Saturday, October 31, 2020

Mercy's Refuge by Rita Gerlach



A young woman’s journey to the New World.

Inspired by William Bradford's 'Of Plymouth Plantation’, Mercy's Refuge is a sweeping historical novel of romance and adventure in the year 1620. Mercy McCrea, orphaned as a child and raised by her aging grandparents, lives in poverty. The only thing keeping her and her family from starvation is to work as a kitchen servant for a rich nobleman.

When catastrophe strikes and Mercy’s life is in danger, she flees England for her uncle’s farm in Holland. There she meets Caleb, a carpenter, and finds refuge among the Separatists who fled the wrath of the English King. Beginning in Ipswich, a North Sea port town in Suffolk, England, the novel takes the reader on a voyage across the English Channel to Holland, and then aboard the Mayflower.

When Mercy and Caleb face the dangers of the sea, their faith and love for each other is strengthened by the strong bonds of a people whose courage forged a nation. 


A truly amazing book along with a great author!
It's hard to believe that it will soon be the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.
I love Gerlach's research and the stories of each person of what might've been.
History intrigues me. I've loved history ever since I can remember.
Authors like Gerlach make me love it that much more.
This wonderful book y'all! I just couldn't put it down! I stayed up late to finish it. I didn't want the story to end. I was sad when it did.
I think out of all the characters I liked real life Dorothy Bradford best. She just seemed so down to earth..I mean in getting to know her and all. Kind, gentle and helping others in their time of need.
Gerlach also has done a wonderful job in describing the scenes of the book that I could see in my mind and picture the people in what they might've done and how they looked.
I really enjoyed learning about the Separatists and their faith.
I will say that my favorite scene was being aboard the Mayflower and since I live by the ocean now, it isn't a problem to imagine smelling the salt from the ocean in the air. Best smell there ever was! However; I don't like storms at all so I can understand their fear.
I cannot say enough in how much I enjoyed this story and I want others to enjoy it too! I highly recommend this book.
There's some great references the author has included and I really enjoyed looking at those.
Thus is my favorite read by her.
I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes out with next!
I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 


Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland.

"Inspirational romantic fiction is one way people can escape the cares of life and be transported back to a time of raw courage and ideal love," she says. "The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite, and inspire them to live fully and gratefully."

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

One Way Home by Melanie Campbell



She’s hanging by a string—with only one chance left.

A recovering alcoholic and longtime widow, Sharon has struggled to build a new life. She’s made amends with her only daughter, Cassie, who’s been through a treacherous divorce. Cassie’s daughter, Renee, too young to understand her grandmother’s earlier mistakes, has become the light of Sharon’s life.

But Sharon can’t seem to escape from her past. Her mother’s deathbed confession haunts her. Convinced the answer to truly overcoming her addiction lies with her biological father, Sharon sends off a DNA test in the hope of finding him. When the results of the test aren’t as revealing as Sharon anticipates, she and Cassie team up to find the truth.

Meanwhile an old flame shows up. Sharon doesn’t think she can ever love again, but what Johnny offers seems like a dream come true. His charm and kindness shine so bright, Sharon can almost believe he’s changed.

As the search for her father continues to frustrate and tensions escalate with Cassie, Sharon wonders if leaving it all behind for a life with Johnny will save her crumbling heart.

Will the truth set Sharon free? Or it will it be the final blow to her sobriety?


What a beautiful and sad story.
A story that will leave you feeing love, hope and redeemed all at once. A good story that will clense your heart at the same time and leave your heart feeling full all at once. I love stories like these!
I could relate to some of the things that were going on in this story.
The feeling of loss, betrayal and yet there is forgiveness also. That's the hard part. Too much pride will make ppl not see what the Lord wants them to.
This book I feel will grab your attention and never let you go until the book is finished. You'll be thinking about Sharon, Cassie and Renee long after it's over.
I finished this book in a couple of hours. I simply couldn't put it down. I definitely recommend a box of tissues by your side as you read.
I love this new to me author and I look forward to reading more from her. She has done an awesome job with writing this book. Five stars. I wish I could give it more.
I do want to remind you about the most important lesson that some won't ever learn..Truth nough said but I love it.
But, here's another thing, You were loved and wanted from the moment you were created.
God loves and forgives no matter who or where, what you did.
I recommend this book. It will have your emotions all over the place.
I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


Melanie Campbell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and ACFW. She wrote her first story when she was eight-years-old and has been in love with the power of storytelling ever since. She is also passionate about social issues and holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon, which she obtained during her stint as a single-mom. She’s now married and lives in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband, their three children, and several spoiled pets.

When not writing, she does the bookkeeping and other office work for her husband’s painting business, obsesses over the well-being of their three daughters, and cooks healthy meals. In the spring, you may find her hitting the trails to one of Oregon’s magnificent waterfall

Friday, October 23, 2020





The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she's created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral--or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He's definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.

Just when it seems Bri's bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she's kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri's recipe just needs to be tweaked.

Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn't always look the way we expect--and maybe that's a good thing. 


Such a sweet and fun read!
I loved this new author and I hope to see more from her in the future!
I really liked how the story was set in a small town. In this way I can connect with the characters because I grew up in a small town myself.
I personally think the name of the town Story is so adorable! The town has made me feel at home.
The supporting characters Mabel and Agnes made this story that much more charming. I immediately fell in love with them.
The theme of faith makes the story that much more special.
Sometimes it takes a long journey for us to finally see that the Lord's love will never fail us and nor will He ever leave us. For without Him, we are nothing. At least I feel that way. He's the best friend anyone can have!
I enjoyed this book so much that it had me grinning and sometimes laughing out loud.
I could practically smell the delicious treats coming from the bakery as I'm a big fan of sweets.
Bri had me drooling.
I really found myself cheering Gerard and Bri on for their own happily after.
While I haven't tried macarons this story has made me want to try some although personally while I read I like to chow down on chocolate or a bag of dry cereal. I recommend this book very much! It will make you laugh out right, cheer our main characters on and leave your heart feeling full all at the same time!
I was NOT required to write a positive review for this book. All opinions are my own.


Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hubby, two total opposite young daughters, a collection of coffee mugs, and an impressive stash of Pickle Chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha (nonfat, no whip!). She blogs frequently at, a devotional site for women. Visit her at
also published under Betsy Ann St. Amant 

A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Ann Mason



Homeless after being released from a women's reformatory in 1939
Toronto, Olivia Rosetti is taken in by an angel of mercy, Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful past and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women.

Despite the success of the home, Olivia is haunted by her inhumane treatment at the reformatory and the way her newborn son was taken from her. She feels undeserving of love--until she meets businessman Darius Reed. Although his attention makes her heart soar, he can never learn of her past.
Greek widower Darius Reed is determined to protect his daughter from the prejudice that killed her mother. He'll ensure her future by marrying a woman from a respected Toronto family. But when Darius meets Olivia, he's immediately drawn to her beauty and compassion.

Can love prove stronger than prejudice and past mistakes? Or will Olivia's secrets destroy any chance at a future together?


Can I start off saying that this book has my most favorite color on the cover and that the cover is beautiful? I've never seen a cover quite like this one. I just love IIT and it matches the story inside beautifully.
Of course, Mason does an awesome job anyway no matter what story she writes.
This story seems a bit heavier than most but it is still wonderful and it offers hope to the women that were in certain circumstances in their lives at the moment. 
I like how Mason adds historical facts along with her own imagination that brings her characters to life so that we may love them too. 
Let me tell you I really admired Olivia and Ruth.  I loved them for what they did and stood their ground against the odds.
This book deserves more than five stars because it's a can't put down book.
My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review for this book. All opinions are my own.


Susan writes both contemporary and historical Inspirational romances. She describes her writing style as “Romance sprinkled with faith” and loves themes of forgiveness and redemption!

She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a former member of the Romance Writers of America. M

Susan lives near Toronto in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two adult children. She loves chocolate and wine and isn't partial to snow even though she's Canadian!

Monday, October 19, 2020



The third book in a riveting new series from USA TODAY bestselling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble.

A shocking murder.

Chief of Police Jane Hardy plunges into the investigation of a tragic local murder, but everything in her personal life is unraveling.

Her son’s arrest.

Jane’s son is accused of manslaughter, and she has to decide whether or not she can trust her ex, Reid, in the attempt to prove Will’s innocence—and whether she’s going to trust Reid with her heart.

Three missing days.

With the recent discovery of her mother’s whereabouts, Jane learns not only that her mother stole something vital all those years ago but that she drugged Jane so she wouldn’t be able to remember. What happened in those three days could change everything.

It all started with one little lie. But the truth is finally coming out.


Wow! I'm all in from the beginning of this book until the end.
This series just keeps getting better and better!
I love love this author and she know just how to add all the right ingredients to make a sit on the edge of your seat biting your fingernails waiting to see what happens to the characters.
Some of this I never saw coming. Even more exciting in my opinion!
What I really love about this series is how the author portrays teamwork. It's actually how it's how should be done. Even in real life no matter where you work.
I especially love that the author included God.
Here's a favorite quote from the book.
Olivia is telling Jane that "God is never cruel. He always has a plan and he sees beyond this temporal life. It might not be what we'd have chosen but he always works things together for the good."
Yes, the Lord is good. Always!
I highly recommend this book! So exciting that you'll finish it before you know it!
My thanks to Thomas Nelson for a copy of the book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.


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.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Refrain from Within by Liz Tolsma




To save a life, would you betray everyone you love?

Hungary in 1944 is a dark place. The Nazis have invaded and turned the country upside down, their evil making its way into every life.

Clarinetist Eva Bognar is engaged to conductor and composer Patrik Kedves, happily planning her wedding. At first she doesn't think the war will affect her directly; everyone around her can be trusted to do the right thing. Then her Jewish best friend and sister-in-law Zofia goes missing--and instead of the Gestapo being to blame, a friend says it was Patrik who led Zofia away. Has he betrayed Eva and everything the family stands for?

When the rest of the family's lives are directly threatened, Patrik's secrets must come to light. The Bognars flee for the border in hopes of getting out of the country to the safety of Palestine. Eva must put her life and the lives of everyone she loves in the hands of the very man who betrayed her--and they may not all make it out of the war alive . . 


I never miss an opportunity to read one of Toslma's books!
She will draw you into the story and will leave you thinking about the characters long after this book is done. This is a fabulous series one I have very much enjoyed.
I highly recommend this powerful book because she makes you sit on the of your seat to see what happens to this family. My heart ached in some places for the Jewish people. They didn't deserve all of the hatred and evil that was aimed at them.
I learned quite a bit from this beautiful novel. I didn't want it to end.
I loved the heart stopping scenes because I felt like was holding my breath while fleeing with the Bognar family but yet at the same time I was rooting for them too. Does that make sense?
This is like the third book that has made me stay up late to finish it because the voices inside it begged me to finish their story. Trust me it was well worth the loss of sleep.
I give this book 5 stars hands down! The cover is absolutely beautiful.
This is one of those that I will reread in the near future. It's soooooo good! 


Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013. Daisies Are Forever released in May 2014. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. Please visit her blog at and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@LizTolsma). She is also a regular contributor to the Barn Door blog



Will Maylie’s dream be crushed by her own imagination?

Ten-year-old Maylie Montes’s dream is to become an author, but she has a problem. She can’t finish a story. Not a single one.

Her second problem is Camden, her annoying twin brother, who is determined to ruin their summer traveling through Europe with their famous photographer aunt and spunky grandma.

The first stop is England where a castle and maze, a new British friend, and a lot of weird words await Maylie—but the first item on her itinerary is to learn how to write, so she can finally finish a story. However, this goal may land her a one-way ticket home after her writing targets her brother in a spooky story involving a nighttime maze full of monsters. And Camden has his own plans, leaving Maylie to wonder if her imagination has actually become a reality. 


I love reading middle grade books.
One is we all were in Maylie's place at one time or another as we were growing up.
Two I've never been to Europe until now. So many places!
I was happy that I got to experience these places with Maylie.
Maylie is an interesting character. I can understand her in so many ways.
If I had a daughter I'd want her to be just like Maylie.
I love trying new authors. So when I saw this book I knew it was for me.
In my opinion, this author has done a wonderful job with this book. She's even made me snicker a few times at Camden. Such a pest! But then again, I figure most siblings usually are.
I finished this book in an hour because I couldn't put it down.
It really does have all of your feel good qualities to make you feel satisfied and leave your heart feeling full.
I highly recommend this book.
I received a copy of this book and I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 


Author M.L. Tarpley writes stories of adventure, friendship, and fun that transport kids to amazing places across the world. She is also an award-winning journalist and world traveler.

Besides writing and traveling to over a dozen countries, her other interests include hanging out at cool coffee shops, listening to vintage records, going on adventures with her family, and researching dead people in her family from long ago (*cough* it’s called genealogy).

She lives in Louisiana with her husband and son. For more information about her, visit her website,

Grave Christmas Secrets by Sharee Stover

 Grave Christmas Secrets by Sharee Stover

About the book

Discovering buried evidence

makes her a target.

At a prehistoric site, forensic anthropologist Taya McGill uncovers a recently buried body days before Christmas—and finds herself in a killer’s sights. Now on the run with undercover ATF agent Keegan Stryker, she must rely on him to guard her as they figure out why someone would kill to keep this murder unsolved. But can they unearth the truth before someone silences them both for good?


Sharee Stover once again brings us another sit on the edge of your seat suspense!
I was all in from the first page!
Made my evening go by too quick and now it is 4 am!
Wow! I didn't realize it was so late but my this book was so good!
I loved leaning new things from Taya McGill. Her occupation fascinated me. Only I could never do that sort of job. That's why I admired Taya and people that are like her in real life too.
For some reason I kept wanting to call her Tanya. I do that sometimes.
Here is a favorite quote from the book and I use it to remind myself when life gets hard or stressful.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."
Yes we can!
I highly recommend this book. Stover is an excellent storyteller and she can definitely keep you spellbound.
Authors like her has made me fall in love with suspense books! Suspense books are awesome!
I'm very sad when they come to an end. I want more please!
You will be thinking about Keegan and Taya even after the book ends. I know I am.
My thanks for a copy of this book.
I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own


Colorado native Sharee Stover lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and a ridiculously spoiled dog. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to ignite, transform, and restore. She writes Christian romantic suspense combining heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Nebraska Writer’s Guild. Sharee is a triple Daphne du Maurier finalist, winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Fabulous Five Silver Quill Award, and her debut, Secret Past, won Best First Book in the 2019 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. When she isn’t writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd. Visit her at

Wednesday, October 7, 2020




A midwife gets a second chance at having a family in this first installment of the new Amish romance series -- Hearts of Lancaster County -- from award-winning author Barbara Cameron.

Rebecca Zook has always dreamed of being a midwife. It's a bittersweet occupation for an Amish widow who didn't have children before she lost her true love. Now the only babies she holds are those who will belong to others. But Rebecca is afraid of risking her heart again, afraid that having had a miscarriage when she was married means she can't have more children.
Samuel Miller is a widower and single father new to Lancaster County. He's drawn to Rebecca but reluctant to date her when he finds out she's a midwife. Her occupation is a reminder that he lost his wife in childbirth. Yet their attraction to each other is strong and they begin dating. But when a terrible storm sweeps the town and Rebecca must help with a difficult birth, will it bring back memories they'd both rather forget?


Loved loved this book because the main theme of this book is Hope. Even after all that has happened in Rebecca's life the Lord still has a plan for her. I love that God isn't done with us even if we have lost loved ones or have gone our wayward ways. He loves us no matter what! This is what I love about Amish novels. They offer hope at the end of a long dark tunnel no matter what situation you may find yourself in.
I felt Rebecca's pain. Or at least some of it. It's never easy even when you have your work to help you through it or other people in the community to help with your needs. Sometimes, memories come back to haunt you when you least expect it. It happens to me from time to time. I'll be doing something and then bam! They come from out of nowhere! Ever happened to you?
In many ways the simplicity of Amish life fascinates me. Like how they help one another and the food especially! I believe I found myself drooling at every meal Rebecca and Samuel had. Some of the meals are my most favorite! The Amish are great cooks!
In my honest opinion Lizzie and Josh stole the show so to speak. It seems like the children are the ones who forgive the easiest and they are the ones who grieve the hardest in their own way. It's never easy to understand why God does what He does or why certain person were taken. Only God knows those things.
I loved how the little boy worried about his mom Hannah. My heart went out to him and I sighed with relief when all was well.
I'm going to end the review here. I don't want to spoil the book for you but I will say that I finished well after midnight. It was so good!
When Cameron comes out with a story which isn't often, you know you're going to get an awesome read! Her books never disappoints me either. More please!
Wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. It certainly deserves it.
The cover is beautiful too! It makes you curious in what the character is thinking about as she's looking at the precious baby.
Highly recommend!
I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own!
5 stars for sure! 


Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 24 books (including new series upcoming for Abingdon Press in 2011/2012) including fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.

I sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and am the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.

My two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).

Monday, October 5, 2020

Under The Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee



Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland's dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena's banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers' Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena.

As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured--especially because Rena's ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie's story challenges Rena's preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming? 


Past and Present mixes rather nicely in this novel. The author has done a very nice job with this book. I enjoyed it very much.
The past can define us as to whom we become in the future. It can make us or break us if we let it.
I have never been more prouder than I was with Rena and Frankie.
These amazing women sure have some powerful stories to tell. I got lost in their stories. I found myself wanting to cry many times especially when Frankie was remembering her past. I really couldn't imagine going through what Frankie or Rena has and coming out much stronger and courageous for it.
Redemption and forgiveness are a part of this story too.
My favorite quote:
"Hatred is a powerful thing." " It can turn a person into something they ain't. It don't matter what color your skin is. "
Yes, sometimes it's hard to let go and it never really goes away but if we decide to accept God's love and forgive even if it's for yourself I'd like to think that we can be at peace. Hate and fear just eats a person up on the inside and out.
Forgiving isn't always easy which was why I admired Frankie that much more! I think my mouth dropped open when I found out how old she really was!
I was delighted to see that the author mentioned Fisk University in her novel. I had the honor of meeting someone from Fisk. He was a young guest pastor at the church I was going to at the time. I was so excited to meet him because I'd just got done reading Tamera Alexander's book. I felt like the timing couldn't have been more perfect!
This novel was so very good! This is like the fourth book this year that has spoken to my heart. Inside is a story that needs to be read especially because of 2020's events going on.
I highly recommend this book. It wil speak to you in more ways than one. Trust me.
My thanks to Netgalley/Tyndale House for an ecopy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.


Michelle Shocklee is the author of several historical novels. Her work has been included in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, magazines, and blogs. As a woman of mixed heritage--her father's family is Hispanic and her mother's roots go back to Germany--she has always celebrated diversity and feels it's important to see the world through the eyes of one another. Learning from the past and changing the future is why she writes historical fiction.

Her NEW time-slip novel, UNDER THE TULIP TREE, set in 1930s & 1860s Nashville, is a story of unlikely friendship, reconciliation, and forgiveness. It is based on the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narratives of 1936. After reading over 100 slave narratives, Michelle wanted to tell THAT story. The story of an FWP writer interviewing a former slave, hearing her story firsthand, and what the FWP writer learns through this experience. Many of the scenes in UNDER THE TULIP TREE are taken directly from the slave narratives themselves.

THE PLANTER'S DAUGHTER and THE WIDOW OF ROSE HILL, are historical sagas about redemption and righting past wrongs. Set on a Texas cotton plantation in the 1800s, you'll journey through the pages with flawed characters who ultimately find grace while coming face-to-face with the evils of slavery. No character is left unchanged by the end of each book. Readers say they can't put these books down!

With both her sons grown, she and her husband now make their home in Tennessee, not far from the historical sites she writes about in her new book. 

The Songs that could have been by Amanda Wen

ABOUT THE BOOK Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace. After a tailspin in her late teens, Lau...