Amanda Dykes

Dear Readers,

I have got to tell you about the book I just finished.  I admit I was at the perfect place toblog pictures read it, the beach.  Whose Waves These Are by debut author Amanda Dykes is one that everyone will want to read and if it is any indication, we are all in for a treat for many years to come.

Whose Waves releases in May, you can preorder your copy today at


Happy Reading,


New Releases Feb. 11 – 16

Dear Readers,

When you read this I will hopefully be sitting on the beach reading.  I will be on vacation trying to get a few books checked off my TBR pile.  Of course with great titles like these coming in the pile will not be getting any smaller.

Happy Reading,

The Warrior Maiden – Melanie Dickerson  -Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret?  Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights.  Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.  When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen–and usually does.  When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?

The Alamo Bride – Kathleen Y’Barro – The Daughters of the Mayflower – Ellis Dumont finds a man in New Orleans Grey unconscious on Dumont property in 1836. As his fevers rage, the man mutters strange things about treasures and war. Either Claiborne Gentry has lost his mind or he’s a spy for the American president–or worse, for the Mexican enemy that threatens their very lives. With the men of her family away, Ellis must stand courageous and decide who she can trust. Will she put her selfish wants ahead of the future of the republic or travel with Clay to Mission San Jose to help end the war?

Ladies of Intrigue – Michelle Griep –The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father–not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?
The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner )
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.
A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau–a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

The Forgiving Jar – Wanda Brunstetter – #2 The Prayer Jars – Sara Murray had never met her mother’s parents and was surprised to learn after her death that they were Amish living in Pennsylvania. When she is finally able to make the trip to meet them, she is shocked to learn someone else has been living with them and pretending to be Sara. Sara can’t understand how quickly her grandparents are willing to forgive the imposter.
Secrets and deceit seem to follow Sara, and she is so tired of it. Though soon she meets Brad Fuller who is visiting her grandparents for during Christmas. She likes him a lot, but even he seems to pull away from her, not being totally honest.  Struggling, Sara finds an old canning jar hidden in the barn that is full of encouraging prayers. Can Sara find a way to forgive the past and move on to building new relationships?

Valentine’s Day

Dear Readers,

Romance is in the air. It is the one day of the year pink hearts, flowers and candy are the only decorations you need. (Yes, candy is a legitimate decoration. Especially chocolate.) It is the one day of the year more people read a good romance than any other day. Need some swoon worthy romances? Here are 10 great books to put you in the mood for Valentine’s day.

In no particular order:

1. Flights of Fancy – Jen Turano – #1 American Heiress – A very fun rom com set in 1885. Isadora is running from a marriage her parents want her to make. What she finds instead is a house-keeping job that put her in the path of Ian.

2. Where the Fire Falls – Karen Barnett – #2 A Vintage National Park Novel – A hunky park ranger and a beautiful artist, all set in a stunning national park in its infancy. What more do you want from a book?

3. Send Down the Rain – Charles Martin – Joseph and Allie were childhood sweethearts. Life separated them and they moved on with their lives. Now they are thrown back together until a 45-year-old secret threatens to tear them apart.

4. The Bride of Ivy Green – Julie Klassen – #3 Tales from Ivy Hill – The women of Ivy Hill are looking forward to a wedding, but not everything is as it seems. Will Mercy and Jane ever find a place to belong?

5. Brunch at Bittersweet Café – Carla Laureano – #2 A Supper Club Novel – Melody gives up her dream job in protest when her friend is fired. Working 3rd shift in a bakery only makes ends meet, but a snow storm encounter with pilot Justin just might change everything for them both.

6. A Return to Devotion – Kristi Ann Hunter – #2 Haven Manor – Daphne and William have spent their lives hiding from their past, but a chance encounter means they will have to face their deepest secret.

7. Wait for Me – Susan May Warren – #6 Montana Rescue – Pete and Jess can not seem to get their timing right. Just when Pete thinks they will get together, Jess breaks his heart. Now she has been taken captive and he will need all his skills to get her back.

8. A Bound Heart – Laura Frantz – Magnus and Lark grew up together, one as heir to the manor and the other as a child of one of the workers. When Magnus’ wife dies, they are accused of murder and sold as indentured servants. Will they be able to start again in their new world?

9. Becoming Mrs. Lewis – Patti Callahan – Beloved writer C.S. Lewis had one great love, Joy. She was a friend and student long before she became his wife. Learn about one of the greatest love stories of our time.

10. The Curse of Misty Wayfair – Jaime Jo Wright – For those that need a little murder and mayhem with their love stories. Heidi returns home after she receives a letter from her mother. When things begin to happen, she wonders why someone wanted her home only to threaten her.

Travis Thrasher

Dear Readers,9780735291782

It’s the year 2038 when Cheyenne’s father suddenly disappears after converting to Christianity. Cheyenne decides to find out what is going on after receiving a mysterious message, and what she finds could change the course of the U.S.

This is the storyline of American Omens by Travis Thrasher. Some content in this book will leave you uncomfortable, looking at your own faith, and wondering if you would be one that disappears.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot; I am afraid to give too much away. But know that you will be on a roller coaster ride as you struggle to figure out what is right and what is wrong as sometimes that choice dwells in a gray area. I enjoy reading fiction books like this that make me wander into places I don’t usually go.

With strong elements of spiritual warfare and a good mix of actual events that took place in our history, Travis writes a story that will make your hair stand on end. It might be just a little too believable. Readers, I want to take a moment to invite you to come and hear Travis Thrasher speak about American Omens. He will be at Baker Book House on February 21st at 7:00 p.m.

Happy Reading, and I hope to see you there!

New Release Feb. 4 – 9

Dear Readers,

I re-read the intro to last week’s post.  I had no idea how correct that was going to be.  Locked in my house for almost a week because of a Polar Vortex, great reading but I will admit to some cabin fever.  Thank goodness there are new books to replace those I got done.

Happy Reading,

A Faithful Gathering – Leslie Gould – #3 The Sisters of Lancaster County – Leisel Bachmann left her Amish roots and beloved sisters to pursue a career in nursing without a second thought. She and her English boyfriend, Nick Jordan, have big dreams for their future, but those dreams come crashing down when her sister Marie is diagnosed with cancer.  Soon nothing is going as she planned–not her state boards, not her first nursing job, and certainly not her relationship with Nick. As she becomes increasingly discouraged, her aunt shares the story of Leisel’s grandfather during World War II and the struggle he faced between returning to Lancaster or being with the woman he loved.
Peace and direction for the future are difficult to find, and when Nick leaves Pennsylvania to pursue an unexpected career path without talking it through with Leisel, she is faced with impossible choices. Will she stay in Lancaster, close to her family and the traditions of her past? Or will her grandfather’s story encourage her to embrace a life of love and service in an uncertain future?

Breach of Trust – Rachel Dylan – #3 Atlanta Justice – Corporate litigator Mia Shaw suffers the shock of her life when she finds her colleague and friend brutally murdered. Grief-stricken and furious, Mia vows that she will do anything to make the killer pay.  The man accused of the murder is a friend of security tech guru Noah Ramirez, but the evidence just doesn’t add up. To save his former ATF partner, Noah needs to convince Mia that the real killer is still on the loose.  Mia soon has more to worry about than the criminal prosecution. She is tasked with taking over her friend’s last case and learns he was hiding dark secrets about his client. She thinks she may have stumbled upon corporate espionage that has turned deadly, but she has no idea of the danger involved. Her only ally is Noah, despite their difference of opinion about the killer’s identity. Can Noah win Mia over to his side and protect her from ever-growing threats?

The Line Between – Tosca Lee -When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Eden, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.  As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life–until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.  Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Castle on the Rise – Kristy Cambron – #2 A Lost Castle Novel -When Laine Forrester travels to France to attend her longtime friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find a bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks–a devastating diagnosis, a castle restoration put on hold, and the emergence of deep-seated family dynamics that threaten to derail the new couple’s fledgling marriage–it seems the storybook life Laine had imagined for her friend–and once, for herself–is suddenly crumbling before her eyes.  With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending for one of them, Laine throws support behind her friend and agrees to accompany the couple to the groom’s family home in Ireland, where the merging of a mysterious inheritance, long-buried wounds, and a fractured family set out to upend the trip from the start. It’s in the unlikely corners of a historic Dublin pub, and across the wide-open moors bordering Ireland’s majestic Wicklow Mountains, that Laine is slowly drawn in by the land and the people, sparking hope for something she never imagined possible: the courage to heal. But with secrets of her own–and a heart afraid to trust again–Laine must determine how much she’s willing to risk in mending the broken places within herself, and whether she believes that even through the depths of our pain, a beautiful story can emerge

With Winter’s First Frost – Kelly Irvin – #4 An Every Amish Season – Will the long, cold winter prove to be Laura and Zechariah’s season of renewed purpose and love sweetened with age?  Laura Kauffman has been a widow for eight years–since her husband of forty-five years passed away in his sleep on Christmas Eve. She tries to keep herself busy with her nine children, fifty-two grandchildren, and twenty-eight great-grandchildren. But she can’t stop wondering: What does God expect her to do with her days now? Has her usefulness been expended? Why leave her to carry on alone? Those are questions she can’t answer until a friend suffers complications during childbirth and needs someone to help care for her newborn twins and three older children. The twins’ great-grandfather, Zechariah Stutzman, a widower himself, seems to need some upkeep as well. Suddenly, Laura has her hands full, and the long winter days don’t seem so long.  Zechariah suffers from Parkinson’s disease. When his wife died of breast cancer two years earlier, his children insisted he live with one of his grandsons and their growing family because of his disease’s progression. He’s not allowed to drive, chop wood, or build fires. He feels he has outlived his usefulness. Then Laura comes along and seems determined to change that.