Saturday, December 29, 2012

Every Breath You Take By: M.K. Gilroy

I received this e-book from Worthy Publishing through NetGalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book.


Book Description:

A high-profile murder tied to an online dating service has the Chicago news media buzzing. Who better to go undercover in the world of personal profiles and promising matches than an ace detective who is single . . . and as attractive as she is tough? While Detective Kristen Conner can’t figure out her own dating life, she is about to get a crash course on finding true love (or at least a Friday night date) even as she becomes the object of a killer’s affections.



My Thoughts: 

Every Breath You Take is M.K. Gilroy's second book that continues to follow Detective Kristen Conner.  I had the honor of reading M.K. Gilroy's first book, Cuts Like a Knife.  I was hooked from the first pages and was so happy to have the opportunity to read the next book, Every Breath You Take.  I could not wait to read this latest book and it did NOT disappoint.  The book picks up just months after where the first book ended.  Right from the start this book grabs a hold of you and keeps you until the very end. I had a very hard time putting this book down.  This book has a little bit of everything: mystery, suspense, love, and family.  M.K. Gilroy puts together an awesome cast of characters in this story that definitely bring this story to life.  I found myself more than once laughing out loud from something in the book, usually something Kristen Connor says or does.  There are a lot of returning characters in this book but we also meet new ones that really complete the story.  M.K. Gilroy's style of writing is really keeps readers on their toes.  Some chapters are written italics that give the reader insight to the killer without giving name or anything but gives us the details from that perspective.  
     I highly recommend Every Breath You Take to anyone who enjoys mystery/suspense books.  M.K. Gilroy is in my Top 10 Must Read list.  Every Breath You Take can be read as a stand alone or in order.  It gives enough details in it that you don't feel lost if you have never read any of the books but not too much that readers of the series lose interest.  I cannot wait to read M.K. Gilroy's next book. 
 












Friday, November 23, 2012

Lovelier Than Daylight: The Saddler's Legacy Book 3 By Rosslyn Elliott

I received this book from Thomas Nelson through Booksneeze.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Susanna is a lady of principles who values family above all. Johann seems to represent all she despises . . . but appearances can be deceiving.

In 1875, Susanna Hanby is headed off to college in Westerville, Ohio, when she discovers her sister Rachel and Rachel’s children have disappeared. Susanna suspects that Rachel’s alcoholic husband knows more than he’s saying and she vows to uncover the truth.

Johann Giere is heir to a successful German-American brewery in Columbus, but longs for a career in journalism in New York City. When Johann signs on as the supplier for a new saloon in Westerville, his and Susanna’s paths cross and sparks fly. A fiery temperance crusader, Susanna despises Johann’s profession, but she cannot deny the attraction.

When Susanna learns that Rachel’s children have been indentured to orphanages in the city, she despairs that her family will be fractured forever. But Johann makes Susanna an offer she can’t refuse—pitting her passion and her principles against one another.

If she can find a way for her head and her heart to be in harmony, a future lovelier than daylight awaits her.

Lovelier than Daylight is a story of love and faith based on the Westerville Whiskey War of 1875, a dramatic real historical event featured in the 2011 documentary Prohibition by Ken Burns.


My Thoughts:

Lovelier Than Daylight is the third book in Rosslyn Elliott's series The Saddler's Legacy.  I have had the privilege of reading each of the books in this series.  The series is based on the real Hanby Family and this book is based on the Westerville Whiskey War of 1875.  The stories are fiction but have historically accurate information in them.  I have enjoyed this series from the beginning and Lovelier Than Daylight added to that enjoyment. This is a beautiful story that looks at some intense issues like drinking, domestic abuse, infidelity, and the affects these things have on families especially the children during 1875.  This story grabbed me from the start and held me until the end.  Lovelier Than Daylight is about Susanna Hanby who is staying in Westerville, Ohio to attend college, the college her family has been part of for many, many years. She is staying with her Aunt Ann and Uncle Will, who are characters who have been a part of this series from the start.  On her trip Susanna wants to visit her sister and her children, Susanna finds out that her sister is gone and the children have been put in orphanages.  This book takes readers through the struggles of the Hanby's as they try to keep the children together and with family. Susanna is willing to give up school to take care of these children. 

Lovelier Than Daylight introduces some new characters and reacquaints readers with some old friends.  My favorite characters in this story would have to be Will and Ann Hanby and Johann Giere. The love and strength of these characters have left me with such a good feeling.  Rosslyn Elliott writes a beautiful story about this incredible family and the length someone will go for someone they love.  This story also talks about the good and bad of alcohol and the lengths people will go for what they believe.  I truly enjoyed this book and this series.  I recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, it does not disappoint.  I am a huge fan of Rosslyn Elliott's and look forward to reading much more from her.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Deposit Slip By Todd M. Johnson- Debut Novel

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book.  The opinions express here are my own.


Book Description:

This Gripping Legal Thriller Is a Perfect Summer Read

When Jared Neaton grew tired of the shady ethics of his big law firm and left to go out on his own, he never expected the wheels to fly off so quickly. One big case collapsing on him has pushed him to the brink and it's all he can do to scrape by. He can't risk another bad loss.

Erin Larson is running out of options. In the wake of her father's death, she found a slim piece of paper--a deposit slip--with an unbelievable amount on it. Ten million dollars. Only the bank claims it has no record of the deposit and stonewalls her attempts to find out more. This lawsuit, her last chance, has brought only intimidation and threats. Now she needs to convince Jared to take a risk, to help her because the money is real. And both need to watch their backs as digging deeper unleashes something far more dangerous than just threats.
 
 
 
My Thoughts:

The Deposit Slip is Todd M. Johnson's debut novel and I enjoyed it. When I read the description on the back I was drawn in my by the story. I have always been a fan of legal thrillers and legal mysteries.  The law has always been a passion of mine so when I saw it, I knew this book would be for me.  I did not know until almost the end of the book that this novel is Todd M. Johnson's debut novel.  He writes with such authority about the law and bringing it to real life.  I got caught up in the story from the get go, having it hold my interest through until the end.  The plot took many twits and turns all the way until the end, it keeps you guessing. The characters were interesting and truly have real and tricky lives.   Their lives aren't perfect and not everything is solved by the end of the book. The writing and descriptions of the places like Ashley, MN felt like you are right there experiencing small town life. The Deposit Slip's themes include: righting wrongs, forgiveness, greed, jealousy, family relationship, and God's love.   I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Legal Suspense novels, you won't be disappointed.  I can't wait for more books from Todd M. Johnson!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Soul's Gate: A Well Spring Novel By James Rubart

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book.  All the opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Every now and then we get a break from reality. A glimpse into the other world that is more real than the reality we live in 99 percent of our days. The Bible is about a world of demons and angels and great evil and even greater glory.”
What if you could travel inside another person’s soul? To battle for them. To be part of Jesus healing their deepest wounds. To help set them free to step boldly into their divinely designed future.

Thirty years ago that’s exactly what Reece Roth did. Until tragedy shattered his life and ripped away his future.

Now God has drawn Reece out of the shadows to fulfill a prophecy spoken over him three decades ago. A prophecy about four warriors with the potential to change the world . . . if Reece will face his deepest regret and teach them what he has learned.

They gather at a secluded and mysterious ranch deep in the mountains of Colorado, where they will learn to see the spiritual world around them with stunning clarity—and how to step into the supernatural.

Their training is only the beginning. The four have a destiny to pursue a freedom even Reece doesn’t fully fathom. But they have an enemy hell-bent on destroying them and he’ll stop at nothing to keep them from their quest for true freedom and the coming battle of souls.

“Readers with high blood pressure or heart conditions be warned: this is a seriously heart-thumping and satisfying read that goes to the edge, jumps off, and 'builds wings on the way down.'” —Publishers Weekly



My Thoughts:


Soul's Gate is the first book in James L. Rubart's latest series Well Spring.  Soul's Gate is the first book I have read of James L. Rubart's and it is great. When I received the information on this book I found myself taken in by the description on the back of the book, I knew I had to read it.  Soul's Gate is about spiritual awakening, spiritual warfare, and fighting for other soul's for God. This story truly stretches your mind and talks of all the things God can do and can empower us to do.  I truly found myself lost in this story.  It grabbed me from the start and truly took me on twists and turns until the very end.  The characters are wonderfully written and so multidimensional. As I read, I found myself being able to connect to the characters especially as walked through their journeys.  James L. Rubart is a gifted writer who I look forward to reading more from. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction/Fantasy.  You won't be disappointed.  I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

CHECK OUT THE CONTEST BELOW:



Win an iPad Mini from @JimRubart and RSVP for his Live Video Chat {11/13}!

The first book in best-selling author Jim Rubart's new series, Soul's Gate, releases on November 6th! To celebrate, Jim has teamed up with his publisher, Thomas Nelson, for a virtual book tour, iPad Mini giveaway and a Live Video Author Chat {11/13}. Watch the video trailer for the book here.

 

One "soulful" winner will receive:
  • A brand new iPad Mini
  • Soul's Gate by Jim Rubart {Be caught up in this captivating series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 12th. Winner will be announced at the "Soul's Gate Author Chat Party on 11/13. Connect with Jim for an evening of book chat, trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of Soul's Gate and join Jim on the evening of the November 13th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 13th!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance By Krista Phillips

I received this e-book from Abingdon Press through NetGalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Sandwich, Illinois represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than an hour on the clock. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.

He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Shop. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process.

And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.



My Thoughts:

Sandwich, With a Side of Romance By Krista Phillips is her debut novel and its a great one.  I was surprised to find out this is her first novel, it is definitely written like a seasoned author.  The characters are well written and a lot of fun to read. This book is humorous, I found myself laughing out loud through out the book.  With the humor, some serious things were there including abuse, deceptions, grudges, finding love in unlikely people,  and the struggle to stay on the right path while believing God will see you through the other side.  Sandwich, Illinois is a quirky small town with some pretty interesting characters and businesses.  As I read this book, I felt like I was right there, watching the events unfold. Krista Phillips writes with authority about foster care, adoption, business dealings, and keeping the faith.  I really enjoyed reading this book and found myself connecting with some of the characters and their struggles.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction with some romance.  I look forward to reading more from Krista Phillips. Another author to add to my must read list.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

His Love Endures Forever: Land of Canaan Novel By Beth Wiseman

I received this e-book from Booksneeze.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book.  The opinions expressed here are my own.



Book Description:

An unplanned pregnancy. An absent father. Can love really endure all things?

Danielle Kent is anything but Amish. But as destiny would have it, she has fallen in love with an Amish man.

Now she’s 18, pregnant, and hopeful that the child’s Amish father—Matthew Lapp—will do the right thing and marry her. She knows Matthew plans to leave his Colorado settlement for a life in the Englisch world. But that plan never included a baby.

When Matthew walks away from her and their unborn child, she has nowhere to turn. Her unlikely friendship with Levi offers some comfort—yet they have so little in common. This wasn’t the plan she had for her life, and she has never felt so alone. She doesn’t want to be pregnant. Doesn’t want to be Amish. Doesn’t want to trust God.

And yet.

God has plans beyond what her mind can imagine . . . loving plans to show a lost young woman that His love never fails but endures forever.


My Thoughts:

His Love Endures Forever is Book 3 in Beth Wiseman's Land of Canaan Series and it did not disappoint. As those who read my blog know I am a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction and Beth Wiseman.  Beth Wiseman writes wonderful novels about Amish life and beliefs. In everyone one of her books I lose myself in her tales and always learn something about the Amish Faith.  Even though the books are fiction the information about the Amish is true.  His Love Endures Forever is a wonderful book that looks at Amish and English worlds and what happens when they come together and also shows what unconditional love is and how God's love is unconditional.  I could not put this book down. The characters in this book are enjoyable, some new, and some old friends from other books that I got to catch up with.  That is what I really love about these books is learning about new characters but also still getting to know what is happening with others from past stories.  His Love Endures Forever can be read as a stand alone, as Beth Wiseman writes with expertise enough background you don't feel lost as a new reader but as a reader of her other books not too much detail that it bores.  It was very hard to put this book down, as with the other books by Beth Wiseman, they grab my attention from the start all the way to the end.  I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction. You won't be disappointed.  I look forward to reading more books by Beth Wiseman and in the Land of Canaan series.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Prayer for the Devil By Dale Allan

I received this e-book from Greenleaf Book Group through NetGalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book.  The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Twin brothers Luke and Aaron Miller could not lead more different lives. Aaron, a rising political star who manages the campaign of a man many believe will be the nation's next president, embraced his father's Jewish heritage. Luke, on the other hand, honored his mother's faith and entered the Catholic priesthood. When Aaron and the candidate he supports are killed in a bombing at a presidential stump speech, the Miller family's core is destroyed. Fear of a terrorist threat grips the nation, but the FBI and the press seem more focused on the death of a presidential candidate than on the other innocent victims like Aaron. Suddenly, Luke begins to feel the lure of a vengeance that is stronger than the bond of faith.
As he falls deeper into the abyss of political intrigue that surrounded his brother's mysterious professional life, Luke is tempted to break his promise to God and reassess his own sense of right and wrong. What sort of priest carries a concealed weapon? How can he judge others when he himself has strayed so far from his own flock?
Luke's comfortable life in Boston collides with the faraway world of the Middle East as he sets out on a journey to unravel the truth behind Aaron's murder. Will he take an eye for an eye?
In A Prayer for the Devil, Dale Allan weaves a fast-paced murder mystery wrapped in a thoughtful meditation on the intersection of faith and justice. Luke's journey through his own darkness propels him to a shocking ending that will leave readers breathless.

My Thoughts:

A Prayer for the Devil is the first book I have read by Dale Allan and WOW is all I can say.  When I read the book description I was excited to request it because it definitely sounded good.  I finished this book in less than two days. I honestly could NOT put this book down.  From the first sentence I was hooked.  This work of fiction could be a true story from the topics it covers and the events that take place.  Dale Allan is truly a gifted writer that I for one, cannot wait to read more from.  I truly felt like I was a character in the book seeing all of the events unfold and feeling the emotions the characters were feeling.  It has been a long time since I stayed up almost all night to finish a book. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading, you will not be disappointed. I have added Dale Allan to my list of must read authors. I cannot wait to read his next novel.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tangled Ashes By Michele Phoenix

I received this book from Handlebar Central for no charge for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

When Marshall Becker arrives in Lamorlaye, France, to begin the massive renovation of a Renaissance-era castle, he unearths a dark World War II history few in the village remember. The project that was meant to provide an escape for Becker instead becomes a gripping glimpse into the human drama that unfolded during the Nazi occupation and seems to live on in midnight disturbances and bizarre acts of vandalism.


My Thoughts:

Tangled Ashes is the first book by Michele Phoenix I have had the pleasure of reading. Tangled Ashes takes place in two different times in Lamorlayeneglegted. The new owners, The Fallons, want the castle ready for Mrs. Fallon's 40th birthday. Marshall comes with more baggage than his luggage. Marshall is an alcoholic who is trying to quit. He is hard and quick tempered. In the 1940's the story takes place in this same castle but at this point its being used for a German/Nazi house that is set up as a hospital for pregnant women who are pregnant with a child of the Aryon race. These women carry these children and once they are born, the babies are adopted by "good" Nazi families. The women working at the castle are French who were forced to work there to save their families from starving.

Michele Phoenix does a wonderful job writing this book. The transitions between now and 1940's is a smooth one and is marked by different font in the book. Current times writen in print, the 1940's written in italicized print. Michele Phoenix demonstrates her love of France and Lamorlaye with her expertise in all things there. The historical facts are well researched and well presented. This story has a little bit of everything: suspense, romance and finding God in all times. The characters are well written and are protrayed in the real world with not so perfect lives. The descriptions of the castle and Lamorlaye are so detailed I felt like I was there seeing it all. I found this story hard to put down. I truly enjoyed it. If you are a fan of Christian Historical Fiction I highly recommend this book. It will not disappoint. I am excited to read more from Michele Phoenix, I have found another author to add to my must read list.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Twice a Bride: The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Book 4 By Mona Hodgson

I received this e-book from Waterbrook Multnomah through Blogging for Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed here are mine.


Book Description:

Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever.
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?

Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek. When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.

With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West. Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?

Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.





My Thoughts:
Twice a Bride is the fourth and final book in Mona Hodgson's The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek.  I have had the good fortune to have read all of the books in order and I loved them all. Twice A Bride is more than just a beautiful romance it is a story about love and loss, mental illness, miscarriage and how God can make something good out of all this sadness. Mona Hodgson also gives the story  excitement and adventure as well. I found myself, again brought into the story from the start and it was very hard to put down. Mona Hodgson does a wonderful job setting the scene and keeping the reader turning the pages to see what will happen next! There are quite a few subplots weaved into the story and they are expertly handled. At the end of the story its hard to say good-bye to these characters who become old friends.While it is sad that this series has ended, it makes me happy that a series is coming soon with some of the Cripple Creek characters. I loved this book,this series, and the characters within it. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. Each of the books in this series can be read stand alone but you get to know so much more by reading all the books.  I look forward to reading more from Mona Hodgson.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Ghost Of Christmas Present By Scott Abbott and Amy Maude Swinton

I received this book from Howard Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

It’s the fourth Wednesday of November, and Patrick Guthrie is giving thanks. He’s giving thanks that his eight-year-old son, Braden, will finally have a procedure on his heart that will cure him of the same life-threatening condition that took Patrick’s wife several years earlier. But when Patrick suddenly loses his job teaching drama at a New York City high school, his already desperate financial situation becomes dire. Rebecca Brody, a social worker, shows up at his door with a judge’s order for him to appear before the city’s family court to determine if Patrick is financially fit, and Patrick realizes he is in danger of losing his son. Patrick knows that he must somehow make it through the holiday season to a new job waiting for him in the new year. He also knows that Ted Cake, his former father-in-law, blames Patrick so much for the death of his daughter that he, a rich and disagreeable man, is the one pushing the city to call the custody hearing and give the boy over to him. Now Patrick has only three weeks before Christmas to somehow make enough money to pay his bills, present himself to the family court as a fit father, and keep Braden in his life. It’s when Patrick sees a charming beggar on the subway dressed up as a crazy alien that he gets an idea. In true Dickensian holiday spirit, Patrick makes use of his old acting skills and his love of A Christmas Carol and takes to the streets in the guise of the Ghost of Christmas Present. Making a midtown corner his performing stage, he begins to touch and change the lives of all those who come his way, including Rebecca Brody and the bitter and heartbroken Ted Cake.
***

The train stopped at a station where the signs read Thirty-fourth Street. The doors opened and Patrick waited for the commuters to disembark before he got off.

He walked to the stairs as the morning light from the street shone and the sounds of Broadway bounced down into the station in echoing waves. He caught sight of himself in the plastic window of the token booth, where the transit workers shook their heads at his appearance.

Perhaps he had gone too far with the costume. Perhaps he had gone too far thinking he should even attempt this madness. Perhaps what was worst of all was thinking he could save the semblance of a life that he could carve for himself with Braden.

Maybe Braden would be better off without him in his daily life. Maybe . . .

Patrick shook off the thought as the noise of Broadway waited for him above. He drew in a breath and exhaled. “Into the breach, dear friends.”

He began to climb the stairs.
 
 
My Thoughts:
 
The Ghost of Christmas Present is a debut novel for both authors and what a start. I am not usually a fan of Christmas themed stories, just usually not my genre but when I read the description I felt drawn to it. As I read this novel I could not help but admire his father's dedication and love for his son that causes him to do what  he wouldn't normally do to get what his son needs.  The son Braden is a wise little boy, who seems to deal with his illness and current situation much better than his Dad or his Grandpa.  Patrick's father in law blames Patrick for his daughter's death and wants to get Braden away from him.  This story really grabbed me beginning to end. It was hard to put down and truly touched my heart.  The themes in this story really hit home for me as a parent of two special needs children and someone who lives with chronic illness.  This story also shows how when we use our God given gifts we truly find success and find ourselves.  This book is truly a wonderful story and I am so thankful I had the privilege to read it.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good Christmas themed story.  I hope to see more books from Scott Abbott and Amy Maude Swinton. 

The Bridge: A Novel By Karen Kingsbury

I received this book from Howard Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships.
Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since. Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there. For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.  Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold? The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.


My Thoughts:

The Bridge is the second book by Karen Kingsbury I have read and it did not disappoint.  I am not usually one to read romance novels but The Bridge really sounded like it was going to be different from other romance novels and it is.  This story is about love lost and found and the interesting ways God brings us all together in His time.  Though it is not a Christmas story, the plot takes place at Christmas time and makes the Christmas very special for the characters. It is also based upon a bookstore which is such a unique and cool setting. The story goes back and forth between the present and back to the times when Molly and Ryan were in college. It also switches between the different characters. The author made these transitions seamless and the story flows very smoothly. Also being able to see  the points of view of all 4 of the main characters really makes the story. Also The Bridge is a  story about keeping the faith when it seems all is lost.  Karen Kingsbury writes a wonderful story with fantastic characters that makes you feel like you are right there watching events unfold.  I couldn't but this book down.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction and Karen Kingsbury's other novels. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Glamorous Illusions:Grand Tour Series By Lisa T. Bergen

I received this e-book from David C. Cook Publishers through Netgalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

The first book in the Grand Tour series, Glamorous Illusions will take readers on a pilgrimage through Europe-and straight into the soul.
It's the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. The crops are failing and worse, so is her father's health. Then a stranger comes to call and in one fateful afternoon, Cora discovers that her birth father is a copper king-a man who invites her to tour Europe with her new family. As she travels across America, then on to England and France, Cora faces the hardships as well as the privileges of assuming the family name. And though now she knows more of her true identity, she soon discovers the journey is only beginning.


My Thoughts:

Glamorous Illusions is the first book in the Grand Tour Series by Lisa T. Bergen. As a newer reader of Lisa T. Bergen's books I was excited to have the opportunity to read her latest release.  Glamorous Illusions takes place in The Summer of 1913 starting in Montana and then into Europe.  Cora Diehl makes her way home for the summer from teacher college, her parents aren't there to pick her up at the train station so a neighbor brings her home. As she come home her father has had a heart attack and they do not know if he will make it through the night.  As the days go on her father seems to get better but the family is in danger of losing their farm.  On Cora's sixteenth birthday she received a very fancy necklace from an unknown sender so she takes that to the local store to sell it to pay off debt and get seed to plant.  Soon after her father has another heart attack which leaves him in even worse shape.  As Cora is working in the fields, two strange men come to their door, men who her mother seems to know and invites in. Cora finds out that the father that raised her for twenty years isn't really her birth father, her birth father is the Copper King of Montana.  Cora Diehl becomes Cora Kensington in one afternoon and is ultimately forced to go with this man to his home and from there go on a European Tour with her three half siblings and three other people from another prominent family. As Cora makes this trip she has to figure out who she is and who she will be.

I enjoyed this book very much.  The storyline is unique and kept me engaged from start to finish.  The characters are complex and enjoyable.  They are deeper than they first appear and as the story goes on you see other sides of them. Lisa T. Bergen writes with authority about Montana, workers rights and conditions in 1913, travel available in 1913, Europe in 1913, and also how the wealthy at this time lived.  I truly felt I was there with Cora traveling from Montana on a train, heading to England on a ship that was the next ship after Titanic, and on to France.  The descriptions Lisa T. Bergen gives her readers really made me feel like I was seeing the art, castles, and parties for myself.  This story has a little bit of everything in it: romance, mystery, intrigue, and faith.  Through out this story Lisa T. Bergen gives her readers a deep look at Cora's faith and her struggle with faith as her life gets turned upside down but finds that her faith is what grounds her in all of these changes.  The only thing that I didn't care for was the ending, in my opinion it ended abruptly, I was kind of shocked at where it ended.  On a scale of * to ***** I give this book ****. I look forward to reading more from Lisa T. Bergen and more of her Grand Tour Series.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright: A Raleigh Harmon Novel By Sibella Giorello

I received this e-book from Thomas Nelson Publishing through NetGalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:


After the FBI suspends her for bending its rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon is looking for a chance to redeem her career and re-start her life.

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.

She’s never felt more alone.
Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiance wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiance will make things better—or worse.
Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

My Thoughts:

The Stars Shine Bright is Sibella Giorello's fifth novel in The Raleigh Harmon Series.  I have had the pleasure of reading all of the books in this series and I have enjoyed every one of them. The Stars Shine Bright takes place soon after the last book ended.  Raleigh is undercover at a race track in Seattle, awaiting a formal investigation of her actions on the cruise ship, her fiance is in South Carolina wanting her to come home, and her mother is in a hospital for a nervous breakdown and refuses to see Raleigh.  As Raleigh clings to her faith and belief in God she does her best to find out what is happening at the track illegally and who is behind it.  

I truly enjoy this series and The Stars Shine Bright did not disappoint.  I truly love the character Raleigh Harmon, she is a real person who deals with real situations in life.  Sibella Giorello writes with authority about law enforcement, horses, horse racing, and animal rights.  This latest novel delves into animal rights and the different groups that are out there.  Sibella Giorello weaves such a story that I find myself drawn in right away and she keeps me guessing until the end.  I highly recommend this story and this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense Fiction! You will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more by Sibella Giorello.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You Don't Know Me: A Deep Haven Novel By Susan May Warren

Welcome to the campaign launch for Susan May Warren’s latest offering in her beloved Deep Haven series, You Don’t Know Me. Susan is celebrating with a $200 Weekend Getaway Giveaway and hosting a fun video Author Chat Party!

 
One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one and “Get to Know” your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 22nd. Winner will be announced at the ”You Don’t Know Me” Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/23. Connect with Susan for an evening of book chat, Deep Haven trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be info about Susan’s BookShout read-along and a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of You Don’t Know Me and join Susan on the evening of the October 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

I received this e-book from Litfuse Publicity Group for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book. The opinions express here are my own.


Book Description:

To everyone who knows her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses her kids’ sporting events, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the sleepy town of Deep Haven, Deidre got a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker. Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on bail and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the grace to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?
 
 
My Thoughts:
 
As a huge fan of Susan May Warren's Deep Haven Novels, I was so excited to have the opportunity to read the latest one, You Don't Know Me and it did not disappoint.  This Deep Haven Novel not only was a Christian Romance story it is also a suspense story.  Annalise Decker, wife and mother is always on the go. She attends PTA, goes to every sports event her children have, and is helping her husband run for mayor of Deep Haven.  Annalise also has a secret, she is part of the Witness Security Program because of her testimony that put some dangerous people away.  Unfortunately one of them got out on bail and is looking for her.  Annalise is approached by the agent who placed her in WSP. He is in Deep Haven to keep her safe and try to convince her she needs to relocate again.
 
Susan May Warren writes a wonderful story that has Romance and Suspense.  This story grabbed me from the first chapter and kept ahold until the end.  I love the town of Deep Haven, MN that Susan May Warren has created and all of its characters.  The Deep Haven Novels are about different people each time but she still includes characters from past novels and of course new ones.  It feels like meeting new friends and getting updated on old ones.  Susan May Warren writes wonderful characters that seem like real people.  The Deep Haven Novels are one of my favorite "series".  I highly recommend these books to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction.  The great part about these stories is that you can read it as a stand alone or as a series. I cannot wait to read the next Deep Haven Novel!
 
 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Darkness Rising: East Salem Series Book 2 By Lis Wiehl With Pete Nelson

I received this book from Thomas Nelson through Booksneeze.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:
The evil in East Salem is no longer content to hide in the shadows. The stakes—and the darkness—are rising.

Dani Harris thought there wasn’t much left that could surprise her after serving as a forensic psychiatrist in East Salem. And Tommy Gunderson has faced few challenges in his life that he couldn’t overcome by either physical strength or his celebrity status.

But as they race to uncover what’s really happening behind the high walls of St. Adrian’s Academy, it becomes clear that supernatural forces have been at work here for generations. And now their focus is on making sure Dani and Tommy don’t interfere.

When the unseen becomes seen, faith is the only weapon strong enough to fight in a battle involving not just murder and betrayal—but angels and demons.


My Thoughts:

Darkness Rising is the second book in The East Salem Series by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson and it is an awesome book. I had the privilege of reading Waking Hours, the first book in this series and I was hooked. I have been impatiently waiting for Darkness Rising since I finished Waking Hours so I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  Darkness Rising picks up where Waking Hours ended and from the first page it grabbed me and kept hold until the very end.  Dani Harris and Tommy Gunderson are working together again not only to figure out who or what murdered 2 townspeople but to also find out who or what has a hold of the town, especially St. Adrian's School.  With the help of some angels, a librarian, an actress, an Indian man, and an elderly man from Europe they set up to find out about the evil that is brewing in this little town and how to get rid of it.

Lis Wiehl is one of my favorite authors out there. I have read all of her fiction books so far and I have fallen in love with her books.  Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson are an awesome writing team.  Their style of writing really grabs me from the start and keeps a hold until the end.  The story lines keep me guessing until the end and Darkness Rising is no exception.  The authors write with authority on East Salem, history of that part of the U.S., history of good/evil, Angels, demons, and works of art.  As I read Darkness Rising I could vividly see in my mind all that they were describing.  I highly recommend this book to fans of Christian Fiction, it will not disappoint.  Darkness Rising can be read on its own without reading Waking hours but I recommend reading them in order. I look forward to reading more by this spectacular writing team.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mother of Pearl By Kelli Coates Gilbert

I received this book from Glass Road Media and Management for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

High school counselor Barrie Graeber's life appears perfect. Successful husband, adorable son, warm home in a nice part of town. Even her daughter Pearl is a vision of high school senior perfection: the cheerleader dating the quarterback.


But one night Pearl isn't where Barrie believed her to be. And, Barrie learns, Pearl hasn't been where she should be for quite a while.


The legal system, justice, and family loyalties collide while Barrie wrestles with the question that whirls within: How far should a mother go to love a daughter she may never really have known?



My Thoughts:

Mother of Pearl is Kelli Coates Gilbert's debut novel and WOW what an awesome start.  When I read the description of this book I knew I needed to read it especially being a mother of two teenagers.  As I read this story, I found myself completely emerged into it. I truly felt I was right there going through this with Barrie and her family.  I could not put this book down until the end, it really grabbed hold of my heart and this is a novel that will stay with me for quite a while.  As I read this families journey it made me really look at my family and my teenagers and how easy this could be any one's child. 

Kelli Coates Gilbert is on my list of favorite authors now. I enjoyed her writing style and her obvious expertise in the legal system and how these court cases work from her experience as a paralegal.  The way this novel is written she truly puts the reader right there and truly helps the reader to feel what the characters are feeling.I laughed, cried, and felt all the emotions in between. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, it will not disappoint.  I look forward to reading more from Kelli Coates Gilbert.

Escaping the Cauldron:Exposing Occult Influences in Everyday Life By Kristine McGuire

I received this book from Glass Road Media and Management for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

An eight-year journey through the occult and into freedom
Though Kristine McGuire was raised in a Christian home, at an early age she became fascinated by the occult. At sleepovers she and her friends told fortunes and held séances. As a teenager she was convicted and put all games of mysticism aside. She went to a Christian college and married a Christian man. But despite her decision to follow God, a longing for the occult persisted, leading her to leave her church and husband and to fully embrace witchcraft.
Escaping the Cauldron takes you deep inside Kristine’s eight-year journey as a witch, medium, and ghost hunter. Part Bible study, part memoir, it exposes the subtle occult influences that affect us as it reveals how God mercifully delivered her out of the occult altogether and restored her faith and life in Christ.
 


My Thoughts:

Escaping the Cauldron by Kristine McGuire is a first hand account of Kristine's journey from Christianity to Occult and back again.  This story shows how we are exposed to the occult in our everyday lives.  Kristine McGuire gives an honest account of her time when she left Christ, dabbled in Witchcraft, then became a medium and ghost hunter and finally found her way back to Christ. I personally hadn't really heard about someone leaving Christianity and turning to the occult world so I was really interested in reading Kristine's story. I am so glad I did. I couldn't put the book down and enjoyed Kristine's style of writing. At the end of each chapter she poses 4-5 questions about the chapter for the readers.  As I read this book, it opened my eyes to how common place occult type influences are in our culture and how easy it is to fall prey to it.  I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend this book to anyone who is a Christian.  It truly opened my eyes to many things. I look forward to reading more by Kristine McGuire.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Band of Sisters By Cathy Gohlke

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers for no charge for my honest review of this book. The opinion expressed here are my own! 


Book Description: 

New York City, 1910
Driven by a shameful past and a perilous future, Maureen O’Reilly and her sister flee Ireland in search of safety, liberty, and opportunity. But after surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor has died, and his family—refusing to own his debt—casts her out. Impoverished and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to find employment in a prominent Manhattan department store, only to discover the elegant facade hides a dangerous secret.

Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield vows to honor her father’s promise but can’t find Maureen, the woman her brother-in-law so rudely turned away. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, who Olivia dares hope will become more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding.

As women begin disappearing from the department store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But will they be too late? And in the midst of a world gone mad, can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring? 



My Thoughts:

As a huge fan of Cathy Gohlke I was so excited that Tyndale House Publishers offered her latest book, Band of Sisters for us bloggers. I love Cathy Gohlke's style of writing and the topics she has written about so far.  Band of Sisters takes place mainly in New York 1910 where two sisters come to America from Ireland to find a man, Wakefield, who promised their father a place to live, money, and work should he and his family come. When they show up to this man's home, they find out he is deceased and his heirs have no idea of his arrangement.  Maureen, finds a job at a department store and quickly finds out that things are not what they seem.  Girls that Maureen works with are stating to go missing after their "promotion" to the next floor in the department store. While there Maureen also observes Olivia Wakefield's brother in law heading to the upper floor. Maureen soon finds out that people are selling these girls to the highest bidder, human trafficking.

I absolutely loved this book. Cathy Gohlke gives us a look at a horrible crime, human trafficking, that has been going on for years. Cathy Gohlke writes with authority on immigration of 1912, United States and Ireland in 1912, human trafficking, and the history of this time frame.  I found myself drawn into this book right away and held me until the end.  Band of Sisters takes many twists and turns that keeps you guessing.  I loved the characters in this book, they are well developed and well written.  The descriptions of the surroundings and time period really made me feel like I was there watching it all unfolding.  I truly enjoyed this book and Cathy Gohlke as a writer.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to see what else Cathy Gohlke writes, I know it will be fabulous.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Girl in the Glass By Susan Meissner

I received this book from WaterBrook Press through their Blogging for Books Program for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.



Book Description:

Renaissance is a word with hope infused in every letter.

Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.

When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.

When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?


My Thoughts:

The Girl in the Glass is the second novel by Susan Meissner I have had the privilege to read. The first story I read by Susan Meissner is A Sound Among the Trees and from the start I was hooked on Susan Meissner's style of writing. I find her writing style unique. In The Girl in the Glass her unique style really made this novel very deep. The prologue introduces Nora Orsini from Florence, Italy in October of 1592. As you enter the first chapter, it is now in San Diego California where Meg is imagining Florence Italy, a place she has never been but is waiting for her Father to take her. Meg's Nonna (Grandma) wanted to take her but she died before she and Meg could go but Meg imagines the Florence, Italy that Nonna describes. In between each chapter we learn more about Nora Orsini's life, family, and Florence in 1500's. Nora is a descendant of the Medici Family. A very wealthy, influential family that had been part of great artists like Michelangelo and DaVinci.

Susan Meissner tells a few stories in this one book: Nora's, Meg's, and Sophia's. The stories are beautifully haunting and in some cases heartbreaking. I was drawn into this story from the beginning and completely enjoyed it. Susan Meissner writes with authority about Italy now and going all the way back to the 1500's, Italian Artist and their art, writing books, and publishing books. I loved all of the characters in this story, felt a kinship with Meg and Sophia. These two women really left a lasting impression. The story lines are wonderful and the descriptions of Florence Italy Susan Meissner writes makes me want to visit Italy even more. I truly felt like I was seeing Italy and the art through Meg and Sophia's eyes. I highly recommend this story to those who enjoy historical fiction, it will not disappoint! I look forward to reading more from Susan Meissner.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

River's End The Inn at Shining Waters Series Book 3 By Melody Carlson

I received this e-book from Abingdon Press through NetGalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book. The opinions expressed here are mine.


Book Description:

In the final story of The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna Larson's granddaughter Sarah is beginning to find her independence. But her relationship with her parents suffer as a result and she travels away from all that is familiar.

While the solace of the river calls Sarah back, surprises await upon her return. Three generations of family heartbreak and disappointments converge at Shining Waters as Sarah finds God right in the center of it all.




My Thoughts:

River's End is the third and last book in The Inn at Shining Waters Series by Melody Carlson. Melody Carlson does a wonderful job to bring everything to a close. I am sad to see the series end because I have truly enjoyed this journey with Anna Larson and her family but very happy with the way Melody Carlson brought it to an end.  I had the privilege of reading all of this series and from the first book, it had me.  River's End picks up where River's Call left off. The Inn at Shining Waters trilogy follows the story of three generations of women: Anna Larson, daughter Lauren, and granddaughter Sarah, through the decades of the 1950s-1970s. In River's End, their story comes to a conclusion with the primary focus on Sarah, and her two year journey from the familial inn to a religious cult and back to her family. In the first book we meet Anna Larson, in the second book we meet Lauren, Anna's daughter and throughout the book follow the healing between mother and daughter.  In River's End the focus is on Sarah, Lauren's daughter, Anna's granddaughter. Again we watch mother and daughter work to heal wounds of the past. 

The cast of characters Melody Carlson put together in this trilogy are very well written and very real people. These characters are not perfect and they have to work through ghosts of their past to move on with the future. I truly loved the characters in this story and really felt like I knew them.  Melody Carlson writes with authority about running an inn, life on the Siuslaw river, and the Siuslaw Indians. This series focuses on family, disappointments, reconciliation, and truly relying on God for all things no matter what.  I really lost myself in these books.  If you are a fan of Historical Christian Fiction, you should give this series a try.  You won't be disappointed. I look forward to seeing what is next from Melody Carlson.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Haven (Stoney Ridge Seasons Book 2) By Suzanne Woods Fisher

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for no charge for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own!


Book Description:

When Sadie Lapp steps off the bus in Stoney Ridge after being in Ohio for the winter, she is faced with a decision–one that goes against her very essence. Yet it’s the only way she can think of to protect a loved one.
Schoolteacher Gideon Smucker has been crazy about Sadie since boyhood. But his response to her surprising decision undermines his own reputation–and his relationship with Sadie.
College student Will Stoltz is spending the spring at the Lapp farm as a guard for a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons–courtesy of the Lancaster County Game Warden. Will needs to get his life back on track, but his growing friendship with Sadie threatens his plans.
The lives of these three individuals intertwine, and then unravel as unexpected twists create ripples through the town of Stoney Ridge . . . and through Sadie’s heart.
Once again, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher intrigues and delights with a story that explores the bonds of friendship, family, and true love. Readers will enjoy every surprise in Sadie’s story as they search for the truth hidden within these pages.


My Thoughts:


The Haven is the second book in The Stoney Ridge Seasons series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Those that know me I am a HUGE fan of Amish Fiction and Suzanne Woods Fisher and The Haven did NOT disappoint!  I enjoyed the first book from this series so I was very excited to have the opportunity to read the next one.  In The Haven we get to come back to spend time with the Lapp family again.  Suzanne Woods Fisher writes a beautiful story full of love,laughter, and family. The character in her story are captivating and so real that they truly feel like friends. I found myself laughing and crying with the Lapp Family again in this book.   Suzanne Woods Fisher writes with authority about the ways of the Amish, Ohio, bird watching, and the ins and outs of protecting endangered birds.  I found myself pulled into this story from the start. This story has so much to offer and leaves you wanting more.  She writes of the importance of prayer, faith and hope in God's Plan. She focuses on self esteem in one's self, forgiveness and repentance. Then there is the big issue of gossiping and the the damage and pain it has on everyone. I truly enjoyed this latest book in this series and look forward to the rest. If you are a fan of Amish Fiction, I highly recommend this book and this series.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Plain Death: An Appleseed Creek Mystery By Amanda Flower

I received this e-book from B & H Publishing Group through NetGalley.Com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book.  The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Welcome to Appleseed Creek, the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country, where life is not as serene as it seems.

While her Cleveland friends relocated to Southern California and Italy, 24-year-old computer whiz Chloe Humphrey moves with some uncertainty to Appleseed Creek to direct technology services at a nearby college. Her first acquaintance is Becky, an ex-Amish teenager looking for a new home.

While driving Chloe’s car, Becky collides with a buggy, killing an Amish elder. But what looks like an accident is soon labeled murder when police discover the car’s cut brake line.

Now, Chloe must take on the role of amateur sleuth to discover who the real intended victim was before the murderer makes a second attempt. Becky’s handsome Amish-turned-Mennonite brother, Timothy, a local carpenter, comes in handy along the way. With God’s help, they’ll solve the mystery that’s rocking this small community.



My Thoughts:

A Plain Death is the first book in The Appleseed Creek Mystery series by Amanda Flower. This is the first book by Amanda Flower I have had the pleasure of reading.  When I saw this book that had my two favorite genres: Amish Fiction and Mysteries I had to read it. In the first couple pages of this book the action starts and continues to the end.  A Plain Death is a fast paced book that grabs hold all the way to the end.  Amanda Flower writes with authority on the Amish, Mennonites, and Ohio's Amish country.  Amanda Flower's passion for the Amish genre shines through in her writing.  The characters are great. a myriad of true characters that find strength and peace in their faith.  The dialogue between the characters was fantastic. I found myself laughing out loud in quite a few parts especially parts of the story that include Grandpa Zook.  The writing in this book truly made you feel like you are there watching everything unfold. So I have another author to add to my list of must read.  If you are a fan of Amish Fiction you should check out this book, you will not be disappointed.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Forgiven Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel Book 2 By Jamie Carie

I received this e-book from  B & H Publishing Group through NetGalley.com for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this e-book. The opinions expressed here are my own!



Book Description:

 Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin's shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: "Faith for Duty," the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: "Willing and Able," beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.


The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward's name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God's plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.



My Thoughts: 

The Forgiven Duke is the second book of Jamie Carie's series The Forgotten Castles. I had the privilege of reading the first book in this series The Guardian Duke and it was wonderful.  The Forgiven Duke does not disappoint.  The Forgiven Duke starts off right where The Guardian Duke left me hanging.  This story grabbed me from the beginning and held on to me until the end.  Jamie Carie writes with such elegance about Ireland, Iceland, and England that makes you feel like you are right there seeing all of these places right along with the characters.  The characters in The Forgiven Duke are old and new.  The characters are well written and are wonderful. I truly enjoyed Alexandria, The Duke of Easton and Montague. I found myself laughing out loud at parts of the dialogue.  I truly enjoyed this book and if you are a fan of Christian Historical Fiction, I highly recommend this book and this series. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series! 



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Relentless Pursuit (Secrets of Roux River Bayou Book 3) By Kathy Herman

I received this e-book from David C. Cook Publishers through NetGalley.Com for no charge in exchanged for my honest review of this e-book.  The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Rich with the Cajun flavors of south Louisiana, this final book in the Secrets of Roux River Bayou Series is a story of what it means to find true peace in an uncertain world.
  
Sax Landry left home at seventeen to escape his father's abuse, leaving his mother and sister to fend for themselves. Now, twenty-eight years later, both parents are dead, and guilt compels him to find his sister and make peace. His search leads to Les Barbes, Louisiana, where authorities fear a bio-terrorist has injected cyanide into juice cartons and fresh produce at the grocery store. People are dead. It's not safe. Sax stays, fearing death less than living another day without peace. A divine appointment is about to change all that forever.


My Thoughts:

Relentless Pursuit is the third and final book in Kathy Herman's Secrets of Roux River Bayou and it does not disappoint. As with the other two books in this series a common theme is forgiveness.  Each story has had an underlying story and the theme was forgiveness.  This book could be read on its own, Kathy Herman does a great job of detailing from the other books without it turning off readers who have read the series.  Relentless Pursuit held my attention until the end and kept me guessing.  The characters are wonderfully written and are real people dealing with real life in imperfect ways.  A lot of the characters have been in all 3 books so it was nice to see how their stories ended. Kathy Herman writes with authority on police work, restaurant services, Les Barbes Louisiana, and all things Cajun. This book is a definite winner.  If you enjoy Christian Suspense Fiction with Southern flair this book is for you!

Submerged (Alaskan Courage Book 1) By Dani Pettrey

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own!



Book Description:

A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

One single clue.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart...but doesn't seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he's not the same guy she left behind.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.



My Thoughts:

Submerged (Alaskan Courage Book 1) is Dani Pettrey's debut novel and it is a winner! When I saw the cover and read the description I knew I HAD to have it!  Submerged is a fast paced story that has a little bit of everything in it: Mystery, Romance, History, family relationships and Christian Values.  The characters in this novel are well developed and I really felt like I knew them like friends.  Dani Pettrey gives these characters a real life feel that I could feel myself relating to them.  Dani Pettrey writes with authority on diving, boats, Alaska ,and its history. The setting of this story is written so vividly that I felt like I was right there in the book, taking in the scenery.  This book is hard to put down and it truly kept me guessing until the end.  Dani Pettrey is on my must read list! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense Fiction, it will not disappoint!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Orphan King: Book One Merlin's Immortals

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

 The future of the Immortals is in the hands of an orphan

My greatest fear was that they would find us and make of us a sacrifice beneath a full moon. Now you, Thomas, must help us destroy the circle of evil.

The last words of a dying woman would change the life of young Thomas. Raised behind monastery walls, he knows nothing of his mysterious past or imminent destiny. But now, in the heart of medieval England, a darkness threatens to strangle truth. An ancient order tightens their ghostly grip on power, creating fear and exiling those who would oppose them. Thomas is determined fulfill his calling and bring light into the mysterious world of the Druids and leaves the monastery on an important quest.

Thomas quickly finds himself in unfamiliar territory, as he must put his faith in unusual companions—a cryptic knight, a child thief, and the beautiful, silent woman whom may not be all she seems. From the solitary life of an orphan, Thomas now finds himself tangled in the roots of both camaraderie and suspicion.

Can he trust those who would join his battle…or will his fears force him to go on alone?



My Thoughts:


The Orphan King is the first book in Sigmund Brouwer's new series The Immortals.  This is my first time reading a book by Sigmund Brouwer and I am glad I had the opportunity to read it. In this story we meet Thomas, an orphan who just turned 18 years old, he has been on his own since his caregiver Sarah passed. Thomas has been living like a slave in an abbey all of this time and is waiting for his chance to to leave. As Thomas adventures out into the world on a secret mission that he believes he is the only one to know about it, he makes his way to the kingdom of Mangus with three other people he does not know, he only knows they are to come with him.

From the start of  The Orphan King the storyline gives the reader a high adventure of action, chivalry, knights, swordplay and danger that will keep the pages flying and the reader wanting more. Sigmund Brouwer writes in such a way that you feel like you are there in the  story witnessing all that is happening around them. As I read this story I truly felt like part of the adventures.  I also enjoyed Sigmund Brower's way of weaving the Christian theme throughout the story. He portrays it with Thomas, who begins as a nonbeliever and through his companions he starts to realize that there can be a God. The Orphan King is classified as a Young Adult book, but as an adult I really did enjoy it. I think that anyone 12 years old and older who enjoy Christian Fiction Fantasy will really enjoy this new series. I look forward to Book Two: Fortress of Mist, coming out in February 2013.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Choice By Robert Whitlow

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group from no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own!


Book Description:

One young woman. Two very different roads. The choice will change everything.

Even as a pregnant, unwed teen in 1974, Sandy Lincoln wanted to do the right thing. But when an ageless woman approached her in a convenience store with a mysterious prophecy and a warning, doing the right thing became even more unclear. She made the best choice she could . . . and has lived with the consequences.

More than thirty years later, a pregnant teen has come into her life, and Sandy’s long-ago decision has come back to haunt her. The stakes rise quickly, leaving Sandy with split seconds to choose once more. But will her choice decision bring life . . . or death?



My Thoughts:

As a fan of Robert Whitlow when I saw his latest book The Choice I knew I had to read it.  I have had the pleasure of reading The Alexi Lindale Novels and fell immediately in love with Robert Whitlow's writing.  The Choice is another amazing story that really grabbed a hold of me and even still after finishing this book still stays with me.  The Choice starts out in Rutland GA in 1974, Sandy Lincoln is 17 years old and is pregnant.  Sandy's boyfriend doesn't want the bay and his family has offered to pay for an abortion, Sandy's family wants her to carry the baby and put it up for adoption. So Sandy has a choice.  Sandy leaves Rutland, Ga to live with her estranged Aunt Linda for the duration of her pregnancy. On her way to Atlanta, Sandy stops in a gas station and encounters an old woman who calls her Rebekah and when Sandy corrects her she tells Sandy that Sandy is like Rebekah and is pregnant with twin boys, she then asks Sandy if she is going to raise the them and Sandy tells the woman about her plans for adoption and the old woman informs Sandy its a good choice but to make sure the twins are separated at birth. The old woman prophecies that if the twins ever meet, one of them is going to die. The old woman's parting statement is: Some choices bring life, others bring death, Choose well.  Then the old woman disappears without a trace. 

The Choice is an awesome book that addresses the issue of pro life and pro choice.  Robert Whitlow writes an awesome story that truly looks at the choices we make in life and how they affect everyone involved.  The characters in this story were very well written and are people you can relate to.  I found myself truly caught in their lives, seeing the whole situation unfold.  Robert Whitlow writes with authority about Georgia now and in 1974, the adoption process, and the legal aspects of adoption.  Robert Whitlow also integrates the theme of trusting God and praying into this story very well.  I truly found myself unable to put this book down. I felt like I was there watching the events unfolding right with our characters.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Christian fiction! You won't be disappointed! I cannot wait to read more from Robert Whitlow.


About Robert Whitlow:

Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina. 

Robert Whitlow's Website: www.robertwhitlow.com

To Purchase The Choice: http://www.thomasnelson.com/the-choice.html


 
Win a Nook Color from Robert Whitlow in The Choice Giveaway. RSVP for 8/28 Facebook Party.

Celebrate with Robert by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!

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One "choice" winner will receive:
  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • A four book Robert Whitlow library (winner's choice)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. Winner will be announced at the "The Choice" Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/28. Meet Robert, get a sneak peek of his next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

So grab your copy of The Choice and join Robert on the evening of the August 27th for a chance to connect with Robert and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

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Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Romanov Conspiracy: A Thriller By Glenn Meade

I received this book from Howard Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Glenn Meade’s electrifying latest novel combines the epic sweep and drama of a heroic quest, the passion and tragedy of Doctor Zhivago, and a majestic cast of characters that will stay with you long after the final pages have been turned. . . . SOMETIMES MYSTERIES ARE NEVER SOLVED. SOMETIMES THERE ARE NO ANSWERS.
Dr. Laura Pavlov, an American forensic archaeologist, is about to unravel a mystery that promises to shed light on one of the 20th century’s greatest enigmas.
A member of an international team digging on the outskirts of the present-day Russian city of Ekaterinburg, where the Romanov royal family was executed in July 1918, Pavlov discovers a body perfectly preserved in the permafrost of a disused mine shaft.
The remains offer dramatic new clues to the disappearance of the Romanovs, and in particular their famous daughter, Princess Anastasia, whose murder has always been in question. Pavlov’s discovery sets her on an unlikely journey to Ireland, where a carefully hidden account of a years-old covert mission is about to change the accepted course of world history and hurl her back into the past—into a maelstrom of deceit, secrets, and lies.
Drawn from historical fact, The Romanov Conspiracy is a high-tension story of love and friendship tested by war, and a desperate battle between revenge and redemption, set against one of the most bloody and brutal revolutions in world history. 


My Thoughts: 


The Romanov Conspiracy is the first novel by Glenn Meade I have had the pleasure of reading.  The Romanov Conspiracy is a fiction story with many historically accurate facts.  Dr. Laura Pavlov finds perfectly preserved remains in Ekaterinburg in Russia where the Romanov Family was executed.   Dr Pavlov finds herself in Ireland to find out who this woman was, why she was buried there, and how this man in Ireland knows all these facts.  He takes Dr Pavlov back to 1918 with his story of how a group of people executed a plan to save the Romanov Family. 

The Romanov Conspiracy is a fast paced thriller that takes you back to 1918 Ekaterinburg during the war and the overthrow of the Romanovs.  It is apparent that Glenn Meade has extensive knowledge of The Romanov family, the world at that time; especially Russia, archaeology, and the history behind this whole time period in our history.  The characters in this story are fascinating in their convictions, their way of life, and the different political alliances that bring them all together.  Glenn Meade's writing makes you feel like you are right there watching it all unfold.  The Romanov Conspiracy is very well written and Glenn Meade grabs readers from the start and keeps you guessing until the very end.  I personally learned a lot of history of The Romanov's that I didn't know, but never felt bogged down by historical facts.  This story is a wonderful balance of fiction and fact.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Thrillers. You won't be disappointed. I look forward to reading more from Glenn Meade.