Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke


Promise Me Something, by Cathy Gohlke, is a historical fiction set at the time of the sinking of the Titanic and World War 1.  With the passing of their parents, Owen and Annie Allen are on their own.  Annie is living with her spinster aunt.  Owen comes to get Annie away from their aunt and take her to Southampton, England to go to school.  Their father was a gardener and Owen is now working as a gardener and has plans to go to America.  Their aunt and uncle have a nursery in America.  Owen has saved seeds and clipping of plants that he plans to take to America.

While working in England, Owen meets a young boy, Michael, who is also an orphan and living with a mean relative.  Owen befriends the young boy.  Michael decides to stow away on the Titanic.  When Owen finds out Michael is a stow away on the ship, he shares his bed and meal ticket with him. Owen teaches Michael about gardening, seeds and plants.  One day they find out Owen roommate has search his things.  Owen sews the seeds and plants into his jacket.  When the Titanic is sinking, Owen is not allowed on a life boat as they are for women and children only. He forces Michael to take his jacket and get on a life boat.  He tells Michael to go to his Aunt and Uncle’s and to focus on bringing Annie to America.

The money for Annie’s time at Southampton runs out and Annie is forced to go back to her spinster aunt.  When the aunt takes ill, the family solicitor, Mr. Sprague, tells Annie about the family history and the circumstances around her aunt’s health.  Mr Sprague cautions Annie to not take on the bitter, spiteful character of her aunt.  Annie goes to live with the Sprague’s until she is called back to her aunt’s home.  Her aunt has threatened her and her friends if she does not move back.  At this time, the war is going on and Anne disappears.  The Spragues and Michael no longer hear from her.  Michael takes on a civilian position with the War to try to find Annie.

This is a very awesome book to read.  Being set in a very important time in world history, this story takes on some hard topics.  We are shown the fear and struggles the families of passengers on the Titanic go through.  At a time when communication is not immediate, they are forced to wait.  We see the strength Michael has to follow through on a promise to Owen.  The work he devotes to Owen’s family and dream as well as the work he goes through to make money to bring Anne to America.  We also see how the wealthy have power to control people lives and not always for the better.  This story is historical fiction but contains mystery and romance as well.  I really enjoyed reading this book and I think anyone who enjoys reading about this time in history will also enjoy it.

402 pages

ISBN: 9781414353074

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishing

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The Lady Fugitive by Ada Brownell

the lady fugitive

The Lady Fugitive is a Christian Western Fiction written by Ada Brownell.  The story takes place in 1908.   When Jennifer Louise Parks’ father died, he left her uncle, Judge Danforth Schuster, in charge of his family and ranch.  The Judge is to care for Jennifer and her brother until they turn 21 to inherit the farm.  Jennifer’s brother has already fled to get away from him.  Now Jennifer is dressing as a boy and trying to get away.  The Judge is desperate to keep her and has wanted posters with a reward for her return.  While Jennifer is trying to get away, she runs into a peddler, William O’Casey, who gives her help and advice.

William is a peddler who travels around selling household items and showing a motion picture “The Life and passion of Jesus Christ”.  While traveling, William is also searching for his brother Ben.  Their father is not well and wants Ben to come home.  Their father is also concerned about Ben’s spiritual life.

Jennifer gets to Yucca Blossom, Colorado and hides out in cellar.  When the owner comes home, Jennifer finds out the owner’s husband was killed and the owner blames a neighbor who wants the farm.  The owner does not want the farm anymore and sells it to Jennifer with the warning to not sell to the neighbor.

William arrives at the farm to find out his friend has died and the wife has sold the farm to Jennifer.  When William finds out there is a reward for Jennifer, he notifies the Judge to stop the bounty hunters. He plans to marry Jennifer to keep her safe, but he does not ask Jennifer.

This is a fun book to read.  It is an easy to read book that shows the heart of the people that Jennifer comes in contact with.  Some of these people are caring and generous while others are self-centered only caring about what they want and not others.  There are a lot of characters in the story, however, they are slowly and carefully introduced so easy to follow.  While the story is fiction, there is also mystery and romance woven within the story.  The part of the story I enjoy the most is when Jennifer takes over the farm.  I enjoyed reading of the strength she shows with caring for the animals and trying to work on the damaged home. I also enjoyed reading about the caring people in Yucca Blossom.

I also like the fact that the book contains larger than normal spacing, with double spacing between paragraphs.  This makes it easier to read.

I received a copy of this book from the author and BookClub network.  I have chosen to write this honest review.

350 pages

ISBN: 9781942513025

Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing

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GodRunner by Will Hart


Everyone is called to something, somewhere.

GodRunner is a non-fiction book written by missionary Will Hart.  Will tells his story of coming to the Lord and about his missionary work.  Will was the son of hippies.  His mother became saved from listening to the radio.  She was filled by the Holy Spirit and the family thought she had gone crazy.  Even though his father was at times scared of the situation, he decided the family would follow her.  When Will was a senior in high school, he became saved and decided to be a missionary instead of going to college.  This is a book of places he’s been, people he has saved, as well as his family life.

Some of the points he makes in this book are to go out and do what the Spirt wants you to do.  You do not have to leave the country, you can be used by God right where you are, in what ever you are doing.  We are to take every opportunity God gives us to work with others.  God created us in love and he will never stop loving us.  God is seeking us and pursuing us.  He seeks us when we are least expecting it and sometimes that makes us uncomfortable.  But sometimes God has to take us to our lowest point to restore us and rediret us.

While this book is not what I expected, it is very well written and  has  good points in it.  I especially liked the parts in the book where the author talks about his young life and his mother’s personality.    I typically do not read auto-biographies, and at times it felt that this is what the book is.  I did however, think he did a good job of describing what a missionary family’s life it like.  While not going into detail, he did show the sacrifices the entire family had to make. I am giving this book a 4, only because of the auto-biography feel.

I received a copy of this book from Book Club Network.  I have chosen to write this honest review.

183 Pages

ISBN: 9781629117737

Publisher: Whitaker House

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Home by Ginny L. Yttrup


In order for God to begin healing our pain, we need to allow ourselves to feel the pain. And in order to experience God in the midst of our pain, we must remain present through the pain.

Home, written by Ginny L.Yttrup, is an awesome Christian Contemporary Fiction story that focuses on sensitive topics such as infertility, mental illness and financial issues. The story is told by it’s three main characters.

Melanie is an author who is struggling to get her new book written by the deadline.  She is also a middle-aged woman who was not able to have children.  Her way of coping with this problem was not to face it. Melanie’s husband, Craig, owns a construction company.  With the change of the economy he is not able to do very well.  Their bank account is empty and the only job he has is building a custom home for a beautiful widow.  Craig has not told Melanie about the financial problems they are having.  He is spending time in prayer in a Catholic retreat area, that was a secret of his mothers and now his. Melanie takes a friend’s offer to go away to be alone to write the book.  Meanwhile Craig is  at home facing the financial issues alone.  He feels a strong need to pray for Melanie and the unresolved issues of infertility.  Craig is also forced to sell personal items to make the house payment and put the house up for sale. Craig and Melanie both feel something is wrong with their marriage and relationship.

Jill is a neighbor to Melanie and Craig.  She has 3 children, 2 twin boys.  She has terrible nightmares that she is struggling to understand and is constantly anxious about germs and something happening to her family.  Her husband notices the issues she has and tells her it is time to get help.  She is diagnosed with OCD and PTSD.  With her doctors help, she is able to understand what is causing the nightmare and tries to work through her anxiety issues.

This is one of those books I could not put down!  I wanted to keep reading to see how each of the main characters handled the struggles they are given. When I finished reading the book, I just wanted there to be more.  I found it very realistic with how each of them dealt differently.  The issues in this story are very real issues that are dealt with today.  But are not talked about very freely.  I like how the author has brought each of them out and shown realistic solutions and treatments for them.  The author shows how avoiding dealing with these issues also affects those who love and care for you.  I think anyone who likes to read about contemporary women issues would enjoy this book.

The author has also written ten discussion questions at the end of the story that are very thought provoking.  This would be a great book for book discussion groups to read.

I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing.  I have chosen to write this honest review.

318 pages

318 pages

ISBN: 9781634099554

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

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Thank You, God, for Grandpa by Amy Parker


Thank You, God, for Grandpa; There’s nothing I can do To make my grandpa love me less- Grandpa, I love you too!

Thank You, God, For Grandpa is a soft covered board book written by Amy Parker and illustrated by Rosalinda Kightley. In this book Amy uses a primate to show us how grandpas help to teach their grandchildren how to have fun. This grandpa plays games, goes fishing, plays ball, works in a workshop, catches fireflies, tells stories and makes snacks with his grandchildren before having to take a nap with them. He also tells the little ones about Jesus and shows them how to pray and trust God to lead and guide the way.

This is an adorable little book, just perfect for the toddler/preschooler. With adorable pictures and rhyming poems, it will keep the little ones attention for a long time. The pictures are full of little things to help teach little children about nature as well. The size of this book is the perfect size for little ones to hold. With 20 brightly colored pages, it is the perfect length to read to a young child. The soft cover and hard pages are shiny and durable to help make it last a long time and is easy to clean little finger prints off of. This book is a great book to help teach the littlest children about the adventures they can have with their grandpas.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and have chosen to write this honest review.

20 pages

ISBN: 9780718089290

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson


Treasured Grace is the first book in Tracie Peterson’s Heart of the Frontier Series. Grace Martindale has buried her husband on the Oregon Trail. She continues on the trail with her two younger sisters, Mercy and Hope. They are traveling to Oregon City to be with their Uncle after the death of their parents. Grace has decided they would stop at the Whitman Mission and stay until spring instead of traveling on. The Whitman Mission is run by Dr. Marcus Whitman.

Shortly after arriving at the Mission, there is an outbreak of measles. Grace is a healer and can help, Dr. Whitman does not allow her to. Even though Dr. Whitman has been helping the nearby Cayuse Indian camp, the measles is taking the life of some of their people. Grace travels to the camp with Alex Armistead, a fur trapper and his friend, Sam. She finds the camp filthy and attempts to treat the ill but it is too late in some cases.

Grace is called to help a friend who is ill. Her sisters do not want to go with her. While she is away with Alex and Sam caring for her friend, the Cayuse attack the Mission killing the doctor, his wife and many others. Those that are left are taken hostage and the women are abused. The hostages are eventually taken to Fort Nez Perce and traded back to the white people. The women and children are so traumatized they did not want to be with others. Rumors of the Cayuse coming back for the hostages caused them to be taken by boat to Oregon City.

Grace was in a loveless marriage and since the day her husband was buried, Nigel Roberson has been proposing to her. After arriving in Oregon City she realizes she can not support herself and sisters on her healing. She feels she has no option to care for her sisters and herself than to marry him, even though it is Alex that she loves.

This is a good but very hard story to read. The author has spend much time researching to make the story as real as possible. The story brings to life the situations with the early settlers moving into Indian territory and how the Indians feel threatened by them. The story does an awesome job of explaining this.

I found this book very hard to put down. I appreciated the importance of Faith that is written through out the story. I also appreciate the importance of having love in a marriage that was brought out many times. The story is a very violent one, it gives glimpses into the fears the early settlers had and the hardships they endured. The topics within the story could be bothersome to readers, but they were true events of the time. I think people who enjoy reading stories based on the Oregon Trail and early settlers will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Heart of the Frontier (Book 1)

320 pages

ISBN: 9780764213274

Publisher: Bethany House

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Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills


Deep Extraction, book two in An FBI Task Force Series, is written by DiAnn Mills. Nathan Moore is the extremely wealthy owner of Moore Oil & Gas. One of his rigs is boomed and he is later found dead from a heart attack. As the story evolves, it becomes evident that Nathan was killed by someone tampering with the setting for his pacemaker. FBI Agent Tori Templeton is called to investigate the crime. Tori is a long time friend of Nathan and his wife, Sally.

The Moore’s son calls a family friend, Cole Jeffers, to come be with them during the crime scene investigation. Cole is on leave from his job as a Deputy US Marshal. Cole wants to help find the person responsible for killing Nathan. He gets reinstated as a US Marshal and is assigned to the FBI task force in charge of the investigation.

Tori has been partners with Max for some time. Max has just found out he has cancer and this investigation will be his last. During the investigation he is often rude to those around him and has been reported. Together Cole, Tori and Max work together to find Nathan’s killer.

This is an awesome book. Being part of a series, it is still very much a stand alone book. The story is so full fast moving and full of action, I found it a little confusing at times. The crimes against the Moore family multiply as the story builds. Nathan has many secrets in his life that are now being found out. As his secrets come out, the amount of suspects is also building. As I was reading the book, I was trying to figure out who killed him and why. As the twists and turns in the story grew, I gave up trying and just enjoyed this great Christian Suspense/Romance.

The thing I enjoyed most in the story is the friendship that both Tori and Cole have towards the Moores. And their determination to get to the bottom of the crime without letting their friendships get in the way. I also enjoyed the building of friendship between Cole, Tori and Max. I enjoyed the subtle Christian influence in the story as well. This book would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys detective suspense stories.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: FBI Task Force Novel (Book 2)

416 pages

ISBN: 9781496410986

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

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A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot

A Stolen Heart, written by Amanda Cabot, is book one in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy.
Lydia Crawford is engaged to Edgar Ellis.  She has left her home and job in Syracuse, New York and traveled Cimarron Creek, Texas to start a new life with him.  When she gets there, she finds out he has married some one else and they have a child on the way.  But Edgar has mysteriously gone missing.
Sheriff Travis Whitfield is waiting for his father to return on the coach.  What he find though is Lydia.  When he finds out that she has no place to go, he takes her to his Aunt Bertha’s.  Lydia and Betha become very good friends and business partners.
Strange things are happening in Cimarron Creek.  Shops are stolen from.  Animals are poisoned. People are hurt.  The citizens of Cimarron Creek  are now thinking Travis is not the person who should be sheriff.  Travis need to find out who is committing these crimes. Mix that with friends who are arguing over who gets to court Lydia.  It seems like there is always something happening in Cimarron Creek.
This is a great Historical Fiction story.  Perfect to curl up with and get lost in.  I like the “who done it” parts of the story.  I also enjoy the focus of family and friendship.  But the parts that stand out the most to me are the ones that show us things happen for a reason.  Aunt Bertha tells Lydia she always loved the verse Romans 8:28,  “God does have a plan for us, and he does bring something good out of even the worst times in our lives.”  The story does a great job of bringing this out, even with all that is happening.  The story also has a touch of romance written within it.  This story would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys Christian Historical stories, especially is they like mystery and romance.
I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  I have chosen to write this honest review.
Series: Cimarron Creek Trilogy (Book 1)
352 pages
ISBN: 9780800727567
Publisher: Revell Publishing
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Thank You, God, for Grandma by Amy Parker


Thank You, God, for Grandma-Now matter what I do, I know she’ll always love me, and …Grandma, I love you too!”

Thank You, God, for Grandma is a soft covered board book written by Amy Parker, Illustrated by Rosalinda Lightly. It follows a grandmother bear with her 2 cub grandchildren while they explore Grandma’s house, dress up in her clothes, play hide-and-seek, bake treats, play and sing. The story also shows how Grandma cares for the cubs and teaches the bear cubs about caring for others. Each set of pages has a short rhyming poem relating to Grandmother.

This adorable little book is just 20 pages long. The story is very cute. It is the perfect length to read to a young child. The pages are so colorful and have a lot of details within them to make for a conversation between the reader and the child. This is a great book for describing the relationship between a grandma and her grandchildren. This book will help little ones realize the special gift God has given them – their grandma. The book is the perfect size for toddlers hands to hold. The cover and pages are easy to clean and very durable. This would be a cute book to have in the home to help teach the youngest of children about their grandmothers when they are not able to see them often.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and have written an honest review.

20 Pages

ISBN: 9780718089252

Thomas Nelson Publishing

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The Search Committee by Tim Owens


The Search Committee, written by Tim Owens, is a story of a Protestant search committee that is making visits to different churches on Sunday mornings to listen to pastors they think might be good for their church. The committee is made up of seven people with different backgrounds and ages. It seems like they will never agree on who they should have as their new pastor.

Each of the seven members has issues in their own lives that they are dealing with. And the intern pastors is also dealing with what has happened in his life.

This is a good Christian Fiction story. Each of the seven tell their own story in this book. We see the struggles of a single mother, as well as those of the elderly. We see the choices a young married professional has to make. What we really see is seven entirely different people working together to get a long and find the person they feel will best fit into their church.

I enjoyed reading this story. There were times is was slow moving and a little confusing. I would have liked it better had some of the characters been introduced a little better. The story is a simple story of every day people doing every day things.

I received this book as part of Tyndale Rewards. I have chosen to write this honest review.

400 pages

ISBN: 9781414364452

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishing.

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