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Courage. You either have it or you don’t. It’s not easy to work through your fears and pluck up the courage to achieve the things that your heart desires.

Fear keeps us from reaching our true potential by stagnating our growth and robbing us of our voice.  When we are crippled by fear, we are unable to move forward professionally, spiritually, or personally.

If the voice of fear whispers in your ear that you are not good enough and you completely shut down, you become the thing you fear.  How can one be “good enough” if they’re frozen and fail to act?  We all have the potential to be good. Some have the potential to be great. You will be neither good nor great if you do nothing.

As scary as it is, to be good at something, you have to take chances. You should use logic to come to a reasonable course of action and then follow through.  If that course of action is wrong, then you deal with the consequences and learn from it. Let your mistakes teach you instead of letting them break you.

Don’t wait for the “I believe in you.”  Whisper to yourself, “I believe in me.”  If you tell yourself this enough times, eventually you’ll believe it.  Remember, courage doesn’t mean that you do not have fear. It means that you do not let that fear hold you back.

“Sometimes, making the wrong choice is better than making no choice. You have the courage to go forward, that is rare. A person who stands at the fork, unable to pick, will never get anywhere.”

Terry Goodkind, Wizard’s First Rule

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People are often unable to be truthful with themselves. Their low self-esteem and lack of self-worth make them pretty darn good at blaming everyone else for their own lack of success.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard things like, “I didn’t get the job, they didn’t see my worth.” Amongst other bloggers, I often hear,  “I followed someone on social media and they didn’t follow me back. They’re just jealous of me.”

Take a really close listen to yourself. These kinds of lies that you tell yourself place your success on the shoulders of others. Truly successful people don’t beg for followers. They live lives worth following. Successful bloggers don’t beg for followers. They tell stories worth being heard.

When you lie to yourself about your perceived importance, you’re missing the opportunity to put your best foot forward.   Every single day of life is a new opportunity to shine. Put out new content that WOWs. Make people want to follow you, not because you followed them. Make them follow you because they LIKE you. Make them want to follow you because you’re being your beautiful, authentic self.

Don’t place your value on how many followers you have on your blog or social media. I truly don’t care anymore. Why? Because I’m happy. I’m truly happy. I’m living my dream. I have a great job that I’m really good at. I have an amazing relationship with my husband. My kids are amazing. I decided to be the me that I always wanted to be.  You know what? I’m rocking it.

I’m not going to pretend to have it all together or that I’m exactly where I want to be in life. However, I’m a heck of a lot closer than I was a year ago.  You can be there too. Have faith. Stop measuring your self-worth by what others think of you and start being the person YOU want to be.  Be the person YOU would want to follow. That is when people sit up and take notice.

A strongpositive selfimage is the best possible preparation for success.” Joyce Brothers.

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The number one rule to blogging is to never admit an absence. It’s just not smart to point out that you’ve been missing. It makes people consider you inconsistent and a blogger not worth spending time on.

I’m breaking that rule. Throwing etiquette and blog-smarts to the wind and pointing out my long break from blogging. I’m baring my soul…not so much for my followers but for myself.

I’m proud of myself. There, I said it. Maybe it’s wrong. Pride is sinful. I can only hope that the pride I feel in myself is not. I’ve never had the best self-esteem. I don’t feel smart or good enough. I’ve always measured myself against the greats in life and felt so minute compared to their knowledge and wisdom.

In June of 2018, I returned to the workforce for the first time in 18 years. I applied for and was hired to work remote for a great company. I’m able to stay home but working 40 hours a week as an aromatherapist for Plant Therapy. I became a certified aromatherapist for this job. I took this class that I had to do case studies and write a research paper for. I learned about chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. All the while, I worried that I wasn’t good enough. What if my paper wasn’t good enough? What if I failed my case studies? Guess what? I didn’t. I passed and did so with flying colors.

I’m not bragging on myself when I say that I received glowing reviews on my studies. I went above what was asked by mapping out essential oils and their chemical constituents for every single study. I proved to myself that I can do this. I’ve got it.

I’m still not as smart as I want to be. I never want to reach a point where I think I’m too smart to learn. What I proved to myself is that I am smart enough to keep learning.

I know my weaknesses. I’m scared. I don’t like talking in public. I’m afraid of rejection. I’m vulnerable. For the first time in my life…I’m okay with that.

This job has taught me that it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to let people in. It’s okay to admit I don’t know something. It’s okay to admit when I do.

To quote a favorite author, “Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.” I’m trying. I’m letting myself give my heart a little more to my husband. I’m letting myself fall into a kind of love I never knew as possible. It’s exciting and terrifying. He infuriates me sometimes and during those times, I want to clam up and hide away the parts of myself that I’ve always kept hidden. I’m learning not to. I’ve fallen into the kind of love that will leave me devastated if anything ever happens. I gave away my heart. It belongs to someone else, completely. That’s scary!

It hasn’t been a full year and in that time, I’ve done things I’ve never done before. I’ve gotten on a plane and traveled 2200 miles to another state for a work-related event. I spent an entire week away from my kids. This is something I never thought I would do. I missed them but it was good for me.

I wrote a research paper. I gave a presentation (terrifying!) and even though I was rambling and my voice was shaky…I survived. I know that next time I’ll do better and I won’t be so scared that people are going to hate me. I tried a glass of wine. Maybe that’s crazy to mention but I’ve never had alcohol because I didn’t trust myself.

I have stopped caring what people thought of me and dyed my hair purple. Then, I dyed it blue. Sure, it was just a wash out color but the point is…I did it. Not for anyone else. I did it for me.

I went to a tattoo parlor for a piercing. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a tattoo. Not to be cool or to fit in but just because I have life lessons that I’ve learned and would love to have permanent reminders of.

I’m embracing life, the good and the bad. Life is too short and I’m determined not to let my genetic conditions and disabilities keep me from living it. I’m going to trust God with all the what-ifs. What if my husband breaks my heart? At least I gave him my heart to break. What if I had not gotten the job? At least I tried.

Gone are the days of not feeling good enough. I can’t be anything that I am not. I am what I am. All I can do is give myself the love and patience to keep growing.

I don’t know why I felt compelled to finally sit down and share my heart. Maybe there is a someone out there that feels like they’re just not good enough. Maybe you’re a parent who feels too scared to try new things. Maybe you’re a wife who is scared to give her heart to her husband for fear of being hurt. That’s okay to admit! Give yourself the same patience and forgiveness that you would give to a child. You wouldn’t expect a child to sit down and work an algebra problem the first time they see it. They have to learn the basics first. No matter what it is that you’re afraid of, just start at the basics. You CAN do it if you believe in yourself.

You can get that job, have that relationship, climb that mountain, take that class, or do whatever it is that your heart desires. All you have to do is believe in yourself.

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This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund
Content Rating:
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Series: An Uncertain Choice #5
Published by Northern Lights Press on September 4, 2018
Source: The Publisher
Genres: Christian, Clean & Wholesome, Historical, Medieval, Religious, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 332

A desperate noblewoman, a rebellious peasant, and a forbidden love.

While fleeing an arranged betrothal to a heartless lord, Lady Isabelle becomes injured and lost. Rescued by a young peasant man, she hides her identity as a noblewoman for fear of reprisal from the peasants who are bitter and angry toward the nobility.

Cole Warwick cannot turn his back on a person in need and soon finds himself falling for Izzy, the gentle and beautiful runaway who is mending in his cottage. As the leader of an imminent uprising against the nobility, he tries to resist his growing feelings for Izzy to protect her from the dangerous life he's chosen. But the longer she stays, the more he hopes she'll never leave.

When Izzy's true identity is revealed, Cole feels betrayed. With the rebellion underway, can Cole forgive Izzy and find a way to save her from an unhappy marriage? Or will he and his peasant army be destroyed before he has the chance to fight for the people and the woman he loves?

..".heart-stopping . . . will make a solid addition to any YA romance collection." School Library Journal

A Worthy Rebel is the fifth book in the An Uncertain Choice series. To my knowledge, this is the conclusion of the series but I sure wouldn’t complain if the author put out five more.

I’ve said it each time that “this one was my favorite” and yet, I feel that way once again. This author consistently publishes books that make me fall in love with new characters. I’m then convinced that the latest book is the best book when they’re ALL the best.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read a review and I practically screamed at the blogger to tell me why he/she loved the book rather than singing the praises. Yet, here I am doing the same. So, I’m going to try really hard to tone down my enthusiasm and share what I loved about this book.

I love the characters in this book. The girls are not completely helpless and the men are not perfect. These characters have flaws and imperfections that I can relate to. Each of them have their own challenges that they have to face in both their personal and spiritual relationships.

The social situations, much like today, have room for improvement and the author tackles issues such as poverty, starvation and differences in social classes. Issues that are still relevant.

The lessons that we can learn from these characters are valuable. Learning to let God use us exactly where He has placed us in life. No matter if we have a little or a lot—our love for God and our neighbors is what truly matters in life. Not only can these characters teach us to allow God to use us for His glory, they also remind us that we are valuable to Him.

These novellas are more than just a sweet romance for young (or in my case, old) ladies. They are sweet romances full of godly wisdom, breathtaking action and just the right amount of humor.

I truly wish that I could think of something borderline negative to say about this book as to lend this review credibility. I just can’t think of a negative thing to say.

If you love a sweet, Christian romance with a Robin Hood feel, this book, this entire series, is one that you should consider.

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Christian or Secular: Christian
ASEL Rating: Mild: due to violence (though no detailed description), or other content to be aware of.
Suggested Age: 12+
Profanity: None
Sex:  None
Violence: mild violence, a girl has her hand chopped off
Drugs & Alcohol: None
Trigger Warning: None

A Worthy Rebel is book #5 in An Uncertain Choice series by Jody Hedlund. Other books in the series include The Vow (#0.5), An Uncertain Choice (#1), A Daring Sacrifice (#2), and For Love and Honor (#3) and A Loyal Heart (#4).

About Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund is a bestselling and award-winning author who loves fairy tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI. with her husband and five children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate and reading.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Instagram | Pinterest

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This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

The Hope Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Content Rating:
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Series: The Prayer Jars #1
Published by Barbour Publishing on January 1, 2019
Source: The Publisher
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 320

A Brand-New Series from New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.

What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

The Hope Jar is book #1 in The Prayer Jars series by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  I genuinely enjoyed this book.  I get so tired of books with picture perfect characters who never make a mistake.

Michelle is a flawed character who makes a number of big mistakes. She picks out the wrong boyfriend. She’s a liar and a thief. She’s someone who most people wouldn’t like and would have trouble bonding with.

Maybe I shouldn’t make excuses for her. But, I didn’t see a person who maliciously lied. I didn’t see a person who maliciously stole from someone. I saw a young woman who was hurting so badly that she clung to a lie—never expecting to realize that her life had value. Michelle never knew love and when she experienced that, she wanted to hold on to. When she realized that she couldn’t, she ran away because that was the easiest thing to do.

I totally get it. I’ve never stolen a thing in my life but I know what it is like to be desperate for someone to love me. When you find that, you want to hold on to it, no matter the cost.  It’s selfish—you want love but sometimes you hold on to it so tight that you don’t realize that you’re not loving in return.

This story is one of love, of hope and of redemption. With Mary Ruth and Willis, we get an example of godly love. The kind of love that forgives someone who hurt them. In Michelle, we learn to accept forgiveness. We learn to accept love. God’s love. The kind of love that forgives even if we have lied, stolen, or broken hearts.

This book was beautiful. I can barely wait to get my hands on The Forgiving Jar. I really don’t know how I’m going to wait until February to revisit these characters. Hopefully, we’ll get a few more clues as to the identity of the writer of the verses and prayers found in the prayer jar. I’m also eager to see how Michelle’s character has developed and if Sara receives her hope and healing for her hurting heart.

I would say that this book is one of my top favorites this year. I would definitely suggest it to others. However, I would suggest keeping forgiveness in your heart because Michelle is far from the typical, “perfect,” character in an Amish book.

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Christian or Secular: Christian
ASEL Rating: no profanity, violence, bedroom scenes, or other content that could otherwise be considered disturbing. Note: There IS an instance of domestic violence in this book. Michelle is hit by her toxic boyfriend. However, this is not the overall theme of the book.
Themes: Romance, Redemption
Suggested Age:
13+

The Hope Jar Book Trailer (August 2018) - YouTube

About Wanda E. Brunstetter

A nationally recognized authority on the Amish community, Wanda E. Brunstetter has sold more than seven million copies of her fiction and nonfiction books. Wanda enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish and continues to visit their communities throughout the country. Her books have won numerous awards and topped several bestselling charts.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

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This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid
Content Rating:
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Series: Amish Mercies #2
Published by Thomas Nelson on June 5, 2018
Source: The Publisher
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Clean & Wholesome, Fiction, Romance, Small Town & Rural
Pages: 352

He lost her once to a rash decision.
He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

Arms of Mercy is book #2 in the Amish Mercies series by Ruth Reid. Once again, this author delivered a unique Amish book that included the supernatural element of angels. This is one of my favorite things about this author. I truly feel as if this unique addition of the spiritual realm sets these novels apart from others in the same genre.

The characters in this novel were so well-developed. I felt a connection with each character, Amish, and English alike. These were the type of characters you just can’t help but like.

The spiritual element is subtle and reminds us of the ways in which we may entertain angels, unaware. The spiritual encounters were so flawlessly woven into this story in a believable way. There wasn’t any tacky, “I’m an angel sent by God,” moments that so make me cringe in Christian novels.

Overall, this book is a solid 4-4.5 read. The only reason I’m not giving it a five is that I felt slightly bogged down during parts of the story involving a lawyer. I felt his presence distracted me from what was going on with the story and then because time was spent on lawyer involvement, the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked to have seen more romance between the main characters and less time wasted with some lawyer trying to get Elijah to hire him. Still, this book was almost perfect and it’s definitely worth having in my collection. I would recommend this book to others who love Amish fiction but want something fresh and new from the genre.

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Christian or Secular: Christian
ASEL Rating: no profanity, violence, bedroom scenes, or other content that could otherwise be considered disturbing. However, there is mention of a horrible accident that resulted in the death of many. I do not feel that it was written in a “disturbing” manner.
Themes: Romance, Redemption, Overcoming odds
Suggested Age:
15+

About Ruth Reid

Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who resides in Florida with her husband and three children.

Website | Twitter

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This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

A Widow's Hope by Vannetta Chapman
Content Rating:
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Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited on July 17, 2018
Source: The Publisher
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Clean & Wholesome, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 224

His scars are visible. Hers are hidden...

After tragedy claimed her husband's life and her son's ability to walk, Hannah King doesn't want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts. Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs. But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart?

A Widow’s Hope is the first book in the Indiana Brides series by bestselling author, Vannetta Chapman. It’s been awhile since I last sat down to review a book. Life got crazy and though I finished this book over a month ago—the story is still fresh in my mind. These are characters that I have carried with me. I adored them. I loved this whole story.

I  feel that characters with disabilities often fall into a box of expected bitterness and despair. This isn’t always the case. Some of the strongest, most determined people I know are children who are differently-abled.  I hate saying “disability” because it is so limiting but that is neither here nor there and this review isn’t the place to debate the term.

Anyway, this book is very well written. I have to admit, I was worried by the length.  Often a short story falls flat, it feels rushed and the ending leaves me unsatisfied.  That didn’t happen with this book. Vannetta Chapman proves time and time again that she can write a solid story even in a novella or short story. A story so solid that the characters and the lessons they learned and the fuzzy feelings that you had while reading will stick with you for some time.

This book was about so much more than a little boy in a wheelchair. It was the story of love, hope and forgiveness. It was about a man, scarred—not only physically but emotionally. It was about a woman who has suffered the loss of love and the loss of her child’s health.

This book was about letting go of our fears and learning to love each other, trust in God and allowing ourselves to heal. God doesn’t expect us to carry a load of guilt and shame. We just need to accept His will and His forgiveness—letting it seep into our hearts and soothe all of our cares and burdens.

If it isn’t evident at this point in the review—I loved this book and it spoke to me on a deep, emotional level. It came for me at a time when I felt broken inside—things that I had no control over and that were not my fault were bogging me down. I needed to turn my own scars over to God and just accept them. They’re a part of who I am but I don’t have to let them make me bitter, nor do I need to walk around in a constant cloud of guilt.

I really can’t wait to see where the rest of this series takes us. If the following installments are half as good as this one, they’ll all be a hit.

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Christian or Secular: Christian
ASEL Rating:  no profanity, violence, bedroom scenes, or other content that could otherwise be considered disturbing.
Themes: Romance, Parenting, Redemption, Special Needs
Suggested Age:
13+

About Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman holds a BA and MA degree in English and has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. She published a novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmasin October of 2010. Her first Quilt Shop Murder Mystery, Falling to Pieces (Zondervan) was released in September of 2011 and received the 2012 Carol Award for best mystery. She currently lives in the Texas hill country.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Instagram | Pinterest

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This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett
Content Rating:
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Series: Vintage National Parks #2
Published by Crown Publishing Group on June 5, 2018
Source: The Publisher
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 352

Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as "pervaded with divine light."

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark opens Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas--a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

Where the Fire Falls is one of the best books that I’ve read this year. I couldn’t put this book down. Honestly, the only thing preventing me from giving this book five stars is that one of the characters grated on my every last nerve. Marcus was a secondary character in this story but his presence distracted me from the overall plot. He was a character I felt existed to get on my nerves. He was a horrible, sleazy sort of fellow.

Aside from that, I loved everyone else. Olivia’s character was well-developed and though she’s a bit standoffish—I can’t help but like her. She puts up false pretenses and lies to protect herself but Clark brings out the best in her. She progressively becomes a better person with his influence and I loved this character growth and development.

Speaking of Clark, he has secrets of his own.  Secrets that he begins to trust Olivia with, slowly. With time, these two learn to love and trust each other—and God. They form a beautiful friendship and the love that follows was so natural and beautiful.

I truly loved this book and I was able to follow along even though I had not read the first book in this series.  Having enjoyed this book so much—I definitely plan to go back and read The Road to Paradise (Vintage National Parks, #1).

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Christian or Secular: Christian
ASEL Rating:  no profanity, violence, bedroom scenes, or other content that could otherwise be considered disturbing. (There is mention of a body being found at the foot of a waterfall—this is non-graphic)
Themes: Romance, Travel, Friendship, Trust
Suggested Age:
13+

About Karen Barnett

Karen Barnett is the award-winning author of The Golden Gate Chronicles (Out of the Ruins, Beyond the Ashes, and Through the Shadows) and Mistaken. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two kids, and three mischievous dachshunds. When she’s not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her family through dusty history museums. Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) honored her with the Writer of Promise Award in 2013 and a Cascade Award for her debut novel, Mistaken, in 2014. In 2016, she was named Writer of the Year by the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Karen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) and has been published in Guideposts and other national magazines.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | BookBub

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This book was provided to me by Revell Reads. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Content Rating:
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Series: Nantucket Legacy Book #2
Published by Revell on July 3, 2018
Source: Revell Reads
Genres: Christian, Fiction, General, Historical, Romance
Pages: 336

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship's hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. "Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?" he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn't defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and "mind the Light," finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be--honorable, wise, faithful--she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren's business partner, cousin, and best friend--and Daphne's fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

Minding the Light is book#2  in the Nantucket Legacy series by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  Usually known for her Amish Fiction, this series explores early life for Quaker Settlers in the Nantucket area.

Usually, I’m a huge fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher but so far this series just isn’t my favorite. I’m having a hard time getting into the characters and the different writing style.  It just feels different. Now, I’m not trying to stick this author in a box—not at all. I do enjoy books outside the Amish genre. The writing style just feels different to me.

The characters in this book were okay. Not bad, not great. They were just okay. No one really stood out to me. They had a purpose, they were well-developed. They just didn’t speak to me.

This is nothing at all to do with the author and I think maybe it has to do with me. I’d be curious to pick this series up in a year or so and see how I feel about it then.

I do like that the author is not afraid to tackle hard topics such as racism and intolerance. These are such deep-seated issues that have long been ingrained in our culture and it’s time to start recognizing that so that we can change for the better.

Overall the book is well written and I do want to continue the series. I just didn’t feel like it was speaking to me at this time. I truly feel that sometimes you read a book when it’s not the time to read that particular book. I wanted to love it and as I already said, I’d like to read it again in the future—just to see how the characters speak to me then.

Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Christian or Secular: Christian
ASEL Rating:  no profanity, violence, bedroom scenes, or other content that could otherwise be considered disturbing. (Mentions of Whaling, a girl is accidentally poisoned, racism)
Themes: Quaker Settlement, Whaling, Colonial America, Romance, Faith
Suggested Age:
13+

About Suzanne Woods Fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series, the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

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This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck
Content Rating:
Amazon|Barnes&Noble|Goodreads

Published by Thomas Nelson Incorporated on June 12, 2018
Source: The Publisher
Genres: Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Pages: 352

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle's forte--in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther's Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father's disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she's always wanted--something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

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