Saturday, February 28, 2015

Beautifully written: The Amish Clockmaker by Clark & Meissner

book title front



about the book....



From bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Clockmaker (Book 3 in the Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Newlywed Matthew Zook is expanding his family’s tack and feed store when a surprising property dispute puts the remodel on hold—and raises new questions about the location’s mysterious past.

Decades earlier, the same building housed a clock shop run by a young Amish clockmaker named Clayton Raber. Known for his hot temper, Clayton was arrested for the murder of his beloved wife, a crime almost everyone—including his own family members—believed he’d committed, even after charges were dropped. Isolated and feeling condemned by all, Clayton eventually broke from the church, left Lancaster County, and was never heard from again.

Now the only way Matthew can solve the boundary issue and save his family’s business is to track down the clockmaker. But does this put Matthew on the trail of a murderer?

A timeless novel of truth, commitment, and the power of enduring love, where secrets of the past give way to hope for the future.


my review....


Clark and Meissner have done it again! I started this book determined that at no time was I going to shed a single tear, but then in the last few chapters I found myself with my eyes welling up! "The Amish Clockmaker" is a wonderful blend of the mysterious and the emotional. As I followed the stories of Matthew and Clayton, I became enthralled with the mystery of the murder, wanting to know what had happened and whether Clayton was guilty or not. I was anxious to find out whether Matthew would be able to press forward with his plans, or whether the big corporation that he was racing against would win the right to trample his dreams.

But then something curious happened. In the midst of unravelling the past I found myself coming to care deeply about each of these characters, along with those they interacted with. I watched Clayton with his struggles to be accepted with his physical deformities, and my heart broke as the close community around him pulled away and left him feeling unwanted and unloved. Oh what an age old story, showing how us humans, and those of use who are to represent Christ, fail! But these moments in the book made the ending all the more sweet, and that is where I found my emotions welling up as God's grace sprang to life in the pages of this novel. Of course I will not give the ending away, but I can tell you that I turned the final page and had to sit for awhile and absorb all that I had read. It's just that good!

Beautifully written and sure to satisfy the authors' fans, I highly recommend The Amish Clockmaker, along with the other books in the series. 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Harvest House. Available at your favourite bookseller!


 about the authors....



Mindy Starns Clark
Mindy Starns Clark is the author of many books, which include the popular Smart Chick Mysteries, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon. In addition, Mindy’s plays and musicals have been featured in schools and churches across the United States.






Susan Meissner
Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named byPublishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008 and a Carol Award winner. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. When she's not writing, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website: www.susanmeissner.com, on Twitter at @SusanMeissner, or at www.facebook.com/susan.meissner.



Buy now from Amazon.com:

The Amish Clockmaker (The Men of Lancaster County Book 3)

And if you missed the first two books grab those ones too!


Free for a few more hours: "Loving God When You Don't Love the Church: Opening the Door to Healing"

Loving God When You Don't Love the Church: Opening the Door to Healing - eBook  -     By: Chris Jackson

Though this book is only free until midnight (for us West Coasters we're not there yet of course!) I am calling your attention to this free ebook. So many people have been hurt by the church that I wanted to give you the opportunity to get this ebook in case it is just what you've been looking for!

Here's the link on Amazon.com:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Will satisfy the most ardent suspense fans: "Lethal Beauty" by Lis Wiehl

Lethal Beauty, Lis Wiehl


All the evidence in the case Mia Quinn is prosecuting points to the fact that a young Chinese prostitute named Dandan Yee was deliberately murdered, despite the claims by the accused that he was really defending himself when she was stabbed. But when a key witness goes missing and the imminent conviction suddenly seems less certain, Mia finds herself questioning just what is going on behind the scenes. Soon, Mia and Seattle homicide detective Charlie Carlson find themselves pulling the threads together on three separate murders that initially seemed to have nothing in common - until they uncover the shocking truth.

The third installment in the Mia Quinn mystery series is a fast-paced journey into the underbelly of Seattle, as Mia encounters human trafficking, drug dealing, and murder, with tendrils of evil reaching into her own home. The action is non-stop from scene to scene, and I found it impossible to put the book down until I'd devoured my way through every chapter, all the way to the end! Yet despite the high-octane suspense, the characters are written with a real depth that brings them to life. Mia is a fabulous character who has overcome so much from the start of the series until now, fighting to provide for her family and be the best mom she can be with a work schedule that often threatens to take over her life. She's certainly far from perfect, but you can't help but admire the person she is and the one she's striving to become. "Lethal Beauty" really has it all - fascinating courtroom drama, evil villains who are chillingly but realistically portrayed, and heros that you can truly believe in. Plenty of twists and turns will satisfy the most ardent fan of suspenseful reads.

I do hope that Mia Quinn is going to continue to star in many books to come. Afterall, who says series should only have 3 books anyway? 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the Booklook Bloggers review program. Available from your favorite book retailer from Thomas Nelson, a division of HarperCollins.


 about the authors...

Lis W. Wiehl

Image of Lis W. Wiehl

Lis Wiehl is a New York Times best-selling author, Harvard Law School graduate, and former federal prosecutor. A popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears on The O'Reilly Factor and Imus in the Morning, and was co-host with Bill O'Reilly on the radio for seven years.






April Henry

Image of April Henry

April Henry (born April 14, 1959) is an American New York Times bestselling author of mysteries, thrillers and young adult novels.













Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Masterfully told: "The Crimson Cord" by Jill Eileen Smith

Cover Art


about the book....


Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband's debt. Forced into prostitution, she despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime.

In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho's walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Under Jill Eileen Smith's talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Immerse yourself in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity--and a permanent place in your heart.




my review....


Bringing the story of Rahab to life in an utterly unique way, "The Crimson Cord" is sure to please fans of historical fiction! As with her prior books, it is clear that Smith has carefully mined the scriptures to provide a fictionalized version of Rahab's story that is still faithful to the Biblical account. The historical setting rings with authenticity as the author has brought the time and place to life, including capturing the arrogant and violent attitudes of the men who ruled the land. Rahab's descent into the oldest profession on earth is heartbreaking to behold, and makes the ending all the more precious. Smith has done an excellent job at fleshing out Rahab's character, along with that of Salmon, and their love story is handled beautifully. Reading this fictional account makes me so thankful for a God of grace. Although the majority of readers of this novel are not going to empathize with Rahab's journey into prostitution, they will surely connect with Rahab's realization of her sin and unworthiness, and the forgiveness that is offered by our God. I continue to enjoy Smith's ability to create page-turning tales that are based in stories from the Word. They continue to be some of the best books in the Christian marketplace today.

If you have long wondered how Rahab came to be a prostitute and how her life was so beautifully redeemed, then pick up a copy of "The Crimson Cord". It is a wonderful read! I award this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....


Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and The Desert Princess, first in the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.







Buy now from Amazon.com:

The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land Book #1): Rahab's Story