Tag Archives: book blogger

Out Of The Ashes | Sandi Rog


Today I am reviewing Out Of The Ashes, the 1st story in the Chicago Fire series by Sandi Rog.

Here is a brief synopsis:

A stranger. A kiss. A shotgun wedding.

NATHANIEL WARD, wealthy entrepreneur, needs a wife. But he’s not interested in the preening, high-society women who are offered to him on a silver platter.

He wants one woman, and one woman alone: the girl who gave him all the money in her reticule years ago when the Great Chicago Fire left him destitute. He sets out to find this woman and discovers she’s unattached.

There’s only one problem, a shotgun wedding may be able to bind them, but will he ever be able to win her heart?

AMELIA E. TAYLOR blows a kiss to a street rat. Little did she know, years later that kiss would follow her to Green Pines Colorado. When a handsome stranger arrives in her hometown, she guards her heart from the stirrings this man ignites.

Despite society’s disapproval of spinsterhood, she is determined not to marry, having witnessed first-hand the lack of love and horrors that accompany marriage.

But will a shotgun wedding reveal blessings that arise out of the ashes?


Let me just begin by saying, you should read this book!

Amelia Taylor – wow, what a rough life she has known, so far. A father who doesn’t provide for her, then forces her to marry a stranger. What could be worse?

Nathaniel Ward just happens to be the stranger that Amelie’s father forces her to wed. What can Nate do, when the man is aiming a shotgun at him?

Well, this story has a few expected events, but much of the time I was not expecting things to go as badly – or as well – as they did. And not once did I even put the book down – until I was finished. It was just that good!

Read it and you’ll see… you will most likely be angry at the harsh treatment Amelia is handed, but you’ll be wishing her the best after her “shotgun” wedding. The only thing that could have made this story any better… is more of the story! And I’m happy to say that we’ll get just that when the 2nd book is released.

Sandi Rog describes her story as a “light historical romance” – and that is a very apt description. I read very few historical novels… well, that’s not entirely true. I have a few favorite authors of historical fiction, such as Janette Oke, Rachel Muller and Grace Livingston Hill… and Sandi Rog.

(I never considered Ms. Hill as an historical author, but I’ve been told some would classify her books as historical. To me the difference being she wrote them in the present time… it just happened to be the early 1900’s.)

Welcome to my short list, Sandi… Out of the Ashes is an amazing story!

A stranger. A kiss. A shotgun wedding. Don’t miss OUT OF THE ASHES by Sandi Rog! Tweet this!

You can find more about Sandi and keep up with her on her blog HERE.
And be sure to check out my interview with Sandi on my AUTHOR BLOG.

God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt



Anna’s Healing | Vannetta Chapman


Today I am reviewing Anna’s Healing, the 1st book (but the 2nd story, if you count the prequel) in the Plain and Simple Miracles series by Vannetta Chapman.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Anna’s Healing is the first book in a brand-new collection from popular author Vannetta Chapman.

These stories of love and family and Amish community in Oklahoma tell of the miracles that can happen when lives are lived in service to God and to one another.

When a tornado strikes the farms surrounding Cody’s Creek, Anna Schwartz’s life is changed forever. She suffers a spinal cord injury and suddenly finds herself learning to live as a paraplegic.

Three people–Chloe Roberts, Jacob Graber, and Ruth Schwartz–join forces to help Anna through her darkest days. Chloe is an Englischer who writes for the local paper. Jacob has recently arrived in town and stays on as a hired hand at her uncle’s. And Ruth is her grandmother, a woman of deep faith and a compassionate spirit.

Then one morning Anna wakes and finds herself healed. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what is she to do now? Her life is again turned upside down as the world’s attention is drawn to this young Amish girl who has experienced the unexplainable.

Anna’s Healing – book 1 in the Plain and Simple Miracles series by Vannetta Chapman! Tweet this!


Anna Schwartz has come to Cody’s Creek to stay with her Aenti Erin and Onkel Samuel (and her dear mammi). Her reasons are strangely normal…

1. she came from a large family and wanted a little space to herself,
2. everyone was always asking “When are you marrying, Anna?”,
3. she wanted to see more of the world than Goshen, Indiana, and
4. she missed her mammi and wanted to spend time with her.

Anna soon makes friends with Chloe Roberts, a local reporter for the Mayes County Chronicle. Although when they first meet, Chloe is writing a column on the growth of cottage industries among Amish families, they soon become friends.

Soon Jacob Graber arrives… and he’s a bit different than most Amish.

1. he left his family in upstate New York, to travel the country
2. stopping to help out in communities, earning money to move on to the next new adventure…
3. and he has no plans — or reason — to stop… yet.

Soon after meeting Jacob, Anna is caught out in the fields working when a tornado causes her horses to bolt — and she ends up in a wheelchair. So what really happens afterwards? And why, when months later she wakes one morning to find she can walk again, aren’t people happy for her?

These are questions you can only answer after reading Anna’s Healing.

Vannetta Chapman is a brilliant author – she writes wonderful Amish books. This is an amazing story in itself; I would not — could not — have seen what was coming…

I urge you to read Anna’s Healing… you’ll be so glad you did!

Buy it! Read it! Share it!

When disaster strikes… hope and love rise to meet it. Anna’s Healing by Vannetta Chapman Tweet this!

You can find more about Vannetta and keep up with her on her website HERE.

And be sure to check out my interview with Vannetta on my AUTHOR BLOG

God bless you!
Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt


Brian’s Choice | Vannetta Chapman


Today I am reviewing Brian’s Choice, a prequel to the Plain and Simple Miracles series by Vannetta Chapman.

Brian’s Choice is an e-only short story prequel to the brand-new Plain and Simple Miracles series from popular author Vannetta Chapman… These stories of love and family and Amish community in Oklahoma tell of the miracles that can happen when lives are lived in service to God and to one another.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Brian Walker has it all — a trust fund, the job of his dreams, and a beautiful woman at his side. But all of that changes in one tragic moment.

One year later he finds himself in the small town of Cody’s Creek, Oklahoma, and eventually becomes a member of the Amish community located there.

Brian feels God’s hand directing his path, and he begins to hope that perhaps his past is behind him. However, nothing prepares him for the day his bishop asks him a question. His choice changes everything.

Plain and Simple Miracles… stories about the miracle of faith and our ability to forgive and be forgiven. Tweet this!


Brian Walker thought he had it all… but it only took a few moments — to lose it.

After an almost-fatal accident, Brian chose to leave the life he had made for himself, and just “get away”. Once he passed through Oklahoma, he found himself in Cody’s Creek — and feeling that God was leading him, decided to stay.

Eventually, he joined the Amish community — and the church — and began a new life, leaving behind the modern conveniences he had grown up around.

Brian, who was a “tenured” professor as an Englischer — becomes an Amish school teacher. It wasn’t his first choice, but he’s needed — and he steps in. I just loved reading how he works in the community, accepted and welcomed by the Amish (well, most of them).

The characters in Cody’s Creek are great; friendly, helpful, encouraging — and accepting of others. If this were a real place, I’d be making plans to visit soon.

Vannetta Chapman is a superb author — and she writes amazing Amish stories. I can’t wait to read the next story in the series. I love reading about miracles, so this series is a real treat for me. I won’t give anything else in this story away, so I can only urge you to get a copy of Brian’s Choice… and begin this awesome series.

Brian Walker thought he had it all… but it only took a few moments — to lose it all. Tweet this!

God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt

The Bishop’s Son | Kelly Irvin


Today I am reviewing The Bishop’s Son, the 2nd book in the Amish of Bee County series by Kelly Irvin.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Two men offer Leila two very different futures. Will she choose with her heart or with her faith?

Leila Lantz has been in love with Jesse Glick from the day she first saw him at his father’s store, but she can’t make sense of his intentions. One day he wants to come courting, the next he seems to be putting distance between them.

Jesse may be the bishop’s son, but his faith has been wavering of late. If he is so unsure, is it fair to give Leila false hope for a future he doubts he can provide?

Then there’s Will, Jesse’s cousin. He has been trying to keep his feelings for Leila a secret, but he also knows Jesse is wrestling with his faith. Would declaring his feelings for Leila be in her best interest or simply serving his own selfish desires?

Leila knows she can choose Will and be secure in her own future. But when her heart speaks, it’s Jesse’s name she hears. When will God make His will known to her?

Could leaving everything she knows—even her own faith—be a part of God’s plan?



I would imagine that being the son of a bishop would be about as difficult as being the son of a preacher. I was the daughter of a preacher – and my dad took his role very seriously.

Jesse is the son of a bishop. But Jesse is sneaking around – and sneaking around usually means trouble!

Kelly Irvin writes a wonderful story! It’s much more complex than I expected it to be, yet it was very simple. Life is usually like that, too. But finally, you reach the point where decisions – tough decisions – have to be made. And lived with.

Leila has cared for Jesse for many years, but when he begins staying away from home, running with Englischers, she must make a choice – a decision – of what is best to do. Jesse’s cousin Will would like her to choose him – and be baptized. Will Jesse accept this? And will he stay or will he leave?

Great story! Great characters… Amish and Englisch both. I’m certain parts of this story was difficult for Kelly to write, but she did a fine job.

If you’re reading The Amish of Bee County series, you won’t want to miss this sequel…

The Bishop’s Son – book 2 in the Bee of Amish County series by Kelly Irvin! Tweet this!

God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt


The Beekeeper’s Son | Kelly Irvin


Today I am reviewing The Beekeeper’s Son, the 1st book in the Amish of Bee County series by Kelly Irvin.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Sometimes it takes a barren landscape to see the beauty of God’s creation.

Phineas King knows better than to expect anything but shock and pity wherever he shows his face. Horribly scarred from the tragic accident that claimed his mother’s life, he chooses to keep his distance from everyone, focusing his time and energy on the bees his family raises.

If no one sees him, no one can judge him. So why does he start finding excuses to seek out Deborah Lantz, the beautiful new arrival in town?

Deborah can’t get out of Bee County, Texas, soon enough. Once her mother and younger siblings are settled, she is on the first bus out of this dusty town. She is only waiting on the letter from Aaron, asking her to return to lush Tennessee to be his frau.

But that letter never comes. As she spends time getting to know Phineas—hoping to uncover the man beneath the scars—she begins to realize that she no longer minds that Aaron hasn’t sent for her.

As both Deborah and Phineas try to come to terms with lives that haven’t turned out the way they imagined, they discover that perhaps Gott’s plans for them are more extraordinary than they could have dreamed.

But they need to let go of their own past sorrows and disappointments to find the joy and beauty that lies just ahead for them both.


Did you ever wonder what would have happened if you had chosen bachelor #1 instead of bachelor #2… I write a great many reviews each month — and I do my best to never reveal any spoilers, but I think I can mention a few special characters — without spoiling anything for you.

For example, this book is about Deborah Lantz and Phineas King… obviously.

I really enjoyed getting to know Deborah and her family — and Phineas and his family. Kelly writes about them beautifully… I could feel Phineas’ embarrassment when he thought Deborah had screamed at the sight of his face — but she was just as embarrassed because of her clumsiness.

Now, the question is… is Phineas bachelor #1 or bachelor #2?

But wait — there’s another couple… the reason for moving from Tennessee to Texas is so widowed mom-of-5 Abigail Lantz can marry up with Stephen Stetler. When I started writing about bachelors #1 and #2, I was actually thinking of Abigail, her deceased husband, and Stephen.

Hmmm… and the question is… is Stephen bachelor #1 or bachelor #2?

And will everything work out — or will there be a need for bachelor #3?

Be warned – you won’t want to put this book down. If you pick it up, do so when you have a good opening of space to sit back and enjoy the story! I had so much fun reading this book. I began yesterday evening and I honestly didn’t put it down until I was done. I even finished the last few chapters in bed, using my iPhone flashlight.

And believe me, you are going to LOVE the story! Aside from the fact that Kelly Irvin is an amazing writer, it’s a fantastic story!

Kelly has created a wonderful community in Bee County Texas. The characters are a little surprising at times (for Amish folk)… with their whining, questioning, assertive personalities. But this is exactly what makes them real to the reader! When Deborah mentions sharing a room and having to deal with someone else’s sweat and bad breath – well, it certainly made it real to me!

Read it for yourself!

The Beekeeper’s Son – book one in the Bee of Amish County series by Kelly Irvin! Tweet this!

God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt


Protected | Vannetta Chapman

Today I am reviewing Protected, the second novel in the Jacobs Family Series by Vanetta Chapman.

Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

ERIN JACOBS doesn’t hesitate when she receives a desperate call in the middle of the night. As owner of the Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter, it’s her job to rescue animals. But from the start, this case is different.

The woman’s frantic plea.
Directions to a deserted hunter’s cabin.
Insistence that she come alone.
Then she’s looking down into a washtub at an infant child.

Erin’s life changes irrevocably when she becomes involved with a mother who has lost all hope, an orphaned child, millions of dollars and a father who might do anything to get his hands on the money.

Social worker TRAVIS WILLIAMS is assigned to her case. Travis sees more in Erin than someone who rescues strays. She’s unconventional, strong-willed, and caring. It could be that she would make the perfect parent for Josh.

Before he can work through his feelings and file his report, the situation takes another dangerous turn. Can Erin and Travis guarantee Josh’s safety? To do so, they’ll need to rely on one another, their families, and the faith of their childhood.

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, won the 2012 ACFW Carol Award for best mystery. She writes Amish mysteries for Zondervan, Amish romances for Harvest House and Amish novellas for Thomas Nelson. All of her books have been Christian Book Distributor bestsellers. Protected is her second inspirational romantic suspense. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband, pets and a herd of deer


PROTECTED — don’t miss this AMAZING mystery by Vannetta Chapman!Tweet this!



Romance… Suspense… Danger…

I loved — loved — LOVED this story!

In the first book of the amazing Jacobs Family series, HIDDEN, I got to know Dana Jacobs and Ben Marshall really well – and I couldn’t wait to find out how they were doing… and Vannetta doesn’t disappoint in the least. She brings Dana and Ben to the next book, with a cool update.

In the meantime, PROTECTED is all about Erin, Dana’s little sister. Erin is amazing – just like her big sister Dana – as she goes toe-to-toe with a social worker!

Erin, who owns the Noal’s Ark Animal Shelter, doesn’t turn down any animals – no matter what type or condition they’re in. So when she gets a call in the middle of the night, she goes… but she doesn’t find an animal; she finds a tiny baby! And what does she do? She takes him home…

Read about the danger Erin finds herself in – not only with the baby’s father – but with the local social worker, who seems to be trying to help her – or is he? I’m not telling… I’m not saying anything else about what happens, except that it is an AMAZING story and you’ll LOVE it!

Vannetta Chapman has a remarkable talent for writing. I’ve never read anything by Vannetta that I didn’t like (and I can’t say that about too many other authors).

Trust me when I say this is an awesome read and you will enjoy every moment of it!


PROTECTED is a great addition to the world of romantic suspense…Tweet this!

You can find more about Vanetta Chapman on her website… HERE

God bless you!

Review © 2015 DJ Mynatt

NEW books for 2015-2016… | Mary Ellis Marathon


Here’s a look at what we have to look forward to from Mary Ellis:

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MARY ELLIS has a NEW series coming out: Secrets of the South Mysteries
The first book in Mary’s NEW series is Midnight on the Mississippi
COMING in August 2015!


Midnight on the Mississippi begins the new Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These complex crime dramas follow an investigator’s quest to make the world a better place… solving one case at a time.


New Orleans—Hunter Galen, a stock and securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, may be involved in embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship based on suspicion alone. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder, recover the missing millions from the client accounts, and establish herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen Investments, Hunter’s fiancée, Ashley Menard, rubs Nicki the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman with an agenda longer than the Mississippi River. Ashley seems to be hiding something, but is Nicki’s growing attraction to Hunter—a suspected murderer—her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As they encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and murder, Nicki and Hunter’s only option is to turn to God as they search for answers, elude lethal danger, and perhaps discover love along the way.

Blackmail… Embezzling… Murder… Don’t miss this NEW Southern Mystery series from Mary Ellis! Coming August 2015.CLICK TO TWEET!



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The second book in Mary’s NEW series is What Happened on Beale Street
COMING February 2016!


What Happened on Beale Street continues the new Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These complex crime dramas follow an investigator’s quest to make the world a better place… solving one case at a time.




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I know I can’t wait to read and review each new story Mary releases!



And don’t forget to click below to find out how you can enter Mary’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Mary Ellis Marathon | Giveaway!

God bless you!


Copyright © 2013-2015 DJ Mynatt

JUST SAY NO! to 50 shades… | My 1st un-review


Please… please don’t go to see the “50 shades” movie this weekend…

NEVER… that’s when you should see it… never.

Don’t see the movie… and don’t read the books.


There is a massive facebook/twitter campaign going on right now against the heinous 50 shades… movie and books.





Please stand with me as I spread the word to my family, friends and readers. 

Please do everything possible to protect others from the damaging and devastating effects of this series!




I have not – and I will not – read the books – or watch the movie!

I know that there are times that Christian leaders feel the need to read or watch what they are begging their followers to oppose – so that they have all the information they need to present a case.

But in my opinion, that is a very bad idea! Exposing your mind to ANYTHING of this nature is inviting the devil to create a foothold in your very soul – which he will then use to push more sin into your life.




Allowing this story into your head allows it into your heart, your mind, your soul!

You think you can handle it. You tell yourself that you need to be able to make an informed argument. You tell yourself that you need to have ammo to feed that argument. You tell yourself that you can’t really argue against something you haven’t read or watched personally…

But this series is FAR TOO DANGEROUS to adhere to these rationales.




We need to send a strong message to the makers of the movie.

They NEED TO KNOW we are serious!

They NEED TO KNOW that they will not tear down strong women… men… families… marriages!

They NEED TO KNOW that we will not lay down and let them roll right over us!

We NEED to stand up for our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, and our friends!


No one has the right to treat you like a thing!

No one has the right to treat you like trash!

No one has the right to degrade you and drag you down!




The greatest trick the devil ever played on women was to make them think submission equals abuse… and then to make them think that choosing to be abused is not abuse but is instead, empowerment – that it is fun, exciting, sexy…


Choosing it does not make it LOVE!

Choosing it does not make it RIGHT!

Choosing it does not make it ENJOYABLE!

It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s by choice or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s “fiction” or not!
Abuse and degradation are nothing to take lightly or as something that is OK as long as we’re talking about two adults or even as long as we are talking about fiction!

It is NEVER OK – not in a fictional story, not in a movie, and certainly not in reality!


Please say NO to 50 Shades… this Valentine’s Day!CLICK TO TWEET!


Stand with us – Make Valentine’s Day a day of TRUE romance!CLICK TO TWEET!


Remember the true meaning of Valentine’s Day this year – Say no to 50 Shades!CLICK TO TWEET!


Thank you, Rachel Miller, for sharing your blogpost and pictures. I appreciate your support and I hope my readers do, too.


Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.


Be careful…




Always use your own thoughts… and your own words… whenever you can.
If you want to cite work from another source, please be careful to give proper credit to the source if you use somebody else’s work (see below).


Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

NEW books for 2015-2016… | Angela D. Meyer Marathon


Here’s a look at what we have to look forward to from Angela D. Meyer:

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Where Healing Starts

Life at Applewood Hill series — book 2

Where Healing Starts focuses on Joanna and Blake.

Joanna, full of bitterness over the past, can no longer ignore the growing storm inside her and is bent on self-destruction as she seeks to ease her pain. But the refuge she seeks is always out of her reach.

Blake must choose between what has always been safe and what he has always wanted, but never found. One mistake after another leads him down a dangerous path.

The one for all, all for one sibling bond can’t help them now. They are both determined to hang onto their anger, never forgetting. Never forgiving. They see no reason to trust God.

After so many years of turmoil, will the Hannigan siblings find refuge in the God who loves them? Or will they get lost along the way?

  ** An official synopsis has not been released yet, but Angela has graciously provided an unofficial look at book 2…


Don’t miss Where Healing Starts – book 2 in Angela D Meyer’s Life at Applewood Hill series.CLICK TO TWEET!


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Where Joy Starts

Life at Applewood Hill series — book 3



Where Joy Starts continues the story of the Hannigan siblings…

Book 3 is still in the editing stages — even though I am unable to give you more information, I wanted to include it, since it is part of the series… be sure to watch Angela’s website or subscribe to her newsletter to read more about this sequel.




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If you’d like to know more, I invite you to check out the Life at Applewood Hill  blog site. Karen has just begun blogging about her wonderful bed and breakfast — she would love for people to stop by and check it out!


I would like to encourage you to sign up for Angela’s NEWSLETTER for book updates, author news and between-the-books short stories – as she continues to give us insights into her characters and their journeys!


I know I can’t wait to read and review each new story Angela releases!


And don’t forget to click below to find out how you can enter the…

Angela D Meyer Marathon | Giveaway!

God bless you!


© Donna J. Mynatt 2015

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