Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: My Daughter's Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Book info
About the book:
A thrilling tale of two women longing to follow God's leading, make the most of second chances, and find true love at last
Virginia, 1864
Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love-whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor-ever fit in her broken world?
Virginia, present day
Nicole Talbot's life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she's finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family's legacy, she must risk all that she's gained-her fresh start, her family's trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.
About the authors:

Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania.
Find out more about Mindy Starns at
Like us on Facebook Find us on Pinterest
Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including "Beyond the Blue" and "Garden of Dreams." She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children.

Find out more about Leslie at
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest


WOW. That is what I have to say about this book. I did my capstone for my Masters on the use of women and African Americans as slaves during the American Civil War -- and this book had so many similarities to what some had faced during those times. I could NOT put this book down. Now, I had not read any of the previous books in this series, but I will be going  back and picking those up.  This book has dual time periods. Part of the story is set in 1864 Virginia. The other part is contemporary. These characters are well written and seem so tangible. There are twists and turns and I could not wait to get to the next page. Kudos to the authors for a great book that kept me on the edge of my seat. 

I received a courtesy copy of this book through the Litfuse Blogging program. All opinions are my own .

Friday, July 7, 2017

CelebrateLit Blog Tour Review: Gladden The Heart by Olivia Newport

Gladden the Heart FB cover copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heart  
Author: Olivia Newport  
Release date: July 1, 2017  
Genre: Historical Amish  

“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.” When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience? The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism. Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions. When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position. What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher. I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions. Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question. I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives? Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.


I love this author and have read several of her books. I had not read anything in this series. I had no problem following along, but I will probably go back and read the rest of the series. The author crafts real characters. Her descriptions are tangible. I love the way her writing flows from page to page. I did not want to stop reading. The story line was not like any other that I had read. I loved the Biblical Truth that Olivia writes about. Olivia is  powerful writer and you will not want to put this down.  If you are a fan of this author - you will love it!

I received a complementary copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program -- all opinions are my own.

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of: All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series ( PLUS Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series ( PLUS $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Book Review: Surround Me (Revolutionary Faith #2) by Marguerite Martin Gray

Book Review: Surround Me (Revolutionary Faith #2) by Marguerite Martin Gray

Surround Me (Revolutionary Faith #2)

It's no secret that my favorite time period is Revolutionary America (1770 ish) - 1900. When I was offered the opportunity to read and review the above book, I jumped at it. It was a book that I had my eye on for a long time. 

Book Summary: 

As the dark curtain of the rumors of revolution threatens to descend, Louis Lestarjette pursues his relationship with Elizabeth even as the emotional and physical struggles set the course for a life of changes. Will his commitment to God stay firm, or will the tide of change cause fear and flight?

The chance of reconciliation with England moves further out to sea, leaving Elizabeth Elliott on the shores of surrender to a greater challenge. Although others of unwavering courage give her strength, she must choose to allow God's love to surround her. How can she enter into a marriage during a time of uncertainty? Will selfish, safer options take her away from Louis and his love?

Set in 1773 Charles Town, Surround Me, the sequel to Hold Me Close, takes the reader into the lives of colonists confronting imminent change and unpredictable circumstances binding them together to become a formidable force

About the Author: 

Marguerite Martin Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Recently, she received a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children

Read more at her website: HERE

My Review: 

 This is Book #2 in the Revolutionary faith Series. I had not read Book 1. I had no problem following along and getting to know the characters. Louis Lestarjette, Frenchman turned Patriot is completely in love with his secret fiance Elizabeth Elliot. One of the major hurdles you will see them go through is the fact that Elizabeth's father is a Loyalist. He is less then thrilled that his daughter is in love with a Frenchman and a Patriot. 

I loved getting lost in Charles Town, SC and the struggle that was going on during this time period. I loved reading the story of Louis and Elizabeth and seeing some of the struggles they went through. The author's characters and descriptions are so real it's like you are there with them watching the story unfold. 

Louis is a fairly new Christian and watching him get comfortable with his new faith and adjust his life accordingly. 

If you are a fan of Historical Fiction - you will love this book 

I received a courtesy copy of this book from the author --- all opinions are my own.