Beyond the Silence

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Beyond-the-SilenceThe shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth.

Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love–or will it endanger her even more?

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this read!  It had mystery, clean romance, some humor, and some tear-jerking moments.  There were a splattering of scripture throughout, but it never felt forced to me or “preachy”.  There were various story lines/characters happening at the same time (Lillian with her grandfather, Lillian with Woody, Woody’s son, Harry a simple-minded brother, a murderous “good-for-nothing” brother…), which propelled me to keep reading.  Tracie Paterson is an author I’ve read a lot through the years, and I love her and the collaboration with Kimberley Woodhouse on this book.

To learn more and purchase a copy.

*as a Litfuse blogger, I was sent a copy of this book to facilitate this review.

A Son’s Vow

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A-Sons-ViewThree months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family.

Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

Shelley Shepard Gray’s first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.


My thoughts:  Amish fiction seems to be a “hot ticket” subcategory in Christian fiction these days.  I don’t know if it’s because the Amish intrigue us or because we long for a simpler way of life, but I appreciate that Gray shows that no matter what group you are a part of, trouble can, and does, find you.  I immediately felt for Darla, who lost her father to the fire that claimed 5 men of her community  Besides the grief of losing her father, she has to help provide for her family, plus deal with the scorn of members of the community who basically ostracize her and openly blame her family for the tragedy.  Not only that, but she also becomes the target for her brother’s anger.  I also felt for Lukas, who lost his father as well, and is trying to mend his and Darla’s relationship.  While I thought this was a good read, I wasn’t hooked and it wasn’t a book I will likely re-read.  But I still recommend it because there were themes throughout that are meaningful.

Click to learn more and purchase a copy.

*as a Litfuse blogger, a copy  of this book was provided to me to facilitate this review.


NKJV Study Bible Full Color Edition


Leave a CommentI’ve mostly reviewed Christian fiction books on this blog, and while I plan to continue to do so, I’m also going to be reviewing Bible on occasion.  Now of course I’m not actually reviewing the content of the Bible itself, but features, layout, ease of use, etc.  The NKJV Study Bible, the most […]

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New Year, New You…?


2 CommentsWell, Christmas and New Years came and went… and here we are halfway through January.  I’m not sure how that happened, but time never stands still, especially not when we want it to.  Do you have resolutions, goals, whatever you want to call them?  I picked out a word for myself to try to […]

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Cyber Mondaying It

2 CommentsA few deals I thought I’d share this Cyber Monday morning: Before doing any online shopping, I *always* check to see if the store is on Ebates.  It’s super easy, free, and who doesn’t want some cash back that can be combined with any other coupons or deals you find?  Yes, please! Plexus extended […]

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