Keys of Heaven: A Healing Grace Novel by Adina Senft Book Review

Sarah Yoder is an Amish woman content to live by the rules of her Amish community. A widow, she is raising her children without their father but enjoys the companionship of her deceased husband’s family. Sarah is also happy to be learning the art of using herbs as medicine to help those in her community. Keys of Heaven is the second book in Adina Senft‘s Healing Grace series.

Certain stereotypes may come to mind when considering the Amish – a strict adherence to rules, steadfast religiousness, and separation from the world. But Senft creates a very human, easy-to-relate-to character in Sarah Yoder. In many ways, Sarah is like a non-Amish woman: she feels the pull of romantic love and she experiences conflict with members of her community.

I thoroughly enjoyed Keys of Heaven and give it five out of five stars. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Amish culture as well as those who enjoy reading Christian fiction that has a realistic amount of conflict.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of Keys of Heaven from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Old Fashioned Book Review

What are the rules of dating?

Novelist Rene Gutteridge and director Rik Swartzwelder have teamed up to create a new work that could spark some conversation about how that’s changed across generations. Their novel, Old Fashioned, is being made into a film that will be released the same weekend as Fifty Shades of Grey.

Old Fashioned centers on two characters – a level-headed man named Clay and a spontaneous woman named Amber. Proving the adage that opposites attract, the chemistry between the two can’t be ignored, and Old Fashioned explores a different way of dating – courtship – that for most people has all but gone by the wayside.


There’s an external struggle between Clay and Amber – they have a hard time connecting with each other – and, as it turns out, each has experiences from the past that is interfering with their ability to create a new relationship. While the story may be intended to be like a morality play – showcasing the benefits of courtship over typical modern dating – it comes across as preachy at times. Old Fashioned doesn’t fully show the joy that comes from a relationship based on freedom within limits.

FTC Disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

How to Become a Book Blogger

Interested in blogging about books, but not sure where you can join a publisher’s book review program? I’ve enjoyed the perks of reading newly-released and soon-to-be-released books through several book blogger programs. While publishers vary in how they run their programs, the structure is typically the same: you select a book, read it, and post a review online. Depending on the publisher, you may get to choose between a print or electronic copy. Here are some free book blogger programs…

Visible Threat by Janice Cantore, Book Review

vis thre

Police officer Brinna Caruso is passionate about fighting crime. With her canine partner Hero, she’s proud of her reputation for zealously hunting down those who harm her community, and Caruso has a particularly soft spot for the predators who victimize children. When the dead body of a young woman turns up in her jurisdiction, it won’t be a typical open-and-shut case. The case evolves and although Caruso is always emotionally invested in protecting innocent people, there’s something different about this case. Professional and personal boundaries blur, and suspense continues to build.

Additionally, a dash of romance makes the story more interesting, and the amount is just enough to sweeten the story without making it sappy or overly sentimental. The faith component of this story is present, but it’s presented in small doses and very realistic ways, meaning that it isn’t preachy, and it has substance. The spiritual questions and answers offered resemble a conversation that real people would have.

Visible Threat greatly exceeded my expectations and I would be very happy to read more of Janice Cantore’s work.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my honest opinions of this product.

Crossing’s Redemption by Carrie Daws: Book Review

Crossing's Redemption

Crossing, Oregon, is a quiet, peaceful town where life is ordinary but good. For Patricia Guire and Amber Yager, otherwise normal lives takes unwanted, abrupt turns when secrets of the past must be confronted.

These “skeletons in the closet” create the conflict of Crossing’s Redemption and for each woman, the life-altering event is different. While the back cover of the book would lead you to believe that it is only Patricia Guire facing a crisis, it is both Patricia and Amber entering a deep period of introspection. Daws weaves the struggle of the two characters together wonderfully.

Crossing’s Redemption takes place in today’s world respectfully discussing serious issues. But the way the book resolves some of these problems appears too optimistic. Perhaps it’s a hopeful attempt for how people should react, as the supporting characters model grace. Instead of anger, bitterness, fear, resentment or negativity, Crossing’s Redemption showcases patience and forgiveness, making it an excellent read for those enjoying faith-filled characters confronting real-life issues.

I received a copy of this book free from Ambassador International in exchange for my honest thoughts on this book.