Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Out of Mormonism: A Woman's True Story by Judy Robertson - Review

"You'll be back." The Bishop walked slowly to the door and held it open, dismissing them like children.

As the door clicked shut behind them, Jim took a deep breath and looked at Judy. They were leaving everything behind. And they never looked back....

When Judy and Jim Robertson felt a spiritual void in their lives, they found "the finest people in the world" to embrace them and a beautifully packaged religion to entice them. Once drawn into Mormonism, they quickly climbed to leadership positions and became worthy temple Mormons, only to become disillusioned with the teaching and demands of the Latter-day Saint religion.

From her unique insider's viewpoint, Judy shares her life as a Mormon woman, her rediscovery of the Jesus of the Bible, and how she and Jim found freedom as they left the LDS church in the face of persecution and confrontation.

The Robertsons are not alone in leaving Mormonism. In this edition of the book, you'll find brief stories of others who have chosen to follow the Jesus of the Bible.

My what an enlightening and interesting book! It really held my interest and it wasn't even Amish, Historical Christian or any of my second genre choices to read. I had heard some of these things about Mormonism and by reading this I am more willing to accept it as truth but I will say that you should read it for yourself and make your own decisions, do more research if you feel the need.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Mother's Secret by Amy Clipston - Review of the second book in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series

Thirty-one-year-old Carolyn Lapp has never been married--but she's been a mother for fifteen years. In a community with strict standards and a long memory, Carolyn knows she might never find a man who will have her and her son, Benjamin.

Carolyn's family tries to marry her off to a widower with a daughter who needs a mother. A marriage of convenience doesn't sound so bad, yet despite her loneliness, Carolyn knows what she really wants: a traditional Amish family and a marriage for love.

When Benjamin gets into trouble at an auction, he finds himself beholden to a handsome horse breeder named Joshua Glick. Joshua and Carolyn feel an instant attraction, and soon a romance is budding between them. The trouble is Joshua believes Benjamin is Carolyn's nephew, not her son.

After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. Can either man give her the family--and the unconditional love--she longs for? Or will her past once again sabotage the future she wants?

Amy had me screaming, silently so my husband wouldn't think I was crazy, at Carolyn, "tell him" many times in this book. Have you ever had something that you needed to tell someone but kept putting it off because the time wasn't right, you didn't have the right words, etc.? Was it too late once you did tell or did the intended recipient of the news hear it from someone else making things worse? We need to learn to put our faith in God and to listen to our hearts. Amy showed this in Carolyn's story. This was a great book and anyone that likes Amish stories would love it. So far I have really enjoyed this series.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Amish Neighbor Trilogy Series Boxed Set -Volume 1, 2, 3 by Melanie Schmidt - Review

Becoming Amish: Rain is falling in Paradise, Pennsylvania and it threatens to flood the town, sweeping through the homes and business of the citizens there. Michael Goetz is a high school football star who yearns for the sense of home and place that he's never had. Born to unhappy, abusive parents, Michael plays football to please his father and dreams of finding his true purpose in life. The flood in Paradise gives Michael the chance to work hard with his neighbors to save their town, and he discovers that he has more in common with them than he ever expected. Is it too late for Michael to escape his miserable family? Will Michael create new ties with his Amish neighbors? Can he learn to trust in a power that's higher than any he's ever known?

A Neighbor In Need: Salome Yoder lives a blessed life. She has her family and her faith, and the two times her safety has been threatened, Michael Goetz has come to her rescue. Finding herself attracted to the young English man, she wonders if her Amish community will offer him the solace he so desperately craves. Michael Goetz is an outsider. Taken in by an Amish family after his father threw him out, Michael is learning every day about the importance of faith, family, and belonging. He is drawn to Salome and hopes that his desire to convert to the Amish way of life will convince the bishop to allow him to stay with the Yoders. Dark secrets and wicked deeds threaten Michael and Salome's hopes for the future. Will their faith sustain and guide them? Will they come together or be torn apart? Will the truth set them free?

Love Thy Neighbor: Michael Goetz stepped in to protect a group of defenseless children when he was just a child, but he never imagined that his action would alter the course of his life. Born into a violent family, Michael Goetz never felt like he belonged until he stepped in to join his neighbors in saving their little town of Paradise, Pennsylvania from rising floodwaters. The Amish neighbors Michael met that day proved to be more generous and loving than anyone he'd ever known. They stood by one of their own? Will Michael be able to publicly proclaim his feelings for Salome Yoder, or will he be forced to walk away from everyone he loves? Will God find a way to heal Michael and show him the power of community and family?

I really did enjoy this series. I liked reading about an unwanted, abused, child who did not get into trouble but instead found a way out of that life. Not only did he find a way out of that life, he helped others along the way and got respect for himself. This is also a twist on the Amish stories as it is about someone wanting to get into their community instead of someone wanting out. Fantastic job Melanie! I will be looking for more of your books.

The Horseman's Frontier Family by Karen Kirst - Review of the second book in the Bridegroom Brothers series

Everything Gideon Thornton has worked for is in jeopardy, all because of one stubborn woman. Evelyn Montgomery insists that Gideon's new claim from the Oklahoma Land Rush legally belongs to her. Both refuse to budge--even when the law says that until their dispute is settled, they must share the land.

Their family feud has taught Evelyn that Thorntons can't be trusted. Yet day by day Gideon's thoughtfulness to Evelyn, and especially to her young son, shows the real truth. A truth that may mean the end of her claim. . .and the start of a future big enough to encompass both their dreams

I really enjoy Karen's writing and she did not fail me in this book. I was a great continuation of the series and I'm looking forward to reading the next one that comes out in June. Karen shows how you can't always believe something you were told most of your life and you have to be able to accept the truth when it is right there in front of you. Even when it means your family will turn against you, disown you, you can be strong enough to do what is right. Great book!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Call of the Prairie by Vickie McDonough - Review of the second book in the Pioneer Promises series

Sophie Davenport feels like a prisoner in her own house. All her life, her overprotective parents have taken every possible measure to keep her from anything that might exacerbate her asthma--in other words, just about everything but reading and needlework. Yet Sophie longs for adventure...and for love. She determines to prove to her parents--and herself--that she can live a normal life, but she fears she may be relegated to the lonely life of a spinster.

Josh Harper is far more bookish than his brawny brothers. He grew up helping at his family's stagecoach stop in Kansas but now works in the small town of Windmill, Kansas, where he manages the bank and tries to keep up with his young niece and nephew, who live with him so they can attend school. Though the children are a handful and keep him busy, Josh yearns for a family of his own, but eligible females are not exactly plenteous on the prairie.

When Sophie's aunt, a resident of Windmill, falls ill and requires help, Sophie volunteers. Despite her father's hesitation, he finally relents and lets her go, as there is no other option. Her new role brings her into contact with the children boarding at her aunt's home--and with the handsome uncle of two of them. Is there a larger purpose in her coming to Windmill? Or will Josh Harper reject her, if not for her asthma attacks, then for the rocky nature of their relationship?

I found this book as a slow starter but soon found myself wanting to read faster and longer. Vickie has you admiring Sophie, showing what a strong and determined person she is for being treated almost like an invalid all of her life. Oh, and she's so happy to feel free! All in all this was a good book and one that I can recommend to others. Now that I read the second book in the series, I have to get the first one to read it too. Darn, another reason to buy a book, lol!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Preacher's Bride Claim by Laurie Kingery - review of the first book in the Bridegroom Brothers series

Claiming Their Future
For the Thornton brothers, the Oklahoma Land Rush is the perfect opportunity to finally put down some roots. A new start, a new community--what more could preacher Elijah Thornton need? Not a wife--not after the pain of losing his fiancee. But something draws him to the pretty nurse whose eyes are clouded by trouble.

Only by claiming her own homestead can Alice Hawthorne avoid an unwanted marriage. Even Oklahoma may not be far enough away from New York to escape her past. Yet with courage--and the handsome reverend's support--can she forge a loving future?

This book started out as a nice comfortable story, two people trying to put the past behind them and doing a good job of it, until some of the people and things they are running from catch up with them. That is when the storyline takes off and I could NOT put the book down. Yes, I was up until the 'wee' hours finishing this book because I could not put it down. A wonderful job Laurie! I see there are two more books coming out in this series by two different authors, that can't happen soon enough for me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson - Review of the first book in the Ellis Island series

Grace McCaffery hopes the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader.

A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive adn longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her, Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.

The title, and the cover, of this book drew me in because I, like Grace, love to take pictures and I once had a Brownie, only it was at least 50 years newer than Grace's. I really enjoyed the story and Cindy gave a look into the future with it. The idea of a photo being taken and then used to identify a crook or to use as evidence against someone was a stepping stone to where we are now with phone's that will take pictures, record voices and even movies that can be used for the same thing and even to manipulate people into doing things they don't want to do or to keep a secret you don't want anyone to find out about.

There is a lot more to this story but that is one of the things I thought about as I read about Grace not trusting the 'peelers' (police officers), the corrupt police officers, and not realizing what is in the background when taking photos (even in our time). This book is well worth your time, I hope you enjoy it too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson - Review of the first book in the Lone Star Brides series

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past. Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her. Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed.

Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways . . . and dreams and secrets collide?

Tracie wrote a very entertaining book, it starts out with some excitement then calms down and has you pulling for Marty and Jake to have more than a "in name only" marriage. Most people have kept a secret, told what they call a "white lie", or stretched/twisted the truth but have you really thought what not trusting the person you are hiding this information from can do to your relationship? As Tracie does with Marty, the longer you keep this information the more damage it "could" do. I like the way Marty stands up against her "society friends" too.

The Callahans: The Complete Series by Grodon Ryan - Review

Volume I - Destiny: Fleeing an abusive father and a hopeless life in Ireland in 1895, nineteen-year-old Tom Callahan takes passage on a ship bound for America. On board, he meets Katrina Hansen, a young Norwegian woman traveling to Utah. It's not a likely match. The brash Irishman is a Catholic, a brawler and a young man without prospects. Katrina is a refined young woman, yet naive in the ways of the world. Lured into a polygamus marriage, she finds herself abandoned on a remote Mexican beach as the man she loves, unaware of her status, seeks his fortune in Alaska. Destiny is a sprawling historical novel set at the turn of the 19th century, played out in such far-flung places as New York City, the gold fields of Alaska and Old Mexico.

Volume II - Conflict: Tom Callahan strikes it rich in the Alaska goldfield while Katrina struggles to remain alive in Mexico. Demonstrating her determination and faith, the reader is shown the resilience of this young woman who has grown beyond her years.. Continuing through 1912 and the disastrous voyage of HMS Titanic. Conflict will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Volume III - Reunion: It's 1917 and the American has entered World War I. Tom and Katie's son, in an effort to prove his worth to his father, has joined what President Woodrow Wilson is calling - the fight to make the world safe for democracy -. As the war ends, Tommy is selected for appointment to the Naval Academy, while his father is arrested and imprisoned in Ireland for gun running in the great Irish Civil War. Set against turbulent events in world history and filled with vivid scenes as well as tender emotions. Reunion takes the reader around the world.

Volume IV - Prelude: Tom and Katrina Callahan continue their story in the years between the two world wars. Their three children have grown up and are making their way in a world that is propelling itself toward World War II. Tess has her heart set on a Hollywood movie career; PJ is a successful sheep rancher in New Zealand and Tommy is pursuing his career in the Marine Corps and leaning not only about war, but about the perils of romance. When Tommy finds himself in England prior to WWII, Winston Churchill calls on him to examine the economic growth of the German nation as they secretly prepare for war.

Volume V - Reprisal: Continuing the series into WWII as Marine Corps Liutenant Colonel Thomas Callahan III faces personal tragedy during the Blitz in London as the war presents a very personal face. As he leaves his Embassy post to return to the United States, America joins Europe in the worldwide conflagration. For the second time in his young life, the son of Thomas and Katrina Callahan finds himself immersed in front-line battle, torn between his duty and the love of a beautiful woman who desires only his safety.

The conclusion of The Callahans will leave you enthralled as the children and grandchildren of a once-young Irish immigrant and his Norwegian bride leave their mark upon the world.


I will say that this is the longest book I have ever read I think, of course I have read many series that if put together would be this long if not longer. Since it was put all together I thought I would never get finished, but I never gave up, that must tell me that I enjoyed the story. I do not enjoy reading about history without it being a story and personalized by using some characters that draw you in. I will say that I skimmed over some of the history details, descriptive type sections, as that is not my 'cup of tea'. If you are a history buff you will really like this book. I did like the way Gordon followed one family throughout the entire book and I really appreciated how he kept bringing Tom and Katrina's faith and their love and dependence on each other to the front throughout the book. I read this on my Kindle, see the Author's Note below.

The Callahans: The Complete Series, in five volumes, is available in one Kindle book at Amazon with a discount price below the five separate novels.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wolf Creek Homecoming by Penny Richards - Review

Gabe Gentry use to live entirely in pursuit of carefree pleasure. It cost him his relationship with his brother, and with the one woman who believed in him. Now, with newfound faith, he's coming home to Wolf Creek, Arkansas, hoping to find redemption and forgiveness, and maybe even a second chance at love.

Physician Rachel Stone never thought she'd lay eyes on Gabe again. After their brief time together, Gabe disappeared, leaving Rachel devastated and secretly pregnant with his son. His return stirs up her bitterness...and her attraction. But Gabe's already burned her once; how can she trust him again, now that her son's heart is on the line, as well?


What a great book this one was! It is so true that in life sometimes we blame another person for the trouble we got into without admitting to ourselves that we had the final decision in our actions, so we are just as much to blame. When we can realize that and truly forgive ourselves and the other person, we can find ourselves with fewer bumps in the road and a brighter outlook. I find the easy part is 'saying' I forgive, the hard part is to follow through with our actions, when we can do that, we have truly forgiven.

This is not listed as a series but I would suggest that if you find yourself wanting to read this book you should read "Wolf Creek Wedding" first as they deal with the same family and the hard life Caleb and Gabe had growing up. I don't think you will be disappointed in either book