous quest... 
A spirited tale... 
An endearing ever-after victory...
Meet the Author:
  Melanie Dickerson  Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing's Best award, and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.

Thomas Nelson

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle, #1)
ISBN: 9780718095468
Publisher's Synopsis:
A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France's picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother's bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer's, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family's history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty--the castle so named for Charles Perrault's beloved fairy tale--and unearth its secrets before they're finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods--the French Revolution, World War II, and present day--The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

"Crumbling walls were rare, beautiful things."
MrsK's Review:
Within every quest is a journey that should lead you beyond what you have accepted into what could be a discovery within your soul. For Ellie, her quest for her Grandma Vi would bring her to the place where one life took a different path and her life would begin. Staying at the estate house on the grounds of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in France, Ellie is blocked from any entrance to the ruins. Titus Vivay is the only one who could get permission for her to go beyond the gate. His grandson Quinn is not supportive, yet Ellie is determined to uncover the truth before her Grandma Vi can no longer recognize her.

In 1789, Aveline receives news that would change her engagement party into a horrifying path of death and destruction. Once Aveline awakens, Robert the master winemaker for the Duc et Vivay estate will oversee her recovery. He must keep her hidden, there is too much unrest from the revolt and she was still being sought.  

In 1944, SS guards were searching for any enemy. Bombings, ruins, scarcity of food and deep distrust would lead Viola into the forest of Loire Valley, France. Julien discovers Viola in the ruins of the chapel, where ever he leads her only prayer and faith can ensure her safety. Anywhere will be safer than where the SS patrols. 

As charming as a Fairy Tale. As intriguing as an espionage novel. As lovely as a French landscape. This story entwines the lives of three generations of women as they love, survive, and journey beyond their era into your imaginings.
"A whisper of stories, hushed for generations,
drew Ellie like a string had been tethered to her heart."
A journey of hope...
Meet the Author:
Kristy Cambron  JESUS girl • Wife • Momma/3 boys • Vintage-inspired Author @TNZfiction & Bible studies @ThomasNelson • Friend to coconut mocha lattes #VerseMapping #storyroads

"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix

The Space Between Words
ISBN: 9780718086442
Publisher's Synopsis:
"There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."
When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn't left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they'd planned before the tragedy.
"The pages found you," Patrick whispered.
"Now you need to figure out what they're trying to say."
During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before--her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.
"I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival."
Determined to learn the Baillard family's fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn't understand. Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica's survival?

"... my life may end today.
Or it may stretch its final throes into another dawn.
Existence is a flimsy thing.
I savor its fragility with every breath I take." 
MrsK's Review:
In 1695, Adeline and her family must flee once again. Her Grandfather's words were once again ringing true. She was taught to tell "God's story well." Honesty, nobility, and strength were the measure of life.

"Paris in November," should have been a season in which there is a glimmer of hope, new discoveries, and some days to travel. For Jessica, those days would be a painful path of recovery. With her friends, Patrick and Vonda, Denver would be a past life and France would not be the adventure she had envisioned.

Patrick has a passion for life, for "picking," and for traveling the French countryside. His "Grab a shovel and believe in gold," proved to be always infectious causing Jessica to swap out her plans and embark on quests in promising places. 

Vonda may be younger, bolder, and unbridled in her determination to live life to the fullest. The trip to France meant freedom to grab all of the opportunities that any young heart could desire. Her request to change their evening plans and "live a little," would bring about a change that wasn't on their itinerary.

Once Jessica realizes that the horror of the shooting was real, instead of returning home to Denver, she follows Patrick's lead into the countryside as a "healing" pathway. Vonda returns home and Jessica relinquishes her desire to flee France. With Patrick's insistence, Jessica follows her instincts to continue their treasure hunting plans.

In a beautiful village in southern France, Jessica becomes charmed by the owners of the cottage in which Patrick had their B&B reservation. Grant, Mona, and Connor become the balm for the healing that Jessica will require. Days after the shooting, on a treasure hunt in a "ramshackle" barn. Patrick leads Jessica to the discovery of an old map, a bible, and a dark walnut sewing box. Hidden within the box is a small notebook. It will be this discovery that creates a distraction from the pain of the shooting. Given a new quest, coupled with the support from Grant and Mona, as well as the truth of Connor's observation, Adeline's story will finally be revealed.

What began as an endearing friendship and love story, erupts in a mysterious quest to help Adeline's story to reach her descendants. Life can take many twists and turns. What becomes an opportunity to bring closure to someone else will have a mutual blessing of healing for those willing to move beyond tragedy. Engagement in the life of these characters doesn't seem adequate in expressing the profound crafting of this story. Enmeshment is not an eloquent "enough" term for the depth in which you will experience Jessica's healing. What could be discovered is a story entrusted for your sharing!

Hope grows and healing begins once you open the covers of this story,
"The pages found you... Now you need to figure out what 
they're trying to say."
A story of two women in differing times and cultures.
A story entrusted for sharing!
Meet the Author:
Michèle Phoenix  Raised in France by a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle is a mentor, author and speaker with international sensitivities. She taught for twenty years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own work as an advocate for Third Culture Kids. She now travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students and Marvel movies.

"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble

The View from Rainshadow Bay (Lavender Tides #1)
ISBN: 9780718085766
Publisher's Synopsis:
After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.

"I need you to mail this box to Lucy.
I'd do it myself, but I have to disappear for a while.
I think he's on to me."
MrsK's Review:
Shauna never tires of flying her chopper over the Pacific NW, nor of the charm of her town Lavender Tides. She had to do this for her son Alex, she had no one else to turn her since Jack had died. Her own father was too unreliable. She had to ask Zach for help, even though she would never forgive him for Jack's death. Alex was more important and right now he needed a father role model. She knew Zach was it.

Zach built the Hurricane Roost Airport. As a "dare-devil junkie," Zach knows that Shauna is hurting. But, so was he. After all Jack had been his best friend. When Shauna requests that Zach go on a father-son hike with Alex, Jack had no reservations in saying yes. Could this be a chance to make things right for Alex and Shauna?

What begins as answer to a call from Clarence, soon explodes into a deceptive web of murder. Who would want to kill Clarence or Lucy? Is their daughter's death also involved? So many questions! 

When a friend asks you to do something for them, you usually would. If they ask you to keep something safe or deliver it, well that wouldn't be a problem. Unless what is hidden inside the box is exactly what is desired by the killer.

From the beginning, this novel became a source of intrigue and frustration. As each piece of the mystery surfaced, it began to unravel. As a reader, I felt that I was looking at a tapestry in which every thread is intricately woven to the plot. As you followed one thread, another secret was discovered. Shauna, Zach, and Alex will not be safe until all secrets are revealed. Not even a super hero could keep them from the destruction that is exploding around them!

Can murder be delightfully intriguing? Not only did Lavender Tides take your breath away with beautifully detailed settings, the characters are crafted with a mixture of real life turmoil. As a reader, you will discover that this is a mystery that could be a "true to life reality."
"Love was a funny thing--experience in life sifted thoughts and feelings
until you looked in someones eyes and found a match you weren't expecting."
An adventurous outing... Delightful!
Meet the Author:
 Colleen Coble  USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber

Reclaiming Shilo Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, #2)
ISBN: 9780718080945
Publisher's Synopsis:
Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling, as each new revelation has Sofi questioning the very existence of reality.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sofi’s mom, Inola, is battling a different kind of unraveling: a political one that could cost lives, positions, and a barely-rebuilt society, should they discover the deal made with the Delonese.

But there’s a secret deeper than all that. One locked away inside Sofi and ticking away with the beginnings, endings, and answers to everything. Including how to save humanity.

"Lord Ethos, Inola, please... let's just all calm down.
I'm sure none of us intended it to go this far."
MrsK's Review:
During the "taking," Sofi dealt with her father's death, her mother's abandonment, and her little brother's kidnapping. Normally that would be more than anyone could handle. For Sofi, her life on the farm, her family's survival after the fourth world war, and now her survival and quest to save her little brother would consume her heart, detour the rescue, and use all of her mental intelligence to stop the evil plans of the alien Delonese. 

Inola is the mother of Sofi and Shilo, but more importantly she is earth's CEO of Corp 30. She is a woman of calculated risks. Her raising up a society after the devastation of the war has offered her a status and  following that brings her to the point of life or death. With her daughter being hunted, Inola seeks an ending to the contract with the Delonese. Of course there will be a cost and Inola will need to decide to what lengths will she push and/or at what price will she pay.

Miguel is a man of honor. Those who are his friends are family. Those he is placed in charge of are his to protect. As an Ambassador for Corp 30, he will not let anything keep him from his assignment. Sofi must be brought safely away from this alien ship, if only there wasn't such a bothersome ache that is causing a delay in his thoughts.

Most readers and movie goers are aware of the good vs. evil in any Sci-Fi conflict. Yet, when an author weaves together our current realities with a futuristic outcome, your skin begins to crawl. You begin wondering "what-ifs." Sofi Snow will not be denied. Her mental strengths and skills will be tested before the end of this saga. Miguel will need to rely on his heart-moves and ability to overcome physical weakness. All of earth's survivors will need to rebel or...

Warning, do not try this book until you have the freedom to read well into the early light! This story line is understandable as a stand alone read due to the seamless weaving of both stories. The quest pushes the reader to "go back" and reread as a way of dealing with the plot twists. The climax will have all readers engaged with powerful emotional outbursts!

Be ready, Sofi Snow is reclaiming her life and future,
"That we are alive at all is a testament to the ingenuity of our forefathers...
Because arrogance at its worst masquerades as goodness.
It deceives itself and others that it is for the people.
But my friends..."
A chilling look into what our future might become!
Mary  Weber  Mary Weber is the multiple-award-winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series (all by HarperCollins). An avid high school, middle school, and conference speaker, Mary's passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she's not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Comic-Con, and the ocean.
"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Saturday, June 16, 2018

An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin

An Amish Heirloom: A Legacy of Love, The Cedar Chest, The Treasured Book, A Midwife's Dream
Various Authors
ISBN: 9780310351887

A Legacy of Love by Amy Clipston
"Surely all married couples fell into that comfortable relationship eventually.
Didn't they?"
Publisher's Synopsis:
Local volunteer fire fighter Leon King agrees to repair his ex-girlfriend Susie Bontrager’s grandparents’ antique rocking chairs for her future home with her fiance and is forced to acknowledge that his feelings for her have not quite gone away. As Susie spends time with Leon, she begins to recognize she is marrying the wrong man for all the wrong reasons.

MrsK's Review:
For Leon, Charlie's funeral served as a reminder that life is fragile and just how alone he really was. It had been a few years since he had seen Susie and she was still just as beautifully sweet as when they had been teens. With a request to fix her grandparents rockers for her soon-to-be home, Leon is sure he can do the work as a wedding gift. Yet, in his noble offer of friendship, love begins to find a way to replace loneliness with hope. 

Susie is sure that just "checking in" with Leon every week is all about her grandparent's rockers. After all, she has begun sewing the wedding dresses. Planning a wedding provides many opportunities to be in town and stop by to see the progress Leon is making, but it also becomes a time for a heart to begin recognizing that maybe she isn't ready to marry the man she thought she loved.

With characters that have been woven in and out of previous Lancaster legacies, this story sweetly reminds the reader that our friends, families, and communities are like gems with facets that work together to illuminate God's will and the brilliant glow of hope.

Meet the Author:
Amy Clipston   Hi, I’m Amy Clipston. I am an author of Amish and Christian fiction with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Most of my books focus on the Amish community, faith, and love. I also write romance novels and young adult inspirational stories.

The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman
"I do not know God's plan for my having stumbled upon you by the 
river, but I can be certain there always is a plan.
Our Father sees to that." 
Publisher's Synopsis:
Decades after inheriting her great grandmother’s cedar chest, Emma Fisher decides to pry it open only to discover a beautiful love story in the form of letters between her great grandparents. But as Emma immerses herself in their story, family secrets are revealed, and she must decide whether to share them to preserve family history or honor her great grandparents’ decision to leave them hidden.

MrsK's Review:
What does a legacy mean? For Emma it's a blessed childhood with parents that knew how to cherish each other. As a mother, when your child is showing signs of disquiet your heart seeks guidance and solace from your faith. Could a cedar chest and it's box of letters bring her daughter's hidden worries to the surface. Would she be given a chance to be a gentle support while they spend time reading the private letters of her grand parents? Will her daughter discover strength and wisdom to find a living spark of hope?

For Catherine, her relationship with her husband appears to be falling apart. How could Abram become so distant? Is there a way to stop the festering bitterness that is threatening their hope? As God's timing becomes an opportunity, it will require a willingness to accept that God's will is rarely revealed all at once. On the day that Catherine and her mother are in search of a box of books, they discover the cedar chest. With determination, Catherine is driven to pry the chest open. What has been lovingly packed inside will usher in a journey of discovery. 

If only... I wonder how many of us would love to discover a hidden chest from our bloodline? I know that it would have been a blessing for my mother and I to have made a discovery like Catherine's and Emma's. Both women will find a legacy of love, hope, and God's plan.
"... when a kindness is done to a person,
that person needs to carry it with him until he sees fit to
double the kindness for someone in need."
Meet the Author:
Beth Wiseman Beth Wiseman
"I wish I had the time to review books and chat with you here, but my writing deadlines just don't allow it. Please like my Fans of Beth Wiseman Page on Facebook where I try to post any news and interact with readers." Beth is the best-selling and award winning author of the Daughters of the Promise series - Plain Perfect, Plain Pursuit, Plain Promise, Plain Paradise, and Plain Proposal. She is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Her other series--the Land of Canaan Novels--begins with Seek Me With All Your Heart, then The Wonder of Your Love and now, His Love Endures Forever. Seek Me With All Your Heart is the first Amish fiction book selected as a Women of Faith novel in 2011. Beth has also written three contemporary Christian fiction novels, Need You Now published in 2012 and The House That Love Built in 2013. In The Promise, (2014) Beth jumps way outside the box. This story takes readers far away from Amish Country and small Texas towns to a dangerous place on the other side of the world. Inspired by a true story, Beth believes this is the book she’s been working toward for a long time. 2015 brings Beth back to the Pennsylvania Amish with her new series, Amish Secrets.

The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller
"Her life was at a standstill.
Working with Shane those six months had been a splash
of excitement."
Publisher's Synopsis:
For the past two years, Shane Broyles has felt God leading him to join the Amish. He’s staying with his friends Noah and Ivy Schlabach in Birch Creek, OH, where he is reunited with Lucy Fisher, an old friend of Noah’s family. Shane and Lucy have never revealed their feelings for each other, but when they stumble upon an antique Bible at a flea market, they feel drawn to each other and to the mystery of the contents found within.

MrsK's Review:
Lucy has been sent to Cervilla's in Birch Creek. It will be a good chance to spend some time helping her great-aunt's friend recover, and yet, she is burdened with leaving her parents even for a short span of time. Upon her arrival, she never expected to hear the voice of Shane.  Why was he in Birch Creek? Why was he sent to pick her up? Struggling to take courage by trusting in God, Lucy reminds herself that everything will be okay, it will be okay!

When Shane's friend Noah mentioned that he had to arrange for a taxi to pick up Lucy, Shane 
"jumped at the chance to see her again." Since those months they had been working together, he began recognizing that Lucy had an inner strength that profoundly witnessed to his need for a life changed and renewed. Now that his life is on a new path, he will discover that a leap of faith means letting God lead you. Once lead, Shane becomes determined to trust that God will allow Lucy to be a part of his renewed life.

This novella is the sweetest tale about two sojourners. It is filled with moments of truth, hope, tenderness, and wit. Conversations between Lucy and Shane are seamless. It will be a satisfying discovery that inspires a spring to your step. Sometimes plans change, sometimes we can live blessed.
"...sometimes plans change."
Meet the Author:
Best-selling author of Amish fiction. Also a wife, mother, crafter, coffee addict, football fan, and chocolate aficionado.

The Midwife’s Dream by Kelly Irvin
"Until you're ready."
Publisher's Synopsis:
Iris Beachy serves as a midwife in her district where she longs for a family of her own. When her friend’s brother Mahon Kurtz seeks her help in delivering the baby of two young teenagers who have sought refuge in their town, they begin to see each other in a different light. Unprepared for parenthood, the young couple leave their baby girl behind in an antique crib quilt resembling the one destined for Iris when she becomes a mother. Mahon and Iris come together to take care of the baby as they try to find her parents, and they begin to see new possibilities for their future.

MrsK's Review:
Iris is a midwife and with the arrival of her best friend's newest baby, Iris is reminding herself that this is a time to be joyful. A time in which she must call upon her inner strength to celebrate their blessing. Yet calling upon that type of strength has become a trial to accept contentment and turn over her deepening sense of a life that isn't complete. Does she really have plenty of time left for her longing, for God's timing?

Mahon is not exactly a pleasant man. He can be terse, yet a straight shooter and honest. His passion is in his drawings. Putting his pencil to paper is a passion that Iris can share for her passion has always been spending her quiet time with a book. In is own way, Mahon will become the pillar of  strength for Iris, especially since the unexpected newborn has become a gift for the time being.

When Iris agrees to help deliver a baby to a young couple, she wasn't prepared for God to answer her prayers for a child. Especially if the child could be reclaimed by either parent. Yet, when God brings a blessing into your life you muster up the strength to take each day as a gift and walk by faith into your tomorrows.

This story has an elegance woven within its characters. The story line is poignant, tenderhearted, and refined with style. The best dialogues come between those in whom life has veiled their feelings, for Iris and Mahon their hearts will discover more than the little blessing that has placed them on the path to joy in the fullest measure. 
"To open herself up to Mahon, to trust him, was to trust God.
God was waiting for her too."
Meet the Author:
Kelly Irvin  Kelly Irvin's newest series, Every Amish Series, began with the debut of Upon a Spring Breeze, in April. The second book, Beneath the Summer Sun, will debut in January 2018. It is a four-book series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This follows the Amish of Bee County series, The Saddle Maker's Son, released in June 2016. It is an ECPA bestseller. It follows The Bishop's Son, and the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Beekeeper's Son, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer called it "a beautifully woven masterpiece." The Beekeeper's Son was a finalist in the romance category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest.

Just what a reader needs... some time away from the hustle and bustle.
All four of these quick tidbits will rejuvenate any frazzled day. 
Sweet Retreats!

"I received this book from the Fiction Guild for this review."

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