Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Quaker and the Rebel by Mary Ellis

I love books that are set against the backdrop of the Civil War. In the first book of her series, "Civil War Heroines", Mary Ellis takes us on journey involving Emily Harrison, a young Quaker woman who attempts to continue her parents work in the Underground Railroad.

Moving from Ohio, after the family farm is foreclosed on, Emily takes  a job as a governess for a doctor's family in Virginia.  While her employer has freed slaves working for him for pay, he also owns some slaves. She soon decides she has to continue her parents work.

Emily soon meets her employer's handsome nephew, Alexander Hunt. But Alexander isn't the spoiled rich boy that he appears to be. In fact, has a secret identity. He is a man who is fearless and while not actually fighting the war as a soldier he fights his battles by stealing supplies from the Union troops and passes them on for the Rebel cause.

Emily and Alexander are on opposite sides of War Between the States and it makes the reader wonder how they can ever come together against such odds. They both suffer with their pride and prejudices but they both agree on one very strong point, slavery is wrong. But they don't agree on how to abolish it.

I had a little difficulty getting into this book. Mostly because I really found myself not liking Emily that much and Alexander seemed to much of a Zorro time character for me. But as I moved forward into the book the pace picked up and I found I was drawn into the story a little more.

I would recommend this story to people who enjoy reading stories set during the Civil War period.

On a 5-Star Scale - 3.5 Stars.

I would like to thank Harvest House Publishers for my review copy of The Quaker and the Rebel. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Monday, March 24, 2014

CFBA - Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Maybelle In Stitches

Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)


Joyce Magnin


A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.


Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

My Thoughts:

I've enjoyed all the "Quilts of Love" books that I've read so far, however, Maybelle in Stitches was not one of my favorites. I found it difficult for me to connect with the characters because they didn't come to life for me.

There was a lot of sadness in this book, first when Maybelle's mother passes away and then again when Maybelle's husband, Holden, is listed as Missing in Action while fighting the Nazis. Probably the saddest part for me was the end. It was bittersweet.

I did however enjoy the women who came together to help Maybelle finish the quilt her mother had started.

I would like to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my copy of Maybelle in Stitches. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review.

Smiles & Blessings,

Friday, March 14, 2014

It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren - a review

I have to admit that while I have always heard wonderful things about Susan May Warren's work I had never read any of her books. So when I was given the opportunity to read and review It Had to Be You I jumped at the chance. Let me tell you, it was a wise choice and now I am a fan.

It Had to Be You is the second book in Ms. Warren's Christiansen Family series and while I believe it reads well as a stand alone, I plan on going back to read the first book in the series, Take a Chance on Me. Also, at the end of It Had to Be You they have included the prequel novella, I Really Do Miss Your Smile.

I am a huge hockey fan and I loved the fact that It Had to Be You centered around the world of hockey in the NHL. The male lead, Jace Jacobsen is a star hockey player and Eden Christiansen, the female lead has a younger brother who is a rising star in the NHL. Eden has always put her life on hold while making sure her brother Owen made his dream of playing in the NHL a reality. However, Eden tends to hover over Owen making sure he keeps out of trouble. She isn't a fan of Owen's team captain, Jace Jacobsen, as he is known as the team's "bad boy" enforcer. She believes Jace is nothing but trouble and is out to get whatever he wants no matter what it may cost others. When Owen suffers a possibly career ending injury, Jace and Eden team up and go to Eden's family's home to try to cheer Owen up. What they encounter there is, well, I don't give out spoilers so you will need to read the book to find out what happens there.

Eden dreams of becoming a true reporter but finds herself relegated to the role of Obits writer at her local newspaper. She feels if she can just get that one story she'll be moved up to reporter. While visiting her brother in the hospital she comes across a young comatose patient known only as John Doe. She decides to try to find out who he is so she can find his family and write her job winning story. 

There were several story lines woven within the covers of this book and I found each of them pulling me into the story and holding me there until I finished the last page. 

Ms. Warren captured the world of hockey very well and she created well balanced, believable characters that won over my heart from the moment I met them on the written page.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy of It Had to Be You. The Christian thread was beautifully woven throughout and I guarantee you will find a wonderful story that shows the reader that we shouldn't judge others as they may not really be who or what they appear to be.

On a 5-Star Scale = 5 HUGE stars!!!!!

I would like to thank Litfuse Publishing and Tyndale House Publishers for my review copy of It Had to Be You. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, March 2, 2014

60 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar by Dennis Pollock

As a diabetic, even though I am well controlled, I am always looking for new insight on how to keep it under control.  That is the reason I requested to read and review, 60 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar by Dennis Pollack. As you can see by the book cover, this book is about simple steps to reduce the carbs, shed the weight and feel great now.  

This book is a mere 189 pages but it is packed with enough information that the reader can learn pretty much everything they need to keep their sugar levels in check. Another added bonus is that there are a few recipes sprinkled throughout some of which I definitely want to prepare for my family.

One thing that some readers may have a problem with is there are some ideas and concepts repeated throughout the book. This however was done with purpose. The author knows that we, as normal human beings need to hear or read things more than once in order to grasp the concept. 

There is a total of 60 chapters in the book, each one discussing a way to lower your blood sugar. You will find suggestions on foods to avoid, foods to eat, things to do and not to do throughout the book.  Personally I found it a great tool especially for someone newly diagnosed as a diabetic.

I would highly recommend 60 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar to anyone who is diabetic or has a family member or friend who is diabetic.

I would like to thank Harvest House Publishers for my review copy. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest opinion, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,