Thursday, March 21, 2019

Review ~ A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman + Giveaway

Paperback224 pages

Expected publication: April 16th 2019 by Love Inspired

Every courting disaster has led him to her.

An Indiana Amish Brides story

After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing?


My Review
4.5 STARS!!!

I don’t read many Love Inspired books but I am so happy I read A Perfect Amish Match. It is a delightful story of two older singles (in the Amish community anyway) who have pretty much decided that marriage must not be in their future.

Chapman’s expert writing drew me deep into the lives of Noah and Olivia Mae. I couldn’t put the book down. There is a lot of living packed into these pages. 

Beautiful prose and some seriously romantic moments definitely made my breath hitch a few times. This is one for my keeper shelf.

I received a copy from the publisher. No review was required. No compensation has been received. 

Open Internationally

Paperback for US residents only and an e-book for international. 

If you're a US resident and you prefer e-book, that is fine too. We'll get that all straightened out later. ;-)

Answer this question: Have you read any books by Vannetta Chapman? 

If so, please share in the comments and you'll be entered to win a copy of the book, courtesy of the author and publisher.

You MUST be a follower of the blog, preferably through GFC in the right sidebar.

You MUST leave an email address in a non-spammy format!

I'm taking a blogging break until April 2nd so that is when I will draw a winner. If I am able, I will check back in and respond to any comments but if not, know that I appreciate each one of you who follows Stuff & Nonsense. I am delighted to be able to share my love of books with you, especially when they are as good as this one!

See you April!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Review ~ When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams by Jill Eileen Smith

Paperback224 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Fleming H. Revell Company

Life is full of twists and turns. Relationships falter, careers fizzle, health fades. We may be faced with choices we never wanted to make or have situations pushed upon us we'd never expected. Yet, in all of it, God is at our side--even when he feels far away.

Drawing on her extensive research into women of the Old Testament, novelist Jill Eileen Smith turns her pen to the lessons in trusting God that we can learn today from women like

- Eve
- Noah's wife
- Sarai
- Hagar
- Lot's wife
- Rebekah
- Rachel
- and more

Readers will learn from what these ancient women did right--and even what they did wrong--when faced with dashed expectations and deferred dreams. And they'll come away with the confidence that ours is a faithful God who loves us and is forming us through our trials into the women he longs for us to be.

My Review

Jill Eileen Smith is a popular Biblical fiction author and her in-depth research into ancient times is obvious in When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams. She presents 12 women of the Bible, paralleling fictional accounts of their lives along with contemporary issues we may have faced or are facing now.  Even though life doesn’t always live up to what we dreamed about, God is faithful. In the midst of life’s crazy twists and turns and sorrows and joys, it is God who we depend on, who we draw strength from, who is shaping us into the women he wants us to be. He never leaves us or forsakes us.

At the end of each chapter there is a thought to ponder along with a few questions to get us thinking about what might be shaping our lives. Self-examination is a good thing and the questions are relevant and thought provoking. I didn’t expect When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams to be such weighty reading. It’s an interesting book that I had to consume in small doses.

I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher. No review was required. No compensation was received.

Things I Never Told You by Beth K Vogt is ON SALE!!!

Y'all don't want to miss this beautiful beginning to 
the Thatcher Sisters series! 

It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine—as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.

But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.



Visit the publishers website for more information: Tyndale 

Get to know the author, Beth K Vogt:

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Review ~ A Cloud by Day, a Fire by Night: Finding and Following God's Will for You by A.W. Tozer, James L Snyder (Editor)

Paperback176 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

How can I know God's will for me, personally? It's a question that haunts us all at times--maybe when we're looking for the right job, thinking about moving to a new city, or deciding whether or not to get married. At every stage we have difficult decisions to make, and we long for God's direction and his warm reassurance that we're heading the right way.

A Cloud by Day, a Fire by Night
 captures Tozer's teaching on the will of God taken from sermons he preached just before he left his successful church in Chicago. Tozer was no stranger to facing difficult decisions, and his wisdom and biblical insight will help guide you in decisions of your own. The title comes from the story of God leading his people out of Egypt into the promised land. In the same way, let this book help reveal where he is leading and reassure you that he will be by your side every step of the way. 

Read an excerpt HERE.

Purchase Link: CBD

My Review
5 STARS!!!

Don’t we all, at some time or another, wrestle with the question “What is God’s will for my life?” I know I sure seem to ponder this question often but I always find any works from Tozer to be helpful. He was a sincere, godly man who sought the Lord’s will in all aspects of his life. Through 23 sermon excerpts compiled by James Snyder, A Cloud by Day, A Fire by Night encourages Believer’s to dig deep into the Word of God, knowing and understanding that God is always there, just as he was during the Exodus from Egypt, guiding His people day and night, never leaving them or forsaking them. Until we reach our heavenly home, we can know God’s will for us by knowing Him and His Word.

I used this book as a daily devotional since it has the structure of one. The hymns added even more depth to Tozer’s teaching. I'll be looking to buy a print copy because this is one that I find myself wanting to underline and write notes in the margins. It can be used as a companion to Bible journaling, as well.

I was provided an electronic copy of the book through Netgalley and the publisher. No review was required. No compensation was received.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Review ~ The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2) by Susan Anne Mason

Paperback352 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers 

After her beloved grandfather's death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her "deceased" father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren't thrilled by her arrival, fearing her sudden appearance will hinder his chance at becoming mayor of Toronto in 1919. Despite everything, Emma remains determined to earn their affection.

Jonathan Rowe has secretly loved Emma for years and hopes that during their trip he can win her heart. Concerned that Randall might reject her, Jonathan is ready to console Emma and bring her home. When she informs him that she has no intention of returning to England, Jonathan begins to despair. Can he convince Emma to find value within herself rather than seeking it from a virtual stranger? And will she ever come to see that Jonathan is her true home?

To learn more about the author, visit her at her website.

My Review
4.5 STARS!!!

The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2) is about searching for identity and yet it doesn’t always come from where we think it should. Emmaline was raised by her grandparents in England, believing she is an orphan. Upon her grandfathers’ death, she discovers her father is alive and living in Toronto, Canada. Off she goes in search of him, thinking he will be as delighted to see her as she is to know she is not alone in the world. I could understand her desire to know her father and the circumstances surrounding why he would abandon her, never to return. Her dogged persistence, even when it is obvious things are not going as she hoped, remind me of myself when dealing with a certain situation in my life. Emmaline’s journey to understanding that her identity should be rooted in Christ and not a man has been a gentle reminder of Who I belong to and where my focus needs to be. All else will work itself out in time; as Emmaline will discover.

Jonathan Rowe. My, my, my. Susan Anne Mason knows how to bring life to a fictional character. He practically jumped off the pages for me. With a deep love for Emmaline, he decides to take the summer and travel with her to Canada, knowing on some level that the reunion with her father will probably not go as she has dreamed up in her head and heart. He is out to protect her at all costs until he realizes he must return to England and begin life anew without her when she tells him she is determined to stay in Canada! Jonathan epitomizes what it is to be a gentleman in his words, actions, and deeds. He isn’t perfect but he sure comes close. I loved his deep faith, and the honest yet vulnerable moments between his friend Reggie and himself. They both served in the war and this thread in the story is extremely well-written and deeply moving.

I’ll just say I didn’t like Emmaline as a person very well. She made me mad. I actually had to keep reminding myself she is fictional and the author has done a good job at developing her character too. But that didn’t (and still doesn’t) mean I have to like her. She gives Jonathan the run around one too many times and I wanted to jump in there and protect him! The Highest of Hopes is a historical fiction story full of life, love, and a cast of wonderful characters that will tug at your heartstrings.

I was gifted a copy of the book from the author and publisher. No review was required. No compensation has been received.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Laura Waltz is the WINNER of Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin!

Thanks to all who came by to enter the giveaway. 
Rebecca and I appreciate your support of the blog.

We hope each of you have a blessed week!

~Happy Reading~

Monday, March 11, 2019

Review ~ My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham

Paperback256 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by Barbour Books

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins his uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel's imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel's father's drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

PepperPepper Basham 

As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing. She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family. You can learn more about her on her website, or connect on Facebook or Twitter.

My Review
5 STARS!!!

Basham is such a convincing storyteller! Laurel’s Dream is filled to bursting with authentic language, deep story, and Basham’s trademark wit and romance. I was wholly transported to the hills of Appalachia! Spending several of my formative years in that part of NC, it felt like I was among the folks on Doggett Mountain once again, listening to them tell yarns and living life to the fullest despite having meager possessions. My experience was in the early 1970s but life was still hard there, although there was a distinct goodness about it and the people that I haven’t seen anywhere else I’ve lived. Laurel’s Dream wrapped around my heart with its genuineness, romance, and all around excellence.

I was gifted an electronic copy of the story from the author. No review was required. No compensation has been received.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Rebecca Reviews ~ Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin + Giveaway

Paperback400 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers 
In spring 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries on the front, receives a message by carrier pigeon. It is from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life--a woman he believed to be dead. Traveling to France to answer her urgent summons, he desperately hopes this mission will ease his guilt and restore the courage he lost on the battlefield.

Colin is stunned, however, to discover the message came from Jewel's half sister, Johanna. Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence, found Jewel's diary and believes her sister is alive in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives 

Rebecca's Review
4.5 stars

"We've had quite the adventure together, haven't we, Lieutenant?" 

When British Lieutenant Colin Mabry is skillfully coerced into a covert meeting with a women he feared to be dead, his life takes on new meaning. . . . .if he remains alive to live it. However, it's a stranger who meets him in Paris; a lovely young woman with her half-sister's diary and a fiery determination to find the woman that Colin once fancied himself to love, but regrettably left behind to brave the ravages of war-torn France on her own. 

Johanna Reyer is also following her father's trail; a man who spoke with both tenderness and regret upon their only meeting. Working at a dovecote for the French Army Intelligence, Johanna is well versed in subterfuge, which proves to be a distinct advantage, for it's going to take every bit of military savvy that Colin Mabry possesses to lead Johanna through the twisted trails of messages and messengers that they encounter on their trek across France and Spain. In reality, their mission is not at all what it seems. 

What a sweet, brilliant mix of hold-your-breath intrigue and be-still-my- heart romance!

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

Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

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 over 30 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".

If you're interested in Rebecca's gently read copy, if at all possible, PLEASE follow the blog through GFC in the right sidebar (it helps publishers to see a higher follower count for future review opportunities) and leave a comment with your email address (US ONLY, 48 contiguous states) so you can be notified if you win. Unless we know you well and communicate with you regularly, we will NOT chase you down. 
No email. No entry. A winner will be drawn on March 12th. 

Complete giveaway rules here.

~Happy Reading~

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

New Release in Christian Fiction

How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim is now available!!!

When Ruth Neufeld’s husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law Mabel to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together next steps.

Ruth and her family are welcomed by Elam, her husband’s cousin, who invites them to stay at his cranberry farm through the harvest. Sifting through fields of berries and memories of a marriage that was broken long before her husband died, Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and budding friendship. She also encounters the possibility of new love with Elam, whose gentle encouragement awakens hopes and dreams she thought she’d lost forever.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn’t dead after all. 

You can read an extended preview by clicking HERE.

Enter the GOODREADS Giveaway for a Kindle copy click HERE.