Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: The Time I Saved the World by Jes Drew

This is the third book in my daughter's Ninja and Hunter series, and it goes out with a bang.  Out of all of the books this one is my favorite and brings the series to a close nicely.  Coming in at a whopping 434 pages, I read this in just two days.  The following is my review, I will keep it as spoiler free as possible.

The Time I Saved the World pretty much picks up about 6 months from where the second book leaves off.  Now that Charisa’s powers are known to her parents, she has begun working with her father and Villain Hunter to become stronger and smarter when using her powers.  However, someone has noticed Charisa from the beginning, and has been actively keeping watch on her.  After some suspicious robberies, secrets best hidden come out and a criminal unlike any Charisa has gone up against before, puts the whole world in danger.
With writing that makes you feel for the characters, wondering who can be trusted and who can’t, a touch of romance, and a teen girl just trying to do her best and see where she fits in this world, I could not put this book down till the very exciting conclusion. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Sara and Andy by Ronald Glanz

Sara and Andy was a sweet love story of love at first sight, in a funeral home to beat all.  Sara, a minister’s daughter, and Andy, who took care of his invalid mother, had so far had very lonely existences in their adult life.  Both losing their remaining parents, they meet at a funeral home and start up a love story.  This was an interesting read being both lighthearted and funny, but also a tale of tragedy and dark secrets.  It was also a rags to riches story that was interesting to see unfold.  With quirky characters and interesting story telling, I was quickly turning pages to figure out the mystery of this book.  This I believe is considered an inspirational read, however, there is a tiny bit of language.  I received this book from The Book Club Network Inc. (TBCN), and the opinions are my own.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Safe Haven by Anna Schmidt


Safe Haven takes place near the end of World War 2 and tells the story of refugees whom President Roosevelt had invited to come to the United States.  There were not quite 1000 of them, but they came to a town called Oswego in New York.  Under the terms that President Roosevelt had set up, they were allowed to live in the USA until the war was over, then they had to return to their own country or to another country that would accept them.  They were allowed some freedoms with passes they had to obtain and they lived in a fenced-in fort.  To too many of the refugees, it brought back horrible memories of concentration camps, but the Americans in charge of the fort really wanted to make them feel at home and safe.  However, how safe and at home can you really feel when after the war was over, you did not know where you would go or if you even had a home to go to?  Suzanne Randolph, a journalist with a past, has been assigned to write the stories of the refugees.   There she meets Theo Bridgewater, a farmer and Quaker, whose uncle, aunt, and cousin are among the refugees.  He is there for support and to try to convince those in charge that they have a home in Wisconsin with their extended family.  Over a period of time, both Suzanne and Theo realize how important it is that the USA let these families have a chance to stay.  Working at a common goal, Theo and Suzanne start to fall in love with each other.  However, Suzanne sees another side of the story that she would like to pursue and write about as well, that does not make Theo happy.  This was a very interesting story about a piece of history that I had not heard about before.  Just what happened to those refugees that were invited to the United States and their place in history?  You will need to read the book for yourself and find out.  It was very interesting to learn and read about considering what is happening at our borders now.  I received this book from the The Book Club Network (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Hallowed Halls by Hannah Alexander


Hallowed Halls by the husband/wife team, Hannah Alexander, is a very interesting book that looks into relationships.  Not only that, but it has a very intriguing medical mystery as well.  I was drawn into this story and all the dynamics that it involved.  The main character Dr. Joy Gilbert is still broken hearted from her break up with her fiancĂ© Zack, who is a fellow doctor.  With problems at home with her mom, Molly, Joy takes a job in the city much farther away than the country home she is used too.  It has been 9 months, and things are still not working out for Joy.  Being pursued by her divorced employer and her overloaded work schedule, Joy needs to go home and face her Mother’s mounting debt and health problems and Zack.  Not only that, but she has a stowaway, Tressa, who is the very wealthy and powerful divorced employer’s daughter.  Tressa is dealing with some issues of her own, from both her parents.  Not only that, but there is something more sinister and dangerous happening to Tressa. This story is full of secrets that each individual is keeping and needs to come to light.  I really liked how the author showed that the decisions and mistakes people make, not only affect the person making them, but everyone as a whole.  I also enjoyed how all the characters related and responded to each other, especially Joy and Molly’s relationship.  There is definitely some healing and forgiveness that needs to take place for all the characters. This is my first read by Hannah Alexander and with the solid storytelling found in this book it will not be my last.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert


A Woman of Fortune by Kelly Coates Gilbert is a story about some serious family issues.  Even though this deals with a very rich family, the book held some truths most of us could take away from.  At first I didn’t know how I felt about Claire Massey.  She seemed like the typical married woman of fortune and I didn’t really like how after 30 years of marriage she could have been so clueless about her husband’s business dealings and her 3 adult children.  However, as the story progresses and she is popped out of her protective bubble, she takes a real hard look at her life.  I began to feel for her and the fact that her entire way of life was being ripped from her.  Her husband is taken away from her and two of her children are angry and withdraw.  However, one child does step up, the one that always seemed to be the black sheep.  Through it all though, she realizes just what is important and what love really means.  I really liked this book even though it was like watching a train wreck.  This does not have your happily ever after ending, but it does have the right ending.  I really liked how the author made marriage very important.  I already have the second book in this series on my wish list.  I received this book from the The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: Firewall by Diann Mills

Firewall by Diann Mills was an addictive, fast paced read.  I have read her historical fiction before, but this was the first suspense of hers I have read and I was not disappointed.  Can you imagine just getting married to the man you love, starting out on your honeymoon, and boom a terrorist attack takes place at the airport where you are departing from?  Not only that, but waking up in the hospital and realizing your husband is missing and the FBI are questioning who he really is and now you are a suspect?  You were supposed to be on your way to your honeymoon!  Well this is what happens to brilliant software developer Taryn Young.  Mills creates such an intricate web of deceit and sabotage that, Taryn, nor the reader, knows who to trust.  I really felt for Taryn and was quickly turning the pages to see how all this was going to turn out.  The book took some interesting turns that I did not see coming and I really look forward to the next novel in this series.  This book was better than most series on TV and I could tell that the author did her research.   I highly recommend it.  I received this book from The Book Club Network (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.                       

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes


Sky Zone by Creston Mapes is the third book in his Crittendon Files series.  Wow.  This story picks up about 8 months after the events of Poison Town.  Jack is working part time now as an usher for an events company after losing his job.  He and Pam are expecting their third child and they still have Pam’s mom, Margaret, who is dealing with dementia living with them.  They are also having a lot of financial problems due to the loss of Jack’s full time job and Pam has had to go back to work for insurance after being a stay at home mom.  All of this is really putting a strain on their marriage.  We are introduced to Jack’s coworkers, especially Brian Shakespeare who is described as a survivalist.  This book for the most part takes place in less than 24 hours.  We do go back in some chapters to see how our main characters get to the places they end up being when a terrorist attack is about to go down.  I don’t want to say too much more, but this book is over 400 pages and I read it in less 2 days.  That is how intense and fast and hard for me to put this book down was.  One of the things that I really like about Creston Mapes’ stories, is that even though we are introduced to a group of characters and a lot is going on in all of their lives, I have never felt lost in his stories.  He keeps the readers up on all of them and what is happening.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Review: Poison Town by Creston Mapes

Poison Town played out like an action packed thriller movie in my head.   This is the first book I have read by Creston Mapes and it did not disappoint.  I liked getting to know Jack Crittendon and his family and friends.    Jack is really struggling with forgiveness and fear since the ordeal when his wife was kidnapped.  This is causing problems in his and Pam’s marriage.   While that and more are going on in his personal life, he is having car trouble and goes to his mechanics.  While there he learns that Galen, the father, has been really sick.  While Galen was at the hospital someone had tried to poison him.  This sets off a chain of events where Jack, who is an investigative reporter by profession, is trying to help his friends search for answers about their town being poisoned from a nearby factory.  Jack and Derrick, his reporter friend/partner, begin to uncover some very shady dealings and a lot of corporate greed with people who really want this story silenced, that they will stoop to do anything to keep this quiet, including murder.    There is a lot of stuff going on in this story and the last 80 pages or so had me on the edge of my seat.   There are also quite a few characters, yet the author made them all stand out and we even got to know the minor ones well.  This story takes place in my home state of Ohio which made the story even creepier for me.  This is a second in the series and even though it is can be read as a standalone, the first book does deal with Pam’s kidnapping.  I have not read the first one, but I do plan on going back and reading it.  At the end of the book we get a sneak peak at the third Crittendon File.  I am looking forward to reading that one as well.  I received this book from The Book Club Network and the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Tender Trust by Tanya Stowe

Tender Trust by Tanya Stowe is the second book by this author that I have read and I have really been enjoying her stories.  This one takes place in California in 1867.  Penny Marsden is running a saloon to try to support her daughter and give her ragtag makeshift family a home and a better chance of life.  Her husband, Alex Marsden went off to fight in the Civil War and she has had no word of him for five years.  Then one evening in he walks into her saloon and like a rocket the story really takes off from that point on.  Alex has changed through his experiences and injuries.  He has become a better man for it and he has been searching for his wife and child for the past few years.  He is ready to pick up where he and his wife have left off, however, Penny does not believe in happily ever after anymore.  Living in fear that something will take her husband away from her again, she distances herself from him and continues to try to live without him.  I do admit that sometimes I wanted to shake her, but with Alex we slowly find out what she is truly afraid of.  This was a sweet romance of a man trying to show his wife how much he cares and truly loves her, their daughter, and the friends she has picked up along the way.  The secondary characters and their stories were also done well.  We have Jewel who is running from a very bad man, Inga and Jann, her teenage son, who are immigrants, Tom a gifted piano player who has turned to the bottle, even the saloon owner next door.   As Alex tries to reconnect with his wife and daughter, he also sees the hurting of these others and attempts to help them all to a better life.  I very much look forward to more stories from Tanya Stowe.  I received this book from The Book Club Network (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Never-Ending Night by Tanya Stowe


Never-Ending Night by Tanya Stowe captured my attention from the first page and I had a hard time putting it down until I read the very last page.  During a reenactment of a Civil War battle, photographer Stacy Sutton captures in pictures a mysterious man coming out of the smoke.  No one knows who this wounded man is or where he came from.  Not only that, but he says that he is T.R. Sheridan, a man who was killed during the Battle of Shiloh which was the battle being reenacted.  As Stacy feels a connection with Tyler (T.R. Sheridan) she is finding out some very disturbing information.  Not only does he not recall what happened on the field or how he got there, he is very disturbed by the modern world.  He says he is from the past, but is time travel really possible?  Not only are Stacy and Tyler trying to find answers, so are a few others that may not be so trustworthy.  I really did not know which way the author was going to take this story but I had a fun time reading it.  You will just have to read the book yourself to find out how this fast paced story answers the time travel question.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

Here to Stay

What happens when the prodigal, who comes home and is ready to settle down, and the girl, who has followed the rules and is ready to get out of town, fall in love?  Autumn Kingsley has been trying to keep her family’s inn afloat since her mother had gifted it to her on her birthday years ago.  Blake Hunziker has arrived back in town after being gone for years and is ready to be part of the community he ran away from.  His parents welcome him home and would like him to help his father with their hotel.  With past circumstances and hurts crushing them both, Autumn and Blake strike up a partnership where he will help her fix up her inn for a very important investor and she will help him organize the Christmas festival for their dying little tourist town.  As they begin to work together and ultimately rely upon each other, a “forbidden” romance develops between them.  Their families have been feuding for years with their competing businesses and with other history between them, neither think they have a chance with each other.  Not only that, but Autumn has a chance of a lifetime- to move to Paris and finally get to pursue her dreams.  Are Autumn and Blake’s dreams what they really want, or is there something bigger and better for them both? I really enjoyed this first read of mine by Melissa Tagg.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Do Not Be Afraid! by Rabbi K.A. Schneider

In his book, Rabbi Schneider opens up from his very own life experiences about his fears and how God has helped him work through them.  He addresses many fears, which all of us have had from one time or another.  I found it interesting that when he was talking about his childhood that I had some of the same fears in my childhood that he had experienced.  That was really an eye opener for me as I thought my fears and anxieties were just my own from my own imagination.  He gives insights on how we can deal with our fears through prayer and gives us Bible verses.  This would make a good devotional, especially if someone is dealing with a lot of worries with everything going on in the world today.  We were not made to be afraid and that is not how we were meant to live our lives.  He does discuss his dreams a bit, and that he has found meaning in them.  I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.