Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Solace of Water

“Younts has set herself apart with this exquisite story of friendship and redemption . . . I’ll be talking about this book for years to come.” —Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress
In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.
After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.
Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.
With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.
Eminently relevant to the beauty and struggle in America today, The Solace of Water offers a glimpse into the turbulent 1950s and reminds us that friendship rises above religion, race, and custom—and has the power to transform a broken heart.

My thoughts: This one is such a beautiful story of loss and love, friendship and grief. This book is an excellent historical fiction piece, bringing to life the time period it is set in and the struggles that went along with that day. This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth, and I was blown away by her writing! The characters came alive and the story is hard to put down! I highly recommend picking up this title.
I received this book from Booklook in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Top ten books to read by the pool/at the beach

If you are interested in learning more about a title, click on the picture and it will take you to Amazon to learn more. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for helping support my book buying habits.;)

1. Listen to Your Heart

This one just looks like a cute book to read at the beach or by the pool, since it has water on the front. lol. Kasie's books are super adorable.

2. Just Let Go

I've enjoyed the books I have read by Courtney and think this one would be a cute one to take to the beach!

3. Save the Date

Another cute looking read!

4. The Story Peddler

5. The Unblemished series

6. The Solace of Water

7. The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

8. Called to Protect

9. Darkwater Secrets

10. The Hope of Azure Springs

So, perhaps not your normal list of beach reads, but these are the ones I would take to the beach.;) Some of them because of the covers, others due to the titles, and some just because I wanted to include them in this list.
What books do you think go hand in hand with the beach or besides the pool?

Dangerous Good

It’s time to wake the sleeping giant in our world, in our communities, in our churches, and in our homes.

There’s a revolution brewing, a sleeping giant coming out of a long slumber. For years men have been sitting to the side, minding their own business, nursing their own wounds. But that time is reaching its end. Our wounds must surely be tended to, and our business must surely be minded. We are meant for greater things than these, and the world can no longer indulge our slumber. Justice demands a response to these troubling times. Righteousness demands a champion to counter a climate of moral relativism. God made us men; it’s time to act like it.

Good men are in high demand but low supply. That reality is creating suffering and injustice at every level of society in every community worldwide. Dangerous Good calls on the millennial generation of men who follow Jesus worldwide to confront that by deciding, individually and as a group, to be dangerous with goodness like Jesus. Here is the next revolution of masculinity the world is waiting for.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book that is a call for a revolution in our culture, for men to use their natural thirst for adventure and risk taking side to pursue Jesus Christ and follow His example. I loved that this book has different chapters on how being a part of the revolution can impact the women and children around one. The statistics on what happens when there isn't a father in the home is staggering. This is an excellent book with a powerful message that is so needed in our day and age.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tremors of Doubt review and giveaway

Would the will of God ever lead a young woman against the counsel of family and church? For a young Mennonite woman who wants to make a difference in the world, growing up on the mission field in Haiti should be the perfect fit. But not for Callie Zimmerman. Raised by her aunt and uncle after the death of her parents, Callie works beside her aunt cooking, cleaning and sewing each day as the men head off to serve the community. She longs to do more to alleviate the poverty and sickness that surrounds her, but tradition and her uncle forbid it. On the eve of her twenty-third birthday, struggling with hopelessness as another year passes, Callie pleads with God to open a door for her. The prayer has barely left her mouth when she finds a stack of letters with secrets about her parent’s deaths and their excommunication from the Mennonite church. Devastated, Callie cries herself to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by her uncle with the startling news the Noah Koehn has asked permission to court her. Is one of these the answer to her prayer? Would exploring her parents past mean losing a future with Noah? Is it worth the risk?

My thoughts: When I first signed up for this book, I didn't realize that it covered a variety of topics and was quite different from the normal Christian Amish/Mennonite fiction. I thought it was very well written and a unique look into that life style by one who was Mennonite. The characters are solid and I found the story line fascinating. I went to Belize on a mission trip in college and remember seeing the Mennonites there, so it was also interesting to read a book about the Mennonites in Haiti.
So, while this is a very different story than some would expect, I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Click here to purchase:

About the Author:
Raised by a fun loving, atheist single mom who struggled with depression and mental illness I spent my childhood backpacking around Europe, visiting yoga communes, eating vegan, living on a houseboat, then an old pony express outpost in the backwoods of Montana. My teen years took a drastic turn when my mom got saved, got married, and joined an ultra-conservative Mennonite church. Faith, step parents and unquestioning obedience is a dangerous combination when mixed with mental illness, legalism, and heavy handed physical correction.
I became a confused believer with a heart for Jesus but drowning under a sea of rules, regulations, and legalism. I became a missionary teacher and then a nurse and escaped to the mission field, the one avenue open to single women. I taught VBS on Indian reservations, led school for missionary children in Haiti and Africa. All around me was heartache and disease and glaring need. I longed to make a difference but was limited to working on the mission compound – teaching, cooking, cleaning. Work outside the walls of the compound was reserved for the men.
On a furlough, I met my future husband – a new believer who wasn’t looking for a door mat in a wife but a partner. As he grew in his faith, I reexamined mine and what Biblical womanhood looked like. Timidly at first, but then eagerly, as I discovered a new relationship with Jesus Christ based on grace and not performance. I left the Mennonite church and married the love of my life twenty years ago. We have five beautiful teenagers, two by birth and three through adoption from Haiti. My husband is adopted and God used my time in Haiti to prepare me to understand my children’s culture and language and ease their transitions home.
Two people in my family have mild Asperger’s and one has Reactive Attachment disorder, PTSD, and ODD. Our house is not a quiet, well greased machine but a chaotic, happy, crazy, nerve racking, love filled oasis where we all try to help each other grow and thrive. I am so thankful for my life – the good and the bad. I feel blessed to have experienced so many unique situations and to love and be loved by so many wonderful and eccentric people. It is from these experiences I draw the fiction stories I write. I like to think of them as fiction with grit – fast paced and entertaining stories that make you want to read till the very last page while at the same time tackling real life issues – legalism, abuse, divorce, adoption, Asperger syndrome, mental illness, etc.

Guest post from the author:
To the casual observer, Haiti is a magical island of swaying palms, laughing children, and azure blue oceans, but for one who takes the time to look deeper, a darker truth emerges. Starvation. Desperation. Darkness. Hopelessness.
Callie’s church is a shining beacon of family values, sincere faith, and simple living but, again, for one who takes the time to dive deeper, there is a hidden trail of broken spirits, crushed dreams, and oppressed women and girls.
Drawing inspiration from my experiences as a Haitian missionary and former Mennonite, I hope you will find Tremors of Doubt not only entertaining but life changing as you follow Callie’s journey through self-doubt, crushed dreams, love triangles, life changing secrets, and fragile hope as she navigates being the daughter of Haitian missionaries on an exotic Caribbean Island where danger is lurking just below the surface.

Blog stop list

Click here to enter the giveaway for
-.An autographed copy of Tremors of Doubt

-An adorable set of Amish dolls

-A set of handwritten recipe cards with mouthwatering Amish recipes.

-A handmade Haitian bracelet made by Haitian students

-A pound of nationally acclaimed Haitian coffee

-A bar of rich Haitian chocolate.

-A $25 Amazon gift card
You must go to the giveaway page to enter the giveaway.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Dinner for Dinos

Dinner doesn’t have to be a disaster - just ask the dinos! Your kiddos will love this silly story about a rambunctious crew of dinosaurs who are making mealtime extra fun while learning how to grow up healthy and strong by eating all sorts of yummy foods.
Mealtime can be challenging with little ones, and Dinner for Dinos is a fun, exciting way to show your kids that eating healthy foods to grow big and strong doesn’t have to be yucky or scary.
“My mom says those who eat good foods Will grow up big and strong. I’m eating all the greens I can To make my tail grow long!”
Children everywhere will love joining goofy Stego, Bronto, Raptor, and Rex as they help make dinner, say their prayers, and clean their plates, making mealtime the best part of the day!

My thoughts: I originally got this book for my son, who loves all things dinosaurs, but then was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful messages in it. I love that it mentions the importance of eating greens and is educational about how to set a table and proper manners when eating. The illustrations are bright and cheerful. This is an adorable book that makes it easy to start teaching children proper table manners. I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Booklook bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Take ten: Books that took me on an armchair adventure

1. Dear Mr. Knightley

This one is such a fun book set in Chicago, a place that I need to make it to.;) I need to re-read this story, since I enjoyed it tremendously the first time through!

2. The Austen Escape

This one is another fun read that takes place in an escape to England and a Regency era estate to re-enact some of the Austen characters.

3. Jane of Austin

This book introduced to me to another American city I would love to visit, Austin!

4. Then There Was You

I love that this book is set in Australia!

5. Close to You

New Zealand and Hobbiton, need I say more?;)

6. Let them Eat Cake

I loved this trip to France!

7.The Next Target

8. The Memory of You

9. The Saturday Night Supper Club

I love that this one is about the Denver restaurant scene!

10. Side by Side

If you are interested in any of the titles, just click the picture to go to the Amazon page for the book. This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Captured Bride Review and Giveaway!

A war-torn countryside is no place for a lady—but Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause . . . to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.
Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he’s offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he’s the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.
Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

My review:
I loved this story! The attention to historical detail was excellent and I enjoyed getting to read about what it would of been like to live during the French and Indian war as scouts and homesteaders. The characters were wonderful and I really appreciated that Michelle has a lot going on in the story without it being formulaic, like some fiction can be. This is an excellent historical story to pick up this summer!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase a copy:

This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author:
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest post from the Author:
Whether you’re a history buff or don’t have a clue what the French and Indian War was about, there’s a destination in upstate New York that’s fun to visit for the whole family . . .
My husband and I made the trek to this living history site last summer. I had no idea what to expect, other than what was advertised as a “reenactment camp.” For those who don’t know, this is when volunteers who adore history come together to present a particular event, such as a battle. These people usually choose a real person from the era upon whom they fashion their modern day persona. They dress, speak, eat and live as that person might have. Here I am with some of my new friends:
Generally around the 4th of July, the 1759 Battle of Fort Niagara is recreated in a 3-day extravaganza of soldiers, muskets, canons and an entire market place to peruse selling period-related items.
Some of the things that surprised me about stepping back into the mid-eighteenth century were:
How much smoke muskets kick out
Once the battle begins, it’s hard to see who is your enemy or ally
Canons are really loud
Everything wasn’t as black and white as it seems in pictures—gowns and uniforms were very colorful
What makes this event so spectacular is that they take the entire 20 day siege and condense it into 3 days. If you visit every day, you’ll see and experience exactly what happened. You’ll be there to see the British, Colonial regulars and Iroquois allies sneak out of the tree line to shoot at some French soldiers who were pigeon hunting just outside the fort. You’ll hear the war whoops and barrage of angry French epithets roaring on the air. You’ll even get a chance to taste some of their food as you wander around inside the French Encampment set up inside the fort walls.
To experience a bit of the danger, sights and sounds of what Mercy and Elias lived through in The Captured Bride, Fort Niagara really is a fantastic place to visit.

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The grand prize is a signed copy of The Captured Bride and a $25 gift card to Barnes and Nobles!
Go here to enter.