Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar

Harvest of Rubies was the first book I had read by Tessa Afshar.

Harvest of Gold picks up with some of the same characters. No longer a scribe, Sarah is married and a friend of the Queen. Sarah and her husband Darius, are trying to understand their relationship. Sarah would like a baby, (that is good because she is with child and didn't know yet!) but now they need to travel. She is afraid to tell her husband yet, her relationship with Darius feels very touch and go - married or not! After all, arranged marriages don't always have true love, and just because you are married doesn't mean you have a marriage. Darius is proud, and often stand-offish towards his wife, and yet he is drawn to her on every level. Will being with Nehemiah change his heart and his mind, or is Sarah in for a long unhappy relationship?
Love does NOT make a man weak. It makes him stronger than most men, but only if he can figure it out in time before he looses his wife's heart.

Relationships are being built while Nehemiah works on building Jerusalem's walls. (For those who didn't read the last book, our fictional but very wonderful Sarah is a cousin to the prophet Nehemiah.)
This story is in both Persia and Jerusalem, and we get lots of daily life and activities brought to life for us to enjoy. Restoration, Grace, forgiveness, patience, all are inter-wound. Like the other book there is a lot going in, including some plans for a certain person's assassination! The outcome is going to depend on hearts turned toward, and tuned into God.

Carol :)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

Harvest of Gold

River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)


Tessa Afshar


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life.  She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently.  Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School.  She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.


The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

Tessa can be reached through the Contact link on her Website 

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Harvest of Gold, go HERE.

The book link is: 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Big Year for Lily by Suzanne Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger (Book Three - Adventures Of Lily Lapp)

This is the third book in this delightful series. 
First - Life With Lily
Second - A New Home For Lily
And now we reach this review, for the third book - A Big Year For Lily

Lily is about to be ten! That is a big time for an Amish girl, she gets to take her first step towards being a woman, growing up! But before Lily can get to ten years old, she has lots of challenges occurring  Someone is swapping out her lunch items, and Teacher Rhonda things she could be a sandwich thief  Yes, that is truly awful! No good Amish girl would swap out lunches with out asking someone, and while Lily's lunch might not be all she wants it to be, she wouldn't do that. How can she clear her name? 

So very much to do when you are the oldest and only girl in a family. Floors to wax, bats to get away from, little brothers to take care of, or avoid. Effe who keeps tormenting her at school, and Arron Yoder - he is still mean and does the most discussing things, but it seems that Cousin Hannah is smitten with him. That is just about unbearable. How will Lily make it through this? 

You just have to read this book, because it is too much fun and a wonderful third book in this series. I'm waiting for the 4th book! 

Carol :) 

About the Book:

Lily Lapp’s family has settled into their new home in Pennsylvania, but life still holds big changes and big steps for Lily. Good changes, like once again living close to her beloved cousin and best friend, Hannah. Bad changes, like a mean girl who plays tricks on her. And no change at all where Lily would most want one–Aaron Yoder sits near her in school and relentlessly teases her. Surprises are in store for Lily as she learns, with Mama and Papa’s help, to manage the ups and downs of growing up Amish.
The third of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, A Big Year for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish–and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines Mary Ann Kinsinger’s real-life stories of growing up Amish and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With charming line drawings in each book, this series captures the hearts of readers young and old.
Get ready for more fun and friendship with Lily! 
Every day brings new adventures for Lily! With cousin Hannah at her side, life is filled with surprises--including a rotten school trick played on her by Effie Kauffman and a surprising change of heart in the worst boy imaginable, Aaron Yoder. But tears turn to laughter as Lily turns ten, wears grown-up clothes, sits with her friends at church . . . and turns the tables on Effie.

You'll adore this tale of love, laughter, forgiveness, and ties that bind an Amish family together.

Now...time for the Giveaways! Lily is giving away an iPad Adventure pack and several special hand-picked-by-Lily goodies during the A BIG YEAR FOR LILY GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA! Click the button for more details.

A Big Year for Lily Suzanne Woods Fisher Mary Ann Kinsinger  

About the Authors:

Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days, and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to pass on her warm childhood memories to her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog Amish America and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The ChoiceThe WaitingThe SearchA Lancaster County Christmas, The Keeper, and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom, which boasts 15,000 downloads a month, and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking; Such magazines. She lives in California. Find out more

The book link is:

Available July 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dolled Up To Die by Lorena McCourtney (The Cate Kinkaid Files Series)

I really enjoyed Dying To Read. Dolled Up To Die  is the second book in this series. Cate Kinkaid is now an assistant PI, working for her Uncle. Cate's cat, Octavia, she inherited from the first book is trying to help her, but cats aren't helpful with all things, or always in ways we need them to be.

She can't carry a gun yet, but she can file reports, work on subpoenas, and wind up smack in the middle of a murder investigation! All she did was try to go rescue a lady who said there was a triple murder, but that the police wouldn't come help. Arriving at the scene, the victims are elaborate life like dolls. Jo-Jo, their creator has put so much work into them, having them shot and be-headed in her own home is extremely hard on her. Jo-Jo is suspecting her ex-husband or his new wife or Mother-In-Law of this crime. Just as the police finally do show up, and Cate's boyfriend arrives to be her back up, Jo-Jo and Cate find her ex-husband's body in the back bedroom! Well it is on from there!

Cate has a whole list of suspects that are growing, and motives are anywhere from clear, to very murky, a complication that she and Mitch are falling in love, a wedding she was asked to be a Bride's Maid in because someone else couldn't, and a killer on the loose. She is going to have to pray and work her way though this very carefully, and with a good bit of help if she is going to solve this case and find out who is destroying Jo-Jo's dolls and killing people.

Another really good read. I'm really enjoying this series!
Carol :)

About The Book:

Cate's not sure just what she expected . . . but she knows it certainly wasn't this.
When Cate Kinkaid receives a frantic call about a triple homicide, she drives to the scene against her better judgment--aren't triple homicides more up the police department's alley?--only to find that the victims are not quite who she expects. Now she has a new rule to add to everything she's learned in her short stint as an assistant private investigator: always find out if the victims have human DNA. Because these three do not.

But who would shoot this nice lady's dolls? What possible reason could the shooter have? And then there's the startling discovery of another victim, who definitely does have human DNA . . .

With tension that is matched only by humor, Dolled Up to Die is the exciting second book in Lorena McCourtney's Cate Kinkaid Files. You won't find a place to stop and take a breath in this fast-paced story.

About the Author - Excerpts from her web site: 

My husband and I live in southern Oregon. 

I have one son and a granddaughter. Jim has two daughters and three grandchildren. Our family is fairly well scattered, so we do not see them as often as we’d like.

I started writing in the fifth grade. All my stories were about horses. This love of horses carried me through a degree in agriculture from Washington State University. My first job out of college, however, was with a big meat-packing company in the Midwest, where I quickly discovered that writing about hogs and sausage making was not my life’s calling.

Marriage and motherhood intervened, and by the time I got back to writing, I knew fiction was what I wanted to write. I started out doing short stories for children and teenagers, mostly for Sunday-School publications. Then, primarily because of financial pressures, I wrote women’s short stories and romance novels, all the time promising the Lord I would get back to Christian writing. Finally, after 24 published romance novels, the Lord made plain that it was time to make good on that promise. It was time to become a Christian author and write exclusively Christian fiction. The first 6 of these books were with the Palisades line of Christian romance, but with my 7th book of Christian fiction, WHIRLPOOL, I turned to a stronger emphasis on mystery.

One of the nicest perks of being a Christian author is hearing from readers, and I’d be delighted to hear from any of you. Contact me at
Her web site:

The book link is:

Available July 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.