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Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Road to Escape by Patricia Kiyono

I really enjoyed this short book. It allows readers to take in small town atmosphere and enjoy the warmth of friends and family. I liked Laurie and thought she was a good character. We get to know her as the story revolves around her and the diner she bought. It has been hard for her to start over but she is trying to fit in . What made her stop being a nurse? Is there someone in town trying to sabotage Laurie? I loved the picture the author painted with clear and precise words of the diner. It would be fun to sit and visit in the diner as you eat the delicious dishes that are  served.

Tom was an interesting character. He has lost his wife several years ago, but it is hard for him to let go of her memory. He begins to notice that something isn't quite right and after the doctor gives him a diagnosis, he decides he needs to make some changes. I loved reading a story about older people who have lived a happy life and now find themselves having to start over. I liked how the author slowly developed a relationship between Laurie and Tom. It is a nice story about family, friendship and finding love again. I am looking forward to reading more in this series.

I received a copy of this book from the Early Readers Program from Librarything. The review is my own opinion.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Beloved Christmas Quilt

I am once again amazed at the depth of writing and emotion the authors  has given us. I loved that it not only included a story from Wanda, but also from Jean and Richelle. Each story is like a sweet song that you hear to gently calm you. The characters are so vivid that you want to be friends with them. I really didn't want the book to end because I felt like I had found people who were caring, loving and willing to help others without complaining. It is very family oriented and I loved how they made sure to have meals together. The love that the family members had for each other was well defined in each story. I hope the authors write another book together.

Luella's Promise by Wanda Brunstetter

It was easy to like Luella because she was so giving and compassionate. I loved how she stepped up and took care of her ailing friend Dena and her family. My tears flowed as Dena gave Luella such a precious gift and asked her to make a promise to care for her family when she was gone. I can't imagine how hard it was for Luella as she became close to Daryl and Atlee. I loved reading how nurturing Luella was with Daryl . Atlee is grieving and trying to do the best he can raising his son. It's funny how gossip starts when Atlee and Luella are seen in town together. What does Luella's parents think of her spending so much time at a widower's home? Will their age difference keep them from falling in love with each other? I loved the theme of compassion, love and helping in the story.

Karen's Gift by Jean Brunstetter

I loved how the story seamlessly continued from Luella's Promise. Karen is now grown and has a family of her own. I loved how she embraced being married and caring for her family. When they find out that their baby has something wrong with her, I thought the author did a great job of showing how they cope with it. I thought Seth was a wonderful husband and I did like the part about him going to his dad when things are burdening him. He is having a rough time at work and I sympathized with him when he had to deal with a co-worker. He has his hands full with three children and another on the way. Will Karen and Seth be able to handle the responsibility of raising a large family? Overall the story was good and I loved how the families come together to help each other out.

Roseanna's Groom by Richelle Brunstetter

What a wonderful story this was. I loved reading about Roseanna and her dilemma when her soon to be husband runs away during the wedding ceremony. What would you do if that happened to you? Roseanna is devastated and seemed to blame herself for John leaving. I really enjoyed the time Roseanna spent with her family while working through her problems. It was nice to see her rely on listening to God and not rushing to make a decision. The story gets a bit complicated when an old boyfriend of Roseanna's shows up. Will Roseanna decide to start a courtship with her old boyfriend? Can John learn to forgive himself ? I especially liked this story because it brought the entire family back together and how precious The Beloved Christmas Quilt was to pass down to a family member. I loved the book and have to say it was my favorite because it brought three generations together writing and working together.

I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and the author. I was under no obligation to post a review.
Linda Shenton Matchett
Author Interview

When did you know you wanted to be an authorI’ve been writing since I was very young. My parents must have seen something or maybe they just wanted to keep me busy (HA!) but they gave me a huge writing tablet and a package of pens when I was about seven or eight years old. I started writing stories and was hooked. When I was twelve I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and it really affected me. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an author and publish stories that would affect people like that book had done to me.
You have written a lot of books. Where do you get your ideas? Everywhere! My first book, Love’s Harvest, is a retelling of the book of Ruth set during WWII, On the Rails came to me when I was on vacation in Arizona. My most recent book, Under Fire, was a result of a writing class assignment, and its sequel is based on a newspaper article I read. I have a folder where I stash ideas as they come to me, because I sure won’t remember them when I need them!
What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? My husband created a beautiful writing room for me, so I hole myself up in there. I’m a morning person so I’m typically at my desk by about 6:00. Then I pull out the folder for my current project that holds the outline (yep, I’m an outliner), read through the previous day’s words, and get to work. I write best in the quiet, so I make sure the window blinds are pulled and the door is closed.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? I love coming up with the “what if” scenario and outlining the story, deciding what sort of things I’m going to do to my protagonist to make her squirm. Research is my second favorite part. I find out so many interesting things and learn about intriguing people during the research phase. I definitely chase a lot of rabbits while I’m researching, but I often come up with story ideas that I set aside for later.
You write historical books. What sort of research do you do to ensure accuracy? I read a lot of first person accounts, autobiographies, and memoirs. I’ve also watched a ton of YouTube interviews with folks who were alive during WWII. The Wright Museum of WWII is in the town where I live, and they have been a huge help in answering questions and giving me access to resources. When I was researching Under Fire, I spent several days there reading cartons of letters written during WWII. I also managed to get my hands on maps, bus and Tube schedules from the war years. I had to do my initial research about England from my chair via the Internet, but was blessed to be able to travel to London and Hastings in 2015. It was an incredible experience to stand and walk where my characters had been.
What is your next project? I’m writing the first book in a mystery series about five friends who each serve in different organization during WWII (USO, Red Cross, WASPs, etc.) It’s tentatively called Murder of Convenience, and is about Geneva Alexander whose fiancĂ© is killed, and the police think she did it, so she has to prove her innocence.

Favorite color? Red
Favorite vacation? England
Favorite hobby? Kayaking
Favorite book? Gone with the Wind
Favorite movie? The Thin Man series (they are all a tie)

Where can folks find you on the web:
Under Fire Blurb: Journalist Ruth Brown’s sister Jane is pronounced dead after a boating accident in April 1942. Because Jane’s body is missing, Ruth is convinced her sister is still alive. During her investigation, Ruth becomes suspicious about Jane’s job. Eventually Ruth followsclues to war-torn London. By the time she uncovers the truth about Jane’s disappearanceshe has stumbled on black marketers, resistance fighters and the IRA – all of whom may want her dead. Available from or your local bookstore.

Bio: Linda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, and author. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Active in her church Linda serves as treasurer, usher, choir member, and Bible study leader.

Don't miss Linda's new book:

Love's Harvest: Now available in paperback and Ebook at

Love Found in Sherwood Forest available at

On the Rails available at  

"A Love Not Forgotten ,"  part of the Let Love Spring Collection  available at 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Spotlight on Olivia Newport

How did you get started writing?
I don’t remember a time I was not telling stories in my head. I’m old enough to have grown up in the years when every Sunday school class had a flannelgraph board. I remember using all the flannel pieces to make up my own stories! But it was only about ten years ago that I decided if I was ever going to get serious about trying to write novels for adults, I’d better get down to business. My first book released in 2012. 

How do you choose names for your characters?
Sometimes characters spring fully formed with names I can’t shake even if I try. Other times, especially if I’m writing something historical, I dig through Internet lists of names that were popular in the decade during which my character was born. I want the name to be authentic to the period. I also stroll through cemeteries and keep lists of interesting first names and family names. 

Tell us a bit about your family.
I’ve been married just about 38 years and have an adult son and daughter, and a son-in-law who joined the family 15 months ago. My daughter has an eight-pound “Morkie” dog that she has taken to leaving at our house during the day (we’re both at home) so the poor thing is not alone all day.

What does your writing place look like?
I’m fortunate to have a dedicated office in my home. My desk is a corner desk with a hutch with efficient shelving that keeps everything in reach—and distracting! A few months ago I hung curtains over the shelves in the hutch on both sides. I can close the curtains and focus. Above my screen are the silk flowers from my daughter’s wedding. I also have a desk in the living room that pleasantly masquerades as a more decorative piece of furniture but has a wide pull-out tray where I can use my laptop. From there I can look out at the flowers in front or the bird feeder. 

Is there one book of yours that you would like to do a sequel to?
Many of my books do have sequels. The Avenue of Dreams series has three stories, and the Valley of Choice series has three as well. The Amish Turns of Time series is a bit different. It has five stories, though technically each one is a stand-alone. What they have in common is that each one is about a time in Amish history when the Amish faced a cultural or theological issue that came to define them in some way. Hidden Falls is a nice thick contemporary story populated by characters I became quite fond of, and I admit I do find my imagination wandering back to Hidden Falls and wondering how they’re doing. 

What type of research do you do for your books?
When I can, I visit the place that has inspired the setting, such as the historical neighborhood in Chicago that is the setting of the Avenue of Dreams or the rural area of Colorado that is home to Valley of Choice. Sometimes research is an aggregate a number of small local museums, which are some of my favorite places, where I come home loaded with pamphlets and small books full of local color. And of course I use the Internet, though I always try to push sources back as far as I can—such as finding a description of a true-to-history parade in a newspaper from the time—and verifying facts with more than one account. Often people at museums are pleased to answer questions by e-mail about the history of their regions. I’ve even gotten train schedules for a particular route in a particular year and maps of land grants that way. 

What do you hope readers will get out of your books?
More than anything, I hope they find hope! Hope of God’s presence in their lives. Hope of their significance to others. Hope that they touch other people’s lives with kindness and compassion in ways that make a difference. 

Olivia Newport blogs at When it comes to social media, she hangs around the Facebook neighborhood more than anywhere else.

Don't miss Olivia's newest book: