The 49th Mystic by Ted Dekker


The 49th Mystic is book one in Beyond the Circle by Ted Dekker. This is a suspenseful futuristic story of a young lady that holds the world’s future. During the day, Rachelle is a teenager living in Eden, Utah. During the night, while dreaming, she is older and living in another world. Rachelle is a Mystic, a person that believes that God is infinite, that is given the name the 49th. As the 49th, she is living in a gateway that bridges two worlds through the Book of History. The book was closed and can only be opened by the blood of the 49th. Vlad Smith wants her to write him into the Book of History. Vlad is powerful and a threat to everyone.

It is also Rachelle’s responsibility to find the five seals in time to save both worlds.

This story bounces between the day time in Eden and the night time dreams. It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did the suspense pulled me into the story, wanting to know what would happen. There are several things in this story that stand out to me. The first being that Rachelle just wants to be a normal girl, she does not want to be special or have anyone’s future depend on her. Another is there is no bending God’s laws. I enjoy the clues given for Rachelle to find the five seals and the meaning behind them.

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

Series: Beyond the Circle (book 1)

405 pages

ISBN: 9780800735982

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The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport


The Inn at Hidden Run is book one in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. This story is set during two time frames. Set in modern day, Meri comes from a very long line of doctors and is expected to follow in their footsteps. When she flunks out of medical school, she flees without contacting her family. She ends up Canyon Mines, Colorado working at a B&B. The owner knows something is not what it appears with Meri and turns to friends Jillian and her father Nolan for help. Nolan spends time trying to get to know and offer comfort to Meri, while Jillian, a genealogist, digs into her family history.

Set in Memphis in 1878, there is a health epidemic that is taking the lives of many people, often leaving children without parents. These children are taken to an asylum to be cared for. One of the people who is helping the ill people is the daughter of wealthy parents, Eliza Davies.

This is a good story of how a family history can affect those years in the future. The book is basically two stories set at different times in history. The story bounces between these two times. I found it interesting to see how Meri’s family have been doctors for many generations and the expectation that everyone follows in this occupation. I also enjoyed reading of Eliza working so hard to help the sick people. How she puts herself at risk to help them, even though her mother urges her to leave to avoid getting sick. 

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

Series: Tree of Life (Book 1)

244 pages

ISBN: 978168329940

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An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin

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An Amish Reunion is a book of four stories. The stories are easy to read and a good length to read in an evening. Each centers around reunions of sorts from large family reunions to just the reunion of old friends. These stories focus on relying on God and helping others.

Their True Home, by Amy Clipston – Marlene and her family has moved back to Bird-in-Hand after being gone for 10 years. Marlene has taken a job at Rudy’s father’s hardware store to help her father provide for the family, to allow them to stay. Marlene and Rudy grew up together and after all these years they are able to build a friendship. Some of the characters mentioned in this story are from the author’s An Amish Homestead novel series.

A Reunion of Hearts, by Beth Wiseman – Ruth and Gideon lost their ten year old daughter and his mother to an accident. Unable to move forward they each moved on without each other. Now they are back with plans to go through their home and belongings.

A Chance to Remember, by Kathleen Fuller – Cevilla is unexpectedly visited by an old friend, Richard. The two lost contact when Cevilla became Amish and moved to Birch Creek. Now they have started rebuilding their friendship in their elderly age. Some of the characters mentioned in this story are from the author’s story “The Farmer’s Bride.”

Mended Hearts, by Kelly Irvin, is a continuation of her An Amish Season series. Hannah is a young unwed mother who’s boyfriend left her and the Amish community two years earlier. He is now back. Hannah has been living with elderly family members who are now needing help.

I enjoyed reading this book. I like how the authors have gently touched on tough topics such as death, separation, aging and unplanned pregnancies. I enjoy reading stories by these authors, they are so well written and have good messages in them.

I received a copy of this book from Zondervan Publishing through BookLook Blogger program. This is my honest review.

372 pages

ISBN: 9780310352716

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Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn


Becoming Us, by Robin Jones Gunn, is book one in the Haven Makers Series. This story is about Emily and Trevor Winslow. The basically went bankrupt trying to have another child. After moving in with his parents, they decided to move to California and take over his uncle’s car business to make a new life for them and their daughter. Things do not go as planned. His father wants him to come back and work for him again. But Emily has formed a close relationship with a group of women and their daughter wants to stay in California.

This is a nice story of friendships, family and relying on God. This story focuses on the struggles a young mother goes through with taking care of her family and working to help provide financially. This story shows the importance of close friendships. The characters in the story are well defined, strong women who each have their own daily struggles. A couple of these women are from the author’s earlier series. I enjoyed reading this story. I think the parts of Trevor’s parents trying to get them to move back and work for his father were good points in the story. While it would have been easy to pack up and move back to have family help out, the couple worked together and set realistic goals to try to make their new life work.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the Waterbrook & Multnomah Launch Team, this is my honest review.

Series: Haven Makers Series (Book 1)

320 Pages

ISBN: 9780735290754

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This book releases on May 7th and can be pre-orderd from the following places:

Hearts in Harmony by Beth Wiseman


Hearts in Harmony, by Beth Wiseman, is the first book in An Amish Journey Novel series. Percy Collins was a caring person who was friends with everyone, including the Amish from surrounding communities. Years after his death: his widow, Adeline, has fallen on hard times and is having to sell the majority of her belongings. Amish friends travel many miles to attend the sale to buy things they do not need to help her out. While there Mary Herschberger realizes she can help Adeline out by visiting her on Saturdays when she is not working. Levi Shetler’s mother notices the disrepair of Adeline’s home and has Levi go to work on her home on Saturdays.

Mary and Levi met years earlier after Percy’s funeral. Mary was looking for bathroom when she heard a piano and upon investigating, found Levi playing the piano. This is strictly forbidden for the Amish faith. Being around that piano again, brings out the strong desire to play. Mary and Levi share their desire to make music, but they wonder if this is what they are meant to do, or has God given them this gift for a season to help comfort Adeline.

I totally enjoyed this book. I especially enjoyed the story of young people coming together to help out an elderly person in their time of need. I enjoyed reading of the differences between different Amish communities and the length they would go to help others . I enjoyed reading of how Levi felt he had no talents and did not contribute like his brother’s did. Yet through his helping Adeline, he found something her enjoyed and was good at, that helped him make a living. I enjoyed how Mary and Levi both responded when they found out little secrets each other was hiding.

This is a great, feel good book. I received a copy of this book from Zondervana publishing through BookLook Blogging program. This is my honest review.

Series: An Amish Jounry Nove (Book 1)
295 pages

ISBN: 9780529105400

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The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker


The Edge of Over There is the sequel to The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker. This is a blend of fantasy and dystopia fiction written for young adults. This is considered a Christian story, but contains no Bible scripture or outright Christian teaching. There are some references that could be referencing Heaven and Hell. The story is filled with adventure and suspense and tells of the difference between good and evil.

The story starts in Deen with Abra and Samuel in the hospital following an event that killed a man and destroyed a Tree of Life. A mysterious woman visits Samuel and leaves a note for Abra. Years later, Abra is chosen to enter the tomb of Marie Laveau and kill yet another tree. The trees are believed to produce fruit, that if eaten will enable to the person to never die.

As a young girl, Ruby is very ill and her father is willing to do anything to help her and keep her away from her mother. He is given instructions to take only his daughter and a plant inside the tomb of Marie Laveau in New Orleans He is to plant the tree and the leaves will heal his daughter. He leaves behind a ten year old son to fend for himself until his mother returns.

Having not read the first book, I struggled with understanding the beginning of the book. This may have some impact of my feelings for this book. The one thing that stands out to me in this story is after Abra looks through the telescope over the river, she wishes she hadn’t. What she saw was so beautiful “for the rest of my life it’s the only place I will ever want to be.” For an mature young adult that enjoy reading about spiritual warfare, this might be a great choice. I would advise against young people reading this book as there are some parts that are just scary, such as the Frenzies that take place and the souls screaming with speed through the Passageway.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

Series: The Day the Angels Fell – book 2

363 pages

ISBN: 9780800735418

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Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens

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Shadow Among Sheaves, by Naomi Stephens, takes place in England in 1857. Using the Biblical story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, the author has written a beautiful story. This story grabbed me from the very beginning and kept my attention through the very end, even wanting for more.

With the death of her husband and father-in-law, Indian native, Rena, leaves her family and country to go with her mother-in-law, Nell, back to England. The women are starving and living in a tiny, filthy room in the back of a bar. Desperate, Rena stops at a field and picks up left behind stubs of grain. Once confronted by the land manager, she is given permission to continue working in Lord Barric’s field. Being from India, she is looked down upon and treated badly, especially by Lord Barric’s cousin. Believing Nell’s families home goes to her husband’s family, they find out another will was written that gives Nell their home, Hawthorn Glen, if Rena marries someone in their family line to reunite the fractured family. Lord Barric’s is in the family line. Wanting the home to return to Nell so she will never go hungry again or have to worry, Rena goes to Lord Barrich regarding the stipulation. He feels he must offer her to his uncle, who has long coveted Hawthorn Glen.

I loved this story, the similarities to the Bible story are just enough to show Rena’s love and loyalty to her husband’s mother. Yet the rest of the story show the prejudices and struggles Rena went through to care for Nell. The story is made up of strong, caring characters, but my favorite is Parson Richardson. His observations give him just enough knowledge to give wise counsel to others.

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

315 pages

ISBN: 97816832293

This is Naomi Stephens’ first noel. She is a teacher who lies in Ohio with her husband and two children.

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The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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I don’t care about what you do, because God loves you no matter what, and I’m going to do the same.”

The Golden Bride is book 8 in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. This story, by Kimberley Woodhouse, takes place in San Francisco in 1849 during the gold rush. This is Olivia Livingston Brighton and Joseph Sawyer’ story.

In just a few weeks, Olivia lost her parents, married a man she didn’t know, traveled with him and lost him from a hunting accident. All alone and determined, she continues to San Francisco to find her brother.

In San Francisco Olivia’s brother owned a very prosperous restaurant and is good friends with Joseph, a wealthy gold mine owner. Olivia despises gold miners and vows to never marry one, but Joseph is different, he uses his financial gain to help others. Olivia is given journals her ancestors have written and draws inspiration from them. She, her bother and Joseph start a daily Bible study in the restaurant. With rumors of men, women and children being taken as slaves, Joseph goes under cover to help the newly assigned law enforcement find them and those responsible.

What a wonderful story! It is so well researched and written. With just enough detail to imagine being there with all the people and smells, even the bad ones. The story shows of some of the lawlessness of the time and how the town starts to try to bring the crime and corruption under control. I enjoyed the theme of helping others in this book. Not just of Joseph building a church and helping find the missing people, but also Olivia’s brother offering very good meals without over charging for them, which others did. I especially liked Olivia befriending a madam, knowing that it would affect how others felt of her as well. I liked that the author referenced Mary from book 1 in the series. This is a great story full of adventure with growing friendships and romance.

While this is part of a series, the books are stand alone stories. The books are written by different authors.

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

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower (Book 8)

251 pages

ISBN: 978168912

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The Memory House by Rachel Hauck


The Memory House, by Rachel Hauck, is two stories in one. Modern day Beck Holiday is a cop in New York City who lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11. For some reason she has lost all memory of him. She is now expecting a baby and seeing things differently, which leads to her being suspended from her job for misconduct. She receives a letter informing her she has inherited a home in Florida. Being off the job, she decides to go check out the situation. When she gets there, she does not remember people, including her very special childhood friend Bruno Endicott or Everleigh Applegate, the lady that left her the house.

Everleigh Applegate is a young wife expecting her first child living in Waco, Texas in 1953. While her husband and his parents are gone, a tornado strikes and she is left all alone. She spends the next several years living contently with her mother. But when she bumps into childhood friend Don Callahan while shopping, things start to change.

This is an amazing story of family, faith, and second chances. This is a hard book to put down and left me want it to be part of a series. The writing is so clear it was easy to imagine the condition of the little dog Beck rescues and also her attempting to drive a car. There are many similarities between these two women, both are strong women who have suffered great losses. Both developed memory losses due to these events. And both found themselves single and expecting a baby.

This is a Christian fiction story with suspense, action and romance. The Christian aspect is not very strong with minimal mention of going to church and use of Bible verses. But the theme of caring for others is very strong as well as the topic of grief and how people deal with it.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishing as part of the BookLook Blogger program. This is my honest review.

369 pages

ISBN: 9780310350965

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A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer


A Silken Thread, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, is a heart warming story set in Atlanta in 1895 and focuses on the Atlanta Cotton Exposition. This is a story based on history. It is a story rich in family loe and responsibilities. Willie’s father has recently suffered an ailment that affects his speech and activities. With the approval of his regular employer, he accepts a job at the expo, as a security guard, to earn extra money to pay for the medical care his father needs. His long time friend, Quincy also accepts a job as a groundskeeper. Laurel is the youngest child in her family who is expected to stay with her mother and care for her in you aging years. She is hired as a silk weaver and meets the son of a wealthy man whom she feels will marry her and care for her mother.

A few of the things that stand out for me in this story are the prejudices towards the black people, like Quincy. Despite all the talk of equality, they still are looked down on and treated equally. Quincy is just sitting on the steps of a building at the end of his shift when he is taken to the jail being charged with breaking into the building. Willie also suffers just because of his association with Quincy. We also see how people feel threatened by a new business coming to the area. But the thing that I love the most about this story is Laurel’s mother. This lady stole my heart! I especially feel for her when her family expects Laurel to stay with her. She has spend the majority of her life raising her family and now she would like some peace and the chance to live her own life without responsibilities.

This is a great Historical Christian Romance story with mystery and suspense as well as being just a very good clean story. I received an ARC of this story from the publisher. This is my honest review.

352 pages

ISBN: 9780735290129

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