Monday, January 30, 2012

False Pretenses-Secrets of The Roux Bayou Book 1 by Kathy Herman

I received this e-book from David C. Cook Publishers through NetGalley.com for no charge for my honest review of this book.

Book Description:

Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown-especially their popular brasserie Zoe B's, to which folks drive all the way from Lafayette for lunch or dinner. It seems like heaven.

But it's about to become hell. A series of anonymous notes is making her life a misery-because Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Can she find the courage to face her past?

The first in a new series from Kathy Herman, False Pretenses is a gripping suspense novel that leaves a lasting impression about honesty and accountability.

Best-selling suspense novelist Kathy Herman has written more than sixteen novels since retiring from her family's Christian bookstore business. She and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and live in Tyler, Texas. False Pretenses is the first in the Secrets of Roux River Bayou series, set in Louisiana.



My Thoughts:

False Pretenses is the first book by Kathy Herman that I have had the pleasure of reading and I truly enjoyed it.  I am a fan of books that take place in the South especially one like this one that has such rich history.  False Pretenses kept me guessing until the end about Zoe and her circumstances. I really identified with the characters, they were real people and I could picture them and their circumstances. All the characters had strong faith in God and really helped one another to remember that faith and rely on it.  This story has suspense, drama, and romance.  The descriptions of this Louisiana town were vivid and I could see all of it from the descriptions Kathy Herman gave. This is a great story that I think most people will enjoy. This is the first book in a 3 book series. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.  I highly recommend this story to fans of Christian Fiction.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Life of Joy: A Kauffman Amish Bakery Novel by Amy Clipston

I received this e-book from the publisher Vondervan through Netgalley.com for no charge for my honest review of this e-book.

Book Description:

Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you'll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County. As each woman's story unfolds, you will share in her heartaches, trials, joys, dreams ... and secrets. You'll discover how the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle can clash with the "English" way of life-and the decisions and consequences that follow. Most importantly, you will be encouraged by the hope and faith of these women, and the importance they place on their families.
In A Life of Joy, the fourth installment in the series, eighteen-year-old Lindsay Bedford has reached a crossroads. Should she stay in the small Amish community she's known and loved for four years or return to the English life in her hometown in Virginia where her older sister is a college student? An extended visit to Virginia might just tip the scales as Lindsay reconnects with friends, joins a new church, works on her GED, and is pressured by her sister to stay and "make something of herself." 
Will Lindsay leave her aunt Rebecca and become English or settle in Bird-in-Hand and join the Amish church? Legions of Clipston fans want to know.
Full of well-researched Amish culture, Clipston's book is true to form, delivering the best of the Amish fiction genre wrapped around a compelling story, with characters who will touch the hearts of loyal fans and new readers alike.

My Thoughts:

A Life of Joy is the fourth book in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series and like the other 3 books, it does NOT disappoint.  Amy Clipston is a gifted writer who is truly an authority on the Amish and their lives.  This story focus's on Lindsay Bedford, she and her sister came to live with their Amish Aunt when their parents were killed. Lindsay embraced the Amish life almost immediately. In this book Lindsay is truly conflicted on what is next for her.  This story shows the process Lindsay goes through to make her decision and how much faith she has in God and his leading.  This story truly had my attention from start to finish, I had a very hard time putting it down. When I read Amy Clipston's books I feel like I am transported to Lancaster County. I feel like I am truly part of the story.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.  You will not be disappointed. I look forward to the next installment of this series.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie

I received this e-book from B & H Publishing Group through Netgalley.com for no charge for my honest opinion of this e-book.

Book Description:

The Guardian Duke is award-winning novelist Jamie Carie's most exciting story yet, a uniquely arranged Regency-era romantic adventure where hero and heroine know each other through written letters but have yet to meet.
Gabriel,the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King's ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.
When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure will pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them.

My Thoughts:

The Guardian Duke is the first book by Jamie Carie I have read and it is an awesome book.  The historical information and background is very well researched and the descriptions of the time, people, and circumstances are vivid and easy to picture.  This book truly grabbed from the beginning and ended not how I expected.  I am very glad to know this is a series! This story has mystery, romance, faith, and loyalty.  The characters in this story are easy to picture and to relate to.  As I read, I could picture all of it going on like I was there watching it unfold.  The main characters of this story, Gabriel Duke of St Easton and Lady Alexandria Featherstone have only corresponded through letters yet they fall in love with each other without seeing one another. A beautiful love story that shows how God works in all things, including matters of the heart.  I cannot wait to read the next book in this series to find out what happens next.  Jamie Carie is a very talented writer, that I am glad I had the opportunity to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction.  Definitely a good read.

River's Call By Melody Carlson

I received this e-book from Abington Press through Netgalley.com for free for my honest review of this e-book.


Book Description:

What happens when the ties between generations are severed?
Anna Larson's daughter, Lauren, is confused, brokenhearted, and misguided. It's the turbulent 1960s and, feeling alienated from her mother, Lauren chooses to stay with her paternal grandmother. However, repelled by the woman's manipulative and spiteful ways, Lauren returns to her mother, the river, and the Inn at Shining Waters.
But as time passes, Lauren, now a mother to her own defiant teenager, faces a new crisis, one that puts the entire family at risk

My Thoughts:

River's Call is the second book in The Inn at Shining Waters Series by Melody Carlson. River's Call picks up where River's Song ends.  Anna and Clark are happily married living at the Inn and running it. Clark is building more cottages and Anna is doing her stuff.  Anna's daughter, Lauren, is in college living on campus in a Sorority House.  Lauren comes to stay at the Inn with Clark and Anna because she is sick. As days go on Anna realizes there may be more going on. Lauren is pregnant.  Lauren makes decisions and Anna tries to help and steer her but as Grandma Pearl used to say " She needs to paddle her own canoe."  Lauren marries for the wrong reasons and things are a mess.  Lauren has a baby girl, Sarah Pearl, and looks just like Anna.  The Indian roots are strong with Sarah. 
This is a wonderfully written story that flows from River's Song into River's Call.   The characters are awesome and are so real. The descriptions of the land, the time in history, and the historical details make you feel like you are right there.  I found it very hard to put this book down and cannot wait for the next book in the series.  These stories have very strong females in them and deal with topics on family dynamics, forgiveness, and relying on God for all things.  The story shows what goes on in real families. The multi generational aspect is just fantastic. Melody Carlson is a gifted author who writes with such authority on all things she writes about.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and cannot wait to read the next book.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott

I received this book from Booksneeze.com for no charge for my honest opinion of this book.

Book Description:

Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles…but real freedom is sweeter.
In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance--and use it to mask her flight.

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.

Sweeter than Birdsong is a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events.

My Thoughts:

Sweeter Than Birdsong is the second novel by Rosslyn Elliott, also the second book in The Saddlers Legacy Series. This series is based on actual events of the Hanby Family and other characters in the story. The book is fiction but the Hanby's are actual people and their actions are historical fact.  I had the privilege of reading Rosslyn Elliott's debut novel, Fairer Than Morning and I was hooked.  Sweeter Than Birdsong did NOT disappoint.

Sweeter Than Birdsong begins in 1855, 29 years after Ann Miller and Will Hanby meet and marry. They have eight children and they family still continue the work of Ann's father of helping slaves with the Underground Railroad get to Canada.  Their oldest son Ben is able to help them fully. Ben has a love for music and he has decided he would go into ministry just like his father and his grandfather so he can utilize his gifts and continue his work helping slaves become free.  Ben meets Kate Winter, another lover of music, but is shy and afraid to speak or sing in front of others. Fate puts them together and Ben also sees Kate's heart to help others, including slaves find freedom.

Sweeter Than Birdsong is another awesome story by Rosslyn Elliott. I couldn't wait to receive it and read it. I could NOT put it down. The story picks up 29 years later with Ann and Will Hanby and their family.  It is fascinating the historical facts in this story. I personally am interested in this time in history and this story truly depicts the time and the circumstances.  The characters are real and I felt truly part of the story, running with Kate and Ben and the slaves they are helping, felt the hurt they did, and the joy when things worked out.  This book grabbed me from the beginning and held me until the end. I cannot wait to see what the next story has in store for us readers!  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. You won't be disappointed!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Shadow of Your Smile By Susan May Warren

First I would like to say Welcome to any new visitors to my blog! Very happy you are here! Make sure to follow For The Love of Books!!!



I received this e-book from Litfuse for no charge for my honest opinion of this e-book.

Book Description:
A beautiful blanket of snow may cover the quaint town of Deep Haven each winter, but it can’t quite hide the wreckage of Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage.
After twenty-five years, they’re contemplating divorce . . . just as soon as their youngest son graduates from high school. But then an accident erases part of Noelle's memory. Though her other injuries are minor, she doesn’t remember Eli, their children, or the tragedy that has ripped their family apart. What’s more, Noelle is shocked that her life has turned out nothing like she dreamed it would. As she tries to regain her memory and slowly steps into her role as a wife and mother, Eli helps her readjust to daily life with sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwarming results. But can she fall in love again with a man she can’t remember?
Will their secrets destroy them . . . or has erasing the past given them a chance for a future? Read the story behind the story here: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/books/the-shadow-of-your-smile.

My Thoughts:
The Shadow of Your Smile is the newest book in Susan May Warren's series Deep Haven.  This is the second book in that series that I have read and this one is a big hit!  I truly enjoyed this book.  Through out the book Susan May Warren writes so you feel like you are part of the story.   I felt the joy and the pain the characters went through. I felt such a kinship with Eli and Noelle and their struggles with their own identies and their marriage.  The characters in this story deal with problems that we all have had, they make mistakes, and aren't perfect.  This story deals with marriage, illness, deceptions, forgiveness, and making God first in marriage and life.   I truly enjoy Susan May Warren's style of writing and find myself not able to put her books down.  I truly enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next Deep Haven Novel.  I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction and Romance stories.  It is a beautiful story of tragedy and becoming whole again.



Come back to Deep Haven and Win! Enter 1/9 - 1/28.
> Come Back to Deep Haven and Win a $200 Visa Card from @SusanMayWarren! Sometimes love requires a little forgetting ... Come back to Deep Haven and find out what's been happening in your favorite quaint hamlet. If you're new to the Deep Haven series - this is the perfect book to start with - each book in the series is a stand alone story.

Susan is celebrating the release of The Shadow of Your Smile by giving away a prize pack worth over $200 from 1/9-1/28.


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to rekindle a little romance, treat yourself to a spa day, snap up those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or purchase a few great books!)
  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books 
The winner will be announced on 1/30/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles! Just click one of the icons below to enter and tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Monday, January 9, 2012

Promise Me This By Cathy Gohlke

I received this book from Tyndale Publishers for no charge for my honest review of this book.

Book Description:

Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the Titanic, nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen’s relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family’s New Jersey garden and landscaping business.

Annie Allen doesn’t care what Michael promised Owen. She only knows that her brother is gone—like their mother and father—and the grief is enough to swallow her whole. As Annie struggles to navigate life without Owen, Michael reaches out to her through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when Owen did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected. Just as Michael saves enough money to bring Annie to America, WWI erupts in Europe. When Annie’s letters mysteriously stop, Michael risks everything to fulfill his promise—and find the woman he’s grown to love—before she’s lost forever.


My Thoughts:

Promise Me This is the first book by Cathy Gohlke I have had the pleasure of reading.  Promise Me This is a beautiful story that starts in Southampton week before Titanic is set to sale. Owen Allen, a gardener, gets a job aboard Titanic so he can get passage to America to help his Aunt and Uncle with their Nursery. Also to get away from the cruel Aunt he and sister have had to endure for years.  So Owen secures schooling and boarding in Southampton for his sister, Annie, to get her our of the grips of their Aunt with the promise that as soon as he has the money he will make sure she gets passage.  Before Owen leaves he meets Michael,a 13 yr old  runaway trying to get away from his cruel Uncle and a painful past.  Owen helps Michael secure a job in Southampton and does what he can in the little time left in Southampton for Michael.   Michael ends up stowing away on Titanic and Owen, again finds him and helps him.  Owen starts teaching Michael about God and the gift of his Son and having faith.  Owen also vows to Michael that they are brothers and that Owen, Michael and Annie will be a family.  Titanic starts to sink, Owen gets Michael on one of the last life boats but makes Michael promise that if Owen doesn't make it that Michael will continue with their plans of going to America to Owen's family and to take care of Annie.  Michael makes it to America but finds out that Owen didn't survive.  Michael continues on with their plans to work with Owen's family and to get passage for Annie as soon as possible. 

This story just grabbed me and hung on to me. I found I couldn't put the book down.  The historical facts of this book were very well researched and very well known by Cathy Gohlke.  The characters were real and had depth.  The author truly depicted good and evil in this story.   The different characters and the different places they go you could "see" as you read the details.  I found myself lost in this world.  I highly recommend this book to others who enjoy historical fiction, especially about Titanic and WWI. I look forward to reading more my Cathy Gohlke.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Accidental Bride By Denise Hunter

I received this e-book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net galley.com for my honest review of this e-book.

Book Description:
     When a wedding reenactment turns real, this cowgirl suddenly finds she’s an accidental bride. Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in Moose Creek, Montana on her childhood ranch, nestled against the Yellowstone River. Despite her hard work, she can’t seem to keep her head above water—and now the bank is threatening to foreclose. She prays for a miracle, but the answer she receives is anything but. Having agreed to play the bride in the Founders Day wedding reenactment, Shay is mortified to be greeted at the end of the aisle by none other than Travis McCoy, her high school sweetheart—the man who left her high and dry for fame and fortune on the Texas rodeo circuit. Then the unthinkable happens. Thanks to a well-meaning busy body and an absent minded preacher, the wedding reenactment results in a legal marriage. But before Shay can say annulment, Travis comes up with a crazy proposal. If she refuses his offer, she’ll lose her home. But if she accepts, she may lose her heart. Shay isn’t sure if the recent events are God’s will or just a preacher’s blunder. Will trusting her heart to the man who once shattered it be the worst mistake of her life? Or could their marriage be the best accident that ever happened?


My Thoughts:

The Accidental Bride is the first book by Denise Hunter I have had the pleasure of reading. Set mainly in Moose Creek, Montana, Shay Brandenberger and her daughter live there on the ranch that has been in Shay's family for 3 generations.  Unfortunately she is at the point she is going to lose the ranch because of finances. Her husband left her and then died shortly after leaving her with no financial stability.   Moose Creek does a wedding reenactment every Founder's Day and this year Shay has been asked to play the bride, the groom that agreed to do it couldn't so as Shay walks down the aisle she finds her ex fiancee, Travis McCoy standing waiting for her. Travis left her at the courthouse in her wedding dress years before and she had never really gotten over it.  Somehow Shay and Travis's reenactment wedding becomes a real, official marriage. Their marriage license from years ago was used on accident by the pastor and now they are husband and wife.

I enjoyed this book. It is a nice story about the mysterious ways God works in our lives, forgiveness, and true love.  The characters in this story are very easy to relate to and very likable. The details of the surroundings gave you a very clear picture of what Moose Creek, Montana looks like. I enjoyed Denise Hunter's writing and found myself laughing out loud in places in the story. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Romance Fiction.  I look forward to reading more by Denise Hunter in the future.



Thursday, January 5, 2012

The WayWard Son By Tom Pollack with Jim Alves and John Loftus

I received this book from Glass Road Public Relations for free for my honest review of this book.

Book Description:

Buried near Italy's Mount Vesuvius is a remarkable observatory containing artifacts dating to the earliest record of human events. Only one person-the Getty Museum's Amanda James-can unlock the mysterious doors that guard the chamber.

 But once inside, Amanda is shocked to discover evidence left behind by a notorious biblical killer-who long ago wandered off the pages of history.

The first novel of a series, Wayward Son takes the reader on an amazing voyage, where epic adventures in Egypt, Greece, China and Rome collide with modern-day intrigue and suspense.


My Thoughts:

The Wayward Son by Tom Pollack With Jim Alves and John Loftus is an awesome story of past and present.  Amanda James is asked to come to Italy to help a friend and his Grandfather all of who are archaeologists. They need her help deciphering a lock on a door of some place they stumbled on.  The night she is leaving she offered a job in Tokyo. Amanda declines Tokyo and heads to Italy. There she is followed and chased by unknown forces.  Finally Amanda is able to go to the dig site to see this door and once she figures out the lock she goes into this observatory where 2 dead figures are frozen in place. Something triggers in this observatory and the doors shut.  Amanda sees a tile hanging from one of the corpses hands. As she touches it, she is taken on this journey through the life of Cain.

The Wayward Son is an awesome story.  The take on what became of Cain is unique and fascinating. The Wayward Son depicts the battle of good and evil throughout the story.  The descriptions of the times and surroundings put you right there in the middle of it all.  The historical details of those eras and times is just right on.  I truly couldn't put the book down once I started.  Tom Pollack, with Jim Alves and John Loftus write a fascinating story that when it ends it definitely leaves you waiting for the sequel. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction because it has something for everyone- mystery, history, romance, tragedy, and moves at a nice pace!

 www.waywardsonnovel.com.