Wednesday, November 24, 2021

5 New Books By Friends

One of the things I've most enjoyed about having friends who write, is the chance to read first drafts. I count it an honor to get to enjoy a book before it is published and give opinions on additions or changes that can be made to make the book even better.

But the downside is that I can be excited about a book that is not yet available to the public. So now I can talk about several books, written by friends, which I read months or, in some cases, years ago.

Disclaimer: While I count these authors as friends and they all asked me to read and comment on their books before publishing, I didn't promise any of them a blog review. Some of them gave me a copy of their book, some paid me for my time and editing advice, but in other cases I purchased my own copy. I'm including ordering information and some affiliate links, but the opinions shared on this review are my own.

Turtle Heart by Lucinda J. Kinsinger

Turtle Heart is a beautifully written true story of a shy sheltered Mennonite girl from Wisconsin who befriends a sharp elderly Native American woman.  Through the collision of cultures, Lucinda desires to show Jesus to Charlene, yet finds that Charlene had much to teach her.  Lucinda doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but her book made me consider how I relate to wounded people, which was good in a slightly uncomfortable way. (I wouldn't give this memoir to a young teen because of the gritty honesty about lesbianism.)

You can purchase your own copy of Turtle Heart from Amazon and read more of Lucinda's writing on her blog.

A Time to Lose by Emily Steiner

This sequel to A Time to Keep Silence continues the fictional story of Monica and Justin. I inhaled the book on a Sunday afternoon, becoming even more attached to the characters in this Kentucky community. This book hit me deeply since it describes sudden grief and the loss of a parent of young children. I thought Emily described grief realistically, as well as the challenges of singlehood and the surrender all of us face at some point in life. In so many Mennonite books, the characters are too perfect, but Emily has developed some flawed characters that we see growing in this book. I can't wait to see how they continue to mature in the third book.

Email Emily at to purchase you own copy of A Time to Lose for $12.50 plus $3.00 shipping. 

Trapped in the Tunnel and Facing the Fugitive by Katrina Hoover Lee

I'm always looking for good books for children, especially boys, and was thrilled that Katrina is starting a new adventure series for children. I describe these books as a cross between the Hardy Boys and the Sugar Creek Gang. They aren't as unrealistic as the Hardy Boys or as preachy as the Sugar Creek Gang. I'm currently reading the first book, Trapped in the Tunnel, aloud, and it is passing the "read one more chapter" test for my girls as well as boys. The three brothers live along the river and enjoy the normal boy things like bike ramps, hidden tunnels, rope knots, and boats. 

Each book in this new series reflects on one of the fruit of the Spirit so nine books are planned for the series. You can purchase the first two at Katrina's website or on Amazon. Also available on Kindle and Scribd.

Chance and Change by Galen Horst

In the summer of 2018, Galen and Patricia Horst stayed at our house when they were in the area for a wedding. I had known Patricia for years, but it was the first time we met in real life. We had just been given the news that Ed's tumor had regrown for the third time and we knew his life was fragile. But we didn't know that less than a year later, both our families would experience death. A few months later, the children and I were able to visit the Horst's lovely mountain farm in Ontario. My children still talk of that wonderful Sunday afternoon.

Chance and Change is Galen's story of how God moved in his life, reordering his priorities as a father and causing him to sell a prospering business and buy a run-down mountain farm. The family was enjoying the full life of homeschooling and homesteading, until the daughter's health crisis turned their world upside down. 

You can purchase Chance and Change from Amazon and can read more about the Horst family on their blog.

I can highly recommend all of these books, though the content varies widely. This list may have a book for about every taste in reading.

1 comment :

  1. A friend of mine, who's an avid reader and blogger, has the book Turtle Heart. I picked up her copy and read some (the beginning and near the end). Boy, did it catch my interest! I'd Love to have copy of it myself. For the reader, don't let the title or cover throw you off. Its a good read! Its an excellent book for us as Mennonites/Anabaptist to learn how to relate to our neighbors and those in our communities who have grown up in a different background than we have. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for my heritage. I've been given much. But there's something we can learn others.


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