The Roll of the Drums

“The Roll of the Drums” is the second book in the series, The Amish of Weaver’s Creek. The author picks up with Gideon Fisher, his wife and four children who are in the process of moving to another community. When they come upon Weaver Creek they see a young women and ask her where they could find a place to stay and their friendship starts.

The Weaver’s have an extra room and allow the Fisher’s to stay with them. Ruby and Lydia Weaver offer to help take of care of Gideon’s wife who is ill as well as watch over their children. Lavinia asks Ruby to make her a tall promise as well as her husband.

I like how the author weaves in the Civil War and Amish traditions. A story about true love, redemption, forgiveness and mercy. “ The Roll of the Drums” can be read on its own, but you will miss the relationships that develop in the first book.

I received a copy of the book from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Sound of Distant Thunder

I was part of a Blind Book Tour and received “The Sound of Distant Thunder” by author Jan Drexler. The sweetness of young love, the conflict and sorrow of the War Between the States, the wisdom of married couples mixed with faith, family and freedom drew me in from page one.

Katie Stuckey is in love with the idea of being in love and does not want to wait till she turns 18 to get married although her dad feels she is too young. She wants to honor her parents and have their blessing. Katie has a fear that a was put on her by a previous school teacher that whomever she gets close to will meet their demise.

Jonas Weaver who Katie has her eye on does not want to follow the teachings of the church especially for the abolitionist cause. Jonas brother, Samuel who is married comes up in the draft list and Jonas volunteers to take his place. The Amish are a peaceful people and do not believe in war, they were granted permission to pay $200 per man if drafted, rather than go fight. Or they can hire someone to go in their place.

He and Katie are in love, can they stay committed to one another while Jonas is off fighting the Civil War? Or does Levi who Jonas asked to look after Katie have feelings for her? Jonas has no idea of Levi’s feelings for his wife.

I am looking forward to Book Two in the series, “The Amish of Weaver’s Creek and to find out what happens. I enjoy reading about the Amish, their struggles of faith, love and hope and see how they work through everything together.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher, Revell, in exchange for my honest opinion.

One Final Breath

One Final Breath is the third book in the Dive Team Investigations Series by Lynn Blackburn. When investigator Gabe had his cover blown by a reporter, the silver lining was that he wanted  rejoin the dive team, however dive team captain Anissa, a woman who frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and planned on returning to after college. She decided to stay stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her- the murder of her best friend and. However when Anissa and Gabe’s past collides when the are at a party and hear a shot on the lake. They must put aside their love, hate relationship while they search for the person who killed a boy in Lake Porter. They slowly discover that their feelings are starting to change towards each other. Will they be able to put aside their differences and work as a team?

Anissa and Gabe have a love hate relationship, while they try and search for the person who killed a boy in Lake Porter. They must put aside their differences to work as a team while they search for clues. They slowly discover that their feelings are starting to change towards each other. Will they be able to work together and not let their past get in the way?

We are all flawed and love how the author showed that the characters struggled, but they stood firm in their faith.

I received a copy of the book from Revell in exchange for an honest opinion.

You Belong With Me

“You Belong With Me” is Tari Faris’ debut novel the first in the Restoring Heritage series. When a business tycoon is determined to raze historic homes in a small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, realtor Hannah resolves to stop him. Hannah applies for a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map.
Luke Johnson never felt he belonged after being in and out of the foster care system. He now has a chance to earn his place in his hometown. But he does not anticipate how his relationship with Hannah will set into motion events that reveal the truth about who he is.
Janie who has returned from spending a year in Paris is still trusting God after finding out that her ex-boyfriend who broke up with her for no reason is now engaged. Janie and Thomas land up working together temporarily in the diner and discover that just maybe they still have feelings for each other.
The author touches on learning how to trust others and effectively trust God. Both Luke and Hannah are two people who have been hurt in the past and they discover each other and work through their hurts together. “Isn’t that so much like life? All the pieces are there, but it takes the Master to arrange them in the right way.” Faris writes about characters that the reader can relate to and that have a Christian theme. We all struggle but having faith in God will pull us through just like Hannah and Luke. A story of redemption, forgiveness, mercy and love. I highly recommend the book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell in exchange for an honest opinion.

Forged Through Fire

Wow, what a story of redemption, love and forgiveness. “Forged through Fire” is the raw and unvarnished story of a man searching for meaning and answers in the midst of great trials.” Jesus certainly does not promise His followers a life free from trials or pain, but the author’s faith is not in any shape perfect, he spent time away from God, but through his trials and pain he learned that God is always with him. When he was 16, Mark was in a catastrophic house fire that claimed the lives of his mother and youngest brother. Suffering burns over 65% of his body, his first thoughts turned to death being better than the suffering he was in.
If you or a loved one has suffered from personal trauma, disease or loss that has tested or stolen your faith and exhausted your emotional resources, you’ll find real hope in his redemptive story. I went through a dark time as a care giver for my grandmother who passed away from dementia. To say it was easy would be an understatement. Believing in God and trusting in Him does not mean our lives will be easy or we won’t face struggles. Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to his purpose. Mark shared his near-death experience which made his faith stronger in the end. With each reconstructive surgery after the other his faith was tested. Still, he became a physical therapist, physician, and later a plastic reconstructive surgeon.
I highly recommend “Forged through Fire.” If Mark preserved through all his trials and pain there is no reason why we can’t.
I received a copy of the book from Revell/Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.

Finding Lady Enderly

Not quite a rags to riches story, Raina Bretton is a rag women in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in an alley and offer’s her a chance for an adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from a hard life and give her a chance to be a Lady. This was the first book that I read from the author and will be adding her books to my to be read pile.
If you enjoy reading historical books with a twist, you will enjoy reading this one.
I received a copy from Revell/Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.

Back Roads to Belonging

“When we’re in a season of change, hope gets buried beneath fifty layers of defeated thinking, and we’re sure we need to do something to reassure ourselves that we belong.” Author Kristen Strong shares with the reader how she struggled fitting in, with compassion and encouragement. Each chapter from wandering to inviting shows us how to remain in Christ and grow into the unique role God has for us.

How often do we struggle with belonging or fitting in or felt left out?  I struggle with that more often that I want to but am reminded daily that God is with me and part of the bigger picture. How often do we click “like” on a post to be part of the group or to fit in? I found myself in most of the pages throughout the book. We are made for community and connection to not do life on our own. The author weaves into each chapter modern day with biblical examples. Add this book to your to be read pile.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.

Deadly Intentions

“Deadly Intentions”by Lisa Harris was the first book that I read by the author. From page one I was hooked. Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First a research partner and friend was killed in a home invasion, than her boss died in a suspicious car accident, then to top if off another partner supposedly committed suicide. Caitlyn is afraid for her life and turns to one of the victims’ husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.

The two of them can not trust anyone including Josh’s co-workers who are also detectives. They must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn’s team before it’s too late with a sense of urgency and danger.

“Deadly Intentions” is full of suspense, mystery and romance that will keep you up reading till the last page. The book did not disappoint and will definitely be reading more of the author’s books. Lisa Harris is a master story teller and takes the reader deep into the heart of fear. I highly recommend the book.

I received a copy of this book by Revell Reads in exchange for an honest opinion.

Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World Of Urgent Need

David Platt was fresh off a trek through some of the highest mountains and remotest villages in the world. While there, he saw firsthand some of the most urgent physical and spiritual needs imaginable. Pastor David was shocked by the needs he encountered, an experience that last a lasting impression on him that changed the course of his life.

We can get so complacent in our everyday lives that we forget to focus on the needs of other’s. I felt the same way the pastor did when I spent two weeks in Africa this past June. I have seen true poverty, children with no future.

The sheer number of people who do not know Jesus is staggering. Everyone needs Jesus and His will for our lives is always bring the gospel to those who have not yet heard it whether in another country or in our neighborhood.

“Something Needs to Change” answer’s the question “What is God’s Will for my life.” An emotional plea to Christians to move toward the tragedies and brokenness of our world with compassion, love, and mercy that can only come from our hope in Christ

“Because you and I need to remember that our homes and our health and our bank accounts and our vehicles and our jobs and our comforts in this life guarantee us nothing in this world. One day ( and it could be today) they’re all going to be gone, so we need to remind ourselves to live today for what lasts forever.”

I highly recommend this book for those who really want to be challenged, to think other’s  and spur believers to get to work helping the world meet physical needs, but more importantly, spiritual needs. 

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest opinion.

The Killing Tide

What an excellent way to start Dani’s new series, Coastal Guardians. The Killing Tides was a quick read, but full of surprises and suspense. Several things happened throughout the story that I did not expect especially the ending. Will Finn and Harper be able to ignore the sparks between them? Will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough t9 track down an elusive killer before they come his next Mark? Looking forward to the second book.

This is a series that should be on everyone’s to be read pile.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest opinion.

A Story of Redemption and Forgiveness

Once again Connilyn brings the setting and characters to life. The ability for the author to paint a picture of history, war, pain, faith, mercy, love, forgiveness and redemption. That His love withstands everything regardless of what we go through. Have you ever read a book that pulls you in from page one? Each page I heard people in the market place, the conversations that Rivkah had as a scribe. 

Rivkah, a strong woman who has recently been widowed agrees to marry her dead husband’s, younger brother, Malakhi. Through the encouragement of a friend, they both away to find freedom but instead finds oppression. Malakhi who is forced grow up while at the same time learning to deal with rejection,  injuries that he sustained during war time, and lost love. The two of them  question God’s faithfulness. Will their faith be restored? Where will God lead them?

Another well written book that will transport you back to Old Testament Times. The ending did not disappoint and book four will be released in 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Finding God’s Life For My Will

The lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for award-winning contemporary Christian band Tenth Avenue North shows readers that by seeking God first and focusing on serving Him, we can live daily in His will.

“Perhaps God isn’t giving me the plan because He wants to be the plan.” What an awe-inspiring, challenging, life changing book Michael has written. The theme throughout the book  is surrendering your will to God to allow Him to live His plans and purposes through you.

Micah 6:8. He wants you to walk with Him. He wants you to be humble. He wants you to carry yourself fairly and justly. He wants you to love mercy.

With all the humility you can muster, repeat John’s simple soul-saving words, “I am the disciple Jesus loves.” I highly recommend the book.

I received an advance reader’s copy from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

The Middle Matters

The

“The middle is the place where we might have outgrown the shape of our teenage jeans but ave finally grown into the shape of our souls.” This sums up Lisa-Jo’s book “The Middle Matters” The author talks about how our bodies and lives change as we get older and how we can embrace that change.

Each chapter is an intimate reflection on midlife, Lisa-Jo invites us to get a good look at our. Middles and gives us permission to embrace them—beyond what the media, the mirror, the magazines or our teenagers say. The author knows that the middle might be the best part of the love story of life, faith, doubt and marriage.

I enjoyed reading the chapter and found myself relating to her although I am over 50, I could still relate. 

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Star of Persia’s Cover Reveal

Synopsis:
In an effort to complete a war his father had planned to win, King Xerxes calls every governor, satrap, and official in his vast kingdom to his palace in Susa to strategize and feast. When they finally leave, he decides on one more week of frivolity, which ends in the banishment of his favorite wife, something he never intended to do. But when he discovers Esther, Xerxes is sure he has a second chance at happiness.

In her wildest dreams, Esther could never have imagined that she would end up as queen of Persia. Yet she knows better than to become complacent. Another of Xerxes’s wives is vying for position, and his closest advisor has a deep and dangerous grudge against Esther’s adoptive father. Caught in the middle of palace politics, Esther will find herself in an impossible position: risk her life or consign her people to annihilation.



Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David, the Wives of the Patriarchs, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Loves of King Solomon series, The Heart of a King, and the nonfiction When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat, Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through email (jill@jilleileensmith.com), her website (www.jilleileensmith.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/jilleileensmith), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/JillEileenSmith).

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