Barbour Publishing

My Heart Belonds in the Superstition: Carmela’s Quandry by Susan Page Davis

30838280My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandry by Susan Page Davis is the second book in the My Heart Belongs series. Carmela’s Quandry is a Christian Western with a touch of romance. It is set in 1866 in the Arizona Territory. The story has lots of detail which allows for the reader to feel that they are there in the middle of the story. A wonderful story that allows the reader to see the inner beauty in people.

Carmela lost her parents on the trail to California at a young age and since that point her uncle has been exploiting her for years. At first Carmela was cared for by friends until her uncle could arrive. Her parents owed money that Carmela’s uncle was now responsible for paying. Since the uncle didn’t have the money he guilted and punished Carmela by forcing her to tell a fake story that the uncle invented. The story is that she has been a victim of an Indian attack, later the uncle forces her to tour the country telling the story he invented. He even drew tattoos on her face because that mimicked what tribes often did to captives. Carmela is now twenty and is almost of age to be able to break away from her Uncle and stop speaking to crowds of people and telling them something that are lies.

Freeman McKay is a lawman who is transporting a dangerous prisoner by stage. He is riding along with a prisoner he is transporting when the stagecoach they are on is robbed. The bad guys leave Carmela and Freeland handcuffed together in the desert and ride off with their loot. Freeman is unconscious from the attack. Several hours go by and Carmela is brought water by a mysterious Indian warrior. That water saved their lives. Freeman and Carmela have to make their way to Prescott so that she can settle and be safe. Carmela and Freeman develop a relationship of trust. Carmela tells Freeman of the secret that she has been forced by her uncle to lie to crowds of people for money.

I liked that Carmela was able to find true happiness. The story is captivating. It’s a story of faith and the healing virtue of friendship and love.

I received an ARC from NetGalley via Barbour Publishing, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Barbour Books, Barbour Publishing, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, historical fiction, history, NetGalley | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wildflower Harvest by Colleen L. Reece

cover97776-mediumWildflower Harvest by Colleen L. Reece is a Christian novel set in the 1800’s. Thomas and Sadie Brown’s farm, Red Cedars, is nestled in the Allegheny Mountain’s in what has become West Virginia. It escaped detection by both Yankee and Rebel troops during the Civil War. Their twin daughters, Mountain Laurel and Ivy Ann, are very different from each other. Laurel is very quiet and reserved while Ivy is outgoing and flirty. They have recently turned twenty. A week later they are blessed to have the new doctor, Adam Birchfield, arrive.

The story is about two twin sisters Laurel and Ivy Ann who lives with their parents in West Virginian. They meet a handsome doctor, Adam Birchfield who seems to like both of the sisters. There is a rift between the sisters which makes one choose to do something unexpected. Adam leaves West Virginian to joins his older brother Nat in Wyoming who is a preacher. Laurel decides leave and go to Wyoming too.

The Birchfield’s have always made their home in Massachusetts until oldest son, Nathaniel, refuses to fight in the war he doesn’t believe in and leaves home. When he finishes school, Adam also leaves his family home in order to practice medicine where he is desperately needed and to try to find his brother.

The lives of these two families become entwined in some very unexpected ways over the years. I really enjoyed this book and the characters though at times I wanted to yell at them when they made silly decisions. There is always some competition going on between Laurel and Ivy, some expected and some seem silly for adult women. The girls are both strong and adventurous when need be. When their lives take unexpected turns they focus on prayer to see them through. Adam finds Nathaniel is now a preacher in the vast Wyoming where the need for a doctor is great. Adam prayerfully considers whether God is calling him to join his brother.

There are many unexpected turns which kept me very engaged and reading to learn what would happen next. The main characters are all Christians but only share their faith through actions. I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good, Christian based romance novel with some mysteries included.

I received an advance copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Categories: Adventure, Barbour Books, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, family, fiction, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Relationships, Review, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Seekers by Wanda Brunstetter

cover100876-mediumThe Seekers is the first installment to Wanda Brunstetter’s newest series, Amish Cooking Class. I really enjoyed this book. In The Seekers, Heidi starts an Amish cooking class. I loved all the different individuals and their own stories and what bought each one to the cooking class held by Heidi.

This book revolves around a woman named Heidi Troyer and her Amish cooking class.Heidi Troyer and her husband of eight years, Lyle, have no children yet. She loves her Lyle and their life together but desires children, also. Lyle refuses to adopt, believing that if it is God’s will, Heidi will be able to conceive a child. Heidi considers giving cooking classes since cooking has come naturally to her and classes won’t take time away from her husband. Heidi will lead six lessons over the next three months.

The Lord prepares students for her first class. The students come with different problems to the classes and through out the book, they find solutions. First is Loretta,  a widow and single mother of two little kids that just wants to learn a more simpler way of life. She wants to know more about being Amish, so learning Amish cooking in an Amish home sounds beneficial.

Second, Charlene is engaged to a wonderful man, but has no experience in the kitchen.  Her financé has a mother who is an expert cook and doesn’t like Charlene. She doesn’t want her future mother-in-law to know she can’t cook.

Third is Eli, is a young widowed man who is part of the Amish community and also doesn’t know how to cook much of anything. His wife had been killed by a hit-and-run driver. He couldn’t cook, and eats out frequently after work.

Fourth, Kendra  is a young lady who got pregnant out of wedlock and was kicked out of her home by her dad so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of church or social friends. The young man also left her.

Last but not least is Ron. He pulls his older RV into the Troyer’s yard, hungry and broke. He tells Heidi and Lyle the first lie, that his rig needs repairs and he needs a place to park until he can repair it. He ends up in the cooking class without planning to be there. The Troyers share their food and time, but he holds his secrets close. A Viet Nam vet with PTSD, Ron always finds ways to justify what he does.

Most of the characters are very likable. We see Heidi as a three-dimensional woman of faith, and get to know her students through their everyday lives. I love how this book focuses so much on God. I also love the recipes and how after each class she gives a notecard with the recipe and a verse on the back.

I received this ARC book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Adventure, Amish, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, cooking, family, fiction, NetGalley, recipes, Relationships, Review, Shiloh Run Press, teacher, Vietnam, Wanda Brunstetter | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too Blessed To Be Stressed. . .Inspiration for Every Day 365 Devotions for Women by Debora M. Coty

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Too Blessed To Be Stressed. . .Inspiration for Every Day: 365 Devotions for Women by Debora M. Coty is a sweet little devotional book. The devotionals are short, to the point, and easy to digest. This book is perfect for women on the go, fitting easily into a purse or computer bag, and makes a thoughtful gift as well.

Each devotion features the date, a title, Bible verse of inspiration, a short story, and prayer/thought to apply to our lives on that set date. There’s a ribbon bookmark bound into the book to keep ones place until the next reading. The back of the book features a scripture index that list scripture used in the devotional alphabetically by each book found in the Bible. I like that the book isn’t too big. It fits nicely on my bedside table but also would be a good fit for a bathroom shelf, office desk, or in a living room dedicated space for books to be intended to read daily.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Categories: Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, devotional, NetGalley, Shiloh Run Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez

28956769From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez is a story where the author recounts her husband Joel’s battle with cancer, their struggle to conceive, his eventual death, and her attempts at IVF afterward.

Sarah was writing about incredibly emotional experiences but rather than allowing the reader to see her emotion, she told the reader that she was sad, angry, etc. As a reader I did not feel that I was able to experience the emotions with the author.

This book is about a man of faith named Joel and his baby girl Ellis; both of their names mean ‘Jehovah is God’. Joel’s hope was that as a result of every crisis, others would come to believe in Jehovah. It is also about Joel’s wife Sarah, mother to Ellis as well as their son Milo. Sarah and Joel Rodriguez believed that the Lord’s hand was on their family; they never imagined how many and how severe trials could be in their lives. Sarah is a young woman whose life after she married Joel Rodriguez became a roller-coaster ride, from despair to joy, from joy to mourning, from mourning to beauty. She could only have endured through close communion with her Savior and the support of family and close friends. This book may be appreciated by those who are going through severe trials as they may find encouragement. It can also be appreciated by those whose loved ones are going through trials as they may find a way to encourage them. The Lord showed Sarah how to see beauty each time she rose through the ashes of intense pain which speaks volumes for her choice of tenacious faith.

Sarah met the love of her life, Joel Rodriguez, in NYC in 2004, and they were married just over a year later. They were both Christians and had similar hopes as they grew their marriage. This included their desire for children; the natural step they saw toward that goal was to move to Sarah’s home state of Oklahoma. Pregnancy was not something easily obtained by the couple, however, and after various tests, surgery, and medications, they agreed to submit to in vitro fertilization. Before they could begin the IVF process they learned that Joel had cancer, a football-size tumor that engulfed one of his kidneys. Prior to his treatments and surgery, they began IVF procedures so she could have healthy embryos implanted at a better time.

Each step along the way, God was preparing them for the next crisis. They endured what many couldn’t by doing the next right thing, even when their cries were interspersed with screaming, weeping, and asking “why”. The author speaks from her heart with raw vulnerability and authenticity. She doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges in their lives, nor does she seek pity. She has determined to tell their story.

This very well-written story of the Rodriguez family will inspire and encourage readers, although one might keep a box of tissues nearby. I highly recommend ‘From Depths We Rise’ to readers and church libraries. Whatever one is going through, this book will ultimately bring hope in the God who brings us beauty from the ashes of our lives.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Barbour Publishing, Bible, biography, book review, books, Christian, death, devotional, family, friendships, From Depths We Rise, inspiration, literature, love, memoir, NetGalley, pregnancy, Relationships, Review, Sarah Rodriguez, Shiloh Run Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Christmas Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter

28956754The Christmas Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a wonderful Christmas Novella to get the reader in the holiday/Christmas mood.This book is the perfect example of how a lie can have devastating consequences many years later. Beautiful story of how a God hears and answers our prayers. Don’t miss this one, as you will not be disappointed.

The Christmas Secret is set in 1880 and the town sounds simply enchanting in its simplicity. The little cabin they plan to live in for sentimental reasons intrigues others but many of them don’t understand their decision. They know they could live in a more modern cabin. They plan to marry there as well even though her best friend, Helen, doesn’t think it is a wise choice. Unfortunately for the happy couple, Elizabeth discovers her aunt’s secret diary as she is cleaning the cabin and when she reads it, she finds a horrible, horrible truth that means she can never marry David. In her shock and grief, she hastily writes a letter to David to cancel their marriage and flees without even talking with him first. He is confused and upset and all he wants is to find her and bring her home for their wedding. He may never find her though and when he does, the secret may indeed end their chance of a lifetime of married bliss together. But David isn’t giving up on this beautiful, wonderful young woman and God isn’t giving up on either of them. If only Elizabeth would trust God to shape their future.

This is the perfect time of year to spend time reading The Christmas Secret as we approach the Christmas holiday. Of course, any time of year is the right time to read books in my opinion, but I love to read Christmas books at this time of year. Wanda has tackled this historical fiction piece with as much style and grace as she does with her Amish works. The story has a shocking element that leads to a mystery for David as he searches to bring his bride-to-be home. I love a good shocking bit of a mystery when I read and I think that other readers will enjoy it too.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Barbour Publishing, Bible, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, culture, family, friendships, historical fiction, history, inspiration, love, NetGalley, Shiloh Run Press, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible for Women A Hope-Filled Reading for Every Day of the Year by Barbour Publishing

cover91422-medium365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible for Women: A Hope-Filled Reading for Every Day of the Year by Barbour Publishing is an encouraging devotional. It is encouraging, uplifting, and hits on the deep questions. This book hits on faith, love, family, hope, patience.

The devotions are picked to suit the day or season. Each starts with a verse, then the devotion, and followed by a prayer. The devotions are typically on one page per day. The reader may start any day of the year or start from January 1 and read to December 31.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: 365 Encouraging Verses of the Bible for Women, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, devotional, inspiration, NetGalley | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter, and Jean Brunstetter

28508810The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter is a refreshing new twist on Amish fiction. This is not your typical Amish story. There is such faith, hope, dreams, heartbreak and determination throughout this wonderful story. This one will keep you turning pages right up to the very end so you can see how it ends.

A very different type of Amish story, we are going to Hawaii, and we are using cameras and cell phones, and doing tourist things, we are also on a cruise ship.
Four dear friends decide to take a trip of a lifetime, and decide to take a cruise to Hawaii and Mexico, this is happening before they join the Amish church. Now you can picture these sheltered young women being on this exciting journey, how different for them. Mandy, Ellen, Barbara and Sadie decide early on their trip to each take separate side trips and then share their experiences with each other so that they are able to see more. Mandy and Ellen are late getting back to the ship while in Kawai and when they get to the dock the ship is gone. These girls sure had God’s hand on them, you can imagine all kind of bad things happening, but they end up staying with Christians and this is where the lost quilt comes into the story.

I enjoyed this quick read, questioned some of Mandy’s actions, but then remembering they are in their run around time, but I could see that Ellen was more set in her faith. The ending to me left a lot to be desired, it seemed a bit rushed, but then I didn’t write the book, and as I said this is a very different Amish story.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Adventure, Amish, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, culture, ean Brunstetter, fiction, friendships, Jean Brunstetter, Literary Fiction, love, NetGalley, Shiloh Run Press, The Hawaiian Quilt, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The California Gold Rush Romance Collection

28114246The California Gold Rush Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Dianne Christner, Anne Greene, Linda Farmer Harris, Cynthia Hickey, Pam Hillman, Jennifer Rogers Spinola, Jaime Jo Wright is a delightful collection of stories from nine talented and very creative authors. The plots are diverse. The California Gold Rush Romance Collection is really no different than any other romance collection, but there are a couple of stand-out novellas. The Golden Cross and Gold Haven Heiress are two that don’t really fit into the mold and really are intriguing. The Golden Cross tells the story of a man and his niece immigrating from China to find gold, but they find something more they can do that is more valuable than gold. The Gold Haven Heiress tells the story from Thalia’s viewpoint, and Thalia is a girl who has lived a long life for her few years. She has settled in the ghost town of Gold Haven because it allows her to be alone. When Jack Taylor moves in, that messes up her plans to live a solitary life.

I give the stories In the California Gold Rush Collection four out of five stars.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, fiction, friendships, history, NetGalley, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Harvest Cookbook by Wanda E. Brunstetter

cover89521-mediumWanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Harvest Cookbook by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a great cookbook that has wonderful recipes for everyone to enjoy.  I enjoyed reading the advice from Amish gardeners. They gave tips that are useful and I hope to use on my garden. Mrs. Brunsteter has sectioned her book off into eight categories. The categories are Salads, Soups, Main Dishes, Sides, Desserts, Snacks and Extras, and preserving the Harvest.

The Index of Recipes and Key Ingredients is a nice addition, which makes it easy to find a specific recipe. The pictures are high quality and beautiful. There are pictures of Amish farming and of some recipes. The recipes chosen use ingredients that can be found easily or are already in the kitchen. The recipes sound delicious and I cannot wait to try some of them for my family.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and Shiloh Run Press via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Categories: Amish, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, cookbook, cooking, devotional, garden, nature, NetGalley, Review, Shiloh Run Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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