Kelli Stuart’s ‘Like a River from Its Course’ Blog Tour and Kindle Prize Pack

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Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart’s new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli’s blog.

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About the book:

Like a River from Its Course (Kregel, June 2016)

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination
are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism.

Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:

I was excited to dig into this book – I enjoy reading historical fiction, especially WWII-era reads.  This is probably hands down the most gut-wrenching, moving, tragic, hope-filled, and grace-infused historical fiction book I have read in a very long time, perhaps ever.  I found myself sobbing at times, having to put the book down sooner than I really wanted just to process what had just happened, how human being could be so incredibly cruel.  Knowing these are based on true accounts really makes it hit home.  This is definitely not your feel-good summer beach read.  But it is a memorable read that for sure isn’t fluff and will get you to think about things that matter…. about anger and forgiveness, about depression and hope, about desperation and loving acceptance.

Fifteen years of research and interviews… this book definitely feels like it was a labor of love, a piece of Kelli’s heart went into this story I am sure.  You just can’t write a book like this without putting your whole heart and soul into it.

I’m totally gushing over this one, I know, but it deserves it.  It’s one of those books I will keep and let others borrow (but make sure they don’t forget to return 😉 )

When does Kelli’s next book come out??

*As a Litfuse blogger, I was sent a review copy of this book to review; however, all opinions are honest and unbiased.

Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder

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The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Harvest House, April 2016)

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

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

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I’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 comprehensive study Bible available, now in a full-color edition with added features! The acclaimed NKJV Study Bible is the most complete study system for all who desire accurate study in God’s Word. The Second Edition includes more features to make it the best all-purpose study Bible. Using the trusted New King James Version, The NKJV Study Bible has “the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor.” Nelson’s skilled team of scholars has produced the system to reach for when study in God’s Word is the goal.

Features include:

  • NEW attractive full-color page design
  • NEW stunning Bible-land photos and graphics
  • NEW in-text maps and charts
  • Full cross-references with textual notes
  • Word studies and indexes
  • Bible Times and Culture Notes
  • Book introductions, outlines, and timelines
  • Reader-friendly notes and articles ideal for extended study
  • Deluxe NKJV Concordance including proper names

So what do I think of this Bible?  I would give it 4.5/5 stars.  I love the full color – something really unique.  It sets it apart from most other study Bibles, and makes it more engaging.  One of my favorite features is the historical and cultural tidbits shared, all of the photos/graphics.  Like any good study Bible, it has cross-references, maps, and indexes.

The font is very readable – not large print, but not at all tiny or hard to read.  The paper is a decent thickness I’d say for most people (unless you are a heavy highlighter/journaler).

The size of this Bible is very big – which in my mind isn’t a pro or a con, one just needs to be aware of it.  It’s big and heavy, and would make a nice family Bible or a great study Bible to gift to a friend or family member, whether they’re new to the Bible or not.  It’s a gorgeous Bible and will encourage you to actually read it (the most important thing about a Bible – the scripture itself).

*I was sent this Bible for review from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.