When Mountains Move, a novel of tragedy and triumph

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“If you haven’t yet read Julie Cantrell’s best-selling debut novel, Into the Free, you should probably get after that. If you’re wondering why, check out [this] review or [this] interview with this stunning new literary talent. Done? OK. If you … Continue reading


Review: Stealing The Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Book Info:

Date Published: June 1, 2013
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

A cowboy who wants to be a preacher.
An outlaw’s daughter who wants to change his mind.

On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can’t believe it when he’s forced off the train by an outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the preacher she requested for her birthday. He’s determined to escape–which would be much easier if he could stop thinking about Joanna Robbins and her unexpected request.

For months, Joanna had prayed for a minister. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. But just when it seems her prayers have been answered, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett he ended up right where he was supposed to be?

Karen Witemeyer is a bestselling historical romance author who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She holds a master’s degree in psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and her local writers’ guild. Stealing the Preacher is her fifth novel. Karen lives with her husband and three children in Abilene, Texas.

You can find Karen Here:
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  “”If I were going to instigate a courtship with a kiss,” he murmured, ” it wouldn’t be a quick peck on the forehead.” He tightened his grip on her shoulders as he spoke.

  “It wouldn’t?” She swayed toward him slightly. Crockett shook his head, his eyes never leaving her upturned face.

  “What would it be?” Her breathy question dissolved the last of his reserve.

  “This.” Crockett drew her toward him and lowered his head. He stopped a fraction of an inch from her mouth. Gave her a final chance to change her mind and pull away. When she made no move beyond shifting her focus from his eyes to his lips, he closed the last of the distance.

  His mouth covered hers. Instinctively, he tugged her closer. She came to him– her hands on his waist, the feathery touch speeding his already charging pulse.

  Releasing her shoulders, he slid his palms around to her back. She felt so good in his arms, so right. He wanted to hold her there forever, to kiss her until they both forgot everything else.

  He deepened the kiss.

  She startled at the change, then softened against him. But her momentary shock was enough to bring him back to his senses.

  Swallowing a groan of reluctance, Crockett lifted his head. Joanna rose up on her tiptoes as if to follow, but his greater height kept her from her goal.

  His hands shook slightly as he released her. Merciful heavens. He’d never experienced anything so intense. So exhilarating. And terrifying. It was as if some element of his very being had been altered.

  Had she felt it, too?

  Joanna’s eyes flickered open, and a pretty pink blush washed over the pale freckles bridging her cheeks. Her eyes, now more blue than gray, gazed up at him with a wonderfully bemused expression–one that filled his heart with tenderness.

  And protectiveness.”

Sigh… Come on, admit it! I know you sighed too. What a scene! Although there were SEVERAL scenes in this book I wanted to share, I couldn’t very well share the WHOLE book now could I? So, alas, I had to choose just one. I LOVE this scene. It was the epitome of what a first kiss should be. What all girls dream of. Tell the truth, now. You’ve had dreams like this at some point. I know I sure have. The all-you-ever-dreamed-a-first-kiss-would-be dreams. The tenderness Crockett displayed, and the love they feel for each other jumps right off the page. This is definitely a kiss to remember.

Joanna Robbins: A more ideal woman there could never be. She is strong through tough times. The square-your-shoulders-and-get-the-job-done kind of strong. She is devout, humble, loyal. Always serving others and holding her tongue regardless of how much she wants to speak her mind. She loves with her whole heart and expects no less.

Crockett Archer: Not your average man of God. Although he is devoted to God and his calling, he also knows how to protect what’s his. Growing up helping protect his brothers and their ranch has taught him a thing or two. He’s quick with a gun, can ride with the best of them and works harder than any man wants to. But he also has a very tender side that draws people in. He is my type of hero.

Silas Robbins: Ex-outlaw turned rancher. Silas is hard on the surface with a tenderness on the inside that is rarely seen. He loves those closest to him with a fierceness that’s unrivaled. And he fights his demons with the same fierceness.

Sigh… Yep you guessed it. I love this book. I fell in love with the Archer brothers in Short-Straw Bride and, honestly, I didn’t think book two could be any better. I usually don’t like admitting when I am wrong but, in this case, I’ll do it gladly. Stealing The Preacher was captivating from the very first page and only progressed from there. It touched all the emotions I feel are important when deciding if a book is worthy of a 5 star rating. It had action, drama, romance and spirituality. There were several scenes that touched a deep emotion in me, even to the point of tears. Karen Witemeyer won me over with her book To Win Her Heart, now she keeps me captivated with Stealing The Preacher.

Buy Stealing The Preacher At:
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Palms


Review: The Ride Of Her Life by Lorna Seilstad

Book Info:

Date Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Revell

The only pragmatic man Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six-year old. Widowed for three years, Lilly has decided to leave the home of her intrusive in-laws to stand on her own. However, her in-laws find her new life as a cook at Lake Manawa utterly unsuitable for their grandson. When an argument ensues, a handsome strangers–who designs roller coasters, of all things–intercedes on her behalf. But Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky gentleman. Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.

Filled with the sweet romance of summer, The Ride Of Her Life will have you laughing out loud and signing contentedly as you spend the summer of 1906 at Lake Manawa.

A History buff, antique collector, and a freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves and draws her setting from her home state of Iowa. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can find Lorna Here:
Website  Facebook  Pinterest

“Rolling onto her side, she punched the pillow beneath her head. No, I will not cry tonight. Not again. I have a new home. I’m starting over. I’ll be fine. Her heart didn’t listen, and soon the corner of the pillow lay soaked. Ligntning flashed outside, and she rolled onto her stomach. The heavy stomping of thunder only made the little house seem more empty, and the solitude engulfed her.

But she was safe.


Thanks to Nick.

After wiping her eyes, she propped herself on her elbows before pulling the Bible closer. She didn’t want to open it. God had let too many storms occur in her life, and He hadn’t exactly been stilling them.

Trust me.

She felt the words press again on her heart. But why should she? She flipped the Bible open to the book of Luke and the story of Jesus stilling the storm. What had Brother Hamilton said? That Jesus doesn’t still every storm, but He’s in the boat with you?

But where were you in my storm? Were you sleeping? Didn’t you care?

She wanted to pull the words back. Who was she to question the Lord? Her eyes dropped to the Bible splayed in front of her. The apostles questioned Jesus, but He questioned their faith. The missed the greatness of the One in the boat with them.

But it was the words written in the margin in her mother’s hand that caught her eye. Faith entrusts oneself and one’s children to God in the midst of danger.

Her mother had told her she was leaning on her own wisdom and not the power of God. Had her own mother struggled with the same things when Lilly’s father had died?

Lilly’s heart throbbed. Lord, I see what I’ve been doing. When the storms came, I had the same choice the apostles had. I could have responded with fear or faith. And I chose fear. I stopped trusting You and startewd trusting only myself. Please, Lord, please forgive me.

Though the thunder continued to rumble, a quiet surrounded her heart. She chose the believe in the greatness of the One who calmed the storms.

She traced her finger over her mother’s words again, saying them aloud. “Faith entrusts oneself and one’s children to God in the midst of danger.”

Mama, I hope I never have to find out if I have your kind of faith.

I think when people read a romance book, even an Inspirational one, they look more for the romance and don’t expect to have any spiritual revelations. I know in my own reading that’s usually the case. When I read, I like to make page notes of my favorite scenes and narrow them down to one final scene to include in my review. When I read this scene, I KNEW it was the one I wanted to include.

I think we all have struggled in this area at some point in our lives, maybe several times. I know I have. This passage really spoke to my spiritual nature. I have been through many storms in the past several years and, in the back of my mind, I always had the niggling thought of, “God where are you?”. This scene helped me to realize I was trusting myself to fix the situations and not seeing the greatness of the One in the boat with me. I loved this scene and it really opened my eyes. Now, I know some of you are wondering, “What about the romance?”. No worries! There is plenty of that, too.

Lilly Hart: For those of you who have read the previous two books in this series, you know Lilly is a very spiritual person. She puts everything in God’s hands. Although, she struggled with that a little in this book after the death of her husband. She is a very strong woman. Making her own way in the world for her and her son, Levi. She’s humble, very loving and lovable.

Nick Perrin: Nick is my kind of hero. He’s very spiritual, trusting every situation to God, and very protective. He would risk his life to protect Lilly and Levi. A roller Coaster builder and operator, he takes risks every day. Very fun-loving but he knows when to be serious, too.

Levi Hart: Can you say, “Adorable”? Levi’s six year old cuteness came out on every page. Lorna captured him perfectly. I just wanted to hug him and pinch his little cheeks. LOL

I have been hooked on Lorna Seilstad’s books since I read Making Waves. This one was no exception. This last book in the Lake Manawa Series was quite a ride. (Pun intended!) It had just the right ammount of romance, spiritual overtones and drama combined. Neither were over-bearing, but very well balanced. Mark Westing, Marguerite’s little brother, was all grown up and played a significant part in this book. I was glad to see he wasn’t forgotten. I hate to see a significant character dropped. I was also glad to read Lilly’s story. I felt she had been short-changed when I read book two. From the first book I wanted to read about Lilly. Now this series is complete for me. A wonderful read. If you haven’t read it, I do recommend you pick it up.

Buy The Ride Of Her Life At:
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Palms


Review: A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad

She wants to change the world.

He wants to change her mind.

It’s the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel. A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.

A History buff, antique collector, and a freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves and draws her setting from her home state of Iowa. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Let me “set the scene” for my favorite scene in the book. While Emily was very headstrong and fought for what she believed in she also felt awkward and clumsy and, in her eyes, never measured up. She had stood by and watched her aunts Millie and Ethel set her up with men that were very undesirable. Emily had started coming into her own by this point and had gained alot of confidence in herself and her abilities. Her aunts introduced her to yet another possible suitor and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Emily had just been insulted and pounded with rotten tomatoes at her suffrage speech and she was in no mood for matchmaking. Given the fact that her “suitor” was the town’s undertaker didn’t help matters.

“By the time Emily approached the cabin, the familiar heaviness of last night had closed in around her.Tears made paths through the tomato smears on her cheeks. Never had she felt more alone.

“There you are, Emily.” Aunt Millie toddled down the path toward her. “Oh my, what happened?”

“One of the men didn’t like the color of my dress today.”

“Oh dear.” Her aunt looped her arm in Emily’s.”We have to get you cleaned up.”

“Why? What’s going on?”

“We’re trying to help you ease the torment in your soul, dear.”

Emily raised her eyebrows. “And how do you intend to do that?” Stopping on the path, Emily saw exactly how her two aunts planned to do it, and he appeared to be the town’s undertaker sitting in a rocking chair beside Aunt Ethel.

“Is that–“

Aunt Millie patted her hand. “No hasty judgments, dear. Dudly has an excellent job with a steady Clientele, and he’s dying to meet you.”

A moan rose in Emily’s throat. She held out her splattered skirt. “Look at me. Smell me. I can’t meet anyone tonight even if I wanted to, which I do not.”

“Now, dear, you can’t very well turn him away. He came all the way from the city.” She pulled her forward. “Besides, I don’t think the bad smell will bother him one bit. In his profession, I would guess he gets used to horrible stenches.”

What did Emily care if she offended Dudly Lynch? She didn’t want to be courted by him or anyone else, and the sooner he learned that, the better.

With a sigh, she marched up to the paunchy middle-aged man and stuck out her hand. Dudly’s handshake, cold and limp, made Emily wince. And the thick beard hanging off the man’s chin did nothing to compensate for the lack of hair on his head.

“Hello, Mr. Lynch.” Emily squared her shoulders. ” I believe women should have the right to vote. I believe they are every bit as intelligent , talented and able as men, and I believe they should say exactly what is on their minds. Don’t you agree?”

“I… uh…”

“Good. So, here’s what is on my mind.” She tugged on her shirtwaist, ignoring Aunt Ethel’s glare and Aunt Millie’s gaping mouth. ” I don’t want to entertain a suitor right now. I want to go inside and wash away my unfortunate meeting with a couple of tomatoes. Is that all right with you, sir?”

“Uh… yes… of course.”

“And please forgive my aunts for dragging you out here. I would say I hope this turns into a profitable business trip for you, but given your occupation, please understand although I’d sometimes like to kill these two, I won’t do so today.”

Yes, indeed, the fiesty Emily put her foot down and spoke her mind yet again. I absolutely LOVED this part in the book and sometimes wish I had the gumption Emily displayed in this scene. It was Laugh Out Loud funny and very well written.

Emily Graham: A fighter of the women’s suffragist movement. She believes in the right for women to vote and be treated as equals. She took a stand for those beliefs and for every woman out there who were too afraid to stand up for themselves. She is fiesty, spunky and clumsy. A very special combination.

Carter Stockton: A college graduate and a lover of baseball, Carter prefers to be on the field rather than work in his Father’s stuffy bank. He is fun-loving and a very spiritual man who trusts God to forge his path in life.

Grandma Kate: Grandma Kate supports Emily in everything she does. When Emily’s aunts are pointing out her faults, Grandma Kate is building her self-confidence and helping her find her spiritual relationship with God.

Aunt Ethel and Aunt Millie: The meddlesome twosome. They are always trying to push a suitor on Emily whether she wants one or not.

This was a very light-hearted read. A fun book for the summer or any time of the year. It had the right ammount of spiritual reference without over doing it. The characters were well thought out and fun to get to know. I’m so glad Marguerite and Lilly, from Making Waves book 1 in this series, played such a big part of this book. I just adored their characters. The historical details were very accurate and eye-opening. I never knew there was a “Bloomer Girls” baseball team and after reading this book I checked out their history. Very fascinating indeed. This story was very well written and I would recommend it to anyone who loves Spirituality, romance and history. You get a healthy dose of each! It’s hard to believe this was Lorna Seilstad’s second book. She is an author to add to your “Watch” list.

Buy A Great Catch At:
Amazon or Barnes & Noble

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Palms


Review: Blowing On Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell

null Book Info:

Date Published: June1, 2013
Publisher: David C. Cook

Do Dandelion Wishes Actually Come True?

Katherine Galloway knew this moment of calm wouldn’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl. In 1880, three years after her husband’s death, she struggles to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don’t get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work, but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn’t easy. And with a daughter entering the teenage years, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming. Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, for everything is about to change.

Miralee Ferrell is multi-published in contemporary and historical romance, is a speaker, accredited counselor, and American Christian Fiction Writers chapter president. She and her husband enjoy horeback riding, sailing and family gatherings around their eleven-acre property in Washington State’s beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

You can find Lorna Here:
Website  Facebook  Pinterest

“Katherine Galloway’s soft exhales sent the dandelion fluff dancing on the warm current of air, but it didn’t bring the anticipated relief. Gripping the stem, she sat in the grassy field with her eyes closed and waited. Why didn’t it come? It had always appeared years ago when she needed it. How long had it been since her mind had drifted away to a place where nothing could hurt her? Fifteen years? Twenty?

She shook her head and an errant curl tickled her cheek.

More. Many more. But always her memory returned to those times when the dandelion fluff had carried her away to a place where mothers were loving and kind, and little girls didn’t need to be afraid of cutting words or sharp voices.”

Blowing On Dandelions spoke to me from the very first page. When I was a little girl I used to wait for the “flowers” to bloom just so I could blow on them and see them be scattered by the wind. My Dad would always say “They’re just WEEDS!”. What my Dad didn’t know was every time I blew on those dandelions, every hope and dream I had was scattering on the wind and I was praying they would find their way to God and, eventually, come true. This might sound silly to those of you reading this but, the small excerpt awakened long forgotten memories and brought back memories of my Dad as well. So for the first time (yes, I said the first time) a book really spoke to me.

I was able to sympathize with Katherine’s character in more ways than one. Her relationship with her mother was rocky at best and she suffered constant criticism from a woman she had tried very hard to love her whole life. Katherine had an inner strength and control that was astounding. I, too, didn’t have the best relationship with my mother when I was younger but through faith in God and prayer we now have a strong bond and I am now her caregiver.

Miralee Ferrell is an amazing writer. This is the first book I have read by her and I am so glad I read it. It left me smiling at old memories and gave me hope for making new ones. I can’t wait for the next two books in this series. If you haven’t read Blowing On Dandelions I suggest you give it a try. It’s more than worth it and look at that cover! Isn’t it amazing?

**I was given an ARC of this book for my honest opinion**

Buy Blowing On Dandelions At:
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Palms