Benjy and the Belsnickel by Bonnie Swinehart

The Belsnickel is coming… Dressed in black from head to toe. Porcupine quills in his hat. A whip in hand. And bells that jingle with every step.

About the book:

Benjy, a lovable eleven-year-old in the 1930s, just can’t seem to keep himself from pulling pranks and letting people down. His target is most often Miss Nettie, the schoolmarm at the one-room schoolhouse where he gets into more trouble than she’s willing to tolerate. Maybe he’s pulled one too many practical jokes…because everyone keeps telling him he’s going to get a visit from the Belsnickel.

Although Benjy believes the Belsnickel is just an old Pennsylvanian Dutch folktale told to scare kids into better behavior, deep down he fears the grim legend is real.

When the Belsnickel comes knocking, Benjy quickly learns he is no fable

My Thoughts:

Oh, what a fun story! I laughed out loud several times at the incorrigible antics of Benjy. Benjy has an active imagination and enjoys playing pranks. Often he finds himself in trouble. Benjy is like every precocious 11-year old boy; Full of energy and mischief.

I shared this story with my own son and he enjoyed it immensely.  We enjoyed laughing together at the trouble Benjy just couldn’t help but find himself getting into.

The ending of the story was especially fun, but I won’t ruin it for you! If you are looking for a wholesome, fun book for the middle school age child in your life, this is a book they are sure to enjoy!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

About the Author:

Product detail:
  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 6
  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: WhiteSpark Publishing (November 15, 2018)
  • Bonnie Swinehart (Author), Xoe E. White (Illustrator)

Cover Reveal – My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love by Amanda Barratt

I’m excited to be teaming up with Amanda Barratt today to share the cover reveal for her new book due to be released in June 2019.  Oh, I hear you, that is so very far away! While you wait, be sure to pop over to Goodreads and add the book to your “want to read” list!


In the face of the greatest evil, the cruelest dictator, a few brave men and women dared to resist. One of them was a German pastor and theologian. His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

To the Nazis, he was a traitor. To the 21st century church, he is a hero. To Maria Von Wedemeyer, he was simply Dietrich – the man she loved.

Based on detailed historical research, this is a true love story at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian…and the woman who changed his life.














Add to Goodreads List

Pre-order at Amazon

About the Author:

AmandaBarratt  Amanda Barratt is a historical romance author with two novellas releasing in 2015 with Barbour Publishing. She fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Since then, she’s penned novels set in Regency and Victorian England, and the Gilded Age.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters. Connect with Amanda at the following locations

Web Page // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter //


A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor #1) by Kristi Ann Hunter


When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed getting to know Graham and Kit. They are unique, well-written characters that won’t soon leave your imagination.  Graham has a fun sense of humor and a playful endearing quality that draws you in and makes you want to linger. Kit is more serious. She is determined and practical. She needs a little encouragement to let down her hair and laugh. Graham is just the man for the job.

Haven Manor is a hidden gem. A safe place of refuge for those who the elite of society has deemed unworthy, and has cast aside. Kristy Ann Hunter has given us a new series of Regency-era stories to enjoy. New characters to meet and a fresh look at an often hidden side of the Regency era.

While this story deals with the delicate subject matter of the seemingly rampant indiscretions of the nobility and elite class in Regency London, it is handled with grace and points toward the importance of trusting God.

With dynamic, original characters and a vivid setting, this delightful story is sure to not only entertain but to also leaves the reader with something to think about beyond the story itself. I give this story 4.5 stars and I eagerly anticipate the next stories in this new series.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:


About the Author:

KristyAnnHunter  Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

Grab your copy today!

A Search for Refuge (Haven Manor Novella)

  A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor #1)

  A Return of Devotion (Haven Manor #2)





First Line Fridays: River to Redemption

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart. This beautiful story is inspired by a true story. It is a story of faith and prayer. With fantastic characters that are sure to warm your heart. CLICK HERE to read my full review.



June 1833

          Adria Starr didn’t want her mother and little brother to stop breathing the way her father had. She wanted to take care of them.



Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle #1) by Kristy Cambron

Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.


A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother’s bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

My Thoughts:

The Lost Castle is brimming with emotion. Both intricate and detailed, this story is an adventure that you won’t soon forget! Kristy Cambron expertly weaves together three poignant stories into an elegant masterpiece that will tug at the heartstrings of even the most stoic reader.

Ellison (Ellie) Carver’s parents died when she was 11-years old, and she was raised by her Grandmother Viola. Now her Grandmother is slipping away, slowly losing her memories and Ellie longs to know more about “La Bell au bois dormant – The Sleeping Beauty”, a castle in France that seems to hold secrets her Grandmother can no longer remember. A journal, handwritten in French and a photo from June 5, 1944, are the only clues that Ellie has to go by. She feels compelled to travel to France to uncover the mystery that is locked behind the Alzheimer’s walls in her Grandmothers’ memory. Will she be able to discover the mystery of The Sleeping Beauty castle, or only find more unanswered questions?

I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite time period in the story. Every time the story progressed to another time jump, I would think “Oh, just a few more paragraphs, I’m not ready to move on.” However, within a few words, I was fully engaged and happy to be in that time setting.

If you are on the fence about reading a time-slip story with three different time periods, don’t let it hold you back from reading this amazingly well-written story. Just take a piece of advice and pay close attention to the date at each section, that way you can quickly know where you are in time. I’d also add, that you may wish to set aside time to enjoy this book because once you start, you won’t want to put it down!

With a robust theme of faith and a resilient hope for the future, this story is one that will linger with you long after you read the last words on the page. I give this story 5 stars and encourage you to find a copy of this wonderful book to enjoy for yourself.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:


About the Author:

KristyCambron  KRISTY CAMBRON has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. The Lost Castle (HarperCollins, series debut in 2018) is her fifth novel. Her first Bible studies (DVD + study guides), The Verse Mapping series, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University, and has 15 years experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She lovesstorytelling from the stage and travels to teach about the intersection of story roads, faith-following Jesus, and her affection for Bible Verse-Mapping. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

The last and most important thing? Jesus Christ is everything — let her tell you about Him sometime.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest


  The Lost Castle


Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

Reconnaissance, smuggling, resistance—words so romantic in fiction,
impossible and dangerous in life.


For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing–spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends–has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

My Thoughts:

Until We Find Home follows the story of a brave young American living in Paris at the start of World War 2. Claire is an aspiring writer and traveled to Paris to walk in the footsteps of some of the literary greats. As Hitler’s regime moves ever closer, it becomes apparent that they must do something to save as many Jewish children as they can. Claire agrees to lead a group of 5 children to the coast and help them onto a waiting boat that will take them to England. However, things don’t go as planned. Claire ends up traveling with the children to England and winds up being their guardian, a task that she feels ill-equipped to carry out.

Written with a lively cast of engaging characters, I found myself cheering for Claire and wishing I could step into the story and give her words of encouragement.  I often found myself irritated with a couple of the characters who would get upset at Claire for her lack of mothering skills, yet not offer her any sage advice. The amusing antics of the children brought a bolster of laughter and joy to a stressful and somewhat frightening period in history.

The setting for the story was perfect and so well written that I could easily picture walking the grounds myself. I explored an English Manor house, discovered a secret garden and was charmed by delightful literary characters.

Those who enjoy reading Historical Fiction set in the World War 2 era will be delighted with this story. I give Until We Find Home 4.5 stars and would encourage you to pick up a copy of your own to enjoy!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:



You can download sample chapter & discussion guide at Cathy’s web page (click here)

About the Author:

CathyGohlke  Cathy Gohlke is the three-time Christy Award–winning author of the best selling and critically acclaimed novels Secrets She Kept (Christy Award; INSPY Award); Saving Amelie (INSPY AWARD); Band of Sisters; Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2012); I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Christy Award, American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award and listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008) and William Henry Is a Fine Name (Christy Award).

Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their children and granddaughter. Visit with Cathy at the following:

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Pinterest //

  Until We Find Home



A Mother For His Family by: Susanne Dietze


Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.

All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth.
Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.

My Thoughts:

This delightful story captured my attention and imagination right from the start and kept me greedily turning pages late into the night. With charismatic characters and an engaging plot line, this story is one that you will want to make sure to read. The mystery behind the letters kept me guessing right until the end.

At the beginning, I found myself heart-sore for Helena, for her history and for how she felt lost and alone. As the story progressed I found myself cheering for her as she grew in confidence. She was misunderstood by her peers, and early on she had allowed the opinion of others and how they viewed her, to dictate how she saw herself. Given the opportunity to have a better circle of influence she grew and flourished. It was refreshing to watch her transformation.

What a fantastic hero we find in John. He has his shortcomings, but he also grows. He isn’t too proud or stubborn to admit when he is wrong. He is strong yet tender, he is firm yet kind. John is quite the swoon-worthy hero!

Often when we look back at history and think of the dazzling parties, the impressive mansions, and beautiful dresses worn by the wealthy. We often fail to consider what it would really be like to grow up in a home where your parents did not have an active role in raising you. Children were often closer to the nanny and the servants than to their parents. More often than not Marriages were arrangements agreed upon to make money, or to gain political power and standing. Love was often a foreign concept, often thought of as a fairytale.

I loved the tender message of God’s amazing love for us and the reminder that we are never alone. God loves us beyond our wildest imagination and is always with us. You can never stray too far away, that He isn’t there waiting for you with arms open wide.

If you enjoy sweet stories full of substance and emotion, then you won’t want to miss out on reading this book. I look forward to reading more stories from Susanne Dietze in the future and I give this fabulous story 5 stars. I encourage you to pick up a copy to enjoy at your earliest convenience.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:


About the Author:

13657688  Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the author of several historical romances who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her at:

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest


  A Mother for his Family (expected release Jan. 1, 2018)

   The Reluctant Guardian

First Line Fridays: A Wreath of Snow

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

This week I’m featuring one of my favorite Christmas Novella’s from a few years ago.
A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs.  A story of love, and forgiveness set in Victorian Scotland. This is a story that you’ll want to add to your collection and pull out to enjoy again. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading this story you can read my review by clicking here.


Stirling, Scotland
24, December 1894

In all her twenty-six years, Meg Campbell had never been this cold.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books


A Wreath of Snow


Whither Shall I Go? by Gina Holder

“I miss him too, Bitty, but God knows best. Someday you’ll see.
If only I could believe that…


In 1911, Ellie Williams struggles to see God’s hand in her life when she loses both parents and is sent to live with her wealthy, estranged aunt, who transforms her from awkward country bumpkin to socialite heiress. Six years later, she meets a young preacher and finds hope as they serve the Lord together.

Robert Hampton is deeply devoted to God and desires to take the gospel to the unreached natives of Brazil. He didn’t expect to fall in love. When he is drafted, Robert is torn between his duty as a soldier and his budding affections for Ellie. Will Robert survive the trenches? Will he lose the only woman he’s ever loved?

Ellie’s journey takes her from her home in Cades Cove, Tennessee, to the concrete jungle of New York City, and finally to the harsh unforgiving world of the Amazon River Basin, where she meets Paul, a doctor who’s lost his way, and Jack, a soldier with amnesia. Encountering anacondas, jaguars, and an antagonistic shaman, will Ellie give in to the fears that threaten to overwhelm her?

Or can she depend on God’s grace to bring about His will for her life?

My Thoughts:

Written with beautiful detail and word imagery, you are sure to enjoy this story of devotion and faith. I found it to be both realistic and heartfelt. While I may have not always fully agreed with some of the choices the characters made, it wasn’t outside the boundaries of reality.

Those who enjoy reading epic stories filled with vibrant details are sure to enjoy time spent immersed in the pages of this book. Journey with Ellie, Robert, Paul, and the other cast of characters as they bring this grand story to life. For me, there were a few areas that seemed to have almost too much detail, and subsequently, the story seemed to slow down there.

I appreciated how the author seamlessly wove into the story verses from the Bible in such a way that you felt the characters had written the word of God on their hearts, and it flowed out of them without hesitation.

I enjoyed reading this book and give it 3.5 stars. I look forward to reading more books written by Gina Holder in the future.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:


About the Author:

GinaHolder Gina Holder, who served alongside her parents on the mission field, now lives in Glasgow, Kentucky with her husband of 10 years, Daniel. Gina is a stay-at-home mother and homeschools their daughter, Lydia. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching movies, singing, and playing the piano.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter

  Whither Shall I Go?


First Line Fridays – The Outlaw’s Second Chance

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books. A special Thanksgiving edition of First Line Friday’s.

Today I’m happy to feature “The Outlaw’s Second Chance” by Angie Dicken. For those not familiar with this story you can see my review by clicking here.  This fun book features a Land Run, a scene taken right from the very pages of history! What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of The Land Run? Then you really need to read this wonderful book!



The Cherokee Strip
September 15, 1893

          Aubrey Huxley rushed over when her father shoved his boney finger against the customer’s shoulder.


Why is Aubrey’s father accosting a customer?
What will happen next?


Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books