Monday, February 26, 2018

Review ~ First Love Forever Romance Collection: 9 Historical Romances Where First Loves are Rekindled


Paperback, 448 pages
Expected publication: April 1st 2018 by Barbour Books

A first love is never easily forgotten...
and coming face to face with that person again can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.”

In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. A neighbor returns from law school. An heiress seeks a quick marriage. A soldier’s homecoming is painful. A family needs help. A prodigal son returns. A rogue aeronaut drops from the sky. A runaway bridegroom comes home. A letter for aid is sent. A doctor needs a nurse. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space?

Available for Pre-order:

My Review
4 STARS!!!

Once again, a couple of favorite authors bring lovely stories to life with engaging plots, fleshed out characters, and vivid scenery. Dietze and Pagels routinely contribute to these collections and I was pleased with the charm and charisma of their novellas. All of the stories in this collection have a solid faith theme and are enjoyable. I think fans of historical fiction will be happy to while away a few hours immersed in First Love Forever Romance Collection. I was provided an electronic copy of the book by the publisher through Netgalley with no expectation of a positive review. No compensation has been received.
~Happy Reading~

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review ~ The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Hardcover, 512 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Tyndale House Publisher
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want―money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist―an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship―and both their lives―forever.

About the Author
Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market and her books were awarded or nominated for numerous awards and prizes. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, mother of three, and an established romance novelist. Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. 
Read more about the author on her website:
Connect with her on Facebook:

***Read the first chapter HERE.***

My Review
5 STARS!!!

Philippians 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

This Scripture reference probably seems an odd one to use in a book review, but to me, it isn’t. The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers is something true and honorable, lovely and commendable, excellent and worthy of praise—a canvas of words swirled with emotions and truths that burst forth from the page like a spray of paint, bringing color and depth to enrich the soul. 

Like any glorious piece of artwork, it begins with a single hue that builds with intensity, spreading across the human heart until it is enveloped with the truth of the image. The Masterpiece reveals both darkness and light; delving into the very depths of humanity. With deft strokes of the pen, Francine Rivers shows that what we see on the outside is not all that there is. People have back stories, and some of them are so filled with tragedy that even the most stalwart will weep with compassion.

I have read many good books, but only a handful touched my heart in the way that this one did. I found myself crying several times, not only for these fictional characters, but for myself and the countless others who have no doubt experienced what Roman and Grace experience. The scenes are vivid and realistic. The theme of redemption remains strong throughout this masterpiece and leaves the reader with no doubt about whom the ultimate Artist is. I highly recommend this book!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publisher. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.
  ~Happy Reading~

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review ~ Amish Cooking Class Cookbook by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Spiral-bound, 224 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press

Amish Cooking Basic Enough for Beginners

Fans of New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish romance novels are invited to go back to cooking basics with characters from the bestselling Amish Cooking Class series. Heidi Troyer, her students, and other contributors share over 200 practical recipes for use in any kitchen, along with tips to keep things running smoothly. From learning how to boil eggs and knead biscuits to building a German Pizza and an Amish Haystack feast, The Amish Cooking Class Cookbook includes something beneficial for every age and skill set. Divided into traditional cookbook categories, there is a recipe everyone will find to love.

5 STARS!!!

I am a huge fan of Amish stories. They always seem to have scenes centered around food and cooking, especially Brunstetter’s Amish Cooking Class series. To finally have the cookbook in hand is a treat! It is chock full of good old down home Amish cooking. I love how this cookbook not only has great recipes (definitely recommend the classic Baked Oatmeal!) but also some hacks that I never knew about. How many times have I needed powdered sugar but didn’t have any? Well, now I do not need to worry. And neither do you if it has happened in your kitchen. Just pulverize white sugar in a food processor or spice grinder and you will have powdered sugar that is delectably white and fluffy in no time. This and many more hacks are part of the treasure trove in the Amish Cooking Class Cookbook. 

Not only are we introduced to the cast of characters from the novels but each section begins with a lovely Scripture, followed by enticing recipes and images of appetizing dishes that are drool worthy. These women enjoy a slower paced lifestyle but they do actually use canned and over-the-counter ingredients for their dishes. Not everything is all from scratch, which makes this a cookbook anyone can benefit from! Included is information about Amish culture which makes for more fascinating reading. There is even a section for children with many easy-to-prepare favorites from childhood. 

I plan on using this cookbook for many meals but I was delighted to find a Miscellaneous section containing recipes for Health, Household, and Canine Treats. There are a lot of dogs in my adult children's homes and I have long wanted to make them tasty homemade doggie biscuits. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

WINNER + GIVEAWAY - The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Congratulations to Karen Brooks for winning the Valentine's Day Giveaway last week! 
Karen has been contacted and the books mailed. 

There were no international comments for the ebook soooo....
I have an e-book copy of The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck from Amazon (Kindle) that will go to one of you treasured followers. 

July 2017

About the Book
Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?
With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.
A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.
Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.


PLEASE let me know in your comment how you follow, whether it is through GFC or Facebook AND leave an email address in a non-spammy format (jane at doe dot com) so I can contact you if you win! 

OPEN INTERNATIONALLY as long as you can receive a Kindle book.

Giveaway ends on Feb 23rd . I will contact winner by email. You'll have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

~Happy Reading~

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review ~ A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

Paperback, 428 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

My Review
5 STARS!!!
I was gifted this book last year but life happened and it stayed in my TBR far too long. This definitely deserved to be a Top Reads of 2017! Roseanna White has an incredibly distinctive voice and that makes it is easy to hear the passion for whatever topic she is writing about, whether it is a Word of the Week blog post or a novel about a thief looking to steal a man’s name. Her enthusiasm for the subject matter is contagious.

A Name Unknown pulled me into a world I know nothing about (cannot even fathom what it is like to have to steal in order to survive) and moved my heart to compassion for this band of orphans turned-into-a-family who feel they have no other recourse. Rosemary, a thief and oldest “sibling” is hired by Peter, a recluse, to organize his disheveled and haphazard library in the hopes of finding some extremely important but misplaced documents in order to prove his loyalty to England.

The story takes place over many, many, months which I enjoyed immensely. The characters had time to formulate deep and meaningful relationships. But oh, the questions that beg to be answered! Who exactly is Peter—a German sympathizer or a loyal Englishman? Rosemary cannot figure him out. Their scenes are some of the best Roseanna has written. Then there is the mysterious Mr V. His identity is a humdinger! I loved the entire plot filled with twists and turns and faith and family layers that kept me glued to my seat until the last page turned. I smiled in satisfaction and then realized I have the next book in the series so I can just keep right on going into Willa’s adventure. I am one happy reader! J

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a review. No compensation has been received.
~Happy Reading, Y’all~

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ A Song Unheard by Roseanna White

Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which make her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is in meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

image: Pixabay

Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

"For the sake of the music. - Lucas De Wilde."

Lucas De Wilde, a world renowned violinist, finds himself recovering from a gunshot wound and virtually exiled in Wales, forced to flee his Belgium home at the onset of the World War I invasion by the Germans. His now deceased father, was a brilliant cryptologist, making Lucas and his remaining family members a much sought-after German commodity. When Lucas becomes strategically acquainted with Willa Forsythe, he has no reason to believe that she is anyone other than who she purports herself to be; a captivating young woman with a prodigious musical talent.

"He is just a mark." Accomplished thief Willa Forsythe has a job to do; meet Lucas De Wilde, pilfer his father's cypher key, and get out of Wales. If only life were so simple; no flirting, no international spies, no breaking of hearts, . . . . . . . apparently Willa is not the only one in Wales following Lucas De Wilde, and in essence, following her. "With greater risk, comes greater reward", yes . . . but at what cost to those she loves? The music in her head is sounding all wrong.

This beautifully composed story deserves to be savored; reading every word, listening to every conversation, appreciating characters who come to life on the page, absorbing every note of the song unheard.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated are entirely my own.

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Y'all know Roseanna White is one of my favorite authors of all time! Her books always touch my heart. The Lord has blessed Roseanna with one of the most amazing ‘voices’ in Christian fiction today. Her works are renowned in this industry. Now y'all have an opportunity to win the first two books in this series. Just follow the Rafflecopter link down in the post and follow the directions.

But first, look at this cover!!! Isn't it beautiful?! 

About the Book

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancĂ© to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. She and her family make their home in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Pre-Order Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 2, 2018

WINNERS and a Valentine's Day Giveaway for US and International

Congratulations to Maryann Sharitka on winning My Big Book of Bible Heroes Devotional and to Jan Hall on winning My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah! Both ladies have been contacted and the books mailed.

Can y'all believe it is almost Valentine's Day?! Where did January go? I don't know what you've been doing during these cold winter months but I've been doing a lot of reading!

You know I LOVE to read! :-)

I thought it would be a good time to show some blog love and appreciation by having a giveaway of a couple of books as a THANK YOU to all my loyal followers. I asked Rebecca, my reader-in-crime, if she would like to contribute to the giveaway and she said Yes! You'll be getting Cara Putnam's book from Rebecca. You can read her review here

There is also a separate giveaway for International readers so don't despair! Keep reading. :-)

One US blog follower (GFC or Facebook) will win a paperback copy of The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection from Barbour, a pretty red LOVED journal , and a paperback copy of Imperfect Justice by Cara Putnam. 

Paperback Giveaway is open to US only (48 contiguous states). You MUST be a GFC or Facebook follower to have a valid entry. Both options are available in the right side bar. 

  I have an e-book copy of The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck from Amazon (Kindle) that will go to one of you treasured INTERNATIONAL followers who leaves a comment.
This story sounds SO GOOD!!!

Amazon fine print says if for some reason the e-book ends up not being available in your country, they will give you a gift certificate in the same amount that will work for you. You might have to choose a different book, but hey, it's still free for you! 

PLEASE let me know in your comment how you follow, whether it is through GFC or Facebook AND leave an email address in a non-spammy format (jane at doe dot com) so I can contact you if you win! Oh, and tell me what country you live in! :-)

Giveaway ends on Monday, February 5th. I will contact winners by email. You'll have 24 hours to contact me with your address or another winner will be chosen.

~Happy Reading, Y'all~