Book Review: Through the Deep Waters

Through the Deep Waters
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer

I’m a big fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s works of historical fiction, I really enjoy the fact that she bases the stories around actual places and events. It makes the story so much more meaningful and interesting. Kim’s latest novel, Through the Deep Waters, is no different.

Born to a prostitute in a Chicago brothel, Dinah Hubley has lived a life full of secrets and shame. Determined to escape her past, Dinah sets her eyes on becoming one of the world famous Harvey girls, waiting tables at a fancy restaurant. When she’s just seventeen, and a bit too young to become a Harvey Girl, Dinah’s mother passes away leaving her to find her own way through life. In an effort to get her foot in the door with the Harvey company, Dinah takes on a job as a chambermaid for the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas.

Life at the Clifton offers Dinah a life she never expected, full of friends and the prospect of love, but Dinah can’t seem to get over her past so that she can embrace her future. While working at the Clifton, Dinah meets a young man named Amos who takes an interest in her.  Soon after the two begin courting Dinah’s past is thrown right into her face in the form of a sleazy businessman who becomes a customer at the Clifton. Just when she thinks her life is beginning to work out, it all starts spiraling downward. Will Dinah find the forgiveness and restoration she so desperately desires?

I’ve yet to find a book by Kim Vogel Sawyer that I didn’t enjoy reading, but I think this is one of my favorite books by her. I found myself lost in Dinah’s story, cheering for her when it looked like her world was crashing down. The love story of Dinah and Amos is beautifully crafted, despite its ups and downs. If you’re a fan of Christian historical fiction, you need to get your hands on a copy of this book.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.


Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Raw Faith

Raw Faith
by
Kasey Van Norman

After a string of hard times, Kasey Van Norman’s life felt like it was back on track, like she was getting a new beginning. Kasey and her husband were starting life over in a new town, on the precipice of some exciting ministry opportunities when it all came crashing down.  During an emergency hysterectomy, doctors discovered a cancerous mass in Kasey’s abdomen. She was told that her type of cancer was incurable and was given around 5 years to live. Throughout this struggle, including a prescription for 8 chemotherapy treatments, Kasey was forced to decide if she believed her own message of God’s love. Raw Faith consists of bits and pieces of Kasey’s story, including journal entries, as well as stories from the Bible that tell of times when those biblical heroes we know and love had to come to grips with their own faith – a raw faith. Through it all, Kasey opens the readers eye to the ever faithful God we serve and how to embrace life with raw faith even when our circumstances seem to make that unbearable.

Kasey has an amazing story to share and I enjoyed getting a glimpse into her life and her relationship with Christ. Much like her previous book, Named By God,  I wished that she’d have shared a little bit more of her story. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading this book and was challenged to live a life of raw faith, but I really wish I could get to know Kasey a little better through her books. I’m sure there is so much more to her story than she had space to share in the book. That being said, I really appreciate Kasey’s honesty in Raw Faith, she wasn’t afraid to share her struggles and what she was really thinking during her illness. It’s written in a super relatable way, it tackled some deep issues but it wasn’t hard to read.

There is a Bible study guide that goes along with this book, I think it would be an amazing study to share with a group of women.  Check out the following trailer to learn more about Kasey Van Norman’s latest book.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.


Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Murder Simply Brewed

Murder Simply Brewed
by
Vanetta Chapman

After the sudden death of Amish Artisan Village coffee shop manager, Ethan, two unlikely forces come together to investigate. While the death has been ruled a natural death, Amber Wright and Hannah Troyer suspect that it’s more than that. Amber, manager of the Amish Artisan Village, hires Hannah to take over Ethan’s job as coffee shop manager. As the days go by, Amber and Hannah start to see signs that point to Ethan’s death being a murder and begin some investigating of their own. What they find is surprising and even suggests that Ethan may have suspected what was coming his way. When they enlist the help of their friends Tate and Jesse, they begin to find the answers they were seeking. That might not be all they find though, after spending large amounts of time with Tate and Jesse, they just might find some feelings they didn’t know they had buried deep down inside.

I’ve read Amish mysteries and regular mysteries, but this is the first I’ve read that combines the Amish and Englischer worlds in a mystery novel. It was interesting because it didn’t read like a traditional Amish fiction novel, nor did it read quite like a traditional mystery – it was an amazing blend of both. This book did a good job of keeping me guessing about what would happen next, but I guess that’s easy to do when working with some of the crazy characters introduced in the story. I really enjoyed reading this book, it’s another great story by Vanetta Chapman.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.


Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

IT HAD TO BE YOU $100 Visa Giveaway from @SusanMayWarren!

Susan May Warren is celebrating the release of her newest Christiansen Family novel, It Had To Be You, with a $100 Visa cash card giveaway and offering readers a free book club kit.

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One winner will receive:

  • $100 Visa cash card
  • Take a Chance on Me and It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 29th. Winner will be announced April 1st on Susan’s blog. Also, visit her website to learn more about the It Had To Be You backstory and Susan’s free book club kit.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Susan’s blog on April 1st to see if you won.

Book Review: It Had to be You

This review is part of a blog tour.  To see what others are saying about the book, click here

It Had to be You
by
Susan May Warren

This second book of the Christiansen Family series finds us catching up with Owen and Eden Christiansen. Owen is an NHL rookie, having recently signed with a team out of Minneapolis, and Eden is writing obits for a local paper – still chasing her dream of becoming a reporter. For some reason, however, Eden feels that her priority is being Owen’s biggest cheerleader and keeping him out of trouble when his newfound wealth and fame get the better of him. She’s quickly forgetting who she is since keeping up with Owen’s antics seems to be a full time job.

Enter Jace Jacobsen, a longtime NHL player whose claim to fame is his aggression – both on and off the ice.  With his health failing due to years of such aggressive playing, he’s faced with an uncertain future, unsure of whether he even wants to stay in the NHL. And now he’s got the big sister of his team’s newest hot shot breathing down his neck, urging him to be a mentor to her brother – Owen Christiansen. Neither Owen nor Jace really want much to do with each other, but Eden is persistent.

When Owen’s recklessness leads to an injury that is potentially career ending, Jace and Eden are thrown into a situation where they have to work together even though they can’t stand each other. But the more time they spend together, the more they begin to realize that they’re falling for each other whether they like it or not. And slowly, Owen begins to come around as well.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Susan May Warren, but I loved finding myself back in Deep Haven again. Actually, when I finished this book, I didn’t want to leave Deep Haven so I picked up a couple more of her books to read. As I started reading It Had to be You, I was quickly caught up in the story and couldn’t wait to see how it worked itself out. I enjoyed getting another glimpse into the life of the Christiansen family and watching how their relationships evolved. I even enjoyed getting to know Jace Jacobsen, even though I didn’t really care for his character at first. Warren has a way of writing that really makes readers feel like they could be sitting across the table sharing a meal with the characters and this book is no different. I can’t wait until the next book in the series comes out and I’m able to see what the rest of the family is up, plus I’d also love to see what Jace and Eden are up to now.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of It Had to be You, click here.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: A Stillness of Chimes

A Stillness of Chimes
by
Meg Moseley

While back in her hometown of Prospect, Georgia to settle her late mother’s affairs, Laura Gantt comes face to face with the past in more ways than one. Not only does she have to face Sean, an ex-boyfriend she left behind when she moved to Colorado, she is also faced with rumors regarding her father who died 12 years ago. Rumors travel fast in a small town and the rumor that her father faked his death and is now back in town is traveling at light speed. Laura must deal with this news as well as figuring out where her relationship with Sean stands. What really happened 12 years ago and even years before that? Do her mother’s journals hold the information she’s looking for? Will all that she finds change the way she feels about her father and the memories she has of him?

This book was intense! It’s been a long time since I’ve read an entire book in on day, but I just couldn’t put this book down. I stayed up until 1:00 am to finish it…boy did I regret that the next day! Haha! I loved the way the story was written, it really drew me in and kept me turning pages. I really enjoyed reading the story and I felt like most of it was wrapped up well; it didn’t leave me feeling like there was more to the story when I’d finished the book. I didn’t agree with some of the ethical decisions some of the characters made near the end of the book, but it didn’t ruin the books for me. This is the first of Meg’s books that I’ve read, but if they’re anywhere near as well written as this one, I’m sure I’d enjoy reading others.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy
by
Kim Vogel Sawyer

After an incident involving a fellow investigator, Caroline Lang is sent to the Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas to do some investigation of her own. Undercover as “Carrie”, she takes on a job at the factory in hopes she can uncover the truth about what really happened while at the same time checking on how the factory treats the children that work there. While working she meets Ollie Moore, whose real name is Oliver Dinsmore – heir to the chocolate factory. The two become fast friends while helping three children in need and even start to fall for one another, but things change fast when they discover each other’s secrets.

This book had me at chocolate….haha.  I also really enjoy reading books by Kim Vogel Sawyer; her stories are well written and very entertaining. Not long ago I’d have turned my nose up at historical fiction becauseI found it to be boring and hard to relate to, but authors like Vogel Sawyer and others have changed my mind. This book was very interesting and fun to read.  The characters were easy to relate to and the writing really makes the reader feel like they’re a part of the story.  I found it very easy to craft the town of Sinclair in my imagination given the descriptions and interactions between characters. The only bad thing about this book was the fact that it made me crave chocolate even more than I usually do. :)

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.