Tag Archives: review

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


* BONUS* A Spoonful of Love | Amy Clipston Marathon

Today I am reviewing…

A Spoonful of Love, a novella contained in the Anthology – An Amish Kitchen by Amy Clipston.

This anthology also includes stories from Beth Wiseman and Kelly Long.

This is what GoodReads has to say about A Spoonful of Love:

Hannah runs her parents’ bed and breakfast, Paradise Inn–but her life feels nothing like Paradise.

She longs for a man of integrity to enter her life, but never expected him to knock on the front door looking for a room.

Will she be able trust Stephen with her future once she discovers his mysterious past?


My thoughts:

This is my first taste of anthologies… and I like it!

Amy Clipston consented to write a novella for An Amish Kitchen; she joins Beth Wiseman and Kelly Long – both well-known authors – in this endeavor.

This is such a great story… I have to admit, I totally identified with Hannah’s mother, who was worried about Hannah and Stephen being alone together – in the Inn, as well as anywhere else.

And when Jason shows interest and asks her if he can take her to the next singing, it seemed to me that Jason’s and Hannah’s mothers had probably had a hand in it; although it was fun to watch Jason and Stephen’s reactions to one another.

I really liked Stephen from the start. And it was so refreshing to see that Hannah, although she didn’t agree with her mother, was duly respectful and thoughtful of her.

Amy Clipston writes such great stories! I’m never bored – usually I can’t put them down until I’m done! And she has done an amazing job on this novella… in such a short time, she puts everything together perfectly and I was delighted with it (especially the end, with Stephen’s being able to let go of the past).

Now – there! I hope I haven’t given away too much, but you really should read this – especially if you’re an Amy Clipston fan (as I am), you will NOT be disappointed!


Happy Reading!

And don’t forget to click below to find out how you can enter the BIG contest!

Amy Clipston Marathon | GIVEAWAY!


Click HERE for more about Amy’s books from Zondervan.

You can click HERE to read more reviews and find other info on GoodReads.

Click HERE to purchase the book on ChristianBooks and HERE for Amazon

Click HERE to visit Amy Clipston’s website.

God bless you!


©Donna J. Mynatt 2014

destination unknown | Amy Clipston Marathon

Today I am reviewing destination unknown, the sequel to roadside assistance by Amy Clipston.

This is what GoodReads has to say about destination unknown:

It’s senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect.

When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won’t get into the ‘right’ college—her alma mater—with imperfect grades.

Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor’s rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship.

Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor.

Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver’s seat of her life. Will she be able to find her identity—and God’s plan for her life—before she throws everything away?


I was thrilled to discover destination unknown, a sequel to the equally amazing roadside assistance!

Although I’m miles past my young adult years, it was much simpler than I expected to re-connect with my teenage thoughts and feelings – I have a theory that Amy Clipston writes such amazing books that she makes it easier to connect because she writes it just as I remember it to be.

Don’t let the cover fool you… Whitney stays and shows everyone that she knows what she wants and she’s willing to do what it takes to get it.

Without giving away too much (hopefully), I could so identify with Whitney when she lies to cover up a truth that she knows will just upset everyone else. She tries to convince herself it really isn’t much of a lie, but she knows better. And when the truth comes out, lots of people end up hurt – including Whitney!

Fortunately, she is learning to depend on God through prayer, as well as being strong enough to face her family and friends with the truth – and sincere apologies.

Amy is an amazing writer!

I’ve been told not to expect any other YA novels after Miles From Nowhere is published, but I’m hoping in the years to come that Amy will be able to publish more YA novels… teenagers need to read and hear her sage advice, hidden inside her novels.

Happy Reading!!!

And don’t forget to click below to find out how you can enter the BIG contest!

Amy Clipston Marathon | GIVEAWAY!


Click HERE for more from Zondervan.

You can click HERE to read more reviews and find other info on GoodReads.

Click HERE to purchase the book on ChristianBooks and HERE for Amazon

Click HERE to visit Amy Clipston’s website.

God bless you!


©Donna J. Mynatt 2014

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