Category Archives: ReneeK

The Captain’s Daughter by Delamere

London, 1879 When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.

The Captain’s Daughter
by Jennifer Delamere
Baker Publishing Group
June 2017

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided—until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

My thoughts:

I decided to step out of my regular book genre again.  Sometimes I just need something completely different than what I normally read.

This is the first book in “London Beginnings Series.”  

I’m a fan of historical fiction. Jennifer Delamere is a new author for me. The historical setting of the story is 1879 London- and the historical characters of Gilbert and Sullivan that feature with their musicals made the story’s setting delightful.

The story is based off of three girls who become orphans after the death of their parents and end up in George Müller’s orphanage. Then focuses on Rosalyn the eldest eventually finds work as a housemaid. You find yourself skipping 6 years in the future and Rosalyn is accused of stealing and the unwanted advances of her employer’s new husband. She flees to be with her other sister to Bristol.

This was an easy read. I found the character interesting and likable.  Not a lot of depth with the character but, there is a lot of action to keep the book interesting. The book wasn’t predictable and it did leave you wanting more depth with the characters.

I’m not going to give away the story so you will have to read it for yourself. Overall, this was a fun read that I had a hard time putting down.


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 via Litfuse Publicity as a review copy.

Threads of Suspensions by Henderson

Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery.

Threads of Suspensions
An Evie Blackwell Cold Case
by Dee Henderson
Baker Publishing Group
May 2017

Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

My Thoughts:

Somehow I must have missed reading Traces of Guilt another Evie Blackwell Cold Case Book. I have been a long time fan of Dee Henderson’s books and have read all of her books except for the last one. Dee Henderson was one of the first authors I read when I became a believer many – many years ago. I was hooked to find an author that was a believer writing quality Christian mystery books.

I love the details she puts into the Missing Persons Task Force. The process she describes that an investigator has to go through to pull up a case that has been unsolved for many years. It made it interesting seeing how Evie and her new partner David have completely different styles as investigators.

The story kept building up the suspense as the team starts uncovering the mystery of the missing people. It was a page turner for me.

Dee Henderson always has a flair for the characters, plot, and the surrounding of the story. It was interesting going through the many theories and leads that will keep you not wanting to put the book down. There are a few surprises. I love David and Evie each have a deep faith in God.  

I’m not going to give away any spoilers but, I have to say that I didn’t find this story predictable and was surprised how it came together.
  


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 Ebb Tide by Lewis

Oh, to see the ocean, Sallie thought. And to spend the summer as a nanny. She shook her head in amazement. This seemed too good to be true, but she really must talk it over with Dat and Mamm, especially since she’d be gone so long. And after I promised Mamm I’d take baptism classes this summer . . .

The Ebb Tide
by Beverly Lewis
Baker Publishing Group
April 2017

Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home?

My Thoughts:

Beverly Lewis has a wonderful way to make stories come alive within the pages of her books. Every time I finish a book or a series I’m sad to see it come to an end.

Sallie is not the typical Amish girl and wants to explore places before she joins the church.  After her first trip to a faraway place by airplane doesn’t happen she is give an opportunity to see the ocean for the summer. Her intent is to return home and join the church. Life isn’t always laid out in a neat package. Sometimes God has different plans for us and Sallie has to find out which path God is leading her on.

This is just a beautiful story that is so descriptive in the details of Sallies surrounding and of her heart. You can’t help but not to be swept away in her dreams. Not to mention that this is a page turner to the very end.

All of Beverly Lewis books have such intriguing characters and plots. Most of all a message about our Christian walk. This story I see waiting on God to direct our paths and not trying to please others but, letting go and let God direct our way.

I’m not going to give away the story. I enjoyed this story and look forward to more books from Beverly Lewis.


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 Newcomer by Woods Fisher

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after 10 weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom. But this perfect moment cannot last.

The Newcomer
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Baker Publishing Group
January 2017

As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World – isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father – his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him? When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not – bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not. Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Amish Beginnings Series. Overall, this could be read without the first book in the series. The first book in the series is Anna’s journey to the new world. You will miss some of the character interactions and some of the history behind the individuals. Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books always does a good job laying the ground work on a series in each book. I love stories that are historical.

The story picks up when they arrive in the port of Philadelphia after they crossed the Atlantic Ocean. They are preparing to make the journey in the wilderness were Jacob Bauer has secured some land for the community.

I find it intriguing the Amish coming to the New World to create a community to worship God without persecution. The details of the era and the worked needed to create a community was intriguing and made for an interesting read. The courage and faith of the individuals kept the group going despite the difficulties they faced.

All the characters have a lot of depth about them to make you feel almost part of the story. I love all the history put into the pages and the individuals you meet.

I look forward to the next book in the series.


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.

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.