Friday, December 8, 2023

Last Minute Books for Christmas!

Rebecca and I thought we'd share a few of our favorite Christian fiction books (not all are published in 2023) that we think might make excellent Christmas gifts for the avid reader in your life. It's not too late to order them and receive them before Christmas, but hurry! Don't delay. :-)

I'll list the books with links to the reviews on Goodreads.

The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz

The Girl from the Papers by Jennifer L Wright

A Return to Hawthorne House by Kristi Ann Hunter

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold

Fairest of Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham

We would love to know if you take any of our recommendations to heart and purchase them for yourself or a loved one!

 "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, 
who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2 :11

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Short Review ~ Bride by Beguilement (Moonlight and Magnolia Series Book 2) by Debbie Lynne Costello

Kirsten Macleod is in a bind. Her father’s last will and testament stipulates that she must either marry, lead the plantation into a first year profit, or forfeit it to her uncle. But marriage is proving no easy option. Every suitor seems more enamored with the land than with her. Until her handsome neighbor sweeps into her stable to the rescue… of her beloved horse.

Silas Westbrook’s last year at veterinary school ends abruptly when he is called home to care for his young orphaned sisters. Troubles compound when he finds an insurmountable lien on the only home they’ve ever known, and the unscrupulous banker is calling in the loan. The neighbor’s kind-hearted and beautiful stable girl, Krissy, provides the feminine influence the girls desperately need. If only he had a future to offer her. But to save his sisters from poverty, he should set his sights on Krissy’s wealthy relative Kirsten Macleod, the elusive new heiress. Surely this hard-working and unassuming young lady and the landowner could not be one and the same?


My Short Review ~ 4 STARS

The characters brought out all kinds of emotions for me which made the story engaging. Costello is an excellent wordsmith and brings a unique dynamic to her historical novels. Pick one up today!


Review ~ Julia Monroe Begins Again (Beignets for Two #1) by Rebekah Millet

Julia Monroe has just turned forty and hopes this next decade goes much better than the last, in which she became a young widow raising two children on her own. With both her boys off to college, it's time for new beginnings, and she can finally focus on expanding her New Orleans-based cleaning business--but God has other plans. Samuel Reed, the ruggedly handsome Green Beret who broke her heart over twenty years ago, has returned to town and is the kind of distraction she never saw coming.

After their first interaction in years leaves her mind spinning and her emotions out of control, Julia knows she needs to keep her distance from him if she wants any chance of keeping history from repeating itself, but her meddling best friend has other plans to throw them together. It seems inevitable that Julia will have to face her past with Samuel, but only if she can work up the courage to embrace the kind of new beginning she never thought she'd see again.


My Review ~ 3 STARS

As much as I wanted to love this contemporary rom-com, I just didn’t. Julia grated on my nerves. Her behavior toward Sam was too much like a resentful and grudge-filled middle school girl. He was a genuine repentant grown man being constantly judged for past behavior. There are plenty of one-liners that are notable but they just didn’t make up for how I felt about Julia. I’m definitely in the minority on this one so don’t take my word. Read it for yourself.

I appreciate the publisher allowing me to review the book through Netgalley. My opinion is my own. No compensation received.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Exodus 14:14 ~ The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

 Sometimes life is hard but that is when we have to dig deep, settle in with our Bible, and immerse ourselves in the truth of who God is and cling to his promises that are prolific throughout Scripture.

Hang in there, faithful friends.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky

About the Book

In 2012, art historian Gwen Monroe travels to England's Lake District to appraise the paintings and antiques of an old family friend, hoping to prove herself to her prestigious grandfather. While at Longdale Manor, she becomes acquainted with David Bradley--the owner's handsome grandson--who is desperate to save the crumbling estate by turning it into a bed-and-breakfast. When Gwen stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old journal and an intricately carved shepherd's staff similar to one in a photo of her parents, she uncovers a connection to the father she never knew.

In 1912, after her father's death, Charlotte Harper uncovers a painful family secret she can only confess to her journal. She and her family travel to the Lake District to stay on a sheep farm, hoping eventually to find a home with Charlotte's grandfather at Longdale Manor, but old wounds and bitter regrets make it a difficult challenge. As Charlotte grows closer to shepherd Ian Storey and rebuilds her shattered faith, she must decide whether she will ever trust in love again.

Two women a century apart are taken on a journey to healing, faith, and forgiveness in this heartfelt dual-time Edwardian romance from bestselling author Carrie Turansky.

Purchase Link

Let me know in the comments if you've read any of Carrie Turansky's books. I think I've read them all! She's one of my favorite Christian authors in the market today. Her stories are filled with hope, grace, love, and faith with plots that keep me riveted to the pages. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Review~ Voice of the Ancient (The King's Men #1) by Connilyn Cosette


Bethany House Publishers
August 15, 2023
336 pages

As the eldest son of a Levite and a Philistine, Avidan is torn between his duty to his family legacy and the desire for something more. When Ammonites attack the city of Yavash-Gilead, he takes the opportunity to fight with his cousins for the newly crowned King Saul. But when one of the cousins goes missing during the battle, Avidan stays behind to search for him in hopes that he's still alive.

Keziah is the daughter of one of the most powerful clan chiefs in the territory of Manasseh. On the brink of a forced marriage to a loathsome man decades older than her, she has no choice but to run. Dressed as a boy, she takes her horse and heads for the south, hoping to find sanctuary with her mother's family.

Battling to survive the dangers surrounding them, Avidan and Keziah make a pact to travel together. As Keziah's true origins are revealed and Avidan's search for his cousin becomes increasingly futile, they must not only rely on each other to stay alive but learn to trust the true and eternal King of Israel to guide their every step.

With impeccable research and award-winning writing, bestselling author Connilyn Cossette brings to life the first years of King Saul's reign.


My Review 4 STARS

Cossette never ceases to amaze me at the depth of research that is obviously done in order to bring readers a story that absolutely draws one in from the first page to the last. Voice of the Ancient tells a story of fierce determination, heartache, love, redemption, and so much more. Be prepared to be immersed in rich historical detail! You may not be able to put this one down.

Fans of historical and biblical fiction will want to grab a copy of this first book in the new The King’s Men series. This is going to be quite a ride!

I received a copy from the publisher, and also purchased a copy. My opinion is my own.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Review ~ He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox

Beekeeper Beckett Walsh is living her dream, working alongside her father in their apiary, until his untimely death sends her world into a tailspin. She suddenly finds she must deal with a new part owner of the family business--one who is looking to sell the property. Beck cannot fathom why her father would put her into the position to lose everything they built together.

When Callie Peterson is named in the trust of a man she's never heard of, she's not sure what to do. Her fledgling business has just taken wing and her mother has reentered her life asking for help getting into rehab for her lifelong substance abuse issues, making Callie's financial situation rather . . . precarious. She's sure she has no right to someone else's farm, but the money from the sale could solve her problems and give her the stability she's always craved.

As these two women navigate their present conundrum, they will discover a complex and entangled past full of secrets--and the potential for a brighter future for both of them.


My Review 4 STARS

I was 100% drawn to the cover since my husband is a beekeeper!

I was hoping for a more upbeat story, and less about the psychology/trauma that shadowed every main character in this story. It is heavy, indeed. Some will find it infinitely appealing, and that’s fine. I’ve read some terrific reviews on the book and can agree with most of what is highlighted. It certainly has its place in literature and will undoubtedly be a conduit or starting place for healing to some. Cox is an excellent writer and brings her counseling experience to the forefront in He Should Have Told the Bees, although I could not figure out why it was titled so. LOL

I’m giving it four stars because I know that psychology this heavily presented doesn’t interest me but I am well aware it does others. So in that, I am biased, but I won’t let it get in the way of recognizing this authors talent in weaving an intricate plot and showing each characters growth. That made it worth reading. If you are a fan of heavy women’s fiction, then I recommend this book to you unabashedly. J

I saw a *trigger* warning in another review and wholeheartedly agree that this book could be a trigger for some women BUT the author goes about these hard topics in a graceful and sensitive manner.

I received a copy from the publisher. My opinion is my own. 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Long Hot Summer

Whew! It's been a long, hot, and busy summer here in our corner of the foothills of North Carolina. August isn't looking any better, except for the sometimes pop-up afternoon thunderstorms. Those storms have been pretty fierce lately. But we saw the most incredible double rainbow the other day. I think it's the first double one seen here on our farm in the 24 years we've lived here. 
My photo doesn't do it justice. at. all. 

As for busyness, the chickens, cat, and puppy keep me hopping all day every day. I never knew so much work went into raising a puppy. This one was dumped in our yard back mid spring and our youngest adult son wanted to keep her so we did. She is a running, rolling, jumping ball of energy; perhaps a Vizsla Terrier mix. The vet says maybe so we're going with it. LOL In this photo she was about 12 pounds and now she's almost four times this size, weighing in at 44 pounds last week!!! 

My husband and I started landscaping the front yard, which we've been wanting to do for years. At our age, we work very slow....and painfully. But we're pretty much finished! Again, my pictures aren't great and don't capture how nice it actually looks. Anyone who has ever been here knows it's a HUGE improvement.

I have two books for review purposes so I'm excited to share about those when I'm done. It's been a slow summer for reading too. Somehow my days are filled up with busy work and by the time evening comes, I have no energy left to even open a book. 

I'd love to know how your summer is going! Have you been gardening, reading, writing, lazing by the pool, or babysitting grands? 

Whatever you've been up to, I hope most of all you're staying strong in Christ! The world is certainly a little more crazy than it was last summer but we can trust Him to give us all we need, and to help us get through all the tough times.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Review ~ Fairest of Heart (Texas Ever After #1) by Karen Witemeyer

Bethany House Publishers, June 2023
352 Pages, Paperback

About the Book

Beauty has been nothing but a curse to Penelope Snow. When she becomes a personal maid for a famous actress whose troupe is leaving Chicago to tour the West, she hides her figure beneath shapeless dresses and keeps her head down. But she still manages to attract the wrong attention, leaving her prospects in tatters--and her jealous mistress plotting her demise.

After his brother lost his life over a woman, Texas ranger Titus Kingsley has learned to expect the worst from women and is rarely disappointed. So when a young woman found in suspicious circumstances takes up residence with the seven old drovers living at his grandfather's ranch, Titus is determined to keep a close eye on her.

With a promotion hanging in the balance, Titus is assigned to investigate a robbery case tied to Penelope's acting troupe. The evidence points to her guilt, but Titus's heart divines a different truth--one that might just get Penelope killed.

An enchanting Western take on the classic Snow White fairy tale, Fairest of Heart will sweep you away from once upon a time to happily ever after.


My Review 5 STARS!!!

Of all the fairytale retellings I have read, Fairest of Heart is by far my favorite! Witemeyer, in my humble opinion, has raised the bar in this genre.

I felt as if I was transported into the re-release of the first fairytale I ever saw on the big screen in 1967. I can remember the excitement of seeing the characters come alive and as then, today my attention and emotions were fully engaged with Penelope, Titus, Doc and ALL of the old drovers, aka the graybeard brigade, at the Diamond D Ranch. They played across my mind’s eye with ease, bringing great affection for this well written re-telling.

At the same time, I thought it was brilliant to have several POV instances from the seductive villainess Narcissa LaBelle. Boy howdy, she is wicked to the core. Witemeyer perfectly describes her cunning mind and conniving ways. I could not wait to see how Ranger Titus Kingsley was going to catch her and what a great sting it was!

With fabulous descriptions of…well…everything, I can see this becoming one I reread many times! Of course, no one writes western quite like this author so when a beloved classic fairytale meets a pen like Witemeyer wields, it is bound to become a classic in its own right among Christian fiction fans. Truly, the faith thread was so well done for both Penelope and Titus, and their romance is as delectable as apple cider.

I received an early copy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. No compensation has been received.

Have you read any fairytale retellings? If so, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Review ~ Man of Shadow & Mist (Of Monsters and Men, 2) by Michelle Griep


Barbour Fiction, 320 Pages (Paperback)

“The world seems full of good men—even if there are monsters in it.”

–Bram Stoker, Dracula

England, 1890

Vampires are alive and well in North Yorkshire, leastwise in the minds of the uneducated. Librarian Rosa Edwards intends to drive a stake through the heart of such superstitions. But gossip flies when the mysterious Sir James Morgan returns to his shadowy manor. The townsfolk say he is cursed.

James hates everything about England. The weather. The rumours. The scorn. Yet he must stay. His mother is dying of a disease for which he’s desperately trying to find a cure—an illness that will eventually take his own life.

When Rosa sets out to prove the dark gossip about James is wrong, she discovers more questions than answers. How can she accept what she can’t explain—especially the strong allure of the enigmatic man? James must battle a town steeped in fear as well as the unsettling attraction he feels for the no-nonsense librarian.

Can love prevail in a town filled with fear and doubt?


My Review ~ 5 STARS

Griep has written another absolutely riviting page turner! Man of Shadow & Mist is one of the highlights of my reading this year. I could not put this book down and devoured it as if it was a chocolate candy bar in front of me.

With a fascinating plot and deep spiritual truths, any fan of Grieps will enjoy spending a few hours immersed in this book. I may have been a little more entranced by the story because when I was in high school I had a small speaking part in the play (Dracula) that our drama dept put on. It was such fun! Reading this semi re-telling brought back many good memories of one of my favorite electives.

James was trying so hard to find a cure for his mother and subsequently himself. My heart hurt for him for all the cruelty he’d been subjected to by the town people. His moment of surrender to the Lord and recognizing God’s sovereignty over even this brought tears to my eyes.

Rosa is such a lovely young woman who sees beyond the gossip. She has a bit of trepidation toward James early on however, she doesn’t believe the myths and folklore about vampires so she stands strong and befriends him.

Griep found a way to bring a shining light in deep darkness and has once again solidified her place in gothic fiction. I highly recommend this book!

I received an early copy from the author and publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. No compensation has been received. This is my opinion of the book.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Rebecca Reviews ~ In This Moment (Timeless, #2) by Gabrielle Meyer

416 Pages, Paperback

Published May 2, 2023, Bethany House Publishers

About the Book

Maggie inherited a gift from her time-crossing parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each night she goes to sleep in one time period and wakes up in another. Until, that is, she turns twenty-one, when she will have to forfeit two of those lives--and everyone she knows in them--forever.

In 1861, Maggie is the daughter of an influential senator at the outbreak of the Civil War, navigating a capital full of Southern spies and wounded soldiers. In 1941, she is a Navy nurse, grappling with her knowledge of the future when she's asked to join a hospital ship being sent to Pearl Harbor. And in 2001, she's a brilliant young medical student, fulfilling her dream of becoming a surgeon, yet unable to use her modern skills in her other paths.

While Maggie has sworn off romance until she makes her final choice, an intriguing man tugs at her heart in each era. The mysterious British gentleman. The prickly, demanding doctor. The charming young congressman. She's drawn to each man in different ways, only complicating the impossible decision she must make, which looms ever closer.

With so much on the line, how can Maggie choose just one life to keep and the rest to lose?


3.5 stars

"Most days, I could pretend that my life was normal. I was a twenty-year old woman searching for my place in the world .. . . The only difference was that I had three normal lives . . . I would have to choose which one to keep and which to forfeit."

"Do you ever get scared?" . . . . . . "Of saying good-bye . . . forever?"

Going to sleep in one life, and waking in another had always been a way of life for Margaret Wakefield, Maggie Hollingsworth, and Meg Clarke. Born as a time crosser, she deftly navigated her knowledge of American history between 1861, 1941, and 2001. . . . . albeit every once in a while her comments or actions raised a few eyebrows (or even quite a few eyebrows), leaving Maggie no option but to continue on as if nothing unusual had just happened; however, the clock kept ticking towards her twenty-first birthday (and final decision time). Determined to find her true calling, she pursued the field of medicine in each era and tried very hard to guard her heart in the process, but three men made that task particularly difficult. Would one of them prove to "be enough"?

Amazingly, this author has sewn together a trio of intriguing life spans into one very interesting story, recalling how all three time periods had very similar, yet singular challenges. One of my deepest impressions came while reading this particular conversation; "None of us are independent of the ones we love. We're woven together like a big tapestry, with each color unique and vibrant, but making a larger picture possible. You're woven right here for eternity."

And those three men? The ones who made Maggie's heart beat faster? Well . . . . "when you know, you know".

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

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Short Review ~ Dear Henry, Love Edith by Becca Kinzer


About the Book

After a short and difficult marriage, recently widowed Edith Sherman has learned her lesson. Forget love. Forget marriage. She plans to fill her thirties with adventure. As she awaits the final paperwork for a humanitarian trip to South Africa, she accepts a short-term nursing position in a small Midwestern town. The last thing she needs is a handsome local catching her eye. How inconvenient is that?

Henry Hobbes isn't exactly thrilled to have Edith, who he assumes is an elderly widow, dumped on him as a houseguest for the summer. But he'd do almost anything for his niece, who is practically like a sister to him given how close they are in age. Especially since Edith will be working nights and Henry works most days. When he and Edith keep missing each other in person, they begin exchanging notes--short messages at first, then longer letters, sharing increasingly personal parts of their lives.

By the time Henry realizes his mistake--that Edith is actually the brown-eyed beauty he keeps bumping into around town--their hearts are so intertwined he hopes they never unravel. But with her departure date rapidly approaching, and Henry's roots firmly planted at home, Edith must ultimately decide if the adventure of her dreams is the one right in front of her.

My Review 4 STARS!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed binging on this contemporary rom-com!! Lots of fun to read with engaging characters, captivating plot twists, and amusing dialogue. Complete delight in this debut novel!!! 

A friend loaned me the book. I was under no obligation to write a review.


Has anyone else read this one? If so, let me know in the comment section. And offer a recommendation if you've read a good book this spring!

Monday, April 10, 2023

New Release from Mimi Matthews!!!

Tomorrow is the DAY!!!

Return to Satterthwaite Court 

releases from highly acclaimed author Mimi Matthews.

I pre-ordered my copy from Audible because narrator Alex Wyndham is one of my favorite narrators.

    Do you enjoy audio books? I had to train myself to listen to them during the "year no one wants to remember" took place and we were all told to stay shut up in our homes. No library access, and publishers weren't mailing books for such a long time that it was excruciating for this avid reader. So I signed up for Audible and I think one of the first books I bought was by Mimi Matthews. I was hooked right then and went through every one of her books she had published at the time. Long days of sitting on porch with a sewing project in my lap and a historical novel in my ear was just about perfect in spite of the chaos going on in the world.

    If you haven't read any of Matthews' books, I highly recommend them. They are considered clean Victorian Romances and quite intriguing, especially her Parish Orphans of Devon series. I've listened to the third book, A Convenient Fiction, about 5 or 6 times. 

      My Review on Goodreads:

    "Excellently done!!!
    A Convenient Fiction is a beautifully romantic story with fabulous narration!! It was a pleasure to listen to. I loved it."

    But if you aren't an audio book fan, that's ok! They're published in traditional print and e-book as well. 

    I don't get any revenue from you using any links on this blog. I'm just sharing because it's easy and quick to get to Matthews' profile on Goodreads. And from there, you can decide for yourself! 
    I sincerely hope your spring is off to a good start! I've been very busy tending to my chickens, grandbaby and family.

    I love the color variations from light cream to reddish brown to blue to green to olive. Life is better with chickens!! ❤️

Monday, March 13, 2023

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel


352 pages, Paperback, First published February 21, 2023

About the Book

Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption. __________________________________________________________________________

Rebecca's Review ~ 3.5 STARS

More to her story? If you were to ask Brianna, her story was rather short and simple. Orphaned as an infant, dropped off in a basket at Maureen Magee's front door, assigned the role of a house servant at the Ballymacool House and Boarding School for Girls as soon as she was old enough to contribute to the needs of the household, Brianna worked nearly night and day handling endless tasks with little time to dawdle. And yet . . . . was there an "and yet"?

Michael Wray, a local gentleman, arrives at Ballymacool to aid in the oversight of his young cousin, whose unladylike behavior has caused quite a stir among her fellow students. On the other hand, his encounters with the lovely housemaid are surprisingly refreshing, Brianna has a certain charm about her, coupled with a hint of something else . . . familiarity? It's obvious how terribly Mistress Magee is treating the young woman, but for what reason? Michael has many questions for which there seem to be very few answers.

This politely predictable story has a certain allure about it that even its "cinderella" setting cannot deny is appealing. The author has written in just enough intrigue (for who doesn't love a good secret) to keep the reader tip-toeing around the pages, eagerly awaiting the next clue. As it turns out, that "more to the story" could be a fairy tale all its own.

"Just remember, tis no secret that's known to three."

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

GIVEAWAY - Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

Published 2021

I have an unread extra paperback copy of Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong I'm giving away.
This book was on my Top Reads in 2021!! Just a snippet from my review -- "Rom-com between the pages is a great way to describe the story and it would definitely make for a hilarious movie."
You can read the full review here at

Author Interview & Review ~ Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong + GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment letting me know what you've been doing these final weeks of winter, or summer if you're that far away ;) And please follow this blog. It's much appreciated!

This giveaway is US ONLY (48 contiguous states). Sorry, postage is a bear!

I'll pick a winner on March 3rd. Don't forget to leave an email so I can contact you if you win!!! No email, no entry.

Side note: My blog has sat unattended once again for several weeks as I have been dealing with a health issue. It's an ongoing one but I am now feeling quite a bit better. I do hope to share soon several books I've read (none of them for official review, just ones I've found on Kindle Unlimited) while resting and gaining the upper hand on this condition. I also hope to get back to regularly visiting some of my dear online friends! I have certainly read your newsletters and blog posts in my email and enjoyed them. I just didn't have the stamina to get around to commenting. ~May the Lord be with you always,