Breathless: A Daily Devotional by Judith Rolfs

A Daily Devotional for Christians in a Hurry: One Minute meditations for women and men.

 What first drew me to this devotional is the “one-minute” daily read. I am one of those busy Christians in a hurry. I’ll bet you can relate.

This book wasn’t what I expected. Daily meditations are short. There is a scripture reference for each day.

The author writes in a poetic form, which is inspiring and different from other devotional books.

Each day’s topic can be read in about a minute as advertised. The author is transparent in her writing. I found it an easy read for busy folks.

-Sandra Merville Hart




My Father’s Business by Eddie Jones

30 Inspirational Stories for Discerning and Doing God’s Will

This book was an encouraging read. I loved the examples from well-known people in leadership, ministry, entertainment, military, artists, and other walks of life who sometimes learned about God’s Will the hard way.

I can relate to learning the hard way.

There are chapters on sacrifice, gratitude, perseverance, imagination, endurance, and many other helpful topics for Christians.

Bible verses and quotes from Oswald Chambers, author of My Utmost for His Highest and other books, begin every chapter. These quotes were insightful and inspiring.

Scripture references for a time of reflection end the chapters.

The stories used illustrate the author’s point beautifully. I read this book in a couple of days, but it would also be an inspiring way to begin or end your day.

I’ve read books by this author and always enjoyed them. I will look for more!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!

The Civil War Book of Lists Review

Compiled by the editors of Combined Books

I was happy to find this book of lists in a Civil War battleground museum store while on a research trip.

This book contains many fascinating lists. Here are just a few: Union Regiments of Foreign Born; Six Weapons Used for the First Time in the Civil War; The Ten Best Commanded Battles of the War; The Generals Listed by West Point Class and Rank; and The States in Order of Men Furnished for Confederate Service.

There are a few unusual lists as well: Occupations of Union Soldiers; Four Battles with Four Names; Eight Generals Who Had Served in the War of 1812; and Top 10 Strangest Hairstyles.

 As an of Civil War romances, these lists often pique my interest, leading me to more research.

 Even Civil War historians will discover new facts from this book, sparking discussions.

A great find for lovers of American history!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Barnes & Noble


Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

This book is classified as a biography.

Belle Boyd was a rebel who shot a Union soldier. She became a spy for the Confederate army.

Emma Edmondson enlisted as “Frank Thompson” to become a Union soldier. She fell in love with Jerome Robbins while acting as a soldier. He knew her secret and returned her love, though she seemed a bit too fond of her tentmate, James Reid.

Widow Rose O’Neal Greenhow was a Confederate spy living in Washington D.C. She passed on information she learned from political connections and eventually was arrested.

Elizabeth Van Lew lived in Richmond but was an abolitionist. She acted as a Union spy.

The book is written more as a novel and is an easy read. Filled with surprises from the Civil War, this book is a page turner.

-Sandra Merville Hart


God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord

I recently purchased a child’s book to share with my toddler grandson that I have to share with you.


God Made You Just Right is a sweet, fun book that captivates little ones!

The rhyming verses have been written with the perfect cadence to capture a listener’s ear.

Written from a Christian perspective, this book explains to little ones that God took special care to make them just right. They don’t have to be like anyone else.

I love the illustrations by Amy Wummer. Such a fun book!

This book will delight toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. What a precious book.

I’ll look for more by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Her Lonely Heart by Cynthia Hickey

The Pony Express Romance Collection

Widow Sadie Mathewson raises her two children at a Pony Express Station that had been her husband’s dream. She fears for the safety of her twelve-year-old son who longs to become a rider. There has also been danger to riders from the Native Americans in the area. Sadie has a good relationship with local Kickapoo and hopes for the best.

Dr. Luke Stetson chases after his young brother after receiving a note that he’d joined the Pony Express. He finds his injured brother at Sadie’s station. Though the courageous mother captures his interest, his father has drilled into him not to marry beneath him.

I love reading historical romances where I feel as if I’ve gone back in time. The romance and adventure of the Pony Express in this story escalates to show the danger of those lonely Pony Express stations—and the courage of the young riders.

I enjoyed this story and others in this collection.

-Sandra Merville Hart

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

1906—Ivy Thorpe is chilled by the discovery of a dead woman near the home at Foster Hill. Her father, the medical examiner on the case, reports that the woman recently had a baby. The sheriff and Joel Cunningham–the detective Ivy hasn’t seen since her brother died–can’t find the infant. The baby can’t survive long so Ivy decides to search, placing herself in danger.

Current day—Kaine Prescott can’t convince the police that her husband’s death was no accident. Nor can she can convince them that someone is now stalking her. Longing to escape the danger, she buys a historic home, sight unseen, on Foster Hill and moves to Wisconsin to fix it up.

But the house is far more dilapidated than the realtor’s photos showed … and sinister. When the stalker finds her again, she’s terrified. Can she really trust her new neighbor, Grant Jesse?


Both women face danger that involves the house at Foster Hill. Their stories are woven together in a way that escalates with every turn of the page. Suspenseful, dramatic, heart-wrenching. I wasn’t able to put it down!

Spellbound by this well-written story.

Looking forward to reading other books by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart

I’ll Pass for Your Comrade by Anita Silvey

Women Soldiers in the Civil War

This nonfiction resource book talks about the many women who wanted to be soldiers or became soldiers.

A group of over twenty Virginia women wanted to organize a volunteer regiment. They wrote to the Confederate Secretary of War and he rejected their offer.

Black women in Northern cities offered to be “nurses, seamstresses, and warriors if need be.” Local officials refused.

But some women did muster into the army. Fanny Wilson and Nellie Graves wanted to be near their boyfriends.

Malinda Pritchard Blalock served both the Union and the Confederacy as a soldier.

Women cut their hair short and dressed in soldier’s uniforms, often escaping detection simply because no one expected it.

Great book for Civil War research and history lovers.

-Sandra Merville Hart


An Unlikely Hero by Mary Davis

The Pony Express Romance Collection

BethAnn fears for the safety of her and her younger sister, Molly, when they ride into a Pony Express Station. She loses sight of her sister while peering on the trail behind them. Had they been followed?

Fox rushes in to save Molly from pounding hooves, earning BethAnn’s gratitude and attention.

Fox knows the stagecoach passengers will only stay at the station overnight. He longs to stay and meet Molly’s beautiful sister but duty calls. The pony express rider dashes away on his next ride with a heavy heart.

This story grabbed my attention immediately and didn’t let go. The likeable characters had me pulling for them. I kept reaching for the book to find out what happened next.

Loved it! Well-written story.

Looking forward to reading other books by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Within the Candle’s Glow by Karen Campbell Prough

Ella Dessa’s Story Series, Book 2

My interest was captured on the first page.

Ella Dessa is near seventeen now and it was time Jim McKnapp realized it. She’s loved him from the age of twelve but will he—or any man—ever love her enough to see beyond her scars?

Samuel McKnapp is Ella Dessa’s best friend but longs to be more. He’s seen the way she looks at his older brother, Jim.

Jim loves Ella Dessa. He’s aware that Samuel loves her, too. The two of them are closer in age and the best of friends. Should he walk away?

But Ella Dessa has also caught the eye of a third man—this one not so innocent.

Set in 1840, this story captivated me from beginning to end. I kept reaching for the novel even when I had other things to do. The way the characters talk and think feels authentic to the time and place. I loved it.


-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas   – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!