Monday, April 29, 2019

Anne & Rebecca Review ~ The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis

Paperback320 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

With her Amish parents' twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller stumbles across a surprise--the old brass tinderbox her clockmaker father keeps in his Lancaster County shop has been left unlocked. Against her better judgment, Sylvia opens the cherished heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will splinter apart her happy life.

Sylvia's bewilderment grows when her father confronts her about snooping in the box. To her amazement, the respected convert to the Old Order reacts as if he has something to hide.

Burdened by the weight of his deception, Earnest Miller decides he must reveal the details about his past to his beloved wife, Rhoda. The long-kept secret alters everything for the close-knit family, jeopardizing Earnest and Rhoda's relationship, as well as threatening Sylvia's recent engagement to the preacher's grandson.

Can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?

Rebecca’s Review

"No one has to know," she whispered. 

And yet they did, and they would. When Sylvia Miller unlocked her father's antique tinderbox, a plethora of memorabilia from her beloved father's English past assaulted her senses, only it was what was carefully wrapped in the bottom of the box that would create a firestorm of unpleasant repercussions. Her once tight-knit Old Order Amish family was about to be torn apart. If only she had left well enough alone. 

Earnest Miller is grief-stricken when his close neighbor and confidant passes away, but that pain doesn't come close to what his wife is going to feel when the truths that the tinderbox have hidden for two decades come to light. And they must, for someone has opened his box. Will Rhoda ever forgive him? Has his determination to protect his family, eventually going to destroy them?

Quite honestly, this story is not going to endear many readers to the harsher side of the Amish community. It was a struggle to read at times. Is there hope for forgiveness and restoration? Absolutely, but it comes with a price, along with lingering shades of hypocrisy within the Order. 

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

Anne's Review (with minor SPOILER ALERT)

The Tinderbox is an intricately written story encompassing the lives of several members of an Old Order Amish family in Hickory Hollow. While this story is not fast-paced, it is steady in its forward progression. I found a lot of enjoyment in the slower pace and details regarding the Miller’s, especially the dad, Earnest.

It was an intimate glimpse into a community that continues to fascinate me and at the same time repel. The characters show great love for their own until one transgresses, then even after the most beautifully heartfelt and sincere confession and repentance, still harsh discipline is meted out; a six week Bann. That broke my heart. I realize this is the Amish way but it made me appreciate being a Christian and knowing that never do I have to fear that kind of discipline from my Heavenly Father or church Elders.

My head and heart were heavily invested in this story and I’m sure that’s why I was affected as deeply as I was. Lewis knows the culture and it shows. And she has added a rather shocking twist at the end that I am eager to read about in the conclusion coming out in September 2019, The Timepiece.

I received a paperback copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

May Day Giveaway!!! 2Books 2One Winner!!

Rebecca is offering one paperback copy of With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander and one paperback copy of Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green to one blog follower!!

Giveaway Instructions

1) You must follow the blog through GFC in the right sidebar >>>

2) You must leave a comment telling us what you enjoy most about historical fiction. (because we like to talk books!)

3) You must leave an email address in a non-spammy format 
(jane at here dot com) so you can be contacted if you win. 
No email. No entry. 

US Only (48 contiguous states) because postage is a bear!

Winner will be drawn on May 1st.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Around the Yard

~Song of Songs 2:12~ 
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

I thought I would share a few of our successes as far as perennials go here in VA. We've definitely had our ups and downs figuring out what to grow. I planted over 40 bulbs last year and they all rotted. I won't be trying that again. Our soil is too wet and the water table is pretty close to the surface so drainage is a problem. 

The old fashioned Roses were here when we moved in and are starting to bloom. 
I'm pretty sure they're Knock Outs.

When fully open, they're a delicate soft pink in color and will have multiple blooms on one stem.

Our brick walkway goes to the backyard and we had planted a beautiful Palm tree in front of the Artemesia but it died. It actually froze to death because we forgot to wrap it. 
That was a big disappointment. 

I replaced the Palm with a wrought iron plant hangar I bought from a friend last summer. Little did I know she would reach her heavenly home only a few months later. I'm glad I have this visual reminder of her. In a few weeks, it will hold a couple of annual baskets.

There are two large mounds of Ajuga on the right and I'll probably transplant or buy more to fill in the blank space on the left.

The dead looking clump in the top left is actually a divergent shaped ornamental grass. When at its peak, it is huge and gorgeous! It grows about 3' tall and drapes out at least that far, hiding the gas meter. :)

The Burgundy Glow Ajuga were in two small containers and they're spreading like crazy! I read somewhere that in some places it is considered to be extremely invasive. I like it and it seems to be hardy, so I'm keeping it!

I love how it stands out with the bright lavender shades in front of the Euphorbia.

Two small containers of Sedum Acre Gold Rush I planted last year survived the winter!

The yellow is brilliant against the dark brown mulch. It's a little slower to spread but eventually it will. I can be patient for this beauty.

While I was weeding the other flower beds, I noticed this clump of 'weed' (as my husband referred to it) growing all alone among the grass. I thought hmmmm....that's kind of odd. 

As you can see, I quickly dug it up before he mowed over it! I transplanted it into a pot until I could find out what it was.

Isn't it beautiful???
They're so delicate and tiny and they close up in the evening.
I knew this wasn't an ordinary 'weed'. 

It's actually a wildflower commonly known as a Rain-Lily!
The scientific name is Zephyranthes Atamasca and there are many genus of it. Turns out is common in SE VA. It thrives in coastal areas, preferring acid boggy soils rich with leaf mold. That about sums up our yard! I'll transplant it to back into the ground in the 'rock' garden area where the Palm was and hope it survives and spreads. 

And now for my indoor crowning glory...

Uh. Yeah. I have killed every Orchid I've owned. This one was in the dump bin at Lowe's last year with only one bloom on it. I brought it home and it promptly fell off. I was bemoaning its inevitable fate to my sister and she told me to water it once a week by running cool water over the bark, don't let any water touch the leaves, and don't move it from its location. It seems to like being nestled against the coffee pot.

A few weeks after following my sisters directions, that shoot came up, followed soon by three more! I was completely thrilled but thinking it was too good to be true.

Then one by one, those little tiny buds started opening and soon I had 13 blooms!!!

How about that???

It's a miniature Cattleya Orchid and the blooms are only a little over an inch across in any direction. As you can see, the color is a soft buttery yellow with pinkish purple freckles and streaks.

 God made something so tiny, intricate and delicate 
and blessed me with it! 

If you hung with me through this long post, CONGRATS!! haha

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of our triumphs here in VA. I'm really not much of an outdoor gardener. Yard work is not fun or even stress relieving for me, as it is for many of my friends. :-) 

I'm thankful to have discovered a few beauties that bring me great joy to see them flourishing, though!

How about you? Do you garden? 

What successes and failures have you had?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

❤️Resurrection Sunday❤️

Matthew 20:17-19
Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

John 3:16-17
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, then new is here!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

AWESOME PRE-ORDER SALE for Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt

Don’t miss the opportunity to pre-order the 
e-book of Moments We Forget, book 2 in the Thatcher Sisters Series by award-winning author Beth K. Vogt for only $4.99. Author Deborah Raney says, “It’s rare when a second novel in a series surpasses the first, but Moments We Forget is just such a book.”

Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine.

Now, Jillian’s on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she’d hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again.

Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be “just Jillian,” the less-than Thatcher sister? Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever? 

Read an excerpt HERE.
Pre-order link for e-book HERE.

Beth K. Vogt

Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she'd never write fiction. She's the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she'd never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four who said she'd never have kids. Now Beth believes God's best often waits behind doors marked Never. Beth's first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released in May 2018. Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, releases May 2019.

Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA Award finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Weddings series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there's more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.

An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Academy and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers' groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at

~Happy Reading, Y'all!~

Friday, April 12, 2019

On the Other Side

Hey Y'all! 

I hope this Friday finds everyone doing well and rejoicing in this beautiful Spring God has blessed us with!! 

Of course, some of you may be on the other side of the world and entering Autumn, which is another fabulous time of year and happens to be my favorite. :-) 
The colors in both seasons are always glorious.

If you've been around the blog for long, you know I enjoy promoting and interviewing authors. I was recently contacted by author Debra E Marvin for an interview. Yes. I'm on the other side this time. :-)

I have to say I was slightly surprised but also honored. Debra and a host of other authors facilitate the website Inkwell Inspirations. They're passionate about writing and sharing their love of Christ and books, just like me! 

Graphic by Debra E Marvin

Come on over and say Hi!!!

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review ~ Sweet on You (A Bradford Sisters Romance #3) by Becky Wade

Expected publication:  April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers 

Britt and Zander have been best friends since they met thirteen years ago, but unbeknownst to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long. When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Washington to investigate. As they work together to uncover his uncles tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also come to light?



  1. © Emilie Hendryx of E.A. Creative Photography

    Becky Wade

    Becky Wade is the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year winner for True to You. She is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market,...
    Continue reading about Becky Wade

My Review
5 STARS!!!

Wow. This book has long been anticipated and it did not disappoint! Wade delves into the hidden grip anxiety holds on a person in the character of Britt. Unequivocal devotion is threaded through Zander and his character is so tightly wound he almost springs off the pages! This book held me captive from beginning to end with its highly charged tension between the two. Britt’s pivotal moment was inspiring and brought tears to my eyes. More than once my breath hitched when reading the mesmerizing prose Wade is so well known for.

Sweet on You is a beautiful story of love and self-discovery. I highly recommend this book but you’ll get a lot more out of it if you read the entire series.

I was provided a review copy through the publisher and Netgalley. No review was required. 
No compensation received.

NOTE: I am not affiliated with any online retailers and make no monies if you use links provided to order a book. the links I provide are a courtesy only and usually for the lowest price available at the time of posting. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Author Interview with Mary Connealy ~ The Unexpected Champion Blog & Review Tour + Giveaway!!


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy with JustRead Publicity Tours!


9781493417209 Title: The Unexpected Champion  
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 3  
Author: Mary Connealy  
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers  
Release Date: March 5, 2019  
Genre: Historical Romance / Western  

They’re as Different as Could Be.  
But They’ll Need to Trust Each Other to Survive the Wilderness . . . and the Dangers Chasing Them.

City dweller John McCall never expected to be out in the High Sierras of 1868 on a wild-goose chase to find the Chiltons’ supposedly lost grandson. But now that he’s out here, things have gotten even more complicated, mostly due to wildcat Penny Scott. She’s not like any woman he’s ever met–comfortable in the woods, with a horse, and with a gun.

When Penny and John are taken against their will by a shadowy figure looking for evidence they don’t have, both realize they’ve stumbled into something dangerous. With their friends and family desperately searching for them, Penny and John must make a daring escape.

When they emerge back into the real world, they discover their kidnapper just won’t stop. This city man and country woman must bring a powerful, ruthless man to justice, all while fighting a very inconvenient attraction to each other.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christian Book |


Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey. 

I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published and, at the end of that decade, when I finally sold my first book, I had TWENTY finished books on my computer. Now that may be hard work and passion…or it may be obsessive compulsive disorder. But my husband let me write without getting a net so here I am today. Of those twenty books I have gotten all but…maybe two of them published. And I now, with the release of The Unexpected Champion, have 61 books in print!!!

Wow! That is an amazing number of books. I always enjoy your stories. Where is your favorite place to write? 

I’m very low maintenance as a writer. Let’s call it FOCUSED! I do most of my writing in my recliner in the living room. But I can write anywhere. In quiet, in noise. At home, in a restaurant or library. Me, my laptop and time. My favorite is the recliner. 

To be able to write anywhere...That is a real talent in and of itself! What’s the one food item you can’t live without? 

There’s nothing I can’t live without…and I’ve proved that by eating wildly and with no negative attitudes about anything. If one food were denied me, I’d just happily munch on something else. I am an equal opportunity eater. 

I am the same way except when it comes to chocolate. I have to have my chocolate!Is there one theme you lean towards including in your stories more than another? If so, why do you think that is? 

I think I always come back to family. A deep need to have my family near me. If I have a book where the young couple go off away from their families to live, as so often happened in the wild west, it bothers me and I have to FORCE myself to let them go. (cue the Frozen theme song—Let it Go!) 

I love that theme of family! My children are spread out now, and one is in the Midwest serving in the USAF. Who would you pick to play the lead roles if The Unexpected Champion was made into a movie? 

Well, currently I am in love with Scott Eastwood. I’d pick him for John McCall and Penny…She’s so tough. I’m floundering here. How about a young Sandra Bullock? That’s more an admission I don’t go to many movies and know many young actresses than anything else. 

I admit I had to look up Scott Eastwood. I don't think I've watched anything he's been in but I do love Sandra Bullock's movies. Good choices!! Can you give us a sneak peek into what book you are working on right now? When does it release? 

I’m doing final galley edits on book #1 of a new series, coming in October. The Brides of Hope Mountain series. Book #1 is Aiming for Love. 

Josephine Nordegrin has grown up wild, on a mountaintop living only with her two sisters. They were trained by their reclusive grandparents to stay away from people. 

Dave Warden invades Jo’s mountain home with a herd of cattle. The dire warnings from her long-dead grandparents fade as a fascinating world opens up for Jo. A handsome man, his wise and kind parents. Different, delicious food, and strange new ideas. Jo wants to know about all of it, but to reach out to the strangers she has to defy her frightened big sister and risk turning her back on a lifetime of fear. 

The newcomers even have strange notions about the Bible. They claim there is only one while Jo believes there are two and knows both of them by heart. Dave and his family have no reverence for parables like…The Boy Who Cried Wolf. 

Jo has to save their souls without sliding into their unbelieving ways. And she might be able to hold firm if Ma Warden wasn’t such a good cook and Dave Warden wasn’t so kind-hearted and handsome. 

I like the sound of this one! I'll look forward to reading it. Do you have a book you’re looking forward to reading this summer? 

I just got, in the mail, White City by Grace Hitchcock. I have only read the first chapter but it’s about a serial killer at the Chicago World’s Fair. Have you heard of the book Devil in the White City? This is set at the same place. I can’t wait to get back into it. 

I read that book! It's a chilling tale.  I think I would like to read White City by Grace Hitchcock too. 

Thank you for being with us today, Mary! It was a joy learning more about you and your writing. 


MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography 
 Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website, facebook, twitter, instagram

You can also find Mary at these sites: Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols

the unexpected champion giveaway


 (1) winner will win
  • a complete set of all three High Sierra Sweethearts books (print, US only)
  • $20 Barnes & Noble gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight April 8, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm April 15, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Kregel Blog Tour & Review ~ A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley #1 By Carolyn Miller

About the book:

Can a proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?

As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society and she's always followed them precisely. But when she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. Questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith suddenly confront her—and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance. What if God wants to be the center of her life, rather than merely a social obligation?

Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won't willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged both by his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister's illness becomes more desperate, her care growing more demanding. Adding a viscount's daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected—especially since he must stay far away from this young woman he's falling for in order to protect his beloved sister's secret.

When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret will be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers' cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have nurtured be strong enough to overcome their differences, or will the trust they've withheld from each other tear three lives apart?

Read an EXCERPT.

CBD (best PB price)

My Review
5 STARS!!!

‘He might have come to the southeast of Devon searching for ancient treasure, but he suspected he had found treasure of a very different kind.’

I highly recommend this first book in the new series Daughters of Aynsley by acclaimed Regency author Carolyn Miller. I love how the author brings Christianity and science together in the character of Gideon Kirby. He is intelligent, self-sacrificing, and diligent in his pursuit of scientific discovery. He holds his sister in high esteem and is unafraid to show his care for her in his gentle ministrations and protective nature. He loves the Lord and is unafraid to pray aloud or ask for prayer for himself. He is not a perfect man but one who is firm in his beliefs and yet struggles with matters of the heart.

Caroline Hatherleigh introduces herself into Gideon’s life in a rather forward manner for the times and suddenly he is challenged in his loner thinking and intrigued by her interest in his scientific pursuits. That is not all she is interested in but she is of upper society and believes him not to be. You can see where this is going, right? Typical Regency, you might say, but there are hidden depths to this story and multiple layers that make it much deeper and richer than any ordinary Regency. Miller is more than adept at creating community with a myriad of impressive and appealing characters.

The realness of how Caroline came to know Christ touched me deeply. I was beginning to wonder how that was going to play out and then when it did, I was bowled over with compassion for her character. Bravo to Ms Miller for showing what a struggle it can be for the unbeliever, and the many questions that can arise in their minds as the Holy Spirit works in their heart. It was a beautiful scene when Caroline finally and fully surrendered to Christ.

There were times I thought I had a little too much scientific information flowing into my brain but in spite of that, Miller completely drew me into the story. I actually had to stop at one point and Google the creature Gideon was searching for to find out if it really existed. It did! And my extra reading was just as fascinating as what Miller put on the pages. I learned something new and that makes this book even better than I anticipated!

There are several characters that will settle down in your heart and bring you joy, like Caroline’s grandmother. She’s irascible in the beginning but pretty awesome in the end. And Aidan…what can I say? He’s an Irishman! I could go on and on but I’ve topped five hundred words [GASP] so I hope you’ll pick up a copy and discover all the lovely nuances contained within A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh. It really is a great book!

I received a copy from the publisher but was not required to post a review. No compensation has been received.

Side note: I wish I had a copy to offer for giveaway but I already promised to give my copy to a friend who didn't make the tour. Y'all need to Google the book and include GIVEAWAY in the search. Maybe there are some out there somewhere! :-)