Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The Songs that could have been by Amanda Wen


Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.
After a tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson's life is finally back on track. Her battle with bulimia is under control, her career is taking off, and she's surrounded by a loving family. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, leads to old feelings returning with new strength. And suddenly her well-balanced world is thrown off kilter.
Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But the reasons they broke up aren't lost--and those old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. He isn’t sure he's courageous enough to make a different choice this time around.
When Lauren's elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before--a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie's past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives--and Rosie’s--forever. Along the way they'll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.
The Songs That Could Have Been is full of the same deftly handled, resonant writing that readers and critics alike enjoyed in Amanda Wen's first book in the series. Fans of Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck will add Amanda Wen to their must-read shelves.


I enjoyed this book so much! What an incredible story!
I loved being swept into this 2 different time line story but I have to say that Rosie's story is my favorite!
Rosie is my favorite character and I felt that as I read her story I began to have a better understanding of dementia. My heart sure went out to her. I felt like she was my own grandmother.
Lauren's story was equally interesting. She had me drooling with her specialty. Food that's all I'll say about this one.
Wen is such a good storyteller. I love how she writes from the heart and brings her characters to life in the pages.
This book will be added to my keeper shelf. And to my list of favorite 2022 reads.
Thank you for another wonderful story Ms. Wen! I hope you'll keep them coming!
5 stars for a job well done! I highly recommend!
You might want to keep a box of tissues by your side! Fair warning!
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Amanda Wen’s debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, released to both reader and critical acclaim, including a Christy Award nomination for First Novel. She also placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.




Thursday, June 23, 2022

Sunburst by Susan May Warren



When former Navy SEAL and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt, who has been kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he knows and could never forget.

Noemi Sutton was attempting to return a young girl to her family in Boko Haram territory when she and the girl found themselves taken hostage, along with several others.

And while Ranger Kingston may be able to get the hostages away from their captors, he'll need Noemi's help if he ever hopes to get out of Nigeria alive.

Her solution? Pose as husband and wife. But when her uncle discovers the union, he insists on a traditional Nigerian wedding--binding Noemi to a man destined to break her heart. Worse, she's discovered the real reason she was kidnapped, and anyone around her is bound to be caught in the cross fire. Including her so-called new husband.

She'll need to figure out a way to leave the man she loves if she wants to save his life.

USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren throws you into the thick of the action in this high-stakes, globe-trotting romance.


What a beautifully written story! One that captivated my heart from the beginning!
Fast action wonderful characters and an awesome setting! Susan May Warren has added it all in!
The way she describes the scenes is breathtaking and makes me feel like I'm in Nigeria. I really appreciated her research. 
She's really an awesome author! Her stories never disappoint.
I think my favorite part of the whole book was the romance part. Not too slow and not too fast. Oh my! "Sigh"
The other favorite thing about this book was the inspirational messages.  
I mean, what's not to love about this awesome book! And add Suasan May Warren to the mix and you have a roller coaster ride for sure!
I very highly recommend! You be on the edge of your seat all the way through!
My thanks to Revelle reads for a copy of this book! I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


With over 1 million books sold, critically acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA and Carol award-winning author of over seventy-five novels with Revell, Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. Known for her compelling plots and unforgettable characters, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic-suspense, thrillers, rom-com and Christmas novellas.

With books translated into eight languages, many of her novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award.

When the Measows Bloom by Ann H. Gabhart


If any place on God's earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law's Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past--the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls' experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, past troubles become rich soil in which faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother's widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again.

But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.

My Review 

I was very happy to receive this book and no I wasn't disappointed at all!
Gabhart is a wonderful author with awesome descriptions  of Kentucky that makes her stories special.
This story is my favorite and will be added to my collection of favorites. 
It's my favorite because of the sweet love that was within it's pages. Not overly done at all!
The beautiful messages especially about how the Lord can make the hardest of hearts soften. I really liked that one.
The one in Ecclesiastics is a gentle reminder that there is a time and place for everything. 
My heart ached for Dirk and everything he went through.  I found myself wanting to cry as his story unfolded for sad tears and happy ones too.
The girls stole my heart the most. I felt their fears, their joys and sometimes their sorrows too.
Gabhart writes a powerful story about forgiveness, love and trust but most of all forgiveness especially yourself. 
I love the way she uses Louisville as the backdrop for her story.  
There were definitely certain people in this book that I didn't like and I felt that she got what she deserved. 
This book seems like it is a version of Beauty and the Beast but it is my favorite version.  
I love this author's books because she leaves my heart feeling full and very satisfied.  
I love her Kentucky stories because that was once my home as well and I miss it but like Dirk I've moved on.  So, through her stories I get to go home again 
5 stars for a job well done!
My thanks for a copy of this book.  I was NOT required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.


Ann H. Gabhart started writing when she was ten and has been writing ever since. Her first published writings were personal experience pieces, youth stories, and poems in church periodicals such as HomeLife. Her first novel, a historical romance about the settling of Kentucky, was published by Warner Books in 1978. Since then, she's published numerous books for both adults and young adults. Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she was born.




Wednesday, June 22, 2022

All that fills us by Atumn Lyttle


Mel Ellis knows that her eating disorder is ruining her life. Everyone tells her rehab is her best option, but she can't bring herself to go. Broke, broken, and empty in more ways than one, Mel launches one last-ditch effort to make hers a story worth telling. She will walk her own road to recovery along the lesser-known trails of the North American wilderness.

Though she is physically and mentally unprepared to face the difficulties that lay ahead, she sets off on foot from Michigan. Her goal? Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. During the long journey, she meets strangers with their own stories, as well as ghosts from her past who can no longer be ignored. But though the land she travels threatens her success at every turn, it's her own dark thoughts she'll have to overcome in order to find peace in the life and the body she has been given.


In my opinion I felt that this new to me author has done an amazing job with the tough subjects that are involved.  At times I've found myself wanting to cry because it was painful watching Mel go through her journey.  There were other times that I found myself rooting for her as well. 
I like that this book shows us how there are still some wonderful people out there.
The cover. Very interesting with pretty colors. Don't think I've ever seen a cover quite like this one. I love it for it's uniqueness.
I think for me it was a lesson learned.  One that I really appreciated.
I would however view this book more as Women's fiction even though it had some lovely inspirational messages in the story. 
My thanks to Revelle reads for a copy of this book.  I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 


Autumn Lytle identifies with a strange group of humans who enjoy running long distances and writing even longer books.

Along with being a forever recovering anorexic and exercise addict, she is a weirdly good checkers player and finder

of four-leaf clovers. She spends her days thinking up stories and trying to figure out this whole parenting thing with

her son. She can often be found out exploring her hometown of Seattle, Washington, with her family in tow. Learn more at www.autumnlytle.com.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Dairy Dairy Quite Contrary by Amy Lillard

About the Book

Looking for a fresh start, advice columnist Sissy Yoder heads to small-town Yoder, Kansas, to help in her aunt’s café. But when a milkman is murdered, the newcomer becomes the prime suspect . . .

After Sissy’s rodeo cowboy boyfriend turns out to be more of a rodeo clown, she packs a bag; picks up her Yorkshire terrier Duke; and leaves Tulsa, Oklahoma, bound for her parents’ former hometown. There are still plenty of Yoders in Yoder, Kansas, including Sissy’s aunt Bethel, who owns the Sunflower Café but recently broke her leg. It’s a homecoming of sorts as Sissy arrives to help in the café and reunite with her pregnant cousin Lizzie. Plus she can continue to secretly write her newspaper advice column as seventy-year-old “Aunt Bess.” But it’s Sissy who could use some advice when she finds the milk deliveryman out behind the café with a knife in his back. As the sheriff’s prime suspect, it’s up to Sissy to catch the backstabber herself—before someone else gets creamed . . .


Such a good story! When you get any book by Amy Lillard you know it's going to be good!

Such a cute cover too! My favorite of hers so far.

A novel that will keep your nose glued until the very end!

A few twists and turns to make the guessing game fun but I had a feeling that I knew who done it from the beginning.

I liked the mixture of Amish and English because it made for an interesting group of people. 

I appreciated Sissy and her laid back personality and her ways of sleuthing lol.

Sissy's aunt was a little harder to get to know and I much care for her anyway. 

Some characters you love and others you won't. Same as real life.

I highly recommend this savy book. You'll not want to put it down!

My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Amy Lillard is an award-winning author of over forty novels and novellas, including the Main Street Book Club Mysteries and the Amish Mysteries, as well as Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. Since receiving a Carol Award for her debut novel, Saving Gideon, she has become known for writing sweet stories filled with family values, honest characters, a hometown feel and close-knit communities. She is a member of RWA and ACFW. Born and bred in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Please visit her online at AmyWritesRomance.com.



Sunday, June 19, 2022

A Midnight's Budding Morrow by Carolyn Miller


A journey of poignancy and hope . . . difficult to put down. I loved it!”--Jennie Goutet, author of the Clavering Chronicles series

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend a holiday at her best friend's crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Alas, rather than easy companionship with her dear friend, she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend's rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family's estate, war is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's shocking decree: marry before returning to war...or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he barely knows.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. Only when her husband returns from war does she begins to hope they may find real happiness.
When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and cling to the belief that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope.


A well written book and well rounded out characters!

Of course I love anything this author writes and this one didn't disappoint 

My favorite is the inspirational messages that remind us that God is always near. 

Sarah and James are two characters that will never leave your heart one you finish this book. 

I also loved Beatrice too because she felt like a sister that I never got to grow up with. 

And the way Miller describes the castle! Oh my! Gave me a cool feeling about that as well.  

As I read through I felt that it could be my home too.

Didnt care much for James and Bestrice's father however. He is in my opinion too recluse. His interests are somewhat like mine though. 

And the cover! Oh so beautiful and fascinating! Makes me feel like I'm there!

I highly recommend!

My thanks to Read with Audra for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own


Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, Carolyn loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her bestselling, award-winning Regency and contemporary novels are stories that offer hope, heart, and a twist of Aussie humour. Connect with her at www.carolynmillerauthor.com where you can find our more about her books, and sign up for her newsletter to be the first to know her book news.



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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Shadows in the Mind's by Janyre Tromp


Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on--responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who's come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam's experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand--but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn't the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she's terrified he's going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam's mental wounds--or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.


This story is wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time it offers hope. That's my favorite thing about these books and why I love to read.
It makes one wonder sometimes about the what ifs. What if things were different would we still have pain and suffering or is it because God wants us to go through these to draw closer to Him? I have no idea.
I've come to admire Sam and Annie a whole lot! They've come through a lot! 
I love how they took what ever came their way in stride. Wish I were a lot more like them.
I couldn't put this book down and the other thing I loved was it was told from 2 points if view that was told in first person ( my favorite thing ) so that we might know what the other person is thinking, feeling, and their love for one another. 
PTSD can be a very serious thing. I really don't understand a whole lot about it but I do now somewhat.  
The author has done her research very well.
I was able to glean a lot from the characters and how they dealt with it was so amazing.  I understood how how hard it can be at times. 
I highly recommend this sweet tale of historical fiction and you'll not want to put it down once you open the book up.
This book definitely deserves 5 stars and up.



In case we get to meet in person some day, you pronounce that first name Jan-air. Kind of like the stove. I'm a developmental book editor by day and a writer at night.

And that all happens from my kitchen table when I'm not hanging out with my husband, two kids, and slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. Unfortunately, I spilled coffee on my super cape and then the dryer ate it. So you'll just have to imagine I can do it all!

I have four traditionally published books—a WWII era novel, Shadows in the Mind's Eye; a juvenile fiction, That Sinking Feeling; and two board books in the All About God's Animals series—and 2 indie books—Wide Open, a historical novella and It's a Wonderful Christmas, a Christmas novella collection (coming October 2021).

But my passion is writing about the beauty of the world—past and present—even when it isn't pretty.

After all, isn't it the beauty in the world that gets us through the day?

Hopefully after you hang out with me for a bit, we'll be able to see things a little more clearly, find a little bit of meaning, and make a bigger impact.

With me what you see is what you get...all the Beautiful, all the Ugly, all the Me.



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Monday, April 11, 2022


In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in The House of FabergZ, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown FabergZ Egg that Peter Karl FabergZ secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial Czar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family.

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.


An interesting read  that has everything in it that a reader could want. 
Yes this is a dual time line but a very well written one. One that I find very interesting.  
What if we could do that travel back in time? 
I loved the treasure hunt. It was my favorite part of the story. It was what made it interesting. 
The historical descriptions were my favorite as well. 
The author has described some of these scenes so well that I felt like I was in the story. 
The characters were very well rounded out and the plot was awesome! 
I simply couldn't put this book down and I spent a delightful afternoon and evening reading it.
Well done! I had fun reading this book. Books like these are why I fell in love reading. 
5 stars for an excellent read.
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


Kelli Stuart is a writer and a storyteller at heart. A graduate of Baylor University with a degree in English Professional Writing, and a minor in the Russian language, Kelli has honed her skills in the written word through editing, ghostwriting, blogging, and traveling the world.
Kelli is the author of the Carol-award winning novel, Like a River From Its Course, based on true stories from Ukrainian World War II survivors. Her second novel, A Silver Willow by the Shore, was the NIEA winner for literary fiction and received the IPPY silver award for literary fiction in 2020.
Kelli's third book, The Fabulous Freaks of Monsieur Beaumont released in August, 2021. She will release her fourth novel, The Master Craftsman in April, 2022 with Revell books. In addition, Kelli is part of a collection of short stories in the Christmas release, It's a Wonderful Christmas: Classics Reimagined.
Kelli has co-authored the non-fiction books Dare 2B Wise with Joe White, and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom with Wendy Speake. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and five children.


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...