Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for the first book in Tricia Goyer’s new Amish series, Beside Still Waters! Already praise is pouring in …

“A wonderful story about the Amish and the way they live their lives by the writings of the Bible . . . Goyer is a talented author . . . Readers will delight in this.” ~RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“I was transported into the world of the Amish. Tricia’s expressive storytelling and vivid descriptions drew me into the heartache and joy of the characters as if they were real people. So compelling.” ~Robin Jones Gunn, author of the Christy Miller series

“Only a gifted writer like Tricia Goyer could present such a captivating story about a group of Amish forging a new community in Montana. Tricia writes in such a way that the reader can’t wait to turn the page and learn more about main character Marianna’s experience. Tricia’s talent for connecting our heart to Marianna’s plight also connects us to our need for one another. Beside Still Waters draws you in with its genuine characters, and it holds you there with its enduring bonds of love and family.” ~Suzanne Woods Fisher, best-selling author of the Lancaster County Series

Be sure to stop by Tricia’s Blog It’s Real Life – she’s giving away 10 copies of the book and some (super cool) antique Amish salt & pepper shakers. Also – everyone who enters the contest will receive an Montana Amish calendar (while supplies last)!

{More about Beside Still Waters – A Big Sky Novel}

Marianna Sommer believes she knows where her life is headed. Nineteen years old and Amish, her plan is to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and live in the only community she’s ever known.

When Marianna’s family moves from Indiana to Montana she discovers life and faith will never be the same. As she builds an easy friendship with local guy, Ben Stone, Ben not only draws her heart, he also gets her thinking about what loving God and living in community is all about.

As Marianna struggles to find “home”, she also encounters God in intimate ways.

Watch the video trailer here.

Tricia Goyer

{More About Tricia Goyer}

USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and “Lead Your Family Like Jesus,” (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at

Find out more about Tricia at



Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver Blog Tour & KINDLE Giveaway!

***UPDATE: The winner of the KINDLE has been announced! Was it YOU?

On behalf of Joanna we would like to express our thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped spread the word about Lazarus Awakening and the Heart of God KINDLE giveaway!

We’re pleased to announce that the winner is

NANCY MOTTU from TX! Congrats.

Please email with your mailing address! 

Welcome to the blog tour for beloved author Joanna Weaver’s latest book, Lazarus Awakening: Finding Your Place in the Heart of God. To celebrate Joanna is giving away a KINDLE and 3 sets of Having A Mary Heart in A Martha WorldHaving a Mary Spirit, and Lazarus Awakening. All the details below.

“Joanna Weaver has given us two insightful books about some of Jesus’ closest friends—Martha and Mary. Lazarus Awakening completes the trilogy by taking an inspiring look at the life of their brother Lazarus. A closer look at his story will help you draw closer to Christ as his intimate friend. I recommend it.”
—Ann Spangler, author of Praying the Names of God

More About Lazarus Awakening: You believe that God loves the world…but sometimes you wonder if He truly loves you.

For many of us, moving the truth of God’s love from our heads to our hearts is a lifelong process. As we consider our inadequacies or grieve our shattered dreams, we find it difficult to believe that God cares for us personally.

In this life-giving book, Joanna Weaver shows you how to embrace the truth that Jesus loves you apart from anything you accomplish, apart from anything you bring. Just as He called Lazarus forth to new life, Jesus wants to free you to live fully in the light of His love, unbound from the graveclothes of fear, regret, and self-condemnation.

Love is calling your name.

Combining unforgettable real-life illustrations with unexpected biblical insights, Joanna Weaver invites you to experience a spiritual resurrection that will forever change your understanding of what it means to be the one Jesus loves.

More About Joanna: Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. These two books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, Dutch, Chinese, German, Korean and more. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. Past appearances include: The Harvest Show, At Home Live With Chuck & Jenni, Midday Connection, HomeWord, and Janet Parschall’s America. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna’s greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor’s wife.To learn more about Joanna please

The Heart of God KINDLE Giveaway:

Joanna is celebrating the release of Lazarus Awakening with the Heart of God KINDLE Giveaway!

In Lazarus Awakening Joanna writes about getting God’s love from our heads to our hearts. We all know Jesus loved Mary – look how she worshiped. And we can understand why He loved Martha – after all, look how she served. But what about those of us who don’t know where we fit in the heart of God? Lazarus Awakening explores the tale of the third follower – Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus. We never hear him speak, we never see him serve. The only thing of any significance that Lazarus did was to die. And yet, the Bible is clear. Jesus loved Lazarus. And He loves you and me as well. Lazarus Awakening looks at different aspects of the story we find in John 11. We learn what it means to be a friend of God and begin recognizing the tombs we spend far too much time in.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World
  • Having A Mary Spirit
  • Lazarus Awakening

Joanna will also select two additional contest entrants to receive copies of her trilogy. Enter soon by clicking below (PLEASE NOTE – THE CONTEST LINKS DO NOT WORK UNTIL THE MORNING OF 3/28!) and then tell your friends. Hurry the contest ends April 16th. The winner will be announced on Joanna’s blog on April 18th.




Blog Tour Schedule:

Sally at An Observation of Mercy She’s a praiseworthy writer. Lazarus Awakening aims to treat not the symptoms but the disease. It aims at breathing life into the corpse by pointing to God and his love for us, which is powerful to save.

Pamela at In his Graces I wasn’t sure what to expect with this new release…the Bible really doesn’t say much about Lazarus compare to other biblical characters right? How can an author take a familiar story and write yet a third book from it and bring in new content…new concepts? Seriously, readers…sit back and prepared to be captured mentally and spiritually in this one. Joanna personalizes Lazarus story beautifully…thoughtfully…spiritually. I am most intrigued with the tomb concept (chapter five) that we put ourselves into due to strongholds, past experiences, hurts, habits, etc…those things that keep us from the intimacy of God we were created to have. I am currently on over-load due to the conviction I have received from chapters five and six regarding tomb dwelling and rolling away the stone. I need to step back and reflect…meditate…change. Just as Lazarus was instructed to “arise and go forth”, this too is the message for us in this book. Through God’s guidance and promptings, Joanna has out done the other two books in this series with Lazarus Awakening.Truly this is a must read for any one who is seeking the fullness of God in their life!! 

Sara at Growing For Christ She hasn’t sold out to the “well I’m Christian so everything should be happy and right, no sickness, tempatations, etc” crowd that is permeating the ‘Christian’ churches today. I struggle with love and how others percieve me, and yes that even means my Heavenly Father at times.  I often doubt how He can really, truly love such a messed up person – one who has sinned and continues to do so – but I know deep down He does it’s just getting my head and heart around that knowledge at the same time and remembering that! I believe that this book will have life changing properties as Joanna Weaver, weaves (no pun intended! well maybe a little) together her understanding of Scripture with guidance from the Holy Spirit and makes us want to just believe in our Father’s true love for us, even when we feel no one else does and even when we doubt the Lord’s love.

Jami’s Reviews An amazing book. The premise of the book centers around Lazarus’ resurrection, but weaves tidbits here and there about OUR awakening. Lazarus Awakening includes a 10-week Bible study that would be good for the individual or for a group. The thoughts that Joanna has put into this book is profound. I highly recommend this book for women who are in need of some “awakening”. I imagine we all could use some of that whether we realize it or not!    

Becky at In The Pages I was THRILLED to hear her words again. And it is powerful – I mean POWERFUL!! I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree. The book was riveting for me – a challenge to my heart about God’s love for us. I KNOW He loves us, but this book challenged me to move beyond saying it to BELIEVING it. He is calling us forth to new life – IN HIM – and this means leaving behind the baggage of fear and regret. I whole-heartedly recommend this book!  

Apple Blossom at4 the LOVE of BOOKS She calls for the reader to remover their grave clothes and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in your life.  She explains in a way like I’ve never heard it explained before that we are slaves to only what we choose to be slaves to.  We should look for opportunities to be that good neighbor and not let geography hinder our work.   

SusieQTpies at Scraps of Life A clear, level and hard look at the love of God. How many Christians do we all know who accept Christ and his gift, believe in the saving grace of God and His great love….for everyone except themselves? I enjoyed the book, and gleaned from it several areas in my own walk that could use a bit of fine tuning!  Even if all you get around to reading is Appendix F, “Hints for Unwinding Graveclothes”, the book is worth the cover price.  

Vida at Sunflower Faith Both scripturally sound and personally encouraging, it was an enjoyment to read. Not a depressing book, but an honest look at how on how we define ourselves as Christians and do we live in a constant state of mourning or do we rejoice in the resurrection and new life we find in and through our Heavenly Father. 

Chelle at Chasing the Divine This book took me by surprise, as I was not expecting it to be as amazing as it is. With each turn of the pages, I fell more into this concept of Jesus wanting us to come ALIVE.  We have lived far too long in caves we do not belong, wearing grave clothes that God has been unraveling.  It is time, oh sleeper, to wake up, come out, and LIVE.  You will enjoy every moment as you walk this journey, as God reveals the areas of your life where you have been sleeping for far too long.  As you turn the last page, you will find yourself awake and keenly aware of the realization God has been calling out to you, from the beginning of time, and even in your darkest hour.  

Laura at The Book Tree I had never read anything by Joanna Weaver before but I am now hooked. The writing is great and she brings about a connection with the reader that brings them to fully grasp what she has to say and her words really make you think about your relationship with God. Weaver gives a sense of God and that He is always there, even when we think He might not be or are sure that He isn’t. She reminds us all that He is always there and this is a book that is a great companion to keep us reminded of that.  

Virginia at My Full Cup In Lazarus Awakening, Joanna tackles our feelings of abandonment with God, and those times God just doesn’t act like we think He should act. When God chooses to, choke, gasp, act according to His plan and not ours.  She offers practical ideas on what we can do when it seems the Lord is waiting two more days past our anxious cry for His immediate help.  She tells us, both by word and example, what to do when our life stinks like a body that has been in the grave for four days.This book is one that really should be read by all Christians and should be re-read every year..or month or maybe in my case, every week. This book has once again wet my appetite, and awakened my realization that God is working, He is near and I long to know Him on a deeper level. This book has spurred me on to go deeper with my God. And shouldn’t that be the desire, the outcome, of all the books we read?

Stacie at Hobbit Door I absolutely loved this book! I really felt this book had so much insight on where to focus your mind and heart when you feel God is tarrying in your life. I also felt it had much to say for those trying to minister to ones feeling God is tarrying in their lives. I found it a wonderful mix of good reminders and fresh perspective. I’m not sure I will ever view the story of Lazarus the same again. There is a wonderful Bible study in the back of the book to accompany each chapter. I am not normally a huge fan of these Bible studies. I often feel they just regurgitate what the book already said. This one really seemed to engage me in the material. To flesh it out more. I felt like she brought in more Scripture to engage with and take you a little deeper. She writes with great compassion and understanding. I definitely recommend it. 

Laura at Lighthouse Academy I highly recommend this book. If you—like so many of us—suffer from imagining God welcoming everyone else into Heaven with open arms, but greeting you with an “oh, it’s you” type greeting, and then when that biblical banquet is served watching everyone else placed at the table while you are given a spot outside with the dogs, then this book is for you. A workbook/study guide is included at the end of this book, so you can use this as a devotional, or as a small group study, or even in a Sunday school class. 

Wendy at Minding Spot Lazarus Awakening is an excellent spiritual book that doesn’t preach to you but guides you to how you can find your place with God. 

Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews This beautifully written book touches the heart and soul of the question – Does God really love me? Joanna Weaver writes about the importance of realizing the importance of knowing that you have a special place in God’s heart in a heartwarming and encouraging style – the reader will feel as if they are sitting on the front porch have a heart-to-heart discussion. Weaver includes real-life stories of people struggling to accept God’s all-encompassing love, as well as reflections of the story of Lazarus, the one Jesus loved so much that he brought him back to the living to fully experience faith and hope in God’s affections.  I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking answers – you are sure to find them here in Weaver’s wise words. 

Kaylea at My Scrappy Life I found myself drawn into this book, looking at a familiar story in a new way. Written as a “women’s” Christian living book, the story – and it’s message – is one that everyone needs to know – regardless of gender.

Stephanie at Coupon Clippin Mommy I continually felt challenged to learn what it really means to be loved by God and to trust in his timing. Each and everyone of us has a place in the heart of God; once we find it we will never be the same again. Lazarus Awakening would make a great Bible Study with your friend or in a small group. The book includes a 10 week companion guide.  Maybe you want to go through the Bible study guide on your own to dive deeper into your place in the heart of God. I encourage you to check out some of the scripture passages she mentions in the guide.

Patricia at Live and Dream a little dream Definitively a must read!  I found myself discovering a honest look at the way we define ourselves as Christians. To be sure Joanna Weaver not only gives us much to think about how we project our faith to others as well as ourselves but she shares with readers the result of many years of pondering on Christ’s love. I particularly like to think of her helping us to die daily so that Christ might live in us forever. Through her book she extends a helping hand as a true friend, someone who will listen and see us as we truly are. It is sometime very hard to believe in ourselves, let alone believe God cares for us individually.  This is not a book you will just read and shelve. With illustrations and biblical references Joanna Weaver’s clear study guide and resources for resurrected living will allow you to understand what it means to be loved by God. With honesty and love, we can learn to shed our grave-clothes, and find our way to love ourselves as well as others.

Mystiqua at Pursuit of Titus 2 I enjoyed this book. It showed that through Jesus there is an awakening if we believe in him. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to be inspired in receiving an intimate relationship with Christ.  

Jenn’s RAQ I love how she pulled directly from the Bible to illustrate God’s great love and grace for us.  She really illustrated how we will always fall short of perfection, but it is because of God’s great love that we are able to still have a close, fulfilling, and meaningful relationship through Christ. I also loved that the book had a 10 week Bible study at the end.  It is Bible-based (which, surprisingly, can be rare in a Christian study…. but this one is solid!) and full of intriguing questions and helps lead you to the answers from the Bible.   

Scott at LaVigne’s Blog Lazarus Awakening speaks about how God deals with the trial of unbelief, not being a person that gives forgiveness and being an unworthy person.  Jesus calls us forth from our tomb of struggles in life, but we need to keep in mind that without Him we can’t even walk without holding His hand. Joanna includes study guides that provide questions to individuals, small groups, and Sunday school classes in order for them to begin looking at what obstacles to tackle and how to never let go of His hand. The good study helps in the book make sure that no one goes away from this book without knowing how to seek Him more. Joanna Weaver has a special talent of taking a Bible passage and seeing it in a new way. Joanna writes to us in a way that shows us how to live God’s way. I applaud Joanna in her win of a book. I give this book 9 out of 10 for a job well done!  

Emily at Southern Fiber Reads I always thought Lazarus was just a “product” of one of God’s miracles.  Just days before he is crucified on the cross, Jesus brings Lazarus back to life, and really, I thought that was all I needed to know about Lazarus.  Joanna Weaver has proven me wrong. Through studying John 11 with Weaver’s insights, I found that I can learn more from Lazarus than I could by just looking at his resurrection.  Having gone through my own points of spiritual “death”, I know what it’s like to rejoice when God brings me back to Him!  This book is a fresh look at a well known “Sunday School Lesson”.  Sometimes the word of God can become stale, even to believers. Sometimes we need our own Spiritual refreshment, and I think Weaver’s book offers just that. If you know what it’s like to go through your own period of “death”, if you need a brand new look at the word of God, or if you are just interested in learning more about Lazarus and what you can glean from his story, pick up this book.  You will not be disappointed!

Elizabeth at Be Joyful Always A challenging and encouraging book about the love of God through the story of Lazarus.

Jamie at Little Blurbs I really enjoyed this study of Lazarus and how his story is applicable and relevant in our lives today. Each chapter takes an in-depth look at a portion of his story and gives application for our lives. I never thought I could learn so much about myself and God’s love for me from such a short passage in scripture. This book is very well written and is easy to understand. This would make a great group study; it would be great to be able to discuss this book in a group.  

Christy’s Book Blog Weaver uses this story to illustrate how the Christian soul is dead until Jesus wakes us up, bringing us to new life in faith. Weaver’s writing is also very conversational and personal. She connects with readers as though writing to a good friend, and readers can trust that she truly cares about each of them. Weaver shares her own personal struggles and flaws, using them to empathize with readers while also making spiritual break-throughs. Reading Weaver is like a jolt of good coffee. She awakens readers minds to truths that touch the soul. 

Musings By Lynn This is a wonderful book. I am reading it slowly, absorbing the truth that is revealed, as well as the personal challenges presented by the author. Joanna’s writing is amazing and unforgettable.

Mel’s World with Melissa Mashburn One of the BEST books I have read on the subject of “Finding Your Place in the Heart of God”. This is going to be one of those books that I read and re-read time and again. The book is packed full of truth, memorable stories and incredible application. I love that it has a ten week Bible study with it as well as several appendix’s in the back to tackle head on how to identify strongholds, hints for unwinding grave clothes, finding out who you are in Christ, and resources for resurrected living.  I’ve dog eared pages, highlighted, underlined, scribbled notes inside and already made a list of women that I know that absolutely MUST HAVE this book! 

Libby’s Library A Wonderful 10 -Week Bible Study. Beautifully written. Touching and comforting. Each chapter concentrating on a different concept. My favorite…Listening and Hearing. I so often fail to do this!  I ask and ask sometimes pleading…but do I really listen, so that I may hear the answers? Joanna Weaver at her finest.

Amy at The 160 Acrewoods Can I begin by saying wow! This book packs a punch for us ladies! Anyhow, in this 10 week Bible study, Joanna goes through the stories of death and life (resurrection) and how we should live according to our new life in Christ – how we get stuck in the head knowledge of it, but refuse to move it to our hearts.  We look at all our inadequacies or broken dreams and find it hard to think that God can really love us individually. Joanna walks you through how to see God’s truth and how much Christ loves you – not your accomplishments, but you – This is a great study for those of us who have a hard time with feeling God’s love – that we don’t think we are worthy of it. I found that Lazarus Awakening contained a lot of thought provoking questions in the study guide as well as within the actual chapters – those little self check questions that might have been redundant for some, but hit the spot for others – they were great evaluation questions.

Cara at The Law, Books and Life

Janet at Home Is Where God Sends You While reading Lazarus Awakening, I became convinced that this is the most basic, the foundational message that people need to hear. Yes, they need to realize they have sinned and need a Savior. I was struck by the true story Joanna Weaver told in the first pages of the book about the woman who confided she could tell anyone else that Jesus loves them, but couldn’t look at her own face in the mirror and say it to herself. Even women who’ve heard from childhood that Jesus loves them struggle to believe it and seek to earn his love through self-improvement and good works. Lazarus Awakening shows why this is a burden we don’t have to bear. Weaver ties other Bible stories and personal experience into each chapter to make her points. The book includes a 10-week Bible study and several appendices with helpful information to enhance learning from the book.   

Tammy at Tammy Is Blessed There are definitely fresh insights to be learned by focusing on the Lazarus. Who knew you could learn so much from one Biblical account? Joanna’s conversational style of writing is very easy to read. She mixes in personal stories and applications to practically illustrate the truths she digs up from the text. A point that really grabbed me – God is our Friend. Are we a friend to God? Do we treat Him like a close friend, a true friend (the Greek word philos – the term used by Jesus when He called Lazarus “friend”)? Or do we treat Him like a genie, only our friend for what we can get from Him? Are we selfish comrades, groupies, unfaithful and deceptive friends (the Greek word hetairos – the term used by Jesus when He called Judas “friend” when he betrayed Him)? What kind of friend are we to Jesus? Lazarus or Judas?

Trisha’s Book Reviews In this book Joanna Weaver confrims that God loves us. Each and every one of us dispite what we do or don’t do. His love is unconditional and always available! People tend to have a hard time believing that an all powerful, Holy God could love some one like them. With all the terrible stuff they’ve done, or the lack of things they should have done. How could God love us? He loves the unloveables! This book is an awesome reminder of God’s love for his people, I really enjoyed it! So often we’re taught all the “rules” of living a christian life while forgetting the freedom and love that comes from God. When we live a rules based lifestyle its easy to loose the belief that God really does love you. I highly recommend this book to every woman out there!   

Krista at Pitching Pencils Through her examination of the story of Lazarus, Weaver has opened a discussion that too often lies hidden amongst believers who may wonder if their own faith is lacking, or perhaps that God has rejected them for previous sins. This is not just a Christian self help book, though, for Weaver provides a call to a greater method of discipleship, one that not only brings people to God but also helps them to unwrap the “graveclothes” of their past. By thoughtfully reading this book and applying the principles included in the chapters, readers will find a means to gaining a greater relationship with God as well as the tools to help others awaken to this love. 

Caroline at Happy Four Lazarus Awakening is another amazing book that comes with a study guide you can utilize for each of the ten chapters.  Joanna also have some incredible resources in the appendix including how to recognize our strongholds, and scripture references to read for who we are in Christ. This book conveys in a beautiful way how Christ not only wants to give us resurrection (new life in Him), but  living our life in Christ to the fullest.  Joanna’s insightful writing will stay with you months after reading the final page and hopefully, like me, encourage and challenge you in your Christian walk. 

JHS at Colloquium When Weaver challenges readers to “come forth,” just as Jesus directed Lazuarus to “come forth” out of his tomb, her message is inspiring, uplifting, and impossible to resist. Lazarus Awakening, with the included study guide, would make an excellent choice for book clubs or women’s Bible study groups, especially within groups that are able to explore a single chapter at a time whose members are well-acquainted and willing to sahre personal feelings and experiences.   

Jennifer at For Such a Time as This I cannot tell you how much this book has meant to me. I feel my spirit beginning to stir again with the anticipation of all that God will be doing in my life. For a while I have been asleep–dead in a way of sorts. But this book has literally awakened my spirit and has me begging for more of what God is going to do. I have learned about huge boulders that I have allowed to get into the path of my relationship with Christ. I have learned about trusting in what God can do and not doubting when He doesn’t come on MY time (that one is a biggie for me), and I have learned that God will and always comes to my rescue–right on time.

Nicole at bless their hearts This is a very in depth book- there are study guides and resources for follow up at the back of the book- and would be perfect for not only a woman’s bible group, but any church bible group. In reading it, you may find the answers you seek, and comfort for your fears.

Jenn at MizB Reviews I think my favorite part was where Joanna said that we need to relax ~ to just let Jesus love us. We need to stop trying so hard, and just let go; choose to believe that we are loved. Tell ourselves daily, until we believe it wholeheartedly, that God loves us ~ unconditionally.  

Lynetta at Open Book If you or someone you know doubts God’s love for them or His goodness, then you must read this book. Weaver’s detailed research and prayerful teaching in this book make it a highly valuable resource for those who want to have the glorious spirit-filled life God intends for His people.   

Renee at Doorkeeper Weaver asks that we make an effort to rekindle that initial relationship. Pour out your heart to the Lord in prayer. Search for hope in His Word. Consciously think about Him and all that He is to you. Spend time with others who love Him, too. Cut out of your life anything that brings you down or pulls you away from Him. And maybe you want to pick up a book like this one, with its practical advice, inspiring examples, and Scriptural wisdom.   

Jacqui at Single Parent Retreat Very well written. Accept and love yourself the way that Jesus does.

Pamela at Mustard Seed Reviews Weaver’s books are genuine, honest and applicable to everyday life. Reading her books truly is like a visit from an old trusted friend. Weaver is fun and approachable, but brutally honest just like an old friend should be.   

Jennifer at Adventures in Unsell Land Lazarus Awakening is all about God’s love for you. We are called out of the grave and made into a new creation, but then what? We have a journey to walk and we must walk it as the free people that we are if we are going to live life to it’s fullest. Covering moments of pain, suffering, and times of walking in the wilderness, Weaver uses many illustrations from her own life, quotes, and a conversational tone to bring about a Lazarus Awakening into our hearts. A 10-week Bible study is offered in the book. This is a book that I can confidently recommend, either for a women’s bible study, or for individual reading.   

Loni at Writing Canvas This is absolutely in my top five reads for this year. I did not read Lazarus Awakening quickly, but used it along side my Bible for Bible study time.  I don’t know where to even begin how much this book encouraged and blessed me!  This is perfect to read alone or would also be great in a group ladies Bible study.

Marjorie at The Writer’s Tool Having taught the last two books at our Wednesday evening Bible studies, I’m very glad to see this new book from Joanna Weaver. In my first read-through, I found much to challenge me to grow in my walk with my beloved Savior, and much to reaffirm what He’s already teaching me. I really appreciate Joanna’s emphasis on the Word of God as necessary for spiritual growth. If you benefited from the studies in Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World or Having a Mary Spirit, you will benefit from Lazarus Awakening. If you struggle with the concept of God’s intense and personal love for you as I have, then you will benefit from reading and studying Lazarus Awakening. 

Judy at Seize the Book Blog I was able to identify with a lot of what Mrs. Weaver illustrated in this book. I know what it is like to doubt God, and I have struggled many times in my life with the inability to embrace the unconditional love of God. The author helped me to see myself accurately in the light of God’s Word. I gained insight in this book about Lazarus and his sisters as I read how they came to grips with what the Son of God was doing in their lives. He knows exactly what he is doing, even when we continue to question his ways. Mrs. Weaver has a way with making the Scriptures come alive.

Mattie at Beauty Will Rise This book was more than I expected. I really began to think more about Lazarus. Joanna has such imagary that I was smiling through my tears as I read the possibilities and about the joy and laughter. Joanna discusses the laughter and joy that probably over flowed from Lazarus after death no longer had a hold on him. For Lazarus, there was no more fear in death, he had been there. God had conquered it and he had nothing to fear. A great book and I plan on reading it again and referring it to friends!

Tammy at Pink Stinx Joanna Weaver has a gift. Weaver’s conversational writing is so easy to read; however, her words impacted my heart deeply.  We need to invest time into a relationship so we can hear His voice and in return He will set us free from mediocre living, and give us an abundant life. We need to surrender ourselves completely to Him in order to move into that new life. Weaver explains that the Lord wants to resurrect our hearts as he resurrected Lazarus’ body, through abounding undeserved, unearned love. Weaver’s study guides that allow us to even get into His Word deeper and discover what stones need to be rolled away and how to get us out of our own tomb. Weaver also includes appendixes that provide websites and resources for resurrected living, reminding us who we are in Christ, how to unwinding grave clothes, and recognize what holds us in a “grave” in life. 

Dawn at Guiding Light Homeschool

Pat at Why Didn’t You Warn Me?

Doretta at Life on the edge I found this book to be an enlightening read and realized that sometimes I am more comfortable wearing the grave clothes because I am afraid of what lies ahead if I take them off. I do recommend this book to anyone who desires to find their place in the Heart of God.


Paula at Thrifty Mommas Brain Food For those who need to periodically reexamine their faith and their role in accepting religion, this book is a must read, especially for women. Lazarus Awakening is a look at how to open your heart to God’s voice and to his actions. It is not a ten quick steps guide to living through God or anything quite so simplistic. In a world that seeks so much scientific proof to back up theory, it is a compelling essay on how to move beyond that to a place where a Christian can see the actions of God and trust that he is there even when those desperate times appear and he seems absent. In many ways this is a book about trust.

Robin at Scribbles of the Heart With the loss of my husband 13 months ago, I have truly often wondered, “where is God?” This book taught me how to embrace the truth, truly put my faith in God and set me free from the fear of abandonment. I give this book 5 stars *****!!

Tracy at My slice of Sanity This book provides a wonderful Awakening for those who have felt that God has left them. There are wonderful resouse tools for each chapter that make you sit and ponder your thoughts for each chapter. I would recommend this book to everyone that has ever felt that they have lost touch with God.

Hillary at Our Homeschool Studio It is so hard for me to think of anyone being friends with God.  It should not be such a difficult concept. A friend is someone you enjoy being with.  Someone you love. Someone whose happiness you value more than your own. Someone you would do anything for. And someone who would do the same for you.  Someone like God.  Through the story of Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, I am learning about my own relationship with my Savior. The included study guide is helpful in getting my thoughts started in the right direction.  As a new Christian, I participated in a class using Joanna’s book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. This is much the same in that Joanna takes Scripture and shows you how to apply it in your life. This is not a light read, but not intimidating either. Joanna is a gifted teacher and can help you to draw closer to the Lord’s love and leave the tomb.

Julie at One Rainy Afternoon Once again she has brought together inspiring truths from God’s Word, her incredible imagination, and those convicting gray boxes. What an amazing concept that God would love a sinner like me! Me?! But He does and Joanna does such a great job of reminding us of that message that is written all over the pages of Scripture. With the stories and wonderful word-pictures in Lazarus Awakening, Joanna is helping many women do just that. Living like God loves you takes change and in order to accomplish that you need a lot of prayer. This book is a great guide to help you in your spiritual journey and I highly recommend it!

Hannah at Beauty from Inside If you are feeling lately that you want to live life more alive, reading this book might give you some of the encouragement that you need.  You may feel down, but Lazarus was dead.  If Jesus can bring a dead man back to life, He can enthuse your life with joy, and that is one of the main messages of this book.  It shows how to live life more alive through God’s means.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Lisa at Musings The soothing colors on the cover and the written words are so poignant for this Lenten season. As I read through Lazarus Awakening, I nodded along as if she were writing about me. The spiritual insights touched my heart and drew me closer to God.

Trisha’s Book Reviews People tend to have a hard time believing that an all powerful, Holy God could love some one like them. With all the terrible stuff they’ve done, or the lack of things they should have done. How could God love us? Joanna looks at scripture and shows us how none of those things are dependant on God’s love for us, He simply loves us because we’re his children! He loves the unloveables! This book is an awesome reminder of God’s love for his people, I really enjoyed it! So often we’re taught all the “rules” of living a christian life while forgetting the freedom and love that comes from God. When we live a rules based lifestyle its easy to loose the belief that God really does love you. I highly recommend this book to every woman out there! I recall reading her book Having a mary heart in a Martha world. This book is just as good!!

Ponderings By Andrea I thought she must have written this book just for me! After reading the book, I knew God sent this book in my direction! This is the first time I have read a book by Joanna Weaver. I really liked this one! It is so clear that Joanna has a huge heart for the Lord and for all people, not just women!

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Money & Marriage by Matt Bell Blog Tour and Nest Egg Giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for Matt Bell’s (a.k.a Matt About Money) resource for engaged or newly married couples, Money & Marriage.

Matt says, “I wrote “Money & Marriage” because I believe in marriage. I’m sure it isn’t news to you that money is a very common source of stress between spouses. It’s even a primary factor in many divorces. I wrote this book with no less of a goal than to save many marriages from disaster, and to help all couples use money in a way that strengthens their relationship and increases their joy.”

To celebrate the book’s release Matt has put together a Nest Egg Giveaway with a prize package worth over $250! All the details below.

About the book: Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged or Newly Married Couples

In this thorough and practical guide, financial expert Matt Bell helps engaged and newly married couples navigate the merger of habits, flaws, and attitudes about money so two can truly become one.

His writing is full of helpful advice, Scripture, and practical steps to gaining financial freedom together as a couple. Learn to use money in a way that minimizes disputes and maximizes marital happiness.

About Matt: Matt began his career as a radio journalist, with his work featured on National Public Radio, the NBC Radio Network, and several other networks. His reporting earned national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and United Press International.

Today, Matt is a full-time personal finance writer and speaker. He is the author of two books: “Money, Purpose, Joy” (September 2008) and “Money Strategies for Tough Times” (April 2009), both by NavPress. Matt has been quoted in USA TODAY, U.S. News and World Report, the Chicago Tribune, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, has written for, and has been a guest on WGN-TV and several nationally syndicated radio talk shows.

Matt holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, where he wrote a thesis about the emergence of America’s consumer culture and its influence on people’s beliefs and behaviors.

Matt lives with his wife and their three young children in the Chicago area. Visit his website and blog at

About the Money & Marriage Nest Egg Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Money & Marriage, Matt Bell is giving away a Nest Egg Prize Package worth over $250.

One winner will receive:

•    A Free 1 Hour Financial Session
•    A $100 Visa Cash Card
•    A signed copy of Matt’s Money, Purpose, Joy and Money Strategies for Tough Times


Hurry, the contest ends on April 11th. Tell your friends and be sure to pick up a copy ofMoney & Marriage – important principles whether you’re newly engaged or just celebrated your 30th anniversary.

Matt will announce the winner on his blog April 13th!

Blog Tour Schedule:

Jeannine at My Bits and Bleeps Matt Bell has several, wonderful strategies….many of them already in established in our relationship! Our financial behaviour will continue to be influenced; however, we’ll be on the lookout!  We’ve learned, financially, more about ourselves with Money & Marriage, than I ever thought possible.

Melinda Joy: Living, Laughing, Loving Men and women are wired differently in many aspects, and this book points out some of the areas where we may differ, and how to learn to meet in the middle. 

Christina at Will Blog 4 Books Matt Bell’s book really hits on the key areas of financial struggles and arguments. My husband and I enjoyed reading this book and discussing again the many considerations found between the covers. I think this book should be required reading for any couple going into marriage.

Apple Blossom at 4 the LOVE of BOOKS Bell helps the reader find timeless truths about money from a Biblical perspective. This was such a wonderful book on Money. It is written to be understood, very easy. Any new couple planning on getting married should work through this book together. 

Stephanie at 4 the LUV of SaNiTy First off, this is a great book for both engaged and newly married couples. This is definitely not just a one time read. I feel that this is a book that you will stick on your shelf and refer back to many times through-out your engagement and marriage. Perhaps it may just be the key to a long and very happy marriage.

Shannon at Dinglefest I’ve read it once, and now my husband and I are reading through it together. Matt Bell a skilled writer in that he uses just the right number of words to explain the point, rarely too few or too many. He includes lots of questions for you and your spouse to discuss. (Seriously. I think at least one fifth of the book is questions he poses. He does provide guidance as well, but I find more often than not our problem with finances in marriage is that we’re not talking about the right questions.)And he also blogs at Matt About Money, which I’m adding to my blogroll so I can get more tidbits from him on a regular basis. I’m recommending this book to the couple who teaches that young married Sunday school class, even though we’re not in it anymore, and I’m recommending it to the pastors at our church who are most involved in marriage ministry, particularly those involved in premarital counseling. While certain sections aren’t as applicable to those who don’t exactly fit the “young married” description anymore, the majority of the content would be useful in any marriage. It certainly has been useful in ours.  

Carol’s Corner This is a great book. The only similarity I see between Matt Bell and Dave Ramsey is the content they cover in the book. They have very distinct ways of presenting the information. I like how Matt Bell presents the information. He begins  each chapter with quotes and scriptures. He discuss the chapter content that is logical and understanding. I like how he has a take action end at the end of  each chapter. I especially enjoy the what do do and what to discuss sections at the end of the chapter. It starts  conversations off in postive and calm manner. I will be rereading the book soon with my husband. I know that this book is definitely going to improve our marriage when it comes to finances.

Book Junkie Mom at Rainy Day Reviews

Laura at The Book Tree This book is a great must have for all married couples. I am recently newly married and we are putting this book to good use. The book gives quizzes to assess what your financial life is all about and then it teaches you how to fix things that need help. Bell discusses everything a couple could ever want to know from the credit score, to buying a house, saving for retirement, or a college fund for your children. The book is easy to read and understand and the reader is able to really get the meaning of the tips and put them into practice easily. I enjoyed the book as it does not make the reader feel like a financial failure if they are not where they should be where finances are concerned. It is helpful and encouraging and a must have for anyone wanting to get their finances in order.

Roxanna Jolly What a great book for engaged and newly married couples.Matt walks you through how women and men think differently about money and how culture, your family of origin and temperament also come into effect. There’s advice in here from investing to purchasing life insurance to managing debt to giving money.

LaTawnia Kintz Reviews If you are just married or preparing to get married then let me encourage you to get this book! This will be one of the best investments you will ever make for your financial future as a couple. Right off the bat, Matt is open with the differences between he and his wife before they got married. He also gives some very interesting statistics about the financial differences between how men and women spend. In the first part of the book where he shows how to determine your financial makeup, he includes some great worksheets to go through. It certainly proved helpful in determining my financial temperament.Money is the leading cause for divorce. Money & Marriage is a real help for engaged, newlyweds, and even couples who have been married for a long time. It opens communication for couples on a subject that has been taboo for most people, money. I recommend buying it, reading it, following it then sharing it with others.  

Scott at LaVigne’s Blog In this book by Matt Bell, my wife and I learned a few things we knew and a few things we were not completely sure about when it comes to money. Things like pointers on how to save and how to plan for the future really shed some light on our path to managing our finances. I agree with my wife about the worksheets and whatnot. I found them, at first glance, to be a bit cumbersome but with some time set aside to conquer them we had no problems. I give this book an 8.5 out of 10. I hope you and your fiancee or newlywed bride will have as much fun with this book as my wife and I did! My kudos to Matt Bell!   

From my wife, Emily @southernfiberreads

My husband and I really enjoyed going through this book together!  We have been married a year and a half, and are still learning some things about each other.  This book helped us look to the future as we plan how we will make major purchases and send our children to college. The worksheets and quizzes, although a little intimidating at first, are well explained, and even fun to do if you sit down with the right attitude.  It was good for us to learn that our financial differences help us keep each other balanced. One of the ways this book helped us learn to accept our financial differences and make them work for our financial unity. Bell has written a solid, Biblical, and straightforward guide to finances for engaged and newly married couples.  I believe that you will get as much, if not more, from this book as my husband and I did.  Happy Reading!!!

Morning Cup With Meg Bell demonstrates how culture, our families, and our experiences can shape the way we spend our money.  He gives readers practical ways to set up and maintain a budget, even going so far as to offer budgeting spreadsheets on his website for download.  And for those who have fallen into traps with spending, he describes solutions for climbing out of debt.

Jennifer at For Such a Time as This This book was a really good read for me. Stephen and I fight sometimes about money. This book has some great advice on dealing with money and marriage.

Naasom at Letras Santas

Clint at Friar Tucks Fleeting Thoughts I really liked this book. It was smart. It offered wise advice without being judgmental. It was written in a way that is easy to read and accessable to a broad audience. As a pastor, I plan to keep it on my shelf for marriage and pre-marital counseling situations. Matt Bell compiled some important statistics at the beginning of the book that we all should take time to read and pay attention to. They included research-based facts on how couples view money, and how couples communicate about money. This is a book every young couple should have.

Jessica at Catholic Hearts Domestic Church I am holding in my hands a book I wish I’d had many years ago. It takes so much of the financial information I have studied and sought over the years, and puts in the context of a couple getting married (or already married!). While the information contained in this book is not new persay, the context changed my entire perspective on the whys and hows of my financial choices.

Tea Time with Annie Kate The core of the book lies in the final chapter, “What It’s All About.”  Matt points out that we’re not owners or consumers of our resources, but rather stewards, managing them for God.  He says that our life’s purpose is to love God, to love people, and to make a difference using the talents God has given us.  Our goal should be to arrange our finances around these three God-given purposes. Money and Marriage, with its helpful, wise, and detailed information, could easily improve a couple’s financial health.  Since couples tend to fight more about money than about anything else, this book could also lead to happier, more peaceful, and more financially successful marriages.

Katherine at Our Whiskey Lullaby Money and Marriage is a wonderful new book that is meant for engaged and newly wed couples to take that first leap into commitment. I highly recommend it because it will be extremly useful years down the line.

Jennifer at Quiverfull Family Bell writes with a great sense of humor that helps to make a potentially heavy topic more digestible, and that this resource could easily become a ‘must have’ for young couples.  I am already making mental notes about young people who could benefit from the advice found within its’ pages.  Even older couples like ourselves can benefit from Bell’s advice, it is possible to teach old dogs new tricks.

Suzanne at Suzannesaphone If you can get on the same page about money, you will have plenty of time and energy to devote to all the other things that can go wrong in marriage. Because of that, I would highly recommend Money & Marriage by Matt Bell to engaged or newly married couples. If you are engaged or newlywed and haven’t talked about finances, or come from very different backgrounds/perspectives (and if you haven’t talked about money, let me assure you that you probably have some wildly differing views on it), it would be a really good idea to get this book and read and discuss it together.

Susieqtpies Scraps of Life The book, Money & Marriage is a great handbook for those who are going to get married or are already married. Just like any issue, the money thing can make or break your relationship if you put it before Christ in your marriage. This book gives tips and advise on how not to let money break the bank and your relationship.

Brittany at A Flower in the Rain I really enjoyed reading Money and Marriage. Josh and I have been married for 6 years and money is still one of our biggest struggles. Matt does a great job explaining money issues and solutions and putting everything into words that are easy to understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs guidance with their finances. The steps are easily explained and defined and the solutions are doable if you put your mind and effort behind them.

Margaret at Cappuccino Life First, Bell helps couples figure out their attitudes towards money (“financial DNA”) and then provides a step-by-step plan to walk towards financial success.  Finally, he deals with unity in marriage on the subject of money. Young couples will appreciate this book as they prepare for marriage (or after marriage when it’s discovered that they differ on finances).

Tricia at It’s Real Life Podcast interview HERE.

Nicole at Ramblings By Nicole Although I am not newly engaged or married (hard to believe it’ll be 6 years for me and hubby in just a few months) I really enjoyed this book! I actually really wish we had both read it and applied it when we first got married. Matt has a ton of really good, common sense applications and practices that any couple and marriage would greatly benefit from. I was actually able to see how we’ve been going about the order of handling our money a bit backwards in some areas and because of that book plan on fixing that and using his recommended order, it makes much more sense! This book was very useful and I think it would be great for any couple, newly engaged or married for awhile!

Danielle at The Happy Wife I have been married for over 11 years, but found many parts of this book useful in our relationship today.  We could have saved a lot of financial stress had we read this book before the wedding and I strongly recommend this book for couples who are contemplating marriage, are newly married, or who are struggling to get a grip on their financial situation. The book encourages open and honest communication, particularly regarding finances, which leads to greater financial stability and increased marital happiness.  It also brings together your separate visions so that you can create one vision together.  After all, if you are planning a future together, it helps if you both see it the same way.

Caroline at Happy Four Matt writes in a way that assists couples in understanding how each other views money and provides a comprehensive ten step action plan to reach your financial goals. This book is an incredible tool for couples to openly discuss student loans, mortgages, investments and a plan a successful financial future as husband and wife. Matt does not just communicate financial items to consider for a healthy fiscal future, but provides the reader with steps to execute and hot topics to discusss as a couple which enhances communication with one another and assists in securing like minded goals. I give this book a 5/5 and would recommend it for any person seriously dating, married or desiring a better handle on steps to be good stewards of their resources.  

Crystal at Thrifty and Frugal Living Bell won me over right away by talking about his personal fights with his Wife. It is great to know that the person writing the book has actually been there. Throughout the book he teaches you not only why you may fight about money, but the factors that influence your finances and how to get out of debt and on the right track. If you are engaged or a newlywed then Bell includes a lot of great information about combining your finances and even changing your name (you will want this information ladies!). Regardless of your relationship status, there is more than enough excellent financial advice in this book to make it worth buying for anyone.

Robert at Fundamentally Reformed Today we are financially stable, but looking back, I believe we would have been better off had we read a resource like this new book by Matt Bell, Money and Marriage. Systematically, step by step, Matt Bell explains how to think about finances and your new life together as a married couple. He gives a crash course on budgeting, frugality, credit, debt, housing, insurance and more. His book is flexible enough to be useful in a variety of ways as he advocates an approach to money more than any one strategy. I found the Scripture quotations and other quotations interesting and appropriate. Occasionally they were downright funny, providing comedic relief from the serious topic of conversation. If you know of any young couples, consider giving them a copy of this book. And those of you who haven’t hit middle age yet, you really need to get this book. I highly recommend it.

Brian at Live Generously This book is a remarkably comprehensive, highly practical, highly readable guide to navigating the maze of decisions that young couples need to make in order to secure a healthy financial future.

Scott at A Dad First Gives a good overview of all the different financially-related topics those engaged or newly married should discuss, from how our backgrounds influence our financial thinking, to budgeting, to debt discussions, to housing and spending.

Elizabeth at Be Joyful Always Money and Marriage is a quality resource and a wonderful way to review, even if you are on track with your finances.  It’s primarily geared towards engaged and newly married couples (as the title indicates), but this book is worthwhile for singles and seasoned married couples…simply anyone who wants to enhance and/or realign their finances in a practical and biblical manner.

Robin at Inspired by Savannah This is a great step-by-step book that you can sit down and read together.  It will get you both talking in a positive way about your finances as a couple and how you can have a strong and lasting marriage with a true understanding on each others financial temperament and how you can work together to reach your joint financial goals.

Mary at Owlhaven This book talks straight, for example pointing out that cable TV is not a ‘utility’.  It is entertainment, and thus not an essential of life.  I had to cheer a little there- it is that entitlement mindset that gets too many people in debt.  And when you’d rather be in debt than give up your HGTV– well, there’s an issue, for sure.  This book looks to me to be a worthwhile read for any couple wanting to avoid common newlywed pitfalls.

Michelle at Beyond The Silver and The Gold The best thing that I liked about Matt Bell’s book is that he ends it with what God’s purposes are for our lives.  Despite having realized the many mistakes I and my husband have made in the past, I came away encouraged that I can still start over and follow this plan. And that the Lord will honor our efforts. Thanks Matt Bell!

Ponderings by Andrea I found this book to be very valuable – even for an older newly married couple! I have a friend who will be getting married at the end of May; I plan on passing ‘Money & Marriage’ along to her so she can avoid some of the mistakes we have made. 

Tammy Is Blessed This book would be a fanTAStic book for couples to read as part of their pre-marital counselling and I highly, highly recommend it.

Paula at Thrifty Mommas Brain Food  Remember that marriage course you had to take before you walked down the aisle? Well Money and Marriage is like that course, neatly contained in a book, for your finances. Financial literacy is nothing if not a hot topic these days in light if such severe economic woes in much of North America. There are some helpful practical and common sense tips here.

Shoopette’s Book Reviews An excellent resource for couples to use during pre-marital counseling or for newlyweds to use as a small group study.

Revka at The Porch Light Although Mr. Bell’s book targets engaged and newly married couples, it is full of solid financial advice which, if put into practice, will put any family on the path to a solid financial future. The worksheets he included in the book are useful without being overwhelming. I enjoyed the chapter that helps the reader identify his personality type and then describes how that personality influences your handling of money.I found those tips to be revealing, true to my experience, and quite helpful.

Linda at One Desert Roses’ Christian Book Reviews Though I’m past the engaged/newlywed stage, I found Matt’s book to be one of the most comprehensive books on money issues and life’s purposes in a marriage.  It’s  thorough and extensive, with an easy-to-read format. A must-read before you get married.  Where was this book when we got married?

Stephanie-jean at Life: Semi Crunchy  I appreciate that Matt provides many spreadsheets to help you sit down and discuss money. I know that in my marriage, money is a tough subject at times, it is easy to become defensive over for sure. I defiantly understand the value of having a structured method of which to discuss finances with your partner! I think that this book would really help to open up the eyes of many engaged and newlywed couples.

Sharon at The Legacy of Home An excellent resource and would make a great gift for engaged or newly married couples.

Dawn at Guiding Light Homeschool What a wonderful resource for Christians!  This book covers EVERYTHING…and then some!  It is shared in a way that isn’t boring (actually it’s even a little entertaining!).

Barbara at The World of Book Reviews

Shawneda at Faithful Folios TV Bell has an easy conversational tone to how he gets his point across. He offers logical and precise information on many subjects with the most important being talking to your spouse regarding their spending habits and net worth.

Jill at Radiant Lit

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The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello Blog Tour, Cruise Giveaway & Facebook Party!

Welcome to the blog tour for Sibella Giorello’s 4th installment of the Raleigh Harmon series. Already critics are praising Giorello’s latest offering.

“Giorello won the Christy Award for this series’ debut (The Stones Cry Out). Each entry has proven better than the one before, and the latest installment is no exception. Crisp writing, fast-paced action, and beautiful descriptions of Alaskan landscapes make this an essential read for fans of Irene Hannon.” —Library Journal

“Giorello has won the Christy Award and has received two Pulitzer Prize nominations. When you read this book, you’ll see why.”
—Booklist (STARRED review)

To celebrate the book’s release Sibella is pulling out all the stops! She’s giving away a cruise duringThe Mountains Bow Down Cruise Giveaway and wrapping up the giveaway and blog tour with a Raleigh Harmon Book Club Party on Facebook! See below for details.

About The Mountains Bow DownEverything’s going to work out. Time away always makes things better . . .. 

That’s what FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon believes as she boards a cruise to Alaska. A land of mountains and gems and minerals, The Last Frontier is a dream destination for this forensic geologist who’s hoping to leave behind a hectic work schedule and an engagement drained of romance.

But when a passenger goes missing and winds up dead, Raleigh’s vacation suddenly gets lost at sea. The ship’s security chief tries to rule the death a suicide, but Raleigh’s forensics background points to a much darker conclusion: Somewhere onboard, a ruthless murderer walks free.

Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis-perpetual ladies man Special Agent Jack Stephanson. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder, provide consultation for a movie filming onboard, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack-who might not be such a jerk after all.

And that’s only her work life. Family offers even more challenges. Joined on the cruise by her mother and aunt, Raleigh watches helplessly as disturbing rifts splinter her family.

Like the scenery that surrounds the cruise ship, Raleigh discovers a situation so steep and so complex that even the mountains might bow down.

About Sibella: Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Sibella and her other books at her website.

Start the series fresh with this great deal! Pick up a copy of Book 1 for your Kindle or Nook for only $2.99! The Stones Roll Away is the critically acclaimed award winner that kicked off the Raleigh Harmon series.

About the Cruise Giveaway: (contest begins 3/15, no entry until then.) Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Mountains Bow Down by giving away a Cruise prize pack worth over $500.00!

One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • A $500 gift certificate toward the cruise of their choice from Vacations To Go.
  • The entire set of the Raleigh Harmon series.

To enter go here!

Then tell your friends. And enter soon – the giveaway ends on 4/1! The winner will be announced at Sibella’s Raleigh Harmon Book Club Party on FB April 5th, 2011! Don’t miss the fun – prizes, books and gab!

About the Facebook Party: Join Sibella and fans of the Raleigh Harmon series on April 5th at 5:00 pm PST (6 MST, 7 CST & 8 EST) for a Facebook Book Club Party. Sibella will be giving away some fun prizes, testing your trivia skills and hosting a book chat about the Raleigh Harmon books. Have questions you’d like to chat about – leave them on the Event page.

Blog tour schedule:

Verlina at What You Reading Now? The Mountains Bow Down did not disappoint. I love Giorello’s character depth.  In each book in book in A Raleigh Harmon Series, Giorello adds more and more depth into Raleigh’s character and I feel as though I know her personally. This book is joining the others on my ‘to-keep’ book shelf.

Charlene at Quintessentially Quilly Sibella Giorello had me totally engrossed by the bottom of the first page. Siobella writes beautiful, descriptive prose and creates well-rounded characters that grip her reader’s attention on the first page and holds it until the last    

Jolene at The Creative Studio Kudos to Giorello for creating a plot that was catchy and unpredictable. Raleigh’s character is especially well-written. I appreciated that Giorello’s treatment of Raleigh’s mother’s illness was sadly authentic, but also sympathetic.    

Martha at Our Family Adventures I really enjoyed this book! Sibella is a talented author who wove the mystery along with the issues that you would have with family. I loved how she wove the mental health issue into the story. Not many authors are brave enough to touch on the issue!

Jami’s Reviews Sibella has done it again! The Mountains Bow Down kept me on my toes!     

Becky at In The Pages Another fabulous title in her Raleigh Harmon Series. Giorello is an amazing author that, once again, has written a page-turner!! so well-written and keeps you on the edge of your seat!

Barbara’s Thin Line I have read all of the Raleigh Harmon novels and in my opinion they just get better and better. This fourth one in the series was so good I didn’t want it to end. The Mountains Bow Down is a murder mystery on a cruise ship with self-obsessed Hollywood characters, laugh-out-loud humor, and beautiful descriptions of Alaska and the ocean that will make you want to take your own cruise there, but it also has an emotional depth that sneaks up and pulls at you like a riptide. The character development is awesome to behold, facets of Raleigh’s character revealed in the smallest of nuance. Whether tender scenes with her mother, or repartee with Jack–the agent she wants to dislike, we learn a little more about Raleigh and what makes her tick.

Debra at Footprints in the Butter Sibella’s best book yet. She has a knack for making the characters feel real. I love a crime story that involves science.  This is a fabulous book.  Christian, but not preachy.  Like the previous books in the series, everything doesn’t wrap up into pretty little packages at the end with everything being perfect and happily ever after.  The series is too real for that, which is something I really love.  I cannot wait to find out more about what happens to Raleigh…  

Vanessa at Ohio Girl Talks Sibella has done it again another fantastic read fast paced starts off  great and stays great. There are some great twists. Great Read. 

Suzanne at Suzannesaphone This is a mystery and is well-written, especially considering its placement in the “Christian fiction” genre. My husband likes to quote someone as saying that Christian has become an adjective for sub-par (in pretty much any artistic endeavor) and unfortunately I tend to agree, so it is refreshing to stumble across some fiction with interesting, layered characters.

Beckie at By The Book The Mountains Bow Down is a great mystery. You’ll never guess whodunit.  But it so much more. Raleigh is a great character.  She is not perfect, she struggles with her identity as a woman and as an FBI agent. She makes mistakes, and this makes her even more likable.  And you will love Jack, Raleigh’s nemesis from her days with the Seattle office of the FBI. Not quite a nemesis now, Raleigh has to struggle with her attraction to him as well.

Mark at Thoughts of a Sojourner This was one of those books that I started reading and finished in one evening. It was that good. Very interesting and gripping. The plot and suspense was great.

Maggie at Tethered Mommy I was instantly engrossed and found it hard to put down the book.

Brenda at WV Stitcher

Amy at The 160 Acrewoods I really enjoyed the story in this book. There was quite a bit of humor wrapped up in this wonderfully laid out whodunit.  I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed it — an unexpected decent read. The story was extremely intense and full of mayhem around each corner – there were lots of little side stories that were really well placed. I couldn’t help but feel like I had gotten to know the characters and was on my own cruise to Alaska with them!  

Ruth at This That and the Other Thing I loved the language. While classified as Christian fiction, I think it is a book that anyone who likes relatively non-gory mysteries could enjoy.

C.J. Darlington Giorello delved deeper into Raleigh Harmon’s character than she has in prior books—her struggles, challenges, and vulnerabilities. She was real before, but this novel has added a depth to her, which makes for a fantastic story. The plot was a page-turner too. Bravo, Ms. Giorello. 

Lena Nelson at A Christian Writer’s World Author Interview!   

Jamie at Surviving The Chaos It was a lot of fun to read a book totally out of my element. I read it in a weekend. It’s that good. So buy some frozen pizza for your family to eat and order yourself The Mountains Bow Down.

Diane at That’s What I’m Here The author does a wonderful job of incorporating the location as a central feature of the book throughout this whodunit mystery. I felt a little disappointed when the book ended, because so many things were still left up in the air and unresolved, but that’s what the next book in the series is for. The author keeps you wanting to come back for more.

Carol’s Corner This is an great book! An easy yet informative read. I was fascinated by all the interesting geological information I learned. I love that it was similar to the fox TV series Bones (that’s my favorite show) yet different enough to be fun an interesting. This book will keep you guess to the last minute to find out who done it!  

Kim at Window To My World Sibella Giorello is such a talented writer! Her created FBI agent, Raliegh Harmon, has such a quirky sense of humor! More than once, I found myself laughing out loud at the way the author phrased some of her observations of the world around her. Sibella Giorello has written another compelling story in the life of one very quirky FBI agent! You will enjoy this book a GREAT deal!! I am happy to recommend it to you!

Amber at Snidbits I enjoyed the book. I’ll admit I didn’t have the mystery figured out.   

Tim at Fiction Addict It never takes more than a couple of pages for me to forget such a misguided notion and find myself sucked in by Giorello’s first-person immediacy, unvarnished honesty, and determination to peel back the façade of human goodness to reveal what lies beneath.  

Michele at My Blessings From Above I just loved this book! It is my first read of a Sibella Giorello book and I must say I really enjoy her style of writing! The plot takes many twists and turns you do not expect at all. This is a great mystery! Her descriptions are wonderful and the characters are very believable.  I loved the humor she used with her characters, especially Raleigh. There were parts that made me laugh out loud! This story does not wrap up all nice and tidy as you might expect. It is not predictable as many books are. You are left wondering what will happen next and this book will leave you with the feeling of wanting to know more about Raleigh and what will happen in the future. I know I am going to be reading the other three!  

Theresa at Faith and Family Reviews The Mountains Bow Down is not a predictable novel. It is a great read that will keep you clueless as to who the murderer is and it gets a two thumbs up from me.

Tammy’s Book Parlor I must say though that The Mountains Bow Down is my all time favorite read of this series.   

Caroline at Happy Four The beauty of the Raleigh Harmon novels is that you can enjoy them in sequence or independently.  Be warned; when you read one of the series you will feel compelled to read the others which is definitely an indication of a great author. Sibella weaves an incredible story bringing each character to life as each page turns. I found myself laughing out loud reading the book as I related to Raleigh and her mental and sometimes spoken way of responding to people and situations. You will enjoy this book and find it one worth burning the midnight oil to read!    

Stacie at Hobbit Door This book just solidified that I will be a permanent fan of this series. I think Sibella is a great writer. She doesn’t spell everything out for you. She lets the story unfold. Lets you fill in the gaps a bit. I don’t automatically see where she’s going and I like that. Also, she doesn’t rush the story. She takes her time and really fleshes out the underlying plot line. I think there is a lot of life left in this series.

Laura at Christian Bookworm Reviews I think THE MOUNTAINS BOWED DOWN was the best of the trilogy. I loved the tension between Jack and Raleigh. And I loved the Dutch character, Geert. This book is a page-turner, I couldn’t put it down. The characters are very well developed, the setting expertly described (I could almost feel the rain) and the plot expertly plotted out. I totally loved this book and can’t wait to read the fourth book in the series, The Stars Shine On.

Nancy at Bookfoolery and Babble What I loved about The Mountains Bow Down: I really like Raleigh Harmon. She’s a fascinating character. The mystery itself was suitably complex (Giorello kept me guessing right up to the end) without becoming overwhelming and the other characters were well described. I love, love, love the fact that Raleigh is a big eater. There are so many female characters who worry about food and their weight in fiction that it’s nice to read about one who can put away a big meal, for a change. In general, The Mountains Bow Down is an engrossing read with excellent characterization, taut plotting and intelligent writing. What I disliked about The Mountains Bow Down: Oh, hmm. I can’t think of anything.

Janet at Along the Way Just like the first book, The Mountains Bow Down is filled with lots of action, drama and a little romance. This book is a mystery that includes interesting dynamics between the heroine and the man she just “loves to hate”. But once Raleigh finally gets honest with herself about her true feelings, even she was surprised by the outcome.

Evelyn at The Writing Sprite A great read. I couldn’t even get out of the first chapter without “connecting” with the book and the protagonist, Raleigh Harmon.  There was a definite feeling of longing and understanding when presented with both her surroundings and the thoughts in her head. The author’s phraseology was really great stuff, and the writing is a lot more colorful than the bulk of publications I have seen recently. Good job, Sibella!

Julie at One Rainy Afternoon It was refreshing to read another book where the love story was not the main emphasis. I personally love to watch Police/FBI dramas and this was no exception. With plenty of plot twists to throw you off-course, Sibella definitely keeps your interest. This is a great book that I highly recommend.

Kaylea  at My Scrappy Life If you like The Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson, I truly believe you’ll find this series a good read. It’s enjoyable to find a murder-suspense novel without the “junk” of gratuitous language and horror. It’s well written, with strong characters and plot development. I am really looking forward to the next book, The Stars Shine On, set for a March 2012 release.  

Heather at Mom 2 Mom Connection I thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the mind of FBI agent, Raleigh Harmon, who uses the fascinating field of forensic geology to solve her crimes.  

Prism at A Girl of Many Colors I absolutely love mysteries. To be honest, its not often I find a truly intriguing one. Usually I solve the mystery halfway through and skip to the end. Not so with The Mountains Bow Down. I was kept guessing all through the story, and I absolutely love the depth. The author’s writing style is captivating and totally keeps the reader turning the pages. Raleigh is a tough FBI woman who still has her own insecurities and issues, and I absolutely love the depth the author gave to the character. 

Lisa Jordan Books Sibella’s rich wordpainting, ability to write seamlessly in first person, and her three-dimensional characters are what keep bringing me back to read her books. Usually I’m able to figure out the villain in the first few chapters, but Sibella’s novels with the unique twists keep me guessing until the end. The cruise ship setting, the dry wit, and characters that burrowed their way into my heart have turned me into a tried and true Sibella Giorello fan. During a recent writers retreat, we were asked to name a few of our favorite authors and why. I gushed about the Raleigh Harmon series and Sibella’s beautiful writing.

Carly at Carlybird’s Home I am a little on the picky side when it comes to mysteries.  I like the stories to be somewhat complex and unpredictable.  Sibella succeeded in writing a mystery that I found very appealing.  Sometimes it was difficult to keep track of the characters and suspects, but the book had a very realistic feel to it.  The entire book felt real.  Raleigh is not only having to deal with trying to figure out “who dunnit”, but she also has a very complicated personal life, so I not only wanted to see the mystery solved, I also wanted to see what was going to happen with her. A delight to read in every way I wanted it to be. I highly recommend this one.  

Catherine at Cuzinlogic The Mountains Bow Down is a great mystery, full of suspense with a lot of twist that I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed how humor was mixed into the storyline, which made the quirky Raleigh an even more fascinating Character. Sibella Giorello has masterfully written a page turner that held my attention until the very last page.   

Mel at Real Heart Prints I was sucked into the mystery. Much of the book is centered around dialogue; however, this means no less of a mystery or adventure for the reader who picks up this book. It’s definitely a great read.   

Charity at Giveaway Lady An excellent book.

Meg at Meg Massey This was another great one from Sibella Giorello.  I’m really loving her Raleigh Harmon series.  Can’t wait to read the next one!   

Lydia at The Overweight Bookshelf Suspense books-inspirational genre or mainstream-do not get much better than Sibella Giorello’s Raleigh Harmon series.Sibella Giorella is my queen of suspense writing. The Mountains Bow Down is a character driven approach to suspense writing. Instead of just preoccupying readers with the ‘whodunnit’ and numerous action sequences, Sibella roots her story in the complexities of human nature and the nuances of human relationships. The first person narratives draws readers into Raleigh’s mind and heart as she struggles with the turmoil of dealing with an ill and unstable mother and the accompanying guilt of balancing her personal and professional life. The cast of characters in this book is strong and complex-from the egotistical narcissist, the broken and fragile introvert, to the preening seductress and self-medicating train wreck. Sibella’s writing style flows so naturally for first person narrative. Sometimes it can be difficult to immerse yourself into someone’s thoughts without feeling like an intruder or have the story feel dubious, but Raleigh’s confidence and wit are compelling from the start. Her sarcastic jabs are hilarious but never put on or overused-they are just a natural overflow from her Southern lexicon.

Katie at Legacy of a Writer From the very beginning – when they found a dead woman hanging over the side of the ship – I knew this was going to be a grand mystery. I was not disappointed. I really enjoy Sibella’s writing style! It’s so relaxed and witty – I love the dry humor she gives Raleigh. It was even better than the previous book!

Loren at Heart of a bookworm The Mountains Bow Down is filled with Mystery, Suspense and I love the Humor from Raleigh! This book is AWESOME and I am so happy to say I have found yet another new and amazing author to read!! 

Beth at For the love of books Very well written, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat and then laughing. Sibella’s characters are very well researched and characters that you can relate to. The storylines are strong and do draw you in. I highly recommend this book to everyone.   

Brooke at I blog 4 books The Mountains Bow Down reads a lot like James Patterson’s The Women’s Murder Club series, which I have enjoyed for years. The pace is pretty quick, the characters are likable and well-developed, and there were plenty of twists in the plot to keep me intrigued.  

Stacy at A Novel Source I was enraptured with Sibella’s writing. An excellent book for anyone who likes mysteries; is challenged by Christian Fiction that is not overt and in-your-face but more intellectual and thought-provoking; and if you like to read about family dynamics and the daily challenges faced. 

Rebekah at Aurelia Sibella Giorello is quite simply a fabulous writer.  She is the kind of writer who loves words. She writes tight and smart and imbues her narrative character with the kind of voice that I could have mistaken for my own. There is zero clunkiness to this novel.  Nothing to trip you up or take you out of the story, it simply flows. And her writing is original. The book is peppered with authentic descriptions and dialogue that give color to a picture so flawless you feel a part of the action. She never resorts to tired cliche’s or sloppy portraiture and I loved her for that.  It’s not that her style is poetic, as much as disarmingly fresh. This book is worth a read for the characters alone.    

Jodie at Mom’s Pace

Joan at Book Reviews from an Avid Reader Giorello has again crafted another exciting novel. We readers sympathize with Raleigh when her mother seems to have a complete breakdown and must be hospitalized. We share Raleigh’s frustration with Claire’s odd behavior. We cheer for Raleigh as she and Jack and the Dutchman try to unravel the many deceptive layers in the lives of the movie actors and crew. And we hold our breath when Raleigh is faced with death at the hands of an exceedingly strong man. What Raleigh lacks in strength, she gains by using her wits. I am glad Raleigh is back in the Pacific Northwest. It makes this good read even better.

LaVerne at This Daughter’s Notebook This is the first book written by Sibella Giorello that I have read and I couldn’t put it down.  

Michelle at Beyond The Silver and The Gold

Jendi’s Journal

Marianne at Hoosier Word Smith Review & Author InterviewGiorello’s economic use of language and spot-on dialogue make this novel a rapid read, and her characters make it a page-turner. Raleigh, especially, is a sympathetic character, tough and resilient, not afraid to mix it up with some intimidating antagonists, but suffering from palpable emotional pain as she watches her mother unravel. I hate to admit this, but I do not read “Christian fiction” much. Most of it I find to be formulaic and preachy. That wasn’t the case with Sibella Giorello’s novel. Her portrayal of a woman trying to sort out herself and her circumstances and see through the eyes of her faith compelled me from beginning to end. I will read the next installment in Raleigh’s life when it appears next year. It’s refreshing to read a book about a Christian protagonist who isn’t perfect, preachy, or — forgive me — Amish or aristocratic!

Cara at The Law, Books and Life The author is a gifted writer, spinning words into a web that is lyrical and engaging. I even had to grab the dictionary for one word that she later explained. But she uses words in a beautiful way to paint pictures and make Raleigh a truly unique character that I’ve come to love. I’m already eager to read the fourth book in the series and go back to book one. Each book in the series stands alone, but has enough ties to prior books to keep someone who loves a series engaged without losing new readers. And the spiritual threads in this book are poignant. I loved this book.

Tammy at Tammy Is Blessed I loved Raleigh the main character – she was real, refreshing and intriguing – as well as all her counterparts in the FBI. Giorello does a really nice job of fleshing out the characters. And the plot is fantastic. It was a murder mystery and it kept me guessing till the end. I enjoyed this book immensely! Though this is the 4th book of the Raleigh Harmon series, it definitely works as a stand alone book – however, you’re likely going to want to pick up the first three after reading this one! 

My Friend Amy Humor and some moments of sharp, perceptive writing.  

Molly at Book Reviews By Molly Sibella Giorello’s talent shines through her works of fiction as she creates yet another suspenseful mystery for her readers. Her work is masterful, as she adds bits and pieces of humor to keep the reader hooked, lots of tense moments to keep the reader on the edge of their seats and guessing what’s next.

Becky at Christian Chick’s Thoughts I hadn’t read any of the previous books, and I had no trouble jumping in.) Told in first person, from Raleigh’s perspective, The Mountains Bow Down is an engaging read. Giorello’s description of Alaska made me anxious to visit, but more importantly, the story she crafted kept me guessing until the end. Because the reader only knows what Raleigh knows, discerning the killer was difficult, but I enjoyed guessing along with Raleigh. Also, Raleigh and Jack have a great “will they or won’t they” relationship (my guess is that by series’ end, they will) that reminded me of two of my favorite TV shows, Bones and Castle. Jack definitely has a bit of Agent Booth (Bones) in him! I look forward to reading more of this series.  

Krista at Pitching Pencils Above all, Giorello excels in the realm of character development and the emotional involvement of the reader. Her ability to create intense scenes that manage to avoid the maudlin make Giorello’s books powerful, involving books as well as fun mysteries. Through her Raleigh Harmon series, Sibella Giorello has written books that would entice both the mystery lover, along with the more traditional female reader who enjoys dramatic fiction.

Paula at Thrifty Momma’s Brain Food The Mountains Bow Down has one of the best mystery plots I have read in awhile.

Ponderings by Andrea I love Sibella’s way with words! Sibella writes about God’s creation in a thought-provoking – and beautifully written – way. Mrs. Giorello writes with intelligence, humor, and suspense; she keeps her readers turning the pages. I certainly did not get many other things done after I started reading this captivating book!

Michelle at A Life Better Than I Deserve This story is ultimately complex, intriguing and exceptionally well-written. Though this is the fourth novel from Sibella featuring Raleigh Harmon, I was able to jump into the middle of this character’s adventure and enjoy Sibella’s lush language and flawed characters without any confusion. Sibella paints scenes and images with her words as gorgeous as the Alaskan scenery, so this novel was difficult to put down. Definitely recommended.  

Reviews By Jane WOW! What an AMAZING book that was! I couldn’t put it down – the mystery was so great and I absolutely loved joining Raleigh on her investigations. I enjoy how Giorello doesn’t simply incorporate the mystery, but also Raleigh’s own life. It gives the book a little more personal feel. I usually don’t like books narrated from the first person’s view point, but Giorello did an excellent job pulling it off and I loved reading this book from Raleigh’s perspective. All in all, this was an amazing book that I highly recommend you pick up.

Virginia at My Full Cup It is a great book and a fast read.  I had trouble putting it down. I enjoyed the plot line and think the author did an excellent job weaving the story.

Renee Ann at Doorkeeper This book was a real treat. I almost wish I hadn’t finished it in one day!

Lisa writes… Giorello writes the type of redemptive fiction I most enjoy: intriguing characters, absorbing plot, refreshing perspective and a mystery that remains so until the final resolution. All that plus a good dose of Southern sensibility and what you have is not your typical Christian fiction fare. There are twists and turns and quirky characters aplenty. The ups and downs of her relationship with Jack keeps the reader guessing while the desperation and despair that mark her relationship with her mom keep the story authentic and sympathetic. The mystery is mysterious, the resolution surprising, and Raleigh remains likeable and believable. 

Nora at Finding Hope Through Fiction Author Interview & book giveaway!

Revka at The Porch Light Mrs. Giorello’s attention to detail does not merely extend to scientific facts. Her settings and characters are meticulously developed, making it easy to feel as if you yourself were right in the middle of the story. She also shows a keen knowledge of character and humanity as seen through the eyes of her heroine, Raleigh Harmon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Mountains Bow Down, and I certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. 

Cindy at Cindy’s Book Club Once again, I was impressed by the quality of Sibella Giorello’s writing. FBI-type stories are often action-packed, but written crisply and rather functionally. Giorello keeps things moving, but does so with insightful and evocative narrative. Raleigh is a really remarkable and appealing character–one who is courageous, skilled at her job, and tough, but also completely feminine and sure of her faith. She is impossible not to like. Reading these two books has made me a serious Sibella Giorello fan. I would recommend them to anyone who loves a good, well-written, suspenseful tale–and I would point them out to anyone who questions whether Christian fiction boasts top-notch talent.  

Deb at Just Short of Crazy The Mountains Bow Down is very well written story with characters that I really enjoyed. Usually I’m very good at figuring out “who done it” in mystery books, but this one kept me guessing.   

Jennifer at A Spacious Place Sibella Giorello has quickly become one of my favorite authors.
I was hooked on the first page. Her writing is my favorite mix of suspense and literary, heart touching and soul moving. Her ability to create descriptions that put you there without slowing down the story is unique and creates a wonderful sense of place in each of her books. The Mountains Bow Down doesn’t disappoint. It contains all of the elements I loved in The Clouds Roll Away.

Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews I found this a fascinating book from several angles – it is a thrilling mystery, I loved the descriptions of Alaska, and I found Raleigh’s biting sense of humor refreshing.  I would recommend this book as being a fine stand-alone novel, but I would encourage readers to pick up the other books in the series.

Robin at Scibbles of the Heart AWESOME book! Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, yes, it was that GOOD! I read the whole book in one day.  

Lori at Frog’s Lilypad

Michell at Life in Review The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello is another oustanding Raleigh Harmon suspense novel! I VERY highly recommend this book. The writing is superb, and the story is brilliant. There are so many twists and turns that will keep you constantly guessing. And the characters are wonderful as always. Raleigh is such a great character. She’s tough, but she loves her family. She’s completely dedicated to her job to the point that everything else takes a back seat, including her own happiness. The next Raleigh Harmon novel is “The Stars Shine On” and it’s due out in March 2012. I’m really looking forward to that one!    

Marjorie at The Writer’s Tool I was first introduced to Sibella Giorello and her character Raleigh when I was proofreading for Thomas Nelson and they asked me to work on The Clouds Roll Away. And I fell in love with the author’s storytelling ability and with Raleigh. The author’s description of the scenery is vivid, and I’ve now moved that trip up higher on my bucket list. However, it was the mystery that Raleigh had forced upon her that kept me reading. The characters Sibella has created for this series are very real, dealing with some very heavy issues that I can identify with only too closely at times, and lovable. This is a compelling mystery that hooked me on page one. And left me sad the book was done when the cruise docked back in Seattle. Thankfully it looks like there will be more stories to come in the Raleigh Harmon series. I, for one, am very glad.  

Linda at Christian Book Reviews Sibella has a host of quirky characters that lighten the dark task of solving the grizzly murder. The plot twists and character interactions were very well done. Sibella did an excellent job of describing the different components of the story and areas of the ship without getting me seasick or lost.  

Sarah at Growing for Christ I was hooked from the first word. Even while embroiled in the pursuit of truth, the reader gets a glimpse of what God’s majesty looks like in Alaska – the true last frontier.  The book was fast paced and if I didn’t have other people and things to do I probably would have read through the book in less than a day, it was so action packed that I felt I was going to miss something if I put it down. Having read this book I look forward to getting the other ones to enjoy as well.  I even enjoyed how Raliegh dealt with the annoyingness of an Aunt, a mom who is losing her mind, and a crazy friend of the aunt.  We all have a few odd balls in the family – and I found myself chuckling at some of the stand offs between Raliegh and those she is traveling with.

Ariel at The French Poet I  oved the mystery in this one! It was constantly twisting and turning, with the reader never knowing what to expect. I loved the ship’s security guy, he was soooo funny! I think his sarcastic remarks made the book that much better 🙂 I enjoyed this book very much! I actually liked it a little better than the last one. Great book!   

Ashley’s Bookshelf Raleigh was a great character. The more I read, the more she seemed like a real person! The humor in the book was good and somewhat unexpected. The suspense wasn’t overwhelming but a good mix of expected and unexpected events. All in all, I want to read the first three in the series now!

Patty at Broken Teepee The characters were well drawn and you wanted to stay with them. The ending sets up the next book in the series very nicely and leaves you wanting to read more.

Brooks at Victorious Cafe

Dona at Allergy Kid Mom I really enjoyed the book. It kept me intrigued from the beginning to the end. Sibella Giorello’s style of writing had me visualizing everything while I was reading. It actually felt as though I was there. I am not one who tends to read mystery type books, but was glad I was able to read this one.

Heather at The Sunset Won’t It’s not often that the first two sentences in a book draw me in the way that Sibella Giorello was able to in The Mountains Bow Down. The imagery immediately draws you in. I really enjoyed the story and thought it had a good mix of suspense, action, comedic relief, with a little romantic tension thrown in for good measure. The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello is one that I would recommend to someone looking for an interesting book that pays as much attention to characters as it does to the storyline.

Ramblings By Nicole It was another one of those books that I zipped through in a couple of days! It is a great murder mystery that keeps you guessing and turning the pages to find out what happens next. I enjoy Raleigh Harmon and all the complicated situations and messes she gets herself into. It was a very enjoyable read!

Stacy at Upon Eagles Wings I appreciated all of the minutiae of being on a high-class cruise ship- all of the things that go on in the background or under the radar of the guests. There was a bit of humor in the malaprops of her old boss, and of course the background stress of Raleigh’s changing feelings for her fiance and for Jack, her partner in solving crime.

Deborah at Books, Movies and Chinese Food I think this was the best book of the series. The mystery is well written and the killer is not revealed until the end with lots of twists and turns.

Danielle at The Happy Wife I completely enjoyed this book. An aspect of Sibella Giorello’s writing that I love, is her ability to transport the reader to the scene in the book. I could clearly see myself on the cruise ship and walking along the city “sidewalks” in Ketchikan, and Skagway. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime novels, Christian or not.

JHS at Colloquium Once again,Giorello has crafted a taut, fast-paced “whodunit” that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Set in breathtakingly beautiful Alaska, Giorello provides lush descriptions. Her tale is intricately constructed web of theivery, deceit, blackmail, and Hollywood lifestyles run amok.

Clint at Friar Tuck’s Fleeting Thoughts As usual, Giorello spins an excellent story with lots of twists and turns. Agent Harmon is smart but flawed, intelligent and sometimes lacking in common sense, and completely lovable. She is the kind of protagonist the reader can identify with, admire, and root for. I am coming to enjoy how Giorello uses her novels to describe, promote, and admire places that she loves. In previous novels she has described Virginia and Washington State. This novel, of course, describes Alaska. Her description of Ketchikan is especially well done. As she writes her novels she is a stellar ambassador of her home places. I especially was excited about this one, since I have also lived in Alaska.  I am not much of a flatterer, so listen closely to this endorsement. I believe that the Raleigh Harmon series by Sibella Giorello is one of the best mystery series’ out there of any sort. It is an easy fun read that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Grab a copy of her books and read them. Especially THE MOUNTAINS BOW DOWN. You will not be disappointed.

Jenn’s RAQ This was a fabulous read! If you are looking for a smart, satisfying read with beautiful imagery, check this one out! I loved the twists and turns in this book. There were several surprises. I absolutely love the lead character, Raleigh.

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A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr

Hello and welcome to the blog tour for A Trail of Ink 


About A Trail of Ink: 

An excellent medieval whodunit by the author of The Unquiet Bones and A Corpse at St Andrew’s Chapel

Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh’s investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh’s pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?

One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn t think so, but it will take all of his surgeon s skills to prove.

So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton. Masterfully researched by medieval scholar Mel Starr, the setting of the novel can be visited and recognized in modern-day England. Enjoy more of Hugh s dry wit, romantic interests, evolving faith, and dogged determination as he pursues his third case as bailiff of Bampton.

About Mel Starr:

Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.


Kregel Publishers is graciously donating a $50 gift card for the Litfuse Blog Tour Contest! Woo-hoo (thanks Kregel!) All you have to do to enter is either tweet (see TWEET THIS below) or share the book on Facebook using this link:

TWEET THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. RT for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon! #litfuse

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FACEBOOK THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. Share on your wall for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon!

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Topazshell at Everything has a purpose The romp through the streets of England is more than exciting. Men jump out out windows, ears are cut from the head and ladies go undercover on the streets where unreputable women go to sell their wares. Mel Starr is a gifted author. All of my senses were brought alive with the splash of mud, the sight of an ear hanging from a head, a man hanging upside down from a window held only by the hand of another man whose hand was quickly going slack. Plus, there are descriptions of Medieval meal. I could almost lick my fingers and swallow a mug of ale.This is Christian fiction at its best. The lessons are simple. A friend helps his neighbor, A lady will always wait for her gentleman lover through thick and thin, to heal a man without judgement is the weight of a true doctor or surgeon. While hiding in the woods away from assailants, there are many other Christian thoughts whizzing through the air to be caught on a limb to taste later over the next remove.  In the meantime, I will hold tightly to the book in my hand and watch the books upon my desk.

Mark at Thoughts of a Sojourner I highly recommend this series.    

Amy at The 160 Acrewoods Literary – it tickles your senses and teases your literary skills not to mention if you are an ol’English fan that you’ll find the wit and repertoire between conversations quite keen.

Charlene at Quintessentially Quilly Mel Starr creates characters that linger in the reader’s mind long after the story is finished. These aren’t stories one rushes through, but, reminiscent of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes stories, are tales to savor.

Christina at Will Blog 4 Books Enjoyable plot and storyline.


The Ramblings of Two Readers Starr’s depiction of medieval life in the scholarly town is vivid and charming. I highly recommend this refreshing novel to both adult and young adult readers!    

Jami’s Reviews Simply delightful!

Debra at Footprints in the Butter I had a tough time putting the book down. Hugh de Singleton is an incredibly likeable character.

Beckie at By The Book Starr brings to the page a vibrant look at medieval culture — from the clothing, habitations, and food to the customs and justice system of the time.  The characters are well developed.


Lulu at Knits and ReadsThis is a story that you won’t rush through as you read of dazzling characters of years long ago.              

Maggie at Tethered Mommy You’re in for a real treat with the third installment of the Hugh de Singleton mystery series. 

Brenda at WV Stitcher I loved it. The author rolls together mystery, suspense, and murder together to make the story a satisfying read.  

Vida at Sunflower Faith A very unique mystery. Starr has eloquently cpatured the times and customs and languages of medieval England.     

Tana at Little Bird Seeds A fun historical fiction story of murder and mystery with a touch of romance.              

Reviews by Jane A pleasant read – a good, simple, story.


Julie at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf The characters are rich and well written. A nice, even-paced novel with a lovely touch of romance thrown in with the mystery and drama.

Margaret at Cappuccino Life A story is a story, but a story that takes me to the place where it’s set and gives me rich imagery is a great story. Much chasing and fighting and more chasing and mystery-solving ensue.

Mindy at A Room without Books is Empty I will definately be looking for the first two books in this series. 

Chelle at Chasing the Divine A Trail of Ink is uniquely written and contains some of the most delightful characters I have encountered in the written word.  There are unexpected twists and turns, and an unraveling of a well written tale.  Keep turning the pages, this book gets better with every line.

Lena at A Christian Writer’s World Author Interview!  

Danita at Reviews & Life Impressed – very readable!


Diane at That’s What I’m Here For This is one of the few books that I wanted to read slowly and savor like a tender, delicious steak. I really enjoyed the well researched facts throughout this book and instantly felt transported to this specific time and place in history. The author did a wonderful job of interjecting wit, a budding romance, and believability from one end of the story to the other. A simpler time but still abundantly filled with dastardly murder and much intrigue.

Kim at Window To My World Another satisfying romp through fourteenth century England with this ancient crime scene investigator. I look forward to Master Hugh’s next adventure with great anticipation!!   

Katy at A Few More Pages While I found the mystery to be intriguing, I was won over by the characters. I loved Hugh’s dry humor–the wit he employed in his descriptions of everything, from his lovely Kate to his enemies, often left me grinning. This was a fun read, with an engaging mystery and charming characters that I couldn’t get enough of.  

Dana at Widsith  A Trail of Ink made me laugh. It’s a pleasure to witness the irony, the wit, and the tongue-in-cheek remarks from the viewpoint of the book’s humble protagonist. History buffs will fancy another outstanding aspect of the book: the skill with which Starr relates intriguing details about the time and place of 14th century Oxford, England.

Virginia at My Full Cup I honestly can’t possibly say enough good about this book. I read it in about 24 hours because I couldn’t put it down. Mel Starr is a master storyteller and a master at medieval  history. A Trail of Tears pulls you in and you find yourself shocked when it spits you out and you are in 21st Century America. I expected to see knights and horses, Dukes and Duchesses, long flowing robes and the English countryside.

Theresa at Faith and Family Reviews Enjoyed!

Sarah at Mommy’s Minute I found the plot to be interesting and the mystery intriguing.


Tammy’s Book Parlor This is not a fast read but a read to be savored.  Hugh has a dry wit which I found to be quite funny. This is not a mayhem and murder mystery but more of a read. A definite 5 star read!  

Caroline at Happy Four Mel has an incredible way with words.  The novel has mystery, wit and very clean romance.  Starr is an incredible writer that draws you in to the location, plot and characters as you devour each written page anxious to learn more.  Mel’s writing is superb and the story amazing.  I give this book a 5/5. 

Athena at Our Crazy Life His attention to detail was amazing and impressive. The story twisted and turned and kept me guessing until the end and I always appreciate a romance thoughtfully woven into history! 

Robert at Fundamentally Reformed It’s a fun and interesting tale, with a unique setting.     

Stacie at HobbitDoor This book was so fun! It was completely different than anything I’ve read in a long time. I felt it was reminiscent of the Sherlock Holmes books.

Nicole at Bless Their Hearts The books seems to fly! The characters are well drawn out and Starr gives you very good examples of the social levels and norms of the time. The mystery is more complex than you think it is and is a very enjoyable read!

Danielle at The Happy Wife I was also intrigued by how the medieval methods of solving crimes, performing surgery, and just life in general were so different from today, yet in many ways, still the same.


Debra at Alabama Hoosiers The smells of the foods, the noises of the crowds, the jostlings of the wagons….all things I could smell, hear, and imagine tasting just from reading his words.  

Janet at Along the Way I especially enjoyed the accounts of the simple meals, their enthusiasm about daily life, and their simple enjoyment at being alive. 5 out 5!    

Barry at Gnostalgia An excellent medieval-era mystery.

Julie at One Rainy Afternoon This was a great mystery – it was like getting lost in another time. I loved it!  He keeps you guessing the whole time.   

Evelyn at Writing Sprite I found myself cheering for Hugh and really angered by some of the other characters and the nonsense that surrounded him.  Extreme emotional response!  Now we’re talking!  Suffice it to say that the book surprised me into liking it and now I want to read the other two.  This was a fun read and is definitely one to add to your to-be-read list!

Prism at A Girl of Many Colors Such a unique book. I felt immersed into medieval culture, and I applaud the author for what I am sure must have been lots of hours studying the culture. 


Ruth at Thoughts from a Princess The author masterfully captured the vernacular and culture of this period. The clothing descriptions and their dinners of loaves of maslin, cheese, pottage flavored with pork, capon with turnips and leeks, eels baked in ginger, and egg leaches, provided interesting details to the food of this day.  Although part of a series, this work does stand alone.  It will be enjoyed by adults and high school students interested in this period of history. 

Carlybird’s Home  I was delighted and entertained by this book.  I found the historical details fascinating. It is clear that Mel has a passion for storytelling and history because both were so well done in this story.

Jenn’s RAQ The humor in this book is quick-witted and the storyline is rich and flowing.  If you have time to drink in a book, slowly as to savor it, this book will fit the bill.

Scott at LaVigne’s Blog Mel once again is successful in painting a picture with words that is unique. His style of writing and incorporation of archaic words help paint the picture that so vividly depicts a person who on a quest for truth using science and wit. 

Jeff at No End to Books  It is rare to find a book written from the first person perspective.  Starr does a masterful job putting the reader in the shoes of Hugh de Singleton, the protagonist.      

Three Different Directions This third book showcases Starr’s writing as outstanding. Starr manages to write the character of Hugh so that he is witty, humble and all together believable in his nature, throughout the whole book.

Friar Tuck’s Fleeting Thoughts While this book may not be for everyone, for the right reader this book will be a stellar find. The book is a novel that mixes mystery and romance. The author uses just enough of 12th century dialect to make the book interesting, but not so much that the novel is unintelligible or inaccessible for modern readers.


Jamie at Little Blurbs This is a wonderful novel that includes mystery, suspense and even a little romance. I was really able to set myself into this story. Starr writes in a way that enables the reader to easily visualize the story’s setting beautifully and really find themselves in the story. 

Christy’s Book Blog I absolutely adore this series; it’s one of my current favorites. I find myself smiling throughout, laughing aloud occasionally at the exceptionally witty dialogue, and gasping at the thrills. I’m not normally a “loud” reader, but Starr’s writing pulls me in some completely, I can’t help myself.  

Charity at Giveaway Lady The mystery was well done.

Kate at Pink Hoodie The rapport between Kate and Hugh is delightful, sparkling with wit and veiled flirtation perfect for the time period. Overall, A Trail of Ink and its predecessors is a fresh, worthwhile read. While it’s categorized as a “whodunit” or murder mystery, the pace of the book sets it far apart from modern suspense genre. Given the tools available to a 14th century detective, the plot necessarily moves slower and, IMO, becomes even more enjoyable as the reader can experience all the nuanced historical complications. 

Katie at Legacy of a Writer Thoroughly researched and well written, A Trail of Ink drew me with the writer’s individual and unique style. It reminded me of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books. 


Hillary Our Homeschool Studio A Trail of Ink has been so enjoyable, I am recommending it to my husband as well. He prefers something that is a little deeper, not just entertainment. I really feel he will enjoy this, and that says a lot. I also plan on reading it aloud to my children once we are to this point in our history studies. It is really that good!

Pamela at Daysong Reflections This story had it all. The mystery contained plenty of puzzling twists and seemingly unrelated events to keep this reader guessing. The plot was infused with the perfect balance of action, drama, wit, and even a romantic rivalry. Complete with well rounded and interesting characters, both good and bad, this tale kept me intrigued until the end.  

Joan at Book Reviews from a Avid Reader I really enjoyed the writing style of Mel Starr. He is a master of creating beautiful sentences. It felt like I was reading a novel from a generation ago when authors, I think, spent more time in perfecting their craft. This novel was a joy to read. This is a well written book. If you enjoy fine literature (and a good whodunit), you’ll like this book.  

Stephanie at Curling Up By The Fire What Mel Starr does so well, however, is make you feel as if you’re standing in fourteenth century England, with vivid descriptions and beautiful attention to detail.  All in all it was a satisfying read.

Lizzie at A Dusty Frame The story is entertaining and suspenseful. Mel Starr provides lots of historical details that were truly interesting!  

Jenifer at Parris Ponderings I loved the intrigue, not figuring things out until the very end, guessing what was going to happen.         

Janet at Home Is Where God Sends You Hugh de Singleton reminded me of Sherlock Holmes in an earlier time period. Fans of Sherlock Holmes mysteries and medieval history will enjoy this book.


Tammy at Tammy Is Blessed It was a fun mystery and an easy read.   

Becky at Christian Chick’s Thoughts I especially liked author Mel Starr’s writing style. Told in first person, the story reads like a journal–or as though the reader is sitting with Hugh, listening to him relay the story. I often found myself chuckling at Hugh’s descriptions and asides.   

Carrie at Farming On Faith I was hooked. The author ~a historian and scholar of medieval~  gives us a great insight into the lives of the characters~medieval life among scholars, lords, sheriffs, surgeons, shopkeepers, monks and marriageable young women.

Kathy at Bags, Books & Bon Jovi It was written by an author who cared to create, not only a believable world, but a mystery that kept me challenged and interested even as I turned the last page.

Kelli at The Zen of Motherhood An absolute delight.  Starr’s familiarity and love of medieval history permeates every page of this well-written mystery.  The story, the setting, the details of meals and garments; all contribute to an overall feel of authenticity.  Although A Trail of Ink is the third book in the Singleton series, one need not have read the previous two books to enjoy this stand alone tale. However, after reading A Trail of Ink, I definitely plan to add the rest of the series to my reading list.    


Carol at Books Before Food I really enjoyed reading this book. 

Alexia at The Mommy Rambles Written in old English, the book was a relaxing stroll through a mystery (which was not simply solved in my mind), with a little romance thrown in. I really enjoyed it. 

Jen at Happy Little Homemaker An intellectual mystery. 

Mustard Seed Book Reviews A tale of missing books and a good old fashioned whodunit. It was a refreshing change of pace from most mystery books of today.

Michel at Korea MomThis is a cerebral book laced with mystery, romance, and history.  Action and blood are included but in moderation.  Loved the romance.  Although the protagonist is confident with his work, he is quite timid with his affections.  The love affair is sweet and very engaging. 


Amy at Girlfriends Get Real Mel Starr did a great job keeping this book an intriguing mystery. I did not figure out who committed the crime until I read it in the book.  

Robin at Scribbles of the Heart

Marjorie at The Writer’s Tool The author weaves a tale of crime and love using the language and manners of a time long past. You’re pulled back into the world of 14th-century Oxford. Definitely worth reading, and a series that’s high on my list of must-read historical mysteries.   

Patty at Patty at Broken Teepee This was a sweet book which is rather odd to say about a murder mystery.

Sarah at Growing For Christ


Melissa at Books R Us A Trail of ink was not only a fascinating mystery but a well researched novel. All of the characters were interesting, intriguing and well developed. The novel was easy to read, interesting, descriptive and included just the right amount of romance.  

Blossom at North Laurel Home & School I liked the pace of the book. It starts out slow, with a bit of foundation work to get us acquainted, I’m sure, with the characters. But not too long. By chapter two, I felt the pace picking up a bit. By the end of chapter two, I was hooked.  

Kathy at I Am A Reader

Kat at Blog O’ The Irish I love historical fiction and this series is a bit different than others I have read and I did enjoy it. Definitely for the history lover!!!

Carol’s Corner I loved this book! It keep me on my toes from page one. What a wonderful mix of humor, romance and danger. I consider Hugh de Singleton and his companinon a Medival Sherlock Homes and Watson! This book is a must read for a mystery or history lover! 

Andrea at Ponderings by Andrea Transported back to another place in time.

Cindy’s Book Club It’s nothing short of amazing how well the author, Mel Starr, is able to make Hugh’s medieval world come to life. At times I felt I was actually watching a movie, so real were the scenes and characters.

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Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn

We’re excited to announce a new partnership between MomLife Today and Shaunti Feldhahn. Shaunti has joined the MomLife Today team as a regular contributor and to celebrate MomLife Today is sponsoring a blog tour for Shaunti’s new book, Life Ready Woman and giving away several Weekend To Remember Get-Away prize packs! More about that below.

Life Ready Woman has been lauded by reviewers as an essential resource for navigating all the roles women play – wife, mother, worker, co-worker, single, etc…. Follow the links below to read the reviews.

More about Life Ready Woman: Are you a ‘Doing it all’ or ‘Do what matters’ woman?

Whether a stay at home; or working mom, an airplane-hopping executive, an empty-nester caring for multiple generations or a single juggling high demands of career and personal life, today’s fast-paced modern world leaves women gasping for balance. We as modern Christian women want to look to the Bible for guidance on how to manage our lives — but because the world of women looks so different today than it did when the Bible was written, it is hard to find chapter and verse that seems to apply to our situation today.

More about Shaunti Feldhahn: Shaunti Feldhahn is a former Wall Street analyst, best-selling author of the book For Women Only, national speaker, and regular commentator in the media. She has been featured on The Today Show, PBS, TNT and Fox News- to name a few. You can learn more about her many activities by visiting her website or get some great mom advice from her She and her husband live with their two young children in Atlanta, Georgia and enjoy every minute of living at warp speed.

About MomLife Today: At MomLife Today you will enjoy community with real moms experiencing every age and every stage of MomLife—right alongside you.

Moms need friends we can walk through life with, but more importantly we need friends who will encourage us and equip us in our role as moms in an honest and transparent way … and that’s just what you’ll find by becoming part of our MomLife Today community! We believe that every MOMent counts!

We admit it, being a mom 24/7 is not easy. Rather than lament the role of motherhood, however, we choose to embrace that role and learn from each other how to make it through each day with the right attitude. Come share the joys, sorrows, insanity, and special moments of motherhood with us as we live it and candidly write about it…we’ll have lots of fun along the way! Join us, and do tell… What’s happening in your MomLife Today?

Weekend To Remember Get-Away Giveaway:

Weekend To Remember Get-Aways offer marriage-changing principles that you can take home and apply to your daily lives to strengthen your marriage. Whether you are newly engaged or have been married for 50 years, you will find value in the tools provided at the getaway.


Don’t miss this opportunity to receive a conference registration for you and your spouse … and more! MomLife Today will be randomly selecting NINE lucky recipients to receive one of these great gifts:

  1. 2 Weekend To Remember Get Away conference registrations for two. $259 value each pair (Two couples will receive this.)
  2. Life Ready Woman DVD packs. $149 value each (Two different people will receive this gift.)
  3. The Life Ready Woman books. (Book will go to 5 people.)

Winner will be announced on March 2nd on the MomLife Today website.

MomLife Today provides encouragement, advice and resources to help YOU with your daily Momlife! Because…every MOMent counts!

To read the reviews click on Comments and Reactions!

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An Unlikely Blessing by Judy Baer

Welcome to the blog tour for prolific author Judy Baer’s first book in her new Forever Hilltop series, An Unlikely Blessing (Guideposts, 2010). To celebrate Judy is giving away a KINDLE!

About the book: An Unlikely Blessing is a heartfelt story about a new pastor and life-long city dweller Alex Armstrong, who reluctantly accepts his first assignment, a two-point parish in the wilds of North Dakota. Hilltop Township, a farming community, blooms from the prairie like a wild pink rose—lovely and prickly all at once, much like the people who live there.


Alex quickly finds that this lovely place is in quiet peril. Farmers are struggling to make ends meet: Jonas Owens, a faithful member of Hilltop parish, is on the brink of losing the farm. Alex believes that part of why God called him to Hilltop was to help turn things around, and steps in with ideas for saving the Owens’ land. But can even God’s minister help save this rural community?

There are a lot of firsts for the new pastor—the annual Hunter’s Breakfast, julebukking (also called Christmas fooling), King Oscar’s fish balls, and the melody of the musical saw. And the new, single pastor creates remarkable excitement among the unmarried women in the community. If you could die of hot dish overdose, Alex would be a dead man. Whether performing weddings, counseling his flock, or herding cattle by snowmobile, Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he will teach them. Day by day, he falls more in love with the people of Hilltop Church. People may leave Hilltop, but Hilltop never leaves them. Look for Book 2 in the Forever Hilltop series, Amazing Grace, in February of 2012.

Buy a copy here.

About Judy: Judy Baer is the author of over seventy-five books for adults and teens. She has won the Romance Writer of America Bronze Medallion and has been a RITA finalist twice. She lives in Elk River, Minnesota with her husband. Follow the Hilltop characters on Judy’s blog and find out more about Judy and her books at

Blog Tour Schedule:

Tiffany at A Cozy Reader’s Corner An Unlikely Blessing is a wonderful, refreshing novel! I had a hard time putting this one down. From the moment Alex arrives in Hilltop, I was hooked. The story was wonderful mix between realistic modern day issues and a blast from the past in regards to lifestyle and small town communities that act more like family than neighbors. The characters are very easy to fall in love with, even those who are the towns grump or trouble makers.Judy’s writing flows easily which made me feel like I was sitting with grandma as she told me stories from the past while imparting wisdom, laughter and insight. I imagined myself as part of the Hilltop community while reading this novel and could easily picture the community in my mind. I even found myself falling for Ale’s charm and caring nature. I am anything but a farm girl, however this book captured me! I will be reading the rest of the series and highly anticipate the release of book two! I highly recommend the read.

Melanie at Ramblings of 2 Readers

Jamie at Little Blurbs

Margorie Reviews

Briana at I Can’t Decide

Mark at Thoughts of a Sojourner

Stacie at Hobbit Door

Patricia at Dream A Little Dream

Jeanine at My Bits and Bleeps

Jolene at Moments of Beauty

Isabelle at Canadian Lady Bug Reveiws

Pamela at Daysong Reflections An Unlikely Blessing has the same down home, character driven plot that kept folks reading Jan Karon’s Mitford series and Philip Gulley’s Harmony novels. I have read several books from both of those series and for my own personal preferences, An Unlikely Blessing takes first place. It is a heartwarming story with such real characters that I wanted to move right into Hilltop myself. Lots of humor, a bit of action, and just good storytelling makes An Unlikely Blessing a keeper. What can I say? I loved An Unlikely Blessing and can’t wait for the next installment so I can find out what is going on with Pastor Alex and his flock.

Pamela Readz

Ramblins of 2 Readers

Laura at Christian Bookworm Reviews

Briana at I Can’t Decide

Stacie at the Hobbit Door

Debra at Footprints in the Butter It is so blatantly obvious that in this book, Baer is writing about something she knows intimately — small-town life in North Dakota. The events unfold naturally. The people are so very real.  I laughed aloud. I loved that everything didn’t wrap up nicely at the end of the book. It just seemed so real. Small-town life is not portrayed as being perfect. What didn’t I like? That’s easy. I didn’t like that it ended.

Noelle at Live and Dream

Jeanine at My Bits and Bleeps

Janet at Home is Where God Sends You

Gretta at The Johns Family

Melissa at Books R Us

Melissa at Wordheard

Becky at Christian Chicks Thoughts

Mel’s World I could see the sights, smell the smells and put myself right into this charming book. I love when you become so connected with the characters of the story that they become lifelong friends…and that is what happened while I was reading An Unlikely Blessing.

Karla at Quiet Quilter This is a MUST READ book!! Judy does  a marvellous job in her description of the characters and involves you in all of their lives. You want to be the person who can help them all.  It is an easy to read book, light at times with humor, serious at others with situations that there seems to be not end to!  What a great book!!

Stacey at Word Up An Unlikely Blessing” by Judy Baer is a charming novel about a man embracing a mid-life career change when he is called to become a pastor. This uproots him from his big city home and the life he knows to relocate him to rural North Dakota. Alex Armstrong and his nephew, Jared, arrive in Hilltop Township after a considerable road trip only to be welcomed into Alex’s new adopted community with warm and unexpected hospitality. Ms. Baer paints a beautiful picture that can be taken from this work of fiction as a lesson for life.

Elana at The Twinners

Jodie at A Mom’s Pace

Kat at Reviews from the Heart In the latest book, An Unlikely Blessing by Judy Baer, the reader is transported to a slower pace of life, where people still welcome newcomers to town with plenty of food and conversation. You are never a complete stranger here. In the enchanting story woven through the pages of this book, we are delighted in the new experiences just waiting around each corner for both Alex and the reader. I loved this book and can easily give it a 5 out of 5 star rating!

Latawnia Kintz Reviews An Unlikely Blessing is truly a blessing to read. Judy Baer brings to life the community of Hilltop Township which is located in North Dakota. Here I got to meet the new pastor, a city fella named Alex Armstrong. Now I could relate to his feeling a bit out of his comfort zone in moving from the city to a small country community. I did the same when I moved from the big city to be with my husband on the family property just outside of a very small farming town. So when Alex found himself feeling a bit like a fish out of water, I understood. I particularly liked how Judy allowed her new pastor to feel trepidation, uncertainty, and all of the other emotions a real person experiences when stepping into a new situation, position and leadership. Also, I enjoyed watching the developing love and concern for each  person(s) in Hilltop in Alex. I look forward to reading more of this new series and discovering how Alex and his flock(s) are going to resolve their various problems.Definitely a series I will recommend!

Tea Time with Annie Kate Although this book is in the same genre as Jan Karon’s Mitford Years, the prairie town flavor and fast pace makes it unique. Judy Baer’s characters are totally believable, and I was swept into the story. Having grown up as a prairie girl, I loved the setting and felt at home in the book. It is all action, just like real life; every time I expected deep thoughts, something else would happen. An Unlikely Blessing is wholesome without being preachy and full of neighborly news without being gossipy. It refreshed and relaxed me thoroughly, and I’m still smiling because of it.

Janet at Along the Way

Julie at One Rainy Afternoon

Patty at Broken Teepee The story is a cute one about learning about people and their differences and trying to find ways to get along. Holding on to perceived hurts doesn’t do anyone any good. I enjoyed reading the book and would enjoy continuing the journey with the next two books in the series.

Ponderings by Andrea

Musings by Lynn

Quintessentially Quilly This is a glorious slice of life book. We get to move to Hilltop with Pastor Alex and spend the first few weeks watching him settle in to his new life, make friends, look at old problems with a fresh perspective, and remind folks that even though they haven’t had a pastor for awhile, God was always present in their lives. Judy Baer is a delightful writer. Much of her description left me chuckling or down-right laughing out loud. She has created characters so distinctive, complex and quirky I am certain I would recognize them if I passed them on the street.

Roxanna Jolly

Reviews by Molly Well done, Judy! This is a book worthy of recommendation and 4 stars. It is one that I will keep on my book shelf for some time to come, as well as, I will be anxiously awaiting more Guideposts books in this sweet series!

Michelle at Life in Review I highly recommend this book! It’s a very sweet, fun, delightful and uplifting story. It’s touching and funny and it packs a great message! It’s a very light and easy read that will lift you up. I like the small town drama and all the fun, quirky characters. It also has a lot of truth to it that carries across to anyone. I would certainly like to read more Hilltop books! 

LaVerne at Christian Counseling Insight

Laurie at Knits & Reads

Ashley at Ashley’s Bookshelf

Christa at Fairfield Corner Academy

Michelle at Beyond Silver & Gold

Carly at Carly Bird’s Home

Beckie at RBC Library An Unlikely Blessing by Judy Baer is a gentle read reminiscent of Miss Read’s Fairacre series.  It is a slow-paced, hometown, comfort read.  If you like Jan Karon’s Mitford series or Charlene Baumbich’s Dearest Dorothy series, you will probably find this book to your liking.  The novel is the first in a series, so a lot of characters and story lines are introduced without much resolution.  The plots introduced should unfold in the coming books.  The lovable and sometimes quirky characters are endearing.  Even those who are trouble are treated with compassion.

Pamela at Mustard Seed Book Reviews An Unlikely Blessing is highly character driven. From the unsure new pastor to feuding families and churches to that Olsen/Olson distinction, An Unlikely Blessing is filled with down-to-earth (and a few over-the-top) characters from all walks of rural North Dakota life. To be sure, An Unlikely Blessing is never going to be considered a deep scholarly work.   This book is a fast read that is cleverly going to spin off into a series of books filled with the many characters introduced in this first book.    Read on its own, the ending leaves many dangling plot lines, but that seems ok because more books will eventually handle all of those details.

Kaylea at My Scrappy Life 

Jami’s Reviews

Deb’s Book Reviews I loved this story.

Dawn at Book Junkie Confessions A sweet, sometimes comical story of Alex Armstrong and his new congregation of country folk. Alex is a city guy so you can imagine some of the issues that come up for the new pastor, but he’s determined to stick it out. Quirky characters and tender moments make this a very charming book. Looking forward to next one this series. 

Suzanne at Clicking Her Heels

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Sibella Giorello’s The Clouds Roll Away

Welcome to the blog tour for Sibella Giorello’s The Clouds Roll Away. This is the third book in the Raleigh Harmon series. The critics love this book … and we do too!

“Beautifully written with exquisite descriptions, Giorello’s mystery also features well-developed characters…”
—Booklist, starred review

“The clever plot twists will have readers riveted from the start. Tough, edgy Raleigh Harmon and the city of Richmond are beauties with endearing qualities that are hard to resist. Fans of Sue Grafton and Tim Downs should add Giorello to their favorites list.”
—Romantic Times, 4.5 stars

About Sibella: Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Sibella and her other books at her

About The Clouds Roll Away: Forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns home for Christmas but discovers Richmond, Virginia running low on goodness and light.

Although her exemplary service in Seattle lifted her disciplinary transfer, Raleigh lands a hometown civil rights case riddled with problems that could get her sent away again. When she helps out a fellow cop, her life goes on the line, forcing her undercover in a sting operation. As Raleigh realizes the lines are crossing and double-crossing, her domestic life starts to unravel. Her mother’s mental health cracks like ice, her closest friend grows cold, and her old boyfriend DeMott comes a-calling, hoping for more than chestnuts by an open fire.

While the city glows with Christmas lights and carols, Raleigh is forced to rely on her sharpest skills to stay alive, hoping for that one clear moment when everything makes sense and the clouds roll away.

Buy the book here.

Read the reviews at the links below!


Melissa at Breath of Life
Christine at Sticky Fingerprints 
Michelle at Our Little Corner of the World
Stormi at Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh My!
Lisa Jordan Books
Elana at The Twinners Reviews & Giveaways
Kaylea at My Scrappy Life
Deborah at Books, Movies and Chinese Food

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The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Welcome to the blog tour for Suzanne Wood Fisher’s The Waiting. Suzanne has some exciting events in the works. First the blog tour begins on Friday October 8th, as well as The Waiting KINDLE giveaway. THEN on October 28th she’s hosting a Book Club party on Facebook. All the information you need to join in the fun is below. But first …The Waiting.


Book 2 in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and hot on the heals of the best-selling The Choice, The Waiting is a compelling page turner. Jorie King has been waiting for Benjamin Zook to return home to Lancaster County so they can marry. When news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie finds comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. That friendship ripens into love, and it seems that they are meant to be together. But when the unexpected happens, their worlds are turned upside down once more. Will Jorie trust God to lead her into the arms of a new man?

A multifaceted story about complex people living the simple life, The Waiting is the second book in the LANCASTER COUNTY SECRETS series. Readers will find themselves transported into the world of the Amish and deeply invested in these wonderful characters.

About Suzanne:


Suzanne Woods Fisher lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has one husband, four children, one son-in-law, a brand new grand-baby, and a couple of dogs. She graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and wads.

Suzanne has contracts with Revell for six more books about the Amish, both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the host of “Amish Wisdom·” on, a weekly radio program featuring guests who are connected to Simple Living.

Keep up on Suzanne’s latest news on Facebook,· Twitter and on her blog!

About The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway!

Enter Suzanne Woods Fisher’s The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway!
Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught be two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.A must read!The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

The Winner of The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway is … Annalisa Kraft-Linder! Congrats Annalisa.


One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6″, Latest Generation* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* A $15 dollar Gift Certificate

Tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne’s Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.
Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th!She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both booksand HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page.··

Blog Tour Schedule:

Crystal at Eccentric Eclectic Woman The Waiting proves to be a great stand alone book. I couldn’t put down. I love all the characters because they seem very genuine. The development of the story is great! I love how it took a different fork and kept me immersed the whole way. I loved getting to know the King and Zook families! The surprise ending of this book will have you wanting for more. 

Charlene at Quintessentially Quilly If you like stories about strong, complicated and conflicted characters, you will like, The Waiting.· As I read I found myself impressed with how well Fisher individualized each character.· She also did an excellent job of creating a saga that read with the ease and tension of a fast-paced short story.· This book is staying in my personal library and the other books in the series will soon be joining it.

Linda at Mocha with Linda The Waiting is another stellar book from her hand. I had a hard time putting this book down, and it kept my attention riveted until the last page. While it isn’t a suspense book, Suzanne managed to keep me in suspense over the resolution of the story until the last pages. This is a beautiful story of family, friendship, love, and loyalty, all under the umbrella of trust in God’s sovereignty and care. There are a plethora of Amish books on the market, but this one stands out as one of the best. 

Sarah at Growing For Christ The Waiting is just waiting (no pun intended) for you to start reading.· Hooked from the beginning I couldn’t put it down – although I had to or I would have heard MOMMY all day until I answered – reading it in two days time.· Suzanne has a wonderful way of bringing her characters to life and making them feel real.· I felt like I was standing in Pennsylvania with this community of Amish and seeing their struggles.· This is a must read book for 2010 and will definitely remain one of my top favorite reads.· ··· ····

Holly at 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews·It’s a story about choices and regrets, grief and loss, and love. The characters are likable and endearing.· Ephraim is delightful.

Becky at In The Pages·Fisher’s books are tender but real. I enjoy her work – she never fails to please. Here is what someone else said about that book that totally sums it up for me as well: A multifaceted story about complex people living the simple life. Readers will find themselves transported into the world of the Amish and deeply invested in these wonderful characters.

Debra at Footprints in the Butter··I picked this book up to read a chapter or two, and I literally did not put it down until I had finished it.· I was completely drawn in to the lives of the characters and into the storyline.· The story takes place in 1965, and this did present some of the big issues of the day, namely racism and the Vietnam War.· It also dealt with issues like parents being able to direct the education of their children.· But while those things were important, really, this was just a great story.· The characters felt like real people, the places felt real.

Abi at 4 the LOVE of BOOKS

Susan at Susieqtpies Scraps of Life·Her characters are extremely realistic!· Each character carried themselves with much wisdom well beyond their stated ages.· You get a sense of each person as if you know them in real life.· The words and actions of the characters stay with you well after you have finished reading the book.

Beckie at Beckie at RBC Library·The Waiting is not a page-turner, but a page-savorer (if that’s a word!).· A book in which peace resonates throughout.· I found even in the tragic events and clashes and conflicts presented in the this novel, an expression of peace — the peace you can only find in God. The Waiting is a beautifully written story, filled with believable characters, that by the end of the book, you feel are friends.· I can’t wait to read the next installment in the Lancaster County Secrets series.

Carrie at Farming On Faith Oh~ I so enjoyed reading this book. Jorie King is the star in this book. Suzanne Fisher did a wonderful job at catching my attention from the first line. Her characters came alive and this really is a wonderful book.

Tracey’s Book Nook ·This was once again a great book. The charachters and the setting is something that I truly enjoy to read about.

amy at The 160 Acrewoods·Suzanne does what I rarely find in books.· She draws me so deeply into her story that I can taste and feel the world around me.· Suzanne had me crying with her characters and asking the same questions as they did throughout the book.· I was a bawl of mush by the middle of it. The Waiting is beyond just about being an Amish love story. It is about the complexities of life,· heart ache, forgiveness, racial barriers, moving forward and following God even when it’s not easy to do so! Of course the worst part about the book was that it was over! I’ll be looking forward to the next book in the Lancaster County Secrets!

Mindy at Ponderings of the Heart·It was full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. These characters were so wonderfully real that they had me in tears by the end of Chapter 3. I loved the theme in this book that all the events in our lives, everything that happens in our lives, makes us who we are. I think that is so true. Our experiences are given to us by God and we need to look back at them to make us who God is calling us to be. It is a very well written story, filled with lovable characters that you won’t want to stop reading about. But, don’t say I didn’t warn ya if you can’t put it down!!!

Margaret at Cappuccino Life What I liked in particular was the setting of this book.· The story takes place when America was in the midst of the Vietnam war.· That period of time was one of great strain on the Amish (and other non-resistant religious groups), as the draft was still in effect and consciencious objectors were not well-treated.· They were also fighting their own battle having to do with schooling at the time, not wanting to send their children to public school, and often times finding themselves facing severe consequences for keeping their children home.· Further, the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum and figuring out how to respond to racial tensions in their communities was becoming a necessity. In the middle of all that, various characters get their lives turned upside down (don’t we all, at one point or another?) and Suzanne Woods Fisher does a great job of weaving the stories of individuals into the historical setting of the novel.· I think she captured very well the intense strain that this time period put on the Amish, as well as the “Amish way” of responding to such stress.

Mindy at A Room without Books is Empty Even thought this is the second book in a series it stands very well on it’s own.· I found myself identifying with Jorie as people misjudge and second guessed her about the way she was teaching the children in the schoo. The whole conscientious objector angle hasn’t really been mentioned in any of the books I have read before.· I have read many Amish series and I think that this is one of the best.

Sherry at The Journey Back I really enjoyed the characters even more than I did in the first book.

Michelle at Chelle at Chasing the Divine·Suzanne quickly draws me into her stories where I remain until the last page.· I cannot read fast enough, cannot see how all is resolved soon enough.· She welcomes you in, allows you to sit and stay awhile as she unfolds her intriguing tales.· This book is beautiful, and breathtaking.· Doing what is right is not always easy, especially when we know there are others who will be affected by our choices. The Waiting is beyond just about being an Amish love story. It is about the choices we have to make in this life, prejudices we all encounter, and how we choose to chase after dreams as we seek what God has in store for us.

Julia at Thou Art Jules I will openly admit that I drug out the reading of this book. I didn’t want it to end and found myself rationing my pages to make the book last as long as possible! Suzanne has a brilliant mind and through the emotions on her pages, she draws you right into the book along with the characters. I found myself completely understanding exactly where each character was coming from. I sympathized with their troubles and I rooted for them each step along the way! From young Ephriam to Sylvia, the Sister In Law, I knew and understood the emotions they were dealing with. I’ve never been quite so drawn to a group of characters in my life.

Lynn at Lynn Dove’s Journey Thoughts·Author Interview!

Judy at Judy @ Seize the Book Blog·I liked this book. It was not “fluffy”, nor was it all happiness. The conflict between good and evil were clearly shown and not treated lightly. I especially liked the way the author developed the romance between the characters and how she wrote about characters that seem very real.

Danielle at The Happy Wife I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. It was easy to grow along with the characters and to really feel like you knew them. The author’s use of descriptions allows the reader to feel as though they are right there along side each one of them. I could easily relate with the struggles and triumphs that Jorie King faced and I was able to see her as not just a member of the Amish community, but as a woman, not unlike myself.

Michele at My Blessings From AboveThis is the first book I have read by Suzanne Woods Fisher and I thoroughly enjoyed this story.· Even though this book is written about the Amish it really does not focus on the Amish way of life in the respect that it does not delve too deep into their religion as some other Amish stories I have read. It focuses more on the actual characters and their struggles during that time period. The story touches on some serious topics such as death, war and racism and the right to educate their children within their own community at their own school. Even with these serious topics the book is very refreshing and the characters are very believable. You feel as if you know these folks and you get a distinct feel for the area of the country the story is set in.

Tammy at Tammy’s Book ParlorThis story is like a mountain road in the Pennsylvania Dutch country on a dark and stormy night!· Just not sure where the next bend in the road will lead you!· This is a great-tastic read!· No ordinary Amish tale!

Jennifer at Rundpinne·An absolutely charming and delightful read, The Waiting by Suzanne Fisher Woods is the second book in the Lancaster County Secrets series, the first being The Choice and each can be read independently of the other.· Woods has set up a unique stage for an Amish story in The Waiting, which occurs during the Vietnam War and opens with a fair share of tragedy both within the close-knit Amish community and overseas.· Woods’ characters are exceptionally well developed and one cannot help but be drawn into their way of life, their hopes, dreams, desires, as well as the deep sadness that is experienced in this book.· The Waiting· is a book of love, family, and choices with a beautifully described backdrop, lovely narration, and exceptional characters, especially Jorie King and the Zook family.· Whether or not one is new to Amish fiction or has read a lot of it, I strongly recommend The Waiting to anyone looking for a delightful and sweet book to curl up with.

Janet at Janet at Along the Way·When I think of Jorie King, the main character from this book, so many words come to mind … compassionate, strong-willed, independent, resilient, heart broken, and waiting. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Choice, and was excited to read part two in the Lancaster County Secrets series.· Even through all the trials and disappointments in Jorie’s life, she held onto a strong faith in God, and unbelievable loyalty to her family and friends.· The Waiting was definitely worth “waiting” for.· If you enjoy Amish fiction, you won’t be disappointed in this one.

Julie at Julie at One Rainy Afternoon·Another great book by Suzanne!! This one will definitely pull at your heartstrings. So much loss and sorrow, but surrounded with so much love and compassion. She has an eye-opening portrayal of how one ‘event’ can change the lives of so many people. We so often selfishly go through life only considering our little bubble, but she shows over and over again in this book how to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ by putting others needs first. Her characters are so realistic that you really feel like you know them personally. I found myself talking to the book a couple of times. I highly recommend this book.···

Stephanie at Stephanie at Coupon Clippin’ Mommy·Suzanne easily brings you into the world of the Amish and keeps you there through every single page. The Waiting is filled with love, loss and the pain and joy that go along with it.· I found myself so engrossed in the book I could feel myself sitting at the Zook’s table or sitting in the classroom as Jorie teaches. I also don’t get much time to read so I choose my books wisely.· I’m really glad I took the time to sit down and treat myself to The Waiting.· I can’t wait for the next one!

Adventures in Unsell Land I am happy to say that Suzanne has done it again! What a beauty The Waiting is. A story of simple people living in a complex world, The Waiting· is hard to put down once you pick it up. It is a book that will remain engraved on your soul for years to come. Suzanne has a special way of drawing readers into her writings and transporting you into the beautiful world of the Amish.

Christine at Sticky Fingerprints·I loved the characters in this book. Each one pulled at my heartstrings as I saw them struggle with the challenges life had thrown their way. The setting of the book is also intriguing, as it takes place during the Vietnam war. Issues of racial prejudice and enlistment add interest to an already fabulous story. I definitely recommend this book to those who love a good love story.

Gretta at The Johns Family This is a story of both heartache and hope that will have you completely wrapped up in the story by the end of the first chapter.

Lulu at Knits and Reads I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others, once again we learn that the Amish really aren’t as far removed from us as you would think, and Suzanne Woods Fisher does not disappoint her readers!

Sharon A at I Dream Of Writing For GodThis is my favorite type of reading. No, I don’t mean Amish stories. I mean stories that have a deep subject, real and hard like real life. I like the many characters and how their lives intertwine. I appreciate how Suzanne shows the virtues that we all can learn from these quiet people who put all their trust in God. Suzanne shows the very real pull that the world holds for the young, and how some fall for the world’s alure and others realize they could never be happy in another lifestyle. Suzanne creates characters that I can root for. I almost hold my breath as Jorie waits for her bad boy, hoping he will return to the fold.

Leticia at My Daily Trek·Lots of twists and turns in this novel that keeps you on your toes.

Catherine at CuzinlogicThe waiting is beautifully written and draws you in from beginning to end. It’s full of well developed likeable characters who are realistic with relatable struggles. They deal with love, happiness, loss, pain and grief while never losing their faith even in tragic times. The thing I like the most about The waiting is I could see a little of someone I know in each of the characters which made the story much more enjoyable. I also appreciate how the author reminds us of how to keep our faith in God without being preachy in her writting. The waiting is more than a love story and by the end of the book you will feel like the Zook and King family are your next door neighbors. I enjoyed the waiting and can’t wait until the next book in the Lancaster series.

Urailak at Living for God Another great read from Suzanne Woods Fisher!

Melissa at Real Heart Prints For an Amish story, I feel that Suzanne really is knowledgeable in writing the details of this story.· She makes the Amish, who almost seem like a set apart people (sometimes hard to get to know) come alive within the pages of this book, and she shows them as real people with real lives, real feelings, real emotions.· Sometimes in the world today, it’s hard to see past the lifestyle that they live, to see into their hearts and homes, and this book made me, as the reader, step back and see that they are just like any other people, just with a different lifestyle and belief system.· It’s only a fictional story, yet it’s a story that is so real and down to earth.

Isabelle at Canadianladybug Reviews The characters are loveable and a variety of events happen to change their lives in various ways. Death, love, the war, and much more are the themes you will find in this second instalment of the Lancaster County Secrets. Secrets are meant to be discovered and dealt with.

Heather @ Mommy Of 1 and Counting It was a great read and it was very engaging. I felt like I was there and wished I was.

Thirsty at Fill My Thirst I really enjoyed The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Great story and very heartfelt. Fisher is a great writer, she definately draws you in to the story. I could definately relate to Jorie King and Caleb. I will definitely go back and read The Choice.

Vicki at Reading At The BeachThe Choice, was so good I didn’t think this could match it. I was wrong. I loved reading about these characters and their lives. I cried and laughed right along with them and finished the book in 2 days. I can’t wait to read more from this author. I’ve never finished one of her books without wanting more.

Lizzie @ A Dusty Frame The book has a lot of twists and turns.

Marissa at Marissa at The Review Stew It kept my attention from start to finish and really gave insight into the Amish lifestyle! I highly recommend this series for all people interested in the Amish lifestyle, love and romance!

Jenifer at Parris Ponderings

Jettie at Jetties RambingsThis book isn’t just a simple story, it is very complex, with lots of characters who make the story very interesting, from Sylvia, Mary Ann’s sister, to Dr. Robinson, the new vet in the community.· I found myself reluctant to put it down.

Janet at Janet at Home Is Where God Sends YouThe Waiting shows that life can get complicated even for people who strive to live simply. The story line is intriguing and unpredictable—truly hard to set down.

Suzanne at Clicking Her Heels Suzanne writes characters that are realistic and engaging. This bittersweet story will hold your attention and make you thankful for the life and love that you have. Return to Lancaster County where life appears simpler but never really is.

Carie at Carie’s Coins & CentsThe story is awesome and the way Suzanne unfolds the story will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Tammy at Bluerose’s Heart This is the book that officially broke my reading “dry spell.” I read it in less than 2 days!! Yah! That’s almost a miracle for me lately. That shows just how much I enjoyed this book. I couldn’t wait to see what happened. I definitely recommend The Waiting.

Carol at Carol at Books Before FoodThere are many twists to this story that will grab you and make you not want to put this book down. It will really tug at your heart.

Cindy at Cindy’s Love of Books·· ·
I LOVED it. I am dying to read and honestly can’t wait for book three to come out and its called The Search.

Revka at The Porch LightThe Waiting is a sweet story of love, consequences of choices made, and forgiveness. This well-written book is easy to read and entertaining, yet it has a depth of message that goes beyond simple entertainment.

Heidi at Reviews & Reflections·A good story that is compelling and fun to read. I appreciate that! I would definitely recommend both The Choice and The Waiting (which both work fine as stand-alones), and I’ll anxiously await the release of Book 3 in the series – The Search.

Stefany at ToBeThode Suzanne Woods Fisher has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I have been waiting for this second book to be released. The Waiting didn’t fail to impress.· Once again, I was drawn into the story line.· Where I was lacking in information about Amish customs, Suzanne filled the gap.· I was instantly drawn to the characters and their plight.· Jorie King is a character that you just have to love for her goodness and love.· Caleb is an honorable man that every woman would love to have as her mate.· Bringing the story of Jorie and Caleb together had twists and turns.· I was on the edge of my seat yelling (in my head, of course!) for Jorie to stop being stubborn and for Caleb to get a clue. Suzanne is such a great author that you will for sure fall in love with the Lancaster County Series as much as I have.

Deb at Just Short of Crazy·A lovely story that tells the tale of an independent Amish girl waiting for love and finding it in an unexpected place.· I live in an area that has a· large Amish community, but I really don’t know much about their lifestyle. I· love how the author brought the Amish community alive for me.· If you are looking for a quaint, charming story to warm your heart on a cold day then this is the perfect book. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Lori at Frog’s Lilypad What can I say? I could not put the book down. I read the book in two days. The way Suzanne writes had me right on the sidelines watching the daily lives of the characters in the the book.

Gwyn at Mommy Daily Vent A sweet tale of a timid girl that doesn’t think she is beautiful or that anyone else could ever choose her either. Doesn’t that girl reside in all of us? AND, you know my affinity for Amish fiction, especially when it doesn’t involve a buggy accident as the plot climax.

Stacie at Stacie at Simply StacieThe book made me feel like I was sitting right there with the Zook family as was able to picture the farm, Beacon Hill, the schoolhouse and all the interesting characters quite vividly in my minds eye. A novel with rich characters that will immerse you into the life of a seemingly simplistic Amish family. Turns out their lives can be complex too! It was beautifully written and I cannot wait for the next book in the Lancaster County Secrets series. Don’t miss out on an incredible novel!

Marjorie at The Writer’s ToolSuzanne’s compelling storytelling style makes it difficult for me to put the book down. Waiting is never a fun occupation, but much of life consists of waiting on the Lord for His perfect timing and solutions to life’s issues. This theme, expressed in the title, is incorporated into the story on several levels. The characters face tough issues with family, friends, and faith. Learning to wait on God takes precedence when Jorie and Cal face the unexpected. Their growth throughout the book is realistic, and the lessons they learn speak to me in some of the situations I’ve faced or am facing. I highly recommend this book.

Melissa at Books R Us I loved The Waiting. It was a page turner and I could not put it down. I felt that I was living and working with the family. Ms. Fisher wrote a superb novel and I felt it was even better that The Choice. My favorite character was Ephraim because he was a gentle and loving person. There were some surprises in the book that I did not expect and I loved the ending. I look forward to the next book in the series, The Search due out in January, 2011.

Wanda· at· The Watered Soul Readers are taken along alongside Jorie, Caleb, Ben, Matthew, Ephraim, and Maggie as they try to make sense of their changing world through the eyes of their faith. The Waiting drew me in from the very first page and as I turned the last page, I long to stay a little longer at Beacon Hollow.····

Tammy at blog…blog…blog Suzanne immediately draws you into the characters and their lives, her vivid descriptions of the landscape and the setting has you drawn into the story from the first word and continues throughout the story. You find yourself in the land of the Amish where you find love and loss, grief and regrets by choices that have been made. Suzanne makes you feel like you are there smelling the air, being transported into the story, that we must never lose faith or our trust in God.· And has once again proven herself to be an accomplished and heart felt writer.

Patty at Patty at Broken Teepee I loved returning to Lancaster to visit with the Amish again. having grown up in Philadelphia it was a bit like going home. I enjoyed this chapter in the Lancaster Secrets series as much as I did the first. In fact this one was a touch better. The book sped along as the romance grew between Jorie and Caleb. They suffered doubts and setbacks but true love and their faith guided them to the proper course.

Nicole at Ramblings By Nicole Out of all the books I have received to review so far I think this one was my very favorite! Suzanne is a wonderful writer and the characters were real, deep, and multi-faceted. The “twist” of the story was a familiar one but since the characters and setting were not, it made the novel feel fresh and new. I really enjoyed getting to know them all and they made me cry and smile as I read.

Tina at Tina’s Book Reviews Woods has created a very engrossing story, with well developed characters and side plots that fit in so well with the dramatic theme of the novel. This one was a finish until its done book, that’s how immersed I became with Jorie’s story. I have read a lot of Amish story’s this year and I must tell you all…..The Waiting is one of the best one’s Ive read!!!· Full of drama, twists, laughs and tears, Suzanne’s words sucked me in and didn’t let go until the last page.


Billie from Billie the Girl The characters are easy to love, the snippets about the Amish way of life are interesting and the story keeps you turning the pages.

Annette at A Well-Watered Garden·What stands out the most to me in this book is the complete commitment and dedication and love that the Zook family and Jorie exhibits. I felt encouraged and uplifted after reading it.


Karla at Quiet Quilter Suzanne has the ability to make the characters part of you and your family. Her intertwining plots keep you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next event to happen- how will these challenges be met!!· This book is not only meant for lovers of Amish fiction but for those who want to know more about the Amish lifestyle and how they deal with crises.· Definitely a page turner. Once picked up, it is hard to set aside!!

Erin at Erin at Connected 2 Christ“The Waiting” doesn’t disappoint in the least bit being just as good if not better! Many traits are shown and displayed out this book and maybe that’s why I tend to love the series that much more. I love that the characters are real and the story doesn’t stray from that fact with God all things are possible and will work out for the good for those that love and chose to serve him. This book gets two thumbs way up.· Thank you Suzanne for another great book!

Wendy at its JUST me I do believe Suzanne Woods Fisher might be working her way to being one of my favorite “Amish fiction” writers. Once again a very sweet book that takes place in PA among an Amish Community. It takes place in 1965 during the Vietnam War. I loved the main character Jorie, what a sweet girl! Suzanne Woods Fisher certainly has a way with her characters.

Tasra at tasra mar | transform It was a one-night read… started at 10 pm, finished at 3 am. I know I shouldn’t do that, but I couldn’t help it. I thought I would just pick it up and get started, but with the realistic characters and gripping story, I was hooked. Five hours later, I closed the book and couldn’t help but thank the author for the beautifully crafted story she created.

Amy at Girlfriends Get Real I couldn’t wait to find out how this story would end. Don’t miss reading this wonderful Amish story of love, hurt and God’s amazing plans.

JHS at ColloquuimThe Story Moves at a fast clip, with unexpected plot developments following each other in rapid succession, making it hard to tear oneself away before the book’s end. To reveal too much of the story here would spoil the joy of reading Fisher’s lush descriptions of the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside and her straight-forward explanations of the Amish way of viewing the world, how the Plain folk prepare for and conduct worship, and the manner of which Jorie and the other characters approach the various complications in their otherwise well-ordered lives.

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