The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma


The Pink Bonnet, by Liz Tolsma, is the second book in the True Colors series by Barbour Publishing. These stories are based on true crimes that took place in American History. This one is based on Georgia Tann, who ran the Tennessee Children’s Home Society from 1924 until 1950. She kidnapped an estimated 5000 children and sold them to the highest bidders. She stole them from hospitals, from the streets and playgrounds. Children were not safe and Ms. Tann’s black Cadillac was greatly feared. She was able to do this by have a judge and other prominent people involved.

In this story Cecile has left her three-year-old daughter with a neighbor while she looks for a job. The neighbor calls Ms. Tann and the child is taken away. Cecile will stop at nothing to get her daughter back. When trying to confront Ms. Tann, Cecile meets Ms. Tann’s attorney and her actions cause him to rethink what he is helping Ms. Tann do. He helps Cecile search for her young daughter.

This is a fast paced, suspenseful story that kept me reading to find out what happens in the end. The story is well written. The descriptions are so good, the story comes to life while reading it. If I could give this book ore than 5 stars I would. The author has also written a short description of the true crime that actually took place.

This is such a good series. The stories are not connected, so they make great stand alone novels that do not need to be read in order.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing but was under no obligation to write a review.

254 pages

IBSN: 9781643520452

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The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter

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The Brides of the Big Valley is a compilation of three Amish stories by Wanda, Jean and Richelle Brunstetter. Set in Pennsylvania, the stories cover three different Amish groups. The groups are identified by the colors of their buggies. The white-toppers had sparsely furnished homes, the black-top and yellow-top had more furniture that were cushioned and comfortable. There are slight differences between each group; as well as the English. This book shows just some of those differences and the affects they have on the members. I really enjoyed reading this book. It is easy to read and contains interesting information. The last story, by Richelle, has a different writing style than the others. It took a little while to get into for me. Once I was able to get into the story, is was very good.

Deanna’s Determination, by Wanda E. Brunstetter, is a story of Deanna, a young widow from the plain, white-top community. After the death of her husband, his best friend, Elmer was there to help her when she needed him. Following the death of her mother, Deanna and her son moved in with her father. Deanna and Elmer’s relationship reached the point they are considering marriage when he has an accident while preforming ferrier duties.

Rose Mary’s Resolve, by Jean Brunstetter, is a story of Rose Mary, from the conservative black-top community. She has been dating a young man that is considering leaving the Amish community. She breaks it off when he goes to help his uncle. Shortly after a plane lands in their field and the family befriends the English pilot, Kevin, who is dealing with family issues and is looking for more meaning in his life.

Leila’s Longing, by Richelle Brunstetter, is a story of Leila from the yellow top community. With the illness and then death of her mother, Leila has been left to tend to her mother’s card shop and raise the family. When she hires help for the shop, she hires someone from another community. While at a get-to-gather, she meets Aden from the black-top community. As their friendship builds and she wonders if she will ever have a family of her own, Aden’s father comments he could not handle his children marrying outside of their community.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

448 pages

ISBN: 9781683228868

Wanda Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish genre. She does much research to accurately portray the Amish faith. You can connect with her at:

Jean Brunstetter is Wanda’s daughter-in-law. She became friends with many Amish after meeting her father-in-law in Pennsylvania. She tries to put some of their practices in her own life. You can connect with her at:

Richelle Brunstetter is Wanda’s granddaughter. Developed a desire to write after taking a creative writing class in high school. She became a writer after taking college courses.

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The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep


The Noble Guardian is the third and final book in the Bow Street Runners series by Michelle Griep. Even though this is part of a series, it is also a great stand alone book. The story does reference the heros from the previous two stories.

Abby is excited to leave her family to travel to marry a Baron her father promised her to. Her family is not there to send her off nor do they provide a manservant to get her to the Baron safely. She is left all alone to find someone to get her across England to the Baron safely.

Samuel is a Bow Street Runner whose contract is almost up, struggling with what to do to earn the money he needs to buy his own place. He is on the horse patrol that is trying to find the man responsible for killing travelers. After he kills the man’s brother, he finds his life is also in danger. Abby asks him to get her to the Baron for the exact amount he needs. When he seeks help from a friend, he finds himself also responsible for getting his friend’s young daughter to her aunt. Together Samuel and Abby care for the young girl while traveling to the Baron.

This is a fun story to read. It is fast paced, full of adventure and suspense. Samuel and Abby both have family history they are running from that have made them the strong people that they are. I enjoyed reading this story. While Abby is the daughter of a wealthy merchant she has the strength and determination to do what she needs to. Samuel left his family at a very young age, yet he has become a very trust worthy and faithful man of integrity. The story is so well written it is easy to envision what the manor looks like and the areas they travel through.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: Bow Street Runners (Book 3)

316 pages

ISBN: 9781683227496

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The Giant’s Fall by Matt Koceich


The Giant’s Fall is book four in the Imagine series by Matt Koceich. In this story, Wren is excited to get home from school, as this is the day they are mailing the book she wrote to the publishers. It is a book to honor her mother who lost her life to an illness. When she gets off her school bus she find her house engulfed in flames. Her father is standing on the street with the few items he was able to get, among them is not the book. Wren flees the area and the next thing she knows she is in ancient Israel. Here Wren meets a shepherd, David. Together they try to escape from Philistine soldiers and a giant, Goliath.

This is a fun book for children ages 8 to 12 to read. The story gives a great message for children, with God, everything is possible. Even through tragic events like losing her mother and home, Wren is able to see good things in her life. While this story is based on the Bible story of David and Goliath, the author has added a lot to the story. Reading the actual story from the Bible may be necessary to give the child reading this story a true understanding of the real events.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: Imagine (book 4)

109 pages

ISBN: 9781683229445

Matt Koceich is a schoolteacher from Texas. You can learn more about him at:

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The Intimate Connection by Dr. Kevin Leman


The Intimate Connection, by Dr. Kevin Leman, covers many topics to help create a happy marriage. Using examples of his own life and those of couples he counseled, Dr. Leman explains ways to help create a life long relationship with your spouse that is filled with respect, communication and love. The author touches on topics such as a person’s early life, past experiences, personalities and birth order to show how they may respond in their marriage. The author gives suggestion for understanding your spouse and gives tips to avoid trigger points or help them grow.

This is an interesting book that should be read by both partners to get the most benefit from it, whether they be engaged or married for many years. The author brings out many good points on how to built a better relationship. I liked that he also included the importance of faith and Biblical teachings in a relationship.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blog Program, this is my honest review.

270 pages

ISBN: 9780800734947

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Indivisible by Travis Thrasher


Indivisible, by Travis Thrasher, is a novel based on the motion picture by David G. Evans. This story is based on the military life of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his family. Married and with three children, Darren decides to join the army. He and his family move to Fort Stewart, Georgia. Darren is deployed to Iraq in 2007, where he is to offer assistance and comfort to the members of his troop. His wife, Heather, has joined with her neighbor to be available to offer assistance to the wives and families left behind. Through this separation, both change from their experience and they have to learn how to be a family again.

This is a good book, which shows the struggles military personnel and their families go through for the sake of our country. This particular story shows that of a Chaplain’s responsibilities and the struggles he goes through to witness to the soldiers. Not only do they become very close, but when tragedy happens, he is the one who must bring glory to the fallen soldier’s life and to support those closest to the soldier. I feel this is a good book for anyone who knows someone in the military to read. It helps to open the readers eyes to some of the struggles the soldiers go through, not only in the field, but when they return home to civilian.

This book has a forward by Darren and Heather Turner, photos of those mentioned in the book as well as discussion questions.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishing BookLook Bloggers Program. This is my honest review.

336 pages

ISBN: 9780785224051

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Rise of the Mystics by Ted Dekker

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There is no fear in love. They will know you follow me by your love.”

The Rise of the Mystics is part two in the Beyond the Circle series by Ted Dekker. Taking over where part one ended, this set of books has to be read in order to follow along. Rachelle Matthews, also known as the 49th Mystic, has been taken in by a group of people who are trying to take away her memory and stop her dreaming. When she falls asleep she enters the Other World through her dreams. She has two of the five seals left to find with just a short time to keep the worlds safe. With Steve’s help she escapes after having her memory wiped again. Together they flee and work to conquer Vlad Smith.

This is a suspenseful futuristic thriller. The story bounces between our world and the Other World where there is fighting and killing. This at times, is confusing. The story references the Bible and through the finding of the five seals, teaches a lesson of knowing God, surrendering to Him, and finding True Love. For the readers who enjoy Christian science fiction or futuristic stories, this would be an enjoyable story.

I received a copy of this story from Revell Reads Blog Tour program. This is my honest review.

Series: Beyond the Circle (Book 2)

416 pages

ISBN: 9780800735999

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Autumn Frost by M. D. Schlatter


Autumn Frost, by M. D. Schlatter is book one in the Seasons of the Heart Series. Autumn DeBlue lost her mother. Her father was left to raise her by himself. Thinking he was doing the right thing and teaching her responsibilities, he was actually abusing her. Looking for a way to get away, she becomes a companion for Lady Cannon. She is willing to give up everything, including a future that includes marriage. While Autumn has given up all traces of her life, her experiences have made her the hard working, fast learning person Lady Cannon is looking for.

When her father realizes Autumn has run away, he is left to care for the farm and his home by himself. These were duties he knows nothing about as he had forced them on Autumn. He is very anti-Christian and has nothing to do with Christians. Until he hires someone to do the chores Autumn always did.

This is a very heartwarming story of loss, moving forward and forgiveness. The story moves between Autumn working her new position with Lady Cannon in Michigan and her father in Nebraska. Some of the things that stand out to me in this story is the respect Lady Cannon gives to all she meets. She gives everyone, including her servants, a title honoring them. Autumn’s father was very anti-Christian, yet this did not affect how Autumn felt about Christians. This is the first book by this author I have read. It is very well written with several twists and turns that keep the story moving nicely.

I received a copy of this book through BookCrash. This is my honest review.

Series: Seasons of the Heart (book 1)
370 pages

ISBN: 9781732171169

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The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

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The Heart of a King, by Jill Eileen Smith, is a fictional retelling of King Solomon and four of his wives. Prior to becoming king, Solomon marries his childhood friend, who is also a follower of God. Knowing he will some day be king, they know he will have many wives and concubines. But she, Naamah, wants him for herself. Following the death of his father, King David, Solomon married the wife of King David that cared for him during his illness. Later to take control back of a fallen city, Solomon marries the daughter of a Egyptian pharaoh, who continues to worship her statues. And when Solomon finds out the Queen of Sheba is in need of an heir, he marries her for a short time to provide an heir for her country.

This is an easy book to read set in ancient Israel during the reign of Kind David and King Solomon. While being based on Biblical characters, the story is very much fictional containing characters and situations not present in the Bible. The story is written to show the lives of four of Solomon’s wives, yet it does show a lot of Solomon, the life he lived, the expectations he lived with and person that he was. He dearly loved God, his parents and his country. The story is very very descriptive, allowing the reader to visualize the area and happenings. I recommend this story for those who enjoy reading fictional stories based on Bible characters.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blog Tour program. This is my honest review.

417 pages

ISBN: 9780800722401

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On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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On a Summer Tide, by Suzanne Woods Fisher, is the first book in a new series. This is a contemporary story set on a small island off Maine. Paul Grayson sold his home and bought the summer camp where he met his wife many years earlier. His daughters fear there is something wrong with him. But when he moves to the island, all three of them show up. Cam, the oldest, needs him to watch her son while she travels for work. Maddie, the middle daughter, comes to the island looking for a possibility to do her internship and Blaine is kicked out of college.

Together the family spend the summer fixing up the summer camp, turning it into a resort and getting to know the people who live on the island.

This is a wonderful new series. While this one focused on Cam, the author introduces the rest of the characters very well. The author provided the history of the family to show the development of the personalities of the daughters. This is a good clean romance story with a touch of mystery. I enjoyed Seth’s character. While he was the typical jock in college, he was able to see past his wants and turn his life around. I really enjoyed reading this story and anticipate the rest of the series.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Book Blog Tour Program, this is my honest review.

Series: Three Sister Island (Book 1)
289 pages

ISBN: 9780800734985

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