Book Review: Motherless

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:45 PM

Friday, November 28, 2014

Guilt may be the most dangerous motive of all.

On a rainy night seventeen years after his wife's presumed suicide, Garrett Becker sees her walking down the street. A car accident snatches him away from this world before he can reach her.

Marina has spent her whole life mothering her brother, who suffers from an anxiety disorder. After their father's accident, they face losing their home--the only place Dylan's fears are held at bay.

Crushing debt is just one of their father's secrets. Old keepsakes lead Dylan to believe their mother is alive and lives nearby. Sara Rochester is a successful chocolatier who doesn't dwell on her past and never expected the resurrection of its ghosts. But after Dylan confronts her, Sara consents to parent the only way she knows how: with money, chocolate, and a gross deficit of experience.

Sara's hesitant presence divides Marina and Dylan. Marina doesn't believe that Sara is their mother. The woman's paper-thin lies suggest she might even be responsible for their mother's death. When Marina's suspicions spark an investigation, no one is prepared for the tragic truth or the powerful redemption that Marina's actions expose.

Narrated by a storyteller with more to lose than any other character, Motherless is a richly layered mystery about the power of perception--and deception--among people seeking forgiveness for irreversible sins.

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I'm not sure what drew me to this book. Honestly, it's not usually the sort of book I'd be drawn to, yet somehow I was. Then, I put off reading it because I couldn't figure out why I'd chosen it. Yesterday, bundled up in blankets against the cold, I decided I was going to give it a go. I'm glad that I did. It kept me reading page after page. My only complaint is that about halfway through, the narrator changes and it took me a page or two to figure out that it had happened. Other than that, the story moved at a well paced speed, the characters were well developed and as a reader, you learned pieces of the puzzle as the children did which made you feel as if you were a part of the story.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Quilted By Christmas

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey. October’s QOL release is a warm Christmas tale of God's steadfast love.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th.

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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Two copies of Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (One for you and one to give away as a gift!)
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 17th at the Quilts of Love blog.

Wait! There's more! RSVP for the "Merry Quilted" Quilts of Love Christmas Book Chat Party on December 9th and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors. Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn will be hosting a "merry" evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on December 9th!

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

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Last night, I couldn't sleep. My heart was heavy with the knowledge that this year, I wouldn't have the finances to provide Christmas for my children. I tried reading another book, just to put it down a few chapters in because I just couldn't get involved in the story. I was about to give up when I spotted this book on my kindle. I'm so glad that I did. Something about this story touched me and when I was done, I closed my eyes and drifted right off to sleep. Maybe it's because I could relate to Taryn, having come from a background where I always felt I was easy to forget. I can say for certain that the writing helped draw me in. Another amazing book in what is turning out to be a wonderful series. If you have the chance to pick this one up, don't hesitate.


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Book Review: The Pizza Bible

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:01 PM

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A comprehensive guide to making pizza, covering nine different regional styles--including standards like Neopolitan, Roman, and Chicago, as well as renowned pizza sub-specialties like St. Louis and Californian--from chef, 11-time world Pizza Champion, and Guinness world record-holding pizza-spinner, Tony Gemignani.
Pizza is one of the world's most well-known and beloved foods, and everyone has their favorite style. In fact, devotion to one particular style is so ubiquitous that most pizza books only cover one or two varieties of pie. But for those who truly love pizza, there's no need to be monogamous. Pizza master Tony Gemignani brings pizza to the people in all its glorious forms, from Chicago deep dish to paper-thin Roman style. "The Pizza Bible" is the world's first guide to making all of the major pizza styles, filling a hole in the market and elevating the craft of making pizza to that of bread or charcuterie.

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Ever since I realized that you could make pizza at home, I've enjoyed experimenting with different styles and ingredients. So, when I saw that this book was available, I jumped at it. After all, this book probably holds the secrets to amazing pizza...The book itself is sturdy and doesn't come with a dust jacket, which I appreciated. In my kitchen, dust jackets end up torn and smudged because my cookbooks sit right on the counter where I'm cooking. The book includes sections on the science of pizza making and the importance of quality ingredients. That's about where the book lost me. There wasn't a single recipe in this book that I could try with the ingredients on hand. In fact, quite a few ingredients would have had to been custom ordered online because they're not ones that the average grocery store even carries. Did I mention that he insists you only cook on pizza stones and not one, but two and use a peel to move the pizzas in and out of the oven? For what it would have cost me to attempt a single recipe, I could have ordered pizza for my family multiple times.

So, here's my recommendation...if you want to become a professional pizza chef or have the time (the dough recipe alone takes three days!) and the money to experiment, absolutely buy this book. You're going to love it.  If you're a busy mom just looking for some new ideas for pizza night, this book isn't for you.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: A Dream of Home

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:23 PM

Monday, November 24, 2014

When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community—and a special man—who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.

Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiancĂ© a year ago—but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.

Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His six-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community—and married another man—but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.

But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they—and everybody else—have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?

About the Author

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.

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Last night, I couldn't quite fall asleep so I thought I would read for just a little bit. Three hundred and two pages later, I closed the book with a soft sigh and a wish that the next book was already out. It's authors like Amy Clipston that keep my love for Amish fiction alive. Her characters come alive and by the end of the book, it's like they're old friends. I really cannot say enough good things about this book. If you haven't read the others in the series, go and find them and then prepare yourself for a marathon reading session because once you start, you're not going to want to put them down.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Out of the Dust

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:30 AM

Friday, November 21, 2014



“Don’t waste your pain,” says unlikely missionary Avis Goodhart. She didn’t – and neither should you.


Despite a background of childhood abuse, dyslexia, and marital infidelity, Avis took her first international mission trip at age fifty. The church, school, and orphanage she later founded in northern Peru, all products of both her pain and her radical obedience to the Lord, have brought thousands of others out of the dust. This compelling story of an ordinary woman who serves God in extraordinary ways will challenge, inspire, and empower you to:


* Eliminate excuses from your life
* Recognize that in God’s kingdom, availability matters more than ability
* Allow your pain to produce – not prevent – your obedience
* Serve the Lord with the same abandon shown by one unlikely missionary

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As someone who doesn't consider themselves highly religious, I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this book. Imagine my surprise when I picked it up, started reading and didn't put it down again until I was done. I even tried to and failed! Avis' story is one that will draw you in, along with the fact that the book reads as if she's talking to a dear friend. Even if you don't consider yourself a Christian, I think that you could find this to be an inspiring read. Avis' life is amazing and so is her faith and her strength.

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Book Review: An October Bride

Posted by Katrina Roets at 3:57 PM

Thursday, November 20, 2014

She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time.
Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married-so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle.
While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications-the biggest being their true feelings for each other.
In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.
About the Author
Katie Ganshert graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her husband, their young son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she's not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption. Visit her website at katieganshert.com.
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Wow..this one really touched me. Having been in a similar situation, I understood Emma's motivation. Jake, on the other hand, surprised me with his offer. Thank goodness he had great reason to make it! This was one that made me laugh, it made me smile and at times had me thinking back over my own life. I am so glad that Emma found just what she needed, just when she needed it. Katie has an amazing gift for writing characters that you fall in love with and Emma, Jake and her family are no different. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read this novella..it just may be my favorite in the series.
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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: The Christmas Cat

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:23 PM

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.

Humorous and heartwarming, this latest Christmas story from bestselling author Melody Carlson is the perfect gift for pet lovers and anyone in whose heart Christmas holds a special place.

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As a cat lover, I couldn't turn down the chance to review this book and I'm so glad I didn't. This short tome had me smiling and giving my own cats some extra scritches. Poor Garrison with his allergies had me chuckling. I felt like he was the neighbor down the street, someone I knew and those cats, each with their own personality, made me smile because I know just how different each cat can be. As I'm writing this, my little diva is grumbling that one of the other cats dared come near her. After him being here for four years, she still grumbles at him. That's just how she is and each of the cats that Garrison must find homes for had their own personalities. If you'd like a short, holiday read, then this book is a must for your stacks. In fact, I think it'd made an awesome stocking stuffer for the cat lover in anyone's life.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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