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Apr 28, 2014
Angels Watching Over Me (Shenandoah Sisters, #1)Angels Watching Over Me by Michael Phillips
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There was a lot about this story that I liked, including the characters and the setting and the story line. But there were things I didn't like.

The ending for one, or lack thereof. It's the first book of the series and it pretty much just... stops. There is no real resolution or conclusion or anything to signal the reader that they've reached "the end." In fact, I read the e-book version and was set aback when I realized that was it! I'd reached the end. Seriously? Yup. Done.

The book is written in first person point of view, which I don't mind reading, but it seemed to waffle between that and omniscient at times which I found mildly annoying.

I'd recommend not reading this one unless you have or are prepared to get the rest of the series. I probably won't. I liked the characters and the story, but not enough to get into another book that might leave me as flat as this one did.

On the other hand - if you enjoy serial books, where one picks up right where the last one left off - you might love Angels Watching Over Me. The characters are strong, the story line is compelling, and the setting was very well done.
Apr 26, 2014
Welcome to The Sheepish Scribe, Jericha Kingston! I’m glad you were willing to slip on some boots and join me on the farm today. Oh! And doesn’t that lead in nicely to your debut release, Waiting for Lily Bloom? Give us a snippet to set the scene.

Thank you for hosting me, Pegg! I’m thrilled to be here.

         James ran in the direction of the fence. It was no use. Instinctively, his eyes closed, worthless in the blinding storm. The last thing he’d seen was Lily’s thin frame being engulfed by a dust wall that blotted out the sky.
Father, save her.
         “Lily, listen.” He yelled, choking on dust. “Use the fence to walk to me. I’m coming.” He took his handkerchief from his pocket and tied it around his head, protecting his mouth and nose. He gripped the fence railing, quickly sidestepping. Sand pelted him, stinging his skin. A rock flew into his forehead. Warmth oozed down the side of his face.
“Lily, if you hear me, knock on the planks.”
Loud knocks reached his ears in rapid, frantic blows.
“I’m coming for you, Lily. Walk toward my voice. I hear you.” He shouted above the squall. “That’s the way. Keep knocking.”
The knocking beat in his head like a woodpecker, her constant, anxious rapping drawing him nearer. “Almost there. Come to me.”
Craaack. He froze. A tree split, the deafening racket besting Lily’s constant hammering. Wood splintered, groaning as it crashed downward.
Lord, don’t let it fall on Lily.
Time stopped. How big was it? Where would it land? He braced himself for impact. With a whoosh and a thud, the limb collapsed onto the fence.
The wooden plank ripped from his hands.

There was so much despair and destruction surrounding the Dust Bowl years, what prompted you to set this story there?

Precisely because of the turbulence of the era, Pegg. We’ve seen it in our own lives. Devastating events bare us, disclosing our flaws. The setting gave me a slingshot and a mirror. The slingshot propelled the story forward, and the mirror exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the characters.

James has prayed for a wife to help him on the farm and you sent him a big city gal. That was mean, Jericha! Why is Lily the perfect woman for James?

(Laughing) I’m so glad you asked this question. How many times have we prayed for something, only to discover we needed the polar opposite? We’re quick to tell God what we want, but He knows our thoughts, our personalities, every molecule of our being. Lily is perfect for James because she reveals James’s total dependence on the Lord. She increases his faith.

Lily has no thoughts of men or marriage when she travels to visit her aunt and uncle. What is there about James that changes her mind?

Ah, James. I love him. He’s kind and patient. But most of all, he hears Lily. Even though she’s mute, James understands her expressions, her gestures, even her silence. How great is that? A man so attuned to his wife, she can’t help but love him in return.

I was privileged to read this before it Pelican picked it up. They are running it as an Easter novella, but it’s really more than that. It’s a great story of faithfulness, trust, and love. I know readers will connect with James and Lily and enjoy this story!  Tell the readers where they can find the book and how they can connect with you on social media.

Thank you for having me, Pegg! Waiting for Lily Bloom can be found at Pelican Book Group’s web site

Connect with me here:

Apr 24, 2014
Courting Cate (The Courtships of Lancaster County, #1)Courting Cate by Leslie Gould
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy Amish stories but it's true that many of them are starting to run together and sound alike. Courting Cate does not fall into that category. Cate Miller is happy to be a bookish spinster helping her father run the family business. But that's not good enough for her father. So he devises a plan to see her married - like it or not.

Pete Treger wanders into town looking for a job and a wife. He's handsome, well read, and oh... so poor. Is he eyeing Cate or her father's business?

When Cate's younger sister's activities threaten to blow the family apart, Cate is willing to sacrifice herself on the alter of family unity. How will that fit into Pete's plans? No spoiler here - you'll have to read it to find out!
Apr 20, 2014
Daisies Are ForeverDaisies Are Forever by Liz Tolsma
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I haven't read a lot of WWII era novels, but those I have read have challenged my views on that war. Daisies are Forever is no exception. What I like about this one is that it's based on two true stories of women who lived through the Russian invasion of Germany. This was a time when ordinary people overcame extraordinary circumstances - and that always makes for a good story!

Gisela Cramer just wants to go home, away from the Russians, away from Germany, back to America where she grew up. But her father is fighting in the German army and her mother is alone in Berlin. Encumbered with her cousin's two little girls and her neighbor's befuddled elderly sisters, Gisela sets out one step ahead of the Russians for Berlin. Along the way she collects a one-armed German soldier, a British escaped POW, and a Marlene Dietrich wanna-be. Amid the bullets, bombs, and brutal conditions, Gisela strives to keep everyone together. A job too big for anyone - but God - in WWII Germany.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to broaden their views of WWII and what happened to everyday people at that time. It's eye-opening. Due to the subject matter, the brutality of war, and the stark way it is presented in this story, age 16 and up would be my recommendation.

Release date for this book is May 8th! I received an advance copy for this review. 


Apr 17, 2014
FIVE great big STARS!

I was privileged to read this book before it was submitted to Pelican. Kudos, Pelican, for knowing a great story when you read one! 

Jericha Kingston plunges the reader into the hardscrabble life of dustbowl-era Oklahoma where James Bloom has been patiently praying for a wife. Someone to share his life with. Someone to talk to on the long, lonely evenings on the farm.

Lily Driggers is a big city girl on a visit to her aunt and uncle. She doesn't expect to meet a handsome farmer - or to get caught in one of the worst dust storms in history with him.

Sparks fly and misunderstandings abound when Lily's aunt and uncle find the pair together in his house after the storm. Can love bloom amid the dust and doubts?

I highly recommend this book!
Available at Amazon
Apr 12, 2014
A Plain ManA Plain Man by Mary Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A slightly different angle on an Amish story. We first met Caleb Beachy in Mary Ellis's story "Sarah's Christmas Miracle." Now he's done with the Englisch lifestyle and has moved back to his parent's home. But it's not easy. Earning the trust of the community he left is difficult - or maybe impossible.

Josie Yoder is happy to see Caleb return. Besides being her best friend's brother, he's still the handsome man she remembers. Against the wisdom and wishes of her family, she and Caleb begin to see each other.

There is plenty of conflict to build this story on. The characters are fresh and interesting and easy to relate to. Not many of us have escaped our growing up years without a few scars - some visible but most not. Nice little twist at the end that I particularly liked. But no spoiler here!
Apr 5, 2014
The Pelican Bride (Gulf Coast Chronicles, #1)The Pelican Bride by Beth White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love finding out-of-the-ordinary historical settings that include a great story. This one nails it! Set in what is now Louisiana back when it was under French control, the story starts with a young woman fleeing from Catholic France and the persecution of the Protestant Huguenots. Bound for New France to outrun her secret, Genevieve Gaillain knows she's expected to marry a man she's never met when she arrives. Better that than being executed in France, as her father was.

Tristan Lanier has already lost one wife in the boggy swamps of New France, and he has no intention of choosing another from the women who arrive aboard the Pelican. But he didn't foresee a woman like Genevieve.

The twists, turns, and intrigues that weave between the French, Canadian, and Native Americans will keep the reader guessing what happens next - and who the bad guys really are! Thank goodness this is book one of a series, because it's only whet my appetite for more historical fiction set in this place and era.
Apr 4, 2014
Courting Morrow Little: A NovelCourting Morrow Little: A Novel by Laura Frantz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By far the best book I’ve read this year. I could not put this one down. A gripping tale with characters you’ll never forget.

Morrow Little was five years old when Indians killed her mother and younger sister, and took her older brother captive. She and her father, a preacher in a Kentucky wilderness settlement, carried on as best they could. Pa survived through forgiveness and befriending the Shawnee. Morrow grew bitter and fearful.

Morrow Little seems a most unlikely character to survive on the frontier. Small, fearful, and uncertain, she is anything but a stereotypical pioneer woman. I like that deviation. It made the story much more interesting. I found myself rooting for her to rise above it.

Laura Frantz does an excellent job of portraying the frontier from both sides. So many authors want to portray the Native Americans as only victims or the American frontiersmen as only cruel aggressors. Frantz portrays them more realistically; the good, the bad, and the ugly. They were human and, as humans, each sector included all of the above.

I'm not giving any spoilers away, because while some of the story line was predictable, there were some interesting and intriguing twists too. It didn't end like I expected it would - in one respect - and I like being wrong when I think I know exactly what's going to happen.