Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: The Barn Quilt by Patti Michels

About the Book

Book: The Barn Quilt
Author: Patti Michels
Genre: Children’s Book
Release Date: November 19, 2019

Farmer Max and Miz Patti have a big red barn on their Maple Shade Farm, but one thing is missing—they need a barn quilt. But what pattern should they hang on the side of their barn? The pineapple quilt, or the corn and beans quilt, or what about a quilt with animals on it? None of them are quite right though. Since it’s Christmas, they wonder what barn quilt would have been just right for the stable where Jesus was born. Work along with their neighbor boy, Dennis, as he helps Farmer Max and Miz Patti decide on and make the perfect barn quilt.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Children will be drawn to this book for any number of the themes within.  It may be for the general farm theme, or the animals, or learning about barn quilts, or Christmas.  Readers will enjoy descriptions of many different activities that take place on the farm, such as raising animals, raising crops, keeping bees, finding eggs, plus carpentry and design.

Plenty of dialogue keeps the story moving, and I was drawn into the farm atmosphere as I read.  I could remember the feeling of time spent on the farm as I read.

I liked the illustrations.  They were pleasing to look at, and are well done.  The text is placed well on each page  There area lot of words on each page, so this is a book that an adult will be reading to a child, initially.

I recommend this story to listeners and readers who love farms, or who want to learn more about barn quilts.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Patti Michels has lived in the same rural midwestern county her entire life, thirty-nine of those with her husband. She loves designing her family’s Christmas card and working with senior citizens. At the end of a long day, she enjoys returning to the farm and looking out her kitchen window at her own barn quilt.

More from Patti

Believe it or not, the idea for this children’s book started out as a Christmas card. Each year the Michels family produces their own original Christmas card. This tradition started out simple, in the early 1980’s, as the Michels’ two small daughters helped with the coloring, cutting, and gluing!

Patti Michels and Max, her farmer husband of 39 years, live on a small farm in Southern Illinois. The girls have grown and moved on, and the empty-nesters have joined others in their small farm community, in creating a barn quilt to hang on their barn.

While Max was preparing the 36″ X 36″ wood panel for Patti to paint, Patti was drawing and designing and dreaming up the best barn quilt pattern to display on the barn at Maple Shade Farm. As Patti painted their special barn quilt, a Christmas card idea popped into her head. ”What if the stable where Jesus was born had a barn quilt?”

Patti feels like ideas are a gift from God, as is her husband, who helps her pull off one after another completed “project”. Whether it’s feeding cows, baling hay, making Christmas cards, or creating a barn quilt, they continue to work side by side. This book, based on the real life story of creating the barn quilt, gives kids a glimpse into a small farm family life, while also enjoying and celebrating those things that make Christmas so special, like hot chocolate, cookies and God’s love.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 26
Remembrancy, November 26
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 27
For Him and My Family, November 27
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 28
Older & Smarter?, November 29
Seasons of Opportunities, November 29
Vicky Sluiter, November 30
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 30
Bigreadersite, December 1
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 1
Maureen’s Musings, December 2
Texas Book-aholic, December 2
janicesbookreviews, December 3
A Reader’s Brain, December 3
For the Love of Literature, December 4
Mary Hake, December 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 5
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 6
Emily Yager, December 6
She Lives to Read, December 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 8
Inklings and notions, December 8
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 9


To celebrate her tour Patti is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of The Barn Quilt, and a $25 gift card from Amazon!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Book Review: The End of the Magi by Patrick W. Carr

About the Book

Following his vision of the coming Messiah, the prophet Daniel creates a select group of men who will count down the calendar to the arrival of Israel's promised king. Centuries later, as the day nears, Myrad, a young magi acolyte, flees for his life when his adoptive father and others are put to death by a ruthless Parthian queen.

Having grabbed only a few possessions, Myrad escapes the city, and searching for a way to hide from the soldiers scouring the trade routes, he tries to join the caravan of the merchant Walagash. The merchant senses that Myrad is hiding secrets, but when the young man proves himself a valuable traveler, an epic journey filled with peril, close escapes, and dangerous battles begins.

With every day that passes, the calendar creeps closer to the coming Messiah. And over everything shines the dream of a star that Myrad can't forget and the promise that the world will never be the same.

My Review

Author Patrick W. Carr excellently describes the account and the significance of the Messiah's coming, death, and resurrection through the eyes of an apprentice magi.  It was just amazing to experience the Biblical prophecies of the Messiah as they happened.  And, true to Scripture, not everyone got it, in spite of living it.

Myrad was such a survivor.  Though born into difficult circumstances, he takes full advantage of the opportunities he is given to make the most of any situation, and thereby his life.  He was a great example of learning well, and applying his knowledge appropriately.  He was easy to sympathize with, but even better, he was a character that was easy to like and admire.

Carr did a great job of interpreting the geography of the region, the many cultures that were represented, and the political situation of the day, and how that affected Myrad and his companions.  If you can read this book at Christmas time, that is great, but the story is epic and can be enjoyed throughout the year.  It is also a story that will be enjoyed equally by men and women.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Patrick W. Carr is the author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Darkwater Saga and The Staff and the Sword. A Cast of Stones won the 2014 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction and the 2014 Clive Staples Award. The Shock of Night won the 2016 INSPY Award for Speculative Fiction. Patrick teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Mary, and their four sons. Learn more at

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Book review: Protecting Tanner Hollow by Lynette Eason

About the Book

Four nail-biting novellas in one!

Lethal Homecoming
Nolan Tanner never got over Kallie Ainsworth's sudden, unexplained departure. Now when he comes to her rescue after an attempt on her life, all the old feelings come rushing back.

Lethal Conspiracy
When professional fundraiser Lillian Maloney sees her father's campaign manager commit murder, she goes on the run from the men he hires to kill her. A close call brings firefighter Jason Tanner to the rescue, but the killer is closing in . . .

Lethal Secrets
Someone wants Honor McBride dead. When Eli Murphy helps her change a flat tire and discovers the danger Honor is in, he longs to help--but Eli has secrets of his own that could get them all killed.

Lethal Agenda
When Detective Derek St. John rescues a woman he's met only once before--and has never been able to forget--he finds himself falling for her. But he'll have to keep Claire Montgomery alive if they're to have a future together.

You can purchase a copy here.

My Review

Sometimes you just need a good dose of Lynette Eason. You never know what will happen in her stories, but you know that you will be caught up in them right away, fearful of the bad guys, and rooting for the safety and protection of the good guys. This novella collection did not disappoint. There were some familiar characters from previous novels, plus new ones to meet. The plot kept moving in each novella, keeping me turning pages when I wasn’t looking over my shoulder for danger. It was great to spend some time in the small town of Tanner Hollow, and experience its small-town warmth and charm.

The noticeable difference in this collection, as opposed to her full-length novels, was that the romance moved much more quickly, but that was necessitated by the shorter length of the stories. The author made it work, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Each novella was different, yet each was connected to the others. I recommend this book for fans of romantic suspense and police drama.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Oath of Honor, Called to Protect, Code of Valor, and Vow of Justice, as well as the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sneak peak at a new book

If you would like a sneak peek of Rosanna M. White's next book, sign up for her newsletter. Don't miss out on exciting #BookNews coming SOON from @RoseannaMWhite! Sign up for her newsletter TODAY! #TheCodebreakers #OnWingsofDevotion #SneakPeek

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book review: Hope's Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller

About the Book

Ingrid Chastain readily agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory. She never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. When rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, she's hesitant to put her trust in this quiet man who seems to have his own wounds.

Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor after unintentionally bringing home the smallpox disease that killed his wife and daughter. But his self-imposed solitude in the wilds of Montana is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he's forced to face his regret and call on his doctoring skills once again.

Micah can't help but admire Ingrid's tenacious determination despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on trekking through the mountains to deliver the medicine--with or without his help--he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.  

My Review

In the snowy Montana mountains, survival is not guaranteed.  The setting of this book alone was enough to keep my interest, because of the inherent danger.  With all the adventure, this survival story was one that kept me reading!

Micah had become somewhat of a recluse after his wife and daughter died.  But when his doctoring skills were needed, he did not hold back.  He was tenderhearted toward and protective of Ingrid, animals, children, and anyone in his care.  He was a man who did the hard work to get things done.

Ingrid was devoted to her father and his work of helping people.  She was also devoted to God, which helped her through the trials she endured.  She also had an unbelievably high tolerance for pain.

This book has lots of adventure with endearing characters, and a sweet romance.  I recommend it for all historical romance readers.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God's love. For a limited time, you can get her bestselling novel, The Lady and the Mountain Man, FREE here:

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty's heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God's abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family--both immediate and extended--is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.

Learn more at

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: Deadly Christmas Pretense by Dana Mentink

About the Book

Book: Deadly Christmas Pretense
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Christian Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Release Date: November 4, 2019

A cowboy to her rescue…but she’s not who he thinks she is.

Posing as her sister for Christmas is the only way to save her, but Maggie Lofton needs help—even if it means working with her twin’s cowboy ex-boyfriend, Liam Pike. But between the bull’s-eye on her back and the dangerous connection she’s forming with Liam, Maggie’s mission is harder than expected. Will their tenuous partnership be enough to shield her when the killer closes in?

Book #2 in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series

Click here to get your copy.

My Review

In the midst of a small-town Christmas celebration, twin sisters fear for their lives.

Author Dana Mentink has again penned a suspense-filled novel that will keep you looking over your shoulder when you're not turning pages.

Stolen jewels.  Mistaken identities.  Car chases.  A handsome cowboy.  This book has it all, and more.  Suspense readers will love it for the action, and romance readers will cheer for the couple to bravely move forward and develop a relationship.

I really appreciated the theme of loyalty to family that was pervasive throughout the book.  Maggie would do anything to protect her twin sister.  Liam had been the protector of his sister since he was seven years old.  His brothers always had his back as he worked to thwart the plans of the bad guys and protect the sisters.

The Love Inspired line is great for exciting stories with well-developed characters in a quick read.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.  

About the Author

Dana 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 forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. 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

I just love Christmas, don’t you? In our area we have a lovely holiday train. It’s an old steam type train which is decked out in lights for festive holiday tours. I was so thrilled that this cover features just such a train. Of course, in the novel the train is the scene of hair raising danger! Maggie, our heroine in this novel, is a cook. She serves up some mouth watering dishes (when she’s not dodging a killer.) I thought perhaps you might enjoy a Mentink holiday family recipe! God bless you as we enter this holiday season!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 1
Among the Reads, November 1
Emily Yager, November 1
KarenSueHadley , November 2
Blogging With Carol, November 2
Batya’s Bits, November 2
Bigreadersite, November 3
My Devotional Thoughts , November 3
She Lives to Read, November 3
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 4
Genesis 5020, November 4
mpbooks, November 4
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 5
Betti Mace, November 5
Quiet Workings, November 5
Blossoms and Blessings, November 6
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner , November 6
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 6
Older & Smarter?, November 7
Maureen’s Musings, November 7
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 7
Splashes of Joy , November 8
For Him and My Family, November 8
Moments, November 8
Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 9
Simple Harvest Reads, November 9
EmpowerMoms, November 9
Through the Fire Blogs, November 10
Remembrancy, November 10
Pause for Tales, November 10
For the Love of Books, November 11
Hallie Reads, November 11
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 12
To Everything There Is A Season, November 12
Daysong Reflections, November 12


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a a book necklace, Amazon gift card, and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: Before Christmas by Bill Crowder

About the Book

Book: Before Christmas
Author: Bill Crowder
Genre: RELIGION / Holidays/Christmas & Advent
Release Date: October, 2019

Embrace the majesty of the Messiah

Bill Crowder invites you to explore the backstory of the first advent. He brings you on a journey into the very heart of God, to a greater understanding of what it means that “the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).

Walk through Scripture to see and know Jesus in a richer way. Examine His character as God, His relationship with the Father, His appearances in the Old Testament, and more. Understand how these pre-Bethlehem truths lead into the Savior’s birth and the events of that first Christmas—and, most importantly, how it all comes together in God’s great story of redemption and rescue.

You’ll embrace the majesty of the Messiah and celebrate Christ’s birth with renewed joy and wonder.

Click here to get your copy.

My Review

I chose to read this book because I am familiar with Bill Crowder’s writing in Our Daily Bread, and because it was about Christmas. I found this book to be a well-written treatise about Jesus and who He is, well before He was placed in a manger.

This book was not long, but was packed with truth. Crowder proved his points with Scripture, and enhanced his chapters with stories and examples. It was a great tool for learning or reviewing good theology about Jesus. And when one has the truth of Jesus, that leads to praising Him, so it’s a win!

I especially liked that not only were passages of Scripture quoted as needed, but the truth of great hymns of the faith were included, as well. Then favorite Christmas carols were also cited for the great truths found there.

This book bull of the truths of Jesus, who He is and what He has done, was a great encouragement for me. I recommend it for those who want to deepen their knowledge of Christ and their celebration of Him at Christmas, or any time throughout the year.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, Discovery House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Bill Crowder, who spent over twenty years in the pastorate, is vice president of ministry content at Our Daily Bread Ministries. He is a contributor to Our Daily Bread and the author of nine books, including My Hope Is in You, Seeing the Heart of Christ, and For This He Came. He and his wife, Marlene, have five children.

More from Bill

During my years as a pastor, I found Christmas and Easter to be challenging. Certainly I love those seasons (for very different reasons), but finding creative ways to retell these important stories was often difficult. But, at one such season I realized that the story we tell at Christmas is not really the whole story. By entering the story at Nazareth or Bethlehem, we enter too late. We can’t simply start with the Baby in the manger—we need to go back. Before time began. To the eternal Christ. Unless we seek to understand Him, we’ll never fully appreciate who He was and why He came. That is the Christmas story. – Bill Crowder

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, October 31
Mary Hake, October 31
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 1
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 2
A Rup Life, November 3
Lights in a Dark World, November 3
Texas Book-aholic, November 4
janicesbookreviews, November 5
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 6
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6
A Reader’s Brain, November 7
Emily Yager, November 8
Older & Smarter?, November 9
God is Love, November 10
For the Love of Literature, November 11
She Lives To Read, November 12
Inklings and notions, November 13
Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 13


To celebrate his tour, Bill is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book, Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee, and $10 Amazon card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.