Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Book List 2019

"The Deceived" by Kelly Harrel
"The Accident" by A.M. Heath
"This Homeward Journey" by Misty M. Beller
"Flights of Fancy" by Jen Turano
"A Love to Behold" by Sharlene MacLaren
"The Saturday Night Supper Club" by Carla Laureano
"Lone Witness" by Rachel Dylan
"On the Rails" by Linda Shelton Matchett
"Declan O'Duinne" by Wayne Grant

"Breach of  Trust" by Rachel Dylan
Ellie's Redemption" by Molly Jebber
"Dance With Me" by A.M. Heath
"The Royal Institute of Magic: Elizabeth's Legacy" by Victor Kloss (MG)
"Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe" by Carla Laureano
"The Amish Candy Maker" by Laura V. Hilton
"Ladies of Intrigue" by Michelle Griep
"The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection" by Lena Dooley, Carrie Facett Pagels,                 Kathleen Roush
"Mending Fences" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

"Knox" by Susan May Warren
"The Royal Institute of Magic: The Shadowseeker" by Victor Kloss (MG)
"The White City" by Grace Hitchcock
"A Cuppa Trouble" by Angela Ruth Strong
"A Very Austen Valentine" by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Mandy H. Cook, & Susan Kaye
"Finally Accepted" by Toni Shiloh"
Sand Castle Dreams" by Taylor Bennett

"When You Are Near" by Tracie Peterson
"This Daring Journey" by Misty M. Beller
"The Protectors" by Victor Kloss (MG)
"The Governess of Penwythe Hall" by Sarah E. Ladd
"Driftwood Bay" by Irenne Hannon
"The Courtship of Harry's Wife" by Jeannette

"Shadow Among Sheaves" by Naomi Stephens
"More to Love" by Robin Helm
"The Silver Dwarf" by Victor Kloss (MG)
"Act of Valor" by Dana Mentick
"On a Summer Tide" by Suzanne Woods Fisher
"The Refuge" by Ann H. Gabhart
"The Sleuth's Conundrum" by Kimberly Rose Johnson

"Love's Truest Hope" by Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. Good, & Mary Alford
"The Last Guardian" by Victor Kloss
"The Noble Guardian" by Michelle Griep
"Mercy in A Red Cloak" by Carrie Fancett Pagels
"Cold Pursuit" by Gayla Hiss
"The Number of Love" by Roseanna M. White
"This Healing Journey" by Misty M. Beller
"More Than Words Can Say" by Karen Witemeyer
"Sara's Gift" by Kimberly Rose Johnson
"The Pink Bonnet" by Liz Tolsma
"Danger on the Ranch" by Dana Mentink
"Andrew" by Jennifer Beckstrand
"The Medallion" by Cathy Gohlke
"The High Council" by Victor Kloss (MG)

"Edge of Truth" by Kimberly Rose Johnson
"Risking Love" by Toni Shiloh
"Married to a Stranger" by Laura V. Hilton
"Tate" by Susan May Warren
"Midnight on the River Grey" by Abigail Wilson
"Befriending the Beast" by Amanda Tero
"Yours Truly, Thomas" by Rachel Fordham
"Love's Belief" by Linda Shenton Matchett
"Jessie and James" by Jennifer Beckstrand
"Fragments of Fear" by Carrie Stuart Parks

"The Yellow Lantern" by Angie Dicken
"The Secret Slipper" by Amanda Tero
"Always" by Jody Hedlund
"Evermore" by Jody Hedlund
"Jewel's Gold" by Caryl McAdoo
"A Glitter of Gold" by Liz Johnson
"Protecting the Poor" by Amanda Tero
"Ford" by Susan May Warren
"Dangerous Relations" by Carol J. Post
"The Tethered World" by Heather L.L. FitzGerald (I read it before, now read to the kids)

"Strands of Truth" by Colleen Coble
"Finding Lady Enderly" by Joanna Davidson Politano
"To Err is Human" by Amy Rognlie
"Foremost" by Jody Hedlund
"The Words Between Us" by Erin Bartels
"The Trouble with Nancy" by Chautona Havig
"Wyatt" by Susan May Warren

"Stitches in Time" by Suzanne Woods Fisher
"Darcy By Any Other Name" by Laura Hile
"Once Upon a Christmas" by Andrea Boyd, Mikal Dawn, Toni Shiloh, Angela Ruth Strong, & Jaycee Weaver
"Hope's Highest Mountain" by Misty M. Beller
"A Distance Too Grand" by Regina Scott
"Wedding Score" by Amanda Tero
"Hereafter" by Jody Hedlund

"Lawfully Innocent" by Robin Helm
"Deadly Christmas Pretense" by Dana Mentink
"Project Scrooge" by A.M. Heath
"Love's Allegiance" by Linda Shenton Matchett
"Lake Season" by Denise Hunter
"Heart of a Royal" by Hannah Currie

"Breath of Joy: Winter Whispers" by Kathy Joy
"A Latte Difficulty" by Angela Ruth Strong
"All is Bright" by Kari Trumbo, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, & Chautona Havig
"Christmas on Breakers Point" by Chautona Havig
"An Amish Christmas Bakery" by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, & Kelly Irvin
"Mistletoe Melody" by Stacey Weeks
"Mistletoe Mission" by Stacey Weeks
"Common" by Laurie Lucking
"Abraham" by Jennifer Beckstrand
"End Game" by Rachel Dylan

Year in Review -- 2019

  • Wrote 129,084 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted at least 2 crosses
  • Sewed 1 sock monkeys  
  • Knit 0 hats, but crocheted a lot of amigurumi
  • Exercised less days than I should have
  • Read in the Bible most days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • Month in Review -- December

  • Wrote 8556 words
  • Sculpted 0  babies
  • Tatted 1 crosses
  • Sewed 0 sock monkeys  
  • Knit 0 hats
  • Exercised 10 days
  • Read in the Bible 29 days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • AVID Facebook Group Reading Challenge

    2019 Reading Challenge
    Read a book…
    • A friend or family member recommended "A Reluctant Bride" by Jody Hedlund
    • Based on a true story "The Pink Bonnet" by Liz Tolsma
    • That has won an award  "Lone Witness" by Rachel Dylan
    • Set in your home state or province "The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection"
    • With a blue cover "Ladies of Intrigue" by Michelle Griep
    • With a one word title "Knox" by Susan May Warren
    • Written by a male author
    • Originally published in a different language
    • With a number in the title
    • That is an author’s debut novel "Shadow Among Sheaves" by Naomi Stephens
    • That has at least 500 pages "Darcy By Any Other Name" by Laura Hile
    • Written by a new-to-you author "The Saturday Night Supper Club" by Carla Laureano
    • Independently or self-published "Dance With Me" by A.M. Heath
    • Chosen strictly due to the appeal of the cover "The White City" by Grace Hitchcock
    • Set during WWII "The Medallion" by Cathy Gohlke
    • Written by an author with the same initials as you (middle initial not included) "Breach of Trust" by Rachel Dylan (going with Rebecca since I couldn't find any Christian Fiction authors with the initials BD.)
    • That you can finish in a day "The Accident" by A.M. Heath
    • With a protagonist with the same occupation as you (if you never worked, choose an occupation that you would have liked to have had, or wish to have) "Love to Behold" by Sharlene Maclaren
    • Outside of your comfort zone "The Deceived" by Kelly Harrel
    • That has been made into, or is in the process of becoming, a movie
    • With a coming of age story "Ellie's Redemption" by Molly Jebber
    • With either, north, south, east, or west in the title
    • Published this year  "Act of Valor" by Dana Mentick
    • Set in the mountains or wilderness  "This Homeward Journey" by Misty M. Beller
    • That is humorous "Flights of Fancy" by Jen Turano

    Saturday, December 21, 2019

    "Mistletoe Melody" and "Mistletoe Mission" by Stacey Weeks -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Books

    Book:  Mistletoe Melody and Mistletoe Mission
    Author: Stacey Weeks
    Genre: Contemporary inspirational romance
    Release Date: Book 1 (December 1, 2018) Book 2 (December 1, 2019)
    MistletoeMelody_w12697_750Mistletoe Melody:
    Former musician, Melody Staff, spends Christmas at a bed and breakfast in the village of Mistletoe Meadows. While everyone sings familiar carols of Christ drawing near, Melody stumbles over misplaced notes. Her recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis has scared off her fiancĂ© and thrust her life into a grand pause. She’s not sure her heart will ever sing again.
    Quentin Oxford has endured a devastating year. His preteen daughter suffered a stroke, and they’ve grieved his wife’s sudden death, but the Lord coaxes a surprising refrain from Quentin’s heart as God rewrites his and Melody’s score into a holiday love song that will last for Christmases to come.
    Mistletoe Mission:MistletoeMission_w12873_750
    While her own relationships always end up doomed, Emily Colt is still determined to create happily-ever-afters through her wedding and event planning business. In hopes of expanding her business, she enters her latest project–staging the Christmas wedding of the year–into a town-wide contest. But between crossing paths with the first man to break her heart and dodging a saboteur, she doubts even career success is within her grasp.
    Jilted pastor, Luca Wilson, fled to the mission field to escape a broken heart. All the hurt rushes back when he returns home to officiate his cousin’s wedding, and he finds Emily, the girl to whom he once promised forever, organizing the celebration. Despite his lost faith in love, their unforeseen reunion rekindles a spark, and Luca vows to help her save her struggling business. But to succeed, they will have to learn what it means to trust each other and believe in the God of Christmas miracles.

    My Thoughts
    Mistletoe Melody -- This book was a very quick read. I liked seeing Melody's interactions with Janie. I also found it interesting to have a main character with Multiple Sclerosis since it isn't something you come across often in books. There were some nice biblical truths given in the book. Melody and Quentin knew each other growing up but never had a relationship, so it was a little rushed feeling for him to go from accusing Melody of doing drugs to being in a relationship with her and thinking of getting engaged. I  would have liked for them to at least talked about his accusation and work through that. It was almost like it never happened. I liked Mistletoe Meadows and the different ways they incorporated Mistletoe into their lives.
    Mistletoe Mission -- This was another quick read. Since Luca and Emily had already had a relationship in the past, it didn't seem rushed for them to get back together. Luca thought about how he should tell Emily why he had broken things off with her before, but he never did. I would have liked for them to have that discussion. It was nice to see the characters we met in Mistletoe Melody again and be back in Mistletoe Meadows. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

    About the Author

    Stacey Weeks is the multi-award-winning author of Glorious Surrender (2016) and Chasing Holiness (2020), inspirational romances The Builder’s Reluctant Bride (2016), Mistletoe Melody (2018), Mistletoe Mission (Dec 2019) and inspirational romantic suspense novels In Too Deep (2017), and Fatal Homecoming (2019). Stacey lives in Ontario where she speaks at women’s conferences, teaches writing and bible study workshops, and writes about the things of the Lord. www.staceyweeks.com

    More from Stacey

    It is strange, sometimes, what inspires a story. At the time of writing Mistletoe Melody, the ten-year-old daughter of a good friend was on the recovery side of a massive stroke. This young girl inspired Janie, and she gave the character her contagious smile, a mischievous pre-teen sense of humor, and a fierce love for family. You don’t read all of Janie’s story in Mistletoe Melody, but perhaps you will in a later novella.
    Melody was the result of my lovely twenty-something niece receiving a shocking diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. She endured painful tests, had hopes raised and dashed, and was blessed when the Lord saw fit to work through a drug trial to ease her suffering. Watching her life, her plans, and the things she assumed were a given for her future get shaken to their core sent me to the Scriptures.
    Not too long before drafting Mistletoe Mission (book two set in Mistletoe Meadows), my husband and I travelled to Haiti. As our driver transported us from the airport to the compound on which we stayed for the duration of our trip, he pointed in the general direction of the beach that receives cruise ships and tourists. He said that portion of Haiti is separated from the rest and is considered by some to be the most beautiful section of Haiti. I disagree.
    To be fair, I didn’t visit the cleaned-up beach just around the other side of the mountain, but I saw something most tourists do not get to see. I met the people and visited several in their homes. I witnessed the determination and hard work that life requires from them. I observed a light in their eyes, fueled by a love for Jesus. There is nothing more beautiful than a person on fire for the Lord, a person who is ready to be a light in a dark land.
    Luca’s character is loosely based on the Director of Missions and Compassion at Hope Bible Church in Oakville, Ontario. He arranged our trip – my first overseas mission trip – and it changed my life. I have huge respect for the work he is doing, and I am thrilled to see how God is blessing the work.
    Another real-life connection that made its way into Mistletoe Mission is a business that inspired the fictional start-up I called One Village. Little by Little is a business for mission committed to empowering Haitian parents. Little by Little sells the Morse Code bracelet featured in Mistletoe Mission. I fell in love with the concept of this business, and it was my delight to write a fictional version into the story. You can visit Little by Little’s website and order a bracelet like the one featured in the book (or maybe you’ll win the one I am giving away on this tour!). http://www.littlebylittle.ca/store/p326/morse-code-bracelet.html
    Be blessed this holiday as you seek the Lord who has done and is doing great things.

    Gift From Stacey

    Here are a few fun coloring items from Stacey!

    Get your copy of Under the Summer Mistletoe for free here. (For Canada, click here)


    Blog Stops

    Just the Write Escape, December 20
    Blogging With Carol , December 22
    A Reader’s Brain, December 23
    Emily Yager, December 24
    Genesis 5020, December 26
    Remembrancy, December 28
    Inklings and notions, December 28
    Quiet Quilter, December 29
    Texas Book-aholic, December 31
    janicesbookreviews, January 1
    Batya’s Bits, January 2

    "Mistletoe Melody" is available in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 937 KB
    • Print Length: 65 pages
    • Publisher: White Rose Publishing (December 1, 2018)
    • Publication Date: December 1, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07JJ6ZY7R

    "Mistletoe Mission" is available in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1010 KB
    • Print Length: 70 pages
    • Publisher: White Rose Publishing (November 20, 2019)
    • Publication Date: November 20, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07YSY8JYG

    I read these books on Kindle Unlimited.

    Tuesday, December 17, 2019

    "An Amish Christmas Bakery" by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin --Book Review and Blog Tour

    About the Book

    Book:  An Amish Christmas Bakery
    Author: Various Authors
    Genre: Amish Fiction, Romance
    Release Date: October 2, 2019
    Amish Christmas BakeryFrom bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four delicious novellas perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the holiday season.
    Cookies and Cheer by Amy Clipston
    As Christmas draws near, Alyssa Byler dreams of a window display for the bakery where she works. When she decides to design and build a sugar cookie nativity scene, all she needs is the right cookie cutters-and handsome blacksmith Kyle Smoker is the one she asks for help. Using Kyle’s handmade cutters, Alyssa creates a striking display that brings more tourists to the bakery than she can handle.
    And when shoppers request handmade cookie cutters of their own, Kyle finds himself overwhelmed by the demand. As Christmas approaches, Alyssa realizes she’s been too caught up in work to focus on the true meaning of Christmas-and too distracted to explore the feelings she has for Kyle. Together, they put aside the holiday rush and spend their time celebrating the season that has brought them together.
    Loaves of Love by Beth Wiseman
    As the only girl in a family of eight, Katie Swartzentruber has been left in charge of her family’s bakery while her mother recuperates from surgery. At first, Katie doesn’t think tending to the bakery alone will be difficult. She’s worked alongside her mother for years. But Christmas is coming, and with the holiday comes a flood of patrons, both regulars and tourists. When Katie becomes overwhelmed with the orders she is receiving, she is tempted to move her Old Order family into the modern world by purchasing propane ovens to help with the workload. She finds help from an unexpected source-childhood friend Henry Hershberger, who has harbored a secret crush on Katie for years. He’s been afraid to tell her how he feels, but he’s sure that this Christmas is his moment. As the demands of the bakery only get more intense, both Katie and Henry have to decide what really matters . . . and find the courage within themselves to go after it.
    Melting Hearts by Kathleen Fuller
    Mattie Shetler is an expert baker, so when her aunt Carolyn begs for help during the busy Christmas rush, Mattie eagerly packs her bags and heads to Birch Creek. What she doesn’t know is that her uncle has also asked for help with the bakery’s new expansion, and he’s asked none other than Peter Kaufman, Mattie’s sworn enemy. As the two work side by side, though, Mattie discovers not all is as it seems. With Christmas just around the corner, Mattie and Peter open their hearts for the greatest gifts of the season: forgiveness and maybe even love.
    Cakes and Kisses by Kelly Irvin
    Martha Ropp works hard at her family’s bakery, making cakes and pies in preparation not only for Christmas but the many community weddings, including her sister’s. To help during this busy season, Martha’s mother hires Ambrose Hershberger to make deliveries. Martha remembers Ambrose as a gentle giant from her school days, but soon discovers that still waters run deep. The more they work together, the more they want to spend time together outside of the bakery, but both Martha and Ambrose are too timid to make the first move. That’s when the town matchmakers step in.
    My Thoughts

    Cookies and Cheer by Amy Clipston -- I found this story well written and that it flowed well. I liked Alyssa and Kyle and their creativity. I was a little surprised that such a big deal was made out of what they had designed as most often in Amish books, that would be considered "pride" and frowned upon. The story had a good message of needing to keep your focus on Jesus.

    Loaves of Love by Beth Wiseman -- This story was well written, but it took me a little bit to get into the story since I had to keep putting it down for other things. The characters were realistic and I liked most of them. (I don't think some characters are meant to be liked, since it makes you want to root for the other person instead.) This story didn't have much of a faith thread, more of a conflict that involved how modern their group of Amish was or wasn't. I look forward to reading more books by Beth Wiseman.

    Melting Hearts by Kathleen Fuller -- This was a nice story. I found it well written and it was easy to read. I enjoyed watching the characters grow in their personal lives and with each other. The only down side to this being a novella was that I didn't get to spend more time with the characters. I'm eager to read more books by Kathleen Fuller.

    Cakes and Kisses by Kelly Irvin -- I enjoyed reading this story. I liked Martha and Ambrose and felt frustrated for how Ambrose was looked down on and taken advantage of by some people. It was interesting to read a story about a main character that is, I assume, autistic and how they can find love also. I found myself rooting for them to find their happily ever after.

    I enjoyed reading this collection and the variety of stories that were in it. I was familiar with all the authors in this collection, but it would be a nice way of getting to know a new author if you didn't. The stories are short and easy to read in a short amount of time. 

    Read an Excerpt

    Read an excerpt of An Amish Christmas Bakery here.

    Blog Stops

    The Power of Words, December 7
    The Avid Reader, December 7
    Quiet Quilter, December 9
    Life as Lanhams, December 10
    Britt Reads Fiction, December 10
    D’S QUILTS &BOOKS, December 10
    Emily Yager, December 11
    Texas Book-aholic, December 11
    Older & Smarter?, December 13
    janicesbookreviews, December 13
    Bigreadersite, December 14
    Batya’s Bits, December 14
    For Him and My Family, December 14
    Splashes of Joy, December 15
    Lighthouse Academy, December 15
    Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 15
    EmpowerMoms, December 16
    Hallie Reads, December 18
    Mary Hake, December 18
    A Reader’s Brain, December 20

    "An Amish Christmas Bakery" is available in paperback:

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310352800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310352808
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.4 inches

  • and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 3295 KB
    • Print Length: 416 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
    • Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 2019)
    • Publication Date: October 1, 2019
    • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07PR869QG

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.