Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Anna and her little sister, Iya, are the lone survivors of an earthquake and tsunami that ripped her Native village from the Alaskan coastline. While Anna tries to make survival plans, a trapper with blond hair and blue eyes discovers them and offers help.
Erik is a Civil War veteran whose belief in the goodness of God won't allow him to leave the two girls alone in the wilderness. However, Anna distrusts him, as she does all white men, and only the need to protect her sister persuades her to travel with Erik as he searches for a Native village that will accept the girls.
Bonnie Leon has used all of her masterful descriptive skills to craft this novel of a life-changing journey. The reader will feel the cold, hunger, and fear as the three make their way south from the Aleutians. The journey is more than geographic as Anna, Iya, and Eric attempt to trust and accept each other's ways.
The Journey of Eleven Moons is a captivating journey indeed. I loved this story.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


By working as a washerwoman for her husband's Army unit, Heather Worth has been able to remain with the man she ran away to marry. Then she discovers she's expecting a child. The year is 1864, and as the troops are preparing to advance into battle in Tennessee, Heather's husband insists that she return to her parents. Much as she hates leaving him, she knows it's the best decision. A battlefield is no place for the birth of a baby. But once she makes her way back to Kentucky, she discovers she's traded one battleground for another.
 In this Christmas novella, Gabhart returns to territory familiar to fans of her Shaker novels--Harmony Hill. How Heather ends up in a Shaker colony, and the subsequent reactions of her family and members of the colony, form the basis for this engrossing story. I'm always interested in the details of Shaker life, and I loved the way the author gave a balanced view of the beliefs of this sect.
 Christmas at Harmony Hill is a novel to savor while curled up in a cozy chair with a cup of tea. Be sure to add extra copies to your gift list. Lovers of historical fiction will be delighted to find Christmas at Harmony Hill under their tree this Christmas.
 My thanks to the author and Revell for my review copy.

Friday, October 4, 2013

THE PROMISE, by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."
 Sir Walter Scott wrote those lines in 1808, and The Promise illustrates the many consequences that arise when Tom Anderson disregards this warning. When he loses his job, he decides to protect his wife, Jean, by not telling her what happened. After all, he's bound to find other employment soon and she'll never have to know.
 Five months later, no job and he's still hiding his secret. Their marriage is beginning to crack at the seams. Jean doesn't know him anymore and the marriage isn't the only thing beginning to crack. So is Tom.
 Walsh and Smalley have written an engrossing story. The life lessons their characters need to learn--of communication and mutual encouragement--will cause readers to stop and think about their own life situations. I know The Promise had that effect on me. I recommend this story highly.
 Although The Promise can be read as a stand-alone novel, readers will enjoy learning more about the characters from The Dance, the first book in the Restoration Series.
 My thanks to the authors and Revell for my review copy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


If you're like me, when you make a decision you figure things are going to go just as you planned. How's that working out for you? Read on to see what happened to our plans for the tram ride to the top of Mt. Howard (8,165 ft.) near Joseph, Oregon.
A little backstory: In late August, after I'd attended the Oregon Christian Writers Conference and was busy with arrangements to attend the American Christian Writers Conference in September, my husband came home from work one day and said, "I wonder if I could have 72 hours of your time?"
Oops! Have I been that busy? Of course I said yes, and asked what he had in mind.
Turned out a trip to Joseph, Oregon, to ride a tram to the top of the mountain was rumbling around on his bucket list, and he wanted us to do it before the ride closed down for the season.
So we made reservations at a lodge near the tram (picture of the lodge through the trees taken on the morning of our ride), and left last Thursday for our adventure.
Right here I have to tell you that Joseph is just about as far away from our home as one can get and still be in Oregon. Thursday's drive took 11 hours, but we were excited about the ride and hikes we planned for Friday, so we didn't care.
Friday morning we drove to the tram so we could get in line and spend our day on the trails at the top of the mountain. Parasailers with huge packs were in front of us, excited about their upcoming flights down from the mountain top.
Then one of the men operating the tram came by the line and told us that there'd been an unexpected, unseasonal snow the night before. Snow on the mountaintop, frozen pipes at the Summit Grill, but not to worry--the tram was working fine to take us up.
Once we arrived, the good news was the snowy mountains were beautiful! So much prettier than they would have been without the frosting.
The bad news was the hiking trails on top were covered with a foot and a half of snow. The few people who arrived before we did had blazed narrow trails out to some of the lookout points, but more than half of the trails were buried. The wind chill kept the temperature around 25 degrees--brisk, to say the least. (Picture of the patio dining area below!)
None of us tram riders were dressed for snow. And there's where the unexpected joy of the day came in. Everyone was slogging through snow halfway up our calves with more snow in our shoes. We were wet, we were cold, but the camaraderie was amazing. If someone wanted to pass on the narrow trails, we'd hold each other up so we wouldn't slip and fall. A couple from Arkansas were overwhelmed and said they'd never seen so much snow in their lives. "Where are you from?" was a question we all asked one another. People offered to stop and take our picture, and we did the same for them. I think I walked about a mile, and my husband went farther up a trail that looked too imposing to tempt me.
To say this trip didn't go as planned would be an understatement. But the smiles and friendliness we encountered are memories that I'll keep forever--memories I wouldn't have if the circumstances had been perfect.
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

BURNING SKY, by Lori Benton

 "I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss."

These lines from the opening epigraph grabbed me and drew me into Burning Sky. The story didn't let me go until the last satisfying paragraph. "Burning Sky" is the Mohawk name given to Willa Obenchain when she was abducted at the age of fourteen. Tragedy returns her to her family's homestead after twelve years of building a life with the Mohawk people.
 Upon reaching the boundary of her father's property, Willa discovers an injured Scotsman. She feels obligated to nurse him back to health and in so doing finds him to be a kind and caring man. Where many of her former neighbors turn their backs on her because of the years she spent with the Mohawks, the Scotsman displays no such condemnation.
 Her life takes another twist upon the arrival of the Mohawk who was her tribal brother during her captivity. Willa is truly at the place "where two rivers meet."
 Burning Sky swept me into the world of our country's earliest days as an independent nation. With Burning Sky, Benton has penned one of the best books I've read in many months. This novel will go on my "keeper" shelf to be re-read again and again.
 I thoroughly recommend Burning Sky. Two thumbs way up!

 My thanks to the author and Waterbrook Press for my review copy.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

ON DISTANT SHORES, by Sarah Sundin

Lt. Georgie Taylor has some great things going for her: a loving family back home, a waiting fiancé, and supportive friends among the flight nurses in her group. But Georgie struggles with doubts about her ability to perform in a crisis. Part of her wants to give up the whole nursing thing and return to her family in the states.
 Sgt. John Hutchinson is a pharmacist by trade. He chose to enlist as such rather than accepting the officer's commission to which his college education entitled him. Pharmacists were regarded as "pill pushers" by the brass, and as his enlistment continues the disrespect for his profession turns him bitter.
 When he and Georgie meet in Italy, it's on the basis that both of them are happily engaged to someone back home. However, soon they find themselves attracted to each other, a situation that raises more problems in their lives. Officers (Georgie) are not allowed to fraternize with enlisted men (Hutch), not to mention that each is already committed to another.
 On Distant Shores, the second book in Sundin's Wings of the Nightingale series, continues the heart-pounding suspense of World War II action, coupled with intriguing romantic situations between the nurses and the men in their lives. Sundin is a master at writing both types of fiction.
 On Distant Shores is a novel to be savored slowly, but it’s hard to resist hurrying along to see what happens next. I loved this story, and know you will, too.

 My thanks to the author and Revell for my review copy.

Friday, July 19, 2013

DOLLED UP TO DIE, by Lorena McCourtney

 If you were a detective, what would you do if you responded to a frantic call about a shooting and found the "victims" were dolls? Then what if, in investigating that mystery, a real dead body is discovered?
 Assistant PI Cate Kincaid decides to jump in and help her client solve the crime, even though Cate's supposed to confine her investigations to straying husbands and fraudulent insurance claims. Dolled Up to Die is a light-hearted mystery with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the final pages.
 McCourtney skillfully weaves several storylines into the plot, which adds to the fun. Dolled Up to Die follows the first book in the Cate Kincaid series, Dying to Read. However, it’s not necessary to read the first one in order to enjoy Dolled Up to Die. If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, this one's for you.

 My thanks to the author and Revell for providing my review copy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

SMALL TOWN GIRL, by Ann H. Gabhart

 Thankfully, Ann Gabhart wasn't ready to leave Rosey Corner, Kentucky, when she finished writing Angel Sister. Her latest novel, Small Town Girl, brings readers the story of Kate Merritt, the "angel sister" from the first book.
 The story opens with Kate helping her older sister dress for her wedding. One little problem--her sister is marrying the man Kate has been secretly in love with since she was fifteen. At the wedding, Kate meets the groom's best friend, a charmer named Jay Tanner. Jay notices Kate's expression when she looks at her sister's new husband and sets out to make her smile.
 Jay's charm works its way into Kate's heart, but she knows he's a rolling stone and doesn't trust him to remain in Rosey Corner. Since the novel is set in late 1941, the shadow of another world war hangs over the community, adding depth to the story.
 Whether Kate and Jay could resolve the issues that separate them kept me turning pages past my bedtime. Gabhart does a masterful job in bringing Rosey Corner and its inhabitants to life. As a small town girl, I found myself nodding in recognition at the behavior of some of her characters.
 Many of the characters from Angel Sister appear in Small Town Girl, a real bonus for readers like me who came to love the Merritt family in the first book. Small Town Girl is a delightful novel. I'm pleased to recommend it as a great summer read--or a fall or winter read, for that matter.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
 My thanks to the author and Revell for providing my review copy.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Sarah Marshall didn't want to leave the bustling city of Chicago to accompany her aunt and uncle over the Santa Fe Trail to the New Mexico Territory. She had close friends in Chicago, and loved the comforts of city life. But her uncle insisted she come along to care for her ailing aunt. Since they'd taken Sarah in when her parents died, he claimed she owed him obedience. Sarah's intention was to travel with them as far as Kansas City, where other family members planned to join them on the trek. Then she'd return to Chicago.
 Ethan Harper's family operates Harpers' Stage Stop, a waypoint on the Santa Fe Trail. Ethan carries a burden of guilt for his part in the death of his older brother's wife, so has made it his mission to find his brother a replacement wife.
 When several unfortunate occurrences strand Sarah and her aunt at Harpers' Stage Stop, Sarah is consumed with plans to find a means to return to Chicago. For his part, Ethan sees Sarah as a good match for his widower brother.
 McDonough has done a wonderful job of handling a cast of varied characters, making each one unique and likeable. While reading this book I felt I knew the Harper family. In Whispers on the Prairie, descriptions of the stage stop, the prairie landscape, and the Trail were perfectly done. The reader feels part of the story every step of the way.
 Whispers on the Prairie is "prairie romance" at its best! I hated to see this story end, but thankfully this is the first book in the Pioneer Promises series, so I look forward to reading more about the Harper family in Books 2 and 3, releasing in 2014.
 My thanks to the author and Whitaker House for providing my review copy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


 A visit to Gettysburg several years ago left me wondering how the women who lived there returned to "normal" life in the aftermath of that horrific battle. I could imagine the sights and smells they learned to endure, but I longed to know more of the details of their lives.
 Jocelyn Green's masterful Widow of Gettysburg answered my questions and filled in the many gaps in my knowledge of the battle of Gettysburg. The novel's main character, Liberty Holloway, is in the process of turning a home she inherited into an inn when soldiers from both sides of the conflict converge on Gettysburg.
 Using Liberty as representative of all of the women who lived through the death and destruction that followed, Widow of Gettysburg skillfully brings to life soldiers, former slaves, doctors, and the countless women who survived and endured those times.
 Green's novel is gripping in its intensity. Realism is woven through every line. (Some of the realistic content may not be suitable for younger readers.) I found myself slowing down my reading just to make the story last longer. I highly recommend Widow of Gettysburg to lovers of history as well as to readers who are seeking a mesmerizing story.
 My thanks to the author and Moody/River North for my review copy.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Today I'm welcoming Kathleen Maher to my blog to share with us the historical background of her Civil War-era novella, Bachelor Buttons. Bachelor Buttons released on May 1 as part of a Civil War sesquicentennial collection by Helping Hands Press. Kathleen won the 2012 ACFW Genesis contest, and has finaled in several others since 2009. Represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency, Kathleen blogs about New York State history.  http://kathleenlmaher.blogspot.com/

She and her husband live in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate NY with their three children, two Newfoundland dogs and a tuxedo cat.

I asked Kathleen what inspired her to write Bachelor Buttons, and she wowed me with this fascinating background information.

"My novella Bachelor Buttons features the Irish in Manhattan at the time of the Civil War Draft Riots. Provoked by Lincoln's Enrollment Act, the immigrants took to the streets in violent protest. They felt singled out by an executive order that exempted the rich from compulsory service because they could purchase a stand-in to fight for them. The draft also exempted freed blacks because they weren’t yet citizens.
In response, the Irish set fire to the Provost Marshal's office where the draft was being conducted on July 13, and attacked homes and businesses throughout Manhattan in the next three days, including pro-Lincoln papers the Times, the Herald, and Horace Greeley's Tribune.
But why would the Irish feel so desperate that they would resort to violence? There is no excuse for hate crimes such as were committed during this riot, mostly against freedmen. There were a dozen lynchings and a black orphanage was razed. Nothing can justify the thug tactics of an inebriated mob. These are blights on history, and to the character of a struggling group of immigrant class Irish in particular. And while much atonement would be needed, it is also clear that not all Irish engaged in this villainous behavior.
 Some emerged as heroes, such as firefighters and policemen who were also mostly Irish, who struggled desperately to restore order. In at least one instance, a neighborhood rallied in defense of one of its black citizens to keep the mob from destruction and murder.
And yet, caught in the middle between savagery and heroism were a majority of disenfranchised Irish whose political leanings left them outraged at executive overreach and the trampling of the constitution. Copperheads loyal to the Union but opposed to the Lincoln administration, they cited the suspension of the Writ of Habeus Corpus as evidence that rights were eroding in their new country.
 Based on suspicion alone, a man could be held as a traitor or spy indefinitely, with no evidence to convict him. These wartime attacks on personal liberty left many in a state of panic and mistrust, desperate for an expression to voice their disagreement. In fact, Manhattan had a groundswell of support at the onset of the war for secession from the Union to preserve free trade with the South and its business interests. Jobs were at stake. Livelihoods already precarious were put in peril.
The makings of civil unrest had been laid. When the wick of Lincoln’s Enrollment Act had been lit, a powder keg of protest ensued in the draft riots of 1863."

Kathleen has graciously offered to host a drawing for a free ebook copy of her novella. Please leave a comment with your email address included for a chance to win this gripping story. The drawing will close at midnight on June 17th--one week from today.

Here's a photo of Bachelor Buttons' gorgeous cover, just to whet your appetite!

Monday, May 6, 2013

ADORING ADDIE, by Leslie Gould

 Addie Cramer has a tough row to hoe. Literally. As the only girl in a family of boys, she's expected to do the cooking, cleaning, gardening, and laundry. Her overweight mother spends her days writing chore lists for Addie.
 If all that weren't enough, her parents expect her to marry Phillip Eicher, a staid young man who is considered a "good catch" in their Amish community.
 Although she has huge doubts, Addie is swept along in their plans until she meets Jonathan Mosier at a farmer's market. He has all of the caring qualities that Phillip lacks, and it doesn't hurt that he's handsome, to boot. Unfortunately, the Mosiers and the Cramers are feuding. Both sets of parents refuse to consider the match. Addie and Jonathan are at a loss unless they can bring their two families together.
 I enjoyed Leslie Gould's take on this timeless story. Her plot and characterizations lift Adoring Addie from a sweet Amish romance to a contemporary novel about dysfunctional families. Their story could take place anywhere, not just in Lancaster County.
 I give Adoring Addie two thumbs up! After you've read it, I'd love to know your opinion.

My thanks to the author and Bethany House for providing my review copy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

THE DANCE, by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
Jim Anderson is stunned when he arrives home from work after a busy day and discovers his wife is missing. His shirts aren't ironed. Dinner isn't on the stove. How could she do this to him?

After twenty-seven years of being Jim's version of a perfect wife, Marilyn Anderson has had enough. She leaves Jim a note telling him not to contact her, then settles into an apartment with a girlfriend.

Finally free to do what she wants for a change, Marilyn finds a job and fulfills a lifetime dream by signing up for dance lessons.

As it turns out, Jim is the only one who's clueless about why she left. Their children are not surprised and tell him so. At this point in The Dance, I have to confess that Walsh did such a good job of portraying Jim as a jerk that I was hoping Marilyn would just run far away and leave him forever. However, the focus of this story is restoration.

As the days of Marilyn's absence mount up, Jim slowly recognizes that he's to blame for the crumbling of his marriage, but has no idea what to do to win her back. How will he change a lifetime of putting himself first? And how can he expect to heal his marriage when Marilyn won"t even talk to him?

The Dance is the first in The Restoration series. Walsh and Smalley have written a remarkable novel that will impact readers as they take the journey of restoration along with the Andersons.

The Dance is a skillfully told story. I give it two hearty thumbs up!

My thanks to the author and Revell for providing me with a review copy.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Thanks to all who entered the Tea With Rosemary Consolation Contest!

The scavenger hunt phrase was "Can Cassie cook?"

Can she? That phrase is a clue to the next book in the Sisters at Heart series. Release date is early 2014. In the meantime, I hope you've enjoyed Rosemary's story in When the Heart Heals.

Congratulations to LINDA, CINDY, and BONNIE! Your teas will be on the way to you soon!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Consolation Contest Just for You!

So many of you participated in the wonderful TEA WITH ROSEMARY giveaway sponsored by my publisher, Revell.  We just announced the winners last Friday.  I wish every one of you could have won a prize, but since that's not possible, I decided a consolation contest was in order.

What is a consolation contest?  Well, when you were young, did you ever attend a birthday party where the hostess gave out little consolation gifts to all the partygoers--even those not celebrating a birthday--to make the whole event more of a celebration?

That's my intention with this contest. :)

To make this even more fun, I'm turning this contest into a word puzzle scavenger hunt.  The words you'll discover will give you the chance to win one of three consolation prizes, and they'll also reveal a key plot point in the next book in my Sisters at Heart series!

Here's what you'll need to do:

1.)  Go to the Look Inside This Book section for my latest novel, When the Heart Heals, on Amazon.

2.)  Follow the prompts below, to locate the three keywords for the puzzle.

3.)  Post a comment here, with the keywords you find.

4.)  I'll select three winners by random number generator from all the correct guesses. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment!

Here's what you could win:

Three winners will receive consolation prizes.  Each prize includes a 1 oz. package of Day Dreamer Blended tea (a blend of spearmint, lemongrass, elderberries, rose buds, linden flowers, chamomile, orange peel, and red raspberry leaves), a tea brewing infuser, and a When the Heart Heals bookmark.

Ready?  Solve this word puzzle:

(Remember to find these, just click over to the Look Inside This Book section on Amazon for When the Heart Heals)

1._____________   2._______________________   3.____________________?

For blank 1:  Go to the bottom of page 12.  Count back 23 words.  Enter the 23rd word in this blank.
For blank 2:  Go to the bottom of page 28. Count back 37 words. Enter the 37th word in this blank.
For blank 3:   Go to the bottom of page 17. Count back 3 words.  Enter the 3rd word in this blank.

Think you've figured out the phrase?  Post your comment below!  I look forward to seeing your guesses.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Here's Rosemary's special bread recipe, from When the Heart Heals:

1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme (or 1 Tbsp. dried, crushed before adding)
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, if desired.

(All of these ingredients would have been available to Rosemary in 1868. In fact, her sour cream was probably the real thing!)

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.

 In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Combine buttermilk and sour cream, set aside. Combine the flour, thyme, lemon peel, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.
 Transfer to a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Bake on bottom shelf of oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 This bread is delicious with your morning cup of tea or coffee. It’s also great as an afternoon treat. Try it with a cup of chamomile tea.

 Be sure to let me know how you like the bread after you’ve tried it!

Lemon-Thyme Bread Recipe and photo by Taste of Home

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SHATTERED, by Dani Pettrey

 Piper McKenna is overjoyed when her prodigal brother returns to Yancey, Alaska, but her joy turns to shock when she sees he's covered in blood. His arrest for murder quickly follows. Because of his reputation, the only person who refuses to believe the overwhelming evidence against him is his sister, Piper.
 Deputy Landon Grainger is a long time McKenna family friend, but he's sworn to uphold the law. For him, the evidence is all that matters. Only when Piper steps into danger in her quest for proof to free her brother does Landon realize she needs to be protected from herself. At the same time, he privately acknowledges that his feelings for Piper have changed from friendship to attraction.
 As the two of them, and eventually the other McKenna siblings, follow clues, they venture into a deep web of intrigue. Their quest takes them to locations in British Columbia, California, and Oregon at an ever-increasing pace.
 Pettrey doesn’t relax the tension for a moment. Shattered kept me awake late at night as I kept reading just "one more chapter."
 If you enjoy suspense mixed with a good portion of romance, you’ll love Shattered.  I certainly did!

 Thanks to the author and Bethany House for my review copy.

Monday, January 7, 2013


As a widow, Charlotte Harding faces a daunting challenge. She's hiding from the tainted legacy of her late husband, and caring for her young son on her own. She believes that by coming to Cheyenne, she's successfully put the past behind her, although she's troubled by the lies she's had to tell to do so.
Barrett Landry is one of Cheyenne's most influential cattle barons. He's on the cusp of running for senator for the soon-to-be state of Wyoming. His political slogan is "Landry Never Lies."  One of the town's most eligible young women is waiting to receive his proposal.
Yet once he meets Charlotte, he finds himself drawn to her ideals, as well as her beauty. She knows their match is impossible--her past would never stand up to political scrutiny. The hurdles the two of them face seem insurmountable.
Throw in a shadowy threat from Charlotte's past, and the challenges of rearing her young son, and the reader wonders how Waiting for Spring will ever reach a satisfying conclusion.
I enjoyed Amanda Cabot's careful crafting of this plot, as well as the authentic details of early Cheyenne. Waiting for Spring is an absorbing tale.
I recommend this book. If you haven’t read Summer of Promise, the first book in the Westward Winds series, you’ll enjoy that one as well, although it's not necessary to read the books in order.
My thanks to the author and Revell for providing my review copy.