Saturday, April 15, 2023

4 New Books By Friends

 In the last few months, a number of friends have written and published books. Most were self-published, and some of them I read in early drafts to give feedback to the author. I know all of these women in real life. Some I only met once, and others I've known for many years.

Unless I state otherwise, I purchased these books myself. I love shopping on Amazon and the convience of ordering a pack of socks, a washing machine part, and a bottle of vitamins in a few minutes. But books written by my friends are one place I splurge and either buy directly from the author or from small Mennonite book stores. I love knowing that the author is getting a reasonable return on their investment of time and hopefully it encourages them to write more books. 

I'll include ordering information directly from the author or from their distributor. Or, if you live in a Mennonite community, ask for these books at your local bookstore or fabric store.

A Time to Heal by Emily Steiner

For those who have followed Justin and Monica in the Time trilogy, this is the final book of the trilogy. In this book, book Justin and Monica cross the ocean - Monica to Ukraine and Justin to Ghana where they face the challenges of a new culture, new language, and new co-workers. Emily, the author, visited Ukraine before the war, and added flavor that could only come from someone who experienced the culture firsthand. 

Emily's books include characters with flaws and strengths that feel realistic. If you want to know what it is like to be an older single in a Mennonite setting, this series will give you an inside peak.

You can purchase A Time to Heal from Emily Steiner for $14 each with $3.50 shipping for the first book and $1 for each additional book. Contact Emily at  jemstyle01 and ask to be added to her email list to hear about future books.

Student with Seven Teachers by Sarah L. Martin

I met Sarah a few years ago by email, then later met her in real life. Since then, we talk often. Our children are similiar ages, and I've enjoyed the regular emails she sends sharing the everyday life of a mom of seven in Eastern Ontario. 

Sarah compiled almost 70 of her essays into a book for moms. This is the kind of book I would have enjoyed reading when I was nursing a baby. The accounts are short, but the reader gets to follow along as Sarah learns about God and life from her children. Sarah is in the challenging stage where her children stretch from teens spreading their wings down to pre-schoolers.

Sarah's book was given to me by a friend, and I recommend it for a gift for any mom who needs to hear from a fellow mom reaching for grace in the middle of the crazy mom years.

Student with Seven Teachers is distributed by Living Waters Bookstore which has distribution points in both Ontario and New York and can mail books to both Canada and the US.

Edit: It looks like the link for the Living Waters website is in Canada which gives very high shipping to the US. To call their US office, you can try this number 1-888-932-0209. You can also purchase Student with Seven Teachers and probably most if not all the other books in this post from Faith View Books. They don't have a website to order but they have a great print catalog and helpful phone ordering.

Bargains for Blisses by Darletta Martin

Darletta was a teacher at a small conservative Mennonite school and is writing a series set in a similiar small school. If you want a real glimpse into a Mennonite culture (instead of the Amish romance books written by authors who have never been Amish) here is a good series for you. 

Bargains for Blisses is the second in the Creekside Characters series, the sequel to Nothing So Kingly. Each chapter follows a different teen as they struggle through the normal challenges of growing up and interacting with their parents, siblings, and friends. I like that a wide variety of homes are depicted, as well as teens with different hobbies and dreams. My fourteen-year-old is the perfect target age for this series.

You can purchase Bargains for Blisses from Darletta (dgdfmartin for $9.99.

Tricked on the Tracks by Katrina Hoover Lee

If you have read any of the previous books in the Brady Street Boys series, you know this is an action packed series, following three brothers who live along the river. In Tricked on the Tracks, Gary is still searching for the doctor that removed his leg many years before. Clues lead the boys to a hobo camp along the railroad track and gives the boys an unexpected adventure in a boxcar. 

I describe this series as a cross between the Hardy Boys and the Sugar Creek Gang. Not as preachy as the Sugar Creek Gang, but more inspirational than the Hardy Boys. Set in the 80s, this series gives a refreshing glimpse of life before cell phones, though a cell phone would have come in handy when the boys were trapped in a train car. 

When I read them aloud to my girls, they beg for "just one more chapter" and unlike some books, I don't mind reading more myself.

You can purchase all the books in this series at Katrina's website (affliate link). You can read more of her writing on Katrina's blog or sign up to recieve her weekly emails. 

I have more books by friends to share, but maybe I'll save them for another post. But I will also mention that the newest edition of Motherhood is available. 

Issue 4  of Motherhood focuses on God's faithfulness. I help to edit Motherhood, and I was inspired by the stories of God's faithfulness to mothers in various stages of life. This is a full-color, coffee-table type book with lovely art work and photography. These issues have been going fast, so to get your copy, go to the Motherhood website. If you live local to me, I have copies available at my house for purchase. This makes a perfect Mother's Day gift.


  1. I love good book recommendations - especially nonfiction!

  2. I hope you talk about Kidnapped in Haiti next time. I've been wanting to read it, but I'm cheap and don't like buying new books. Maybe I'll have to buy it next time I purchase my daughter's curriculum?

    1. I do that! I know it is hard to spend money on books, especially ones you may only read once. I try to lend out books that I buy so that I feel like they get used more.

  3. I know I'm late, but I just wanted to let you know that I ordered Nothing so Kingly and Bargains for Blisses for my daughter's 13th birthday. I appreciate your book recommendations for teens. Thank you.

  4. i love bargains for blisses. got it for my birthday


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