Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Berenstain Bears The Very First Christmas by Jan and Mike Berenstain

Papa Bear reads to Brother and Sister from their storybook Bible about the first Christmas.

While I have always found the Berenstain Bears books to be full of teachable moments and moral lessons, I'm really liking the faith stories that have come out.

I found this book to be fairly accurate in the telling of Christ's birth and my grandchildren, as always, enjoyed me reading it to them. I also love the illustrations as the characters that portray the birth of Christ are all Bears. The Very First Christmas fits perfectly with what I have come to expect in a Berenstain Bears book.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Murder, Plain and Simple by Isabella Alan(Amanda Flower)

This is the first book in the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series. Since I read the 4th one first I decided to go back and see how it all started. I really enjoyed it!

Angie has just inherited her aunt's quilt shop in Rolling Brook, Ohio. A small Amish town. Angie and her fiance Ryan have just broken off their wedding and Angie is in need of something to distract her wounded heart. Having visited Rolling Brook as a child Angie is ready to take up residence there and become a part of the community. Some of the Amish people are not happy about Angie taking over her aunt's shop though. Particularly her business neighbor Joseph Walker. When Joseph Walker claims to own the property that Running Stitch is a part of but no deed can be found, Angie is determined to find the deed and prove to the crusty Amish man that she has every right to run her aunt's business. Unfortunately Joseph Walker turns up murdered inside her shop. With the deed still missing and all the evidence pointing to Angie as the murderer, she sets out to clear her name. Suspects seem to be coming out of the woodwork, particularly Joseph Walker's brother-in-law Elijah Knepp. Fresh out of prison Elijah seems to be the obvious answer to who killed Joseph, but there are other suspects that had motive as well so Angie goes about town poking around and asking questions that eventually put her and her dog Ollie in danger.

Like I said, I enjoyed going back and finding out how Angie came to be in Holmes County and how she met Sheriff Mitchell. I have to admit I did suspect the person that turned out to be the murderer before the actual reveal. I just couldn't figure out exactly what that person's motive was! I enjoyed the humor in the story as well as the mystery and am looking forward to reading the other two books in the series that I missed before reading book 4! If you like cozy mysteries, series and humor then I think you will enjoy giving this series a try.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to go grab your copies of the first 3 books from Amazon on Kindle for just $2.99 a piece!! 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Eyes of E'veria Series by Serena Chase Book 4 Cover Reveal Plus MORE!

Have you read any of Serena Chase's series The Eyes of E'veria? If not, you MUST! Especially since they are going to be on sale for $2.99 each on the 19th of September. But more on that in a minute...

Here are the first 3 books in the series and then the cover for book 4 which I am so excited about! THEN I'll tell you about the 19th.


The Ryn cover paperbackNEW1

DESTINED by prophecy.

GUARDED by deception.

PURSUED by Love.

Centuries ago, an oracle foretold of the young woman who would defeat E’veria’s most ancient enemy, the Cobelds. But after two centuries of relative peace, both the prophecy and the Cobelds have been relegated to lore—and only a few remain watchful for the promised Ryn.

Finally, a child is born who matches the oracle’s description, but a Cobeld curse accompanies her birth. Led to believe they succeeded in killing the prophesied child, the Cobelds emerge from hiding with plans to overtake the Kingdom.

But the child survived.

Secreted away and called “Rose” for the first nineteen years of her life, Rynnaia E’veri has no idea of her true identity until a chance meeting with an injured knight reveals not only her parentage and true name, but the task assigned her by the oracle: discover the Remedy that will destroy the Cobelds’ power.

Now, her time has come.

Offered the assistance of pirates, scribes, storytellers, a young woman who died centuries ago, and the knight who is quickly working his way into her heart, Rynnaia is fortified with friends. But if the Ryn is to complete her task, she must come to terms with not only who she is, but for whom she must be willing to die. For the kingdom’s survival depends on her.


My review of THE RYN here


Remedy Kindle Cover copy

Having come to terms with her long-hidden identity, Princess Rynnaia E’veri is ready to take her rightful place. But before she can join her father at Castle Rynwyk, she must endeavor to fulfill a 200-year-old prophecy and defeat the Kingdom’s ancient enemy, the Cobelds. Joined by her faithful knight, Sir Julien de Gladiel, and a gifted group of friends, Rynnaia must trek a dangerous path through canyons, forests, and into the very depths of a mountain where, if the prophetic scrolls prove correct, she will face an unknown foe, alone.

Treacheries will be discovered, sacrifices will be made, friends will be lost, and love will be tested, but if even one line of the riddled prophecy is misinterpreted, Rynnaia will fail . . . and the Kingdom will fall.

Beginning at the point THE RYN ended, THE REMEDY concludes an epic re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, SNOW WHITE & ROSE RED. But the Eyes of E’veria series is only beginning . . .


My review of THE REMEDY here

Book 3: THE SEAHORSE LEGACY The Seahorse Legacy Kindle Cover Final 

About The Seahorse Legacy:

a Pirate, bound by a centuries-old oath 

As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein—or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract—and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.

a Knight, determined to prove her calling

Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.

a Legacy, demanding surrender

Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action—and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.

The third book in this series-within-a series, The Seahorse Legacy begins an epic tale of piracy, adventure, and romance. Giving subtle nods to several fairy tales, including an unexpected twist to the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this romantic adventure will conclude in Eyes of E’veria, Book 4: The Sunken Realm, coming late Summer 2015.

My review of THE SEAHORSE LEGACY here

 And now for the cover reveal of book 4 THE SUNKEN REALM coming September 30, 2015:


About The Sunken Realm:

She is an outcast among knights

Her reputation in ruins, her knighthood revoked, and her future bleak, Erielle de Gladiel would have welcomed death as her due. Captured by pirates, she was beaten, whipped, branded a thief—and worse—and then set adrift to die. She did not expect—or even want—to be rescued. Especially not by the dashing blasted pirate now calling himself her husband.

He is the King of Pirates

His oath satisfied and his Legacy secured, Cazien vows vengeance on all who harmed Erielle. But before he can hunt them down, a strange visitor appears with an urgent message—a message that aligns with prophecy Erielle has written in her sleep: The Seahorse Pirates must reach Nirista before the famed Tournament of the Twelve . . . or hundreds of stolen children will die.

Together, they are relentless

With the fate of many resting upon them, Cazien and Erielle sail to Nirista. Once there, they are forced to follow separate paths to achieve their aims. Treacheries are uncovered and allies are gained, but in the shadows, a hidden foe plots a grievous betrayal that could shatter not only their hope, but the Seahorse Legacy itself.

The epic conclusion of this series-within-a series, The Sunken Realm sweeps Erielle and Cazien along a pulse-pounding voyage to discover all they are meant to become, together. Giving subtle nods to several fairy tales, including an unexpected twist to the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this romantic pirate adventure is the final novel in the Eyes of E’veria series . . . but the Seahorse Pirates and their friends in E’veria may yet have stories to tell.


I absolutely love all of the covers, but this one might just be my favorite out of all of them! I think it is beautiful. Can't wait to read the wonderfulness contained in the pages! 

Now for exciting news: September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Come visit my blog for information on a fantastic giveaway that author Serena Chase is offering on that day. Also, the first 3 books of the series will be offered on Amazon for just $2.99 a piece for Kindle copies! An excellent price for these great books! Don't miss out, the offer is good from Midnight to Midnight September 19th only.  

See you September 19th for TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!!  


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Walk Through The Valley by Debbie Viguie

Once again Cindy stumbles onto a murder at her church. Before she can become involved in solving the crime though she is off to Las Vegas to be by the side of her brother who is in a coma after an accident. 

Jeremiah is left behind though to help solve the mystery. Jeremiah telling Cindy a part of his past didn't go over too well before Cindy left. Jeremiah has tried to leave before his past catches up with him, but Cindy has a hold of his heart and he is reluctant to put their relationship behind. Besides, who would protect Cindy if he isn't around?

Mark and Traci are on vacation and Mark is determined to relax and put all thoughts of murder behind him for two weeks. Unfortunately murder has a way of following Mark, Cindy and Jeremiah even when they aren't in the same place at the same time!

There seemed to be a lot going on in this installment of the Psalm 23 Mysteries. I think I would have preferred all of the main characters to be together rather than working apart. Eventually Jeremiah and Cindy do end up working on the same mystery together, so that was good. As far as the 3 separate mysteries go, I thought they were all good and maybe could have been developed into their own stories. I'm still a fan of the series and am once again looking forward to the next installment where I hope all of the friends will once again be together. Oh, and Jeremiah and Cindy's relationship heated up a bit in this one! Can't wait to see where that goes.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Murder, Plainly Read by Isabella Alan(Amanda Flower)

I found this 4th book in the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series to be very exciting! This is the first book that I have read in the series. I didn't have any problems keeping up with the characters or the storyline.

Apparently Angie has a penchant for getting caught up in murder investigations. This doesn't please her Sheriff boyfriend Mitchell.

When Angie and her friend Rachel come upon Austina, who runs the local bookmobile, and  Bartholomew Beiler, a Bishop for one of the stricter Amish communities, in a heated discussion, Angie's curiosity about the disagreement is piqued. Later when the Bishop ends up dead in Austina's bookmobile everyone assumes that Austina killed him for trying to keep her from giving books to the young girls in Bartholomew's district.

Angie promises Austina that she will look into the murder and find out who killed the Bishop. Angie gets in trouble with Mitchell for putting herself in danger and not allowing the police to do their job.

Suspects seem to be coming out of the woodwork when Angie starts poking her nose into things that the Amish families think are none of her business. Many people didn't like the Bishop, but who had the most motive to kill him?

One of my favorite characters in the book is Angie's dog Ollie. He cracks me up. Or I should say, the two of them together make me laugh. Angie treats Ollie as if he were human, and Ollie does seem to have a way of making you think he really knows what is going on. I really like the main character Angie and her animal friends Oliver and Dodger. And of course I can't forget the goat that keeps knocking Angie on her backside! Angie's parents are quite the characters as well. I think her mother exasperated me about as much as she did Angie! I definitely have some catching up to do in the series, but I think it will be worth it to get to know these quirky characters better. If you like a good mystery along with some light-hearted humor thrown in be sure to check out this series.

**Thanks to the publisher through NetGalley for my copy for review. All opinions are my own**

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke


Marty and her husband Clem have traveled west to start a new life together. When Clem dies in a tragic accident, Marty if filled with grief and despair. Having no means of getting home Marty plans to spend the winter in her wagon in hopes of catching a wagon train heading back east in the spring. 

Clark Davis is a young widower with a young daughter named Missie. Clark knows how bitter the winters get in the area, plus he knows that he needs someone to take care of Missie while he takes care of his farm. Clark proposes a deal for Marty. Come be Missie’s momma and if she still wants to go home in the spring he will pay her way, provided she takes Missie with her because no child should be without a momma.
While Marty struggles with her grief and learning to care for a household of her own Clark’s tender care for her along with the care of friendly neighbors eventually show Marty that Clark’s God really does exist and has been with her throughout her grief. Can Marty learn to trust Clark’s God? And will she and this stranger she married ever be able to find that heart-stopping love that she remembers having when she first met Clem, or will she find that love sometimes comes softly?

This is the first book in the series and one of my absolute favorite books ever! I love Clark and Marty and have loved their story for years. I have re-read this series several times. I love how patient and kind Clark is. How steady in his faith he is and how dedicated to his family he is. I love how he cares for Marty in her grief, even while he is still grieving his own wife’s death. I love Marty’s determination to keep living. Even though she isn’t happy about her situation she is determined to give her unborn child the gift of life. And if you have ever read this book there is no forgetting Marty’s fixing fried chicken for Clark!! Even though I have read this series many times over the years I am excited to start the next one!



This installment of the Love Comes Softly series continues on with the life that Clark and Marty share together. It opens with Marty just about to give birth to their first child together. It moves fairly quickly through the years. The Davis’s take in two girls so that Marty can keep her promise to their mother to, “give them a chance.” The Davis family now consists of Clark’s daughter Missie, Marty’s son Clare, Nandry and Clae Larson and then the children that Clark and Marty have together: Arnie, Ellie and Luke. The end of the book has Missie marrying, “Thet Willie LaHaye!” and setting off on her own adventure to Willie’s land in the west where he hopes to become a cattle rancher. 


Willie and Missie are now travelling west to Willie’s land. The wagon trail takes some getting used to. Bodies are sore by the end of the day, but there is no stopping Willie’s excitement to get to his land. There are many hardships along the way for the young couple, but with the verse that Missie’s Pa gave them before they left, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10, Missie and Willie are comforted in the fact that their God will go with them. 

Once the couple reaches Willie’s land Missie learns she will not be living in a “real” house just yet. Willie has prepared a little soddy for her. Covering her disappointment Missie learns more and more to lean on the verse that she and Willie claimed as their own. Their first year on Willie’s land brings some set-backs, but yet Willie is as enthusiastic as ever to get his cattle ranch up and running. With the love of a good wife and the help of good cowhands and the blessings of the Lord Willie’s dream begins to unfold.

I loved the glimpse that we get of trail life for the pioneers traveling west to open up new land and seek out new adventures. Even though Missie is missing her family horribly she knows that her place is by Willie’s side. I love how strong she is and eager to make a home for their family. This book is Missie and Willie’s story so we don’t see Clark and Marty, but their influence on Missie and Willie is evident. Another great story in this series that I love so much!


Clark and Marty travel out to Missie and Willie’s west. They are so excited to see their daughter that they haven’t seen in several years. They can’t wait to meet their grandsons and catch up with all that is happening in their lives. The trip is long, but not as long as it took Missie and Willie now that there is a railroad. 

Clark and Marty are enjoying getting to know all of Missie and Willie’s friends and all of the cowhands that work on Willie’s ranch. Their visit is only supposed to be for 2 weeks, but when tragedy strikes their visit becomes longer. 

I loved this installment of the series. Reading about Clark’s faithfulness to his Lord in the midst of tragedy has always been encouraging to me. I love the way his steady faith is such an influence to those around him. 


Clark and Marty are home from Missie’s west. Marty is so glad to be home to see all of her family once again. Clare and Kate are expecting a baby, Arnie is getting married, and Ellie has become quite the housekeeper. Marty is afraid that soon someone will come along and find out what a wonderful girl Ellie is.

Marty can’t seem to gain her energy back after the many months out west. Her family begins to worry about her. It turns out to be good news for the family and Marty soon begins to gain back some energy.

One of Willie’s cowhands from out west comes to stay on the LaHaye farm while the family is out seeing Willie’s west. Lane is the cowhand that helped the doctor when Clark’s leg had to be removed. Lane and Ellie are attracted to each other, but Ellie cannot even think about leaving Marty. She has watched her mother suffer each time one of her children leaves and the idea of going west with Lane tears Ellie apart. She will not put her mother through that. 

I loved Lane in Love’s Abiding Joy so it was fun to see him come to Clark and Marty and fall in love with Ellie. There are several heart-breaking circumstances in the story, but throughout the struggles Clark and Marty and their family remain strong and firm in their faith. That is what I love about these stories. The faith that is taught in each one is definitely lessons that we can learn from to live today.


Melissa is coming from the west to continue her schooling. Belinda and Amy Jo are beside themselves to meet this aunt/cousin that they have heard so much about. Marty hopes that all 3 girls will get along and not have an odd girl out. 

Belinda is a tender-hearted soul that hates for anything to suffer. In an effort to help her cope with loss and pain her doctor brother Luke requests that she accompany him on his doctor visits so Belinda can learn to be a nurse. Clark and Marty have reservations about this arrangement, but they allow Belinda to go with Luke on certain cases. Unfortunately they are not aware of the extent of damage done to one boy’s arm in a logging accident. When they arrive his screams can be heard outside of their home. Even though she is told to stay outside Belinda knows that Luke needs her help so she goes in anyway. What she sees is worse than she could ever imagine. Belinda manages to keep the contents of her stomach from heaving up and helps her brother remove the arm and save the boys life. Belinda becomes a much more serious young woman after this experience and remembers the young man in her prayers frequently.

The Davis’s try and help this new family in the neighborhood, but they are proud and it is difficult to help them. Drew, the young man who lost his arm, notices a difference in the Davis family but he is lost in the bitterness of losing his arm. As the family slowly pays off their debt Drew supplies fresh game for his family. When he inadvertently causes Belinda’s horse to bolt he once more encounters the love from the Davis family and seeks Clark’s council in order to lift his burden of bitterness.

Belinda, Melissa and Amy Jo all start to swoon over a new boy at school. Unfortunately he singles one of the girls out which causes a rift between them. What Marty dreaded has come to pass. Thankfully all is resolved and Belinda continues on her course to become a nurse, Melissa continues on in her education to become a teacher and Amy Jo has found a knack for drawing. All is well among Clark and Marty’s family once again.

I think Belinda’s story is my next favorite after the first book Love Comes Softly. I love her spirit, and her tender heart and desire to help ease people’s pain. And every time I read it I hope that she and Drew will eventually get together. Yes, I know the outcome now, but still there is that remembrance of the first time I ever read the series and hoped for their relationship to develop. As always in this series there are many spiritual as well as life lessons that the characters learn and that is one of the reasons I love it so much. I’m looking forward to the next book.


Belinda is now a full-time nurse living with her brother Luke and his wife in town. When Rand comes back to town after spending time away apprenticing as a builder Belinda is happy to have someone her age to talk with and spend time with. She doesn’t realize that Rand has dreams of the two of them together. Jackson comes back to town as well. He’s been away training to be a doctor and Luke could really use his help. Jackson has always cared for Belinda. Belinda sees both men as “just friends” so when she realizes that they both have something more permanent in mind it confuses her. 

When an older woman becomes ill on the train, Luke and Belinda are called to help her. Mrs. Stafford-Smyth is from Boston and has been off travelling. She and Belinda become very close as Belinda nurses her back to health. She asks Belinda to come to Boston with her as her nurse and companion. Belinda is ready for a change and agrees to accompany Mrs. Stafford-Smyth. 

Boston is much different than Belinda’s small town on the prairie is. When Mrs. Stafford-Smyth’s grandson shows up and agrees to show Belinda the sights of Boston she is grateful to have a companion her own age. With so many things to see and events to attend Belinda sets aside her church attendance. When Pierre goes back to his home in France Belinda and Mrs. Stafford-Smyth are lonely and bored. Mrs. Stafford-Smyth decides that they need to spend some time abroad. On a whirlwind trip that takes them all over Europe Belinda sees sights that she never thought she would see in her lifetime, but there is still dissatisfaction in her soul. On their way back to America a kindly clergy man happens to remind Belinda of her faith in the only One that can bring satisfaction in a person’s life. 

Once again, I love Belinda’s story in this series. I love that she gets to travel and broaden her horizons. I also love the life lessons she learns in this book. Belinda is such a sweet and innocent character. She has no airs about her which is what draws Mrs. Stafford-Smyth to her. There is an openness and love for life in Belinda. I really enjoyed this bridge between books 6 and 8. It shows Belinda growing and maturing and prepares her for what lays ahead. 


Sadly this is the ending of the series. But wait! There are 3 more sequels I think, but I have only read them once and found that I will stick with the original 8 thank-you-very-much! 

Belinda is in Boston with Mrs. Stafford Smyth still continuing to give her care. Their relationship has grown from Belinda being Mrs. Stafford Smyth’s caregiver to the two of them being so close that Mrs. Stafford Smyth has asked Belinda to call her “Aunt Virgie.” When Belinda finds that Mrs. Stafford Smyth is going to go away with her good friend for a visit of 6 weeks Belinda makes plans to go home to see her Ma and Pa whom she hasn’t seen in 3 years. 

Having been away for 3 years things have changed some since Belinda was last there. Thankfully Jackson has found a lovely young woman to marry so Belinda doesn’t have to worry about him. She also hears that Rand has moved away and married. It is hard for Belinda to get used to her small town and all of the inconveniences of living on the farm. Belinda realizes that she has become pampered living with Mrs. Stafford Smyth and that she must be careful to not forget where she came from. 

Belinda has been praying for Mrs. Stafford Smyth the entire time she has worked for her and finally through a simple sermon Aunt Virgie sees her need for a Savior. She and Belinda have sweet fellowship and growth together in the Word of God. When Mrs. Stafford Smyth passes away suddenly Belinda is bereft and beyond consoling. Her friend and employer has left Belinda well off and it is now up to Belinda to decide what she needs to do.

This! This is the book that makes me love Belinda’s story the best! When Drew comes back into her life you just know they have to be together! Well, as the reader, from the time Belinda helped her brother Luke remove Drew’s arm after his logging accident I knew they had to be together. They are perfect together. Drew has now become a lawyer and practicing in Boston. The two renew their friendship and love blossoms. The only problem is that Belinda is planning to move back home and she thinks Drew is planning to follow his dreams in Boston. They are both heart-broken when they go their separate ways. I guess that a lesson is learned in this last book, don’t assume you know what the other person is thinking. Ha! Love Finds A Home is the perfect ending to the perfect series and it remains one of my most favorite series of all times.