Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Book Review: Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart

 About the Book

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn't mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it--or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she's nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it's easier to see what's best for others than to see what's best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

Saddle up for a heartfelt story of love--love of family, love of place, and the love of a lifetime--from bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review

Author Ann H. Gabhart skillfully transports the reader to another place and time in her latest offering, Along a Storied Trail.  Whether it's out in the rain or snow, inside a crowded cabin, on a horse, or in a car, Gabhart places the reader in the story.  It is the same setting as in The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, but this story is quite different.

Along a Storied Trail is a gentle, sweet story of people coming to a crossroads in their lives.  Prayers are answered, words are spoken, and gifts are given that change the direction of their lives for the good.

The characters are well-drawn, and the story draws the reader in.  It was a pleasure to read this book.

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

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she's published many books for both adults and young adults. Her books cover several genres from historical to small town family stories to cozy mysteries (mysteries published with author name A.H. Gabhart). Her ideas are sparked by events in Kentucky history and by experiences in her own family. Her first Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award, and These Healing Hills was the Faith, Hope & Love Readers' Choice Women's Fiction Book of the Year.

Ann lives on a Kentucky farm not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann enjoys hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. See more about her books at www.annhgabhart.com or join the conversation on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/anngabhart.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Book Review: Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

About the Book

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That's exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father's quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He's left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he's crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian's rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review

Time travel books, by nature, can be wonderful, yet tragic.  This one keeps the reader guessing until the very end.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Medical researcher Marian Creighton worked in a field which can be cut-throat and dangerous.  Knowing whom to trust was a big deal and it kept me wary throughout the story.  Normally, I'm not sure that Marian and I would be friends, because she is so science-y, but as the story progressed, her compassion and faith really came through, and I grew to admire her deeply.

Knight William Durham sought to live honorably, but was haunted by things he had done as a soldier.  It was Marian that helped him move past the tragedies in his previous days.

Author Jody Hedlund gives readers an exciting, suspenseful story, right to the very end.  But there is also an aura of mystery, wonder, and romance woven throughout, and I was thrilled to get "all the feels" as I read.

Readers who enjoy time travel, historical romance, and Christian fiction will enjoy this book, which I highly recommend.

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

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she's learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she's not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Prairie by Chautona Havig

About the Book


Book:  Prairie

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fantasy

Release date: February 13, 2013


What if you could literally wish your life away?

My name is Jessa Davidson, and I awoke one day in the place of every dream I’ve ever had—the prairie.  I don’t know how I got here or where here even is, but I know one thing for certain. I can’t go home again. Ever.

If I’ve learned one thing being in this beautiful place, it’s that no matter how perfect it and its people seem, sin lives in the hearts of men and women in Prairie, too. The differences between Prairie and Pittsburgh? There are too many to count.

I grew up hearing the words of the Apostle Paul. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

Here in Prairie, they’re not a lesson. They’re a warning.

I’ve been given a gift—the greatest desire of my heart. A life in the place of my dreams, a chance at love and family, a sense of real belonging.

Can I hold onto it? Time will tell—time I may not have if I can’t learn to be content.

Prairie is the first book in the Journey of Dreams, a series of related but stand-alone contemporary Christian fantasy novels exploring truths in a whole new way.

 Click here to get your copy!

My Review


At first I didn't think I would connect with a young woman waking up in a strange place, and her discoveries there. But I became enthralled as I read through this story and learned how the people lived in Prairie.  The sense of community was their way of life.  It took getting used to, but it was amazing.

I did not immediately connect with Jessa, but as the story progressed and I saw how she was so open to her new environment and community, I began liking her immensely.

All the "what ifs" of this new-to-Jessa land were fascinating to learn.  I loved how a relationship with the Lord was so essential to the people's individual well-being, and to the community's success.

Readers who are fans of Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables will appreciate the references throughout this book.  Readers of Christian fiction and fantasy will also enjoy this book.

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

About the Author

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona

When Your Novel Teaches You an Important Lesson

I’ve told the story before, but I’ll tell it again. Prairie began as a dream. For several days in a row, I fell asleep and found myself lost in the sway of prairie grasses undulating to the strains of “Theme from a Summer Place.”

It’s a bad habit of mine, but despite being in the middle of a writing project, I wrote down my thoughts—my impressions. Two strange things happened.

First, the story came out in first person. Folks, I don’t write in first-person perspective. Not my novels, anyway. I don’t enjoy reading it, and I really don’t enjoy writing it.

Jessa, however, demanded I let her tell her story… her way. So I did. And it’s one of the fastest novels I’ve ever written.

There’s irony in that.

You see, I didn’t know where that story would go. My dream only replayed the scene of Jessa waking up on the prairie and not knowing how she got there—only knowing she could never go home. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

And though I wanted to rush through so I could see where the story would take me, and though I wrote at breakneck speeds, the story unfolded at its own pace.

The people of Prairie live a different life from anything you’ve ever seen—and yet it is mostly very familiar. One thing, however, sets it apart.


Only in Prairie does time not work as it does here, and that changes everything. The story begins slowly and for a reason. Line by line, observation by observation, step by step through the grasses and down rutted lanes, the story draws you out of the breakneck speed of modern life and into a world that, if you aren’t careful, will whiz by faster than is even possible.

Here in our world, that is.

There… you’d better watch out.

Has anyone ever warned you not to wish your life away? It’s just a gentle reminder that if you’re always eager for today to end in hopes of a more exciting tomorrow, you may find you never lived.

In Prairie? It might actually happen.

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 28
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 28
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 29
For the Love of Literature, May 30
Blogging With Carol, May 30
Texas Book-aholic, May 31
Inklings and notions, June 1
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, June 1
For Him and My Family, June 2
deb’s Book Review, June 3
Spoken from the Heart, June 3
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 5
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 7
Pause for Tales, June 7
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 8
Lots of Helpers, June 9
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 9
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book & a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma


About the Book

Book:  The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Liz Tolsma has written a story that definitely kept my attention in this next installment of the True Colors series.  The Silver Shadow had me totally caught up in the story. . . so much so that I kept looking over my shoulder as I was shopping, in order not to be the next victim!  It was interesting that the reader knew what the Silver Shadow did, and why he did it, but it took until the very end to figure out who he was.

Polly had a lot of pushback as she pursued her career as a newspaper reporter.  It was a man's job, and the men just didn't like a woman in their space, doing their thing.  No matter how talented Polly was, she had to work much harder than the men around her to get any recognition.  It especially pained her that her own father felt that way.  Edwin still dealt with guilt over a childhood tragedy, and used that to push himself as a detective.  But as the attacks on women continued in the city, they came to rely on each other for assistance.  I liked Polly and Edwin, and appreciated their spiritual journeys as they sought to solve the case.

Readers who enjoy true crime stories and historical romance will want to pick up this book.

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

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.


More from Liz

One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.

I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.

And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.

Then I sat down to research it more. And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.

Eventually I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.

In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 25
lakesidelivingsite, May 25
Reviewingbooksplusmore, May 25
For the Love of Literature, May 26
Bigreadersite, May 26
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 26
Texas Book-aholic, May 27
Genesis 5020, May 27
Christian Bookaholic, May 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28
Vicky Sluiter, May 28
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 28
The Write Escape, May 29
Betti Mace, May 29
Inklings and notions, May 29
Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 30
For Him and My Family, May 30
Rebecca Tews, May 30
Older & Smarter?, May 31
deb’s Book Review, May 31
Blogging With Carol, May 31
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 1
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1
Remembrancy, June 1
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2
Pick a Good Book, June 2
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 2
Connie’s History Classroom, June 3
Godly Book Reviews, June 3
Mary Hake, June 3
Through the Fire Blogs, June 4
Melissa Wardwells Back Porch Reads, June 4
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4
KarenSueHadley, June 5
Amanda Tero, Blog, June 5
Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 6
Grace-Filled Writer, June 6
Pause for Tales, June 6
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 7
Blossoms and Blessings, June 7
Daysong Reflections, June 7


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!

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