Friday, February 24, 2012

Bible Study on 1 Peter: Week 7

Week 7:

1 Peter 3:13 - 4:6

"Stand Strong When Wronged"

Here is the question from the publisher that I will answer this week:

1 Peter 3:15 tells us to "always be prepared" to engage others in conversation about our faith. When you envision a woman witnessing for Christ, what do you see? Now compare/contrast that woman to yourself. Are you an effective witness?

  • This verse really hit home for me when doing the study this week. I think one of the best ways to be prepared to give an answer to others about your beliefs is by knowing Scripture from memory, and I need to work on this area. Fortunately, my current women's group is starting to focus on this more and more.
  • I think another way to be a good witness is by being an example. Anyone who has kids knows that they will follow what you do more than what you say. Live your life in such a way that those around you will wonder - why does she seem different? How can she have such joy in the face of suffering? I want what she has!
  • I have also found over the years that the best way for me to witness to others is through relationships. I am definitely not the type to just go up to someone on the street and ask them if they know Christ. But if I can find someone who I can form a relationship with - a co-worker, someone at church, another mom in a playgroup - that one-on-one contact, over time, can lead to some wonderful conversations that either plant seeds or lead to someone becoming a follower of Christ. Even just telling someone your own personal testimony can be enough to get them thinking in the right direction.

Join me next week as we study 1 Peter 4:7-19:  "Persevere with the End in Mind."

You can read my thoughts on previous weeks of this study here:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"The Shadow of Your Smile" Review

The Shadow of Your Smile was sent to me by Tyndale House Publishers as an advanced review copy. It is one of the Deep Haven novels by Susan May Warren. You can read my review of another Deep Haven novel, My Foolish Heart, here.
After twenty-five years, Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage is falling apart. They are sticking it out just long enough to see their youngest graduate from high school. When Noelle gets caught in a robbery at a coffee shop, the injuries she suffers cause her to lose part of her memory. She wakes up not knowing her children or her husband, and she definitely doesn’t remember another tragedy that occurred that led to the disintegration of her marriage in the first place.
As Noelle adjusts to this strange world that she has been forced to live in, she must come to terms with what her life has been all about. Will the secrets of the past few years of Noelle and Eli’s marriage lead them to give up, or have they been given a second chance at a future filled with hope?
Stories about characters with amnesia have been drastically over-done in the course of fiction and TV (mostly soap opera) history. So I am always a little leery about any novels involving this storyline. But something about the synopsis for this book hooked me, and I wanted to know where the story would go. I think what made me want to know more was that the husband would have to decide whether or not he was going to tell his wife that they were about to get divorced before she lost her memory.
I thought the part of the story in The Shadow of Your Smile that revolved around the amnesia was very interesting. Eli was forced to confront the fact that maybe he didn’t know his wife as well as he should have. And the realization for Noelle that she was actually a 46-year-old mom when her brain was telling her she was still in college was hilarious! (I’m pretty sure the “college me” would not recognize my current body, either!)
However, I realized about halfway through the book that the amnesia plot was not necessarily going to be the main story. The synopsis alludes to a tragedy that had taken place in this family, and that story ends up being the focal point rather than the story of the amnesia and Noelle and Eli’s marriage. I guess that is why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I kind of felt cheated out of what I thought the story was going to be about. If I had known that the novel would mostly be about dealing with the death of a child, I’m not sure I would have chosen to read it in the first place.
I also thought that some of the events that occurred in this small town seemed a bit over-the-top. How many more horrible things can happen to this one family and in this one town? (I mean, where are they, Cabot Cove? (That was for my hubby…!) Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what that is referencing!)
There is also a subplot in this novel that follows a romance between one of Eli and Noelle’s sons and another girl from Deep Haven. It was nice but not extremely memorable.
The emotions portrayed in this book are very real and are graver than in other novels I have read by Susan May Warren. The characters are far from perfect, though, which does make them relatable, and they are also able to take some real steps of growth. This is a deep story filled with raw emotion that ultimately focuses on the hope that God is in control.
I have really enjoyed the other books by Susan May Warren, which is why I think I was a bit unsatisfied with this one. I built it up too much. Add to that the fact that I felt as if the back cover tricked me into thinking the story was about the amnesia rather than the grief over a lost child, and it just made this book somewhat disappointing to me.
If you are interested in reading the background behind why the author wrote this book, visit her website here:

I will give The Shadow of Your Smile ... 3 BookWorms.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, February 20, 2012

"The Rose of Winslow Street" Review

The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden was sent to me by Bethany House Publishers as a review copy. This is the second novel by this author. You can read my review of her first novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill here.
It is 1879, and the house on Winslow Street in Colden, Massachusetts, is the only home Libby Sawyer has ever known. While visiting her brother at his summer home, Libby and her father are informed that a wild man from Romania, Michael Dobrescu, has seized their house and is claiming it as his own.
Awaiting the court’s decision, Libby and Michael form an odd friendship. The mystery surrounding Michael and his family intrigues Libby, as does the man himself. But is she willing to trust someone who is so different, especially when she has her own secret as well?
As more and more information comes to light, tensions get higher and loyalties are questioned. Deciding which side to choose will put Libby to the test more than she ever thought possible.
As I first started to read this novel, I wondered if there was any way this complicated story could possibly come to any sort of a satisfying conclusion. It seemed to be the strangest plot for a historical romance that I had ever read. After reading so many novels from the historical fiction genre, you kind of get used to the ‘pattern,’ and this book almost made me feel uncomfortable or at the very least, confused. The character Michael was so atypical of a romance that I couldn’t really tell if he was going to be the main male character or not!
Now, this may sound as if I didn’t like the book, and that is far from the truth. I do like to read the typical romantic novel – it is easy and entertaining. But The Rose of Winslow Street was so different and engaging that it turned into an excellent story and an engaging read.
If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be “real.” The characters are what made the entire book have an overall feeling of realness. They wanted to do the right thing, but being flawed, they didn’t always do so. All of the characters were far from perfect, which gave an authenticity to their stories. The character of Michael was such a fun paradox. He was a man who raised flowers to make perfume, but he was big and burly and at times such a dunce about women! In some novels, the main male character rides in like the hero and seems to be the perfect counterpart for the main female character. This book shakes things up a bit. Michael’s first action is to storm into Libby’s house and claim it as his own. Hence my confusion over who was actually the romantic interest in this book at first.
I appreciate when a book, especially a historical romance, has an in-depth storyline for another character. In this novel, Mirela was that character. Her story was tragic and yet ultimately hopeful.
This story also felt real because some of the events that happened and the choices that were made were not necessarily easy or exactly what the characters wanted. There wasn’t an illusion of ‘all their dreams coming true.’ Choices had to be made, and the characters, especially Libby and Mirela, had to decide what was best even though it was hard.
My one annoyance with this book was Libby’s back and forth feelings for Michael. It tended to get old. She knew she loved him, and then she would feel insecure and think that there was no way for them to have a future. This sometimes seemed to happen two or three times on the same page. But, then again, maybe this is keeping to the realistic theme, especially since Libby was someone who was told her entire life that she would never marry.
The Rose of Winslow Street was well-written, had interesting historical aspects, and was very engaging. The realistic characters contributed to a great second offering by Elizabeth Camden.

I will give  The Rose of Winslow Street … 4 Bookworms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Smitten" Review

Welcome to Smitten, Vermont.

With the help of four friends, it’s about to become the most romantic town in America.

(From the Publisher): The proposed closing of the lumber mill comes as unwelcome news for the citizens of Smitten. How will the town survive without its main employer? A close-knit group of women think they’ve got just the plan to save Smitten. They’ll capitalize on its name and turn it into a tourist destination for lovers—complete with sweet shops, a high-end spa, romantic music on the square, and cabins outfitted with fireplaces and hot tubs.

But is this manly town ready for an influx of romantically-minded guests?

Country music sensation Sawyer Smitten, the town’s hometown hero, wants to help by holding his own wedding there on Valentine’s Day. And little Mia’s lavender wreaths hang all over town as a reminder that faith can work miracles.

Along the way, four women spearheading the town’s transformation—energetic Natalie, sophisticated Julia, graceful Shelby, and athletic Reese—get in the spirit by reviving their own love lives.

Join best-selling inspirational romance authors (and real-life BFFs) Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for an inspiring stay at the (soon-to-be) most romantic town on the eastern seaboard.

One visit . . . and you’ll be smitten too.

About the Authors:

Colleen Coble
RITA-Award winning and bestselling author of romantic suspense including the Mercy Falls, Lonestar and Rock Harbor series!

Denise Hunter
Drummer, mother of three, and the acclaimed author of Christian romance novels including A Cowboy's Touch and Sweeetwater Gap!

Kristin Billerbeck
Two time winner of the ACFW book of the Year Award and author of A Billion Reasons Why and What a Girl Wants!

Diann Hunt
Celebrated author of romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction who loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog and...well, chocolate.

My Take:

Last fall I attended a Women of Faith event in Indianapolis, and, while there, I got the opportunity to meet author Colleen Coble. She was so nice to me and even signed the novel that I was currently reading – The Lightkeeper’s Daughter. When I told her I wrote book reviews on my blog, especially Christian fiction, she arranged for me to receive advanced copies of two of her novels: Lonestar Angel and Smitten. I was so excited to receive these signed advanced copies!

The novel Smitten is actually four novellas, written by four different authors, in one volume. I have to say the I was concerned that the writing styles would be so different that the whole thing would seem disjointed, but this was not the case. I thought the overall story of the four women trying to save the town of Smitten kept a good cohesiveness going in the book. While I have not read any previous novels by the other authors (only Colleen Coble), I thought that all four authors’ writing styles were similar enough that the book felt smooth and was easy to read.

It was also fun getting to see the story from the different characters’ points of view. They each had their own pasts and their own insecurities about relationships to work through before they could take steps of growth and be the women they were created by God to be.

I’m not sure if I could even say which of the four novellas was my favorite. They were all unique in their stories while still contributing to the overall story arch of saving the town of Smitten. I related to Reese’s personality; Shelby’s relationship with her father towards the end was heartwarming; Julia’s ability to realize that her marriage did not need to end up just like her parents’ was cheering; and Natalie’s never-ending quest for the perfect gluten-free cookie was hysterical!

Overall this novel about Smitten, Vermont, was just a sweet story. I will say that it sometimes did get a bit ‘mushy’ for my taste (Fairy-tale-happily-ever-after…Sigh…), but that is just my opinion. Each story was good, as was the overall story – it just was a bit syrupy-sweet at times. (But, of course, we are in Vermont!)

I enjoyed reading about these four women trying to save the town of Smitten, Vermont. It was a nice read and perfect to read leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Be sure to check out the website for Smitten here:

I will give Smitten … 3 ½ BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bible Study on 1 Peter: Week 6

Week 5:

1 Peter 3:8-12

"Pursue Peace with Doves and Dragons"

This lesson focuses on loving those in the body of Christ so that there will be harmony in the church. I enjoyed this quote from the introduction to the lesson:

"Peter can help us overcome our indiviualistic tendencies if we learn to emulate the beautiful pictures he paints of ideal churches. The more churches look like this picture, the more they will produce healthy Christians and the brighter the churches will shine for Jesus in the world."

I also appreciated how this lesson broke down each quality of the ideal church. According to 1 Peter, a church that pleases God and fulfills its mission is one that:
  1. Lives in harmony with one another.
  2. Is sympathetic to others in the faith family
  3. Loves fellow believers
  4. Is humble
Here is the question from the publisher that I will answer this week, related to these qualities:

The four qualities of the ideal church are harmony, sympathy, love, and humility. Which of the four is most challenging for you? Based on what you learned this week, what can you do to improve in this area?

I think we all struggle with humility in some way. We want to feel valued and important in what we do, even when serving in the church. But true service to Christ is best achieved when you are only working for Him and for His glory. I have learned that even things such as shyness and being intimidated can be a source of pride. Pride has many different forms; therefore, humility is a struggle for many, including me.

One way to improve in this area is just to study the Word. Christ is the ultimate example of humility, and He had to endure way more than I will ever have to endure. When you study Scripture, your focus will be more on God, and you will be able to "do your work heartily as to the Lord, rather than for men." (Colossians 3:23)

Join me next week as we study 1 Peter 3:12 - 4:6:  "Stand Strong When Wronged."

You can read my thoughts on previous weeks of this study here:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

"Lonestar Angel" Review

Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble was sent to me by the author and Thomas Nelson Publishing as an advanced review copy. It is the fourth book in the ‘Lonestar’ series by this author, but you can read this one without reading the previous books and still know what is going on.

Eden Larson ran away from her life five years ago, and she has not looked back. When her supposed ex-husband, Clay, shows up and tells her that their daughter (who was believed to be dead) is alive, her past suddenly catches up with her.
Eden and Clay sign on as counselors at Bluebird Ranch, a youth camp in Texas, believing that their daughter is in residence there. But someone is determined to keep them from finding out the truth. Eden and Clay will have to rely on God as they never have before in order to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of finding their daughter.
If you like books that start off with a bang, then I highly recommend Colleen Coble as an author. Lonestar Angel hit the ground running so quickly that I felt as if I needed to catch my breath. The good thing for me was that, for the most part, this novel continued in the same pace throughout the rest of the book. The plot had many twists and turns, and I usually couldn’t see what was coming.
While I enjoy a fast-paced novel, I felt that in this instance some of the twisting and turning that the novel did led to the plot becoming somewhat far-fetched. I realize that this is fiction, and it was entertaining, but there were an awful lot of coincidences that led to the conclusion, and the way the characters were all inter-related was a bit unbelievable.
The romantic side of this story was different from most in that the main characters were already married. Since they had been separated for so long, this storyline was more of a ‘re-romance.’ It was enjoyable to see the characters grow separately and together.
While it was at times heartbreaking, I thought the storyline involving the foster care girls at the ranch was done well. I delighted in the antics of the girls, and I actually would have liked to get to know them a little bit better.
Colleen Coble can definitely spin an intriguing tale. This novel was jam-packed with kidnapping, attempted murder, stalking, blackmail, obsessions, and even the Columbian drug cartel. While the plot felt a little out-of-control at times, Lonestar Angel was still an entertaining read.
I will give Lonestar Angel 3 ½ BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Mornings with Jesus" Blog Tour and Giveaway!

About the book:

"Be still and know that I am God.” is one of the most beautiful verses from the Bible, but it’s not easy to practice in this busy world. Mornings with Jesus will help you do just that—“be still” in Jesus’ beautiful and powerful presence.

For those who are seeking a deeper experience in their relationship with Christ, Mornings with Jesus offers a fresh perspective of who Jesus is (the Healer, the Son of God, the Comforter, the Good Shepherd) and what that means for day-to-day life. With a warm and friendly voice, 365 short devotional writings on the character and teachings of Jesus encourage readers to greet each day by drawing near to Him and inviting His presence into their day. Spend time with Jesus at the beginning of each day and experience His nearness and peace in a new way throughout the year.

Each day’s selection includes:

Link to buy the book:

About the authors:

For more about these authors, click on the links to their websites/blogs.

Tricia Goyer -

Judy K. Baer -

Gwen Ford Faulkenberry -

Sharon Hinck -

Keri Wyatt Kent -

Erin Keeley Marshall -

Camy Tang -

My Take:

Mornings with Jesus has been a good devotional book to start off my year. I usually try to read one of these out loud in the morning while my daughter and I are having breakfast.

This is not an in-depth study, but it is not supposed to be. It is an enjoyable way to get my day off to a good start and to get my mind going in the right direction:  pointing to Christ. Since the devotionals are only a page long, this would be a great one for busy women, especially busy moms.

I especially enjoyed one of the devotions from Tricia Goyer about knowing when to defend yourself and when to remain silent. She talked about when Jesus remained silent against the accusations that Pilate and the people were saying towards Him. It made me realize that while we should never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, sometimes it truly is best to hold your tongue.

I would prefer for the entries to not be dated with the day and year. It is fine with me for each devotional page to be dated with January 1, for example, but it being labeled Sunday, January 1, is unnecessary and would be a bit frustrating if I wanted to use this another year. Of course, this is just a preference and would not keep you from using it again in the years to come.

It is neat to read stories and thoughts in a devotional form from people who are normally fiction authors. I enjoy getting to know a little more of their hearts apart from the fiction genre.

I would recommend Mornings with Jesus as a simple daily devotional to get your heart and mind focused on Christ.

See what others are saying about this book:

The Giveaway:

The publisher of this devotional, Guideposts, sent an extra copy to me to be given away on my blog! I know it already the middle of February, but you will still be able to use this book the rest of the year and even in other years if you want.

Please fill out the form below to enter the contest. This contest will run through Tuesday, February 21st. I will randomly choose a winner and make the announcement on my blog (and by email to the winner) on February 22nd.

Good Luck!



Congratulations to the winner of the Mornings with Jesus giveaway:

Leslie G.

You will be getting an email from me with details on how to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bible Study on 1 Peter: Week 5

Week 5:

1 Peter 3:1-7

"Strengthen the Sacred Mix"

Here is the first question from the publisher that I am going to answer this week:

In the previous lesson, we discussed the meaning of the word submission. What do you think submission looks like in a marriage context?
  • The word 'submission' in our culture has been turned into something that is humiliating rather than respectful. If someone is submissive to another person, then the first person is seen as inferior or weak. This sense of the word is not what God had in mind. Yes, women and men have different roles in marriage, and they should respect those boundaries. But fulfilling those roles that God created in marriage in no way causes one person to be better than the other.
  • In a marriage, I think the wife should be respectful of her husband by encouraging him, not talking negatively about him to others, and by allowing him to be the spiritual leader in the home. For my husband and me, our marriage is a partnership. We are a team, and although he is ultimately responsible for our family, we make decisions together.
  • Christ was submissive to the Father by going to the cross and dying for our sins. If Christ can do that, then I can respect my husband and be the wife that he needs me to be.
Here is the second question:

What principles did you learn from Peter's counsel to wives and husbands of the first century that are helpful today?
  • Although there are cultural differences between Peter's time and our society today, the Bible can still be applied today.
    • One thing is that today, as well as in the time of the Bible, the aspect of holding your tongue can be very important! Knowing the right words to say, as well as knowing when it would be best to keep quite, will help us in any relationship, especially our marriages.
    • Another thing is the matter of what true beauty is. Building character and strengthening relationships are more important to God than outward beauty. 1 Samuel 16:7 -- But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Join me next week as we study 1 Peter 3:8-12:  "Pursue Peace with Doves and Dragons."

You can read my thoughts on previous weeks of this study here:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bible Study on 1 Peter: Week 4

Week 4:

1 Peter 2: 11-25

"Shadow the Servant"

Here is the question from the publisher that I am going to answer this week:

Core 2 is titled "Living for Christ in a Hostile Society." How do you think our society compares to that of the original audience? Better? Worse? The same? How can Peter's message still speak to us today?
  • Although there are some difficulties that Christians in America face, I think the society in which Peter and the early Christians lived was more hostile than what we deal with today. The Early Church was a direct affront to both the religious (Jewish) and political (Roman) powers. Public abuse and even government-sanctioned executions of Christians were a part of everyday life. While I might be ridiculed by individuals for my beliefs, I do not fear the for my life or safety by those in authority.
  • While this is the case in the United States, Christians in other countries do not have this freedom. Some of them are living in much the same society as those in the Early Church, and their faith under such harsh circumstances brings glory to God and should be an encouragement to us. (The Voice of the Martyrs)
  • Core Two makes the point that we should submit to the authority in our lives as long as what we are doing does not go against God's commands.

Join me next week as we study 1 Peter 3: 1-7:  "Strengthen the Sacred Mix."

You can read my thoughts on previous weeks of this study here:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"When the Soul Mends" Review

Returning to the home she fled in disgrace, will Hannah find healing for the wounds of the past?
About the book:

After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.

Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancĂ© Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life–and perhaps to her first love?

When the Soul Mends is the third and final book in the Sisters of the Quilt series by Cindy Woodsmall.
You can read an excerpt from this book here.

My Take:
After reading When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comes, the first two books in this series (you can read my reviews by clicking on the title links), I was looking forward to a satisfactory conclusion in this final book.
I was not disappointed.
Even though Hannah started to really get on my nerves in this book (mostly at the beginning – she got really self-absorbed), I thought her ability to eventually listen to what others were saying and forgive them was encouraging. Paul's ablility to be compassionate and available in the midst of everything happening was nothing short of amazing.
Although I got slightly annoyed with all of the subplots in the second book, I really enjoyed the one involving Sarah in this book. It was fascinating to witness what was happening with her and how those caring for her helped her to come back to herself. I did think, though, that her story just kind of fell off close to the end, but we did need to take care of the main characters at that point in the story.
Again, I was irritated with the character of Martin in this novel. I thought he was a bad example of an Englischer, and I just could not understand what Hannah saw in him. Especially since all they seemed to do was fight.
I appreciate epilogues in books like this, in order to wrap up all of the stories, and this book had a good one.
When the Soul Mends is a novel with good reminders of what love and forgiveness should look like and what is really important in life. It also made me remember that it’s okay for different people to live in different ways, as long as they follow the Lord.
I will give When the Soul Mends … 3 ½ BookWorms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Press through Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"When the Morning Comes" Review

About the book:
Her relationship with fiancé Paul Waddell in tatters, Hannah Lapp has fled her secluded Old Order Amish community in hopes of finding a new home in Ohio with her shunned aunt. Hampered by limited education and hiding her true identity, Hannah struggles to navigate the confusing world of the Englischers.

Back in Owl’s Perch, Pennsylvania, Paul is wracked with regret over his treatment of Hannah. Fearing for her safety, he tries to convince Hannah’s remaining allies–brother Luke, best friend Mary, and loyal Matthew Esh–to help search for his love. Hannah’s father, however, remains steadfastly convinced of her sinful behavior. His blindness to his family’s pain extends to her sister, Sarah, who shows signs of increasing instability.

Convinced her former life is irreparably destroyed, Hannah finds purpose and solace in life with her aunt and in a growing friendship with Englischer Martin Palmer. Will the countless opportunities in her new life persuade Hannah that her place is amongst the Englischers— or will she give in to her heart’s call to return home and face her past?

When the Morning Comes is book two in the Sisters of the Quilt series by Cindy Woodsmall.
You can read an excerpt from this book here.

My Take:
The first book in this series, When the Heart Cries (you can read my review here), was pretty depressing, I thought. The worst thing for me was that Hannah’s father did not believe that she had been raped, which just broke my heart. After enduring all that happens in the first book, I really wanted to see Hannah catch a break in the second book.
And she does. A lot of them. I enjoyed seeing Hannah work hard to get where she wanted to go. However, all of the opportunities that Hannah received seemed a bit unbelievable for someone with only an 8th grade education and no knowledge of the modern world. I truly do believe that God can and does have a hand in these types of things in our lives, but everything falling perfectly into place was a little much. Hannah did try her best not to take handouts, though, which I appreciated.
I did enjoy the parts of the book with Zabeth and with Hannah adjusting to the modern world. Although she did seem to adjust rather quickly to some things, there were also things that she just couldn’t get used to no matter what, which helped with the authenticity.
As for Paul, I felt so bad for him throughout the book. I liked that he was trying to get on with his life, but he still missed Hannah, and he regrets what he did to her. His treatment of the people in Owl’s Perch (Sarah, Matthew, Luke) was so compassionate that he is by far my favorite character in the series. Martin, I think, leaves a lot to be desired.
There are several subplots in this book that are continued from the first one, but they seem to go into even more detail about these minor characters – Sarah, Matthew, Elle, Luke, Mary – so much so that I think it takes away from the main story a little.
I enjoyed venturing out into the ‘real world’ with Hannah during When the Morning Comes, and I look forward to the conclusion in When the Soul Mends.

I will give When the Morning Comes … 3 BookWorms

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."