Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

September 30, 2015

Wee Read Wednesday: Lets Learn About the Lord's Prayer

Wee Read Wednesday: Lets Learn About the Lord's Prayer
In this first book of the HeartSmart series, preschoolers are invited on a playdate with Emma. Together they learn the Lord's Prayer and practice "teaching" it to Emma's favorite teddy bear.

Introducing HeartSmart, a Scripture memory series designed to create opportunities for children to fill their heart with God's Word. HeartSmart combines key Scriptures with songs, giving parents a spiritual formation path for building a strong foundation of faith.

The entire Lord's Prayer is included, along with a custom song (free download with access code).

My Thoughts:
This is such a fun book, and we enjoyed with both kids in our home.

I don’t actually remember anyone sitting me down and teaching me the Lord’s Prayer growing up, but it is something I do know I learned at an early age. I know that I learned several different versions of it before I finally looked it up in the Bible and learned it correctly as well.

This book takes the confusion out of the process and makes it something fun for kids to do. Kids first get to meet Emma and her animals and her best friend. Then Emma takes them on a little journey through her morning as she eats breakfast and prepares for her day.

The fun part of this is that Emma breaks down the Lord’s Prayer as she teaches it, and shows kids what each section is really talking about and how it relates to our talk with God. Emma makes the prayer easy to learn, and fun to be a part of.

Using this book as a resource is a wonderful way to help your kids learn the Lord’s Prayer, and will for sure be a resource in our home for years to come. I encourage you get a copy for your home and share it with your kids often.

Catherine DeVries has written twenty books for children, including the bestselling The Adventure Bible Storybook. As associate publisher of Children's Resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible collection, which has sold over a million copies. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children, and their big furry dog in the Colorado forest.

Learn more at Litfuse!

September 28, 2015

The Perfect Arrangement {Katie Ganshert}

the perfect arrangement year of weddings
Meeting Nick was truly an accident—but Amelia finds that he’s one of the few people she can count on.

Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower who inherited her grandmother’s flower shop. Despite her success in business, her love life has ground to a halt. And then her temptation to spy on her ex-boyfriend’s wedding leads her to a horrifying fender-bender—with Nick, the groomsman who happens to be her ex’s new brother-in-law.

Meanwhile, William, Amelia’s younger brother, has proposed to his girlfriend. Amelia would be excited except she has evidence that the fiancĂ©e is not who she says she is. How can she be supportive and yet be the protective big sister too? It seems Nick is the only one available for any advice-giving, and he’s pretty good at it—and pretty fun to talk to. Amelia and Nick continue online conversations about everything, but always lingering in Amelia’s mind is the fear that he’ll realize who she is and what she was doing at the church that day of the accident.

As Amelia works to craft the perfect flower arrangements for other people—including a ninety-year-old “fairy godmother” named George—she begins to wonder if real love is better than the dream. And if it is, will Nick still be interested when he learns who she is?

My Thoughts:
This was my first book by Katie, but it definitely won't be my last.

Amelia and Nate are characters that I fell in love with immediately and I loved their story. Amelia seems like she usually has her stuff together, but I love how Nate affects her in ways that gets her all flustered. She makes mistakes and causes accidents, and yet always comes across as fun-loving. I love how she dotes on her baby brother and worries about him so much.

Nate seems like the kind of guy that everyone could love. He flirts with Amelia in such a casual way that makes you want to go hang out with him yourself. I love that his initial attraction to Amelia was so strong that he is completely accepting of all her flub - even thinks they are cute. He makes a bold move in the end of this story and I loved it.

I love Katie's writing style and had such a fun time reading this story. It is a great addition to the Year of Weddings 2 series. Put it on your reading list for sure.

Katie (K.E.) Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about K.E. Ganshert and these things she writes at her website

September 24, 2015

Every Girl Gets Confused {Janice Thompson}

every girl gets confused janice thompson
Katie Fisher and Brady James may be a match made in heaven, but that doesn't seem to guarantee them a happily ever after accompanied by angelic choirs. In fact, the sounds being heard at the bridal shop where she works are on the contentious side lately, as a bride- and groom-to-be try to mediate the growing rivalry between their basketball-obsessed families in the middle of play-off season. On top of that, Katie's parents are nagging her to get out of Dallas and come home to tiny Fairfield where her former boyfriend Casey is waiting for her, ready to rekindle their relationship. Oy vey! What's a girl to do? And will she ever be able to wear that gorgeous wedding dress she won?

My Thoughts:
Katie Fisher is one of my favorite new characters, and I am so happy to see her back in action.

Katie and Brady are still going strong and working at the bridal shop in Dallas. It is a crazy time of year and everyone is busy, busy, busy. Customers are complaining, families are fighting, and Katie’s past is doing its best to catch up with her.

Katie is trying to succeed in her new role at Cosmopolitan, while also helping her Aunt Alva, and planning Quenie’s bridal shower, preparing for Quenie’s wedding, and dealing with her siblings’ apparent love life issues. Somehow this girl manages to hold it all together. No matter what pops up in her life, it seems that Katie is constantly able to turn to God and to find a way to let Him be in control of what happens. We see her handle every different personality type with the same love and grace that God shows us all the time. I think it is this trait in Katie that makes me love her so much.

And Brady is as perfect as ever! In this book he endures a second knee surgery – one that is potentially career ending. We see him go through the deep depression that tends to come down on people who lose their dreams, and we see him turn to God and get back up again. I have loved Brady since we first met him, and his actions and words throughout this book just makes me love him that much more. He is a man of God, and a man willing to do what it takes to make his life his own kind of perfect.

Of course, the Cosmopolitan staff and Katie’s family make this story so much fun. Each has their own quirks and their fun stories that keep everyone running in all directions. I can’t wait to see what happens to each of these characters in upcoming books. 

Award-winning author Janice Thompson also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over ninety books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers. Janice formerly served as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), where she has finaled multiple times in the prestigious Carol Awards.  She was thrilled to be named the 2010 Barbour/Heartsong Author of the Year, with three books on the top ten list for that house. Janice is currently the vice-president of her local writing group, Writers on the Storm, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing. Her online writing courses have been helpful to many who want to earn a living with their writing. She also shares her love of writing in her monthly column at CFOM (Christian Fiction Online Magazine). Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all. You can find out more about Janice at or

September 23, 2015

Wee Read Wednesday: God Made All of Me

god made all of me a book to help children protect their bodies
"God made every part of you!"

It's easy to convey the message to children that their bodies---or particular parts of their bodies---are shameful. This misconception fuels confusion, embarrassment, and secrecy, and often prevents children from recognizing or reporting sexual abuse.

God Made All of Me is a simply-told, beautifully-illustrated story to help families talk about these sensitive issues with two- to eight-year-old children. Because the private parts of our bodies are private, the home is the ideal environment where a child should learn about his or her body and how it should be treated by others.

God Made All of Me starts from the fundamental truth that God created everything and applies that truth---the doctrine of creation---to kids and their bodies. It equips parents to talk with both boys and girls about their bodies and to help them understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate touch of others. God Made All of Me allows families to build a first line of defense against sexual abuse in the safety of their own homes.

God Made All of Me is the first children's book written by Rid of My Disgrace authors Justin and Lindsey Holcomb. Parents of young children themselves, the Holcombs regularly counsel victims of sexual abuse and are profoundly aware of the dangers kids face. Their simple and relatable story, designed to help children protect their bodies, will be an important resource for every family with young children.

My Thoughts:
This is one of those books that you cannot not read with your kids. Whether you have sons or daughters, and regardless of their age, it is important to introduce this book and the message that in on these pages.

This world we live in is evil and sick, and I’m all for doing whatever we can to further our efforts to protect our kids. In God Made All of Me, the message is clear – we don’t let people touch us in ways that make us uncomfortable, and we protect our parts that we need to keep private.

It is so important that we convey this message to our kids, and this book is a great resource for introducing that conversation with your kids. This book brings fun graphics, and words that all children can understand. It opens up a way to have a conversation with your kids about appropriate vs inappropriate touching, and secrets vs surprises. It is truly an amazing resource that each parent should have on hand, and should read with their kids over and over again.

I’m so thankful to have been introduced to this book, and will use it with both of my children both in the present and in the years to come. This book will be one that will remain on our bookshelf, and will often be a reminder of the message that we need to teach our kids, and of the message that they often need to hear.

Justin Holcomb, PhD, is an Episcopal priest and professor of theology and Christian thought at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He is the author of On the Grace of GodKnow the Heretics, and Know the Creeds and Councils, as well as the coauthor of Is It My Fault? and Rid of My Disgrace. He also serves on the boards for REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade) and GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments).

Connect with Justin: websiteFacebookTwitter
Lindsey Holcomb, MPH, counsels victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and is the cofounder of REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). Lindsey has provided crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and conducted a variety of training seminars to service providers. She is also the coauthor of Is It My Fault ? and Rid of My Disgrace.
Connect with Lindsey online: websiteFacebookTwitter

September 21, 2015

Last Chance Hero {Cathleen Armstrong}

last chance hero book cathleen armstrong
The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run.

Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

My Thoughts:
I am totally in love with this series from Cathleen Armstrong. Every time I return to Last Chance I feel like I am going back to catch up with characters who have become true friends to me.

In this book we get to meet Dr. Jess. A new physician who has chosen to make her home in a small town that she has never visited. She is completely taken aback from the small town atmosphere, and immediately makes friends with the Cooley family that we have grown to love in this series. She has only one fault – her complete lack of interest in football. Even I can’t imagine not having an interest in the game of football, but Jess’ character has so much charm that I discovered I was able to overlook it, haha.

We also get to know Andy Ryan. Andy was the big-shot football player that got to play in the NFL, but he’s back home and coaching the high school team. It doesn’t take long for us to figure out that Andy is crazy about two things – football and Jess. But his love of football runs so deep it almost becomes his fault. However, I truly loved his character and his attitude towards the new high school team. I loved that he fits right in with the Last Chance family, and he doesn’t let his name become who he is.

This installment in the Last Chance series is a winner. It has all the makings of a great fall read – football, family and love. It was one of those books that I just wanted to keep reading, and was pretty sad when it ended.

Add this series to your must-read list for sure.

Cathleen Armstrong is the author of Welcome to Last Chance, winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction in 2009 and the first volume in the series “A Place to Call Home.” She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives.

September 17, 2015

In Firefly Valley {Amanda Cabot}

in firefly valley book review
Marisa St. George is devastated when she is a victim of downsizing and has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it's a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow's End resort. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But will her dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers who he really is?

My Thoughts:
There are so many things going on in this book and I love Every. Single. Word. I read most of this book with a huge smile on my face, and have completely fallen in love with these characters.

This book actually has four main stories going on at the same time, but they all intertwine with each other and make for the most amazing read. We met Kate and Greg in At Bluebonnet Lake, the first book in this series. Super-wealthy Greg has married Kate and they have purchased, and completely renovated, Rainbow Ranch. They have hired Marisa as the accountant/business manager. Marisa is young, and has lived the big-city life, and she is less than thrilled to be returning to her small hometown and working at the local resort.

Marisa has so many internal struggles going on. She was hurt by a boy in high school and she is determined to never fall in love again. She has also been hurt by the sudden disappearance of her alcoholic father, and the anger she feels towards him pretty much shapes her entire personality through most of this book.

But she meets Blake Kendall. On the surface, Blake is a financial guru who is taking some time away at the Rainbow Resort. Of course Blake and Marisa discover their mutual attraction to each other, and all seems to be going well. But Blake is leading a double life and has a pretty big secret of his own. His struggle to keep his “other” identity private vs announcing to the world who he really is becomes a huge part of this story as well. As both Marisa and Blake work out their issues together, we get to see such a sweet love story.

And then there is Lauren and Drew. We met Lauren in the first book as well, and she is Marisa’s best friend. She is a widow with a young child and the entire town has taken her under their wing to take care of. She and Drew have met in the past, but were not fond of each other. But Drew has been through some stuff and has come out a better person on the other side. As the two of them realize they are falling in love, their story becomes just as sweet and heart-warming as that of Marisa and Blake.

Through In Firefly Valley we also get to see more of the town of Dupree and the people that live in it. We see just how important Rainbow Ranch as become to the citizens of the town, and how much everyone loves Kate and Greg, as well as Lauren and Marisa.

This book truly stole my heart and I honestly don’t feel like I can do it justice with telling you how much I enjoyed it. I recommend you add this series to your must-read list, and then keep your eyes open for On Lone Star Trail, the next book coming out in 2016.

With both parents avid readers, it's no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than thirty novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and – of course – reading.

Amazon  |  Nook  |  iBooks  |  Play  |  Kobo  | Family Christian

September 16, 2015

Wee Read Wednesday: Read Me a Bible Story 365

Read Me a Bible Story 365 giveaway
My kids have a lot of books on their shelves, and I love almost every single one of them. But it has been a while since I have been as excited about a book as I am for Read Me a Bible Story 365.

Tommy Nelson sent me this book and as soon as I opened it I knew we had a winner.

This book is perfect for both of my kids (ages 3 and 6), and is going to be such an asset to our bedtime routine. Beginning with January 1, Read Me a Bible Story 365 has very short stories from the Bible. The stories are told in one paragraph segments, are simply told, and easily understood by kids of all ages.

Just as the title suggests, there are 365 stories in this book! They are dated through the calendar year to help you keep up with your reading.

Although I love reading to my kids (and really need to work on my commitment of reading to them each day), this is going to be an amazing resource for them to do together. The stories are easy enough that Ting can read them to Bug. I see this being a new bedtime routine for us beginning January 1, and I can't wait!

Read Me a Bible Story 365 is brought to you by Tommy Nelson, and you can check out a preview by clicking here. Then head over and purchase your own copy from Tommy Nelson, or wherever you typically purchase your faith-based children's books.

But first... use the widget below and get entered for your chance to win your copy! Giveaway will close Saturday at 6pm CST, so hurry and get entered!

September 14, 2015

Falling Like Snowflakes {Denise Hunter}

falling like snowflakes book review
When the Christmas season finds Eden in Summer Harbor, Maine, she's on the run from trouble. Romance is the last thing on her mind.

Riding in a bus in the thickly falling snow, Eden Davis wonders how it ever came to this--fleeing under cover of night with young Micah sleeping fitfully in the seat beside her. When a winter storm strands them in Summer Harbor, Maine, Eden wonders if what might have been the end could be a new beginning.

Beau Callahan is a habitual problem-solver. He's recently left his job with the sheriff's department to take over the family Christmas tree farm to save it from insolvency. But he's flummoxed. During the busiest season of the year, he's shorthanded. Then Eden shows up looking for work, and Beau believes he's been rescued. Competent, smart, and beautiful, Eden's also guarded and quiet. He soon figures out she comes with a boatload of secrets. But Beau can't seem to help himself from falling for her.

As Christmas Eve approaches, Beau discovers he'll do anything to keep Eden safe. But who's going to protect his heart from a woman who can't seem to trust again?

My Thoughts:
Denise Hunter became one of my favorite authors with her Chapel Springs series, and I was so sad when we said good-bye to the McKinley family. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this first book in her new Summer Harbor series, and I completely fell in love within the first chapter.

In this series we get to meet the Callahan brothers (fans of the McKinley family will recognize them as cousins to Ryan’s wife, Abby). Beau, Zac, and Riley live with their Aunt Trudy in the northeastern town of Summer Harbor. The three of them own and operate a few of the local establishments, and they are known as the town’s most eligible bachelors. They have been through the pain of losing both of their parents, and they stick together.

Falling like Snowflakes centers on Beau and his Christmas tree farm operations. He seems to be the one that has it together, but deep down he has some conflicts going on within his relationship. When Eden and her son arrive on his doorsteps, we get to see the beginning of this boy falling apart. We see him struggle in his current relationship while finding himself falling in love with this mysterious girl who has quickly become an honorary member of the Callahan family. We also discover that Beau has a protective instinct, and this determination to protect Eden and her son becomes the one thing that brings this entire story together.

Eden is one big mystery. Her story unfolds bits and pieces throughout the book, and we soon realize that she has so many reasons to be in fear of her life. She is a mom who will do anything and everything to protect her young son, and my heart went out to her as she sacrificed to try to gain their freedom.

The town of Summer Harbor has so many other characters that come together to make this book great. I’m sure we will see more of them in future installments, and I can’t wait to get to know Zac and Riley better in the future books.

This book has everything I love about a great story, and I highly recommend you add it to your must-read list.

Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of 20 novels, including Dancing with Fireflies and Convenient Groom. 

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

September 12, 2015

Q&A: Erin Weidemann

On Wednesday I introduced you to Rooney, and the first book in the new Bible Belles series. You can read all about Hannah: The Belle of Prayer by clicking here.

Today I'm bringing you a little Q&A with the author, Erin Weidemann. Erin has done an amazing job with this new series, and I hope you enjoy learning a little more about her heart behind the Bible Belles.

erin weidemann
When did you realize you wanted to do something to benefit girls today?
My desire to go to bat (softball pun!) for girls comes from a lot of different places. Growing up, a lot of the time I felt insecure and out of place. I constantly measured myself against other girls. I didn’t realize how common those feelings were because I didn’t talk to anyone about them. I thought I had to put up a confident front, so I pretended I had it all together. I hid my true feelings by being loud, controlling of others, and acting overly self-assured. Today, these same qualities are celebrated in the media and society as what makes a beautiful and successful young woman. A lot of women in the spotlight are glamorized for having a “me-first” attitude without respecting themselves or others. There are a lot of wonderful role models out there for girls, but they are overshadowed and outshined by the negative ones. My passion for connecting girls with biblical heroes comes from a desire for them to see examples of real women whose inner beauty was used by God for a mighty purpose.  
Why did you decide to write this series?
In 2007 I was 26, and I was diagnosed with cancer. The disease was extensive, and the road to recovery was terrifying and unknown. Like the “tough” girl I was, I put my head down and tried to handle the emotional weight of it on my own. I thought that I was being strong by not leaning on anyone,  but I suddenly realized that I couldn’t get through it alone. I had walked away from God years earlier, but I had finally hit my breaking point.
Since that time, the cancer has come back again and again and again. Four more times, and I’m still here. I know it is because God has called me to battle back against the feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, and judgment that affect so many young girls. They need to know that they are wonderfully made, that they are loved, and that their lives are worth much more than at times they will think.
Cancer was a complete shock to me, but it was the best blessing. It was the beginning of the softening of my heart. After that, God kept the surprises coming. I met my husband, we were married, and now we have a daughter. A miracle baby. Being a mother was something I had convinced myself was impossible because of my history, but God’s plans were bigger and better than I ever imagined.
The struggle to be perfect and to have it all together will be as real for my daughter as it was for me. How will she learn what real beauty is and feel secure and confident in her own skin? How can I teach her what she needs to know so she can become who she is meant to be? I don’t want to lose my girl to this world and what it will tell her. I want to doing something that will connect her and other girls with real heroes so they can learn their own value and carry it with them for the rest of their lives.
To read the whole story of how it all began, click here.
Tell us about Bible Belles. The first book being released is based on the story of Hannah. What other women are you highlighting in the series?
Bible Belles is a series based on five superhero women of the Bible: Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah. HEARD. These women were extraordinary because they made a different kind of noise than the noise of today’s world. Today, the girls who are loud, rude, and obsessed with outer beauty are the ones a lot of girls look up to and try to act like. The Bible Belles series is a new way for girls to celebrate the qualities that make up a truly beautiful woman: prayer, patience, bravery, loyalty, and leadership. These five women represent the journey a young girl can take to understand God’s love and to be someone whose beauty isn’t measured by society’s standards. They symbolize the transformation of a girl who learns to see true beauty in herself and in others.
The series is framed by our fictional main character: Rooney Cruz. She’s a modern day girl who struggles with regular problems. In each story, she has an “up close and personal” interaction with each Bible Belle by looking in on her life and then applying what she learns to her own. This allows the reader to understand the personal connection between biblical teaching and meaningful application to her own life.
Why is it important for you to help girls make a connection to heroes in the Bible and to the heroes in their own hearts?
There’s no question that the stories of women are not the ones predominantly taught in church, and this extends into children’s ministry programs and Sunday School as well. There is a missing relationship between young girls and the female heroes of the Bible. Girls are in desperate need of positive female role models, and telling these stories in a new way will allow girls to make real connections to the love God has for each of them and the powers they have been gifted in order to live lives in real love and with real purpose.
I think about my own daughter. Growing up, I struggled to find my own identity, and I made a lot of mistakes searching for it in the wrong places. I want to be able to help and support her as she grows into her own mind and discovers her heart and the person she was created to be.
Is there anything else out there like Bible Belles for girls ages 6-10?
The majority of books available today that focus on biblical women are compilations of most or every woman found in the Bible. These titles provide a solid overview of these women, their lives, and their lessons as a third person narrative. However, these women deserve their own, individual stories to be told, to be lifted up and celebrated for who they were and how God used them. For a young girl, making a real-life connection to a story requires a genuine emotional investment. Bible Belles uses the framework of conventional storytelling as well as the historical biblical narrative to create a way for young readers to experience each story, not simply hear it.  
How did you find your illustrator for Bible Belles?
Our illustrator is Rob Corley. We were introduced to Rob by another fellow children’s author, the fabulous Amy Parker. Rob and Amy had worked together on Firebird, the featured book in the movie Unconditional. Rob is a former Disney Feature Animator whose resume includes work on such films as Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch and more. When Rob joined us, we were thrilled. He is amazingly talented, and his beautiful artistry has helped us to create a series of the highest artistic quality.  
When can we expect the next book in the series to release?
The second book in the Bible Belles series, Esther: The Belle of Patience, is set to release in 2016.

September 10, 2015

Love Takes the Cake {Betsy St. Amant}

ting's mom books love takes the cake
She’s known for her delicious cakes, but there’s no recipe for dealing with the new man in her life.

Charlotte owns the best bakery in Louisiana, and clients come from near and far for her renowned wedding cakes. And while the wedding scene is Charlotte’s place to shine, her own love life is more dull than ever. After a string of failed relationships—and men who actually were too good to be true—she has decided to throw herself into her craft and leave love and marriage to her clients.

Will is a successful entrepreneur but devotes much of his spare time to caring for his ill mother. He knows he doesn't have much time left with her, so he has done everything he can to guard his heart from relationships. And what girl would understand that he needs to spend all his time with his mother? But when his best friend calls in his help for his September wedding, Will can’t refuse. He's always been there for those closest to him. And when he finds out they don’t have a wedding cake yet, he knows exactly where to go—the bakery owned by the beautiful, mysterious young woman he buys treats from.

Charlotte assumes Will is just another party boy who flirts with all the bridesmaids. But is Will hiding something that explains his behavior? And despite their reservations, will they be able to deny the chemistry between them?

My Thoughts:
I became an instant fan of Betsy St. Amant after reading her first two books, and I was so excited to see her name on the roster for the ‘Year of Weddings 2’ series. In Love Takes the Cake, we get to see more of her delicious creations and watch a love story unfold at the same time.

Charlotte and Will both have a very painful past, and they are both doing all in their power to avoid relationships. Both have someone they are committed to caring for in their life and feel there is no room for a relationship that will only get them hurt.

I loved the moment these two realized they had mutual feelings for each other. But of course, forming their relationship wouldn’t be easy. As each of them struggles through the pain of their past, and the commitments of their present, we get to see such a sweet story of letting go and learning about trust.

The relationship between Charlotte and Will is so real and so sweet. I’m rooting for them to have a wonderful future together. And I’m really wishing some of the creations in Charlotte’s bakery would show up at my door step!

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

September 9, 2015

Wee Read Wednesday ~ Hannah: The Belle of Prayer {Erin Weidemann}

hannah the belle of prayer erin weidemann
Meet Rooney Cruz. In Book One of the Bible Belles series, she isn't exactly having a great day. Facing the girls on the playground is never easy and, oh, that mud puddle! Just when she begins to think things are hopeless, an angel appears and reveals a shocking truth: superheroes are real, and Rooney's one of them!

Through the story of Hannah, Rooney begins a journey that will change her life forever as she uncovers her first secret superpower: the Power of Prayer.

Travel with Rooney on the first of many exciting and meaningful adventures that will teach her about God's love and transform her into the greatest superhero of all: a Bible Belle!

My Thoughts:
Meet Rooney! She's in elementary school, and she gets picked on. Sounds like every elementary girl I know, huh? Even thought Ting is only in first grade, we've already had those days when her best friends are her worst enemies.

rooney cruz

I was only about four pages into this book when I fell in love with Rooney, and where this story was heading. Turns out Rooney has a real life angel looking out for her, and her angel took her to meet Hannah.

I think the story of Hannah and her deep desire to be a mom might be one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Hannah wanted a baby so badly, and she completely gave her heart to God as she begged Him to make her a mother. Turns out God can hear us when we pray to Him, and He's willing to answer prayers for us as well!

Once Rooney discovered the power of prayer, her outlook on life turned completely around. I love that Rooney can be a role model for my daughter, and that I can use her story to teach Ting about the power of prayer. I can teach her to to talk to God no matter the subject, and regardless of her surroundings. I can teach her that God is listening.

meet the bible belles hannah the belle of prayer

Ting has also become a fan of Rooney - all forty million times that she has read this book, ha! I would say that the Bible Belles are a winner at our house. We are eagerly awaiting the story of Ester that will be out in 2016.

Until then, click here and grab your own copy of Hannah: The Belle of Prayer (and maybe one of those bracelets that Ting has been wearing for a few weeks now). I promise you will love it; and so will your daughters.

Erin is an enthusiastic and goofy mom to two children, one of them with paws. She is a wife, teacher, former college athlete, and a five time cancer survivor. Her heart is in Seville, Spain, though she calls Encinitas, CA home. In her spare time she enjoys going to the beach with her husband and daughter, coaching sports, and pretending she can bake. She loves eating, laughing, and volunteering at Sunday school. Alongside her husband, she is the co-founder of Bible Belles.

Be sure and come back to the blog on Saturday for a special installment - a little Q&A with Bible Belles author, Erin Weidemann!!

September 3, 2015

In Good Company {Jen Turano}

ting's mom books in good company historical romance
After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren't always well received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position.

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he’s desperate for competent childcare.

At wit’s end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance–with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children’s parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

My Thoughts:
This is one of my favorite time periods to read about, and this book was so much fun.

Millie is definitely not your typical woman of the late 1800s. She doesn’t seem to care too much about the “rules” that govern the different classes of people, and she tends to speak her mind whatever she is thinking. She is truly a bold and funny woman. Her heart for children is so touching, though. It is apparent that Millie cares deeply for every child that she is hired to care for. I can just see her running around the yard and getting dirty with the kids. She seems like she would be a fun nanny.

When this book started, I really didn’t care for Everett too much. He was so concerned with his social standing and trying to be proper within his social class. His girlfriend is all caught up in making sure they hit every social event during the season and putting on the perfect impression – she is perfect for him.

As Everett and Millie began to get closer, I really like the person that Everett becomes. He cares less about his social standing and really starts following his heart. Although everyone thinks he is crazy, he becomes less afraid to go after what he wants.

I enjoyed this book so much. I laughed out loud so many times. And found myself wishing I could be real life friends with Millie. This is definitely a book that you need in your library.

Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She pursued a career in management for nine years before switching to full-time motherhood after the birth of her son. When she's not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a good book. She lives in suburban Denver, Colorado. Learn more at