Saturday, June 30, 2012

Her Restless Heart: Stitches In Time Book 1 By Barbara Cameron

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:

Mary Katherine is caught between the traditions of her faith and the pull of a different life. When Daniel, an Amish man living in Florida, arrives and shares her restlessness, Mary Katherine feels drawn to him and curious about the life he leads away from Lancaster County.

But her longtime friend Jacob has been in love with her for years. He’s discouraged that she’s never viewed him as anything but a friend and despairs that he is about to lose Mary Katherine to this outsider.

Will the conflicted Mary Katherine be lost to the Englisch world, or to Daniel, who might take her away to Florida? Or will she embrace her Amish faith and recognize Jacob as the man she should marry and build a life with?



My Thoughts:

Her Restless Heart by Barbara Cameron is the first book in her new series Stitches In Time.  This new series is a "spinoff" of her three book series Quilts of Lancaster County.  I had the opportunity to read The Quilts of Lancaster County series and now this new series and it did not disappoint.  Her Restless Heart takes place in Lancaster County in their Amish Community.  This story focused on Mary Katherine who isn't sure she wants to stay in the community because of her father and his verbal abuse throughout her life but she loves working in the store her Grandma Leah owns. Mary Katherine just doesn't know where she belongs.  Mary Katherine has to work through her issues and make a decision so she she can get on with her life. 


Her Restless Heart is a wonderful story that gives readers a look into Amish life and their faith. I truly enjoyed this book, especially that some of the characters from The Quilts of Lancaster County are in here and then we get introduced to new characters and see into their lives. I truly enjoyed the characters in this book especially the bond between Mary Katherine and her English friend Jamie.   Barbara Cameron writes with such authority on the Amish, Lancaster County, and family dynamics.  Barbara Cameron shows that Amish families have the same issues English families do, in this book it deals with verbal abuse and the affects it can have on someone's life.  I found this book very hard to put down, I finished it in a day because I just had to see what would happen.  I truly enjoyed this story and can't wait for the rest of this series!  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Amish Fiction! You will not be disappointed.





Friday, June 29, 2012

Through Rushing Water By Catherine Richmond

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

Book Description:

Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.

Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.

With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.

It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.


My Thoughts:

Through Rushing Waters is Catherine Richmond's second novel and I completely loved it. I had the  privilege  of reading her debut novel "Spring For Susanna", which I loved.  Through Rushing Waters takes place in 1867, taking place mainly in the Dakota Territory.  During this time missionaries were in these areas to bring Christianity and schooling to the Indians.  In this area the Ponca Indians lived.   Catherine Richmond writes with much authority about this time period, the area, and of the lives the Indians lived.  The characters in Through Rushing Waters are well rounded and well written.  I fell in love with them.  The descriptions of the surroundings, the clothing, and the period were vivid and really made me feel like I was right there watching things unfold.  Catherine Richmond's Through Rushing Waters truly spoke to me, especially about the treatment of the Indians and how they had to live.  The whole story really laid it all out.  The relationships of the characters are very tastefully done and throughout the whole story Catherine Richmond includes the characters growth not just personally but spiritually.  If you enjoy Christian Historical Fiction with some romance, You will love this story. I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to read what is next for Catherine Richmond.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Five Miles South of Peculiar By Angela Hunt

I received this book from Glass Road Public Relations for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Book Description:

     Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather's legacy and she enjoys being a pillar of the community . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns.
     Carlene Caldwell, veteran of the Broadway stage, is devastated when she realizes that a botched throat surgery has spelled the end of her musical career. Searching for a new purpose in life, she retreats to Sycamores, her childhood home.
     Haunted by a tragic romance, Magnolia Caldwell is the youngest of the Caldwell girls. Nolie spends her days caring for her dogs and the magnificent gardens she's created, but when she meets a man haunted by tragedy, she must find the courage to either deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.


My Thoughts:

Five Miles South of Peculiar is the first book by Angela Hunt I have read and I am hooked! When I read the title and saw the  cover of this book I was curious to read it.  I love stories about towns in The South and this one definitely did NOT disappoint.  Angela Hunt writes a beautiful story about sisters and the connections they have regardless of time and distance.  I loved the beautiful descriptions of the town, the family home, and the land around the home.  I felt like I was right there at The Sycamores as I read.  The characters are interesting and very down to earth.  Each one is unique and they truly make up the town of Peculiar!  I really felt connections with these characters. I found myself laughing out loud in places throughout the story. I found it very hard to put this book down, the story grabbed me from the start and held me until the very end.  If you enjoy Christian Fiction, you will enjoy this book. I look forward to reading more from Angela Hunt.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hope Springs By Kimberly Cash Tate

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

Book Description:

Hope Springs is the epitome of small-town life-a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where not a lot changes . . . until now.

Janelle Evans hasn't gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn't long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened.

Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she's longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she's been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women's conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father's church in Hope Springs. Will small-town living affect her big ministry dreams?

Stephanie London is married to a doctor in St. Louis and living an ideal life. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels compelled to do the same. It's a decision that will forever change her.

As these women come together, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God's plan for them in Hope Springs-and for Hope Springs itself-is bigger than they ever imagined.




My Thoughts:

Hope Springs By Kimberly Cash Tate is a wonderful story about generations of families and friends who are bound together by more than just their yards.  This story talks about families and churches that for years were divided by racial lines and how these families bring others to cross these lines and intertwined into each others lives.  Kimberly Cash Tate writes well rounded, real characters that deal with real issues and as I read this book I felt like I was part of this group of characters.  This story made me laugh in many places but also cry in others.  As this story unfolds, you feel like you are right there in the middle of this story, invited into these women's lives.  I found it very hard to put this book down from the start.  The story really spoke to me from the start and held me until the very end.  Hope Springs is a beautiful story.  If you enjoy Christian Fiction you will really enjoy this book. Hope Springs invites you in, and makes you want to stay.




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Grab your copy of Hope Springs and join me for an Author Chat Party on July 10th at 8:00 PM EST (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, & 5:00 PST)!

During the evening Kim will be sharing the story behind her new book, posting book club questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways - books, gift certificates and (I'm so excited about this) - a Kindle Fire!

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Nobody By Creston Mapes

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

Book Description:

They said, "He's a nobody."
They were dead wrong.

When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.

His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation--and perhaps a chunk of the money--into his own hands?

With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious man in the black Converse high-tops, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.



My Thoughts:

Nobody by Creston Mapes is his third novel, but not part of The Rock Star Chronicles. Nobody is a stand alone story where Creston Mapes takes his readers into the not-so-glamorous lives of the Las Vegas homeless community.  Creston Mapes writes with authority about Las Vegas, the homeless, and those who minister to them.  This story shows that EVERYbody is somebody and they have a story, that with one wrong choice, anyone can be homeless.  The characters are well rounded and likable. The story is written from first person view of the different characters, which really gives it a unique feel.  From page one the action starts and it continues all the way to the end. Creston Mapes does an awesome job of drawing in the reader and keeping their attention until the end.  I couldn't put this book down.  I am completely into Creston Mapes writing style and content.  I am thankful for the chance to read another novel by Creston Mapes and look forward to more.

Full Tilt (Rock Star Chronicles) By Creston Mapes

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


Book Description:

I ONCE SOWED DESTRUCTION.
Now those I love are reaping pain.
The media hype is fading and my life is no longer that of a glamorous celebrity. I'm Everett Lester, former lead singer of DeathStroke, acquitted last year of first-degree murder, now married, a Christian, and ready to take my story to the masses through music. Problem is, the turmoil of my past didn't end when the reporters left.

My wife Karen and I have received news that has rocked our world. My brother Eddie's gambling is so far out of control that the mob practically owns him. And Eddie's son, Wesley--who blames me for his brother's death--is mixed up with meth, a psychotic named Tony Badino, and a satanic voice that's urging him to take me out.

Will my Living Water tour ever hit the road? Will former fans stop hissing long enough to hear about the transforming power of Christ's love? Satan once used me for evil--only through God's power can I be used for good. The question is: will my loved ones and I be able to survive the aftermath of a rock star's life?

Everett Lester faces enemies both human and supernatural. Satan won't give up his hold on Everett, his family, or his fans without a vicious fight. God's victory is certain in the supernatural realm, but will Everett survive the earthly battle that's threatening to obliterate him?



My Thoughts:

Full Tilt by Creston Mapes is the second book in the Rock Star Chronicles and again Creston Mapes does NOT disappoint.   In Full Tilt we see familiar characters and get introduced to new ones.  Creston Mapes does a fantastic job of making sure that Full Tilt can be read on its own.  The story gives enough background so new readers don't feel lost but not so much that people who read Dark Star are bored.  Creston Mapes again uses the back and forth in the writing but this time its back and forth between characters instead of past and present.  Full Tilt is full of suspense that made it very hard to put the book down. Again, kept me guessing right up to the end.  Creston Mapes calls on his expertise with the Rock and Roll world to paint a true to life story of what that world is and how people survive in it.   From the start of the book I was hooked.  I look forward to reading Creston Mapes next Rock Star Chronicles book!

Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol (Rock Star Chronicles)

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


Book Description:

Can Fame, Wealth, and Power Buy Happiness?

Everett Lester and his band, DeathStroke, ride the crest of a wave to super stardom. But the deeper they become immersed in fame, wealth, and power, the more likely they are to be swallowed alive by the drugs, alcohol, and discontentment that have become their only friends. Everett is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return when he's charged with the murder of his personal psychic. The only hope he can cling to comes from Topeka , Kansas , and the letters written by a prayerful young lady who lives there. Consistent and persistent, the notes cut straight to Everett 's empty heart, offering a fulfillment he's never grasped before. But what if he's found guilty of murder? Will he recognize the spiritual battle that's raging for his soul?

Endora Crystal was my rock...

As I staggered through the chaos of rock 'n' roll fame-the drugs and alcohol, the selfishness and turmoil-Endora was the gentle voice in my ear telling me I was special. Telling me I was adored. She was my personal psychic, and she said I had a unique purpose, a calling to give my fans happiness. To be their god.

My band, DeathStroke, dominated the world of rock. Yet strife ruled our inner circle. My family didn't know me. I loved no one but myself.

And yet Karen Bayliss was praying for me, that I would come to know the love of God and the lordship of Jesus Christ. She was not a fan. Didn't care for my music. Karen just wanted me to know peace.

Now Endora is dead, and I've been charged with first-degree murder.

Everett Lester is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return. Will he recognize the spiritual battle that's raging for his soul?



My Thoughts:

Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol, Rock Star Chronicles Book 1 by Creston Mapes is his debut book and it is definitely a winner!   Dark Star goes between past and present to explain Everett Lester's life and the current situation he finds himself in.  Creston Mapes uses his expertise in  Rock and Roll Journalism to write a compelling story of good and evil.   The characters in his book are well rounded, likable, and very real people who deal with real issues.  Creston Mapes writes a very believable story that makes the reader feel like he is talking right to them.  Dark Star is an amazing story of how anyone, no matter what they have done in their lives can turn to Jesus and become a new person.  This story had many twists and turns that made it very hard to put down.  This story keeps you guessing until the end.  I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read Dark Star and look forward to reading more of Creston Mapes books.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lucy Come Home: A Yada Yada Journey Of Hope By Dave and Neta Jackson

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

Book Description:

Fifteen-year-old Cindy worked long days beside her migrant worker family in Michigan's sugar beet fields in the early 1940s -- the "war years" -- until she met a dashing young man from a traveling carnival, bringing some joy and fun into her hard-scrabble life. But a tragic twist of fate -- and a dead field boss-- sent the two young people on the run, leaving behind family and everything she'd ever known.

Lucy Tucker, the crotchety old bag lady from the popular Yada Yada House of Hope series, is a veteran of Chicago streets and not about to give up her independence, even as she approaches her 80th birthday.

Until, that is, a young displaced woman with her gentle aging mother and a dog named Dandy seem to need her -- unsettling the secretive Lucy, who doesn't let anyone get too close. But just when it seems her past is catching up with her to bring her in out of the cold... Lucy disappears again. How these two tales intersect and intertwine between past and present gradually shines light into the dark corners of Lucy's murky past. But... why won't Lucy come home?



My Thoughts:

Lucy Come Home by Dave and Neta Jackson is the first book in their new series A Yada Yada Journey of Hope and it is phenomenal.  I am a HUGE fan of Dave and Neta Jackson, I have read many series from them including The Yada Yada Prayer Group, House of Hope, The Yada Yada Brothers, The Souled Our Sisters, and now A Yada Yada Journey of Hope.  The Yada Yada Prayer Group series started it all and these other series have been spin offs of Yada Yada Prayer Group. Its an awesome group of books that introduce new characters and also get to learn more about our old friends from the other series. 

Come Home Lucy gives us a look into the life of Lucy Tucker, a resident of Manna House Shelter.  Lucy seems more content being on the streets than anywhere else. Also Lucy really never shares anything personal.  In this book we learn about Lucy's life and how she came to be on the streets.  Lucy Come Home takes place in present time and flashes back to Lucy's life starting in the 1940's.  Dave and Neta Jackson writes an awesome story of love, tragedy, and God's plan.  The characters in this story are some old friends but also meet some new characters that are real people whose lives are messy like everyone elses.  The characters they write are completely relate able.  Dave and Neta Jackson write with authority on the 1940's, the lives of migrant workers, lives of carnival people, the war, the homeless, and homeless shelters.  As I read this book I felt like I was right there watching Lucy's life unfold in front of me.   This book grabbed me from the beginning and I couldn't put it down but like all of the books I have read from Dave and Neta Jackson, it was bittersweet to finish it. I truly love their writing and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books I have read by them, Lucy Come Home is no exception!!  I HIGHLY recommend Lucy Come Home.  If you have never read any of the other series, fear not, you don't have to,  Dave and Neta Jackson write with enough detail that newcomers of their books don't feel lost and us veterans don't get bored in the details.  If you are a fan of Christian Fiction you will love Lucy Come Home!

About The Authors:

Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set.

As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.
Visit http://www.daveneta.com for more info.

Also please check out others thoughts on this book by checking out these other blogs in this blog tour!!
http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/13501702/lucycomehome

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Anniversary Waltz By Darrel Nelson

I received this book from Glass Road Public Relations for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here our mine.


Book Description:

At their sixtieth anniversary party, Adam Carlson asks his wife, Elizabeth, for their customary waltz. After the dance they gather the family and share their story-a story of love and courage overcoming adversity and thriving in the face of overwhelming odds.
     It's the summer of 1946, and Adam has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. At a town festival he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.
      When Adam and Elizabeth share a waltz in a deserted pavilion one evening, their feelings begin to grow and they embark on a journey, and a dance, that will last a lifetime.


My Thoughts:

The Anniversary Waltz is the debut novel of Author Darrel Nelson and it's a great one!  As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction I was drawn to this beautiful story about a couple married for sixty years and how they met and came together.  This story takes place in 1946, just after World War II, in Reunion, Montana.  Adam Carlson has just returned home from the war to his childhood home.  He meets Elizabeth Baxter who is engaged to Adam's high school rival and a very influential banker in their small town.  Nathan and Adam make a bet over a carnival game with a kiss from Elizabeth as the prize. Adam wins and things go from there.  Adam and Elizabeth find themselves thrust together in many different situations after that including a hayride in which they wander away from and have a dance in an empty pavilion one night. This waltz is the start of everything. 

Darrel Nelson writes a beautiful story of love, tragedy, faith, and trusting in God's plan.  Darrel Nelson writes with authority about this time period, Reunion Montana, and farming.  The characters in this book are real, they have their ups and down and messy lives.  I really felt like I was watching the events of this story unfold as they happened.  This story made me laugh and cry. It truly touched my heart especially since I personally could relate to Elizabeth's tragedy and how hard it is to believe that someone can love you after such a tragedy.  I highly recommend this book anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction. You won't be disappointed. I look forward to reading many more stories from Darrel Nelson.

About The Author:

Darrel Nelson is a graduate of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, with bachelor's degrees in English and education. He is a schoolteacher by profession, with thirty-three years of teaching experience, and currently teaches fourth grade at Raymond Elementary School. Nelson has had an article published in Lethbridge Magazine and has written several dramatic plays, two of which won provincial recognition and were showcased at a drama festival. He won the CJOC radio songwriting contest two years running and has had one song receive international airplay. Writing has always been a passion, and over the years he has written four novels intended for the juvenile market. They are unpublished as yet, but he reads them annually to his fourth-grade students. The Anniversary Waltz is his first novel intended for the adult market.



Monday, June 4, 2012

The Secret Keeper A Novel Of Kateryn Parr By Sandra Byrd

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:

The author of To Die For returns to the court of Henry VIII, as a young woman is caught between love and honor.

What she sees in secret, she may not tell.
Mistress Juliana St. John is the lovely, forthright daughter of a prosperous knight’s family. Though all expect her to marry the son of her late father’s business partner, time and chance interrupt, sending her to the sumptuous but deceptive court of Henry VIII.

Sir Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane, returns to Wiltshire to conclude his affairs with Juliana’s father’s estate and chances upon her reading as lector in the local church. He sees instantly that she would fit into the household of the woman he loves and wants most to please, Kateryn Parr. Juliana’s mother agrees to have her placed with Parr for a season and Juliana goes, though reluctantly.
For she keeps a secret.

As Juliana accompanies Kateryn Parr to court, Henry’s devout sixth queen raises the stakes for all reformers. Support of firebrand Anne Askew puts the queen and her ladies in life-threatening jeopardy, as does the queen’s desire to influence her husband and the realm's direction and beliefs. Later, without Henry’s strong arm, the court devolves to competition, duplicity, and betrayal. The risks could not be higher as Juliana must choose between love and honor, personal fulfillment and sacrifice. Ultimately, her course is driven by a final kept secret, one that undoes everything she thought she knew.


My Thoughts:

The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd is the second novel about The Court of Henry VIII, this time focusing on Queen Kateryn.  I had the pleasure of reading To Die For first and The Secret Keeper is just as awesome.  Sandra Byrd's novels are the first ones I have read about this time period.  As a fan of Historical Fiction, when I read the description about The Secret Keeper, I knew I wanted to read it but wanted to read To Die For first.  Sandra Byrd writes with much authority about this time period, the history surrounding this time, the ways of the courts, the laws and really all things to do with the setting of this book.  I didn't have a lot of knowledge of this time period and I learned a lot.  The Secret Keeper is its own book.  There are some references to some details read in To Die For but Sandra Byrd makes sure that the readers do not feel like they have missed anything and makes sure that readers who read To Die For are not bogged down with details.  The Secret Keepers moves at a good pace.  It keeps you interested from start to finish.  I really had a hard time putting it down.   Sandra Byrd writes a beautifully descriptive story of Kateryn Parr and King Henry's Court that you feel like you are right there experiencing the whole thing.  The Secret Keeper has a little bit of everything: love, betrayal, suspense, and action.  The Secret Keeper centers around the religious struggles and laws of the time.  I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Historical Fiction, especially during Henry VIII's Court.  You will not be disappointed.  I look forward to reading whatever Sandra Byrd has coming next!