Category Archives: ReneeK

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.

Battle for Cannibal Island by Hering and Batson

Beth and Patrick accidently end up on an adventure in the Imagination Station. When Patrick sees the tropical island he hopes for a fun vacation. Little do they know they are heading to the Fiji Islands with a bunch of cannibals who aren’t very happy about their fellow Fijians who are now believers in Jesus. Its 1852 and the British ship HMS Calliope under the command of Captain James E. Home. They are looking for an island to drop off prisoners. They are about to meet some interesting people.

Battle for Cannibal Island
The Imagination Station #8
By Marianne Hering and Wayne Batson
Tyndale House
October 2012

Missionary James Calvert is paving the way for peace with King Toki. Patrick and Beth are about to learn the true meaning of sacrificial living when they see the compassion James Calvert has for these dangerous natives. The love that he has for spreading the gospel to the point he is willing to risk his life for.

As always these are wonderful books that are packed with lots of adventure. The cousins always find themselves growing spiritually in the lessons they learn along the way.


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.

Life with Lily by Kinsinger and Fisher

“On a small Amish farm in upstate New York, young Lily Lapp has plenty to do and plenty of people to love. But changes are coming–including a new baby brother, a new teacher at school, and new ways of looking at the world. Lily’s growing up Amish, and there’s always a lot to learn–if only Lily can stay out of trouble.”

Life with Lily
The Adventures of Lily Lapp
by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher
Revell
October 2012

In Life with Lily you will meet 5 year old Lily Lapp. Lily is very mischievous, and an overall good girl. Lily tries very hard to stay out of trouble bu.t with so much adventure around every corner it makes it hard. Lily works and plays hard. She is about to learn many of life’s lessons on honesty, patience, and the love of family.

My thoughts: It was interesting to read about Amish life from a child’s perspective rather than an adult perspective. I feel like I was taken back to the days when I was a kid and read the “Little House on the Prairie” books.

This is a great series that is wholesome, entertaining, and will delight parents and children alike for years to come. I love it when I find a book that I don’t have to worry about for my kids to read.

The chapters are short and feel like mini short stories. Which I think is what makes this a great book for younger kids to keep their attention. I also liked how they have a, “Frequently Asked Questions About the Amish” at the end of the book. My kids haven’t read any books on the Amish at this point. This will be a good place to start at before we read the book.

I enjoyed the adventures of Lily and look forward to the other books in this series. This story is well written and you will fall in love with the Lapp family.


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 Season for Tending by Woodsmall

When Rhoda was seven years old her father gave her and her older sisters a blueberry bush and a herb plant. Her sisters had other thing to do, but Rhoda (Rhodes) loved and tended hers with care, so her father gave her a new bush, herb or gardening tool for her birthday and Christmas each year.

A Season for Tending
Amish Vines and Orchards
by Cindy Woodsmall
Waterbrook
September 2012

Rhoda has an unusual gift what you might call a, “sixth sense,” “foresight”, or “gift of healing.” She has feeling about situations and people that something bad is about to happen and Rhoda can describe the event in ways that unnerve both the Amish and Englisch in the community. Her gift causes a lot of grief to her and her family.

Her healing comes from the knowledge of her herbs and prayer. She also raises berries and has a successful business canning the produce of her garden. The others in her community are freighted of her gifts and she is forced to tear down her herb garden.

The King family own an organic apple orchard in another Amish community. Samuel King meets Rhoda in an awkward way. He can’t deny the fact that he is fascinated with her unorthodox skills in the garden. When the Apple orchards needs help to save this year’s harvest Samuel thinks of Rhoda and her gift in the garden.

Unlike most Amish novels the main characters don’t have any romantic feelings for one another. It would be more of a mutual respect that could combine both of their business in something spectacular.

My thoughts: Cindy Woodsmall has written many fantastic Amish novels. This novel is a great read overall I enjoyed it a lot. I have to say that I had trouble with Rhoda’s gift of sight. I think the story would have been better without it. I don’t think it benefited the story.

The story was a little slow at first building the characters and the plot. The book did get more interesting as you got into it. The characters are likable and have a lot of character. They like to joke and play around and just enjoy life. Catherine drove me crazy and I was glad she didn’t take up to much space in the story.

Maybe I am like some of the community in the book and I am bias against Rhoda’s gifts. I believe in healing and other supernatural things when it comes to my God but this book just didn’t do it for me in that area. You will have to decide for yourself. As far as the other books in the series we will have to see which direction the author takes it.


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.

Would You… Read Me To Sleep? by Edenfield and Harris

Leia and her father enjoy spending time with one another more than anything. They love taking long afternoon walks together. On these walks Leia enjoys many fun filled activities—treasure hunting being one of her favorites. Leia’s favorite time of all, however, is at the end of the day when her father treats her to storytime. Then one night, Leia’s father tells her the story of a wonderful and mysterious golden treasure. Will Leia solve the mystery and unlock the riches of this incredible treasure? Come along as a father and daughter spend a lifetime investing in one of the most beloved pastimes of childhood––storytime, and along the way, they both discover the awesome wonder of the greatest treasure of all.

Would You… Read Me To Sleep?
By George E. Edenfield
Illustrated by Alyson A. Harris
Golden Garden Publishing, Inc.
January 2012

My thoughts: What a beautiful story of a father’s love for his daughter. I love the eternal message in this story. As a parent one of the most important things I can give my child is the knowledge of the Savior and having a relationship with the Savior.

Throughout the story the father is passionate about impressing God’s word into his daughter’s life. His nightly routine is reading the Bible to her. As the daughter grows into her teenager years and later she goes off to college she discovers the secret of the, “Seven Golden Keys” and “The Great Treasure of Golden Destiny”. Leia shares the Treasure with her children.

As a Messianic Believer in Yeshua (Jesus) I was delighted to see a Tallit on Yeshua in the book. My kids also noticed it quickly. The illustrations are made to look like an oil painting on a canvas and are absolutely stunning.

My 10 yr. old daughter loved the story. I had to read it in several sittings as it is lengthy for my daughter who has some special needs. My son was disappointed that it was just about a girl and not a boy. He thought the story would have been better with having both a girl and boy.:0) He thought the story was to long but he enjoyed it. Overall this was 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.

My First Handy Bible by Olesen and Mazali

My First Handy Bible has thirty three Bible stories in this carry along feature for babies and toddlers. This board book is durable with a hard back cover and a latch to hold it securely shut. Easy to clean up all those messes little ones seem to make.

My First Handy Bible
by Cecilie Olesen and Gustavo Mazali
Hendrickson Publishers
January 2012

The stories are told in a simple format that is easy to read. The stories are perfect to hold the attention of any on the go toddler. This Bible has beautiful illustrations that your little ones will love learning about the truths of God’s Word.

My thoughts:

This is a perfect Bible for little ones. What child doesn’t love to carry around toys and books? The yellow handle is perfect for little hands. I can think of many toddlers who would love carrying around this Bible.

The most important thing is that you are teaching God’s word to them. Why not start early; your toddler can tote their own bible to church with them. Simple sentences retell Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation.

I have read this to my children who are much older a few times already. My not toddler son thinks it should be his Bible. Needless to say it will be a gift to one of my little nieces out of state. This would make a perfect baby shower gift for any expecting mother. This is a delightful Bible that will be a blessing to any child up to three years old.


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.

Ricky, The Remarkable Raccoon (Unlike Any Other) by Roger-Carey and Miles

Ricky the Raccoon dreams of a place he can call home. Most of all he wants a family to call his own. In a nearby harbor Ricky sees a boat with a family getting ready to head out. Maybe this family will adopt him! Ricky quickly finds out that this is not his forever family. The humans are afraid of him and throw him into a cage.

Ricky, The Remarkable Raccoon (Unlike Any Other)
Written by Peggy Roger-Carey
Illustrated by David Miles
Hope 4 Families
August 2011

Everything looks hopeless and Ricky just doesn’t understand why the humans wouldn’t even give him a chance to prove that he is a good boy. Then Ricky meets Mr. Whiskers and his lifelong dream is about to come true. To find a forever family to love him just the way he is.

My thoughts: Having done foster care and working with children in dire situations makes this book extra special to me. All any child (Ricky the Raccoon) want is a safe home and to be loved just the way they are.

My daughter is adopted and she may not quite understand the adoption stuff now and may never completely understand it. There is something about reading to a child from a book that relates to their situation that brings understanding in way that having a sit down talk doesn’t.

This is a wonderful and fun book. This book just isn’t for a child who is in foster care or that has been adopted. It’s a lesson in life teaching compassion and patience. With so many kids in foster care and that have been adopted this is a great book to show your child that they are just like them.

My children loved this book! I can’t tell you how many times I have read this book to them in such a short period of time. My son’s favorite animal is a raccoon which made it that much better.

The illustrations are fun and colorful. This book has found a forever home in my family’s heart and on my bookshelf to be read over and over. I look forward to seeing what other books this author has out in this series. Thank you Peggy for writing on a much needed area to teach kids a wonderful lesson.


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.