A Message from Kristi

Hello everyone!!!  Just wanted to invite all of you to follow my new blog, The Barefoot Bookworm.  This is where I will be posting all of my book reviews, giveaways, etc.  Please be sure to follow the blog so you won’t miss out on all the fun!  Click on the link below to follow.  And be sure to check your email to confirm you want to follow the blog.

 

The Barefoot Bookworm

 

Thank you for all of your support here and I hope to see you at my new blog soon!

 

Kristi

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes (review by Kristi)

whose waves these are

About the bookIn the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.

Decades later, Annie Sawyer is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn’t anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea.

Publication Date:  April 30, 2019

Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction/Historical Fiction, Dual Timeline

 

My thoughtsWhile everyone else I know who has read this book seemed to love it that just wasn’t the case for me. I thought the cover was pretty and the description of the story sounded interesting. I was excited to get a copy of this book to read. However, as I sat down to start reading the book I found the pace to be slow and it was hard to get involved in the story.

It took a long time for me to feel any kind of connection to the characters. After a while I found Bob and Roy’s story to be my favorite part of the book. Yet I found at times that the pace of their story was too slow for my liking. It seemed as if there were just too many details that I wouldn’t’ have missed had they not been included. I think perhaps the author’s writing style just isn’t for me.

Though this isn’t a book I would recommend other readers have found it to be a favorite. Based on the pace a reader likes they may find this to be a book they will love. That’s just not the case for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

Sing a New Song by Candee Fick (review by Kristi)

sing a new song

About the bookThe pampered diva is about to meet her match.

Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she?

Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated–and irritated–by the newest addition to the staff.

After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song.

If you like strong families, country music, and redeemed villains, then you’ll love this next chapter in The Wardrobe series by Candee Fick.

Publication Date:  May 1, 2019

Publisher:  Bling! Romance

Genre:  Romance

Series:  Wardrobe Series, #3

 

My thoughtsThe mark of a good author is when they can take one of their characters that was not very likable and turn them into someone that, as a reader, you want to be friends with. That is exactly what Candee Fick has done with Gloria, the main character in Sing a New Song. A character I loathed is now one of my favorites.

In the first two books in the series, I thought Gloria was a spoiled rotten brat. (And that’s putting it nicely!) But in Sing a New Song readers are introduced to another side of Gloria. A more vulnerable, down-on-her-luck side. Nothing is going right for Gloria and I think that’s why I liked her so much. So was very relatable in this book. I also liked that she began to see how bad her old self was and wanted to make changes. Her relationship with Nick was very organic and led to the believability of the story.

This book, as are the others in the series, is a good wholesome read that readers of every age can enjoy. This story has a bit of a young adult feel to it but that didn’t bother me at all. I enjoyed the story and all the characters, as well as the behind the scenes look at running a theater.

I recommend this book to readers of all ages. I think it would be a great book to be shared across generations as it would spark discussions on many topics. I do believe this was the final book in the series and so now I must await what other stories the author has to tell. I’m sure they will be just as well-written and interesting as Sing a New Song.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the author:   Author of inspirational romance, non-fiction, and devotionals. Candee is married to a high school football coach and is the mother of three, including a child with special needs (thus providing inspiration for her first two non-fiction titles).

In addition to her non-fiction devotionals, she writes faith-based romance novels for the Bling! Romance imprint. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a Double Finalist/Winner in the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the short novel category.

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Beauty from Ashes by Lynnette Bonner (review by Kristi)

beauty from ashes

About the book:    Liora Fontaine wants nothing more than to help mistreated women escape from brothel owner, John Hunt. She understands the desperation and manipulation that force many women into his employ. But when she rescues a young girl, she is shocked by Hunt’s ruthless reprisal. Now as she cowers in her cabin, hiding from Hunt’s men, who are determined to kill her, she can’t help but think how much this day is a picture of her whole life. Ashes. Nothing but ashes.

Deputy Joseph Rodante can’t believe Liora took on a mission so dangerous without asking for his help! He arrives at her cabin to make sure she’s safe just as Hunt’s men start shooting up the place. Now they are stuck together inside with a long night looming. The Wyldhaven gossips are going to have a heyday over that! The only way to fix this is to make Liora his wife. But the stubborn woman turns him down flat.

Despite her protests, Joe vows to protect her—no matter the cost.

And it just might cost both of them everything!

 

Publication Date:  February 13, 2019

Publisher:  Serene Lake Publishing

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Romance

Series:  Wyldhaven, #3

 

My thoughtsThis series just keeps getting better and better. Beauty from Ashes was a lovely story of hope and redemption. The author does a great job of creating realistic characters and situations that engage readers from start to finish.

I was intrigued by the story in this book from the very beginning. I think the author did a fantastic job of showing readers what it was like for women without the best of reputations and jobs in the time period of the story. I liked how she conveyed to readers the difficulties the women faced when trying to break free and start a new life. She did this in a way that wasn’t too brash yet wasn’t sugarcoated either. It all seemed very realistic and believable to me.

I love the author’s writing style and the way she paints pictures with words. It was so easy to visualize the settings and events taking place in this book. While reading the author’s books I always forget where I am as I am whisked away into a very real feeling fictional world.

This book could be read as a standalone but I wouldn’t recommend it. This is a fantastic series and I think readers will get more of each story if the series is read in order. This is a quick, easy read and one that shouldn’t be missed! Happy reading!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the author:    LYNNETTE BONNER, the daughter of missionaries, was born and raised in Malawi, Africa, graduated high school from Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school in Kenya, and attended Northwest University in Washington, where she met her husband, Marty. A few years after their marriage, they moved to Pierce, Idaho. While studying the history of their little town, Lynnette was inspired to begin The Shepherd’s Heart Series with Rocky Mountain Oasis.
Marty and Lynnette have four children and currently live in Washington, where Marty pastors a church.

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Act of Valor by Dana Mentink (review by Kristi)

act of valor

About the book:   She saw something she shouldn’t have…A True Blue K-9 Unit storyWhen airline employee Violet Griffin encounters several suspicious passengers, she’s thrust into the crosshairs of a drug smuggling operation. NYPD officer Zach Jameson and his drug detection beagle, Eddie, can tell this is no small-time threat. Someone’s gunning for Violet, and after recently losing his brother, Zach refuses to lose her, too…especially now that she’s gone from friend to the woman he’s falling for.

Publication Date:  May 7, 2019

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

Genre: Suspense

Series:  True Blue K-9 Unit, #2

 

My thoughts:   Not to be a book snob but I usually tend to shy away from anything that is published under the Harlequin imprint. I tend to not like the ever-present formula of guy and gal meet, have strong disliking of each other, something happens, they fall in love. However, Dana Mentink has totally changed my mind. Her books published under Love Inspired Suspense don’t follow that formula and are ones I just can’t put down.

Act of Valor is the second book in a series from different authors. Not having read the first book I had no problem picking this book up and being immediately pulled into the story. I found the two main human characters likable and Eddie, the canine character, was full of charm and humor. He added some much needed comic relief to a story that was fast-paced and intense. With the author’s writing, I felt like I was part of the action on the streets of New York City!

I definitely recommend this book. It’s a quick and easy read and a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. I didn’t intend to read this book as quickly as I did but once I started it I just couldn’t put it down!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the author:   Dana Mentink enjoys writing in many different capacities. She currently writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House Publishers.

Dana is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, two ACFW Carol Awards as well as a Holt Medallion.

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The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis (review by Kristi)

the tinderbox.jpg

About the bookWith her Amish parents’ twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller stumbles across a surprise–the old brass tinderbox her clockmaker father keeps in his Lancaster County shop has been left unlocked. Against her better judgment, Sylvia opens the cherished heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will splinter apart her happy life.

Sylvia’s bewilderment grows when her father confronts her about snooping in the box. To her amazement, the respected convert to the Old Order reacts as if he has something to hide.

Burdened by the weight of his deception, Earnest Miller decides he must reveal the details about his past to his beloved wife, Rhoda. The long-kept secret alters everything for the close-knit family, jeopardizing Earnest and Rhoda’s relationship, as well as threatening Sylvia’s recent engagement to the preacher’s grandson.

Can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?

Publication Date:  April 2, 2019

Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers

Genre:  Amish fiction

 

My thoughtsA longtime fan of Beverly Lewis I have found her more recent books either a hit or miss. The Tinderbox is definitely a hit with me. This book grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it until the very last page. The Tinderbox is a book that’s not to be missed.

The storyline of this book intrigued me as it’s one I don’t think I’ve come across in the genre. And as much as I love the Amish fiction genre I have to admit that I find it to be a bit “same old, same old” at times. So I was interested in this story about what happens when secrets are uncovered and how it affects not only the family but the community. Not to spoil anything for future readers of the book but there are parts of the story that made me feel as if I were really getting an unfiltered look into the Amish lifestyle.

There was one aspect of the story that I found odd though and that was the inability to tell if the story was modern day or set back in time like maybe the 1950’s or 60’s. It wasn’t until there was mention of an Uber driver that I could tell the book was a current day read. This doesn’t distract from the book in any way but it was just something I found a bit off.

I can’t wait to read the conclusion of this family’s story in The Timepiece which will release later this year. I’m hoping it will be just as attention-grabbing as The Tinderbox, a book I couldn’t put down.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the authorBeverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country and both a schoolteacher and an accomplished musician, has been an award-winning author for over a dozen years. Her acclaimed novel, The Preacher’s Daughter, was a 2006 Quill Book Award finalist in the romance category. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Colorado.

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A Welcome at Our Door by Amy Clipston (review by Kristi)

a welcome at our door

About the book:   In the final installment of Amy Clipston’s Amish Homestead series, Cindy Riehl finds herself searching outside of her community for fulfillment and, with the help of a special friend, realizes what she was looking for was right in front of her all along.

Over the last few years, Cindy Riehl—the youngest of the Riehl siblings—has watched her brothers and sister find love and happiness in Lancaster County. But as her family has settled down and grown, Cindy has continued to grieve her mother, whose death left an enormous hole in her heart. Since that haunting day, Cindy has struggled to find peace and wonders if the community is the place for her—and if her faith in God will ever be like it once was.

When one of the Riehl cows escapes to visit another cow down the lane, Cindy chases after it and meets a handsome Englisher named Drew. As they become friends and eventually much more, she is drawn further and further away from the Amish community and the family she loves. She is suddenly faced with difficult choices that threaten to upend her world.

Will Cindy find happiness of her own? And will she ever be able to overcome her grief and find restored comfort in God and her community?

Publication Date:  May 7, 2019

Publisher:  Zondervan

Genre:  Amish fiction

Seires: Amish Homestead #4

 

My thoughtsAmy closes her latest series with the story of Cindy Riehl. Cindy is the youngest of the Riehl children and has been struggling with joining the Amish church. This struggle has been highlighted in previous books in the series so it was nice to finally discover what would happen in Cindy’s life.

I enjoyed this story and found it to be a quick read. Knowing a lot of the characters in this book from reading the series it was like meeting up with old friends and finding out what was going on in their lives. Amy has the gift as a writer of making readers forget they are reading about fictional characters instead of living, breathing people. In addition to catching up with the human characters in the book, we are also introduced to a cow named Cucumber and a dog named Bruce who brought a bit of fun to a story that had its fair share of sadness.

Although I loved the story I would have liked to see a bit more conflict and struggle between Cindy and Drew as they decided what path their lives should take as far as being Amish or not. It seemed as if they were just a bit too agreeable when it came to the big decisions of their lives and were a bit too willing to just go along with what the other one wanted. I would have liked to have seen a bit more as far as the decision making for what would be a tremendous life change for either of them based on the decision they ended up making.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and one that will be going on my keeper shelf. Fans of the genre are sure to enjoy this story from one of the best authors of Amish fiction. This book could be read and enjoyed as a standalone and would be an awesome way to introduce someone to Amy’s books.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the author:  Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.

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