Sunday, June 30, 2019

Month in Review -- June

  • Wrote words
  • Sculpted  babies
  • Tatted  crosses
  • Sewed  sock monkeys  
  • Knit  hats
  • Exercised  days
  • Read in the Bible  days
  • Wrote up  backlogged book reviews 
  • Saturday, June 29, 2019

    "The Medallion" by Cathy Cohlke --Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Book: The Medallion
    Author: Cathy Gohlke
    Genre: Historical Fiction (World War II)
    Release date: June 4, 2019
    The medallion coverFor fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.
    Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.
    Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.
    Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

    My Thoughts

    "The Medallion" was a gripping story. It made the conditions of WWII Poland so much more real and concrete in my mind. I can't begin to imagine the things that they faced. The book alternates between two stories, that of Sophie Kumiega and of Itzhak and Rosa Dunovich. One a story of helping Jews and the other of one of the Jewish families living in the Ghetto. The book is also divided into two parts: during the war and after the war. It was interesting to see the reunification back into "normal" life and how they dealt with their experiences. I stayed up way past bedtime to finish this book and see how it ended. It was sad because of the subject matter, but hopeful in the realization that God will find a way when there seems to be no way. 

    About the Author

    Cathy GolkeThree-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

    More from Cathy

    Every story begins with a journey. Sharing that journey is twice the joy.
    The Medallion was inspired by two true stories—the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania. Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology.
    The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within ┼╗egota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children. Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war. Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing. I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine: What became of those 400 to 500 missing children? What became of one?
    Set in WWII Poland and post-war England, The Medallion is a story of courage, sacrifice, love, forgiveness and redemption.

    Blog Stops

    Mary Hake, June 23
    By The Book, June 24
    Remembrancy, June 26
    The Becca Files, June 26
    Genesis 5020, June 27
    Bigreadersite, June 28
    Simple Harvest Reads, July 1 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
    Hallie Reads, July 3
    Emily Yager, July 5


    To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    "The Medallion" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 432 pages
    • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 4, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1496429672
    • ISBN-13: 978-1496429674
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 23395 KB
    • Print Length: 424 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1496429672
    • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 4, 2019)
    • Publication Date: June 4, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07K36ZZH4

    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.

    Friday, June 28, 2019

    "Andrew" by Jennifer Beckstrand -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Book: Andrew
    Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
    Genre: Amish Romance
    Release Date: June 25, 2019
    Andrew, Abraham, and Austin Petersheim’s family business has earned them the nickname The Peanut Butter Brothers. But if their matchmaking younger siblings have their way, all three may soon bear another title: husband . . .
    Handsome, hardworking, and godly, Andrew Petersheim has always been sure of his place in his Wisconsin Amish community. He’ll be a welcome catch for the local girl who finally captures his heart. Mary Coblenz certainly isn’t that girl. Two years after “jumping the fence” for the Englischer world, she’s returned, unmarried and pregnant. Yet instead of hiding in shame as others in the community expect, she’s working at the Honeybee Farm, ignoring the gossips—and winning over Andrew’s eight-year-old twin brothers . . .
    For all Andrew’s certainty about right and wrong, it seems he has a lot to learn from Mary’s courage, grace, and resilience. She’s changing his notions about forgiveness and love, but will she in turn accept the challenge of starting over and choose to stay—with him?

    My Thoughts
    I have enjoyed the other books I've read by Jennifer Beckstrand and "Andrew" did not disappoint. It was well written and a fast read for me. It did not gloss over the fact that Mary had sinned by doing what she did, but it gave solid teaching on how Christians should treat other people and about forgiveness (from God and from people) and how we need to repent, and then it is forgiven. Both Andrew and Mary grew during the course of the story. I loved being to be back at Bitsy's house and I thought Benji and Alfie's shenanigans were entertaining. I look forward to reading more about the Petersheim family.

    About the Author

    Jennifer beckstrandJennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries, The Honeybee Sistersseries, and The Petersheim Brothersseries for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, Jessie and James, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has six children and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

    More from Jennifer

    If you enjoyed The Honeybee Sisters, you’re going to love The Petersheim Brothers, or the Peanut Butter Brothers as they’re known in their small Amish community of Bienenstock, Wisconsin. The Petersheim brothers work their small farm and make peanut butter. The idea for The Petersheim Brothers series came when two of my friends and I were creating The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook. My friend Alicia suggested I write a book about Peanut Butter Brothers, and the idea stuck.
    One of my favorite characters in my Amish romances is Aunt Bitsy, the irrepressible, unconventional woman who raised the Honeybee Sisters, tried to chase off all their suitors, and then lit fireworks at their triple wedding. In Andrew, the first book in the Petersheim Brothers series, Aunt Bitsy takes in a girl who has jumped the fence and wants to come back to the Amish community to have her baby. Aunt Bitsy is still protecting her dandelions and her bees, still dyeing her hair all sorts of bright colors, and still praying to Gotte right out loud.
    Andrew is about forgiveness, second chances, and learning to love. It will have you laughing and crying, and you might just fall in love with two of the most mischievous little boys in Wisconsin. Enjoy.
    In honor of the Peanut Butter Brothers, I want to share one of our favorite family recipes. These bars are perfect for picnics, parties, and potlucks. They’re easy and delicious!

    Peanut Butter Bars
    Cream together:
    1 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup sugar
    Blend In:
    2 unbeaten eggs
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2/3 cup peanut butter
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla
    Stir In:
    2 cups flour
    2 cups quick oats

    Spread mixture in greased jelly-roll pan or large cookie sheet.
    Bake: 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven.

    Sprinkle on:
    1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.
    Let stand five minutes.

    For peanut butter mixture on top, combine:
    ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
    ¼ cup peanut butter
    2 to 4 Tbs. evaporated milk
    Mix well.

    The chocolate chips will melt on the bars. Spread melted chocolate evenly. Drizzle peanut butter mixture on top. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

    Blog Stops

    The Avid ReaderJune 26
    MomentsJune 26
    BigreadersiteJune 29
    Genesis 5020July 1
    Pause for TalesJuly 3
    Mary Hake, July 5
    SplashesofjoyJuly 5
    Vicky SluiterJuly 5
    Quiet QuilterJuly 9


    To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    "Andrew" is available in mass market paperback:
    • Series: The Petersheim Brothers (Book 1)
    • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
    • Publisher: Zebra (June 25, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1420147714
    • ISBN-13: 978-1420147711
    • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 806 KB
    • Print Length: 352 pages
    • Publisher: Zebra (June 25, 2019)
    • Publication Date: June 25, 2019
    • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
    • Language: English

    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.

    Thursday, June 27, 2019

    "Danger on the Ranch" by Dana Mentink -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Book: Danger on the Ranch
    Author: Dana Mentink
    Genre: Inspirational romantic suspense
    Release date: June 1, 2019
    Danger on the Ranch CoverAfter putting his serial killer brother in prison, former US marshal Mitch Whitehorse chooses a solitary country life—until his brother escapes. Now Mitch’s former sister-in-law, Jane Reyes, needs protection…for herself and the toddler she’s kept a secret. Mitch still isn’t sure of Jane’s innocence in his brother’s crimes, but to keep his nephew out of a killer’s grasp, trusting her is his only option.

    My Thoughts

    "Danger on the Ranch" appears to be the first book about the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys. I found it to be well written and it drew me in and kept me riveted to the last page. I was surprised by some of the twists, but not by others (I figured out what was going to happen), but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. I think Dana Mentink did a good job of portraying Wade's unbalanced personality. I liked Mitch and Jane and Ben. Aunt Ginny and Uncle Gus felt like old friends. I look forward to getting to know them better in the rest of the books.

    About the Author

    Dana-MentinkDana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming, Harvest House and Woman’s World Magazine. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

    More from Dana

    We’re kicking off a new cowboy series, but this one is going to take you for a wild ride! Set on a ranch that’s sandwiched between the sea and the hills required me to do some on site research of course! I spent quite a while in this gorgeous area of California, looking for cattle. (You can see the zany results in my video.) I found the cattle, and also the perfect setting for this first book. It’s a creepy one, I’ll warn you, as hero Mitch Whitehorse comes face to face with the serial killer brother he sent to prison….and his desperate ex sister in law. Saddle up and enjoy the story! God bless!

    Blog Stops

    Among the Reads, June 26
    Quiet Quilter, June 26
    Vicky Sluiter, June 27
    Wishful Endings, June 28
    Hallie Reads, June 30
    Pause for Tales, June 30
    Remembrancy, July 2
    Moments, July 3
    Genesis 5020, July 4
    Emily Yager, July 5
    Carpe Diem, July 5
    Bigreadersite, July 6
    EmpowerMoms, July 8


    To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize package that includes a gorgeous insulated lunch bag, a copy of Danger on the Ranch (winner’s choice of format), and a $15 Amazon gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    "Danger on the Ranch" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Roughwater Ranch Cowboys
    • Paperback: 368 pages
    • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense; Original edition (June 4, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1335679642
    • ISBN-13: 978-1335679642
    • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches

    mass market paperback:

    • Series: Roughwater Ranch Cowboys
    • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense; Original edition (June 4, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1335232168
    • ISBN-13: 978-1335232168
    • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.6 x 6.6 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1246 KB
    • Print Length: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense; Original edition (June 1, 2019)
    • Publication Date: June 1, 2019
    • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07L1SWDFS

    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.