Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne


Peace in the Valley is book 3 in the Double S Ranch series by Ruth Logan Herne. This is Trey’s story.

Trey was adopted by his uncle Sam Stafford as a very young boy. His parents were music stars who died as a result of drug addiction. When Trey got older he went against Sam’s wishes and developed a music career for himself. He married a music star as well. Even though she had been clean for several years, she reverted to the drug scene and died as a result.

Sam has developed a serious illness and will need a liver transplant. His only timely option is Trey. Sam does not want Trey to take the risk, but Trey wants to do this for Sam. When Trey comes into town, he misses a new stop sign and hits a van. The van is driven by Sam’s neighbor, Lucy Carlton, and carries her flowers to sell at market. Both her van and the flowers are destroyed and she has no way of replacing them. Trey does not want to get the insurance companies involved and tells her he will take care of replacing what she lost. Trey is overly generous and Lucy struggles with accepting his help.

When Trey gets to the ranch, Sam informs Trey that he wants Trey to help make repairs to the neighboring property, Lucy’s property. Sam has caused problems for a lot of people during his lifetime. He has become a Christian and now wants to correct the wrongs he did. While Trey is helping with Lucy’s property he develops a friendship with Lucy and her children.

I just love this series and could not wait for this book to come out. This is a great story of forgiveness and faith. This is a great series that deals with family and the issues some families might have. I have enjoyed reading how the family who had left the ranch had all come together when their father became ill. Sam was a hard man with strict rules and basically pushed his two sons away, but now they are back at the ranch and have moved past the hurts and are putting the needs of their father as priority. They have also come together to help their brother that remained on the ranch.

I have really enjoyed reading this series. Anyone who enjoys reading good clean romance and westerns with really enjoy this series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Blogging for Books. I have written an honest review.

Series: Double S Ranch (Book 3)

341 pages

ISBN: 9781601427809

Publisher: Multomah – Penguin Random House LLC

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Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin


Upon a Spring Breeze, written by Kelly Irvin, is book 1 in An Every Amish Season series.

Bess and Caleb Weaver are a young Amish couple who have only been married a year. At just 20 years of age, they are expecting their first baby. Caleb has been building their home while they live with his family. One day Caleb does not come home. He was working for his friend Aidan and was sent into town when he was in an accident.

Bess’s parents want her to move to their home. But she cannot take Caleb’s only child away from his parents. When the baby arrives, he looks so much like Caleb that Bess struggles with caring for the baby and missing Caleb. Caleb’s mother is suffering from memory issues, and attempts to take over the care of the baby, thinking he is Caleb.

Aidan blames himself for his friends death. Before Caleb died, he asked Aidan to look after his wife and child. Aidan takes this request seriously. He has cared for Bess since they were young and stepped away when Caleb wanted to take her as his wife. Aidan has not been able to move forward with starting his own family.

This is a very good book. This is a very well written, powerful story of loss and going on with life. Bess is struggling with this and finds support through a few other widows in her community. Though they are older than her, they offer her the support and help she needs. The men in her life think she should be strong and just get over it and move on. The men feel doing housework, gardening and caring for her son should be enough. Being Amish, she should have received permission from the men to go to work at an English B and B. While working at the B and B, she helps the owners son do the gardening and planting. They develop a friendship that he would like to build on, but if Bess allowed this, she will be turning her back on her family, friends and church.

This is a very sad story to read. No only does Bess lose her husband and Aidan his best friend, Aidan also lost his whole flock of chickens he has been building to diversify his farming. We also see how the Weaver family is affected by the mother’s memory loss. But this is a story of faith and strength. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

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

Series: An Every Amish Series (Book 1)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780310348054

Publisher: Zondervan

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For the Love of Lilies

1011947_4423173355771_1562491765_n.jpgWhat are my favorite flowers? ….. I guess close to the top of my favorites are lilies! With our move a few years ago, we gained a family of deer that just love lilies and nothing will stop them from having a late night snack! Believe me I have tried everything short of a fence. And my yard has a lot of shade so finding a site where the lilies get enough sun was tricky. I am really hoping for them to all bloom this year, since I didn’t see them last year.

My first lilies were the old fashioned orange ones. An orange daylily from my mother. And orange tiger lily and orange stargazers I found on our second property. I do not have photos of the day lily or tiger lily so will need to add those. When they bloom.


When we moved to the county and had more room for gardens I started collecting. One of the first was given to me by my sister-in-law. This was the Stella-de-Oro. That plant has grown and spread so much that I have given to many people over the years.


Also at our county home I added a pink star gazer, a yellow tiger lily, a yellow day lily (Hyperion), and a spider lily (Fireup).


Then 2009 came. That was a year that has forever changed my life. After months of being told by doctors nothing was wrong with me, I was told I had a precancerous liver condition. I had 8 surgical procedures between May and September. During one of my 3  “good weeks” of the summer,  we made a trip to our son’s.  While the guys were working on the deck, the rest of us made a trip to Bachmans.  I picked up a few more day lilies. And guess what hubby had to say when I showed him – “Is that all you could find”. Yup, he must have seen it as a good sign that I was looking toward the future instead of trying to get through each day. The next day he even asked if I wanted to go back and look for more plants. What a guy! I did not go back, but because of this, those plants are some of my favorite.  My Sweet Rose, Darling Deception, Baha, and Grape Ette.


On one of my trips to watch grandson, he and I made a trip to Bachman’s again! It was late August and plants that had already bloomed were drastically marked down. Who can resist a bargain – at just a dollar a pot I got more – this time Asiatic and tiger lilies. Fagitti (or fafifififi as my grandson called them at the time) in pink and yellow, Nappa Valley Tiger Lily, large yellow and large rose lily.



A couple years ago, I was looking through a gardening catalog and could not resist getting a white and a black stargazer .  Unfortunately when the Midnight Black arrived it was a bi-colored flower.


I have planted a couple lilies in the past couple years that grow but refuse to flower.  One is a tall double lily and the other is a pompom lily.  I keep hoping this will be my lucky year!


I Love Iris

What are my favorite flowers? I have many! I love iris!

I have the dwarf purple iris from my mother. I do not have a photo of this one so will include it when they bloom this spring. Some people call them flags by mistake. A flag iris is a semi-aquatic plant that grows in low, wetland conditions.They have narrower flower petal and sharper leaves.

I have old fashioned iris that I found in an abandoned flower garden at the second property my husband and I owned – over 20 years ago! I have no idea when they were planted as our neighbors who had lived there over 25 years at the time never knew there were gardens on the property.   I assume no one ever wanted to revive the gardens as they were full of poison ivy and all kinds of other weeds.  These are medium height. Despite purple being my favorite color, I just love the yellow one! It is so bright and beautiful!


I also have bearded iris that I have purchased over the years. 2 of my absolute favorite are the Edith Wallingford followed by Superstitian.13323542_10204901437934014_2502016974111980212_o13335590_10204901437894013_7043680751011800643_n

A couple years ago most of my iris developed root rot and I am still waiting to see if my Baby Blue will come back.

As you look through these photos you will see lupines. I like these for cutting and making bouquets for in the house. Another reason I like lupine is the shape of their leaves and the  look of the plant after they finish blooming.  They add a touch of whimsy to the garden. But I actually planted them because my husband has commented how pretty they are. My husband does not give any input into my gardens so when he says something is pretty I search until I find it.


This flower garden was  made for my husband to enjoy as he drives home from work. I had hoped to have the wild purple lupine but was not able to find the seeds so this is what we got. I have many cars stop along the side of our yard in the spring to just look at the garden and many have asked what they are. It gives me great joy to bring joy to others in this simple yet beautiful way.

I love gardening

When I first started this blog, it was not meant to be just about books.  But life got in the way.  So now that I am caught up on book reviews and done with the tax year,  I am going to take a few lazy days and blog about my love of gardening.

When I first started gardening on my own, the spring of 1978, it was just a veggie garden.  The first summer I borrowed a pressure canner.  With a spring birthday, my hubby gave me a pressure canner the following year.  And the year after that we got a deep freezer – yay for tax refunds right?  With the exception of one summer, I have grown the majority of the vegetables our family eats.

It was not until 1980 when my mother gave me a couple flower bulbs that I started flower gardening.  Since then I have had 5 different yards and have added and changed many gardens.  With the next few blogs entries I will cover the plants that I enjoy, the plants that work and those that just do not make the keeper list.

I hope you enjoy taking the journey down memory lane with me and even share some things that you enjoy as well.

The Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot


We have an ally. The shatterer will not prevail. Maggie goes forth to meet him.

Man the ramparts. Watch the road. Gird your loins, and collect your strength.”

The Maggie Bright, by Tracy Groot, takes place in England in 1940. Clare Childs has just inherited a yacht from a man who supposedly was her father’s friend. Clare has been living with her aunt and uncle since the death of her parents. There was just enough money left in her parents’ account for her to pay what was owed for the yacht. She is now living on the yacht and taking in boarders to help raise money for her to take it on a trip. The previous owner hid some documents on the boat that others want. One of the men is taken into custody and in jail. The other is one the loose and returns and severely injures Clare. While Clare is hospitalized, the Maggie Bright is called upon to help rescue soldier from Dunkirk.

Private Jim Elliot has been given the orders to make sure a man, Milton, gets home. Milton has a head injury and says things that do not make sense. Together they walk to the beaches of Dunkirk. On their walk they meet up with other soldiers going to Dunkirk. When they get to Dunkirk, they find the town has been attacked by the German’s and there are a lot of soldiers waiting to get on boats to get away from the area that is constantly under attack.

This story started out slow and had many parts to it. As the story developed, the different parts started becoming one very good story with a final connection. The story has suspense in it with the story taking a few twists and turns. The story is based on the evacuation of Dunkirk, at the beginning of WWII.

One of the important events in the story is when a day of prayer was declared. The author does a great job of pulling together the feelings of different people, to show that some did not believe in prayer, while for others it was of great importance. The day was so important for Clare that she hid the fact she developed a fever so she could attend the prayer time, and became very ill .

I really like this story. It is a great historical Christian fiction story. I feel anyone who enjoys reading stories centered around Europe during the war will really like this story.

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

360 pages

ISBN: 9781496422569

Publisher: Tyndale

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The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis


The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis is a story of a young Amish lady that has always been curious of far away places. Sallie Riehl has been working at the Old Barn Restaurant for some time to save up the money to take a trip. She has decided to fly to Australia for two weeks and then return home to the life as an Amish woman. She has put off going through classes to joint he church until she returns from her trip.

Sallie’s nephew needs a very expensive medical procedure done, she sacrifices her trip to help pay for this. And Sallie’s father has decided it is time to turn the farm over to his son. Sallie’s parents will be moving from the farm house into the Dawdi Haus. It is a smaller home. Sallie’s younger sister will be getting married and at Sallie’s aunt’s suggestion, Sallie will be moving in with her.

One evening when Sallie is working, a young family come to the restaurant and request her to wait on them. The parents ask her to become their nanny for the summer. She will be living near the ocean in Cape May. And the classes to joint the church will need to be put off another year. Her parents agree to allow her to go since she gave up her trip to Australia.

While working for the family, she spends a lot of time at the beach. One day she meets a young Mennonite man, Kevin. She tries to tell herself he is just a friend, that she has someone waiting for her at home. But once she gets home she just cannot forget about Kevin. Now she is faced with making very hard choices.

This is a wonderful story. It is very well written and easy to read. I really like the parts in the book that show how generous Sallie is. As well as how loving her parents are to her, allowing her to do things that are not normal for an Amish to do. I like how important family is and how they help each other out. I thought it was very nice how Sallie’s mother gave Sallie suggestions for working with the issues Autumn has regarding her new baby brother. I especially appreciate the theme of seeking God’s guidance that follows through in this story.

I really enjoyed reading this story and I think anyone who enjoys reading contemporary Christian fiction and Amish stories will enjoy reading this book.

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

325 pages

ISBN: 9780764212505

Publisher: Bethany House Publishing

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You’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

from nashville

You’ll Think Of Me, written by Robin Lee Hatcher, is a contemporary Christian Fiction story of a single mom and her little girl. Brooklyn Meyers eloped when she was just seventeen years old. Her husband took off when he found out they were going to have a baby. Since then Brooklyn has been working as a waitress and raising their little girl, Alycia. One day Brooklyn receives legal papers informing her that her husband has died and she and Alycia are now the owners of his parents home.

Derek Johnson is a sheriff’s deputy that is trying to become an organic farmer. His childhood friend owns the property next to him and has told Derek that he could buy it when ever he has the money. Before that time comes, Derek gets a letter informing him his friend has died and left the property to his wife and daughter. Derek is also asked to watch out for them and to be a father figure for the man’s daughter.

Derek has blamed Brooklyn all these years for his friend leaving. He does not want her to move back to Thunder Creek. But that is what she does. She has plans for the property, that do not include selling it to Derek.

This is an awesome book that will grab your attention from the very beginning. It is the type of story you do not want to end. The story shows us how mistakes we make when younger can impact so many other people. In this case, the Alycia has never known a father’s love. She does not know what a “normal” family is. But the author uses Derek to tell her that there are different kinds of families.

It is fun to read the changes that have taken place inside of Brooklyn since she left Thunder Creek. Before she refused to go to church, now she feels differently about God. She no longer feels He is waiting to punish her when ever she misbehaved, like her father did. God loves her. God has changed her on the inside and continues to change her. God has provided for her with the home, friends and a job when she really needed one. Anyone who enjoys reading contemporary romance stories will love this story. This is a really nice Christian story, done so in a way that it is not preachy. The end of the story has some really good discussion questions for readers as well as an except from a paper the author wrote years ago.

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

305 pages

ISBN: 9780718085940

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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The Wrestler: The Pursuit of a Dream by Bill Vincent


The Wrestler: The Pursuit of a Dream, written by Bill Vincent, is a book for preteen boys. It is a story of Nicky, who grew up very poor and was bullied as a teenager. Despite being poor he and his brothers would wrestle and often watched wrestling. As Nicky grew up he became a wrestler and eventually wrestled in Japan making $50 a night. Now he is back home and is broke.

When the contender for the Wrestling Championship Match became injured, a new contender needs to be found. The World Champion selects Nicky to fight. The Champion has a plan to let Nicky fight for a little while and take him down. But Nicky takes this fight seriously. He trains and works out and is ready to fight for the Championship.

This is a good clean book for per-teen boys. The story show us how Nicky is able to get back into shape and fulfill his wrestling obligation. The story does have the violence that surround the sport but also shows the reader the respect Nicky and the Champion show each other after the match is over. The story also shows us how Nicky wants to help his girlfriend with his winnings instead of using them for himself. The part in the book that I really enjoyed is when Nicky took his wrestling obligation seriously and trained to get in the best shape possible. The story does mention the Nicky is a Christian, but there is no follow up on that. The story also leaves a few questions unanswered, like this could be the beginning of a series.

The author has been a pastor for over 20 years and has written many books that have helped people overcome the spirits and curses of Satan.

I received a copy of this book from BookCrash and this is my honest review.

110 pages

ISBN: 9781684110667

Publisher: Revival Waves of Glory

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Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons


Pursuing Gold is a novel based during the Civil War written by Cynthia L. Simmons. When Peter’s father past away, Peter took over his part of the banking business. Peter’s partner is ill and when banking papers are delivered to him with errors on them, his daughter, Mary Beth starts going to the bank to help Peter. Together they find out Mr. Sadler has been changing the deposits and embezzling money. One morning when they get to the bank, they find Mr. Sadler dead.

Mary Beth also runs a hotel and in the cash, she finds counterfeit bills with Peter’s signature. Together she and Peter try to find out who made the counterfeit bills and try to get as many as possible. Peter and Mary Beth were childhood friends until Mary Beth dated another man. They both have chosen to pursue God.

This is a good book with suspense and romance through out the story. This is a great story to curl up and read on a lazy day.  I enjoyed it a lot. The story also shows the strength and love that Mary Beth has with caring for her father as well as the hotel, the bank and caring for injured soldiers. We also see what a parent will do to help her children.

The book contains questions for thought and discussion at the end that are very good. This would make a great book for book groups.  Anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction stories based on US history will enjoy this book.

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

378 pages

ISBN: 9781944430764

Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

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