Category Archives: ReneeK

If I Run by Blackstock

IfIRunCasey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested… or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

If I Run
Terry Blackstock
Zondervan
February 2016

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

My thoughts: What a wonderful book. It’s always so hard to find a good Christian suspense book that is well written. Terri Blackstock does it with such skill that keeps you going back for more of her books.

This time I think the author has out done herself. I loved, “If I Run”. I think it’s her best yet. Not only do I think this is her best but, the style of writing is completely different than any of her other books she has written. She wrote the story from a first person pretense going back and forth from the main characters Casey and Dylan. I have read books in this style before but, it didn’t work in my opinion and I was disappointed.

Terri made it feel as if you are the character and all the action going on. The plot, suspense, characters, and the surrounding just hit the mark right on. Lots of twist and turns and you didn’t know what to expect next. I was hooked from the first page and read the book in two days. I could have easily finished it in a day but, life happens and a mom has to take care of family.

This is defiantly one of my top favorite books. The ending is a complete cliff hanger. I hate cliff hanger as it makes me wait for the next book to come out. As far as cliff hangers go it was not what I expected considering all the events that lead up to the last page.

Terri thank you for an amazing story-you have outdid yourself. I can’t wait for the next story in this sequel.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The River by Beverly Lewis

riverShe looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna’s death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past. A line I can’t move beyond…The River

The River
by Beverly Lewis
Bethany House
September 2014

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can’t undo?

My Thoughts:

I often get asked if I tire of reading Amish Fiction. The answer is yes and no. I like that I know the books will be clean and centered around Biblical values. Beverly Lewis is not one that I tire of as she has changed a lot in her Amish genre. Mrs. Lewis was the first author to hook and reel me into Amish fiction and I guess you could say she is still hooking and reeling me in with her stories.

Tilly and Ruth are well developed characters that you just adore. Both of the sisters have unresolved hurts that have kept them in a place that they have been stuck dwelling in for far too long.

This is a story of redemption, healing, forgiveness, and family. Both girls have to find peace and resolve and be content in their decision that led them away from their Amish roots.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers but, this is a worthwhile story that will pull at your heart strings and break your heart at the same time.

Thank you for another wonderful story. This story ended with a wonderful conclusion. I look forward Beverly Lewis next book.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray

joyfulA young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Joyful
Return to Sugarcreek 3
by Shelley Shepard Gray
Avon Inspire
August 2014

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.

My Thoughts:

This is book three in the, “Return to Sugarcreek” series. Don’t fret if you haven’t read the first book in the series as you will be able to follow along. I assure you that you will want to go back and read book one and two.

I had such a hard time putting this story down. I loved catching up with other characters from the previous novels and meeting new one.

Elizabeth was warm and caring character. I really liked her personality. Randall I wanted to dislike at times for being such a fool. The Beiler boys just are to likable not to stay mad at them to long.

Judith and Ben I am so glad that we got to see how there story ended. I won’t give away any spoilers.

The new character’s Pippa and Bud I would of loved if the author spent a bit more time with them and got to know them better.

All the characters in this story were interesting and I am sad to see this series come to an end. I have really enjoyed this book.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

A Hopeful Heart by Clipston

A Hopeful Heart, the first novel of the new Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from best-selling author Amy Clipston, Hannah finds herself at a crossroads in her life.

A Hopeful Heart
by Amy Clipston
Zondervan
June 2013

Hannah’s community offers her love and support after the untimely death of her husband, but an Englisher offers her the chance of a new life after her unexpected tragedy. Wealthy businessman Trey Peterson is surprised by his attraction to the gentle Amish woman who works as a housekeeper in the Lancaster Grand Hotel. They share a common bond of loss and are able to offer each other comfort and support as they journey through their grief.

Joshua Glick wants nothing more than to offer his friendship and love to Hannah and her family. Not only is he her late husband’s brother and business partner, he has always been in love with Hannah.

A Hopeful Heart is filled with surprising twists as Hannah tries to balance her life in the Amish community and her growing love for an outsider.

My thoughts: This is the first book that I have read by Amy Clipston. I really enjoyed her take on Amish Fiction. The story was different than the other authors who write Amish Fiction. It was an enjoyable book.

I really liked Hannah as a character. She was very real and you couldn’t help but not to like her. Her children all had ifferent personalities that made the story more interesting. All the characters were intriguing and you had the ones that you loved to dislike that just made you cringe. I look forward to the next book in this series. Thank you for a wonderful story.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Rainbows for Rainy Days by Campbell

The sight of a rainbow is more than a beautiful natural phenomenon. For behind each physical show is a reminder of a God who always keeps His promises – especially in the middle of life’s storms.

Rainbows for Rainy Days
by Catherine Campbell
Monarch Books
May 2013

‘Rainbows for Rainy Days’ is a full colour, hard back book containing 40 devotional readings. Bringing together a selection of promises from the bible, Catherine’s writings encourage the reader to trust God for whatever situation they find themselves in.

Uplifting and inspiring, this little gem will brighten any rainy day!

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this devotional. Reading these devotionals has been very encouraging to me. Sometimes a book just speaks volume to you and this one did for me. It met me where I am at in my journey.

Catherine is no stranger to heart ache and deep valleys. I haven’t lost a child but, as a mom who has a child with special needs I sometimes need to be reminded that there is a rainbow for those too often rainy days.

Each devotional starts out with a scripture. The illustrations throughout the book are lovely and quite tranquil. The book is a good quality hard back. I like that the pages are thick and you don’t have to worry about them ripping so easily.

There are so many devotions that I enjoyed in this book.The one that spoke to me today was #17 from Isaiah 40:3. I am not telling you what the verse says if you don’t know. So you will have to look it up yourself.

Thank you Catherine for putting your heart into this book-it really shines through. I would recommend this book to just about anyone. It would sure be a wonderful jewel for someone you know who has lots of rainy days.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Biblical Hebrew by Alef Press

Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a homeschool Primer: in these books, we will emphasize Biblical Hebrew as a tool for lifelong Bible study, worship, service, and joy. By completion of this series a student should be able to read from A Reader’s Hebrew Bible, a Bible edition that provides same-page basic definitions of words that appear less than 100 times in Scripture. The path to that point will include Biblical culture, geography, history, and worldview. A student will be additionally equipped to use Bible reference tools, understand translation issues, study Biblical words in depth, and enjoy the language with fluent reading and singing.

Biblical Hebrew
A Homeschool Primer
Alef Press

Since primarily Jews and seminarians have been learning Biblical Hebrew lately, available texts generally expect you either to be immersed in Jewish tradition, or to have graduate level study skills and a professor of Ancient Near Eastern linguistics to hand. The goal of this series is to make Biblical Hebrew a viable and richly rewarding option for a homeschool foreign language course. The highest hurdles are crossed by the time you finish the primer: believing it is possible and mastering a new alphabet.

The primer resources below, available now, will have you reading, writing, singing, and praising God in Hebrew. Forthcoming Biblical Hebrew volumes will take a student through high school foreign language credits to reading the Bible in Hebrew.

My Thoughts and what I love: First of all let me say that this Hebrew Primer set in my opinion is not just for homeschoolers. It is very user friendly for anyone wanting to learn Biblical Hebrew. It definitely is homeschool friendly. Okay so you might have to be a homeschooler to really understand that. We tend to be curriculum junkies and not all curriculums are very friendly!

Homeschooling is a lot of work. The reality is that electives especially foreign language aren’t usually on the top of the to do list. Grammar, math, reading, and writing are the priority. Those subjects take up a lot of time.

That is why I love it when I can find an elective that I can open the book and teach the subject. I don’t even have to know about that subject. You get to learn something new along with the kids. Alef Bet Homeschool Primer is the above-open book and learn.

My family has been using Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a Homeschool Primer by Kim McKay for around two months now. Wow, my kids and I are really enjoying it. We have done a few different Hebrew curriculums over the last two years. Well let’s just say that those other Hebrew Curriculum is not intended for the homeschool setting. Or they assume you know what you are doing and know Hebrew already. We stuck with it and then I found a big sigh of relief in when I came across Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a Homeschool Primer.

The Teacher’s Manual is simple to understand. The explanations are clear so you won’t question what you are teaching. I like that the lessons vary from lesson to lesson. Some lessons you may have stories, supplements, and a variety. The Teachers Manual has lots of tips and suggestion and you can check your child’s work in the answer key.

Show and Tell DVD I love the Show and Tell DVD. It makes the curriculum interesting with all the different subjects and stories that are covered with in each lesson. It also goes over the sounds of the Aleph Bet Alphabet, vowels, and the vocabulary. The illustrations are gorgeous and the stories are so rich that go along with Hebrew traditions.

Student Workbook is not a bunch of unnecessary busyness. Each lesson has a short summary that covers the pronunciation of the sound and a grammar rule if there is one with that particular letter. Then you practice writing a little and a read out loud. Not every lesson is the same and I like that it has a variety.

You can download flashcards from the website-I know those dreaded flashcards but, I feel that it is very effective when you are learning Hebrew. If you want to remember all those new Aleph Bet letters, vowels, and vocabulary then you want to go here.

Music CD has many different Hebrew traditional songs and also the Aleph Bet song. They are sung slowly so you can hear the words clearly of the song and you can join in easily. Not only are you getting Biblical Hebrew but music! Okay so I may be stretching it. The songs are beautiful.

Jonah Workbook is the whole book of Jonah in Hebrew. This in my opinion could be used as a reader also. Writing is an awesome way to enforce those skills in Hebrew.

Cons: Jonah copybook has small spaces for writing. Personally, I would love to see it just a tad bigger. I would not recommend this book for younger kids unless they have a fair amount of Hebrew knowledge as you can use it for a reader or for writing a few words for extra practice.

I hate junk mail but when I do add my name to a list it’s because I am interested in something. I would like something on the website that I can add my email so I know when the next series comes out. Some kind of update on what is coming up in the future with Alef Press. I don’t have time to keep checking out the website all the time! Kim said,” that she can put you on an update list and email you when the new series is available.” Go here if you are interested in being added to the list. She informed me you won’t get a bunch of junk mail from Alef Press.

I would love some suggestions on how to use some of the supplements like the Trail Guide to Bible Geography, Drive Thru History, and the other resources. Can they be tied together with certain lessons? Okay this curriculum has spoiled me and I want my cake and icing! That may be wishful thinking but it doesn’t hurt to suggest it!

Complete Primer Set: Primer, Teacher’s Guide, music CD, DVD set, and Jonah Copybook: $107.80. This is a con and pro as it is pricey but you also get a lot for your money. The curriculum is well thought out. You are paying for something that is simplified. Trust me as I have spent some money on Hebrew curriculum!

You need to buy a student workbook for each student as it has a copyright not to reproduce it.

All of those cons are pretty small on my end as this is a wonderful, well thought out, open and go, fun, and amazing curriculum.

What a wonderful way to teach your kids and yourself a lifelong study tool when it comes to Gods word. Reading His Word in Hebrew is truly life changing. I want my kids to experience God’s Word in His language and not man’s transliteration.

Disclaimer: This curriculum is attended for ages 9 and up, the author really intending them for Jr. high and high school. A family that uses Hebrew already may be able to use them very well with younger kids, but they are not aimed at most elementary students.

Please keep in mind that my children already know the basics and are ready for reading Biblical Hebrew. They need lots of practice still. Especially Bug who needs extra work in some areas. Little Man has started putting together words with Hebrew with and without out the vowels. Both of my children already know lots of vocabulary due to us hearing it in our Synagogue and from us teaching them those words.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Courting Cate by Gould

In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!

Courting Cate
by Leslie Gould
Bethany House
November 2012

But the sisters’ wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor-until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.

Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate’s hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?

My Thoughts: It’s easy to tell by my book reviews that I like Amish Fiction. This is the first book that I have read by Leslie Gould and I wasn’t disappointed.

Cate figures that she will be an old maid, since she doesn’t think anyone could put up with her temper. Having raised her younger sister Betsy since birth and being in charge of her father’s business office has made Cate fairly independent.

When Betsy starts courting, their father issues an edict: Betsy cannot get married or court until Cate does. At the same time as the declaration, Pete, an Amish man from New York, comes to Lancaster County, and begins to court Cate. She, however, is immediately suspicious.

Anyone who has read the Shakespeare play, or even seen some of the numerous movie, television, and book adaptations (including the Heath Ledger classic 10 Things I Hate About You) will be able to guess how the story goes. However, it’s still a wonderful book, and I couldn’t put it down. This is a great story with many twists and turns. Why did Pete leave his family? Will Pete and Cate get together? Can the fiery Cate actually be tamed?

Amish fiction fans will recognize Gould from the Women of Lancaster County series she co-wrote with Mindy Starns Clark, but this book showcases Gould as an Amish author on her own. Courting Cate is the beginning of the Courtships of Lancaster County series, and if the rest of the series is as good as this title, I have a feeling it will be in high demand.

Cate was a lot of fun and added a lot of personality to this story. All the characters felt real and very likable. This is somewhat of a twist on your Amish Fiction which I find refreshing. You still see Cate’s grace and dignity and her relationship with her Savoir shine through in all situations.

Thanks for a well written book with delightful characters. I look forward to reading more in this series and by the author.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Memory Jar by Goyer

Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love. Since the tragic death of her best friend, Patty. She carries a lot of guilt because of her tragic accident. She holds her feeling inside.

The Memory Jar
Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors #1
By Tricia Goyer
Zondervan
October 2012

Sarah loves to bake cupcakes and would love to own her own bakery someday. She discovers that she has a talent that God created in her that is different than most in her Amish community. She finds herself at odds with most in the Amish community that believe that Sarah is going too far in her creativity and many find it prideful, but Sarah sees things differently.

Jathan Schrock came to hunt and try to figure out his future with his responsibilities that are expected of him from his family back home in Berlin, Ohio. What he wasn’t planning on was Sarah Shelter to captivate him.

My thoughts: Tricia Goyer did an amazing job with this story. Her characters were deep, heart touching and very likable. I enjoyed how different this story is from most Amish novels. It was very refreshing. I loved that I didn’t know what would happen next. The conclusion of the story was fun and nothing like I expected.

The Memory Jar is a captivating story that kept me wondering it was going to end. I hope to see these characters in another one of the author’s novels.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Breath of Dawn by Heitzmann

Wow, another amazing story by Kristen Heitzmann. I requested the book because of the author and the other books I have read of hers. I was surprised that Noelle, and Rick and Morgan Spencer from,” A Rush of Wings” and “Still of the Night” are characters in this story.

The Breath of Dawn
by Kristen Heitzmann
Bethany House
November 2012

I like how the characters grew in their faith. It gave you enough history of the characters to know what the other two previous books are about without making it drawn out. Kristen does it and this story is just as good if not better than her other novels. You do not need to read those novels to enjoy this one. I promise this is a stand-alone novel, but it will make you want to read those two novels.

This was an amazing well written novel, with such endearing characters. I felt like I was right there in the middle of everything. I loved Quinn Reilly character. Her faith and courage are inspiring. This book is a real page turner that will inspire you and have you staying up late to finish it. If you like suspense then this is a wonderful read.

Reading about Morgan and knowing his history from the other stories is fun. He is so real and seeing how his relationship developed with the Savior is encouraging. Morgan is a fun character in this novel. This book is a reminder that Jesus never leaves or forsakes us. Thanks Kristen for inspiring and intriguing me.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Escape to the Hiding Place by Hering and Younger

World War II has come to Holland. Patrick and Beth find themselves working with the Dutch Resistance to smuggle a Jewish baby back to her mother who is hiding in the home of Corrie Ten Boom in Haarlem, Holland.

Escape to the Hiding Place
The Imagination Station #9
By Marianne Hering and Marshall Younger
Tyndale House / Focus
September 2012

They take the baby by bicycle into the town trying to beat curfew. Avoiding the attention of German Nazi soldiers is proven harder the closer they get to the hiding place. The soldiers are everywhere and keeping the baby hidden and quiet is not an easy task.

Patrick and Beth see the sacrifice and bravery of those who are willing to lay down their own lives to help the Jewish people.

This is another wonderful book by the creators of Adventures in Odyssey. You will learn some history in these action packed stories.


ReneeK is a sweet tea addicted mamma who loves to cuddle up to a good book. She blogs at Little Homeschool on the Praire and writes about family, homeschooling, having a special needs child, and about whatever else tickles her fancy.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.