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Friday, September 30, 2011

Kiss of Night

Lying within the darkness and the mists of the centuries old, lies a deep and hidden secret. It has been this way for many centuries and as long as there has been good in the world, so has there also been evil.

Now the clock is ticking on a war that is soon to rage, yet there still remains time to train those who will begun warriors and for those who will weld weapons of unknown secrets.

Susan Lambert thought that by taking a trip to Prague, she would be attending her grandmother's funeral. However when she attempts to visit an ancient cathedral her grandmother told her about, she meets a mysterious, tall stranger, with dark hair and the deepest blue eyes, who vanishes before her eyes.

Not knowing if this is just a part of jet lag or simply being too tired and overwhelmed by the history of the town, Susan will be drawn to a man she both fears and trusts at the same time. When her cousin Wendy, meets an unexpected man, she invites Susan to go to a night club with them. Immediately Susan knows that this man is evil and means to harm Wendy if she leaves with him. Excusing herself to change, Susan returns to find her cousin and the stranger have vanished.

Not knowing where to begin searching for her, she finds her tall, dark stranger who identifies himself as Raphael, waiting to help her find Wendy. What he is about to tell her will not only protect her on her quest, but will change her life forever. Vampires still live and not all of them are good. She just isn't sure if his intentions are to harm her or protect her.

David Trent, is visiting Prague for three months for his job research, and who also coincidentally finds himself in the same hotel as Susan. When he hears screaming coming from her room, he rushes in to find a vampire holding down a woman on her bed, and in the next moment finds himself thrown across the room, before blacking out.

In the novel Kiss of Night by Debbie Viguie', Susan and David will join forces with vampires to eliminate an evil threat of war about to be unleashed on the world, by a vampire older than Raphael, whose goal is to rule the world as the one true leader. What Susan and David are about to learn is just what ancient weapons, Susan's grandmother has left them and just what part Raphael's sire, Gabriel, will play in all of this.

I received this novel compliments of Faith Words for my honest review and loved a different take on your traditional vampire stories. This one is written for a Christian audience but anyone who loves Twilight, would be captivated by this one as well. There is an ongoing struggle within Raphael to find the salvation of God even though he served in the crusades as a warrior. He later found greed as his motivation to move up within the ranks and thus when turned into a vampire, maintained that lust for greed. Now he fights internally for the good he sees in Susan and how she is willing to do anything to protect him and keep him from harm.

This novel ends perfectly for a sequel and can't wait to hear about what happens to them in future. This one had me hooked from the first page, must like the Twilight series, and leaves me definitely for a taste of wanting even more. 5 out of 5 stars for this book that will leave you with a completely different take on all the vampire stories out there. This book won't be out until early October, but you can pre-order it now!

For more information on this book, the author and even a first chapter sneak peek, click on the links below:

You can also find Debbie on her website by clicking here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shadow in Serenity

"A pigeon dropper? What's a pigeon dropper?"

"A huckster. A shyster. A con man. Y'all are making a terrible mistake."

Yet no matter how many times she tried to warn them, not only her own in laws and citizens of Serenity, no one wanted to listen.

Situated in Texas, Serenity was a quaint and peaceful town that some would compare to Mayberry from the old Andy Griffith show. One that was also beginning to feel the effects of the latest downturn in the economy. These are where hard-working, God-fearing people still lived and worked trying to find a better way. Where everyone knew one another and were willing to look out for others. Until Logan Brisco showed up.

Smooth-talking, wealthy, and charismatic, Logan has researched the small town of Serenity. He's been looking for a town that was down on its luck, a town that needed a dream or two, but also a town that still had resources. Green resources! The kind that would keep him in the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to, and only one person stood in his way, Carny Sullivan.

Carny Sullivan was a con-artist til the age of 17, who was raised by two small time frauds in a traveling carnival. Named after her family's lifestyle and trained to follow in her parents footsteps, she lived for the day she could finally walk away from this and live the life she could only imagine. Until the day Abe Sullivan walked in, married her, and convinced her, that he was the man of her dreams. Abe would also be the man who would later drink himself dead, leaving Carny behind with her baby Jason in Serenity, and Carny would learn that dreams don't come true after all. This is why she has to convince the residents of Serenity, that Logan is a con man.

In the latest novel by Terri Blackstock, Shadow in Serenity, we see what happens when Carny's past allows her to see what others can't. What others only want to see, is the possibility of their financial dreams becoming a reality; where they won't have to work as hard and prosperity once again return to the residents of Serenity. Some are willing to give all that they have just to make that happen.

I received this book compliments of Zondervan Publishers and Shelton Interactive for my honest review. I am already a huge fan of Terri's, so asking me to review her latest book was a true gift. Able to whisk the reader away from their present day circumstances and place them within the town of Serenity as a resident, is what makes Terri's writing so captivating and desired. There is an underlying message contained within the story, but unfortunately, you'll have to pick this one up, get lost in the story and like me, be left breathless as you finish the final page. Make sure you set some time aside when you start, because if you're like me, once you begin, you won't want to set this one down til you finish. Another 5 out of 5 stars for this novel and can't wait for you all to pick this one up at your local book retailers.

For more information about Terri Blackstock, Shadow in Serenity, read an excerpt, or where to pick this up, click on the links below:

You can also find Terri on Facebook by clicking here.

The Faith of Ashish - Giveaway and Review

India, 1905 - A belief in not only reincarnation and karma but also in the castes. Castes reflect the social status of the people of India, and there are only 4. Hopefully you are born into the highest class, the Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra. The Untouchables fell outside of the four castes. Everyone knew the outcastes to be impure, subhuman, lower than animals and rodents and insects.

This is the story of one such family born into the outcaste class. They live within a village set aside for their social class. One class can never interact with another, especially the outcastes. When Virat leaves for work each day, removing dead animals from the other areas, he is forced to strap a broom to his back, which he uses when walking the road, bending down and then walking, to sweep away his footprints, evidence that he walked there and was not worthy to walk to ground; a metal cup over his mouth to keep an Untouchable's contaminated breath off roads where high caste feet would tread; and a drum to warn members of pure high castes that a polluted, worthless one was headed their way, calling out "Untouchable coming! Untouchable coming!" This is the only time Untouchables are allowed to enter the other class areas. Their job is to remove the dead.

When his only son, Ashish follows him to work one day, he makes the mistake of crossing over the bridge to the pure high caste, the Brahmin, and though the day is hot, Ashish grows thirsty and reaches for a cup at the well. Before he finishes the cup, he is beaten within an inch of death and left at the well, punishment for polluting the water supply.

When Virat finds his son, he is moved to find help, especially when his efforts and his wife, Latha, do nothing to bring Ashish back to health. Fearing he will die, Virat makes a plea to the landowner, Mammen Samuel, whose land the well was on, to help heal his son. Since Virat doesn't have money to pay for medicine or doctors to help Ashish, Mammen Samuel is only to happy to help as long as Virat is willing to pay his debt. What he fails to realize is that debt will never be able to be paid off. Now Virat, Latha and Ashish belong as property to the landowner, who believes that what he is doing is being a great Christian man.

Ashish finds help with the English doctors at a clinic, and even though they aren't sure that they can save Ashish, the order Mammen Samuel to leave the boy in his care. Something he isn't at all willing to do. Not only that but Dr. Moore, won't release Ashish to Mammen Samuel without his parents being there. Even though Dr. Moore believes he is helping all he did, was increase the debt the family now owest to Mammen Samuel by four times the original amount. Now what will they do to save their family and be able to pay off the debt?

In the latest novel by Kay Marshall Strom, The Faith of Ashish, is heart-breaking and shocking. When you see how people were treated back in the early 1900's in India, it leaves you angry and compassionate to help those that these people believe deserve nothing except death. Death in hopes that they can come back into a higher class or at least as an animal.

I received this book compliments of Abingdon Press for my honest review and was riveted because even though I knew from history about this classes of people in the Hindu religion, reading about a life affected by this made it hard to endure, yet you have to. You, as the reader, as drawn in to know how this family will endure this situation and how it will affect the life of Ashish in the process. An unconditional love by a mother and father willing to do whatever it takes to save the life of their only remaining child and to provide a life for him. Hands down, you can not be affected and moved by this story and for that I award this novel a 5 out of 5 stars. This is one book, you won't want to miss out on!

For more information about this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:

The Faith of Ashish by Kay Marshall Strom

You can also find Kay on Facebook by clicking here.

Thanks to the generosity of Abingdon Press, they are providing a giveaway copy of this novel to one lucky reader of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's your guidelines:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes!

3. I need a way to contact you if you're the winner so PLEASE be sure to include your email address along with your comment of why you'd love to win a copy of this book. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

The giveaway will end on Oct 10th and I will notify the winner at that time by email.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Is He Thinking? - Giveaway and Review

In her book, What Is He Thinking?? Rebecca St. James touches on a particular subject all of us women are curious about: what are guys thinking about?! Especially in the context of what they think and how they feel about dating, love, and women all together. With honesty and genuine curiosity, Rebecca describes her interviews with single, and married males from all walks of life, and also tells her readers about her personal experiences in the world of dating. Rebecca also touches on true stories-of young Christian women who are sold out on God, and who are willing to take on whatever He calls them to do with their lives, especially in the dating scene.

Rebecca covers a wide variety of topics in her book, offering insight into so many questions we as women have, but are not always able to find the answers to. “How important is physical attraction to a man, when they are looking for a woman to be with?”, “What are guys looking for in regards to spirituality and a relationship with the Lord?”. Rebecca answers these questions and more through her interviews with these men, and continues to list other questions single women have.

This book not only contains answers to the questions we have about the world of men, but it also includes some fun date night ideas as well as advice on how to let a guy know you are interested. It teaches you to be confident in yourself and in your relationship with God, because that is the most important relationship you’ll ever be in. Talk about a guy being committed to you! To love and cherish you! To let no good deed of yours go unseen, and to know every thought, feeling, word, that’s what I’m talking about! Once you have established an unbreakable and confident relationship with the Lord, things will tend to fall into place, including your relationships with other men according to his will.

This book was helpful in reminding me about some of the biblical truths behind dating and marriage, and I am truly excited to apply these principles into my own dating life! I received this book, compliments of Propeller and Rebecca St. James for my honest review and would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars; this being that though the content was priceless, it took a while to get the point across and was at times monotonous. For more information about this book, the writer, and where to purchase a copy, you are welcome to click on the links I have provided below:

You can also follow Rebecca St. James on Facebook by clicking here.
If you want to read an excerpt from this book, click here.
You can find Rebecca on YouTube and Twitter as well.

Thank to the generous folks at Propeller, they are offering a copy of this book to one lucky reader of this blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines to enter:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes!

3. I need a way to contact you if you're the winner so PLEASE make sure to include your email address. If I can't contact you, I will have to select another winner. So don't miss out. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols. Just don't forget to include it.

4. Leave me a comment and let me know why you would like to win a copy of this book. The giveaway will end on October 7th and I will be emailing the winner at that time.

Dangerous Mercy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dangerous Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
Kathy Herman


Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.


Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dangerous Mercy, go HERE.

A Life Restored

Ever since Karen Baney wrote her first novel in the Prescott Pioneer series, I've been hooked. I mean these characters that she writes about feel like they are part of my distant relatives from the mid 1800's living in and around Prescott, Arizona when the west was just beginning to get settled.

There are stagecoach robberies, wanted men trying to find a way to enact revenge on those they feel deserve their wrath, people attempting to make a new start out west, cattle rustling, Indian attacks and those just trying to find love on the frontier. Through each consecutive novel that Karen has added to this series, we find out what our previous characters have been up to since the last book as she incorporates the lives of them along with new characters we can only hope to come to love and those we hope the swift hand of justice will rain down upon their heads.

In this novel, A Life Restored, the third book in the series, we find ourselves partnered with Caroline Larson, whose brother Adam and her best friend Julia left the family ranch to head to a new life in Prescott. Now struggling with trying to find love like that of her parents, Caroline finds that kissing the men who are interested in her may be the best way to see if she loves them. She believes if she feels a spark when they kiss, that may mean love is present. However when the two men find out about Caroline's plan, they are left broken-hearted and alone.

Caroline believes that being back with her brother Adam and Julia may help her get back on track and trusting her faith in God once again instead of trying to take control of her own life. The only problem is now on a stage coach trip to Prescott on her final leg of the trip, her coach is robbed, the men shot and she is left behind, tied up in the middle of no where far from any water or food.

The plot thickens when a stranger by the name of Robert Garrett, the mastermind behind the stagecoach robbery, finds out that Caroline is aboard the stage and in leaving her behind, he hopes to begin a blackmail scheme against the Larsons and Will Coulter that will fulfill his need for revenge and justice. Only problem is when he sends a man back to retrieve Caroline, she isn't there.

A renegade mail express rider,Thomas Anderson, that Caroline had an encounter with after almost being ran over by him in the street of Wickenburg will provide to be both a rescuer and a thorn in her side. Will she ever make it to Prescott? Will Robert Garrett find Thomas and Caroline before they make it into Prescott? Will Caroline ever find true love or find her faith in God again?

I received this ebook version of A Life Restored by Karen Baney compliments of the author herself. Not only did I become just as hooked as I did in the first two books in this series, I found even more characters to add to my new family in Prescott! You'll be rooting for your old favorites as well as meeting new ones along the way. If you love great western romance stories with a faith in God, then you'll love Karen Baney's Prescott Pioneers series! You can pick up any of them and fit right in or like me, start at the beginning and watch your family grow! This rates a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to see what other surprises Karen has in store for us in the future.

For more information about this book, the author or where to pick up this book, please click on the links below:

A Life Restored by Karen Baney

You can also find Karen on Facebook by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Wounded Heart - Giveaway and Review

Once again another Amish novel has captivated my heart and left me sighing. A great sign of an excellent book in my personal opinion. For most people they understand the simple story lines of your typical Amish novel, but not in the case of The Wounded Heart by Adina Senft.

We have a story that is slow as it unfolds as we find ourselves immersed in the tragic story of Amelia Beiler, who has recently been left a widow after an unfortunate buggy accident that claimed not only the life of her husband, Enoch but the driver of the car that hit them as well. Now left to deal with managing a farm alone with just two small boys, she struggles to maintain her husband's pallet business as well. Offer after offer appears on her doorstep, first from an English man looking to retire and then subsequently from others within her Amish community as well.

The only thing is, that Amelia isn't sure she wants to sell. How else will she be able to provide for her family without having to move back home with her mom and dad? However when Amelia begins to experience tingling in her left hand, that leaves her numb and at times unable to use her left hand, she begins to wonder if perhaps God isn't sending her a sign after all. The only thing is will she be ready to accept all that God has for her, even if it means going against everything she believes she needs in her life.

I received this beautiful, heart-warming story as an Ebook compliments of Faith Words Publishers, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I applaud the character of Amelia for attempting to hold down the front in spite of some difficult odds that seem to stack up against her. She tries to maintain a level of strength in trying to get on with her life, while still grieving for a husband that she still misses and has a difficult time trying to move forward. She relies a lot on her friends, Emma, who fears that God has abandoned her efforts to find a husband, and who manages to also be the only child struggling to take care of her parents who are in desperate need of medical care; and her other friend, Carrie, who is struggling to have children after being married for 10 years and unable to conceive. Meanwhile, Carrie's husband Melvin is struggling to find work since he lacks the farming skills to keep them afloat.

It seems like quilting is the only thing that keeps these three wonderful characters from falling apart. Each a times is able to put their own personal struggle on the back burner so they can assume the care taker in the others life. This is what it means to be true friends in my personal opinion and what makes for a great book. For those that love Amish stories, this one will not disappoint and takes a different road than the one most of us are used to, making it a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. When faced with any adversity in life, it's easier to weather those storms with the love and warmth of close friends. Just like the patches of material that make up a beautiful quilt, it takes friends and family to weave our lives together and make it beautiful and full of love and life.

This is the first novel in the Amish Quilt Trilogy and she has me as a fan for life! Can't wait for the next book in this series! For more information on this book, the author, read an excerpt or where to get a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Adina Senft on Facebook by clicking here.

Thanks to the generous folks at Faith Words and Hachette Book Groups, they are providing a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog. Here's what you need to do to enter:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart!

2. Be a resident of the US or Canada or have a US or Canadian mailing address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. Since I will need a way to contact you if you're the lucky winner, please make sure to leave me an email address in the comment box. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

4. Leave me a comment and tell me why you'd love to win this book.

The giveaway ends on October 5th and I will be contacting the winner at that time. If you want to pass the news around to your family and friends, I'd love to add them to the giveaway and have them visit me as new followers.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Captive Trail

The only thing worse from being taken from your family is trying to find a way back to them when you don't know where to begin. For Taabe Waipu, she has spent her young childhood forgetting the language of her family, English, when she winds up in a Comanche village. It's either learn the language of the Numinu or starve and continue to be treated as an outside. So as a way to survive, she forgets the family she was remembers raising her until she finally grows old enough to find a way back home.

Now years later she escapes her tribe and tries to locate her family again. Remember little details from distant memories and a faded piece of paper she has kept hidden may hold the clues towards reclaiming her identity and finding home again. So when she winds up injured and alone on a wagon train road, it seems fate has smiled upon her in the form of Ned Bright, the Butterfield Overland Mail driver who finds her lying in the road along with a group of nuns he is transporting to open a school for girls.

Fearing that she may be a child taken by the Comanche Indians and has now escaped, Ned feels that her best place for healing may be with the Ursuline nuns while he works with the fort to try and find out who Taabe Waipu really is and try to reunite her with her family, if only the Comanche's didn't have other plans.

I received, Captive Trail by Susan Paige Davis compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and feel in love with the sincerity of this storyline. Historically speaking there were hundreds of children taken by Indians but many never were able to return home to the families that never gave up searching for them. With the Comanche tribe, they have never had someone escape and they will stop at nothing to bring a runaway back. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and love the duality the title insists, not only in being a captive in the Comanche tribe but also losing her heart to the man who will stop at nothing to help her.

Here's even more great information about the book, the author and even a first chapter sneak peek!
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Captive Trail
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2011)
Susan Page Davis


From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.


Captive Trail is second in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.

On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.

With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Captive Trail, go HERE.

The Most Dangerous Thing

Years ago, they were all the best of friends. But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past - and the terrible lie they all shared.

But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years.

And then the revelations start.

Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today? Is it more dangerous to admit to what they've done or is it the strain of keeping the secret that is beginning to wear on them and everyone close to them?

Each one of these old friends has to wonder if their secret has been discovered - and if someone within the circle is out to destroy them.

In the latest novel by Laura Lippman, The Most Dangerous Thing shows us the dark side of keeping secrets and that nothing good can ever come from them. No matter who you are trying to protect in the process there is nothing worth keeping a secret from those that should know the truth.

I received this novel compliments of the William Morrow division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I have to say the first chapter was difficult to get through due to the large amounts of profanity the character of Gordon used in a drunken rage. The story chronicles the lives of five children who grew up together toggling back in forth between the 70's and present day so the reader can gain an understanding of who they each where and how their secret subsequently affected them in their current lives. The book does have at times a disconnect with the reader when it becomes difficult to figure out who is telling their story. I would have to rate this one a 3 out of 5 stars.

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Lancaster County Christmas

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband, Sol, the Christmas gift they have both longed for - news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big Amish family isn't likely to become a reality. Will those empty chairs at the table ever be filled?

Then a winter storm raging outside blows an impatient young woman and her husband into the Riehl home on Christmas Eve - and into a much slower pace of life.

Both couples are about to find out if they can weather the storm - and if miracles still happen at Christmas time. (excerpt from inside cover).

In the latest novel by Suzanne Woods Fisher, A Lancaster County Christmas, takes you into two families that are experiencing a pull in their marriages, for the Riehl family, Mattie and Sol are experiencing the heartache that comes from wanting a much larger family and for now, God has different plans. After another miscarriage, Mattie begins to question her own self-worth at being able to provide the children her and Sol discussed in the beginning of their marriage. Now she isn't sure why they have only been able to have Danny, their only son, but due to this, Mattie fears letting him become more independent and instead keeps an ever watchful eye over him.

For Jaime and CJ Fitzpatrick, they are struggling to find a way to bridge the growing distance that has entered their marriage. Jaime has recently reconciled with her estranged father, who now seems to want to have a daughter in his life. While CJ spends his working hours juggling a teaching position and a volunteer role as a Search and Rescue handler, he has noticed that the marriage between him and Jaime has grown cold. Using his faith to aid him in trying to discover the issue, Jaime has used God as the excuse for allowing her mother to die.

As a winter storm of the century draws near, God has a way of using both couples to help one another work out their differences in a very unique way. Only this Christmas will be life changing for both of them.

I received A Lancaster County Christmas compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review, and once again have to applaud Suzanne Woods Fisher for bringing home a classic Christmas story with a twist of faith. This book will reunite the reader with what is most important during the holiday season, it isn't about what we can buy, but the people we share it with no matter how different they may be. I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars! For more information about this book, the author or where you can pick up a copy of this for your own collection, please click on the links below:

You can also find Suzanne on her Facebook page by clicking here.

From The Garden To The City

Ever wonder if technology is becoming too powerful in our daily lives? Besides noticing how people rarely meet face to face these days in light of access to social media sites and the benefits of instant messaging and text messaging, even the average phone call is almost becoming obsolete. So is technology really helping us or hurting us?

In the recent book, From The Garden to the City by John Dyer, he discusses the benefits of the redeeming and corrupting power of technology in our lives. From early childhood most of us older adults remember how we spent our time before the invention of the mobile phone and the computers. We spent our time out with friends, usually playing all kinds of games from hide and seek or using our imagination and pretending we lived in other worlds or times.

Now this generation doesn't have to pretend with the internet. They can play role playing games on line with users from all over the world, or even just by themselves. Hooked up to headphones, wireless devices and high speed internet, they can get lost in virtual worlds we could only dream of so long ago. So is this benefiting us or harming us?

"Technology in the last century has had more advances than in the last thousand years. Abe Lincoln and Abraham from the Bible have more in common than anyone born in the 1900's. They were both separated by some 3800 years. Abraham's father raised cattle, and Mr. Lincoln planted pumpkins. We spend most of our time indoors working at desks with little knowledge of the natural world. Both men attended small religious gatherings with people they knew from the surrounding areas. We drive several miles to sit in huge auditoriums and watch screens with thousands of people, many of whom are strangers. Their water supply and bathrooms were outside; ours are inside. They lived in small, one-bedroom dwellings lit by candles; we live in comparatively enormous homes equipped with electricity, phone, cable and Internet lines. They wrote letters and spoke in person; we write electronically and speak through devices. They weathered the seasons; we control the weather with air-conditioning. "(pg 21-22).

It all depends on the perspective in how it's being used, some people are waiting for the advancement of medical technology so we can live even longer if not forever, but God has a definitive time line. This world, will not, last forever despite what technology claims it can do.

I received this book compliments of Kregel Publishers for my honest review and LOVED seeing things from a completely different perspective in addition to what references the Bible makes in regards to technology. I think John's research into the areas of how far we have advanced in technology and some of the dangers that exist for people to use it for their personal gains is insightful and one every Christian should read. It even shows how some well-meaning uses of technology in the church can also have a destructive effect in how people view the services and the Bible as well. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to any parent who tells their kids to stop spending so much time texting!

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sanctus - Giveaway and Review

Who doesn't like a great mystery? You know the kind that keeps you guessing as you keep on reading trying to figure out what is going on, who is in on it and why?

If you're like me, and love a great mystery, check out the very latest book just hot off the presses from Simon Toyne, a debut author, called Sanctus. Based on the Citadel found in Turkey, a secluded monastery built literally into the walls of a mountain that prohibits anyone but the monks from entering is the location for this novel. Here's a brief synopsis:

"The certainties of modern life are about to be shattered by an ancient conspiracy that has been nurtured by blood and lies.

A man climbs a cliff face in the oldest inhabited place on earth, a mountain known as the Citadel, a Vatican-like city-state that towers above the city of Ruin in contemporary Turkey. But this is no ordinary ascent. It is a dangerous, symbolic act. And thanks to the media, it is witnessed by the entire world.

And few people understand its consequence. For foundation worker Kathryn Mann and a handful of others, it's evidence that a hopeful, new beginning is at hand. For the cowled and secretive monks who live inside the Citadel, it could mean the end of everything they have built - and they will break every law in every country and even kill to stop it. For reporter Liv Adamsen, it spurs the memory of the beloved brother she has lost and begins the next stage of a journey into the heart of her own identity.

At that journey's end lies a discovery that will change everything..."

I received Sanctus by Simon Toyne compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest opinion and I was captivated by the first chapter. Here we see that the things happening within the monastery walls contain some deep, dark secrets that only the "Sanctus" monks are privileged to know. Contained within the deepest chambers in the mountain lies something that needs to be protected at all costs and when the murder of Brother Samuel leads the investigators to the secluded Citadel, they will stop at nothing to make sure that their secrecy is protected.

This is a heart-stopping, thrill a minute, or in this case, a page turner you won't want to put down. Each chapter peels back another layer to what the Citadel is trying to protect and just what people will be involved in the process. Is a prophecy of Biblical proportion about to be unleashed? Well trust me, you'll love this book! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and hope that Simon Toyne writes even more in the future. For more information about this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this conspiracy thriller, click on the links below:

You can also find him on Facebook by clicking here.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at William Morrow and Harper Collins Publishers, they are providing 3 copies of this book for a giveaway. Here's all you need to do to enter:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US Shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes!

3. Please include an email address along with a comment of why you'd love to win a copy of this book. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols, but if you don't include one, I have no way of contacting you if you're one of the winners of the giveaway.

The giveaway will end on October 1st and I'll be contacting the winners of the giveaway at that time.

Lucas Trent - Guardian in Magic

Lucas Trent has always felt like an outcast. Being super smart and having a knack for school just seems to make him unpopular until people need something from him, like help with a last minute test. Only then do people seem to talk to him. So when he finds an interest in magic, he isn't about to share that with anyone. Until he finds a chat group that is meeting near him who are interested in magic.

Arriving at a local chat room called the TimeStop, Lucas finds himself sitting at a table with other kids his age, most importantly one called The Professor, whom everyone at his high school admires and desperately wants to be friends with. Lucas and Darien immediately become friends as they share the common interest in being treated as outcasts at school. Soon they join others, Stephanie, Marcus, Cedric, and Jacqueline, who agree that they all share similar stories and agree to meet to discuss the possibilities of studying magic together in a Circle.

Meeting after school in a shack outside of town, the group begin to learn more about each other as they study magic together. They aren't able to perform spells like they want but the magic that each of them possesses will be found by who they want to become. When the group encounters a local daughter of a businessman on the verge of bankruptcy, they learn that something sinister is lurking in their town and they seek out a way to bring about justice and fight evil with good!

I received the novel, Lucas Trent, Guardian in Magic by Richard Blunt, compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Richard Blunt for my honest review. At first I wasn't sure quite what to expect with young teens attempting to study magic spells and incantations, and then coming face to face with the darker side, but the more further into the book I got, I saw that these young teens were using their unique "gifts" to pursue righteousness, friendship and loyalty in helping other less fortunate. I would rate this book at 4.5 out of 5 stars and see the connection between this and Harry Potter, where you have a good versus evil story line and the desire to see justice win in the end.

For more information about this book, the author and where you can purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Carlito C. Caterpiller's Math House Games - Review and Giveaway

In order for most kids to really want to learn something the best way I have discovered that works, is to keep it fun and keep it interactive. For most kids when they get frustrated, their ability to want to learn anything at that point is difficult and most want to give up.

That's why I am super excited to share with you a great new product for kids that helps keep learning fun, interactive and the best part educational. They really do learn with Carlito C. Caterpillar's Math House Game Card Set. In this ring bound set of cardboard, color cards, there are 40 games - 2 per Step - that you can play with your child to teach them math skills. These are based on Domenico Marcio's Sensory Math Teaching System and one I wish I had when my kids were younger and struggling with learning math concepts.

Domenico Marcario, M.S. - is the creator of the c3pla Sensory Math Teaching System, retired high school mathematics teacher and full-time passionate grandparent. He approaches math with a 3 R's: rules, repetition and rote. Kids gain understanding by doing rather than sitting passively and watching someone else do the thinking for them. If you focus on maintaining an environment of play, the child will experience the learning as an active participant rather than a passive participant.

The material is presented in 3 stages, with a total of 20 steps and 2 games in each step covering quantity, numeration, and operations. These games are designed for parents to play with their children. Only when the child fully understands the concept, will you increase the complexity, such as reversing roles of the players and designating the child as the leader.

For example here's what the color-illustrated double sided card would include:

Step 1: Alike It or Not
Stage 1: Quantity
What: To show what a set is.
Why: Placing "alike" object together, or creating sets leads to the knowledge of how many.
How: The child decides if an object belongs to a set by discovering how the objects are alike and determining what makes them belong.

Game 1A:

Get Ready: Collect a few different kinds of objects (e.g. assorted fruit, small toys, eating utensils).

1. Arrange as a group of 5 objects in which 4 of the objects are the same kind (e.g. all fruits) and 1 of the objects are of a different kind (e.g. toy car).

2. Ask your child to tell you which object does not belong in the group and why.

3. Ask your child what makes the objects in the group belong to the group.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 with different object arrangements.

There are also great online resources available for both parents and children on the website that comes included with the game set so parents can create award certificates and kids can be entered in the Hall of Fame.

I received this game set compliments of Propeller for my honest review and can't praise it highly enough. I can understand how this would really help kids with the math concepts that everyone will need to understand such as adding/subtracting, counting, writing numbers, multiplication and division, number placement (tens, hundreds, thousands), and more. The best part is that you are building relationships with your child while making learning math fun. This product rates a 5 out of 5 in my opinion. These would be great for preschoolers through grade school! For more information about this product and where you can learn more about it, click on the links below:

You can also find them on Facebook by clicking here.

Thanks to the generous folks at Propeller, they are providing a set of Carlito C. Caterpillar's MathHouse Game Card Sets for one lucky reader of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's what you need to do to enter:

1. Simply be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Remember No P.O. Boxes please!

3. Since I will need a way to contact - VERY IMPORTANT - since some of you have not included this in your comment - please include your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. Without it, I can't contact you if you're the winner.

4. Leave me a comment and tell me how you plan to use this set if you are the winner. I'd love to hear about your needs as a parent!

The giveaway will end on 9/30 and I will be contacting the winner (if I have your email address) at that time via email. So don't miss out on this great family friendly product, that I know you will LOVE!!!


Sometimes the mistakes we make in our life can act as road blocks. They can prevent us from ever seeing our true potential and pursuing the dreams we were meant to fulfill. I read the most amazing book that sets out to show you through fictional characters just how those road blocks can prevent us from finding our purpose in life and what God wants for us to become.

In the book, Cherished by Kim Cash Tate, we find ourselves in the second book of the Women of Faith series. The three characters whose lives we will follow are that of Kelli London, Heather Anderson and Brian Howard.

Kelli London has always dreamed of becoming a songwriter and glorifying God with her songs of praise. But after falling into sin, she walks away from her dreams. Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control - first an affair with a married man and then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band. Broken and alone, she discovers the only one who can save her. Brian Howard grew up as a science geek. But after making the worst mistake of his life after high school, he finds forgiveness in Christ and is being led down a completely different path. Now he must choose whether to continue pursuing his PhD in biochemistry or become a full time Christian rapper.

This novel shows readers that God can still use them in spite of their worst choices. He doesn't just forgive them, they are truly cherished. We can be embraced by the same great love when we learn that true forgiveness for ALL of our sins is right before us. Through these characters we see how they struggle to resolve their own personal conflicts and find a way to finally forgive themselves. I think this book is very relevant to our times because so often we feel like a choice we may have made so long ago, is the very thing we can't be forgiven for. But there is nothing, NOTHING, you can do, that God will not forgive you for if you just ask and believe that you are valuable in His eyes.

When we do that, we can see what God's future is for us and how we can move forward with nothing holding us back. I received this book compliments of B & B Media Group for my honest review and think this is a MUST READ! Especially in today's world, we find our value in the wrong things, be it a job, a title, the things we own, what we do, who are friends are, and most of all what we think of ourselves if often times so wrong. Self Esteem issues for women is at an all time high, with teen suicides, bulimia, anorexia and eating disorders dictating what is acceptable for society. I would rate this book at 4.5 out of 5 stars. For more information about this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Naomi's Gift - An Amish Christmas Story

As fall is beginning to peak around the corner, some of the best books are just beginning to hit the bookshelves in time to get us in the Christmas spirit, and one of the best I've read belongs to Amy Clipston, who wrote, Naomi's Gift, An Amish Christmas Story. I've yet to read an Amish book, I didn't like and this one was such a true pleasure to read.

I could imagine life at Bird-In-Hand Pennsylvania, the crisp cold chill of snow in the air, settling under thick, gray clouds. Just in time to make it for Christmas, widower Caleb Schmucker and his young daughter, Susie come to visit his sister Sadie and her family. Just before arriving at their house, Susie reminds Caleb that it isn't proper to show up for a visit, without bringing something, and insists on visiting a local Farmer's Market to pick up a homemade pie.

Once they arrive inside the busy indoor market they both head for a small bakery and try to decide if they should buy apple or pumpkin pie. Just when Caleb looks down to ask Susie for her opinion, she is gone. Lost in the hustle and bustle of a busy market place, Susie is drawn to a quilt stand operated by Naomi King. She tells her that the quilts remind her of her own mother who died. Feeling a connection beyond sympathy with Susie, a friendly conversation begins between the two, as Caleb suddenly rushes up, grabbing Susie. He reminds her that she can't leave like that because he was so worried. Susie introduces him to Naomi and a warm connection flows between the two.

Now struggling to face his own personal feelings of getting over his grief for his wife Barbara, he is pulled in two directions. One by his sister Sadie's interference in finding him a "suitable" wife and the connection he feels whenever Susie and Naomi get together at their family home. This love story will warm your heart as you find yourself hoping that Caleb and Naomi will find true love, but will Caleb be able to leave the memories of his first love behind in Ohio to make a fresh start in Pennsylvania?

You'll have to read, Naomi's Gift to find out how this holiday story will end. One thing is certain is their faith in God has helped them weather their storms up to this point and they both know with God anything is possible, even the potential of a widower finding love again. I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. If you are an Amish fan or a lover of great Christmas stories, than this one will need to be placed at the top of your wish list. I personally rate it a 5 out of 5 stars and will be reading this each year during Christmas!

For more information about this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this heart-warming Christmas story, please click on the links below:

Naomi's Gift - An Amish Christmas Story by Amy Clipston

You can also find her on Facebook, by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Under a Fairy Moon

Every garden has the possibility for a child with an imagination. For Addy Marten, her garden belonged to the neighbor Mrs. Tavish, who rumor has it was a reported witch. Yet whenever Addy saw her, she was just an old woman, in a brightly colored flowered dress with a large hat who loved working in her garden and talking to her flowers.

Whenever Mrs. Tavish wasn't in the garden was when Addy would sneak in, to the deepest part, beneath the thick overgrown shrubs, next to the bubbling creek to the center where the statues stood. This is the place where her imagination came to life and where the garden would become more than just a make believe place for young girls to play.

In the novel, Under A Fairy Moon by T. M. Wallace, the reader is immersed in a magical world of a little girl who has just moved into a new home in Windy Falls and discovering all kinds of wonder locked within the garden of her neighbor Mrs. Tavish. She takes part in an adventure with a young boy in a yellow raincoat named Conner, when they both become separated in the world and must reunite before the Mid Summer. A perfect blend of A Secret Garden meets Narnia, the reader is in for a delightful surprise from the very first page. For anyone who dreams of Wonderland and becoming their own Alice, then this is truly the book for you. Just the kind of magic that makes us all children once more.

I received this book compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review, and can't wait to read this one with my 13 year old daughter who is bound to make this one a personal favorite. Filled with the delights of any child, in a secret world that adults don't know about, this feels like The Bridge to Terabithia meets Alice in Wonderland. You aren't quite sure if she is imagining it all or if this is really happening. I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and great for middle school readers who love fantasy adventure books. This one will not want to be one that is missed.

For more information about this book, the author and where to get a copy of this enchanting book, please click on the links below:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monster In The Hollows

Sneakery, betrayal, and the deadly secret of Chimney Hill. How could you not be hooked by a simple sentence on the front of the book? Well, the sentence that hooked me, kept me intrigued and on the edge of my seat for the entire book. This is a great novel and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into book four of the series. Scratch that, I think I need to start at the beginning and read the first two other books to really know the entire Wingfeather Saga! This book is definitely a stand alone book even though it is the third book in the series. Janner (Throne Warden) and older brother to Kalmar, (Next High King in line) find themselves mixed up in so many adventures and mysteries that you just have to read for yourself to see whether they come out dead or alive!

The main Characters are the three children of Esben Wingfeather, great and high King of Anniera, problem is, there is no more Anniera as it has been set afire for over nine years and is still burning. This magical island that holds many keys to the three children and their family’s heritage. The mother, Nia, Queen of Anniera has been on the run and keeping her children out of the dreaded hands of Gnag the Nameless! She has been running for so long that they family has no where else to turn other than to set sail across the Sea of Darkness if they can cross it alive to the Green Hollows, where there fellow Hollowsfolk have been keeping their borders clear of the Fang! When Nia, Janner, Kalmar and Leeli finally get to the Green Hollows, they soon find themselves more in fear of the townsfolk are saying about them then the Fang! The story line is so chalk full of mystery, sneakery, betrayal and treachery that you will not want to put the book down once you start.

I loved this book! It is a great read especially for the young reader between 12 and 21. This fantasy book really stretches your imagination and takes you into the world of the writers mind! I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone and everyone! Thank you Andrew Peterson for such a great story!I received this book compliments of Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tours for my honest review and can't say enough positive things about it, then to pick up a copy for yourself and read it! You won't be disappointed!

For more information about this book, the author and where to check out other reviews on this book, please click on the links below:

You can visit the series website by clicking here.
You can also visit the author's website by clicking here.

More reviews can be found by clicking on any of the links below:

Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham"> CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson"> Cynthia Dyer
Amber French
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott"> Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
* Eve Nielsen
Joan Nienhuis
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Here's to Friends

In the final book of Melody Carlson's popular series of the four Linda's, we see where life has found Abby, Caroline, Marley and Janie at the mid-way point in their lives. For Abby, she's trying to get back in shape in time for a cruise that all four of them will take, but it's been a while since she's worked out and rather than take it slow, she jumps right on in with a circuit training class and paying for the membership fee without seeing how she'll like the class. Confident that Caroline and Janie already take it, and hope that there is safety in numbers, Abby soon finds out that she feels more out than in and wishing she never agreed to go on the cruise if it involved swimsuits.

Caroline while still grieving over the death of her mom, gets encouragement from the other Linda's to embark on a remodeling project on the family home in hopes if she can fix it up she can sell it, or possibly love it enough to stay there and be much closer to the girls.

Janie's been getting mysterious voice mail messages from her daughter, who she believes is only after money and still involved in drugs, but when an unexpected call promises she's changed and only wants to move back home, Janie is willing to drive out to Phoenix to pick her up. This is one way to make sure she just doesn't take the money and run again.

Meanwhile, Marley, the artist, is struggling to find her creative groove during what she calls her midweek madness, something she hadn't experienced for many years since her marriage with her ex husband John. Yet she couldn't quite figure out just what it was but she knew something for sure was on the horizon and it couldn't be good. Was it someone's birthday, a hormone problem, or something more? When Jack called, her new love interest in a gallery owner, she would learn what would cause this feeling. He tells her that his daughter, Jasmine has up and left with a new man leaving her son, Hunter behind. What she doesn't know is if Jasmine is coming back or has abandoned her 7 year old son forever?

I received the novel, Here's To Friends by Melody Carlson compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and love how honest and true to life, her characters are. Not having read the three prior Linda books in the series, I could immediately relate to each of these women and the unique situations that all find themselves in. Some have family to assist them and others will struggle alone but the best part is the friendship that cements them altogether proving that real friendships are priceless. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to go back and read the entire series of The Four Lindas!

Here's even more great information about the book, the author and where to get a sneak peek into the first chapter:
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Here’s to Friends
David C. Cook (September 1, 2011)
Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever.

Decades later, they're all back home in Clifden and reinventing their lives, but the holidays bring a whole new set of challenges. Abby’s new B&B is getting bad reviews and husband Paul is acting strange. Still grieving for her mom, Caroline is remodeling the family home, but boyfriend Mitch keeps pressuring her to go away with him. Artist Marley, distracted by a friend's family drama (and a touch of jealousy), can't find her creative groove. And Janie’s drug-addicted daughter has just appeared up on her doorstep! When a long-planned New Year's cruise turns into a bumpy ride, they learn once again that, in your fifties, friends aren’t just for fun—they're a necessity!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Here’s to Friends, go HERE.

The Shunning - DVD Giveaway and Review

Katie Lapp (Danielle Panabaker) has always struggled with the rules that define her sheltered Amish community, but when a wealthy outsider (Sherry Stringfield, TV's "ER") begins asking questions about her family, Katie begins to wonder about her origins.

When Katie struggles with the decision of whether or not to marry Bishop John Beiler, a good Amish man after trying hard to keep with the Amish ways. Her love of music and playing the guitar is something she promised she gave up until her brother finds her playing it one day in the loft above the barn and reminds her, what her father will do if he finds out. Katie believes that there is something to this gift of music that God gave her.

What connection does this woman have to her life...and how will the unraveling secrets challenge Katie's faith? Beverly Lewis' The Shunning is a powerful, personal journey of discovery based on the famous novel by New York Times best-selling author. The film is based on the celebrated first novel of the best-selling "The Heritage of Lancaster County" book series.

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is the New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Lewis to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with "The Shunning," which has sold more than one million copies. In 2007, Lewis' "The Brethren" was honored with a Christy Award.

I received The Shunning by Beverly Lewis on DVD compliments of Propeller and the Hallmark Channel for my honest review and LOVED this one. Being a huge fan of Amish fiction and their simple way of life, I was captivated to see how this storyline would play out. I felt for Katie's desire to please her family but also the struggle of what she believes God would want her to use her gift of music for. This is a perfect story that shows the simplicity of the Amish lives and how their faith plays a huge role in what they do and believe. Hands down this is a perfect movie for the entire family and rates a 5 out of 5 stars. This one will be watched over and over again by our family!

For more information about is movie, please click on the links below:

The Shunning DVD by Beverly Lewis and directed by Michael Landon Jr

You can also find The Shunning on Facebook by clicking here.

Thanks to the generous folks at Propeller and Hallmark Channel, they are providing a copy of this DVD to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here's what you need to enter:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. You must be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. I need a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway, so please be sure to include your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

4. Please leave a comment telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this DVD. The giveaway will end on September 26th.

A Heart Revealed

As hard as it seems at times, wounds to the heart can be the hardest to heal, especially when it involves the love of a man you married. Until that love grows a life of its own and becomes jealous and possessive and then the emotions that rise up can sometimes be more than one can contain.

Emma Malloy had the epitome of what some would call the perfect marriage, she fell in love too fast and failed to see the warning signs. Before she knew it, she would be a victim of that love, a love that couldn't trust, a love the wanted to possess more than anything and it would be 8 long years of abuse at the hands of her husband Rory, before Emma would leave Ireland when Rory found someone new.

Sean O'Connor has been Emma's friend since childhood and has seen him at his worst or so she thought until the day of Katie O'Connor's wedding, his youngest sister and the last of the girls in the O'Connor family to marry. Now if only Sean could find that same and lasting love as everyone else, but he has vowed to remain single and stay away from all women no matter how he feels about them. Somehow Emma is the only one that Sean will let in, the only one he will share his deepest secrets with and the only one he can talk to and really be himself. If only she wasn't married, she might be the only one he would ever consider settling down with.

So the story takes us into the lives of Sean O'Connor and Emma Malloy who are united by their love for the O'Connor family, most of which are Emma's dearest friends and whom if the O'Connors would ever consider adopting, Emma would volunteer herself willingly. The only thorn in this story would be Rose Kelly, the one woman who can't take No for an answer and the only one that Emma feels might be the perfect fit for Sean.

In A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman, we finally see the hurt that both Emma and Sean are carrying around within themselves that is preventing either of them from moving forward. They almost seem willing to punish themselves rather than accept God's forgiveness from their past and start over again. We get to see through this remarkable friendship just how each of them is there for the other but still unable to work through their own issues enough to finally be free of their grief and heartache.

I received this book compliments of Revell publishers for my honest review. This is the second in the series of Winds of Change, but can easily be read as a stand alone. The best part is that A Hope Undaunted, the first book in the series is available for FREE download on your favorite retailers until September 30th! Yet the love you feel for every single character that Julie Lessman introduces you to, find that they have a permanent home in your own heart. This is wonderfully written so that it engages you from the first page and literally can't put it down until you see how it might all work out before you reach the end. I easily give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to read another in this series. If you would love to know more about this book, the author or where to purchase this novel, please click on the link below: