Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Love's Dwelling by Kelly Irvin


Love's Dwelling by Kelly Irvin


Cassie Yoder loves her job as a housekeeper for elderly couple Job and Dinah Keim. Their only children, a son and daughter, left the Haven, Kansas, district and their faith more than twenty years earlier with no contact. Cassie feels for the Keims because her own parents’ infertility struggles left her an only child in a community where big families are a blessing.

When Child Protective Services shows up on the Keims’ doorstep with their five grandchildren, their quiet lives—and Cassie’s—are turned upside down. Mason, the oldest grandson at twenty-two, believes his siblings should be his responsibility and struggles with giving the Keims authority.

Moving in with the Keims, Cassie jumps in with both feet and is happy for the challenge of caring for these English-raised children.

Mason and Cassie strike up an uneasy alliance that turns into friendship, and then something more, but neither dares to admit it. Can an English man and an Amish woman find common ground and a home together? 


This is by far the best ever by Kelly Irvin! Lots of things going on in this sweet and fun read. The theme of family, love and forgiveness plus trust are a rolled into one. My favorite from this book is how the author shows us how love runs deep no matter where you come from. "Family is a peculiar thing." You don't get to pick your blood relatives, but sometimes people by being everything that is good in that word." This is my favorite quote in this book. It means everything to me because it rings true in every sense of the word. A gentle reminder from God that there is hope in humans after all. Forgiveness is easy but the hurt runs even deeper and sometimes,, most times it's hard to overcome. Life is what we sometimes make of it. But other times it's out of our control. Cassie's my favorite because she wears her heart on her sleeves just like I do. She willingly opens her heart and her trust in the Lord is strong. Mason is the one I really admired and appreciated. I think I could relate to him in more ways than one except for that one. I appreciate Irvin showing how real his struggles are. Thank you Ms. Irvin for a fantastic story that made my heart melt in more ways than one! I'll definitely be sure to add this to my list of favorites for 2021! 


Kelly's newest Amish romance series, Amish of Sky Country includes Mountains of Grace, followed by The Long Bridge Home, and Peace in the Valley. The series explores Amish communities in northwest Montana and how they are impacted by wildfires.

Her Every Move, her latest romantic suspense novel, debuted in March. Publishers Weekly called it gripping suspense and said, "loving descriptions of San Antonio’s attractions enhance the well-paced plot."

The publication called Closer Than She Knows a "brisk, smoothly written, thriller."

It follows Over the Line, a fast-moving behind-the-scenes look at how gun smuggling affects every aspect of life on the Texas-Mexico border.
Publishers Weekly said of Tell Her No Lies, "No one is above suspicion in a tale sure to appeal to readers beyond its main Christian market.
Kelly's Every Amish Season series includes Upon A Spring Breeze, Beneath the Summer Sun, Through the Autumn Air, and With Winter's First Frost from 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.

Kelly is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. The New Hope Amish series includes Love Still Stands, followed by Love Redeemed, which was an ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Plain Love Song.

Kelly has also penned two other romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine..

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and ACFW's San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers.

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso.

She worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for 22 years before retiring earlier this year. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-eight years. They have two young adult children and have three grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and looks forward to visits with her grandchildren.

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner




In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adoptive family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival into their lives.

Though her father supports Mindy's desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he'll lose the daughter he's poured his heart into. Mindy's mother undergoes the emotional roller coaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy's sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family--but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.

Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code. 


First off, I'm going to be honest. When I first saw the cover, I thought, why is Ms. Finkbeiner writing about birds? How odd. That's why I passed over the book the first two times. Then I read someone's review, and I decided to try it because I love anything she writes.
The way she tells it makes you feel like you are there and can make friends with most of the characters. I'm glad I opened the book. I found that I passed a whole evening!
Finkbeiner is a master storyteller for sure, and she has done her research well for this particular story. I simply just couldn't put it down! There were so many wonderful scenes, and it's told by the various characters. I like it this way because we get to know them so much better, yet in others, I do not. Simply put, because they get confusing at times.
This book was provided by Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion. 


Susie Finkbeiner is the author of All Manner of Things as well as the CBA bestselling Pearl Spence series.

When she’s not writing or traveling to speak at retreats or conferences, Susie enjoys lunch dates with her husband, reading with her kids, and drinking coffee with good friends.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn Of the Dragon Lady


A simple change of scenery can change lives in powerful ways

Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

Uptight Margaret isn't having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she's ever heard of, and she's heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they're constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret--grumbling the whole way--to the mall with them. She can't wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

Sharon Mondragon's debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.



Ever pick up a book and know it's just for you? That's how I felt about this book when I seen it. Why you ask? Because it answered so many of my questions that I had. It also had me in tears. Yes, I even snickered in a few spots too.
Love, Hope and forgiveness are offered throughout this book.
Each of the ladies was a delight in getting to know. Even grumpy old Margaret. Eventually she became my favorite character. I think it's because she reminds me of two real life people I know that absolutely has to be a control freak to put it mildly.
I finished this book this morning. It was very good.
I felt the way it ended so abruptly that there might be another book coming? I sure hope so!
5 stars for the excellent writing that was done and for making the book realistic.
And too, for not beating around the difficult subjects that life throws at you.
I really recommend this book. Whatever you are going through I believe this book will comfort you! I d I did me.
My thanks to Read with Audra/Netgalley for providing a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


Sharon Mondragon is not just a nice lady who knits. She's the author of award-winning fiction that takes you to the place where courage and kindness meet.

Like some of the characters in The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady, she was once content to live well within her comfort zone. At the age of 19, however, she realized that she wouldn't have much to show for such a life. She accepted the challenge and recklessly prayed for adventure.

The ensuing years as an Army spouse and the mother of five wildly individual children have been filled with both thrilling and devastating moments, undergirded by the faithful hand of the God who inspired the prayer.

The Army years are over, but the adventure continues in Midlothian, Texas, where Sharon lives with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.

The Sound the Sun Makes by Buck Storm



Literary Americana with humor, heart, and a whole lot of twists to keep readers guessing

Detective Early Pines loves his southern Arizona desert, often thinking he could stare at it all day long. But now that he's forced to do just that, the truth is the view from his back porch is getting old. He's on mandatory leave from the police department, simply for punching a wife beater who had it coming. Early is in dire need of a distraction from his own loud thoughts. So when an old friend invites him to tag along to a rodeo down in Old Mex, it seems like just the ticket.

But if there's one constant in the world, it's that life always throws a guy curveballs. With a flat tire, a roadside bar, and a beautiful woman with trouble on her hands, Early's distraction takes a hard right turn--straight to Los Angeles, six hundred miles west.

Hammott Lamont is waiting there in his own personal hunting ground. The reclusive filmmaker is a veritable cult leader to Hollywood stars--and he's sure his latest project will redefine art history in his image. He's got a plan for a brutal, modernized version of the Christ story, and he's ready to trample anyone who stands in the way of his colossal vision. That is, until big, loud Early Pines hits the coast for a clash of two titans who never saw each other coming.

Quirky, lyrical, and unexpected, The Sound the Sun Makes offers a warm and sunny side trip for fans of Jimmy Buffett, Carl Hiaasen, and Barbara Kingsolver who long for more of a Christian worldview in their fiction.


Gomez Gomez used to call himself an imperfect believer. There's that kind I guess. Fits me better. We're all imperfect believers Pines. "Some more imperfect than others. "
Yes, we're all a work in progress.
Gomez Gomez has it right.
This story made me grin from ear to ear. You just gotta love Early and his outlook on life. I really can see him with that ridiculous hat on top of his head.
This made me laugh.
Now, as far as hearing the sun goes, I don't know but I do know that if you listen carefully then you can hear the Lord's voice.
Such delightful characters and this is definitely a book you'll not want to put down.
In my honest opinion this is the best I've read this year. It's a book that will grab your heart and not let go.
Many wonderful places to " visit".
I've been through the desert so the description is accurate.
Jake is a friend that I'd want by my side always and forever. I thought he was really good for Early.
One thing that you can't do is run or keep secrets. God knows all. He will find you. It's always best to come clean even though you don't think its fair.
Life isn't fair no matter how you look at it.
Early and Jake are my favorite characters. They made me laugh and learn a few things along the way.
I highly recommend this book. You'll love it as much as I did!
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Five stars for the style of writing that was done and for the development of the characters.
My thanks for a copy of this book from Kregal publication. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


Buck Storm is a critically acclaimed, award winning author and musician. His novels have made friends around the world.

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...