Thursday, June 03, 2010

Daughters of Amana Book 1: Somewhere To Belong by Judith Miller

From the Bethany House website:

Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages settled by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she's always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in Amana. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered. Is this truly where she belongs?

Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, so when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, her rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?

About Judith Miller:

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels, two of which have placed in the CBA top ten lists. In addition to her writing, Judy is a certified legal assistant. Judy and her husband make their home in Topeka, Kansas. Visit her Web site at

My Opinion:

Having read Judith Miller's work before I knew I was going to have a great book to sink myself into. Set in Iowa in the Amana settlement the reader gets to take a look at a communal life of a segment of devout Christians. This is not your Amish fiction, it's a book that takes a peek into the lifes of those who believe in hard work, simple living and devotion to Jesus Christ while still keeping a fast moving plot line.

Thankfully there is no outward displays of affection or romance, even though the new family's daughter likes to ask her friend, Johanna whether or not she is in love with a man who works with her father. The only kiss comes at the end of the book and only after an engagement/courtship and impending marriage has been agreed upon - if I tell who is getting married then you'll not read the book.

Keeping up a fast pace with page turning dialogue and character conflict this book has it all when you're wanting to escape and leave behind the real world for awhile. There really was an Amana, which you can read about at the Amana Heritage website, so there is some truth weaved in making it an excellent historical fiction book.

**I was provided a copy of Somewhere to Belong by Mr. Hart at Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

FIRST tour: The Ark by Boyd Morrison

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Ark

Touchstone; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)

***Special thanks to Mallika Dattatreya and Ashley Hewlett of Touchstone/Fireside Publicity, Simon & Schuster, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Boyd Morrison is an industrial engineer with ten U.S. patents to his name who has worked for prestigious companies ranging from NASA to Microsoft's X-BOX Games Group and RCA Electronics. He is also a "Jeopardy!" champion and a professional actor who has appeared in commercials, stage plays, and films.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $24.99

Hardcover: 420 pages

Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1439181799

ISBN-13: 978-1439181799


My Opinion:

I was excited to read this book, I enjoy Christian suspense novels and with this one concerning the Ark I just had to read it. I must say I couldn't finish it, which dissapointed me since it would have been a great book. The story line and plot were well done and I found myself getting engrossed in it and caught up with the characters.

While I did enjoy what I read, the disappointing part came when I realized how many cuss words and saying "Oh my ***" came into the dialogue in this book. It is marketed to the Christian arena, however I find it lacking in what I expect to find for a Christian market book. If the cuss words and other offensive language had been removed this would be an excellent book.

If language isn't a concern then I think a reader would find themselves as engrossed as I was in the beginning. Again, like I said this book did have redeeming qualities such as good solid plot line, intrigue, well developed characters and would make a fascinating read for the person who can finish it.