To Capture Her Heart

July 22nd, 2015

To Capture Her Heart

9781441223319

By Rebecca DeMarino

In an uncertain time, she faces a choice that will change her life forever.

It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die–until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice–stay true to her friend or follow her heart.

Exploring a unique slice of history, Rebecca DeMarino transports you to the wild land that would eventually become Long Island, New York.

ISLAND BREEZES

Wed and widowed on the same day, she’s now the object of two men’s affections. Love her as they might, they need patience to allow Heather Flower to get past her grief.

There’s also cultural barriers. Heather Flower is an Indian princess while one of her admirers is English and the other Dutch.

She goes to her aunt whose wisdom helps her process her grief. It still doesn’t help her decide which man to marry. Her heart belongs to the Dutchman but she ends up agreeing to marry the other. After all, Dirk seems to no longer care since he hasn’t shown up for a long time, and Ben is right there.

My heart said she should still wait, but now it’s her wedding day. It appears that she’s chosen to make do with Ben who has been a longstanding friend.

Thank you, Ms De Marino, for a book I didn’t want to put down.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Rebecca DeMarino is the author of A Place in His Heart, book one of The Southold Chronicles, a series inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother; a love of horses, reading, and writing from her dad; and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Rebecca lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom. Learn more at www.rebeccademarino.com.

Hutterite Diaries

June 11th, 2015

Hutterite Diaries

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By Linda Maendel

What would it be like to share all your possessions and live in Christian community?

In Hutterite Diaries, Linda Maendel offers a rare glimpse into the daily routines and communal faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. From stories of working together to bring in the fall potato harvest to laugh-out-loud tales of sisterly love laced with revenge, Maendel invites readers into her Bruderhof, or colony, nestled on the prairie of western Canada. Here children and adults work, play, eat, and worship together, crafting a community of goods and living out an alternative to the individualism and consumerism of mainstream society.

Few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites. Maendel’s story invites readers into deeper understanding of this community of faith, calling us to take seriously the example of Jesus and the early church in our daily living.

ISLAND BREEZES

The only thing I knew about the Hutterites before I read this book is that they are a Plain People.

The stories shared by Ms Maendel have taught me a great deal and enlarged my understanding of life in a Hutterite community.

This small book is very easy to read. Even though it’s non-fiction it’s not dull and dry. It reads more like fiction.

Thank you, Ms Maendel, for sharing your life with us.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

Linda Maendel is a Hutterite author, blogger, and educator who lives in Elm River Colony outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Love’s Rescue

June 8th, 2015

Love’s Rescue

9781441246172

By Christine Johnson

Can a girl enamored with the adventurous seas ever be content with the tame life of a Southern belle?

When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be. But nothing goes according to plan. Her brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O’Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart. Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the man he appears to be.

As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to perform her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.

From the first emotional page, author Christine Johnson throws you into a world of impossible choices, hidden desires, and heart-melting romance in the steamy South.

ISLAND BREEZES

Elizabeth returns home to Key West after her mother dies so that she can take care of her disabled brother. But things started out bad and then went downhill. The ship she and Aunt Virginia were sailing on from Charleston was wrecked by a storm.

Their rescuer just happened to be the man she’s loved for years. He’s also looked down upon by her family because of his manner of earning a living.

Then there’s the house servants who choose not to obey her orders, and Aunt Virginia’s meddling. Her brother wants nothing to do with her because of her involvement the day he almost died. Oh, yes. We can’t forget her father’s secrets and his employee, Mr. Finch, who has designs on her.

Elizabeth wants nothing to do with him and is determined to pursue Captain Rourke O’Malley.

This is the first book of Ms Johnson’s that I have read, and I’m really looking forward to her next one.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Christine Johnson is the author of several books for Steeple Hill and Love Inspired and has been twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award. When not writing, she loves to hike and explore God’s majestic creation. She and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys. Learn more at www.christineelizabethjohnson.com.

In Firefly Valley

May 29th, 2015

In Firefly Valley

9781441223265

By Amanda Cabot

She’s lost her dream job–but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.

ISLAND BREEZES

They always say you can’t go back home. Actually, you can, but it can be a big let down. Especially if you’ve been living a very different life. Times change as well as people, places and situations.

Marissa ends up managing a small resort where her mother cooks and lives. As for her father, he disappeared a long time ago. As Marissa struggles to adjust, a silver lining pops up – handsome new guest Blake Kendall.

Maybe Marissa’s dreams havent all vanished after all. Well, maybe and maybe not after Marissa discovers Blake’s big secret.

Will she ever be able to trust him again? It’s not going to be easy for her to trust any man again.

Thank you, Amanda Cabot. I’m really enjoying your Texas Crossroads books.

***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, Christmas Roses, and At Bluebonnet Lake. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com.

When Grace Sings

May 26th, 2015

When Grace Sings

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By Kim Vogel Sawyer

When trouble roars into quiet Arborville, Alexa and Anna-Grace find themselves the target for discord and exposed secrets. Can they continue to seek the God of all grace amidst the fog of confusion?

Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.

But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.

Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.

ISLAND BREEZES

Alexa is trying to get her bed and breakfast up and running, so she agrees to let a big town reporter stay as a long term guest. She’s not really crazy about the idea, but needs the income.

She also agrees to let her cousin Anna-Grace stay for awhile. Alexa knows a secret that Anna-Grace doesn’t – a big secret.

But that’s not the only secret. Secrets that could wound people deeply seem to be all over the place.

I don’t feel as if I can say very much more without giving away too much. Just know that it’s a very good book. I didn’t want to leave these characters behind.

Thank you Ms Vogel Sawyer for this book. It made me want to stay in Arborville for awhile.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of twenty-nine novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women’s fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

In Memory

May 25th, 2015

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George E. Lawson

In memory of my father and all the others who served our country to preserve the many freedoms we used to have.

Water from My Heart

May 22nd, 2015

Water from my Heart

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By Charles Martin

Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible–and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

ISLAND BREEZES

I thought this was a strange title for a book. That was until I got to the part of the book that explained it.

Charlie Finn was not a nice guy. He could care less if his ventures were ethical or even legal. He doesn’t care if what he does tears up families until it hits closer to home.

That’s when he knows he has to do something to try to remedy the situation he unwittingly caused. Even if he has to go to Nicaragua to do it.

While in Nicaragua, he learns about more consequences of his cut throat business dealings. Will he be able to clean up his messes? Will he be able to make restitution to the locals he almost destroyed? Does he even want to?

In the middle of all this is a woman and her daughter who are stealing his heart.

This is the first book I’ve read by Mr. Martin, and I feel as if I’ve really missed out by not discovering this author sooner. I’ll be looking forward to his next book. I really hope I don’t have too long to wait.

***A special thank you to Katie Connors for providing a review copy.***

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Charles Martin is a New York Times bestselling author of ten previous novels, including his most recent book A Life Intercepted. His work is available in 17 languages. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife and their three sons.

As Love Blooms

May 19th, 2015

As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad

 9781441223289

Young romance opens like a rose . . . but even a rose has its thorns.

Tessa Gregory is nothing if not tenacious. Denied a position as a horticulturist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind and hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory. But before she can put those plans into action, she meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park–and a major distraction. Still, Reese might be the key to achieving her dream. But is his goal to help her . . . or to capture her heart?

Against the lush backdrop of manicured gardens and greenhouses full of the exotic, Lorna Seilstad weaves a sweet and sassy story that is sure to delight.

ISLAND BREEZES

A woman can nearly always figure a way through or around a problem. Tessa did just that while never thinking that Reese might take credit for her work and talent.

She had to get a job at Como Park so that she wouldn’t have to tell her family why she couldn’t return to school in the fall.

Her tendency to not think things through frequently leaves her in a mess. She doesn’t realize her deceptions can put her in danger. Will Reese be the one who has to deal with all this? Will he even want to?

I really enjoyed Ms Seilstad’s stories of the Gregory sisters. This last book makes me wish there was another sister. Thank you, Ms Seilstad.

***A special thanks to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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A history buff, antique collector, and former high school English teacher, fan favorite Lorna Seilstad is the author of When Love Calls, While Love Stirs, and the Lake Manawa Summers series. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Lorna lives in Iowa with her husband. Learn more at www.lornaseilstad.com.

Every Bride Needs a Groom

April 29th, 2015

Every Bride Needs a Groom

9780800723996

By Janice Thompson

Somewhere in a sea of tulle and taffeta, satin and crepe, Katie Fisher needs to find a key ingredient of the perfect wedding–the groom.

Small-town girl Katie Fisher is busy planning her fairy-tale wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn’t managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t enter a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? Anyway, she’s sure he’ll be getting down on one knee any time now. And a one-of-a-kind designer dress doesn’t just fall out of the sky right when you need it.

But when Katie’s boyfriend takes a job in another town and breaks up with her–on the very same day she wins her dream dress–her world is turned upside down. Dare she go to Dallas to claim her prize? And will the hunky pro basketball player who runs the beyond-swanky bridal shop–yeah, you read that right–discover her humiliating secret if she does?

ISLAND BREEZES

Who needs a groom? Apparently not Katie. She thought she would soon have a fiance’ so she entered a contest to win a designer wedding gown.

Surprise. She won the gown, but the potential fiance’ got away. Her friend urges her to go to Dallas and het the dress anyway. Then she’ll have a special one when she does find a groom. Katie goes, but many times she decides to tell the truth, only to be hushed up about it. It seems nearly everyone wants her to keep it to herself.

Now toss in a hunky basketball player who is attracted to her even though he thinks she’s engaged and, consequently, off limits.

As always, Janice gives us a good read that ends way too soon. She manages to bring into the story some of the characters we already know and love. I really like that about her books.

There’s a bonus for Loretta Lynn fans. No, I’m not telling. You’ll have to find out for yourself. I’m looking forward to Ms Thompson’s next book. I’m wondering if Casey Lawson will be in it.

***A special thank you to Lynette Haskins for providing a review copy.***

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Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series, the Backstage Pass series, and the Weddings by Design series. She lives in Texas. Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com.

A Sparrow in Terezin

April 28th, 2015

A Sparrow in Terezin

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By Kristy Cambron

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she’s stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she’s planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.

1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

ISLAND BREEZES

Oh, to be able to fly away like a sparrow and escape all life’s hardships. Once life seemed almost charmed, but now Sera’s life is falling apart. She doesn’t know what to do. She’s very tempted to go against her new husband’s wishes. It might keep him out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

A back story centered around Kaja takes place during WWII and leads her to a concentration camp in an effort to smuggle her parents to freedom.

Ka’ja and Sera are tied together by a holocaust survivor who helps Sera unravel the puzzle behind her husband’s alleged crime.

I truly enjoyed this story. I especially enjoy reads with a setting during WWII. I learn something new with each book. Thank you, Ms Cambron. I’m looking forward to reading many more books by you.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather’s stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.