Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Promise to Keep by Elizabeth Byler Younts

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Promise to Keep

(Howard Books - October 13, 2015)

Elizabeth Younts


A Word from the Author:

I’m Elizabeth, a blessed child of The King. I’m a middle-born daughter, military officer’s wife, homeschooling mama, writer, closet DIYer, and, dare I say it, Downton Abbey addict. May I also mention that I love both my history and my coffee rich.

I am formerly Amish and my heritage is very dear to me and thankful to be so accepted among my still Amish family. I can still speak PA Dutch, too! You can learn more about my Amish family in my first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl.

My three book series with Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) is a dream come true. The series is titled The Promise of Sunrise. In this series you will live through World War 2 from an Amish perspective and experience their unique struggles as conscientious objectors during wartime. What happened if one of their members enlisted? What was it like to serve at the Civilian Public Service Camps for years with almost no compensation? How did Amish women and families cope when a son or father was drafted? I look forward to taking you back into the richness of these years of Amish history through fiction.


World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance.

Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.

My thoughts:

As a long time fan of Amish fiction, I was pleased to participate in this tour. This is my first book to read by this author and I am quite impressed. One thing I like is that it is set during one of my favorite historical eras...World War II and shortly thereafter. Most Amish books are written in a contemporary setting so it's a nice change of pace.

The author has done a wonderful job in the character development in this novel as strengths and vulnerabilities are evident for each character. As the characters interact, especially Joe and Esther, the emotions displayed are almost tangible as the reader is made to feel like a part of the story itself. Another thing I found commendable is the authentic portrayal of Daisy as a deaf/mute. Many people think that deaf/mutes have no vocal capabilities, but myself being raised around two deaf/mute uncles, I know firsthand how they sound when frustrated, angry, and highly amused.

I loved the ending of this book and plan on going back and reading the other two Promise of Sunrise books.

My sincerest thanks to CFBA and Howard Books for generously supplying a copy for my honest review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promise to Keep, go HERE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Firefly Summer by Kathleen Y'Barbo

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Firefly Summer

(Redbud Press - June 23, 2015)


Kathleen Y'Barbo


RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots (read about their real-life romance here!). Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.


A new cowboy romance from award-winning author Kathleen Y'Barbo.

Trey’s biggest challenge isn’t performing surgery…it’s restoring Sessa’s heart!

Artist Sessa Chambers may never recover from losing her prodigal son. Even as she grieves the tragic decisions that led to his death, and left her with a toddler to raise, she’s asked to work on her dream project—restoring carousel horses for the Smithsonian. But she can’t do it on her own…

Dr. Trey Brown can’t pick up a scalpel again. Yes, he acted in self-defense, but the events of that awful night haunt him. He was trained to save lives, not take them. When he goes to the young man’s widowed mother to apologize, she’s not at all what he expected. For one thing, she’s not as alone as he thought—not with the fearsome ladies of the Pies, Books, and Jesus Book Club in her corner. For another, she’s beautiful, and being in her presence is more jolting than any eight-second bronco ride from his former rodeo days. Before he knows it, she’s captured his heart as easily as they capture the fireflies gracing Sessa’s Texas ranch.

How can they overcome their past to embrace a future together?

My thoughts:

If you're looking for a great romance with a bonus - great characters, spot-on small town dynamics, some seriousness as well as frivolity, and a story of how God can bring hope and renewal to those hurt by the ones they love, then this is a book for you. Firefly Summer will be on my "Best of 2015" list and I would love to see the author return to Sugar Pine in future books.

My sincerest thanks to CFBA, RedBud Press, and Kathleen Y'Barbo for generously providing a copy for review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Firefly Summer, go HERE.